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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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Jun 15, 2021


ONE CANNOT just give up a successful film franchise like “Saw” that easily. The first “Saw” was shown in 2004, written by Leigh Whammel and directed by James Wan, both Australians. 

It was a blockbuster and became some sort of a cult. so sequels followed yearly: “Saw II” in 2005, “III” in 2006, “IV” in 2007, “V” 2008, “VI’’ in 2008, “Saw 3D” in 2010. 

They rested a bit then a new one came in 2017, “Jigsaw”, with new director and writers. 

Now, 11 years later, we have “Spiral: from the Book of Saw”, a reinvention of the series that goes to a new direction to show that the torture porn/ slasher series continues. 

The movie opens on  a hot July 4th Independence Day celebration. Someone’s bag is snatched and a cop, Detective Bostwick (Dan Pertonijevic), chases the robber down an underground tunnel when he’s suddenly attacked. 

He regains consciousness with him already suspended above the railroad tracks with his tongue sticking out and the only organ holding up his body. 

Just like the past “Saw” killer, James Kramer (played by Tobin Bell), who has died in a past movie, the new copycat of Saw tells the victim that he can still save himself. 

He can do this by just letting his tongue to be cut off by the contraption holding it, so he can then avoid being crushed by the oncoming next train. But the cop fails to save himself and he dies so violently.

Assigned to investigate the case is Det. Zeke Banks (Chris Rock who was a hit in “Rush Hour” franchise with Jackie Chan.) His dad himself Marcus, is a retired cop (Samuel L. Jackson.) He quickly deduces that the train tunnel murder is similar to those done by the Jigsaw Killer. 

Banks is given a new partner, rookie William Schenk (Max Minghella, son of Oscar winning director Anthony MInghella of “The English Patient.) The new killer says he is targetting wayward cops only to make them pay for their corrupt deeds.

His next victim is Fitch (Richard Zepierri), another rogue cop, whose fingers are put inside a trap. If he wants to save his fingers, he must cut them all off to avoid electrocution. Again, the victim fails to save himself and dies. 

The next victim is female cop, Capt. Garza (Marisol Nichols), who is abducted then placed inside their precinct’s cold storage. She, too, cannot save herself from boiling hot wax and dies.

Some cops start to think Banks maybe the culprit as he has an unsettled score with Fitch. Marcus, Banks’ dad, decides to look for the killer . 

But he is also captured and wakes up chained in a warehouse with his former partner, Pete Dunleavy (Patrick Macmanus), all tied up in front of him and about to be killed by a machine that spews sharp cut glass directly at him. 

Banks arrives to try rescuing him and his own dad. The new copycat killer then comes out to reveal his true identity to him. Of course, Banks is shocked to the bones as it’s so unexpected. 

The killer then tries to persuade Banks, a certified good cop working in a police department with nothing but crooks, to be his ally so that together, they can join forces in cleaning up the police force and get rid of all the bad cops. 

Of course, we cannot reveal anything else beyond this point, as it would be surely a big spoiler. Just like the previous “Saw” flicks, this one also depends mostly on the build up of tension with the help of blood-curdling violent scenes that are surely not for the squeamish. 

“Saw” fans have already learned to anticipate (and salivate on) the visceral scenes of bloodbaths that the series has to offer. They know it’s more important than the actual storytelling. 

The series is given a new dressing with the casting of top black actors Rock (usually over-the-top loud but gives a fairly modulated performance here) and Jackson (in full bad ass mode) in the leads. The past movies didn’t have A-listers in the cast but mostly unknowns. 

Director Darren Lynn Bousman (who has helmed three “Saw” films before) knows how to expertly mine the usual tropes of the past “Saw” flicks. He knows its captive audience would expect to see them again.

But Director Bousman adds up his own sadistic touches of copious gore and inflicting pain in its intricately constructed and chilling torture sequences requiring gory self mutilation. Other viewers will find them unsettling and distressing but “Saw” diehard fans who already expect them certainly won’t be disappointed.

Obviously, the director is hoping this will be the start of a new franchise for a new generation of Saw fanatics as “Spiral” ends with the brutal killer getting away with murder. 

The last scene shows him being able to escape. It’s just too bad that the film is released during the pandemic, so it’s not as big a moneymaker as the past “Saw” films. 

Let's see if it would pick up on video for rent or on streaming to be a bonafide hit.

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CLAUDIA BARRETTO is the first from their clan to join showbiz via singing. Gretchen, Marjorie, Claudine and her sister Julia all joined showbiz as an actress, but Gretchen later also tried singing. 

Claudia has now released her debut single with Viva Records, “Nothing to Do”, a collab with Mito Fabie aka Curtis Smith.

“I was at the studio messing around with my song and he was doing his,” says the 21 year old psychology major from Ateneo. 

“Then just as we were about to call it a day, as in literally, 5 minutes before leaving, my brother-in-law Xavi Panlilio who is a producer, just played us this song (the beats and the initial instrumentation for ‘Nothing To do’). 

"I asked him what song it is and he said it was something he was still working on. And I just connected with it and Mito did too. We worked on the lyrics on the spot for like ten minutes and did three takes of the songs and we had it.”

The grooving, vibe-y new song is right down Claudia alley of midtempo styled R&B. 

“The song is about being with the right person when you have nothing to do, essentially. Not all songs work out that way of course, but “Nothing To Do” is one of those songs.”

The release of “Nothing To Do” is just the start. Claudia has likened the past few months to levelling up. 

“I spent the past few months collaborating with other artists in the studio, writing songs and just being focused and finding the flow. It’s just about the way I see things now. 

"I used to be insecure about my music. I was always very hard on myself, because obviously I wanted to produce good work. But what really changed is just this desire to get better. My mindset changed. 

"It became like, if there are things I want to improve on, if there are things I want to get better at, if I really wanted to pursue this career in making music, then I really should put in a lot of hard work.”

The Zen-like focus on self and discipline has paid off for Claudia, who also shared that her improved mindset was critical in arriving at the first song she’s releasing with her new label. 

Claudia shared that she spent a lot of time in the studio during the lockdowns and that’s where she went to work on her songs. Those around Claudia are excited for her as well. 

Claudia describes her sound is a mixture of Pop and R&B as she thinks they go well together. 

“Music has always been my passion,” she adds. “Since childhood, I’ve always been drawn to singing and I’ve always wanted to make music and perform songs. 

"I also want to get to sing songs in Pilipino and collaborate with other Filipino artists. I believe we have some of the most talented musical artists in our country where almost everyone sings.”

Will she eventually try acting? 

“I’m not closing my doors. I’m the type who never says never. For starters, I can act in my music videos. Or in short films.  

"But right now, music is where my heart is. I just leave it all up to Viva who’s now managing me. I trust them completely.” 

Claudia’s Viva Records debut, “Nothing To Do”, is scheduled for release this 18th of June on all music streaming platforms and will be accompanied by a music video that will make its premiere on the Viva Records YouTube channel on the same day. 

Claudia has recorded songs before, but with Viva now backing her up, she can expect a very big boost in her career.

“We can feel Claudia’s enthusiasm is extending beyond the studio and into getting behind her songs,” says a Viva executive. 

“She even made a “Nothing To Do” Spotify playlist to tease the release of her single.’ And it’s those little things that make the difference for us. 

"She’s not going doing this because she feels entitled. We feel that Claudia is a genuine music artist capable of great things and we will support her in that.”

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Jun 14, 2021


                                   candice ramos as mel, rob's predator boss

                                      candice ramos in another photo

                                  sarah holmes as trixie, rob's first girlfriend

                         rosh barman as gio, alexa miro's college boyfriend

‘A GIRL + A BOY’ is an ensemble film with a cast of millennial actors and Direk Erik Matti introduced some of them in a zoom presscon: Candice Ramos, Sarah Holmes and Rosh Barman.

Candice Ramos won as Miss Earth Philippines Tourism in 2012, Miss Global Philippines in 2015. 

She’s from Vigan, studied Urban Planning and Tourism Management in UP, and now tries acting in the movies in Upstream.ph’s original offering directed by Erik Matti, “A Girl + A Boy”. 

How was she cast in the movie? “I played a small role before in ‘Kuwaresma’, also directed by Direk Erik, who now offered this movie to me,” she says. 

What’s her role? “I play Mel, the boss of Rob Gomez as Ralph and we have a secret affair.”

The film is a sexy flick. Did she have second thoughts about her role in the movie who is a predator to Rob? 

“Without thinking, when I learned that it’s Direk Erik who’ll direct it, I said yes right away. I’ve been his fan since ‘On th Job’. 

"Now, I feel I’m right when I said yes to the movie because doing it is a very enriching experience for me. 

