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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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Nov 14, 2018

CHANDA ROMERO started in the early 70s with Tagalog Ilang-Ilang Productions as a support in the movies of Ate Vi like “Ang Konduktora” (her first movie in 1972), “Now and Forever” and “Dyesebel”. She then went sexy in the controversial “Mga Uhaw na Bulaklak” in 1974 that revamped the censors then and was launched to stardom by Jesse Ejercito in “Sa Kagubatan ng Lungsod” in 1975.

She has since worked with the country’s best directors, including Lino Brocka in “Inay” and “Mananayaw”, Ishmael Bernal in “Asawa Ko Silang Lahat” and “Working Girls”, Laurice Guillen in “Kasal?”, Eddie Romero in “Aguila” and “Banta ng Kahapon”, Marilou Diaz Abaya in “Baby Tsina”, Gil Portes in “Sa Piling ng mga Sugapa”, Chito Rono in “Olongapo”, Maryo de los Reyes in “Bagets”. She won acting awards, the URIAN for “Boy Pana” by Romy Suzara and the FAMAS for “Karma” by Danny Zialcita with whom she did many memorable films like “Ikaw at ang Gabi”, “Ang Biyuda ay Misteryosa”, “Kapag Tumabang ang Asin”, “Lalakwe” and “Bakit Manipis ang Ulap”.
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BARBIE FORTEZA is one young star GMA-7 really takes good care of. She’s never without a show for long. Right after “Half Sisters”, she was given “That’s My Amboy”, “Meant to Be” and “Inday Will Always Love You”. “Inday” ended its telecast only last month but Barbie is now quickly given a new show, “Dalawang Mukha ni GuadaLupe”, which is intended to be GMA-7’s opening salvo or first show in the coming new year 2019.

No wonder some quarters seem to be envious and are heard saying “Malakas talaga si Barbie sa GMA management” to eventually replace “Onanay” on primetime in January.

But this is not surprising because all her shows did well in the ratings game. If the shows of the other GMA stars are also top raters like those of Barbie’s, then we have no doubt they’ll likewise be given assignments in quick succession. But Barbie is really blessed or “pinagpala” because, for her new show, she will get as leading man her real life boyfriend no less, Jak Roberto.

They’ve worked together before in “Meant to Be”, but that was before they became officially on. And it’s not Jak who got Barbie in the end in that show, but Ken Chan. Now, Barbie confesses that she’s happy and excited to be working with Jak in the same show, as this means they’ll be seeing each other more often during their taping days. “We’ll both be inspired to give our best while working in this show,” she says.

Supporting Barbie and Jak in the cast of “Dalawang Mukha ni GuadaLupe” are Carmina Villaroel, Glydel Mercado, Alicia Alonzo, Mike Tan, Mika de la Cruz (who’ll be taken out of “Pamilya Roces” where she supports Gabbi Garcia), and John Estrada who’s also so lucky as he’s still in the cast of “Victor Magtanggol” as Loki. “Victor” starring Alden Richards is ending this Friday and John is fortunate to have a follow up project right away. “Hindi nababakante ha,” as one writer quips.
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Nov 13, 2018

DINGDONG DANTES and Dennis Trillo have worked together before in “Twin Hearts” (2003), “Etheria” (2005) and “Endless Love” (2010). In all these shows, it’s Dingdong who played the bigger role. But now, they’re together again after five years in “Cain at Abel” and they both play the title roles. The show was launched in a grand presscon at Prime Hotel last Tuesday night.

“I’m happy to be working with Dennis again,” says Dingdong. “I know matagal na ang konsepto ng project na ito sa GMA and other actors were considered to play the lead roles. But I think hinihintay talaga ang tamang panahon para kami ni Dennis ang gumanap na Cain at Abel. I’m personally happy kasi matagal na ang huling pagsasama namin ni Dennis at mas maganda ngayon kasi magkapatid kami.”

“Pareho kaming excited to work together again,” says Dennis. “It’s an honor for me to be working with the Kapuso Primetime King. Ang saya ko lang na nagkaroon ako ng ganitong project. Pag may nagtatanong sa’kin kung ano bago kong show, ang sarap ipagmayabang na ‘Kasama ko si Dingdong Dantes!’ ANd we both bowed na we will do our best para mapaganda talaga ang show na ito na hindi lang drama kundi may actiong din.”

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ALESSANDRA DE ROSSI continues her twin jobs as actress and writer. After writing and starring in “12”. She now also stars and wrote the story of her new movie, “Through Night & Day”, where she’s also a co-producer along with Viva Films. The film was partly shot in Iceland and she says she nearly gave up shooting there because it’s so cold. “Malamig din sa Sapporo, Japan when we shot ‘Kita Kita’ there, pero mas grabe sa Iceland,” she says. “Well, hindi naman siguro tatawaging Iceland ang lugar na yun kundi nga talagang kasing lamig ng ice ang klima nila.”

