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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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Dec 17, 2017

HEART EVANGELISTA is happy to host a Christmas party for her Korean co-stars in “My Korean Jagiya”. “Para ma-feel naman nila how we Filipinos celebrate the Christmas season,” says. “Both Alexander Lee and Andy Ryu ar Catholics so they know it’s about the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and they also know that we Filipinos celebrate the longest Christmas season in the world.”
Heart was able to meet Andy’s Korean girlfriend who came here to visit him, Kim Hye Jin, who starred in such Koreanovelas as “Iris” and “Dong Yi”. “She came to the taping of ‘My Koren Jagiya’ and she’s very nice,” says Heart. “May gift pa siya sa aking hand-painted scarf, so I invited them to have dinner in our house.”

“My Korean Jagiya” continues to enjoy high ratings so they’re extended up to 2018. But even if she’s still busy with taping the show, Heart is now preparing for a major painting exhibit. “May mga natapos na akong bagong artworks at nag-iipon talaga ko ng paintings for my next solo show. My first shows were in 2014 and 2015 and they’re both sold out affairs. Then I had my own Love Marie exhibit in Singapore then I also painted for Hermes bags and for the gowns of designer Mark Bumgarner. I’m really happy and thankful that people warmly accepted my being an artist aside from my being an actress.”
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DIRECTOR IAN LORENOS had an entry in the Metro Manila Filmfest last year, the family drama “Mano Po VII: Chinoy”, but it didn’t make it to the list of 8 finalists. He is much luckier this time with the horror flick, “Haunted Forest”, which a lot of people are predicting will hit it big at the box office as it’s the only horror entry this year. Is this his first horror film? “No, I did a horror film for Cinemalaya, ‘The Leaving’, in 2010 about ghosts in a haunted building, for which LJ Reyes won a best supporting actress award,” he says. “Pero ibang-iba itong ‘Haunted Forest’ in terms of scope and production vales. Mother Lily and Roselle Monteverde of Regal gave me freedom and didn’t leave any stone unturned to make sure this will succeed in scaring the audience. I think we achieved naman our purpose of presenting visual horror without resorting to cheap jump scares. We offer something that will last in the memory of the viewers even after they’ve watched the movie.”

He says the movie is not only about frightening the audience but also about giving them an involving story. “It’s about family relationships din. Raymart Santiago plays a cop who’s assigned to the province at sinama niya roon ang anak niyang si Jane Oineza as Nica. They have a big gap as father and daughter and this worsens when a mysterious and unexplainable force takes over Nica when she goes to the forest, which she doesn’t know is haunted by a monstrous elemental creature called Sitsit. I got the idea from a mythical island in Samar na during the day, it’s all forest, gubat lang talaga. But at night, it looks so well lighted up like a big city. I enjoyed shooting the movie in Mt. Makiling and in a farm in Tanay, Rizal.”

What can he say about his cast? “Aside from Raymart, we have Joey Marquez as the town’s chief of police and they’re both veterans who know what they’re doing and make my work easier. Aside from Jane, the other young stars are Maris Racal, Jameson Blake and Jon Lucas. They’re like typical young people na magulo, naglalaro sa set, but when it’s time to act for the camera, they can all easily turn serious and you can see they have a passion for their craft as actors. They all deliver well and we’re confident that viewers will enjoy having a good scare with ‘Haunted Forest’.”
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DEREK RAMSAY is ecstatic over the positive comments he got after the press preview of his Metro Manila filmfest entry, “All of You”, produced by Quantum Films. Most press people who saw the film believe he did good and has a good chance of bagging another acting award, especially for that confrontation scene with Jennylyn Mercado by the roadside where he got very emotional.

“Thanks for all the good words,” he says. “I’m really flattered and excited, but more than winning an award, I really pray that more people would watch our movie and appreciate it. Gusto naming lahat sa movie, mapasama kami sa list ng topgrossers.”

He seems more at ease with Jen this time as they feel so comfortable with each other doing their love scenes, where Jen is even shown taking off her bra. His son, Austin, was with him and his girlfriend, Joanne Villablanca, at the press preview. How did they react to his love scenes with Jen?

