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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

Sep 23, 2019

the new KIMERALD - Kim Molina and Jerald Napoles

JERALD NAPOLES says his relationship with Kim Molina started as a joke when they were first paired in the hit stage musical, “Rak of Aegis”, five years ago. “Tinutukso nila kami then as ang bagong KimErald, pinaghalong Kim and Jerald, doon nag-umpisa,” he says. “So sinakyan naman namin yung mga biru-biruan nila.”

And then they became more serious with each other? “At that time kasi, pareho kaming kabe-break lang noon from our previous relationships. We enjoyed talking with each other and we’d have long conversations that last through the night. So after a while, sabi namin, o tayo na, kaya naging kami na nga.”

So after five years, there’s still no “sawa” factor? “Ay, wala po. Ayan nga, ngayon, magkapareha kami in our own movie, itong ‘Jowable’ ng Viva which opens in theaters tomorrow. At saka, magkaiba kasi kami ng network. Kapuso ako at Kapamilya siya, so iba-iba ang mga kasama namin sa trabaho kaya, when we are together, we focus on each other. We know how to maintain ang isang maayos na relasyon.”

They’re able to appreciate each other’s company more as the years go by. “Nag-uusap nga kami na kahit five years na kami, hindi pa rin nawawala yung kilig namin sa isa’t isa. Iba na rin yung level ng relationship namin, e. Noon, parang tago pa kami, very private. But now, especially with our movie, alam na ng lahat and we realized, what’s wrong with being more open about our relationship?”

He’s more senior in the industry than their director in “Jowable”, Darryl Yap, who’s just directing his first movie. How is it? “Okay naman siya. He might be younger than me but he knows what he’s doing. Open minded din siya and he collaborates with us ni Kim in doing our scenes together. Ibang klase ang humor ng ‘Jowable’, e. Irreverent, medyo bastos, so we got an R-13 rating. But if you just want to laugh and have a good time, you’d enjoy the movie na laugh trip from start to finish.”

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Sep 22, 2019

kim domingo with cast and director of KIKO EN LALA

KIM DOMINGO is happy to support Super Tekla’s launching film, “Kiko en Lala”, that opens in theaters this Wednesday. “I’m also glad to be a part of a comedy movie like ‘Kiko en Lala’ kasi nagamit ko rito lahat ng comic techniques that I learned from being a part of ‘Bubble Gang’,” she says. “I play Aning, leading lady ni Super Tekla in his role as Kiko, yung lalaki sa twins na Kiko en Lala. Si Lala naman, yung gay, si Derrick Monasterio ang leading man niya.”

She has vowed before that she would stop doing sexy roles so doing a comedy like ‘Kiko en Lala’ is such a welcome project for her. Did she make this vow because of her cager boyfriend with whom she has since sadly broken up?

 “Hindi naman po. Basta hangga’t maari, ayaw ko nang magbilad ng katawan. Kaya nga natutuwa akong nalilinya ako sa comedy like ‘Kiko en Lala’ kasi wholesome ako rito. Hindi ko naman totally sinasara yung paggawa ng sexy roles. Kung may maganda talagang role in a serious movie, I might consider it. Pero as long as puedeng umiwas, sa wholesome projects muna ako.”

She’s also happy to be doing a horror serye where she not required to take her clothes off. “Yes, in my current teleserye, ‘Hanggang sa Dulo ng Buhay Ko’, di kailangang magpa-sexy. I’m happy na challenging yung role ko as the cousin of Megan Young na sinapian ng evil spirit ni Kris Bernal para akitin ang husband niyang si Rayver Cruz. At 24, gusto ko naman talagang mas ma-recognize ako as a serious actress and not just as a sexy star na nakilala lang sa hubaran.”

So has she entertained any new suitors since she split up with her boyfriend some months ago? 

“No, I’m happy being unattached at the moment. I don’t even go out dating. Naka-move on na ako and I am just happy to have more time for myself. Kaya I’m not really ready yet to get into another relationship. Huwag muna. I just want to focus on my work now, so I can always give my best in every role they assign to me. Now, I also have more time with my family. When I’m not busy, we go out. Some weeks ago, I treated them to a trip abroad. We went to Bangkok. Every year kasi talaga, gusto kong inililibot ko sila sa iba’t ibang bansa for family bonding.”

She’s hoping “Kiko en Lala” will be a big hit. “Deserving naman si Super Tekla na magkaroon ng launching movie kasi he’s a really funny comedian at alam niya talaga kung paano patatawanin ang tao. Itong movie namin has many laugh out loud scenes, thanks to our director, Adolf Alix, Jr. na huling-huling kung ano ang kiliti ng viewers.”
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BRAD PITT’S new movie, “Ad Astra” (meaning: To The Stars) is a futuristic flick about advanced space travel. But don’t think it’s an exciting action-oriented moovie as it’s actually a serious drama that will remind you of similar films like “2001: Space Odyssey”, “Gravity”, and “Interstellar”.

“Ad Astra” concerns complex daddy issues concerning Brad and his dad, Tommy Lee Jones, shades of Gerard Butler and Nick Nolte in “Angel Has Fallen”, but “Ad Astra” does it on a cosmic scale. Set in what it says is not a too distant future, traveling to the moon has become so easy and man has also reached even the other planets from Mars to Jupiter.

Many countries pursue their own mineral research and exploitation projects on the moon, making it a no man’s land where there are armed pirates and unwarranted violence. Brad is Roy McBride, an astronaut major whose father (Tommy) went missing 30 years ago while on a project in the planet of Neptune.

Roy’s bosses in the Space Command believe his dad is still alive and is now causing anti-matter power surges that threaten all human life in the entire solar system. They order Roy to go to Mars and from there, make a personal laser message appealing to his renegade father to stop his dastard deed.

You know the film is serious drama because Brad’s character is so prone to endless voice over monologues whose aim is to show what outer space travel does to one’s inner space. This starts with the computer program assessing his psychological state where he says to himself: “I am focused only on the essential. I will not allow myself to be distracted.”

He also wonders about his father: “What happened to my dad? What did he find out there? Did it break him? Or was he always broken?”

Roy is emotionally disconnected and has no time for family or sentiment as his blood pressure never even goes up. He doesn’t even want to have kids, so it’s not surprising that his wife (Liv Tyler in a thankless role) splits from him.

Those looking for action and thrills will be disappointed as there’s very little of that here. It has lovely space images and stunning space walks, but what it really displays is Brad’s ability to project the profiles of his psyche, a cool, chilly reserve even when he’s under pressure.

Honestly, we prefer Brad’s performance in “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and if he’d ever get nominated for next year, we wish it would be for that movie with Leonardo.

Brad, 55 years old, is in the same league of Tom Cruise, 57, and Keanu Reeves, also 55. Aside from the fact that they’re all aging, they have something else in common. Unlike Leonardo, who’s much younger at 44, they’ve never won an Oscar for acting. Both Tom and Brad have been nominated several times and Brad has won an Oscar, but as producer of “12 Years a Slave”.

Also, Tom and Keanu have made a name for themselves as action stars with their own franchise movies, “Mission Impossible” for Tom and “The Matrix” and “John Wick” for Keanu. Maybe Brad should also start cultivating a career in the action genre.
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Sep 21, 2019

ysabel ortega at 'the gift' presscon

YSABEL ORTEGA is being introduced in Alden Richards’ new primetime drama series, “The Gift”, that is now trending worldwide every night, right after “Beautiful Justice”. She is the daughter of Sen. Lito Lapid with former actress Michelle Ortega who is now the DSWD assistant secretary. Is she in good terms with her biological dad?

“Yes, we talk on the phone,” she says. “Alam niyang I’m now with GMA-7 and he’s happy naman for me. Supportive po siya sa decision ko to join showbiz and he wishes me well in my career. There was a time nagkaroon kami ng tampuhan but we are okay now.”
But she admits she is closer to her stepfather, Gen. Gregorio Pimentel, the current PDEA deputy director general who married her mom in January of last year with no less than Pres. Duterte as main sponsor.

“After I met my Daddy Greg, I felt na nag-click kami agad. Ni wala kaming ilangan or adjustment period. I was comfortable with him right away and we’re now very close. I’m so happy for my mom that she found him at napangasawa siya. He treats me as his real daughter and I can feel he loves me talaga. So I now have two dads and, as they say, the more the merrier. I’m really happy.”

