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

PAPAL CHEF ON 'PROFILES' CNN PHL


 - A rewarding experience.” This is how Chef Jessie Sincioco described her chance to cook for Pope Francis when he visited the Philippines last January 2015. It was during the birthday of Mary, the Virgin (or Mama Mary to most Catholics) when she received the news that she was handpicked by the papal visit committee led by Apostolic Nuncio Guiseppe Pinto and Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle to cook for the pope. Apostolic Nuncio to Manila Giuseppe Pinto and Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle chose Jessie Sincioco to be the chef for Pope Francis during his visit to Manila Before this rewarding experience, Chef Jessie wasn’t passionate about cooking. Although she grew up in a household that served complete meals, from appetizers, soup, salad, to the main course and dessert, spending time in the kitchen wasn’t appealing to her. It was the influence of her aunt, Estelita Dy, that made her change her mind. She fell in love with baking and won the grand prize in the Great Maya Cookfest in 1983. Today, she now manages JCS Gastronomie, Inc. and operates Chef Jessie Rockwell Club, Top of the Citi, and 100, the revolving restaurant in the city. Meet Chef Jessie on Friday as Profiles host Mitzi Borromeo sits down with her and shares her success story. Profiles airs Fridays at 9:30 p.m. only on CNN Philippines.THIS IS THE FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Nationwide auditions for ‘KISPINOY’ reaching fever pitch


Richard Gutierrez and Jinri Park host KISPINOY, a reality TV search for K-Pop Pinoys to be telecast on TV5
Richard Gutierrez, one of local showbiz’s most celebrated dreamboats and KISPINOY main host, is impressed by the huge turnout at the nationwide auditions. “The program is something different. It is a talent search but there is also the Korean component.”   To be aired on primetime on TV5 starting June, KISPINOY is a reality-based talent search that aims to discover and develop the next K-Pop sensation. Expect drama, tension, and surprises as the contestants vie for a chance to win a recording and management contract and to be trained extensively in Korea under the K-Pop system. “Filipinos are naturally gifted performers. That’s why we came all the way here to Manila. We believe that a Filipino is the next K-Pop idol,” says Matthew Choi, KISPINOY founder and producer.  To transform these Pinoy K-Pop aspirants into the total K-Pop package, some of Korea’s top artists and star makers will sit as judges or act as mentors to the shortlisted hopefuls. They will see to it that every facet that makes one a certified K-Pop star is closely supervised, from styling to sound to dance moves and singing prowess. READ MORE...

ALSO: Dingdong keeps a balance between family & career


On the set of Pari ‘Koy with co-stars Gabby Eigenmann and Carlo Gonzales
 - Although Pari ‘Koy star Dingdong Dantes is being considered for the senatorial slate of the Liberal Party (LP) in the next elections, Dingdong clarified that he has no plans to run as a senator. “It’s an honor to be part of that list. Ako naman ay isang volunteer lang. Dati pang usapan ‘yan na tatakbo ako, pero hindi naman. Really, I’m not running for any electoral post in 2016 and there are lot of things to do,” Dingdong said. Right now, Dingdong is trying to balance showbiz commitments and family life. He is now busy with his primetime teleserye Pari Koy and is prepping up for the return of StarStruck. He is also focused on his responsibilities as a husband to Marian Rivera and, soon, as a father to their first-born. Marian is now four months pregnant. READ MORE...

ALSO: Sharon Cuneta denies rumored show with Boy Abunda


Sharon Cuneta
Just three weeks after making her comeback in show business, Sharon Cuneta is talking retirement and migration on Facebook. Sharon and her family were in Los Angeles for a “short vacation” at the time of posting. One expressed her fondness for the US. “My babies call this happy place of ours ‘home.’ I must admit that every once in a while, I cannot help but imagine living here also someday,” said Sharon, who added she hopes to retire in four to five years. She continued, “Here is one of those places that are in my shortlist for ‘back-and-forthing’ – or living in na talaga someday,” while pointing out that she can still work for her current network, ABS-CBN, via its global brand, The Filipino Channel. While she loves the Philippines, Sharon said she fears for her children’s future given all the conflict in the country. She hopes the situation doesn’t turn “scary-(ier).”  READ MORE...

