SHOWBIZ NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

HOW P-NOY FARED IN HIS FIRST 'CULINARY TEST'


President Benigno S. Aquino III's Speech at the Madrid Fusion Manila Philippine Welcome Gala Reception, Rizal Hall, Malacañang Palace, 23 Apr 2015
The country’s bachelor president loves to eat and is now keen on learning to cook from the top chefs. At the Madrid Fusión Manila gala reception in Malacañang Thursday night, President Aquino expressed interest to hone his cooking skills after sharing an anecdote about how he failed at preparing even the simplest instant soup. “Standing amongst you today, I cannot help but recall an instance from earlier in my life, when I and my lone security staff decided to cook for ourselves. Being a stereotypical male who did not grow up in the kitchen, you can imagine that this was quite a daunting task,” said the President. In the first attempt at cooking, Aquino said he and his security aide decided to prepare instant soup but ran into trouble when the pot starting boiling. “The instructions, if I remember them correctly, seemed simple and complete: Pour contents and dissolve thoroughly in a cup of water, pour mixture into a pot of boiling water, stir continuously, and add an egg if so desired,” he said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Luzon dishes take the spotlight on the opening day of Madrid Fusion Manila


APRIL 23 ---Valencia trianggulo, Malabon's version of turon. GMANews.TV
Dishes from Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao will take center stage at the three-day gastronomy event called Madrid Fusion Manila at the SMX Convention Center. And on the opening day of the event on Friday, delegates from different countries from all corners of the world got to taste specialties from Luzon, such as kare-kare, rellenong manok, sisig, bistek Tagalog, and sinigang na hipon; and desserts like cassava bibingka, halo-halo, and pastillas. Aside from the familiar dishes served on a typical Filipino table, Madrid Fusion Manila also featured unexpected spins on Pinoy ingredients, turning the familiar into the exotic. Delegates were served “tinapa at itlog sa kamatis (cherry tomotoes stuffed with smoked milkfish and salted egg), crispy palabok, and kinilaw na tanigue sa kamatis at kamias (ceviche of mackerel with tomatoes and bilimbi). READ MORE...

ALSO: Kapamilya stars unite for Pacman in ASAP 20


MANILA, Philippines - Charice and Yeng Constantino lead the One for Pacman campaign on ABS-CBN’s ASAP 20 today with Daryl Ong, Bradley Holmes and Jason Fernandez. Non-stop musical surprises are also in store for televiewers with the grand launch Kim Chiu’s newest album under Star Music, including her newest song, Mr. Right. Romance is set to fill the air this summer with the love team invasion of Kim and Xian Lim, Julia Baretto and Iñigo Pascual, Joshua Garcia and Jane Oineza, Nash Aguas and Alexa Ilacad, and James Reid and Nadine Lustre. Also, get enthralled with the performance of Sarah Geronimo. READ MORE...

ALSO: Bruce Jenner: My brain is more female than male


THEN AND NOW  NEW YORK — Former Olympic champion Bruce Jenner says that "for all intents and purposes, I am a woman."  Jenner spoke in a long-awaited interview televised Friday with ABC's Diane Sawyer about his gender identity, saying he has always been confused about it. Early in the interview, Jenner took out his ponytail to let his long hair flow behind him. "My brain is more female than it is male," said Jenner, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion who has been better known in recent years as part of television's omnipresent Kardashian family. Jenner said he hopes that speaking publicly about the gender issues would do some good in the world and vigorously denied that the interview was some sort of publicity stunt to promote the Kardashian reality TV show. "If the Kardashian show gave me a foothold to do some good, I'm all for that," Jenner said. Jenner said he self-identifies as "her," not a specific name. But he told Sawyer he felt comfortable using the pronouns "he" and "him," a designation that is an important issue for many in the transgender community. As a young boy, Jenner felt an urge to try on his mother's and sister's dresses. READ MORE...

ALSO: Best President Philippines never had: Arsenio Lacson and Lacsons


Arsenio H. Lacson (1911-1962), Mayor of Manila from 1951-1962, dubbed as Manila’s Fiorello La Guardia, and man, trust me his actions during his whole political life is too legendary to miss. He introduced Imelda Romualdez (later to become Mrs. Marcos) to the limelight because he selected her as the Muse of Manila during a Miss Manila Pageant. When Ferdinand Marcos (future Philippine President) took Imelda in a whirlwind romance, the Mayor challenged Marcos in a fistfight in which Marcos declined. And yes, the most sterling of all his accomplishments having Manila free of corruption during his term. Unfortunately he died at the time he is already planning to be the Philippine President. Rumors has it that when he died, he had with him a French Stripper at a hotel in Manila.
AMADOR Brioso Jr. lives and works in Riyadh. He is not a professional writer, but as an obsessed admirer of Arsenio H. Lacson, “the best mayor Manila ever had, the best president the Philippines never had,” he wrote a 1,700-page manuscript on the life and character of his hero of the 1950s. Krip Yuson pruned the manuscript to 300 pages for Millie and Bingo, daughters of “Arsenic,” and the result is a book that readers can hold and read between their hands: “Arsenio H. Lacson of Manila.” The title says it all. READ MORE ...

