Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Among the first new Hollywood blockbusters to greet moviegoers when the month of July comes is the absolute last segment of Phase 3 for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That is “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” starring Tom Holland as the un-“snapped” Peter Parker who embarks on a European adventure with super-beings to fight, just following “Avengers: Endgame” and the passing of his mentor Tony Stark/Iron Man. By this point most of the promotional material has gone out from trailers to posters. In the latter regard, actor Samuel L. Jackson, who plays Nick Fury, is not impressed by a poster of “Far from Home” that he saw.

USA Today tells us that Samuel L. Jackson has heavily criticized the photo of a poster for “Spider-Man: Far from Home” that has popped up on social media. On his Instagram page, Jackson showed the image of two “Far from Home” posters side to side. The one on the right showed him in character as former director of SHIELD Nick Fury with his trademark eye-patch. The one on the left depicted another shot of Fury, but it had its image flipped; Fury’s eye-patch was on the left eye, and this one was on the right.

Commenters on the actor’s Instagram post found the error humorous, including Jackson’s fellow MCU star Pom Klementieff (Mantis in “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2”). Another comment on the post identified the place where the “Spider-Man: Far from Home” posters were display at to be in Singapore. Said photo with the flipped-image poster was first revealed on Reddit, with similar humorous pokes at Fury’s character, such as him pretending to have a wounded eye to fraudulently claim disability benefits. Jackson on the other hand was his trademark swear-spouting self on his post which he punctuated with hash-tags such as #headsgonroll.

Stories on how the super-spymaster Nick Fury lost his eye will depend on the story medium. In the MCU franchise the origin was finally revealed early this year in “Captain Marvel” starring Brie Larson. The film, set in the 1990s, features a digitally de-aged Samuel L. Jackson as a younger field agent Fury with both eyes intact, until the left one is scratched blind by Goose, Captain Marvel’s alien “cat.” Although rendered sightless, Fury would keep the eye covered in his eye-patch, which would come to play in 2014’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” when he uses the blind eye for a retina security scan.

In other news, the May-released MCU epic blockbuster “Avengers: Endgame” has already gone past the original box-office run earnings of Steven Spielberg’s “Avatar” from 20th Century Fox. Comic Book Resources elaborates that “Endgame” needs only $38.3 million more added to its $2.7 billion to next surpass the 2009 sci-fi blockbuster’s lifetime total gross. As for Marvel-Sony’s “Spider-Man: Far from Home,” it will premiere July 2.

Image courtesy of Mashable

Monday, June 24, 2019


While not exactly as popular as the original summer version, especially because it tends to feature less competing countries because of the uncommon nature of its playing medium, the Winter Olympics are still an Olympic Games. That means the right to host it can be a fierce competition for nations with an appropriate snowy locale on the right time of year. While the host of the next Winter Olympics is already confirmed – Beijing, China – the International Olympic Committee (IOC) always makes arrangements well in advance. That being said, the host city for the 2026 Winter Games was recently announced: Italy.

CNN reports that, with the final applicants for the 2026 Winter Olympics brought down to just two, the IOC has selected the dual-location bid of Milan and Cortina in Italy to be the host. The decision was announced by the Committee president Thomas Bach on Monday, June 24. With this, the Winter Games will be held again in Europe in the coming years, following Five Olympics (three Summer, two Winter which were both in Asian cities) and 12 years of waiting after the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. It is also a repeat performance for the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, which was the solo host for the 1956 Winter Games.

The bidding for the 2026 Winter Olympics began in 2017 with about seven bids. But over the course of 2018 five of the bids withdrew from the running: Calgary in Canada, Sapporo of Japan, Austria’s own Graz, the Swiss town of Sion, and a first-time Winter bid by Turkey for Erzurum. Only Milan-Cortina and the Swedish double-bid of Stockholm-Åre remained for the Committee to vote on. This is symptomatic of the current trend in Olympic host selection wherein the final candidates rarely exceed two, followed by quick withdrawals by other candidate bids for the contention.

On his announcement of the International Olympic Committee’s decision, Thomas Bach remarked that the IOC was looking forward to returning to the traditional winter-sports country of Italy ahead of a sustainable Winter Games, thanks to passionate local fans and professional venue operators in the area. "The Olympic Winter Games Milan-Cortina 2026 will feature iconic venues and beautiful settings, combining the attractions of a modern European metropolis with a classic Alpine environment," he said. Thus far the reactions of winter sports athletes at the news have been positive, with many of them having competed in venues at Cortina in the past.

The 2026 Winter Olympic Games will run from February 6 to 22 of that year, with events held at both Milan and Cortina. As is now traditional, there will be a follow-up Winter Paralympics running the following month, March 6-15.

