MANILA, OCTOBER 8, 2003  (MALAYA) by MARIO E. BAUTISTA - GARY Estrada has found happiness in his marriage to with former actress Bernadette Alison, who is now a newscaster on IBC-13.

"She's so easy to get along with so all is well with us," he says. He could have told her to just stay at home and attend to their baby but he says he knows Bernadette loves what she is doing and they both allow each other to grow in their respective careers.

Gary now plays a hotshot lawyer in RPN-9's "May Puso ang Batas," shown Sundays at 8 p.m. To prepare for his role, he watched a lot of Hollywood legal shows like "L.A. Law" and "The Practice." "The difference is that their court hearings have a jury, pero tayo, wala," he says.

Gary says he now plans to resign from ABS-CBN's "Darating ang Umaga."

"If you'd notice, the character that I play is getting so evil, kaya I will ask them to just kill it na lang," he says. "I prefer my lawyer and bar topnotcher role in 'May Puso ang Batas,' where I share topbilling with Boots Anson Roa, Sen. John Osmena, and Ricky Davao. Pero hanggang December din lang ako rito because I'll be running as mayor in San Antonio, Quezon, in the next election."

He is paired with two actresses in the show: Toni Gonzaga, another lawyer, and Angel Jacob, an NGO worker championing the poor. His best friend is Christian Vasquez, who also wants to be a lawyer but ends up as a policeman who also fancies Angel.

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Andrea del Rosario says her most difficult scene in the sex-drama, "Bugbog Sarado" (which some quarters naughtily say is a movie that should have been tailor-made for Kris Aquino), is not any of the dramatic scenes she is required to do but the very bold scene she had with Victor Neri, who plays her live-in partner.

We've seen the film preview and this is really a very scorching scene taken inside the bathroom. Andrea is shown giving Victor a bath and soaping his naked body. "In that scene where I kneel down in front of him with my face to his manhood and the camera in front of his naked butt, nagka-buckle-buckle ako while delivering my dialogue. I was distracted by his front," she laughs. "I can deliver long lines of dramatic dialogue without a hitch, pero ayun, sa harap ng harap ni Victor, sumabit ako."

Another daring scene is when she goes on top of him and starts grinding while moaning noisily. Victor then covers her mouth because their neighbors, Maui Taylor and Jordan Herrera, might hear her. "Mas masarap talagang mag-make love nang maingay kaysa 'yung quiet ka lang," says Andrea. "When you groan and moan with feelings, that excites your partner all the more, 'di ba?"

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Ogie Alcasid got a lot of applause when he guested in Lea Salonga's concert. The audience really loved him and his funny antics as he sang the "Ispageti Song."

Expect a livelier Ogie in his own 15th year anniversary concert, "OA at 15," on Oct..10 at the Araneta Coliseum. Viva Concerts has prepared a powerhouse guest list led by Regine Velasquez, Rico Puno, Gary Valenciano, Manilyn Reynes, Piolo Pascual, Jaya, Michael V., Janno Gibbs, Dingdong Avanzado, Francis Magalona, Kyla, Wendell Ramos, Antonio Aquitania, Sarah Geronimo and Salbakuta.

So what has Ogie learned in his 15 years in showbiz? "That one should always strive to learn new things in one's craft, whether it be as a singer, a songwriter, or as actor and comedian. If you stop learning, then you get stale, you burn out. And in anything you do, you should always give your all, whether it's on TV, a movie, or a concert, kahit sa big or small venue."

No wonder Ogie's star continues to shine brightly in all fields. Right now, he is doing a filmfest entry, "Kapten Barbell," and friends joke that he might finally win the best actor in the Metro Filmfest. "Ay, sobra na naman 'yon. I just won as Entertainer of the Year sa Aliw Awards. I've also won as best comedy actor sa Star Awards last year. To win as best actor for a movie? Sabagay, malay mo, talunin ko sina Christopher de Leon at Richard Gomez in their respective entries, 'di ba?" he laughs.

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This sexy actress has not made a movie for sometime now. The reason? She cannot accept new assignments because she is still under contract with the manager whose stable she wants to leave a long time ago. The manager would only let her go if she'd pay him the money she owes him, that amounts to P150,000. The manager was surprised when the actress came to his house one day and handed him the said amount, in cold cash. "Now, I want to see you tearing up my contract with you dahil bayad na ako sa iyo," she said.

The manager accepted the money and tore up her contract. Now, the actress is already making a new movie for a new outfit. Her manager found out that she has found a sugar daddy, a very rich Chinese businessman who can take her shopping until she drops. But the manager says he thinks she is just a passing fancy of the Chinese businessman, who happens to be quite old and very much married. "I'll only believe na magtatagal sila if the Chinese guy would abandon his family for her," he adds. "But I doubt very much if he would do that."

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Congrats to Jessica Soho. Her late night shown every Wednesday, "Jessica Soho Reports," which is celebrating its first anniversary, is enjoying high ratings.

A much-awarded broadcaster, Jessica remains to be very humble. She has no superstar aura despite her many ahicevements and accomplishments as a celebrity journalist. No airs. No sense of vanity or big ego, despite her winning the prestigious George Peabody Award in New York for her documentary on boxing, "Kamao," and exploited poor men, "Kidneys for Sale," aired in"I-Witness." Her commitment to news stories is legendary. She was on vacation when she heard the untimely demise of matinee idol Rico Yan yet she quickly went to Palawan to cover it. She covered the war in Afghanistan and a mine exploded a few meters away from where she was. She went to Iraq and Pakistan despite the unrest in these countries. "Being exposed to danger is part of my job as a journalist and I'm always willing to take it to be able to bring the latest news to the viewers, right where it happens, when it happens," she says. No wonder viewers have learned to trust her and her show has bested out six other shows pitted against it by the competition, getting a solid audience share of 36%.

