YASMIEN Kurdi’s afternoon soaps are always a big hit, like “Yagit” and “Sa Piling ni Nanay” which got several extensions. Yas was just 14 when she became the first runner-up in the very first Starstruck held 15 years ago (can you believe it’s been that long?) Now, she has turned 29 last January 25, but she looks much lovelier now than when she was just a teenager who’s a bit chubby. She obviously leads a happy life with her pilot husband, Rey Soldevilla, and their daughter, Ayesha Zara.
“She’s blooming and halatang happy siya sa buhay niya kaya hindi siya mukhang losyang,” says a female writer.
Yas is happy to be playing the lead role in her newest afternoon soap, “Hindi Ko Kayang Iwan Ka”, where she is paired with Starstruck 2 male winner, Mike Tan, and with Starstruck 3 female winner as the contravida, Jackie Rice.
“This is an advocaserye,” she says. “Meaning, may meaningful and important advocacy itong itinataguyod, which is to foster awareness about HIV or human immunodeficiency virus kasi, sa halip na bumaba, pataas pa raw nang pataas ang cases ng HIV dito sa bansa natin these past couple of years,” says Yasmien. “Kami ng co-stars ko, we took a seminar about HIV so we can all understand better what it’s all about. I play Thea Balagtas, isang probinsyanang kumukuha sa Maynila ng accountancy. I didn’t know na may gusto pala sa’kin ang isang classmate ko, si Martin del Rosario as Lawrence. He invites me for dinner then drugs and rapes me. 'Yun pala, HIV positive siya at inilipat niya 'yung virus sa akin.”
Things get very complicated when Yas marries Mike Tan as Marco, who comes from a well-to- do family while she’s poor, so Marco’s mom, Gina Alajar as the domineering Adelaida, is very much against her and prefers Jackie Rice as Ava over her. Things get even worse when Gina finds out she is infected with HIV and all hell breaks loose.
“This show aims to educate viewers about the effects of HIV on a person’s life but it is also inspirational as it offers a very positive message that, even in the midst of your problems, you should not lose hope, malalampasan mo pa rin ang mga pagsubok and you will survive your trials with the help of God and the people who love you and support you,” adds Yas. “Dito, si Mike as my husband, initially rejected me, but he later realizes how much he loves me so he returns to help me all throughout my ordeals in life. Ipinaglaban niya ako pati sa nanay niya at sa lahat ng mga taong umaapi at nandidiri sa akin dahil HIV positive nga ako.”
Also in the show’s cast are Shamaine Buencamino as Yasmien’s supportive mom, Charee Pineda as her very helpful older sister, Ina Feleo as Mike’s older sister who sides with her and not with their unkind mom, Mike Nacua as Yasmien’s cousin, Catherine Rem as Yasmien’s cousin in Manila who helps her and child stars Caprice Cayetano and Sef de la Cruz as the fraternal twin kids of Yasmien and Mike. This is under the direction of Neal del Rosario.
XIAN DENIES BREAKUP ISSUE WITH KIM
XIAN Lim displays his bare chiselled torso in so many scenes in the sexy love drama “Sin Island” that’s now showing in theaters nationwide. “This is my most mature role to date at justified naman 'yung shirtless scenes na ginawa ko rito,” he says. “I play David, a photographer, and wife ko si Coleen Garcia. I was so hurt when I found out she committed an act of infidelity with her co-worker, TJ Trinidad, so I left and went to this remote island called Sinilaban and that’s where I met another girl, Nathalie Hart, who’s carefree and liberated so we quickly have an affair. But then, sumunod sa akin si Coleen sa island and tries her best to reconcile with me to save our marriage. In the process, nagalit si Nathalie and the movie becomes a suspense-thriller. It’s nice to be working with very good actresses like Coleen and Nathalie who are both dedicated to their craft, and also our young director, Gino Santos, na kasingtanda ko lang at 28 and is full of so many good ideas about filmmaking.”
This will be Xian’s last project for Star Cinema for now, as he has since signed up with Viva Films and is now doing the fantasy-romance “Miss Granny” with them opposite Sarah Geronimo. Viva has also promised to give him a new solo album and to produce a concert for him. What did his partner Kim Chiu say about his leaving Star Magic to be managed by Viva?
“We don’t really meddle naman with how our respective careers are managed. She knows this is a good career move for me and we’re both excited about it.”
How come there was a rumor that he and Kim have broken up? “Actually, nagulat din kami sa mga ganyang negative na balita. Nang unang pumutok 'yan, kumakain kami after watching a movie. E, kami, as a whole kapag negative, we just let it pass. Sine-share naman namin lahat sa tao kapag lumalabas kami, like noong magbakasyon kami sa Europe. Pero hindi na kami sumasagot pa para hindi na lang maging mas komplikado.”
'STARSTRUCK' WINNERS IN COMPETING SHOWS
GMA program manager, Hazel Abonita is quite ecstatic because her new show, “The Stepdaughters”, started well in the ratings in its first few episodes. “Yes, panalo po tayo!” she says. “For a while, siyempre, kabado kami kasi ang lakas ng sinundan naming ‘Impostora’. Ang finale ratings nga nito, doble nung sa kalabang programa. But then, we’re happy na na-sustain naman ng ‘The Stepdaughters’ ang high ratings ng ‘Impostora’. Nag-trending din kami at pinag-uusapan online sa social media kaya we’re so glad na puro magagandang comments ang nababasa namin.”
She says that “The Stepdaughters” and its rival “Asintado” is a battle between Starstruck discoveries. “Nasa ‘The Stepdaugthers’ sina Megan Young na from Starstruck 1, Katrina Halili from Starstruck 2 and Sef Cadayona na from Starstruck 5. Sa kabila naman, kasama sina Aljur Abrenica and Paulo Avelino na parehong Starstruck graduates din.”
The ever fashionable Hazel is also the program manager of the much loved romcom, “The One that Got Away”, on primetime which is also doing well in the ratings game.
SEF ON THE LOOKOUT FOR SOMEONE 'IRRESISTIBLE'
SEF Cadayona is so lucky that he’s currently seen in three shows. He does comedy in “Bubble Gang” every Friday night, then he’s in the telefantasya “Sirkus” every Sunday night. Now, he’s also in the cast of the new daily afternoon soap, “The Stepdaughters”, that has replaced “Impostora”. “I’m so happy to do another teleserye,” he says. “I play Bryce in ‘The Stepdaughters’, graphic designer ako at best friend ni Mikael Daez na makikita ang pag-aagawan sa kanya nina Megan Young and Katrina Halili.”
Since it’s Valentine’s season, who was his date on Valentine’s Day? “Wala. I was working. Nasa taping ako. Wala naman akong ide-date, e.”
So he’s been loveless since he was linked to Andrea Torres and Maine Mendoza? It seems he was really hurt by all the bashings he got. “Balewala 'yung mga bashing. I can take them. As of now, ni wala nga akong nililigawan. Mas masarap, tahimik ang buhay kasi no lovelife. Saka na lang, kapag may nakita akong someone irresistible.”