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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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Jan 18, 2018

KRIS BERNAL welcomes the inclusion of a new contravida in her hit drama show, “Impostora”. This is Jade Lopez who, like Kris, is a Starstruck discovery. This is in addition to Sheena Halili, another Starstruck find that is also making viewers mad and outraged because of her role as Rafaela who connives with Sheryl Cruz.

“Magaling si Jade na aktres so I’m sure makakatulong siya para lalong gumanda ang show, just like Sheena na very effective din sa role niya,” says Kris. “Sila ang mga bagong magpapahirap sa character ko as Nimfa.”

Jade is very thankful for the role GMA-7 gave her in “Impostora”. “I play Danica, isang babaeng maraming lihim at maraming masamang balak sa buhay,” she says. “Mismong ako, hindi ko kinakaya ang role ko kasi paiikutin niya talaga ang lead characters sa series. Very manipulative siya at sure akong kaiinisan siya ng viewers.”

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MIKEE QUINTOS turned 21 last December 18. Her parents are both councilors in the city of Manila and she began her singing career while campaigning for them in political rallies. An architecture student in UST, GMA-7 gave her a very good break last year playing the role of Lira in the hit action-adventure series, “Encantadia”.

She has since been a guest in various Kapuso shows like “Dear Uge”, “Daig Kayo ng Lola Ko”, “Tadhana”, “Wish Ko Lang”, “Usapang Real Love” and “Magpakailanman”. Now, she gets to play her first lead role opposite Mikoy Morales in the new telefantasya produced by GMA News & Public Affairs, “Sirkus”, written and directed by Zig Dulay.

“I really enjoyed doing this show as I get to work with great comedians Sef Cadayona, Chariz Solomon and Tetay. Ang dami kong natutuhan na iba-ibang atake sa comedy from them. Actually, kahit take na, natatawa ako sa kanila kaya kailangang pigilin ko ang sarili ko.”

In “Sirkus”, she plays Mia, the twin sister of Mikoy Morales and their parents are Zoren Legaspi and Angelu de Leon. How is it working with Mikoy? “He’s very talented kaya masarap katrabaho.” What if they’re linked to each other? “Ay, malabo siguro yun kasi magkapatid na kambal kami rito, e.”

Someone quipped she’s more than chummy with Andre Paras, who plays Martel, the muscleman, the show. “Friends kami noon pa kasi nagkasama kami sa ‘Encantadia’,” says Mikee. “And last holiday season, nagpunta kami sa Los Angeles ng family ko nagkataong nandun din sila ng family niya so nagkasama kami noong New Year. Sinundo niya ako with his brother Kobe, na gaya ni Andre, mabait at gentleman din. We went around Hollywood tapos dinala ako sa Universal Studios. Pero hindi nga kami puedeng magtagal sa bakasyon namin doon kasi we have to report na sa taping nitong ‘Sirkus’. I’m really happy we got the chance to work together again in this show that starts airing on GMA-7 on January 21 at 6:20 PM. But it’s not true na may relasyon kami, like what others are insinuating. Hindi po kami at ni walang ligawang nangyayari sa amin. We are really just very good friends.”
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JUDY ANN SANTOS and Angelica Panganiban both deliver totally rollicking performances in “Ang Dalawang Reyes”. Juday is Lianne, an accomplished cosmetic surgeon who has no idea her husband, Gary Reyes (Joross Gamboa), is a closet queen. The same goes with Angelica as Cindy, the wife of Felix Reyes (JC De Vera), who has a very controlling and domineering mom (Carmi Martin).

So imagine how shocked they are when they discover that their husbands are having a very gay affair. At first, they feel very hurt after being deceived by this unusual case of marital infidelity. They think of getting even, of revenge. They suffered, so it’s only fair that their erring husbands should suffer, too. Their efforts to spy on their husbands and prevent the same sex wedding they’re having in Taiwan are absolutely hilarious, with the help of Nico Antonio as Steve, a well endowed macho dancer whose help they sought to seduce their husbands and break them apart.

The film is initially treated as a comedy, which is not conventional for a movie about infidelity. Brocka’s “Tubog sa Ginto” is also about a wife who discovers her husband is a homosexual and it’s full of drama from start to finish. “Ang Dalawang Mrs. Reyes” takes a different route, but it eventually goes dramatic as it touches on serious issues about love, forgiveness and acceptance.

