Showbiz roundup

Kissing scene with Richard excites Jewel

PNS — MIRROR, mirror on the wall: who’s the fairest of them all? The mirror may not have the answer, but does Richard Gutierrez have? Well, we are talking about Richard’s three leading ladies in his new fantaserye, “Kamandag,” on GMA7— Jewel Mische, Maxene Magalona and Ehra Madrigal.

“They are all pretty, in their own ways,” he says during the big launch at GMA Studio 3 Monday night.

Our personal choice is young and petite American mestiza, Jewel Mische, a product of the reality artista search StarStruck. She plays a mortal lass with whom Richard falls in love with. They have a passionate kissing scene here, and if you ask Jewel about it, she said she felt the earth moved. It’s Jewel’s first kissing scene and with Richard, no less. As if that’s not enough, in the movie “Dagaw,” directed by Chito Rono for GMA Films, she has another kissing scene with Richard.

Remember that Richard is loveless at the moment. Would Richard fall for another mestiza like ex girlfriend, Georgina Wilson? Jewel is quite open about her feelings for Richard, but who would not be?

Tactless Mariel does it again

PNS — IN “Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity edition 2,” Mariel Rodriguez blurted out that the reason why Bea Alonzo lost weight is she had liposuction. At the final presscon of “One More Chance,” Bea was asked about this and she denied it.

“No, hindi ako nagpa-lipo,” she said. “Talagang exercise and South Beach diet ang reason kung bakit ako pumayat. I don’t know where Mariel got the idea na nagpa-lipo ako.”

Well, at least, Mariel manages to remain controversial even while inside Kuya’s house. Remember when she said in one episode: “Kadiri ang showbiz”? This prompted many writers to censure her.

She gained fame and fortune because of showbiz, and now she’s saying it’s “kadiri”? It’s her manager, Boy Abunda, who apologized for her tactlessness.

Some folks say that Mariel’s exposure in PBB as a housemate is not helping her at all. “Kung minsan, her behavior, para siyang retarded,” says one writer.

But there are those who continue to wonder who is that special guy she called up on the phone when she was allowed by Kuya to get in touch with someone as a reward for a mission that she accomplished.

Meantime, it has become a tradition in Pinoy Big Brother for the housemates to hold a song-and-dance show inside the house. Big Brother thought the time was ripe for his current celebrity housemates to show their talent through a concert that he made a major task last week. Part of the requirement for the concert is for the housemates to perform at least two original songs that they have to compose themselves. Other highlights in the line up are an all-boys and an all-girls song-and-dance numbers.

Dubbed by the housemates as “Concert for a Cause… of Delay,” the event was for the benefit of the inmates of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC) who themselves are

Internet celebrities because of their dance videos on that was a sensation all over the world. The concert was very successful and one of the best numbers showed Riza Santos and Will Devaughn doing a duet that confirmed they look good together as a loveteam.

Nominated this Saturday for eviction are Ruben Gonzaga (nominated by head of household Donald Geisler), Ethel Booba and Megan Young. Ruben and Ethel were nominated as they look sad and already want to come out while Meg was nominated for the third time for not returning things she borrowed from her housemates.

The Truth About Diet And Bubbles

PNS — IS Bubbles Paraiso, sister of Paolo Paraiso and former girlfriend of Paolo Contis, Diether Ocampo’s new squeeze now that Kristine Hermosa is said to be on with Oyo Sotto? They’re together in “Princess Sarah” and when they taped part of the show in Fortune Island, they were stranded there for three days and that’s where they reportedly got closer to one another.

“We’ve become good friends but that’s all,” says Diet. “Nagtataka nga ako dahil may lumabas pang balitang nakita raw kaming magkasama sa Cebu.”

“I haven’t been to Cebu lately so baka iba yung nakita nilang kasama ni Diet,” says Bubbles.

So how does he find Bubbles? “She’s nice. Masarap katrabaho at madaling kagaanan ng loob. She already posed for the cover of my magazine, Uno. But I’m not courting her.”

Bubbles is now managed by Annabelle Rama, who personally accompanied her at the show’s presscon at ABS. “Hindi naman katakataka kung ma-in love man si Diether kay Bubbles dahil maganda, sexy at edukada pa ang alaga ko,” says Annabelle.

Bubbles started modeling when she was 16. She’s been at it for six years now and “Princess Sarah” is her first regular acting job. “It’s a new challenge for me and I welcome it,” she says. “I’d really like to thank Diet as we have scenes together and he’s very helpful to me dahil alam niyang newcomer lang ako.”

GMA Launches Most Expensive Teleseries

PNS — GMA-7 had a grand launching for their new telefantasya, “Kamandag” starring Richard Gutierrez, last Monday night. The whole Studio 3 was designed to look like a forest and when the entire cast entered in various animal costumes, the whole place look like a production of Broadway’s “The Lion King” that has a smaller version in Disneyland.

Based on a work of Carlo Caparas, “Kamandag” creates a mythical land called Ambograw. Ambogs are creatures with mixed human and animal qualities, divided into five tribes. The Hasbaya are snake people led by Haring Saban (Gardo Versoza.)

The Lobobaya are wolves led by Haring Gulag (Zoren Legaspi.) (We tell producer Redgie Magno that they’re antedating her former ward Angel Locin’s “Lobo” and she says: “O di ba?”) The Goybaya are monkeys led by Haring Dinggol (Benjie Paras.) The Pusbaya are cats led by Reyna Kuran (Francine Prieto.) The Orobaya are “taong toro” or bulls led by Haring Budog (Johnny Delgado).

Richard plays Vergel, the son of a mortal, Eula Valdez, and the king of snakes who grows up in the world mortals raised by Melissa Mendez and Emilio Garcia. He becomes a superhero with the powers of a snake. Also in the world of mortals are Maxene Magalona, Ehra Madrigal, Jewel Mische, Ronaldo Valdez, Ariel Rivera and Mark Anthony Fernandez as Richard’s friend who becomes a mortal enemy.

“Each new show of Richard becomes more and more difficult to mount as you have to top the previous ones,” says Redgie Magno. “In terms of sets, costumes and special effects, ‘Kamandag’ is our most expensive so far.”

Fil-Am UFC Champ Wants to Stay in RP

PNS — RICHARD Gutierrez personally contacted Ultimate Fighting Champion Brandon Vera through the net to be his martial arts instructor for “Kamandag.” “I’m flattered that Richard did his own research at ako ang napili niya,” says Brandon, who has a Pinoy dad and an Italian American mom. He also speaks Tagalog fluently since he grew up with his Pinay stepmom, Amelia. “The first time he got me, hindi ako puwede as I had a fight. Buti, na-postpone ang start ng taping nila to October-November kaya pumuwede rin ako.”

So how does he find working in the Philippines? “Masaya. Enjoy ako. Everyone’s nice to work with, puro mababait. Nagulat ako when our directors, Mark Reyes and Topel Lee, told me I have to act in three sequences and play the role of an assassin. Sabi ko, sige. First time ko to act and Richard was my coach. Pero sa fight scenes, akong teacher niya. He’s very good. Madaling maka-pick up. He’ll just watch me do it for three times, then makukuha na niya.”

Standing 6’3″ and wearing size 14 shoes, 30-year-old Brandon is married to Kelly Kaysik, a muay thai champion. “I leave Manila this Friday to see her fight in London dahil may laban siya doon. Then we go to the U.S. for Thanksgiving and stay there until Christmas as I will host our family reunion in my new house in San Diego. We will only have kids when we don’t compete anymore.”

Weren’t they affected by the recent wild fires? “Almost. Sa backyard namin, halos ten feet away na lang ang fire. Buti di natuloy. But we had to follow mandatory evacuation.”

Brandon hopes to put up a gym here with Richard as his associate. “We’re already planning it. I really love it here. I saw the beach in Punta Fuego and I love it. Babalik ako rito.”

Agot No Longer Expects For Baby

PNS — AGOT Isidro says she’s no longer expecting to have a baby after seven years of being married to hubby Manu Sandejas. “Kasi, ang tagal ko nang umasa,” she says. “There was a time I dropped everything and just rested to get pregnant, pero wala pa rin. So ngayon, we’ve stopped hoping pero kung may dumating and the Lord wills it, kasi wala naman kaming physical problem ng mister ko, then mas masaya. Kaya lang, 41 na ako, e.”

Her “bilas,” Christine Jacob, who’s married to Paco (Manu’s brother), is more prolific and now has four kids. We tell her it took Dawn Zulueta seven years before she conceived, so it might not be hopeless for her. “Basta as of now, tanggap na namin na kung ‘di kami bibigyan, okay lang.”

She’s just happy to still be active as an actress. She has finished a new movie, “Nars,” and on TV, she plays Angel Locsin in ABS-CBN’s “Lobo”. She was also nominated as best supporting actress for the film “Tulad ng Dati” in the last Urian rites. She’s also doing “Hamlet” on stage as Queen Gertrude.

Her director in “Nars,” Adolf Alix, says Agot gives a great performance in “Nars” as a doctor who wants to join her family in the States but can’t do so as a doctor, so she takes up nursing, which is more in demand. “I’m just thankful maganda talaga ang role ko as it also has a back story. I’m involved with a married man. In the end, I realized walang pupuntahan ang relasyon namin. Whether natuloy ako sa U.S. or not, that’s another story.”

How is it working with Jennylyn Mercado, Jodi Sta. Maria, Jon Avila and Coco Martin in “Nars”?

“First time ko to work with all of them at masaya kami sa set. Feeling ko, bagets din akong gaya nila.”