Manila Standard Today


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Simply Red
By Isah Red

Manila Standard Today

Another Estrada in politics

Not very many know that another Estrada did very well in the recent elections. He is Gary Estrada and he won by a landslide as provincial board member representing the second district of Quezon.

Gary is a registered voter in San Antonio, Quezon, a few minutes from Lipa, Batangas and Padre Garcia in Quezon. He and wife Bernadette Allyson have a farm in San Antonio, and with his second term as member of the Sangguniang Panglalalawigan ng Quezon the couple are planning to build a house in Lucena City. “It takes me five hours to get to Lucena for our Monday sessions from San Antonio, so we thought maybe we can stay in Lucena as well.

As his constituents know, his clinching the top spot in the recently-concluded May 13 elections wasn’t just a coincidence or a stroke of pure luck. If anything, it just vindicates his worth as a deserving and legitimate public servant who puts the welfare of his people above anything else.

As one of the members of his province’s committee on energy, water and public works, Gary has spearheaded the legislation for the installation or refurbishment of various infrastructure projects, including farm-to-market roads, school buildings, medical clinics, barangay halls and other basic utilities.

Gary says, “We don’t have pork barrel here. All we have are operating expenses, most of the time, this is where we source our funding for simple needs like monoblock chairs, nebulizers, trophies, vests for the barangay tanod, etc.”

“I actually go out of my way to talk to senators and congressmen to help augment our infrastructure financing,” he adds. “Thankfully, many have been supportive and generous.”

“To date, I have at least 60-65 ongoing infrastructure projects,” he reveals, giving a glimpse of the scope and magnitude of their herculean tasks at hand.

But despite the numbers, Gary admits, “It’s never enough. That’s why I ran again.”

All throughout his first term since 2010, Gary has adjusted well to the rigors of a politician’s life-punching in at his office Monday morning for the usual legislative meetings, going around the barangays the rest of the week to feel the pulse of the people, and meeting senators and private individuals for investment grants and endowments.

And true to form, just like any true-blue politico, Gary has literally become a part of his constituents’ extended families. “Marami na akong inaanak,” he jests, referring to the numerous weddings and baptisms where he’s earnestly played out his role as godfather. “Hindi ako humihindi. I always tell them na kung ano lang yung kaya ng aking opisina.”

Would he eventually aspire for a higher position? “Actually, they were asking me to run for congressman for this recent election,” he confessed. “I just felt that I wasn’t ready financially, and I felt that I didn’t have much in terms of campaign machinery. But I don’t want to close my doors.”

Perhaps his best-kept secret weapon, which he unleashed only during the last three weeks of his campaign sortie, was his wife-actress/TV host Bernadette Allyson. “She was doing the rounds with me, going everywhere, conducting slide presentations and all that. Now she realized why I always get so tired by the time I drive back to our house in Manila,” he shares.

Still a family man first and foremost, Gary spends his leisure time with his wife and three

daughters. The former matinee idol and screen hunk, who’s eldest son Kiko Estrada has joined showbiz, admits to missing the glare of the klieg lights though.

Apart from his appearance in the GMA-7 fantaserye Kokak in 2011, and guestings in Magpakailanman and Maalaala Mo Kaya last year, Gary hasn’t taken on any regular projects, despite the many offers coming his way. “I just try to make it a point to focus on my priorities as a public servant,” he maintains.

Looking back, Gary never thought he would sacrifice his career for a more noble calling.

“I didn’t have any plan at all,” he recalls. But it was a timely wake-up call nonetheless. As he best describes it, “Ginising yung natutulog kong dugo. I realized na isa kami sa kailangang tumayo.”

Asked to cite the most meaningful reward he’s garnered in his newfound career, Gary pauses wistfully and says, “When I see the roads and streets that we’ve made, when I meet the graduating scholars we sent to school, that’s the best legacy that I can leave behind.

(Photo: estradas.jpg)

Kapuso answers CBCP’s take on gay drama

My Husband’s Lover is generating a lot of unnecessary buzz, especially after the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) through its spokesman warned the Catholic faithful on what could be the effect of watching the nightly series about male homosexuals’ relationship.

Actually, I think the Church’s only concern is if the series would become the banner that the gay men can wave against the Catholic Church’s conservative stand on sex between two persons of the same gender.

Although there have been movies about homosexuals in the Philippines, portraying them on TV and every night can indeed pose a problem to the Catholic Church which, thanks to the Judeo-Christian culture that it has passed on to the world, believes that relationships of homosexual nature are basically against the teachings of Christ. The Church should just tell their priests in the parishes around the country to continuously remind that television is not where the faithful can get the truth about life, instead of bashing the show outside of the pulpit.

Through Butch Raquel, the Kapuso network, in reaction to the CBCP’s near hysterical reaction to the show, sent the media offices this:

GMA Network welcomes the scrutiny of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) of our primetime program ‘My Husband’s Lover.’ We believe that our program while tackling sensitive real-life situations is produced with utmost prudence and in good taste. The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board or MTRCB has given the program an SPG (Strong Parental Guidance) rating and GMA is committed to comply with all its standards.

