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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 24, 2017

ANC, THE ABS-CBN News Channel, is introducing more new shows aside from their new morning show, “Early Edition”, featuring anchor Annalisa Burgos who we have wrote about earlier. First is the daily sports newscast, “Gametime”, a 30-minute sports program airing weeknights at 9:30 PM. This is anchored by Migs Bustos who will do game recaps, exclusive interviews with hot sports personalities, plus interactive segments.

A true blue sports aficionado since childhood, Migs is an experienced commentator with the NCAA, does analysis in ABS-CBN’s online sports hub and also contributes stories to “Bandila”. His hard work paid off as he now anchors his own sports show.

Then they have their primetime edition at 7 PM of the informative news program, “The Bureau”, that gives a comprehensive take on international news and events with reports from worldwide news resources. The 4 PM edition is anchored by Karmina Constantino. The new 7 PM edition is anchored by Ron Cruz.

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BENJAMIN ALVES is now GMA Network’s ambassador for education after he was given the GMA Network Excellence Award (GNEA). Part of his duties is going to schools to encourage students to make good in their pursuit of higher education. This is not surprising since Benjamin is a summa cum laude honor graduate in his college studies in Guam University.

“It’s really an honor na akong napili nilang ambassador kasi, before me, ang sinundan ko is Kuya Dingdong Dantes, na college graduate din,” he says. “Saludo ako kay Kuya Dingdong kasi when we sit on the panel interview sa universities and colleges na pinupuntahan namin, you can see from his answers that he is really highly educated and knowledgeable.”

Since he’s a college graduate, it’s not surprising he chose someone who has also finished a college course, Julie Anne San Jose, who graduated from Angelicum College. He’s really happy now that they’re taping together almost everyday for this afternoon soap, “Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa”. “Yes, it’s very inspiring and I personally look forward to seeing her everyday at work. Mas excited ako kapag alam kong magiging magkasama kami sa mga eksena. Mas ganado ka siempre at mas madaling gawin ang scene when we’re together.”

Julie Anne has appeared in the soap in sexy swimsuits. Would he allow her to do a sexy pictorial for a men’s magazine? “I admit na seloso ako but when it comes to that, it’s not for me to decide. But personally, I think she won’t agree to pose for a men’s mag. Unang-una, conservative ang family nila and alam kong may takot siya sa parents niya. Kami nga, bawal mag-love scene sa show namin, so I don’t think she’d do a sexy pictorial.”

In "Pinulot Ka Lang sa Lupa", Benjamin as Ephraim nearly died after he was beaten up in a mixed martial arts fight. He was taken unconscious to the hospital and, in a dream, he goes to this limbo place where he meets his dead sister, Glenda. Julie Anne as Santina and LJ Reyes as Angeli meet at the hospital and Santina fights back ferociously when Angeli tries to oppress her again. This leads to an exciting catfight that viewers love.
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SANYA LOPEZ’ breakout role as Danaya in “Encantadia” will surely open new doors for her acting career. There were those who raised their eyebrows when she was chosen for the role of the keeper of the Brilyante ng Lupa, but she has since proven that she can act and she has won a lot of male viewers who find her really sexy in the revealing outfits she has worn in the show.

Her role has since been expanded as she is now the Hara or Queen of Lireo and it seems that viewers approve of her love team with Rocco Nacino as Aquil, the chief general of the guards. Their recent kissing scene generated a lot of positive feedback.

“Nagulat nga kami sa comments sa social media,” says Sanya. “Maraming nagsabing kinilig sila sa muli naming pagkikita ni Rocco. Naramdaman daw nila kasi nang husto ang iniingatan naming feelings para sa isa’t isa.”

So is it true that she and Rocco are now an item even off cam? “Love-hate ang relationship namin as Danaya and Aquil in ‘Encantadia’, but off cam, I can say that we’re really the best of friends kasi malaki ang utang na loob ko kay Rocco. Nang magsimula ang show, alam niyang ako ang baguhan sa buong cast at sinuportahan niya ako, tinulungan niya ako para maging comfortable ako and, for that, I will always be thankful.”

