Again by Janet Jackson - Cover Song by Tata Villaruel

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year to All
God Bless You!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Happy Birthday!

to our very own
Miss Christi Praise "TATA" Villaruel

Thursday, July 13, 2006

July 2006 Events

July 9
ASAP 06'

July 16
ASAP 06'

June 2006 Events

June 25
ASAP 06'

June 29

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Ace Aceron: An Ilonggo closer to fame

A HUGE number of Ilonggos are now big names in show business. Among them are Jed Madela (formerly Jed Tajanlangit of Dye Vest Band), model Gian Carlos, Tata Villaruel, and the Barretto sisters -- Gretchen, Marjorie and Claudine.

Now, another Ilonggo aims for stardom through close-Up to Fame 2, the search for the next Close-Up couple. He is no less than Ace Victor F. Aceron. Born under the sign of Aries, Aceron stands 5'7 and weighs 141 pounds. He was born last April 1, 1988. He attends school at De La Salle State University (DLSU) -- Manila taking up AB International Studies Major in European Studies. Aceron spends his leisure time playing badminton, malling, watching movies, listening to music and Internet surfing. He's gifted with a talent for hosting, broadcasting, VJ, and public speaking. He likes the glaring colors of red and orange. Sinigang and Hipon are his favorite dishes. "Icylicious" is his favorite Close-Up flavor. Close-Up to Fame 2, the search for the next Close-Up couple is the biggest and the first all-Filipino-reality model search on TV. Heart Evanglista and Bianca Gonzales hosts the show with different guest host every week. Close-Up had selected 24 fresh, young fame-seekers from a thousands of seekers all over the country who go head to head and smile to smile, to find the most confident Close-Up Couple of 2006. Every week the fame-seekers face different challenges as they get to convince the meticulous panel of judges composed by Actress Dina Bonivie, Director Joey Reyes and a third surprise judge every week. Merryl Soriano, Archie Alemanya, Nikki Valdez and Rafael Roselle are the celebrity partners and guide of the seekers to the road closer to fame. The show airs every Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at ABS-CBN.

How and why Ace Aceron joined the contest

In every contest there are reasons why someone is present in that event. Some are by choice often are by destiny. Aceron considered his reason for joining this competition as a part of his destiny. It was coincidence that the schedule for audition of the said competition shared with the date of his birthday. His birthday present for his self is trying his luck in the said audition. Luckily he got the best birthday gift that time, he was able to made it to the top out of the thousand who auditioned. Ace also considered that joining that competition is a worthwhile activity this summer.

Why we should vote for Ace

Why we should vote for Ace Many have tried their luck in show business. And often, if not all are drown with the popularity they have gained. They tend to forget where they came from and whom they awe the popularity they are enjoying with. Ace is different, he is a person who knows how to express gratitude to those who help him reach his goal. "Voting with me would be worth it because I will be willing to be of great entertainment to all of you". To attest that he is a person who knows how to give gratitude with those who help him Ace added that if ever he wins, the prize that he will going to take home will instantly go to his family and to his chosen charity.

Why we should vote for Ace

Many have tried their luck in show business. And often, if not all are drown with the popularity they have gained. They tend to forget where they came from and whom they awe the popularity they are enjoying with. Ace is different, he is a person who knows how to express gratitude to those who help him reach his goal. "Voting with me would be worth it because I will be willing to be of great entertainment to all of you". To attest that he is a person who knows how to give gratitude with those who help him Ace added that if ever he wins, the prize that he will going to take home will instantly go to his family and to his chosen charity. And of course Aceron is an Ilonggo pride. Aceron's success is also the success of every Ilonggo. How to vote for Ilonggo's pride, Ace Here are the steps on how to help our contender Ace: First, register by texting CLOSEUP REG followed with your complete name/gender/age/address/luz-vis-min and send to 2955. Then, in every purchased of close up products there is a sticker code attach, take note of it because you will be needed it in voting for Ace. With your sticker code text CLOSEUP (stickercode), (11) and send to 2955. Ace represents number 11 in the said competition. Let us support and witness the success of our fellow Ilonggo. Let us join in his success and see on how he will bring Iloilo to the top. (Kristine Palomar and Ruby Supranes)

Friday, March 31, 2006


March 5 - Sunday
Nikki Bacolod debut album "Tell Me You Love Me"

March 6 - Monday
Bayani Awards w/ Mabel Bacusmo

March 7 - Tuesday
Shangrila, Makati City
w/ Jerome Sala, Divo, Erik & Sheryn

March 17 - Sunday
Metropoint, Edsa Taft, Pasay City

March 21 - Tuesday
Victorias, Negros Occidental

March 25 - Saturday
La Union

March 31 - Friday
Cebu City

April 8 - Saturday
Iloilo City

April 11 - Tuesday
Zamboanga City
Zamboanga University

April 22 - Saturday

April 24
Binirayan Festival, Antique
Tata with Kyla & Luke Mijares

April 28
Pop Fiesta
Panaad Stadium, Bacolod City

May 7
Ikaw Ang Aking Iibigin by Jos Garcia

May 20

May 21
ASAP '06

June 4
ASAP '06
Mr. DJ

Pop contenders out of race


HALF the original 20 contenders of the 2006 TFC Pop Star Search have been voted out by judges, after seven Fridays of intense competition.

