Wednesday, December 24, 2014

La Boheme By Met Opera in HD at Greenbelt Makati

Press Release:
THE Metropolitan Opera series in high definition (HD) continues on January 13, 2015, 6:30pm at Greenbelt 3 Cinema 1 in Makati with La Boheme. The event is made possible through the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the New York Met Opera and the Filipinas Opera Society Foundation Inc. in cooperation with the Ayala Malls Cinemas and Greenbelt.

La Bohème is an opera in four acts, composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The world premiere performance of La Bohème was in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio, conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini. Since then, La Bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide. 

Anita Hartig stars as the frail Mimì in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production, with Vittorio Grigolo as her passionate lover, Rodolfo.
Other scheduled screenings of Met Opera productions for this season are:
February 10, 2015    Werther                    
            March 3                      Enchanted Island
All screenings are at 6:30 pm.

For tickets, please call Greenbelt 3 Cinema at 757-3862 or 752-7883 (Customer Service Hotline).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Madame Garachon, Margie Floirendo Perform in Alice Reyes’ Cinderella Starting Nov. 28

Press Release:
The quintessential rags to riches fairy tale as retold by National Artist Alice Reyes will be staged anew by Ballet Philippines from November 28 to December 7 at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater). This lively and humorous production will bring much laughter and romance to the holiday season.

The role of Cinderella will be played by Soloist Denise Parungao and Junior Company Member Monica Amanda Gana. This is Gana's first lead role with Ballet Philippines, while Parungao was last seen in the title role of Ballet Philippines’ “Giselle” in 2013 and 2014. Playing opposite them as Prince Charming are Principal Dancers Earl John Arisola and Richardson Yadao.
To add even more magic to this production, Madame Isabelle Garachon, wife of the French Ambassador to the Philippines and former professional dancer, will be playing the role of Cinderella's wicked stepmother, alternating with Ballet Philippines President Margie Moran Floirendo.

"What we, at Ballet Philippines, would hope for is that our re-telling of the treasured children's story of ‘Cinderella’ will fill the hearts of all in the audience with child-like joy and wonder and an early sprinkling of holiday cheer for the coming Christmas season," says Alice Reyes, who was named National Artist for Dance earlier this year. Reyes is also Ballet Philippines’ founder and Artistic Director Emeritus.

“Cinderella” will be performed at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) on the following dates and times: November 28 (3PM & 8PM), November 29 (2PM & 6PM), November 30 (2PM & 6PM), December 5 (3PM & 8PM), December 6 (10AM & 6PM), and December 7 (2PM & 6PM).
The artistic and creative teams of Cinderella are led by Alice Reyes (Choreographer), Salvador Bernal(+) (Set & Costume Designer), Monino Duque (Lighting Designer), Barbara Tan-Tiongco (Technical Director), Ricardo Cruz (Set Consultant), Dennis Maristany (Costume Consultant), and Victor Ursabia and Ramon Victoria (Restagers).

For bulk reservations, show buys, and inquiries, visit or call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003. For tickets, call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or Ticketworld at 891-9999.

Connect to Ballet Philippines online through the following social media networks:

Twitter:            @balletph
Instagram:      @balletphilippines

The 45th Anniversary Sapphire Season. Rare scenes of power and grace, love, valour and redemption under the artistic directorship of Paul Alexander Morales. This is a toast to 45 years of dance excellence!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Eat Out Manila, Your Online Dining Out Guide

Press Release:

29 August 2014, Makati City -- A fresh innovation out of the app store that offers a brand new experience of dining out in Metro Manila has been unveiled today. Based on an internationally-recognized restaurant reservations system that is extensively used in Europe, US and Asia, Eat Out Manila, a smartphone application also accessible via its web-based interface, offers a real-time experience that allows users to lock in a table at the restaurant of their choice – anytime and anywhere.
Catering to a large demographic of customers, Eat Out Manila has already tied up with various restaurants around the Metro, counting new establishments such as Rambla, Lulu, Vyne, The Glass Door and Las Flores among its growing list of sought-after restaurants, along with long-time favorites Abe, Crisostomo, Mango Tree, and Murray and D’Vine.

Recognizing the challenges of booking a restaurant table where one has to pick up the phone on one hand, and the restaurant, at the receiving end, has to keep a manual log of reservations, the founders came up with Eat Out Manila to offer a quick and easy way of getting things done.

“The motivation behind this app springs from personal experience. With the growing list of things you can do remotely through your mobile phone, we thought it’s about time we had something for table reservations from which a food-loving country such as the Philippines will greatly benefit,” said Iňaki Lamata, one of the founders of Eat Out Manila.

“On the side of the restaurants, we are providing them with a better way of managing restaurant reservations and ensuring the convenience of their clientele. Our aim is to be a major solutions provider and partner in the ever growing and dynamic restaurant culture in the Philippines,” added Lamata.

Initially available through the Apple iTunes store, Eat Out Manila allows its users to search for restaurants with a variation of filters such as cuisine and location, restaurant, or by any cuisine, menu type or price range. Preferred time, date and number of persons are also required to check the availability at the chosen restaurant. Users can register via providing their details or logging in via Facebook. Users also have the option of accessing Eat Out Manila via its web-based interface at

Aside from hassle-free table reservations, Eat Out Manila also offers exclusive deals to its valued app users. Discounts, gift certificates, and freebies from top-notch restaurants await the lucky foodies who will be booking a reservation at any of Eat Out Manila’s partner establishments.

Foodies can now ditch the long lines and hours of waiting outside restaurants by booking a table at their preferred time and date, or on any of the available slots instantly. They may start their restaurant booking adventure now by visiting or downloading the app from the iTunes store. Updates on the latest Eat Out Manila promos may also be seen in its official Facebook page and Instagram account @EatOutManilaPH. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Studio 119 Gets You Ready for Business or Pleasure

If you happen to be a business traveller or tourist, or someone who lves nearby, Studio 119 at the Picasso Hotel should be your first stop,before a business meeting, a social lunch, or cocktail with clients. Located in peaceful Salcedo Village in Makati City, Studio 119 salon is the word-of-mouth place to go for a clean, composed look required of VIP events where you hobnob with diplomats, CEOs, top management, and people of class. The signature styles are the classics that won't go out of style.

 Catering to the higher management group or business travellers who hardly have time to be fussy but need that hour of relaxation, Studio 119 is their private haven. Quiet with personalized service minus the long wait is what you can expect here. Most of their satisfied clientele are business people or wives of top management who already have a set style and expecations which the staff maintain for their regular clients' convenience and comfort.

 "We value our clients' time and privacy by making sure there is no waiting time and maintaining relaxing music and low noise level. Being a businesswoman myself, I can understand the stress they are going through on a daily basis, so for their sthort visit to the salon I make sure it is a pleasant and relaxing experience for them", assures April Blanco-De Guzman, owner.

 Cleanliness is their number one rule, followed by promptness of service which busy businessmen and busy housewives appreciate. Due to their modest space and limited slots, setting appointments in advance would be advised to assure you of prompt service. Special packages can be customized depending on your needs. Wedding packages, spa and massage needs are offered as well.

 For appointments and inquiries, you can call them at 8195138 or email at Located at the ground floor, 119 L.P. Leviste Street, Salcedo Village, Makati, Studio 119 Salon is open 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM from Monday to Sunday

Friday, August 8, 2014

Cinemalaya X Book launch on August 9

 Press Release:
The Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary with the launching of the book entitled Making Waves: 10 Years of Cinemalaya on August 9, 2014, 5pm at the Silangan Hall of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

The Cinemalaya X book is a commemorative publication chronicling the history of Cinemalaya and its contributions to Philippine cinema. It features essays by Doreen Yu, Philip Cheah, Lito Zulueta, Bayani San Diego Jr. and Jessica Zafra with various photos of Cinemalaya throughout the years.

Clodualdo del Mundo Jr. is the book’s Editor-in-Chief. Book design Director is Cesar Hernando. Book Design and Layout are by Tom Estrera III.

According to Cinemalaya Foundation president Nestor O. Jardin, the book is a tribute to the Filipino indie filmmaker. “The success of Cinemalaya is undoubtedly due to the 165 filmmakers who for the past ten editions of the competition and festival produced quality films that have broken the boundaries of filmmaking in the country,” Jardin said.

Other special events and new festival features include the announcement of the Gawad Balanghai Award, Cinemalaya Film Forum, Cinemalaya X Lounge at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (CCP Main Gallery), exhibit of the posters of all the Cinemalaya Films from 2005 – 2014 at the Pasilyo Vicente Manansala (CCP Second Floor Hallway), special exhibitions that document the story of Cinemalaya’s first decade, and Cinemalaya X Retrospective.

The achievements of Cinemalaya over the past ten years are summed up in the Festival’s theme: A Decade of Connecting Dimensions. The theme highlights Cinemalaya as a flourishing network of individuals, groups and institutions with a common goal of developing and promoting Filipino independent filmmaking.

Cinemalaya is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, Cultural Center of the Philippines and the Ayala Malls Cinemas.  Established in 2005, Cinemalaya is an all-digital film festival and competition that aims to discover, encourage and honor cinematic works of Filipino filmmakers.

