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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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Jul 15, 2019

ice now/ aiza then/ catriona gray when she joined the pageant

LITTLE MISS PHILIPPINES is undoubtedly one of the most entertaining segments in “Eat Bulaga”. We’re glad that after five yeas, as EB celebrates its 40th anniversary, they now bring back Little Miss Philippines on the air. Viewers have really missed it a lot.

The segment started in 1984 and since then, it became the stepping stone for many little girls who went on to become top actresses, singers, beauty queens. One contestant even went on to become an EB co-host and later on married and had a kid with one of its senior hosts. (Guess who.)

Gladys Reyes joined the very first Little Miss Philippines pageant in 1984. And look at her now, one of local showbiz’ top contravidas both in the movies and TV shows. She has won several acting awards. This after she became a child villain in the long-running show, “Mara Clara”. Her marriage to Christopher Roxas is now one of the most stable in local showbiz.

Aiza Seguerra joined the pageant in 1987. She was only 4th runner up but she was so cute and precocious that she became more famous than the other winners. EB made her a mainstay and she did several hit movies were she played the title role no less, like “Wake Up, Little Suzy”, “Super Inday and Golden Bibe”, “Petrang Kabayo and Pilyang Kuting”.

She also played Vic Sotto’s daughter in the long running hit sitcome, “Okay Ka Fairy Ko”. She also made it as a popular singer with her hit song “Pagdating ng Panahon”. She has since outed himself as a transman and is now married to FDCP Chair Liza Dino.

Other stars who started with Little Miss Philippines are Camille Prats (who hit it big as a child star in ‘Sarah, Munting Prinsesa’), Lady Lee (who became an award-winning child actress in “Kailan Ka Magiging Akin”), Dindin Llarena (who became a regular in EB and a good singer), Jessa Zaragoza (then known as Richelle Loyola), Francine Prieto (formerly Anna Marie Falcon), Julie Anne San Jose (she didn’t win anything), Kim Domingo (4th runner up), Ella Cruz (best known for the mermaid fantasy series, ‘Aryana’), Ryzza Mae Dizon (who became a regular and is still in the show up to now), Jillian Ward (who joined it in 2009), Catriona Gray (who joined it in Australia in 1999 and now 2018 Miss Universe).

Now, it’s very entertaining to see the new batch of contestants in Little Miss Philippines. When they were introduced, they performed with gusto with Ryzza Mae Dizon. They are all cute, talented and energetic. Some of them wear such big gowns with long trains that they have difficulty in walking around on stage. One 4-year old contestant from Lipa City named Zendra speaks only in English and told hosts Maine Mendoza and Jose Manalo: “I don’t speak Tagalog.”

Later on, she cried because of the difficulty of communicating with the hosts, but still sang “Let It Go” from “Frozen”. Another 4-year old girl, Bryce, claimed she and her parents just walked all the way going to Manila from their home in Olongapo City. There are other lovable contestants we’ve seen these past few days. Let’s see who among them would win and who would really make it big in local showbiz later on.
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BIANCA UMALI is elated to get so much praise from netizens when she finally explodes and decides to fight back her oppressors in “Sahaya”. Viewers of the show are all applauding in unison for what she did to Snooky Serna as the scheming Salida, who has abused their family before.

“Ayan na! Napuno na si Sahaya! Nagalit at lumaban na! Beast mode na! Yehey! Go go go at isunod mo na si Anna Roces as Irene!”  This was the unanimous reaction of most viewers of “Sahaya” to that scene where Bianca as the title-roler confronted Snooky in the hospital where her mom, Mylene Dizon as Manisan, is currently confined after an accident caused by Ana Roces, who has also held Zoren Legaspi as Harold as a captive inside their house so he tries to make an escape but Ana catches him.

In fairness to Bianca, she might be seething with anger but her acting remains very restrained, cool and she made sure she wouldn’t go overboard. Even in that confrontation scene with Eric Quizon and Ana Roces where they warned that they won’t hesitate to kill her if she and her mom wouldn’t go away, she remains unruffled in the face of such dangerous threats.

Bianca is also happy to be part of Michael V’s directorial debut, GMA Pictures’ “Family History”, that opens on July 24. She plays Miguel Tanfelix’ girlfriend who’s very supportive when he gets to face a serious problem in their family.

