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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.

May 23, 2019


DISCOVERING new talents is the life blood of showbiz and this is where Star Magic really excels as it has introduced so many new stars through the years. STAR MAGIC, the Kapamilya talent management arm behind the success of many of today's local superstars, introduced on Wednesday 16 new faces poised for the big time in showbiz. The unveiling of Star Magic Circle 2019 coincides with the month-long celebration of the ABS-CBN group's 27th anniversary, which has so far been marked with digital documentaries and retrospectives.

Composed of rising TV commercial talents, standout ramp models, Star Magic workshoppers, acting newbies, a budding host, a “Halik” actor, a political scion, a former boy group member, a young dramatic actress, a great granddaughter of a celebrated 50s actress, a “Pinoy Big Brother” hopeful, a “The Voice Kids” season 2 alumni and a promising actress seen in the hit "Eerie", this lot has undergone rigorous training in order to be fully equipped for the entertainment industry. And here are the new faces to watch out for:

IG: @_gillianvincencio
Age: 19
Talents: acting, dancing and singing
Small but terrible Gillian Vicencio cannot remember that she really wanted to join showbiz. But it was her dear friends who reminded her that she used to promise that she would be seen on camera someday. And true enough, this budding actress who started in the TV commercial scene recently spooked viewers through her debut film “Eerie” by master director Mikhail Red. The was shown internationally and Gillian considers the opportunity of sharing the screen with seasoned stars like Ms. Charo Santos, Jake Cuenca and Bea Alonzo as the biggest highlights of her first big screen experience.
Since she’s starting in the business, this former culinary arts major hopes to be able to maintain her good values and to try her hand in performing. But if it were up her, she’d like to share the screen again with Bea, and if it’s not too much to ask with returning star John Lloyd Cruz someday. Her exceptional performance in “Eerie” has given her, her first ever iWant series titled “Karga.”

IG: @belle_mariano
Age: 16
Talents: acting, dancing and singing
Despite being so young, Belle Mariano is not really a newbie in this business as she was seen in “Goin’ Bulilit” before. What’s interesting though is how she summons her acting prowess by her effective portrayal of dramatic roles given to her in “Maalala Mo Kaya” or “Ipaglaban Mo.”
Belle recently finished junior high school and is hoping to be appreciated not only in acting but also in the singing and vlogging scene. At the moment, this KPop fanatic is polishing her guitar-playing and singing skills by posting her cover versions of popular songs on her social media accounts.
In the future she likes to collaborate with other jazz and RnB singers like Moira dela Torre, while she dreams of playing Bea Alonzo’s younger sister in a film or a series. In the meantime, Belle is focusing on her upcoming films “Danztep” and “Sa Isang Sulok ng mga Pangarap,” as well as her upcoming iWant show titled “13 Reasons Why Not.”

IG: @_glenvargas
Age: 23
Talents: acting, dancing and singing
Glen Vargas is coming in fully equipped for show business. This former boyband member who stands 5’7 in height has already experienced performing onstage and with some foreign stars, at that. Glen has also checked off being part of films like “Chain Mail,” “Talk Back and Your Dead” and “Diary ng Panget”. He has done modeling internationally and while others are still dreaming of experiencing a casting call and shooting abroad, Glen has already done both in Singapore and Thailand, respectively. He has also initially showed off his acting chops in straight plays and in doing TV commercials. He dreams of someday being given the opportunity to work with his idols such as Angelica Panganiban, Janella Salvador, Jericho Rosales and Piolo Pascual, probably as a bida kontrabida.

IG: @kendrugarcia
Age: 20
Talents: acting and rapping
Kendru grew up in Saipan so he's not conversant in Pilipino, but thanks to various rap songs and his passion for the said genre, he was eventually able to embrace our local tongue and more. Rapping, likewise, enabled him to tap on his inner composer as he collaborates with friends who share the same passion for it. But the fact of the matter is, it was his older sisters who really opened his eyes to the showbiz and the benefits of enrolling to Star Magic Workshops.
Being a workshopper for a few years now has allowed this 5’8 headturner to develop a keen interest on dramatic acting, since for him, it brings out the person’s pure emotions. Hence, his dream of working with award-winning actor John Lloyd. But  aside from landing on an action or a lead role, he also dreams of recording his own rap song and further polishing his rapping skills in the future.

IG: @arielleroces
Age: 22
Talents: acting, dancing, modeling, hosting and vlogging
Morena beauty Arielle Roces has been the face of a number brands as a TV commercial and print ad model. While she’s been content with doing commercials, as it already paved the way for her to work with other talents and seasoned stars, Arielle has always had a dream of venturing into showbiz. She has actually tried her hand once as part of the short film “Esperanza.”
As a business analytics graduate, Arielle has previously tried her luck in the corporate world but she eventually realized that her heart really belongs somewhere else. Someday, she hopes to do an action film, preferably donning a cape or having superpowers and get to work with leading men like Sam Milby and Gerald Anderson.

