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Thursday, August 31, 2017

MAYWARD Hype Builds More with First Official Trailer to “LOVING IN TANDEM”


From the super-lengthy “Lucky Season 7” of ABS-CBN’s “Pinoy Big Brother” was born one of the newest and most eagerly followed teen celebrity love teams in Philippine showbiz today. I’m talking of course about Maymay Entrata and Pinoy-European housemate Edward Barber, better known collectively to their legions of giddy fans as “Mayward.” Such has been the sheer star power of their tandem that they immediately got main supporting cast billing in the network’s currently-running fantasy-drama tele-serye “La Luna Sangre.” Not only that, they’re actually headlining, alongside fellow PBB Housemates Kisses Delavin and Marco Gallo, a new romantic comedy from Star Cinema entitled “Loving in Tandem,” the first official trailer of which has just been released.
As told by PhilStar Global, less than 24 after it was posted on YouTube, the trailer for “Loving in Tandem” starring Mayward, Kisses and Marco (aka. KissMarc) has already garnered over 200,000 views, upwards of 16,000 likes, and a #11 spot at trending. On Twitter the story is much the same, with the trailer posted there actually going past 2 million views in the same period. The rom-com, directed by Giselle Andres, was first revealed in a story conference at Star Cinema back in May, with the four main cast all smiles but especially Mayward, for whom this launch film will definitely help to further their incredible dynamic as a young showbiz power couple.
“Loving in Tandem” stars Edward as Luke, a Filipino-American who comes to the Philippines looking to connect with the Pinoy half of his family whom he had been distant with. While his half-brother “Tope” (Marco) tries to get through his wall of reservation, Luke finds himself drawn to a neighbor named Shine (Maymay), with whom he makes a brilliant impression after saving her from a mugger (in a slow-motion sequence as shown in the trailer). Shine attaches herself to Luke and helps him cope with his fish-out-of-water situation, leading to them falling for each other and helping to set up Tope with Shine’s own BFF Jayzel (Kisses). But a secret from Shine’s own past has the potential to ruin the idyllic love tandem that all four have built.
Mayward has been one of the most heavily hyped love teams nowadays, and it’s easy to see why fans are so into the chemistry between the Mindanao girl and her Fil-European beau. “Loving in Tandem” looks to really showcase the acting chops and bankability of the two as a showbiz couple beyond what has already been seen of them on TV with “La Luna Sangre.” The film will premiere in cinemas nationwide this coming September 13. Here’s the youtube link to the trailer https://youtu.be/_i50XnQiIPk

Thursday, August 24, 2017

HONG KONG and Parts of CHINA Battered by TYPHOON HATO


As if we need any reminder that Southeast Asia is in the middle of monsoon season, one massive meteorological clue-by-four has been hammering at the area in the past few days. After buidlig up strength with unprecedented speed off the West Philippine Sea, Typhoon Hato made landfall at the Chinese mainland this Wednesday. The storm delivered heavy rains and powerful winds that buffeted the two Special Administrative Regions at the mouth of the Pearl River, before moving on further inland along the span of southern China. Several deaths have already been reported by news agencies covering the typhoon.
As CNN tells it, Hong Kong was the first area that Hato struck upon waking landfall in China last Wednesday, August 23. Before that the storm had achieved a phenomenal growth in power. Earlier in the weak it had been only a run of the mill tropical storm. But from August 21 to 22 it suddenly jumped to “severe” typhoon category, with wind speed being clocked at 175 km/h. The Hong Kong Observatory would issue Signals 9 to 10 – requiring people to remain indoors – as Hato bore down on the world-famous harbor that Wednesday.
While some daredevil Hong Kongers tried to make spectacles of themselves on social media by trying to stand as long as they can against the waves and the winds, one can make no mistake that Typhoon Hato would do some damage. Due to making landfall in the middle of high tide, waters swept up to flood the streets in some areas. Trees planted along the coasts were also uprooted, about 700 of which were reported. Around 100 people were also logged as seeking medical treatment during and after the passing of the typhoon, but they could count themselves fortunate that no deaths occurred in Hong Kong itself.
It was another story in Macau to the west. Time reports that there were eight fatalities in the former Portuguese colony-turned-gaming mecca. Three of the deaths were a man who was killed in a fall, another who was hit by a car and a third who was crushed by a collapsing wall. Floodwaters submerged cars in the streets of Macau while ferocious winds smashed shop windows. Power was also cut and would not return to homes and businesses until well into Thursday, August 26.
Hato is estimated to be the worst typhoon to hit that area in 18 years. The number of residents in Hong Kong, Macau and China affected by it is reported to run into 66 million, one million people over the population of France, to put the scale into perspective. Financial losses have been calculated to reach up to $1 billion on account of stock trading interruptions and flight cancellations over the week.
Photo courtesy of Business Insider

