Sunday, December 31, 2017

Mr. & Ms. Republic of the Philippines 2017 launched

A scholarship pageant for young men and women has been launched to foster education for a better and brighter future among Filipinos.

Known as Mr. and Ms. Republic of the Philippines, the scholarship pageant also aims to unite young Filipinos around the world to uphold their heritage, and strengthen their identity.

"Mr. and Ms. Republic of the Philippines is a revolutionary approach to pageantry with emphasis on scholarship for winners and Philippine pride among the new generation of Filipinos based here and abroad," said CEO and President Lynette Padolina, during launch held at Via Mare Restaurant, Shangri-la Mall in Mandaluyong City recently.

"It's an engaging concept to cultivate a positive image of Filipinos that they can now be empowered with education and create a good and lasting social impact with their influence. The new Mr. and Ms. RP focuses on education, Philippine heritage and strengthening Filipino communities around the globe," Padolina said.

Forty candidates - 20 men and 20 women - will compete in the scholarship pageant which offers prizes of scholarship grants up to P900,000, cash prize of P100,000 to top winners, cash prize of P30,000 to runners-up, travel opportunities abroad to attend Philippine Independence Day celebrations, wardrobe allowances equivalent to P100,000 and travel key destinations in the Philippines to foster tourism and culture.

New York-based Dr. Romulo Alcalde Aromin Jr., chairman of Mr. and Ms. RP search, said that candidates of Filipino descent will come form overseas Filipino communities in the US, Canada, Europe, Nordic countries, Europe, Asia, and Australia. They will join other key activities such as the gala night and coronation night.

Winners of the pageant will be awarded with these titles: Mr. and Ms. Republic of the Philippines, Ms. Republic of the Philippines International; and Mr. and Ms. RP runners-up Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao during the grand coronation night at the grand ballroom of Sofitel Philippines Plaza on January 31, 2018.

After almost four decades, Ms. Republic of the Philippines is revived from its prestigious roots of being the official pageant for selecting candidates to the Miss World pageant from 1970 to 1976. This year, the search has been expanded with the inclusion of male candidates.

Ms. Republic of the Philippines luminaries are Ms. RP for Ms. World 1973: Evangeline Pascual, Ms. RP 1972 Ms. Luzon Elizabeth Oropesa (multi-awarded dramatic actress); Anna Bayle - Ms. RP 1975 Ms. Luzon (the first Asian supermodel); Bessie Badilla - Ms. RP Visayas 1977 2nd runner-up (Filipino international model); and Ms. RP 1977 for Ms. World 1976 Joy Salazar Conde who relinquished her crown to 2016 Ms. RP Fermina Dianne Ramos. - ROBERT REQUINTINA

* Images by JR Noses.

Why Pia Wurtzbach wants to have a gay child

Former Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach has said that she wanted to have a gay child in the future.

"I really believe na aalagaan ka nila kapag matanda ka na, not to say na hindi ka aalagaan kung straight yung anak mo pero based on my experience, ibang mag-alaga yung beki," said Wurtzbach during an interview on "Tonight Wuth Boy Abunda" on ABS CBN.

"Gusto kong ma experience yung merong excited na bibihisan ako, na ayusan ako, alagaan ako, parang magiging best friend ko. Na-imagine ko na yung anak ko magiging best friend ko pag beki sya," she said.

Facing the Golden Mirror, Abunda asked Wurtzbach to an advice to the girl in the mirror.

"Kalma ka lang, Wag mo ng pansinin yung mga bashers mo. Christmas na!" she said.

When asked about one piece of advise she would give her before she walks down the aisle, Wurtzbach said: "Life doesn't end when you get married, your career doesn't end when you get married. You having fun shouldn't end when you get married;

"Getting married is just like a celebration and a bonus to your life but you should keep going. And sana that girl doesn't stop even if she gets married," added Wurtzbach, who appears in the movie "Gandarrappido: The Revenger Squad," one of the official entries to the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival.

Wurtzbach also said that she and her boyfriend Filipino-Swiss F1 driver Marlon Stockinger were best friends before they became sweethearts.

