FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo (The Philippine Star) Updated October 09, 2009 12:00 AM

Unlike her namesake, Gretchen Espina doesn’t get enmeshed in controversy. Since she won the Pinoy Idol search in August last year, she has maintained a low profile even if her victory opened a lot of doors for her.

“I trained hard for Pinoy Idol,” said Gretchen who comes from a musically-inclined family with roots in Biliran, Leyte. Singer Eileen Espina is her aunt; Eileen’s father, former Leyte Rep. Gerry Espina, is her grandfather.

Gretchen joined Pinoy Idol well-prepared. One of her edges over the other contestants was her experience as a member of The UP Singing Ambassadors which won first prize in the Inter-Collegiate Singing Contest in Shantou University, Guangdong, China.

Her newly-released debut album (by Sony Music) is aptly titled Shining Through. Her first single, Kasalanan Nga Ba?, is a current radio favorite that evokes memories of ‘70s sultry singers Eva Eugenio (Tukso, etc.) and the late Didith Reyes (Bakit Ako Mahihiya?, Nananabik, etc.). It’s played up with a music video directed by no less than Paul Soriano (the boyfriend of Toni Gonzaga) and shot at Hotel Celeste, showing Gretchen in “seductive’ Frederick Peralta gowns.

Gretchen Espina

“I’m excited about this album because I was able to sing new songs as well as my favorite tracks by other artists,” said Gretchen. “They help me, so to speak, ‘shine through’.”

The album carries original compositions by Ogie Alcasid, Arnenio Mendaros, Top Suzara, Hannah Romawac and Cecile Azarcon-Inocentes; and remakes of OPM hits like One More Try (by Kuh Ledesma), So Slow (Freestyle), Suntok Sa Buwan (Session Road), Pangako Sa’yo, Di Man Sabihin and To You (Gretchen’s winning piece in Pinoy Idol). Four were penned by international songwriters: Shining Through by Nina Ossoff and Tanya Leah; I Promise by Nina Ossoff, Steve Skinner and Jimmy Santis; I Know You By Heart by Stephanie Salzman and Matt Senatore; and Never In My Life by Nina Ossoff, Kathy Sommer and Porter Carroll Jr.

If you didn’t join Pinoy Idol, what would you have been?

“I would have finished a course in UP and taking my M.A. while managing a business either in the food industry or hotel industry. I’m now taking European Languages major in Spanish and minor in tourism.”

Why did it take you one year after Pinoy Idol to release an album?

“We waited for the right time. We took time selecting the songs and editing arrangements.”

How do you feel being signed up by Sony Music?

“Sony is widely known for producing great artists. I’m honored and happy to be a part of the Sony family.”

You look great in the music video. How did you prepare for it?

“Honestly, I didn’t have much time to prepare for it because I was busy with school work. It helped that I lost 40 pounds after Pinoy Idol. The stylists picked the right dresses for me.”

Kasalanan Nga Ba? is a catchy song.

“It was composed by Arnenio Mendaros. It’s about unrequited love. I like the way the words are played in the song. They describe how a person longing for love really feels.”

When do you think is it a sin to love somebody?

“When you know that it was never meant to be in the first place. Like, if the person is already committed to somebody else. That’s a big no-no for me.”

You said you lost 40 pounds. How do you maintain your weight?

“Diet and exercise.”

Gretchen Espina

What kind of diet do you follow?

“Fruits, oatmeal, fish and chicken. Yes, I do eat ice cream every now and then.”

What’s usually for breakfast?

“Oatmeal. For lunch, fish. For dinner, fruits.”

What food do you always crave?

“Ice cream. What’s bawal is masarap, di ba?”
Coffee or tea?

“Tea.”

Soda?

“Sprite.”

What vitamins do you take?

“Vitamins C and E.”

Do you work out?

“In the gym? Not as often as I used to. But at home, I do sit-ups. I do a lot of sports.”

Any part of your body that needs improvement?

“Hmmmm, my thighs.”

What part is most vulnerable?

“My neck.”

And what part is your favorite?

“My eyes.”

What qualities do you like in a guy?

“Someone who has brains, good conduct, sense of humor and determination…and, of course, he should be God-fearing.”

And what turns you off?

“A smoker! A guy na mas maarte pa kaysa sa akin. And airheads.”

What part of a guy’s body do you notice first?

“His butt. Then, his eyes and his fingernails. They better be clean.”

Gretchen Espina

Are you a light sleeper?

“Yes, I am.”