We would like to thank all the viewers of ‘My Husband’s Lover’ for supporting our program not just by watching it but via intelligent discussions and comments in all forms of media. The Kapuso Network is pleased with the high ratings that ‘My Husband’s Lover’ has achieved in its first two weeks and would like to assure the Filipino audience that we will continue to produce relevant and entertaining programs.”

I am sure the Catholic Church is also struggling with issues about homosexual priests, pedophile priests, and other sexual abuses committed by men who took the vows of chastity and obedience. So, why not focus on these people first before taking a shot on a TV program whose aim is merely to entertain?

Dugong Buhay in a mall show

Ejay Falcon admitted that he got hurt when was punched by co-star Ronnie Quizon in one of their intense scenes in ABS-CBN’s hit afternoon series Dugong Buhay.

Ejay says he doesn’t mind the torture scene because it was for the good of the show.

“I really felt rage in that torture scene. I was furious with Alex (Ronnie) as the character I play, Victor, suffered so much from the bad treatment he got from him,” says Ejay.

Happy with the good feedback, Ejay assured that there would be more scenes the audience should watch out for in the following weeks especially now that Pablo (Lito Pimentel) discovered that Victor is Gabriel, the long lost firstborn of Isabel and Enrique (Christian Vasquez). “The story of Dugong Buhay story is really beautiful. It’s an action series with a heart,” he says. “Since it’s about families, many people can relate to the characters. Apart from the fight scenes, a lot of viewers follow my dramatic scenes with my two mothers in the story. Because Victor becomes emotional whenever he is with Isabel (Sunshine Cruz) and Elena (Ana ­Capri).”

What will Victor do when he discovers that the De Laras whom he despises all his life is his real family? How will the lives of Isabel, Enrique, and Rafael (Arjo Atayde) de Lara change when they learn the truth about Victor?

As a special treat to their fans, Dugong Buhay stars Ejay, Arjo, Sunshine, Lito, Ronnie, Yam Concepcion, Jed Montero, Ketchup Eusebio, and Nonie Buencamino had a special mall show in Robinsons Place Dasmariñas, Cavite last Sunday.

Dugong Buhay airs every afternoon after My Little Juan on ABS-CBN Kapamilya Gold.

My Lady Boss finally opens tomorrow

The opening of this film had been postponed twice—first in February and in May—to make it even more pleasing to the audience.

But a couple of weeks ago, Regal Entertainment matriarch Lily Y. Monteverde, known to many as just Mother Lily, decided to release the film at last.

So, My Lady Boss, a co-production between from Regal Entertainment, Inc. and GMA Films hits the screens tomorrow.

If Richard and Marian’s first big screen partnership, My Best Friend’s Girlfriend showed the tandem in a rather restrained fashion, this time, they let their hair down, shedding off inhibitions to make their roles credible.

Scenes included in the trailer and titillate the audience are an example of how the two lead stars have evolved as actors. Moviegoers are in for a lot more.

In the movie, Marian plays Richard’s cold-hearted lady boss who eventually takes off her mask and falls for the latter’s irresistible charm.

Playing the part of a romantic-comedy leading man is such a breeze for Richard. He made sure, though, to give the character a unique touch knowing how special Marian is to him as a partner.

At certain points while shooting the film, kibitzers on the set even noticed their extra closeness and sweetness as if they were a pair in real life.

Both of them know that the film can be their last team-up, reason for them to give the movie the best they can.

Observers say the chemistry between them in their reunion movie is simply electrifying.

Monteverde, the movie’s director, Jade Castro, and the production staff agree.

At the press conference last week, a reporter asked Gutierrez about his status at the Kapuso network. He said he is taking a long break, perhaps take a course in movie directing.

GMA Network, Inc. sent word about the actor’s contract to clarify his status. It seems that Gutierrez remains a Kapuso star in the movies as he is bound by a contract with GMA Films. His contract with the network, though, according to Butch Raquel who is a consultant for Corporate Communications, “expired on May 28.”

He added, “As mutually agreed upon by both parties (which means GMA Network and Gutierrez’s management), Richard is now a freelance actor for television.

“We thank him for the 11 years of being an exclusive Kapuso and wish him well in his future endeavors.”

Kris makes girls at Boys Town happy

It was like a holiday at the Girls’ Home Unit at Boys Town Complex in Marikina City on May 20. And why not? Kapuso artist Kris Bernal was there to share her blessings with the interns of the facility.

It was Kris Bernal’s 24th birthday on May 17 and she has chosen to celebrate it with the girls at the Boys Town Complex.

It has been Kris and her family’s tradition to give back to the needy. After all the blessings she has received, she felt it was but fitting to give back especially to the needy. With the help of her sponsors from Zanea, Sundance, Tony & Jacky, Poshnails, Fernando’s Bakeshop, My Dentist and Vans, the celebration with the girls from the foundation was made possible. Kris’s ACLC family was generous enough to give full scholarships for two girls in the institution.

“Every year nagse-celebrate ako ng birthday either with family or friends, last year my GMA Artist Center family gave me a wonderful party with friends and workmates at Seventh High, now they have organized something closer to my heart,” Kris said.

After Coffee Prince, Kris traveled with her family to Europe. She too advantage of the time that she  had after working for a year.

Kris stars with perennial partner Aljur Abrenica in a new drama series this year.

(Photo: krisbernal.jpg)

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