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Daft Punk trends online as they bid their fans farewell after 28 years of making music

CEBU CITY, Philippines— “It’s the end of an era.” This was the most common post shared by Daft Punk fans from all over the world following the announcement of the French duo’s break up on February 22, 2021. The Grammy-winner electric music duo broke the news to their fans in a music video called “Epilogue.” […] The post Daft Punk trends online as they bid their fans farewell after 28 years of making music appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerFeb 23rd, 2021

Sugarfree drops new song ‘Nagkita Muli’ on digital platforms

No grand launch or crowded listening parties. Just a new song from one of the popular Filipino bands Sugarfree whose sound endeared OPM lovers for many years. The new Sugarfree returns as a duo with Kaka Quisumbing (drums) and Jal Taguibao (vocals/ bass). After nine years, minus fellow members Ebe Dancel and Mitch Singson, Sugarfree is back with a new tune called “Nagkita Muli” released under Glass Onion Entertainment. “Dear Friends. Sugarfree is back with our newest single, ‘Nagkita Muli.’ This was just premiered tonight exclusively at Jam 88.3 FM!,” says Sugarfree made the announcement on Facebook when their new song debuted on February 25. Eight months later, “Nagkita Muli” will be streamed on audio streaming and media services providers. Their fans are simply ecstatic about their comeback in the music scene. Some of the comments: “Long wait is over!” “Love it” “100% support! Sugarfree is Sugarfree!” “Missing both these guys!” “Sooo glad to see this. I just hope people from the scene would just let them be. They’re just making music and clearly not harming anyone or anyone else’s legacy for that matter.” On Oct. 9, the group posted on Facebook: “And now we are here and meet again. Wounds heal and all pain.” Kaka Quisumbing (left) and Jal Taguibao. “Na-miss lang namin talaga ang isa’t isa sa pag-gawa ng kanta. Ang tagal din namin nawala sa music scene. So nung nagkita kami, sabi namin gawa uli kami ng songs,” says Taguibao, who is also a professor in the Department of Political Science, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of the Philippines Diliman. “Ganun lang ka-simple kung paano nabuo ang new song namin,” adds Quisumbing. During an exclusive online interview, the duo reminisced about memorable moments of their successful career. “Ang hindi talaga namin malilimutan yung mga ‘lagare’ gigs namin. Meaning pagkatapos ng isang gig sa isang lugar, pupunta kami ng probinsiya for the second gig and then lilipad naman uli sa isang province para tumugtog,” recalls Taguibao. Quisumbing says: “Minsan sobrang sikip ng venue na parang hindi na kami maka-hinga. Ang hindi ko makakalimutan siyempre yung beginnings namin. Noon kami pa ang nagbabayad sa venue para maka-kanta lang tapos wala pang sampu ang nakikinig sa’yo. I guess halos lahat dumaan sa mga ganung simula bago sumikat.” A.L. Henson, manager of the group, says nothing big is being planned yet now that Sugarfree is back. “Initially, ang plan lang muna is to release a song. Then konting gig siguro. Release uli ng song. Ganun lang muna,” says Henson when asked if the duo was going full-blast in 2021. The duo adds that it will keep its Sugarfree style of music, similar to the sound they have embraced in the past. “Sa ngayon naman wala kaming plan mag experiment ng new sound. Tama na sa amin yung tunog na kinalakihan ng aming mga fans. Wala kaming plano na gumawa ng mga obscure na sound,” says Taguibao. Formed in 1999, Sugarfree is known for their hits “Hari Ng Sablay,” Mariposa,” “Wag Ka Ng Umiyak,” “Makita Kang Muli,” Burnout,” etc. They disbanded in 2011. In February 2020, they came back as a duo. No plans yet for a Sugarfree reunion despite clamor from fans, Hanson says. But the band promises fans that they will continue to make music. Formed in 1999, Sugarfree is known for their hits “Hari Ng Sablay,” Mariposa,” “Wag Ka Ng Umiyak,” “Makita Kang Muli,” Burnout,” etc. They disbanded in 2011. In February 2020, they came back as a duo. “Our fans can expect that we will be making new music with our brand of melodies and flavor. While doing that, we will continue exploring tunes to articulate through music, our personal histories and experiences,” the duo said......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Halloween fans go online to keep tradition alive

Dressing up as a character different from yourself attracts the Halloween fans to keep the party going online.It takes a group of performers five hours to put on that Halloween look for the online stage.Malls have also taken the Halloween celebration online. Filipinos who celebrate Halloween are not going to let the COVID-19 pandemic take away the fun of something different, one of them dressing up costume parties. (UNSPLASH / MANILA BULLETIN) From the horror theme to the various characters in video games and movies, dressing up as someone so different from yourself has definitely charmed people of all ages and professions. But with the health and safety protocols prohibiting large gatherings, Halloween fans are taking the parties to another address — online! And the creativity to spark the party mood is amazing! John Paolo Mandac, a Human Resource professional who refuses to let go of years of dressing up for Halloween, has made a Maleficent costume out of recyclable materials. He said that “growing up gay and closeted” required him to dress up as he was told. But on Halloween, he has a chance to dress up the way he likes without displeasing anyone. John Paolo Mandac (Photo courtesy of John Paolo Mandac / MANILA BULLETN) “In the gay world, we call [Halloween] ‘Gay Christmas’,” Mandac said. He said there’s no skipping Halloween this year despite the COVID-19 pandemic, because it’s a holiday that “speaks volumes” to him. What Mandac likes the most about Halloween is being able to dress up. He said he has always liked Halloween since he was a kid but started really preparing to dress up for it in 2015. “Most of my childhood, I remember going to SM Megamall with my mom and sister to Trick-or- Treat. That went on for several years,” he said. “My mom would ask us to think of a character we would like to be that evening. And we had to be creative in making our costumes. It became a yearly bonding experience for us three,” he said. From trick-or-treating in malls, Mandac turned to Halloween parties. This year, he joined several virtual Halloween parties, including one prepared by his office colleagues. Mandac said that although the parties are “less grand” and all virtual, those were still Halloween parties. “No brushing elbows with strangers definitely. No physical interaction, no getting drunk, no appreciating a stranger’s costume. Everything is virtual,” he said, adding that he’ll likely throw in a horror movie marathon on Netflix after the online parties. The show must go on A group of gay performers whose busiest time in a nightclub is Halloween, has prepared their “look” for the new online stage. Since clubs have yet to open, Drag Queens Shewarma, Minty Fresh, Odasha — collectively known as Shemod — have taken their Halloween Drag show online. “Pag Halloween nag re-ready talaga kami or may mga naka resereve na kaming looks (We really prepare for Halloween, our ‘look’ has already been planned),” Odasha told Manila Bulletin. “Halloween is one of the most awaited events of the year in the nightclub,” Odasha said in Pilipino. This year, the challenge of performing for a show online requires more effort to create a look, Minty Fresh said. “Umaabot ng five hours yung preparation, kasi naayos kami, then mag seset up pa ng lighting (It takes us about five hours just to prepare, because we need to put on make-up, and then set up the stage and the lighting),” Minty Fresh said. Friendly Halloween party Meanwhile a group of high school friends have prepared to hold their yearly party online. Lace Azores, 25, a medical intern, said that for the first time in the seven years that they have been holding Halloween parties, this time he has prepared a program. “Every year we would have a Halloween party where we dress up, wear costumes, celebrate, and we also have an award ceremony,” Azores said. (Photo courtesy of Lace Azores / MANILA BULLETIN) But since quarantine restrictions prevent a party, they prepared to meet for an online party. “Usually kasi nag uusap usap lang kami pag mag kakasama kami physically. This time, may program akong prinepare, with games and awards, ‘Best in Costume’ ganyan (Usually, we would just talk to each other and share stories with each other during our physical parties. This time, I prepared a program, with games and awards like Best in Costume,” she said. Although they will not be physically together, Azores said that she and her friends will still have fun. The only thing she will miss though will be the dancing. And how will she dress up this year, we asked. Her reply: “As the coronavirus. Kasi ‘yan ang pinaka nakakatakot na nangyari this year (Because it’s the scariest thing that happened this year).” Annual Halloween fest goes online Meanwhile up north, the biggest Halloween bash in Ilocos Norte has also gone virtual. “Semana Ti Ar-Aria” is a week-long festival in Ilocos Norte which highlights the distinct traditions and superstitions of Ilocanos in remembering their departed loved ones. The festival which started in 2010 was started by former governor and now Senator Imee Marcos. The activities will mostly be online. Among them are the +Halloween TikTok Transformation challenge and a blog-making contest called “Kaba-vloghan,” Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte Information Officer II Rhona Ysabel Daoang said Other events are the “Lilia Cuntapay Short Horror Film Festival,” a film festival in honor of the Ilocana actress dubbed the “Queen of Philippine Horror Movies.” Absent this year will be the Zombie Night Run and the ghost parade. Mall activities go online Shopping malls have also brought the Halloween tradition online. Ayala Malls will host a virtual mall show Oct. 31 featuring characters such as Pinkfong and Baby Shark. The mall also made an online challenge where participants have to dress up in a Halloween costume and record themselves doing the Baby Shark Hand Wash Challenge. (Ayala Malls / MANILA BULLETIN) The challenge winner will get a Prepaid WiFi modem. The challenge promo will run until Oct. 31 and the winner will be announced on the mall’s Facebook page on Nov. 6. Events coordinator Katrina Loreto said most malls went for online promotions instead of staging an event. “Before there were many events, every mall had a Halloween event. Now, it’s mostly online promotions,” Loreto told Manila Bulletin......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 31st, 2020