Favorite sleep wear?

“I’m not comfortable in thick garments and long…basta, ang opposite n’un.”

Do you snore?

“How would I know, eh, tulog ako? Hehehehe!”

What’s the last thing that you do before you go to sleep?

“Read The Bible.”

And the first thing that you do when you wake up?

“Check messages in my celfon.”

What’s your outlook in life? Are you an optimist or a worry wart?

“An optimist. I do worry about things but very seldom. I don’t dwell on it, though. Instead, I get up and finish the job.”

How do you cope with stress?

“I drive to Tagaytay.”

How do you take care of your skin?

“By cleansing, toning, moisturizing and regular visits to the spa.”

Any other “secrets” you want to share with Funfare readers?

“I don’t smoke.”

Name three men you think have nice bodies.

“Michael Phelps, Orlando Bloom and Channing Tatum.”

And three women…

“Megan Fox, Angelina Jolie and Katy Perry.”

So how does one, ehem, shine through?

“By being focused, determined, inspired and composed.”

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23 COMMENTS

  1. Fairly enough, this woman is a pride of biliran, and she will definitely be bringing her fame bearing the banner of the island. Election wise, she will surely be using ths fame in support to her clan,…this could be one of their strategies in order to garner more votes, take note she may bring along with her the heartrobs and sexygodess of the showbiz, this might influence the minds of our people, this might capture the crown again, cong. Chong tingale mangampanya ka unya, wala’y manuol sa imu meeting de abanse kay toa sa pikas kay daghan artista, pag andam ug ingun diani nga scenario, jst an unsolicited advise, gud luck…

  2. Aw, modugok gyod ang mga tawo kung naay mga artista, pero dili buot ipasabot nga “KAN-ON GIHAPON SA MGA TAGA BILIRAN ANG PAGKAON NGA ILA NG GIPANG-SUKA”.

    Basta wa lay LIMBUNGAY, ha……

  3. What a shame people of Biliran must wake up for a long long long sleep the strategy of the Espina I am sure they will use their daughter to invite some good artist in Biliran during the campaign period in 2010.
    We must be aware that The Espina’s are a very corrupt politician
    We never knew this people before look they are rich in Biliran now,resorts is everywhere Biliran,Bacolod and Tagaytay.
    I am not happy that Gretchen Espina won the title of Pinoy Idol
    why should I?coz I know my tax returns her Father contributed to her winnings.
    Ultimo Adios Espina’s in Biliran..
    Hasta la vesta in Biliran..

  4. basta para nku, glenn chong japun ko, bisan pag unsa pana c greta, dili cya kalupig sa achivement ni GC, GC is my real idol. cong. i pray ol d best 4u.

  5. Biliran politics is a fight between porma and performance.
    For me no matter how we try to sugar coat the side which is enundated with controversies still the people will not buy their damage control procedures and cover ups such as having artisitas in their poltical rallies…

    Greta’s showbiz career havel not made the people forget what and how her family used as vehicle where she is at the moment. No matter how they try to court the voting populace with showbiz glitters and all that at the end of the day they will come to realize that life is not showbiz and showbiz itself cannot help them alievate their lives with fantasies and lies brought out by these whims and fantasies..

    Showbiz is showbiz and it is different from politics…. Showbiz can make them forget the hardship in life but showbiz in a moment but it cannot help the populace with their economic and moral upliftments after the political circus… Using showbizness is the worst thing a politican can do to fool and robe the people with the innate right to vote wisely. I know Biliranons are wise voters now..

    Yes many of them will attend the political rally not because of the politicians but because of the famous actresses and actors that they paid to come and entertain the public…But after the said ocassion they will be back to normal thinking about their normal day to day lives and on how to alleviate their lives via their own diskarte and not the diskarte of the politicians… They will vote for the real performers who were with them they needed the politician most.

  6. For me it will not affect whom I will vote despite having all the artisitas in the Philippines to promote the candidates whom I will never vote at all.

    Let them bring artistas and we will be there to see them and be entertained by them but to count us to vote for the politicians who have paid them is another story.

    There is nothing new in using artista during campaign but it does not affect me thinking that after all these palabas what will happened next? Ones these politikos will be back to office there will be no more artistas for us to blame should these bugos public servants mess up again by continuing the old trapo ways of governing us…. These are people whose ways of serving is self serving and not serving their constituents at all..

