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12 Kabugan Teleserye Confrontation Scenes   6 comments

two wives

Last night, another teleserye premiered over ABS-CBN’s Primetime Bida– the Philippine remake of the hit Korean drama “Two Wives.” Shown here back in 2012, this local adaptation stars Kaye Abad and Erich Gonzales fighting over Jason Abalos. And based from the previews and teasers, we will see slapping – a lot of ’em, apparently – and confrontations and “sagutans” between the two women. And if there’s one thing, these dramas are known for, it’s that we live for their over the top and melodramatic confrontations. After all, nothing snatches the interest of the TV viewing public by a showdown of two characters out-bitching each other. Thus, we revisit 12 of them in celebration of “Two Wives“‘ premiere.

01.  Rose/Emmanuelle vs. Sasha in “Sana Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon” (2014)

In the recently concluded “Sana Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon“, we see Rose (Bea Alonzo), now as Emmanuelle, flirting with former flame Patrick (Paulo Avelino). But this does not go well with Sasha (Maricar Reyes) when she sees him wiping the wine off Emmanuelle’s legs. And as Sasha comes to warn Emmanuelle, she trips off leading to a wet encounter.

The Kabugan Scene: Emmanuelle tries to help Sasha by offering her hand to help her rise from the pool. But when Sasha seizes the moment to grab Emmanuelle and pull her down the pool, the latter suddenly moves her hand away making the pathetic Sasha more miserable. For that we give this scene 2 full slaps!

02. Sarah vs. Mia in “Kung Ako’y Iiwan Mo” (2012)

Childhood friends turned husband and wife Sarah (Shaina Magdayao) and Paul (Jake Cuenca) is a struggling couple which led the man to go to Dubai to experience the greener pastures for his family. Upon working there, he bumps onto former flame Mia (Bangs Garcia) and rekindled their relationship. When Sarah followed Paul to Dubai is the time she realized this inifidelity.

The Kabugan Scene: In one of the most pasabog scenes in this show (clip starts at the 2:20 bit), there’s a scene where Mia open the big gate to see who’s knocking as Sarah goes to Paul’s direction and gives him a big slap. And since it takes two to tango, she then went to Mia and gave her the other pair of the slap. It’s a slap so hard I’m sure Mia’s head shattered for a few seconds. It’s followed by some shouting yada yada, but I bet it’s hard for Mia to process it since she’s still recovering from that slap. I give this confrontation, 2.25 slaps!

03. Vanessa vs. Sara in “Impostora” (2007)

Possessing some Orphan Black realness even before the show started five years later, this GMA serye with face snatching, doppleganger realness told the story of conjoined twins Lara and Sara against their diabolical cousin Vanessa. Sharing not only their face, but also their love interests, it’s hard to keep up who’s who and what’s happening to everyone in here.

The Kabugan Scene: In that big wedding scene right before the ceremony starts. we see Sunshine Dizon stops the wedding of Mark Anthony Fernandez and …. Sunshine Dizon. So as these 2 Sunshines go back and forth between who the real Sara is, Iza Calzado’s character comes in and reveals that Nicolas is marrying the wrong Sara.  Nothing beats the chaos that comes from a wedding, and with that, we rank this 2.5 slaps!

04. Chantal vs. Heidi in “Temptation of Wife” (2012)

While Angeline (Marian Rivera) and Heidi (Glaiza e Castro) have been friends since their childhood, Heidi had always developed a hidden envy to Chantal that she has kept as they were growing up. This even reached a point when they shared the same man — Marcel (Dennis Trillo). But when Angeline learned about the betrayal of the two people she loved the most, an accident that led Heidi thinking Angeline is dead is the start of the latter’s payback. She comes back as Chantal Gonzales, and she’s getting the receipts of her revenge.

The Kabugan Scene: Upon thinking that Chantal is flirting with her beau, this did not go well with Heidi as she decided to attack Chantal Mortal Kombat style. Jumping from chairs, tumbling in the carpet, tying with a hanky, and using fork as a weapon, this larger than life fight seemed to exist only in video games. It’s as over the top as it is ridiculous. But then again, it ended with a reveal of a pillow baby. So at least they’re consistent with it. This fight deserved a 2.75 slap rating!

05. Amor Powers vs. Claudia Buenavista in “Pangako Sa’Yo” (2000)

Gone were the days when we get these really over the top but serious showdowns in between characters. Nowadays, people live for the snark and the quotable quotations. But not in 2000 — as we see bitter rivals Amor Powers (Eula Valdez) and Madam Claudia Buenavista (Jean Garcia) battle out not only with money, but with men and children in this two year series. There’s a reason why these two are some of the most iconic characters in Philippine drama history.

The Kabugan Scene: When Claudia suddenly dashes her way to Amor’s house to ask for her daughter, she did it just for one reason: to slap her bitchy rival. Upon being threatened and be slapped  as well, she suddenly sneaks her way out. But that’s without mentioning the stanzas of lines that they shout at each other. And the pair of slap they gave to one another (including that rare leftie slap by Claudia to Amor). This doesn’t happen to modern teleseryes anymore. And to say I miss them is an understatement. For that, I give this scene a 3 slap rating!

06. Marimar vs. Angelika in “Marimar” (2007)

Definitely one of the most memorable telenovelas in Philippine history, the Mexican version of Marimar is one that will forever be one of the most influential ones. In this GMA remake, including a star-turning performance by Marian Rivera in the lead role, Marimar’s rag to riches story is, whether it’s Marimar and Sergio’s romance, or Marimar and Angelika’s revolving fates, and the other colorful characters in the soap, is one that will never get old.

