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Monday, August 14, 2017

More Respect for Cinemalaya 2017 with "RESPETO" Win


Pinoy Hiphop film,  RESPETO, wins top honors with seven awards during the 13th Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival Awards Night on August 13, 2017 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Main Theater.   The film won Best Film, Best Supporting Actor, Best Sound, Best Editing, the 2017 NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asia Pacific Cinema) Award and the Audience Choice Award.

"The movie was about martial law but I am sure no one will watch it if I said so," comments Alberto Monteras II, Director of Respeto.  

Respeto is an exploration of the Pinoy hiphop underground world where a young aspiring rapper and a Martial Law poet cross paths. The film was cited “for its infectious, propulsive energy, its highly convincing cast of characters and very effective ensemble acting, its breathtaking, nearly epic sweep of the underside of Manila, its expert application of the resources of cinema to depict a teenager’s drive to rise above poverty and violence, its cogent melding of contemporary rap and traditional oral literature, and its sheer humanity and coruscating poetry.”


The NETPAC jury praised the film “for tackling the complex issue of human rights violation across two generations, musically connected by the vibrant and socially-conscious use of language.”

Best supporting actor Dido de La Paz was lauded “for his powerful portrayal of an old man haunted by the demons of his past and compelled to adjust to the present.”

Corinne De San Jose garnered the Best Sound award “for the impressive evocation of the din and blare of the underside of Manila, and the effective conjuring of the roar and tumult of the hip-hop underworld” while the Best Editing Award went to Lawrence Ang.

Respeto's Ike Avellana and Baconaua's TM Malones shared the Best Cinematography award for their "powerful application of light and shadow and effective rendering of shots and images."

Respeto bested 8 other films in the Full Length Feature category.  As Best Film winner, Respeto garnered Php350,000 cash award and the Cinemalaya Balanghai trophy.

Joseph Israel Laban’s film Baconaua,  garnered two major prizes---the Special Jury Prize and Best Direction award.

Baconaua, based on an actual story of how one morning after a particularly strong squall, a sleepy fishing village woke up to the astonishing sight of the sea that had turned red, was acclaimed for director Joseph Laban’s “effective summoning of the resources of cinema to depict a sleepy fishing village reeling from the auguries of superstition while confronting the ugly specter of crime and violence.” 

Angeli Bayani won Best Actress for her role in Bagahe by Zig Dulay while Noel Comia Jr.  and Yayo Aguila landed the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress awards respectively for their work in Kiko Boksingero by Thop Nazareno.

Bayani was hailed for her role as an OFW suspected of dumping a newborn child in the trash bin of an airplane toilet; Comia for his heartrending performance of a boy grieving for his mother while trying to win the love of his estranged father; and Aguila for her endearing portrayal of the nanny who tries to soothe her ward’s loneliness.

Bagahe also won the Best Screenplay award for Zig Dulay while Kiko Boksingero bagged Best Musical Score for Pepe Manikan.  Nabubulok won Best Production Design for Marxie Maolen Fadul.

In the short feature category, the Best Film award went to Hilom by P.R. Patindol while Fatima Marie Torres and the Invasion of Space Shuttle Pinas 25 by Carlo Francisco Manatad won the Special Jury Prize.  Aliens Ata by Karl Glenn Barit scooped up the 2017 NETPAC Award; Best Direction went to E Del Mundo for her Manong ng Pa-Aling and Duwi Monteagudo won Best Screenplay for Bawod.  The Audience Choice Award was given to Marvin Cabangunay and Jaynus Olaivar’s Nakauwi Na.  Best Short Film winner Hilom won Php150,000 cash award and the Cinemalaya Balanghai trophy.

