•Ate Vi: Ayoko magsalita ng patapos •Charice back under David Foster’s wings

FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - July 24, 2015 - 10:00am

Amidst the noise about her being drafted or invited to be the runningmate of Sec. Mar Roxas, the presumptive presidential bet of the administration in 2016, Batangas Gov. Vilma “Ate Vi” Santos remains, believe it or not, unaffected, unmoved, un-flattered.

“I’m telling only you this,” said Ate Vi during a phone interview with Funfare Thursday evening at 9 o’clock. “At this moment, I am emotionally not prepared for a higher…meaning, national…position. Sobrang magulo ngayon. Hindi ganyan sa Batangas kasi maliit ‘yon kung ihahambing sa national.”

Ate Vi said she’s surprised (or amused) by all the reports about the administration or some other party sending her “feelers” or setting up a consultation meeting with her.

“Sa totoo lang,” admitted Ate Vi, “I just read about those ‘feelers’ and ‘meetings’ in the papers and hear about them in TV newscasts.”

Still and all, despite her reluctance to be dragged into the “national” level, Ate Vi said that she’s not giving any last word.

In her own words: “Ayoko magsalita ng tapos dahil baka bumalik sa mukha ko.”

What about the report that her husband, Sen. Ralph Recto, might run for Batangas governor to succeed her (Ate Vi is on her third and last term)?

“Ralph is set on running for reelection,” added Ate Vi. “Doon siya magko-concentrate.”

And neither is her son Luis Manzano running for mayor of Lipa City which Ate Vi served for three terms.

“He’s not ready,” said Ate Vi, adding half in jest, “kung puede nga lang tumakbo pa akong Batangas governor, gagawin ko, gusto ko. That’s how much I love Batangas.”

In the meantime, Ate Vi said that she doesn’t let herself be distracted by the 2016 to-do.

“On weekdays, I go around Batangas. On weekends, I shoot for my Star Cinema movie.”

Charice and David Foster, her mentor: Back together after four years

Still untitled, the movie co-stars with Angel Locsin, girlfriend of Luis, directed by Bb. Joyce Bernal (her first time to work with Ate Vi).

“I play a filthy rich woman and Angel plays the girl taking care of me,” said Ate Vi. “We are shooting at a careful pace. Sabi ko kay Malou (Santos, Star Cinema supervising producer), ‘Huwag mo naman muna bigyan ng playdate,’ because she wants the movie to be shown before end of this year. Ayoko pong ma-pressure.”

* * *

Time has flown so fast that hardly anybody noticed or recalled that Charice and David Foster, her mentor, stayed away from each other. Was it deliberate? Was there any, uhm, “rift” between them? And what must have caused it if there was any?

“No such unpleasantness or misunderstanding,” was all that somebody close to Charice and David would say.

The last time Charice performed for David was in 2011 at the Araneta Coliseum for the David Foster & Friends concert, together with Natalie Cole and Ruben Studdard as other guests. When David brought the show to Singapore from Manila, Charice did go with David but had to rush back to Manila because her estranged father died.

It was a tough time for Charice and the whole world knew it, remember? The girl was undergoing a deeply personal crisis that created a gap between her and her mom Raquel (they kissed and made up after a few years). Charice survived what could be the toughest trial of her life and emerged from it a new, well, person.

That episode has nothing to do at all with Charice’s four-year “separation” from David and neither did David make any comment about it. I guess all David is concerned about is Charice’s music and career.

Charice and David reunited last May in Singapore during the Asia’s Got Talent finals in which David was among the judges (with Vaness Wu, Melanie C and Anggun). Charice and her manager Grace Mendoza (also managing Mabasa and David’s friend) went to Singapore to visit David.

“Nagyakap sila ng mahigpit na mahigpit,” recalled Grace, just like a father and daughter who hadn’t seen for ages would.

David asked Charice to perform at the AGT finals. He told Charice to sing Lay Me Down (by Sam Smith) and right there and did some kind of a “dry run” for two hours, with David on the piano. They rehearsed the next day. At the finals, Charice’s performance was among the most applauded.

Anyway, Charice is back in David’s arms, back under David’s wings. On Aug. 18 when David brings his David Foster & Friends back to the Araneta Coliseum, Charice will be among the performers, still with Natalie Cole and Ruben Studdard as co-performers together with new additions Boyz II Men and Mark Mabasa (X-Factor Philippines finalist). Hopefully, AGT’s third-placer Gerphil Flores (David’s “Golden Girl” during the competition) would be included in David’s Big Dome concert on Aug. 18.

(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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