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2005 Archives

Ikatlong Patimpalak ng Ginoong Pilipinas-USA

Sean Collado, Nanalo ng Walong Karangalan sa 2005 World Champtionship of Performing Arts (WCOPA)

Panawagan ng producers at stars ng "Comedy Riot Sa Amerika"!

Mark Mejia, Nag-Release ng bagong CD album!

GMA Pinoy TV sa Los Angeles, Available na rin sa Comcast Cable Company!

Viva Hot Babes, May Mga Gustong Ipakita at Patunayan sa Publiko!

It's OK, MiG!

Dra. Vicki Belo at a Hollywood charitable event

Dayanara Torres Ibabalik Ang Naudlot na Showbiz Career!

"In the Making," "Behind The Scenes" and "Interviews" with Cabanatuan Survivors will be included in the DVD release of the film THE GREAT RAID!

Martin, Huhusgahan sa kanyang solo concert sa Rio Casino & Hotel Suites sa Las Vegas!

GMA Pinoy TV sa L.A., Mayroon Na Pero Palpak?

Wala Talaga'ng Puso Ang 'KAPAMILYA'!

"Comedy Riot Sa Amerika," Riot Talaga!

May Puso Ang Kapamilya?

Paolo Montalban, Bernardo Bernardo, Leandro at Carlo Muñoz, Ms. Lucita Soriano, at ang dating artistang si Vilma Valera, sa Gawad Parangal 2005 sa Sacramento, California

Tapatan ng S.O.P. at A.S.A.P. sa Los Angeles, Hindi Na Matutuloy! Eat Bulaga hindi rin tuloy!

Leah Navarro vs. Jukebox Queens Concert Producer

FOOTLOOSE: young hot TV stars in their theatre debuts

Wowowee, Caravan: ASAP '05 at The Buzz sa Amerika, Bogus Lang Ba?

Sharon Pa Rin Ang Nagwagi!

'Queens... On Fire' - the L.A. Version!

'Beauty Day' ni Dra. Vicki Belo sa L.A.!

Richard Gutierrez sa Premiere ng "Kung Fu Hustle"

Dessa, May Hinaing sa Ichiban!

RUSBLOOM ni Rustom Padilla, Hindi Na Siya Ang May-Ari!

Billy Crawford at EXORCIST Prequel premiere

Sharon Cuneta vs. Sarah Geronimo sa Hunyo 11 sa L.A.!

Lea Salonga, Ambisyosa sa Kanya'ng Unang Concert Tour!

Manila's rendezvous: GMA 7 at ABS-CBN malapit nang magtapat sa Estados Unidos! Jaya, binastos ako sa dressing room ng SOP! Birthday ni Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, star-studded! Christian Bautista, Naungusan Na ang Ibang Champions!

Fil-Am Singer Lalaine Scores Warner Bros. Record Deal!

2004 Archives

'The Great Raid' Moved (Again) to December 2, 2005!

Holiday Thoughts from Ruffa

Piolo rocks Hollywood Palladium

16th Annual Reflections Awards in L.A.

An Exclusive Interview with Jim Brickman

Freestyle, Jaya, Basil, at Carol "Trick or Treat" Concert sa Los Angeles!

BosPoker.Com Launch Tournament @ Exclusive Mansion in Beverly Hills

Fourth Annual Filipino-American Library Benefit Gala

Night of the Champions in SFO with Erik Santos

Where are they now?

Ruffa Gives Birth to Venicia Loran Bektas

A Fan Questioning Yilmaz!

At the Jubilee Theater: Sometimes 'Originals' Are Not the Best

Ballad Hitmakers Still Radiate!

RUSBLOOM Shop Unveiled in Panorama City

Lorin Turns One!

Gary V Hits Shrine to the Hilt!

"Power of Two" Nora-Kuh concert at Hollywood Palladium!

The Buzz in L.A.

"Songbird and Songwriter": First Sold-Out 2004 U.S. Concert Sizzles!

Billy Crawford Excluded at "The Exorcist IV: The Beginning"; New Album Soon to be Released in Europe

Revisiting the Dance Diva - Jocelyn Enriquez

First L.A. Concert of 2004 - an Intimate Night with Phenomenal Piolo Pascual

2003 Archives

Martin and Pops' 2003 U.S. Concert Tour kicks off in Los Angeles with a big bang!

Maximedia USA's second tour offering, the unbeatable "Martin-Pops" tandem!

Gina Alajar and Charles R. Uy Receive Recognition at 2nd Cinema Indio Festival

From Ruffa with Love

A Sad Thing Happened On My Way Out from the FPAC!

Ruffa leaves Los Angeles for a home in Turkey!

L.A. Blind Items!

Vina on top!

Ramon "Bong" Revilla honored by Motion Picture Association

L.A. Concerts and what's new with TF?

Ruffa's L.A. birthday celebration!

Carol-Ogie and Lani with Basil, deja vu?

A Baby Shower for Ruffa!

An open letter from Ruffa's husband: Yilmaz Bektas

Rediscovering Aiza Seguerra

Conversations with Ruffa Gutierrez: the wedding invitation

Judy Ann, Robin, and Rustom show at Orpheum Theater a big success!

A Close-Up Look: Conversations with Judy Ann Santos

Jocelyn Enriquez releases new album, "All My Life"

Carlos Morales in town

Judy Ann Santos to storm L.A.!

Celebrity L.A. Scene

By Oliver Carnay


Ruffa's L.A. Birthday celebration!

Despite her hectic schedule (attending yoga, lactation consultation, and other nursery preparation for her upcoming labor), and in between "baby showers" her friends are giving her, Ruffa took time out to be with close relatives and friends in L.A. to celebrate at a birthday party given by her dutiful mom Annabelle Rama, held at "Full House" Restaurant in Chinatown last Sunday (June 22).

Her father Eddie Gutierrez, and brothers Rocky and Raymond assisted her in receiving the guests. Tita Annabelle postponed her supposed leave for Manila until June 25, a day before Ruffa's actual birthday, so she can be with her only daughter the day of her actual birthday.

A week ago, Ruffa transferred to her new 6-month lease condo-apartment in Marina del Rey (in front of the Ritz Carlton), at the tenth floor with a 360 degree glass ocean view. "It's too bright during daytime, that's why I'm still busy re-decorating the nursery room," says Ruffa, sitting beside me while everyone was busy eating dinner, while describing her new place (where I almost fell off my seat when she told me the amount of the monthly lease-payment!).

Ruffa is scheduled to go into labor at the end of July. Brother Rocky who is staying with her at the flat is attending her special needs while Yilmaz, her husband, is busy finishing paper work in Istanbul before flying back to Los Angeles.

Ruffa is still overwhelmed by the love and affection she is receiving from her supporters, especially by her immediate family. Her face glows every time she talks about the baby. I asked, what is her birthday wish, and she replied, "My only birthday wish is nothing material. I just hope and pray that my baby girl comes out healthy, normal, and happy. Paglabas niya, I hope that this is the best birthday gift that I can give my husband (who is celebrating his birthday on July 19). Yes, we're both under the sign of "Cancer", and I think the baby would also be a Cancer or a Leo," she adds.

On motherhood: "Gosh, I'm sure it will be an experience that will beat all my experiences. I'll tell you the day I'll hold my baby, Oliver! I'm sure it's going to change my life 180 degrees. I've already actually changed. I've been busy with the nursery (everything's almost done!) I just have to touch it up (the baby's room) and do some color. I've had lactation consultation, and pre-natal yoga seminar. So, anything you can expect from an excited mom-to-be, I've been experiencing all these things."

Are you going to breastfeed your baby? "Of course, darling! --- Grabe!"

Carol-Ogie and Lani with Basil, deja vu?

Two powerful concerts were staged in Los Angeles less than a year ago. And recently, they staged a Los Angeles comeback. It was almost a repeat fate!

Lani Misalucha held her first major U.S. concert at the posh Pasadena Civic Auditorium in Pasadena barely ten months ago, on August 10, 2002, billed as "Flight of the Nightingale", and brought newcomer Jed Maddela, another Ronnie Henares protégé (whatever happened to him?).

Carol Banawa, on the other hand, did her first L.A. concert (named "Power of C") at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, with newcomer (ABS-CBN talent) RJ Rosales as guest on August 24, 2002. Note that both concerts were just two weeks apart. And just to mention here, Kuh Ledesma also held her "Power of Two" concert, a day before Carol's "Power of C" in Glendale (on August 23, 2002), with Basil Valdez at the Grand Olympic Auditorium.

Carol Banawa came back last week, May 30, with a back to back concert with "the consummate artist" Ogie Alcasid, at the legendary Orpheum Theatre. Carol sang medleys of OPM hits, including her hit songs "Bakit Di Na Lang Totohanin Ang Lahat", "Tanging Yaman", among others, together with some popular English songs.

It was a rare event that Carol and Ogie had been able to team up on stage; as we all know, both appear on rival channels. And not the only reason why L.A. audience had looked forward to, both have immense talent and versatility. After "Bituin", Carol is revived back to concentrate on the concert scene.

Ogie Alcasid, who has always the knack of indulging his comedic flair during the show, kept the momentum with his well-loved Ogie-hits. A true artist who has stayed his power in the music industry by writing popular hit songs, not only for himself, but friends in the business. Ogie "DaPogi" (as he is fondly called) brought his new (never been released) CD album "Mga Kuwento Ng Pag-Ibig", which has 15 cuts (to celebrate his 15 years in the music industry). They were easily sold out in minutes!

By the way, during the press conference of these two concerts, consecutively held at Bistro Kalesa Grill in Panorama City, Basil and Carol revealed that both are also coming up with a new album, while Ogie's "Mga Kuwento Ng Pag-ibig" and Lani's new CD album "Loving You" (featuring "Tila") will be promoted as soon as they return to Manila.

The following day, May 31, 2003, concert-goers also flocked the Grand Olympic Auditorium to check out "what's new" with vocalist Lani Misalucha (who received several standing ovations that night), repeating some of her well-loved acts from her first major concert last time.

Surprising was how the audience responded to one of Philippines' OPM icons, Basil Valdez, considering he was just here a few months ago. Hearing Basil's hits, audience thought not a bit of time was wasted from his complete act. It proved that his music has not faded, and will stay forever in the hearts of all Filipinos. And mind you, he could have held his own concert alone, as some people said.

It is just worth mentioning also, that Gerard Salonga brought magic to the Lani-Basil repertoire, while at the Carol-Ogie "Two for the Road" concert, Musical Director Jet Montelibano adapted his creative talent in bringing a livelier concert.

The Tale of Filipino Concerts!

Why, yet, after each concert, do you hear people whining about "why do they always experiment singing English songs and not stick to singing their own hits? Reasons: "perhaps there will be non-Filipinos in the audience", or "for variety purposes", or maybe to prove that Filipino artists are "multi-talented" in singing (and copying!) English songs … or that their renditions could be better than the originals?

Needless to say, our very own Manila-based artists are far thus excellent performers. But the Filipino audiences would like to pay the worth of their money. They want to hear them sing, the same own OPM songs they have loved, to feel those nostalgic moments again. In the first place, you wouldn't go to a "Zsa Zsa Padilla concert" if you're a "Kuh Ledesma" fan, right? Because you like her hits, and it would be nostalgic to feel and hear her sing the songs you have mostly loved! Unless you like them both (incidentally, both are staging a "Diva 2 Diva" back to back concert on June 14 at the Grand Olympic Auditorium!).

A night you've paid for should not be wasted. From my inquiries, some people stopped going to Filipino concerts because they are "duped" thinking these artists will sing full English songs in their repertoire and will just do "medleys" from their hits. Although there are no perfect concerts, we would love to see concerts which are worth going for. And I know, also, for a fact, that there are a lot of factors to be considered for a concert, to be called "a hit" or "successful": marketing wise, publicity, venue, best artist team-up, artist's power … "media hype"?

Each year, concert-goers are getting picky, and the concert scenes are getting narrower, in terms of L.A. performances dates. Although, there will always be new producers to try producing shows, the success of a concert (box-office wise), and quality sometimes suffer versus a more intimate and heartfelt "live" concerts? Well, venue is another factor for the dying business, but that's another topic! There are a lot of arguable topics, but, now, should there any reason to be considered here or we shall go on and just let this be? Paging concert producers… or musical directors! E-mail comments and questions at carnay25@hotmail.com.

A Baby Shower for Ruffa!

Los Angeles-based beauty-queen maker Monet Lu and newly appointed Commissioner of Human Resources of Los Angeles, Mary Ann Pagsibigan-Pimenta, together with selected friends, threw a baby shower for Ruffa Gutierrez last Sunday afternoon (June 1), at the New Otani Hotel rooftop garden in downtown Los Angeles. The unique garden setting was personally assisted by the hotel's catering manager, Victoria Denison.

Ruffa's parents, Eddie Gutierrez and Annabelle Rama, along with Ruffa's brother Raymond, were also present. Fun games were coordinated by Karen Borja and Janelle Bautista, with other former protégés of Monet Lu. A specially designed strawberry-pink cake (courtesy of Goldilocks) was made by creative cake designer, Carmela Leelin. L.A. based beauty queen and actress Theresa Punsalan also helped out with the motif.

Among Ruffa's friends who came by for the baby shower were Manila-based columnist Tim Yap (who was in town to cover the MTV Movie Awards at the Shrine Auditorium last Saturday), Ricky Lo (who was also in town to interview Harrison Ford for his new movie "Hollywood Homicide"), DJ-model Joey Mead (now based in L.A. under the wings of Wilhelmina Modeling Agency), who tagged along his model-boyfriend Richard Lee. Musician Paco Arespacochaga and his new girlfriend also dropped by. Other attendees were non-showbiz friends Melanie Kai, Samantha and Ruffa's group of friends, Sonny Madera, Bong Prada Lim, model Jared Aldon, Brenda Sta. Ana, Dra. Angelina de Vera, Rose Sulit, Sabina Cuyugan, Amara Ysrael with parents, Bernadette Baldonado, Hughes family, Lily Lara, couture designer Angelo Santos (The Bold and the Beautiful), and many others.

The event was covered by Ricky Lo's "The Buzz" (ABS-CBN) and Kokoy Boncan from GMA 7's "Startalk", and will be shown in Manila and on TFC soon.

Yilmaz Bektas, Ruffa's husband, begged off to attend, as he is finishing important businesses in Turkey, but will be in Los Angeles soon before Princess Bektas' birth sometime this August.

OLIVER CARNAY regularly writes for BALITA MEDIA, INC. ("Balita USA", "Weekend Balita" and "Go4Women Magazine", available online at http://www.balita.com/ and www.Go4Women.com), ASIAN-AMERICAN 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 http://www.carouselpinoy.com/. He is a also contributor for BUZZINE Magazine (www.buzzine.com), AUDREY Magazine (www.audreymagazine.com), an 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 Angeles (P.P.A.G.L.A.-see 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 http://www.hollywoodflip.com/. 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 carnay25@yahoo.com or at webmaster@HOLLYWOODFLIP.com