WILL AI-AI REALLY RUN IN 2016?

At the presscon the other day at the Eclipse restaurant of Solaire Resorts & Casino where she’s having a re-teamup concert (Macho Guapita, set for July 26 at the grand ballroom) with Rico J. Puno, Ai-Ai delas Alas was asked if she was really serious with her plan to run (for town mayor or congresswoman?) in Batangas in 2016. “I am seriously thinking about it,” admitted Ai-Ai, “I’m thinking about it 10 times.” If she did, Ai-Ai would sacrifice many things, foremost might be her showbiz career. “Showbiz is my bread and butter, alam n’yo naman ‘yan,” added Ai-Ai, “so kailangang pag-isipan ng mabuti.” Actors who have ventured into politics said that politics is dirtier than showbiz. In showbiz, denizens usually fight by hurling dirty words at each other while in politics, the ultimate equalizer is bullets. Very scary! “Am I afraid that my past might be dug up during the campaign?” asked Ai-Ai and promptly answered her own question, “alam ng publiko ang buong buhay ko, I never hide anything, kaya wala na silang mahahalukay against me.”

A broadsheet editor called Ai-Ai’s attention to what Pres. Noynoy Aquino reminded the people during his Independence Day speech in Naga City last June 12 — you know, not to vote for candidates whose ability is limited to singing and dancing or memorizing scripts, which was an obvious dig at actors running for public office. “Let’s not forget that during the campaign, malaki ang tulong ng mga artista sa mga pulitiko; marami kaming artistang sumoporta sa kanya (Pres. Noynoy),” Ai-Ai said, adding that some actors who get elected eventually prove their worth by serving the people well. “Look at Ate Vi (Vilma Santos), my idol,” Ai-Ai noted. “When she ran for Mayor of Lipa City, they were saying na wala siyang alam sa public service dahil artista lang siya. She was re-elected not just once but twice and after serving three terms as Lipa Mayor, she got elected governor,” failing to add that Vilma is a good dancer and a passable singer (with one album as a teen singer as her claim to singing fame) and a good memorizer of kilometric dialogue. “Kaya nga bow ako kay Ate Vi, eh.”

Rico J. has served several terms as councilor of Makati City. Asked what friendly advice he would give Ai-Ai if and when she did run in 2016, Rico J. said, “Feel the pulse of the people. You don’t have to be a Harvard graduate to serve the public well. Basta kung ano ang gagawin mo, dapat galing sa puso.” There were questions about Ai-Ai’s ongoing “cold war” with Kris Aquino but during the open forum, all that Ai-Ai said was, “Ayoko nang palakihin ang issue kaya no talk na lang ako, and not because galit ako o suplada,” although during a huddle with her close writer-friends Ai-Ai did let loose quite a mouthful, things she wouldn’t dare post on social media but only for “private consumption.” “I have no more Twitter,” she said. “Inalis ko na kasi it gave people you don’t even know a chance to bash you. It happened when I sat as judge of Pilipinas Got Talent. Siempre sa contest, may winners at may losers. Ang daming nag-bash sa akin kaya tinanggal ko ang Twitter ko.”  * READ MORE...

ALSO: It’s nice to see you back, Celeste! 

PHOTO: Celeste Legaspi with Dalawang Mrs. Real co-stars Maricel Soriano and Robert Arevalo… Two days after Glenda devastated the country, Funfare talked to Celeste Legaspi over a lunch of spinach pizza at Taste of L.A. (Roces Avenue corner Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City). Now into her early 60s and proud of it (proof: hair beautifully silvery and face free from cosmetic surgery), Celeste is back on TV as the glamorous mother of Maricel Soriano in the trending GMA soap Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real (with Dingdong Dantes caught between Maricel and Lovi Poe as his other legally-married wife). As always in any role (whether in theater or in film), Celeste is a delight to see. Among other memorable performances (as the Princesa Perlita in the late ‘60s at the Fort Santiago now Rajah Sulayman Theater where PETA used to stage plays under the moonlight, as Candida in Larawan, with Mitch Valdes in Katy, and as Pres./Mayor Erap Estrada’s leading lady in Mamang Sorbetero, in Ishmael Bernal’s last movie Wating, etc.), I fondly remember Celeste in her iconic beauty-parlor scene in Lino Brocka’s Sa Kabila ng Lahat where she has a chance encounter with Dina Bonnevie (as the mistress of Celeste’s husband played by Ronaldo Valdez). Quietly fuming, her hair in curlers, she stands up from her chair, grabs a basinful of shampoo-filled water and splashes it on the unsuspecting Dina before slapping her. Winner! It was not Celeste’s first slapping scene. “Enjoy na enjoy ako sa eksenang ‘yon,” Celeste said tongue-in-cheek. “Actually, marami na akong nasampal. There was Janice (de Belen) in Wating. Si Gina (Alajar) nasampal ko na rin in a movie. Sino pa ba?” One of these days, is Marciel going to get “it” in Mrs. Real? “Ay,” Celeste kept her fingers crossed, “sana wala,” adding, “Maricel is a joy to work with.” * READ MORE...

ALSO: Moonlight becomes Jacqui Magno 

“Real happiness doesn’t come from a certain person but within oneself.”  This quote always comes after any e-mail exchange with jazz artist Jacqui Magno. Although the quotation may have another person for its original source, it certainly becomes someone like her who has gone through life’s ups and downs and now realizes where real joy resides. Still youthful-looking and kalog at 60 going on 61, she’s an underrated comedienne in the Bette Midler mold should she ever consider doing stand-up comedy. She never fails to thank the divine source after a long day of meetings, rehearsals, appearances. July 10 wasn’t an ordinary day for her. She had come from a meeting with media friends to announce her birthday concert Moonlight and Love Songs. Her concert happens tomorrow, July 26 at 8 p.m. at Palacio de Maynila Tent on Roxas Blvd., Manila. Afterwards, she and her manager, Anna Ylagan, hied off to the opening of writer-painter Gilda Cordero Fernando’s solo exhibition Same Difference: Ganun Pa Din ang Diperensya at Silverlens SLAB Gallery on Chino Roces Ave. ext., Makati City.

There she regaled the packed gallery with her rendition of Josefino Cenizal’s Hindi Kita Malimot, a danza from the American period, while Nanette Matilac, Alun Alun Dance Circle’s lead dancer, performed a slow pangalay. The crowd wouldn’t let them go with just one performance that looked more like a blessing offered to the octogenarian artist. Anna is familiar with such a warm response. She came prepared; the sound technicians put on a minus-one accompaniment to Bridges, a song Jacqui had always ended her gig with in her Birds of the Same Feather club days in the ’80s. The crowd roared. Touched, Gilda embraced both singer and dancer. In her diary-like Facebook post, Jacqui wrote: “It’s been a really long day today and I thank my Universal Beloved for giving me the stamina to have managed to get through the day which started at 6 a.m. (rare time for me to wake up this early, as I anticipated my schedule) and it ended just a few minutes ago. Phew! “Got ready for the luncheon press con at 10 a.m… at Martinilly’s, Roxas Blvd., Malate. Had fun getting to know new people! Then zoomed off to Silverlens Gallery… for Gilda Cordero Fernando’s art exhibit opening. Met a childhood friend, Lorna Kalaw-Tirol, who reminded me that we were neighbors in Singalong, Manila, when I was three years old and to my surprise, I remembered having lived there!!! God bless this sweet and very talented lady, Gilda Cordero Fernando! “Then went off to Serendra, BGC, for dinner in Mexicali (the quality of the food was a let-down, sad to say), but the upside was we bumped into Ana Rivera! Had fun spending our dinner chatting and catching up, sharing stories with her and Millie.” * READ MORE...

ALSO: Regine, cast of Niño in Sandugo Fest  

PHOTO: Regine Velasquez, Miguel Tanfelix, Bianca Umali, Julian Trono - Just three days after wowing her audience in Batangas City, Regine Velasquez is off to the land of the Chocolate Hills in Bohol to grace Tagbilaran City’s annual Sandugo Festival on July 27. A spectacular evening awaits the Bol-anons beginning at 7 p.m. as Regine, together with the cast of GMA primetime series Niño, headline the Kapuso Fans’ Day at the Bohol Wisdom School gymnasium. Both first timers in Bohol, GMA Artist Center talents Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali are thrilled to join this year’s fete together with their co-star, Julian Trono. “Excited na po talaga kaming makarating sa Bohol para i-celebrate ang Sandugo Festival kasama ng mga Kapuso natin doon,” exclaims Miguel. Bianca, for her part, couldn’t keep her excitement to visit the iconic island. “First time ko pong makarating sa Bohol kaya po looking forward talaga ako sa show namin doon sa Sunday para mapasalamatan na rin po ang supporters ng Niño.” * READ MORE...

