Aga, a shoo-in for MMFF best actor

    AGA MUHLACH with the other cast of “Miracle in Cell No. 7”
    AGA MUHLACH with the other cast of “Miracle in Cell No. 7”

    WINWYN Marquez is a GMA artist, so she’s thankful the Kapuso Network has allowed her to do a mini-series for iWant streaming, “Beauty Queens.” “After I read the script, nagustuhan ko talaga at ang ganda pa ng role ko as a beauty queen na naging rebeldeng NPA,” she says. “Tapos, this will give me the chance to work with director Joel Lamangan and Miss Gloria Diaz as my mom. Hindi kami natuloy noon sa ‘Pamilya Roces.’ ‘Yun pala, dito sa ‘Beauty Queens.’”

    She plays Tingting. “I’m the second child of Tita Gloria, a former Miss Universe in real life and also in the story. Elder sister ko si Maxine Medina and younger brother ko si Ross Pesigan. As our mom, Tita Gloria pushes me and Maxine to be Miss Universe also, just like her. But Maxine won as Miss International at ako naman, napasali sa Miss World and I end up as First Princess. Our only brother will turn out to be gay at siya ang mananalong Miss Gay Universe.”

    Her first cousin, Michelle Dee, is competing in the Miss World pageant soon. Since she’s an international beauty title holder herself as Reina HispanoAmericana, did she give Michelle any advice? “I’m sure na mas maraming advice ang ibinigay sa kanya ng mother niya, si Tita Melanie (Marquez). I’m very confident na malaki ang laban niya kasi she comes from modeling. She’s doing very well even online. Malakas ang confidence niya and she’s very articulate. Basta ang sabi ko lang sa kanya, magdala ng extra everything: extra shoes, extra gown, even extra make up, kasi you never know as to when you will need them.”

    How does she feel that her ex-boyfriend, Mark Herras, is said to be walking down the aisle soon with his new girlfriend, Nicole Donesa? “Honestly, I’m so happy for him, for them.

    Push na nila ‘yan. I haven’t seen him for so long, but I wish him all the best, kung totoong they plan to settle down.”

    Winwyn has chosen to enjoy being single.

    “Wala. I’m going to spend Christmas in the States and I’ll go solo. I’m leaving on December 20 and stay with some relatives in Los Angeles. I will be back here on January 5 kasi tuloy-tuloy na ang taping namin ng ‘Beauty Queens’ by then. So, merry Christmas everyone!”

    Aga Muhlach is ecstatic over the positive feedback his performance in Viva’s “Miracle in Cell No. 7” is getting after it was shown in special screenings. Most of those who’ve seen it are now predicting he’s a shoo-in to bag the best actor award in the coming Metro Manila Film Festival where the movie is an official entry.

    Aga plays the role of Joselito, a mentally challenged man who is accused of a crime he did not commit. He goes to prison for allegedly raping and killing a little girl who he just actually wanted to help. Later on, his daughter Xia Vigor grows up to be Bela Padilla, who will do everything to prove that her father is truly innocent.

    “Thanks for all the good comments but I don’t wanna expect anything,” he said. “I’m just glad that after so many years, may entry ulit ako sa Metro film fest, where I won two best actor awards for ‘Bakit Labis Kitang Mahal’ and ‘May Minamahal’ about 28 years ago. Pero kung mananalo ako uli for ‘Miracle in Cell no. 7,’ I promise, magpa-party ako to celebrate with you all.”

    For the past several years, he spends Christmas quietly with wife Charlene and their twins, Andres and Atasha. “Pero ngayon, ibang-iba ang Pasko namin kasi I’m busy with the promo of our movie, sasama pa ako sa parada and then I will attend the awards night. Busy talaga. My wife and kids said they’ll help me promote the movie. Sasama raw sila sa float ng ‘Miracle in Cell No. 7’ para ma-experience nila ang Parade of Stars on December 22.”

    Patricia Javier looks very queenly indeed at the Thanksgiving lunch hosted by Noble Queen of the Universe where she won the crown. The pageant will have a delayed telecast at Net25 on December 14, so you can watch her how she bagged the title and bested the other contestants.

