Shanaia Gomez: Star-in-training
Karla Rule (The Freeman) - October 7, 2017 - 4:00pm

At 15 years old, Shanaia Gomez’s greatest fear is having regrets.

Now an up-and-coming GMA Artist Center talent, this half-Cebuana was discovered through a Philippine Canadian Charitable Foundation (PCCF) pageant in a GMA Pinoy Fiesta event that celebrates the Filipino community in Canada.

Shanaia was hailed Miss Philippines Canada 2016 first-runner up and has been training under GMA since, appearing in various commercials, the latest being a Maggi Sinigang ad with Ian Veneracion. After the TVC, she named her puppy “Maggi” with a “Maggi Sinigangi” nickname.

“I thought at the time that pageants weren’t my thing. I don’t think I could be prim. It was my mom who encouraged me to do it and in the end I’m thankful that I had that opportunity,” Shanaia says.

Although she might join other pageants, Shanaia’s focus is on preparing herself for a showbiz career.

Born in Ireland, Shanaia, her mom, and sister moved to Canada after a few years. Her mom, who hails from Talisay City, started a performing arts school in Canada.

Shanaia is free-spirited and can talk for days on end. She’s well aware of how crazy she can get and is unapologetic about it. If anything, her bright disposition and honest reactions make her all the more relatable.

The young lady began singing at four years old, but it wasn’t until she was 12 that she realized she could elevate that hobby into something more. Lover of all things Disney and Marvel, Shanaia is a sucker for performing, and was even part of a group that performed in concerts and shows in Canada.

“It’s really overwhelming when people at school would tell me how they’re inspired by what I’m doing now,” Shanaia says.

Even before signing with a major network, Shanaia would encourage others to see where performing can take them. “They would say that they’re not going to make it anywhere, or that they really didn’t have much talent. But I disagree. I’m really happy when I’m on stage, and I want them to find and experience that too.”

Shanaia’s inspiration is her family. Now based in the Philippines, she  doesn’t get to see them much, but doesn’t worry since she texts them all the time and speaks to them online.

“I do get a bit homesick but it’s alright. I miss my family and my friends but I’m doing this for them. My mom and my sister are everything. I try to go home every six months. As long as you know something good is going to come out of it, it’s okay,” quips Shanaia, who’s gained new friends under the GMA label.

You only need two words to get Shanaia’s attention: Criminal investigation. She’s obsessed with reading mystery thrillers and watching documentaries and television series like “CSI.”

Another thing that gets Shanaia excited: Selena Gomez.

“I want to be like her. She’s one of my biggest inspirations,” Shanaia gushes.

Although adventurous in her musical genres, Shanaia’s influences include the soulful and impassioned Adele, and Demi Lovato’s realness among many other artists. For now, Shanaia is busy preparing  song covers.As for original content, Shanaia is still learning to write her own songs, and acknowledges that she needs to get out in the open and live to have the currency to write better.

Shanaia admits she has a lot of catching up to do, and has a lot of training to go through before officially breaking out in the entertainment industry. If anything, she’s totally enjoying her time in boot camp.

“I just try to be fully prepared. I don’t like being half-ready. I just have to take things one step at a time,” Shanaia muses.

“Acting is great because you have to have a connection with your co-actors or else it shows that it’s fake. I’ve learned a lot during the workshops, and they even let us do crazy things like pretend to be other things aside from people.”

As Pinoy showbiz rides on love teams, we asked her if she was willing to be in one. “It would be great, but I think right now I want to set my roots first and build myself. I want to be known first as someone independent and not just the other half of a love team. I want to start as someone separate from another thing and just be myself.”

Despite breaking ground on her dreams, Shanaia is still a teen after all—she’s indecisive, excited, and needs her phone. She knows there is a lot to learn from those who came before her, and understands that there are big decisions to make, responsibilities to meet, appointments to see through, and flights to catch.

But despite that, she can’t help but go on adventures, and explore and just do it, whatever “it” was—even surprising those closest to her, and learning as she goes, even as we spoke.

A certified caramel and dog lover, and slowly getting into makeup, Shanaia is competitive, charming, and confident.

If there was one other thing that Shanaia is extremely good at, it is being true to herself, something that young girls should keep in touch with. Shanaia isn’t afraid to do wacky poses, and while outspoken, also listens well.

“What do I want to be remembered as?” Shanaia repeats the question as she ponders a reply.

“I just want to be known as someone inspirational, someone who stayed true to herself. I want to be known as someone who didn’t pretend to be perfect.”




Movie Review: Gorgeous sequel breaks franchise spell

“We’re all just looking out for something real,” says Robin Wright’s police captain in “Blade Runner 2049.”

