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.

Through Night And Day

Note: May contain spoilers.

“Through Night and Day” is the latest talk of the town because of its tearjerking break-up story about a long-time couple who is about to get married. The big question is, why would Ben dump his long-time girlfriend/fiance just because he thinks that their personalities are poles apart?

To answer this, we need to understand that the ex-couple started their relationship when they were in high school. As we know, most high school sweethearts do not end up with each other because either of them will outgrow the other. In their case, they managed to sustain their relationship until they were mature and independent enough to supposedly head to married life. The problem is, Ben was stuck with the idea that Jen was the ideal girl for him. He put her on a pedestal and romanticized whatever shortcomings he felt Jen had.

In real life, we tend to forgive the annoying behaviors of our girl/boyfriend in the hope that maybe she/he will mature or change. Living in separate houses makes us more forgiving, too because we don’t want to end the day fighting.

Therefore, when Ben realized that Jen was not the ideal girl he thought she was, he was not only lost but disillusioned. He was disillusioned to the point of forgetting whatever past they shared. It was like realizing that oil and water could never mix. He did not bother to check on Jen unlike what most ex-boyfriends normally do. He just wanted to proceed with his life and find another girl who would be his ideal girl.

If Jen is not sick, do you think Ben will bother to visit her and renew their friendship? I don’t think so because his original plan was just to finalize the selling of the family-owned bar. Ben felt guilty about leaving Jen so he made amends for his mistakes.

The bottom line, forgiveness is the main theme of the movie followed by the realization that if we truly love a person, we need to accept them at their worst, too. I hope that Ben learned his lesson from his failed first relationship in the same way that most of us become better partners after a previous relationship.

The Christine Reyes in Me

Christine Reyes
My new favorite actress. Image from promotional material of her movie, Maria.

In the middle of the supporters and detractors of media giant ABS-CBN is a bold woman unmindful about the turn of events in her current network. No, she is not being ungrateful because she owes a lot to her employers whatever she is today. Nevertheless, she does not forget her humble and sometimes controversial beginnings in GMA-7, the rival network.

So, what exactly did Christine Reyes say to earn the praise of people?

“Ang bilis lumipas ng panahon. Minsan nasa taas. Minsan nasa ilalim. May kanya-kanya tayong oras. Walang permanente sa mundo. Lahat sa takdang oras may pagbabago na kahit sino sa atin ay hindi mapipigilan,” she wrote.

“Lahat tayo may kanya kanyang pag-subok sa buhay. Tatag ng damdamin at taimtim na tiwala sa itaas. Lahat ng bagay ay lilipas, sa takdang panahon. Maraming salamat ABS-CBN sa 12 taon na tiwala,” she added.

Christine acknowledges that we all go through the ups and downs in life and that nothing is permanent in the world, be it good or bad. We all go through a phase of plenty and scarcity and when the latter happens, we need to be strong and have faith in the Lord. She is grateful to ABS CBN for all the 12 years of trust.

I love how this once bratty teenager turned out to be one of the most open-minded people about the issue. No, I don’t think she is playing safe; she is being neutral and hopeful that things will turn out to be fine later.

I’d like to have her calmness and patience in these days when all we could see are sickness, death, hunger, unemployment—-all because of covid-19. It’s good to be reminded that there is God who we can always count to. We’ve become too focused on earthly affairs: earning money, attending parties, vices, focusing on our career and neglecting our loved ones. If there’s one good thing that the pandemic taught us, it is about realizing that no matter how high and might we are, no one is spared. This too shall pass.

The Privacy of an Icon

Mr. Eddie Garcia passed away last Thursday, June 21, leaving a permanent void in showbiz. I grew up watching his villain roles in Sampaguita Pictures when RPN9 made a re-run of their classic films. My grandmother was just a few years younger than him.

Through the years, very little was known about his private life except some bits of details like losing his son to a motorcycle accident and having a girlfriend named “Lilibeth.” It was either the showbiz reporters had so much respect for this icon to be asking about the juicy details of his private life or the public did not care because he was not of our generation. It could be both.

It was only in my adult life when I truly appreciated this genius of an actor. His versatility could never be equalled; he played a soldier, a gay, a villain, a lover, a father and a whole lot more. Through his seven decades in showbiz, he had seen the rise and fall and maybe the rise again of our Philippine cinema. And he was also there when Pinoy action films was at its peak, after all, he was Boyong Manalac in the movies!

My favorite movies of him are the ones with Gloria Diaz. They had such a strong on-screen chemistry and they both looked good together! Off-screen, I only learned that long-time girlfriend Lilibeth was none other than Mr. Mikee Romero’s mother! Netizens were wondering about the surviving biological children and were at lost if there was really a Lisa Ortega because in the picture that Mr. Romero posted on Facebook, there was a surviving son named Erwin Garcia.

Eddie Garcia’s career and some pieces of his personal life like his famous quote about being a “one man woman” could be written on a book as not every person is as interesting and as inspiring as him. But the consideration is, if Mr. Garcia was mum about his personal details when he was alive, he wouldn’t be happy to share about it now that he couldn’t object.

Indie Kings

Kristoffer King and Coco Martin.

Both were indie stars.

Both were good actors.

Both were director’s favourite.

Good luck knocked on Coco’s door and his life was never the same again.

Endorsements, movies, a long-running television show and a beautiful rumored girlfriend, too.

Properties, mansions and a hand at directing.

He is every small artists’ benchmark.

On the other hand, Kristoffer struggled.

With 6 mouths to feed and a deteriorating health, he tried his best to live.

But movie offers were not as good as when he was young and salable.

While Coco reaped the fruit of his fame, Kristoffer walked under his shadow for some cash.

His character in a television show died on the day that the real him passed away.

Yes, it is art imitating life but for me it’s life imitating art.

Show business has two faces: sad and happy, scarce and plenty.