A LOOK BACK IN 2006!
2006 has been a fruitful and eventful year for me and I’ve so many things to be thankful for! Looking back, this year has been notably memorable. A lot of new doors have opened up for me --some challenges I’ve fathomed and harried problems I’ve survived.
In late 2005, almost this same time last year, I have felt that 2006 would be a remarkable year for me. Right after the yearly Reflections, where I’ve invited Apl.de.Ap (Black Eyed Peas) and Cris Judd (currently on Dirty Dancing on Women’s cable channel) and honored them with the highest awards at Reflections XVII, I knew it would be a start of another busy year.
Right after that time, I was again manning the red carpet for Black Eyed Peas’ Apl.de.Ap’s birthday party at The Highlands. It was a star-studded event. The biggest celebs who came were Apl’s best friend and group member Fergie and Taboo, BEP’s manager Polo Molina, DJ Rocky Rock (Apl’s Friday-man). Other celebs I’ve invited include Lani Misalucha, Lalaine, Michelle Deighton (America's Next Top Model ng UPN), the Basco Brothers, the cast of the play PIECES OF ASS (who were having a series of shows at the Roxy Theatre on Sunset Blvd. at that time), Latin actor Alek Carrera, Fil-Am couturier Angelo Santos (three-time Emmy winner from CBS’ "The Bold & The Beautiful"), Teresa Herrera (“Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang”), Chad Hugo,
(Lani Misalucha and Apl.de.Ap during Apl's birthday at The Highlands)
Brian Guest (Evil Unleashed, Passions), Gregory Lorenzana; Jenilee Reyes, Juliette Harris, Katherine Kramer, R&B singer Miss Issa, Richard Chiu ("Baby"), Travis Van Winkle (upcoming “Transformers,” and “Asylum”), Santiago Douglas ("Girlfight" and Santiband lead singer), actor Wil Stiles, Veronica Vine, DJ Motive8, DJ Poet, DJ Replay, and others from Apl.de.Ap’s Jeepney Music label company. The best part of the event (and I’m sure Apl won’t forget) was that his birthday cake was made of, what else – a Jeepney! That was challenging for me considering I was given a very short notice to pull-up that kind of event! (see more article here: 2005 Apl.de.Ap Birthday party at The Highlands)
That same challenging act came in March when I did the fashion show-red-carpet for Fil-Am couture designer David Tupaz. He opened the Los Angeles Fashion Week and we were overwhelmed with how some big celebs would want to participate and do the ramp (that includes one of Asia’s most fashionable actress - Bai Ling, which unfortunately, had to be turned down because there was not enough time to rehearse and the line was full). It was held at the Beverly Regent Wilshire Hotel. By the way, among David Tupaz’s regular clients include Cheryl Ladd, Mariel Hemmingway, Kelly LeBrock, Christine Baranski, Rain Pryor, and many others who doesn’t want to be mentioned!
(The Fabulous Housewives: Tonya Thicke, Designer Dave Tupaz, Elizabeth Shatner, Cris Jenner, and Tracy Hamilton)
The event was even the talk in the L.A. fashion world because, for the first time, the concept was to feature Hollywood Housewives and their celebrity husbands. And being a close friend and regular clients of David, these famous housewives have agreed to do ramp modeling. The Hollywood Housewives (who were also called “The Fabulous Housewives”) were Tonya Thicke (wife of Alan Thicke), Tracy Hamilton (wife of Scott Hamilton), Cris Jenner (wife of Bruce Jenner), and Elizabeth Shatner (wife of William Shatner). Of course, the husband-actors were excited to see their wives pull-it-off on the ramp! It was an exciting event as it was another star-studded event. Among excited attendees I’ve invited were Cris Judd, Mig Ayesa and wife Simone, Jasmine Trias, Dante Basco, Pia Clemente (fresh from her Oscar red carpet walk), 2005 US-Miss World titlist Lisette Diaz, Nick Verreos and Andrae Gonzalo (Bravo’s “Project Runway”), Julia Verdin (producer of “Merchant of Venice”), Bai Ling, Asia’s hot singer Adrienne Lau, singer Donni Rai, actor Gabriel Womack, Shauna Sand, Zee James, Leena Holland, Kat Kramer, Miss Ukranian “Aza,” actress Brie Larson (“Hoot”), Travis Wood, actress/model Phoebe Price, among others. But the biggest surprise was the appearance of Mariah Carey (see article here: David Tupaz fashion show at Regent Beverly Wilshire) who dropped by to check it out – she was invited by one of NY designer who also attended; she was billeted to stay at the Beverly Regent Hotel while she was waiting for her video shoot here in L.A.)!
Gearing up for 2006, I’ve concentrated more on Talent Publicity and Events PR & Management. I’ve also accepted to do publicity works for Michael Copon, Sean Michael Afable, David Tupaz, Lou Razon Couture, PRODerm, Gandi Skin Care, Aqua-Imaging, Inc., the Pomona Expo in August, the WCOPA in Hollywood, PR works for some other companies, among others.
