SHOWBIZ NEWS THIS PAST WEEK

MJ LASTIMOSA FLIES  TO U.S. FOR MISS UNIVERSE 2014 

Mary Jean "MJ" Lastimosa is set to fly Saturday to Miami, Florida for the culmination of the Miss Universe beauty pageant on January 25 (EST). The Philippines' bet, who took up computer engineering in Davao City, said that she does not let pressure get in her way and enjoys instead every moment of the competition. In 2014, the Philippines' Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti for Miss International and Valerie Weignmann for Miss World failed to take home the crown, while Jamie Herrell was crowned Miss Earth. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Does the picture tell a story?

Pres. Noynoy Aquino and groom Dingdong Dantes share a light moment before the ceremony for Dingdong and Marian Rivera’s wedding last Tuesday, Dec. 30, at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Quezon City. Watchers of the political scene might see something meaningful in this picture — you know, will P-Noy convince Dingdong to run for senator in 2016? The two are good friends. P-Noy appointed Dingdong commissioner-at-large of the National Youth Commission. If and when Dingdong did run and won, he would be at par with Sen. Chiz Escudero, husband-to-be of Heart Evangelista who happens to be Marian’s arch rival. Meanwhile, the newly-weds left for Italy and Spain for their honeymoon. Marian’s father Francisco Javier Gracia Alonso (separated from her mom) lives in Madrid where he owns and manages a restaurant. It was him and Marian’s mom Amalia Rivera who gave Marian away during the wedding.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

Bono: I may never play guitar again after crash

PHOTO: Bono is seen with his arm in a sling after recovering in hospital from a bicycle accident. (WENN.com) Bono says he now has a titanium elbow and may never play guitar again due to injuries suffered in a New York City cycling accident. The 54-year-old U2 frontman suffered multiple injuries, including fractures to his left eye socket, shoulder blade and left elbow, when he crashed his bike in Central Park in November. He required hours of surgery after what doctors called a "high-energy bicycle accident."  READ MORE...

ALSO: German Moreno suffers from mild stroke

German “Kuya Germs” Moreno suffered mild stroke on Friday. Philstar/file  MANILA, Philippines — German "Kuya Germs" Moreno suffered from a mild stroke on Friday. “His right leg is at 50 percent mobility. Zero percent on his right arm and a bit slurry on his speech,” said his son Federico Moreno in a message to Philippine Entertainment Portal. Although he assured the public that his father is okay, Federico said he cannot entertain any calls or visitors at the moment. Despite this, he still asks for the public to pray for Kuya Germs' fast recovery. The 71-year-old host was last seen by the public at the recent wedding of Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT...

ALSO: TV host German Moreno starts undergoing therapy after mild stroke 

Veteran TV host German Moreno has started undergoing therapy after suffering a mild stroke on New Year’s day, according to his son Federico. Known in show biz circles as Kuya Germs, Moreno is currently confined in the Acute Stroke Unit of St. Luke’s Medical Center, Quezon City. “Don’t worry, he’s [doing] okay…he’s in good spirits,” Federico said in a text message sent to the Inquirer through GMA 7 head of corporate communications Angel Javier. “It’s just that he cannot entertain calls or guests in the coming days,” added Federico, who suspects that “overfatigue” might have triggered his father’s stroke. “We humbly ask for prayers for his quick recovery,” Federico said. Moreno, 71, currently hosts the long-running, late night variety-talk show “Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman” which airs every Saturday. The TV personality was last seen at Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes’ recent wedding as one of the principal sponsors. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT...

ALSO: FAMILY BONDING:The day Erap and Bernard finally met  

Bernard Palanca with the Ejercito family (Instagram) It seems all’s well now between Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada and actor Bernard Palanca, the partner of the former’s daughter Jerika Ejercito. Based on Jerika’s Instagram post on Thursday, the two along with Laarni Enriquez and other family members, met over the holidays. The event marked the first time Erap also met Jerika’s son, Isiah Joseph. “2015 Family Picture #complete #family #blessed,” Jerika wrote. She deemed the day the “best Christmas to date.” Some days prior, Jerika posted a collage of photos that show his father and boyfriend together. READ MORE...

