sarah geronimo global force

Going Global: What Her Historic Billboard Honor Means To Sarah Geronimo

"While it’s very fulfilling as an artist to be considered as a Global Force, it ignited a fire in me.”

Sarah Geronimo opens up about being a Global Force, the responsibility it entails, being a Filipina in OPM, and more. 

Related: “Mabuhay ang OPM!”: Sarah Geronimo On Courage and Change Through Music As She Accepts Billboard’s Global Force Award

What does it mean to be a Global Force? Is it measured in album sales and chart positions? How many sold-out concerts you have? Or is it the ability to turn every day into a slay and have an Masters degree in Servenomics? Regardless, being seen as a Global Force is both an honor and brings an expectation of who you are as an artist. Being known outside your homeland is a sign that your artistry has reached another level, one that is to be cherished and nurtured. 

This is something Sarah Geronimo knows well. As the first Filipina to win the Global Force Award from Billboard’s Women In Music Awards, as well as the first homegrown artist to be recognized at the event, the OPM superstar is aware that the honor marks a highlight for her lustrous career and one she hopes pushes OPM to greater heights. 


“I was so surprised. Talaga ba?,” says Sarah Geronimo to NYLON Manila on her initial reaction to learning that she’s being bestowed with the Global Force Award. While the pop icon has had a still-thriving career few can match, the honor was something she didn’t expect. In a moment of frankness, she says that her taking a break from the industry, combined with her recent releases that she felt weren’t as well-received by the general audience as she’d hoped, caused her to have her doubts. So, receiving the call was the boost she needed. “It gave me a brand new hope, inspiration, and motivation to continue to pursue my passion for music and creating original songs.”



Flying to Los Angeles to personally receive the award was a true #ProudPinoy moment for her. “It’s an honor to be chosen to represent our country. I feel so blessed to be there and accept the award on behalf of our amazing Filipino artists.” More importantly, she proudly shares the recognition with the rest of the OPM industry, one she feels has been long overdue for the global spotlight. “Sobra akong excited for the Philippine music industry that this is happening.” 

Being named a Global Force, especially as one of the first to win it, is no easy feat. But this is Sarah Geronimo we’re talking about, and her career speaks for itself. Yet, being recognized on an international level does not mean the pop powerhouse is resting on her laurels. It brought her a renewed push to do what she loves and does so well. “It comes with a great responsibility,” she says on what it means to be a Global Force. “While it’s very fulfilling as an artist to be considered as a Global Force, it ignited a fire in me.”



One thing that has made Sarah loved by so many is that she will always give excellence in what she does. More than just a passive participant in her life, Sarah has, is, and will continue to take control of what she does and stand firm on what she wants. Trust, you can count on her to know that what she does will come from the heart. 

“You have to believe in the material you do and bring out there. Be authentic as an artist because people will see through you.” She’s doing what she loves, and that is what matters the most. “Kahit na maraming hardships and mga hurdles, bumabalik at bumabalik pa rin ako sa pagmamahal sa musika and performing.”  


From the early 2000s when CDs were everywhere to the streaming platforms and TikTok trends of today, Sarah Geronimo has been through it all. Her career has spanned many massive shifts in the music industry, even the way Sarah consumes music has changed. “When I listen to new songs parang intro lang dapat it should capture my attention na. If not, I will quickly change and skip to the next track.” 

The music industry has changed, something Sarah is well aware of. Yet, no matter the season, she remains as relevant as ever. So, what’s her secret? “You have to evolve.” However, the OPM star makes a point that, while she adapts to the times, she doesn’t fall into the trap of putting yourself in a box. As she sees it, “Ang goal kasi is to connect with your listeners, to your audience, so kung sa magpapakahon ka sa goal ‘to na dapat this song has to be a hit on TikTok, mas nagiging frozen ka. ‘Di dapat ganon yung goal mo. The ultimate goal is to bring inspiration and happiness to your listeners.” 



And speaking of the changing times, as a new generation of women make their mark in the music industry, Sarah praises the Gen Z artists entering the world more confident in their identity, voice, and passions. “Sila, alam na agad who they want to be, what kind of artist they want to be,” she gushes on female Gen Z musicians. And if you’re wondering, Sarah singles out Ylona Garcia (“I think she’s beautiful, very talented”) and Fatima Lagueras (a former member of Sarah’s team on The Voice Teens who she considers good yet underrated) as young Filipinas she would love to work with someday. Let’s get those manifestation circles ready.  

It all goes back to the power of women taking up space in places that still have their ways to go of fully welcoming and supporting women. Aside from being able to tap into their emotions to bring out a multitude of colors in music, women in OPM will always have their inner Filipina in them. “Kahit na we may be strongly influenced by Western influences, our core values remain intact.” From Manila to Los Angeles and beyond, the Pinay identity will always be there. “No matter what hindi tatanggalin sa puso ko yung values, convictions as Filipino women that we deserve respect,” Sarah says matter-of-factly. 


Sarah Geronimo is no stranger to being recognized globally for her talents and achievements. From international organizations to global artists, Sarah has landed on their radars. But more than just a personal W, taking home the Global Force Award should also serve as another sign that OPM has always been worth supporting. “Embrace our own language and also our unique physical appearance,” she shares on how people can support Filipino musicians. 



Despite the popularity of international music and artists in the country, listening to OPM and stanning local artists is never something to be ashamed of. So, take it from Sarah Geronimo and believe in our own and that it can go beyond the bare minimum. “We can go farther pa. When you do not open yourself out there, parang you feel complacent. Dun ka nasustuck but when you open yourself to new opportunities, you will discover yung mga strengths and capabilities mo as a person.”

Continue Reading: Just Legend Things: Sarah Geronimo Makes History As The First Filipina To Be Given Billboard’s Global Force Award