MANILA, NOVEMBER10, 2003  (MALAYA) by ETHEL RAMOS - EDU Manzano appears obviously enamoured with showbiz newcomer Alicia Mayer.

Happily for Edu, Alicia seems to share his feelings for her.

They were a happy couple when we bumped into them on the set of the top sitcom, "OK, Fine! Whatever," topbilled by Aga Muhlach, Bayani Agbayani and, of course, Edu. She was seated in a corner. Everytime Edu would finish a scene, he would immediately rush up to her, regale her with so many stories.

She is a patient listener. No wonder, ganado si Edu magkuwento.

In any case, we had the chance to talk with Alicia when Edu was called to shoot a scene with Aga and Bayani.

An attractive and sexy woman who talks sense, Alicia told us that her real name is Catherine Gutierrez. She adapted the name Alicia Bonifacio when she embarked on a modeling career.

It was Mother Lily who changed her family name to Meyer. Mother Lily had planned to give her a solo movie where she would have been launched as a bold star. But for reasons which, Alicia said, she didn't know, Mother Lily's plan for her didn't push through. But she has a three-picture contract with Mother Lily's film firm, Regal Entertainment, she added.

Alicia is in the cast of "Fantasticman," Vic Sotto's entry for this year's Metro Manila Film Festival.

On how her path crossed with that of Edu, she said she had guested in "OK, Fine! Whatever" twice. People close to Edu revealed that their attraction for each other was mutual from the start.

Edu's last romance was with a popular chef who writes a food column for a popular broadsheet.

Alicia is a mainstay of the noontime pro-gram, "Eat Bulaga," on GMA-7.


Last Saturday, Nov. 8, an interesting program debuted on ABS-CBN.Titled "Simpleng Hiling," it's a public service show hosted by Karen Davila.

Aired every Satur-day afternoon at 4 on ABS-CBN, "Simpleng Hiling" aspires to show tear-jerking stories that are transformed into inspirational ones. Karen hopes to make the program a weekly source of moving stories of individuals changed by hope, charity and determination.

A cross between an in-depth magazine show and a public affairs program, "Simpleng Hiling" will test Karen's skills as an investigative reporter. In "Simpleng Hiling," she will take a comprehensive look into the lives of the ordinary and the downtrodden in order to find out the deeper stories behind the wishes and dreams they want fulfilled in the show.

"Simpleng Hiling's" pilot episode was about Sheila, a housemaid in search of a family she lost. At 14, she gave birth to her first child by her lover, a married man. After giving birth to her third child by the same man, she gave up her children for them to have a better life.

Her wish this Christmas, she told Karen in "Simpleng Hiling," is to hug her estranged family this Christmas.

Karen is host and anchor of two of ABS-CBN's most prestigious shows, the late-evening news program, "The Insider," and the Monday night investigative show, "The Correspondents."

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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