Many years ago, a young Cebuano born of Italian father (Gianluca Guidicelli) and Filipino mother (Glenn Fernan, daughter of Senator and former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Mareclo Ferman) hogged the limelight after becoming a young champion in Karting.
Then several years later, the same young man would pop up on TV screen as a young matinee idol.
Matteo Guidicelli (born Gianmatteo Guidicelli) had returned after a couple of years as a student of performing arts (majoring in musical theater) at Columbia College in Chicago.
And, when he was back, he put Karting behind to pursue his dream of being a performer. It became a reality when Star Magic signed him and was cast in the teen sitcom Go Kada Go.
Several years later, the young Cebuano has grown up to be a dashing young TV star and starring in several shows (all on ABS-CBN).
Yet, the young Guidicelli wanted more. He embarked on a singing career that led to a concert in November last year in his native Cebu entitled #MatteoMadeinCebu. This sold out concert held at the Waterfront Hotel showcased Matteo’s talent in singing, more so his love for music. This year, he is again in the mood for a concert, this time in Manila. It is called Hey Matteo and will be staged at the Kia Theater, 7 p.m. on Nov. 30.
Hey Matteo gives the actor-singer fans a glimpse of his innermost self, opening up more his identity and artistry. Drawing from his personal experiences, this concert will be a revelation of Guidicelli as a singer.
“I have always wanted to sing, but I wasn’t able to focus on it”, he says. “Now, I’m in a stage of my life when I really want to do music. I’m very excited with this concert because it’s going to feature songs from my upcoming album.”
“Matteo is the kind of artist who does things with passion,” says Rowell Santiago, the director of his concert. “I have worked with him since he was 13 and I saw how passionate he is with the arts, and the good thing about him is that he really puts his heart in what he does and he really works hard and get better at it.”
Very few people know only of Matteo Guidicelli as the Kapamilya hunk but not his talent in music, especially his foray into musical theater. Back in school, he played the lead role in Pippin the musical where his mettle as a singer was tested. He decided to take this passion further in college by taking by majoring in musical theatre at Columbia College.
“Music has always been one of the things that I love. I used to sing, but I never sang for mainstream until two years ago when I had my album and concert at the Music Museum ”, he says.
Hey Matteo combines Guidicelli’s talents with the creativity of Rowell Santiago and musical director Louie Ocampo.
This concert will be an entirely different show from his previous hometown concert in Cebu last year.
Hey Matteo is definitely one concert to look forward to. Some 70 to 80 percent of the creative input came from Guidicelli himself according to Ocampo.
Both directors have worked with the versatile actor on several projects in the past and have witnessed his growth as an artist. Their collaboration for this concert is once more a coming together of artists committed to mount a great show for the love of music.
“The concert will have a youthful vibe with the 90’s beat. It will show Matteo’s versatility as a singer through songs that tell his story”, says Ocampo, “Matteo is really hands-on with the preparations and this concert will definitely show much about the kind of singer that he is.” Matteo will be performing a combination of covers inspired by the music that he grew up with and original songs from an album that he will soon be releasing.
Hey Matteo is produced by Big Bang productions, the same production company behind the successful #MatteoMadeinCebu concert last year. The company has always been impressed with Matteo’s willingness to learn and to explore more of his craft, and this inspires them to continue to work on providing artists like him with an avenue to showcase their talents for a much bigger audience in this highly competitive world of entertainment.
“As an artist, Matteo is very eager, always willing to learn and explore new audiences with his craft, whether it be singing or acting. He does not hesitate to push his limits and get out of his comfort zone”, says Shy Sison – Vesagas of Big Bang Productions. Hey Matteo will also be co-produced by Hills and Dreams Events Concepts Co.
Hey Matteo promises to be an entertaining and endearing show as Matteo Guidicelli takes a leap as an artist and shares his life and love with his fans through his own music.
It’s a partnership that was destined to happen.
Long before their respective careers came to full bloom, Ruffa Gutierrez and talent manager Arnold Vegafria had already established a solid friendship, and that relationship—kept alive by sporadic meet-ups, occasional get-togethers with common friends, family reunions and long phone calls—has remained intact for several decades now.
It comes as no surprise that the actress, beauty queen, entrepreneur and devoted mom would soon entrust her showbiz and business dealings to him.
Ruffa exclaims, “I’m really inspired and excited to be joining ALV’s management team. Arnold and I have been friends forever and we get along really well. We have the same vision in terms of where else I can go in terms of my career. I’m also thankful that he and my mom [Annabelle Rama] get along very well. It was actually them that told me about their agreement. If both of them join forces and I behave, then only good things will come. I feel positive about this partnership.”
And what expectations does she have from this partnership?
“As a manager, I know that Arnold will keep my best interest at heart. He wants me to develop, grow and succeed in all aspects. If we have mutual respect, love support for each other, then I know this partnership will transcend past business. I already have a big, strong, supportive family, but I know Arnold will be my family too. And what’s most important is that mom trusts him too,” she adds.
For his part, Arnold is optimistic about harnessing the unlimited potentials of their synergized creative and business ventures.
He says, “Through all the years that I’ve known her, it’s gotten to a point where we read each other well, and be intuitive about each other’s personal and business dealings. I’m excited about turning her unfulfilled dreams to reality.”
These days, Ruffa finds her hands full producing and shooting Season 5 of their award-winning reality show It Takes Gutz To Be A Gutierrez (which bagged the 28th PMPC Star Awards Best Reality Show Award).
She also co-hosts as Ruffaree on Eat Bulaga’s Jackpot En Poy segment every Tuesdays and Thursdays.
The first-time author also takes great pride in her bestselling book, The Truth and Lies My Mother Told Me, published by ABS-CBN Publishing.
Asked for the latest developments in their reality show, Ruffa shares, “We are pleased to announce that we are number one on E! Asia. Super grateful! Showing every Monday on E! 8:30 p.m. in more than 28 countries in Asia. Sarah and Chard are engaged, I just bought a Gee house, and there’s a new addition to the family [Baby Ezra]. We’re planning Season 6 already. We are up significantly in ratings in the Philippines and Singapore.”
Despite her accomplishments, Ruffa confesses that she still has a lot of unfulfilled dreams as an actress.
She confesses, “There’s so much more I want to do as far as acting and hosting is concerned. I would like to host either a game show, reality show and bring back the glory days of the talk shows! As far as movies, I want to do love stories, comedy and horror. Be in a film that will be shown in a film festival abroad.”
To date, Ruffa’s last three teleserye projects include Misterless Misis (with Lorna Tolentino and Gelli de Belen); Enchanted Garden (directed by Joel Lamangan), and Mga Nagbabagang Bulaklak (starring Richard Gomez and Arci Muñoz), all on TV5.
Her recent movies also include Maybe This Time (with Coco Martin and Sarah Geronimo); Girl Boy Bakla Tomboy (with Vice Ganda); and The Mommy Returns (with Pokwang).
Apart from her creative and artistic endeavors, the stunning beauty also takes great pride in her entrepreneurial ventures.
She proudly beams, “I launched the Love Collection in 2012 and 2015 with Rajo Laurel. It’s a capsule kiddie chic collection with my daughters Lorin and Venice. Rajo is one of my dearest friends, so the subject of making another line in 2018 came up, and it’s bound to happen soon. Another exciting line (beauty-related) is already in the works, so watch out for this in early 2018.”
And of course, everyone knows how much of a devoted and hands-on mom she is to her two daughters, who are now teenagers.
Ruffa muses, “Life as a single working mom has its challenges, but the rewards overshadow them. My girls are now teenagers. I can’t believe how fast time flies! They are already being spotted by producers and advertisers. As long as they concentrate on their studies, they can accept otters from time to time. They are currently in It Takes Gutz as well.”
Like most celebrity influencers, Ruffa prides herself in being social media savvy. But just how much does she divulge online?
“I’m active on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Social media can break you, harm you or help you. Think before you click. I make sure not to overshare, but also try to remain authentic and real,” she advises.
As a former beauty queen, the former Miss World 1993 2nd Princess has nothing but rave reviews for the turnout of this year’s pageant, which incidentally was also produced by her new manager.
She remarks, “I’m honored to have been a judge in this year’s Miss World Philippines pageant. Gone are the days that only one or two girls would stand out. In a sea of beautiful overachievers, we chose the best ones to represent the country. It was a difficult process with deliberations, but I’m happy with the results.”