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‘I was just following instructions,’ says young singer who replaced Eva Darren at FAMAS fiasco

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‘I was just following instructions,’ says young singer who replaced Eva Darren at FAMAS fiasco
Sheena Palad says she was asked by a FAMAS staff to present the award only that evening, adding that she did not know it was veteran actress Eva Darren who was originally supposed to be the presenter

MANILA, Philippines – Young singer Sheena Palad said she simply followed instructions when she replaced veteran actress Eva Darren as a special citations presenter at the 2024 Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) awarding ceremony.

In a video statement posted on Instagram on Monday night, May 27, Palad detailed what went down during the 72nd FAMAS.

It can be recalled that Darren’s son, Fernando de la Pena, lambasted the award-giving body after his mother never got to go up on stage despite being told that she would present an award alongside Tirso Cruz III. Instead, Cruz was accompanied by an “[up-and-coming] singer,” who had turned out to be Palad.

Palad said she was originally just tapped by the organizers to sing during the dinner proper. After her performance, she said she changed into her second outfit and headed backstage. She then said that she was approached by a staff member who asked her to present an award together with Cruz.

Sabi [ng staff] (The staff said), ‘Sheena, can we ask a big favor from you?’ Sabi ko (I said), ‘Yes, what’s that?’ Sabi niya (They said), ‘Can you present the award?’ Sabi ko (I said), ‘Okay, sige, sige (sure, sure) no problem,'” Palad recounted.

Palad also said that she did not know Darren was supposed to present the award.

The young singer recalled that she had been so nervous during her stint as presenter that she had even mispronounced the name of the late German Moreno, reiterating that the slip-up was due to the engagement being arranged at the last minute. She said that she also did not have the chance to go over the script before getting on stage.

Palad added she was instructed to proceed to the side of the stage, where she would accompany Cruz to present the award.

“I was just following instructions. ‘Yun lang. I hope that you are enlightened with the situation,” Palad said.

“She’s totally innocent. She was just following instructions. She was just doing her job,” added Palad’s partner Johann Enriquez, who was a host at the awards night’s main stage.

Palad also said because of the fiasco that night, she has been bashed online.

“I am being harassed, maligned, called names a nd thrown offensive accusations today online and ALL I CAN SAY IS… Buti na lang may Lord Jesus Christ ako sa buhay ko. Honestly, [h]indi ko kaya ‘to! (Good thing I have Lord Jesus Christ in my life. Honestly, I can’t do this!) It’s also a lesson for everybody to not QUICKLY judge a person. And makes me think too that what I’m going through doesn’t even come close to what my Savior had to go through when He suffered and died on the cross for me,” Palad captioned the post.

Palad’s statement comes after FAMAS issued a public apology to Darren on Monday, May 27, where the organization claimed that they replaced Darren as a presenter after they supposedly were unable to locate her. –

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