In 1997, female Philippine singer Cris Villonco released her debut album, One Smile at a Time. Villonco was quite young when the album was released, in her early teens. Despite her youth, however, Cris Villonco has talent and shows much potential. Her poise and delivery are also commendable. While she isn't precocious and doesn't have the voice of an adult, as do some talented teenage singers, she will surely mature as time goes on. One Smile at a Time consists mostly of middle-of-the-road tunes.
The album is well-produced and contains imaginative, well-executed arrangements. "Crush Ng Bayan" (Town Crush) is a bouncy, catchy ditty, and Cris Villonco instills a sense of joy and makes the song bloom. The song sounds almost like American country music and contains several searing electric guitar fills.
Most songs here tend to be slow, including, "Count the Stars"; "Hindi Ko Masabi" (I Can't Say); "You and I," which has a bit more spirit; "If We Hold on Together"; "Okey Lang" (It's OK); "Laughter All the Time," which has both slow- and medium-paced sections; "May Gusto Ako Sa 'Yo" (I Have Feelings for You); "Someone's Waiting for You"; and "Ngayon Pa Lang, Tagumpay Ka Na" (It's So Early and You're Already Successful).
The medium-paced "Kaeskwela" (Classmate) contains a chirpy chorus, while "Someone's Waiting for You" has a theatrical air to it. The album could use more upbeat songs, as some slow songs begin to sound alike. Still, Cris Villonco is someone to keep an eye on.