When You Wish Upon A Star
rise to fame is one of the most celebrated Cinderella stories in show
business. Her modern day rags-to-riches tale continuously inspires
thousands to dare to dream, to work hard, to keep believing, and to
never say never.
Sarah Geronimo (Sarah Asher Tua Geronimo), the Philippines' talented and charming Popstar Princess, was born on July 25, 1988 to Delfin Geronimo and Divina Geronimo. The third of four children, her siblings are Joanna Rizzie, Sunshine Grace and Ezekiel Gabriel. Sarah grew up in a rented house in Sta. Cruz, Manila, living modestly as her father worked as a PLDT lineman and her mom kept a salon.
At the very young age of 2, Sarah precociously demonstrated a good sense of timing and vocal potential. She could barely utter the words correctly, but Delfin took notice of Sarah's innate penchant for singing. A couple of years later, it became apparent to the family how seriously she wanted to conquer the stage. While the hands of other girls were preoccupied with prized Barbie dolls, hers were firmly cradling a microphone.
Sarah was 6, she joined a singing contest sponsored by PLDT called
Tuklas Talino. Singing in a contest for the first time, she performed
The Greatest Performance of My Life and won first prize. Nanette
Inventor, a prominent member of the entertainment industry, was one of
the judges. She was particularly impressed by Sarah's voice, saying she
did not expect that kind of voice to come from a very young child. That
victory was her first in a string of first-place finishes in several
singing contests sponsored by notable companies.
While other kids spent their days on the playground, Sarah was already determined to participate in more talent shows. Divine would accompany her to auditions, and it was common for them to get a callback, but the offers were mostly for the less significant bit parts. Sarah became part of the Pen Pen De Sarapen cast. In a kiddie movie entitled Sarah, ang Munting Prinsesa, she was cast for a supporting role. She also appeared in the "tweeners" afternoon variety show AngTV on the ABS-CBN network. However, the spotlight seldom landed on her. Despite that, she was always happy just to perform and be able to sing, dance and act. Even at this early stage of her career, she already exhibited extraordinary passion for her craft, and the traits associated with it -- wanting to improve, taking criticisms constructively, and always eager to learn. What she lacked in the glamour of her audition dresses and shoes, she more than made up with talent and determination.
hone Sarah's skills, Delfin trained her himself for several hours
everyday. Mimicking the way Regine Velasquez was trained by her dad by
having her sing while submerged neck-deep in the sea, Sarah trained in a
makeshift water barrel.
But even with training and talent, she still couldn't seem to find that crack in the wall to break through. When the family business went bankrupt, they found it harder to sustain the expenses of her auditions. Divine resorted to saving the smallest of loose change so they will have jeepney fare for the auditions. Any other individual with weaker resolve would have lost heart. Life was arduous, but the Geronimos bravely plowed on.
In addition to her prowess on the stage, Sarah was a very diligent student at the Dominican School in Lacson Avenue, Manila. Good education was one of the intangible things that their parents wanted to impart to them, and this value was deeply instilled in the Geronimo kids. Sarah's parents would even borrow money so they could send the kids to good and reputable schools. After graduating from elementary school, Sarah continued secondary study at the University of Santo Tomas Education High School. Her friends from high school considered her a class clown. Out of nowhere, she would erupt into a song or a joke, that would send her friends laughing. Her zest for life and engaging, contagious smile easily won people over. She also loves to draw and sketch, and is actually a bookworm. One of her favorite book characters was Harry Potter. On any given day, Sarah was just a teenager enjoying her youth. Apart from usual teenagers though, her concern for her family made her years wiser than her age.
one point in the Geronimos' lives, they were knee-deep in financial
trouble. All at once, there was a sickness in the family, they were
being driven out of their house because they could no longer pay the
rent, they do not have the tuition money to sustain their education, and
making ends meet simply became an impossible feat. Sarah, for her part,
wanted to help by joining a nationwide singing contest where a million
pesos is part of the grand prize. This was the Star For A Night
competition which was hosted by none other than Sarah's idol, Regine
Velasquez. Sarah was determined to help with the finances using her
The climb was not easy. Sarah could not picture herself winning the competition after observing the sheer intensity of the other artists she was competing against. However, it was a different story when she stepped on stage and held the microphone. All her insecurities melted and she belted the Celine Dion song To Love You More. She was at the top of her game; in her element. At that very moment when she flung her arms up in the air for the finale, the judges saw in her a star-in-the-making. She won the grand prize of 1 million pesos and an exclusive 10-year contract with Viva Entertainment Group. Mr. Vicente del Rosario, the revered "Boss Vic" of the industry, managed Sarah's career firsthand. This was the big break that she had been dreaming of.