ALSO: Chris Brown talent fee fully paid: ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ 

PHOTO: BROWN --MANILA, Philippines–Chris Brown either threw a tantrum or simply missed his flight to Manila on the day he was scheduled to perform at a New Year’s Eve countdown concert at the Philippine Arena, a source contracted to provide Filipino music artists to the event told the Inquirer. The 25-year-old Brown—an American R&B/hip-hop singer-songwriter who has had brushes with the law and had pleaded guilty five years ago to a felony charge for assaulting his former girlfriend, pop star Rihanna—reportedly lost his passport on Dec. 30, a day before the concert, and subsequently failed to board a commercial flight to Manila. The Maligaya Development Corp. (MDC) management said Brown’s local representative, Mike Pio Roda of Pinnacle Live Concepts, had informed them only on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 31, that the singer could not make it to the concert that evening. The source, who provided other artists to the concert, said that Brown did not seem inclined to return his talent fee and that MDC was contemplating a lawsuit against the artist. READ FULL REPORT...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS:

MJ Lastimosa flies to US for Miss Universe 2014


MJ Lastimosa is flying to the United States today for the Miss Universe 2014 beauty pageant. Philstar.com/Cris Cayanan

MANILA, JANUARY 5, 2015 (PHILSTAR)  By Joyce Jimenez - Mary Jean "MJ" Lastimosa is set to fly Saturday to Miami, Florida for the culmination of the Miss Universe beauty pageant on January 25 (EST).

The Philippines' bet, who took up computer engineering in Davao City, said that she does not let pressure get in her way and enjoys instead every moment of the competition.

In 2014, the Philippines' Mary Anne Bianca Guidotti for Miss International and Valerie Weignmann for Miss World failed to take home the crown, while Jamie Herrell was crowned Miss Earth.

RELATED: Past beauty queens to Valerie: 'You gave it your best'

Asked if she feels pressured to bring home the crown, she answered, "Hindi ko na iniisip kasi gusto ko na mag-focus doon sa competition ko."

"It's another experience for them, this is a new experience for me. So I just want to enjoy this," she said in an interview on "Aquino & Abunda Tonight" aired on Friday.

Just like other beauty queens, MJ has undergone tough training courses ranging from fitness workouts to personality development sessions. She was also taught how to handle the competition's question and answer portion.

Despite the hardships she has gone through, MJ is thankful to have finally reached her dream of becoming a beauty queen.

"Sobrang excited ako kasi minsan kapag matutulog na ako iniisip ko, 'Wow, since 2011 I have been dreaming of this to happen,' " she said about representing the Philippines in international beauty pageants.

"So sabi ko I should enjoy this kasi kapag nagpa-pressure lang ako I'll just put this to waste. Magigising na lang ako wala na, it's gone," she added.

Miss Universe 2014 will be held at the FIU Arena in Miami, Florida on January 25.


FROM PHILSTAR

Does the picture tell a story? (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 3, 2015 - 12:00am 6 2 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - Pres. Noynoy Aquino and groom Dingdong Dantes share a light moment before the ceremony for Dingdong and Marian Rivera’s wedding last Tuesday, Dec. 30, at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Quezon City.

Watchers of the political scene might see something meaningful in this picture — you know, will P-Noy convince Dingdong to run for senator in 2016?

The two are good friends. P-Noy appointed Dingdong commissioner-at-large of the National Youth Commission.

If and when Dingdong did run and won, he would be at par with Sen. Chiz Escudero, husband-to-be of Heart Evangelista who happens to be Marian’s arch rival.

Meanwhile, the newly-weds left for Italy and Spain for their honeymoon.

Marian’s father Francisco Javier Gracia Alonso (separated from her mom) lives in Madrid where he owns and manages a restaurant.

It was him and Marian’s mom Amalia Rivera who gave Marian away during the wedding.


FROM PHILSTAR

Bono: I may never play guitar again after crash (Associated Press) | Updated January 2, 2015 - 8:12pm 0 0 googleplus0 0


Bono is seen with his arm in a sling after recovering in hospital from a bicycle accident. (WENN.com)    

Bono says he now has a titanium elbow and may never play guitar again due to injuries suffered in a New York City cycling accident.

The 54-year-old U2 frontman suffered multiple injuries, including fractures to his left eye socket, shoulder blade and left elbow, when he crashed his bike in Central Park in November. He required hours of surgery after what doctors called a "high-energy bicycle accident."

On the band's website Thursday, Bono said the "recovery has been more difficult than I thought. As I write this, it is not clear that I will ever play guitar again."


Bono, right, and Adam Clayton perform in concert as part of U2’s 360 Tour at the New Meadowlands Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on July 20, 2011. (AP /Charles Sykes)

He added that his bandmates — The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen — "have reminded me that neither they nor Western civilization are depending on this."

"I personally would very much miss fingering the frets of my green Irish falcon or my ... Gretsch," Bono wrote. "Just for the pleasure, aside from writing tunes. But then does the Edge, or Jimmy Page, or any guitarist you know have a titanium elbow, as I do now?"

