Sofia de Leon is the granddaughter of Joey de Leon and Daria Ramirez from their daughter Cheenee, the sister of Keempee. She is a late bloomer as she has joined showbusiness as an actress only recently.
“I went to college muna kasi and got a degree in culinary management from Treston International College,” she says. “Since I joined showbiz last year, I have finished a movie, ‘Big Boys,’ produced by Daddie Wowie Roxas and directed by Rechie del Carman. I’m also now a mainstay in a sitcom on Net25, ‘Anong Meron Kay Abok’, with Empoy Marquez, directed by Nico Faustino. Our co-stars are Alexa Miro as Juliet, Yuki Takahashi as Jannie, Nico Nicholas as Tisoy, Nicco Loco as Doc Willy, Yow Andrada as Yoyong and Anthony Ocampo as Toni. It’s a very entertaining show and we hope more viewers will watch us.”
She is being managed by Malou Choa-Fagar who has just been appointed as a member of the MTRCB.
“Mama Malou knew me almost my whole life. Maliit pa lang ako, tambay na ko sa ‘Eat Bulaga’ where my grandfather and uncle work. Then nagdalaga ako and kinausap niya ko and she said after elementary and high school, she’ll manage me. But it took me a while before I finally decided to join showbiz. I did a normal job first in Marco Polo Hotel.”
Offers for her to try showbiz continue to come. “Finally, last year, I decided na sige nga, subukan ko. No harm naman in trying. And since then, Mama Malou has been managing me.”
How are Joey de leon and Daria Ramirez as grandparents?
“Well, both of them are very supportive. At first I didn’t tell them that I’m joining the showbiz. But eventually sinabi ko rin and they have been supporting me all throughout naman.”
Ria’s new daring project?
Ria Atayde, the new White Castle Whisky calendar girl, is promoting body positivity as Destileria Limtuaco & Co., Inc. marks its 60th anniversary.
The image of the White Castle Girl clad in a red bikini atop a white horse has been immortalized in Philippine pop culture by various sexy stars and beauty queens. But Destileria Limtuaco president and CEO Olivia Limpe-Aw says: “We don’t have to focus on just being thin all the time but on what we can contribute to our family, to society, our country. We felt Ria Atayde best represents all of us. Someone who is full of confidence like her is a beautiful person. Ria is not only a good actress, she also works for her family and is the head of their company that produced Arjo Atayde’s international series, ‘The Cattleya Killer’.”
Ria says she was so surprised when told she’d be their calendar girl. “I never expected it kasi you know naman calendar girls fit a certain mold and big girls like me don’t get to be models for calendars,” she says. “So I was in disbelief. Sabi ko, talaga ba? But I like their concept of instilling body positivity. Kasi I believe one can be sexy and wholesome at the same time. It’s how you embrace your body, flaws and all. So after we did the pictorial for the calendars, sabi ko, ay kaya ko pala. It definitely gave me a lot more confidence about myself.”
White Castle Whisky and Ria Atayde aim to join hand-in-hand in sending out a positive and affirming message on what it truly means to be confident and sexy.
Marco as a ‘Magician’ in Spellbound!
MARCO Gumabao plays a magician for the first time in Viva’s pre-Valentine offering, “Spellbound,” an adaptation of a Korean fantasy-romance blockbuster. “It’s a very challenging role for me because I don’t really know anything about magic,” he says. “But for my character, I took a workshop on magic and now, nagagamit ko pa rin ang magic tricks na natutuhan ko.”
He’s a fake magician but when he meets Bela, a girl who can see ghosts, he uses her ability to see spirits in his acts to make his magic act more convincing and it’s a hit. So how is it working with Bela for the first time?
“Kaka-start ko pa lang sa showbiz, nakilala ko na si Bela sa ABS. But now lang kami naging magkapareha. I was nervous at first as she has done several hit movies and she also directs. But in all fairness to her, she never made me feel awkward on the set. It’s not hard to work with her kasi dedicated siya and very focused sa work niya. She’s actually fun to work with, so sana maka-work ko uli siya.”
Their director, Jalz, is also a newcomer. He has produced films like “Huling Chacha ni Anita” and “The Art of Ligaw,” but this is the first time he is directing a full-length movie. So how is Direk Jalz?
“He’s very collaborative. He asks us first kung okay ba gawin namin ang ganito for the scene. He’s very considerate sa actors niya and I think he’s coming up with an impressive first movie.”
We ask Jalz how he adapted the movie from the Korean original.
“Wala kaming masyadong binago, kasi may restrictions ang Koreans about the original,” he says. “But binago namin ito by injecting more Pinoy flavor and making it more relevant to our present time. It took almost three years to complete ‘Spellbound’ because of the lockdowns. When we resumed the shoot after two years, some of the locations we used before are not available anymore, so niremedyuhan na lang namin.”
David Licauco never thought his role as Fidel in GMA-7’s hit primetime series, “Maria Clara at Ibarra,” will truly boost his career. His on-screen love team with Barbie Forteza as Klay has won them countless fans who call their tandem “Filay.”
Fidel first came across as sexist and arrogant, but Klay changed him.
And not only that, his acting has never been generously praised as his portrayal of Fidel is reaping now. In last week’s episode of the show, he and Klay are witnesses to the death of Rocco Nacino as Elias. Netizens praised him a lot for his acting in this dramatic scene.
