Wednesday, October 7, 2015

2015 Korean Film Festival opens in Manila this Oct 8.

The Korean Cultural Center in the Philippines (KCC) and the Embassy of the Republic of Korea will be opening its annual Korean Film Festival this September to October with the theme, “Strings of Affinity.”

In cooperation with the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), the Film Cultural Exchange Program, Korean Film Council, Korea Copyright Commission, Korea Tourism Organization, SM Cinema and SM Supermalls., the film festival will be featuring seven films that showcase the depths of human relationships in different scenarios.

The festival had its first run in SM Lanang Premiere in Davao last September 17 to 21, SM Iloilo from September 25 to 27.  From October 1 to 4, the film festival will move to SM City Cebu and will have its final run in SM Megamall in Manila from October 8 to 11.

The film festival features The Thieves, Miss Granny, Cold Eyes, Front Line, Hope, Marriage Blue and Duresori: Voice of the East.

All films are with English subtitles. Admission is free to all. For more details, contact the Korean Cultural Center at 555-1711, or email You may also log on to (PR)

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Thursday, October 1, 2015

Chuva Choo Choo, The Mr.Kupido Musicale, will make you sing and laugh at heart..

Dina and Darla.
The newest Original Filipino Musical Play is born, the Chuva Choo Choo, the Mr.Kupido Musicale featuring the songs of Vehnee Saturno will make you sing a long after watching, plus the laughter at your hearts is a roar amidst all your problems. This play will make you realize that Saturno’s contribution to Original Pilipino Music is really a legend, a name that many generations of Pinoys grow up singing all his hits.

Chuva Choo Choo start with the story of two sisters and plus one friend whom they consider a family as well, they are used to join singing contest and ended up losers, until they witness a crime wherein they have to go somewhere and hide, but fate has another plan for them and fame is just a foot away. A love story, a gay bar turn comedy bar is the instrument for the sisters to achieve their dreams. 

International musical theater actress Joanna Ampil play Dina while The Voice Philippines finalist Morisette Amon play Darla, the singing prowess of this two ladies is in no question, they both give it with flying colors, but it was surprising to see Amon doing comedy act on which she really nailed it with good timing, especially her scene with Zandro, her love interest in the story that gives a light kilig to the audiences.

But I must say that Via Antonio doing multiple roles is such a hit, her delivery is really a joy on stage, she almost have six different roles in this play with all the changing costumes needed as well. Edward Benosa as Zandro is an eye candy, his cuteness on stage is a plus factor for this play.

The songs like Sana Kahit Minsan, Bakit Pa, Forever Is Not Enough and others really make you go to Videoke and birit one more time after watching it, of course if those songs have meanings or value to your childhood or ex-flings is another story to tell.

Dina & Zandro, Darla and Tonton.
Produce by Stages Production Specialist Inc of Alvin Trono, Chuva Choo Choo is under the direction of Seven time Palanca awardee George De Jesus.  Also in the cast are Jojo Riguerra, Ross Pesigan, Juliene Mendoza, Ron Alfonso, and Jay Marquez. 
Mr.Kupido has a limited run for this year at the newly built Power Mac Center at Circuit Makati, the new heaven of play and commercial center develop by Ayala land, but they will be back for second run in January 2016.  
For block buy, sponsorships and out of town shows, you may contact Alvin Trono at or call 09177957273. 
The Cast and Crew of Chuva Choo Choo.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Strangely Familiar: The Jonathan Benetiz Paintings and Collage Exhibit.

Palawan’s very own celebrated visual artist Jonathan Benitez recently held a successful solo painting exhibit entitled “Strangely Familiar”, at Art Galileia in Bonifacio Global City at Taguig City that opens September 12, 2015.

31 art pieces were on display that mostly oil on canvass and acrylic with a theme of human relationship to nature. This is the first time that Benitez had a solo exhibit but he is not a newbie anymore in bringing his art to Manila, he had group shows before in UP, Conspiracy Bar and even in House of Congress in the past years. 

