Not everyone is thrilled to meet Jake Zyrus, the new persona of the transgender artist formerly known as Charice. Least of all his estranged maternal grandmother.
After the singer announced his name change on Monday, Thess Pineda, later identified in news reports as Tess Relucio, refused to acknowledge it in a Facebook rant and said her grandchild will remain as Charice Pempengco (Jake’s given name) and will die as Charice Pempengco.
Pineda’s post elicited numerous comments sympathetic to Jake. To which the outspoken dressmaker from Sta. Rosa, Laguna responded, “Lahat ng tumawag na Jake dyan, hahanapin ko kayo at ituro nya sa akin kung saan nyo nilibing si Charice…Lahat kayo mananagot sa batas sa pagpatay nyo sa apo ko. Nagkakaintindihan ba tayong lahat?”
(All of you who call her Jake, I will find you so you could point to me where you buried her…You will be held accountable by the law for killing my grandchild. Do we understand each other?)
Pineda admitted that she was already hurt when her grandchild changed her looks and first came out in 2013 but did not say anything. “Pero ito, kahit ikakamatay ko, hindi ko kukusintihin na maging Jake Zyrus [siya] (But even if it kills me, I won’t accept this Jake Zyrus),” she declared.
Still referring to Jake as Charice, Pineda insisted that her grandchild is a woman even if the latter has now identified as a transgender man.
Jake has yet to respond to his grandmother’s tirades but happily acknowledged most of the media organizations that have reported on his recent name change, including international outfits like People, EOnline, ETCanada and Rolling Stone.
He even shared the thrill of being addressed as Jake for the first time in this tweet.
Thank you din sa mga crew ng Jollibee kanina. Tinawag nila akong Jake. First time ko marinig. Kinilig ako at naiiyak. Salamat po.
— Jake Zyrus (@jakezyrus) June 22, 2017