SARAH BEING GROOMED AS 'NEW SHARON'

MANILA, JANUARY 26, 2012 (MALAYA) MARIO BAUTISTA ‘[It] can only mean that ABS-CBN thinks she’s the new Sharon Cuneta.’

THE fact that Sarah Geronimo’s new musical show, "Sarah G," will be occupying the Sunday time slot used to be given to the Megastar (who has moved to TV5) can only mean that ABS-CBN thinks she’s the new Sharon Cuneta. This will start on February 19 and her dream guests are Lea Salonga, Regine Velasquez and Nora Aunor. The last two would have to remain a dream as Regine is Kapuso while Ate Guy is Kapatid.

"Malaking preparasyon ang gagawin ko for this kasi sarili kong show kaya may pressure, daig pa ‘yung nagko-concert ka sa Araneta," she says. "This is a big blessing where I can grow as an artist and host, I also have to leave ‘ASAP’ na Sunday rin pinalalabas to focus on this as it starts on February 19 na."

As usual, the press once again made "kulit" to her about her lovelife, hinting Gerald Anderson is wooing her. She said they text each other and Gerald even gifted her with a Tiffany necklace for Christmas, but he’s not courting her at all and she herself has no time to fall in love again after her secret love affair with Rayver Cruz. "Christmas gift lang po ‘yun, kaya ‘wag na lagyan ng malisya," she laughs.

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Nikki Gil is our favorite musical theater actress after her knockout performances in such plays as "Legally Blonde" and "Sweet Charity." She now plays her first villain role as Empress’ evil sister in "Mundo Man ay Magunaw." Did she have second thoughts about accepting it?

"I asked myself, kaya ko bang magkontrabida?" she says. "Siempre, I’ve never done it before so there’s a bit of reluctance, but then, I thought, I’m an actress and it’s something new for me, so I should accept new challenges like this."

The role of the mean girl Jennifer who makes life miserable for Empress is definitely not her. "As a girl, even my friends can attest na I was never involved in a fight. Tahimik lang ako. But I realized I really want to do offbeat roles like this. Gusto ko talaga, magalit sa’kin ang viewers dito, as that means I‘m an effective villain. I watched a lot of films na may memorable contravidas to know more about the craft. I’ve never been a bitch in my life but this time, ibang Nikki Gil ang makikita nyo."

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What can Jomari Yllana say now that ex-wife Aiko Melendez, who’s with the recently concluded "Reputasyon," has moved to TV5 now that he’s back in ABS-CBN in the new soap "E-Boy," that will replace "Ikaw ay Pag-ibig" starting January 30. Aiko is in the cast of the David Archuluta mini-series, "Nandito Ako."

"O, huwag nyo sabihing ako ang dahilan kaya umalis siya ng ABS as we’re okay, wala kaming problema," he says. "Like me, free lancer naman siya so she’s free to work kung saan may trabaho for her."

How about the rumor that Ronald Singson (they used to be partners producing concerts of foreign artists) is sore at him for not visiting him in jail in Hong Kong?

"He denied that already on TV kasi nga I visited him. Maayos kami, no problem between us, kaya huwag na sana intrigahin. I’m very happy for him na nakabalik na siya sa family niya. Hindi pa kami nagkikita since he came back but I hope to see him soon."

In "E-Boy," he plays Miguel, the brother of Ariel Rivera as Gabriel with whom he’s engaged in sibling rivalry. The show stars child actor Bugoy Carino in the title role of the robot who becomes a real boy later on.

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For the Chinese New Year presentation of "Showbiz Central," they had a dragon dance right inside the studio during their opening sequence. Hosts Pia Guanio, Raymond Gutierrez, Jennylyn Mercado and John Lapus were in the studio while Rufa Mae Quinto was in Don Bosco Church in Makati reporting live about the baptism of the son of Ogie and Regine Alcasid, Nathan James.

The first segment is a new one, "Showbiz Paspas: Scenes, Scoops and Scandals." Each host had a special report. Pia reported about the new sex video of Janelle Manahan and the late Ramgen Revilla now being circulated. Janelle says she’s not worried about this as she’s more focused on the murder and frustrated murder cases she filed against Ramgen’s siblings.

