SHOWBIZ NEWS THIS PAST WEEK

MUSIC KEEPS JOE MARI YOUNG AT 70


Jose Mari Chan then (left) and now: Looking good is the best revenge but what matters most is how young you feel and how well you live
- “I can’t believe that he’s turning 70 (that’s today, March 11),” this corner’s New York correspondent Edmund Silvestre told Funfare when he watched Jose Mari Chan’s sold-out concert at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City late last year. “He doesn’t look at it. I think it’s the music that keeps him looking and feeling young.”  READ MORE...

ALSO: Panagbenga: A fusion of colors and a pocketful of memories


A dragon-themed movable masterpiece during the Grand Float Parade 
MANILA, Philippines - On its 20th year, the Panagbenga Flower Festival successfully climaxed once again, with mainly a couple of distinct extravaganzas — the Grand Street Dancing Parade, where performers eagerly flaunted their zeal and dynamism, and the ever-so-popular, the Grand Float Parade highlighted by the iconic gardens in motion.    With eye-catching colorful costumes, inspired by history and tradition, heritage and culture, blooms and blossoms, the street dancing competition had participants of all ages bursting with energy and enthusiasm. The first prize winners in the school level division were the Mabini Elementary School, and the Baguio City National High School. For the Open Category, which included troupers from other provinces, the crown was awarded to the Pamulinawen Dance Group from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.   On the following day, several floats, artistically and innovatively decorated with flowers and petals, leaves and moss, twigs and branches, seeds and bark — even the roots from plants, shrubs and trees — were utilized to ingenuously design the ungainly trucks into massive moving works of art, which seemingly drifted through the main streets of the City of Baguio. READ MORE...

ALSO: A day with Richard Gomez & FPJ Da King


Fernando Poe Jr. and Vilma Santos in a scene from Batya’t Palo-palo
Recently, we spent an entire afternoon watching replays of three shows from Palibhasa Lalake and one from FPJ. Titled Batya’t Palo-palo, the FPJ film stars Fernando Poe Jr. with Vilma Santos as his leading lady. It presents a love story between Ronnie (Poe’s nickname) who plays a tubero working in the hacienda of the rich Saavedra family whose daughter (Vilma) he meets while she is cleaning her clothes by the river. The twist in the story comes when Ronnie mistakes Vilma for a laundry woman and she plays along, asking the women in the hacienda not to reveal her secret. Ronnie and Vilma begin to take a liking to each other while Vilma’s friends as well as Ronnie’s man Friday cooperate in keeping her secret. The parents of Vilma get wind of the situation, and are outraged that their daughter could fall for a man not in their class. Ronnie, who is unaware of all this secrecy, leaves the farm to board a bus for Manila. READ MORE...

ALSO: Edu Manzano wows ’em


I’m just a sweet, sensitive little boy living in the body of a 59-year-old man. Edu Manzano should give a crash course on how to be charming without trying too hard. There’s something about Doods that draws people in. I’ve always liked his style. I enjoy our animated text exchanges in his dialect, Hiligaynon. After hosting several shows, he’s back as an actor in ABS-CBN’s “Bridges of Love.” I wish he would have another talk show soon, though. His wit and candor are unmatched in the gabfest scene. But either as a host or an actor, Edu is always such a delight to watch. READ MORE...

ALSO: Why Marian Rivera is worry-free


DINGDONG Dantes portrays a priest in new show. Newlywed Dingdong Dantes is back to the grind. He portrays a parish priest in GMA 7’s new series, “Pari Koy” (weeknights after “24 Oras”). I told my amigo Dong that his role is a perfect fit now that he’s married. Playing a priest means he has no leading lady, so his fab wife, Marian Rivera, will be worry-free. But if all priests were as gorgeous as this one, I’m sure more women would hear Holy Mass and go to confession. READ MORE...

ALSO JULIA BARETTO'S DEBUT: Long-overdue family reunion


Julia Barretto in a stunning Michael Cinco red gown. Right: Her reunion with Aunt Claudine, witnessed by her Lola Inday, was one of the affair’s highlights. Inset: Julia with her Lolo Miguel. Photos courtesy of @starmagic Instagram  Even if only for one beautiful night, the Barrettos were together in one big room, under one big roof, all smiles, so unlike in the past when such a family gathering was impossible.  It was at the debut of Julia last Tuesday night, March 10, at the ballroom of the Makati Shangri-La and it proved beyond doubt that a special occasion could make feuding family members set aside whatever differences they had and enjoy a long-overdue family party…except that one member was absent — none other than Gretchen who left for London a day before to celebrate her 45th birthday (March 6) with her unica hija Dominique who is taking up a fashion-related course there. READ MORE...

ALSO Judy Ann Santos on brief tiff with Kris Aquino: Nothing wrong with what I did


JUDY ANN Santos says actors, as taxpayers, have the right to speak up about national issues   MANILA, Philippines—Having made peace with President Benigno Aquino III’s sister Kris Aquino over a comment she posted on Instagram, actress Judy Ann “Juday” Santos said she would continue to participate in social media discussions about pressing national issues.  In fact, she told reporters at a press conference for “Someone to Watch Over Me,” her new drama series on ABS-CBN, “I’d do it again. There was nothing wrong with what I did. I don’t regret it.”   Juday posted on her Instagram account part of a 2011 news clip about US President Barack Obama canceling earlier appointments so he could be present at the arrival of bodies of US troops killed in Afghanistan. She wrote the caption: “Just saying … Obama knows his priorities.”   Netizens interpreted the post as a swipe on President Aquino, who was not present when the bodies of the SAF 44 arrived from Mamasapano, Maguindanao. READ MORE...

ALSO Ladies first: Pink taxis roll out in Metro


Pink taxis, owned and operated by actor Luis Manzano, will provide priority rides for women, children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities during rush hour. MANILA, Philippines - After a pink bus and pink jeepneys, pink taxis have now joined the latest public utility franchise of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for its Pink4 project. Around 60 pink taxis of LBR Transport Inc., owned and operated by TV host and actor Luis Manzano, rolled out yesterday. LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said the pink taxis would provide priority rides for women, children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities during rush hour. As part of the LTFRB Pink4 Project, the taxis will exclusively pick up and transport only women, children, senior citizens and the disabled, he said. READ MORE....


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Music keeps Joe Mari young


Jose Mari Chan then (left) and now: Looking good is the best revenge but what matters most is how young you feel and how well you live

MANILA, MARCH 16, 2015 (PHILSTAR) FUNFARE By Ricky Lo - “I can’t believe that he’s turning 70 (that’s today, March 11),” this corner’s New York correspondent Edmund Silvestre told Funfare when he watched Jose Mari Chan’s sold-out concert at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City late last year. “He doesn’t look at it. I think it’s the music that keeps him looking and feeling young.”

Upon our request, Edmund very gladly did an interview with Joe Mari who, observed Edmund, “let his guard down…and I thought that he’s a very private person!”

Dr. Ching Legarda, Joe Mari’s concert producer and long-time friend in New York, earlier reminded Edmund to go easy on her “low-key” and “very private” pal. But Joe Mari, surprisingly, didn’t hold back answering every single question.

“Displaying his ‘regular guy’ side,” added Edmund, “he even traded jokes with us, graciously posed for some selfies and allowed us to sing duet with him as he looked back at his favorite compositions.”

Here are some highlights of the interview:

You’ve made it clear you’re not retiring from the music scene.

“Music is a wonderful hobby. Other guys love to play golf or tennis. In my case, I dabble in music. What had begun as a hobby has become a professional career. But I still consider it a hobby. Forever I’m an eight-year-old boy who loves music, who loves meeting people, who loves traveling. So I will never retire from a hobby.”

Don’t you get tired doing all this for decades now?

“Physically tired, yes I do. As you get older, you need sleep and you need to rest and refrain from carrying heavy luggage. But emotionally tired, no. Thank God, I still write songs, although the songs that I write may no longer be relevant to the young people of today. As for singing, I’m more of a crooner and I don’t make birit. I know my capacity or ability that’s why I give songs to other singers. I cannot rock and I cannot sing very powerfully. I’m a mellow crooner.”

Many of your songs are very poetic and evoke a lot of emotions.

“Poetic lyrics, if you marry them to the right melody, will last longer.”

There’s another amazing song you wrote and composed for Joey Albert called I Remember The Boy. Is it true that it’s based on your own experience?

(Smiles) “At the time we were living in New York, we went to Quebec (Canada) and while we were in a hotel room overlooking the Saint Lawrence River, I heard a song on radio that reminded me of this girl that I really liked before although we never intended to marry. It brought back memories of the girl. I tried to look inside my heart to see whether I still have a feeling for her. I realized wala na. Kaya nga I remember the girl but I don’t remember the feeling anymore. I just changed it to ‘boy’ when I gave it to Joey who sang it beautifully.“

Do we know the girl in that song? Does she know that that song is actually about her?

“I won’t name the girl who now has a family of her own. I never told her about it. Everything is over between us and I don’t want it to start something. And certainly I don’t want her husband to know, hahahaha!”

Are you the type of person who counts his blessings?

“Yes. Every day. Every morning I wake up, I thank the Lord for the gift of another day. I thank God for the gift of good health. I thank God for the gift of family, and my business, and my music.”

You have a very strong faith.

“Faith is a gift. When I was in high school, faith was probably something I knew I had but if I looked inside my heart it wasn’t so welded into my personality. My wife (Maryann Ansaldo) is Christ-centered. She’s always the one that has brought Christ at the center of our marriage. Later on as I got older and I see many of our friends passing away, and some of them didn’t do well and some didn’t marry well, I feel that I’ve been blessed. Not that God loves me more or God loves them less, no. It’s just that we have to be grateful for things that God has given us.” (Joe Mari’s dad was a Chinese immigrant who came to the Philippines in 1934 at age 14 to provide for his widowed mom and his siblings. Joe Mari cinematically detailed his father’s life escaping poverty in China and building a fortune in the Philippines that could rival the Fil-Sino saga of Mother Lily Monteverde’s parents in the 2002 blockbuster drama franchise Mano Po.)

Your song Please Be Careful With My Heart is still enjoying popularity to date and even reintroduced you to a new generation of people.

“That song is a God’s blessing. I never thought that the song would have a long life that it has. Thanks to that teleserye (ABS-CBN’s Be Careful With My Heart) that captured the hearts of many Filipino televiewers all over the world. I won’t mind if they use my other songs that would be perfect for a teleserye or maybe a movie like probably A Love To Last A Lifetime or Afraid For Love To Fade. I also want someone to re-record another version of Can We Just Stop And Talk Awhile? A lot of people like that song.”

Anything else you want to accomplish?

“For the last 20 years, I’ve been telling myself that I will come out with a Broadway musical. A musical na kahit hindi mailabas sa New York but at least it should be staged in the Philippines and I’ve been wanting to do that. I already have some melodies but I don’t have the librettist. I need someone to write the words. I want a completely original musical with an original story and new songs so people will hear something new. But I really don’t know if it will ever materialize because I’m busy with our business.”

Are you not afraid of growing old?

“I used to be afraid of growing old, but after having lived in (Westchester) New York I’m no longer afraid and I’ll tell you why. Autumn is my favorite season of the year and I have spent 11 autumns in New York marveling at the colors of autumn. Growing old is just like seasons. When you’re in spring, wow, you look forward to summer, you look forward to being 30 years old. Many are afraid to grow old because then you’ll be slower and everything. But no, when you’re old you’ll have a completely different perspective in life like the autumn colors. If growing old is like autumn, then I’m not afraid and I look forward to it.”

You actually look like 20 years younger than your age. Would you share with us secrets to staying fit and healthy?

“The thing that will slow people down is if their health is bad. Some people become frustrated or disappointed that they can no longer do the things that they used to do. It’s all about attitude and lifestyle. I try to keep myself healthy by brisk walking every morning for at least 45 minutes. I watch my diet (breakfast cereals and fruits every morning). I avoid stress from my business by delegating responsibilities to my trusted officers and to my children so that I will not be bearing the burden all by myself.” ..


PHILSTAR

Panagbenga: A fusion of colors and a pocketful of memories (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 15, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


A dragon-themed movable masterpiece during the Grand Float Parade

MANILA, Philippines - On its 20th year, the Panagbenga Flower Festival successfully climaxed once again, with mainly a couple of distinct extravaganzas — the Grand Street Dancing Parade, where performers eagerly flaunted their zeal and dynamism, and the ever-so-popular, the Grand Float Parade highlighted by the iconic gardens in motion.

With eye-catching colorful costumes, inspired by history and tradition, heritage and culture, blooms and blossoms, the street dancing competition had participants of all ages bursting with energy and enthusiasm.

The first prize winners in the school level division were the Mabini Elementary School, and the Baguio City National High School. For the Open Category, which included troupers from other provinces, the crown was awarded to the Pamulinawen Dance Group from Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.

