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Return of the Champions US Tour 2005

Articles and Press Releases about The Champions

The Champions did it again!
FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo
The Philippine Star 06/02/2005

In September last year, the Champions – Sarah Geronimo, Mark Bautista, Rachelle Ann Go and Christian Bautista – had their successful debut on the international concert scene in New York, the first leg of their US concert tour. The good news is that the Champions – this time with Frenchie Dy, Sheryn Regis and Raymond Manalo – have just done it again last May 21, also in New York, at another successful concert also produced by Alice and Red Martinez of Re-Al Entertainment.

Here’s a review of that encore Champions concert specially written for Funfare by Raoul Tidalgo, columnist and entertainment editor of the New York-based The Filipino Reporter:

Which show did you watch over the weekend? If you went to Sharon Cuneta’s much hyped Mega Tour in Atlantic City, you missed the most exciting explosion of singing talent in recent months unleashed by Sarah Geronimo, Sheryn Regis, Rachelle Ann Go, Frenchie Dy, Mark Bautista, Christian Bautista and Raymond Manalo at the Return of the Champions at the Colden Center for the Performing Arts of Queens College.

A production of Viva Entertainment and presented in New York as Magnificent 7, by Re-Al Entertainment (owned and run by Red and Alice Martinez), Return of the Champions, was, more than anything, a validation of the Filipino’s world-class talent.

The sprinkling of non-Filipinos in the packed house unanimously decreed the Champions would shame the contestants of American Idol anytime.

That sounds extravagant but on second thought why else would the ushers and stagehands of Colden – blase as they are to all forms of performance art – stop in their tracks and listen to Sheryn and Sarah and Frenchie and Rachelle Ann make birit?

The four brought the house down with their Black Divas Medley at which each sang Respect, I’m Coming Out, Proud Mary, Never Can Say Goodbye, Last Dance and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.

That number was a real killer in terms of goose bumps-inducing moment.

Although all seven of them were in top form, it was, surprisingly Sheryn Regis who kind of nearly stole the show not so much with her amazing pipes as her excellent audience contact. No matter if she was ad libbing in Visayan, Sheryn caused laughter to erupt in the house each time she spoke. The girl has the comic flair of Pilita Corrales, the spunk of Elizabeth Ramsey and the allure of Verni Varga.

Frenchie was another revelation. We liked it that she could laugh at herself. Poking fun at her heft, Frenchie related how, when she tried out for Star in a Million, she was cautioned that "walang matabang singer na sumisikat." She knocked the audience with her Arethaesque voice.

After the show, a stagehand said that while Frenchie was in the middle of an elaborate number, one of the speakers in stage left exploded. Asked if it was Frenchie’s voice that caused it, the stagehand only winked.

Rachelle Ann, although a superb singer, was the least giving of the girls. This girl gives the impression she’s holding something; that she has more to give but won’t let go. We’d like to see her make wala; kick ass. She looks always proper, kind of a Maria Clara of the music world.

Strangely, even if it was clear that she was the anchor of the show (after doing her Celine Dion medley, the audience rose to an ovation), Sarah Geronimo seemed to have lost some of her sparkle. She was very open and exuberant on the first champions tour last year but this time around, Sarah was less playful and looked a bit self conscious. Sometime ago I read in a Manila daily that there is a "new" Sarah emerging these days. Maybe this was the new She?

Among the boys, it was clearly Mark Bautista who stood out. This kid has a quiet sex appeal and he knows it and has no qualms using it. All the girls squirmed in their seats each time Mark moved his hips during the group’s novelty medley ("Jumbo hotdog, kaya mo ba ‘to?"), What a difference seven months make. When Mark first came to New York last year, he was this nerdy kid who sang like Martin Nievera. This time around, Mark has morphed into this confident young man who looks comfortable at what he’s doing. P.S. He’s sounding less like Martin, too.

Raymond has a powerful voice that somehow gets waylaid on CD. He sounds better live. When this boy learns to differentiate a paying concert audience from an ASAP or an SOP crowd, I bet he will become a better entertainer.

After his gold and platinum records plus a growing fame that’s spreading unto parts of Asia and who knows where else, what’s left to be said about Christian Bautista? That he doesn’t move well and he can’t rock nor dance, that’s what. But who cares? When he launches into The Way You Look at Me the house stops and screams at song’s end.