"I come from a conservative Catholic family but I told my mother about this film. May shock factor talaga and I will be proud to show this to my family. 

"Sa pageants naman, we have swimsuit competitions and on backstage the other contestants and I, we see each other bodies and there is no malice. I’m pretty comfortable with what I did.”

Sarah Holmes is a ballerina and studied in Brigham Young University in Utah. What’s her role in the movie? 

“I play Trixie, Raf’s first college love. She’s strong and confident, she knows what she wants in life. She’s very close to my personality. I help get Ralph go through life.”

She’s proud to be part of the movie. 

“I grew up in theatre and I’ve always wanted to act so I just trusted Direk Erik totally and I had no problem about the scenes I did. The story is very to close to being a Gen Z or Millennial and their lifestyle today. 

"Older people might frown on us but the film shows this is how we are and it’s amazing to be part of a film that explains everything. Love is not always enough so it’s an honor to be part of this movie.” 

The only guy in the group is Rosh Barman. He is 25, from Biliran, Leyte which he represented in the male pageant Misters of Filipinas some years ago. 

He stands 5’10 and finished business management in FEU. He has done a BL series, “My Day”.

What’s his role in the film? 

“I play Gio, the college boyfriend of Alexa Miro as Fiona. Sa start, pareho kaming gustong maging filmmaker but later on, I change my mind and that becomes a major source of conflict for us.”

Did he agree to disrobe right away? 

"Before shooting started, it was explained to us how far we have to go. Alexa and I, friends na kami before pa, so it helps. 

"Before we do our scenes, nag-uusap kami, we’re not Alexa and Rosh, we are our characters, Fiona and Gio, para mawala yung inhibitions namin. 

"We committed ourselves to our roles totally, so laban lang. Tiwala ako kay Direk so game agad ako. He now got me to be part of his new show sa HBO as a victim of the supernatural.”

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‘THE WOMAN IN THE WIDOW’ is a thriller based on a novel by A.J. Finn (who in real life is uncovered as a con artist named Dan Mallory, but that's another story), written by Tracy Letts and directed by Joe Wright. 

Letts won the Pulitzer and Tony for his play “August: Osage County”. As an actor, he has appeared in “Lady Bird”, “Little Women” and he also now plays the psychiatrist in “The Woman in the Window”. 

Wright directed such acclaimed films as “Atonement”, “Pride and Prejudice” and “Darkest Hour”. 

“The Woman in the Window” (totally different from the local Chito Rono film “Ang Babae sa Bintana”) is reminiscent of such films as Hitchock’s “Rear Window”, De Palma’s “Body Double” and Caruso’s “Disturbia”, where the lead characters are cooped up inside their house because of some reason and believe they witnessed a murder while watching their neighbors. 

There's another "Woman in the Window" flick shown in 1944 with Edward G. Robinson.

In today's “Woman”, Amy Adams (who’s been nominated six times at the Oscars but never won) plays Anna Fox, a psychologist who lives solo in her New York apartment and has agoraphobia, which is the fear of going out in the open. She spends her time watching old movies and many film clips are shown here.

Her psychiatrist visits her regularly and as she tried committing suicide after being separated from her husband and daughter with whom she talks on the phone every now and then. 

It’s an interracial marriage as her husband and their child are black.

The story happens in a span of one week, from Monday to Sunday.  

Since she suffers from anxiety, Anna takes a lot of medicines, but she also drinks alcohol. From her living room window on the second floor, she can see her neighbors. 

A new family has just moved in the apartment across the street. The 15-year old son, Ethan (Fred Hechinger), visits her to give her a gift and she invites him in. 

She learns than his dad, Alistair Russell (Gary Oldman), is a cruel man who beats up the boy. The next night, the mother, Jane Russell (Julianne Moore), visits Anna and they shared some drinks. 

Then Alistair himself comes to her apartment asking her if any member of his family has visited her and she denies it.

The next night, she sees Jane being stabbed by someone in the apartment across. She reports it to the police and the cops come along with Alistair and family. 

Anna is shocked to see that the Jane presented to her as Alistair’s wife is not Julianne Moore, but is now played by Jennifer Jason Leigh.

They all say that nobody was murdered and even a man who lives as Anna’s tenant in the basement, David (Wyatt Russell), claims he didn’t see or hear anything unusual.

Anna has a meltdown and when she regains her senses, she is told that her husband and daughter have actually both died in a car accident some time ago.

Anna is apparently just having hallucinations due to the medications she is taking with alcohol. She then apologizes to the cops and to the Russell family for her wrong suspicions. 

And this is as far as what we’d share with you about the story. Anything else would be a big spoiler. Just prepare yourself for more surprises as the film further unfolds. 

The whole film is set inside Anna’s apartment, giving it a claustrophobic feel. The material would actually work well as a stage play with a persistent sense of tension and impending danger, just like “Wait Until Dark” which has a blind heroine.

Amy Adams plays her role as the isolated woman, whose only contact with the outside world is through her window, with total conviction. 

As her curiosity about her new neighbors turns into obsession, we want to scream at her to stop meddling with them. But when she sees something violent and reports it, we somehow sympathize with her when the cops won’t believe her reports. 

Gary Oldman is wasted in a role that asked him to do very little, but Julianne Moore shows how astute an actress she is. 

She appears only in one long scene as the mysterious Mrs. Russell, but she is so effective she makes a very big impact. Fred Hechinger as their son also acquits himself well as a boy with his own dark secrets. 

The movie is the kind of thriller critics love to skewer for its plot contrivances but honestly, it worked for us up to a certain point. 

We think the choice of a protagonist who is unreliable because she might just be mentally ill is calculated. She might be deranged from having severe psychological and emotional trauma, but we cannot just easily write her off as the film’s heroine.

It ultimately becomes her goal to prove her detractors wrong for not taking her seriously. 

Somehow, you wish she didn’t have agoraphobia, so she could have easily ran out of the house to rescue Jane from being stabbed or chase the kids who are vandalizing her home on Halloween night. 

Will she be redeemed and get vindicated in the end? Well, that’s for you to find out. Let’s just say that we’re happy with the story arc as it gives the movie quite a strong finish.

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Jun 13, 2021


WANT TO GET rid of your wifi/internet headaches, then get RED FIBER, the country’s newest broadband provider!!!!

It gives new subscribers the opportunity to enjoy three months' worth of FREE subscription as well as twice the speed of their plans for the first 30 days (available for plans 20Mbps, 50Mbps, and 100Mbps). 

Subscribers of Dual Play plans, RED Fiber’s internet and TV bundles, may be upgraded to the highest TV plan, giving them access to more than 120 channels for the first 90 days.

RED Fiber is the consumer fiber broadband service of Radius Telecoms, Inc., a 100% Meralco subsidiary, which runs on a pure end-to-end fiber network. 

The provider’s Dual Play service, made available in partnership with CignalTV, the country’s no. 1 direct-to-home satellite provider, provides a wide array of high-definition IPTV channels to subscribers.

With RED Fiber, customers are assured of the highest service reliability in the market, with the promise of a 24 to 48 hour service restoration for any network issue. 

“Reliability is no longer just a buzzword. It is now a moral obligation to consistently deliver business-grade broadband service because people’s livelihood and education are at stake,” says Radius President and CEO Quiel Delgado. “Accessing the internet is no longer a luxury. It has become a lifeline.”

RED Fiber carries Meralco’s reputation for service reliability and competent after-service care. 

As users depend on the internet to work, study, and connect, quality of service is a top priority. 

RED Fiber responds to these needs not only by giving users a hassle-free high-speed internet experience but also by providing reliable customer service.

“We’ve been aggressively expanding our coverage. Because we invested heavily on manpower, we are able to serve and install hundreds of subscriptions in a few days in areas like Westwood Highlands and Cedarwood Residences in Cavite, and Treveia and Ridgeview Estates in Nuvali,” says Radius Chief Operating Officer Jen Dela Paz. 

“At the same time, we continue to empower our teams with efficient and responsive customer relationship management tools to guarantee that seamless customer experience is not sacrificed in the process.”

New customers can have their RED Fiber account installed within three days upon application. 

Subscribers are required to submit at least one valid government-issued ID and one valid proof of billing. RED Fiber is currently available in select areas in Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Tagaytay, Rizal, and Bulacan. 

For a complete list of serviceable areas, visit www.redfiber.com.

Radius Telecoms, Inc. (RADIUS) is a 100% Meralco company, delivering its services on an end-to-end pure fiber optic network covering more than 5,000kms in Mega Manila and nearby provinces, as well as Clark and Cebu, with plans to expand to other major cities in the Visayas region. 

