Better late than never, but here are the stars who shined the most last 2015.
I’ve started doing this in 2011 in the vein of Entertainment Weekly’s “Entertainer of the Year” tag to those career-defining years of some pop culture/entertainment personalities. In previous years, the title has been given to Anne Curtis (2011), Nora Aunor (2012), Joel Torre (2013), and Antoinette Jadaone (2014). This year, these 13 (well technically, 18) personalities made the cut.
13. PEPE DIOKNO
Six years since his breakthrough with “Engkwentro”, Diokno had a great 2015 finally releasing his much-awaited follow up “Above the Clouds” which has been a steady presence in local and international fests. He quickly released another film, the Q Cinema entry “Kapatiran”, and has invaded the boob tube with the first Cinema One series “Single/Single” starring Matteo Guidicelli and Shaina Magdayaowhich was met with great reviews.
12. EL GAMMA PENUMBRA
While luck wasn’t on their side when they joined the third season of Pilipinas Got Talent back in 2011, little did this shadow play group know that they’re bound for bigger things as they brought pride to the county after winning Asia’s Got Talent in 2015 beating representatives from other countries such as Mongolia, China, Thailand, and Japan.
11. JANINE GUTIERREZ
Born with a showbiz connection can be a double-edged sword, but not for Janine Gutierrez whose 2015 can be summed up by being one of the new magazine muses as proven by the multiple covers she had this year. Plus, it’s also the year of her film breakthrough starring alongside her mother in the MMFF entry “Buy Now, Die Later.”
10. JUAN MIGUEL SEVERO
Spoken word poetry has never been as prominent into the mainstream pop culture since Juan Miguel Severo’s viral video of “Ang Huling Tulang Isusulat Ko Para Sa’yo” appeared on our Facebook timelines last year. This has led to multiple TV appearances and interviews and recurring roles on primetime soap “On the Wings of Love” and an MMFF movie via “Walang Forever.”
09. COLEEN GARCIA
Once seen as wallflower with a pretty face, 2015 was probably the career best year for Coleen Garcia, as she breaks out of her own shell appearing on multiple magazines this year, her first primetime lead role as part of the “Pasion de Amor” ensemble, and her first movie lead role “Ex with Benefits” that has made more than a hundred million in the box office.
08. JENNYLYN MERCADO
Jennylyn ended 2014 on a good note winning her first MMFF Best Actress for “English Only Please.” But that was just the beginning of a great year ahead as she also topped the FHM 100 Sexiest list this year as the “Philippines’ Finest.” But what’s more amazing with the trajectory of Jennylyn’s career is how she can shift from sexy to sweet in a snap, as 2015 was the year when she cemented herself as the queen of romance movies this year with her hits like The Prenup and Walang Forever (where she bagged her second consecutive Best Actress MMFF trophy).
07. TONI GONZAGA and PAUL SORIANO
It was the celebrity wedding of the year if there ever was one. It was in February when they announced to the world about their engagement, and four months later, she was already walking down the aisle. Their love story has transpired a lot of “awws” and has become the ideal relationship to a lot of hopeless romantics out there. And their personal careers have been excellent as well with Paul directing the critically acclaimed “Kid Kulafu” while Toni earned another box office hit with “You’re My Boss.”
People say they’re following the footsteps of the iconic triumvirate of Tito, Vic, and Joey as the next landmarks in comedy. The group of Jose Manalo, Wally Bayola, and Paolo Ballesteros has equally brought energy to the whole Kalyeserye phenomenon and thus should be equally credited for the success of such.
05. JOHN ARCILLA
After starring in thankless supporting roles in mainstream offerings, John Arcilla showed that his biggest break will come at a later stage of his career. Sure he had his share of lead roles in different independent films such as “Sa North Diversion Road” and “Halaw”, but his turn as the underrated Filipino hero Antonio Luna in the biggest surprise hit of the year “Heneral Luna” has definitely made him a household name. Not only that, but his performance in it is now one of the most iconic ones in recent local movie history. Expect his name in the local awards derby this year.
04. JOHN LLOYD CRUZ
Proving that he’s a talent that’s for keeps, John Lloyd Cruz owned the last two months of the year in local entertainment. In November, the follow up to the pop culture staple “One More Chance” premiered after seven years of waiting, and it has now claimed the record of the highest grossing movie of all time with more than half a billion earnings. Then in December, he showed another side of himself as an actor in a career best performance in the MMFF entry “Honor Thy Father”, where he also shared producing credits. It’s clear that John Lloyd is in control of the trajectory of his career and a talent like his is really admirable.
03. PIA ALONZO WURTZBACH
After three tries, not only did Pia Wurtzbach nab the Miss Universe Philippines title, but she went all the way and ended the 42-year drought of the Philippines in conquering the Universe. While this was done in the most dramatic and telenovela-like fashion, one can’t discredit the amount of effort and hardwork Pia did in order to give glory to the country. Probably the most beautiful thing during the three hour telecast was her genuine reaction after the mishap when it was revealed that she was the actual winner showing the world – the universe, rather – that she is confidently beautiful inside and out.
02. JAMES REID and NADINE LUSTRE
What could have been a one-hit wonder ended up as one of the biggest loveteams of 2015. James Reid and Nadine Lustre, collectively labeled as Jadine, have moved into the big leagues and have probably made all the other pairings be wary of their presence. 2015 was the premiere of their first dramatic movie “Para sa Hopeless Romantic”, but more than that, it was their debut to primetime teleserye that sealed the deal for them via “On the Wings of Love” which is probably considered as the most refreshing show on primetime in years. We’re certain that we still haven’t seen the best of Jadine yet, and that bigger things await them this 2016.
