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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.

Jun 10, 2010

Sarah Lahbati: I don't go to bars

FREEHAND by Mario E. Bautista

STARSTRUCK V's Top 5 Sarah Lahbati, Steven Silva, Enzo Pineda, Diva Montelaba and Rocco Nacino attended the premiere of "Emir" to show their support to co-GMA Artist Center talent Frencheska Farr their support for her first movie. Also there were GMA execs Wilma Galvante, Ida Henares and Arsi Baltazar. Sarah is currently the object of rumors saying she got drunk and passed out in a bar so she had to be carried out to go home. "Hindi po totoo yun," she says. "I'm only 16 years old and I don't drink. I've tried alcoholic drinks, some drops, but I didn't like it. I don't go to bars so I don't really know kung bakit may kumalat na ganyang tsismis. Napunta lang ako sa bar when we were in Boracay ng mga Starstruck friends ko, but I didn't even drink."

Would she want to confront the reporter who wrote it? "No. Siguro hindi niya lang talaga ako kilala and she got wrong information. I'm not bothered kasi hindi naman talaga totoo. I also don't want to dwell on negative things. My focus now is pagbutihin ang trabaho ko sa 'Party Pilipinas' and preparing for my first acting role in the 'Love Bug' episode that will be taped daw in Guam."


JOSHUA DIONISIO and Barbie Forteza were both shocked at the taping of "Pilyang Kerubin" last Monday when they were informed that the brother of their co-star Angelika de la Cruz, who plays Barbie's real mom in the story, died in a freak accident at NLEX the night before. Edward, who's just been elected as councilor in Caloocan, was hit by a vehicle while changing a flat tire.

"It's really so tragic," says Barbie. "Nakikiramay po kami sa buong pamilya nila."
"The taping was cut short nga po kasi wala si Ms. Angelika at ni-rewrite ang scenes na kasama siya," says Joshua.

Young as they are, both Joshua and Barbie are already award-winners. He won as 2008 Star Awards for TV best actor in a single performance for the episode "Sako" of MMK and she won the 2009 Star Awards for Movies best new actress trophy for "Puntod". "The awards inspire us para mas pagbutihin ang acting namin ngayon sa 'Pilyang Kerubin'," says Barbie. "Its story becomes more engrossing this week kasi kinasal na po ang kinagisnan kong parents, sina Ina Feleo as Lailani at Raymart Santiago as Arman. Akong ginawa nilang flower girl in my role as Charity, a tomboyish girl."

We heard GMA Films is preparing the first film of their love team, "Suddenly It's Magic". "We're not officially informed yet," says Joshua. "But we're looking forward to it. Sana nga, matuloy".


TYRON PEREZ is the second discovery of Starstruck 1 to move to ABS-CBN. The first was Cristine Reyes. Launched in the movies in "Twilight Dancers", his career never took off and he only played support roles on GMA-7 shows like "Bakekang" and "Kung Mahawi Man ang Ulap". Last we heard is that he got married and had a child but he now denies this. He was then managed by the late Douglas Quijano but after DQ passed, he never got new offers. He then met Director Jerry Lopez Sineneng who offered to co-manage him with ABS Star Magic. He now plays villain to Ejay Falcon in "Momay", along with another former GMA star, Bettina Carlos, who plays villain to Queenie Padilla. Bettina is now active in showbiz after she got a degree in business management at the Ateneo. Both Tyron and Bettina are glad to be given the chance to start over anew as Kapamilya.


HER LATEST film, "Here Comes the Bride", has earned P130 million so far and there are reports that Eugene Domingo is now a swellhead. "Bakit? Sa'kin ba napunta yung P130 million?" she laughs at the set of her kiddie game show on GMA-7, "Watchamakulit". "Kung totoong lumaking ulo ko, hindi na ko pumayag lumabas sa indie film na maliit ang bayad like 'Patayin sa Shokot si Remington', bida si Mart Escudero at nanay ako ni Lauren Young, at sa 'Petrang Kabayo' na launching flick ni Vic Ganda. Nami-miss ko rin nga gumawa ng indie films na sinasali sa international filmfests like 'Foster Child' at ng '100' na nagdala sa'kin sa Pusan Filmfest. Also, I don't demand na bigyan ako ng pay increase as I know we live in a third world country."

Right now, she's busy with two GMA shows, "Comedy Bar" on Saturdays and "Watchamakulit" on Friday afternoons at 5 PM before "Take Me Out". "Sa totoo lang, enjoy ako working with kids in 'Watchamakulit'. Sobrang nakakaaliw sila, pero challenge din kasi tatapatan mong energy nila. Hindi napapagod, e I make sure they're given their highlight na sing and dance sila. We started in April and now, patapos na ang first season. Ang bilis nga. Noong simula namin, puro celebrity contestants kami like Wendell Ramos, JC Tiuseco, Chynna Ortaleza. Napansin ko, kapag pumasok sa dressing room ko, hindi nananalo ang celebrity contestant like John Lapus and Paolo Paraiso. Now, mga ordinaryong tao na ang guests namin, but the kid describers, celeb kids pa rin ng GMA like mga anak nina Manny Pacquiao, Michael V at Ruby Rodriguez, at sina Buboy VIllar and Sabrina Man."

For a vacation, she plans to go to New York in October with bosom friend Andoy Ranay who just megged her in "First Time". "Siguro isasali rin niya ko sa 'Pilyang Kerubin'."

How did she feel when Andoy got into conflict with Kuya Germs over Jake Vargas? "He called me at sabi ko agad, may kasalanan ka man o wala, mag-sorry ka. Sinunod naman niya and I'm glad natapos na kesa naman umabot pa sa demandahan, di ba?"
Eugene is also shooting "Mamarazzi" with John Lapus, Diether Ocampo and Andi Eigenmann for Regal and will have a new show, "Inday Wanda" on TV 5, making her a very restless woman.


VIVA ENTERTAINMENT has assembled five sexy young women to form a seductive girl group called Eurasia consisting of Fil-Italian Sarah Polverini, Fil-Japanese Kristine Nieto, Fil-German Lana Roi (Cenutry Tuna Superbod winner), Fil-British Kelly Ann Gamboa (the youngest at 18 and no boyfriend since birth) and the only Pure Pinay, Gail Nicolas (Mossimo BIkini Summit winner and runner up to Regine Angeles in Be Bench model search.)

Sarah is the one most experienced in showbiz as she started as a child actress with ABS-CBN's "Ang TV". "I was singing even as a child and I did movies like 'Sarah, Munting Prinsesa' and 'Cedie'," she says. "My dad is Italian and we went back to Florence where I finished fashion design. When I came back to Manila, nakita ko ng Viva and they offered to manage me/ Boss Vic then thought of forming a girl froup of different nationalities and got me as one of them."

Kristine Nieto is the girlfriend of Alex Castro, "Are You the Next Big Star" runner up who's also a councilor in Marilao, where they've known each other since childhood. "Pero two years pa lang kaming on kahit matagal na kami magkakilala," she says. Before her, Alex was on with Wendy Valdez who later married Bruce Quebral. "Alam ko yung kay Wendy. Kinuwento ni Alex sa akin."

They all underwent rigid song and dance training as Eurasia. Their first single is "Ikaw ay Perfect". Other songs in their abum are "Honey My Honey", "All I Want", "Kaya Mo Yan", "Walk Like an Egyptian", revival of "Mambobola" and "Working Girls" theme song. Mainstays in "Party Pilipinas", they've already performed in various Asian countries and will soon have a European tour.