‘Rep. Aga’ Muhlach during the press conference in New Jersey with Jessa Zaragoza (left) and Rachel Alejandro]

MANILA, AUGUST 25 2012 (PHILSTAR) FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo - Mas marami ang walang alam kaysa sa akin sa Kongreso at mas marami akong alam kaysa sa kanila sa totoo lang.

Laughing at himself for feeling as if he has already won, Aga Muhlach drew cheers and applause when he faced the Fil-Am media in the New York-New Jersey area during his recent trip to the States for the launch of Kapatid TV5 in the East Coast. He was answering a question that cast doubts about his qualifications to run for congressman in the fourth district of Camarines Sur.

Aga was confident that he knows more than those now in Congress who, to put it bluntly, don’t know any better.

“It’s obvious that the former Bagets star is deadset on running in the 2013 mid-term elections,” said Funfare’s New York correspondent Edmund Silvestre. “There’s no stopping him in his desire ‘to serve’ and ‘to give back.’ He wowed the Fil-Am media with his straightforward answers. He was confident and affable.”

During the presscon held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Seacucus, New Jersey, Aga addressed other issues such as corruption and the government’s ability to deal with frequent flooding.

Aga, who hosts the TV show Pinoy Explorer, recently took his oath as member of Liberal Party, citing his admiration for Pres. Noynoy Aquino and his “good governance” as reasons for his decision to join the ruling party. Undaunted by the prospects of running against somebody from a well-entrenched political dynasty in Bicol, Aga vowed to bring honesty, integrity and commitment to people in his entry into politics.

[PHOTO -Aga and wife Charlene Gonzalez with their twins Andres and Atasha during a courtesy call on Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi of Caceres, Camarines Sur, where Aga is running for congressman in the 2013 elections]

“As what I always say, I have a name to protect at hindi ko ito basta sisirain dahil nakakatakot,” said Aga who turned 42 last Aug. 12. “I won’t dare go into a field kung sisirain ko lang ang pangalan ko. All I can promise is to give people what’s due them. Kung susuwertehin ako sa pagpasok ko sa Kongreso, I will be the voice of the people. I will use whatever influence I have to tell erring officials na mahiya-hiya naman tayo and it’s about time to give back to people what’s due them.”

In the same presscon, “Rep. Aga” also defended showbiz personalities like him who seek public office, and cited those who have vindicated themselves in local and national levels.

“Just look at Vilma Santos,” he noted. “She served three terms as Mayor of Lipa City and now she’s the governor of Batangas.”

When Vilma entered politics, several people were saying that she would amount to nothing and that proved to be a big challenge to her. She proved them wrong.

“She’s performing really, really well,” Edmund quoted Aga as saying. “Also, look at Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, maayos ang track record nila as senators. But those actors who critics say join politics because they no longer have a showbiz career and would just want to make money, that’s beyond me. I don’t want to comment on that. I just want to assure you that I’m on top of my game as an actor and I’m banking on my name and my reputation to win this.”

Edmund cited some of Aga’s memorable performances in such films as In The Name of Love, Sinungaling Mong Puso and Miguelito, Ang Batang Rebelde. Aga has just put to can Of All The Things, his long-delayed starrer with Regine Velasquez which is a joint venture between Viva Films and GMA Films.

“Aga claimed that he knows how dirty politics is and that his privacy would be invaded,” said Edmund. “He pointed out, however, that it wouldn’t be easy to smear him since his life is an open book for the last 28 years that he’s been in the spotlight.”

Conceded Aga, “Kumbaga, ang puwede lang nilang i-tsismis sa akin eh si Janice (de Belen),” drawing more laughter. “What I mean is bukas na bukas ang buhay ko talaga. Wala akong itinatago.” (As everybody knows, Aga and Janice were in a teenage romance and they have a love son, Igi, who is now married and has a family of his own, making his parents a lolo and a lola. Igi is a chef.)

“I’m not a saint,” he continued, “but whatever mistakes I may have done before eh naituwid ko na lahat yon. Naayos kong lahat noon pa not because of politics, but personally as a husband and father. It’s my responsibility to fix what’s broken. And I was able to fix it and everything is okay now.”

Aga is married to Charlene Gonzalez who is all-out in her support for Aga.

“I’m ready to campaign for him,” said Charlene.

