Kiss-and-make-up showbiz events of 2008

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Several well-knownpersonalities finally ended their conflicts last year. Among these headlinemakers were Lolit Solis, veteran columnist and talent manager, who ended herrift with heartthrobs Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby. The two actors dropped theP12-million libel suit they filed against Lolit after she issued an apology andretraction for the "malicious" column she had written against them.



In the glitzy, highlycompetitive world of show business, antagonism and rivalry are commonplace. Tabloids,showbiz talk shows and cyberspace forums thrive on conflicts that spice up the runningrumor mill. But as fast as quarrels develop so do reconciliations. Theentertainment industry is such a small world that celebrities don't stay enemiesfor long. After all, bumping into the other during an event or having to worktogether in a project is always highly probable.

As year 2009 begins,PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) lists down, in no particular order, someof the notable reconciliations last year.

LOLITSOLIS-SAM MILBY-PIOLO PASCUAL. In late 2007, tabloidcolumnist Lolit Solis was sued for P12 million in a libel suit filed by actorsPiolo Pascual and Sam Milby. She had written what the two heartthrobs deemed a"malicious" write-up insinuating they were gay lovers.

Sam and Piolo soughther apology and retraction for them to drop the case. Lolit refused and thecase dragged on. Possible jail time forthe ageing talent manager loomed.

Lolit finally relentedand issued an apology in May 2008. "There is no factual basis for my article,which came out on October 15, 2007. I am extremely sorry for dragging the namesof Sam and Piolo," stated Lolit in a retraction letter submitted to ManilaRegional Trial Court Judge Jose Mendoza.

Piolo heaved a sigh of relief."Na-realize ko lang na buti na lang hindi na umabot sa hearing kasi parangnanay ko na ‘to [Lolit], e. I'm reallyhappy and thankful na umabot tayo sa pag-aayos."

WILLIEREVILLAME & JOEY DE LEON. As the faces of theirrespective popular noontime shows, Willie Revillame of Wowowee and Joey de Leon of EatBulaga! exchanged barbs in front of nationwide audiences. For almost twoyears, viewers had to put up with these personaltirades during lunchtime. These variety shows were supposed to be entertaining.

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On October 17, 2008,Willie and Joey came face-to-face at the 1st Supreme to the ExtremeAwards of the Philippine Star at theEmbassy Super Club.

When Willie bagged theTelevisionary Award, he acknowledged his rival by saying, "I would like toshare this award to a supreme talent, supreme icon, my idol Mr. Joey de Leon. Ishare this award with you."

Joey, who clinched theSupremo Award, gamely accepted Willie's gesture by joining the Wowowee host on stage. Whether thereconciliation between the two hosts is final remains to be seen. But, for now, it appears that bothparties are sincere in keeping the peace.

LANIMERCADO-GRETCHEN BARRETTO-RUFA MAE QUINTO. Ramon "Bong"Revilla's 42nd birthday on September 24, 2008 at the C3 Events Placein Greenhills, San Juan turned out to be extra-special. After rendering a songnumber, his colleague and good friend Jinggoy Estrada called on the women whowere once linked to the action superstar turned senator: Gretchen Barretto andRufa Mae Quinto. In yet another surprising gesture, Bong's wife Lani Mercadogamely joined Gretchen and Rufa Mae while the birthday celebrator tenselywatched.

"To Lani and Bong, Ihope that you'll be happy forever!" said Gretchen when asked to give a message.Rufa Mae quipped, "Heypi-heypi birthday, have many more birthdays to come andit's good to see you together."

Bong responded inrelief, "Finally, natapos na rin yung mga problema na ‘yon, nagkaharap-harapsila ngayon. Yun masarap ang pakiramdam, maluwag. At least we're all togetherhere in one party."


LOLITSOLIS & ANNABELLE RAMA. Bring two feisty talentmanagers together-Annabelle Rama and Lolit Solis-and expect fireworks all overthe town.

Flashback: March 2,2008. Ruffa Gutierrez narrated on TheBuzz that she felt slighted after being ignored by Lani Mercado at thebirthday party of GMA-7's SVP for Entertainment TV, Wilma Galvante.

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Ruffa lamented: "Sheleft my poor perfect pouty lips in the air na like that. Siyempre, napahiyanaman ako, di ba? My God, in-ignore ako! Ano kaya ang ginawa ko? And then, ‘pagganun [paghalik] ko, she just turned around, tinalikuran and then she left.Sabi ko, ‘Donita [Rose], nakita mo ‘yon? What did I do? Bakit niya akotinalikuran?'"

Lani's manager, LolitSolis, came to her ward's rescue. "Ang ipinagtataka ko lang, ba't kailangangmaging obligasyon ni Lani ang batiin ang kahit sino? Ang mga na-link sa asawaniya, e, siya ang legal wife?" (Ruffa had been linked in the past to Lani'shubby, actor-senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.)

In a March 5 TV Patrol World interview, Ruffa's mom, Annabelle, fired backat Lolit: "Hindi ko maintindihan bakit sobra-sobra ang reaksyon mo [Lolit] sapagtira sa anak ko... Ngayon di mo ako nirerespeto dahil kinakalaban mo anak ko,pati mga apo ko tinatamaan mo. Ngayon, Lolit Solis, kung matapang ka, hinahamonkita. Sabihin mo saan, anong oras, gusto mo mag-upukan tayo ngayon din, okay saakin!"

The feud ended in Juneat the wake of action superstar Rudy Fernandez. "Natuwa naman ako!" Ruffaexcitedly told entertainment reporters. "Si Mommy, hindi nagtatanim ng galit‘yan, e. Siyempre, ‘pag galit ‘yan, talagang maingay siya, madaldal siya. Lahatng hurt na nararamdaman niya, sasabihin niya. But after a while, as they say,‘Time heals all wounds.'"


