© Copyright, 2015 (PHNO)
 http://newsflash.org

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

ACCORDING TO DIREK JOEL: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF KA FELIX MANALO


Portraying the INC founder is Dennis’ most challenging role so farIn the special presscon for the epic film, Felix Manalo, direk Joel Lamangan admits his latest project is one of a kind. In the same breath, he finds it quite complex and many-layered for one reason or the other. Says he: “Let’s admit it, the film is quite complicated and the subject out of the ordinary. What Ka Felix Manalo, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) founder, went through is for me a lot of revelations. I am no INC member so I am talking from the point of view of an outsider looking in. As the scenes from his early life are recorded by the camera, I could feel his aspirations, his vision, his tough times and how he hurdled all the trials and tribulations of a man tied to his Bible and determined to convert the faithful to his side. To do justice to the film, Lamangan has to do a lot of immersions. He has to read the Bible, he has to attend worship sessions and read all publications to know everything about the religion. He points out: “As it turned, Ka Felix Manalo’s efforts paid off. His kind of faith attracted millions of followers here and abroad and that is no easy feat. And so I have to study his social milieu, the family where he came from and the forces of culture and politics that shaped him. Whether we like it or not, the rise and domination of INC is now part of the country’s history.” READ MORE...

ALSO: Does Don Moen have a hotline to God?


If you ask me, my answer would be a big yes. I did an exclusive interview with Don Moen last year two weeks before he came for an inspirational show and I was amazed by his revelations. As the world knows by now, Moen has made a name in international music for transforming contemporary Christian music and bringing praise-and-worship songs to greater heights of recognition and popularity throughout the world. For more than 30 years as singer, songwriter and producer, he has captivated hundreds of millions of fans with an awesome array of songs that inspire, uplift and awe and which he performs in a style that interprets closely the words of the Bible, such as God Will Make A Way; Thank You, Lord; God Is Good All The Time; and Give Thanks. The good news is that Moen is coming for another show called God Will Make a Way, produced by Ovation Productions (with The Philippine STAR among the sponsors), at the following venues: Oct. 1 at the CCF Center, Frontera Verde, Ortigas Ave., Pasig City, phone number (02) 470-2222; Oct. 2 at Waterfront Hotel Cebu ((032) 232-6888/0917-6228705; Oct. 3 at St. La Salle Coliseum, Bacolod City (034) 435-0553; and Oct. 4 at Limketkai Mall, Cagayan de Oro City (+63-88-856-8881). It’s Moen’s third visit to Manila. READ MORE...

ALSO: Poe-Escudero event looks like venue for big birthday bash


THE MAN BEHIND GRACE An elated Sen. Francis Escudero joins Sen. Grace Poe onstage on Thursday at Club Filipino, where she named him her running mate in the 2016 elections. Poe announced her presidential bid a day earlier at Ang Bahay ng Alumni in UP Diliman, Quezon City. The anticipated team-up drew a strong mix of show biz and political personalities. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA Campaign colors
Around 9:30 a.m., many of the guests produced big hotdog-shaped, blue and red balloons marked “Grace-Chiz 2016.” 
Blue and red are the campaign colors of Poe and Escudero. Forty-seven-year-old Raquel Manares of Barangay Concepcion in Malabon City said she was given two balloons.READ MORE...

ALSO: Heart all out for Chiz but no dancing and singing


"I’ve never really experienced something this huge. I’m excited. I’ll be praying and wishing him (Francis Chiz Escudero) and Sen. Grace Poe well,” Heart Evangelista said. ‪#‎VotePH2016‬ INQUIRER FACEBOOK
SHE WAS giving her husband Francis “Chiz” Escudero “100 percent support” in his 2016 vice presidential bid, but don’t expect her to sing or dance onstage during political sorties, TV-movie personality Heart Evangelista said. “I definitely won’t be doing those things,” she said, laughing. “I have to be careful because I’m a celebrity. And we don’t see ourselves being that kind of couple.” The GMA 7 star said she does not want to be seen as a meddlesome—or an “epal” wife. “I’ve been hearing about his plans for quite some time, but I try my best not to get too involved,” Evangelista said. “But of course, as his partner, I will be there for him as much as possible,” she added. The 30-year-old show biz personality, who has an ongoing prime-time drama series in herhome network, said she would willingly represent her husband in campaign sorties he could not attend. “If he needs me, I won’t hesitate to give up my days off.” READ MORE...