On the following day, several floats, artistically and innovatively decorated with flowers and petals, leaves and moss, twigs and branches, seeds and bark — even the roots from plants, shrubs and trees — were utilized to ingenuously design the ungainly trucks into massive moving works of art, which seemingly drifted through the main streets of the City of Baguio.


Young Korean students in animé-inspired cosplay

The North Luzon Expressway, better known as NLEX, garnered the top prize. The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA), Jollibee, The Manor of Camp John Hay and M Lhuillier completed the Magic Circle of this year’s best.

However, these are just two of the many events and encounters held during the month-long fiesta eagerly awaited by residents and visitors alike.

There was the Handog Panagbenga sa Pamilya sa Baguio, an entire day and night solely dedicated to the locals, wherein the families and relatives, friends and colleagues participated in fun group activities such as banner painting, kite-flying, and a number of variety shows at the Melvin Jones Grandstand and Football Grounds.

Session Road in Bloom made way to the closure of the city’s most popular road to vehicles, where it annually blossoms into a cornucopia of sterling restaurants and popular bars, captivating horticultural shops and stalls, featuring sought-after products from the area and the neighboring provinces, which included endearing souvenirs and a bucketful of pasalubongs.

Proud of its collective green thumb, the organizer, the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc., with the festival chairman Anthony de Leon and co-chair Freddie Alquiros and ably supported by the city government with the active Mayor Mauricio Domogan at its helm, likewise sponsored plant and flower fairs, showcasing floral arrangement and vertical garden contests, and landscaping competitions for enthusiasts.

Riding high on the nostalgic first horse love affair from cherished childhood days, another reason for entertainment was the Pony Boys’ Day, a rodeo exhibition with the much loved equine friends.

The much-anticipated and well-attended Baguio Blooms at the Lake Drive Burnham Park, which was celebrated for a whole month was the ideal place to take home a diverse selection of fresh flowers and ferns, and trays of hope-they-will-grow-in-my-garden plants, frequently seen and never-before-seen trinkets and baubles of all kinds, appreciated pasalubongs for all tummy sizes, and a collection of bargain items not found in the usual tiangges.

The Closing Ceremonies at the Athletic Bowl ended with a fantastic fireworks display from five strategically located points of origin, where everyone no matter where he stood within the city, got an unobstructed view.

With each passing year, Panagbenga never ceases amaze me in more ways than I can count.

On my easy drive back home, I recalled with admiration the full-of-ideas float-makers and loyal employees of the participating government agencies and business entities for their hard-to-come-by imagination and down-to-the-last-detail professional execution of the complex movable obra maestras they passionately handcrafted.

I remember with fondness the eager students from elementary to high schools, colleges and universities, lovingly supported by parents and guardians, for awesome presentations for our entertainment, a testimony of absolute dedication to countless hours of rehearsals.

I salute the cadets of the Philippine Military Academy and the Philippine National Police, the ever-ready Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, and many delegations from concerned companies and NGOs, organizations and associations, who served as street marshals and other assignments too many to mention, with always the right attitude of service, thus maintained order and discipline and made certain all events ran as smoothly as possible.

I extend warm handshakes to the paramedics and medical teams on standby, who were complete with the appropriate what-it-takes in case of emergencies, on easy-to-spot locations.

Enhorabuena to the traffic enforcers for cleverly adapting well-studied, often-reviewed on-the-spot decisions to address a possible congestion, as cars and more vehicles were immediately rerouted, clearing street lanes whenever the need arose. Throughout my weekend stay for the Grand Parades, I constantly felt the proper coordination and guidance which eliminated issues of inefficiency and inconveniences, and replaced by a sense of discipline and order.

Hallelujah to the countless genuine volunteers, much to be admired and whose sense of public service ought to be emulated. Among them were the street cleaners who were never too far to commence their task as soon as the crowds moved on to other sites and activities.

Hats off to the Baguio Flower Festival Foundation Inc. and the City Government of Baguio, the tireless organizers of the country’s premier flower festival, for yet another great show at the Summer Capital. To them, I say kudos for cultivating the culture of discipline, generosity, and caring among the people of Baguio and its environs, which in addition to the multitude of things to do, see, and experience, are the intangible components that will always make Baguio City’s Panagbenga Flower Festival worth visiting again and again and again.

Our sincerest thanks to Ramon Cabrera, general manager of The Manor and Billy King of Le Chef for being gracious hosts. Photos by Edu Jarque ..


