ONEMIG RELOADED; FIRST LADY OF CALOOCAN RUNNING FOR MAYOR

Manila, July 11, 2003 FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo (Star) Curtain-raisers:

ē Could it be true that FPJ will make an "important announcement" on his birthday next month (Aug. 20)? What could it possibly be? Your guess is as good as mine.

ē Could it be true that the GMA soap Ang Iibigin ay Ikaw (now on Book 2, topbilled by, among others, Richard Gomez and Christopher de Leon) faces an untimely demise? Will it be replaced by a chinovela (a term "invented" by Viva Boss Vic del Rosario, Jr.)?

ē Yes, itís true: Sharon Cuneta is leaving end of the month or early next month for a well-deserved European vacation. Going with her are her mom, Elaine Cuneta, daughters Frankie and KC Ė and possibly husband Sen. Kiko Pangilinan. The family will spend a bakasyon grande in Paris where KC will study. Sharon will be back end of September.

* * *

ONEMIG BONDOCThe "in" word these days is, you guessed it, "reloaded" (thanks to Keanu Reevesí smash-hit starrer, Matrix Reloaded) and thatís exactly Onemig Bondocís present state of being Ė reloaded.

"Iíve never been as inspired as I am now," said Onemig, 26, who is making waves with his gay role in the Saturday ABS-CBN soap Buttercup. "My character, Wilson, has become so popular that when I go out, people donít call me Onemig anymore but Wilson. It simply means that Iím doing a good job, that Iím convincing in my portrayal."

At first, Onemig was hesitant to accept the role, not sure whether he could give it justice Ė "Because Iím not gay," he stressed Ė but ended up entrusting his "fate" in the hands of Buttercup director Wenn Deramas (of Ang Tanging Ina fame).

"But I did some research, including watching videotapes of movies with gay characters, such as Philadelphia (Tom Hanks as a gay AIDS victim) and Woman on Top (where Penelope Cruzís friend is a gay). Wilson is a closet queen."

However, Onemig hastened to add, not included in his research was actually embracing and/or touching another guy.

"As Iíve said, Iím straight and I havenít touched the body of another guy. Pambabae lang talaga ako. Besides," he added, "Iím confident of myself; I know myself and I know what I want Ė a woman, that is Ė so playing a gay character wonít change whatever I am and the way people look at me. Kapag naglalakad nga ako sa mall, people give me the OK sign and say, ĎOkey ka, idol!í, unlike with several other actors na sinisigawan ng bakla."

Playing a gay role is part of Onemigís "reloading" process. Once, he played another offbeat role as a macho dancer, swaying onstage only in bikinis, for an episode in the defunct ABS-CBN soap Your Honor.

"Iíve always wanted to be a versatile actor and I feel that the right time has come," said Onemig who has been getting more meaty roles in television than in movies. In his last movie, Star Cinemaís Ngayong Nandito Ka (starring Jericho Rosales and Kristine Hermosa), Onemig played an executive whom Kristine met and fell in love with in Japan. In his next movie, Power Girls (also by Star Cinema), heís cast as the nerd boyfriend of Assunta de Rossi (other stars of the movie are Ai Ai delas Alas, Carlos Agassi, Joyce Jimenez and Vhong Navarro). His dream (movie) role is a mental retardate.

Since he started living alone (at a San Juan condo) three years ago, Onemig has declared himself financially independent from his parents (heís one of four children) who, even when Onemig was already in showbiz, gave him a regular allowance (for clothes, gas, dates and other needs). It was because his earnings were being invested in real estate (a lot in Tagaytay, etc.). Onemig is now also a partner and investor in the family businesses (the travel agency Rising Star with offices at Strata 100 on Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City; and the four-year-old Benedictine International School of Quezon City). Soon, he plans to put up a school of nursing.

He has no time for love, he swore, loveless (though not "sexless") since he broke up with China Cojuangco three years ago. Is he that choosy? Smiled Onemig, "Somewhat. Sobrang picky. Besides, talagang mahirap palitan si China."

He confessed to being easily turned off by agressive and flirtatious girls who wear heavy make-up. If he can help it, he shuns showbizs girls. "Wala lang," he said.

He has a fetish for clean feet Ė "If a girlís feet are clean, it means that every other part of her body is also clean" Ė and likes simple girls who are true to themselves.

Asked to name three actresses who typify his "ideal girl," Onemig mentioned Jolina Magdangal, Ciara Sotto and Kristine Hermosa. But then, remember, he doesnít want to get involved with any showbiz girl.

Gigi Malonzo for CC Mayor

Unlike other showbiz people with intentions to run in 2004, Gigi Malonzo, First Lady of Caloocan City and is said to be the "not-so-secret" weapon of Mayor Rey Malonzo, isnít resorting to any irritating guessing game. This early, Gigi has already made known her decision to run for Caloocan City Mayor. Now on his third and last term, Mayor Rey is running for Congress.

"It was the Mayor who encouraged me to run," said Gigi who used the screen name Gwendolyn Yee (sheís half-Chinese) when she did about a dozen action movies with Mayor Rey from the mid-í70ís to the early í80ís when Mayor Rey asked her to quit and concentrate on running their movie outfit.

Gigi used her experience and background in movie production when Mayor Rey campaigned in Caloocan, toppling the then formidable Asistio Dynasty.

"I planned everything for him," said Gigi. "I did all the dirty work for him. All he did was mount the stage to deliver his speech. Everything was set for him Ė the schedule, the performers, everything. Iím the power behind him. Ako ang nagpanalo sa kanya."

Part of Gigiís 2004 preparation is hosting the show called Todayís Mom, with lawyer Joan CaŮete-Chan and Manilyn Reynes as co-hosts (and Manilynís husband Aljon Jimenez as director), which premieres tomorrow at 11 a.m. on IBC Channel 13. The weekly 30-minute show will feature tips for mothers, livelihood programs, success stories, etc.

Gigi and Mayor Rey have two children, the older being upcoming actor Christopher "PJ" Malonzo, 22, whoís playing Alessandra de Rossiís suitor in Homecoming, directed by Gil M. Portes for the Toronto International Film Festival in September. (E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph)


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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