Women of the hour

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Finally, Katarina Rodriguez gets one of the much-coveted crowns.

She is yet another example of a seasoned beauty pageant contestant who had to go through episodes of near-wins before she reached the pinnacle of success.

MISS World Philippines 2018 Katarina Rodriguez.

The stunning Davao beauty was crowned last 7 October as the new Miss World Philippines.
Before being crowned by outgoing queen Laura Lehmann, Katarina basically had to do the Pia Wurtzbach way to success. Catriona Gray, the reigning Binibining Pilipinas Universe who is set to compete in the Miss Universe tilt this December in Thailand, also joined a number of contests before snagging two of the countries’ much coveted beauty titles.

Just like Wurtzbach, Katarina had to go through similar contests to shape and sharpen her mind and skills as an aspiring titleholder.

The 26-year-old cycling instructor first rose to prominence when she joined Asia’s Next Top Model in 2014. She and fellow Filipina aspirant Jodilly Pendre were viewers’ favorites and were expected to win only to place third at the final reveal.

Her competitive side, however, took the better of her when she again decided to join Binibining Pilipinas in 2017. She ended up winning one of the crowns, Miss Intercontinental Philippines and competed for the said title in January this year. She was named first runner-up.

And here she is today, the new Miss World Philippines at 26, pretty much the same age when Wurtzbach won the country’s 3rd Miss Universe crown in 2015.

Katarina is set to vie for the title in Sanya, China in December.

She, Catriona and Pia are perfect examples of queens tested with age and time.

As former Miss Universe herself and currently the chairman of the board of the Cultural Center of the Philippines Margie Moran-Floirendo said, aspiring beauty queens should finish school and gain more knowledge and skills before plunging into the world of pageantry.

“One should live by example and not by opinion, and I would like to admit I was one of those before until I learned more about what beauty pageants are about. One thing I can tell you is that you may think this is very competitive, but in fact, you’ll understand beauty pageants when you know that it is actually not competitive towards the other women; it’s competitve towards yourself, and it’s all about women empowerment, and you can feel that in this group of girls, each girl knows that we are all individually beautiful,” Katarina replied to a question on changing people’s opinions about beauty pageants as a form of exploitation.

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ENTERTAINMENT reporter Gretchen Fullido with her lawyer Marvin Aceron.

Another woman that has been thrown into the harsher spotlight is news reporter Gretchen Fullido. Social media went wild when she went public with her allegations of sexual harassment from two of her co-employees at ABS-CBN on 5 October.

The entertainment TV host alleged that she had been the subject of “harrassment” from network executives Cheryl Favila and Maricar Asprec. The two work in the network’s news department and Fullido claimed they sent her innuendo-filled text messages. When she did not give in to their texts, Fullido said they made working difficult in the course of three years.

Fullido works as entertainment beat reporter for nightly newscast TV Patrol. She also filed libel complaints against news anchor Cecilia “Ces” Drilon, Venancio Borromeo and fellow entertainment beat reporter Marie Lozano for her “besmirched reputation.” Drilon later issued a statement on her social media account that said she has been a champion of women’s rights and does not condone such acts. As a victim of sexual harassment herself, she posted that it is “unthinkable” what Fullido is accusing her of. Lozano has yet to issue a statement.

The network has released its own statement that says they respect Fullido’s right to bring her complaints to the court. It hopes that all parties involved will follow the legal proceedings.
ABS-CBN said it takes such cases seriously and does not condone such acts. The statement also reiterated that management took “prompt action” when Fullido presented her case.

This is one sensitive issue that no party, the media and fans, should take lightly. Hollywood has its #MeToo movement after women came out and told of their horrific encounters with TV and movie executive Harvey Weinstein.

This early, there have been stars who applauded Fullido’s guts and the hashtag #IStandWithGretchen was made out of this story.

Beyond opening a pandora’s box of very old rumors of the dark and sinister side of showbiz, let’s not forget that with whatever alleged ugly open secrets that are now threatening to be divulged, lives and careers are at stake.

It’s better to ride the tide with caution, discretion and conscience.

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“SWITCH” cast features Thailand’s hottest celebrities, Nadech Kugimiya and Urassaya Sperbund.

Keep them coming, GMA. Tonight’s going to be the premiere of the Thai drama Switch on GMA’s primetime block.

Switch, with the Thai title of Leh Lub Salub Rarng, is a body swap romantic comedy that stars one of Thailand’s penultimate loveteam, YaDech.

Switch is the newest lakorn or Thai drama that the network is introducing in its primetime block, usually airing after the third local drama of the night.

It started with Fated to Love You and Princess Hours last June.

In an earlier email interview with Joey Abacan, the head of acquisition department, he did say to expect more lakorns to come.

ACTION meets comedy as GMA brings another original Lakorn romcom series to the Philippine television.

And they picked a drama that stars the hottest love team of Thailand. Nadech Kugimiya and Urassaya “Yaya” Sperbund are basically like the KathNiel of Thailand. Whenever they star in a drama, expect people to watch it. It has always been the case since they were successfully introduced as koojin (Thai term for love team) in Duang Jai Akkanee in 2010. A year later hey cemented their status as a love team when they were tapped to lead the revenge drama Game Rai Game Rak. Since then, they would always have a drama together every year.

Fortunately for them, Thai programming allows them to “pair up” with other contract stars of their network. Thus, there is less chance of love team burnout or fatigue. But, of course, their fans do not mind.

Will YaDech earn new fans in the form of Pinoy teledrama fans?

Let’s hope for the best so more lakorn dramas will be brought to our shores!

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