In the story, she plays Jen, a wannabe lawyer who has flunked the bar exams twice. She’s been in a relationship with Paolo Contis as Ben for 13 years and now that they’re about to get married, they go to Iceland for their prenup pictorial. “It’s the first time for them to travel together in a foreign land and first time din na magkasama sila through night and day,” she adds. “At dahil nga araw-gabi silang magkasama, natural, may mga natuklasan pa sila tungkol sa isa’t isa na hindi nila alam before at pinag-aawayan na nila. So ayun, they had second thoughts kung itutuloy pa ba nila o hindi ang pagpapakasal nila. People who are in a relationship can surely relate sa mga nangyari sa amin ni Paolo in ‘Through Night & Day’ kasi very relatable and characters at ang mga sitwasyon dito.”

Alex says she’ll focus on doing movies now after she was disillusioned by the last soap she did, “Since I Found You”, with ABS-CBN. She says that originally, she was told that leading man Piolo Pascual will end up with her in the story. But what happened is that Piolo’s leading lady became Arci Munoz. “Umasa talaga ako kasi when it was offered to me, ako talaga ang leading lady. You know me, two years akong walang show kasi lahat ng roles offered to me, tinatanggihan ko. Finally, may role na gusto ko. Kasi leading lady, ‘bago ‘to, hmm try nga natin.’ E, yun, hindi nga ganun ang nangyari. Three weeks before the ending, sinabi sa’king hindi ako ang leading lady. So sumama ang loob ko that time, kasi pinaasa ako. Sencia na, tao lang po ako. Pero masaya na rin akong natapos yung show kasi gustong-gusto ko ng gawin itong ‘Through Night & Day’. So okay na rin kasi naghihintay nga sa’kin itong movie na ito at excited na rin akong i-shoot siya. Sa ngayon, rest muna ako sa mga soap. At least, nagawa ko itong pelikulang gusto kong gawin and I’m really very proud of it. Kung bakit, malalaman nyo kapag pinanood nyo ang ‘Through Night & Day’.”
#ShowbizPortal #AlessandraDeRossi #ThroughNightAndDay
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Nov 12, 2018

WHAT’S HAPPENING to Disney? Their latest release, “The Nutcracker and the Four Realms”, is just as sloppy and boring as their recent flop, “A Wrinkle in Time”. Based on ETA Hoffmann’s 1816 Christmas fantasy, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”, which was immortalized by the classic ballet of Tchaikovsky, the main problem is in the screenplay that is just plain boring.

The story starts in the home of the Stahlbaum Family in Victorian London on Christmas Eve. Its members are grieving because their mother just died, but the dad (Matthew Macfadyen) and eldest daughter (Ellie Bamber) still want to celebrate Christmas like they used to do. The second sister, Clara (Mackenzie Foy of “Twilight”, “Interstellar”), is an inventor of sorts and is showing her latest gadget to the youngest child, their only brother (Tom Sweet).

As a Christmas present, Clara gets a gift from her late mom, an ornate egg-shaped box which says “Everything you need is inside”, but it has no key so she cannot open it. At the Christmas Eve party in her godfather’s palatial home, Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman), Clara’s gift is the key to the egg box. But just as she’s about to get it, it is snatched by a mysterious mouse. She chases it and it takes her to a fantasy world, just like in “Alice in Wonderland”.

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ALDEN RICHARDS wants to thank all those who supported “Victor Magtanggol” since it started airing in July. The show is ending on Friday, November 16, and contrary to rumors, it was not just cut short abruptly. “We completed our intended regular run of 13 weeks at na-extend pa nga kami kaya halos 16 weeks kami tumakbo,” says Alden. “Don’t miss the last few episodes, lalo na ang finale dahil action-packed talaga. Dito na malalaman ni John Estrada na si Victor pala at si Hammerman ay iisa. The show is very fulfilling for me kasi nagawa ko rito lahat ng hindi ko nagawa sa past teleseryes ko, this one being an action-fantasy. I’m proud that I myself did my dangerous stunts here as a superhero. I also enjoyed the great camaraderie we had on the set. Naging maganda talaga ang samahan naming lahat sa taping kaya okay lang kahit inaabot ng magdamagan ang trabaho kasi lagi kaming masayang lahat and we all want to come up with a good show. Very contagious ang energy ng lahat while we’re working and we all had a memorable experience doing ‘Victor Magtanggol’.”
Alden’s show will be replaced starting November 19 by the action-drama, “Cain at Abel”, starring two of GMA-7’s top actors, Dingdong Dantes and Dennis Trillo.
#ShowbizPortal #AldenRichards #VictorMagtanggol
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REGINE VELASQUEZ says that social media is generally a good thing but some folks have abused it and has now become a venue for bitter and mean people to bash celebrities. “It’s actually a venue to make friends and to inform others, di ba?” she says. “The aim is positive, to make you feel that you belong but for some negative people, it has become a venue to show their hate and ruin the happiness of other people. Hindi nila alam, nakakasakit sila ng iba and they can cause depression because of their bullying, lalo na sa young people.”

