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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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May 27, 2017

OUR CONDOLENCES to the grieving family of Director Gil Portes who passed in his apartment on Monday, May 22, two days before his 72nd birthday on May 24. He left his wife Stella or Telly and sons Carlo (who’s married with one son) and Justin, who are currently based in the US. The family should be here by now to arrange for his wake and funeral.

Direk Gil is from Pagbilao, Quezon and went to UST before studying film and television at the BBC in London and in Brooklyn, New York. We’ve known him since he helmed his first movie, “Tiket, Mama, Tiket, Ale, Sa Linggo ang Bola”. One of his biggest hits is “Miss X”, filmed in Amsterdam starring Vilma Santos in 1980. Nora Aunor won best actress awards for two of his movies, “Merika” and “Andrea, Paano Ba ang Maging Isang Ina”.

His filmography is filled with memorable movies like “Mga Munting Tinig” starring Alessandra de Rossi as a neophyte teacher in a remote mountain town, “Saranggola” starring Ricky Davao as a cop who covers up his own crime, “Bukas May Pangarap” with Gina Alajar and Tommy Abuel as a couple victimized by illegal recruiters, “Miguel/Michele” with Romnick Sarmenta as a transgender, and “Markova: Comfort Gay” with Dolphy and sons Eric and Epy Quizon playing the lead character in various stages of his life.

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KAPUSO FANS in Cebu, Lucena and Tarlac are in for a big treat this weekend. The lead stars of the coming series, Impostora, Kris Bernal and Rafael Rosell with co-star Sinon Loresca will be at the South Town Centre today, Saturday.

And tomorrow, Sunday (May 28), the newest telefantasya series Mulawin vs. Ravena goes to Lucena City for a Kapuso Mall Show in SM City Lucena. Headlining the event is no less than Kapuso Drama King Dennis Trillo. He will be joined by Kapuso young actors Derrick Monasterio, Kiko Estrada, Bianca Umali and Miguel Tanfelix.

Also in Tarlac on Sunday are Wowowin hosts Donita Nose, Amal, and Super Tekla. The three Kapuso personalities will conduct the “Will to Win” auditions in Magic Star Mall.

“We continue to bring our biggest shows closer to our regional viewers across the country,” says Oliver Amoroso, Officer-in-Charge of GMA’s Regional TV Department. “Kapuso fans can only expect more exciting regional shows and activities. This is our way of saying thanks to Filipino viewers for making us No.1,” he adds.

To know more about the Network’s regional events, follow GMA on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/gmanetwork and GMA Regional TV at www.facebook.com/GMARegionalTV and on Twitter and Instagram via @GMARegionalTV.
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BIBETH ORTEZA joined our regular Wednesday dinner at Gloria Maris hosted by Mother Lily. She is going to Singapore soon to be part of a play that will be staged at the Victoria Theater for the whole month of July. The play is the comedy, “Boeing Boeing”, based on the French farce of the same title which was later filmed in Hollywood starring Tony Curtis as Bernard and Jerry Lewis as Robert. Bibeth will be playing the role of the “mayordoma” originally played in the film by Thelma Ritter. So how did she get the part?

“The play is produced in Singapore by Wild Rice Productions, directed by Pam Oei,” she says. “They went to Lucky Plaza, where Pinoys in Singapore hang out, and heard Pinays there speaking English with a Visayan accent. They asked Michael de Mesa, who did ‘Rent’ there and Epy Quizon, who did a movie there, kung sino kayang local actress in her 60s who speaks with a pronounced accent ang mare-refer nila, and they gave my name. They came here in October and nagpa-audition sila. Anim daw kaming nag-audition. When they heard me pa lang speaking in my Bibeth Bisaya accent in ‘Iskul Bukol’, tawa na sila nang tawa. That same afternoon, I was informed that I got the part.”

That means she’d have to stay there the whole month of June for the daily 9 AM to 5 PM rehearsals and then the actual performances in July. “We will stage the play every day in July except on Mondays, with two shows sa matinee and in the evening on Saturdays and Sundays.”