    No dice sa ako kining artista crap nga pagabuhaton sa politikong dunot ug nanimaho ug pangikiwkiw….. Bisag kinsa pang artista ilang kuhaon…. Burot lang gihapon ang ihatag sa akong pamilya sa mga bakakon. kawata ug kriminal nga politiko.. Ginasuka na nagpupumilit pa…Ang kakapal naman ng mga mukha ng mga taong ito.

  7. I will not be swayed by the glitter of the artisita basta I will support those who will truly be of service to us nga dili kami ibaligya as their constituents through high taxes due to unstoppable credits done in behalf of the Province of Biliran.

    I will not support those who only serve for their families over or against the Biliran constituency.

    I am for improvement of Biliran… GC started it and we likes what he produced for the Biliranons in just a shot a time that he serves us compares to those who have been in poer so the longest time ever in Biliran pero questionable tanan nga gitransaction for the province..

    I cannot help but think that it is true that some of our dear politicians in Biliran are not for peoples service but for their own selfish ends.

    Grabe ang performance ng mga Espina sa Biliran…. i cannot help but compare them to the traditional politicians because obvciously they did not serve us as we expect… It was an insult for me that I have been supporting this clan who have failed to deliver they public service that they promised…

    I now realize how we were fooled by them because of the controversies that until now they have evaded to sort out and solve with. I cannot think of other negative terms for this kind of servicio publiko nga srvicio lang naa sila pero wala ihatag sa publiko kay daghan silang gibulsa sa kung unsay may gastusan nga pampamilya laman… Only God knows the magnitude of their abuses in Biliran..

    Dili ako madal ug mga artista.. kay kagaghanan ana nila puro silamgaplastic.. Maayo saatubangan pero sa likod ipautang xxxx pa kami nga nagboto sa ila aron makalingkodsilasa puwesto.

  8. Kay GC pa rin kami ke may artista nga igsoon ur umangkon man siya or wala..
    nga goverment official kay ang problema de political sa Biliran dili madala ug inarte… dili makuha ug concert concert… gusto namo tinuod nga pagserbisyo publiko nga wala ikahatag sa mga artistahon sa Biliran…Si GC lamang ng tinuod nga nagserbisyo sa amo bisan kung giyatak yatakn ug isyu sa iyang kalaban.. moato ug motindog sa iyang gisaad… Bisag wala manhuman at least he tried and tried he did with all the perks and previledges that all of us Biliranon deserves period!

  9. SI ANNE..SI CAROL..UG IS OI…MURAG NI SILA UG MGA TWIN SISTER..HEHE..WALA GYOD KALAHIAN ANG DAGWAY SA ILANG MGA BLOGS,HALA..SINGABOTA GYOD ANG HIGAYON PAGPANGOWAT NGARI,SABAGAY WA GYOD MAKAPOGONG KAY KINAUGALINGON MAN NO? BANTAY KUNG ANG UBAN ANG MO BLOG KAY” under moderation lang pirme”.

  10. UTIP 9,

    MORAG NAKALUSOT NI NGA BLOG NIMO, KAY DILI COPY-AND-PASTE SA UBAN NIMONG MGA BLOGS. MANGAGUT MAN DIAY KA NO UG I-MODERATE PA ANG IMONG BLOG. NAHADLOK KA NGA MATIBHANGAN KA UG P500 KADA USA UG DILI MOGAWAS ANG IMONG BALIK-BALIK NGA BLOGS, NGA NAGPAKITA SA IMONG PAGKA SIRA-ULO, AW, SIRA-PLAKA DIAY! LOOY POD ANG PARABAYAD SA BUHIS NGA NAGSUSTENTO SA IMONG 15-30 UG SA IMONG MGA KAUBANAN.

  11. UTIP:

    Kaingon nako ug blogger ka lang…. Propeta pa diay ka… daghan diay imong papel nga gikuptan sa Bandido party… Puwes imong tigo palpka na pod pareha ra na saimong akusasyon kang GC… Inggit lang kana UTIP…. wa lang gihapon ka magbag o do…
    Kadumdom ka sa imong paghikap hikap sa rehas dihang na contempt ka?
    Sige kung parehas mi ni Carol ihatad daw among email address ug IP address ….

    Gunggong blogger gud diay ka do! Under moderation pati imong utot!

  12. Hi Utip!

    How can say that we are all the same bloggers…. You were not behind us just like you amo is doing during your blogg rush… Nobody dictates us what to do and what to say justl ike the way your are fed by your crooked boss.

    No wonder Biliran politics is at a mess because of your dream and hallucinations… You want things to happen as you think and dream about it.. You do not like other freedom fighters to blog against your amo and all its cohorts…

    Go again dream, believe and be decieved of what you feel and what you think.

