• Septuagenarian actress promotes the rondalla



    PLUS: ‘Hopers against hope’ for showbiz talk shows’ return
    A memorable ‘80s throwback for movie buffs will surely be a scene from Peque Gallaga’s classic Oro, Plata, Mata, where four aristocratic ladies are busy mahjong. One of these women will later appear as the “astig,” palu-palo-toting Maxima Labandera in a popular detergent bar commercial.

    Do you remember her now? Lorli Villanueva, a reputable stage and film character actress who is now 71 years old.

    Before recently flying back to New York where she’s currently based, the battery-powered wheelchair-bound Tita Lorli (she confessed to suffering a vertebral problem) made her last stop at Cristy Ferminute on Radyo Singko for two reasons: To promote a two-in-one book she penned herself, and to make us listen to a couple of songs she recorded.

    Besides paying her nonagenarian mom a visit in her native Iloilo, Tita Lorli—whom we hadn’t seen for (brace yourselves) a quarter of a century—was on a brief respite from her creative work in search of a publisher for her back-to-back book about the former dictator President Ferdinand Marcos, and her own paranormal experiences.

    Sprightly and “baklang-bakla” as ever, Tita Lorli even gamely sampled a few cuts from her CD, which includes her disarming version of “La Vien En Rose” (with Filipino lyrics courtesy of Pete Lacaba), “Both Sides Now” (a ’60s ditty revived by Sharon Cuneta much later), “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “Ili-Ili” (an Ilonggo lullaby), among others. FYI, the lady was a 16-time Tawag Ng Tanghalan winner until she lost to Diomedes Maturan.

    So, what has kept the actress par excellence preoccupied with while away from the local limelight? “I direct musicals in New York, proceeds of which have been used to buy wheelchairs for my [disabled]province mates here. But my biggest goal as far as my artistic pursuits are concerned is to bring back the glory days of the rondallas that’s why I have the rondallistas’ accompaniment in most cuts in my album.”

    As she carefully manoeuvred her wheelchair out of the radio studio, Tita Lorli promised she’d return on an earlier date next year. “I’ll be back in February for my mom’s birthday.”

    * * *

    GUESS WHO? Got wind that a pool of creative minds over at GMA hasn’t given up on reviving showbiz-oriented talk shows.

    In hindsight, 2015 didn’t augur well for this genre (TV5’s Showbiz Police was the first to go, followed by The Buzz in April, and finally Startalk in September) pointing to the dominance of social media as the culprit.

    All this time, however, the Kapuso writers have been pinning their (false?) hopes that one day, top management would flash a go-signal to their talkshow resurrected. They maintain that not all showbiz stuff—exclusive one-on-one interviews, for example—find their way into cyber space.

    But tough luck for the “hopers against hope,” the station’s big cheeses don’t seem to be hot on the idea.

    * * *

    Here’s another one: Having read en toto the version (which was reported on social media) of an aggrieved actor (AA) based on a recent incident in a film shoot, Vignettes couldn’t help but take particular note of a line (enclosed in parenthesis) implying his actor-nemesis’ (AN) need-we-say-what.

    After the controversial take, the awe-struck AA sort of validated what seemed like a piece of news, which had been floating around showbiz circles.

    Vignettes has this itsy-bitsy item to share about AN’s “instant tryst” with a singer-actress (SA), not his girlfriend that time.

    After their guesting in a Sunday TV show, AN asked SA if he could take her out if she had no other plans that afternoon. Little did the AN know that SA had a crush on him (she goes for well-built, rough-behaving, rogue-like blokes).

    SA readily agreed. Both hied off to some private place, and God knew what took-place next. Cut.

    A “dream-come-true” for the SA, she told her close friends about her one-night affair with AN. Asked how the AN fared in bed. With nary an answer, SA simply smirked. “I thought…,” then she paused in mid-sentence.



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