Wright, an icy, steely actress seemingly born for the world of “Blade Runner,” is speaking to her replicant detective whose name is his serial number: KDC-3-7 — or “K,” for short (Ryan Gosling). But it’s a line that resonates beyond the robotic reality of “Blade Runner.” What contemporary moviegoer won’t nod with understanding?

Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi neo-noir original extracted the frightful premise of Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” — the horror of not knowing if you’re real or not — and overlaid it across an eerie and mesmerizing sci-fi void.

Its slick surfaces and the radically atmospheric synthesizer score by Vangelis — not to mention Daryl Hannah’s hair and some serious shoulder pads — made “Blade Runner” an electric portrait of ‘80s soullessness. Its futuristic grandeur came with a cynical shrug.

Denis Villeneuve’s impressively crafted and deeply respectful sequel, set 30 years later, has — more than most of its rebooting ilk — carefully preserved much of the original’s DNA.

The photography, by Roger Deakins, is resolutely gorgeous, filled with stark perpendicular lines, glowing orange hazes and yellow pools of reflected light. Gosling, a worthy heir to Harrison Ford, shares his predecessor’s inclination for both restraint and a smirk.

But while “Blade Runner 2049” is always something to look at, an overly elaborate script and some other bad habits common to today’s sequel machinery — such as glaring product placement — have broken the “Blade Runner” spell.

It may be too harsh to grade “2049” against the original, especially when so many copycats have since diluted its dystopian wonder. Yet while “2049” still stands out from the pack, it lacks the mystery of the original. (Or at least the director’s cut. The 1982 film was itself a replicant with too many versions to keep straight.) This latest updated model, less punk-rock in attitude, wants to connect the dots and illuminate backgrounds that stayed dark the first time around.

There are hints, one fears watching “2049,” of a “cinematic universe” scaffolding being erected. Scott is a producer this time around, but he had his hands in the film’s development, along with “Blade Runner” scribe Hampton Fancher (who co-writes here with Michael Green).

Scott instead went off to make “Alien: Covenant” but there seems to be some growing connective tissue between the franchises. Certainly there’s much of the same tiresome creation mythology and Christ-imagery, along with the throat-clearing monologues about angels and demons (here delivered by Jared Leto’s crazy-eyed AI visionary).

The larger apparatus detracts from what is, at heart, a detective story — and a fairly good one, at that. Like Ford’s Rick Deckard, K is a Blade Runner seeking out-modeled replicants to “retire.” But whereas Deckard’s identity was — depending on whom you ask — up for grabs, K is definitely a replicant. He undergoes “baseline” questioning after each mission to establish that he hasn’t started feeling emotions. (In this quiz, the correct answer to “How does it feel like to hold a baby in your arms?” is “Interlinked.”)

Gosling has little about him that suggests android, unless future scientists are planning to work extremely hard on a “charmingly bemused” setting. We personally prefer his more alive and loose-limbed L.A. detective from “The Nice Guys,” but Gosling’s nature plays into the movie. We’re convinced K is more, especially after, while on a mission, he stumbles on to the remains of a replicant woman who apparently died in child birth.

As Wright’s character puts it, replicant reproduction would “break the world.” Humans would no longer hold dominion over their cheap, disposable work force; a rebellion would spark. If “Blade Runner” was the nightmare of being soulless, “2049” is the dream of being real, with a leather jacket-clad Pinocchio in a flying car. The search for the child from 20 years earlier sends K in strange places.

Questions of authenticity are elsewhere, too. K’s lone companion is a digital woman named Joi (Ana de Armas), a holographic product advertised to be “whatever is your fancy.” He comes to believe in their relationship, only to look crestfallen at the billboard advertising Joi. K is reminded again and again that any feeling of uniqueness is imaginary, or a marketing gimmick.

It’s a question Villeneuve’s movie asks itself, too. A hologram of Elvis plays while a fistfight careens through a Vegas lounge. The late-arriving Harrison Ford is there in the flesh, but he’s coming off a “Star Wars” franchise that reanimated actors, including a dead one, in younger digital facsimiles. “Blade Runner 2049” quietly ponders its own existence amid today’s blockbusters: Can a replicant movie be real?

There is much to like here, but “2049,” like “Alien: Covenant,” feels too enraptured with its own headiness. Even Nabokov’s “Pale Fire” makes a cameo.

Maybe “Blade Runner” wore its complexities on its sleeve, too. But it’s hard not to agree with the old blade runner who turns up late in the film and tells K: “I had your job once. It was simpler then.” (AP)

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