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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 16, 2018

WENCY CORNEJO is best known as a singer-songwriter for hit songs like “Habang May Buhay”, “Next in Line”, “Mangarap Ka”, “Hanggang” and “Magpakailanman”. He was gone for sometime, but he’s now back doing his first stage musical, “Side Show”, for Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group. How come he was missing for sometime?

“I moved to Davao and put up a bakery business,” he says. “I stayed there for seven years. Now, I want to put up the bakery here in Manila also. I was in Japan when my road manager asked me if I want to try theatre and I said, why not? So I sent them an audio videotape na ako mismo ang nag-selfie and now I’m playing the role of Sir, the ringmaster who’s the adoptive parents of Daisy and Violet, the conjoined twins in ‘Side Show’ that opens at the RCBC Theatre in Makati on August 31. Sir starts as arrogant but he is transformed by play’s end nang nalaos na siya.”

So how’s is his experience so far? “I’m having a hard time. I’m actually the oldest member of the cast, but in terms of experience, akong baby nila kasi virgin pa ko sa teatro. Unang-una, ang hirap mag-adjust sa 10 to 5 PM rehearsals namin araw-araw kasi I’m used to waking up late. But I’ve since adjusted to new sleeping habits. Tapos, hirap na hirap akong mag-memorize ng lines ko. At one point, sabi ko, what am I doing here? But I welcome the challenge and I’m now enjoying it. Iba talaga ang disiplina sa theatre and I’m glad that when I did my first play, it’s with Atlantis. I got offers before but walang natuloy, so I guess now is really the right timing. I’m in awe of my younger co-stars. Ang gagaling nila and they’re energy when we rehearse is contagious.”

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 TWO OF ERICH GONZALES’ co-stars in “Blood Sisters” have nothing but praises for her. “Ang galing niya,” says Dina Bonnevie who plays Debbie. “Yung ibang young stars ngayon, ang tagal mag-internalize before doing heavy dramatic scenes. But her, when I said I’m ready, ready na rin siya and in no time at all, nag-build up again ang emotions niya in front of the camera.”

“She plays triplets in the show na iba-iba ang character pero never siyang na-confused,” says Tessie Tomas who plays Dr. Bermudez. “You’d be amazed sa pagiging consistent niya in portraying each character. At kahit makikita mong pagod na pagod siya, you’ll never hear her complain.”

We heard Dina will go to GMA-7 right after the conclusion of “Blood Sisters” which will have its final episode this afternoon. She will be playing an important role in the Dingdong Dantes-Dennis Trillo starrer, “Cain at Abel”. “Yes, I need to work kasi for three months now, my father is in and out of the hospital. He’s 88 years old, had a stroke, nagka-colon cancer pa yan at may Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s. Ayoko namang humingi ng pera sa husband ko for his hospitalization. I called my mom who lives in Zwitzerland and told her na he might not last long so my mom, who’s 81, will be flying in soon to visit him, kahit hiwalay na sila.”

Does any of her granddaughters have any inclination to follow the footsteps of their grandma? “Kay Oyo, yung anak nila ni Kristine na si Ondrea. I see her acting in front of the mirror. Kay Danica naman, si Micaela, ginagaya si Elsa sa ‘Frozen’ and has memorized all the songs in ‘Greatest Showman’. Sabi ni Danica, mana raw sa’kin. What I really want to do is a teleserye with my daughter in law (Kristine Hermosa), yung mag-ina kami.”

Tessie Tomas is flying to the U.K. to have a one-month vacation with her husband in the Isle of Man between England and Ireland. She’s now also writing her no-holds barred memoris. His son, Robin, a fashion designer in New York, is now married in a same sex marriage. “His being gay was never an issue between. I openly supported and embraced him ever since and I think same sex marriages should be treated the same way we treat heterosexual marriages.”
#ShowbizPortal #DinaBonnevie #TessieTomas #ErichGonzales #TBS
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HEART EVANGELISTA just renewed her contract as a Kapuso. “I’m very happy to be with GMA-7 as they’re always very understanding when it comes to my schedules,” she says. “Dapat noon pa ako magsa-sign ng new contract but I had a miscarriage so we had to postpone it. Now, I have to move on and I really enjoy working with them. Despite what happened, I’m very content with my life right now and I’m very happy where I am. I know the Lord has other plans for me and my husband (Sen. Chiz Escudero.) My last show with GMA was the first ever Filipino-Korean romcom, ‘My Korean Jagiya’, and it really got high ratings. I’m confident the next project that they will assign to me will also a big winner.”

