THE VICTORY on June 23, 2010
By Alex P. Vidal
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — When Winnie Chan was crowned as the 2010 Miss Philippines British Columbia in the “BC Prettiest Filipinas” competitions at the River Rock Hotel in Richmond on June 23, 2010 she became a household name in the Filipino community after collecting four of the five major awards that night.
And because of her beauty and intelligence, a one-two punch combination rarely possessed by many eager-beaver beauty titlists today, everyone thought she would next enter the showbiz in the Philippines like other Filipino-Canadians and Filipino-Americans who have reaped stardom and accolades in beauty competitions.
One of the most low profile beauties in the Filipino community in British Columbia, Chan, a product of the University of Sto. Tomas in the Philippines where she obtained a degree in Bachelor in Music, opted to stay in Canada to continue with her “mainstream volunteer works.”
With humility as her most favorite virtue, Chan is now a recording artist, actress, singer and one of the most senior and active talents of the “FYE Live” variety show produced by the Surrey-based Maxipro Entertainment of which she is part of the production staff. She takes pride of having the privilege to work together with highly regarded musical titans and educators Soccoro “Babes” Newland, Jackie Diy, and Debbie Arkoncel.
Q: As a prominent entertainer/singer/host and beauty personality in the Filipino-Canadian community, what do you think is your best asset?
A: Hahaha, Asset? I would say being happy and contented in my own skin. If you’re oozing with confidence and happiness, it shows and everything else follows.
Q: Aside from entertainment what are your other involvements in community-based programs and activities?
A: Actively participating at this new variety show at Shaw Cable 116, “FYE Live” and also part of the MaxiPro Entertainment Talent Management Group. Aside from being active in the Filipino Community, I am quite active with mainstream volunteer works.
Q: As a senior artist and member of production staff of the “FYE Live” how do you handle your job as well as your working relationships with both the producers and the younger artists?
A: Balance and flexibility are the key. You cant be too rigid and closed minded especially now, the younger generations are exposed to things that were either scarce or non existent during my time. You can’t be too liberal and forward that certain values that are still highly regarded by other individuals are forgotten or set aside. Although I am mainly work with Filipinos, I still deal with different demographics and personalities. Young or old, you have to treat everyone with RESPECT, no exceptions. One very helpful tip, learn the art of listening, a lot of relationships whether personal or work fail because we tend to overlook facts or reasoning but focus on what we need and want.
Q: What advice can you give to uprising and and young Filipino-Canadian singers and other entertainers who are following your footsteps as a successful artist?
A: It sounds cliché but it is true, “be your own self.” No two individual are alike, we all have our own special quality that makes us unique. Be open to failure but embrace success, polish those rough edges and never be apprehensive in seeking help, guidance and advice from people or individuals that have your happiness in their hearts.
Q: What are the beauty titles, awards, honors you received in the past three years here in Canada?
A: Oh, after my stint as 2010 Ms. Philippines BC, I decided that it was my first and last beauty pageant. You know how some people have their bucket list, that was part of mine. I am not much of an award or honor type of person, mind you – who wouldn’t want to receive or be nominated for something.
Q: Describe your life as an artist and prominent figure in entertainment world here in British Columbia.
A: My life is very much comparable to majority of families here in BC. Its quite routine almost every day despite the different events that I have to go to on weekends. Here’s a typical weekday for me: wake-up, work, then off to either meetings or whatever engagement I have in the evening, catch- up time with my daughter, sleep really late or early in the am then back to same routine the next day. Weekends: errands then off to one or two of the following: recording, taping, event, meeting, party. It does get a little hectic at times but I do enjoy what I do whether work or my extra-curricular activities.
Q: How do you assess the impact of Filipino singers invited by Canada-based producers to perform in concerts here?
A: Artists are same everywhere, the only thing that differentiates them is the artists’ ability to engage their audience. You may have an awesome singer but if he/she is unable to keep the crowd engaged from beginning to end of the show then it minimizes their talent. You have to be an ENTERTAINER, you cant just be a singer or just a dancer. The great singers or artists have one thing in common, they are all effective entertainers.
Q: What is your philosophy in life?
A: Philosophies for me, First and foremost practice self-awareness: knowing my strengths, weakness and my abilities. Treat everyone with respect regardless of their color, sexual orientation, religion, political views, economic status, young or old even education. Carry humility with you at all times – despite all the success and achievements in your life. humility- in accepting your mistakes, failures and indiscretions. Lastly, maintain a cheerful HEART.
Q: What do you think is the biggest asset of the Filipino-Canadian community?
A: Honestly? I personally think that the biggest asset of the FCC is a double edged sword: competitiveness. Pros: we push ourselves over and beyond our limits to reach our goals and objectives. When focused in succeeding we all work harmoniously. When we experience stress or roadblocks we emerge victorious because we are driven to win. Cons: we turn everything into rivalry even the most innocent things e.g. fund raising events. We start creating cliques, groups or clans causing disparity and partiality within our community.
Q: Your working relationship with fellow artists in the entertainment world here in British Columbia.
A: In general, artists that I’ve had the honor of working with are quite easy to get along with. A lot of them are firmly grounded, no air of arrogance, humble, down to earth and most importantly confident. It’s not a perfect world therefore it is but safe to say that as much as I would like to maintain good relationship with everyone we can not please them all. I just have to accept that we are all individuals and that we all come from different backgrounds and have different beliefs and values.