Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Speaking of American Idol...

New York (Associated Press) -- The quick insults will continue to be heard on "American Idol," at least for the next several years.

Fox announced Tuesday that it had reached a deal that keeps the insult-wielding Simon Cowell as a judge on AI for at least five more seasons. His contract had been due to expire at the end of the season that starts in January.

The announcement comes with the settlement of a lawsuit against Cowell by fellow British pop impresario Simon Fuller. The lawsuit was reportedly a stumbling block in Fox being able to reach a deal to keep Cowell on "American Idol."

A spokeswoman for Fremantle Media, which distributes AI and produces Cowell's new show, "X-Factor," confirmed the case had been settled out of court, but refused to give details. She said both sides were happy with the outcome.

Fox would not comment Tuesday on reports that it was considering moving one of the two weekly editions of "American Idol" to Thursday night.

In his copyright infringement lawsuit, Fuller had claimed that Cowell had copied the format of "Pop Idol" - the British version that predated the U.S. version of "American Idol" - for "X-Factor."

The deal announced Tuesday extends Fox's partnership with AI producers 19 Entertainment Ltd., Fuller's company.

"I'm delighted to be committing to a further run with Fox in the States," Fuller said. "Simon Cowell is a key component of the incredible success of `American Idol,' and I'm delighted that we'll continue working as a team with FremantleMedia and Fox."

Cowell said his job as on-air judge is a personal thrill, and that he's happy to be working with "my good friend Simon Fuller."

Monday, November 28, 2005

An e-mail from Constantine?

I wanted to move on from this topic, but I will have to blog about it one last time. I received an e-mail from LiPzTiCk GiRL forwarding to me a message she says is from Constantine. I do not know whether it's really him or not. In any case, her e-mail is as follows:

* * * * * * *

Hi Nina, there's always two sides to a coin. We're not expecting you to change your views in him but we think it's fair to hear his side of story.

Flip Bettys

here's his message:

From: "constantine maroulis"

I tried to post this there...but had to register

can you post this??

"That is not at all what happened. I was so unbelievably gracious with the fans. Who are some of the best in the world by the way. I took millions of photos with everyone. If my crew turned someone away it was because I wasn't looking. The security was very tight. I remember sitting outside the club. (if it is the same place) Outdoor seating and an upstairs area inside? I was with Riko (bodyguard), who is very protective, he was sitting with me. My Production Manager for the shows, Mals. Her friend and one other bodyguard standing. Some people were just snapping pictures in my face. I don't really mind but the people I was with did so we moved inside. That was it. A pretty girl came up to me and asked for a picture an I turned her down? Yeah right!! NOT! I am so not like that...


* * * * * * *

LiPzTiCk GiRL, thank you for forwarding the message to me through e-mail. I think it's also been posted in the comments. Marlen, thanks too for e-mailing. Amber, thank you for introducing yourself with a name and an e-mail. Your sentiments are well taken.

TV Patrol Re-Launches in Naga and Legaspi

Just got back to Manila this morning after spending Sunday in Naga and Legaspi with Ces Drilon. We were invited by the ABS-CBN stations in Bicol to help out in a medical mission they conducted. Ces and I also helped promote the re-launch of thier local TV Patrol. Naga and Legaspi will now have just one newscast, anchored by Cyril Toralde. Do catch that newscast in Naga and Legaspi tonight, right before TV Patrol World.

On another note, a number of you have been commenting in the Plinky Recto thread asking about the identity of her ex-partner lawyer. Honestly, she did not tell me who he is, but I found out from other sources. Some of you were asking for initials and some even posted certain names as your guess. Some were correct, others were wrong, but I've decided not to post the names anyway for the protection of all the parties involved.

Someone did post in the comments section a new blog on the Plinky Recto Civil Case The blogger says it isn't Plinky's official page but that it will be monitoring the case.

Have to go.. will blog more later after work...

