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Janice Vidal
Frustrated with the world of Hong Kong gossip, Cantopop singer Janice Vidal withdrew from the spotlight last year to complete a new album, “The Servant,” which is out now. She talks to June Ng about the lows of success, the trouble with religions, and her half-Filipina heritage.

By June Ng | Jan 15, 2009

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I have a split personality. When I’m at work, I’m really outgoing because I focus on my music and I don’t think about other responsibilities in life. But when I’m not working, I’m quiet and introverted.

I haven’t achieved many of my goals yet. I’ve been out of the public eye for two years, making this album and touring Macau and China. I feel like I haven’t accomplished much.

I’m a much more careful person now. Before I got involved in this industry, I was much more carefree. But as soon as I got here I realized that certain friends are not friends. They just want to use you.

With every betrayal, you learn a lesson.

I wish I was working behind the scenes. I can’t really see myself as a pop star. The fact that I have fans is shocking.

The higher you get, the more people want to tear you down.

I feel like a servant sometimes. I have to pay most of the bills for the people I know.

It’s difficult talking to the local media in Cantonese. I’m getting better at it but it was really difficult at the beginning. I used to accidentally swear at press conferences.

Gossip magazine reporters are very nice as people. But ultimately, their job is to find flaws in celebrities and write about them. You can’t really blame them, but thank god I don’t read Chinese.

It’s annoying how much coverage they give to my weight. I like to eat and I don’t know what’s wrong with that. I’m entitled to eat a little bit more now because I’ve accomplished my goal and lost some weight.

If society changed and weight was no longer an issue, I wouldn’t diet. But now I have to do it. I wonder what reporters will write about when I’m not fat anymore.

I used to party a lot, but I’ve experienced all there is to know about that lifestyle. Now, I’d rather learn new things or do something useful with my life.

If I hadn’t become a singer, I probably would have joined the circus and become a trapeze artist.

I’m very boring. I don’t do anything. I stay at home. I cook. I read. I play video games. I have a dog.

Hong Kong is a great place, but it’d be nice if Hongkongers could change their attitude. For example, they could stop shoving.

I converted to Buddhism five years ago. My sister and I were both raised Catholic and I kind of knew Catholicism inside out. Catholicism couldn’t make me happy so I looked elsewhere.

People don’t choose religion; religion chooses you. I was destined to believe in Buddhism. It really helped me prevent negative energy from affecting my perspective.

Mind crimes are still crimes. In Buddhism, thoughts count.

I’d like to make a song in Tagalog one day as a tribute to my father. Also, it’s actually a huge market.

Simplicity is the key. Don’t complicate your life by overanalyzing things. That’s the way to be happy.

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