My first encounter with Michael Copon was during the time he was in “One Tree Hill” (before doing VH1’s “But Can They Sing”) at the Reebok party on Melrose Ave. when I first interviewed him.
With Fil-Am actor Michael Copon handling his publicity, and specially building up his name in the Fil-Am communities (as well as in Manila through some of my media friends), I was veered and passionate in his potential to sustain the name he has accomplished and vowed to produce more work for him in the Philippine showbiz spotlight. I started my goal for him to be more visible in different events. His credit: former Blue Power Ranger, former guest star of “One Tree Hill,” winner of VH1’s “But Can They Sing,” The N-Noggin Channel’s “Beyond The Break,” and commercial model. Like all other Fil-Am talents I’ve spotted and have featured in my columns, I started a series of publicity for him after interviewing him in 2005.
“I’ve been asking for months from my former Publicist to give me a radio interview in the east coast but she hasn’t done it, and you did!” he told me. Considering Michael had only asked me only on the day he was about to leave Virginia Beach, I was able to get him an interview for two radio stations while he was there. He was promoting his first feature film with Ciara, MTV Films’ “All You’ve Got,” which aired in June and was just about to be released on DVD. From then on, we started to collaborate his appearances in the Filipino and Fil-Am crowd, among the biggest one: two awards at GAWAD PARANGAL in Sacramento, California; appearance at the WCOPA Philippine candidates press con; autograph-signing and an award from the US-Phil Expo in Pomona, CA; interviews for TFC, GMA, Janelle So’s L.A. Kababayan daily program, magazine interviews, among others.
Manning the red carpet for the World Championships of Performing Arts, and helping out the Filipino media to cover this Hollywood event was an experience for me. Not only that I've helped our Filipino delegates and the Filipino media by handling the Media Publicity, but it paid off with good words from its President – Griff O’Neill. I appreciate the friendship.
My trip to Manila this last September was also memorable --- hopping from one major network studios to another, to attending celebrity and media birthday parties – it was all re-connecting and making new friends in the showbiz world. Another phase is extending my financial resources in the Philippines by co-venturing with Aqua-Imaging, Inc. (www.aqua-imaging.com ), which has branches here in the U.S.
Among my favorite interviews this year:
1) Cheryl Burke (I was the first one who did an in-depth interview when she first appeared on “Dancing with the Stars”; see article here).
2) Dayanara Torres (She was at first very jolly at Tower Records, accompanying former husband Marc Anthony in 2004 promoting his album; the next thing after that was a recovering persona in 2005 during the Teen’s Choice Awards – she had separated from Marc Anthony and was living in Miami and she mentioned she’s moving to L.A.; recently, I surprised her at the 75th annual Christmas Parade – she was back on her feet, ready to face her disrupted Hollywood career, and more blooming again! She now stars as the main lead for MyNetworkTV’s “Watch Over Me;” see accompanying headline here at HollywoodFLIP Latest News.)
3) Camille Mana (UPN’s “One on One”). This talented Fil-Am girl was in a major network and I’m surprised that only a few Filipinos knew about her great achievements. Filipinos may not know her but I intend to expose her in the next few months. You’ll surely be seeing her more, because she just wrapped up filming a major supporting role in the upcoming Vince Vaughn movie called “Smart People.” An award-winning scriptwriter and shorts filmmaker, I’m glad that all her hard work is paying-off. See former article here.
4) Alec Mapa, who is currently on “Desperate Housewives” playing the wardrobe consultant of Eva Longoria, is also one of the delightful Fil-Am actors working in Hollywood we should be proud of.
5) Eartha Kitt. The legendary Ms. Eartha Kitt is still in the “Groove.” I caught up an exclusive interview with the original and the best “Catwoman” during the Walt Disney party I attended and her tongue is still as sharp as her villain role in her Disney Channel tv-series “The Emperor’s New School.” See corresponding article here.
6) Neill dela Llana and Ian Gamazon who won last year’s SOMEONE TO WATCH Award at IFP Independent Spirit Awards has a defining moment, a feat Filipino filmmakers has never achieved.
(Ian Gamazon and Neill de la Llana)
Again, I was the first one who interviewed them during AFI FEST 2005, where they have been first nominated for Best Narrative Feature. See article here.
7) MiG Ayesa, the Fil-Aussie who was in top three in last year’s INXS: Rockstar, the reality-based search for INXS’s new lead, is one down-to-earth and a good person inside-out. In one glance, every time I see him at red carpets, somehow we would always acknowledge that Filipino connection, without even saying a word. His silence and looks always indicates a very humble persona – and you’d know he wants to tell you that he is a Filipino!
