Thursday, December 9, 2010

Catch “RENT, The Musical” at Power Plant Cinema (DEC. 8 – 12)

Read what I think about the show here.

In celebration of Power Plant Cinema’s 10th Anniversary, RENT - a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning revolutionary rock musical will be presented for a limited run at Cinema 2 from December 8 -12, 2010.

Produced by Power Plant Cinema and 9 Works Theatrical, RENT will be directed by Robbie Guevara.

With book and lyrics written by Jonathan Larson, RENT is an imaginative retelling of the classic Giacomo Puccini opera, “ La Boheme ” set in the gritty Lower East Village of New York City.

RENT is the unforgettable and timeless story of a group of starving bohemian artists. Despite poverty and illness, they all learned to struggle with love and life, and survived during the rise of a mysterious, deadly disease known as AIDS. Eventually, all of them found their voices and brought a universal message of hope for everyone.

Some of the country’s talented theater artists who will reprise their roles for this specific production of RENT (as previously staged by 9 Works Theatrical – Feb. 2010) include singer/TV host Gian Magdangal as Roger Davis, the songwriter. Gian recently starred in the successful musical hit “The Wedding Singer”.
Also featured are Fredison Lo as Mark Cohen, the nerdy filmmaker; OJ Mariano as Tom Collins, the computer genius; Job Bautista as Angel Dummott Schunard, Collins' drag queen street musician lover; and Jenny Villegas as Joanne Jefferson, Maureen's public interest lawyer lover.

The rest of the ensemble is composed of Gary Junsay, Harold Cruz, Johann de la Fuente, Mark Tayag and Peachy Atilano.

A ‘must-see’ are the new members of the cast led by noted theater actor Lorenz Martinez who will give a new twist to the character of Benjamin Coffin III, a former member of the group who, after marrying a wealthy woman, has since become their landlord and the opposite of the group's Bohemian values.

Fresh from a stint with Universal Studios Singapore, Amparo Sietereales, will alternate for the role of Mimi, Roger’s lover / bar girl – a role she originated during a previous production of RENT in Manila several years back.

Sheree Bautista, TV personality/singer and Gian Magdangal’s real-life lady love will play the role of Mimi.

Newcomer Mian Dimacali bravely takes up the role of Maureen Johnson. Sab Jose and Pam Imperial also join as part of the ensemble.

The artistic team of RENT is led by Robbie Guevara, director; Ricky Villante, musical director – band; Onyl Torres, musical director – vocals; Mio Infante, scenographer; Martin Esteva, Lighting Designer; Chuck Ledesma, sound designer; Bek Soriano, costume stylist; and Francis Matheu for additional choreography.

The RENT production team is composed of the following: Santi Santamaria, executive producer; Anna Santamaria, company manager; Toff de Venecia, Marketing & PR Director and Production Manager; Paul Domine, Technical Director; Arma Bonilla, stage manager; Toots Tolentino, PR Consultant; Jonjon Martin, PR Manager; Shelyn Tayanes, Marketing Manager; Campaigns & Grey, PR Agency.

RENT is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI) 421 West 54th Street, New York, New York 10019 Tel.: (212) 541-4684 •

RENT will be staged for a limited run of 8 performances at Power Plant Cinema 2 from December 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 (8PM), December 10 (330PM), 11 (4PM) & 12 (430PM). Get your tickets now at the Power Plant Cinema ticket booth. Call 898-1440 or 898 1441 or 0908-8692988.

Socially relevant, youthful, and moving, RENT lives on, along with the affirmation that there is “no day but today.”

Viva La Vie Boheme!

Monday, December 6, 2010

New ATM Security Measure ...

... makes you wonder if anyone would be able to get their money! LOL

Thursday, December 2, 2010

FYI: “NARNIA” Opens Subsequently in Philippine Theaters this December

I've already watched Voyage of the Dawn Treater in 3D last night at Gateway Cinema and it was AWESOME! Don't miss this movie in the next few days. Bring the whole family and enjoy!

Press Release:

Eager movie denizens awaiting “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” need not wait too long as the movie opens on December 3 in 3D cinemas and subsequently on December 9 in all cinemas across the Phils.

In “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader,” the Pevensies, Lucy (Georgie Henley) and Edmund (Skandar Keynes) are back in Narnia without their older siblings Susan and Peter who are in America with their parents. They are however joined by their irritating and selfish cousin Eustace (Will Poulter). He has ended up with them on the Dawn Treader but would far rather be back in England in the comfort of his own home.

The seafaring adventurers, including the swashbuckling mouse Reepicheep, are on a daring mission to find the missing Narnian Lords of Telmar who were banished by Caspian’s evil uncle, Miraz. Their journey takes them across the seas where they encounter magical Dufflepuds, dragons and strange sea creatures. On one enchanted island, the water turns everything it touches into gold. In today’s scene on the Gold Coast set in Australia, the travelers find themselves on the Lone Islands. Edmund and Caspian are battling sinister slave traders.

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Michael Apted, “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” is enchanting and exciting but it also has an emotional core. Each traveler on board the Dawn Treader has a personal challenge to face and overcome.

“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader” is a 20th Century Fox film distributed by Warner Bros.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

FYI: Cheap Webhosting Deals

For those who are looking for a webhosting plan, check out if the discounts at netfirms coupons is for you.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Discover Better Viewing Pleasure at Market! Market! Cinemas

FYI especially to avid moviegoers :)

Press Release:

Watching the latest blockbusters is more enjoyable when the cinema provides the best moviegoing experience. Aside from superb definition and a clear audio system, the cinema should also be a comfortable venue designed with the viewers’ different needs in mind.

Market! Market! understands its shoppers’ needs by offering the latest innovations in movie viewing. The recently renovated Market! Market! Cinema 1 has better seating features and state-of-the-art equipment to give movie buffs exceptional viewing pleasure.

Market! Market! Cinema 1 gives moviegoers more than enough space with its 361-seater stadium setup, allowing full and wider views of the screen. Seats now have higher back rests, for relaxed viewing throughout the screenings. The new structure also gives wider leg room, which keeps viewers comfortable; the ample space also prevents seats from being kicked accidentally from behind, and makes it easier for viewers to move to and from their seats without bothering seatmates. Booster seats are provided for younger kids, and snack trays are available for those who may need them.

Sound quality is likewise amplified with the incomparable Dolby Digital 3D system, which provides clarity, depth and reverberating audio effects. These were especially appreciated during the special screening of “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1,” which launched Cinema 1 and was attended by movie industry personalities and celebrity guests.

“Market! Market! carries on Ayala Malls Cinemas’ commitment to provide quality entertainment options for its shoppers,” says Market! Market! General Manager Joseph F. Reyes. “People can expect more improvements in our cinemas in the coming months. With the renovation and upgrading of our theater facilities, we aim to be the movie destination of choice among Bonifacio Global City’s office workers and residents.”

Cinema 1’s refurbished foyer and stadium setup give people with disabilities (PWDs) space to maneuver and areas where they can comfortably watch. Moviegoers can look forward to the aforementioned innovations, as the mall similarly upgrades Cinemas 4 and 5, and gives the cinema façade a makeover. Market! Market! keeps the movie-viewing experience memorable and worthwhile, designing the most comfortable entertainment destinations in accessible Bonifacio Global City.

