29 December 2011

The biggest newsmakers of 2011

Even the biggest rainbow is no match to how colorful and crazy show business has been in 2011. From gruesome and appalling deaths, to confounding revelations and debatable controversies, everything was chronicled in that it seemed the public knew more about these things than the celebrities themselves.
With all the stories and details still seemingly fresh, who would think they’re already part of history? Here’s Bulletin Entertainment’s take on the biggest newsmakers this year:
Willie Revillame
This man may well be the king of controversies. After a nasty separation with former network ABS-CBN last year and the legal battle that followed, we’d think we’d had enough of Willie Revillame; that is, until we saw a six-year-old boy contestant gyrating like a macho dancer to “Careless Whisper” in his then-show “Willing Willie.” Amid the turmoil, including the child abuse charge filed against Revillame, advertisers’ pull-out and suspension of the show, the beleaguered host once again weathered a huge storm in his life. Now, we still see him on TV doing his thing, via his reformatted show, “Wil Time Bigtime.”
Deaths of AJ Perez, Ramgen Revilla, and Charice’s dad, Ricky Pempengco
2011 marks some of the most shocking deaths in recent showbiz history. A car accident in Tarlac took the life of promising actor AJ Perez on Easter Sunday. Many couldn’t help but associate him with another beloved matinee idol, Rico Yan, who also died during Holy Week back in 2002. Fast forward to October, two bloody deaths stained the headlines: that of actor Ramgen Revilla (Oct. 29), son of former actor-senator Ramon Revilla, Sr.; and Ricky Pempengco (Oct. 31), the father of international singing sensation Charice. While the alleged killer of Charice’s dad had already been captured, Ramgen’s case remains a puzzle. Some see it as a modern day “Cain and Abel” story, with his siblings being implicated in the murder. His girlfriend, actress Janelle Manahan, is believed to hold the key to solving this headache of a mystery.
Mo Twister and Rhian Ramos
Mo and Rhian’s relationship may well be the epitome of a love story which we learned more of when it ended. Their breakup, it turned out, was not really the end but the beginning of a cannonball of controversies: from Mo’s leaked video diary in which he confessed that he and Rhian would “get rid of our baby” in Singapore in July 2010, to Rhian’s accusation of emotional and psychological abuse against Mo, and then another leaked video in which we see the two still all lovey-dovey with each other. People now wonder, is there more to come? When will Mo’s “final statement” be just that?
Andi Eigenmann
Young and very promising (she isn’t an Eigenmann for nothing), Andi was on her way to superstardom when news broke out in June that she’s with child. She bravely set her career aside to keep the baby, whose father we’ve come to believe as Albie CasiƱo despite earlier non-committal statements from their respective families. (Andi did mention his name in one of her blog entries but later on replaced it with an odd nickname, “baby daddy.”) She finally gave birth to a healthy baby girl in late November. Way to go, girl.
Nora Aunor
This could easily be tagged as the biggest showbiz comeback ever: After years of living abroad (although not that far from controversies, still), Superstar Nora Aunor arrived in the Philippines in August, and was embraced warmer than ever by her supporters—the solid Noranians—and even members of media. And though one award-giving body to the next showered her with all the tribute awards they could think of, the thespian was still pestered with intrigues, such as her feud with veteran talk show-columnist Cristy Fermin, and another involving one of the biggest networks in the country, ABS-CBN. Nonetheless, we can’t say her star isn’t shining the brightest!
Piolo Pascual and KC Concepcion
This ex-couple’s relationship is a reminder that not all fairy tale-ish love stories end the way they do in those dreamy books. Sometimes, it ends really ugly, with one of the parties crying on TV one Sunday in November and wailing, “Hindi ako ang kailangan niya!” or “May mga bagay na hindi ko na kayang lunukin!” (Those were KC’s words, by the way.) KC’s telling statements roused the long-running (quiet) rumor about Piolo’s sexuality. Well, it seems nothing else would come “out” after KC’s interview.
Mideo Cruz
Artist Mideo Cruz made waves in early August, although not positively. His installation, “Poleteismo,” that was included in the “Kulo” exhibit shown at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), was deemed “blasphemous” and “offensive” by various religious organizations because of the phallic symbols he attached to religious relics. The flood of condemnations prompted the CCP to close the exhibit down, and Cruz’s work stirred heated debates on the extent of art and freedom of expression. If anything good came out of this one, perhaps it’s that many more Filipinos had given local art a serious look.
Philippine Volcanoes
Some members of the female specie might’ve feasted upon the gargantuan-sized billboard featuring the Philippine rugby team—the Volcanoes—in all their (almost) naked glory which were put up along EDSA-Guadalupe. The same, however, wasn’t true for other citizens, as well as Valenzuela Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian who found it “offensive.” Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos then requested the billboard to be scrapped in July. More billboards featuring celebrities such as celebrity couple Angel Locsin and Phil Younghusband were soon dismantled by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), as they were also deemed offensive, and even illegal because they allegedly didn’t have the required permit. From a more optimistic view, the whole brouhaha did make rugby more familiar to Filipinos.
Marian Rivera and Heart Evangelista
Bela Padilla in 2010, Heart Evangelista in 2011. Who would’ve thought that the hot weather in Ilocos where they filmed the remake of “Temptation Island” would yield estranged friends in Marian and Heart? Each has her own version of the story; the former insisted that everything was fine until they returned to Manila and the “airport incident” happened (in which Heart’s mother allegedly scolded Marian). A supposedly traumatized Heart, meanwhile, claimed that Marian harassed her after the latter learned that she has a supposed project with Marian’s boyfriend, Dindong Dantes. Will the new year bring a new chance for the two to rekindle their friendship?
Baron Geisler
Baron’s “bad boy” image apparently reached its toll in January when his then co-star Cherry Pie Picache accused him of harassment while they were taping the drama series “Noah.” Weeks later, he underwent rehabilitation not only to treat his alcohol problem but to better himself. After six months, he returned to showbiz, feeling better (and more sober) than ever. More positive events followed: Picache expressed willingness to work with him anew, while young actress Yasmien Kurdi, who had also accused him of harassment, agreed to reconcile with Baron. After being “baron-bado,” he’s now referred to as “baron-bago.” We can only hope the latter’s for good. He still has to settle his other case with Yayo Aguila and William Martinez’s daughter Patrizha, though.
Sarah Geronimo
The Sarah Geronimo-Rayver Cruz-Cristine Reyes love triangle had a continuation of sorts this year after the Popstar Princess finally admitted her past romance with the dancer-actor via a tell-all interview with Yes! magazine. She even went on to recall in the interview how much she had fought for him to her parents, who were hesitant in her getting into a relationship. While Geronimo seems to still be in the moving on stage, Cruz enjoys a smooth-sailing relationship with Reyes.
Annabelle Rama and Nadia Montenegro
From mere indirect swipes on Twitter, the Annabelle-Nadia feud intensified into an ongoing legal battle. Montenegro accused Rama of libel, as well as child abuse, for allegedly “failing to protect” the interests of her daughters whom the Gutierrez matriarch took under her wing as talents. Rama answered Montenegro’s charges with theft and attempted kidnapping cases. In the end, who among these mothers really know best?




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