Time for Mark to prove his power
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo () - March 24, 2006 - 12:00am

• ABS-CBN Publishing has just clinched a deal with Dennis Publishing of the United Kingdom to publish a local edition of Maxim, the world’s biggest lifestyle magazine for men. This was reported by Thelma Sioson, editor of ABS-CBN Publishing which has a franchise contract with Dennis Publishing, who came home last week from London where the Maxim contract was done. With Maxim soon in the local market, FHM (Philippines Edition) and PUMP (edited by Eric Ramos, formerly of FHM) will face considerable competition. Vanni de Sequera is the editor of Maxim (Philippine Edition).

Funfare is requesting the readers to say a little prayer for the quick recovery of STAR photographer Richard Chen who is now at the ICU of the Manila Doctors Hospital (UN Ave., Manila) after suffering from a stroke last Sunday while covering a wedding. Richard returned to consciousness only yesterday but is still attached to a ventilator. He can recognize visitors but can’t talk (because of the ventilator), so when asked who his visitors are he simply writes their names on a piece of paper. Two more days and the tubes attached to his body will be removed. Well-loved by the stars, Richard takes photos as a hobby. So generous is he that he gives stars he photographs an album-ful of photos as souvenir.

• Since Rustom Padilla has, like Roxanne Barcelo, volunteered to quit Big Brother’s house, the voting for eviction has been moved to next week. Only five housemates – John Prats and Keanna Reeves who are assured of slots in the Final Four and now only Zanjoe Marudo, Budoy Marabiles and Bianca Gonzales nominated for eviction. Do vote for Bianca to remain in Big Brother’s house. Besides the fact that Zanjoe (that is, if he gets voted to stay) will be lonely like a lovebird abandoned by its partner, Bianca has just lost her boyfriend, TV director Lino Cayetano (son of the late Sen. Rene and brother of Sen. Pia), who took a two-week leave and flew to the States in a huff after he confirmed that "something sweet" is developing between Bianca and Zanjoe. Oh, well, constant togetherness does breed, ehem, you know...
* * *
Tonight’s the night and Mark Bautista is nervous, very nervous.

"I feel the way I did when I competed in the grand finals for Star For a Night three years ago," said Mark who finished a runner-up to Sarah Geronimo. "Para akong first-timer uli."

What’s making Mark "nervous, very nervous" is his first major solo concert called Pop Heartthrob at the Aliw Theater (starting at 8 o’clock), with guests Ogie Alcasid, Sarah Geronimo, Rufa Mae Quinto and Juris Fernandez of M.Y.M.P.

The concert celebrates Mark’s third anniversary in showbiz.

"I have a lot to be thankful for," said Mark who had to take a cargo ship from his native Cagayan de Oro City when he came to Manila for the Star For a Night finals.

Since then, Mark has performed (with fellow "champions" Sarah, Rachelle Ann Go, Erik Santos, Christian Bautista, etc.) in concerts here and abroad, topbilled a movie (Viva’s Lastikman) and released first a CD Lite last year, followed by a 12-track album called Mark Bautista: Dream On (now a "gold"), the video of which shows a much sexier "re-invented" Mark. He’s a mainstay of ABS-CBN’s Sunday show ASAP 06.

As per request of Markians (is that how you call Mark Bautista fans?), here’s a list of their idol’s favorites:

Actor(s) – Johnny Delgado, Tirso Cruz III and Albert Martinez ("All versatile")

Actress(es) – Julia Roberts and Sharon Cuneta

Movie(s)Gladiator and The Notebook

Singer(s) – Luther Vandross, Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and John Legend

SongThe First Time Ever I saw Your Face (the Victoria Flack version)

BookThe Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

FoodGinisang monggo

Fruit – Mangosteen

Drink(s) – Buko juice, apple juice and Four Seasons

Perfume(s) – Versace Blue and Kenneth Cole

Part of His Body – "My eyes" (ever smiling)

Part of a Girl’s Body – Teeth ("Must be real")

Part of His House – "My room"

Time of Day – Evening ("When I feel so energized")

Day of the Week – Monday ("Start of the week but nothing much to do")

Flower – Rose

Color(s) – Blue and orange

Komiks Character – Lastikman (of course!)

Hero – "My mom. She has gone through a lot; sobrang strong."

TV Show(s)Pinoy Big Brother and Fear Factor

Expressions – Oh no! and Yes! and one unprintable (a four-letter word that starts "s")

(Note: Pop Heartthrob is a production of Viva Concerts, presented by Jollibee and Talk ‘N Talk with the support of Randy Ortiz, Avel Bacudio, Joey Samson, Essensuals Toni and Guy, Baga Berde and media partners The Philippine STAR, YES FM, Love Radio, DZRH, I-FM, Energy FM and WRR. For tickets and other inquiries, call SM Ticketnet at 911-5555.)
Sharon defends Dinky
In the course of a free-wheeling chat with select members of the press the other day (for her new album Isn’t It Romantic?, released by Sony BMG Music Entertainment... read Baby Gil’s Sounds Familiar on Page F-2 for more on the album; and the repeat of her hit My Mega Valentine concert on March 31, still at the Araneta Coliseum), Sharon Cuneta talked about various topics under the sun, as she always does, including the country’s present situation and, yes, Dinky Soliman.

"Did you know that Dinky was the classmate of Kiko (Sen. Pangilinan, Sharon’s husband) at Harvard a few years ago? We had a wonderful time; we washed dishes together."

Told that Dinky (and company) were arrested last week while strolling at Baywalk wearing T-shirts that carried the words "Patalsikin. Now Na!", Sharon was surprised.

"Is that so? I didn’t know." Not even if the incident was splashed in the front pages and on national television.

But Sharon came to Dinky’s defense posthaste.

"We are in a democracy and everybody has a right to say what he/she wants, whether for or against the government. I am, like everybody else, entitled to my own opinion. I’m a full-bloodied Filipino citizen and, like Dinky or anybody else, I am entitled to freedom of speech, to say my piece on how the country is being run."

Like Sen. Kiko, former DSWD Secretary Dinky has turned against Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and joined the group which is calling for her resignation.

"I know Dinky. If she can make a difference, she will."

Turning to a lighter topic, Sharon said that if ever, like Pilar Pilapil (The Woman Without a Face) she’d write her autobiography, she would do so in a style that wouldn’t include any "gory details" or put anybody, not even her ex-husband Gabby Concepcion, in a bad light.

"I’m 40 and it’s about time I wrote a book about my life," said Sharon.

Get a copy of Sharon’s Isn’t It Romantic? album, a collectors’ item, which will be formally launched this Sunday, March 26, on ASAP 06.

(The repeat of My Mega Valentine is presented by Lady’s Choice, McDonald’s, Globe and ABS-CBN, in cooperation with Alaska, Bench, Play and Display, and Sony BMG Music Entertainment. For ticket inquiries, call Ticketnet at 911-5555 or Artist House at 815-1953.)

(E-mail reactions at rickylo@philstar.net.ph)

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