Behind the Scenes: The Heroes of ABS-CBN Sports

While the general public sees or hears the finished product on-air or online, most do not witness or appreciate those who worked tirelessly behind the scenes at ABS-CBN Sports. There’s an African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child. Well, it took almost exactly that to make ABS-CBN Sports work. As we commemorate National Heroes Day in the country on the final day of ABS-CBN Sports, it is only fitting to acknowledge and thank those behind-the-scenes heroes who have been part of the amazing journey (DISCLAIMER: I may have left out some names, but it is purely unintentional so my apologies). Thank you, first and foremost, to our Chairman Emeritus Gabby Lopez, whose passion and love for sports led to the initiative that is ABS-CBN Sports. Thank you to our former President and CEO, Charo Santos-Concio, our current President and CEO, Carlo Katigbak, a true tennis fan, and our Chairman Mark Lopez, who showed us composure, class and grace as leaders.  Thank you to our beloved COO, Cory Vidanes, who allowed ABS-CBN Sports to reach a broader audience when it aired special events on Channel 2 as well as feature athletes and sports personalities on entertainment programs.   Thank you to the voice of ABS-CBN and former ABS-CBN Sports head, Peter Musngi, for leading the division during its early years. Thank you to Narrowcast head, Antonio “March” Ventosa, as well as his executive assistant, Trina Magallanes, for helping us navigate during the transtition period of ABS-CBN Sports.   Thank you to the captain of our ship, ABS-CBN Integrated Sports head, Dino Laurena, who inspired us to work harder and better to serve our audience.  Thank you to Sir Dino’s gatekeeper, his executive assistant, Donna Seat, who was our bridge whenever we needed to reach out to the boss. Thank you to S+A channel head and production head, Vince Rodriguez, LIGA channel head, Jojo Neri-Estacio and Business Unit Head, Jun Martinez. They were our constant guides who enabled us to provide quality content on broadcast despite immense internal and external pressure.  Thank you to the people who made sure we never went beyond our budget and reached our targets – our Finance team made up of Berg Capiz, Jem Castro and Lorna Gendrano. Thank you to our S+A On-Air team of Rommel Noviza, Janice Rulloda, Princess Basye, Biboy Diga, Mark Marinay, Arnold Saclolo, Borge Raval and Hans Espiritu as well as our Liga Channel team of  Anna Santos, Francis Patawaran, Aprille Signo and Joramie Roque, for ensuring everything airs on time.  Thank you to our Digital Head, Mico Halili, for his innovative and fresh ideas on the digitial space.   Thank you to the men and women who made our broadcast coverage as close to flawless – our Production Manager, Jennifer Jimenez, our directors, which include THE Abet Ramos, Al Neri, Raul de Ocampo and Rommel Pedrealba, and our technical directors made up of Elmond Salvahan, Jhonnald Garcia, Marvin Chavez, Bingbong Pangan, Arnold Bulaong and Joseph Vega. Thank you to the men and women who made sure our partner properties were happy with our coverage, and that everything was in place for each and every game or show we put out there – our Executive and Associate Producers Vic Caridad, Malou Neri, Ada Bayuga, Diana Sayson, Oxy del Rosario, Mae Mañalac, Aries Galot, Apples Dela Vega, Kristina Manzana, Roy Briones, Ledz Cahinhinan, JC Gonzales, Gab Gonzales and Manny Gabutina.  Thank you to those who crafted and produced memorable segments – our segment producers Eva Evangelista, Carlo Grajo, Cha Lucero, Mark Morados, Jeff Sta. Maria, Jet Montebon, Sharon Muli, Alex Brocoy, Mika Barrios, Bill Barrinuevo and Volta delos Santos as well as our video editors Pido Cruz and Fonz Fajatin. Thank you to those who put the right words into play – our writers Monica Magpantay, Paul Loyola, Jigs Guardiano, Adrian Dy, Sheiden Dela Cruz, Ken Natividad, Syjin Reyes and Migs Gomez. Thank you to those who gave the right cues to our anchors, analysts and courtside reporters – our panel director Larry "Care Mo Naman" Deang, our floor directors Miky "Gandara" Mirabueno, Lyanne Ocampo-Tan and Fritz Dizon. Thank you to the people who made sure that the right moments were captured – our Camera Control Unit made up of George Austria, Joel Supremo and Edgar Guarte, our Cameramen Lloyd Villamor, Rovic Pacis, Gerald "Superman" Fermin, Ron Fermin, Ronald Mangcoy, Michael Pico, Emman Andes, Butch Pineda and Mark Nicolas. Thank you to those who made sure we heard the sounds and voices loud and clear – our audio engineers Elias Javier, Ramil Ciruano, Albert Agbay, Jancel Abobo as well as our audiomen Joseph Nicolas and Ameng Atienza. Thank you to the guys who allowed us to get another look at the action – our EVS/Slomo Operators Joejay Abarquez, Raymond Biojon and Dido Batallion and VTR men Christian Abarquez, Kenneth Abarquez and Oliver Sañez. Thank you to the people responsible for making things more visible on our screens –our Electrician/Lighting Directors Alvin Saavedra and Jorge Paraon and our lightman Calvin Liong. Thank you to those who create those cool graphics and effects that catch our attention during games and shows - our Graphic Artists/Operators Jam Memdoza, Denice Ylagan, Erol Corpuz, Sara Concepcion, Jeff Jugueta and Kevin Camero. Thank you to the team who put the little things in order – our set-up assistants Jerald Testor, Ivan Castillo, Ferdie Mangaong, Remus Taniengra, Daniel Dimaculangan, Eduardo Dacumos, Ryan Ancheta, Allan Porsioncula, Laurence Sosa, Illac Alvarez, Benjo Asiatico, Manny Cajayon, Lepoldo Bofill, Victor Taniegra, Caleb Bautista, Jeremiah Mallari and Bennett Cabus. Thank you to the guys who provided the correct statistics and graphics – our panel scorers/GFX feeders Rico Bayuga, Ronaldo Serrano, Arvin Estabillo and Gilbert Serrano. Thank you to those who made our on-cam talents look good – our makeup artists Mylyn Concepcion, Nina Concepcion, Estrella Besabe, Norma Calubaquib and Nizel Reduta and our stylist Lyle Foz. Thank you to those who were always ready to lend a helping hand – our production assistants, Lian Salango, Pau Hiwatig, Helen Trinidad, Riri Gayoma, Jade Asuncion and Lovely Dela Cruz. Thank you for the imagination and artistry of our Creative Communications Management (CCM) team composed of Elirose Borja, Jerome Clavio, Djoanna San Jose, Lara Mae Allardo, Robin Lorete, Cristy Linga, Christopher Eli Sabat, Archimedes Asis (the voice of S+A), Jan Dormyl Espinosa, Aila Onagan and Nyro Mendoza. They say that advertising is the lifeblood of media and that we wouldn’t be able to deliver high-quality content if not for advertisers brought in our by our Sports Sales team, so thank you to our Sports Sales Heads Jojo Garcia, Nicole Moro and Ken Ti, along with our account executives Tin Saw, Annalyn Herrera, Trina Vallarta, Joey Tang, Karlo Miguel, Paul Sembrana, Mike Tan, Ray Del Castillo, and Jason Gaffud. Thank you to those who constantly pitched ideas and presented to clients on our behalf, our Business Development Executive, Tonyo Silva, and our Sports Marketing team made up of Thirdy Aquino, Maui Tang, Jason Roberto, Danica Jose, Lala Cruz and Hanz Trajano. Thank you to the people who looked out for the wellfare and concerns of our division members – our Human Resources squad made up of Arvin Crisol, James Lee, Anika Gregorio and Donna Yabut. Social media has been a game changer and enabled people to relive key moments in sports events, so thank you to our social media team made up of Jon Rodriguez, Alvin Laqui, Danine Cruz, Aia del Mundo, Melvin Rodas, Clev Mayuga, Migs Flores and Lloydie Moreno. We would also like to give special thanks to our former bosses and colleagues who have moved on from this world, Rolly V. Cruz, Danilo A. Bernardo, George G. Padolina, Marco Franco, Gerald Gicana, Rhodora "Dhanda" Panganiban, Vernie Calimlim and Erwin Evangelista.  Lastly, I personally want to thank the website content team made up of sub-section editors Santino Honasan, Mark “Mr. Volleyball” Escarlote, Norman Benjamin Lee Riego (Yes, it has to be his complete name) and Paul Lintag, former sub-section editor Milan Ordonez, former writer Philip Matel, videographers Nigel Velasquez, Rocio Avelino and Steph Toben, photographers Arvin Lim, Richard Esguerra and Joshua Albelda, former NBA Philippines website managing editor Adrian Dy, contributing writers Anton Roxas, Marco Benitez, “Doc Volleyball” AJ Pareja, Migs Bustos, Mikee “Diliman Legend” Reyes and Ceej Tantengco. While our journey in telling these stories with ABS-CBN Sports will abruptly come to a halt, it has been an honor and a pleasure serving the Filipino sports fans worldwide. We may no longer be around as an organization, but the great athletes will keep playing and inspiring and the games will continue. And so, with a sense of immense gratitude, we say: Maraming Salamat Kapamilya! Hanggang sa muli! --- Lorenzo Z. Manguiat has been the Editor-in-Chief of sports.abs-cbn.com since 2014 and Sports News Desk Head since 2015. He started as game writer for ABS-CBN Sports in 2000 and served in various other capacities within ABS-CBN. He is among the thousands of employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020.  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 31st, 2020

