TONIGHT is the night for the Suklay Diva, Katrina Velarde, and she can’t help feeling tense and nervous as she’s staging her first big solo concert, “SiKAT Ako”, at the New Frontier Theatre in Cubao. Katrina is one singer who has really paid her dues, rising from poverty selling rice cakes in Tondo and being a kontesera in amateur singing contests, to be one of our top belters today.
She has endured many battles in life, including her bout with the illness called Bell’s palsy that affected the right side of her face, making it paralyzed, including her tongue. “I thought I’d never be able to sing again,” she says. “Ni hindi ako makakain ng tama. When I’d drink, tumutulo 'yung iniinom ko sa sides ng mouth ko. At 'yun na nga, pati boses ko was badly affected. But thanks to God, after one year of medicines and therapy, nagalaw ko rin uli ang mukha ko. May konting paninigas pa rin sa facial muscles, but the important things is nakakanta uli ako.”
And now Viva Live has given her the chance to show what she’s got in “SiKAT Ako”. “I promise to give my very best in every number,” she adds. “Director Paolo Valenciano has lined up some very good songs for me, mga naging part ng buhay ko sa showbiz. I will also do my new original song, ‘Kung Naging Tayong Dalawa’, na napakaganda talaga. I really want to thank Boss Vic del Rosario of Viva sa tiwala niya sa’kin. Sure siyang maraming manonood sa concert ko, e, and I fully trust his long years of experience as the big boss of Viva.”
Viva Entertainment Group has truly diversified and now has several platforms. Aside from Viva Live that produces concert like ‘SiKAT Ako’, of course, they have Viva Films that produces full length local movies and their latest release is “Hanggang Saan” on February 6 with Xian Lim and Louise de los Reyes. They have Viva International that distributes Hollywood releases and their latest release is “Serenity” on February 13 starring Matthew MacConaughey and Anne Hathaway.
And they now also have Viva International Food and Restaurant, Inc. that offers various eateries all over the city. Right now, they have different food companies: Paper Moon that is well-known for its great cakes and coffee, Botejyu for authentic Japanese cuisine, Pepi Cubano for Cuban dishes, WingZone for burgers and wings and Yogorino for yogurt products, flavored milk tea and tapioca drinks. You can easily google the various outlets of these shops to go visit the ones nearest to you.