ALSO: Philippine comedy after Dolphy 

King comic Dolphy is being lovingly remembered on his birth and death anniversaries this month, so he may no longer be with us—but, what do you know, he’s still very much around! That goes to show how deeply people appreciate his contributions through the years—perhaps not any single exceptional performance as such, but his entire comedic essence, which had a decidedly welcome “lightening” and enlightening effect on the local show biz scene, and his fans’ lives. What made him different from other comedians was precisely that signature “light” touch of his. Where other comics hit viewers on the head with their jokes to practically force a laugh out of them, Dolphy focused on the soft, inviting, inveigling approach, establishing a smiling, “winking” camaraderie with viewers that made them feel that they were “in” on his playful view of life—and knew exactly what he felt! At his best  --VIC SOTTO has opted for the “soft” touch, like Pidol.
Thus, even when he was playing garish gay gargoyles, viewers’ reaction was still warm, not dismissive. But, he was at his best when he played Everyman roles, the poor schmuck who toiled at a thankless job for his thankless family, but chose to live life with a contra mundum lilt and laugh, instead of a cynical grimace! Yes, life for Everyman is no bed of roses, but that doesn’t mean he should stop smelling them, and choke on its—neuroses! Now that he is “physically absent” from the scene, some people have been looking for the “new” Dolphy. The King is dead, long live his unwelcome successor and interloper? * READ MORE...

ALSO: Ka Freddie absolved in child abuse case

PHOTO: HAPPY COUPLE -- Popular folksinger Freddie Aguilar is seen in this file photo with his pretty young girl friend who later on became his wife. The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed the child abuse charges filed against veteran folk singer Freddie Aguilar due to insufficiency of evidence and lack of legal standing of the complainants to file the case against him. In a five-page resolution, Aguilar was absolved of charges of violation of Republic Act 7610 (Anti-Child Abuse) as the complainants “have no personal knowledge as to whether or not Aguilar was having sexual manipulation and intercourse with the minor victim (the singer’s 16-year old wife).” Atty. Fernando Perito filed the charges against Aguilar as a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, together with Peter Sesbreno and Cristine Joy Bangalisan. Perito claimed that he filed the case as he has an obligation and duty to do what is right and prevent what is wrong. He initially filed charges of qualified seduction against Aguilar, claiming to have been outraged, offended and scandalized when the folksinger bragged publicly that he is in love with his then 16-year-old girlfriend. But during the course of the preliminary investigation of the case, Perito amended his complaint from qualified seduction to violation of RA 7610 while corruption of minor charges have been filed against the girl’s parents. In the amended complaint, Perito alleged that Aguilar committed child abuse when he took advantage of his alleged popularity and money over a young minor from a very poor family living in a shack over a promise of marriage should she attain the age of 18. The girl’s parents, on the other hand, were charged for their alleged willingness to have their child taken advantaged of by the respondent with open hearts and minds. * READ MORE...


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Will Ai-Ai really run in 2016?


Ai-Ai delas Alas teams up anew with Rico J. Puno in Macho Guapita, a hilarious concert set for July 26 at the grand ballroom of Solaire Resorts & Casino. Their special guest is 18-year-old Rita de Guzman (right), the granddaughter of the late comedian Teroy de Guzman, who at 12 was named champion of the QTV talent search Popstar Kids.

MANILA, JULY 28, 2014 (PHILSTAR) FUNFARE By Ricky Lo - At the presscon the other day at the Eclipse restaurant of Solaire Resorts & Casino where she’s having a re-teamup concert (Macho Guapita, set for July 26 at the grand ballroom) with Rico J. Puno, Ai-Ai delas Alas was asked if she was really serious with her plan to run (for town mayor or congresswoman?) in Batangas in 2016.

“I am seriously thinking about it,” admitted Ai-Ai, “I’m thinking about it 10 times.”

If she did, Ai-Ai would sacrifice many things, foremost might be her showbiz career.

“Showbiz is my bread and butter, alam n’yo naman ‘yan,” added Ai-Ai, “so kailangang pag-isipan ng mabuti.”

Actors who have ventured into politics said that politics is dirtier than showbiz. In showbiz, denizens usually fight by hurling dirty words at each other while in politics, the ultimate equalizer is bullets. Very scary!

“Am I afraid that my past might be dug up during the campaign?” asked Ai-Ai and promptly answered her own question, “alam ng publiko ang buong buhay ko, I never hide anything, kaya wala na silang mahahalukay against me.”

A broadsheet editor called Ai-Ai’s attention to what Pres. Noynoy Aquino reminded the people during his Independence Day speech in Naga City last June 12 — you know, not to vote for candidates whose ability is limited to singing and dancing or memorizing scripts, which was an obvious dig at actors running for public office.

“Let’s not forget that during the campaign, malaki ang tulong ng mga artista sa mga pulitiko; marami kaming artistang sumoporta sa kanya (Pres. Noynoy),” Ai-Ai said, adding that some actors who get elected eventually prove their worth by serving the people well.