The Kabugan Scene: While weddings and preparations bring out the class in most of us, consider both Marimar and Angelika as the likely outliers. When Angelika decided to poke fun at Marimar by asking her to be the maid of honor to Angelika and Sergio’s wedding, you know that it will only lead to chaos. And chaos it is, as not only did they ruin the whole place, but they’ve also wrestled with one another ruining gowns, cakes, and involving other people in the place.  Hopefully though, this type of mess only exists in the small screen and not in real life. This scene deserves a full 3.25 slap rating!

07. Vera vs. Victoria in “Magkaribal” (2010)

While most of the stories included in this lists had characters fighting over love interests, Magkaribal skews a bit as this one is a battle of power. When orphaned Anna Abella (Gretchen Barretto) thought that her younger sister Gelai (bea Alonzo) died from a hospital fire, she then made it a promise that she will take everything away from the person she thinks is responsible for those: Vera Cruz (Angel Aquino). So after his adopted father let her study fashion in Paris, she comes back to the country to snatch the title of “Queen of Philippine Fashion” from her mortal enemy.

The Kabugan Scene: Probably the start of a really famous pun — one that has been quoted many times especially during the trailer release and the premiere of the actual episode — Victoria visits Vera and informs her that she knows of the fashion designs that the latter has plagiarized and stolen from an up and coming designer. So when Vera confronted Victoria and asked her that she accepts the challenge, Gretchen Barretto, sans moving forehead, just said “You want war? I’ll give you war. Sabihin mo lang kung saan at kelan… I’ll be there in my red stilettos.” For that interaction alone, this clearly merits a 3.5 slap rating!

08. Milet vs. Sheila in “Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real” (2014)

GMA’s offering in the “kabitan” year of telserye, “Ang Dalawang Mrs. Real” featured the Diamond Star Maricel Soriano in the leading role as Milet Real, the original wife in the series. While Milet is mostly kind, patient, and calm, hell hath no fury like a woman scorned as she finally confronts the second Mrs. Real, Sheila, played by Lovi Poe in this nerve wracking elevator scene.

The Kabugan Scene: Never mind that the elevator seemed like it was stuck or that their confrontation went over 5 minutes without picking and dropping any new passengers, there will really be those times when nothing is more powerful than words. And that’s what Milet, who played a teacher in the soap, did here. Not only did she teach Sheila some lessons (“Bago mo ibuka ang hita mo, mag-research ka muna kung may asawa”), offending her parents, and doing everything as the mistress carries the lovechild, it is safe to say that the original schooled the second one here. This confrontation is deserving of a 3.75 slap rating!

09. Celyn vs. Margaux in “Ina Kapatid Anak” (2013)

Best friends turned enemies turned sisters turned rivals (whew!) Celyn (Kim Chiu)and Margaux (Maja Salvador) have all been fighting for the same things: parents’ attention, boys, interests, it always seemed like everything is going Celyn’s way. But while it seemed like the rivalry is too good to be true, well apparently it is since it’s one of those times when truth is stranger than fiction as the former real life best friends Kim and Maja aren’t really in a friendly mood during the production of this show due to some personal issues.

The Kabugan Scene: During the after party of their double celebration debut, Margaux finally had it with Celyn getting all the attention. Si while she’s drunk, she asked her if she can talk to her in which Margaux will just reiterate how much she hated Celyn following it with a really hard slap. Celyn then answered back “Para mahimasmasan ka..” and swooped up an equally hard slap. Sure, these slaps are supposed to be tame for a TV show, but in the context of what’s happening during these times, the tension in this scene alone trumps a lot of others in this list which leads to a solid 4 slap rating!

10. Catherine vs. Scarlet in “Iisa Pa Lamang” (2008)

This conflict over conflict over conflict of interconnecting stories focuses on naive lass Catherine (Claudine Barretto) and how she has smitten Miguel (Diether Ocampo) off her fingers. Miguel’s past flame Scarlet (Angelica Panganiban) came back just to meddle with these affairs and she will do everything it takes to make Catherine’s life msierable. For what its worth, Iisa Pa Lamang will never be forgotten as it pioneered the era of bitchy retorts and the endless over the top lines that have been uttered on Philippine dramas.

The Kabugan Scene:  It’s difficult to choose for this one as kabugan seems to be the name of the game for this soap, but let’s go with this court interaction in which Scarlet demands Catherine to be taken off the room only to find out that the latter will be used as a witness against Scarlet for the grounds of adultery. This led to a confrontation on the stairs where the two women shouted labels at each other ranging from “social climber” to “adulteress” and “slut” to “home wrecker” until Catherine capped it off by shouting “Desperraaattteee housewife from hellll” before attempting to push Scarlett off the stairs. That intensity of the scene alone is enough to give this a 4.5 slap rating.

11. Lally vs. Vincent in “My Husband’s Lover” (2013)

One of the hottest soaps of last year, GMA 7’s “My Husband Lover” provided major buzz in pop culture because of its handling of a sensitive topic that’s rarely (or even a first of its kind) focus on the relationship of two gay men on its forefront. This Dennis Trillo-Tom Rodriguez-Carla Abellana triangle not only made them household names (in the case of Tom Rodriguez), but it also proved her acting prowess (in the case of Carla Abellana) and initiated a career comeback (for Dennis Trillo).

The Kabugan Scene: While all of us pretty much know who “bhe” already is, Lally (Carla Abellana) seems like she’s the last person to figure things out. So when she did, it definitely shook her world (probably much more than we expected). This confrontation between husband and wife isn’t snarky or bitchy like the others on the list, but for sheer scene intensity and a high point moment in the series, it is worthy of a 4.75 slap rating!

12. Monica vs. Nicole in “The Legal Wife” (2014)

And rounding up the list is from 2014’s most memorable and most talked about teleserye… ABS-CBN’s “The Legal Wife.” Angel Locsin’s primetime TV comeback not only defied the high expectations for her, but it even delivered some of the highest ratings in the history of its timeslot. But then again, who can blame the audience? The story of how Monica (Angel Locsin) dealt upon learning that her former best friend Nicole (Maja Salvador) is having an affair with her husband Adrian (Jericho Rosales) has been the topic of endless debates, arguments, and trending Twitter topics during its time on the air,

The Kabugan Scene: We already had a taste of the confrontation when Monica went to Nicole’s house and attacked the latter while asking the now catchphrase “Masarap ba ang asawa ko? Paano mo siya nilandi? Anong unang tinanggal mo: yung bra mo, yung panty mo? O yung konsensiya mo?”, but then it was all Monica getting angry at a sheepish Nicole. In this however, we finally see a fight. And a very realistic one. Hair grabbing, hair pulling, and extension snatching fight. Everything about this scene is realistically awkward, but no one can bat an eyelash considering how we’re all Team Monica, yet even fans can sympathize of how it felt like to be Maja Salvador during this specific scene. I’m certain this scene will be remembered years from now, and it will be the barometer used for the next confrontations to come. This, a full perfect 5 slap rating!

There you have it! Do you think Two Wives will soon join the list? What are some of your favorite kabugan teleserye confrontation that missed the list? Pipe them in the comments section below.

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

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2013 Metro Manila Film Festival Review: Part 1   12 comments

In the last three decades, Christmas time in the Philippines is not complete without the celebration of the Metro Manila Film Festival. The history of this festival might have been very shaky at best, but this one produced some of the best films our country ever produced ranging from Ishmael Bernal’s Himala and Eddie Romero’s Ganito Kami Noon Paano Kayo Ngayon. Other notable films include Marilou Diaz Abaya’s Jose Rizal, Jose Javier Reyes’s May Minamahal, and last year’s entry Brillante Mendoza’s Thy Womb. With that said, the last decade of the festival has focused mostly on commercially viable films with the same actors, producers, and even stories to watch every single year. Now on it’s 39th year, here’s the first half of my reviews for the MMFF entries of this year’s batch.

My Little Bossings

MY LITTLE BOSSINGS
Director: Marlon Rivera
Cast: Vic Sotto, Kris Aquino, Ryzza Mae Dizon, Bimby Aquino Yap, Aiza Seguerra

For his eleventh consecutive year in the film fest, Vic Sotto takes off his superhero costume and lays down all the swords and the magic as he now portrays Torky, who lives alone now after his wife died four months into their marriage. Working as a bookeeping accountant to a wealthy single mother Barbara (Kris Aquino), all he wanted was to travel around the world and leave where he’s at. Tides change when Barbara’s life was put into danger as her stepsister puts the blame on her on a pyramid scam and she relied on Torky to take care of her son, spoiled kid Justin (Bimby Aquino Yap).

The film is actually a feel good one in terms of emphasizing the role of the family and while it did not offer anything new, it was engaging and at times, really funny. There were some inspired approaches used in the film such as that of the Ili Ili montage in the first half hour of the movie involving mother Barbara and son Justin. I guess one of the movie’s most valuable asset is the chemistry: Aiza Seguerra and Vic Sotto has one, Kris Aquino and Vic Sotto has one, Ryzza Mae Dizon and Bimby Aquino Yap has one. Vic Sotto’s schtick (and his looks) really never gets old. He might have been doing the same act for years now both in TV and film, but he has that charisma that appeals to the movie goers. I like it more when Kris Aquino pokes fun at herself (confession: I love her in Sisterakas last year), so when she keeps doing all these drama scenes here opposite a very campy Jaclyn Jose shows her awkward kunot noo theatrics. Aiza Seguerra’s doing more mother roles now no? I think it actually suits her as she gives an affecting mother figure here. But then again, the stars of the show are the kids. Ryzza Mae Dizon is really a natural. She’s such a blast to watch as she’s not conscious in front of the cameras. On the other hand, Bimby Aquino Yap has been mostly relegated to scenes where he does the “reaction face” (think of the person reacting after the punchline was thrown in gag shows), but the kid has the charm that’s lovely to watch. He does not look awkward and it seems like he’s enjoying this acting stint. If anything, I think this film perfectly encapsulates the usual feel good family movie of the earlier MMFF days, and it’s this season that fits the vibe of the film the most.

Rating: 2.5/5

Pagpag

PAGPAG
Director: Frasco Mortiz
Cast: Daniel Padilla, Kathryn Bernardo, Paulo Avelino, Shaina Magdayao, Clarence Delgado

The film tackles the different superstitious beliefs that one should not do after visiting a wake, with Death knocking at your doors if you fail to do so. When a group of five teens accidentally visits a wake that a funeral wake service group prepared for, things start to get eerie for both camps.

Another mainstay genre at the MMFF is that of the horror one. I don’t know why people love to scare themselves on Christmas day, though “scaring” them is quite a task since most of the horror films failed to deliver. Pagpag is an interesting one. When the film starts to be get predictable, the writers still inject something twisted or new in order to balance it. And for the most part, it actually works. The superstition niche is one that never gets old, and we’re given a rich serving of that in the movie. The Final Destination deaths were actually hit or miss with some really interesting deaths and some senseless lazy ones. The movie also opens with an interesting short story explaining the concept of pagpag. If anything, I guess the final act went on too long and it just.doesn’t.die.down. And of course in the middle of scaring us all, there’s the obligatory kilig scenes, since this stars the top love team for Christ’s sake. But that’s countered with the great visuals offered by the movie. The editing, production design, and cinematography were really great. I love the colors palette used, and the crisp editing was put into good use in the death scenes. Overall, I felt this one is a very competent film style wise, and whether you’ll actually be scared is up to you. But it’s one of the better ones did the past few years.

