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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.
Latest Articles

Mar 23, 2018

 ‘GAME NIGHT’ is a surprisingly good screwball comedy about five friends who meet every week to play games like charades, monopoly, etc. The hosts are Jason Bateman as Max and Rachel McAdams as Annie, a happily married suburban couple who met over a trivia challenge then fell in love with each other’s being so competitive. Another husband and wife team joins them, Kevin (Lamorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbufy).

Rachel has a single friend who also joins them, bringing in a new girl with him each week. This is Ryan (Billy Magnussen). On this particular night, he brings Sarah (Sharon Horgan), an Irish girl who seems quite smart. Also joining them later is Jason’s older brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), who is engaged in the worst kind of sibling rivalry with his brother who he affects so adversely that Jason has low sperm count.

An odd man out is the humorless cop next door, Gary (Jesse Plemons), who has become such a bore since his wife left him and so he doesn’t get invited anymore, but he will do anything to be part of the game night again.

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MAKISIG MORALES and his family migrated to Perth, Australia in 2013. His last soap was “Mirabella” with Julia Barretto and Enrique Gil whose love team was not accepted by the public. While he was away, Julia was paired more successfuly with Joshua Garcia and Enrique, with Liza Soberano. Now, he’s working again with Enrique in “Bagani”.

“I wasn’t expecting to make a comeback when I got this call from ABS-CBN to do ‘Bagani’ and I accepted it right away without any reluctance kasi nami-miss ko na rin talaga ang acting at ang showbiz,” he says. “Acting talaga ang first love ko and I’m thankful to Star Creatives for giving me the chance to act again.”

It was his dad who found work in Australia and their entire family migrated there, including his nine siblings and grandmother. “In Perth, I went back to my studies and I finished culinary arts at Murdoch University. Ang ganda nga ng timing ng offer ng ABS kasi it came just after I graduated from my culinary arts course at balak ko nang mag-apply doon officially as a chef. So on hold muna yung pagiging chef ko at back to acting muna ako.”

In “Bagani”, he plays Dumakulem, who is a tagagubat or from the forest region. He’s adventurous, fun loving and wants to explore the world outside of the forest where their tribe is limited. Eventually, he’ll interact with the members of the four other tribes of tagadisyerto, tagalaot, tagapatag and tagakalakal. “I have to be physically fit for my role, so when I arrived here, I had to undergo a series of trainings involving action and stunts. I’m now enjoying my role very much and feel so happy to be back.”

So is he staying for good? “I don’t know yet, it all depends kung ano ang magiging resulta ng participation ko sa ‘Bagani’. But I have to be going back and forth to Australia kasi three months lang ako allowed to go out and I have to renew my permit there para makabalik uli ako rito. Basta may magandang offer, I’m willing to continue with my acting career here.”
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WHAT DOES RYZA CENON now have in common with Nora Aunor, Eddie Garcia, Eugene Domingo, LJ Reyes and Paolo Ballesteros? She has just joined the roster of first rate actors who shone brighter through their projects and won an international acting award with prestigious movies they did for Directors Jun Robles Lana and Perci Intalan’s The Ideafirst Company.

First in 2012 was Eddie Garcia, whose touching performance as a dying gay man in “Bwakaw” won several Best Actor trophies, including awards at the Asian Film Festival and the Asia Pacific Film Festival. In 2013, Eugene Domingo followed this with her acclaimed performance as an empowered woman in “Barber’s Tales” that won the Philippines’ first Best Actress trophy at the Tokyo International Film Festival.

In 2015, Superstar Nora Aunor’s performance as the beleaugered heroine in “Dementia” added a Best Actress in a Foreign Language Film Award at the St Tropez International Film Festival to her collection of trophies. That year, LJ Reyes was also named Best Actress at the Pacific Meridian Film Festival in Vladivostok, Russia for her role as a feisty rebel woman in “Anino sa Likod ng Buwan”.

