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Uncovered, Under Covers

Anyone can be an internet celebrity nowadays, and Ellen Adarna is one who has used this to her advantage. She has made a name for herself in showbiz, rising above the bumps often encountered by superstars-in-the-making, scathed and furled by none of them. This month, Ellen lands herself a giant billboard on EDSA, cementing her sexy-star status. Zee Lifestyle takes this risk with her as she bares it all.

Anyone can be an internet celebrity nowadays, and Ellen Adarna is one who has used this to her advantage. She has made a name for herself in showbiz, rising above the bumps often encountered by superstars-in-the-making, scathed and furled by none of them. This month, Ellen lands herself a giant billboard on EDSA, cementing her sexy-star status. Zee Lifestyle takes this risk with her as she bares it all.

Thousands of websites and social networking sites pretend to be Ellen Adarna online or, at the very least, associate themselves with her. The site www.ellenEllen.com, for example, is mostly about automobiles, car donations and tips on how to resolve parking problems, but it sports Ellen Adarna’s name and even uses her photo as the main image in every article—obviously enterprising on her celebrity status if only to divert website traffic. Some stalkers have even raked in as much as Php 90,000 with hacked and fake accounts, making the young Cebuana sick to her stomach. “We all ‘lurk’ at one point in time,” she declares, “but stalkers, seriously, they need to get a life. Find a job, a hobby, or anything productive!”

Once dubbed as the “Philippines’ Internet Queen,” Ellen has accomplished quite a feat in slowly-but-surely shedding her internet-only celebrity status. Now she is more focused and intent on diving into the fray that is known by many as the country’s mainstream entertainment biz.

Cast regularly on GMA’s Bubble Gang (the Philippines’ longest-running TV gag/parody program) since 2010, Ellen also took the role of Katrina “Kat” Lazatin in the 2011 Captain Barbell TV series, and now stands as a semi-regular in the 2012 TV series Alice Bungisngis and her Wonder Walis.

On the big screen, Ellen was Aryanna in the 2010 GMA Films feature Si Agimat at si Enteng Kabisote, and will star in the upcoming Topel Lee-directed horror feature, Basement. She is taking everything that comes her way as an opportunity to win over the audience with flying colors.

Says Ellen, “Thankfully, the roles I’ve been offered have been more comedic in their character personas, but in no way am I saying that doing comedy is easy. Trust me, it’s not easy. I believe the real challenges for me will come when I would have to do something like a kissing scene or a simulated sex scene. But I’m doing a movie now, one where I play the role of a manananggal.” She is a trooper and thinks the whole experience is great, even if the role of a half-bodied folkloric monster requires her to be hoisted up in a harness most days of shooting.

With an unfinished history that has long been riddled with controversy and intrigue, Ellen is indeed one for the books, with an “origins tale” that touches on the often met ubiquity of the de facto compromising with the de jure. Zee Lifestyle recently caught up with her, and she answered plainly the questions that hound her less-than-perfect yet consistently fruitful career.

In various online bio-blurbs, forum sites, and message boards, you are pegged as a “Cebuana socialite turned internet queen, turned actress.” This may be what they say, but who is Ellen Adarna really?

I guess, in small parts, I am all of those things. However and more importantly, I remain to be someone who tries to be a good daughter to her parents and a reliable and loving sister to her siblings.

Given that your family owns a chain of motels in different parts of the country, casual observers are quick to point out similarities between Paris Hilton’s career path and yours. Is there anything you would like to comment regarding this kind of association?

I guess there are similarities but it is purely situational.

Given that you are the eldest child in the family, how did your folks take the news of you opting to be in showbiz?

My mom has been very supportive, but my father thinks it’s all a waste of time. Everytime I see him, he would ask, “What are you still doing in Manila?!”

How do you see yourself—more of an actress or more of a model?

More of an actress.

As an actress, what’s the most devastating role/scene that you could see yourself in?

Most probably… a rape victim.

As a model, what was your worst gig? What was your best?

I don’t really recall any bad experiences, but the most recent gig I really enjoyed was when I did a shoot for my friend’s swimwear line. I did my own makeup and they did the styling. My friends and I were just having fun with a camera.

What’s your take on social network lurkers and those who use your name/image for their personal gain?

I just hope that they wouldn’t use my pictures, but there is really nothing I can do. Things are just how they are, in the long run.

Have you ever been a member of an online group? 

I contribute to my friend’s beauty blog.

As a Cebuana, how has Manila been to you, particularly those you work with in the fields you are engaged in? Really good! Everyone has been very kind and accommodating.

