Meet some of ABS-CBN’s promising talents

May 5, 2005, 8:00am

ABS-CBN Star Magic feted recently with a luncheon presscon its April birthday celebrants. Among them were twins Dominic and Felix Roco, sons of veteran and award-winning actor Bembol Roco. The twins celebrated their 16th birth anniversaries last April 12.

They are identical twins, but Felix said Dominic is a little "bigger" than him. "But I’m handsomer," he said in jest. They are both handsome of course, and they complement each other’s personalities. Dominic is the serious type, while Felix is the happy-go-lucky one.

Dominic and Felix are both high school students at the Seed Montessori School along Commonwealth Ave., Quezon City.

Felix was candid enough to say he has seen just one movie of their father, and that was "Maynila sa Kuko ng Liwanag." When we asked why so, Felix said "because before we can’t understand much more speak Tagalog. But now we have learned how, that’s why we’ve joined the showbiz world of our father..."

When not working before the cameras, Felix said he plays basketball.

Another very talented Star Magic April birthday celebrant is Sharlene San Pedro, who charmed us with her natural wit and outspokenness.

Sharlene turned six last April 5 and she is a kindergarten student at Sto. Cristo Elementary School in Pulilan, Bulacan. She has two brothers.

Sharlene is a product of ABS–CBN’s first reality talent search Star Circle Quest where she emerged first runner-up. That started her showbiz career. They still live in Pulilan, she said, and they commute most of the time. "Pero kung minsan, nagtataksi na rin kami." She added that it’s his father who accompanies her to her tapings and shootings and other showbiz activities.

The talented girl loves singing and dancing and so her first TV show, "Wansapanataym," which she hosted with Nash Aguas was a dream-come-true for her. She hopes to get to perform on stage someday with her idols, John Prats and Heart Evangelista. Her other idol, Sharlene said, is Judy Ann Santos. "Kasi po sa ‘Krystala,’ ako yong young Judy Ann Santos." Sharlene also dreams of becoming a belter like another idol of hers, Sarah Geronimo.

But her biggest dream, Sharlene hastened to add, is to become a director. And who would she want to direct someday? "Si direk Bubot Mortiz po." Her director in "Goin’ Bulilit?" Yes. We asked her twice, just to be sure, and her answer was the same.

The other Star Magic talents who celebrated their birth anniversaries last month were Isabel Blaesi,half–Swiss, half-Filipina who turned 15 last April 1 and who started out as part of the Fresh Girls which opened the noontime variety shows of ABS-CBN and who is also now part of "Qpids;" KC Aboloc, also a product of Star Circle Quest, a finalist in the kids division, is part of "Goin’ Bulilit’ (her idols: Claudine Barretto, Piolo Pascual and the mega star, Sharon Cuneta) and who turned 6 last April 19; OJ Decena, who turned 20 last April 9, was one of the thousands who auditioned for the second round of Star Circle Quest Magic Circle of 15; and joined the "barkada" of the last season of SCQ Reload;" Sergio Garcia, the tallest member of Star Magic’s popular dance group Anime, turned 16 last April 10, an endorser for Harvard USA and Skechers and an incoming junior high school student at St. Mark’s School in Parañaque; Mark Butler, a Fil-Am talent who turned 15 last April 11 and who has made two movies: "Malikmata" and "Kung Ako na Lang Sana" is also in the reality show "Qpids;" Bea Nicolas (April 15), a mainstay of various E-TV shows like "Sineskwela" and "Hiraya Manawari" and regularly guested on "Wansapanataym" and "Maalaala Mo Kaya;" was nominated as Best Child Actress for her role in "Laro sa Baga," and also appeared in Judy Ann Santos’ "Sabel;" Kathleen Hermosa, a student at Thames International Business School, marked her 24th b-day last April 21, has appeared on "Nginig" and "Maalaala Mo Kaya," has been part of "Sa Puso Ko Iingatan Ka" and "Kay Tagal Kang Hinintay" and who will play Claudine Barretto’s Japayuki best friend in the new teleserye "Ikaw ang Lahat sa Akin;" Hazel Ann Mendoza, who turned 17 last April 26, was an original cast of "Ang TV," and who has appeared in "Pangako Sa ‘Yo, "Berks" and "Basta’t Kasama Kita," wants to be a lawyer someday; Mhyco Aquino, also a part of Anime and a regular cast of ASAP 05, celebrated his b-day also on April 26 and is an incoming junior at the ABS-CBN Distance Learning Center; Allyzon Lualhati turned 19 last April 29, was on "Ang TV" and a "suki" in education TV shows such as "Hiraya Manawari," "Smart Squad" and "Pahina," has appeared in several films like "Paano Kung Wala Ka Na," "Mula Noon Hanggang Ngayon" and "Princess Sarah," has finished her stint in"Spirits," and is in the cast of Star Cinema’s hit movie, "Can This Be Love." An incoming third year student at UST, Allyson celebrated her 19th birthday last April 29.

It’s heartwarming and inspiring to know that many have pledged their support and services to a fund-raising show for award-winning composer, music director and pianist Willy Cruz. The benefit event will be held at Merk’s Bar Bistro which is responding once again to an artist in need. Spearheading the fund-raising show to be staged on May 16 are Richard and Roni Merk.

Willy was hospitalized at the St. Luke’s Hospital when he fell in an empty pool at the house of his aunt in Quezon City. He sustained several bone injuries that necessitate prolonged medication.

Upon learning of what happened to Willy, Sharon Cuneta rushed to visit him at the hospital. Many of Sharon’s hit songs ("Mr. D.J." and "Bituing Walang Ningning" among others) were composed by Willy. If not for her US concert tour, Sharon would have been one of the performers in the fund-raising concert for Willy. Sharon and entourage left for the US last Wednesday.

Willy, who’s a grand nephew of the eminent composer Francisco Buencamino and the first cousin of world-acclaimed pianist Cecile Licad, was the recipient of the George Canseco Award in last year’s annual Tinig Awards. Willy is also a noted film scorer who was elevated to the FAMAS Hall of Fame for his remarkable achievements in film scoring.

Among those who had signified to donate their services for the fund-raising concert include Rico J. Puno, Verni Varga, Jessa Zaragoza, Ricky Davao, Hajji Alejandro, Richard Merk, Noel Cabangon, Noel Trinidad, Dulce, Sandra Lim, Romy Posadas, Marco Sison, Dingdong Avanzado, Lyn Sherman, Mon David, Leo Martinez, Lorrie Ilustre, Rey Valera, Nonoy Zuñiga, Nanette Inventor, Bobby Taylo (bass player) and Arthur Manuntag, among others.

Among Willy Cruz’s popular songs include "Araw-Araw Gabi-Gabi," "Sana’y Wala Ng Wakas" (recorded by Jessa Zaragoza), "Bituing Walang Ningning," "Kung Mahawi Man ang Ulap," "Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas," "How Am I Gonna Tell You," "Pangarap na Bituin" and "Mr. D.J." (popularized by Sharon Cuneta), "Sa Duyan ng Pagmamahal" (recorded by Regine Velasquez), and "I’ll Never Say Goodbye" (recorded by Janno Gibbs).

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