The contest, to discover the next shining star of the Philippines amongst Filipinos in the Middle East, is organised by The Filipino Channel (TFC).

Contests are being held all over the GCC, with the Bahrain search being held in collaboration with Guirgisco Events Marketing.

This year's judges are from the Royal Board of Music in London, UK and the Classic Music Institution of Bahrain.

The elimination phases continue tonight and on April 7 at the Sampaguita Club and Restaurant, at the Moon Plaza Hotel, Umm Al Hassam.

Doors open at 8.30pm.

During each phase, the remaining 10 contestants will be performing two fast songs and two slow songs.

"On reviewing the past seven weeks of performances, barometers indicated that the mighty circle of five is composed of Levie Nacional, Siegred Plaza, Hazel Lopes, Ariel Forbes and Maristela Watson," said Guirgisco Group of Companies general manager Ahbet Quinto.

"While the remaining five contenders still in the running are Mervin Flores, Jonathan Zumarraga, Marietta Miranda, Miguelito Gamba and Venelyn Billiones."

Ms Watson was adjudged by Bahrain Travellers Magazine as the Press Choice during the last elimination phase and received a $100 (BD37.8) prize.

Tonight and next Friday, the judges are to select the best eight of the remaining 10 contestants, who will then compete in the TFC Pop Star Bahrain Final on May 5 at Al Ahli Stadium in Zinj.

The finals will also feature the winners of Star In A Million (a popular TV contest in the Philippines similar to the UK's Pop Idol) Jerome Sala and Tata Villaruel.

The champion of the Bahrain National Finals will receive $1,500 (BD567) in cash, plus a trophy.

The first runner up will receive $1,000 (BD378) and a trophy and second runner up $500 (BD189), a trophy and gift voucher.

The champion and first runner-up will represent Bahrain in the Middle East Grand Showdown to be held on June 2, in Dubai.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

SM City Cebu holds 3-day mallwide sale this weekend

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Shoppers will get three days of non-stop mallwide bargains at SM City Cebu on March 31, April 1 and 2.

SM City Cebu is giving away 15 JVC Digital Audio players and 18 SM gift certificates worth P3,000 each. To win any one of these prizes, shoppers may qualify in the raffle by presenting his or her proof of purchase worth P500, single or accumulated, at the raffle booth located at the Atrium BC, Lower Ground Floor. Raffle will be held every hour starting 12 noon during the three-day sale.

Aside from the hourly sale raffle draw in the mall, shoppers also have the chance to win in SM Department Store’s Win Every Hour promo, wherein 30 Samsung Camcorder units are up for the taking. To qualify in the promo, a shopper should present proof of purchase worth P500. At SM Supermarket, a shopper is entitled to play the pachinko game and win exciting prizes for a minimum purchase of P500 yellow tag items.

To liven up the atmosphere and entertain shoppers, here’s a rundown of celebrities who will perform live at the Entertainment Plaza: March 31 - Star In A Million winners Chris Lawrence, Tata Villaruel, and Jimmy Marquez; April 1 - 11 a.m: Sabado Na Gyud live telecast; 3 p.m: Sayaw Ta Lupig Sila Grand Finals, featuring Paw Diaz and Charles Christianson; 7 p.m.: Ogie Alcasid album launching; April 2 - 10 a.m.: Jude Morning live telecast; 4 p.m.: Walker Tour - featuring Alfred Vargas.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Pop star hunt continues

THE elimination round of the search for the TFC Pop Star in the Middle East continues in Bahrain this Friday.

Twelve Filipino singers - Levie Nacional, Ariel Forbes, Hazel Lopez, Marestela Watson, Marietta Miranda, Miguelito Gamba, Mervin Flores, Jonathan Zumarraga, Laila, Felipe, Siegfred Plaza, Oscar Callope Jr and Venelyn Billiones - will take turns singing in front of judges at the Sampaguita Club and Restaurant at the Moon Plaza Hotel, Umm Al Hassam.

Doors open at 7pm and the show begins at 8.30pm. Tickets are BD1 per person.

The singers are being judged on their individual voice placement and style, intonation, timing, song-image compatibility, interview and interaction and potential in interpreting their prepared fast songs and voice quality and artistic rendition, plus stage projection.

The round continues on March 31 and April 7, when the judges will finally decide which eight will proceed to the Bahrain National Finals on May 8 at Al Ahli Stadium, Zinj.

The finals will also feature Jerome Salas and Tata Villaruel - winners of Star In A Million, a popular TV contest in the Philippines similar to the UK's Pop Idol.

The TFC Pop Star search is a regional project of the ABS CBN Middle East supported by Western Union International, MORE Etisalcom, Jealous Jeans and Identity.

For more information, call 17728001 or 39106589.

