AI AI De las Alas gave a thanksgiving mass officiated by Bishop Antonio Tobias, with Fr. Erick Santos, Fr. Allan Samonte and Bro. Michael Lobrin. This is for her rosy showbiz career with two new movies, “Area” and “Our Mighty Yaya”, and two regular hit TV shows, “Hay Bahay” and “Sunday PinaSaya”. This is also for the Solemn Investiture Papal Award Pio Ecclesia et Pontifice (meaning: for the church and for the Pope), the highest honor given to a lay person, to be awarded to her on November 11 (a fitting birthday gift for her) at the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, Novaliches, QC, 3 PM.
“Nagulat ako nang tumawag sa’kin si Fr. Erick,” she says. “Sabi ko, may sakit ako, e. And he said, O, gagaling ka rito. Nang sabihin niyang Papal awardee ako, naiyak ako. I felt so humbled. Sabi ko, I’m not perfect, di naman ako karapat-dapat diyan, but kung anuman ang plano ni Lord para sa’kin, tinatanggap ko. Sabi ko, Lord, your will be done.”
It was Bishop Tobias himself who nominated her to Pope Francis for her help to the church and charity works. “Di nyo lang alam, ang daming tinutulungan ni Ai Ai na di lumalabas sa media,” says Fr. Allan. “She had a fund-raising concert for the Kristong Hari Church, pero bukod doon, may dalawang iba pang simbahan siyang tinutulungan.”
What do we know is that Ai Ai is a solid Marian devotee and regularly helps the Mother Teresa’s Missionaries orphanage and home for the aged in Tayuman St. She also sent Jiro Manio to a rehab center and Jiro is very open in thanking her for rescuing him from hell. Bishop Tobias adds in his recommendation: “She makes it her personal goal to personally bring the joy of our Lord Jesus to the sick, destitute, abandoned children, the poorest of the poor. For years now, she has quietly supported the cause of the elderly and the sick through the Missionaries of Charity by offering financial help and personally attending to the needs of the wards. She helps in bathing them and feeding them, a charity she started even before rising to fame as the Philippine Comedy Queen. Her Christmas is incomplete without organizing a Christmas fellowship with the poor even as she makes it a habit to share her blessings with parishes and institutions that care for the poorest of the poor. She has sent several poor students to school, helped in their education and sponsors poor seminarians in their priestly formation in the different dioceses in the Philippines. She donates motorcycles to depressed and poor parishes in Mindanao where parishioners can only be reached through dirt and rough roads.”
Fr. Erick also announced that Ai Ai will also put up a foundation, along with Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera, that will aim to help evangelize and propagate the Catholic faith. Their first project is for Christmas, to help people know what Advent is really all about and thereby strengthen their spiritual life. So does this mean that Ai Ai will no longer accept sexy flicks like “Area” where she plays a prostitute?
“Aktres ako, I’m just playing a role at drama movie naman ‘yun, so okay lang. Pero sa concerts ko, hindi na ako magta-tangga, shorts na lang. Sa personal life ko, humingi na ako ng tawad sa lahat ng mga nakasamaan ko ng loob. Also, I will remain celibate na until such time makasal na kami ni Gerald (Sibayan, her BF.) Siyempre, big honor ang iginawad sa’kin ni Pope kaya dapat lang na pahalagahan ko ‘yun.”
Did she expect to win as best actress at the recent 12th Eurasia International Filmfest in Kazakhstan where her movie “Area” won the special jury prize? “Hindi. Basta gusto ko lang ma-experience ‘yung maka-attend ka ng international film festival at ang sarap pala ng feeling. Lalo na nang tawagin kami as winner sa special jury prize. Noong ine-explain na why we won, it was in Russian, tapos may nagta-translate sa English, parang Miss Universe. At ang mga tao, palakpakan nang palakpakan so nakakatuwa na they were able to appreciate our movie. Abangan nyo dahil closing film ito ng QCinema on Saturday, October 22, sa Trinoma, 8 p.m., then it will open in theaters nationwide on November 9, directed by Louie Ignacio at kasama ko si Allen Dizon. ‘Yun namang ‘Mighty Yaya’, ipinasok as entry sa Metro Manila Filmfest at sana makuha kaming finalist.”
‘MANO PO 7’ SHOOT IN TAIWAN EXPERIENCES STRONG TYPHOON
ROSELLE Monteverde says their Metro Filmfest entry, “Mano Po 7: Chinoy”, is sure to be completed before the screening committee’s deadline at the end of this month. The movie stars Richard Yap, Enchong Dee, Jessy Mendiola, Jean Garcia, Jake Cuenca, Janella Salvador and Marlo Mortel, directed by a real Chinoy, Ian Lorenos.
“Nag-last shooting day na kami and we’re now editing the movie kaya for sure, aabot kami sa deadline,” she tells us during the presscon of their new movie, “The Escort”, that opens on November 2. “Unforgettable sa amin ng cast ang shooting namin ng ‘Mano Po 7’ sa Taiwan recently. We’ve been shooting na for two days at magagaling ‘yung mga nakuha naming Taiwanese crew there. Then they told us that, for sure, the typhoon will come on our third day, so dapat tapusin na raw namin lahat ng remaining scenes on our second day at Fo Guan Shan Temple at Shalu and Sun Moon Lake in Nantau, which we did. Tama nga sila, on the third day, the typhoon really came, typhoon Megi na Category 4, Level 11, the worst sa kanila, and we were just stranded inside. But on the fourth day, umaraw, so we traveled back to Taipei at dun na kami nag-shoot uli, using drone shots sa tallest building nila, Taipei 101.”
She’s optimistic that “Mano Po 7” will make it as one of the 8 finalist entries in the December MetroManila Filmfest entries. “We made sure the film, which is about the travails of a Filipino Chinese family in Manila, is worth watching, with both high artistic and commercial qualities combined,” Roselle adds. “Ang galing ng buong cast, lalo na si Richard Yap as the family’s patriarch na ang husay-husay in all his dramatic scenes, lalo sa confrontation scene niya with Enchong na nagrerebelde rito. For sure, mano-nominate siyang best actor for his performance here.”
Their other entry is “Our Mighty Yaya” starring Ai Ai de las Alas in the title role (also completed). Another prospective entry, “Pwera Usog”, a horror flick, will no longer be entered as they have had only five shooting days so far. “Hindi na aabot sa deadline,” says Roselle.