Monday, March 23, 2009

Can't decide which handbag to buy? Rent it first

Tan Ho Ching (right), owner of, a rental company displays luxury handbags in Singapore

SINGAPORE (AFP) - - A Louis Vuitton bag, diamond-inlaid guitar, Gucci shades and a dog. Total cost? Less than 1,000 Singapore dollars (654 US). The catch is, you're only renting.

As consumers scrimp to survive the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, Singaporeans are increasingly turning to Internet-based rental outlets to at least maintain their sense of style, business operators say.

"Just like how local coffee shops can expect better business than restaurants in times of economic turmoil, I believe a guitar rental service would be much appreciated in these times," said Elaine Khoo, owner of Rent-A-Guitar.

Her online company offers electric and classical guitars of various makes as well as amplifiers and guitar accessories for just one dollar per item a day -- with a deposit, of course.

Although not yet able to provide figures, Khoo said she has been "pleasantly surprised" by the response to her service, and said the economic crisis partly inspired her to set up her business in February.

"I see the economic gloom as an opportunity for me to promote a service in which customers pay a smaller amount to rent the guitar rather than buy," Khoo said.

Another rental company that says it is doing well despite the gloomy economy is, which allows trendy customers to rent luxury handbags and sunglasses at prices vastly lower than their retail cost.

"Because of the recession, business has gotten better," said owner Tan Ho Ching, adding that fashion-conscious customers unsure about buying costly bags are now embracing his service to save money.

The customer base for more than doubled in the three months after Singapore, in October, became the first Asian economy to enter recession.

"People who were sitting on the fence are now trying it out, preserving their capital," he said.

Dog-sharing service Easy Dogz has also seen more customers in recent weeks, according to owner Herbert Lim.

The service allows clients to take home breeds including golden retrievers and Jack Russells after paying rent of 30-50 dollars a day on top of a 100-dollar membership fee.

The company has not been adversely affected by the economic downturn, said Lim, and have even received a boost after running ads in a local newspaper.

More conventional rental services also say business continues to be brisk.

DVD rental firm Homepal Private Limited said more people were signing up, with chief executive officer Eric Tham estimating a 10 percent rise in membership over the six months to February.

Homepal allows customers to rent DVDs over the Internet and delivers the movies to their homes by post. Members pay a monthly subscription fee and are allowed to keep the DVDs for as long as they want.

"There's more people staying at home. This is a form of entertainment that is affordable," said Tham.

Games rental company Red Sands Gamers Club also said it membership was up by more than 50 percent since Christmas, and owner Jeffire Yang said this was due to customers' cost-cutting measures during the holiday period.

"I spoke to my customers. They said that they bought (games) consoles instead of travelling overseas (to save money)" which led to increased membership for Red Sand's games rental services, Yang said.

Membership allows members to enjoy discounts on goods and services offered at Red Sands.

Even one of the major players in the local telecommunications market has rolled out a mobile phone plan that is similar to a rental scheme.

MobileOne's Take3 programme allows customers to own new mobile phones at significantly lower prices after subscribing to any of its service plans.

Customers have the option of swapping their phone for another after nine months for a fee, or do the swap at no cost after 20 months.

Under the programme, an LG KF900 Prada II phone would cost 201 Singapore dollars per month, against a purchase price of 1,288 dollars.

"They get to enjoy the use of the latest handsets without paying upfront cost. it is likely to be especially welcome in the current economic crisis," said Geraldine Lai, a spokeswoman for MobileOne.

It's different for Singaporeans with such deep pockets they can still rent an entire island -- and keep it all to themselves.

Indonesian island resort Pulau Pangkil Kecil, accessible by boat from Singapore, can be rented for varying rates depending on the season -- from 2,600 Singapore dollars per night for one to ten people on a normal weekday to 4,500 dollars on selected public holidays when bookings are tight.

The cost covers all meals and use of the island's facilities, which include nine luxury accommodations, a bar, swimming pool, speedboats and more than 20 staff, according to the island's website.

