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A Pose from the magz pictorials
 

Raymond Manalo Makes His Move
 
 
Ever since he emerged runner-up to Rachelle Ann Go in Search For A Star, people have been waiting for Raymond Manalo to make his own push toward stardom.

Now, after his impressive performances in Night Of The Champions and Pinoy Idols: Battle of the Popstars (where he more than held his ground alongside the more seasoned Erik Santos , Mark Bautista and Christian Bautista), Raymond has finally come into his own with the release of his debut album, entitled Faithfully, under Viva Records.

The album contains Raymond’s revival of Kung Alam Ko Lang, which was a big hit for Toni Daya in the early 90s. The song, which is the album’s carrier single, has been getting very good airplay, making people wonder who the singer is. Imagine their surprise upon finding out that it was none other than Raymond himself!

The good-looking, 21 year old singer – whose looks and silky smooth voice have made people tag him the heir apparent to Martin Nievera – says it wasn’t that difficult to interpret the song, even if it was originally popularized by a female singer. "Universal naman kasi yung theme ng kanta, which is yung pagiging salawahan ng isang mahal mo," explains Raymond.

Aside from the carrier single, Faithfully also contains Kailangan Kita, Raymond’s winning song during the Search For A Star competition. Other cuts include the title track Faithfully (composed by Vehnee and Doris Saturno), Muli (originally popularized by Rodel Naval), You Changed My Life In A Moment, Only Me and You, and You and I (Have Traveled Far Together), a duet featuring Jayanne, an up-and-coming female singer from Pamapanga and fellow Search For A Star contestant. She made it as far as the semi-finals, where Viva executives saw her, were impressed and tapped her to do a duet with Raymond for his album.

Raymond is very excited over this big break given to him by Viva. He intends to make the best of it, even if it means temporarily setting aside his studies at the Holy Angel University in Pampanga, where he was studying Finance. "Ang school naman, makakapaghintay anytime," says Raymond. "Pero temporary lang naman ito. I still want to go back and pursue my studies. Siyempre, iba rin yung tapos ka."

Yet even as he is making waves in Manila, Raymond is one person who never forgets to go back to his roots. When he’s not so busy, he goes home to Pampanga to touch base with friends and family.

 

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