And in 2016, Paolo Ballesteros’ breakthrough role in “Die Beautiful” as the ill fated gay pageant contestant won him the country’s first Best Actor award at the Tokyo International Film Festival and the Kerala International Film Festival in India.

Now, it’s Ryza’s turn to bring home the bacon with her powerful performance as the deserted young wife who goes on a soul-searching trip to Palawan in “Mr. & Mrs. Cruz”. Ryza joins a stellar list of Filipino performers who have won international acclaim for the Philippines by bringing home the Yakushi Pearl Award for Best Perfomer at the Osaka Asian Film Festival.

“Woohoo! Ganito pala ang feeling. Hindi ako makapaniwalang nakuha ko ang Perlas para sa Pilipinas!” exclaimed Ryza who was there to personally accept her trophy. “Mabuhay ang pelikulang Pilipino! I’ve won best supporting actress on TV, but this is my first award for film at sa isa pang international filmfest. I’d like to thank IdeaFirst and Direk Sigrid Bernardo for this unexpected honor. Thank you very much!”

Directed by one of The Ideafirst Company’s creative artists Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, the film is Ryza’s second time to work with The Ideafirst Company. Her first film with the company, “Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B” directed by Prime Cruz, has also won acclaim and has been invited to festivals in Poland and in Portugal.

With Ryza’s international recognition added on the impressive list of achievers, The Ideafirst Company continues its commitment to not only produce quality entertainment, but also seeks to empower and bring out the best in the creative and performing artists that get the chance to work on their projects.
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Mar 22, 2018

RYAN EIGENMANN used to be with GMA-7 but he now plays the role of Sarimaw, the brother of Diether Ocampo. They are the two deities who are tasked to watch over the alternate universe of Sansinukob in “Bagani”.

“My last show with ABS was nine years ago pa,” he says. “Dire-diretso ako sa GMA kasi I had a contract with them. My contract expired in March of last year but I still did ‘Impostora’ for them, which rated well. When they decided not to renew it, I was back to doing free lance work so when ABS got me for ‘Bagani’, I accepted it. My last soap with them was ‘Lobo’, which was also produced by the same business unit as ‘Bagani’.”

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GABBY EIGENMANN was last seen in the primetime show, “My Love from the Star”. He now looks like he gained weight since then and he’s happy that GMA-7 didn’t tell him to shed off his unwanted pounds for his role as Vito Imperial in “Contessa”, which debuted well on the air last Monday. As usual, he’s playing another bad guy in the show.

“Natutuwa akong hindi ako na-pressure to lose weight muna before the taping started,” he says. “Bagay naman kasi sa role ko. Brother ako rito ni Lauren Young at mother namin si Chanda Romero. We’re all partners in crime sa pang-aapi kay Glaiza de Castro. Napatay ang asawa niyang si Mark Herras, ibinintang pa sa kanya so she’s jailed, tapos pati ang mother niya, si Tanya Gomez, pinatay rin. Pero may twist yung character ko rito. Abangan nyo, may secret relationship siya with one of the characters who are working for him at magugulat siya kung sino siya o ano siya.”

Doesn’t he get tired of playing villain roles? “Okay lang naman. Para hindi magsawa ang viewers, iniiba-iba ko ang treatment, like nga rito sa ‘Contessa’ na tiyak na masu-surprise ang viewers sa lihim ng character ko. Being the bad guy, mapaglalaruan mo talaga. But of course, I also miss being the good guy kasi maganda rin yung walang viewers na nagagalit sa’yo. It’s nice to be loved din naman by the viewers. E, pag kontrabida ka, naba-bash ka pa, e.”

“Contessa” is a treat for him and his first cousin Geoff Eigenmann as it’s their first time to work together in a soap. “So far, wala pa kaming eksena together but I’m looking forward to that kasi napakagaling ding actor ni Geoff. It’d be nice na puro magagaling ang kasama ko sa show kasi very successful ang show na pinalitan namin (“Ika-6 na Utos”) kaya we’re pressured na pagbutihin talaga ito para makapantay kami sa high ratings nila.”
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LOVI POE is now more open about her relationship with Fil-French businessman Chris Johnson. They post a lot of pictures together in their social media accounts and you could see they’re really enjoying each other’s company so much.

