Sen. Chiz Escudero and ex-wife Tintin during happier times. Below: Kris Aquino will have Chiz as special co-host for one week in her ABS-CBN show.]

MANILA, JULY 3, 2012 (PHILSTAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo - Quiet for a long time, Tintin ex-Escudero has finally spoken, but only a bit and reluctantly, on her failed seven-year marriage to Sen. Chiz Escudero that has recently been annulled. The un-couple has twins who are in the care of Chiz at the condo unit near the Christ The King Church in Quezon City which he shared with Tintin until two Christmases ago when she packed her things and said goodbye to Chiz — for good.

Like Chiz who has kept mum on what caused their break-up, Tintin didn’t go into details when Funfare had a chat with her during a chance phone call. It was providential, the phone call. During a trip to Singapore over the weekend to interview Hawaii Five-O actor Daniel Dae Kim, I saw a sign that had a “Tintin” on it and I wondered how Chiz’s ex-wife had been doing since news of their domestic meltdown was reported as a “scoop” by this corner two years ago.

Arriving home Saturday, I casually dialed Tintin’s celfone number and…surprise, surprise!...she answered.

“I’m okay,” she said.

Okay with herself or okay with Chiz?

“Okay with myself and okay with Chiz,” she added. “In fact, Chiz and I are friends.”

The twins, now almost four years old, have to be with their father because, according to Tintin, “Chiz is more financially capable of taking care of them.”

As friends, Tintin admitted that she and Chiz would, so to speak, shoot the breeze when she drops by their old love nest to visit the kids.

“We would talk over a few drinks and listen to music,” she said.

Well, just like old times, except that there’s nothing romantic between them anymore. The soft music is just that, soft music, and it doesn’t rekindle anything.

“We have to be friends for the sake of our children,” Tintin explained. “And what do we talk about when we see each other? About the kids, but never about our personal lives.”

[2011 PHOTONEWS -Say whut? From politician to dancer, Chiz Escudero's wife, Christine Escudero, now opts for someone limber and perhaps more acrobatic in bed! Jason Zamora is a member of dance group Maneuvers and the brother of Joshua Zamora who now lives in with ex-Sexbomb girl Jopay Paguia. Classy! ]

Like many showbiz-watchers, Tintin said that she only hears from the grapevine or reads in the tabs about the women linked to Chiz, among them Heart Evangelista and Kris Aquino who will have Chiz as co-host (for one week) on her ABS-CBN show Kris TV’s first-anniversary specials starting today. Both Heart and Kris have denied the yarn (although Heart has admitted having gone out to dinner with Chiz who confirmed it).

“I never ask him about (the women),” said Tintin. “Wala na ako d’un. It’s his business and I respect him.”

In the same way that Chiz politely refrains from asking Tintin about her private life, not even as much as hinting if the rumor linking Tintin to a handsome dancer is true or not. They respect each other’s space.

Told that Chiz has become showbiz na showbiz (well, election time is just around the corner, you know, and showbiz exposure is a “must” for a candidate!), last night guesting on Ogie Alcasid and Michael V.’s GMA show Pare & Pare, Tintin said she’s happy for him.

Beyond that, Tintin said nothing more. She made it clear that she was talking to me “for old time’s sake” and I had to ask her permission to publish what we talked about which were all, I must make it clear, very positive.

A few minutes after we hung up, Tintin texted me this message:

Hi Ricky! Thank you for calling me earlier on. For someone who had been there when we were starting as a couple, when we got married, when I gave birth to our lovely twins, you have remained fair in judgment despite my sudden silence after the break-up. I guess we are all entitled to that.

And yes, Chiz and I are still friends. We have to be, for the sake of our children. I am and will always be there for my children. Although it may be difficult physically because they are living with their father, I make it a point to spend time with them and make every moment worthwhile for us.

What happened to us is not something that doesn’t happen every day, so we can only make the best of what we have in the present, and work for a better future. I am happy for all the blessings Chiz has because he deserves every single bit of it. He is a great father and I, along with my children, are proud of him!

I texted Tintin back, “Thank you, Tintin, take care!”

But I forgot to add, May you be as happy as Chiz seems to be and as blessed as he is. You deserve as much happiness as he does.

Maroon 5 Big Dome concert almost sold out

The Maroon 5 Live in Manila concert, with The Cab as special guest, is set for Sept. 18 yet at the Smart Araneta Coliseum and Funfare sources reported that tickets (which went on sale barely two weeks ago) are almost sold out. The producers, Midas Promotions in cooperation with Dayly Entertainment, is finalizing an extension.

“Blame” it on the group’s front man Adam Levine who promises to swing it like “Jagger.”

The band’s first album Songs About Jane brought them commercial success as their singles She Will Be Loved, This Love and Harder to Breathe hit the airwaves and climbed the MRS (Most Requested Songs) chart. They became popular in the Philippines particularly through the song She Will Be Loved.

Their latest phenomenal hit, Moves Like Jagger, went down in history as the most-paid downloaded song, prompting the band to explore the idea of co-writing. The underlying message of their new album title captures the band’s willingness to take a step further in terms of music and take risks.