    Me the same person with the other bloggers???? Why? Can you not feel the real sentiments of the people in terms of your boss clinging to power by hook or by crook manner? Why will we do that? We are not paid the same as you do… We are not foolish like the way you blogg in here. And we don’t subscribe to artistahon politician just like your boss.

  13. MY FELLOW BILIRANONS:

    DAGHAN SALAMAT KAAYO SA INYONG PADAYON NGA PAGSALIG UG PAGTOO KANAKO. I WILL NEVER FAIL YOU AND OUR PEOPLE. WE WILL CONTINUE TO WORK TO BRING REAL DEVELOPMENT TO OUR PEOPLE BASED ON THE PRINCIPAL OF MUTUAL RESPECT FOR ONE ANOTHER.

    PASABOT LANG KO NINYO NGA ANG NIT CONVERSION BILL PIRMAHAN NA NI PRESIDENTE NEXT WEEK MAOY INGON SA AKOA SA SENIOR EXECUTIVE UNDERSECRETARY ADTONG HUWEBES.

    LAST WEDNESDAY NIGHT, NING PASAR PUD ANG ATONG BILL SA SENADO ON 3RD AND FINAL READING CREATING THE BILIRAN SCIENCE HIGH SCHOOL TO BE LOCATED IN BILIRAN, BILIRAN TO EASE THE CONGESTION IN ITS LONE HIGH SCHOOL. 2 OTHER BILLS CREATING THE TAMARINDO HIGH SCHOOL FOR CULTURE AND THE ARTS UG ANG CAIBIRAN HIGH SHOOL ON INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY KULANG LANG UG PAPELES. ONCE MAKOMPLETO ANG PAPERS, IT WILL ALSO BE PASSED INTO LAW.

    AGAIN, THANK YOU VERY MUCH! GOD BLESS YOU!

  14. Hi Anne Hi Oi;

    Chat with me….Utip what is your email address so that we can all chat together…..

    We will prove you that we are not the same as you think…

    I have so many things to tell you about Biliran politics specially Utip’s boss…

  15. Hala hi Ricky Lo baga hit diri waray… Napauwat hit mga Espina..
    Bisan iton Biliran dire hiya maaram nga nga diri na iton Leyte kay probinsya na iton..

    Biliran Leyte or Biliran Province?
    Ambot ha imo sir…..

    Body talks or Body Odor talks.. parehas la iton hihihihihihi

  16. To Maoba;

    “proud tayo sa sariling atin.GRETA GO…..GO….GO”

    Unsang sariling atin? Hindi ha baka sariling inyo……

    Greta go….. go…..

    Go. go out from Biliran with you kiwkiwan family and clan..

  17. AYAW TA PALABI UG DAUT SA TAWO KAY MASUKO ANG GINOO. I EXPERIENCED IT TO MYSELF. SOMEBODY HATED ME SO BADLY,GIBUTANGBUTANGAN PA GYOD KO UG SAYOP,SALA WHICH I’VE NEVER DONE. ANG KARMA NAGDAGAN GAYOD SA IYANG KAUGATAN UG PAGASUNDUN PA GYOD SA APO SA IYANG MGA APO..DILI PA GYOD MAKATULOG KAY GI BOTHER PAG-AYO SA IYANG CONSYENSYA.SO DILI MAAYO MANGHIMARAOT SA USA KA TAWO.HINAUT UNTA MASABTAN AKONG BINISAYA NGA ENTRY.DAGHANG SALAMAT.

  18. Ang pagsulti sa kamatuoran sugo sa DIyos na.
    Ang pagbuwa sa blog mao nay saa.
    Ang makarma kanang mga tawo nga sige ug limbong sa ubang katawhan..

