Friday, July 28, 2017

The Masagana Waterfalls in Puerto Princesa City.

Masagana Falls.
Visiting the City in a forest, must include chasing the majestic waterfalls of Puerto Princesa, we will give you the nearest waterfalls inside the City that you can enjoy in a day, enjoy its refreshing waters and the lush virgin forest.
Going south highway is the Masagana Falls in Brgy. Irawan, take the entrance of the former PCSD office that serve as their training centers now, go left up to the water pumping station and leave your vehicles there, and then start the trekking, the trail is easy to follow and the main way is following the river, yes most of the time you will cross or traverse the river until you reach its peak. Walking going to the falls usually last for 1 hour.
Water Pumping station, the start of the trek.
Masagana Falls is a common public outing place of people living in Irawan, and this is the nearest waterfalls in the city proper. The trekking going there is an adventure, crossing waters, logs and mostly stones, be prepare that most of the time you will step on slippery stones so a good shoes is required, at some point you’ll be confuse to the trail, but the rule is just follow where the river is coming.
Upon reaching Masagana Falls, a good swimming area will welcome you and usually it have crystal clear water except after rain, the pool area is really deep that we are not able to do some measurement due to extreme coldness.
The trail is amazingly indeed, wild flora with great flowers, colorful butterflies and frogs are common attractions. We also spot some unique mushrooms that according to some locals are good to see at night because of its luminous lighting.
The glow in the dark mushrooms.
But one thing I enjoy is those century old trees that you’ll pass by, those gigantic trees with numerous squirrels that play along, and the ambiance of virgin forest is such a joy to experience. Make sure you don’t forgot to apply some mosquito repellant, the trail up to the falls is loaded with it along with leeches as well in some parts mostly under big stones, and please bring home your trash, no one will clean that for you.
From the busy streets of Puerto Princesa (City Proper) going to Irawan usually take 30 minutes on a private vehicle, motor or even tricycle. No entrance fee going to the falls.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

The best of southern Palawan in Onuk Island.

Drone shot of Onuk Island.
Onuk Island aka Roughton Island is a must see destination in the southern Palawan, particularly in the municipality of Balabac, this is after getting famous due to a worldwide photo contest showcasing the ala-Maldives type beach with magnificent rainbow.
Onuk Island is considered heaven for many travel bloggers and for tourist who love sun, sand and sea. I was fortunate to visit this island last summer along with Team JAMP. From March to July is the best time to visit Onuk, waves are not that big in those months.
Onuk is the nick name of the great grandfather of Astami clan, the owner of this island and was being managed by Ronald “Toto” Astami, who happen to be an incumbent councilor in Balabac town. It was only this February 2017 they organize proper package tour in Onuk, due to increase in tourist arrival.
Sir Toto explain to us that Onuk use to be the family rest house island before, it’s not a resort or a public beach either, but it’s a common fishing ground for fisherman from Balabac. It’s a 30 minutes pump boat ride from the pier of Balabac.
Getting near the island is a challenge for any boat especially during low tide, it cannot go near due to corals surrounding the islands, a small boat from Onuk will fetch you from your big boats in order to dock in the island. A scenery of beautiful coral reefs, colorful fishes and freely turtles usually welcome you before reaching the shore. The sand are indeed powdery plus the blueish to greenish sea water are all amazing to see, make sure you check the 360 degree angle in order not to miss rainbow appearances, not one but most of the time up to five spots in the sky, they are the regularly visiting Onuk from sunrise up to sunset either with rain or no rain at all.
Visiting Onuk must first prepare yourself for a long haul trip, from Puerto Princesa City Airport take a shuttle van at the terminal going to Rio Tuba in Bataraza that usually take 5 hours travel time, advise the driver to drop you at the pier of going to Balabac, from the Rio Tuba pier to Balabac is another 4 hours travel by the sea.

Sir Toto offer a package of P5, 000 per head for a overnight stay in Onuk with full board meals, from lunch, dinner and breakfast. It also includes the boat ride from Balabac town. Just don’t expect a class accommodation, no air-condition room, and waters for CR and bath purposes are usually from rain deposits.
What best in Onuk experience is the food, it’s all seafood galore most of the time, eat all you can set up with juices from Malaysia, yes most of the common products in Balabac came from neighbor country, it is the border of the Philippines. Take note also that the Astami clan are moslems, so expect that they are not serving pork foods and they don’t allow you to bring any Pork products.

Drinking and partying is also allowed, it’s just that you have to bring in your own liquors and beers as well as Ice. The come on according to Sir Toto is if you wish to extend your stay, you will only add P500 per day per head, and enjoy the same food galore, make sure to inform them early since Onuk is usually fully book during summer, and they can accommodate only 20 pax per day.
There are wooden structures seems planted at the sand, it is noticeable once your in the island, those are living memories of Onuk before according to Sir Toto, the other part is his old house while the other wooden poles used to be area for seaweeds farming he once invest in.

Snorkels and any diving gear is not available in Onuk, you have to bring in yours.   And there is no store as well in the island, toiletries and other stuff you have to bring in. Towels, beddings is provided in the island. To arrange your visit in Onuk you may contact Sir Toto at Smart Number 0935-155-6264, he can also help you contact boats from Rio Tuba to Balabac and vice versa.

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Striking Boys Of Newsies

After its opening week, the gala premiere strike the Globe Iconic Store Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater in Bonifacio Global City by storm with a thrilling and intensifying stage debut performance of the 21 motley crew of Newsies. The original film version in 1992 was a flopped but later became commercially and critically successful when a stage version premiered on Broadway in 2012.

Set in 1899, Newsies tells the story of the real-life newsboy in New York City. Creative Marketing and Multimedia Business Senior Adviser and Executive Producer of Globe LIVE, Joe Caliro made an opening statement with so much emphasis and excitement what to expect from Newsies. He was in ecstatic to introduce Felipe Gamba, Director of International Production Strategy, Disney Theatrical Group (DTG), who flew directly from the US to catch the gala performance.

I knew nothing about Newsies except that I watched some video clips just like what I did with Sister Act. I didn't even sit on the couch just to watch the film version of both Newsies and Sister Act. One thing that pierced on my mind upon watching Newsies clips from the Original Broadway Production was the signature dance routine, variation and genre of this period musical. Disney Theatrical strictly and specifically asked the local production team not to mimic everything from sets, blocking and choreography and that the music and lyrics will not be changed.
The 6 hour a day for 6 weeks Training Ground for triple threat started as early as April, choreographed by PJ Rebullida and directed by Robbie Guevarra was the answer by 9 Works Theatrical to that grueling challenge and demand by this piece of Disney Theatrical. As the fansies flanked and flocked the amphitheater, the rain started to fall when the show was about to start and heavily poured as the show progressed. Attending the press launch and watching the gala from a very good sightlines was an invitation and savoring a 7 - course meal from Ibiza Beach Club and chilling cocktail from Stella and Rocket Room was a special compliment.

Upon entering the house, I was greeted by five moving and revolving sets by Ed Lacson, complemented by multiple videos and projected sceneries by GA Fallarme and lighting radiantly and vibrantly pleasing to set my mood by Martin Esteva. Costume designed by Eric Pineda added realistic impression and interpretation of this all Filipino cast and creative production of Newsies. The book of Harvey Fierstein, music of Tony and Oscar winner Alan Menken and lyrics of Jack Feldman was soothingly directed by Daniel Bartolome. Tremendous credits goes to award winning Gawad Buhay choreographer of American Idiot PJ Rebullida.

From the start, my expectation is soaring high how his bodily expression and execution of the quality and form of this masterpiece will be effective, affective, expressive and communicative through dance. Combination of neophytes and veterans thespians danced through jazz, contemporary, ballet, gymnastics, acrobatics and tap. Whether if it's a regular versus simultaneous and starting versus ending canon movements these actors swayed and swinged. The dynamics were also evident from direct or indirect space, sudden and sustained time, light or strong weight and the flow whether free, bound or continuous. From high level of jumping, tiptoeing and standing, middle level of sitting and kneeling and low level of cringing, rolling and lying the improvisation and inversion were outstanding and amazing. The space and stance created during the variation of pas de bourree, pas de chat and pirouette was beautifully executed leaving the full house in awe.
The wonderful stage design of Newsies.
The highlight of the show happened at the beginning of Act 2 where the newsies tapped to dance and that scene received the loudest cheers and thunderous applause from fansies. Filipinos are not used to tap dance and thanks to Yek Barlongay for the additional choreography on tap. The concentration, communication and cooperation of the boys created a rhythm that resulted a unison remarkable performance of the night. This production was the first directorial job of Robbie Guevarra that I saw, I knew him as a seasoned and veteran actor. Mounting a Disney show and putting all these actors onstage is a creative and collaborative process. And he made an extraordinary job in motivating and blocking these boys with so much stress and weight. An effective director indeed.
Gian Magdangal as Jack Kelly, and Danielle Chopin as Katherine Plumber.
Gian Magdangal made an impressive comeback in this production. Worthy of a standing ovation from the house, myself included. His 11 o'clock musical signature soliloquy was emotionally satisfying and breathtaking.

Newsies made a striking Philippine stage debut. And its continuous successful run is still making headlines in theater fans. This musical is highly recommended for all ages. Leading the cast are Gian Magdangal as Jack Kelly, Danielle Chopin as Katherine Plumber, Jef Flores as Davey, Daniel Drilon and Tory Cortez as Les, Luis Marcelo as Crutchie, Greg Dulcie as Joseph Pulitzer, Pinky Marquez as Medda Larkin, Raymund Concepcion as Teddy Roosevelt and Nunzio, Ariel Reonal as Wiesel, Mr. Jacobi and the Mayor, Franz Imperial as Snyder, Alex Diaz as one of the Newsies and Joni Galeste and Melissa Bell as Bowery Beauties. Supporting cast are Anton Posadas, Ian Ocampo, Erick Arenas, Stephen ViƱas, Ronelson Yadao, Jim Ferrer, Jordan Bartolome, Mark Anthony Grantos, Chesko Rodriguez, Jon Abella, Kendrick Evasco, Vyen Villanueva, Jan Mayo MC dela Cruz and Clark dela Riva.

Catch Disney's Newsies final week from July 28 - 30 at 8pm, playing at Globe Iconic Store Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater in Bonifacio Global City. For tickets, go to go.globe.com.ph/newsies or www.ticketworld.com.ph or call them at 891-9999.

Newsies is co-produced and co-presented by Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical with special arrangement from Music Theatre International (MTI). Also presented by Mossimo, Bonifacio High Street, RX93. 1, StarWorld, FOX and MAC Cosmetics, official make-up partner.

Text and photos by Gilbert Kim Sancha.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Hail To The New #QueenoftheCentury, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach


Century Pacific Foods, Incorporated had its media launch for its new endorser at the Rizal Ballroom A of Makati Shangri-La. The leading tuna brand in the Philippines, #CenturyTuna provided variety of chunks tuna over the years and has been home of illustrious celebrities as their outstanding roster of endorsers.
Interesting to know that the first endorser of #CenturyTuna was the first Filipina Miss Universe Gloria Diaz as they played it during the launch. It was unknown to me that Miss Universe 1969 was once their queen. And it came to me as an astonishment. Before leading to the sumptuous dinner and prior to the launching, members of the press and bloggers participated on a photo and video social media contest, where they were asked to pose and to post it for a chance to win an exciting prize. I was unlucky I did not win because I didn't write the appropriate hash tag for the event. 
Headlined as the new #QueenoftheCentury, the third Filipina Miss Universe, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach was officially launched as their new endorser. #PiaforCenturyTuna was indeed a right choice. Being a woman with such wit, poise and being confidently beautiful with a heart, a truly and remarkable #CenturyTuna100percentwinner. Her self-discipline and well toned physique were the reasons why Pia hailed as #QueenoftheCentury for Lite. 
Pia regularly heads to the gym to achieve that ultimate super body with the help of a personal trainer. Combination of planking, tricep pull-downs, squats and lunges were her routine exercises for a flat and toned stomach, well-defined arms, shapely biceps and triceps and firm and strong looking legs. Pia shared that, " I've always been a #CenturyTuna girl. And this body you see is made possible by Century. " Unknown to many, Pia studied culinary arts, a healthy and balanced diet comes along with her exercise. #CenturyTuna made of 100% tuna is rich in Omega 3 DHA which is good for the heart that's why she like it. Perfect for her hectic schedule and duties as a goodwill ambassador and as the most popular Miss Universe. #PiaforCenturyTuna is fit as the new #QueenoftheCentury because #CenturyTuna100percentwinner.

Text and Photos by Gilbert Kim Sancha.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Experience Disney And Ballet In " Your Highness "

 
The second part of the performance series under Happyland (2017) entitled " Your Highness " will have its world stage debut at the CCP T  anghalang Aurelio Tolentino on July 27, 2017 at 8pm. This production will have its premiere at several performing arts festivals in Germany and Switzerland from August to September 2017. Produced by Ballet Philippines and Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm Frankfurt am Main (Germany) and co-produced by Internationales Sommerfestival Kampnagel, Hamburg (Germany), Zurcher Theater Spektakel, Zurich (Switzerland) and La Batie - Festival Geneve, Geneve (Switzerland). Your Highness is a collaboration between Ballet Philippines and an independent artist Eisa Jocson.
Jocson's three solos (Death Of The Pole Dancer, Macho Dancer and Host) were shown in major festivals in Asia, Europe, America and Australia. An educated visual artist and trained ballet dancer, she begun her dance stint abroad after she won her first pole-dancing in Manila in 2010. Her team up with Ballet Philippines will be her first ensemble creation and her first work to be produced and premiered in the Philippines. Your Highness has been rehearsing since March, Jocson is creating dance solo and variation piece for five young dancers of Ballet Philippines. These five young promising and classically trained dancer will alternately speak as Disney figures and dance the standards of classical ballet for the audience to see collective and individual fantasy and mobility through ballet history and princess archetypes.



Your Highness is playing on July 27 (8pm) and July 28 (3pm and 8pm) at CCP Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (Little Theater).
For tickets, call:
Ballet Philippines at 551-1003
CCP Box Office at 832-3704
Ticketworld at 891-9999

Connect to Ballet Philippines online through:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/balletphilippines
Twitter: @balletph
Instagram: @balletphilippines
YouTube: balletph


Text and Photos by Gilbert Kim Sancha.

The big picture in 13th Cinemalaya.

 Filmmakers, film critics, folks and fellas have gathered once more at the CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo lobby for the official media launch of the 13th edition of Cinemalaya. The annual Cinemalaya Independent Film Festival presented by the Cultural Center Of The Philippines in partnership with the Cinemalaya Foundation will be screened from August 4 to 13, 2017 at the various venues of the CCP.
The Film makers for Short Film Catgeory.
The winners of the festival will be announced on August 13, 2017 at the CCP Main Theater during the Cinemalaya Awards Night. Established in 2005, Cinemalaya has showcased critically acclaimed and award winning films in local and international competitions and festivals. 127 full feature independent films and 106 short films has been supported and promoted by Cinemalaya to date. With the theme " See The Big Picture, " the festival will screen nine full-length films and for the first time in the history of Cinemalaya, instead of the usual 10, there will be 12 short films to be featured.
Cast of "Ang Guro kong di marunong magbasa with Cinemalaya head Laurice Guillen.
The Film makers for Full Lenght Category.
Full Length Category
1. Ang Guro Kong Di Marunong Magbasa by Perry Escano
2. Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha by Mes de Guzman
3. Baconaua by Joseph Israel Laban
4. Bagahe by Zig Madamba Dulay
5. Kiko Boksingero by Thop Nazareno
6. Nabubulok by Sonny Calvento
7. Requited by Nerissa Picadizo
8. Respeto by Alberto Monteras II
9. Sa Gabing Nanahimik Ang Mga Kuliglig by Iar Lionel Arondaing
Cast of "Ang Pamilyang Hindi Lumuluha.

The Film makers of  13th Cinemalaya
Short Film Category
1. Aliens Ata by Glenn Barit
2. Bawod by TM Malones
3. Fatima Marie Torres And The Invasion Of Space Shuttle Pilipinas 25 by Carlo Francisco Manatad
4. Hilom by P.R. Patindol
5. Islabodan by Juan Carlo Tarobal
6. Juana And The Sacred Shores by Antonne Santiago
7. Lola Loleng by Che Tagyamon
8. Manong Ng Pa-aling by E del Mundo
9. Maria by JP Habac
10. Nakauwi Na by Marvin Cabangunay and Jaynus Olaivar
11. Nakaw by Arvin Belarmino and Noel Escondo
12. Sorry For The Inconvenience by Carl Adrian Echavez.
Cast of Kiko Boksingero.
This year's festival edition will pay tribute to legendary actress Lolita Rodriguez with the screening of Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang (1974), Ina, Kapatid, Anak (1979) and Lucia (1992). Another tribute to the late acclaimed director Gil Portes is happening. Mulanay (1996), Mga Munting Tinig (2002) and Two Funerals (2010) will have a special screening.

Visit
www.cinemalaya.org

Call:
CCP Media Arts at 832-1125 local 1704-1705
CCP Box Office at 832-3704

Text and Photos by Gilbert Kim Sancha 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Love and Peace ambiance you need in Palawan.

Many good things I heard about Love & Peace Jungle-River Resort, going north of Puerto Princesa City situated in Brgy. Maoyon.  They serve good food, water is refreshing and it’s really a detoxifying experience away from internet and mobile phones, this is because there is no signal or wifi data connection in the area.
Open in 2014, Love and Peace Resort stand its name due to the ambiance they are promoting, a lovely place just near the river and peacefully quite, away from any noise, only natural nature sounds you will have.
They have around 16 rooms available, 8 of this are double river view accommodations, 3 family rooms with all nature stylized such as amacan walling, wood and cogon roof that is suitable for nature seekers. Their rates start in P2,300 up to 800 depends on the season and its good for two.
Since its offer a good view of the river, tarzan jumping, balsa cruise and kayak is an activity you shouldn’t miss doing upon your visit. And the food, they cook yummy goodness Pizza, their best seller is the Hawaiian Pizza, I also heard they make good coffee, but since I don’t drink Coffee so I cannot make a comment on that.
Hillside Accomodation. 
Love & Peace Jungle-River Resort is located in Purok Everlasting in Brgy. Maoyon strategically situated in Kilometer 53.5 of the road going north in Palawan. It is better to make a reservation before going there, for day tour there is no fee required, no entrance fee either as long as you order food and drinks.
Room inside Hillside accomodation.

They don’t provide shuttle service, what they can provide you is a pick up from the national highway if you come with no service. It’s around 10 minutes from the said highway going to the resort, make sure you bring mosquito repellant since it is a forested area. AC is not available in Hillside cottages.
Hawaiian Pizza

I guarantee that it is a relaxing place indeed especially if you stay overnight, away from many madness it’s a good place that you can think everything, planning something for yourself or needed some time to rest without any rush.
For bookings you may reach +63939.926.1388, +63908.813.5401, +63916.660.9839 or email them at peaceandlovesv@gmail.com .

Monday, July 10, 2017

Isla Felomina, the new in Puerto Princesa City.

Isla Felomina
If you think you’ve seen many places in Puerto Princesa City, think again, because this new spot is surely a new place to be for the tourism of the City in a forest.

Located in Brgy. New Panggangan, under the control of Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park, is one of the many Community Base Sustainable Tourism Project of the City that was run by the locals of the area, they are called Nagkakaisang Samahan ng Isla Felomina with around 34 members mostly fisherman and their wives.
The Officers and members of Nagkakaisang Samahan Ng Isla Felomina.

Also known as Isla Peodat, local prefer it to call as Isla Felomina in honor of St.Philomena, the virgin Saint from Greece that protect them from any storm or typhoon, the said islet is covering them from any huge waves during bad weather moment. 
There’s a lot of new in Isla Felomina since my first trip in the summer of 2016 with Team Byaheros MNL, a Comfort Room and dressing room is already built, a kubo hut for eating is also constructed, Pilipinas Shell Foundation support them by providing them Snorkels that they offer for rent, but its magnificent corals, the sunset and its relaxing ambiance is still there. You can have all day discovering the colorful world under, identifying different school of fishes, or exchanging stories with the members of the Organization, surely it is a blast.
Isla Peodat aka Isla Felomina.
You can arrange your visit to Isla Felomina tru the PPUR Office, it is the best to spend the day maybe after your tour in the Underground River, or atleast schedule one day just for Diving or Snorkeling in the Isla.
Entrance fee is P160 per pax, and P200 that comes with food mostly for lunch. Banca in sabang is P3,000 good for 8 persons. You can contact Mr. Fresnillo at 0910-995-665 to arrange your visit at Isla Felomina, or contact the PPUR Office for more information. 
Photos from Team JAMP.