Looking up with Ryzza
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - December 23, 2013 - 12:00am

In Christmases past, Ryzza and her family would partake of pansit and pan de sal for noche buena and go to bed with a happy burp.

But what a big difference a year has made!

During the past 12 months, Ryzza Mae Dizon has overtaken many dreamers, young and old alike, and become the country’s newest Superkid, surpassing the record of her predecessors. On The Ryzza Mae Show, the pre-program of the long-running (33-plus years and counting) GMA show Eat, Bulaga!, Ryzza starts the ball rolling by reminding everybody that “Bawal ang sad!” and leading the audience (at home and in the studio) to “Look up, look up!” Very positive.

She’s actually eight-years-old (turning nine on June 12 next year) but she talks and acts and interacts with her guest stars from all levels, foreign and local, with the experience and wisdom of, as she loves to flaunt, an 80-year-old. Little wonder that she has been awarded Best TV Host by almost all the award-giving bodies in town.

Without her meaning to, Ryzza is threatening to wrestle the “Commercial Queen” crown from those claiming to wear it (deserving or not), what with the growing number of products she’s endorsing, her brightly-smiling face greeting you from huge billboards everywhere you look in the metropolis.

This Christmas, Ryzza and her family (mom Riza and only brother) will still partake of pansit and pan de sal for noche buena but with a difference.

“Mayroon na kaming keso at hamon,” she told Funfare.

 And more.

“I have more dresses now,” she said in a free-wheeling interview done mostly in Filipino, otherwise, Ryzza warned, “Baka po mag-nosebleed ako, hehehehehe!”

She recalled laughing that during the shoot of My Little Bossings, an official entry in the 39th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), her co-star, the Inglisero Bimby Aquino Yap, nearly drove her to nosebleed, a real-life situation that they reenact in one scene. In the movie, another collaboration of MMFF mainstay triumvirate OctoArts Films, M-Zet Films and APT Entertainment directed by Marlon Rivera from a story and screenplay by Bibeth Orteza, Ryzza plays a street child finds herself in the care of Vic Sotto’s bookkeeper character, in the company of Bimby who is entrusted to the bookkeeper by his super-busy millionaire-cash-management-specialist mom. Also in the cast are Aiza Seguerra as Vic’s niece involved in the advocacy for street children, Jaclyn Jose, Jose Manalo, Paolo Ballesteros, Barbie Forteza, Neil Coleta and Neil Ryan Sese.

Said Orly Ilacad of OctoArts, “Ryzza doesn’t speak much English,” even if she’s a bright pupil in real life, “while Bimby doesn’t speak much Tagalog. Sobrang cute kapag nag-uusap silang dalawa. Sa bandang huli, Ryzza ends up teaching Bimby Tagalog words and Bimby teaching Ryzza English words.”

“Marami na rin po akong sapatos,” Ryzza picked up where she has left off. She has also gained new friends (well, everybody loves a winner, or have you forgotten?) but she has kept the old ones from her Pampanga hometown whom she invited as her special guests during her first bongga eighth birthday last June, unhampered by heavy rains that flooded Metro Manila.

Said Mom Riza, “Ganoon pa rin siya. Tumutulong sa mga gawaing bahay.”

While looking for a permanent place to live in Manila, Ryzza stays at a condo unit a stone’s throw from the GMA Studio, with a cousin as companion/guardian while her mom is busy with other family concerns. She wakes up with the sun, attends her classes and then proceeds to GMA for her show that dovetails with Eat, Bulaga! After Bulaga!, she managed to wrap her scenes in My Little Bossings without any hassles.

“Para lang siya naglalaro,” is how Mom Riza described Ryzza’s daily routine. “She loves to draw and sketch and that’s what she does on the set kapag walang ‘take’.”

Ryzza loves Barbie Dolls (her favorite is Mariposa) and she can now have as many as she wants.

Does she really wish for more Barbies (and other toys) this Christmas?

“No,” she shook her head. “Mas gusto ko magbigay ng toys sa mga kids na nasalanta ng Typhoon Yolanda,” promised Ryzza who has already donated many of her clothes. “At night, pinagdadasal ko na sana okey ang mga bata sa Visayas. Nagpapasalamat din ako sa binibigay Niyang blessings sa akin.”

Meanwhile, Funfare “played favorites” with Ryzza.

• Favorite food: Bangus, adobo, apritada, giniling and lugaw.

• Favorite drink: Water.

• Favorite bird: Dove.

• Favorite colors: Pink and yellow.

• Favorite cartoon character: Tom & Jerry.

• Favorite subject: Recess, hahahaha!

And what does she want to be when she grows up (“Konti lang po,” she joked although she could be correct because her mom is barely five feet tall and her grandmother is a petite 4’11”.)

“A chef and a make-up artist.”

(My Little Bossings opens nationwide on Dec. 25.)

9 short-listed for Oscars’ Best

Foreign-Language Film race

The sad news is that Transit, the Philippine submission to the Best Foreign-Language Film category in next year’s Oscars, didn’t make it in the first elimination round, together with Singapore’s entry Ilo Ilo and UK’s Metro Manila.

Seventy-six films were submitted and nine made it, from which the final five will be chosen for competition at the 86th Academy Awards in March. The announcement of the finalists will be made in early January.

The nine are (in alphabetical order):

• Belgium, The Broken Circle Breakdown, directed by Felix van Groeningen;

• Bosnia and Herzegovina, An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, by Danis Tanovic;

• Cambodia, The Missing Picture, by Rithy Panh;

• Denmark, The Hunt, by Thomas Vinterberg;

• Germany, Two Lives, by Georg Maas;

• Hong Kong, The Grandmaster, by Wong Kar-wai (the movie lost the Best Picture Award to Anthony Chen’s Ilo Ilo at the recent Golden Horse Awards, the Chinese Oscars);

• Hungary, The Notebook, by Janos Szasz;

• Italy, The Great Beauty, by Paolo Sorrentino; and

• Palestine, Omar, by Hany Abu-Assad.

(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.)

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