IG: @eiselserrano
Age: 20
Talents: acting and singing
You can say that 5’6" budding actress Eisel Serrano is a determined go-getter because everything she dreams of, she tends to achieve. This classic beauty has checked off all her major goals of late including losing weight, traveling the world, obtaining her Travel Management degree with flying colors and entering show business. Eisel is coming in fresh into this business after discovering her passion for acting and performing as a Star Magic Workshopper.
Thanks to her several workshops, Eisel was able to go out of her shell and somehow overcome her reserved nature. As a fan of both rom-coms and drama, she hopes to be able to share the stage with Bea Alonzo and Liza Soberano in the future. But if given the chance, she’d also want to star in a project as a kontrabida.

IG: @ralewis
Age: 21
Talents: Acting, dancing and modeling
Standing 6’3 and having a pair of unique and magnetic eyes has helped Filipino-Canadian-Polish RA Lewis to establish himself as an easy ramp model favorite. His mixed genes could also be the reason why he somehow looks like Hollywood A-Lister Leonardo di Caprio during his younger years. But behind his arresting features lies an athletic and artistic guy who enjoys drawing to release stress. Thanks to his Lola, who pushed him to audition for “Pinoy Big Brother” just when he’s about to go back to Hong Kong, he wouldn’t have been scouted to be part of Star Magic.
RA admits that he was initially hesitant to really pursue showbiz, even though he used to act in school and despite the improvement of his sensibilities after months of workshops. But he saw the opportunities that came his way as a sign to try his luck in the business. Now, he looks forward to having the chance to work with Piolo Pascual and Kim Chiu or probably donning the hat of a kontrabida in a crime or action film.

IG: @javibenitezzz
Age: 22
Talents: Acting and hosting
He’s probably cut out for something else, what with the fact that he’s the son of former 3rd District of Negros Occidental Congressman Albee Benitez, he stands 6’0 tall and that he finished a double degree in Political and Computer Science. But Javi  is excited at the idea of dipping his hand in show business. The good thing about Javi is that he isn’t coming in blind into the industry, as he has already tried his hand in hosting at the ANC show “Game Changer” and the Studio 23 show “Sports Kidz,” while doing ramp and print modeling on the side.
He recently drew followers on social media due to his posts, which revealed his discipline and hard work in the gym. But more than being known for his chiselled physique, Javi dreams of earning his stripe as a dramatic actor, which could probably help him get the chance to work with his crush, Elisse Joson.

IG: @_aiyanawagonner
Age: 12
Talents: Acting and modeling
Filipino-American Aiyana Waggoner’s enviable height and beautiful face might exude the aura of a professional model but the truth is she is the youngest in the batch. At 12, this Pampanga-born potential beauty queen already stands 5'8" and is still growing. She comes from humble beginnings and has joined a number of ramp modeling events where she often earns the title of being the youngest in the lot. The most recent was the Bench Fashion Week. She might be the baby in the group, but she’s definitely not one to be disregarded whenever she’s asked to try acting or do an on-the-spot modeling challenge.
Aside from becoming an actress and an international model, Aiyana dreams of becoming the onscreen sister of Chantal Videla, as well as Kapamilya leading ladies Liza Soberano and Bea Alonzo. Aiyana recently showed her acting chops as part of the film “Eerie.”

IG:  @arabelladelro
Age: 17
Talents: acting,dancing, hosting and singing
Arabella del Rosario could very well be considered as a modern day snow white, what with her timid demeanor and milky white skin. But what sets her apart from Snow White is her determination in achieving her goals in life and in trying new things in life in order to improve herself.
While she has learned to sing first, Arabella eventually came to love dancing even more. Her passion for performance and putting a smile on people’s faces serves as her biggest motivation in entering the business. After being discovered through a billboard outside her school, this 5’5 stunner also dreams of giving life to a fictional character, could be a superhero, a mermaid or even a vampire. But she is also excited to be given the chance to work with her idols, Bea Alonzo and Liza Soberano.

IG: @anthonyjenningss
Age: 18
Talents: acting , dancing and singing
One look at 6’0" tall, Filipino-British budding actor Anthony Jennings, you won't think he speaks Tagalog well. But he does, and he is actually one proud Pinoy whose various life experiences became his motivations in acting. His amiable face and towering height plus his notable acting prowess landed him huge TV commercials that helped him and his family.
His foray into the TV commercial scene though started after a friend egged him to try it. Since then he’s been part of a good number of commercials, as well as some Kapamilya shows like the iWant show “Touchscreen” starring Pokwang. Anthony developed his love for acting since he is a self-confessed fan of local shows and movies. He’s also set to debut on the big screen through the upcoming Star Cinema film “Hello Love Goodbye” starring Kathryn Bernardo and the upcoming LizQuen soap. But in the future, he still hopes to play a mad character while sharing the camera with Jericho Rosales.