Benitez admit that it’s not an easy road for him to mount this solo show especially in Serendra vicinity of BGC, he went into rigorous process before the said gallery approve his first show, he believe that his maturity on his craft is the key that’s why he was given such opportunity.

Di madali ang solo show, dapat matured na para ma consider ng gallery, 20 years akong nag practice dito sa Palawan, alam ko time will come, kung may tyaga at dedication sa craft, may aanihin.” Benitez said.
The former resident artist of Dos Palmas Island resort had its following also from famous painters/artist in the country, some of his works are being collected by Marcel Antonio and Max Balabat whose names are known in the Philippine Art scene.

Strangely Familiar last until Sept 24. Benitez is now preparing for the Manila Art 2015 this October 8 to 11 in SMX Convention Center in Pasay City and other art venues in Taguig. 
Art Galileia is located in  Fort Bonifacio,2nd Level Fort Pointe Bldg (28th St, Bonifacio Global City) Taguig City.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ballet Philippines goes Positive for 30th Season

The Cloth.
Ballet Philippines opens its 30th Season with an advocacy in creating awareness about the spread of HIV, they aim to give meaning to life even though you are an HIV carrier, through their dances they illustrate love and education and killing the stigma that the society bestow on this alarming spread of this incurable disease. 
Marge Moran-Florendo with Artletecs, and speakers at the Body Positive forum.
The season opens last Sept 12, 2015 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines with a painting exhibit featuring the artist from Artletics, a group of painters and young visual artist wherein series of artworks with a theme of AIDS and HIV are the topic. The said exhibit is a travelling show nationwide to capture more audiences and of course collectors of paintings. In this Season a new Ballet Master for BP is announce, no other than Mr. Nonoy Froilan.

“Because of stigma, a lot of people don’t want to be tested, we are advocating education, and we are saying that there is life after HIV. This show is dedicated to AIDS/HIV Victims because through our dances we promote Love, Learning and fear.” Marge Moran-Florendo, President, Ballet Philippines said. 
After the one day exhibit open, a formal forum and dialogue takes place before the Body Positive show, in the forum Ms. Elena Felix of Pinoy Plus give a personal testimony on how she battles discrimination. Mr.Rye Del Carmen and Earl Patrick Penabella of I Love Yourself also discusses and answer questions regarding confidentiality of having tested in there office.

And the show started, It’s a compiliation of all the past dance show of BP like the Black Swan, Cucurucucu Paloma, Sala Sa Init, Sala Sa Lamig, Two Barres, Cloth, Bolero and others. All of this production numbers have introduction in line with figures, datas and how to live a happy life with HIV or AIDS.  

Most of all of numbers are all applauded and really moving. Enrico Labayen also perform along with his masterpiece the Cloth, its rare opportunity to see him dance again in CCP. We are told that he is now base in the US.

Body Positive is performed in The Little Theater at the CCP from Sept 12 to Sept 19. 2015 at 6 in the evening. For inquiries visit , send an email to or call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003. Connect to BP thru Facebook, twitter: @balletph , Instagram @balletphilippines and on You Tube: balletph

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Food Galore at Mati’s Meat and Bread.

Finding perfect place with good ambiance and food at its best now days is such a hard thing to decide for, but if you are in Alabang and looking for something different in your plate, we highly recommend you the Mati's Meat and Bread in Festival Mall in Muntinlupa City.
Truffled Bone Marrow.
Balut Alegue.
Mati's Meat and Bread open November of 2014, and since then their different type of menu is now a talk of the town, from their premium USDA angus steaks, to burgers, to pasta and sandwiches, so far they create a style on their own.  The must try is the best seller Bone Marrow, and the unique Balut Aligue.

“Matis were born due to our numerous travels abroad like in California, LA, Vegas even in Vancouver, Canada. We were able to see a lot of concept stores that serve to us an inspiration.” Paul Macaset said, the owner of Mati’s. Mati’s by the way is the real name of his four year old son.
Paul Macasaet, owner of Mati's Meat and Bread.
Paul told us that it is a very close family business, as a proof most of its menu are all name from real family relatives, he used to run the family own Melo’s Steak House, and from their he manage to open another venture that he can call his own, his own family he mean.He incorporates those menu that Melo’s cant offer. But he still offer the family’s best which the Angus steaks.
One of the best Salpicao i've taste in the metro.
Among those we taste, the one outstanding to us is the Salpicao, the blending of its taste and the elements of real beef was captured enough, that will really satisfy your crave, and I guarantee you are going to look for it every now and then.