ALSO: Asia’s Songbird plays a new tune


REGINE VELASQUEZ The Songbird Regine Velasquez may be holding a lot of excellent titles in the field of music, movies and television, but if you talk to her at length, you would know in your heart that it is being mommy to three-year-old Nate that gives her life the utmost inspiration. It is along this line that PLDT Home Telsets found a most opportune time to give tribute not only to the artistry of Regine Velasquez, but also to the values in life she holds dear. For the voice that never fails to bring us back Home belongs to a devoted and loving mother to her only son Nate.  The Mothers’ Day campaign introduced the new landline Telsets featuring the Regine Series paired with PLDT’s best calling rates ever. Subscribers with landline get a wonderful treat with offers. Add as low as P75/month, you get new telsets with corresponding price points and features depending on the unit. Add P75/month, you get free NDD Calls (PLDT to PLDT Nationwide) plus P10 per call to Smart/TNT. Add P50/month, you get free 15 minute call to US, Canada, China, HongKong, Singapore, Guam and Hawaii, with lowest IDD rate of P2/succeeding minute. Regine is happy with her connection with the PLDT Home team. “They have been very supportive of everything I do. They allow me stay connected to my own home and for a working mother like me, you know that keeping in close contact with our family is everything. Especially that I have a growing little boy who never fails to surprise me with his discoveries every single day,” she enthused. READ MORE...

ALSO: Dr. Belo celebrates 25th anniversary in star-studded event


DR. VICKI BELO (3rd from left) with Anne Curtis, Daniel Padilla and Vice Ganda, Robi Domingo and Cristalle Henares
Every time Dr. Vicki Belo holds an event, we expect it to be grand. Last Saturday’s “Belo Beautiful Grand Launch,” a celebration of Belo Medical Group’s 25th year in the business, didn’t disappoint. Present were the country’s biggest stars – Anne Curtis, Marian Rivera, Daniel Padilla and Vice Ganda – who all performed crowd-pleasing numbers. These stars share one thing, they are all proud Belo babies, taking pride in endorsing the country’s premiere beauty brand. Sarah Geronimo, who was abroad, made her presence felt via a video greeting and performance. The crowd went wild for the stars as they sang and danced for them. The program was hosted by Robi Domingo and Cristalle Henares. READ MORE...

ALSO: Holy Land Christians celebrate sainthood of Arab nuns


In this Thursday, May 7, 2015 photo, booklets showing the likes of Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, a nun who lived in what was Ottoman-ruled Palestine in the 19th century, are on display in Church of the Rosary Sisters Mamilla in Jerusalem. The Holy Land's Christians are excitedly preparing for next week's canonization of two Arab nuns, Ghattas and Mariam Bawardy, bringing some joy to a tiny community that has had little to celebrate in recent years. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)
JERUSALEM — The Holy Land's Christians are excitedly preparing for next week's canonization of two Arab nuns, bringing some joy to a tiny community that has had little to celebrate in recent years. Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, who lived in what was Ottoman-ruled Palestine in the 19th century, will be the first from the region to receive sainthood since the early days of Christianity. They will also be the first Arabic-speaking Catholic saints. The nuns were born in Jerusalem and a town in what is now Israel, but come from an Arabic-speaking Christian community that has mainly identified itself as Palestinian for many decades. President Mahmoud Abbas, a Muslim, will attend the canonization festivities at the Vatican on May 17, said Ziad al-Bandak, an adviser on Christian affairs to the Palestinian leader. "This canonization has a meaning for the whole Palestinian nation," al-Bandak said. "It's a very important thing for Palestinians, whether they're Muslim or Christian."  In the birthplace of Christianity, Christians are a tiny minority, making up less than 2 percent of the population of Israel and the Palestinian territories. READ MORE...

Nora Aunor: We should not forget ‘Yolanda’


NORA Aunor feels it’s important for the world to know what happened in Tacloban. TROY ESPIRITU
Superstar Nora Aunor thinks she will be celebrating her 62nd birth anniversary on May 21 in a plane this year. She is set to leave for Cannes Sunday to attend the May 19 world premiere of her latest film, Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s “Taklub,” in France. She estimates that she will be in transit on May 20 and back in Manila on the 22nd. The fest ends May 24; awarding of the Un Certain Regard section (where “Taklub” is competing) is on the same day, says producer Larry Castillo. In an exclusive interview with the Inquirer on the eve of her departure, Aunor says she is not expecting to win best actress at Cannes. “I just want the film to be recognized. The audience, especially the foreigners, should know what happened in Tacloban.”  In “Taklub,” Aunor plays a “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) survivor who lost her children to the calamity (that claimed thousands of lives). READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Papal Chef on ‘Profiles’

MANILA, MAY 18, 2015 (MANILA STANDARD) By Isah V. Red | May. 12, 2015  - A rewarding experience.” This is how Chef Jessie Sincioco described her chance to cook for Pope Francis when he visited the Philippines last January 2015.

It was during the birthday of Mary, the Virgin (or Mama Mary to most Catholics) when she received the news that she was handpicked by the papal visit committee led by Apostolic Nuncio Guiseppe Pinto and Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle to cook for the pope.

