What are the brightest local celebs up to?

by Nickie Wang

Who are making waves in local tinseltown these days and what are brewing it the country’s big media networks?

Kristine Hermosa’s “I do” response to the question “Will you marry Oyo Boy Sotto” is to date her best gift to Dina Bonnevie and Vic Sotto’s unico hijo. The 26-year-old Oyo Boy, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, exchanged vows with Kristine in a very simple and private ceremony. This celebrity event is the first to add sparkle to other showbiz happenings that will take place in the coming days and weeks.

In speaking of birthday, Piolo Pascual also celebrated his 34th birthday yesterday. Finally people were able too see his son Iñigo on television during a special tribute for him on Asap rocks last Sunday (he is actually having a month-long celebration in the Sunday musical program). The 13-year-old celebrity scion had a duet with his father through a video wall, and that ended the mystery behind his identity (before we can only hear his name and see his pictures but the performance was the first time for the public to hear him speak and sing and see him move).  On the other hand, Piolo, who becoming more active now in sports and philanthropic activities, is set to do a movie with Kim Chiu under Star Cinema and will stage a concert on Feb. 14 at the PICC Plenary Hall.

Another birthday celebrant is Sharon Cuneta. The healthy megastar that turned 45 on Jan. 6 has exciting news to her fans. She is in partnership with a popular cosmetic care’s clinic to help her lose weight in preparation, not for a reunion movie with Gabby Concepcion but for hosting the local version of Biggest Loser.  The local franchise of the hit reality series, which centers on overweight contestants attempting to lose weight, is expected to air in February.

The first quarter of the year is also the concert season in the country particularly in the metro. The first to plunge in the concert circuit are Charice and Gary V. Their concert at the Concert Grounds of SM Mall of Asia was attended by more than 75,000 people. The day after the sold-out performance, Charice went to theme park in Sta. Rosa Laguna to stage another show then headed directly to the airport to catch her flight. Charice resumes attending to her engagements in the States and is currently recording new materials for her second album. Her fans are also anticipating her comeback on the eleventh episode of hit series Glee where she is going to sing a Black Eyed Peas record.

Back again on the local scene, Sarah Geronimo has just released a music video for the song entitled “Sino Nga Ba Siya,” which landed straight to number one spot on the local hit charts. The latest single is off her upcoming all-Original Pinoy Music (OPM) album from Viva Records. Apart from this new project, the multiplatinum artist is also set to do a concert together with Martin Nievera on Feb. 12 at the Araneta Coliseum. The show is dubbed What Is Love.

While the concert arena keeps musicians and singers busy, some actors are backpacking and jet setting here and there for location shoots of their films.

Richard Gutierrez is having a hectic schedule with a romantic movie called My Valentine Girls. In this movie under Regal Films and GMA Films, we will see Richard in three different characters falling in love with three different leading ladies—Eugene Domingo, Anne Curtis and Solenn Heussaf. GMA-‘s prized possession is also set to make a TV comeback through the highly-anticipated and highly-budgeted Captain Barbell.

Another series brewing up in GMA-7 are I ♥ You Pare and Amaya. The tandem of Regine Velasquez and Dingdong Dantes will top-bill the first, and Kapusos’ primetime queen Marian Rivera will take the challenging role in the latter. I ♥ You Pare is about the colorful and intriguing world of gays and lesbians while Amaya is said to be a well-researched epic series.

Dingdong, who made it to People Asia’s 2010 People of the Year list, is eyeing a movie comeback via a co-production between GMA Films and Viva Films called Ang Mundo Ni Andong Agimat, which is based on a graphic novel about an ex-convict that posses extra ordinary abilities. Meanwhile, his real-life partner is also set to do a movie called Temptation Island, a remake of the campy 1980 film by Joey Gosiengfiao. Marian is ready to flaunt her curves in the upcoming movie (ready for the 3rd quarter of the year) and will literally shuttle her self from one location to another as she also completes the tapings for Amaya.

Upcoming local movies

The previous year was yet another productive year for Star Cinema. Out of 15 blockbuster films that made wave last year, 10 of them were produced by ABS-CB’s production arm. With a keen eye on whose going to make it big at the tills, Star Cinema has announced the paring of Robin Padilla and Cesar Montano for a new project. At the moment, its first quarter lineup includes: Bulong, a comedy-horror starring Vhong Navarro; Ikaw ang Pag-ibig, about the miracles of the Virgin of Penafrancia starring Marvin Agustin and Ina Feleo ; Embrace Me, which initially titled Huling Sayaw, a romantic drama top-billed by Aga Muhlach and Angel Locsin; and the sequel to Angelica Panganiban and Eugene Domingo film, Here Comes the Bride.

Eugene Domingo has proven that she is no longer just a sidekick for she has starred in various films that earned big last year. Being one of the sought-after leading ladies in comedy themed movies, Eugene’s Kimmy Dora 3 is also one of the most anticipated movie events of 2011. It’s not going to be the third sequel though, it’s actually the second, only that it’s in 3D.

Viva Films has its own share of blockbuster films and this year, it’s capitalizing on the remakes of Jack en Jill (starring Anne Curtis and Vice Ganda) and Gagamboy (with Vhong Navarro reprising the lead role). Its first bet to the box office is Who’s that Girl that introduces Eugene Domingo and Anne Curtis in an odd mother and daughter relationship.

Television trend

After the success of Rosalka, a series that introduced virtually unknown Empress Schuck who is now one of the rising stars in the Kapamilya network, another promising star was seen in Jessy Mendiola. She’s given the title in role in Sabel despite being relatively new in the business.

Kapuso network is already using the same tested formula. Glaiza de Castro’s career found a new light after starring on Grazilda, a top-rating series. Once again, GMA-7 is assigning a newbie in a very important role in a soap titled Alakdana. The original drama series reintroduces 17-year-old Louise delos Reyes, who is more recognizable for her appearance on Tween Hearts. If this is her bid to stardom, we would know once the program starts airing.

Over at TV5, the network is launching Alex Gonzaga in a soap titled Babaeng Hampaslupa. It also has Anne Curtis’ younger sister, Jasmine Curtis, who’s being launched in Ang Utol Kong Hoodlum with JC De Vera. Other shows set to premiere in the Novalichez-based stations are Carlo J. Caparas’ Bangis and Limang Darili ng Diyos, P.S. I Love You, Extreme Makeover Home Edition Philippines, Iskul Bukol, and Bagets. These are loads of remakes as you notice, but let us see if TV5 can catch up.

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