Radius is one of the preferred connectivity providers in the Mega Manila area, offering dedicated internet access, data services, and Managed and Cloud services including SD-WAN and Zero trust networking solutions.

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ROBIN PADILLA has completed a documentary series about the West Philippine Sea titled “Victor 88”, the name of the boat they used during their voyage there. 

It was done with the cooperation of Frabelle Corporation’s Francisco Tiu Laurel and the Philippine Fisheries Authority. 

The presscon was held at its Fish Port in Navotas. It started with the Philippine National Anthem and several other patriotic songs were also played, then the first part of the documentary was shown for the press. So what is Robin’s purpose in doing the docu? 

“Ginawa ito bilang pagsaludo sa ating mga mangingisda,” he says. “Sa aming paglalayag, nakita ko ang hirap ng buhay nila at lahat ng kanilang sakripisyo. 

"Hinihingi ko ang pagmamahal ninyo para sa kanila dahil dumaraan sila ngayon sa isang pagsubok sa ating mga karagatan.Wala silang armas pero hinaharap nila ang mga dayuhan. 

"Tinatakot pero walang umurong, lahat nakataas ang noo, proud na maging Filipino. Maging daan sana ito para magkaisa tayo para sa ating bayan. 

"We want to show the truth sa mga nangyayari talaga sa WPS, without sensationalizing it, for us to know the real score. We also want to show the sacrifices of our soldiers who are there to protect our territory.”   

Robin personally joined the fishing trip to Kalayaan Islands. He introduced all his companions in the trip, the crew and the fishermen. The docu shows his life in the ship and his actual interviews with the crew. 

He is seen cooking and eating with them. He’s shown taking a bath using a “tabo”, brushing his teeth and answering the call of nature while holding the door as it has no lock. 

"During the Q&A, the crew members are asked about their most memorable experiences during the trip and they all praised Robin for bringing their plight to the people. 

Robin adds: “I am not just playing a character here kundi pinasok ko talaga ang buhay ng isang mangingisda and natutuwa akong makapiling ko sila ng ilang araw. 

"Sa laot, taong-tao ka, dala mo lang ang sarili mo, wala kang mauutusan pero inaalagaan ka nila. Ineestima nila ako, pero ayoko namang maging pabigat sa kanila, so naging brorherhood yun, parang magbabarkada kami, magkakapatid.

"Naging comrades na kami na may misyon kung bakit kami nandun. Masarap silang kasama, wala kang maririnig na masamang tinapay sa kanila. Hindi sila maramot. 

"Sabi nila, napakalaki ng dagat, its for everyone. Iniisip lang nila, may makain ang mga Pilipino pag uwi nila. Matinding immersion ang nangyari sa akin dito, naging mangingisda na rin ako. 

"Kulang na lang maglayag ako ng net sa laot. But next time, yun na siguro gagawin ko.” 

How did Mariel react when he said he’d be gone for several days to join Victor 88? 

“Mariel is very supportive. Wala siyang magagawa. Nakikita naman niyang ilang araw na akong hindi nakakatulog. Sa pagsasaliksik ng katotohanan, magagawa lang natin yan kung pupunta tayo doon mismo sa lugar na pinagmumulan ng alingasngas. 

"So pinayagan niya ako. Ang bawat opinyon dito sa docu, sa mga mangingisda yan, boses nila. Sila po ang bida. Hindi po ako ang bida rito. Kameraman lang ako rito, isang tagapaglahad.” 

The docu series has six parts. 

“Yung part 1 introduces the crew and fishermen. Yung 2 is yung actual na paglalayag sa open sea. Part 3 shows yung pagdating namin sa Pag-asa Island. Part 4 shows the birthday celebration of a fisherman, si Dennis. 

"Part 5, yung trip namin nang pauwi na kami. Part 6 shows what we have resolved sa trip and what we can do to help the Kalayaan Island group. We really want to encourage them, palakasin ang loob ng fishermen sa WPS. 

"My prayer is sana our fishermen will have bigger, more modern boats, kasi compared sa foreign ships, ang liliit ng bangka nila, madaanan lang sila ng bigger ship, tataob sila.” 

Will he run for public office? 

“Naku, wala po sa akin ang politika. Una gusto ko muna, maging federal form of government muna tayo. At kapag nagpolitika ako, maraming magagalit sa akin kasi masyado akong disciplinarian. Dito muna ko sa’king advocacies”

What is his next project? 

