Kapamilya stars gathered again for a night of glamour, laughter, amd camaraderie at the annual Star Magic Ball held last night, September 5, at the Rizal Ballroom of Shangri-La Makati. This was the fourth year in a row the strictly formal ball has been held, which also marked the 18th anniversary celebration of ABS-CBN's talent management arm.
PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) went star-gazing by the red carpet as the celebrities swooped in, garbed in their most fashionable black, silver, white gowns and suits.
Star Magic—which its video presentation announced as having "300+" stars—spilled out its array of stars, led by its prime talents Piolo Pascual, John Lloyd Cruz, Bea Alonzo, Diether Ocampo, Kristine Hermosa, Sam Milby, Angelica Panganiban, Vina Morales, and Pokwang. Also lending glitter and glam were Jake Cuenca, Shaina Magdayao, Melissa Ricks, Matt Evans, Zanjoe Marudo, Maja Salvador, Rayver Cruz, and Coco Martin.
Its famous love teams, like Kim Chiu and Gerald Anderson, Enchong Dee and Erich Gonzales, Melai Cantiveros and Jason Francisco, also came as "dates" in the event.
The program, ably hosted by a visibly slimmed-down JM Rodriguez and a stunning Megan Young, began with jaw-dropping stunts by the Pilipinas Got Talent's hip-hop dancing group, the Velasco Brothers. Then the Star Magic Glee Club, starring talents with genuine singing talent or the promise of it, did acapella performances with Markki Stroem and Matteo Guidicelli.
When PGT grand winner Jovit Baldivino appeared, singing his audition piece "Faithfully," and world-class music talent Jed Madela took the spotlight with "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing," the two gave out a clear message: We respect talent here!
Then Pokwang reminded everybody that she is not only a comedienne and host of charm and wit, but also a fine dancer who can take centerstage among a slew of younger dancers. To add to the applause, host JM Rodriguez told the audience that Pokwang had training in ballet. Pokwang did her dance number with Star Magic talents AJ Perez, Rodjun Cruz, Thou Perez, among others.
And as part of the annual affair, the most-awaited awards, for the evening's stars who shone brightest in that firmament of stars, were handed out.
Piolo, who came garbed in a dapper Hugo Boss suit, received the 2010 Star Magic Icon award, which was explained as one given to "the star who inspires other stars." Meantime, the coveted Star Magic King and Queen trophies were given to an impressively suited John Lloyd Cruz and an equally impressively gowned Maricar Reyes, respectively.
Kim Chiu, whose dress was made by Furne One, won the Best Dressed award, along with her long-time onscreen partner Gerald. The Most Stylish awards went to the tall and lovely Bea Alonzo and the lean and handsome Zanjoe Marudo, who walked the red carpet together.
ABS-CBN President Charo Santos-Concio, who graced the affair with an unadorned dress draped over her body, her tresses cascading on either side of her face, was hailed as the Most Elegant Star of the Night. The Fashion Forward award was given to comedienne Kitkat, whose acceptance speech rivalled the fun feel of her shimmering white ball gown.
Former onscreen partners Shaina Magdayao and Jake Cuenca, both looking movie-star attractive, received the Fashionista awards.
Anne Curtis, a Viva artist who is always welcome to Star Magic events, won the Most Glamorous award. This is not the first time either. Describing what inspired her outfit for the night, Anne said, "Last year, I was classic-looking, and the year before that I was Audrey Hepburn-ish. This is something different. I want something more modern and messy, but at the same I still look classy."
Magkaribal actors Enchong Dee and Erich Gonzales were heralded as Cinema's Most Romantic Couple, quite likely because of their successful onscreen pairing. Meantime, real-life partners Kristine and Oyo Sotto, who are said to be marrying soon, were given huge bottles of champagne as Couple of the Night.
Coke Zero's Wild and Fit award, presented by celebrity endorser Zanjoe, was given to Joseph Marco and Jessy Mendiola, deservedly.
After the awarding, Concert King Martin Nievera, a regular at the Star Magic Ball, called on the celebrities to join him onstage, who've been given the opportunity to become stars by Star Magic's chairman emeritus Johnny Manahan. The stars—considered some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, if not the biggest—stayed in the background, clapping and swaying, as he sang his composition, "All For One, One for All," dedicated to Johnny Manahan, a.k.a. Mr. M.