The Edge is U2's principal guitarist.

Bono said he hadn't "been able to move around physically" since the accident, and would "have to concentrate hard" to be ready for a U2 tour due to start in May.


FROM PHILSTAR

German Moreno suffers from mild stroke By Joyce Jimenez (philstar.com) | Updated January 3, 2015 - 3:35pm 3 0 googleplus0 0


German “Kuya Germs” Moreno suffered mild stroke on Friday. Philstar/file

MANILA, Philippines — German "Kuya Germs" Moreno suffered from a mild stroke on Friday.

“His right leg is at 50 percent mobility. Zero percent on his right arm and a bit slurry on his speech,” said his son Federico Moreno in a message to Philippine Entertainment Portal.

Although he assured the public that his father is okay, Federico said he cannot entertain any calls or visitors at the moment.

Despite this, he still asks for the public to pray for Kuya Germs' fast recovery.

The 71-year-old host was last seen by the public at the recent wedding of Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera.


FROM THE INQUIRER

TV host German Moreno starts undergoing therapy after mild stroke Allan Policarpio @alpolicarpio Inquirer Entertainment 6:53 PM | Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

MANILA, Philippines–Veteran TV host German Moreno has started undergoing therapy after suffering a mild stroke on New Year’s day, according to his son Federico.

Known in show biz circles as Kuya Germs, Moreno is currently confined in the Acute Stroke Unit of St. Luke’s Medical Center, Quezon City. “Don’t worry, he’s [doing] okay…he’s in good spirits,” Federico said in a text message sent to the Inquirer through GMA 7 head of corporate communications Angel Javier.

“It’s just that he cannot entertain calls or guests in the coming days,” added Federico, who suspects that “overfatigue” might have triggered his father’s stroke.

“We humbly ask for prayers for his quick recovery,” Federico said.

Moreno, 71, currently hosts the long-running, late night variety-talk show “Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman” which airs every Saturday. The TV personality was last seen at Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes’ recent wedding as one of the principal sponsors.


FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

FAMILY BONDING:The day Erap and Bernard finally met by Marjorie S. Duran January 3, 2015 Share this:


Bernard Palanca with the Ejercito family (Instagram)

It seems all’s well now between Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada and actor Bernard Palanca, the partner of the former’s daughter Jerika Ejercito.

Based on Jerika’s Instagram post on Thursday, the two along with Laarni Enriquez and other family members, met over the holidays.

The event marked the first time Erap also met Jerika’s son, Isiah Joseph.

“2015 Family Picture #complete #family #blessed,” Jerika wrote.

She deemed the day the “best Christmas to date.”

Some days prior, Jerika posted a collage of photos that show his father and boyfriend together.

Expressing elation over the matter, she said, “Was going through my photos trying to free up some space and I didn’t realize that someone managed to capture these precious moments when @bjpalanca finally met dad…God has blessed beyond what we could ever ask for and we intend to make it right in His time.”

Jerika also shared shots of Erap bonding with her first-born, with one notably showing the Manila mayor feeding his grandson ice cream.

“First Ice cream with Daddy-lo,” her caption read.

In previous interviews, Erap had been evasive addressing questions about Jerika and Bernard.

Bernard, on his part, vowed to win over the patriarch’s approval.

“Ready ako…kung kailangan kong dumaan (sa butas ng) ng karayom o tatlong (butas ng) karayom pa, I mean, pagdadaanan ko ‘yun,” he said on “StarTalk.”

“Kung papakasalan ko man siya (Jerika) sa future, that’s going to be because I deserve it. Meaning, dahil nakuha ko na ‘yung blessing ng mom niya, nakuha ko na ‘yung blessing ng dad niya, technically ‘yung blessing ng buong family niya. Gusto ko makuha muna ‘yun bago ko siya pakasalan.”

The baby is Bernard’s second child; he is also the father of actress Meryll Soriano’s son.


FROM THE INQUIRER

Chris Brown talent fee fully paid: ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’ Pocholo Concepcion @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 5:26 AM | Saturday, January 3rd, 2015


BROWN

MANILA, Philippines–Chris Brown either threw a tantrum or simply missed his flight to Manila on the day he was scheduled to perform at a New Year’s Eve countdown concert at the Philippine Arena, a source contracted to provide Filipino music artists to the event told the Inquirer.

The 25-year-old Brown—an American R&B/hip-hop singer-songwriter who has had brushes with the law and had pleaded guilty five years ago to a felony charge for assaulting his former girlfriend, pop star Rihanna—reportedly lost his passport on Dec. 30, a day before the concert, and subsequently failed to board a commercial flight to Manila.