“Puro docus na lang muna ako, kasi may part 2 yung ginawa kong ‘Memories of a Teenage Rebel’ na una sa dagat, now, sa bundok naman.  No mainstream work muna. 

"As for teleseryes, matagal gawin, 12 hours wala kang tulog. Bigay na lang natin sa mga bata kasi 51 na ako di ko na kaya puyatan.” 

How come he was linked to Mocha? “Naku, hindi po totoo yan. Iginagalang ko siya. Pareho kaming naglilingkod kay PRRD at hindi namin siya bibigyan ng kahihiyan. Pero at least na-blind item kami, mga sikat daw, so salamat na rin sa nag-blind item.” 

Robin’s docu series, “Victor 88”, is produced by his own RCP Films and will be shown every Saturday this June on his Facebook page and on ktx.ph and Upstream.ph.

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Jun 11, 2021


BEAUTY GONZALES was officially presented by GMA Network as a Kapuso star in a zoom presscon last Friday. 

She’ll star in a new show titled “Loving Miss Bridget”, to be directed by Adolf Alix Jr.  

“Ibang-iba ang show sa mga nagawa ko na before, so I’m excited to do it,” she says. 

“Kung dati, may edad na mga nakatrabaho ko, now mga bagets na. I’m happy to work with a new group of people and with younger actors, mga bagets. But I’ll never forget ABS-CBN kasi I learned so much from them, like work hard, give respect, don’t take anyone for granted.” 

Was it easy for her to decide to move to GMA-7? 

“No, it’s hard, making the decision. After my manager, Arnold Vegafria called me, I had sleepless nights, but naisip ko, with all the changes happening now, andaming nangyayari ngayon, di ba, so I also need this change. 

"The offer came at the right time kasi natapos na yung shows ko sa TV5 and they have no new project naman for me. So ang GMA for me, it was meant to be.” 

What would she say to those who’d give her negative comments and say she has no “utang na loob” to ABS?

“Sa mga magnenega, basta all I can say is I love you all and come watch me on GMA.” 

What’s the reaction of her family about her move? 

“My husband, first, sabi niya, GMA? Are you sure? Yes, I said, the other station with a heart and they’re accepting me. He’s very happy naman. 

"He always tells me to follow my heart and he made it easy for me to decide. Very supportive siya.  

"As for my mom, I was in our province in Dumaguete when Arnold called me and my mom said, when someone offers you work, go for it.” 

She says it was a sentimental homecoming for her in her native Dumaguete. 

“Kasi, four years kaming hindi nag usap ng Mother Ko, so it was a coming home for healing. Now, we’re okay and she gives me a lot of encouragement. 

"She texts me everyday. I’m so glad na umuwi ako kasi na-experience ng anak ko yung mga bagay I experienced nung bata pa ako, like tumakbo-takbo sa bundok, maligo using a tabo, magluto using wood, walang kuryente. 

"I’m just so happy my daughter experienced it.” 

What has she got to offer to GMA? 

“This is the new improved Beauty and they can expect so much from me. In GMA, I can do everything, even action, sampalan, suntukan. 

"Even comedy kasi idol ko si Michael V and we used to watch ‘Bubble Gang’ sa province, so sana, maka-guest ako sa kanila. 

"Ang hindi ko lang kaya is kumanta, kasi baka katapusan na yun ng career ko. I just feel so blessed that I get to continue with my job and thankful to GMA for this opportunity and my career growth with them. 

"I feel like it’s a new adventure and I’m starting a new chapter in my life. I promise to GMA, hindi kayo mapapahiya sa’kin as I will do my best.”  

She says being in showbiz was never a part of her plan. 

“As a child, it never crossed my mind na maging artista ako. Gusto ko lang at 15, maging may ari ng sementaryo sa Dumaguete kasi we have our farm and a huge lot there. My mom said, morbid ka! 

"Sumali ka sa PBB! So she made my yaya pila for me kaya ayun, nakuha ako and I was tagged by Kuya as the Rebellious Beauty kasi ayoko ngang sumali, pinilit lang ako ng mama ko. 

"Tapos, naging artista ako. And now, I’m thankful God gave me this talent to be part of shows that tell stories about other people’s lives. I’m so blessed kasi di ko ito ine-expect at di ko rin hiningi, but ibinigay sa’kin and now I love it!” 

Who among her Kapamilya friends did she inform first that she’s moving to GMA? 

