Fil-Am UFC veteran Mark Muñoz shares his thoughts on the state of Filipino MMA

Apart from basketball and, as of recent years, volleyball, combat sports like boxing and mixed martial arts have been quite popular among Filipino sports fans.  A lot of credit for that goes to the likes of eight-division boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao, four-division boxing champion Nonito Donaire Jr., Donnie Nietes, and those who came before them like Gabriel “Flash” Elorde, Pancho Villa, and Gerry Peñalosa, all of whom made it big on the world stage.  In recent years, a number of Filipinos are have also made a name for themselves in the global mixed martial arts arena, and one of the early big stars was none other than former UFC veteran Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Muñoz.  From 2009 to 2015, Muñoz was one of the UFC’s top middleweight contenders and proudly carried the Filipino flag with him each time he stepped inside the Octagon.  In May of 2015, on the UFC’s inaugural fight card in Manila, Muñoz retired in front of his kababayans after a unanimous decision win over Luke Barnatt.  (READ ALSO: Filipino-American MMA star Mark Muñoz recalls retirement bout in Manila) Muñoz’s run in the UFC came at a time when the North American promotion was easily accessible to fans in the Philippines, and he became a household name in terms of Filipino MMA.  Now, five years after Muñoz’s retirement, MMA in the Philippines has never been more popular, thanks in large part to promotions like the Asia-based ONE Championship, which holds around four events in Manila every year, and of course, the URCC, the Philippines’ first-ever MMA promotion.  Today, homegrown Filipino talents like Eduard Folayang, Joshua Pacio, Kevin Belingon, Denice Zamboanga, Chris Hoffman, an many others have also gotten their time to shine on the world stage, and Muñoz believes that it’s because Filipinos are natural fighters.  “I just feel Filipinos in general have that combat mentality. That’s already inside of them,” Muñoz said on The Hitlist vodcast. “I feel that Filipinos, from the days that we have to get our independence from the Spanish, Jose Rizal, he’s a hero in the nation, it’s just embedded in our culture, in our blood, so I just feel like Filipinos in general would be amazing fighters.” Munoz made special mention of guys like former ONE world champions Folayang and Belingon, as well as URCC champions Hoffman, and Ernesto Montilla Jr.  “I mean you just look at the…Filipinos now, it’s growing and getting better. I’ve been following Eduard Folayang. He’s an amazing representative of the Philippines, Kevin Belingon, he’s the man. I think there’s another one that was on the card when I fought, Mark Eddiva is good. I know I’m leaving out a lot of fighters, there’s Ernesto Montilla Jr., when I was there in training, a guy caught my eyes, Chris Hoffman trained with me and helped me out. I know he’s doing big things in the Philippines. I think he’s URCC champion.”  “There’s a lot of good fighters in the Philippines. I know I’m leaving out a lot and I don’t want to do that but there’s a lot of good talents in the Philippines and I wanna come, I wanna be there and help them in wrestling, in MMA wresting, in ground and pound, in everything that was my specialty in MMA,” he added.  While Filipinos have indeed excelled in mixed martial arts, one aspect continues to be perceived as the Filipino fighter’s weakness is the ground game, whether it be wrestling or grappling.  (READ ALSO: Mark Muñoz not ruling out MMA return) Today’s young stars, guys like Team Lakay’s Pacio and Danny Kingad have displayed some exceptional grappling in their past performances, but Muñoz, a former collegiate wrestler and current wrestling coach, made a living off taking guys down and keeping them grounded.  “I think the common thing that everyone says with MMA is wrestling. Wrestling is the ultimate neutralizer. If you don’t have a good understanding of wrestling, you’re gonna have a really hard time becoming one of the, being ranked in the world or even be a champion,” Muñoz explained. “If you look at all the champions now, or the ones that are ranked in the world. A lot of them have background in wrestling. I feel that that’s something that the Philippines needs.” Muñoz has always said that one of the things he would most like to do is to help develop wrestling in the Philippines and hopes to one day be able to finally fulfill that mission.  “I’m the guy to do that for them. I need to make sure I spend time in the Philippines to be able to help that,” he continued......»»

