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Ball of intrigues

Kathleen A. Llemit



It was no doubt a momentous event, the first ABS-CBN Ball that was held last weekend. Bigger with reportedly more than 500 guests jampacked inside the ballroom of Makati Shangri-La, the glitzy affair saw up-and-coming and prized talents of the network dressed to the nines.

The guests wore their best and most fabulous. But did these outfits pass muster with nitpicking Pinoys?

JAMES Reid and Nadine Lustre.

Twitter broke with the hashtag #ABSCBNBall2018 burning the lines with a whopping 5.6 million tweets on the eve of 29 September. A ball that was held to support the cause of the network’s social welfare program should have generated awareness regarding its cause — the relaunching of Bantay Bata’s Children’s Village, a haven for children who were abused.

But ask anyone about the said ball, and all he can remember is what transpired inside the ballroom, who wore the best outfits and who made a mess of his red-carpet moment.

Yes, James Reid’s and Iñigo Pascual’s “seatbelt/backpack” suits, Alice Dixson’s “tissue” gown, Pia Wurtzbach’s “tranny” makeover, Jodi Sta. Maria’s “Chandelier” moment, among others, trended on social media more than the reason the ball was organized.

Trust the Pinoys to poke fun at these celebrities’ outfits supposedly costing by the millions. If they were to don million-dollar and designer suits and gowns, people think there’s no excuse for these costly outfits to flop.

In typical Pinoy humor, the quips were a combination of toilet humor, slapstick and pop-culture references. Netizens were merciless, taking pleasure in the mishaps or fashion faux pas of the stars who are generally seen as larger than life. These gods and goddesses, like some of the fabled residents of Mt. Olympus, fell from grace with that one attire that seemed too outlandish and nonsensical for their subjects.

DREAMSCAPE Entertainment unit head Deo Endrinal with Regine Velasquez and COO of Broadcast Cory Vidanes.

When one scrolls through various social media threads (not just one, but one too many!) of these “critiques,” it’s hard not to laugh or even guffaw at some of the catty remarks. Some, however, too evidently stem from insecurity.

It is human nature to covet what you don’t have. It is excusable to bash these stars because it won’t hurt them at all, so goes most people’s logic. They have it all, so what’s a simple “crude” remark from an ordinary person? Well, if these stars don’t see the comments, as most of them don’t, but somehow they will have an inkling of what people are saying about them.

And there’s the rub. These stars aren’t exactly made of stone. And as one famous social media literacy campaign goes, think before you click. In the end, everything that one posts on social media reflects the kind of upbringing one has. No one would want to discredit their parents or forebears, wouldn’t they? And then there’s the rub.

Still on the grand ball, Regine Velasquez was spotted that night hanging out and taking selfies with the network’s big bosses.

Rumors of her “jumping ship” had surfaced as early as a month ago. While speculations of her transfer to ABS-CBN from GMA have recurred from time to time in past years, this time, it has persisted more so after two of her GMA shows, Sarap Diva and The Clash, recently ended.

The singer-actress remained mum at press time. Her husband, Ogie Alcasid, who had already done the rigodon from GMA to TV5 and lastly to ABS-CBN a year ago, was quoted as saying, “Exciting times ahead” when asked about the future career path of his wife.

Recent rumors say that Regine will announce her transfer after she is done with her US tour this month.

Well, if she’s truly taking the leap after three decades with GMA Network, it should not raise a fuss. Perhaps it’s about time the networks and the fans let artists be the artists they should be — with no loyalty to anyone or anything other than their craft.

And while at it, since the network has “acquired” former SOP/Party Pilipinas mainstays Ogie, Jaya, Jay-R and Kyla, and if ever, Regine, wouldn’t it be nice to see a production number with all these legitimate singers in a breathtaking number with real singing — together with similar greats Gary V, Zsa Zsa Padilla and Martin Nievera?

Lip-synching guests (read: love teams being too annoyingly sweet onstage pretending to sing when they are only mouthing pre-recorded tracks) should be a thing of the past with a selection of these singers already at their disposal and another one — a really good one, if ever — joining the network.

When these conditions are met, then they can be truly world-class.

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