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Regine finally going to the US for concert

Curtain-raisers:


• Reacting to the story in yesterday’s STAR about Vancouver-based Balikbayan Joey Albert junking the "diva" title, Ronnie Miranda (husband of Alice Dixson, also both based in Vancouver) texted to Funfare a message that should enlighten singers who use that title with abandon (and without totally understanding what it really means) and readers who must be wondering why every singer around is called a "diva." Ronnie’s message: "Diva. The etymology literally means in Latin ‘goddess’ goddess,’ feminine of ‘divus’. But the English or modern-day meaning is ‘prima donna’ which refers to a vain, conceited and temperamental person.’ Now, would any artist still want to be called ‘diva’?" (Funfare’s comment: O, di ba!?!)


• It’s definite: Dina Bonnevie’s late-morning show D!Day on GMA is good only before end of this month, to be replaced by a yet untitled one to be hosted by the De Belen sisters Janice and Gelli. Will the new show be better than the one it’s replacing? It better be good. Otherwise, it might just go the unlamented route of the GMA show on the same timeslot co-hosted by Michelle van Eimeren and Bing Loyzaga.


• Some readers took note that when Funfare "blind-itemmed" Geneva Cruz’s first pregnancy four or so years ago, Geneva announced that she was going to the States "to study." It turned out that she went into "hiding." Now, isn’t it a mere coincidence that when Funfare headlined that a singer (Geneva identified herself as "it") was reported to be pregnant, Geneva’s denial included an announcement that she was going to the States later this year to visit her family which is soon migrating there? Now, could it be true that MTV, of which Geneva’s boyfriend KC Montero is a resident veejay, is checking the veracity of the rumor – that is, if KC is the "culprit" or not – because MTV is concerned about a "morality clause" in KC’s contract with the station? Just asking.

* * *

This time last year, Regine Velasquez was feeling low, as if the whole world had caved in on her, all because ("Due to my stupidity," she now admits good-humoredly) her US visa was revoked after the US Embassy in Manila accused her of "human/alien smuggling." We all know the whole story, don’t we?


imageAs a result of, uh, "my stupidity," the series of shows Regine was supposed to do in the US was called off, never mind if the producers on both coasts of the USA had already made the initial payments to Regine, the venue(s) and the other talents involved in the projects.


This time, Regine is the picture of brightness and light, eternal sunshine and happiness as she looks forward to – finally, finally! – holding concerts in the US, one scheduled on Sept. 9 at the 6,200-seater Universal Amphitheater in L.A. and the other on Sept. 15 at the historic 13,000-seater Cow Palace in San Francisco.


Joining Regine on both shows are her sister Cacai and David Pomeranz, with Millie Gurfinkel as executive producer, Jet Montelibano as director and Edith Montelibano as line producer for Creative Concepts International.


The concerts are entirely new projects not related to Regine’s aborted shows last year. Sponsors of the two concerts are Viva Video and PhilSTAR.com.


Millie Gurfinkel is the wife of lawyer and Philippine STAR columnist Michael Gurfinkel, the US immigration law specialist who worked for the reversal of the US Embassy lifetime ban on Regine and for the issuance to Regine of a new visa last May. Millie and Michael accompanied Regine and company (including Cacai and her husband, Raul Mitra) to the States last June for a two-week visit. It was then that Regine announced the preparations for her comeback performances in the US.


It’s not Regine’s first time to perform in both venues. In 1994, she did a concert at the Universal Amphitheater and, soon after, at the Cow Palace (with Janno Gibbs and Ariel Rivera).


Regine’s two shows in the US are aptly titled Flying High because that’s how she exactly feels.

Zensho still it

Yes, I still go to Zensho (Tomas Morato corner Roces Avenues, Quezon City) when I crave for Japanese food, like I did three nights ago. The place, owned by my friends Alan and May Acosta, is located at the ground floor of the U-shaped space in that corner which also houses a McDo outlet and a deli, with a spa now occupying the third floor where the Crazy Al pubhouse used to be.


The name Zensho means "win all" and it seems that that’s what the Acosta couple has been enjoying these past two years that their Japanese restaurant has been in existence – winning ‘em all. That is, with Japanese goodies at reasonable prices, served in generous quantities.


On the night we were there, our group tried (again!) one of Zensho’s specialties, the Sukiyaki, which is served on a specially-made Japanese paper that doesn’t burn, imported from Japan (where else!). There are dozens and dozens of other dishes to choose from, calculated to make you burp all the way home – and the day after.


Other recommended items: Tepanyaki served with miso soup, kobachi, grilled beansprout or asparagus, fried rice or steamed rice and dessert; Tempura, Age Mono, consisting of deep-fried prawns coated with light butter and served with green pepper, Japanese eggplant and Tempura dipping; and King of Sashimi/Sushi Boat served with prawns, salmon, tuna, lapu-lapu and house roll.


It’s Zensho’s second anniversary and part of the promo (good until end of the month) are discounts (15 percent on cash payments and 10 percent on credit-card payments) or free massage at the spa (for every P2,000 purchase). Or you can get a free car body wash at the Dallas Auto Service Center nearby (also owned by Alan and May) for every P500 purchase or a complete car wash for every P2,500 purchase.


(Interested? Call 929-10-69 or 414-53-67 for inquiries.)

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