We had the good fortune of connecting with Joy Ira and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joy, looking back, what do you think was the most difficult decision you’ve had to make?
My name is Joy. I’m a mom to my daughter who is a singing champion and dancer, a worker in the financial services for almost two decades, and a Church volunteer. The most difficult decision I’ve made was when my mom passed away in 2018 from Multiple Myeloma cancer. She was everything to us — our guide, strength and mentor. We’ve built our dreams together and part of it was to give back to our community by sharing our talents. She became the voice coach and piano teacher of my daughter, and patiently taught her how to sing with all her heart. My mom used to remind us to use our gifted talents so we can be a blessing to others. In doing so, my daughter Zenna at the age of 10, joined a singing competition and became the champion. We dedicated that hard earned success to my mom. Few months after, she passed was gone. On her celebration of life, my daughter was the Church cantor, and everyone believed that she sounds amazing. It was a life-long treasure that her grandma left her – a solid training in singing. For me, it was a difficult question to answer, “What lies ahead with the legacy that my mom left?” As part of our healing process from grief and sadness, my daughter and I continued to participate in Church and community events and services. We both served in the Music Ministry by being part of the Choir through the years while she was trained as a Church cantor. We truly found fulfillment volunteering until many opportunities came along the way for my daughter to showcase her talents.
As a parent, I gave my daughter my 100 percent support as she was invited to perform in many Bay Area Festivals in California. We were so involved in our community until we realized that we were invited into a lot of shows on television, radio, and virtual shows. I was able to effectively manage my time as a mom, an employee, and a mentor to my daughter as she excels academically, and at the same time fulfills her dream of becoming an artist.
My mom was indeed gone but we still kept her dream alive in our hearts.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Aside from my regular job in the financial services, I find fulfillment in my role as a mom to a teenage singing champion. It wasn’t that easy because as my daughter grows up, she has different preferences on what songs and outfit she would wear in her performances. When she was in middle school, she loved to wear sparkly costumes but as she entered high school, she had her own style of clothes. There are a lot of challenges but we still adhere and keep in mind in achieving the road to her goals of becoming a great artist. We have an open and honest communication everyday and I give her constructive feedback as well as empower her to make good decisions in life. What I am mostly proud and excited about as a mom is when I see how my daughter is so motivated to keep on learning to improve her skills as an artist. I feel like crying every time I see her perform on stage, and how her audience are so enthusiastic to witness her talents in singing and dancing. I want the world to know that being a devoted and caring parent to our children and helping them succeed is an incomparable fulfillment to our role.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would bring my best friends from the Philippines to the Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica. I’d love them to see the beauty of the majestic sunrise and sunset at the beach. The sound of the waves bring calmness to the mind. The amazing clouds that reflect on the clear waters bring peacefulness and serenity to a troubled heart. This is the place where I always go to think deeply and reflect about life.

I would also bring them to the many Bay Area Festivals and shows so they will be able to witness the excellent talents of our local artists in the area.

Contact information:

Instagram: @joy_mom_of_a_singing_champion, @ zenna_popstar_ssf
YouTube: zenna popstar

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

I would like to thank my family for providing their undivided love and support to help me and my daughter accomplished what we have achieved right now, and what we could still impart, extend and share to others in the future. A big thanks to St. Andrew Church in Daly City, California for forming Ministries such as the Youth Choir, and other Youth Organizations because they truly helped my daughter to gain new friends and to participate in various activities that foster camaraderie and teamwork in a positive environment. I would also like to thank the Daly City Park and Recreation Program for consistently involving us into the Filipino American History month where my daughter is always singing the US National Anthem. Above all, I deeply dedicate this Shoutout series to my mom Zenaida Gaurano who had been my inspiration and my strength even at this moment. Whenever I look up into the sky, I could feel in my heart how happy and proud she is right now.

Image Credits
Vegas Vibes photo with Esmeralda Padilla-Gould Photo with David Pomeranz

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