SEA GAMES: The silver that glittered like gold

When the editorial staff of ABS-CBN Sports was tasked to come up with our most memorable coverage, it didn’t take long for this writer to respond. The Philippine men’s volleyball team’s Southeast Asian Games semifinal match was the first thing that came to mind. Pesonally, that game against the highly-fancied Thailand squad topped all the countless volleyball matches that I’ve covered in my career. I’m at a loss for words on how to describe the emotions I felt that chilly night of December 8, 2019. Around 6,700 fans filled the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City not knowing that what they were about to witness was something historic. A magical night that would take away the frustrations they felt the day before when the more popular women’s team finished the preliminary round winless. For us sportswriters covering that assignment, we knew the Filipinos were up for a tough ride. Thailand ruled the last four editions of the event. On the other hand, the Philippines’ last significant outing in the biennial meet was a bronze medal finish back in 1991 – or when the current national team’s oldest member, setter Jessie Lopez was just five-years old.      Did we doubt our own team? Let’s just say we prayed to the high heavens to give us something positive to write about. But don’t get us wrong. Those who followed the formation and preparation of the squad knew it would yield results come the SEA Games. After all, in all three batches of the Nationals that participated in the regional sports meet since 2015, this particular team had the longest time to prepare – around eight months to be exact. The team’s composition itself looked really promising. For the first time, two of country’s best hitters in Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, who both have experience playing in the Japan V. League,  donned the tricolors together. Espejo returned after skipping the 2017 edition so did his teammates in the 2015 squad Rex Intal and setter Ish Polvorosa. Bagunas was on his second tour of duty along with team captain John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, RanRan Abdilla and libero Jack Kalingking. Head coach Dante Alinsunurin, who was appointed to handle the team after Oliver Almadro and Sammy Acaylar in 2015 and 2017, respectively, tapped an old hand in Lopez and injected young bloods in playmaker Owa Retamar, Jau Umandal, Kim Malabunga, Ricky Marcos and Francis Saura. As part of their buildup the Nationals joined the Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championship July last year.          The Filipinos achieved a great feat when they won bronze. Fans were able to witness the Nationals’ campaign via YouTube streaming while we volleyball writers, got to file our full stories through the help of De Guzman and Bagunas (God bless their beautiful hearts) who supplied us with game stats and granted postgame interviews. It’s just a shame I never got to cover the team’s training in Japan when the Nationals’ preparation went on full throttle. (Note: A little confusion in the training camp coverage assignments had me flying to Japan with the women’s squad and Lance Agcaoili of Spin.ph joining the men’s team. But it was a great experience, nonetheless, and I’m grateful for Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. for the opportunity.)     I was as confused as the other sportswriters present during the draw for the group stage a couple of months before the SEA Games when Alinsunurin chose to join the four-team bracket with Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Those three teams are considered contenders every SEA Games edition. And earning a semifinal spot would be harder compared to the other group composed of Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore. Fortunately, the gamble was worth it. Espejo and Bagunas were superb offensively, Malabunga and Retamar made their presence felt and the Nationals’ blocking shocked Cambodia and Vietnam as the Filipinos swept them both to secure a semis seat.   Then came the steamrolling Indonesians. Honestly, I thought the Nationals would sweep their way to the group’s top seeding. That way the PHI’s would've avoided a semis clash with Thailand. Forced to take on the defending champions, the Filipinos found themselves down in the first set. They got back in the second frame before yielding the third. And when the Thais came to match point, 24-21, in the fourth we all thought it was over. Fans were slowly emptying the bleachers not wanting to see the impending defeat. I was already waiting for the final score. Ready break the result. Then a miracle happened. The Nationals nibbled on the Thais' lead to force a deuce. After another deadlock, the Filipinos stole the set. The fifth frame was classic story of ‘who wants it more will win.’ An extended set made it even more dramatic. I vividly remember that sequence when Bagunas hammered the game-clinching kill off a lob from Lopez. After that all that I can recall was me pumping my fist up in the air and slapping the hardest high-fives I ever did with those inside the press room while howling like a madman.    The national team assured itself of a silver after 42 years. A silver after four freaking decades. They did it. Of course, the Indonesians bullied their way to winning the gold medal in a sweep of the inexperienced Filipinos. But who cares, the host team exceeded its podium expectations. That silver that glittered like gold made that coverage truly memorable. But it never crossed my mind that it would be the last important volleyball event that I will get to report. (Note: It would’ve been the UAAP if not for the health crisis that put all sporting events to a halt. Sad.) And that’s why I ended up writing these last few paragraphs. A farewell from this section. From my first article for this website back on December 1, 2014 – a post-mortem of Petron’s breakthrough title in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix – to my last published story, these were all written with only one thing in mind: in the service of the Filipino sports fan worldwide. Our run may have not been perfect, of course, we had our flaws. We had our fair share of criticisms from fans, athletes, sports personalities and sometimes even from our partner leagues and properties. We accepted our shortcomings. We tried to be better. But we are proud of what we did. We take pride with how we delivered sports stories through various digital executions that showcased sports beyond the confines of competition. On midnight of September 1 while most of you lay sound asleep, deep in slumber, hopefully, having a good dream and hours away from waking up looking forward to a better day, this website will be snapped out of existence.  More than half a decade of sharing stories to the Filipino sports fan will be seeing its last presence online on Monday – a holiday to celebrate the nation’s heroes. This website will then hear its final buzzer, its final whistle. Thousands of articles – written with passion, dedication and love – will be taken down as this website goes offline together with majority of ABS-CBN Sports’ social media accounts. But soon, hopefully, it will once again see the light of day.    We do hope that you will remember us, for we will remember all of you who made us your Kapamilya.   -- 30 --   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles Mark Escarlote has served as a sub-section editor for ABS-CBN Sports' website since 2014. He is among thousands of ABS-CBN employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 29th, 2020

SEA GAMES: The silver that glittered like gold

When the editorial staff of ABS-CBN Sports was tasked to come up with our most memorable coverage, it didn’t take long for this writer to respond. The Philippine men’s volleyball team’s Southeast Asian Games semifinal match was the first thing that came to mind. Pesonally, that game against the highly-fancied Thailand squad topped all the countless volleyball matches that I’ve covered in my career. I’m at a loss for words on how to describe the emotions I felt that chilly night of December 8, 2019. Around 6,700 fans filled the PhilSports Arena in Pasig City not knowing that what they were about to witness was something historic. A magical night that would take away the frustrations they felt the day before when the more popular women’s team finished the preliminary round winless. For us sportswriters covering that assignment, we knew the Filipinos were up for a tough ride. Thailand ruled the last four editions of the event. On the other hand, the Philippines’ last significant outing in the biennial meet was a bronze medal finish back in 1991 – or when the current national team’s oldest member, setter Jessie Lopez was just five-years old.      Did we doubt our own team? Let’s just say we prayed to the high heavens to give us something positive to write about. But don’t get us wrong. Those who followed the formation and preparation of the squad knew it would yield results come the SEA Games. After all, in all three batches of the Nationals that participated in the regional sports meet since 2015, this particular team had the longest time to prepare – around eight months to be exact. The team’s composition itself looked really promising. For the first time, two of country’s best hitters in Marck Espejo and Bryan Bagunas, who both have experience playing in the Japan V. League,  donned the tricolors together. Espejo returned after skipping the 2017 edition so did his teammates in the 2015 squad Rex Intal and setter Ish Polvorosa. Bagunas was on his second tour of duty along with team captain John Vic De Guzman, Mark Alfafara, RanRan Abdilla and libero Jack Kalingking. Head coach Dante Alinsunurin, who was appointed to handle the team after Oliver Almadro and Sammy Acaylar in 2015 and 2017, respectively, tapped an old hand in Lopez and injected young bloods in playmaker Owa Retamar, Jau Umandal, Kim Malabunga, Ricky Marcos and Francis Saura. As part of their buildup the Nationals joined the Thailand Open Sealect Tuna Championship July last year.          The Filipinos achieved a great feat when they won bronze. Fans were able to witness the Nationals’ campaign via YouTube streaming while we volleyball writers, got to file our full stories through the help of De Guzman and Bagunas (God bless their beautiful hearts) who supplied us with game stats and granted postgame interviews. It’s just a shame I never got to cover the team’s training in Japan when the Nationals’ preparation went on full throttle. (Note: A little confusion in the training camp coverage assignments had me flying to Japan with the women’s squad and Lance Agcaoili of Spin.ph joining the men’s team. But it was a great experience, nonetheless, and I’m grateful for Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. for the opportunity.)     I was as confused as the other sportswriters present during the draw for the group stage a couple of months before the SEA Games when Alinsunurin chose to join the four-team bracket with Indonesia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Those three teams are considered contenders every SEA Games edition. And earning a semifinal spot would be harder compared to the other group composed of Thailand, Myanmar and Singapore. Fortunately, the gamble was worth it. Espejo and Bagunas were superb offensively, Malabunga and Retamar made their presence felt and the Nationals’ blocking shocked Cambodia and Vietnam as the Filipinos swept them both to secure a semis seat.   Then came the steamrolling Indonesians. Honestly, I thought the Nationals would sweep their way to the group’s top seeding. That way the PHI’s would've avoided a semis clash with Thailand. Forced to take on the defending champions, the Filipinos found themselves down in the first set. They got back in the second frame before yielding the third. And when the Thais came to match point, 24-21, in the fourth we all thought it was over. Fans were slowly emptying the bleachers not wanting to see the impending defeat. I was already waiting for the final score. Ready break the result. Then a miracle happened. The Nationals nibbled on the Thais' lead to force a deuce. After another deadlock, the Filipinos stole the set. The fifth frame was classic story of ‘who wants it more will win.’ An extended set made it even more dramatic. I vividly remember that sequence when Bagunas hammered the game-clinching kill off a lob from Lopez. After that all that I can recall was me pumping my fist up in the air and slapping the hardest high-fives I ever did with those inside the press room while howling like a madman.    The national team assured itself of a silver after 42 years. A silver after four freaking decades. They did it. Of course, the Indonesians bullied their way to winning the gold medal in a sweep of the inexperienced Filipinos. But who cares, the host team exceeded its podium expectations. That silver that glittered like gold made that coverage truly memorable. But it never crossed my mind that it would be the last important volleyball event that I will get to report. (Note: It would’ve been the UAAP if not for the health crisis that put all sporting events to a halt. Sad.) And that’s why I ended up writing these last few paragraphs. A farewell from this section. From my first article for this website back on December 1, 2014 – a post-mortem of Petron’s breakthrough title in the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix – to my last published story, these were all written with only one thing in mind: in the service of the Filipino sports fan worldwide. Our run may have not been perfect, of course, we had our flaws. We had our fair share of criticisms from fans, athletes, sports personalities and sometimes even from our partner leagues and properties. We accepted our shortcomings. We tried to be better. But we are proud of what we did. We take pride with how we delivered sports stories through various digital executions that showcased sports beyond the confines of competition. On midnight of September 1 while most of you lay sound asleep, deep in slumber, hopefully, having a good dream and hours away from waking up looking forward to a better day, this website will be snapped out of existence.  More than half a decade of sharing stories to the Filipino sports fan will be seeing its last presence online on Monday – a holiday to celebrate the nation’s heroes. This website will then hear its final buzzer, its final whistle. Thousands of articles – written with passion, dedication and love – will be taken down as this website goes offline together with majority of ABS-CBN Sports’ social media accounts. But soon, hopefully, it will once again see the light of day.    We do hope that you will remember us, for we will remember all of you who made us your Kapamilya.   -- 30 --   --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles Mark Escarlote has served as a sub-section editor for ABS-CBN Sports' website since 2014. He is among thousands of ABS-CBN employees who will be retrenched on August 31, 2020.   .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 28th, 2020

DoTA 2 star N0tail sees eSports thriving in new normal

With physical distancing being enforced and mass gatherings being prohibited during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, most, if not all major sports have taken big blows.  While most professional sports are slowly getting back on their feet, it might take a while - if ever - for the live sports experience to return to normal.  For eSports, an industry that really doesn’t require physical interaction or mass gatherings, surviving and thriving in the new normal should not be an issue, and DoTA star Johan “N0tail” Sundstien is confident that will be the case.  Speaking to a handful of Filipino media before his 1 on 1 DoTA 2 battle with Filipino gamer Zedrik “Jeff” Dizon, N0tail spoke about how the eSports industry can survive, how it has grown since he began playing, and what Jeff’s 2020 Red Bull r1v1r Runes Championship can do for the Filipino eSports scene.  For the 26-year old native of Denmark, eSports should have little to no problems getting back on track after the COVID-19 pandemic.  “Yeah, I think eSports is in way better shape than other physical sports, for sure. Physical sports, sports in general, have probably made more of a business and they’ve been used to offline events and monetizing fans coming into stadiums, so obviously they’re having a much harder time than we would be,” N0tail explained.  Prior to eSports exploding and becoming a live attraction, tournaments were done mainly online, and N0tail believes that this is one of the industry’s advantages especially in the ’new normal’.  “We come from a place where we used to have online tournaments, we used to do these things online purely, and when [the COVID-19 virus pandemic] happened, I think all streaming and all online entertainment platforms had this opportunity to thrive and to exist. It’s a good time to be playing video games and not doing live music or something like that.”  “The Coronavirus] hit a lot of people pretty hard, but we have a good chance,” he added.  Speaking of the explosion of eSports, N0tail recalls the industry’s humble beginnings and how far it has come now.  “When I started, it was nowhere near what it is today. Today, obviously, we travel the world, have all these tournaments, have so many more viewers than we’ve ever had,” N0tail said. “Humanity really likes games, obviously, chess, sports, any kind of game for entertainment, and we’ve come a very long way. We’re way more professional, and financially, way more stable.”  The prizes now have also come a long, long way from what they used to be, N0tail shared.  “Ten years ago, we were playing for headsets and a couple hundred dollars, and now it’s way, way bigger, for millions. It keeps going up, it keeps getting more traction and attention, and I like to see that trend, I hope it keeps going.”  The Philippines has slowly emerged as a hotbed for eSports talent, and Ateneo’s Zedrik  “Jeff” Dizon could be on his way to becoming a top star following his 2020 Red Bull R1v1r Runes Championship victory.  Apart from the win, Jeff also had the opportunity to go one-on-one with N0tail, Team Captain of the 2-time The Internationals champions Team OG.  For an established name and veteran like N0tail, being able to compete against people from all over the world is always a sign of progress for eSports.  “DoTA connects people, and whenever somebody from one region that might be weaker plays against another region that might be stronger, or even if they’re both strong or equally [matched], DoTA is a game of ideas and experience, so whenever there’s this cross-country or cross-region game happening, I think there’s always progress. It’s the same when we shape a metagame, when those events were happening, all these teams came together, you quickly saw ideas transfer and a meta being formed between regions and, SC might be doing something one way and it might take something that Europe or NA might be doing, so everytime that it happens, I think it’s a postive thing.”  “It makes the ideas evolve and they evolve into something better,” he added.  Jeff came up big against N0tail in their one-on-one match, winning 2-1. Catch the replay HERE.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 21st, 2020

Shaq to compete with Gronk in virtual live party, fundraiser

NEW YORK (AP) — Shaq and Gronk are about to throw down with each other for a cause. The men with seven championship rings between them will compete against each other June 27 in Shaq's Fun House Vs Gronk Beach, a virtual party combining fun and music as a benefit for social justice. “We're all about bringing people together.," O'Neal said. "We're all about making people smile. As I look at Gronk, I see a version of myself. ... I'm proud to say he's a friend. I'm glad to say I probably couldn't pull this off with anybody else besides Gronk.” The three-time Super Bowl champ had been retired when traded by New England to Tampa Bay in April. He currently has his own “Game On” show on ABC and recently appeared on “The Masked Singer.” Gronkowski noted he first competed against the Basketball Hall of Famer and four-time NBA champ in a dance battle. “Ever since then, I’ve actually been waiting to challenge him again,” Gronkowski said. They will compete in six different challenges including a lip sync battle, a game of HORSE, and jousting, with the winner of each earning a donation to his charity. O'Neal is competing for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, while Gronkowski's winnings go to the NAACP. DoorDash also will donate one meal for each viewer in the live-stream up to 1.25 million meals in conjunction with Feeding America. The party, starting at 8 p.m. ET, will be live-streamed for free at www.ShaqVsGronk.com and also on Tik Tok with a simulcast on outlets including LiveXLive, Facebook, Twitch, YouTube and Twitter. Fans will be able to live chat and even suggest shots for HORSE. Taylor Rooks and comedien JB Smoove are hosting the party, which also will feature performances and interviews with rapper Snoop Dogg; DaBaby who has the current hit “Rockstar;” DJ Steve Aoki; DJ and songwriter Diplo; and Carnage. O'Neal also will take his turn as DJ Diesel. ___ Online: www.ShaqVsGronk.com?.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 18th, 2020

