DEREK AND RUFFA: IT'S REALLY HAPPENING


MANILA, AUGUST 7,
2012 (MALAYA)
Written by MARIO BAUTISTA ('From France, Ruffa will proceed to London this weekend ostensibly to promote a new line of clothing, but she’s definitely also seeing Derek while she’s there.’ )

IT’S CONFIRMED. Ruffa Gutierrez followed Derek Ramsay in London where Derek is covering the Olympic Games for Sports5.

Ruffa has left for a vacation in France despite her continuing role in “Enchanted Garden.”

While she’s away, her character in the show is temporarily turned into a driftwood since she got possessed by an evil tree called Hellpora. Yes, she became a Babaeng Tuod.

From France, Ruffa will proceed to London this weekend ostensibly to promote a new line of clothing, but she’s definitely also seeing Derek while she’s there.

We’re told their closeness blossomed while they were shopping together in the States during the promo for TV5’s international arm. Well, there’s nothing wrong with that since they’re both very much single.

***

Switzerland born Filipina actress Sarah Lahbati (photo) says she had a good time with “Makapiling Kang Muli” leading man Richard Gutierrez when he asked her to join him in Bukidnon for “Pinoy Adventures,” now seen on Saturdays at 6 p.m.

“Bale two days and two nights kami roon,” she says. “We experienced their Drop Zone, Zipline, Dune Buggy, the Luge and Aniline, a bicycle on a tightrope, but not their White Water Rafting, sayang nga.

We also visited the Dole and Del Monte pineapple plantations. I told him he’s so blessed to host a show that takes him to various places not seen by all.”

Is it true she’s the reason Chard dumped his non-showbiz girlfriend?

“I don’t think so. I don’t ask him as it’s none of my business. I’m not flattered to be accused na akong dahilan ng breakup ninuman.”

What qualities of Chard endear him to her?

“We have many things in common. We’re both open minded, adventurous, we both love traveling and exploring. We’re both sporty, we do many things together like muay thai, jujitsu, target shooting. We have the same personality and common friends, ‘yun ang naglapit sa amin. Pati sa work, we help each other with suggestions para mas mapaganda ang aming show. But we’re not yet officially on. We’re still getting to know each other better.”

So what happens to her as Graciela in “Makapiling Kang Muli”?

“Naku, maraming masasaktan sa mangyayaring mga kaguluhan. World War III among the characters. Mark Anthony Fernandez will get me pregnant. I’ll discover that Richard still has feelings for Carla Abellana. Graciela is hard for me to portray kasi malayo siya sa real me. She’s loud, cold-hearted, careless and definitely, I’m not like that.”

***

Ogie Alcasid (photo) is celebrating his 45th birthday on August 27 but he won’t have a big party. Instead, he’s taking wife Regine and their son Nate to Singapore in September to meet ex-wife Michelle and husband Mark Murrow, plus Ogie and Michelle’s two daughters, Leila and Sarah.

“I can’t leave on my birthday mismo as I have a new movie to promote,” he says. “So September na lang in time for the F1 Race there. Ready na kami, may passport na si Nate for his first trip abroad.

I feel I have a lot to celebrate now that I’m in my 40s kaysa noong 30s ako. Noon kasi, magulo. Those were my dark years.

Thank God nalampasan ko. Michelle and I are now good friends. Happy kami ni Regine with Nate. I have peace of mind, I can now sleep well at night. ‘Daddy Dearest,’ ‘Pare & Pare,’ ‘Party Pilipinas’ are all rating well. I can’t complain.”

[PHOTO - Ogie and baby Nate]

He also just opened a new resto, Ryu Ramen & Curry on Morato Ave., in front of Alfredo’s.

His associates are La Sallite colleagues Neil Castillo, Edwin Dazo, BJ Vergel de Dios and Joseph Juico, who all love to eat Japanese food.

“Ako, si Michelle ang nag-orient sa’kin sa ramen because she studied in Japan for several years,” he adds.

We ordered curry dishes with ramen when we were there and the food is really good, the prices very reasonable. Try it.

***

Agot Isidro (photo) is delighted to have won Cinemalaya best actress for her exceptional ensemble acting with Judy Ann Santos, Janice de Belen and Iza Calzado in “Mumunting Lihim.” “Sayang nga I wasn’t there to accept it personally as I was working, but it’s really an honor to win with my co-stars who’re all good,” she says.

Some folks are predicting she might also win an award for her effective performance as the villainous Leila in “One True Love” that continues to rate well on GMA-7 after “Makapiling Kang Muli.” “I owe it to the script and to Direk Andoy Ranay na maganda talaga ang character na ginagampanan ko. Even viewers I meet in public tell me they hate Leila but they like my performance. This week, I’ll confirm na Louise de los Reyes as Elize has tumor in her brain. I’ll take her to another doctor for a second opinion and they want to operate. Jean Garcia as Ellen will learn about this and tell Elize na siya ang tunay na nanay ito.”