“Look at Ate Vi (Vilma Santos), my idol,” Ai-Ai noted. “When she ran for Mayor of Lipa City, they were saying na wala siyang alam sa public service dahil artista lang siya. She was re-elected not just once but twice and after serving three terms as Lipa Mayor, she got elected governor,” failing to add that Vilma is a good dancer and a passable singer (with one album as a teen singer as her claim to singing fame) and a good memorizer of kilometric dialogue. “Kaya nga bow ako kay Ate Vi, eh.”

Rico J. has served several terms as councilor of Makati City. Asked what friendly advice he would give Ai-Ai if and when she did run in 2016, Rico J. said, “Feel the pulse of the people. You don’t have to be a Harvard graduate to serve the public well. Basta kung ano ang gagawin mo, dapat galing sa puso.”

There were questions about Ai-Ai’s ongoing “cold war” with Kris Aquino but during the open forum, all that Ai-Ai said was, “Ayoko nang palakihin ang issue kaya no talk na lang ako, and not because galit ako o suplada,” although during a huddle with her close writer-friends Ai-Ai did let loose quite a mouthful, things she wouldn’t dare post on social media but only for “private consumption.”

“I have no more Twitter,” she said. “Inalis ko na kasi it gave people you don’t even know a chance to bash you. It happened when I sat as judge of Pilipinas Got Talent. Siempre sa contest, may winners at may losers. Ang daming nag-bash sa akin kaya tinanggal ko ang Twitter ko.”

* Incidentally, Macho Guapita first toured four casinos in the US in 2013. Noted (notorious?) for spicing up their individual concerts with green jokes (remember how Ai-Ai emerged from a sliding screen with a drawing of the female private part during her concert at the Araneta Coliseum?), the two artists conceded being “green” performers.

“Pero mas malaswa sa akin si Rico,” joked Ai-Ai who is tagged as the female counterpart of Rico J. “Si Rico ang taga-bato at ako lang ang taga-salo.”

At their July 26 Solaire concert, Ai-Ai assured the media that she and Rico J would feel free cracking green jokes because they are performing at a casino (as they did in the US) and there won’t be any minors in the audience.

Besides the concert, Ai-Ai is busy shooting Ronda, her first indie starrer which she’s also co-producing, with Cesar Montano as leading man. The film is intended for international film festivals.

“With Ronda,” Ai-Ai was joking again, “I hope to realize my dream to be an international artist,” adding still in jest, “gusto ko talaga international artist; ayoko ng national artist kasi magulo ‘yan, pinag-aawayan ‘yan.”

(Philippine STAR is among the sponsors of Macho Guapita which is produced by Starmedia Entertainment in cooperation with Solaire Resort & Casino. For tickets, call Ticketworld at 891-9999 or SM Ticketnet at 470-2222.)

Words of wisdom

From Pempe Rodrigo: Family is not about blood. It’s about who is willing to hold your hand when you need it most.

From Shirley Kuan who sends friends inspiring messages every morning:

• The teacher can only lead the learner to the door of learning. For it is the learner who must choose to turn the key and enter. — Kahlil Gibran

• The people to fear are not those who disagree with you, but those who disagree with you and are too cowardly to let you know.

• I cannot conceive of a greater loss than the loss of one’s self-respect. — Mahatma Gandhi

• If I won’t be myself, who will? — Alfred Hitchcock

It’s nice to see you back, Celeste! FUNFARE By Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 25, 2014 - 12:00am 1 82 googleplus0 0


Celeste Legaspi with Dalawang Mrs. Real co-stars Maricel Soriano and Robert Arevalo…

Two days after Glenda devastated the country, Funfare talked to Celeste Legaspi over a lunch of spinach pizza at Taste of L.A. (Roces Avenue corner Tomas Morato Avenue, Quezon City).

Now into her early 60s and proud of it (proof: hair beautifully silvery and face free from cosmetic surgery), Celeste is back on TV as the glamorous mother of Maricel Soriano in the trending GMA soap Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real (with Dingdong Dantes caught between Maricel and Lovi Poe as his other legally-married wife). As always in any role (whether in theater or in film), Celeste is a delight to see.

Among other memorable performances (as the Princesa Perlita in the late ‘60s at the Fort Santiago now Rajah Sulayman Theater where PETA used to stage plays under the moonlight, as Candida in Larawan, with Mitch Valdes in Katy, and as Pres./Mayor Erap Estrada’s leading lady in Mamang Sorbetero, in Ishmael Bernal’s last movie Wating, etc.), I fondly remember Celeste in her iconic beauty-parlor scene in Lino Brocka’s Sa Kabila ng Lahat where she has a chance encounter with Dina Bonnevie (as the mistress of Celeste’s husband played by Ronaldo Valdez). Quietly fuming, her hair in curlers, she stands up from her chair, grabs a basinful of shampoo-filled water and splashes it on the unsuspecting Dina before slapping her. Winner!

It was not Celeste’s first slapping scene.

“Enjoy na enjoy ako sa eksenang ‘yon,” Celeste said tongue-in-cheek. “Actually, marami na akong nasampal. There was Janice (de Belen) in Wating. Si Gina (Alajar) nasampal ko na rin in a movie. Sino pa ba?” One of these days, is Marciel going to get “it” in Mrs. Real?

“Ay,” Celeste kept her fingers crossed, “sana wala,” adding, “Maricel is a joy to work with.”

* With or without a slapping scene, Celeste in Mrs. Real is at performance level, giving her all. After all, the soap has a powerhouse cast that also includes Coney Reyes, Robert Arevalo, Tommy Abuel and Jaime Fabregas, pitted with some of today’s most talented young actors (Alessandra de Rossi and Marco Alcaraz, among them).

Two years ago, she was cast in the TV5 drama Glamorosa but she begged off when she contacted pneumonia after taping for two days and was replaced by Gloria Diaz.

Asked what she found interesting about Mrs. Real, Celeste said, “My role in Glamorosa was bitchy. You know, bitchy is easy. I wanted a role that is more real and my Mrs. Real role is it, very little bitchiness so your acting should be based on reality and truth. I hate saying that because it’s too presumptuous but that’s the truth. I also love the character because she is rich, always wearing branded clothes at palaging ayos. Sabi ko nga, ‘Ano ba itong babaing ito, hindi na ba siya natutulog?’ Hahahaha!”

And also, she wanted to apply what she has been learning in the five-month-old acting school, Actor’s Studio East (located at 70-D, 18th Avenue, Quezon City), that she put up with her husband Nonoy Gallardo and their daughter Waya and husband Blake Robinson (a US-trained actor who uses Allan as screen surname), and Celeste’s good friend Girlie Rodis.

“Yes, I keep on learning,” she admitted. “I’m into advance learning. I’ve been attending classes for several months now. The school teaches serious acting. I want to see how far the ‘technique’ will bring me. I am applying in Mrs. Real what I’m learning in our school.”

In the scene that they had just shot two days before our interview, Celeste’s character was shown lamenting that even her children had grown and had children of their own, she is a mother still worried about them, saying, “Hanggang kailan ba tayo magiging magulang?” The director, Andoy Ranay, said, “Let’s remove na lang that line” and Celeste asked why. “Kasi hindi naman realistic,” answered Andoy. “In fact,” Celeste told him, “I’m always saying that line in real life.” Print!

Is she like that in real life?

“Yes,” confessed Celeste, “the issues that you have to tackle get even more serious. You know, your children need help because financially they are not well-off. What if your apo gets sick? Whereas when they were children, ang concern mo lang was whether they were healthy. Simple issues.”

Celeste and Nonoy (whom she calls “Mr. Gallardo” who is still in advertising and continues to write songs) have three children – Miguel (a.k.a. Iggy), 41, who is a member of the new band Generation with the two sons (Mike and Joe) of Jose Mari Chan and the son of Sampaguita), soon to get married; Waya, 37, no child yet; and Lala, 36, who has given the Gallardo couple their only apo, Diego, so far. All the children have left home and put up their own.

“I’m a hands-on lola,” said Celeste.

Besides Mrs. Real and their acting school, Celeste and company are also busy preparing for a movie version of Larawan (with Rachel Alejandro and Joanna Ampil as Candida and Paula; Tom Rodriguez as Tony Javier; and Sam Concepcion as Bitoy) which starts shooting early next year and intended for international film festivals.

Larawan is the Filipino version of Portrait of the Artist as Filipino whose author Nick Joaquin’s 100th birthday will be commemorated in 2017. The making of the Larawan film (the second, Lamberto Avellana’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino in the late ‘60s, starring Daisy H. Avellana and Naty Crame Rogers) is therefore very timely.

(For inquiries about Celeste’s acting school, call landline 438-1111 or celfone 0917-5806055/0917-7940563.)

Moonlight becomes Jacqui By Elizabeth Lolarga (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 25, 2014 - 12:00am 8 15 googleplus2 3


Still youthful-looking and kalog at 60 going on 61, Jacqui Magno will go onstage once more for her birthday concert Moonlight and Love Songs tomorrow night at 8 at the Palacio de Maynila Tent

MANILA, Philippines - “Real happiness doesn’t come from a certain person but within oneself.”

This quote always comes after any e-mail exchange with jazz artist Jacqui Magno. Although the quotation may have another person for its original source, it certainly becomes someone like her who has gone through life’s ups and downs and now realizes where real joy resides.