GMA top honcho Atty. Felipe Gozon is glad that Heart remains loyal to GMA and has nothing but praises for the actress. “Si Heart ay isang very talented actress sa movie man o sa TV. Super talented painter rin siya whose paintings are very much in demand. We are fortunate and gratified na nag-renew siya ng exclusive contract sa atin because she is really a very valuable asset for any showbiz organization.”

Heart confessed that she auditioned for the Hollywood film, “Crazy Rich Asians”. “That’s my little secret and I almost got the part actually, that’s what the author, Kevin Kwan, told me. I met him when he was here last year for his promotion of the book, and we got along fine. And later, he wrote about my painted bags for New York Times. So nagulat ako, naalala niya ako. And then I got a call from him, asking if I was attending Paris Fashion Week, because he had something for me in Paris. They were going to shoot something very special. So nagulat ako that he messaged me. And when I went to Paris and I met him, we became very close and we worked on something together and hopefully it will not be the last.”

She then made an audition tape for the movie. “But I made sure na in case na ma-leak ‘yung audition tape ko hindi nakakahiya. I hired a crew, tinape ko siya like a telenovela. Nakakatuwa. It was a memorable experience and it’s funny because sobrang na-appreciate nila ‘yung audition tape ko.”

Heart is so blessed as she was chosen to be the endorser of Sequoia Paris, a top French leather goodS brand. She already did a pictorial in Paris for their billboards. Their bags are as classy as other bags with bigger brand names but not as expensive. Watch out for her formal launching as the brand ambassadress of Sequioa Paris.
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Aug 15, 2018

THERE ARE TWO kinds of love stories, the feel good happy romcoms and the sad ones that end in heartbreak. Now, it’s the season of star-crossed lovers and filmmakers for whom a bright ending should be avoided at all cost. We’re referring to films like “Kita Kita”, “Camp Sawi”, “12”, “Meet Me in St. Gallen”, “Mr. and Mrs. Cruz”, “100 Tula Para Kay Stella”, where the characters seem to wallow in heartache and turmoil amd make their experience emotionally draining for the poor viewer.

There are no happy couples in these movies about imperfect relationships and they’re obviously the perfect antithesis to manipulative romcoms. The fact that most of them did well at the box office is living proof that most millennial viewers today are suckers for tortured and painful relationships with flawed characters. Maybe viewers now really prefer sad, heart wrenching endings to happier ones.

Now comes “The Day After Valentine’s”, from the same writer-director, Jason Paul Laxamana, and stars, Bela Padilla and JC Santos, of “100 Tula”, who once again dilly dally and just cannot commit to each other. JC is Kai, a Filipino Hawaiian who’ve been staying in Manila for almost three years after he fell head over heels in love with a girl called Anne who has since dumped him. He can’t get over her and he cuts his arms to punish himself.

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ERICH GONZALES says “The Blood Sisters” is the hardest assignment she did in her career as she played the triple roles of Agatha, Carrie and Erika, which can all be physically and emotionally draining.

“Hindi biro yung paulit-ulit kang mag-change ng costume and make up and mannerisms for each scene,” she says. “And I shoot about 60 to 65 sequences per taping day kaya sobrang nakakapagod. But I’m not complaining. In fact, I’m grateful na sa’kin ipinagkatiwala ng Dreamscape ang project na ito because kahit it’s tiring, I really enjoy what I’m doing. It tested my limits at napatunayan ko sa sarili ko na kaya ko palang gawin ito.”

Just as the show is about to end this week (to be replaced by the new remake of “Meteor Garden”), her three roles will merge into one as Agatha to rescue Cherrie Pie Picache as Adele from the clutches of the villains, Jake Cuenca as Rocco and Dante Rivero as Fabian. Forgiveness will rule the show since Dina Bonnevie as Debbie will also learn to forgive the erring Jestoni Alarcon as Norman. “Punong-puno ng action at drama ang last few episodes ng ‘The Blood Sisters’ kaya huwag na huwag kayong bibitaw,” adds Erich.
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MARIEL DE LEON has finished shooting two movies and is now about to shoot another one, making her real busy. She just finished the domestic drama, “Latay”, directed by Ralston Jover, and the remake of the classic horror film, “Patayin Mo sa Sinday si Barbara” directed by Chris Castillo, whose dad, the late Celso Kid, directed the original movie with Susan Roces and Rosanna Ortiz. What are her roles in these movies?

