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Sofia explains why she’s using her mother’s last name
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Sofia Gonzalez (MNS photo)

Sofia Gonzalez, the eldest daughter of Tacloban City Mayor Cristina Gonzalez and ex-Mayor Alfred Romualdez started recording her debut album for Viva Records.

One of the songs she did is her own composition, “Love Hurts”. How can she write a song about love when she herself admits she has never fallen in love in her entire life?

“Love is relatable naman even if you haven’t been in love yet. But actually, I’m in love pala, with food!” she laughs. “I got the inspiration for the song from my friends who fall in love then break up with their boyfriends and come to me to open up about their heartbreaks. I’m their shoulder to cry on and judging from their stories, parang ang daming lalaking manloloko.”

How long does it take for her to write a song? “‘Love Hurts’ natapos ko in 5 minutes. It was late at night, I was bored, so I wrote it. I have finished two other songs.”

How come she’s using her mom’s family name and not her dad’s? “Romualdez kasi is more identified with politics, while Gonzalez  is better known in showbiz. My mom is known as an actress-singer then. She’s using Gonzalez and also her dad, my lolo, Jose Mari Gonzalez, who’s also an actor-singer.”

So will she also be an actress-singer? “No. I don’t know how to act. I tried in Youtube but it’s awful.”

Who among today’s young actors  would she like to have as a ka-love team? “No one. I don’t really care about having a loveteam. I want to focus on my music muna. I don’t have formal voice lessons but I was a member of our school choir for one year. I learned to play the ukelele, guitar and the piano without taking any formal lessons. I just learned from Youtube.”

Who are her favorite singers? “Locally, Yeng Constantino. She’s really my idol as she also composes her own songs and plays the guitar. If ever I’d get to do a duet with her, siguro I’d cry. I also like the styles of KZ Tandingan and, abroad, Ariana Grande and Adele.”

Sofia just turned 17 on August 22, she’s in 10th grade, and talking to her, it’s easy to see she has a good head on her shoulders. She professes to be conservative. “People are shocked when they learn that at 17, I haven’t tried drinking anything alcoholic kasi sa bars daw in Manila, girls younger than me can drink. But I don’t even have a night life. Whether here in Tacloban or in Manila, I prefer to just stay home at night watching TV, movies or Youtube, doing social media and eating. I watched ‘Stranger Things’, all 8 episodes, in just one sitting. I love romcoms. I’ve seen ‘500 Days of Summer’ several times.”

Isn’t she scared of being bashed on social media? “You know, since it’s been announced that I signed up with Viva, biglang dumami ang friends ko. Even my sister Diana gained friends. She asked me: Who are all these people following me now? So far, wala namang namba-bash, but if ever there’d be bashers in the future, I’d just ignore them. I won’t even read them at all.”

She had a very traumatic experience at the height of typhoon Yolanda.

“We were staying home when the rains started and we moved to our other house which was on higher ground. But even there, the water reached us. It went up so fast. It’s good my mom brought life jackets and we had to wait for two hours until the water subsided. What happened afterwards is even more traumatic when we had to go out na, seeing all the dead people lying in the streets. I can’t forget a little girl who’s asking for our help and we didn’t know what to do. We had to undergo counseling and therapy because of that experience.”

So what insights did she gain about it? “You should learn to value your life more, don’t take it for granted, because you can die any minute.”(MNS)

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Duterte grants executive clemency to Robin Padilla
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Actor Robin Padilla was granted absolute pardon by President Rodrigo Duterte following their meeting at the Malacañang Palace on Tuesday.(MNS photo)

Actor Robin Padilla was granted absolute pardon by President Rodrigo Duterte following their meeting at the Malacañang Palace on Tuesday.(MNS photo)

MANILA, Nov 16 (Mabuhay) — Actor Robin Padilla was granted absolute pardon by President Rodrigo Duterte following their meeting at Malacañang Palace on Tuesday.

The pardon restores Padilla’s civil and political rights, which may enable him to get a US visa so he can be with his wife and newborn child.

“He has suffered enough, I think. Kung bitawan mo naman iyong tao sa labas, give him the rights –makaboto, maka-travel, whatever,” Duterte told reporters.

Padilla, a staunch supporter of Duterte, was convicted of illegal possession of firearms in 1994. He was released after being granted conditional pardon by former President Fidel Ramos three years later.

According to Duterte, he did not see any malicious intent in Padilla when he was caught with guns.