Rating: 3/5

Girl Boy Bakla Tomboy

GIRL BOY BAKLA TOMBOY
Director: Wenn Deramas
Cast: Vice Ganda (x4), Maricel Soriano, Joey Marquez, Ruffa Gutierrez, Kiray Celis

Quadruplets representing each possible gender preference reunite, and it’s not as warm and loving as one actually thinks it is.

Disclaimer: I actually enjoy most Vice Ganda movies. Maybe I share the same humor with him, but when he starts to do his schtick, I really end up cracking. I laugh with him while watching Showtime  and Gandang Gabi Vice, and I laugh a lot in his past films. However, this one is really tiring and overkill. I give him props though for playing all these four characters, as I find it a really daunting task, but it’s just too much for me. He made the mannerisms work somehow by sticking one quality per character, but I did not buy the boy and girl part at all. There’s a reason I guess why bakla is the narrator and center of the film, as it is his most natural. His tomboy used this lower voice which he held on until the end. Of course, there are still some hilarious parts. Bakla’s scene in the near end is one for the books and it’s really funny, but everything else feels so dated and tired. And I won’t even begin with the black face character of Kiray Celis and how many endless jokes were done about it (though I guess it’s sadder that the audience bought it a lot and we’re hilariously dying at it). Meh. I’m indifferent on this one, but I expect it to be this batch’s top grosser.

Rating: 2/5

Boy Golden

BOY GOLDEN
Director: Chito Rono
Cast: ER Ejercito, KC Concepcion, Eddie Garcia, John Estrada, Gloria Sevilla

Based on the Arturo Porcuna story, ER Ejercito plays the title role of Boy Golden as he partners with dancer Marla Dee (KC Concepcion) in taking revenge against the biggest mafia in town.

Color me surprised, but boy is this my favorite so far. I’m surprised because I don’t even have any idea what the film will be about, but this is an enjoyable as one can get. It has camp!!! I mean how can you not love it when there’s a white face character named Boy Putla. There’s Boy Putla, there’s an endless Elvis references, there’s Gloria Sevilla pulling her underarm hair while talking to Roi Vinzons. There’s even a Valentina motel with an unguarded big yellow python crawling on the tree near its entrance. I guess the lack of hype over this one is what wins me over. Manila Kingpin was good for the most part, and I like the black and white approach used. I’m simply not here for overdone El Presidente. But I think this one manages camp and action smoothly that it’s an enjoyable watch. I enjoyed the twists and turns in the story, and the fight scenes were for the most part, well done. As always though, my main problem with an ER Ejercito film is ER Ejercito himself. He’s really just awkward and it was painful to see him jumping off the roofs with his bulging belly in tow. But then he gets saved by the wonderful ensemble as KC Concepcion enjoying her role as Marla Dee, Eddie Garcia in an Eddie Garcia performance, and John Estrada, Jhong Hilario, Baron Geisler, and Tonton Gutierrez delivering as well. I guess the person most responsible here is director Chito Rono. He made this thing more interesting with the shots, and the production design and costumes here are top notch. He could have trimmed 10-15 minutes here as it’s quite long, but I’m living for the camp of this film. Whether it’s intentional or not, I don’t know, but I enjoyed it a lot.

Rating: 3.5/5

There you have it. What where your favorites this year? You can click here to see the second batch of MMFF reviews which includes Chris Martinez’ Kimmy Dora ang Kiyemeng Prequel, Francis Villacorta’s Pedro Calungsod, Eliza Cornejo’s Kaleidoscope World, and Joyce Bernal’s 10,000 Hours. Happy post Christmas day everyone, and happy MMFF season! 🙂

You can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

13 Best Filipino Horror Movies of the Last 12 Years   6 comments

Halloween is right around the corner, and though the primary purpose of All Saints Day is to recognize those who are already there up with Him in the heavens, majority of those who await Halloween season are in for the horror stories that come during this period. Horror themed stories, shows, and movies seem to be a hit here in the Philippines, and with Asia being the region that produces the best horror films, the country has produced its fair share of horror themed films.

So for those who are looking for a Halloween themed movie playlist to marathon these next few days, here are thirteen titles that I  consider as the best of the best of the last twelve years and can recommend to you:

Director: Chito S. Roño
Stars: Maricel Soriano, Mika dela Cruz, Derek Ramsay
Story and Screenplay: Chito S. Roño, Aloy Adlawan, Chris Martinez
Release Date: April 11, 2009

While I’m no big fan of the over the top yet unpolished CGI effects in this one, I’m still pretty amused with the storytelling in the first two-thirds of the film. It focused on the different sayings, rituals, and legends from the Southern provinces of the country. I remember our helper telling me that she has experienced some of the scenes featured in the film like the group of black pigs that will suddenly block your way when traveling late at night which supposed to reincarantion of a group of aswangs. Doppelgangers were also present,  in the film, as well as the legends involving seeing a big submarine in a small creek or the simple sundo concept from the dead. If anything, this is the scary part of learning the rich culture of some parts in the country.

Director: Jose Javier Reyes
Stars: Rica Peralejo, Marvin Agustin, Dingdong Dantes
Story and Screenplay: Jose Javier Reyes
Release Date: December 25, 2003

This one is very reminiscent of that Keanu Reeves’s starrer The Gift about a woman’s psychic abilities. In here, Sara (Peralejo) has shown signs of possessing that gift of knowing if something bad will happen. The first sign of it will be a nose bleed which she has experienced way back when she was still a child. What I find creepy about this is that I experience nose bleed in a very frequent manner, so I somehow got paranoid after seeing this one. The film also benefits from having slick effects, cinematography, editing, and sound.