“Actually, wala akong sinabihan. Even when my husband had Covid, hindi ko rin pinagsabi but it was the darkest days of my life. It’s good he survived it. 

"But i know my friends in ABS, they’re happy for me. May mga nag-text na nga sa kin and they’re congratulating me.”

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DIRECTOR ERIK MATTI says his new film, “A Girl + A Guy” is so unlike any other movie he has made in the past. 

He’s known fo horror flicks like “Tiktik” and “Kuwaresma”, and action-dramas like “On the Job”, "Buy Bust" and “Honor Thy Father”, but his new film is about and for a certain demographic, the millennials.

"It’s born out of trying to understand how this new generation of 20 somethings would think,” he says. 

“I decided to make a film that will hopefully help me figure out what makes them tick. No judgment, no sermon. I just want to tell their story and exactly how they would react to this harsh world that we have now. 

"It’s not easy setting aside my old fashioned scruples. I just want to make sure I bring out an honest depiction of the choices that a girl and a guy have to make to keep their sanity intact. I hope our movie hits a nerve with this generation." 

The movie is a romantic drama that has daring love scenes between its lead characters, Fiona and Ralph, played by newcomers Alexa Miro and Rob Gomez. 

Also newcomers Candice Ramos, Rosh Barman, Sarah Holmes and Emilio Francisco who are just so happy to be given their big break in an Erik Matti movie. 

“It’s a drama that is so close to reality,” adds Direk Erik. “The difficulties of navigating a relationship in this day and age. Journey ito concerning life career choices, heartbreaks, and also of self discovery. 

"Very millennial ang approach on how they perceive the world, their work their relationships. Me and Dondon now, we’re on the stage where we want to do the films we want to make. 

"I don’t want to be pigoenholed into one genre. At heart, I’m really a romantic. Antagal ko nang di nakapagsulat ng script. 

"After ‘On  the Job’, ito na ginawa ko in May or June of 2019 in a four-day lock in Mindoro and Anj Pesumal wrote the full script.”

He’s happy that Alexa and Rob, Candice and Rosh, Sarah and Emilio maybe new, but they’re all very talented and willing to learn. 

We notice during their zoom presscon that they’re all articulate in English since they all got to college, with Alexa taking up masscomm in La Salle and Rob taking up management in St. Benilde College. 

“When we got them to do their respective roles, we explained to them clearly what we’ll requir from them so alam nila they will need to do daring love scenes. 

"In all fairness to them, they all did well, nothing short of electrifying.”

So, among the two leads, who’s better: Alexa or Rob? 

“Pareho sila. They acquitted themselves beautifully in this love story that is actually more of a relationship story about two people and how they learn from their own mistakes in life, career, family and the journey of finding yourself. 

"I’m proud of them kasi totoong heartbreak, totoong acting ang ipinakila nila sa mga eksena nila together sa movie.”

Streaming starts for “A Girl + A Guy” on UPSTREAM.ph on June 24 for only P210, a much lower price than what you pay in cinemas and also, your whole family can watch.

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RURU MADRID is so happy to be a regular performer in “All Out Sundays” as it has helped him grow a lot in many aspects of his career.

“I’m really thankful sa AOS for getting me and trusting me,” he says. “Kasi before i joined showbiz, wala akong alam gawing talent, e.  

"I was just 14 years old when I joined ‘Protegee’. I don’t sing, I dont dance or act, but sila sa AOS they trusted me.”

He was doubting himself then but the executive of “All Out Sundays” encouraged him to try it. 

“Sabi nila, kaya mo yan, kailangan mo lang mag focus, so I really pushed myself para mapatunayan ko sa sarili ko na kaya ko and, as I went on, I proved na kaya ko nga pala. 

"I really surprised even myself kaya naman I am thankful sa lahat ng nagtiwala sa akin. Kaya tuwing pakakantahin nila ako at pasasayawin nila ako ngayon sa show, I make sure that I always give it my 100 percent.” 

How is it doing the show during the pandemic? 

“Ibang-iba siya, kasi noong pre-pandemic nung may live audience pa kami. We perform in a group and we even go down the stage to give flowers to our fans. 

"So I miss doing that, connecting with people inside the studio na napapasaya mo ang supporters mo sa ganoong pamaraan.” 

Don’t miss Ruru as he does the rousing opening number of OPM hits in “All Out Sundays” this Sunday at noon as they celebrate the 71st anniversary of GMA Network in a spectacular, star-studded afternoon. 

