New Divas Take the Stage

Sunday, January 04, 2009

New divas take the stage

'SOP' is known for talents that are simply world-class, but who still strive for constant reinvention. With its “Three of a Kind” segment, the musical variety show gets ready to introduce a new generation of divas.

None of the three ladies in La Diva is certain how the group was formed, all of them came from the singing competition, Pinoy Pop Superstar. Jonalyn Viray and Maricris Garcia were the Grand Champions of the first and third seasons respectively, and Aicelle Santos was the runner-up in the second season.

Jonalyn notes that a meeting for the creation of La Diva was held in January this year. The icing on the cake was that they would still keep their own identities, their own solo careers. “Gusto lang nila kami i-put into act daw,” she adds.

starsAicelle continues that maybe the management thinks they could carry a segment of their own, “and sobrang thankful kami.”

More than just thankful, they’re happy to be together. Maricris explains that it’s hard to form a group, “Mahirap mamili ng tao na pagsasama-samahin mo na magkakasundo. Hindi lang ‘yung [personality], pati ‘yung boses. We’re very happy na ganoon naman 'yung naging kalabasan and maganda 'yung reaction nung tao.” To which Aicelle adds, “Praying pa rin [kami] na magtuloy-tuloy 'yung ratings. Kasi according to them, nagre-rate kami.”

Meeting Expectations

After their first performance as a group, the three ladies started receiving positive feedback on their segment.

“Siyempre natutuwa,” Jonalyn says of the audience’s response while admitting that they also feel a little overwhelmed. But mostly, they love the comments. “Siyempre marami rin kaming efforts na binuhos,” she adds.

Ms. Wilma Galvante, GMA-7 Senior Vice President for Entertainment and Ms. Darling de Jesus, Assistant Vice President for magazines, musicals, variety, and specials have also noticed the improvement in their performances, Maricris notes. This time, they displayed confidence on stage and were moving more in sync with the music.

Of course, Aicelle is very thankful that their fans are appreciating their hard work. “Mahirap kasi mas madali for us to sing individually. We could rehearse sa bahay lang, sa banyo lang. [Dito, we spend] time to group together para mag-ensayo so talagang pinaghahandaan namin maigi,” she says.

La Diva rehearses twice a week. Their first rehearsal is to familiarize themselves with the song, and the second is for everything else, including stage blocking. Aicelle explains the need for two rehearsals, saying that they don’t have very talented ears to quickly grab the melody they’re asked to learn. “Kunwari ituro sa’yo 'yung tono, [you] need a day to recall ‘yun. Medyo matrabaho, pero rewarding naman,” she adds.

Divas of the Future

With their success as La Diva, the three singers are already garnering attention and creating a following. Maricris says that Ms. De Jesus has many plans for them, such as having shows abroad.

Aicelle wishes that these projects will come to fruition. “Siyempre nanalangin kami ng concert soon. Yun 'yung aming goal -- concerts, more shows, for ‘Three of a Kind’ siyempre.”

They have sung their first theme song, the one for Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan, and Jonalyn says she’s hearing plans for an album as well. “Hindi ko lang po alam kung matutuloy 'yung sinasabing ‘Three of a Kind’ album pero hopefully matuloy din.” -- Text by Jason John S. Lim. Photos by Jillian Q. Gatcheco.

SOP continues to churn out the hits every Sunday after Takeshi’s Castle. Talk about the lovely ladies of La Diva at the iGMA Forums with fellow fans!


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