“We really love the great outdoors,” she says. “We enjoy surfing, swimming, scuba-diving, even just walking together to enjoy the beauty of nature.”

Since Chris is often out of the country to attend to his business, they just enjoy their moment of being together whenever he’s around. “It works well kasi I’m the kind of person who still needs my alone time,” adds Lovi. “I love having my own space and I’d know you really love me if you’d make me feel free and not just confined to our relationship. Ayoko nung maraming restrictions na pagbabawalan ka sa gusto mong gawin.”

As of now, she’s just glad that she’s getting very positive feedback for her rollicking performance as a ‘babaeng bakla’ in “The One That Got Away”. “I’m happy na maraming natutuwa sa role ko as Alex Makalintal, an aspring travel show host. First time ko to do such a kind of funny character and I never cease to smile when I read the remarks about my performance in social media. They find Alex a very endearing character kasi she’s very devoted to her family, lalo sa parents niyang sina Snooky Serna and Bembol Roco. Marami ring natutuwa sa mga eksena namin ni Renz Fernandez dahil nagkasama raw ang mga anak nina Da King and Daboy. Feel good talaga ang show so don’t forget to watch it every night lalo na ngayong we are having some summer special episodes na naka-swimsuit ang maraming members of the cast.”
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Mar 21, 2018

ATTY. JOJI ALONSO has a comment about our recent item saying that the only two local films that have earned at the box office this year so far are “Meet Me in St. Gallen” and “My Perfect You”. “Our movie co-produced by Quantum Films with Star Cinema and IdeaFirst Company, ‘Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes’, remains to be the topgrosser this year,” she says. “Locally, we have earned P150 million. Wala pa dun yung worldwide earnings.”

Sorry, Atty. Alonso. Even the production executive we were talking to forgot that your movie hit it big at the tills. We stand corrected. "Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes" starred Judy Ann Santos and Angelica Panganiban in a rollicking comedy about two wives who discover that their respective husbands are gay lovers. It got positive reviews and was shown on an extended run in several theaters.

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 ALDEN RICHARDS shows humility when we ask him at his launch as endorser of Cookie’s Peanut Butter how he feels when his Kapuso co-star Juancho Trivino flashed the dirty finger sign when shown his poster? “Yes, somebody showed me the video,” he says. “Okay lang. Wala yun. It’s not a big deal. Nag-apologized na naman siya sa social media, wag na lang natin palakihin.”

But of course, AlDub fans are not as easily appeased and they're up in arms against Juancho, tearing him to pieces. As for Alden, he shows he is above it and that’s a big plus factor for him. After all, he’s getting one big blessing after another in terms of endless endorsements. So why did Cookie’s Peanut Butter got him as their brand ambassador?

“Simply because Alden’s appeal is universal,” says Joy Abalos-Yatco, wife of Cookie Yatco, former vice mayor of Binan, for whom the peanut butter brand was named. “We’ve seen how his fans range from small children to teenagers to adults and even old people. And he’s so nice to all of them. At napakamaka-Diyos pa. May isang 92-year old lola na naka-wheel chair, tinawag siya, nilapitan niya at kinausap niya. He’s really so wholesome. Bagay na bagay siya sa produkto namin.”

Joy started making her own peanut butter as her own special gift to family and friends during the holidays. “It was a big hit. Tapos, may nago-order na, so my husband, for whom the brand was named, decided to register it and distribute it commercially. Now, we have our own factory and it’s available na sa supermarkets. Aside from the peanut butter, we also have Cookie’s Cashew Butter, Cookie’s Peanut Butter na Pangluto, Mani ni Cookie and Kasuy ni Cookie.”