Market! Market! and Ayala Malls Cinemas makes seats and tickets more conveniently accessible to its moviegoers for SureSeats can now also be accessed via SMS by texting SURESEATS to 2910 (Globe and Smart Subscribers), I-Can’s mobile apps for BPI and Bancnet Account holders and downloading SureSeats widget at Nokia’s Ovi Store. Just make sure you have registered first at

Be a part of the fast-growing SureSeats community and speed-click your movie tickets with the M-Pass Card available in all Ayala Malls Cinemas – Glorietta 4, Greenbelt 3, Alabang Town Center, Ayala Center Cebu, Market! Market!, Trinoma and Marquee Mall at Angeles Pampanga. Unprecedented in providing utmost convenience, aside from the ticket booth, Ayala’s SureSeats M-Pass can be reloaded anywhere, anytime via credit card and G-Cash.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Glee's Wedding Episode

For days now, I've been hearing so much about a wedding episode on Glee but I usually only get to see the short footage during commercial breaks on Jack TV. Finally, at 4 a.m. this morning, I chanced upon a replay of said episode. How lovely the wedding "march" was! Made me wish all weddings could be as joyful and un-boring as this is :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Newcomer Joins Narnia Cast in Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Having read all seven books of The Chronicles of Narnia, I'm excited that a new movie from the series will be released next month. In this adventure, Lucy and Edmund will be joined by a spoiled brat cousin. I can't wait to see how true to the book the story would be :)

Press Release:

Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader finds its latest treasure of an actor in newcomer Will Poulter who plays Eustace Scrubb, the bratty cousin of the Pevensies. Returning in their biggest 3D adventure are Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes who play Lucy and Edmund Pevensie respectively. In the film, the Pevensie children are staying at Eustace’s home when all three are dragged into Narnia via a painting on the wall depicting the ocean, which suddenly becomes terrifyingly real as gallons of water flood into the room. They surface in the ocean in Narnia, near Caspian’s ship, The Dawn Treader, and embark on an epic quest to find the seven Lost Lords.

A bright, articulate, enthusiastic, utterly charming and delightfully modest teenager, Will clearly relishes the big opportunity that working with director Michael Apted and co-stars Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes (who have all appeared in the Narnia films before), represents. For him, this particular adventure was a dream come true especially on the shores of Australia where the film was also shot. “I loved being in Australia,” he says. “I loved the people I worked with and we got to work in a giant water tank – that was so cool. We also learned to scuba dive and I learned sword fighting too, which was fantastic. Finally, I had to work with a blue screen, which was weird but fun. After work I would go surfing and I loved doing that. Actually, I can’t begin to describe how much fun it was. I had the best time.”

Born and raised in London and in many ways, Will is like any other English boy of the same age. He also loves to act and made a very promising start in the professional world of filmmaking at just 14 years old when he starred in the charming British comedy Son Of Rambow. He credits his drama teacher at school, The Harrodian, for inspiring him to take the plunge and go for the role of Lee Carter. “My teacher, Laura Lawson, put me up for my first audition for Son of Rambow,” he says. “I kind of owe everything to her. She’s been amazing to me.”

When Michael Apted (“Amazing Grace,” “The World Is Not Enough,” “Nell”) first auditioned young Will for the part of Eustace Scrubb, the vastly experienced director was obviously impressed. Typically, though, Will himself was convinced that he didn’t stand a chance. “I was absolutely terrified.”

“Eustace is really a horrible, horrible guy,” Will explains of his role. “He’s obnoxious, at times arrogant, and quite defensive of himself, and he’s very much against the whole idea of Narnia and talking creatures,” he says.

“I felt really guilty that I had to subject that many people to a brat like that for six months,” he laughs. “But it was also really good fun and I absolutely loved playing the part—it was tough but I absolutely loved it.”

“Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader” opens December 9 in theatres nationwide from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Profiles of Winners in BPI's 2010 Search for Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children

Press Release:

The Bank of the Philippine Islands initiated the Search for Ten Outstanding Expat Pinoy Children with the objective of honoring the children of Overseas Filipinos and to promote the value of education, culture of excellence, and nationalistic pride among Overseas Filipinos and their families. (Related post about the awarding ceremony itself can be found here).

Here's the list of 2010 awardees and their profiles:

Ibang Klaseng Talino Awardees

Lynn Migel Q. Estoque
AB-International Studies
Ateneo de Davao University

Lynn, 4th year student of Ateneo de Davao University, is taking up International Studies Major in Asian Studies and Minor in Economics. Her father, Edwardo, is currently a financial advisor in East Timor. She believes that education is the essential foundation for the advancement and progression of a nation.

Maria Angela H. Mariano
BS Business Administration and Accountancy
University of the Philippines-Diliman

Maria Angela, a first year college student from the University of the Philippines-Diliman, is taking up Business Administration and Accountancy. Her mother, Emma Hernandez, a nurse in Saudi Arabia, has been an OFW since Maria Angela was in grade four. Angela believes that as a child of an Expat Pinoy, she is one of the many stories that can inspire the youth today to become agents of change for the society.

Kirsten Therese T. Lestor
Bachelor of Science Major in Microbiology
University of Sto. Tomas

Kirsten, a first year Microbiology student at the University of Sto. Tomas, dreams of building a hospital for the marginalized or financially challenged part of the society. Her father, Crispin Lestor Jr., is a Preventive and Electrical Maintenance of Power Plant in Saudi Arabia.

John Jefferson V. Besa
BS Biology Major in Human Biology
De La Salle University-Dasmariñas

John Jefferson is a third year Human Biology major at the De La Salle University-Dasmariñas. His father, Bernie, has been working as a seafarer for 10 years now in Japan.

Lord Leomer B. Pomperada
Bachelor of Arts Major in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs
De La Salle College of Saint Benilde

A third year student at De La Salle College of St. Benilde taking up Consular and Diplomatic Affairs, Lord Leomer is a youth advocate for the deaf and a volunteer tutor for out of school youth. Active in both academic and non-academic activities, he is currently running for magna cum laude in his school. His father, Leopoldo, is a Chief Marine Engineer in China.

Reynold L. Orsua
Bachelor of Philosophy and Legal Studies (PH B L.St.)
Saint Louis University

Reynold, a fourth year Philosophy and Legal Studies student at Saint Louis University in Baguio, is a debater, environment advocate and student leader. His father, Reynaldo, has been working as sewer in the Saudi Arabia for almost 17 years.

Richmond G. Calunsag
Bachelor of Science in Physics
Philippine Normal University

Richmond is a fourth year Bachelor of Science in Physics student at the Philippine Normal University and a scholar of the Department of Science and Technology. Inspired by his father’s sacrifice and love for their family to be able to make the Philippines a better place to live in, Richmond promised himself that he will become a teacher—the “best teacher” that is. His father, Jose Calunsag has been a tailor and master cutter in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for 15 years.

Ibang Klaseng Entrepreneur Awardee

Erilyn Marie V. Dagan
Bachelor of Science in Entrepreneurial Management
University of Asia and the Pacific

From being a card agent and distributor, Erilyn Marie’s father, William, climbed the ropes and became the manager of the system operations of the prepaid cards under his company and the first Filipino to own a telephone company in Japan. Her father’s entrepreneurial spirit inspired Erilyn Marie to do well in school and become an entrepreneur as well. Her business, “order regalo” is a gift delivery service for OFWs in Japan. She dreams of expanding her business and be able to offer it as well for OFWs in other countries.

Ibang Klaseng Community Leader Awardee

Florence Marie D. Bayer
BSBA Major in Marketing Management
Assumption College, San Lorenzo

Florence Marie is a third year Marketing Management student at the Assumption College. Her father, Lito, is a Mechanical Engineer in Saudi Arabia. Florence Marie believes that by promoting discipline and determination among individuals, encouraging each to be responsible, motivating the community to work together, educating people to prevent and eliminate transgression, and addressing the nation’s concerns promptly and efficiently, will build the nation and fulfill the Filipino dream.

