SHOWBIZ NEWS THIS PAST WEEK

CESAR: I'M NOT A MONSTER FATHER

Sunshine Cruz has accused her estranged husband Cesar Montano of committing a scandalous act in front of their daughters (whose names we are withholding to protect their privacy). Even before she filed a case against Cesar in court, Sunshine has reportedly been feeding the tabloids similar stories. READ MORE ON Cesar’s official statement on the matter: .....

ALSO: Why Ai-Ai’s Valentine concert was cancelled


Ai-Ai de las Alas: I’ve learned a bitter lesson --
Barely 24 hours to the playdate of her Ai Ⅵ Papa scheduled for last night at The Theatre of Solaire Resort & Casino, Ai-Ai delas Alas got the bad news that it was cancelled due to producer’s failure to produce down payment for the venue. “I learned that the cancellation was made at around 6:30 last Wednesday night (Feb. 11) and we were still rehearsing with the band at that time,” a fuming Ai-Ai said at an emergency presscon yesterday. “But I was informed about the cancellation only at around 8:30 that same night. I was shocked!” READ MORE...

ALSO: Heart happy with wedding party, without her folks


NEWLYWEDS Heart and Sen. Chiz Escudero table-hopped, posing for snapshots with guests. PHOTOS BY MARIANNE BERMUDEZ
Heart Evangelista’s parents, who refused to attend their daughter’s wedding to Sen. Chiz Esucero at the Balesin Island Club in Quezon province on Feb. 15, were still nowhere in sight during the newlyweds’ reception party Wednesday evening at The Blue Leaf Filipinas in Parañaque City. Not that the GMA 7 star was expecting anything. CONTINUE READING...

Chiz to Heart: ‘Thank you for loving me and fighting for me’


Photo by @marniemanicad "Weddings TV" @bayanisandiego
7:52 AM - 15 Feb 2015 Las Pinas City, National Capital Region, Republika ng Pilipinas
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Joseph “Chiz” Escudero and actress Heart Evangelista (Love Marie Ongpauco in real life) were married in the exclusive Balesin Island in Quezon province Sunday afternoon. The wedding ceremony was officiated by Bishop Arturo Vasquez and was concelebrated by Fr. Jerry Orbos and Fr. Roger Joseph Erestain. It was attended by celebrities, politicians and industry heavyweights. Some sponsors in the couple’s wedding include Senator Grace Poe, SM’s Hans Sy, Megaworld’s Andrew Tan, Ayala’s Fernando Zobel de Ayala, and Roberto Ongpin. READ MORE...

ALSO Chiz: I still can’t believe it


SENATOR and Mrs. Escudero (from left) with his twin kids Joaquin and Cecilia, saying their vows, and about to seal it with a kiss. Photos by PAT DY  It lasted about five seconds; it was “gentle” and “felt by everybody,” said GMA 7 vice president for drama Redgie Acuña-Magno when asked to describe the kiss that sealed the wedding of Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, 44, and actress Heart Evangelista, 30, on Sunday at the posh Balesin Island Resort off Quezon province. It had rained heavily two days prior, but the two, unfazed, prepared to proceed with the plan even in a downpour. CONTINUE READING...

ALSO: Escudero asks best man Aquino not to attend his wedding–report

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero has revealed that he personally asked President Benigno Aquino III not to attend his wedding with actress Heart Evangelista in Balesin Island on Sunday. “I told him not to (go),” Escudero said in an exclusive interview with the Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP). READ MORE....

Aquino on Chiz-Heart wedding: ‘I’m relieved I’m not ninong’

MANILA, Philippines — Hope springs eternal, a candid President Benigno Aquino III said Monday as he reacted to news that he was asked by Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero to be his best man in his wedding with actress Heart Evangelista. “As to being best man syempre (of course) I am honored but I’m relieved that I wasn’t made ninong (godfather),” Aquino said in jest. Speaking at the sidelines of the Mindanao Inclusive Agribusiness Program launch at Davao City, Aquino explained that it was taboo for single people to be called on as principal sponsors in weddings since it would make them less likely to find a partner in life. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Cesar: I’m not a monster father

MANILA, FEBRUARY 22, 2015 (PHILSTAR) Sunshine Cruz has accused her estranged husband Cesar Montano of committing a scandalous act in front of their daughters (whose names we are withholding to protect their privacy). Even before she filed a case against Cesar in court, Sunshine has reportedly been feeding the tabloids similar stories.

Here’s Cesar’s official statement on the matter:

I vehemently deny all accusations being hurled against me by Sunshine Cruz, most especially this latest, most hurtful of all involving our daughters directly. I may not have been a perfect husband, but I am most definitely not a monster father.

I am grossly disheartened with Sunshine in using our innocent daughters to suit her own ulterior motive. While we are threshing out our property relations in connection with the pending cases we have filed against each other, she is dragging our children to gain leverage against me. Admittedly we have our own differences like any other ordinary couple, but our children should not be affected and worse, be used by anyone of us just to force the issue upon each other. I must hasten to say that it greatly exasperates me to hear that Sunshine filed a complaint against me and immediately thereafter went to the media to announce to the public that a case had been filed against me. Her lawyer even discussed the merits of the complaint.

Sunshine should realize that the complaint involves our own daughters. As I understand it, the law on VAWC shields the minors, our daughters at that, from public embarrassment, humiliation and ridicule. Don’t they realize that they have exposed our daughters to this kind of situation.

I respectfully appeal to Sunshine, if you want the property you have been clamoring, then so be it. I have signed the compromise agreement giving you what you want. But do not and never ever again drag our innocent daughters to settle our differences just to suit your own personal interest.


PHILSTAR

Why Ai-Ai’s Valentine concert was cancelled FUNFARE UPDATE By Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) | Updated February 13, 2015 - 12:00am


Ai-Ai de las Alas: I’ve learned a bitter lesson

Barely 24 hours to the playdate of her Ai Ⅵ Papa scheduled for last night at The Theatre of Solaire Resort & Casino, Ai-Ai delas Alas got the bad news that it was cancelled due to producer’s failure to produce down payment for the venue.

“I learned that the cancellation was made at around 6:30 last Wednesday night (Feb. 11) and we were still rehearsing with the band at that time,” a fuming Ai-Ai said at an emergency presscon yesterday. “But I was informed about the cancellation only at around 8:30 that same night. I was shocked!”

According to reports, the producer, a certain Jacob Fernandez, was given a deadline by Solaire management until 6:30 Wednesday night to settle his obligation. His offer to pay with a post-dated check was rejected. You know the rule: Credit is good but we need cash. Cancellation fee is said to be P400,000.

Because she is the star of the show, Ai-Ai felt duty-bound to do the explaining. She also agreed to be a co-producer at the last minute when she earlier learned that Fernandez was having financial problems just so the show could go on since tickets had been selling fast.

“I wanted to back out (as star of the show) but I thought that I owed it to him to stay,” added Ai-Ai. “Because in 1989, I was abandoned by the producer of my show and it was Jacob who saved me. Some friends were advising me against working with Jacob but then, I decided to pay back. Hindi ko akalain na ang kabaitan at pagma-magandang loob ko ay susuklian niya ng ganito.”

Ai-Ai has no bad record at Solaire. Last year, she co-starred with Rico J. Puno in a hit concert at Solaire.

“Maganda ang relationship ko with Solaire,” said Ai-Ai who hastily informed his star guests Aljur Abrenica and JC de Vera about the cancellation as soon as she was informed about it. Another guest, Richard Yap, was pulled out of the show by his manager also because the producer failed to pay the down payment. Maybe to cover up for Fernandez, the reason given was “due to technical problems.”

