Alma: ‘I can only ask for prayers for Mark’



PLUS: Rufa Mae Quinto’s wedding and baby plans; and foreign beauty pageant contestant gone berserk in ‘Guess Who?’
Sadness was all over Alma Moreno’s face during Showbuzz’ exclusive interview with her one morning this week. Her eyes conveyed great worry, and understandably so, with her eldest son Mark Anthony Fernandez still languishing in an Angeles City, Pampanga jail as of this writing.

[Editor’s note: On Wednesday Fernandez had been transferred to Pampanga’s provincial jail].

As everyone knows, Mark was arrested and charged with possession of illegal drugs.

Alma had just finished the pictorial for her new show on GMA Network, Tsuperhero, when she sat down with Showbuzz.

“Buti maaga akong natapos [It’s a good thing I finished early],” she quipped, forcing a smile despite her emotional turmoil.

“I’m really trying hard to smile because I’m at work,” she acknowledged, sensing Showbuzz’ concern. “I have to do my job, follow my bosses tell me and what is stipulated in my contract,” she added in the vernacular.

‘Showbuzz’ comforts Alma Moreno after talking about her son in an exclusive interview for GMA Network and ‘The Manila Times’

‘Showbuzz’ comforts Alma Moreno after talking about her son in an exclusive interview for GMA Network and ‘The Manila Times’

Alma confided she only returned to Manila for the pictorial of Tsuperhero, where she plays mother to lead actor Derrick Monasterio, and across Gabby Concepcion. Otherwise, she would have still been in Angeles where she chooses to stay these days in case Mark needs her.

Amid her family’s latest trial, the actress shared how she is grateful to her co-stars who sympathize with her.

“They don’t say anything. They don’t ask me about Mark but you know they care. Nandu’n yung tatapikin ka sa balikat. Alam kasi nila na once pinag-usapan yun, hindi ko pa kaya. Bibigay ako talaga. [They’ll just pat me on the back because they know that once we talk about it, I’ll break down]. Alam nila [they know]that as a mother, I’m putting up a [brave]front–tapang-tapangan at pilit kinakaya.”

She shows the same attitude whenever she faces Mark. Alma makes sure she shows her son that she is confident everything will be alright. But she confessed there are times when she feels like giving up, crying out loud and just letting go of everything going on inside her—especially when Mark just looks at her without saying a word.

“Wala, naka-akap lang siya sa akin. Pag nagkikita kami, higpit lang, higpit. [He just hugs me when I come to see him; he hugs me tighter and tighter]. It’s so hard on my part but as much as I can, I don’t cry in front of him. He’ll just hold my hand—tight—that’s all he does.”

As a mother, Alma’s prayer is that Mark will be able to surpass this very difficult time. “I know how hard it is for him. When I see him in jail, parang dinudurog ang puso ko [it’s as if my heart’s been shattered to pieces]. At this point, I can only ask for prayers for Mark to be able to hurdle everything that he is going through right now.

“Kilala mo si Mark, Lhar, mabait ang anak ko, magalang. Walang inaagrabyadong tao, walang sinasaktan. You know it, Lhar, dito sa showbiz, maraming nagmamahal kay Mark. [You know my son Lhar he is good, he is respectful. He’s never abused nor harmed anyone. You know it, Lhar, in showbiz Mark is well loved],” Alma said, tears rolling down her cheeks.

There are days when visiting the inmates is not allowed but whenever possible, Alma comes to see Mark to bring him food and other necessities.

“We follow the rules—what day and time he’s allowed visitors, we follow that. We’ve never asked for any special treatment. Basta sabi ko kay Mark, magtiis lang siya at mag-pray. [I just tell Mark to bear it and to pray].”

Alma also expressed gratitude Rudy Fernandez’ [Mark’s dad] widow, Lorna Tolentino for supporting her son. “She is Mark’s second mother. She went to visit Mark with [his half-brothers]Rap and Renz. I know LT is greatly concerned about Mark and I really appreciate it.”

Many friends too in the biz have been calling Alma and texting her messages, but the actress hasn’t found the time to answer them. “I would like to take this opportunity to say sorry to those who’ve been calling me, to those texting me. Hindi ko po kayo masagot dahil hindi muna ako ang humahawak ng phone ko. Pero alam ko maraming nagmamahal sa anak ko at nagpapasalamat ako at sana po, tuloy-tuloy ang prayers ninyo para kay Mark. Na bigyan ng lakas ng loob ang anak ko. [I’ve decided not to take calls and texts for now but I know that so many of you love my son and I’m so thankful to everyone. I hope you will all continue to pray for strength for my son to get through this],” Alma finally said as she tried yet again to hold back tears.

* * *

When the issue on celebrities using illegal drugs became a hot topic, Dennis Trillo was one of the stars who volunteered to undergo drug testing. His results just came out last week and the actor tested negative for both shabu and marijuana. Getting tested, according to Dennis, is his way of showing support for the government’s drive against the use of illegal drugs.