In this year’s Cinemalaya, nine films competed in the Full Length Feature category.  These were:  Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa (My Teacher Who Doesn’t Know How To Read) by Perry Escaño; Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha (The Family That Doesn’t Weep) by Mes de Guzman; Baconaua by Joseph Israel Laban; Bagahe(The Baggage) by Zig Dulay; Nabubulok (The Decaying) by Sonny Calvento; Kiko Boksingero by Thop Nazareno;Requited by Nerissa Picadizo; Respeto by Alberto Monteras II; and, Sa Gabing Nanahimik ang mga Kuliglig(Clouds of Plague) by Iar Lionel Benjamin Arondaing.

For the first time in Cinemalaya history, there were 12 short films, instead of the usual 10, that competed. These were:  Aliens Ata (Maybe Aliens) by Karl Glenn Barit; Bawod (Bent) by TM Malones; Fatima Marie Torres and the Invasion of Space Shuttle Pinas 25 by Carlo Francisco Manatad; Hilom (Still) by P.R. Patindol; Islabodan (Free Men) by Juan Carlo Tarobal; Juana and the Sacred Shores by Antonne Santiago; Lola Loleng (Grandma Loleng) by Jean Cheryl Tagyamon; Manong ng Pa-Aling (Man of Pa-Aling) by E del Mundo; Maria by JP Habac Jr.;Nakauwi Na by Marvin Cabangunay and Jaynus Olaivar; Nakaw by Arvin Belarmino and Noel Escondo; and Sorry For The Inconvenience by Carl Adrian Chavez.

Members of the Main Competition Jury were Padmashri Dr. Girish Kasaravalli, Freddie Wong, Sheron Dayoc, Lee Briones-Meily and Joselito “Lito” B. Zulueta. 

In the NETPAC Jury were Ismail Basbeth, Tsengel Davaasambuu and Ricardo Lee.

Now on its 13th year, Cinemalaya has supported and promoted the production of 136 full feature independent films and 116 short films. Many of these films have won awards in local and international competitions and festivals. Through the annual festival, Cinemalaya has showcased over 1,000 works by independent filmmakers including full feature films, shorts, documentaries, Filipino film classics, and art films. Cinemalaya this year was held at the CCP and Ayala Theaters in Greenbelt 3 and Glorietta, Makati, Fairview Terraces, TriNoma, and UP Town Center, Quezon City, and Marquee Mall in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Cinemalaya is a project of the Cinemalaya Foundation, the Cultural Center of the Philippines in partnership with 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.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Light Up CCP for Christmas

Press Announcement: 
THE Cultural Center of the Philippines and OMNI (Yatai International Corporation) is proud to announce the re-invention of the annual HOLIDAY LIGHT INSTALLATION COMPETITION for its second run in 2017. The competition marks another exciting partnership between the CCP and OMNI, as they strive to elevate Philippine lantern-making technology by giving artists and crafts people alike the chance to create an outdoor light installation in the CCP grounds.

The competition calls for all interested artists, crafts people, designers, and engineers, jointly or severally, to submit a proposal for an outdoor site-specific art installation at the CCP. The competition aims to find an attractive and inspiring lighting solution to illuminate the CCP Liwasang Asean Park for the 2017 holiday season, using traditional Filipino lantern-making technology. The installation must be innovative and unique, and must reflect the theme of “Paskong Pinoy”. The mechanics and criteria of the competition may be found at the CCP website (www.culturalcenter.gov.ph).
The competition is open to everyone over 18 years of age. Applications must be submitted via email by 5pm of August 29, 2017. Proposals will be evaluated based on the following: originality and innovativeness, feasibility of the implementation, ties to the theme and to both the CCP and Omni’s institutional mandates, appropriateness to the surroundings and eco-friendliness. Omni, through the CCP, shall provide a grant of five hundred and fifty thousand pesos (Php550,000) to produce the winning proposal.
For inquiries, please call CCP Visual Arts & Museum Division, Production & Exhibition Department at landlines (632) 832-1125 local 1504/1505, or (632) 832-3702, or contact Phillip at mobile (0906-4803330), email (ccp.omni.competition@gmail.com).

Thursday, August 3, 2017

PPO's 35th Concert Season Begins for 2017-2018


Press Announcement:
THE Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) will hold its 35th Concert Season for 2017-2018 under the baton of Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura at the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Main Theater at 8:00pm.  