ALSO: What Pinky de Leon came home for


APRIL 24 ---From left: Lilia Dizon, the clan matriarch; bride Patti Bautista; groom Tony Boy Lejano; Pinky de Leon (the groom’s mom); and Bobby Aguirre, one of the principal sponsors Long-time US resident Pinky de Leon arrived in January and left just as quietly (read: no interviews, no TV guestings) in March. It was a very private visit purposely for the wedding of her son Tony Boy Lejano and Patti Bautista, the lawyer who defended him in a case. There were “feelers” for a teleserye but, according to Funfare sources, Pinky politely begged off because she was pressed for time, busy as she was for the wedding preparations. Tony Boy and Patti’s Christian wedding was held on Feb. 7 at the Lindenwood Clubhouse in Susana Heights, Muntinlupa City. Among the principal sponsors were Bobby Aguirre and former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (proxied by Former Justice Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera). Only family members were present: Lilia Dizon, the clan’s matriarch (still as glamorous as ever); Bobby’s son Albie de Leon Aguirre; Melissa de Leon (the groom’s aunt) and husband Ronnie Joseph and their children Renzo, Rego, Rebecca and Joseph; Toni Abad (also the groom’s aunt) and husband Paolo; Cori Abad (the groom’s aunt); and Danny Sanders. READ MORE...

ALSO FLASHBACK 2011: Pinky finds new love in America


MAY 13, 2011 ---Pinky de Leon and husband Tom Coyle: Lovelier the second time around
LOS ANGELES, California — When my friends Tim Evans (of the US Immigration) and immigration lawyer Jemela Nettles invited me to “a birthday party” Saturday night, April 30, after I attended the screening of Columbia Pictures’ Priest (I was there to interview its stars led by Paul Bettany), I didn’t expect it to be a reunion with long-time showbiz friends now based in the US. We were headed for the home of Gigi Garcia (one of Villar Records’ top-selling contract singers in the late ’60s, who starred in movies including one for Nepomuceno Productions) who was hosting a party for the celebrator, her husband Vincent Kocher. Among the well-wishers was a glowing Pinky de Leon with her husband, Tom Coyle, who is so tall that he towered over Pinky. Other guests included members and officers of Annak Ti Candon International, Inc. headed by Omar de Peralta and George A. Dy; and, as Gigi jokingly put it, “isang barangay ng mga Asistio.” Gigi has an Asistio in her past and, she said, “I maintain a cordial relationship with them, so kahit saan kami magkita-kita okey pa rin kami. No bad blood. My daughter (with Boy A.) and her Asistio cousins are close. I don’t burn bridges. My husband Vincent understands.” READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

How PNoy fared in his first ‘culinary test’

MANILA, APRIL 27, 2015 (MANILA BULLETIN)  by Genalyn Kabiling April 25, 2015 (updated)


SUMPTUOUS EXHIBITION — Its by the Lechon Diva, Dedet de la Fuente of Pepitas Lechon (left frame) as Eugenio R. Gonzalez, popularly known as ‘Chef Gene’ (right, right frame), shows Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez (middle) and Ambassador of Spain to the Philippines Luis Antonio Calvo a delicacy of Albay province at the opening of ‘Madrid Fusion Manila’ at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, Pasay City, yesterday. (Ali Vicoy)

The country’s bachelor president loves to eat and is now keen on learning to cook from the top chefs.

At the Madrid Fusión Manila gala reception in Malacañang Thursday night, President Aquino expressed interest to hone his cooking skills after sharing an anecdote about how he failed at preparing even the simplest instant soup.

“Standing amongst you today, I cannot help but recall an instance from earlier in my life, when I and my lone security staff decided to cook for ourselves. Being a stereotypical male who did not grow up in the kitchen, you can imagine that this was quite a daunting task,” said the President.

In the first attempt at cooking, Aquino said he and his security aide decided to prepare instant soup but ran into trouble when the pot starting boiling.