He called his son. “How did you like it?” “I didn’t understand much of it,” says the boy who just arrived from Dubai where he lives with his mom. “Most of it is in Tagalog. But I’m proud of my dad. I think kissing another girl is normal for an actor like him.”

How about Joanne? “I loved it! They’re both very good.” Didn't she get jealous? "She's not the jealous type," says Derek.

How’s Derek doing with Joanne’s own daughter from a previous relationship? “We’re okay, si Sophie. Lagi akong kinukulit. We have a great relationship. She calls me Tito, but she has a good relationship with her own dad and I don’t intend to replace him. Ganun din si Austin with his mom.

They’re relationship is unbreakable. I’m really thankful she allowed Austin to spend the Christmas holidays with me. After the filmfest awards night, I’m taking him to Palawan where my family and I have a resthouse para makasama niya ang parents ko. Doon na kami magi-spend ng New Year. I’ve also bought the gift he wants, an Alienware high tech laptop good for gaming. Ang mahal ha. About P100,000. But it’s worth it kasi ayaw na niyang bitawan.”

After “All of You”, Derek is supposed to do a new movie with Bea Alonzo for Star Cinema. But since Bea is starting a horror movie with Charo Santos directed by new filmmaker Mikhail Red, Derek goes back to Quantum Films to do a movie with Kris Aquino, directed by Chris Martinez. “I’m excited. We got to work together in ‘All You Need is Pag-ibig’, pero sandali lang kasi we were just in a short episode of that omnibus movie. Ngayon, full length film itong gagawin namin. I’ve read the script at maganda talaga so can’t wait to start shooting it.”

This is one of two movies that Kris is scheduled to do in the coming new year. The other one is said to be a horror movie for Iflix no less.
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Dec 15, 2017

FIRST, the positive. “Smaller and Smaller Circles” is that rare film based on an award-winning local novel in English. It’s about two Jesuit priests helping to solve a series of killings of pubescent boys in the dumpsite known as Payatas. Being a crime-thriller, it is such a welcome breather from the usual soaps and romcoms that proliferate today in local films and television.

The film is definitely well produced. Even small roles are offered to name and fairly well known actors who appear only in one or a couple of scenes, like Christopher de Leon as an NBI director, Tessie Tomas as a TV host, Alex Medina as a false suspect, Bernard Palanca as the boyfriend one of the major characters, Gladys Reyes as a councilor, Mailes Canapi as a grieving mother, Cholo Barretto as a friend of the killer who reveals the reason how he became one, Dexter Doria as a carinderia owner, and many more. They’re all quite competent.

The best is Ricky Davao as Cardinal Meneses, who is aiding and abetting the crimes of a depraved and corrupt Monsignor Ramirez (only mentioned, never seen), just like the cover ups the church did for perverted priests in the Oscar-winning “Spotlight”. The one who is really wasted here is TJ Trinidad as an NBI agent who didn’t get to do anything much of value.

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DON’T MISS GMA’s fabulous Christmas offering, ‘Paskong Kapuso: The GMA Christmas Special’ this Sunday (December 17) after “Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho”, topbilled by Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and Kapuso Primetime King Dingdong Dantes, Julie Anne San Jose, Maricris Garcia and Christian Bautista with GMA’s singing groups One Up and T.O.P. Joining them in the opening number are the network’s primetime stars Dennis Trillo, Jennylyn Mercado, Lovi Poe, Carla Abellana, Tom Rodriguez, Rhian Ramos, Glaiza de Castro and Alden Richards.

The country’s Concert Comedy Queen AiAi de las Alas gives a one-of-a-kind rendition of the song ‘12 Days of Christmas’ with Andre Paras, Sheena Halili, Mike “Pekto” Nacua, John Feir, Boobay, Super Tekla, Tetay, Maey Bautista, Boobsie, Divine and Betong Sumaya. Janine Gutierrez, Gabbi Garcia, Mikee Quintos, Klea Pineda, Kate Valdez and Barbie Forteza with Derrick Monasterio, Ken Chan, Jak Roberto, Jeric Gonzales, Addy Raj, and Ruru Madrid give a spectacular song and dance number.

