Maricris Garcia: Life after La Diva

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star
Maricris Garcia: Life after La Diva
Maricris Garcia with husband TJ: Marriage has turned her into a positive person

After the breakup of the trio La Diva, Jonalyn Viray signed up with ABS-CBN and shortened her name to simply Jona while Aicelle Santos excelled in theater, starring in

Rak of Aegis and playing the lead role in Himala before bagging the role of Gigi in the UK staging of the Cameron Mackintosh megahit musical Miss Saigon.

And whatever happened to Maricris Garcia? She got “domesticated” after marrying TJ Cruz, which was a good move because, according to Maricris, she was so stressed out that she badly needed a respite.

The GMA Artist Center’s so-called “Powerhouse Diva” is back to celebrate her 11th anniversary in the business with her eponymous first major solo concert on Saturday, Sept. 28 at Teatrino in Greenhills, San Juan City, directed by Marc Lopez.

“The show is going to be more of a storytelling type,” said Maricris who conceptualized the concert. “I want to share my journey since I started my career up to the present, as well as my personal life, my music influences and more.” 

She will be joined by Nar Cabico, Mark Bautista and Regine Velasquez-Alcasid.

“I want to let the people know that I’m still here and I will always be here, singing,” added Maricris who is set to release her new music next year in time for the Valentine season.

(Tickets for Maricris concert are priced at P1,800 for VIP; P1,300 for Orchestra; and P800 for Balcony. Call 0917-8508747 or Teatrino at 741-2949 local 116.)

What have you been doing after the breakup of La Diva? How has it been going solo?

“It has been four to five years. From La Diva to being solo, I would say ‘half-half,’ 50 percent na positive and 50 percent na negative. ‘Yung positive, I have time to explore more things. ‘Yung negative, nakaka-miss din and it’s more fun to perform nang may kasama ka sa stage. During the La Diva times kasi, marami kaming natutunan and marami kaming na-gain na experiences. Ngayon, natutunan ko na kailangan mo talaga to go out of your comfort zone. Kailangan mong sumubok at gumawa ng mga bagay na akala mo hindi mo kaya or iniisip mong ayaw mo dahil doon ka din mas mag-gro-grow.” 

Are you in touch with Jona and Aicelle? What can you say about them?

“We’re okay. I am in touch with Aicelle. She keeps asking about my concert. At that time, she didn’t know yet that she would leave for UK. I told her that I wanted to produce my concert and she said she would help me because sabi niya na-experience na niya ang ganoon. We Viber each other and she is still helping me in the preparation.

“With Jona naman, we see each other now only when we have a show together. Bihira na kaming magkita. But we’re good. We’re okay naman. Lately, prinomote niya ‘yung concert ko so ayun, nakakatuwa.”

Jonalyn has moved to ABS-CBN and Aicelle is in the UK. Why did you decide to remain a Kapuso?

“It never entered my mind to move to another network. I am comfortable where I am. Never naman ako nagka-problema sa trabaho, sa katrabaho, sa kahit kanino so wala akong reason not to stay.” 

Don’t you have any plans to audition for any local or foreign musical?

“Actually, I have already auditioned. I passed but I had to beg off because of conflict of schedule. I was doing a soap and a Sunday show kasi. Hindi pwedeng umabsent kasi sa mga rehearsals ng musicals so I have to choose. Lagi kong napipili ‘yung current projects ko. Destiny na ‘yan kung darating ‘yung tamang time or tamang project para sa akin.” 

Tell us more about your Maricris concert. 

“It’s called Maricris because it is my first major solo concert, my birthday and my 11th-anniversary concert. Self-produced ito so sobrang hands-on ako sa pag-asikaso ng lahat, with the help of Artist Center and a few friends from the production. I am now praying that it won’t rain on that day.”

(E-mail reactions at [email protected] For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)





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