Donna Cruz: The happy homemaker
SHOWBIZ DRIBBLE - Salve V. Asis () - September 25, 2005 - 12:00am
I had fun interacting with the 40 or so Cebu-based movie writers and columnists who attended the forum on the entertainment beat last Monday. The forum was part of the Cebu Press Freedom Week, which ran from Monday till Saturday.

Cebu has been celebrating Press Freedom Week for the past 11 years, but it was this year that a forum was conducted specifically for the movie press. That's because the local papers had only recently treated entertainment as a separate section. Entertainment used to be part of the lifestyle section. FREEMAN actually pioneered the trend, setting up a distinct showbiz section a year ago.

Ricky Lo, the entertainment editor of the Philippine Star and host of "Showbiz Stripped," and I were invited to touch bases with the Cebuano movie press. Tito Ricky also invited Cebu-based singer and actress Donna Cruz to the forum. Ms. Nathalie Tomada, the entertainment editor of FREEMAN (which happens to be the sister publication of The Philippine Star), had told Ricky that Donna seldom gives interviews to the press. But when Donna was told Ricky was in town, she had no second thoughts about doing an impromptu presscon. And guess what: She came despite the fact that she and hubby Dr. Yong Larrazabal were celebrating the 7th wedding anniversary that day!

Donna admitted that she seldom ventures out of the house. But she has no complaints. "It breaks my heart every time I leave because my kids always want to go with me. And even before I got married, I was already a homebody," Donna said.

"Yong is sometimes surprised that I don't know my way about town," Donna added. She said she'd rather tinker with the computer or take care of her two children than leave the house.

She explained that she's not averse to facing the movie press. It's just that she wants the interviewer to go through the proper channels. That means asking Donna's manager, Ms Shirley Kuan, for an appointment.

Tito Ricky gave the Cebuano movie press tips on how to establish rapport with visiting stars from Manila. The main grudge of Cebuano writers is the difficulty in arranging interviews with the stars.

Ricky said the problem lies not with the stars. The showbiz writers just need to coordinate with the stars' home networks or their representatives in Cebu.

Ricky also told the local press not to feel awed or intimidated by big-name celebrities because it will affect what they write. Our Cebuano colleagues also opine about being treated like second-class citizens whenever are mixed in with Manila-based writers. Tito Ricky said they must get rid of this inferiority complex. They must keep in mind that the entertainment section is one of the biggest selling points of a newspaper so there's not reason for them to feel they're being looked down on.

Ms. Lou Dayoc, the host of GMA's morning show in Cebu, was the forum moderator. Jamna Gicole of the Repertory of Young Professionals in Theater opened the proceedings by singing "The Prayer." One In Him Band's Kristine Gonzaga Demeterio rendered two special numbers.

The forum was held at the Marcelo B. Fernan Cebu Press Center.

I envy Cebu for hosting an annual Press Freedom Week wherein all members of the print and broadcast industry can participate. o0o

The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board finally put its foot down and ordered "Pinoy Big Brother," ABS-CBN's big-ticket reality show, suspended for one day.

The MTRCB had warned the producers of the show to "tone down sexually suggestive language, actuations and skimpy clothing," but the warnings went unheeded.

So last Thursday, MTRCB's big sister, Ma. Consoliza Laguardia, wrote ABS-CBN's senior vice president for Television Programs Ma. Socorro Vidanes ordering the network to pull out the show for one day.

Laguardia said the show's Sept. 19 episode went "beyond the parental guidance classification" by showing the "kissing scene between housemates Chx and Sam, gyrating dances in skimpy bikini, (and) double entendre dialogue."

So don't bother to watch "Pinoy Big Brother" tonight. That's when the one-day suspension takes effect.

ABS-CBN naturally saw it fit to explain its side. Here is the network's reply in full:

"The MTRCB, through its chairperson, Ms. Consoliza Laguardia and its adjudication committee, ordered the suspension of ABS-CBN's Pinoy Big Brother for one episode, as penalty for airing certain scenes that the Board deemed beyond the parental guidance classification of the show.

In our opinion, we in Pinoy Big Brother have operated within the parameters agreed upon with the Board in the first meeting held last August 26, 2005. However, after a discussion with the board last Sept. 21, 2005, the committee decided to proceed with the suspension.

"We will comply with the MTRCB decision.

"We understand that Pinoy Big Brother represents a new, unprecedented expression of Filipino reality, a microcosm of human behavior that opens valuable studies and insights into social interaction, relationships and discipline.

"We will continue to work in partnership with the MTRCB in producing well-screened episodes given the inherently free-form genre of reality TV. We remain committed in offering the best presentations of Pinoy Big Brother to the Filipino audience that has embraced it as their nightly favorite in television viewing."

You be the judge.

BIG CEBU CEBU PRESS FREEDOM WEEK CEBUANO PHILIPPINE STAR PINOY BIG BROTHER PRESS PRESS FREEDOM WEEK RICKY TITO RICKY
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