This 60 seat resto is located at Unit B2, River Park, Festival Mall, Alabang, they are open from 11am to 10 in the evening for weekdays, and beyond at night on weekend. The view of the Riverpark outside is a good riddance while you wait for your orders, it is relaxing indeed.
Creamy Spanish Dip and Mama's Spicy Chicken.
On its menu, we are able to try the Creamy Spanish Dip that got a very flavorful dip and crispy bread, Mama’s Spicy Crispy Wings is also a good choice since the tenderness of the Chicken with all its spicy remark blend well.  Truffled Bone Marrow is an specialty and a to die for since they offered it best along with cheese sauce.
Their variety of Pizza’s is a god answered if you love more cheese on it, its thin crust and flavorful taste is something that will make you breathless for a while. The salads of Mati’s will really make you young, they know how to blend its natural taste with dash of some cheese. Paul admit to us that he loves cheese that’s why they have that in many kinds.

Also don’t miss their pasta, the one serve with oil stand out for us. The variety of dessert is happy one before you go,either Red Velvet Cake or Choco Fudge is a good choice to end the sweet meal. One thing I notice is the knowledge of its service crew, the information they know when you ask something about its flavor and how it done, is really a catch that will make you sure enough they know what they are doing.
USDA Angus steak being cook in front of you.
I will difinetly go back to Mati’s, they are going to open a branch soon in Bonifacio Global City which happen near to me. it’s a thumbs up for me since I see the dedication of Paul and how he loves doing this business and sharing it to everyone.

You can reach Mati’s at if you have some questions or want a reservation. 

The 26th Philippine Travel Mart.

The biggest and highly awaited Philippine Travel Mart, organized by Philippine Tour Operators Association once again takes place last Sept 4 to 6, 2015 at SMX Convention Hall in Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.  With the theme “The Philippines, the Fun Capital of Asia” also open doors for tours outside of Philippines specifically ASEAN Economic Community due to its integration starting this 2015.

Hundreds of exhibitors from different Tour agencies, Hotels, Resorts, Tourism Product & Services, and Local Government Unit showcase their best in many colorful way and flavors that represent many destinations for all people who loves travelling. 

I must say it is one of the most attended so far and because of airfare promos offered by many participating airlines not only locally but globally.

Regarding the feedback, it’s a tie between Batanes and Coron that majority of visitors wants to visit, obviously the Coron tourist drowning issue didn’t affect its charm and beauty. Coron is an island Municipality in the Province of Palawan.  While Batanes found in the northernmost part of Philippine islands still a dream for everyone and was tagged as the New Zealand of Asia.

The usual programs of different schools and trivia quiz event is such a delight to watch, learning new things and finding more hidden information’s about many attraction is a sure fire knowledge blast, one part I like most is the mathematical computation for tours that was given to students as a challenge. Hourly raffles and discounts is a regular happening as well.

But one thing that disappoint some visitors who wish to avail of promo and discounted fares, is the limit set probably by participating airlines, most of it are already taken on its first day that’s why many are heartbroken on the remaining days wherein they got no avail of those promos. 

Still, it is one of the oldest and so far the most attended travel fair in the country, ill be happy again to visit this PTM in the next year to come.  Congrats again to PHILTOA. 

Saturday, September 12, 2015

#UAROADSHOW with Steph Curry in SM MOA ARENA.

