SPOTLIGHT: Mrs. Asia International 1st Runner-up Lubesly Tellidua
Vanessa A. Balbuena (The Philippine Star) - August 15, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebuana beauty pageant titlist Lubesly Tellidua is a picture of self-confidence. Regal in bearing, she cuts the perfect piercing stare or a seductive smirk like any pro model would. But she hasn’t always been this certain of herself.

Hailing from the town of Pinamungajan, Lubesly, or Bess to family and friends, is a single mother to two kids of different fathers – easy pickings for gossip and judgment even in this liberated times.

“Because of past experiences, I wanted to prove something not only to myself, but to those people criticizing me for being a single mom,” says Bess. “Even if I’ve become successful in other aspects of my life and have been active with charity work, that stigma still remains. They will still look at your negative side no matter your achievements.”

Bess says she acquired two college degrees – Bachelor of Science in Agriculture major in Animal Husbandry at Cebu State College and a Diploma course in Education at the University of the Visayas – in the hopes of “erasing the negative perception about me.”

Explaining why she chose her first course, Bess says, “It was my father’s decision. During my high school years at the Sisters of Mary School, I wanted to be a nun because of the influence of the sisters but my mother didn’t allow me to. I also wanted to be a journalist because I got to publish some books in high school. In college, I also became the editor-in-chief of our school publication. But my father discouraged me, saying there was no money in journalism.”

Every December, she also gives back to her hometown by distributing packages of goods to at least 50 families. Instead of merely celebrating her and a family member’s birthday with friends, these are spent conducting feeding sessions in an orphanage.

“People were thinking that I could not do that. As we always say, you cannot please everybody. Even if you live well, there are still people, as much as I try to avoid them, who continue to judge me,” she laments.

It was this very same intention to prove her critics wrong which pushed Bess to join her very first pageant at 33 years old via Mrs. Philippines Globe 2013, a contest for married women or single moms with beauty and substance.

“I wasn’t interested at first because I had a lot of insecurities and I have stage fright. The moment I’m front of a lot of people, I feel like melting and I can’t speak. I have tattoos, so I also thought that was a restriction for the pageant. I found out it was okay since the concept of the pageant is women empowerment. They were looking for moms or wives with strength. I am a single mom, and I consider myself strong because I’ve survived all the trials.”

The five-foot-four beauty made it the top ten finalists during the pageant finals last May. Taking her loss in stride, Bess planned to join the Ginang Alaska contest in Cebu, until she received a call from the Mrs. Philippines Globe franchise, informing her she was selected to compete in Mrs. Asia International 2013.

Bess recounts, “I received a call a week after the Mrs. Philippines Globe coronation night. The immediate question I asked our organizer, Carla Cabrera-Quimpo, was why she was sending me over the runners-up. She explained that because the pageant was in Asia, they wanted to send someone with a look favored by Asians and that she also saw my confidence during the national pageant. I was hesitant because I could lose again but in the end, I decided to grab the opportunity.”

Mrs. Asia International was an international pageant for married women on its second year and is open to young wives, mothers and even grandmothers from Asian countries. Each country is allowed to send five contestants (for five categories, namely, Mrs. Asia International, Mrs. Asia Tourism, Mrs. Asia Global, Mrs. Asia Cosmopolitan and Mrs. Asia Classic) and the Philippines flew three reps last June to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“The national competition was more stressful than the international contest. I felt relaxed in Malaysia. You can’t compare yourself to the other international candidates; you would naturally look different from each other because you came from different countries,” she shares.

Bess nabbed four awards: Best in National Costume, Best in Gown, Best Elegance Costume and Mrs. Kebaya Queen (Kebaya is Malaysia’s national costume), before judges ranked her as this year’s Mrs. Asia International first runner-up.

“There were many criticisms when I joined the pageant. Now, I feel more confident and I think people view me a bit differently,” she says. “I was in Pinamungajan recently and they knew I placed in Malaysia. They were all shocked because I was never one to join pageants before. I always had a desire to be a model or just be on stage, but I never thought that this dream would still happen now that I have two kids.”

These days, when not tending to her businesses or volunteering as a Special Education teacher, Bess plays doting mother to her lovely 10-year-old daughter Kelly Holace and three-year-old son Michael Jaykobe.  

“Life had been very cruel to me. I’ve heard many hurtful truths and witnessed heartbreaking scenes. I just look at my children when they’re sleeping at night. If I don’t muster strength and wallow in self-pity instead, who will take care of them?” she asks aloud.

This woman is done proving herself to others. “People who weren’t a part of your past have no right to judge you. Instead of listening to all the negativity, consider it as a challenge and use it as an inspiration for you to strive hard.”

Take it from this stunning single mom who has braved life’s storms and proven naysayers wrong.