Apostolic Nuncio to Manila Giuseppe Pinto and Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle chose Jessie Sincioco to be the chef for Pope Francis during his visit to Manila

Before this rewarding experience, Chef Jessie wasn’t passionate about cooking. Although she grew up in a household that served complete meals, from appetizers, soup, salad, to the main course and dessert, spending time in the kitchen wasn’t appealing to her.

It was the influence of her aunt, Estelita Dy, that made her change her mind. She fell in love with baking and won the grand prize in the Great Maya Cookfest in 1983.

Today, she now manages JCS Gastronomie, Inc. and operates Chef Jessie Rockwell Club, Top of the Citi, and 100, the revolving restaurant in the city.

Meet Chef Jessie on Friday as Profiles host Mitzi Borromeo sits down with her and shares her success story.

Profiles airs Fridays at 9:30 p.m. only on CNN Philippines.


MANILA STANDARD

Nationwide auditions for ‘KISPINOY’ reaching fever pitch By MST Entertainment | May. 12, 2015 at 05:40pm

The KISPINOY fever is taking the Philippines by storm.


Richard Gutierrez and Jinri Park host KISPINOY, a reality TV search for K-Pop Pinoys to be telecast on TV5

Richard Gutierrez, one of local showbiz’s most celebrated dreamboats and KISPINOY main host, is impressed by the huge turnout at the nationwide auditions. “The program is something different. It is a talent search but there is also the Korean component.”

To be aired on primetime on TV5 starting June, KISPINOY is a reality-based talent search that aims to discover and develop the next K-Pop sensation. Expect drama, tension, and surprises as the contestants vie for a chance to win a recording and management contract and to be trained extensively in Korea under the K-Pop system.

“Filipinos are naturally gifted performers. That’s why we came all the way here to Manila. We believe that a Filipino is the next K-Pop idol,” says Matthew Choi, KISPINOY founder and producer.

To transform these Pinoy K-Pop aspirants into the total K-Pop package, some of Korea’s top artists and star makers will sit as judges or act as mentors to the shortlisted hopefuls. They will see to it that every facet that makes one a certified K-Pop star is closely supervised, from styling to sound to dance moves and singing prowess.

READ MORE...
KISPINOY is produced by YU&IQ International, Inc., in partnership with YU&IQ Korea and NH Media. A major investor of KISPINOY, YU&IQ Korea (formerly Ryu’s Entertainment) is the impresario behind the award-winning film and television shows starring Seo Young Hee and Lee Mun Sik.

“It makes me proud to know that these talented Filipino kids are headed for Asian and global stardom,” adds Richard. His KISPINOY co-host, the sultry Korean model Jinri Park looks forward to gracing the nationwide auditions. “I will be interviewing the KISPINOY aspirants and going behind-the-scenes. I am very excited about it,” shares Jinri.

And indeed, the KISPINOY auditions are heating up.

To date, the biggest turnout was at the Cinematheque in Davao City where almost a thousand braved the long queues despite the humid weather. Thankfully, it rained by the afternoon of Day One, but then you have to give it to the Davaoeños who remained very passionate and tireless. It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and they seized it.

Two of the Davao misses to keep an eye on are Mary, 18, and 15-year-old Jayrah. Mary has been singing since she was 4. Her vocal pipes are just amazing and with a sob story to boot (Mary’s Japanese dad abandoned them), viewers are sure to cheer her on if and when she makes the final cut. Jayrah, on the other hand, is hard to ignore with her blue locks.

KISPINOY is open to all Filipinos ages 13 and up. Those interested can record their songs and dance performances in booths that will be set up in designated SM malls nationwide. These recordings will be sent to Korea for screening.

The remaining audition dates and venues are as follows: May 13 and14, SM City North Edsa; May 13-15, SM City Cebu; and May 21-23, SM City Dasmarinas and SM City Bacolod.

To catch more of the KISPINOY fever, connect with them through their social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.

------------------

“KIS Pinoy” tries again, this time on TV5 (was formerly Laboum, a failed (Korean) K-pop girl group last year

Laboum, a K-pop girl group, will be on the Philippines as part of the grand launch of KIS Pinoy this April 22. This is not the first time you've heard this talent search program. Laboum, a K-pop girl group, will be on the Philippines as part of the grand launch of KIS Pinoy this April 22. This is not the first time you’ve heard this talent search program.

IF THE TITLE you’ve read sounds familiar, then you’ve probably have read two articles here on the Turf last year.

But if you don’t have time to do so, here’s a four-sentence summary:

Last year, K-Pop Idol Search: Pinoy Edition (KIS Pinoy), the K-Pop talent search, was supposed to be on the programming portfolio for People’s Television (PTV). The show would’ve been aired on the 3Q or 4Q of the said year. However, the Facebook page behind the program remained silent for so many months. Because of this, litany of conflicts and problems between two parties emerged; alas, the deal is declared a big failure.