Ai-Ai admitted that she had already shelled out her own money to pay for the band and for other expenses incurred during the rehearsals. It was also through her connections that sponsors agreed to support the project.

“I’ve learned a bitter lesson,” said Ai-Ai. “Gusto ko siya (Fernandez) intindihin kung bakit niya ako ginanito, pero hindi ko maintindihan. It’s so frustrating na naging mabait ka at gagawan ka ng ganyan. Huwag niyang gamitin ang name ko kahit kanino at kahit na sa anong paraan.”

On May 16, as a Mother’s Day presentation, Ai-Ai will have an entirely new show but that after she returns from the US and on another trip to Canada for a show. She assures that tickets to the cancelled show will be honored on the new yet untitled show.


INQUIRER

Heart happy with wedding party, without her folks Allan Policarpio @alpolicarpio Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:50 AM | Monday, February 23rd, 2015


NEWLYWEDS Heart and Sen. Chiz Escudero table-hopped, posing for snapshots with guests. PHOTOS BY MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Heart Evangelista’s parents, who refused to attend their daughter’s wedding to Sen. Chiz Esucero at the Balesin Island Club in Quezon province on Feb. 15, were still nowhere in sight during the newlyweds’ reception party Wednesday evening at The Blue Leaf Filipinas in Parañaque City.

Not that the GMA 7 star was expecting anything.

At least, the actress said, she got to speak with her father, Reynaldo Ongpauco, before the event. “He congratulated me and told me that he was happy for me… and that’s good enough for me,” Heart told reporters in a brief interview, shortly after the celebration.

“So many good things have happened; I really can’t complain,” added the 30-year-old actress, who had a falling out with her parents two years ago over her relationship with the senator.

Another no-show at the post-wedding festivities was best man President Aquino, who didn’t attend the wedding, either, upon Sen. Chiz’s request.

Many of the 1,200 invited guests thought Aquino would turn up this time, especially because members of the Presidential Security Group started arriving at the venue late in the afternoon. However, the President—who’s been criticized for allegedly prioritizing events deemed frivolous over more pressing concerns—opted to conduct an unscheduled six-hour dialogue with the families of the “Fallen 44” in Camp Crame.


ROCCO Nacino and Lovi Poe

Dancing couple

In any case, Mr. and Mrs. Chiz Escudero apparently had a great time reliving their special day, this time sharing it with friends, families and loved ones during the party dubbed “Chiz & Heart: Love, Finally,” which started with the two dancing to Sade’s “By Your Side,” performed by Jonalyn Viray.

The rest of the night rolled out much like a concert, with recording artists—mostly from GMA 7, Heart’s home network—feting the newlyweds and the rest of the crowd with topnotch performances.


GRETCHEN Barretto

Aicelle Santos, Maricris Garcia, Jonalyn, Julie Ann San Jose and Frencheska Farr belted out, and harmonized in, “At Last” and “Make You Feel My Love,” while Christian Bautista and Kris Lawrence upped the tempo with “Best Day of My Life.”

After her rendition of “God Gave Me You,” Regine Velasquez-Alcasid was joined onstage by her husband Ogie Alcasid for a duet of “Come What May.”

The newlyweds cuddled at their table as Gary Valenciano serenaded them with the ballad “How Did You Know”—the same piece that Mark Bautista sang as Heart courageously marched down the aisle by herself on her wedding day.

Meanwhile, a string ensemble played a series of soothing instrumentals as the guests enjoyed a sumptuous dinner of soft-shell crab and smoked salmon salad; Angus beef tenderloin medallion coupled with poached Chilean sea bass; and strawberry shortcake truffle, caramel mousse and macarons.

Poignant moments

Aside from the music, the event—hosted by Christian, Jaya and Tim Yap—featured an audio-visual presentation that showed some of the most lighthearted and poignant moments of


SEN. GRACE Poe

their wedding. Another video featured Mr. and Mrs. Escudero talking about how their relationship blossomed, after being hooked up by Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

“When I became single, Sen. Miriam gave me a list of the country’s most eligible bachelors. She put Chiz on No. 1 because she heard that [he had just had an annulment],” said Heart, who donned a Monique Lhuillier creation. “I never made it to No. 2.”

