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Regina Mae Parungao

On Second Suck

The first season of D5 Studio Originals’ web series “Forever Sucks” left many people wondering if vampires could actually find everlasting love. Well, the show’s latest season just might provide the answer, with actor Felix Roco entering the pictures as lead star Jasmine Curtis-Smith’s new love interest. “Forever Sucks” is about a 170-year-old vampire who has given up on her life-long search for everlasting love until she encounters this guy at the call center where they work. Gab Pangilinan, who plays the role of Nancy Jane, the best friend of Jasmine’s character, said, “It’s really exciting, I hope people will be able to watch their relationship develop.” It’s likely they will do so, going by the numbers behind season one. An episode of “Forever Sucks” a few months ago garnered five million views …

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Watch out for Bruno Gabriel

Keeping pace with today’s most promising actors is newbie Bruno Gabriel. Note that showbiz runs in Bruno’s blood. He is the son of former actress Lani Lobangco. Young actress Sofia Andres is his cousin. Bruno, who took up a Management course at the Ateneo de Manila University, is really into sports but acting is something he wants to try. “For the most part athlete po ako, masasabi ko na dyan ako pinakamagaling. Sports talaga ang nagpalaki sa akin,” he said in an interview. “But acting is something na pangarap ko talaga kaya after my sports life I’ve decided to pursue it.” As athlete, the newbie actor participated in Tennis and Football competitions in California. He also trained alongside the Philippine Football team Azkals. According to Bruno, his passion for film developed back in college. “Mahilig kasi …

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Five years in the making, a lifetime to achieve

Elmo Magalona has set a bar that’s not only high for himself, but for any aspiring Pinoy artist: To equal the success of his father, the late Master Rapper Francis Magalona. “We all want to achieve our dreams and I really do hope na ma-achieve ko ’yung dream ko, ’yung mapantayan ko ’yung naabot na success ni Papa,” the singer-actor said in a recent interview. Elmo pointed out that his dad not only pioneered rap in the Philippines, but a subgenre of hip hop, too. “Pinagsama niya ’yung pagiging makabayan niya sa hip hop kaya in that point parang nakabuo siya ng sarili niyang genre,” he said. “Kahit na sinasabi sa kanya na hindi ito accepted (back then), ginawa pa rin niya ’yung tingin niya sa puso niya na tama for him.” The young …

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No ordinary love in ‘Manananggal’ movie

Romance movies are often associated with love teams into kilig moments on their way to a slight snag of a conflict before that happy ending. But what if the approach changes to involve a darker kind of romance built on Filipino folklore? Director Prime Cruz’s “Ang Manananggal Sa Unit 23B,” an official entry to the Circle Competition of the QCinema International Film Festival 2016, puts a contemporary spin on forbidden love involving a human and a manananggal. “Kapag kasi sinabing manananggal, ang iisipin ng viewers horror agad eh,” said lead star Martin del Rosario in an interview. “Pero dito sa film namin, makikita ng mga tao ’yung different side sa buhay ng isang manananggal.” The 23-year-old actor thinks “Ang Manananggal Sa Unit 23B” is more a study in melancholy than anything else. “Papakita dito …

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Lotlot ruminates key to festival success

Are Filipino filmmakers slowly getting to understand the formula for winning recognitions abroad? Is there even one? Actress Lotlot de Leon, who recently received a Sole Acting Citation at the All Light India International Film Festival (ALIIFF), did not give a definite answer on the matter but she cited certain elements that likely count. “Ang pinaka-importante siguro dyan is ’yung sincerity ng pelikula,” she told Bulletin Entertainment. “Pero importante din dyan na makita how each character is portrayed in the film and siyempre the message you want to convey to viewers.” Note that Lotlot’s starrer “1st Sem,” directed by Dexter Hemedez and Allan Ibañez, won Best Feature Film for Debut Director’s Competition at the same festival held in Hyderabad, India recently. “Kami lang ’yung Filipino film du’n sa category, kaya talagang we feel so …

