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PIA Press Release

Biliran lass is first "Pinoy idol"

Tacloban City (August 19) -- Beautiful and talented Ms. Gretchen Espina, a twenty-year old lass from Naval, Biliran was proclaimed last Sunday as the winner in the talent search produced by GMA 7 television network.

This news was accepted with much jubilation not only in Biliran province where Gretchen's dad is the Governor, but in the entire Eastern Visayas Region.

Gretchen, who is a fourth year European Language student at the University of the Philippines, is a former member of the UP Singing Ambassadors. Gretchen's winning was no longer that surprising for the people who know her.

Gretchen has been singing all her life, not only in school but in important provincial and regional presentations. For those who do not know, Gretchen comes from a family of talented singers and musicians. Even Governor Roger is a good singer and piano player.

The people of Region 8 supported Gretchen since she qualified in the Pinoy Idol, a search which sought to discover the best singer or "idol" in the country through series of nationwide auditions and live performances.

Since April 5, the whole Region watched Gretchen metamorphose from the shy teener into the "revelation" as a total performer that she is today.

It took one text saying that Gretchen is one of the 179 from among the more than 1000 aspirants, who qualified in the Search. One receiver forwards it to his or her friends- the rest is history.

Gretchen's rendition of "For Your Eyes Only," Stand Up for Love," and "Ngayon" during the final performance night on Saturday, was indeed very impressive. On Sunday, Gretchen's rendition of the Pinoy Idol theme song composed by Mr. Ogie Alcasid, showed that Gretchen has the "it" to become the winner.

Aside from winning the hearts of millions of Filipino people, Gretchen won P1Million from which she said she will share P100,000.00 each to the other two finalists, Jayann Bautista of Pampanga and former Viva recording artist Ram Chaves of Cagayan de Oro City.

Gretchen also won a condominium unit, a new Mitsubishi Lancer, a P1-M recording contract with Sony BMG Music Philippines and a television contract with GMA 7 worth P500,000. (PIA 8) [top]

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