Showbiz Yearender3

THE passing year is really a season of split-ups.

Aside from those we mentioned in our past column, other couples who bade each other farewell this year were Angel Locsin and Oyo Sotto, Joseph Bitangcol and Sandara Park (Sandy bade local showbiz goodbye and returned to her native Korea), Aiko Melendez and second husband Martin Jickain, and Rachelle Ann Go and Christian Bautista.

INTERNATIONAL RECOGNITION
MANY stars brought honor to our country in foreign shores. First is Gina Pareño who won three international best actress awards (Osian Cinefan Filmfest in India, Amiens Filmfest in France and Brussels Filmfest in Belgium) for her title role performance in “Kubrador” that also won special jury citations in these festivals. Gina also won as best actress in the Asian TV Festival in Singapore for her portrayal of a mom with three lunatic kids in the “Rehas” episode of “Maalaala Mo Kaya”. Locally, she also won best actress awards for “Kubrador” (like the Urian) and various best supporting actress awards as Judy Ann Santos’ comic mom in “Kasal, Kasali, Kasalo.”

Cherry Pie Picache won two international best actress plums. One is in the Durban Filmfest in South Africa for her role as a lesbian tricycle driver in “Kaleldo”. The other one is for her role as a professional foster mother who rears orphans later adopted by foreigners in “Foster Child.”

Director Yam Laranas got a big break in Hollywood when an international producer got him to remake there his own horror movie, “Sigaw,” now retitled as “The Echo.” He was able to convince his producer to get Iza Calzado to reprise her role as the ghost in the movie.

Vina Morales won in the solo category as a performer at the Ikon Asean Awards while the band Kjwan won in the band category. They won $25,000 each.

WINNERS AND LOSERS
SO many showbiz denizens ran for public office in the May national elections but it looks like they’ve lost their magic and so many of them lost. Here’s our list of losers and winners. The winners:

As Senator – Loren Legarda (after she was allegedly cheated as vice president in 2004), Francis Pangilinan (re-electionist husband of Sharon Cuneta), Noynoy Aquino (brother of Kris), Migz Zubiri (ex of Vina Morales who hosted a TV show on Studio 23).

Governor- Vilma Santos in Batangas, Junjun Ynares in Rizal (husband of Andrea Bautista).

Congressman – Dan Fernandez in Laguna. Anton Lagdameo in Davao (husband of Dawn Zulueta), and Jules Ledesma in Negros (husband of Assunta de Rossi).

Mayor – ER Ejercito in Pagsanjan (re-electionist), JV Ejercito in San Juan (re-electionist), Strike Revilla (brother of Bong) in Bacoor, Alfred Romualdez in Tacloban, Leyte (husband of Cristina Gonzales).

Vice Mayor – Isko Moreno in Manila, Herbert Bautista in Quezon City (re-electionist), Teri Onor in Abucay, Bataan.

Councilor – Yul Servo, Cristina Gonzales, Alma Moreno, Aiko Melendez (last term), And the losers:

As Senator – Richard Gomez, Cesar Montano, Tito Sotto, Victor Wood, Tessie Aquino-Oreta (aunt of Kris), Ralph Recto (husband of Vilma Santos).

Congressman/woman – Manny Pacquiao in Gen. Santos, Nadia Montenegro and Bebong Muñoz (boyfriend of Jolina Magdangal) in Kalookan City, Jestoni Alarcon in Rizal, Chuck Mathay (father of Ara Mina) in Quezon City.

Governor – Mark Lapid in Pampanga.

Vice Governor – Christopher de Leon in Batangas.

Board member – Angelica Jones and Marco Sison in Laguna, Emilio Garcia.

Mayor – Rey Malonzo in Kalookan City, Lito Lapid in Makati, Dodot Jaworski in Pasig.

Vice Mayor – Cita Astals and Robert Ortega in Manila, Anjo Yllana in Parañaque.
Councilor – Leandro Baldemor, Jeffrey Santos, Amay Bisaya, Barbara Milano, Geryk Genaskey, Bobby Yan, Chinggoy Alonzo.

ISSUES AND CONFLICTS
OTHER events in showbiz include Angel Locsin and her manager’s decision to dump GMA-7, the company that nurtured and built her up, and move to ABS-CBN.

There’s nothing wrong with moving, but they could have done this in a less messy way without creating animosity and burning their bridges with GMA-7.

As a result of this, the standing of her manager’s other talents with GMA-7 was jeopardized, like Jennylyn Mercado who was idle for a while. With her sudden departure from GMA-7, the network put its bet on Marian Rivera to star in the project that Angel rejected, “Marimar.”

This boosted Marian’s stock tremendously since it’s now the highest-rating show on TV. Marian got several new endorsements and she has no less than two entries in the Metro filmfest, “Bahay Kubo” and “Desperadas,” plus a Valentine movie with Richard Gutierrez, “A Very Special Love.”

Gladys Guevara suddenly resigned from “Eat Bulaga” for alleged health reasons. Later on, it was revealed that she left after she had a liaison with co-host Janno Gibbs.

When Gladys did a show in the States, she met a new guy later in New Jersey, a Fil-Am guy named Phillip Peredo to whom she’s now engaged. She agreed to join Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition 2 as a housemate but only after 13 days, she lost her sanity and composure and insisted on going out.

His fans were shocked when former Eraserheads lead singer Ely Buendia had a heart attack on January 9 when he’s only 37 years old. He underwent angioplasty to cure his clogged artery and is now back in circulation with a band called Pupil.

People who kissed and made up include Mother Lily and talent manager Popoy Caritativo. The latter got sore when Mother Lily suddenly replaced Dennis Trillo in the cast of ”Mano Po 5″ with Richard Gutierrez. But a couple of months later, Popoy quickly patched things up with Mother Lily and Dennis was included in the cast of the franchise movie ”Shake, Rattle & Roll 9″.

Warring sisters Nova Villa and Tiya Pusit reconciled after years of not speaking with each other when Tiya Pusit nearly lost her eyesight that got damaged in a stroke. Twins Raymond and Richard Gutierrez were also giving each other the cold shoulder for three months but they reconciled when they mounted RRampa for a Cause, a bazaar and fashion show for charity.

Before the election, Vilma Santos and husband Ralph Recto had a big conflict with Ralph’s brother, Ricky, who wanted to run as Batangas governor. Ate Vi gave way and later on, Ralph’s brother relented and allowed Ate Vi to run as governor while he ran as congressman. Ate Vi won as expected, but he lost.

At the taping of “Sinasamba Kita”, there was a scene where Valerie Concepcion will be hit by a car. When the cameras started grinding, the driver of the car lost control and she was really hit by the vehicle so she landed in the hospital.

When her manager had a conflict with GMA-7, she was transferred to ABS-CBN where she’s now a “Wowowee” host. Valerie also caught the ire of Manny Pacquiao fans when she accused him of exploiting her in the movie “Anak ng Kumander” where she was required to do a kissing scene with him even if it’s not in the script.

The defender of Manny, notably the film’s director, Kaka Balagtas, denounced Valerie since she could have easily said no to the kissing scene, but she consented to do it then complained to the press.

Meantime, the network wars turned uglier when ABS-CBN accused GMA-7 of trying to rig the ratings reflected by AGB Philippines that say GMA’s shows are the number one programs in Mega-Manila. GMA Network denied this vehemently then sued ABS for their accusation. Let’s see where all this is heading.

MARIO E. BAUTISTA
Journal Online

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