I am not going to speculate that Alfonso Valiente, a Filipino, is an Ilocano or a descendant of Ilocanos, however, the Valientes sure abound in my hometown. I shall, however, recognize the fact that he was part of the equation that produced Nicole Scherzinger, the talented and beautiful lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls and now competing in this year’s 10th season of Dancing With The Stars.
Here’s the text of a fact sheet on the singer/dancer circulating on the Internet:
Nicole Prescovia Elikolani Valiente Scherzinger (born June 29, 1978) is an American pop/R&B singer, songwriter, dancer and occasional actress who is best known as the lead singer of the Pussycat Dolls.
Previously, Scherzinger was part of reality TV girlgroup Eden’s Crush and despite minor chart successes she was discontented with the group and quit. She then joined the Pussycat Dolls when they were a burlesque troupe. She took the role of lead singer when the group became a recording group. So far, the Pussycat Dolls have released two successful albums, PCD and Doll Domination, with two supporting tours.
Scherzinger was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her biological father, Alfonso Valiente is Filipino, and her mother, Rosemary, is of Hawaiian and Russian descent. In an interview Scherzinger said “I’m Filipino-Russian-Hawaiian, but people think I’m from Pakistan.”
Her mother Rosemary was eighteen at the time of Scherzinger’s birth and lived in an inner city neighborhood. Nicole’s parents separated when she was still a baby. Her maternal family moved to Louisville, Kentucky when she was six years old, with her sister Ke’ala and her German-American stepfather Gary Scherzinger.
In an interview with The Daily Mail Scherzinger explained that she had been brought up with a strict religious (Catholic) upbringing in Hawaii. She first attended Meyzeek Middle School as an adolescent. Growing up, Scherzinger states that she didn’t have a lot of money and the singer thanks her mom for all the support she gave her to become what she is today. Scherzinger began performing in Louisville, attending the Youth Performing Arts School at duPont Manual High School and performing with Actors Theatre of Louisville.
As a teenager, Scherzinger was the first runner-up at the 1996 Kentucky State Fair’s Coca-Cola Talent Classic contest. She also was the Queen for the Louisville Barrio Fiesta, a celebration of all Filpinos in the area. Scherzinger majored in acting and musical theatre at Wright State University, where she played Velma Kelly in Chicago and Julie La Verne in Show Boat, but put her studies on hold in 1999 to sing backing vocals for the rock band Days of the New.
Nicole was supposed to be cast in one of the lead roles in the upcoming movie with the Filipino Boxing Champion Manny Pacquiao together with professional wrestler Dave Batista. She was about to play the leading lady of the Filipino Champ but it was canceled and her role went to the Filipina actress Ruffa Mae Quinto.
The Filipino star is a big fan of Pacquiao and intends to support him by singing his country”s national anthem at one of the sport star”s future fights.
“It would be an honor to sing the national anthem. So, let’s make that happen! I’m so proud of him. I’ve been following him,” she said.
In 2006, she made a “Bench Body” brand underwear commercial in the Philippines and in October 2008, she promoted Clear Shampoo and Conditioner. Both commercials were reportedly aired throughout Southeast Asia.
In late 2009, it was reported that Scherzinger was working closely with Andrew Lloyd Webber on the Phantom of the Opera sequel, Love Never Dies.
On March 1, 2010, it was announced that Scherzinger would be a celebrity contestant on Dancing with the Stars for the tenth season and would be partnered with Season 7 Champion Derek Hough. The season premiered on Monday, March 22, 2010. Family and friends of Nicole gathered in Makaha Valley, at the home of her parents that she gave as a gift to cheer her on during the premiere of DWTS.
Asked whether she keeps in touch with her biological father, Nicole replied: “Yes, I do. He grew up in Hawaii and still lives there with a family of his own. It’s a beautiful family, very warm people who follow their hearts. My father works for the Hawaii government. But it was my mother who raised me. She’s my everything and she’s the reason why I got to where I am today.”
Of course, my favorite video is: