Sunday, June 30, 2019


One week ago, ABS-CBN’s localization of Fremantle Media’s “Idol” reality singing franchise finally completed the most vital segment of their competition, the selection of the Top 12. From this point, the remaining contestants of “Idol Philippines” are no longer at the sole mercy of the panel of judges, but will also be able to count on public voter support. This came into play for the first time this June 29 to 30, when the Top 12 performed for the first time in Live Shows, with the theme being the music of legendary composer Ryan Cayabyab. In the end, the first two were eliminated from contention: Matty Juniosa and Rachel Libres.


Regardless of what some traditionalist critics might say, Disney is dead-set on continuing its trend of reinventing their classic Animated Canon of films into live-action remakes. And considering the large amount of movies that equates too, they have hit upon the brilliant idea of dividing the productions on two major platforms. There will be some films that will be given a theatrical release, while other adaptations will become exclusive content for the Disney+ streaming service. “The Little Mermaid” has the honor of being remade for cinemas, and this month a name was given who would portray the memorable antagonist Ursula.

More FILIPINOS Get News on FACEBOOK than RADIO and NEWSPAPERS; Only TV Remains TOP Source

Before the turn of the millennium, and even for a few years after that, the top sources of news information in the Philippines has been similar to that of many other countries after that: the “traditional triangle” of television, radio and print media. That does not take to account the subdivisions of the first and third sources, from aerial-broadcast channels to cable, and from daily broadsheets and tabloids to magazines. A lot has changed from then to now, nearly two decades into the 21st Century. Now there is a new source, the internet. For Filipinos, there is one major choice: social media, in particular Facebook.


In the aftermath of the Golden State Warriors’ doomed Finals three-peat campaign against the Toronto Raptors which began late last May, one of the defeated champion team’s pillars of power has been considering his future. Kevin Durant had turned down his $31.5 million option with the team to become an unrestricted free agent, with potential offers from many an NBA team looking to beef up their rosters with his addition. That is quite the feat especially since Durant is still recovering from his Finals injury. But the 30-year-old was not going to keep quiet long. He made his momentous announcement on social media this Sunday.

Friday, June 28, 2019

NINTENDO Reveals New “POKÉMON MASTERS” Mobile App Coming this SUMMER

When Nintendo and The Pokémon Company gave the go-ahead to mobile developer Niantic for “Pokémon Go,” it was a testing of the waters and a leap of faith. This endeavor would take the successful handheld game franchise and make it widely available to mobile gamers worldwide. The 2016 debut of the app smashed all expectations. And although the current player-base is smaller compared to the early days, the longevity of a mobile “Pokémon” videogame was proven. Now, Nintendo is teaming up with another developer to bring the wonder of “catching ‘em all” to a new audience with a new app.

NEW and RETURNING Actors Expand CAST for "BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC," Coming 2020

It would be hard at first to swallow that a movie about two slackers playing at being rock stars going on a time-travel trip to the past inside a phone booth could become a cult classic. But that was indeed what “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” became. The 1989 sci-fi comedy and its 1991 follow-up “Bogus Journey” were but part of what became a modest franchise before fading into obscurity. But now the creative minds and lead stars of the previous films are working on a third installment planned for next year, and a full cast is now being developed.

Thursday, June 27, 2019


The westernmost Philippine province of Palawan is known to be the largest of all provinces in the country in terms of land area and jurisdiction. While less urbanized and considered underdeveloped in comparison to other provinces, Palawan does boast natural beauty, wildlife and resources. But some quarters in the provincial and national government are of the opinion that these natural resources are unevenly distributed in the province. Senator Sonny Angara thus proposed a bill last April that was passed a month later to divide Palawan into three new provinces, a move criticized by local residents. They have in fact taken the whole matter to the highest court of the land.