Director: Yam Laranas
Stars: Rhian Ramos, Marvian Agustin, Carmina Villaroel
Story and Screenplay: Yam Laranas, Aloy Adlawan
Release Date: November 30, 2011

The Road is one of those psychological thrillers more than your typical straight out horror film. With that said, it is very engaging and captivating enough to stay all through out the film. While there are particular loopholes within the storytelling of the film, its lavish technical effects make up for it. Also, watch out for Carmina Villaroel’s performance who was so good here and deserved some awards mention for her portrayal in the movie.

Director: Chito S. Roño
Stars: Vilma Santos, Janice de Belen, Pokwang
Story and Screenplay: Chito S. Roño
Release Date: July 25, 2012

The Healing certainly fits the bill of those Chito Roño horror film formula. However, with that said, this one goes deep into the Filipino habit of depending on healers for help. This one poses the man of science vs. man of faith concept that has been one of the age old questions that has every been asked. Also, among all of his past horror flicks, this one is the goriest and fits right up the crazy story that it presented in the movie.


Director: Richard Somes
Stars: Mark Anthony Fernandez, Tanya Garcia, Elizabeth Ororpesa
Story and Screenplay: Joven Tan
Release Date: December 25, 2005

After an eight year hiatus, in 2005, the Filipino film franchise Shake, Rattle, and Roll is back and has become the longest horror trilogy in Philippine cinema. While films in the series has been a hit or miss, there are still few solid gems in it like this one directed by Richard Somes. Lihim ng San Joaquin  is about a young newly-wed couple played by Mark Anthony Fernandez and Tanya Garcia who transfers into this rural town that is known to be inhabited by a manananggal and attracts all the men there and kills them one by one. This is a real breath of fresh air in terms of storytelling and production skills.


Director: Bobi Bonifacio
Stars: Maricel Soriano, Albert Martinez, Meryll Soriano
Story and Screenplay: Juan Miguel Sevilla, Bobi Bonifacio
Release Date: November 3, 2006

Numbalikdiwa has a richly interesting concept, probably one of the cleverest in recent years. The horror is not in your face; it’s more of something that will creep you out when you think about it. Here’s an interesting definition of what numbalikdiwa is as taken from the movie’s official blog site: An ancient, macabre ritual where the dead assumes the body of a living person. Like cannibalism, it involves the ingestion of the deceased’s ground meat andbones as part of the ritual. With the help of the Sasigloho, an ancient tribal deity, the dead assumes the identity of the living and continues to live his/her life accordingly, granting near immortality to the one who practices it. And yes, after seeing the film, I laid off eating any grilled street foods.

Director: Jerrold Tarog
Stars: Kathryn Bernardo, Louise delos Reyes, Sam Concepcion
Story and Screenplay: Maribel Ilag, Jerrold Tarog
Release Date: December 25, 2011

The 13th batch of the SR&R episode is one of its best. The first one, while bordering on fantasy territory, has good production values. The third one is relevant and also excellent. However, the best is the second one entitled Parola. Not only does it brag of a rich storytelling, it is also a perfect throwback to the early heydays of the said franchise. It represents the type of horror that Filipino moviegoers love, and it also contains exemplary production skills to boot. Definitely one of the best the whole series has ever produced.


Director: Chito S. Roño
Stars: Danilo Barrios, Vhong Navarro, Spencer Reyes
Story and Screenplay: Chito S. Roño, Roy Iglesias
Release Date: January 1, 2003

Probably one of the most prominent entries during its Metro Manila Film Festival batch, the follow up to the Spirit Warriors movie franchise is also the better movie between the two. I like how the movie has incorporated an interesting story to tackle referring to the “shortcut” that the spirits go to when they want to go to the world of the mortals. It also included a backstory at the start of the film that was shot perfectly in Vigan. I don’t see this in a lot of horror films list, but its inclusion is definitely merited here.

Director: Yam Laranas
Stars: Richard Gutierrez, Angel Locsin, Iza Calzado
Story and Screenplay: Roy Iglesias, Yam Laranas
Release Date: December 25, 2004

Sigaw is more popularly known as the horror flick that got an international version. But even with that distinction, I still prefer the original version about the bachelor who lives in an old building whose history seems to catch up with the present tenants. I feel that this is one of the underrated horror flicks of the past decade. People seem to catch on its appreciation with the film later on and not during its actual showing. And come on, a bloody Iza Calzado staring at your face? While Iza was every inch beautiful albeit the blood in her face, if that does not give you enough chills, then I don’t know what will.

Director: Richard Somes
Stars: Ronnie Lazaro, Tetchie Agbayani, Joel Torre
Story and Screenplay: Richard Somes, Dwight Gaston
Release Date: December 3, 2008

The Best Picture winner during the 2008 Cinema One Originals, Yanggaw definitely leans on its approach to manage the fight in you. With that said, the concept of a transforming aswang is something that is so popular and rich in this country’s culture, and that alone already deserves a slot in this list. The production design and cinematography, among all things, were also top notch. And lastly, the acting of the three actors (Ronnie Lazaro, Tetchie Agabayani, Joel Torre) is very convincing for that there’s no option left but to be swept along the whole ride.

Director: Jerrold Tarog
Stars: Carla Abellana, Sid Lucero, Nash Aguas
Story and Screenplay: Rona Lean Sales
Release Date: December 3, 2010

Another one from the Shake, Rattle, and Roll franchise, Punerarya follows the story of Diane (Carla Abellana) who home tutors two kids from the street’s funeral parlor. Unbeknownst to her, the family is hiding deep secrets that Diane unfortunately learned. The problem now is how she can escape unscathed from them. There are so many things that’s so commendable in this episode. Tarog’s approach in the direction is the primary reason for this episode to work, though. That, and Carla Abellana’s performance as the heroine  in the film. It definitely is deserving of the title as one of best Shake, Rattle, and Roll episodes of all time.