For more information about Cinemalaya X, visit, and the Cinemalaya facebook page or call the CCP at tel. no. 832-1125 local 1704-1705. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

A Dance Tribute to Philippine Hero, Apolinario Mabini, by Ballet PH

Ballet Philippines once again presents the story of Apolinario Mabini in dance form in “La Revolucion Filipina” on July 25 and 26 at the CCP.  For those of you who missed it during the 90s, now is your chance.

And because the narration will mostly be danced, you have to understand the symbolisms presented through the eyes  of re-knowned Filipina choreographer Agnes Locsin.  Below is the synopsis of the performance (Libretto by Dennis Marasigan) so you can follow the story as you experience the mood and visual treat of dance.

June 1898. Apolinario Mabini, the “sublime paralytic” of the Philippine Revolution is resting on his hammock by a roadside en route to Kawit, Cavite where Emilio Aguinaldo is set to proclaim the independence from Spain of the whole Philippine archipelago. Mabini believes that declaration to be premature. Aguinaldo disagrees. 

Sometime in the 16th century. A tribe of lowland dwellers go on their daily lives, their bodies seeming to be influences of foreign cultures as they take on new manners and new clothes. Finally, the shadow of Spanish subjugation covers them all. Amidst all this, the figures of Apolinario Mabini, Emilio Aguinaldo, and Andres Bonifacio stand out. 

1890’s. Bonifacio, Mabini, and Aguinaldo become witness to cruelties inflicted on their fellowmen by the Spaniards and by other “indios” of their time. With the inspiration of the muses of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity, Bonifacio forms a secret society called the Kagalang-galangan, Kataas-taasang Katipunan ng mga Anak ng Bayan, or Katipunan. Aguinaldo later joins the secret society. Mabini chooses to side with the reformists. 

With the discovery of the Katipunan, the Revolution begins. The schism among Filipino heightens. Aguinaldo is elected President of the nascent Filipino nation. Bonifacio is tried for treason and killed. Mabini blames Aguinaldo for Bonifacio’s death. The citizens become confused.

The United States of America is drawn into war with Spain. Mabini expresses caution in dealing with the Americans. 

Aguinaldo in exile, instructs three women to sew a flag for the Filipino nation. Aided by the Americans, he returns to declare Philippine Independence. Mabini is asked to become Aguinaldo’s adviser. Mabini guides Aguinaldo in running the government of the fledging nations.
In Malolos, Aguinaldo convenes a Congress that ratifies the Declaration of Independence. The Congress proceeds to form a new Constitution, much against the wishes of Mabini. Aguinaldo is caught between his influential adviser and ilustrado-dominated Congress.  

Spain cedes the Philippines to the United States of America. The Americans who encouraged Aguinaldo show treachery and refuse to recognize the Revolutionary Government. One by one, Aguinaldo allies desert him and join the Americans. The Ilustrados blame the non-recognition of Philippine Independence on the delay in the establishment of the Republic. Aguinaldo contemplates a peaceful settlement with the Americans. Mabini resigns from the Cabinet.
Armed hostilities between the Filipinos and Americans begin. Mabini witnesses the treachery of his fellowmen and the cruelty they inflict on their fellow Filipinos. 

The Americans close in on Aguinaldo as his aides are killed or desert him. In Palanan, Aguinaldo wrongly trusted those whom he thought were dressed as Filipinos to be faithful to the Filipino cause. Aguinaldo is captured and forced to pledge allegiance to the American flag. Aguinaldo becomes witness to the continuing division among Filipinos. He is unable to take any action, paralyzed by his belief that no longer holds any lofty position. Mabini rises from his chair and accuses the present of turning its back on its past. The tribesman must shed his second skin to rediscover his own. Only then can people see what truly makes a nation one.  

For inquiries, visit, send an email to, or call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003.  For tickets and reservations, call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or Ticketworld at 891-9999.

Connect to Ballet Philippines online through the following social media networks:

Twitter:          @balletph
Instagram:      @balletphilippines

Sunday, June 22, 2014

“The Baby Dance” with G Tongi Launches Upstart Soundstage at Century Mall

Media celebrity G Töngi, newly appointed Artistic Director of Upstart Productions, heads the cast of a dramatic reading of the powerful American play The Baby Dance, brought to you by Metrobank Card Corporation. This one-night-only performance held last June 15, 2014 at Century City Mall kicks off an entire series of dramatic readings called Upstart Soundstage. No props, no sets, no costumes—just a different play or musical every other Sunday until September 7 featuring well-known theater personalities and stage directors. 