"It's the same as last year, which was one of our busiest years -- people still see us as very good value for money," said a company spokesman.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

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Five Foolproof Tips For a Perfect First Date (And Add Yours!)

You meet a guy. You like this guy. He asks you out. Now what? Here are five tips for having a perfect first date...

On The Office, Jim, Pam and Andy gave their co-worker Kevin tips for his first date with a lady he likes. (Should he play hard to get? Should he compliment her? Should he avoid looking at her in the eyes?) Their advice was hilariously confusing, but first dates should be fun, not rocket science. Here are five steps to having a great first date...

1. Wear comfy shoes.
You never know where the date will lead (a playground? a long romantic walk?), so wear shoes you can walk in--whether they're heels, boots, wedges or adorable flats. (How about these?)

2. Tell him he looks nice.
We ladies typically think a lot about what to wear on dates, but (surprise!) so do guys. My best guy friend even tries on various outfits for his roommate before going on a date. So, start the date off well--and put the poor man at ease--by telling him that he looks A-OK.

3. Reveal what you're passionate about.
When people talk about their passions, their eyes twinkle, their cheeks flush and their hearts race. In other words, they're completely captivating. So open up about something you love--whether it's scary movies or swimming in the ocean--and woo him with your joie de vivre. Then, ask him what he loves and prepare to be wooed right back. (Also, three other foolproof date conversations here.)

4. If you like him, touch his arm.
On our first date, my (now-fiance) Alex was charming the socks off me at dinner, so when I got up halfway through to go to the restroom, I put my hand on his back for a second when I walked behind him. He still tells me how thrilling that moment was--and how he knew then that he could relax and really be himself. So, if you're feeling chemistry, feel free to reach out and touch his arm, tousle his hair or playfully punch his bicep...whatever feels right. Check out these other 16 sexy, sneaky acts of seduction!

5. Thank him at the end of the date--and again afterward.
On my first date with my college boyfriend, I forgot to thank him for dinner--and, ten years later, he still teases me about it. (Oops.) Show off your lovely manners by thanking him for a wonderful evening, and then text or email again with a thank-you. He'll think you're beautiful, smart and gracious. The triple threat!

My dear readers, what tips do you have for first-daters? What do you always keep in mind before heading on a date? Do you wear certain kinds of clothes or makeup? Do you have topics you will--or won't--talk about? Share your wise words below.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

World Bank appeals for water investment

ISTANBUL - The global economic crisis threatens to shrink investment in water infrastructure, an already underfunded sector vital to growth and public health, the World Bank said Tuesday

The first global economic contraction since World War II threatens to overshadow the scarcity of clean water in many poor regions, where inadequate sanitation is a major cause of deadly disease and a drag on economic development. The United Nations says the total cost of replacing aging water supply and sanitation infrastructure in industrial countries could be as high as $200 billion per year.

Jamal Saghir, director of energy, transport and water at the World Bank, said there were not significant funds earmarked for water investment in the stimulus packages of the United States and other countries fighting the economic meltdown. He appealed for greater efficiency in water management.

"We can do more with the same or even less," he said in an address to a packed auditorium at the World Water Forum, a weeklong global conference that is held every three years to issue recommendations on how governments should conserve, manage and supply water. It ends March 22.

Thousands of delegates from governments, nonprofit groups, businesses and other institutions have gathered for the conference, which is being held in a converted slaughterhouse on the banks of the Golden Horn inlet in Turkey's biggest city. Waste, sanitation, climate change and a debate over privatization and government policies on water are key topics.

Some experts estimate that most of the world's population will face water shortages in the decades ahead as populations expand and ecosystems deteriorate. The International Union for Conservation of Nature, an environmental network based near Geneva, said increasing demand requires effective laws to sustain the resource.

"Water laws must seek a workable balance between the water rights of business users and people who have traditional livelihoods," said Alejandro Iza, director of the union's environmental law center. "Without this, the costs to the economy and damage to the environment can be very high."

