Just like ordinary people, showbiz personalities can get mad at one another because of differences in opinion and viewpoint. What sets their verbal quarrels apart, however, is that these get covered by print, radio, television and online media. And celebrity spats sometimes turn into drawn-out wars running publicly for weeks, months, and even years before being resolved.
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) now looks back on the controversial face-offs between the biggest stars of showbiz.
We have classified these word wars into three categories: Cool off (temporarily halted), Ceasefire (the parties have already reconciled), and Still raging (no reconciliation yet in sight).
Here are the much-talked about word wars that took place in 2008:
Gretchen Barretto – Nadia Montenegro
Nadia claimed: “Puro front lang nakikita n’yo kay Gretchen. Diamonds, Jaguar, beautiful face, sexy, milyonarya, pero ang itim ng puso. Grade 4 pa lang kami, puro pagpapasensiya na ang ginagawa ko riyan. Milyonaryo rin ako, pero ang pagkakaiba namin, milyon ang friends ko, siya, milyon ang kaaway.”
Gretchen asked: “Why me, Nadia, why me?”
Erstwhile best friends Gretchen Barretto and Nadia Montenegro exchanged heated words about each other, ironically, during the love month of February. It will be recalled that Claudine Barretto, Gretchen’s younger sister, claimed that a celebrity is the “mastermind” behind rumors putting La Greta in a bad light. Not long after, Nadia spoke up and said that all she did in the past was to defend Gretchen. The two had a confrontation in a hotel but no reconciliation took place.
Last October, Gretchen attended a launching party where she uttered the words: “In my heart, I have chosen to forgive her. Kung anuman ang nangyari, I will learn from the experience.”
La Greta now admits that she is grateful for Nadia’s help in the past and that she is willing to make peace with her when they have a private meeting.
Status: Cool off
Rufa Mae Quinto – Jessa Zaragoza
Jessa insisted: “Hindi ako papayag na kalakihan ng anak ko ang mga kasinungalingang pinagsasabi niya.”
Rufa Mae pleaded: “Please nga, gumawa ka [Jessa] na lang ng sarili mong biography.”
When Rufa Mae Quinto appeared on the February 2008 issue of YES! magazine, she thought she was just be reminiscing about the men in her life. Little did she know that it would trigger a word war between her and married couple Jessa Zaragoza and Dingdong Avanzado. In her tell-all interview, Rufa Mae said that Dingdong’s attention shifted to Jessa (whom Rufa Mae considered to be her ‘closest friend’ at that time). Eventually, the singer-composer left Rufa Mae to be with Jessa.
However, a hopping mad Jessa claimed that Dingdong never got into a serious relationship with Rufa Mae. She said that the sexy comedienne and the former Quezon City councilor were just going out on dates.
The two battled it out in the print, and on TV and online media for several weeks until, in April, Rufa Mae addressed Jessa, saying, “Para lang matapos na ito, o sige, pasensiya na. Tutal, sinasabi niyang may pamilya na siya, I’m happy for them. Maging positive na lang tayo.”
Status: Cool off
Annabelle Rama – Lolit Solis
Lolit inquired: “Ba’t kailangang maging obligasyon ni Lani [Mercado] ang batiin ang kahit sino?”
Annabelle retorted: “Ngayon Lolit Solis, kung matapang ka, hinahamon kita. Sabihin mo saan, ano’ng oras, gusto mo mag-upakan tayo ngayon din, okay sa akin!”
The fight was supposed to be between Ruffa Gutierrez and Lani Mercado but two other women ended up feuding, with the threat of a fistfight in the offing. While attending a wake last March, Ruffa Gutierrez was about to kiss Lani Mercado but she was surprised when the latter turned around without a word. The incident escalated into a word war when Annabelle defended her daughter Ruffa while Lolit took Lani’s side.
Thankfully, the two women made up without the need for punches to fly. It was around June that Annabelle and Lolit crossed paths during the wake of Rudy Fernandez and settled their differences.
Willie Revillame – Joey de Leon
Joey sang (to the tune of “Imagine”): “Channel 2’s the only one / Makikita araw-araw ay mukha lang ni Pokwang…Makikita araw-araw / ay mukha lang ng aswang…”
Willie asked: “Hindi ka ba nagkakaroon ng puso sa kapwa mo Pilipino, pati babae ginaganyan mo?”
Pokwang explained: “Hindi po ako galit sa kanya [Joey] dahil alam ko naman na may nagtatanggol sa akin. Enough na po yun. Thank you. Kasi nababanggit mo ako, di ba? Bilang isang Joey de Leon, maraming-maraming salamat. More power sa show nila. Positive na lang tayo.”
In 2007, Willie Revillame and Joey de Leon and had a bitter feud about the so-called “Wilyonaryo” scandal in Willie’s noontime show Wowowee. This year, the two clashed again, but this time, Willie was offended by Joey’s “aswang” joke about his co-host Pokwang. When Joey performed for a show in Los Angeles, the lyrics of the song that he performed mentioned that Pokwang was “mukhang aswang.” In the August 18 episode of Wowowee, Willie defended his co-host against the offensive joke. Joey of Eat Bulaga did not retaliate anymore.
During the Supreme To The Extreme Awarding on October 17, Joey and Willie hugged, shook hands, kissed, and said “I love you” to each other.
Jennylyn Mercado – Patrick Garcia
Jennylyn emphasized: “Akin lang po si AJ [her son] at dala niya ang surname na Mercado, hindi surname niya [Patrick’s].”
Patrick pointed out: “If ever we’re going to fight, and she’s going to leak it out to people, especially if the story is not true, kumbaga, she’s just pushing me away.”
Patrick Garcia and Jennylyn Mercado were both initially excited to start a family. In fact, as soon as news of Jennylyn’s pregnancy hit the newsstands, the couple attended a counseling session but upon the advice of Judge Selma Palacio-Alaras, they decided to forego their wedding.
In the April 2008 issue of YES! Magazine, Patrick Garcia spoke lengthily about his rocky relationship with Jennylyn Mercado, the mother of his child Alex Jazz or AJ. Caught in the crossfire was Patrick’s mother, Bing Garcia, who was surprised by Jen’s decision to turn down her offer for an education and insurance investments savings plan. Even Cheska, Patrick’s sister, got involved when she defended her family as people with breeding.
Status: Cool off
Gabby Concepcion – Rose Flaminiano
Rose exclaimed: “Sasampalin ko siya ng dokumento! Nandiyan ang mga tseke at breakdown sa expenses!”
Gabby declared: “Everything is under control.”
After 13 years of being away from the limelight, Gabby Concepcion returned to Philippine showbiz and became a controversy magnet once more. A concert deal at the Music Museum last August can be considered the root cause of Gabby’s protracted war with his manager Rose Flaminiano. The actor questioned his five-year contract and wanted to terminate her services as a manager, citing “breach of contractual commitments.”
Rose Flaminiano called Gabby Concepcion an ‘ingrate’ and also presented records proving that she was not secretly pocketing money out of Gabby’s talent fee. This September, she filed a P22-million Specific Performance and Damages with Application For Writ of Preliminary Injunction and Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order against Gabby and his then-lawayer Atty. Raymond Fortun. Then on October, she filed another case for “Estafa and Deceits” because of Gabby’s non-appearance in several out-of-town shows.
This word war has become a rich source of slang, most notably the term sulsoltant, which is a combination of the words sulsol (to agitate) and consultant.
Status: Still raging
Here’s to hoping that the ongoing word wars come to an amicable end, especially those that involve innocent bystanders. Will Jennylyn’s heart soften and allow her child AJ to meet his biological father? Will Gabby go back to the fold of his manager Mommy Rose?
These are just some of the questions awaiting answers–and until then, showbiz denizens will just have to wait and see.
Philippine Entertainment Portal