(STAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo (Photo - Korina Sanchez and husband, DOTC Sec. Mar Roxas: Their ‘joint project’ will be undertaken in 2012, Year of the Dragon (Korina is a Dragon) 

The big question is WHEN?

“But definitely,” assures Korina Sanchez, “it will come.”

“It” is her much-awaited first baby with husband DOTC Sec. Mar Roxas.

“Mar and I are taking this ‘project’ seriously,” added Korina, “and we are working hard at it.”

Will it be this year (but aren’t Korina and Mar pressured since there are only two months left in the Year of the Rabbit)?

“Hmmmmm,” smiled Korina, “I have doubts. An important ‘joint project’ like that needs time.”

Then, it has to be in 2012 which happens to be the Year of the Dragon. Yes, Korina is a Dragon and three feng shui masters have told her and Mar that it will be a great — and fruitful? — year for them.

But for the baby, Korina said that 2011 is a good year for both her and Mar. No complaints, she said.

“Wala akong masabi,” she admitted, “I can’t think of anything more to ask. There was one year when everything was a challenge but this year is different. I have so much to be thankful for. God has been good to us. I hope the blessings continue to pour in.”

And that’s notwithstanding the persistent rumor that her marriage was going through rough sailing, although nobody could produce a concrete proof that Mar has an “other woman.” In the first place, he never has and will never have one.

“He’s faithful,” said somebody close to the couple. “If Mar did have an ‘other woman,’ siguro ‘yon ‘yung job niya as secretary.”

If Mar is busy with the country’s problems, Korina is herself preoccupied with her hosting job at ABS-CBN (with TV Patrol World and Rated K).

Recently, Korina was awarded as Amazing Alumni by her Maryknoll (now Miriam) College Foundation. Her batch mates gave her a standing ovation for her contributions (combining “mind and heart”) to the broadcast industry.

“There’s nothing quite like the school where you learn and make mistakes from which you learn some more. It’s a great homor to be honored by your school,” adding, “actually, I was a naughty student but I did excel in the subjects that I liked, Math not included.”

Two weeks ago, TV Patrol and Rated K won honors at the Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA) which elevated both shows to the Hall of Fame (having been awarded three times). At the KBP (Kapisanan ng Mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas) Awards, Korina also won Best Newscast for her TV Patrol Weekend coverage of the beatification of the Blessed John Paul II.

“Thanks to the full support of ABS-CBN for all my efforts,” said Korina. “Mababait sa akin ang mga boss ko.”

She has achieved more for her family.

“This year, I finally invested on the long-term education of all my nephews and nieces, treated my entire family to a trip abroad, renovated our family’s ancestral home, reached my charity quota for the year and started several projects that I had put on-hold.”

Korina and Mar celebrated their second wedding anniversary last October.

With several projects over and done with, will Korina buckle down to starting her “joint project” with Mar?

“Let’s just say that the Year of the Dragon augurs well for me kasi nga Dragon ako,” she smiled. “Funfare will break the good news as soon as it happens, promise!”

Update on Gwen Ruais, our bet in Miss World tilt

[PHOTO - 2011 Miss World Philippines Gwen Ruais with fellow candidates during the rehearsal for the traditional dance. The coronation night is set for Nov. 6 (Nov. 7 Manila Time) in London.]

Like the 2011 Miss International in China (where our bet Dianne Necio hopes to bring home the country’s fifth title), the grand finals of the 2011 Miss World contest will also be held in London on Nov. 6 (Nov. 7 Manila time, aired live by GMA starting at 10 a.m.), with our bet Gwen Ruais aiming for the only title so far not won by any Filipina.

“A record high of 120 candidates (up from last year’s 115) are competing,” reported Funfare’s “other beauty expert” Celso de Guzman Caparas. “Four countries are making their debut in the search, namely Armenia, Kyrgyztan, South Sudan and St. Barts. More than one half of the batch are in college, some are already graduates and majority speak three or four languages.”

Said Julia Morley, Miss World Organization (MWO) chairwoman, “The unique nature of the pageant is that it unites 120 countries under one roof, eating the same food and building strong friendships.”

Gwen is the first ever Miss World Philippines chosen under a new franchise-holder with Cory Quirino as national director who is in London to support Gwen. The fast-track event is set for today, in which Gwen will wear purely-Filipino-made wardrobe and accessories by Eric delos Santos, Jot Losa, Delby Bragais and Gerry Sunga.

“For the grand finals,” said, Celso, “she will wear a gown specially-designed by Hollywood-based Filipino designer Oliver Tolentino.”

Reigning Miss World is Alexandria Mills of USA who was here to crown Gwen during the Miss World Philippines selection.

Nonito Donaire’s personal choices

Nonito Donaire Jr. and his wife Rachel handpicked Lianah Sta. Ana (left) and Tiffany Viray to sing the American and Philippine National Anthems during his bout with Argentinian Omar Narvaez at New York City’s Madison Square Garden last Oct. 22. Donaire won. Both from Freehold, New Jersey, Lianah, 12, and Tiffany, 14, were chosen from among several video entries submitted via the YouTube. The two are champions of the famous Apollo Amateur Night at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. Last year, Lianah won the World Championship of the Performing Arts in L.A. — Reported by EDMUND SILVESTRE

Amazing Phl beauties; Pinay transgender in Thailand tilt

Miss Amazing Philippine Beauties, said to be the most popular gay pageant in the country, recently launched its ninth nationwide search. Twenty-five official candidates are competing during the pre-pageant on Nov. 12, 8 p.m., and at the grand coronation night on Nov. 19, also at 8 p.m., at the Manila Film Center, CCP Complex, Pasay City. Right: Michelle Binas, 27 (a native of Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat), one of Manila’s Five Prettiest, will compete at the seventh Miss International Queen 2011 in Pattaya, Thailand, on Nov. 4. The pageant is known for producing the most beautiful transgenders in the world. — Reported by Funfare’s ‘beauty experts’ Felix Manuel, Joey Cezeare, Gery Yumping and Francis Calubaquib

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved