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Actor Mark Anthony Fernandez is a free man.


This after the Regional Trial Court in San Fernando, Pampanga acquitted him of the charge of transporting and possession of illegal marijuana a year after he was arrested after a car chase from Angeles City to Sa Fernando.


Mark Anthony, 37, son of former actress Alma Moreno and the late action star Rudy “Daboy” Fernandez, was released from the provincial jail on December 22 in time to join his family’s Christmas celebration.


It was gathered that relatives fetched Mark Anthony from jail. The actor was said to be happy upon his release.


However, his case of resistance and disobedience to authorities was still pending in the court.


Mark Anthony was arrested by police operatives in October 2016 after about a kilo of marijuana brick and a smaller amount of dried marijuana were found in his car at a checkpoint along MacArthur Highway in San Fernano.


The actor had admitted being a marijuana user but only for medicinal purposes.


But he denied that the one kilo of marijuana found in his car wasn't his, adding somebody had put it in his car.


Mark Anthony had struggled with drug use in the past, and has undergone drug rehabilitation, explaining his absence in show business despite his good performance on television and movies.


Before his arrest, he was last seen in the award winning movie “Ma Rosa” by director Brillante Mendoza.


The actor had claimed that he was using marijuana for medicinal purposes to avoid the fate of his late father.


He had pleaded not guilty to the charge of transporting and possessing a kilogram of marijuana when arraigned on October 6 by Judge Eda Era of the Regional Trial Court Branch 60.


Earlier, Judge Era dismissed a second charge of possession of drug paraphernalia filed against the actor.


The police had accused the actor of carrying a grinder, supposedly an equipment for drug processing, when he was arrested on Oct. 3 after he drove past a checkpoint here.


The drug case was initially filed before Judge Era but the lady judge inhibited later from the case as her husband is a co-member of the actor in the Guardians Brotherhood.


The case was re-raffled and landed in the sala of RTC Branch 58 Judge Meredith Malig.


Fernandez' case of resistance and disobedience, on the other hand, was filed with the Municipal Trial Court Branch 1. The charges stemmed from the actor’s alleged attempt to escape when authorities discovered the marijuana during an inspection at a checkpoint.


Pursuing police officers shot the tires of the actor’s car and cornered him in nearby San Fernando City.


Mark Anthony was briefly detained at the Angeles City district jail and was later transferred to the provincial jail in San Fernando.


Mark Anthony was last seen in the award-winning movie “Ma Rosa” playing the role of a cop. The movie won for Jaclyn Jose the best actress award in the Venice film festial and was chosen as the Philippine entry to the Oscars awards foreign language film category.


 Mark Anthony was tested positive for marijuana but negative for shabu after his arrest. 


Actor Rap Fernandez, half-brother of Mark, said he has been praying for Mark along younger brother Renz and mother Alma Moreno.


Earlier, Rap posted photos of him and his older brother Mark AnthonyFernandez, along with their late dad Rudy Fernandez, on his FB account when they all look so young and innocent.


Alma Moreno and brother Rap provided lawyers for Mark. Alma herself went to visit him in jail at Angeles City and later at the provincial jail in San Fernando.

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(Photo from Instagram | @mainedcm)


Are you fans missing Maine Mendoza in the popular noontime show “Eat Bulaga” and others?


Maine  has not appeared in 'Eat Bulaga' since November 28 although she was last spotted in the launch of a popular smartphone brand on December 1.


Well, the long wait will soon be over as she will back in the GMA Network show this New Year.


Triple AAA executive and talent manager Rams David disclosed that Maine will be back in the Philippines on December 31 and in 'Eat Bulaga' from her U.S.A. trip on January 1, 2018, ending speculation that she might transfer to another station.


In the meantime, Maine Mendoza, the Dubsmash Queen of the Philippines, is  taking a break from her superstar life in Manila for a much deserved vacation with family in Miami, Florida, among others.


Maine shared a sneak peek of her month-long vacation to her Instagram followers through photos that she uploaded. One photo shows her with a great smile on her face with the following caption, “Life is short. Smile often.” The post has gotten over 365,000 likes in the image-sharing platform.


The AlDub actress was accompanied by her sister Coleen and brothers Nico and Dean in her U.S. trip.


Earlier, “Eat Bulaga” host Vic Sotto clarified that Maine has not been suspended from the show and said she was merely making a much needed vacation.


Also, columnist Ricky Lo speculated that her absence maybe linked to reports that she was seen with Jake Ejercito, son of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and common law wife Laarni Enriquez.


Fans have speculated that the 22-year-old instant star had left the noontime show following her noticeable absence. And this could spell doom for her partnership with actor Alden Richards.


“Definitely Maine will be back on ‘Eat Bulaga’ para sa kaalaman ng fans niyang nakaka-miss sa kanya (To fans who miss her, definitely Maine will be back on ‘Eat Bulaga’),” said Rams David in a report on popular tabloid Bandera.


“Napagod lang si Meng so humingi ng break. Naiintindihan naman namin yon. Imagine two years siyang walang pahinga. Sumabak siya sa mundo ng show biz nang walang kaalam-alam!(Maine got tired so she asked for a break. We understand that. Imagine two years of no rest. She was thrust into the world of show biz without knowing anything!),” David said.


Another tablod, the Pilipino Star Ngayon, confirmed that Mendoza and her family flew to the United States for their Christmas vacation and that she will return on Dec. 31 and will appear live on “Eat Bulaga” on Jan. 1, 2018, he added.


Before she left for a vacation, Maine came out with an “open letter” on her career and personal matters.


In the letter, she pleaded for “freedom to feel what I want to feel, be what I want to be, and do what I want to do.”


 Maine rose to fame after posting Dubsmash videos that went viral on Facebook. She was then tapped by GMA to become a talent in the Kalyeserye portion of “Eat Bulaga” as Yaya Dub, and one half of the superstar love team AlDub with actor Alden Richards.


Maine's open letter to her fans made headlines after she expressed her feelings about her showbiz career.


 In the letter, the 'Eat Bulaga' superstar thanked her fans for their overwhelming support and revealed that she and her on-screen partner Alden Richards are just good friends.


Maine stated that “by the end of this letter, I am pretty sure that majority of you are going to turn your backs on me. Pero sabi nga nila, speak the truth even if your voice shakes...,” adding, “...I was never into money or fame. All I want in this life is to be free and happy.”


“And I am certain that no amount of fame and money can ever give me genuine happiness. All my life I have been seeking love from people around me. And that is all that matters to me at this moment,” she stressed.


In his column, Ricky Lo quoted Maine as saying that she has made many people happy, and it was high time she made herself happy, too, and not to be dictated upon how and what to do with her life, at the same time feeling sorry for people (she associates with) being bashed.        


In the wake of Maine’s open letter, Alden was hospitalized not, contrary to initial report, for “shock” or “depression” but for food poisoning (or amoebiasis) but he was soon back on “Eat, Bulaga!” while Maine went on vacation.


Ricky Lo reported that Maine ended her open letter on a heart-breaking note: “Again, thank you very much for the love and support you have given me. I will forever cherish the presence of the whole fandom in my life. I do hope I have also given you enough joy for you to give me the freedom I believe I deserve. Freedom to feel what I want to feel, be what I want to be, and do what I want to do. Alden deserves the same, too. With so much gratitude. That Girl.”


In her  blog titled, “An Open Letter To Our Fans” the Dubsmash Queen started with: “Hi! You might be wondering what this letter is about. Ako din, I am wondering what this letter going to be about. I do not actually know how to start writing this letter and I do not actually know either if it is right to do this. All I know is for sure is I need to let some things out of my chest. And I couldn’t find any other way to do it so I am writing here on my blog, like I used to.”


Maine said that she was aware that after reading her blog, majority of her fans will turn their backs on her or hate her.

She expressed gratitude to everyone who gave their love, support and sacrifice for her and Richards ever since their love team was formed in “Eat Bulaga” in July 2015.


“When I was new in the business, you all came to my life and loved me for exactly the way I am. Hindi ko kailangan magpanggap para mahalin niyo. At nagpapasalamat ako dahil tinanggap at minahal niyo kung sino at ano ako bilang tao,” she continued her blog.


She also revealed that she was amazed and overwhelmed by the attention she was getting back then “… when everyone was taking things lightly and we were all just happy. Do you still remember the good old days? Back when things are not so complicated? Still worth remembering up to this time.”


But two years after, Mendoza observed that a lot of things have changed but there are also those that have remained the same.

