Anne Curtis is Dyesebel

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star

And the winner is…

Angel Locsin? Hmmm, too old!

KC Concepcion? Guess again!

Kim Chiu? Too thin!

Jessy Mendiola? Another guess.


The new Dyesebel in the ABS-CBN revival of the iconic half-fish/half-woman komiks character is none other than Anne Curtis! Her closest rival was, you never guessed it, Erich Gonzales.

Perfect choice, isn’t she?

“It’s another dream come true, great way to start the year,” Anne was quoted as saying. Anne said yes to the offer only the other day.

A bit of history:

The mermaid character, presumably inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen classic fairy tale The Little Mermaid, was conceived by Mars Ravelo, serialized in Pilipino Komiks in 1952-53 and illustrated by Elpidio Torres. It has nothing to do at all with the 1938 Hollywood classic Jezebel (starring Bette Davis) except that the titles are soundalike. The first Dyesebel movie was made by Manuel Vista Production/Premiere Productions in 1953, with Edna Luna in the title role, directed by Gerardo de Leon. The leading man was Jaime dela Rosa as Fredo. If memory serves, Hollywood has so far done only two mermaid movies, Splash, with Darryl Hannah in the title role and Tom Hanks as co-star and an animated feature.

Other actresses who have played Dyesebel include: Eva Montes in Anak ni Dyesebel (1964); Vilma Santos (1973); Alma Moreno in Sisid, Dyesebel, Sisid (1978); Alice Dixson (1990); and Charlene Gonzalez (1996). On TV, Marian Rivera played it, with Dingdong Dantes as leading man.

In the ABS-CBN version, Dawn Zulueta will play Dyesebel’s mother with Sam Milby and Gerald Anderson as leading men. The Fredo character has been played by Romeo Miranda (with Vilma), Matt Ranillo III (Alma), Richard Gomez (with Alice) and Matthew Mendoza (with Charlene).

Incidentally, GMA is also airing a mermaid series, Kambal-Sirena, starring Louise delos Reyes and Aljur Abrenica.

Which mermaid will sink and which one will swim? It remains to be seen.

The news yesterday about the killing of former 2004 Miss Venezuela Monica Spear, 29, and her British-born partner Thomas Henry Berry, 29, on a highway in her native country sent shock waves through the “beauty” world. Their five-year-old daughter was wounded in the right leg. According to the Agence France Presse report, it appeared to be a botched robbery after the couple’s car broke down on a highway in northwestern Venezuela.

“No way!!! She was very simpatica.” That’s what 2005 Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Gionna Cabrera, who was with Spear in the Miss Universe pageant, promptly posted on her Facebook account when she learned about the incident presumably from a CNN report.

“Not all beauty queens have lived a happy life,” reported The Times of India in a story published in September last year, noting that some suffered from marital breakups, others succumbed to incurable diseases “and others became victims of crime and violence.”

I can recall three such tragic incidents which claimed the lives of local beauty queens:

• 1993 Bb. Pilipinas-International Shiela Mae Santarin lapsed into a 16-month coma after undergoing a post-natal liposuction and succumbed to a heart attack;

• 1979 Bb. Young Pilipinas Maria Teresa Carlson (fondly known as “Si ikaw, Si Ako,” a recurring phrase in her dialogue in the sitcom Chicks To Chicks) fell from the condo building in Greenhills, San Juan City, where she was staying; and

• 2009 Bb. Pilipinas-International Melody Gersbach died in a car accident in Camarines Sur on her way to Naga City to sit as a judge in the Miss Bicolandia contest.

And here are the “7 Most Tragic Beauty Queen Deaths” listed in the Times of India story:

1.  Agnieszka Kotlarska (1972-1996)

Miss International 1991 Agnieszka Kotlarska’s death in the year 1996 shocked many. She was given a second life after she backed out from boarding a plane that crashed and killed all its passengers. Unfortunately, two months later she was stabbed to death by her stalker.

2. Csilla Molnar (1969-1986)

Crowned Miss Hungary in 1985, the 17-year-old committed suicide on July 10, 1986. Earlier in a radio interview she said, “I don’t know whether I can bear this, everybody is harassing me. They (people) ask: Where and from whom did you get those beautiful clothes? Who helped you? Do you or your father have special connections with the jury? And so on.”

3. Maria Susana Flores Gamez (1992-2012)

Beauty queen Maria Susana Flores Gamez was crowned Miss Sinaloa 2012. She was killed in northern Mexico during a running gun battle between soldiers and the gang of drug traffickers she was traveling with. It was reported that her body was found lying near an assault rifle on a rural road in a mountainous area in the state of Sinaloa. It was unclear if she used the weapon.

4. Mariana Bridi Costa (1988-2009)

She began her career at an early age of 14. She secured the fourth place in the Miss World Brazil 2006 beauty pageant and participated in the Miss Bikini International contest the following year. In December 2008, Bridi was (initially) misdiagnosed with kidney infection and by early January, medical reports confirmed a urinary tract infection that worsened to become septic. Sadly, the sepsis caused tissue necrosis in her feet and hands which were later amputated in an attempt to save her life. During her final surgery, a part of her stomach was also removed. She died on the morning of January 24, 2009. Severe sepsis, urinary tract infection and abdominal bleeding led to multiple-organ failure.

5. Marina Kolobova-Featherstone (1978-2012)

27-year-old former Ukrainian beauty queen Marina Kolobova-Featherstone drank herself to death after her banker husband called their marriage off. Married to Andrew Featherstone, the head of operations at Brennus Asset Management in London, in 2010; the pair had a string of arguments after just one year of marriage. According to reports, Marina died of alcohol poisoning.

6. Mofya Chisenga (1983-2011)

Mofya represented Zambia at the 2006 Miss Universe pageant, Miss Tourism Queen International Pageant 2005 in China and the Miss Leisure World 2008 pageant in China. According to reports, she was admitted with malaria in pregnancy and later discharged. However, she was again brought in a critical condition. According to reports, she died on the same night after delivering the baby.

7. Nafisa Joseph (1978-2004)

Miss India Universe 1997 Nafisa Joseph hanged herself at her flat in Versova in Mumbai on July 29, 2004. She was crowned Miss India at the age of 19. Nafisa’s parents told reporters the model ended her life after her wedding with businessman Gautam Khanduja was called off. According to media reports, Nafisa Joseph discovered that Khanduja was still married and not divorced as he had claimed.

8. Viveka Babajee (1973-2010)

Mauritian model and actress Viveka Babajee was Miss Mauritius World 1993 and Miss Mauritius Universe 1994. The beauty queen was found hanging from the ceiling fan in her apartment at her Bandra residence in Mumbai. Police reports stated that acute depression led Viveka to kill herself. Months before committing suicide, she had reportedly told her mother over the phone, “I am going far away.” (Note: In 1994, Viveka Babajee was involved in the infamous Manila Filmfest Scam.)

(E-mail reactions at [email protected]. You may also send your questions to [email protected].)

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