“Being part of a hit show like ‘Maria Clara at Ibarra’ is one of the biggest blessings in my career,” said David. “I’m overwhelmed by the favorable reaction of the viewing public to our love team ni Barbie. First time ko rin to get so much praise for my performance and I’m really overwhelmed by the positive comments I’m getting.”
David said that the drama series will end on February 17 but they are now taping its Book 2 that will now focus on Jose Rizal’s second novel, “El Filibusterismo.” And since his love team with Barbie is a big part of the show’s enormous success, they will continue to play their respective role as Fidel and Klay. David is also a good singer and he sang the “Filay” theme song, “Kailangan Kita,” which is a hit with their fans.
He also feels jubilant to get his first endorsement with Barbie because of the huge success of their love team in “Maria Clara.” They were chosen by Ishin owners Mario Miguel and Shirleen Bautista as the ambassadors of Ishin Food Supplement for skin whitening and immune boosting after they were seen with the product in their social media accounts.
Mark Anthony Fernandez is doing one movie after one another. Since he joined Viva, he has done “Doblado,” “Deception,” “Barumbadings,” “House Tour,” “Kaliwaan,” “Scorpio NIghts 3,” “Pamasahe,” “Night Bird” and the latest is “Bela Luna.” He has also finished a new mini-series with Rose Van Ginkel, “Stalkers,” that will stream end of October.
Mark turned 44 on January 18 and he feels he has been given a new lease on life with all the wonderful things that is happening to his career right now. We’ve noticed he’s been more daring in showing off his physique in the movies he does. In “Scorpio Nights 3,” he had frontal nudity in his scene with Christine Bermas. In “Night Bird,” he is shown walking around shirtless and in the scene where Christine is torturing him, he’s only in his underwear.
“Well, mas matapang ako ngayon kasi pinaghirapan ko naman ang porma ng katawan ko ngayon,” he said. “Talagang nag-e-ensayo ako everyday at hinahanap na ng katawan ko kapag hindi ako nakapag-exercise. I’d say I’m more fit now than when I was younger, so I feel puede naman akong maging mas daring sa movies that I do now.”
In “Luna Bela,” he plays a criminal who makes Angeli Khang his hostage while he is being pursued by cops. Soon, romance blooms between the kidnapper and the hostage. Angeli is the battered wife of Julio Diaz who often uses her against her will. In Mark, she feels the tenderness and care she has never felt before and she falls for him. (M. Bautista, Malaya)
Lexi and Gil are in relationship! DONE!!!
Lexi Gonzales and Gil Cuerva are paired in the hit GMA afternoon show, “Underage.” They used to claim that they are just dating and Gil is still just courting Lexi. But now, they admit that they are indeed in a relationship.
“Hindi na siya nanliligaw ngayon,” says Lexi. “He’s on a higher level now.”
So what are the qualities of Gil that convinced her to give him her “matamis na oo”? “Kasi persistent siya. Not the type who’d give up that easily. ‘Di ba women usually say no, ayoko, but deep inside, gusto naman pala. Si Gil, he won’t just stop. Masugid siyang manligaw.
Hindi siya titigil hangga’t hindi niya nakukuha yung gusto niya.”
And now that they are officially on, she says she can see that he is really honest in his intentions.
“Totoong tao siya. He’s genuine. He’s smart and I can see he cares as he really takes the extra effort to guide me kasi I’m younger than him. He’s 27 and I’m 22.”
In “Underage,” Gil is Lance Guerrero, the older brother of Nicky Co as Leo. Lexi is Celine Serrano, the eldest sister of Elijah Alejo as Chynna and Hailey Mendes as Carrie. When Nicky tries to rape Elijah, she accidentally kills him, but it’s Lexi who owns up to what happened and Gil gets so angry and vows to to avenge his brother’s death.
Camille accepts mother role DONE!!
CAMILLE Prats has been doing a lot of hosting jobs these past few years but now, she is back acting before the camera in the forthcoming GMA afternoon series, “AraBella.”
“Na-miss ko rin talagang umarte,” she says. “The last soap I did is ‘Ang Forever Ko’y Ikaw’ in 2018 pa. So when GMA told me I’d do a soap, siempre, yes agad ako.”
“AraBella” is directed by Adolfo Alix Jr., with Patrick Ilagan as concept creator. Camille plays Rosella, a successful businesswoman. While in church, her daughter Bella goes out and when Camille follows her, the little girl goes missing and can no longer be found anywhere.
Camille searched for her missing daughter everywhere but even the police cannot find her.
Ten years quickly pass and two teens present themselves to her as her long-lost daughter: Ara and Bella. She feels attached to both girls, but only one can be her real daughter.
Portraying Ara and Bella are talented young actresses Shayne Sava and Althea Ablan.
Shayne is the winner in the last “Starstruck,” last seen with Ai Ai de las Alas in “Raising Mamay.” Althea Ablan gained lots of fans for her appearance in the hit drama series, “Prima Donnas 1 and 2.”
Camille has maintained her youthful looks, so won’t she look awkward playing the role of a mom to teenage girls?
“I eat healthy, I exercise regularly, I avoid stress, kaya siguro sabi nga nila, mukhang bagets pa rin ako,” she beams. “But this June, I will already be 38 years old, so puede na talagang akong maging mother ng teenagers. And in real life, my eldest, si Nathan, is teenager na talaga at 15 years old.” (M. Bautista, Malaya)