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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 12, 2020



ROSELLE MONTEVERDE of Regal Entertainment tells us at the birthday celebration of Malou Fagar at Regal that she’s not sure if their entry accepted for the coming Metro-Manila Filmfest, the horror drama “Mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan” will make it to the deadline of the screening committee.  

The movie is based on the hit novel by Bob Ong (who also wrote the screenplay) and stars Joshua Garcia,  Angie Ferro and Ricky Davao.

“Hindi pa tapos ang post-production kasi yung lab na ginagamit namin, isinara ng barangay,” she says. “May isang director daw na hindi nagma-mask, kaya nahawa lahat ng tauhan doon so it was closed down for health reasons. 

"Isa pa, our director, Chito Rono, parang wala na ring ganang ring sumali sa film festival kung sa online lang ipalalabas at hindi sa mga sinehan.”

We heard even other producers are now lukewarm to the idea of showing their filmfest entries online, simply because there are no viewers. 

One producer told us: “Ayaw kasi magbayad ng mga Pinoy. Yung ini-release ng ABS-CBN online na ‘U-Turn’ with Kim Chiu, kakaunti lang ang nanood online.”

Another producer also told us that even other streaming sites have comparatively few views. 

“Maski nga ang Netflix, big hit all over the world pero lowest viewership in Asia dito sa Pilipinas, kumpara sa subscribers nila in other Asian countries. Mas gusto pa rin ng mga Pinoy manood ng libre sa youtube. Kaya yung idea ng filmfest online, it will not work here.”

We heard that even the very popular BL series these days have very few viewership once they charge their customers, only those exhibited for free online get thousands of hits, like “Gameboys”.  

But Roselle has reason to rejoice since her own BL series shown on Regal’s site is a blockbuster hit in terms of viewership. 

This is “Ben X Jim“, written and directed by Easy Ferrer and starring Jerome Ponce and Teejay Marquez. It’s now on its 4th episode and is getting more than a million hits per episode.

Teejay is Ben and Jerome is Jim. They used to be neighbors but Jerome’s family has relocated to Davao. 

Teejay works as an online seller and obviously has a big crush on Jerome, who returns to Manila after so many years of stay in Davao. 

They’re both good in their respective roles and they have engaging chemistry, so we’re not surprised the show is now the most watched BL series on air. 

They get very good support from Ron Martin Angeles as Olan, the hunky courier with whom Teejay is obviously attracted, and Johannes Rissler as Leo, Teejay’s ex-boyfriend who wants to reconcile with him. 

This is Teejay's biggest role to date and the role is tailor made for him. The show is obviously a success as it has many ads within. This is more successful than any of the recent films shown by Regal.