• Once bullied, now the bully?



    ON BEHALF of a fellow writer, a group of graduating mass communication students from the University of Caloocan City sought the help of this columnist regarding a complaint against a certain Vince Jeremias of Star Image, which handles the career of Xander Ford.

    For their final project in a major radio-TV subject, the members of the group thought of inviting the showbiz upstart as a resource person in an aptly themed symposium “How has social media changed your life?”, supposedly held on October 10.

    Himself a victim of shaming when he was still Marlou Arizala, wasn’t the topic right up his alley, after all? Consequently with a staunch advocacy on anti-cyber bullying, wasn’t Xander just the students’ perfect choice?

    With hardly any showbiz connections, the students were initially quoted a whopping P60,000 by Star Image for Xander’s speaking engagement. They found it too exorbitant that they haggled for a much lower price until it was reduced to P20,000.

    All along the transaction was made between the two parties through text messaging. But the students wailed, “Mga estudyante lang naman kami, how could we afford to pay that much? Baon nga namin araw-araw, pinuproblema namin. Pero ginawan namin ‘yun ng paraan.”

    It took several days for the group to raise just half of the amount, which they—as per Vince’s instructions—deposited to a bank. “Kaso, nung nagtanung-tanong kami sa mga nakilala namin sa showbiz, sabi nila, puwedeng maliit na honorarium lang ang ibigay namin,” one in the group ruefully said.

    Xander Ford a.k.a Marlou Arizala

    Unable to raise the balance, the group decided to call off their project instead it wanted their money back.

    “Personal kaming nagsadya sa Star Image office on October 10 for the refund, but the secretary yelled at us and even drove us away. Forfeited na raw ‘yung ibinayad naming P10,000. Kasi raw, they (Star Image) had to turn down another commitment in favor of ours,” a member of the group related.

    While it’s true that the initial payment could be subject to forfeiture, what’s a measly P10,000 for a speaking engagement that never materialized?

    Vignettes tried to get the side of Star Image. In a series of text messages sent by a staffer named David Cabauatan, the management office gave back the money to the students. Albeit in cheque, it came with a waiver that the students should refrain from resorting to their media connections to discredit Star Image or any of its artists.

    Yes, that was after the students had sent feelers they would bring the matter to the attention of Raffy Tulfo and Nina Taduran’s “Wanted sa Radyo.”


    GUESS WHO? This famous female personality (FFP) has become a favorite subject among young, pretty and smart FAs (flight attendants) of a reputable airline company.

    Here’s why. “Ever heard of a culinary school up in the air? Well, the FFP acts as if she owns one every time she travels first-class. Each time an FA stops at her to serve meals on aboard, she never lets the latter just walk past her. Ang standard opening line niya, ‘What’s this you had prepared for us?’” our source tells us.

    As soon as she obtains the answer, the FFP then examines the food under close scrutiny before tasting it, “Would you know the ingredients of this dish?” Naturally at a loss for words, the FA would point to the chef.

    The FFP instead provides the answer to her own query. “But you know, this meal would have come out more delectable had the chef added a little more of this, a little more of that, blah, blah.”

    The FAs have since hatched a brilliant idea the next time the FFP embarks on the plane, “Usher her straight to the kitchen!”

    In fairness, the FFP is an impeccable cook as Vignettes had sampled her own version of beef mechado at her rented condo unit many years ago. She has “K” (read: karapatan) in cooking!


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