Jessa Zaragoza

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Jessa Zaragoza
Birth name Richel Ann Loyola
Also known as Phenomenal Diva
Born (1975-01-31) January 31, 1975 (age 40)
Origin Philippines
Genres OPM, pop, adult contemporary
Occupation(s) Singer, actress, TV host, commercial and print model
Years active 1986–present
Labels OctoArts-EMI Phils. (now PolyEast Records [EMI Music] ) (1997–2000)
Star Records (2000–2003)
Universal (2005)
MCA (2009)
GMA Records (2012)

Richelle Ann Loyola (born January 31, 1975), better known by her stage name Jessa Zaragoza, is a Filipino singer and actress.


Zaragoza was a GMA-7 talent at the age of 6 using her real name as Richelle Ann Loyola when she decided to audition as Little Miss Philippines in 1986. In the early 1990s, she was part of German Moreno's longest running variety show, That's Entertainment. She was also part of comedy shows Alabang Girls on ABC from 1993–1995 and Kool Ka Lang from 1996–1999.

As well as an actress, Zaragoza is also a singer, having been signed to OctoArts EMI Philippines(now PolyEast Records). Her first album Just Can't Help Feelin was released in 1997. Her second album Phenomonal was released in 1999. She later transferred to rival network ABS-CBN from 2000–2004, and signed a deal with its recording company Star Records, releasing her next two albums Ibigay Mo Na (2000) and Kahit Na Ilang Umaga (2004). She also sang the theme songs for soaps and TV series of ABS-CBN and GMA-7.

Among her most popular songs is "Bakit Pa" which was the soundtrack to a romantic comedy film she starred in, also entitled Bakit Pa? with Troy Montero and Diether Ocampo as her leading men. The film was released in theaters on February 3, 1999 as a Valentine's movie presentation of Octoarts and GMA Films. She was also part of a soap opera which ran from May to October 1999 on GMA-7 entitled Di Ba't Ikaw.

In 2000, new hit singles surfaced such as "Ibigay Mo Na", "Siya Ba Ang Dahilan", and "Kung Kailan Pa".

In 2001, Zaragoza sang the theme song of the ABS-CBN afternoon soap, Recuerdo De Amor which ran from 2001–2002. She was also cast in another ABS-CBN soap which starred Nora Aunor, Carol Banawa and Desiree Del Valle, entitled Bituin.

In 2003, she sang the ABS-CBN theme song of Sana'y Wala Nang Wakas. The song was featured on her album Kahit Na Ilang Umaga, released by Star Records.

In 2004, she participated at the Himig Handog Songwriting Contest interpreting the song "Hindi Na Bale" composed by Jimmy Antiporda.

In 2006, she collaborated with her singer/songwriter husband, Dingdong Avanzado on the duet album, Laging Ikaw, released under Universal Records.

In 2007, controversy erupted between her and Rufa Mae Quinto when Quinto allegedly interpreted and stated that Zaragoza was the reason of hers and Dingdong's breakup. It became one of Philippine showbiz's most memorable breakups. Zaragoza defended herself on a live interview on GMA-7's Startalk about the alleged accusations. Quinto appeared in YES magazine as a featured artist on the front cover, and in the article she talked about her personal life and past relationships.

In 2009, after a series of shows in the U.S. together with Avanzado, Zaragoza came back on primetime television in the remake of the 1999 series Rosalinda. She also released an album which featured all cover versions on Jessa Sings the Great Musical Icons. The album paid tribute to such musical legends such as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Tina Turner, Sting and the Police, Madonna and Stevie Wonder.

In 2010, she went back to ABS-CBN to be part of the short-lived primetime television series, Idol. She then made several guest TV appearances, performing renditions of songs with Avanzado.

Zaragoza also appeared in an episode of Wansapanataym: Super Kikay and the Flying Pagong with Kim Chiu.

In 2012, she portrayed Angela in the afternoon soap based on the 1989 film produced by Seiko Films' Ruben Marcelino, Kokak as the mother to title protagonist Sarah Lahbati. In July of that year, her album Pag Wala Na Ang Ulan was released under GMA Records. The album includes the song "Nasaan" from the TV series Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Langit on GMA-7.