“The instructions, if I remember them correctly, seemed simple and complete: Pour contents and dissolve thoroughly in a cup of water, pour mixture into a pot of boiling water, stir continuously, and add an egg if so desired,” he said.

READ MORE...
“However, my aide and I ran into trouble: the water kept boiling over, so we spent half the time changing to bigger and bigger pots, and cleaning the gas range due to all the spills that took place,” he added.

Aquino admitted that they both got burnt “here and there” but eventually enjoyed their bowl of soup.

“To this day, for the life of me, I could not understand why it tasted burnt, especially when the mixture was 80 percent water. This tells me that I should be collecting plenty of calling cards tonight to try and seek education from the brilliant chefs present today,” he said.

At the same culinary event attended by Spanish and Filipino chefs, the President trumpeted the country’s rich and delicious cuisine, saying that “eating is more fun in the Philippines.” Aquino also called Filipinos as the “most adventurous” food enthusiasts in the world.

“Any thorough analysis of our cuisine would reveal it as an amalgamation of various influences, whether it is Spanish, Chinese, Mexican, Japanese, or American, and given the Filipino diaspora, so many other influences,” he said.

“During your stay here, you will find that the gastronomic vocabulary of every Filipino is very cosmopolitan: from paella to shumai, from cheeseburgers to arroz a la cubana. Perhaps for this reason, Filipinos have become one of the most adventurous in terms of creating and consuming new dishes,” he added.

Aquino said Madrid Fusion provides an opportunity to partake in a good meal and foster good relations among people.

“Food is one of the most accessible ways of exchanging cultures, which leads to greater understanding and cooperation between our peoples. It is for this reason that we thank Madrid Fusion for choosing to hold their first event in Southeast Asia here in our country,” he said.

Aquino urged the participants of Madrid Fusion to stay in the country a little longer after the food summit to enjoy the country’s tourist destinations.

“After all, 2015 is Visit the Philippines Year, and I am certain that the Secretary of Tourism himself – the Honorable Mon Jimenez – will gladly prepare an itinerary so that you can truly see why everything, including eating, is more fun in the Philippines,” he said.


GMA NEWS ONLINE

Luzon dishes take the spotlight on the opening day of Madrid Fusion Manila  April 25, 2015 7:52am


Valencia trianggulo, Malabon's version of turon. GMANews.TV

Dishes from Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao will take center stage at the three-day gastronomy event called Madrid Fusion Manila at the SMX Convention Center.

And on the opening day of the event on Friday, delegates from different countries from all corners of the world got to taste specialties from Luzon, such as kare-kare, rellenong manok, sisig, bistek Tagalog, and sinigang na hipon; and desserts like cassava bibingka, halo-halo, and pastillas.

Aside from the familiar dishes served on a typical Filipino table, Madrid Fusion Manila also featured unexpected spins on Pinoy ingredients, turning the familiar into the exotic. Delegates were served “tinapa at itlog sa kamatis (cherry tomotoes stuffed with smoked milkfish and salted egg), crispy palabok, and kinilaw na tanigue sa kamatis at kamias (ceviche of mackerel with tomatoes and bilimbi).

READ MORE...
Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. had said earlier that the presentation of Luzon's dishes during the first day of Madrid Fusion Manila was the capital's chance to retake its place as one of the “most important gastronomical capitals in this part of the world.”


A new spin on the familiar called tinapa at itlog sa kamatis. GMANews.TV

Madrid Fusion Manila

Though tasting the proof in the pudding seems to be the basic attraction of the the event, probably the most important aspect of Madrid Fusion Manila is the International Gastronomy Congress.

During the congress, top chefs from Spain, the Philippines, and other Asian countries will generously share their culinary know-how to more than a thousand fellow chefs, students, and other delegates.

This was really what Madrid Fusion was all about - a gastronomic get-together in Spain where top chefs share their views on the future of food. This year is the first time that the event was brought outside Madrid, and hence the small addition to the event's name.

Alongside the congress is the trade exhibit where ingredients and products from Spain and the Philippines are displayed, accompanied by tastings and seminars.

The trade exhibit will be open to the public for free on the last day of the event. — DVM, GMA News


PHILSTAR

Kapamilya stars unite for Pacman in ASAP 20 (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 26, 2015 - 12:00am


Gary Valenciano and Kim Chiu

MANILA, Philippines - Charice and Yeng Constantino lead the One for Pacman campaign on ABS-CBN’s ASAP 20 today with Daryl Ong, Bradley Holmes and Jason Fernandez.

