Foreign Actors & Their Filipino Lookalikes

According to the researchers led by Ulf Gyllensten of the University of
Uppsula in Sweden, we are all descendants of a group of people that lived in
Africa about 170,000 years ago! That being said, we are related to each
other because we all descended from a single ancestral group. Scientists say
that the difference in the color of our skin is a natural adaptation to the
environment. Therefore, people from colder climates have little melanin while those that live in warmer areas have more melanin in their skin.
Of course, as we multiply through reproduction, we lose the DNA
that comes from the source. This is the reason why later on,
people become divided by ethnicity.

I guess these shared ancestors are the reason why people have lookalikes
in other parts of the world. Whenever I watch foreign movies, my first
reaction is how some of the actors resemble our local ones. Therefore,
I made a list of the actors and actresses that have their local counterparts here in the Philippines.

I became a fan of Ajay Devgn and Tabu when I watched their movie Drishyam.
Little did I knew that he is a very popular actor in India! Not only that, but he is also a film producer and film director. His face reminds me of
Raymond Bagatsing who is also a good actor. Coincidentally, the Bagatsings
have Indian blood so this must have also contributed to Raymond’s resemblance to Ajay.

Emma Watson is a British actress who is still known for playing Hermione
Granger in the Harry Potter movies. Her signature shy smile reminds me
of young actress Maris Racal who started her showbiz career through
PBB (Pinoy Big Brother).

A lot of Mark Herras’ fans claim that he is the George Clooney of the
Philippines. At first, I did not find the resemblance because George’s
features appear to be more masculine than Mark’s. I checked George’s
younger photos and I understood where the similarity was coming from.
Now, I agree that George Clooney, an American actor, looks like Mark Herras.

Kris Aquino once said that Vic Sotto reminded her of American actor
Gregory Peck. I checked Gregory’s old photos and found the similarity.
They both have a pair of thick eyebrows and tantalizing eyes.

Kate Winslet, an American actress, might have changed from being a sweet
young actress in the late 90s to a sophisticated lady in the present times
but watching her in the role of Rose in the Titanic reminded me of
actress-singer Jessa Zaragosa.

Chloe Grace Moretz grew up right before our eyes. The American actress started her career at the age of 7 and is still active now. Her
appearance in 500 Days of Summer reminded me of Andi Eigenmann. Andi
got her first break in showbiz when she played the dual role of Agua and
Bendita. Born to a family of talented and beautiful actors and actresses,
she chooses to live a simple life in Siargao with her children and fiance’.

Dr. Foster’s South Korean version is known as The World of the Married. Soon,
we’ll be having our version with the working title “The Broken Marriage
Vow.” We all know by now that the three lead characters will be played
by Jodi Sta. Maria as the wife, Zanjoe Marudo as the unfaithful husband, and Sue Ramirez as the mistress. But before the management confirmed Sue’s
role, fans were suggesting that the closest ones that look like Han So Hee
were either Kylie Padilla or Cassy Legaspi. Of course, that would not happen
because the two ladies are still under GMA’s contract.

Children of the 80s knew how big of a teen star Lotlot De Leon was. Her being
the firstborn of Nora Aunor and Christopher de Leon added interest in her
aside from the fact that she had her own mass appeal. I was watching
The Chronicles of Narnia and found that the actress that played Susan
has a strong resemblance to Lotlot. She is the British actress Anna Popplewell.

There’s a story that some people in the California area mistook Sarah
Lahbati for the famous model Gigi Hadid. They should probably meet
each other just like what happened between Liz Taylor and Amalia Fuentes
ages ago.

I have to admit that the only Thai actor that I am familiar with is
Mario Maurer. I watch some Thai horror movies but I just could not
remember the actors unless I google them. Suppakorn Chaiyo appeared
in one of my searches about Thai actors but very little information
is known about him. Anyway, he looks like Joem Bascon. Joem is a good
actor here.

Ananya Panday of India and Sue Ramirez can pass as sisters. They say that
Sue’s lookalike is Alice Dixson but I think they will change their mind
once they see Ananya.

I have been watching Mexican telenovelas since Thalia’s rise to fame
through Marimar. The golden girl is still as beautiful and sexy as ever!
You should see her recent birthday photos. Karla Estrada, Daniel Padilla’s
mother, is on the heavy side now. But 90s kids would attest that Karla
was slim during her teenage years. Google her old photos and you’ll see
her strong resemblance to Thalia. Another Mexican actress Eiza Gonzales
looks like Iza Calzado.Both of them have classic beauties.

I was watching Fantasy Island when I noticed that one of the actresses
look like Janine Gutierrez. Lucy Hale is an American actress who was
also in the cast of the TV series Pretty Little Liars. Some of Janine’s
fans say that she looks like Mila Kunis but I think that she has a
strong resemblance to Lucy Hale.