Ibang Klaseng Athlete

Jose Renato S. Unso
BS Psychology
De La Salle University

A third year Psychology student, Jose Renato has been juggling his academic and athletic activities exceptionally, being a scholar at the De La Salle University. He is an award-winning athlete, having earned Thomasian Athlete of the year, Benavides Outstanding Achievement Award, Most Valuable Player of the University of Sto. Tomas in 2008; PGMA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Athletics in 2008; and UAAP Seasons 69 and 70 Most Valuable Player for Track and Field Juniors. His mother, April Maria Milagrosa Unso is an Education Teacher in Singapore.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

James Cameron to Direct Avatar 2 & 3

FYI Avatar fans out there!

Press Release:

Oscar®-winning filmmaker James Cameron follows his history-making and revolutionary motion picture event with two films that continue the mythology of the world he created in the highest grossing film of all-time “Avatar.”

Moving forward with the most anticipated films of the next decade, Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairmen Jim Gianopulos and Tom Rothman announced that Academy Award®-winning filmmaker James Cameron has agreed to make AVATAR 2 and 3 as his next films.

Cameron, who had always viewed Avatar as the creation of a new world and mythology, will begin work on the scripts early next year with an eye towards commencing production later in 2011. Cameron have yet to decide if he will shoot the films back-to-back after he completes the scripts, but the release of the first, as yet untitled sequel, is targeted for December 2014, with the third film contemplated for a December 2015 release to be produced. Both films will be produced by Cameron and Jon Landau for Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment.

“Avatar is not only the highest grossing movie of all time, it is a created universe based on the singular imagination and daring of James Cameron, who also raised the consciousness of people worldwide to some of the greatest issues facing our planet,” said Rothman and Gianopulos. “We had no higher priority, and can feel no greater joy, than enabling Jim to continue and expand his vision of the world of Avatar. This is a great day in the history of our company, and we thank Jim, Jon Landau, Rae Sanchini and all of their team and all of our Fox colleagues throughout the world, who have made this possible.” Lightstorm partner Rae Sanchini negotiated the deal on Lightstorm’s behalf.

Commented Cameron: "It is a rare and remarkable opportunity when a filmmaker gets to build a fantasy world, and watch it grow, with the resources and partnership of a global media company. Avatar was conceived as an epic work of fantasy – a world that audiences could visit, across all media platforms, and this moment marks the launch of the next phase of that world. With two new films on the drawing boards, my company and I are embarking on an epic journey with our partners at Twentieth Century Fox. Our goal is to meet and exceed the global audience's expectations for the richness of Avatar’s visual world and the power of the storytelling. In the second and third films, which will be self contained stories that also fulfill a greater story arc, we will not back off the throttle of Avatar’s visual and emotional horsepower, and will continue to explore its themes and characters, which touched the hearts of audiences in all cultures around the world. I'm looking forward to returning to Pandora, a world where our imaginations can run wild."

“It is very exciting to be teaming again with our partners at Fox to give audiences the opportunity to return to Pandora,” said producer Jon Landau. “With the first movie, Jim only scratched the surface of the stories he wants to tell and the creatures and world he wants to create. Now we will continue his vision.”

Avatar is the highest grossing film of all time, taking in nearly $2.8 billion in worldwide box office. It is also the top-selling Blu-ray disc of all time. Avatar won Golden Globe® awards for Best Motion Picture and Best Director; and was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and won Oscars for art direction, visual effects and cinematography.

In Avatar, Cameron takes audiences to a spectacular world beyond imagination and limitations, where a reluctant hero embarks on a journey of redemption and discovery as he leads a heroic battle to save a civilization.

Avatar was written by Cameron from an idea he nurtured for over a decade, while working on the technology necessary to realize its wholly imagined world. Working with Joe Letteri and his team at Peter Jackson’s WETA Digital, Cameron created a fully immersive 3D cinematic experience of a new kind, where revolutionary technology that was invented to make the film disappeared into the emotion of the characters and the epic nature of the story.

Avatar 2 & 3 will mark Cameron’s latest collaborations with Twentieth Century Fox, a relationship that spans 25 years and marks one of the most successful filmmaker-studio alliances in motion picture history. Cameron and Fox first joined forces in 1985 for “Aliens,” which became a sci-fi classic. Next came “The Abyss,” which revolutionized visual effects technology; and “True Lies,” a blockbuster starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. In 1996, Fox greenlighted Cameron’s “Titanic,” which became the most successful film in history, and won a record-breaking eleven Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Jollibee Kids Meal Toys for November 2010

Press Release:

Take the fun outside with the Jollibee Kids Meal Outdoor Fun Adventure collectibles! Kids can play with the lovable Jollibee, Hetty, Popo, Twirlie and Yum in their first-ever action figure versions that also double as tools for school. Available from November 1 to 30, these awesome toys come with with every delicious Jollibee Kids Meal.

See Jollibee skate and spin with Jollibee Ruler Skater. Pull the toy backwards and then release to watch him skate. For a spinning motion, slide Jollibee towards the back of the skateboard, pull the entire toy backward and then let go. To reveal the hidden ruler, just slide it out from underneath the skateboard.

Make stamp designs with Hetty as she skips rope with the Hetty Skip N’ Stamp. Just remove the stamp cover from her shoes, and wind her up to make her skip rope.

The boys can grab the Popo Stamping Scooter. Just remove the stamp cover, push Popo on the floor and watch his foot sway. The wheel of the scooter also makes stamp designs!

Dance with Twirlie with the Twirlie Hula-Hooper Sharpener. Just wind her up to watch her hula-hoop and dance. There’s also a sharpener under her feet that can be used for crayons.

Kids can also have fun with the Yum Pogo Pen by making him hop around on his pogo stick. They can also detach the pogo stick from the base and use as a cool pen.

Grab these collectibles with every Jollibee Kids Meal. Kids can choose from their favorite treats like the Yumburger, Spaghetti, 1-pc Burger Steak and the 1-pc. Chickenjoy meals, for only P72 to P98. Head down to the nearest Jollibee store and collect the Jollibee Kids Meal Outdoor Fun Adventure toys and school buddies before they run out!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Profiles of Jollibee Yumbassadors

I wrote about the unveiling of the Jollibee Yumbassadors in my other blog. Know more about these inspiring Youth Icons by reading their individual profiles here:

Francis Casey “Niño” Alcantara
Eighteen-year-old Francis Alcantara of Cagayan de Oro made Philippine sports history by being the first Filipino to win a grand slam title, performing splendidly in the junior doubles competition (with a Taiwanese co-player) of the 2009 Australian Open. He currently ranks 2nd in the Philippines. For his athletic achievements, he has been commended by no less than sporty Senator Pia Cayetano, the international press and his growing base of Filipino fans.

Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV
The passion to serve runs in Bam Aquino’s blood, who was born to a prominent family of political leaders which includes no less than hero Ninoy Aquino. At 26, Bam made a name for himself as the youngest person in Philippine history to head a government agency, the National Youth Commission. His youthful leadership and innovation has earned him recognition as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, as well as inclusion in the first Asia 21, the Asia Society’s group of promising leaders in the region. Now 33, he continues to help create a better community as the president of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations Awards, and MicroVentures Inc., a social business enterprise that empowers micro-entrepreneurs. He is also a spokesperson for Children’s Hour and Haribon Foundation.

