CARMINA Villaroel has been playing mainly supporting roles lately, both on film and on TV, so she’s happy to be playing the lead role once again in the 2019 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entry, “Sunod.”
“Ang tagal na ng last horror movie ko kasi ayoko talaga gumagawa ng horror as I feel creepy,” she related. “But after I read the script of ‘Sunod,’ I said, sige, I will do it, kahit na I was still taping ‘Kara Mia’ that time at ayoko nung naglalagari ako sa taping at sa shooting.”
Carmina plays Olivia, a single mom in “Sunod.”
“Anak ko si Krystal Brimner and when she got sick, I accepted a high-paying job in a call center to pay for her medical expenses. It turns out haunted pala ang old building ng call center at may sumusunod-sunod sa aking multo na naapektuhan pati kalagayan ng daughter ko.”
Did they really experience anything spooky while shooting “Sunod”?
“Yes, we shot some scenes in the old Quezon Institute na haunted daw talaga. One night, bandang midnight na, biglang nagputukan lahat ng mga ilaw namin. Then at 3 a.m. naman, ‘yung tiles sa kisame, biglang naglaglagan. Someone with a third eye said, pack up na tayo, nagagalit na sila kasi ang ingay natin. So we went home. After that, we offered eggs and prayers at nagpapagpag kami ng asin to ward off daw any evil spirits at hindi na naulit ‘yung strange happenings that we experienced. But nakakatakot talaga ang movie kasi, ako mismo, I feel creepy during the shoot. In one scene, parang nagka-anxiety attack ako at hindi ako makahinga kasi kinikilabutan ako.”
“Sunod” is directed by Carlo Ledesma, who used to be a host of the sports show “Gameplan” then he moved to Australia and became a filmmaker. His last movie was an acclaimed horror film, “The Tunnel,” done found footage style. Before “Sunod,” he co-wrote the screenplay of the well praised Metro filmfest entry, “Saving Sally,” starring Rhian Ramos.
Supporting Carmina in the movie are Mylene Dizon as her boss in the call center, JC Santos and Kate Alejandrino as her co-workers, Red Bustamante (“Seklusyon”) as the ghost, Susan Africa as Red’s mother.
“Sunod” is the only horror entry in the coming MMFF so it has a good chance of doing well at the box office like other horror entries before it.
Her whole family is elated that she has a filmfest entry. “Very supportive sila, lalo na ‘yung twins namin, sina Mavy and Cassy,” she beams. “Excited sila sa Parade of Stars at sasama raw sila sa akin sa float kasi gusto nila ‘yun ma-experience.”
Christian Bautista and wife Kat Ramnani celebrated their first wedding anniversary on November 16. Their nuptials were held in an intimate ceremony in Bali, Indonesia. So how is it so far?
“So far, so good,” Christian says when we got to interview him on the set of “The Clash Season 2” where he is one of the judges. “We got to discover more good things about each other and everything is going well.”
When do they intend to have a baby? “Baka this coming year. Hopefully, the Lord will bless us.”
He is currently a judge in GMA-7’s “The Clash.” Now that it’s nearing its finale, what can he say about the current batch of finalists that they have and what is he personally looking for in the winner?
“They’re all okay, but siempre, it’s always about the voice first and ‘yung performance ng singer. ‘Yun ang una naming tinitingnan.”
What happens when both clashers who are competing turn out to be so-so?
“Mahirap ‘yun, kung parehong hindi magaling, parehong nagkamali. So we talk ng two other judges, Lani Misalucha and Ai Ai de las Alas. Sino ‘yung bibigyan namin ng another chance? May time nga, wala talaga, kahit naaawa kami, pareho pa ring natanggal ‘yung dalawang clashers.”
There are now only six remaining clashers. “If you’d notice, habang pakonti sila nang pakonti, the more we get strict. And now na malapit na ang finals, talagang salang-sala na sila. Pagalingan na talaga ang labanan. Kung meron nga lang gamot na puede mong ibigay, o heto, inumin nyo ito para gumaling kayo. Contest ito, kaya kailangan, galingan nila talaga. But I always tell those who were eliminated not to lose hope. Kasi ako, hindi naman ako ang nanalo sa ‘Star in a Million,’ but I’m so blessed na naririto pa rin ako.”
Raymond Bagatsing was asked in the press con of “Love is Love” how he feels that some quarters question his gender, especially now that he is playing a gay character in the film?
“I don’t know, mahirap magsalita nang tapos,” he said. “Matagal na namang pinagdududahan ang gender ko. All I know is I appreciate everyone. I appreciate people, human beings, I appreciate love. I’m very close to a lot of gay people, but I’m also very close to men, macho alike, intellectuals. I’m very close to a lot of people, even girls.”
He says he saw a documentary about the late Hollywood actor, James Dean about this. “At one point, sabi niya sa best friend niya, ‘I have to try to be in a relationship, to go to bed with a man. How can I feel if I’m doing a role as a homosexual? How can I do it?’ So parang ginawa nga niya. Kaya sabi ko, at one point, ‘yung sobrang lalim ng pagpasok ko sa mga karakter, sabi ko, siguro I have to try that also. Secret na lang kung anong nangyari, but I just know na hindi ko puwedeng i-limit ang sarili ko. Kasi ang love has no gender, and that’s the message of this film. Ang love, galing sa puso. It cannot be categorized, it cannot be explained no matter how you intellectualize it, no matter how you find a formula na hindi tayo masaktan sa buhay, that’s part of our journey. Basta love is love. Actually, I just went through some depression because I just came from a relationship that ended after seven years. She’s a woman.”
Raymond has been married twice. First to former actress Lara Fabregas then to US-based writer Cora Pastrana, who’s 20 years older than him. Both marriages ended in separation.
Sharon Cuneta denies the story of Pres. Duterte, told in one of his speeches, that she has long wanted to throw her husband Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, a well-known Duterte critic, out of their house. Even CNN Philippines reported it, saying: “In another attack against Senator Kiko Pangilinan, President Rodrigo Duterte claims that the senator’s wife, Sharon Cuneta wants the opposition leader out of their home.”
Sharon reposted the CNN report in her social media account then wrote her answer to it.
She said she spent the day with Kiko, kids Miel and Miguel, and friends, Zsa Zsa Padilla and Conrad Onglao, in their farm so she was “shocked” to see the news sent by daughter Kakie, who is currently studying in New York
“So I don’t know where this is coming from, honestly. If my husband and I separate, you’ll hear it from me! I don’t think anyone expects an announcement of this sort to come from the President of their country!” she said.
“Tatay likes to joke sometimes, as you all know, because Kiko’s in the Opposition. He has joked a few times against Kiko and about me in the past! Please rest assured that all is fine with my family. My stress comes from other people and things, but right now my family and marriage have never been happier! God bless you all! Love you guys. Wait for my post on YouTube of our day today at the farm! @frankiepangilinan @kiko.pangilinan.”
Thousands of netizens expressed their support for Sharon, all saying they don’t believe in what the president said. His advisers should tell the president to stop acting like a rumormonger as it’s really conduct unbecoming for someone in his position.