Before his untimely demise, Paul Walker had reportedly been trying to raise funds for victims of typhoon “Yolanda” through his organization Reach Out Worldwide. The actor has always expressed his love for the Philippines, and now we get a chance to honor this kind soul as his last completed film, “Brick Mansions” opens in local cinemas on May 7, released by Viva International Pictures.
In the movie, Walker plays Damien Collier, an undercover cop who is sent to infiltrate Brick Mansions, a place where dangerous criminals reside, ruled by the drug lord Tremaine (played by actor/rapper RZA). Collier finds an ally in Lino (David Belle), a fearless ex-convict out to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend. Together, they learn of Tremaine’s plan to destroy the whole city, and to keep it from happening, they must set their differences aside.
From the producers of “The Transporter” and “Taken,” expect explosive action from this remake of the French film “District 13.”
Highlighted in the film is the stunt called parkour, described as “the art of moving through an environment as swiftly and efficiently as possible.” Belle is one of the co-founders of the discipline.
According to director Camille Delamarre (editor of “Taken” 2 and 3), Belle showed him many parkour videos. He says, “It is very impressive, a true spectacle done without special effects or wires, performed by non-professionals who are unafraid to jump from one roof to another. It was clear that on top of it being astonishing visually and physically, parkour is a really authentic discipline and that’s what we tried to honor and show in this film.”
Walker was enthusiastic in learning parkour and became proficient in doing front flips and standing back flips. In an interview, the late actor proudly declared, “I ultimately learned how to do a dive roll from eight feet.”
Walker called “Brick Mansions” a great collaboration with Belle, stating that they tried their best to make the film “more visually dynamic and funny.” The film is also filled with car chases, gunfights, and plot twists, that Walker’s fans will surely love.
Belle has nothing but good words for Walker. “In other movies, I felt more confined. But Paul helped me to relax, to let go, it was a much nicer atmosphere,” he said.
Thank goodness for movies, Walker is forever immortalized.
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Sarah G. renews contract with Cebuana Lhuillier
Sarah Geronimo, the country’s popstar princess, has renewed her partnership with Cebuana Lhuillier as its brand ambassadress. This strengthens the six-year relationship between her and the country’s premier micro-financial company trusted by Filipinos here and abroad, which provides quality products and services through its nearly 2,000 branches nationwide.
Geronimo and her mother were actual clients of the company years before the popstar princess made it big in the entertainment industry.
“I am glad that Sarah continues to be part of Cebuana Lhuillier. She has been instrumental to the company’s success through the years. We believe Sarah’s partly the reason why people trust us more, as the public has also placed their trust on her,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, Cebuana Lhuillier president and CEO.
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The Fab Four unveiled
The breakout stars of 2014 are here: Nadine Lustre, James Reid, Yassi Pressman and Andre Paras.
The Viva Artists Agency talents are the leads of the P130-million blockbuster teen rom-com “Diary ng Panget.”
The movie was a big hit even before it opened in theaters, with its teaser and full trailers generating over 3.5 million views a mere two weeks after being posted online. The music video for the movie’s love theme, “No Erase,” a duet between James and Nadine, received over one million hits in just a week. Also, the movie – and James himself – were among the top trending topics on social media for several days before and after its first day screening.
Instantly, the four became certified movie stars, but they’re not just coasting on their good looks alone. They are the real deal – multi-talented artists who have what it takes to last in the industry.
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WOW BEAUTY AND WONDER BOY. Binibining Pilipinas Universe 2014 winner as well as PLDT HOME DSL Brand Ambassadress MJ Lastimosa and Facebook sensation Diego S. Ledesma of ‘Ask Diego’ online column will liven up the PLDT HOME DSL Great Payday Sale beginning today until May 4 at The Block, SM City North EDSA and in over 400 PLDT HOME booths nationwide. The two will drop by in areas like Novaliches, Pasig, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Bacolod, Cebu, Panay and General Santos. All approved applications will be guaranteed connection within 48 hours. It includes free installation across all plans, free WiFi modem and free movies from Clickplay. For details on how to apply and other participating barangays, visit www.pldthome.com.
