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Philippines Today

By JO ERLINDA MAUFIT

 

(Photo from Instagram | @therealangellocsin)

 

It's final: Angel Locsin will no longer fly as the Filipina superhero “Darna” in Star Cinema's movie adaptation of the Mars Ravelo-created character.

 

This was confirmed no less by Star Cinema managing director Malou Santos in an interview with sister company ABS-CBN. The “Darna” news was reported also on the ABS-CBN network and posted on its webside.

 

As this developed, Angel has reportedly moved on after separation from her boyfriend, actor and television show host Luis Manzano.

 

A visibly happy Angel admitted that she is dating someone who is not with show business.

 

’Pag nag-date naman ako, exclusive naman. Never naman akong nag-date ng sabay-sabay, wala namang ganu’n, ” the actress stressed in a television interview

 

 “’Pag nag-focus ako sa isang tao, ’yun muna and ’pag ’di naging okay, ’di move on,” she added.

 

She dismissed rumors that she is dating Niño Barbers, son of the late senator, Robert Barbers, after they were spotted together last year.

 

 “Never kaming nag-date ni Niño, magkaibigan lang,” she said.

 

It was reported by ABS-CBN’s MJ Felipe that Angel’s health was the deciding factor on dropping her for the “Darna” role.

 

It was learned that Star Cinema waited for more than a year for Angel to recover from her back and spine ailment but the pain reportedly continued to persist.

 

Angel has been considered as the best actress to have played the “Darna” role that is why she was given time to recover from her ailment.

 

Despite the “Darna” role loss, Angel will be featured in a new series on ABS-CBN together with John Lloyd Cruz.

 

The much-awaited television series "La Luna Sangre" will also feature young stars Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, according to the network.

 

Meanwhile, Angel confirmed that she will be doing two movies.

 

"Mayroon akong movie with James Reid and and 'yung pelikula ko kay Coco Martin to be directed by Olivia Lamasan. And, may teleserye na pini-pitch sa akin ngayon," she said.

  

Star Cinema and ABS-CBN officials expressed sadness over the decision to finally drop Angel for the Darna role.

 

Star Cinema’s Malou Santos for one said: "Sobrang nalungkot kasi nung una, nung nalaman namin na mayroon siyang problema sa likod, sinabihan na namin siya na she cannot play Darna. But, because deep in our hearts na siya lang ang pwedeng maging Darna, we gave her the chance and she promised to do the therapy na magpapagaling siya para sa kanyang likod."

 

"Pero unfortunately, three weeks ago, nakaramdam na naman siya ng pain sa likod. So ito na ang pinaka-final verdict na she cannot play Darna kasi mas importante ang buhay niya kaysa sa pelikula na Darna. So ang iisipin ko na lang at least napatunayan niya 'yung dedikasyon niya sa craft niya," Santos added as reported by the network.

 

ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak for his part assured Angel Locsin's fans that they can still expect to see their idol in other projects.

 

"We were very sad and disappointed about this latest development but, of course, 'yung safety and health ni Angel is our No. 1 priority. She's still one of our biggest stars so marami pa siyang gagawin sa ABS-CBN bilang isang Kapamilya," Katigbak said.

 

Director Erik Matti stressed that he and Star Cinema were after the welfare of Angel in making the decision on the Darna role.

 

"Okay naman si Angel ngayon. It's just that 'yung project kasi entails a lot of physical requirement from the actor. There's going to be harness, a lot of flight. Medyo ayaw din naming mag-risk kasi kawawa siya," Matti said told ABS-CBN. 

 

"Sayang lang because she would have been really good as Darna," Matti added.

 

Angel said she has already accepted the fact the she can no longer play “Darna” as she called on her fans to support the new “Darna.” There is no announcement yet, however, on who will take over the role once played by top stars like Vilma Santos and Marian Rivera.

 

"Kailangan ko lang isipin ang buhay ko muna, kasi hindi po ako pinayagan ng doktor ko. Pero I tried, ABS-CBN tried, pero may mga bagay na kailangang i-let go para sa mas makakabuti. Ako tanggap ko na. Sana maintindihan din ng mga tao na hindi ko na magagawa ang Darna," Angel was quoted as saying by the network. 

 

The actress also gave her message to all her fans.

 

"Sana maintindihan niyo kami, hindi po madali. Alam kong nilaban niyo ito pero kailangan na siguro natin talaga na harapin ang katotohanan at mag-move on sa magandang mangyayari. So maraming, maraming salamat. 'Di ko makakalimutan ang suportang ibinigay niyo sa akin at suporahan natin ang susunod na magiging Darna," she said. 

 

Since her 1950 Pilipino Komiks debut, Darna has been played by over several actresses on TV and in films. In the original lore, Darna is a warrior from Planet Marte who manifests herself in a village girl from Earth named Narda. 

 

In order to transform into the heroine and defend humans from evil forces, Narda swallows a tiny meteorite and shouts "Darna!" -- a small scene which has since been embedded in local pop culture.

 

On May 31, 1951, “Darna” made a crossover from comics to cinema even before the komiks serial was finished. Royal Publications under Fernando Poe Sr. produced the first “Darna” movie starring Rosa Del Rosario as Narda/Darna. It was the last film directed by Fernando Poe, Sr.

 

In the early 1960s, two more Darna films were made, starring Liza Moreno as Darna. Others who played the role included Eva Montes, Gina Pareno, Russian-Filipino Nanette Medved, and Filipino American actress Anjanette Abayari.

Duterte set for enhanced ties with US

Published in Latest News

(Photo from pcoo.gov.ph)

 

MYANMAR — President Rodrigo Duterte now wants to enhance relations with the United States under the Trump White House and is prepared to “give all” to Washington except military deals.

 

Speaking before the Filipino community in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, Duterte said he was “okay” with Trump and was eyeing a better working relationship with his US counterpart.

 

“President Trump and I are on good terms. And I can assure him also of our friendship and cooperation.

 

There’s no problem with that,” the President said, noting that Trump gave his support to his administration in addressing the drug menace in the country, unlike Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama.

 

“For the previous president, I was evil. The crazy man was planning to jail me. This other one (Trump), he said, ‘You’re right,’” Duterte said.

 

Duterte said he was ready to “give all, whatever it is” under the Trump administration – except for military alliances.

 

“Short of, I said, the military alliances, I don’t like that. We can’t handle those,” he added.

 

The President stressed that the Philippines could not afford to get involved in conflicts, especially since its military is not as well-equipped as that of the US.

 

“We can’t do that. Why do we look for trouble? Why would I go there just to pick a fight… Let’s not look for a fight. Someday, but not now,” he added.

 

In a media interview in Myanmar, Duterte described Trump, a billionaire realtor and former reality TV star, as a “realist.”

 

“He is a guy who knows what is real, what is not, and he does not engage in theories. And even in the matter of human rights, he takes into account everything,” he said.

James Reid, Nadine sizzle in New York, Chicago

Published in Entertainment

By JO ERLINDA NEBRES

 

(Photo from Instagram | @nadzlustre)

 

Don’t look now but showbiz heartthrob James Reid and partner Nadine Lustre have taken New York by storm.

 

This as the reel and real sweethearts sizzled in their show in New York to start their United States tour aptly called “Always Jadine Concert” which will take them to other US cities.

 

Reports from New York indicated that the couple drew shrieks of fans who mobbed them at the Golden Theater in Flushing, New York.

 

The shrieks were triggered by their smooth dance moves and sweet moments and their performance on stage, it was learned.

 

Photos and videos of portions of the show were immediately posted on social media by fans, triggering comments from netizens.

 

One of the posts were from New York-based photographer Mike Cruz whose photo of the pair posing as if they were going to kiss was described as amazing as elicited buzz in showbiz circles.

 

From New York, the couple flew to Chicago, Illinois for another hit performance before thousands of fans at the Copernicus Theater in that windy city.

 

The Always Jadine Concert will bring James and Nadine also to the California Center for the Arts in Escondido, California on March 24, and the Alex Theater in Glendale, California on March 26.

