Julie Ann celebrates most memorable Valentine’s with Benjamin

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LHAR SANTIAGO

PLUS: The Pacman to return to TV hosting
There was a time when Julie Ann San Jose considered Valentine’s Day as just another ordinary day. She, of course, knew that it’s a day for lovers, but having no romantic involvement, the singer-actress would just choose to stay home if she wasn’t working.

This past Valentine’s Day, however, was different. It was very memorable for the young lady because for the first time, she celebrated the day of the hearts with someone she considers special—fellow GMA Network talent Benjamin Alves.

While they both deny they are officially together, they have chosen to label what they have as “exclusively dating.” And for their Valentine’s together, Ben planned a simple but special celebration.

“Tamang-tama nga, we were both asked to guest in Unang Hirit to promote our afternoon soap Pinulot Ka Lang Sa Lupa so we were together early on Valentine’s Day. “After the guesting, we had breakfast and there I gave her flowers,” Ben revealed.


Julie Ann San Jose and Benjamin Alves

The breakfast date, however, was just the beginning of Julie Ann and Ben’s daylong togetherness as Ben even drove Julie Ann to her Valentine’s party with her fans. After dropping her off, Julie Ann was already enjoying the videoke session when suddenly, Ben surprised her again and joined in the fun.

Showbuzz noticed her eyes light up that very moment, and Julie Ann later said, “I didn’t know he was coming. Sabi niya he’d just drop me then he would attend to some errands. Yun pala, you were lying. Ang daya mo!” she turned to him and gave him a playful tap on his shoulder.

“Buti nga Julie’s handler invited me. At least, magkasama pa rin kami,” Ben told Showbuzz and then looked at the singer-actress to say, “I really wanted to surprise you.”

After the party, since the day was still young, Ben and Julie decided to spend the rest of the day together and went on a dinner date. Ben told Showbuzz he had another gift to his special lady but wouldn’t way what it was.

“We decided not to stay late at dinner because of taping the following day. At least kami pa rin ang magkasama sa taping,” he said.

As for the girl who was showered with so much attention on Valentine’s Day, she couldn’t be happier. “My parents allowed me to spend the whole day with him. That’s how much they trust him. This Valentine’s is really memorable for me and I would like to thank Ben for making it so special.”

Pressed to say what the score is between them, Ben honestly said, “Wala pa kaming aaminin. We are open about everything between us. We do not deny that whatever we have for each other is something special, but that’s only as far as it goes right now. Officially, there’s really nothing yet. What we can promise is we will not keep the public, especially our supporters, guessing. Aamin kami pag nandiyan na.”

* * *

While still on the subject of Valentine’s Day, Barbie Forteza also had a grand time receiving gifts as early as Monday night. Just a week ago, she was complaining she has never received a Valentine’s gift in her 19 years in this world. Fast forward to the eve of Valentine’s Day, Barbie was quietly reading a book in one corner at the taping of Meant To Be when her four leading men, Ken Chan, Jak Roberto, Ivan Dorschner and Addy Raj approached her.

It was Jak who first handed his gift to Barbie giving her two books from her favorite author. Barbie, of course, was so surprised, and was still scanning the copies when Ken gave her a pink stuffed toy with a star on it’s belly. He knows Barbie is very fond of anything with stars on them.

“Umm, amoy truck ng art dept,” Barbie jokingly said, implying that Ken got the stuffed toy from the props, to which he quickly replied, “Hindi ah. I brought it. I just left it in my car para hindi mo agad makita.”

Ivan then handed Barbie a brown paper bag with three bottles of milk inside. “Wow, gatas! Team Gatas talaga tayo Ivan. Bakit tatlo?” she asked.

“Kasi one bottle is Ken, the second one is Jak and third is Jai. The fourth gatas is me—here,” he said as he held his hand on his heart.

Addy, of course, will not allow the three guys to eclipse him and handed Barbie his gift, a box of organic coffee. “This is for you. Happy Valentine’s,” he told Barbie.

“Kape!” Mangosteen coffee,” exclaimed Barbie. “In fairness, healthy kasi organic. I know mangosteen coffee contains anti-oxidant properties. Timplahin na ‘yan so that we can try it.”

Happiness was written all over Barbie’s face as she received all her Valentine’s gifts. “I really didn’t expect any of this. I have been used to not receiving anything on Valentine’s. Zero naman kasi lagi ang love life ko. This is the first time that I received gifts on a day like this so I really appreciate them. In fairness to the four guys, they showed they really know me well. They gave me gifts that they know I’d like.”

* * *

After 16 years, the Canadian boy group The Moffatts is back in the Philippines. Scott Moffatt together with his triplet siblings Clint, Bob and Dave took Manila by storm when they first performed here in the 1990s. They were still in their teens then.

The Moffafts

They disbanded in 2001 and each one decided to focus on their individual passions. Scott started a career as singer and music producer in Montreal, Canada. Identical twins Clint and Bob stayed in the US and formed a duo called Endless Summer. Their fraternal triplet Dave decided to forget performing and became a yoga instructor in Toronto.

Now Scott, Clint and Bob are back in Manila for their reunion-cum-farewell concert. The three brothers said there’s no better place for them to say goodbye than the Philippines.

“This is where we first played in a huge crowd. This country embraced our music more than any other country. The people of the Philippines have actually stayed loyal to us the whole time,” said Clint.

Even though their brother Dave is not performing with them, The Moffatts promise to give a performance that their Filipino fans will enjoy. They will be singing all their hits plus the new songs at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on February 18.

* * *

“A Russian with a Pinoy heart.” That’s how people describe Russian artist, writer, model and actress Natalya Bronzova. She came to the Philippines more than five years ago and she immediately fell in love with the country. Because of her fondness for the Philippines, she has written a book about these islands, and penned another one on former First Lady and now Congresswoman Imelda Marcos.

Russian artist Natalya Bronzova

More significantly, Natalya’s love for the Philippines compelled her to leave a flourishing acting career in Canada where she and her husband were based.

“I now consider the Philippines my home,” she said.

Natalya just exhibited her artworks at the Cultural Center of the Philippines with no less than Russian ambassador to the Philippines Igor Khovaev in attendance. She received a lot of praise and positive feedback for her paintings.

“I am an artist at heart,” said Natalya during a conversation with Showbuzz. “One thing that I really want to do is to help strengthen the cultural ties between the Philippines and Russia. With the help of the Philippine Senate President’s wife and my good friend Jewel Lobaton-Pimentel and other friends, I know it’s really possible,” declared Natalya.

* * *

SHORTS… Mikael Daez finally admitted that he and Megan Young are together ending years of speculations from people about the real status of their relationship. They have been together for six years now. The relationship started in September, 2010

… Senator Manny Pacquiao confirmed to Showbuzz that he is indeed back to TV hosting. He is slated to start his show on GMA in March, yes, even before his fight in April in UAE.

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