Ateneo s Fab 5: The Fearless Underdogs of UAAP Volleyball

(This story was originally published on April 20, 2018) Newly-appointed head coach Roger Gorayeb looked at his line-up heading into UAAP Season 71. A champion mentor of NCAA powerhouse San Sebastian College - Recoletos, Gorayeb had in his hands a gargantuan task of rebuilding the Ateneo de Manila University women’s volleyball program. Just a few months before, Ronald Dulay, the mentor before him, landed a trio of blue chip recruits who were fresh from a successful stint in the Palarong Pambansa. Angeline "Dzi" Gervacio, Fille Saint Cainglet and Jamenea "Jem" Ferrer just joined the Katipunan-based squad. Gervacio and Cainglet were products of St. Scholastica's College in Manila while Ferrer was a gem from Hope Christian School under girl’s volleyball guru Jerry Yee. Looking at his 15-woman line-up with the season just a few months ahead, Gorayeb knew he needed to do something drastic. The roster just won’t do. Talking to then athletic director Ricky Palou and team manager Tony Boy Liao, the mentor told the team officials that he intended to cut five players from the list. One could just imagine the shock in their faces. “Nakita ko may line-up pero player-playeran lang yung ganoon bang tipo, 15 ata yun. Sabi ko ‘Magtatanggal ako ng lima then magre-recruit ako,’” he said. The three rookies were in. Middle Bea Pascual, Kara Acevedo and libero Steph Gabriel retained their spots. He needed more. “Sa mga tinira kong players, si Kara Acevedo sabi niya, ‘Coach mayroong player ang ICA (Immaculate Conception Academy) na gumraduate naka-exam na rito pasado.’ Sabi ko, ‘Sige papuntahin mo,’” said Gorayeb. It was Gretchen Ho. “Sa akin kasi ang talagang nagyaya sa akin si Coach Ron Dulay. Si Kara Acevedo teammate ko and she’s been recruited by Ateneo. So one summer wala akong magawa naki-train lang ako noon tapos nagustuhan nila ang laro ko and then fourth year noong graduate na ako I passed the ACET then niyayaya na nila ako,” Ho said. “Then nagbago ng coach na si Coach Roger and dun niya ako nakita.”   “Pagdating ko ng March (sa Ateneo) wala na akong way para maka-recruit pa. Ang nangyari yung tatlo accepted na kaagad. Si Gretchen tinanong ko sabi ko, ‘ano ba ang laro mo?’ Sabi niya the usual panggitna, tres,” Gorayeb recalled. “So sinubukan ko pero ang laro niya tres hindi quick. Siya panggitna pero hindi quicker na gusto ko saka yung height niya (maliit). Kaya lang si Gretchen takbo ng takbo, mahilig magtatakbo so sabi ko sige pwede na yan. Wala namang player na during that time. So kinuha ko si Gretchen.” Gorayeb just needed just one more. “Ngayon nagkaroon ng STCAA (Southern Tagalog Calabarzon athletic association) eh kulang pa ako ng isa, wala akong panggitna. Ang gitna ko during that time si Bea lang tapos si Gretchen so wala akong pamalit. So naisipan ko may nakita ako sa STCAA,” he said. He spotted a lanky player from Canossa Academy-Lipa, Aillysse Nacachi. “Sabi ko kay Sir Tony pagtyagaan ko na lang ito kahit hindi naman kalakasan at wala naman na rin akong choice na makapili kasi rush ang pagdating ko dyan. Nakiusap lang sila sa akin na magbuo ako ng team kasi si Ronald nag-resign,” said Gorayeb. Another freshman could’ve had ended up with Ateneo, Hope’s libero Melissa Gohing. But a few obstacles prevented her from fulfilling her promise to join Ferrer in Ateneo. She instead chose to join the ladies in green and white in Taft.    SOMETHING PROMISING December 7, 2008. Far Eastern University Gym. Excitement filled the air. Fans, mostly volleyball purists and some who just came to support their classmates or were just curious to see a new spectacle after the basketball season ended, slowly settled in their seats for the women’s division’s second game. It was Adamson University, the previous year’s runner-up, which just visited the turf of their arch nemesis and defending champion FEU, which was led by that era’s finest and most popular volleybelle Rachel Anne Daquis. Fans wanted to see if the Lady Falcons still had the same firepower they had the previous season with the loss of top setter Janet Serafica and power hitter Sang Laguilles. A rookie-laden Ateneo squad should be easy pickings with Angela Benting, rookie Pau Soriano and libero Lizlee Anne Gata in the roster. Besides the Lady Falcons got the Lady Eagles’ number. Or so they thought. “Naalala ko nu’ng time namin sinasabi sa amin ng seniors namin na, ‘Hay naku ang lakas ng Adamson, never kami nanalo dyan,’” Cainglet, now happily married to Taguig mayor Lino Cayetano and with three beautiful children, recalled.  But the Lady Eagles stunned Adamson in the opening set. The Lady Falcons took the next two frames. Ateneo stole the fourth.  “Ako naalala ko ano eh, parang alam namin na lahat kasi kami palaban. Nasa amin yun. Tapos binigyan kaming lahat ng chance to be in the first six so parang dream come true,” said Ho, now an ABS-CBN host. “Naalala ko rin na palaban kaming lahat kumbaga nothing to lose eh so ang ano namin, sumasabay kami sa laro and nu’ng nakita na namin na ‘Ay kaya pala natin ‘to guys. Kaya pala naming lumaban.’” Still, Adamson had the upper hand in experience. The Lady Falcons, used to pressure and were steady at crunch time, outlasted Ateneo.           The young Katipunan-based squad fell short, 25-22, 22-25, 15-25, 25-15, 8-15. But for the Fab 5, it was a loss that felt like a resounding victory. “Parang sobrang natutuwa kami and everybody in the crowd, kaya siguro kami natawag na Fab 5 kasi rookies kami pero kahit ganoon palaban kami,” said Ho. “Saka close game. Five sets yun.” However, it was the first of five five-set matches that Ateneo will drop that season including one in the second round against the Manilla Santos-bannered De La Salle University. “Pero ang problema di kami nananalo ng five sets. Parang ilan lang ang naipanalo namin na ganoon. Feeling ko na-overwhelm kami na ‘Uy nananalo tayo.’ May ganoong disbelief ng konti pero alam namin na may ibubuga kami,” said Ho. “Definitely, our rookie season was full of five-set matches. It was tough, we felt like we were so close, but still so far away. At some point, it gave us frustration also. We just couldn't figure out that time what is it that's still lacking because we couldn't win the five-set matches,” according to Nacachi. “People said, it was because the team was still so inexperienced. We still didn't have the tenacity unlike of those more matured teams. But we didn't take it as bad, it was a learning experience for us all at the end. We had to learn how to develop that finishing will to be able to win games like that in the future.” The Fab 5 finished their rookie season with a 6-8 slate at fifth spot.   ‘MAY MEDAL NA TAYO’ Gorayeb remembered on their second year the look on Pascual’s face in their last elimination game match against Adamson. Already wrapping up their first win over the Lady Falcons, Pascual was giddy. “Natatawa nga ako dyan kay Bea kasi papanalo na kami nu’n tapos sumesenyas na siya ng tres. Sabi ko, ‘Hoy anong ginagawa mo?’ Yun pala sobrang saya na niya kasi for the first time in 30 years magkaka-medal na sila,” he said. It was the most important match of the season for the Lady Eagles. With the Fab 5 already in their sophomore year, Ateneo was already making great strides. The Lady Eagles closed that season’s elims with five straight wins capped off with a victory over Adamson. Ateneo posted a 10-4 win-loss mark to enter the Final Four legitimately. “Ang nangyari kasi nu’ng time nila Charo (Soriano) kaya sila nakapasok sa semis kasi may nag-squeal na si (Jacq) Alarca di pala naka-enroll nu’n kaya na-forfeit mga laro ng La Salle,” said Gorayeb. The Fab 5 proved that they were not just a bunch of much-hyped up pretty faces. They backed it up with their skills on court. It didn’t matter that Ateneo were swept by eventual champion University of Sto. Tomas in the Final Four.      But the podium finish of Season 72 was short-lived. Adamson got its revenge in the last game of Season 73 elims, bumping off the Lady Eagles for a podium finish. The loss put Ateneo in a collision course with the twice-to-beat DLSU, who could’ve completed an elims sweep if not only for a forfeited match against University of the East after UAAP found out that Carmela Garbin and Clarisse Yeung participated in a ‘ligang labas’ while the season was onoing, in the Final Four. Ateneo gave the Lady Spikers a scare before succumbing in another heartbreaking five-set match. The Lady Eagles finished fourth but that lone semis game gave Ateneo and its maturing Fab 5 enough experience to dream for something big – A ticket into the Finals.      ‘HINOG NA KAYO’ The first three years saw the gradual improvement for Ateneo. But Season 74 proved to be the turning point for the Fab 5. A fresh new recruit from University of Sto. Tomas high school, who just completed a year of residency, came into picture and with the Fab 5 armed with years of experience, the Lady Eagles’ fate will forever be changed. Alyssa Valdez, a highly recruited open spiker just like Gervacio, Cainglet-Cayetano and Ferrer years back, gave renewed excitement for the Ateneo faithful. “Alyssa's joining with Ateneo was a great turning point for us. We needed as much support we can get, and Alyssa's entrance to the team was a great boost to the team's morale,” said Nacachi. “The girl is a powerhouse and we felt like with her presence, the team finally became solid.” “We were able to play around with the positions and the rotations, since we had different versatile open players who can also greatly play other roles,” she added. “We were also able to formulate a lot of plays and attacks because Alyssa can generally do all kinds; open, running, quick, name it all. She gave the team the power and the versatility that we previously lacked from the past seasons.” Social media was just gaining traction then but the Lady Eagles were already on the radar of volleyball purists through online forums. For the first time, Ateneo was considered a legitimate contender.   The Fab 5 proved it by winning 11 games in the elimination round, losing only to UST once and dropping two against the Lady Spikers. Valdez’s arrival gave Ferrer an even broader option on offense. It eased the scoring load off the shoulders of Cainglet and Gervacio, who was then moved to an opposite position. “I guess sakto lang din yung dating niya because by that time Kara Acevedo graduated so someone had to fill in her spot so coach Roger decided for me to move to utility or opposite,” said Gervacio. “And then sakto Alyssa naman could fill in the spot na other open spiker.” “So timing din na we had all the pieces put together at the right time,” she added. With a good performance in the elims despite missing a legit middle in Bea Pascual and the entry of Aerieal Patnongon barred by academic problems, Ateneo finished second and for the first-time was armed with a twice-to-beat advantage in the stepladder semifinals. The Lady Eagles faced an experienced Tigresses side in the last stepladder semis stage. UST just came from a hard-fought four-set do-or-die match against FEU and were banking on their four-set win over Ateneo in the second round to force another sudden death. Ateneo’s date with destiny was sealed with a four-set win over the Tigresses, who then bid goodbye to Maika Ortiz and Judy Anne Caballejo. “Pinu-push na rin kami ni Coach Roger noon eh, ‘Hinog na kayo ngayon. Kasi dalawang taon na lang, kailangan makapasok na kayo sa Finals,’” said Ho. “Somehow senior na rin kami,” added Cainglet.  “Season 74 was really the target season for us to be in the finals and target even to win the championship,” according to Nacachi. “During this time, we were already thinking we could not afford to not go in the finals.” “So it was with our mindset and our level of commitment that we were able to finally reach our goal of reaching the finals,” she added. “We had enough experience that time already, and it was really time for us to show the level of game maturity the team had obtained from the past seasons.” But then they had to face an unbeaten team. Unscathed in 14 games, De La Salle University was poised to complete a perfect season. The Lady Eagles spoiled it. Ferrer outplayed DLSU setter Mika Esperanza, 57-42, in excellent sets as Ateneo handed the Lady Spikers its first loss after 25 straight victories in a come-from-behind 23-25, 28-26, 25-23, 25-17, Finals opener win. Witnessed by 3,002 spectators inside the then The Arena in San Juan, all of the Fab 5 produced points. Cainglet had 19 behind Valdez’s 24, Gervacio scored 12, Ho had 10, Nacachi finished with five while Ferrer had one. Gorayeb made a big gambit and it worked. “Dahil sa wala kong panggitna, yung laro namin ng La Salle, ginawa kong quicker si Alyssa. Kasi si Alyssa nakakapalo. Nagulat si Ramil (de Jesus) dun.” It was a big win. A huge upset. Unfortunately, Ateneo needed to win two more.  DLSU held a thrice-to-beat advantage.   THAT SWAG After Ateneo made a miracle in Game One, fans began to feel a new rivalry born. The attendance spiked. From just 3,000 spectators, the gate attendance more than doubled its size. The interest was there. Fans of traditional powers began to notice the Lady Eagles as a rising team. For the first time, a squad with no previous championship experience except for a title during the Marcos era in a different collegiate league, made a giant jolt. Everybody wanted to see what these girls would do next.    The Lady Eagles, still high on adrenaline after their Game 1 upset, took the opening set in Game 2. But just like in their opener, a well-experienced DLSU squad adjusted to take the next three frames to move a step closer to a repeat crown. With then Rookie of the Year Ara Galang, Season Most Valuable Player Aby Marano, an intimidating Michele Gumabao and a very efficient Finals MVP Cha Cruz teaming up for the kill, the Lady Spikers ripped Ateneo apart in Game 3 in straight sets, 25-16, 25-22, 25-13. “Sabi nga ni Dzi na nadyan na lahat eh. So I guess noong Season 74 nandoon na pero may kulang pa rin,” said Ho. “I guess we we’re able to make it to the Finals pero wala pa kaming championship experience.” Ferrer agreed. "Siguro ang kulang yung championship experience kasi nasa La Salle na ‘yun eh. Ilang years na silang nagpa-finals, nag-champion and for Ateneo doon pa lang namin sinimulan," said the three-time Best Setter. Lacking championship experience is one thing, but Ateneo during that time wasn’t ready for DLSU’s most feared weapon: the Lady Spikers’ swag.  “They have that swag,” said Gervacio. “Everyone knows about it naman. It’s really Coach Ramil’s style talaga kasi as I remember when we were first year, four out of six of the players inside the court were rookies and even if we go against the powerhouses UST, FEU, Adamson, hindi sila yung nakikita nyo na kapag championship na rivalry, na swag, angas, stare down. Pero La Salle talaga kahit sino ang kalaban nila they’ll bring that attitude inside the court.” That Finals series cemented a new rivalry that will become one of the most celebrated in the sport. “I think it also helped that Ateneo-La Salle basketball didn’t face also,” said Gervacio. “Siyempre nandoon ang hunger for the rivalry eh and timely din na its been Ateneo-La Salle na rin sa volleyball.”   CLOSING A CHAPTER The Fab 5 were now in their fifth and last year. They wanted to leave a winning legacy. The pieces were already there. Gorayeb had at his disposal five seniors, a rising star in Valdez, a sophomore middle in Amy Ahomiro, a versatile Ella De Jesus, a steady libero in Denden Lazaro and a new kind of weapon – a massive crowd that can turn any venue into a sea of blue.              As expected, the second installment of the Ateneo-DLSU rivalry was set into place. Both sweeping their semis opponents. The Lady Spikers crushed National University while the Lady Eagles shot down Adamson. Game One was a shocker. DLSU heading into the Finals are on a 14-game roll but were stunned in the first two sets with Ateneo stepping on the gas. But a string of miscues, mostly from the service line, did the Lady Eagles in as they allowed the Lady Spikers to force a decider. DLSU, smelling blood, punished Ateneo to eke out a 20-25, 17-25, 25-22, 25-22, 15-6, victory inside the Big Dome witnesses by 17,342-strong gate attendance. Then the series transferred to a newly-built, state-of-the-art Mall of Asia Arena that drew a crowd of 18,799. The first two frames were frustrating for the Lady Eagles.   Ateneo came back to life in the third set to gain a 9-5 lead. But DLSU easily erased it with Ateneo crumbling under pressure. The Lady Spikers were on an onslaught. Sophomore Galang pushed DLSU at matchpoint with a cold-blooded ace that went in a few inches from the baseline. The score, 24-16. It was a tense moment for the Fab 5. A long rally ensued in the next play. Gervacio, with all her might pounded a kill. Her hand making a great contact on the ball off Ferrer’s backset.     Smack! The ball ricocheted off the hands of DLSU’s Wensh Tiu before falling on the same landing area of Gervacio, who tried to dive for a dig together with Lazaro. DLSU swept Ateneo, 25-23, 25-20, 25-16. Game over.          “Kahit hindi kami nanalo alam naming ibinigay namin ang lahat namin, all-out talaga kaya wala kaming pagsisisi,” said Ho. It was the end of the Fab 5 era, but they left more than what any of them could have imagined. "I remember so many people or fans telling me that they started really watching UAAP Volleyball because of our batch. And that is really touching and fulfilling to know. Knowing that you were able to leave an impact like that to people. We were not able to bring even a single championship to our school, Ateneo, but we were able to touch a lot of people's hearts despite that," Nacachi shared. The Fab 5 closed a colorful chapter of Ateneo volleyball in tears. They were there during the Lady Eagles’ birth pains. They labored. They shed tears, blood and sweat. They laid the foundation for something big. The Fab 5 planted the seeds that would eventually bear fruit and would change the course of Ateneo women’s volleyball program forever. Glory didn’t happen during their time. It started in theirs.    Amidst the roar of the crowd, the falling confetti, banging of drums and the echoing chant of ‘Animo La Salle’ from the sea of green, the Fab 5 hugged each other tight. They found comfort in each other. It was their time to say goodbye. For those who remained – Valdez, Lazaro, Ahomiro, De Jesus – the defeat added fuel to their already blazing desire to bring glory for the blue and white. They were the next in line, heirs to an unfinished business. WATCH: FAB 5 Reunion Part 1 and Part 2 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2020

