SUE Ramirez has played a lead role in the Regal horror flick “Debutantes”, but she has several co-stars also playing the title roles. She now stars in her first solo title role as “Ang Babaeng Allergic sa WiFi”, written and directed by the prolific Jun Lana. This is graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board and is part of the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino that starts in theaters on August 15. How did Jun cast Sue in the lead role?
“I wanted to work with Sue after I saw her in ‘Debutantes’ kunsaan ang galing niya,” he says. “Talagang I pursued her kahit ang hirap ng schedules niya as she’s also doing soap. This is a passion project for me, isang romcom na may valid message pa rin about relationships. Young people today are so addicted to their gadgets. What happens when someone na masyadong dependent sa technology finds out allergic pala siya rito?”
Is it based on a true story? “It’s inspired by a report I read about a British guy na mahilig mag-post online then discovers that he’s allergic to anything that emits radiation. This is what happens to Sue in the movie as the lead character, Norma.”
“I find out that allergic ako to electromagnetic waves na galing sa gadgets,” Sue adds. “My nose bleeds at nagkaka-rashes ako hanggang bigla na lang akong hinimatay. This affects my relationship with my boyfriend, Markus Paterson as Leo. My mom, Yayo Aguila, takes me to my grandmother, Boots Anson Roa, who lives in a distant province na walang wifi or any radiowaves that can worsen my condition.”
It’s there that she discovers the beauty of living a simple life without gadgets. “Nag-back to basics ako kasi if my friends and other loved ones want to see me, they have to travel, sasadyain ako to come and visit me. I also start communicating by doing handwritten letters that you mail sa post office. E, di ba ngayon, text-text na lang. Dito, something will happen to me and my boyfriend at mas mapapalapit ako sa younger brother niya, si Jameson Blake as Aries, with whom I’ll be exchanging love letters. So ang feeling ko, ang ganda-ganda ko, dahil 'yung magkapatid dito, pinag-aagawan ako. The film is about self discovery and what really makes personal connections more meaningful.”
In real life, what is she allergic to? “Nothing. I can eat seafoods and anything, wala akong allergies. Except sa bashers. They’re more of a pet peeve, also people na sinungaling.”
Would she be able to live without gadgets? “Yes, I think kaya kong mabuhay ng walang wifi. Masarap din 'yung wala kang gadget na hawak lagi and you can really talk and communicate with your loved ones nang harapan. After all, noong araw, kinaya naman ng mga ninuno natin na walang cellphones and tablets or laptops, so I think, makakaya rin natin.”
JC AND BELA COMFORTABLE ON FRIEND ZONE
JC Santos’ tandem with Bela Padilla in “100 Tulad Para kay Stella” was a big hit in last year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino so there’s high hopes that their reunion in “The Day After Valentine’s” in this year’s PPP will also be a blockbuster. Even the bookers obviously believe this as they gave “Day After Valentine’s” more theaters than the other entries and the reason is that the JC-Bela love team already has a good track record.
And this is true, because when JC was paired with Ryza Cenon in “Mr. & Mrs. Cruz”, the box office result was not as rosy. So how is “Day After” different to “100 Tula”? “Mas mahirap ang role ko rito,” says JC. “Mas mature ang character ko as Kai in the movie. Simula pa lang, brokenhearted na siya. At mas enjoy ako sa challenges offered ng ganitong character kasi mas masarap siyang himayin at paglaruan. Marami kang itatanong at mas marami kang matutuhan kasi sinasaktan ko ang sarili ko rito dahil sa depression, so I really love its challenges.”
After two movies with Bela, what are the chances of their falling for each other now that they’re both currently loveless? “Malayo siguro, kasi simula pa lang, best friends na kami agad. But it’s true na we have lots of similarities at para kaming pinagbiyak na bunga. But friend zone na lang muna talaga. Unang-una, ang tawagan namin sa isa’t isa ngayon is Kaps, short for Kapatid. At ako, I’m really happy being unattached at the moment. Walang commitment. You can go anywhere you like and do anything you want to do na hindi mo na kailangang magpaalam pa kahit kanino.”
Didn’t they shoot some scenes of their movie in Hawaii? Didn’t they find the place romantic with just the two of them in the cast? “Yes, we shot some scenes in Lanai Island kasi part-Hawaiian ang character ko rito. Maganda talaga ang lugar but we stayed there only for three days. At nandun naman kami para magtrabaho, not for anything else.”
SHOWBIZ THINGS ABOUT SEC. HARRY ROQUE
PRESIDENTIAL Spokesperson Harry Lopez Roque meets the entertainmnent press and the first question he gets is what is his reaction to PCOO Asst. Sec. Mocha Uson’s ridiculous ipepe-idede-pederalismo video she did with a blogger that she obviously thought would be a hit but turned out something most people found execrable and vulgar.
“I will not judge her kasi it’s the head of PCOO, Martin Andanar, who should make such decisions,” he says. “But I think she had the best of intentions, which is gusto niya talagang mapag-usapan ng mga tao ang tungkol sa pederalismo. Kaya lang, kapag siguro usaping pederalismo, dapat siguro mas seryoso ang treatment dahil ito po ay Saligang Batas, ang pinakamataas na batas sa ating bayan, so I will opt for a more sober approach. If you don’t agree with her, then don’t watch the video na lang.”
Harry Roque comes from a family pastors, teachers and lawyers. He majored in economic and political science at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1986, his bachelor of laws from UP in 1990 and his master of laws with merits from the London School of Economics in 1996. He was a law professor at UP for 15 years and he now misses teaching. Some of the notable cases he handled as a lawyer are the Maguindanao Massacre and the Jennifer Laude cases. In 2016, he became a congressman for Kabayan (Kabalikat ng Mamamayan) and he authored the Universal Health Care Bill. He was appointed by Pres. Duterte to be the presidential Spokesperson in October, 2017, along with being Presidential Adviser for Human Rights.
He says being spokesperson is definitely not a picnic. “Mahirap ang posisyong ito. Walang nagtagal sa predecessors ko. The longest was 8 months. It’s a tough job. I have to be with the president as often as I could. You need to know if he’s joking or serious. You have to respond to endless queries and I've become sleep deprived.”
So what has he learned about the President since he assumed his post? “That he doesn’t need a PR. He is his own PR kasi kalkulado niya ang pulso ng bayan. It’s me who’s learning from him, not the other way around. He’s very simple in his ways. He really wants to serve the country well. He values his family first and foremost and may soft side siya for his kids and grandchildren.”
He admits being fond of local showbiz. “I met a lot of stars in church, like Piolo Pascual, Martin Nievera and others. 'Yung iba, I met sa gym, like Coco Martin. I used to be overweight kasi. But through the right diet and with the help of our treadmill, from 107 kilos last year, I’m now down to 90s kilos, but I need to lose 10 more as my ideal weight is 80 kilos.”
He enjoys singing and when asked to give a sample, he sang his favorite song, “Pare Ko”. Would he like to try acting? “Kung o-offeran nila ako, I will do cartwheels to join Coco in ‘Ang Probinsyano’ right away.”
He’s married to former journalist Mylah Reyes and they met in Congress. They have two kids, Bianca, 17 years old and is now preparing to take the UPCAT, and Harrison, 16.