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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.
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Aug 20, 2017

TO BE honest, we didn’t like Mikhail Red’s first movie, “Rekorder” (2013), a film about an alienated film pirate that was not able to fully articulate what it wanted to say. His second work, “Birdshot”, is definitely a much better realized work, even technically. The film starts with a father, Diego (Ku Aquino), teaching his teenage daughter, Maya (Mary Joy Apostol), how to handle a gun and shoot properly.

They live in an isolated hut in the middle of cornfields in the mountains and Diego wants Maya to learn how to protect herself in case something happens to him. They live near a sanctuary for the Philippine eagle or haribon, a protected species. Later, Maya takes the gun into the sanctuary and shoots a haribon.

Some farmers are supposed to go to Manila to air their complaints and grievances about the hacienda where they live and work. They never get to the city and two small town cops are assigned to search for them, Mendoza (John Arcilla) and Domingo (Arnold Reyes.) Domingo is a neophyte cop and still idealistic, in contrast to the more jaded Mendoza. He lives with his wife (Elora Espano) and their first baby.

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EDU MANZANO’s last primetime soap was ‘Bridges of Love’ at ABS-CBN. He’s now doing “Alyas Robin Hood” on GMA and he says he has long been missing doing action scenes.

“Ang dami ko ring ginawang action movies noong araw, whether as bida or as kontrabida like ‘Alyas Boy Kano’, ‘Task Force Habagat’, ‘Contreras’,” he says. “Mahirap gumawa ng action, be it sa TV or sa movies. Kasi mas magastos siya kaysa sa drama, lalo na kapag may explosions, car chase scenes na winawasak ang mga kotse and gunfights na kailangan ng mga baril at gunshot effects. Matagal i-set up. Pero nakaka-miss din pala, kaya heto, natuwa naman ako nangmapasama ko sa ‘Alyas Robin Hood’.”

He plays the role of Sen. Emilio Albano, a politician who seems to be very good to the poor, doing a lot of charity works, but is actually a scheming and corrupt public servant. So he’s back to being a villain?

“Yes, na-miss ko rin. Ang sarap magkontrabida, pero mahirap din kasi ang main responsibility mo is paguwapuhin yung bida. Complicated yung role ko kasi magkakaroon ng twists and revelations sa character ko. May nakaraan pala kami rito ni Jaclyn Jose, ang mother ng bidang si Dingdong Dantes. Anak-anakan ko rito si Ruru Madrid, pero may twist din sa character niya.”
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IYA VILLANIA is delighted to play Heart Evangelista’s best friend in “My Korean Jagiya” that stars airing this Monday night to replace “I Heart Davao”. They are the only members of the cast who were sent to Seoul, Korea to shoot some important scenes on location. She admits she was nervous at first because she and Heart are not really that close, so how will they be convincing to play best friends?

“Nagkasama na kami before sa ‘Sunday All Stars’ at sa MYX but hindi kami nagkaroon ng chance na magchikahan nang mahaba,” she says. “Pero nawala yung nerbiyos ko kasi naging comfortable kami agad sa isa’t isa while we were doing the shoot in Korea. She’s easy to get along with and now, I’m thankful to get the chance to know her better. Makuwento pala siya. Kung noon, hindi ko make-claim na magkaibigan kami, after ‘My Korean Jagiya’, I can honestly say na we’re now very good friends. Naging at ease ako agad with her. Nakakapag-pump nga ako sa harap niya. Kasi I feed our baby with my own breast milk so I have to pump. Sabi niya, natatakot daw siya, e wala pa siyang baby. But I told her she will learn as she goes along.”

So how is it working with the Korean members of the cast? “Noong una, siempre, nagkakahiyaan pa kaming mag-usap. But si Alexander Lee, yung leading man ni Heart, sa first taping day pa lang namin in Nami Island, he was even the one to approach us first and said hi. Pinakilala ang sarili niya. Si David Kim, wala siyang eksena that day, but he came to the set para makipagkilala sa amin. Sobrang bait nila.”