Billed as “Romancing the Classics”, the season opens on September 15, 2017 with pianist Yury Shadrin as soloist. The programme includes G. Rossini’s Il Viaggio a Reims Overture, F. Liszt’s Piano Concerto No.1 in E-flat, and S. Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No.2 in E minor. As a soloist with orchestras, as well as in solo recitals, Russian-born pianist Yury Shadrin is widely known through South America, Asia, and the United States as a formidable young talent.

Noted cellist Ray Wang is the next soloist in the PPO’s concert on October 13. Programme consists of W.A. Mozart’s Symphony No. 32 in G, E. Lalo’s Cello Concerto in D minor, and I. Stravinsky’s Petrushka (Complete Ballet). Ray Wang has performed throughout the musical centers and festivals in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. He is a founding member of the Hong Kong Virtuosi, Canzone Trio and New Art String Quartet in Hong Kong

Filipino saxophonist Tots Tolentino performs on November 17 with the PPO under the baton of Filipino conductor Gerard Salonga. The program features G. Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, J. Williams’ Catch me if you can escapades and A. Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 in E minor “From the New World”. Tots Tolentino is said to be the most distinct and influential sax sound in the Philippines today.  He currently heads the Jazz Studies program at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila, spreading the gospel of jazz to today’s youth.

Come December 15, Uruguayan guitarist Eduardo Fernández performs with the PPO. The program includes C. Debussy’s La Mer, J. Rodrigo’s Fantasia para un Gentilhombre, M. Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales and Bolero.  Recognized as one of today’s leading guitarists, Eduardo Fernández is active as a teacher, as well as being very much in demand for masterclasses and lectures all around the world. He has written a major book on guitar technique, a book on Bach’s lute music, and many articles in leading guitar publications.

Welcoming the New Year is Filipino trombone player Ricson Poonin as he performs with the PPO under the baton of Maestro Herminigildo Ranera on January 19, 2018.  Program is comprised of M.P.Maramba OSB’s Symphony Ode ''La Naval'', F. David’s Trombone Concertino in E-flat, and P. Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No.6 in B minor ''Pathetique''.  A member of the PPO, Ricson earned his Master of Music in trombone performance and received the James Winship Lewis Memorial Prize Performance Award at the Peabody Conservatory. He actively performs as the principal trombonist of the Peabody Concert Orchestra and the co-principal trombonist of the Peabody Symphony Orchestra.

Greek conductor Stefanos Tsialis will lead the Orchestra on February 16 with an exciting program consisting of N. Skalkottas’ 5 Greek Dances, B. Smetana’s Sarka from ''My Country'' and D. Shostakovich’s Symphony No.5.  Stefanos Tsialis has been the chief conductor and artistic director of the Athens State Orchestra since 2014. He has worked with over 70 orchestras in many EU countries as well as in Canada, Cuba, Russia, South Africa, Turkey and the USA.

Filipino pianists Raul Sunico and Ingrid Santamaria perform with PPO under the helm of Maestro Yoshikazu Fukumura on March 16. The program includes T. Takemitsu’s Requiem for String Orchestra, F. Mendelssohn’s Concerto for 2 Pianos and Orchestra in A-flat and F. Schubert’s Symphony No.9 in C ''The Great''.  Sunico is one of the 1986 Outstanding Young Men Awardees for Arts and Music, and he has performed with many of the most prestigious Orchestras in the world. He has earned international recognition not only as a concert pianist, but also as a composer-arranger and promoter in the world of Philippine music.  Ingrid was a regular piano soloist in Concert at the Park, a nationally televised cultural program broadcast from Manila’s Rizal Park, since its initial concert in 1978 up to 1986. She received various honors, among them, the Hall of Fame award from the Performing Arts League in Crestwood, Florida, USA; "Who is Who" in Asia documentary feature by NHK Television, Japan; "One of the 100 Most Notable Cebuanos of the Century" award; and from the French government; Chevalier, Ordre des Palmas Academiques; and Chevalier, Ordre du Merite Nationale.

The PPO concert series closes on April 13, 2018 with Filipino trumpet player Raymund De Leon. The program consists of F. Delius’ A Walk to the Paradise Garden, J. Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, and M. de Falla’s El Sombrero de Tres Picos (Complete Ballet). Raymund De Leon has won three First Prize awards in the National Music Competition for Young Artists (NAMCYA) in Manila, Philippines. Raymond has performed and toured in Europe, U.S.A., and Asia with international orchestra players and competed in international music competitions.

For inquiries and reservations, call the CCP Box Office (832-3704), TicketWorld (891-9999) or visit www.culturalcenter.gov.ph.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Big Sale, Big Brands,Big Deal at the 2017 Great Singapore Sale

Press Update:
Shopping fashionistas can score exclusive finds at the Great Singapore Sale (GSS), Asia’s biggest shopping extravaganza, as it continues until August 13. Presented by the Singapore Retailers Association (SRA) and Singapore Tourism Board (STB), it offers the best deals and bargains from the hottest brands, making every shopaholic’s dreams come true.
“Singapore is truly a shopper’s haven and once more, the Great Singapore Sale welcomes our visitors to experience the biggest shopping spree in Southeast Asia,” said Lael Loh, STB Area Director for Philippines.

Fill your shopping bags with the best finds
First things first, for shoppers heading into the GSS, remember that prices can drop to as low as 70% from the hundreds of participating brands such as Oakley, GoPro, LEVI’S, Dockers, ALDO, Pandora, Ralph Lauren Home, Lacoste, Quicksilver, Nike, Tempur, TISSOT, VANS, TOPMAN, TOPSHOP, Dorothy Perkins, and a whole lot more.

Indeed, stretching those Singapore dollars is what one can expect as a line-up of just about everything is up for grabs—even spa treatments, dining offerings, and accommodations from luxurious and quirky boutique hotels are available for that holistic lifestyle pampering experience.

A complete, hassle-free shopping experience
With two months-worth of activities and a dizzying array of participating merchants, one should know the must-dos, must-haves, and must-sees to fully appreciate this immersive shopping experience.

For cashless transactions, UnionPay International cards come in handy. Not only is it the official card partner of GSS, it also allows shoppers to score exclusive offers from big brands such as Kate Spad0e, Michael Kors, Tumi, and Victoria’s Secret.

Going on a shopping spree becomes even more convenient with the newly-rebooted GoSpree app, which provides a comprehensive list of GSS retail and service stores, shopping malls, dining outlets, attractions, leisure activities, and hotels.

With the GoSpree app, shoppers can also browse for amazing deals such as $500,000-worth (P18 million) of eCoupons that include 1-for-1 treats, additional 20% off sale items, and buy-2-get-1-free offers.

Shoppers also stand to win great prizes simply by shopping! From May 26 to August 13, a minimum of $30 (P1,070) single-receipt purchase at participating stores will give shoppers the chance to win $300,000-worth (P10.7 million) of vouchers, household appliances, gadgets, and even a brand-new Subaru Impreza or a Nissan Pulsar, in exciting weekly draws under the Shop & Win promo by the Singapore Press Holdings. Shoppers can also double the chances of winning these exciting prizes using their UnionPay credit cards.

Local goods to cop
Popular Singaporean brands are also something shoppers should watch out for. Benjamin Barker, creators of suave bespoke men’s apparel, will have every fine gentleman beaming over items they need for a dapper wardrobe, while Pedro’s exquisite shoes and accessories for both ladies and men will fill a collection that’s fit for any occasion. For a true taste of local, artisanal craftsmanship, Museum Label offers well-designed merchandise that gives life to Singapore’s rich culture and heritage.

Naiise, which showcases over 15,000 locally-made items from more than 890 emerging and established local and international brands, is set to tease shoppers with one-of-a-kind pieces, from quirky souvenirs and stationaries, to accessories and household products—essentially, everything that one needs as a reminder of Singapore and the Great Singapore Sale experience.