But as of now, she wants to forget all haters who bashed her for leaving GMA-7 as she’s very busy preparing for her three-night concert, “Regine at the Movies”, to be held at the New Frontier Theatre on November 17, 24 and 25. She will have different special guest each night: Piolo Pascual on November 17, Sharon Cuneta on the 24th and Daniel Padilla on the 25th.

“This is a special concert as I will be singing songs from memorable movies, both foreign and local, like the songs of Henry Mancini who has done many classic Hollywood films like ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’, Two for the Road’ and ‘Days of Wine Roses’. Also songs from hit animated films from Disney. They’re all very familiar so puede maki-sing along ang audience sa akin.”

She feels like she’s starting over again now that she has moved to ABS-CBN. “I feel that it’s a new beginning for me so I’m excited. I’m looking forward to my collaboration with Kapamilya stars kasi ang dami ko talagang gustong makatrabaho sa kanila. They’ve prepared new shows for me and I’m excited to do those as they will offer new challenges for me.”

It’s said that ASAP will have a revamp and many singers will lose their jobs because of her. “Hindi naman totoo yun. Sir Deo Endrinal told noon pa nila balak mag-reformat at nataon lang na dumating ako ngayon. Pero hindi dahil sa akin so huwag naman akong sisihin at baka ma-bash na naman po ako ng todo.”

Tickets for Regine at the Movies are available at all Ticketnet outlets or call 911-5555.
#ShowbizPortal #RegineVelasquez #RegineAtTheMovies
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CORA WADDELL is very thankful to Regal Entertainment for giving her the chance to play a lead role in the romantic comedy, “Recipe for Love”. Cora has a Pinay mom and an American dad. She was born in Saipan but grew up in Florida. She came to Manila in 2010 to pursue a modeling career, then Viva signed her up. She played supporting roles in their movies like “Diary ng Panget” and “Talk Back and You’re Dead”. Later on, she joined Pinoy Big Brother Lucky 7 in 2016 and ended up as 7th placer.

Regal Entertainment then got her and she played a supporting role in their film “Woke Up Like This”. Roselle Monteverde gave her a big break when she was chosen to be Christian Bables’ leading lady in “Recipe for Love”, which is written and directed by Joey Reyes.

“I’m really grateful to Regal and the break they gave me inspires me to do good in my craft as an actress,” she says. “I really have to give my best kasi ang kapareha kong si Christian is an award-winner, so kailangan ko talagang mag-level up. I saw him in ‘Die Beautiful’ and he’s really impressive. It helped that we had a team building and bonding workshop and I was able to ask him how he can internalize his roles so well. He’s humble and sobrang bait niya even if he has already accomplished so much. He really welcomed me warmly as his leading lady, kaya mas ginanahan ako to do better. Thanks din to Direk Joey Reyes kasi malaking tulong siya para mas ma-interpret ko nang maayos ang role ko in ‘Recipe for Love’.”

In the story, she plays the role of Val, a food blogger and aspiring magazine editor. Christian Bables plays Calix, the chef in an upscale Filipino restaurant. When they first meet each other, things immediately go wrong and they get on each other’s nerves. But eventually, they get to know each other better and love blooms between them. Together, they find the right recipe for their relationship to blossom into a full blown romance. Off cam, Cora got married to Aussie model Terence Lloyd last August and she’s now preggy with their first child, a baby girl. She says her husband has no objection if she’d continue with her showbiz career after delivering their baby.
#ShowbizPortal #CoraWaddell #ChristianBables #RecipeForLove

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DIEGO LOYZAGA has an entire future ahead of him so it’s so sad that he tried ending his life when other people who have much less than him in life continue to try and fight to survive. One of the reasons people do this is when they seek the attention of the people they love, like their parents. We all know Diego is a love child and a couple of years ago, he vented on social media his bitterness over his dad, Cesar Montano.

They patched things up eventually, but it seems Diego continues to look for the affection and attention of his dad, who lost another son from his first marriage, Angelo, also to suicide. Whether he likes it or not, this speaks about the kind of parenting (or the lack of it) that Cesar gives to his kids.

Diego is now taken to a private place to make sure he won’t be disturbed by those unscrupulous quarters who want to pry and interview him. Everyone in his family, including mom Teresa and aunt Bing and other relatives, are now all silent about what happened and are just asking for privacy. The fact that Diego just had a minor injury after slashing his wrist is an indication that he doesn’t really want to end it all. This is just a plea for help. So let’s respect them and give them the privacy they ask for.

