Thursday, August 25, 2016

BGC Hostel, Being Good at your own Comfort.

For those travelling to Metro Manila particularly attending any events in Makati City, or just simply touring around and your budget is a priority, don’t waste so much for high end accommodations where most of your time is spend outside the City. Try this newest boutique hostel that offer privacy even  on a dormitory type. 
This is BGC Hostel, located at 2855 Danlig St, Pinagkaisahan in Makati City, it’s near Kalayaan Avenue and a stone away to EDSA. This 54 bed hostel started its operation October of 2015, and from then it is now a favorite hub for most travelers from abroad and from the provinces. It is also a walk away from the bustling Bonifacio Global City, but they want to clear that it is not inside the vicinity of Fort Bonifacio.
Gerard, one of the Receptionist in BGC Hostel told us that the meaning of BGC is Be Good Comfort, and they are not making a ride to the popularity of the famous Bonifacio City, it could be a coincidence after all.
Photos by Lee Rosales.
They have around 7 rooms with beds surrounded with curtains to cover up and give you privacy, private locker is also provided for your belongings. A mini Kitchen is also open to any guest, such as Microwave oven, Oven toaster, as well as Hot and Cold water.  A mini Canteen is adjacent to the building that offer lunch and dinner. 
The air-conditioning system is very good, hot and cold shower, and free wifi connection are all available for your own good. BGC Hostel is also proud of their security force that is available 24 hours a day, and CCTV Cameras are also installed to give more protection.
Aside from the usual dorm type room usually 8 beds per room, they offer discounts for longer stay like for a month at P9,000, and a Dormitory for ladies is at the third floor for P4,000 per month.  Everyday charge is P499.

A walk –in or to be sure make a reservation early via their Facebook page, or at http://www.bgchostel.ph/ can be arrange, or you may call them at Tel Nos. (02)822-7514. BGC also have branches in Quezon City and in Manila as well. 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Firebird to opens 47th Season of Ballet Philippines.

Ballet Philippines 47th Season Team.
The Country’s leading classical and contemporary dance company, Ballet Philippines is now opening their 47th Season with a theme of Wings, and to soar high on its initial offering, the revisited Firebird is making a comeback in Cultural Center of the Philippines, starting August 19 to 21.

Firebird and Other Ballets is a collaboration project with a lot of artist from costume designer to top notch choreographer up to musical side. It show pieces by David Campos, Dwight Rodrigazo and Carlos Pacis, with the choreography by Russian-born George Birkadze. The impressive costumes is created by Mark Lewis Higgins
BP President Margie Moran and BP Artistic Director Paul Morales.
“As human beings we always think of this wing creatures like angels, because we want to aspire to go high so that we can fly, that’s why we name this season as wings.” Paul Morales, BP Artistic Director said.
The Mythical Firebird.
Firebird is a neo classical mixed and to be presented as a Filipino inspired, while the other ballets are “Nenelehdej by Spanish Choreographer Campos, and Moving Two by Rodrigazo, and the Shifting Wait by Pacis, a modern dance that won Gawad Buhay.
Firebird Casts.
Firebird and other ballets runs only for one weekend, August 19 show is at 8pm, August 20 and 21 is at 6pm. It is one of the iconic production of BP in the 70’s that launch the career of Filipina Ballerina Edna Vida Froilan.
Shifting Wait.
For 47th season the lined up is already announce, its include Bagong Sayaw on Sept 9 to 18 at CCP Studio Theater, Crisostomo Ibarra back to back with Simoun on Oct 21-23 at CCP Main Theater. Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko on December 2-11, and the full length  production of “Swan Lake” as the closing performance scheduled on Feb 24 to March 5 also in the main theatre.

For tickets inquiry you can visit at www.ballet.ph, email info@ballet.ph or call Ballet Philippines at 551-1003. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Comedy Concert Queen meet Asia’s Nightingale in one pasiklaban night.

Lani Misalucha (on Laptop) and Aiai Delas Alas.
After almost 6 years of hiatus in concert scene, the undisputed Comedy Queen is now returning on stage for a concert with Lani Misalucha come Sept 17 at the Kia Theater, under the direction of Floy Quintos and musical direction by Jimmy Antiporda.

During the presscon called by DSL Events and Production House Inc, Ai-ai admit that it is the first time for her and Lani to be on same stage, people can expect a showdown that will bring the house down as they exchange comedy spiels and of course, singing showdown that only internationally known performer Lani can deliver, definitely Ai-Ai will not be left behind since she has her own style to get the attention of the crowd.

