Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Turning Point:: An Evening of MCO Music

Press Release:
After the success of the first concert of the series which featured tenor Arthur Espiritu and pianist Najib Ismail, the MCO Foundation and Ayala Museum invite you again to another enchanting chamber music evening featuring two of the most loved chamber music written - the dramatic  3rd Piano Trio of Dvorak and the exquisite  Four Seasons of Piazzolla  in a concert entitled “Turning Point: A Chamber Music Evening” on March 6, 2013 at 7:00 p.m. at the Ayala Museum. Featured artists are some of the country's finest musicians headed by pianist Mary Anne Espina, violinist Gina Medina; and a new sensational, young cellist making waves in the international music scene, -Guo Qiele.

Gina Medina
Repertoire includes Antonín Leopold Dvořák’s “Third Piano Trio”, which is considered his most dramatic and passionate chamber music composition.  This work is a product of a series of disappointments including rejections from fellow composers, the death of his mother, and beginning of Dvorak’s musical friendship with Johannes Brahms. Brahms had a lasting influence on Dvorak. This work placed Dvorak among the league of great composer.  Another featured work is Astor Piazzolla’s “Four Seasons”, which After graduating from the Nadia Boulanger in Paris, Piazzolla returned to Buenos Aires to form a new tango ensemble mixing the traditional instruments with modern electric guitars.. He began composing in a style influenced by jazz and avant garde art music, and was dubbed tango nuevo. “Four Seasons” depicts the cycle of life in each of the four seasons of Buenos Aires but focusing on the urban nightlife throughout the year.

Mary Anne Espina
Leading the group is the two-time Aliw Awardee for the Best Instrumentalist Category, pianist Mary Anne Espina.  Known for her excellence in chamber music, she is one of the most sought after collaborating artists in the country today.  She has teamed up with violinist Frederic Pellassy of France,  Violinist Hagai Shaham of Israel,  Russian violinist Anastacia Chebotareva, the winner of Tchaikovsky and Paganini Competition,  Sopranos Joan Gibbons, Kaori Sato, Leigh Adolph to name but a few.   Likewise, distinguished Gina Medina has gained a vital seat in the Philippines' classical music circle as an admired violinist for both solo and chamber music concerts.  She has performed with distinguished artists including pianist Nena del Rosario, violinist Chino Bolipara, cellist Willie Pasamba, Renato Lucas to name a few.  She is currently the concert master of the Manila Symphony Orchestra.  The sensational 16-year old Chinese cellist Guo Qiele was named one of the "Ten Talented Young Artists of China" when he was only 14.  Two years later, he took part in a national cello competition "Ai qin bei" and won the 2nd prize.  Currently he is the prized student of world reknowned Cellist Qin Li Wei in Singapore. (Cellist Qin Li Wei has given a concert under the aegis of the MCO Foundation where he received numerous standing ovations in fully-attended concert.) Quile regularly participates in masterclasses including the one conducted by pedagogue Frans Helmerson, Louis Claret and Luise Hopkins.  He is a regular member of the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra and the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Symphony Orchestra in Singapore.

For tickets, call Ticketworld at 891-9999,  MCOF at 750-0768 or 0920-954-0053, Allan (782-7164 or 0918-347-3027). 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Rep's "No Way to Treat a Lady" Opens March 1

Press Release:

Repertory Philippines proudly announces its second offering for the year 2013 with “ No Way To Treat A Lady ” --- a musical comedy thriller with book, music and lyrics written by award-winning author/composer Douglas J. Cohen.

Directed by Audie Gemora, “ No Way to Treat a Lady ” is a dark, energetic and funny musical about good boys, bad boys, and the women who shape their lives focusing on themes like betrayal, death, friendship, Jewish/Yiddish issues, love, parenting / family.

The musical was based on the 1964 novel of the same name by William Goldman which was made into a motion picture in 1968.

The dynamic cast of five ( portraying seventeen characters ! ) features Audie Gemora as Christopher ‘Kit’ Gill; Joel Trinidad as Morris Brummel; Carla Guevara-Laforteza as Sarah Stone; Sheila Francisco as Flora Brummel;  Pinky Marquez as Alexandra Gill; and Jamie Wilson as Christopher Gill (Stand In).          
Set in summer 1970’s New York City,  “ No Way to Treat a Lady ” tells the story of Christopher "Kit" Gill (Audie Gemora), an unsuccessful actor turned serial killer ----  a maniac with mommy issues who is on a rampage, and the NYPD detective on his trail, Morris "Moe" Brummell (Joel Trinidad).  Brummell is a Jewish bachelor, who still lives with his overbearing mother, in the shadow of his successful brother, the doctor.

The detective leads a rather unexceptional existence, and yearns for a way to make a name for himself.  His goal is shared by an unlikely person, a serial killer seeking notoriety and attention from the police, the press and the city at large. The killer phones Moe one day and the two begin a taunting game of cat and mouse that results in a strange dependence on one another.

Moe's plan to track and eventually trap the killer is temporarily waylaid when he meets a beautiful, rich society girl who lives in the apartment building of the first victim. Woven into the main story of cop vs. killer are two subplots ---- what made Kit a killer and Moe's relationship with his mother and his new girlfriend.

NO WAY TO TREAT A LADY  received a Fred Ebb Award for Musical Theatre Songwriting, a Richard Rodgers grant, and a nomination for Best Revival by the New York Outer Critics Circle.

The schedule of shows are: March 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 & 23, 2013 – 8:00 PM; March 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 & 24, 2013 – 3:30 PM. All performances are at Onstage, 2/F, Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas cor. Legazpi St., Makati City.

Co-presented by the City of Makati, the artistic team of “No Way To Treat a Lady” is composed of Baby Barredo (Artistic Director); Audie Gemora (Director); Liesl Batucan (Assistant Director); Dingdong Fiel (Musical Director); Mio Infante (Set Designer); Raven Ong (Costume Designer) and John Batalla (Lighting Designer).

The production team of “No Way To Treat a Lady”  is  composed of Juno Henares (Officer in charge); Gidget Tolentino (Production Manager), Gold Soon (Stage Manager); Denis Lagdameo (Technical Director), Pol Roxas (Sound Technician), Pablito Salvador (Lighting Technician) and Adul Lasin (Set Execution and Scenic Artist).

“No Way To Treat a Lady”  a kooky, clever musical --- very entertaining and a fun way to treat an audience.

“No Way To Treat a Lady” is presented through special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd. Inc.

For details of show, please call 5716926 or 5714941 or email or log on to Tickets are also available through Ticketworld at 8919999 or visit

Visit, subscribe to, and “like” Repertory Philippines on Facebook. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

AirAsia's Online Bookings Payable at 7-Elevens

Great News for travelers availing of AirAsia airline online promos , no need to risk paying online when you can go to the nearest 7-eleven stores to pay your bill.  And with a hotline number 742ASIA or 742.27.42 effective on February 25, you can be certain of the success of your transaction.

 “To provide optimum customer care service for our guest, AirAsia is launching two new significant innovations. We have a new customer hotline that is easy to remember and we are also rolling out our cash payment partner with 7-Eleven store for our passengers who want to avail of our online promo and other privileges but would like to pay in cash instead of using their credit cards,” AirAsia Inc. Commercial head Freddy Herrera said.  

AirAsia’s payment partner service provides the convenience of using cash when paying for AirAsia promo fares and other online purchases at

“Filipinos will embrace this new concept of paying cash for airline tickets via our payment partners option because of its simplicity and convenience,” Herrera added.   

The payment partner service covers all Philippines’ AirAsia flights from its hub in Clark International Airport to Taipei, Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur including domestic flights to Davao and Kalibo (Boracay).

“We are expanding our payment partners service to include other outlets in the coming weeks so that more and more people will benefit from AirAsia’s awesome low fares and extensive route network covering 80 destinations in 20 countries,” Herrera said. 

More than 800 7-Eleven stores nationwide will start accepting cash payments for AirAsia on February 28. AirAsia’s new Philippine hotline number, +632.742.2742, meanwhile, will start on February 25. It will be open daily, from Monday to Sunday, at 8:00AM – 9:00PM.

About AirAsia Inc.
As part of its commitment to develop tourism and transportation outside Metro Manila, AirAsia Inc. set up its hub in Clark, Pampanga in 2011. In the same year, Filipinos welcomed the airline’s brand new Airbus A320s operated by an all-Filipino crew, signifying greater opportunities for travel, leisure and tourism industries in the country.

