Donna Cruz

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Donna Cruz
Birth name Donna Cruz Yrastorza
Born (1977-02-14) February 14, 1977 (age 38)
Origin Manila, Philippines
Genres OPM, pop
Occupation(s) Singer, actress
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1984-present
Labels Star Music

Donna Cruz Yrastorza-Larrazabal (born February 14, 1977) or popularly known as Donna Cruz is a Filipina recording artist and entertainer. She emerged as the biggest multimedia superstar in the 1990s, becoming successful as a recording artist, actress, product endorser and television presenter. Cruz is related to the Cruz clan in Philippine showbiz which includes cousins Tirso, Sheryl, Sunshine, Geneva, Rayver and Rodjun, and is the first cousin of Spongecola frontman Yael Yuzon.

At age twenty, Cruz was the highest paid exclusive VIVA artist (in the VIVA Entertainment talent roster) in history, with earnings of ₱77 million in 1997 alone. According to Viva Entertainment, she is the most successful OPM female artist of the 1990s, with combined album sales of over 300,000 units throughout her nine years as an active recording artist, and her movies totaling a gross of ₱900 million in the local box office.


1988-1991: Early career beginnings[edit]

Born in Manila, Philippines, Cruz began performing as a child, becoming a grand finalist of Eat Bulaga!'s Little Miss Philippines beauty pageant and grand champion of Bulilit Batang Kampeon in 1988. She signed with Viva Records in 1991 and released her debut album Donna in that same year. During this decade, she became a prominent figure in the entertainment industry, as she was one of the most sought-after entertainers in the Philippines. Her singles "Kapag Tumibok ang Puso" and "Rain" became popular singles in OPM music. In the same year that Cruz was launched as an actress, she played a supporting role alongside Tony Lambino in Mars Ravelo's Darna, which was topbilled by actress Nanette Medved.

1992-1994: Breakthrough as an actress[edit]

In 1992, Cruz won as Best New Performing Artist in Awit Awards. She released Kurot sa Puso in that same year, and joined German Moreno's That's Entertainment, a daily variety show that featured young and upcoming new talents. Two years later, she released Langit na Naman, her third studio album. It was certified gold in the Philippines. it was in that same year that she starred in two drama movies, Kadenang Bulaklak alongside Vina Morales, Ana Roces and Angelu de Leon, and Pangako Ng Kahapon, together with Agot Isidro and Alice Dixson, the movie which gave her a Best Supporting Actress nomination. After the success of these movies, Cruz starred in her first soap opera entitled Villa Quintana opposite actor Keempee de Leon which also got a PMPC Nomination for Best TV Series. In 1995, she starred in college romance flicks such as Campus Girls, Okey Si Ma'am, and Love Notes: The Movie.

1995-1997: Dominance as a multimedia star[edit]

As a recording artist, she launched her biggest-selling album ever, Habang May Buhay, an album composed of selected movie theme songs. The album received its Quadruple platinum award, making it Donna's best-selling album so far. The cut "Only Me and You" was chosen as Awit Award's 1995 Best Ballad Recording, and Donna as Best Female Ballad Performance in an album. The album was certified 4x platinum. The single "Only Me and You" won her the Best Ballad Recording by a Female Artist. Also, a movie was made as a tie-in with the release of the movie Habang May Buhay in which she starred alongside Ian de Leon and Hilda Koronel. Before the year closed, Cruz joined de Leon as well as his mother, veteran actress Nora Aunor in the drama film, Muling Umawit ang Puso, in which she won her first acting award, a Best Supporting Actress trophy given by the Metro Manila Film Festival.

In 1996, she starred alongside Bong Revilla in Pag-Ibig Ko Sa Iyo'y Totoo and again with Ian de Leon and newcomer Jao Mapa in Dahil Tanging Ikaw. During that same year, she starred in DoReMi, the biggest movie of 1996, together with Regine Velasquez and Mikee Cojuangco. Cruz released a Christmas album entitled, Merry Christmas Donna, which included the single "Muling Sumapit Ang Pasko," written by legendary songwriter Vehnee Saturno. The album was certified platinum, and became the biggest-selling Christmas album during that year.

In 1997, she recorded a duet with American singer Jason Everly, called "Wish", son of Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers which became the biggest radio single of that year. She also recorded an Alan Menken song entitled "The Story of My Life" which was included in the Philippine release of The Best of Disney Love Songs. Her album Pure Donna was also released and garnered platinum status in just a week after it was issued in record outlets. Later that year, Cruz together with Jason Everly starred in the blockbuster film, Isang Tanong, Isang Sagot, which is her latest film to date. Also that same year, she joined Eat!...Bulaga as a co-host and performer. She was also part of SOP, a Sunday musical variety show. Cruz also starred and hosted her musical special Pure Donna, which was broadcast on GMA 7 on her twentieth birthday. The special won the Best Musical Special in the 1997 Aliw Awards.[1] A Villa Quintana: The Movie starring Cruz and Keempee de Leon was also planned but was scrapped by Viva Films at the last minute. Before the year ended, Cruz was officially the highest-paid female celebrity in the 1990s, with annual earnings worth ₱77 million in 1997 alone, according to VIVA Entertainment.