01. ALDEN RICHARDS and MAINE MENDOZA
Some of the world’s best discoveries happened via accident. One can probably add “AlDub” to the list, as the accidental pairing of Alden Richards and Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza has taken 2015 by storm. Whether it’s the hundreds of millions of tweets with the hashtag #ALDUB in it, the endless amount of commercials, billboards, and advertisements with their faces in it, their daily kilig shenanigans on Kalyeserye, and their first MMFF movie that’s likely to be this edition’s topgrosser, no word has defined 2015 local pop culture scene than Aldub.
While it’s obvious by now that the PMPC Star Awards for Television isn’t really what you’d call as prestigious, it’s probably the closest award giving body there is to local TV. That’s why it’s still somehow relevant. Besides, every now and then there are still some inspired lineup and wins from this group even if it’s at the expense of mostly boring ones. That’s why year in and year out, it’s still fun to predict these things just to see which direction they decide to be in every year. Anyway, let’s see which craziness they’d do. Here are my predictions for this year:
Best TV Station
ABS-CBN (Channel 2)
ABS-CBN Sports+Action (Channel 23, still listed as Studio 23)
AksyonTV (Channel 41)
CNN Philippines (Channel 9)
GMA (Channel 7)
GMA News TV (Channel 11)
IBC (Channel 13)
Net 25 (Channel 25)
PTV (Channel 4)
TV5 (Channel 5)
UNTV Life (Channel 37)
It still amuses me why the PMPC still bothers including all the other stations when during the previous 28 years, the award has gone to either ABS-CBN and GMA only. That said, it’s refreshing to see both CNN Philippines and ABS-CBN Sports + Action here. However, they must do up the cleaning and leave PTV, IBC,and Aksyon TV to rest. As for who’s winning it, it seems like they’re still on a Kapamilya high so I guess it’s another year where Quezon Avenue trumps over Kamuning.
PREDICTION: ABS-CBN 2 ALTERNATE: GMA7
Best Primetime Drama Series
Bridges of Love (ABS-CBN)
Hawak Kamay (ABS-CBN)
Pari ‘Koy (GMA)
The Rich Man’s Daughter (GMA)
Surprisingly enough, there isn’t an overwhelming frontrunner this year. There’s no really huge ensemble show like last year’s winner Ikaw Lamang. I think Bagito and Pari Koy are fillers here and they didn’t get any other nomination outside of this one. The Rich Man’s Daughter failed to come close with GMA’s previous same sex drama My Husband’s Lover in 2013, and even that lost the race. The race is probably between Nathaniel (high rated show promoting good moral values) and Forevermore (the show that really launched the Lizquen pairing), and I give the edge to the former.
PREDICTION: Nathaniel ALTERNATE: Forevermore
Best Daytime Drama Series
Ang Lihim ni Annasandra (GMA)
Healing Hearts (GMA)
Kailan Ba Tama ang Mali? (GMA)
Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita (ABS-CBN)
Oh My G! (ABS-CBN)
The Half Sisters (GMA)
With no Be Careful with My Heart in the running anymore, this category could go to many contenders. The Half Sisters has been one of those rare shows that passed the one-year mark especially in this current time when dramas would run nine months the longest. And it still hasn’t showed any signs of ending yet. But then there’s also FlordeLiza which received three acting nominations and is seen as the comeback of Marvin Agustin and Jolina Magdangal in ABSCBN. And despite not getting nominations for its cast(outside of Breakthrough Actor and Actress), Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita is a Ricky Lee creation and one whose prestige can go well with the voters. Actually, you could pick any from the three.
PREDICTION: Flordeliza ALTERNATE: The Half Sisters
Best Drama Actor
Alden Richards (Illustrado / GMA)
Daniel Padilla (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
Eddie Garcia (Give Love on Christmas presents: The Gift Giver / ABS-CBN)
Gerald Anderson (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)
Jericho Rosales (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
Paulo Avelino (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
Piolo Pascual (Hawak Kamay / ABS-CBN)
There’s no Coco Martin in the race this year, so it’s hard to pin down which direction they’d go here. It’s one Kapuso actor vs. six Kapamilyas here, but we’re talking about the biggest Kapuso actor there is. Thus, I feel like PMPC will jump on the bandwagon and reward Alden Richards the win here. It’s not as if it hasn’t happened before (Dingdong Dantes won in 2010), and he’s playing the role of the country’s national hero. You know it says something that they went all the way back to his Ilustrado project just to nominate him here, so they’d waste no time not giving him the actual win. That said, if not Richards, I think they’ll use this Coco-less field to reward either Paulo Avelino or Gerald Anderson who both are still winless here.
PREDICTION: Alden Richards, “Ilustrado“ ALTERNATE: Paulo Avelino, “Bridges of Love”
Best Drama Actress
Aiko Melendez (Give Love on Christmas presents: The Gift Giver / ABS-CBN)
Angelica Panganiban (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
Coney Reyes (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)
Empress Schuck (Kailan Ba Tama ang Mali? / GMA)
Jodi Sta. Maria (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
Jolina Magdangal (FlordeLiza / ABS-CBN)
Maja Salvador (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
Shaina Magdayao (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)
Let me begin by saying it’s really surprising that Empress Schuck ended up as the lone Kapuso representative here considering that she’s a kontrabida in an afternoon soap opera. That said, I think the on air rivalry of their characters will just translate here with the two Pangako Sa’Yo characters battling it out. Back in 2000, Eula Valdez won over Jean Garcia in this same race with the latter winning the following year. As for this one, I see Jodi Sta. Maria finally getting her overdue win especially after she failed to win one for her turn in Be Careful with My Heart. Watch out for Jolina Magdangal though considering the amount of baity materials her character had gone through in Flordeliza.
