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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.

Jul 23, 2010

Pepito Manaloto revives sitcoms

FREEHAND by Mario E. Bautista

FOR AWHILE, GMA-7 dumped sitcoms and did more reality shows. But with the success of Michael V’s “Pepito Manaloto”, they’re encourage to do a new one, “Kaya ng Powers”, to replace “Pinoy Records” starting this coming Saturday at 7 PM, thus reviving the career of comedian Joey Marquez who used to star in comedies like “Kool Ka Lang” and “Lagot Ka Isusumbong Kita”. “I’m happy to be back in a sitcom,” he says. “Nasa dugo ko na talaga ang magpasaya ng tao at na-miss ko talaga ito. I play Dr. Robert Powers, a scientist who discovers a formula that transforms an ordinary person into a superhero. Nagkaroon ng explosion in my laboratory and I lose my body kaya sa show, ulo ko lang ang makikita while I talk. My wife naman, Rufa Mae Quinto, nagiging invisible kapag low batt siya and she can revive herself only through a special ring I made for her. Our three children develop powers when they grow up. Sheena Halili has control over water and fire. Rhian Ramos is a shape-shifter who can transform herself into anything she touches. The only boy, Elmo Magalona, has super strength. Ang maganda rito, we not only make people laugh but also impart good family values to the viewers as directed by Uro de la Cruz of Bubble Gang.”


RUFA MAE QUINTO cried after the presscon of “Kaya ng Powers”. This was because reporters kept on asking her about her mysterious boyfriend Mr. M even if she already begged them to refrain from doing so. “Hindi ko na talaga kaya, naririndi at pagod na ako,” she said while wiping away her tears. “Kasi paulit-ulit na lang. Ayaw akong paniwalaan. Sinabi ko na naman na delayed ang wedding namin kasi nga enjoy pa ako sa showbiz. I just signed a new contract with GMA for two years. Eto nga, aside from ‘Diva’ and ‘Showbiz Central’, may bago kong trabaho na ‘Kaya ng Powers’. Paano ko naman basta iiwanan ito? At saka pareho kaming hindi pa ready emotionally and spiritually.”

At the question if he’s Mikey Arroyo, she said no. “Nahihiya nga ako sa kanya at nadaramay siya. Talagang hindi naman siya. Nahihiya rin ako sa Arroyo Family, sana tigilan na ang pagdamay sa kanila.”


IT WAS A rainy Wednesday afternoon at Lipa City but Gov. Vilma Santos looked radiant when she cut the ribbon of the new branch of Phil. Veterans Bank at SMB Bldg, JP Laurel Highway in Barangay Marauoy. Veterans Bank now has a total of 60 branches nationwide and enjoys considerable growth these past few years. Its stakeholders are Filipino World War II veterans and it allocates 20% of its income for the benefit of the veterans and their families. Gov. Vi first greeted the bank officials headed by Pres.-CEO Ricardo Balbido Jr and WW II veterans Medardo Dimawala, Saturnino Enderio and Gavino Berania then she went to where the invited press people from Manila were seated to greet us personally. With us were Eugene Asis and Remy Umerez of this paper, Cris Belen of Manila Bulletin and Nestor Cuartero and Ronald Constantino of Tempo. We can’t help but be proud of our Ate Vi when she was called to deliver a speech as the guest speaker. She’s definitely now not just the Star for All Seasons but a true blue seasoned politician. Her speech was spontaneous, no notes whatsoever, but she delivered every word she said with sincerity and aplomb. No wonder the Batanguenos love her so much, and you can see this with the respect and admiration they accord her. In all fairness to Ate Vi, she maybe the governor but she’s all humility in the way she treats the people around her, even the waiters who were serving us during the reception that followed. When all the waiters gathered around her later for a photo op, she even arranged them to make sure they’ll all be in the picture, telling them “Kuya, dito ka, compress kayo.”

In her speech, Ate Vi thanked Phil. Veterans Bank for putting up a branch, first in Batangas City, and now in Lipa. “That means malaki ang pananalig nila sa ating mga Batangueno. Kaya naman kami sa kapitolyo, para hindi na mahirapan yung volunteer health workers namin na kinukuha pa ang honorarium nila in distant towns, we arranged para magka-ATM sila sa Veterans Bank. Talagang big help sila sa provincial government. Kaya naman dito sa Lipa, I promise magbubukas ako rito ng personal account ko with them.”

Ate Vi later joined us in our table and we congratulated her for the many best actress awards she won recently for “In My Life”. “Nakakahiya nga, di ko na napuntahan yung iba, like yung First MTRCB Awards. That was the time na Taal Volcano was threatening to erupt at nagligid ako in its various barangays. Alas sais na nang matapos ako and I was thinking pupunta pa ba ko sa MTRCB e pagod na pagod na ko. Alangan namang pumunta ko roon nang di man lang nakaayos, di ba? So nagpasabi na lang akongI can’t go. But I really want to thank them for the honor and John Lloyd Cruz for getting my award for me.”

Is she amenable to doing a sequel for “In My Life” showing her life in New York? “Why not? Pero may two films pa kong utang sa Star Cinema. One is with Chito Rono and the other is with Sharon Cuneta, na ginagawa pa lang ang script. When I saw Sharon sa inauguration ni Pres. Noynoy, she told me, alam mo, pag sure nang sisimulan na natin ang shoot, magpapapayat talaga ako.”

We told her Atty. Jojo Alonzo, producer of the internationally acclaimed “Kubrador” which won many awards for Gina Pareno here and abroad, wants to offer a similar indie film for her, possibly to be directed also by Jeffrey Jeturian. Would she be willing to do it? “Yes, why not? I love ‘Kubrador’. Excited akong gumawa ng indie film. Tell her to send me the script.”


CARLA ABELLANA is glad to do her first film, “Mamarazzi”, with Eugene Domingo, Diether Ocampo, John Lapus, Andi Eigenmann, AJ Perez, Arron Villaflor and Xian Lim, the first offering in Regal’s 50th anniversary celebration. “I was supposed to do a film with Marian Rivera sa Metro Filmfest last December pero di natuloy,” she says. “I’m glad dahil I got more time to prepare myself for acting on the big screen. Natutuwa ako dahil puro mamabait ang co-stars ko rito and they’re all supportive. It also helps that our director is Joel Lamangan, who’s also directing me now in ‘Basahang Ginto’ on GMA-7’s Dramarama sa Hapon kaya very comfortable ako with him. We’re also very happy kasi we’re now the highest rating afternoon drama show. We didn’t expect it kasi gusto lang namin, mapaganda ang show and to please our director who always wants to get the best from us. Ang dami talagang sumusunod sa love story namin ni Geoff Eigenmann as Orang and Danny. Geoff and I just returned from a GMA Pinoy TV event in California held at Knott’s Berry Farm. His dad (Michael de Mesa) came to watch our show with his fiancée and stepdaughter. Ang wife naman ng Kuya Ryan niya, si Cathy, is due to deliver their baby now kaya excited ang family nila dahil first apo ito.”