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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Christian Bautista conquers Malaysia

Ikons Muzikon, one of the newest recording labels in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is all out in getting foreign recording artists to collaborate with their local talents. This will greatly help in boosting the interest and business of music in the Asian region.

For its initial salvo, Ikons Muzikon handpicked Asia's romantic balladeer Christian Bautista to record the song "Anugerah Cinta," with Malaysian singer Noryn Azis. The song is the Malaysian version of "Ngiti," originally performed by "Pinoy Dream Academy" scholar Ronnie Liang, composed by Rod Katindoy and released under Universal Records Philippines.

"Christian has the advantage of being chosen for the recording project, given his profile and success in Asia," says Richard Voon, managing director for Muzikon. "That is why why we selected him to record with Noryn, who is also a very established recording artist in Malaysia."

Voon added that because of the problems of piracy, they are pushed to be creative and innovative in their approach to selling music. "We hope that with this exchange, we can
easily introduce Noryn and other Malaysian talents to the Philippine market."

In recent years, the decline of CD sales in the region has pushed many record labels to new forms of marketing music, like digital downloading. In Indonesia and Malaysia, mobile ring back tone downloads have greatly replaced the business of the actual purchasing of CDs. It was reported that Christian's first hit single, "The Way You Look at Me," is one of the biggest ring back downloads of the decade in Malaysia and Indonesia.

"Promotion is key to making this a success, that's why we laid out an extensive trimedia campagin for Christian," said Voon.

From Jan. 17 to 21, Christian and Noryn did the rounds of TV guestings in Media Prima (the largest TV conglomerate in Malaysia), radio interviews and press conferences. The two artists also shot a music video to complete the promotional materials for their duet. Other creative collaborations will follow suit.

Christian also recorded the song "Perpisahan Ini," with another Malaysian artist, Hannah Tan. Another Filipino artist, Kyla, did a duet of the song, "Tenman," with Noryn, while Regine Velasquez is set to record with Sheila Majid, according to Voon.

Meanwhile, Christian's "Romance Revisited: The Love Songs of Jose Mari Chan," will soon be released as a repackaged version with the two Bahasa duets.

The Christian-Noryn duet, "Anugerah Cinta," is now available for downloading in Malaysia at
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Christian guests in 10 Indonesian TV shows

Christian Bautista recently returned to Indonesia to promote his latest single, “Tetaplah Dihatiku,” the Bahasa version of “Please Be Careful with My Heart,” from his “Romance Revisited: The Love Songs of Jose Mari Chan” album. Christian recorded the song with popular Indonesian singer-actress, Bunga Citra Lestari.

He tirelessly did a week-long guesting, starting in the TV game show, “Missing Lyrics,” on Trans TV. This was followed by his appearance in the famous morning show, “Dahsyat,” in RCTI TV and “Gebyar BCA” in Indosiar TV.

Christian was also seen in “Bri Dihati,” Online Trans TV, MNC Music Channel (also aired in Singapore and Malaysia), “Playlist” on SCTV, the showbiz-oriented show “Sinden Gossip,” “Bukan Empat Mata” on Trans TV-7 and “TV1 Auto Expert.” Other than the TV guestings, Christian’s schedule was filled with magazine, newspaper and radio interviews for his Indonesian visit.

* * *
Mike Defensor: QC is entertainment capital

Though he admits that he had no deep involvement in the local entertainment industry, particularly movie productions, former Secretary Mike Defensor said he supports all initiatives and efforts to promote and develop local showbiz.

“Quezon City can really be developed as the entertainment center of the Philippines by establishing entertainment theme parks, like an ala-Universal Studios of Los Angeles,” Mike said. “We have all the land resources in Quezon City. And the entertainment theme park must be a part of the development of a business district in the city.”

Mike added that in Quezon City, a museum for the stars can also be established, and this is an added attraction not only for QC residents but also for local and foreign tourists. It can also serve as a historical library for the local entertainment industry – and where students interested in all aspects of productions can go and enhance their knowledge about the industry.

“We also have 26 protected areas in Quezon City which can be developed further as areas of wholesome and environmentally friendly recreation spots,” Mike added.

“As a major incentive, the developers shall be given tax holidays during the initial operations of their establishments,” he also stressed.

Anyway, Mike Defensor, who has spent quite a number of years in public service either as an elected or appointed by Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, is running for the mayorship of Quezon City with Aiko Melendez as his vice mayor teammate.

Mike believes in the principle of continuity. “I will continue the growth of the city, provide political leadership.”

For a leader to be effective, he must already think in terms of legacy projects.

