3 Pinays in Asia’s Next Top Model tilt

FUNFARE UPDATE - Ricky Lo - The Philippine Star
  • From reader Normelito Sarao, M.D.:

Got the newest book of Mitch Albom here in Barnes and Noble in Redondo Beach titled The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. On Page 98/Chapter 12, Mr. Albom mentioned the song Maalaala Mo Kaya by Constancio de Guzman, the same song whose cover by Carol Banawa serves as the theme song of an ABS-CBN drama anthology. In the book, the titular character Frankie Presto played the song on the guitar for Aurora York, the girl he fell in love with, when he was a boy in war-torn Spain in 1944 . The author described the song as “sad enough to melt the phonograph needles.” Growing up in the Philippines, I remember the likes of Pilita Corrales, Diomedes Maturan and Sylvia la Torre among others covering it.

= My friends have called my attention to several other Tsinoys left out in last Monday’s list, including publisher Antonio Cabangon Chua, Mike Tan, Robina Gokongwei and sister Liza Gokongwei, Lulu Tan Gan, scriptwriter Raymond Lee, producer Alemberg Ang, Laila Dee, Derek Dee, Miss Earth Angelia Ong, Paul Jake Castillo, Divine Lee, Roger Chua, PR man Nixon Sy, concert producers Glenn and Winston Llamas, STAR contributor/Ateneo professor Jonathan Chua, producer Sixto Dy, sportscaster Janelle So, cooking show host Sharwin Tee, TV exec Linggit Tan, journalist Nelia Tan, PR man Ed Uy, impresario Emilio Uy and STARWeek editor Doreen Yu. 

• From Robin Tong: Gretchen Ho.

• From Pete Lacaba: My great grandmother on my mother’s side, Casiana Quiogue of Pateros, was pure Chinese, which makes me 1/8 Chinese. And Rocco Nacino’s mother is a Quiogue from Pateros, which is why feeling kamag-anak ako when I see him at showbiz events. Di ba Tsinoy din si Dolphy at ang pamilya Quizon? More Tsinoys: Love Marie (Heart Evangelista) Ongpauco, direk Mel Chionglo, broadcaster Mel Tiangco, playwright/film critics Nic Tiongson, film archivist Teddy Co, direk Topel Lee and direk Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil.

  •  The proliferation of sex videos featuring actors has spawned the joke (contributed to Funfare by a reader who hides behind the code name “Parental Guidance”) who among them is, well, “top-rated” and “gifted”...  two Kapuso, two Kapamilya or one Kapatid? And the winner? Yes, Kapatid! “For once,” joked PG, “natalo ng Kapatid ang Kapuso at Kapamilya sa rating game.”

* * *

Three Pinay models made it to the 14 final cast members of Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 4 as officially announced on Thursday in Singapore, namely Gwendoline Gaelle “Gwen” Ruais, Alaiza Flor Malinao and Julian Aurine “Ja” Flores.  

Gwen, 25, was the first-ever Miss World Philippines winner and finished First Princess to Venezuela’s Ivian Sarcos in the 2011 Miss World pageant held in London. She’s also a television host and pageant trainer. Alaiza, 22, was first runner-up in the 2014 Century Tuna Superbod Philippines and a Top 15 semi-finalist in 2015 Bb. Pilipinas. Julian, 25, was a Top 15 semi-finalist in the 2014 Bb. Pilipinas, and fourth runner-up and Miss Photogenic in the 2014 Miss Manila won by Krischelle Halili.

The modeling reality show premieres on March 9 on Star World Asia with a new host, Cindy Sirinya Bishop of Thailand, who competed in the 1996 Miss World pageant. The new mentor is Kelly Tandiono, an Indonesian model, style icon and actress. Georgina Wilson, who hosted Cycle 3, will still be seen in one of the episodes.

Will a Pinay model finally win the Asia’s Next Top Model title after ending up as runners-up in the first three cycles: Stephanie Retuya, first runner-up in Cycle 1; Jodilly Pendre and Katarina Rodriguez, first and second runners-up, respectively, in Cycle 2 and Monika Sta. Maria, first runner-up in Cycle 3?

On ‘art-ifying’ Manila

Here’s an interesting reaction from director Freddie Santos to Funfare’s recent story on Rep. Amado Bagatsing (who’s running for Manila mayor in May):

An interesting article today, indeed. “Art-ifying” a whole city may sound noteworthy but all those interesting and colorful little activities will be for naught without a truly BIG PICTURE to serve as a guide.

My example is the Metropolitan Theater. This was a fave topic of Kuya Germs when he was still alive and for years on end. He would talk to me about it and I would always be uninterested. Outside of plans to restore the theater in the hope of reviving its halcyon days as a well-patronized center of culture, I heard nothing that really merited my support.

For me, what the MET needs, more than restoration, more than revival, is RE-PURPOSE. People in their lovely cars and lovely clothes are not going to go to that location from their lovely houses to display themselves in the lobby and immerse themselves in a lovely show with lovely performers. Not gonna happen.

As it is, it barely happens at the CCP which is a lot closer to the lovely south where many lovely people now live. But if nothing else, the CCP still has history, prestige and legitimacy (and more parking) going for it. All the MET has is a barely-remembered history...and more traffic than should be wished on anyone.

My own suggestion? Convert it into an academy for the performing arts, run by a real university, with real teachers and real schedules where students are required to go, and their families and friends are obligated to come and watch them, where students can graduate with real degrees recognized worldwide, where students can learn the rudiments of stage ON STAGE, not in a studio or a little black box with occasional visits to the campus auditorium. 

As for converting Roxas Boulevard into an artist’s enclave instead of a beerhouse row, that all sounds noble and parental. But seriously? If you don’t make the bayside fun, people are not going to go. What MOA has done to its bayside strip is more feasible...even if it means an occasional Ferris Wheel. 
Personally, I never enjoyed the bayside strip so much as when there were coffee shops, beer gardens and side shows. That whole concept, so frowned-upon by whoever, I found so much fun that I would walk from the US Embassy all
the way to the CCP and back, occasionally buying something...drinking something...eating something. NOT PAINTING.

I sort of get what Kuya Germs and Mr. Bagatsing are trying (or tried) to say. But the fact is: THESE ARE NOT THE OLD DAYS.

Make them gold days. Bold days. Not renewed days, but new days…whoever gets elected.

Best Regards,

Direk Freddie

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