Still youthful-looking and kalog at 60 going on 61, she’s an underrated comedienne in the Bette Midler mold should she ever consider doing stand-up comedy. She never fails to thank the divine source after a long day of meetings, rehearsals, appearances.

July 10 wasn’t an ordinary day for her. She had come from a meeting with media friends to announce her birthday concert Moonlight and Love Songs. Her concert happens tomorrow, July 26 at 8 p.m. at Palacio de Maynila Tent on Roxas Blvd., Manila. Afterwards, she and her manager, Anna Ylagan, hied off to the opening of writer-painter Gilda Cordero Fernando’s solo exhibition Same Difference: Ganun Pa Din ang Diperensya at Silverlens SLAB Gallery on Chino Roces Ave. ext., Makati City.

There she regaled the packed gallery with her rendition of Josefino Cenizal’s Hindi Kita Malimot, a danza from the American period, while Nanette Matilac, Alun Alun Dance Circle’s lead dancer, performed a slow pangalay. The crowd wouldn’t let them go with just one performance that looked more like a blessing offered to the octogenarian artist.

Anna is familiar with such a warm response. She came prepared; the sound technicians put on a minus-one accompaniment to Bridges, a song Jacqui had always ended her gig with in her Birds of the Same Feather club days in the ’80s. The crowd roared. Touched, Gilda embraced both singer and dancer.

In her diary-like Facebook post, Jacqui wrote: “It’s been a really long day today and I thank my Universal Beloved for giving me the stamina to have managed to get through the day which started at 6 a.m. (rare time for me to wake up this early, as I anticipated my schedule) and it ended just a few minutes ago. Phew!

“Got ready for the luncheon press con at 10 a.m… at Martinilly’s, Roxas Blvd., Malate. Had fun getting to know new people! Then zoomed off to Silverlens Gallery… for Gilda Cordero Fernando’s art exhibit opening. Met a childhood friend, Lorna Kalaw-Tirol, who reminded me that we were neighbors in Singalong, Manila, when I was three years old and to my surprise, I remembered having lived there!!! God bless this sweet and very talented lady, Gilda Cordero Fernando!

“Then went off to Serendra, BGC, for dinner in Mexicali (the quality of the food was a let-down, sad to say), but the upside was we bumped into Ana Rivera! Had fun spending our dinner chatting and catching up, sharing stories with her and Millie.”

* From that single post, what is evident is she lives each day to the hilt. Her quiet side emerges when she explains why she chose a concert title like Moonlight and Love Songs, a phrase from the classic As Time Goes By. “Perhaps it’s because the moon possesses/connotes certain spiritual undertones. Love, after all, is a universal language, be it the human kind of love or the spiritual. Thus, my choice of songs is from an era that overcomes generation gaps. I sing songs that touch my heart and soul and uplift the spirit.”

The nature of the music genre she specializes in has a risky, improvisational quality. Each instrument, including the human voice, is given a chance to shine or have a solo part in a song. But Pinoy jazz is Pinoy because of its horror of vacuum or silence, so sometimes the sound comes off as though there is an ati-atihan going on in a concert hall.

Jacqui agrees, “That is the general weakness of either the musicians or the technicians here in the Philippines. They seem to be unable to find the right balance where the singer’s voice isn’t drowned out by the musician’s excitement with his playing. I’d like to think of it that way.”

Asked how she will balance the AMP Big Band that will back her up, she answered, “That is the challenge that I am facing and would like to address. This is exactly what I mentioned in the press con. I’d have to ask (band leader) Mel Villena to hold on the reins at the right time and place. Also we’ll make sure that our sound system and technicians are working on the same wave length and/or point of view.”

The Palacio de Maynila management asked her to hold a concert at its venue because “their thrust is featuring name artists who they feel the country can be proud of. The artist they featured last year was Jose Mari Chan. When the offer came, I decided to do it as my birthday concert to simplify matters.”

Since cutting a new CD album is more challenging in the age of YouTube, iTunes and Spotify and with many music stores closing down because some music lovers now get their kind of music from online sources, Jacqui isn’t at all worried that her recording days are over.

Her all-Filipino Paglingon: The Return of the Native and The Very Thought of You are collectors’ items and thus are worth much. She says, “As far as I know, the all-kundiman CD is only available in the office of Bookmark, Inc.” She advises those who are really interested to text their orders of either one or both CDs at 0922-8381770.

She adds, “With regards to recording, this has never been a conscious effort on my part. I’ve not planned any of the recordings that I have had in the past. I was just approached by an interested person or party; the rest is history. If perchance I would be blessed again with another opportunity to record songs that are of my liking, original or covers, I will not say ‘No’ to that.”

