Cosmetic surgery is not an option for Laarni Lozada

Monday, September 22, 2008 got a one-on-one talk with Grand Star Dreamer Laarni Lozada during the press conference for the Top 6 scholars of Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2.

When asked if she wants to move her parents and two siblings into the city with her, Laarni replied: "Pinag-uusapan pa namin. Pero as much as possible gusto ko sila sa province na lang na malayo sila sa mga intriga. Gusto ko sila protektahan, alam mo naman sa showbiz." Laarni’s family is a native of Sultan Kudarat in Mindanao but now that the young singer is a proud owner of a house-and-lot after bagging the top place in the competition, she has the option of moving her family to Manila as she embarks on her singing career.

"Pagbubutihin ko ‘yung career ko pero ang pinaka-importante talaga is ‘yung foundation ng family ko," she added. Laarni is currently enjoying her time with her family who arrived in the city in time for the PDA finale and is staying with relatives indefinitely.

With more star hopefuls trying their luck in the entertainment industry, having good looks will definitely get one further. However, Laarni, who was first worried of her looks when she entered the Academy, has a different view on this now that she’s conquered the competition with her raw talent.

"Mahal na mahal ko ang sarili ko kahit napakarami kong imperfections. Siguro wala na akong babaguhin sa sarili ko. Kapag inisip ko pa ‘yung mga operation parang sakit lang sa ulo ‘yun. Gusto ko mahalin ako ng tao sa kung paano nila ako nakilala," she told

Laarni said that she would prefer wearing the best clothes and taking time to learn the correct way of putting on make-up and having the right hair style rather than going under the knife.

Becoming the Grand Star Dreamer was not an easy journey for this former choir singer and competition reject. Laarni recalled her experience inside the academy where she faced a series of probation and emotional breakdowns, but she remained determined in reaching her dreams.

"Siguro kaya ako nami-misinterpret ng maraming tao, first week pa lang probationary na ako. Five times akong na probie. Nakakapanghina talaga ng loob kasi pinaghandaan ko ito tapos mapo-probie lang ako. Grabe ‘yung emotional pressure kaya siguro kahit sino, tao lang naman tayo na nasasaktan, kaya ganun ‘yung naging reaksyon ko. Dinaan ko na lang sa iyak at sa prayer. Inisip ko talaga na ayokong mag-quit," she said.

PDA bottom 3: a long showbiz career

Friday, September 19, 2008

Laarni Lozada was voted Pinoy Dream Academy (PDA) Season II Grand Star Dreamer (to the wonderment and disappointment of Bugoy Drilon?).

Of course, being a Cebuano, I rooted for Van Roxas (remember the campaign I headed here?) but then maybe the rest of the tele-viewers thought that Van already has the smoldering looks and, if he becomes the grand winner, that would be too much in his favor. Hindi naman siya lang ang anak ng Diyos, no?

My other bet was Liezel Garcia, she with the exotic beauty and clean, distinctive voice. It’s a given that all the PDA scholars, including those who were voted out and those who made their exits voluntarily, have the makings of great singers.

But Liezel to me simply still stands out.

At first, I tolerated Bugoy’s antics and actuations but later they became distracting and irritating. I also noticed that he has become self-conscious and “feeling artista already,” to quote a friend, several days before the grand night.

Add to this the glaring favoritism by the mentors, ao my dislike for him grew night after night. I can still remember that scene where teachers Monet and Kitchie danced like fools while singing Alleluia after Bugoy delivered the song they wanted. Shame on them!

My reaction on his declaration that “in my heart I am still the Grand Star Dreamer”? No way!

While the top three winners (Miguel Mendoza completes the list) will enjoy the cash prizes and the other items that go with the top slots, I have this strong hunch that it will be the bottom three (Chris “Cris” Pastor, Liezel and Van) who will enjoy a longer stay in show business.

There’s life after PDA

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Just minutes after the show wrapped up, after Laarni Lozada was named new Grand Star Dreamer, composer and music teacher Ryan Cayabyab assessed the latest edition of the ABS-CBN reality contest, “Pinoy Dream Academy.”

“I enjoyed doing this show because the format allowed us to work closely with the students and help them develop as performers,” said Cayabyab, head master on the show. “On ‘Philippine Idol,’ where I was judge [two years ago], we could only give comments, but we couldn’t teach the contestants.”

Personal picks

Cayabyab named Lozada, 1st runner-up Bugoy Drilon and 3rd runner-up Liezel Garcia as his personal Top 3. (Miguel Mendoza is 2nd runner-up.)

He described Garcia as a “unique” find who has “a distinct voice—an original.”

Lozada is the “most vocally equipped,” said Cayabyab. “She’s well-trained. She can do classical, kundiman as well as the usual birit (belting).”

“Bugoy is refreshing, sincere and giving as a performer,” Cayabyab noted. “At the start, he was withdrawn and shy, but he blossomed. On finals’ night, he exuded self-confidence.”

Resident psychologist and counselor Randy Dellosa agreed, describing the contestants as an “inspiring bunch.”

Added mentor Jose Javier Reyes, “They [matured] a lot throughout their stay in the Academy.”

Mentors’ aim

Reyes recounted that he and Cayabyab, and fellow mentor Kitchie Molina, endeavored to equip the contestants with the necessary tools to help them survive in show business.

“Kitchie reminded them to take care of their voices, not to abuse their bodies,” Reyes said. “Ryan emphasized the importance of being creative. I kept repeating that they shouldn’t permit themselves to get stuck in a rut, that they should constantly grow as artists.”

Reyes concurred with Cayabyab’s observation that the contestants’ 13-week stay in the Academy wasn’t enough.

More crucial

“That was just the gestation period,” Reyes explained. “Most of these kids look at contests as their ticket out of poverty, but the hard work begins after winning. The more crucial question is: What happens now?”

Said Cayabyab: “This is only the beginning of their journey.”

Reyes explained further: “In show biz, they will go through the grinder. They will undergo stress and torture … they will realize that it’s not enough to sing your heart and lungs out, you also need guts and determination to remain standing in this industry.”

That, Reyes pointed out, “is their real growth. It is when idealism is confronted by raw facts that we get to separate the mere wannabes from the real warriors.”

