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Is Willie really saying goodbye to ABS-CBN?

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Willie Revillame: Left in the air (as in iniwan sa ere) by his home studio?FUNFARE By Ricardo F. Lo
August 19, 2009 12:00 AM 

Could it be true that Willie Revillame has decided to leave ABS-CBN — that is, as soon as he is released from his contract?

Funfare’s Bohol Avenue DPA said that last Friday Willie sent a letter to the ABS-CBN management requesting that his contract, which is good until 2011, be rescinded.

Apparently, Willie was disappointed that the company didn’t even come to his defense, or at least issue an official statement, while he was caught in “a firestorm” generated by his on-the-air tantrum on Wowowee two weeks ago when clips of former Pres. Cory Aquino’s casket while being moved from La Salle to the Manila Cathedral was inserted on the show.

Linggit Tan, head of the ABS-CBN TV Entertainment, has remained intriguingly quiet when she is said to know the whole story that’s reportedly “self-incriminating” (whatever that means) — you know, who really was behind that controversial “insert” that made Willie blow his top on-cam?

It was only Johnny “Mr. M.” Manahan, head of the ABS-CBN Star Magic and Wowowee director, who has come to Willie’s defense, not really exonerating Willie of what the public perceived to be a “disrespectful” behavior but giving a logical explanation of what led to it.

ABS-CBN is usually fast on the draw when defending its contract stars, such as when Piolo Pascual and Sam Milby got involved in a “gender” issue, but in the case of Willie the company seems to be keeping a no-comment stance.

Funfare tried to call Willie to comment on whether he’s “resigning” from Wowowee or asking to be released from his contract but he ”cannot be reached.”

Willie has been “missing” from Wowowee for more than a week now and the show is simply not the same without him. I understand it was Willie himself who requested to go on leave...indefinitely?

The Sexy ChefThe Sexy Chef or ‘a sexy chef’?

Let’s read excerpts (slightly edited) of the following letter, sent to Funfare by Barni Alejandro, chef and co-owner (with sister Rachel Alejandro) of The Sexy Chef (which is behind the South Beach Diet):

Over the past four years, Rachel and I have been helping Filipinos lose weight the healthy way by delivering delicious and nutritious food right to their doorsteps.

A few days ago, my fiancé saw a plug on TV for the upcoming reality show Survivor Philippines (Palau). To his surprise, he saw a contestant, Mika Batchelor of Palawan, tag herself as The Sexy Chef. At first I didn’t believe him. I thought to myself, what chef in her right mind would steal another reputable chef’s company name. If the world knows Jamie Oliver as The Naked Chef, Ina Garten as The Barefoot Contessa, Nigella Lawson as The Domestic Goddess, then in The Philippines, The Sexy Chef is known to be the Alejandro sisters — Rachel and Barni. We truly feel that Mika Batchelor should have had the decency and foresight to come up with another name. I would understand if she called herself “a sexy chef.” Lots of Filipino chefs are sexy such as Rob Pengson, Rolando Laudico, Judy Ann Santos, etc. But to tag yourself with a registered name such as The Sexy Chef is completely illegal, disrespectful, and ignorant. I commend her for having a restaurant in Palawan but that still does not give her the right to ride on our company’s name.  If you visit the Survivor Philippines (Palau) website, you will see Mika’s posted provocative FHM pictures...She can pose nude wherever she wants so long as she does not use The Sexy Chef’s name. Rachel and I have been told that we have a sexy image and we believe that being healthy is being sexy. As Ratatouille said, “Anybody can cook. It doesn’t mean that just anybody can be a chef.” Being a chef means being a chief in your own kitchen. A chef commands respect and follows an honor code. I write this not out of vanity but to protect our company’s reputation. First and foremost, Rachel and I have a duty to our clients. Mika Batchelor, although tagged as “The Sexy Chef,” has no affiliation with our company. Having said that, Rachel and I wish for a public apology from her for using our company name without permission.

(Note: In the spirit of fair play, I checked the GMA publicity material on Surivor Philippines Season 2 and Mika Batchelor, one of the 16 castaways, is described as “sexy chef and restaurant owner,” without a “the” before “sexy chef” and with the letters “s” and “c” in small letters. The info said that Mika is “half-British, niece of veteran actress Carmi Martin, grew up in Boracay but now living in Coron, Palawan.”)

* * *

lily monteverdeAs good as new after a brief confinement in the hospital, Marichu “Manay Ichu” Maceda hosted Monday night a salu-salo for some friends born in August, Leos all: Ethel Ramos (Aug. 1), Nora Calderon (Aug. 8), Boots Plata (Aug. 17) and Regal Matriarch Mother Lily Monteverde (today).

In a gathering like this, the faces hardly change (same old friends) and neither does the menu which usually consists of chicken-pork adobo (yummy to the last bite), laing, lumpia, etc. and native desserts (minatamis na saba at kamote, maja blanca, etc.), plus extra goodies some members of the group would bring potluck (Chinese pansit from Lawrence Tan, for good luck and long life).

Everybody would come equipped with Tupperware containers for the usual take-home (that’s why Manay Ichu’s own cook prepares food for three times the number of guests expected).

What changes is the showbiz tsismis that goes with the main course and the desserts. But the unwritten code among the barkada is not to let a word out of the four corners of the venue which is always the guest house of the Vera-Perez garden. Meaning, everything is off the record.

That night, a clumsy guest (mea culpa!) accidentally hit a tall glass filled with water while wrapping his “take home” and got — horrors!!! — Susan Roces and Dolor Guevarra all wet. But that hardly dampened the spirit of the barkada.

I guess Susan had her dress washed with Champion as soon as she got home, and so did Dolor. Champion is the laundry soap Susan is endorsing and, needless to say, it’s “champion” in many ways. Take it from Susan.

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