It’s been years since Toni Gonzaga went by the popular quote "I love you Piolo," referring to her softdrink commercial with Piolo Pascual.
Today, Toni is known by her own name and is celebrating ten years in showbiz.
The host, singer and actress is chronicling those ten years by staging her first major solo concert, "Toni at 10," at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on September 30.
Her concert will be like a movie as Toni will go back in time, from her days as a showbiz neophyte to the present.
“This concert will not just be a show na kantahan, actually it’s more like a pelikula. Kasi isa siyang journey na mula sa pinagmulan hanggang sa mga pinagdaanan para sa kung saan man tayo ngayon,” Toni said at a press conference in ELJ Building in ABS-CBN compound last week.
Toni added that she is celebrating the concert with people she has worked with in ten years. And she is personally inviting them to watch or guest on the show. Among them are some of her leading men, such as John Lloyd Cruz, Vhong Navarro and Piolo.
“Yes, personal choice (ang guest list). Sila yung mga artista na naging malaki ang parte sa buhay ko,” Toni added.
Toni said Piolo was a big part of her career since her showbiz breakthrough started because of her commercial with Piolo. They also work together every Sunday in "ASAP Rocks."
"For almost a year of my life, when I was starting and when I was trying to get into showbiz, ang pangalan ko talaga ay 'I love you Piolo.’ Pasalamat naman ako at naka-graduate ako dun," Toni said in jest.
She and John Lloyd were paired in last year’s movie ‘My Amnesia Girl,’ where they were proclaimed Box Office King and Queen for 2011. Toni also said that one of her biggest dreams then was to work with John Lloyd in a movie.
"Last year eh nangyari (ang dream ko). And of course, because of him, I was also able to experience yung box-office award. So, malaking parte ng buhay ko na because of our movie, na-experience ko yun (Box Office award).
First male friend
Vhong is also one of Toni’s special guests. Vhong, she says, is her "first" male friend from showbiz. Toni and Vhong have also worked together in a TV show and a movie.
"Dati wala (akong male showbiz friends). Nahihiya akong makipagkaibigan. Si Vhong talaga yung unang-unang naging kaibigan ko dito sa showbiz. Kaya kasama rin siya. Kasi marami namang alam si Vhong sa akin," Toni said.
Sam Milby was not part of the special guest line-up even if he and Toni had various movies and other projects together.
Will Sam just surprise Toni come concert day?
"Malay mo i-surprise niya ako! Hindi ko alam, eh. Marami silang tinatago sa akin,” Toni replied. She added that there will be surprises in her concert so she also doesn’t know who else are coming.
The press teased Toni that the reason why Sam is excluded in the guest list is because her boyfriend Director Paul Soriano is jealous of him.
"Naku, hindi lang kay Sam! Talagang yung isang yun. Marami rin namang iba. Yun lang siguro yung pinaka-safe niyang nasabi. Marami rin naman siyang napagselosan. It just so happened na yun lang yung nasabi niya,” Toni casually said.
Toni said Sam has been part of her career and that the concert will also feature clips of the movies they have made together.
"Kahit na wala siya dito na personal, he will still be a part of this concert," Toni said.
What does Toni think is her career break?
“Marami eh. Of course, kung sa pagsisimula sa industriya, yung “I love you Piolo.’ Kasi doon ako nabigyan ng mga projects. Pinag-host ako kaagad sa Eat Bulaga,” Toni shared.
She revealed that the best decision she made in her career is her transfer to ABS-CBN. Since then, projects started pouring in for Toni as a host, actress and singer.
“When I transferred to ABS, that’s the best highlight of my career, or the best decision I’ve made in my life. Kasi when I transferred to ABS, they did not only make me host, they also made me sing, act. So, nama-maximize lahat ng gusto kong gawin. I was given the title Multimedia Star because of ABS-CBN. So I guess yung tiwala na binigay sakin ng ABS yung biggest break ko, with all the projects given to me,” Toni explained.
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