Although Jacqui might guffaw at this comparison, she embraces her 60s in a manner similar to Meryl Streep who once said, “Truth is, no one can do what I do.”

Jacqui says, “I’ve been trying to live with no expectations so as not to be disappointed much. I live the ‘Be here na’ philosophy, but now I’ve come up with my humble bucket list that isn’t so hard to tick off. Some have already been fulfilled.”

About the jazz greats who have died in a matter of weeks in the last few months, she is unfazed and doesn’t think she’s a torch-bearer for the jazz tradition. “I sing to share my God-given talent. I have left showbiz for a number of times because I don’t have the stomach to stand the stuff that goes with the biz. It’s not really a mission for me to keep the jazz tradition alive. Rather, I sing to inspire and give a semblance of peace and joy to those around me. It just so happens that I have been labelled a jazz singer.”

Her mind remains open to doing musical theater again. She says, “If the role isn’t grueling and overly hectic, I wouldn’t mind at all. I’ve been there and done that.”

Her first onstage musical was the rock opera Mahal staged at the Cultural Center Main Theater in the ’70s. She portrayed Ligaya Liwanag. In the ’80s, she played Josephine Bracken, Rizal’s love interest, in the musical Rizal at Rizal Theater. In Metropolitan Theater’s Ewagan, she was the old lady story teller. In the second Ballet Philippines’version of Rama Hari at the CCP, she was Sita. Then she portrayed two roles — Doña Teodora Alonso, mother of Jose Rizal, and Sisa — in Tanghalang Pilipino’s El Filibusterismo at both the Little and Main Theaters in the ’90s.

(For tickets or reservations to Moonlight and Love Songs, text or call Anna Ylagan at 0917-538-1769.)

Regine, cast of Niño in Sandugo Fest (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 25, 2014 - 12:00am 0 4 googleplus0 0


Regine Velasquez, Miguel Tanfelix, Bianca Umali, Julian Trono

MANILA, Philippines - Just three days after wowing her audience in Batangas City, Regine Velasquez is off to the land of the Chocolate Hills in Bohol to grace Tagbilaran City’s annual Sandugo Festival on July 27.

A spectacular evening awaits the Bol-anons beginning at 7 p.m. as Regine, together with the cast of GMA primetime series Niño, headline the Kapuso Fans’ Day at the Bohol Wisdom School gymnasium.

Both first timers in Bohol, GMA Artist Center talents Miguel Tanfelix and Bianca Umali are thrilled to join this year’s fete together with their co-star, Julian Trono.

“Excited na po talaga kaming makarating sa Bohol para i-celebrate ang Sandugo Festival kasama ng mga Kapuso natin doon,” exclaims Miguel.

Bianca, for her part, couldn’t keep her excitement to visit the iconic island. “First time ko pong makarating sa Bohol kaya po looking forward talaga ako sa show namin doon sa Sunday para mapasalamatan na rin po ang supporters ng Niño.”

* Regine is ever enthusiastic about performing for her fans and meeting them up-close, not to mention singing with her solid followers on stage.

Bohol counts as Regine’s seventh stop after Batangas, Iloilo, Boracay, Vigan, Dagupan and Davao. To date, she still has a number of GMA regional shows to tick off her list.

“Our participation in Bohol’s Sandugo Festival is our way of thanking our Kapusong Bol-anons for their continued support to our national and local programs. We truly appreciate the warm reception given by the people of Bohol and the lasting friendship that the Bol-anon fans have offered to our stars.

Truly, Tagbilaran is the City of Friendship. Bol-anons can really look forward to the Kapuso Fans’ Day with no less than the Asia’s Songbird and the cast of Niño,” assures Oliver Amoroso, head for Integrated Marketing Services (IMS) Division/AVP for Regional TV of GMA Network, Inc.

FROM THE INQUIRER

Philippine comedy after Dolphy By Nestor U. Torre | Philippine Daily InquirerJuly 21, 2014 | 12:10 am


DOLPHY chose an inviting, inveigling approach, establishing a smiling, “winking” camaraderie with audiences.

King comic Dolphy is being lovingly remembered on his birth and death anniversaries this month, so he may no longer be with us—but, what do you know, he’s still very much around!

That goes to show how deeply people appreciate his contributions through the years—perhaps not any single exceptional performance as such, but his entire comedic essence, which had a decidedly welcome “lightening” and enlightening effect on the local show biz scene, and his fans’ lives.

What made him different from other comedians was precisely that signature “light” touch of his. Where other comics hit viewers on the head with their jokes to practically force a laugh out of them, Dolphy focused on the soft, inviting, inveigling approach, establishing a smiling, “winking” camaraderie with viewers that made them feel that they were “in” on his playful view of life—and knew exactly what he felt!