“The Great Singapore Sale has always been a highlight in Singapore’s events calendar. Together with SRA and other partners, we have added new components this year to enhance the overall shopping experience, so that our returning visitors and new-comers can enjoy a retail experience like no other,” said Edward Koh, STB Executive Director for Southeast Asia.

With all these at hand, one can truly experience the greatness of the Great Singapore Sale. And with an endless supply of exciting events and fun-filled activities, Singapore is truly a destination where one can not only hunt for great bargains, but create memorable and new experiences. For more information on Singapore’s line-up of offerings, please visit www.visitsingapore.com.

Seda Vertis North Hotel Room Promo


Take advantage of the Seda Vertis North's Great Deal Promo and spend an overnight or two at the largest and premier hotel located in Quezon City!
You can get stylish accommodation and seamless service​ in a Deluxe Room at PHP ​4,480 ​++ per night or Premier Room at PHP ​6,480++ per night including buffet breakfast for two (2) at Misto, complimentary internet access, and complimentary use of pool, gym and e-lounge.
Few rooms left under this offer. Hurry, book now! Visit http://bit.ly/2umviJ5 to get instant confirmation.

Seda Vertis North is located at Astra cor. Lux Dr., Vertis North, Quezon City. #SedaVertisNorth

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Your Highness Presents Ballet in a Bold New Way

Catch a glimpse of what the world will see from our Philippine ballet dancers and Filipina International choreographer Eisa  Jocson.  Deconstructing ballet, and re-creating a new form of dancing with vocal expressions by the dancers.  Soft then hard movements, smooth flow climaxing to tension.  


Manila-based choreographer Eisa Jocson has created "YOUR HIGHNESS"--- a dance piece with five young dancers of the Ballet Philippines where the classically trained dancers masterly alternate between stylized Disney gestures and standards of ballet classics like Giselle,The Sleeping Beauty and Swan Lake –and explore the fine line between portrayals of happiness through ballet history and princess archetypes in a globalized entertainment industry.


The depiction of the story and message about the dancers, their dreams, and the exodus to another country is a combination of ballet grace, vocal sounds and unexpected dance disruptions.   This new fusion of dance and sound in ballet is art in a curious, exploratory, jolting form.   The silent storytelling of ballet is injected with vocal expressions that add to the mood and tension, a new way to watch a ballet.  Breaking boundaries and creating new art in dance seem to be the goal of Eisa as she disregards the rules of ballet and make her dancers speak out their feelings and frustration.  

Don't miss the world premiere of "Your Highness” on July 27 (8pm) and 28 (3pm, 8pm) at the CCP Little Theater, and will be performed at several major European performing arts festivals from August to September 2017.

Connect to Ballet Philippines online through the following social media networks:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/balletphilippines
Twitter: @balletph
Instagram: @balletphilippines
YouTube: balletph
For tickets, call Ballet Philippines at (+632) 551-1003, the CCP Box Office at (+632) 832-3704, or Ticketworld at (+632) 891-9999.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

New CCP President, Actor-Director Nick Lizaso, Prioritize Employee Salary and Health Benefits


Meet the new president of CCP for 2017. The media had a chance to get to know him better last July 4, 2017 during a presscon with tour of the CCP premises for new media reps and updates. Itt was evident that he had a heart for the staff and the disadvantaged as he pointed out his priorities for the year. First on his list is to help raise the salary of the employees followed with providing them with better health benefits. The plight of the artists is nothing new to media and perhaps to most who belong to the same industry. They are motivated by passion regardless of compensation amount which oftentimes is not enough to provide for their daily needs.
 
By developing skills to world-class level and giving them proper exposure to the public, CCP has no doubt helped many artists despite limitations in providing higher wages. But this year CCP hopes to improve the compensation packages of these devoted and hard-working artists.by developing their facilities to entice the public to patronize their cultural performances more often.

