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The Star Cinema’s "A Second Chance" starring John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo has just scored another Philippine cinema milestone: it is now the highest grossing local non-Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry of all time.


Last week, it was announced that the movie has grossed P442 million at a victory party held for the cast and crew of the film attended by stars Bea  and John Lloyd . director Cathy Garcia-Molina, and screenwriters Carmi Raymundo and Vanessa Valdez.


The previous record-holder was another Star Cinema offering, last year's "Starting Over Again," which passed the P400-million mark after a month in local cinemas. To compare, "A Second Chance" achieved the same feat in just 10 days.

 

ABS-CBN reported that the record for the highest grossing Filipino film of all time is the 2014 MMFF entry, "The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin." The comedy flick passed P456 million in 22 days, unseating "Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy," an entry to the 2013 MMFF, for the title.


"A Second Chance" has been running in the United States, Canada and the Middle East and has yet to debut in countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong,  now goint to fourth week, is expected to face facing stiff competition from the much-anticipated Hollywood film, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" which opens before December 25 when theaters all over Metro Manila and in key cities in the country will show only Filipino movies under the Metro Manila Film Festival.


The ABS-CBN movie earned P400 million in just 10 days.

 

 Star Cinema, the network's movie outfit, reported earlier that the movie passed the P400-million mark on December 5, and was still showing in over 200 cinemas nationwide.


The movie was scheduled to be shown in theaters in the United States (December 4 to 10) and Canada (December 4 to 17).
The worldwide showing of the movie included Middle East (December 3), France (December 5), Italy and Spain (December 6), United Kingdom and Austria (December 5 and 6), Australia (December 10 to 16), and Hong-Kong (December 13).

 

The movie's top stars said they are overwhelmed by the success of “A Second Chance,” which is a sequel to their well-loved 2007 movie “One More Chance.”

 

“Parang ang hirap maniwala agad. Nakakalula. But we are very very happy na tinanggap siya ng tao ng ganito,” she said in an ABS-CBN report.

 

With the movie's box office success, a third installment of Popoy and Basha’s story maybe in the offing.


“Sana meron. After nung magandang resulta ng 'A Second Chance,' after namin mapanood na maganda yung reviews, nagkaroon kami ng hope na puwedeng maraming puntahan ang storya ng installment ng One More Chance. Sana may third,” said the comely Bea Alonzo.

 

The movie breached the P300-million mark after only six days in theaters since it was released last November 25.

 

With over P400 million in ticket earnings, "A Second Chance" may well be on the road to breaking the record of Vice Ganda's movie, the 2014 MMFF entry "The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin," which holds the record of being the highest grossing Filipino film of all time as it earned over P400 million during its entire run.


Directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, "A Second Chance" revisits the lives of Popoy (Cruz) and Basha (Alonzo) as they traverse the highs and lows of married life.


It also stars Dimples Romana, James Blanco, Bea Saw, Janus del Prado, and Ahron Villena.


It already holds the record of being the highest grossing non-Metro Manila Film Festival Filipino movie on its opening day.
It earned P43.3 million on November 25, beating out the P32 million 2015 record of the romantic comedy "Crazy Beautiful You," top-billed by Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo.


In an interview with Boy Abunda on December 2 which was reported by ABS-CBN, John Lloyd revealed that he was skeptical about giving Popoy and Basha "A Second Chance."

 

"It was terrifying. It's not the usual glossy, promising Star Cinema film, 'di ba? With a storytelling like this and a material like this parang it's not very hard to be terrified. Parang mahirap talaga," he said.


He said he and Bea actively worked together to fill in the 8-year-gap between "One More Chance" and its sequel.

The two told Abunda that the past eight years have not only been challenging, but was also rewarding.


"Ang daming pinagdaanan-- maganda, masama. I would like to think na sa bawat mahirap na pinagdadaanan ko I learned," John Lloyd said. "Now, tingin ko I'm more comfortable, even more comfortable with myself. Mas nayayakap ko na 'yong truth ko. Hindi na ako takot ipakilala kung sino ako."


Bea shared that she has been striving to develop herself for the past eight years.


"I am a person who still strives to be better, who still tries to learn things about life, try to be good," she said. "I can fall in love with failure if it will make me feel alive, instead of just floating and being safe all the time, yes."

In the blogger's conference held on December 2, John Lloyd and Bea Alonzo shared how "A Second Chance" changed them in real life.


"After this film, talagang mas maganda 'yong understanding ko about sa relationship," Cruz revealed. "Every character is a journey for me. Kaya dito talagang iyon ang biggest take ko. 'Yong additional enlightenment with regards to relationships."
The 32-year-old actor also said that he really admires Basha's character, especially her intelligence. And if one day, he ends up in the same situation as Popoy, he would definitely review the film and look at how Basha handled it.


