BIANCA Umali is definitely one of the most promising young stars of GMA today. A former child star, she’s getting prettier and sexier by the day. She was first paired with Miguel Tanfelix in “Paroa, Kuwento ni Mariposa” four years ago and since then, their BiGuel teen loveteam has gained its own legion of fans.
“Four years na 'yung loveteam namin but we got to know each other as child stars seven years ago pa when I was only nine,” says Bianca. “So ganun na namin katagal na kakilala ang isa’t isa. We saw each other growing up.”
So what’s the real score between them now? “We’re very good friends pa rin po. Hindi kami nagmamadali kasi 16 pa lang naman po ako, never been touched, never been kissed. At siya naman, he just turned 18.”
“Kaya sana po, huwag nyo kaming madaliin,” says Miguel, who’s been appointed as Youth Ambassador of the U.N. Population Commission for being a good and wholesome role model in maintaining his belief in being pure before marriage. “Basta sa ngayon, we’re so happy na mas nagiging closer ang relationship namin as good, good friends. Mas priority namin ang career and studies. Ako po, araw-araw pumapasok sa La Salle for entrepreneurship.”
They’re now paired anew in another show, “URL (Usapang Real Love)”, billed as the first interactive rom com on Philippine TV. The show had its presscon last Wednesday and it also happened to be Miguel’s 18th birthday so he was feted to an instant birthday party by the press and the GMA staffers.
“URL” will have its pilot telecast this Sunday at 4:45 p.m. after “GMA Blockbusters”. It’s a different kind of show that bridges social media and romantic comedies in one game-changing television project. It features one-of-a-kind love stories headlined by popular Kapuso loveteams, which will be told in four weekly episodes.
URL engages netizens through the video challenges posted on the UsapangRealLove Facebook page. Viewers are invited to submit their video entries by sending it as a message on Facebook, uploading it on Instagram or tweeting it on Twitter and tagging @UsapangRealLove with the hashtag #MagpaFANsin. The chosen video will be featured on TV and win a prize.
The first episode is “Dream Date” and it will star the hosts themselves in a story of two young people who both dream of having “dream dates”. Aside from Bianca and Miguel, the other stars of this 4-week story are Jak Roberto, Yayo Aguila, Lloyd Samartino, Jade Lopez, Ces Quesada, and Gene Padilla directed by Real (not the fake one) Florido, the director of the fast becoming controversial Nora Aunor movie, “Kabisera”, that seems to be taking forever to complete kahit wala namang forever.
Next month, the second story is “Perfect Fit” featuring Andre Paras and Mikee Quinto, supported by William Lorenzo, Mickey Ferriols, Arra San Agustin, Jay Arcilla, Vince Gamad, and Bern Josep “Bekimon” Persia.
ALEX UNSURE ABOUT JOSEPH'S INTENTIONS
JOSEPH Marco started as a TV commercial model then was first seen on GMA7 in “La Vendetta” in 2007. He also did “Dyesebel” then moved to ABS-CBN in 2010 where he did “Sabel” with Jessy Mendiola. He also did supporting roles in other shows like “Pintada”, “Princess and I”, “Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala”, “Honesto” and “Pure Love”, before going sexy in “Pasion de Amor”. He was last seen playing a supporting role in “Dolce Amore”. Now, he gets to do his first lead role in a movie, in Regal’s “My Rebound Girl”, opposite Alex Gonzaga with whom he did “Pure Love”.
So how’s it working with Alex now? “I feel more comfortable working with her now,” he says. “Mas gumanda siya. After ‘Pure Love’, hindi naman naputol ang communication namin sa isa’t isa kaya I can say na mas kilala ko na siya.”
And how does Alex find Joseph as a leading man? “Kapag mahirap ang eksena, minsan, lagi siyang nang-aasar. Nangangamoy raw ako. Pero kapag ngingiti na siya, hindi ka na maiinis. He’s a gentleman. We shot some scenes ng movie sa isang coffee plantation sa Benguet. 'Yung coffee beans kasi, inaapakan 'yun.
Hindi namin alam, may higad pala, so nangati nang husto ang mga paa namin. Ang daming tumulong sa’min para maalis ang kati. Si Joseph, inuna niya ako. Tiniis niya 'yung sariling kati niya kasi bawal kamutin, lalong kakati, so hinahataw-hataw niya ang mga paa ko, tinapik-tapik para mawala ang kati. Di ba ang bait niya?”
