The Juniors and Seniors Promenade, or commonly referred to as JS Prom, is arguably one of the most unforgettable part of high school life for some of us. It is the annual event when we forget – for the meantime – the deadlines, school works, and even problems and just enjoy the night with our friends and classmates while cladded in fabulous attires.
However, not everyone had the opportunity to to experience it due to various reasons, just like most of the artists we know since some of them weren’t able to go to regular school or they had to miss it because of work commitments.
Thus, this year, ABS-CBN’s very own talent management arm, Star Magic, came up with the idea of staging a grandiose and glamorous gathering inspired by the said remarkable school event for the very first time this year dubbed “Star Magical Prom,” which took place on Thursday, March 30, at The Bellevue Manila in Muntinlupa City.
The event, which was livestreamed via Star Magic’s official YouTube channel, was attended by the up-and-coming, fast-rising, and hottest Kapamilya artists of this generation, along with ABS-CBN top executives, friends from other media outlets, trade partners and clients, and Star Magic handlers, managers, and higher-ups. It was hosted by Ai Dela Cruz and Edward Barber.
The Star Magical Prom started at around six o’clock in the evening, with Ai commencing the livestream with a little backgrounder about the event and its distinctive ivory carpet, which, according to her, is a color that is “as fresh as the new generation of artists that we’re going to celebrate”. She, at the same time, did a brief tour inside the lavish ballroom, as well as through the splendid staircase going to the garden-inspired hallway, where the interview station, illuminated tunnel path walk, and pretty photo op bush wall were located.
Prior to that, she also had the chance to talk to event stylist Dave Sandoval, NicePrint Photo CEO Charisse Tinio, and Star Magic PR Manager Thess Gubi and had them discuss their respective teams’ preparations for this historic event, which is inspired by the popular American historical fiction-romance streaming television series “Bridgerton,” from the overall design of the venue up to the attires of the attendees.
Being the Head of Star Magic and TV Production, it was Director Laurenti M. Dyogi who was the first one to do the ceremonial walk on the ivory carpet and be interviewed by Ai. According to him, they actually prepared the Star Magical Prom for the young artists as they wanted them to feel special and give them the time to shine. He was accompanied by his unica hija Lian Kyla, who is an up-and-rising singer-songwriter and producer.
The throngs of young artists sashayed on the ivory carpet by batch, starting off with the Freshmen, then followed by the Sophomores, Juniors, Seniors, and the Prime. Ai was able to catch up with some of them, such as Jana Agoncillo, Mutya Orquia and her date Beaver Magtalas, Raikko Mateo, Kristal Brimner, Criza Taa, Xyriel Manabat, Sheena Belarmino and partner Reiven Umali, Esnyr Ranollo, the trio AC Bonifacio, Angela Ken, and SAB, Shanaia Gomez, Gillian Vicencio and Karina Bautista, Anji Salvacion, Sheena Catacutan of BINI and her date Dustine Mayores, Janine Berdin, Harvey Bautista and Bianca de Vera, Kobie Brown and Andrea Abaya, and BGYO.
She also had the chance to interview up-and-coming global boy group HORI7ON of the reality talent search Dream Maker, as well as reel and real pairs Francine Diaz and Seth Fedelin, Vivoree Esclito and Brent Manalo, Aljon Mendoza and Jayda, Jeremiah Lisbo and Kaori Oinuma, Andrea Brillantes and Ricci Rivero, and Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano – which were certainly much-awaited by their adoring fans and shippers.
It was also revealed that the artists underwent catwalk and etiquette workshops under Kagandahang Flores’ COO Gio Flores and Facilitator Ning Corteza. Direk Lauren divulged during the workshop that the prom was actually one year in the making. He related, “This was planned last year. We really wanted a prom last year. So, I think, it’s time for the young ones to be recognized, to be introduced to the public after two to three years of the pandemic. So, this is one way of introducing everyone to the public.”
Direk Lauren, through his opening remark, shared that the prom is their way of welcoming the artists back to the workforce after years of being disrupted by the pandemic. Besides, he expressed his gratitude to the ABS-CBN bosses and the partners for this event, as well as to the invited clients and industry friends who graced the prom.
Host Edward Barber then presented the four batches, who were introduced through pre-recorded videos of them introducing themselves and sharing a few of their works, talents, and/or interests that could help them entice directors, productions head, and brands to hire them in their next projects or campaigns.