To be frank, I’m certain that if JM de Guzman didn’t screw up his second chance, you know he has this one locked. But then again, I guess it will go to one of their two favorite character actors: Baron Geisler for his role as the evil villain in Nathaniel, or Carlo Aquino in Flordeliza. I’m giving the edge to Geisler simply because his is a more flat out evil role here and the three performances this category has awarded are all kontrabida turns.
PREDICTION: Baron Geisler, “Nathaniel“ ALTERNATE: Carlo Aquino, “FlordeLiza”
Best Drama Supporting Actress
Amy Austria-Ventura (Pangako Sa ‘Yo / ABS-CBN)
Carmina Villaroel (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
Eula Valdez (Illustrado / GMA)
Irma Adlawan (Forevermore / ABS-CBN)
Jean Garcia (The Half Sisters / GMA)
Sheryl Cruz (Strawberry Lane / GMA)
Sofia Andres (Forevermore / ABS-CBN)
It’s sooooooooo PMPC to nominate Eula Valdez and Jean Garcia against each other the same year they nominated Jodi Sta. Maria and Angelica Panganiban in Lead. You know they’re trying to score that all four would attend and have that epic reunion photo. That said, I have no idea who’ll win here considering this is only the category’s third year of existence and the previous two years were back to back wins for KC Concepcion. If that’s any indication, maybe they like their younger actresses, so I guess I’ll have to go with Sofia Andres here.
PREDICTION: Sofia Andres, “Forevermore“ ALTERNATE: Amy Austria-Ventura, “Pangako Sa’Yo”
Best Child Performer
Alonzo Muhlach (Inday Bote / ABS-CBN)
Ashley Sarmiento (FlordeLiza / ABS-CBN)
Chlaui Malayao (Yagit / GMA)
Harvey Bautista (Wansapanataym presents: “Remote ni Eric” / ABS-CBN)
Jana Agoncillo (Dream Dad / ABS-CBN)
Marco Masa (Nathaniel / ABS-CBN)
Xyriel Manabat (Hawak Kamay / ABS-CBN)
Zaijian Jaranilla (Hawak Kamay / ABS-CBN)
I think Jana Agoncillo is considered as the breakout young child discovery of the year, and as shown by her two nominations, the PMPC is fond of her. But knowing that she has no chance to win in New Female TV Personality, this might be where they reward her. Watch out for Marco Masa considering that the only winners here are two performances headlining their own show (Andrea Brillantes’ AnnaLiza and Raikko Mateo in Honesto.)
PREDICTION: Jana Agoncillo, “Dream Dad“ ALTERNATE: Marco Masa, “Nathaniel”
Best Comedy Program
2 1/2 Daddies (TV5)
Home Sweetie Home (ABS-CBN)
Ismol Family (GMA)
Luv U (ABS-CBN)
Mac and Chiz (TV5)
Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kwento (GMA)
Vampire Ang Daddy Ko (GMA)
The presence of the two TV5 comedies here at least provided some diversity, regardless of their actual quality. And due to lack of competition anymore in the Youth Oriented Program, 3x winner Luv U has been transferred here instead. But then, count on current winner Home Sweetie Home to bag a consecutive one. The show hasn’t been canceled anyway, and it’s still doing good in the ratings.
PREDICTION: Home Sweetie Home ALTERNATE: Luv U
Best Comedy Actor
Clarence Delgado (Goin’ Bulilit / ABS-CBN)
Jayson Gainza (Banana Split Extra Scoop / ABS-CBN)
John Lloyd Cruz (Home Sweetie Home / ABS-CBN)
Michael V. (Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kwento / GMA)
Ryan Agoncillo (Ismol Family / GMA)
Sef Cadayona (Bubble Gang / GMA)
Vic Sotto (Vampire Ang Daddy Ko / GMA)
With his new Asian TV Awards nomination this year for his turn in Pepito Manaloto, expect Michael V to win his fifth trophy in this category. That said, it’s not wise to dismiss current champ Sef Cadayona targeting back to back wins as the Bubble Gang representative or Jayson Gainza who has yet to win one here despite being nominated multiple times already for his work in Banana Split.
PREDICTION: Michael V.,“Pepito Manaloto” ALTERNATE: Sef Cadayona, “Bubble Gang”
Best Comedy Actress
Angelica Panganiban (Banana Split Extra Scoop / ABS-CBN)
Carmi Martin (Ismol Family / GMA)
Manilyn Reynes (Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kwento / GMA)
Mutya Orquia (Goin’ Bulilit / ABS-CBN)
Rufa Mae Quinto (Bubble Gang / GMA)
Ryzza Mae Dizon (Vampire Ang Daddy Ko / GMA)
Toni Gonzaga (Home Sweetie Home / ABS-CBN)
Since 2000, Rufa Mae Quinto has won this category eight times, so it’s a bit of a giveaway that as long as she’s nominated, then she’s in contention for the win. And considering the dire emptiness of this category, then this can be an easy ninth win. That said, if they decide to have both Amor and Claudia win, then they might give this one to Angelica Panganiban so that they’d both be rewarded on Star Awards night.