The said show will mark as the pre-celebration of Lani for her 20th year anniversary in music industry, what Ai-Ai promise that people need to see is the surprise number of her with Lani and some gorgeous guys in showbiz, in this part she will teach Lani the “hipo” trademark she is doing in her past concerts.

Lani is not present at the said launching physically, because she is on the live streaming all the way from Las Vegas, on her live feed Lani can’t hold the excitement and look forward to the said show and assure everyone that it is gonna be a funfilled event in the concert scene.
Delas-Alas also dismisses notion that she or Lani cannot fill up big venues that’s why they are doing the concert only at the 5,000 seating capacity Kia Theater, she said that it’s a must for every performer to try or break new venues like Kia, and it’s the show that’s important after all.

The AI Meets Lani: Lani May Ai? Is being supported by Cebuana Lhuiller, Glutamax, Energy 106.7 FM, Crossover and Jet 7 Bistro. Ticket Prices are SVIP –Php6,180.00;  VIP 1   Php4,495.00; VIP 2   Php3,935.00 Orchestra  Php2,360.00 and Balcony – Php1,125.00.

For ticket reservation or inquiries, please call DSL Events and Production House Office (02) 659 3474/ (0918)563781, (0933)5198118 or visit DSL at www.dsleventsandproductionhouse.com and Facebook.com/dsleventsandproductionhouse, Ticketnet (02) 9115555 or visit www.ticketnet.com.ph  

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Lance So and The Vienna Boys Choir Live in Manila.

The Alumni Association of Xavier School is bringing back in Manila the world renown Vienna Boys Choir, the Austrian base choir that was started way back middle ages, come November 11 at PICC Plenary Hall at 8 in the evening.
The VBC is considered one of the oldest choir in the world with Alto and Sopranos members, their records show works with music legends and masters such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Caldara, Antonio Saliere, Christoph Willibald and Anton Bruckner.

The choir is divided into four group or touring choirs named after famous Austrian composers, and the one coming to Manila is the Brucknerchor Group with 22 boys plus two probationers. Most of this boys are from Vienna, Lower Austria, Burgenland, and Styria. Their international members are from Canada, China, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Russia and from the Philippines.
The first South East Asian member from Philippines is Lance So, the first son of two Filipinos who work in Shanghai, China. Lance on his 5th Grade was sent by his school in Shanghai to Vienna for 2 week summer camp in 2015 wherein they were given a chance to sing with VBC, after that Mr.Gerald Wirth, VBC head ask Lance and his parents to join the said singing group.
The one night concert is also supported by the Austrian Embassy to Manila, this is the second time that VBC is having a concert in the Philippines, and the first time is in 2004.  VBC usually sing songs from classic to modern pop, but mostly they are performing songs from Catholic holy mass, they are also touring the world with at least 300 concerts per year.
“People here in Manila will hear a great concert, where just young boys that can sing really nice, even professional sing, I think People will enjoy it. For most of them, it’s their first time in Philippines, first time in Asia, it will be a great experience.” Lance said during our interview. 
For more information please check www.facebook.com/viennaboyschoirliveinmanila2016 and for tickets contact Ticketworld at Tel Nos. (02)891-9999 or visit www.ticketworld.com.ph


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Philippine Handicrafts Association discusses effects of Climate Change.

Handicrafts that usually serve as souvenirs in many travels, as well as decorations in the house or personal adornment largely are base from agriculture or from forest products.  This things now a days are also affected by the changing climates, many of which are having difficulties in gathering raw materials due to some development, that results to low productions to which many communities in the country are depending on it.

These are the issues raise during the one day forum on Resilience-building & Fair trade strategies in livelihood development, last July 28 at Discovery suites in Ortigas Center in Pasig City. It is organise by Community Crafts Association of the Philippines (CCAP), a Livelihood base non stock and non profit organization registered in 1973 that aims to assist marginalized craft producers in developing their product to a world class quality. They are also behind the Fair trade for Development, Inc, a business organization that owns Likhang Atin fair.

The forum give time to its established communities in different areas in the country, the problem they are facing in getting materials from the forest, the quality of it that suffers due to climate change. And also some concerns due to development of former forested areas to subdivisions by some real state developers.

Jessica Dator-Bercilla, a climate Fellow from Manila Observatory discusses the effects of changing times, she also give importance on how we can help heal the earth by giving tips and suggestions that can be useful to communities. Primarily she said that aside from handicrafts being affected by this change, it’s the health of individual that usually suffer.
Ms. Sandy Gomez from Climate Change Commission, and Ms.Jessica Dator-Bercilla of Manila Observatory.
During open forums more issues are being raised, from the awareness up to being resourceful in making lives better.