Miro Frances Capili
At the young age of 15, Miro Capili already made her name in the Philippine literary scene by being recognized in the country’s most prestigious and longest-running literary contest—the Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards. She received her first Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature in 2008 by winning 1st Prize in the Kabataan Essay category. This feat was followed in 2010 as she bagged the 1st Prize in both the Essay category and the Kabataan Essay category. Continuously striving to become the best writer she can be, Miro was accepted as a Fellow for Creative Nonfiction at the 49th Siliman University National Writers’ Workshop—the oldest literary workshop in the country.

Sam Concepcion
Sam Concepcion discovered his love for the theater when he was just eight years old. With his talent, drive and positive attitude, he found success in the mainstream music scene and on television by the time he was 13. Aside from showcasing his multiple talents, he also inspires the youth through his many other non-showbiz roles. In 2005, he was declared the Youth Ambassador for Education and the Arts in the 3rd District of Manila. Currently, he continues to serve as youth role model and spokesperson for the Department of Education, official spokesperson for the Philippines of the Business Software Alliance’s B4USurf Campaign, and as Ambassador for Children of World Vision, an organization that helps send indigent kids to school. Adding even more shine to Sam’s continuously rising star is the prestigious UNAP Outstanding Youth Leader award given to him by the United Nations Youth Association of the Philippines in 2009.

Reese Fernandez
Since she was young, Reese Fernandez already had a special place in her heart devoted to the underprivileged, thanks to a missionary mother who immersed her in indigent communities and religious teachings. She co-founded Rags to Riches (R2R) with nine partners to help empower women in Payatas, a poor community in Manila. The program trains housewives to craft world-class bags out of rags, all under the creative supervision of renowned designers like Rajo Laurel and Amina Aranaz-Alunan. For her efforts, she was named one of the 20 Global Young Social Entrepreneurs by the International Youth Foundation in 2008, one of The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) award in (year), and was granted a Rolex’s Award for Enterprise Young Laureates Programme in 2010.

Carmela Lao
At first glance, Carmela Lao is just like any other 17-year-old high school senior who excels in her academics and extra-curricular activities. But at such a young age, she has already made her fellowmen proud. In the 2009 International Mathematical Olympiad held in Germany, Carmela became the first Filipina to win the bronze medal at the oldest, most prestigious math contest in the world. The next year, she won the silver prize in the same competition which was held in Kazakhstan, showing the world once again a new dimension to the dynamic young Pinoy.

Nasser Lubay
Nasser Lubay is the perfect example of how perseverance leads to success. The 27-year-old is a self-taught visual artist whose fusion of traditional painting methods, graphic arts, and other modern techniques have given the world a taste of world-class Pinoy talent. In Berlin, he placed 2nd at the Celeste Prize, an international competition for contemporary artists, with his watercolor painting Rebirth. And at the 2009 World Eco Bag Exhibition in Malaysia, his Save the Green design was shortlisted for 1000+7 Designs. He was also selected to participate in the first major cross strait international art show, the Animamix Biennial 2009-2010 Taiwan and China.

Jean Stefano Marcelo
It’s not everyday that a Pinoy teenager gets invited to the same team as international racing champions. This was the case for the talented Jean Stefano Marcelo who began his karting career at age 15 by competing around Europe and Asia. While racing for Belgian team Kosmic, he made history as the first Filipino to achieve a third-place finish in the 2007 Belgian Karting Championship Series at popular Formula One venue Spa-Francorchamps Circuit. The same year, he was awarded the Philippine Golden Wheel Award, which is given annually to the most accomplished driver from any racing discipline. At the 2008 World ROK Cup finals in Lonato, Italy, he impressed Tony Kart Racing team owner Roberto Robazzi, who then invited him to join the group that produced champions Michael Schumacher, Jarno Trulli and Sebastian Vettel.

Sunshine Plata
Sunshine Plata is world-renowned for her coffee paintings, an innovation that was inspired by a coffee signature she saw in a museum. To pursue her love for visual arts, she quit her job and put up her first one-woman show in 2008. She has since staged eight more coffee painting exhibits. Today, her works are considered a phenomenon, having been featured on the famous Martha Stewart Show in the US as well as countless local TV programs. Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has also purchased two of her paintings and she continues to be commissioned for her art in the US, Canada and Europe. Most admiringly, the 30-year-old artist reaches out to underprivileged children, teaching them the art she loves through free workshops and helping these children find their passion in life.

You can also view photos of their individual posters in this gallery.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Catch the Wedding Singer Until Nov. 14

I was at the Oct. 22 company preview show. The Wedding Singer is awesome! :) You can read my full-length review of this very entertaining musical comedy here.

Press Release:

Get ready to dance the night away and relive the era of the 80’s!

9 Works Theatrical proudly presents The Wedding Singer, a musical comedy based on the 1998 New Line Cinema film of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. The show opened with a bang last October 23, 2010 at the Meralco Theater, Ortigas Avenue, Pasig City to the delight of hundreds of audiences.

The Wedding Singer takes place in 1985 and rock-star wannabe Robbie Hart is New Jersey's favorite wedding singer. He's the life of the party, until his own fiancée leaves him at the altar. Shot through the heart, Robbie makes every wedding he plays as disastrous as his own.

Enter Julia, a winsome waitress who wins his affection. Only trouble is Julia is about to be married to a Wall Street shark, and unless Robbie can pull off the performance of the decade, the girl of his dreams will be gone forever.

The musical comedy is written by Tim Herlihy. Music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Chad Beguelin, and book by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy.

With a brand new score that pays loving homage to the pop songs of the 1980’s, “The Wedding Singer” takes us back to a time when hair was was high and big, permed and curled; neon was in, greed was good, collars were up, and a wedding singer sporting a mullet just might be the coolest guy in the room.

Plucking on his guitar strings as Robbie Hart is Party Pilipinas’ Gian Magdangal who most recently appeared onstage as Roger in 9 Works Theatrical’s RENT THE MUSICAL. Here, he is reunited with TV personality and MYX VJ Iya Villania who he once shared the stage with in a local production of “Footloose the Musical”.

Iya Villania will play the role of waitress Julia Sullivan, alternating with theater veteran Shiela Valderrama-Martinez who was part of the opening team of Hong Kong Disneyland as the first Asian to play Nala in the Festival of the Lion King and Bebe in the Golden Mickeys.

Singer-actress and TV personality Nikki Valdez, who also shared the stage with Magdangal and Villania in Footloose, returns to the stage as Holly, Julia’s bubbly, uninhibited and lovable cousin. Analin Bantug, who has played a bevy of roles, including Kim in her five-year stint with Miss Saigon UK Tour, alternates with Valdez for the said role.

Completing the stellar cast are actors Jeremy Aguado as Julia’s fiance Glen Guglia, Lorenz Martinez as Robbie’s pal Sammy, Johann dela Fuente as Robbie’s flamboyantly eccentric friend George, and Myrene Santos as Linda.

Other members of the cast who will showcase their mettle in acting, singing and dancing prowess include: Arnold Trinidad, Bym Buhain, Chinie Nepomuceno, Francis Matheu, Harold Cruz, Ikey Canoy, James Stacey, Jenny Villegas, Jonjon Martin, Luau Sablan, Mark Tayag, Mian Dimacali, Miguel Vasquez, Nikki Guevara, Peachy Atilano, Sab Jose, Shelyn Tayanes, and Sylveth Ong-iko.