“Readings like this are very popular in L.A and New York,” declares Töngi, who has timed her birthday celebration to coincide with the first play in the series. Upstart has lined up an impressive array of actors for the project: noted stage and screen personalities Audie Gemora, Noel Trinidad (one of Upstart’s board members), and Töngi herself, along with renowned directors like Anton Juan and Bobby Garcia.  

But will Manila audiences take to the concept of stage shows without any staging? “When you take away the sounds and lights and costumes, you force people to really pay attention,” shares Upstart Productions founder, Joel Trinidad.  Managing Director Onyl Torres, who doubles as the company’s Musical Director and Composer, likens the medium to a radio play. “You get the same emotions, the same human drama,” he says. 

Upstart Soundstage kicks off with Töngi’s birthday celebration: a reading of Jane Anderson’s The Baby Dance, an emotionally charged drama about a suburban couple adopting the unborn baby of a poor couple. Other proposed shows in the series—which will run continuously, every two weeks, in three-month blocks—include Pippin by Stephen Schwartz, Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet, The Seagull by Anton Chekov, Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton, and many others. “A different show every two weeks, at a fraction of the cost of a regular show,” notes Töngi. “Where else can you experience that?”

Upstart Soundstage: The Dramatic Readings. Starting Sunday, June 15, at 7:00 pm at the event space on the 5th floor of Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Makati, and playing continuously every other Sunday from then on. Show schedule may change based on availability of performance rights and other factors. Tickets at P300 each, available at the door. Presented by Metrobank Card Corporation in cooperation with Century City Mall. From Upstart Productions.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Hugo Yonzon Jr. Retrospective at CCP until July 6

Press Update:
The Cultural Center of the Philippines presents the Hugo Yonzon Jr. Retrospective at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery).

Hugo Yonzon Jr. (May 24, 1924 - October 17, 1994) is one of the major artists in post-war Philippine modernist painting. His works in this exhibition, spanning from 1948 to 1994, are mostly in oil, his preferred medium. The viewer might be surprised at the variety of styles in this selection of artworks, chosen at random, owing to the artist’s predisposition to explore rendering techniques and realistic interpretation.

In the 40s and 50s, the paintings were distorted figures and environments, in somber, tertiary colors. In his cubistic approach in the 60s, he used textured surfaces which he himself crafted. In Yonzon’s outputs in the 70s, texture was made using thin bristles, with the oil paint applied thinly with linseed oil. In his final decades, the works were mostly realistic, with predominant touches of sunshine colors.

These were not in phases. Yonzon would go back and forth between his different approaches, creating milestone works. What is constant in his works is the subject matter -- the ordinary people: farmers, fishermen, karetela drivers, and the vendors. To complete the story telling, they are presented within the narrative of myths and history. (Hugo Yonzon III)

The Hugo Yonzon Jr. Retrospective will be on view until July 6, 2014 at the Bulwagang Juan Luna (Main Gallery). Viewing hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 6pm. For more information, contact the CCP Visual Arts and Museum Division, Production and Exhibition Department at telephone numbers (632) 832-1125 to 39 loc. 1504/1505, (632) 832-3702, mobile (63920) 4700690, or email

Flores De Mayo until July 13 at the CCP

Press Update:
The Cultural Center of the Philippines presents Plata Flora by Jandy A. Carvajal at the Pasilyo Victorio Edades until 13 July 2014. PLATA FLORA re-presents the time-honored art of repoussé, a technique for creating reliefs on metal by pressing or hammering its reverse side. The Philippines has remarkable examples of repoussé in santo accessories and carozas, the decoration on kalesas, and surviving pre-Hispanic gold artifacts. All of these continue to inspire visual artist Jandy A. Carvajal. His medium for showcasing repoussé, however, is salvaged aluminum, a more accessible alternative to the metals traditionally used for this art form.

This collection titled PLATA FLORA succinctly alludes to the color and material Carvajal uses for depicting flowers as subjects and motifs. The salvaged aluminum he has been working on is sometimes mistaken for silver due to its shiny gray appearance. This underscores recycling as a method that can be incorporated and maximized in art making.

Depicting fragrant blossoms, orchids, ornamentals, and even wild flowers, PLATA FLORA practically becomes a shimmering procession of bouquets.

Plata Flora will be on view until 13 July 2014 at the Pasilyo Victorio Edades (4F Hallway Gallery). Viewing hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10am - 6pm. For more information, contact the CCP Visual Arts and Museum Division, Production and Exhibition Department at telephone numbers (632) 832-1125 to 39 loc. 1504/1505, (632) 8323702, mobile (63920) 4700690, or email


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