ALSO: Heart Evangelista's mother attends Chiz Escudero announcement


Cecilia Ongpauco (second from left) at the vice presidential bid announcement of Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero, the husband of her daughter Heart Evangelista. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Sen. Francis Escudero) It seems like all is indeed well between Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero and the family of his wife Heart Evangelista Cecilia Ongpauco, the mother of Heart Evangelista, attended the vice presidential bid announcement of Escudero at the Club Filipino in San Juan City on Thursday. Ongpauco was the among the many family members and close friends of Heart. Cecilia Ongpauco (second from left) at the vice presidential bid announcement of Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero, the husband of her daughter Heart Evangelista. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Sen. Francis Escudero) Lovi Poe and her boyfriend Rocco Nacino were also seen during the event. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

According to direk Joel: The life and times of Ka Felix Manalo


Portraying the INC founder is Dennis’ most challenging role so far

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 21, 2015 (PHILSTAR) By Pablo A. Tariman (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 16, 2015 - In the special presscon for the epic film, Felix Manalo, direk Joel Lamangan admits his latest project is one of a kind.

In the same breath, he finds it quite complex and many-layered for one reason or the other.

Says he: “Let’s admit it, the film is quite complicated and the subject out of the ordinary. What Ka Felix Manalo, the Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC) founder, went through is for me a lot of revelations. I am no INC member so I am talking from the point of view of an outsider looking in. As the scenes from his early life are recorded by the camera, I could feel his aspirations, his vision, his tough times and how he hurdled all the trials and tribulations of a man tied to his Bible and determined to convert the faithful to his side.

To do justice to the film, Lamangan has to do a lot of immersions. He has to read the Bible, he has to attend worship sessions and read all publications to know everything about the religion.

He points out: “As it turned, Ka Felix Manalo’s efforts paid off. His kind of faith attracted millions of followers here and abroad and that is no easy feat. And so I have to study his social milieu, the family where he came from and the forces of culture and politics that shaped him. Whether we like it or not, the rise and domination of INC is now part of the country’s history.”

READ MORE...

The writing of the script took some time and the production meetings were as exhaustive as the research work involved.

On the set, Lamangan was guided by a minister who gave advice on how certain church rituals were done in real life. “No, their presence didn’t cramp my directing style as I needed every detailed advice on how this church came to be. The script was written by the head of evangelism of INC and I had to be guided as the story of the film can’t veer away from their church doctrine. When your knowledge of their religion is quite limited, you naturally welcome all the help you could get by way of inputs from the authority. A substantial part of the film is about their church doctrine and since this is part of their spiritual lives, I welcomed all advice and suggestions to make this special film take off.”

Before the presscon proper, the media was invited to a special preview of the trailer and surprisingly, it earned a unanimous positive feedback.

The fine elements of cinema from cinematography to production design and music scoring are noticeably present in the two versions of the trailers. The various hues of sepia gave it a simple yet arresting quality and Lamangan made sure the story is the thing, not the cast.

And yet all the who’s who in Philippine cinema are in the film giving it a casting of epic proportion.


Director Joel Lamangan (second from right) with Felix Manalo stars Dennis Trillo (second from left) and Bela Padilla, and representatives from INC

Elaborates Lamangan: “It helped of course that I’ve been directing for some time. Many in the cast appeared in my previous films and they know my language on the set and what I want. This made things easy for me on the set. On the other hand, I also collaborated with the production designers and the cinematographer in the person of Rody Lacap. We settled for various hues of sepia to denote a past that we have forgotten already. I must say Lacap did a very good job here and so did the film scorer in the person of Von de Guzmán. We all worked closely together to give the film an encompassing theme.”

To top it all, the actor who portrayed the title role more than lived up to his expectations. “I must say that Dennis (Trillo) here virtually outshone himself. I had misgivings in the beginning but gradually as he immersed into the part, I noticed he even started to look like Ka Felix Manalo himself. It wasn’t easy of course as he has to use prosthetics as his role aged. But I am not really surprised because I have worked with him many times and I was seeing him get one award after another. He is so because he is a very focused actor. And in this role, he has to work twice as hard to achieve a certain level of acting that should be more than satisfactory to both director and church ministers. He did a lot of research even before the first production meeting. Later, he reviewed old photos and videos of the INC founder, visited museums and attended the regular church worship hours.”


Felix Manalo dressed in sheep-lke white cloth

Trillo tells this writer the role of Ka Felix Manalo is so far his most difficult and also the most challenging. “Of course, there was the usual pressure to not just live up to the part. Everything I do should look real. It is, of course, unnerving that the man has millions of followers and they all love him. The immersion was difficult because I am not an INC member (he is Catholic). And so I have to thoroughly study his life and his religion as well. You have to know his life and times. Some of the most difficult scenes were those where I have to deliver pages and pages of lines in one setting.”

In the editing room, Lamangan is gratified to see that the close collaboration paid off.

The director says that the project is indeed unique in many ways compared to his previous output. “After long immersion on the material, I was given a rare insight into this religion and the man who founded it. After looking at the final reels for editing, I realized that our creative team has given birth to an extraordinary baby worthy of the long nurturing we did to give this film a life of its own.”

Felix Manalo opens Oct. 7 in theaters nationwide.


PHILSTAR

Does Don Moen have a hotline to God? FUNFARE By Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 16, 2015 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0

If you ask me, my answer would be a big yes.

I did an exclusive interview with Don Moen last year two weeks before he came for an inspirational show and I was amazed by his revelations.

As the world knows by now, Moen has made a name in international music for transforming contemporary Christian music and bringing praise-and-worship songs to greater heights of recognition and popularity throughout the world.

For more than 30 years as singer, songwriter and producer, he has captivated hundreds of millions of fans with an awesome array of songs that inspire, uplift and awe and which he performs in a style that interprets closely the words of the Bible, such as God Will Make A Way; Thank You, Lord; God Is Good All The Time; and Give Thanks.

The good news is that Moen is coming for another show called God Will Make a Way, produced by Ovation Productions (with The Philippine STAR among the sponsors), at the following venues: Oct. 1 at the CCF Center, Frontera Verde, Ortigas Ave., Pasig City, phone number (02) 470-2222; Oct. 2 at Waterfront Hotel Cebu ((032) 232-6888/0917-6228705; Oct. 3 at St. La Salle Coliseum, Bacolod City (034) 435-0553; and Oct. 4 at Limketkai Mall, Cagayan de Oro City (+63-88-856-8881). It’s Moen’s third visit to Manila.

READ MORE...

Here are relevant excerpts from last year’s interview:

When and how did you first feel the presence of God?

“I guess the first time I ever felt God’s presence would have been in church as a young boy of 10 or 11. I was blessed to have a pastor during those formative years who became like a second father to me and also to several other young men in the church.

"My mother took us to church but my father never attended in those years. My pastor took us hunting, fishing and camping, and was interested in our motor scooters, sports teams and school activities. He was so approachable, fun and relaxed that we all wanted to be around him.

“On Sunday nights after a church service, he would take out his guitar and sing worship songs, then invite us to kneel at the altar for a time of prayer and commitment. Those are the first memories I have of feeling God’s presence in a very real way, which I think played a big role in how I approach worship today.”

How do you pray (using the conventional prayer, The Lord’s Prayer, etc.) or in your own way, with your own words?

“Praying the The Lord’s Prayer is a great place to start any prayer, but it’s more than just reciting words that we’ve memorized. We can use this prayer as a guideline for all of our prayers and speak to God in our own words. When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, I think He was giving us a great example to follow.

“Start with adoration and praise, invite God to come and rule and reign in our lives, and establish His kingdom in our hearts and lives, so we are a reflection in the marketplace, our churches, schools, and families of what is happening in heaven. We pray for our daily needs, knowing that He will provide what we need for each day.

“And, of course, asking forgiveness for our sins and forgiving those that have hurt us. We should ask for guidance as we go through each day, trusting the Holy Spirit to lead us to make the right decisions, giving us the courage to turn away from sin and evil….”

How do we know (what is the sign) that God hears our prayer?

“David said in the Psalms, ‘God hears and answers my prayer.’ How did David the Psalmist know this? Many times he cried out to God when people were trying to destroy him. Somehow, God protected him and he lived through each ordeal, although he was running for his life.

“I want to avoid all the storms of life and pray that God would protect me from all these things, but more often than not, I end up going right into the middle of a storm, crying out for the Lord to save me. God has saved me each time, but in the process, I have been changed. Prayer changes us. Storms change us.

“What is the sign that God hears and answers our prayers? Look at the beautiful sunrise and sunset each day. It is a reminder that God is always faithful, and while circumstances don’t always work out exactly like we had prayed, God remains constant, unchanging, and we can trust Him with our prayers and our life. I think the key is to keep praying. Don’t stop.

“I have been praying for certain prayers to be answered for many years and have not seen the answer, yet I keep praying, knowing that God is working in ways I cannot see, maybe not on my time schedule, but He is working, and I will continue to pray. Faith is a key here. Like the story of the man who was healed by Jesus, he said, ‘Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.’ So, keep praying and keep believing!”