The couple has twins, Andres and Atasha (who’s an aspiring actress who played one of the Von Trapp children in the recent staging of The Sound of Music at the Resorts World Manila).

Aga said that if elected, he would continue his entertainment career as he would need to earn a decent living to avoid temptations, including hosting Pinoy Explorer which brings him to interesting places all over the world. But he may have to go on leave from showbiz during the campaign period.

“Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday po, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. ang session namin,” he said. “Thursdays and Fridays, I’m expected to be in my district. So I have Saturdays and Sundays for myself. I think for eight days a month I can shoot for Pinoy Explorer and I think pagbibigyan ako ng constituents ko to work outside Congress para hindi ako magnakaw sa kaban ng bayan.”

Edmund noted that when Aga realized that he was talking as if he had already been elected, Aga chuckled and remarked, “Nakakatuwa naman. Nag-e-explain na ako ng schedule ko as if I already won.”

The media again roared with laughter.

Elaine Kay Moll off to Warsaw for Miss Supranational Pageant

[PHOTO- Top: 2012 Bb. Pilipinas first runner-up Elaine Kay Moll (second from right, with fellow Binibinis Ali Forbes, Katrina Jayne Dimarananan, Nicole Schmitz and Janine Tugonon) is the second Filipina but the first Binibini to compete in the Miss Supranational Pageant]

Filled with high hopes, 2012 Bb. Pilipinas first runner-up Elaine Kay Moll is leaving today for Warsaw, Poland, to join 50 other international beauties in the 2012 Miss Supranational Pageant. She’s the first Binibini to embark on a title-hunting trip this year.

At the media send-off party tendered in her honor held last Thursday at the Gateway Suites, Moll confided, “I wasn’t expecting that I will be sent to the Miss Supranational pageant. But I’m excited, at the same time nervous. Excited because this will be my first time in Europe and for a competition pa! Nervous because this time, I know na mas mabigat ‘yung competition. Before kasi, it was just modeling, and it was within Asia. Now, it’s global, so I have stepped up on preparations like gym workout, pasarela and Q&A training, proper diet, personality development, hairstyling and make-up. I also studied the history and culture of Poland including frequently used Polish greetings. ”

BPCI chairperson Stella Marquez de Araneta, 2011 Miss Universe third runner-up Shamcey Supsup, 2012 Bb. Pilipinas winners: Janine Mari Tugonon (Universe), Nicole Schmitz (International), Katrina Jayne Dimaranan (Tourism International) and Annalie Forbes (second runner-up) gave inspiring messages to Moll during the event.

Kay, as she’s fondly called, is the second among the five children of Mario Constancio Moll and Maritess Adorable Tancio. The 20-year-old model and student athlete was born in Buhi, Camarines Sur, but is now based in Catarman, Northern Samar. Kay is no stranger to an international competition, having graced the Asia Model Awards in Seoul last January prior to her Binibining Pilipinas stint. She was also a Top 12 semi-finalist in the 2011 Miss World Philippines.

This year’s Miss Supranational Pageant will be a “battle of towering beauties.” Except for Misses El Salvador and Vietnam who stand below 5’8”, the rest of the beauties’ height ranges between 5’9” and 6’3”. Kay stands 5’11”.

For the record, Kay is the second Filipina and the first-ever Bb. Pilipinas beauty to compete in this pageant. Fans and supporters can vote for Kay online at the Miss Supranational website (http://www.misssupranational.com/VotingPage.html). The candidate with the most number of votes will be declared Miss Internet and will automatically advance to the semifinals.

Founded in 2009 in Poland by the World Beauty Association, with the aim “to unite our world with beauty,” the pageant marks its fourth edition this year with the coronation night set for Sept. 14.

Past winners: Oksana Morya of Ukraine (2009, also Miss Photogenic) and Karina Pinilla Corro of Panama (2010, also Best National Costume). Reigning queen is Poland’s homegrown beauty, Monika Lewczuk. — Reported by Funfare’s ‘other beauty expert’ CELSO DE GUZMAN CAPARAS

What’s up?

• Star Cinema is very happy with the box-office result of Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos’ (photo) latest movie, The Healing, which has grossed more than P130M so far (and counting!).

You can catch it in theaters where it’s on its fifth-week extended run.

Incidentally, Gov. Vi is busy preparing for the Marian Regatta Fluvial Procession around Taal Lake on Sept. 8, feast day of Mama Mary.




Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved