Monday, January 24, 2011

A Repost From

Bb. beauties unite for batch 2011

A little drama happened during the screening of more than two hundred aspirants for the 2011 Bb. Pilipinas title, held at the Gateway Suites of Araneta Center last Saturday, Jan. 22.

Madame Stella Marquez de Araneta, head of the Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI), had an emotional reconciliation with three former Binibinis with whom she had a falling out — 2005 Bb. Pilipinas-International and Miss International Precious Lara Quigaman, 2002 Bb. Pilipinas-Universe Karen Loren Agustin and 2006 Bb. Pilipinas-International Denille Lou Valmonte.

Two years ago, the three “prodigal” binibinis organized their own beauty search called Miss Turismo Pilipina, a supposedly annual pageant that ended up as a one-shot deal. Another binibini was a member of the “renegade” group but she didn’t show up. A Funfare VDPA (Very Deep Penetrating Agent) said that the binibini who hails from the south, has found love with a rich Visayan businessman “Mahigpit na mahigpit ang pagmamahalan nila,” said the VDPA as his way of giving a “clue.”

First to arrive was Lara who is now a freelance web-page writer, TV host and actress, rumored to be engaged to be married to Marco Alcaraz.

Lara and SMA (as Madame Stella is fondly called) sealed their reconciliation with a tight embrace, near tears.

Karen and Denille said that they never harbored any ill feelings against SMA whom they look up to as their mentor. In fact, as soon as they were done with the Miss Turismo Pilipina project, staged in cooperation with the Department of Tourism, the three binibinis disclosed that they were ready to support what they called their “mother pageant.” For sure, they realized that managing a beauty search is no picnic.

During the contract signing between ABS-CBN and Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) (from left): Conchitina Sevilla-Bernardo (BPCI executive), Sienna Olaso (director for entertainment and marketing of UNIPROM), Miss Universe-Philippines Venus Raj, BPCI head Stella Marquez de Araneta, ABS-CBN head Charo Santos-Concio, ABS-CBN executives Cory Vidanes and Linggit Tan, and BPCI executive Pitoy Moreno.

“They’re back!” SMA announced to the media. Applause!!!

Mentor and “prodigal daughters” formed the screening committee together with SMA, BPCI executive directors Pitoy Moreno and Conchitina Sevilla-Bernardo and 2010 Bb. Pilipinas Universe/Miss Universe-Philippines Venus Raj. The aspirants paraded in casual wear and swimsuit. The number of aspirants was winnowed down to more than a hundred and, in a further screening yesterday, down to about 60 from which the 24 (or 26) official candidates will be chosen. The list will be revealed next Saturday, Jan. 29. Two titles, Bb. Pilipinas-Universe and Bb. Pilipinas-International, are at stake at the coronation night in April, to be covered by ABS-CBN which recently signed a five-year alliance with BPCI. Previous franchise holder for more than 13 years was GMA. The Miss Universe pageant, which will be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in September, will also be telecast live by ABS-CBN as in the past many years.

Karen said that she and her co-beauty queens were impressed by the beauty and intelligence of the current crop of applicants and that she would be more than willing to help the final 24 candidates in their quest.

“It’s the year for reconciliation, it’s the year for unity,” said Karen. “It’s time for Bb. Pilipinas beauties to come together and unite!”

Other binibinis present at the first screening were Czarina Gatbonton, Maricar Tolosa, Denille Lou Valmonte, Jennifer Barrientos, Janina San Miguel, Patricia Fernandez, Danielle CastaƱo and Nicolette Henson.

The Bb. Pilipinas pageant is regarded as the most prestigious in the Philippines. So far, it has produced two Misses Universe (Gloria Diaz in 1969 and Margie Moran in 1973), three Misses International (Aurora Pijuan in 1970, Melanie Marquez in 1979 and Precious Lara Quigaman in 2005).

Director Albert Martinez gives Jennylyn Mercado (who plays the title role) last-minute instructions on the set of Rosario

Rosario to be shown at NY’s SoHo Filmfest

Down-hearted by the fate of Rosario, his directorial debut, at the just-concluded Metro Filmfest, Albert Martinez is consoled by the rave reviews and, the latest great news, the invitation for the movie to be shown at the SoHo International Film Festival in New York City on April 15 to 21.

How did it happen?

Albert told STAR contributor Carlo Orosa, “I got a letter sent to me through Bibsy Carballo who is friends with Jojo Ballos, founder of the SoHo Filmfest. He forwarded an e-mail to me that formally invited Rosario, Tarima and Presa to the filmfest. It read, This new festival, which celebrates the cutting-edge of digital technology while honoring traditional forms of storytelling, encourages new and seasoned filmmakers from here in New York City and around the world to create and send in their fresh and innovative cinematic pieces. By enticing filmmakers, journalists and cineastes from America and across the globe, we expect to draw audiences to this side of the city that’s known for its artistic community and cultural sophistication. It is our way of helping boost the profile, the sense of pride, and the economy of the local community and the city itself.

“I am excited and honored because I will get to see the great director Martin Scorsese in the festival, plus the program will be hosted by Frank Vincent who will receive the first SIFFNYC Icon award. Director John Gallager will host the closing night to be held at the Quad Cinema. NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg will also attend the opening night and the Red Carpet night.”

Albert told Carlo that Rosario will soon start screening in Filipino communities abroad — Hong Kong and Singapore next month; and San Francisco, L.A., Seattle, Las Vegas and San Diego in March.

Already, Albert said that he has started pre-production work on his next project, an action-drama, which will start shooting in February 2012.

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