"I actually realize this for awhile now na Marlon is first and foremost by best friend before my boyfriend;

"He knows me so well already. He knew me when I was Miss Universe when I passed on the crown which was an emotional time for me to my transition here in living here in the Philippines, coming back to the Philippines and coming back to acting. He went through all of that;

"Of course he had his challenges, I had mine. He is just there, he never like gave up on me. He never left," she said.

Asked if they almost separated in the past due to controversies, Pia said: "Parang hindi naman. But I was strategic with our relationship in a way were kapag merong issue, sasabihin ko sa kanya, ito ang gagawin natin ha, magle lay low muna tayo;

"Hindi muna tayo magpo-post. Hindi ibig sabihin break na tayo. Sasabihin ng mga tao break na kami pero hindi kami break. We're just taking a break lang from all the eyes and the ears," said Pia.

In March, model Kit Barraquias said that Stockinger is the biological father of her twins. So far, Stockinger has not commented on the issue. - ROBERT REQUINTINA

Take 2 for Mariah Carey at New Year's Eve Rockin' show

Following her disastrous performance at the New Year's Eve ball in New York City in 2016, Mariah Carey will take the stage once again and determined to put on a good show at the Times Square.

"We can all agree that last year didn't go exactly as planned and we are thrilled to move forward together to provide America with an incredible night of music and celebration on 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2018,'" the statement read. "See you in Times Square!"

Carey has said that in 2016, she was humiliated by technical issues at the annual televised ball-drop.

Carey and other special performers will ring in 2018 in what weathermen forecast as the coldest New Year's Eve since 1961.

Aside from Carey, other scheduled performers are Camilla Cabello, Nick Jonas and Sugarland.

A performance of Britney Spears will be broadcast from Las Vegas, Nevada.

"Going to be ending 2017 with the last #PieceOfMe show ever and a special performance on @rockineve!! Tune in to ABC on 12/31 starting at 8/7c to watch!! #BRITNEYxRockinEve," said Spears on Instagram. reported that Ciara will be hosting the West Coast countdown, with a star-studded lineup including Alessia Cara, Florida Georgia Line, Halsey, Portugal. The Man, Hailee Steinfeld, Zedd, G-Eazy, Bebe Rexha, Alesso, Kane Brown, BTS, Charlie Puth, Shawn Mendes, Kelly Clarkson, Khalid, and Fitz & The Tantrums.

In New Orleans, Lucy Hale will be counting down to 2018, with performances by bands Imagine Dragons and Walk The Moon.- ROBERT REQUINTINA

Friday, December 29, 2017

Vice Ganda recalls growing up with Coco Martin in showbiz

Ace comedian Vice Ganda has said that she will watch the other movies of her showbiz friends competing in this year's Metro Manila Film Festival.

Asked if he will watch "Ang Panday" by Coco Martin, Vice Ganda said: "Ay opo! Kahit yung pelikula ni Jasmine Curtis panonoorin ko din, yung 'Siargao.' Manonood din ako ng 'Haunted Forest' kasi andun din yung ibang kaibigan ko. Hangga't kaya kong manood ng iba, kung may pagkakataon, manonood po ako."

Vice Ganda is joining the MMFF this year under the action-comedy film "Gandarrapido: The Revengers'' which also stars Daniel Padilla and Pia Wurtrzbach.

The "It's Showtime" host said that he is proud of Coco as they grew up together in show business.

"Ang sarap makita na pare-pareho kaming nagtatagumpay at umaasenso lalo na kami ni Coco;

"Kasi po hindi pa kami nag-aartista ng ganito e pangarap na namin ito eh. Pangarap naming yumaman. Pangarap namin magkaroon ng magandang trabaho. Pangarap naming pareho na mai-angat yung mga lolo't lola namin, ang mga pamilya namin, ang mga nanay namin sa kahirapan;

"Kasi parehong-pareho po kami ng storya. Kaya ngayon sabay namin itong na-a-achieve, ang sayang makita," Vice Ganda said.

Vice Ganda and Coco consider themselves the best of friends long before they became popular in the entertainment industry.

Facing the Golden Mirror, Abunda asked Vice Ganda to describe himself.

"Basta nagagandahan ako sa'yo. Maraming hindi nagagandahan sa'yo pero nagagandahan ako sayo," Vice Ganda said.

"Ano ang alas n'ya?" Vice Ganda answered: "Ang alas mo, makapal ang mukha mo at ang dami mong pinagdaanan at marami ka pang pagdadaanan. At 'yung mga pinagdaanan mo dati, kung nalampasan mo, eh mamaniin mo na lang 'yung mga susunod mong pinagdaanan. Gusto kong sabihin sayo na you are so blessed."

"Who is he when no one is watching?" Vice Ganda said: "Bakla. Bakla kang mapagmahal eh. Sobra kang mapagmahal. Yun ang strength mo at weakness mo din."

"What is your prayer?" The comedian said: "Sana maging masayang masayang masaya ka. Kasi yun lang ang dahilan para magkaroon ka ng saya na ise-share sa iba. Kasi hindi mo ito mase-share kung wala ka;

"Sana makasama mo yung gusto mong makasama. Sana mahawakan mo yung gusto mong mahawakan. Sana mayakap mo yung gusto mong mayakap. Sana makatabi mo yung gusto mong makatabi. I just pray that you get what you deserve because you also deserve something special. I hope you get what you deserve," Vice Ganda said.

"Sorry. thank you, congratulations. Ano sa tatlong ito ang nais mong sabihin to that person in the mirror and why?"

Vice Ganda said: "Sorry dahil alam mong pagod ka na pero hindi kita pinapahinto. Thank you dahil nandi-dyan ka. Iniwan man ako ng iba, nanatili ka sa akin. Even if I lost them, as long as I have myself, meron akong mayayakap. Salamat dahil pinasaya mo yung nanay mo. Yun ang pinakamahalaga para sa akin. Hindi mo mapapasaya ang buong mundo, hindi mo mapapasaya ang lahat ng tao, pero alam mo na sapat na, na napamahal mo ang nanay mo. And congratulations dahil sigurado ako, na sa oras na 'to, nakangiti 'yung nanay mo at achievement mo yun bilang anak na bakla." - ROBERT REQUINTINA

What many people do not know about Benjie Paras

Former Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) legend-turned-actor Benjie Paras has said that he would support his sons Andrei and Kobe should they decide to raise a family one of these days.

"Syempre unang reactioin ko mabibigla ako. Pero darating eh. Siguro sa akin hindi masakit kasi mga lalaki," said Benjie, when asked a hypothetical question if he is ready for his children to settle down, during an interview on "Tonight With Boy Abunda" on ABS CBN.

Asked if his sons Kobe and Andrei have girlfriends these days, Beniie said: "Nagkakaroon eh. Very vocal naman sila pareho. Pero sa ngayon, wala pa naman yata."

Benjie said that he and his sons are vocal when they talk about having a girlfriend. "Nakasanayan na namin especially (pagkumpleto kami). Minsan na lang kami makumpleto eh. Pag-umuwi si Kobe or pumunta kami run. Para pagnag sama-sama, andun na lahat."

But Benjie admitted that it is hard on his part to be far away from son Kobe who is based in the US.

"Mahirap especially nung unang beses s'yang pumunta sa America na usually ako yung naghahatid sa kanila kasi;

"So every morning, binubuksan ko yung kwarto nya. Mahirap pagtinging mo malinis yung kwarto, wala ng tao;

"So it's a good thing maganda na yung technology natin na nakakapagusap kayo, nakikita n'yo ang isat-isa;

"Pero minsan bigla na lang sya magpapadala ng picture na may dugo. Tinamaan. So 'ano'ng ginawa mo?' Nagwo-worry ako dapat tinahi kaagad. Kaya nga pag nag text ako mahaba. Kung ano yung naalala ko na gusto kong sabihin, na mabigyan sya ng advice, yung mga vitamins, lahat," the former athlete said.

Benjie, 49, is married to Lyxen Diomampo, former teach and commercial model. They have two children Riley and Sam.

Kobe and older brother Andre are children of Benjie from previous marriage to actress Jackie Forster.

Benjie also revealed five things which many people do not know about him.

* I can watch TV from morning til night;

* I have television sets in my room, sala, dining, kitchen and in my car;

" I personally bring my four boys to school since pre-school until the present;

* I live by my own since I was in fourth year high school;

* I'm good in bathing my kids, change their diapers and dress them up. - ROBERT REQUINTINA

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Last-minute holiday gifts that will surely attract good luck

Still thinking of what to give to your loved ones or friends this holiday season?

Maybe the traditional feng shui good luck symbols to attract fortune will do.

"We are aware that different charms and practices could help us attract good fortune, excellent career, harmonious relationships and healthy long life," said Master Hanz Cua during an interview in Mandaluyong City.

Here's a rundown of some of the traditional lucky feng shui symbols which you may want to consider as gifts for the holidays.

* Number eight (8) - The Chinese pronunciation of number eight is “ba” which is close to the sound “fa” meaning prosperity or to make a fortune. The number eight also has a perfectly symmetrical shape and connotes perfect balance, considered to be the ideal in feng shui.

"If you’d observe, other business owners would request or purchase special phone numbers with a few number eights in it. Number eight is believed to attract good fortune endlessly."

* Mystic Knot - It is made of six (6) infinity symbols. This charm is also called as the endless knot or eternal knot, in Chinese it is “Pan Chang” knot. You can display the mystic knot as is, but others add several charms and decorations into it. Having mystic knots is considered to deliver you from misfortunes, and bad lucks, including sickness and dangers.

* Laughing Buddha - The Happy, Hotei or Traveling Buddha, but most regarded as “The Laughing Buddha” is an unconventional Buddhist monk but well-known and loved by people. It grants abundant wealth and good fortune, not only to the owner but also to their offsprings if this charm is correctly placed.

"On top of that, the Laughing Buddha is also believed to bring good and happy energy and blessings – the reason why you would often see it in establishments and homes."

* The Lucky Cat - One of the adorable good luck symbols in feng shui, the lucky cat is actually from Japan, but feng shui practitioners adopted using Maneki Neko (its Japanese name) for wealth and prosperity. As advised by an expert, you should have the lucky or money cat because you like the energy or vibes it gives, and not just because feng shui told you so.

"It is usually placed at the entrance of establishments and houses to entice wealth and attract good fortune. The lucky or money cat is not limited to the miniature itself. You can also find it embroidered or designed in shirts, key chains, etc."

* Fu Dogs - They are regarded to be the Imperial Guardian Lions. You would often see them outside the houses of royal or wealthy families as they also served as status symbols. Having them in pairs and placed at the front entrance of your house, they will be protecting you from dangerous people such as thieves and burglars.

* Three-legged toad - It is a great feng shui symbol for attracting fortune and wealth. Most three-legged toads have Chinese coin in their mouth. Check if the visible part of the coin is with the Chinese characters and have the three-legged toad face the room, and never an outside door.

* Turtles or Tortoises - In feng shui, turtles or tortoises are one of the four celestial animals or guardians. They are said to guard your home with good energy of infinite abundance, fortune, and stability.

* Elephant - The primary feng shui energies elephants are said to bring are protection, good fortune, wisdom, and fertility. They can be placed in your office or at your home. The elephant’s trunk in upward position manifests showering of good luck. If you are looking for a symbol of friendship and love, intertwined trunks of elephants are a good representation of such.

* Red Envelope - The red envelope or “ang pow”, “hungbao” or “laisee” is a symbol of gratitude as its history can be traced back at Sung Dynasty. A young man helped the village people to fight against a demon, and in return, the villagers gave the man a red pouch with money. As time changes, the pouch became an enveloped designed with lucky icons in feng shui. Others believe that if you receive an empty ang pow, it is still lucky and enough to attract good fortune.

* Chi Lins - Chi Lin is a mythical creature with the head of a dragon, horse for the body and with the scales or a carp fish. This might look weird and unpleasant at first, but Chi Lins are believed to protect you from different harm and bring you blessings of great wealth and prosperity. Chi Lins are also known as Dragon Horse and Chinese Unicorn. - ROBERT REQUINTINA

* For details, visit Master Hanz Cua at his shop located at Unit LG 3, CityLand Shaw Tower in Mandaluyong City. Contact Master Hanz at +63922-829-03-82  or email-at Avail of other services such as Chinese astrology, face and palm reading and tarot card reading.

Jasmine Curtis eyes mini-luxury hotel in La Union

Jasmine Curtis has said that she plans to open a mini luxury hotel in La Union.

"It's like a small private luxury hotel. Hopefully. Claim it and it will happen," said Jasmine during an interview on "Tonight With Boy Abunda" on ABS CBN.

Apparently, Jasmine wanted to open her hotel business in La Union where her boyfriend surf entrepreneur Jeff Ortega is based.

Jasmine appeared on the late-night talk show to promote her latest movie "Siargao," one of the official entries to the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival. It also stars Jericho Rosales and Erich Gonzales.

The younger sister of Anne Curtis-Smith also said that she has no regrets that she settled in the Philippines.

"I think for me more than anything parang curiosity lang always. Maybe nakikita ko sa mga friends ko na marami pa rin ang bagong graduate dun, nakasabayan ko sa high school. Parang may konting 'what would have happened in my life?' But I'm just so thankful from where I am and what I'm doing;

"No regrets, just a lot of curiosity. And pondering pag may free time ka," she said.

Jasmine, 23, also said that she has no concerns regarding health. But she admitted she was hurt when she was bashed for her thin body frame.

"The story is I was in LA for the bachelorette of my sister and I was having a nice day out by the pool;

"Nag-picture lang ako and I posted it. Sanay na ako at the point na maraming nagre-react na pumayat na ako. Normal na 'yung mga ganung comments;

"So there was one na parang shocks ang dumi ng tingin nila sa akin or ang pangit pangit ng pagkatingin nila sa pagkapayat ko to the point na I have to question;

"Hindi ba nila naiisip na meron naman akong magulang, manager, mga kaibigan na sasabihan ako if it's a real health concern? I have a doctor who checks me up anyway. I see my doctor regularly. And wala namang sinasabi na irregular yung weight loss ko or if that's a concern;

"At one point, nag reply lang ako na actually my response was to assure the netizens na walang health concern like everything is fine;

"To be honest, nabigla yung katawan ko. Wala na akong maid at driver, and this is the first time do to all the chores, taking care of my dogs, go to work, prepare for a wedding coming up, travel so many different times na hindi naman sanay yung katawan ko;

"So at that point, sumagot lang ako and I have to put the person in place kasi napaka babaw na ng tingin sa akin. And I felt like may value pa naman ako as a person and I want you to know hindi OK yung ginagawa mo," said Jasmine.

"May isang nagsabi 'anorexic ka na.' Alam nyo ba kung ano yung anorexia and how serious that is?;

"It's body shaming. I'm a mental health advocate and I myself has gone through depression and anxiety. For awhile, bumalik sya 'cus I felt like that's all I heard. It started to affect me to the point na I would cry na lang in my room every time I'd see it. I'd shut out my phone and whatever, kasi hindi nila alam na may repercussions ang mga comments ng tao," added Jasmine.

Jasmine said that she and her boyfriend will celebrate their second year anniversary as sweethearts in 2018.

Asked about wedding plans Jasmine said: "It comes up dahil ang dami ring nagtatanong especially after the wedding. Nakikita nila yung relationship namin so mature. It's really different especially form how I was before because I'm learning, I'm growing up;

"I don't want to make it too dreamy, too far para hindi namin ma-jinx. And the one thing I would love to share to everyone, because this is the one thing na gusto kong ipagmayabang about Jeff, is what he always says to me, you're my commitment to God. Go through every problem together and we'll grew to it together," said Jasmine. - ROBERT REQUINTINA

Baby F. Go excited for new films in 2018, to work with big stars

Queen of independent Filipino movies Baby F. Go has said that she is excited about the year 2018 because of the several quality movie projects she has lined-up.

"May movie ako ngayon na sinu-shooting sa Italy. At may apat kaming naka line-up pang international at local. Meron din pang mainstream sa showbiz, hindi lang pang indie," said Go during an exclusive interview at her office in Mandaluyong City recently.

The first salvo for BG Productions International this year is the movie "Almost A Love Story" starring Kapuso stars Barbie Forteza and Derrick Monasterio. The film is now being shot in Italy. Also joining them are Ana Capri and Lotlot de Leon.

The multi-award winning film producer also said that she's focused on competing in film festivals abroad rather than the local ones.

