[PHOTO - Columnist Alfie Lorenzo wrote on a tabloid that Ms. Nora Aunor, yes, the Superstar herself is arriving in the Philippines this coming Thursday, early in the morning via PR 103! After so many rumors that the Superstar is going back home, I hope that this one is for real this time. Are you excited to see Nora Aunor back in showbiz. She is supposed to play a big role in the up-coming bio-pic of Emilio Aguinaldo, where Ate Guy will play the role of Maria Agoncillo, Aguinaldo’s second wife. Are you excited to see Ate Guy back in showbiz FROM]

MANILA, AUGUST 2, 2011 (MALAYA) MARIO BAUTISTA  (Already sure to give Ate Guy good support in the show is recent Cinemalaya best actress winner, Eugene Domingo’)

IT’S COMMON practice for some writers to conclude that showbiz couples going abroad together will be tying the knot while they’re away. Bea Alonzo and Zanjoe Marudo are now in Paris for a TFC promo show and it’s said they’ll have a secret marriage while they are there. The same goes for Robin Padilla who took wife Mariel Rodriguez with him to Paris. They’ll take a side trip to Rome and writers are saying they will exchange vows at the Vatican. Then there’s the controversial couple, Dr. Vicki Belo and inamorato Hayden Kho. They’re now in the Machu Picchu ruins in Peru and again, wags are saying they’ll exchange I do’s while they’re there. Of course, when these couples return, expect the predictable rounds of the usual denials.


TV5 PR head Peachy Guioguio confirmed to us that they sponsored Nora Aunor’s return to Manila after eight years in the U.S. They had a big presscon for Ate Guy at Edsa Shangri-la then she will start taping her soap for them right away. Entitled "Donya Negra," it will have Nora playing a grieving widow who will not take off her mourning clothes until she obtains justice for her murdered husband, to be played by real life ex-hubby Christopher de Leon who just finished "Captain Barbell" for GMA-7. This will be directed by Mario O’Hara who directed Ate Guy in "Tatlong Taong Walang Diyos" in 1976 for which she won several awards. Already sure to give Ate Guy good support in the show is recent Cinemalaya best actress winner, Eugene Domingo, who wants to correct those who write that it’s her first best actress award. "I already won best actress sa Golden Screen for ‘Kimmy Dora’ so second best actress award ko na ito," she adds.


Kris Bernal looked so thin while dancing at the presscon of "Time of Your Life." But when we saw her on the TV monitor, she looked just fine. "Ganun talaga," she says later. "Lumalaki kasi ang image sa TV. It’s my choice to be slim for this role kasi sa production numbers that we do, puro sexy outfits ang suot ko. Alangan namang sumayaw akong may bilbil ako."

The dancing is really exciting to watch as it throbs with life and vitality. Everyone danced, including the more senior members of the cast like Ronnie Henares, Geleen Eugenio, Cherie Gil, Jean Garcia, Emilio Garcia and Raymond Bagatsing. The conflict starts when Raymond leaves Cherie for Jean. Cherie becomes vindictive and steals Jean’s child to kill her but Tanya Gomez gets the baby girl and takes care of her until she becomes Kris, who plays Shane, the girl torn between childhood friend Jason (Rocco Nacino) and bad boy Patrick (Mark Herras). They’re members of the dance group called Motion Masters whose main rival is The Elite Crew, led by LJ Reyes, stepdaughter and protégé of Jean Garcia who doesn’t know Kris is the daughter she thought died in a fire. "Madudugo ang dance numbers dito," adds Kris. "We rehearse for one whole day before the actual taping at ang sakit talaga lagi ng katawan ko. But aside from the dancing, grabe rin ang mga eksena ng drama kaya napakahirap talaga gawin. I’m so thankful to GMA kasi sa akin pala umiikot ang main story ng show na ito."


Katya Santos started as a child star in "Ang TV" and "Okidokidoc." At the presscon of "Maria La del Barrio" where she plays villain to Erich Gonzales, she admitted she’s now 29 years old. She doesn’t look it, though. Now much slimmer due to a diet of oatmeal and bananas, she says she’s currently loveless. "This is the longest period so far that I’ve been loveless," she says. "Ngayon lang ako naging single ng ganito kahabang panahon as I want to give more time to myself at happy naman ako."

What can she say now that her colleagues at Viva Hot Babes like Andrea del Rosario, Gwen Garci, Myles Hernandez and Ella V. are now either married or with kids? "I’m happy for them. In time, darating din naman ako diyan, but I’m not in a hurry."


JM de Guzman and Kean Cipriano play the producer and the director who got Eugene Domingo to play the lead role in the film on poverty that they’re doing in "Ang Babae sa Septic Tank," winner of the best picture (New Breed Category) and Audience Awards in the Cinemalaya filmfest. Star Cinema now distributes it. It opens in theaters Wednesday. It’s the first Cinemalaya entry this year to get a theatrical release right after the filmfest.