“Impostora” lead star Kris Bernal joins the cast of “Haplos” Sanya Lopez, Thea Tolentino, Pancho Magno and Rocco Nacino as they perform a ballroom dance number. They are joined by Rita Daniela, James Wright and Hannah Precillas.

The cast of the Network’s upcoming Primetime series “The One That Got Away” led by Kapuso Premier Drama Actress Lovi Poe, Rhian Ramos, Max Collins and Kapuso Drama King Dennis Trillo will deliver a performance that will surely make the audience anticipate their new program for 2018.

Asia’s Pop Sweetheart Julie Anne San Jose and Asia’s Romantic Balladeer Christian Bautista together with real-life sweethearts Tom Rodriguez and Carla Abellana will serenade the viewers with a special song number dedicated to our Kapuso abroad.

Completing the show is Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid’s world-class performance with the AFP Chorale. They will perform an inspirational song number that invokes the spirit of the season – and sends a message of love, compassion, and hope.

Mikael Daez and the stars of upcoming afternoon soap “Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka” Yasmien Kurdi, Ina Feleo and Mike Tan make a special appearance.

Aside from these special performances, this year, various Kapuso celebrities visit different organizations to entertain and create happy Christmas memories with them.

“My Korean Jagiya” stars Heart Evangelista and Alexander Lee, together with Barbie, Thea, Jeric and Derrick capture the hearts of the audience as they host a festive celebration in a Christmas Village.

The stars of “Pepito Manaloto” Manilyn Reynes, Angel Satsumi, John Feir, Mosang and Arthur Solinap; “Daig Kayo Ng Lola Ko” Ms. Gloria Romero, Chlaui Malayao, David Remo, Julius Erasga and Jillian Warde; and “I-Bilib hosts” Chris Tiu and Roadfill spread love at Child Haus, a temporary shelter for indigent patients from the different provinces.

“Ika–6 Na Utos” stars Sunshine Dizon, Angelika dela Cruz, Ryza Cenon, and Gabby Concepcion with Ms. Jaclyn Jose, Gabby Eigenmann and Dingdong Dantes return to Child Haus to grant the wishes made by the residents.

Kapuso leading ladies Andrea Torres, Katrina Halili, Solenn Heussaff, and Ms. World Megan Young, with Kapuso hunks Rafael Rosell, Kiko Estrada and Dion Ignacio surprise the AFP soldiers at Fort Bonifacio with an early morning Taebo session.

“Kambal, Karibal” stars Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali surprise a talented dance crew and teach them a few dance routines. While Mark Herras, LJ Reyes, Vaness del Moral, Kristoffer Martin, Joyce Ching and Rochelle Pangilinan join them for a dance showdown.

The boys of “The One That Got Away” Ivan Dorschner, Jason Abalos and Migo Adecer will make the audience feel head over heels kilig with their surprise visit in a hospital’s nurse’s station; while GMA heartthrobs Benjamin Alves, Gil Cuerva and Martin del Rosario will definitely give viewers a cloud nine feeling as they pay a visit to some female security guards.

Pambansang Bae Alden Richards is accompanied by comedians Tetay and Pekto in a fun-filled Christmas surprise as they visit Hero Foundation, an organization that provides educational stipends to military orphans.

Kapuso Primetime Queen Marian Rivera and the cast of Super Ma’am Jerald Napoles, , Ashley Ortega, Enrico Cuenca, Vincent Magbanua, Marika Sasaki, Ralph Noriega and Joyce Ching organize a fun and jolly Christmas party at Lualhati ng Maynila, a nursing home that caters the elderly.