The Maligaya Development Corp. (MDC) management said Brown’s local representative, Mike Pio Roda of Pinnacle Live Concepts, had informed them only on Wednesday afternoon, Dec. 31, that the singer could not make it to the concert that evening.

The source, who provided other artists to the concert, said that Brown did not seem inclined to return his talent fee and that MDC was contemplating a lawsuit against the artist.

“We were informed that Chris (was) still in Los Angeles because according to them, Chris Brown lost his passport the day before the scheduled event,” a statement from the MDC management said.

The New Year Countdown concert at the Philippine Arena in Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue, Bulacan province, proceeded as scheduled even without Brown, a press statement from the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) said.

INC general auditor Glicerio Santos Jr. said the main event in the countdown concert dominated by rock star Bamboo was the 30-minute fireworks display before a capacity crowd in the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena.

Unprofessional

“That’s a lot of bull,” said the Inquirer source—who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the matter—adding that the incident was a reflection of Brown’s unprofessional attitude. His talent fee had been fully paid before he was to fly to Manila, said the source.

There was talk that the entire production, including talent fees for other performing artists, cost over $1 million (or more than P44 million), although at press time this had not been confirmed by the concert organizer.

Brown lost his passport when it was “stolen from his vehicle,” said Roda, who told the Inquirer he was hired as a talent consultant to negotiate the singer’s contract for the concert.

Roda, whose office, Pinnacle Live Concepts Ltd., is based in Hong Kong, said he learned about the stolen passport from Brown’s management only on Dec. 31.

But Brown’s initial entourage composed of his tour manager, crew and dancers arrived at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) before 9 p.m. on Dec. 30, said Jasmine Macaraeg, head of the Filipino road management team assigned to meet the artist and his group and handle all their needs before, during, and after the concert.

Second entourage

Macaraeg added that Brown himself was scheduled to arrive with a second entourage at 11 a.m. on Dec. 31 via Korean Air, and was booked at the Manila Peninsula. Brown’s group was supposed to include “his manager, a personal security, an assistant, a friend, a photographer, and Brown’s girlfriend.”

Only the photographer from that flight made it to Naia, said Macaraeg, who added that a text message from the concert promoter said that Brown had missed his flight and might arrive “8 p.m. on Dec. 31, still via Korean Air.”

She was then informed that Brown’s flight would hopefully arrive “9:30 p.m. via Delta Air,” Macaraeg said.

A third advisory from the concert promoter said Brown had not yet left the United States, but would take a chartered private jet, although his management was still negotiating for a pilot and permit to land at the Clark International Airport in Pampanga province.

The last message Macaraeg received was at 3 p.m. of Dec. 31, saying that Brown might not arrive at all. “But his dancers were rehearsing until 4 a.m. of Dec. 30,” she said.

Not canceled; rescheduled

“I can’t speak on behalf of MDC nor do I know if that is true or not,” said Roda, who was quoted by MDC in a statement sent to media as saying: “We are currently in communication with the venue and exploring all options to address this cancellation. We hope to amicably come to terms on how we (will) proceed next…”

Roda told the Inquirer that “Chris’ intention is to reschedule, pending approval… However, if he cannot reach an agreement… he would aim to come (to Manila) on tour at some point… (but) no plans just yet. So far, MDC has not agreed to do a separate concert with him.”

Other concert performers

The other concert performers in the New Year’s Eve concert were KZ Tandingan, Morisette, Sam Concepcion, Enrique Gil, Brisom and Tempura Kidz.

Several artists also performed at the nearby Philippine Sports Stadium, including Kitchie Nadal, Barbie Almalbis, Rico Blanco and pop and rock bands 6cyclemind, Callalily, Imago, Itchyworms, Mayonnaise, Parokya ni Edgar, Autotelic, Brisom, Kjwan, Sandwich, Silent Sanctuary, Spongecola and Up Dharma Down.

On Tuesday, Dec. 30, top OPM artists Shamrock, Hajji Alejandro, The Voice Kids, Rey Valera, Asin, Coritha, Juan Rodrigo, FBC Rebirth and Willie Nepomuceno also performed at the stadium and kicked off the two-day New Year concert.

On that same day, a “Kabayan Ko, Kapatid Ko” concert topbilled by Kathryn Bernardo, Snooky Serna, Leo Martinez, Victor Wood and Anthony Castelo was held inside the Philippine Arena.

The 2015 Philippine Countdown Concert, the first to be held at the Philippine Arena which had been declared the largest mixed-use theater in the world by Guinness World Records, was seen to be the start of such yearly events in the venue.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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