CCAP Executive Director Voltaire Alferez head the said one day forum, that serve also the launching of Business Development Services Program, where CCAP and other business experts unite in providing assistance to communities.

For more details and information, please check www.ccapfairtrade.com and www.ccapfairtrade.com or contact CCAP at Tel Nos. (02)712-2160 or email them at ccap@ccapfairtrade.com

IsrAID expanding its activity in the Philippines.

IsrAID Philippines Country Manager Netanel Nisan discusses accomplishment of IsrAID in Ormoc.
Barely two years in operation in the Philippines, the sole NGO flagship carrier of Israel is now on the verge of expanding its activity, they come in Ormoc and Tacloban within 48 hours after Typhoon Yolanda hit and devastated the place, they immediately conduct medical assistance and relief operations, and since then they choose to stay.

IsraAID started in 2011 and they are in more than 35 countries in the world now, they are getting funds from different sectors that believe in their causes.  Among their programs for disaster stricken areas are mental health and psycho social support, family counselling program, food security and agriculture, livelihood programs, trainings with partners from academe community, identifying water resources, farmers cooperative and teaching Israeli irrigation water system, that they claim is one of their biggest contribution in agriculture.

On a conference at Barbara’s in Intramuros, Netanel Nisan, IsraAID Philippines Country Director  inform us that there is more that they can contribute in nation building, helping communities to stand up from any turmoil, and they are now in the situation of reaching other areas of the Philippines and extending assistance that they are best at.

“We have very successful program in Ormoc, and we want to duplicate it to other places, and to expand our activity as much as possible.” Nisan said.

Nisan himself admit that he likes staying in the country, he find working here and sharing their programs a joy of a lifetime, he also clarify that even they carry their country name Israel, they are not a Government support. As a NGO their funding usually are coming from donors all over the world, and even private companies here in the Philippines are giving them support.

“Immediately when I landed in this country, I fell in love with the country and the people, it’s a greatest experience, of course there are cultural gap that we need to overcome, but as I experience in our program in Ormoc, we get along very well.”
Nisan is join by Ms.Barbara Gordon-Delos Reyes in talks about IsrAID.
IsrAID didn’t disclose to us yet where and what Cities or provinces in the Philippines they are extending their programs, it is a work in progress as of now since talks and negotiations are ongoing.  Nisan also clarify some notions that NGO’s like IsrAID are just tolerating some people in stress areas by giving foods, they are more than that.

“We don’t feed anyone, we bring some technologies, but we don’t just bring equipments, we also bring knowledge that will stay here, and we also teach them how to rely on themselves, to be responsible for their future, we won’t be here forever, they need to save money, we are working with them.” Nisan said in closing.
IsrAID Philippines Board of Directors, David Santos, Ms.Barbara and Netanel.
For more information about IsrAID join them in facebook.com/IsrAIDPhilippines or thru their site www.israaid.co.il and for donations go to isrAID.org/Donate .

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Transform like St.Ignacio De Loyola. Film Review

Growing up in a Catholic school make me used to in watching religious films, from holy stories of the bible to the life of saints. Most of them I must say made you feel like attending a Holy mass, or should I say listening to the sermon of the priest.

But this Ignacio De Loyola is very far and different, at first there is clamor that it is stylized as mala-Hollywood one when the trailer came out, I myself was amazed and didn’t realize that it is a Filipino production behind it, from the treatment itself and of course the casts anybody will think that it is foreign group that produce it.

Will it is not, Jesuit Communications along with Paolo Dy are the people who created this magnificent film about the founder of Society of Jesus, and of course the Ateneo De Manila University. The film focus on Loyola’s life in Spain, as a Kid, as a soldier, a sinner and to his transformation to sainthood.

Almost of the entire movie you will see the Godly face of Andreas Munoz, the Spanish actor portraying Inigo or better known as St.Ignatius, there are part that I was thinking that he could pass playing Jesus Christ, his angelic face is so refreshing to the screen and with his compelling acting, you may wish to do a retreat right away after watching.
Actual costumes used in the film.
Technically it is brilliant, the Cinematography are awesome, the last scene at the border of Spain and France really make me wish to travel and see how beautiful it is, even the costumes and those castles add to the feeling that you are in that era.  The Computer generated effects at the scene where Ignatius is being confronted by his past and present in a scary place is a part you shouldn’t miss, that scenes are truly great, however I’m kinda feed up for many times where flashback scenes is happening, it is understand that it is needed somehow in the story but I find it repetitive in some ways.

With a budget of P50 Million it is truly worth it, with the high end camera that results to beautiful people and sceneries, the CGI, and the musical scoring I must say are all world class and really worth your time and money.

