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Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Monica Cuenco is the new Dorina

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Monica Cuenco (formerly known as Monica Sacay) has landed her biggest break to date, prodding the 19-year-old to pack her bags for Manila after residing in Cebu for the past years.

 The Leyte native was chosen to take on the iconic lead role of Dorina Pineda in an upcoming theater adaptation of the classic drama “Bituing Walang Ningning.”

 A story originally told over a serialized comic strip by fictionist Nerissa Cabral, “Bituing Walang Ningning” was made into a blockbuster movie in 1985 starring Sharon Cuneta, Cherie Gil and Christopher De Leon, and was then remade into a hit TV series in 2006 with Sarah Geronimo, Angelika dela Cruz, and Ryan Agoncillo playing the lead roles.

 Premier lifestyle destination Resorts World Manila (RWM), Full House Theater Company in cooperation with Viva Communications, Inc. (Viva) will produce the theater adaptation.

 The story tells of a singer’s rise up the competitive ranks of show business following her plight through love and the hardships she endured on her way up the steep ladder of success.

 The musical will mark the first time a contemporary drama has crossed over mainstream Filipino media. From print, cinema, TV, and now on stage, “Bituing Walang Ningning:The Musical” promises to shine anew under the bright lights of RWM’s award winning Newport Performing Arts Theater with veteran director Freddie Santos at the helm.

 Theater veteran Cris Villonco is set to play Cherie Gil’s villainess role, while Mark Bautista is the male lead.

 Monica is best known for her stint in the 2011 ABS-CBN reality talent show “Star Power: Sharon’s Search for the Next Female Superstar” wherein she finished third place to grand champion Angeline Quinto. She was dubbed the “Charming Biritera from Leyte” in the said contest.

 She has been under the management of Viva Artists Agency.

 In an October 2014 interview with THE FREEMAN, Monica revealed that at age three, she would tag along to her mom’s singing engagements and join in on her performances. Her mom’s side of the family tree was into music, with most of them adept with playing an instrument or two. The musical inclination would be handed down to Monica.

 “I can also play the guitar. Me and my mom would sing at wakes, birthday parties, and other events. I guess my mom saw how confident I was at such a young age. The first song I mastered was ‘Rosalinda,’ because it was my mom’s favorite,” she had said.

 Monica did the contest rounds, most memorable of which were Bulilit Leyte Idol 2007 where she emerged champion, and Little Big Star Cebu 2008 where she was a Star of the Month winner. (FREEMAN)

ANGELINE QUINTO

BITUING WALANG NINGNING

BULILIT LEYTE IDOL

CHARMING BIRITERA

CHERIE GIL

CHERIE GIL AND CHRISTOPHER DE LEON

CRIS VILLONCO

DORINA PINEDA

FREDDIE SANTOS

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