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10 things you might not know yet about Michael Pangilinan

Five years since entering show business, singer Michael Pangilinan has made inroads with many people deeming him one of the rising stars of his generation. The vocal versatility and dexterity heard on his new, eponymously-titled album indicates he is here to stay. Here are 10 things fans might not know yet about their idol: Michael’s sign is Sagittarius (born Nov. 26, 1995). He is said to be a distant relative of Filipino businessman Manny V. Pangilinan. Michael started singing publicly at age seven. He once sang Salbakuta’s hit “Stupid Love” in church. He continued to turn heads via performance videos he uploaded online. One that went viral is his cover of Ronnie Liang’s “Ngiti,” which Michael did at 13. Michael is a patient, good-natured guy – but don’t touch his hair! The singer fixes …

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From a different angle

Pinoy films about society’s marginalized denizens are dime a dozen that’s why for a change, director-photographer Rommel Ricafort is tackling the problems of the rich in his latest film “Higanti.” “Nagagandahan din naman ako sa mga pelikula natin na may ganu’ng perspective (pero) gusto ko maiba naman, hindi lang ’yung palaging naka-focus sa kahirapan,” he said. “Kasi as a filmmaker, educator ka din eh and as educator, kailangang maipakita mo na hindi lang naman mga mahihirap ang nahihirapan.” Rommel, who has travelled extensively, claimed there are still some foreigners who think Filipinos here live in a “backward” society. He thinks some of our movies have something to do with it. “Minsan nga nakikipag-away pa ako sa abroad dahil sa ganoong pagtingin,” he maintained. “Tapos naisip ko malamang ganito dahil karamihan ng pinapakita natin …

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Sid Lucero on film festivals, growing up and surfing

With many Filipino films making their mark in festivals abroad, there now seems predilection for several local producers to prioritize foreign screenings of their movies. Asked about it in a recent interview, multi-awarded actor Sid Lucero said it could be a strategy. “In my experience kasi, when my first Cinelamaya (film) came out, they (much of the public) weren’t minding us,” he shared. “The only time they minded us was when we got recognitions abroad. So producers are, like, maybe we need to do this first para mapakinggan o mapanood tayo dito.” There’s also the matter of adhering to rules. The 35-year-old explained, “Like in Cannes (Film Festival) kasi, you cannot screen films kung nakapag-premiere ka na somewhere else. And most major festivals are like that. So, basically, that’s the reason inuuna i-screen …

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The many faces of Solenn Heussaff

Solenn Heussaff may be one of the industry’s more glamorous stars but it doesn’t stop her from appreciating native culture, something she has explored in a series of paintings. Of late she’s been fascinated by indigenous people who are “simple but very sophisticated in their own way.” “Lahat ng mga clothes nila, lahat ng mga weaves nila, all are so intricate,” she added. “Parang there is so much history behind it that we cannot take it for granted as urban people.” She hopes to exhibit the series of paintings in Mindanao soon. Solenn shared, “Since I paint a lot of indigenous people and my friends are aligned with some weavers from Sulu, we’re gonna try to organize an exhibit doon na parang chill session lang.” She sings Aside from being an actress, model, host, book author …

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Princess regains pow

After stepping out of the spotlight for a spell, Popstar Princess Sarah Geronimo returns to work even harder. “Although limited lang din ’yung (free time na) binigay sa akin, I made the most out of it,” she said. “Thankful ako na kahit papano pinayagan nila ako na makapag-bakasyon.” The last two months saw the singer-actress doing things outside her comfort zone, including climbing Mount Pico de Loro in Cavite. The respite, she said, helped her squash “negative thoughts.” “Nakatulong siya to end all my fears, end all my hesitations… ’yung mga negative thoughts na hanggang dito na lang ako, na hindi ko na kaya ’to,” Sarah shared. It also made her realize she doesn’t need to please everyone. “You don’t work for other people, you don’t work to please them,” she noted. “Ang importante sa …

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