“In ‘Latay’, kasama ko sina Allen Dizon and Lovi Poe and I was intimidated at first as they’re both award-winning actors,” she says. “But they both turned out be very nice and very welcoming. I had lots of scenes with Allen and he really guided me along with DIrek Ralston. Lovi is his wife and I’m his first girlfriend. Allen is a battered husband and when Lovi got jealous, pati ako sinugod at binugbog. Bilib nga ako kay Lovi, ang galing niya. You’d really think tinatamaan ako ng mga sampal niya, but hindi naman. In ‘Barbara’, I play the role of Ruth, yung multo, played by Rosanna Ortiz in the original and by Dawn Zulueta in the remake. For the film’s climax, talagang ginawa nilang scary ang face ko with ugly prosthetic make up.”

Soon, Regal Entertainment will launch her in a sexy drama to be directed by Jay Altarejos. She will figure in a daring love triangle with Enzo Pineda and Sophie Albert who also be given their biggest movie break here. So she’s ready to go sexy and show some skin?

“Okay lang naman, but with limitations, like what I did in my pictorial as the cover girl of FHM’s first digital issue this month of August. Basta classy ang dating at hindi bastos o malaswa. At siempre, nagpaalam muna ako sa nanay at tatay ko and I’m doing this with their permission.”

She’s deadset on making it as an actress so even her lovelife is on hold. She broke up with her boyfriend and he understands that she wants to focus all her undivided attention to her budding career. Aside from movies, she wants to try doing teleseryes. “Gusto kong magkontrabida, yung kaiinisan ako ng viewers,” she adds.

She’s no longer as opinionated as before. “After all the bashing, I came out stronger. I still read comments about me but if it’s negative, I just ignore them as it’s useless to fight back, waste of time and energy lang.”


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Aug 14, 2018

WE’RE SURE you’ve heard of the saying that “behind every great man is a woman”. “The Wife” tells the story of one such woman, Joan Castleman (Glenn Close), the better half of a famous writer, Joe Castleman (Jonathan Pryce), who’s about to receive the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The film is adapted from the 2003 novel by Meg Wolitzer and Glenn Close fans are hoping she’ll get another chance at the Oscar for her title-role performance here. Glenn is a latecomer as a movie actress as she started on stage. She was already 35 when she first acted on the big screen in “The World According to Garp” in 1982 for which she was nominated as Oscar best supporting actress.

She has won both the Tony and Emmy Awards several times. She’s been an Oscar nominee six times, three for best actress and three for best supporting actress. We personally like her performances in “Fatal Attraction” and “Dangerous Liaisons”, but she has never won. Let’s see if she’d be luckier this time with “The Wife”.

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DIRECTOR JUN LANA doesn’t hesitate to voice out his feelings about his stars who hurt him in some way, like Christian Bables whose career he boosted in “Die Beautiful” but later abandoned its prequel, “Born Beautiful”. And also Jameson Blake whose schedule became a problem during the shooting of his latest movie, “Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi”.

“About Christian, nagkaayos na kami sa Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino when he approached us and personally apologized,” he says. “I felt na sincere naman siya, so we wish him well. Move on na lang kami kasi natapos na rin namin ang ‘Born Beautiful’ and we found an ideal replacement in Martin del Rosario.”

About Jameson, he felt bad when his handler makes some demands about his shooting schedule. “Kasi darating sila sa set, then magde-demand na unahin na siyang i-shoot para maagang makaalis dahil may iba pa raw raket. Wala naman akong reklamo kay Jameson, he’s a good actor, but those running his career should not treat his acting profession as just another racket. Buti na lang nagkausap kami at maayos ding natapos ang movie niya with us.”

He’s optimistic that “Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi” will click with millennial viewers as it’s about the attachment of people today on gadgets and social media. “Di ba, lahat ngayon, halos lagi na lang nakatutok sa smart phones nila o sa tablets and computers nila to check their social media accounts or watch on youtube. Our movie is about a girl na ganito rin, si Sue Ramirez as Norma, then she gets sick, dumudugo ilong niya, nahimatay siya, and she finds out it’s because she’s allergic to the electromagnetic waves produced by gadgets and wifi. So she has to change her lifestyle and go to her Lola’s remote province kunsaan walang wifi. Will she survive with gadgets and social media? Yun ang ipapakita sa inyo ng movie so don’t miss it when it opens in theaters this Wednesday, August 15.”

“Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi” is a co-production of Jun and Perci Intalan’s company, IdeaFirst Co., with Cignal, as represented by its president and CEO at the movie’s presscon, Jane JImenez-Basas. Ms. Basas says they have many other projects being produced in collaboration with IdeaFirst as the content provider. This includes “Born Beautiful”, which will be released first as a movie, then as a TV series. They also have two upcoming several mini series on Cignal TV, led by “Sleepless” and “The Orbiters”.