Iloilo’s Dance Fest 2013 Grand Winners Named; Bacolod And Cebu Up Next


“Velocity X” of Kalibo, Aklan and “ODE of Wit” of Western Institute of Technology emerged as champions in the recently concluded Dance Fest 2013 Iloilo leg for the open and school category, respectively.

Their electrifying dance moves and unique routines led them to the top after coming out to battle against second-placers “Ground Zero” of Iloilo City Proper and “K-Swag Generation” of Mandurriao National High School, and third-placers “C.N.C. Iloilo” of Lapaz, Iloilo City and “Kinaadman Dance Crew” of John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University.

After Iloilo, the Bacolod leg of the Dance Fest 2013—Visayas’ biggest and most exciting dance competition yet – comes next tomorrow, August 16, at the North Transport Hub of SM City Bacolod starting at 4pm. Participating in the event are Kapuso artists Mark Herras, Ryza Cenon, Sef Cadayona, and Julian Trono.

For Bacolod’s school category, included in the grand finals are “Hili-ugyon Dance Company” of Hervias National High School, “Choi Force, Jr.” of Domingo Lacson National High School, and “Kadayaw Dance Troupe” of Riverside College. The open category features the showdown between “Critical Breakdown,” “YC Rockz,” and “Rockafellas.”

Cebu’s Dance Fest 2013 Grand Finals follows next Friday, August 23, at the Event Center of SM City Consolacion at 4pm. Joining once again is Mark, tagged as badboy ng dancefloor, who will be joined by K-Pop group sensation Down To Mars to witness the showdown between “UC Banilad Dance Troupe,” “Benedicto College Dance Troupe,” and “Synergy Dancers” of Bulasa, Argao for the school category, and “Type One,” “New Friends,” and “King Gambitt” for the open category.

Brought by GMA Network in partnership with SM Supermalls, Dance Fest 2013 is an intense competition showcasing the best moves of Visayas’ top dancers.


Undercover agents outwit each other in “2 guns”

Two operatives (Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg) from competing bureaus are forced on the run together. But there is a big problem with their unexpected partnership: Neither knows that the other is an undercover federal agent, in Columbia Pictures' new, explosive action thriller, “2 Guns.”

Baltasar Kormakur (“Contraband”) reteams with Wahlberg to direct “2 Guns” from a screenplay that is written by Blake Masters (TV's “Brotherhood”) and based on the Boom! Studios graphic novels by Steven Grant.

Boom! Studios published the first issue of writer Steven Grant and artist Mateus Santolouoco’s explosive five-issue miniseries, “2 Guns,” in 2008. Grant told the intriguing tale of Bobby Trench and Michael Stigman, two undercover agents who discover that the amount of cash locked in the bank vault that they are robbing is not remotely what they expected. When the two find themselves double-crossed by the very men who set them up to do the job, they must go on the run from the organizations they vowed to serve.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Boom! Studios Ross Richie walks us through the source material: “It’s a story about characters ground up by the system, set within the framework of government agencies that pursue their goals, no matter the consequences. Steven took the familiar noir trope of an undercover cop tale, and he deconstructed that. He also included lots of comedy and action to make it incredibly entertaining.”

The series of graphic novels is written by a man with a curious take on this style of writing. “I like doing crime comics,” admits Grant, who calls “2 Guns” an “anti-buddy” story. “I don’t actually believe in good and evil. From my perspective, people walk a line, fall on this side or that, and wobble back and forth. It’s just a natural existence. I tend to view my material not as dramas, but as situational comedies where everybody in the story thinks they know what’s going on, and actually nobody in it knows what’s going on.”

Producer Marc Platt, who has shepherded to the big screen action hits such as “Wanted” and “Drive,” was keen to develop the graphic novel series brought to him by his colleague, fellow “2 Guns” producer Adam Siegel. Platt discusses his initial interest in the source material: “I always love stories where there are two characters who are seemingly very different, and the journey of the story is the way in which those two characters find their way to each other. Here were two guys who don’t want to be in the same general vicinity of each other, but who are forced to work together and learn something about each other and themselves in the process.”

Siegel recalls what drew him to the project, and the manner in which he worked with a talented screenwriter to flesh it out: “When I read Steven Grant’s graphic novel, I was blown away by the great characters and the clear concept that these were two guys who were undercover from each other.”

“2 Guns” is a natural progression of expression for director Baltasar Kormákur, a critically acclaimed actor and director in his native country of Iceland who made his American studio film debut in 2012’s hit “Contraband,” which starred Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale.

Discussing his choice to join the team, Kormákur says: “The script had this modern Western feel, which felt like something that I could play with and be stylized in finding ways of visualizing the story. There’s a lot of humanity to the characters. We like them as we follow them, even though they’re living in an elevated, but not necessarily unrealistic, criminal world.” He sums: “Ultimately, 2 Guns is a character-driven film that pays homage to Westerns through the feel and scope of the landscape.”