“Saludo ako kay Tito Michael as he’s not only a great comedian but also a very good director,” she says. “Miguel Tanfelix and I learned so much while we’re working with him. During shooting breaks, he’d share his experiences with us through the years and we got so many good nuggets of wisdom from the things he shared. He told us to be careful of all our earnings and taught us where to invest them para hindi raw masayang ang pinaghihirapan namin sa aming pagtatrabaho since we were child stars.”

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LEAVE IT TO VIVA BOSS VIC DEL ROSARIO to come up with an innovative project like VivaCon or Viva Convention, which is bound to be one of the biggest and most awaited events in local showbiz. This is organized by Viva Entertainment and will be held at World Trade Center on a weekend, August 3 and 4, from 10 AM to 10 PM.

It will be the most star-studded, most educational, most fun-filled and certainly the biggest treat for fans from everywhere. Vivacon will give you the chance to meet and greet in person big stars like Sarah Geronimo, Anne Curtis, Nadine Lustre, James Reid, Xian Lim, Matteo Guidicelli, Empoy, Alex Gonzaga, Arjo Atayde, JC Santos, Bela Padilla and many more.

For the admission price of P550, you will get a whole day pass and the chance to participate in all the activities in the event, including live shows and concerts of top performers like Rico Blanco, Yassi Pressman, Kean Cipriano and Callalily, Unique, Xian Lim, Mark Bautista, Ronnie Liang, The Juans, P-Pop Girls, Viva Hot Babes, Katrina Velarde, SexBomb New Generation, Shane Dandan, Janine Tenoso, and many more.

There will also be motivational talks on filmmaking delivered by established scriptwriters and directors like Bela Padilla, Respeto’s Treb Monteras, Kita-Kita’s Sigrid Andrea Bernardo, Indak’s Paul Basinillo on August 3, Saturday, and 100 Tula Para Kay Stella’s Jason Paul Laxamana, Ulan’s Irene Villamor and This Time’s Nuel Naval on August 4, Sunday.

You can also get tips on how to be an effective social media influencer from Ella Cruz, Julian Trono, Janine Tenoso, Meunnie Culantes, Jam Raquion and Darryl Yap on Saturday, and Donnalyn Bartolome, John Roa and Marcelo Santos on Sunday.

Watch out for the ongoing promos of Viva’s new film projects, like ‘Inday’ with Nadine Lustre and Sam Concepcion, ‘Not Just a Stranger’ with Anne Curtis and Marco Gumabao, the comedy ‘Sanggano, Sanggago and Sangguwapo’ with Janno Gibbs, Andrew E and Dennis Pailla; and ‘Unforgettable’ topbilled by Sarah Geronimo.

There will also be auditions for aspiring actors, singers and bands; plus visit over 100 booths selling various entertainment products, souvenir items, books and services, all with special promos and discounts. You can check the actual schedules on Viva’s online sites. For guaranteed slots in the auditions, visit viva.com.ph/vivaauditionsmain. Tickets are now available at SM Ticket online. Don’t miss this big unforgettable showbiz event from Viva Entertainment!!!!

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ANDREA TORRES is getting very positive feedback for her convincing portrayal of twins with opposite personalities, Jasmine and Juliet, in GMA-7’s intriguing and hot drama on primetime, “The Better Woman”. It’s sexy but the sex scenes are tastefully handled, so we’re sure the MTRCB will not run after it even if it’s shown on primetime.

"As it is, the show is rating quite well and we have no doubt it will go up futher as the story heats up when the conflict between twin sisters Jasmine and Juliet over Derek becomes more and more intense.

Another interesting facet of the new show is the fact that there’s surprising easy chemistry between Andrea and her leading man, Derek Ramsay, even if it’s just the first time that they get to work with each other.

“Napag-usapan nga namin yun ni Derek,” says Andrea. “Naging madali ang page-establish ng rapport between the two of us gayong ni hindi kami nag-effort to be close. He’s so easy to get along with naman kasi. First taping day pa lang naman,

"I did a lap dance on him kasi my Juliet character works in a club at sine-seduce siya. Doon pa lang, naging magaan na agad ang working relationship namin. It was a good start at walang awkward stage at all between us.”

We won’t be surprised if they’d eventually get linked to each other, what with her being available and Derek is now also unattached. “Well, siguro, hindi maiiwasan. Ganun naman kapag magkatrabaho kayo, di ba? Pinagli-link.