Her next problem is the hit comedy show she’s writing and directing, “Hay Bahay”, starring Vic Sotto and Ai Ai de las Alas. “So I talked to Vic, baka puedeng mag-advance taping kami para may maipalabas na episodes habang wala ako. Sabi niya, why do you have to do that? Sabi ko naman, it’s in my bucket list, e. At yun, pumayag siya.”

She will be working with an international cast of thespians: Rodney Oliveiro as Bernard, Shane Mardjuki as Robert, Oon Shu An as Singapore Girl Jeanette, Sangeetha Dorai as Air India Girl Jayanthi and Judee Tan as Air China Girl JinJin. She plays Rosa, the maid who makes sure the arrangements for the schedules of Bernard's three girlfriends in his apartment won't overlap. How did her husband, Director Carlitos Siguion Reyna, feel about her staying in Singapore for two months? “Okay lang sa kanya kasi he also stayed Singapore by himself when he was teaching film courses there. We actually like these temporary separations as it gives us the chance to exchange stories about our own individual experiences.”

Her son Rafa Siguion Reyna is now in “Legally Blind” as the lawyer of Marc Abaya. We saw Rafa’s girlfriend, theatre actress Yannah Laurel, at the presscon of “Kinky Boots”, the new Broadway musical to be staged by Atlantis Productions and asked her why Rafa is not in it when he’d be perfect for it after his riotous performance in “La Cage Aux Folles”. She says Rafa is busy doing movies. “Yes, he’s in a new indie flick filmed in fishpens or baklad directed by Topel Lee. In one scene daw, pinatalon siya sa baklad na may tae ng kalabaw. He called to ask me kung gagawin niya and I said amuyin mo yung tae ng kalabaw para you’ll really be in character. After all, wala tayong kalabaw sa Forbes Park, meron tayo, squirrel. He did it. And now, he’s also in the cast of a big period movie, pero hindi pa puedeng i-reveal ang details. Later na lang.”

Does she approve of Yannah for her son? "Oh yes, you know, I like her."
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REGINE VELASQUEZ doesn’t mind playing the role of Lovi Poe’s mother in “Mulawin Vs. Ravena”. “May mga namba-bash nga,” she says. “Matanda na raw ako, pero hindi ako naaapektuhan kasi totoo naman. Hindi lang naman si Lovi ang anak ko rito kundi ang buong kalikasan, kasi Mother Nature ako rito, Inang Kalikasan. Ang name ko is Sandawa. Ang apelyido ko, Park. Ako si Sandawa Park, di ba?”

She says she was flattered when the show’s writers and creative people told her that the role was written for her. “Talagang they have me raw in mind nang sulatin si Sandawa. Sabi pa ng GMA big boss na si Ms. Lilybeth Rasonable, kapag hindi ko raw tinanggap yung role, aalisin na nila ito sa story. Kasi may part na kakanta si Sandawa kaya kailangan nila ako. O, ayun, pinakanta na nga sa akin ang theme song ng show na ‘Ikaw Nga’. So far, enjoy naman ako, sa costume ko, sa mga kasama ko. Napanood nga ako ni Nate (her son) at gustong-gusto niya ang participation ko sa telefantasyang ito.”

It’s good she doesn’t make “patol” to her bashers when they make fun of her age. “I do, pero kapag mga bata ang bina-bash nila, like si Leila (daughter of her husband Ogie Alcasid with first wife Michelle Van Eimeren) and si Nate. Wala namang mga malay ang mga batang yan, bakit pati sila idinadamay nyo? So dun ako nagre-react. Okay na kong paglaruan nyo, wag lang yung mga anak namin.”
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 LAURENCE MOSSMAN has a Pinay mom from Leyte and a dad who’s a New Zealander. He and his two older brothers were born and raised in Auckland and have visited his mom’s country several times. Standing 5,’9”, very buff due to regular gym workouts and now 27 years old, he decided to come to Manila to try his luck here as a singer. Why didn’t he venture in nearby Australia where they have a thriving theatre industry in Sydney and Melbourne? “My eldest brother is an actor in Sydney while the other one is a hotel manager,” he says. “I chose to come to Manila.”