#ShowbizPortal #AngBabaengAllergicSaWiFi
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JULIA BARRETTO and Joshua Garcia star in their very first teleserye together, “Ngayon at Kailanman”, which will replace “Bagani” starting this coming Monday. They are supported by a powerhouse cast led by comebacking actress Rosemarie Gil in the role of the matriarch of Joshua’s very wealthy family which is into the jewelry business.

Playing Joshua’s parents are Alice Dixson and Christian Vasquez, with Jameson Blake as his brother. The biological parents of Julia are played by Iza Calzado and TJ Trinidad. Joshua’s family wants to kill Julia so she runs away, adopted by Ina Raymundo and Dominic Ochoa. Also in the cast are Rio Locsin, Ronnie Lazaro and Nanette Inventor, directed by Mae Alviar.

We tell Joshua and Julia that we enjoyed their performances in their last movie, “I Love You, Hater”. How is their acting in “Ngayon at Kailanman” different from that?

“Malaki ang pagkakaiba,” says Joshua. “Dito, binaligtad ang mga sitwasyon namin. Dati, si Julia lagi ang mayaman at ako yung mahirap. Ngayon, ako yung galing mula sa may kayang pamilya as Ino or Inocencio. Very stiff ang character ko rito, very reserved, very obedient din but longing for the love of our mom na mas paborito si Jameson. Lagi rin akong nag-i-English dito. Inaamin ko namang hindi ako sanay sa English so may coach ako rito para siguradong spontaneous ang dating ng English lines ko, fluent at walang buckle. So malaking challenge ito for me talaga.”

“Same with me,” says Julia who’s actually the one that’s very articulate in English. “Malaking challenge din ito for me kasi malayo rin ang role ko rito as Eva sa talagang ako. I’m usually quiet, but my character here is very loud, so malalaki ang movements. But I’m happy with the challenges the role offered to me. Streetsmart siya, babaeng palaban sa buhay. And to make sure makukuha ko ito, nag-immersion ako sa isang depressed idea to see how the people there really live. Naging eye opener yun for me kasi I saw that although they don’t have much in life, lagi silang nakangiti at masaya sila sa buhay nila.”

“Ngayon at Kailanman” is a classic love story but told with a modern flair that will appeal to millennial viewers. It has an element of romantic fantasy in that Joshua as Ino and Julia as Eva first meet when they were still kids. Both had near death experiences and as their souls hover life and death, they meet in a sort of after life, sealing their destiny as soul mates. Do they feel any pressure that after being paired in four hit movies, their love team is now being tested in a teleserye?

“Yes, may pressure but right now, hindi pressure ang naghahari sa amin kundi excitement and also feeling blessed,” says Joshua. “Gusto naming malaman kung ang lahat ng sumuporta noon sa movies namin, papanoorin rin ang aming first teleserye na magkasama kami.”

“And we use the pressure as a motivator for us to do our very best in every episode of ‘Ngayon at Kailanman’,” adds Julia. “Para naman hindi ma-disappoint ang network sa pagtitiwala nila sa amin. Ang more than anything else, what I feel is gratitude kasi ang tagal kong hinintay itong bagong teleserye. God is so amazing.”

#ShowbizPortal #Joshlia #NgayonAtKailanman
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Aug 13, 2018

TODAY IS THE last day of Cinemalaya and here are some of the lasting impressions its entries leave with us. Former child star Therese Malvar shines in two totally different roles: as the college student who harbors ill feelings against her lesbian mom in “Distance” and as the jaded teenager who offers blowjobs to passersbys in “School Service”. Therese is so good in her confrontation scene with her mom in the former and in the scene where Ai Ai de las Alas reprimands her for brazenly selling her body in the latter.

We have a hard time watching the over the top cruelty inflicted to the child actors in “School Service”, particularly the child actress who played Maya. She’s repeatedly hit on the head and insulted all throughout the movie. The other kids are made to deliver offensive lines like “nakita ko ang titi mo”, “blowjob, P50 lang”. We’re really curious if a psychologist was on hand to debrief them after the shooting.

Joel Lamangan’s no hesitation, no shame scene undressing to show off his “curvaceous” body after killing his lover in “School Service”.

Lesbian and gay characters are properly represented: Iza Calzado and her lover Max Eigenmann, her daughter Therese Malvar and Therese’s own love interest Adrianna So in “Distance”. Andres Vasquez as the gay killer ion “The Lookout”, where sodomy scenes are so rampant (even Rez Cortez was sodomized). Ketchup Eusebio as the gay teacher in “Mamang”, Joel Lamangan as the gay older brother in “School Service”.

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