| Iya Villania
|Born||June 29, 1986 (age 28)|
|Birth Place||Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia|
|Birth Name||Raelene Elaine Ebaler Villanía|
|Nationality||Filipino - Australian|
|Occupation||Actress, Host, VJ, Dancer|
Raelene Elaine Ebaler Villanía (born June 29, 1986, Camperdown, New South Wales, Australia), better known as Iya Villania, is a Filipino-Australian actress, host, singer and model. Mostly credited for being one of Philippines television's most visible and prominent personalities, she shares hosting roles for notable TV shows like ASAP Mania, Us Girls and as a VJ for MYX music channel.
Villanía was born in Camperdown, Australia but grew up in Sydney. Her parents, Ray and Elena Villanía, are of Filipino descent. She has two elder sisters named Rhoda and Sheila. She learned to play the piano at age 8. Influenced by her dad's fondness for karaoke, Villania began to sing at an early age. By age 13, she has fronted for Filipino acts like Pops Fernandez, Martin Nievera, the APO Hiking Society among others in her hometown.
Life in the Philippines
Wooed by her current manager, Arnold Vegafria, to be a singer in the Philippines, Villania, accompanied by her mother, left Australia to try her luck. The move was a hard one for her especially with the language and getting around the city. Villania continued her secondary study at Colegio San Agustin-Makati and graduated from the same school on March 2004. She continued her educational pursuit by taking up AB Psychology at the De La Salle University-Manila. She graduated in February 2009.
Things were difficult for her at the beginning; she went to numerous auditions and VTR-tests with no encouraging results. She was even rejected in her first MYX audition because of her heavy Australian accent. In 2003, Villania got her screen name, Iya, from an anime-inspired endorsement stint for Globe Telecom.
Villania's first TV appearance was via IBC-13's Game Channel, an interactive texting game show. While hosting for the show, she was offered to join the cast of GMA 7's youth-oriented hit program "Click" as Syd. As Game Channel grew in popularity, it was later transferred to ABC 5 (now TV5) and given a new format as "Game Channel Extreme". GMA 7, afterward, included her in its afternoon drama series "Walang Hanggan" along with Oyo Boy Sotto and Valerie Concepcion. In 2004, she transferred to GMA 7's rival network, ABS-CBN, to accept a VJ job offered by its music channel subsidiary, MYX, and an acting role for another youth-oriented show, "Seasons of Love". In 2005, she was chosen to co-host the daily noontime show, Wowowee, and the variety show, ASAP Mania. In 2006, Villania had to give up her hosting job for Wowowee to accommodate her two new ventures; a lifestyle show, Us Girls, for Studio 23 and a reality-dance show, U Can Dance. In 2007, she again hosted for the season 2 of U Can Dance and was paired with Vhong Navarro in the fantaserye Lastikman. In between, Villania was given numerous TV guestings for shows like Komiks, Love Spell and Your Song. She was also given the opportunity to play in Deal or No Deal and Wheel of Fortune. In 2008, she hosted for TV5's Mysmatch, a reality-dating show, and OMG!, a reality-celebrity game show. In 2009, she appeared in ABS-CBN's Korean telenovela remake, Only You, as Trixie. Currently, she is still with ASAP Mania on ABS-CBN, US Girls on Studio 23 and a VJ for MYX.
Villania was signed up by Regal Films' owner, Lily Monteverde, to be one of the front liners for the latest batch of Regal actors. Her debut movie, "A Beautiful Life," released in 2004, was directed by multi-award winning director, Gil Portes; where she starred opposite stellar actresses: Dina Bonnevie, Amy Austria and Gloria Romero. In the same year, she was nominated for best supporting actress in the 2004 Metro Manila Film Festival for the war drama movie "Aishite Imasu 1941" under award winning director, Joel Lamangan. In 2005, she played an all-powerful nature fairy for Imus Productions' "Exodus: Tales of the Enchanted Kingdom" opposite Sen. Ramon 'Bong' Revilla Jr. In the summer of 2006, Villania acted her first horror-flick with Dennis Trillo and Marian Rivera for the movie "Pamahiin". In 2007, she played a cameo role as the wife of Piolo Pascual in the romantic movie "Paano Kita Iibigin". In 2009, she was among the cast for GMA Film's valentine movie "When I Met U" along with KC Concepcion and Richard Gutierrez. In the same year, Villania was again casted by Regal Films to be part of their Metro Manila Film Festival movie entry, Shake, Rattle and Roll XI.
In 2005, Villania got her first taste of theater acting thru STAGES' musical production of Footloose, based on the 1983 movie of the same name. She auditioned for the role of Ariel, the rebellious pastor's daughter essayed in the film by Lori Singer. Playing love team with Jay-R, she sang and danced her way thru stellar soundtracks like "Let's Here it For the Boy", "Holding Out for a Hero", the love theme "Almost Paradise" and the supremely upbeat "Footloose".
Due to numerous offerings and school loads, Villania's singing career, her main reason for coming in the Philippines, had to take a backseat. In spite of this, she still was given the opportunity to demonstrate her talent on many occasions. In 2003, she front-acted for the American pop rock band Hanson. In 2005, she had a singing duet with Ogie Alcasid in his Valentine concert. Beside singing for most of her part in Footloose The Musical, she recorded "Almost Paradise" with Jay-R which became the carrier song for the musical's album release. In 2006, in-line with her endorsement for Rose Online, she recorded the game's carrier single "Good To Be Me" and performed it during the game's official launching. In 2008, after a long-wait of 6 years, her first studio album under Viva Records was released and, appropriately, entitled "Finally!" with "My First Broken Heart" as the carrier single.
|Year||TV Shows||Role||Other notes|
|2008||Palmolive Shining Circle of 10: Batch 2008||Host||ABS-CBN|
|2007||U Can Dance Ver. 2||Host||ABS-CBN|
|2006 - present||Us Girls||Host||Studio 23|
|2006||U Can Dance||Host||ABS-CBN|
|2005 - present||ASAP||Host/Performer||ABS-CBN|
|2004 - present||MYX||VJ||MYX / Studio 23|
|2004||Seasons of Love||Alex||ABS-CBN|
|2004||SOP Gigsters||Host||GMA Network|
|2004||Game Channel Extreme||Host||ABC 5 (now TV5)|
|2003||Game Channel||Host||IBC 13|
|2003||Click||Sydney Torres||GMA Network|
|2003||Walang Hanggan||Rachelle||GMA Network|
|2009||Shake, Rattle & Roll XI||Lianne|
|2009||When I Met U||Tracy|
|2007||Paano kita Iibigin||Tessa|
|2005||Exodus: Tales from the Enchanted Kingdom||Lin-Ay|
|2004||Aishite Imasu 1941: Mahal Kita||Julia|
|2004||A Beautiful Life||Janiz|
|2009||I Never Cry||Finally|
|2009||Kaya Natin Ito||Pilipino: Kaya Natin Ito|
|2008||My First Broken Heart||Finally|
|2006||Good To Be Me||Rose Online Original Soundtrack|
|2005||Almost Paradise||Footloose the Musicale Original Soundtrack Album|
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