Return of the Champions was a memorable and magical show. Everyone was happy and full of good vibes after the show. Even June Torrejon, eyes always at half mast, brightened and lightened and looked wide eyed. Red and Alice, of course, grinned from ear to ear, smug in the thought that they’ve done it again.

(Note: The Champions will have a show in L.A. on June 11, also produced by Al Chu like their concert in the same city in October last year.)

E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph


A fan's review of "The Magnificent Seven" Return of the Champions NY show
from www.sarahgeronimo.com

Bambiik's New York Blast with Sarah!
New York Concert Review
Text and photo by Bambiik
May 22, 2005

Mga kababayan... i just got home from the concert...eto paus na paus at malat kakahiyaw ke Sarah!!!!! actually parehas na parahas yung line up ng songs nila sa DC as reviewed by azn. yung song na kinanta ni Mark is yung theme song ng ikaw ang lahat sa akin. bagong teleserye ng abs. Yun ytatyung kla claudine??? I,m so excited to download all the pics na kya lang i cant find my cable pa to download hanapin ko maya ... so mahigpit ang security dito mga malalaki katawan na itim . lam siguro nilang makukulit ang pinoy at mahirap bawalin kya ayun naghire ng mga hoodlum hihi...

lam nyo talagang magnificent sila. the best!!!!! the ff is just my personal opinion. accdg to what i've seen tonight.

1) Raymond - he has improved a lot madami din syang fans dito and he sings really good. i think he just really need a break, more exposure and projects. he did 1 solo kung alm mo lang na kaytagal na kitang minamahal. then the rest, all with the champs.

2) Christian - there is something in Christian na whenever he opens his mouth to sing a song especially love song, kilig ang mga girls. anlakas ng appeal niya. though his voice is not really extraordinary he has the it factor. i also discovered na parehas na kaliwa paa niya when it comes to dancing. so, he'd rather sing than dance. I think he is really inlove with rachel ann go. he is vocal abt it though.

3) Rachelle Ann Go - eto matindi pino ang boses and sobrang taas talaga ang galing niya !!!! medyo shy nga lang and di ganong ma pr sa audience. sexy manamit pero bagay naman.

4) Sheryn - she has a very good sense of humor. she really connects with the audience kaya love siya ng crowd. yung bang di ka maiinip pag nanuod ka sa kanya comedian-singer combined.. at ang boses bilib ako antaas din men!! grabeh !!! she is kikay na kikay and pretty in person.

5) Frenchie - magaling din siya magpatawa. and she is the type na kampante ka upo ka lang dyan dahil alam mo kahit gano kataas kakantahin niya eh di siya mabibitin yung ganong feeling?? kaya lang kailangan niya talagang magpapayat seriously.

ay lana space.... to be continued wait for Mark and Sarah hihi....


6) Mark - eto, si mark superstar in the making. very multi talented and, anlakas ng hatak sa audience. pag lumalabas sa stage, grabe hiyawan mga crowd not only the girls as in lahat. ang galing... sumayaw and with good sense of humor. kilig din ang mga kababaihan. eto ang pinakagusto ko sa kanya, whenever it's his turn to sing, like if he is singing with raymond and ian, parang naiiba yung spreaker lam nyo yung kakaiba ang tunog grabeh yung quality ng voice iba may signature. watch out for Mark for sure he is going to be a big name in the industry. as in really big.

7) Sarah - lam niyo parang pag napanuod nyo na yung 6 champs, parang solved na pwede na kayong umuwi dahil ang galing nilang lahat talaga walang biro.!!!!! kaya if its your first time to watch sarah, before she comes out of the stage you would wonder what else can she offer? eh ang gagaling na nung unang nag perform may gagaling pa kaya sa kanila feeling mo supreme na yung mga nauna. Ako nga medyo kinabahn bgo siya lumabas yung para bang nanay na magpeperform yung anak, lam nyo yun? syempre gusto nyo perfect yung performance nya na hindi siya magkakamali sa lyrics or whatever.... so ayan na si SARAH na ....to be continued uli hihii......

