Last year, part of our New Year’s Resolution for 2010 was to write our thoughts on every Tagalog film that would come out in commercial theaters within the year. This was our testament to “Tangkilikin ang Pelikulang Pilipino”. But “praising” them is another matter. We vowed to watch them, but also vowed to speak our mind about their merits (and demerits). After all, patronage should be deserved.
For the most part, I was successful with this resolution since, heck, I watch every ”gold and garbage” anyway. But sometime mid-November, we lost steam. The thought of writing reviews for “East of Paradise” and “Ika-Sampu” made us physically sick, so we decided to steer clear from writing about Tagalog movies until the end of the year, which was too bad since there were several flicks worthy of being read by some 600 page-reads that surprisingly visit this blogsite every single day (I dunno why)! Within a week, I shall come out with 2010’s best and worst performances. But for this post, we shall concentrate on the things that made us smile and those that made us wince uncomfortably on our seats.
SAY TAJ, SAY RAJ
We love Venus Raj and the way her lips stretch literally from “ear to ear” when she smiles. There is obviously nothing plasticine with the beauty queen. She is all wrapped in sincere victory. But way before she won her crown, she was introduced to us in TV shows as “Miss Venus Raj” pronounced the way “Raj” should be pronounced – with a “dz” (ra-dz) instead of the bothersome “silent j” (rah). But a few days before flying to Vegas for the Universe pageant, things changed. Raj became “Rah” – from TV Patrol monkeys all the way down to Boy Abunda, enunciating the “Raj” like they were gonna whoop out a cup of phlegm after saying “Raj”.
My reference here would be the more obvious origin – India!
India is home to the Taj Mahal and a popular actor Raj Kumar. Raj, the deceased veteran actor of some 70 films, is pronounced the way “J” should be – like “badge” and “fudge”. And try doing a silent “j” to the Taj Mahal. Pumunta kami ng “Tah-Mahal”. Pauso!
We like Ms. Joan Maglipon, head honcho of “Yes Magazine” and PEP entertainment website, because she is smart, mild mannered and respectable. She almost never resorts to mud slinging and muck wracking. However, her “Yes Magazine” has been coming out with dubious list-making. For Showbusiness’ “Most Beautiful Personalities”, who should emerge with the crown? Not the lovely Bea Alonzo, the smoldering Angel Locsin, the effervescent beauty of Maja Salvador, the angelic face of Marian Rivera – but the homely and pretty Primetime Princess, Kim Chiu!
This surprised us. Our friends chuckled. Kim is a pretty girl, and she has excessively rabid fans to boot, willing to throw acid at anyone who would stand in Ms. Chiu’s way, but “pretty” doesn’t necessarily cut “most beautiful”. No amount of success could circumvent physical beauty!
Unless their panel of “jurors” is a bunch of Glaucoma patients, I think it’s clear as the blue sky that the weepy girl-next-door Miss Chiu cannot hold a candle even to Kristine Hermosa or Cristine Reyes who should look like goddesses beside the wholesome Primetime Star. A popular TV series or a hit movie should never be a criteria for “beauty” when you’re saying “most beautiful” because, if that’s the case, why shouldn’t Vice Ganda win the plum? He has the “name” (Ganda) for it - and he is obviously the year’s break away star, isn’t he? And are you saying that Kim Chiu is more beautiful than Anne Curtis? Ah, Erwan ko sa inyo!
The less beautiful stars: Kristine Hermosa, Angel Locsin, Maja Salvador, Anne Curtis, Mariane Rivera, and the much-abused Bea Alonzo.
Within the same year, Yes also came out with their traffic-stopping “Power List” which listed Sharon Cuneta somewhere at the bottom of the Top 10 (#8, I think) while Claudine Barretto was at number 4. What gives? This was during a year when Barretto couldn’t even get a teleserye in her then-home studio. Her only claim to fame that time was a tv commercial, peddling “milk” and its food-pyramid. Thus her exodus to GMA 7! Of course, this eventually gave way to a vacuous flick, “In Your Eyes” that’s way inferior from her masterpieces in ABS-CBN.
But really now, Sharon Cuneta is a lesser star than Claudine? Do we live in an alternate universe? Some brains over at Yes need electro-convulsive therapy! Sharon Cuneta may look like a beached whale these days, eternally spouting “I lost 3 ½ pounds this week” – but this never dimmed her stature as The Megastar! And Ms. Cuneta is certainly not inferior to the spiteful and litigious Claudine Barretto, is she?
Then there’s another tag – the “Horror Queen”! I am prone to agreeing with the latter. After all, watching Kris Aquino in “Dalaw” was horrifying! In the film, she has this constant look of dread way before things really start happening. She “indicates” more than “internalizes”. And newbies like the fantabulous Carla Abellana (of "Shake, Rattle & Roll 12's Punerarya") could teach our "queen" a thing or two about acting! Lest we forget, didn't she own "Massacre Queen" sometime in the past?
It is thus instructive to say that Ms. Aquino should just go back to her talk shows because people love her there. In fact I am such a “fan” – I love watching her make a fool of herself on national television, implying the possibilities of any romantic liaisons with Ted Failon and Mayor Junjun Binay – and even Diether Ocampo - as they fall under her spell! Just makes your skin crawl – with giddy delight, doesn’t it?
Ted Failon completes this powerhouse trio, and I am tickled pink with Failon’s relaxed, albeit playful demeanor these days. When De Castro finally mouthed his signature, “Magandang Gabi, Bayan” – I had goosebumps! I dearly miss Karen Davila from primetime news though.
Shalani Soledad finally finds a voice! I am not a fan of Willie Revillame. For me, he is just one arrogant twat who found a pot of gold at the end of the ABS CBN rainbow, then wanted to pompously move his gold elsewhere. When Revillame eventually recruited Ms. Soledad for his TV show at ABC-5, I was one of the many who would sneak away (momentarily) from my news to watch how Shalani would fare. Let me just say, it wasn’t flattering, but people forgive her mostly because we somehow knew how she was treated by an ex-boyfriend who seemed not too proud of her presence.
We recently heard Shalani’s duet with Revillame – she was surprisingly “on the note” and her vocal calisthenics blended melodiously with Revillame’s digitized hoarseness. Revillame’s “Ikaw Na Nga” suddenly becomes a serviceable ballad! Atta girl, Miss Soledad. You deserve a good looking prince!