Celebrities Vivian Velez and Cristine Reyes, currently embroiled in an off-cam dispute, are dominating this week's hotly followed showbiz news.
The story so far: Velez has resigned irrevocably from ABS-CBN's afternoon drama series Tubig At Langis after being "upset and humiliated" by an actress, whom she later identified as Reyes.
In an interview with PEP.ph, Velez detailed the "instances of rudeness" displayed by her younger costar towards her that led to her departure. For her part, Reyes has already explained her side, apologizing to those who have been offended by her actions.
"I do have high regard for and respect with thanks senior artists who have paved the way for stars like me in the industry," she ended her statement coursed through Viva Entertainment, Inc.
Meanwhile, here is the official press statement of the Tubig At Langis team regarding the unfortunate incident:
As we wait for events to unfold, why not brush up on the primary players of this showbiz spat?
Cristine, as we all know, is FHM royalty, voted Sexiest Woman in 2009. She married MMA fighter Ali Khatibi early this year. They have a daughter. Basically, no intro needed.
Ms. Vivian, on the other hand, might not ring a bell to most millennials, but, boy, during her younger years, she was regarded as one of the most desirable women in the country. Let's get to know her better through this quick throwback primer:
Velez burst onto the scene as a certified bombshell, making her big screen debut in the movie Black Mamba in 1974. She was a legit screen scorcher, the star in many a man's fantasies and, um, dreams. Think '90s Rosanna Roces or Joyce Jimenez.
More films followed, and soon Velez became a household name. Here she is with the Fernando Poe Jr. and Gloria Diaz in Andalucia:
The local entertainment industry was fond of monikers back then, and Velez, naturally, had to have one that captured her very essence. So she was dubbed "Ms. Body Beautiful," a fitting tribute to her jaw-dropping physical gifts.
Here's how Velez explains it:
Velez became so popular that she was invited to prominent events, including basketball games. Online basketball historian Jay P. Mercado recalled in one of his articles that the sought-after screen siren once competed in a one-on-one exhibition game against another looker of an actress, Lotis Key. "The buxomy Velez won the event and the hearts of many men who enjoyed watching her dribble, run, and shoot the ball with so much gusto," wrote Mercado.
Her 64-strong filmography is loaded with such outrageously titled classics: Alas Tres Ng Hapon... Lumuhod Ang Maton; Basta Kabit, May Sabit; and Sampung Ahas Ni Eva.
She was the original Ang Babaing Hinugot Sa Aking Tadyang (1981), before three-time Sexiest Woman Marian Rivera reprised the role in the 2009 TV adaptation on GMA-7.
But Velez wasn't just another talentless sexy star; she won multiple Best Actress awards—one for Pieta (1983) from the Film Academy of the Philippines, and two for Paradise Inn (1985) from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards and Metro Manila Film Festival.
Fame didn't come without a price though; at the peak of her career, a sex video allegedly involving Velez and Ilocos politician Rudy Fariñas surfaced. Copies of the video (in Betamax format, of course!) soon became an undisputed hit in various video rental shops in the country, according to a senior FHM contributor. "I remember paying P30 to rent it for three days," added our writer. The blurry footage wasn't as stimulating as today's kind. It was like "two folks experimenting on videotaping each other" (there were rumors that they were on drugs), and it just so happened that the people concerned were big names.
The issue died a natural death—or was supposedly "killed" by the influential politician—and eventually became one of the many urban legends our uncles talk about at their usual drinking parties.
After laying low for some years, Velez resurfaced in the early '90s, catching the public off guard anew by announcing her impending marriage to basketball star Paul "Bong" Alvarez. Their whirlwind love story was a big deal back then, the goddess everyone was dying to be with was hooking up with one of the best players in the PBA. Alvarez, a master of open court basketball, was a fan favorite, starring in films (Google: Last Two Minutes) and being recruited to endorse different companies.
Their relationship quickly fizzled out as they parted ways barely a month into their marriage. Velez eventually had two sons with former Israeli husband Tuvia Levy while Alvarez had his share of well-publicized off-court problems since.
After being part of the action film Kill Zone in 1993, she starred in the 1999 TV series Rio Del Mar, before taking an indefinite break from show business. She returned after a decade-long hiatus through Imortal (2010-2011), which starred Angel Locsin.
She followed that with a stint in the Ritz Azul-headlined Misibis Bay (2013), where Velez got to show off her legendary figure as the contravida Miranda Cadiz.
Among her prominent roles since her comeback were as a contractor of hired killers in the acclaimed On The Job (2013), and a distraught mother in the Cinema One Originals entry Bendor (2013), which nabbed her another Best Actress award.
Apparently, aside from character acting, Velez is also into the aviation business, advocating for safer skies and more affordable education in aeronautics. She has also been training to become a certified pilot.
Up until this recent controversy, Velez had been noticeably ecstatic about being part of Tubig At Langis, even posting promotional materials and hashtags related to the show in her social media accounts.
Here's hoping all parties involved will sort out everything and mend damaged professional relationships.