"I feel so blessed na ito ang first movie ko," says Kean, a TV5 regular. "Biruin mo, award winner na, tapos big hit pa. Not all newcomers are given this kind of break."

They’re both in awe of their lead actress, Eugene Domingo. "Ibang klase siya," says JM. "Lahat ng klase ng acting, ibinuhos na niya rito. She deserves her best actress win. Ilang beses ko siya hinalikan at niyakap to show how much I appreciate her talent."

JM and Kean are both vertically challenged. We wish they were a few inches taller. But viewers nowadays are ready to accept not so tall leading men. The best is example is Coco Martin who’s only about 5’5" or 5’6" but is now one of ABS-CBN’s hottest properties.


Rochelle Pangilinan admits she was very nervous when she did her honeymoon scene with Sid Lucero in "Amaya."

"Never pa akong nakipa-bedscene sa buong career ko kaya naiilang ako," she says. "Direk Mac Alejandre explained to me that we’re supposed to be newlyweds, kaya kailangan ang eksena. Buti na lang mabait si Sid at inalalayan niya ko. I’m so thankful to be part of ‘Amaya’ kasi people now call me Marikit, my name doon. This week, someone stabs Sid as Bagani. ‘Yung gamot sa sugat niya was poisoned by Mia Pangyarihan as Silay, so he got worse. Buti na lang, Marian Rivera as Amaya is guided by her twin snake to get the right herbal medicine to heal him. Dahil dito, bumilib si Gardo Versoza as Rajah Mangubat kay Amaya, not knowing siya ‘yung babaeng may kakamabal na ahas predicted to kill him. But Sid discovers Amaya’s secret."


Mercedes Cabral is the female equivalent of Coco Martin when it comes to doing indie films. Just like Coco who got to Cannes because of the indie films he did, Mercedes also made it in Cannes for starring in Dante Mendoza’s films like "Serbis" and "Kinatay," where she was both paired with Coco. As we all know, Coco hit it big in mainstream showbiz after ABS-CBN got him and he stole the thunder from Gerard Anderson and Jake Cuenca in "Tayong Dalawa." There’s no doubt he’s now one of the networks hottest actors.

Will ABS similarly succeed with Mercedes who they now got to co-star with Zanjoe Marudo and Megan Young in "Hiyas"?

Mercedes, who just did two new indie films, "Ligo Na U Lapit na Me" with Edgar Allan Guzman and "Liberacion" with Jackie Woo, is keeping her fingers crossed ABS would do magic for her career. There was a time it was rumored she and Coco were really on, especially after they did a nude love scene in "Serbis" where Coco’s manhood was exposed. "No, we were never on," says Mercedes. "But I’m hoping sana mabigyan ako ng chance to work with him dito sa ABS. That would be fun."


GMA teen heartthrob Derrick Monasterio turned 16 on August 1 and he plans to give himself a car as birthday gift. "I need to have my own vehicle sa dami ng commitments ko," he says. "I’m taping ‘Reel Love Presents Tween Hearts’ and ‘Sinner of Saint’ on TV and also shooting two movies, the horror film ‘The Road’ and the youth-oriented teen romance, ‘Tween Academy, Class of 2012.’ I’m also recording my first album kaya very busy ako talaga."

GMA is building him up as one of their top actors and his difference with the network’s other male teens is that he’s not identified with just one ka-love team. Joshua Dionisio is identified with Barbie Forteza, Jake Vargas with Bea Binene and Kristoffer Martin with Joyce Ching. In his case, he’s paired in different projects with the likes of Louise de los Reyes, Kylie Padilla and Lexi Fernandez. "I just want to thank the viewers dahil sinusuportahan nila ako kahit sino pa ang kapareha ko," he says.


We’ve seen newcomer Josh Padilla in several presscons for TV5’s "Bagets, Just Got Lucky" but we’ve never seen his dad Gino Padilla accompanying him. "Ayaw niya raw kasing masabihang stage father siya," says Josh. "He agreed na pumasok ako sa showbiz as long as I won’t neglect my studies. I promised him naman na ang pag-aaral ko pa rin sa Ateneo ang magiging priority ko at hindi ang pag-aartista."

A college junior majoring in communications technology, he reports to his classes even if he’s tired from taping "Bagets." At 18, he has yet to have a girlfriend. "Bahay-school lang ako dati. E, ngayon, may work pa."

Does he sing like his dad?

"Yes, but focus muna ko sa acting as of now."

Managed by Viva Artists, his crush is Viva colleague Cristine Reyes. In "Bagets," he figures in a love triangle with AJ Muhlach and Nadine Lustre. It’s reported earlier that he’s a "pasaway" on the set. "Nagtaka nga ako when I heard about that dahil nakikisama naman ako sa lahat sa set ng ‘Bagets.’ May attitude problem daw ako. But you can ask my co-stars, never akong naging problema sa taping. Pag wala ako sa eksena, tahimik lang ako memorizing my lines. So I don’t know why they say pasaway ako when I follow what my dad told me: ‘wag akong maging problema sa set."

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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