MANILA, Philippines — There’s a new all-female Pinoy Pop (P-pop) group in the metro that’s poised to take on the global stage, as Philippine pop bands are getting more and more rave in both local and international music scenes.

Six dynamic ladies Anne Tenorio, Laiza Comia, Elle Pascual, Denise Pello, Dain Leones, and Olive Bihag officially made their stage debut as the new members of new P-Pop girl group Calista, during a concert-like press launch in Novotel Manila Araneta City Hotel last International Women’s Day on March 8. The girls introduced their high-octane track “Race Car” through a live performance.

“Race Car” is pretty straightforward with its messaging, with its catchy lyrics like “We coming on like a race car, watch me vroom, vroom, vroom,” denoting the arrival of Calista in the international music landscape.

The song was written by music producer Marcus Davis, who’s best known for his work with Black Eyed Peas rapper and “American Idol” alumna Jessica Sanchez called “Jump In,” “Like This Remix” by former Destiny’s Child member Kelly Rowland and collaborations with Billy Crawford, Nadine Lustre and James Reid. With its upbeat arrangement and elements of K-Pop, rap and RnB, “Race Car” can easily make you bust a move and get you in that empowered mood. 

The music video is on another level. Filled with sports cars, race tracks and high-powered choppers, as well as astounding fashion looks and cool choreo rocked by the girls at a high-rise building, you’d know Calista is not out here to play.

Tyronne Escalante Artist Management (TEAM), Calista’s agency and the management behind Darna’s Jane de Leon, disclosed that they spent a staggering P8.7 million on the music video production, aiming to directly set the reflection of Calista’s personality as “dynamic, edgy, and innovative.” The video has more than 43,000 views on YouTube as of this writing.



“’Yung ‘Race Car’ po, it’s all about speed, for us ang meaning po nun is Calista is here, Calista is coming and para sa’min, sobrang ganda ng message ng ‘Race Car’ and nagsisimula pa lang kami and we want to prove we are here,” said Calista member Elle.

Olive, the group’s vocalist and visual, came up with the name “Calista,” which she said meant “the most beautiful or feminine.” She is one of the six girls who are now the final members of  Calista, after a deliberate national search that started with auditions from over 100 girls in March 2021. 

The six chosen girls have undergone extensive skill-improvement sessions, with day-to-day trainings under renowned choreographer Nesh and voice coaches Arnie Mendaros and Marnie Jereza under one roof. They also went through personality development classes and media trainings.

TEAM and Merlion Events Production Inc., the team behind Miss Teen Philippines, are already on the way to making their international vision a reality. According to TEAM’s Tyronne Escalante, he has always dreamed of handling a Filipina girl group that can dominate the global stage, after managing a girl band before that did not exactly succeed. This time, the girls that the agency have chosen came from various backgrounds of singing and dancing competitions, as well as beauty pageants.

The girl group’s leader is Anne Tenorio, who shot to fame when she competed in Showtime’s “Tawag ng Tanghalan.” The triple threat singer, actress, and dancer has since released two hit singles: “Pinapangarap Mo”and “Bebe Ko,” which raced to landed at number 2 on LSFM radio charts. She also appeared in some movies under Regal Films.

The group’s dancing machine is Denise, who placed 6th at the Open Division in Revolution International Dance Championship 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. Denise has the obvious X-factor from the get-go.

Daine, a former titlist of numerous beauty pagent competitions, is set to captivate with her visual, charms and stage performance, while Laiza started as an actress with appearances in TV series like “On the Wings of Love” and “Maalala Mo Kaya,” as well as Filipino films like “White House” and “Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang.” The natural performer has the vocals and the moves. 

Elle also came from an acting background, with nominations from local film festivals. While Olive was crowned 2019 Miss Teen Cebu, and trained under professional acting, singing and dancing classes before being discovered.

As K-Pop acts are dominating the music world these days, Calista is poised to shape the identity of the Philippine pop music and Filipina girl groups in global music scene. 

Calista is set to headline the “Vax to Normal” concert on April 26 to be held at the Araneta Coliseum. As the name suggests, the “Vax to Normal” concert is a tribute to the country’s frontliners, especially healthcare workers who have been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.

RELATED: LIST: New P-Pop groups to ‘stan’ for

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