In showbiz, among his favorites celebrities are Ms. Susan Roces, Angel Locsin, Aiko Melendez and Ai Ai De Las Alas whom he said is the favorite of his children.

“Tanging Ina” is his favorite movie, and the most recent is “Panday.”

* * *
The best of Follies de Mwah

Club Mwah in Mandaluyong City continues to define the true meaning of class and elegance in its shows and to be known as an upscale, cutting-edge and world-class theater.

The only Broadway-themed entertainment venue in the country, it has presented a lot of shows that always leave the audience awed and impressed with its spectacular and fabulous costumes and dance-and-sing showcases. Right now, the club’s current presentation “The Best of Follies de Mwah” will run till February when it will be replaced by “Bedazzled 10.”

As the title connotes, “The Best of Follies de Mwah” is a compact show that is made up of excerpts from the most loved Broadway shows, as well as spoofs culled from a span of five years, shows that are strung together into seamless and technically polished one-hour-and-a-half show comparable to those shown in Las Vegas, Paris and New York.

Club Mwah’s success is brought about by the hard work of its executive producer and vice president, Pocholo Malillin, and his partner, Cris Nicolas, the choreographer, director, costume designer and set designer all rolled into one. Pocholo and Cris are real trailblazers in this of entertainment business.

For those who haven’t seen Club Mwah, it is designed like any world-class theater. You will be dazzled by its lighting and state-of-the-art interiors.
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Dingdong encourages more people to run with him for a cause

Over a thousand runners have already registered and more are expected to join as Dingdong Dantes and Yes Pinoy Foundation’s “fun-book-run” culminates on Jan. 31 at 5 a.m. at the Bonifacio High Street, Taguig City.

According to Catherine Ilacad, one of Yes Pinoy Foundation’s trustees and owner of Posh Nails, one of the events sponsors, she is encouraging people to register, have fun, be fit and at the same time help their cause. The fun run was organized with National Bookstore as its main advocacy partner. The goal is to generate books for public elementary and high school students whose schools and libraries were affected by last year’s major calamity – Typhoon Ondoy.

Every person who signs up with either 3K, 5K or 10K run is encouraged to donate an elementary or high school book. This lowers the joining fee to P400. Without a book, the fee is P450 which is the average fee for joining races in the country. Interested parties can join personally at R.O.X. Store in Bonifacio Street
“According to the Department of Education, P2 million-worth of books were damaged during the flood caused by the typhoons last year... whatever we generate from this fun run, we will choose the school na kung saan maraming na-damage na libraries and schools most affected and they will be our beneficiaries,” explained Dingdong Dantes. The schools and libraries they plan to rehabilitate are from Cainta, Rizal, Laguna, Marikina and Muntinlupa.

The fun run is also Yes Pinoy Foundation and National Bookstore’s second charity work together. Their first was Project Aklat launched in December 2009.

“Our Project Aklat was successful that we wanted a follow-up that would jumpstart the year 2010. We decided on a ‘book run’ and so far it’s drawing a lot of participants,” shared Dingdong.

The actor also expressed enthusiasm about their partnership with National Bookstore. The popular nationwide book chain and school supplies store will always support the projects of Yes Pinoy Foundation.

“We’re a new foundation that needs funds for a greater purpose. We built Yes Pinoy from scratch and we’re very hands-on with our projects. So we always appreciate everything that’s donated or what we earn because it doesn’t go to us but to the foundation and its beneficiaries. Our goal is to be successful for our foundation’s causes,” stressed Dingdong.

From the registration fee, each runner will receive a Singlet which is powered by an RF I.D. that will record the person’s race performance digitally. There will also be a lot of giveaways from the race’s sponsors. Their major sponsors are San Marino, Mario D’ Boro, PGA Cars, Goldilocks, Nature Valley, Rudy Project and DMCI Homes. The actor has also invited celebrity friends to join the fun run but is not confirming who would be available at 5 in the morning. Marian Rivera, his rumored real life girlfriend, wants to join Dingdong but everything is dependent on her taping schedules. And “Darna’s” last taping day, according to insiders of the show, would be this Saturday, Jan. 30.

“Definitely it will be one fun morning for everybody. I don’t know yet which run I will join but the most important thing for me is to make sure the runs are successful. I want to make everyone happy,” he smiled.

As to his charity works being a prelude to a future political career, Dingdong said no.

“Often kasi when we do something that is from the heart, that is nice or that is for a great cause, there would be some people who would think that way. But this has been an ongoing advocacy since I was a kid... nasa kanya-kanyang hilig lang yan. Others may be very successful at what they do and they may have their own way of giving it back to those in need. Not necessarily putting up a foundation, but my point is, this is my way of giving back to society, masarap lang siya kasi nagkakaroon ng balance sa pagkatao and my blessings,” he pointed out.

For 2010, Dingdong revealed that his focus will be on doing good movies and helping good causes. In line for him are – a summer movie with Marian Rivera, the hard action fantasy “Andong Agimat” and the TV series “Endless Love.” He is also leaving for the States as a guest performer in the concert series of Ogie Alcasid and Regine Velasquez.

How does he see himself in 2010?

“If there’s one thing that I would like to be known, it is as a three-dimensional person... I want to be someone that you see the same anywhere… this year I really want to focus on doing nice movies like ‘Kimmy Dora’ which was very significant to me. I want to be part of something that would make the industry richer,” he replied.

And how does he keep himself grounded?

“I believe that it is in one’s personality. It is not learned at hindi rin siya naituturo. Pero nasa values siya na nakuha mo all throughout the years. From all the experiences na naranasan mo ikaw mismo ang momolde sa sarili mo. Ako kasi simple lang ang mga gusto ko kaya ganun lang,” was his humble answer.
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ELECTION WATCH: Boy Abunda reveals that Baby James will appear in an ad for Noynoy Aquino

With the May 2010 elections just a few months away, Boy Abunda says that campaign plans in support of Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III have been stepping up.

"Anything I can do for Noy, anything I can. Kami ni Kris [Aquino], we are not with a political organization or a political organization of Noynoy, but like I said, we are family," said Boy when PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) interviewed him during a feng shui event last January 23 at the SM Mall of Asia.

Through Mad88, Kris and Boy's advertising agency, their group has been able to produce television political ad campaigns for Noynoy. Mad88 was responsible for Noynoy's "Hindi Ka Nag-iisa" music video, wherein Regine Velasquez sang the theme song while celebrities such as Kris's husband James Yap, Bea Alonzo, Anne Curtis, Bianca Gonzalez, Ogie Alcasid, and Ai-Ai delas Alas lent their presence.

Boy pointed out: "'Hindi Ka Nag-iisa' MTV was [done] with the help of all our friends. Libre yun, ha. The only money we shelled out was for the food and pamasahe but everything else was donated."

He also mentioned the newest TV ad campaign coming out wherein Baby James will join. "Abangan niyo kung ano ang ginawa ni Baby James para sa Tito Noynoy niya!" he said with a laugh.

Though hesitant, Boy admitted that he wrote the TV ad dubbed "Kasunduan."

He stated, "I'm not denying it. I wrote it." When asked how he came up with its concept, he explained, "The piece goes like, 'Nangangako ako na hindi magnanakaw... nangangako ako na magiging mabuting leader...'

"I wrote it because it is a claim that Noy can make because he has a similar stand as Tita Cory [Aquino]. And if you're asking how was it? I gave Noynoy a copy. He corrected two words. Kris added something. We edited two lines, that's it."
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GMA-7 executive Wilma Galvante denies report that she is transferring to TV5

Nilinaw na ng GMA-7 executive na si Wilma Galvante ang ilang linggo nang usap-usapan tungkol sa umano'y balak niyang paglipat ng TV network.

Lumabas kamakailan sa ilang tabloid report, at noong January 25 sa "Cocktales"column ni Vic Agustin sa Manila Standard Today, na lilisanin na raw ng Senior Vice President for Entertainment TV ng GMA-7 ang Kapuso Network upang maging consultant ng TV5.

Upang alamin kung may katotohanan ang report na ito, nakausap ng editorial director ng Summit Media na si Jo-Ann Maglipon si Ms. Galvante mismo sa isang phone interview kahapon, Jan. 27.

"There is no truth to that," mariing pahayag ni Ms. Galvante. "We just came from a management summit conference, where we consolidated our plans for GMA-7, where we did strong planning for the network. Personally, I'm surprised that this has come out because there is no such talk within the network."

Matatandaan na ang TV5 ay agresibo ngayon sa paghahanap ng mga opisyal, tauhan, at artista para sa mas malawak na plano para sa network. Nagsimula ang pagpaplano nang mapasailalim ang network sa bagong pamumuno ng kilalang businessman na si Manny V. Pangilinan.

Iyon ang isang dahilan na nakikita ni Ms. Galvante kung bakit may lumalabas na ganitong usap-usapan tungkol sa kanya.

Aniya, "Siguro 'yang speculations tungkol sa transfer ng mga tao ay dahil offers were made to officers and talents to make transfer. But I am not one of them who will move out of my network. I will not transfer. I have unfinished business here. I have invested too much in this network for me to leave now.