so ayun edi si SARAH na kapit mga fanatics..... i can hardly breathe, nagpapalpitate ang puso and nanlalamig ang mga kamay ko that time....eto na po bumirit na si SARAH and men!!! I'm telling you... literally NAYANIG ang auditorium parang nagka earthquake sa venue .... napatayo ang mga tao at naghiyawan to the max and walang tigil sa palakpakan hindo ko alam kung saang hukay kinuha ni sarah yung voice nya.... ibang klaseh whew....ang TINDI grabeh ang POWER!!!!!!!!! sigaw nga ako ng sigaw pro wala nang lumalabas sa boses ko.. basta ang natatandaan ko ang huli kong naisigaw eh I Love YOu Sarah tinanong nga ni sarah kung sino yun eh syempre sabi ko ako yun ako yun!!! sabay taas ng kamay!!!!! hihihi... I can't imagine myself doing that hahahaha nangingiti nga ako until now pag naaalala ko..tapos pala nung bumaba siya sa stage while singing lumingon kalang syempre nakaabang ako noh edi besobeso kami natigil sa pagkanta at nagpapicture na naman kmeng dalawa hahahaha inggit sila pano ba naman ako di malalpitan ni sarah eh muntik ko nang madapurak yung producer.... nung na anticipate ko na dun sya papunta edi siksik ako dun sa tabi ng producer hahaha talaga...hay... so yun ang mga kaganapan dito na new york ngayong gabi. so, twice ang standing ovation ng crowd 1st ky sarah and 2nd yung patapos na after nung finale song ng lahat ng mga champs.

Click here for Bambiik's photos from the concert!


Young singing champs fly off to US for concert tour
from Celebrity World by Crispina Belen, Manila Bulletin

Seven young singing champions left yesterday for a series of 11 command performances in the United States, starting with Washington D.C. on May 21 at the Lisner Auditorium.

Sarah Geronimo, Mark Bautista, Rachelle Ann Go, Christian Bautista, Sheryn Regis, Raymond Manalo, and Frenchie Dy topbill the show dubbed as the "Return of the Champions" since some of the members have earlier performed in the US.

To say the least, the seven are among the best performing artists we have today as all underwent rigorous training and preparations for their career in singing—which, of course, made them true champions.

Do you know that it was Frenchie Dy who taught Sarah voice lessons? Sarah afterwards won the "Search for A Star in a Million," and it was in a later search (for a "Star in a Million") that Frenchie won. Frenchie and Sarah were neighbors.

The rest of the schedules are: May 22, New York—Colden Center for the Performing Arts, Queens College, 65-30 Kissena Blvd., Flushing New York; May 28, Chicago—The Chicago Theatre, 175 N. State Street, Chicago, Illinois; June 3, San Jose, California—HP Pavilion, 525 West Santa Clara St., San Jose, California; June 4, San Francisco—Nob Hills Masonic Center, 1111 California St., San Francisco;

June 5, Seattle—Meydenbauer Center, 11100 NE 6th St., Bellevue, Seattle, Washington; June 11, Los Angeles—The Grand Olympic Auditorium, 1801 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles; June 12, Las Vegas—Henderson Pavilion; June 17, San Diego—San Diego Civic Theater, 3rd & B St., San Diego; June 19, Honolulu, Hawaii—Neal S. Blaisdell Center, and June 20, Maui—Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

That’s quite a stretch and these seven young performers can easily do it! With their youth and burning passion, they have only their solo and production numbers in their minds and hearts. All seven of them are bent on showing to our fellow Filipinos in the US what a real performance is!

Earlier during a presscon prior to their departure, Christian Bautista revealed plans of producing his own concert. In the meantime, he would focus his attention to his singing career even as he said that he is handling his finances well—referring to the income he earns from both his singing and acting career.

On her part, Sarah said that as far as her income is concerned, she has completely entrusted it to her mother. "I know she handles it very well," Sarah stressed.

Sarah helps in the up keep of the family eventhough she is only 16 years old. "We are still renting a house," she said, though she revealed that she has already bought a lot somewhere along Mindanao Avenue in Quezon City. "And we only have one car as of yet," she added.

When she won the "Search for a Star in a Million," her grand prize was R1 million. Succeeding winners also won a house and lot, a car or a total of R5 million.

Soft-spoken and with a happy disposition, Sarah would now and then burst with laughter. She denies however that Christian Bautista or Mark Bautista is courting her. "Besides, I’m too young for them," she said.

