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TOGETHER AGAIN – More than 10 years ago, Assunta de Rossi and Jay Manalo first teamed up in “Hubog,” which merited awards at the Metro Manila Film Festival. Best actress for Assunta and best supporting actress for her sister Alessandra, among others. Directed by Joel Lamangan. Assunta would later earn an Urian best actress trophy from the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino.
It’s 2016 and Assunta and Jay are back in each other’s arms, in a manner of speaking, via “Higanti” (Revenge), action-family drama directed by Rommel Ricafort. As the title says, revenge is part and parcel of the plot, prompting the press to ask Jay and Assunta if they are the “mapaghiganti” type.
Assunta says not at all, “Deadma na lang. Bahala na ang karma sa kanila.”
Jay agrees, “Pero pag sinaktan ako lumalaban ako. Kung salita lang di ko na pinapansin.”
By the way, Jay also has several acting awards, including Urian best actor for “Prosti” and Manila Film Festival best actor for “Huling Birhen sa Lupa.”
MMFF ENTRY – Direk Rommel says that “Higanti” might be entered for consideration to the December Metro Manila Film Festival. But while the MMFF is still to come, “Higanti” will already be showing in several international filmfests.
“Higanti” has a big cast, among them, Meg Imperial, Katrina Halili, DJ Durano, and Jon Lucas.
FAMILY – At the presscon of “Higanti,” Jay discloses he has 12 children by six women. But he hastens to add his gallivanting days are over, having remained faithful to his understanding wife.
Colleague Jun Lalin says, “In fairness, mabuting ama si Jay sa lahat ng anak niya. Nag-aaral sila sa mahuhusay na escuela. Kaya naman panay ang kayod ni Jay.”
Assunta to date remains childless, married to former Negros Congressman Jun Ledesma. “Marami kaming inaayos ni Jun sa dalawang hacienda sa San Carlos. Sana next year pueda na akong magka-baby. I’m already 33.”
A widower, Jun has now two grown-up children, who Assunta treats like her own.