Alonzo admitted that she admires Basha's character as well.


"Sana ganoon ako mag-react katulad kay Basha. Kung gaano niya pinanghawakan 'yong pangako at kung gaano ka-unconditional 'yong pagmamahal niya kay Popoy. Sana," she said.


The film director Cathy Garcia-Molina was also present along with the two writers Vanessa Valdez and Carmi Raymundo. Molina was also the director of other hit films, such as "You Changed My Life," "A Very Special Love," and "One More Chance."

By JO ERLINDA NEBRES

 

(Photo from cosmo.ph)

 

Actress Angel Locsin has undergone a medical operation in a Singapore hospital over her spine woes but this did not deter her planned vacation with boyfriend Luis Manzano in Las Vegas.

 

This was confirmed when the comely actress posted on Instagram their photos as they watched the historic mixed martial arts fight of Conor McGregor and Jose Aldo at the MGM Grand Garden in Las Vegas.

 

It took McGregor only 13 second to knock out the great Jose Aldo, making him the new UFC featherweight champion.

 

McGregor finished Aldo faster that Ronda Rousey finished title fights.

 

The  celebrity couple got to see one of the biggest UFC cards of the year live and documented their memorable experience on Instagram even many fans in the world probably enjoyed UFC 194 at the bar with some friends, or at the comfort of their own homes.

 

It was reported in Manila that Angel and Luis flew to Las Vegas to get hitched there which is famous for quick wedding for celebrities and non-celebrities.

 

While the rumors were quickly doused by the couple, many fans and showbiz people still would not believe that Angel and Luis flew to Las Vegas only for much needed rest, plus recovery from operation.

 

“No, we are not eloping,” Luis said in October on the report he and Angel will fly to Las Vegas.

The actor said the rumor is not new noting how they were rumored to be marrying numerous times in the past.

 

“Wala pang date. I mean the thought is there but in terms of fixing something up already she would know first. If there’s anything about settling down Angel would know first,” he exclaimed.

Apparently, they are taking it slow given their showbiz commitments.

 

At the moment, Luis is one of the busiest TV hosts of ABS-CBN. He is grateful with the Kapamilya Network entrusting him with “big shows” like “Kapamilya Deal or No Deal,” which is enjoying high ratings. The said show is also running until January 2016.

 

Other TV shows lined-up for Luis include the Philippine version of “Family Feud” and new seasons of “Pilipinas Got Talent” and “The Voice Philippines.”

 

One of Luis’s driving force is to save for his future family. According to him, he wants to provide his future family a “certain kind of life,” one that is far from merely comfortable.

 

Adding to his hectic schedules are his numerous endorsements like Puregold Priceclub Inc., McDonald’s and Smart among others.

 

Early this year, Luis revealed that he intends to propose to Angel this year but added his highly anticipated wedding may not happen until “maybe 2017.”

 

“Masyadong malayo pa. But it just happens that I have so much to do and she’s going to be even busier than I am this year,” Luis said.

 

 Luis admitted that he and Angel do talk about settling down every now then.

 

“Like I said, we’re not getting any younger. The intention is there but we’re taking our time to finish our commitments as individuals. Although there are no stipulations that would prevent us from settling down, it’s a big, big step for us,” Luis said.

 

Angel has declared herself “emotionally and financially ready” to get married and is fact, feeling some pressure from Luis’s folks, Senator Ralph Recto and Batangas governor and Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos.

 

Luis, however, said he doesn’t want to be pressured by Angel who also said that he needs to pop the question first before she can even think of walking down the aisle.

 

“Ayoko ding magpa-pressure sa kanya, We have enough time to focus on settling down and we will focus on it whenever we feel the time is right,” he added.

 

Angel underwent successful first procedure at an undisclosed medical facility in Singapore and she herself posted photos of herself on Instagram after the operation, calling for prayers for her recovery.

 

Then, after two days or so, Angel was seen flying back to Manila with an escort.


It was earlier reported that her unannounced medical treatment had postponed her planned vacation with Luis in Las Vegas, Florida and Cuba, but apparently it was not so.


Angel and Luis themselves announced their planned vacation days before the medical operation.


In fact, the announced trip abroad fueled immediately speculations that they would go to Las Vegas for a secret marriage.


The speculation was immediately denied by the couple.


Showbiz columnist Mario Bautista recalled that Luis’ parents, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos and Filipino American Eduardo "Edu" Manzano, had their wedding then in Vegas. And it was easy for them to obtain a divorce after their marriage turned sour, he added.


Luis said that the rumor of their supposed planned wedding in Las Vegas is plain rumor. “Yes, we’re going to Vegas but hindi para magpakasal. Bakasyon lang. Then we’ll go to Cuba, para maiba naman,”Luis declared days before Angel underwent operation.