TV Ratings (Sept. 12-15): "Pinoy Dream Academy" finale reigns supreme; "Survivor Philippines" outplays "Kahit Isang Saglit"

Here are the Top 10 daytime and primetime programs from September 12 to 15 based on the overnight ratings conducted by AGB Nielsen Philippines among Mega Manila households:

September 12 (Friday)


  1. Eat Bulaga! (GMA-7) - 23.5%
  2. Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan (GMA-7) - 21.5%
  3. Daisy Siete (GMA-7) - 20.5%
  4. Una Kang Naging Akin (GMA-7) - 20.4%
  5. Wowowee (ABS-CBN) - 17.5%
  6. El Cuerpo del Deseo (ABS-CBN) - 16.8%
  7. Ligaw Na Bulaklak (ABS-CBN) - 16%
  8. Marimar (GMA-7) - 15.9%
  9. Pilipinas, Game KNB? (ABS-CBN) - 15.7%
  10. SiS (GMA-7) - 9.7%


  1. Dyesebel (GMA-7) - 41.8%
  2. Codename: Asero (GMA-7) - 39.9%
  3. Ako Si Kim Samsoon (GMA-7) - 34.5%
  4. 24 Oras (GMA-7) - 30.2%
  5. My Husband's Woman (GMA-7) - 27.4%
  6. TV Patrol World (ABS-CBN) - 25.4%
  7. I Love Betty La Fea (ABS-CBN) - 24.6%
  8. Iisa Pa Lamang (ABS-CBN) - 24.1%
  9. Dyosa (ABS-CBN) - 23.6%
  10. Pinoy Dream Academy (ABS-CBN) - 23.4%

September 13 (Saturday)


  1. Eat Bulaga! (GMA-7) - 23.1%
  2. Pinoy Records (GMA-7) - 20.4%
  3. Wish Ko Lang (GMA-7) - 17.6%
  4. Wowowee (ABS-CBN) - 18.6%
  5. Startalk (GMA-7) - 14.2%
  6. Making of I.T.A.L.Y. (GMA-7) - 14.1%
  7. That's My Doc (ABS-CBN) - 11.7%
  8. Entertainment Live (ABS-CBN) - 10.9%
  9. Cinema FPJ: Da King on ABS-CBN (ABS-CBN) - 8.9%


  1. Pinoy Dream Academy: Performance Night (ABS-CBN) - 31.8%
  2. Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (GMA-7) - 28.7%
  3. Bitoy's Funniest Videos (GMA-7) - 28.6%
  4. Imbestigador (GMA-7) - 27.3%
  5. Celebrity Duets (GMA-7) - 24.1%
  6. Maalaala Mo Kaya (ABS-CBN) - 21.8%
  7. Varga (ABS-CBN) - 19.7%
  8. XXX (ABS-CBN) - 14.2%
  9. Nuts Entertainment (GMA-7) - 13.7%
  10. Sine Totoo (GMA-7) - 9.6%

September 14 (Sunday)


  1. ASAP ‘08 (ABS-CBN) 17.9%
  2. SOP (GMA-7) - 16.5%
  3. Takeshi's Castle (GMA-7) - 14.4%
  4. The Buzz (ABS-CBN) - 11.7%
  5. Your Song (ABS-CBN) - 11.4%
  6. Dear Friend (GMA-7) - 11.1%
  7. Showbiz Central (GMA-7) - 10.5%


  1. Pinoy Dream Academy: Awards Night (ABS-CBN) - 36.1%
  2. Tok! Tok! Tok! Isang Milyon Pasok (GMA-7) - 26.6%
  3. Kap's Amazing Stories (GMA-7) - 25.3%
  4. Goin' Bulilit (ABS-CBN) - 25%
  5. Mel & Joey (GMA-7) - 22.5%
  6. Rated K (ABS-CBN) - 20.9%
  7. All Star K (GMA-7) - 18.4%
  8. Sharon (ABS-CBN) - 17%
  9. Ful Haus (GMA-7) - 15.3%
  10. SNBO (GMA-7) - 12.2%

September 15 (Monday)


  1. Eat Bulaga! (GMA-7) - 23%
  2. Una Kang Naging Akin (GMA-7) - 21%
  3. Wowowee (ABS-CBN) - 19.6%
  4. Gaano Kadalas ang Minsan (GMA-7) - 19.5%
  5. Daisy Siete (GMA-7) - 18.9%
  6. Marimar (GMA-7) - 18.7%
  7. El Cuerpo del Deseo (ABS-CBN) - 17.9%
  8. Pilipinas, Game KNB? (ABS-CBN) - 15.8%
  9. Ligaw Na Bulaklak (ABS-CBN) - 14.9%
  10. SiS (GMA-7) - 13.5%


  1. Dyesebel (GMA-7) - 38.8%
  2. Codename: Asero (GMA-7) - 36.4%
  3. Ako Si Kim Samsoon (GMA-7) - 34.8%
  4. Survivor Philippines (GMA-7) - 31.8%
  5. 24 Oras (GMA-7) - 28.3%
  6. I Love Betty La Fea (ABS-CBN) - 28.2%
  7. TV Patrol World (ABS-CBN) - 27.8%
  8. Iisa Pa Lamang (ABS-CBN) - 25.8%
  9. Dyosa (ABS-CBN) - 25.3%
  10. My Husband's Woman (GMA-7) - 22.7%

Voting ends on ASAP 08

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Voting for the Grand Star Dreamer has ended and was closed at ASAP '08 at 2 this afternoon. The votes are now being tabulated and in a few hours the winner of Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2 will be announced.

Who have you voted deserving of the Grand Star Dreamer title? Witness the culmination of the country's top singing reality search tonight at 7:45 after Goin' Bulilit.

Congratulations Laarni!

Cuneta Astrodome was indeed filled with tension tonight as the much awaited announcement of Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2 Grand Star Dreamer has finally arrived. The Top Six Scholars were joined by their former co-Scholars, Vina Morales and Wency Cornejo to open the show with their rendition of Bon Jovi Its My Life and the legendary group Journeys Dont Stop Believin.

Tonight, the Little Dreamers Little Dream Bigayan Project was also launched. In the spirit of Christmas, the Academy kids imparted a collection of Christmas songs as the former Scholars roamed around the dome in order to collect donations to be given to the kids’ charity Childhope Asia Philippines.

Uberture host, Billy Crawford also imparted a song and dance number tonight. Together with the Banana Split girls, he performed his hit song Bright Lights. Aside from Billy, the Dream Mentors too prepared a little something to bid their Scholars farewell. Teacher Von, Teacher Monet, Teacher Kitchy, Direk Joey and Headmaster Ryan had their own interesting version of Earth, Wind and Fires September and the Tagalized version of Umbrella on stage.

To finally end the night, the much awaited announcement was made. Laarni was hailed the newest Pinoy Dream Academy Grand Star Dreamer. After garnering 651,696 votes, which is equivalent to 35.21 percent of the total text votes, she owned the stage with great pride and sang her very first single Manalig Ka. The Independent Woman from Sultan Kudarat was indeed overwhelmed upon hearing her win. She broke down in tears in the middle of her final song, but since the show must go on, she did her best to pull herself together.

Joining the new Grand Star Dreamer in the Top Three were Bugoy and Miguel who gathered a total of 26.70% and 13.69% respectively. Unfortunately, Liezel, who was a consistent Star Scholar didnt make it into the Top Three and had to settle with fourth place with a total of 247,346 text votes. She was followed by Van who garnered 112,065 votes while Cris filled in the last slot with only a total of 36,487 text votes.

