Tuesday, July 17, 2018


32-yr old Migs, meets loan-shark Tito Val in a park beside Pasig river, where tall billboards abound, to settle a serious P180K debt he accumulates to help out Annie, his girlfriend of 7 years. 
Annie has gotten an “aesthetic plan” to fix herself and fulfill her ultimate dream to be Snow White in Hong Kong Disneyland and be a princess on a parade.  She aspires to have fair, smooth skin with bigger breasts—like a typical Caucasian. This for her is what it means to be truly beautiful.  And being beautiful means she  will earn her dollars, and secretly live her romantic princess world even if it is a job.
Migs explains that he doesn’t have the money but promises to do anything to be able to pay up but before he’s finished explaining, loan-shark gets distracted by a billboard of Lovely G – a famous actress on a Pinay-Beauty billboard campaign from across the river. Being a big fan of the beauty of the Filipina, loan-shark gives Migs an ultimatum– he has 3 days to find Lovely G and introduce him to her, and their debt is settled.
How does a regular guy who knows no one in showbiz get to a celebrity?
Accompanied by his 4 friends, Migs begins the difficult quest to find and meet the celebrity,  a series of comedic trials putting the six-degrees-of-separation theory to a test. Migs will lie, steal, break-in into people’s premises, break the law, gets caught, almost thrown in jail and gets beaten up –  while at the same time learning about the value of being dark skinned and having a more dominant nose, which is all of Annie and the girl he fell in love with 7 years ago.
Pinay Beauty is about the perennial quest of the typical Filipina to look Caucasian and the cost it entails.
Catch the movie during the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PNPP) 2018, from August 15 to 21 during the Buwan ng Wika celebration.

Pinay Beauty_Group with direk


Shake shack logo 1000x550
Filipinos have always been a powerful consumer base for fast-food chains and franchises. Whether it is a local brand like Jollibee, or the countless chains from overseas like McDonald’s and Starbucks, they are never lacking for patronage here in the Philippines. And there are always new chains trying to make inroads in our country every year. One of these is Shake Shack, a “fast casual” restaurant chain that started right in New York City back in 2004 but now has over a hundred international locations in Europe, the Middle East and Oceania as of 2017. Their next stop: the Philippines.
ABS-CBN News has it that this Wednesday, July 18, the SSI Group of luxury retailers announced that they will soon be bringing over the Shake Shack license to the country by next year, making the Philippines the first country in Southeast Asia where the chain will establish a foothold. To this end, SSI which now has a development and licensing agreement with the NYC shake joint, is putting their heads together with local producers to come up with a one-of-a-kind idea for the first Shake Shack branch that will open – naturally – somewhere in Metro Manila.
This makes Shake Shack the second food and beverage license currently held by the SSI Group, next to TWG Tea. Already the fast casual restaurant is excited to open up in Manila by 2019 that it has issued a greeting to its future consumer base on Twitter Wednesday, July 18.
From its humble beginning as a hotdog cart operating at Madison Square Park in 2001, Shake Shack opened its first New York City restaurant in 2004, and immediately became a hit with its namesake milkshakes, reinforced with Angus beef hamburgers, Vienna beef dogs and chicken sandwiches and crinkle cut fries. Their current Asian branch closest to the Philippines is Japan.
Aside from TWG Tea and now Shake Shack, other non-food brands operated locally by the SSI Group include the Philippines’ Gucci stores, and other luxury fashion houses like Alexander McQueen, Marks & Spencer, Givenchy, Ermenegildo Zegna, and more affordable chains like Zara and Payless ShoeSource.
Image courtesy of Accruent

CHINESE AMBASSADOR Allays Concerns on Perception of PHILIPPINES as “PROVINCE OF CHINA”, as Well as Accusations of Trapping Country in DEBT with “SOFT LOAN” Grants

The relationship between the Republic of the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China has always been a tad complicated, particularly in the matter of territorial rights and limits in the South China Sea, which our country renamed the West Philippine Sea to reinforce claims to features such as the Scarborough Shoal. In contrast with the stubborn stance of past presidencies, the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has taken a conciliatory attitude with China, leading to some cynical critics pulling stunts like the “Province of China” banners in Metro Manila last week. China’s ambassador, however, is offering reassurances that there is no such political distinction lies between the two nations.
CNN Philippines reports that Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jinhua has issued a statement denouncing the “falsehood” contained in the red banners proclaiming “Welcome to the Philippines, Province of China” that have been put up in areas around Metro Manila since July 12. “Not now, not ever… The Philippines can never be any part of China,” said Zhao, adding that such stunts by yet-unidentified parties are a vicious attack on the cordiality of the China-Philippines bilateral relations. He is echoing the opinions of Executive Secretary Harry Roque, who believes the banners were the work of “government enemies”.
The posting of the “Province of China” banners came on the second anniversary of the International Arbitral Tribunal from The Hague that invalidated the “Nine-Dash line” assertions of China that cut significant chunks out of the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone in the West Philippine Sea.
Aside from the issue of the banners, Ambassador Zhao also allayed concerns brought up regarding the large-scale monetary grants by his government that have been given to the Philippines to finance several major infrastructure projects. In particular, this refers to two Metro Manila bridge projects, of which President Duterte has recently presided over their groundbreaking ceremonies on Tuesday, July 17.
These bridges, one connecting Manila’s Binondo and Intramuros and the other connecting Makati and Mandaluyong, have been completely footed by the Chinese grants and will cost the Philippine government nothing, but have sparked speculation that China is deliberately putting the country into a “debt trap”. This assertion was pooh-poohed by Ambassador Zhao saying, “China’s grants does not have any strings attached to them. And China’s loan to finance infrastructure projects will not make the Philippines fall into a debt trap.”
President Duterte also added his own weight on the bridge issue, saying that Chinese officials never attached strings to their soft loans in their discussions with him. “I’d just like to tell everybody that in all if these Discussions, China did not ask any, even one square of real estate in this country,” the President said. As for how he would address the arbitral ruling from 2016, Duterte answered, “I’m sure that in the end, China will be fair and the equity will be distributed.”
Image courtesy of Philippines Lifestyle News