Is Joseph courting her? “For the record, hindi ko rin alam. Hindi ko alam kung nagpaparamdam siya o seryoso siya. Pero may time na ang feeling ko, oo. One time, binigyan niya ako ng bracelet. Terno kami. Tapos tinulungan niya ang daddy ko noong kampanya sa election. Isang tawag ko lang, he came. Pero ayokong mag-assume. Siguro pag dumalaw na lang siya sa bahay namin nang unannounced, 'yun na.”
And what can Joseph say about this? “Ayoko kasing pilitin. I mean, gusto kong maging natural lang siya. ’Yun nga, sabi ni Alex, I really tried before, pero feeling ko, nu’ng time na ’yun, hindi pa siya ready so I respected that. Right now, okay naman kami. So, you’ll never know, nandiyan lang naman si Alex, you know, and I’m not closing my doors.”
Direk Emman de la Cruz says their chemistry on screen is very apparent in their romantic scenes in “My Rebound Girl”. “Panoorin nyo when it opens on Wednesday, September 28 at makikita nyong bagay talaga sila sa isa’t isa.”
A WINNING FILM ABOUT 'PATINTERO'
THE surprise hit and multiple award-winner “Heneral Luna” was produced by TBA (which stands for Tuko Films, Buchi Boy Entertainment and Artikulo Uno Productions). It has now made another experimental film, “Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo”, which won the Audience Choice and Gender Sensitivity Awards in the last Quezon City Filmfest. It’s been reshot and re-edited for wider theatrical release on October 5 by first time director Mihk (stands for Made in Hong Kong) Vergara.
The film is about a team of losers, called the Patalo Team, in the game of “patintero”, led by Meng (Nafa Hilario Cruz), with Nicay (Isabel Frial), Shifty (William Buenavente) and Z-Boy (Claude Adrales) as the members. The climax is a championship game in their barangay’s Linggo ng Wika sportsfest where they fight various teams. The film is told with animation, to enhance and highlight the ‘patintero’ scenes that are transformed into a violent game not totally unlike UFC matches where the opponents get really hurt.
“I myself wrote the story because I have fond memories of playing patintero and other street games, which children of today’s generation have forgotten as they’re more into video games,” says Direk Myhk, who’s 33 years old, a graduate of Ateneo film school. “I was in the last batch sa class taught by the late Direk Marilou Abaya. Ka-batch ko si Dan Villegas.”
Dan has found an Antoinette Jadaone in his life. How about him? “Wala pa nga, e. But Dan and Tonette helped me with this movie, also Joyce Bernal. They gave their inputs.”
How did he cast the movie? “The kids were recruited from a series of auditions. I auditioned about a hundred children a day. I chose Nafa because she had guts. Sa audition, dapat, makipagsagutan ka sa’kin, don’t back down, kahit magalit ako sa’yo. The others did, but siya, kahit naiiyak na, hindi siya sumuko, malakas ang fighting spirit niya so bagay siya as Meng, na hindi talaga sumuko kahit underdog sila.
I’m lucky to have a very talented cast, along with Suzette Ranillo as Meng’s caring lola, Vince Magbanua as her kuya with whom she has a huge gap and Katya Santos as their long lost mom. We hope that this movie will help revive kids’ interest in playing outdoor games, which is healthier than sedentary computer games.”
“Patintero” will have its premiere night on October 1, Saturday, at SM Megamall and opens nationwide on October 5, released by Quantum Films. On October 2, Sunday, they will launch the comic book version at SM North Edsa and all the stars will be there.
Ting Nebrida of TBA says they've prepared a lineup of new films we should all watch out for in the next few months: “1 2 3” directed by Carlo Obispo (about a provinciano boy’s search for his kidnapped sister who’s held captive in a whorehouse which gained a lot of acclaim when it opened Cinemalaya filmfest last month), “Iisa” by Chuck Gutierrez starring Rio Locsin and Angeli Bayani, “Smaller and Smaller Circles” (based on the award-winning novel of FH Batacan about two Jesuit priests and a serial killer starring Nonie Buencamino, Sid Lucero and Carla Humphries - this one we really want to see how they’ll transfer it on screen), “Birdshot” by Mikhail Red, “Sunday Beauty Queen” by Baby Ruth Villarama, “Women of the Weeping River” by Sheron Dayoc and a new suspense thriller from Jerrold Tarog of “Hen. Luna” starring Iza Calzado and Ian Veneracion.