"I'm surprised na maraming speculations as though people were in the know about what's going on in the network. In fact, we have no releases to that effect. We have no internal issues. We are solid, we are organized. We've just come from a management conference where we consolidated."

Pahayag pa ni Ms. Galvante, imposible rin na galing mismo sa kanya ang mga impormasyong lumabas sa ilang artikulo dahil walang sinuman siyang nakausap tungkol dito.

"Doon sa mga lumalabas na speculations sa tabloids, may quote pa ako! " nagtataka niyang sabi. "Wala naman akong kinakausap at wala namang kumakausap sa akin. Wala naman akong pinagkuwentuhan, so hindi ko alam. Wala 'yan, wala 'yan. Itong huli [Vic Agustin's column], wala namang tumatawag. Itong huling nagsulat ng column na ito, hindi naman tumawag 'yan."

Bukod sa mga balitang paglipat ng network, may mga hinuha rin na kung sakaling umalis si Ms. Galvante sa GMA-7, papalitan siya ni Ms. Annette Gozon-Abrogar, GMA Films President at anak ni GMA-7 Chairman, President and CEO Felipe L. Gozon.

"Annette Gozon has always been involved in how we produce the shows," maikling pahayag ni Ms. Galvante ukol dito.

Kaugnay ng isinulat Mr. Agustin sa kanyang column, nagpadala ng sulat sa kanya ang Corporate Communications head ng GMA-7 na si Butch Raquel upang pabulaanan ang report. Wala rin daw basehan ang isinulat niyang papalitan ni Ms. Gozon-Abrogar si Ms. Galvante.
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Melissa Ricks wants to tackle different roles

From her bida-kontrabida role in the early primetime series Tanging Yaman to her role as Gerald Anderson's ex-girlfriend in Star Cinema's Paano Na Kaya?, marami ang nakakapansin na mukhang nalilinya sa villain roles ang young actress na si Melissa Ricks.

Pero nilinaw naman ito ni Melissa nang nakausap siya ng PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal).

Aniya, "Actually pag napanood nila ang Tanging Yaman, malalaman nila kung bakit ganun ang character ko. Gusto niyang mapasaya ang nanay niya. Lahat ng sabihin ng nanay niya sinusunod niya, pero deep inside her, nasasaktan na siya. Gusto niya ng normal na buhay, parang nagiging defense mechanism lang niya ang pagiging maldita niya. Actually, nakakaawa nga yung role niya.

"Dito naman sa Paano Na Kaya?, hindi siya kontrabida at all. Nagkataon lang na she fell out of love and then she wanted to love again the same person. Actually, I enjoy playing kontrabida roles and ako naman, ayokong ma-stuck with nakakakaawa na roles lagi. Gusto ko may action, may pagkakontrabida, iba-iba para hindi naman magsawa ang audience sa akin."

Nagbubunga naman ang pagiging open ni Melissa sa mga ganitong klaseng roles. Balita na humahataw sa takilya ang Paano Na Kaya?, na nagbukas sa mga sinehan kahapon, January 27. Consistent din ang mataas na ratings ng Tanging Yaman at ganun din ang Pepeng Agimat nila ni Jolo Revilla, base sa nationwide ratings ng TNS.

"I heard nga na malakas daw yung Paano na Kaya? and I'm so thankful and happy na sinusuportahan kami ng publiko. I must admit when I accepted the role, may pressure sa akin coz this is my first movie under Star Cinema. First time na kinuha nila ako, binigyan nila ako ng magandang role and I'm very thankful to them. Nakatakot din kasi sina Kim [Chiu] and Gerald ang kasama ko dito, magagaling silang mga artista. Sana patuloy nilang panoorin at suportahan ang Paano na Kaya?.

"Actually, in Tanging Yaman, the rating is getting higher. So I'm very thankful also na yung mga shows na napapasama kami ni Matt [Evans], e, nagiging successful. Pero pressure din on our part coz for each show, kailangang pagbutihan talaga namin.

"With Pepeng Agimat naman, nag-last taping na kami nung isang araw. Nakakalungkot pero masaya na all throughout Agimat, mataas ang ratings namin. I must admit nung una kinabahan ako for Pepeng Agimat, it's my first Ramon Revilla remake, so mataas ang expectations ng tao. Hindi ko inaasahan pero ang taas ng ratings namin, so I'm very thankful. Actually, na-extend na nga kami, may Book 2 na. So dapat naman sumunod na sila Coco [Martin] and Jake [Cuenca] and I'm sure magiging mataas din ang ratings nila. First of all, magaling ang director namin. Ikalawa, ang gagaling ng mga artista," saad ni Melissa.
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Judy Ann Santos: "Kung sa paglilipat lang [ng network], baka apat na beses ko pong naisip 'yan!"