PAUL RUDD CAST for “GHOSTBUSTERS 2020,” Announced in Funny VID

When there’s something strange in the neighborhood, who was it that you called, back in the eighties at least? Why, the “Ghostbusters” of course. Columbia Pictures hit on the beginning of a new franchise when they released the first film featuring the titular paranormal investigators and spirit-trappers in 1984. It led to a 1989 sequel, several animated series and games, and a 2016 remake that was drowned in controversy and is now considered a non-entity. But the creators have not given up yet, with another “Ghostbusters” movie coming in 2020. They even cast a certain “guy that shrinks” for it.

First TRAILER of New CHARLIES ANGELS Released Coming this NOVEMBER

Arguably one of the best Seventies revival success stories in pop culture would have to be the film adaptation of the 1976-81 crime drama series “Charlie’s Angels” that was done in 2000. It established that the movie was following up from the TV show, with the changing main cast lineup being canonized as how the Townsend detective agency renews its roster over the years. While the idea of “no guns, only martial arts” that the film Angels used was considered fanciful, it may have caused the 2003 sequel to tank. But Sony and Columbia are keen on continuing the franchise, and based on the trailer for the new film, they might have hit the jackpot.

APPLE Design Boss JONY IVE Leaving to Form New DESIGN FIRM; Retaining Apple as CLIENT

The late Steve Jobs may be the face of all technological innovation in Apple, the company he co-founded close to a half-century ago now. But it has long been proven that whatever awesome product comes out of the tech giant is the result of a team effort in development. If Apple loyalists really like the looks of their computers and mobile devices, then they owe it to British industrial designer Jonathan Ive. Since joining Apple in 1992 and becoming design chief in 1996, he made products like the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad look sweet. But time has passed. For Ive, it was time he left Apple for other opportunities.

KRIS AQUINO Counter-argues with Online Heckler; Hints at Possible RUNNING for OFFICE in 2022 ELECTIONS

When ABS-CBN’s Queen of All Media Kris Aquino began having an uptick of allergic reactions beginning in 2013, she initially considered it as merely what they felt like: allergies. What she did not know was that they were the harbinger of a far worse condition, and one that she has been battling since last year: autoimmune disease. The fact that she had to deal with this health problem along with legal issues concerning a lawsuit by one of her business associates makes it understandable that she has kept to her privacy. But every now and then she does make a stand against hurtful online commentary.

WB Starts Clash of TITANS with "TEEN TITANS GO! VS, TEEN TITANS" Coming to Video

When DC and Warner Bros. Animation debuted “Teen Titans” on Cartoon Network and Kids’ WB back in 2003, a new generation was introduced to DC’s premiere “junior” superhero team. The fact that show creator Glen Murakami decided to add humor and anime styling to the series animation only cemented this popularity. When the original series concluded and was replaced in 2013 by the more comedic and super-deformed “Teen Titans Go!” the audience was polarized by the change. A 2018 feature-length movie spinoff then teased a possible return of the original-series Teen Titans, but a newly-released trailer reveals something more epic.

KIT HARINGTON Thanks Charity FUNDRAISER by GAME OF THRONES Fans; DONATES Enough to Reach Target Value

Fans may say what they want regarding the quality of the final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” that premiered last April, but they can at least appreciate the effort put through the medieval fantasy epic series by its now-very famous cast. One of these is Kit Harington, who portrayed eventual lead character Jon Snow. Harington has recently checked himself into a Connecticut wellness center to recover from the immense stress he underwent in playing the role to its conclusion. In his name a number of “Thrones” fans started a fundraiser for the British actor’s favored charity, which Harington thanked for with his own donation.


From the end of May to early this June, the NBA decided which of its two Conference champions would be the top team of the league for the 2018-19 Season. The defending champions the Golden State Warriors came into the Finals with one of its top players sidelined by injury: Kevin Durant. Against the first-time Finalists the Toronto Raptors Golden State received a heavy pounding, winning one game with several more players getting injured and winning a second time with Durant playing until a ruptured Achilles tendon. The Raptors would win the NBA Championship for the first time, while a recovering Durant has decided not to stick with the Warriors.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019


To say that BTS is the first thing in the minds of the Western Hemisphere, like the US, when “K-Pop” is mentioned, would feel like selling the boy band short. The magnificent idol seven of Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V and Jungkook, have done some impressive heavy lifting to once again revitalize world attention to the South Korean music scene. The fact that they have their own internationally-released mobile game is just a sign that, like the app’s title, Earth is becoming a “BTS World.” And now they have gotten a global achievement as stated by Guinness World Records.