Asked about her plans to celebrate her debut, she said she would opt not to hold a party as it is expensive. "Unless, of course, someone will be kind enough to sponsor it," she jokes.

Sarah is accompanied by her father and mother to the US.


Maraming nabago sa buhay ni Rachelle Ann dahil kay Christian
by Nel Alejandrino
People's Tonight, May 19, 2005

MAHUSAY kausap si Rachelle Ann Go. Matino, makuwento at honest to a fault.

But there are things, of course, that she chooses to keep off the record, like her rumored romance with fellow singer, Christian Bautista.

"We're just friends," aniya. "And I must admit, we go out. Sometimes, just the two of us. But oftentimes with friends, like Mark Bautista, who go with us to our Bible study class. Si Christian ang dahilan kung bakit naengganyo kaming mga kaibigan niya to read the Bible. Maraming mga pagbabagong nangyayari sa aming sarili. Ganunpaman, 'di ito nangangahulugang 'di na ako Catholic. I still am."

Nagtapos ng grade at high school si Rachelle sa La Immaculada Concepcion College in Pasig. Nasa first year college siya sa San Beda College at kumukuha ng kursong International Business and Entrepreneurship when she joined Search for a Star on GMA-7.

The rest is history...

* * *

Rachelle narrated na eight months old pa lamang siya, ayon sa kuwento ng kanyang Mommy (the former Russel Villalobos), marunong na siyang kumanta. But she was three years old nang matutunan niyang awitin ang kantang pinasikat ni Manilyn Reynes, ang Sayang na Sayang.

At nine years old, nanalo siya ng first prize sa isang singing contest. Since then, ginawa na niyang hobby ang pagsali-sali sa mga singing tilt, where she usually brought home the bacon naman, wika nga.

She could have joined Search for a Star in a Million when she was 16 (she's turning 19 on August 31), but her instinct, she said, told her not to.

Her winning piece was Mariah Carey's Through the Rain.

* * *

Today, Thursday, May 19, nakatakdang umalis si Rachelle with fellow singing sensations Sarah Geronimo, Mark Bautista, Christian Bautista, Sheryn Regis, Raymund Manalo and Frenchie Dy on a tour of the US. Aminado si Rachelle na madugo ang kanilang schedule, ganunpaman, they are all excited about the trip.

Dubbed as Return of the Champions, because this is the second time that they will be performing in some of the places na kanilang pupuntahan, the group promises to come up with a more grandiose and extravagant show.

In any case, here are the schedules and the respective venues of their performances: May 21 (Washington DC); May 22 (New York); May 28 (Chicago); June 3 (San Jose); June 4 (San Francisco); June 5 (Seattle); June 11 (Las Vegas); June 17 (San Diego); June 19 (Honolulu) and June 20 (Maui).

They are expected home June 22.

* * *

Idinadalangin ni Rachelle na wala sanang aberyang mangyari sa kanilang grupo tulad noong nakaraang concert nila abroad. Nawala nga naman ang luggage ni Mark, na naglalaman ng mga expensive brand ng damit. As is common knowledge, 'di na nakuhang muli ni Mark ang kanyang luggage. He had to buy himself an entire new wardrobe para isuot sa kanilang performances.

Samantala, kinuwestiyon din ang pagkakaroon ng kaunting punit ng passport ni Christian sa isang entry point ng isang state where they were set to perform.

In another state, pinabuksan naman ang luggage ng kanilang grupo dahil isa sa kanila ang nagkamaling magdala ng metal something.


Christian Bautista virgin pa sa edad na 23
from FOOTLOOSE by Leo M. Bukas
Taliba, May 18, 2005

HONESTLY, hindi kami makapaniwala sa ipinagtapat sa amin ng singer at host ng Star In A Million na si Christian Bautista na siya'y virgin pa rin at walang karanasan sa babae hanggang ngayon sa edad niyang 23.

Pero hindi naman 'yon ikinahihiya ni Christian na isa sa mga leading men ni Anne Curtis sa fantaseryeng Kampanerang Kuba ng ABS-CBN. Parang hindi nga big deal sa kanya ang tungkol sa virginity issue, eh. Cool na cool lang siya habang sinasagot ang mga tanong namin.

