Starstruck V finalist Diva Montelaba gets to showcase her dancing skills every Sunday through the "Sayaw Pilipinas" segment of GMA-7's Sunday concert-variety program, Party Pilipinas.
Diva makes special mention that the "Sayaw Pilipinas" segment features dance moves ranging from jazz, ballet, ballroom, modern dance, backflips, cramping, breakdancing, hip hop, and just every other genre.
Leading the group is Mark Herras, complemented by Yassi Pressman, Rocco Nacino, Enzo Pineda, Sef Cadayona, Mayton Eugenio, Winwyn Marquez, and Diva.
Indeed, the hype and anticipation around the segment proves that it is being positioned as an integral part of the overall Party Pilipinas concept—which, of course, puts pressure on the collective shoulders of the young crew to deliver every week.
Undeniably, everyone involved in the segment is investing time, discipline, and hard work, but they still have a great deal of fun grooving to the music, swears Diva.
"Kung gaano kami ka-seryoso sa dance floor, ganun naman kami ka-kalog sa rehearsal!" Diva says to PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) and other members of the entertainment press on October 24, a Sunday, at the GMA Network Studios.
Diva admits she is not the type to improvise her own steps, so she keeps herself updated on the latest dance moves through the show's talented choreographers. There are several assigned by the program to teach the youngsters.
"Hindi ako masyadong nagdi-discover kasi natututunan ko siya sa ibang tao na lang, like, 'Ano 'yan? Contemporary 'to!' I search for new trends, and I just learn it from others," says the 19-year-old Cebuana.
"I think mas maganda pag natutunan ko sa iba. Gusto kong sumayaw pero hindi ako ganun ka-devoted na maghanap kung ano 'yong latest. Hindi ko lang alam, pero mas masarap 'pag nagagaya mo—which is, you have your own identity rin. Mas masarap 'yong parang I learn this from ganyan-ganyan."
WHY NOT WITH STEVEN? Many have noticed that among her StarStruck Final Five batch mates, Diva is the one without a regular acting gig currently. Her last exposure was in the "Exchange of Hearts" episode of the weekend romance-drama series, Love Bug.
Former co-star Sarah Lahbati is currently seen in Little Star, while Rocco Nacino and Steven Silva are both playing leading men in the afternoon drama series, Koreana.
"Uunahan ko na kayo kasi sabi nila napag-iiwanan na daw ako kasi ako lang daw ang wala pang show sa aming Final 5," acknowledges Diva.
She continues, "Well, yeah, totoo ako pa lang 'yong walang show, pero I really believe na hindi siya paunahan. It's really a game of patagalan, and for me naman even nung nasa StarStruck, nahasa talaga 'yong patience ko to wait.
"Right now, I'm waiting for a new show, which I'll be having soon enough. Although nami-miss ko 'yong pag-arte, pero sana as soon as possible malaman natin kung ano 'yong next project."
But while Diva's acting career is currently in wait mode, her love life is rumored to be in full gear. Courtesy, say the rumor mills, of fellow showbiz upstart Steven Silva.
A broadsheet reporter has mentioned seeing the two hanging out at a coffee shop somewhere in Quezon City.
"Sobrang ano lang, steady lang. Ganun pa rin, steady, meaning we're close, special friends," smiles Diva, when asked to define her relationship with Steven.
Diva says that she helps Steven go through his lines in Koreana, since the 23-year-old Portuguese-Filipino actor is having trouble with his Tagalog.
How does she describe Steven's personality off cam?
"I like him kasi sobrang, 'di ba, Amerikano siya? Tapos, honestly, pag Amerikano naiisip ko, ano 'yan, hindi masyadong gentleman, liberated 'yan, maraming gusto sa buhay.
"Pero nung nakilala ko siya, siya lang 'yong ayaw niya 'yong babaeng sobrang sexy magsuot, ayaw niya nang umiinom, ayaw niya nang naninigarilyo. Si Steven naman kasi mas gusto niya maging okay 'yong family niya kaya he's really working hard for his family. Wala akong maipipintas sa kanya."
The possibility of taking their relationship to another level is not remote, confesses Diva, when asked by PEP.
"Why not?" Diva smiles. "I don't have the right to say no kasi wala akong alam kung anong mangyayari. But with Steven naman kasi, we don't talk about it. Hindi namin pinag-uusapan kasi napakahirap pag-usapan.
"Maganda 'yong feeling na may special friend ka pero hindi ka committed. Wala kang responsibility na ganito kasi hindi kita boyfriend. But dumating sa point na talagang iniisip ko siya, kung kumusta siya, ganun—and that's why I won't say no."