Iya said the Korean actors, including Michelle Oh and Jerry Lee, said they’re happy working with Pinoys. “Sa kanila raw, sa set, walang standby area at pag wala silang take, they just stay in their cars. Unlike dito sa atin, nagse-setup ng air conditioned tents where the stars can stay, rest and feel more comfortable. Generally, very reserved sila, very polite.”

How’s her husband Drew Arellano and their son, Primo? “They’re both doing fine. Our baby is celebrating his first birthday on August 30 and we are preparing for that. We’re hands on parents ni Drew at wala kaming yaya. Palitan kami sa pag-aalaga sa kanya kaya sobrang attached sa amin.”
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THE INITIAL telecast of ace broadcaster Jay Taruc’s new show, “Ride PH”, a fitting follow up to his “Motorcycle Diaries” that ran for six years, will air tonight at 10 PM on GMA News TV Channel 11.

An advocate of safety in riding, “Ride PH” will promote moto-tourism with Jay showing us the most beautiful spots in our country as he rides his bike in such segments as “Bike Routes” and “Bike Stops”.

He’ll also feature Ryan Agoncillo and his Team Pinas adventure ride in Mt. Everest in the Himalayas, plus other bike riders and biking groups who will share their experiences in “Bike Tribes”. It’ll be very informative and very entertaining so don’t miss it.
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ABS-CBN RESTORATION head Leo Katigbak is delighted that the special showing of the restored version of “Isusumbong Kita sa Tatay Ko”, the only film that the late Action King Fernando Poe, Jr. did with Star Cinema, was very well attended at SM The Block last Thursday.

Of course, FPJ’s better half, movie queen Susan Roces, was there to grace the occasion with her royal presence, along with their daughter, Sen. Grace Poe, who thanked everyone who came to the affair. The movie was the only one made by FPJ with ABS-CBN drama queen Judy Ann Santos, who came with husband Ryan Agoncillo, her Mommy Carol and brother Jeffrey.

Also present was Dolor Guevarra, who supervised the film’s production, with her late husband, Boots Plata as the director. Coco Martin of “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” and Yassi Pressman were also present to show their support to ABS-CBN’s restoration efforts, along with actor Mon Confiado, Cinema One’s Ronald Arguelles, and other writers who were invited to the affair, headed by Ethel Ramos.

We’ve seen the movie when it was first released in 1999 and became a huge blockbuster. It has not lost its charm after 18 years and the hilarious scenes involving FPJ, Juday and her leading man then, Leandro Munoz, continued to make us laugh. The movie will be shown today, Sunday, at 10 AM on ABS-CBN so don’t miss it as Leo Katigbak made a very good job of restoring this action-comedy classic.

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JANICE DE BELEN is a big and wild fangirl of Korean drama so she is delighted to be part of GMA-7’s groundbreaking series, “My Korean Jagiya”. “It was three years ago when I got hooked on Korean dramas and their culture after ma-interview ko si Lee Min Ho, na naging favorite ko pero napalitan siya ni Lee Soo Hyuk, at ngayon si Song Joong Ki na ang paborito ko kaya na-depressed ako nang malamang kong pakakasal na siya sa sa leading lady niya sa ‘Descendants of the Sun’ at maghapong mainit ang ulo ko noon,” she says. “Seven times na akong nakapunta sa Korea and on my own, I’m even learning how to speak their language.”

How come? “My aim kasi is to eventually be able to watch K-drama without relying on the subtitles anymore. I don’t have scenes with the Korean actors in our show, but I told the lead actor Xander Lee to teach me how to speak Korean. Malala na, di ba? Yung mga anak ko nga, give up na sa’kin sa sobrang pagka-addict ko sa things Korean. Pero sabi ko sa kanila, ano ang mas gusto nyo, ito na lang na K addict ako o mag-boyfriend ako?”