"E, yun pa namang dalawang characters na ginagampanan ko, parehong in love na in love sa kanya. But as of now, talagang our relationship is just on a professional level.  Pero natutuwa talaga kami when we hear people say malakas talaga ang chemistry namin.”

She’s thankful that Derek is proving to be such a real gentleman. “Maalaga siya sa kapareha niya. I’ve proven this when we shot an underwater scene na natanggal ang bikini top ko. Talagang tinakpan niya agad ako para hindi makita sa screen. But in the scene, hindi niya alam na hindi accidental ang pagkakaalis ng bikini ko kundi sinadya ko kasi, my character as the flirtatious Juliet, gusto talaga siyang i-seduce.”

So, she has no limitations in “The Better Woman”? “Wala akong maisip na kahit ano, kasi alam din naman ng director naming si Mark Sicat de la Cruz kung ano ang boundaries for TV viewing. And so far, okay naman ang mga pinagagawa nila sa akin. Basta before each take, hinga lang nang malalim na malalim and.... go! Ha ha ha!”

She has had many kissing scenes with Derek, both as Juliet and her more reserved twin sister, Jasmine. What’s the difference between the two? “Si Juliet, mas agresibo. Mas ma-L. Ha ha ha! Si Jasmine, siya yung legal wife, so mas tender, mas full of love.

"I hope ma-feel yun ng audience kasi nage-effort talaga ako to show the distinction between the two characters that I play. Kapag may instance na nalilito ako, lagi namang nakabantay si Direk Mark sa akin to remind me, o hindi ka si Jasmine dito ha, si Juliet ka. Ganun.”

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the cast of MADRASTA

juancho trivino and arra san agustin

JUANCHO TRIVINO finally gets his big break to achieve full stardom playing a lead role in GMA-7’s new soap, “Madrasta”.  The first time we saw him being introduced in the youth oriented show, “Teen Gen”, seven years ago, we already said he has great potential to be a leading man since he has clean cut good looks and, at 6’1”, he has the advantage of height compared to most vertically challenged actors. He was still so skinny then, but he has since worked out diligently in the gym and is now a certified hunk.

He has played many supporting roles since then in shows like “Home Sweet Home”, “Insta Dad”, “Villa Quintana”, “Half Sisters”, “Little Nanay”, “Magkaibang Mundo”, “Destined to be Yours”, “I Will Always Love You” and “Asawa Ko, Karibal Ko”. He also dabbled in comedy in “Bubble Gang” and honed his hosting skills in the morning show, “Unang Hirit”. On the big screen, he has done two movies, supporting Rocco Nacino in the period drama, “Pedro Calungsod”, and playing the third wheel in Derrick Monasterio and Sanya Lopez’ love affair in Regal’s “Wild & Free”.

GMA probably thinks he is now ripe for full stardom and his time has come to be a solo leading man in his own teleserye. In “Madrasta” (we don’t think this is a remake of the 1996 Sharon Cuneta movie), he will have two leading ladies: Arra San Agustin and Thea Tolentino. They will be get strong support from tried and tested actresses like Gladys Reyes and Manily Reynes, plus Almira Muhlach and Phythos Ramirez. So how does he feel playing his first lead role ever?

“Una sa lahat, I’m very thankful to GMA-7 dahil sa tiwala nila sa akin for giving me this break,” he says. “Simpre, excited ako, very happy, but also feeling pressured din, kinakabahan, kasi we don’t know yet how audiences will receive it. Mature role na ang ginagampanan ko rito at di gaya noong magsimula ako when I was still a teenager at 19. Now, I’m 26, and feeling ko, ready na rin ako to do more mature roles like this.”

He promises to do his best for the show.  “Nag-usap na kami ni Arra and we vowed to really prepare well for our roles in the show. We want to show our serious side as actors in playing our roles. I’m thankful na playing my mother here is Ate Gladys Reyes. We’ve worked before na in ‘I Will Always Love You’, so I’m already very comfortable with her. And she’s very helpful kaya I know na tutulungan niya ako para mas magampanan ko ang role ko more effectively.”
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Jul 13, 2019

KRIS BERNAL says she was initially hesitant to accept “Hanggang sa Dulo ng Buhay Ko” when it was first offered to her. “Kasi alam kong mahihirapan ako emotionally and physically as it’s a very demanding role,” she adds. “As Naomi, magkakaroon ako ng fatal attraction kay Rayver Cruz as Matteo.

