Piolo's 'new girl'

FUNFARE UPDATE - Ricky Lo () - March 13, 2009 - 12:00am

Even if he’s linked to this girl and that girl (KC Concepcion being the latest one), Piolo Pascual is actually, to use a cliche, as free as a bird, married it seems to his career.

Congresswoman Rachel “Baby” Arenas of the 3rd District of Pangasinan, is also fancy free, highly eligible and, like Piolo, married to her own career.

Perfect match? Who knows?

Not many people know that Piolo and Rachel spent last Valentine’s Day together in her turf — Pangasinan, that is.

But before you jump to conclusions, Funfare Update wants to make it clear that Piolo was there for a show in which he serenaded Rachel in full view of hundreds of Pangasinenses.

“Like Piolo,” observed one of Rachel’s constituents, “Rachel is virtuous, hard-working and well-loved by her people. Piolo is devoted to his craft and Rachel is focused on her infrastructure and livelihood projects.”

Thanks for the music, Natalie!

Despite her jetlag (she flew in from the US Tuesday morning) and her health concerns (she’s suffering from Hepatitis C, an illness she talked about openly in a recent issue of People mag, and a “habit” she has successfully kicked), Natalie Cole gave a more than satisfactory performance at her Big Dome concert Wednesday night, singing all the songs that the audience expected her to, among them Inseparable, Someone That I Used to Love, Miss You Like Crazy, I Live For Your Love and her other hits.

Unlike most singers who are all over the stage and who deliver long spiels between songs, Natalie stayed put and was silent most of the time, so engrossed in her singing that you couldn’t help but be carried away. Thrice, she got distracted by one guy near the front row and another one in the Lower Box videotaping the show and she asked the misbehaving guys to please stop it already.

Maybe those guys didn’t know what Natalie went through that afternoon before the show and, in spite of that, like the real trooper that she is, Natalie gave her best. The sound of the videocams was getting into the highly-sensitive earpiece Natalie was wearing.

What I found most touching was Natalie’s duet with her late father, Nat “King” Cole, shown in a film clip at his prime, with little Natalie by his side. It was, to quote the song’s title, very “unforgettable.”

Among those in the audience were ABS-CBN boss Charo Santos-Concio, Lani Mercado (who sang along with Natalie in most of her songs, especially, ehem, Inseparable) and sister Millie Mercado, MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando and wife Marikina Mayor Marides Fernando, GMA exec Marivin Arayata, Ever Bilena couple Deocildo Sy and Khristine Gabriel, MTV Philippines head Francis Lumen and Julia Durnham, Concertus’ Bambi Rivero-Verzo, former COMELEC chairman and Sandiganbayan Justice Harriet Demetriou, and Araneta Center boss Jorge Araneta and wife Stella Marquez.

The show lasted for only one hour and 45 minutes but it was a remarkably enchanting evening.

Thank you, Natalie, for the music!   

John Legend also coming

Among the foreign acts expected in Manila in the next few weeks is John Legend who will have a one-night show (for his Evolver World Tour) also at the Big Dome on March 26, produced by Concertus.

It’s Legend’s first Manila visit and he promises to entertain his fans with his hits like Green Light, If You’re Out There, Evolver, Ordinary People, PDA (We Just Don’t Care), Save Room, Take Me Away and Each Day Gets Better.

In the last Grammys, Legend won for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals for Stay With Me (By The Sea). A staunch supporter of Pres. Barack Obama, he played the piano and sang If You’re Out There, an inspiring song about a collective call to action, during the Democrats’ national convention in 2008.

(Note: The Philippine STAR is among the sponsors of John Legend’s concert. For ticket inquiries, call Ticketnet at 911-5555 or Concertus at 813-2617.)

Lucita marries American widower

As reported by Funfare last month, Lucita Soriano married a 72-year-old retired American civil engineer, Michael Mayr, on Valentine’s Day at a Christian ceremony held at the Filipino Fiesta Restaurant at Rancho Cordoba, California.

Here alone for a month-long vacation after spending her and Michael’s honeymoon in Texas where her son Gary Boy and his family live, Lucita met Michael at a Bible Study in Sacramento, California, where they both reside. For four years now, Lucita has been a member of the Philippine Children’s Fund of America.

“I prayed for a man who is Christian like me,” said Lucita, whose first husband, actor Rodolfo “Boy” Garcia, died 11 years ago.

It turned out that Michael, four years a widower whose three sons are also engineers, had been looking for his “ideal” Filipina. “He knows that Filipinas make good wives,” said Lucita.

Lucita’s other son by Boy is based in the Philippines.

What’s up?

• Jed Madela’s album tour for his album Songs Rediscovered 2 (The Ultimate OPM Playlist), released by Universal Records, kicks off this afternoon at 5 o’clock at SM Fairview, with another one scheduled tomorrow at SM North EDSA, same time.

• The correct title of Jay-R’s gold album (also from Universal Records) is Soul in Love which was No. 1 last year in the Music One Album chart, beating foreign albums including Mama Mia.

Paco Park Presents continues its celebration of Women’s Month with a show today featuring soprano Jeannelle Bihag and tenor Raymond Roldan, with pianist Fiona Rivera. The show is open to the public.

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