  19. ma’am ading,

    ayaw la i-comparar imong kaugalingon sa mga
    espina kay kana sila mga political dynasty.
    as such, mga PUBLIC FIGURES, PUBLIC SERVANTS,
    EVIL DOERS na sila..

    well, in fact, we are all NO SAINTS!
    bisag akong kaugalingon daghan ang
    natabangan pero daghan lang gihapon
    modaot…ambot ingani gyod seguro
    ning human race or lumba sa panghambug…
    mao seguro ang gira sa
    kalibutan walay katapusan.

    pero kining mga political dynasty
    pareha sa mga espina has
    more EVIL DEEDS compared to us
    ordinary people(i hope you are).
    i hope you understand
    what i meant.
    so again, it’s a FAIR GAME for them to be
    CRITICIZED, RIDICULED, or APPRECIATED…
    that’s the kind of life or profession
    the ESPINA want….pero wala man
    seguro na silay uwaw kay baga
    man ang mga make-up….joke lang, ha?

    magpamake-up lang kaha pod ko
    aron mawala koy uwaw pareha
    gi-ingon ni utip?

    unsay mahalon mga make-up ma’am
    arong akong flat nga ilong mahimong
    ta-as?

    akong “butt” pabutangan og padding
    aron medyo na-ay kurbada dili nipis
    or straight…
    basin makakita pako og
    batan-on nga natural beauty
    dili FAKE or heavily made up.

    lol!

    friend lang gihapon ta, ma’am ading, ha?

    lingaw-lingaw ra bitaw ning atu-a!

    he he he..

  20. kuyawa nimo anti-dinastiya oi! unsa na lang kon modagan si migo Charlie ug Nene Chong? Bitaw,bahala na kon kinsa sa ila magkupot basta PAKURATSAHON lang ko inig pamista nako pohon ug pakatkaton lang ko sa stage,tapos ang $10,000 gasto sa bakasyon (SA HINAMBOGAY MAGDAUG TA!) SIGI LANG AKONG HAMBOG KAY MAY NAKITA MAN.KWARTAHAN PA SIGURO KA SA AKO anti-dinastya kay gastador man ko!PNAKAMAHAL NGA MAKE-UP? pasumpaye na lang imong ilong kay dili na madala ug make-up! just kidding,bisan taas gyod siguro imong ilong,MATULOG NA KO KAY HASTA AKONG ROOM NAAY SURVIELANCE CAMERA.BYE….

  21. Kinsa ang MIA sa gropong ito?
    Kinsa kaha ang nag-snub sa kanya?
    Wala ba siyay initiative to have a free concert
    para sa mga biktima sa calamity?

    Nangutana lang ko ha?

    Ayaw laina og sabot pod.

    No disgusting nonsense blogs here please.

    Tinarongay lang.

    =================================

    Inquirer Entertainment Thursday, November 12, 2009

    How to make 80 artists sing for free

    MANILA, Philippines — The recording of the charity CD single “Kaya Natin Ito,” written by Ogie Alcasid for the benefit of victims of the recent storms, is finished—with a music video ushering its release.

    The song features more than 80 singers who gave their services for free. All sales proceeds will go to those affected by Storm “Ondoy” and Typhoon “Pepeng.”

    According to Alcasid, the music video will premiere on Nov. 22 simultaneously on the TV programs “SOP” (GMA 7) and “ASAP” (ABS-CBN). The singer-songwriter spoke to the Inquirer on Saturday by phone from Tampa, Florida, where he was doing a show with Janno Gibbs.

    “Kaya Natin Ito” is a milestone—practically the entire roster of singers in the local pop music industry, with a sprinkling of folk, rock, hip hop and classical artists, have collaborated on a single charity project.

    The participants, in order of appearance on the CD: Alcasid, Jose Mari Chan, Gibbs, Rachele Ann Go, Jinky Vidal, Michael V, Sarah Geronimo, Jay-R, Jolina Magdangal, Christian Bautista with La Diva, Gary V, Martin Nievera, Regine Velasquez, Vina Morales, Rachel Alejandro, Geneva Cruz, KC Concepcion, Jett Pangan, Dingdong Avanzado, Randy Santiago, Agot Isidro, Gino Padilla, Jaya, Jay Durias, Opera, Gian Magdangal, Lovi Poe, Chris Cayzer, Yeng Constantino, Karylle, Luke Mijares, Victoria, Sitti, Wency Cornejo, The CompanY;

    Noel Cabangon, Amber, Aiza Seguerra, Renz Verano, Richard Poon, Denise Laurel, Jan Nieto, Bo Cerrudo, Kris Lawrence, Duncan Ramos, Josh of Freestyle, Iya Villania, Lea Salonga, Rico Blanco, Joey Generoso, Nina, Arnel Pineda, Charice Pempengco, Piolo Pascual, Kyla, Erik Santos, Jed Madela, Mark Bautista, Pops Fernandez, Zsazsa Padilla, Juris of MYMP, Sharon Cuneta, Bing Loyzaga, Ryan Cayabyab Singers, Thor, Joscephine Gomez, Montet Acoymo and Andrew E. Poch Concepcion.

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