8 Pinay VJs
and Where They Are Now
By Len Arboleda
Along with the rise of music channels, a new “it” job was born: veejaying. It definitely seemed like a cool gig, as it involved meeting artists, going to events, and hosting shows. And with the emergence of Pinoy versions of MTV and Channel, and the arrival of Myx came more opportunities for VJ-wannabes. Aside from that, defunct station Studio 23 (or what is now ABS-CBN Sports & Action) also employed VJs to present their shows.
Let’s take a look back at some of ladies who clinched the dream job and find out what they’re up to now.
Bianca Araneta (Studio 23)
After appearing in TV commercials circa 1993, the most popular of which was her Ivory Soap and Shampoo ad, Bianca went on to become a VJ for Studio 23. She appeared in between shows to dish about the network’s new promos and upcoming events, and introduce the show that was up next. She later became a VJ for MTV as well.
Today, Bianca has her hands full being a mom to her and husband Juan Elizalde’s four daughters, as well managing her restaurant The Wholesome Table.
Tricia Chiongbian (Studio 23)
Tricia shared VJ duties with Bianca Araneta and JM Rodriguez on Studio 23. She was also tapped to be a sports anchor in the said network’s nightly newscast. She later took on hosting duties at Gameplan, where she was able to channel her athletic inclinations, doing scuba diving, triathlons, and adventure racing among others.
— Tricia Chiongbian_C (@Trishccon) May 28, 2016
Now based in Los Angeles, California, Tricia is married and is mom to two boys, Pablo and Rory.
Clara Balaguer (Myx)
Clara was among the pioneer VJs of Myx, along with Kaz Castillo and Ed Feist, when the said music channel took over MTV’s slot on Studio 23 way back 2000. Edgy, eloquent, and beautiful, Clara easily stood out. She had admirers but also had some haters, but she merely raised her eyebrows at the latter.
Clara worked at a creative agency in Spain, but went back to the Philippines to care for her mother who was dying. When her mom passed away, Clara used her inheritance to put up the Office of Culture and Design, a “social practice platform for artists, designers, writers & assorted projects in the developing world.”
Ala Paredes (Myx)
Ala also made her showbiz debut via TV commercials, the most memorable of which was a Clean & Clear Facial Wash ad. After a slew of endorsements, she became a VJ for ABS-CBN’s new music channel Myx. She moved on to host the show IslaMusik on ABC 5 and was also an in-demand host at special events.
Ala, who is now based in Australia, is presently awaiting the birth of her first child with husband John Buencamino. She’s taken a break from teaching language to focus on motherhood, but she continues to engage in artistic pursuits.