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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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Aug 3, 2021


MAINE MENDOZA now has two daily shows. Aside from “Eat Bulaga” at noontime, you can now watch her at night in BuKo (for Buhay Komedya) Channel’s “#Maine Goals”, Monday to Friday from 7:30 to 8 PM. 

And she also has “Daddy’s Gurl” on GMA-7 and “PoPinoy” on TV5, making her one of the most visible TV personalities today.

BuKo is a special channel devoted to showing all day, all night feel good comedy shows 24/7. 

At the zoom presscon for Buko’s start of operations last Monday afternoon, Maine was at a beach resort where she is taping some of her encounters with animals. 

“We are training some dolphins,” she says. “I’m enjoying doing this show as it’s like going through some new adventures. 

"It’s a vlog type kind of show where we take our audience with us to join us in all the adventures that we do.” 

How involved is she in the show? 

“I’m very much involved mula pa nang simulan itong planuhin two years ago. 

"I’m grateful that ‘#Maine Goals’ is produced by APT Entertainment who’s managing me. They listen to what I have to say. 

"Para ngang hindi work kasi kung ano ang mga bagay na gusto kong gawin, yun ang ginagawa namin. 

"Parang hindi ako nagtatrabaho and, at the same time, andaming learnings and new experiences for me. 

"I get to do things that you won’t expect me to do, pero ginawa ko. Basta alang alang sa ‘#Maine Goals’, laban lang.” 

Since she’s now in a comedy channel, would she call herself a comedian? 

“Parang ang hirap for me to consider myself na comedian ako, but it’s good I’m surrounded by good comedians sa ‘Eat Bulaga’ pa lang. 

"But doing comedy, naging happy din ang buhay ko, lighter and brighter.”

The show’s director, Mike Tuviera, says Maine is a natural comedian as she’s effortlessly funny and witty. 

“Thanks, but I have to give credit sa mga kasama ko sa ‘#Maine Goals’. 

"With them, the laughs come out naturally and I’m so satisfied kasi bucket list ko ito and I get to fulfill my checklist. 

"Iba ang feeling of fulfillment when you get to do something you thought you won’t achieve, pero nagawa ko pala, naging goals accomplished dahil sa show na ito.” 

Her book, “Yup, I AM that Girl”, has her bucket list. 

“So inuuna nila yung mga gusto kong gawin doon sa list ko. Isa na rito ang farming experience ko. 

"Noon ko pa gusto ko ma-try how to live in a farm so nagawa ko yun dito and I truly learned a lot, like how to operate a tractor, kung paano gumapas. 

"Nagustuhan ko, so now, nagpapahanap na ako sa mommy ko ng mabibiling lupa as I want to have my own farm. I want to plant tomatoes kasi I really enjoyed harvesting kamatis. 

"What I really learned while doing the show is for you not to be afraid to go out of your comfort zone. Do it now kasi you’re not sure kung magkakaroon pa ng next time.”

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                                       CIGNAL TV CEO- PRES. ROBERT GALANG

APT ENTERTAINMENT Pres. and resident director Mike Tuviera is optimistic people suffering from anxiety and the blues in this pandemic will find BuKo Channel, that started operating last Monday, a great source of laughs to help perk them up and forget their problems. 

“Conceptualizing the programs for BuKo Originals was not an easy task, but with the talents that we’re working with and all the amazing ideas that are brought to the table, we look forward to filling up BuKo with non-stop laughter and feel-good entertainment for the whole family,” he declares. 

“We offer both new, original content like Maine’s show and Pokwang’s ‘Kusina ni Mamang’ shown Saturdays at 8 PM. 

"And also comedy classic shows that have been shown years and years ago but have never been replayed. We have to digitize them first para mas maganda ang quality.”

Among the classic comedy shows in Tawang Pinoy Klasiks are Iskul Bukol, Wow Mali, Bubble Gang, OGAG, Loko Moko and Tropang Trumpo.  

Throwback Tawanan includes Pidol’s Wonderland, Celebrity Samurai, Mac and Chiz, Sugo mga Kapatid. They plan to come up with more original content later.  

“We feature all kinds of comedy, physical slapstick comedy na nagbabatukan and also the now type of comedy that is more verbal, witty sa repartee. BuKo channel will be a home to all of that. 

'You can expect a lot more new shows like satires and stand up comedies in 2022. Na-delay lang because of the pandemic. We have a lot of good comedic talent not only on cam but also behind the scenes with very good comedy writers.” 

Cignal TV Inc. President and CEO Robert P. Galang adds: 

“At Cignal TV, we take pride in collaborating with top players in the entertainment industry to  explore new ways of providing quality content for our viewers. 

"We are honored to partner with APT Entertainment Inc. in the creation of BuKo and in serving the refreshing and feel-good comedy that we have lined up for the coming months.” 

BuKo channel is now available on Cignal TV Channel 2 and SatLite Channel 2, and on the Cignal Play app, available via App Store and Google Play.

For Cignal postpaid and prepaid subscription inquiries, visit http://cignal.tv. Cignal Plan is available for Prepaid 100 and Postpaid 250, while SatLite Plan starts at P49 load.

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Aug 2, 2021


MYRTLE SARROSA is happy to have her first regular teleserye with GMA-7, the Afternoon Prime drama “Nagbabagang Luha” where she plays, Judy Enriquez.

“I’m the former girlfriend of Rayver Cruz as Alex na gustong makipagbalikan sa kanya,” she says. 

“Nakita ko agad ang motibo ni Claire Castro as Cielo to seduce him and I’ll try to ward her off.”

Since their new Afternoon Prime soap is about infidelity and cheating, has she experienced being cheated by a past relationship? 

“Well, when we broke up, people were telling me he has someone else but he never admitted it to me,” she says. 

“Personally, never siyang umamin sa akin pero nasaktan pa rin ako. E, sa akin, trust can be broken so easily. 

"Napakahirap magbigay ng tiwala na kay dali-dali namang wasakin. It takes so much to build a relationship but once you experience being cheated on, ang hirap ng ibalik ang trust mo.”

Her last known boyfriend was Brian Llamanzares, the son of Sen. Grace Poe, but Myrtle won't confirm if he's the one she's referring to. 

Anyway, Myrtle is looking so sexy these days and you can see in her social media swimsuit posts that she's truly in fine form. You won’t suspect that she got sick due to bad eating habits.

“Before kasi, upon waking up, the first thing I’d do is drink a cup of coffee to perk me up,” she says. 

“E, acidic pala yun, so nagkaroon ako chronic acid disease where my body finds it hard to digest food properly. 

"So I changed my eating habits. I stopped drinking coffee and also lessened meat intake. I’m now more into fruits and vegetables.”

She’s happy to be given the chance to work in “Nagbabagang Luha” with co-stars like Glaiza de Castro and Rayver Cruz who are both seasoned actors. 

“Pareho silang magaling at nakaka-inspire kaeksena as you have to be on your toes para makasabay ka sa kanila. I also enjoyed working with our director, Tito Ricky Davao, who is very supportive in guiding me in my scenes. 

"I hope people will watch our show now that it’s showing right after ‘Eat Bulaga’ on GMA-7 and abroad on GMA Pinoy TV.”

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‘GEORGETOWN’ is the film directorial debut of two time Oscar best supporting actor winner Christoph Waltz (for “Inglorious Basterds” and “Django Unchained”, both directed by Quentin Tarantino.) 

It is a true crime story based on the article “The Worst Marriage in Georgetown” published in New York Times Magazine, which is about the murder of wealthy socialite Viola Herms Drath, an influential journalist in political circles..

Waltz himself plays the lead role of Ulrich Mott (based on the real life character of Albrecht Muth, who was convicted of murdering Viola in 2014), a never do well who charms a rich and much older widow, Elsa Brecht (Vanessa Redgrave), 91 years old, and becomes the main suspect when his wife suddenly died. 

The film shows how he is able to dupe the gullible Elsa into marrying him but it never gets to successfully elucidate on who his character really is. 

We see him as an intern tour guide in Capitol Hill, but he was fired for being so presumptuous to a group of tourist. 

For those who don’t know, Georgetown is a historic district adjacent to Washington DC and famous for Georgetown University. 

We remember it has classy restaurants on its garden along the Potomac River and, ages ago, we dined in a seafood place there. So it’s not surprising for a dubious character like Mott to gravitate to its uppity culture for him to be able to mingle closely with the rich and powerful.

The film starts at the night of Elsa’s death when she and Mott hosted a dinner where Mott acted more like an attentive butler who cooked their dinner and poured wine for the guests. 

The film is divided into chapters and from there, the rest of the story is told in flashbacks, intertwined with scenes from Mott’s trial for the death of Elsa.

After he was fired as an intern, Mott stole the ID of his boss so he can gatecrash at the big White House Correspondents’ Dinner where he gets to insinuate himself into the company of Elsa. 

She falls for his oily charms and her daughter, Amanda (Annette Bening), a law professor at Harvard no less, naturally disapproves. 

She tells her mother to find someone closer to her age. But Elsa tells her: “They’re old and boring. Mott is young and interesting.”

At first, she is entertained by Mott’s efforts to ingratiate himself into political maneuverings, even giving him advice on what he should do and who he should talk to. 

But slowly, she sees through his chicanery and discovers that he is an incorrigible liar. 

The last straw is when she finds him in bed with another man! She’s so disgusted she throws him out of her house.

The film is at first presented like a whodunit, but it is so easy to deduce that it’s really Mott who is guilty of Elsa’s death from an alleged fall while he is out of their house taking a walk. 

The film loses steam in its last half hour as all the cards are stacked against Mott, who is a truly repulsive character for whom we as viewers have no sympathy whatsoever. 

But still the film is still fairly engaging to watch because of Waltz’ astute performance. 

As Mott, he’s quite amusing in his efforts to assert his way into the right circles to push his consulting firm called Eminent Persons Group, with real life movers and shakers in international relations like George Soros and Robert McNamara as members of his board of directors. 

Then we get perverted delight when we see him getting rebuffed for his spurious stories. 

As for Vanessa Redgrave, we loved her the first time we saw her in the 1966 British comedy, “Morgan”, for which she won Cannes best actress and got her first Oscar nomination. 

We can never forget her title role portrayal in dancer Isadora Duncan’s filmbio, her Oscar-winning role in “Julia” and her singing role as Queen Guenevere in the film version of “Camelot” where he met Franco Nero, who became her husband.

Now 84 years old, she looks perfectly vulnerable as Elsa, the lonely widow who finds companionship in a man she slowly recognizes as a charlatan.

What we don’t understand is why, after she has discovered all his pretenses and he disappeared in her life for some years, she still accepts him back and they still remain together until she died. 

We wish the script got to deeper into the characters. Annette Bening is totally wasted in an underwritten role.

And as an actor-director, we’re afraid Waltz is no Clint Eastwood, who, we admit, is really one tough act to follow. 

He plays the role of Mott, the duplicitous sleaze, to perfection, but when it comes to his directing chores, you’d wish he were able to bring more suspense in his storytelling that has betrayal and deception in it, and also more enlightening details about the tragic affair of Elsa and her ill-fated marriage to the fraud that Mott is.

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Aug 1, 2021


WE live in stressful times so it’s not surprising lots of people are experiencing anxiety and depression. 

The main source is this feeling that the mutating virus has made our life seem meaningless. 

And life without meaning is indeed a tragedy.

For me, the best way to combat this is to make a daily list of blessings that I’ve received in my life. 

First blessing I want to be thankful for is my faith in the Lord. 

I was born a Catholic but not a practicing one, the opposite of my late wife Vicky who is a devout Catholic. 

At the start of our marriage, she’ll go to mass on Sundays by herself and she never forced me to join her, bless her soul.

I only started going to mass with her when our two kids were already toddlers. By then, many religious organizations were convincing us to join them as a couple and we’ve attended many seminars. 

I noticed all the testimonies are about people who only recognized or went back to the Lord after they’ve gone through some sort of calamity, like surviving cancer or an unfortunate accident.

It dawned on me that God has been so good to me all my life and yet I do not acknowledge Him. 

When my wife and I went to the Manila City Hall to get our marriage license in 1976, I told her: “We’ll only have two kids. A boy and a girl.” 

And she said: “How did you know?” My reply: “Basta”. 