It works because everyone in the ensemble cast performs marvelously. Judy Ann Santos shows her versatility delivering all her comic punchlines (and even all her cuss words) with ribtickling precision. And when she goes to drama, with her tears just flowing down effortlessly, she’s faultless. She has so many great scenes here, dramatic ones with Joross, with their daughter Andrea Brillantes and her comic ones with Angelica, who’s also does great as the secretary who marries her boss’ son without knowing he’s hetero-flexible (the word of writer-director Jun Lana, not ours.) Angelica is so effective even in scenes that would seem potentially ludicrous, like her scenes with a talking cat!

Great support is given by Joross and JC as the husbands, Carmi as the meddlesome mother in law, Quark Henares as a private detective who’s oh so obviously also in the closet, and Gladys Reyes, Cai Cortez, Wilma Doesn’t as Juday’s supportive presents.

The film has many laugh-out-loud moments that send everyone inside the theatre going on an unabashed laugh trip from beginning to end. But in the end, after all the hurt and tears, all the pain and anger, the film’s true message is that love still conquers all. And we don’t mean just romantic love but love for another coupled with lots and lots of understanding and compassion.
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Jan 17, 2018


DIRECTOR ZIG DULAY says both Mikee Quintos and Mikoy Morales are perfect for their roles in “Sirkus” as the lead characters who happen to be twins. “Bagay na bagay sila and they both deliver better than we expected,” he adds.

He also wants to thank Cherie Gil for agreeing to do the contravida role of La Ora, who wants to snatch away the special powers of the twins. “She’s very nice to me nang magkakilala kami sa isang international filmfest in Malaysia where she won best actress for the movie, ‘Sonata’. For ‘Sirkus’, she exceeded all our expectations. Kahit baguhan lang ako, never niyang pinaramdam na isa siyang big name actress sa local showbiz. Walang kaere-ere. I really want to thank GMA News and Public Affairs for giving me this show kasi ang ganda ng concept nila and it promotes positive Filipino family values.”

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 JODI STA. MARIA has reason to be happy as everything is going well in her life. She has a new teleserye, “Sana Dalawa ang Puso”. She was given an award at the Southville Interantional School for being a dean’s lister while majoring psychology. Everything’s okay with her and inamorato Vice Gov. Jolo Revilla and she’s in good terms not only with ex-hubby Pampi Lacson but also with Pampi’s current love, Iwa Moto who takes good care of her own son, Thirdy.

“We’re in really good terms so panatag ang loob ko when Thirdy is staying with them,” she says.

Jodi plays a dual role in “Sana Dalawa ang Puso”. “Mahirap siyang gawin kasi opposites ang two roles ko. Si Liza is a rich business executive, sosyal, always well dressed. Si Mona naman works sa sabungan, jologs, tomboyish kung kumilos. When we started, one day, puro si Liza ang kukunan, next day, puro si Mona naman. But now, in one day, papalit-palit sila at mahirap, kasi papapalit-palit din ako ng costumes, ng make up at ng acting din, so I have to be careful para hindi ako ma-confuse.”

What can she say about her two leading men, Robin Padilla and Richard Yap? “Sa kanilang dalawa, siempre, comfortable na ko kay Richard kasi nagkasama na kami before in the soap na ‘Be Careful with My Heart’ at sa movie na ‘Achy Breaky Hearts’, so friends na talaga kami. Si Robin, noong una, medyo nangangapa pa, but he’s so charming, an intelligent actor, at maasikaso hindi lang sa leading lady niya kundi sa lahat ng babae sa set kaya nagkasundo kami agad.”

What can she say about Robin’s warning that she should be careful with him as it’s so easy to fall inlove with her? “Naku, Kuya ang tawag ko sa kanya, no? And we all know how much he loves his wife, si Mariel (Rodriguez). He’s also very professional kaya alam kong he respects me a lot.”

It’s good that she still has time to study while busy with her acting career. “Noon ko pa talaga kasi gusto balikan ang pag-aaral. And I’m thankful to my family and to ABS-CBN dahil very supportive naman sila sa kagustuhan kong makapagtapos. My son Thirdy is my own inspiration. As his mom, I want to be a good exampe sa kanya on the importance of having a good education. I cannot preach to him on this kung ako mismo, walang college degree. So now, I’m really happy that he gives priority and premium to his studies.”
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ANGELICA PANGANIBAN, who’s 31, felt flattered when her co-star in “Dalawang Mrs. Reyes”, Judy Ann Santos, said that she felt nervous acting with her because Angelica is such an expert in comedy. “Siempre, nakaka-overwhelm kasi bata pa lang ako…” Angelica is saying but Juday, who’s 39, quickly butts in: “Masakit ha.”

