VIC Sotto had an entry in last year’s Metro Manila filmfest, “Enteng Kabisote and the Abangers”, but it didn’t qualify as the screening committee then chose mostly indie films that sadly didn’t do so well at the tills. This year, he’s luckier because his movie, “Meant to Beh”, made it as one of the official entries. Did he feel bad that he was eased out of the filmfest last year?
“Not really,” he says at the grand presscon of “Meant to Beh”. “What I missed then was joining the annual Parade of Stars kasi ilang taon din akong laging kasama roon. So this year, natutuwa ako kasi makakasakay ako ulit sa float at kasama na uli ako sa parada.”
There are 8 entries in the festival, how would he convince viewers to watch his film first before the others? “First of all, Rated G kami, kaya puedeng panoorin ng lahat, mula bata at millennials hangga’t lolo’t lola. The movie is about family and it’s really meant for the whole family. Masaya ang buong pelikula kaya bagay sa Kapaskuhan na dapat lang na lahat ay masaya. Tapos, maraming first time na nangyari rito. First time naming nagkasama sa pelikula ni Dawn Zulueta kasi before, nagkasama lang kami sa TV in ‘Okay Ka Fairy Ko’. Napakaganda na, napakagaling pa ni Dawn, sa comedy man o sa drama.”
The young stars in the cast were handpicked by him. “Mga Kapuso at Kapamilya stars ito na first time din lang nagkasama-sama at mga ngayon ko rin lang nakatrabaho sa pelikula, sina JC Santos, Gabbi Garcia at Baeby Baste bilang mga anak namin ni Dawn, sina Sue Ramirez at Ruru Madrid bilang kapareha nila, at sina Andrea Torres at Daniel Matsunaga bilang mga kasamahan namin ni Dawn sa trabaho na na-link sa amin nang magkaroon kami ng ’di pagkakaunawaan. Sa story kasi, napakasal lang kami ni Dawn dahil pinilit kami ng aming mga magulang, so dumating yung point na kinukuwestiyon namin kung totoo bang mahal namin ang isa’t isa, kaya nagkahiwalay kami. Ang mga anak namin ang gumawa ng paraan para magkabati kami at ma-realize naming we are really ‘Meant to Beh’.”
It’s also his first time to work with award-winning writer-director Chris Martinez. “For a change, sumubok naman ako ng batang director. He was highly recommended by a lot of people and I’m glad na sinubukan ko siya kasi, for the longest time, puro fantasy and special effects movies ang ginagawa ko. I moved out of my comfort zone to do something different at nag-level up naman kami into doing something relevant for the family. Itong ‘Meant to Beh’, mas realistic ang story at mga sitwasyon. Very heartwarming ang movie and it imparts a lot of good moral values for the family, but in a funny, very entertaining way. And I want to give credit to our director kasi ang maganda kay Direk Chris, he’s open to suggestions kaya nagkatulung-tulong kami para mas mapaganda talaga ang pelikula. Ginagarantiyahan kong maaaliw kayo mula umpisa hanggang ending.”
Where will he, wife Pauleen Luna and their baby girl, Talitha, spend the holidays? “Hindi naman kami puedeng umalis kasi may trabaho ako. Ipo-promote ko itong movie. So dito lang kami sa Kapaskuhan. Also, ayaw naming ilabas ang baby hangga’t hindi nabibinyagan, gaya ng sinasabi sa mga pamahiin.”
Baby Talitha is scheduled to have her christening on December 10, a very intimate affair for only family members at St. James Church in Alabang where Vic and Pauleen also had their wedding.
MARIS ON THE WAY UP
MARIS Racal is so proud to be part of the movie “Haunted Forest”, directed by Ian Lorenos. “When we were shooting the film, ’di namin alam na makakapasok pala kami as an official entry in the Metro Manila Filmfest kaya tuwang-tuwa kaming lahat when we learned na makakasama nga kami,” she says. “Kami ng co-stars kong sina Jane Oineza, Jameson Blake and Jon Lucas are now looking forward to joining the annual parade of stars to help promote ‘Haunted Forest’.”
The second place winner in Pinoy Big Brother All In, Maris was then only 16 and was tagged as the Singing Sunshine of Davao. Her full name is Maristella Racal and she comes from a musical family who taught her how to sing and play musical instruments at an early age. She can write her own songs. She recorded her first single “Tanong Mo Sa Bituin” as part of the compilation album OPM Fresh for Star Music.
Maris first became part of Star Magic Circle 2014 and was introduced as an actress in shows like “Hawak Kamay”, “Oh My G”, “Ningning” and “We Will Survive”. She also did movies like “Just the Way You Are”, “Stars Vs. Me”, “The Break Up Playlist”, “The 3rd Party” and proved she can be a good comedian in “Vince Kath & James”.
She first became a member of an all-girl dance group called Girltrends in “Showtime”, then as part of ASAP’s new sing and dance group BFFs and as part of Four of a Kind, along with Sue Ramirez, Loisa Andalio and Kristel Fulgar. “Haunted Forest” is her second horror film after she did “Bloody Crayons” for Star Cinema. Recently, she showed her prowess in drama in the “Casa” episode of “Maalaala Mo Kaya” where she played a lead role for the first time. “Nagpapasalamat ako sa lahat ng nagbigay ng positive feedbacks sa performance ko,” she says. “It encouraged me na lalong pagbutihin ang performance ko.”
FORMER TALENT MANAGER SHOWS OWN TALENT
NEO De Padua aka Kuya E started in showbiz as a talent scout who brings extras to GMA-7 and ABS-CBN. It was the late Rico Yan who first called him Kuya E (his real name is Ernie) when they did “Got to Believe” for Star Cinema, and it stuck. He’s now known as a motivational speaker inspiring audiences in various parts of the world in Europe, US and Asia.
This started when he was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer 11 years ago. He was introduced to a food supplement called C24/7 to which he attributes his healing. He then put up his own multi-level marketing company to market this, produced by Nature’s Way in Utah and it clicked, making him a millionaire. He was invited to talk about his healing experience in Pampanga and this began his career as an inspirational speaker.
While in Kuwait, a Kuwaiti producer heard him sing and encouraged him to try a singing career. He has just recorded his first single, ‘Ako’y Nangarap’, an inspirational song about pursuing your dreams, now available on iTunes worldwide. A whole album will soon be released, produced by music icon Vehnee Saturno. He’s also staging his first big concert, “Miracle, Music and Love”, at the Music Museum on December 14, 7 p.m., produced by Big Eyes Events and Productions, with new talents Ani Pearl, Rapido, Himig Handog’s Aikee and E4 Band as his special guests. For tickets, call 0921-325-3118, 0956-683-4843.
“The concert will not just entertain you,” he says. “It will also inspire you dahil marami kaming ihahatid na mensaheng maaaring makatulong makapagpapabago ng iyong buhay,” says Kuya E. “Abangan nyo rin ang aking bagong talk show sa Net25 starting this January 2018 entitled ‘RYTS’ or Rule Yourself to Success. Ito ang kapalit ng travel show kong ‘Only in Pinas’. This is my way of inspiring and spreading love to people from all walks of life.”