MANILA, October 23, 2003  (STAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo - Curtain-raisers:

• Ina Raymundo may have to go on "maternity leave" soon. She’s three months pregnant with her and husband Bryan Poturnak’s second child. Their first, a girl, was born last year.

• Corrections: Reader Phil Valentin said there’s no "melon tree" only a "melon plant" contrary to what Funfare mentioned in last Monday’s piece on the Nishiki Japanese restaurant at EDSA Shangri-La. Reader "Dondon" said that melons are plentiful in Japan but are available only from summer to early autumn. "Melon plants bear several fruits, not just one (as Funfare wrote)," added Dondon who reminded Funfare that tamago means egg in Japanese, so saying ‘tamago egg’ could mean ‘egg egg.’ Also, ther yummy Japanese beans are called edamame and not edemame." (Note: Thanks for the corrections, guys!)

• If Quezon City Councilor Aiko Melendez and Q.C. Vice Mayor Hebert Bautista have "broken up," it means that they did go steady, contrary to their earlier pronouncements that they were, ho-hum, "just friends." (Beware: These days, "just friends" relationships can result in pregnancies.) Now, could it be true that Aiko and ex-husband Jomari Yllana are dating again? Good for them – and woe to "homewreckers" who hardly show any tinge of a guilty conscience.

* * *

There’s a lot of buzz about The Buzz after Kris Aquino has quit the show as Boy Abunda’s co-host (replaced temporarily by Gretchen Barretto).

So what’s the real score?

This is it (John "Sweet" Lapuz’s favorite line) as far as Funfare knows: Effective Nov. 9. Cristy Fermin will take over as Kris’ permanent replacement but Boy will still "open" the show because The Buzz is his show, after all, from the very beginning.

Yes, you guessed it: Cristy’s early-Saturday-afternoon talik show, S2 (as in Showbiz Sabado), is fading out for good on Nov. 1st and Alfie Lorenzo, Cristy’s co-host, might have his own segment on Tessie Tomas’ show Teysi.

So what will happen to Cristy and Alfie’s other co-host, Edu Manzano? Well, according to Funfare sources, Edu didn’t renew his contract with S2 but he has signed a new contract as host of Star in a Million, the singing contest segment of ASAP Mania soon to be weaned as an independent show to be pitted with GMA 7’s Search for a Star (hosted by Regine Velasquez) on the early-Saturday- evening slot. Edu has been co-hosting that Star segment with Zsa Zsa Padilla.

That’s how things stand as of this writing. Since showbiz is unpredictable and highly volatile, surprises could crop up between now and Nov. 2 and Nov. 9. As usual, Funfare advises you to stay tuned.

Unfair To Our Very Own Jhezarie?

Here’s sad news for beauty-contest enthusiasts who have been asking Funfare about the results of the 2003 Miss International pageant held last week in Japan:

Our bet, Jhezarie Javier, did’t make it even to the semi-finals in a field of only 40-plus candidates.

Miss International-watchers (including reader reader Loreto Concepcion) said that Jhezarie was among the "early favorites, a standout" but the presence of Dewi Sukarno in the board of judges could have tilted the balance against her. You see, Dewi (a Japanese once married to the late Indonesian President Sukarno) once had a clash with Minnie Osmena in Aspen, Colorado, the famous playground of jet-setters. The incident ended up in court. Minnie, whose face was slashed with a broken glass by Dewi, won the case and Dewi was convicted and jailed.

So Miss International-watchers surmised that Dewi could have been "prejudiced" against our bet in the recent contest because, according to them, "anything Philippine maybe anathema to her."

Anyway, Miss Venezuela won as Miss International, with Miss India as first runner-up and Miss Finland as second runner-up.

"If Dewi Sukarno still sits as one of the judges in that contest," said the Miss International-watchers, "we suggest that the Philippines boycott the contest."

If and when Dewi Sukarno wants to air her side (presuming that she reads any Philippine paper), Funfare has a space allotted for her.

Local shows nominated in 2003 Asian TV Awards

Reader Paolo Ramos wants to inform Funfare readers that 16 local shows are nominated in the 2003 Asian TV Awards, nine from GMA and seven from ABS-CBN. Here they are:

• Best General News Program

TV Patrol, ABS-CBN

Saksi, GMA

• Best Single Drama or Telemovie

Remembering-The Horn (Maalaala Mo Kaya), ABS-CBN

• Best Comedy Program

Bubble Gang 2, GMA

• Best Current Affairs Program

The Correspondents: Dear Papa Letter to Japan, ABS-CBN

• Best Entertainment Special

Back To Back To Christmas, GMA

Very Very Happy Anniversary, GMA

• Best Sports Program

Gameplan, Probe Productions for ABS-CBN

• Best Talkshow Program

Sis, GMA

• Best News Presenter or Anchor

Mike Enriquez for Saksi, GMA

• Best Drama Performance by an Actor

Roderick Paulate for Remembering-The Horn, ABS-CBN

Julio Diaz for Magpakailanman, GMA

Robin Padilla for Remembering-Respirator, ABS-CBN

• Best Drama Performance by an Actress

Eula Valdez for Remembering-The Helmet, ABS-CBN

Jolina Cosme for Magpakailanman, GMA

• Best Comedy Performance by an Actor

Michael V for Bubble Gang 2, GMA

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph)

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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