CRIS VILLONCO ON HER OWN

Manila, August 25, 2003  (MALAYA) NOT JUST TITA MIDZ'S GRANDDAUGHTER  - THE little girl who once moved in the shadow of her famous grandma, the irrepressible, outspoken, and gutsy multi-hyphenate Armida Siguion-Reyna (singer-actress-TV and movie producer-former MTRCB chief- showbiz industry leader-fighter-crusader), has now emerged as a star in her own right.

Cris Villonco first gained public attention with her sweet voice and wholesome image. Then she easily established a reputation as a young ingenue-from singer to actress with Úlan. She won acclaim and was featured in Time Magazine, no less as a "Hero for the Planet." And in her so far brief but colorful career, she has shared the limelight with the industry's biggest names from Martin Nievera to Fernando Poe, Jr.

After enthralling her audiences with her recent stint as a performer (in "Alikabok" where she played the lead character), she went to New York to study but is now back and had a still-talked-about concert at Dish. Now the emerging diva has a brand-new album under Viva Records, eponymously titled. The CD reflects what the young singer is feeling right now-not a girl, not yet a woman, Britney Spears be damned.

"This album is the real me right now." shares Cris. "If you ask me what I'm feeling and thinking, just listen to the album. It's my most personal one to date."

The carrier single of the album, "Bago Mapagod Ang Puso," written by Babsie Molina and Edith M. Gallardo, captures the sentiment of a young woman who yearns for real love from a man who gives it unconditionally to her.

"What caught my attention is its message. I really felt the emotion, the passion. The lyrics are perfect and the melody is just so catchy. It's a perfect carrier single because it captures the whole mood and tone of the album," says Cris.

Other must-hear songs in the album are "Then Came You" (a duet with Broadway artist Jose Llana), "Kaya Lang," "Umiibig Na Ngayon," "Dreams Can Tell A Lie," "Pabago-bago," "Iba Na," "Tell Her," "Ikaw Rin at Ako," and "We May Never Love Like This Again." The album is produced by Margot M. Gallardo for Viva Records.

"The album is sort of a transition. It's more mature than previous ones," discloses Cris.

This sense of maturity must have been brought about by Cris' foreign schooling stint. She's now an incoming sophomore at the Sarah Lawrence, an esteemed liberal arts college, now focusing on music, literature and psychology. Cris lives in a dorm, just like any ordinay college student in the States. She even does her own household chores!

Cris says, "I have a room to myself. I'm just lucky. Room assignment is decided by lottery. Usually a room accommodates two or three students. But I got a good one all to myself."

Of herself and her album, she says, "It's time for a new me. I hope people will like it because this is what I am," ends Cris.


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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