Dennis Trillo

Dennis Trillo

For now, Dennis busy promoting his movie with Anne Curtis and Paolo Ballesteros, Viva’s Bakit Lahat ng Gwapo, May Boyfriend, where Dennis gets to do separate intimate scenes with both Anne and Paolo. “I can’t help but laugh whenever I’m asked to describe those scenes. I don’t even consider them intimate, but funny really, especially my scene with Paolo,” Dennis averred.

“This is not the first time I worked with Pao. We were together in Zaido, one of the series I did for GMA. But that was several years ago and it’s only now that we were given the chance to work again together. This time, I tell you, you’ll surely have a good time laughing because he is so good, and so funny. Even in our supposedly intimate scenes, he had ad libs that even I found so funny, I couldn’t control myself laughing during the shoot! Even our director and the crew were laughing,” he happily shared.

Now that Dennis’ movie is about to be shown, people say that his rumored girlfriend Jennylyn Mercado will surely help him promote it through social media. When Jen’s latest album came out, Dennis wasted no time in doing just that for her. Now that it’s the actor who has a project, it is certainly the Ultimate Star’s turn to return the support. “I’m happy that she’s always there to support me like I support her. It’s really like that when you consider a person very important.”

Does Dennis also support Jen’s decision not to get married yet? In a recent interview, Jen said she does not see herself settling down at this time, and is looking at six more years before she gets married.

Is Dennis willing to wait? “Wala namang problema sa paghihintay, di ba? [No problem in waiting right?]” the actor said with a smile.

* * *

Rufa Mae Quinto’s baby bump is very much noticeable these days. The comedienne is on her fifth month of pregnancy and says she’s getting more excited by the day for her first child’s birth.

Rufa Mae Quinto

Rufa Mae Quinto

“I can’t wait to see and hold our little princess. When we learned I was carrying a girl, I was so happy. We [the baby’s father, Trevor Magallanes]made a deal I’d be the one to give the name if we had a girl. So I’m calling her Alexandria with the nickname Alexa Mae… Teka, parang mas mahaba pa ang nickname sa totoong pangalan. [It seems like her nickname’s longer than her real name!]” she joked with that familiar Rufa Mae laugh.

It has not been an easy pregnancy for Pitchi (Rufa Mae’s nickname), especially in the beginning. She had to stay in bed during her first four months.

“I was very dizzy and couldn’t stand ‘cause I’d fall. I also had spotting, once on the second month and ano­ther on the fourth month. I was hardly touching any food. We just ordered from restaurants actually because I couldn’t even stand the smell of food being cooked. Kasi nga maarte eh,” she laughed again.

Rufa Mae is thankful that her fiancé Trevor has always been by her side, from the very start of her pregnancy. She proudly said he takes good care of her.

Now that she is already feeling well, Pitchi even goes swimming with the advice of her doctor. She also busies herself preparing for her wedding with Trevor’s help of course. “We do things together, and we decide on everything together,” she beamed.

Rumors that Pitchi and Trev have already tied the knot circulated when she posted a picture with him with their hands raised as if taking an oath. “We’re not married yet. That picture was taken at the city hall when we got our marriage license,” she explained.

The wedding, according to Rufa Mae will be on November 24 at Blue Leaf in Ortigas. She will wear a Filipiniana inspired wedding gown by Pepsi Herrera, while Trev will wear an Edwin Tan groom’s outfit.

Pitchi also revealed the members of her entourage, among them Ai-Ai delas Alas, Aiko Melendez, Jean Garcia, Shalani Romulo, Camille Villar, LJ Moreno, and her sisters and nieces.

“Joyce Jimenez, will even come home from the States to be part of the wedding,” she happily added. “On Trev’s side, they’ll all come the States—Fil-Am lahat! Yes, mga borta [hunks]din, mga macho like him,” she said happily.

* * *

GUESS WHO? These two young stars have been saying they can’t be in a relationship yet because they’re too young. But in reality, they’ve been together for almost a year already. But even before these two young lo­vers admit their real status, they have already called it quits. The reason: the girl found out that another young actress slightly older than the guy became his girlfriend for a month! Now that they’ve broken-up, the young girl is said to be playing sweet music with a young hunk from the same network.

Here’s another one: Is it true that one of the contestants of an international pageant recently held here was sent home? During one of the events at a tourist spot in Manila, the contestant started acting strange. At one point, she removed her clothes and just sat on the sidewalk staring blankly. She was led by the pageant’s staffers to the waiting bus and taken back to the hotel.

Upon reaching the hotel, the contestant got hold of a rock and started hitting the windshield of the bus until it broke. She was sent home the same day.

SHORTS…Benjie Paras is back with GMA Network as he joins the cast of a new series that will replace “Calle Siyete”airing before Eat Bulaga…

…It’s a happy Encantadia set that Showbuzz visited this week. Everyone is so inspired because of the high ratings the show is getting. They’ve been beating the competition…


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