Since bihira lang na-ming mainterbyu si Christian na isa sa mga favorite singers namin, sinamantala naming itanong sa kanya ang tungkol sa iba pang lumalabas na isyu about his sexuality. Kung totoong gay nga siya.

He just smiled when we asked about it. Makahulugang ngiti ang kanyang pinakawalan na parang secure na secure sa kanyang sarili.

"May mga naging girlfriend na rin ako. 'Yung isa, we lasted only for 3 months. Na-in love kasi siya sa ibang guy. Kaya mula noon, sabi ko sa sarili ko, dapat maging extra careful na ako sa pagpili ng babaing mamahalin. Sobra kasi akong na-broken hearted nung time na 'yon.

'Yung tungkol sa gay issue na 'yan, may mga lumabas sa tabloids about that. Galit na galit nga ang family ko, eh. Sobra silang naapektuhan kasi kahit sa work nila, eh, tinatanong sila. Nagkakaroon tuloy ng confusion. But they knew me personally. Alam nila what's true, eh.

"I just told them na lang not to react kasi nasa showbiz na ako at part 'yang ganyang mga balita ng intriga. Hindi kasi showbiz ang family ko. Madali silang masaktan," wika pa ni Christian.

With regards naman sa pagiging virgin pa ni Christian ay ito ang kanyang reaksyon: "It's so hard to believe na there are people like me, or like us, I know kasi marami pa rin namang tulad ko na wala pang experiene sa sex. And there are people who want to save sex for marriage."

Eh, di wala siyang sex life?

"No sex life. That will come after marriage." wika pa niya.

Kahindik-hindi na rebelasyon, di ba?

Anyway, hindi pa nakakapagsimulang mag-taping si Christian for Kampanerang Kuba. Paalis pa ang grupo nila with other champions like Sarah Geronimo, Erik Santos, etc. para sa ilang series of shows. In fact, bukas na ang alis nila at sa June 22 pa ang kanilang balik.

Hindi pa nakakatrabaho ni Anne si Christian kaya medyo aloof pa ito sa dalaga nung workshop nila. But after that, naging okey na raw sila.

First acting experience ni Christian sa TV ang Kampanerang Kuba kaya medyo kinakabahan siya. May background man siya sa theater for almost a year, iba pa rin siyempre ang acting sa TV.

Buti na lang daw, nangako ang kanilang direktor pati na rin ang kanyang mga co-stars niya na tutulungan siya at iga-guide sa pag-arte sa Kampa-nerang Kuba.

'Nga pala, ibinalita rin sa amin ni Christian na nag-triple platinum na ang kanyang album. Kinanta rin niya sa amin during the presscon ang kanyang bagong kanta na nakapaloob sa isang limited CD album na mabibili na rin ngayon sa lahat ng recording stores nationwide.


Boss Vic confirms Araneta Concert - 25 July 2005
BABY TALK Ni Salve V. Asis
Pilipino STAR Ngayon 04/16/2005

Tuloy na ang major concert ni Sarah Geronimo sa Araneta Coliseum sa darating na July 25. Feeling ni Boss Vic del Rosario, panahon na para bigyan ng solo concert si Sarah.

"Ready na siya para sa isang major concert sa Araneta. Kayang-kaya na niya," sabi ni Boss Vic sa isang chance interview.

Besides, marami na raw nagre-request na mag-solo na si Sarah.

Bukod sa major concert, magkakaroon rin siya ng launching movie. Wala pang definite ang title pero gagawin ito right after the concert sabi pa ni Boss Vic.

"Kakaibang pelikula ito. ‘Yung tipong kikiligin lahat ng bagets," Boss Vic adds.

Kagagaling lang ng Japan ni Sarah kasama si Mark Bautista. Sobrang successful daw ng concert ng Pop Princess sa Japan. "Lahat ng venue na puntahan nila Sarah, talagang siksikan ang tao," sabi ni Jonathan Aligada, ang stylish ni Sarah na kasama sa Japan trip.

Next month hanggang June, maglilibot ang grupo nila sa Amerika.

Anyway, nasa market na ang special edition CD ni Sarah, Can This Be Love na official soundtrack ng latest movie nina Sandara Park and Hero Angeles, Can This Be Love. May bunos pa itong VCD. Kasalukuyan na itong mabibili sa lahat ng record bars.


