‘Princess in the Palace’ makes its mark

Rocky Salumbides (from left), Eula Valdes, Ryzza Mae Dizon and Marc Abaya delighting Princess in the Palace fans in Cebu.

column-ricky gallardoAt this time when traditional politicians, aspiring wannabes, and delusional attention-grabbers would have already submitted their Certificates of Registration to run for the country’s various government posts, there’s this little entertainment princess who has already sealed her place in the television landscape.

Child wonder Ryzza Mae Dizon continues to make her presence felt with every new project she gets involved in. Her latest show, Princess in the Palace on GMA, was launched only a few weeks ago, but already it has become a game-changer in the late-morning time slot.

Reports have it that the show is getting consistently high ratings, even edging out some afternoon daily drama programs. This is no surprise since the show tells a very heartwarming story about a lady president who finds happiness beyond her call of duty when a poor orphan girl enters her life.

The choice of the cast is also commendable. Ryzza Mae has very good chemistry with the formidable Eula Valdes, who breathes life into the character of the lady president of the republic. “It is impossible not to fall in love with Ryzza Mae,” Eula enthused. “The girl is such a bundle of joy. She is witty, smart and naturally funny, too.”

There are still many who have not forgotten Eula as the original Amor Powers, a character she played so wonderfully 15 years ago in the original Pangako Sa ‘Yo drama series. Eula made Amor (or is it the other way around?) so unforgettable that people still associate her name with the iconic character. But things are changing and Eula is getting addressed more as “Madame” these days because of her role in Princess in the Palace.

We were witness to how close Ryzza is with her co-actors when the group went to Cebu for a promotional activity. Aside from Eula, Ryzza was with model-actor Rocky Salumbides and singer-actor Marc Abaya in Cebu, and the group proceeded to Iloilo and Davao to regale their fans and followers.

Eula volunteered that Ryzza and Rocky enjoy having funny, spontaneous banter, and both usually end up laughing at themselves. “That’s why I look forward to going to work because there is never a dull day.”

Rocky, who plays the community’s barangay captain in the show, confirmed this. “Oh, yes, it is always a happy set. Ryzza is a natural, and she can even surprise her older co-actors with her adlibs and improvisations.  She also loves to eat and we always have happy times during meals.”

Marc Abaya said he also feels very blessed to be part of the show.  The lead vocalist for the rock group Kwjan told us that everyone comes to the set with a big smile.  “Ryzza’s laughter is infectious, and everybody loves her. We would break into a song or make funny dance moves in the middle of a conversation or during breaks. Everything seems to be so spontaneous and natural when we are on the set.”

Aside from the cast that also includes Boots Anson Roa, Ces Quesada, Vince de Jesus and Neil Perez, Princess in the Palace also gets a big push from the multitude of fans of the unbeatable noontime show Eat Bulaga, where the phenomenal “Kalye Serye” segment, featuring Alden Richards, Maine Mendoza and Wally Bayola, is widely followed by television audiences both locally and abroad.

Showbiz insiders are predicting that with the way things are going, Princess in the Palace might just turn out to be a very long-running show, toppling the record held by Please Be Careful with My Heart of ABS-CBN which aired for two years.



As it is, the coming 2016 elections is already turning out to be a circus but local celebrities are scrambling to take on key government positions.

Vilma Santos is aiming for a congressional seat after serving as governor of Batangas. Her ex-husband Edu Manzano, who lost in his vice presidential bid in the last elections, is setting his eyes on becoming a senator. Vilma’s current husband, Ralph Recto, is also running for senator.

Retired actress Alma Moreno will take a shot at becoming a senator, while her son Vandolph Quizon will run for councilor in Parañaque City. Old-timers Lani Revilla will run for mayor of Bacoor, Cavite, while her son Jolo Revilla will seek another term as vice governor of Cavite.

Lito Lapid is running to be mayor of Angeles City, while his son Mark Lapid is part of the senatorial slate of the Liberal Party.

The Yllana brothers are also at it. Anjo will run for councilor for the Fifth District of Quezon City, while Jomari is eyeing a councilor seat in the First District of Parañaque City. Jhong Hilario, Rico Puno and Monsour del Rosario have all decided to run for councilor in Makati City.

Lucy Torres-Gomez is seeking another term as congresswoman of Ormoc. Alfred Vargas is running for congress again. Yul Servo is also aiming for a congressional seat after serving as councilor in Manila. Roderick Paulate is also seeking another term as a Quezon City councilor.

Daniel Fernando will seek reelection as vice governor of Bulacan. Daisy Reyes is running in the mayoralty race for Pateros, Rizal.

Joseph Estrada is seeking another term as mayor of Manila. ER Ejercito, who was kicked out of his office, will run again to be governor of Laguna while his half-brother Gary Estrada is also in the run for Quezon Province.

In the coming days, it’s highly likely that there will be more showbiz personalities, retired athletes, society matrons and relatives of current politicians joining the race. So do you still wonder why local politics has become one big show?


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