At his best


VIC SOTTO has opted for the “soft” touch, like Pidol.

Thus, even when he was playing garish gay gargoyles, viewers’ reaction was still warm, not dismissive. But, he was at his best when he played Everyman roles, the poor schmuck who toiled at a thankless job for his thankless family, but chose to live life with a contra mundum lilt and laugh, instead of a cynical grimace!

Yes, life for Everyman is no bed of roses, but that doesn’t mean he should stop smelling them, and choke on its—neuroses!

Now that he is “physically absent” from the scene, some people have been looking for the “new” Dolphy. The King is dead, long live his unwelcome successor and interloper?

* It’s instructive to note that, while he may not lack for self-styled comedy princelings, nobody has been officially anointed by the viewing public as the new King Comic. That’s really as it should be, because any self-proclaimed “heir” would quickly be shot down by a volley of divisive hoots!

Even Dolphy’s real scion, Epy Quizon, who’s a deft and fey comic in his own right, says he would never dream of approximating his father’s unique persona, which is his and his alone!

Which is not to say that Epy won’t end up being a fine comedian in his own way—but, he knows he has to do it without banking on “reflected” glory!

Major talents


EPY QUIZON knows he shouldn’t bank on reflected glory.

Ditto for Vic Sotto, whose career in comedy and allied fields in entertainment has zoomed up of late. It’s interesting to see that, like Dolphy, Vic has opted for the “soft” approach in comedy—but, in his own way. Where Dolphy was Everyman, Vic comes across more like the laid-back, sheepish lothario who’s pleasantly surprised to see that he has such a “potent” effect on the female of the species!

Aside from Vic and Epy, the major talents on the comedy scene include impersonator Willie Nepomuceno, who’s sui generis; Vice Ganda, the country’s first “exclusively gay” TV-film superstar; and, on the female front, Tessie Tomas and Eugene Domingo.

Each of these promising talents is making it in his or her way—which is as it should be, because what comedy is really “selling” is a personal, antic view of life.

From up above, nodding wisely and winking conspiratorially, King Comic Emeritus Dolphy would puckishly agree!

FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Ka Freddie absolved in child abuse case by Chito A. Chavez July 24, 2014


HAPPY COUPLE — Popular folksinger Freddie Aguilar is seen in this file photo with his pretty young girl friend who later on became his wife.

The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed the child abuse charges filed against veteran folk singer Freddie Aguilar due to insufficiency of evidence and lack of legal standing of the complainants to file the case against him.

In a five-page resolution, Aguilar was absolved of charges of violation of Republic Act 7610 (Anti-Child Abuse) as the complainants “have no personal knowledge as to whether or not Aguilar was having sexual manipulation and intercourse with the minor victim (the singer’s 16-year old wife).”

Atty. Fernando Perito filed the charges against Aguilar as a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, together with Peter Sesbreno and Cristine Joy Bangalisan.

Perito claimed that he filed the case as he has an obligation and duty to do what is right and prevent what is wrong.

He initially filed charges of qualified seduction against Aguilar, claiming to have been outraged, offended and scandalized when the folksinger bragged publicly that he is in love with his then 16-year-old girlfriend.

But during the course of the preliminary investigation of the case, Perito amended his complaint from qualified seduction to violation of RA 7610 while corruption of minor charges have been filed against the girl’s parents.

In the amended complaint, Perito alleged that Aguilar committed child abuse when he took advantage of his alleged popularity and money over a young minor from a very poor family living in a shack over a promise of marriage should she attain the age of 18.

The girl’s parents, on the other hand, were charged for their alleged willingness to have their child taken advantaged of by the respondent with open hearts and minds.

* In the same resolution, Assistant City Prosecutor Edgardo Saplala dismissed the charges against the parents of Aguilar’s young wife for lack of probable cause.

During the preliminary investigation of the case, Aguilar and the girl’s parents did not appear and submit their counter-affidavits despite due notice.

Saplala, however, received an affidavit of desistance dated Dec. 31, 2013, apparently executed and signed by complainant Sesbreno, who indicated his address in Avocado Street, Pacita 2, San Pedro, Laguna.

To confirm the execution of said affidavit, Saplala sent a subpoena to Sesbreno at his address in Laguna and 31 Ibay St., Quezon City address indicated in his complaint for him to appear during the clarificatory hearing.

But Sesbreno did not appear in the hearing and instead it was Bangalisan and a certain Eugene David who appeared.

“Their (complainants) allegations were clearly based on surmises, gossips and speculations which in law are not evidence to support and provide leg to the instant cases filed against the respondents, to stand even a day in court,” Saplala said in his resolution.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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