Kent Gonzales and his sister Pam with Sharon Cuneta as their haunted mom in Erik Matti’s Kuwaresma, now showing nationwide.
How effective are stars as campaign endorsers?
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - May 18, 2019 - 12:00am

Curtain-raisers:

• Could it be true that a lady TV reporter is being secretly eased out due to a case that hasn’t been settled up to now? Keep your eyes wide open. If you notice that she’s being seen less and less, that must be the sure sign.

• A Funfare reader sent what he called a Clint Bondad “equation” — 100 percent looks + 10 percent talent = CB. It’s unfair, I know, but that should make Clint (now a Kapuso contractee) work hard to prove the reader wrong. So far, his only claim to fame is being the ex of Miss Universe Catriona Gray. The same “challenge” was posed on Brapanese “eye candies” and only Daniel Matsunaga seems to have hurdled it. Friends who have seen Clint in the GMA soap Love You Two are convinced that Clint is telegenic but sorely lacks talent.

• A TV actor who prides in having a wholesome image is said to be a “teaser” on social media. A Funfare DPA said that he would “flirt” with all types of women and fortunately, he doesn’t go beyond that. Already in his late 20s, he is said to have not lost his “innocence” yet.

* * *

Come to think of it, are stars really effective as campaign endorsers?

The answer is yes and no.

For the May 13 elections, Coco Martin openly campaigned (even showing up in rallies around the country) for Senator-elect Grace Poe but even without him, Grace would have placed among the Top 3 as proven by the surveys. Same in the case of Lito Lapid who has been deemed “winnable” even without the so-called “Probinsyano factor” (generated by Coco’s Kapamilya action-adventure series).

Coco couldn’t save the day for Probinsyano co-stars Edu Manzano and Mark Lapid who failed in their bids for San Juan City congressman and Porac (Pampanga) mayor, respectively. Neither did the perceived Coco “magic” propel Ang Probinsyano (No. 54) to the top of the Partylist race, placing only among the Top 10. Topnotcher was the ACT-CIS Partylist headed by Raffy Tulfo who is said to have more than 4.2 million followers.

Daniel Padilla and girlfriend Kathryn Bernardo endorsed but didn’t succeed in making Daniel’s dad Rommel Padilla win the Nueva Ecija congressional race. Same with Angel Locsin who rooted for her relative Neri Colmenares’ senatorial candidacy.

Sarah Geronimo endorsed Sonny Angara who is so popular and well-loved that, even without dishing out “TF” (Talent Fee) for campaigner Sarah, he could very easily make it to the magic circle.

Voters have become wise and perceptive. They can tell if a star is endorsing a candidate due to monetary consideration and not because the star believes in the candidate’s credentials. Well, you see, when money talks, (some) people listen.

Star popularity is actually double-edged. It can either make or unmake a candidate. Goods looks are not enough to make a candidate win, but good brains are more than enough.

By the way, didn’t you notice that not many stars were enlisted as endorsers for the May 13 campaign?

Matalino na po ang mga botante. They are not easily dazzled by star endorsers. Future candidates should bear that in mind.

Waray siblings launched in Erik Matti’s Kuwaresma

Kent up close impressed Erik with his acting potential.

Cast as the children of Sharon Cuneta and John Arcilla in Kuwaresma, Erik Matti’s horror film now showing nationwide, are siblings Kent and Pam Gonzales whose family survived the Super-typhoon Yolanda that torn the roof of their house in Tacloban and left them in the cold.

Pam has dabbled in modeling and beauty contests aside from exposures in various TV series. In Kuwaresma, she plays the daughter who died mysteriously. Erik has nothing but nice words to the two, especially Kent who he said was a big revelation in the movie.

“Nag-audition siya (Kent). Sobrang ‘raw’ pero nakikita mong ‘yung utak niya kung paano gumalaw. Unang eksena with Sharon, iyakan, pasok agad siya. Hindi siya natakot kay Sharon,” Erik proudly said of the 17-year-old young actor.

Fresh from Reality Entertainment’s blockbuster action film, BuyBust in 2018, Kuwaresma is the first of its three ventures with Globe Studios, including Erik’s On The Job 2.

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

ERIK MATTI KUWARESMA
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