In appreciation: Kobe Bryant, a life defined by hard work

By TIM REYNOLDS AP Basketball Writer It was April 14, 2016. It was the first full day of Kobe Bryant’s new chapter as a retired NBA player. All he had done the night before was score a mind-boggling 60 points in his farewell game, not getting out of Staples Center until around midnight. His staff at Kobe, Inc. were certain they would beat their boss to the office that morning. They were wrong. He beat everyone there by two hours. “We have a lot of work to do,” Bryant told them. Even in retirement, Bryant found no substitute for hard work. Kobe Bean Bryant was many things: one of the greatest players in basketball history, a five-time NBA champion, Olympic gold medalist, a fluent speaker of multiple languages, a resident of the world, an Oscar winner, the self-described Black Mamba that started as a nickname and became his brand, someone so good he had two numbers retired by the Los Angeles Lakers. And he never stopped. Basketball was his obsession for 20 years in the NBA. Storytelling was the obsession for the rest of his life. Tears, as would be expected once the news broke of Bryant’s death in a helicopter crash in Southern California on Sunday, flowed freely in the NBA world. LeBron James was inconsolable when he got the news, a day after passing Bryant for No. 3 on the all-time scoring list. Doc Rivers struggled when he tried to put feelings into words. Even from the normally beyond-stoic Kawhi Leonard had his eyes well up when he was talking about Bryant. But the pain was obvious elsewhere: Oregon women’s basketball star Sabrina Ionescu didn’t hide her anguish when she said she was dedicating the rest of her season to Bryant’s memory, soccer’s Neymar held up a “24” with his fingers after scoring a goal for Paris Saint-Germain, and marquees at the Super Bowl in Miami were lit up in the Lakers’ colors of purple and gold as a tribute. The elite ones, the ones like James and Leonard and Ionescu and Neymar, were all like Bryant. Driven. Obsessed with their craft. Those are the sort of people Bryant enjoyed most. He didn’t have much patience for anything else. Teammates were never immune from his criticism; not even Shaquille O’Neal, a fellow all-time NBA great, could avoid clashes with Bryant. O’Neal was half-a-foot taller and probably an easy 100 pounds heavier than Bryant. Didn’t matter. Bryant wanted to fight one day in practice, so they fought. His toughness was legendary; Bryant blew out his Achilles on a play in 2013 where he’d been fouled and made the two free throws knowing that his season would be over a few seconds later. It was against Golden State; the Lakers trailed at the time, and Bryant — who hyperextended a knee in that same game and played through it because the game was so important in the playoff race — swished both shots. “We were down two. Had to tie the game first,” Bryant said years later, when asked why he stayed in the game. His commitment was legendary; there was a game in 2011 in Miami where the Lakers lost by six, and Bryant was so displeased with how he played that he went back onto the court for 90 minutes of uninterrupted shooting that went on until after midnight. His teammates were on Miami Beach for dinner. Bryant was working instead. “It’s my job,” Bryant said. His swagger was legendary; during the FIBA Americas tournament in 2007, Bryant was less-than-impressed with how Brazil thought it had a chance to beat Team USA. So, he tasked himself with guarding Leandro Barbosa, who until that point had been the leading scorer in the tournament. With Bryant blanketing him — making it difficult for him to even dribble at times — Barbosa made one shot all night. The Americans won by 37. “Looking at a great white shark is one thing,” Bryant told teammates, “but jumping into the pool with one is another thing.” He played in Los Angeles, but he was a star everywhere. Everywhere. At the Basketball World Cup in China this past summer, Bryant was on the court for a game during the medal round. He said a few words in Mandarin and the fans in Beijing screamed in more delight than they had for the guy who had taken the floor just before Bryant, a fellow by name of Yao Ming. He was as driven in his storytelling life as he was in his playing days. Kobe, Inc. wasn’t just a cool name. It was his world. He wanted to inspire kids through books that combined the worlds of sports and fantasy. He was toying with the idea of taking his stories to Broadway. He won an Oscar for “Dear Basketball,” a short animated film in 2018 that had been converted from a poem that he penned when he decided it was time to retire from playing the game. He had a podcast for kids and families, not with him blathering on about whatever he wanted to talk about but with characters talking about how to be a good teammate. He had a franchise of shows called Detail, where he broke down the nuances of basketball and had other huge names from other sports do the same thing. He wasn’t kidding around when talking to his staff on April 14, 2016. Kobe Bryant still had a lot of work to do. He was just getting started. And now he’s gone. The tributes will continue, though eventually fade away. The legacy will be forever. ___ Tim Reynolds is a national basketball writer for The Associated Press. Write to him at treynolds(at)ap.org  .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 27th, 2020

Now with Clippers, Kawhi Leonard spoils Warriors fun again

By Janie McCauley, Associated Press SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard spoiled the Warriors' first game at Chase Center just as he did their farewell at Oracle Arena four months ago, scoring 21 points in three quarters to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a 141-122 victory Thursday (Friday, PHL time) on opening night at Golden State's snazzy new arena. Reigning NBA Finals MVP Leonard shot 9-for-17 and also dished out nine assists in his second game with L.A. after leading the Toronto Raptors to their first title last season in a six-game finals against the Warriors. Stephen Curry scored 23 points and D'Angelo Russell added 20 in his Golden State debut, but the Warriors got beat up the way they used to do it against the entire NBA, even giving up a 46-point third quarter. What a dud for the Dubs as they formally opened new Chase Center in San Francisco after 47 years at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Patrick Patterson scored 20 points and Ivica Zubac had 16 points, 10 rebounds and two blocked shots for Los Angeles. In a rematch of the hard-fought first-round playoff series last season won by the Warriors in six games on their way to a fifth straight finals, the Clippers jumped to a 14-0 lead making five of their first six shots. Golden State started 0-for-6 and missed four three's. Russell's jumper at 8:23 gave Golden State its first points and he scored the Warriors' initial seven before Curry hit a triple at 6:42. The Warriors got a scare when they briefly lost Draymond Green at the 9:03 mark of the opening quarter after he appeared to injure his right elbow on a screen. Green returned to the court at the start of the second and wound up with 11 points. Curry, who at 31 is the oldest Warriors player, was 2-of-11 on three's as Golden State went 15-for-42 from deep. Golden State coach Steve Kerr is embracing the move and new arena — he's still figuring his way around the building — but noted "I'll miss everything about Oracle. It's a great place to play." Some fans left after the third quarter with the home team trailing 111-87. Leonard and Patrick Beverley were booed during pregame introductions for the Clippers, who beat the Lakers 112-102 in their opener Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) with Leonard scoring 30 points on 10-for-19 shooting. TIP-INS Clippers: Los Angeles shot 56.8 percent in the first half (21-of-37), making 6-of-11 three's. ... The Clippers were outrebounded 23-20 in the first half and 42-39 overall. ... G Rodney McGruder missed his second straight game with a high right ankle sprain. ... The Clippers scored 58 points in the paint. Warriors: Golden State called a late timeout when it had none remaining, resulting in a technical foul. ... Kevon Looney started at center for the Warriors after working back from a strained right hamstring then dealt with right hamstring tightness in the second half and didn't return as a precautionary move. The hope had been he would play about 20 minutes with four stretches of five minutes or so, Kerr said. ... Kerr challenged a foul call on Looney late in the first half and the call was upheld. ... The Warriors had won the last three at home against the Clippers. NICE TOUCHES Newly enshrined Hall of Famer Al Attles, who will be 83 next month, took part in a ceremonial tipoff just before the ball actually went up. Attles joined the organization in 1960 and played in the Philadelphia Warriors in Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game on March 2, 1962. Injured Splash Brother Klay Thompson, who could miss the entire season recovering from surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee, spoke to the fans at midcourt before the game. He also shared a hug and a few words with Leonard. Construction workers who built Chase Center held the flag for the national anthem. LOCKED OUT Kerr joked he might need to wear his key card around his neck even on game nights. "I've been locked out of my office a couple times after games, true story," he said. "... We're slowly but surely figuring those things out." QUOTEABLE Clippers coach Doc Rivers hardly considers Curry past his prime beginning his 11th NBA season. "I want him to get older. I'm all for the 40 Steph, I can't wait for that one," Rivers quipped. "He'll still be playing because he can shoot. He just won't be as agile I don't think. He's been around a long time. It's amazing when you think about it how quickly it goes." UP NEXT Clippers: At Suns on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time) having won the last 12 meetings overall and six straight in Phoenix. Warriors: At Thunder on Sunday (Monday, PHL time) having won 11 straight road games in the regular season and two in a row at Oklahoma City......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 25th, 2019

