by Isah V. Red - The Manunuri ng Pelilkulang Pilipino, a group of 10 people, mostly from the academe, handed out this year’s awards at the Marriott Hotel in Pasay City last Tuesday night in ceremonies that will be telecast tonight on the cable channel Cinema One (available only to SkyCable subscribers nationwide).

The Urian, as the awards given out by the group has been known since 34 years ago, has turned out to be the champion of small movies in digital format.

I don’t want to argue with them because they have their own reasons, in fact, the guy who runs the cable movie channel has always said that Hollywood is now turning digital. I don’t want to argue with that as well because if that’s what they believe in, so be it. But still, they can’t escape from the fact that the local cinema has turned to be a playground for director wannabes experimenting with video cameras rather than film negatives, which again, these people would summarily say that the age of video is here and film is now the thing of the past.

Anyway, whatever their argument against film and how they are embracing video is their own problem. At last Tuesday night’s awarding ceremonies, most of those that had earned nominations and won were movies on video. And not many Filipinos, especially those that P170 to watch a film at multiplexes, had seen them.

At least they honored on of this generation’s best actor, Sid Lucero, for his performance in Muli. Unfortunately, I haven’t seen the movie myself and I can’t elaborate why Lucero deserved the award. But, I know that Lucero (Timothy Eigenmann in real life) is a passionate actor, he is very methodical in essaying characters he is assigned with by directors, and most of the time he is able to deliver them with panache.

Lucero is in GMA-7’s Amaya as one of two male lead characters that Amaya (Marian Rivera) will get involved with in the course of the series that premieres end of the month.

We talked to him last Tuesday lunch at the network’s executive lounge about his moving back to the Kapuso network after working in several projects at ABS-CBN.

“It doesn’t matter which network I work with, for as long as there is work. If a certain network gives me work continuously then I’d be there. I am an actor first and foremost,” he said matter of factly.

In Amaya he plays a warrior along with Mikael Daez who is the Kapuso network’s latest find. The two will compete for Amaya’s attention in the series.

Lucero didn’t have any idea that he would be Urian’s best actor later that night. In fact, he even forgot to shave when he came to the press get together, but brought a shaving implement in case he’d be ask to make his face clean looking and without the week-old beard. He said he would be in a show later as guest along with Daez.

Blusang Itim retold

Afternoons are for soap opera fans, and they are watching these days the retelling of the old wives’s tale called Blusang Itim.

Well, this is an old story set today with Kylie Padilla as the girl born with a deformed face. She, of all people, gets a black blouse that casts magic spell and transforms her into a pretty fashion designer. She will be torn apart by her love for Angelo (Frank Magalona who is Francis M’s junior in real life) and Melchor (Carl Guevara), a childhood friend.

We have seen the first four episodes, which showed how Jessa came to be. His father switched her with another newborn to protect his wife from shock if she saw her child to have a deformed face. Money was all it took for Esmeralda to give up his son for Gerald’s daughter.

The next scenes were typical to local soap. Esmeralda didn’t care about Jessa and abuses her. (If it were in real life, Esmeralda would land in jail, much more if she were in the US.)

Gerald and his wife Rhea and the kid leave for the US, frustrating Esmeralda because she couldn’t blackmail Gerald.

Meanwhile, Jessa meets Melchor and they become good friends.

Fast forward and Jessa meets Angelo, a blind boy. Then Jessa graduates from high school, but her adoptive mother doesn’t really care.

Angelo, no longer blind, is now a top model, and Jessa has a crush on him.

Jessa dreams to be a stylist because she wants Esmeralda to be proud of her.

At the masquerade ball, Jessa is shocked to know that Angelo is her partner. Will Angelo see what’s behind the mask?

Blusang Itim is your newest afternoon soap to watch, after Eat Bulaga on GMA-7.

Cookie is alive and well

After attempts to kill Cookie in the afternoon series Magic Palayok, the child who Sandok and Palayok helped to weather Yvonne and Natasha’s evil designs is still back with the two as they won custody of her.

Jude lost and it’s wearing on his relationship with Pilar.

Yvonne and Natasha are still at it, scheming on how they can get rid of Cookie. Sandok and Palayok are tightly guarding her.

In last Wednesday’s episode, Jude gets Cookie back. She cooks something using the Magic Palayok hoping to heal James.

Now, Yvonne and Natasha file another custody case versus James who they say is not mentally stable. They win and try to bring Cookie to Cebu.

But Jude in the nick of time stops the two evil women from taking Cookie to a far place.. Now Jude has Cookie’s custody.

Can Tonette stop Kenneth and Nikki’s wedding?

So, Tonette is in despair after Kenneth and Nikki announced that they are getting married.

Tonight, everyone is at the dress rehearsals for the wedding but the bride is nowhere to be seen. Tonette takes over and they make their mock vows.

Is this what will happen in the end. I ♥ You Pare is on its last two weeks. Can Tonette/ Tonya stop the wedding and convince Kenneth that she is the woman he met in Vigan?

The series has taken a different tone after Iza Calzado took over Regine Velasquez (who is nursing an infant in her womb and resting) as Tonya/Tonette. Calzado, although trying to give the character left behind by Regine a believable continuity is able to stand on her own interpretation of a woman hiding in a gay character to avoid being killed by the boyfriend of the girl who died in a car crash.