The union said poor water and sanitation services have sapped an estimated 1 percent of GDP in Colombia and 1.4 percent in Bangladesh through environmental and health deterioration. It cited South Africa as an example of how to do things the right way; there, laws guarantee a basic water supply, protect water-based ecosystems and allow people a say in how the resource is used at the community level.

Two activists from California-based International Rivers were detained and escorted Tuesday to the airport for deportation after demonstrating at the opening ceremony, the group said. Ann-Kathrin Schneider of Germany and Payal Parekh, a U.S. citizen, unfurled a banner and shouted slogans to protest the construction of dams that they say destroy communities and the environment.

Some activists have said the forum helps big water companies to promote their own interests at the expense of the needy. But Caroline Boin of the International Policy Center, a London-based research center, said less than 5 percent of global water management is private and that the "real culprits" are governments that encourage waste by allocating water to special interests and other political allies.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Google VP named CEO of AOL

WASHINGTON (AFP) - - Tim Armstrong, a senior vice president at Internet search king Google, was named chairman and chief executive of troubled Web company AOL on Thursday.

Jeff Bewkes, chairman and chief executive of Time Warner Inc., AOL's parent company, also announced that current AOL chairman and chief executive Randy Falco and president and chief operating officer Ron Grant were leaving AOL.

"Tim is the right executive to move AOL into the next phase of its evolution," Bewkes said in a statement.

"At Google, Armstrong helped build one of the most successful media teams in the history of the Internet -- helping to make Google the most popular online search advertising platform in the world for direct and brand marketers.

"He's an advertising pioneer with a stellar reputation and proven track record," Bewkes said. "He'll also be helpful in helping Time Warner determine the optimal structure for AOL"

Armstrong, who most recently was in charge of US operations for Google, said he was "very excited about the opportunities presented in leading AOL.

"AOL has a wide-ranging set of assets and audience," he said. "The company is well positioned to enhance those assets into a larger share of the Internet audience and advertiser communities."

AOL was a powerful player in the early days of the Internet but has lost ground since then and has been trying to refashion itself as a popular one-stop Web portal. is the number four gateway to the web after Google, MSN and Yahoo!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Showbiz potentials among Binibini bets

One down (disqualified, find out who on Page D-4) and only 23 beauties are competing for three titles in the 2009 (45th) Bb. Pilipinas Pageant grand finals slated for tonight at the Big Dome — Bb. Pilipinas-Universe, Bb. Pilipinas-World and Bb. Pilipinas-International. Delayed telecast starts at 9:30 on GMA.

It’s beauty-watching time once again and, as usual, keep an eye on candidates who are deadringers for showbiz stars and former beauty queens, including (according to Funfare’s “beauty experts” Felix Manuel, Francis Calubaquib, Gery Yumping and Joey Cezeare) Carmina Villarroel, Nicole Scherzinger of the Pussycat Dolls, Lucy Torres, Valerie Concepcion, Cherie Gil, Carmi Martin, Francine Prieto, Dyan Castillejo, Hilda Koronel, Neri Naig, Shirley Fuentes, Kristine Hermosa, Bea Alonzo, Anne Curtis, Donna Cruz and Phoemela Barranda; and former beauty queens Alma Concepcion, Maricar Balagtas, Carla Balingit and Bong Dimayacyac.

Instead of drawing a list of “the most likely (winners),” the “beauty experts” decided to group the girls into four categories: 1). Celebrities (familiar faces among TV viewers), 2). Pageant Royalties (those associated with former beauty queens), 3). Neophytes (those who have never competed in any major national pageants, and 4). Veterans (those who have joined major national and/or minor international tilts).


• No. 3, Richelle Pacaldo Angalot a.k.a. Rich Asuncion (20, 5’6”, 35-25-36), a StarStruck 3 finalist, Miss Tagbilaran 2005 and Miss Bohol International finalist; a UP Tourism student.