When things settled down after memorable victory, Sarah took care of a few priorities first. She paid off their family debt with the prize money. They had enough left over to pay the hospital bills and their tuition fees. They were able to afford rent and were relieved that they would not be sleeping on the streets. By the time everything was settled, there was no money left for luxury. With no rest in mind, she decided that it was time to work. Her motivation for work was not just for financial stability, but she wanted to soar towards fulfilling her dreams.
Star For A Night
After winning as the grand champion of the Star For A Night talent show, Sarah started recording her first album, "Popstar: A Dream Come True" (2003). This album eventually went on to a record of 7 times platinum, reflecting 210,000+ copies sold. Her follow up album, "Sweet Sixteen" (2004) was a certified 3 times platinum. The highly anticipated "Becoming" (2006) album was released internationally, and reached platinum record just a month after its release. The success was followed by "Taking Flight" (2007) which was awarded 2 times platinum, and "Just Me" (2008) which was her second internationally-released album. Included in this album is Sarah's collaboration with one of the BackStreet Boys members, Howie Dorough. She's a big fan of BSB, so when Howie D flew from the US to attend the album launch at the SM Mall of Asia, Sarah was more than ecstatic and grateful. Sarah's latest is "OPM" (2008) which showcased home-grown songs from movies and tv, as well as her past albums. It is a certified platinum as well.
Sarah also signed a contract with ABS-CBN in 2004 and was immediately given her own starring tv series, "Sarah, The Teen Princess" (2004). With ABS-CBN's line up of weekly shows, Sarah was able to hone her acting skills by guesting in several shows like "Your Song", "Love Spell", "Maalaala Mo Kaya", and lighter shows like "John en Shirley", "Wansapanataym", "Yes Yes Show", and "That's My Doc", among others. Eventually, her next starring tv series was launched, "Bituing Walang Ningning" (2006), which earned her praises from critics. The following year, "Pangarap na Bituin" (2007) was conceptualized, and Sarah delivered brilliantly. The last teleserye seemed to have reckoned that the time is right for Sarah to have her own movie.
Sarah The Teen Princess
Although she's starred in supporting yet more defined roles in movies like "Lastikman" (2004), "Annie B" (2004), "Captain Barbell" (2003), and the star-studded "Filipinas" (2003), Sarah is yet to star in her own debut film. The time has come when the script for "A Very Special Love" (2008) was written specifically with her in mind as the lead female role. Fans and critics alike all gushed about how natural and impressive Sarah's acting is. The movie became the ticket for Sarah in winning the Box Office Queen title for 2008 by the prestigious Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Award. The movie was shown in theatre for weeks and immediately catapulted to #3 Highest Grossing Movie in the Philippines of All-Time. Following the heels of the movie's success, the sequel "You Changed My Life" (2009) was released and became the #1 Highest Grossing Movie in the Philippines of All-Time.
On tv, ABS-CBN's variety show ASAP (All-star Sunday Afternoon Party) welcomed her with open arms in 2004, and Sarah has since then been dazzling audiences young and old. She always brings something new to the table, that the show gave her her own segment "The Other Side of Sarah", which was later renamed to "Sarah On Stage". On ASAP, she also shows capacity in carrying out spiels, most likely honed when she did hosting jobs for Search For Star In A Million, Little Big Star and the Little Big SuperStar.