Director: Enrico Santos
Stars: Jodi Sta. Maria, Barbie Sabino, Gianna Cutler
Story and Screenplay: Joel Mercado
Release Date: July 14, 2010

Paa is the second episode in the five-parter Cinco (Duh. LOL). This one tackles a revengeful ghost of a young kid who visits the mother of her classmate. It was then revealed in the end what the connection of the mother (played perfectly by Jodi Sta. Maria) was to the untamed ghost. I think that this episode in particular is very underrated. The direction and approach was top notch, and the short length time of the episode worked well in its favor. The editing was also sharp, and Jodi Sta. Maria was more than capable in the lead role. My favorite scene perhaps was the end part with the montage, where everything was revealed. This is one of the few films that gets better and stands the test of time.

Director: Chito S. Roño
Stars: Kris Aquino, Lotlot de Leon, Jay Manalo
Story and Screenplay: Chito S. Roño, Roy Iglesias
Release Date: September 15, 2004

But of course, what’s a horror film list without Feng Shui? Chito Roño’s flick that showed how the fate of people depend on the Chinese ornament called bagua, and how one’s luck and demise are affected by it. Whether your creeped out by the “May uwi si Nanay… si Nanay… sa bahay” chant, the connection of one’s horoscope to the cause of your death, the scene where Alice (de Leon) comes across an image of the Lotus Feet holding a bloody and dead version of herself, or just by Kris Aquino’s kunot noo approach to show that she’s scared, there are no other reasons why this won’t be the top horror film of the last 12 years. 

How about you? What are some of your favorite local horror films? Do you feel there’s something that’s missing on the list? Or do you think there’s an undeserving entry here? Pipe them in below the Comments section.

10 Female Rivalries in Entertainment   24 comments

Just this week, the whole Hollywood was buzzing about the announcement of the remake of the 1962 classic What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. The bad news is that we don’t need a remake of this. After all, both Better Davis and Joan Crawford nailed iconic performances of sisters Jane and Blanch in this acting masterpiece. The good news is that Walter Hill has received personal blessing from the family of the late Robert Aldrich to do the remake. Now the next question begs on who will play the sisters. While there are no reported cast members yet, everyone is coming up with their own pairs with the combination of Glenn Close, Jessica Lange, and Meryl Streep topping the forums.

Now this led me to a very interesting topic that never fails to make noise when it comes to public opinions and online discussions. Time and again, it has been mentioned that there’s always a stereotype when it comes to female and showbusiness. While men weren’t subjected to any rivalries and petty issues, women were always downgraded into catfights and rivalries in terms of awards, recognition, and other achievements.  Here are ten examples of female pairings that will always elicit response from the people.

1. BETTE DAVIS and JOAN CRAWFORD

There’s no better way than to start the countdown with the two lead stars of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. While the movie delivered expectations of the crowd in terms of acting intensity, it was very obvious that the strength of the two leads’ performances was based from the fact that they really dislike each other. And when I say really, they really really do. This came to a point that the situation was out of hand and even director Aldrich can’t do anything about it. During one scene where the character of Bette physically abuses Joan, the shooting came to a halt as Bette’s kicks were too realistic that Joan Crawford needed some head stitches. In return, on scenes that require Bette carrying handicapped Joan, the latter will put big heavy stones inside the pockets of her costume causing Bette back aches after the shoot. Talk about a very intense shooting.

TRIVIA: When the Oscar nominations were announced that year, only Bette Davis was nominated for Best Actress. This made Joan Crawford mad, and she contacted Bette’s co-nominee and eventual winner Anne Bancroft that she’ll receive the trophy in behalf of her if she wins. Now in one of the biggest Oscar legends ever, it was said that after Bancroft was announced the winner, Crawford passed by Davis backstage and mentioned “Excuse me, but I have an Oscar to accept.”

2. MARICEL SORIANO and SHARON CUNETA

Aside from Vilma and Nora, Maricel Soriano and Sharon Cuneta are the two other perennial “stars” of Philippine showbusiness. Maricel was tagged as the Diamond Star while Sharon is also known as the Megastar. Both are the box office queens of the 80s though the primary difference was that Maricel is a Regal Queen while Shawie hails from Viva. In the 90s, both moved on to be more serious actresses headlining in award winning films. The rivalry doesn’t seem to die down especially during times where in both actresses happen to release movies in the same year such as the 2003 Metro Manila Film Festival where Sharon was a part of Crying Ladies and Maricel as a part of Filipinas. During the Gabi ng Parangal that year, Maricel bagged the Best Actress plum while Shawie won the Audience Choice for Best Actress.

TRIVIA: Despite fans rallying and bashing each other in public forums, Shawie and Marya have nothing but good words and praises for each other especially when the Diamond Star guested on Megastar’s Sunday talk show Sharon. As a matter of fact, they have been on the same TV station for decades now when both belonged to ABSCBN up to now where they are both TV5 talents. Another thing they have in common is that both headlined a Mano Po movie; Maricel was at the first Mano Po playing the character of icy sister Vera Go while Shawie headlines the sixth installment playing tycoon Melinda Uy.