For the second time, this concept of talent search will be materialized — this time on TV5. The Philippine Star confirms this news today.

The most obvious advantage why they beseech on TV5 over PTV is the texture of programming lineup and priorities. If PTV would’ve materialized last year, the episode flow would be interrupted due to unexpected special coverage. For TV5, this scenario would go to her sister channel, Aksyon TV, and the main channel will continue with their entertainment programming affairs.

The KIS Pinoy’s original auditioning plan was a tour around each part of country but on TV5’s case, it’s on malls just like usual auditions in reality competitions of the Other Two such as StarStruck (now on its 6th regular edition) and Pinoy Big Brother (now on its 10th anniversary). Auditions will begin from on April 22 on SM Mall of Asia Music Hall and it will last for a month across several malls around the archipelago.

Once the materialization is realized, the elimination procedures would either be revised from the original PTV plan (see the first article) or be rewritten entirely to match with the consultations from the agreeing prospective commercial network.

When it comes to the target launch date and the frequency, it will be target on 3Q 2015 and it will run, preferably, on Sunday night at 7:15 p.m. (right after PBA), replacing Move It: Clash of the Streetdancers or Saturday where Talentadong Pinoy once resided or replacing Mac and Chiz.

For now, the eyes of hope for the victimized aspirants last year will look on TV5 for having their dreams come true.


PHILSTAR

Dingdong keeps a balance between family & career By Ver Paulino (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 14, 2015 - 12:00am


On the set of Pari ‘Koy with co-stars Gabby Eigenmann and Carlo Gonzales

MANILA, Philippines - Although Pari ‘Koy star Dingdong Dantes is being considered for the senatorial slate of the Liberal Party (LP) in the next elections, Dingdong clarified that he has no plans to run as a senator.

“It’s an honor to be part of that list. Ako naman ay isang volunteer lang. Dati pang usapan ‘yan na tatakbo ako, pero hindi naman. Really, I’m not running for any electoral post in 2016 and there are lot of things to do,” Dingdong said.

Right now, Dingdong is trying to balance showbiz commitments and family life. He is now busy with his primetime teleserye Pari Koy and is prepping up for the return of StarStruck. He is also focused on his responsibilities as a husband to Marian Rivera and, soon, as a father to their first-born. Marian is now four months pregnant.

READ MORE...
Like Marian, Dingdong also has to take it easy with his showbiz projects. “Basta after work ngayon, dumederetso na ako sa house. Malaking bagay din ang mga tips na nakukuha ko sa mga kaibigan ko like Gabby Eigenmann at sa mga kapatid ko,” shared Dingdong.

Meanwhile, Dingdong and his co-stars Gabby and Carlo Gonzales are happy with their inspirational drama show’s ratings and the positive feedback from the viewers.

Pari ’Koy also stars Sunshine Dizon, Chanda Romero, Luz Valdez, Dexter Doria, Jillian Ward, David Remo, Jojit Lorenzo, Rap Fernandez, JC Tiuseco, Jeric Gonzales, Hiro Peralta and Lindsay de Vera.


MANILA BULLETIN

Sharon Cuneta denies rumored show with Boy Abunda by Karen Valeza May 13, 2015


SHARON CUNETA

Megastar Sharon Cuneta has denied speculations about her hosting an upcoming show with Boy Abunda supposedly replacing the now-defunct “The Buzz.”

The Megastar returned to the Kapamilya network in March after three years with TV5.

On Tuesday, she wrote on Facebook: “There’s some news going around (someone from a TV crew actually asked me about it last Thursday at my Mama Helen’s birthday party, and then it came out in a major paper the other day lang) that I am going to be in a show with Kuya Boy Abunda to replace the former ‘The Buzz.’ That would be so great – only, it isn’t true.”

Sharon added, “No one has brought it up with me or my manager Sandra Chavez, and I also asked Kuya Boy about it the day the write-up came out, and no one’s talked about it with him either.”

The singer-actress recently worked with Boy on “Your Face Sounds Familiar,” with the latter temporarily replacing resident judge Gary Valenciano who had to take leave from the show due to several commitments abroad.

READ MORE...
Sharon, who is also a judge on “Your Face Sounds Familiar,” maintained that she is clueless as to what projects are in line for her after the show. “Kasi my contract with ABS-CBN so far is only for that show,” she said.

The seasoned actress-singer also addressed her supposed plan to lose weight in the post. Apparently, she hasn’t started dieting because she’s been sick the past weeks.

“I wish I was as thin as Sarah or Kim or Maja or Bea, but truth is, I’m a mom now and no longer in my twenties so the weight isn’t gonna just fall off as quickly as it used to! I’m just me,” she said. “It would be so sad if I had to apologize for being the ‘me’ that I am now, especially because of the ‘me’ I was for way too long. I will keep doing what I can, as long as I can, as far as I can take it. But no more than that.”