Robbie Guevara, one of 9 Works Theatrical’s founders, will be directing The Wedding Singer. He has performed in numerous productions both here and abroad, and was the director of Songs for a New World and RENT The Musical (9 Works Theatrical’s first two productions), I Love You Because, A Christmas Carol, Fiddler on the Roof, Gay Birds and Romance, Romance, for Repertory Philippines; Bat Boy for Blue Repertory; Heart & Music and the Rhythm of Life for the Philippine Opera Company.

Incidentally, The Wedding Singer is also the reason that propelled Executive Producer Santi Santamaria and Artistic Director Robbie Guevara to establish their theater company, 9 Works Theatrical. “When we first encountered the material, we knew that we had to do it,” relates Guevara. Santamaria adds, “Wedding Singer is a crazy and energetic musical, and audiences will surely enjoy,” to which Guevara interjects, “One word to describe Wedding Singer? Fun! ”

The artistic production team includes Musical Director Rodel Colmenar conducting the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra, Choreographer Francis Matheu, Musical Director for Vocals Onyl Torres, Scenographer Mio Infante, Lighting Designer Martin Esteva, Sound Designer Chuck Ledesma, and Costume Stylist Rosanna Aranaz.

The production team is composed of Executive Producer Santi Santamaria, Production Manager Sunshine Domine, Technical Director Paul Domine, PR and Publicity Consultant Toots Tolentino. PR Director Christopher de Venecia, PR Manager Jonjon Martin, Marketing Manager Shelyn Tayanes, Stage Manager Lambert de Jesus, Company Manager Anna Santamaria and Photography by Revolution.

The Wedding Singer is brought to you by: Rockwell Club, ABS-CBN Foundation, SM Department Store, MAC Cosmetics, and The Philippine Star.

The show is presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI), 421 West 54th Street, New York, New York 10019 - tel.: (212) 541-4684

Playdates of The Wedding Singer: October 23, 24, 29, 30, November 5, 6, 7, 13 and 14, 2010.
Showtime: Friday, Saturday and Sunday shows at 8 p.m. with Saturday matinees at 3:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 4 p.m.

For further details, you may call 586.71.05, 557.58.60, 0917.554.5560, or visit or call Ticketworld at 891.9999.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Live Curious! Watch Out for NGC's Great Migrations Series

Born to Move, the first of seven great documentaries, will premier on the National Geographic Channel this coming Nov. 7. You can read what I think about it here.

Press Release:

The most ambitious documentary in the 122-year history of the National Geographic Society, Great Migrations is a seven-part global television program that features the difficult journeys millions of animals embark on to ensure the survival of their species.

“Great Migrations is a high-definition chronicle of epic, inspiring, and often harrowing journeys of animals that move as millions and survive as one,” said Jude Turcuato, Fox International Channels territory director. “It tells of the unforgiving odds that they face and shows what it means to move as though your life depends on it.”

Shot from land and air, in trees and cliff-blinds, on ice floes and underwater, in some of the most unforgiving places on the planet, Great Migrations took three years to produce using some of the most advanced surveillance and filming technology to reveal new scientific findings, including bull elephants scouting migration routes and transferring knowledge to matriarchs and re-discovery of epic knob migration in Sudan thought destroyed by civil war.

Great Migrations (Sundays, 9 p.m.) features Born to Move, Need to Breed, Race to Survive, and Feast or Famine – four one-hour episodes that focus on incredible animal journeys, the reasons for their great migrations, and the overwhelming challenges they face.

Born to Move (premieres November 7, 9 p.m.) tells the story of four of the most remarkable animal movements: Sperm Whales traveling over a million miles in a lifetime; Red Crabs overcoming horrific obstacles on a daily basis; Monarch Butterflies taking four generations to cross a continent; and Wildebeest, rising above the gaping jaws of ravenous crocodiles every year.

Need to Breed (premieres November 14, 9 p.m.) takes viewers from the rocky beaches of the Falkland Islands to the dense forests of Costa Rica and Australia to the desolate savannah of southern Sudan to reveal why animals risk everything on almost impossible voyages – to ensure the survival of their species.

In Race to Survive (premieres November 21, 9 p.m.) animals such as walruses, whale sharks, zebras, orangutans, pronghorns, and planktons are in a move or die situation. In a race against changing seasons and climate, they are forced to travel to breed, feed, and stay alive.

Feast or Famine (premieres November 28, 9 p.m.) shows how trillions of creatures, from microscopic plankton to rare desert elephants; from predatory bald eagles to luminous jellyfish; from ravenous Great White Sharks to lightning quick peregrine falcons, are constantly moving to satisfy their hunger.

Great Migrations also features episodes on the science behind animal migrations (Great Migrations: Science of Migrations, December 5, 9 p.m.), a montage of behind-the-scenes videos of dramatic or comical moments (Great Migrations: Behind-the-Scenes, December 12, 9 p.m.), and a narration-free music video that combines the best Great Migrations footages with an original orchestral music (Great Migrations: Rhythm of Life, December 19, 9 p.m.). Marathon episodes of Great Migrations will air on December 26, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Enchanted Kingdom's newest spine-tingling ride makes its debut this month

I'll be posting a writeup about my personal experience riding the EKstreme Tower Ride in the next coming days. Please watch out for it.

Press Release:

Get ready for Enchanted Kingdom’s EKstreme Tower Ride, a heart-pumping, palm-sweating, hair-raising ride experience that will blow your mind!
A Philippines’ first, EK’s EKstreme Tower Ride challenges daredevils to a unique and thrilling ride experience elevated to a whole new level. Adrenaline levels will definitely go through the roof as thrill seekers queue to try out another world-class ride attraction from Enchanted Kingdom.

The thrill of accelerating towards ground level from 150 feet after gently being raised to that level will surely take your breath away as EKstreme plummets from the sky!

Enchanted Kingdom, the country’s premiere theme park, is again raising the ante by taking bigger and bolder steps as it celebrates its 15th Anniversary. Significantly, the EKstreme Tower Ride symbolizes EK’s commitment to continually create new and unique magical experiences for all of its guests and patrons.

EK’s President and Chairman Mario O. Mamon said “EK’s EKstreme Tower Ride is our 15th anniversary treat to all of EK’s valued and faithful patrons. The ride raises riders 150 feet into the air --10 feet for every year that Enchanted Kingdom had been continually providing magical experiences – before dropping them suddenly and safely back to ground level. Eldar the Wizard’s hat sits as the “crown” on top of the ride representing Enchanted Kingdom’s “towering” milestone achievement and continued leadership in the local amusement industry, being the first, and continues to be, the only world-class theme park in the Philippines.

Don’t miss the chance to be one of the first to experience EK’s EKstreme Tower Ride, another first in the country from Enchanted Kingdom.

Come and visit Enchanted Kingdom where the magic lives on! It is open Thursdays and Fridays from 12NN to 7PM and on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays from 11AM to 9PM until December 17. Fireworks display is staged on weekends at 830PM. For more details please contact Ms. Charlotte Catapang, Corporate Communications Officer, at (02) 812-7232, (632) 584-3535 or (632)584-4326 to 29. You may also log on to

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Efren Peñaflorida shares how Pinoy kids can achieve the winning edge

This is a post-event writeup about the Galileo Seminar I announced in my other blog a couple of months ago.

*Photos borrowed from Galileo's Facebook page.

Press Release:

The key to molding world-class young Filipinos is by teaching them the value of social responsibility and empowering them to give back to society and promote change. This was the challenge posed by 2009 CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida to the parents and teachers who participated in the recent two-day conference on “Giving Children the Winning Edge” organized by the Galileo Enrichment Learning Program and Wyeth Progress Pre-School Gold at the AIM Conference Center in Makati City.

“Kids are never too young to help other people and give back to society. As teachers, we have to collaborate with kids and guide them to help start the change that children, no matter how young, can create,” said Peñaflorida. “Hayaan natin sila sa kung ano ang kanilang maitutulong, and let’s not hinder them from helping others.” Peñaflorida was named CNN Hero of the Year last year for his acclaimed “Pushcart Classroom” project, a volunteer program that provides less fortunate kids with access to non-formal education. This award-winning project has showed the world that any space can be a place of learning for children.

During the conference, Penaflorida showcased his project as an inspiring example of how young volunteers and teachers have become aware of the current social environment and how they work together to address the needs of the underprivileged sector. This, he said, is the first step to encouraging change. “Once kids become aware of what is happening around them, the more that they are empowered to do something and help start the change that the country needs. Today’s underprivileged kids have needs that go beyond hunger. Many are deprived of their basic need to play, and even more are deprived of education. And as teachers, we should understand these needs and help fill them.”

Other parenting experts and professionals from the academe also shared their insights on childhood education and development. Among them were Dr. Queena Lee-Chua of the Ateneo De Manila University, Ms. Maribel Sison-Dionisio and Prof. Cecilia Manikan. They presented simple and effective techniques that can help parents prepare their children to become competent and be agents of social change. They also inspired other educators on how to become agents of learning excellence in order to produce the best, world-class student graduates.

Rowie Matti, Efren Penaflorida, Maribel Sison-Dionisio, and Tintin Babao
during the panel discussion

Among the topics discussed during the two-day conference were The Next Wave: Creating Super Learners, Good Study Habits Towards School Success, Empowering a Child’s Mind by Maximizing the Whole Brain, Predictive Indicators to a Child’s Success, and Enrichment Programs Provide Children the Winning Edge.

“The seminar was enriching for parents and educators as it shared various ways of optimizing children’s learning potential,” says Rachel Tongson from Wyeth. “Through this, they become more equipped in preparing Filipino children to become empowered and productive individuals who can make significant contributions to their country in the future.”

“Education is key to any nation’s future. Galileo and Wyeth are devoted to the optimum development of children, so it was inspiring to see so many parents and educators raring to help build a community of young learners who will grow up to offer plenty to the global village,” adds Ma. Rowena Matti, CEO of the Galileo Enrichment Learning Program. The group also helps improve the English and Math skills of children 3 to 12 years through a program that requires parents’ engagement. Since it came to the country in 2006, it has been helping develop independent-thinking and confident learners.

Efren and Rowie Mattie

Organized by two of the most respected names in childhood development, Galileo Enrichment Learning Program and Wyeth Progress Pre-School Gold, the event enhanced the knowledge of parents and local child educators in empowering young learners, helping nurture a future generation of responsible, active and globally-competitive thinkers.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Book a Jollibee kids party and fly your family to Singapore!

Press Release:

As Singapore becomes one of the most sought-after destinations for families, the Singapore Tourism Board-Philippines (STB-P) partners with Jollibee, the country’s leading fast food chain, to launch a promo that gives Filipino families the chance to experience the magic that Singapore has to offer.

For every P8,000 Jollibee Kids Party food purchase until November 30, 2010, a customer gets one raffle entry for a chance to win exciting prizes! This is valid for parties until June 30, 2011.

Up for grabs are five awesome family trip packages. Each package includes four round-trip tickets to Singapore, accommodation in a four-star hotel for two nights and three days – complete with airport transfers - and four one-day tickets to Universal Studios Singapore.

Singapore – A Family Destination

For Filipino families looking for the perfect family destination, look no further. Singapore is about fun, food and great family moments. Filipinos are sure to enjoy the newly-opened Universal Studios, the first in Asia, inside Resorts World Sentosa. Another must-see is the iconic Marina Bay Sands, an integrated resort with a casino complex, a huge lifestyle mall that houses world-class signature brands and restaurants, and the SkyPark that gives visitors a 360-degree panoramic view of the dazzling city skyline.

“The Singapore Tourism Board believes in promoting family togetherness through travel. This partnership will give Filipino families another way to create fun memories by giving them an opportunity to go to Singapore, either through winning the raffle or via affordable packages available through our selected travel agencies,” said STB-P Area Director Lynelle Seow. “Singapore has transformed into an ideal family destination that is not only safe, but full of choices for families to bond and have fun.

Jollibee and STB Promote Family Fun

Jollibee also recognizes the partnership’s significance in bringing families closer together through meaningful celebrations they can share here and in Singapore.

“Jollibee always strives to unite families through fun and jolly birthday moments with the Jollibee Kids Party. This promo will let parents and their kids enjoy the best of both worlds, as they share meaningful bonding moments through the many enjoyable party themes available from Jollibee and get the chance to travel to one of the top destinations in the world,” said Jollibee marketing manager Coleen Niguidula-Ducusin.

Through this promo, the lucky winning Filipino families will get to create unforgettable memories and revel in the picturesque cityscape of Asia’s most sought-after family hotspot. Book a Jollibee Kids Party now to enjoy a fantastic birthday celebration and the chance to win the family trip of a lifetime in Singapore!

For families wishing to travel to Singapore, special promotion packages are also available through the Singapore Tourism Board’s appointed travel agencies.

For more information, see posters and print ads. To learn more about Singapore’s family attractions and offerings, visit

Friday, October 22, 2010

Book Launch: Latest Book of Fr. James B. Reuter

Press Release:

Father James B. Reuter, S.J., teacher, award-winning dramatist, columnist, best-selling author and devout Marian devotee releases the second of the best-selling series MAMA MARY on the Feast Day of the Holy Rosary. The book is a compilation of forty-one stories; real-life miracles that show how the Blessed Mother Mary has touched the lives of Filipinos. The stories show that Mama Mary has blessed people of different gender, age and circumstance. The common denominator in all the accounts is an unwavering faith and a devotion to Her.

The book also hows how an American Priest like Father Reuter has formed a deep bond with his Filipino friends and colleagues because of a common devotion to the Blessed Mother. He explains thus, “(When) I became a Jesuit, and a missionary, (and) I came to the Philippines, I thought I was coming to give. But I was not. The Filipinos gave to me. From them I learned how natural it was for them to love God, by loving each other. What I discovered when I came to the Philippines was that the Filipinos do not need missionaries. I did. And so I am deeply grateful to God for sending me here. I did not choose Him. He chose me.”

Although Father Reuter is 94 years old and is practically bed-ridden, many friends and supporters have come to his aid in completing this book. He is assisted by his two editors Ma. Rowena Juan Matti and Cherry Castro Aquino, and Sister Mary Sarah Manapol of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres who wrote the Introduction. The book will soon be available in all National Book Store and Powerbooks branches and will be launched at the St. Paul University chapel in Quezon City on October 24, 3p.m.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Young talents featured in Jollibee’s Kids Who Can! Concert on Oct 16

Parents need not look far and wide to find ways to hone their children’s outstanding talents. Whether in singing, dancing or acting, Jollibee creates perfect venues for talented young kids to learn and shine.

This October 16, Jollibee Kids Club will hold the Kids Who Can! Concert at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium, featuring more than a hundred of its talented members. With this first-of-its kind concert, the kids will get the chance to show their skills onstage and perform in front of a huge crowd like true superstars.