And on stage, where her talents were initially recognized, Sarah has filled up venues both in her native homeland and abroad. Her first concert at the Aliw Theatre entitled "Popstar: A Dream Come True" (2003) gave her the first taste of a standing ovation by an entire crowd. The warm reception of the fans boosted Viva Concert's confidence that she can fill up The Big Dome. And they were not mistaken. Her first concert at the Araneta Coliseum, entitled "The Other Side of Sarah Geronimo" (2005), was a sold out concert. Sarah's supporters stayed until the end of the concert despite the fact that The Dome became one huge oven when the air conditioning units failed to function. A young yet energetic Sarah performed like there's no tomorrow, much to the delight of the fans who seemed to have forgotten about the technical problems. That was the first time she filled The Big Dome to the rafters. The second time was at "Sarah Geronimo In Motion" (2007) where Sarah showed her prowess in singing and dancing. Her latest concert is "Sarah Geronimo: The Next One" (2008), another sold out concert at The Big Dome, where she first played an instrument (a piano) as accompaniment. All 3 of her Araneta Coliseum soldout concerts were brought on tour to other countries around the world. She has wowed both Filipinos and foreigners alike, and her soldout tours speak for themselves that Sarah indeed has arrived.
To date, Sarah is one of the most sought after endorsers of products, services, even government offices and public servants wanting to run for office. She conquered the different media for ads: tv, radio, print, billboards. Because of this, she is also dubbed as the biggest MultiMedia Superstar, transcending different media to reach the general public. With over 60 awards and recognitions to date, and thousands of screaming fans, Sarah is considered a phenomenon in the industry.
One may say that Sarah is very lucky. She is indeed. But it was not all luck. There were tears and trials and heartaches and rejections. She has to make sacrifices as simple as not eating ice cream or chocolate to preserve her voice, to something as complicated as having to take home study and miss regular classes and everything that goes with it. It was her determination to move on, to never back down, that helped her get to where she is now.
Her deeply-rooted values gave her the strength to stay on top of the game. Most importantly, no matter how high Sarah soars, her feet remains planted on the ground. Always grateful to the Lord, always bringing Him glory in everything that she does.
Samuel Lloyd Lacia Milby (born on May 23, 1984 in Troy, Ohio, United States), commonly known as Sam Milby,
is a Filipino-American actor, commercial model, and recording artist.
Milby grew up with a Filipina mother native to Tago, Surigao del Sur and
an American father. He became an instant celebrity and heartthrob after
leaving the Pinoy Big Brother House in November 2005. He currently
appears in a Sunday musical variety show, ASAP '08, through the segment
called 'The Hearththrobs' with Piolo Pascual and John Lloyd Cruz. He
also rendered his version of Only You to ABS-CBN's Tagalog-dubbed Korean
soap of the same title.
Milby's first major film debut was Close to You, produced by ABS-CBN subsidiary Star Cinema and co-starring John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo. Milby also released a self-titled debut album in early 2006, which was repackaged in the third quarter of 2006.
Heartthrobs, featuring Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby at the Music Museum last February 2 and 3, has a repeat concert on March 17 following the big success of their first concert together. Milby was recently seen in the recently concluded top rating ABS-CBN primetime soap opera, Maging Sino Ka Man which garnered a 42.0% rating nationwide according to AGB Nielsen Philippines, the soap opera will have a book 2 following a big success and is tentatively schedule to be seen on September 2007. He is also starred in the blockbuster movie You Got Me with Toni Gonzaga and Zanjoe Marudo and he is schedule to shoot another movie with Toni Gonzaga and Kristine Hermosa entitled "My Big Love". Milby just concluded his successful US tour with Piolo Pascual, Pokwang and Rica Peralejo and scheduled for another European tour before the year ends. Milby is one of the busiest and bankable talents of ABS-CBNs Star Magic.
Early life: 1984-2005
Samuel Lloyd Lacia Milby is the youngest child of Elsie Lacia, from Tago, Surigao del Sur and Lloyd Milby, an entrepreneur from Dayton, Ohio. Sam was raised in Tipp City, Ohio.
Milby's early passion was ice skating. Training for competitive skating followed soon after. From age 9, Milby trained and lived with his coach and was home schooled until he was 15. On the weekends, he would get the chance to go home to his family and spend time with them. During this period in his life, he competed in numerous major ice skating competitions including the Junior Nationals. He and his skating partner of 4 years won silver and other awards in the course of his serious skating stint.