In recent years, followers of showbiz happenings have been seeing a pattern in terms of stars from other networks either working on apparent one-off projects with Philippine media giant ABS-CBN, or in certain cases simply jumping ship to join the network (or in the preferred “Kapamilya” parlance, to “return” to ABS-CBN). Regine Velasquez becoming a Kapamilya had been a major blow to GMA 7, about the only other Filipino network that is equal with the juggernaut. Recently, Kapuso Star Alden Richards was invited into ABS-CBN HQ following production of “Hello, Love, Goodbye” alongside Kathryn Bernardo. Not long after this worrying (to GMA) event, Alden’s “love team” partner will also star in a Kapamilya movie soon.

TAMARAW Spotted Within MINDORO Sanctuary after Absence for 37 YEARS

Although the carabao (Philippine water buffalo) is considered to be the national animal of the Philippines – in an informal and traditional manner of speaking due to no legal basis – there is also some honor extended to its smaller cousin in the country. On the island of Mindoro there still lives the dwarf buffalo called the tamaraw. Easily identified by its near V-shaped horns, the solitary and reputedly fierce tamaraw has been driven to near extinction by human habitation and poaching, only occasionally seen in isolated grassy plains. But now, sightings of the buffalo have been made at a Mindoro wildlife sanctuary, nearly three decades since they were last spotted there. reports that observers from a locally-based conservation NGO in Mindoro have recorded the presence of the tamaraw within the territory of the Mt. Calavite Wildlife Sanctuary (MCWS), which is located near the municipality of Paluan in the province of Occidental Mindoro. According to Conservation Awareness Raising and Education (CARE) program manager Kathy Lene Cielo, signs of grazing, bovine dung and tracks inside the MCWS points to no less than four or seven tamaraw. CARE is a subsidiary of the Mindoro Biodiversity Conservation Foundation Inc. (MBCFI), which recently held a Tamaraw Expedition in the wildlife sanctuary last week, June 16-21.

Said expedition was a joint operation between the MBCFI, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Occidental Mindoro Office and the national Tamaraw Consrvation Program, D’Aboville Foundation and the MCWS Protected Area Office. Their happening upon the signs of tamaraw presence indicates that the reclusive animals are once again roaming in the sanctuary after they were last documented by sight there in 1992, or 37 years ago. Visual confirmation of the tamaraw in the MCWS was made of one animal, identified as a male juvenile (not yet adult), located near the summit of Mt. Calavite.

There are several factors on why the tamaraw is critically endangered outside human threats. First, their social behavior of not forming herds (outside of juvenile groups) means they rarely interact with each other outside of mating. Second, the gestation period for tamaraw birth is around 300 days or almost a year meaning new young are slow in coming into the world. The species is highly reliant on conservation efforts such as the MBCFI to help safeguard it from being poached, as well as keep them from being disturbed in either the sanctuaries or the wild.

Kahy Cielo sees good prospects in the return of the tamaraw to around Mt. Calavite. “This means the number of tamaraws can still increase,” she explains. “We just need stricter guarding of the protected area.”

Image courtesy of GMA Network


It would seem 2019 is the time for some major multi-season series to finally wrap up their storylines. The most prominent example of that had been HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” which started in 2011 with some early-teen supporting cast members, who were well into being young adults (and main cast) by the time the medieval fantasy show completed its eighth and final season earlier this year. Soon, another hit series, this time on streaming, will see its gripping storyline of women’s prison life come to a close. “Orange is the New Black” on Netflix is set to premiere its seventh and last season next month.

OPPO Presents Prototype Phone with UNDER-SCREEN CAMERA Hidden Behind Display

The evolution of the mobile phone interface is rather startling. From the button keyboard with the slim LCD number display, the window began to get bigger. The once-monochrome LCD became more finely-detailed, then dispensed in favor of color. When the smartphone debuted, physical keyboards were replaced by touchscreens, LCD by LED, and selfie cameras on top. But as the screen display expanded there seemed no place else to put anything physical on the face side of a mobile phone. While selfie cameras remained “indispensable” there appeared to be no means to have its presence interfere with the ideal edge-to-edge display. Still, developers find a way.

“TOY STORY 4” Losing Ground in CHINA to “SPIRITED AWAY”

“Toy Story 4,” the unexpected new installment to the iconic computer-animated franchise by Pixar and Disney, has the curious distinction of opening its cinematic release somewhat below projected figures, but still go strong on its first box office weekend. For Disney, this was proof that despite the perceived superfluous nature of another sequel when the third film was already an appropriately thematic conclusion, fans will still flock to Pixar’s most successful creation. The same story of box office success should be expected domestically and overseas. But in the behemoth market of China, “Toy Story 4” was beaten by a surprise competition: an “old” anime masterpiece.


Once, all media were separate. Films were shown for one run in cinemas and can only be viewed repeatedly on home video and eventual TV airing. TV programs were usually one-shots barring reruns and video releases for ongoing series. Then Netflix popularized digital streaming, and studios and networks clamored to put their choice content on its library and those of other platforms. But such an arrangement was not going to last. With each network and studio starting to build up their own exclusive streaming services, the once-varied Netflix content has begun to be whittled down, the latest being “The Office.”

“THE CURRENT WAR” Finally Coming to CINEMAS after WEINSTEIN Scandal

In this day and age a significant enough amount of social indignation can be enough to ruin schedules and timetables when it comes to business, like with the movie industry. Case in point is “The Current War,” a historical film by Thunder Road Pictures about the conflict between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse for the adoption of direct and alternating current systems in electrical power. The snag was that its distributor was The Weinstein Company, at a time when Harvey Weinstein was in deep trouble for sexual abuse allegations. This caused the movie to be pulled from a 2017 release.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

No More from TD DODONG as It Exits PAR on WEDNESDAY

Much has been made about the unreasonably hot and dry summer the Philippines had this 2019 because of El Niño. Some harvests were affected. Metro manila suffered – and continues to suffer – the usual round of water shortages that always happens when there is too much sun. Not even the coming of rainy season has done much for quickly refilling the critically-low Angat Dam which provides the capital and its neighbors with water. It had been hoped that the entry of Tropical Depression Dodong could help water the parched country some. But from its current movements, Luzon must wait some more.

Uncertain Future for MICHAEL JACKSON’s Legacy, a DECADE after DEATH

Ten years ago, on Jun 25, 2009, a legend of music left the world. He was the King of Pop, Michael Jackson, famous for his incredible songs and equally infamous at the time for his strange lifestyle, not to mention accusations of molesting the young children who were always welcome at his once-home of Neverland Ranch in California. His passing somewhat deadened criticism against him, out of respect. But earlier this year a brutal documentary featuring two alleged victims of Jackson from their childhoods started ruining his nostalgic image anew. As his tenth death anniversary comes and goes, the world is unsure on how best to remember a timeless icon.


This June has been celebrated by the world as Pride Month, as it has always been in past years to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall protests in New York City. Parades and events putting the LGBT Community front and center have been occurring in many countries within this period. And earlier still, some territories have taken significant steps in securing the rights of their LGBT citizens. One major example has been Taiwan which had legalized same-sex marriage in May. And that is something former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach would like to see happening in the Philippines too, hence her public support.


When Marvel Studios unleaded the climactic “Avengers: Endgame” in world cinemas last April, one of their secondary objectives was to see its box office performance eventually exceed the all-time earnings of James Cameron’s “Avatar” from 20th Century Fox, now a fellow subsidiary of Marvel’s under Disney. As the weeks passed that goal has come ever closer to reality that Disney-Marvel decided to take some extra insurance. They announced a rerelease of “Endgame” with the bonus promise of added scenes, the better to lure back those who have already watched. Now that official details of the “return” are out, some audiences suddenly find themselves wanting more.