Back to the 70s at Dilmun Club

THE music and fashion of the 70s and 80s are to make a comeback at the Dilmun Club's Candles Restaurant, Saar on March 30.

Music will be provided by The Sid N The Tonics band, a four-piece British expatriate band based in Saudi Arabia.

Tickets are BD7.5 for members and BD10 for guests, inclusive of buffet dinner and beverage.

Doors open at 7.30pm.

Meanwhile, the club is organising an Elton John and Freddie Mercury tribute to be held in the next few weeks.

Finalised details will be announced soon.

For more information, contact the club on 17690926 or 17692986.

Night of fun for film fans

A HUNGAMA Night will be held at the Indian Club, Manama, involving a live orchestra and a variety of entertainment programmes.

The social event will showcase songs by singers, such as Sushil Bhatia, Poonam Sagar and Salim Zakaria.

There will also be a variety of dances performed, as well as a mimicry performance.

Members are encouraged to attend, and guests will be charged BD1 for entry.

For more information, contact entertainment secretary Ashraf Khan on 39655652.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Gian on acting, leading ladies and education

Monday, March 6, 2006
By Ramon C. Salvilla

JED Madela and Tata Villaruel are Ilonggos whose names are often heard in the music scene these days.

Then, when Stastruck came, it opened an opportunity two more Ilonggos to be known -- Sara Larsson and Gian Carlos, both models.

Both made it to the talent search's Final 14, then when the finalists were trimmed down to four, Gian made it.

Gian, along with Marcky Cielo, Jackie Rice, and Iwa Moto, would be facing challenges before one of them could be proclaimed as the ultimate survivor.

The winner will get almost P10 million worth of prizes. So, will Gian survive?

Well, that depends on us, so our text and prayers would be of great help.

For those who want to know more about our bet, read on.


Before he joined Starstruck, Gian was a simple youngster doing his usual stuff in his school, Iloilo National High School.

But because of his persistence and determination to achieve something and to use his God-given talents, he joined Starstruck. "I want my family to be proud of me and of course, my school too," he said.

"It was my cousin who encouraged me to join the audition. I just tried it but didn't expect (much)," Gian said.

He said he was so thankful for the opportunity to be chosen. "There were so many who auditioned and I was chosen. God heard my prayers. Until now, I would always pray before our challenge starts," he said.


If given a chance to act, Gian said he wants to do a horror or comedy film.

"For a change, I want to pursue a more challenging role. Perhaps, this could be the best avenue to have my talents exposed," Gian said.

Of course, any actor will always have a leading lady. So, which lady does he want to work with?

He answered, "Jennylyn Mercado and Angel Locsin." He said it would be an accomplishment for him to be able to work with them.

"I'm not as good as them in terms of acting, but let's see what I can do. Maybe, I just have to be professional and I'll do my best to come up with a good movie," he said.


At a young age, Gian has yet to finish his studies. So, we asked him if he were to choose between education and his showbiz career, what would he choose?

Before answering, he smiled and pondered. "I think I would choose to finish a degree. Although, one is not quite sure of what job to get after graduation, at least may mapupuntahan ka. Isipin na lang natin kung wala kang pinag-aralan di ba?"

Gian also said that if he is not with Starstruck, he could have gone into Nursing or Engineering studies.

"But, if I'm given a break in showbiz, I'll strive more to improve my acting ability and perhaps to pursue recording," he said.

Well, whatever your plans are Gian, we support you.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Muli by Tata Villaruel And Gary Valenciano

Title: Muli
Artist: Gary V. & Regine Velasquez

Muling hinahanap
Ang dating paglingap na mula sa'yo
Muling umaasa
Sa dating nadaramang laan sa'yo
Mula ng magwakas, tapusin ang lahat
Ay naritong nagmamahal pa rin
Pa'no kaya maibabalik
Ang damdamin mong dati

'Di ba't ikaw pa
Unang may nais na tapusin na
Habang panahon
Pinilit limutin ka hanggang ngayon
Mula ng magwakas, tapusin ng lahat
Hindi maikakailang ikaw pa rin
Papa'no kaya maibabalik Ang hangaring dati

Ba't di nagkatagpo
Bakit tuloy nagkalayo
Bakit mayro'n pang nadarama
Gayong hindi na tayong dalawa
Bakit magwawakas
Pag-ibig na wagas
Ma'ri bang mangyari pang
Ibigin pang...Muli

Kung muling iibigin
H'wag sanang lisanin nang tulad noon
Pagluha'y di na kaya
H'wag na sanang isipin nang tulad gayon

Hanggang sa nagwakas,
Natapos ang lahat
Ay naritong nagmamahal pa rin
Paano pa ba maibabalik
Ang hangaring dati
(Ma'ri pa kayang muli....)

Ba't di nagkatagpo
Bakit tuloy nagkalayo
Bakit mayro'n pang nadarama
Gayong hindi na tayong dalawa
Bakit magwawakas
Pag-ibig na wagas
Ma'ri bang mangyari pang
Ibigin pang...

