It was the perfect site and set-up for a debutante’s ball, with a beautiful young lady dressed in a dreamy pink gown and her handsome escort in a sleek black tux. It wasn’t a real party—just another regular taping night for GMA Network prime time series “Kambal Karibal”—until it was.
Confused? Let Showbuzz explain. The girl in the gown on the set was Bianca Umali who was taping her scenes with Miguel Tan Felix. In real life, Bianca was about to turn 18 at the stroke of midnight, so that when she was whisked away for a retouch on her makeup, the cast and crew hurriedly brought in a cake and flowers, dimmed the lights and threw her a surprise debut party when she returned!
Speechless and emotional, the pretty actress obediently followed the voice over that announced her arrival and asked her to walk all the way to the end of the ballroom. Waiting there were the male members of the cast and production who comprised her 18 Roses for the night. Among those who danced with the debutante were Jerrick Gonzales, Kevin Sagra, Brent Valdez and Director Don Michael Perez.
Crying tears of joy, the birthday celebrant told Showbuzz, “I never thought they would go to this extent. I was expecting that it would be the usual little birthday surprise on set where they bring you a cake and sing ‘Happy Birthday’ at midnight, and that’s it. But this is… wow!” she exclaimed, at a loss for words
“I’ve never been the type of person to celebrate my birthday with big parties. I’m just happy to stay home and be with the people I love, so this is really something. They saw to it that I celebrate na may paandar.”
By the way, the last gentleman to dance with Bianca was Miguel of course. And unlike the others who each gave her a traditional long-stemmed rose, Miguel approached her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers that made Bianca cry even more.
They hugged tightly and kept whispering things to each another as they danced, Bianca resting her head on Miguel’s shoulder.
See for yourself that they looked so good together Showbuzz shares exclusive photos of that special kilig moment!
“Miguel and I have really come a long way together, and our relationship is so much deeper. He is the closest man to my heart and it’s to him I can confide my heart’s desires. He understands me, he cares for me and I really appreciate him,” Bianca said of her perennial screen partner.
Of their relationship, Miguel also said, “Malalim na talaga,” but neither of them has given it a label.
“We’re just very happy being together. We’re keeping what we have between us. For now, let’s just leave it at that.”
Meanwhile, Bianca’s management team is busy organizing the actress’ grand debut party on March 17.
“Like I said, it’s not my style to have big parties but they insisted since it’s a big year,” she smiled, clearly feeling loved.
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It was December 21 last year when Aicelle Santos received an email from Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. that they chose her to be the new Gigi for the ongoing “Miss Saigon” UK tour. Prudent, she thought best to keep the news to herself, seeing it was still only an email.
She only told her family about it, as well as her GMA News reporter boyfriend Mark Zambrano, and quietly worked on her employment requirements since then.
“Nakakahiya kasi kung ipapamalita ko na tapos biglang hindi ako natuloy. People might say I’m so assuming or ilusyunada,” Aicelle laughingly recalled to Showbuzz.
Thursday a week ago, she finally signed a contract Saigon’s producers, which stipulates she will be on tour for almost a year.
It can be recalled that Aicelle was one of the celebrities who auditioned for the musicale when Cameron Mackintosh came to Manila where they had found the original Miss Saigon in Lea Salonga.
Aicelle’s manager Carlo Orosa heard they were specifically looking for bar girl Gigi so the “Rak of Aegis” star went for it and sang “Movie in My Mind.”
“I wasn’t expecting anything even if I knew I did my best but here I am now, preparing to leave for London in the third week of March,” she exclaimed.
Training and rehearsals will be waiting for Aicelle in the West End but she will make sure to go see her friend Rachel Ann Go who is currently doing “Hamilton.”
But before she leaves, Aicelle will stage the final run of the Filipino musical, Himala, this weekend, where she plays the lead role of Elsa.
“After that I will concentrate on Saigon and promise to make the Filipino proud,” she ended.
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SHORTS… Newly crowned Miss Multi-National Sophia Senoron is back in the country. As the title’s first ever winner, she said it was no easy feat what with the pageant somewhat in a reality format. They only knew what they had to do on the very day of the various competitions. Sophia was best at delivering a five-minute speech on her chosen topic on LGBTs. Congratulations and is showbiz up next?