She admits boys are scared of wooing her. “Andami ko kasing bantay,” she laughs. “Maraming takot sa bago kong daddy dahil general. Nakaka-intimidate daw. Pero right now, wala naman akong time magpaligaw kasi kahit na I’m working now, tuloy-tuloy po ang studies ko.

"I’m majoring in political economy at the University of Asia and the Pacific. I really go to school everyday at hindi siya home school. So kung may free time ako after taping and after school, I’d rather just rest and go to sleep.”

In “The Gift”, Ysabel is the third child of Jean Garcia and Martin del Rosario plays his Kuya. Alden is Jean’s son in her first marriage, but Alden as Sep got lost in Quiapo and is raised by Jo Berry. Ysabel will meet Alden again but she doesn’t know that they are really brother and sister.

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patricia javier as reigning mrs. universe philippines

patricia at the presscon with husband dr. rob walcher

patricia with dr. rob and dr. jill chapman who will represent the USA

patricia with writers ricky lo, shirley pizarro, aster amoyo, yours truly and pilar mateo

PATRICIA JAVIER was last seen in the hit comedy “Sanggano Sanggago’t Sangguwapo”. She has now ceased to accept showbiz assignments while preparing to represent our country as the reigning Mrs. Universe Philippines Finest Woman in the advocacy-oriented Noble Queen of the Universe Pageant to be held at the Manila Hotel on December 1.

Originally, Patricia is supposed to represent our country at the Mrs. Universe Pageant to be held in Guangzhou, China, but the contest was scheduled during the Christmas season from December 21, 2019 to January 1, 2020.

“I felt bad na mawawala ako rito sa Kapaskuhan at hindi ko makakasama ang husband ko and our two sons,” she says. “We’ve already planned to go on vacation during the holiday season sa California to be with my hubby Rob’s folks. So I had to make my family my priority and begged off sa Mrs. Universe and chose to join Noble Queen of the Universe Pageant instead, na ang contest dates will be from November 26 to December 1, 2019 kaya walang conflict sa planned vacation namin ng family ko.”

She was replaced in the Mrs. Universe pageant by Charo Laude, former “That’s Entertainment” member who will now be the one to go to China. She’s also more comfortable with the Noble Queen pageant as it’s advocacy oriented and perfect for her own advocacies that include the propagation of health and wellness, environmental protection and woman empowerment.

“Hopefully, in joining this pageant, I will be given more opportunities to reach more people tungkol sa itinataguyod naming advocacies. I’m a great admirer of the late environmentalist, Gina Lopez, and I hope we can continue her noble cause to protect Mother Nature by starting in our own backyard. We can plant more trees and be more cautious in polluting our surroundings with our trash, specially plastics that are not biodegradable.

“As for health and wellness naman, my husband and I go around schools in the country to promote Happy Banapple Day where we encourage the children to eat healthy by giving them fruits like apples and bananas. We also distribute Dr. Rob’s book, ‘Guide for Better Health & Wellness’ to schools and libraries that help people lead healthier lives.

“When it comes to woman empowerment, I want moms like me to know that not just because they’re married with kids, e puede nang mawala ang ating sariling identity. I’m so fortunate to have a husband like Rob who’s not controlling but encourages me to grow on my own and achieve my potentials. Pareho sila ng sons namin, when I make paalam for my work as an actress or when I join beauty pageant activities, they’re all very supportive, encouraging and very proud of me. No questions asked, they just tell me to go, have fun.”

When she joins Noble Queen pageant, she will introduce her own kind of walk like Catriona Gray’s Lava Walk. “Yung sa akin naman is Chiro Walk, which I learned my from chiropractor husband. Kailangan, your body is aligned sa S curve ng ating neck to protect your back. You’ll see it when I make my walk sa pageant.”

Dr. Rob Walcher is a successful chiropractor in the USA, but he has no idea that he’d also be a practicing chiropractor when they moved here to Manila. “We’re just thinking we’ll stay here for a few months then return to California. But people started knocking on our door even while I’m still asleep to be treated by me for their back, neck and shoulder pains, also for scoliosis, slipped disc, sciatica and even migraine, so I have no choice but to put up my own clinic at home.”

