[PHOTO - Pres. Noynoy ‘P-Noy’ Aquino and Grace Lee (right) Dr. Vicki Belo and her beloved Hayden Kho]

MANILA, FEBRUARY 25 2012 (PHILSTAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo - The trouble with Pres. Noynoy Aquino (and his rumored girlfriend Grace Lee) is the same as the trouble with Dr. Vicki Belo (and her beloved “backsliding”[?] boyfriend Hayden Kho).

You know, they start a fire and when the conflagration gets out of control, they scream an appeal to the people for help.

Until P-Noy and Grace started being seen in public (the latest having been at Serendra where they had a Valentine dinner with selected friends), nobody was paying much attention to the presidential love life. Then, P-Noy confirmed dating Grace who, in turn, announced it to the whole world in a flurry of interviews, until they became fodder for the headlines. Interesting, isn’t it? Imagine letting the public in on their hours-long phone conversations and their “secret” dates, and even having themselves photographed cheek-to-cheek!

Now, P-Noy, along with Grace, is appealing to the public to give them privacy, something they have perhaps unwittingly forfeited when they made public their romance. If they value their privacy, why do they go on dates in very public places?

And here came Dr. Vicki and Hayden with their LQ’s (Lovers’ Quarrel) waged in the Internet and on national television. Had not Vicki kicked off the issue of Hayden’s “infidelity” on her Twitter, the public wouldn’t have gotten wind of it. In an exchange of juicy tweets, the lovers hurled accusations at each other, each accusing the other of having a “third party,” in Hayden’s case Nancy Castiglione (who has denied being the cause of the couple’s break-up) and in Vicki’s case a certain Al Galang who is said to be a yoga instructor.

Like in a worn-out script, Vicki and Hayden have kissed and made up, with Hayden admitting having wrongly suspected Vicki of having an affair and asking forgiveness and Vicki’s heart melting like ice-cream in the summer sun — all of it erupting on the heels of the launch of Hayden’s eponymous perfume which, at the rate he’s conducting himself, might not be able to make his public image smell good.

Linda Estrella at her prime with actress-daughter Tessie Agana: One of the last of Philippine Movies’ golden era

Moral of these two stories?

Well, if you can’t control a fire, don’t start it. If you want privacy, don’t go public. If you can’t help being in love and don’t want people poking their noses into your affair, be discreet.

Linda Estrella now ‘singing with angels’

Sad news: Former Sampaguita actress Linda Estrella is gone.

The mother of ‘50s child super-actress Tessie Agana died at age 89 last Saturday, Feb. 18, in Hobart, Indiana, USA.

Here’s a report on Linda sent to Funfare by my Big Apple correspondent Edmund Silvestre who got it from an Internet source:

Linda, whose real name is Consuelo Vera Rigotti Agana, was launched as a teenager by Sampaguita Pictures. She appeared in her first film Princesita, playing the young Carmen Rosales, and went on to star in approximately 25 classic movies including Milyonara At Hampas Lupa, Batas ng Daigdig and Kasaysayan Ni Rudy Concepcion, among many others. She was also a regular in a radio show called Kuwentong Kapitbahay.

[PHOTO - Linda Estrella at her prime with actress-daughter Tessie Agana: One of the last of Philippine Movies’ golden era]

On May 16, 1942, her daughter Tessie was born and followed in her mother’s footsteps. Tessie first appeared in Kampo O’ Donnell as Linda’s daughter, along with Pancho Magalona.

But in 1950, Sampaguita Studios was ravaged by a fire that destroyed hundreds of film prints. Soon after, Linda’s first cousin, Nene Vera Perez, and her husband Dr. Jose (Pinggot) Perez, owners of Sampaguita Pictures, cast Tessie as the title role in Roberta which turned out to be “the motion picture that made history” and literally helped Sampaguita Pictures rise from the ashes. Tessie loved acting and later made several movies until 1957 when the family moved to the US.

Linda was born Dec. 3, 1922, in Pandan, Catanduanes, to Jose Alcala Rigotti from Polangui, Albay, and Francisca Vera, a native of Pandan. Music has always been a part of her life. Her father Jose, being part Italian, had a beautiful voice and would sing to her mother, especially when she was inis (angry) with him, which would change her mood and make her happy. Linda always loved singing around the house when she was a child. In 6th grade, she began voice lessons.

She continued her music studies while attending Philippine Women’s University in Manila where she had the honor of studying voice with world-renowned opera singers Dalisay Aldaba, Felicing Tirona and Adoring Reyes. Her first year of college was interrupted by the start of World War II in 1941.

When she was 17, she met the most important person in her life, one who would eventually be her husband, Dr. Adriano “Aning” Agcaoili Agana. They met at a Red Cross canteen during Philippine Women’s Night where he asked her to dance. In those days, however, she was not allowed to dance because her parents were strict. But like a typical teenager, she eventually ended up dancing with him since her parents were not around (and only after her chaperone cousin gave her approval).

After one year of courtship, they were married on June 8, 1941, and the marriage lasted 51 years until Aning’s death in 1992. They lived by the motto to “not let the sun set on a quarrel” — one of the keys, they believed, to a good, lasting happy marriage.

In 1957, the Agana family sought a different life and moved to the United States, where they were out of the limelight and could embrace the American dream and a “normal” life.

In the years that followed, Linda worked at the Philippine Consulate in Chicago and the Philippine Consulate in New York, providing the bridge between her new American life and her Filipino roots and foundation. She was honored with an invitation to sing for the diplomats.

Aning was very active in many Filipino medical associations. He was a member of the board of governors of the Philippine Medical Association in Chicago (PMAC). It was at a PMAC Dinner Ball where Aning introduced Tessie to Dr. Rodolfo Jao. Two years later they married, on June 20, 1964. Rudy and Tessie moved to Valparaiso, Indiana. They have nine children, and 13 grandchildren.

“We can only imagine she is now singing with the angels and watching over us all,” said Radmar Agana Jao, one of Linda’s grandsons said.

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Quiz On My List at The Library

[PHOTO - Iwa Moto (below, left) and Pow (below, right), together with (from left) Russel, John and Rowell are featured in Quiz On My List which is set for Tuesday, Feb. 28, at The Library. Directed by Andrew Yadao, the show is sponsored by The Philippine STAR, Little Asia, Cross-Channel Advertising Service, Calata Corporation and Antonov Vodka. Tickets are available at the venue.]

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Can you guess who they are?

The boy and the girl, both encircled, do look familiar, don’t they? This vintage photo was taken more than half a century ago at the Moises Salvador Elementary School in Legarda, Sampaloc, where they were classmates who were forever at each other’s necks, fighting like cat and mouse inside the classroom and out of it. He was always teasing her, much to her irritation. One time, the girl stabbed the boy with a pencil and they were hauled off to the principal’s office. The boy was the teachers’ pet and the girl, well, she was always dismissed as the kontrabida. He came from a rich family on Loreto St. and she from a poor family on Lardizabal St. Years later, guess how they ended up — together in Startalk as hosts. The girl grew up to be Lolit Solis, as feisty as ever; and the boy, Joey de Leon, as playful as ever.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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