Friday, August 18, 2017


The time has come and long gone when violent attacks on civilians with the intent to sow fear and terror have become a routine and accepted fact of life all over the world. Still fresh in the mind of many is the bombing of the Manchester Arena last May which struck at a crowd from an Ariana Grande concert. Then there was the still-ongoing siege of the southern Philippine city of Marawi, as government forces fight to remove ISIS-aligned militants. More recently a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia turned painful and deadly with a car plowing into a crowd of counter-protesters, wounding several and killing one. This method of wanton harm is a favorite tactic of terror on urban highways, and it has been executed anew.
USA Today reports that on Thursday, August 17, a van swerved from the street in order to run over pedestrians in the La Rambla thoroughfare of Barcelona in Spain. The vehicle turned mass murder weapon would end up killing 13 people and injuring about 100 others. Two suspects were inside the van who then escaped the carnage on foot. A few hours later, Barceloa police manning a checkpoint accosted a suspicious driver whom they shot dead when he tried to resist them. He is suspected to be the van driver, though this has been discounted as an account.
The response of the Spanish police to this threat was swift and decisive. As CNN tells it, the following day, August 18, elements of law enforcement in Cambrils clashed with multiple suspects in another vehicle, an Audi A3 which they allegedly plotted to steer into pedestrians like what had happened in Barcelona. Thanks to the efforts of the police, the four suspects were killed at the scene. Examination of the bodies reveals that several of the suspects were wearing what looked like explosive suicide belts. One police officer was wounded in the encounter while the car managed to hit and wound six civilians.
Not long afterwards, the embattled yet still dreaded ISIS terror group claimed tentative responsibility for the fatalities and wounded in the vehicular rampage at Barcelona, labeling the perpetrators as their “soldiers”. The boast seemed to be to the level considering that the pedestrian victims at La Rambla were an internationally diverse lot – 100 wounded and one dead from at least 24 nations – the sort that ISIS prefers to target. They hailed from Spain, France, Germany, Holland, Argentina, Venezuela, Belgium, Peru, Romania, Ireland, Cuba, Greece, Macedonia, UK, Austria, Pakistan, Taiwan, Canada, Ecuador, USA, Philippines, Kuwait, Turkey and China.
The incidents in Barcelona and Cambrils have been described as linked by the interior minister of Catalan province. King Felipe of Spain led a crowd in a moment of silence this Friday at the Pla├ža de Catalunya in Barcelona.
Photo courtesy of

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

After “MISS SAIGON”, RACHELLE ANN GO Joins West End Production of “HAMILTON”

Filipino talent is undoubtedly way up there with the best of the rest of the world when it comes to theatre. Nobody could ever forget the success story of Lea Salonga, who defined the role of Kim in “Miss Saigon” before becoming a star on Broadway and East End, as well as a Disney Princess (singing-wise, for two of them even). Many music artists have since followed in her footsteps with “Miss Saigon,” perhaps one of the most recent being pop star Rachelle Ann Go.
But now her time with that musical (where she portrayed Gigi) has ended; as has her brief moment as Fantine in the 30thAnniversary staging of “Les Miserables” at West End. And her time in London will not be ending anytime soon, as Rachelle will next be jumping in the bandwagon of the newest and hottest musical in recent times, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton.”
According to ABS-CBN News, Rachelle Ann Go will be joining the cast of the West End production for “Hamilton,” the extremely popular musical detailing the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. And her assigned role is a plum star part to boot; she will be cast as Eliza Schuyler, Hamilton’s eventual wife and chronicler. The artist was extremely overjoyed by her new part that on Monday (Manila time) she posted on her Instagram account about her good fortune.