Now, they have clinics in T. Morato, QC and in Makati and soon, they will have branches at Westgate in the South and in Angeles City by the end of October. Rob is now the official chiropractor of the World Wrestling Entertainment with top wrestlers like Roman Reigns, Kofi Kingston and Kevin Owens. He’s also the official chiropractor of the Back Street Boys when they perform in their World Tour at the Mall of Asia Arena come October 28. Patricia helps manage their clinics.

“Talagang umiikot ako and very hands on in managing them as I want to see that our clients are all satisfied,” she says. “I’m enjoying naman what I’m doing and I can say I live a very full life.”

Let’s all pray that Patricia will bring home the title of Noble Queen of the Universe come December 1, 2019. Don’t they plan to have a daughter after having two sons?

“We do, but it all depends kay Lord. If it’s His will for us to have a daughter, then it will happend. By next year, Rob and I are also planning to go into movie production. We want to make a movie about the struggles of our OFW’s since a lot of people can really relate with them.”

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Sep 19, 2019


sarah geronimo and her dog in UNFORGETTABLE

marco gumabao and anne curtis in JUST A STRANGER


VIVA ENTERTAINMENT is currently on a winning streak with a series of successive hits. It maybe rainy but it’s still a win-win situation for Viva after the successful Vivacon (Viva Convention) held recently at the World Trade Center, the well attended first Filipino fan convention in local entertainment history.

This was followed by the box office success of the blockbuster hit, “Just a Stranger”, which confirms Anne Curtis’ continued strength at the box office and launches Marco Gumabao to full lead stardom. This love story of a married woman who falls in love with a younger man is a vindication for the film directed by Jason Paul Laxamana, which was rejected by the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino as an entry but which turned to be a bigger hit outside of it.

This was followed by the action-thriller, “Angel Has Fallen”, distributed by Viva International starring Gerard Butler as the presidential security officer accused of assassinating his own president. It’s a certified hit here and abroad. This was quickly followed by the megahit comedy, “Sanggano Sanggago’t Sangguwapo” with the Gamol triumvirate of Janno Gibbs, Andrew E and Dennis Padilla that successfuly revived old school naughty comedy, as directed by Al Tantay.

Coming up next on September 25 will be another rollicking comedy about a lonelyheart looking for a partner or jowa, Kim Molina, who gets her first big break to stardom in the irreverent romp, “Jowable”. This is written and directed by Darryl Yap who started it as a hit short film on Facebook then as a hit novel in book form. Kim is paired with her “Rak of Aegis” leading man, her real life jowa, Jerald Napoles.

And come October, don’t miss the new movie of Sarah Geronimo, who won Star Award best actress for her movie last year, “Miss Granny”. This year, we won’t be surprised if Sarah would get more acclaim for her performance as an autistic girl who gets lost on her way to Baguio to visit her ailing grandma, Gina Pareno, with only her pet dog for company. This is in “Unforgettable”, a heart tugging light drama about the friendship of a girl and a dog, directed by Jun Lana and with Regine Velasquez as a very special guest star.

Sarah is one of those singers who successfully forayed into acting. Her big concert last year, “This I5 Me”, which celebrated her 15th anniversary in showbusiness, is now available on Netflix and her loyal Popster fans can watch it any time and all the times they want to relive the experience of Sarah giving one of her best live performances ever.

It features a formidable repertoire of Filipino and foreign songs with Louie Ocampo as musical director, stage directed by Paul Basinillo. Her guests in this concert are Billy Crawford, Mark Bautista, Xian Lim, James Reid and Daniel Padilla.

And before the year is finally over, don’t miss more great offerings from Viva, including the highly acclaimed Cinemalaya entry, “Edward”, the coming of age story of a teenage boy inside an overcrowded public hospital starring Louise Abuel in the title role, with Ella Cruz winning the Cinemalaya best supporting actress award as the patient who he becomes his ill-fated first love.

