Maria Cielito “Pops” Lukban Fernandez was born on December 12, 1966, in Lucban, Quezon, to the late action star Eddie Fernandez and Dulce Lukban.
Fernandez began her music career at age 16 when she signed a contract with OctoArts Records (now PolyEast Records) in 1981. In 1982, Fernandez released her first album and co-hosted the Philippine television series The Penthouse Live! with Martin Nievera. She became a popular celebrity in the Philippines. She has appeared on the covers of several Philippine magazines.
In 1995, Fernandez joined the cast of another television program, ASAP together with her former husband Martin Nievera, along with Dayanara Torres and Ariel Rivera.
Fernandez was awarded the Best Female Musical Variety Show Host at the Philippine KBP Golden Dove Awards in 1999. She has also toured the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Guam, and Italy promoting her music to Philippine audiences. She also released her album Shindig Live in 2001.
In 1998, Fernandez did appeared in the TV drama, Nagmamahal Pa Rin Sa Iyo with Albert Martinez and Gary Estrada a mini TV series and the title of her hit album.
From 1999 to 2006, Fernandez went back to acting this time without her husband Martin Nievera in 1999 she did the film, Linlang with Richard Gomez and Joyce Jimenez which earned her much respected praise. In 2001, she started in another Maryo J. de los Reyes thriller and political film, Gusto Ko Nang Lumigaya in which the singer-actress shed some skin for the role starring Albert Martinez, Diether Ocampo and Bojo Molina and also Anton Bernardo under Viva Films in 2002 she did her first Star Cinema Movie Videoke King with Robin Padilla and in 2006 started in the superhero movie Zsa Zsa Zaturnah under Regal Entertainment.
In June 2007, Fernandez co-hosted a Philippine show with Kuh Ledesma in Las Vegas. She was preparing for her December concert at the Araneta Coliseum marking her 25th anniversary in the Philippine entertainment industry.
In 2008, she performed with other Philippine singers such as Regine Velasquez, Kuh Ledesma and Zsa Zsa Padilla at the Araneta Coliseum called Divas 4 Divas.
During her divorce in 1999, she ventured into doing movies such as Linlang starring Richard Gomez and Joyce Jimenez about a wronged wife out for revenge after learning of her husband’s infidelity. The movie was directed by multi-awarded director, Maryo J. de los Reyes, which won her the Box Office Queen Award. In 2000, she did another movie under Reyes’ direction in the suspense/thriller, Gusto Ko Nang Lumigaya. These two movies showed her acting prowess and boosted her acting career.
In 1997, Philippine record label OctoArts/EMI released The Dawn: OPM Timeless Collection (Gold Series), a collection of songs recorded by the Dawn on seven albums from 1987 to 1991 for OctoArts, which became a joint venture with international label EMI in 1997. The Dawn is one of the Philippines’ most legendary rock bands.
Much of the Dawn’s music was influenced by such British mid-’80s New Romantic bands as Duran Duran and China Crisis. Many songs are propelled by peppy melodies and spirited musicianship played on keyboards and reverb-edged guitar. The album also contains some straight-ahead hard rock numbers.
Opening the album is the enigmatic “Enveloped Ideas,” which starts with the vocalist singing a slow, melodic line in a operatic manner, accompanied by funereal organ chords. Peppy, spirited keyboard lines jump in, and the song is kick started to a lively, highly melodic tune. “Salamat” (Thank You) opens on a mysterious-sounding chord progression played on keyboards; a fiery guitar line explodes and the song becomes a fast-paced, tuneful outing, punctuated by spirited keyboard and guitar lines. The song also contains an interlude where a searing guitar solo is played over hard-edged guitar chords. “Salimpusa” (Kindergarten) and “Magtanim Ay ‘Di Biro” (Planting Is Not Easy) are both hard rock songs and differ in sound from the album’s other songs. Both songs feature hard-edged guitar and rumbling basslines. “Beyond the Bend” features an ambient sound in the manner of U2’s 1987 The Joshua Tree. The Dawn deserves its legendary status.