ALFIELORENZO & JUDY ANN SANTOS.AlfieLorenzo's relationship with his superstar ward, Judy Ann Santos, has alwaysbeen volatile. As a manager, Alfie is typically protective of his talent buthis bluntness oftentimes leads to certain issues concerning Juday.

In 2008, Juday foundherself without a contract from longtime home network, ABS-CBN. When onefinally arrived, Juday reportedly opted first to consult a lawyer to review thecontent of the contract. Alfie was said to be slighted with the move andassumed that perhaps Juday had her own set of "sulsoltants." Juday-stillhounded by the tax evasion charges filed against her by the Bureau of InternalRevenue-explained that she was just being cautious before signing.

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The misunderstandingwas finally ironed out when Juday personally visited Alfie at his home to discuss the matter.

Alfie told PEP(Philippine Entertainment Portal) later: "Nakapag-usap kami nang maayos. Angikinakatakot niya lang kasi, takot na siyang mademanda ulit kaya raw siyakumuha ngayon ng abogado. Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Ako ang abogado mo for twentyyears, hindi ka naman nademanda. Kaya ka lang nademanda sa BIR na hindi konaman sakop, accountant mo ang may kagagawan nun."

The veterancolumnist-manager added: "Pababayaan ko ba naman siya? Alam mo naman kung gaanokaganda yung kontrata, ikinuwento ko nga yung iba sa iyo. Alam kaya ng mgagalit na readers sa akin na kahit mag-asawa o magbuntis si Juday next year,assured na siya ng isang magandang kontrata na hindi bababa ang value niya?Kahit magbakasyon siya ng isang taon, mag-asawa siya, manganak, tuloy angkontrata niya, may allowance pa. Hindi ba para sa kanya na rin yun?"

As for speculationsthat Alfie is meddling with Juday's personal life, he has this to say, "Kahitkailan, hindi ko sinasakop ang lovelife ni Juday. Wala na ako kung gusto nilangmagpakasal dahil personal nila ito."


ANNABELLERAMA & WILMA GALVANTE. Annabelle Rama ended 2008 on apositive note after she reconciled with GMA-7 SVP for Entertainment TV WilmaGalvante during a chance encounter in LosAngeles, Californiaon December 3, 2008.

The two had a fallingout after Annabelle accused the network executive of deliberately pitting thebirthday concert of GMA-7's bet Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera against thefirst-day showing of her son Richard Gutierrez's movie with KC Concepcion, For The First Time.

Wilma opted not to hitback so as to avoid a verbal war. At the time of the reconciliation, Annabellejust came from an operation.

In an article writtenby entertainment columnist and PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) blogger,Jojo Gabinete in Abante, he narratedhow the two buried the hatchet.

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"Nilapitan daw ni Ms.Wilma si Annabelle, na naka-wheelchair dahil katatapos lang ng kanyangoperasyon. Kinamusta ring ng GMA-7 executive ang kalagayan ng ina ni Richard atnagpatuloy na ang kanilang usapan."


THEERASERHEADS. Speculations on the breakup of thephenomenal local ‘90s band Eraserheads continued to grow since their bitterfallout in 2002. But on August 30, 2008, the band composed of Ely Buendia,Marcus Adoro, Buddy Zabala and Raimund Marasigan finally gave in to publicclamor and reunited for a single night in a massive concert held at the Fort inTaguig City.

Ely's poor physical andemotional health unfortunately got in the way and the concert ended abruptlyafter the set of 15 songs. Nevertheless, the events leading to the musical, andafterwards, helped repair the former Eraserheads' strained relationship. As further proof of their renewed friendship,frontman Ely Buendia and drummer Raimund Marasigan agreed to appear together ina photo shoot organized by eventologist Tim Yap.

As of press time, parttwo of the Eraserheads reunion concert is reportedly in the works and is slatedthis coming March.


MICHELLEMADRIGAL & PAULEEN LUNA. A defiant Pauleen Lunatold PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in an October 23, 2008 interview atan Internet café in Quezon City:"Sa akin, okay lang makipag-ayos siya. Open naman ako. Pero hindi ako gagawa ngunang move. Alam naman niya na hindi ako ang may kasalanan dito. Wala akongnakikita sa kanya na initiative to make the first move, hindi na muna akogagalaw. Nagpapakatotoo lang naman ako, ayoko ring gumigimik."

She was referring toher rift with fellow young star, Michelle Madrigal. The two had amisunderstanding after Michelle reportedly accused Pauleen of incessantlycalling her then boyfriend JC de Vera over the phone during their Boracayholiday a few years back.

A couple of weeks afterthe interview, Pauleen was singing a different tune.

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At a press conference (November11) tendered by GMA-7 to launch its new fantaserye, Luna Mystika, Pauleen happily announced that all's well between herand Michelle. "Yong usapan namin, sa amin na lang. But it was a good talk andokay na."

Both are in the cast ofLuna Mystika and many surmised thatthe reconciliation was triggered by the project.

"No, it's not becauseof the project," Pauleen quickly clarified to PEP. "Ayaw mo naman ng meron kangkaaway and, as we always say, sana‘wag kaming pilitin because eventually it will happen and, you know, tamangtiming dahil meron kaming project."

Michelle secondedPauleen's statement, claiming that the reconciliation was just waiting tohappen.

"Maganda na ‘yong hindikami pinilit dahil feeling ko kung pinilit baka hindi ganito, parang ‘hi,'parang ganun pa rin, parang ang plastic pa rin. Kasi ‘pag pilit ka tapos hindimo pa talaga feel parang hindi maganda ‘yong kakalabasan."


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