Non-stop musical surprises are also in store for televiewers with the grand launch Kim Chiu’s newest album under Star Music, including her newest song, Mr. Right.

Romance is set to fill the air this summer with the love team invasion of Kim and Xian Lim, Julia Baretto and Iñigo Pascual, Joshua Garcia and Jane Oineza, Nash Aguas and Alexa Ilacad, and James Reid and Nadine Lustre. Also, get enthralled with the performance of Sarah Geronimo.

READ MORE...
Meanwhile, enjoy the I Love OPM session with Gary Valenciano and Raymond Lauchengco to be followed by the numbers of Martin Nievera, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Angeline Quinto, Jed Madela, Juris Fernandez, Kyla, Rico Blanco, Jay-R, Sam Milby, Klarisse and the ASAP Sessionistas.

Watch for the dance showcase of Enrique Gil, AJ Muhlach, Angelina Montano, Grae Fernandez, Nicole de Leon, Carmela Ford, Enchong Dee, Rayver Cruz, Sam Concepcion, Arron Villaflor and Shaina Magdayao.

ASAP 20 airs Sundays at 12:15 p.m.


 PHILSTAR

Bruce Jenner: My brain is more female than male By David Bauder (Associated Press) | Updated April 25, 2015 - 10:27am


In this Sept. 11, 2013 file photo, former Olympic athlete Bruce Jenner arrives at the Annual Charity Day hosted by Cantor Fitzgerald and BGC Partners, in New York. Mark Von Holden/Invision/AP, File

NEW YORK — Former Olympic champion Bruce Jenner says that "for all intents and purposes, I am a woman."

Jenner spoke in a long-awaited interview televised Friday with ABC's Diane Sawyer about his gender identity, saying he has always been confused about it. Early in the interview, Jenner took out his ponytail to let his long hair flow behind him.

"My brain is more female than it is male," said Jenner, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion who has been better known in recent years as part of television's omnipresent Kardashian family.


Bruce was married twice before Kris came along. His first wife was Chrystie Crownover, the mother of his children Burt and Casey Jenner.

Jenner said he hopes that speaking publicly about the gender issues would do some good in the world and vigorously denied that the interview was some sort of publicity stunt to promote the Kardashian reality TV show.

"If the Kardashian show gave me a foothold to do some good, I'm all for that," Jenner said.


His second wife, Linda Thompson, is the mother of Brandon and Brody Jenner. Trivia: Bruce isn't Linda Thompson's most famous ex. She dated Elvis Presley!

Jenner said he self-identifies as "her," not a specific name. But he told Sawyer he felt comfortable using the pronouns "he" and "him," a designation that is an important issue for many in the transgender community.

As a young boy, Jenner felt an urge to try on his mother's and sister's dresses.

READ MORE...
"I didn't know why I was doing it," he said. "It just made me feel good."

Jenner said he told his first two wives about the gender confusion, and it was a factor in the breakup of his second marriage.

During the 1980s, he began taking hormones, had surgery to make his nose smaller and was having hair removed from his face and chest.


Getty Images --Kris became pregnant with their first child together in 1995.

Jenner said he has never been sexually attracted to men, and he wanted to make clear to viewers that gender identity and sexuality were separate things.

"I am not gay," Jenner said. "I am, as far as I know, heterosexual. I've always been with a woman, raising kids."

Jenner said he's gone back to say he was sorry to people in his life hurt by the gender identity issues.

"I've apologized to everybody," Jenner said. "I've apologized my whole life."

He fought back tears and reached for a tissue before the interview even began. Jenner said it was hard to talk about gender issues because of concerns about disappointing people.


BRUCE AND KRIS: Their many, many children were part of their intimate wedding ceremony.


On their anniversary in April 23, 2014, Kris posted this pic on Instagram. The caption read: "Happy Anniversary Bruce!!!! Best 22 years I could ever have imagined...hope the next 22 is even more fabulous...I love you!"


MANILA BULLETIN TEMPO

Best President Philippines never had: Arsenio Lacson and Lacsons Posted by Jullie Y. Daza on Apr 25th, 2015 // 0 Comments


Arsenio H. Lacson (1911-1962), Mayor of Manila from 1951-1962, dubbed as Manila’s Fiorello La Guardia, and man, trust me his actions during his whole political life is too legendary to miss. He introduced Imelda Romualdez (later to become Mrs. Marcos) to the limelight because he selected her as the Muse of Manila during a Miss Manila Pageant. When Ferdinand Marcos (future Philippine President) took Imelda in a whirlwind romance, the Mayor challenged Marcos in a fistfight in which Marcos declined. And yes, the most sterling of all his accomplishments having Manila free of corruption during his term. Unfortunately he died at the time he is already planning to be the Philippine President. Rumors has it that when he died, he had with him a French Stripper at a hotel in Manila.