Sharon is thankful for her loyal fans who “love me for who I am and what I’ve achieved and given, and yes, to a certain point what I look like, but not just all that na.”

---------------------------------------

Sharon mulls retiring abroad someday by Pau Aguilera April 1, 2015 (updated)


Sharon Cuneta

Just three weeks after making her comeback in show business, Sharon Cuneta is talking retirement and migration on Facebook.

Sharon and her family were in Los Angeles for a “short vacation” at the time of posting. One expressed her fondness for the US.

“My babies call this happy place of ours ‘home.’ I must admit that every once in a while, I cannot help but imagine living here also someday,” said Sharon, who added she hopes to retire in four to five years.

She continued, “Here is one of those places that are in my shortlist for ‘back-and-forthing’ – or living in na talaga someday,” while pointing out that she can still work for her current network, ABS-CBN, via its global brand, The Filipino Channel.

While she loves the Philippines, Sharon said she fears for her children’s future given all the conflict in the country. She hopes the situation doesn’t turn “scary-(ier).”

READ MORE...
“I love God, my children, and my country. In that order,” Sharon noted. “I am, after all, their mother, and my commitment is to take care of them as best I can.”

All hope is not lost for the veteran actress.

“After all, sino ba ang gustong umaalis ng sarili nilang bansa, right? At napakaganda pati ng bansa natin. Sana naman inaalagaan natin, tapos tuwing may pagpalit ng administration, inaalagaan din sana tayo,” she said.

Despite all that’s been said, Sharon encouraged her followers to stay positive and believe in “the power of prayer.”


TRIBUNE (LIFESTYLE)

Asia’s Songbird plays a new tune Written by Tribune Wires Saturday, 16 May 2015 00:00


REGINE VELASQUEZ

The Songbird Regine Velasquez may be holding a lot of excellent titles in the field of music, movies and television, but if you talk to her at length, you would know in your heart that it is being mommy to three-year-old Nate that gives her life the utmost inspiration.

It is along this line that PLDT Home Telsets found a most opportune time to give tribute not only to the artistry of Regine Velasquez, but also to the values in life she holds dear. For the voice that never fails to bring us back Home belongs to a devoted and loving mother to her only son Nate.


THE ALCASIDS

The Mothers’ Day campaign introduced the new landline Telsets featuring the Regine Series paired with PLDT’s best calling rates ever. Subscribers with landline get a wonderful treat with offers. Add as low as P75/month, you get new telsets with corresponding price points and features depending on the unit. Add P75/month, you get free NDD Calls (PLDT to PLDT Nationwide) plus P10 per call to Smart/TNT. Add P50/month, you get free 15 minute call to US, Canada, China, HongKong, Singapore, Guam and Hawaii, with lowest IDD rate of P2/succeeding minute.

Regine is happy with her connection with the PLDT Home team.


PLDT Home Telsets found a most opportune time to give tribute not only to the artistry of Regine Velasquez, but also to the values in life she holds dear. For the voice that never fails to bring us back Home belongs to a devoted and loving mother to her only son Nate.

“They have been very supportive of everything I do. They allow me stay connected to my own home and for a working mother like me, you know that keeping in close contact with our family is everything. Especially that I have a growing little boy who never fails to surprise me with his discoveries every single day,” she enthused.

READ MORE...
“When I became pregnant, my sisters and my friends told me my life was going to be different. I realized I had no idea what they were talking about. Not until I had Nate,” she said.

“Everything about my life changed completely. I have a totally different perspective now, a different outlook in life,” she declares with contagious enthusiasm.

Mrs. Ogie Alcasid considers every single day blessed. Her marriage was immediately gifted by this bundle of joy she and her husband Christened Nathaniel James.

“He will turn four in November. How time flies! So far, so good. We are very, very happy with how things are with Nate. A lot of people tell us how behaved and good a kid Nate is. Hindi siya ‘yung katulad ng ibang bata na sobrang malikot kahit nasa labas. He behaves well. He is not a spoiled brat because we are very conscious of that being an only son so far. He listens to us when we caution him. He remembers what we teach him. We couldn’t be prouder,” she shares.

Regine says the one thing that she and her husband Ogie are conscious about when it comes to instilling discipline in their son is that they should always be on the same side.
 


REGINE AND OGIE

“We don’t employ the good cop-bad cop scheme in our parenting style. The only rule is that the “aggrieved” parent should be the one to discipline the boy. So kung ako ang nagalit sa kanya over something he did, I will be the one to discipline him.”