Raymond reported about Camille Prats’ efforts to move on after her husband passed, Jennylyn Mercado reported on Mark Herras’ efforts to be an action star with Cesar Montano in "Hitman," and Sweet reported on Jhake Vargas going into business with a computer shop in Olongapo City.

There’s also a report about Jennylyn Mercado going scuba diving with boyfriend Luis Manzano, Gladys Guevarra feeling sad that her dad died in an accident with them not being able to settle their differences, Bianca King’s mother being happy with or "boto kay" Dennis Trillo, and a behind-the-scenes report on the first taping day of Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera for "My Beloved."

Jay Perillo took the lie detector test and he denied he’s now courting Iwa Moto after Kris Bernal, saying they’re just friends.

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Mona Louise Ray, the child actress who plays "Munting Heredera," cried during their thanksgiving party while thanking everyone involved in the show. She got so many gifts from her co-stars and one of them is a cuddly Pomeranian puppy named Lassie from Mark Anthony Fernandez who plays her dad. "He also gave me a cellphone," she added. "Lahat sila, tinulungan din ako sa acting ko kaya salamat sa lahat."

Gloria Romero, who should win an award for her masterful portrayal of Lola Ana, says GMA-7 is offering a new show right away. "Pero meron ding offer ang ABS. Feeling ko, nililigawan nila akong dalawa, kaya lang I want to rest muna kasi nine months kami halos araw-araw nagte-taping for ‘Munting Heredera,’ so pahinga naman muna ko. Hindi na ako bata at 74. After I’ve rested then I’ll decide what I’d do next."

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Two new actors are introduced in the sexy indie film "Bola": Kenneth Salva and Jacob Miller. Both of them have nude scenes but Jacob is more daring as he does full frontal nudity. Did he hesitate to do that scene?

"When I auditioned, they told me what they expect from me, so alam ko naman kung ano ‘yung pinasok ko," he says.

The son of a Canadian dad and a Pinay mom, he was born on January 22, 1990. "I’m the breadwinner in our family," he says. "I have a brother sa dad ko then our mom had two more kids sa second husband niya, but hiwalay na rin sila kasi nagda-drugs. Being the eldest, I have to earn for all of us. ‘Di na ko nakapag-college at nagtrabaho ako sa NAIA cargo. Since I’m tall, nakuha akong player ng basketball team nila and that came in handy when I auditioned for ‘Bola’ kasi we’re basketball players in the story. I play Brat, a hustler who offers himself to gays to earn money."

Managed by columnist Gorgy Rula, Kenneth is also 22, born and raised in Davao. He’s a third year major in information technology when he decided to work in Manila. "I’m the third of five kids," he says. "’Yung eldest namin, married na and ‘yung second, nasa college din. Sa’kin sila ngayon umaasa. Gusto ko mag-ipon muna then I’d go back to college."

How far did he go in "Bola"?

"Sa audition pa lang, I told them hanggang butt exposure lang."

He delivers the most controversial line in the movie: "Lahat naman ng sikat na basketball players, may experience sa gay."

Kenneth plays the lead role of Lester, an aspiring cager who’s befriended by a gay designer, Arnell Ignacio, who finances his schooling so he can be a member of the college basketball team. His girlfriend, Sofia Valdez, is a model who works with Arnell. He has three hot nude love scenes with Sofia and an extended kissing scene with Arnell. "The ones with Sofia, no problem. Kay Arnell, natulala ako after kissing him. Wala kasi akong experience sa gay."

We’ve seen the movie and Jacob turns out to be the more natural actor, especially in that scene where he cries after his lover, Simon Ibarra, got back all the expensive presents given to him earlier. Kenneth is so obviously a newcomer as he’s ill at ease and conscious in front of the camera. Both of them now play angels who appear with Dingdong Dantes in GMA-7’s new soap, "My Beloved."

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Ogie Alcasid says he became a fan all over again of his Songbird wife Regine Velasquez after he heard her singing to prepare for their Valentine concert, "Mr. & Mrs. A," at the Big Dome on February 14.

"Napapanganga ko when I hear her vocalizing kasi parang mas gumanda pa ang boses niya after she became a mom," he says. "Nagpa-practice pa lang siya nun, what more ‘pag actual performance na?"

