Vi: It feels like the first time!
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - August 10, 2013 - 12:00am

Curtain-raisers:

• What do Heart Evangelista and one of her sweetheart Sen. Chiz Escudero’s twin kids have in common? They both have “strawberry growths” at the back of their heads, no wonder they are “connected.” Heart has become like second mom to the kids who enjoy visiting rights from their biological mom Tintin Flores (legally separated from Chiz, who has found her own “other love” in the person of a dancer).

• And what do Amalia Fuentes and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima have in common? Besides being feisty Bicolana (the former from Goa, Camarines Sur and the latter from Iriga City, Camarines Sur), they share a birthday, Aug. 27 (Virgo). Some Bicolanos led by former Sen. Eddie Ilarde are urging Sec. Leila to run in 2016 for a “high” position.

• Could it be true that two of a network’s pretty host/reporters are having a cold war? A Funfare DPA said that the two have been running a quiet competition on who gets more attention (especially) from visiting (male) artists. One of them is openly sexy and the other is reservedly sweet. When they are together in a coverage, they are not aware that their colleagues are watching them closely who between them wins in every round. Gee whiz!

*  *  *

 

“Parang first time!” was how Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos described the feeling of winning Best Actress in the Directors Showcase category of the just-concluded 2013 Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival for Ekstra, her first foray into what she called “ang mundo ng mga indie” in which she plays a bit player.

“I have won many other awards but this one is different, kasi nga first indie ko at nanalo pa ako,” she added, “which simply means na welcome ako sa mundo ng indie.” Henceforth, Loida Malabanan, the name of Ate Vi’s character, will be immortalized in the roster of the characters played by The Star For All Seasons (including Aida Macaraeg, Sister Stella L., et al).

Her only regret was that due to her commitments as governor, Ate Vi didn’t make it to the awards night last Sunday at the CCP. The other day, Ekstra producer Joji Alonso (of Quantum Films) personally handed to Ate Vi the award at a presscon hosted by ABS-CBN/Star Cinema which is releasing the mainstream showing of the movie starting on Wednesday, Aug. 14.

Also present were the movie’s director Jeffrey Jeturian (who won Best Screenplay along with co-writers Zig Dulay and Antoinette Jadaone), Best Supporting Actress winner Ruby Ruiz and the dozens of bit players who appeared in the movie which likewise bagged the Audience Choice, Jury and NETPAC Awards.

In an earlier interview with The STAR, Ate Vi said that she chose Ekstra as her indie debut because she has never played a bit player before, although in her more than five decades in the business she has worked with perhaps hundreds of extras.

“I became even more familiar with them during the shoot,” confessed Ate Vi who was cited by the Cinemalaya judges for her “bold decision to deglamorize herself” for the role. “Ekstra is my tribute to bit players without whom a movie will never be complete.”

Direk Jeffrey considers Ekstra his most memorable work because it helped realize his long-time dream of directing Ate Vi in a movie.

“That dream started 30 years ago when I worked as production assistant on Baby Tsina in which Vi played the title role,” revealed Jeffrey (who also directs the hit Kapamilya soap Be Careful With My Heart). “The long wait is worth it!”

Incidentally, the media guys went home from the presscon with bagfuls of delicious Batangas suman, a sweet pasalubong from Ate Vi. Sarap!!!

Dindi is 2013 TOFA-NY Awards nominee

Congratulations to 1993 Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 1993 Dindi Gallardo who is nominated for the 2013 Ten Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York (TOFA-NY) Awards, for Courage of Conviction. She’s up against two nominees in the same category. There are 39 nominees in different categories including Arts and Culture, Entertainment, Media and Publishing, etc.

Melinda Joanna Tanseco Gallardo in real life and now married to Eric Scot Mills, Dindi was ecstatic on her nomination, quoted as saying, “I’m very flattered by the TOFA nomination — thank you for even considering me and my case. It’s not typical of me to ask for friends to vote for me since it’s not really a contest of who did better/who has the better...What really matters to me is that I stand amongst other courageous and amazing fellow Filipinos that will continue to inspire others with their actions. They all have my vote, too. Congratulations to all the nominees and thanks again, TOFA.”

It would be remembered that in October last year, Dindi landed on the front page of New York Post when she filed a lawsuit against Kimberly Cox, the girlfriend of her boss, Frank Miller.

To vote for Dindi or other nominees, please “like” The Outstanding Filipino Americans in New York on Facebook. Then click the “like” icon under the nominee’s picture you are voting for. You can “like” a nominee only once. Final voting is on Sept. 30 and awards night will be on Oct. 26 at the Weill Hall of Carnegie Hall.

Dindi has 26 films to her credit, the telemovie Mga Liham ni Alberto and the TV series Ganyan Kita Kamahal. She was nominated for Gawad Urian Best Supporting Actress for Nang Iniwan Mo Ako (1997, topbilled by Sharon Cuneta and Albert Martinez).

— Reported by Funfare’s ‘Other beauty expert’ CELSO DE GUZMAN CAPARAS

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

AIDA MACARAEG AMALIA FUENTES AND JUSTICE SECRETARY LEILA ARTS AND CULTURE CAMARINES SUR DINDI EKSTRA NEW YORK
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