Baby Boom…Zoom, Zoom!

Signing off.

Flashed against an eerily black screen, those two words marked the forced farewell of the Kapamilya ABS-CBN in May after its franchise was not renewed. The shutdown left some (reportedly) 11,000 employees jobless and the network’s contract stars scrambled to find new homes, mostly at the Kapatid TV5 network which emerged as the new busy network pumped with new blood by blocktimers like Archangel Media (headed by Michael “Mike” Tuviera and Jojo Oconer) and Brightlight Productions (headed by former Negros Rep. Albee Benitez).

But there’s no business like show business where companies regenerate like the Phoenix. Barely five months after the shutdown, the Kapamilya network resurfaced on Channel 11 as A2Z, with some of its shows airing on other platforms (Jeepney TV, Teleradyo, etc.).

Cinemas have stayed closed, indefinitely, and producers resorted online to release their movies. The keyword is “online” and that’s where you can watch the 10 entries of this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF, check for details). The Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) and the Cinemalaya also went the same way, and so did beauty pageants (Miss Universe Philippines, Miss Earth, etc.).

Toeing the protocols, movie/TV production restarted with stars and staff strictly observing the do’s and don’ts (wear face mask and face shield at all times, except during the “take” and stay at least six feet away from one another).

The less people in working places the better (closeness can be, “contagious”) so many people are advised to work from home (more productive, less crowds in the streets to clog the traffic and more economical for both workers and companies, less power consumption, etc.).

The pandemic gave rise to the “new normal” which we are all still struggling to embrace up to now. We are all reconnected via Zoom through which press conferences (webinars) are held, a system that reminds one of a line from the Perry Como song, Zing zing, zoom zoom, my little heart goes boom…

There you go. The population has risen with the baby boom (as I was saying, staying/working from home can be “productive”), with showbiz giving a fair contribution.

Among those who have added to their families (check photo on this page as numbered):

1. Solenn Heussaff and husband Nico Bolzico (first baby),

2. Anne Curtis and husband Erwin Heussaff (first baby),

3. Leandro Munoz and wife Sheryl (first baby),

4. Iya Villania and husband Drew Arellano (third baby),

5. Max Collins and husband Pancho Magno (first baby),

6. Jako de Leon and wife Gill (first baby),

7. Carlo Aquino and partner Trina Candaza (first baby),

8. Coleen Garcia and husband Billy Crawford (first baby),

9. Rodjun Cruz and wife Dianne Medina (first baby),

10. Precious Lara Quigaman and husband Marco Alcaraz (third baby),

11. Diana Zubiri and husband Andy Smith (second baby),

12. Assunta de Rossi and husband former Negros Rep. Jules Ledesma (first baby),

13. Chariz Solomon and partner (third baby),

14. Ryza Cenon and partner (cinematographer) Miguel Antonio Cruz (first baby),

15. KC Montero and partner (Australian model) Stephany Dods (first baby),

16. Aicelle Santos and husband Mark Zambrano (first baby)

17. Isabel Oli and husband John Prats (third baby)

18. Geoff Eigenmann and partner Maya Flores (third baby).

Newsmakers of the Year:

• Willie Revillame: The Good Samaritan Award (for shelling out own money, as much as P5 million to jobless jeepney drivers and the same amount to the typhoon victims in Marikina City…and much, much more!);

• Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Guidicelli: Wedding of the Year (solemnized in private on 2-20-2020);

• Lav Diaz: Best Director (Orizzonte Award at the Venice International Film Festival (VIFF) for Lahi Hayup (Genus Pan);

• Nadine Lustre and James Reid: Breakup(?) of the Year, with the couple denying the report (a scoop by only for Nadine herself confirming it two weeks later (but look where they are now, still together!). Aside: Nadine was sued for breach of contract by the Viva Group of Companies; and

• The BL (Boys’ Love) Genre (the current rage, drawing precious time and space from K-Pop dramas).

Farewells: Anita Linda, Mila del Sol, Lilia Dizon, Sen. Ramon Revilla, Peque Gallaga, Marichu “Manay Ichu” Maceda, Liberty Ilagan, Leila Benitez, Eddie Ilarde, Menggie Cobarrubias, April Boy Regino, Edgar Quizon and Slapshock main man Jamir Garcia.

(E-mail reactions at For more updates, photos and videos, visit or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

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