PHILSTAR

A day with Richard Gomez & FPJ Da King LIVE FEED By Bibsy M. Carballo (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 11, 2015 - 12:00am


Richard Gomez with other cast members of Palibhasa Lalake (from left) Cynthia Patag, Carmina Villarroel and John Estrada

Recently, we spent an entire afternoon watching replays of three shows from Palibhasa Lalake and one from FPJ.

Titled Batya’t Palo-palo, the FPJ film stars Fernando Poe Jr. with Vilma Santos as his leading lady. It presents a love story between Ronnie (Poe’s nickname) who plays a tubero working in the hacienda of the rich Saavedra family whose daughter (Vilma) he meets while she is cleaning her clothes by the river.

The twist in the story comes when Ronnie mistakes Vilma for a laundry woman and she plays along, asking the women in the hacienda not to reveal her secret.

Ronnie and Vilma begin to take a liking to each other while Vilma’s friends as well as Ronnie’s man Friday cooperate in keeping her secret. The parents of Vilma get wind of the situation, and are outraged that their daughter could fall for a man not in their class.

Ronnie, who is unaware of all this secrecy, leaves the farm to board a bus for Manila.

Vilma follows him to the station and while the bus is leaving, they get on board to their happy ending.

We enjoyed this simple love story with only minimal fight scenes expected of a Ronnie Poe picture. Without question, there was definite magic in the Ronnie-Vilma team-up which kept us glued to the screen.

After Ronnie, we watched Palibhasa Lalake once a top earner of ABS. On this occasion, we had as cast Richard called “Goma” by friends; Joey Marquez; John Estrada; Anjo Yllana; Amy Perez; Cynthia Patag; Carmina Villarroel; and Gloria Romero.

The first story has guest Ruffa Gutierrez as one whom Gloria accuses of having stolen her bracelet. In the end, she forgives Ruffa and all’s well that ends well.

Story two features Kris Aquino as guest who meets Goma while buying donuts at the shop where he works. Kris finds him cute, sends a letter inviting him to dinner and later sends him chocolates.

Meantime, Cynthia invites friends including Kris to her birthday party but ends up in the hands of the wrong party and naturally, there is bedlam all around.

Finally, the third story guests Gretchen Barretto as the first love of Richard who wishes to have him back after living abroad for several years. She pursues him but has to be content with a “friends only” answer in the end.

The storylines of Palibhasa are very simple but what keeps it alive is the comedy and situations that are ridiculously entertaining, keeping us watching, and we are certain, everyone else as well.

Since these stories are re-runs of those produced many years ago, we can expect negative reactions from today’s young audience.

We can already hear the words “unlikely storyline,” “ridiculous costuming” and “outdated locations.” We agree with all these accusations.

However, to us such stories represent a period gone by, a part of our history that we should appreciate and be happy that some people took the pains to preserve. ..


INQUIRER

Edu Manzano wows ’em Dolly Anne Carvajal @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:18 AM | Tuesday, March 10th, 2015


I’m just a sweet, sensitive little boy living in the body of a 59-year-old man.

Edu Manzano should give a crash course on how to be charming without trying too hard.

There’s something about Doods that draws people in. I’ve always liked his style. I enjoy our animated text exchanges in his dialect, Hiligaynon.

After hosting several shows, he’s back as an actor in ABS-CBN’s “Bridges of Love.” I wish he would have another talk show soon, though. His wit and candor are unmatched in the gabfest scene. But either as a host or an actor, Edu is always such a delight to watch.

Edu… wow!

What is the state of your love life now?

My lawyers have advised me not to answer that question. (Chuckles).

In what ways are your son Luis and Angel Locsin well-suited for one another?

I have no idea. Only Luis and Angel know that. Parents can only hope for the best for their children.

What do you wish you could be good at?

I wish I had pursued my dream to become a good lawyer.

What has fame taught you?

With fame comes great responsibility. Fame, when used properly, can bring about positive change.

What do you know now that you wish you had known earlier?

That to be with someone forever … it’s best to take Edsa!

What made you decide to return to ABS-CBN?

My role as Lorenzo in “Bridges of Love” is one worth dying for! Plus the chance to work again with friends and the challenge to share the screen with artists I haven’t worked with yet.

Which do you enjoy more, hosting or acting?

They are both demanding. In hosting, you have to be at the top of your game. If it’s a live show, there’s no take two. So you need to be prepared. You also have to develop a relationship with your audience. In acting, the challenge is working with other elements, including the other artists, to create the desired effect required by the director.

