The road to being world class

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Renowned singer and musical mentor Lea Salonga treats the audience with her renditions of ‘On My Own’ from Les Miserables and ‘Defying Gravity’ from  Wicked

Renowned singer and musical mentor Lea Salonga treats the audience with her renditions of ‘On My Own’ from Les Miserables and ‘Defying Gravity’ from Wicked

NOW it can be told.

Before she became a world-class Broadway star, Lea Salonga experienced the biggest scare in her life. At the premiere of the 1989 Miss Saigon—the musical that catapulted to her to fame—Salonga’s voice vanished.

“There was nothing coming out,” she said in the film Cream Silk Portraits: A Celebration of the World Class Filipina, which was launched and shown in April at The Theater at the Solaire Resort and Casino in Pasay City.

As a trained singer, Salonga immediately understood there was something wrong and that she feared it. In the film she continued, “Because I know the horror of what happens when that thing fails, when your instrument decides to rebel and stop working for you.”


Thankfully, there was her mother Ligaya Salonga who helped her conquer the stage fright she was experiencing. There were also her supporters who coupled her determination to emerge victorious from the trial.

“There are so many people to credit for getting over everything [that happened to me then],” Salonga said gratefully.

World-class Filipinas and Creamsilk ambassadors Anne Curtis, Toni Gonzaga, Lea Salonga and Heart Evangelista-Escudero

World-class Filipinas and Creamsilk ambassadors Anne Curtis, Toni Gonzaga, Lea Salonga and Heart Evangelista-Escudero

Today, Salonga believes that to be world-class, one needs to have someone who will inspire, support, and guide every step of the way—just like what her mother Ligaya did. This example, she now follows in raising her very own daughter, Nicole.

The short film on Salonga is just one of the four stories that make up Cream Silk Portraits, produced by Cream Silk to empower and inspire Filipina to show their exceptional ability on any stage.

Directed by an equally world-class director, Marie Jamora, the film also features Heart Evangelista-Escudero, Toni Gonzaga and Anne Curtis. Jamora directed the independent film Ang Nawawala (What Isn’t There), recently screened abroad at Hawaii International and Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festivals.

“We in Cream Silk believe that there is no dream that is too big for the Filipina because she is world-class. This movement proves that all Filipinas—whatever their talents and skills—can do everything. There are no limits to what they can achieve, ” announced Gina Lorenzana, Unilever’s vice president for Personal Care, at the event.

Rohit Jawa (center), chairman and CEO Unilever Philippines, with Gina Lorenzana (extreme left), Unilever Philippines vice president for personal care, and  world-class Filipinas Toni Gonzaga, Lea Salonga, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and Heart Evangelista-Escudero

Rohit Jawa (center), chairman and CEO Unilever Philippines, with Gina Lorenzana (extreme left), Unilever Philippines vice president for personal care, and world-class Filipinas Toni Gonzaga, Lea Salonga, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde and Heart Evangelista-Escudero

Heart’s art
For newly married Heart Evangelista-Escudero, being able to exhibit her artworks—which she considers products of her once secret hobby to paint—is “totally unexpected.”

These days, however, she finds more reasons to continue her art. After her debut exhibit in 2014, she now brought her paintings to international stage via the prestigious Chan Hampe Gallery at Singapore in January.

Painting mostly women, Evangelista’s artworks have been bought by collectors the like of Fernando Zobel and Ronald Singson.

The dreams of Anne
Kapamilya actress, host, and singer Anne Curtis believes Filipinas should not give up their dreams just because others think they can’t succeed.

“You just need to have faith in yourself, no matter what other people would say. Learn the art of dedma [no reaction][and]just pursue those dreams,” she advised in her short film.

Take it from Curtis indeed. After starring in last year’s international movie Blood Ransom, she immediately conquered the world again with The Gifted, one of he country’s entries at the 2015 Far East Film Festival held in Udine, Italy.

The Bb. Pilipinas 2015 titleholders

The Bb. Pilipinas 2015 titleholders

It doesn’t stop there. Come third quarter of 2015, the whole Asia will watch Anne as she hosts Lifetime Asia’s F Word Out Loud, a six-part magazine style series that will be tackling fun, food and fashion.

Toni holds concert abroad
Toni Gonzaga has held successful concerts in the Philippines but it has always been her goals to stage a concert outside the country. In March, made this a reality when she shared the stage with her younger sister Alex in OMG (Oh my Gonzagas), a concert in Dubai.

How she achieved her world-class potential, Gonzaga just never gave up—no matter what. “Giving up is the only barrier to achieving your dream. So go out and make it happen,” she shared.

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