Regine confessed she suffered from post-partum blues. "When Nate was born, 4.4. lbs lang siya, ang liit-liit. I really want to breastfeed him but he didn’t know how to latch on my breast so nagpabili na lang kami ng mother’s milk sa breast milk bank. I was crying as I really want him to feed on me, may breastfeeding counselors pa ko, but ayaw niya. Then one day, after two weeks, nilabas ko ‘yung boobs ko, bigla na lang, dumede na siya on his own. So I said, ready na siya. At ‘yun, ang bilis na ng laki niya. In two months, 9 lbs na siya."

Ogie wants to thank their friends who agreed to be guests in the Valentine show: Dingdong Dantes, "Bubble Gang" co-stars led by Michael V, Moymoy Palaboy and Sam Pinto, Vice Ganda, Erik Santos, Kyla, Angeline Quinto, and many more.

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Jason Abalos was linked to Maja Salvador when they were both still starting and handled by Chit Ramos. But except for a one-week of "MU" or mutual understanding, no real romance bloomed between them. They were paired in "Nagsimula sa Puso" three years ago. Now, they’re together again in "Precious Heart Romances Presents Lumayo Ka Man Sa Akin" where he plays Jake Falcon, the earthy farmboy who changes the life of Maja when they meet, even if she is already about to wed Patrick Garcia.

How come most of his shows are for the afternoon slot, just like "Nagsimula sa Puso," "Alynna" and the last one being "Reputasyon" with Cristine Reyes?

"I also don’t know, I guess it’s management’s decision," he says. "But I’m just thankful na sunod-sunod ang shows ko at hindi ako nawawalan ng trabaho. Heto nga, ginawa ko agad itong ‘Lumayo Ka Man’ even before natapos ang ‘Reputasyon’ so hindi talaga ako nababakante. Pero sana nga, makagawa rin ako sa primetime balang araw."

After Bela Padilla who moved to GMA-7, he now admits going steady with Jewel Mische, a "Starstruck 4" winner who has moved to ABS-CBN. "I’m thankful to her dahil siya ang dahilan kaya nagkaroon ako ngayon ng faith. She’s special to me for changing my life for the better. I grew up in a religious family but when I joined showbiz, nabarkada ako’t naiba ang landas ko. Si Jewel ang nag-akay sa’kin pabalik sa faith ko and to grow as a Christian."

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Eula Valdes is honored to reprise a role originally played by Susan Roces in "Mundo Man ay Magunaw." "Mahirap ‘yung role kasi mabibilanggo ka, malalayo ka sa mga anak mo, aapihin ka ng maraming tao, but I welcome all the challenges it offer," she says.

So which one does she prefer to do: a "mabait" role like this one or a "kontrabida" role like what she just did in the remake of "Mula sa Puso"?

"The truth it’s more tiring to do a villain role kasi lagi kang kagalit, high blood, and it can be more emotionally draining."

Is it true she and model Rocky Salumbides have broken up? It’s said she now goes out with a much younger man.

"Saan naman galing ‘yan? As far as I know, kami pa rin. Baka ‘yung eldest son ko ang nakitang kasama ko, si Miguel. He’s 17 now and he’s tall at 5’11" so puede ngang pagkamalang boyfriend ko."

***

Sam Pinto was surprised when she heard that some folks are trying to pit her and Ellen Adarna against each other with reports that Ellen’s January issue on FHM drew more fans than her when Ellen had her autograph signing session.

"Ellen and I are good friends kasi magkasama kami sa ‘Bubble Gang’ kaya sana huwag na lang kami gawaan ng intriga as we get along fine," she says. "Pareho naman kaming may sariling followers so huwag na lang kami pagtapatin."

Sam is happy that 2012 started well for her. She is in GMA-7’s new primetime soap, "Legacy," where she plays a model-endorser for Tala Soap, made by the company owned by Lovi Poe’s family. Her character will be the victim of character assassination and will get involved in a scandal. She’s also in Viva Films’ first offering for the new year, "Hitman," as the daughter of Ricky Davao, a crime lord. "Dahil alam kong masama ang ama ko, I distanced myself from him. I meet Cesar Montano and fall in love, without me knowing na may balak pala siyang gamitin ako against my father kasi gusto niyang maghiganti ditto for killing his family before. Action-packed ang pelikula kaya all those who miss action movies, tiyak na masisiyahan dito."


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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