With Impending Certification, MISLATEL Could Start Getting SUBSCRIBERS by SEPTEMBER

Last year, one of the priority initiatives of the Duterte administration started to pick up speed towards realization: the introduction of a third major telephone company in the Philippines, to break the duopoly in place between PLDT-Smart and Globe. After a tense period wherein interested tech firms presented bids to establish a nationwide-covering telecom for consideration by the government, the newly-established consortium of Mindanao Islamic Telephone Company Inc. (Mislatel) was given a timetable to develop its mobile and internet infrastructure for wide public use by this year. According to the latest word, Mislatel might soon be ready to accept subscribers.

New “MATRIX 4” RUMORS Surface

When Warner Bros. released “The Matrix” in 1999, they would hit upon a gold mine of a franchise and a pioneer in computer special effects. The story of humans in a machine-ruled post-apocalyptic Earth fighting their oppressors in a virtual environment to save the rest of their species from energy exploitation drew viewers, who stayed because of the epic fights and “bullet time” sequences. For all intents and purposes the “Matrix” film trilogy finished the franchise storyline adequately. But in this decade there has been talk of either making a fourth follow-up or rebooting the movies. And the original creators are rumored to return too.

Directors’ Guild Calls for SAFETY IMPROVEMENTS on FILM and TV SETS Following EDDIE GARCIA’s DEATH

This month of June saw the Philippine entertainment industry say goodbye to veteran actor Eddie Garcia, who passed away last week at the age of 90. His departure was especially sordid as it came about due to an accident on set for what should have been his latest TV soap appearance. Garcia had fallen down and suffered a cervical fracture that landed him in a coma until his death June 20. In the heels of his unfortunate end have come calls for greater safety measures to be enacted at production sets for film and television, spearhead by several movie organizations.

Film Council MEMORANDUM Shifts MOVIE Premieres from WEDNESDAY to FRIDAY

In the Philippine cinema scene, it is general practice for new movies, both domestic and foreign productions, to make their premiere in the middle of the week, on Wednesdays. This release schedule usually means that for Hollywood movies, the country gets an earlier moment to look at the films in theaters ahead of their release in what should be their default domestic markets. That has helped immensely in our publication getting some early reviews in. But motion picture organizations here believe the midweek movie premiere date is problematic in getting premiere-night crowds. So they have moved the day to the beginning of the weekend instead.

Inquirer.NET reports that the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has released a memorandum for the country’s movie theaters to shift their premiere of new movies to Friday. In a statement released Tuesday, June 25, the FDCP Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 2019-01 which provided outlines and regulation changes regarding the release of films in Philippine cinema. Putting the premiere date on the start of the weekend rather than the middle of the week, for example, would encourage larger numbers of audiences to turn out and watch on the weekend, when most box-office readings are usually done by industry trackers.

According to Lisa Diño, chairwoman of the FDCP, MC 2019-01 “addresses the gaps that have long plagued our industry when it comes to screening films in commercial theatres.” She adds that the decision has been arrived at following consultations by the FDCP with stakeholders in the film industry: producers, media distributors, exhibitors, and the moviegoers themselves. The original mid-week premiere setup tended to cause staggering of audience counts for film screenings, thus giving a less substantial number of who goes to the premieres, particularly for movies made in the Philippines.

In addition to the premiere date change the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ MC 2019-01 includes other changes to who films are screened in theaters. For example, all movies will now be guaranteed a full first-week run minimum in cinemas, rather than being prematurely pulled for low audience counts. Next, for their first three days’ run all movies must be full-screened, and not be double-booked in one theater. A balance between Filipino and foreign films must also be observed in multiplexes. Pricing will also be regularized. Metro Manila student patrons of age 18 and below need only pay P200, while provincial rates are P150.

Finally, MC 2019-01 states that all new movies must be given 150 days holdback following their cinematic premieres in the country, before they are made available on other platforms like home video or streaming. This is to maximize the revenue from traditional box office gross for movies, domestic or foreign.

Image courtesy of Inquirer Entertainment


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