• No. 24, Abigail Lesley Grivas Cruz (24, 5’5”, 34-25-34), girlfriend of Paolo Bediones (host of tonight’s pageant), appeared on GMA shows. Mutya Ng Pilipinas 2005 second runner-up, 2005 Miss Tourism Queen of The Year semi-finalist in Malaysia, Miss Fort Ilocandia 2005 and Bb. Pilipinas 2007 second runner-up.

• No. 10, Priscilla Mae Barredo Navidad (18, 5’8”, 33-23-34), the deaf Pinoy Big Brother housemate, Miss Teen Philippines 2007 first runner-up and is a Management student at the AMA University.


• No. 11, Regina Brosas Hahn (26, 5’8.5”, 33-24-35), an Ateneo B.S. Computer Science graduate, daughter of 1975 Bb. Pilipinas-Universe (and Miss U fourth runner-up) Chiqui Brosas.

• No. 15, Pamela Bianca Ramos Manalo (22, 5’10”, 35-25-37), an Advertising graduate from Assumption and a flight attendant, niece of 1968 Bb. Pilipinas-International Nini Ramos and sister of 2002 Bb. Pilipinas-World Kate Manalo.


• No. 23, Barbara dela Rosa Salvador (22, 5’7”, 34-24-34), a B.S. Communication Technology Management graduate from Ateneo.

• No. 2, Carisheila May Bundang Kuijpers (21, 5’6”, 34-25-35), a Business Management graduate from the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, England.

• No. 5, Diana Buquid Arevalo (20, 5’7”, 34-23-35), Miss Oriental Mindoro 2007 and a Commerce student at the Divine Word College.

• No. 22, Priscilla Mae Sy Honorio (21, 5’6”, 34-24-35), Miss Cebu 2008 second runner-up and a registered nurse (from the University of San Carlos in Cebu).

• No. 20, Melody Adelheid Manuel Gersbach (23, 5’7”, 33-24-35), reigning Miss Bicolandia and a B.S. Management graduate from the University of Asia and the Pacific.

• No. 19, Stephanie Rose Basubas Senires (23, 5’6”, 34-24-35), Miss Cebu 2006 and B.S. Psychology magna cum laude graduate from the University of San Carlos.

• No. 8, Cheryl Villegas Oliveros (24, 5’7”, 34-25-35), Miss Mary Chiles 2006 and a registered nurse.

• No. 6, Maria Paula Bianca Clamor Paz (20, 5’7”, 36-26-37), rumored to be Polo Ravales’ girlfriend, a sophomore Graphic Design student in L.A.

• No. 18, Marie Loraine Domingo de Guzman (21, 5’7”, 34-25-36), Miss Makati 2006 and a B.S. Nursing junior at the Perpetual Help College.

• No. 21, Hazel Sutch (19, 5’6”, 34-24-34), a beautician from the United Kingdom.

• No. 16, Mary Tiffany Jones (17, 5’8”, 34-25-36), a high school senior from Quezon City.

• No. 1, Vanessa Balajadia Johnson (21, 5’5”, 34-26-36), a Kapampangan Fashion Design and Merchandise student based abroad.


• No. 9, April Love Antolo Jordan (20, 5’9”, 34-24-35), a graduating Hotel Industry and Hospitality Management student from Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, a flight attendant, the reigning Sanita Ti Ilocos Sur 2009, Mutya ng Pilipinas 2006 second runner-up, Miss Phillipines-Earth 2006 semi-finalist, Miss CALABARZON 2005 and Miss Secret Charm in the 2006 Miss Tourism Queen of The Year contest in Malaysia.

• No. 17, Marie Ann Bonquin Umali (22, 5’8”, 35-24-35), a B.S. Tourism graduate from the College of St. Benilde, half-Filipina/half-Lebanese beauty, Bb. Lungsod ng Batangas 2005 third runner-up and semi-finalist in the 2006 Bb. Pilipinas pageant.