After the screening last July 24, 2016 at Gateway Dolby Atmos Cinema, we had a chance to chat a little with Director Paolo Dy, we talk about how the struggles in making this historic film, of course it is a budget first that they have to deal, however he is convince that somebody divine above is making a way for them to get all they want in order to complete his debut movie.

“It’s just amazing, everytime we watch it feels like a triumph and a blessing, and there is someone guiding us, someone greater.” Dy said.

Dy also discuss to us some plot they really wish the movie would end, some critics are also asking why St. Francis Xavier was not given much attention, of course it is the story of St. Ignacio but many believe he is a bigger picture in the life of Inigo, Dy said St. Francis is another story to tell, it is where Loyola story end and Xavier story begin.

“The fairy tale version is, he got hit by a cannon ball, while he was recuperating he read a book, and suddenly he transforms already. That will work if your 5, 6 or 7 years old, but for an adult audience you need something deeper, and I do believe as a very human story, this is how we want to tell, talk about the transformation, its real and somehow you can see yourself in that attempt to transform your life.” Dy said in closing.

Ignacio De Loyola opens in Cinema last July 27 nationwide, it is also expected to join some prestigious Film Festivals abroad. For more information you may check facebook.com/ignaciomovie or follow them in twitter and Instagram via ignaciomovie . 

Monday, August 1, 2016

It’s identity for Red Turnip this 4th Season.

Barely three years after, Red Turnip Theater is opening their fourth season with Identity theme, a slogan that can be notice in their two new play that theatre aficionados can look forward starting this August up to March of 2017.

The offering for this season is Tribes, a family drama that was centered on a member who is deaf in nature, and the struggle on how to raise a kid or siblings without telling him that he cannot understand the sound of the world, while the second play is called The Nether, a sci-fi thriller that goes beyond a love story created by the world wide web.

“The first play starts how identity shape in a family, how you grow up, the identity becomes struggle or easy. While the Second play goes to a whole new level, people looking for identity using medium, if they can’t find in physical contact they look for it in the Internet.” Discuss by Rem Zamora, one of Red Turnip’s founding member.
The Cast of Tribes.
Tribes is under the direction of Topper Fabregas with Kalil Almonte, Angela Padilla, Cris Pasturan, Teroy Guzman, Dolly De Guzman and Thea Yrastorza in the cast. It will open on August 5 and will run until September 4 at the Power Mac Center Spotlight Theater in Circuit, Makati.  Tribes is expected to break some barriers in Stageplay production since this will be subtitled and interpreted via sign language.

“We always want our play to be socially relevant, that this landed on our lap, and it open doors to the deaf community.” Ana Abad Santos explains, also one of RT Founding members.

The Nether will star crossover TV/Movie Actor Tj Trinidad paired with Jenny Jamora, under the direction of Abad Santos.  Trinidad who shake the Theater fans in Manila via Normal Heart, find joys and excitement in acting on stage, since the role was offered to him, he say no since he know Red Turnip reputation as a established company and meticulous in choosing their plays.  The Nether is scheduled March of next year, and another one play before that, it is not announce yet since negotiations are ongoing.

“It was a different experience, as an actor essentially you bring your character for the whole 2 and half hours, definitely it’s a adrenaline rush, when you’re doing play, there’s no take two, so you have to memorize the line, there’s a mastery on it, and understanding the text.” Trinidad said.
The Cast of The Neither
Other RT founding members include Actress Cris Villonco, Jamora and Fabregas. Their recent production is The Constellations, This Is Our Youth and 33 Variations.  Most of their produce show are foreign or from off Broadway or West End thing, however when ask if there is a chance for them to produce local adapted Filipino play, Zamora said that it is not impossible, they are open to it.

“It is something that we are very careful about, because a lot of People do it very well, if Red Turnip are going to do it, we will take our time, we don’t want to rush in, we believe in the right timing, definitely a consideration.” Zamora said.

Red Turnip is still learning according to their founders, being a established one in a span of 3 years, they believe they cannot match any other Theatre company who has been in this industry more than what they achieve so far.
Red Turnip Founding Members. Topher Fabregas, Cris Villonco, Jenny Jamora, Ana Abad Santos & Rem Zamora.
“We are constantly learning, and importantly is we are constantly evolving, we are looking always for new ways, newer things to do, and I think the death of other theatre companies is never evolve, and thats one thing we hope to be very careful, always evolve and change.”  Zamora added.

Tribes is written by English Director Nina Raine, it won many awards including six Lucille Lortel, four Outer Critics Circle Awards. While Jennifer Haley, an award winning American Playwright is the writer of The Nether. Both play will be stage at the Spotlight Theater, and tickets are now available at Ticketworld (891-9999).