Sarah to replace Sandara as Hero's loveteam mate?
from IF I KNOW by Aster Amoyo
People's Journal, May 4, 2005

Sandara Park is back in Korea. She was recently in Manila to help promote her movie with Hero Angeles, "Can This Be Love" written and directed by Joey Javier Reyes which is currently enjoying the warm reception from the moviegoing public since it opened in about 100 theaters nationwide last April 27.

When Sandara was still in town, she admitted that she and Hero are not on speaking terms but she did not elaborate the cause of their 'tampuhan'. While she was here, she promoted the movie alone because Hero was rushed to the hospital because of his asthma. She only got to see Hero at the premiere night of their movie in SM Megamall last April 26. The Korean teenstar is aware that pop star Sarah Geronimo is now part of "SCQ Reload" and she might even be paired with Hero. "I'm glad because Sarah is my idol," she simply said.

Since Sandara will be away for about four to six months to study in Korea, ABS-CBN's Star Magic has the option to look for a new loveteam partner for Hero and Sarah is also being considered.


Rachelle’s wishes have all come true
from FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo
The Philippine Star 04/27/2005

Rachelle Ann Go has a very good reason for sitting pretty and keeping that wide, wide smile on her face (see photo at left).

In only one year, Rachelle’s life-long dreams have all come true.

"I can’t believe that all this is happening," Rachelle told Funfare.


When Rachelle had her debut on Aug. 31 last year, she made three wishes and all of them have come true, to wit:

1. Have her own solo album,

2. Have a show abroad, and

3. Have a solo concert.

Granted. All in one year, starting early last year when she won the Search for a Star contest and signed up as a Viva artist (with Veronique del Rosario-Corpus as her manager).

Released in July last year, Rachelle’s self-titled solo album has been declared "gold" a month after it hit record bars and a "platinum" (with sales of more than 30,000 units) four months later. Three hit singles spun off from that album: Don’t Cry Out Loud, You and Me (We Wanted It All, a duet with Christian Bautista) and From the Start (composed by Vehnee Saturno, which won for Rachelle a "silver" and Best Song award at the Shanghai Asia Music Festival in November last year).

In September last year, Rachelle together with fellow champions Mark Bautista, Sarah Geronimo and Christian Bautista paved the way for the new breed of Pinoy artists by holding a smash-hit concert tour on both coasts of the US, kicked off in New York which I personally witnessed. Yes, it was a hit! There has been a persistent demand for an encore, so the same producers, my good friends Alice and Red Martinez, are mounting Magnificent 7 (The Return of the Champions) on May 22 (a Sunday) at the Golden Center for the Performing Arts, Queens College, also co-starring with Mark, Christian and Sarah along with champion runner-ups Raymond Manalo, Sheryn Regis and Frenchie Dy.

"After the concert last year," Alice and Red told Funfare, "we have been swamped with requests for a repeat. Tickets are almost sold out." (Those in New York and New Jersey and neighboring places may inquire about tickets at these numbers: 212-751-5620, 917-445-4437, 718-507-2302 and 201-328-4847. Alice and Red’s Re-Al Entertainment, Inc. is presenting the concert with Metrobank and Orient Star.)

The same show will also be staged in other parts of the US, including in Los Angeles and San Diego middle of June, produced by another good friend, Al Chu (who also produced the Champions concert in L.A. last year).

But before that, Rachelle will have her own solo show entitled Rachelle Ann Go, The Ultimate Champion on Friday, April 29, at the Aliw Theater in Pasay City, supported by guests Ogie Alcasid, Mark Bautista and Christian Bautista, with the Arti Sta. Rita Choir. (Ticket prices are P700 and P400. For inquiries, call 911-5555, 687-7794, 687-6181 local 715.) Yes, Rachelle will sing her songs – and more.

Incidentally, Funfare would like to congratulate Rachelle and Mark for having been chosen Most Promising Female/Male Singers by the recent 35th Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation Awards.

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph)


Mark Strikes Gold

  Mark Bautista marked a major milestone in his singing career with his first Gold Record Award for his self-titled debut album. Viva Records A&R director Eugene Villaluz awarded Mark in "ASAP Mania," where he is one of the regular performers. His album boasts of songs like his latest hit, "Ang Lahat sa Buhay Ko," "Baliw," "Ako'y Maghihintay" a duet with Sarah Geronimo, "Another Chance," "The Power of Love," "Ngayon at Kailanman" and "One Girl," among others. Mark, a finalist in the "Star for a Night" contest two years ago, was launched to big screen stardom in the title role of "Lastikman." The movie is directed by Mac Alejandre and also stars Cherie Gil, Sarah Geronimo, John Estrada and Danilo Barrios.


Urgent matters of the heart
TAKE FIVE by Marinel Cruz
Inquirer News Service, April 6, 2005

ALTHOUGH young singers Rachelle Ann Go and Christian Bautista are mum about what they feel for each other, their actions reveal the truth.

Christian spent the Holy Week in Puerto Azul, Cavite, with Rachelle Ann's family.

They like watching movies together and hanging out at Rachelle Ann's Quezon City home.

Christian even gifted Rachelle Ann with a silver necklace on Valentine's Day.

Go figure.

So what's the real score?

We like each other but we don't want to rush things. We're both very picky. My family likes him, too, and his family is slowly bonding with mine.

Both your families know?

I don't know that [for sure]. We don't talk about it. As of now, we're still in the process of getting to know each other.

Didn't you spend the Holy Week together?

That trip to Puerto Azul was planned just the week before. We asked all of our friends-Erik (Santos), Frenchie (Dy), Sarah (Geronimo) and Mark (Bautista)-but they were not interested. Mark and Sarah were in Japan, Erik was in Subic, and Frenchie also spent the holidays abroad. Only Christian was free. It was fun. We went swimming a lot."

How did it start?

We became close after our ["Night of the Champions"] US tour last year.

Do you date?

When time permits, we watch movies or have dinner. Most of the time, we hang out at home. I went to his house also last Holy Week, when we passed by Cavite. A few days before Valentine's Day, Christian gave me a silver butterfly necklace. A lot of people reacted-diamond daw-but its just costume jewelry. If ever, Christian would be my first boyfriend. Yes, first.

How has show biz changed your life?

I became really busy. I've had to sacrifice a lot, including time with family and friends. I also had to give up school. I wanted to enroll this school year, but I was told "Champions" would be touring the US again before the year ends. I wanted to take up Communication Arts, but I took up International Business last year [at the San Sebastian College] instead. I'd like to prepare for my future. I want to put up a business of my own.

What are your immediate goals?

I'd like to take up voice lessons again, and learn how to play the drums. I might play the drums during my show at the Aliw Theater, so I'd like to practice. I also want to learn to play the piano so I can compose.

How do you wish to improve your singing?

I want to learn Lea Salonga's technique; she doesn't get tired easily. I think I have a heart problem. I find it hard to breathe, I have palpitations... Once I collapsed after only two songs-and they weren't even hard songs to sing. I've taken [the necessary] exams, but they still can't tell what it is. We have to know for sure before I go onstage again.


Frenchie's Story

What does it take to become a 'Star in a Million?' And can a nationwide triumph get rid of the insecurities of a 'big time belter?'

That's the question that ABS-CBN's Maalaala Mo Kaya seeks to answer this Thursday, as it tackles the story of up-and-coming singer and Star in a Million season 2 winner Frenchie Dy on the December 2 episode, directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal and written by Maribel Ilag.

In a world filled with skinny, hyper-glamorous 'diva' wannabes, Frenchie Dy immediately struck a different figure as soon as she stepped on the Star in a Million stage. From her commanding figure to her powerful voice and earthy sense of humor, Frenchie stood apart from the rest of the pack, and was eventually hailed as the series' second season winner.

How did Frenchie deal with her insecurities about her robust figure in order to project the confidence needed to win? What led her to try her hand in a nationwide singing contest? And how does she feel now that she has become one of the local singing world's up-and-coming stars? Maalaala Mo Kaya tackles that story with a cast that includes Marissa Sanchez as the adult Frenchie, Michelle Ayalde as the teen Frenchie, Katrina 'Hopia' Legaspi as the young Frenchie, as well as Ian Veneracion as Frenchie's love interest and Bembol Roco and Ces Quesada as Frenchie's parents.