“I mean, bata pa lang ako, artista na ako. At pinapangarap ko na talagang makatrabaho ko si Ate Juday. Kaya noong magkasama kami sa soap na ‘Sa Puso Ko Iingatan Ka’, hindi ako nagsasalita noon in her company, sobrang tahimik lang ako kasi starstruck ako. Nakikinig lang ako sa mga kuwento niya. E, ngayon, mas confident na ako so kaya ko nang makipagkuwentuhan sa kanya.”

She says that she’s happy when Juday acknowledged that she’s very good in comedy. “For her to say
that, di ba? Masyado siyang nakakatuwa kasi talaga namang tinitingala ko siya. I’m sure hindi lang naman ako kundi ng lahat kaya sure din akong maraming naiinggit sa’kin kasi katabi ko siya ngayon dito sa presson at nasa iisang poster kami. Siguro ang daming artistang gustong maglalaslas kasi bakit ako ang kasama niya at hindi sila? Mayabang ako ngayon, sorry.”


She admits 2017 was not a good year for her when it comes to her lovelife. She thought she and ex- BF John Lloyd Cruz were reconciling, then, all of a sudden, he was already in the arms of Ellen Adarna who’s preggy now with their child. But 2017 is also good as she did a lot of traveling and she had a superhit movie, “The Unmarried Wife”, that gave her a FAMAS best actress award so the year somehow ended well for her. “So move on na lang kasi naiiyak ko na rin namang lahat. Pero ayoko pa munang umibig. Takot pa ko. Saka na lang.”


And now, she opens 2018 with a new movie that has all the looks of another hit, “Dalawang Mrs. Reyes”. “Kinuwento pa lang sa’kin ang concept, aliw na aliw na ako. When I read the script, nine pages pa lang, tawa ako nang tawa nang malakas, which happened to me before sa ‘Here Comes the Bride’, which was a blockbuster. Nang malaman kong si Juday ang makakasama ko, kahit di ko pa tapos basahin ang script, tinanggap ko na agad kasi alam kong masaya ang project na ito. At yun nga, while we’re shooting this, naka-build kami ng deeper friendship which I will really treasure. Ayoko na ngang matapos ang shooting kasi grabe ang separation anxiety ko, baka mapapadalas akong tumambay sa house nila.”
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Jan 16, 2018

KLEA PINEDA is the female winner in the last Starstruck. After doing “Encantadia”, she’s now cast in another telefantasya, “Sirkus”, where she plays Zefira, ang babaeng apoy. “Maganda yung powers ko rito kasi I can throw balls of fire to my enemies,” she says.

Last month, she was sent to represent our country at the 11th Asian Supermodel Contest in Saipan. She didn’t win the title but got the Best on Screen or Most Photogenic award. “It helped a lot para madagdagan ang self confidence ko,” she says. “Parang training yun kasi first time kong nagbikini sa photo shoot, sa ramp, sa harap ng maraming tao. I was really scared pero nilakasan ko na lang ang loob ko.”

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SYLVIA SANCHEZ says 2017 has been a very good one for her. “I can’t complain kasi ang daming blessings na natanggap ko,” she says. “Ngayon, maganda rin ang pasok ng 2018 kasi kasisimula lang ng taon, may bagong movie akong ipalalabas, ‘Mama’s Girl’ ng Regal kasama ko sina Sofia Andres, Diego Loyzaga at Jameson Blake, opening in theaters on January 17.”

Last year, she did ‘The Greatest Love” for which she won her first best actress award ever, as she’s been winning mostly best supporting actress trophies before. It gave her leading lady status so she was given a follow up show, “Hanggang Saan”, where she’s playing the lead role once again. She also played the title role in the indie film, “Inay”, where she played a vampire. For this year, she’ll be doing another indie film for Cinemalaya.

“But most of all, I’m happy to be back sa Regal dahil si Mother Lily talaga ang nagbigay ng break sa’kin sa pelikula in 1989 nang ipakilala ako sa ‘Student Body’. Maraming nagtawa sa’kin dahil wala raw akong pruweba sa pag-arte. But since then, ang dami ko ng pinagdaanan, na-prove kong I can act by winning acting awards, and now, I’m just glad to be back sa Regal dahil hindi ko makakalimutan si Mother Lily sa buong buhay ko.”

The Regal matriarch responded at this point: “Thank you, Sylvia! I love you!”

And both Mother Lily and Sylvia have reason to rejoice because we've seen their movie at its premiere in Trinoma and writer Gina Marissa Tagasa and director Connie Macatuno have come up with a real winner of a family film in “Mama’s Girl”, which would be a truly ideal offering for Mother’s Day.