PREDICTION: Rufa Mae Quinto,“Bubble Gang” ALTERNATE: Angelica Panganiban, “Banana Split Extra Scoop”
Best Single Performance by An Actor
Alex Medina (Ipaglaban Mo! episode: “Niloko Niyo Ako” / ABS-CBN)
Arjo Atayde (Maalala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Liham” / ABS-CBN)
Coco Martin (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Watawat” / ABS-CBN)
Edgar Allan Guzman (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Box” / ABS-CBN)
John Lloyd Cruz (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Hat” / ABS-CBN)
Matt Evans (Ipaglaban Mo! episode: “Nasa Maling Landas” / ABS-CBN)
Mike Tan (Magpakailanman episode: “8 Shades of Gay: The Tubato Family Story” / GMA)
It’s really a battle of two PMPC favorites in this category. On one hand, there’s Coco Martin who has won four of the last six years in Best Actor: Drama category. Chances are, when he’s nominated, you know he’s winning. Add the fact that he still hasn’t won in this category, and it’s for the most buzzed about MMK episode of the year about the SAS44 soldiers, and you know it’s a shoo-in already. But then there’s Arjo Atayde who has won one Star trophy the last three years: New Male Personality in 2012, Drama Supporting Actor in 2013, and this exact category last year. I’m actually predicting a tie, but look at Mike Tan to possibly upset since they tend to favor gender bender performances here.
PREDICTION: Coco Martin,“Maalaala Mo Kaya” and Arjo Atayde, “Maalaala Mo Kaya” ALTERNATE: Mike Tan,”Magpakailanman”
Best Single Performance by An Actress
Current winner Sunshine Cruz is in contention again so she can easily do a repeat back to back win in this category just like Gretchen Barretto in 2009 and 2010. Then it’s not safe to dismiss the Superstar Nora Aunor in the race especially since she played a comfort woman haunted by her past in Karelasyon. And then there’s Angel Locsin possibly winning seven years since her first if the voters are big fans of the two-parter SAF44 special. Right now, I’d give the edge to La Aunor winning here.
PREDICTION: Nora Aunor,“Karelasyon” ALTERNATE: Sunshine Cruz, “Maalaala Mo Kaya”
Best New Male TV Personality
Alonzo Muhlach (Inday Bote / ABS-CBN)
Jemuell Ventinilla (Yagit / GMA)
Joshua Garcia (Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita / ABS-CBN)
JV Cruz (Iskoolmates: May Pakialam Ka! / PTV)
Kurt Ong (Wansapanataym presents: “My Kung Fu Chinito / ABS-CBN)
Kyle Blanco (Bridges of Love / ABS-CBN)
Sancho Vito (Let the Love Begin / GMA)
This is surprisingly a weak year for new male actors as a lot of these are really fringe contenders. But then sometimes, this is the type of an open category that gives them the freedom to choose really random contenders such as 2009 winner JR de Guzman for TV 5’s Midnight DJ. I’d say Alonzo Muhlach wins this one just for being the easiest choice here. Incidentally enough, it was also in 2009 when a child star last won here (Zaijan Jaranilla for May Bukas Pa) which tied him with previously mentioned JR de Guzman. Maybe this year Alonzo ties with a random contender too. Who’s your bet?
PREDICTION: Alonzo Muhlach,“Inday Bote” ALTERNATE: Joshua Garcia, “Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita”
Best New Female TV Personality
Ali Forbes (Pinay Beauty Queen Academy / GMA News TV)
Jana Agoncilo (Dream Dad / ABS-CBN)
Loisa Andalio (Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita / ABS-CBN)
Maine “Yaya Dub” Mendoza (Eat Bulaga!/Kalyeserye / GMA)
Maris Racal (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Lobo” / ABS-CBN)
MJ Lastimosa (Maalaala Mo Kaya (MMK) episode: “Takure / ABS-CBN)
Stephanie Yamut (Yagit / GMA)
Two words: MAINE MENDOZA. ‘Nuff said.
But really, it’s such a strong category and a lot of these other nominees would have won in much weaker years. But it can’t be refuted that this is Maine Mendoza’s year, and there’s no one more fitting to win this one than her. She really is the female TV personality to look for this year. The only way I see the others winning this is if there’s a tie, and you know even that is unfair.
PREDICTION: Maine Mendoza,“Eat Bulaga” ALTERNATE: Maris Racal, “Maalaala Mo Kaya”
Best Male TV Host
Billy Crawford (It’s Showtime / ABS-CBN)
German Moreno (Walang Tulugan with the Master Showman / GMA)
Luis Manzano (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
Martin Nievera (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
Robi Domingo (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
Vice Ganda (It’s Showtime / ABS-CBN)
Wally Bayola (Eat Bulaga! / GMA)
Sure it’s not the traditional hosting per se, but Wally Bayola has been doing the equal lifting as we enjoy the daily Kalyeserye episodes. Lola Nidora has been a huge part of Pinoy pop culture especially this year that if Allan K can win this category in 2011, you know it’s Wally Bayola’s to lose.
PREDICTION: Wally Bayola,“Eat Bulaga” ALTERNATE: Billy Crawford, “It’s Showtime!”
Best Female TV Host
Anne Curtis (It’s Showtime / ABS-CBN)
Julia Clarete (Eat Bulaga! / GMA)
Pia Guanio (Eat Bulaga! / GMA)
Sarah Geronimo (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
Toni Gonzaga (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
Vina Morales (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
Zsa Zsa Padilla (ASAP 20 / ABS-CBN)
Toni Gonzaga has been dominating this category winning four of the last five years that you know it will just be an additional trophy to her mantle case for this year. That said, the only time she lost was to Anne Curtis two years ago, and since they’re duking out here again, maybe she’d be the one to dethrone her too.