And the Lord gave us the two greatest gifts in our marriage, MM and Hannah, who brought us so much joy and fulfillment. 

MM was born on January 7, Hannah on January 10 the next year. I was born on January 19 and Vicky was born on January 30. God loves us so much!!!!

Soon after that, I started going to mass with our whole family and became active in other church activities. 

I acknowledge that I live a happy, satisfying life because everything is grace from the Lord and I’m happy I recognized it before something bad happened to me or anyone in our family. 

So the first number in my list is reserved for the Lord’s palpable presence in my mortal life. Thank you, Lord!!!! 

And now, it's time for you to make your own list to prove to you that life is worth living because of the many blessings the Lord has given you.

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Jul 31, 2021


A FRIEND connected with an advertising agency says that the percentage of TV viewership has gone down lately and we are not surprised because free TV has currently so many competitors. 

There are many streaming channels now available, from Netflix to KTX to Vivamax, RAD, Upstream. 

And there are also the various cable channels that offer their own original content. 

This lockdown we’re having has really been good for streaming services.

But more than the streaming and cable channels, we believe that the internet, youtube and social media have really revolutionized the viewing habits of the public.

Almost all movie stars and celebrities now have their own youtube channel where they provide original content about themselves in their own personalized vlogs or even in their own social media accounts like Facebook channels and Instagram live. 

And mind you, a platform like youtube has algorithms designed on their screen to recommend to viewers other videos or footage or content that they think will also be of interest to you. 

Modern technology has truly revolutioned everything.  Youtube can be so convincing that oftentimes, you get really hooked on them by just clicking the other stories that they offer.

The viewers now have so many venues to choose from youtube and social media, all for free. ANd you can just watch them on your cellphones.

No wonder even advertisers are resorting to placing their ads on youtube or individual vloggers and Tiktokers. 

Everyone who is anyone can now be in showbiz by being a youtube or Tiktok star, putting up their own content showing them doing comedy, pulling pranks, singing or dancing and all sorts of weird and riotous shenanigans, anything that can attact viewers. 

Some content providers like vloggers and Tiktok artists with thousands of followers and subscribers have even gotten their own managers to negotiate for them in dealing with potential advertisers. 

The offshoot of all these vlogs and Tiktok is that the interest of viewers, specially the younger ones, is also more fickle and their attention span is getting shorter. 

Younger viewers and consumers can easily get impatient and can no longer sit for hour long shows, specially on free where shows are peppered with so many commercials. 

Life today, in spite of the lockdown is quite fast-paced and people are increasingly spending more time just viewing the postings on their FB-Twitter-Instagram account and also surfing the web than actuallly sitting down and watching TV.

Many of them are no longer watching programming on traditional free TV so no doubt, TV viewing habits have really evolved quite drastically. 

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Jul 30, 2021


   AJ RAVAL with leading man SEAN DE GUZMAN in the sexy thriller, 'TAYA'

AJ RAVAL is really the busiest young sexy star in Viva today. 

After being introduced in “Gusto Ko Maging Porn Star”, she went solo in “Death of a Girlfriend”, then did “Nerisa” with Cindy Miranda and now, topbills a new sexy drama, “Taya”, where she is paired anew with Sean de Guzman, her leading man in “Nerisa”. 

Her family used to disapprove of her being a sexy star. But she’s now in her fourth sexy film, so have they accepted her kind of work?

“Yes, my family, at first contra sila sa ginagawa ko, lalo ang dad ko, but now, pati dad ko, natatanggap na nila. Naiintindihan na po ng dad ko ang work ko, kasi artista rin siya. 

"Ginagawa ko naman ang magpa-sexy para sa career ko. Wala naman akong natatapakang ibang tao. Wala namang pumipilit sa’kin at masaya naman ako sa ginagawa ko. 

"Happy nga ako na kahit panahon ng pandemya, nagkaroon ako ng acting career at sunod-sunod ang projects na ginagawa ko. Puro magaganda pa ang roles na ibinibigay sa akin.”

How different is “Taya” from her past roles? 

“As Nenet, acting wise, mas challenging ito kaysa sa mga dating nagawa ko. Matitindi ang mga eksena and I think may improvement naman sa acting ko.”