Set to join the kids for this spectacular talent showdown are celebrity host Nikki Gil, well-known TV personalities Sam Concepcion and Andi Eigenmann, as well as Jollibee and friends.

“We know we have a rich source of talent here in the country. That’s why Jollibee is really excited about showcasing our newest and youngest stars through the Kids Who Can! Concert,” shares Albert Cuadrante, Jollibee marketing vice president. “We are always on the lookout for opportunities to encourage kids to be at their best and share their talents.”

Jollibee marketing manager Coleen Niguidula-Ducusin added, “Families should watch out for this event as Jollibee Kids Club members, along with popular icons, spread the joy and happiness through their amazing performances and special surprises.”

Families and friends who want to catch the Kids Who Can! Concert on October 16 just need to drop by any participating Jollibee store in Metro Manila. For just P150, they will receive one concert ticket plus a free Chickenjoy w/ Spaghetti Value Meal upon purchase.

The gates open at 4 PM, giving concert-goers the chance to win prizes during the pre-show games and claim loot bags courtesy of Jollibee’s event partner, Milkita.

With entertainment provided by well-rounded and active young talents who are out to shine, the Jollibee Kids Club’s Kids Who Can! Concert is truly a must-see event for kids and their families!

Ghostly thrills and glam toys for boys and girls at Jollibee

Press Release:

Cartoon fanatics will have more reasons to head to Jollibee this October because of the new set of cool collectible toys available in every Jollibee Kids Meal.

From October 1 to 31, Jollibee brings two of today’s favorite Nickelodeon shows Danny Phantom and Lola & Virginia for the enjoyment of kids. Danny Phantom is about a half-ghost boy who uses his powers to defend his hometown against villains. On the other hand, Lola &Virginia tells the story of lovable rivals who always try to outdo each other.

The boys can get heroic with the spooky thrills of the Danny Phantom Ghost Pop Out and Monster Bump Off toys. With the Ghost Pop Out, a press of the button will make the shy, clumsy Danny spin and transform into the heroic Danny Phantom. Watch him blast off to save the day by pressing the launch button, too! As for the Monster Bump Off, it helps Danny get rid of the monster villains. When inserted in the car, they jump out of the way with every bump!

For the girls, it’s all about getting all glammed up with Lola & Virginia’s Pink n’ Pretty Pouch and the Lipsmack n’ Sticker. The Pink n’ Pretty Pouch has a front flower clasp that opens to reveal a girly mini mirror and comb. Favorite accessories can also be placed inside. Another cool accessory is the Lipsmack n’ Sticker, which has lip gloss and colorful little tattoos for hours of fun. Glamor girls can just clip it on their bags and bring it anywhere for an instant retouch!
These toys come with every Jollibee Kids Meal. Kids can choose from their favorite treats like the Yumburger, Spaghetti, one-piece Burger Steak and the one-piece crispylicious and juicylicious Chickenjoy meals. So head to Jollibee and collect these new and cool toy collectibles for boys and girls!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"The Town" Opens Today in Philippine Theaters

Press Release:

There are over 300 bank robberies in Boston every year. And a one-square-mile neighborhood in Boston, called Charlestown, has produced more bank and armored car robbers than anywhere in the U.S.

One of them is Doug MacRay (Ben Affleck), but he is not cut from the same cloth as his fellow thieves. Unlike them, Doug had a chance at success, a chance to escape following in his father’s criminal footsteps. Instead he became the leader of a crew of ruthless bank robbers, who pride themselves on taking what they want and getting out clean. The only family Doug has are his partners in crime, especially Jem (Jeremy Renner), who, despite his dangerous, hair-trigger temper, is the closest thing Doug ever had to a brother.

However, everything changed on the gang’s last job when Jem briefly took a hostage: bank manager Claire Keesey (Rebecca Hall). When they discover she lives in Charlestown, Jem gets nervous and wants to check out what she might have seen. Knowing what Jem is capable of, Doug takes charge. He seeks out Claire, who has no idea that their encounter is not by chance or that this charming stranger is one of the men who terrorized her only days before.

As his relationship with Claire deepens into a passionate romance, Doug wants out of this life and the town. But with the Feds, led by Agent Frawley (Jon Hamm), closing in and Jem questioning his loyalty, Doug realizes that getting out will not be easy and, worse, may put Claire in the line of fire. Any choices he once had have boiled down to one: betray his friends or lose the woman he loves.

Academy Award® winner Ben Affleck (“Good Will Hunting,” “Gone Baby Gone”) directed and stars in “The Town,” a dramatic thriller about robbers and cops, friendship and betrayal, love and hope, and escaping a past that has no future.

The film also stars Rebecca Hall (“Vicky Cristina Barcelona”), Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”), Oscar® nominee Jeremy Renner (“The Hurt Locker”), Blake Lively (upcoming “Green Lantern,” “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants”), Titus Welliver (“Gone Baby Gone”), with Oscar® nominee Pete Postlethwaite (“In the Name of the Father,” “Inception”), and Academy Award® winner Chris Cooper (“Adaptation”).

“The Town” is produced by Academy Award® winner Graham King (“The Departed”) and Basil Iwanyk (“Clash of the Titans”) from a screenplay by Peter Craig and Ben Affleck & Aaron Stockard, based on the novel Prince of Thieves by Chuck Hogan. The executive producers are Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, William Fay and David Crockett, with Chay Carter serving as co-producer.

The behind-the-scenes creative team was led by Oscar®-winning director of photography Robert Elswit (“There Will Be Blood”), production designer Sharon Seymour (“Gone Baby Gone”), Oscar®-nominated editor Dylan Tichenor (“There Will Be Blood”), and costume designer Susan Matheson (“The Kingdom”). The music is composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and David Buckley, who previously collaborated on Affleck’s “Gone Baby Gone.”

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Legendary Pictures, a GK Films Production, a Thunder Road Film Production, “The Town.”

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Eat Pray Love Opens Tomorrow in Philippine Theaters

Production Notes:

Liz Gilbert (Julia Roberts) is a modern woman on a quest to marvel at and travel the world while rediscovering and reconnecting with her true inner self in Eat Pray Love. At a crossroads after a divorce, Gilbert takes a year-long sabbatical from her job and uncharacteristically steps out of her comfort zone, risking everything to change her life. In her wondrous and exotic travels, she experiences the simple pleasure of eating in Italy, the power of prayer in India, and, finally and unexpectedly, the inner peace and balance of love in Bali. Based on an inspiring true story, Eat Pray Love proves that there really is more than one way to let yourself go and see the world.

Columbia Pictures presents a Plan B Entertainment production, Eat Pray Love. The film stars Julia Roberts, James Franco, Richard Jenkins, Viola Davis, Billy Crudup, and Javier Bardem. Directed by Ryan Murphy. Produced by Dede Gardner. Screenplay by Ryan Murphy & Jennifer Salt. Based on the book by Elizabeth Gilbert. Executive producers are Brad Pitt, Stan Wlodkowski, and Jeremy Kleiner. Director of Photography is Robert Richardson, ASC. Production Designer is Bill Groom. Editor is Bradley Buecker. Costume Designer is Michael Dennison. Music by Dario Marianelli. Music Supervision by PJ Bloom.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blue Light and Its Effects on Children

Press Release: Know how to shield your child’s eyes from blue light

For growing children, the eyes are their windows to the world as they explore new surroundings and learn new things each day. Thus, assuring their healthy vision is vital in providing them the best foundation for their early development. However, active children’s eyes undergo plenty of stress daily. Aside from the invisible ultraviolet light that can damage their eyes, there are also blue light rays that can harm their vision.

