Iya Villania

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Iya Villania-Arellano
Raelene Elaine Villania[fn 1]

(1986-06-29) June 29, 1986 (age 36)
  • Singer
  • television presenter
  • actress
Years active2002–present
(m. 2014)
RelativesAntonio Arellano (father-in-law)
Bernadette Estrella Arellano (mother-in-law)
Conrado F. Estrella Sr. (grandfather-in-law)
Conrado M. Estrella III (cousin-in-law)

Raelene Elaine Villania[fn 1](born June 29, 1986), known professionally as Iya Villania-Arellano (Tagalog: [ɪˈjɐ biˈʎɐɲɐ ɐˈɾɛʎɐno]), is a Filipino-Australian singer, television presenter, and actress.[1] She has been widely known for her work as a VJ in the music channel MYX.

Early and personal life[edit]

Raelene Elaine Ebaler Villania was born and raised in Sydney to Filipino parents, Ray Villania and Elena Nada Ebaler. The youngest of three siblings, she has two older sisters named Rhoda and Sheila.[2] Villania's interest in music started when her father sang karaoke when she was a child. She used to be a member of a touring band in Australia called Iron & Clay that address issues in schools and churches such bullying, drunk driving, and self-esteem. Later, she returned to the Philippines and attended high school at Colegio San Agustin in Makati, graduating in March 2004.[3] She attended college at De La Salle University – Manila majoring in psychology and graduated on December 16, 2008.[4]

On January 31, 2014, Villania married Drew Arellano, her boyfriend and a television host. Their wedding was held in Nasugbu, Batangas.[5] They have four children with him: Antonio Primo (born 2016),[6] Alonzo Leon (born 2018),[7] Alana Lauren (born 2020),[8] and Astro Phoenix (born 2022).[9]

Villania is an advocate for abstaining from sex before marriage. She divulged that she had not had sexual intercourse before marrying Arellano, who himself was supportive of her decision. Although she does not necessarily condemn women who has had intercourse, she remarked that virginity is "something that a girl can be proud of".[10] She was raised in the Seventh-day Adventist faith,[11][12] but has since been excommunicated. In January 2022, Villania, alongside Arellano and their three children, tested positive for COVID-19.[13][14][15]


Villania's first television appearance in the Philippines was in 2003 on the IBC interactive program "Game Channel". After she gained a "cult" following, the management team of GMA Network took notice and cast her in the daytime drama Walang Hanggan. She then played the role of Sydney Torres in the third and fourth seasons of the iconic teen series Click.

In 2004, she moved to GMA's rival network ABS-CBN and was announced as one of the new VJ's for their subsidiary music channel Myx. She would remain in the job for 10 years. Subsequently, she was regularly featured in the variety show ASAP. Villania's feature film debut was in the 2004 drama "A Beautiful Life" alongside acclaimed actresses Gloria Romero, Dina Bonnevie and Amy Austria. In the same year, Villania appeared in the critically acclaimed historical film Aishite Imasu 1941: Mahal Kita. Her run as host on ABS-CBN included briefly co-hosting the noontime game show Wowowee in 2005, the two seasons of the reality dance competition show U Can Dance in 2006 and 2007, the reality show I Dare You in 2011 and her two-year stint on ABS-CBN's morning show Umagang Kay Ganda. Villania also hosted the Studio 23 lifestyle program Us Girls from 2006 to 2012. In 2008, she released her first album, Finally! under Viva Records.

After signing an executive contract with GMA Network in October 2014, Villania made a part of Sunday All Stars (2013–2015), a variety show.[16] She became the Chika Minute segment anchor of 24 Oras In June 15, 2015. replacing Pia Guanio.[17]

Popular culture[edit]

She accidentally popularized a now very common Filipino slang greeting "haller/heller" in place of "hello". This was credited to her distinctive and then-unfamiliar Australian twang in her early showbiz career years. On her show, Game Channel - Filipino viewers misheard her intro greeting as though she's saying "Heller!".[18]




Year Title Role Network
2023 Zero Kilometers Away Special Participation YouTube
2019 Tunay na Buhay Guest GMA Network
2019–2022 Mars Pa More Herself / Host
2017 All Star Videoke Herself / Host
2017–2018 My Korean Jagiya Kennedy Santos
2017 Sunday PinaSaya Herself / Guest
Mars GMA News TV
People vs. the Stars Host GMA Network
2016 Lip Sync Battle Philippines Host
Yan ang Morning! Guest
2015–2016 Because of You Rebecca Reyes
2015 Sunday PinaSaya Herself / Guest
2015–present 24 Oras Chika Minute segment host
Home Foodie Host
2015 Ang Pinaka Guest host GMA News TV
2015 Mundo ni Juan Host GMA Network
2014–2016 Taste Buddies GMA News TV
2014 The Ryzza Mae Show Herself / Guest GMA Network
Startalk Guest
Sunday All Stars Herself / Host / Performer
2013 Apoy Sa Dagat Helena Redentor ABS-CBN
2011–2013 Umagang Kay Ganda Herself / Host
2011 Pilipinas Got Talent (season 2) Guest Host
2011 I Dare You
2011–2012 It's Showtime Guest
2010 Precious Hearts Romances Presents: Kristine Scarlett Saavedra
2009 Only You Trixie Gonzales
2008 OMG! Host TV5
Palmolive Shining Circle of 10: Batch 2008 ABS-CBN
2007 Mars Ravelo's Lastikman Yellena White
Love Spell Presents: Ellay Enchanted Cast Member
U Can Dance Ver. 2 Host
Your Song Presents: Never Knew Love Like This Before Becca
2006–2012 Us Girls Host Studio 23
2006 Your Song Presents: Narda Lea ABS-CBN
Komiks Presents: Da Adventures of Pedro Penduko Budlis
U Can Dance Host
2005–2006 Wowowee Co-Host
2004–2014 ASAP
2004 Seasons of Love Alex ABS-CBN
ASAP Fanatic Host
SOP Gigsters GMA Network
Gamechannel Extreme Game Jock ABC
2003 Gamechannel IBC
Walang Hanggan Rachelle GMA Network
2003–2004 Click Sydney Torres
2002 Kahit Kailan Marjorie


Year Title Role Studio
2009 Shake, Rattle & Roll 11 Lia † Regal Entertainment
When I Met U Tracy GMA Films, Regal Entertainment
2007 Paano Kita Iibigin Tessa Star Cinema, Viva Films
2006 Pamahiin Eileen Regal Entertainment
2005 Exodus: Tales from the Enchanted Kingdom Lin-Ay Enchanted Kingdom, Ignite Media, Imus Productions
2004 Spirit of the Glass OctoArts Films
Aishite Imasu 1941: Mahal Kita Julia Regal Entertainment
A Beautiful Life Janice


  1. ^ a b Iya Villania was born in Australia. Thus, she does not possess her mother's maiden name which is Ebaler.


  1. ^ Iya Villania wants to marry Drew Arellano "MANILA, Philippines -- Iya Villania is confident that her 9-year relationship with Drew Arellano will eventually lead to marriage. In an interview on late-night newscast "Bandila" aired Friday, the Kapamilya singer-host belied rumors that she and Arellano have already secretly married."
  2. ^ "Iya Villania Biography". TV Guide. Archived from the original on September 25, 2017. Retrieved May 6, 2018.
  3. ^ Lo, Ricky (October 29, 2008). "So who broke Iya's heart?". The Philippine Star. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  4. ^ Dimaculangan, Jocelyn (March 4, 2008). "RP showbiz personalities who excel academically". GMA News. GMA Network Inc. Retrieved March 27, 2016.
  5. ^ de Jesus, Julliane Love (January 31, 2014). "Iya Villania, Drew Arellano finally tie the knot". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on January 31, 2022. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  6. ^ "Look: Iya Villania, Drew Arellano welcome son". Rappler. August 30, 2016. Archived from the original on January 31, 2022. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  7. ^ "Look: Iya Villania, Drew Arellano welcome 2nd son Leon". Rappler. August 19, 2018. Archived from the original on January 31, 2022. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  8. ^ "Iya Villania and Drew Arellano welcome baby girl". Rappler. July 18, 2020. Archived from the original on January 31, 2022. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  9. ^ "Iya Villania, Drew Arellano welcome fourth child". CNN Philippines. June 4, 2022. Archived from the original on June 4, 2022. Retrieved June 4, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  10. ^ "Iya: I was a virgin until wedding to Drew". ABS-CBN News. January 15, 2015. Retrieved October 30, 2017.
  11. ^ "Seventeen Magazine January 2005". Facebook. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  12. ^ "Iya Villania: Home away from home". Philippine Entertainment Portal. June 2007. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  13. ^ Kingsu-Cheng, Jane (January 11, 2022). "Iya Villania, Drew Arellano test positive for COVID-19". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Archived from the original on January 31, 2022. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  14. ^ Cruz, Dana (January 13, 2022). "Iya Villania, Drew Arellano's 3-year-old son tests positive for COVID-19". Manila Bulletin. Archived from the original on January 31, 2022. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  15. ^ Plaza, Marane A. (January 22, 2022). "Iya Villania back on 24 Oras after bout with COVID-19". The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on February 2, 2022. Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  16. ^ Jimenez, Joyce (October 30, 2014). "Iya Villania returns to GMA". The Philippine Star. Archived from the original on February 2, 2022. Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  17. ^ "Iya Villania is new Chika Minute host on 24 Oras". Rappler. June 11, 2015. Archived from the original on February 2, 2022. Retrieved February 2, 2022.
  18. ^ "10 Catchphrases that Caught On Locally". Spot.ph.

External links[edit]