PREDICTION: Toni Gonzaga,“ASAP 20” ALTERNATE: Anne Curtis, “It’s Showtime!”
As for the rest of the categories, here are my predictions:
Best Drama Mini-Series
PREDICTION: Ilustrado ALTERNATE: Give Love on Christmas
Best Drama Anthology
PREDICTION: Magpakailanman ALTERNATE: Karelasyon
Best Gag Show
PREDICTION: Goin Bulilit ALTERNATE: Banana Split: Extra Scoop
Best Musical-Variety Show
PREDICTION: ASAP 20 ALTERNATE: It’s Showtime
Best Reality Show
PREDICTION: I Do ALTERNATE: Pinay Beauty Queen Academy
Best Reality Show Host
PREDICTION: Toni Gonzaga-Soriano, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, Enchong Dee and Robi Domingo, “Pinoy Big Brother: 737” ALTERNATE: Toni Gonzaga-Soriano, Bianca Gonzalez-Intal, John Prats and Robi Domingo, “Pinoy Big Brother: All In”
Best Game Show
PREDICTION: Wowowin ALTERNATE: Celebrity Bluff
Best Game Show Host
PREDICTION: Luis Manzano, “Kapamilya, Deal or No Deal” ALTERNATE: Willie Revillame, “Wowowin”
Best Talent Search Program
PREDICTION: Talentadong Pinoy 2014 ALTERNATE: Bet ng Bayan
Best Talent Search Program Host
PREDICTION: Billy Crawford, “Your Face Sounds Familiar” ALTERNATE: Toni Gonzaga, Luis Mazano, Robi Domingo, Alex Gonzaga, “The Voice of the Philippines Season 2”
Best Celebrity Talk Show
PREDICTION: Aquino and Abunda Tonight ALTERNATE: Gandang Gabi Vice
Best Celebrity Talk Show Host
PREDICTION: Vice Ganda, “Gandang Gabi Vice” ALTERNATE: Kris Aquino, Boy Abunda, “Aquino and Abunda Tonight”
Best Showbiz Oriented Talk Show
PREDICTION: The Buzz ALTERNATE: Startalk
Best Male Showbiz Oriented Talk Show Host
PREDICTION: Ricky Lo “Startalk” ALTERNATE: Joey de Leon,”Startalk”
Best Female Showbiz Oriented Talk Show Host
PREDICTION: Toni Gonzaga, “The Buzz” ALTERNATE: Kris Aquino, “The Buzz”
Best Educational Program
PREDICTION: Matanglawin ALTERNATE: Swak na Swak
Best Educational Program Host
PREDICTION: Kim Atienza, “Matanglawin” ALTERNATE: Jennlyn Mercado, “Sarap with Family”
Welcome to the latter part of the year! It’s July now, and while it’s more known as the official start of the rainy season (here in the Philippines at least), it is compensated by the country’s favorite poll. July is the official “100 Sexiest Women” month by FHM, as we await on who will be unveiled as the country’s finest, as voted by the fans.
This poll which started way back in 2000 has definitely gone a long way already. In its first few years, it’s filled with Hollywood actresses dominating the list, as compared to now where they are struggling to even make the list. Among those who made the list are Oscar winners Halle Berry (topping in 2003), Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon, Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz, Hilary Swank, and Natalie Portman.
News personalities like Rhea Santos, Vicky Morales, Cheri Mercado, and Pia Guanio also had their share of moments in this annual list, and even the likes of Kris Aquino (in 2001), Sharon Cuneta (in 2002), and Ruffa Gutierrez (both in 2000 and 2002) have been included here. Singers Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore, Natalie Imbruglia and Andrea Corr have been mainstays during the early years as well.
With the release of the 14th issue this year, 1400 spots have been gone to 300+ women who have, in one way or another, made mark as part of FHM Philippines history. Let’s first give a spotlight to sixteen impressive mainstays who frequent this list for a long time already.
THE TEN TIMER CLUB
Six women have been in the list for a decade already. Starstruck first batch alumnae Katrina Halili, Jennylyn Mercado, and Cristine Reyes all have stayed in the chart since their debut way back in 2004. Between the three of them, they all share three #1 titles, 20 Top 10 spots, and eight covers. Pretty impressive eh? More impressive than that though are hosts Toni Gonzaga and Iya Villania who maintained in the charts as well in the same time frame as the three previous women with no FHM covers to boot. Among the prominent female group Viva Hot Babes, it is the petite Maui Taylor who had the most number of appearances with ten starting from 2002 up until this year, only skipping 2008 and 2012.
THE MIGHTY ELEVEN
Next up are five women with something in common: all have been in the FHM Sexiest Women poll for eleven years now. Let’s start with the only FHM cover girl in the bunch, Angel Locsin. With four covers under her belt, Angel has already made her own FHM record. She’s the only ever in the history of the poll who have been in the Top 10 ever since her debut in 2004 (when she debuted at #10) up until her eleventh year this 2013 where in she was third placer. Really impressive eh? Alongside her though in this group are ABS-CBN stars Bea Alonzo, KC Concepcion, and Kristine Hermosa (none of them who graced the covers… yet) and Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez who has four Top 10 placements (with her #8 spot in 2010 as her most recent).