So does she have a lovelife now? “Wala. Nine years na since huli akong makipag-date. Marami ngang inirereto sa’kin ang friends ko, pero tumatanggi ako. Parang nasanay na akong walang boyfriend. Sabi nga ni Chanda Romero, the world will know when you are ready to have a boyfriend. E, sa ngayon, parang hindi ko naman na kailangan. Ang sarap kaya noong nakakapunta ako kahit saan ko gusto nang wala nang pinagpapaalaman. Pero kung talagang may darating, kahit naman magtago ka pa, mahahanap ka pa rin niya. If it’s your fate, it’s your fate.”

She’s happy with her role in “My Korean Jagiya”. “Auntie ako ni Heart Evangelista at lahi namin ang mga old maid, pati ang brother kong gay rito na si Ricky Davao, old maid na rin. Pero ako, nagkaasawa, kaya lang, bago pa kami nakapag-honeymoon, natigok na agad yung asawa ko kaya virgin pa rin ako. Masaya yung show kaya abangan nyo.”

“My Korean Jagiya” will replace “I Heart Davao” starting this Monday night.
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ELLA CRUZ will have a special birthday presentation this year with the forthcoming release of her launching movie with Julian Trono, “Fanboy/ Fangirl”. The movie’s grand presscon at La Reve Events Place even coincided with her 21st birthday last Thursday. She was born on August 17, 1996 in Angat, Bulacan and started acting in 2006 as a child actress in GMA-7’s “Mahika”. She also appeared in “Panday Kids” and “Ilumina”.

But her first big break in a title role was with ABS-CBN’s “Aryana”, about a teenage mermaid. Then she played the role of a teen mom opposite Nash Aguas in “Bagito”. On TV5, she did “ParangNormal Activity” and “Happy Truck Happinas”, then signed up to be a Viva contract artist after she gained fame as a dance artist when she uploaded her dancing to “Twerk It Like Miley” on youtube, which became viral.

Now, Viva pairs her with another dance sensation, Julian Trono, and they’re being launched in the movie “Fanboy/Fangirl” to open in theaters this September 6. What can they say about predictions that they will replace the JaDine love team now that James Reid and Nadine Lustre are doing separate projects?  “Naku, wala po kaming balak gayahin or tapatan ang Jadine,” says Ella. “Lahat po kami, under sa Viva Artists Agency, so magkakapatid kami. Nakaka-pressure namang sabihing tatapatan o lalampasan namin sila kasi malayo na ang naabot ng love team nila. JaDine is JaDine and JulianElla is different naman from them, so give us a chance to show what we can do on our own without being compared to other love teams.”

But she’s confident their launching film will be successful like the very first film of JaDine. “Our producer is Direk Joyce Bernal and our director, Barry Gonzales, is very talented. Talagang nagawa nilang very now, very cool, very entertaining ang movie namin. Ibang-iba ang atake nila sa ‘Fanboy/Fangirl’ kaya nang mapanood daw mismo ni Boss Vic del Rosario ng Viva ang finished film namin, kinongratulate sila for coming up with a very good movie. Lahat ng nakapanood na, ang ganda ng feedback. Kaya ang birthday wish ko, sana maging blockbuster sa takilya ang ‘Fanboy/Fangirl’ kasi hindi kami mapapahiya sa viewers dito.”

So what’s the status of her relationship with Julian now? “Good friends pa rin po. Kung may male best friend po ako ngayon, si Julian yun, wala ng iba.”

But writers present at the presscon say their actions speak louder than their words. It’s obvious that there’s something that more than meets the eye in the way they hold hands, touch each other, with Ella’s hand constantly resting on Julian’s thigh. This is not surprising since they’re constantly together shooting the film and doing mall and out-of-town shows to help promote their launching flick.