Woods, Spieth, McIlroy lead star field in Japan

By Jim Armstrong, Associated Press INZAI CITY, Japan (AP) — With a field that includes Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy, the PGA Tour's first tournament in Japan has plenty of star power. The Zozo Championship, which begins on Thursday, will be held at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of Tokyo in Inzai City. It is part of three tournaments that make up the PGA Tour's Asia Swing, including the CJ Cup in South Korea won last week by Justin Thomas and the HSBC Champions in Shanghai next week. The Japanese tournament, co-sanctioned with the Japan Golf Tour, is a 78-man, no-cut field with a $9.75 million purse. The weather could prove to be a factor on the weekend. Japan is bracing for two more storms heading its way a week after a typhoon devastated the country's central and northern regions. A forecast for another typhoon has been downgraded to a tropical storm. Woods last played in an official tournament in Japan in 2006 at the Dunlop Phoenix, where he lost in a playoff to Padraig Harrington. He won the Dunlop Phoenix the two previous years. "It's going to be a lot of fun to be back here in front of fans that really understand and respect the game of golf," Woods said in a pre-tournament interview. "The game of golf is so strong here in Japan, and to have seen it grow like it has over 20-some odd years that I've been playing is very special." The Masters champion is making his first start in his 23rd season on the PGA Tour, needing one victory to reach 82 wins and tie the career record held by Sam Snead. Woods had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee two months ago — his fifth on the same problem spot. He played in the inaugural "The Challenge: Japan Skins" game on Monday at the same course and did not appear to be in any discomfort. Jason Day, who beat Woods in the Skins game, is also part of the field as well as Japanese star Hideki Matsuyama and Thomas, whose win in the CJ Cup was his 11th PGA Tour event and his second in South Korea. After his win in South Korea, Thomas now has two more wins over the last three seasons in Asia than any other player on tour. "There's something about Asia," Thomas said Wednesday. "I seem to do pretty well over here. I don't really know what it is. It's always a good time of year for me." McIlroy, who is playing in Japan for the first time in 11 years, said he wasn't concerned about playing on an unfamiliar course. "That's OK. I mean, I've won majors before by playing nine-hole practice rounds," McIlroy said. "Sometimes when you don't know a course, that's a better thing. You don't know where the trouble is and it doesn't enter your mind." There is an agreement in place to hold the Zozo Championship until at least 2025. The tournament sponsor has drawn a great deal of attention in the relatively conservative Japanese business world. Zozo chief executive Yusaku Maezawa, owner of the online Japanese retailer, is known for lavish spending on artworks, a Stradivarius violin and a future trip to the moon......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2019

'ShopeeScam trends on Twitter as BLACKPINK returns to PH for meet and greet

MANILA, Philippines – K-pop girl group BLACKPINK's popularity is undeniable. Their music videos rake up views online in no time flat and they constantly trend on social media thanks in bulk, no doubt, to their loyal legion of fans, lovingly called "Blinks." On Thursday, June 6, Filipino Blinks took to Twitter ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 6th, 2019

Tina Turner bids farewell to fans with emotional new docu

Music legend Tina Turner is the subject of one of the most successful biopics ever made but she tells the makers of a new documentary there's much more to her story......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsMar 4th, 2021

Fans show support for Red Velvet’s Irene as she apologizes anew for past behavior

Red Velvet’s Irene (Instagram)  K-pop girl group Red Velvet’s leader Irene sent a letter to fans to apologize again for her past behavior and promised that she will “become a more mature person.”  Irene was embroiled in a controversy last October when a stylist-editor Kang Kook-hwa exposed her for rude behavior towards her and said she had a recording of the incident as evidence.  Kang compared Irene to “nut rage” Heather Cho, the Korean Air vice president who went berserk on a company-owned plane in 2014 after she was served nuts in original packaging by a crew member.  “The 20 minutes in the unfamiliar room was like hell. No hellos exchanged, shouting in my face with [her] phone in hand pointing [her] fingers while I stood and [she] sat in a chair, blurting out the words. Tears flooded out of my eyes after listening to the venomous words spewed out by [her] tongue. I just couldn’t help, it just burst out. Why must I be humiliated? For whom? For what? For money?” wrote Kang on Instagram, Korea JoongAng Daily reported.  After Kang made the post, Irene personally apologized to her and also issued an apology on Instagram. The incident prompted a Korean fan community of Red Velvet on DC Inside to demand that Irene should leave the group. In her new apology, which she posted on Jan. 15, Irene wrote, “First of all, I wanted to say that I apologize for causing so much pain and worry to many people because of inadequacy.” She said she started as a trainee at age 19 in 2009 and up to now, being Irene of Red Velvet “has been all of my life.” “I have lived while thinking that I was getting along with the people around me in my own way that I didn’t know that my communication method or expressions could be a problem, and I only thought that each has a different way of communication,” she said.  She added, “I received a lot of concerns and reprimand not only from the public but also from people around me for the past event and this gave me time to quietly reflect on myself.” “As I cannot turn back time, I am making a lot of effort not to go back to the way I used to be. I realized the weight of words and actions, and I will try to become a more mature person,” Irene promised.  Irene added that in the future, as leader and singer of Red Velvet, “I will not only show you a good image, but also as the person Bae Joo-hyun, I will try not to disappoint you.”  “I hope that somebody will no longer be criticized for what happened because of my inadequacy,” she said.  Last December, or two months after the incident, it was reported that Kang was still receiving hate for what happened.  “Please stop bothering me. Don’t threaten me. It’s a crime and costs dearly. She doesn’t want it either. I’m doing silent for her sake. This is my last request. Please and please,” according to a post by Kang uploaded on an online community.  Fans of Red Velvet welcomed Irene’s apology and expressed their support to her.  “Irene you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s normal for people to have mood swings, the case here is because you’re a celebrity,” one fan wrote.  Other messages are “Irene best leader,” “Irene we love you! Cheer up, we will always have your back,” and “Irene unnie you’re the greatest woman of this generation! We love you 3000!!!!”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

GOT7 celebrates 7th debut anniversary: ‘Many more to come,’ ‘'7YearsWithGOT7’

GOT7 now (top) and their debut photos: (from left) Mark, JB, Jackson, Jinyoung, Youngjae, Yugyeom and BamBam (Twitter)  K-pop boy band GOT7 marked their seventh anniversary since debut today, Jan. 16, with messages for their fans.  GOT7 debuted on Jan. 16, 2014 with a performance on the TV music show “M Countdown” of “Girls Girls Girls,” the main track of their first album “Got It?,” which was released on Jan. 20.  Their seventh anniversary came just less than a week after it was announced that all the members were leaving JYP Entertainment, their agency for seven years, after negotiations for contract renewal failed. The last day of their exclusive contract is on Jan. 19.  Despite the uncertainty, members assured fans that they will continue with the group although they will be joining different agencies.  Fans marked the occasion by trending the hashtag #7YearsWithGOT7 on Twitter and posted messages.  “Thank you guys for 7 years. Many more to come. #7YearsWithIGOT7,” wrote member Mark Tuan.  When the news came out on Jan. 10 that GOT7 had decided not to renew their contracts with JYP Entertainment, Mark told fans that GOT7 will continue.  “The past 7 years have been the best years of my life. Nothing is coming to an end, just the beginning. The seven of us are going to continue to bring you guys the best version of us till the end. #GOT7FOREVER,” he posted on Twitter.  Jackson Wang celebrated the anniversary with the message “7 years. Always blessed for everything.”  “#GOT7FOREVER,” JB and Youngjae posted on Instagram along with a photo of the group while BamBam wrote “#IGOT7FOREVER 7years.”  An exclusive report by Korean media outlet Dispatch on Jan. 10 stated that Jinyoung will join actors’ agency BH Entertainment and Yugyeom is in talks with Jay Park’s AOMG label.  Youngjae is reportedly joining Sublime Artist Agency, BamBam is joining MAKEUS Entertainment.   Mark will return to the US and plans to open a personal YouTube channel while Jackson’s global activities will be handled by Team Wang. There was no mention of JB’s potential agency. The following day on Jan. 11, JYP Entertainment finally confirmed that GOT7 members will be leaving the agency.  “JYP held in-depth discussions with members of GOT7 ahead of their exclusive contract termination on Jan. 19. As a result, the two sides agreed not to proceed with a contract renewal, hoping for a new future,” it said, according to Yonhap News......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

THRILLMAKER: Ces Drilon turns over a new leaf

In showbusiness, there will always be the one hit wonders, those people who hit mainstream popularity usually for only one piece of work and become known to the general public solely for that momentary success.  Of course, those of this type are, sooner or later, gone from the public eye and then eventually forgotten.  Then there are the lurkers, as in the online world, they are those who just quietly stay afloat in the sidelines, not hitting it big but somehow able to prolong their presence in the showbiz realm.  Then come the real superstars, those who are able to prolong their relevance by not being boxed in by their past successes and are not afraid to explore and reinvent themselves for a more “current” image.  When one talks about reinvention, favorite pop icon of the 80s, Madonna, always comes to mind.  Locally, there is Vilma Santos-Recto, who has, throughout her career, taken on a lot of image makeovers from her days as a childstar, a teenstar, a dramatic star and now as a star legislator—truly stamping her mark as a Star For All Seasons. In Philippine television, one personality who has, over the decades, managed to successfully take on any role she’s been asked to play is seasoned broadcaster Ces Oreña-Drilon.  From being a very incisive news reporter, she shifted to covering business and then even hosted her own popular business show in the 90s.  From there we all saw her taking on the mainstream news anchoring chores in ABSCBN’s late primetime newscast Bandila, before eventually heading the Lifestyle Ecosystem of the entire network. When the dust coming out of the whole ABSCBN franchise debacle finally settled, regular viewers and fans found Ces still widely present in their mobile devices, with her KUMU ventures Ces and the City and Bawal Ma-Stress Drilon still getting good audience shares.  She has also upped her “influencer” status further by going into various businesses which are not only profitable but are inspiring more and more women to empower themselves though enterprise and hardwork. Very recently, the former Usapang Business host decided that she wanted to do something bigger for the nation—bigger than just giving Filipinos their daily dose of the news.   This is why she recently accepted her election as President of the TOWNS Foundation (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service).    TOWNS Foundation Incorporated is a national organization of dynamic and effective women who by their common shared activities and interests help transform the lives of the Filipinos.  The association is composed of 160 women, all accomplished in their respective fields, be it in the private or government sectors, who have been working together to help in the country’s development for the past 50 years.  Among the goals of the TOWNS Foundation is the recognition of women achievers which paved the way for the TOWNS Awards.  All TOWNS awardees become members of the foundation. The vision of TOWNS is to have a nation of empowered women who serve as catalysts for national development towards improving quality of life.  Its four-fold mission includes: identifying and recognizing exemplary women; harnessing talents of its members to influence national issues; inspiring women leaders and entrepreneurs; and providing a nurturing environment to TOWNS members. When the COVID19 pandemic hit the country last year, TOWNS joined forces with the UP Medical Foundation, Inc (UPMFI) to source funds that were used to procure PPEs for hospitals all over the country.  The still ongoing campaign has so far raised over P57 Million for countless frontliner beneficiaries. With her election as President, Ces now joins the ranks of former TOWNS Presidents Olivia Ferry, who became ZONTA International President; former PEZA administrator Lilia De Lima; former SSS Administrator Corazon dela Paz-Bernardo; businesswoman  Evelyn Singson; and former DOH Secretary Esperanza Cabral. With Ces now at the helm, we’re certain that the group is now headed to even greater heights of greatness for we know that when Ces starts talking business, she really means it......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsJan 17th, 2021

