MANILA, OCTOBER 4, 2003  (STAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo  - First, the good news: The marriage of Zsa Zsa Padilla to Modesto Tatlonghari (father of her daughter Karylle) has been annulled by the court.

So Zsa Zsa and Dolphy can finally realize their dream to – at last, at last! –- legalize their union and get married? (You see, there’s an unconfirmed rumor that the couple is planning to tie the knot in Hawaii.)

Not just yet.

Now, the "bad" news: According to a legal expert, Dolphy and Zsa Zsa should wait awhile before taking that long-delayed marital plunge (Dolphy’s first ever, if and when, since he hasn’t married any of the five women with whom he has 18 children.)

According to the legal expert (well-versed in showbiz annulment cases), the Solicitor General will file for an appeal (to reverse the decision) and, if the Court of Appeals denies the petition, may raise it to the Supreme Court. The whole process may take two years – or longer – who knows?

Meanwhile, Dolphy and Zsa Zsa can go on with their blissful togetherness, now without that "sword of Damocles" over their heads.

Will Vhong’s Star Soar?

The Metro Filmfest this December is full of flying characters, all of whom, let’s hope, will "soar" at the tills.

There’s Bong Revilla in Captain Barbel and Vic Sotto in a Lastikman-like role (a reprise of his smash-hit starrer in last year’s Metrofest).

And then there’s Vhong Navarro who’s playing the title role in Gagamboy (as a Spiderman-type character), Regal Films’ Metrofest entry directed by Erik Matti.

"I’m keeping my fingers crossed," said Vhong, "and praying hard. Matindi ang mga kalaban, e!"

A member of Chito Roño’s Streetboys, Vhong has been getting so many good breaks that he has to pinch himself every morning to make sure it’s not all a dream.

He’s slated to play the title in Star Cinema’s Mr. Suave, inspired by the Parokya ni Edgar hit song (with Joyce Bernal as director). It’s a role tailor-made for Vhong who has amply shown his comedic talent in such ABS-CBN sitcoms as Bida si Mister/Bida si Misis, Whattamen and (formerly) Home Along da Riles where, Vhong said, "I learned a lot from Tito Dolphy," his idol.

For Gagamboy, Vhong has to learn all sorts of tricks (martial arts, etc.). He has to if he wants his star to soar.

What’s Up?

• Reader Steventarly is wondering why I asked Samuel L. Jackson and Salma Hayek a "stupid" question like how did they feel when they lost in the Oscars? Yes, I asked that "stupid" question deliberately to find out how the two great stars would come up with "non-stupid" answers. And they did!

• From reader Alfredo Canovas: Salma Hayek is of Arab origin, not Mexican or Latin. (Yes, Alfredo, you’re right. Salma’s father is Lebanese.)

• Concert at the Park tomorrow (Oct. 5) presents the Temple Hill Instrumental Ensemble under the musical direction of Ruby Salvosa, starting at 5 p.m., with Susan Fernandez as program host.

• From reader Dondon:

I would like to share with you the highlights of the article by Mark Schilling, the film reviewer of the Japan Times about Magnifico, the Philippines’ entry to the 2003 Fukuoka Film Festival here in Japan.

Mr. Schilling wrote...

"Also affecting – if for quite different reasons – was Maryo J. de los Reyes’ Magnifico, a Filipino film about a boy who is a Christ figure in miniature.

"De los Reyes, a veteran director in a variety of genres, may not stint on melodrama, but as is often the case with Filipino films, the story builds an irresistible momentum. By the end there was not a dry eye in the theater – and this reviewer was no exception."

It is also worth mentioning that a large picture of Jiro Manio and Albert Martinez graced the Film Review section in yesterday's issue of the Japan Times.This is a nice break for the Filipino film industry since the Japan Times is one of the top English broadsheets here and they selected Magnifico’s and another foreign film's still shots among others to be printed.

I hope that the Japanese movie-going public will appreciate the film, although I haven't seen it yet. Soon I hope.

Good luck to you.

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Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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