"Kahit paulit-ulit na niya akong ni-reject and nagpakasal siya kay Megan Young as Yvie, ayaw ko pa rin siyang tantanan, to the point na I killed myself and returned as a ghost na ayaw pa rin silang patahimikin.”

She’s also scared that the role is about a restless spirit. “Siempre, afraid ako na baka masyado ko siyang maisapuso at maiuwi ko pa siya ng bahay. Kontrabida ang role ko rito, pero kakaibang kontrabida kasi multo nga. First time kong gumawa ng horror-suspense thriller kaya tinanggap ko na para ma-try ko naman.

"Okay rin naman kasi ang suporta sa’kin ng lahat ng co-stars ko and our director, Jorron Lee Monroy, really guided me every step of the way. At least, naiiba ito sa usual roles ko na inaapi lagi or puro iyakan. Mananakot naman ako rito kaya nakaka-excite din.”

To prepare for her new show, she watched a lot of horror movies,especially the Japanese horror flicks. “Challenge talaga ito sa’kin kasi matatakutin akong tao. Konting kibot lang, nagugulat ako. But sa dami ng horror flicks na pinanood ko for this show, including ‘Insidious’ and ‘The Conjuring’ series, medyo sanay na ako.

"But still, natatakot ako for myself sa mundong papasukin ko kaya walang tigil ang prayers kong pangontra sa anything bad na puedeng mangyari sa’min ng mga kasama ko while doing this show.”

Kris is so lucky as her loyalty in choosing to stay as a Kapuso proved to be a wise decision for her. “Oo naman, at least, hindi ako nababakante. Laging may magandang show para sa akin ang GMA and for that, I’m very thankful.”

In contrast, the career of her former ka-love team and co-winner in ‘Starstruck 5’, whose now married with kid, didn’t really prosper big time when he chose to move to the rival network. How about her? It’s common knowledge her lovelife is doing well with chef-businessman Perry Choi. Do they have any wedding plans as of now?

“Ay, wala pa. Napag-uusapan, but nothing really serious. Andami ko pang gustong gawin. I want to do more movies. Gusto ko munang manalo ng acting award. I’m 30 now, so siguro in 3 more years, baka puede na, at gusto ko, magkaroon agad ng maraming babies.”
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jameson blake with alden & kathryn

JAMESON BLAKE started very promisingly. Right after his stint in PBB in 2015, he was recruited to be part of the all male dance group Hashtags in “Showtime”. He soon got into acting and won the Cinema One best supporting actor award for his first film, “2 Cool 2B Forgotten”.

He then starred in one movie after another, both indie and mainstream, like “Nay”, “Unexpectedly Yours”, “Nabubulok”, “Haunted Forest”, “Mama’s Girl”, “So Connected”, and “Ang Babaeng Allergic sa Wifi”. He also played supporting roles in primetime soaps like “A Love to Last” and “Ngayon at Kailanman”.

But somehow, the momentum seems to have gotten lost somewhere and the promise was not fulfilled. Full stardom remains elusive for him. All of a sudden, Tony Labrusca eclipsed him in the Kapamilya stables as Tony is playing lead roles in both movies and TV shows, one after another.

We’re glad Jameson is now in the cast of two new movies. He plays a supporting role as Alden Richard’s brother in Star Cinema’s “Hello, Love, Goodbye” and he plays one of the leads in the youth movie, “G”, which is an entry in the coming Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

He’s happy to be part of “Hello, Love, Goodbye” because it was shot on location in Hongkong. “I was born there and that’s where I spent the first 10 years of my life before my mom and I moved to Manila,” he says. “When we shot the movie, I got the chance to visit my father who still lives there.”

About his lovelife, he is currently being linked to Elisse Joson, who used to be part of the McClisse love team but has since called it quits with McCoy de Leon. But Jameson says it’s not true as nothing is really going on between him and Elisse.

“I’ve been unattached for three years now,” he says. “My last relationship was with a non showbiz girl. As of now, I just want to concentrate on my career.”

Some folks are questioning his masculinity but he doesn’t care. “Sabi nila, pag walang girlfriend, siguro my boyfriend? Ha ha ha! I’m not the kind of person who’d go out of my way to prove myself as to who I really am. The important thing is I know the truth about myself and I don’t think I owe anyone an explanation.”