"But I have to share the show's success with my staff, headed by my executive producer, Leogarda Sanchez. I'm blessed to have a competent and dedicated production team. Without them, I don't think the show will be able to fulfill GMA's promise of 'Serbisyong Totoo'," adds Jessica with a smile.

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Jinggoy Estrada says he talked to friend Phillip Salvador who's now in the U.S. visiting his kids with estranged wife, Sony Dabao. Ipe is aware of what happened to his ex, Kris Aquino, and Joey Marquez, and although he does not call up Kris, he constantly calls the yaya of their son to inquire about how Joshua is doing. "Siempre, concerned pa rin si Ipe sa anak nila ni Kris," says Jinggoy.

Jinggoy admits he gave a cellphone to Katya Santos but this does not mean he's wooing his leading lady in "Utang ng Ama." "It's just a souvenir and my way of saying thank you for her being cooperative on the last day of our shooting," he stresses. "Huwag naman nilang bigyan ng ibang kulay 'yon."

What can he say to the joke that "Utang ng Ama" should be titled "Ang Nambatok at Ang Nanutok" because it stars him (who hit Richard Gomez on the nape) and Joey (who reportedly poke a gun at Kris)? "Okay lang. Biro lang naman at hindi ako madaling mapikon. But both cases have been settled so huwag nang buhayin uli."

At the height of the crisis between Kris and Joey, he made sure he stayed neutral. "They're both my friends so I didn't take sides. I didn't give advice because I might be misinterpreted. Instead, I just tried to act as a mediator. So for the premiere night of 'Utang ng Ama,' I want to invite Kris to attend it on October 20 to show that she has really let bygones be bygones."

Jinggoy would also like to thank all the stars who willingly guested in the movie for free: Rudy Fernandez, Lorna Tolentino, Phillip Salvador, Ronnie Ricketts, Jay Manalo, Vhong Navarro, and Cesar Montano. They're supported by other comedians like Ruby Rodriguez as Katya's best friend, Marissa Sanchez and Minnie Aguilar as women who love and chase Joey, Jinky Oda as a wacky faith healer, Mahal as a nuno sa punso who puts a curse on Jinggoy, and Dagul as a vendor of stolen goods who sends him and Joey to prison. "I've seen the movie at talagang gugulong ang viewers sa katatawa," he adds.

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What can Sen. Tessie Aquino-Oreta say to the allegation of some folks that her niece, Kris, will soon reconcile with Joey?

"Huwag naman sana," she says. "She can forgive him, but after what happened, she should no longer take him back. I really wish she has learned her lesson and she now knows what is best for her."

But she's happy that the fracas betweeen the two is over.

"At least, there is no other messy scenario at hindi na hahaba pa," she adds.

What was her reaction when Kris announced she got STD? "I was just very quiet. Naisip ko, kung buhay ang father niyang si Ninoy, this wouldn't have happened. Kasi, sa akin lang, I'm just his youngest sister, he's already very strict. When I had a suitor na hindi niya gusto, he had him investigated at talagang cry me a river ako. What more with his own daughter? Baka ni hindi nakapasok si Kris sa showbiz. But I admire Kris sa tapang niya. Bilib ako for what she all revealed and in her asking forgiveness from the people she felt she wronged. That takes a lot of courage. I'm still praying for her to be able to go on with her life. As for Joey, at least, he's man enough to admit his mistakes and apologize to Kris in public. Pero kahit may amicable settlement na sa kanila, I wish congress would still pass the long pending bill I filed against domestic violence. Actually, pasado na sa lower house. Nasa senate na lang ang final say. If they passed the will against the trafficking of women, they should also pass this bill against domestic violence."

Sen. Oreta, the author of 14 other women-friendly laws, is so happy her own kids do not give her any problems. Rizza, the eldest, is a lawyer. Glenn is a financial whiz. Carmela is married to a Spanish guy and they now live in London. "Carmela is PR of Adidas London while her husband, who graduated from Wharton, is with JP Morgan," she declares proudly. "Our youngest, Enzo, is 13."

Her 94-year-old father-in-law just died last month. Now, her 93-year-old mother-in-law is ailing at the Cardinal Santos Hospital. "I'm sure dinamdam niya ang passing away ng husband niya because they've been together for 66 years and her life has revolved around him. Bihira na ang relationship like theirs that last that long."

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Remember bold star Isadora? She was launched to stardom in Celso Ad. Castillo's "Lihim ni Madonna" and got an Urian best supporting actress nomination for her performance in "Ang Pumatay Nang Dahil Sa'Yo" of Viva Films. She suddenly left showbiz when she got married and we only saw her once again when she was featured in "Wish Ko Lang." Isadora said she was never really happy baring her body before the camera and, would you believe it, she found happiness marrying a jeepney driver.

Now, Isadora's life will be dramatized in GMA-7's top-rated "Magpakailanman," with Katya Santos portraying her and Raymond Bagatsings as her jeepney driver husband. Also featured in the story is Gloria Diaz as her mother, Phillip Lazaro as her showbiz manager, Frank Garcia as her rich first boyfriend who dropped her because his snooty grandma (Odette Khan) frowned on her and ordered him to marry another girl (Leila Kuzma). Directed by Argel Joseph, the life of Isadora shows that fame and fortune are not enough to make a person happy.

"Compared to true love, they're nothing," says Isadora. "The more important thing is you are married to someone who truly cares for you and makes you feel you are loved."

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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