JULIA Barretto and Joshua Garcia are together again in the horror-action flick, “Block Z,” that opens in theaters on January 29. At its press con, the ex-lovers were asked how they’re doing these days when they see each other frequently while promoting their new movie together. It’s Joshua who replied first.
“We’re okay,” he said. “Noong makita ko siya rito, I realized parang na-miss ko siya. Kasi siempre, ang tagal naming hindi nagkasama.Naging busy ako, at naging busy rin siya at ngayon lang kami uli nagkita.”
“Tama siya, we’re okay,” said Julia. “When I first saw him again, the feeling was familiar.
Like a familiar place, a comfortable place, a safe place. That’s one of the things that I am super grateful for, that we were able to protect and make sure that our friendship will stay and remain.”
So how was it shooting a zombie film like “Block Z”?
“This is so different from anything we’ve done before,” Julia replied. “Kasi we did romantic comedies and dramas, but this one, pinaghalong horror, action, adventure. Mahirap siyang gawin, so tiring dahil sa takbuhan while the zombies chase us.”
Julia, Joshua, and co-stars Maris Racal, Yves Flores, McCoy de Leon play college students who belong to the kulelat section or Block Z. A virus spreads in their school that turn everyone into zombies so the students in Block Z have to fiercely fight for their lives.
Sharon Cuneta celebrated her birthday on January 6 and ABS-CBN hosted a birthday lunch for her. She also renewed her contract as a Kapamilya and will be a judge in the new season of “Your Face Sounds Familiar.” She was so touched when her friends, including Ogie Alcasid, Regine Velasquez, Aga Muhlach, Judy Ann Santos, Billy Crawford, Gary Valenciano, Sarah Geronimo and her daughters, Frankie and Miel Pangilinan, greeted her in a special video presentation. Then Jed Madela appeared to sing “Somewhere Down the Road,” followed by Nyoy Volante singing Side A’s “Forevermore,” then the former contestants of “Your Face” led by Xia Vigor and the TNT boys.
So it looks like her threat to slow down will not happen this year.
“You know, after I announced that I’m planning to semi-retire, nagdagsaan ang offers,” she revealed. “I now have offers for seven film projects. Tatlo lang siguro ang magagawa ko roon, two from Viva, one from Star and there’s also an offer from Regal. The first movie I’ll do will come as a total surprise, it’s a love story na medyo sexy, but I’m not yet at liberty to share the details. There’s also an offer from Tita Cory Vidanes to do a teleserye with ABS-CBN. In April, I will have a concert tour in Australia and let’s help them pray na matapos na ang bushfires sa kanila that are killing helpless animals like koalas and kangaroos. In May naman, I will do a North America tour with Regine Velasquez of our concert, ‘Iconic,’ which I didn’t even know won kasi Aliw Awards didn’t invite me, nanalo pala ng best collaboration award sa kanila.”
She was bashed when her eldest daughter KC didn’t show up at her birthday celebration in “ASAP” and she posted a letter for KC on social media saying she felt bad “because you, my eldest, weren’t there. I do not even have an idea where you are.”
Some folks bashed her for freely expressing her feelings about KC. When asked about this at her birthday press con, she says: “I know social media is not the right platform to express yourself when you are a public figure, but my daughter posted her explanation on social media and I just replied. It all boils down to nanay ako na nag-aalala kasi I don’t know what she is going through. I’m just a concerned mother worrying about my daughter as I don’t even know where she is.
“But I’m amazed at how some people responded to me. Meron talagang sobrang bastos so I just blocked them. Nagko-comment ng kilometric kahit hindi nila alam kung ano ang puno’t dulo ng nangyayari sa’min ng anak ko. I don’t even know them, so I don’t want to go down to their level. Hindi ko sinisiraan ang anak ko. I’m just missing my daughter and I just want to know how she is. Ang feeling nila, masasaktan nila ako, but 42 na years na ako in showbiz and I don’t really get affected anymore.”
Jodi Sta. Maria was last seen on the big screen in the hit horror flick, “Clarita.” Now, she is in the newest iWant online series “My Single Lady,” which she herself also produced together with Dreamscape Digital. Her leading men in the six-part online drama series are Zanjoe Marudo and Ian Veneracion, directed by Carlo Catu (of acclaimed indie films “Ari, My Life with a King” and “Kung Paano Hinihintay ang Dapithapon”). So how did she get into producing her own project?
“I’ve been wondering if there’s more to life than just being an actor so binalak ko ngang mag-produce,” she says. “I’m the type of person who likes to venture into things na I’ve never done before as it gives me a different kind of challenge. But my plan was mag-aral muna para maging ready ako. Kaso, dumating na nga itong ‘My Single Lady’ from Direk Carlo and I got excited, but at the same time, kinakabahan din because I’m embarking on a new role. So now, I’m happy I was able to help create more jobs for other people.”
In the story, she plays Chona, a single mom devoted to her 6-year old son (Ynigo Delen) and an avid fan of Regine Velasquez as her adoptive mom is a gay who’s an impersonator of Regine.
Since the title of the series is “My Single Lady,” does this mean that Jodi is remaining single all her life?
“Sa season ng life ko ngayon, I have no problem with that. If it’s the Lord’s will for me, I will accept it. I don’t mind remaining single, but I’m not closing my doors.”
What can she say now that her ex Jolo Revilla has tied the knot with Angelica Alita last month in the US?
“Ay, tapos na po ‘yun. Matagal na, kaya huwag na nating pag-usapan.”
A big musical event that fans of local bands should not miss is “’90s Frontmen Acousticized,” to be staged at the Music Museum on January 31 and February 1.
Four icons from the era of rock bands will join forces for the first time on the same stage: Jett Pangan from The Dawn, Wency Cornejo of After Image, Basti Artadi of Wolfgang and Dong Abay of Yano.
It will surely be memorable for their fans as they sing their own hits, Jett with “Salamat” and “Enveloped Ideas,” Wency with his many hit songs like “Next in Line,” “Habang May Buhay” and “Mangarap Ka,” Basti with “Darkness Fell” and “Halik ni Hudas,” Dong with “Banal na Aso, Santong Kabayo” and his tribute to the mall, “Esem,” which we always hear being heartily sung in karaoke joints.
Their concert is produced by Advantage International Mktg. Tickets are available at TicketWorld and Music Museum or call their office at 8726-5466, 8736-6740 or 0917-777-1213. Of the four rock band icons featured in the “’90s Frontment Acousticized” concert, it’s Jett who has successfully branched out into acting, doing movies, TV shows and starring in several hit musical plays.
His last musical was Atlantis Productions’ “Sweeney Todd” with him paired with Lea Salonga. It just had a successful month-long run in Singapore. How is the reception to the musical in the Lion City?
“Very good!” says Jett. “It’s a big hit there, sold-out kami every night. Nakakatuwa kasi British ang orientation ng Singaporeans so mas nasasakyan nila ang humor ni Stephen Sondheim and gets nila pati one-liners.”
He says “Sweeney Todd” is the most difficult role he has done so far, although he has also done other challenging musicals like “Jekyll and Hyde” and “Nine.”
“Kakaiba kasi ang music ni Sondheim and very physically challenging gawin ang various elements ng play.”
So after this, he decided not to accept live theater projects for a while. “Musical theater gives me a different kind of high, playing various characters on stage give me another kind of satisfaction and feeds my soul like no other, pero pahinga muna ako kasi doing theater is like walking on a wire, no take 2’s. Right now, I’m doing a teleserye entitled ‘After Life’ with Eula Valdes for Cignal Entertainment.”