Showbiz Roundup: Kris Aquino-Mark Leviste split; EB won’t bow out by July; Jose Manalo meets Ruby Rodriguez
Kris Aquino revealed that she had to put her relationship on hold with Batangas Vice Governor Mark Leviste due to her condition, while production company TAPE Inc. denied rumors that the revamped “Eat Bulaga” will be airing its final episode in July.
Meanwhile, Jose Manalo sent his supporters abuzz after visiting former “Eat Bulaga” host Ruby Rodriguez in the U.S. On the other hand, the revamped Kapuso noontime show gained traction with viewers for its newest format for being “new and unbeatable.”
In other news, Korean soprano singer Lee Sang-eun was found dead in a bathroom shortly before her performance. But perhaps the biggest news to shock our readers was former sexy star Sabrina M revealing that she was in a relationship with the late matinee idol Rico Yan. All this and more, as we bring you our biggest entertainment stories from July 7 to 13.
Kris Aquino confirms split with Mark Leviste
Kris Aquino revealed that she had asked Mark Leviste, who recently flew home to the Philippines, for a “pause” in their relationship, noting how a long-distance relationship would be hard for them to maintain given her current condition.
The Queen of All Media made their split public through a “long-overdue gratitude post” dedicated to the Batangas vice governor, as seen on her Instagram page last July 10.
“[Mark Leviste] is leaving to go home to fulfill his obligations to his Batangas constituents. Nobody I’ve ever been in a relationship with has ever given me as much love [and] encouragement,” she wrote. “He wasn’t only my boyfriend, he became my best friend and confidante, talagang maaasahan (truly reliable). The usage of WAS is correct.”
Aquino disclosed that her medical condition has gotten “progressively worse,” and that she has been suffering from physical manifestations–including swollen knees, excruciating pain on her entire left leg, swelling in her lower back and purplish blue toenails–which cause her to use a wheelchair when taking long walks.
“I asked Marc for a pause because with my condition the way it is now, I’m self aware enough to know that a long distance relationship will be next to impossible for us to maintain,” she said.
Aquino then addressed Leviste’s children and thanked them for being “so warm, polite, appreciative and so easy to get along.” The former actress also expressed her gratitude to Leviste and stressed how she does not want to be an “obstacle” in his career as a public servant.
“Thank you Marc for being here for me especially when my 2 ‘giants’ went home BUT our reality is that there’s a Pacific Ocean that divides us, a 15-hour time difference, and a 13-hour flight,” she said. “This isn’t just a line, you will always have a place in my heart.”
“We may not have had our ‘happily ever after’ but being sick has really taught me to look at the glass half full,” Aquino continued. “Thank you for giving me the chance to again experience the magic of Once Upon a Time.”
Leviste, in response, shared the same photo Aquino posted but in black-and-white while a bible verse.
Aquino, who is currently in California for medical treatments for her autoimmune diseases, made public her relationship with a certain “Marc” last May 18. Days after this, Leviste confirmed that he was the “Marc” Aquino was referring to.
‘EB’ won’t bow out by July
The legal counsel of production company TAPE Inc., Maggie Abraham-Garduque, belied rumors that “Eat Bulaga” will end its noontime run by the end of July, with the celebrity lawyer stressing that there was “no reason” for such to happen.
Abraham-Garduque dismissed this through a statement obtained by GMA, as per a report last July 7.
While Abraham-Garduque did not immediately mention the source of the rumors, their statement was apparently in response to showbiz columnist Cristy Fermin who earlier cited speculations that the noontime show was set to go off the air.
“There is no reason for that,” Abraham-Garduque was quoted as saying. “We do not contest that on July 1, mababa ang rating of ‘Eat Bulaga’ because of the anticipation of people on the launch of new shows, but thereafter, makikita na tumataas na ulit ang ratings nito.”
The “new shows” the celebrity lawyer was referring to were “Eat Bulaga’s” noontime counterparts: “It’s Showtime” and “E.A.T,” which is hosted by Tito Sotto, Vic Sotto and Joey de Leon (TVJ)
Abraham-Garduque also argued that the segments of “Eat Bulaga” have been “doing great,” especially the “G sa Gedli”—which is led by show hosts Isko Moreno and Buboy Villar—and “Hey! Mr. Rider.”
Abraham-Garduque then disclosed that their team will further look into the matter and decide whether they will pursue legal action against those who disseminate such rumors.
“Ang ‘Eat Bulaga’ ay para sa tao at hanggang maraming manonood, ang tumatangkilik, patuloy ang ‘Eat Bulaga’ sa pagbibigay ng saya at tulong sa mga kababayan natin,” she underscored.
TAPE introduced the new set of hosts for “Eat Bulaga” last June 5, days after TVJ and their fellow “legit Dabarkads” announced their disengagement from the production company.
