Where is Josephine 'Banig' Roberto now?

By Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau

Posted at Jul 23 2014 11:25 AM | Updated as of Jul 24 2014 09:57 PM

CALIFORNIA - Before the internet era and before Charice and other Filipino talents made it in the international stage, there was a young girl with a big voice who captivated many fans in the Philippines and abroad all on her own.

The girl with the golden voice, Josephine 'Banig' Roberto, is now a woman.

But her commanding stage presence remains the same.

In the late '80's, Filipino and even American audiences were blown away by the powerful voice of Banig who started singing professionally at age 7.

"It's always been a dream to do it again. It has never left me. It's just that you have to learn the business. Siguro alam ng lahat na maliit pa lang ako, kumakanta na ako. At some point in time you have to learn the business, learn your craft. I had to do that."

The singer feels blessed to get another chance to reignite her career in America.

"Alam po naman natin na mahirap especially na dito ang pinili kong makipagsapalaran. Lahat ng nasa Hollywood, they're all singers, they're all actors, they're all in the music business so it is very difficult. Ang masasabi kong biggest challenge is to regain the confidence and the support of the people who used to support you when you were a kid," she said.

To announce her comeback, she staged a successful intimate concert at the world-famous Grammys Museum where artists like John Legend, Lady Gaga and many others have performed.

Despite the Hollywood background, the singer paid tribute to her roots and sang a Tagalog song for the audience.

She has a new management team in Hollywood but as always, her parents are there to support her.

Roberto said she went through a lot of challenges since deciding to move to America after winning on "Star Search" and having high-profile guest appearances on "Arsenio Hall Show" and other television programs in the US.

The singer is now happily married but she said she's never forgotten her first love: being on stage and singing her heart out.

"All I know is that it feels good now. Siguro naman kahit na tumanda ka na ng husto, once it's in you, it's never gonna go away. So kahit na malayo ako ng konti, babalik at babalik pa rin kahit papaano," said Roberto.

Roberto said she hopes the fans who cheered for her as a child talent will also support her now.

She's currently working on her album and plans to stage more shows.

Banig's new single "He Wants To Get It" is now available on Amazon and iTunes.

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