Top Six Scholars face their Grand Dream Night

The night that Bugoy, Cris, Laarni, Liezel, Miguel and Van have been waiting for has finally arrived the Grand Dream Night. Again, they were asked to face the jurors, composed of Louie Ocampo, Girlie Rodis and their very own Dream Mentors, in order to gain commendations and be hailed deserving of the newest Grand Star Dreamer title. To open the act, the reality shows infamous hosts Nikki Gil, Billy Crawford, and Toni Gonzaga shared their part with an interesting opening number, followed by the performance of the expelled Scholars.

Live from the Cuneta Astrodome, Headmaster Ryan Cayabyab initiated the graduation rites as he called the Scholars one at a time to grant them his blessing. After the commencement exercise, the Scholars began with their show as they welcomed their guests with their rendition of Awit ng Pangarap. After the said welcome performance, the Top Six proceeded with their corresponding production numbers. Bugoy, Miguel and Van went in to wow the crowd first with their production number consisting of Ne-yo greatest hits Closer, Addiction and Because of You. The girls, on the other hand, heated up the dome with their sexy performance of Pussycat Dolls When I Grow Up, Buttons and Dont Cha.

The performances above were plainly teasers, the real show was their individual presentations. First to show to the whole world what he got was Miguel. With his songs Love is on the Way and Man in the Mirror, juror Girlie couldnt deny how great the Romantic Crooner had improved.

Laarni went next with her rendition of Manalig Ka and Boogie Wonderland. By the end of her act, she got a little off note, which Headmaster Ryan immediately noticed. But despite her mistake, Mr. C couldnt deny how well the Independent Woman pulled of the said number.

Teacher Monet couldnt be happier for the next performer, Cris, who finally found her focus. Aside from simply being naturally sexy and pretty, the in-house teacher also commended Cris for her remarkable artistry and ability to cope up with their lessons. Her great musical improvement was clearly displayed tonight through her rendition of Out Here on my Own and Candyman.

Van immediately wowed the crowd the very moment he took over the stage to sing Hard Habit to Break and Probinsyana. As Direk Joey said it, the young man from Cebu is indeed oozing with star quality. The media performance teacher claimed that though he didnt have the best voice quality among the bunch, his charms will surely bring him to different heights.

Speaking of star quality, juror Louie also found it in Liezel as she ruled the stage tonight with her version of I am Changing and Respect. The said juror couldnt be happier for the lass, because at long last, she came out of her shell. He even added that if she continues this development, she wont be far from becoming a great star in the near future.

Aside from Liezel, Bugoy too has come a very long way. After his presentation of Ligaya and Climb Every Mountain, Teacher Kitchy couldnt help but recall the lads audition piece, Guy Sebastian Angels Brought Me Here. According to the over-all voice teacher, given his great voice quality, he was indeed brought by angels to where he is now.

Laarni wins Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2

Laarni Lozada, a 22-year-old working student from Sultan Kudarat, was voted winner of ABS-CBN's top-rated talent show Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2 Sunday night.

Laarni, who was dubbed the show's "Independent Woman" for her quicksilver temper and amazing vocal range, garnered a total of 651,696 votes or 35.21 percent to beat Jay "Bugoy" Bogayan, a canteen janitor and farm hand from Camarines Sur, who placed second with 547,760 votes.

It was an emotional victory for Laarni who struggled in the early part of the contest and was in danger of elimination in her very first week in the academy. She also got in spats with fellow scholars because of her moods but always impressed the audience and the judges week after week because of her performance.

After being declared Grand Star Dreamer, Laarni was in tears as she sang the show-stopping "Manalig Ka", which was included in the scholars' compilation album "Pinoy Dream Academy Season Two Scholars Sing Cayabyab." Her prize package includes a laptop computer, component and LCD television from Sony, kitchen showcase from Whirlpool, P1.5 million worth of Crystal Clear purified water store franchise, a brand new house and lot from Globe Asiatique and a check worth P1 million from ABS-CBN.

Second-placer Bugoy sang "Climb Every Mountain" and gave an emotional speech to his supporters for bringing him one step closer to his dreams. "Mangarap po tayo. Kahit simpleng tao pwedeng mangarap!" he said as his fans cheered.

Balladeer and former Philippine Idol finalist Miguel Mendoza placed third with 13.69 percent or 253,402 votes. Mendoza, who entered in the academy with his girlfriend Bea Munoz, had been in danger of elimination several times but was always saved through text votes.

Five-time Star Scholar Liezel Garcia placed fourth in the contest with 13.36 percent or a total of 247,346 votes. Garcia, an early favorite in the contest, thanked the mentors for the training while inside the academy.

Van Roxas placed fifth with 6.06 percent or a total of 112,065 votes. The 18-year-old Roxas (real name Van Louelle Pojas) had revealed early in the contest that he did not tell his mother about how long he would stay inside the academy since he had to skip school to join. He was later prevailed upon to stay in the academy by the PDA mentors.

In last place was Cristina Pastor, 21, with 36,487 votes.

Lozada is the second PDA scholar to win the top prize. The first was Yeng Constantino in 2006.

Working student from Sultan Kudarat tops reality contest

It has been a long, winding road to Cuneta Astrodome for Laarni Lozada, the big winner of the second edition of the ABS-CBN reality talent search “Pinoy Dream Academy.”

Lozada, who hails from Sultan Kudarat, vied for the grand prize against Bugoy Drilon of Camarines Sur.

On Sunday night at the Cuneta Astrodome in Pasay City, the 23-year-old Education student from the Philippine Women’s University was declared the show’s second Grand Star Dreamer. Last edition’s winner was Yeng Constantino.

Just like Constantino, who took an FX shuttle to get to the PDA auditions, Lozada also endured numerous trials before reaching the grand finals and winning P1 million and a house and lot.

In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer Monday, she recalled that, at a very young age, she worked in the palengke (wet market) and farm in her hometown of Isulan so that she’d have money for school.

“Sanay akong magsaka (I’m used to working in the farm). I was only in Grade Five then,” she recounted. “I have six other siblings. Life has always been hard for my family.”

At age 15, she moved to Manila to continue her studies. “Even at that young age I knew that I had to leave our province if I wanted to give a better life to my family.”

While enrolled at the PWU, she also worked part-time as wedding singer. “I also sang in a restaurant and in school functions.”

She was a regular singer for PWU’s Bayanihan Dancers. “They get me whenever they needed someone to sing kundiman (traditional Filipino love song) for their shows.”

PDA headmaster Ryan Cayabyab described Lozada’s journey as “interesting,” as colorful and melodramatic as any local telenovela.

“The last time she saw her mother was three years ago,” Cayabyab related. “She has gone through so much.”