AirAsia Inc. is a 60-40 joint venture between Filipino investors Antonio O. Cojuangco, Michael L. Romero and Marianne B. Hontiveros, and Malaysia’s AirAsia International Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of AirAsia Berhad, which has won SkyTrax’s best low cost airline for four consecutive years. (Skytrax is the world’s largest airline and airport review site.)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Achiote : A Mouthful in a Tasty Way

You may have some difficulty remembering the name of this resto or how to properly spell it but one thing is certain, you will remember the food.  Mexican dishes with its cumin and cilantro led flavours stay in the mouth and mind. There is more to Mexican cuisine than the  ever popular Tex-Mex dishes we are familiar with such as burritos, tacos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. 

 You will be surprised to know that there is Philippine influence on their dishes particularly the ceviche which is their version of our “kilawin” according to Achiote’s Chef Owner Robby Goco. Nachos, we were also told, did not originate in Mexico. These are some trivias shared by Chef Goco during our happy hour with him last February 6.  Our discussion went as far in history as the Galleon trade where the exchange of culture and food took place.  

ceviche presentation
We had fun sampling the dishes along with silver then gold mojitos, differentiated by the amount and kind of tequila used.  The good chef emphasized that he doesn’t compromise on quality, he uses imported cheese and other ingredients to maintain that authentic Mexican flavour.  We tried the ceviche which had layers of squids, shrimps and vegetables in a presentation that resembled a colourful sundae concoction.   

dessert, former mistake
The quezo dip was a personal favorite  to go with my nachos.  Chef Goco even taught us how to put together something like a tortilla sandwich which was so filling, we barely had space left for the quesadilla and burritos.  The dessert was a mistake, meaning the dish started as a mistake but turned out to be a delicious success thus the mistake was retained and stayed in the menu.

“We only choose the freshest produce from the market as this really defines the tastiness of our dishes.  We try to support the organic farming industry as much as they can provide.  As a matter of fact, we are about to open a new restaurant that serves designer salad and green dishes,” announced Chef Goco.

Chef Goco was generous enough to share a salsa recipe for everyone that can be customized for each one’s subjective taste buds:  Pick the freshest tomatoes  and onions then roast for a few minutes to give that smokey flavour as well as  preserve the sweetness.  Peel the skin of both tomatoes and onions before tossing over the blender.  Add a few crushed garlic pieces, cilantro, cumin, salt and squeezed lemon before blending together.  The amount and proportion depends on your personal tastes.  Now you have an authentic Mexican salsa to go with your nachos or chips as you watch a home video or for pica-pica with friends.

During our happy hour with the chef, we learned more about his concerns and the noble reasons for his business.  “I don’t like the idea of families being separated because the breadwinner has to work abroad.  That is one of the reasons I devoted time to make this business work so I can provide jobs and families can stay together. Not just for my employees but also for farmers who supply me with my organic produce.  That’s the strongest motivating factor for me as a businessman, “ states Chef Goco who has a string of restaurants to his name which include Cyma and Tequila Joe among others.

So not only do we satisfy out palate and stomach when we dine at Achiote but we also feel good about ourselves for patronizing a chef who provide jobs for several people.  Achiote Taqueria is located at Lopez Drive, Powerplant Mall, Rockwell Center, 1209  Makati.  For more information and updates, check out their Facebook page  Achiote Taqueria Facebook Page

with Chef Robby Goco and his wife

Gawad CCP Announces 2012 Sining Awardees

Press Release:
Seven individuals and an organization will receive the Gawad CCP Para sa Sining for their outstanding achievements and contributions to Philippine arts and culture on February 27, 2013, 8:00pm at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater).

The Gawad CCP Para sa Sining is the highest award given by the CCP. The award will be conferred on Zeneida A. Amador for Theater; Cirilo F. Bautista for Literature; Brenda V. Fajardo for Visual Arts; Agnes Locsin for Dance, Ramon P. Santos for Music; Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon for Film and Broadcast Arts; Florentino H. Hornedo for Cultural Anthropology. The Silliman University National Writers Workshop will receive the Tanging Parangal for arts training and education.