Regine confesses that she didn’t think at first that it was in her to be the one to give Nate some spanking. “But I did it. I think I have spanked him three times already for throwing away things, like my iPad. We have learned a lot from our pastor in church how to discipline a child. From ages zero to 12, our pastor told us that we can instill discipline in them and break their developing pride by spanking. Past that age, it will be very hard already. If you spank them when they are older, you won’t be breaking their pride anymore, but their spirit,” Regine said. “I think our parenting style is working because Nate is a well-behaved boy and is truly a joy to be with even when we travel long distance,” she added.

When asked what she considers the highlights of being a mother so far are, Regine was quick to say, “Everyday is a highlight!” And we believe her.

“Every day there is something new with him. Either he says a new word or discovers something new that he shows us. That is why I am very conscious to be present in his life. I never want to miss out on anything. When I am working, we are in constant communication with his yaya. She sends me pictures of him when I am not with him.”

For this particular interview (done behind the scenes of her pictorial for PLDT Home Telset campaign), Regine said Nate was with his yaya nearby waiting for him to finish.

“He is very patient because we explain to him that we need to work. Sometimes we think our children don’t understand this kind of things. But in my experience, I know that children are smart and they have the capability to understand and comprehend, more than what we want to give them credit for. It shouldn’t stop us adults, from involving them,” she said.

The doting mother says they are training him to speak in fluent Tagalog right now saying that Nate is learning English easily from school and the television shows that he watches everyday. Unlike most Filipino parents who give more weight on teaching their children to speak in English, the Alcasids differ in perspective.

“Mas weird kasi kung hirap siya sa Tagalog bilang nandito naman tayo sa Filipinas,” Regine said with so much logic. “The beauty of this stage in my son’s life is that he really converses with us now. Before kasi, nagsasalita siya pero wala pang sense. Now, it’s so nice to talk to him. Nagkukuwento na, nakakatuwa!”

Regine is very grateful for the kind of workload that she is allowed to have at this point in her life. “I had a major shift in my priorities and I am so thankful that the people I work for understand this. I still get to work to help my husband but the load is just perfect for me to still be very much present in my son’s life. I am truly blessed,” she says.

So what is her dream for her Nate? Regine answers from the heart. “I have none. I feel that it is his job to dream for himself, whatever and whoever he wants to me. I feel that I have to allow him the same liberty that my parents gave me when I was growing up. Binigyan ako ng kalayaan ng mga magulang ko na mangarap, kaya ako nandito ngayon. ‘Yun din ang gusto kong ibigay kay Nate,” she said.

Regine believes that the role of the parent is to make sure that their children grow up instilled with discipline and values. “We are here to provide support and the necessary ammunition for them to work on and realize their dreams someday. If anything, I just want my Nate to grow up to be a follower of Jesus Christ. When he fears God, I know that his future is set.”


MANILA BULLETIN

Dr. Belo celebrates 25th anniversary in star-studded event by Shirley Pizarro May 15, 2015


DR. VICKI BELO (3rd from left) with Anne Curtis, Daniel Padilla and Vice Ganda, Robi Domingo and Cristalle Henares

Every time Dr. Vicki Belo holds an event, we expect it to be grand.

Last Saturday’s “Belo Beautiful Grand Launch,” a celebration of Belo Medical Group’s 25th year in the business, didn’t disappoint.

Present were the country’s biggest stars – Anne Curtis, Marian Rivera, Daniel Padilla and Vice Ganda – who all performed crowd-pleasing numbers.

These stars share one thing, they are all proud Belo babies, taking pride in endorsing the country’s premiere beauty brand. Sarah Geronimo, who was abroad, made her presence felt via a video greeting and performance.

The crowd went wild for the stars as they sang and danced for them.

The program was hosted by Robi Domingo and Cristalle Henares.

READ MORE...
Dr. Belo reiterated that her 25 years in the business makes everything worthwhile because she knows she is doing her share in “making the Philippines beautiful, one person at a time.”

• • •


ARIEL FERMIN with PLDT Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan

ARIEL FERMIN NOW HEADS PLDT’S CONSUMER BUSINESS GROUP

There is great news within the PLDT front. A top-level executive we always welcome meeting in those rare lunches at the PLDT Building, someone who is always down-to-earth and very cool, Ariel P. Fermin has just been promoted.

Ariel, as he would have us media friends call him, PLDT Executive Vice President (EVP) and current head of PLDT Home, has a new task and that is to head the entire Consumer Business group of PLDT. We are awaiting more announcements when his official tenure starts on May 18.

His new appointment is something that cannot be helped from our point of view. Simply because the people behind PLDT recognize that the Individual and Home Businesses are symbiotic and complementary. Somehow, technology has transformed the home from what used to be a closed, shared network environment into a “boundary-less” one, “as people comprising the home have evolved into a set of highly mobile, highly personal, highly connected, digitally-driven and digitally-centric individuals.”

