Freeman Cebu Entertainment

Cebuano ‘StarStruck’ finalist among early press darlings

- Ricky L. Calderon - The Freeman

Easily becoming a favorite for the press people among the StarStruck Final 14 hopefuls is Elyson de Dios, the 16-year-old varsity player from Cebu. When the StarStruck Final 14 was presented to the press last week, it was evident from the way he spoke that Elyson was nervous. So the press told him to just relax. After a while, he became more at ease.

From among two Cebuano males who tried their luck in StarStruck, Elyson made the cut. “I am happy and blessed that I was chosen to be in the Final 14. Among the many that are talented and have experience in showbiz, I feel blessed that I made it,” said Elyson in halting Tagalog.

Elyson said this is his first trip to Manila and he did so to audition for StarStruck. He is brushing up on his Tagalog so he could interact better with his co-StarStruck hopefuls. He is thankful to another aspirant Aira Mariano who is teaching him Tagalog.

When asked about his showbiz crushes, he named Kris Bernal and Jennylyn Mercado. Among his idols are Joyce Ching and Pambansang Bae Alden Richards.

“I admire Alden Richards because he never gave up. And he always thinks positive. He may not have been lucky to be chosen in StarStruck but he never gave up. Who would imagine he’d be very popular now,” said Elyson in Tagalog.

While he is proud to be part of StarStruck, he said his dad is somewhat disappointed because he wants Elyson to pursue a career in basketball. “It was dad’s dream to be a basketball player before but he was not given the chance to pursue that dream,” said Elyson of his father who now works as a card dealer at the Waterfront Hotel and Casino. His mom is a housewife. The youngest in a brood of three, Elyson has two elder sisters.

Is he a good basketball player? “Well, siguro naman po kasi napili akong varsity player,” he said with a smile.

“But I joined StarStruck to prove to my family, especially to my dad, that I can do more than just playing basketball,” the Cebuano charmer said. He has had three girlfriends but is single at the moment. When he joined the intramurals and won, he was surprised when a lot of girls asked to have a picture with him.

Competing for StarStruck, Elyson discovered that he has a knack for acting. But he has to improve when it comes to his singing and dancing skills. According to the comments of the StarStruck mentors, he is good in acting.

“I am learning a lot. I learned I have the potential in acting because that was our mentors (Ms. Gina Alajar and Anne Villegas) said. Hindi ko alam ‘yun. I thought I had a good singing voice. Akala ko maganda ang boses ko. Ngayon ko lang nalaman na hindi naman pala maganda boses ko. Mahilig ako kumanta pero sa banyo lang,” he candidly answered  to the amusement of the press.


The Quezon City International Pink Film Festival (QCIPFF) had a successful opening night held at the Gateway Cinema at Araneta Center last Tuesday. In the absence of Mayor Herbert Bautista and Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte who both had previous engagements, it was Councilor Mayen Juico who met the delegates and international celebrities.

The QCIPFF will be held from October 6 to 11 at the Gateway Cinema 1. This year’s edition features prize-winning films from the Berlin Film Festival where Pink Festival Director Nick Deocampo was part of the 2015 jury in the TEDDY Awards, a section dedicated for the showing of LGBT Films.

Bringing the Berlin prize-winners to local audiences, Deocampo has programmed the TEDDY Best Film “Nasty Baby” (USA) to be the closing film on October 11. Other Berlin prize-winners include “El Hombre Nuevo/The New Man” (Uruguay/Chile/Nicaragua), which won the Best TEDDY Documentary. The opening film of the festival was “Dressed as a Girl” (UK) with the film’s producer Chris Amos present at the festival to introduce the film. It will again be shown today.

Included in the program are other Berlin entries like “Kumu Hina” (USA) and the Jury Prize winner, “Stories of Our Lives (Kenya/South Africa). Last year’s edition featured Cannes prize-winners like the controversial Palme d’Or winner, the lesbian film “Blue is the Warmest Color” (France). Local films participating in the festival are “Esprit de Corps,” “Esoterika Maynila,” “Shunned,” “I Love You, Thank You,” and “Pinoy Transking.”

With the resounding success of last year’s festival, the holding of the QCIPFF 2 will be made meaningful this year with the passage of the historic “Gender Fair Ordinance.” It is a cause for great celebration as this historic emancipation bill—the first in Asia—signifies Quezon City’s progressive outlook towards the future under the administration of Mayor Herbert Bautista.

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