COMEDIENNE Ai Ai de las Alas is also now a talent manager.
She has signed up her first ward, the rap group Ex-Battalion, a Youtube sensation who now has close to 40 million viewers.
Ai Ai was accidentally introduced to the group by a staff of her GMA Sunday show with Vic Sotto, Bossing and Ai. "Gusto ko kasing mag-record ng kanta," Ai Ai relates. "She (the staff) suggested na makipag-collaborate daw ako sa grupo kung gusto kong mag-hit ang kanta ko. Eh 'yun naman talaga ang gusto ko, mag-hit. So, hinanap ko sila sa Youtube."
Her search led to calling James Brando, one of the members who acted as the group's manager then. "Ayaw pa nga niyang maniwala na ako ang tumatawag sa kanya," Ai Ai says. "Talaga bang si Ai Ai ito? The Ai Ai de las Alas? Tanong ni James. Ako talaga ito, sabi ko. Nagkita kami at ayun, naniwalang ako talaga 'yun."
The collaboration with the group has formed a friendship, and Ai Ai eventually learned of the group's struggles and hurdles as artists.
They've been on the scene for years before being Ex-Battalion, with each member coming from different rap groups. "Kaya Ex-Battalion," explains James Brando, who acts as the group's spokesperson. "Galing kami sa iba't ibang battalion. Rap battles. Kami-kami 'yung nagkikita.
In the end, we decided to group ourselves." Officially, they're six in the group but when they perform, four other (unofficial) members give them support, whenever they can. "May iba silang trabaho," says James. "Day jobs. Kami lang anim 'yung talagang focused (with performing)."
Ex-Battalion has appeared in some GMA shows (where Ai Ai now belongs) like Bubble Gang and Sunday Pinasaya. In the drawing board are more appearances, TV commercials and a US tour. "Dadalhin ko sila sa Disneyland," muses Ai Ai.
It sounds like one of the future perks of being Ai Ai's first 'alaga,' but what they're really excited about is going mainstream.
Ex-Battalion members are: Rhenn Mangabang (Emcee Rhenn), Mark Maglasang (Bosxing), Jon Gutierrez (King Badger), Archie de la Cruz (Flow G) and James Samonte (James Brando).
Well, let's hear more of them in the coming days.
‘TANGING YAMAN’ LEADS LENTEN SKYDIRECT FREE VIEW
'TANGING Yaman,” the heartwarming classic about a broken family brought back together by tragic circumstances, leads the Lenten season lineup of SKYdirect Free View during the entire month of March.
Three siblings, long estranged from one another, must set aside their differences and come together for their mother and for their whole family. Its stellar acting ensemble is led by Gloria Romero, who plays the matriarch with a failing health due to Alzheimer’s, along with Johnny Delgado, Edu Manzano, and Dina
Bonnevie, who play the siblings struggling to overcome old resentments.
The movie swept top honors at the 2000 Metro Manila Film Festival, including Best Picture, Best Director for Laurice Guillen, Best Actress for Gloria Romero, Best Actor for Johnny Delgado, Best Screenplay for Laurice Guillen, Shaira Mella Salvador, and Raymond Lee, and the Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award.
It airs alongside the classic tearjerker “Sarah, Ang Munting Prinsesa,” starring a young Camille Prats. It tells the story of an orphaned heiress, who had to endure hardships at the hands of a cruel school principal because they thought she had lost everything when her father died. When her father’s friends find her she regains her old life and brings a better one to her newfound friends.
Completing SKYdirect Free View’s Lenten Season offering is “Dekada 70.” Set in the tumultuous years leading to the 1986 EDSA Revolution, “Dekada 70” is about how Martial Law affected a family as each member experiences its effects in different ways. It stars award-winning actors Piolo Pascual, Christopher De Leon, and Vilma Santos.
SKYdirect prepaid subscribers with a minimum load of P99 and active postpaid subscribers can watch these movies for free on channel 28.
Not yet on SKYdirect? Visit www.mysky.com.ph/skydirect for more information or text SKY to 23668 to order.