It’s a feel good flick that has no qualms in being shamelessly didactic as it teaches good positive values like passion for life, commitment in what you do, acceptance of the givens in your life that you cannot change, forgiveness to the people who hurt you and love for everyone around you.

Sylvia gives a very winning performance as a single mom who raises her only daughter, Abby Potpot, by herself after they were abandoned by the man she trusted. There’s a twist in the story but Sylvia which will be a big spoiler so we can't reveal it. But Sylvia more than compensates for this surprise because even if she’s no longer there, you can still feel her presence very much.

We love her in that scene where she gets so mad after discovering that her daughter is entertaining her boyfriend right inside her own bedroom and in that heartwarming scene where she performs a perky dance number for Abby Potpot.

Sofia Andres manages to hold her own as the self centered brat who has her own story arc from being an annoying character to a more responsible, loving and likeable person. Giving good support are Diego Loyzaga as her best friend from childhood who she ignores, Jameson Blake as the rock star who breaks her heart and Arlene Muhlach as Sylvia’s loyal best friend. We just feel that the film is a bit long, with some scenes overextended and it can surely stand some trimming to make the pacing more swift.
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SOPHIE ALBERT is the female winner in TV5’s Artista Academy search but now that TV5 has become a sports channel and no longer produces entertainment shows, she has moved to GMA-7, managed by Manny Valera, and happy to be part of their new primetime show, “The One that Got Away”.

“I’m glad kasi maganda yung role na ibinigay sa akin,” she says. “I play Chanel, the current girlfriend of Dennis Trillo at ang past girlfriends niya are Lovi Poe, Rhian Ramos and Max Collins. Di ba, mapahanay lang sa kanila, it’s an honor na for me. At ang maganda, they’re all very nice to me. Siempre, noong una, I have my apprehensions kasi baguhan lang ako sa GMA, but it turned out ang babait nilang lahat so I felt comfortable right away. I’m very positive that thing will be going well sa paglipat kong ito sa Kapuso network.”

Will she be a contravida to Lovi, Rhian and Max? “Hindi naman exactly contravida. Medyo sweet yung character ko. Magkakasakit dito si Dennis and he will be in coma, at ako ang mag-aalaga sa kanya. Pero nakaka-insecure katrabaho sina Lovi, Rhian and Max kasi ang gaganda nila. Baka magmukha akong pangit kapag kaeksena ko sila. But I really like them, very professional, hindi nagpapa-star sa set so I’m having a pleasant experience. But I do play a contravida role in a movie I just did for Regal, ‘Recipe for Love’ directed by Joey Reyes. Contravida ako kay Christian Bables and his new leading lady, Cora Waddell.”

Does she have a new boyfriend after she broke up with Vin Abrenica? It’s said they still see each other? “Wala akong boyfriend at hindi totoong nagkikita pa kami. Wala na kami talaga. But we’re good friends. Pareho kaming nagsisimula uli, e. Ako rito sa GMA at siya naman, sa kabila. It’s better that way so we can really focus well on our own careers.”


She was wearing a revealing red outfit with plunging neckline that shows her ample cleavage at the pressconof TOTGA. Is this the sign that she’s now reading to go sexy? “Hindi naman. Actually, galing ito sa kanila. Kasi lahat kami, dapat, red ang suot. When I wore it, sabi ko, naku, sobrang daring. Ano ba to? But I had to wear it kahit nako-conscious ako. Pero puro tape yan sa loob ha. Para hindi lumabas at nang hindi makita ang hindi dapat makita. Ha ha ha!”
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Jan 15, 2018

 
BG PRODUCTIONS International announces its big projects for 2018, helmed by award-winning directors. First is “Almost A Love Story”, filmed on location in Italy starring Barbie Forteza and Derrick Monasterio, Lotlot de Leon, Matet de Leon and Ana Capri under the direction of Louie Ignacio. It is co-produced with Salento Cinema in Italy, where it will also be shown.

Then there’s “Latay,” directed by Ralston Jover, the story of a battered husband played by internationally acclaimed actor Allen Dizon. Originally tapped to play his abusive wife is Lovi Poe, but she’s under contract with Regal and can’t get permission yet from them to do this movie so they might consider another actress.

Then there’s “Angela Lumunsad”, directed by Joel Lamangan who wants Heart Evangelists to play the title role, a woman who will be torn in her romance with a soldier and an NPA rebel who both desperately fall in love with her. Joel also has an environment-friendly project, “Maruming Hangin”, with anti-pollution as its theme. They’re planning to enter it in Metro Manila Filmfest 2018.

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