Sanya has really come a long way from being the unknown lass from Laguna discovered by the late Kuya Germs and introduced in “Master Showman, Walang Tulugan”. We won’t be surprised if, after “Encantadia”, GMA-7 will give her a follow up project right away as she’s really one of their most promising stars right now.
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Mar 23, 2017

KLEA PINEDA looks every inch a beauty queen and she intends to join the Bb. Pilipinas pageant in two years time. Standing 5’9” tall, the Starstruck 6 winner was born and raised in Pampanga. She turned 18 on March 19 and will celebrate this with a grand debut at Nobu Hotel at the City of Dreams in Paranaque this Saturday, March 25. After she won in Starstruck, Klea did a couple of episodes for “Magpakailanman” and “Maynila”, before becoming a mainstay in “Encantadia” in the role of the lambana or fairy, Muyak.

"It's my biggest break so far and I'm happy naging part ako ng ganito kalaking show," she says. "Naging comfortable ako agad sa mga kasama ko kasi very friendly silang lahat. Happy ako nakasama ko rito mga ka-batch ko sa Starstruck, sina Ayra Mariano, Arra San Agustin and si Migo Adecer na siyang male winner. Sa ngayon, si Muyak, isa na sa mga tagapangalaga ng Encantadia. Lahat ng scenes ko now, sa blue chroma special effects na lang kaya nami-miss ko umarte nang may ka-eksena."

But Migo is now out of the show. It seems their love team didn't click? "I honestly prefer to be on my own kaysa yung may ka-love team. Mas okay sa'kin ang magsolo."

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KEN CHAN is happy that his career is currently doing well, with him in two regular shows: the hit primetime soap “Meant to Be” and the reality show “Day Off”. His fans think he comes from a rich Chinese family, but the truth is he is now their family’s breadwinner.

“I’ve been the breadwinner for five years now and I’m happy to serve my family,” he says. “My dad got sick five years ago and had kidney transplant at di na nakapagtrabaho, so I had to stop my studies at sumabak na ko sa work. Buti na lang nabigyan ako ng magagandang opportunities sa GMA-7, lalo na yung ‘Destiny Rose’ na first lead role ko. Lahat ng earnings ko, I give to my parents and they just give me an allowance for my own needs. I also send my two younger siblings to school. Every week, may accounting sa’kin ang parents ko to show kunsaan napupunta ang kinikita ko. I told them they need not do that, pero okay na raw yun para malinaw ang lahat.”

He’s glad that he has erased his former image as a transwoman in “Destiny Rose”, which has since been replaced by his character as the gruff and rugged Yuan in “Meant to Be”. “Anywhere I go now, Yuan ang tawag sa’kin ng mga tao and they tell me kinikilig sila sa tambalan namin ni Barbie Forteza. Wish nila na sana, kami ang magkatuluyan sa show.”

Would he fall for Barbie in real life? “Matagal ko nang friend si Barbie at hindi siya mahirap mahalin. She’ll be a great partner, on and off screen. Kung magiging kami talaga, hindi ko na siya pakakawalan. Pero kung iba ang magugustuhan niya, hindi ko rin siya pipigilan. Ang importante sa’kin, kung kanino o saan siya magiging masaya.”
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Mar 22, 2017

‘KRISTO’ is a film that refers not to our Lord Jesus Christ (there’s another “Kristo” movie about that made by Cine Suerte in 1996) but to the bet taker in local cockfights. It won five awards at the recent SinagMaynila Film Festival: for best editing, production design, sound, and best actor and best supporting actor for Kristofer King in the title role and Julio Diaz as his demanding boss.

The story is about a day in the life of Boy (King), a kristo or bet taker who is quickly established as a devoted and very responsible family man. His eldest daughter is graduating from high school as salutatorian and he even buys her a second hand laptop for a graduation present. You can see that he truly loves his wife and their four kids. Ulirang ama.

Aside from his work as a Kristo in the cockpit, Boy is very hardworking and also helps his wife (Angela Cortez) sell bananas in their small stall at the market, which is threatened with demolition. On the day of his daughter’s graduation, he’s such in a big hurry to go home and be with his family.
But his boss (Julio Diaz) requires him to work first in the cockpit. He later borrows money from his boss and buys ice cream for his children. With such a model husband and selfless father as the lead character, you get the feeling from the very start that this story about a great dad will surely end in tragedy.

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THE ALDUB love team will be separated from one another in their coming Lenten project for “Eat Bulaga”. Instead of being paired with each other as usual, they will appear in separate stories with different co-stars and directors.

“Regular naman kaming napapanood gabi-gabi sa ‘Destined to Be Yours’, so for a change, paghihiwalayin naman kami this coming Holy Week,” says Alden.