Kormákur readily admits that he is drawn to action scripts, but not simply for the sake of delivering adrenaline-fueled moments. “I look at what I can add to it, and I ask myself if I connect with the material or if it will just be another day at work,” he states. “I get attached to material that I feel I can put myself into and help the actors; that gets me excited.”

Opening across the Philippines on Sept. 18, “2 Guns” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit to see the latest trailers, get free downloads and play free movie games.



“MMK” remembers Jesse Robredo

"Maalaala Mo Kaya" will retell the inspiring life story of the late Jesse Robredo this Saturday, August 17, in commemoration of the first death anniversary of the former Interior and Local Government secretary.

Robredo died August 18 last year in a plane crash off the shores of Masbate Island. Award-winning actor Jericho Rosales will play Robredo, while Kapamilya actress Kaye Abad will portray Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo. The Raz de la Torre-directed "MMK" episode will share Robredo's simple life as a loving husband, dedicated father, and efficient public servant.

Also part of the 'Jesse Robredo Story' in “MMK” are Yogo Singh, Spanky Manikan, Alyanna Angeles, Nikki Bagaporo, Trina Legaspi, and Richard Quan. The episode was researched by Alexandra Mae Martin and written by Joan Habana and Arah Jell Badayos.

Don’t miss the re-airing of Jesse Robredo Story in “MMK” this Saturday after “Wansapanataym” on ABS-CBN. For more updates, log on to, and follow @MMKOfficial on Twitter and visit the official Facebook page



Internationally acclaimed action-thriller "OTJ" hits Ph cinemas on August 28

After capturing the hearts of international moviegoers and film critics in its world premiere in the prestigious 66th Cannes International Film Festival in France and bagging honors in the recently held 2013 Puchon International Fantastic (PiFan) Film Festival in South Korea, the much talked about action-thriller co-produced by Star Cinema and Reality Entertainment, "OTJ" (On The Job), will finally hit Philippine cinemas on August 28 (Wednesday).

Under the direction of award-winning filmmaker Erik Matti, "OTJ" is topbiled by two of the most brilliant actors of their generation Piolo Pascual and Gerald Anderson, veteran actor Joey Marquez, and 2013 PiFan Film Festival best actor Joel Torre, who are all hands-down to their film's one-of-a-kind script.

"Natapos ko 'yung script ng isang basahan lang. I fell in love with the project right away. I was so moved by it. I really felt there's something different, something definitely out of the box," said Piolo, who is proud to be part of Star Cinema's return to the action genre. "It's an honor for me to be part of a film that's paying tribute to the action genre na medyo hindi na natin ginagawa. Kung maaalala natin, action ang unang genre na pinasok ng Star Cinema 20 years ago, 'yung" Adan Ronquillo ni Senator Bong Revilla."

Part of the continuing grand celebration of Star Cinema's 20th anniversary, "OTJ" shares the personal quest for justice of three men – NBI agent Francis (Piolo), Sgt. Joaquin (Joel), and two prisoners Daniel (Gerald) and Tatang (Joel).

Gerald shared that with the intensity of their action scenes, they felt that they were filming a Hollywood project. He explained, "Dito ko naranasan 'yung isang buong araw na shoot para lang sa chase scene namin sa MRT, sa city hall, at kung saan-saan. Feeling ko talaga nasa Hollywood kami kasi sobrang hirap kunan ang mga eksena namin. Kakaibang 'kilig' 'yung epekto nung trabahong 'to kasi alam kong hindi araw-araw or every project, pwede ko 'tong gawin."

If "OTJ" is memorable for Piolo and Gerald because it is their first action movie, it also made a mark in the heart of Joel because of the important character given to him by Star Cinema at Reality Entertainment.

"Tatang is a role of a lifetime for an actor," said Joel about his role in the movie that viewers should look out for. "At my age, akala ko relegated na lang ako sa tatay roles, na you get to shoot in five days and that's it. But "OTJ" made me a significant part of the story. Kapag napanood niyo na 'yung pelikula, malalaman nyo kung bakit siya hinangaan abroad."

Joey, meanwhile, is excited about how viewers will respond to the ‘new Tsong’ that is featured in the film “First time sa ganitong klaseng film na medyo unorthodox kumpara sa usual na ginagawa ko. Sa ‘OTJ,’ aksyon na aksyon talaga ako! It was a very challenging role. Parang it's something that somehow ‘upgraded’ me my little experience sa showbusiness," said Joey.

Also part of "OTJ" are Angel Aquino, Shaina Magdayao, Empress, Dawn Jimenez, Leo Martinez, Michael de Mesa, Vivian Velez and Rayver Cruz.

Don't miss the internationally-acclaimed action-thriller na "OTJ," showing on cinemas nationwide on August 28, 2013.

For more information and latest updates about "OTJ" and other Star Cinema's 20th anniversary movie offerings, simply visit, and  (FREEMAN)

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