Is discreet couple into ‘sleepover’ set-up?
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - January 16, 2006 - 12:00am

• William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet has been made into a movie not just twice, contrary to what Funfare reported a few issues ago, but four times as pointed out by Mario Hernando and Jun Abuel (of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania), to wit: by George Cuckor in 1936, starring Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard; by Renato Castellani in 1954, with Laurence Harvey and Susan Shentall; by Franco Zeffirelli, with Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey; and by Baz Luhrmann, with Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, plus an inspired version entitled Romanoff and Juliet, directed by Peter Ustinov, with Sandra Dee and John Gavin, and a ballet topbilled by Margot Fonteyn.
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Up to now, even if their actions speak louder than their words, a "discreet" showbiz couple continue to deny (yes, with a straight face!) that they are, well, "an item."

But here’s the rub:

A few days ago, the actress’ ex-husband sent a package via an airline from the States for their son who was marking his birthday. The actor-husband’s strict order was for the messenger to get the package and deliver it posthaste to his ex-wife’s house so that it would be there when the birthday-celebrator son woke up.

Guess whom the messenger saw coming out of the actress’ house at that very early morning hour (6 a.m.) – yes, the actress’ rumored actor-boyfriend (who himself has an ex-actress-wife), still rubbing his eyes. Did it mean that the actor was "sleeping over" at the actress’ house?

Nothing wrong, is there? After all, they are both fancy-free, legally and otherwise, and are old enough to find their own new happiness.

Meanwhile, the "discreet" couple continue to deny (to death!) that they are having – an affair?

Aiko not preggy?

Is Aiko Melendez getting married to model Martin Jickain because, according to persistent rumors, she is pregnant?

"No," Aiko told Funfare, "I’m not. Martin and I are getting married because we want to seal our love for each other forever."

That is, never mind if they have known each other for barely five months. As quoted in the wedding invitation, the couple said, "The quantity of time is not what matters...Quality of time is what we both shared and will cherish for the rest of our lives...With two different worlds, we meet...Indeed, we are destined to be together."

As Martin confessed in a Funfare interview, he was a big fan of Aiko’s from way back (as a student buying notebooks with Aiko on the cover) before they started going steady middle of last year.

"So it seems like I have known her for a long time," said Martin.

The quarbana Catholic wedding is set for Feb. 16 at Blue Gardens Commonwealth, Quezon City, with Martin’s ex-priest father, Edmundo Jickain (a German), officiating.

Here’s the complete entourage:

• Principal Sponsors: Quezon City Mayor Feliciano Belmonte and Helen Gamboa-Sotto, Wyngard Tracy and Cristy Fermin, Boy Abunda and Grace Arcega, Tadeo Palma and Dolly Salcedo, Gen. Nicasio Radovan and Corazon Fernando, Mario Sayoc and Annie Susano, Ricky Lo and Gloria Toralba, Buddy Abesamis and Myrna Garriedo, QC Councilor Ariel Inton Jr. and Samantha Escalante.

• Best Man: Luke Jickain

• Matrons of Honor: Gelli de Belen-Rivera, Candy Pangilinan, Carmina Villarroel, Berna Romulo Puyat and Lala Sotto-de Leon

• Maids of Honor: Kris Aquino, Michiko Castañeda, Lucille Sering and Ericka Castañeda

• Groom’s Men: Chito Trono, Gerard Acao, Rory Relos, Wency Lagumbay, Regan Arcega and Usec. James Philip Tionko

• Secondary Sponsors: Jen Trono and Vhong Navarro (candle), Yayo Aguila-Martinez and Trondz Cheng (cord), Margarita Muscat and Jay Esperencilla (veil)

• Coin and Ring Bearers: Andre Rafael Yllana and Joaqui Rivera

• Bible Bearer: Jacob Cacno

• Flower Girl: Helena Sotto de Leon

Martin’s mom, Cecilia Trono, is a Filipina. Aiko is the daughter of the late actor Jimi Melendez (Jaime Sha Rafael Melendez) and Elsie Castañeda.

On the second page of the invitation, Aiko and Martin wrote, "We always shock the world with everything that we do, with the decisions that we make. Now we are here to share with you as we vow to live as heart...never to part...Always to cherish and love each other for the rest of our lives, for better or for worse..."

The couple plan to have a honeymoon in Singapore.

Is Aiko’s ex-husband Jomari Yllana invited?

I wouldn’t know.
31st Metro Filmfest grosses bigger than past ones
The (as usual) controversial 2005 (31st) Metro Manila Filmfest grossed bigger that past Metro Filmfests, with a total take of more than P350 million during its run from Dec. 25 to Jan. 7.

Here are the figures (10 entries’ individual grosses, please do the summing up yourselves):

1. Enteng Kabisote –– P108,370, 227.35

2. Exodus –—————–– P75,642,647.35

3. Mulawin –——–—– P55,782,190.53

4. Ako Legal Wife —–—— P48, 454,749.55

5. Shake, Rattle & Roll –—— P32,340,930.45

6. Blue Moon – P15,492,394.15

7. Kutob –— P10,803,280.50

8. Terrorist Hunter –––– P1,914,335.90

9. Lagot Ka sa Kuya Ko –– P1,657,001.25

10. Mourning Girls –––– P1,513,238.37

And here are the total grosses of Metro Filmfests from 1986:

• 1986 – P29,020,871.00

• 1987 – P35,782,007.00

• 1988 – P51,382,890.00

• 1989 – P59,532,258.50

• 1990 – P61,139,531.00

• 1991 – P87, 612,644.00

• 1992 – P120,317,014.00

• 1993 – P104,461,357.00

• 1994 – P117,022,539.00

• 1995 – P112, 543,573.00

• 1996 – P125,057,571.00

• 1997 – P100,308, 050.00

• 1998 – P133,774,340.00

• 1999 – P160,668,378.00

• 2000 – P155,190,084.00

• 2001 – P155,190,084.00

• 2002 – P147,731,964.00

• 2003 – P315,299,233.05

• 2004 – P300,777,532.66
Briefly noted
• The other day, I received a Christmas card from Julio Iglesias and his family, as usual showing Julio and wife Miranda’s four beautiful children Cristina, Victoria, Miguel and Rodrigo, complete with the family members’ autographs. I should say that I follow the growth of the Iglesias children (since childhood) because their father has been sending me Christmas cards for years now, always with the photos of the little Iglesias’ latest photos. The only other journalist to whom the Iglesiases send a Christmas card year after year is STAR Sounds Familiar columnist Baby Gil.

• On the same day, I also received a Christmas card from director John Woo who has been sending me one since a few years ago when I interviewed him in Hong Kong during the press junket for Mission Impossible 2, starring Tom Cruise.

(E-mail reactions at

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