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A diva and her mini-me

Monday, May 9, 2016
To OPM lovers and karaoke-addicted Pinoys, Jessa Zaragoza – she with those distinct pipes made more appealing with her flawless beauty that she’s maintained all these years – remains one of the favorite voices in the Philippine music industry that they just love to mimic.

The singer dubbed as the Jukebox Queen of the 90s is famous for her hits “Paano Kaya,” “Ibigay Mo Na,” “Bumabalik ang Nagdaan,” “Nasaan” and her monster hit, “Bakit Pa.”

The public may view Jessa as a sophisticated celebrity or an intimidating music icon, but to her only child Jayda Avanzado, she’s the cool mom she loves hanging out with.

“People might see her as the phenomenal diva or a really serious woman, but I just see her as my mom and my best friend,” says the 12-year-old Jayda. “We’re very close. We have a really good relationship.”

Jessa, who shares Jayda with husband and OPM hitmaker Dingdong Avanzado, describes her parenting style as “balanced and open.”

“I talk to Jayda in a frank manner. Straight to the point. But I make sure that we’re friends, that she can tell me whatever she wants to,” she says.

According to Jessa, their small family of three typically celebrate Mother’s Day in the simplest of ways.

“Usually, I’m with my family. We make sure that we’re together,” Jessa says. “The littlest things already make us happy. We eat out and watch a movie, or we just stay in and order something than have a marathon of our favorite series.”

If their schedule permits it, Jessa and Jayda head to the salon and spa, and then hit their favorite restaurant after. These bonding moments allow them heart-to-heart conversations, Jessa relates.

When the subject of Jayda entertaining suitors in the future came up, Jessa was quick to the draw.

“When she turns 30!” the mom says with a laugh, before adding, “Maybe when she’s mature already and she’s able to accomplish her goals, one of which is to be a known singer. Maybe after that, she can already face that chapter of her life.”

Jessa says motherhood is a 24-hour job that entails sacrifice and lots of unconditional love. For this, she salutes all moms like her who manage to be superwomen in their daily lives.

In turn, Jayda expressed gratitude not only to her mom, but to her dad as well. “For all the mothers and my mom, we are truly blessed to have you in our lives and I don’t think I could ask for a better mom. To kids like me, love not just your mom but also your dad. You have to love your parents because they give you their unconditional love and support. They will stick with you until the end,” Jayda says.

The next diva?

Jessa and Dingdong’s full support for Jayda has been stronger than ever as their little aspiring singer is slowly making her own name as a chanteuse.

“I’m not exactly rushing in to be a part of show business. I need time to mature and hone my craft,” says Jayda, whose biggest break so far was fronting for British band The Vamps during the Philippine leg of their tour.

As for the luminous Jessa, it’s shaping up to be an eventful 2016 for her. After a successful concert dubbed “I Am Me” last January in Manila, she is bringing the same show to Hawaii soon, with Dingdong as creative director and Jayda as a guest performer.

Her company, Phenomenal Entertainment (which manages her family’s career) has also just been revived. There’s also her regular stint in the GMA-7 Saturday sitcom “Pepito Malaloto.”

For those seeking the same success she’s had as a recording artist, Jessa offers: “More than one’s singing skills, work ethic is very important. Its how you love the gift bestowed upon you by God, how you work with your co-artists in the industry and how you deal with the people around you. I think these are major aspects that aspiring singers have to learn. Nurture your craft. Prepare for each gig. It’s your responsibility to use your gift well.” (FREEMAN)