VHONG NAVARRO has undeniably moved on since the ill-fated night of January 22, 2014 when upon visiting Denise Cornejo at her unit in Forbeswood in Taguig City, he was beaten up by Cedric Lee and his cohorts.
Living by the age-old showbiz dictum, “The show must go on,” Vhong resumed his daily hosting stint on It’s Showtime more than a month after the incident.
However, the TV host-comedian, whose ticket to fame was via the all-male dance group Streetboys, had yet to get his lethargic acting career back in full swing. Film projects were few and far between as having to work outside other than the ABS-CBN studios could pose a security threat pending the court decision on the case.
More than two years have passed, and Vhong just can’t wait any longer to be back on the wide screen. Work is now under way as the TV host-comedian gears up for a solo starrer, hopefully an entry to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival.
One thing’s for sure though, Vhong will do what he loves and does best, that is, make his audience burst into hearty laughter.
Vignettes had the rare chance to obtain a few salient details about the film project.
“The one producing it is virtually new in the business, but Vhong will reprise a character originally played by Chiquito. We already had a meeting with Chito Rono, Vhong’s manager, who expressed enthusiasm over accepting it for his artist. Ang magdidirek kasi ng movie, eh, si GB Sampedro na kalaro ni Vhong sa basketball. The producer couldn’t think of any other comedian to star in one of Papang’s film classics than Vhong if only for his perfect comedic timing and agility. Pero hanggang du’n na lang muna,” our source hinted.
With former Mayor Enrico Roque of Pandi, Bulacan funding the remake of a Chiquito iconic film, it is quite understandable that most, if not all scenes in the movie will be shot in the province. “Shooting starts right on the first day of August. The production team thought best to get the location somewhere near ABS-CBN kasi after It’s Showtime, diretso na si Vhong sa set.”
Meanwhile, Roque and his team have successfully acquired the rights to the Chiquito movie after sitting down with Bukol, the late comedian’s daughter. The film, according to our source, will show snippets of the original version interspersed with present-day scenes.
Still, the nagging question remains: which of Papang’s timeless screen characters will Vhong breathe life into?
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GUESS WHO? A former “minor sex goddess” (MSA) admits to still being into the “guest relations trade” (well, for lack of a better phrase), this time as the contact person of quite a good number of rich clients.
Presently, she “manages” two women—a young actress (YA) and a former dancer (FD).
As relayed by a Vignettes source, once MS—an alumna of a TV network’s artista search—was at a lobby of a three-star hotel in Quezon City. Turning to her female companion, she said: “Hindi mauubos ‘tong iced tea na iniinom ko, hintayin mo, may bababa na lang dito.”
Moments later, it was YA—whom she had booked earlier—coming out of the elevator. Unmade up and wearing a cap, YA could be mistaken for an ordinary hotel guest. “One hundred fifty (thousand pesos) ang TF (talent fee) niyan,” MSA disclosed.
Meanwhile, FD used to charge the same for her service. “Tumatawag nga siya uli sa akin, eh, nagpapahanap ng booking. Paano ko naman siya mapepresyuhan nang ganu’n pa rin, eh, laylay na ang katawan niya?”
Vignettes later found out that FD—supposedly married—manages to furtively sneak out of their home on the pretext of fulfilling showbiz commitments.