Any chance of you deciding to go local, like becoming an actress who is active in Cebu’s entertainment industry?

If the opportunity presents itself, I don’t see why not.

When talking about relationships, there are those who are afraid of falling and those who are afraid of flying. Which type are you?

I’m not afraid of either.

What is to be learned from being Ellen Adarna?

Know what you want and fight for it. Everything I have, I had to work hard for. There were a few wrong turns along the way, but I never saw myself as unlucky. I had to learn how to be a fighter.

The encounter, short and sweet, revealed that there is actually more to the Ellen Adarna persona propagated in cyberspace, a testament to the truth in the saying, “There are masks behind façades.” In Ellen’s case, what was unveiled is a humble and candid 24-year-old, one who is serious in succeeding in her chosen career. Before heading off, she sheepishly confessed, “I can truly say that I’m growing up… slowly, but surely.” And with a smile and a wink, she took off.

  • by Yasunari Ramon Taguchi 
  • creative director David Jones Cua 
  • production assistant Christine Cueto
  • photography Jan Gonzales 
  • fashion stylist Pia Echevarria
  • hair and make-up Jessie Glova
  • hair and make-up assistant Jamaica Mondigo

inside

LADY CYCLISTS HIT THE ROADS AND SLOPES OF CEBU.

Cycling has been a growing sport and hobby for many years but it’s popularity has erupted since the Covid pandemic.  People biking to work and for recreation is an everyday sight in Cebu.  More and more are joining the ride.  Many are quite serious about cycling.  I know three ladies who are among those who’ve gone long distances across Cebu.

How did you get into serious cycling?  What was your motivation?

Blinky de Leon.  Event Host, Product Endorser & Influencer

“ I’ve been into cycling since I was a kid. A little backstory, I was around 10 years old when my dad surprised me with my first custom-made mountain bike. I still keep it until now, in fact I had it refurbished. It’s the most sentimental thing I ever received since it was his way/gesture to catch up with me after not seeing each other for almost 6 yrs. My dad is based in Germany and he also loves cycling and makes his own bamboo bike.”

 

“Just a year ago though, my friend Gazini randomly, out of nowhere, picked me up from home to bike with her to the South of Cebu. I felt really excited and motivated to get back on track because it’s very nostalgic and brings back so many great memories. And since then, the rest was history. We’ve been joining different groups, tried different routes and conquered different heights. I’ve met so many cyclists with very inspiring stories in the bike community who kept me feeling motivated too. I also look forward to the sights and the adventure that comes along with it.”

 

Yumz Mariot. Branding & Marketing Consultant

“I used to bike along with rock and wall climbing. I am lousy with ballgames which is why. Our usual route were Talamban and Mactan but one time, managed to ship gears all the way to Dumaguete for a quick ride to Valencia, the next town located at a higher elevation. Those were days when I did it for fun and what bike I was using did not matter.”

“Fast forward to 2021, a year after the pandemic lockdown began, I realized I have been lazy to do any fitness routine. Too caught up on juggling between house chores and Work from Home deliverables (I work as a Branding and Marketing Consultant), I started to feel my body needs to move as much as my brain does. A hysical fitness routine is as important as what I eat, or what I read or watch. So I decided to invest on a decent MTB, just very recently and got myself a much necessary restart. What motivates me even more is the area where I currently reside at. It is vast, fresh, green and safe for solo bikers like me.”

 

Prime Sarino. Digital Media Creative

“I started biking as a young teenager and I got the idea to start it as an adult hobby 3 years ago. I was already into running and I thought it would be great to venture into another outdoor activity to keep me occupied after work hours and weekends. I was set to travel for a year so I had to put aside the idea first but came pandemic. We were all forced to stay put and everything was put on hold. Cycling became my diversion. My cyclists friends invited me to quick and short rides. I enjoyed my first 50km ride and the sceneries and routes most of all. It also helped channel a positive mindset during the hard hit season of the pandemic. Not to mention it’s also another way to stay fit when we were forced into inactivity during the quarantine.”

Next in Part 2, we ask the ladies about their cycling experiences and memorable moments…

by: Zen

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People

#CebuPride:  Cebuanos in Multi-awarded Pride-Themed Films

Multi-awarded International Gay Movies with Cebuano Lead Casts

By:  Allain Dumon Fonte

 

Pride-themed movies are starting to invade the film industry as people become more accepting and are more intrigued on the stories about LGBTIQ.  Many have shared the intensity of emotions and laughed with the craziest jokes on gay-themed movies.  In the Philippines, these kinds of movies were questioned as to their morality and their message to the society.  The strong influence of the country’s religious standards had branded gay-themed movies as sex-oriented and nothing more.  Yet, with Thailand’s more tolerant culture, Thai BL (Boy’s Love) movies and television series have created a new perception to the viewers; and that is gay-themed movies are remarkably alike to all other movies – there is romance, comedy, drama, and the continuing struggle of living like normal people.  Hence, Thai BL TV series have a massive following all over Asia.  At the end of 2019, they became available in Netflix and are being watched by millions of viewers all over the world.