Smiling and giggling throughout the evening, Heart and Sen. Chiz table-hopped to check on guests, and very graciously obliged for photo-ops.

They gamely observed wedding traditions, such as the taking off of the bride’s hose garter, and the cutting and eating of the cake—which, to gasps of awe, descended from the ceiling on fancy and sparkly chandeliers.

In President Aquino’s absence, Sen. Chiz’s brother Philip proposed the toast.

To resounding applause, Philip welcomed Heart to his family, then raised his glass and said, “To love and happiness forever!”


Kim Chiu Kim Chiu

Among the big names spotted at the gathering were Senators Grace Poe, Franklin Drilon, Sonny Angara, Bongbong Marcos, Loren Legarda and Tito Sotto; as well as stars like Kim Chiu, Gretchen Barretto, Lovi Poe, Iza Calzado and Rocco Nacino.

Also at the reception were GMA 7 top exec Felipe L. Gozon, Camarines Sur 3rd District Rep. Leni Robredo, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Francis Tolentino, former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim and Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chair Toto Villareal.

“Thank you to everyone who made time to share this moment with us; you’re all part of this journey,” Sen. Chiz told the crowd.


INQUIRER

Chiz to Heart: ‘Thank you for loving me and fighting for me’ INQUIRER.net 7:07 PM | Sunday, February 15th, 2015


Photo by @marniemanicad "Weddings TV" @bayanisandiego
7:52 AM - 15 Feb 2015 Las Pinas City, National Capital Region, Republika ng Pilipinas

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis Joseph “Chiz” Escudero and actress Heart Evangelista (Love Marie Ongpauco in real life) were married in the exclusive Balesin Island in Quezon province Sunday afternoon.

The wedding ceremony was officiated by Bishop Arturo Vasquez and was concelebrated by Fr. Jerry Orbos and Fr. Roger Joseph Erestain. It was attended by celebrities, politicians and industry heavyweights. Some sponsors in the couple’s wedding include Senator Grace Poe, SM’s Hans Sy, Megaworld’s Andrew Tan, Ayala’s Fernando Zobel de Ayala, and Roberto Ongpin.

Singer Mark Bautista sang “How Did You Know” as Evangelista bravely walked the aisle alone in an Ezra Santos ensemble. This confirmed early reports that her parents, Reynaldo and Cecilia Ongpauco, will not attend their daughter’s wedding.

The gown was a nod to the wedding gown worn by Princess Grace Kelly of Monaco.

Meanwhile, Escudero wore a white suit by Paul Cabral and was escorted by his 7-year-old twins as he walked down the aisle.

During the exchange of vows, the couple shed tears as they professed their love for each other. For Evangelista, she promised the senator he would not walk alone.

“Thank you for loving me and fighting for me…I promise, you will never walk alone,” she said tearfully.

Meanwhile, Escudero thanked the actress for a second shot at love.

“Thank you for loving me and fighting for me…Naniniwala ako na mahal mo ako tuwing sinasabi mong mahal mo ako,” the senator said.

President Benigno Aquino III was supposed to be Escudero’s best man. However, the senator personally asked Aquino to skip the wedding amid the various issues facing the country. Instead of attending the wedding, Aquino could attend the reception in Manila on Feb. 18, the senator said.

Aquino drew flak when he attended the wedding of Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes where he was the “witness of honor” as a typhoon lashed the country last December.

Instead of Aquino, Escudero’s brother, Philip served as the best man. Evangelista’s older sister, Camille Ongpauco, stood as the maid of honor.