Television host-actress Mariel Rodriguez, Padilla’s wife, on Monday gave birth to a baby girl in the United States. It is the couple’s first child since getting married back in 2010 in India. Padilla was unable to travel to the U.S. after failing to secure a visa.

Rodriguez first confirmed her pregnancy in May, eight months after suffering her second miscarriage. She flew to the US in September to receive extra care during her delicate pregnancy. (MNS)


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Why Yeng’s husband sacrificed his own music career
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Yeng Constantino (MNS photo)

Yeng Constantino admitted that she sometimes feels sad that her husband, Yan Asuncion, had to give up his music since they got married.

Constantino said Asuncion stopped recording and writing new songs because he is devoting most of his time to their business.

“Si Yan po, marami pong sinacrifice bilang artist. Kasi si Yan, isa siya sa main worship leaders ng church namin, ‘yung Victory. Gumagawa sila ng album. Pinadala pa nga sila sa Nashville to be trained para sa pagre-record, pag-produce. Pero nung naging kami, he knew na kailangan niya i-let go ‘yun and suportahan ako sa ginagawa ko and for him to go to a different direction which is business,” she said.

Constantino stressed that she greatly appreciates Asuncion’s sacrifices.

“Of course sa heart niya, he wants to support me, ‘yung family namin. Minsan, siguro hindi ko nao-open masyado sa kanya, pero nalulungkot ako kasi he’s really a good songwriter, napakagaling na musician. Pero right now, hindi niya ginagawa dahil nagfo-focus siya talaga na makakaipon kami so that when the baby comes, talagang sigurado,” she said.

Constantino said it is her hope that Asuncion would someday go back to writing and recording songs.

Constantino, who got her big break when she won ABS-CBN’s “Pinoy Dream Academy” in 2006, met Asuncion in 2013 through a common friend. Last year, they exchanged vows at a garden ceremony in Hacienda Isabella, Tagaytay.

The two marked their first anniversary as a couple in February this year.(MNS)

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Kerwin Espinosa vows to tell all: PHL envoy
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PNP chief Dir. Gen. Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa presents suspected Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa to media at Camp Crame early Friday morning, November 18, 2016. Espinosa, son of slain Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, is the alleged Eastern Visayas drug lord. Espinosa was brought to Manila after five months of hiding in Abu Dhabi. (MNS photo)

PNP chief Dir. Gen. Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa presents suspected Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa to media at Camp Crame early Friday morning, November 18, 2016. Espinosa, son of slain Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, is the alleged Eastern Visayas drug lord. Espinosa was brought to Manila after five months of hiding in Abu Dhabi. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Nov 16 (Mabuhay) – Alleged Eastern Visayas top drug lord Kerwin Espinosa is asking to be placed under the government’s Witness Protection Program, with the promise that he will reveal all that he knows about the illegal drug trade, Philippine Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Constancio Vingno Jr. said Wednesday.

“’Ang request niya, na he be placed under the Witness Protection Program and he will tell all,” Vingno said.

The Philippine envoy was able to meet with Espinosa last week at the Wadha Jail in Abu Dhabi, where the alleged drug lord has been detained since he was arrested by local authorities last October 17.

The request comes as the alleged drug lord is said to fear for his life, as well as that of his family’s, after the killing of his father, Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., inside the Leyte Sub-Provincial Jail last November 5.

DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Monday said that they are inclined to place Kerwin under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Vingno said the younger Espinosa has yet to give a sworn statement to Philippine authorities, who are currently processing papers for his deportation, expected later this week.

He added that the alleged drug lord’s revelations will likely be similar to those of his late father.

“Palagay ko po ‘di nagkakaiba ‘yon. Kung anong alam ng ama niya, ‘yon din ang alam ni Kerwin,” Vingno said. “Sinabi niya na don’ raw [sa affidavit] po siya magsasalita… under oath.”

Meanwhile, Vingno said they have not been informed on whether there would be sanctions for whoever rented the apartment for Espinosa, his wife, and three children.

“Wala pa naman po,” he replied when asked about the matter. “Otherwise nalaman na po namin kung may pananagutan… ‘Yung may isa siyang kaibigan na hindi naman namin nakikita at nakikilala. ‘Yung kumupkop sa kanila.”

He noted that only residents may rent spaces in Abu Dhabi, with one-year payment in advance.

“Surely resident ang umupa para sa kanila. Maaaring kaibigan niya po,” he said, adding that this person is “most probably Filipino.”

