THE stork was busy last year. Those who gave birth to their second child include Marian Rivera, Andi Eigenmann, Saab Magalona, LJ Reyes, Kylie Padilla, Mariel Rodriguez, Rica Peralejo, Chynna Ortaleza, Georgina Wilson. First timers are Rochelle Pangilinan, Miriam Quiambao, Nadine Samonte, Gwen Zamora, MJ Marfori, Divine Lee, and let’s include Korina Sanchez with her twins Pepe and Pilar. Those who gave birth to their nth child are Camille Prats and Karel Marquez. Now preggy are sisters in law Solenn Heussaff and Anne Curtis, and Max Collins.
The most talked about chismis of the year include the shame and scandal feud of the warring Barretto sisters that even dragged Pres. Duterte into the mess, the messy Bea Alonzo and Gerald Anderson breakup, the rumored pregnancy of Julia Montes allegedly sired by Probinsyano himself, Coco Martin.
And before we bid 2019 a final goodbye, let’s say a prayer for the showbiz denizens who left us this year for the great beyond: Armida Siguion Reyna at 88, 60s movie queen Amalia Fuentes at 78, actor-director Eddie Garcia at 90, actress Mona Lisa at 97, 60s matinee idol Jose Mari at 81, Kristoffer King, Tony Mabesa at 84, comedians Chokoleit, Gary Lising and Bentong, actor Mico Palanca, action director Boy Roque, rocker Pepe Smith, directors Mel Chionglo, Allan Noble and Boying Baytion, film producer Mike Miranda, writers Isah V. Red, Bong de Leon and Veronica Samio, environmentalist and TV host Gina Lopez, broadcaster-film director Cesar Apolinario, also tycoons Henry Sy of SM at 94 and John Gokongwei of Robinsons at 93 and his wife Elizabeth Gokongwei at 84. May they all rest in peace.
MORE realizations in 2019: Raffy Tulfo has indeed become the popular “sumbungan ng bayan” but there was a backlash against him when he treated a teacher, Melita Limjoco, unfairly. He relented and apologized.
A transgender named Gretchen Diez became the poster girl of the LGBTQ community after he was refused entry in a restroom for females. This was even connected to the SOGIE Equality Bill but folks quickly lost interest after Gretchen seems to be just basking in all the glory of her newfound 15 minutes of fame. She’s now back to oblivion.
But gayness continues to reign on TV. Vice Ganda is very open about his relationship with “Showtime” co-star Ion Perez and they even have a brief romantic moment together in the MMFF entry, “The Mall The Merrier”.
Hit bands or singing group do not necessarily come up with hit movies. First proof: the rap group Ex Battallion is supposed to be very popular with lots of fans with their hit song, “Hayaan Mo Sila”, but their movie with Ai Ai de las Alas, “Sons of Nanay Sabel”, failed to make waves at the box office and Ai Ai later dropped them as their manager for being unprofessional. Ben & Ben is another said to be famous band with a hit song like “Maybe the Night”. But when they did a movie, “LSS, Last Song Syndrome”, it turned out they didn’t have that too many fans to make their movie a blockbuster.
Producers think that the biggest group of moviegoers today is composed of millennials, so they did movies starring millennials and about millennials. The result seems to show that millennials would rather watch YouTube videos on their cellphone than full length films in movie houses, as evidenced by the weak showing of “I’m Ellenya L” where Maris Racal played a young woman desperately wanting to be a YouTube star and influencer.
The same character is played by Jane Oineza in “Ang Henerasyong Sumuko sa Love”, which is about the goals and aspirations of millennials. Both films didn’t do well at the box office.
Moviegoers have lost their interest in “barkada” movies, as seen in the films about groups of friends and their lives like “Ang Henerasyong Sumuko sa Love” (sorry but ang viewers po ang sumuko) and “G” (whose stars are mga bituing walang ningning like Mark Oblea, Kira Balinger, Paulo Angeles, etc. na hindi kilala ng viewing public at all.)