Judy Ann Santos admits that she thought of leaving her mother network, ABS-CBN, a number of times. It's almost been three years since she last did a TV series (Ysabella in 2007). Now, she stars in a new primetime series, Habang May Buhay.

"Maraming beses ko inisip 'yan," said the young superstar during the press conference of her upcoming teleserye at Fernwood Gardens in Quezon City last Tuesday, January 26.

However, every time Juday thinks of transferring, the bigwigs of ABS-CBN talk to her to explain things.

"Siyempre, sa bawat desisyon mo na ganyan, magpapaalam at magpapaalam ka," she said. "Sa bawat paalam, parang mag-ina lang 'yan, e, may mga pagkakataon na misunderstanding, miscommunication ng nanay mo. Sa akin naman po, tuwing magkakaroon ako ng tampo or sama ng loob sa ABS-CBN, nakikita ko rin naman na gumagawa sila ng paraan para mapaliwanagan kung ano ang nangyayari. I'm very honest with them na kung sa paglilipat lang, baka apat na beses ko pong naisip 'yan."

So, Juday stayed with ABS-CBN despite the long delay of her next TV series Habang May Buhay, which took almost three years before it finally gets airtime on ABS-CBN's Primetime Bida block. It will premiere on February 1.

The actress said it was still worth the wait. She exlplained, "Worth it siya kasi natapos ko siya, e. Never kong naging ugali na mag-uumpisa ng isang project 'tapos bibitawan in the end, in the middle part, kasi nainip. Basta sinimulan ko, I make it sure na tapusin 'yan. Magkasakit man ako o ano, tatapusin at tatapusin ko 'yan. It's well worth waiting for because I was able to meet Direk Wenn Deramas, I was able to renew my ties with Gladys Reyes.

"I mean, totoo naman, di ba, everything happens for a reason? The main reason why Habang May Buhay took so long was because sininsin naming mabuti ang bawat eksena, ang bawat istorya. So, sana kapag pinalabas siya, ma-appreciate ng tao kung gaano namin kinarir ito para sa mga nurses."

Does she already have another project after Habang May Buhay?

"Mayroon pa kasi akong contract sa kanila until 2011," Juday replied. "Nagtanong lang kung ano ang mga projects na gusto kong gawin in the future after Habang May Buhay. Ano naman, very apologetic naman sila sa pag-e-explain sa akin ng mga nangyari, naa-appreciate ko naman 'yon.

"Gaya nga ng sabi ko, hindi naman mawawala ang tampo ng isang artista sa isang network, talagang ganyan 'yan. Nagkataon lang siguro na palaging ako lang ang napapansin na may tampo. Marami sila, hindi n'yo lang alam. Marami kami, ako lang siguro ang may lakas ng loob na magsalita."

THE QUEEN OF TELESERYE. Earlier this month, Judy Ann was launched as the face of ABS-CBN's celebration of the 60th Year of Pinoy Soap Opera. Aside from this, she was also tagged as the "Queen of Teleserye."

She accepted these recognitions with some hesitations.

"Sa totoong salita, hindi ko naman masasabi na kumportable ako," Juday said. "Nandoon pa rin 'yong parang naninibago, pagtatanong sa sarili kung dapat ba talaga. Siyempre, nandoon din ang pag-iisip na, 'Seryoso ba 'yan?' In-explain naman po sa akin, nagtanong din po ako sa higher bosses kung totoo talaga ito. In-explain naman nila sa akin ang mga kaganapan, ang mga pangyayari. Na-appreciate ko naman po 'yong meeting na nangyari sa amin. Lahat-lahat 'yan dinaanan, mula Ula hanggang Mara Clara."

She also told the media that such titles remind her to always keep her feet on the ground.

"Settled naman ako kung nasaan ako ngayon, e. Hindi naman ako kailangang tawagin ng kung ano pa man para malaman kung saan ako nakalugar sa industriyang ito. Pinaghirapan ko nang mabuti kung nasaan ako ngayon at mahal ko ang trabaho ko.

"May titulo o wala, pagbubutihan ko ang trabaho ko kasi ang buhay ng isang artista ay hindi naman talaga madali ang parte ng bawat galaw. So, thank you kasi naisip nilang bigyan ako ng ganyang pangalan. Pero palagi ko naman siyang sine-share sa lahat ng mga nakasama ko sa trabaho kasi they deserve it also."
read more "Judy Ann Santos: "Kung sa paglilipat lang [ng network], baka apat na beses ko pong naisip 'yan!""