Lani for mayor of Lipa?

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo -
The next elections will be in 2007 yet but that’s not a long way from now. Already, despite the political upheaval the country is going through, the "selection" process is kicking off – you know, who should run for what position and where.

Don’t look now but a Funfare DPA whispered to me that Lani Mercado is being groomed to run for mayor of Lipa City. Lani Mercado? Yes, Lani Mercado!

The incumbent mayor, Vilma Santos, is on her last term so she can’t be pitted against Lani (if, indeed, she will be persuaded upon to run). Instead, Mayor Vi might be convinced to run for Congresswoman of Batangas. If that happens, the current Batangas Rep. Oscar Gozos, might be the one to run against Lani.

These are interesting times in Lipa, just wait and see.

Lani (if she will be persuaded upon to run) will be under the banner of Lakas-NUCD which happens to be the same party to which Mayor Vi and Rep. Gozos belong to. Lani lost when she ran for mayor of Bacoor in 2001.

You might wonder, how can Lani run for mayor of Lipa City when she and her family (husband Sen. Bong Revilla and their children) live in Cavite? If Mayor Vi (who is an "adopted" Lipeña) could, why couldn’t Lani who is a native of Lipa where her mother, Justa Garcia, hails from.

"Lani has been gracing important occasions in Lipa," said the Funfare DPA. "She has danced the rigodon during important celebrations in the city. Lipeños look up to her as ‘one of us.’ She has a good chance of winning – if she will be persuaded upon to run."

Incidentally, Lani called up Funfare the other day to set the record straight about her son Bryan who was tagged by Rosanna Roces as an Ecstasy-user in last Sunday’s edition of The Buzz.

"In the school where Bryan is studying," said Lani, "the students are made to undergo a drug test. I have the certificate showing that Bryan is not taking any drugs."

Because of Rosanna’s explosive revelations in that Buzz edition, witnessed by no less than MTRCB Chief Ma. Consoliza Laguardia who was at the studio as guest (she’s a big fan of the show), ABS-CBN has decided to pre-tape future interviews with Rosanna who’s on the warpath against the Revillas, the official ABS-CBN statement reads:

ABS-CBN recognizes its responsibility to its audience and adheres to the accepted Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) industry standards of fair play and public decency in all its broadcasts. Even prior to MTRCB’s calling the network’s attention to Ms. Rosanna Roces’ interview on The Buzz, ABS-CBN has already taken upon itself to impose self-regulatory measures and practise self-censorship among its talents and programs. As per agreement with MTRCB, Ms. Roces’ future interviews with the Network will henceforth be pre-taped.
Tough Competition In Star In A Million
As I’ve been saying, the judges (Agot Isidro, Rowell Santiago and Wyngard Tracy) will have a hard time picking the winner at the grand finals of the ABS-CBN talent contest Search for the Star in a Million Season 2 later this month. The ninth and 10th of the Final 12 were chosen at last Sunday’s show, Shake Valerio and Ais Roxas, were the last two finalists will be chosen this Sunday.

Like the eight other finalists, Shake and Ais were presented to the press Monday afternoon at the Family IO KTV where they showed "samples" of their singing talent. They’re just as good and as talented as the others, and the movie press was convinced that the Star in a Million grand finals will be hotly-contested.

Ardie Shaine Feliciano Valerio in real life, Shake couldn’t explain why he was so nicknamed by his family.

"I don’t even know how to dance, not even the Shake," said the eldest of three children (all boys).

Shake said he realized he could sing at age seven when he joined school programs at the Immaculate Conception Catholic School (under Don Bosco) in Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Aside from singing, 24-year-old Shake directs children’s plays. "Before I joined Star in a Million," he volunteered, "I directed a komedya, Prinsipe Rodante, at the Dongalo Elementary School. My family lives in Sto. Niño, Parañaque City, near the school." Because of the tough competition ahead, Shake said he is resting his voice and avoiding cold drinks.

"Magagaling ang kalaban
," he conceded.

Ais (full name: Clarissa Roxas), 20, agreed with Shake.

Asked what her own chances were, she smiled, "49/5l percent."

She was also seven years old when she started singing, joining contests at fiestas not only in her native Pampanga but in other places, belting out songs by Regine Velasquez and, later when she grew older, Celine Dion. At 11, she finished runner-up at the Miss Little Shakey’s contest and received a seven-month scholarship at the Center for Pop Music Philippines as a prize.

A Masscom junior at the New Era College, Ais is being compared to Kyla whom she resembles looks-wise. But her role models are Angela Bofil and Beyoncé. She was once a member of the band Soul Drive (now disbanded) which performed in South Korea for two years.
Another Pinoy Film In Int’l Filmfest
From Funfare’s Toronto-based "international correspondent" Ferdinand Lapuz comes this good news:

Hi Ricky. Here is another piece of good news. Michiko Yamamoto and Aureaus Solito’s Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros (The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros) has been officially invited to the Focus on World Cinema of the 29th Montreal World Film Festival in Quebec, Canada from Aug. 26 to Sept. 5.

I was informed by Montreal Film Festival’s Vice President Daniele Cuchard only last Sunday, July 31 considering they only received the screener last Friday, July 29. This will be Maximo’s international premiere after winning the GMA Special Jury Prize, Best Production Design and Special Citation (Nathan Lopez) awards in the recent Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival last month.

This is the first feature of director Aureaus Solito and was written my Michiko Yamamoto of Magnifico fame and produced by U.F.O. Pictures with Michiko and screenwriter Raymond Lee as line producers.

Aside from Nathan Lopez who portrays Maximo, the film features winning performances from JR Valentin, Soliman Cruz, Neil Ryan Sese, Ping Medina and Bodgie Pascua. The film has been getting rave reviews from local critics after its screenings at CCP and U.P.

With Masahista competing in Locarno, Switzerland and Maximo in Montreal, I think this is going to be the year of Pinoy indies!
What’s Up?
• Corrections...From Baby K. Jimenez: The movie Susan Roces was shooting in Las Vegas when she saw Elvis Presley in an elevator was Eddie Loves Susie, with Eddie Gutierrez, and not Romansa sa World’s Fair (with Bobby Vasquez)... From Bob Couttie, author of Hang The Dogs: The True Tragic History of the Balangiga Massacre: There are many myths about Balangiga and its bells so I was interested to note the reference to them being exhibited at the St. Louis Exhibition (mentioned in your article "A Musical for Every Pinoy"). They were, in fact, on the parade ground of Cheyenne, Wyoming, at the time and were not exhibited anywhere else at anytime... From Francis R. Lim of Muntinlupa City (on vacation from L.A.): If Norman Bustos (husband of Sheryl Cruz) works with the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department, then he must be a deputy sheriff. You see, there is only one sheriff for the whole of San Francisco County and the rest are deputies. But if Norman works with the San Francisco Police Department, headed by a chief of police, then he is a cop or a police with a rank. To further explain, the City of San Francisco (and other cities) are in the County of San Francisco. The SF Police Dept. serves the City of SF only. The SF County Sheriff’s Dept. serves all the cities within the county of SF, especially cities without their own police force.

• Rey de Vera, founder of the Able Music International, Inc., has retired as president but remains as chairman.

• Jeffrey Jeturian’s Minsan Pa, produced by MLR Films, will compete at the First Asian Marine Film Festival in Japan next month and will be screened at the Tokyo International Film Festival in October. The movie stars Jomari Yllana and Ara Mina.

(E-mail reactions at [email protected])

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