How far is she willing to go? 

“I am willing to do everything for my acting career, basta wag lang yung sobrang pagpapa-sexy. Nag frontal na ako sa ‘Death of a Girlfriend’, pero sa itaas lang, hindi full frontal.”

Why is their film’s title “Taya”? It’s the film’s director who answers, Roman Perez Jr., who has just finished another sexy movie, “The Housemaid

“Taya in English means bet,” he explains. “This film is about online betting sa panahon ng pandemic. 

"It’s a different kind of gambling where you win various things, like cars, motorcycles and dito, babae ang mapapanalunan mong prize. 

"Tumaya si Sean dito and hindi niya alam ang mapapanalunan niyang prize is AJ.”

How would he describe “Taya” as a movie?

“Uso ngayon ang erotic thrilers, but ‘Taya’ is different as it’s a psychedelic thriller. 

"Maraming nakagusto sa last movie kong ‘Adan’ na sexy thriller but here, gusto naming higitan ang ‘Adan’ at masasabi kong itong ‘Taya’ ang pinakasugapang pelikula ng taon. 

"May lesson naman dito which is bawal malulong sa sugal, bawal maging sugapa. 

"In the end, si Sean as the character Sixto, will have to answer the question: kaya ba niyang itaya ang buhay niya para matubos niya si AJ as Nenet sa gambling syndicate na may hawak dito?” 

“Taya” starts streaming on Vivamax on August 30, also on ktx.ph, iWant TFC, TFC IPTV and on VIVAMAX. Subscribe using VIVAMAX app via Google Play Store and App Store. 

For only P29, you can unli-watch for three days, P149/month, and P399 for 3 months for bigger savings!

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‘GAMEBOYS’ was truly a blockbuster as a hit series online during this pandemic that was later also shown on Netflix and on GMA.

All those who followed it as a series will not be disappointed by its full length movie version that is now shown streaming on KTX.

This is a “kilig” movie like the usual romantic flicks we see but the big difference is that two lead characters are two young men. 

The series was very cautious but this time, they go all out in the kissing scenes of the two leads. 

And they really bring it to the next level as the film’s climax is the big bedscene where Elijah is shown going down on Kokoy and then they do other things to each other using a condom. 

It’s a feel good movie but the ending is bittersweet.

KTX says this is their biggest opening weekend in their pre-sold tickets. 

Ideafirst Company says they now have international co-producers with three partners from Japan:Japan Co, Aeon Entertainment and Hakuhudo Pictures. 

The film starts with Kokoy as Gavreel and Elijah as Cairo together in Kokoy’s huge house in preparation for Cairo’s departure for Bukidnon to join his family there. 

They’re happy being together finally. but unlikely intruders come to join them, Kyle Velino as Terrence and Miggy Jimenez as Wesley, who in the series were sources of intense jealousy for each other. 

You’d think it would become a foursome, but it becomes clear early on that Terrence and Wesley are attracted to each other. 

These two good-looking mestizo boys surely deserve a series of their own. 

Other friends like Adrianna So as Pearl and Kych Minemoto as Achilles also join them for a public service project that aims to give tablets to deserving poor students.

The well written script by Ash Malanum gives them another problem when Kokoy’s homophobic relative, Tita Susan (Angie Castrence, who’s just superb), suddenly appears and they have to pretend they’re straight in front of her. 

problems crop up but we guess the answers are reserved for the series’ coming Second Season.  

The film as directed by Ivan Payawal can stand on itself and you don’t have to see the series before it. It’s very well acted by the whole cast, with Kokoy de Santos easily standing out since he has the most complicated role and he is given several emoting highlights. 

It’s also technically well crafted, with great cinematography by Carlo Mendoza and a fine score by Emerson Texson who wrote a beautiful song, “Ngayon”, sung as a duet by Kokoy and Elijah themselves. 

After this comes the Second Season of the online series. So let’s see what they have in store for its fans since the show now has more characters and more story threads that they can develop for more diverting episodes.

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PAULO AVELINO is enjoying the back-to-back acting awards that he won recently. 

“The pandemic has been very challenging to everyone, but despite the challenges, I have a lot to be thankful for," he says.  