Nandito lang ako (bago lumayo sa pilling mo)
Higit kang kailangan kailan man (hanggang kailan kaya naman)
Mahala kita (tila) hanap ka (sana) (tunay kaya ito)
Minsan pang bigyan ng daan
Pag-ibig na sa'yo nakalaan

Ba't di nagkatagpo
Bakit tuloy nagkalayo
Bakit mayro'n pang nadarama
Gayong hindi na tayong dalawa

Somewhere by Tata Villaruel

Title: Somewhere
Artist: Barbara Streisand
Album: The Broadway Album (2002)

Someday, somewhere
We’ll find a new way of living
Will find a way of forgiving

There’s a place for us
Somewhere a place for us
Peace and quiet and open air
Wait for us

There’s a time for us
Someday there’ll time for us
Time together and time to spare
Time to learn, time to care
Someday, somewhere
We’ll find a new way of living
Will find there’s a way of forgiving
Somewhere... somewhere... somewhere...

There’s a place for us
A time and a place for us
Hold my hand and we’re half way there
Just hold my hand and I’ll take you there
Somehow... Someday, somewhere...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

February News Update

Feb. 26, 2006 - Sunday
Metropolis Alabang

Feb. 25, 2006 - Saturday

Feb. 19, 2006 - Sunday
SM City Marilao

Feb. 18, 2006 - Saturday
Event: Concert with Luke Mijares
Place: University of San Agustin, Iloilo City
Time: 5 pm
Tickets available @ ABS-CBN and University of San Agustin
The Prayer (duet with Fr. Jonas)
Bakit Ngayon Ka Lng
I Remember You

Feb. 17, 2006 - Friday
Tata will sing the Pambansang Awit

Feb. 14, 2006
Iloilo City
SM City Iloilo @ 5pm
3rd Level
All the man that I need

Feb. 12, 2006
-Tunay na ligaya (champions)
-bakit ngayon ka lng (duet w/ kris)

Little Big Star @ SM Bicutan
-Tata will be one of the judges

Feb. 11, 2006
Cebu City, Waterfront Hotel
-i need you by leane rhimes
-get here - oleta adams
-there you'll be - faith hill

Feb.7 , 2006 - Tuesday
Tata together with other Star in a million Celebrities will be singing "Change The World" by Eric Clapton, A tribute from Wowowee...

Feb. 6, 2006
Westin Plaza
Jollibee Celebration/Awards

Feb. 4, 2006
SM Bicutan

Feb. 3, 2006
Event: Tata Villaruel & Jimmy Marquez will be singing "Tanging Yaman" for Bayani Awards
Place: Ateneo De Manila, University Campus
Date: Friday, February 3, 2006
Time: 6pm

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Panaw ni Tata

Ni Vatski
BANAT 02/19/2006

Usa na usab ka "promdi" (shortcut sa from the province) ang hinay hinay na nga nagkamang paingon sa bangaw sa kabantog. Pero ayaw pag-ingon ana kay bisan og taga Ilo-ilo siya makamao usab nga mobinisaya. Atong ila-ilahon si Tata Villaruel ang first runner up sa Search for a Star in a Million.

Lumad nga taga Manduryao, Ilo-ilo, si Tata usa ka-nurse apan namasin didto sa kauluhan aron matuman ang iyang pangandoy nga mamahimong mang-aawit. Ug tuod man hayag na ang kaugmaon ni Tata, bisan pa og dili siya ang migawas nga grand winner sa bag-o pa lang natapos nga Search for a Star in Million sa ABS-CBN.

"Sa mga tawo, ako naman ang panalo," matud pa ni Tata sa dihang nahinabi sa Banat Hugyaw didto sa Ayala Business Park atol Close-up Lovapalooza 2006 niadtong nakalabay nga semana.

Di gyud ikalimod nga malipayon si Tata, gani gasige man lang kini og ngisi sa dihang gi-interview sa Cebu Press. Matud pa niya malipayon gyud kuno siya sa iyang naabtan karon hilabi na nga paborito gyud siya sa mga tawo. Tinuod gyud kay sa dihang niguwa na siya, pwerteng naka abiba sa mga tawo.

Balik tan-aw sa final's night sa SIAM giangkon ni Tata nga nahadlok gyud siya kay matud pa niya dili kondisyon iyang tingog tungod sa walay hunong nga guesting ug practice sa dihang nagsingabot pa ang grand event. "Nung nabunot ko 'yong "Somewhere" ipinapasa-Dios ko nalang 'yon. Sabi ko Lord, this song is for you," saysay pa ni Tata.

Sa nasayran na usa ka registrado nga nurse si Tata diin human niya nahuman ang iyang pagtuon niadtong 2004 nakapasar dayon siya sa board exam, hinungdan nga nakasulod dayun siya og trabaho sa usa ka hospital didto sa ilang dapit.