In December, don’t miss Viva’s two entries. First is “Momalland” starring Anne Curtis and Vice Ganda (co-prod with Star Cinema) and the Filipino adaptation of the hit Korean drama, “Miracle on Cell No. 7” starring Aga Muhlach, child star Xia Vigor and Bela Padilla, directed by Nuel Naval. Truly, for Viva, the best is yet to come!!!
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ritz azul and joseph marco

LOS BASTARDOS farewell presscon

RITZ AZUL and Joseph Marco are paired in “Los Bastardos” and it’s obvious that they’re fond of each other, as can be seen in their posts about one another in their respective social media accounts. Another pair in “Los Bastardos” has admitted that they’re now indeed a couple, Jake Cuenca and Kylie Versoza. But how about Ritz and Joseph, what’s the real score between them now?

“I was originally paired with Joaquin (Diego Loyzaga) and when his character died, sabi ko, wala na kong kapareha,” says Ritz. “But Joseph as Lorenzo returned as the bastard son from America and I’m thankful na kami ang naging magkapareha. Nagsimula kami sa bangayan tapos, biglang o may love scene kayo. At siya ang kinabahan, hindi ako.

"But he’s such a gentleman, naligo pa siya before the love scene at siya ang nag-blocking ng eksena namin. Masarap siyang katrabaho, very professional. We’ve never worked before but ang feeling ko, matagal ko na siyang kakilala. We started exchanging messages on Twitter at marami ang natutuwa sa bangayan namin. Now, we’re also doing a movie with Regal Entertainment.”

But are they now on? “As of now, we’re just very good friends,” says Joseph. “When we were first paired, may instant connection agad. People say maganda ang chemistry namin and I must admit I can feel people approve of our team up. Pero hanggang friends lang muna, let’s not rush things.”

Based on a Precious Hearts Romance novel, “Los Bastardos” started airing in October of last year and has had several extensions as it’s a consistent toprater in its time slot. Ronaldo Valdez plays Don Roman, the prolific patriarch of the Cardinal Family who had sons with different women.

Jake Cuenca as Isagani and Joseph Marco as Lorenzo are his sons with Gloria Diaz. Marco Gumabao as Matteo, the black sheep, is his son with Joyce Ann Burton but Marco doesn’t know Ronaldo is his real father. Joshua Colet as Connor is his son with Pinky Amador, a prostitute. Albie Casino as Lucas is his son with Ana Abad Santos, their adopted househelp.

The leading ladies are Ritz Azul as Dianne for Joseph, Maxine Medina as Jake’s wife named Francesa or Isay, Mica Javier as Lupita for Joshua, Mary Joy Apostol as Coralyn for Albie. Kylie Verosa as Dulce is a doctor who gets obsessed with Jake.

The latest contravida who tries to bring down the Cardinal Family as the show nears its finale is Jean Saburit as Senyora Catalina, the mother of Kylie who wants to take revenge with Ronaldo for past misdeeds. Will she succeed in killing Roman and all his sons? That’s what you have to find out for hourself as “Los Bastardos” reaches its exciting conclusion soon.
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ANDREA TORRES and Derek Ramsay’s “The Better Woman” is ending soon after a three-month run and they both express happiness for the chance of getting to work with each other.

“I really had fun working with Derek and I enjoyed my role in the show as twin sisters Jasmine and Juliet na sobrang magkaiba ang mga ugali,” says Andrea. “This will remain to be one of my most memorable shows and I’m so glad positive naman ang feedback sa performance ko.”

“Memorable din for me ang ‘The Better Woman’ kasi dito nabuo ang friendship namin ni Andrea,” adds Derek. “Working with her is a breeze as she’s very professional and I’m really amazed sa husay niyang umarte in interpreting two contrasting roles. I also love my character as Andrew, which is a very challenging role.

"Unang-una ang hirap gumawa ng love scenes meant for television kasi andaming restrictions. Andrew has no intentions of cheating on his wife, Jasmine, but the scheming Juliet succeeded in making love to him and pretending to be his wife kaya nabuntis pa niya ito.”

Viewers say his bed scenes with Andrea in the show are so persuasively real that they’re convinced that they are now really a couple even off cam. What can he say about this?

“Andrea and I are both professional kaya naman we make sure na kapani-paniwala ang love scenes namin and all our love scenes are take one lang lagi,” says Derek. “Andrea is very seductive, pero hindi ka puede magpadala sa eksena.

