Isaan singer Kwannapa Ruengsri, aka Lala Ponglangsaon, tells us about her passion for performing, her humble childhood and how she tries to be a model daughter.

As a kid felt I had to be good because my parents were both teachers. There was a little competition among teachers’ children to be ahead of each other. But my parents never pressured me.

My dad bought me nice stuff like mechanical pencils, which were really cool back then. He even offered to buy me a gold necklace if I ever came first in an exam, but I never did.

I really had no idea what I wanted to be until I went to see a dance show by students from Kalasin College of Dramatic Arts.

It was like seeing an epic tale come to life. They looked like angels. At that moment, I wanted to be like them. My dream became to attend Kalasin College and I did.

I nearly lost my dream when I was in grade 8. My mom told that we had debts and no money. It’s a bit of a given in a teacher’s life. She told me I should quit school and allow my two sisters to continue with their studies.

My dad heard that and they had a big fight. He said “Even if I have to die, I will find money to send my daughter to school.”

At that moment I promised myself I would do everything to make my family happy and wealthy. I even thought about buying life insurance and killing myself so they could use the money to pay their debts. But that was just a stupid idea.

I got a few gigs while I was studying so I made a little pocket money to reduce my family’s burden. Living away from home at a convent school since the age of 13, I learned how to be tough.

I wanted to challenge myself by applying to Srinakharinwirot University, and I made it in. I stood in a phone booth and called to hear my entrance exam results over and over. It was a really joyful moment.

Everyone at university called me “Lao,” but in an affectionate way. I always spoke Isaan with my family, and I never hid where I come from.

My confidence comes from the fact that I am doing what I love. I had dreamed about it, and now I am living the dream.

I joined Eed Ponglangsaon’s troupe because I loved his style of performance. It’s unorthodox and lots of fun. After we gained a reputation from playing at restaurants, we finally got a contract at RS.

My life is still the same as before, despite being famous. I just have to meet a lot more people. Eed rebuked me once when I turned down a photo with fans because I was sweaty. He taught me that no matter how tired you are, fans come first.

I saved money from my performances and sent it to my family. I was really proud to repay all my family’s debts, while my parents were proud that I became famous and could take care of them. I just finished building them a new house.

I get really upset when people say they don’t have time for their parents, even though they live under the same roof. I actually want to stay with my parents but my schedule and the distance keep me away from them.

I want to be a good daughter. I don’t want others to think of that Thai aphorism, “having a daughter is like having a toilet at the doorstep.” Being a woman, you have to make yourself valuable.

Now I am worried about my youngest sister. My parents warn me that I spoil her by giving her expensive stuff, but it’s only because I don’t want her to feel inferior like I used to feel in the past.

This year my mom will get a very special gift. She will appear before Princess Soamsavali when I receive the Filial Children Award this Mother’s Day.

As I get older, I no longer dream of a perfect man. I just want someone to take care of me and love my parents—not someone who will be a leech.

I would fix the traffic and prostitution problems if I were Bangkok’s governor. Having prostitutes near the Grand Palace tarnishes the image of the country.

I feel pity for women prostitutes. They only get a couple of hundred baht to have sex. Is this the value of a woman? Our income is low, and our human value is even lower.

I dream to open a pub or restaurant that has performances every night. I love the limelight and I love to dance.


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