AMADOR Brioso Jr. lives and works in Riyadh. He is not a professional writer, but as an obsessed admirer of Arsenio H. Lacson, “the best mayor Manila ever had, the best president the Philippines never had,” he wrote a 1,700-page manuscript on the life and character of his hero of the 1950s.

Krip Yuson pruned the manuscript to 300 pages for Millie and Bingo, daughters of “Arsenic,” and the result is a book that readers can hold and read between their hands: “Arsenio H. Lacson of Manila.” The title says it all.


Erap, Lacson at Lacson book launch (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 27, 2015 - 12:00am - - Manila City Mayor Joseph ‘Erap’ Estrada and former Sen. Panfilo Lacson attended the book launching of Arsenio Lacson of Manila, written by a Riyadh-based banker and first-time author Amador Brioso held at One Rockwell in Makati.

READ MORE...
To the launch last Wednesday at Rockwell in Makati came Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Ping Lacson. Erap noted the similarities in Luchi Lacson and Loi Ejercito, both their names starting with the letter L and in their virtue as forgiving wives: “All great men have understanding wives.”

'Arsenic' Lacson led a life that was more than the usual colorful, as Manileños of a certain age remember. He walked with a swagger in his short-sleeved printed polo shirts and high-waisted pants. He was the nemesis of bad cops and petty and bigtime crooks. He had a soft spot for beautiful women in an era before the rumor mill became a full blown fulltime industry.

How would he handle today’s traffic, environmental degradation, joblessness, drugs, crime, poverty? Between the lines in Mr. Brioso’s work the reader might find the hint of an answer.

Probably unknown to daughters Millie and Bingo, once upon a time there was an Arsenio H. Lacson Foundation that ran a scholarship program for journalism students in UST.

“Stoot” Fernandez, who covered City Hall, assigned me to monitor the four scholars’ grades and conduct. Two of them continue to practice their profession today, Tony Lopez (Standard) and Emmie Velarde (Inquirer). Jennie Ilustre is based in Washington, D.C. Grace Coles’ whereabouts are unknown.

Lacson was a hard-hitting columnist and tough-talking radio commentator, too.

As far as memory goes, he was the only mayor who actively displayed his commitment to scholarship as a handmaiden of journalism.

FROM WIKIPEDIA


The statue Arsenio Lacson, the first elected Mayor of the City of Manila, in Plaza Lacson behind the Sta Cruz church. Another statue was erected along Roxas Boulevard facing Manila Bay, this time of Lacson seated on a bench reading a newspaper.

Arsenio H. Lacson (December 26, 1912 — April 15, 1962) was a Filipino journalist and politician who gained widespread attention as Mayor of Manila from 1952 to 1962.

An active executive likened by Time and The New York Times to New York's Fiorello La Guardia, he was the first Manila mayor to be reelected to three terms.

Nicknamed "Arsenic" and described as "a good man with a bad mouth", Lacson's fiery temperament became a trademark of his political and broadcasting career. He died suddenly from a stroke amidst talk that he was planning to run in the 1965 presidential election.

Lacson was born in Talisay, Negros Occidental. He was related to Aniceto Lacson, the President of the short-lived Republic of Negros.His niece, Rose, would later gain prominence as a controversial socialite in Australia. [Unknown sources report that former senator Panfilo Lacson  of Cavite province could be a great istant relative of the former mayor from Negros.]

A sickly lad, the Manila mayor turned to athletics while a student at the Ateneo de Manila University, where he would obtain his Bachelor of Arts degree. He became an amateur boxer while a student, accounting for his broken nose that later became a prominent feature of his profile.

Lacson studied law at the University of Santo Tomas. After graduating and passing the bar examinations in 1937, he joined the law office of future Senator Vicente Francisco, and later, the Department of Justice as an assistant attorney. Lacson also worked as a sportswriter before the outbreak of World War II.

In 1953, Lacson actively campaigned for Nacionalista presidential candidate Ramon Magsaysay, who would go on to defeat the incumbent President Elpidio Quirino.

After President Magsaysay's death in a plane crash months before the 1957 presidential election, Lacson claimed that Magsaysay had offered to name him as the Nacionalista candidate for Vice President, in lieu of incumbent Vice-President Carlos P. Garcia.

