Home>Entertainment>Showbiz>Ritz back where she started from

Ritz back where she started from

RITZ Azul is back to TV5 where she started her showbiz career in “Star Factor”. “Noong umalis ako, I didn’t burn my bridges naman with TV5 at naging masaya naman sila sa paglipat ko kasi nawala ang entertainment nila that time,” she says at the zoom mediacon of her new show, “Sunday Kada, Kada Sunday”.

She was jobless after the lockdown and ABS-CBN lost its franchise. “It’s nice na ngayon, nagkaroon uli kami ng oportunidad na makapagbigay ng saya sa viewers sa kabila ng pandemic. Masayang-masaya ako sa nangyayaring ito na walang network wars.”

She’s happy to be reunited with her former directors, Direk Edgar and Frasco Mortiz, and with her co-stars.

“Sa ABS-CBN, I learned so much mula sa lahat ng mga nakasama ko sa ‘Banana Sundae’ and I’m so happy to be reunited with them dito sa bago naming tahanan, lalo na sa senior comedy stars dahil they helped in training me. I value all their helped kasi dati, tatahi-tahimik lang ako, e. Ang feeling ko, dito ako naging buo. Dahil sa kanila, nag-open up ako sa pagko-comedy. Now, may kanya-kanya kaming segment at happy ako sa tiwalang ibinibigay nila sa akin. ‘Sunday Kada’ is guaranteed to make your Sunday afternoons full of laughs with my co-stars Jayson Gainza, Miles Ocampo, Jerome Ponce, Daniel Matsunaga, Sunshine Garcia, Badji Mortiz, Jhen Maloles, Wacky Kiray and Josh Colet.”

On the big screen, Ritz has finished a horror movie for Regal Entertainment with Joseph Marco, “The Missing”, filmed on location in Japan. They don’t know yet as to when it will be released due to the pandemic lockdown.

Dennis draws strength on new normal from Jennylyn

Dennis Trillo and Jennylyn Mercado
Dennis Trillo and Jennylyn Mercado

JENNYLYN Mercado is glad to be working again with her real life inamorato, Dennis Trillo, in the last story featured in GMA-7’s hit primetime drama anthology, “I Can See You”. She and Dennis co-star with Rhian Ramos in the romance-mystery drama, “Truly, Madly, Deadly”.

“It’s nice to get to work with Dennis and each other again,” says Jen. “Antagal na nung soap naming ‘The Faithful Husband’, e. Five years ago pa. That was heavy drama, so kakaiba naman itong ginawa namin ngayong ‘Truly, Madly, Deadly’ dahil it has a touch of mystery. Ibang DenJen ang mapapanood nyo rito kasi hindi ito basta pa-tweetums lang. Ibang-iba ‘yung kuwento.”

What’s her role in the story? “Ako si Coleen, a career woman na naiskandalo sa social media after I was implicated with a married man. So minabuti kong mag-lie low muna and I left the city to try working in a place called Paradise Resort in a distant province to start anew and have a more peaceful life. Doon ko naman makikilala si Dennis as Drew, an information technology expert na mahiwaga ang pagkatao. Okay na sana ang buhay ko roon, tahimik na, until ‘yung best friend ko na naging mortal enemy ko, si Rhian nga in the role of Abby, biglang dumating doon sa resort at binubuhay na naman ang nakaraan kong gusto ko nang kalimutan.”

They taped the movie on a lock in location. “Nanibago si Dennis kasi ngayon lang niya na-experience ang lock in setup. E, ako, galing sa lock in taping ng ‘Descendants of the Sun’ kaya mas sanay na ako. Buti na nga lang daw, ako ang kasama niya rito. Kapag kami ang magkasama, wala na kaming social distancing. Dennis is so generous kasi part ng talent fee niya, sine-share niya sa staff and crew na kasama sa taping dahil mas babad ang mga ito sa trabaho. Tulong na niya sa kanila and sign of appreciation kasi sila ang pinakamaagang nagigising at pinaka-late natutulog sa taping.”

Joining the talented cast of this unforgettable episode is Jhoana Marie Tan and with the special participation of Ruby Rodriguez. “Truly. Madly. Deadly” is directed by Jorron Lee Monroy. Don’t miss it in GMA-7’s ‘I Can See You’ starting this Monday night right after “Encantadia”.

Adrian from being star’s stylist to being a star

Adrian Lindayag
Adrian Lindayag

gets his biggest acting break as the gay son of Ian Veneracion in TV5’s endearing sitcom, “Oh My Dad”. He is the eldest son of Director Roderick Lindayag and started out with Kuya Germs’ “Walang Tulugan” in 2013 when his dad was doing a teleserye with GMA.

“I visited my dad sa set and Kuya Germs saw me and pinakanta ako sa show niya,” he says. “When the show ended with his passing, I started to work as a stylist at 19 years old. I eventually left my Philippine mass media course, kasi I was earning na, much to my dad’s disappointment who wants me to finish college sana.

“I worked with a lot of stars as stylist, mostly with Kuya Luis Manzano and Kuya Alden Richards. I did styling until 2018 when I pursued theater full time. I took acting workshops with both Ateneo and PETA.”

He played important roles in the Broadway musicals “Rent” and “Next to Normal” for Ateneo.

“I then joined a PETA contest called ‘HuGot Talent: The Search For The Next Rakstar’. I won and became part of ‘Rak Of Aegis’. It became my first professional theatre production, playing the role of Jewel. ABS-CBN bosses got to watch me in that show and cast me in the hit afternoon series, ‘Kadenang Ginto’, where I played Neil, Romina’s brother and Cassie’s uncle.”

How did he become part of “Oh My Dad”?

“Atty. Joji Alonso of Quantum Films, who’s producing the show, asked me about my manager Kate Valenzuela’s number, then a few hours later, I got a call from them and that’s it. I now enjoy doing the show as the script by Allan Habon is beautifully written.

“Our director Jeffrey Jeturian is a genius and so kind. Nag-click kami agad ng buong cast, led by Ian Veneracion as my dad, and Sue Ramirez and Louise Abuel as my half siblings. Magkakapatid kami sa ama, e. The chemistry is there and everyone is so giving, pati sina Tita Gloria Diaz and Tito Ariel Ureta, and the staff and crew. I’m grateful and happy beyond words to be working with all of them kasi magaan sa set.

“Nakakatuwa kasi our team used to style Sue Ramirez then so we’ve known each other since 2015 pa. Ngayon, sister ko na siya and it’s really cool to work with her. At si Ate Dimples Romana naman, nakasama ko sa ‘Kadenang Ginto’ at kasama ko rin ngayon dito and I’m so thankful as she’s one of my mentors.”

Adrian also plays the lead role of Dominic in a coming Cinemalaya Pinoy BL movie, “The Boy Foretold by the Stars”, the release of which was delayed by the pandemic. Meantime, don’t miss the start of “Oh My Dad” airing on TV5 on Saturday, October 24, at 5 pm.