"You have to constantly remind yourself that you’re just playing your roles. But we have really gotten to know each other better while doing this show and we now have a deeper friendship. And we hope that friendship would continue kahit matapos na ang ‘The Better Woman’.”

Now that their show is ending soon, can he now define what for him is a “better woman”? “For me, the better woman is one who makes you feel that I am a good person, that I am the better man.”

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los bastardos cast at the farewell presscon

maxine and kylie

maxine and kylie with jake cuenca

KYLIE VERSOZA and Maxine Medina have a raging controversial issue with each other, so it’s not surprising that they were immediately asked about this at the farewell presscon of “Los Bastardos” that ends this coming week. It’s said that during a heated confrontation scene, Kylie spat on Maxine and it’s not in the script.

Both Kylie and Maxine are beauty queens. Kylie won the Miss International title in Japan in 2016. Maxine represented our country in the Miss Universe pageant in 2016.

Kylie is the first one to reply: “Okay na kami ni Maxine ngayon. Friends na kami. In my role as Dulce, contravida akong nabaliw at naging obsessed kay Jake Cuenca as Isagani who chose Maxine over me kaya binaril ko siya. Sa scene namin ni Maxine, sobrang heightened ang emotions ko kasi kababaril ko lang kay Jake, tapos nakaposas ako at hawak ng dalawang pulis. So nadala lang talaga ako ng eksena sa nagawa ko kay Maxine.

"Pero si Dulce ang gumawa nun, na malayo sa tunay na ako. Nag-sorry naman ako agad sa kanya. First teleserye ko ang ‘Los Bastardos’ at from bida, naging contravida ang character ko kaya nagkaroon ng malaking switch. Nahirapan ako but I considered it a big challenge. Hindi naman po maiiwasan yung may nangyayaring di mo inaasahan. May nasasaktan. Ako nga, ang dami ko ring pasa galing sa eksena.”

The rumor is she got jealous because Maxine had many kissing scenes with Jake who’s her real life BF. “No, marami rin naman kaming kissing scenes ni Jake, e. Hindi ako nagseselos kasi Jake doesn’t give me naman a reason to feel jealous, silang dalawa ni Maxine.”

What can Maxine say? “Maging lesson na lang sana ito na bago gawin ang isang eksena, pag-usapan muna para ma-avoid na may mangyaring hindi kanais-nais. Kami ni Ritz Azul, nagkaroon din kami ng sampalan sa isang episode ng ‘Ipaglaban Mo’, pero pinag-usapan muna namin bago namin ginawa. Pero yung sa amin ni Kylie, tapos na yun, nag-sorry na siya sa akin, nag-usap na kami, so okay na kami.”

“Inaamin ko naman na nagkulang ako, na before the scene, dapat nag-usap kami,” says Kylie. “Pero yung ginawa ko, nadala lang talaga ko sa eksena. Spur of the moment lang yun.”

Is it true, it took four days before she said sorry. “Ang alam ko, nag-sorry ako agad-agad and after the scene, nag-uusap na kami uli, nagbibiruan.”

She was just surprised that Maxine’s cousin, Dianne Medina, later wrote about it in her social media account so the issue got worse.  “Nagulat ako ng lumabas yung issue at lumaki. Naapektuhan pati ibang kasama namin sa ‘Los Bastardos’.  Sana kinonfront ako sa set ni Maxine if she was really feeling that bad, di ba? But the important thing is, okay na kami ngayon. My apology was accepted. Friends na kami ni Maxine noon pa kasi magka-batch kami sa Bb. Pilipinas, e.”

Will Maxine be willing to work with Kylie again? “I’m okay. Walang problema. Huwag na nating palakihin pa.”

One writer says: “Baka masama pa loob ni Kylie kasi sa batch nila, si Maxine ang pinadala sa Miss Universe at siya, sa Miss International lang,”

Another writer defends Kylie: “But si Kylie, she won the Miss International title. Si Maxine, nganga! And between them, mas magaling na aktres si Kylie kasi sa first movie pa lang niyang ‘Kasal’ kunsaan first girlfriend siya ni Paulo Avelino na inakit-akit si Derek Ramsay later, napakahusay na niya. At maski sa ‘Los Bastardos’ mismo, mas lutang ang galing ni Kylie sa role niya as a villain na kung ano-anong kabaliwan ang pinaggagagawa.”
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maris racal as ellenya l

‘I’M ELLENYA L’ is an entry in the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Basically a romantic-comedy, it makes fun of young people today whose lives revolve on social media, particularly those who want to be stars on the internet with their own youtube channels.