“Laarni is very volatile,” mentor Jose Javier Reyes related. “During the early part of the contest, she kept crying. I told her that she can’t be too emotional in show biz. To her credit, she’s like a sponge. She absorbs everything we teach her. She’s a graduate of the school of hard knocks.”

Counselor Randy Dellosa said that he helped Lozada “manage her intense mood swings and sensitivity to criticism.”

“She started as a cry-baby, but by the end of the show’s three-month run, viewers saw that she’s become a fighter,” Cayabyab noted.

Lozada acknowledged that she had learned a lot from the mentors. “Apart from musical training, they also taught us how to handle ourselves, by making us interact with industry professionals like Direk Joey [Reyes] and psychologists like Dr. Randy.”

In a lot of ways, Lozada and Drilon’s stories are reminiscent of fellow provincial singing champion Nora Aunor who traveled from the railroad tracks of Naga where she sold samalamig (iced sweet drinks) to singing glory in the 1960s-1970s talent search “Tawag ng Tanghalan.”

“Both Laarni and Bugoy are basically simple people,” mentor Reyes described the top two contestants. “They represent the dreams of ordinary Filipinos. They give people hope.”

Drilon, according to Reyes, “is a simple probinsiyano. He’s a farmer’s son. He used to work as janitor in a school in Camarines Sur.”

Drilon, who’s 18 years old, told the Inquirer that he worked as janitor in the cafeteria of Unibersidad de Santa Isabel to cover his tuition as a student of Food Service and Institutional Management.

Reyes related that Drilon, who’s also a member of the church choir, practiced singing by serenading the family’s carabao Guppy.

“They’ve really changed a lot throughout the contest’s run,” Reyes said. “Bugoy told me that when he went home to Camarines Sur recently, his carabao Guppy didn’t recognize him. Susuwagin siya! (The carabao was going to attack him!)”

“Guppy now has her own baby, Gupita,” Drilon said.

Counselor Dellosa described the contestants’ 13-week stay in the Academy as a “journey of self-discovery and personal growth.”

According to Dellosa, one important lesson that the aspirants learned was coping with the pressures of competition.

As the grand finals drew near, the Top 6 contestants felt the heat, Dellosa related. “Stress built up. Tempers flared and their fierce determination to win tested the strength of friendships.”

Dellosa noted that the Top 6 generally have “the amazing capacity to be fierce competitors … and yet remain closely bonded as friends.”

In two shows over the weekend, the Top 6 finalists—Drilon, Lozada, Van Roxas of Cebu, Miguel Mendoza of Alabang, Cris Pastor of Parañaque and Liezel Garcia of Dubai/Puerto Galera—competed for various prizes including P1 million and a house and lot.

The big winner was determined through text votes among the network’s viewers, both local and international (through The Filipino Channel).

Pastor landed in 6th place with 36,481 text votes; Roxas in 5th with 112,065; Garcia in 4th place with 247,346; Mendoza in 3rd place with 253,412; Drilon in 2nd place with 549,760; and Lozada in the top slot with 651,696 text votes.

After the show, mentor Reyes said he got emotional when he met with the aspirants backstage.

“I cried because these kids have grown so much,” Reyes explained. “I’m proud of them.”

Top 6 are ready for the Grand Dream Night

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Top 6 scholars Miguel, Van, Cris, Bugoy, Laarni and Liezel have been practicing nonstop for the Grand Dream Night and are highly anticipating the culminating event. Each employed different means of preparing for their solo performances and believed that they were well-equipped to be the Grand Star Dreamer.

In preparation for the big night, Miguel and Cris conserved their voices and also prayed intently for smooth-sailing productions. Liezel and Laarni on the other hand devoted time to practicing. While Van was more concerned about memorizing the choreography, Bugoy conditioned himself and already internalized his numbers.

Miguel was ready to showcase everything he has learned from day one until the last. He believed that he deserved to be the Grand Star Dreamer since he had talent aside from possessing musical and hosting skills.

A more confident Liezel is to be expected on the upcoming Dream Night. The Pride of Puerto Galera was proud of her exotic features and her distinct voice and knew that this was a factor to stand out in the industry

Bugoy on the other hand was more focused on entertaining his fans. He felt that he had improved a lot and he deserves to be the ultimate winner.

Meanwhile, a more sensual and captivating Cris is also one of the things to look forward to. Several weeks in the Academy has changed her beliefs and perceptions in life. In fact, the Singing Interior Designer would want to contribute more to her charity once she leaves the Academy.

Van is determined to give his best in his final performance to be worthy of the people’s votes. Apart from his dashing look, he knew that his ability to command on stage was an essential characteristic of a winner.

Laarni is ready to give her all on the Grand Dream Night. Though everyone was deserving of the Grand Star Dreamer title, she knew that she had what it takes to be the champion since she had the spirit and the drive. She was able to rise from the trials she experienced in the Academy and she believed that a willful spirit was crucial in the industry.

Top Six Scholars hold a grand reunion before the Grand Dream Night

After their band rehearsals yesterday, the Scholars were surprised to see formally set tables inside the Academy. Upon seeing the tables, they already had a strong feeling that they would be accommodating some visitors, so they got a little excited.

Immediately, they hopped in their best outfits, just like Teacher Monet instructed them. After they finished preparing themselves, the Dream Mentors Headmaster Ryan, Teacher Monet, Teacher Von, Teacher Kitchy and Direk Joey arrived to join them, as they waited for their special guests.

To start the party rolling, Headmaster asked Cris to sing one of her songs for Saturday. And while she was in the middle of her act, she was surprised to see her mom enter the scene, singing an excerpt from Dahil Mahal na Mahal Kita.

Bugoy’s mom arrived too and shared with them her rendition of The Greatest Love of All. She wasn’t quite familiar with the lyrics, but her song was indeed heartfelt. On Miguel’s mom’s arrival, she serenaded her son with Leah Navarro’s Kailangan Kita. Upon hearing her, it was pretty evident where Miguel got his great musicality. For Liezel, on the other hand, G-clef’s oldie but goodie entitled I Understand How You Feel was interpreted by her mom.

During Laarni’s turn, the event got quite emotional. It has been quite a long time since the two saw each other, so the Independent Woman couldn’t help but burst into tears upon feeling the mixture of happiness and longing take over her. And in order to calm the lass down, her mom dedicated to her the song Close to You by The Carpenters.

Though Van’s mom was not present last night, his dad dropped by to show him his support and sing to him one of his favorite songs, Can’t Fight this Feeling.

Surprisingly, the Top Six Scholars’ visitors just kept on coming. Aside from their beloved parents, former Scholars—Sheng, Bea, Christian, Apple, Iñaki, Bunny, Chivas, Poy and Sen—dropped by the Academy to bid the Final Six good luck.