Apan kaniadto pa nagbaton na gayud siya og talento sa pag-awit ug mahiligon na siya nga mokanta kon dunay mga okasyon. "Nung bata pa ako mas more time ang pag-practice ng singing kaysa sa study," nagngising miangkon niini si Tata. Gani siya may kanunay mo-represent sa iyang tunghaan sa mga indigay sa awit sa lain-laing dapit sa Ilo-ilo.

Matud pa niya kaniadto pa unta siya moapil sa SIAM apan gisiguro una niya iyang pag-eskwela. Busa dihang nahibaw-an niya nga nagsugod na ang audition sa SIAM niadtong niaging tuig wala na siyay pagduha duha pa hinonoa dali siyang ni-resign sa iyang trabaho sa ospital. Kuyog ang iyang mommy gisugdan ni Tata ang pagpanimpad didto sa kauluhan aron pagkab-ot sa dugay na niyang gipangandoy.

"May calling ako dito kaya nag-resign agad ako," ingon ni Tata, nga miangkon nga nagpabaga gyud siya sa iyang nawong pagpangayo og suporta gikan sa iyang ate nga nagbase na sa Abu Dhabi.

Matud pa niya dako ang iyang adjustment nga gihimo didto sa kauluhan gawas pa nga pa conservative ang iyang pamilya diin sa dihang didto palang siya sa ilang probinsya halos wala na siya'y night life.

Problema pud niya ang treatment unya sa mga tawo. Apan sa dihang nasulod na siya sa top 3 sa SIAM naibanan na ang iyang kahadlok.

Mibutyag si Tata nga mas suod siya kang Jimmy sanglit pareho man silang promdi. Mas pirmi silang magkuyog og panuroy gani naa-an naman siyang girlfriend ni Jimmy nga iya lang gikahimuot.

Miangkon si Tata nga wala siyay boyfriend rong mga panahona apan anaay daghan nga nag-ibid-ibid niya. Matud pa niya trabaho usa kay busy pa ang schedule para sa love affairs. Kasagaran sa mga naninguha karon niya mao usab ang iyang naibgan sa una. "Bakit ngayon lang kayo lumabas," komedya pa ni Tata patumong ngadto sa iyang mga suitors.

Lima ka tuig gikan karon gusto ni Tata nga mopadayun sa iyang pagka-nurse apan adto na sa gawas sa nasud manimpad. Apan matag karon ug unya gusto gihapon niyang mokanta bisan para sa iyang pasyente.

"Dapat kahit anong gagawin mo may passion ka," matud pa niya kabahin sa iyang propesyon ug hilig sa pagkanta.

Si Tata ang ika-upat sa lima ka managsuon. Singer usab ang iyang inahan samtang iyang amahan bag-o lang mibalik sa gawas sa nasud isip usa ka seaman.

Matud pa ni Tata gusto unta niya nga dili na mo-abroad ang iyang amahan apan kay lagi bag-o palang siya sa showbusiness wala pa siyay klarong income. Sanglit winner takes all man ang SIAM ang tibuok prize money tua kang Kris.

"I'd rather na samahan ko sila sa hirap kaysa magkalayo kami sa isa't-isa." "Kahit di ako nanalo pero nakatulong pa rin ako somehow," padayon pa ni Tata.

Si Tata andam pud mosuway og acting apan matud pa niya magkat-on una siya og Tagalog kay maglisud pa siya, gani sa atong pakighinabi niya kargado man siya sa bisaya ug eninglis.

Lig-on ug determinado busa dili halayo nga sa pag-abot sa tukmang panahon makab-ot ra gayud unya ni Tata ang iyang damgo nga makabaton og record album.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Search For The Star In A Million Season 2 Debut Album

1 When I See You Smile
2 Never Say Goodbye
3 I Remember You by Tata Villaruel
4 When Love And Hate Collide
5 I Would Do Anything For Love
6 Missing You

7 When I See You Smile
8 Never Say Goodbye
9 I Remember You by Tata Villaruel
10 When Love And Hate Collide
11 I Would Do Anything For Love
12 Missing You
13 Where No One Dares To Go
14 Search For The Star In A Million Themesong

RECORD LABEL: Star Records
RELEASE DATE: January 2006

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Lovapalooza grants romantic wishes

February 08, 2006

Here’s your chance to make that grand expression of love. Express your love with a kiss at CloseUp Lovapalooza 2006 on February 11, Saturday 7p.m. at FGU lot Ayala Business Park.

This Valentine season’s biggest nationwide concert party will be hosted by Nancy Castiligllione and Vince Cañizares with Camille Pratts and Marco Alcaraz to help spread some love.

Live performances of much-loved songs by the best in the music industry will be led by Pops Fernandez, Parokya ni Edgar, Itchyworms, Jimmy Bondoc, Eric Santos, Cebu’s Ambassador, Sheila and the Insects, Still, Star in a Million’s big winners led by Kris Laurence, Tata Villaruel, Lance Oñate, Joey Ignacio and Cebu’s pride Jimmy Marque.

Highlight of this year’s big bash is the selection of grand love ideas. CloseUp will select 16 of the most romantic ideas (4 from Cebu) for expressing love across the nation and will bring these ideas to life at CloseUp Lovapalooza 2006, and yours could be one of them!

