‘Hala bira’ mood certainly more fun in Aklan | Inquirer Entertainment

‘Hala bira’ mood certainly more fun in Aklan

/ 08:02 PM January 15, 2012

Since I’m an Ilongga at heart, I didn’t pass up the invitation of GMA 7 to its Kapuso Night last January 9 in Kalibo, Aklan, for the Ati-Atihan festival (Iloilo and Aklan happen to be both on Panay Island).

The jampacked crowd (estimated at 50,000) at Pastrana Park were delighted to watch Claudine Barretto, Kyla, Mark Herras, TJ Trinidad, Bubbles Paraiso and Steven Silva perform on stage. The shrieking fans and warm welcome by the Aklanons were a sure indication that we were in Kapuso Country. The highlights of the festival will be aired on GMA Network’s eight regional stations on February 19.


But the “hala bira” mood was not confined to the show. Before the celebrities’ performance, I got to corner them in “hala intriga” fashion. Although we don’t know how to speak in Aklanon, the Kapuso stars and I are all fluent in “chika.” Here goes.

Bank controversy


Claudine wants to put the “bank controversy” behind her as she and husband, Raymart Santiago, embark on a European tour from January 29 to February 15 for their nth honeymoon. The couple started the new year right by taking a retreat.

“I just hope the bank will apologize for the undue embarrassment they caused me,” said Claudine, referring to her failed attempt to withdraw money from her joint bank account with Raymart. “They should protect my money and not keep it. In the first place, I wouldn’t have banked with them if Raymart’s cousin wasn’t an officer. It’s sad that he believed the chismis about Raymart and me kaya the manager refused to sign the P5-million check.

“Prinsipyo ang pinaglalaban ko dito. Pera din ng mga anak ko ’yon. I am seriously considering filing a case against the bank manager. Raymart is trying to talk me out of it but I can’t let such unethical practices go on. Paano na lang ’yong mga hindi celebrities na clients ng bank na ’yon? Kung ako they treated me so shabbily na nga.”

But her attempt to withdraw P5 million from their joint account doesn’t mean she’s withdrawing from her marriage as well.

“Just like any other couple, Raymart and I have our episodes,” she explained. “But what’s important is that we have both decided to make our marriage work. Pero bawal pa ako magbuntis for five years because I’m on [contraceptives]. Our kids are bugging us na nga for a baby sister/brother but I told them I want to make a good teleserye and

a blockbuster movie muna before I get preggy again.”

Claudine hopes that plans to do a movie with Aga Muhlach will materialize. “Forte ko talaga ang drama,” she said. “That’s why I didn’t enjoy ‘Iglot’ as much as my other projects. ’Di ko kasi forte ang fantaserye.”


But even off-cam, living la vida drama suits Claud very well.

Blushing newlywed

Kyla was the picture of a blushing newlywed when I chatted with her. Has she adjusted to married life as Mrs. Rich Alvarez?

“I am slowly learning how to cook,” she beamed. “So far pasado naman ang luto ko kay Rich. I sometimes miss my old bed. ’Di pa ako sanay na may katabi. And ang hirap ng may ka-share sa closet space since I have so much stuff I use for my shows.”

Do they plan to have a baby soon? “’Di namin minamadali,” she said. “Pero ’di din namin pinipigilan.”

The athlete in her husband is rubbing off on her. “I have become more health-conscious now,” she said. “Rich acts as my personal trainer. Dati tamad ako mag-work out but Rich encourages me to do so. Strict siya na trainer. Kahit pagod na ’ko, he pushes to do more sets, which is good naman for me. It will help me breathe better as a singer.”

She hardly watches the ball games of Rich due to her schedule. “Sabi nila kailangan bantayan ko asawa ko kasi madami daw girls ang mga players,” she said. “But I have complete trust in Rich. I don’t even have to check on his whereabouts. Siya kusa nagre-report.”

The cager’s wife is not one who will put her hubby in a cage. Kyla would rather leave the tight guarding of Rich in the hard court.

Wish list

• TJ Trinidad has no plans of leaving GMA 7, although he knows he can give more. “This year, I hope to do more movies than TV shows,” he said. “I am happy with GMA so I’m staying put.”

• Steven Silva admits he’s a bit disappointed with how 2011 turned out for him. So this year, he will make up for lost time and hopes to release his first album.

• Ehra Madrigal is not yet ready to settle down with her longtime BF, DJ Mike. They both want to fulfill all their dreams first before going for their “happily-ever-after.”

• Bubbles Paraiso is dead set on following the career path of her idol, Cherie Gil. “I got star-struck when I met her,” she gushed. “I want more kontrabida roles kasi mas markado. Besides, with my looks ’di ako believable na aapihin.”

What a blast we all had at the Kapuso Night! Damo gid na salamat, Kalibo! It truly is more fun in Aklan.

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TAGS: Ati-Atihan, bank controvery, Celebrities, Entertainment, Kyla
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