ZEE’s Allain Fonte with the casts of the top-rating Thai BL series (2019) “Cause You’re My Boy” of GMMTV (from L-R) Amp Phurikulkrit Chusakdiskulwibul, AJ Chayapol Jutamas, Neo Trai Nimtawat, Frank Thanatsaran Samthonglai, ADF, Drake Laedeke, Phuwin Tangsakyuen, and JJ Chayakorn Jutamas.

The Philippine film industry is not that far from Thailand’s.  Some of the LGBTIQ-themed movies and television series are slowly getting a following in Asia and are now accessible to viewers worldwide.  A few of these pride-themed movies that casted or directed by a Filipino have already been receiving nominations and awards from Golden Globe, The Berlin Film Festival, the Venezia Film Awards, and even the Emmy’s…and the Filipinos in these films hail their roots from Cebu!

 

1. Lingua Franca

 

Lingua Franca is a film directed by a Cebuana, Isabel Sandoval.  Sandoval also plays the main character of the movie, and she even wrote the screenplay.  Lingua Franca tells the story of Olivia, an undocumented transgender woman in New York who works as a caregiver to a senile old-lady of Russian-decent.  When Olivia is challenged to attain legal status in the US, she is left with a “marriage-based green card”.  While in search for her groom-to-be, she becomes romantically involved with Alex, Olga’s grandson.

The film is now available on Netflix and has received positive reviews from the media.  Stephen Dalton of the Hollywood Reporter wrote Lingua Franca is a “heartfelt personal statement rooted in timely, gripping issues that obviously resonate deeply with its author, notably trans rights and Trump-era immigration anxieties”.

 

Isabel Sandoval wearing Marchesa at the Venezia Red Carpet in the Venice Film Festival (2019)

Isabel Sandoval graduated summa cum laude with the degree in psychology from the University of San Carlos in Cebu, Philippines.  In New York, she pursued graduate studies in Film at NYU.  She is now currently residing in NYC, and already has award-winning films under her belt like Apparition, Lingua Franca, Senorita, Ritwal, The Unstoppable, and Judgement.

 

2. The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story

This television series was aired in Netflix and has gained so much popularity because it showed the murder of world-renowned fashion designer, Gianni Versace, by a serial killer, Andrew Cunanan.  Based on Maureen Orth’s book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History, this television series has 9 episodes of suspenseful scenes, and is star-studded with casts like Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz.  However, the main actor who played Andrew Cunanan is Darren Criss who gained his popularity after being a regular on the top rating TV show, Glee.  Darren Criss hails his roots from Cebu, Philippines.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story received positive reviews from critics. At the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, it received 9 nominations, and won 3 awards, including Outstanding Limited Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for Darren Criss.

 

Darren Criss with his dad (left) Charles William Criss, and his mother (right) Cerina Criss. Source

Criss was born and raised in San Francisco, California, USA.  Criss was raised as a Roman Catholic and attended roman catholic schools.  He later moved to Michigan where he studied Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Theatre Performance and minor in music at the University of Michigan.  Criss’s father, Charles William Criss, is a banker and served as CEO of the East West bank in Honolulu, Hawaii.  Criss’s mom, Cerina, is a native of Talisay, Cebu, Philippines.  When he was younger, he visited Cebu a couple of times with his mother.  Darren Criss is very proud of his Cebuano roots and wants to portray Filipino characters in films and in theatres to promote visibility of the Filipinos in the American films.

 

3. The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela

     The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela premiered at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival where it grabbed the Teddy Award for Best Feature Film.  It was also awarded the Grand Jury Prize in the 10th 2008 Cinemanila International Film Festival at Malacañang Palace’s Kalayaan Hall.  It starred Raquela Rios also known as Minerva to her Cebuano friends.  Raquela  is a local of Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines.  The film is directed by Icelandic film director, scriptwriter, and producer, Olaf de Fleur Johannesson.

 

Raquella Rios in Bangkok’s MRT (a scene in a Thai film).