Ariel has spearheaded the growth of the Home business on the back of an aggressive broadband program. In less than three years, he led the launch of products and services that revitalized PLDT and put it in the forefront of the multimedia space.

Today, the telecoms giant is a powerhouse of top-class communication and multimedia services which include PLDT Home Fibr, DSL, Telpad, and Ultera. On top of these trusted brands, PLDT Home is also now offering rich and compelling multimedia content that aims to bring families closer.

Congratulations Ariel and more power!


PHILSTAR

Holy Land Christians celebrate sainthood of Arab nuns By Daniela Berretta (Associated Press) | Updated May 14, 2015 - 3:19am


In this Thursday, May 7, 2015 photo, booklets showing the likes of Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, a nun who lived in what was Ottoman-ruled Palestine in the 19th century, are on display in Church of the Rosary Sisters Mamilla in Jerusalem. The Holy Land's Christians are excitedly preparing for next week's canonization of two Arab nuns, Ghattas and Mariam Bawardy, bringing some joy to a tiny community that has had little to celebrate in recent years. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

JERUSALEM — The Holy Land's Christians are excitedly preparing for next week's canonization of two Arab nuns, bringing some joy to a tiny community that has had little to celebrate in recent years.

Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, who lived in what was Ottoman-ruled Palestine in the 19th century, will be the first from the region to receive sainthood since the early days of Christianity. They will also be the first Arabic-speaking Catholic saints.

The nuns were born in Jerusalem and a town in what is now Israel, but come from an Arabic-speaking Christian community that has mainly identified itself as Palestinian for many decades. President Mahmoud Abbas, a Muslim, will attend the canonization festivities at the Vatican on May 17, said Ziad al-Bandak, an adviser on Christian affairs to the Palestinian leader.

"This canonization has a meaning for the whole Palestinian nation," al-Bandak said. "It's a very important thing for Palestinians, whether they're Muslim or Christian."

In the birthplace of Christianity, Christians are a tiny minority, making up less than 2 percent of the population of Israel and the Palestinian territories.

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Although they have not experienced the violent persecution that has decimated Christian communities elsewhere in the region, the population has gradually shrunk over the decades as Christians have fled conflict or sought better opportunities abroad. Pope Francis has raised the plight of Christians across the Middle East as a cause for concern.


In this Saturday, May 9, 2015 photo, a nun stands by the tomb of Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, a nun who lived in what was Ottoman-ruled Palestine in the 19th century, at Church of the Rosary Sisters Mamilla in Jerusalem. Two nuns from the Holy Land, Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, will be the first from the region to receive sainthood since the early days of Christianity. They will also become the first Arabic-speaking Catholic saints. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

At such a sensitive time for the region's Christians, celebrations are in full swing. Worshippers filled the church of the Rosary Sisters Mamilla Monastery in Jerusalem on Saturday, kneeling down in front of the tomb of Ghattas and holding prayer beads during a solemn ceremony held for the two women. The event opened a period of special prayers and masses that will continue throughout the summer in the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel.

Books, films, songs and hymns are already hailing the canonization, which local Church officials say is historic.

Bawardy was a mystic born in 1843 in the village of Ibilin in what is now the Galilee region of northern Israel. She is said to have received the "stigmata" — bleeding wounds like those that Jesus Christ is said to have suffered on the cross — and died at the age of 33 in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, where she founded a Carmelite order monastery that still exists.

Ghattas, born in Jerusalem in 1847, opened girls' schools, fought female illiteracy, and co-founded the Congregation of the Sisters of the Rosary. The order today boasts dozens of centers all over the Middle East, from Egypt to Syria, that operate kindergartens, homes for the elderly, medical clinics and guest houses.

The two nuns lived under difficult conditions, facing poverty and sickness while helping those in need. Both are said to have received apparitions by the Virgin Mary and to have performed miracles -- a requirement for Catholic sainthood.

Ghattas is said to have saved an electrician who was badly hurt in a work accident in 2009, more than a century after her death. Doctors said he would die or suffer permanent brain damage. But after his family and community prayed for Ghattas' intercession, he is said to have awoken from a coma and fully recovered.

Mariam Bawardi is said to have saved a newborn from Sicily who was born with a heart defect. The baby was hospitalized and given almost no chance of surviving. Yet after prayers were said for the baby, he defied all odds and fully recovered without surgery.

Sister Alphonsina, a Jordanian nun and member of the Sisters of the Rosary Congregation near the West Bank town of Bethlehem, said that the nuns' canonization should inspire others to lead more spiritual lives.

"We talk a lot about political uprising and I hear people calling for a political uprising, but we as Christians. first need a spiritual uprising," she said. "Marie Alphonsine and Mariam Bawardy ... started the torch of this spiritual uprising."


