2011, year of the ‘tweet’
IT was the year that social networking sites figured prominently in show biz scandals.
Whether as hecklers, enablers or plain kibitzers, the riveted public actively participated in the continuing “tabloidization” of our national discourse — by tweeting, posting on their Facebook walls and blogging on the private lives of celebrities.
Having meltdowns on “The Buzz,” “Paparazzi” and “Showbiz Central” was sooo 2010; this year, stars took to the Net to bare and tell all — via their own blogs and Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Troubled studio stars still found a captive audience among TV chat-show viewers, but “vox populi” throbbed and thrived in cyberspace.
Murder, mayhem and all sorts of malfeasance were chronicled in the tri-media, but Filipino Netizens got to unleash their two centavos’ worth of opinion online, as well.
Should celebs be wary? Should they panic?
With greater exposure online comes greater peril — as the Net can be used for both good and ill and is often uncensored, unedited, un-spun by publicists and unruffled by threats of libel.
There’s no denying that the Net is a force to be reckoned with in the business of chismis.
A wee kid almost caused a giant his steel throne.
Early in the year, Willie Revillame’s newly launched TV5 game show, “Will Time Big Time,” was swept with a wave of indignation over the perceived “macho dancing” of 6-year-old boy Jan-Jan, who shed tears as he did. A lot of ink was spilled over this controversy which traced its humble beginnings to YouTube.
Unwittingly, Jan-Jan lent new meaning to the term “YouTube sensation.”
Now that the hysteria has died down and “Will Time” quickly bounced back, the question is: Whatever happened to Jan-Jan?
Among the many newsmakers that fascinated celeb watchers, two stood out not just for their long legs, but for their answers in the traditional make-or-break question in beauty contests: Shamcey Supsup, third runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant, and Gwen Ruais, first runner-up in the Miss World competition.
Both beauties are now being groomed for a show biz career by rival networks ABS-CBN (Supsup) and GMA 7 (Ruais).
Following much hype and hoopla, “Superstar” Nora Aunor finally came home after eight years in the United States.
She shot a movie (Tikoy Aguiluz’s “El Presidente”) and taped a TV series (TV5’s “Sa Ngalan ng Ina’), and was bestowed all sorts of “lifetime achievement” honors from bodies as diverse as Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit and Cinema One.
This week, she’ll be on a US-bound plane again, supposedly to undergo treatment to recover her golden voice that was allegedly damaged during a cosmetic procedure.
Meanwhile, her old rival Vilma Santos returned to the movie set, sharing the screen with Kim Chiu in Star Cinema’s “The Healing” — set for release next year, Gov. Vi’s 50th anniversary in the biz.
After weeks of speculation, Sharon Cuneta left ABS-CBN and joined other former Kapamilya stars Dolphy, Aga Muhlach and Revillame in TV5 — amid unconfirmed reports that she had inked a P1-billion contract with the Kapatid network.
On the set of the movie remake “Temptation Island,” a feud reportedly broke out between Kapuso stars Marian Rivera and Heart Evangelista.
Months later, aftershocks are still being felt as the two have yet to bump into each other — thanks to creative trafficking by network handlers, who make sure their paths don’t cross.
Murder most foul
As a character in the Oscar-winning film “The King’s Speech” intoned derisively to dismiss sibling betrayal: “It’s medieval.”
The Revilla clan was rocked by Tinseltown’s “most shocking” tragedy in years when Ramgen Revilla (son of Ramon Revilla Sr. and half-brother of Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.) was murdered, while girlfriend Janelle Manahan was shot and left for dead, eerily during the long Halloween weekend.
Investigators later tagged Ramgen’s siblings Ramona and RJ Bautista as suspects.
Sen. Bong called it a “nightmare.” The whole episode dragged like a Shakespearean drama, crossed with the elder Revilla’s famous “Nardong Putik” fantasy caper.
Roughly at the same time, singer Charice’s father, Ricky Pempengco, was killed by an ice-pick wielding man in Laguna.
Welcome news, on the other hand, was veteran actress Pilar Pilapil surviving a knife attack in Marikina.
The entertainment industry mourned the loss of newcomer AJ Perez (in a road mishap) and veterans Lito Calzado, Shirley Gorospe and Armando Goyena (to lingering illnesses), among others.
