Top 100 Cebunao Personalities: Vina Morales
Karla Rule (The Freeman) - April 18, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  Among Cebu’s, if not the country’s, most recognizable faces and voices, Vina Morales has successfully made a name for herself in the entertainment industry, becoming a memorable Cebuana star who is still shining to this day.

Born Sharon Garcia Magdayao, she began her singing career at nine years old as a member of the Saint Vincent Ferrer Parish Church choir in Bogo City, northern Cebu, which was then still a municipality.

Recognizing Magdayao’s talent, songwriter Fr. Fritz T. Malinao asked the young lass to sing a song he had written. The song, “Paglaum, went on to win the Grand Prize and earned for her the Best Interpreter Award during the sixth Cebu Pop Music Festival in 1986.

The competition was the lynchpin that set Magdayao’s celebrity story in motion. It was on that fateful night when representatives for Viva Films saw her potential and offered her a recording and acting contract.

The Magdayao family moved to Manila, and soon enough their daughter was christened Vina Morales – she who will eventually be known for her distinct, powerful voice, and her sharp, beautiful features.

Debuting in the film “Nakagapos na Puso,” Morales starred alongside no less than Sharon Cuneta. She went on to appear in “Ang Utol Kong Hoodlum” and “Anghel Na Walang Langit” throughout her late teenage years, and well into the ‘90s and in recent years.

Morales also recorded albums and performed all over the Philippines, eventually co-writing the lyrics to songs (“Paano Kaya Magtatagpo” with Piolo Pascual). Her albums include “Vina,” “Forbidden,” “No Limits,” “Look at Me Now,” “Awit ng Ating Buhay,” “Mamahalin Ka Niya” and collections of her best hits, among many others.

She also performed overseas for the “Vina Revealed” and “Vina’s Hot” tour, as well as co-host shows with Martin Nievera in the United States and Canada.

In 2003, she became the first Filipino to sing at the New York International Music Festival held at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas.

Her sister, Shaina Magdayao, would follow her footsteps and become an actress herself.

Every now and then. Morales comes home to Cebu, still very much a fluent Bisaya speaker. Now in her 40s, Morales is also a mother to her only child Ceana, born in 2009.

Known for her beauty and talent, Morales, who lends her voice to theme songs for films and TV shows, still remains one of the remarkable Cebuano talents to become so popular nationally.

Apart from film and music, Morales also frequented ABS-CBN soap operas, acting in “Agua Bendita,” “Maria Mercedes,” “Born For You” and most recently in “Araw Gabi.”

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