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The late Zeneida Amador was a theater director and actress whose career spanned 45 years. Her name is synonymous with Repertory Philippines, the theater company dedicated to bringing Broadway and West End productions.  As the driving force behind Repertory Philippines and with a passion for excellence, Amador succeeded in honing a generation of theater actors disciplined and dedicated to their craft as well as building an enthustiastic and loyal theater audience.

Poet, fictionist and critic Cirilo Bautista is a preeminent voice in Philippine Literature in English and Filipino. He is the author of the Trilogy of Saint Lazarus composed of the award-winning poetry collections (Archipelago, Telex Moon and Sunlight on Broken Stones). He has won all the important literary awards and he continues to write criticism as well as literary reviews and essays in Panorama where he serves as literary editor. Having been a lecturer and critic in literary workshops in various universities, he has mentored many young writers.

Visual artist Brenda Fajardo's works carry strong historical and nationalist themes as folk and mythological tales. Fajardo participated in prestigious exhibitions both here and abroad and represented the county in various biennales notably in France, Cuba, Japan, the USA, Korea, Chile, India and Australia. Because Fajardo was not an artist contented with isolation, she explored her expression with other art organizations and institutions. She has been instrumental in founding or revitalizing artist groups bonded by a common advocacy such as art education, gender issues, and community enrichment programs. Her efforts at revitalizing her family's farm through cultural awareness prove to be a further testimony to this vocation.

Choreographer, dancer and teacher Agnes Locsin is one of the most progressive contemporary choreographers in the Philippines. Her neo-ethnic choreographies derive inspiration from Filipino tribal practices, beliefs, more, folklores and rituals which gave a new voice to our ethnic traditions. Her body of works enriched Philippine dance’s treasure of original Filipino works.  As a teacher, she has produced outstanding dancers who are now artistic directors of dance companies, renowned choreographers and dance teachers in the Philippines, while some have become members of leading dance companies abroad.

Dr. Ramon Santos’ outstanding contribution to Philippine music is comprised of his numerous Filipino contemporary compositions that reflect traditional and Asian music aesthetics which have been performed not only locally but also in different parts of the world. A leading composer of contemporary music, he is recognized by other composers in Asia for his works which have been showcased in festivals and conferences abroad. His scholarly research in Philippine music have been published in journals and books both locally and internationally, helping contribute to the understanding of Philippine and Asian music aesthetics. His active involvement as officer of international music organizations has helped put the country in a prominent position in the field of contemporary music in the global arena.

The country’s most beloved comedian and King of Philippine comedy Dolphy, who passed away on July year, is credited with elevating Philippine Comedy in Cinema to new heights.  Through his stage, radio, television, and film work, he has delighted generations of Filipinos with his comic antics and touched audiences with his range of thespian skills that include heartfelt drama as well.

Writer, scholar, researcher, anthropologist and professor Florentino Hornedo is a leading researcher and anthropologist who has participated in various training programs of the CCP Outreach for over a decade.  He is a prominent advocate for the preservation of culture and heritage in the regions, particularly in Batanes and through his involvement in the Batanes Development Foundation Inc.  He has played a crucial role in the cultural education of local artists and institutions through his teaching engagements at the Ateneo University, UST, St. Dominic College of Batanes.  He founded the founded the St. Louis University Museum of Culture and Arts in Northern Luzon in 1971, now the biggest museum of Northern Luzon and Cordillera culture and arts.  He has recorded and studied Ivatan entho-history cultural expressions & traditional arts since 1969.  He has published books and ethnographic and historic articles.

The Silliman University National Writers Workshop is the oldest creative writing program in Asia since 1962.  It has been bringing together in creative and critical discussion young writers from all over the country and honing their skills in the craft of fiction, poetry, nonfiction and drama. Realizing the importance of regional writing, it has endeavoured to include writers in the Visayan languages.  Its roster of alumni and panelists is veritably a “who’s who” in Philippine letters.  The Gawad CCP 2012 award is a timely recognition of the Workshop as it celebrates its golden anniversary this year.

The Gawad CCP Para sa Sining, which is given every three years, is awarded to artists or groups of artists who have consistently produced outstanding works, enriched the development of their art form. The award is also given to cultural workers, who through their works in research, curatorship and administration, have helped to develop and enrich Philippine art.  The Tanging Parangal is given to Individual or organizations to honor their outstanding contributions to the development of the arts in the country.


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