Marimar Again on TV [plus Jestoni Alarcon]

When I was younger, I needed something to be obsessed over so I turned to the soaps on local channel tv. I’m thinking about it now, and the only reason I can validate is that probably I needed something to satisfy my closet drama queen – ego. I remember watching the Judy Anns and Claudines slugging Life out in the celluloid closet full of intrigues, backstabbing, cliches, and a despicable actor who went by the name of Gladys. My friends whose idea of a soap would have to be Days of our Lives or General Hospital back then, seriously snubbed Filipino tear-jerker soaps, so I naturally kept things to myself [except to our eager-beaver maid at the time] – anticipating the next episodes with a certain thrill. Then came the Mexican soap Marimar, which introduced the concept of a fast-paced telenovela to Filipino audiences. It was a phenomenal hit, as everyone went apeshit over the show – even my friends. That was ages ago. Recently, with my obsession over soaps a thing of the past, GMA 7 once again revived Marimar and made it a Filipino-language-and -cast show. I watched the pilot episode out of interest, and saw that it was, say, good – with a Spanish mestiza in the lead [Marian Rivera] and a miscast Sergio [Dingdong Dantes]. And of course, the father of Marimar there is played by the dishy Jestoni Alarcon [photos above]. Despite his age, Jestoni is still eye-candy, and an awesome actor. Now, if only I can snap out of this soap-opera neurosis again. Darn.

Rodel v. Leonardo [The Leopard-Print Bikini Face-off]

How about Rodel Velayo [left] and Leonardo Litton in a skimpy animal print bikini romp? Literally poster boys of a sorely-missed era of bedeviled hunks in scanty swimwear, Rodel and Leonardo were the glam stars of Seiko Films in the 90s. Plucked from nowhere, Rodel – who was born and raised in Cagayan Valley, and Leonardo – from nearby Nueva Ecija province, were the bold and brassy duo of their time. Together they starred in countless skin flicks, always teasing whatever queer sensibilities we had then. Yet, unlike most baring boys then [and now], they never had any bad press or salacious backgrounds. The boys have since moved on, in different continents – Rodel in Sydney and Leonardo in New York.

Comeback: Mike Magat

The go-to actor in the 90s for the mannish-but-gentle-giant roles was Mike Magat [with more than 30 flicks in a 10-year career]. The strapping stud of the era of Philippine soft porn films is once again in the limelight, this time as the boyfriend-in-the-past denied by FHM Magazine’s back-to-back Sexiest Woman in the Philippines, Katrina Halili. Movie reporters who had compos mentis recently asked Katrina Halili about Mike Magat, and she readily denied him, saying she did not know him from Adam. Mike Magat, as the gentleman, just shrugged the whole thing off. Or at least shrugged it off with specific comments like: They were neighbors in Haligue, Tondo; her mom is Chinese and dad is Filipino; her family was in the business of selling birds’ nests for that famous soup; she always wanted to be an actress, etc. In any case, Mike Magat just happened to stage a showbiz comeback, after his long working stint in Japan. And quite a resurgence it is!

The Aga Muhlach Diet

When this new photo of Aga Muhlach was distributed to the press recently, many were
quite impressed by the loss of weight of the erstwhile fleshy actor. Yet, some also credited
Photoshop as the culprit in the new look of the actor. His handlers were quick to note that
noted photographer Jun de Leon, who snapped the photo, abhors digitally manipulating
his pictures. And besides, Aga Muhlach went on a diet-and-exercise regimen for a new movie.

This photo was taken last month at the Lago de Oro Resort in Calatagan, Batangas,
where the 37-year old actor went water skiing with his good friends. Judging from the
candid photo, Aga’s diet sure made some dents and cuts in the proper places. The actor
reportedly lost 50 lbs [from 225lbs to 175lbs], after a rigid 6-month high-protein and
zero-fat-salt-sugar diet coupled with a 6-day/week training at the gym.

Aga Muhlach is shown above for a photo shoot with another famous photog Steve Tirona for
MetroHIM magazine, that oh-so-gay magazine published by ABS-CBN Publishing. Aga has been
visible nowadays to promote his new movie, tentatively titled “I Don’t Want You to Go
or “Love Affair” with Maricel Soriano and Angelica Panganiban.

Mark Gil on Fathers’ Day

Eighties actor Mark Gil was on tv earlier on, doing a duet with his son, Gabby Eigenmann for a Fathers’ Day presentation in a noontime show. Although he has since turned gray with age, I would love to think of him from way back in the early 80’s when the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines [ECP] was put up. Back then a young, august and majestic Mark Gil of the famous acting clan was going all the way in such films as Company of Women and in the [in]famous Tanay waterfalls scene in Naiibang Hayop with an exotic ingenue, Irma Alegre.

Happy Fathers’ Day!

It’s Fathers’ Day today and all I can think of posting is a puppy-papi Jomari Yllana. Before he got old and fat, he looked like that in the photos above. Propelled to popularity by his large Bench underwear billboards in the late 90s, Jomari Yllana was then a young boy barely legal in small-sized and skimpy briefs, thongs and jocks. Today, Jomari has gained some years and heft, but he still looks so, uh, adorable. [Bit of back-fence talk: His kiss-and-expose ex-wife does not swear by the immensity of Jomari’s purple heart, but harps on the modesty – of his possessions, however dinky.]

Nooks and Crannies

Sorely missed in the biz because of his migration to Australia, Rodel Velayo‘s last feature film was Siquijor: The Mystic Island shown in March of this year. The movie, which was conceitedly touted as the local version of “Blair Witch Project.” was a dismal flop. Incidentally, Rodel Velayo was wearing his clothes on in the flick. So unlike his previous movies and photos where every nook and cranny of his seriously divine bod – both substance and substructure – get to be exhibited. Including those areas where the sun does not necessarily shine.

WITWI Marco Alejandro

Where in the world is Marco Alejandro? He was the contemporary of strip-all-the-way Martin Gonzalo and then-lush-twinkie Joshua Diaz in sexy-comedy flicks in the early zeros. Aside from that, he was also the token wallpaper in soaps and other tv shows during his time. After doing the movie Radyo, a fast-paced dark comedy from Viva Films in 2001, he simply removed himself from the biz. Too bad, he could have made it even bigger as an actor, what with those brooding eyes, goopy lips and of course, come-hither bod. Oh, I didn’t mention talent.

More Dante Balboa photos

Dante Balboa [Elmer Anisco, in the real world], was one of Seiko Films’ racy male leads in the early zeros, when the era of sexy flicks was coming to a temporary close. Dante Balboa then transferred to small productions, still in the same genre, after that. Apparently, it was back-fence talk at that time that Seiko Films’ big boss Robbie Tan lost interest in Dante after noticing himself that his “stud” was getting a bit gentle and fair.

Jericho in Boracay!

I ran into Jericho Rosales in Boracay yesterday, apparently shooting for his new soap on ABS-CBN. In his latest project [which premiered last week], Jericho plays the role of a girl. The series is called Ellay Enchanted, obviously an originative and visionary take by the creative genius of ABS-CBN writers on the movie Ella Enchanted. According to the press kit, the story goes this way:

Ellay Enchanted is the story of womanizing bandman Elloy (Jericho), who dates Mayette (Candy Pangilinan), the sister of his bandmate (DJ Durano). When his practice is exposed, her siblings seek revenge and decide to curse him by turning him into a girl with the help of witch-cousin Madam Keller (Eugene Domingo). The hocus pocus turns out well: Elloy turns into Ellay. But Madam becomes a man. The only way to reverse the curse is for a girl to love Elloy not as a man, but as a woman before the full moon sets in. Joey (Iya) can break the curse, but she sees the man inside Ellay. What can make her fall for another woman?

Of course, it is a given who the director is, once you see the name Deejay Durano in the credits. Incidentally, Jericho,who still looks delish in his Boracay tan and despite gaining some weight, will soon start another project called Pangarap na Bituin with plain-jane actor-singers who go by the names Sarah and Yeng.