Thumbs-up all around

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Tessa MAuricio-Arriola

Tessa MAuricio-Arriola

It was a pretty good “week  that was” in Philippine showbiz these last few days with positive stories aplenty, and all worthy of The T-Zone’s thumbs-up.

Have a looksee on professional attitudes, transformations, credibility, and innovations all taking place among the stars.

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Ryan-Agoncillo_Jan-20

Ryan Agoncillo’s ‘Picture! Picture!’ is all set for a second season

Tuesday saw a cozy sit-down with seasoned host Ryan
Agoncillo, whose two month old game show Picture! Picture! on GMA Network quickly caught on among Saturday  night viewers.


Moreover over it immediately progressed into highly efficient production that now “runs like clockwork” from week to week.

“We tape two shows every Tuesday afternoon and everyone—including our celebrity guests—gets home by dinner time,” Ryan proudly imparted, not long after he told The T Zone in November 2013 that the show, being a brand new concept, had a lot of challenges to hurdle.

An original production by GMA Network, Picture! Picture! engages its players and viewers in a game of trivia, with questions based on a series of photographs.

At the onset, Ryan—who happens to be an avid photographer and trivia buff—believed the concept would click, and true enough the program’s ratings have shot up week after week.

“Sana nga, hindi masyadong obvious na enjoy na enjoy ako sa programa,” Ryan laughed.

Inevitably, he had to react to questions on how he felt that Picture! Picture! has surpassed ABS-CBN’s rival game show Bet On Your Baby in the ratings game, when its host happens to be his superstar wife, Judy Ann Santos.

Now here comes the thumbs-up: According to Ryan, there has been no issue in the Agoncillo household over his and Juday’s game shows airing on the same day and on the very same timeslot.

“It’s simply a job for the both of us—it’s work,” Ryan simply—and professionally—commented.  He further told The T-Zone, that while the celebrated actress has always credited him for helping her develop hosting skills, they have complete respect for each other’s careers and capabilities.

“We never impose opinions on each other’s performance, be it in acting or hosting styles,” Ryan continued.  “While I’ve also said that I’ve learned so much from Juday terms of acting, we respect each other’s work, but the doors for suggestions, when the other asks for help, are always open.”

Another piece of good news, which Ryan shared, is that Picture! Picture! will definitely run for a second season (the program contract has been signed), and will even see some precious photos from his family life and personal portfolio included in the game.

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Mark-Anthony-Fernandez-(2)

Mark Anthony Fernandez is “in the zone”

Come Wednesday, The T-Zone caught up with showbiz scion Mark Anthony Fernandez, now 35 years old, and able to nurture his acting career sans controversies, which were permanent fixtures during his teen stardom.

The son of the late action star Rudy Fernandez and actress-turned-politician Alma Moreno, Mark has clearly put his troubled youth behind, embracing family life and the industry in which he was born, willingly and devotedly with both arms.

“I’m truly in the zone and very focused on my acting,” Mark told The T-Zone in what seemed like a brand new American accent.  (The actor explained that he had always held interviews in Filipino, which  is why hardly anyone knew he picked up a twang from five years in an international school.

He replies in English when asked in English, thus the revelation of an American-sounding Mark Anthony Fernandez).

“Having four kids changed my life,” he averred, “And I’m through with being the experimental Mark Anthony I was when I was much younger.”

The ever handsome actor opened up about his reformed self at the press launch of GMA Network’s upcoming edgy drama Rhodora X. The series, which premieres tomorrow on prime time, tackles the psychological condition Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) in the lives of two sisters portrayed by Jennylyn Mercado and Yasmien Kurdi.

Jennylyn plays the title role of a dual personality with DID as Rhodora and Roxanne, with former flame Mark Herras as her leading man. Mark is paired with Yasmien, and shares equal billing with Jennylyn and Mark.

“I’ve really come to love everything about the business,” Mark continued. “The actors, the directors, everyone on the set, which is why I take on one project at a time these days so
I can concentrate on the soap. But I’m also hoping to make a movie for the Metro Manila Film Festival by the end of the year.”

He vowed that his fans can expect to see more of him and his talent, now that he has settled down, and able to draw the line between his work and his personal life.

Transformed and promising as ever in the acting department, Mark deserves a thumbs-up and a pat on the back for getting back on track, all clean, healthy and clearly happy.

Catch him on January 27 in Rhodora X, which also stars Gardo Versoza, Glydel Mercado, Irma Adlawan, Lollie Mara, Frank Magalona, Vaness del Moral, with the special participation of Boots Anson-Roa, under the direction of Albert Lagnitan.

* * *

Kim-Atienza

The ever-credible
Kim Atienza

By Thursday morning, a very surprising endorsement launch took place in the City of the Stars (a.k.a. Quezon City), when the growingly popular hair-loss remedy brand Novuhair presented weather-cum-trivia man and TV host Kim Atienza (a.k.a. Kuya Kim) as its newest ambassador.

