MANILA, JULY 30, 2011 (STANDARD) by Isah V. Red - It shocked me when the leader of the former Blue Team in the new reality TV on ABS-CBN, Alan Choachuy, was voted to leave the Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition camp in the show’s Monday edition.

Alan, who I thought would last till the finals, registered the second lowest percentage weight loss in last Monday’s weigh in. Logically, since this is a contest and not a soap opera, between him and Art (who had the least weight percentage loss) the surviving contestants were anticipated to vote out Alan were a more competent leader and psychologically more stable than the all of them in the camp.

Art, the leader of the former Red Team, survived the elimination, thanks to his former team mates.

Art and Alan fell below the yellow line in the weigh in after losing the least percentage of weight. They could have both been saved if Ryan and Eboy, the bets of the original ‘Bigating Pinoys,’ lost more pounds than Andy and Leigh did.

Ryan, who earned a five pound advantage in the Temptation challenge, still emerged a winner as the Biggest Loser of the Week with a weight loss of 4.72 percent.

Alan, showing no tears, frustration, or anger, gave the program’s most graceful exit. He, however, admitted that it was hard for him to leave as his fellow contestants had become like his own family.

“I miss Larry, because we always did things together, training and cooking. Art, because we were the leaders of our teams and we always motivated each other. I also miss Angela, she is super sweet and I feel like she is my younger sister,” he said when he was on his way back to Cebu.

Alan hoped that Angela, who joined the show to become fit when she and her husband start a family, and her husband would experience the joy he and wife Caroline felt when they had their first baby.

Alan promised to continue his journey to a healthy and fit lifestyle outside of the Biggest Loser camp. In fact, he intends to join fun runs and hopes to eventually run a half marathon. He said the lessons he learned inside the camp has kept him motivated.

“I learned that it’s never too late to make a change, and before you want to change other people, you should look (at) yourself in the mirror. Start with you and be a role model,” he said.

Soccer mania on primetime TV

Futbolilits is the Kapuso network’s reaction to the growing popularity of soccer in the Philippines. While its official name as a sport is soccer, Filipinos endearingly refer to it as football.

The series features kids (a team made up young boys from the more affluent families in a town and the other those who are underprivileged.

Apart from the drama on the soccer field, the show also is teeming with melodramatic encounters between and among its adult characters played by Raymart Santiago, Paolo Contis, Jennylyn Mercado among others.

It has also elements of fantasy, with a magic pair of shoes helping the team of underprivileged children win their matches against the team of children on the wealthy side of the town.

However, if you have been more familiar with American TV series, don’t expect too much from this show, as the story telling is too far stretched, meandering around the football field before reaching the goal. Whether it will be a score in the end or not, that’s the main problem of the scriptwriters.

Children make good drama draw

Ask me why Munting Heredera is winning the ratings game, and I’ll answer you with just one word: children.

Children have become TV’s newest primetime attraction. Take 100 Days to Heaven, for example. Do you think without Xyriel Manabat that show could even muster a double digit primetime percentage rating points?

Now, the Kapuso network is not surprised Munting Heredera’s ratings has been improving since its first telecast a couple of months back. Now, the production staff are trying to weigh things whether to extend it or not as there are clamors from the audience.

The show seems to have found a new spark when the peace-loving Lola Ana schemed to trap Lynette and make her pay for her lies and dishonesty. Also, the arrogant daughter of Lynette seems to be self-destructing…hmmm, seems the writers of GMA-7 are learning the fundamentals of soap opera, huh!....and the female lead character is gaining more wisdom….that’s the kind of drama that works, right?’

Munting Heredera features Gloria Romero, Camille Prats, Mark Anthony Fernandez, and Katrina Halili, among many, on GMA-7’s primetime block.

Ten-minute wonder

Every season, Quickfire, the only 10-minute kitchen wonder program on TV, gives viewers a good reason to catch quick and easy mouth-watering recipes. Currently airing its 12th season, it now offers a new twist as it features not only sumptuous dishes but its creative creators as well—who are all loyal viewers!

Hosted by Rosebud Benitez (photo), the show features 10-minute wonders as part of the program’s latest treat.

Nheavel Gracilla, Anita Regondola-Cunanan, Ninia Rodil-de Luna, Jacel Ramirez, Mary Suing-Gayeta, Marivic Sta. Iglesia, Aisel Peleyo-Pajuyo, Apple Lim, Tiffany Manlapaz, and Aira Lunas Avila are just some of the foodies who delightedly reveal their recipes.

Inspired by watching Quickfire, they were able to concoct easy-to-cook meals that are healthy, delicious, and even light on the budget, like Nheavel Gracilla’s Chicken Balls in Curry Sauce and Marivic Sta. Iglesia’s Agedashi Tofu.

Giving a twist to the usual vegetable Pinoy viand, Anita Regondola-Cunanan shares her five-Spice Chopsuey and her own recipe of Asian Chicken and Leek Stir Fry. Dentist to the stars Ninia Rodil-De Luna, in turn, demonstrates how she created the irresistible BBQ Prawns with Mango Salsa and Steamed Lapu-Lapu with Ginger Sauce.

Working mom Jacel Ramirez reveals that her love for seafood has led her to invent mouthwatering Mixed Seafoods Escabeche while her Potato Wedges with Pork Carnitas is a creative treat for her family.

Meanwhile, Mary Suing-Gayeta from Cainta, Rizal delivers a new twist to pork, pineapple, mussels and eggplant with her dishes that the whole family will surely enjoy—Pork Cutlet with Pineapple and Tortang Tahong sa Talong.

Other 10-minute kitchen wonders this season are Tiffany Manlapaz’ Crispy Baby Squid, Aira Lunas Avila’s Beefy Brocolli, Apple Lim’s Cuban Rice ala Bulacan and Asian Sweet and Spicy Wings, and Aisel Peleyo-Pajuyo’s Anised Bistek Tagalog and Chorizo Lumpia.

Quickfire is served several times daily on GMA News TV Channel 11.

Jay is a rice farmer

Tonight, George Foster Peabody award winner Jay Taruc (photo) drives his motorcycle up north to Nueva Ecija, to till the fields with rice farmers.

He joins Tata Martin Pangilinan who has been sowing and tilling land from farm to farm for 30 years now. All the while, he has never owned his own land. He lives with his wife Fely who is sick but has been unable to seek medical assistance because of their meager income. In a tattered hut in the middle of their landlord’s farm, they suffer hunger pangs and cold nights, having given up on their hope of a better life.

Why are people who plant our farmlands such as Tata Martin unable to fill their own stomachs? Jay Taruc takes on the backbreaking work this week as he uncovers the sacrifices of peasants despite government’s promise of land reform and alleviation of the common farmer’s woes.

The farming episode of Motorcycle Diaries airs at 8 tonight, also on GMA News TV Channel 11.

Kenny Rogers at Clark

There’s a new Kenny Rogers in Central Luzon.

Kenny Rogers brand ambassador and tri-athlete Mica Tantuico and general manager Danny Pumarega led the ceremonial ribbon cutting ceremonies at the opening of Kenny Rogers Roasters at the ground floor of SM Clark in Pampanga, the restaurant’s 40th branch in the Philippines.

Kenny Rogers is the only restaurant chain in the country that has taken an aggressive role in promoting healthy eating. Also present during the opening were Patricia Erin Tiglao, Mutya ng Angeles 2nd runner up; Tantuico, Pumarega, Lara Isabelle Dizon, Mutya ng Angeles winner; and Chanice de La Cruz, Mutya ng Angeles 3rd runner up.

Vote for next SM Little Star 2011

SM Little Stars Preliminary Screening culminated recently at selected SM malls with over 200 candidates qualifying for the Regional Finals that will he be held on Aug. 7.

Fifteen percent of the criteria for judging go to the Popularity Vote for the Regional Finals.

Everyone is invited to vote.

With a single or accumulated purchase of any Children’s Wear merchandise, the voter gets a ballot coupon on which he can write the name of the candidate of choice.

He can drop the ballot coupon at designated drop box/es in the mall or at any branches of SM Department Store.

The percentage of votes will be computed based on the highest points garnered by the contestants. The highest garnered votes will be the base divisor of each of the candidates’ garnered votes (in points). Voting period is until Aug. 41 (from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.).

The deadline of dropping of ballot coupons is at 9 p.m. of the same day.

Harry Potter’s last film

Braving the storm last Tuesday, I watched Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 3D, curious why everyone seems to go gaga over this film, apart from the fact that it’s the ending to the two-part Deathly Hallows.

I failed to watch the first part in cinemas but made sure that I watched it on DVD at home, and I must say I didn’t comprehend what it was really all about.

The second part picks up where Harry Potter left off in the first part, but still I am lost. Honestly, I am not a fan of the book’s writer, in similar fashion as I don’t go crazy over the Twilight series.

Now, the second part doesn’t offer much, just like the first. Apart from the film is already darker than it’s first two installments, this second part of the last of the Potter books seems to have been soaked in magic gobbledygook I can’t even understand what Potter is trying to do…survive Voldemort’s rage…oh yes that simple I am able to grasp.

In some parts of the film my eyes could no longer hold up to the 3D technology…I think this film is best suited to 2D…I gave in to what it wanted…close them and for a while my mind was off Harry. It felt good, especially with the air-conditioning inside the Cinema 3 in Trinoma.

When I opened my eyes, it was like half-an hour to the film’s end. I told myself…wait for the DVD copy and you can watch the movie again…and again…or if you fall asleep once more…you can play it again and watch.

So, Harry, I’ll wait for the film on DVD…and hopefully not for long.


We got mail from a Gary Granada fan who is very thankful for the feature we did on the singer recently. Here it is:

Dear Isah,

Your information about Gary Granada’s “Essential Collection” in your ‘Schmucks’ column today, July 26, is a most refreshing news. I am a full fledged Gary Granada fan as I simply admire the sense and depth in the music of the man. Gary is one of the musical geniuses of our times. One of my saddest days as a music fan was when I bought his last album “Basurero Sa Luneta” where he declared that the album would be his last. That is why the news about his collection has breathed a sense of hope to fans like me who will continue to await Gary’s resumption of his music-weaving.

May I know where the said collection can be bought.

Thanks and with every good wish.

Best, Jojo V. Mejia

Thanks for the feedback, Jojo.


“The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition” Contestants Inspire Sharon Cuneta To Slim Down Friday, June 3, 2011 , Posted by JED at 1:43:00 PM

“The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition,” the newest offering from reality show capital ABS-CBN, has proven to be a heavyweight not just in the ratings game but also in the hearts of viewers. The show even became a top trending topic in Twitter during its pilot airing with people tweeting their sentiments as they were touched if not inspired by the stories and determination of the contestants.

After posting a rating of 20.5 percent on its premiere telecast based on the national TV ratings from Kantar Media last Monday, May 30, the Sharon Cuneta-hosted reality show has consistently crushed competition and entered the top five TV programs in the country on a daily basis.

More importantly, the inspiring stories of the 14 “Bigating Pinoy” contestants have moved viewers, even Sharon herself.

When the Megastar first met the contestants, who from being 12 became 14 after an early twist in the competition, they felt star-struck and were at loss for words. But the scenes during the recent weigh-in would show the iconic singer-actress was just as at awe and honored to have met them.

Obviously fighting tears, Sharon made a surprising revelation while the contestants lined up to find out their starting weight.

“I had a midlife crisis. I was very angry. ‘Cause I was everybody’s sweetheart all of a sudden I turned a year older, everybody changed. And I lost all desire to look good,” she bravely said.

But after seeing the determination of the 14 to face the truth about their condition and their determination to transform their lives, Sharon regained faith in herself to change for the better.

“Thank you for making me feel this. I will work hard to slim down and get back in shape,” she said.

Her encouragements and own sharing created an impact on the 14 - Alan, Art, Eboy, Eric, JM, Larry, Raffy, Ryan, Angela, Destiny, Edden, Joy, Hazel and Winwin - because she made them feel they have one more ally in their journey.

Winwin said she feels at home in the camp, because they have someone who understands them and really cares for them. Raffy also said that his respect for the revered actress even grew higher.

The contestants weren’t the only ones positively affected by Sharon’s approach as a host.

Wilbur Ryan Serrano said in Twitter, “I feel yung sincerity ni #sharoncuneta sa mga @BLPinoyEdition ..if theres a will..theres a way...go go go!!”

In the popular forum Pinoyexchange izzzzzlaw also posted “gusto ko maghost dito si ate shawie kase may sympathy sya sa mga contstants , at nagmomotivate sa kanila..”

The people behind the program, meanwhile, hope that while viewers continue to support the program, they also begin transforming their own lives, even if it’s not obesity they have to fight.

On the coming days, they will get to see more action as the trainers Jim Saret and Chinggay Andrada begin the rigorous training for their respective teams. Using different methods, the two are wasting no time in getting the contestants to lose as much weight in time for the weigh-in next week. After all, the group with the lesser average percentage of weight-loss will have to pick one member from their team to oust in the show.

Which “Bigating Pinoy” will fall first and which team will win the challenges with game master Derek Ramsay?

Don’t miss the exciting developments in the reality show that will bring big changes to the lives of every Filipino, “The Biggest Loser Pinoy Edition,” Monday to Friday on ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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