Jose reunited with Ruby
Jose Manalo took time off his busy schedule to visit former “Eat Bulaga” cohost, comedienne Ruby Rodriguez, who’s currently based in the United States.
Rodriguez took to her personal Instagram page last July 7 to share glimpses of her reunion with Manalo, which took place at what appeared to be her office. The photo showed the hosts hugging one another in excitement.
“Look who visited me! My buddy legit dabarkads Jose Manalo. Miss u brad (friend) [heart emoji] lalo na sa pasalu para sa mga bagets (especially when it comes to your gifts to the kids),” she said in the caption.
Rodriguez and Manalo’s reunion caught the attention of former “Eat Bulaga” hosts Paolo Ballesteros and Pauleen Luna, actress Danica Sotto-Pingris, and their fans on social media.
Rodriguez joined noontime show “Eat Bulaga” as a host in 1991 before confirming her departure in 2021. She is currently based in the US where she reportedly works at the Philippine Consulate Office in Los Angeles, California.
Meanwhile, Manalo is one of the mainstay hosts of “EAT,” which launched its pilot episode under TV5’s roof last July 1.
Joseph Atilano, Inquirer.net columnist, praised the direction that the revamped “EB” is currently taking, describing it as an “ultimate version” of the noontime show that’s meant for “the people: the viewers at home, the in-studio audience, and the Filipinos.”
“Indeed, this noontime show is not for the hosts of the program. It is for the people,” he wrote. “When there is goodness and right intention and purpose in those involved behind the scenes and on camera, expect only good things will happen and will continue to happen for everyone involved in the revamped Eat Bulaga.”
Atilano then noted that its new set of hosts, which he noted as a “lightning in a bottle,” gives the show an “immediate family-like atmosphere.” “I attribute and equate their wholesome camaraderie that translates very transparently and fluidly onscreen–and more importantly, to the viewing public–to the mutual respect for and admiration of their individual uniqueness, and the genuine fondness the host and co-hosts have for each other. This can be gleaned by the audience.”
While giving a run-down of EB’s updated segments, the columnist also stressed that a noontime show should be an “entity, brand, and a platform” where he said it doesn’t belong to the hosts, writers, and production staff.
“They owe the people. The people do not owe them a living. Because they are paid fully for the work they have to do and it does not mean and does not include taking advantage and liberties with participants by word or deed with sexual innuendos as committed by some co-hosts on air for decades which were never ever stopped or corrected or reprimanded,” he said.
Lee Sang-eun, 46
Korean soprano singer Lee Sang-eun was about to perform on stage when one of the event staff found her dead inside the bathroom of the concert venue.
The staff member called the police after discovering the 46-year-old singer’s lifeless body in the bathroom of Gimcheon City Culture and Arts Center, as reported by South Korean news outlet News1 last July 7.
“It was time for Lee Sang-eun to come on stage, but she wasn’t backstage. When I looked in the bathroom, I found her lying on the floor,” the staffer told the police, as translated by Koreaboo.
The singer was rushed to the nearest hospital, but she was reportedly already dead before arriving at the medical facility.
Another South Korean media outlet, Yonhap News, reported that the police were conducting further investigations but that there was no suspected foul play.
No further details on the South Korean singer’s death have been immediately made public as of this writing.
Sabrina M’s alleged ‘secret romance’ with Rico Yan
Now it can be told. For the first time in more than two decades, former sexy star Sabrina M admitted that she was in a romantic relationship with the late heartthrob Rico Yan.
Sabrina M, whose real name is Maricaren Pallasigue, made public her long kept secret during the mediacon for her movie “Manang,” held last July 6, in which she admitted that she had been in a relationship with Yan for several years.
“Ang image niya kasi is wholesome, eh. Ako, nagpapaseksi ako sa pelikula. So, kapag na-issue kaming dalawa, malaking ano, malaking issue, maraming sasabihin sa akin,” she said when she announced their relationship for the first time.
According to Sabrina M., she and Yan met on the set of the now-defunct noontime show MTB on ABS-CBN, in which he was one of the mainstays, and their romance blossomed from then when he was still fresh from his breakup with then primetime drama queen Claudine Barretto.
However, the erstwhile lovers decided to keep their romance between them private in order to protect both of their careers.
“So better, nung nagkaroon kami ng relasyon, itinago na lang namin ‘yun,” she said, adding that their relationship lasted quite long.
She also admitted that their relationship grew intimate and profound due to Yan’s exceptional kindness.
But what made the Mrs. Face of Tourism Philippines candidate admire the late actor was the fact that he was not a judgmental person.
It was later revealed that Claudine Barretto, Yan’s ex-girlfriend, is planning to sue the former sexy star for supposedly making false stories about the late matinee’s love life.
Barretto’s camp also demanded a public apology from Pallasigue, as it pointed out that their alleged romance was “impossible” considering the relationship between Yan and the former at the time. EDV