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'She has such a big heart': Jackie Lou Blanco on iconic mom Pilita Corrales

MANILA, Philippines — Pilita Corrales was honored with the Icon award at the inaugural Billboard Philippines Women in Music on March 22 in Samsung Hall, SM Aura in Taguig City. 

The iconic singer known for her signature backbend when singing was among the honorees at last Friday's event. The other women cited were Regine Velasquez, Morissette, Moira Dela Torre, Ena Mori, Belle Mariano and Sarah Geronimo. 

Jackie Lou Blanco, accompanied by her daughter Rikki Mae, accepted the award on behalf of her mother. 

The actress recalled how she grew up being awestruck by her own mother, who started as a guitar-playing singer in their hometown Cebu. Pilita then only knew to speak Bisaya and Spanish. 

Pilita had to start young because her father had passed when she was young. Jackie said her mother did it to help support her siblings. 

"As I grew up and I became a performer, as I got to sing with her, there would be numerous times that I would do a duet with her. In my mind, sinasabi ko sa sarili ko, 'Jackie, 'wag mo tingnan ang nanay mo kasi time mo na. Buksan mo na ang bibig mo. Kakanta ka na.' I would be in awe when I would look at my mom," she recalled. 

Her mom's beauty and singing were not the only attributes that made Jackie admire Pilita more. More than anything, it was Pilita's good heart that made her more proud of her mother. 

Jackie revealed that Moira had confided in her daughter, up-and-coming actress Ara Davao, about how Pilita encouraged her to believe in herself back when she was just starting as a singer. 

Moira was also an honoree with Billboard Philippines giving her the Hitmaker award. 

"It was my mom's show and I think you were so nervous and my mom told her to not worry because one day, everybody will applaud you and that is how my mom is," said Jackie, addressing Moira seated in one of the front tables. 

"Hindi siya madamot. Hindi niya alam na ganon siya kagaling. She has such a big heart and I know she has been an inspiration for so many, but more than anything, I'm so proud as her daughter. 

"And I'm sure as her daughter and her granddaughter, we are so very proud of her kasi hindi lang siya mahusay kumanta, hindi lang niya mahal 'yung ginagawa