Risa Santos and Miss Gabon
Risa Santos and Miss Gabon
An error marred the selection of Miss Canada Universe 2013. During the announcement of the winners, Fil-Canadian Riza Santos was proclaimed first runnerup. Days later, the Beauties Canada organizers apologized to proclaimed winner Denise Garrido and Riza.

Validation of the computerized scores showed that Riza won and Denise was third runner-up. Denise gracefully accepted the apology, albeit disappointed. As a result, she earned the admiration of the people behind the beauty pageant. Riza, meanwhile, couldn’t believe the reversal of fortune.

It was recalled that years back, Riza was a Viva Films and ABS-CBN contract artist who was romantically
linked to singer-actor Mark Bautista. Riza’s parents are both Filipinos – Ruel Santos from Bulacan and Dina Buenaventua from Bataan. She was raised in Calgary, Canada and has become a naturalized Canadian citizen.

The 25-year-old beauty queen is veteran of beauty pageants, having represented Canada in Miss Earth 2006 and Miss World 2011.

In Philippine showbiz, Santos had made numerous appearances in TV shows and movies such as “Dobol Trobol,” “When Love Begins,” and “Ikaw Parin Bonga Ka Boy.” She was the second big winner in Pilipino Big Brother in 2007.

There is also a half-Filipina who will be competing in the Miss Universe contest. She is 21-year-old Ruth Jennifer Ondo Mouchita, who was proclaimed Miss Gabon 2013 on Dec. 22, 2012 at the City of Democracy Hall
in Libreville.

Jennifer “is the second Gabonese beauty queen who is of mixed race with Filipino and Gabonese ancestry.” Jennifer’s mother is a pure Filipina, and her father is a Gabonese. She is said to be fluent in English, French, Tagalog and Fang.

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Come the Miss Universe pageant this July, Ruth and Riza will be pitted against, among other international beauties, Filipina Arriela Arida, the current Binibining Pilipinas title holder. Last year, our very own Janine Togonon was adjudged first runner-up in the Miss Universe pageant.

[box type=”default” size=”large”] Nadia reconciles with Cristy Fermin [/box]People close to Nadia Montenegro are elated over her reconciliation with her longtime foe, writer-TV host Cristy Fermin. Nadia initiated the move to win back Cristy, who was just willing to bury the hatchet, so to speak. Will Annabelle Rama be next to smoke the peace pipe with Nadia? Reportedly, Nadia has kept mum about it, saying she’s not in the position to speak on her feud with Annabelle as the cases they filed against each other are still pending in court. However, Nadia hinted that it all depends on Annabelle’s plan on their fray. Come to think of it, with Annabelle’s dismaying loss in the recent election, she has to do self-appraisal and forget her animosity with people if she intends to try politics again.

Nadia Montenegro and Annabelle Rama
Nadia Montenegro and Annabelle Rama
Incidentally, this writer was not appalled while watching Annabelle as guest at the Ryssa Mae Show. Her good self surfaced. Noted for her inherent talent for ad lib, possibly unscripted, child host Ryssa said, “Alam ninyo, Tita, sabi nila ang sungit, palaaway kayo, kaya takot ako sa inyo. Kasi baka tarayan ninyo ako sa programa ko.”

When Annabelle asked Ryssa if she had met her granddaughters, Ryssa quipped, “Opo. Yung isa okay, mabait. Eh, yung isa ayoko. Kasi irap ng irap sa akin, porke Ingles ng Ingles, eh ako ‘di marunong.”

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Instead of being irritated, Annabelle broke into laughter, instinctively kissing Ryssa while laughing. “Iba na ako ngayon, Ryssa. Di na pikon, mataray o pala-away pag may humamon sa akin,” Annabelle said. Hopefully, she will continue to be true to her urbane form, and not quarrelsome.

[box type=”default” size=”large”] Amalia still at ABS-CBN; Valerie back to GMA-7 [/box]Amalia Fuentes has quit her comeback ABS-CBN TV show, “Muling Buksan ang Puso,” but it’s not true that she has left the network. The truth is that Amalia is still with ABS-CBN as she opted to accept her role in a forthcoming tele-serye entitled “Huwag Ka Lang Mawawala.” The latter project suits more her taste. It banners Judy Ann Santos and Sam Milby.

Meanwhile, after seven years with Kapamilya, Valerie Concepcion returns to GMA-7, her former network, via a remake of “Anna Karenina.” She’s all aglow over the fact that the Kapuso station has happily welcomed her back without a bit of recrimination.

[box type=”default” size=”large”] Pinay indie actress shines in Cannes [/box]It is interesting to note that the Singaporean film “Ilo Ilo” which garnered the prestigious Camera D’Or Award at the recent Cannes Film Festival topbilled a Pinay indie actress, Angeli Bayani, who’s also the star of the Philippine entry, “Hangganan.” During the awards rites, movie critics and the crowd gave Angeli a round of applause for her splendid performance in both films.

“I feel elated to be acclaimed abroad in various film fests pero gusto ko pa rin mapansin, bigyan ng break sa mainstream local movies. I’ll be flattered if that happens,” a colleague quoted Angeli as saying.
In the film “Ilo Ilo,” Angeli plays the role of a Pinay nanny who was hired by a Singaporean family.

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Here and there: Still on Cannes film Festival, did you know that Piolo Pascual was on the brink of tears when after the screening of his entry, “On the Job,” the audience gave the film a standing ovation that lasted for several minutes.

“Ang sarap ng feeling kaya naging emotional ako. I didn’t expect they would appreciate the pic that much. Some even congratulated me and my co-star Gerald (Anderson). We felt so proud of the said movie.” Piolo recounted to my writer-chum.

With Gerald Anderson’s admission that Maja Salvador is his GF, intriguing messages came out in the Twitter account of Kim Chiu, his ex-GF. But Kim denied having written the messages, saying her Twitter account was