A DOZEN VISITS
Now next in line are those who have been in the charts for a dozen times already. What’s more impressive about these four women is that they all achieved this feat in simultaneous years. Let’s divide them in pairs and start with two past FHM cover girls. Maureen Larrazabal is one of those who can proudly say that she’s one of the original FHM Sexiest Women gals, as she started her stint in 2000. Two covers and 11 more appearances, and she ended her reign in 2011. On the other hand, original FHM darling Diana Zubiri is still going strong in the polls with her appearance #12 in this year’s list. She might not have coveted the top spot, but she was 2003’s Philippines’ Finest just behind global champ Halle Berry. As for the other two women in the list, let’s just say that they definitely belong to FHM’s best frustrations, as both didn’t give the magazine a chance to headline them, yet that didn’t stop both Anne Curtis and Heart Evangelista to slay these charts since their debut in 2002 up until now. With fifteen women down, do you have any idea on who tops our list?
THE ULTIMATE CHAMP
And the longest staying woman in this list is none other than Rufa Mae Quinto. Peachy has made the list every single time since its beginning way back in 2000. With three covers under her belt, what’s shocking about this is that she wasn’t able to reach the Top 10 in all fourteen years, as her closest was #11 back in 2004. Since she showed no signs of stopping, maybe she can finally enter the coveted group in the succeeding years.
Now I know you want to know who made this year’s list, so as per tradition, here’s the top 20 in pictures (and in code names):
As for the rest of the poll, I’d let you find out that by yourself by grabbing a copy of the FHM July issue with Alodia Gosiengfiao on the magazine cover and Roxee B (that’s Roxanne Barcelo for you, folks) on the Top 100 cover. Just to give you a clue, you’ll be seeing Jessy Mendiola, Andi Eigenmann, and Jodi Sta. Maria in the list but not the names of Sarah Geronimo, Iwa Moto, and Jasmine Curtis Smith in it.
As an opening salvo to Star Cinema’s 20th anniversary celebration, they certainly opened it with a bang by coming up with a family drama that combined some of the most popular actor and actresses of this generation. Helmed by ultimate box office director Cathy Garcia Molina and starred by Toni Gonzaga, Angel Locsin, Bea Alonzo, Shaina Magdayao, and Enchong Dee, Four Sisters and a Wedding tackles family issues in both comedic and dramatic fashion.
After announcing that the youngest (and the only male) Salazar sibling, Ceejay (Enchong Dee) is getting married, his four other sisters Teddie (Toni Gonzaga), who works in Spain, Bobbie (Bea Alonzo), working now in New York, Alex (Angel Locsin) a production assistant for indie films, and Gabbie (Shaina Magdayao) teacher and the one in charge to live with their mother, come up with a master plan to halt the said occasion.
On one hand, it’s actually refreshing to see a Star Cinema family film that is not a straight up drama (think of Tanging Yaman or Sa’yo Lamang) and not a straight up comedy as well (think of Tanging Ina or Tanging Pamilya). It lends more freedom for the director and the writer to flex where the vision of the film wants to go. Some of these concepts were highlighted in the film such as the complex relationship of sisters Alex and Bobbie, or the competitive nature of oldest sibling Teddie juxtaposed with the complacent and content stature of youngest sister Gabbie. Then you’d have the voiceless feeling of the only thorn among the roses, Ceejay. This is where the major strength of the movie kicks in.
I’d also note that it’s refreshing to see a product placement that does not bother me the same way that usual local films do. Rebisco biscuits product placements were scattered all throughout the movie, but it’s not as forced as it was carefully inserted in films and does not scream blatant product insertion, to me at least.
With that said though, the comedic themes were less inspired, as compared to the dramatic ones. As for one, the main premise of the film is ridiculous itself, but the approach could have been much tighter, so as not to make it look lamer when compared to the themes on the paragraph above this. I also noticed lack of full characterization especially in the characters of Alex and Gabbie. While Teddie and Bobbie’s stories went full circle, the other two sisters are just going around in circles. It’s probably a case of editing issues, but I would have wanted to learn more of them too, or at least, give them the spotlight every now and then.
But of course, I know what you’re here for. You want to know who’s the best among all the actresses in this film. Okay so I’ll try to break it down for you. Toni Gonzaga is my favorite in the film. I already saw how she goes back and forth with comedy and drama still back from My Amnesia Girl, but this vehicle lets her sashay from one genre to the other instantly. She knacks you off with her comedic timing, and she knocks you as well when it comes to her more dramatic ones. I think the reason why I like her most is because I still think that the film leans more on comedy, and she’s the best in show in terms of that aspect. Bea Alonzo, on the other hand, is the reliable dramatic actress that delivers, and she benefits from playing a character that was complexly written, and she pays that off by giving it justice. Her moment during the family’s confrontation (albeit too long and overdone) is really effective and one of the film’s highlights. And I know I have already said this in my past reviews of her previous films, but hers is a face that the camera really loves. Angel Locsin might not have the most moments, but she certainly makes the best of what she has to do. It is not the type of acting that screams awards, but the way she switch emotions in seconds is a testament of how much growth she has achieved already. What I particularly like about her performance is that she’s not getting all the forefront in terms of scenes, and she usually is relegated to reacting in most of them, but she plays the same intensity to all of them. One might consider Gonzaga’s character as bordering on cartoonish, and Alonzo’s as too TV type, but Locsin’s is the most human in my opinion. More characterization from the writers would have made her character more impactful though.
The rest of the actors were also necessary but given mostly smaller to almost thankless roles (Shaina Magdayao’s Gabbie comes to mind), but they were all serviceable. Coney Reyes was inspired casting though as the family matriarch, while Carmi Martin was a hilarious scene stealer and gets the best character entrance in the film.