First and foremost was the Freshmen batch, which was composed of Jana Agoncillo, Paolo Alcantara, Francis Concepcion, Andrez del Rosario, Lance Lucido, Raikko Mateo, Krystal Mejes, Marc Santiago, and Omar Uddin.
They were represented by graceful and eloquent Jana, who stated: “Even though we weren’t that visible, our workshops and trainings are still ongoing for us to become a more effective and better artists. And that is what we want to show you – that we are capable and prepared to take challenging roles and ready to be part of show business once again.”
The FranSeth tandem was then called to give pieces of advice to them. Francine reminded then to always keep their feet on the ground and be willing to accept rejections, as well as to keep moving forward, keep on fighting everyday, and have that brave and kind heart. Seth, on the other hand, emphasized how longevity is more important than popularity, and to always let love and respect to everyone around them prevail.
Next was the sophomore class comprised by Louise Abuel, JB Agustin, Luke Alford, Gwen Apuli of BINI, Harvey Bautista, Kobie Brown, Erika Davis, Ashley Del Mundo, Mackie Empuerto, Kai Espenido, Shanne Gulle, Ishiro Incapas, Mikha Lim of BINI, Beaver Magtalas, Rina Maier, Xyriel Manabat, Nate Porcalla of BGYO, Jhoanna Robles of BINI, Tan Roncal, Heart Salvador, Hadiyah Santos, Stacey Sevilleja of BINI, Drei Sugay, Maxine Trinidad, Dalia Varde, Luis Vera Perez, Sharina Villena, and Josh Worsley.
Goin’ Bulilit alumnus Harvey Bautista, who’s now also a director, was their representative, who expressed, “Gusto naming magkwento, gusto naming magbigay-buhay sa mga characters na sinulat po ninyo, gusto naming maging instrumento ninyo para mabuhay ang pelikula o show na ginagawa ninyo sa streaming o sa digital. Sana po makibahagi kayo sa vision ng Star Magic at sa vision naming artista. Let us help you po.”
Multi-faceted artist AC Bonifacio was the one chosen to give them nuggets of wisdom. She related how her journey has taught her the real definition of success, which is about having the ability to inspire other people, being able to push other people to do what they want to do, and to be passionate about what they love.”
The Juniors, which was comprised by Gela Atayde, Gabb Birkin, Rob Blackburn, Matthew Cruz, Renshi de Guzman, Isaiah dela Cruz, Shanaia Gomez, Angela Ken, Amanda Manaois, Dustine Mayores, Yen Quirante, Esnyr Ranollo, Ian Real, Izabel Reyes, Maloi Ricalde of BINI, Tiff Ronato, SAB, Anji Salvacion, Emjay Savilla, Daniela Stranner, Reiven Umali, and Kyzha Villalino, was represented by Shanaiah Gomez.
Part of her speech stated, “We wanna be able to inspire and spread love and joy not only to the Filipinos here in the Philippines, but all over the world. Believe me when I say we took this very seriously. We’ve gone through many workshops online and in person to prepare ourselves not just for tonight, but for the future. So, with this event tonight, we’re hoping that you’ll help us become one step closer to our dream. We promise that with the opportunity, we will not let you down.”
Versatile young actress Andrea Brillantes, who has been in the industry for more than a decade now, advised them, “Huwag tayong masyadong magpadala sa pressure kasi nandito tayo dahil may pangarap tayo. Hindi ‘to pabilisan, hindi para malaman kung sino ang mas mabilis na sisikat. Nandito tayo kasi may goal tayong lahat.”
Last, but definitely not the least, were the Seniors, composed by Andrea Abaya, Luciana Andres, Aiah Arceta of BINI, Mikki Claver of BGYO, Arabella Davao, Bianca de Vera, Kei Kurosawa, Zabel Lamberth, Russu Laurente, Brent Manalo, Crismar Manchavez, Akira Morishita of BGYO, Yana Pamular, Missy Quiño, Recio, Rans Rifol, Gelo Rivera of BGYO, Sean Tristan, JL Toreliza of BGYO, Angela Tungol, Colet Vergara of BINI, Gian Wang and Amanda Zamora.