The special Lenten presentations started in 1981 and are now an annual tradition in “Eat Bulaga” starting Holy Monday. Viewers now are always looking forward to them as their specially themed stories about repentance and forgiveness are just perfect for the sanctity of Holy Week. Alden will star in the story titled “Kapatid”, where he’ll co-star with Ryan Agoncillo, Pia Guanio, Ruby Rodriguez and Jerald Napoles, under the direction of Joyce Bernal.

“It’s the touching story of two brothers na magkaiba ang pananaw sa buhay, kami ni Kuya Ryan yon,” says Alden. “But despite the differences sa ugali nila, sa opinion nila, they learn how to accept each other and look after each other in times of need. Nangyayari naman talaga ang ganyan sa mga magkakapatid in real life. In the end, what’s important is you have unconditional love and always care for each other.”

The title of Maine’s episode is “Prinsesa” and she co-stars with Wally Bayola, Ryzza Mae Dizon, Anjo Yllana, Joel Palencia and Tommy Penaflor, with Mike Tuviera directing them.

“Kakaiba yung role ko as I play a pickpocket na napilitang maging mandurukot dahil sa hirap ng buhay,” says Maine. “Magiging kaibigan ko rito ang isang batang ulila, played by Ryzza Mae, na siyang magtuturo sa akin ng kahalagahan ng family values, ng need for the willingness to forgive yung mga may pagkakasala sa’yo, and the importance of self-reflection and realization.”

Alden and Maine will be spending the Holy Week doing a concert tour in the USA. They’ll perform with Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola and Paolo Ballesteros who’ll be the Lolas in a show entitled “Kalyeserye sa USA”. The show will be about Alden and Maine as a couple having a vacation in Russia with their twins. Their first stop is the Pasadena Auditorium in Los Angeles on April 9, followed by Kings Theater in Brooklyn New York on April 12. It’s said that tickets in both venues are now almost sold out.

In “Destiny Rose”, Alden as Benjie and Maine as Sinag became closer when Alden confided to Maine that he got so hurt then when his first girlfriend named Trish cheated on him. At the Kite Festival of Pelangi, the kites of Alden and Maine get intertwined and she realizes that she already has feelings for him. Her parents (Janice de Belen and Gardo Versoza) notice how happy she seems to be. At the raspberry farm, a fishbone gets stuck in Alden’s throat and Maine relieves him with her touch because she is “suhi” or breech born. Alden also realizes he has feelings for Maine, but what will happen when she discovers that he is actually and opportunist who has an ulterior motive, which is to get their land so his grandfather's company can construct a building in their town?
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Mar 21, 2017

WE WERE invited to the special screening at Crossroads of Dr. Carl Balita’s loving tribute to teachers, “Maestra”, and there were about 3,000 teachers who watched it with selected members of the press. They’re obviously very pleased with the movie because they were screaming cheers of approval for many scenes all throughout the screening.

Since this is an advocacy film made primarily to pay homage to teachers, it’s perfectly understandable that it portrays teachers as selfless heroines who sacrifice a lot of things in the practice of their chosen profession. The film introduces us to three different teachers and it starts with a young education student, Aya (Anna Luna), who is discouraged by her own dad (William Martinez) in her desire to be a teacher as it’s a low paying job.

But Aya won't be swayed as she is so driven and dedicated in her ambition to help impart knowledge to young minds. She gets to finish her course, then we see her going to Dr. Carl Balita’s review center to prepare for the board licensure exams for teachers. It is there that she meets Gennie (Angeli Bayani), an Aeta assistant teacher who has taken the board exams several times but always fails it. Aya then helps her to review her and they become closer to one another, with Gennie taking Aya to the school for Aeta kids where she works up in the mountains.

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PIOLO PASCUAL’S new movie, “Northern Lights: A Journey to Love”, is a co-production between Regal Entertainment, Star Cinema and his own company, Spring Films. Star Cinema had a presscon for the movie more than two weeks ago and the movie is showing on March 29 yet. Mother Lily is not satisfied with the publicity, so she called for her own presscon for Piolo held at her own Valencia Events Place.

The film is very near to Piolo’s heart as it’s about the relationship of a father and his long lost son, which he can relate with, since it happened to him in real life with his own son, Inigo. In the movie, playing his son is Kapamilya child actor Raikko Mateo. His name in the story is Charlie and Raikko is Charlie Junior. Raikko’s mom is Maricar Reyes, from whom Piolo got estranged after his family moved to Alaska.