    “I chose to join Noble Queen of the Universe as it’s an advocacy pageant,” she said. “Ang dami raw nag-apply as candidates, but they didn’t qualify kasi you have to have an existing advocacy that’s really for a worthy cause. Mine was health and wellness and women empowerment.”

    Patricia will be leaving with husband Rob Walcher and their two sons on December 18 for their annual Christmas reunion with the family of Doc Rob in the US. They will have a white Christmas in Reno, Nevada then Patricia will participate in a fashion show for a cause in San Diego, California featuring the creations of Fil-Am designer Richard Barlis, with the proceeds going to children with autism.

    “The Clash 2” will have its grand finals this weekend. The six remaining finalists are three guys and three girls. This is a more promising batch than that of Season 1. They’re younger and definitely more talented and better looking.

    The three boys are Jeremiah Tiangco, “The Pop Heartthrob of Imus, Cavite” (our personal bet); Aljon Gutierrez, “Ang Pambatong Mangyan ng Mindoro”; and Nef Medina, “The Comeback Kid of Bacoor Cavite.” The three girls are Thea Astley, “The RnB Sweetheart of Qatar” (our personal bet); Jennifer Maravilla, “The Birit Beauty of Malabon”; and Antonette Tismo, “Ang Viral Princess ng Parañaque.”

    Most of them believe it’s Jeremiah who’s their biggest rival on finals night because he can sing all sorts of genre with equal ease and he has mastery of technique. We think so, too.

    Jeremiah’s advantage is he’s also good looking and stands tall at 5’9.” He has all the potentials of a singing idol that fans will scream for. How does he feel about the praises he gets from the other contestants?

    “I’m truly honored, and flattered,” he says. “I’ve been singing since I was 3 years old and I’ve joined other singing contests sa ABS-CBN but I never made it because I weighed almost 300 lbs. then. Lagi akong victim ng body shaming. Wala akong confidence. It took four months of dieting and exercise for me to lose weight. When I joined ‘The Clash,’ I’m down to 150 lbs. If I’d win, I’d send my cousin who lives it with us to college and I promise to give 10 percent of my winnings to Victory Church in Alabang where we attend service.”

    On finals night, he will sing Fantasia Barrino’s “I Believe” with his own signature vocal stylings.

    Aljon is from a tribe of Mangyans in Victoria, Oriental Mindoro. Their home was destroyed by Typhoon Tisoy and he asked his parents to move here as their house needs major repair. He’s a lookalike of Mark Bautista and this is the first singing contest he joined. He’s known as the soulful balladeer in their place and he teaches voice to his Katribung Mangyans.

    Nef (full name is Nephtali) Medina was already eliminated but got to rejoin “The Clash” as a wild card. He’s part of Jesus the Living God Church in Bacoor and has been a member of its music ministry since he was 6 years old. “I really thanked the Lord for giving me another chance,” he says. “Naisip ko, there must be a reason why I was brought back so I promise to do my best on finals night.”

    Thea Astley, 19 years old, finished high school in Qatar where her dad works as an engineer. “There’s a big Pinoy community there and they make me sing in our gatherings,” she says. “I’m also a member of our Youth for Christ Music Ministry. Last year, I came home for college and enrolled at the Ateneo, majoring in political science. But after I qualified sa ‘The Clash,’ I stopped muna. My mom is coming home on finals night to watch but my dad has work so hindi siya makakauwi.”

    Jennifer Maravilla is 26 and works as an events organizer. She went viral when she attempted whistling in a song number but failed to do so. Other singers like Angeline Quinto and Jonah defended her and encouraged her. As a result, she’s now one of the remaining finalists. Her forte is giving popular songs a new and different flavor like “Boom Tarat Tarat,” “Hayaan Mo Sila” and “Sayang na Sayang.” “I want to do songs kasi na makaka-relate ang masa pati yung mga tambay sa kanto,” she says.

    Antonette Tismo is the youngest finalist at 16. She was also previously eliminated but managed to bounce back last weekend when she defeated Janina Gonzalez in the “Clashback” wild card round. She joined “The Voice” before and was chosen by Sharon Cuneta to join her in her concert tour in the USA so she got to visit Los Angeles and New York for the first time.

    This Saturday, one of these six finalists will be eliminated, then on Sunday evening, the remaining five will compete with each other, live.