All in all, the main flaw that I see in this film is that despite being half comedy and half drama, the stories they used in order to cater both are not in the same vein. We see inspired storytelling in the dramatic parts of the movie, while the comedic ones were usually rehashed and less inspired. But since they’re promoting it more as a comedy, it could have used much better material in that context. That said, it’s an enjoyable film that is saved by the cast’s chemistry and one that caters to most members of well… the family.
Now celebrating its 20th year as the country’s premiere film outfit, Star Cinema has been delivering a lot of the most memorable movies during the past two decades. The latter half of its 20-year production, though, mostly has been more on coming up with box office hits, as it now fills up all ten of the ten highest grossing films in the country. With that said, here are five reminders that every now and then, Star Cinema is still able to deliver quality potential films instead of the usual moneymaking ventures.
05. DREAMBOY (2005)
DIRECTOR: Gilber Perez CAST: Piolo Pascual, Bea Alonzo PLOT: Hopeless romatic Cyd (Bea Alonzo) met three versions of the same man (Piolo Pascual), until she was in for a rude awakening. WHY IS IT UNDERRATED: It was 2005, and television is slowly taking over the cinema as the basis of celebrity popularity. With artista search happening left and right, the people weren’t particularly interested with the approach that the film did. It was brave for Star Cinema to pull off something like this during the peak of cutesy loveteams (and Piolo-Bea is an experiment pairing to say the least), and while it was not seen as total success during its time, I appreciate the risk they did with it.
04. MY AMNESIA GIRL (2010)
DIRECTOR: Cathy Garcia-Molina CAST: John Lloyd Cruz, Toni Gonzaga PLOT: When Apollo (John Lloyd Cruz) thinks that the answer to his great love is ex-girlfriend Irene (Toni Gonzaga), he finds her back only to find out she is now suffering from amnesia (or so we think). WHY IS IT UNDERRATED: Sure it was the biggest hit of 2010, and John Lloyd and Toni were robbed of Box Office King and Queen titles during that year, but let’s take some few steps back and reminisce that during the release of the first trailer, everyone already dismissed it as a 50 First Dates rip-off. And boy they were wrong. While box office receipts were always mentioned, the out of the box approach of the film (especially during the first 40 minutes of the film) is a fresh take on Star Cinema love story standards.
03. FOREVER AND A DAY (2011)
DIRECTOR: Cathy Garcia-Molina CAST: Sam Milby, KC Concepcion PLOT: Strangers Eugene (Sam Milby) and Raffy (KC Concepcion) met in the lovely place of Bukidnon for different reasons. He wants a break from work; she wants to prove something to herself. Once they start to get to know each other, true secrets were revealed about Raffy. WHY IS IT UNDERRATED: By this time, Cathy Garcia Molina is already the perennial box office director that she is now, and everyone expects that she will deliver the same combination that makes all of her previous hits box office success. While this is the mere exception from the group, it’s an exception that gives her room to try other approach when handling stories, and one that’s rare to see in mainstream filmmaking.
02. NASAAN KA MAN (2005)
DIRECTOR: Cholo Laurel CAST: Claudine Barretto, Jericho Rosales, Dietehr Ocampo PLOT: Set in the haunted and mystical city of Baguio, it tells the story of three adopted children (Rosales, Barretto, and Ocampo) who grew up under two spinster sisters (Hilda Koronel, Gloria Diaz). Life has been pretty good to all of them until Pandora’s box of their family secrets were unveiled. WHY IS IT UNDERRATED: UP graduate Cholo Laurel’s first foray into mainstream directing seemed to be a double edged sword. On one hand, this was a great debut for someone of his caliber. To be given this chance was definitely overwhelming for him. After all, its powerful storytelling (written by Ricky Lee himself), together with his direction, is a combination that made this one of the best films that year. It sucks that this did not perform too much commercially, as it was a good risk that should have paid off.
01. RPG METANOIA (2010)
DIRECTOR: Luis Suarez CAST: Zaijan Jaranilla, Vhong Navarro, Aga Muhlach, Eugene Domingo PLOT: When a virus from online games started to affect society, it will be up to this generation of computer game-loving kids to save the day. WHY IS IT UNDERRATED: Animated film fans in the country are definitely many, and this is actually more than qualified to be the first local animated 3D film we have ever produced. That alone would have made this an “event” not to miss. Add the fact that it was a part of the annual Metro Manila Film Festival, and Star Cinema behind it, and I’m still not sure why it just didn’t reach its audience. Their loss, I guess, since it’s one of 2010’s best films.
Now entering their 20th year of producing and distributing local films, I hope that Star Cinema will still give focus to quality filmmaking even only every now and then. They used to do this more often, and it’s quite saddening how it has fallen way way below now. But with Erik Matti’s On the Job as one of their features this year, there’s still hope I guess.
2012 has given us a wide array of supporting actress performances from dramas to comedies, from musicals and even horror films both in indie and mainstream movies. This category also contains some of the finest names in television, films, and even the stage. Here’s a sample masterlist of who can get nominated from the award giving bodies next season.
Take note that when I say award giving bodies, it’s as varied as the mainstream hard on of the PMPC Star Awards for Movies up to the indie love of the Manunuri and sometimes the in between such as the Golden Screen Awards.