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Tidbits: Happy b-day greetings today, May 2, go to multi-awarded actor Eddie Garcia, Cong. Raul Daza, top PR lady Annie Ringor, Aimee Marcos, Louie Cruz, Jessica Adevoso, Claudia Boehr, Fely P. Borje, Dr. Emma Flores, Annabelle Cordon, Gio Colet Orbos, Johannavi T. Cadungog, Harold Ligon Tabora, jazz icon Boy Katindig, journalist Marites Dañguilan Vitug and PCSO GM Atty. Jose Ferdinand M. Rojas II… Happy wedding anniversary to Ramon and Nelda Samson… Our condolence to the family of former Sampaguita actor Ramil Rodriguez who succumbed to lung cancer on April 29. So sad, because the Balik Samahan group led by Pempe Rodrigo was supposed to spearhead a merienda cena for him yesterday at the house of Lettie Ligon…
Head-turners both, Andre Paras and Yassi Pressman are set to capture the hearts of young moviegoers in Viva Films’ much-awaited movie adaptation of “Diary Ng Panget.”
Towering at 6’4” and a half, Andre is the son of cager Benjie Paras. Just like his dad, he is a proud Isko taking up film. He is also playing for the UP Fighting Maroons. Last year, Andre clinched a contract with Viva and, in less than a year, he gets his first big break – as 18-year-old hopeless romantic Chad in “Diary Ng Panget.”
Chad is one of the more popular guys in fictional Willford Academy. What sets him apart from the “in crowd” is his genuine kindness, particularly towards Eya, the story’s main protagonist played by Nadine Lustre. Chad does not judge Eya by her looks or by her social status, and actually becomes her best friend. But while the self-proclaimed “panget” develops a crush on him, Chad is unaware of this and even tells Eya about his feelings for another girl.
Chad’s apple of the eye is Lory or Lorraine (played by Yassi Pressman). Also a student in Willford Academy, Lory develops a friendship with Eya after she rescues her from bullies. Her heart beats not for Chad, but for Cross (James Reid), student council president and star athlete who also happens to be Eya’s boss.
Yassi related that she and her co-stars underwent acting workshops with veteran actor Pen Medina. They know that the book has a multitude of followers who will most likely be very critical of their acting. But Yassi said, “Viva won’t let us jump into anything unprepared.”
With the promotion for “Diary Ng Panget” in full swing, Andre and Yassi share their excitement in meeting the book’s fans especially via mall shows. Just recently, the cast met the fans with resounding cheers at Market Market, Cebu, Harbor Point in Subic, SM Bacoor and SM Fairview.
The whole cast will be seen next at TriNoma on April 4 and SM Sta. Rosa on April 5.
Directed by Andoy Ranay, as adapted from the book written by 19-year-old Pinay Denny, who is now based in Italy; “Diary Ng Panget” opens in local theaters on April 2.
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San Juan VM Opens Goldilocks In Greenhills
San Juan Vice Mayor Francis Zamora recently opened his Goldilocks franchise at the Greenhills Shopping Center.
A firm believer and loyal patron of the brand’s Filipino dishes, cakes and pastries since way back, Zamora was initially surprised that there was no Goldilocks in the entire city, prompting him to scout for the best location, and eventually took the initial steps in setting up one.
A hands-on entrepreneur, Zamora personally oversees all the store’s operational details from franchise application, human resource training and development to actual store operations. Even after fulfilling his daily duties as a public servant, Zamora dutifully complied with the franchise’s training program requirements by going to the Goldilocks Head Office from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. for a month. And now that Goldilocks Greenhills is open, he visits the store before and after City Hall office hours to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
Aside from finishing his degree in Psychology at De La Salle University, Zamora also completed a Business and Entrepreneurship program in NYU, after which he finished his Masters in Public Administration from UP.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was led by San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, along with Edu Manzano, Grace Lee, Asi Taulava, Gary David, Simon Atkins, Rico Maierhofer, Carlo Sharma, Ervic Vijandre and Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2013 Ariella Arida.
Also present were Goldilocks Philippines Vice President, Franklin Go; Goldilocks Marketing Director Pinky Yee; talent manager Arnold Vegafria; columnist Wilson Lee Flores; Greenhills Shopping Center General Manager Cathy Ko; members of the San Juan city council; the Vice Mayor’s mom Rose Marie Zamora, his wife Keri Zamora and their children Amanda, Rocco, Nikita and Noah.