Direk Joyce Bernal reveals that they have a lips-to-lips kissing scene in the movie that became bloody. “Naging madugo dahil sa excitement nila, tumama ang labi ni Ella sa ngipin ni Julian kaya nagdugo,” says Direk Joyce. “Na-delay nga yung scene dahil we have to wait for the bleeding to stop muna. Si Ella, dinugo kay Julian."
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Aug 18, 2017

THREE STARS of “Impostora” will be doing free mall shows this weekend. Today, Saturday, August 19, Kris Bernal, Rafael Rosell and Rita Daniela will do musical numbers to entertain the fans of “Impostora” in SM Trece Martirez City at 5 PM.

Tomorrow, Sunday, August 20, they will do a show at StarMall in San Jose del Monte in Bulacan, at 3 PM.

“We personally want to thank the viewers of our show for continuously supporting us and making us number one in our slot,” says Kris. “Meantime, abangan nyo dahil ipagtatapat na ni Nimfa ang katotohanan kay Rafael Rosell na hindi siya talaga si Rosette kundi isa lamang impostora.”
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TODAY IS MOTHER LILY Monteverde’s 78th birthday and her birthday presentation for Regal is their latest release, “Woke Up Like This”.

“I’ve seen the movie and bagay na bagay sina Vhong Navarro and Lovi Poe sa roles nilang nagkapalitan sila ng gender,” she says. “Girl na girl si Vhong and Lovi is so astig, mukhang tough guy ang dating. Pareho silang sobrang nakakatawa and very effortless ang style of comedy nila. I’m happy and proud na ito ang papalabas namin in time for my birthday.”

Regal is working full time these days as they have a lineup of several movie projects after “Woke Up Like This”. They have two youth-oriented, horror flick, “Debutantes” and “Haunted Forest”, a new romantic comedy called “Recipe for Love” directed by Joey Reyes, Barbie Forteza and Ken Chan’s first movie together, “This Time Will Be Sweeter” directed by Joel Lamangan and their entry to the filmfest, “My Fairy Tale Love Story” with Janella Salvador and Elmo Magalona directed by Perci Intalan.
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OGIE ALCASID was born on August 27, 1967 so he will be a golden boy this year. To celebrate, he will have a birthday concert at KIA Theater on August 25, Friday. The beneficiary will be the charitable organization, World Vision and their projects against child exploitation, a very noble cause indeed.

“I have received so many blessings kaya when World Vision asked me to help them, yes agad ako at hindi ko sila siningil at all,” he says.

In the concert, you will hear Ogie sing his latest songs from his new album, “NakakaLokal”, for which he just shot a music video. It has ten songs where he is accompanied by the ABS-CBN symphony orchestra conducted by Gerard Salonga. It has six original songs, including “Nakakalokal,” “Ikaw ang Tanging Pag-ibig Ko,” “Akala Ko,” “Di Na Muli,” “Di Ka Pababayaan,” and the upbeat track “Do You Wanna Dance With Me,” where Ogie shows he still has the energy to sing and dance even if he’s now a golden boy.

His special guests are Angeline Quinto, Erik Santos, Jaya, Yeng Constantino of Cornerstone, and Solenn Heussaff, Lovi Poe and his own daughter, Leila Alcasid. So how is Leila’s career doing? “She’s preparing for her first album. Tinutulungan siya ni Marion Aunor as the producer and voice coach niya si Lara Maigue. She writes her own songs at iba ang sound niya, very millennial. Hindi siya nagmamadali, pero 6 months pa lang siya rito ang dami ng kumukuha. May mga La Salle students na gusto siyang kuning muse nila. Ang dami ring nanliligaw. Nagpapaalam naman sa’kin. Dad, someone is asking me to have coffee. Sabihin mo sa kanya, you can have coffee rito sa bahay. Pag gusto siyang ilabas, sabi ko, tell them to call me up muna at, tumatawag naman para kausapin ako.”

What if she’d have a boyfriend soon? “May magagawa ba ko? But as of now, I think serious siya in having a career here kaya nandoon ang focus niya.”

Ogie will be leaving for Paris on August 26, the day after his concert, with his whole family and he will celebrate his birthday there on August 27. “Tapos, direcho na kami sa pag-attend ng wedding ni Dr. Vicki Belo,” he adds.
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