Aside from his immediate family, Milby did not grow up with many Filipinos around. Yet the talented Fil-Am was no foreigner to his mother's country. He, along with his family, had visited the Philippines several times before. At one time he did take a shot at Philippine showbusiness. But pressing personal matters then prodded him to return to the States.
In his March 2005 return to the Philippines, Milby decided to seriously pursue a career in showbusiness and modeling. At the time, he temporarily stayed with relatives in Bulacan. Everyday he would take the bus to Manila to answer casting calls and auditions for modeling. Results were not always encouraging but his tenacity did yield some fruit. He landed bit roles in certain ads. Then came a big break from Close Up when he starred as their lead in their TV commercial with Barbie Almalbis.
Sam and Pinoy Big Brother
In July 2005, a phenomenal show hit Philippine TV – Pinoy Big Brother. This show featured 12 men and women from different walks of life. However, Sam was not part of the original 12. His break came when one of the contestants volunteered to leave the house for an urgent matter with her family. The show immediately held another audition in order to find a replacement. Milby was encouraged to audition by his then friend and current manager, Erickson Raymundo. Though unfamiliar with the show prior to his audition, he won the favor of the panel of judges and bested 200 plus others. The next day, he was informed of the spot he won in the Big Brother house.
In the Big Brother house, he won the affection of many Filipinos with his shyness but obvious pleasant character. But his shyness was often mistaken for alienation, something that his “housemates” had to confront him with. He also had his share of controversy as only days after he entered the house, he found himself in a situation with one of the ladies during his welcome party. And this was of course viewed on national TV, thus prompting the government regulatory board to step in and suspend the show for a day. Yet this did not take away the favor that Sam had already gained from the Filipino viewers. With his dedication to complete tasks and build genuine friendships with his housemates, he became one of the most well-endeared housemates.
Some of the challenges he endured in the house were tasks that provided very little time for them to be accomplished. He memorized and sang the Philippine National Anthem overnight – a feat for someone who had almost zero knowledge of Tagalog. He was able to display some of his athletic skills on tasks that were physically demanding. When the housemates were asked to put up a mini show inside the house, Sam was able to share some of his compositions. All these songs however, were in English. With the help of some of the housemates, he translated one of his best love songs and performed it with housemate Say Alonzo. Unknowingly, he launched his career in showbusiness and one of the biggest hit songs of 2005 – Magmahal Muli.
He was evicted after 49 days. Yet this display of talent and good looks may have been the very reason why he got evicted. Rumors circulated on the day of his eviction about fans deliberately not voting for him to get him evicted. They could not wait for Milby to come out and join mainstream showbusiness.
The closing of the door in Kuya’s house opened so many more other doors of opportunities for Milby. Today Sam has a platinum album, a budding film career, a regular spot in ASAP ’06, other TV guestings and another movie in the making.
February 14, 2006 marked the beginning of Milby's movie career. Starring alongside the love team of John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo, Close to Youwhich grossed in excess of P120,000,000 in the Philippine Box Office.
On August 30, 2006 You Are The One, the long awaited film starring Milby and Toni Gonzaga, Milby's popularity extends to the United States as the film was screened throughout the country beginning on September 15, 2006. Recently, he just starred in an episode of Maalaala Mo Kaya,
Milby was a commercial model for close up toothpaste and a print ad model for Bench, a major clothing company.
Milby has endorsement deals with some of the biggest companies and brands in the Philippines. His current endorsement and sponsorship deals include, but are not limited to, Close Up, Centrum, Jollibee, Bench, Smart, Hawk, Aspen, Unisilver Time, Executive Optical, and Dermablend Papaya Orange Soap, SAM Swift hotdog, Nescafe. His latest endorsement was Lipton Milk Tea.
Pardon of taxi driver
Milby forgave the FX taxi driver who almost killed him and friend Liz Uy, a fashion editor and stylist who is also the girlfriend of actor John Lloyd Cruz. Sam was driving his car along C-5 in Taguig City on July 10, 2007 on his way from a bar in Makati City, when they were suddenly struck by FX taxi that made an illegal U-turn around 5 a. m.
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