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A Reunion Of Midweek Writers
Editors, writers, artists, photographers and staffers of the defunct The National Midweek Magazine, recently held a reunion in the house of entertainment writer Rogelio “Oggie” C. Medina.
Yes! Magazine executive editor Jose “Pete” Flores Lacaba and former Philippine Graphic Magazine editor-in-chief Gregorio Brillantes, who are both former editors of Midweek magazine, graced the gathering.
Also in attendance were Danny Dalena, Wilson Lee Flores, Tezza O. Parel, Neng Torres-Yabut, Jose “Bogie” Tence Ruiz, Boy Bagwis and Audie L. dela Cruz, among others.
Gil Nartea, Pat S. Roque, Juaniyo Y. Arcellana, Benjamin Pimentel and the late Edith Galve were also products of Midweek magazine.
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Tidbits: Happy b-day greetings today, April 1, go to Tirso Cruz III, Dr. Lettie Escarte, Samboy Lim, Arlina Onglao, Melinda Hidalgo, Mae Romero, Vicky Dee, Johnson Kwang, Suzi Moya-Benitez, April Miranda, Sarah Banora, Reymer Salvador, Yasmin Busran, Grace de Vera, Arwin Gacilo Medina, Jose Benjamin Villanueva, Marissa Oca and Jairus Aquino of Star Magic…
THE FINALS of Century Tuna’s Superbods Super Challenge 2014 will be held on April 26 in Boracay. Among the 18 finalists are two candidates from the US, all of whom will be screened on March 30. From left: Antonio de Murga, Sara Polverini, Julio Alberto de Leon, Catherine Almirante, Mauro Lumba, Darlene Anderson, Gerard Go, Nicole Marable, Diane Mae Tan, Marneil Lim, Evan Spargo, Grace Murillo, Rendon Labador, Paula Camille Marciano, Josse Miguel Lasala, Nicole Kauffman, Laurens Tolenars, and Alaiza Malinao. Superbods Super Challenge 2014 is made possible by Air Asia Zest, Carbtrim, Pearl of the Pacific, San Mig Zero, Solaire Resort & Casino, Medicard, Smart, The District, Zen Wellness Spa, Belo Sun Protect, Bite Me, Black Market, Gardenia, SM Supermalls & SM Mall of Asia, Tony Galvez Salon and Victor Ortega Salon.
Former "Pinoy Big Brother" teen housemate James Reid is now preparing to do sexy projects.
Although “Diary ng Panget” director Andoy Ranay, himself, had to ask who his young actors are when the film was offered to him, he now realizes that they could be the next big stars if their talents are honed well.
At the press conference for the movie showing on April 2 under Viva Films, Ranay said that he actually learned some things from working with his young lead actors namely James Reid, Yassi Pressman, Nadine Lustre and Andre Paras.
“Ang pinaka gusto ko sa kanila is yung energy nila habang nag-shu-shooting. We barely have a month to do this film tapos wala halos tulog yet we come to the set on time at prepared sila. That energy transcends the movie,” said he, also praising them for the fine reading of their characters.
“Diary Ng Panget” was written by Denny for fun on the online site Wattpad.com. It eventually scored 12 million reads and would later come out hit shelves, too, as published book. It tells the story of young love set in school where peer pressure and discrimination due to social status exist.
The director said that the actors underwent a “process” not only to look the part but to get each one fully into the characters even before cameras started rolling.
“May mga requirements ako bago namin sinimulan yung film. I met with them and required them to read the book and undergo workshops.
“When I saw them after that, I felt everyone fit their roles. Dun, na-excite na ako. I knew we were on the right track.”
He hopes people would give the young ones a chance because even today’s superstars had to start from scratch.
“Lahat sila, they are very sensitive and honest (actors) at very serious about their careers. Yun ang pinakamahirap kasing mahanap ngayon sa mga bago eh. Yung iba, gusto lang nila dahil sisikat sila pero itong mga ito talaga, gusto nila talagang makasama sa industriya. Yun yung kanilang unique selling point,” Andoy said.