“Masaya pa din kayo. I can see how happy you guys are all together. Iba ‘yung saya niyo tuwing magkakasama kayo. Masasabi kong ibang klase yung pagkakaibigan at samahan na nabuo sa pagsuporta niyo samin,” she explained, saying how much AlDub Nation has helped other people too.

In the latter part of the blog, she said she wanted to be honest to everyone.


“I am at this point where I feel like I live in a box. I have not been able to do what I want and say what I feel because everytime I try to express my thoughts and feelings, some of you tend to misapprehend and invalidate in so many ways,” she explained.


“Telling me I am not supposed to feel that way because I am “rich and famous.” Telling me I have no right to be sad and hurt because I have everything a person could ask for. Judging, blaming, and getting mad at me for expressing what I truly feel just because you do not agree and it is inconvenient for you. Dictating me what I should feel and should not feel. Ang hirap,” she said.


She also tells her supporters not to get her wrong. She is grateful for what she has but it has come to a point that she is no longer happy.

“Dumating ‘yung araw na parang hindi na ako masaya. Na kahit sandamakmak ang biyaya ang natatanggap ko, nawala na yung ligaya sa puso ko. Hindi ko na makita yung tuwa sa mga ngiti ko at kinang sa mga mata ko. Hanggang sa napatanto ko na iyon pala ay dahil sa ilang tao na nakapaligid sakin. Yung mga tao na akala ko ay tunay na nagmamalasakit at nagmamahal sa akin. Mahirap. Nahihirapan akong dinidiktahan ng mga dapat kong gawin at nararamdaman,” she added.


She also lamented that people close to her—family, friends, workmates—are being bashed or insulted by some fans.

Maine said that much as she appreciates the love and support fans give to her and Richards, she wants to be honest about the status of their relationship.


“You deserve to know the truth that at this very moment Alden and I are just friends. We are a love team,” she said.

She again thanked her fans for the love and support.


“I will forever cherish the presence of the whole fandom in my life. I do hope I have also given you enough joy for you to give me the freedom I believe I deserve. Freedom to feel what I want to feel, be what I want to be, and do what I want to do. Alden deserves the same, too,” Maine stated.


 Vic Sotto has assured Maine that she has his full support.


“Whatever it is that you’re feeling or dealing with—suportado kita. I’m trying to understand,” he said of Maine, who took a break from work, after unloading her pent-up emotions and frustrations in an open letter in which she admitted among other things that the possessiveness of some of her fans makes her “feel like I live in a box.”


“I have been in the business for so many years. And I believe that if you love what you do, you will pull through, no matter what’s dealt to you,” Vic said at a press conference for the drama-comedy flick “Meant to Beh,” one of the entries in the ongoing Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF).


“I respect her decision; I can’t judge,” added the seasoned actor and television host, who agreed that some fans could go overboard, especially on social media. “That’s the nature of it. We have irresponsible users. But I guess if you’re in it, that’s something you have to expect.”


On speculations that the recent turn of events could spell the end of AlDub—Maine and Alden Richards’ love team—Vic stressed: “They’re there forever. Wala nang makakabuwag diyan. AlDub is AlDub.”


Vic knows whereof he speaks. In fact, Maine and Alden are appearing in a new movie which will start shooting soon.


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(Photo from Instagram | @andersongeraldjr)


This Christmas season, more and more showbiz personalities and celebrities are spending time abroad, especially the United States.


Just like Maine Mendoza, actress Bea Alonzo also flew to the US with her boyfriend Filipino-American actor Gerald Anderson in tow.


An ABS-CBN report indicated that singer Bugoy Drilon took the same flight to US with the couple who are among the main stars of the network.


During the “Just Love Christmas Special” of ABS-CBN, Gerald, 28, whose real name is Gerald Randolph Anderson Jr., confirmed to ABS-CBN News that he and Bea will be spending some quality time together abroad in preparation for their busy year ahead.


“US vacation with dad ko, si Bea kasama. Short lang. Alam mo naman, hindi naman talaga mahaba ang mga vacations natin,” Gerald said.


Gerald said 2017 was “very fruitful” for him, adding that he could not have asked for more.


“Very makulay and ang daming blessings. I’m just very thankful,” he was quoted by the network as saying.


While Bea has upcoming movie projects in 2018, Gerald said there are also a lot of things that he looks forward to in the coming year.


