“I’m so happy with my family life and I just want to concentrate on it as of now. But if DoReMi will indeed have a big screen reboot and it’ll be offered to me, I will sign-up for a one movie deal and enjoy the whole experience once again specially that it’s with Regine and Mikee.”
A member of one of local entertainment’s most popular clans, Donna Cruz reached the pinnacle of success during her prime. She not only banked on the strength of her surname and physical allure but more importantly, sheer talent and dedication to her craft. Hers is definitely an inspiring success story.
She started in the ‘biz at an early stage, joining singing competitions and pageants. Once a grand finalist in the popular “Little Miss Philippines” search of the top-rating noon time show Eat Bulaga, Donna also triumphed in Bulilit Bagong Kampeon when she bagged the top plum in 1988. This opened a wide array of opportunities for the be-dimpled lass.
For one, Viva Records took interest in her and became one of its certified hit makers. All in all, Donna did seven studio albums under Viva Records, namely, “Donna” (1991), “Kurot sa Puso” (1992), “Langit na Naman” (1994), “Habang May Buhay” (1995), “Merry Christmas Donna” (1996), “Pure Donna” (1997) and “Hulog ng Langit” (1998). All these achieved either Gold or Platinum status which was proof of her bankability as a recording star.
Some of her hit ditties which the public greatly patronized and became timeless classics were, “Rain,” “Boy,” “Kapag Tumibok ang Puso,” “Langit na Naman,” “Habang May Buhay,” “Ikaw Pala ‘Yon,” “Hang On,” “Ikaw Lang at Ako,” “I Can,” “Hulog ng Langit” and “Only Me and You.” Maximizing her artistic potential to the fullest, her mother studio Viva Films made her top-bill numerous potboilers which raked in huge money at the tills.
From supporting roles in hit films such as Darna, Ober da Bakod (The Movie), Manchichiritchit, Pintsik and Ang Boyfriend Kong Gamol which made her popular with the masses, Donna eventually became Viva’s Princess when her teenybopper starrers became blockbusters starting with the tearjerker Kadenang Bulaklak where she shared the frame with Vina Morales, Ana Roces and Angelu de Leon. From here, she didn’t look back and achieved phenomenal success in acting. Some of her unforgettable hit movies include Habang May Buhay, Dahil Tanging Ikaw and Okay si Ma’m (opposite love team Ian de Leon), Love Notes (The Movie) (with Keempee de Leon), Campus Girls (with Donita Rose, Vina Morales and Geneva Cruz) and Isang Tanong, Isang Sagot (along with international singing sensation Jason Everly).
Donna also made critically-acclaimed and box-office projects opposite some of the country’s biggest stars like Pag-ibig Ko Sa ‘Yo’y Totoo (opposite Bong Revilla, Jr.), Pangako ng Kahapon (with Alice Dixson, Albert Martinez and Agot Isidro in which she received numerous nominations for Best Supporting Actress), DoReMi (along with Regine Velasquez and Mikee Cojuangco) and Muling Umawit ang Puso (with Superstar Nora Aunor). For the latter, she won as Best Supporting Actress in the 1995 edition of the Metro Manila Film Festival, an attestation that apart from singing, she can also act.
On TV, the talented singer-actress is most unforgettable as the female lead in the top-rating soap opera Villa Quintana which ran for years. She was also a member of That’s Entertainment and for a while, a co-host for Eat Bulaga. She did lots of guest stints as well in other famous programs then like SOP, Growing Up and Party Pilipinas.
Until true love called. In 1998, she married Potenciano “Yong” Larrazabal III, an ophthalmologist from Cebu and a member of one of the most respected and affluent families in the said province. They have three children namely, Isabella Adriana (Belle), Potenciano IV (Cian) and Iñigo Renato (Gio). Since she got married, Donna permanently stayed in Cebu and decided to give up her showbiz career.
Of late, talks of a DoReMi remake are rife especially when she made a guest stint in Regine Velasquez’s recent anniversary concert where they sang “I Can” along with Mikee Cojuangco. If ever, will she agree doing it despite the fact that she doesn’t want to go back into acting again?
“I will consider it given that Reg and Mikee will accept,” she avers. “Everyone knows that said movie will always have a soft spot in our hearts because that’s where our friendship started. Until now, our closeness remains and that film will always connect us to our fans who watched it before.
“I wish the remake will push through. But if not, it’s just fine with me. It’s hard to preempt things. Whatever God’s plan is, let it be. As I’ve said, as long as it’s DoReMi, my husband will readily give me his consent. Yong is supportive of any project which requires my collaboration with my best friends in the ‘biz.”
When she released her latest recording album titled “Now and Forever” under Star Records last year, many thought she’d go back into acting. “Nope! I didn’t have plans of doing movies or soaps once again. As I always say, my family is my top priority. I can’t leave them for a long time. So, acting is definitely out of the frame. It’s just my singing. I miss it. I wanted to make a new album and I’m so glad because my husband produced it. He knows that in my case, once a singer will always be a singer.”