2 PDA scholars visit charities

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Top 6 scholars of Pinoy Dream Academy (PDA) Season 2 have started to carry out their assignments for Dream Bigayan.

After the successful Concert for A Cause last Saturday, Liezel Garcia and Laarni Losala personally went to their respective charities to bestow gifts and necessities to their beneficiaries.

Liezel visited the Emmaus House of the Apostolate Home for the Aged to deliver wheelchairs, food, and other necessities to the elderly there.

The event, which was in cooperation of DZMM Aksyon Ngayon, went on smoothly, and the help given was very much appreciated.

Meanwhile, Laarni also visited her chosen charity - the Ambassadors of Light Blind Chorale – to give the blind people musical instruments that they could use in their rehearsals and performances.

The founder of the group, Mr. Anderson Go, thanked the Independent Woman profusely and advised her to always put her feet on the ground.

Which of the other Top 6 scholars will visit their respective charities next?

Watch PDA Season 2 Uberture at 5:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday and PDA Dream Academy Season 2 Primetime, after “Iiisa Pa Lamang” on ABS-CBN 2.

Miguel of "Pinoy Dream Academy" performs at Duty Free

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Top 6 Scholars' special assignments for "Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2" includes Dream BIGayan, a chance for the scholars to donate to their favorite charity.

These assignments are still being carried out days before the Grand Dream Nights and for Miguel's part, he had the opportunity to perform at Duty Free with the Shadow Rondalia.

Miguel got the chance to leave the Academy one afternoon to fulfill his assignment for Dream BIGayan. He was transported to Duty Free where the Shadow Rondalia, a group of talented blind men who play the guitar, mandolin, and other stringed instruments, awaited him. The ensemble was there to accompany Miguel in his mini-concert for a cause.

After rehearsing with the Shadow Rondalia, Miguel went on to the stage for his first one-man show geared toward raising funds for his chosen charity, the Mindanao Emergency Response Network Thru Mindanao Tulong Bakwet.

An appreciative crowd who gave cash donations to be able to take part in the noble cause, welcomed Miguel's gig at Duty Free. By the end of the show, the total money raised was an impressive P24,690, a part of which was given to the Shadow Rondalia.

PDA's Laarni and Liezel visit respective charities

Two of the the Top 6 scholars of Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2 have started to carry out their assignments for Dream BIGayan! 

After the successful "Concert for A Cause" last Saturday, September 6, Liezel and Laarni went to their respective chosen charities to provide gifts and necessities to their beneficiaries.

Liezel visited the Emmaus House of the Apostolate Home for the Aged on Sunday to deliver wheelchairs, food, and other necessities to the elderly. The activity, which was launched with DZMM Aksyon Ngayon, went on smoothly and the help given was very much appreciated.

Laarni meanwhile visited the Ambassadors of Light Blind Chorale. She provided the group with musical instruments they could use for their rehearsals and performances. 

The founder of the group, Mr. Anderson Go, thanked Laarni, who has been dubbed "Independent Woman", profusely and advised her to always put her feet on the ground.

Streaks of show biz light bring inspiration

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Recently, we were blown away by Jerrold Tarog and Ruel Antipuesto’s brilliantly disturbing “Confessional” (a must-see for film buffs). This week, Adolf Alix Jr.’s thematically intriguing but technically flawed black-and-white drama, “Tambolista” is on view. Unfortunately, for every “Confessional,” there’s also a “Kalakal,” “Hugot” or “Eskandalo.” But, let’s stop there and count our blessings.

On local TV, we’re pleased to note that a good number of once mediocre talents on ABS-CBN’s “Pinoy Dream Academy, Season Two” have since blossomed from ambitious ducklings into performing swans. Some exercises thrown their way are questionable, but the current batch is nonetheless a big improvement over Yeng Constantino’s group.

Our top scholars: Liezel Garcia (for her unique voice), Jay “Bugoy” Bogayan (seamless vocal technique) and Laarni Losala (astounding range).

On QTV-11’s “One Proud Mama,” we found ourselves riveted when we caught Jaya acting like one proud daughter to her irrepressible mother, comedienne Elizabeth Ramsey. The alternately hilarious and heartwarming episode revealed how much the “unlikely” pair loved each other unconditionally.

It was hard not to be won over by the unabashed demonstration of affection: While Ramsey shared some tragic and comic anecdotes (she said she knelt down when she saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time because, well, she thought it was a humongous replica of the Blessed Virgin Mary!), Jaya would suddenly hug her mother—and sob like a little girl!

"Pinoy Dream Academy" scholars intensely preparing for grand finals

Now that the Grand Dream Nights are just a few days away, the Top 6 Scholars of "Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2" are undergoing intense training from all their mentors.

The final week before the much-awaited commencement exercises proves to be a tough one as the Dream Mentors are making sure that this season's crème de la crème have not forgotten everything they've learned about performing.

Teacher Kitchy has been busy polishing the Top 6's singing techniques for the past few days. With the help of Teacher Monet, she has been pointing out the things that the Top 6 are still doing wrong and reminding them of the proper ways of correcting them.

Meanwhile, Teacher Maribeth hasn't changed her stern and strict manner of teaching. She has been pushing the Scholars to perfect their choreography for the Grand Dream Nights, reminding them that the two-night finale is going to be the culmination of every single lesson they have learned in their three-month stay inside the Academy.

Voting for the Top 6 Scholars is still very much open. To support your favorite, key in PDA space BUGOY, PDA space LAARNI, PDA space MIGUEL, PDA space LIEZEL, PDA space VAN, or PDA space CRIS on your cellphones and send to 231 for Smart and Talk & Text, and Addict Mobile subscribers, and 2331 for Globe, TM, Sun, and Bayan subscribers. You can also vote online thru
Voting officially ends on September 14, 1 PM, on ASAP '08.

"Pinoy Dream Academy" top Scholars' concert for a cause a success

Monday, September 8, 2008

After accumulating P266,400 from ticket and merchandise sales, it is more than safe to say that the Top 6 Scholars' Dream BIGayan Concert for a Cause staged last Saturday, September 6, was a huge success.

The show was part of the Top 6's mission to raise funds for their chosen charities. It was filled with breathtaking song-and-dance numbers and surprises that the viewers all enjoyed.

Besides giving great performances, the Top 6's hosting abilities were also put to a test when each of them got the chance to introduce a fellow Scholar using spiels that they wrote themselves.

They also got to answer intriguing questions from Toni Gonzaga in the mini-talk show part of the program that certainly piqued everyone's curiosity.

Meanwhile, the partial results of the text votes were revealed during the last few minutes of the Concert for a Cause.

Van on text votes

Friday, September 5, 2008

So the so-called Cebuano/Visayan text votes and the perceived diehard texters are not products of the imagination, after all.

Cebuano Pinoy Dream Academy Season II scholar Van Louelle Pojas has been included in the Top 6, thanks to your votes.