Smart to stream 2020 MAMA live for Filipino K-Pop fans

K-Pop stans won’t have to miss the much-anticipated 2020 Mnet Asian Music Awards (2020 MAMA) because, for the first time ever, mobile services provider Smart Communications, Inc. will exclusively online stream Asia’s biggest awards ceremony to Filipino audiences live via the GigaFest.Smart portal on Dec. 6, Sunday, at 5:00 p.m., Philippine time......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 2nd, 2020

Biden knocks Trump as rivals barnstorm heartland in election finale

Joe Biden intensified his attacks Friday on President Donald Trump as they battled over the American Midwest, chasing every last vote with four days to go in a region that propelled the Republican to victory in 2016. RUS President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at Rochester International Airport October 30, 2020 in Rochester, Minnesota. With Election Day only four days away, Trump is campaigning in Minnesota despite the recent surge in coronavirus cases in the state. In accordance with state orders, only 250 people will be able to attend the rally with Trump while thousands of others will gather outside the airport to watch on a large television screen. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP) Trump and Biden barnstormed three heartland states each — with a resurgent coronavirus passing the milestone of nine million cases as they hit the stump — highlighting their differences in a race overshadowed by the pandemic. Trump, heralded a “big day” of campaigning as he left the White House, then held a rally in Michigan before heading to Wisconsin and Minnesota, all states battling climbing numbers of virus cases. “We just want normal,” Trump told supporters — many of them unmasked — at an outdoor rally near Detroit as he pushed states to relax public health restrictions and resume daily life. He again bucked his own administration’s health experts as he downplayed the Covid-19 threat, saying “if you get it, you’re going to get better, and then you’re going to be immune.” Covid-19 has killed nearly 230,000 people in the US, which is experiencing surges in most states as the winter flu season looms. The outbreak has ravaged the economy, and while there have been signs of recovery, millions remain jobless. Biden was also stumping in Wisconsin and in Minnesota, where he sharpened his attacks on the president on everything from Trump seeking to dismantle Obama-era health care protections and keep his taxes secret to climate change and trade policy with China. “We can not afford four more years of Donald Trump,” the 77-year-old Democrat said at a socially distanced drive-in rally in St. Paul, Minnesota. “So honk your horn if you want America to lead again!” he said, embracing the awkward pandemic-era campaign trend of rallying supporters in their vehicles. “Honk your horn if you want to have civility again, and honk your horn if you want America to be united again!” Earlier in Iowa he attacker Trump over his handling of the pandemic. “Donald Trump has given up (and) waved the white flag,” Biden told a drive-in rally with more than 300 cars in Des Moines. – ‘Less divided’ – Trump flipped Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin from the Democrats to clinch his shock victory four years ago.  Now polls show Biden leading in all three, albeit narrowly in Iowa. It was Biden’s first visit to Iowa since his inauspicious campaign start in February, when he placed a dismal fourth in the opening Democratic nominating contest. So can Biden win over enough voters to prevail in the Hawkeye State? “I wouldn’t put money on it,” Iowa attorney Sara Riley, 61, said at Biden’s event, although she was more confident about him clinching the White House. “I think Americans, even Trump supporters, want to get to a place where the country is less divided,” Riley said. With voters concerned about the health hazards of crowded polling stations on November 3, a record 86 million have already cast early ballots by mail or in person. Even as the US hit a grim new high in daily Covid-19 infections Thursday, Trump has stuck to his guns, downplaying the dangers and branding Democrats as rampaging “socialists” intent on shuttering the country. And while Trump has touted the economic successes of his presidency, including positive GDP figures Thursday, US stocks closed out their worst week since March, highlighting concerns about a shaky recovery. – ‘Turn Texas blue?’ – After a campaign largely muted by the pandemic, Biden is on the offensive, pushing Trump onto the back foot in unexpected battlegrounds like Texas, a large, traditionally conservative bastion now rated a toss-up by multiple analysts. On Friday the state reported that a staggering nine million residents had already voted, surpassing its entire 2016 total. Biden’s running mate Kamala Harris visited Texas Friday in a bid to turn the state Democratic for the first time since president Jimmy Carter in 1976. “We have a chance to turn Texas blue,” the 96-year-old Carter said in a fundraising email. Biden winning there would be a dagger to Trump, but the president dismissed the notion, saying: “Texas, we’re doing very well.” Trump and Biden are focusing their greatest efforts on traditional battlegrounds that will decide the election — such as Florida, where both campaigned on Thursday. On Saturday Biden returns to the Midwest bringing with him perhaps his strongest surrogate: ex-president Barack Obama, making his first joint in-person campaign appearance of the year with his former VP. Motown music legend Stevie Wonder will join them, the Biden campaign said. Trump will spend the day campaigning in the critical state of Pennsylvania, where he narrowly trails Biden in polls. Biden will follow suit there both Sunday and Monday in a clear sign that his campaign sees the Keystone State as absolutely crucial to his victory......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 31st, 2020

Why public can’t access SALN of magistrates

Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta defended the High Tribunal’s restriction of public access to the Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) of magistrates. Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta (FACEBOOK / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) “We cannot release the SALN because there are matters there that are confidential in nature,” Peralta said during an online press briefing. The Chief Justice said that the SALN contains information like the addresses of judges and their family members which could be used by parties in influencing the decision-making of cases. “You can just imagine ‘yung mga judges na nagdecide ng cases against somebody (What might happen to judges who decided on cases against somebody),” he said. Because of this, Peralta said the SC has implemented guidelines which restricts public access to SALNs of magistrates. “We came up with the guidelines that we can only release ‘yung summary,” the Chief Justice said. Last September, the SC denied the requests of the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) and lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon for copies of the SALN of SC Associate Justice Marvic Leonen. Gadon has filed a letter of appeal to the SC insisting that it should release Leonen’s SALN since the magistrate has allegedly skipped the filing of SALNs when Leonen was still teaching at the University of the Philippines (UP). In a letter addressed to SC Clerk of Court Edgardo Aricheta, Gadon said “the right of any citizen for access on SALNs is clearly provided under the law.” “With due respect to the Supreme Court, the denial only invites suspicion among the public that the Supreme Court is hiding something in so far as the SALNs of AJ Marvic Leonen are concerned and that it cannot also escape public suspicion that the Supreme Court is giving AJ Marvic Leonen a special treatment and protection which I hope is not true,” the lawyer warned. Gadon pointed out “there is no lawful nor valid reason why my request for the certified copies of the SALNs of AJ Marvic Leonen cannot be granted.” “The Supreme Court granted the same request in the case of Atty. Maria Lourdes Sereno hence it should be granted in the instant request for SALNs of AJ Marvic Leonen,” he reminded. Prior to Sereno’s ouster in 2018 as chief justice, Gadon was able to secure from the High Tribunal copies of her SALNs. Sereno was ousted as Chief Justice in 2018 after the SC granted the quo warranto petition of the OSG which sought to invalidate her appointment at the High Tribunal over violations in skipping the filing of her SALNs when she was still a law professor at the University of the Philippines (UP). “If Atty. Lourdes Sereno was ousted from the Supreme Court due to lack of integrity as exemplified by her non-filing of SALNs in UP for many years, then there is no reason why the same standard should not be applied to Associate Justice Marvic Leonen,” said Gadon who also alleged that Leonen had skipped in the filing of SALNs when he was still a UP law professor......»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 24th, 2020

Alden Richards to hold first virtual reality concert

Asia’s Multimedia Star Alden Richards will hold his first virtual reality concert in a global event never before seen in Philippine entertainment history as GMA Network presents “Alden’s Reality” on Dec. 8 “Alden’s Reality (AR)” gives Alden’s fans a virtual date like no other, combining cutting-edge technology and performances to produce a full-length concert and online interaction with their idol. Alden will take concertgoers to a journey that celebrates his 10 colorful years in the entertainment industry.  From heartfelt songs to adrenaline-filled dance numbers, Alden is sure to indulge everyone across the globe in his first ever virtual concert. A surprise treat also awaits his fans. Shot in 360-degree, concertgoers not only have access to front-row view, but they are also in for an immersive experience from the comforts of their home. Tickets can be purchased by logging on to www.gmanetwork.com/synergy. Philippine buyers are also given a special VIP package option at P1,200 which includes one (1) general admission ticket plus one (1) exclusive VR device to Alden’s Reality show. This special VR device takes the concertgoer to another level of enjoying the show which is set to begin streaming online at 9 pm on December 8 (Philippine time). “Through ‘Alden’s Reality,’ we are bringing you the future of Philippine concert landscape,” shares GMA Regional TV and Synergy Vice President and Head Oliver Amoroso. “We are more than excited that we are featuring Alden for our first virtual concert and that it also falls under the 70th anniversary of GMA Network. This is only the beginning. Synergy: A GMA Collaboration will be producing more events that will not only bring our Kapuso closer to their favorite artists but will also give them a unique concert experience wherever part of the Philippines and the globe they may be. We hope to see you all, virtually, on December 8.” “2020 has been a challenging year for everyone because of the pandemic,” says GMA Entertainment Group Vice President for Business Development Department III Darling de Jesus Bodegon. “We hope that through ‘Alden’s Reality,’ we can bring joy to all our Kapuso not just here in the Philippines but all over the world. We are also happy that we are able to celebrate with Alden his 10 wonderful years in the entertainment industry via this virtual-reality concert. We have been a witness to Alden’s growth as an actor and a celebrity and we are proud that he has remained humble though all these years. Alden’s Reality is his gift to all his fans who continue to support him and his journey as a Kapuso.”  Alden’s Reality (AR) is produced by Synergy: A GMA Collaboration, a group that produces ticketed and non-ticketed events and activities catering to all Filipinos across the globe. This is also GMA Network’s treat to loyal Kapuso as the country’s leading broadcast company marks its 70th anniversary. The concert is directed by Paolo Valenciano......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020