Martin sings to save a life

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - March 20, 2006 - 12:00am

• Because she and husband, Sen. Ralph Recto, and company are going to Rome as guests at the formal investiture on March 24 of Cardinal Gaudencio Rosales (of Lipa), new Archbishop of Manila, Vilma Santos (photo) has asked her son Luis Manzano to be her proxy at the March 27 wedding of Claudine Barretto and Raymart Santiago. From Rome, Vilma and Ralph (with son Ryan Christian and his yaya, Vilma’s sister Emelyn and brother Sonny, and Girl Friday/accountant Aida Fandialan) will proceed to Los Angeles on March 27 (to April 17) to visit Vilma’s mom and relatives.

• Congratulations to Abner Mercado (of ABS-CBN’s The Correspondents) whose episode entitled Mt. Cook Chronicles: The Road to Everest won the Special Jury Prize at the just-concluded Moscow International Festival of Mountaineering and Adventure Films. The award "recognizes and salutes the toughness and determination of a group of climbers coming from a country without snow and high alpine mountains in order to conquer the insurmountable Mt. Everest."

• Congratulations, too, to Brillante Mendoza whose digital/indie film, Masahista, swept the Young Critics Circle Awards 2005, including Best Film, Best Director (for Mendoza), Best Performance (Coco Martin), Best Sound (Nonoy Dadivas), Best Music (Jerold Tarog), Best Cinematography (Monchie Redoble and Timmy Jimenez), Best Production Design (Benjamin Padero) and Best Editing (Herbert Narvasca). Masahista also won three awards from PASADO: Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (Jaclyn Jose) and one of the Best Four Films of 2005.
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Watch Martin Nievera’s concert at the Rigodon Ballroom of The Manila Peninsula on March 29, 8 p.m., and save a young life.

The concert, for which Martin flew back from the US a few days ago, will raise funds for the liver transplant of nine months old Gaia Blanca Pasamba slated early next month in Singapore. The operation costs $90,000 (roughly P5 million). The faculty of International School Manila, students and their parents, and private donors have so far raised money but they’re still short of 25 percent of the amount needed.

Born on June 7, 2005, to Giorde and Ybeth Pasamba, Gaia was diagnosed with Biliary Atresia, a serious disease of young infants which results in the inflammation and obstruction of the ducts that carry bile from the liver to the intestines and causes severe liver damage. Part of the donor’s liver will be transplanted into Gaia. One of Gaia’s parents is a teacher at I.S.

"When I was contacted for the fund-raising concert," said Martin, "I said ‘Sure’ right away. My (ex-)wife Pops (Fernandez) studied at I.S. and so did our sons (Ram and Robin). I hope that other stars (among them Sharon Cuneta) who have studied at I.S. will sing at the concert. (The Pen is offering the venue free of charge)."

The surgery (which would cost $200,000 in the US) has to be done before Gaia turns a year old when complications start to set in. Pediatric transplants are not yet done in the Philippines. The operation will be performed at the Glen Eagles Hospital by Dr. Tan Kai Chah, consultant surgeon and liver-transplant specialist, who is a beneficiary of the fund (to finance the education of medical students specializing in pediatric liver disease) raised by an English couple who lost their child to the disease 26 years ago.

"I plan to continue this project even after Gaia’s surgery," said Martin.

(Note: Tickets are priced at P2,000 to Martin Sings For Gaia are available at all Ticketnet outlets at SM malls. Seats are on a first-come-first-served basis. For inquiries, call Six Sigma at 829-9514 to 15.)

Will Zanjoe ease out Sam Milby from spotlight?

Eight have been evicted and only six have remained at the Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition, one of them model and poster boy (for Bench) Zanjoe Marudo, a Batangueño.

Already, Zanjoe is attracting fans of his own. Once out of Big Brother’s house, will he, can he, ease from the limelight PBB "graduate" Sam Milby, the newest Crush ng Bayan whose entry into Big Brother’s house eclipsed Rico Barrera (where is he now?)?

Let’s wait and see.

The only problem is that, while the US-bred Sam is articulate, Zanjoe is, well, "a man of few words." Is the 22-year-old six-footer hunk mere good looks?

Here’s what Star Studio magazine managed to squeeze out of Zanjoe for the benefit of Funfare readers who have been requesting for a story on emerging "star hunk" (sorry, but housemates can’t be interviewed while inside Big Brother’s house):

He’s afraid of accidents (who isn’t?)...He feels that "masaya ang buhay ko" if he were rich...Never stops "reaching for my dreams"...Always wanted "to learn to act and sing"...His hidden ambition is "to be a singer"...His biggest failure is "my basketball career"...He finds women "makulit and selosa"...And he considers sex "masarap" (who doesn’t?).

(Note: For a full-page color photo of Zanjoe, buy a copy of the latest issue of Star Studio magazine, now in newsstands.)
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