Watching Steph Curry live.
By Norman Alexis Laurel

The UA ROADSHOW MANILA was held at the Mall of Asia on September 5.  It was Steph Curry’s second stop in a 5 day Asia roadshow.  It was also part of promoting his new signature shoe, the Curry Two. The event was hosted by Andrei Felix, Gretchen Ho and Bea Fabregas

It started with a shootout among kids who were chose from the audiences.  The kid who won the shootout took whom a clutch fit UA rubber shoes.  it is also a star studded event wherein local celebrity and UA ambassadors are present, such as Basketball aficionado and Teen King Daniel Padilla, JC Devera, Jasmin Curtis and a lot more. 

Kevin Plank, the Founder and the CEO of Under Armour was also present at the event.  His wife being a Filipino made him to choose Manila as one of the stops of the roadshow.

And of course the showstopper, Stephen Curry, the 2015 Most Valuable Player and NBA champion had a grand entrance with an entrance song, “The Champ is Here!”.  This was the first time I saw an NBA superstar here in Manila.  The experience was extra special because it was also my birthday.

The Champ conducted basic basketball drills with some High School varsity players.  There was also a 3PT shootout which of course won by the MVP.

The Champ also had a 15 minute running time scrimmage with these lucky high school players.

We rarely see him dunk so the host requested him to dunk and he did a two-handed reverse dunk.  And the crowd went nuts!

He said he loves to visit Manila again.  Hopefully her adorable daughter, Riley will be able to visit Manila too! Specials Thanks to SM Malls for this opportunity.
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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Portrait of the Artist as Filipino. A Special screening during Cinemalaya XI.

One best thing about Cinemalaya Indiependent Film Festival, is they also showcased movies of our past heritage that really worth watching. Like in this year's Cinemalaya XI we are able to watch this classic film by Lamberto Avellana, the much talked and highly acclaimed "Nick Joaquin's A Portrait of The Artist as Filipino".

I am longing to watch this ever since i got here in Manila, because I hear extremely good reviews to the Theater version of this, that many Theater production adapted already in the past years. Well thank you to technology that this movie is restored in high definition with good quality of music as well. And kudos to all the people who behind the idea of making it more visually in this digital era of cinema.
I'll not resort into critiquing or divulging the story nor the plot of this Filipino film,  watching it is really a treasure and an opportunity. Special Thanks to CCP Press office for allowing me to watch this beautiful film, that i consider now as one of the important movie in Philippine history. 

The memorabilias such as posters photos are also in exhibit during that time, and this is where all these photos came from. 

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Digital Campus Suite for Philippine schools.

The UP and NU Pep Squad in one.
Leaders in Information and Technology as well as Telecom in the Philippines, unite for big collaborations intended for the future, the students of today wherein education is still the best foundation. PLDT through SME Nation along with global IT giant Microsoft offers a package called Digital Campus Suite.

Through a launching last August 26, 2015 at Makati Shangri-La Hotel, we are given an overview on how this campus suite work, wherein educators and students will have access to Microsoft digital curriculum, they can earn certificate from that and the skills in Computer to tablets and to any apps of students is to its high level.  Not only the students will earn certificate, even the school itself will get license. 

This suite includes laptops, tablets and wifi access in the campus for the use of students. Among its interesting learning is the cloud tools and platforms, which is the latest in right now in terms of having your storage on the social media.

The program in the event have Gabe Mercado in a inside classroom set up discussing the frequently asked questions about this suite. Plus the energetic performances of UP Pep Squad and the NU Pep Squad. 

Bro. Jun Rugueza of COCOPEA.
But what strike me most in the event is the speech delivered by Bro.Jun Rugueza of COCOPEA, one of the partner of this suite. He said that technology is the fifth sense now a days, most young ones is always on their cellphones, the internet is their best friend and they can always find a friend online, but people don’t realize that we lost soul through this technology, and from Educators it’s a challenge on how to educate this young people to find the real connection.

“Technology can connect us to our love ones, but cannot give us a meaningful relationship”, Rugueza said.

 The program ends with UP and NU Pep Squad in one fine Cheer dance number, to think they are a rival school in competition they were able to unite and prove that unity is important.  For more details about the Digital Campus Suite, visit,ph call 101-888 or pldtsmenation in facebook and Instagram.

Other brand included in the package  are SMART, PLDT Alpha Enterprise, and Samsung.