“Sobrang dami [kong nilu-look forward sa 2018] that’s why magre-relax talaga ako sobra sa Pasko kasi ang daming gagawin pagbalik ko agad. May movie and then may teleserye. I’m very excited for the two projects dahil ang ganda,” he said as reported by his home studio.


Gerald and Bea had an on and off relationship but with their US trip together, it could be said that they are officially back together.


While he refused to admit the real score between them, the actor said: "What you see is what you get."


Last October, Gerald and Bea  spent quality time together in Barcelona, Spain and later in El Nido, Palawan.


The two have been  dating again after their breakup seven years ago in a short-lived whirlwind romance.


Their relationship has been in ups and downs as Gerald’s mother reportedly did not approve Bea for him until they decided to breakup.


Gerald has been linked earlier to actress Kim Chiu and Shaina Magdayao.


Early March this year, Gerald turned emotional as he crossed the finish line of the Los Angeles Marathon in Santa Monica, California.


The Filipino American sports buff was the Philippines’ representative to the 42-kilometer run organized by Skechers, a brand which the actor endorses.


In a series of posts on Instagram, Gerald’s Star Magic handler Nhila Mallari captured the actor’s proud moment while wearing a finisher’s medal.


“First timer Gerald Anderson finished the BIG 42K Skechers LA Marathon. Reached the finished line victoriously and kind of emotional,” she wrote in the caption.


“It was a tough one and seeing you at the finish line was a proud moment. You made it,” she added.


Mallari said Gerald recorded an unofficial time of 4:25:02 for the whole run.


Meanwhile, the actor described the LA Marathon as “one of the most challenging experiences in my life.”


“There were moments where I asked myself if I can finish this race, but what pushed me was the love from the fans and my team who supported and trained with me since arriving in Los Angeles,” he said.


Gerald then said he feels privileged to have represented the Philippines in the run. “I learned so much on this experience,” he said.


Anderson was born on March 7, 1989 in Subic, Zambales. His father was an American instructor in the Subic Naval Base  his mother is a Filipina businesswoman from General Santos City. He also has a younger brother (Kenneth Anderson) and two older sisters from his mother's first marriage. When he was three years old, he and his family moved from General Santos City to San Antonio, Texas, and then to Springfield, Missouri, when he was six. Finally, at 14 years of age, his family moved back to General Santos City.


Anderson is multilingual, demonstrating oral fluency in both English and Tagalog through his work; he also has some proficiency in Cebuano. He finished his elementary studies in San Antonio, Texas, and completed high school in General Santos City.

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(Photo from Instagram | @msleasalonga)


Look who are the Filipino celebrities in Broadway in New York?


Actor Aga Muhlach and former beauty queen-wife Charlene Gonzales were spotted in the city that never sleeps.


And the couple was seen hobnobbing with award-winning singer and actress Lea Salonga and her husband.


Lea sent their avid supporters abuzz after she posted a picture of them in New York before Christmas, their home studio ABS-CBN reported.


Lea, who won the prestigious Tony Award, had a caption which suggests that Aga watched her Broadway show “Once on This Island.”


“Yup. This happened. Thanks for visiting the island, Aga,” she wrote on Instagram.


In another post, Lea and Aga, who were real and reel sweethearts once, were joined in the picture by their respective spouses, Robert Chien for Lea.


According to reports, the two met up while on a trip with their respective families. They had dinner at the Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ and took a stroll in Times Square.


Fans have been asking for a Lea-Aga reunion movie. The two have appeared in the blockbuster films “Sana Maulit Muli” and “Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal.”

Earlier this year, Aga, who has rejoined ABS-CBN, promised that a third movie with Lea would be coming soon.


Charlene herself made another post of their meeting on Instagram, according to GMA Network. She was all praises for Lea’s performance in the show “Once on This Island.”


Charlene wrote, "Truly loved and enjoyed watching Once on This Island last night. Such a wonderful play & superb cast. I had moments of tears and laughter as I was deeply moved by the performances.”


Charlene added: “The goddess of @msleasalonga ang galing!! You always amaze us & give us a sense of pride as you shine bright on the Broadway stage!!! Your voice is truly angelic. I can never get tired of saying how proud we are of you!!! One of the best plays I’ve seen on Broadway. Congratulations to all!"


It was not the first time Aga and wife flew to New York to catch Lea Salonga’s show. 


Last year, Aga and Charlene also saw Lea in her Broadway musical "Allegiance." 


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