"Sasali dapat talaga ako nun sa Metro Manila Film Festival. Naka-attend pa nga ako ng meeting nun sa MMDA (Metropolitan Manila Development Authority);

"Pero nadis-appoint ako dahil sa mga nagresign na officer nun dahil sa problema. So 'yung mga may concern din sa akin, sinabihan na rin ako na 'wag na lang sumali dahil ako talaga yung tutoong tao na hindi marunong bumili ng award para sa movie ko," Go said.

In July, it was reported that three members of the executive committee have resigned upon the announcement of the first four entries of the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival.

With the recent controversy, Go said that she already dropped plans to join the MMFF in the future.

"Gaya ng sinabi ko nun, kahit kailan, hindi ko na pinangarap ang local film festival. Very interested ako sa international dahil alam ko na hindi ako dinadaya at yan talaga ang nagbibigay ng panalo;

"Pangalawa, nagbibigay pa tayo ng karangalan sa ating bansa. Iba yung pakiramdam pag nananalo ka sa ibang bansa. Masaya ang producer kapag ganito ang nangyayari;

"Pero dito sa atin, malungkot ka, masakit pa yung bulsa mo dahil nawala yung malaking halaga. So hindi ako pareho ng iba na sumusugal at nakikpaglaban para manalo;

"Ayoko ng ganun, Yung under-the-table na 'yan, kung tutoo man, itutulong ko na lang sa mahihirap, sa mga staff ko na nangangailangan;

* Starstruck

Go also said that she will meet Representative Vilma Santos-Recto of Lipa City for a future film project.

"Gustong-gusto ko talaga si Vilma. Si Vilma may script na s'ya. Ready na ako pumunta sa kanya," she said.

Go also said that she was thrilled to meet former ABS CBN chief content officer  Charo Santos-Concio.

"Ang ganda talaga ng feeling kapag nalalaman mo na yung ibang tao kilala ka na hindi mo alam. Sa isang okasyon, nakita ko si Mam Charo nakatingin s'ya at nakatingin din ako. Bumati ako sa kanya. Talagang bumati sya para mag beso sa akin. Hindi lang isang beses. Two times;

'Sabi nya 'sana makatrabaho tayong dalawa.' Sabi ko naman 'ginagawa na,' " Go said.

* Lessons learned

After receiving recognition from various international award-giving bodies, Go advised future film producers to spend the film's budget wisely.

"Sa pag-produce ng movie, kung meron kang pera, magproduce ka. Pero kung wala kang pera, wag ka na mag-produce;

"Huwag mong gagalawin ang pera na para dapat sana ay para sa pamilya mo. Sa pagpo-produce ko, marami na rin naman akong natulungan sa showbiz industry;

"Nung pumasok ako sa showbiz, mahina na ang showbiz. Pero may ibang crew na nagpasalamat sa akin dahil nung nagtarabaho raw sila sa BG Productions International, nagkaroon sila ng bahay," said Go. - ROBERT REQUINTINA

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Paul Soriano & Toni Gonzaga are sleeping in separate beds

Director Paul Soriano and wife actress Toni Gonzaga are sleeping separately these days.

But don'f get them wrong. The celebrity couple are just doing it for their son Severiano Elliott or Seve.

"Right now, she (Toni) sleeps with him. I'm on the bed and she's in the sofa with Seve. So we haven't been sleeping for a couple of months now," said Paul, during an interview on "Tonight With Boy Abunda" on ABS CBN.

"But I'm really wanting to bring them to the bed now. But he's still very young. There are challenges in the marriage and we have to work at it. And it can be forever a work in progress;

"But Seve has made the marriage more of a blessing. There's so much love in the house right now. And Seve is the center of all that," Paul said.

Paul appeared on the late-night show to promote his directorial movie "Siargao," one of the official entries to the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival. It stars Jericho Rosales, Erich Gonzales and Jasmine Curtis Smith.

Abunda also asked Paul of his reaction to a recent statement of Toni who said that she is secure as a wife.

"The way I feel Toni is very secure. The trust is there, it has never been broken. We know each other well enough to feel anything out. If there's one thing that we do a lot, we communicate;

"We talk, we text. Like when Seve is sleeping, we will talk. Most of these happen in the bathroom. We're just talking there. It's a quiet space. I catch up on her work, with my work," he said.

Paul also said that he initiates a conversation if there are problems.