The batch representative was Ralph de Leon, who uttered, “We trained hard, we prepared ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. Kaya’t maaasahan n’yo po sa amin na ibibigay po namin ang lahat sa kahit anong project na ibibigay n’yo sa amin.”
DonBelle were assigned to impart the career and life lessons they’ve learned to them, with Belle telling them, “Along the way, I learned how to believe and dream. I learned how to believe in myself, I learned to believe in the management, but mostly, I learned to believe that God’s plans will fall accordingly. And I want you to embody that. And one thing I also learned is humility kasi that’s one thing that will take you further in life.”
Donny, meanwhile, reminded them: “There are so many people who want to be in your place, and yet here you are. And that is because of a reason that you, guys, have to find out with yourself, with God, with people who love you or who you love. Don’t forget the ones who’ve been there you from the very start a well, because those are the ones who believe and tell you the truth even if it hurts.”
Since this is a coming-of-age event, there was also a mini celebration for the girls aged 16 and 18, wherein they imparted their pledges and, at the same time, received messages from the most important figures in their lives and even their Kapamilya idols.
The Sweet 16 celebrators, comprised by Mutya Orquia, Krystal Brimner, Hannah Lopez Vito, Jana Indanan, and Kendra Aguirre, were cladded in pink gowns and danced to Maymay Entrata’s “Amakabogera.”
Meanwhile, the debutantes, who were composed by Reich Alim, Ericka Peralejo, Haira Palaguitto, Trisha Fabe, Aicy Fabe, Trisha Gomez, Misha de Leon, Noelle Martinez, Krstyl Ball, Angelica Lao, Sheena Catacutan of BINI, Criza Taa, and Sheena Belarmino, were dressed in purple frocks. Serving as their escorts and cotillion dance partners were some of the dashing young heartthrobs of Star Magic.
Aside from seeing their favorite artists and/or pairs in their most glamorous and glitzy appearances, one of the things that fans were surely looking forward to during that night filled with love, friendship, and magic were the giving of special and major awards.
In pursuit of honoring the effort, creativity, and courage of the artists who came up with the adorable and sweet promposals we’d witnessed in the past weeks, four categories were created for it. The Most Viewed Promposal and Most Kilig Promposal recognitions were bestowed to FranSeth, while the Most Creative Promposal was given to Andrea Brillantes and Ricci Rivero.
Meanwhile, three pairs won the Best Promposal, starting off with Jeremiah Lisbo and Kaori Oinuma as 2nd runner-up, then FranSeth as 1st runner-up, and Andrea and Ricci as the grand winners for their trending promposal that happened during the recent BLACKPINK concert in the Philippines.
There were also Royalty Awards, which were given to the artists who were able to rake in the highest number of votes per batch and as a whole from the votes cast by their supporters and the livestream viewers on Facebook, YouTube, and KTX.
Raiko Mateo and Krystal Mejes were crowned as the Freshman Prince and Princess, while it was Mackie Empuerto and Jayda Avanzado for the Sophomores, Reiven Umali and Anji Salvacion for the Juniors, and Brent Manalo and Vivoree Esclito for the Seniors.
Prior to naming the Prom King and Queen, ABS-CBN COO for Broadcast Cory V. Vidanes expressed her congratulations to LMD and the entire Star Magic family for the success of the first-ever Star Magical Prom. She also grabbed the opportunity to give her advice to everyone, particularly the young neophytes, who are still at the onset of their showbiz careers.
“I want you all to enjoy the journey, but the journey will not be easy. It’s a difficult journey, you have to work very hard and there are a lot of sacrifices. Marami kayong iiiyak, madadapa kayo, pero ang importante, bumangon kayo at treat every experience as a learning experience that will make you better – better people,” she conveyed, and added that they must stay humble, patient, and grounded, as well as treat everyone with respect and genuine compassion.
YT EMBED: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKy1mSYlRdw&t=9s
After Donny and Belle were proclaimed the Prom King and Queen, the “Gitara Boys,” composed of Rob Blackburn, Luke Alford, Beaver Magtalas, Recio, CJ Navato, and Drei Sugay took on the stage to perform “When I’m With You”. Prime pairs Andrea and Ricci, FranSeth, and DonBelle, together with the Princes and Princess also returned to the dancefloor to have their sweet prom dance, which marked the conclusion of the ceremony.