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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.

Nov 9, 2010

Bianca Manalo got starring role because of sibling in ABS CBN?

ABS-CBN PR manager Aaron Domingo invited us to the thanksgiving presscon of “Juanita Banana” that is now rating high nationwide. A remake of the 1968 Sampaguita Pictures fantasy film starring Rosemarie Sonora in the title role and with Ricky Belmonte as the dwarf, Prince Rikitik, the new version now stars former Bb. Pilipinas Bianca Manalo and Matt Evans. Bianca plays a barrio lass whose family lives on a banana plantation that Donya Digna Buenaventura (singer Dulce in her first TV soap and villain role) wants to land grab. The land turns out be perched on top of the kingdom of duwendes.

Also in the cast are Rodjun Cruz as Dulce’s son in love with Juanita, Katya Santos as a kontrabida, Isay Alvarez as Juanita’s missing mom, new gay comedian Bekimon as Juanita’s best friend (played by Kuya Germs in the film), Lito Pimentel, Rey PJ Abellana, and child actor Aaron Junatas.

The difference of “Juanita Banana” from other TV series is that it’s a comedy and Bianca’s zany personality fits it perfectly. What can she say about the complain of some folks that her rise to stardom is so fast compared to other newcomers since she has a sibling working with ABS exec Deo Endrinal? “May nagsasabi ngang may mga nalampasan daw ako but wala akong napi-feel na ganun,” she says.

“I’m still a reigning Bb. Pilipinas when I first got an acting offer from ABS in ‘Dahil May Isang Ikaw’, but hindi natuloy. Yung kapatid ko has nothing to do with my getting into ABS. Nag-audition ako, first sa ‘Showtime’ then sa ‘Magkaribal’. I also auditioned for ‘Juanita Banana’. Pinag-comedy nila ko then pinagdrama ko at pinilit umiyak. They probably saw na kaya ko so they gave me the role.”