First Half of My Life Review (我的前半生)

The First Half of My Life is a 2017 C-Drama starring Ma Yili (Zijun),
Jin Dong (He Han), Lei Jiayin (Chen Junsheng), Yuan Quan (Tan Jing),
and Wu Yue (Ling Ling). If you are an avid fan of kabit-serye,
you might find that the story and concept are nothing new. Somehow,
the story of First Half of My Life reminds me of an old movie entitled
“Gaano Kadalas Ang Minsan.” This Filipino movie is about two best friends
who fall in love with the same man. Despite the slight similarity in the
storyline, what made me hooked in the First Half of My Life was my curiosity about how this C-Drama would fare.

The story starts with Zijun who is “happily” married to Chen Junsheng.
They have a young son who is well-loved by his grandparents from both
sides of the family. Junsheng holds an executive position in the company
that he is working for that is why Zijun can afford to go shopping
anytime she wants. She is protective of her marriage and tends to be
suspicious about some women that are within her husband’s work circle.

On the other side of the story is the power couple Tan Jing and He Han.
Both have strong personalities and are very much dedicated to their career.
Han is Junsheng’s boss while Jing is Zijun’s best friend since college.

Zijun’s world collapses when Junsheng tells her that he wants a divorce.
To add insult to injury, the mistress is the woman that she befriends in the office. Without Junsheng’s money and a ready source of income,
she risks losing Pi’nger (son) to the former’s custody.

Jing helps her get on her feet but being a busy career woman, there are
times when she asks a favor from Han to be her proxy. Initially, Han and
Zijun clashes but when she realizes his sincerity, she begins to warm up
to him. Just like Jing before, Zijun becomes Han’s mentee and from being a saleslady, she now has the confidence to work in a corporate set-up.
Ironically, she targets a position wherein she will be one of Ling
Ling’s subordinates. Now, all five of them have a working interface.

While spending more time with Zijun and Pi’nger, Han feels that he is
falling in love with her. He tries to forget about his feelings by
proposing to Jing but Jing feels that there is more to the friendship
between her best friend and fiance. When Han confirms that he loves
Zijun, Jing returns the engagement ring.

Jing feels betrayed by Han, Junsheng, and Zijun. She feels that Han never
really loved her and his past relationship with Vivian is just an excuse
not to marry her. She feels that Junsheng covered up Han and Zijun’s
relationship to protect his position in the office. She hates Zijun for
allowing Han to fall in love with her.

Because the real score is now revealed, Han professes his love for Zijun.
Zijun tells him that the feeling is mutual but she cannot be with him because
she does not want to hurt Jing. In an attempt to save their friendship,
Zijun helps in tracking down the person who tried to set up Jing. But the
sad thing is, even when Jing’s name has been cleared, she still has to find forgiveness in her heart to redeem their friendship.

In the end, Junsheng stays with Ling Ling despite the trouble that she
made concerning Jing. Han resigns from his job to protect Jing and
goes to Guandong to start a seafood business. Jing remains in Shanghai
and continues her career. Zijun leaves with Pi’nger for Shenzhen to
start a new life.

They say that the First Half of My Life has an open ending so I’m going to
write my interpretation of the seaport scene. A year later, Zijun inspects the new project site and sees a man who she mistakes for Han.
In another seaport area, Han sees a woman who he mistakes for Zijun.
Both of them tell about their past life in Shanghai and why they end
up in Guandong. There are six seaports in Guandong and if Zijun regularly
visits the Port of Shenzhen, there’s still a small probability that they will see each other. Why? It’s because of the timing factor. Han’s seafood
business requires him to be away on the sea for most of the time.
And during his port transactions, he is too busy to even check on
every woman who comes to the port. Likewise, Zijun is busy with her project
and it’s impractical to wait on the port for every incoming ship. In the
first place, she does not know Han’s ship. She can easily find it out knowing how smart she has become but choosing not to do it means that she does not want to reconnect with Han. Mistaking the man for Han was just her initial reaction because she loves Han. But it doesn’t mean that she would reconnect with him as her lover. Zijun is more loyal to Jing than
her feelings for Han. In the same way, Han is more loyal to what
Zijun wants than his feelings for her. He respects her that is why even
if he can trace Zijun’s new workplace, he did not do it.

Some fans say that the story is about women power and independence. I agree.

If I may just add, this story is all about TIMING.

  1. It took a while for Junsheng to realize that the wife that he divorced is exactly the strong woman that he wanted to. Had he given Zijun more
    time to be a better person, then he would not divorce her in the first
  2. Jing and Han’s readiness for marriage came late when the latter is no longer in love with her. Had they settled early on, Han would
    probably choose to be loyal to Jing because he takes “contracts”
  3. Ling Ling’s timing is perfect when it comes to destroying Junsheng
    and Zijun’s marriage because they were at their most vulnerable
    stage when she came into the picture. A workaholic husband finds a
    reliable ally in Ling Ling and thinks of his carefree shopaholic wife
    as a liability.
  4. Jing and Zijun’s friendship can still be saved, it’s all a matter of timing. When Jing finds another man and is truly happy with her life,
    she will surely soften to Zijun and maybe try to reconnect with her.
  5. Item 4 leads to the possible scenario that since everything and
    everyone is forgiven, then Zijun can now reconnect to Han and start
    a new life with him.

Therefore, the Zijun and Han love story is only possible at a later time
because of the timings that I mentioned. I so love this C-Drama and if
we’re going to have a local adaptation, I think that these actors/actresses
fit into the role.

Ramsay and Adarna

Update: Best wishes to Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay! The wedding was held in Rancho Bernardo, a luxury mountain villa in Bagac, Bataan last November 11, 2021. It is true that not all long-term relationships end up in marriage. When a person is ready from all important aspects, he or she will not think twice about getting married.

Why are fans angry about Ellen Adarna and Derek Ramsay’s relationship? To those who are not yet aware or simply do not care, the latest couple in town is none other than Ellen and Derek. It is such as small world because Ellen’s ex-boyfriend and father of her son Elias is John Lloyd Cruz who happens to be Angelica Panganiban’s ex-boyfriend number 3 after Carlo Aquino and Derek Ramsay.

At the start of the Ellen and Derek relationship, nobody wanted to believe that their friendship would evolve into a romantic partnership because Ellen has always been known to confuse her fans about who she’s dating. Now, it can be told that those
photos from a month ago were not meant to confuse fans because they started their relationship during those times.

The union of two strong personalities with a devil-may-care attitude did not delight the fans especially the fans of their exes Andrea Torres and John Lloyd Cruz.

Fans are hating on Derek because he quickly moved on after his break-up with Andrea. Though Ellen has nothing to do with it, some fans are saying that Derek should have followed the 3-month rule. The 3-month rule goes something like this: you don’t hurry yourself into dating again and you give yourself time to heal within the 3-month post-breakup. In this way, you are not prone to having a rebound relationship because it is not fair for the new love. Now, this can be contestable because Ellen seems fine with it and all she sees now is how happy they are when they are together. If Ellen doesn’t care, then who are we to care? Derek is not her rebound because, after John Lloyd, she said she had a long-distance relationship with a Spanish guy but that doesn’t count probably because it was short-lived. With Derek not being Ellen’s rebound, then fans are saying that she should at least
give some respect to John Lloyd and exclude Elias from the photos that she and Derek are posting.

While some fans are brutal about their bashing on the new couple, I think that most of them are just coming from a place of concern for the little boy. In all fairness to Ellen and John Lloyd, they seem to be doing a great job in co-parenting their son. And maybe those photos of Ellen and Derek with Elias are just Ellen’s way of sending the message that they are okay and everything is under control.

But of course, relationships have their ups and downs, beginning and end. As much as we wanted to have a connection with somebody that we love, it may not happen because of certain circumstances. We don’t want the little ones to suffer because of the separation or break-up.

Itanong Mo Sa Buwan (Moonchild)

Note: It May contain spoilers.

The 1988 Chito Roño film tells the story of a young middle-class couple Josie and Sammy whose lives turned upside down when the former was taken hostage by a bank robber named Angel. It turned out that Josie and Angel were secret lovers and the bank robbery and hostage were Josie’s fantasies.

This leads to the question of “how well do you know your spouse?” From Sammy’s point of view, he is completely in control of his life. He has a beautiful wife, a supportive mother, and a bright future as a medical student. He takes his time studying during the weekdays and keeps himself busy as a choir member during the weekends. His perception of a “perfect life” blinded any giveaway that his married life is at stake.

At the beginning of the movie, we see Angel and Josie sharing a quick passionate kiss that somehow leads the audience to believe that it is nothing but a random kiss from a stranger. Josie does not even react negatively to the kiss. The scene where a disappointed Josie over a sleeping Sammy explains her thirst for passion.

Out of boredom, Josie decides to act on her fantasy to be Angel’s hostage. However, she gets tired of hiding and decides to go back to Sammy. Angel, who is now heavily invested in their relationship, begs for her to stay.

Josie betrays Angel by giving a tip to the police. Angel is wounded by the police and Josie goes back to Sammy. Her statement has a lot of discrepancies but Sammy believes her story. Her mother-in-law is skeptical about the kidnapping incident but wants to sanitize it to protect the family name.

Later on, Sammy notices Josie’s discrepancies and feels doubtful about her Stockholm Syndrome. In one of their intimate moments, he realizes that Josie is imagining that she is making love with Angel.

A dying Angel confesses the truth to the police investigator. His submissive wife visits him and sees Josie peeping at the window. Out of her guilt, Josie decides to leave Sammy despite her pregnancy because she does not know the father of her child. With his failing grades, stress from Josie’s abduction, and knowing the truth that his wife has been carrying an affair with Angel, he decides to end his life.

At the end of the movie, we see Josie giving another version of her story–the truth.

Now I know why Jaclyn Jose is considered to be a good actress. She has this acting style that’s uniquely hers. She can play
the role of a victim and an antagonist. Her beautiful face will not distract you from her acting, it simply adds more character to it.

Of course, I didn’t know that this is the movie when she and Mark Gil fell in love with each other. It’s probably the reason why her scenes with Mark had this intense sexual tension as compared to her scenes with Anjo Yllana. Anjo Yllana was probably being groomed into a dramatic actor. I wonder why he stopped pursuing that path when he could carry the drama scenes well.

This film tells us that sometimes, we do not know what’s inside our partner’s mind. It also tells us that doing bad things results in bad consequences.

Willie Revillame

During one of the lockdown episodes, Willie Revillame played the drums during the closing segment of his afternoon show “Wowowin.” My husband sighed that Willie played the drums well to which I replied that before he became The Willie Revillame, he was a good drummer in Loveliness.

Francis Magalona, Willie Revillame, Alma Moreno – YouTube

Loveliness was the weekly night show of Alma Moreno during the 80s. Fans were glued to the screen to see her dancing while taking off her clothes until all was left was a tanga. When wearing a tanga was a fad among actresses with a weekly night show like Vilma Santos and Sharon Cuneta, it was Alma Moreno who was hailed as the “Tanga Queen.”

Back to Willie Revillame, people knew him in the 80s as Alma’s drummer, Helen Vela’s son-in-law, and Princess Punzalan’s husband. He was one of Randy Santiago’s “Hawi Boys” in the noontime show Lunch Date. Shortly after, he tried acting and became the onscreen sidekick of famous action stars like Phillip Salvador.

When Meryll Soriano started her acting career as a child star in the early 90s, nobody made it a big deal that her father was Willie Revillame. After all, what’s there to talk about Willie who was then married to Princess Punzalan? Some people even thought that her mother was Princess but the strong Soriano features pointed out who her real mother was. Becbec Soriano, Maricel’s elder sister, was Willie’s ex-partner. And by now, we all know that his marriage to Princess did not last but they remain to be good friends.

Willie’s luck started when he was given a chance to be one of the main hosts of MTB in 2001. A dispute with the management resulted in him being kicked out in 2001. Two years later, he was able to return to the show but was suspended due to a sensitive joke that he cracked while on live TV. I was able to watch an episode of the Extra Challenge in 2004 wherein he was one of the challengers and I could feel that he was sending feelers to Paolo Bediones about his desire to be part of the show. Whether this was his deliberate attempt to make his presence felt in GMA or not, the gods of ABS-CBN realized that Willie still had it. In 2004, he even released his first album.

So in 2005, Willie was back in ABS-CBN as the main host of Wowowee. His comeback proved to be more powerful than any of his previous assignments combined. At this time, Willie had the masa’s back- the unknowns, the poor, the elderlies, the forsaken, the class C and D of the society. While the elite and the conservatives found him vulgar, the masa identified a champion in him. Willie was on top of his game and even married the beautiful Liz Almoro from the wealthy Almoro clan of Laguna. (Note: Liz and Willie annulled their marriage years later) In February 2006, the Ultra Stampede happened and critics blamed Willie for causing it.

His net worth continued to soar high and so were his connections. He started as a nobody early in his career and now, even famous politicians to the likes of Noli de Castro and Manny Villar are within his circle of friends. He financed Meryll’s education in London in 2011 then had a falling out later when she decided to pursue a career in Product Design instead of something related to business. Now a billionaire, Willie wanted her eldest child to learn the ways of the business so that when he retires, there would be somebody to look after his hard-earned wealth for him and his other three children.

Nineteen years after his MTB stint, I was forced to watch Wowowin whenever I needed to take the shuttle after work. The bus driver was a big fan of Willie so we had no choice but to watch the show, as well. Surprisingly, I found the show entertaining and he had a nice balance of co-hosts like Herlene Budol, Elaine Timbol, and Almira Teng! In all fairness to Willie, he has evolved into a pleasant host unlike two decades ago. I think that aside from his growing older and wiser, his female co-hosts have something to do with his mellowed behavior.

In his 60th birthday celebration, he flew a helicopter and landed on top of the Wil Tower. But despite his immense wealth and status, the celebrant burst into tears because he missed his live audience.

There’s a lot to learn from Willie Revillame’s life from his love-life to the ups and downs of his career. Aside from having loads of talent, what sets him different from the rest is his belief that he can do things and be successful.