MANILA, Philippines - Heard that the beautiful Iza Calzado received an invitation from the country's most eligible bachelor for a date but she, in all her wisdom and propriety, politely declined. The invitation, according to our source, was coursed through their common friend, a singer-comedian who also holds a post in government.
• When my relatives watched Anne Curtis' record-breaking concert at the Smart-Araneta Coliseum recently, they said they have not appreciated the soothing voice of Sarah Geronimo until that night. ''When we heard Sarah sing, we realized how our ears have been taking a beating. It was good to hear real soothing sound again,'' they said. They told us they enjoyed the night watching Anne, just the same.
• Some people close to controversial couple Dr. Vicki Belo and Hayden Kho, Jr. are saying that the most recent break-up of the two seems to be more serious than their usual lovers' spats. Someone whispered to us that charges of ''infidelity'' do not only figure in one camp only. Both personalities are alleging that the other committed it against the other. As of press time, the reported wedding in Machu Picchu in Peru has long been quashed and will not be taking place anymore. Let's see if the wind blows to a different direction in the next few weeks.
• Since the Valentine season is almost over, comparisons abound in showbiz circles about which show featuring which artists had the most successful box-office returns. We heard that the recent Ogie Alcasid-Regine Velasquez's ''Mr. and Mrs. A'' topped both sales and production quality. It was sold out in the end, even if in the beginning the tickets were a little slow. The box-office performance is now being compared to such big local hits as ''Annebisyosa'' and Vice Ganda's concerts in the same venue. It is sad to note that the other shows in the same venue didn't do as well as ''Mr. and Mrs. A'' did.
• Soon, Krista Ranillo and husband Niño Lim will be welcoming their second baby. Krista is now going five months pregnant and we heard that she's enjoying every minute of her family life. The couple's first baby Nate will soon be two years old.
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Cesar Becomes Sunshine's Funny Valentine
Cesar Montano and Sunshine Cruz had a funny Valentine date last Feb. 14.
Cesar had recording and editing sessions at a studio in Quezon City at 3 p.m. last Tuesday for his movie ''Hitman.'' He and his team are rushing post production now since playdate is scheduled on Feb. 22 and the premiere night will be on Feb. 21 at SM Megamall Cinema 10.
Knowing he needed to bring his wife to a romantic date on the Day of Hearts, he asked Shine to join him at recording and also serve as his vocal coach.
They planned to proceed to a dinner date soon after.
But as it turned out, the recording took more time than expected.
Ending: Sunshine patiently waited for her husband to finish with his thing, slept on the studio couch and they ended up sharing dinner of cold chicken inasal inside the studio at around 10:30 p.m. After last minute instructions, they went back home at around midnight because Cesar cannot go out anymore due to sheer exhaustion.
But Sunshine is not complaining. Cesar more than made up for it the following day as he made good his promised romantic dinner date with Sunshine.
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Ricky Reyes Stages 'Coming Out Party'
No, Ricky Reyes will not be holding a cotillion de honor to celebrate his 18 years in the TV business.
Instead, his long-running ''Life and Style with Ricky Reyes'' airing every Saturday morning on GMA News Channel will put on a new face to celebrate the beauty expert's 18th anniversary on television.
The show's production team is coming up with 18 reasons why the show remained successful. They said all these reasons will be realized when the show finally holds its relaunch on Feb. 25.
Knowing ''Mother'' Ricky, the master of reinvention, the show will surely be worth the wait.
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Meaningful Valentine's Day at Child Haus
We had the most meaningful Valentine's Day celebration last week when my friend, Ivy Lisa Mendoza, and I hosted a post-birthday treat to the kids (and their parents) of Child Haus, the halfway home founded by Ricky Reyes located in Project 8, Quezon City. Mother Ricky is being helped today, not by government, but by friends sincere in their desire to help.
There was a Valentine's Day program that day. Many of Ricky's friends came to bring gifts, food, and cheer to the children.
The kids sang, danced, played games and mingled with us. They were laughing, eating, teasing each other and running around like regular kids. It was very surreal for us because we knew that some of them were late as they just went through chemotherapy. Some of their friends failed to attend because they were confined at the hospital.
At least two kids stayed inside their rooms because they were too weak to go down and join the fun.
If you want to experience unforgettable lessons on gratefulness and counting your blessings, go to Child Haus on Offelia St., Road 20, Barangay Bahay Toro, Project 8, Quezon City. See the kids and let them change your lives.
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Ritz Azul Bags Flawless Endorsement
Ritz Azul was almost glossed over by the panel of judges in the TV5 talent search ''Star Factor.'' The chubby 16-year-old came to auditions wearing pigtails.
There was no denying that the lass from Pampanga had a beautiful face. She made the cut on that merit alone. The grand prize eventually went to Cebuana, Eula Caballero while Ritz landed only 4th place.
Ritz was soon cast in ''Nagbabagang Bulaklak'' where she played Daisy one of two ''probinsyana'' sisters who become dancers in a huge variety show. It was a role Ritz could easily relate to. She was voted ''Best Newcomer'' by Yahoo Awards, won the ''Outstanding Break Through Performance by an Actress'' at Golden Screen Awards and nominated ''Best New Female Personality'' in PMPC Star Awards. She was also signed by Regal Films to a three-picture deal.
But Ritz's biggest break so far was when she was cast in the title role of TV5's ''Glamorosa'' opposite Lorna Tolentino and Alice Dixon.
The role was of a scarred young lady who is transformed into a beautiful woman through cosmetic surgery.
This transformation parallels Ritz real life experience. Not only has she shed her baby fat, she has been glammed up. Now Flawless is poised to launch Ritz as its newest endorser.
The brand's growing family of endorsers includes Lorna Tolentino, Ai Ai de las Alas, Iza Calzado, Richard Gutierrez, Mark Herras, Yasmien Kurdi, Alyssa Alano, Butch Francisco, among others.
The Philippines on Saturday shot back at Beijing's criticism of its activities in the South China Sea, saying they were "in no way comparable to China's massive reclamation activities" in the waters. It also said accusations that Manila was being "hypocritical" would not distract people from Beijing's own actions which were raising regional tensions. "The Philippines' possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea... is in no …