According to Lacson, he declined the offer, telling Magsaysay "the time has not yet come".


PHILSTAR

What Pinky de Leon came home for FUNFARE By Ricky Lo (Pilipino Star Ngayon) | Updated April 23, 2015 - 12:00am


From left: Lilia Dizon, the clan matriarch; bride Patti Bautista; groom Tony Boy Lejano; Pinky de Leon (the groom’s mom); and Bobby Aguirre, one of the principal sponsors

Long-time US resident Pinky de Leon arrived in January and left just as quietly (read: no interviews, no TV guestings) in March. It was a very private visit purposely for the wedding of her son Tony Boy Lejano and Patti Bautista, the lawyer who defended him in a case.

There were “feelers” for a teleserye but, according to Funfare sources, Pinky politely begged off because she was pressed for time, busy as she was for the wedding preparations.

Tony Boy and Patti’s Christian wedding was held on Feb. 7 at the Lindenwood Clubhouse in Susana Heights, Muntinlupa City.

Among the principal sponsors were Bobby Aguirre and former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (proxied by Former Justice Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera).

Only family members were present: Lilia Dizon, the clan’s matriarch (still as glamorous as ever); Bobby’s son Albie de Leon Aguirre; Melissa de Leon (the groom’s aunt) and husband Ronnie Joseph and their children Renzo, Rego, Rebecca and Joseph; Toni Abad (also the groom’s aunt) and husband Paolo; Cori Abad (the groom’s aunt); and Danny Sanders.

READ MORE...
Christopher de Leon (the groom’s uncle) was in California to look after son Miguel who is in remission. Miguel was treated for a congenital testicular cancer which was diagnosed last year, in San Francisco where he stays with his family.

But Christopher’s wife Sandy Andolong was present, herself recovering from kidney transplant early this year, done by Dr. Marco Abad, Toni’s brother-in-law (Paolo’s brother) who is a transplant surgeon.

Pinky and her husband, Tom Coyle, live in a beautiful house in Mission Viejo, Orange County, California, just the two of them since Tom’s daughter and son from a previous marriage have families of their own.

“I am happy where I am,” Pinky told Funfare a few years ago when I bumped into her during a party at the home of Gigi Garcia, also in California. “Mabait ang asawa ko.”

Pinky had to leave three weeks after her son’s wedding because she was missing Tom, and vice-versa. Next time she came home for a longer visit, maybe she might agree to do a TV drama, or an indie, after all she’s one of the industry’s talented actresses.

“I miss acting,” Pinky said then. “Mayroon pa naman akong ibubuga,” adding with a laugh.


Pinky and Bobby with (right) other members of the family during the very private wedding. Below (from left): Cori Abad (the groom’s aunt), Michelle Lejano (the groom’s sister), Tony Boy and Toni Abad (groom’s aunt). Photos courtesy of Virgie Balatico



PHILSTAR  --FLASHBACK 2011
Pinky finds new love in America FUNFARE By Ricky Lo  | Updated May 13, 2011 - 12:00am


Pinky de Leon and husband Tom Coyle: Lovelier the second time around

LOS ANGELES, California — When my friends Tim Evans (of the US Immigration) and immigration lawyer Jemela Nettles invited me to “a birthday party” Saturday night, April 30, after I attended the screening of Columbia Pictures’ Priest (I was there to interview its stars led by Paul Bettany), I didn’t expect it to be a reunion with long-time showbiz friends now based in the US.

We were headed for the home of Gigi Garcia (one of Villar Records’ top-selling contract singers in the late ’60s, who starred in movies including one for Nepomuceno Productions) who was hosting a party for the celebrator, her husband Vincent Kocher.

Among the well-wishers was a glowing Pinky de Leon with her husband, Tom Coyle, who is so tall that he towered over Pinky.

Other guests included members and officers of Annak Ti Candon International, Inc. headed by Omar de Peralta and George A. Dy; and, as Gigi jokingly put it, “isang barangay ng mga Asistio.” Gigi has an Asistio in her past and, she said, “I maintain a cordial relationship with them, so kahit saan kami magkita-kita okey pa rin kami. No bad blood. My daughter (with Boy A.) and her Asistio cousins are close. I don’t burn bridges. My husband Vincent understands.”

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As in any such Filipino salu-salo in the US, besides the buffet table heaving with mouth-watering Filipino dishes and goodies, highlighted with a Louis Vuitton-inspired cake, there was endless singing and karaoke sing-along — and bated-breath exchanging of stories about home, sweet home.