Let’s also stop all useless speculations, like saying that Diego did it because he is depressed and cannot get over his breakup with Sofia Andres, and that all the bashing he got for his conflict with a Grab driver and with the photos he posted when he was in Boracay, no doubt affected him adversely. Wonder what they will do to Diego’s character in the current soap that he’s doing now that he’s indisposed.

Meantime, another actor who has tried ending it all is now back on his feet after undergoing rehab in Cebu. Baron Geisler has become more active in his spiritual life and has even put up his own business, Gents Barber Shop, in Gaisano Mall, Cebu. Now that he’s a Christian, Baron has also become an inspirational speaker to help encourage young people not to go astray. He just had a talk to students of Digos City National High School and is very active in conducting Suicide Prevention Symposia. Maybe he should have a talk with Diego Loyzaga to share his own personal experiences on this matter with him.
#ShowbizPortal #DiegoLoyzaga
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PAOLO CONTIS was only 4 years old when he started acting in ‘Ang TV’ and later did movies as the son of Christopher de Leon and Lani Mercado in “My Other Woman” in 1990. “Halos tatlong dekada na ako sa industriya,” he says. “At tuloy-tuloy ang acting ko, never akong nahinto. During my teen years, I was with ABS and was part of Star Circle Batch 3 launched in 1993. I did teen roles in shows like ‘Tabing Ilog’, ‘Mara Clara’, ‘Oki Doki Doc’ and ‘Kaybol’.”

He moved to GMA-7 in 2004 and played villain to Richard Gutierrez in “Sugo” then became a mainstay in “Bubble Gang”. Since then, he has done so many shows as a Kapuso, usually as contravida. We really thought during his “Tabing Ilog” days that he’d be a top leading man like his colleague in that show, John Lloyd Cruz. What happened?

“You know, never pumasok sa isip kong maging matinee idol. Kasi since 4 years old, puro trabaho lang ako nang trabaho and I’m willing to do kahit anong klaseng role. Ang hirap ng ganung buhay na ikaw ang nagdadala ng pelikula o show. Mas okay na sa’kin to do character roles na mas napaglalaruan ko.”

So how come he agreed to do a lead role now opposite Alexandra de Rossi in Viva’s “Through Night & Day”? “It came at the right time na mas open na ang viewers to other accept supporting actors doing lead roles, like si Empoy Marquez, di ba? Si Carlo Aquino, matagal nag-support, but now, leading man na rin. Si Ian Veneracion, ang tagal nawala, pero nagbibida na uli. And when the script was given to me, nagustuhan ko. It helps na si Alex de Rossi ang leading lady kasi we’ve been friends for a long time. Masayahin siya, maalaga sa kaibigan, family oriented. Nag-shoot kami ng movie namin sa Iceland for 12 days at para talaga siyang one of the boys.”

He also enjoyed working with Director Veronica Velasco. “Very meticulous sa camera work niya but she’s very open for us ni Alex to do adlibs in our lines. Bale siya yung preno namin. O, Paolo, masyadong marami na ang sinasabi mo, sobrang haba na. O kaya, masyadong bastos ang lines mo. One time, sabi niya, laging nakataas ang kilay mo, mukha kang kontrabida, e lead ka rito.”

In the story, he and Alex play childhood sweethearts who’ve been going steady for 13 years. Then they decide to have their prenup photos taken in Iceland and, with them being together “through night and day” for the first time in a foreign land, they uncover things about each other that makes them doubt if they’d still push through with their coming wedding. So now that he has played leading man, will he accept villain or supporting roles?

“Sa taping ng ‘Bubble Gang’, they’re asking me to wear pekpek shorts. Sabi ko, di na puede, leading man na ako, e. May cut off na nga ako ngayon sa taping. Dati puede ko hanggang 12 noon of the following day, ngayon up to 6 AM na lang,” and he laughs. “Wala akong ilusyong puro lead na lang ang gagawin ko. I’m a working actor so kahit anong trabaho, tatanggapin ko pa rin. Choosy ka pa ba?”

Aside from “Through Night & Day” that opens on November 14, Paolo has also finished a comedy, “Ang Pangarap Kong Holdap”, to be shown on November 28.

“This is a crazy comedy about holduppers na puro bobo, sina Pepe Herrera, Jerald Napoles and Jelson Bay. Sa neighborhood nila, ang mga nanghoholdap, puro group of 3’s. E dahil bobo sila, dinagdag nila ako as yung newbie holdaper. This is directed by Marius Talampas and when I saw our scenes sa dubbing, tawa ako nang tawa. Ito yung type ng panlalaking comedy, done in a millennial way.” #ShowbizPortal #PaoloContis #ThroughNightAndDay
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