On August 3, 2013, she released a digital single called "Missing You" in two different languages; Tagalog and English.[1][2]

On August 7, 2014 Zaragoza Interpreted "Bumalik Ang Nagdaan" with Star Music (formerly known as Star Records) for the Himig Handog P-Pop Love Songs. This is her third time to interpret a song for the Himig Handog Love Song Contest, together with her former singles "Susubukan Kong Muli" (2001) "Hindi Na Bale" (2005) were released during those years. Hindi Na Bale was also her second time working with Jimmy Antiporda and was also revived by Bugoy Drillon In 2010. This Is her comeback to the recording company after 9 years for the Interpretation of the song her previous works were the albums "Ibigay Mo Na" (2000) and Kahit Na Ilang Umaga (2003-2004) album.

Personal life[edit]

Zaragoza is married to singer Dingdong Avanzado. They wed on March 18, 2001. They have a daughter named Jayda and since 2004, they have resided in Vallejo, California, US.[3]


  • Kadenang Bulaklak (1993)
  • Anghel na Walang Langit (1994)
  • Campus Girls (1995)
  • Ang Tipo Kong Lalake, Maginoo Pero Medyo Bastos (1996)
  • Paracale Gang (1996)
  • Masamang Damo (1996)
  • Kool Ka Lang (1997)
  • Hawak Ko, Buhay Mo (1997)
  • Frame Up (1997)
  • Anting-Anting (1998)
  • Armadong Hudas (1998)
  • Malikot na Mundo (1999) (as Pam)
  • Bakit Pa? (1999) (as Henidina "Dina" Maranan/Nadine Moran)


Year Title Role Network
1986–1996 That's Entertainment Herself/Host GMA Network
1993 Alabang Girls  ???? ABC-5
Kool Skool Various
1995–1997 Villa Quintana Patrice Quintana GMA Network
1997 Mikee Liwayway
1999 Di Ba't Ikaw Hasmin
2001 Attagirl Amanda ABS-CBN
2002–2003 Bituin Sultana Andromeda
2008 The Singing Bee (Philippines game show) Herself/contestant ABS-CBN
2009–2010 Rosalinda Evangeline Kintanar-del Castillo GMA Network
2009 SOP Herself/Guest
Celebrity Duets: Philippine Edition 3 Herself
2010 1DOL Magdalena ABS-CBN
Showtime Herself/Celebrity Judge
Pepito Manaloto Guest GMA Network
Wansapanataym: Super Kikay and her Flying Pagong Elma ABS-CBN
2011 Willing Willie Herself/Guest TV5
Ruben Marcelino's Kokak Angela GMA Network
2012 Wansapanataym: Remote Emote Amy ABS-CBN
Maalaala Mo Kaya: Aso Ria
Wil Time Bigtime Special Guest TV5
2012–2013 Cielo de Angelina Teresa Alfonso GMA Network
2012–present Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay Na Kuwento Deedee Kho
2014 Paraiso Ko'y Ikaw Yvette Bartolome


  • 1997: Just Can't Help Feelin' (first album with OctoArts EMI Philippines, now called Polyeast Records)
  • 1999: Phenomenal
  • 2000: Siya Ba Ang Dahilan? (final album with OctoArts EMI Philippines)
  • 2000: The Best Of (compilation album of best hits produced by OctoArts EMI Philippines)
  • 2000: Ibigay Mo Na(first album produced with Star Records, second album of the year released in 2000)
  • 2004: Kahit Na Ilang Umaga (final album produced and released in 2004–2005 with Star Records)
  • 2005: Laging Ikaw (duet album with Dingdong Avanzado, including duets of best hits)
  • 2009: Sings the Great Musical Icons I (an all-cover album with Universal Records)
  • 2012: Pag Wala Na Ang Ulan (GMA Records)


  1. ^ "Missing You (English) - Single Jessa Zaragoza". 3 August 2013. iTunes. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  2. ^ "Missing You (Tagalog) - Single Jessa Zaragoza". 4 August 2013. iTunes. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  3. ^ "Jessa Zaragoza and Dingdong Avanzado move to the U.S.". 27 December 2007. PEP. Retrieved 26 June 2013. 

External links[edit]