LEADERS OF THE PACK
I wouldn’t be surprised if veteran actress Anita Linda will pick up a lot of supporting actress trophies for her performance as the foul mouthed Alzheimer’s healed grandmother of Coco Martin in Santa Nina. If not that, then she might gain notices for albeit a similar role in Olivia Lamasan’s The Mistress. Speaking of The Mistress, comeback veteran actress Hilda Koronel can find herself back again in awards territory as the original life spewing one of the famous movie lines of the year via “Layuan mo ang asawa ko. Tagalog ‘yan para maintinfihan mo.” Janice de Belen had a fabulous year giving memorable performances in all of her movie appearances this 2012. While I can see her getting nominated for the horror films she did, her biggest chance is still Joey Reyes’s Cinemalaya entry Mga Mumunting Lihim portraying the role of Olive, the one in the quartet of friends who wasn’t able to finish college and gets a boyfriend twice younger than her age. Janice’s co-star Agot Isidro can also reap nominations as the self centered judgmental friend Sandy also from the same movie. To round off the top five, I’d put Angelica Panganiban‘s name here as workaholic Jacqueline who’s trying to be the perfect wife in One More Try. While I can see cases wherein Panganiban will be moved to Lead, I guess they might throw her a bone here in order to avoid internal competition from Angel Locsin. Not that it’s a fraud or something because I felt she was actually a supporting actress in this one.
If award giving bodies failed to like any of the women above, then you can always count Nora Aunor’s performance as Emilio Aguinaldo’s second wife in El Presidente though lack of screentime will probably hurt her. Lovi Poesuffers the same fate as Thy Womb co-star Aunor from appearing in the final moments of the film especially since local award giving bodies love scenery chewing scenes that screams acting from its audience. Both Fides Cuyugan Asensio and Raquel Villavicencio can also be in the running this year as the more superior nuns of Adoration Clositer in Vincent Sandoval’s Aparisyon. Young actress Alessandra de Rossi also got a boatload of performances this year and she can get nominated as Coco Martin’s past love in Santa Nina or the cop daughter in the family ensemble Mater Dolorosa. A lot of mothers can also get a nomination or two this year such as those of Eugene Domingo as an annoyed mother who found out that her son fathered a teenage daughter in the musical I Do Bidoo Bidoo, Cherry Pie Picache‘s mother who keeps a secret in Lawrence Fajardo’s The Strangers, Rosanna Roces as the mistress of Philip Salvador who is dependent to Gina Alajar in Mater Dolorosa, and Dawn Zulueta as a strict mother who’s distant from her son in Ang Nawawala. Since there’s an abundance of mistress themed movies, one can also expect a nod for Andi Eigenmann‘s role as the third party in A Secret Affair.
THE REST OF THE PACK
And as for the others, possible supporting actress turns that can receive mentions this year include Kim Chiu‘s transformation as Vilma Santos’ half daughter in The Healing, Mercedes Cabral as Nora Aunor’s friend in Thy Womb, Gina Pareno as the voice of reason to daughter Angel Locsin in One More Try, Annicka Dolonius as Gibson’s apple of the eye in Ang Nawawala, and Angel Aquino as one of the victims in Brillante Mendoza’s Berlin entry Captive. Further supporting mentions that might grab attention at next year’s award giving bodies are Cinema One Originals winner Ria Garcia in Melodrama Negra, Daria Ramirez as Pokwang’s mother who took care of her grandchildren in the absence of her daughter who went abroad for a living in A Mother’s Story, Toni Gonzaga who is caught in between Vice Ganda and Luis Manzano’s antics in This Guy’s in Love with U, Mare, Angelina Kanapi as Dennis Trillo’s cousin in Ang Katiwala, and Cherie Gil in the comedy ensemble Madaling Araw, Mahabang Gabi.
That’s it! That’s just 25 names, but it gives award giving bodies a lot of options to choose from in next year’s awards derby. Tomorrow, spotlight for the supporting actors of the year will be given.
The country’s phenomenal box office star, Vice Ganda, is now up for his third annual comedy film, and from the looks of it, this one is off to break box office records. While Wenn Deramasstill helms the newest movie, we get Luis Manzano and Toni Gonzaga as his co-stars via This Guy’s in Love with U Mare!
Lester (Vice Ganda) is in a relationship with Mike (Luis Manzano). However, Mike breaks up with him to pursue a more foreseeable future with his girlfriend, Gemma (Toni Gonzaga). Learning upon this relationship, Lester puts up an act showing a machismo and masculine side to make Gemma fall for him, and in the process, ruin Gemma and Mike’s relationship.
It’s very easy to dismiss all of Wenn Deramas’ works. After all, it uses the same recyclable plots and treatments in his films which makes his body of work very unoriginal and predictable. With that said, this one tends to be a surprise as this one is less ridiculous than the usual, and providing some ( meaning a bit) layers within its storytelling. I must admit I was caught off guard when watching as it shows some breath of fresh air that it’s enough to give the movie a chance.
But of course, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. This still contains the usual Deramas fare which at times, work, and at times, miserably fail. There’s the big gang of extras, the copycat scenarios of pop culture references, and the montage of “funny” scenes. But one factor that works in its advantage is the chemistry of the three leads. Vice Ganda can overact in most of the scenes, but he contains this charisma that makes used jokes still acceptable. He’s willing to do anything that this role requires him to do, and it makes the portrayal more ridiculous, but at the same time, effective. I’ve always been a fan of Toni Gonzaga’s acting skills, and this one is another of her good showing both as a comedic and dramatic actress. She knows that it’s a Vice Ganda venue, but she knows how to show her skills without upstaging the lead character. Luis Manzano gets a vital, albeit thankless role, but he was also game with the material that it barely matters.
All in all, while this one contains what one must expect in Wenn Deramas productions, it also contains some fresh potential that I did not see coming at all. With that, I’d give this one more props than the usual and even recommend this.