To give you several ideas, you can copy Vince Hizon’s style of proposing to his now wife Patricia Bermudez during a basketball game’s halftime, or try coming up with a message and have it printed in a big billboard, or you may be crazy enough but its possible for Pops Fernandez or Parokya ni Edgar to sing your theme song.

Submit those romantic ideas and CloseUp will gladly grant those wishes. Remember four (4) wishes will be chosen from Cebu, and one wish will be featured live on February 11 to be witnessed by millions of viewers. Here’s your once-in-a-lifetime chance for that grand expression of love that your loved one never forget!

Hit your computer, and if you have a grand expression of love idea, send it to

Friday, February 03, 2006

There are two stars in a million

By Jet Gregori Japos, Sophomore student, The Manila Times School of Journalism

They may not have been the champs, but for Star in a Million 2 runners-up, Tata Villaruel and Jimmy Marquez, the singing competition’s final showdown on January 22 was the best experience they’ve had in their young lives. Simply making it to the last round was already a triumph in itself.

The .01-difference between Tata’s score and that of champion Chris Lawrence’s was a cause of regret for many of her fans, but according to the talented lass, she knew how stiff the competition was; she is still very proud of her performance. Jimmy, on the other hand, who was eliminated in the early part of the showdown, also considers himself triumphant, because his accomplishment is proof of how far he can take his singing prowess.

During their visit to The Manila Times School of Journalism on January 29, Tata and Jimmy modestly announced that after months of sacrifices in the grueling ABS-CBN 2 reality talent search, they do have the key to stardom today—the key in helping their families to improve their lives.

The Visayas’ new stars

Both finalists came to Manila from the Visayas. Tata is from Antique while Jimmy is from Cebu. They knew they would face a tough fight in the contest but their faith in their talent saw them through in the show.

Tata, whose real name is Christi Praise, is a registered nurse. A full-blooded Ilongga, the 24-year-old decided that there was more for her than the confines in the hospital simply because she knew she would excel in singing.

Jimmy, whose hometown is Toledo in Cebu, also knew that someday, somehow, his dreams of being a professional singer would come true. His family, to start with, has always encouraged him to pursue his passion for singing. A Mass Communication graduate of the University of San Jose Recoletos in the city, he stood out from his peers because of his interest in music.

A bright new future

Already, offers are pouring in for the second and third placers of Star in a Million 2. “This is what we mean when we say we still won even if we lost,” smiled Tata. For her, this is the biggest prize of all in having joined the contest, alongside being able to share her God-given gift and enjoying the support of the Visayan people.

For Jimmy, his guide in his newfound career is expressed in his favorite movie theme song: “Climb every mountain; ford every stream; follow every rainbow, till you find your dream.” For him, there’s no other way to reach the top but to work for it.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Dinagayang 2006 Festival

Our very own Tata Villaruel will be singing the Philippine National Anthem for the Dinagyang 2006 Festival!
It will also be aired in TFC PinoyCentral Channel.

tata w/ cueshe
get here
i will survive

Historical but disappointing: A Sunday of contrasts

vPENPOINT By Ryan Mark
The Freeman 01/28/2006

January 22 was one of the most colorful Sundays in Philippine history. During that day, we witnessed the victory of boxing champ Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao, happening miles away in Las Vegas, Nevada, thanks to the blow-by-blow coverage of ABS-CBN, courtesy of Solar Entertainment. And at night, back in our country, we witnessed the jubilee of R&B crooner Kris Lawrence as he joined ABS-CBN's league of champion singers after besting "promdis" Tata Villaroel of Iloilo and our very own Jimmy Marquez.

Interesting to note is that Pacman had to go to the US to prove his worth in the boxing world, while Kris had to leave Uncle Sam's land to find his place in the Philippine music industry. Nevertheless, that Sunday was undeniably a disappointing one for Cebuanos in particular-and for "promdis" in general-after Jimmy and Tata failed to clinch the top plum in the recently concluded "Search For The Star in A Million."

It was a disappointing loss because after following previous performance nights of the SIAM hopefuls and then watching the top three in the final showdown,I did not see anything "Hugyaw" (read: fabulous) or anything extraordinary in Kris' performance last Sunday. My good friend and The FREEMAN community editor Divine Sanchez was actually uncomfortable with Kris' rendition of Stevie Wonder's "Lately" as Kris looked jolly on stage with his signature "pa-cute" look. Well, I looked the song's lyrics up in the Internet and found out that it's a sad love song that talks about a woman leaving and uncertain of returning to a man who either loved her or not. This convinced me all the more that Kris interpreted it wrongly. Why should you be happy when you are about to lose someone special to you? When he had a duet with Pops Fernandez for the song "Closer to You," he did better since it was a "pa-cute" song, anyway. But when he did another sad love song-"How Am I Suppose to Live Without You"-the "pa-cute" facial expression and some unfitting R&B-ish actuations came on again. So, I really could not fathom why he won.