Van’s close friend Hansen Nichols was dropped from the list for having garnered a lower percentage of text votes. But the support for Van does not end there, mind you, faithful and loyal Visayan texters.

Van’s handler Mario Colmenares immediately texted me to help seek further support for Van until the final stretch of the reality show on Sept. 13 (the awarding is on the 14th).

Apple Abarque experiences on PDA

Friday, August 29, 2008

Last Friday, some scribes covering the entertainment beat met ex-Pinoy Dream Academy Season II scholar Apple Abarquez where the beauteous Cebuana narrated her experience inside the Academy.

She was surprised at the low support from televiewers as shown in the text votes that she gathered but said she has no bitterness. She’s sad, though, because she felt she still has so much to learn but then she had to accept the fate.

During the presscon, Apple’s Mama Lita Abarquez said that her daughter’s early exit was a relief for the family. They saw how Apple had sacrificed so much of her private life inside the academy especially with the unfounded issues thrown against the lovely Cebuana warbler.

Apple had a show in Davao last weekend and she’ll do another one in Ayala Center Cebu this weekend.

She had to put her college studies on hold (one year and a half to go) as she waits for her contract to expire. With her talent and good looks, Apple is expected to rise to fame even more than the other co-scholars.

Serna: Save Van with your text votes

Another Cebuano PDA scholar, Van Pojas, is in danger of getting expelled from the academy this weekend. This is another challenge for the Cebuanos to prove that our text votes really count and that the so-called Cebuano vote is not a hoax after all.

Van’s manager, Mario Colmenares, when told that there is no reason to feel scared of the possibility of his talent getting expelled. Van is one of the most popular scholars not only because of his talent but also, and more noticeably so, because of his smoldering looks. You can only wish that those loud applauses can be transformed into text votes.

Text PDA VAN to 231 (for Smart, Talk ‘n Text and Addict Mobile subscribers) and 2331 (for Globe, Touch Mobile and Sun Cellular subscribers) and be counted.

The Academy’s finest meets ASAP’s pride

Sunday, August 24, 2008

While the scholars were cooking up a storm early this afternoon, the bell alarmed signaling Laarni’s performance on ASAP ‘08. Everyone immediately gathered in the living room and was soon glued to the television. All were awe struck at the powerful voices they were beholding and they gushed on about how captivating their fellow scholar was.

Laarni was truly a star as she shone in her showdown with ASAP’s pride, Zsa Zsa Padilla. She sang a heartfelt rendition of Hiram and had no inhibitions in expressing emotions. She continued to internalize all throughout the performance and was able to execute lessons she learned in the Academy.

The Independent Woman was exhilarated with the experience and was very proud to be doing a duet with the renowned Divine Diva. Zsa Zsa was equally pleased with their number and she acknowledged Laarni’s fantastic interpretation of the piece. Before they parted, she reminded Laarni to continue inspiring people with her music.

Meanwhile, the scholars returned to planning a birthday surprise for host, Nikki Gil.

Martin Nievera visits Pinoy Dream Academy

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Concert King Martin Nievera, who's been known as the "Concert King of the Philippines" for 25 years now, visited the Pinoy Dream Academy on Tuesday. He was there to share his wisdom and experience as a top-notch, veteran performer.

Though celebrities have been dropping surprise visits in the Academy for the past weeks, the scholars were still overwhelmed when Nievera walked inside the Academy.

The Concert King sat down with the scholars as he spoke of his experiences as a performer and host in the course of his 25-year career.

The scholars were all ears when Nievera advised them to cherish their stay inside the Academy as well as their mentors and fellow scholars.

The singer also told them to never stop reinventing themselves, as it is an endless process and that they should always feel that they are winners no matter what.

Furthermore, he reminded the scholars how blessed they are for being granted an opportunity that was unheard of for struggling singers during his time.

A tête-à-tête with Nievera wouldn't be complete without his witty remarks and funny gabs and the scholars got a firsthand experience of these.

By the end of Martin's visit, the scholars have had their share of laughs that can last a week and priceless lessons that can help them in the future.

What more exciting happenings will take place inside the Academy? How many more celebrities will the scholars meet?

To find out watch PDA nightly after after "Iisa Pa Lamang" only on ABS-CBN.

The real challenge is outside the Academy

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One thing that Bea, Christian, and Apple, the latest expelled Scholars of Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2, have in common is that a lot of intrigues have been thrown at them while they were still inside the Academy. Now that they are back in the real world, they are more than ready to clear all the issues.

Bea easily got the attention of PDA viewers with her strong presence on screen. Some think that the girl from Alabang is highly opinionated and pro-active while others think she’s bossy and snobbish. The perception might have been borne by her tiff with Laarni in their first few weeks inside the Academy.

What does she have to say about this?

“I am misjudged to be unfriendly because of the way I look but I’m really friendly. I am used to dealing with people from all walks of life and I am not the type who judge people based on where they come from,” she says.

What about the misunderstandings she had with Laarni?

“It was a matter of adjusting. I must admit that it wasn’t easy to get used to her but I can honestly say that I like her for who she is. It just took a while for me to adjust but when I finally did, it was easier to reach out,” Bea says matter-of-factly. She also adds that from the very start, she has utmost respect for Laarni and her talent.

What’s the status of her relationship with Miguel?

“Miguel and I are in an open relationship, which means that we have each other for support. What we have is both romantic and platonic because we acknowledge the fact that we can’t commit [to each other] full-time because we still have dreams to chase,” she explains.

Christian made quite an impression on the viewers for his largely undeveloped talent. Besides proving himself, the 25-year-old Hero channel dubbing talent also had to cope with several issues inside the Academy. One of these was the departure of his two closest friends, Ross and Jet.

How did he feel when Ross and Jet left?

“I was really scared at first because everybody had a group inside the Academy. I instantly clicked with Ross and Jet because we were the oldest Scholars, so when they decided to drop out, I found myself alone. I was hesitant to hang out with the other Scholars because I was afraid that they’d find it intrusive but they were the ones who welcomed me with open arms. I was sad that my two closest friends left the Academy but the other Scholars made it easier for me,” he explains.

Christian was also one of the Scholars who had a fight with Laarni. The two had a misunderstanding while preparing for an assignment for movie/TV director Jose Javier Reyes, who is a resident mentor.

How did he settle the problem with Laarni?

“I’m not the type to bear grudges. After our misunderstanding, I reached out to Laarni and we actually got really close. She became one of my best friends inside the Academy and while I was still there, I confided in her,” he intimates.

Among the three, Apple is the one who had the most intrigues thrown at her. The 19-year-old Cebuana proved that she can be friends with everybody but some questioned her intentions, especially about Miguel.

What does she have to say to the people who think she is trying to steal Miguel from Bea?

