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Lost boys

JIRO & JOHN WAYNE – Whatever happened to Jiro Manio and John Wayne Sace, award-winning young actors? Jiro is the youngest, not even in his teens, to win an Urian for “Magnifico.” John Wayne was best child performer at the Metro Manila Film Festival for “Dekada ‘70.”

Lost boys they are called, having been hooked on drugs.

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Ai-Ai de las Alas, bless her compassionate and generous heart, spent a fortune for Jiro’s rehabilitation. But lately, Jiro insisted on leaving a health-care facility even if doctors felt he wasn’t ready. Ai-Ai couldn’t do anything as Jiro’s family agreed. No word yet on Jiro’s current state of health – physical, emotional, mental.


Said to be doing okay now is John Wayne, who was confined in a government rehab. He was quoted as saying he’s now clean, while admitting he tried all kinds of prohibited drugs. Hopefully, John won’t go back to his old ways.

Of course, Jiro and John Wayne are no longer boys. Jiro’s already an unwed father, while John Wayne is wise beyond his years.

PRINCESS OF THE WORLD – Now on to a more pleasant topic… sent by Highspeed contributor Jay P. Delgado.

Shirleena Joice Labe Espinoza, a 10-year old Grade 5 student from Olongapo City, won the coveted Princess of the World 2017 title in Burgas, Bulgaria last June 29, besting 15 other contestants worldwide.
14john1 copyThe victory was made even sweeter as Shirleena succeeded another Pinay, Elysha Dinn Rasay of Isabela, for a rare back-to-back win.

Aside from the top crown, Espinoza also won gold medals for vocals (singing) and modeling, and won the Princess of the World Elegance special award.

It was the sixth year that the week-long international pageant for Princess and Prince of the World was staged in Bulgaria by the World Festival for Beauty, Talents & Fashion.

The contestants competed in national costume, sportswear, Bulgarian designer’s fashion show, production, evening wear, and interview.

Espinoza was sent to the Bulgaria pageant by Cabuyao City-based Gla’More Productions Co., spearheaded by sisters Maria Angela “Maan” Aris and Kristine Diane Nagasaka who was crowned as Mrs. Asia Pacific 2016. Aris and Nagasaka established the company in 2014 and staged the annual search for Little Princess and Teen Princess Philippines.

Shirleena placed second runner-up in Little Princess Philippines 2016 and after assessment and trainings, she was designated to compete in the international tilt for pre-teens in Bulgaria.

She was an early favorite in the pageant. During the talent presentation, she impressed the judges as well as the audience who gave her a standing ovation.

Shirleena was honored with a victory party at Eurotel Vivaldi Residences in Cubao, Quezon City recently that was attended by her supportive parents Charlie Cheung Espinoza and former Salve Labe, the rest of her family and friends, mentors, Gla’More Productions and select members of media.