But before you raise those brows in disagreement, let me tell you that I'm not barking out of bitterness because Jimmy lost. Actually, I myself don't believe Jimmy should have won if his performance that night alone was the basis. Jimmy's rendition of "The Power of Love" was not convincing enough because he did not really hit the high notes. Performance-wise, he was mediocre that night. I do not know why. Honestly, if I were to rank their performances, I would say Tata deserved to win, because she blended well with Gary Valenciano for a duet of Whitney Houston's "Didn't We Almost Had It All." Then she delivered a splendid rendition of "Somewhere" in round three that I would agree with direk Rowell Santiago's observation that Tata was the "biggest surprise" that night. If I may borrow a Tagalog phrase to describe Tata's performance, I would say: "Nagmarka talaga." It made an impact; she really captured the moment. So, for me Tata was the winner that night, and Jimmy would definitely be first runner-up.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not putting Jimmy down, but I'm just being honest with my observation. After all, when you want to help someone improve his craft or you really value his growth, you should be direct and frank. Positive praises alone cannot help. Sometimes they are meant to simply flatter us. Because Jimmy is a friend and thus, dear to me, I should be honest with my feelings as far as his performance was concerned. I campaigned for Jimmy and in fact, gave him the needed publicity in "Banat Hugyaw" because I really believed in his talent. Agot Isidro's comment before that Jimmy "owns the stage" was definitely true. He is such a performer so I want to see him reign high in the music world soon. His success, after all, would be my joy too because we are both Josenians, being MassCom graduates of University of San Jose-Recoletos; we're both Cebuanos; and most important of all, we're both gays. It is just that in every contest or endeavor for that matter, there is always what you call the "right moment to shine." Sad to say, it was not Jimmy's right moment. But hey, there's still a long way to go. Agot was right again when in her parting statement she told Jimmy to "go the distance."

But then again I can't just play deaf to earlier rumors that from the start, ABS-CBN, particularly the big bosses of Star Records, was already eyeing Kris for the top plum. This due to their desperate need for a counterpart of R&B Prince Jay-R who is a prized possession of rival Kapuso network. Interestingly, Jay-R and Kris are really good friends. The former convinced the latter to come to the Philippines and try his luck. In fact, when the Cebu press asked Jay-R during a presscon at SM City Cebu two weeks ago on what he thought were the chances of Kris in the final showdown, his immediate response was "He would win." Such certainty left me asking myself, was the rumor about ABS-CBN favoring Kris really true? It's obvious that the Kapamilya network badly needed someone who could be the next R&B prince, as evidenced by their reported efforts to pirate Jay-R.

Jay-R is very in demand and popular these days, his singles are selling like hot cakes and has commercial endorsements left and right. The R&B prince is indeed giving competitors a run of their money. Remember that rumor last year that Jay-R was jumping ship to ABS-CBN? His response in our recent interview with him was "ah, intriga lang po yon." It was indeed because his contract with GMA Artist Center is expiring on 2007. So if they cannot have Jay-R, why not build up someone to challenge him? Clever idea, after all.

However, with the recent SIAM results, it seems ABS-CBN has not learned its lesson yet. Take Christian Bautista and our very own Sheryn Regis, for example, both of whom Erik Santos defeated in the first SIAM contest. Christian is most recently honored with the title "Asia's Pop Idol" after successfully capturing the hearts of our Asian neighbors via his song "The Way You Look At Me," the carrier single of his first album called "Colours Everywhere." And I'd say next to Christian, Sheryn is most popular and successful. And so where's Erik Santos now? Yes he is visible on TV, but is he as hot a commodity as Christian and Sheryn? Never! The problem with ABS-CBN is that they appear to be after the looks rather than the talent. If I have my way I would rather have a newcomer oozing with potentials than having someone endowed with looks, but lacking in talent. What is the use of cosmetic surgery if we always go after the beautiful and the handsome?

The decision is well, final and irrevocable. So, let me just repeat my favorite line, which I have been saying in my previous columns: everything happens for a reason. When we fail it does not mean we are not good, but rather because God has bigger, brighter and better plans for us all. To Jimmy, I say: "Go the distance." As what I told you last week through text, whatever happens you are a winner to me and that Cebuanos are so proud of you. Good luck! Catch Jimmy Marquez tomorrow at Metro Gaisano stores.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Singing tilts not just about musical talent

Editor's Note: Published on Page A2-1 of the January 27, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

ON "SEARCH FOR THE STAR IN A MILLION" last Sunday, Kris Lawrence emerged as the grand champion, over similarly talented runners-up Tata Villaroel and Jimmy Marquez. What factors helped him surge past them in the final stretch of the tough singing tilt?
Vocal prowess apart, we think that Kris' unique musical and visual "packaging" did it for him.
His choice of cool and accessible songs over the standard "amateur hour" do-or-die songs made him click with younger music fans, because it did away with the trying-hard mustiness that often cloaks contestants of local singing competitions.
Kris' signature look made him stand out even more: "pirate" head scarf under rakishly-tilted hat, flashy shirt and suit, and trendy and chunky jewelry--Kris' packaging was divertingly distinct.