Streaming is real, specially on Netflix, which has undoubtedly affected the viewing habits of viewers and made an ugly dent at the ticket sales of movies shown in moviehouses. With Netlix, you don’t have to be subjected to horrible traffic conditions and you don’t even have to dress up in going to mall theater.
Producers tell us they’re geting this or that star because he or she has 3 to 5 million followers in his or her social media accounts. Alas, they now that a star’s having a huge following in their Twitter or Instagram accounts is no guarantee that viewers will flock to their movies.
Movie fans have no real clout at the box office. Some fans threatened to boycott “Hello Love Goodbye” because they don’t want Alden Richard and Kathryn Bernardo being paired with each other, away from their usual ka-love teams. The result: the movie became the year’s highest grossing film with P700 million world- wide take no less.
Award-giving bodies have really become a dime a dozen. Even colleges in remote provinces now give their own awards. Stars really go to them to claim their trophies. Sadly, what is known as the country’s industry awards, the Film Academy or Luna awards, do not seem to enjoy the support of their own showbiz denizens. In their last awards night, of the four acting awardees, only one showed up and the other three were all absent, including the new Film Academy head, Vivian Velez.
Stars who were launched to stardom in movies that flopped include comedian Super Tekla in “Kiko en Lala” and Kyline Alcantara in “Black Lipstick”. Lesson learned: kapag hilaw pa, lutuin munang mabuti for the viewing public to accept them more warmly.
Stars who were honored in other countries include Alden Richards who got the Asian Star Prize from Korea, Bea Alonzo who was recognized in the Asian Star: Up Next Award in the Macao International Filmfest. Judy Ann Santos won as best actress in the Cairo International Filmfest for “Mindanao” while Maxine Eigenmann won best actress in Asia Pacific Filmfest in Brisbane for “Verdict”.
One big achievement abroad for us is Gloria Diaz making a splash playing a beauty pageant consultant in the Netflix series’ “Insatiable”. Heart Evangelista, a real fashionista, is chosen to be part of Vogue 100 of the prestigious Vogue fashion magazine.
Alex Gonzaga learned a lesson through Lolit Solis: be more friendly and have better PR even to stars of your rival network after her encounter with Rita Daniela and Ken Chan at the airport.
Kris Aquino kissed and made up with former assistant Nico Falcis who thought things have been ironed out, then he suddenly gets arrested at the airport for the charges filed against him by Kris, whose showbiz star has really lost its luster.
Sharon Cuneta and Regine Velasquez showed they are at the top of their game when they filled up the Araneta Coliseum for two nights in their awesome “Iconic” concert.
Hands down, the title of Untog Queen goes to Morisette Amon.
Films shot abroad no longer have an attraction to local viewers like “Nuuk” shot in Iceland, “Between Maybes” and “Hanggang Saan” shot in Japan.
Local audiences no longer care to watch sex movies like “Adan” with its explicit sex scenes, This is not surprising since porn is now available in the internet for free, and it doesn’t even have to be censored by any government body.
Local audiences also don’t really enjoy watching period costume movies. Examples are “Damaso” and “Culion”.
Moviegoers also don’t appreciate Sarah Geronimo being paired with a dog. Otherwise, her movie “Unforgettable” would have been as big a hit as her romcoms where she is paired with real actors. Her fans also didn’t appreciate her playing a mildly autistic girl.
We can expect more remakes of hit Korean movies after “Miss Granny” hit it big last year and “Miracle in Cell No. 7” this year.
James Reid and Nadine are a thing of the past. Nadine’s two movies this year, “UIan” and “Indak”, both didn’t do that well at the tills. James left Viva and the consensus is that he has an attitude problem, bad attitude. Now, they both do not have any new movie or TV project in sight.
DImples Romana as Daniela Mondragon proved kontrabidas can rule also and she has her countless memes with her in red carrying a suitcase to prove this, also her numerous endorsements.