The director and talent discoverer was called from the back of the ballroom to give a short message, but although he was persuaded to join the stars gathered, in lieu of a speech, he threw everyone a smile.
Mr. M has always been a big name in the most influential medium today, television, but he has also always kept a low profile. Rarely agreeing to be photographed or interviewed, he told reporters wanting to pin him down with a statement last night, "I am not an artista." This is the same line, by the way, that he gave reporters in last year's Star Magic ball, while ducking tape recorders, cameras, and microphones.
The show ended with the traditional cotillion by Star Magic teen stars, after which the real party—let-it-loose dancing and revelry, during which time photographers were asked to leave—began for all Star Magic talents present.
INTERESTING DATES. Aside from the fashionable designer clothes the stars paraded in, another point of real interest for the invited media was who was dating who for the night.
For the second year in a row, Piolo came to the ball with his former Lovers in Paris co-star KC Concepcion. Although they've been spotted together on various occasions many times, "friends pa rin," is how KC described their relationship. (CLICK HERE to read related article)
It was also a surprise for the press to see Jake Cuenca with Melissa Ricks, who was once rumored to be his girlfriend. "Ang swerte-swerte ko, siyempre, kasi ang daming lalaking nakapila na gustong i-escort si Melissa, pero pinagbigyan niya ako," said the Elias Paniki star.
Young actress Erich Gonzales, meantime, said she just waited for Enchong to ask her to be his date for the Star Magic Ball. Enchong, quick on the uptake, said, "[Sabi ko], 'Bakit ka pa nagdadalawang-isip ka pa? Tayong dalawa na 'yon.'"
Meanwhile, Erich's former onscreen partner Ejay Falcon asked his Momay co-actor Queenie Padilla to be his date for the Star Magic Ball. The eldest daughter of Robin Padilla said this got her mom, Liezl Sicangco, so excited, she sent her daughter a pair of shoes all the way from Australia to wear to the event.
John Lloyd and Shaina attended the annual celebration for the first time as a couple. John Lloyd had earlier said they were both expecting the ball to turn out great. "This time around it's gonna be a better night and a more meaningful night." (CLICK HERE to read related article)
On the other hand, handsome celebrity couple Derek Ramsay and Angelica Panganiban kept their cool, while saying very little, as the media nagged them about the current controversy involving the young actress and former Star Magic star Claudine Barretto. (CLICK HERE to read related article)
Derek simply said about his girlfriend Angelica, "[I support her] all the way, of course. I'm here for her."
Kristine had Oyo as her escort for the second time in a row. Although they refused to give a proper interview about their upcoming wedding, Oyo did say to the media, "Siguro, kung ano ang sinabi ng mommy ko [Dina Bonnevie], 'yon na lang. Kasi, 'yon din ang sasabihin namin." (CLICK HERE to read related article)
Of course, there were also Star Magic talents who chose to go to the event sans dates.
One of these was Diether Ocampo, who was photographed with former girlfriend Rima Ostwani in last year's ball, but who that evening was looking handsome, if alone. (CLICK HERE to read related article)
Sam Milby—who will be the star attraction of this year's Cosmopolitan Bachelor Bash event—also walked the red carpet alone. A few days before the event, he already announced, "Wala akong date." (CLICK HERE to read related article)
Incidentally, his former girlfriend Anne Curtis, who was with Sam in last year's ball, also attended the event alone. When asked why didn't she accompany Sam, she replied, laughing, "Baka maging awkward lang! But, you know, we're still friends and that's all that matters. We're here to both have fun."
Like these stars, other guests looked like they enjoyed the 18th year celebration of Star Magic. Seen in the ballroom were Regal Entertainment matriarch Lily Monteverde with husband Leonardo "Remy" Monteverde, ABS-CBN CEO and Chairman Gabby Lopez, former ABS-CBN President Freddie Garcia, and ABS-CBN channel head Cory Vidanes. Director Paul Soriano, came with girlfriend Toni Gonzaga, while directors Rowell Santiago and Laurenti Dyogi came suited and solo.
Talent manager and events organizer Keren Pascual helped in organizing the fourth Star Magic Ball, just as he did last year.