Now, their plan for a vacation abroad will have to wait as Angel is undergoing surgery on the disc bulge in her spine.


Angel posted on her social account her photos taken in a hospital in Singapore while she was about to be wheeled into the operating room. They were taken last Friday morning as she asked for prayers from her fans and friends for the operation to be successful.

 

On her Instagram account, Angel wrote: "I'm still a little bit groggy and sore but happy and thankful tapos na ang first stage of the procedure. Thank you all for the prayers! Hoping this is it na."

 

In a follow-up post, the comely actress said: "Another photo before heading to lab with the Filipino nurses who took really good care of me. Thank you so much! Mabuhay kayo!"

 

Angeln did not specify the exact medical treatment that she went through.

 

Later, she posted another picture with another message, saying that the first stage of her operation was successful. She wrote: “I'm still a little bit groggy and sore but happy & thankful tapos na ang first stage of the procedure :) Thank you all for the prayers! Hoping this is it na.”

 

Mario Bautista reported that when Angel returns to Manila after the opeation, she still has to finish her movie with Luis’ mom, Gov. Vilma Santos, “All of My Life”, which is slated to be Star Cinema’s first offering for the new year. (Jo Erlinda Nebres)

 

COMELEC DIVISION DISQUALIFIES GRACE POE

Published in Headline

(Photo from LocalPulse)

 

MANILA (via PhilAmPress) — Only two weeks after winning her case before the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) on Nov. 17, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division cancelled on Tuesday, December 1, the Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) of presidential aspirant Senator Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares for the May 9, 2016 elections for material misrepresentation.

 

In a 34-page decision on one of four disqualification cases against the senator, the Comelec Second Division headed by Comelec Commissioner Al Parreno with Commissioners Arthur Lim and Sheriff Abas as members noted that Poe did not give true information in her CoC, particularly her citizenship and the 10-year residency requirement.

 

The decision saddened the neophyte senator and her supporters but she said in a hastily called press conference in Quezon City after the Comelec ruling was made this will not stop her pursuit of the presidency, pointing out that she will file a motion for reconsideration before the poll body. Later on, Poe appealed the ruling of the Comelec division. 

 

”I am disappointed in the decision, but this is not the end of the process,” Poe stressed. “We will continue to fight for the rights of foundlings and the fundamental right of the people to choose their leaders,” she added.

 

She pointed out that she is a natural born Filipino and has complied with the residency requirement for a presidential candidate.

 

”I have faith in the process, and we are confident that the Comelec en banc will side with the interest of the people,” Poe said.

 

”I maintain that I am a natural born Filipino and have complied with the ten-year residency requirement based on settled applicable jurisprudence,” Poe said.

 

Poe said her critics will continue to use any excuse to exclude her “much like they tried to do when FPJ ran for president,” referring to her father, former Filipino action movie king Fernando Poe Jr. who ran but lost to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in the controversial 2004 elections.

 

Valenzuela City Mayor Rexton Gatchalian, Poe’s spokesman, said they will appeal the ruling of the Comelec's Second Division.

 

”There are legal remedies provided to the respondents. This thing, we will make sure that we will appeal to the Comelec en banc,” Gatchalian said.

 

"She's been with the country since 2005, she has more than sufficiently met the residency requirement," said Gatchalian.

 

Gatchalian also defended Poe on the alleged error in her COC.

 

"What matters is the fact, not what you wrote in your COC. She was not guided by a lawyer when she was filling up her COC," said Gatchalian.

 

Gatchalian stressed that the decision was only from the second division, which is composed of three of the seven commissioners, and not the Comelec en banc.


He said Poe remains a candidate in next year's presidential race.


"Tuloy ho ang kanyang pagtakbo bilang presidente. We have to remember this is a decision of a division, hindi ibig sabihin na ito na yun. Officially up to now, she is still a candidate and she will appear in the ballot. So we will exhaust all legal remedies including the appeal in the en banc," he added.

 

“Respondent's representations as to her citizenship and period of residency in the Philippines are both on a material matter and both false,” the ruling stated.

 

 “Wherefore, in view of the foregoing considerations, the instant petition to deny due course to or cancel the CoC is hereby granted. Accordingly, the CoC for President in the May 9, 2016 elections filed by respondent, Mary Grace Natividad Poe Llamanzares is hereby cancelled.”

 

The poll body noted that there was a deliberate attempt to mislead when the lawmaker stated in her CoC for next year’s elections that she has been living in the country for 10 years and 11 months.

 

“Respondent deliberately attempted to mislead or misinform the electorate or hide a fact from them when she supplied the ’10 years and 11 months’, to the question in Item No. 7 of her CoC,” the decision stated.