 

From Southern California, the couple will perform in the Chabot College Performing Arts Center in Hayward in the San Francisco Bay Area in California on March 31.

 

Nadine and James will invade the Ayva Center Concerts and Banquet in Houston, Texas on April 1 and the Tropicana in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

The Always Jadine Concert will close at the World Trade Center in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, home of one of the biggest population of Filipinos in the Middle East, on May 5.


The Always Nadine Concert is the second international concert tour of Jadine, as James and Nadine are called by fans, having toured the Middle East, Europe, the US and Canada last year.


Showbiz columnist Remy Umerez reported that the Always Jadine tour is made possible by SM Development Corp. and the Philippine Airlines. It is a production of Viva Live and the Ny Entourage Productions in the US.

 

Also featured in the show are host and comedian Chad Kinis and the Gforce Dancers.

Cesar Montano still on the job amid complaints

Published in Entertainment

(Photo from DOT)

 

It’s business as usual for Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Chief Operating Officer (TPB) Cesar Montano who continues to work despite a complaint filed against him by his staff on alleged irregularities.

 

Tourism Secretary and TPB Chairman Wanda Teo, who recently arrived from an expo in Berlin, Germany, said that Montano remained as chief of the Department of Tourism’s marketing arm.

 

“He still goes to the office,” Teo told reporters on the sidelines of the 2017 ASEAN-China Year Tourism Cooperation held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

 

She refused to comment when asked if she still “trusted” Montano as President Rodrigo Duterte previously stated in a speech.

 

The Secretary previously admitted that Montano was not her first choice to head the TPB.

 

Last March 13, President Duterte said that he still trusted Montano amid allegations and urged officials to file a case.

 

The Secretary reiterated that the agency would await results of the investigation being conducted by the Presidential Action Center (PACE) where the complaint was filed.

 

She said that she had no plans for her agency to conduct its own investigation as the Senate also eyed its own probe on the issue.

 

Asked if she was aware of the allegations even before the complaint was filed, Teo said that she has read them in the newspapers.

 

In the seven-page letter of complaint filed at the PACE, Montano was accused of irregularities including entering into multimillion peso deals without approval from the board, hiring his own staff whose functions were redundant with current employees and the questionable use public funds.


Meanwhile, Montano's ex-wife Sunshine Cruz refused to comment on the allegations made against her estranged husband, according to a Malaya report.

Sunshine Cruz, however, told the entertainment site Push that she is hoping Montano will get past this as he is, after all, the father of her children.

“Sana malusutan niya ‘yan. Kasi kahit ano namang mangyari, tatay pa rin siya ng mga anak ko (“I hope he gets through this. No matter what happens, he’s still the father of my children.”),” she said.

Employees of the TPB have filed a complaint against Montano for entering into alleged questionable contracts.

Montano, however, dismissed the complaints as “baseless and untrue,” saying no one knows who the said “TPB employees” are. He added that none of them have come forward to present evidence to support their claims.

Meanwhile, Sunshine Cruz said she does not understand why the court still has not decided on the annulment case she filed against Montano.

“Lahat naman tayo [naiinip], pero patience lang. It’s been almost four years and I think, we both deserve freedom,” she said. 

“May sarili na siyang buhay. Ako naman, I’m starting a new life now, so, I just hope that sooner or later ma-grant na kasi wala na, ‘di ba?”

(“He has his own life. Me, I’m starting a new life now, so I just hope that sooner or later, they grant the annulment because there’s no other recourse.”) 

Does her marriage to Montano affect her current relationship with Macky Mathay?

“Siyempre, hindi naman natin naiiwasan na may mga tao na conservative or judgmental, but whatever it is, I really don’t care about them. What’s important is wala naman tayong tinapakang tao at sinira,” she said.

(“Of course, we can’t avoid people who are conservative or judgmental, but whatever it is, I really don’t care about them. What’s important is I didn’t step on anyone or ruin (a relationship).”)

Cruz said she does not feel the need to please everyone because she is here “to live for my own and my children.”

The “Wildflower” actress has three daughters with Montano. 

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