Pinky and Tom stuck to each other on the sofa, looking like a couple on extended honeymoon even if they’ve been married for almost four years (since 2007). Watch full video


Gigi and husband Vincent Kocher, the birthday celebrator, inset: Gigi showing off the Louis Vuitton cake.

“We met in church,” said Pinky who was as beautiful and as seductive as she was when she was active in showbiz. “We were two right people meeting at the right place at the right time. I was free and so was Tom who had been single for 18 years. He didn’t know until much later that I was an actress and a singer. I just told him that I loved to sing.”

Tom has three children (now with their own families) from a previous marriage and so does Pinky, one of whom is Tonyboy Lejano who was one of the seven acquitted by the Supreme Court in the celebrated Vizconde massacre case before Christmas last year.

“It ended more than 15 years of agony for me and the families of the six other guys,” said Pinky. “During those years, I left everything in the hands of God. I hung on to God; wala akong ibang kinapitan kundi ang pangako ng Panginoon.”

The Department of Justice is reinvestigating the case and may present a new witness.

“It took my son three days to realize that he was finally free. He didn’t sleep for three nights. He said that he was afraid that when he woke up, he would find out that it was all a dream.”

Although she and Tom would go home to the Philippines every year, the last having been in December last year, Pinky said that she’s happily settled in the US, and so is Gigi who runs a care-home business.


with a dozen Asistio relatives. Above,

Asked if they ever missed showbiz, they said of course they did. It’s already in the blood, you know.

Before we left, Tim, Jemela and I listened to a few more singing and took a few spoonfuls of fruit salad.

“Gawa ko ‘yan,” boasted Gigi, “kaya masarap ‘yan.”

It tasted like home.

FLASHBACK
RELATED: FROM TFC BALITANG AMERIKA

PINKY DE LEON REBUILDS LIFE IN U.S. AFTER SON’S ACQUITTAL By Yvee Tadeo-Guevarra, ABS-CBN North America Bureau February 17, 2012

LOS ANGELES–Fourteen months after her son Tony Boy Lejano was acquitted and released from jail as one of prime suspect of the Vizconde Massacre in 1991, actress Pinky de Leon said she is now happier and her life is full of love.

Now married to Tom Coyle, a businessman from Los Angeles for almost 5 years, de Leon said everyday is like Valentine’s day.

“I just take one day at a time and I try to enjoy every day that I am living. I just thank God for what I have,” said de Leon.

The multi-awarded actress and singer, who had a successful 30-years career in the Philippines how business, said lost everything when her eldest son was imprisoned for 15 years.

But de Leon admits she was at her lowest when she found the real meaning of love.

“The number one love of my life is of course my God,” said de Leon. “Knowing that he is there while I am going through all the trials in my life and He picked me up and carried me through.”

She said that the love for her children, especially for Tony Boy who is still looking for a job as he rebuilding his life, is also stronger than ever.
 


WIKIPEDIA

Remember the glamorous Lilia Dizon?


Co-actress Mila del Sol and Lilia Dizon

She was the only daughter of Regina Dizon, a Filipina, and Abe Strauss, an American of German Jewish descent.[1] She is the wife of LVN Pictures actor Gil de León, with whom she has three children who would eventually become actors as well: Pinky de Leon, Christopher de Leon and Lara Melissa de Leon. She retired from showbiz during the 1960s.

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Lilia Dizon: The "Iron Lady” of Philippine Cinema By Dr. Romy Protacio From the book, "Baliktanaw: The Filipino Movie Stars of Yesteryears”


Lilia Dizon with Jaime Dela Rosa Dr. Romy Protacio • Nov 15, 2013

If former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is the "Iron Lady” of the United Kingdom, Lilia Dizon is the "Iron Lady” of the Philippine Cinema. It’s a simple way to describe her whole life of trial and tribulation which she was able to weather with faith in God and a firm determination to succeed. She is a tough, meticulous person with a strong will, a true survivor.

In an article written by Gypsy Baldovino, she said, "While she basked under the klieg lights in strong woman personages, in real life she mustered the same, not by choice but by force of circumstance. Indeed, Lilia’s life imitated her art.”

Lilia Dizon (Claire Strauss in real life), was born in Pampanga in 1928. She is the only daughter of Regina Dizon, a Filipina, and Abe Strauss, an American, who, by birth was a German-Jew. She grew up in Baguio with her mother, when her father returned to the United States in 1940. Baguio became one of the last fortresses of the Japanese towards the end of World War II. Lilia remembers well how as a young lass, her family traversed the mountains of Baguio on bare feet on their way to Ilocos to escape the wrath of the Japanese soldiers.

Her Movie Career

Her experience during the Japanese time proved to be her shield in fighting the challenges she endured during her early years in life. She joined the entertainment industry at the age of 15 as a stage singer at Lotus Theater. She was discovered by the movie director, Susana de Guzman who introduced her to the movies.

Lilia made some memorable movies like "Engkantada” with Jaime de la Rosa, Lilian Velez, Pugo, Togo, and Alfonso, Carvajal, "Bathaluman” with Mario Montenegro, "Sandra Wong,” "Haring Kobra” with Rogelio dela Rosa, "Tucydides” " Doce Pares,” "Magkumpareng Putik,” "Kaaway ng Babae,” "Ikaw ang Buhay Ko,” and "Kandelerong Pilak with Teody Belarmino where she won Best Actress in the Cambodian Film Festival under the Direction of Lamberto Avellana.

Lilia started with Premier Productions where she appeared in "Probinsyana” (1946), "Bakya mo Neneng” (1947), "Kamagong” (1947), "Binatang Maynila” (1947), and Pangarap ko’y Ikaw Rin” (1947).

She became inactive in film making by the 60’s, however she does not consider it a period of early retirement from her career. She did not totally shelve acting. Lilia was seen again in "Tinimbang ka Ngunit Kulang” (1974), a Lino Brocka movie which was a depiction of the political oppression of that era, an attempt to awaken national consciousness thru art. It was "Tinimbang ka Ngunit Kulang” that introduced her son, Christopher de Leon, to stardom.

Her Love Life

Perhaps because she was wanting a father figure in her life, she ended up marrying actor/director Gil de Leon when she was 17 years old. Gil was 16 years her senior and was a very jealous husband. She tried to make the marriage work, and although she was very unhappy, she stayed in the relationship for 18 years.

She remembers that those 18 years were the most difficult years of her life. She stayed on for the sake of her 3 children – Pinky, Christopher, and Melissa (who would all enter show business also). It was a marriage that was an open book, an on and off relationship. She cited that at one time, Gil went on air at Rafael Yabut’s radio program to ask for her forgiveness. They would reconcile but eventually Gil would hurt her again. Indeed, Lilia lived a tumultuous relationship.

It was in 1966 when she decided to leave everything behind and migrate to the United States, with the help of her father, who petitioned her. She was granted an American citizenship by birth and for the next 4 years, she worked in a bank in Hawaii and later on settled in California where she met her second husband, Antonio Abad. They were blessed with two children, Antoniette and Corrie. Unfortunately, the marriage also ended in divorce many years later.

Lilia’s love life was a story of heartaches and triumph, yet her faith in God and natural fortitude of spirit strengthened her and kept her going.

Today

The last time I saw Lilia Dizon was during the Baliksamahan party I hosted to celebrate the birthday of Marita Zobel. She still displayed glamour and a regal bearing which were her assets during her prime days as a movie actress.

In 2003, she appeared as a guest in the Magpakailanman TV show hosted by Mel Tiangco. The episode was about the life of Elizabeth Oropesa and Lilia portrayed the role of Oropesa’s grandmother.

When Christopher de Leon received the Legend Award for Acting given at the first Visionary Awards at the Kodak Theater in California, Lilia was one of the presenters together with her daughter Pinky de Leon.

Lilia Dizon, together with Delia Razon, attended the 22nd Star Awards for TV in 2008 when Rosa Rosal received the "Ading Fernando Lifetime Achievement Award”.

In October 2008 Lilia attended the Baliksamahan party welcoming Mila del Sol who had just arrived from a 20-year stay in the United States. Lilia and Delia Razon led the evening dancing.

Like many movie stars of yesteryears, Lilia now lives a quiet and happy life. She travels to and from the United States where she has some investments.

Entertainment writer, Gypsy Baldovino well sums up Lilia’s character both off and on screen in an article she wrote, "Lilia is the epitome of strength in her screen performances but none of those fictional characters is even close to the toughness of Lilia as her herself, the inimitable Claire Strauss.” – AJ

Reprinted from the book: Balik Tanaw: The Filipino Movie Stars of Yesteryears published by the San Diego Asian Journal, the original and first Asian Journal in America.

(To buy a copy of Dr. Romy Protacio's book, "Balik Tanaw: The Filipino Movie Stars of Yesteryears, published by the Asian Journal San Diego, call: [619.474.0588 in the U.S. for $12]; [733.5455 in the Philippines for P300]


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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