Ruru is also all set to resume the lock in taping of his new action-adventure series, “Lolong”, opposite Shaira Diaz and Arra San Agustin, where his main opponent will be a giant crocodile for which GMA has spent so much to make it truly realistic and scary on screen. 

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Jun 10, 2021


JULIE ANNE SAN JOSE is aware that her fans are requesting GMA-7 would give a Book 2 to her primetime series, “Heartful Cafe”, that will have its last week of telecast starting this coming Monday. 

“Well, sana nga, GMA will grant their request because I really enjoyed doing this show,” she says at the zoompresscon of “All Out Sundays GMA 71st Anniversary” presentation. “I’m really so thankful that I did ‘Heartful Cafe’. 

"First time ko to do a romcom na may kakaibang twist in that it gave me the chance to do breaking of the 4th wall of being able to talk directly to the audience."

Doing lock in taping for the show is a memorable experience for her.  

“I am so thankful sa lahat ng mga nakasama ko sa show dahil pinaghirapan namin ang buong process of doing this. Sobrang saya naming lahat sa set. We treated each other as a family so I will miss them all.” 

Will she miss her leading man, David Licauco? 

“Oo naman. David and I got to know each other better during the taping and it’s a great experience working with him, also with our amazing writers, directors and the entire creative team. 

"I will miss ang friendship naming lahat and i will also miss the coffee we drink sa ‘Heartful Cafe’. Before the show ends, may special guest pa kami who’s close to me kaya abangan nyo. Bawal lang i-reveal ang identity niya para surprise.” 

Julie is taping right now for a musical entitled “Still” for an outside company called which is about the pandemic. 

“I’m very thankful to GMA for allowing me to be a part of it. Marami kaming singers dito, along with Christian Bautista, Bituin Escalante and other artists from the theatre. 

"It’s very inspirational and is about friendships and the strength and resiliency of the Filipino spirit. Katatapos lang ng first leg ng aming lock in taping and we will have the second leg soon.” 

She was bashed by Aldub fans then for being linked to Alden. How is their working relationship now in “All Out Sundays”? 

“We’re okay, we’re good. When we see each other in the show, we say hi, hello, usap-usap here and there. Walang ilangan kasi, for me, wala naman talagang issue or kaso at all. 

"Whatever issues before, ilibing na lang sa limot kasi 2021 na ngayon. We’re in good terms. Tigilan na mga intriga and let’s just all help each other lalo ngayong may pandemic. Let’s move forward and live a healthier life not only physically but spiritually and emotionally.” 

Julie Anne will do the fantabulous opening number in AOS’ special 71st GMA anniversary presentation this Sunday noon. 

This will be a medley of all time OPM dance music with AOS regulars Lani Misalucha, Barbie Forteza, Christian Bautista, Mark Bautista, Ken Chan, Rita Daniella, Ruru Madrid, Miguel Tanfelix, Kyline Alcantara, Mavy Legaspi, Kim de Leon and other Kapuso stars Rhian Ramos, Benjamin Alves, Sanya Lopez, Katrina Halili, Winwyn Marquez, Jeric Gonzales, Kate Valdez, Ysabel Ortega, and Cassy Legaspi. 

Julie will also later perform a special number with the Queendom Divas Aicelle Santos, Rita Daniela, Jessica Villarubin, Thea Astley, Jennie Gabriel, Hannah Precillas, and Lani Misalucha. All Kapuso top stars will perform: Dingdong Dantes, Heart Evangelista, Jennylyn Mercado, Dennis Trillo, Alden Richards, Lovi Poe, Carla Abellana, Tom Rodriguez, Aiai delas Alas, Eugene Domingo, and Michael V.  

Also participating are the stars of Kapuso shows Bubble Gang, Pepito Manaloto, Daddy’s Gurl, Dear Uge, Catch Me Out Philippines, iBilib, Centerstage, Mars Pa More, Sarap ‘Di Ba, Taste Buddies, Farm To Table, and Eat Bulaga; plus the cast of First Yaya and upcoming GMA series Legal Wives, Nagbabagang Luha, Las Hermanas, and The World Between Us. 

And GMA News pillars Mel Tiangco, Mike Enriquez, Vicky Morales, Arnold Clavio, Howie Severino, and Jessica Soho will also share their anniversary greetings to loyal Kapuso viewers.

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