But as loyal viewers know, Jean’s real child is not Louise but Alden Richards as Tisoy, as Louise’s real mom is Anna Capri as Dyna, who helps Tisoy to study despite his dyslexia and to take an acceleration test in school.

***

We are glad director Chito Roño has found his mojo in making effective horror flicks. After “Feng Shui,” which was truly scary, his next works like “Sukob,” “T2” and “Bulong” were quite inferior. He’s now back in top form in “The Healing,” which really works as a thriller. After seeing it, we’re no longer surprised the MTRCB gave its uncut version a rating of R-18 (although there’s an expurgated version that’s R-13) as he really upped the ante in the violence factor.

It has a decapitation scene right in the middle of a busy street, a self immolation scene, necks being slashed, a stomach split open with the intestines spilling out, a bloodbath in a massage parlor where several defenseless people were killed and in a Chinese temple were monks were massacred, and most ruthless of all, a little girl being impaled in a flagpole. Those scenes are already shocking and horrifying enough as they are.

In “Feng Shui,” the series of terrifying events was triggered by a cursed bagua. This time, the killings take place after Vilma Santos as Seth, an insurance executive, takes her ailing father (Robert Arevalo) to a faith healer (Daria Ramirez). Her dad gets healed overnight so her ailing neighbors ask Seth to accompany them to the same faith healer: Ces Quesada who can’t speak, Ynez Veneracion who has a breast tumor, Janice de Belen’s blind daughter, Pokwang and Cris Villanueva who are afflicted with skin disease and Kim Chiu, who has a kidney problem.

They do get healed, but the healing also doomed them and turn them into violent killers. We won’t go into detail as to why this happened, so as not to spoil it for you, but suffice it to say that Roño and his scriptwriter, Roy Iglesias, try their best to come up with a believable explanation of its root cause that stems from the concept of “huwag mong buhayin ang bangkay.”

Chito manages to sustain the feeling of dread and anticipation throughout the movie. And of course, it works because we feel for Ate Vi as Seth. It’s not her fault that the series of gory incidents happened but she’s the one being hounded by the ghostly spirits in the story since she’s the one who brought all the patients to the faith healer. Running against time, she then tries to reverse the curse by going to its source.

All the graphic killing scenes are staged convincingly for maximum gruesome effect and it’s effective as all the actors deliver. Pokwang is truly quite chilling when she turns into a monstrous entity with superhuman strength throwing people down from a tall building. Even perennial Roño actor Jhong Hilario stands out in a short but menacing role, the nature of which we can’t reveal here. The special effects involving the bulging and rotating left eye of all the killers is a touch of genius.

Vilma is subjected to a lot of stressful scenes in the movie as she fights for dear life. We have to suspend our disbelief a bit in the scenes where she gets violently mauled, stabbed, hit by a chair, repeatedly hurled down into the floor, but it did elicit a lot of deafening screams from the theatre crowd.

Some of her fans feel she should have just done another drama but we can understand her desire to flex her wings and do a vehicle of this sort. When we saw the movie, a lot of viewers were young people who enjoy watching scary films like this. With this, Ate Vi has successfully reached out to a new demographic, with the help of a young star like Kim Chiu, who in all fairness, also does well in her dual roles. For us, it’s a very wise decision indeed. And Chito Roño shows here to younger horror directors like Topel Lee, Richard Somes and Jerrold Tarog (Tarog did a fine job of scoring and editing the movie) that he remains to be the master of the genre who can be even playful with the orchestrated color scheme of the costumes worn by his characters in the movie.

***

After “The Healing,” Star Cinema’s next release is the “barkada” flick “The Reunion” starring Enchong Dee as Lloyd, Enrique Gil as Bogs, Kean Cipriano as Pat and Xian Lim as Joax, four high school friends who now pursue their respective dreams in life. Enchong is paired with Cristine Reyes (in a special role) as the girl of his dreams, with Jessy Mendiola as his best friend who’s secretly in love with him. Enrique is paired with Julia Montes, Xian with Megan Young and Kean with Bangs Garcia.

Supporting them are Matt Evans in a gay role, with Tom Rodriguez, Joseph Marco, Ivan Dorschner, Alodia Gosiengfiao, Brian Santos, and Gina Pareno. This opens in theaters on August 15 and it’ll be up against GMA Films’ “Just One Summer” with Elmo Magalona and Julie Anne San Jose. That is, if no one would give way since they are both youth movies that have the same market.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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