Sheryn Regis

She may not have won the grand prize in Star In A Million but Sheryn Regis proved she's got what it takes when she also landed a recording contract with Star Records. The runner-up of the highly rating Star In A Million season 1, she did not let this discourage her but took it as a challenge. Now, Sheryn is now one of the most sought after artists of the season. Her songs lord over the airwaves, her music video topped the charts and her itinerary is so packed it's a wonder if she ever gets to sleep at all.

Sheryn is the eldest and the only girl in a brood of three. She used to be a member of her school's chorale and theater group that traveled to Canada and the US, performing for the Filipino community, prior to joining Star In A Million. Although it was her mother who taught her to sing at the early age of five, Sheryn claims that it is her father who is really the singer in the family.

Singing has been Sheryn's passion since she was a child. The first song she memorized was "Dito Ba?" by Kuh Ledesma. At the age of eight, she joined a local singing competition in Cebu, wherein she won Grand Prize. Her winning piece was the Celeste Legaspi classic "Saan Ako Nagkamali?".

"Come In Out Of The Rain" -- the song that Sheryn sang during the Star In A Million finals night is ironically the song which also catapulted her to stardom. It peaked at #1 on local radio charts and the music video for it also topped the MYX Hit Charts for several weeks. It is just fitting that the same should be the title of her debut album released this month under Star Records.

Come In Out Of The Rain contains ten tracks including the titletrack, "Kailan Kaya?" -- the theme from the top-rating fantaserye Marina and her latest single -- the power ballad "Maybe". A Roberta Flack original, Sheryn gave it a passionate and powerful rendition. It's currently gaining extensive airplay rotation on radio stations nationwide.

Other tracks in the album include the Vehnee Saturno-penned songs "Sana'y Di Pangarap" and "Follow Your Dream", the heart-warming "Now More Than Ever" written by Trina Belamide and the sentimental track "Sana'y Ingatan Mo" by Ricky Sanchez.

Sheryn also did a duet in this album with her fellow Cebuano and co-finalist in Star In A Million Johann Escañan, which is a remake of the Lea Salonga classic "We Could Be In Love". "Shoobee Doo Wop" is the only upbeat single in this album, written and produced by famed songwriter Jonathan Manalo, who incidentally is Sheryn's album producer.

To express her unending gratefulness to everyone who supported her from the beginning and to those who still continue to support and believe in her, Sheryn has included a Cebuano song composed by Fr. Ponce Jed P. Bellones entitled "Among Gabayan," in the album.

Sheryn never expected any of these to happen to her. She was just a country lass who wanted to sing. Whatever blessings she has right now, she all considers these "a dream come true."

Come In Out Of The Rain is now available on CDs and cassettes at record stores nationwide, released by Star Records.


Raymond Manalo
Inside Showbiz

Tulad ng ibang popstars ngayon, dream-come-true para kay Raymond Manlo ang maging isang ganap na professional singer at magkakaroon ng self-title album. Produkto din siya ng talent search (Search For A Star) at dumaan din sa butas ng karayom bago nakamit ang tagumpay.

Napakasuwerte ni Raymond dahil agad siyang binigyan ng malaking break ng Viva Entertainment Group at patuloy ang pagbulusok ng kanyang singing career pagkatapos ng kanyang singing career pagkataos niyang maging first-runner up kay Rachelle Ann Go. Nakita ng executives ng Viva ang malaking potensyal niya at ‘di sila nagdalawang isip na papirmahin siya agad ng kontrata.

Siyempre, tulad ng ibang baguhang singers, kabado si Raymond na tubong Angeles City , Pampanga, sa mga batikos o puna na maaari niyang makuha. Ngunit hindi niya masyado itong binibigyan ng pansin. Ang hangad niya ay pagbutihin ang kanyang performance dahil naniniwala siyang hindi habangbuhay ay mabibigyan siya ng pagkakataon na sumubok sa larangan ng showbiz.

At ito na nga ang simula ng lahat – isang album na nagtatampok sa husay at talento ni Raymond na tinaguriang “Pampanga's Best.” Ang debut album niya na pinamagatang Faithfully ay ini-release na ng Viva Records noong January. Ito ay pinangungunahan ng carrier single na Kung Alam Ko Lang na pinasikat ng female singer na si Toni Daya noong early 90s. kabilang din sa album ng guwapo't ma-appeal na singer and version niya ng Kailangan Kita, na una niyang inawit nu'ng lumaban siya sa Search For A Star.