The week that was in showbizlandia saw female celebrities—from the young and promising to the established and legendary—in the spotlight enduring criticism, painful losses, and a new beginning.
A mother’s greatest loss
On Monday, Amalia Fuentes made the headlines once again when she walked out of her late daughter Liezl Martinez’ cremation at Arlington Memorial Crematorium in Araneta Avenue, Quezon City.
Known as one of showbiz’ feistiest women, the beleaguered mother explained to the media just outside the venue that she walked out of the ceremony unfinished because she and her estranged husband Romeo Vasquez (also a former actor who flew in from the US to be with Liezl in her final days) were not acknowledged by the host, as if they were mere guests and not her parents.
But more than that, what really pained the retired actress was the loss of her irreplaceable daughter. She cried, “Liezl is irreplaceable in my life. She is my only child. Everyone else there now can replace her. Albert can get married again. I’m not saying no, but he can replace Liezl as a wife. The children, when they eventually get married, they will find a mother-in-law as a replacement for Liezl. Ako, I can never replace my daughter. I’m the only one among all of them who has the biggest loss, the greatest loss.”
According to reports, Amalia had come from the hospital to attend the cremation, and was again confined for monitoring right after her statement.
A ‘turbulent phase’
Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla was eight weeks pregnant this week when she had a miscarriage. Having christened her unborn child Cutie Pie in her recent Instagram posts, Monday saw a photo upload where she was holding hands with husband Robin Padilla, captioned: “Having a sad day doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Sh*t really does happen but today I felt so much love from my family and concerned friends. I am grateful because I am not alone during this turbulent phase in my life. I have my sister, my stepdaughters, my friends, and my husband. One day the sun rise will again. #byecutiepie.”
A video of the actress and host weeping after being told by her doctor that the “fetus had no heartbeat” is also circulating online.
Robin confirmed the news on Wednesday during a press conference for his endorsement with Smart. He said that his wife was having a hard time “moving on,” and even decided not to have a D&C (the procedure of having the fetus removed from the uterus), and wait for the time the eight week old baby comes out of her naturally.
“Hindi magaan sa kanya. Huwag naman mangyari ulit pero kumbaga, unang shock. Ang tagal naming pinlano nito. Kung kailan namin pinlano, saka hindi nangyari. Nakahanda na siya, handa na din ako. Handa na ang mga bata,” Robin added.
The joke was on her
Aware of the many criticisms that plagued her Bb. Pilipinas 2015 hosting stint on March 15, Toni Gonzaga issued a public apology for those she had offended in the manner which she carried herself in the pageant.
“Siyempre po doon po muna sa hindi natuwa and hindi naibigan ang napanood nila nong Sunday, I am humbly asking for an apology kung I have offended or I have hurt anyone of you. But it was never my intention because prior to the show I was instructed po to make the show fun [and]light, and ease the tension especially in the Q&A portion,” Toni explained at the press conference of her upcoming film You’re My Boss. Held at the ABS-CBN compound on Tuesday, she had her co-star Coco Martin at her side.
The actress-host also reiterated that the occasion would be the first and last time she would speak about the controversy. She explained, “We have all moved on from it, tapos na po ‘yung coronation night. We have already declared the winner. There is no point of looking back and talking about it over and over again.”
Many were turned off at how Toni comically hosted the country’s biggest and most prestigious beauty pageant. Others even went as far as saying she had cost candidate Hannah Ruth Sison a win after Toni made commented about her “chandelier” earrings during the Q&A.
Among the personalities who spoke out against the host, actress and singer for her performance at the Bb. Pilipinas were former title holder Nina Ricci Alagao and filmmaker Jose Javier Reyes.
The new face of Dorina
From Sharon Cuneta to Sarah Geronimo, this year produces a fresh face to play the memorable role of Dorina Pineda in the classic film Bituing Walang Ningning.
She is Monica Cuenco, a Cebuana beauty and talent, who won the auditions organized by Resorts World Manila (RWM) and Full House Theater Company (FHTC), in cooperation with Viva Communications Inc. (Viva). The three institutions are set to helm a musical adaptation of Bituing Walang Ningning into a musical targeted to open in June.
On Wednesday, Cuenco was introduced to members of the media via a grand welcome at the Newport Performing Arts Theater of RWM. Joining her were her co-performers Cris Villonco as villain Lavinia Arguelles, and Mark Bautista as Nico Escobar, the love interest of Dorina.
Grateful and happy, Monica said, “All I can promise is that I will do my best for everyone to come out of the theater satisfied each time.”
In an exclusive interview with The Manila Times, Viva’s boss Vic del Rosario said that he saw something in Monica that made him trust in her talent. And just like how he had given the breakthrough role of Dorina to Sharon, Boss Vic is confident that Monica will also shine to be a star.