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Dear Anonymous People

Boy oh boy, I had the surprise of my life when I read some comments from nameless, faceless people in my Constantine from hell blog. Some were getting so unbelievably nasty I had to moderate the comments (which seemed to be coming from just one or two people). I watched in horror as someone even had the audacity to place stupid comments using the username ninascoops! Grabe, I guess it's my baptism of fire since I just started this blog just 2 weeks ago. Welcome to the wild wide world of the world wide web where anything goes.

Anonymous people, this is my blog and my home. You're welcome to visit, but I won't let you sh-t on my rug. I'm entitled to my own opinion and I can write whatever I want. I'm writing from personal experience and how I felt at the time. If you had a pleasant experience with the guy then good for you. If you want to praise him to high heavens, then get your own blog. Or go to a public forum. I would even welcome your posting a hyperlink here. Wala lang bastusan.

Some of you called me unprofessional. If I was, my disappointment with Constantine would've reflected in my reports. On the contrary, I even picked the best soundbites and made him look good.

Still, I thank you for your comments and your precious time. Hopefully one day, some of you will have the guts to introduce yourselves properly. I do have an idea who some of you may be since there were only a handful of people present in that room when I did my interview. But I don't want to jump to conclusions.

I really want to get past this. Some of you, I'm sure, I will be meeting again in the future. The truth is I don't want enemies. It's just not my personality. I didn't really think that one simple blog would generate such a reaction. I just wanted my visitors to enjoy all the flavors this site has to offer, yes, including the bad ones.

Honestly, ayoko nang mag-taray (because I'm really not) or show-off with smarty-pants comments. In the spirit of Christmas I sincerely want to make amends with those I might have offended, with Constantine's fans, and yes even with Constantine who's probably blissfully asleep in L.A. righ now with nary a worry in the world.

Nakakatawa, tayo pang mga Pilipino ang nagsisiraan. Haayy Buhay...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Constantine: To Hell and Back Again

I just got off the phone with former beauty queen Peachy Veneracion who had a very memorable experience with Constantine (not the movie about the fallen angel, of American Idol silly). She was still mad (considering it's almost a week since he left) after Constantine rebuffed her when she asked to have a picture taken with him at a bar in Makati.

You see, Peachy was a die-hard fan of Constantine. In fact she kept voting and campaigning for him in American Idol when she was in the States. So there he was, the Greek God of an American Idol just a few tables away in the same bar she was at. What would you do? Of course she approached her ex-idol, told him, "I'm so glad to meet you, you are my idol. Can we have our picture taken?" But like a vampire who saw light, he suddenly covered his face and refused Peachy's kind request.

What's a few seconds of smile, click, click? Besides it was just her and not a horde of screaming fans. And who could refuse the beauteous Peachy Veneracion? I told Peachy not to sweat it, since she's not alone (check my previous post on Constantine and Amiel Martin Cabanlig's story).

It's always sad when you admire somebody so much and end up getting disappointed when you meet them in person. Sometimes, it's better to just have this fantasy about them in our heads rather than having the stark reality stare you in the face.

HOLLYWOOD ALERT: Jessica & Nick Announce Split

Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey have announced they are parting ways. So sad as it will be Christmas soon.. a time for families to be together. You can read the exclusive in US Weekly when it hits our magazine shops (plugging lang, buy it from Ces Drilon's Magnet).

They may not have produced any shockingly blonde children, but at least a book came out of their collaboration.

Oh well, this is my last blog for the night, so sleepy... goodnite!

Plinky Recto Finds Her Voice

Covered the GABRIELA presscon where the highlight was TV Host Plinky Recto. Will blog later.. but do watch my story on TV Patrol at 6:30 tonight.

You can also read the GABRIELA statement on the News Central blog.

...continuing my blog

There she was, Plinky Recto, beautiful as ever. I remember watching her as the classy, sassy, articulate host of the once top rating program "It's a Date." She was the proverbial "it" girl, close-up model, "crush ng bayan." From TV personality she tranformed herself to a Pilates Fitness Guru and now at 38, she looks stunning.

My daydreaming abruptly ended when I heard them shouting "Karahasan sa Kababaihan! Labanan! Wakasan!" over and over again. I suddenly realized where I was. Treehouse, Kapihan sa Cypress. Most reporters would know right away that this is the common venue for presscons held by militant groups such as Gabriela. I remember coming here every Saturday and to the Kapihan sa Sulu every Sunday when I was still in the General Assignments beat. But never in my wildest dreams would I imagine Ms. Plinky Recto in a Kapihan.

"Karahasan sa Kababaihan! Labanan! Wakasan!" I heard them say it again and again and again. Poor Plinky looked uneasy as she tried to open her mouth once, twice to utter the words along with other members of Gabriela while the press photographers and cameramen eagerly took their shots. Clearly she was out of place. In the end, though, she stood her ground and managed to say the words with confidence. Yes! I finally got my opening video.

If you watch TV Patrol World you would know by now that Plinky came out two days ago in an exclusive interview with Mario Dumaual saying she suffered physical and emotional abuse from her partner, the father of her one-year-old boy.

I couldn’t believe it as I watched Mario’s report and heard her say that she now has a permanent neck injury, two of her fingers are numb, and that she has to take medication 24/7 since he started beating her up in June this year. She filed a criminal complaint before the NBI in July. She also filed a petition under RA 9262, the “Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004” (My Gad! Only in 2004).

The question now of course is why would someone like Plinky Recto, whose brother is a Vice-Governor (Ricky Recto), another a Senator (Ralph) and a sister-in-law who’s a Mayor (no less than Vilma Santos) want to come out in the open?

A source tells me this guy is that powerful. He is a prominent legal counsel who handles high profile cases. Aside from supposedly stalking her, breaking her car windows and getting her lawyer’s car tires flattened, Plinky says, "he is capable of anything." Plinky now fears for her life and her family’s after he allegedly gave them death threats.

In other words, she may be a Recto and all, pero nakahanap siya ng nakatapat. Not crazy katapat, but katapat in terms of influence and resources. Now she says she has no choice but to turn to the media for her case to prosper. Her lawyer said, “Its sad, despite all these hearings, the end is not yet in sight.”

Plinky came out in the open on her own. She admitted the Rectos were shocked, but gave her their support. You see, she didn’t tell her brothers it was that bad until of late. She said that it has always been in her personality to keep her problems to herself and not include her family. But she also knows she’s a public figure, and now that everyone knows she’s a victim of violence, there is no turning back, it’s time to fight!

If you meet Plinky in person, you see right away she’s nice, perhaps too nice especially when it comes to men. She said it herself, “Perhaps my character flaw is that I take and I take and you think the person you love will change. You believe this is it, this is the person I want to spend the rest of my life with (pauses) well I think it’s the story of a woman in love.”

Some people may blame Plinky, like the 22-year old Subic victim, who some say “was asking for it.” That is just b-ll. Nobody has the right to abuse women under any circumstance. Period.

Now...where is my it is...sing with me...My Love is Dangerous by Freddie Mercury.

My love is dangerous, dangerous, my love is dangerous,
Always make you bleed, always makes you bleed,
Always make you bleed - love is dangerous.

Don't follow in my footsteps, you don't belong to me
You only make a mistake, don't try and understand me,
Don't try and understand me, all I'm trying to say -

My love is dangerous, dangerous, love is dangerous
Make everybody cry, everybody cry
Everybody cry - love is dangerous.

Don't waste your time with loving, love don't work for me
Don't try to show your feelings
Step carefully - step carefully, all I'm trying to say-

My love is dangerous, because I'm your enemy
Watch your step carefully
'cause I know, I know, I know, I know, I know me
Dangerous, no can give you guarantee, I'm your one day ecstasy
Next day no

Dangerous, ooo dangerous, Love is dangerous,
Love is dangerous, love is dangerous,
All I'm really trying to say to you - love is dangerous

No go play fire with me - fire dance for me
You no can take a pisstake
Don't go criricise me, no go analyze me,
All I'm trying to say -

My love is dangerous, because I'm your enemy
Watch your step carefully
'cause I know, I know, I know, I know, I know me
Dangerous, no can give you guarantee, I'm your one day ecstasy
Next day no

Dangerous, dangerous, my love is dagerous
Always make you bleed
Always make you bleed
Always make you bleed
love is............

Thursday, November 24, 2005

ZSA ZSA: MS. Manners

She's known as the Divine Diva but she didn't forget her manners.

During the last night of the wake of Dolphy's son Freddie, Zsa Zsa Padilla stayed outside the venue the whole time while Dolphy and the mother of Freddie were inside (but not seated beside each other).

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Ang Ligaya sa buhay ni Franzen

Meet Joy, Franzen's wife. I took this picture of them during Franzen's press conference. I would imagine his wife to be just as candid as him, but Joy was definitely not kakosa material. She seemed like the opposite of Franzen -- simple, soft-spoken and sweet. I even saw her wiping the sweat from Franzen's face while they were in a corner, before he faced the press. What an angel! Ito talagang si Franzen sinusuwerte.

But I was struck by how Franzen handled the question of whether he thought of flirting or courting his pretty housemates. He admitted they were good looking but that he would never cheat on his wife. The press asked why, and his answer was so simple, "Mahal ko lang po talaga ang asawa ko, yun lang po!" Awww.. Franzen.. you had me at hello!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Franzen: Kakosa ng Bayan

Using his hands, Franzen was about to take out his tinga infront of a group of reporters at his very own and very first press conference, but decided not to. The other reporter's didn't notice it, I didn't notice it, until I reviewed my tape. And in true Franzen fashion, after a few attempts to make it sungkit, bigla na lang niya itong...gulp! Nilunok!

The most popular Pinoy Big Brother housemate did not disappoint the press. He answered every question thrown at him. Including what really happened that night when he showed his housemates the product of his wet dreams. Was that a joke? What did he do under the sheets? Did he really relieve himself? Was he alone or with someone? And as if the questions weren't shocking enough, Franzen answers matter-of-factly, "Kusa po siyang lumabas! Pinakita ko! May Ebidensya po!" Ayayay!

He later explained he did what he did because they were joking around and he just wanted to give his housemates a good laugh. Franzen reasoned he would joke around or be super pasaway because he gets so lonely inside the house and that was his way of amusing himself. Hmmm... he knows he's playing a game and he said he wanted to win. Shouldn't he try his best to be obedient and try not to violate the rules? "Ganito po talaga ako eh," Franzen answers without batting an eyelash. Yun na. Ganun lang ka-simple.

But what concerns some of us is that many still wanted Franzen to stay inside the PBB house despite himself. He violated so many rules and yet he remains a favorite. One time, we did man-on-the-street interviews to ask if Franzen should be evicted. This was after Big Brother decided to evict Franzen because he exceeded his limit of committing violations. As expected, most of them wanted him to remain in the house "kase kawawa naman, mahirap lang yung tao."

Ang mga Pilipino talaga sadyang maawain. I must admit I initially wanted Franzen to win because he needed it the most. Pero dapat ba siyang kunsintihin? I had an epiphany when I interviewed a guy who proudly said, "Gusto ko si Franzen, simbolo siya ng mga Pinoy, ang dakilang pasaway!" Ouch! The truth hurts indeed.

No offense sa mga kakosa ni Franzen, I have nothing against the guy. He was nice and kenkoy when I met him. I admire his honesty but he said it himself, "natutunan ko na may limitasyon ang pagiging pasaway."

Hayy salamat. I'm glad Big Brother's decision prevailed instead of leaving it to the people to decide whether they should keep Franzen or Cass, who wanted to sacrifice her slot to save Franzen.

Not everyone was happy, but it was simply the right thing to do.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Mig Ayesa: Mr. Nice Guy

"Take off your shirt! Take it off!" people were screaming at rocker Mig Ayesa as he took to the stage at Shangri-la Makati's Conway's.

In fairness to the fair (as our segment producerRichie would say), the guy is lean and mean. Underneath that shirt was a six-pack all right. No, he didn't take off his shirt but the buttons were loose. :)

Mig rose to fame after Australian band INXS launched its own rock star search and he landed in the final three. His performance at Conways was a blast even if he only sang three songs including his heartbreaking version of "Baby I love your way." Everyone went wild, including his Filipino relatives, among them human rights lawyer Katrina Legarda.

"I was born here, my parents were born here, my grandparents were born here. I'm Filipino genetically, geographically thru and thru...I just happen to grow up in Australia. I'm proud to be a Filipino and I'm proud to be Australian," Mig said when asked about his Fil-Aussie roots.

He seemed tired but you can tell he has a happy disposition. He smiled often and has that approachable aura. What happened to the bad boy image rock stars are supposed to have? "Rock and roll should be an attitude with your craft, not with your being," Mig answered thoughtfully.

You can find out more about Mig on his homepage.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Constantine from Hell

That Constantine has an attitude problem. He acts like he's the biggest rock star. Sino ba siya?No wonder they thought of naming his soon-to-be aired ABC sitcom “Everybody Hates Constantine.” I arrived at Mycinema, Greenbelt 3 at 7:30pm for a one-on-one interview with the American Idol finalist. He was wearing a shirt with the words “rock royalty” printed on it. The very same shirt he was wearing since he landed at our very own Manila airport at 4 in the morning. Hindi man lang nagpalit. The guy looked dirty and tired. He admitted he was still jetlagged as he finished a bottle of red bull. Prior to my interview, the crew from Wazzup Wazzup had a taste of his attitude. He ordered the poor camera man to stop even if he only started shooting just seconds ago. Before that, when the sexy Wazzup host asked him her last question,"Constantine, where do you go from here?", he answered in typical rocker fashion, "To hell." And when she turned her back he murmurs something like, "And soon, you'll be there too."

When my turn came, the pr people (who weren't at all ma-pr) told me to re-schedule the alloted 5 minute interview because he's tired. My God I didn't even want to interview him in the first place but as a reporter you usually can't choose whom to interview. It's my job to get that interview and I insisted to get it and I did.

The report came out in Insider and Studio 23's News Central. He revealed he will have a new sitcom loosely based on his life. He says he loves the Philippines and Filipinos are beautiful etc. etc. His lovelife sucks etc. etc. He just wants to make music, work hard, have fun etc. etc.

The job was done. I didn't let my emotions affect my news report about Constantine, otherwise he's toast. Maybe he had a bad day. Still, I wonder why he fell on his butt when he tried to show off his high kick in front of a tv camera crew in the States. That was a defining moment in his career that will forever be etched in "America's funniest or most shocking TV moments".

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Ang Pagkain ni Aga Muhlach

Aga Muhlach just finished eating two chicken joy meals, two palabok meals, two burger steak meals, a total of tananan...six meals in one sitting! No kidding! "Puwede ka ba namang kumain ng Chicken Joy na walang balat?", he said as his manager Tita Ethel gave him a stern look that probably means, hmm...ang career pag-ingatan! She reminds him he has taping on Monday. I made a comment for him to eat just the ulam and forget the rice but Tita Ethel was quick to rebut, "Hindi puwede dyan ang walang rice!"

I couldn't believe it. How could he eat like that and be Aga Muhlach? "Hindi na naman ako mag-di-dinner," he said. Ahh, he is human after all. In fact Aga lost a considerable amount of weight since I interviewed him at the Barrio Fiesta event in London. "I lost twenty five pounds," I heard him say. He had to when he was doing the movie Dubai with Claudine and John Lloyd. He even added that he reached 200 pounds during the month of (i forgot). I asked him how he lost weight, "work out and diet," he said.

Enough about Aga's weight. The interview was done at a Jollibee Outlet along the controversial Diosdado Macapagal highway. He was there to promote "Ma-Aga ang Pasko sa Jollibee." The project is on it's 11th year and it's about sharing your old toys and books to less fortunate children. So if you have time, drop by any Jollibee outlet and donate whatever you can. Go ka na! Promise you'll feel better after. :)