He was in school when he discovered his passion for singing. “My parents helped nurture my dream and I took singing lessons and classical singing for four years in Dunedin, a cold city in southern New Zealand. I graduated with honors in Music and for a while, I taught singing to high school students while also working as a bartender in a wine shop to save for my trip to the Philippines.”

He’s been in Manila for two years now. How is it so far? “At first, I had some culture shock due to the difference in climate, the traffic situation and the sheer number of people. In New Zeland, there’s about only 1.5 million in our city, Auckland and here, there’s a crowd everywhere. I’m now trying to learn how to speak Pilipino and I’m glad that English is also widely spoken here.”

He has tried appearing on TV as a bad guy in ABS-CBN’s “Dolce Amore” while his first local play is “Fun Home” with Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group (ATEG) staged last year and early this year. He portrayed the boyfriend of the lead female character, played by Mikkie Bradshaw Volante, who was seduced by Mikkie’s gay dad. Now, he gets to work with Mikkie’s husband, Nyoy Volante, in the new ATEG musical, “Kinky Boots”. “I play a young businessman who wants to beef up their company’s shoe business and Nyoy as as drag queen named Lola helps me by introducing a new line of boots called ‘Kinky Boots’. It’s a great experience working with Nyoy. I saw him in ‘Jersey Boys’ and I was just blown away by the wide range of his talent. I know I’ll enjoy acting and singing with him.”

“Kinky Boots” opens at the RCBC Theatre in Makati on June 30. Tickets are now available at Ticketworld at (632) 891-9999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph
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GIL CUERVA didn’t mention that he has relatives in showbiz. It’s Janno Gibbs who informed us that he is the first cousin of his wife, Bing Loyzaga. “Gil’s father is the brother of Bing’s mother,” says Janno. And our whole family is rooting for him.”

This means that Bing’s sister, Teresa Loyzaga, is also the first cousin of Gil and Teresa’s son with Cesar Montano, Diego, is his nephew. Diego turned 22 on May 21, while Gil will turn 22 on August 21 yet, so the nephew is even older by a few months than his uncle.

Gil had his baptism of fire at the presscon of “My Love from the Star”. He had revealing shower scene in the show where he displayed his bare torso lengthily. Later on, when he was being interviewed, gay reporters asked him: “Ready ka na bang pagpantasyahan ng mga bading?” He replied: “Ready na po.” He added that he’s not homophobic since he comes from the modeling world where gays also abound. “Marami na po akong nakasamang gay stylists, make up artists at marunong naman po silang rumespeto. Hindi sila yung tipong chachancingan ka. Marami naman akong friends na gay.”

Has he received an indecent proposal? “Yes, may gay who offered P50,000 makipag-date lang ako sa kanya. But I just ignored it. I won’t entertain such offers at all. I want to earn money in an honest decent way. I think may future naman ako sa showbiz, basta paghuhusayan ko lang ang trabaho ko rito.”
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GLAIZA DE CASTRO has done some truly good indie films, like “Still Life” by Katski Flores, “Rakenrol” by Quark Henares, “Patikul” by Joel Lamangan, “Astig” by GB Sampedro and “Bente” by Mel Chionglo. “Now, kasama na itong ‘Sleepless’ sa favorite films na nagawa ko,” she says. “Maraming makaka-relate sa character ko rito as Gem, a call center agent na bukod sa hindi makatulog, conflicted din siya kasi may relasyon siya with TJ Trinidad, pero hindi niya ma-explain kung on ba talaga sila or what, at may mga gusto siyang gawin na hindi niya magawa. Then she has this kakaibang friendship with Dominic Roco as Barry, isang taong puede mong makausap kapag di ka makatulog at mapaglalabasan mo ng lahat ng feelings na nasa loob mo.”

She laughs when someone insinuated that she might have a romantic connection with Dom, since it’s common knowledge she was once linked to Dom’s twin brother, Felix. “That will be weird kasi kapatid talaga ang turing ko kay Dom. Mas masalita si Dom so mas nakaka-relate ako sa kanya and he’s like an extended member of our family kasi friend din siya ng brother ko (Alchris Galura.)”
She is shown in bed with Dom in one scene. “Yes, may bed scene kami, but not a love scene. Nag-uusap lang kami about love, work, even zombies. Kunsaan eventually napapunta yung mga pag-uusap namin, hindi natukoy sa movie. Baka may sequel.”

