Student here, pop star there


Beatriz “Jayke” Reyes performs on the popular Filipino show, ASAP.

Sebastian Echeverry, Managing/ News Edior

Goose-bumps flow throughout the surface of Jayke’s skin as she approaches the stage.

She takes deep breaths, focuses on her lines of a song she must have heard 101 times over during rehearsal.

Jayke clears her throat and leaves all her concerns and troubles behind on the back stage.

And for that split second, she is truly alive and truly consumed with the passion she has always wanted to pursue.

Jayke, better known as Beatriz Jacqueline Reyes is a student at Cerritos College in the United States, but a famous singer in the Philippines.

“Well I’ve been singing since I was a kid,” Reyes said.

“I remember singing all these Disney songs growing up, but as I got older I started taking it more seriously.”

From talent shows to singing center-ice at hockey games, Reyes began to formulate the idea that she wanted to make a career out of singing.

Seth Riggs, the same Seth Riggs that worked with Michael Jackson, was Reyes’ singing teacher at the time.

“He [Riggs] had this picture of me on his piano because I was going to do a show with Ron Dante,” Reyes said.

“So when the scout saw my picture on Seth Riggs’ piano, he said ‘I want her contact info.’ At the time I was 14, so I was still a minor, instead he gave my father’s contact info to the scout.”

When the two met, Dante told Reyes to learn five songs.

“After a week [of practicing the five songs] I went back to Dante and he said, ‘alright, let’s record,’ ”

She added, “So I was nervous, he has a straight face like Simon Cowell, so he was dead-on strict on me.”

Without Dante’s strict ways of teaching, Reyes said she wouldn’t be where she was now.

“I really thank him, for just making me who I am today,” Reyes said.

The decision came, Reyes was torn between joining American Idol in the United States and trying to become the youngest contestant on the show, or traveling with Viva Entertainment agent Vic Del Rossario, for five years to the Philippines.

“My mother told me, make sure you are sure about your decision,” Reyes said.

She decided to go to the Philippines and work with Viva Entertainment for five years.

For her first album, Reyes’ first name was changed from Beatriz to Triz.

After the first album came another name change, and that name was Jayke.

While Reyes grew in her singing career her father Renato Reyes, had to work in the United States while his daughter worked in the Philippines.

To record an album it cost quite a sum, however, Renato felt money was not going to stop his daughter from reaching her dream .

“Money is money,” Renato said. “The experience and the support that we [family] gave from those years in the Philippines was really a good experience that you cannot buy.”

The expenses did not bother Renato, he acknowledged that the path that his daughter took was a monetary one, however, Beatriz was on her way to sing for top-rated shows and the Queen of Thailand.

“I don’t care about the expenses, I don’t care about how much we spent for my daughter as long as we [family] supported her,” he said. “We gave everything that she needed and wanted for her career.”

Aside from the glitz and glamor, Reyes’ father wanted her to return to the United States after her five years in the Philippines to finish her college state-side.

Beatriz had a performance scheduled with ASAP, a very popular show in the Philippines.

As she prepared back stage for her prime-time moment, the thought of her father not being able to make it, who was in the United States working, began to creep into her mind.

As she fought back the tears, the stage assistants began calling her to make it on stage.

“It was really hard,” Renato said. “It was really difficult to be separated from each other, that was the sacrifice for five years.”

“I hope, that she will continue and finish her schooling here in the United States,” he added.

“It’s very hard for a pure-blood Filipino to make it there, even though she has Filipino blood, she has to learn the language [Tagalog].”

Beatriz is currently working on what she calls “reels”.

They are a compilation of snippets of movie scenes and TV show scenes where she acts them out so she can show the reel to a director along with her resume.

“I can see how difficult it was for my parents, being married for 30 plus years they sacrificed so much for me,” Reyes said.

“They let me follow my dreams and move to the Philippines to do that, and I’ve been told that not a lot of families do that and from the bottom of my heart I am so blessed and thankful,” she added.