As an actress, Glaiza De Castro is a well-loved award-winning figure; her most recent acclaimed stint as the winged enchantress Pirena on GMA7’s Encantadia is proof of her, well, continuing ascent since she started in 2001. As a singer, she has four albums released, including 2015’s independently-produced Synthesis which drew more from her personal tastes than the mass-appeal image she is marketed with.

De Castro recently signed with The Philippine Chinese Charitable Association, Inc (PCAAI) to take on a new official role: Ambassadress of Goodwill. A MOA between the PCAAI Board and De Castro was signed during a press con at the Universal Towers building.

Glaiza De Castro with the Board of Directors for the Philippine Chinese Charitable Association, Inc

The PCCAI–which traces its roots in 1877– owns and operates the Chinese General Hospital & Medical Center, Chinese General Hospital Colleges, the Chinese Cemetery, the Charity Clinic, and the Home For The Aged. According to PCCAI Chairman of the Board Dr. Benito Goyokpin, the PCCAI’s focus is to “widen its reach to provide medical and relief operations throughout the country and we are confident that Ms. Glaiza De Castro will champion the charitable cause of our organisation and we could not be more proud to have her.”

De Castro is no stranger to social causes. In 2016, she was part of the UN Women’s Safe Cities Program which aims to spread awareness about sexual harassment and violence against women; she also created the Glaiza De Castro Foundation which has so far supported 600 children who require Special Education. She does not participate blindly; for one, she refuses to do “sexy” photo shoots despite repeated requests (“Hindi po talaga“). Her foundation was inspired by a relative with special needs; she saw first-hand the struggles that her sister and brother-in-law had to deal with.

Watch excerpts from the press con below:

The press con ended with Glaiza singing the Pinoy pop classic “Bato Sa Buhangin” live. The track is from her new album under PolyEast Records called Magandang Simulain and includes her versions of Asin’s “Itanong Mo Sa Mga Bata” and the Juan De La Cruz band warhorse “Ang Himig Natin.” In May 31, the album reached Number One in iTunes.

Glaiza’s rendition of ‘Bato Sa Buhangin’ shows vulnerability underpinned by a quiet strength

While her previous album Synthesis was a direct realisation of rock-leaning artistic goals–collaborating with musicians she admires from drummer Wendell Garcia to guitar magician Noli Aurillo– Magandang Simulain still represents her personally: the title is based on long speeches her grandfather would deliver during family gatherings with the phrase as a recurring theme. Consequently, the album is dedicated to him.

Below, Glaiza talks about the differences between the two albums, and what binds them. Whether working with an independent outfit or with a network, De Castro says she always follows her heart even if sometimes the results she seeks do not manifest immediately:

Glaiza will be at the Fisher Mall on July 29, 5pm for a performance and first assignment as PCAAI Ambassadress. On Aug 20, she will perform in Prestige By Night, in North York, Toronto, Canada.