According to Denny, she was updated every step of the way on how her creation is being fleshed out on the big screen. She is also happy with the performance of the cast and still can’t believe how “Diary Ng Panget” has crossed over into many platforms. Apparently, the author has won her own set of admirers who call themselves “Dennysaurs.” Her two other books are “Voiceless” and “She Died.”
Asked if she had ever felt ugly in life, Denny said there were times that she did but the story of “Diary Ng Panget” goes beyond making a statement on looks.
A genuine and passionate disciple of the performing arts, Vince Tañada can never dissociate himself from acting, particularly for the big screen.
In recent interviews, Vince said that the movie he is now doing under director Elwood Perez (previously titled “Object of Desire,” now “Esoterica Manila”) would be his last, but winning the Best New Movie Actor of the Year award in the recently concluded PMPC Star Awards for Movies (for his performance as lead actor in “Otso,” his first collaboration with Direk Elwood) has changed his mind.
He said, “My award has inspired me to go on doing movie projects. ’Yun lang, siguro I’ll have to choose the right projects, ’yung may katuturan talaga ang story at ang role ko…”
Vince is now considering an offer to play a villain in a big production. The offer came the day after he won the award.
“Otso,” based on a story, which he also wrote together with Direk Elwood, was his very first movie outing. Prior, he concentrated on theater. It was his baptism of fire, so to speak.
His role in “Esoterica Manila,” which is based on a script written by Jessica Zafra, is expected to make people stand and notice him even more than in “Otso.” It’s because he has frontal nudity in it, of which he was very apprehensive at first.
He admitted to blurting, “Direk Elwood, baka matanggal ako as lawyer dito sa pinapagawa mo sa akin.”
Elwood appeased him by explaining that the frontal nudity will only be seen in international film festival screenings.
Aside from being a lawyer (he finished Law at San Beda College in 2001), Vince is also a law teacher, specializing in persons and family relations as well as labor laws, and annulment cases.
Vince formed Philippine Stagers Foundation 14 years ago (it now has more than a hundred member-artists who are assured of constant jobs through Vince’s initiative and marketing skill.). Vince writes the scripts, directs their plays and stars in them, too.
Vince’s acting has been recognized twice by the Aliw Awards, which gave him the Best Actor for Theater in a Musical in 2007 (for his performance as Rameses in the play “O’Moises,” and again in 2011 for “Cory ng EDSA,” which also gave him the Best Actor Award in the 2011 Broadway World Awards Philippines).
In 2009, Vince was awarded Best Director for his work in the play “Ako si Ninoy,” a Filipino musical which he also wrote. The same play also won as Best Musical.
Vince has been writing for the last 20 years, but when someone from a theater company told him that he couldn’t be called a real writer unless he wins a Palanca Award, he was challenged. He submitted a three-act play titled “Ang Bangkay” in 2011. It won first prize. He staged it after that and plans to re-stage it this summer.
“It’s a bold play, a story of incest, between father and daughter. The family is engaged in the embalming business and the end is tragic. Interestingly, the play has no moral retribution or redeeming factor. Puro murahan. but malalim ang meaning ng istorya. My objective was to show that in order to see the good you should see evil first…”
PSF has successfully staged numerous musical plays but Vince is proudest of “Bonifacio,” which will go on its 449th performance at the Adamson Theater on March 22. Before that, the PSF performers will go on a Bataan and CamNorte tour. It’s an unprecedented 10-month tour performance for “Bonifacio.” The staging started July last year.
Congratulations, Vince! You’re really one of a kind.
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‘Diary Ng Panget’ From Viva Films
Known as the company that gave local filmdom its biggest and highly-celebrated youth-oriented classic “Bagets” in the ’80s, Viva Films now gives moviegoers “Diary ng Panget,” a teen movie that aims to launch a new breed of fresh, young actors to stardom.
It is considered one of Viva’s biggest film projects this 2014.
“Diary ng Panget” is the screen adaptation of 2013’s #1 best-selling book series. The novel has been winning the hearts of millions of readers for three years now. It was first published online in 2011 on the free literature website Wattpad, where it garnered over 12 million reads.
Directed by Andoy Ranay and written by award-winning Mel del Rosario, “Diary ng Panget” is Viva Films’ second attempt at revolutionizing local filmmaking via an adaptation of a huge literary favorite, the first being “ABNKKBSNPLAko?!”