Are you better as a host or as an actor?

I always try to be the best I can be in any given situation.

What don’t people know about you?

I’m just a sweet, sensitive little boy living in the body of a 59-year-old man.

Summer dancing


GEORCELLE Dapat-Sy (foreground) and her students are set to embark on a “Glamping” adventure. GEORCELLE Dapat-Sy (foreground) and her students are set to embark on a “Glamping” adventure.

Enjoy summer with a dance experience of a lifetime in G-Force Project’s (GFP) Summer Dance Glamping.

According to G-Force’s fab artistic director, Georcelle Dapat-Sy, “Glamping means glamorous camping. It is about sharing a unified experience that we will treasure forever. We look forward to spending quality time with our students, forging stronger bonds and sharing our gifts with them.”

This year’s event also serves as the company’s opening treat to its loyal followers, as it celebrates 10 years in the industry.

What better way to show its appreciation than to hold the hippest and grandest party (workshop) ever!

Dance enthusiasts of all ages can pick their choice of classes: hip-hop, jazz funk, dubstep, K-pop, zumba and burlesque.

Kids’ classes are open to children ages 5 to 7 and 8 to 10. Also offered are the “master’s class” and #whiteshirtlove, a sought-after program designed and taught by teacher Georcelle. The #whiteshirtlove class made the news for its message of women empowerment.

Teacher Georcelle is proud to announce that GFP is going regional. First on the list is Cebu, from April 20 to 24. Next in line are Albay (April 27 to May 1) and Bacolod (May 11 to 15). Manila classes will be held in two batches: April 13 to 17 and May 4 to 8.

Recitals are set on May 26 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena.

“We want our students to feel what it’s like to perform in a big venue, dance with professionals on stage,” Georcelle said, “and with thousands of people watching. It doesn’t get any grander than that.”

May the G-Force be with you!

Log on to www.gorceofficial.com,  call or text 0998-52 FORCE (367

23) or 0917-8 GFORCE (436723) or visit the G-Force Dance Center, Ground Floor, Corporate 101 Building, 101 Mother Ignacia Street, Quezon City.


INQUIRER

Why Marian Rivera is worry-free Dolly Anne Carvajal @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:00 AM | Wednesday, March 11th, 2015


DINGDONG Dantes portrays a priest in new show.

Newlywed Dingdong Dantes is back to the grind. He portrays a parish priest in GMA 7’s new series, “Pari Koy” (weeknights after “24 Oras”).

I told my amigo Dong that his role is a perfect fit now that he’s married. Playing a priest means he has no leading lady, so his fab wife, Marian Rivera, will be worry-free. But if all priests were as gorgeous as this one, I’m sure more women would hear Holy Mass and go to confession.

Here’s my one-on-one with Dong:

Any cute anecdotes on married life?

I love that my wife experiments in the kitchen for me.

How has marriage changed you?

I look forward to going home early and I wake up in the morning eager to work for our future family.

How many kids do you plan to have?

We have not decided.

How do you settle misunderstandings?

We go back to our wedding vows.

Aiko’s triumph

I am mighty proud of my “sis” Aiko Melendez for winning best actress at the International Filmmakers Festival of World Cinema in London for her role in Louie Ignacio’s “Asintado.”

Here’s my tête-à-tête with Aiko:

How is this award making you feel?

It keeps me grounded. To Lord Jesus be the glory. He made me shine.

What did your winning role teach you?

It was a humbling experience. It made me realize that many crying scenes are not needed to make a touching film.

What’s one love lesson you intend to apply to your next relationship?

Make God a part of it and everything will fall into place.

Cebu hot spot

LIV Super Club was Cebu’s hottest nightspot last V-Day. Kudos to my good friend Kenneth Dong for making that happen. With Spectrum Experience, LIV made “Cupid 2015” an affair to remember with guest DJs Mia Fernandez, Chad Fajardo, Mozo and Jom. The first 200 guests got a free drink each from Bacardi. Ladies were given heart-shaped balloons, and completing the romantic atmosphere was a heart-shaped photo wall.

Live it up and go bottoms up at LIV!

Personal

Thanks to Allan and Bambi Young of my fave resto, Iceberg’s, for all the yummy treats. Thanks a mil to my good friend Dan Fernandez and his aide, Elmer Maghirang, for the sumptuous dinner in Dan’s baluarte, Laguna.