Those who enjoyed the classic “Before Sunrise” and “Before Sunset”, where the characters are just shown conversing, will no doubt enjoy “Sleepless”, which starts showing today in selected SM Cinemas as part of the FDCP’s Cine Lokal. Their director, Prime Cruz, is now directing for big companies like Regal, Star and Viva. His “Can We Still Be Friends” with Star starring Gerald Anderson and Arci Munoz is now about to be shown. What can Glaiza say about this?

“I’m so happy for Direk Prime. ‘Sleepless’ opened a lot of doors and opportunities for him. Noon parang nahihiya pa siya, but now, I think na-embrace na niya yung strengths niya as a filmmaker and we wish him all the best.”

So what’s next for her after her iconic role as Pirena in “Encantadia” that just ended? “Wala pa. But all of us in the cast miss the show. Nagpaparamdam nga kami kay Direk Mark Reyes ng sequel kasi, sa ending, nagkaanak lahat kami, so may bagong babies sa ‘Encantadia’. At sana naman, yung mga fans ni Pirena, magka-interest silang panoorin itong ‘Sleepless’. Pero habang wala pa akong bagong show, I’ll be busy promoting my new album, ‘Magandang Simula’, which has 8 Tagalog songs, released by PolyEast Records. It’s my tribute to my Lolo na siyang pinagmulan ng title ng album ko.”

What can she say that their “Enca” co-star, John Arcilla, quickly moved to ABS-CBN to do “Ang Probinsyano”? “Nagulat rin kaming lahat ng co-stars namin, pero okay lang, we’re happy na may kasunod agad siyang project. Matagal na raw yung offer na yun sa kanya, e.”
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May 26, 2017

WE TELL IDEAFIRST Company’s Perci Intalan, producer of “Die Beautiful” to remind their star, Paolo Ballesteros, to be more discreet in exposing his boyfriend in public. For sure, this will just affect his career adversely after he gained full stardom winning awards for “Die Beautiful”, which is also a big box office hit. This might also affect the sequel they’re planning for the movie.

“Hindi na naman siya ang bida sa pinaplano naming sequel kasi namatay na yung character niya,” says Perci. “The sequel is entitled ‘Born Beautiful’, at si Christian Bables na as Barbs, ang best friend niya, ang siyang bida. Kaya lang, sobrang busy na ni Christian after ‘Die Beautiful’. He’s doing three movies, one shot in Biri Island with Chito Rono, tapos two movies for Star Cinema. Kasama siya sa ‘Ghost Bride’ ni Kim Chiu at dun sa bagong movie nina John Lloyd Cruz at Sarah Geronimo. So we’re concentrating muna ni Jun (Lana) sa Regal movie namin, ‘My Fairy Tail Love Story’ with Janella Salvador na proposed entry sa coming Metro-Manila Filmfest.”

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GABBY EIGENMANN is excited that, finally, “My Love from the Star” will be shown on Monday. “One year in the making ito sa dami ng pinagdaanan,” he says. “Una, si Alden Richards ang kinuha as Matteo, pero ayaw ng fans nila ni Maine Mendoza, so nagkaroon ng search kung sino ang ipapalit sa kanya kaya na-delay nang husto. Habang wala akong ginagawa, ipinasok muna ako sa ‘Sa Piling ni Nanay’ opposite Yasmien Kurdi, kaya hindi ako nawalan ng work. Now, sa wakas, naka-week 7 na kami sa taping at maipapalabas na.”

He says it’s nice to work again with Jennylyn Mercado. “Marami na kaming shows together, mula pa noong mga bata pa kami like ‘Super Twins’ and ‘I Love New York’. I’m so happy sa magandang takbo ng career niya ngayon, pati sa movies.”