• No. 12, Jaysel Morelos Arrozal (18, 5’10”, 34-25-36), a UE B.S. Tourism Management sophomore, semi-finalist in last year’s Bb. Pilipinas pageant and first runner-up in Bb. Valenzuela and Miss UE Caloocan contests in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

• No. 14, Keann Alonzo Mallari (22, 5’9”, 33-24-36), a B.S. Tourism graduate from Holy Angel University in Pampanga, Mutya Ng Kapampangan 2007 and a semi-finalist during the Bb. Pilipinas pageant of the same year.

• No. 7, Mary Jane delos Santos dela Cruz (22, 5’7”, 33-24-35), a B.S. HRM graduate of Baliuag University, Bb. Bulacan 2003, Bb. Pilipinas 2005 candidate, Mutya ng Pilipinas 2007 candidate and 2007 Reyna ng Aliwan Festival.

• No. 4, Gizelle Jasmin Renes Rivamonte (23, 5’7”, 36-26-36), an FEU nursing graduate who works at the oncology unit of the Veteran’s Memorial Medical Center and Quezon City’s representative in the 2008 Miss Philippines-Earth.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Search: Rapper-actor Francis Magalona succumbs to cance

Multi-awarded Filipino rap icon Francis Magalona has passed away at the Medical City in Mandaluyong around noon today. He was 44.

According to TV reports, this was announced by actor Vic Sotto in the noontime variety show Eat Bulaga, where Magalona used to be one of the hosts.

Magalona, considered as a major pillar of rap music in the country, was diagnosed with leukemia in August 2008. He is survived by his wife Pia Arroyo and children Unna, Nicolo, Francis Jr., Elmo, Arkin, Clara, and actresses Maxene and Saab

Condolences on Magalona's family, each of us has the purpose to live and also we die in our right time, i know , we knew that he was happy then during in his time when he was still alive because he does a lot good deeds , a good husband , a responsible dad .. so Rest in Peace KIKO

NPA leader's daughter abducted in Davao City

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Armed men abducted a daughter of Leoncio Pitao, alias Commander Parago, leader of the Pulang Bagani Command of the New People’s Army, here Wednesday night.

Senior Superintendent Ramon Apolinario, city police chief, confirmed reports that Rebelyn Pitao, 21, was snatched in Sitio Bago Aplaya, Barangay Talomo.

Reports said the young Pitao was seized from a tricycle she was riding in and dragged into a white van.

The tricycle driver informed Pitao’s mother about the incident and she, in turn, sought police help.

The young Pitao recently passed the teachers’ licensure examination and was just hired to teach at the St. Peter’s School in Toril district.

“We are still looking into the case,” Apolinario said.

Army Maj. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu, chief of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division, said he promptly directed his units to probe the abduction upon learning about it.

If requested, Mapagu said they would assist law enforcement agencies in locating Pitao’s daughter.

However, Bayan Muna-Southern Mindanao chairman and former congressman Joel Virador blamed the military for the kidnapping.

“We suspect that the Military Intelligence Group did the kidnapping of Pitao’s daughter. It only shows how desperate the Armed Forces is in finishing the revolutionary movement in 2010,” he said.

Virador alleged that the military is pressuring Pitao to surrender by going after his family.

“Aside from taking his daughter, they also killed his brother last year in Tagum City,” he added.

Virador said they are certain that Pitao’s daughter is in military custody.

“The victim is not rich and so she could not be taken for ransom and the more not for any love angle because she does not have any boyfriend. The only one who has the motive is the military,” he said.

But Maj. Medel Aguilar, former chief of the 5th Civilian Relations Group, denied this, saying the military does not harm unarmed civilians.

Aguilar said the allegations are merely part of the militant groups’ propaganda.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Search: Kris Aquino: Release of 10 convicts insults dad's memory

MANILA, Philippines – TV personality Kristina Bernadette “Kris” Aquino, daughter of slain former Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., branded as an "insult to her father's memory" the release of the 10 convicts of in Aquino-Galman double murder case.