“It’s always inspiring to be honored for your hard work as an actor.”

Paulo has won four back-to-back acting trophies in the past few months.  

Last December, he has won Best Actor in the Metro Manila Film Festival Awards for his portrayal of a dysfunctional and troubled version of himself in the film “Fan Girl”, a film that not only received much critical acclaim, but was also one of the topgrossing films in the said festival. 

It also later became a top trending when shown in the streaming channel, Netflix.  

Paulo then bagged another Best Actor trophy at the 4th EDDYS Awards (Entertainment Editors’ Choice) last April for the same role. 

In June, he was honored with two Best Actor awards at the 23rd Gawad Pasado Awards:  Best Actor for Film for his performance in “Fan Girl”, and Best Actor for Television for his work in the ABS-CBN Kapamilya drama “Walang Hanggang Paalam”.

“All these honors inspire me to do even better work for all my upcoming acting projects,” adds Paulo. 

“Right now, I’m busy with new work for another teleserye for ABS-CBN and Dreamscape.  It’s a new light drama series entitled ‘Marry Me, Marry You’.”

It’s his first time to be paired on TV with new ABS-CBN leading lady and award winning actress Janine Gutierrez. 

They portray a newly-married couple whose eyes are later opened to the troubles and changing expectations of married life. 

Aside from his acting work, Paulo is turning his passion for online gaming into a business.  

He has partnered with young businessmen to run Lupon WxC, a company that broadcasts online games and events to the growing number of gamers.  He also helps run and manage Execration,  an E-sports tam.  

“I’m thankful that these businesses are all doing well, especially now that more people have more time to pursue online gaming at home,” he says. 

Indeed, a lot more busy days are in store for Paulo. 

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GINA ALAJAR is one of our busiest actors-directors. 

After directing the blockbuster hit series “Prima Donnas”, she went back to acting in “Nagbabagang Luha” as the meddlesome mother of Rayver Cruz. 

Now that she has finished taping all her scenes for that show, she is now back into directing “Prima Donnas, Book Two”. 

They shot two legs of lock in tapings for “Nagbabagang Luha” in a span of three and a half months. 

And now, she will be doing lock in taping with the stars of “Prima Donnas Book Two” from August 15 to November 15, or three months straight.

“So sa fans ng ‘Prima Donnas’ who ask kung kailan kami magbabalik, heto na, malapit na. Abangan nyo lang. 

"Balik ang buong cast at makakasama na namin uli si Sofia Pablo na hindi napasama sa ending nung Book 1. Kasi wala pa siyang 15 noon, so she was not allowed to do lock in taping. 

"But now, 15 na siya, so she returns to the show as Donna Lyn. Meron ding bagong additions sa series, like Sheryl Cruz, and teen stars Allen Ansay and Bruce Roland.” 

So which is more difficult to do: acting or directing? 

“Kapag artista ka, you think of yourself lang. How will I look before the camera? And you will memorize your lines lang. 

"After the take, you can go back to your room and rest kapag hindi na ikaw ang kinukunan sa eksena. You can go get some sleep or read or just relax.”

And what about when she’s the director? 

“E, as a director, mas marami kang trabaho as you’re the one in charge of everything, of orchestrating the whole show. 

"At responsibility mo hindi lang ang acting ng cast kundi pati ang operations ng buong staff. 

"Mahirap, lalo na ngayong lock in taping, kasi may deadline kayong sinusunod. Bilang ang araw nyo. Kailangan bago matapos ang lock in taping, matapos din lahat ng eksenang dapat na kukunan nyo. 

"E, kung minsan, the weather won’t cooperate, lalo ngayon, ulan ng ulan, di kayo makakapag-tape sa labas. So you have to adjust to all that.”

How is it being directed by another actor in “Nagbabagang Luha”, Ricky Davao? 

“With Ricky, I am so relaxed and it is always a pleasure to work with him. We go back a long way kasi marami na kaming nagawang movies before. 

"We collaborate and I’m glad that he has a very open mind. Happy ako rito sa ‘Nagbabagang Luha’ and I’m happy working with Glaiza de Castro, Rayver Cruz and all our other co-stars.”

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