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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Oct 29, 2010

Gma's La Diva Make Waves

JONALYN VIRAY won as “Pinoy Pop Superstar” in 2005. Maricris Garcia won in 2007. Aicelle Santos was only first runnerup to Gerald Santos in 2006 but she’s now still active on GMA-7’s “Party Pilipinas” whereas Gerald has moved to TV5. What can she say about this? “We can’t blame him as he needs to work, e wala na po siyang work sa GMA,” she says.

Together, Jonalyn, Aicelle and Maricris form the formidable trio of belters called La Diva that just won as best artist group of the year in the Star Awards for music, with their MTV for “Kasiping Ka” winning as best music video of the year. At the recent 23rd Aliw Awards, they won again as the best group performance in a concert for their first major concert, “Only La Diva”, held at Music Museum last year. They also won as People’s Choice for Favorite Group Recording Artists in the Awit Awards. La Diva started as a segment in “SOP” and they clicked right away so they’re still in “Party Pilipinas”. “It’s a blessing that even if we have different personalities, we get along fine,” says Aicelle. “Lahat kami, walang boyfriend. May kasunduan kaming habang walang BF ang isa, wala rin yung iba so we can focus on our singing careers.”

Don’t they want to have solo careers? “We accept naman po solo gigs but people like us more as La Diva at enjoy naman kami rito so bahala na si Lord until when we’ll last together. Sana magtagal kami gaya ng Tito, Vic and Joey or ng APO Hiking Society na inabot ng several decades.”

They consider singing the national anthem at the Pacquiao-Cotto bout last year one of the highlights of their career. “It’s an unforgettable experience,” says Maricris. “It’s also a great honor singing in front of an international crowd,” adds Aicelle.

What advice can they give to Zyrene Parsad who’ll sing the anthem in Pacquiao’s next fight? “There are no TV monitors on the ring so she should bring her own ear phones,” says Jonalyn.

They’ve done shows in L.A., Las Vegas and Hongkong. There are now arrangements for her to do shows in the Middle East and again the U.S. Their wish is for them to do a new album. Their first one spawned the hit song “Angels Brought Me Here”. They enjoyed their stint in Regine Velasquez’ “Diva” so they’re hoping she’d invite them again to be part of her new show, “I Heart You Pare”. You can book them through their handler, GMA Artist Center’s Nimrod Mopera, tel. 0921-4552703.