What is your idea (“vision”) of heaven?

“The older I get, the more I am aware of heaven, as I have had close friends and family members who passed away, including my mother as I was holding her hand. The Apostle Paul said, ‘To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.’ I believe heaven is a place filled with light and love.

“I’ll never forget the look on my mother’s face as she breathed her last. It was as if she’d seen something too wonderful to believe. I asked, ‘Mom, what do you see?’ She just sat right up in bed with her blue eyes wide open and exclaimed, ‘Ohhhhhhhhh!!’ Personally, I believe she saw angels coming to escort her to heaven.

“I have tried to imagine what heaven is like, but I don’t think there is a way we can comprehend what God has prepared for us. The Bible says, ‘Eye has not seen, ear has not heard the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ When Jesus ascended to heaven from the Mount of Olives where I was standing just two weeks ago, He said, ‘I go to prepare a place for you’…and I don’t think there is any way that we can conceive with our minds what is waiting for us. Total healing, total love, total acceptance. No darkness, only the light of Christ. Why would anyone intentionally walk away from this glorious promise?”

‘What is the sign that God hears and answers our prayers? Look at the beautiful sunrise and sunset each day. It is a reminder that God is always faithful…’


INQUIRER

Poe-Escudero event looks like venue for big birthday bash By: Kristine Felisse Mangunay @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 02:22 AM September 18th, 2015


THE MAN BEHIND GRACE An elated Sen. Francis Escudero joins Sen. Grace Poe onstage on Thursday at Club Filipino, where she named him her running mate in the 2016 elections. Poe announced her presidential bid a day earlier at Ang Bahay ng Alumni in UP Diliman, Quezon City. The anticipated team-up drew a strong mix of show biz and political personalities. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Campaign colors

Around 9:30 a.m., many of the guests produced big hotdog-shaped, blue and red balloons marked “Grace-Chiz 2016.”

Blue and red are the campaign colors of Poe and Escudero.

Forty-seven-year-old Raquel Manares of Barangay Concepcion in Malabon City said she was given two balloons.

READ MORE...

“Aren’t they cute? I’m keeping them,” Manares, who said she was also at Ang Bahay ng Alumni on the University of the Philippines campus in Diliman, Quezon City, where Poe declared her presidential candidacy on Wednesday night.


Follow Chiz News Alert ‏@ChizNewsAlert HAPPENING NOW: @sengracepoe, @SayChiz and @heart021485 at Club Filipino. #GraceChiz2016 PHOTO AT THE EVENT FROM CHIZNEWS' INSTAGRAM

Blue and red posters that bore the words “Grace-Chiz 2016” were also taped to many parts of the walls of Kalayaan Hall.

The colors matched the colors of the shirts worn by many of Poe’s and Escudero’s supporters in the venue.

The party mood continued as Poe and Escudero spoke on the stage.

They were interrupted several times by cheers from the crowd.


INQUIRER

Heart all out for Chiz but no dancing and singing By: Allan Policarpio, Kristine Felisse Mangunay @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 09:14 PM September 17th, 2015


"I’ve never really experienced something this huge. I’m excited. I’ll be praying and wishing him (Francis Chiz Escudero) and Sen. Grace Poe well,” Heart Evangelista said. ‪#‎VotePH2016‬ INQUIRER FACEBOOK

SHE WAS giving her husband Francis “Chiz” Escudero “100 percent support” in his 2016 vice presidential bid, but don’t expect her to sing or dance onstage during political sorties, TV-movie personality Heart Evangelista said.

“I definitely won’t be doing those things,” she said, laughing. “I have to be careful because I’m a celebrity. And we don’t see ourselves being that kind of couple.”

The GMA 7 star said she does not want to be seen as a meddlesome—or an “epal” wife. “I’ve been hearing about his plans for quite some time, but I try my best not to get too involved,” Evangelista said. “But of course, as his partner, I will be there for him as much as possible,” she added.

The 30-year-old show biz personality, who has an ongoing prime-time drama series in herhome network, said she would willingly represent her husband in campaign sorties he could not attend. “If he needs me, I won’t hesitate to give up my days off.”

READ MORE...

“Overwhelmed”

Evangelista, who has been part of the local entertainment scene for the past 17 years and is no stranger to pomp and bombast, admitted to feeling “overwhelmed” when Escudero formally declared his candidacy before hundreds of chanting supporters at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan, on Thursday.

