The taming of Cesar Montano | Inquirer Entertainment

The taming of Cesar Montano

/ 12:12 AM August 12, 2023

Cesar Montano (second from left) with Kat Angeles (left) and his three daughters

Cesar Montano (second from left) with Kat Angeles (left) and his three daughters

BFF Buboy’s (Cesar Montano) intimate birthday bash was devoid of anything show biz. It was strictly a family affair. As the Manhilots’ (BFF’s real surname) adopted sister, I’m always present in his birthday celebrations.

This year, it was held at the Upper Class Tower roof deck. Since Buboy and his ex-wife Sunshine Cruz have made peace, he also invited her, although she could not make it because she had work. Their daughters, Buching, Sam and Cheska (aka the Tres Marias) were present though.


Meanwhile, Buboy’s son, Diego, is in Australia with his newborn baby Hailey, that’s why he was not at the party. “Diego told me that my new apo looks like me,” he beamed.


The fab girlfriend of Buboy, Kat Angeles, couldn’t be any happier. “We have been together for 10 years,” she pointed out. “We have weathered the storms. Now that our three kids are growing up, Buboy has mellowed. He gives me no reason to feel jealous. Behave na siya (laughs).”

Then, I chided her, “If your love story will be made into a movie, it should be called ‘The Taming of Cesar Montano.’”


In BFF’s thank you’ speech, he said, “After surviving my critical bout with COVID-19 after my 59th birthday, I let God lead the way. My life is no longer mine, but His.”

At 61, Buboy can’t ask for anything more. He is swamped with TV and movie projects. More importantly, all is well in his “blended family.”

Aside from his birthday, we also celebrated our almost two decades of friendship—and counting. Indeed, 61 never looked so good, and friendship never felt so good.

Girlie Rodis (left) with H.E.R.

Girlie Rodis (left) with H.E.R.

Girlie Rodis on ‘Here Lies Love’

What a delight that Filipino performers and creatives are represented in the musical, “Here Lies Love” (HLL), today’s hottest ticket on Broadway. It’s about Imelda Marcos and the People Power Revolution.

Lea Salonga, Arielle Jacobs, Conrad Ricamora and Jose Llana lead the all-Filipino cast of HLL. Since the show is about the Philippines, it has attracted prominent artists with Filipino blood to be producers, such as Lea, Jo Koy, and Grammy winner H.E.R.

A very special shoutout goes to Tita Girlie Rodis, one of HLL’s coproducers. GR, as she is fondly called in the biz, has created several musicals with her partners, Celeste Legaspi and Rachel Alejandro, such as “Ang Larawan.”

HLL is quite a feat in GR’s remarkable body of work. She got to collaborate with her BFF Bobby Garcia, Tony-winning costume designer Clint Ramos, Pulitzer-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas and other Pinoys based in the US.

Even if most of them had not worked together before, they gelled right away. “It’s like we all found friendship in our common desire to bring this story and cast to life,” GR said of her fellow producers.

The veteran talent manager made special mention of Lea and Julia Abueva. “To see Julia and Lea, two women I have known since they were kids, share the same stage filled me with so much emotion. It’s like fast-forward and backward, I can still see in my mind’s eye the brilliant children they were,” she beamed. “Never have I seen anything like HLL. It’s immersive and moving. It sparkles with the truth.”

Having known Tita GR for so long, I am super proud of her foray into Broadway. Will HLL be ever staged in the Philippines? GR’s magic touch will surely make that happen. Betcha by Girlie wow!

JC Santos (left) and Bela Padilla

JC Santos (left) and Bela Padilla

Bela and JC on their screen partnership

Bela Padilla and JC Santos have reinvented the love team concept. Even if they are not a couple in real life, their onscreen tandem rocks. After four blockbusters, they’re back together in Viva’s rom-com flick, “Wish You Were the One” (opens in cinemas on Aug. 23).

Directed by Derick Cabrido, it will make lovefools wonder if someone new whom they have chemistry with is better than an ex who is part of their history.

Here are quotes from Bela (B), Derick (D) and JC:

B: The beauty of our tandem is, JC and I know each other’s quirks. It’s very endearing to see how he has evolved not just on-cam, but off-cam as well. We do our homework to offer something new in every project, even if it’s always a love story. We make a conscious effort to detach from our previous characters and change our look, hairstyle and attack.

JC: Bela and I always had a love life whenever we worked together in the past, so out of respect for our partners, falling for each other was out of the question. Our focus is always on making the audience believe that the characters we portray are falling in love.

D: Our film will make the audience ponder if it’s possible to fall in love in 24 hours and question if it’s an illusion first before it becomes love.

B: JC and I never felt pressured to date in order to have chemistry. I’m glad we are unlike most love teams who are real-life couples. When they break up, their love team crumbles.

JC: For me, the light scenes were harder to do than the heavy ones. The right mix is needed to make the audience kilig without being too cheesy.

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D: I like how Bela and JC take their characters to heart. They even call each other out when they feel that there’s something more they can give in a scene, so they ask for a retake.

TAGS: Celebrities and Showbiz, Cesar Montano, Dollywood

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