The teen romance comedy stars Andre Paras, Yassi Pressman, Nadine Lustre and James Reid.
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Tidbits: Happy b-day greetings today, March 16, go to Kuh Ledesma, Becca Godinez, Arch. Felino “Jun” Palafox, Frederick “Butch” Liwanag, Eloisa Nicolas, Mary Grace Tan, Marie Bernabe, Charlene Tabora, Josie Bernardo, Ma. Lourdes M. Estanislao, Abe Florendo, Abraham S. Gumatay, Ariel G. Antonio, Patrick Flores Sy of Makati Development Corp., Arvi Perez, Danilo P. Pacana, Friona Klare Miranda and Paw Diaz of Star Magic…
Before Twitter or Facebook, there was…the bottle.
Yassi Pressman of the upcoming film “Diary Of A Pangit” revealed that she used to keep bottles into which she would drop strips of paper containing her thoughts.
“Sinusulat ko don yung mga memories ko. I don’t have it na kasi I opened it na. There was a time after a whole year na when I opened it, ang sarap magreminisce. Yung mga nabasa ko, it made me smile, it made me cry, it,” Pressman said in an exclusive interview.
She thought of using a bottle because once you’ve put something in, it can’t be retrieved until you break the glass. There was one bottle that got lost, though, which made her feel bad knowing it held memories that could’ve been recalled more vividly if only she was able to read these.
Of course, there are the social media platforms that allow anyone to “deposit” their thoughts or recollections anytime but Pressman thinks there’s something special about actually writing down one’s thoughts.
“Ikaw ba nagsusulat ka pa ba ng love letters? Do you write invitations? I’m the type of person na kapag may birthday, I still write them cards. At home, we have a piano kung saan nakapatong yung mga cards na galing sa relatives from abroad.
“Cards are different kasi yung ni-commit mo sa social media, nabubura yan eh. Besides, a card can be kept beside your bed or keep it wherever you want. Tulad ng mga poets, mayroon pa ring nagsusulat on the typewriter kahit mayroon na diyang computer or laptop.”
Pressman’s co-stars in “Diary of A Pangit” are Andre Paras, James Reid and Nadine Lustre. To hit theaters on April 2 under Viva Films, the movie is about an ordinary-looking but hard working girl that enters a top notch school where she falls for the most popular guy around.
He won the “Pinoy Big Brother Teen Clash” title in 2010 but it’s only now that James Reid has embraced acting.
“Sobrang mababa ang self-esteem ko dati, medyo mahiyain ako. It’s only recently that I’ve been coming out of my shell and discovering my other talents,” he said in an interview.
“Now, I don’t see myself doing anything else but this. I want to succeed in show business.”
The budding actor is cast in Viva Films’ “Diary ng Panget” along with Andre Paras, Yassi Pressman and Nadine Ilustre. Based on the best-selling novel of the same title that has garnered 12 million read on literature website Wattpad and also sold well as paperback last year, the film adaptation is said to be one of the film company’s biggest projects this year in the vein of the “Bagets” movie in the ‘80s.
Playing Cross Sandford, the most popular guy in the fictional Willford Academy, James hopes people would enjoy his performance in “Diary ng Panget” and not take it against him.
“May mga nagiisip kasi na dahil tahimik ako ay mayabang ako. I hope people would know that when I’m acting, I’m a different person – that I’m just being in character.”
While that should be a given, James said some people still see him as snobbish even for no apparent reason. He said that he has received a few negative feedback online in the past though he just brushes these off.
“Hindi ko sila sinasagot kasi opinion nila yon. I understand they’re just expressing their feelings. On my part, alam ko naman kung sino ako kaya di ako nagpa-apekto,” said he, who was born in Sydney, Australia.
He is learning to speak Tagalog in order to get more projects and win new fans, noting that “yun kasi ang naging problema dati, yung language barrier.”
“Diary ng Panget” was authored by 19-year-old fiction writer Denny. The teen rom-com film adaptation is directed by Andoy Ranoy with screenplay by Mel del Rosario. Viva hopes for the film to launch the four stars to full stardom when it hits theaters on April 2.