Pinoy Dream Academy first season scholar Panky Trinidad never played hanky-panky. During her no-fuss audition in the reality talent show, she looked like something straight out of a brit-rock documentary, with her black shirt, tattered pants, and checkered vans while everybody else looked like they’d just stepped out of the salon with full make-up, dressed to impress and profiles with head shots in hand.
“My blonde hair was a mess and I sported a mullet,” Panky laughs. “I was there on a dare. I brought nothing else with me except my voice,” she recalls.
And that voice brought her the distinction of being the scholar with the most number of Star Scholar recognitions, and the least number of nominations, which was only one. That voice took her to the Honor List of 6 and the fourth place in the Grand Dream Night.
That voice also flew her to the 2008 World Championship of Performing Arts as a representative of the Philippine Team for the senior division. She was cited as the Champion of the World for the Vocal R&B/Soul/Jazz in the 16-24 category, and the gold in the Female Vocal R&B/Soul/Jazz and the Female Vocal Rock, 18-24 category. She also bagged the silver in the Female Vocal Broadway and the bronze in the Female Vocal Pop, 18-24 category.
Ten years hence, Panky has formed her own band, The Twist, which she calls “today’s acoustic rebels” that plays “no B.S., filter-free, pure unadulterated world class music.” The Twist performs regularly in different bars and venues around Metro Manila.
Panky is also busy with Panky’s Society of Dreamers where she teaches voice, basic guitar, percussion and speech lessons to the young and young at heart. Her students include Juan Karlos Labajo of The Voice Kids Season 1 and Andrea Brillantes who already has a single out today.
“I’m equally proud of all my students,” says Teacher Panky.
Panky has been singing her whole life and used to have a band in her hometown in Cebu, but she admits she never imagined herself doing it in front of the camera. Still, she is thankful for having had the opportunity to be in show business.
“A lot of great things happened to me that I would never have achieved if not for showbiz – the recognition, the accolade, the perks. But all of these things are fleeting and temporary. In all honesty, my greatest achievement is and will always be the fans. Although I prefer calling them friends instead of fans. Any person who gives you their loyalty, love and support, no matter what, is worthy of being called a friend. I haven’t been in the spotlight for years but the same people who supported me in PDA are still there and I am grateful for that,” shares Panky.
Panky does all these for the most important thing in her life – the happiness of her mom and two younger siblings.
“They’ve sacrificed so much for me and I’m still making it up to them every day. They inspire me to keep going especially when circumstances make me want to quit. Everything I do is for my family,” says Panky, who also admits to being in a very happy relationship with girlfriend Vanessa, also a singer.
“Vanessa and I don’t have a social life because our jobs require us to be ‘out and about’ and social. Any socializing besides work could be a convo with a waiter in the mountains of Baguio who I ask for the restaurant’s specials or a fistbump with a gas station attendant after filling up our tank to go eat bulalo in Tagaytay. That’s pretty much it,” says Panky with a wink.
Panky likes going on road trips and traveling. She finds driving relaxing and therapeutic.
“If I had my way, I’d go to at least six countries every year. I like bathing in different cultures and talking to people from different walks of life,” she says, adding that movie marathons also relax her.
Confident Panky does not have a beauty regimen, saying she always wakes up the same way every day. Panky jokes that she always tries to eat a balanced meal and a balanced meal is a burger in each hand.
“Kidding aside, I lost a significant amount of weight 4 years ago but I gained it all back so I’m trying to get back on track. Keeping my weight off has always been an issue. If I’m gonna use the gym and pool in my condo, it’s because I want to make a change and try to get healthy, not because people tell me I’m fat and it burns their eyes. Get an eye-patch or something. That’ll solve the problem. Plus, I’m confidently fat with a heart,” Panky laughs.
Panky believes that sometimes things don’t go according to plan, though she has a clear picture of where she will be in the next 10 years, but “if the band HEART will ever need a new vocalist or whatever, that’s probably where I’ll be. Hey, a girl can dream!” Panky quips.
Through everything that she gone through, Panky learned that no one should never take anything for granted – people, opportunities, priceless moments and most of all, ourselves.
“I’ve learned to accept and forgive the people who have wronged me in the past even if the public will never know my side of the story. Being accused of something I didn’t do is hurtful. Just because I look tough and curse like a sailor, people assume I’m a binge-drinking, hotel-trashing, carpet-vomiting airhead. It hurts. I’ve also learned that I don’t have to own up to these accusations because I know I didn’t do them and I am not that person. But, I will apologize for the ones I did do. If YOU are one of the people I have wronged, I am deeply sorry and I apologize with all my heart. I believe that every mistake is a learning opportunity and a chance to start over and become a better person. I’ve learned that nobody is perfect and life is like a coin with two sides – the ‘people who love you and root for your success’ side and the ‘people who hate your guts for no reason and want to take you down’ side. If we learn to ignore the latter and appreciate and give importance to the former, we will all live happily and in harmony,” ends Panky.
No fuss, no hanky-panky. What you see is wat you get. That’s Panky Trinidad.
Get in touch with Panky through Facebook: email@example.com and Instagram: pankytrinidad. See The Twist’s profile and show schedules at https://www.facebook.com/thetwistph/ and Panky’s Society of Dreamers at https://www.facebook.com/pankyssocietyofdreamers/.