Does Alden really eat Cookie’s Peanut Butter? “Oh yes, pinapapak ko siya before working out as it’s a good source of protein. It’s great as a snack, so delicious, with less sugar and more peanuts. Great din isama sa kare-kare. It’s also reasonably priced compared to other brands. We’re using it in my own restaurants, sa Concha’s Garden Cafe. When I endorse something, I give it my full support, so abangan nyo kami ng Cookie’s sa SM Megamall Event Center on April 22 at may special show kami roon.”

with the COOKIE YATCO family who owns cookie peanut butter
For his next TV program, it’s said Alden will do a big budgeted show called “Mitho” for GMA-7, with new leading ladies like Janine Gutierrez and Jasmine Curtis Smith. “But nothing is final yet,” he says. “I’m leaving for the U.S. in April to do some shows for GMA Pinoy TV and when I return, doon pa lang po kami mag-uusap and I don’t even know what they’ll present. Lahat, pinagmimitingan pa lang kaya we cannot give you any details at lahat ng lumalabas sa ngayon, speculations lang.”
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 IYA VILLANIA is pregnant for the second time and she’s hosting the 3rd season of “Lip Synch Battle”. “When I hosted it before, I was pregnant with our first baby, Primo,” she says. “The new baby will come in mid-August and Primo is turning two years old naman sa August 30. We’re now preparing Primo so he’d be aware na hindi na lang siya ang magiging baby in our home. He’s starting to talk at nagugulat kami dahil bigla na lang nagsasalita.”

“Lip Sync Battle Philippines” returns on Easter Sunday, April 1. This musical-reality competition offers a whole new level of entertainment as it treats its viewers with exciting, amusing and even outrageously entertaining performances every week. It will still be hosted by Kapuso comedy genius Michael V. with Iya as the color commentator.

Michael V says he is thrilled to present to its viewers the changes that will happen in this new season. ‘'Excited ako kasi sinala talaga naminb mabuti yung mga battlers ngayon and magkakaroon ng bagong battles. So ang masasabi ko talaga, mas aabangan ito kasi yung mga napiling battler, fierce and ready talaga sila.”

Iya is so happy to be working with Michael V. again because of his warm personality. ‘‘It's a joy to be working with Kuya Bitoy because he is always approachable and friendly. Lahat ng galaw ko sa set, he is always there to help and assist me, so hindi talaga ako nahihirapan.”

The game pits celebrities or personalities against each other in a lip sync battle for two rounds. They can lip sync the song/s of their choice. Then the crowd determines the winner of the battle after the two rounds have been completed. The winner gets the bragging rights to be the Lip Sync Battle Champion and gets the Lip Sync Battle Championship Belt.

Making the third season more special are new things to look forward to such as the 3-way battle and thematic episodes that will pave the way to a more intense head-to-head challenge of your favourite celebrities and personalities. Kapuso viewers can also expect guest color commentators who will participate in the show as they add more fun in the program, directed by Rico Gutierrez.

Get the latest updates about Lip Sync Battle Philippines from the GMA Network website www.GMANetwork.com. Kapuso viewers from across the globe can also catch their favorite Kapuso shows via GMA’s international channels GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, and GMA News TV International. For the program guide, visit www.gmapinoytv.com
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Mar 20, 2018

 JAMES REID and Nadine Lustre’s new movie, “Never Not Love You”, will open in theaters on March 31, Black Saturday, and it will set the screen on fire with their daring love scenes. How daring is it? “Very,” says James. “Viewer discretion is advised since even the language is daring.”

“Basta matapang siya,” adds Nadine. “This is not the typical romcom that we’ve done before. It’s something different, something more dange­rous I guess. Direk Antoinette Jadaone told us to improvise while shooting our scenes, especially those shot on location in London, as she wants the process of writing the story to be organic. We have to level up as a love team and it’s something that’s more real, something that’s more raw and more true to life for us. I believe, ‘yung mga generation now, they’re more open-minded about a lot of things, and they’re starting to embrace what’s happening now, at kung ano’ng mga bago. Mas fearless na po kasi sila ngayon eh.”

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