“Blue light is a wavelength within the visible spectrum of light. Despite having a wavelength that is less strong than ultraviolet radiation, it still has the ability to penetrate the skin and cause cell damage,” explains Dr. Mary Rose Teodoro-Chang, a pediatric ophthalmologist. “It’s the most energetic portion among visible light and is present in varying degrees and intensity in everything we see.”

A child’s eyesight, rapidly developing from birth to four years of age, continues to develop its 20/20 vision, until he reaches the age of 7 when the process begins to slow down. Being at their healthiest at the onset, the eyes’ lenses can be very clear and can absorb more light, making them more susceptible to damage caused by the accumulation of free radicals on the eyes. This eventually causes lesions on the retina.

In order to avoid the hazardous effects of blue light on children’s eyes, mothers should be equipped with the proper knowledge on how to shield their children’s eyes through proper nutrition. Mothers should be aware about Lutein, a key nutrient that helps shield the eyes from harmful blue light rays. It also slows down oxidation, preventing free radicals in the eyes.

“Accumulation of free radical in the eyes can cause irreversible damage,” Dr. Teodoro-Chang says. “Lutein serves as a filter against the damaging effects of overexposure to blue light.”

Experts highly recommend introducing Lutein-rich food sources to a child’s diet. Spinach and other vegetables, preferably green and leafy ones, are excellent sources of lutein.

With studies proving the importance of Lutein in children’s eye health, leading children’s nutrition company Wyeth has also pioneered the inclusion of the much needed nutrient in its milk formula. A constant innovator when it comes to healthcare and nutrition, Wyeth has been working with mothers to promote healthy eyesight among children.

Apart from diet considerations, children can also be trained to maintain healthy eyesight habits. Caution them from watching too much television, spending plenty of time in front of the computer, and overexposing themselves under the sun’s direct rays.

With the healthy habit of staying away from too much light exposure, a steady supply of green vegetables and recommended servings of a Lutein-rich milk food supplement, mothers can be assured that their children are in the best condition to see the world through a brighter point of view.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Research on Milk Parents Should Read

Study: Milk fortified with micronutrients is proven to help prevent childhood sickness

Milk fortified with specific micronutrients can greatly reduce the risk of childhood diseases especially in the first two years of life, report researchers in milestone study.

The clinical study has proven that milk fortified with a special combination of micronutrients can improve the health of children by reducing the incidence of childhood diseases including diarrhea, acute respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia, or nutritional deficiencies like iron deficiency and anemia, and can have a positive impact on the weight and height of growing toddlers.

These results hold considerable significance on child health throughout Asia, especially in the Philippines where nutritional deficiencies and infectious illnesses like pneumonia and diarrhea are still among the leading causes of mortality in children aged one to four years. (Source: Philippine Health Statistics 2000 and National Objectives for Health Philippines 2005-2010,

Researchers studied children residing in New Delhi, India who received supplementation of milk fortified with a specific bundle of micronutrients including Vitamins A, C, E, Iron, Zinc, Selenium and Copper over a period of one year. The children who consumed the fortified milk were better protected from common illnesses and were able to benefit from improved immunity to certain diseases compared to children who consumed milk with natural levels of micronutrients.

Lead researcher Dr. Sunil Sazawal, a distinguished expert on child health and an Associate Research Professor at the Department of International Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, stressed the importance of the correct combination of micronutrients to provide the maximum health benefits to growing children.

“It is always a question and an issue of the right combination of vitamins and nutrients for any form of nutritional supplementation to achieve full effectiveness. That is why it is crucial to utilize a carefully selected bundle of nutrients and use it in the right levels. Iron and zinc, for instance hold key roles in the immune system, while vitamin C was added to the formulation to aid the absorption of specific nutrients.”

He also shared how the vehicle in delivering essential micronutrients is equally important in making sure young children are able to successfully receive the nutritional benefits, and milk offers a great and natural method of delivery.

“It is important to use a certain vehicle that is acceptable to the population. Milk is a very good delivery method for fortification since it is a universally acceptable food source for children after one year of age. Milk is also easy to administer and is more child-friendly compared to non-food based delivery systems like tablets,” he said.

Yielding groundbreaking results that can help improve child health, the research was funded and supported by Fonterra, the world’s leader in dairy nutrition that is committed to bringing the best quality dairy products designed to improve the health of children around the globe.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Fun Saturdays with the Jollibee Kids Club Talent Workshop

Press Release:

Metro Manila’s jolliest bunch of kids flocked to Jollibee stores during the past weeks and had a fruitful time at the Jollibee Kids Club Talent Workshop.

For four Saturdays, seasoned mentors taught club members the basics of acting, singing, dancing and arts and crafts. Through the Jollibee Kids Club Talent Workshop, kids learned to cultivate their special skills, making them more well-rounded.

“As the most fun kids’ club in the country, Jollibee Kids Club has long been an ally of every parent when it comes to fostering a child’s creativity,” said Coleen Niguidula-Ducusin, Jollibee Marketing Manager. “We believe that initiatives such as the Talent Workshop help children get to know themselves better, making them happier and more confident about their talents while having a lot of fun in the process.”

Bustling with kids ranging from three to 12 years old, select Jollibee stores overflowed with the energy of children eager to learn. The Talent Workshop participants got the chance to hone their special talents in two-hour classes that were capped off with free Jollibee meals after.

“This was my first acting workshop,” shared 11-year-old Bryan Abalos. “It was fun and I hope that I can do it more often.”

“I love dancing,” 8-year-old Andrei Arapeles said. “The workshop was really enjoyable.”

Aside from the valuable knowledge that the participants got from the sessions, another highlight was the surprise visit of pop princess Sarah Geronimo to selected Jollibee Kids Club classes. “It is really important that you hone your skills at such a young age, so pagbutihin niyo ha,” the pop princess told the awestruck kids. She added, “I am so happy to be a part of the Jollibee family kasi parang naging parte na rin ako ng pagtupad ng pangarap ng mga bata.”

In return, the kids gamely rendered their Ate Sarah—who recently celebrated her 22nd birthday—a happy birthday song as the Jollibee crew brought out a cake. “All JKC members were given free access to the Jollibee Kids Club Talent Workshop.” said Niguidula. “We are so happy with the turnout. All of the participants were very active and enthusiastic, and we are glad that Jollibee served as a platform for them to realize and tap their creative potentials. There will be more of these to come and we hope to have a bigger number of kids and their families there.”

Friday, September 10, 2010

Due Date Not Yet Due!

I recently watched, and thoroughly enjoyed the movie Going the Distance with my husband. You can find my full length review of it at

Before the main feature started, one movie preview caught my attention. Even before I saw who was starring in it, I immediately recognized Robert Downey Jr.'s voice narrating part of the story. Unfortunately, I heard that the film won't be showing in the Philippines until early 2011. Awwww!

So until then, let's enjoy watching the trailer for now :)

Edit, Nov 3: I was glad I heard wrong! Due Date opens in Philippine theaters this Nov. 5! My son and I watched it last night during the Press Screening and the movie was HILARIOUS! :D

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


I am always fascinated by the world of nature. I don't have a high-end camera nor high-tech photography equipment but I do try to capture some of the wondrous things I see once in a while in my own backyard.

It is always a pleasure to come across photos taken by expert photographers. I couldn't help the amazement I felt when I saw this photo among other close-up shots of mantises.

Beautiful colors huh? For more of these, mosey over to this website page and see other shots of mantises taken by Jimmy Hoffman.
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