1998-2005: Marriage, pregnancy and college graduation[edit]

In February 1998, Cruz became engaged to Yong Larrazabal, an ophthalmologist from Cebu. During that year, she was supposed to film Putikang Anghel a movie which will depict Cruz in a sexier, more mature and daring role, with Onemig Bondoc and Jake Roxas, but production was halted after Vic del Rosario, Jr., owner of Viva Entertainment, Inc. rejected the script.[2] Cruz married Larrazabal in September of that year, and relocated to Cebu permanently. She released her final album under Viva Records in 1999, entitled Hulog ng Langit, which focused on love songs and lullabies. During that year, she gave birth to a daughter named Belle. Three years later, she gave birth to her second child, a son named Cian. Cruz made a special guest appearance in Bahay Mo Ba 'To? as Lynnette, reprising her role in Villa Quintana. A year later, she managed to successfully finish a computer degree from Cebu Doctors College in 2003.

2006-present: Comeback and guestings[edit]

Cruz returned to the spotlight in 2006, after appearing with her two children, Belle and Cian, for a Jollibee commercial. In 2007, Cruz gave birth to her third child, named Gio. In that same year, Cruz sang the Pampers Christmas Advertisement jingle "Payapang Daigdig". In 2008, Cruz spearheaded the Lactum's 100% Panatag Ako campaign by singing "Kailanman Panatag", a song written by Ogie Alcasid and Nicole Tolentino, and performed the song in ASAP.

In 2010, Cruz appeared as a celebrity contestant in Wowowee, and performed "I Can" with fellow celebrity contestants Dimples Romana and Nikki Valdez. A year later, Cruz appeared in the sitcom Daldalita where she played the role of Carmela de Leon-Matias, who is Daldalita's mother. This marked Cruz' first acting role in a television show since 1998's Growing Up.


Studio albums[edit]

  • Donna (1989)
  • Kurot Sa Puso (1992)
  • Langit Na Naman (1994)
  • Habang May Buhay (1995)
  • Merry Christmas Donna (1996)
  • Pure Donna (1997)
  • Hulog Ng Langit (1999)

Soundtrack albums[edit]

  • Campus Girls: Music from the Motion Picture (1995)
  • Love Notes: Music from the Motion Picture (1995)
  • Muling Umawit Ang Puso: Music from the Motion Picture (1995)
  • DoReMi: Music from the Motion Picture (1996)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • The Best of Donna Cruz (1998)
  • Servant of All (2000)
  • Donna Cruz Sings Her Greatest Hits (2001)
  • Viva Silver Series: Donna (2006)




Year Title Role Network
1992–1994 Alabang Girls Bighani/Big Honey
1993 That's Entertainment Herself/Host
GMA Network
1993–1997 Ober Da Bakod Muning
GMA Network
1995 Wishing for a Soulmate Libay
Viva Cable Channel
Laging Nasa Puso
1995-1997 Villa Quintana Lynette Quintana
GMA Network
1995–1998 Eat Bulaga! Co-Host
1996–1998 Growing Up Stephanie Acosta
2005 Bahay Mo Ba 'To Guest
2008 ASAP Guest
2011 Party Pilipinas Guest
GMA Network
Daldalita Carmela
2014 Sarap Diva Guest


Year Movie Role
1991 Andrew Ford Medina: Huwag Kang Gamol Donna
1991 Dr. Potpot Travels to the Moon
1991 Darna
1992 Pangako Sa'yo
1992 Pretty Boy
1993 Ang Boyfriend Kong Gamol Donna
1993 Manchichiritchit
1993 Kadenang Bulaklak Violy Abolencia
1993 Tom & Jerry: Hindi Kaming Hayop
1993 Row 4: Ang Baliktorians Dory Pangilinan
1994 Pintsik Gilda
1994 Pinagbiyak na Bunga Kristine
1994 Pangako ng Kahapon Belinda Tavera
1994 Johnny Guess: Ang Taong Laging Nagtatanong
1994 Ober Da Bakod: The Movie Muning
1995 Love Notes Movie (Ep. 2: Langit na Naman) Ditas
1995 Okey Si Ma'am! Lailani Arana (Leny)
1995 Campus Girls Georgie
1995 Muling Umawit ang Puso Noemi
1995 Habang May Buhay Pia
1995 Pag-Ibig Ko Sa Iyo'y Totoo Dulce
1996 DoReMi Donette Legaspi
1997 Dahil Tanging Ikaw Erica and Cecile
1997 Isang Tanong, Isang Sagot Rizelle


Awit Awards[edit]

Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
1992 Herself Best New Female Recording Artist Won
1995 "Only Me and You" Best Ballad Recording Won

Film Academy of the Philippines[edit]

Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
1994 Pangako ng Kahapon Best Supporting Actress Nominated

Star Awards[edit]

Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
1994 Pangako ng Kahapon Best Supporting Actress Nominated

Metro Manila Film Festival[edit]

Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
1995 Muling Umawit ang Puso Best Supporting Actress Won

Aliw Awards[edit]

Year Recipient/Nominated work Award Result
1997 Pure Donna Best Musical Special Won


External links[edit]