How is newcomer Gil Cuerva as Matteo? “He’s okay, willing to learn, a work in progress. He asks a lot of questions at kaming co-stars niya ang nagsisilbing mentors niya sa set kasi he has no previous acting experience at all as he came from modelling.”

Aside from “My Love from the Star”, he’s in the cast of a new movie, “Citizen Jake”, the comeback flick of acclaimed director Mike de Leon. “I feel so blessed to be part of this great project. When they asked kung puede akong mag-reading, I got excited, sabi ko, sige, payag ako, masali lang, kahit anong role. So nag-read ako and I didn’t expect anything, but the next day, I got a call telling me I got the part. I was so happy, I even felt surreal kasi I’d be working with the same team na nakasama ng dad ko (the late Mark Gil) in doing ‘Batch 81’. Tapos, ang mga kasama ko are my aunt (Cherie Gil), Dina Bonnevie as our mom ni Atom Araullo, Victor Neri, Nonie Buencamino, puro magagaling. Masyadong meticulous pala talaga si Direk Mike. Kung minsan, we shoot just one sequence a day.”
The name of his dad’s character in “Batch 81” is Sid Lucero, which was the screen name chosen by his brother Timothy. “Nanghinayang nga si Tim na hindi siya kasali sa movie. He was only a year old when the movie was released in 1982. Ako naman, 3 years old na.”

His other half-sibling, Andi Eigenmann, became controversial recently because of her tiff with Jake Ejercito, the dad of her love child, Ellie. Did he give her any advice about the situation?
“Yes, as her Kuya, I tried to advise her, but you can only do so much kasi she’s also an adult, malaki na siya, and she has a mind of her own. Friend ko rin naman si Jake at labas yung friendship namin sa problema nila ni Andi. Well, I’m just happy tumigil na siya sa postings niya sa social media dahil hindi naman nakakatulong yon para maayos ang problema nila. Positive na lang sana lagi, di ba?”

In “My Love from the Star”, he plays Jackson Libredo, the older brother of Christian Bautista as Winston Libredo. He is the scheming CEO of their company who wants to take possession of all their family’s wealth. The show starts airing on Monday, May 29, after “Mulawin vs. Ravena”.
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LOVI POE has done mostly straight dramas like “Legacy”, “Beautiful Strangers” and “Someone to Watch Over Me”, so she’s happy to try doing a telefantasya this time, “Mulawin Vs. Ravena”, which debuted with high ratings and much great promise last Monday.

“I love my role as Magindara, the goddess of water na isang sirena at nakatira sa isang lawa,” she says. “Pero kapag umaahon ako sa tubig, nagkakaroon ako ng mga paa. Mother ko rito si Regine Velasquez as Sandawa, ang Mother Nature or Inang Kalikasan and I’m so glad to have the chance to work with her. Mahirap yung role kasi I’d be doing a lot of swimming and also, ang mga linya namin, malalim na Tagalog so dapat kong araling mabuti. Before, isang basahan lang ng script, memorized ko na, but this time, I have to remember my Tagalog lines well.”

She’s also shooting a comedy for Regal Entertainment, “Woke Up Like This”, with Vhong Navarro, where they do a body switch. “Siya yung naging ako at ako ang naging siya. It’s very funny. Welcome break nga itong nagtelefantasya ako at nag-comedy ako pagkatapos ng sunod-sunod na dramas na ginawa ko na iyak ako nang iyak. Sa ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’, halos lahat ng eksena ko, umiiyak ako, namaos na ako. E ngayon, bawal umiyak sa ‘Mulawin Vs. Ravena’ kasi imortal ako at di kami umiiyak. Bawal rin umiyak sa ‘Woke Up Like This’ kasi nagpapatawa naman kami at ang acting ko, parang ako si Vhong.”

She seems to be now more open with her new foreigner BF, Chris Johnson. They were photographed together at the affair of her nephew Brian Llamanzares, along with her stepsister Grace Poe and mom Susan Roces. “Our relationship has no concrete label at this point but yes, I admit, siya ang nagpapatibok ng puso ko ngayon. But as of now, we’re just enjoying the moment. We don’t impose restrictions on each other kasi pareho kaming very busy with our respective careers.”
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