So who broke Iya's heart?
So who broke Iya's heart?
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - October 29, 2008 - 12:00am

Could it be you, Drew?

At the mini-presscon yesterday to launch her debut album titled Finally, Iya Villania revealed that yes, indeed, somebody broke her heart and she hardly recovered from it.

No, Iya clarified, it wasn’t Drew Arellano, her boyfriend of four years, but a guy she met in grade school back in Sydney where she and her older sisters were born and raised by Filipino parents (Raymundo Villania Jr. of Daet, Camarines Norte; and Elena Ebelar of Laguna) and had their early education. (Iya finished her last year of high school at Colegio de San Agustin and she’s graduating cum laude with a degree in Psychology from La Salle in December.)

“He was my puppy love,” said Iya. “I was only about 10 then. He was a Spaniard and he was actually also interested in my best friend. That puppy love lasted for only one week because he eventually chose my best friend,” Iya added, laughing, “and I was left broken-hearted.”

Now, 22, Iya had only another serious relationship with a non-showbiz guy before she fell in love with Drew, 28.

“It’s the longest relationship I ever have so far,” said Iya. “We click because we are both family-oriented. He’s close to my family and I am close to his.”

In fact, besides her mom Elena, Iya likewise invited Drew’s mom Bernie to the presscon.

Asked if Drew (who, before he entered showbiz, was the first boyfriend of Nancy Jane...formerly Castiglione...before she was linked to a few other actors) is faithful, Iya said, “I believe so.” Is she the jealous/possessive type? “No, I’m not. Actually, he’s dominating which is okay with me because marami siyang alam and I really need guidance — parental guidance.”

Although, as Iya disclosed, all their barkadas have settled down, she and Drew are not getting married just yet — “But we do talk about it every now and then.”

A lady reporter asked Iya if she’s not following the (bad) example of other actresses who blithely have babies out of wedlock.

“It’s a big no-no. No kids before marriage.”

Produced by Benjamin Gabitan, Vanessa Marcelo and Mally Paraguya, and released by Viva Records and ALV Talent Circuit (of Arnold Vegafria who’s managing Iya), Finally carries these songs: Spell’s Broken, Morning After, Definitely Lonely, Do You Think We’ll Be Alright?, It Takes A Man and A Woman, My First Broken Heart, I Never Cry, Always, Poison, Always, With Me Tonight and All Over Me.

Which song is she dedicating to Drew?

“Two,” said Iya. “All Over Me and Always. The album has everything, except a rap and a dance track.”

Why Finally as title?

“Because it took me six years to finally finish it.”

Being a singer has always been Iya’s ultimate goal. She was discovered in Sydney back in 2002 by Arnold while rappin’ at an Esprit show at a mall.

“I was there for Geneva (Cruz’s) concert,” recalled Arnold. “Little did I know that Iya pala was Geneva’s front act at the concert that night at Fashion Café. Then, I encouraged Iya to come to the Philippines and join showbiz.”

“I came to be a singer; I even took up voice lessons at Jubal in Sydney,” said Iya. “But I was sidetracked to other fields, such as TV and movies.”

She has done a few TV shows on both rival channels GMA (Walang Hanggan) and ABS-CBN (Seasons of Love and Lastik Man), and some movies (Beautiful Love, Aishite Imasu, Exodus, Paano Kita Iibigin and Pamahiin).

Finally, with her album, Iya has resumed pursuing her original dream.

(Note: Iya will go on a mall promo tour at SM Southmall on Nov. 9, SM Manila on Nov. 22 and SM Marikina on Nov. 29.)

* * *

Just when her career was taking off, Princess Violago decided early last year to take a protracted vacation with relatives in the States, shuttling between L.A. and New York where she scouted for an acting school (which she never attended, anyway).

“I stayed there for almost one year and I realized how much I missed showbiz,” said Princess. 23, who is determined to resume her rudely-interrupted career, starting with a brief appearance in the recently-concluded GMA series Kim Sam Soon (with Regine Velasquez and Mark Anthony Fernandez). “Before kasi, I looked at showbiz as just fun, and not really a career. My stay in the US was an eye-opener.”

The public might remember Princess as Chona Tsikadora in the defunct GMA showbiz talk show S-Files (replaced by Showbiz Central) and in the QTV shows Posh and Hoo U?, besides hosting the Bench Fashion Show at the Araneta Coliseum in 2006.

The youngest among three surviving children (one died at age nine) of a well-to-family, Princess went against the wishes of her parents who didn’t want her to join showbiz. Her father is Oscar Violago, president/CEO of San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders & Developers Group, Inc. and her mother is Olympia Violago, also a businesswoman.

“After my older sister died,” said Princess, “my parents became even more protective. I had to sneak out of the house to audition for S-Files. But now, my parents are all-out in their support for me.”

Is she spoiled, having been born with the proverbial silver spoon in her mouth?

“No, I’m not. In the States, I learned how to live independently and to do everything by myself. I earn my own keep and I don’t ask anything from my parents.”

Even when she’s deadset on returning to showbiz, Princess also plans to resume her studies, and move from the University of Asia & Pacific to Ateneo for a Business course.

Asked what she’s looking forward to, Princess said, “Anything. Hosting, acting...anything! I have a mature attitude toward showbiz now.”

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