 

It added, “In short, the declaration of '10 years and 11 months' in her present CoC for President was intended to hide the fact earlier stated under oath in her 2013 CoC for Senator that she had actually resided in the Philippines since November 2006.

 

In her present CoC for President, she made it appear that she has been a Philippine resident since May 2006 so as to meet the residency requirement of 10 years for said office.”

 

The Second Division said that based on Poe's CoC in the 2013 polls, when she ran for senator, her residency in the country is only nine years and six months up to the May 9, 2016.

 

On the citizenship issue, the Comelec said that the senator failed to prove that she is indeed a natural-born citizen.

 

“Even if the wordings of (international) conventions are deemed to have declared that a foundling found in the Philippines is a natural-born Filipino citizen, these international conventions cannot supplant or override the Constitution, which requires a bloodline to a Filipino parent to confer the status of being a natural-born Filipino citizen,” the decision said.

 

“Consequently, it stands to reason that respondent's claim in her subject CoC that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen is false,” the ruling stated.

 

The petition to deny due course and cancel Poe's CoC was filed by Atty. Estrella Elamparo.

 

Poe's lawyer, George Garcia, said they were surprised by the ruling of the Second Division, adding that they will be filing a Motion for Reconsideration.

 

“We are caught unaware na ilalabas ang decision ngayon araw na ito. But definitely we will be filing an MR with the Comelec en banc,” he said.

 

Aside from the petition of Elamparo, there are three other disqualification cases against Poe at the Comelec.

 

Elamparo said the adoption of Poe, who is a foundling, did not have the effect of transmitting or conferring upon her the status of a natural-born Filipino.


In a statement following the decision of the poll body's second division, Elamparo said she is relieved that that the Comelec stood up for the Constitution.


"I salute them for having the courage and the wisdom to go against what is perceived to be the public sentiment and uphold the rule of law," she said.
 

The petitions were filed by former University of the East Law Dean Amado Valdez, former Senator Francisco “Kit” Tatad, and De La Salle University (DLSU) Professor Antonio Contreras.

 

This developed as noted election lawyers, former Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes and Romulo Macalintal said they believe that the Comelec should dismiss all disqualification cases filed against Senator Poe for lack of jurisdiction.

 

Brillantes noted that the poll body does not have the mandate to determine the lawmaker’s actual citizenship and residency period so it is just proper to dismiss the petitions to deny due course or cancel the Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) against Poe.

 

Brillantes said that in case Poe is proven not a natural-born citizen or is not a resident of the Philippines for 10 years, it is not for the poll body to resolve.

 

“Ang jurisdiction ng Comelec is hindi to determine citizenship and residency (but) to determine kung nagsinungaling or hindi at kung deliberate and intentional,” he added.

 

Section 78 of the Omnibus Election Code provides that a “verified petition seeking to deny due course or to cancel a CoC may be filed by the person exclusively on the ground that any material representation contained in the CoC is false.”

 

The lawyer noted that a quo warranto petition at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) can be filed but only if Poe wins in the presidential race in the May 2016 polls.

 

“Quo warranto can be determined only kung manalo ka na. Kapag natalo siya, wala nang paga-aralan,” Brillantes said.

 

Atty.  Macalintal said that the Comelec should dismiss all disqualification cases as the Senate Electoral Tribunal already ruled that she is a natural-born Filipino citizen.

 

“Now that the sole constitutional body, the SET, had declared her to be a natural-born Filipino citizen... it could not be said that she made a ‘deliberate attempt to mislead the voters’ of her being a natural-born Filipino citizen,” he said in a statement.

Business confidence in PHL hits new high

Published in Business

MAKATI CITY — The Christmas season and election-related spending boosted businessmen's outlook resulting to the two-year high overall business expectation survey (BES) confidence index (CI) in the last quarter of 2015.


Rosabel Guerrero, Director of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Department of Economic Statistics (DES), said the index went up to 51.3 percent from 41.4 percent in the previous quarter.


Other factors that boosted the index are higher sales, orders and projects in line with the seasonal demand, expansion of businesses and new product lines, higher inflows of remittances, and introduction of new and enhanced business strategies. 


Guerrero said the country's hosting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) along with increase in government spending boosted businesses' expectations for brisker operations. 


The low inflation and low interest rate environment and good macroeconomic were also factors in the rise in the index.


Guerrero said the positive business outlook in the country is similar to that of Australia, Japan and the Euro Area during the same period but is contrary to that of US, UK, China, Hong Kong, Germany, Russia, Indonesia, Singapore, and India.


For the first quarter of 2016, the index turned less optimistic at 43.9 percent from the previous survey's 53.1 percent and this was attributed to seasonal drop of demand after the Christmas season.

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