[COLUMN] Respected entertainment editor Ricky Lo passes away

IT is with tremendous sadness that veteran entertainment editor Ricky Lo passed away on Tuesday, May 4 due to a stroke, as reported in the Philippine Star. He had just turned 75 last April 21.

Lo, who was my colleague in the Philippine Daily Express and who became a good friend, has been a stalwart in the Philippine news and entertainment business. He was the Philippine Star’s entertainment editor and columnist since 1986.

Ricky Lo | Philippine Star file photo

Ricky, was also seen on television as he sometimes co-hosted ABS-CBN’s “The Buzz” and GMA-7’s “Star Talk,” aside from having his own series like “Showbiz Stripped” and “The Ricky Lo Exclusives.”

Along with his regular “Funfare” column and “Conversations with Ricky Lo” Sunday feature in the Philippine Star, he released two books – “Star-Studded” in 1995 and “Conversations with Ricky Lo” in 2001.

The Northern Samar native is credited for some of the biggest scoops in showbiz, including the Martin Nievera-Pops Fernandez break-up as well as the Dingdong Dantes-Karylle break-up.

Ricky was a straight shooter in the land of showbiz. I knew him to be an honest person – he never was interested in under-the-table deals and would never get swayed with money. I consider him as one of the best, real journalists I had the pleasure of knowing.
We met during the 1970s when we worked at the Philippine Daily Express. Even though we went our own directions, we were good friends and kept in touch. He would call me whenever he was in the Bay Area and we would catch up.

I was always amazed at how young he looked even as the years went by, although I know Ricky was careful with his diet, preferring to eat fish over pork.

Looking at the tributes posted about him by some of the Philippines’ biggest celebrities, politicians and fellow writers/media personalities, including Vilma Santos, AiAi de las Alas, Vicki Belo, Richard Yap, Korina Sanchez, Karen Davila, Teddy Locsin Jr. and Lynda Jumilla-Abalos, it is clear that Ricky touched a lot of lives positively and they are all grateful for the support and friendship he extended to them.

Rest in peace, dearest Ricky! Showbiz will miss your brand of honesty, camaraderie and reporting. Thank you for your friendship…

* * *

All eyes are now on Miss Universe Philippines Rabiya Mateo as she is set to compete in the Miss Universe Pageant on May 16 to be held in Florida.

Based on recent photos and comments from pageant observers, it seems she is one of the favorites to win the title this year.

If she does so, she just might become the fifth Miss Universe winner from the Philippines, joining Gloria Diaz, Margarita Moran, Pia Wurtzbach and Catriona Gray.

In a recent Zoom interview, the Iloilo native disclosed that preparing for the pageant is really difficult as her training is done via online. However, she is glad that she has the company of Jonas Gaffud, who is the creative director of the Miss Universe Philippines Organization. And she really wants to make good on the dreams and hopes of her fellow kababayans for another win for the Philippines.

“I want to make the Filipinos proud. This is gonna be my grandest gift to them,” Rabiya was quoted as saying in a PEP.ph article on the Zoom call. “As I have the biggest fight of my life, I have in my heart and mind the support of millions of Filipinos. So, I really hope that I will do well on May 16.”

Asked about the tremendous pressure that she and other candidates face, especially when you are deemed as one of the favorites to win the title, Rabiya had this to say: “There’s a pressure added for being a crowd favorite. It’s a good pressure. Now, it’s all about destiny. I’m really praying hard that the stars will be aligned for me again on May 16.”

This early, Rabiya seems to know what she needs to do in order to win the crown. And she has asked for tips from many people, including Miss Universe Philippines National Director Shamcey Supsup.

“I really need to be careful with the scored events. This is a tip I got from Miss Shamcey Supsup…that’s why it’s okay to conserve energy in some aspects of the competition. But during the preliminary interview, I really need to do well, that’s why I’ve been practicing the whole time for it. It’s like trying to have that winning perspective. It’s gonna separate the best from the rest,” the Iloilo Doctors’ College graduate explained.

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