Monday, August 21, 2017

VIVO V5 PLUS: It Does More than You Expect


The old advertising adage goes that when a major big-name celebrity endorses a branded product then it must certainly be good. That is no longer such a guarantee of quality in this day and age, but when the product is good, then wow, it’s really great. This year, Chinese smartphone manufacturer Vivo undertook a big step when it comes to celebrity endorsements for their latest model, the V5 Plus. The Vivo brand already has a sponsorship deal with the Indian Premier League up to 2022, but this new agreement brought some serious star power in the person of NBA player Stephen Curry.
Even I must admit, Steph Curry cuts a dashing figure when it comes to celeb endorsements. Large images of him dominate the entryways of a national mall chain in my hometown, as well as the interiors of said mall’s telecom and computing department. True, Vivo is banking greatly on name association with the Curry marketing deal for both China and the Philippines. It coincides with the NBA’s latest sponsorship initiatives in the former, not to mention score big points with the general basketball mania in the latter. All well and good, but I’m more interested in the technological muscle that the Vivo V5 Plus can bring to bear; and what do you know, it answers my immediate needs and then some.
In my work, I am pretty much required to do a lot of travelling all over the country and out of it, going from attending one event here to sightseeing at another location there. Without going into a lengthy discourse, such an active schedule that tends to keep me on the move means that I need to rely on a communications device that also doubles as a high-end photographic and video recording camera, something that is a complete necessity nearly everywhere I go. That then, is where my new Vivo V5 Plus comes in and acquits itself very awesomely. 

It could be construed that Vivo and fellow Chinese smartphone manufacturer Oppo are in fierce competition over which of them is a better “selfie-use” camera phone. Vivo, it is plain to see, has brought their A-game in designing the V5 Plus thanks to their co-engineering efforts with none other than Sony itself. Their collaboration bears fruit in the phone’s dual front camera. Yes, that’s two camera lenses working in concert, the primary lens being 20 megapixels and the secondary with 8 megapixels.
Selfies shot with the dual front camera come across a being comparable in quality to a professional digital single-reflex cam. That means I can make pictures shot with the front cameras look like they were snapped by a pro. Vivo also adds some crazy beautiful effects like fiddling with a shot’s depth-of-field, like making foreground figures (me and my groufie-mates) look sharp while blurring the background artistically. Now that’s taking photos with power.


That also applies to the V5 Plus’s 16-megapixel rear camera as well. Never let it be said that Vivo only does perfect selfies. The sensors for the main camera are just as top-notch, helped along with some superior software optimization. I’ve tested it on some location shots and group pictures and I can attest to it being very well put together.
Of course, the Vivo V5 Plus is not just a camera but a smartphone first and foremost. The signal and audio quality of its phone calls on both normal and speaker mode is magnificent and definitely exceeds my expectations. This and the camera functions apparently are able to perform at their utmost thanks to the sheer computing power of the phone’s Octa-core processor, courtesy of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 CPU. With this as the heart of the whole thing, the V5 Plus makes for an impressive mobile computing experience with the aid of the Android 6.0-based OS Funtouch 3.0 making all systems run so smoothly.
I’ve had problems with battery life in some of my past devices, and judging from the specs of the V5 Plus it will not disappoint me in this regard. Vivo wants their gadgets to last a very long time power-wise, and take only a fraction to charge. I’m very much impressed with their 3055mAh battery and Dual-Charging System. In concert, they ensure the V5 Plus keeps running a good long while, and cut down on time spent connected to a wall socket thanks to the phone’s two charging chips (while most smartphones have one).
These are all the major features of the Vivo V5 Plus that I have come to consider essential for my companion smartphone. Its fingerprint unlocking scanner, hi-fi music support, eye filters and split-screen app capabilities are just cherries on top for what is undoubtedly one of the best smartphones ever designed yet. Stephen Curry of the NBA may have been great as a way to attract attention to the V5 Plus, but the smartphone on its own is more than enough to keep that attention and usage.



Photo courtesy of GSMArena



Friday, August 18, 2017

SPAIN Rocked by TERROR ATTACK as Van Runs Over PEDESTRIANS in BARCELONA


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 theaustralian.com.au

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

PAOLO ONESA FILMS MUSIC VIDEO FOR “ATIN ANG GABI” IN CORON


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: www.facebook.com/paoloonesa or his artist page, www.facebook.com/paoloonesaPH, Twitter: @onesapaolo, Instagram: @paoloonesa and on YouTube www.youtube.com/onesapaolo.





Sunday, August 13, 2017

TJ Monterde Originals dominates Billboard PH charts


August 11, 2017-- Acoustic pop balladeer TJ Monterde’s albums, produced and released by PolyEast Records, have each officially landed four singles at the peak of the weekly Billboard Philippines Top 20.

According to Billboard PH, four of TJ’s singles have entered at least 5 weeks in the top charts. Recently, “Tulad Mo” from his CD single released in 2015 is sitting atop Billboard Philippines Top 20 at #2. While the song “Dating Tayo” (2016, Self-Titled Album) also entered #6.

Another hit culled from the 2016 self-titled album is “Ikaw At Ako Pa Rin,” TJ’s duet with soul singer KZ Tandingan is also enjoying its #12 position. Lastly, TJ’s debut single, which led him to his stardom, “Ikaw At Ako” is currently at #14.