In this Saturday, May 9, 2015 photo, nuns pray during a special mass for Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, a nun who lived in what was Ottoman-ruled Palestine in the 19th century, at Church of the Rosary Sisters Mamilla in Jerusalem. Two nuns from the Holy Land, Mariam Bawardy and Marie Alphonsine Ghattas, will be the first from the region to receive sainthood since the early days of Christianity. They will also become the first Arabic-speaking Catholic saints. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

Israel, for its part, has taken a more low-key approach, but will also join Sunday's festivities. The Foreign Ministry said its ambassador to the Vatican and a government official responsible for the country's Christian minority will both attend the canonization.

By granting the women sainthood, the Church is also trying to bolster their work in women's education and with the poor.

The Very Rev. Mother Iness al-Yacoubi, the superior general of the Rosary Sisters of Jerusalem, said she hopes the canonization will encourage more women to become nuns and help Christians in the Middle East "to strengthen, to maintain our presence here."


INQUIRER

Nora Aunor: We should not forget ‘Yolanda’ Bayani San Diego Jr. @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 1:10 AM | Sunday, May 17th, 2015


NORA Aunor feels it’s important for the world to know what happened in Tacloban. TROY ESPIRITU

Superstar Nora Aunor thinks she will be celebrating her 62nd birth anniversary on May 21 in a plane this year.

She is set to leave for Cannes Sunday to attend the May 19 world premiere of her latest film, Brillante Ma. Mendoza’s “Taklub,” in France. She estimates that she will be in transit on May 20 and back in Manila on the 22nd. The fest ends May 24; awarding of the Un Certain Regard section (where “Taklub” is competing) is on the same day, says producer Larry Castillo.

In an exclusive interview with the Inquirer on the eve of her departure, Aunor says she is not expecting to win best actress at Cannes. “I just want the film to be recognized. The audience, especially the foreigners, should know what happened in Tacloban.”

In “Taklub,” Aunor plays a “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) survivor who lost her children to the calamity (that claimed thousands of lives).

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In her desire to make people more aware of the issue, she accepted another indie movie on the subject, “Sampung Libong Tag-Ulan: The ‘Yolanda’ Survivor,” directed by GM Aposaga and produced by Vizzions International.

“The two movies are very different,” she explains. “While ‘Taklub’ is about what happened after the disaster, my new movie shows Visayas before and during the storm.”

Aunor was able to visit Tacloban during the “Taklub” shoot and saw firsthand the survivors’ situation.

“It’s important for people not to forget what happened in Tacloban,” she relates. “The relief goods were not able to reach the survivors.”

Sen. Loren Legarda, who is the main proponent of “Taklub,” says Aunor is the only actor capable of playing her part in the movie. “She was not only an actor; she lived the heart-rending story,” Legarda remarks.

Before leaving for Cannes, Aunor finished her scenes in “Sampung Libong Tag-Ulan,” which was filmed in Batangas since the film would show Visayas, pre-“Yolanda.” Aposaga, however, will shoot additional scenes in Tacloban, to present the city’s current condition.

J
ONG Cuenco, who plays Nora Aunor’s husband in new indie movie, is the son of her voice teacher, National Artist for Music Ernani Cuenco. RIA DUENOG

Applause

Aposaga recalls that he would sometimes find himself clapping after each take with Aunor. One scene showed Aunor washing the buttocks of her character’s father, played by Dido de la Paz.

“She had no qualms at all. I am in awe because she listens to my suggestions,” Aposaga recounts. “She doesn’t look down on me just because I am a newcomer.”

“It’s good to work with young directors,” Aunor says. “We should support filmmakers who are just starting in the industry. Someday these neophytes will become renowned… at least, you can claim you’ve already worked with them, that you are among the first to help this new generation of filmmakers.”

She says she also learns a lot from young directors.

“You get to pick up new ideas,” she says. “That is a big help since I plan to direct again this year. I want to start with a short film first.”

Before going behind the camera, the award-winning actress (and this year’s Natatanging Gawad Urian recipient) will begin work on her Bicolano film, Kristian Cordero’s “Hinulid,” and two indies under Adolfo Alix Jr. (a film on OFWs in the Netherlands and on the Tasadays).

Big concert

After her return from France, she is set to travel again to the United States in June for her throat operation and therapy.

“Hopefully, my singing voice will be restored after,” she says.

Her “Sampung Libong Tag-Ulan” producers, Emman and Net Razo, are planning a big concert, too.

Coincidentally, Jong Cuenco, son of National Artist for Music Ernani Cuenco, plays Aunor’s husband in “Sampung Libong Tag-Ulan.”

“Ernani was my teacher in my ‘Superstar’ show in the 1970s,” Aunor relates. “He would give me lessons at home—vocalizations every other day. He would also guide me in the recording studio. If a song is too high, he would teach me techniques so that I’d be able to hit the notes properly.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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