Vingno noted, however: “Hindi naman po natin kaagad ma-establish na may kinalaman ‘yung umupa for him [sa drug trade].” (MNS)

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Pia Wurtzbach addresses bashers, defends advocacy work
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Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach posted a lengthy message on her personal Instagram account, addressing bashers who keep questioning her work as Miss Universe.

In her caption, Wurtzbach said she posted the message because she is tired of people complaining about her seeming lack of focus on her advocacy, especially on raising awareness for HIV/AIDS.

“Just to get some things straight. I haven’t forgotten about my advocacy, ok? I’m so tired of people complaining that I haven’t found “the cure” for HIV when clearly I said I would raise awareness. I’m not magically gonna come up with a potion that cures everything,” she said.

She added that she is not the type of person who would document all her movement and post it online for people to see.

“Just like the during the competition, I wasn’t posting my everyday pageant activities and that upset a lot of fans. They thought I wasn’t doing any effort. I just really did not like posting anything online. Why? Cos I didn’t feel like I needed to. Instagram isn’t part of the judges panel. Am I gonna carry my phone around with me and take every selfie, every photo I see to ease your worries? No. I don’t work like that. I put my phone down and I work. And did it work? Yes,” Wurtzbach said.

For Wurtzbach, the fact that she is being bashed for allegedly not doing her job is in itself raising awareness for HIV/AIDS.

“So before you go saying that I haven’t done anything, the mere fact that you’re talking about how little I am doing charity work for HIV/AIDS, isn’t that awareness in itself? You’re thinking about it, right? Talking about it, correct? Bashing me in the process BUT still getting the message out there.”

She accompanied the post with a bikini photo to get the attention of her followers.

Meanwhile, in a separate post, Wurtzbach reminded her fans to always be grateful. She accompanied her message with photos of her praying.

“The reason why I’m posting this is to remind everyone that sometimes we forget to simply say thank you. Too often we pray when we’re in the dark but do we also pray to say thank you when we’re okay?” she said.

She also told her fans not to lose hope and to always believe in God’s plan for everyone.

“So guys, don’t lose hope. He has a plan for you. You just have to have faith in yourself and in Him. And together you will find your destiny. Just like I did. I’m still a work in progress but I’ll never forget the true power He holds and will always hold. To my first and true love. You,” Wurtzbach wrote.(MNS)

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Paulo Avelino comments on rumoured girlfriend
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Paulo Avelino (MNS photo)

Paulo Avelino (MNS photo)

Photos of Paulo Avelino with his rumoured girlfriend, model and entrepreneur Natasha Villaroman, have been making the rounds online.

The pictures were originally shared by Villaroman’s mother on Facebook although they have already been taken down.

Nonetheless, the actor’s supporters were quick to repost the photos, which were supposedly taken at the luxury resort Amanpulo in Palawan, in other social networking sites.

During a press conference for his upcoming movie “The Unmarried Wife”, Avelino was asked to comment on the photos.

“I just don’t like people getting bashed or people making up things just to destroy a person because ayaw nila sa kanya or ayaw nila sa akin. Ayaw ko lang na may naba-bash. Ayaw ko siyang naba-bash,” he said.

The actor also confirmed that he is currently dating someone although he did not name any person in particular.

Avelino’s last known relationship was with KC Concepcion. (MNS)

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Kris to return on TV with Duterte interview
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Kris Aquino (MNS photo)

Kris Aquino (MNS photo)

Seven months since she bade goodbye to viewers of “Kris TV,” Kris Aquino is ready to make her TV comeback with a one-on-one interview with no less than the President of the Philippines.

In an Instagram post, Aquino shared that she is set for a sit-down interview with President Rodrigo Duterte, the successor of her brother Benigno Aquino III.

“I promised myself, babalik ako for a once in a lifetime, one on one interview,” she wrote in the caption.

Aquino’s interview with Duterte will air on November 11 on TV5 and PTV4.

Aquino’s morning show on ABS-CBN, “Kris TV,” aired its final episode on March 23 after she decided to take a break from show business because of health problems.

After being a regular fixture of ABS-CBN for almost 20 years, Aquino announced last September that she has decided to leave the network.

At that time, Aquino also revealed that she is set to do a project with APT Entertainment, Inc., which is closely associated with rival GMA-7.

APT stands for Antonio P. Tuviera, and is a subsidiary of TAPE Inc., the producer of “Eat Bulaga,” among other shows. (MNS)

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