Well, he’s only 22 years old now. Maybe the promise of stardom will still be fulfilled for him, someday soon.
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Jul 12, 2019

the stars of the PPP entries

INSTEAD of the usual 8, there will now be 10 entries in the annual Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino or PPP to be shown in theaters nationwide from September 13 to 19. More than 20 films were submitted and these are the lucky ones to be selected. FDCP Chair and CEO Liza Dino Seguerra says the theme of the entries for this, the 3rd year of the PPP, is “Pamilya, Pagkakaibigan, “Pag-ibig”. “This year is extra special as it commemmorates the 100 Years of local cinema,” she adds. “We encourage the moviegoing public to support this year’s entries which are of diverse quality and to attend the PPP 2019 events we have lined up for them.”

 The first three entries were announced earlier this year:

“Panti Sisters” - Produced by IdeaFirst Company with Black Sheep, starring Paolo Ballesteros, Christian Bables and Martin del Rosario as three gay brothers, with John Arcilla as their dying dad who promises to reward P300 million to anyone among them who can give him a granchild, directed by Jun Lana.

“Cuddle Weather” - now produced by Regal Entertainment with Project 8, starring Sue Ramirez and RK Bagatsing as two sex workers in a daring and unconventional romance about loveless sex that blossoms into something else, written and directed by Rod Marmol.

“LSS (Last Song Syndrome)” - A romance-musical featuring the music of indie folk band Ben & Ben, with Khalil Ramos and Gabbi Garcia as fans of the band who bond in a series of not so romantic encounters, produced by Globe Studios and directed by Jade Castro.

Four more entries are: “Ellenya L” - the directorial debut of Boy2 Quizon, starring Maris Racal and Inigo Pascual who used to be a love team called Marnigo, but who have since called it quits. Produced by Spring Films, Maris plays a typical millennial girl who wants to become a well known vlogger/social media influencer. She produces video content with the help of her family, unaware that she is becoming pretentious.

“Watch Me Kill” - An action-drama starring Jean Garcia as a jaded hired assassin who protects a girl, Junyka Santarin, also with Jay Manalo, Bodgie Pascua, Althea Vega and Rodolfo Muyuela, produced by Greenlight and CineBandits Entertainment and directed by Tyrone Acierto.
“Open” -  An unusual romance about modern love involving a couple and their 14-year old relationship that has become boring so they get into a so-called open relationship, produced by Rex Tiri with Black Sheep and directed by Andoy Ranay. Stars Arci Munoz and JC Santos, with Ina Raymundo, Vance Larena, Sofia Andres and Ivana Alawi.

“G!” - A youth movie about a barkada that goes on a road trip where their bonding moments make them realize the values of love, friendship and family. Produced by Cineko Productions and starring McCoy de Leon, Jameson Blake, Paulo Angeles, Mark Oblea and Kira Balinger, directed by Dondon Santos.

Three additonal films that all star senior actresses in their 80s and 90s are part of the “Sandaan Showcase”, in celebration of the 100 years of Philippine Cinema.

“Circa” - A co-production of four companies, it stars 94-year old Anita Linda as Donya Atang, a once famous film producer during the earlier years of Filipino cinema who is celebrating her 100th birthday. Her birthday wish is for all the actors and staff she has worked with before to have a reunion with her. Also stars Gina Alajar, Ricky Davao, Laurice Guillen, Elizabeth Oropesa, Enchong Dee. Written and directed by Adolf Alix Jr.

“Lola Igna” - stars octogenarian Angie Ferro in the title role of Lola Igna, a foul-mouthed and hard-headed old woman who wants to die, but her neighbors want her to win the title of “the oldest living grandmother in the world”. Her long lost great, great grandson, Tim, played by Yves FLores, an aspiring vlogger ends up giving her a new reason to live. Also starring Meryll Soriano and Ma. Isabel Lopes, directed by Eduardo Roy Jr. as produced by ERT Prods and EMBA Inc.

“Pagbalik” - Stars 85-year old Queen of Visayan Movies Gloria Sevilla, produced by Nuances Entertainment and PRO, directed by Hubert Tibi and Maria Ranillo, filmed in Visayan with English subtitles. Suzette Ranillo stars as Rica, who comes home after working abroad for so long to be reunited with her aging mother, Choleng. In the process, she learns the secret that her mother has done during all the years that she was working away.  Also stars Vince Ranillo.

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Jul 11, 2019

gelo alagban & angelic flores: eliminated

STARSTRUCK SEASON 7  lost its first two finalists last weekend: Angelic Guzman and Gelo Alagban They were the lowest pointers in the over all tally of the combined scores of the judges and text votes from the viewing public.