Images from Olympics.org and KSBW.com


It is less than a month left before the remake of Disney’s “The Lion King” arrives in theaters. Like the live-action “Aladdin” that premiered last month, promotional materials such as the trailers and TV spots do not do much to hide the story details from the 1994 animated original. What has been somewhat kept secret is how much of the new voice cast sounds. Thus far James Earl Jones’ familiar Mufasa voice has ruled over the teasers. Disney looks to build the hype of hearing Donald Glover as Simba and Beyoncé as his love interest Nala. This is reinforced by a new TV spot where we briefly hear them sing.

Upcoming “BTS WORLD” Mobile Game App Makes YOU BTS’ Talent Manager

When it comes to K-Pop in the US, Americans would consider boy band BTS to be one of the biggest faces (if not the faces) of the Korean music industry today, the way PSY had been in 2012-13 (for obvious reasons). Having thrilled stateside audiences on a wide scale as late as this May on “Good Morning America,” the 7-man band of clean-faced Korean hotties has been conquering one new ground after another. Now they are set to stake their own corner of the mobile gaming scene with their first ever game app. Have you ever wonder what it would be like to manage BTS?

SARAH G Photographed Visiting MATTEO GUIDICELLI during His SCOUT RANGER Training

Considering ongoing tensions that pose a threat to the Philippines both domestically and internationally, it is natural for the Armed Forces (AFP) to develop a cadre of reserve corps that might be called on in times of extreme crisis for the country. Being a military reservist has also been an attractive prospect for celebrities. Manny Pacquiao is a particularly famous example, and he has held reserve officer ranks after being elected to Congress. Recently, army reservist Matteo Guidicelli also decided to aim higher with his status by receiving training as an Army Scout Ranger, going on a showbiz hiatus to do so. His girlfriend Sarah Geronimo then decided to pay him a visit this week.


Although “Pokémon Go” continues to see active play around the world on mobile devices since it debuted back in 2016, the primary developers of the Nintendo-branded game spinoff at Niantic could still remember the epic numbers the app pulled on its first few months, in terms of players and in-game transactions. They have since developed a new mobile app based on J.K. Rowling and Warner Bros.’ “Harry Potter” franchise, which started releasing last Friday. Based on whether or not Niantic’s latest project could take off with the mobile gaming community, the earliest signs point to eager players and revenue earning.

Fox’s “XMEN: DARK PHOENIX” Already Dropping Off in US CINEMAS

While in Marvel Comics the rivalry between readerships of the Avengers (plus affiliated characters) and the X-Men (ditto) is notable for being pretty fierce at times, on the big screen right now there is only one clear king in popularity between the two franchises. Gone is the early 2000s heyday of 20th Century Fox’s “X-Men” films by (current-disgraced) filmmaker Bryan Singer. In its place is the massive Disney-Marvel juggernaut of the MCU movies, centered on the “Avengers.” The counterpart “X-Men” films could not rate as well, with the latest, “Dark Phoenix,” actually already bombing in the box office. This new development just makes things worse.

CARDI B is Most-Nominated Performer for Sunday 2019 BET AWARDS

While still being one year short of running for two full decades, the Black Entertainment Television (BET) Awards presented by the Viacom-owned pay TV channel for the African-American audience has been shaping up to be a major player in the non-big 4 awarding circles. They certainly spared no expenses with this year’s ceremony held Sunday evening at L.A.’s Microsoft Theater, considering this is the channel’s last awards night for the 2010s. With Regina Hall as host, the BETA quickly went through honoring the best African-American and other minority personalities in the entertainment scene, from movies to music and even sports.

Sunday, June 23, 2019


When it premiered back in 1995 via Disney, Pixar’s “Toy Story” was hailed as a triumph, the first feature-length computer-animated motion picture. People tended to view it less for its premise (the secret world of toys that come to life when no people are around) and more to look at the sweet visuals. The first sequel, 1999’s “Toy Story 2,” was what established the franchise as having superb storytelling power for kids and all ages too. This came to a peak with 2010’s “Toy Story 3,” as it showed what felt to be the end of an epic multi-part saga; or so we thought then.


Filipino vacationers might still remember how last year, an initiative spearheaded by the President closed the resort island of Boracay for the better part of 2018. This was to facilitate an extensive cleanup and rehabilitation operation for the chronically crowded tourist magnet. I reopened later that year to more controlled visitor numbers and patched-up locales, but the repairs and additions to the island are still ongoing to this day. One particular update to come in the future is a long bridge connecting Boracay to Aklan in the mainland. An awarding of “original proponent” could be done to the company that first brought up the bridge idea might take place soon.

