ONE of the actors to watch out for in the GMA stable of Sparkle contract stars is the gorgeous Kirst Viray. A model and an athlete, Viray is also a restaurateur, being part owner of the hole in the wall Mangan-tila restaurant on Scout Torillo in Quezon City.
Viray told us that he always had that entrepreneurial spirit. “I have always been business-minded ever since I was in school. Up to now, I find ways on how to earn extra money. I would rent out a vacant room, I’d sell tickets for an event, little things like that. It has always been a dream for me to have my own restaurant and I am happy that I have seen this dream come true.”
A native of Pangasinan, Viray shared that “Mangan-tila” means “Let’s eat.” “It’s a place where nothing is ever formal, and friends and colleagues can gather and enjoy a good chat while having a sumptuous meal and a few drinks too!”
Most of Viray’s model and athlete friends hang out at the restaurant. And since he is now an actor (his last outing was in GMA’s Maria Clara at Ibarra), many showbiz personalities also drop by regularly to grab a quick bite or to chill after a day’s work at Mangan-tila. We learned that lovers Jak Roberto and Barbie Forteza also closed the place recently for a private event, for their close friends and guests to enjoy the feast Viray and his kitchen staff prepared for them.
When we dropped by a few days ago, there were quite a number of beautiful beings in Mangan-tila, true to what our friend told us when she recommended the place to us: All your senses will be covered when you go to Mangan-tila.
Producer and businessman Rex Tiri might be in a semi-hibernation state as a movie producer for the past few years but he is very much on top of his restaurant Limbaga 77 Cafe & Restaurant, which recently opened a new branch at the Ayala Malls TriNoma.
Invited to cut the ceremonial ribbon were celebrities Diego Loyzaga, Sylvia Sanchez and RJ Agustin of Firestarter Productions. Tiri was busy entertaining his other guests that included Julia Barretto, Jon Verzosa, Juan Carlos Galano, filmmaker Real Florido, and some media friends.
Tiri is the well-loved producer of films, like Deadma Walking, Bakwit Boys, Billie & Emma, Barbie: D’ Wonder Beki and Patay na si Hesus. He got burnt producing a movie where he was apparently duped by a now-deceased loud and feisty filmmaker.
But like any strategic thinker, Tiri knows when to make his big moves, and the new Limbaga 77 Cafe & Restaurant in TriNoma is certainly one that will give him the lucky numbers.
A KAPAMPANGAN DELIGHT ON BIG SCREEN
ONE of the more awaited entries in the coming Metro Manila Summer Film Festival is the movie Apag, which means feast in Kapampangan. Directed by Brillante Mendoza, it delves on the intricacies and complexities of two families in Pampanga that were involuntarily brought together by fate following a tragic road accident.
Leading the stellar cast of mostly Kapampangan actors is Coco Martin, who when he was still a struggling newbie in 2005, got his first big film role via Mendoza’s Masahista. Martin’s character in Apag turns the world of these two families upside down when he ran away from the scene after killing the victim in a vehicular accident. Also in the cast are Lito Lapid, Jaclyn Jose, Gladys Reyes and Gina Pareño.
Not many are aware that Martin was a replacement to Aljur Abrenica, who was supposed to play this central character of the movie. According to Mendoza, Abrenica backed out without giving any specific reason a few days before the team was supposed to start shooting the movie. “We panicked, but Coco came into the picture and he became a blessing in disguise,” remarked Mendoza.
For his part, Martin told us that it was an unplanned movie reunion with Mendoza. “Hindi po talaga ako kasali sa project. Nagkataon po na may Christmas break po ang Ang Probinsyano [the defunct ABS-CBN series that ran almost seven years], and nag-swak ang mga schedules kaya nakapag-shoot po ako ng eight days bilang kapalit ng original na aktor. I guess it was meant to be.”
Viewers will find out how the feast becomes an integral part of the movie’s narrative and what senses will be stirred by this family drama when it opens on Black Saturday next month.