“Miguel and I are just friends and Bea is my Scholar best friend. The three of us have always been tight and after Bea left, Miguel and I just carried on with the friendship that we have,” she explains.

Did she get the chance to talk things out with Bea?

“Actually, I was with Bea and her family the day after I was expelled. For us, there’s nothing to talk about because we know the real score. Miguel and I are just friends and Bea knows that,” she insists.

How about the baby talk that some viewers find irritating?

“I baby talk because Mommy Bunny finds it funny. She misses Daddy Chivas and Jether so much and whenever I baby talked, she was amused and temporarily forgot about her longing for her family. I just wanted to help Mommy Bunny deal with being away from her family,” she says.

Serna: 'For the First Time,' a potential hit

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just like any other Cebuano who has been following the ongoing Pinoy Dream Academy (PDA) Season II and rooting for their fellow Cebuano, I still cannot figure out how on earth was PDA scholar Apple Abarquez dropped from the rooster by garnering a low percentage of text votes.

Had the vaunted Cebuano vote lost its strength this time? Or have the Cebuanos been remiss in supporting a talented and promising entertainer from their own ranks?

These and a few other questions still continue to haunt my memory, tsk-tsk!

PDA 2 scholars meet the press

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

As a part of the public image management lessons of the Pinoy Dream Academy (PDA) scholars, esteemed and well-known members of the press will help prepare them for future showbiz interviews and press conferences.

Manila Standard Today Entertainment Editor Isah Red shared to them lessons on public imaging and maintaining good relationships with members of the press.

The respected entertainment editor also gave the scholars tips on how to stick to their image and evolve when needed for fans not to grow tired of them.

The scholars were also sent to the Dance Hall where well-known entertainment reporters and columnists Cristy Fermin and Ogie Diaz were waiting for them.

The two seasoned reporters grilled Laarni Losala, Apple Abarquez, and Miguel Mendoza. The three answered the fiery questions while the rest of the scholars and Isah Red watched them from the classroom.

Cris Pastor and Liezel Garcia were interviewed next by WRR DJ Laila via a phone patch.

PDA Season 2 airs at 5:30 p.m. and PDA Season 2 Primetime, weeknights after "My Girl" on ABS-CBN.

There’s life after Pinoy Dream Academy

Saturday, August 2, 2008

For Bunny, Iñaki, and Sen, recently expelled from Pinoy Dream Academy, along with Poy, an honorary scholar, life goes on. They may not have made it to Pinoy Dream Academy Season 2’s Top 6 but that doesn’t stop them from pursuing their dreams.


Bunny, who wished she’d be the grand winner, is happy that she is now reunited with her daughter and husband. She is also glad that finally her cyst in her throat had been removed and is now undergoing therapy. “No matter how long that will take, I will willingly go through so that I can go back to singing,” she says.

She discovered that she had a cyst in her throat that greatly affected her singing inside the Academy.

“I have gone through a lot, and this is just the beginning for me, my husband and my daughter,” she adds.

Chivas, her husband, who was with her in the Academy had been expelled earlier than she was because of his episodic collapses.

Life became harder without her husband by her side in the Academy, but she never gave up the fight.

“I really want to thank them and I hope that they continue supporting me outside the Academy. I’m really doing everything that I can to make them happy and hopefully, the removal of my cyst would be the start of better performances dedicated to them,” she says.


Iñaki, nephew of ’80s rock icon Juan Miguel Salvador, is taking things one at a time. Already, the young man is being deluged with offers to perform here and there. But now that he is still tied down to the Academy’s supervision, he has to weigh things over. He may not have ended up in the Top 6, but he is very thankful for the amount of exposure he got through his stay in the Academy.

While others see him an arrogant rich kid, others think he’s a strong-willed young man who knows what he wants in life.

Now that he’s back in the outside world, Iñaki is aware of the negative things some people say about him. He admits that he may have done a couple of stuff that came off as irritating or even offensive to others but he’s also humble enough to own them up and apologize to those who think they were offended.

“I hope that the people would give me another chance to prove that contrary to what some think, I am actually a good person,” he says.

Is there anything he regrets doing or not doing inside the Academy?

“I regret the things I did that have offended anyone or hurt their feelings in any way,” he says, sincerity evident in his eyes.

What are his plans after PDA?

“I want to pursue my singing career. Maybe come up with an album or venture into songwriting. I want to work with my friends, like Christian Bautista and Sam Concepcion, and of course my idol Gary V,” says the young man who is very much into theater.


Many couldn’t believe Sen, a cancer survivor, who Media Performance Mentor Joey Reyes called “The Saint” had been expelled.

He was a strong favorite to last through to the finals.

Sen won the followers of the nightly Pinoy Dream Academy with his good looks, affable personality, and a talent that was nearly taken away from him in a car crash. The accident was a blessing in disguise for Hansen as it gave doctors the window to see that he had thyroid cancer.

The prognosis was devastating. He couldn’t use his voice to sing, not ever. Yet, persistence and perseverance became his best friends. After successfully battling cancer, he came home to his mother’s native country to start a career as a singer.

He auditioned to be a scholar on the first season of Pinoy Dream Academy but unfortunately, he didn’t make it. When the Academy’s door opened for a new batch of scholars, Sen tried his luck once more.

What made him audition again?

“I have always been a fighter. I was inflicted with cancer and I fought it. I came home to the Philippines to fulfill my dreams and there’s no way a rejection is going to hold me back. I didn’t make it before but it doesn’t mean that I can’t make it the second time around,” he says.

Was he aware of the risks?

“Very much, actually. I knew I was risking getting another rejection but I still did it anyway. My efforts paid off and I was able to get in this time,” he says with a smile.

Was he disappointed when he was expelled?

“Of course I was disappointed. I was really close to getting in to the Top 6 but I got voted out. Nonetheless, I don’t believe that getting expelled makes me less of a performer. What I believe is that my getting expelled is just a start of good things to come. As long as I continue working hard, I know that I’ll be able to achieve my dreams,” he says.


Among the four, Poy is the only one who was not able to snag a spot in this season’s Top 16. She was one of the four wildcards who vied for the chance to get into the Academy. Unfortunately, she failed to get the text votes needed for her to become an official scholar.

To her and her fans’ delight, she was given the opportunity to enter the Academy as an honorary scholar tasked to clinch the star scholar title thrice. Each star scholar award was equivalent to a prize money of P50,000 and had she fulfilled her assignment as an honorary scholar, she could’ve decided whether to take home P150,000 or carry on as a regular scholar and battle it out with the rest for this season’s Grand Star Dreamer title. Although she was consistently in the Top 3 each week, Poy failed to win the star scholar award.

Was she disappointed when she failed to carry out her assignment?

“No. In my opinion, I was able to fulfill my job as an honorary scholar. In my four-week stay, I consistently made it to the Top 3 and that’s worth everything for me,” she said. She also added that she is really happy that she was able to help bring out the best in the other scholars as her presence made them work harder.

