PLUS: Paolo Ballesteros now a certified millennial Regal baby
It was a very pleasant and surprising morning for Ai Ai Delas Alas when she woke up on Monday. It was her boyfriend Gerald Sibayan who cut her from slumber to break the good news—she won Best Actress in New York, referring to the Queens World Film Festival.
The first time she heard the word from Gerald, she thought he was just pulling her leg.
“Sabi kasi ni Gerald, ‘gusto mo ba ng good news?’ ‘Ano?’ sabi ko naman. ‘Nanalo kang Best Actress!’ Nung nakita ko na yung mga text, natulala ako. I still couldn’t believe. My body was shaking. I did not know what to do. All I knew then was that I’m so happy,” she related to Showbuzz.
Although Ai Ai knew that her movie Area was competing at the Queens World Film Festival, she had no plans of attending. She was, in fact, not hoping for anything especially that there were 156 international movies in competition.
“I learned that Robert Redford’s daughter, Amy Redford, was getting good reviews in her movie. Sabi ko, ah, si Amy Redford na ‘yan. Biglang ako pala!” she said, her voice still teeming with excitement.
There were only four nominees for Best Actress—Ai Ai, Amy and two German actresses.
“Kuwento sa akin ni direk Louie (Ignacio), when my name was announced as the winner, as he went up the stage to get the award, he immediately looked at the trophy to make sure it’s my name that is inscribed on the trophy. Ayaw daw niyang ma-Steve Harvey. Tawa ko nang tawa sa kuwento ni direk.”
There are many people that Ai Ai would like to thank and share her award with. On top of the list is direk Louie who, she swears, really guided her to get into the character of an aging prostitute. Ai Ai can’t forget how her director surprised her the first shooting day.
“The heaviest scene was shot on my first day. He just told me, O, get ready, we’re shooting your heavy scene. I was shocked! Seryoso ka, direk? Yung eksena talagang yun? I asked him hoping to hear from him that it was a joke. But his quick reply was a short ‘yes’ sabay tumalikod. Happily, we were able to finish the scene and he said he was satisfied.”
Ai Ai is dedicating her award to her producer Baby Go of BG Productions for the trust she gave her; and to her children and boyfriend Gerald. “I really laughed hard when my son Sancho came to me upon learning that I won. He asked if she could hug me because iba na raw ako. May international award na raw ako. I felt so good because I could feel in his voice that he is so proud, he is so happy for me,” she enthused.
With her first international acting award, Ai Ai is more inspired in making movies that will really challenge her. She happily told Showbuzz that she has a new project, again with Ignacio directing. “It’s for 2018 actually. I will play the character of a mother again in the film pero ibang klaseng mother. Mahirap ulit yung role and that’s what I like. I really love being challenged.”
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“I am now a Millennial Regal Baby,” exclaimed Paolo Ballesteros after he signed a two-picture contract with the film outfit.
With Paolo at the contract signing was his manager Joji Dingcong. For Regal, it was the mother and daughter team of Mother Lily and Roselle Monteverde.
“The contract is long overdue. We were supposed to sign him up last year but so many things came up. Bago pa magkalimutan, I told Roselle to work on the contract signing already,” Mother Lily recalled.
Film projects for Paolo are already lined-up.
“We are doing an action comedy where Paolo will star with Derek Ramsay. Halos buo na ang concept nun. There is also a suggestion that we give Paolo a superhero character and that looks very interesting. We will really consider that,” Roselle averred.
After the contract signing, Paolo was teased by some friends from the press that his talent fees will be for his house. Paolo smiled and nod. “It’s almost done,” he said referring to the house. “My agreement with the contractor is it will be finished by April but from the looks of it, I may have to wait until May or June. It’s actually fine with me. What I want is paglipat ko, yun talagang tapos na at nakaayos na.”
He acknowledges that 98-percent of what he spent to build his house came from Eat Bulaga. “I have been with Bulaga for 15 years kaya yung house ko, katas ng Eat Bulaga and I’m so proud of that.”
Speaking of Eat Bulaga, Paolo told Showbuzz that they have finished the taping of the three dramas to be shown on Holy Week. Paolo stars in the episode with Ai Ai Delas Alas, Allan K and Sinon Loresca a. k. a. Rogelia.
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Ara Mina is back in the restaurant business. She opened her coffee and pastry shop Hazelberry, at a food park on Mindanao Avenue, Quezon City with her showbiz friends in attendance.
Ara operated a restaurant also in Quezon City nine years ago. This time, she’s the one baking all the pastries in the coffee shop.
“Everybody knows that I bake at ito nga, lahat ng nakikita n’yo dito na cupcakes and other pastries, ako mismo ang gumawa. We also serve very good coffee here, real Italian coffee. All the other food like kare-kare and chicken are cooked using my own recipe,” the sexy actress beamed with pride.
Among those who attended the opening were husband-and-wife Gladys Reyes and Christopher Roxas, Jestoni Alarcon, Sunshine Cruz, who was with her boyfriend, and Ara’s half brother, Macky Mathay. Also present was Ara’s former boyfriend, Bulacan, Bulacan mayor Patrick Meneses.
Ara shuttles between her coffee shop and her taping for GMA afternoon series Pinulot Ka Lang Sa Lupa.
There are times when Ara brings some of her pastries at the taping. “I want them to try our goodies. Saka masarap din sa feeling na makita how my co-stars like Jean Garcia enjoy the pastries that I bake,” she shared.
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SHORTS … How true that an actor spends his free time at the condo unit of a model-actor wannabe? There are times when the actor goes straight to the unit of the model from his showbiz commitments, a source told Showbuzz.
The actor spends the whole day with the model inside the latter’s bedroom to the dismay of his PA (personal assistant) who has to wait for him in the car with the driver.
…After signing another contract with GMA, Michael V expressed his happiness for the shows that he is doing like Bubble Gang and Pepito Manaloto.
…Mike Tan also renewed his contact with the Kapuso Network, acknowledging the many good things that GMA has done in his life and his career. “This network made me grow as a person and as an actor. I’m happy with the projects they give me like my ongoing series Ika-Anim Na Utos where I have a very good role. I’m so grateful to GMA. I want to grow old as a Kapuso.”