By Oliver Carnay
A Sad Thing Happened On My Way Out from
With such powerful
talents on a Sunday afternoon: Rachel Alejandro on stage with the amazing
kid, Monica Parales, the funnyman Rex Navarette and rappers Native Guns,
the incomparable Joe Bataan, and so many artists who made this two-day
12th annual Festival of Philippine Arts and Culture, I was sure
this would be a most memorable one.
Other stars, such as Paolo Montalban (who
performed on Saturday) and Joanne Bacalso ("Snow Dogs", "My Baby's Mama")
were also some of the talents who spent the whole day there last Saturday.
Other Filipino artists and celebrities who
lent support and
enjoyed this day, included former Miss-Asia
U.S.A., (the very preggy) Feilani Bennett, who tagged along Griffin Guttierez,
an upcoming star who is slowly making a name in the soap "Y&R"; MTV VJ
Giselle Tongi also offered to co-emcee and support her good friend, Festival
Chairman Winston Emano; Manila-based actor Allan Paule, who was in town for
just a week's vacation, chose to check out and mingle with the crowd. I saw
Sumi Haro and Noel Alumit who were in the guest panel under the Arts booth.
For a time, I was hooked up listening to Poetry
Slam in one corner; then my feet were glued to the Goldilocks tent for the
Cooking Seminar, where you can savor the delicious "crispy egg roll" and
the fresh turon, cooked right before your eyes. From the adjacent
corner, you could smell other served menus on several stalls catered by some
of the popular Filipino restaurants in L.A.
In short, it was good to know that there was
so much to see and do at this festival.
Although I would like to congratulate this
event, I was disappointed that the security guards were so rude. I am saddened
that a certain "Keoni" (with a goatee!), who claimed that he is "the God
of the festival" treated us like criminals. We were verbally harassed and
assaulted, so much so that I will have second thoughts of coming to this
Here is what happened: At about 5:00 PM, I asked
my friend Vic Perez to wait for me because I needed to share a ride home
with him. Suddenly, two vanguards approached us and told us we had to leave
the park immediately. Why? It was because Vic Perez was previously reprimanded
for distributing flyers of another upcoming Filipino event.
I politely asked the two vanguards to just
wait awhile because I was just waiting for another friend, Ms. Lou Sabas
(an entertainment editor of another Fil-Am newspaper). But the two insisted
that we had to leave the premises right away, and that they needed to escort
us to our car, because they said Vic was selling tickets (which Vic denied).
They told us that distribution of flyers, not associated to the event (and
by someone who did not pay for a booth), was not allowed at this event.
Vic explained that when they told him to stop
distributing flyers, he immediately obliged. And he told them that a lady
had asked where she could buy the tickets, so he gave her the flyer. But
the two guys did not want to listen to our explanation and just wanted to
drag us out right away, never mind about the onlookers around us.
We were only a few yards away from the main
stage, so we had to call our good friend, Mr. Winston Emano (the Festival
Chairman), to explain the situation. Mr. Emano had to tell the two guards
that it was OK for him to distribute flyers, as long as he doesn't sell tickets.
The vanguards left us, only after Mr. Emano reiterated that "He is the Chairman
of the Festival".
As we were stopping to wait for our driver,
right at the corner, out from the park, a rude and "power-tripping" vanguard
named "Keoni" (who said he is also a Filipino) who was with another security
guy, approached us and told us (again), that "we have to leave the premises"
immediately! He claimed that we "disrespected the FPAC", that "solicitation
is prohibited by law", and blah, blah, blah. I told him that the park is
for the public, anyway, and we should not be harassed like this, especially
by a common Filipino like him. He was not courteous enough, and even threatened
to call the Sheriff Department, to make sure we get what we deserve, like
it was a major crime he commited.
Vic asked him why such "aggressiveness" about
all this, the "attitude" and rudeness, and "Why, do you own this festival?"
He (Keoni) sarcastically answered, "Yes, I'm the God of this Festival!" And
even spelled out his name "K-E-O-N-I", when we asked what his name was (believe
me, the arrogance!) More confrontation followed, which prompted Vic to call
the Festival Director, Christiebelle L. Villena, to rush to the scene. The
festival director said, "what they told me, was you were selling tickets!"
We told the festival director that we meant
no harm, and we do not deserve this kind of treatment (being humiliated and
treated like criminals), because in this small world, we Filipinos, should
be having good camaraderie and spreading "harmony" towards each other, and
not receiving such "attitude", because we also do events for the Filipino
community, and we understand how some would give out flyers every time there
is a Filipino event (to think this event was held in a public park!).
Even though I told Keoni, that I write for
several publications, and that somehow, I have helped promote this particular
festival, and that in the past, the Chairman and I had a good relationship,
and that in this world of entertainment, people know how to "give and take",
he told us that "Mr. Emano has nothing to do with the situation".
We left the (open-public) park feeling harassed,
agitated, angry, and humiliated, wondering if he really works for the FPAC
(since he charged that "we disrespected the FPAC"), or he works for the
Recreation Park itself (from where he is getting the command!), or was he
a former Rampart Police Officer. I do not know who should be responsible
for this unpleasant experience, but I hope this won't happen again to our
other Filipino people.
I thought of the mission statement of the
FPAC, but unfortunately, Keoni forgot about the word "harmony" and "pagkakaisa"
(hindi ba ito dapat "bigayan"?), which I guess is this year's theme.
I hope next year, whoever is responsible for the festival, the securities
have better understanding who should really be in charge, so as not to have
misunderstanding and miscommunication.
I've been to many events and I have never
felt so humiliated like this. Unless I hear a word of apology from that certain
"Keoni", "the God of the festival", I guess there is no point of cheering
for the next FPAC, nor coming back to Point Fermin.
(Pics from this event are available at
E-mail comments at
Ruffa leaves Los Angeles for a home in Turkey!
Ever since I set up the web sites for
ruffasbirthday, thousands of fans have viewed and
signed on the sites. It is overwhelming to know that up to this date, they
are continuously being flocked upon by numerous friends (and foes!), constantly
leaving messages for Ruffa.
Anyway, Ruffa Gutierrez left Los Angeles for
Istanbul, Turkey last Monday (August 25) at 2:55
PM, together with her family, Tita Annabelle, Tito
Eddie Gutierrez, and Jun Lalin, the family's PR Manager (the last three will
stay there until September 5 and be back in Los Angeles on September 6).
At their Turkey home, where Yilmaz is busy
attending to their businesses, Ruffa will continue to breastfeed Princess
Bektas and will be attended by two housemaids (one Filipina and one Turkish)
to assist her daily needs.
Although, Ruffa, Yilmaz, and Gabriella Lorin
Bektas will be staying in Turkey for two months, they will be in Manila in
December for a Christmas vacation.
Contrary to reports that Ruffa was given a
$1 million for her
baby's expenses, by her mother-in-law, Nurhan (who
is eagerly waiting to see "Gaby"), the amount is yet to be set up as a trust
fund, after the two families meet in Istanbul. Princess Gaby will receive
the amount when she turns 18.
Yilmaz wished for Baby Lorin's privacy (strongly
refusing to take a picture of her) but Ruffa and I had a pictorial session
at Baby Bektas' room (designed by Hollywood baby decorator Sherwin "James"
Ulit), including some segments of their ($10,000.00/month) Marina del Rey
condo last Sunday before they left. Browse the pics at
L.A. Blind Items (Volume
Blind item #1: Contrary to reports that this
young singer-actress is leaving show business (at the prime of her career)
and has to migrate to the U.S. with her family because she has to attend
a "family problem" and at the same time pursue her career, this multi-talented
television soap star is actually getting married next month (!), here in
Los Angeles. But rumors are hastily spreading that her soon to be mother-in-law
(who is into selling realty), where they will be staying, is besieged of
surmountable debts, and is closed to being imprisoned.
Blind item #2: A friend is wondering how this
Manila-based sexy singer can manage to check in and stay longer at a
posh-five-star hotel in Westwood, considering her shows (as one of the guest
singers) in all her shows in the Filipino communities around California wasn't
that much as a pay fee. She is currently working her way to "penetrate" the
Hollywood industry by posing nude, after her manager announces that she's
getting rid of her.
Blind item #3: This concert line-producer/director
slowly made his (her) way into the local market, constantly having been in
demand in managing concert shows, not only in L.A., but also in other parts
of U.S. His (her) perseverance and dedication in work paved connections in
different places, and other race cultural shows, leaving worried colleagues
to stop doing the same thing, because they think were "nasusulot" with upcoming
Blind item #4: Claimed to be pushy and aggressive
with her career, this ambitious actress has always been known for keeping
an edge over her contemporaries, having done almost everything with regards
to her career in the Philippines. She's keen on developing her international
stardom by even migrating to the U.S. But some people are wondering if this
lesbian whom she is constantly being seen with, helps her out financially,
considering it's really hard "to live and die in L.A.", especially if she
doesn't have a stable job. Some people are betting that it's part of her
(All photos by Oliver Carnay for International
Artists. E-mail comments at
OLIVER CARNAY regularly writes for BALITA MEDIA, INC. ("Balita USA", "Weekend
Balita" and "Go4Women Magazine", available online at
PEOPLE'S JOURNAL (circulated in northern and southern part of California),
Philippine and other Asian Headline newspaper circulated in
Sacramento, San Francisco and its vicinities) also published in northern
and southern parts of California. In San Diego, he writes for FAME
Magazine and PHILIPPINES TODAY. In New York, he writes for PLANET
PHILIPPINES, with an online version at
He is a also contributor for BUZZINE Magazine
(www.buzzine.com), AUDREY Magazine
occasional correspondent for
www.siklab.com, PARA TODOS Magazine,
and other L.A. based publications. He is the Los Angeles correspondent of
Global Pinoy Entertainment Corporation (GPEC) which publishes S Magazine
(circulated in Manila, all over the United States and other parts of the
world) and PINOY GAZETTE (published in Hong Kong, Japan, and its
vicinities). He is an active member of the National Press Photography
Association (N.P.P.A.), Press Photography Association of Greater Los
www.ppagla.org for member listings),
and is under the directory list of the Motion Picture Association of
America (M.P.A.A.) covering movie Premieres and other Hollywood events.
More recent news and Photo Galleries of Hollywood and local Fil-Am events
recently covered can be seen at his new web site
Besides being busy maintaining his web site and writing for domestic and
international publications, Oliver Carnay manages Talents, is also a Publicist
and an event organizer. Email him at
firstname.lastname@example.org or at