Sunday, February 14, 2016

Romance and Science in Red Turnip’s “Constellations”

JC Santos and Cris Villonco
The very recent discovery of gravitational waves can prove endless possibilities. There is more to what we see right now in our world, universe rather. What if there is life outside earth? What if we can travel through space as fast as we can travel to the toilet when we wake up? What if the future is out there in another world just waiting to happen? What if we don’t do this and we don’t do that?

There are millions of what-ifs in this universe as presented by “Constellations”. This is Red Turnip’s interpretation of Nick Payne’s masterpiece which was first shown with high praises at the Royal Court Upstairs. This love story offers different facets of realities and explores free will and the theory of relativity.
Marianne meets Roland. Or Roland meets Marianne. Or maybe they did not. He asks her out. Or she asks him out. Maybe she declined. Maybe he declined. Maybe he got married to somebody else. Maybe they got married. Maybe they did not.

Three-time Gawad Buhay winner Cris Villonco and Urian nominee JC Santos shine in this probably most exhausting acting on stage. Villonco’s skill is undeniable and Santos’ charm is breathtaking. Their chemistry is astonishing. Constellations is brilliantly directed by Rem Zamora.
Red Turnip’s “Constellations” is currently on stage at the Power Mac Center Spotlight Theater in Circuit Makati.
The Cast and Crew of Constellations.
Verdict: A. Relationship status: It’s complicated as the universe.

Words by Aga Posadas

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Twin Bill Theatre Launches with “Dog Sees God” for Fringe Manila 2016

 
The Cast and Crew of "Dog Sees God."

So what happens to the Peanuts characters when they grow up? Twin Bill Theatre tries to answer this with their premier production, “Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead”.

As an “unauthorized parody”, Bert Royal’s “Dog Sees God” deconstructs Peanuts with tales of bullying, homophobia, violence, sex, drugs and suicide among teenagers. This dark comedy was first staged at the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival.
CB’s (Charlie Brown) dog died. This sad incident made him ask his friends where we go after we die. He then develops a connection with Beethoven, who he called fag when they were younger.  This irked one of CB’s close buddies Matt that led to a violent confrontation. Beethoven committed “suicide”.
Dog Sees God could be a mishmash of different characters but it has its own charm with its humour and mature subjects. The actors could all sound the same but they could entertain.
Twin Bill Theatre aims to produce plays in intimate and unusual venues. Dog Sees God is in a bakery. But no, you can’t throw bread at the actors. You won’t.

Dog Sees God is directed by Steven Conde. CB will be played by Nel Gomez. Vince Lim plays Beethoven and Brian Sy plays Matt. Other members of the cast are Maronne Cruz, Gab Medina, Sarah Facuri, Kathleen Francisco and Camille Velicaria.
This production is also part of the Fringe Manila 2016 which runs from February 10 to 28. Dog Sees God is staged at the Staple and Perk Bakery at Ecoplaza, Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati.

Verdict: B. Bert Royal also wrote the movie Easy A. So there. So fetched. Wait, that was from Mean Girls.

Words By Aga Posadas
Photos by Evo Joel Contrivida


Friday, February 12, 2016

Treat yourself to a different kind of Valentine’s Day date







Catch an evening of entertainment with the Fanzy Notes as they serenade you and your loved one at the Prism Plaza. Some of the bands featured are KA & Z, Kem and Keiko, Lemon Express, Puresounds, Ten O Six Band, Moxie Band, Climax Band, The Juans, Rhythm Manila Band, and DJ Ice.

