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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.

Aug 12, 2010

Cristine Reyes: Masarap pala si Zanjoe

FREEHAND by Mario E. Bautista

CRISTINE REYES and Zanjoe Marudo are paired for the first time in Martha Cecilia’s “Kristine”, a series of 53 novels from Precious Hearts Romances replacing “Rubi” that ends tomorrow. How would Cristine describe Zanjoe? “Para siyang porkchop na hindi mo pinapansin pero pag natikman mo, masarap pala,” she says.

And what can Zanjoe say about Cristine? “Para siyang bangus, matinik. Matinik kasi siya sa boys kaya pinagpapantasyahan siya ng mga lalaki.”

Also in the show is the love team of Denise Laurel and Rafael Rosell, whose “Midnight Phantom” in the afternoon is now rating very well. What can they say about each other? Denise: “Para siyang Pringles, once you pop, you can’t stop.” Rafael: “Para siyang potato kasi she takes good care of me.”

Martha Cecilia is Maribeth de la Cruz in real life and she’s using the name of her daughter as her penname. Why did her Kristine series click? “Kasi tungkol ito sa pamilya at kung paano pangalagaan ang dangal ng pamilya kaya maraming nakaka-relate. Also, I make sure malilinis ang mga babae and the guys are really handsome.”

How did they condense the 53 books in the series? “We retained the spine of the books but we made a lot of branches and surprises along the way, like there are minor characters that were given their own back stories,” says Director Rory Quintos, best known for “Pangako Sa Iyo” that launched Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa ten years ago.

The novels have explicit sex scenes. How did they transfer this to screen? “The sexiness is still there, but we’re very much aware we’re shooting for primetime TV so the sensuality scenes were very, very tame.”

The story is about the warring Fortalejo and De Silva families. Cristine and Denise are sisters belonging to the Fortalejo clan. Rafael is Marco de Silva and he kidnaps Denise and brings her to their hacienda. Cristine then pretends to be the wife of Zanjoe who works with the de Silvas so she can be reunited with her sister. Also in the cast are Lito Legaspi, Chin Chin Gutierrez, Christian Vasquez, Angel Jacob, Irma Adlawan, William Lorenzo, Johnny Revilla, Carla Martinez, Eric Fructuoso, Wendy Valdez, and Arlene Tolibas.


A WRITER observes at the presscon of “Jejemom” that Carl Guevarra has acquired more star quality since he moved to GMA-7 and managed by Perry Lansigan. “Siguro dahil mas lumaki katawan ko kagy-gym,” he grins. “But I’m really thankful kasi sunod-sunod ang projects ko sa GMA. Six months pa lang ako rito but pang-apat ko ng show itong ‘Jejemom’. Perry says I’ll have another new show next month pero ayaw pa lang niya ipasabi kung ano.”

Does he have new girlfriend after Daiana Menezes? “None. Puro trabaho lang muna. Also, nagsarili na ko in my own condo. First time ko to live away from my folks and it’s a learning experience. Marunong na nga akong magluto kasi ayokong kumain lagi sa labas.”

Has he invited any girl to his condo? “None. I think I have to look for the right woman muna.”

He’s paired with Jennica Garcia in “Jejemom” and he admits he has a crush on her. “Oo, kasi maganda naman talaga siya. I don’t think masamang magka-crush. But may boyfriend na raw siya (Alwyn Uytingco), di ba? So hanggang sa trabaho na lang muna kami. So far, maganda working relationship namin after being paired also sa ‘Dear Friend’ and ‘Pilyang Kerubin’. Dito sa ‘Jejemom’ that starts airing this Saturday night, I play her boyfriend na may ari ng isang small internet cafe and also a barangay tanod na right hand ni Ms. Eugene Domingo.”


ANNABELLE RAMA is right when she said there are more good looking applicants in Cebu and Davao than in Manila for TV5’s “Star Factor” artista search. We were at the Marriott Hotel in Cebu when she and co-jurors Director Joey Reyes, music maestro Ryan Cayabyab, ace photographer Raymond Isaac and TV5 talent head Audie Gemora screened the contestants, along with Peachy Guioguio of TV5’s PR, and there was really a bounty of headturners, some of whom can also sing well. Before the screening, they faced the Cebu press first and one writer said that although TV5 has good shows, their problem is their bad transmission. TV5 exec Perci Intalan said their engineers are now addressing this problem and installing new equipment so they can improve their signal. Perci said “Star Factor” won’t just rely on text votes like other star searches. “Kasi may reklamong yung mayayaman lang ang nanalo and also, the reach of TV5 is not yet that wide, kaya the judges will make the final choice. Texting will be used minimally, like in choosing wild cards among candidates.”
“At saka yung nananalo through texting,” adds Annabelle, “fake naman yun kaya the final decision should really come from us judges.”

Annabelle was very controlled at the Cebu presscon. “Hindi ako puede magtaray kasi mga kababayan ko ang kaharap ko. Ang puso ko talaga, nasa Cebu, kaya suportahan nyo ang ‘In Your Eyes’ ni Richard na opening next week. Malaki ang tiwala kong maraming makukuhang new stars dito kasi maraming maganda’t guwapo dito sa Cebu.”

Before they faced the judges, the contestants were first interviewed by us with Peachy and Ronald Constantino of Tempo. The other writers from Manila opted to go to the adjacent Ayala Mall. There are better contestants from Davao than Cebu and they also speak more fluent Tagalog. Also, it’s best to judge them as they appear on screen since some people look so plain in person but they are transformed on screen where they prove to have stronger screen presence. On the other hand, there are beautiful ones in person but the camera doesn’t love them. We gave the wannabes advice on what they should do to further improve their looks before going inside the screening room. One girl was wearing a getup not fit for her age, making her look like a matron. Another one had tacky accessories that don’t become her. One guy has unsightly hairdo and we told him to change it. Our batting average was very good as most of those we gave advice to were given a seal of approval and will come to Manila for final judging. Our personal favorites are: Sri Karyu Cabading – 15 years old, this boy sings, plays the piano, guitar, and trumpet. His dad is a teacher at Ateneo Davao and they just came back from Florida where the family relocated for a while. One judge says he can be the local Justin Bieber. Nadja Marissa Patorreck – a 17-year old Pinay-German from Bacolod. Benjo Leoncio – 18, taking up engineering at University of San Carlos, tall at 5’10” and well built with leading man good looks. Nikita McElroy – 16, her dad is black American but her color is more like light brown. She’s studying at Ateneo Davao and is a potential beauty queen standing 5’6. Fidel Cascabel – 16, tall at 5’10” from Cebu, has Spanish blood, but a bit chubby so he was told to work out. Xysa Arcena – 14 years old from Davao who sings very well.