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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.

Feb 7, 2013

Cris Villonco Says Her Grandma, Tita Midz, Is Okay 'As Long As May Inaaway Pa Siya'

ONE OF OUR brightest theatre stars today is Cris Villonco, one of the three daughters of Monique Villonco who’s the only daughter of Armida Siguion Reyna. Tita Midz is still active in the monthly “Aawitan Kita”, but we’ve noticed she has changed after the passing of her hubby, the late Atty. Leonardo Siguion Reyna.

“That’s true,” says Cris. “When he’s gone, that’s when she realized he’s really the wind beneath her wings. She was really affected when he left. But she’s mataray pa rin, so she’s still okay. We’ll only be worried pag wala na siyang inaaway. Now, us girls in the family always compare our dates with our late grandpa.”

We know she’s going steady with Niccolo Manahan, who’s very good in the local stage version of “Doubt”. “Break na kami, four months ago. After five years.”

What happened? “Let’s just say we have different plans in life. I’ll admit it, mahirap talaga ko pakisamahan. For me, everything is set. Pag gusto ko, gusto ko and I’m very aggressive, driven about it. I need somebody who knows exactly what he wants.”

So she has no communication with Niccolo? “Oh, we’re friends naman. We even chat.”

Cris started her stage career at 9 playing Cosette in the local version of “Les Miz.” She has since appeared in 20 plays, mostly musicals. What are her favorites? “’Les Mis’, UP’s ‘Orosman at Zafira’, ‘Alikabok’, ‘Jekyll & Hyde’, ‘Noli Me Tangere’, and ‘Walang Sugat’. People noticed me in them, ay, may talent pala siya.”

What musical would she like to do? “Evita”.

Is she willing to do TV and movies? “Yes, I did ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’. I want to try teleseryes. Sa movies, I did ‘Dalubhasa’ with FPJ before. He didn’t know me at all. Nakita lang niya yung mukha ko in an ad and he said, ‘yan ang gusto ko for the role’. After that, I went to New York and took Music and Economic Development at Sarah Lawrence College. I also appeared in Hongkong Disneyland for one year.”

She now appears in PETA’s “D’Wonder Twins of Boac”, based on Shakespeare’s “12th Night” but now set in Manila in the 60s with local movies as the background. She plays Viola and Chrome Cosio (husband of actress Che Ramos who’s now expecting their first baby) plays her twin brother Bastian. They leave Boac, Marinduque to try their luck in Manila, with Cris ending up pretending she’s a boy who becomes the Boy Friday of a big movie producer, Doc Orsino (Noni Buencamino). She ends up having a kissing scene with Olivia (Shamaine Buencamino, the real life wife of Noni), a rival movie producer. Written by Rody Vera and directed by Maribel Legarda, this is Filipino musicals at its best, now showing at the PETA Theatre in QC. For tickets, call 725-6244 or 0927-370-9581.