There will also be special video greetings from: “Magpakailanman” host Mel Tiangco; “Celebrity Bluff” and “Dear Uge” host Eugene Domingo; “Idol Sa Kusina”’s Chef Boy Logro and Chynna Ortaleza; the cast of “Sunday PinaSaya”; “Eat Bulaga” Dabarkads; “Wowowin” host Willie Revillame; and the cast of “Bubble Gang” led by Michael V. with Paolo Contis, Sef Cadayona, Boy II Quizon, Antonio Aquitania, Chariz Solomon and Kim Domingo. Should be “led by Michael V with Paolo Contis, Boy II Quizon, Antonio Aquitania, Sef Cadayona, Chariz Solomon and Kim Domingo.

2017 Reina Hispanoamericana Teresita Ssen ‘Winwyn’ Marquez and the men and women of GMA News and Public Affairs Mel Tiangco, Mike Enriquez, Vicky Morales, Arnold Clavio, Howie Severino and Jessica Soho plus the cast of “Unang Hirit,” also prepared their Christmas greeting to every Kapuso viewer here and abroad. Don't miss all these Kapuso stars performing in their own surprise Christmas numbers this Sunday night, directed by Louie Ignacio.
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SUNSHINE DIZON says she took a big risk when she decided to leave the cast of “Encantadia” and consented to do “Ika-6 na Utos”. “My character in ‘Encantadia’ was supposed to be there from start to finish,” she says. “Tapos nagulat na lang ako when they told me they’ll have to rewrite the story and kill my character dahil kailangan ako sa isang bagong show. I was really surprised, but it was explained to me that the story of ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ is bagay sa’kin and what happened to me in real life, babaeng pinagtaksilan ng asawa. I agreed to do it at sila sa ‘Enca’, sabi sa’kin, we will wait for you to comeback. Kasi baka matapos na raw kami sa ‘Ika-6’ pero on pa rin sila. But yun pala, kami ang aabutin ng one year.”

Her role as Emma, the wronged wife, has really endeared her to the public. “When we go out in public, my kids are surprised when people approach me. Sabi nila, why are they happy to see you and why do they want to have their picture taken with you. Hindi kasi nila napapanood ang ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ kasi nasa school pa sila by that time. Nakaka-guilty rin kasi I don’t have much time for them kasi ang taping namin, halos five times a week. But babawi ako kasi bakasyon na kami starting December 18 at dadalhin ko sila sa States for a vacation, kahit short lang, basta magkakasama kaming tatlo.”

So, has she found a new love after the failure of her marriage? “Naku, I have no time for that. Hanggang next year pa raw ang ‘Ika-6 na Utos’ so we’re all happy. Sa sobrang pagka-busy ko sa ngayon, trabaho na lang ako at mga anak ko. Hindi ko naman hinahanap. Mas tahimik ang buhay ko ngayon.”
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Dec 14, 2017

AT THE RECENT PRESSCON of a new movie, writers were talking about the 37 counts of cyber libel against writer Jobert Sucaldito affirmed by the courts. This is not for his regular column in a tabloid but for his posts on Facebook against a talent manager and a singer. It started as blind items but Jobert eventually named them, Cornerstone Talent Management’s Ericson Raymundo and his talent, Erik Santos.

The case against him was filed on March 30, 2017 and the affirmation of its elevation to a higher court due to sufficient grounds was made on October 12, 2017 by Prosecutors Julian Ilao and Jaime Villanueva, who wrote:

“A careful scrutiny of the Facebook posts complained of disclosed that they were ostensibly made with malice tending to insult and tarnishes the reputation of Mr. Raymundo and Santos, and Cornerstone. The fact that Mr. Sucaldito is alleging that the company of Mr. Raymundo was undercutting projects from other people, employing underhanded means in order to book artists under his management, engaging in unfair competition, and becoming swell-headed, disparage the integrity of the latter.

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LAURICE GUILLEN was honored by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle and the Archodiocese of Manila at the Meralco Theatre last Tuesday night. She was given the Patroness of the Arts award for her contributions as one of the country’s best film directors and actresses. Laurice directed one of the most memorable films about faith in local cinema, “Tanging Yaman”, and she’s also a well known Marian devotee who helps in church activities regularly, so she truly deserves the award.