With streaming figures being taken into consideration in the charts, TJ is officially the first local artist to gain such recognition from Billboard Philippines. Billboard PH noted on their website that “Data are based on song streams, digital downloads, and video plays. The data sources approved by Billboard US are Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube.”

Owning 2017 as his moment for success, the singer-songwriter recently concluded a sold-out concert “Ikaw at Ako: The Concert” at the Music Museum as he also launched his third and latest offering “Kahit Kunwari”. TJ’s new album consists of 5 all-original acoustic ballads that kicked off with the latest single “Mahika.”

For more information and announcements, you may follow PolyEast Records on social media: Facebook.com/PolyEastRecords, Twitter.com/polyeastrecords, and Instagram.com/polyeastrecords or follow our official hashtag #WeArePolyEastRecords

Thursday, August 3, 2017

FREE INTERNET in Public Places Signed into Law by DUTERTE


A quick glance around you out in the town will most likely see plenty of people with mobile devices – smartphones or tablets – who are most likely using the internet to send messages, read stories, or watch streaming media. Internet cafes are also abundant. But despite the seeming common usage of the internet the actual truth is that as of 2016 only less than half of the Filipino population has easy access to the internet. This could change very soon however, when the effects of the new law that President Rodrigo Duterte has signed will soon see most, if not all, public places in the country being given free access online.
CNN Philippines reports that just this Wednesday August 2, President Duterte signed Republic Act 10929 into law. This is the Free Public Internet Access Program, designed to spur the development and installation of free Wi-Fi internet in public places throughout the Philippines. Ad defined by the law, “public places” would include government offices, state universities, public parks, government hospitals and several other locations. The original bill was principally sponsored by Senator Bam Aquino, who is interested in seeing public schools getting free Wi-Fi like a number of private educational institutions now, saying that such levels of online access would be a great enhancement to learning.
To fund the expansion of public Wi-Fi, RA 10929 will be relying on a new Free Public Internet Access Fund that has been opened by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). Sen. Aquino has also included a provision in the bill-turned-law that will allow for faster issuance of permits where internet infrastructure is concerned. This aid in the development of public online infrastructure would help in bringing the internet to more people in the Philippines. As estimated by the International Communications Union, net access is guaranteed only to 44 million Filipinos, which is just 43.5% of the entire population.
Among the parties in the legislature who has expressed approval and support for the new law is the Kabataan Party List. They see the Free Public Internet Access Program as a means for the general public to be freed from the necessary dependency on profit-based internet infrastructure. Here the Kabataan PL also called for greater scrutiny on the current national “duopoly” of the major telecoms Globe and PLDT-Smart.
Seeing the Philippines being given public Wi-Fi access is easier said than done, considering that net monitoring groups have noted that the country has the lowest internet speed in a survey of Asia-Pacific nations. If the public is expected to patronize any free Wi-Fi, it had best be fast.

JUSTIN BIEBER Breaks Silence on TOUR CANCELLATION with RAMBLING Explanation


For Filipino fans who waited anxiously for Canadian pop superstar Justin Bieber to grace the country with a visit to the Philippine Arena as part of his “Purpose” World Tour, his recent cancellation of that and some 14 other concert dates was a very disappointing blow. After all, recent controversies aside Bieber is Bieber, and his talent and star power never seems to fade. There has been quite a lot of speculation going on about why Justin could just leave his other fans hanging dry like that, with many pointing to his banning from performing in China as a highly possible catalyst. Well, the singer himself has deigned to finally break his silence over the whole affair, although his reasons aren’t made immediately clear judging from the wording of his Instagram post.
According to USA Today, Justin Bieber decided to make an official statement as possible by putting his explanation down on social media for circulation. The thing is, his statement can come across as very daunting to read. It’s several hundred words long but has not been broke up into paragraphs. We’re talking about a big wall of text, a stream of consciousness from Bieber’s keyboard, with occasional slips of punctuation and grammar but with the star himself acknowledging that in his closing sentence, in all caps.
For those looking for a concrete reason about Justin’s cancellation of the tour, unfortunately there is none of that in his Instagram ramble. What can be found there is an address of the generalized circumstances behind the decision. "I’ve learned the more you appreciate your calling, the more you want to protect your calling,” so wrote Justin, but what exactly did he mean? His next sentence from here mentioned sustainability, but in what context do you ask?
Well as Bieber puts it: “I want my career to be sustainable, but I also want my mind, heart, and soul to be sustainable.” And now it hits you that before we go to the last 15 shows the Canadian music idol decided not to perform in, he has already completed a whopping 154 more ever since his World Tour to promote his album “Purpose” started way back in march of 2016. Travelling from North America, to Latin America, to Oceania, to Africa, to Europe, to Asia, all in order to perform would certainly take a lot out of even the most dedicated performer. And for that Justin has every right to take his break.
As for the Filipino fans that have been denied the physical presence of Bieber, well he still reigns in radio and online play after all. His “Despacito” remix can still be heard often. The world goes on, and there’s always next time.

Photo courtesy of news.bandsintown.com