IG: @jcalcantaraofficial
Age: 19
Talents: acting, singing and composing songs
This 5’8" Pinoy cutie recently made waves as Bogs in the top-rating and trending soap “Halik” but JC Alcantara is actually more than just a dramatic actor. Prior to that, he was also part of the romance-drama movie “Kasal” starring Bea Alonzo and Paulo Avelino. He has also wowed many with his acting skills on the “Ipaglaban Mo” episodes Kulam and Kuya.
But he was first able to spark the interest of the network after being part of a viral TV commercial from one of the country’s top food chains. Since then, blessings continued pouring his way and he eventually found his way to Star Magic. But on top of acting, JC, who is a budding guitar player, is also good in singing and even in writing songs. And despite being able to work with Jericho in the primetime soap, JC still hopes to be able to share a scene with him in the future.   

SOPHIE: great granddaughter of Paraluman, granddaughter of Baby O'Brien and daughter of Rina Reyes

IG: @soupwithsophie
Age: 20
Talents: acting, dancing, singing and composing songs
She’s one of the few people who could very well relate to the popular Ang Huling El Bimbo lyrics “Kamukha mo si Paraluman” because the latter is Sophie Reyes’ great grandmother and former TV host Baby O'Brien is her grandma. As the daughter of seasoned actress Rina Reyes, it’s only but natural for Sophie to venture into acting as well. In fact, her first brush in the industry happened onstage as part of the musicals “Sound of Music,” “Magsimula Ka” and “Sleeping Beauty.”
But what sets this tisay stunner apart from her lolas and her mom is the fact that she also loves music and composing songs in the same way that she loves dancing. This multi-talented young lady has finished a degree in theater. Soon as she hung her graduation cap, Sophie ventured into doing commercials by sending in her CVs to various agencies. Now that she’s part of Star Magic, Sophie hopes to share the screen with Kathryn Bernardo while playing the role of a femme fatale.

IG: @jimenezmelizza
Age: 17
Talents: acting, hosting and singing
After her breakthrough project with KathNiel, as part of their film “Barcelona: A Love Untold,” Melizza Jimenez then ventured on TV as part of “Wansapanataym’s Tikboyong” and “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.” And now that she has officially finished senior high school, this young actress has decided to take a leave of one year from school and push behind her plans to study in Australia to discover what the industry has in store for her. Aside from being notably beautiful, Melizza also has the brains to boot because this young actress graduated with honors from her class.
While she’s still very eager to hone her acting skills through various workshops, Melizza is also excited to share her singing skills to the audience. In the future, she wants to collaborate with one of her best friends, Kira Balinger, and probably write and release her own song.

IG: @jeremiahlisbo
Age: 20
Talents: Acting, dancing and modeling
Standing 6’0" tall, Jeremiah Lisbo, is a big ball of energy, both literally and figuratively, what with his crazy jokes, his zany behavior and witty wisecracks. But while he seems your typical pilyo, Jeremiah believes in three things: training, hard work and prayers. According to him, those three things helped him land his dream modeling stint and TV commercial for a food chain giant. It has also aided him to survive juggling his budding modeling career, his studies, and being the head of their college’s sports organization. He is currently completing his internship for his Hotel & Restaurant Management course at a 5-star hotel in Makati.
Jeremiah appreciates his enviable height the most whenever he is playing basketball. One thing that is worth noting about Jeremiah is his openness to try on new things. Someday he hopes to become a kontrabida and to be able to share the camera with Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano and Piolo Pascual. Not too long from now, he would be fulfilling his other dream of working with Liza Soberano as he is set to be part of the upcoming LizQuen soap.

IG: @kyleecharri
Age: 15
Talents: acting, dancing and singing
Kyle Echarri has been making waves lately as Kristhoff Tejada in the trending Kapamilya Gold soap “Kadenang Ginto” and as part of the Gold Squad together with Andrea Brillantes and Francine Diaz. But his name first became familiar to the viewers as one of the Top 6 contestants in “The Voice Kids Season 2.” While he admits that he doesn’t have any professional voice training prior to the show, Kyle’s immense talent catapulted him to join the reality music competition “We Love OPM” and to become an “ASAP” performer. His charisma and skills also paved the way for him to be launched as a member of the show’s teen group “ASAP G!” last year. He was also able to show off his acting chops in the big screen as part of the family drama “Seven Sundays.”
Kyle is keeping his fingers crossed in releasing a second album and collaborating with his brothers Darren Espanto and Inigo Pascual. In terms of acting, Kyle is praying that in due time he would land a leading man role in a future project.

Don’t forget to tune in and catch the official launch of the newest members of the Star Magic Family, the 2019 Star Magic Circle on “ASAP Natin ‘To” this Sunday, May 26 and on June 2 at the Tatak Star Magic event in Ayala Fairview Terraces.