3. MARIAH CAREY and WHITNEY HOUSTON

They were touted as some of the greatest voices the music industry ever heard. While Whitney was the first one to emerge into the limelight being at the top of her prime as early as the mid-80s, comparisons started after Mariah debuted in the 90s with Vision of Love. Back then, everyone was saying that Mariah was one of the most refreshing voices ever heard. and that she was here to stay. However, Whitney captured and regained the hearts of many when she belted out her iconic I Will Always Love You and that kept the rivalry alive. While fans are arguing with each other on whether who’s the better one, the rivalry gained waves again when the two collaborated on the Oscar nominated soundtrack When You Believe from The Prince of Egypt. Both Mariah and Whitney shut off the rumors and even performed the single at the Oscars in 1999. Mariah was even one of the first who tweeted her condolences when Whitney left us February of this year calling her “one of the greatest voices on earth.”

TRIVIA: One of the most memorable moments in the history of the MTV Video Music Awards was in 1998 when Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston presented the Best Male Video category. The biggest surprise came because when Mariah appeared from the left side and Whitney from the stairs, they were wearing the same dress. Both were surprised but moreso, prepared for the situation with Mariah removing her train to reveal a skimpy look. This makes a remarkable VMA moment.

4. ANNETTE BENING and HILARY SWANK

Now this one is more of an Oscar rivalry. In 1999, the Best Actress trophy is between two actresses. The first one is an ingénue in a very revealing and challenging role that gave her lots of breakthrough notices. The other one comes from the perceived Best Picture frontrunner that seems to sweep the four major categories. What works for the second contender’s chance is that her husband, a Hollywood legend, is receiving the Thalberg award that same night, and with her possibly winning the trophy, it will be a moment Oscar finds hard to resist. The Globes awarded the first one while the SAGS went for the second one. When the envelope was opened, it was the newbie who triumphed over the other actress paving the way for a Hilary Swank victory. In 2004, a part two of the rivalry happened. This time, they switched conditions when Annette was nominated for a small indie film while Hilary was in the Best Picture frontrunner.  Both won the Globes (Swank won for Drama while Bening won for Musical/Comedy), with Swank also getting the SAG. When the Oscar was announced, Hilary won again Round 2 vs. Annette. Probably a case of bad timing or just her luck?

TRIVIA: We got a glimpse of an Annette-Hilary Round 3 in 2010 at the SAGs. That year, Annette Bening was nominated for her turn as the more aggressive lesbian woman in a female relationship in The Kids Are All Right while Hilary was cited for her turn as lawyer Betty Ann Waters in the biopic “Conviction.”This time, neither of them got the trophy as Natalie Portman prevailed for Black Swan.

5. ANGEL LOCSIN and MARIAN RIVERA

Angel Locsin was GMA’s biggest star. She gets the best projects one after the other. She is considered as the station’s most prized possession. However, a misunderstanding on her next project started rumors that Angel is transferring station. The rumors were proven correct and she was seen on the rival station sooner. On the other station, the search for the next big star started and literally hundreds of their talents auditioned to take the throne. The lucky winner was Marian Rivera who is now the most prized talent of GMA 7. At first, it’s as if the station aims to make Angel feel regret by giving Marian a remake of a previous Angel project.  Both obviously gained something from the rivalry as Marian’s fame skyrocketed and she was given star treatment in her station while Angel became a box office movie star, Best Actress wins, and an International Emmy nomination to boot.

TRIVIA: There seems to be no issues between the two actresses when it comes to their personal feelings with each other. As a matter of fact, Angel’s next film is with Marian’s boyfriend Dingdong Dantes. As for the widely contested FHM Sexiest Women list, in the seven year span that they both made it to the list (from 2006-2012), Angel ranked higher in four years (2006, 2007, 2010, 2012) while Marian topped Angel on the remaining three years (2008, 2009, 2011).

6. ANGELINA JOLIE and JENNIFER ANISTON

Now this one does not need any explanation at all. Bottom line is while Brad and Jennifer were married, Brad fell for Angeline while shooting Mr. and Mrs. Smith. After then, years and years of nonstop invasion of fabricated stories and rumors that never seems to end invade the lives of the three involved. What’s sad about the issue is that people put the blame between Jennifer and Angelina and leave Brad less worried on who caused the issue.

TRIVIA: Ever since the issue broke out in 2005, it wasn’t until in 2009 where Pitt, Jolie, and Aniston met ways in an event. The Oscars that year nominated both Brad and Angelina as Best Actor and Best Actress for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Changeling respectively. Meanwhile, Aniston was a presenter for Best Animated Feature wherein Angelina’s Kung Fu Panda was nominated. While Aniston was presenting with Jack Black, the cameras panned several times to Brangelina where they were caught laughing to Jennifer’s banters.

7. NORA AUNOR and VILMA SANTOS

Philippine’s greatest and longest rivalry belongs to none other than Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos. They are two of the greatest thespians in the history of Philippine cinema history. Ate Guy is more known with the way her eyes act even without battling a single word. La Aunor’s eyes act from the soul and they reach a mile faster than a bullet. This made Nora the “Superstar” for everyone. Vilma’s advantage, on the other hand, is her line delivery. Once she starts speaking, it leaves a lasting effect on you. Also, Vilma’s singing dancing and hosting talents labeled her as the “Star for all Seasons.” Since then, they were pitted for awards, box office titles, and their fans are some of the most loyal ones that were still present up until now.

TRIVIA: While both of them have received numerous acting trophies one after the other, the greatest acting award rivalry that happened was in 1982 when Nora was up for Himala while Vilma was nommed for Relasyon. Ate Guy won the MMFF Best Actress that year, while Vilma swept the FAP, FAMAS, and Urian leading to the first ever grandslam in the history of Philippine award giving bodies. Decades later, CNN proclaimed Nora’s Himala as the Best Asian Film. The last time that Nora and Vilma were up for awards consideration at the same time was in 2004 when Nora gained traction as the lawyer in Naglalayag while Vilma as the Chinese matriarch in Mano Po 3. Vilma won at the PMPC Star Awards that year, but neither won the Luna and the Urian. This year shapes up to be a comeback as Nora stars in Brillante Mendoza’s Thy Womb while Vilma is in Chito Rono’s The Healing. Funny thing though is that the name of the healer that Vilma consults in The Healing is Elsa which is the name of Nora Aunor’s fake healer character in the iconic Himala.