We got to talk to Laurice on the set of “Ika-6 na Utos” as they celebrated their first anniversary on the air. Did she have an inkling when they started last year that the show would last this long?

“None at all,” she says. “We started taping in November and the show’s telecast began on December 5. Wala kaming kamalay-malay that people would love it so much and it will be that big a hit. Because of our consistently high ratings, we were extended several times na at naging Monday to Saturday ang airing namin.”

What can she say to those who bash the show and complain: “nakakasawa na, tapusin nyo na”? “Well, the ratings will speak for itself. Kung totoong sawang-sawa na sila, bakit pinapanood pa rin? Ang last rating namin, almost 9%, very high for a daytime show.”

She’s happy that the cast has received awards for the show. “Yung kay Gabby Concepcion, from Korea pa, at yung kay Sunshine, Gawad America. Then the three of them were honored by OFW Gawad Parangal. I’m especially happy for Ryza Cenon kasi it’s her first acting award and she won for a role na kontrabida siya at galit ang mga tao sa kanya.”

So when is “Ika-6 na Utos” finally ending? “I don’t know. Kasi usually, six weeks-six weeks ang extension namin. As of now, we’re working na on the resolution of the story, papunta na roon sa pagkikita uli nina Sunshine as Emma and Gabby as Jerome, na naging Jordan dahil nagka-amnesia siya. I was asking GMA management if I could already accept an offer to direct a movie, but they told me, extended na naman daw kami up to February, so obviously, happy pa rin sila sa mataas na ratings. Matatapos lang talaga siguro ito kapag nabunyag na ang katotohanang ang batang si Sidney, na inaapi ni Ryza, ay siya palang nawawalang anak ni Sunshine.”
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MARIAN RIVERA welcomes back Dina Bonnevie in “Super Ma’am”. Dina was present at the start of the show playing the mother of Marian and Kim Domingo, but she was later shown dying in an earthquake that also caused the separation of Kim from Marian.

Now, Dina is back but she is only being cloned by Jackielou Blanco, the queen of the evil Tamawos who want to put down Marian as Super Ma’am. Jackielou is impersonating Dina just to be close to Marian and get her confidence as Minerva. This is so Jackie can find out Marian’s secrets as the superhero who fights the Tamawos.

There will also be new additions to the cast of “Super Ma’am”. First will be Neil Ryan Sese as a Tamawo. Later, Gil Cuerva of “My Love from the Star” will also be joining the cast to play another intriguing and mysterious character.

In public, Marian was last seen attending the wedding at Christ the King Church of her good friend Ai Ai de las Alas to Gerald Sibayan last Tuesday. Earlier, she hosted a spa-themed bridal shower for Ai Ai attended by their mutual friends, Pops Fernandez and “Sunday PinaSaya” co-star Valeen Montenegro. Her weddinig gift to Ai Ai is the fabulous wedding gown designed by Frederic Peralta and with special floral paintings on the train by Louie Ignacio.

“I wish her all the best for this marriage,” says Marian. “She deserves to be happy kasi mabuti siyang tao.”

Marian herself will be celebrating her 3rd wedding anniversary with hubby Dingdong Dantes on December 30. “Ang bilis, 3 years na pala agad ang nagdaan. When you’re happy kasi, hindi mo nararamdaman ang paglipas ng mga araw,” she beams.
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Dec 13, 2017

VIC SOTTO is asked how he feels against his “kalabans” in the coming Metro-Manila Filmfest, with his entry, the wholesome family movie “Meant to Beh”, fighting Vice Ganda’s “The Revenger Squad” and Coco Martin’s “Panday” at the box office.

“I’d like to say na hindi kalaban ang tingin ko sa kanila,” he stresses. “Magkakasabay lang kami mag-showing but I don’t look at them as mga kalaban ko, kasi iisa lang ang layunin naming lahat, ang pasayahin, aliwin ang mga manononood ngayong Kapaskuhan. Lahat kami, gusto naming maging masaya ang publiko this Christmas at mas maraming kumita, mas masaya. After all, we are all working in the same film industry at iisa lang ang film festival na ito, so we are all working in this

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