WINDOWS 10’s New Command-Line App WINDOWS TERMINAL Available for DOWNLOAD

Not a lot of computer users nowadays could remember the old days. As far back as the 1960s a user needed to issue orders to a computer of the time by means of line after line of typed commands. The “command-line interface” (CLI) was how Microsoft’s first breakout product, MS-DOS, was utilized. Ironically, the company’s next breakthrough, the Windows operating system, would eventually lead to the fall of MS-DOS and similar CLI systems from mainline use outside of troubleshooting and backwards-compatibility. Microsoft however continues to see further use out of CLI even in this bleeding-edge era, which explains their latest downloadable app for Windows 10.


This June, major aircraft manufacturers from all over the world gathered in the Le Bourget commune of Paris for the Paris Air Show, an international exhibition of the latest advances and products in the aerospace industry happening on odd-numbered. Of great significance in this 53rd Air Show for 2019, is the competition between Boeing and Airbus. The latter, European giant is exploiting the recent stumble in the former, American company with their apparently crash-prone 737 Max. A number of Filipino officials and representative of local airlines have attended the event. Among them is Cebu Pacific, which has taken the opportunity now to improve their fleet.

Friday, June 21, 2019


The longevity of the NBA experience can certainly be attributed to the never-ending parade of basketball stars that have played in its league over the years and decades. In fact, periods of the NBA can be characterized by the top active players of those times: Wilt Chamberlain, then Michael Jordan, the Kobe Bryant, then LeBron James. All of those big names were accompanied by contemporaries that helped shape the image of the NBA at any given moment in time. And as legends of yesterday leave, new blood is brought in through the annual Drafts. And one future star picked Thursday could shape the NBA tomorrow.

APPLE Issues RECALL of MACBOOK PRO Units Made Around 2015-17

On the tech device scene, battery issues are serious business. One does not easily forget the massive embarrassment on the part of Korean electronics giant Samsung and their prematurely-discontinued Galaxy Note 7, which was notorious for overheating and catching fire even with a unit recall. Not even Apple has got a flawless record on device battery problems. This came to prominence back in May when an Apple user’s MacBook Pro went up in smoke and fire. Apple has just acknowledged that MacBook Pros from a production period as far back as four years ago may have developed fire safety risks.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

“RIVERDALE” S4 Premiere Addressing DEATH of LUKE PERRY, His Character

One can never look at the old Archie Comics the same way again after they have watched “Riverdale” on The CW. Despite sharing a setting and characters, the darkly subversive teen drama is completely different from the timeless funny books that were the source material. The season 3 finale certainly pushes the envelope in the grimness of the series storyline with three of the central cast apparently murdering the fourth. Speaking of fourth, Season 4 will premiere this coming October, and apparently it is considered the most important episode of the show the production would make for this whole year.

LONGEST DAYTIME in the Philippines as SUMMER SOLSTICE Happens this FRIDAY

From a basic knowledge of astronomy, Filipinos would know that the reason the country never has snow in December when places like America do, is due to their positioning on the world. As close to the equator as the Philippines is, its tropical location cuts down the possible four seasons (spring, summer, fall and winter) to just two (dry/summer and wet/rainy). But all countries regardless of seasons share something in common. They have two days in a year when daytime and nighttime are equal, a day when the night is longest, and a day when daytime lasts longest. This Friday, Filipinos will experience the longest period of daylight for 2019.


Philippine show business lost one of its pillars yesterday. Less than two weeks following an accident on set of what would be his last TV series, Eddie Garcia, a veteran of the industry with seven decades of acting, directing and producing under his belt, passed away at the Makati Memorial Center. He was aged 90.

KPOP Artists REPRESENT in Multiple Categories for 2019 TEEN CHOICE AWARDS

MTV already had its turn to give out accolades with the recent Movie & TV Awards which aired this week (after taping on Saturday). Now, Fox network makes ready to make teenagers of America vote on their counterpart presentation, the Teen Choice Awards for 2019. The 21st iteration of the awards will be held this August at Hermosa Beach in California, featuring nominations of achievements in film, television, music, sports and other fields. Fox started announcing their nominees for various categories on Wednesday, and from the look of things, it may be another big break for K-Pop in the US.

