Richard Yap dishes on reunion project with Jodi Sta. Maria

Richard Yap

Richard Yap

The network war seems to be over. GMA and ABS-CBN have called a truce. The two media giants are producing a teleserye, “Unbreak My Heart” (UMH), which will be shot in Switzerland.

The monumental collab project is topbilled by Kapamilya stars, Jodi Sta Maria and Joshua Garcia, and Kapuso stars, Gabbi Garcia and Richard Yap. It will air on GMA and will be streamed in 15 territories outside the Philippines on Viu.

According to Richard, he’s not yet at liberty to divulge the character he will portray. His onscreen reunion with Jodi will bring back memories of Richard’s phenomenal “Sir Chief” days. From “Be Careful with My Heart” to “Unbreak My Heart,” he is all set to make the audience lovestruck anew.

Here’s my chat with Richard:

What can you tell us about UMH?

It’s a story of a very strong kind of love that will overcome all obstacles.

Healthy competition makes the biz more exciting. Is it better that GMA and ABS have joined forces?

Healthy competition is good, but competition is no longer limited to local networks. We also have to consider the shows on streaming platforms as competition, that’s why if we put all our strengths together, we may be able to compete with the world.

Since it’s V-Day month, what’s your advice to husbands who are bored in their marriage?

Think about why you fell in love with your wife and do something that will help bring the spark back. Take a vacation together, and do something you both love.

After all these years, how do you and Jodi maintain your onscreen chemistry?

We’re good friends, so we are comfy with each other—and that shows onscreen. It’s hard to show something that isn’t there.

Mercedes Cabral

Explosive four-part series

February is the season to be mushy. But if you still haven’t found a love that lasts, find out about love that’s only good until it “lusts” in “Erotica Manila” (EM). The explosive four-part series streaming on Vivamax (VM) is directed by Law Fajardo.

The first episode “Cinema Parausan,” starring Azi Acosta and Alex Medina, is about a movie critic who watches erotic films in an old theater, where sex workers offer extra service.

“Girl 11,” the second episode starring Josef Elizalde and Cara Gonzales, tells the story of a news writer and his chosen masseuse. While they’re in the heat of passion, she subtly sends him a secret message.

The third episode “The MILF and the OJT,” starring Vince Rillon and Mercedes Cabral, is a May-December love story.

The last episode “Death by Orgasm,” starring Felix Roco, Alona Navarro and Benz Sangalang, is about a couple who accidentally kills a man hiding under the bed during their intense lovemaking.

Let EM turn V-Day from corny to horny.

Here are quotes from Mercedes (M), Azi (A), Benz (B) and Alex (AM):

M: Our episode serves as the comic relief in the series. Comedy is something new to me. I find it harder to make the audience laugh than cry. I had to find a way to be funny, but not in a silly way.

A: I refuse to accept what some people say that our movies in VM are soft porn. They are close-minded, so they don’t see the bigger picture.

B: Unlike the character I portrayed, I won’t hide under the bed when I catch my girl with another man. I will jump out the window and walk out of her life.

AM: It made me feel nostalgic to shoot in an old cinema. Our series is like a love letter to “Scorpio Nights.”

M: Words more than visuals make me feel erotic.

AM: Nudity in films is already a norm in other countries. Some Pinoys are not as open as foreigners. Labeling a film as porn is subjective.

M: Unlike the character I played, I prefer older men. Although maturity doesn’t always come with age. I could fall for a younger guy if he’s well-read.

Bo Cerrudo

Bo’s Valentine playlist

My fave drinking buddy, Bo Cerrudo, could pass for a love guru. When I have heart problems, he always has a ready answer. Bo has mastered that tricky thing called love. So when he sings love songs, it hits your heart bull’s-eye.

Let Bo serenade you on Feb. 10, 8 p.m. at Teatrino in Greenhills with his seven-piece orchestra in “Valentine Retro Playlist.” Even if you can no longer relive the past, his songs will make you recapture the joy of loves gone by.

Here’s my chat with Bo:

In your repertoire, which song is your heart’s anthem?

“I Long to Say I Love You,” which I composed for my girlfriend in 1986. But she left for the US. It’s the first time I will be singing it live.

Would you say that classic love songs have more soul than new hit songs?

They don’t necessarily have more soul, but are more melodic than the songs nowadays. Those classics have a metaphorical way of expressing love and intimacy, which makes them interesting to this day. Some new songs also have soul, but not much to the point of eliciting my interest.

What can the audience expect from your show?

A night of romance, old songs of passion that will make happy memories come alive.

What’s the biggest love lesson you’ve learned?

Loving one’s self first is the key to genuine relationships, married or not. It all starts inside of us. From understanding to forgiveness to making things work out favorably. Self-love is essential in keeping us sane and staying in love in a relationship.

Angeli Khang

A dual role for Angeli Khang

Have a double dose of Angeli Khang’s charms as she portrays a dual role in “Bela Luna,” which is now streaming on Vivamax. The sexy drama is directed by Mac Alejandre and written by National Artist Ricky Lee.

Luna is a teacher with an abusive husband, Abe (Julio Diaz), whom she wants to leave. Then, she meets Diego (Mark Anthony Fernandez), who redefines passion for her. Meanwhile, Bela is a city girl who lives with her boyfriend, Arnold (Kiko Estrada). Work gets in the way, so their relationship hits a snag.

When Bela and Luna’s worlds collide, their lives will never be the same again.

Here are quotes from Angeli (A), Mark (MF) and Mac (M):

A: I can relate to my two characters. Sometimes, I’m feisty like Bela. At times, I stay in my safe space, like Luna. But I have not had a love life as intense as theirs.

MF: If I had nine lives, this would be my seventh. Viva salvaged my career. I would fall for a girl who’s more like Luna than Bela.

M: In our film, we show the difference in the way rich and ordinary people make love. Status is a relevant factor, even in the bedroom.

A: I’m flattered when people call me the “Queen of VM.” But I don’t let it get to my head. I want to keep improving my craft and evolve.

MF: I’m game to do gay roles like I did in “Barumbading,” but not to the point of doing a BL film. I can’t pull off an intimate scene with another man.

M: Ricky is in awe of Angeli’s acting prowess, so he told me that we should squeeze more out of her. She made the switch from Bela to Luna quite well.