AI AI De las Alas plays the title role in Regal Entertainment’s special Mother’s Day presentation that opens in theaters on May 10, “Our Mighty Yaya”. Mother Lily is confident that their latest partnership with the Concert Comedy Queen will be a big hit. “Joey Reyes wrote and directed the movie and he made it a real crowd pleaser,” she says. “Magugustuhan ito ng viewers of all ages kasi feel good talaga, nakatatawa at nakaka-touch at the same time. A good tribute to mothers and yayas.”
“My role as Yaya Virgie is one of the most challenging roles I played so far,” says Ai Ai. “Pinapangit ako nang husto rito. Pinagsuot pa ako ng pustiso para naka-protrude ang mga ngipin ko, kasi baka raw ma-confuse sa amin ni Megan Young ang mga tao kapag hindi ako pinapangit. Kapag kaharap ko kasi siya, para kaming twinning, tipong nananalamin lang ako. But kahit pangit ako, I have a heart of gold when it comes sa mga batang inaalagaan ko. Kasama ko rin dito sina Zoren Legaspi, Sofia Andres, Beverly Salviejo, Divine Aucina and child stars Lucas Magallona and Allison McBride na siyang mga batang inaalagaan ko. Promise, masisiyahan kayo.”
Ai Ai has a lot to be thankful for as both her career and love life are currently doing very well. Aside from “Our Mighty Yaya”, she’s in two regular TV shows that both rate well, “Sunday PinaSaya” and “Hay, Bahay”. And she’ll soon star in an another show on primetime. When it comes to her love life, her current BF Gerald Sibayan has officially proposed marriage to her as they celebrate their 3rd anniversary as a couple. It will be recalled that her previous marriages to Miguel Vera and Jed Salang both ended in divorce.
Gerald, who’s 30 years her junior, wrote her in a heart-shaped piece of paper: “Can you be my misis?” It came with a bouquet of roses and an engagement ring. In her reply, Ai Ai wrote: “Some knots are meant to be tied forever. Our journey is not perfect but it’s ours and I’ll stick with you till the end. I will pray to our great GOD that our journey will be smooth and sweet towards eternity.”
DIEGO GETS BIGGEST BREAK, HURDLES FEUD WITH DAD
DIEGO Loyzaga, the controversial son of Cesar Montano who publicly denounced his dad online, gets his biggest break as Potpot in the new ABS-CBN soap, “Pusong Ligaw”, directed by GB Sampedro and Henry Quitain. He’ll co-star with rumored girlfriend Sofia Andres as Vida, along with Bianca King, Raymond Bagatsing, Beauty Gonzales, Joem Bascon and Enzo Pineda.
“When they told me that I’d play a role na pambida at hindi na pang-support, ang sarap ng feeling na, finally, napansin ka na rin at binigyan ng opportunity and trust ng ABS-CBN management, so I’m just so thankful and happy beyond words,” he says. “Ang dami kong pinagdaanan bago ko narating ito, but it validates my decision to be an actor and I promise to do my best para mapaganda hindi lang ang performance ko kundi ang buong show.”
He was last seen supporting KathNiel in “Pangako Sa’Yo”. “Pusong Ligaw” will start airing this Monday to replace “The Greatest Love”. About his feud with his dad, he says everything has calmed down. “I’d like to think na nalampasan ko na po 'yun. Tapos na po. And I want to thank all those who stood beside me during that difficult time, including my mom (Teresa Loyzaga), si Sofia, and all the friends who supported me.”
So what’s the real score between him and Sofia? “Halos araw-araw kaming magkasama sa taping ng ‘Pusong Ligaw’ and I can say na mas kilalang-kilala na namin ang isa’t isa. At this point sure akong we will always be there for each other.”
DIREK DANTE'S OPUS INVADES TV
TV5 CEO Chot Reyes presented Director Brillante “Dante” Mendoza in a solo presscon at SM Megamall for his monthly TV movies for them, “Brillante Mendoza Presents”. “He’s one of our most prominent filmmakers today, having won awards here and abroad, and we’re glad to have him as a content partner,” he says. “We’ve already shown two of his TV movies, ‘Tsinoy’ set during the Chinese New Year with Ina Raymundo and ‘Everlasting’ set during the Baguio Panagbenga Festival with Aubrey Miles and Mercedes Cabral. You can now view these films online. He’ll also do a 13-episode series for us next year, ‘Amo’, after he has completed the 12 movies he’s slated to do with us.”
Direk Dante says he’s thankful to TV5 for giving him complete artistic freedom in choosing the materials he shows in his TV movies. “There’s no compromise at hindi sila nakikialam as they just give me the budget at ako na ang bahala on how to use it,” he says. “May episodes kami filmed on location kaya medyo magastos, but they leave it to me para balansehin ang budget na ibinigay nila sa’kin. We have a pool of writers who go to the provinces to research on the right materials we can use for a film. We don’t get big stars as we want to focus on the story more than the actors who appear in them.”
Their next offering is “Pagtatapos”, with graduation as theme, to be shown this Saturday, April 22 at 9:30 p.m. It was filmed on location at the Philippine High School for the Arts in Los Baños, Laguna. “It’s the first time that they allowed anyone to shoot a movie there,” says Direk Dante. “The story is about a senior high school dance major who’s having problems at home, in school and with her love life as she sees her boyfriend flirting with other girls.”
The film was previewed for the press and it’s quite absorbing. The lead role is played by newcomer Gabby Torres, who’s obviously a real dancer as she moves so gracefully on the big screen. She handles both her dance scenes and dramatic scenes capably and convincingly.
Her personal story is intertwined with the folk legend of Maria Makiling who she strangely sees in her visions. Giving her good support are Nonie Buencamino and Shamaine Centenera as her estranged parents, Racquel Villavicencio as her very supportive teacher, Joni Galeste as Maria Makiling and Olivia Bugayong as Ina, Gabby’s hostile classmate.
The film, done with Mendoza’s ultra neorealist style, will surely appeal to those who are looking for alternative filmfare as it’s really different from the usual romcoms that we often see on the big screen. But it’s not going to be of much interest to TV viewers with short attention spans who are used to the usual TV style of snappy editing and fast pacing. We just hope serious film aficionados will support this series of TV movies from TV5 since it comes from an internationally acclaimed filmmaker like Mendoza, who also needs more local recognition and acknowledgment.
After “Pagtatapos”, the next TV movie they’ll show is “Panata”, set at the Moriones Festival in Marinduque during Holy Week. It stars Kristoffer King as a man whose family was a victim of martial law and who makes it his annual “panata” to appear as one of the masked players in the Moriones passion play.
Other coming attractions are “Anak”, about an old barren couple who dance in Obando asking for a child; “Kadaugan”, set at the Kadaugan Festival in Mactan, Cebu about a single mom and her former boyfriend who suddenly returns to her life; and “Habilin”, about two sisters settling an inheritance issue about their ancestral house and farmland.