"Celestine (Toni) is more of a quiet type. I know when something's wrong. I know if something's bothering her. I just have to say what's up? So I have to wait hanggang ma-timpla," he said.

Paul believes that he is a good father than a husband.

"For me, I think father because it comes out naturally. Husband, I have to work at it. My dad and my mom say this - that marriage will forever be a work in progress Of course, I'm not gonna be a perfect father but for me, I want to be a perfect father everyday and I know I'll fail. Something like that," he added.

Paul said that he is excited for the family's Christmas tradition.

"For the first time, Christmas morning, the three of us, we woke up early and we open some gifts, the gifts to each other;

"Of course Seve was just three months at that time so he was just hanging around. Hopefully, we'll do that again this year. 'Cause (Dec) 24, Noche Buena with the Gonzaga family. Then Christmas lunch is with the Soriano family in the Laguna area. So Christmas morning is the Soriano-three of us moments," Paul added. - ROBERT REQUINTINA


Friday, December 22, 2017

Lito Sy to photo shoot critics: 'Know the whole story first!'

A photographer who styled the pre-debut photo shoot of the granddaughter of President Rodrigo Duterte has appealed to critics to know the whole story first before reacting to the controversial shoot in Malacanan.

Top photographer Lito Sy has pointed out that Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte of Davao City, eldest son of President Duterte, has nothing to do with the photo shoot of his daughter Isabelle in the Palace.

"People are saying that Paolo Duterte used government funds for the photo shoot of Isabelle. Naaawa ako kay Paolo because he really has no idea about this photo shoot," said Sy, during an exclusive interview at the Christmas party organized by the Mutya ng Pilipinas for members of the beauty pageant press at Aposento in Makati City last Dec. 19.

Sy said that the photo shoot was the idea of Lovelie Sangkola Somera, mother of Isabelle, and former wife of Paolo.

"Gastos ito ng mother ni Isabelle at hindi nga ito alam ni Paolo. Isabelle's mother is a rich businesswoman. May pera 'yung nanay hindi nanghihingi kay Duterte. Walang ganun," he said. "President Duterte was aware of the scheduled photo shoot in Malacanan.''

Prior to the Palace photo shoot, Isabelle and her glam team went to Sydney for the initial pre-debut shoot. "After Sydney, the second photo shoot was done in Malacanan."

Sy said that the third pre-debut photo shoot was supposed to be done in China but he declined.

"Another photographer took shots of Isabelle in Australia. I don't know the guy. Instead of the China, the third pre-debut photo shoot was done at the Las Casas Filipinas de Azucar in Bataan," he said.

Sy showed some of the photos which he took in Malacanan and these images have not been released to the public. "Nagulat talaga ako at ang dami ng bashers."

On the issue of presidential sea which became part of Isabelle's photo shoot, Sy said: "Hindi naman namin binaboy yung presidential seal. And besides, people can take their photo with the presidential seal inside the Palace. Kung makakapasok ka ng Palasyo, you are allowed to take a photo with the presidential seal. Ang protocol dun bawal magpakuha sa seal na naka-tsinelas ka or naka-rubber shoes. Kaya yung iba nakatago yung paa pagnag-papa-picture sa seal."

The Palace photo shoot was done on Dec. 14. "She has five outfit changes. From Australia she went straight to Davao. And the next day, she went to the Palace for the photo shoot. We started shooting around 4 p.m. Her mother was there during the whole pre-debut shoot."

Sy, who has been a photographer for many years now, said that he has known the Dutertes for a long time.

"Hindi pa nag-aasawa sila Paolo and Lovelie magkakabarkada na kami noon pa. Hanggang ngayon," he said.

Sy also said that the pre-debut photo shoot was done free of charge. "Walang bayad yun. Pero sa araw ng debut nya, i'll be the official photographer. May talent fee na ako run."

Isabelle will turn 18 on January 26, 2018. Sy refused to disclose the venue for the debut next year but he said that it will be held in the Philippines.

"President Duterte has been invited to the debut. Isabelle's mother will be there. I have no idea about Paolo," Sy added. "Paolo and Lovelie have been separated for quite sometime now. They don't talk."

Isabelle is set to enter show business soon as contract star of Viva Films. She will be under the guidance of feisty talent manager Annabelle Rama. - ROBERT REQUINTINA

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