Apr 19
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Donna Cruz

Donna began her recording career at age 13. She released her first self-titled album containing the hits "Kapag Tumibok Ang Puso", "Rain" and "Boy (I Love You)," in which she won Best New Artist in the 1992 Awit Awards. Prior to signing a recording contract with Viva Records, she joined the singing contest Bulilit Bagong Kampeon where she emerged as the grand champion in 1988. She also became the grand prix champion along with Timothy Villegas of Ryan Cayabyab's 14K in the Mermaid International Children's Song Festival in Hiroshima, Japan. She was also a grand finalist in the Little Miss Philippines on Eat Bulaga.

After the successful release of her debut album, Cruz embarked on her first movie, playing the girlfriend of Smokey Mountain member Tony Lambino, in the remake of Darna. It was in this movie that she was officially launched as an actress.

A year after launching her debut album, she released another LP entitled Kurot Sa Puso. Though it proved to be less successful than her debut, it enabled her to launch herself as one of the most sought-after icons of 1990s. Two years later, she released her third solo album, Langit Na Naman which received a gold award.

Cruz has been, if not the most popular, one of the most popular Filipino female celebrity in 1990s, proved by string of #1 radio hits, multi-platinum albums, box-office movies, top-rated and award winning TV shows, and multi-million endorsement deals. Just like earlier artists like Nora Aunor, Vilma Santos, Sharon Cuneta, and Pops Fernandez, this "triple threat" status will most likely continue in the late 90's and in the new millennium, paving way for more artists to do the same. According to the Philippine Showbiz Industry, Cruz had the most appearances in Philippine TV during 1990s, from her beginnings in 1991 up to her hiatus and marriage in 1998. Also, the Cruz clan would be known as the top earning Philippine showbiz clan in the same decade.

In 1994, she starred in two drama movies, Kadenang Bulaklak and Pangako Ng Kahapon, which gave her a Best Supporting Actress nomination. She also starred in a soap opera called Villa Quintana opposite actor Keempee de Leon. The year after, she starred in the critically-acclaimed movie Muling Umawit Ang Puso, alongside Ian de Leon and multi-awarded actress Nora Aunor. In this movie, she won the Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

In 1995, she launched her biggest-selling album ever, Habang May Buhay, an album composed of selected movie theme songs. The album was certified 7x platinum. The single "Only Me And You" won her the Best Ballad Recording by a Female Artist. Also, a movie was made as a tie-in with the release of the movie Habang May Buhay in which she starred alongside Ian de Leon. The year after, she starred in the biggest movie of 1996, DoReMi, in which she shared the spotlight with Regine Velasquez and Mikee Cojuangco.

In 1996, Cruz released a Christmas album entitled, Merry Christmas Donna, which included the single "Muling Sumapit Ang Pasko," written by legendary songwriter Vehnee Saturno, who wrote Cruz's biggest hit, "Only Me And You."

In 1997, she recorded a duet with American singer Jason Everly, called "Wish", son of Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers and made a local film with him entitled "Isang Tanong Isang Sagot." She also recorded an Alan Menken song entitled "The Story of My Life" which is included in the Philippine release of The Best of Disney Love Songs album. Her album Pure Donna was also released and garnered platinum status in just a week after it was issued in record outlets.

Also that same year, she joined Eat!...Bulaga as a co-host, eventually performing every now and then during her stay. During her short stay in the variety show, she was able to showcase her hosting skills, which led to her to guest often as co-host during the early years of SOP. Due to her ability to host, Cruz also starred and hosted her musical special Pure Donna, which was broadcasted in GMA7 on her 20th birthday. The special won the Best Musical Special in the 1997 Aliw Awards.

Cruz was also a known figure for popular brands such as Jollibee, Camay Soap, Whisper Napkins, Lux Super Rich Shampoo, U2 clothing, Cinderella, and Sari-Sari Store.

In 1998, she married Yong Larrazabal, an ophthalmologist from Cebu. They have two children, namely Belle and Cian. Despite being a busy mom, she successfully finished a computer degree from Cebu Doctors College in 2003.

Even as a full-pledged Mom, Cruz retained her status as a bankable commercial endorser appearing on television, radio and print ads for several giant products including Sara Lee, Progress Milk where she appeared with daughter Belle and sang the theme "Wishes For You" and Jollibee in 2006, along with her two children, Belle and Cian. In 2007, Cruz gave birth to her third child, named Inigo Renato. Cruz was taped to sing the jingle for the 2006 and 2007 Pampers Christmas Ad "Payapang Daigdig" and Lactum's 2008 100% Panatag Ako campaign singing "Kailanman Panatag" which was written by Ogie Alcasid and Nicole Tolentino. Her most recent endorsement is from Facial Care Center featuring four other fab and beautiful women.

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TV Series

  1. Growing Up (1997) ... Stephanie Enriquez
  2. Villa Quintana (1995) ... Lynnette Quintana

News

  1. 2011-02-14: Fra Lippo Lippi's Per Sorensen enthralls fans tonight at NBC Tent Crispina Martinez-Belen
  2. 2011-01-23: Donna Cruz on being a mother and housewife: "Ito talaga yung life na pinapangarap ko." Rommel L. Gonzales
  3. 2010-12-09: Frencheska Farr is GMA's big bet for recording stardom GMANews.TV
  4. 2010-12-08: Frencheska Farr gets ready to launch debut album; comments on the controversy surrounding her music video Bong Godinez
  5. 2010-12-06: Chynna Ortaleza marks 28th b-day ABS-CBNNews.com
  6. more...