They were replaced by two hopefuls from the Top 22 that were given a Wild Card chance, Radson Flores and Crystal Paras, who are very grateful for being given a second chance to be the next Ultimate Male and Female Survivor. They bested out the other hopefuls who competed with them: Janelle Lewis, Kyle Lucasan, Maynard Fullido and Marc David.

In their acting challenge, they all played out the same scene showing a girl breaking up with her boyfriend who accuses her of accepting him just on a rebound as she cannot forget her past boyfriend. The judges, Cherie Gil, Heart Evangelista and Jose Manalo, are impressed with all of their performances.

But honestly, what we find lacking is that incandescent something called star quality that we didn’t see in any of the contestants. Like what we keep on saying, movie star good looks is much more important than talent because talent can be honed but your looks would be the first thing the audience would take into consideration before anything else.

Among the other finalists, we just noticed that the consistent highest pointers among the 14 hopefuls so far are Ella Cristofani and Kim de Leon. They both excel in most of the challenges, especially Kim who seems so at home in facing the cameras as he has already done several TV commercials.

If this trend would hold on until the season’s end, then we already have an inkling as to who would end up as the ultimate winners. This weekend, let’s see who will be the next Starstruck Season 7 couple who would be eliminated from this artista search. Don’t miss it and be sure to support and vote for your favorite contestants.
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aga and nadine with viva boss vic del rosario

kris aquino and derek ramsay

vic sotto and maine mendoza

vice ganda & anne curtis

IT’S NOT ONLY local movies that show a poor performance at the box office these day. Even in the U.S., they just experienced a series of flops with big summer popcorn flicks like “Godzilla: King of Monsters”, “Dark Phoenix” and “Men in Black II”. Only the Marvel superhero extravaganzas seem to attract crowds, like “Avengers: Endgame” which earned billions of dollar worldwide, and now, their newest hit, “Spider-Man: Far from Home”. Then there’s also “Toy Story 4”.

That “Godzilla” and company flopped is not surprising because they were all badly done and so boring. People obviously avoid bad movies, whether local or Hollywood, especially movies that give you the feeling that you’ve seen it all before. They’d rather stay at home and watch the latest season of “Game of Thrones”, “Stranger Things” and “Little Big Lies” with Meryl Streep.

Besides, there are just now so many other options for entertainment available at everyone’s fingertips, like live streaming, unlike in the 60s to the 80s when watching movies in stand alone theaters rules as it was then the cheapest form of entertainment.

Now, movies in theaters really face so much competition as most young people would just rather surf on the internet and monitor their cellphones for the latest social media entries. Their priority now is their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts, for which they don’t even have to shell out money like they do when they buy expensive movie tickets.

Sad to say, the quality of storytelling in most local films has really gone from bad to worse. If you cannot deliver movies that people are surely going to enjoy, then prepare to lose your investment because people won’t watch movies with unlikely pairings like Janine Gutierrez and Enchong Dee or Jake Cuenca and Kris Bernal.

So, unless you can prepare and offer something better, then just be prepared to see the box office results of local films continue to nose dive and for the movie business never to recover its former glory. Maybe you can just start switching gears and prepare for a digital future of providing streaming content. As of now, local producers are just setting their sights on the annual Metro Filmfest when local films have a captive audience. For this coming December, four movies have already been accepted based on their submitted scripts: “Kampon” - a horror movie starring Kris Aquino and Derek Ramsay, produced by Quantum Films.

“Momalland” - a comedy with Vice Ganda, Anne Curtis, Tony Labrusca, co-produced by ABS-CBN Films and Viva Films.

“Miracle in Cell No. 7” - remake of a hit Koreanovela tearjerking drama starring Aga Muhlach and Nadine Lustre, produced by Viva Films.

“Mission Unstapabol: The Don Identity” - an action-comedy with Vic Sotto and Maine Mendoza, produced by APT Entertainment and MZet Productions.

As you can see from the choices, the primary consideration is the box office bankability of these very commercial projects. No indie films at all but movies with familiar stars like Vic and Vice who always have perennial entries in the festival every year. Maybe the entries with more artistic quality will come in the next four entries that will be submitted as completed projects, just like what happened last year with “Rainbow’s Sunset”, which eventually went on to win the lion’s share of trophies in the filmfest awards night.

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