Valentine’s Day. It is that one day of the year when everybody seems to look out of rose-colored glasses, when chocolates and flowers take the top spot of shopping lists of both the couples and the beautifully single.
Dates are considered serious business during this day of the month. Often, people have the mindset to arrange for the most lavish of celebrations. But what if you are looking for something different than the usual romantic fanfare?
Prism Plaza located in Two E-Com Tower in the Mall of Asia township provides a different kind of Valentine’s Day fun with its slew of restaurants perfect for couple and group dates. More than the usual candlelit dinner, however, Prism Plaza hosts bands to serenade you and your loved one.
Some of the bands featured are KA & Z, Kem and Keiko, Lemon Express, Puresounds, Ten O Six Band, Moxie Band, Climax Band, The Juans, Rhythm Manila Band, Fanzy Notes, and DJ Ice.  Chill back and enjoy a different twist to Valentine’s Day through their catchy tunes and intoxicating energy.
Additionally, Prism Plaza also offers a breathtaking view of the Mall of Asia’s annual Pyromusical competition. Take yourself, your special someone or your friends on a one-of-a-kind pre-Valentine’s Day date by reserving a spot in one of Prism Plaza’s restaurants.
Watch colors decorate the night sky while enjoying a beer or a cup of coffee at Prism Plaza’s airy environment. Afterwards, you can savor the music while enjoying the beautiful nightscape view from your spot.
The yearly competition features international participants from all around the globe. This year, the countries that will light up the night sky will include Portugal, United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, France, and the Philippines.
Even after the celebration of the season of hearts, Prism Plaza is the perfect place to be for those who simply want to kick back and relax. The plaza perfectly combines good food, catchy music, and good ambience amidst the beautiful city nightscape.
You do not need a special reason to treat yourself to a night of fun. Even after the glitter of Valentine’s Day settles, inject a little bit of interest into your usual nightlife by going somewhere fresh and fun.


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Thursday, February 11, 2016

#PhilippineElection2016. Petilla and Lapid for #BayangMatuwid.

We got invited recently for the Yes to Clean Election Forum. They featured the candidates for senatorial race of Liberal Party wherein former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas is the standard bearer.

We were able to listen to the two aspirants for this May elections during the forum that was held at the ground floor of Cybergate Tower 3 in Mandaluyong City last February 6, 2016.  Former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla and former actor and COO of Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Mark Lapid are among who presented their platforms why they want to be senators.
Former Energy Secretary and Senatoriable Jericho Petilla. 
Petilla’s track record includes Ateneo engineering graduate, a former Governor of Leyte and Cabinet official of President Benigno Aquino III under the Department of Energy. On his talks obviously he is more knowledgeable in terms of energy crisis. He told us the price index of different power supplies that the Philippines are using. He also shared his thoughts on using the nuclear power plant and the Malampaya Gas.

Petilla also impressed us on his familiarity about community health problems. He told us that he used to think that Philhealth should be abolished because it is not reliable. But he is now convinced that it is a work in progress and remittance of payments to different hospitals is now faster.

We had a one on one interview with Petilla. We talked about the energy crisis that my beloved province of Palawan. He said that it’s an issue between the contract of power supplier and the cooperative. He believes that the cooperative should enforce what is mandated to its contract in order to resolve the crisis. He also discussed why Palawan is not benefiting from Malampaya Gas, to think it is the cheaper option of power supply that Luzon is now enjoying. He said that Palawan cannot accommodate the watts produced by the gas, and it will be an overboard expense for the people of Palawan if they will buy the gas.

Somehow I was blown away with Petilla’s skills in addressing these kinds of issues, even though we know that it is his work in the past and he should be knowledgeable to it. However he makes a stand and was convincing enough to offer solutions to the problem. I think he will make sense in making laws and bills that the Senate of this country needs. His expertise in local governance up to Cabinet position is a plus factor.
 
Actor and Senatoriable Mark Lapid.
Next speaker is the son of incumbent Senator Manuel Lito Lapid. Mark Lapid is a former Governor of Pampanga and was appointed as Chief Operating officer of TIEZA, a special office under Department of Tourism. Mark, like his father, also ventured into showbiz. He had his own solo action films way back and is now married to former actress Tanya Garcia.

Lapid emphasized on his talks that his main concern in running as senator is to give employment with his background in Tourism. He believes that many people will benefit from this industry. He also discussed local regulations needs polishing in terms of tour guidelines to ensure the safety of the tourists. Nevertheless, he is convinced that the tourism industry of the country is still one of the best high earners for our economy.

He admits that his father’s image in the senate is tagged as the silent leader during plenary sessions. But he told us that his father is not silent in terms of work. He is proud to say that his dad passed many bills on record in the senate. Given a chance he wants to pursue laws regarding free medical checkups for the poor.

The Yes to Clean Election Forum is organized by Y2ML Volunteer Activation Community.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Fusion eating in Payatas, Earl’s Bento & Ramen Bistro.

