PLUS: Why Paolo Ballesteros identifies with gay role
GUESS WHO? The mom of a showbiz personality who has just transferred to a rival network still wonders why her son left the mother studio that gave him his big break.
“I really don’t know what happened, but he was telling me he doesn’t want to go back there—he’ll go to any network but the one where he came from. He didn’t give me any [specific reason], but what happened to him there must’ve been traumatic,” the worried mother told Showbuzz.
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Jean Garcia laughs heartily whenever she is asked about her rumored romance with Jomari Yllana. Talks that they are now a twosome started when she was seen holding hands with Jom at Radha’s concert at The Solaire on December 3.
Jean confirmed she was there because Jom invited her to watch the show but that her closeness with the actor should not be given another color because they have grown tighter since doing quite a number of projects for GMA Network. Their last was The Half Sisters which ran for two years.
But, yes, they were holding hands!
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Members of the press were treated to an entertaining show at the grand media conference for the movie Die Beautiful on Monday night. A group of gay performers from O Bar delighted everyone with their parody of the infamous 2015 Miss Universe blunder where the wrong winner was initially announced. They lip-synched the original audio to the delight of the jampacked venue.
The members of the cast were also called in one by one to centerstage in beauty pageant fashion, and given the chance to introduce themselves. Of course, the last one to be called was the lead of the movie, the very talented Paolo Ballesteros.
The press con also served as one of the many birthday celebrations for Paolo who celebrated his 34th birthday. A video of greetings for Pao from his co-workers, friends and family was shown, which brought him to tears.
“All these people know me so well. They know how hard I work and I’m just happy that as my co-workers, they appreciate it,” Paolo expressed.
Now that Die Beautiful is competing in the 2016 Metro Manila Film Festival, Paolo can’t be happier. It has always been his wish for the movie to be seen by more Filipinos after premiering in Tokyo, and to be an MMFF festival entry will pave the way for that.
“Many people are saying that Die Beautiful is a strong candidate for different awards. Some are even saying that it may become the top grosser. Of course, it’s good to hear those things but for me, what really matters is that many Filipino movie goers will have the chance to see the movie. I’m really proud of our film,” Paolo said.
Die Beautiful is really close to Paolo’s heart not only because it’s his first lead role. His character is something he considers close to home. “I really identify with my character because, like me in real life, my character has a daughter. May mga eksena nga kami na parang sa totoo kong buhay. Sabi ko nga, ako ba ito?”
Paolo doesn’t get tired talking about his real-life daughter Keira. He swears she is the love of his life and they are very close.
Keira is aware of Paolo’s many make-up transformations and she has no problem with her dad dressed that way. “Yung mga make-up ko, yung heels, pinaglalaruan ni Keira with her cousins. Parang toys nila. When she celebrated her birthday, Keira got a set of make-up as a gift. Sabi niya, magpapaturo akong mag-make-up kay Daddy.”
It seems Paolo is set to reach greater heights in his movie career. As early as now, he is already discussing new concepts and movie projects with his Die Beautiful director Jun Lana and producers Percy Intalan and Regal Entertainment’s Mother Lily Monteverde. Someone averred that Paolo’s suspension in Eat Bulaga became a blessing because it was while he was serving the suspension that he did his movies Bakit Lahat Ng Guapo May Boyfriend, which became a big box-office hit and the Tokyo International Film Festival success, Die Beautiful.
“I cannot say that the suspension was a blessing. It was more of a learning experience for me. Nagkataon lang na movie offers came during that time pero that was very sad din kasi alam mo yun, biglang nahinto ka sa nakasanayan mo nang gawin. But I learned a lot from that,” Paolo said.
For Paolo, Eat Bulaga is family. He has been with the show for 16 years and hopes to stay in the show for many more years. “Ang tingin na nga namin, we get paid for eating lunch together. Ang dali kasi ng trabaho and ang gagaling pa ng mga kasama ko. Yung Bulaga is one of the best things that happened in my showbiz career and I really love the show,” Paolo enthused.
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When it comes to long running shows, GMA’s Unang Hirit is unrivaled. It has been on air for 17 years. Morning shows from other networks have come and gone but Unang Hirit remains strong up to this very day, enjoying very high ratings.
One of the strengths of the show, besides its very good, well-researched contents, lies in its hosts. Every day, as part of the show, I personally witness and experience the fun of being with them too.
By the time the hosts start arriving as early as 4:30 a.m., the make-up room seems to light up. It’s the start of endless stories on the past days of experiences, whether funny or problematic.
Genuine friendships among the hosts have also been developed. There are even times when three hours in the studio is not enough for us, so that we will all head to a nearby coffee shop after the show to continue bonding. The closeness, the fun is translated on screen during the show.
As Unang Hirit celebrates its 17th year this month, some of the hosts will go live in different cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. On Monday, Arnold Clavio and Susan Enriquez went live in Davao. This coming Monday and the weeks that will follow, different sets of hosts will also visit and go live in other cities.
There is also one project that Unang Hirit is embarking on this Christmas in time for the anniversary. The show with the hosts will award a big livelihood project to a loyal Unang Hirit viewer, which is why all the hosts had to undergo lessons related that business.
Here’s wishing my Unang Hirit family a happy anniversary and more years to come!
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SHORTS… Congratulations to the cast and staff of Ika-6 Na Utos! It has been doing very well at the national ratings. Showbuzz believes it’s because of the exciting and intriguing story that is well-acted. Kudos to its lead stars Sunshine Dizon and Gabby Concepcion. Ditto with Ryza Cenon who gets the viewer’s ire because of her very convincing portrayal of her character as the ruthless husband-grabber. Ika-6 Na Utos airs weekday afternoons after Eat Bulaga.