“I’ve never really experienced something this huge. I’m excited. I’ll be praying and wishing him and Sen. Grace (Poe) well,” Evangelista told the Inquirer in a phone interview, referring to the Poe-Escudero 2016 tandem.

Poe announced her intention to seek the 2016 presidency at the Bahay ng Alumni at UP Diliman on Wednesday.


Heart and Chiz ARNOLD ALMACEN/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Present at Escudero’s declaration were Evangelista’s mother and former manager, Cecile Ongpauco, who had a very public and bitter spat two years ago with Escudero whom she described as an “opportunist” and “manipulative.”

The animosity toward the senator resulted in the Ongpauco couple boycotting their daughter’s lavish wedding in February this year, although fences were eventually mended and the two families have become friendly.

“I really appreciate my mom for being there. My dad was also supposed to go, but he is sick and recuperating at home. Their presence in our lives is a huge thing for us. We feel stronger now because we’re whole,” the actress said. “They saw that we’re genuinely happy so they eventually accepted us.”

Wary of mudslinging


Actress Heart Evangelista, with Eveline Guevarra-Escudero and Cecile Ongpauco, during Senator Francis Escudero’s declaration of his 2016 vice presidential bidat Club Filipino in San Juan City. ‘Peaceful’ Escudero’s mother, Sorsogon Rep. Evelina Escudero, who sat beside her balae, Cecile, described the ties between the two families as “peaceful.” “I guess they have no choice but to support their daughter,” she said of her in-laws. “They love their daughter the same way we love our son,” she added. ARNOLD ALMACEN

While she’s looking forward to the start of the campaign season, Evangelista admitted being wary of the mudslinging that usually comes with it. “Politics is different from show biz and I still get shocked by a lot of things. I just hope that (candidates) would focus on their platform, and won’t resort to bashing,” she said.

Though the actress seemed to know what to expect during her husband’s Thursday announcement, the senator still managed to surprise her.

Asked in an ambush interview at Club Filipino when the couple would be having a baby, Escudero said “uhm, next year.”

Evangelista appeared to be taken aback by her husband’s response, prompting some reporters to ask about her reaction. She hesitated. “It should be…in almost two years. But OK, if you want, let’s try,” the actress said playfully, drawing laughter from reporters.

Evangelista also explained why she had been teary-eyed during the senator’s acceptance speech.

Fresh option

“I have long idolized Chiz, even before I’ve seen him speak in La Union. And I am proud I married him,” she said, adding that she felt prouder during his speech. He was “really good (napakahusay niya)… It was hair-raising (nakakatindig balahibo),” she added of his speech.

The Poe-Escudero tandem was “refreshing,” the actress said. “I think they’re presenting a fresh option and it’s up to the people to vote wisely,” she said.

As for her husband’s chances, Evangelista said she was “confident about it (because) he has the heart and intention to really help and serve the country.”

“You just have to take your chances. And if it’s destined for you, it’s for you. If not, the world has other things to offer,” she said.

For his part, Escudero said he was praying that even if his supporters were not immediately apparent, “(we hope) we get to be together in the following days.”


PHILSTAR

Heart Evangelista's mother attends Chiz Escudero announcement (philstar.com) | Updated September 17, 2015 - 3:30pm 12 668 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines - It seems like all is indeed well between Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero and the family of his wife Heart Evangelista

READ: Chiz Escudero to run as Poe's vice president in 2016

Cecilia Ongpauco, the mother of Heart Evangelista, attended the vice presidential bid announcement of Escudero at the Club Filipino in San Juan City on Thursday.

Ongpauco was the among the many family members and close friends of Heart.

Cecilia Ongpauco (second from left) at the vice presidential bid announcement of Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero, the husband of her daughter Heart Evangelista. (Photo courtesy of the Office of Sen. Francis Escudero)

Lovi Poe and her boyfriend Rocco Nacino were also seen during the event.

READ MORE...

Escudero had a falling out with Heart's parents in 2013, months before the senatorial elections; they even failed to attend the wedding of their daughter Heart with the senator in February 2014.


Heart Evangelista with husband Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero at the Club Filipino in San Juan City on Saturday, September 17. Escudero has announced that he will run as Sen. Grace Poe's vice president in the 2016 elections. Philstar.com/Efigenio Toledo III

However, Heart confirmed in an interview in July that all is well between her parents and her husband.

"Nakita nilang masaya ako so tinanggap din nila [si Chiz]," Heart said of her parents in an interview with Philstar.com and other members of the press in July.

In interviews prior to Escudero's announcement, Heart said she will support her husband's political plans.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2014 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE