The Butcher | Are Angeli Khang and Azi Acosta the Nora and Vilma of Vivamax?

At the moment, the queen of Vivamax is Angeli Khang. She came just shortly after the launch of Vivamax in early 2021. Among her past projects were Mahjong Nights, Eva, Selina’s Gold, Us x Her and the miniseries Huwag Mong Agawin ang Akin. Angeli took over the throne once occupied by AJ Raval. Don’t look now, but Angeli seems to have a challenger in Vivamax. Her name is Azi Acosta.

Photos: Vivamax

At the moment, the queen of Vivamax is Angeli Khang. She came just shortly after the launch of Vivamax in early 2021. Among her past projects were Mahjong Nights, Eva, Selina’s Gold, Us x Her and the miniseries Huwag Mong Agawin ang Akin. Angeli took over the throne once occupied by AJ Raval. Don’t look now, but Angeli seems to have a challenger in Vivamax. Her name is Azi Acosta.

Part of the dynamics of show business is the rivalry between two stars. It’s usually the actresses who are pitted against each other.     

In the beginning there was no competition yet. Atang de la Rama was the first Filipina movie star. She was there practically by herself. Besides, the future National Artist didn’t really stay long in cinema. She knew she belonged to the musical stage and was better appreciated there.     

Then came the time of Carmen Rosales. Although there was Elsa Oria and, later, Mila del Sol, Carmen managed to reign as the sole movie queen.   

Screen rivalry only came during the time of Gloria Romero and Nida Blanca. Of course, Gloria was still the bigger queen. While Nida got paid P8,000 per film, Gloria received P10,000.     

Fans started becoming rather violent during the era of Susan Roces and Amalia Fuentes. Both were contract stars of Sampaguita Pictures. Initially, Amalia was given the higher billing because she got to the studio a few months ahead of Susan. But the time came when they were billed equally.   

A rivalry that is still very active to this day is that one between Nora Aunor and Vilma Santos. Their respective followers actually come to blows – literally.     

Vilma recalls a movie event at the Araneta Coliseum where she and Nora were being crowned for their box-office achievements. From where they were positioned on stage, the two movie queens could see their fans hitting each other with chairs (the rattan type). Soft drink bottles (glass!) were also being hurled in the air.     

The Nora-Vilma rivalry is difficult to top. Go to the internet now and you’ll see how their fans are fighting online after Vilma’s movie was accepted in the forthcoming Metro Manila Film Festival, while the Nora entry wasn’t.     

After Nora and Vilma came Sharon Cuneta and Maricel Soriano. This rivalry is rather tepid because it is clear that Sharon is the bigger star. Viva really took care of her career and made her a megastar.     

Judy Ann Santos and Claudine Barretto. Unfortunately for Claudine, the scandals in her life affected her popularity. In contrast, Judy Ann’s name remains pristine, which makes her more desirable as a brand ambassador.     

Of course, there’s the Nadine Lustre-Kathryn Bernardo contest. The strength of their rivalry weakened after Nadine broke up with James Reid – leaving Kathniel without competition.          

There’s also supposed to be a contest among the emerging stars. But there’s hardly any movie industry to speak of and people hardly watch TV these days. The general public therefore is not familiar with the young stars today.     

Strangely enough, there seems to be a brewing rivalry in Vivamax. No, you can’t ignore Vivamax because it remains as the most prolific production outfit – and with a substantial audience to boot.     

At the moment, the queen of Vivamax is Angeli Khang. She came just shortly after the launch of Vivamax in early 2021. Among her past projects were Mahjong Nights, Eva, Selina’s Gold, Us x Her and the miniseries Huwag Mong Agawin ang Akin. Angeli took over the throne once occupied by AJ Raval.     

Don’t look now, but Angeli seems to have a challenger in Vivamax. Her name is Azi Acosta.     

In a Vivamax event meant to launch the streaming service’s latest project, Sila ay Akin, both Angeli and Azi were present at the affair. They are an interesting study in contrast.     

First is the way they dressed up for the function. Angeli came in a shocking pink dress that revealed her shoulders, arms and smooth as silk pair of legs.     

At some point, maybe she felt cold. Or perhaps modesty got the better of her because co-star Vince Rillon, gallant as ever, removed his coat and offered it to Angeli to cover her bare legs.     

In sharp contrast, Azi showed up in an attire that made her look like she was off to mass or some church activity. She was all covered up. Even the hem of her dress was way below the knee when she was seated.    

But even if Azi was all bundled up, sex appeal still oozed within her persona. Yes, one can still be sexy even in a conservative dress.     

In terms of demeanor, Angeli is more polished. She’s been in the business a wee bit longer and she must have learned refinement along the way.

Or is it because she came from some international school? Her command of English is flawless. She knows how to speak to the public brimming with confidence.     

Azi, on the other hand, needs a little tuning up. Even in the company of media people, she doesn’t seem aware of her posture and at times tends to slouch.     

However, Azi need not worry. That’s a very minor concern. She doesn’t have to go to finishing school for that. She can be coached properly. Azi seems to be a bright girl anyway.     

What those two girls need at the moment are more serious film projects that would allow them to expand their horizons. Again, that’s not going to be much of a problem. They are under Viva Entertainment which had been churning out movie after movie – unlike other production outfits that seem to be badly affected by the bad times currently being experienced by the local film industry.     

The only setback faced by Angeli is the fact that she has very Oriental looks. This has something to do with her being half Filipino and half Korean. (Is it true her father is a general in the military – in North Korea?!)  She is cute and pert. It may be quite difficult to cast her in more mature roles.     

So far, her best performance is that one in Selina’s Gold. It’s a difficult and challenging role that she plays there. To her credit, she doesn’t have inhibitions and is capable of expressing emotions in whatever state of undress.     

In the case of Azi (who had a minor role in Selina’s Gold, by the way), she received critical acclaim early on in her launching film, Call Me Alma. The girl is quite a chameleon and can change her looks as required by the role.     

Azi will also have an easier time shifting to more serious film projects because she can easily modify her physical appearance. And it surely helps that she has the acting chops. Why, she managed to come out alive in Call Me Alma and did not allow co-star Jaclyn Jose to run circles around her.    
And so, will Azi Acosta be able to wrest the Vivamax crown away from Angeli Khang? Vivamax subscribers will have the chance to see that when Sila ay Akin begins streaming on Vivamax beginning today, October 27.

For the first time, the two girls share top billing and both are given important roles.    

Let the showdown begin.

 

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