After a short hiatus from doing projects on television and movies, Enchong Dee is back in a horror comedy flick titled ‘I Love You to Death’ (but this has nothing to do with the 1990 Hollywood movie of the same title) opposite the Comedy Princess—Kiray Celis. The movie opens on Wednesday, July 6 in theaters nationwide.
Dee, in this current Regal Entertainment Incorporated presentation, he plays Celis’s childhood friend, who is head over heels in love with the latter.
Despite the fact that he is really serious in pursuing his singing career because it was actually the ‘fire’ that fueled him to go on with his passion in the entertainment industry, he was forced to be inactive for a while, but after much needed thought—he is back in doing a movie project because he finds this opportunity a unique to be paired with Kiray, who had proven her box-office potentials via another movie from the same outfit, titled—‘Love is Blind’.
Also, Enchong wants to show and even prove not just to himself but to others especially to those who aspire to join showbiz, “Gusto kong makita ng iba as an inspiration. Dahil sa business na ito, napakahirap pumasok at andaming gusting pumasok. I want to set an example at masabi ng iba na—‘gusto kong maging katulad ni Kuya Enchong’.”
When he was not active in the limelight, he opened his own restaurant business and he considers it as a preparation for his future, “Alam ko naman na one day, I would get to the point that I am going to lay low.”
In his return, he describes himself in five words as, “I am CONTENTED. HOPEFUL that I still get to do the roles I wanna do in the future. I’m EXCITED. I’m HAPPY. And I’m more FOCUSED.”
Dee and Celis are joined by Janice de Belen, Betong Sumaya, Devon Seron, Trina Legaspi, Michelle Vito, Shine Kuk, Paolo Gumabao, Christian Bables, Nico Nicolas, and Dino Pastrano. The film is directed by Mico Livelo.
Two of the country’s comediennes—Pokwang and Melai Cantiveros are brought together by Kapamilya Network in a new dramedy series titled ‘We Will Survive’ as Wilma and Maricel, which aired on Monday, February 29 on Kapamilya Primetime Bida slot before TV Patrol.
Pokwang and Melai as contest winners are also joined by two other winners of TV contests and have turned as stars as well—Bea Saw and Regine Angeles. The four will portray as friends with stories of struggles and triumphs, which the audiences will definitely resonate with.
In an exclusive interview, according to Mel Mendoza-Del Rosario, the show producer, the four friends’ common denominator is the videoke since it is their outlet whenever they find the need to have release of any emotional tension whatsoever.
She distinctly describes the four friends as: “Sa kanilang apat, Bea’s character is the well-off kasi mayaman ang asawa. Regine’s character has the videoke bar biz. Melai is an orphan and grew up with her grandmother which made her a spoiled brat at nakakaangat din sa buhay. While Pokwang has the most challenging situation in life; kaya nagpang-abot sila sa school hindi siya yearly nakaka-enrol. Ang interaction nila in reference to lovelife ay yung present sila sa lahat ng ‘highlights’ ng lovelife ng bawat isa. They share the important moments like proposals, break-ups, yun tipong they share the joys and heartbreaks.”
Since the show was shot in Legazpi with the Mayon Volcano as its backdrop—comparing the two comediennes to the province’s tourist attraction. Ms. Mendoza-Del Rosario described Melai and Pokwang as: “Si Melai ang similarity sa Mayon, nauuna ang damdamin na sumasabog bago mag-isip. Siya ang mas sumasabog na bulkan; warla kung warla pag-galit, baliw pag-in love. Siya ang Mayon na madalas may eruption.
“Si Pokwang naman mas serene at docile na Mayon; nagtatago sa ulap at perfect cone, Tahimik, kalma, mas may self-control, Kaya niyang i-set aside ang love and feekings para unahin ang needs ng pamilya. Perfect in the sense na gusto niya muna makitang maganda estado ng pamilya bago unahin ang sariling kapakanan at kaligayahan.”
The series is not the same feel as ‘Be Careful’, ‘Dream Dad’ and ‘Ningning’. It is best described as a dramedy and banking on friendship as its theme. In fact, the Network gambles on the team-up of Pokwang and Melai, who have never been lead stars in a television series since in the two stars have shown sincerity in acting for drama-themed shows like ‘Maaalala Mo Kaya’ episodes.
Mendoza-Del Rosario added, “Sana ito yung ma-achieve naming—yun bang sasakit ang ulo ng manonood sa kakatawa at kakaiyak.”
Apart from the dramedy as its unique selling point of the show, it also seeks to leave the televiewers the message of Filipinos being strong and resilient amid all challenges in life.
“Na kahit anong dagok sa buhay, go go go lang. Di lahat ng problema, baha, traffic, etc., sinasakyan lang ng Pinoy. Kahit anong problema o kalamidad, babangon tayo. We are a nation of survivors.”
Also in the show are Josh De Guzman, Carlo Aquino, Jeric Raval, Viveika Ravanes, Bing Davao, Alcris Galura, Maris Racal, Joshua Zamora, McCoy De Leon, and Vangie Labalan. It is directed by feel-good narrative director Jeffrey Jeturian.
Surprisingly, the petite comedienne—Kiray Celis (Johanna Ismael Celis in real life) has gone a long way since she started at the age of four in showbusiness. From being a mere contestant in a noontime show to guesting to other Kapamilya shows back then, and eventually earned her a part in ‘Mara Clara’ as Desiree Francisco in 2010-2011 and was one of the mainstays of a kid gag show ‘Goin’ Bulilit’; but she celebrated her recent victory of her film ‘Love is Blind’ under Regal Entertainment that made quite a hit at the box-office when it opened in theaters nationwide four days prior Valentine’s Day—February 10.
Kiray breathed into the character of Fe, a desperate woman who fell for Wade portrayed by Derek Ramsay.
The film defeated its rival film from Viva Films titled—‘Girlfriend for Hire’.
Due to the success of the movie, which Celis have managed to pull-off a great performance as the ‘other’ female star along with the sultry and beauteous—Solenn Heussaff; she and Star Magic hosted a bloggers’ conference on a Thursday, February 18 at Dong Juan on Mother Ignacia Street, Quezon City.
Despite the success that she is enjoying now, Celis stressed that she will not be choosy with roles for future projects. In fact, she is not even the type who aims to be a lead star: “Mas gusto ko pang support kasi walang ghaanong pressure at mas marami akong magiging projects.”
The soon-to-be 21-year-old young woman come July, Kiray has grown into a full woman as she dons the creations of a celebrated fashion designer and icon—Fanny Serrano in every function she gets to attend these days.
Critics may have given their thoughts that ‘Love is Blind’ what made it tick—it is because of her being part of the film even if she was supported by ‘more’ appealing stars to the common Filipino eyes—they are Heussaff as Maggie and as the beautiful Kiray (in the eyes of Wade), Ramsay as Wade, and Kean Cipriano as Yari. However, Celis is quick to defend that the success of the movie was not entirely her own doing or efforts, but rather it was a group effort; a collaborative work of the four leads.
As of this writing, Kiray is set to be paired with Jerome Ponce in another film with Regal Entertainment.