Then eight years later, Piolo gets a message that Maricar has died and their son is being sent to him. The boy is entrusted to a young woman (Yen Santos) and this starts Piolo special journey to love not only with his son, who's naturally alienated with him, but also with Yen. The film was shot partly in Queenstown, New Zealand and also in Alaska, but Piolo himself didn’t get to see the fabulous Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights.

“We shot our scenes in New Zealand last August kasi may snow pa roon, which we need as a backdrop, and it’s summer naman at that time in Alaska so walang snow,” he says. “Later on, our director, Dondon Santos, went to Alaska by himself nung winter na roon to shoot the Northern Lights na, after this year daw, it will take another 20 years bago makita uli. It’s definitely a must see for everyone and it’s still in my bucket list.”

How was it shooting in New Zealand? “It’s great, memorable. We got their own people there to work with us. But they’re very strict with their labor rules and we have to follow them, even their limited number of shooting hours. The locations are something new for our viewers here and I’m sure they’ll enjoy watching the beautiful sights we offer on the big screen.”

How is it working with a much younger leading lady like Yen? “This is actually her first movie and for a first timer, she definitely did good. When the project came up from Direk Dondon, he already said he wants Yen to play the female lead role. I saw her in the teleserye she did with Direk Dondon, ‘All of Me’, and also in ‘Pure Love’, kaya I know she’s a very good actress and also looks beautiful on screen, so I didn’t object at all. The film is Direk Dondon's concept and story anyway, so I just have to trust him. Hindi naman siya nagkamali sa choice niya.”

And how is it working with a young director like Dondon? “I’ve seen his past movies, like ‘Noy’ and ‘Dalaw’, also some of his work on TV like in ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ and ‘Ipaglaban Mo’, and I believe in his craft. There’s so much potential in him. I like his vision, energy and excitement while shooting and it’s contagious para mas mapaganda nyo ang pelikula. We more or less speak the same language and we can relate to each other as he’s also a father.”

He’s now 40 and everyone is concerned about his being unmarried. What can he say about this? “I don’t have any personal life right now as I’m married to my career. I just renewed my contract with ABS-CBN for two more years so let's just say that I’m married to my contract. I have many other plans as an actor, as a singer as there’s a new album planned for me, and as a producer. So I have to put my personal life on the back burner for now. After working with Lav Diaz and my exposure in the international filmmaking community, I want to push Filipino filmmaking more, so it won’t just be limited to the local market. I also want to try collaborating with other Asian filmmakers to expand our market in the region. But right now, I’m just happy and thankful that I’m able to enjoy my life and career so much.”

He got a lot of bashing after he said that he and Shaina Magdayao are exclusively dating and after his video kissing briefly with son Inigo was circulated on the net and haters quickly put malicious meaning into it. “You can never please everyone, so I just want to avoid thinking of negative things dahil makakasira lang sila ng mood at ng araw, gayong ang daming positive blessings na dumarating sa akin kaya let's just dwell on the positive.”
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Mar 20, 2017

SHIRLEY MACLAINE is one of the top stars of our youth. We just loved her in her films with Jack Lemmon: “The Apartment” (1960) and “Irma La Douce” (1963), both directed by the acclaimed Billy Wilder. Other memorable films she did were “Some Came Running” (with Frank Sinatra), “Children’s Hour (The Loudest Whisper)” (with Audrey Hepburn, where they were accused of being lesbians), and “What a Way to Go” (with Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum, Gene Kelly, Dean Martin, Dick Van Dyke), “Turning Point” (with Anne Bancroft), “Woman Times Seven” and the musical “Sweet Charity”.

She was nominated for the Oscar several times, but she won’t win until she did “Terms of Endearment” in 1983. She remains very active up to now, recently appearing in the hit British series, “Downton Abbey”, and last year’s film, “Wild Oats” with Jessica Lange and Demi Moore. She’s turning 83 years old on April 24 and remains to be a working actress.

She now has a new movie, “The Last Word”, that opens in local theaters this Wednesday. In the story, she plays a rich lonely old woman, Harriet Lauler, who’s always been in control of her life. She’s the successful head of an advertising company but now lives all alone in her huge house and is obviously very sad, even having small clashes with her gardener (Gedde Watanabe) and cook (Yvette Freeman). One night, she takes some pills with wine and ends up in a hospital, where she has an argument even with her own doctor.

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