What does she plan to do after her stint on PDA?

“Strike while the iron is hot! I will surely grab any opportunity that comes my way,” she said, beaming.

Who does she want to win this season?

“In terms of vocal ability, I think it’s a toss between Laarni and Bugoy,” she replied.

As different as Bunny, Iñaki, Sen, and Poy are perceived by people, one thing’s for sure: they all have made impressions that will never be easily forgotten. They are four individuals who dared to fulfill their dreams inside the Academy. Even though they didn’t clinch spots in this season’s Top 6, they have successfully endeared themselves to the viewers who are eagerly waiting for the next step that they are going to make.

Gary Valenciano imparts wisdom to "Pinoy Dream Academy 2" scholars

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano, who is celebrating his 25th year in the music industry, visited the eleven remaining Scholars of the reality show "Pinoy Dream Academy". He gave them words of wisdom and gamely jammed with them in singing some of his hits.

The Scholars were pleasantly surprised by the unannounced visit of Gary V. who sat them down for an inspirational talk filled with advice. Gary V. asked each of them to tell him about how their love for music started. After hearing every single Scholar out, he went on to share insights on the music industry.

He also advised them to never give up on music, to sing not to impress but to express, to give 100% in everything that they do, and to make sure that they touch hearts whenever they perform. He also reminded the Scholars that there is a big difference between excellence and perfection.

As his talk with the Scholars came to a close, he asked Bugoy to demonstrate expressive singing to stress its difference from impressive singing. While Bugoy was in the middle of his performance, "Uberture" host Billy Crawford entered the Academy and talked Gary V. into jamming with them.

Gary V. gamely gave in to Billy's request and sang "Shake It Off" and the remix of "Shout For Joy" while Billy and the Scholars danced along with him.

The scholars evaluate their performances

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gala Night is only a few days away and the scholars are yet again to perform on stage. To better execute their presentations, it was crucial for them to see what areas need developments and what should be highlighted. Teacher Kitchy then showed the scholars their Dream Night performances and subjected it to evaluation.

The Voice Coach once again emphasized muscle relaxation. She saw this in Apple and Christian presentation among others. Though Apple shed tears during the Dream Night, she still went ahead and gave a remarkable performance. Her voice was still relaxed enabling the muscles to function properly. Christian song and dance number was quite unique from the rest. Teacher Kitchy pointed out that the bobbing of his head actually helped relax his neck muscles and had him deliver a good presentation.

Liezel on the other hand was acknowledged for her musicality. However, the stress in her voice was also evident. The scholar herself noticed how her forehead scrunched up when she sang and decided to avoid this habit.

Bunny felt a little discomfort as she sang her number again. The scholar mom had a powerful song which required deep breathing and much more air supply. Teacher Kitchy then suggested her to practice deep breathing and then belting it out.

The singing bunch was divided into their organizations to practice their performances. Teacher Anna coached the Pupilars while Teacher Kitchy tutored One Voice. Bugoy, who belonged to Team Pupilars, commented that he was nervous with singing on stage. Teacher Anna advised him to get used to it. Besides, the Farmers Son had a nice voice though he was a bit tense.

With two excellent coaches challenging the scholars relentlessly, who would apply these teachings and give an outstanding performance? Catch the latest developments of the 16 dreamers on Uberture with Billy Crawford!

PDA's Teacher Monet admits frustration with scholar Laarni

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Teacher Monet, the Voice Mentor who was given the responsibility of being the in-house teacher for this season, decided to step up and help out in ironing out the kinks in the relationship between PDA scholar Laarni.

To help smooth things out, Teacher Monet had a talk with all the cholars, except for Laarni, Tuesday night. They discussed ways to improve their relationship with Laarni. Laarni was in the Counseling Room while Teacher Monet talked to the others.

Teacher Monet gave time for all the Scholars to voice out their issues with Laarni. He then advised them to be more patient with her. Although he admitted that he, too, gets frustrated with Laarni at times, he said that resorts to positive reinforcements to avoid further conflict. He asked the scholars to do the same and refrain from talking to her in a way that creates friction. In short, he advised them to accept her for who she is.

Issues between Laarni and her fellow scholars began cropping up during their first week inside the Academy. Her former teammates in One Voice (the PDA scholars are divided into two teams, One Voice and Pupilars) could not get along with her and found fault in many of the things she did.

Some of the scholars earlier felt bad for Laarni,  especially those from the Pupilars team--they felt her One Voice teammates were just ganging up on her. This perception, however, changed when Laarni transferred to Pupilars and the same problems occured.

Pinoy Dream Academy

Friday, January 11, 2008

Pinoy Dream Academy (also known as PDA) is the Philippine version of Endemol's Star Academy. The format is similar to Big Brother, where 16, later 20, finalists (billed as "scholars" throughout the series) will live inside the Academy for four months and will be trained by guest teachers to be multimedia performers. Activities in the Academy will be monitored 24/7 by the headmaster.

ABS-CBN affiliate Studio 23 is airing a companion program under the same title. It is a separate show from the flagship station that will feature scenes that were not shown on the ABS-CBN program and has different hosts.

Awit ng Pangarap ("Song of the Dream"), made during the show's run by contestants Yeng Constantino, Yvan Lambatan, and Kristoff Abrenica; became the main theme song of the show, although "We're All In This Together" was used earlier in the pre-season specials as the unofficial theme song.

ABS-CBN has just announced last September 1, 2007 (Entertainment Live) that there will be an audition for the next season of Pinoy Dream Academy. It is also said that one of the new host will be Ryan Agoncillo and the new Headmaster will Mr. Ryan Cayabyab.

The Academy

Like the Pinoy Big Brother House, The Academy is found facing the ABS-CBN studios in Quezon City. Although it seemed that the Academy building is erected right next to the House, in reality, the living quarters of the Academy is the House area, modified and expanded to include the other rooms in the Academy, such as the administration rooms, dance studio and piano room. Next to the House is a concert hall where performances by the contestants would be held.


  • Headmaster: Ryan Cayabyab (Season 2)
  • Dance Teacher: Maribeth Bichara
  • Fitness Teacher: Gretchen Malalad, Wendy Valdez (Season 2)
  • Voice Teachers: Moy Ortiz, Annie Quintos, Cecile Bautista, and Sweet Plantado
  • Diction Teacher: Von Arroyo, Mae Rivera (Season 2)
  • Performance Teacher: Malou de Guzman
  • Media Performance Teacher: Joey Reyes
  • Songwriting Teacher: Raimund Marasigan
  • Belly Dance Teacher: Kat Fonacier
  • Media Ethics Teacher: Boots Anson Roa
  • Technical Voice Teacher: Kitchie Molina (former juror of several PDA Performance Nights)