Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Next Big Star to Watch in 2008: Maja Salvador

Her nickname is "Totzki". Friends call her "Maj". Maja Ross Andres Salvador is considered as one of the finest young actresses of her generation. She can sing, dance and surely she can act. Labled as the “Complete Package” of a true star, Maja Salvador is the next big star to watch. Born October 5, 1988 from Aparri, Cagayan, she came from a family of celebrities including her father Ross Rival (1945-2007), (Rosauro Salvador in private life), aunt Jobelle Salvador, late grandfather Lou Salvador Jr., and late grand-uncle Leroy Salvador were all great actors. Her uncle, Philip Salvador, is currently one of the more famous actors in the Philippines.

There’s something about a teenaged girl aching for her long-lost dad that moves one’s heart. When ABS-CBN’s Charo Santos-Concio saw Maja Salvador pleading on nationwide TV for a glimpse of her dad Ross Rival, something in the girl’s angelic face tugged at the network executive’s heartstrings. Concio asked her staff to look for Maja. Thus did Maja Salvador sign up with the Lopez network and was introduced as John Prats’ partner in It Might Be You. Before that though, Lady Luck was working overtime for the then 17-year-old girl from Aparri. Maja met Farrah Ramos, movie columnist-talent manager Chit Ramos’s daughter in a modeling workshop and they became fast friends. Little did Maja know their friendship will lead her, not only to a reunion with her dad, but to a promising career in showbiz, a field her father’s side of the family has been identified with for decades.

Maja confided to Chit that she had long wanted to see her dad, whom she last saw when she was only seven. Maja did not know Chit wrote about showbiz and never suspected her wishful thinking will come true. To Maja’s surprise, Chit replied, “You want to see your dad? Let’s call Phillip (Salvador, Maja’s uncle).” Before Maja can say a word, Chit dialed Philip’s number on the cell phone and uncle and niece were talking.

The long-delayed father-daughter reunion - chronicled and aired on The Buzz – took place in the house of Ramon Salvador, Phillip’s older brother. As fate would have it, Concio was watching at that time, and that touching scene stuck in her mind. The rest, as they say, is history.

Maja started as a secondary cast in the Diary episode of "Maalaala Mo Kaya" as Nayni. But her career blossomed when she became as one of the cast in the successful telenovela, "It Might Be You". Since then, she had been included in numerous shows. One of it is in ASAP ’07 where she became a regular host and performer. She have been included in a special dance showdown segment in ASAP ’07 called “The Ultimate Dance 4″. She was paired with the Dancefloor Dynamite, John Pratts; Rayver Cruz and Shaina Magdayao (Dancefloor Sweethearts) were also included. Maja was also included in the recently concluded telenovela "Pangarap na Buitin" and in the telefantasya "Pedro Penduko at ang mga Engkantao". Both shows were a success and have been frequently watched by the public.

She had parts in movies including Sukob, First Day High, My Kuya’s Wedding, and One More Chance. Maja have received a number of awards and nominations: Next Big Female Star (YES! Magazine Reader’s Choice Award, 2006), Best Single Performance by a Lead Actress Nominee in Maalaala Mo Kaya: Regalo (Philippine Movie Press Club’s Star Awards for TV, 2006), Most Promising Female Star (Guillermo Mendoza Memorial Scholarship Foundation Box-Office Entertainment Awards, 2006), New Movie Actress of the Year in the movie Sukob (Philippine Movie Press Club’s Star Awards for Movies, 2007), Breakthrough Performance by an Actress for Sukob (Entertainment Press Society, Inc.’s Golden Screen Awards, 2007), Best Supporting Actress Nominee for Sukob (PASADO Awards, 2007), Best Supporting Actress Nominee for Sukob (FAMAS Awards), German Moreno Youth Achievement Award (FAMAS Awards, 2007).

In the upcoming ABS-CBN primetime bida "Sineserye Presents: Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara", she plays the role of Agnes, a student psychic that can see the ghost of the antagonist. She is paired with Jay-ar Siaboc, her new love team since Pangarap na Bituin.

With Maja’s excellent acting skill, Regal Entertainment is planning a movie for her and she will be paired with Richard Guttierez. She will also replace Rainie Yang for the Taiwanovela “Exchange Love”. Another new project for Maja will be the famed "Anna Liza" series, an ABS-CBN teleserye remake of the 1980's soap opera of the same title (which was aired by GMA Network). Truly, Maja will be the star to watch for 2008.

Jay Fermin ppp-usa