“JEOPARDY!” Big Winner JAMES HOLZHAUER Donates to CANCER Charity Walk, Using Name of Show HOST and Cancer Survivor ALEX TREBEK

When James Holzhauer, a 34-year-old professional sports gambler from Las Vegas, first entered the syndicated game show “Jeopardy!” last April, he started a phenomenon that would greatly boost ratings for the long-runner with his play-style that saw him make insane amounts of money in every succeeding game he played in as returning champion. When he was finally eliminated on his 33rd outing, he had made $2,464,216 total from his time on “Jeopardy!,” just third behind the two highest-earning winners, and getting there in fewer games than they. After his extraordinary experience, He made a generous donation to a pancreatic cancer walk in Illinois, and used “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek’s name.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019


For Filipinos who happen to be fans of Korea-novelas, one actor’s name is sure to elicit a lot of delighted squees. That would be Park Bo-Gum, who might be recalled in the leading role for “Love in the Moonlight,” which was aired on ABS-CBN and its Pay TV affiliates. His portrayal of a Crown Prince of Joseon and his dynamics with one of his eunuchs (a woman in disguise) has been well-remembered. Fans were excited when he was scheduled to visit the Philippines for a fan meet, an event that got postponed until this weekend. And to ensure it happens, Park arrived in Manila today.

BB. PILIPINAS 2-TIME 2nd RUNNERUP Explains Absence from Post-Pageant Commitments

It has been over a week since the 2019 Binibining Pilipinas beauty pageant, which selected this year’s representatives for two major and four minor international pageant competitions. These beauties were selected from a pool of 15 contestants that advanced to the final round with the question and answer portion. Of the Top 15, eight were given accolades: six for the pageant titleholders and two runners up. In a remarkable occurrence, the 2019 Bb. Pilipinas Second Runner-Up is also the winner for the exact same position back in 2018, the pageant that put Catriona Gray on the path to becoming the Miss Universe for that year.


It has been something of an old lesson in basic Asian history for schools. When the subject of China is brought up, the rote memorization states that it is the most populous country in the world. It had gotten to the point that the Communist government instituted a policy of one child per family to curb that growth. Next point, thus far the only nation that could keep up with Chinese population growth had been India. But these rudimentary lessons may soon become obsolete. Current trends in population growth and decline would see China soon to give up its global population title to its neighbor.


When it comes to discussing what more can smartphones do, some manufacturers have proposed the idea of a folding touchscreen, enabling devices to “unfold” from phone to tablet mode. A number of companies have gone into developing what was initially the “fabled” folding phone, with South Korean electronics giant Samsung introducing their Galaxy Fold earlier this year. Units that were sent to reviewers managed to impress, at first. But then the complex and delicate hinge system that protects the folding LCD touchscreen started failing, leading to Samsung recalling the review phones and indefinitely suspending the Galaxy Fold release. Apparently now, the device is market-ready again.


At this point in time for the year 2019, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) had already announced the start of the rainy season.  And while the southern parts of the Philippines have been repeatedly hit by downpours even well before the official beginning, up north in Luzon the story has been rather different. There the effects of the southeast monsoon or “Habagat” has yet to reprieve the area from summer’s El Niño, which had dramatically lowered the water levels of dams that provide water for urban centers like Metro Manila. Angat Dam for example, is on the verge of “critical level.”

ABS-CBN News reports that Angat Dam has only 1 or two days left before its water supply reaches critical level, which would necessitate cuts to water service for the areas in Luzon that it provides water to. By that we mean Central Luzon (Region III) and Metro Manila itself, the latter of which has already been in the grip of periodic water shortages. News of Angat Dam’s water level will only sour moods there further, for PAGASA weather forecaster Benison Estareja has recorded the reservoir at just 160.73 meter this morning of Thursday, June 20. For reference, critical level for Angat is at 160 meters.

Estareja adds that the water level of the dam could dip below 160 meters within one to two days from now, at which point the water supply allocation into Metro Manila for a start will be drastically reduced further. PAGASA estimates that the first big blow of the southwest monsoon in Luzon will not be until sometime this weekend. And even then, the National Water Resources Board opines that regular monsoon rains would barely be enough to recover the water level. It would probably need an actual typhoon in Luzon.

Whenever the El Niño phenomenon hits the Philippines, the water supply is the easiest victim. Over this past summer the NWRB has cut water distributed for agriculture, although thankfully rice farmers in Luzon have already started planting season, so food supplies would not be affected even noticeably. The real adverse effect was in water reserved for consumption. As over a million Metro Manila households can attest since El Niño intensified this March, lining up for hours to have water felt even worse than is normal for the nation’s capital. The current status of Angat Dam is therefore an important element.

With luck the monsoon rains will start to come down on Luzon before the water situation deteriorates any further. El Niño however is projected by PAGASA to continue, despite being reduced in magnitude, until August.

Image from Business World Online