Maris Racal is Ellenya Lakampati and her foremost ambition in life is to be a top social media influencer. Instead of holding on to a regular job, she maintains a vlog where she chronicles trivial things happening in her life from the moment she wakes up in the morning. 

She has a very supportive single dad (Gio Alvarez, they never mention what happened to her mom) and her father is just like her. He also doesn’t have a regular job and earns a living singing in public places and waiting for doles from people passing by.

You’d really wonder how they get to earn a decent living since they’re shown living in a middle-class and well appointed home. Does Ellenya’s dad earn that much from begging with his music? Ellenya’s grandmother (Nova Villa) is against Ellenya’s obsession to be a social media star and would rather she holds a regular job.

But Ellenya’s dad is so supportive to the point that he’s willing to do crazy things for her. Since she doesn’t have money to buy a drone camera for her vlog, he goes up on their roof with a makeshift camera attached to a long stick to feign a zooming aerial shot.

She also fakes the shots of her going to the beach and riding on a moving motorcycle. In other words, she’d rather live a fake life than work hard like normal people do.

After a while, Ellenya’s shenanigans no longer come off as amusing but annoying. The character is no longer sympathetic and honestly, we personally want to hit her on the head to knock some sense into her and she’d wake up to the foolishness of her schemes.

Maybe, the millennials who similarly aim to be a vlogger or influencer can relate with her, but sorry, we believe there are more meaningful things in life we can do to obtain validation than just being an internet star.

We seriously believe that the internet is a bad influence on young people of this social media-obssessed generation. Their ambitions have gone so low and, instead of working hard in a regular profession, now think they can earn a living and earn big time only by being popular through social media.

 It’s good Ellenya has her neighbor and best friend, Peng (Inigo Pascual), who tolerates her in her efforts to supply her vlog with more interesting content, but also puts his put down when he thinks she’s going overboard. He gets so peeved after a while and tells her she’s no longer being “true to herself”.

To gain more subscribers, she enlists the help of a PR strategist for celebrities, Kyle (Pat Sugui), who also handles her favorite celebrity, Sue Ramirez as herself. She kowtows to him even if his assistant (Kat Galang) is flagrantly insulting her as she really has very few followers in her instagram account and her youtube channel.

The movie is aimed at millennial audiences but sadly, they’re not to be seen inside the theaters where the film was showing. They flocked to “The Panti Sisters” instead.

As we’ve said time and again, viewers who watch video content on their cellphones are already satisfied with just that. They’re not the type who’d go out to buy tickets for the movies whose trailers they admired on the internet.

So, if you’re a producer or director and your youtube trailer got 10 million hits, don’t rejoice right away as it doesn’t necessarily mean that this will be translated into big box office success. Those who watched the trailer on their tablets or computers are already contented with only that. Sorry, but they’re not really interested on watching the actual full length movie.

In all fairness to Maris Racal, she is cute as Ellenya, but that’s all we can say about her. She’s not really leading lady material. She can be funny and is better off playing the goofy best friend of the lead character, just like in some other romcom she did with different lead stars.

To our surprise, it’s Inigo Pascual who registered so well for us in the movie. As the voice of reason who is the foil to Ellenya’s idiocy, he does a much better job here than in “Relaks, It’s Just Pagibig”, where he was eclipsed by Julian Estrada.

The movie is the directorial debut of Boy2 Quizon and he does know what he’s doing. We just wished he had a better written where the lead character was made more sympathetic than appearing like a stupid oaf.

The movie also employs toilet humor and shows a gross out scene of someone defecating on camera. So if you’re squeamish and cannot stand such vulgarity, be properly warned. If you want movies that treat the addiction of young people today to social media, you’d be better off watching the docus “Jawline” or “The American Meme”.

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