In a report in GMA News’ “24 Oras,” Ms. Aquino said she felt “cold and purely emotional” when she saw the convicts walk out of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) last Wednesday after being pardoned by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

“Nagalit ako dahil ang feeling ko na-walanghiya ‘yung memory ng daddy ko [I was angered because I felt that my father’s memory was insulted],” Ms. Aquino told GMA News reporter Connie Sison in an interview.

"Nangyari kasi, napanood ko sa news and nabigla ako, nanlamig ako, purely emotional [I was shocked when I saw it in the news. I felt cold and very emotional],” she added.

Ms. Aquino, the youngest in five siblings, said what struck her was the absence of remorse on the part of the convicts. “Doon sa lahat nang pinanood ko kagabi naramdaman ko wala ni katiting na pagsisi [From what I saw, there was not even an iota of remorse]," she said.

Malacañang has defended the executive clemency granted on the convicts, saying it underwent the usual processes and was not meant as a political vendetta against the Aquino family. The slain senator’s widow, former President Corazon Aquino, had become a critic of the Arroyo administration since the "Hello, Garci" scandal broke out in 2005.

“The decision to pardon the soldiers in the Aquino-Galman case was not a political one but a matter of procedure,” Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said Thursday.


The convicts, for their part, insisted that they have nothing to do with the double murder of Aquino and his purported assassin, Rolando Galman, on August 21, 1983.

One of the convicts, former Captain Romeo Bautista, said they sympathize with the Aquino family’s sentiments and appealed for their understanding.

"Kami (ay) nakikiramay sa kanila. Masakit mawalan ng isang mahal sa buhay, lalo naman siguro para sa amin na wala naman kaming kinalaman, wala naman kaming alam. Dapat naman unawain din kami," Bautista said.

[“We sympathize with them. It’s painful to lose a loved one, but I guess it’s more painful for us because we’re innocent. They should understand us too.”]

Former T/Sgt. Claro Lat, for his part, stressed that it was Galman who assassinated Mr. Aquino.

Aside from Bautista and Lat, those who were freed were Rogelio Moreno, Ruben Aquino, Arnulfo Artates, Romeo Bautista, Jesus Castro, Rodolfo Desolong, Arnulfo De Mesa, Ernesto Mateo and Filomeno Miranda. They had been incarcerated for 26 years.

No forgiveness

Ms. Aquino meanwhile said she could never bring herself to forgive people who never showed contrition over what they did. "Kasi sinasabi dito na mag-reconcile, magpatawaran? Paano ka magpapatawad kung never naman inamin yung kasalanan?" she said.

[“They were calling for reconciliation, forgiveness. But how can you forgive if they never admitted their guilt?”]

Ms. Aquino also slammed the statement of one of the soldiers who said he carried the former senator's body to rush him to the hospital. "I felt it was such a blatant lie,” she said.

“Nung binuhat nila ang daddy ko, para silang nagbuhat ng kinatay na baboy. So huwag naman sanang magsinungaling na gusto mong dalhin sa ospital at gusto mong matulungan," she said.

[“They carried my dad as if they were carrying a pig. So I hope he will stop lying and saying that he wanted to help my dad by bringing him to a hospital.”]

Silent Cory

Ms. Aquino said her mother, former President Corazon Aquino, has refused to comment on the pardon to avoid accusations that she is politicizing the issue. She however said that her mother her mother asked her to remind the Filipinos on who her father was and who killed him.

"I had her permission, ang sinabi niya sa akin ikaw na ang magsalita para sa atin at sabihin mo lang, ipaalala mo lang sa buong Pilipinas, sa buong mundo, kung sino ‘yung namatay at sino ‘yung pumatay," she said.

[“I had her permission, and she told me ‘Ok, you speak in our behalf of us and remind the whole country, the whole world, who died and who killed him.”]

Ms. Aquino further said that they have no plans to dwell on the matter, even as she expressed worries over the impact of the issue on her mother's health. Mrs. Aquino is currently battling colon cancer.