PHILSTAR

JULIA BARETTO'S DEBUT: Long-overdue family reunion

FUNFARE By Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 12, 2015 - 12:00am

0 0 googleplus0 0

Debutante Julia Barretto in a stunning Michael Cinco red gown. Right: Her reunion with Aunt Claudine, witnessed by her Lola Inday, was one of the affair’s highlights. Inset: Julia with her Lolo Miguel. Photos courtesy of @starmagic Instagram

Even if only for one beautiful night, the Barrettos were together in one big room, under one big roof, all smiles, so unlike in the past when such a family gathering was impossible.

It was at the debut of Julia last Tuesday night, March 10, at the ballroom of the Makati Shangri-La and it proved beyond doubt that a special occasion could make feuding family members set aside whatever differences they had and enjoy a long-overdue family party…except that one member was absent — none other than Gretchen who left for London a day before to celebrate her 45th birthday (March 6) with her unica hija Dominique who is taking up a fashion-related course there.

“The debut was perfect in its beauty — in trappings of mirrored tables and opaque chairs,” the debutante’s grandmother Inday Barretto told Funfare. “Flowers flown in from abroad were everywhere, lining the whole stretch of the long tables, covering almost the whole ceiling. There were huge carousel horses in every corner which was also covered with flowers.”

The ballroom was dressed up by stylist Robert Blancaflor, with the events planner headed by Rita Neri and her team. Video-filming was by Jason Magbanua.

Seeing Julia in her “breathtaking ruby-red Michael Cinco gown” brought tears to the eyes of Inday who has just recently reconciled with Julia’s mom Marjorie.

“She was so beautiful,” gasped Inday. “I was seeing a childhood dream coming true.”

One of the highlights was the meeting of Julia and her Aunt Claudine (minus estranged husband Raymart Santiago) in a stunning black gown.

“They looked almost alike,” continued Inday. “They met in the middle of the ballroom and they melted into a long embrace. Those who witnessed it cried.”

A while later, Marjorie passed by Claudine’s table and tapped Claudine’s shoulder. The guests broke into a heartwarming applause as the also newly-reconciled sisters embraced each other.

“The embrace carried a lot of meaning,” said Inday who, with husband Miguel Barretto, were billeted in several rooms along with other family members. “It showed a family crisis ending, to begin a renewed bond of something time and people stole from them.”

As Funfare had reported, Julia had her first dance with her dad Dennis Padilla, bringing to a close a seven-year gap riddled with headline-making issues worsened by Marjorie’s filing of a case to legally change Julia’s surname from Baldivia (Dennis’ real surname) to simply Barretto. The debutante’s last dance was with Piolo Pascual’s son Iñigo who surprised Julia with an exuberant rendition of The Way You Look Tonight. Marjorie also dedicated a song to Julia.

Liza Soberano, said to be Julia’s “rival,” arrived with Forevermore leading man Enrique Gil just in time for the offering of the 18 roses and 18 candles.

Here are the family members’ messages for Julia:

• Dennis: “All the best in your career and in life” (told to the media) and (via VTR): “I’m looking forward to have more bonding time with you. I’m letting you go but will still hold your hand to see what the real world is.”

• Claudine: “You are our little princess and soon you will be a queen. I love you.”

• From Julia: “To my mom, ikaw ang tunay na may debut ngayon. Ikaw lahat ito. To my dad, I love you. Thank you to my family, the most controversial family. Whatever happens, I’m still proud to be a Barretto.”

I will let Inday have the last say: “Needless to say, ours was a night of homecoming into each other’s lives and into the things that used to be! God is good and Life is fair to those who love well and peaceful that no evil forces can put into the test. ..


Julia with Iñigo Pascual, her last dance


Julia with mom Marjorie who dedicated a song to her and (right) with her dad Dennis Padilla, her first dance


Left: Eddie Gutierrez and wife Annabelle Rama came with son Raymond and daughter Ruffa (below). Below, left: A hug from well-wisher 2013 Miss World Megan Young.


Liza Soberano and Forevermore leading man Enrique Gil were among those who offered the 18 roses and 18 candles


INQUIRER

Judy Ann Santos on brief tiff with Kris Aquino: Nothing wrong with what I did Marinel R. Cruz @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 1:09 AM | Thursday, March 12th, 2015


JUDY ANN Santos says actors, as taxpayers, have the right to speak up about national issues

MANILA, Philippines—Having made peace with President Benigno Aquino III’s sister Kris Aquino over a comment she posted on Instagram, actress Judy Ann “Juday” Santos said she would continue to participate in social media discussions about pressing national issues.