GMA 7 actress Camille Prats lost her husband to cancer, while fellow Kapuso star Jake Vargas grieved the passing of his mom, also after battling cancer.
Singers Regine Velasquez and Ogie Alcasid welcomed their firstborn, Nathaniel James. Regine is breast-feeding, even as she prepares for a concert with Ogie, just in time for Valentine month.
President Aquino’s famous ex, Valenzuela City councilor Shalani Soledad, officially joined show biz as Revillame’s co-host. Then she made another surprising move when she got engaged to Rep. Roman Romulo.
For good measure, Azkals football player Phil Younghusband wooed actress Angel Locsin on Twitter.
One of the most tender pairings, however, was singer Kyla and basketball star Rich Alvarez, who were wed in rites that mercifully didn’t morph into a TV special.
The young and the restless checked into the heartbreak hotel and the public became unwitting witnesses to their private pain.
Love means never having to say “DNA testing.” ABS-CBN stars Andi Eigenmann and Albie Casiño practically pursued their ill-fated romance online — on their respective blogs and Twitter accounts. When they split up, dirty laundry was hung all over cyberspace and showed no signs of abating even after Andi gave birth to daughter Adrianna Gabrielle in November.
Casiño’s camp said they are open to the idea of DNA testing, but Andi’s mom, actress Jaclyn Jose, hit the roof and hissed, “We’re not asking for child support, anyway.” And just to rub it in: No way is the baby carrying Casiño’s name.
The very messy breakup of Dennis Trillo and Jennylyn Mercado continues to reverberate in the four corners of the biz. Ever wonder why Dennis is always asked about Jennylyn and vice versa whenever they are interviewed on TV? To think Jennylyn is already involved with Luis Manzano and Dennis is being linked to Bianca King. This tale of woe has run its jagged course and needs to be retired. Now.
One Sunday in November, Show Town stopped in its tracks when KC Concepcion confirmed in an interview on “The Buzz” what had been shaking, rattling and rolling in cyberspace for weeks: That her affair with fellow ABS-CBN star Piolo Pascual had gone pfft.
What was most engrossing about the interview was not what was said, but what was left unsaid, which allowed Netizens to make all sorts of sordid speculations.
Again confirming the infinite wit and creativity of Pinoys, KC’s personal heartbreak launched Top 10 jokes and became a trending topic online.
Rumor-mongers barely had the time to recover when, a week after the KC-Piolo break-up, another sob story hogged the headlines.
Dear video diary
This one officially had its start in the Net. First, there were those incriminating tweets from TV host/deejay Mo Twister after his not-so-amicable parting with GMA 7 actress Rhian Ramos in October.
By December, Mo’s video diary — with a transcript, ha? — was uploaded on YouTube. In the video, Mo claimed that Rhian had aborted their baby.
Shortly after, another embarrassing video of some of the couple’s sweet moments was posted on YouTube.
Rhian has since filed a petition for a Temporary Protection Order against Mo, who insisted that he didn’t release the videos online.
Rhian must be missing those carefree, halcyon days when her only viral video was that one of her lip-synching “Superbass” with the comic duo Momoy Palaboy.
Meanwhile, Sen. Panfilo Lacson has confirmed that Rhian is now dating his son Jeric.
Film fest fracas
What’s the Metro Manila Film Festival without controversy?
One of the entries was slapped with a TRO; another was disqualified from winning major awards (because of specific violations); a certain Oscar winner that goes by the name Meryl (not Soriano) was dragged into the fray; Facebook witnessed the political machinations of one controversial celebrity against another; and the country’s top two networks (ABS-CBN and GMA 7) slugged it out at the tills.
As Ate Vi would say: “Si Val, si Val, lagi na lang si Val!”
Who ever thought celebrity tweeting could land the President in trouble?
TV host Valerie Concepcion tweeted that President Aquino laughed at her jokes during a PSG Christmas party at Malacañang.
Nothing the matter with a little revelry during the holiday season, except that the cities of Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Dumaguete were reeling from the flash floods caused by Tropical Storm Sendong that same night.
Quite tellingly, Valerie was showered not with disdain, but with gratitude online. A Netizen boldly tweeted: “Thank you, Val.” Huh?