Charieze Lianne Cacayorin joined the Master of Arts in Communicology (COMG) program this Fall semester. Charieze, born in the Philippines, came to Oʻahu when she was 7 years old. Charieze’s undergraduate degrees were in Human Development and Family Studies and Philippine Language and Culture, but she took courses in COMG and found that learning about communication and relationships was fascinating and quite therapeutic during the pandemic. A friend, a COMG major, encouraged her to pursue the COMG Master’s degree.
Charieze had been taking acting classes at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and performing at different events as a singer in her free time. In early 2022, Charieze saw a casting call on Facebook for a film role so she decided to go for it. She landed the part of MayMay, the cousin of the lead character in a boy-love feature film called My Partner. My Partner is a film depicting the evolution of the relationship between two boys in Hawaiʻi. Since the film was shot in Lahaina Maui, it can now be a way to see the beauty of what Lahaina once was. Charieze also wrote and recorded a song in the film’s official soundtrack (OST) called Halina. The film has won the Outstanding Excellence Award – LGBTQ Unbordered at the International Film Festival. She is also anticipating her debut in the UH Mānoa School of Cinematic Arts short film, Kunyari: a romantic comedy inspired by the Filipino gossip culture, where she played the lead role of Isa Mariano.
Charieze is very honored to represent the Filipino community and depict what she sees as a truer reflection of a typical immigrant family. She is very involved in the Filipino community in Hawaiʻi, singing for events, participating and even serving as the commencement speaker in the 2023 FilGrad commencement ceremony. Her goal is to honor her ancestors and be a voice for her community. She wants to encourage those who are underrepresented and overlooked and for all of us to look beyond stereotypes in order for all to reach their potential. Charieze noted that her COMG graduate education will help her gain confidence and learn how to effectively advocate for her community.
When asked what’s next, Charieze replied that her primary goals are to help the Filipino community, and to pursue more roles in films that truly represent her culture. But first, she wants to continue on her master’s degree journey and then perhaps pursue a PhD! The future is very bright for this multi-talented graduate student.