In fact, she told reporters at a press conference for “Someone to Watch Over Me,” her new drama series on ABS-CBN, “I’d do it again. There was nothing wrong with what I did. I don’t regret it.”

Juday posted on her Instagram account part of a 2011 news clip about US President Barack Obama canceling earlier appointments so he could be present at the arrival of bodies of US troops killed in Afghanistan. She wrote the caption: “Just saying … Obama knows his priorities.”

Netizens interpreted the post as a swipe on President Aquino, who was not present when the bodies of the SAF 44 arrived from Mamasapano, Maguindanao.

Unfollowed

Kris famously “unfollowed” some show biz friends on Instagram, including Juday, for being similarly critical of her brother. A few days later, Kris posted on Instagram a conversation with Juday, in which the actress supposedly said, “I didn’t make the comment with the intention of hurting someone. I just want to express what I think about what happened, which was really an eye-opener.”

In any case, Juday said she will be more careful with future online posts. “You all know that I am very outspoken,” she told the media. “[But] I would never post anything against a particular person. It’s always about a situation that I don’t like.”

Unfair

She added: “It’s unfair what some people say, that show biz personalities should not be involved in politics. We pay taxes, we vote … we have the right to speak up about the government and issues that affect the future of our children.”

Since the incident, Juday said, she hasn’t run into Kris. “I’m praying that, when it happens, wala nang [problema]. I texted her a birthday greeting and she replied,” Juday said. “I was so relieved.”

Juday also confirmed that she had a “little misunderstanding” with the network bosses. But she said they had patched things up.

“It wasn’t a big deal, nothing we couldn’t fix. Everything’s OK now, we have projects lined up. It wasn’t an issue about work, but about relationships,” she said, but did not elaborate.

In “Someone to Watch Over Me,” Juday plays an agent of the National Bureau of Investigation.


PHILSTAR

Ladies first: Pink taxis roll out in Metro By Robertzon Ramirez (The Philippine Star) | Updated March 12, 2015 - 12:00am


Pink taxis, owned and operated by actor Luis Manzano, will provide priority rides for women, children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities during rush hour. STAR/Robertzon Ramirez

MANILA, Philippines - After a pink bus and pink jeepneys, pink taxis have now joined the latest public utility franchise of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) for its Pink4 project.

Around 60 pink taxis of LBR Transport Inc., owned and operated by TV host and actor Luis Manzano, rolled out yesterday.

LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said the pink taxis would provide priority rides for women, children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities during rush hour.

As part of the LTFRB Pink4 Project, the taxis will exclusively pick up and transport only women, children, senior citizens and the disabled, he said.

“We are grateful for the LBR Transport Inc. for participating in this project to allow women, children, senior citizens and persons with disabilities to have direct access to public transport and to be safe getting to their destination, especially during the rush hours,” Ginez said during the launching of the pink taxis in Quezon City.

A motorcade was held yesterday from the LTFRB central office along East Avenue to the Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

The 60 LBR taxis will sport the distinct pink stripes and double pink ribbons on their top lights. The drivers will also be wearing pink polo shirts.

On Monday, RRCG Bus Inc. joined the Pink4 Project by fielding its first pink bus plying the Quiapo-Cainta route to pick up and provide transport only to these special groups from 4 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.

In February, at least 14 jeepneys plying the Pateros-Guadalupe route and 16 UV express vehicles plying the Trinoma-Tandang Sora route jumpstarted the Pink4 project by picking up and transporting only the select group of passengers.

“We hope to see more public transport services to participate in the program for a good cause,” Ginez said.

Manzano, for his part, said they are operating the pink taxis as part of their obligation to the public.

“When we heard of this Pink4 advocacy nobody opposed us since we understand we have this duty to give back. We volunteered right away. Let this be a start to cater to a larger audience and market,” Manzano said.

His business partner, Bong Medel, said the LBR taxis would have the same fare rate.

Medel added they have to comply with the P10 flag down cut in operating the LBR pink taxis.

“Though the cut in the flag down rates really affected the operators, the drivers are also complaining,” Medel said.

He said around P100 will be lost from the drivers for 10 passengers a day.

Arthur Alicer, counsel of the LBR taxis, said they are deferring to the wisdom of the LTFRB.

“We deferring to the wisdom of the LTFRB because they are competent on that matter and we have complied,” he said. ...


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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