Pork Teriyaki
Tired of working in the BPO industry for quite long, photo and travel enthusiast turned entrepreneur Earl Dio Dayrit decided to open a small restaurant in Payatas, Quezon City. It offers a variety of cheap meals ranging from Japanese cuisine to homemade pares down to well-loved pasta.
 
Earl Dio Dayrit
The location is pretty unusual for this cuisine. But Earl who was trained from SKD Academy for Culinary Arts wanted to upgrade food service to the community where his family lives. Making food for masses with great tasting experience is his foundation.  He created some secret recipes he himself developed as he embraces the dining public industry.

Among the winning menu offered by Earl are Pork Tonkatsu or popularly known to his venue as Breaded Pork. It’s unique taste with some secret seasoning makes it as one of his best seller. Pork Teriyaki is an added factor with a mala-sosyal presentation. Tonkatsu and Teriyaki come with rice and I’m sure you’ll ask for more. 
Ramen.
The Ramen is also a recommended one. The serving and its broth is something special that everyone would love. Tofu Steak is a different story.  So far, it’s on the top of my list because it really captures your senses.  But what’s really great about Earl’s Bento and Ramen is the affordable price.
Oreo Donuts
Desserts and ice cold type of drinks is also on the go. Churros and Oreo Donuts are best tasting ever. Iced Coffee is also served.  Earl is advocating natural style of cooking, meaning no additives or any non-organic seasonings.
Earl's Bento & Ramen Bistro Menu (As of December 2015)
Located at 50 San Juan Bautista St, Payatas-A, Quezon City. For orders and catering you may contact them at Telephone (02)431-4018. 

Tandem, the motorcycle ride of brothers. (Movie Review)

Brothers Rex and Roman played by JM De Guzman and Nico Antonio.
I remember the lesson in every classic Filipino film way back, “Ang nabubuhay sa patalim, sa patalim din mamamatay”. The latest film “Tandem” is not far from this thought, even though it didn’t orchestrate the usual hero style for its lead star, it is still a hero type of movie in the eyes of a brother.

Tandem is a story of two brothers, in this era of criminals using a motorcycle to steal and even kill in the name of money. One idolizes the other. The kuya shows heart to make his younger brother not be drawn to the realities of life.

Tandem stars JM De Guzman, Nico Antonio, and Rochelle Pangilinan. This is an official entry for the Metro Manila Film Festival New Wave Catergory last December of 2015 under the direction of King Palisoc for Quantum Films along with Tuko Film Productions and Buchi Boy Films. De Guzman was awarded Best Actor for his portrayal in the festival.

There are parts in the film that show slow pacing sequences. However the cast is convincing enough to earn pity at the end. One thing noticeable is the editing and the sound is really at its best. The use of a stray dog that looks like it was shot dead is one poetic value to look for in Palisoc’s first full length feature. Cinematography and the color really match the entire theme of the movie. No doubt, it is the same technical people behind the acclaimed Heneral Luna movie.

If you grew up in the Philippines and you are able to witness the era of action films monopolizing the movie industry in the past, Tandem will give you that feeling where Pinoy action stars are in its glory.

Tandem will return to theatres this February 17 nationwide. 

Friday, February 5, 2016

In this Kaleidoscope World. 3 Stars and a Sun Review.

Not many have noticed that the late Francis Magalona’s music have subversive messages. Maybe people have denied that because Francis M, besides being the Master Rapper, had been swallowed in the shadows of the murky world of Pinoy showbiz. Or maybe not a lot have recognized that rap or hip hop is an art.

Inspired by the Master Rapper’s music, Mixcaela Villalon and Rody Vera formulated the dystopian rap musical 3 Stars and a Sun with the direction of Nor Domingo and musical arrangement of Myke Salomon. This closes PETA’s 48th season after their successful production of Rak of Aegis.
2026, a massive storm changed the world, depleted Mother Nature, created chaos among humans and expunged history. A Stormdome was constructed to save what was left from humanity. Now, 2096, the dome is divided into classes led with corruption that spawned immense poverty. The story revolves around two groups of kids, the rich ones from the glossy and developed Lumino City and the rebels from the rough streets of Diliman City, who call themselves Tropang Gising.

Tropang Gising had been aiming to overthrow the dictatorship inside the Stormdome with several failed attempts. The leader of Lumino City has been victorious in erasing the memories of those inside the dome and making them her slaves. With the conflicts arising, the two groups wonder what’s outside the dome. Why are they so afraid to go out? Will opening the dome change their world?

Sounds familiar? Maybe. Maybe not. You may have heard of this story from recent famous books and films. Or maybe because this is the state of our society.  The rich and powerful ones are the minority, the poor and needy ones the majority. Can the majority change the world? 3 Stars and a Sun ended with that question. This play can create a few goose bumps and can make you think what we have done to our country. It could generate hope among Pinoys just like what Francis M’s music had wished for.

With great cast and minimalistic production design, 3 Stars and a Sun will make you fall in love with Francis M even more. One of the leads in the cast is Bodgie Pascua, alternating with Raffy Tejada, who plays Mang Okik tells the story behind the Stormdome. Yes, Kuya Bodgie raps. Other members of the cast are Carla Guevara-Laforteza, Che Ramos-Cosio, Nicco Manalo, Gold Villar, Nar Cabico, Paolo Valenciano, Gio Gahol, Giannina Ocampo, Justine Pena among others.

3 Stars and a Sun is now showing at the PETA Theater Center at 5 Eymard Drive, New Manila, Quezon City. This will run until Marh 6, 2016 from Tuesdays to Sundays. For tickets and inquiries, you may call (02) 725 6244 or visit petatheater.com and ticketworld.com.ph.
Verdict: B. Most of its entertainment value is from the music. Of course, it’s Francis M.
The Cast and Artistic Team of 3 Stars And A Sun with Ms.Pia Magalona
Words by Aga Posadas
Photos by Evo Joel Contrivida

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Ballet Philippines presents dance from Art works.

Redha and the Ballet Philippine Dancers.
For the first time, Ballet Philippines (BP) is staging a production that collides with artworks. It’s a contemporary dance based on the creations of Gabriel Barredo, an acclaimed Filipino installation artist whose masterpieces are travelling here and abroad.

The show is called “Opera”, which is Barredo’s original exhibition title that opened on January 2015 at Silverlens Galleries in Makati and toured for the opening of the National Gallery Singapore November last year. It’s an array of surreal sculptures that radiates meaning about our human body and how we take care of it. 

BP President Margie Moran informed us that it is one of their most expensive productions with rough estimate of P5Million production cost. “We are looking to collaborate with the art, other forms of art particularly the visual arts. So we thought it’s best to collaborate with Gab Barredo. It’s also his dream to do collaboration with us. This is something new. This is for adults only type of Ballet performance, you need to have a mature mind to understand. You need to use a lot of imagination.” Moran said. 

Doing the Choreography is one of the world’s most travelled choreographers, Redha Benteifour, a notable French artist whose previous repertoires are performed by BP in the past such as Je Tu, Elle, and Les Petits Mots D’Amour. Benteifour is known as the “Unclassifiable Choreographer” and has worked with some of the world’s leading dance companies like Bolshoi Ballet, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The National Ballet of Cuba, Le Jeune Ballet De France, The Het Nationale Ballet and San Francisco Ballet.

BP Artistic Director Paul Morales said that even if it’s a big and expensive production, only 17 dancers from the company are performing. They have a limited run for three days only and it is their mission to present a new kind of art form.

“The music is new. The whole experience is new. It’s like an experiment, even (in the) international (scene) ay hindi pa masyado nagagawa, combining sculpture and dance.”  Morales added. 
The Opera by Gabriel Barredo
Music was provided by Malek Lopez, Libretto by Yvette Tan and Erwin Romulo, costume by James Reyes and videos by Pabrika.

Opera’s cast is headed by Victor Maguad and Eri Sorilla as the Twins, Carissa Adea as the Mother, Denise Parungao as Death, Jean Marc Cordero as the Watcher, and Earl John Arisola as the Creation.  Co-presented by the Embassy of France, it is the closing show of BP’s 46th Season. 

Other sponsors are Globe Platinum, San Miguel Corporation and Belle Corporation. It will be staged at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater) on February 13 and 14 at 1pm and 6pm show. A fundraising gala is scheduled on February 16 at 8pm. For inquiries and tickets visit www.ballet.ph call them at (02)551-1003, or call the CCP Box Office at 832-3704 or Ticketworld at 891-9999.