“I feel like we’ve been standing on the edge of a cliff for a long time,” Levine was quoted as saying. “We’re a band that’s always been close to being full on pop, but that’s rooted in a lot of other things: Rock, soul, funk, the list goes on. Overexposed is the first time we’ve ever completely embraced the idea of making pop music — of making songs for the radio. We just said, ‘Let’s not be afraid to do what we basically are.’”

Levine’s added exposure as a mentor and host for the hit reality TV show The Voice further fueled the band’s status as one of this generation’s music icons. It would be hard to deny that Maroon 5’s worldwide recognition comes not just from their music but also from the palpable charisma that Levine generates. His presence on stage can command thousands of screams louder than a thunder.

(Note: For ticket inquiries, call 911-5555 or go online at www.ticketnet.com.ph.)

First batch of Mutya bets from overseas

Preliminary screenings for this year’s Mutya ng Pilipinas search have just been concluded in Bacolod, Cebu, Iloilo, Cagayan de Oro and Davao. Another screening was held yesterday at the SkyDome of SM North EDSA, with two more set for July 7 and 9, from 1 to 6 p.m.

The coronation night will be on Aug. 12 at the Meralco Theater.

Aspirants must be 18 to 25 years old, at least 5’5” tall and a high school graduate, must possess beauty of face and figure, smart and witty, of Filipino ancestry, and with at least one grandparent in the paternal and maternal line possessing Filipino citizenship. (For inquiries, call the pageant secretariat at 0917-5260777.)

Meanwhile, here’s the first batch of Mutya aspirants from Filipino communities overseas:

= From Norway, Marie Peter, 21, 5’8” tall. She speaks English, German, Norwegian and Tagalog (also fluent in the Aklanon dialect). Currently, she’s the chairman of a youth organization in Norway engaged in community debates, courses and conferences.

= From Midwest USA, Kylla Gallardo, 21. She was born in Manila but her family migrated to the US. She likes meeting new acquaintances, exploring unfamiliar places, and being a good role model to the youth.

= From the US East Coast, Caitlin Gainey whose mother is a Batangueńa and whose father has Irish heritage. She’s taking up International Business at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. She looks up to Audrey Hepburn as a role model.

Chiz & Tintin: Yes, it's over!


FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo The Philippine Star Updated April 19, 2011 12:00 AM 0 comment to this post

Sen. Chiz Escudero and wife Tintin: Where has love gone?

The first time I used that title was more than 12 years ago when Pops Fernandez, after denying to death that her marriage to Martin Nievera was on the rocks, finally confessed to The STAR, which broke the story three years earlier, that the persistent rumors were true, saying with finality, “When it’s over, it’s over!”

The second time that headline appeared in Funfare was more than two years ago when a Funfare VDPA (Very Deep Penetration Agent) confirmed that Robin Padilla and Liezl Sicangco had been separated for two years and Liezl was ready to remarry (a New Zealander). Of course, Robin has found his own new love in the person of Mariel Rodriguez whom he’s determined to marry again, this time in Catholic rites after their Muslim marriage in India in August last year — if, and only if, the church authorities will give them the go-signal.

Then last year, Funfare again used that title for a story about a controversial couple whose romance was doomed from the start.

And now, with a heavy heart, I’m constrained to use that “It’s over!” banner again as I break the story that, yes, it’s true, Sen. Chiz Escudero and Christine Elizabeth “Tintin” Flores, his wife of 10 years, have separated.

“They’ve been living apart for five months now,” said the VDPA.

Funfare texted Chiz and Tintin separately for comment, but neither of them replied. Close friends of the un-couple are also mum on the matter.

Chiz and Tintin met in 1995 while Tintin was singing at the lounge of Sulo Hotel whose owner is her father’s good friend. Chiz was a new lawyer then, working at the nearby Quezon City Hall. He and his friends would drop by after work, and that’s how he fell in love with Tintin.

Recalled Tintin in an interview with The STAR after they got married on Dec. 15, 1999 at the Shrine of Jesus at the Reclamation Area, Pasay City, “I committed a booboo on our first meeting. The waitress approached me with a request slip. Nakasulat doon Fallin’, requested by ‘Atty. Cordero’. Aba, Chiz’s group started laughing! His friends were shouting, ‘O, pare, hindi ka naman pala kilala, eh!’ It turned out that Chiz was boasting to them that he knew me and I knew him. He ended up alaskado that night.”

But it didn’t stop Chiz from courting her.

After suffering from ectopic pregnancy a year after they got married, Tintin finally gave birth to fraternal twins in October 2007, also her and Chiz’s birth month.

Rumors that their marriage was having trouble started circulating two years ago. Chiz had expressed an intention to run for president in 2010 and people thought that his possible opponents were the ones spreading the nasty rumor to discredit him. But even after the election, the rumors persisted, generating subplots in the process, with Tintin being linked to a member of an all-male dancing group and Chiz to Kris Aquino. I believed neither of the rumors.

Several times, Funfare contacted Chiz and Tintin for comment on the rumor that has gone viral in the Internet and that pops up every now and then in blind items, but up to now they have remained quiet, non-committal, not replying at all.

Until Funfare’s unlikely VDPA surfaced when I bumped into him on my recent trip to Cebu.

Asked if any “third party” is involved on either side, the VDPA said, “I don’t know. What I know is that they just drifted apart.”

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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