The announcement was surprising, especially since Kuya Kim has always had a full head of hair—long and wavy even, at the moment. His father too, former Manila City Mayor Lito Atienza, has famously sported a thick salt-and-pepper cut all through his years in public service.

“Pero lolo ko kalbo!” Kuya Kim exclaimed pointing out that the propensity to go bald can simply skip generations, gene-wise.

Nevertheless, he admitted that he was also confused over the endorsement offer, but was told that he was chosen not because they thought he had a bald head under his trademark safari hat, but precisely because he is Kuya Kim.

“They said they were making the offer because they wanted someone who can explain what Novuhair is all about to the public,” the Matanglawin host humbly explained, when he could have well trumpeted his credibility without provoking any objections.

Nonetheless, he insisted he try the product first, before signing on (as he does with all his endorsement offers), and by the end of three months, was ready and willing to go public with the product’s efficacy.

“Almost immediate ang result ng paggamit ng Novuhair,” Kuya Kim guaranteed.  “Siyempre, aside from using it, nagbasa at nag-research din ako sa mga ingredients niya, and among the 30 different all-natural herbs that make up the shampoo, conditioner and hair lotion, pinaka-dominant sa kanila ay yung moringa o mallungay, sabila o aloe vera, at ginger o luya.”

According to the walking Wikipedia, these ingredients stimulate the scalp and make it healthy, which is the first step to achieving hair regrowth.

“The main cause of hair loss is an unhealthy scalp,” Kuya Kim reiterated. “Ang causes niyan unang una ay ang hindi pag-ligo, at paggamit ng shampoo na hindi angkop sa tipo ng scalp at buhok natin.”

He pointed out that many shampoos and related hair products in the market were not intended for Asian hair and scalp, which is why many Filipinos often find themselves with dandruff or worse, falling hair.

“Ang Pilipino, maraming myth sa hair loss, tulad nalang na ang pagsuot ng sombrero ay nakakakalbo. Tulad din ng paniniwala nila na pag-kinalbo mo ang bata kakapal ang buhok niya.  Siyempre kakapal yon kasi habang tumatanda siya tumutubo at dumadami ang buhok niya!

“Pero ang bottom line lang talaga ng hair loss—at least for those without health conditions that do trigger falling hair—ay yung maling formulation ng shampoo, at ito ang na-discover ko na sinsu-solusyunan ng Novuhair, plus the stimulation of hair growth.”

Indeed, if anyone is to be trusted about caring for the mind and body in showbiz today, it’s Kuya Kim whose struggles and triumphs over a rare nerve disorder (Guillain Barre Syndrome), has been nothing but inspiring.  He continues to lead a healthy lifestyle and is even a competing triathlete.
Thumbs-up to you Kuya Kim!

(Novuhair products comprise of the Topical Scalp Lotion, Herbal Shampoo, and Conditioner Conditioner. The line is available in Mercury Drug Stores and all leading drug stores nationwide. For more information log on to www.novuhair.com).

* * *

Finally, on Thursday night, a brand new innovation in prime time unfolded on TV5, with the premiere of Obsession, a psycho-drama that doesn’t run nightly, but weekly on a weekly basis for a full hour.

According to the network’s vice president for entertainment Wilma Galvante during the show’s press launch, “Like we said, we at TV5 are trying out new kinds of programming to offer the viewing public something different. And so we bring to you, the ‘weekly-serye’.”

The idea might just work, especially for those who find the nightly soap operas frustratingly too short, especially with endless commercials in between. With Obsession, the audience will still be left with a cliff-hanger, but not without providing a full-packed episode.

Obsession

Martin Escudero, Neri Naic, Bianca King and Marvin Agustin star in TV5’s latest prime time innovation

“We’ve filmed this like a movie since we have the luxury of coming out once a week,” added Jay Altarejos, who is widely credited for his winning works for Cinemalaya, which have also gone on in international festivals.

Topbilled by Marvin Agustin, Martin Escudero, Neri Naig and GMA Network talent Bianca King (who is happy to be able to crossover to another station and further her acting experience), Obsession centers on the story of a woman who pushes the boundaries of love and sanity to win back the heart of her former lover.

Bianca plays the role of Vanessa, a new identity created by a famed cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Ramon Mendoza (Marvin), for the troubled Bernadette (Neri) after she breaks down from losing the love of her life.  When Bernadette becomes Vanessa, she transforms from an awkward, shy and insecure woman to a confident, sexy and beautiful lady, determined to avenge herself from her playful ex-boyfriend James (Martin Escudero). Complication ensues the doctor becomes obsessed with his experiment.

Obsession airs Thursday nights at 8 on TV5.

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