"Actually, we’re not going to dwell on this primarily because my mom’s undergoing chemotherapy. Ayaw namin makadagdag doon sa [We don’t want to add on her] stress. It’s difficult enough for her what she's going through now,” she said.

Asked if she had a message to the convicts, Ms. Aquino said: "I don't have a message because I don't want to give them a chance to give me a message.” - GMANews.TV

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Jomari: It isn't about money!

I got a call from Jomari Yllana yesterday afternoon. He was reacting to Funfare’s banner story that he and Pops Fernandez have broken up not because of a third party but, according to somebody close to them, about money.

“It’s not really about money,” clarified Jomari. “Let’s just say that Pops and I do you call it?...yes, irreconcilable differences. Maraming dahilan and money is not one of them.”

Pressed about the “money issue,” Jomari said, “Wala akong problema sa pera,” carefully choosing his words, adding, “Ayoko kasi makasakit, eh.”

Reports of the break-up surfaced only three weeks after Pops and her ex-husband Martin Nievera topbilled a successful reunion concert titled Missing You at the Big Dome, produced by Jomari under the Fearless Productions he and his friends, Singson brothers Ronald and Ryan, have put up.

“It was our (his and Pops) first project together and we achieved what we wanted, even more than what we expected.”

Jomari admitted that he and Pops haven’t been talking to each other for two weeks now.

“We broke up nicely,” said Jomari. “Naghiwalay kami ng maayos. No fights, no third party, nothing. After we decided to break up, we even talked for a while, pero wala na talaga, eh.”

And to think that, if you believe “reliable sources,” they were already talking about getting married since Jomari has become close to Pops (and Martin’s) sons Ram and Robin. So comfortable have they become with one another in their almost two-year relationship that, Jomari admitted, “I would sleep over at her place.” And did Pops also, ehem, sleep over at his bachelor’s pad (in Parañaque City)? Jomari was mum. They never lived together.

“Actually, we never talked about marriage,” added Jomari whose first marriage (to Quezon City Councilor Aiko Melendez with whom he has a son) was annulled. “We have both come from broken marriages at pareho kaming may trauma.”

Single again, Jomari said that he will concentrate on Fearless Productions whose next projects are the concerts of American Idol champion David Cook and AI finalist David Archuleta sometime in May and Britney Spears maybe in September.

Monday, March 2, 2009

QC court junks case vs Gabby Concepcion

MANILA, Philippines - The Quezon City Regional Trial Court has junked the P2.8-million damage suit filed by an entertainment columnist against actor Gabby Concepcion after the two had settled amicably.

Branch 96 Presiding Judge Afable Cajigal dismissed the case after granting the joint motion to dismiss filed by Concepcion and showbiz writer Jobert Sucaldito last September 22, 2008. In their motion, the two informed the court that they have already come to an amicable settlement.

In his order, Cajigal ruled that the joint motion to dismiss was valid and legal since the nature of an amicable settlement was not illegal and not contrary to law.

“An amicable settlement between parties is not only allowed by the court but is likewise encouraged to by the courts. To deny the amicable settlement will defeat the purpose of the law as well as the right of the parties to a speedy disposition of the case. As correctly pointed out by the movants, Concepcion is a mere necessary party,” Cajigal's ruling read.

Sucaldito’s case against talent manager Rose Flaminiano however would continue.

Sucaldito filed the damage suit against Concepcion and Flaminiano after they allegedly reneged on their agreement wherein the actor would endorse a whitening product for a fee of P2.5 million and two units of 56-inch plasma television.

Instead, the two entered a contract for Concepcion to endorse another whitening product for P5 million.

In her comment and rejoinder, Flaminiano said the joint motion to dismiss is not only highly improper but a flagrant violation of the provisions of Section 7 Rule 3 of the Rules of Court.

Flaminiano said that Sucaldito and Concepcion cannot just agree to a settlement and ask the court to dismiss the complaint against Conception while letting the case against her proceed.