This also somehow tempered the over-the-top performances of the other gay characters in the series. I wonder how it would have been if from the very start Iza was Tonya.

Rocking Seventh High

Legaci, DJ Tay James, and Poreotics rocked Seventh High last Tuesday May 10, in the official after-concert-party of Justin Bieber’s My World Tour in Manila.

Seventh High demonstrated its flexibility as a venue as it catered both to families and teenage party-goers, both out to spend a night with the talented acts who shared the stage with renowned international superstar, Justin Bieber.

The Lounge hosted an amazing performance from the You-Tube sensation, Legaci, who sang a medley of new hits like “Firework” by Katy Perry, and timeless classics like “End of the Road” by Boyz II Men. The four man acapella group composed of Chris Abad, Del Lazaro, Dominic Manuel, and Micah Tolentino showed incredible musical prowess and gave a rousing performance to their adoring fans and family that demonstrated their love and pride for their Filipino roots.

The Club, on the other hand, witnessed a party for the ages as San Francisco’s DJ Rayzaruckus and the famous opening DJ of Beiber, DJ Tay James served a lineup of dance hits that had everybody dancing until sun up. Along with him were Justin Bieber’s bodyguard, Kenny Hamilton who emceed for the night and America’s Best Dance Crew Champions and My World Tour front act, Poreotics, who both raised the energy and hype that was evident in the night’s crowd.

Celebrities of different ages joined the party, including Dennis Padilla, Joko Diaz, Ivan Dorschner, Sam Concepcion, James Reid, Dionne Monsanto, Gee Canlas, JM Rodriguez, Ara Mina, Tirso Cruz III and many more.

Seventh High, a new nightspot that has been making a resounding entry into the nightlife and tourism scene, is slowly becoming a favorite spot for both local and foreign celebrities. With the success of the last Bruno Mars Afterparty and the Our World Party, Seventh High is definitely becoming Manila nightlife’s ultimate experience.

For event inquiries and bookings, contact 7th Hight at and (0917) 585-2164.

Defending The Caveman

Joel Trinidad returns on stage after the successful run of Breakups and Breakdowns, the maiden offering of his theater company, Upstart productions, as he reprises his role in the much-talked about Philippine repeat of Rob Becker’s Defending The Caveman.

Presented by CTE Productions, Defending The Caveman is Broadway’s smash comedy about the sexes with almost eight million tickets sold worldwide and the play is translated in 16 different languages.

Defending The Caveman is directed by Michael Williams and Cathy Azanza-Dy. Catch it tonight and tomorrow (8 p.m.) at Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza.

The OST of Joel’s original musical Breakups and Breakdowns featuring performances by Miss Saigon’s Emerita Alcid is now available. Joel can also be seen in Resorts World’s Broadway meets Vegas production of Kaos.

For tickets inquiries for Defending The Caveman, call Ticketworld at 891-9999.


Producers say Schwarzenegger scandal won’t affect movies

LOS ANGELES - Producers of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s upcoming Hollywood projects – including one in which he plays an animated superhero with a double life he hides from his wife, Maria – say that neither will be affected by the news of him fathering a child with a member of his household staff.

Since finishing his term as California governor in January, the one-time action star has been actively pursuing a return to showbusiness.

He voices the lead character in the upcoming animated series "The Governator" and is scheduled this summer to shoot the live-action drama "Cry Macho", in which he plays an aging horse trainer – a more ambitious role than some of his on-screen personas.

It doesn’t affect this movie," ‘Cry Macho’ producer Albert Ruddy said of the unfolding Schwarzenegger scandal. "We’re shooting August 24; we’re in serious pre-production now. It hasn’t affected our sales. It’s going to be interesting if we get even a bump on the foreign side. This is not gonna be a black eye for a guy with an astounding career."

Ruddy said he did not believe Schwarzenegger’s moviegoing fans will question whether to support his films in the wake of Tuesday’s news.

"This is just another one of those things no one will remember," said Ruddy, 81. "Bill Clinton went through horrendous things, and now he’s regarded as one of the most popular presidents...The only thing that matters is how good the film is. If it fails, they’ll say it’s because of the scandal. If it succeeds, they’ll say in spite of it. It doesn’t matter. The film talks for itself."

Schwarzenegger is also attempting to reboot the "Terminator" franchise, signing on to a package that was recently picked up by Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures. Justin Lin ("Fast Five") is expected to direct that feature.

"The Governator", a collaboration between A2 Entertainment, Archie Comics and Stan Lee’s Pow! Entertainment, has already sold into several foreign territories and awaits a U.S. network.

It stars Schwarzenegger as a superhero with a crime fighting lair beneath his Los Angeles house. Schwarzenegger "creates a secret identity beneath his home -- so secret that even his wife, Maria, and kids are unaware," says the press release for "The Governator", "a superhero living a double life, who’s also a devoted family man who needs to make it home for dinner every night."

Andy Heyward, CEO of A2, says no changes will be made to the series.

"A2’s Governator animated series and its lore is fictional and stands on its merits," Heyward told the Hollywood Reporter. "Of course we wish the family the best in this challenging time." - Reuters

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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