During this time of Christmas Holiday, I’ve thrown out some questions to some of the following celebs I’ve kept in contacts. Here are some Holiday thoughts they want to share with:
From Fil-Am actor SEAN MICHAEL AFABLE:
(Latest news on him: He will host the 47th annual Holiday Celebration at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on December 24th; Nominated for Best Supporting Actor at the upcoming NAACP Awards on March 2, 2007 for his role in “Akeelah and the Bee,” currently seen at Kohl’s Christmas commercial).
1) Do you have a Christmas wish for this year? "Hmm... maybe a girlfriend? Haha... if not that, then just to be happy and have a great time with my family and cousins. Oh yeah, and eat... a lot."
2) How do you plan to spend Christmas and New Year's Eve? “With my family and probably my friends... and hopefully, with my Christmas wish!"
3) What's the best Christmas gift you had? "Presents and gifts were never really that important to me... they were fun and exciting, and I enjoyed receiving and giving, but it has really always been the people that I give and receive, presents from that are important to me. It's spending time with those people I enjoy."
Merry Christmas to you Oliver and to your readers! Thanks a lot!
From director AURAEOUS SOLITO:
(Latest news on him: His new movie “Tuli” has been invited to the upcoming Sundance Film Festival; “Maximo Oliveros” was picked to compete for Best Foreign Film at Independent Film’s Spirit Awards a day before the Oscars in February)
1) Do you have a Christmas wish for this year? “More recognition for Philippine Films worldwide :)”
2) How do you plan to spend Christmas and New Year's Eve? “With my family in Sampaloc (been travelling all year since last December).”
3) What's the best Christmas gift you had? “(live) chicken while I was in a forest in Palawan!”
4) Please make a Christmas greeting to Oliver Carnay and to our Weekend Balita newspaper readers (online at www.balita.com)
“Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong taon kay Oliver Carnay, ang boses ng Pinoy sa Hollywood at sa mga Kababayang Pinoy sa Amerika! Mabuhay kayong lahat!”
From ALEC MAPA (and EVA LONGORIA):
(Currently seen on “Desperate Housewives”)
“Hi! Im currently on the set of "Desperate Housewives" where I
play Eva Longoria's friend Vern! “My CHRISTMAS WISH is that, all our troops in Iraq return home to their families safe and sound ASAP. I'm spending Christmas with my husband and his family. They're Cajun, so they are kind of like Filipinos. They're all about the food. I'm spending a romantic New Year's Eve in San Francisco. Again, with my husband, who else? The best Christmas gift I ever got was a plane ticket home to San Francisco when I was a starving student at NYU. Merry Christams, Oliver! Eva Longoria says hi!
From JEROME JOHN HUGHES (actor, singer, model, tv host):
“Hello Oliver! Thank you for asking...! My Christmas wish is for me and my wife, Lalaine Barretto-Hughes to be blessed with a child hopefully within the next 2 years.
I will spend Christmas with my family in Las Vegas Nevada. It's been a long time since I spent Christamas Eve with them since I left for the Phiippines for my singing/showbiz carreer... The best Christmas gift i've received so far is when my song "Pagbigyan ang Puso" from the movie "Mano Po 3" won Best theme song in the 2004 Manila Film Festival.”
“To Weekend Balita newspaper and HollywoodFlip.com, I wish everyone in your management and staff a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year to come...May you all enjoy the Birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and share our blessings to others specially to the less fortunate.”
“Lately I've been busy with some Christmas engagements/parties in Filipino Communities. I'll be in New York from Dec15 to 19 for a few shows. I'll be doing a concert with South Border in Columbia University on Dec 16, 2006. It will be the first time I'll be performing in the East coast since my career started as a recording artist. I'm looking forward to it... God bless!
From CAMILLE MANA – “Christmas plan? I will be spending my first Christmas in the Philippines with my family. I am extremely excited to visit and explore!” What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve received? “I really appreciate practical gifts. One of my favorite presents was an iBook computer from my big brother. Runner-up favorites include a very thoughtful mixed CD from my boyfriend with personalized CD inserts, and my most prized childhood toy – a pound puppy from my big brother, too.”
Thank you Weekend Balita and HollywoodFLIP.com for bringing news to Filipinos nationwide! I hope that this coming year is healthy, balanced, and joyful for all of your readers. Hugs, Camille Mana.
I am overwhelmed that this web site doesn’t’ even have to do an extensive promotion but do still produce an enormous amount of hits. It gets by through words of mouth. Thank you for allowing me to serve you with utmost honesty and help you with any questions you had (including questions like, how will they get in touch with Pops Fernandez’s mom, because they used to be best of friends in high school! – yes, you know who you are!). But hey, I do appreciate that I could be of help in some ways! To all my readers, I hope you’ll have a Merry Christmas and a prosperous year 2007 ahead! --- by Oliver Carnay