8. BRITNEY SPEARS and CHRISTINA AGUILERA

In 1999, while the bubblegum pop era is slowly emerging, it was full of boybands that cater to the ladies. There seems to be no one that caters to the young boys. In April of 1999, there emerge Britney Spears. Britney was like the life-size Barbie that young girls idolize and young boys fantasize. She was sexy and a great dancer and her songs are very much addictive. Four months later, another young blonde singer emerged by the name of Christina Aguilera. While she was also as innocent as one can get, her first single Genie in a Bottle speaks volumes on a more liberated pattern. After discovering that both were alumni of the Mickey Mouse club, the rivalry started and it was probably the biggest rivalry of their time. Not only singles and music videos were compared, even rival endorsements get them. When Pepsi got Britney, Coca Cola signed up Christina. The biggest surprise that year happened at the Grammys Awards when both were nominated for Best New Artist. Britney and Macy Gray were the frontruners but when the envelope was opened (right after Britney’s performance which usually signals that she’ll win), it was Christina Aguilera’s name that was announced as the winner. Both Britney and Christina shut off rumors about the rivalry by appearing on stage at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards introducing the late Whitney Houston. Time and again, they have nothing but sweet messages for each other in interviews and reports.

TRIVIA: Thirteen years since their first appearance, both Britney and Christina are walking the same pattern again as they get head to head as judges in reality signing competition. It is Christina’s third season as a coach in the NBC hit The Voice while it is Britney’s first season as a panelist in Fox’s X Factor. This will surely heat up rivalry between the fans of the two.

9. CLAUDINE BARRETTO and JUDY ANN SANTOS

It is said that the offspring of the Nora-Vilma rivalry is that of Claudine and Judai’s. Judy Ann is touted as the next Nora, the maka-masa actress whose eyes speak volumes. Claudine is said to be the next Vilma whose great line deliveries fit any genre with such finesse. It didn’t help that Nora starred with Judy Ann in the 1997 film “Babae” while Claudine starred as Vilma’s eldest daughter in “Anak” in 2000. Both were also ABSCBN’s queens of primetime television and the station’s royalties up until Claudine transferred stations in 2009. This opened new rivalries between the fans of the two as ABSCBN announced Judy Ann as the sole face of the 60 Years of Soap Opera. However, both Claudine and Judai are friends with each other especially since they have moved on now to be serious asset actresses of their generation.

TRIVIA: In the field of awards recognition, there was only one year in local award giving body history where Judai and Claudine faced off against each other for Best Actress. It was in 2004 when Claudine was nominated for her portrayal of the fearless, independent OFW in Olivia Lamasan’s Milan. Judy Ann took notice for her performance as the title role of the wild sultry provocative woman in Joel Lamangan’s Sabel. Claudine beat Judai both at the FAMAS and the Luna awards that year while it was Judai who got the coveted Urian trophy. Since then, they haven’t competed for any film award consideration.

10. MARCIA CROSS and TERI HATCHER

In probably one of the biggest stories of 2005, one supposedly short and relaxing Vanity Fair cover shoot turned out to be a very controversial and emotional one. Because of the surprising success since the launch of Desperate Housewives in 2004, the ladies have been the most in-demand actresses during that time. Interviews, pictorials, endorsements have been running left and right for the stars of this ABC comedy Teri Hatcher, Marcia Cross, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, and Nicolette Sheridan. When the Housewives Vanity Fair issue hit the stands, there was a sign in the cover that mentioned “You wouldn’t believe what it took just to get this photo!” This kept Hollywood rumormongers buzzing and finding out small details until it was finally exposed. According to reports, before the start of the shoot, ABC already warned the Vanity Fair staff to not put Teri in the middle of the photo and to not let her be the first one to choose wardrobe. But when the shoot started, Teri wore the red swimsuit (since she already contacted the stylist days in advance which fumed up co-star Eva Longoria complaining to the producers) and was placed in the middle of the photo which sent co-star Marcia Cross all fired up. Cross picked up her bathrobe and refused to shoot unless Teri will change positions. This led to Teri being demoted to the side photo and Nicolette Sheridan replacing her in the middle.  Then a video of a crying Teri walking out of the set was seen via Entertainment Tonight. As you may know, the cover was a fold up and both Felicity and Marcia weren’t visible if you look at it in the news stands. When asked about the issue earlier this year in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, creator Marc Cherry didn’t deny that there were really tension during the set but it was exaggerated. Marcia commented that this entire time people thought of her as the show’s bitch but she really wasn’t. As of this time, a staff mentioned that it’s really the end for them as Teri had an issue with the three other Housewives (Felicity, Eva, Marcia) and they haven’t been on any speaking terms since 2010.

TRIVIA: During the 2005 Emmy Awards, it was co-incidentally Teri and Marcia as the perceived frontrunners for the Emmy for Best Actress in a Comedy Series. While both Teri and Marcia submitted their attention grabbing episodes, it wasn’t clear who will be proclaimed as the winner. When Conan O’Brien opened the envelope, it was a big surprise when he called the other nominated Housewife a.k.a Felicity Huffman’s name as the winner. Many people speculated that many voters were turned off with the tension between Marcia and Teri which prompted them to vote for the least attention grabbing housewife which happened to be Mrs. William H. Macy.

Are you excited about the remake of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Which teams are you a part of? And who do you think needs to be included here?