Escudero and Evangelista have been in a relationship for almost three years prior to their wedding. AJH


INQUIRER

Chiz: I still can’t believe it Allan Policarpio, Marinel R. Cruz | Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:08 AM | Wednesday, February 18th, 2015


SENATOR and Mrs. Escudero (from left) with his twin kids Joaquin and Cecilia, saying their vows, and about to seal it with a kiss. Photos by PAT DY

It lasted about five seconds; it was “gentle” and “felt by everybody,” said GMA 7 vice president for drama Redgie Acuña-Magno when asked to describe the kiss that sealed the wedding of Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, 44, and actress Heart Evangelista, 30, on Sunday at the posh Balesin Island Resort off Quezon province.

It had rained heavily two days prior, but the two, unfazed, prepared to proceed with the plan even in a downpour.

Mercifully, the rains let up and the sun peeked through dark clouds on the big day. But that didn’t mean there would be no more waterworks.

There wasn’t a dry eye, Magno said, when Evangelista, in a majestic Grace Kelly-inspired wedding gown by Dubai-based designer Ezra Santos, walked down the aisle. “She was beaming. She paused intermittently to say hello to guests. We were all crying happy tears for her. I remember smoke machines and blowers, and petals falling.”

In the background, Mark Bautista sang “How Did You Know.”

Evangelista marched to the altar with neither of her parents, Reynaldo and Cecile Ongpauco, by her side. “She was a little teary, but she composed herself, and even managed to smile,” a source from Escudero’s camp said.

It was the bride’s sisters, Camille (maid of honor), Mich and Lissa, who couldn’t stop crying as they joined Evangelista near the altar to give her hand to Escudero.

Escudero, in a black-white Paul Cabral suit, was escorted to the altar by his twin children Joaquin and Cecilia, who greeted the bride with kisses.

The altar was adorned with 5,000 stems of whimsical white wisteria and a hundred crystal balls. The mass was officiated by Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes, with concelebrators Fr. Joseph Erestain and Fr. Jerry Orbos, who delivered the homily.

The ceremony was witnessed by an estimated 150 guests. Magno told Inquirer Entertainment that the exchange of vows was “most touching.” She recounted, “Heart, in tears, told Chiz, ‘Thank you for loving me. Thank you for fighting for this love.’”

What she remembered most about Escudero’s vow, Magno said, was him saying, “You gave me a reason to live and believe in love again.”

Simple, organized

He still couldn’t believe Evangelista was marrying him, the senator said, then threw in a joke that he was sure of her love, just the same, since she often said she found him handsome, a compliment he usually got only from his mother.

It was all very simple and well-organized, Magno related, beginning around 4 p.m. and ending just before sundown. “One of Heart’s sisters jested that Chiz would make a very good wedding coordinator.”

Aside from the couple’s close friends and a few colleagues, the TV executive said, “All the major malls in the country were represented—the Gokongweis, the Ayalas and the Sys were present.”

The reception was just as memorable, Magno said. Evangelista sang “Wind Beneath My Wings,” which she dedicated to her sisters, saying they were her sources of strength. One of them earlier read a letter that their father had written for Evangelista. They all hugged after Evangelista’s song.

Birthday dinner

Evangelista hosted a birthday dinner the night before. “It was especially moving,” Magno said, “when Heart’s helpers, including the nanny who has been with the family since before Heart was born, paid her a tribute. It was sweet of her to give them importance.”

The postwedding program concluded with a five-minute fireworks display. Escudero would often check on his kids, Magno said, hugging and kissing them.

Principal sponsors

Among the principal wedding sponsors were Felipe L. Gozon and Gilberto Duavit of GMA 7, Eugenio Lopez III of ABS-CBN; Viva Entertainment top honcho Vic del Rosario; tycoons Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Ramon Ang, Lance Gokongwei and Hans Sy; and prominent celebs Eddie Garcia, Susan Roces, Jackielou Blanco and Bibeth Orteza. Sen. Grace Poe was a secondary sponsor.