As a caption to a group photo of her with her “Miss Saigon” female cast-mates, Rachelle wrote, “My heart is full of joy. Thank you to all, you special people, who came into my life.” She also wrote about how heavily affected she was by the thought that on Saturday August 12 (London time) she had performed her swan song on the musical that Lea Salonga had been a part of long ago. The last portion of her post was addressed to her friends in the “Miss Saigon” production where she said, “I will miss you all. All the laughter, craziness, stories, cookies we’ve shared will always be remembered. See you soon. I love you all!”
“Hamilton,” the story of which is told in a fusion of show-tunes and rap/hip-hop numbers, has established itself as one of the current epic pop culture phenomena in the world today. An official mobile app, available on both Apple and Android since August 11, has already been downloaded more than 500,000 times by the musical’s zealous fans.
Rachelle will not be the only Filipina in the West End cast. Christine Allado will also be present to portray two different roles, something of a theme in the casting of “Hamilton.” She will play Eliza’s sister Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds, whom Alexander Hamilton had an affair with in one of the earliest sex scandals in US politics. “Hamilton” on West End will premiere at London’s Victoria Theatre on November 21.
Photo courtesy of Philstar

Monday, August 14, 2017


After reinventing and extending his musical genre, The Voice of the Philippines season 1 alumnus Paolo Onesa continues to push himself with a new music video for his single “Atin Ang Gabi.”
A month after teasing his new song, the 23-year-old singer has just wrapped up the music video, which was shot in Coron, Palawan.
“We shot our video in three different locations in Coron, including Sophia’s Garden Resort – a boutique Spanish-inspired with a serene vibe hotel and resort and takes pride in being the one with the more prominent gardens, in the majestic Kayangan Lake – adjudged as the cleanest and greenest lake in entire Asia and in Banol Beach– known for bright aquamarine and turquoise waters,” Paolo shared.
Paolo admitted that shooting a music video always has the hardest and coolest part. ‘Well first of, we shot all the scenes of the entire video in just one day. So I guess, that was the most challenging thing. Luckily, I had such an awesome team with me all throughout the shoot. Everyone involved was just really working hard and really focused in making this video the best work we could do. And by saying that, we also had so much fun in doing so,” he admitted.
When asked to explain what the song is all about, Paolo remarks proudly, “Atin Ang Gabi’ is a song about spending sweet moments with the one you love. It’s sort of like a love letter for someone. It’s a song about being a gentleman for the lady you love and making her feel special through those little things that we take for granted.”

“The most memorable experience yet, is that I got the chance to shoot in Coron. Need I say more? That was the best experience ever! Talk about work and play all at the same time! Just being in Coron, looking at the sites, at the mountains, spending time on the beach, pool and there was even a nighttime bonfire in Sophia’s Garden where we stayed. I just feel overall blessed and grateful for my whole experience and stay in Coron, Palawan,” he delightfully shared.
Asked about the inspiration behind the music video of “Atin Ang Gabi”, Paolo said the inspiration was to get that tropical or island feel for the video. “Mainly I wrote the lyrics of this song talking about spending moments on the‘dalampasigan’ (ocean shore). And one of the main aims also is to really; I just want the people watching this to be part of like a journey of me exploring and promoting of how beautiful the island of Coron is.”

“Atin Ang Gabi” is the only tagalog song from my sophomore album and it’s one of my favorites. This song took me the longest to write and produce because I really want it to be something special for the people who support me, my followers, family and friends,” Paolo reflected.
“I had heard so much about Coron,” said Paolo. “Now I know, Coron is a magnificent local destination with pristine beaches and magnificent attractions. The warmth and hospitality of the people made me feel special I actually did feel I was on vacation.”
He revealed his fan base could expect something really fresh and new from all the other videos that he has done. “ This is an expression or extension of my artistry shown here in the music video. This just the beginning of many more original music videos that I’ll be putting out for my fans,” he proclaimed.
Paolo’s latest album Handwritten is all-original and was released in November 2016.  Best known for his pop jazz tracks from his debut album Pop Goes Standards released in 2014, Paolo had been recognized at the 2015 Awit Awards when he earned the Best Performance by A Male Recording Artist and Best Performance by A New Male Recording Artist, both for his version of the song “Lucky In Love.”
“Atin Ang Gabi” the official music video is expected to premiere on MYX this August. Be the one to see it first!
Handwritten is now available on physical format on all Astroplus / AstroVision record bars nationwide and can be downloaded / streamed on ITunes, Spotify, Deezer and all digital music platforms worldwide, distributed under HomeworkZ Music.
For more updates on Paolo Onesa you may follow his social media accounts:
Facebook: or his artist page,, Twitter: @onesapaolo, Instagram: @paoloonesa and on YouTube