Raquella Rios is a native of Mandaue City, Cebu, Philippines, and she went to the University of San Carlos in Cebu, studying sociology and anthropology.  Before finishing her studies, Raquella left the Cebu and went to Iceland after being casted by Icelandic film director, scriptwriter, and producer, Olaf de Fleur Johannesson for the movie The Amazing Truth About Queen Raquela.  She is now based in Bangkok, Thailand as a fashion stylist and wardrobe assistant to some local Thai movies.  Raquella is also an activist for sex workers rights and trans rights in Southeast Asia; pushing for the recognition on the choice of their gender and the right to change their birth names.

Raquella (right) with film director Olaf de Fleur (left) receives the Best Feature Film Award at the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival in Germany. Photo grabbed from Berlinale archives.

There are still plenty of pride-themed films in the Philippines that gained recognition all over the world; yet these movies mentioned are special because of the talented Cebuanos that have  brought Cebu to world.  They truly are #CebuPride.

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Fashion

37 Years of High Fashion; Arcy Gayatin leaves a Legacy of Edginess and Elegance

Arcy Gayatin: A Legacy of Luxury in Fabrication

 

By:  Allain Dumon Fonte 

 

The brand Arcy Gayatin gave the Queen City of the South a distinct reputation in the fashion industry.  The fashion line of Arcy Gayatin sets the bar higher each year for clothing luxury and fabrication techniques.

 

April Duenas, Nikki Gayatin and Arielle Gayatin for Arcy Gayatin—Photos by John Paul Autor from Lifestyle Inquirer.net

 

Araceli “Arcy” Ancajas Gayatin is the daughter Galileo Ancajas and Remedios Zanoria Ancajas who founded Cebu’s home brand, Gal’s Bakery.  Arcy went to the University of San Carlos and studied Political Science.  And just like Dr. Muccia Prada, who completed her Ph.D. in Political Science and established the luxury line of Prada, Arcy also got in touch with her artistic side and started her own fashion line.  However, it was not Prada that influenced Arcy.  Arcy was introduced to fashion and tailoring at a very young age by her mother, Madame Remedios Anacajas whom they dearly call Mama Eme.  Mama Eme was running a tailoring business back then.  It was called Arabel; named after Arcy and her sister Belma.  Ara from Araceli and Bel from Belma.  In those years, Arcy was fascinated by fabrics and was intrigued by how to manipulate the fabrics to come up with fashion-forward designs without compromising comfort and taste.

 

Arcy Gayatin (photo grabbed from Space Philippines Blog Spot)

 

After 37 years of creating haute couture pieces for the most fashionable personalities in the Philippines, Arcy Gayatin is now laying down her sketchpads and pens to rest.  As she enjoys her retirement, may be on a cruise to the Bahamas or a holiday to the Swiss Alps, Arcy Gayatin has left the fashion industry a legacy of elegant and edgy clothing ensembles that understand and define the shape of women; without compromising comfort and good taste.

 

Arcy Gayatin’s Pink Flamingo collection                                               Arcy Gayatin’s Sketch on a Terno

 

To salute the lady who brought Cebu fashion to the world, a retrospective exhibition of Arcy’s incomparable masterpieces can be seen today at Ayala Center Cebu’s The Gallery; curated by fashion editor and writer, Clint Holton Potestas, and interior and fashion designer, Jul Oliva.

 

BALANCE.  Arcy Gayatin is known for her perfect symmetrical lines when fabricating.  She knows how to balance edginess and class; understanding well the strength and the finesse of a woman.

 

RHYTHM.  Arcy’s expertise in draping and fabric manipulation can be seen in how she achieves rhythm between architectural lines and soft fabrics like silk and cashmere.

 

TEXTURE.  With her thorough knowledge on fabrics, Arcy Gayatin has achieved the perfection of fabrication by working on different types of fabrics and creating a single piece of art out of them. 

 

HARMONY.  The simplicity of the silhouette plus the intricacy of the details create a wonderful harmony, making Arcy Gayatin’s design a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.

           

The photos below show an up-close look at the intricacy and the exquisite craftsmanship of Arcy Gayatin’s fabrication techniques:

 

THE SPIDER WEB:  one of Arcy’s genius fabrication techniques.

 

MATCH and PATCH:  Arcy’s unique fabrication craft by patching layers of different types of lace and lace patterns

 

PLEATS: The perfection of symmetry in pleats on silk.

 

LA ROSE BLEUE:  U.P. student, Danielle Alessandra Deutsch, inspired by the artistry of Arcy Gayatin, designed this midnight blue dress.   The cabbage rose made from layers of silk organdy gave this evening ensemble a romantic appeal.

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