Evangelista’s bridesmaids included some of her friends in the industry—Jennylyn Mercado, Lovi Poe, Carla Abellana, Solenn Heussaff and Alessandra de Rossi. The color motif was salmon blush. Escudero’s groomsmen were close friends and lawyer colleagues.

Evangelista—Love Marie Ongpauco in real life—changed into a much simpler dress by designer Mark Bumgarner for the reception, where the newlyweds had their first dance as a married couple. They were then feted with messages from family and friends, treated to various video presentations and serenaded by guests singers Bautista, Jonalyn Viray and Kyla.

A two-part special about the wedding will be aired on March 1 and 8 on GMA 7.


INQUIRER

Escudero asks best man Aquino not to attend his wedding–report INQUIRER.net 10:02 AM | Friday, February 13th, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero has revealed that he personally asked President Benigno Aquino III not to attend his wedding with actress Heart Evangelista in Balesin Island on Sunday.

“I told him not to (go),” Escudero said in an exclusive interview with the Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP).

He explained that it was not because of the controversial issues that the embattled President has been facing – including a bloody operation in Mamasapano town, Maguindanao last month. While the mission succeeded in killing international terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir alias Marwan, it also led to deaths of of 44 elite policemen.

Escudero said he assured Aquino as early as last year that it was okay with him if his best man did not attend.

He said he knew the out-of-town wedding will cause a lot of “hassle” on the part of the President.

READ: Escudero: Wedding to Evangelista is on Feb. 15 in Balesin

“He might have things to do,” the Senator said.

“He can just join us in the Manila reception (on February 18) if he’s available,” he explained.

The two politicians have been close since being colleagues in Congress.

In September last year, Aquino said he was honored to have been chosen as Escudero’s best man. He said he was also relieved that he was not assigned as principal sponsor because of the belief that single people like him will have a hard time to find a partner in life if they are asked to become “ninong” or “ninang.” KS


INQUIRER

Aquino on Chiz-Heart wedding: ‘I’m relieved I’m not ninong’ Kristine Angeli Sabillo @KSabilloINQ INQUIRER.net 4:00 PM | Monday, September 8th, 2014

MANILA, Philippines — Hope springs eternal, a candid President Benigno Aquino III said Monday as he reacted to news that he was asked by Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero to be his best man in his wedding with actress Heart Evangelista.

“As to being best man syempre (of course) I am honored but I’m relieved that I wasn’t made ninong (godfather),” Aquino said in jest.

Speaking at the sidelines of the Mindanao Inclusive Agribusiness Program launch at Davao City, Aquino explained that it was taboo for single people to be called on as principal sponsors in weddings since it would make them less likely to find a partner in life.

“We have a belief that single people who become godparents…will remain single for the rest of their lives. So to avoid that possibility, in case that exists, I said that I was even willing to become secondary sponsor,” he added, laughing.

Kidding aside, Aquino said Escudero was a “very good friend” of his and that they have been through a lot since they both started as congressmen in 1998.

“We are looking forward to it being a joyous occasion and the start of real happiness for both (of them),” he said of Escudero and Evangelista.

He said he will pray for their happiness.

Asked how many times he had become best man, he said, “May mga bagay na hindi na binibilang (There are things that should no longer be counted).”

“Natapos na ako doon sa pagtatanong na ‘ito na lang ba ang papel ko dito lagi?’(I’m through asking, ‘will this always be my role’?),” he added.

Aquino, since being elected president in 2010, has long been teased about his status as a bachelor.

Meanwhile, the President also confirmed that he had been invited to the wedding of Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera but said that as far as he knows, he will just be attending as a guest.

“They’ve been very supportive, both of them. And they really seem to be happy. So I really hope that it continues for the rest of their lives,” he said of the two celebrities.

Aquino said he was invited by Dantes during the latter’s oath taking as commissioner-at-large for the National Youth Commission.

Dantes has yet to confirm reports that he plans to run for public office.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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