Now that he's won, however, the signature look could end up as a liability, because it could eventually limit him, and restrict his forays into other musical and performance styles. stars need to do everything they can to keep from becoming predictable, so Kris should eventually opt to go for greater variety, not just in his music, but also in the way he looks.
So, the "urban pirate" look that worked well for him in the competition should soon give way to a more flexible performing persona, if Kris wants to stay longer in the music biz.
Speaking of looks, at one point in the finals, all of the tilt's past winners were presented to viewers and the studio audience, and it was clear that appearance played an important role in their relative success as stellar musical performers.
Simply and bluntly put, the winners who look good, young and svelte have the most successful careers.

So, singing tilts aren't only about musical talent and verve in performance. Good looks may not be everything, but they are a key part of a singer's stellar persona in these parts.
Therefore, aspiring singers who don't look all that good should address those problems and try to rectify them first before they throw their hats into the musical ring.
This could have sidelined a talented finalist in this year's tilt. So, the "realistic" rule of thumb does apply.

Finally, final survivors Kris and Tata were both given the same song to sing at the ultimate stand-off, and Kris proved his supremacy by simply singing the demanding number better than Tata.

Having said all that, we still decry the elimination in midstream of the finalist we believe was the best singer in the whole bunch. He looked good, too, so his appearance wasn't the deal-breaker, just inept judging.

Well, there's nothing that can be done about that now, but if the gifted singer opts to launch his career, notwithstanding, we'll help him attain the success his exceptional talent deserves.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Congratulations to TATA Villaruel! True Champion!

Congratulations to Ms. Tata Villaruel!

You truly touch the "Hearts" of many worldwide!
You deserve to be the Champion of the Search For The Star In A Million Season 2 Year 2005

We Thank You for all the fans and supporters who truly "Believe" Tata to be the Deserving Champion!
We hope to provide you more fun and interactivity for your favorite SFSIAMS2 Champion
Ms. Tata Villaruel!

God Bless You All!
Love Tata & webteam...

Sunday, January 22, 2006

News Update!

Sunday, January 22, 2006
"Grand Final Showdown of The Champions League of 3" Live!!!
Aliw Theatre @ 7pm
gates open @ 5pm
Be There As You Witness!!!
Search For The Star In A Million Season 2 Year 2005

-Finalist's Chosen Song
-Duet w/ Famous Singers
-3 Finalists will draw 1 song among 10 given songs
-Showdown of 2, First Singles

Friday, January 13, 2006
-Grand Presentation Night for The Champions League of 3, Live @ Market-Market
Tata Villaruel, Jimmy Marquez, Kris Lawrence
Aired on
Sunday, January 15, 2006
-Champions League of 6 First Singles Album Release!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Homeboy - Monday, January 16, 2006

Grand Presentation Night - Champions League of 3 - Sunday, January 15, 2006

ASAP, Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sunday, January 15, 2006
*ASAP - Sarah, Tata, Rachelle
*D' Buzz - Champions League of 3, Tata, Kris, Jimmy

Saturday, January 07, 2006

TOP 3 Grand Finalist! Search For The Star In A Million Season 2 Year 2005 !

Congratulations to the

2. Kris Lawrence
3. Jimmy Marquez

God Bless To all
Search For The Star In A Million Champions League of 12!

Neither One Of Us by Davis Linda

Title: Neither One of Us
Artist/Band: Davis Linda
Album: Some Things Are Meant To Be (1996)

It's sad to think were not going to make it
And it's gotten to the point where we just can't fake it
or some ungodly reason, we just won't let it die
But I guess neither one of us wants to be the first to say goodbye

I keep wondering what I'm gonna do without you
And I guess you must be wondering the same thing too
So we go on, go on together, living a lie
Because neither one of us wants to be the first to say goodbye

Everytime I find the nerve
Everytime I find the nerve to say I'm leaving
Oh the memories, Oh the memories get in the way
ord knows it's only me, yes he knows it's only me
That I'm delivering
When it comes to saying goodbye, that's a simple word I can't just say

There can be no way, there can be no way this can have a happy ending
So we go on hurting and pretending
And just convincing ourselves to give it - to give it one more try
Because neither one of us wants to be the first to say
Neither one of us wants to be the first to say
Neither one of us

Monday, January 02, 2006

How to Vote for TATA

to vote:
text SIAM Tata
Local Voting/React and Profiles send to:
2331 for Globe/Sun
231 for Smart

International Voting/React and Profiles send to:
23661 for Viewers in the U.S.
Landline Voting/React and Profiles:

To send in reactions:
To access profiles:
text SIAM FILE Tata
Each text message costs $.50. All Standard Text Message rates apply.This service is available to all Cingular Orange, Cingular Blue, Verizon and subscribers.Visit and look for the 23661 link for more details.

January 1, 2006 Final Performance Night

next Sunday, January 8, 2005
Final Elimination Night
Who will be the Top 3 Grand Finalists?