Christian gets a âStar is Bornâ award
Christian Bables with his Bright Star Award (for Signal Rock) from Chicago, tagged ‘A Star is Born!’ which prompts him to joke, ‘Ang lakas maka-Lady Gaga,’ referring to LG’s hit movie
Christian gets a ‘Star is Born’ award
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - October 18, 2019 - 12:00am

Without much fanfare, Christian Bables came home from Chicago with a Bright Star Award in the 2019 Asian Pop-Up Cinema for his performance in Chito Roño’s Signal Rock which was submitted as entry to this year’s Best Foreign-Language Film category of the Oscars.

Engraved on the trophy is “Star is Born!,” prompting Christian to quip, “Ang lakas maka-Lady Gaga,” referring to the hit film starring Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper.

It was also Signal Rock that won Christian Best Actor at the 2018 Hanoi International Film Festival (HANIFF) and at the recent Urduja Film Festival, a yearly event that promotes student short, feature and independent films in Northern Luzon. The title refers to the highest point on a Samar island where residents can get signal when they want to call relatives working abroad.

“They were all nice,” Christian recalled to The STAR about his experience in Chicago where, among others, a Lifetime Achievement Award was given to a Hong Kong director. “As far as I know,” added Christian, “several films were screened for the awards and I’m honored to have been awarded. The founder, Sophia Boccio, was very accommodating. I received a warm welcome from the people of Chicago, especially from the Filipino community.”

Christian is still basking in the box-office success of Panti Sisters that topped the recent PPP (Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino) and will soon have a sequel, still with Christian reprising his gay character along with Paolo Ballesteros but minus Martin del Rosario (who won Best Actor) because his character dies in the movie and he is busy with the Kapuso soap The Gift. The producers are still Perci Intalan and Jun Lana of IdeaFirst Films.

“I’m happy that the LGBT community supported the film,” said Christian who won Best Supporting Actor for Die Beautiful, the first of the trilogy. “We are proud to become allies of the LGBT community since the film successfully relayed the message.”

Things have been coming up roses since Christian signed up as talent of Boy Abunda’s Abundants PR Evangelists agency.

“I leave it up to Tito Boy who decides what project is good for me,” said Christian.

Aside from the Panti Sisters sequel and Kapamilya soap starring Richard Gutierrez and Bea Alonzo (airing starting early next year), Christian is also set to star in a CCP Tanghalang Pilipino play adapted by Rody Vera from an F. Sionil Jose novel.

“Theater is not new to me,” said Christian. “In La Salle, I did a few plays.”

Janine laughs off ‘honeymoon’ yarn

Back from Paris where she made a side trip from New York where she “debuted” in Fashion Week, Janine Gutierrez simply laughed off the rumor that her boyfriend Rayver Cruz joined her in the City of Lights for a “honeymoon.” Janine celebrated her birthday with Rayver with whom she was traveling, unlike in previous trips, without other companions, just the two of them.

Back home, Janine is preoccupied with the promo for Babae at Baril, in competition in the Asian New Wave of the ongoing QCinema (from Oct. 13 to 22), a thriller where she plays a saleslady in a local department store, an underdog whose personality changes when she finds a gun right on her doorstep.

“I didn’t have to train how to fire a gun,” revealed Janine. “My character isn’t familiar with guns so she looks awkward handling a gun.”

Janine Gutierrez with new director Rae Red during the presscon for Babae at Baril, in competition in the Asian New Wave category of the ongoing QCinema
Photos by Ricky Lo

The movie’s director, Rae Red, saw to that.

“During the acting process,” related Rae, cousin of Mikhail Red and niece of Mikhail’s father Raymond Red, “several names came up. I watched the video of each of them and it was Janine who impressed me with her maturity. I saw clips of her GMA psychological thriller Legally Blind and Dragon Lady. Other actors would cry, iyak nang iyak, but Janine does it in a different way…iyak na may hugot.”

Rae’s first film (with Fatrick Tabada, writer of Patay na si Hesus, as co-director) was Si Chedeng at si Apple (inspired by the Susan Sarandon/Geena Davis starrer in which a newcomer named Brad Pitt appears as a hustler), starring Elizabeth Oropesa and Gloria Diaz in a lesbian love story.

“Writing is really my bread and butter,” shared Rae. “I learn a lot from Mikhail and my uncle Raymond from watching them on the set.”

(For more updates, photos and videos, visit or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)


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