Contrary to public perception, CCP is not for the rich alone. Several free entrance programs and lectures may not have been widely announced and circulated but they are available for students and the public in general, just visit their website. The only thing that they expect from their guests is to be considerate when it comes to noise, keep the surroundings clean, and avoid touching delicate displays or handle their property with care. Unfortunately this is something that not many students and some sectors of society are aware of, and they have to be told time and again. Sadly, theater audiences have to be told to turn off their noisy mobiles and stop talking and making noise during a performance. This is where education and breeding needs to be improved. I'm really hoping this reaches that particular, stubborn members of the audience. CCP is a haven for artists and the public to enjoy the arts, whether it be dancing, music, theater, exhibits or other forms of art.

Fortunately, CCP is developing their online presence to reach a wider crowd. Various Philippine regional cultures are now easier to share and learn more about with the development of CCP's digital presentations such as the CCP encyclopedia among other ongoing projects.

About the New CCP President:
THEATER actor, television and film director Arsenio “Nick” J. Lizaso was officially elected by the CCP Board of Trustees on June 13, 2017.  Lizaso has been with the CCP as member of the Board of Trustees since 2010.
 
Steeped in Western and Filipino literary classics, Nick Lizaso joined the Filipino film industry with a formidable background as a theater actor and director.  He was a recipient of the British Council Grant Attachment with the Nottingham Playhouse and the Royal Shakespeare Company (London and Stratford-on Avon), as well as a Fullbright-Hayes Travel Grant to the U.S. on theater arts, film and television.  A leading figure in the Directors Guild of the Philippines, he was President of the Guild from 1983 to 1985.


Born in Santa Maria, Bulacan, hometown of the King of Balagtasan Jose Corazon de Jesus, his maternal grandfather, Nick has played and continues to “play many parts”, using Shakespearean language, not only as an actor on stage and TV, but as an active educator and advocate of community engagement in the arts. His expertise in theater has been honed at the Nottingham Playhouse and the Royal Shakespeare Company (London and Stratford-on Avon) and as a Fullbright-Hayes scholarship grantee in the U.S. He is a recipient of several awards including Dangal ng Lipi Award in the field of Theater Arts (1999) from the City of Manila, Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Arts (1995), Patnubay ng Sining at Kalinangan (1995) from his hometown Sta. Maria, Bulacan.

In July 2011, Nick almost single-handedly organized the 1st Philippine International University Theater Association Festival / Conference / Workshops, a 5-day international event wherein 24 foreign theater experts and educators conducted workshops and gave lectures at Miriam College in Quezon City, attended by around 150 teachers and students.



In recent years, he has also represented the Philippines in international theater events as a member of the Executive Committee of the International University Theater Association or IUTA, a unique forum where teachers, practitioners, creators, scholars and theorists from over 1,000 universities and colleges based in 50 member countries share discoveries and discuss common concerns in the field of theater and performing arts. He is also a Vice-President of the Theater Education and Training Committee of the International Theater Institute-UNESCO.


Lizaso’s participation in international congresses and workshops affords him the opportunity “to share with others the unique perspective of the Asian, specifically Filipino creative artists involved in theater and the performing arts.” Like a silent unseen stage hand, Nick is doing his share of keeping Philippine theater alive by connecting it with other theaters of other countries, hoping to infuse it with fresh insights, new blood, new trends.


Nick’s other personal advocacy is teacher empowerment, organizing workshops focused on teacher development, infusing theater techniques to teaching to bring life to the classroom. He has conducted workshops in such places as Tagum City in Davao, Puerto Princesa City, Legaspi City. His most recent teacher development workshop was held for 5 days in November 2015 at the Rizal Memorial Colleges in Davao City.


In addition to the different outreach performances that the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra has done over the years, Lizaso has supported the performances of the PPO in a cross section of Philippine society from medical institutions to the Greenhills business area.


Aside from community engagement activities, Lizaso also organized a free seminar about Mabini, entitled “The Last Filipino” at Club Filipino in Greenhills.

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