Donny happy on solo flight

Philstar
January 10, 2021

Curtain-raisers:

Where is Ali Sotto? For several weeks now, she has been missing from her and Arnold Clavio’s DZBB program Double A sa Double B. Funfare asked Mike Enriquez and he said that Ali is “on leave.” Arnold is “clueless,” saying, “I wasn’t there when it happened.” Joel Reyes Zobel is mum. No word from Ali...yet. The mystery deepens. Will she surface somewhere else, in greener pastures? If Ali is just “on leave,” why is the program now titled One on One with Arnold and Rowena (“Weng” Salvacion)?

The cycle goes on. Years ago, Angel Locsin turned down an offer to play Marimar and continue playing Darna on GMA and moved to the Kapamilya Channel. Tapped to replace Angel was Marian Rivera (who played the lead in Marimar and then in Darna) who became a big star. Due to the pandemic, Marian backed out of the GMA series First Yaya (with Gabby Concepcion as president) and was replaced by Sanya Lopez who is predicted to be the network’s next big star (also cast as one of Bong Revilla’s leading ladies in Alamat ng Agila). One’s big loss is somebody else’s big win.

Once the basketball season reopens, Ricci Rivero will have to choose between playing with the UP Maroons and co-hosting the TV5 show Sunday Noontime Live (SNL). The erratic showbiz schedule (sometimes lasting from morning until the wee hours of the next day) is not healthy for an athlete.

Ricci Rivero with his TV5 show Sunday Noontime Live (SNL) co-hosts (from left) Maja Salvador, Piolo Pascual, Catriona Gray and Jake Ejercito

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Because Donny Pangilinan has been absent from the TV5 show Sunday Noontime Live (SNL), there’s a rumor that he quit and Ricci Rivero was promoted to take his place. The truth is that Donny is in a lock-in shoot for a project (presumably for ABS-CBN/Star Cinema since he has remained Kapamilya forever) to be followed by another one. Busy bee.

“I love doing SNL,” Donny told Funfare in a recent interview. “It has been very, very fun. I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with an amazing group of people like Papa P (Piolo Pascual), Catriona (Gray), Maja (Salvador) and my bro Jake (Ejercito). I enjoy it because I missed going to the studio physically and seeing people because we’ve been staying home for so long.

“I would say that SNL really pushes me to my limits, making me work harder than I have ever worked in terms of rehearsing. I’ve never rehearsed this much in my whole life. Instead of just one production number, we have to rehearse for seven.”

At first, admitted Donny, he was reluctant to do it.

“But then, I thought, it’s a good chance to learn and to showcase more of my talent, to better improve my craft and have fun as well. It’s cool that our guests...most of them my friends are familiar faces, as well as the crew. Nice to see everybody.”

Now happily going solo after the breakup of DonKiss, his much-lamented team-up with Kisses Delavin (now with her family in her native Masbate due to the pandemic), Donny said he doesn’t regret over the incident while expressing gratitude to the DonKiss supporters.

“I will cherish the good memories of DonKiss deeply in my heart. I am grateful for the support that the DonKiss family has given not just me but also Kisses. I sincerely hope that she is okay right now and safe during this pandemic.”

Is he done with love-teaming?

“Hindi naman siguro,” said Donny. “I’ve always been very open. I’m still very young and have so much to work on, so much I have to learn from different people. I am open to collaborating with different people.”

The pandemic forced him to put many things on hold.

“My friends and I were supposed to go abroad just before the lockdown. Sayang but it was such a small thing. As they say, everything happens for a reason. May kapalit naman. I was able to work again. I will be busy until the second quarter of this year. Fingers crossed, I hope that things will go back to normal.”

Another plus factor of the pandemic is that it has given Donny time to bulk up.

“I have made taking care of my health a priority...physically, mentally and spiritually. I have learned discipline. My mantra is ‘Don’t be lazy.’ Get up and move!”

The minus factor? Because of the social-distancing protocol, Donny is unable to see his girlfriend.

“I don’t have a girlfriend!” he exclaimed. “If I had, I would surely find time to keep in touch with her. Maybe Zoom na lang muna kami, hahaha!!!”

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