Life & Entertainment stories

Sarah Geronimo on a path to superstardom

By Isah V. Red
There’s no doubt Sarah Geronimo is hot. She’s got the makings of a superstar: a rags-to-riches bio, talent, perseverance, and most of all, faith in the power of dreams.

Like superstar Nora Aunor before her, Sarah won a singing contest, and became a recording star. Her popularity grew and it was an inevitability that she also became an actor in the movies and on television.

Everyone who has seen this young woman rise from an unknown singer in a talent search to perhaps the most popular singer of her generation across the country will agree that Sarah deserves that stellar status she is now enjoying.

No, she’s no overnight sensation.

Her first singing stint was at the age of two, when she sang “Pasko na Naman” with Pinky Marquez and Richard Reynoso during a mall tour. When she turned four, her mother accompanied her to auditions for different TV programs.

Sarah became part of kiddie shows Pen-pen De Sarapen (four to six years old), Ang TV (seven to eight years old), and NEXT (eight to nine years old).

In between auditions, Sarah performed at shopping malls and hotel lounges. She was one of the performers during the 1995 visit of Pope John Paul II.

At an early age, she braved the agonizing process of joining singing contests and even then, people saw her extraordinary talent. Only a few know that she was even part of the ‘Sang Linggo Na Po Sila’s “Princess Asia” in 1995. But it seemed like fate was waiting for the right time for Sarah to shine.

Grand prize winner

Viva Record’s Search For A Star was the singing contest that catapulted Sarah to stardom. At age 14, she emerged as the grand prize winner with her rendition of Celine Dion’s “To Love You More.” She won P1 million and a managerial contract at Viva Artists Agency. More than that, she gave a new start to televised singing contests and opened the door of show business for hopeful divas and balladeers. After this turning point, what followed are platinum albums with chart-topping singles, successful concerts here and abroad, movie offers (she played supporting roles in Viva’s Filipinas and Captain Barbell, and starred opposite Mark Bautista in Lastikman), endorsements, and legions of fans here and abroad. Critics also recognized her remarkable talent and contribution in the industry, as Sarah bagged different awards from a number of award-giving bodies each year.

In 2004, Sarah joined the Kapamilya network and had her first TV series, Sarah the Teen Princess in ABS-CBN. Not long after, she became a regular on the Sunday-variety show Asap, and hosted the talent search Little Big Star, which was followed by Little Big Superstar. In 2006, Sarah got her biggest break and proved that she can really act when she portrayed the role of the young fanatic Dorina, in the top-rating teleserye Bituing Walang Ningning, inspired by the movie of the same title, with Sharon Cuneta and Cherrie Gil.

In Asap 07, Sarah is one of the “Champions” where she is featured weekly in its much awaited Grand Face-Off segment where she displays her vocal talent uniquely her own. Fans are able to appreciate her even more in The Other Side of Sarah segment of the same concert TV show.

Primetime star

This September, Sarah will delight her fans once again in a new drama series, Pangarap na Bituin, opposite heartthrob Jericho Rosales.

She plays Emerald, an acoustic singer who lives in Boracay where her adoptive parent brought her up. She was orphaned at a young age because of the Mayon Volcano eruption that killed her parents. The tragedy separated her from elder sister, Sapphire (Rica Peralejo). With younger sister Ruby (Maja Salvador), they lived in an orphanage where they became close to fellow orphan, Terrence (Jericho Rosales).

The new primetime soap premieres on Sept. 3, and it is anticipated to be one of ABS-CBN’s highest-rating series in years. And if that happens, it can be said that Sarah is well on her way to superstardom.

Tandem to watch

People say that Maja Salvador and Jason Abalos are in love. How else can one explain the magic, chemistry, electricity the two have onscreen?

Truth is Maja and Jason are only the best of friends.

Jason admits that once he tried to court Maja, but she reminded him they better concentrate on their respective careers.

Screen partners don’t have to be real lovers to click with the public.

Maja and Jason are teamed anew in Regal’s My Kuya’s Wedding, also topbilled by Ryan Agoncillo and Pauleen Luna and directed by Topel Lee.

Maja plays Ryan’s possessive younger sister, doing everything to stop his and Pauleen’s wedding, until she falls in love with Jason and realized how selfish she is.

The trailer and pictorials showing Maja and Jason in romantic scenes and poses excite moviegoers, who agree theirs is the tandem to watch.

They earlier teamed up in First Day High and several other shows on TV, including an episode in Maalaala Mo Kaya, where Maja’s uncle, Philip Salvador, played father to the character she portrayed. It was a heavy drama, but Maja and Jason held their own against Philip.

Jason recently merited raves in the indie film Endo, where he played the temporary worker struggling to make both ends met. Film critics, columnists, and directors—even fellow actors—have nothing but good words for Jason’s performance, subdued but powerful.

On TV, Maja made a memorable performance as Vilma Santos’ ill-fated special child in an episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya, earning the admiration of host Charo Santos, writer Olive Lamasan, and co-stars Vilma Santos and Ricky Davao, who played her parents. She stood out as the girl who sees the dark future in the horror-thriller, Sukob, starring Kris Aquino and Claudine Barretto.

Celebrity endorser

Auction.ph, the premier online buying and selling Web site, closes a brand endorsement deal with Alessandra de Rossi. The accomplished actress will be featured in Auction.ph’s online and offline advertising and marketing campaigns. Present during the memorandum of agreement signing were Beth Rivera of DMV ENT., Inc., Alessandra de Rossi and Minnie Kim, vice president and chief marketing officer of Auction.ph.

Certified hit

The new Aga Muhlach movie, A Love Story, is a big hit. And that is despite the monsoon rains that hit the metro and the rest of central and northern Luzon when it opened last week. Unofficial box-office estimates put the movie’s opening day gross to P10 million, although Star Cinema claims it made P15 million nationwide.

Well, whatever the right figure is, the movie proves: Aga Muhlach is still the top male box-office draw; Maricel Soriano is still a major female star; Angelica Pangilinan is a daring young star.

Also, the movie held against the no. 1 movie in Hollywood, The Bourne Ultimatum.

Although it opened to mixed reviews, its box-office potential has remained solid. Let’s just hope it has legs.

Star Cinema is cashing in on Aga’s renewed popularity. It is now in the thick of things for a new movie, this time with Anne Curtis.

 

Wednesday, August 22, 2007
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