Category: sportsSource: abscbn abscbnJun 19th, 2020

How ‘Here Lies Love’ co-producer found his mark on Broadway

When Here Lies Love, the hit musical about former First Lady Imelda Marcos, made history by debuting on Broadway debut with an all-Filipino last July, one of its co-producers, Don Michael H. Mendoza, also reached a career milestone. His goal of putting his name on a Broadway show before turning 40 came true now that he’s 34. [caption id="attachment_172743" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Don Michael Mendoza with Daily Tribune’s (from left) Dinah Ventura, Jojo G. Silvestre, Gigie Arcilla, Vangie Reyes, Marc Reyes, Raffy Ayeng, Gibbs Cadiz and Nick Giongco.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_172742" align="aligncenter" width="525"] ‘Always ask for what you want because the worst that can come back is a no.’ | Photographs Courtesy of Daily Tribune.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_172741" align="aligncenter" width="525"] DON Mike Mendoza with Daily Tribune’s Jojo G. Silvestre and Dinah Ventura.[/caption]   It happened, and it’s not just any show. It’s the first Filipino musical on Broadway,” he tells Daily Tribune’s Dinah Ventura and Jojo Silvestre in an interview on their online show Pairfect. “It’s very important to me because a lot of my career is based on the idea of D,E & I — diversity, equity and inclusion — especially in a country like America that’s a melting pot. “It’s very important to make sure that unrepresented voices and communities are brought to the front. To be part of that, for me personally, is an incredible honor because it’s exactly aligned with how I live my professional life every day, every year.” “For the Fil-Am community,” he adds, “I think it’s important for people to see themselves in that arena, whether be as a producer, an actor, or a stagehand, or on the creative team as an assistant director. You know, it says a lot when someone tries to reach that can see themselves in a role that they want to achieve. “Because for a long time, my role models were very few. They’re mostly Americans, they’re white people. And I wanted to be an actor and my only acting influences in the media was Paolo Montalban. He was in Cinderella, American Adobo… He’s now a friend — which is amazing! But I didn’t really have many role models. So, to our community, both Filipino and Fil-Am, they can now look at this production and say, whatever they feel is their career path, ‘I can do it, too.’ So, it’s very powerful.”   Beginnings Don Michael Hodreal Mendoza, nicknamed Don Mike, was born in Washington D.C., the capital city of the United States, to immigrant parents. His father Donald Mendoza’s family hails from Cavite and is involved in local politics. His mother Maria Leonila Hodreal has families in Marinduque (maternal side) and Bicol (paternal side). His grandfather Querubin Hodreal created what is now known as the Easy Rock Manila radio station. “My mom, who’s part of that legacy, says even though we’re in the States I somehow ended up doing what our family does, in entertainment and media,” he says, beaming. From Washington D.C., Mendoza’s nuclear family moved to the city of Pittsburgh in the Pennsylvania state, where he grew up. “But I was also raised here in Manila, in Ayala Alabang, for a couple of years,” he points out. He was then between the ages of six and eight, also starting his education at Montessori Manila in BF Homes. “We’re lucky we’re able to come home a lot, so even though I grew up on majority in America, we’d come home every other year.” That explains why he also has exposure and gets inspiration from Filipino movies and entertainment. Mendoza started performing in school plays and high school musicals “for fun.” For college, though, he “needed to study that wasn’t the arts because immigrant families want you to do something that makes money in their eyes.” So he took up broadcast journalism and political science at the American University in D.C. But he didn’t like political science, so he dropped it and added musical theater to his studies without telling his parents until he got into the program. After graduation, he was torn between two goals: becoming a Broadway actor like Jose Llana, who currently plays the late President Ferdinand Marcos in Here Lies Love, and becoming the “Filipino Anderson Cooper.” He ended up staying in D.C with a job in marketing, which eventually became his master’s degree. Mendoza started auditioning and trying to get into shows. “But I wasn’t getting cast the way I wanted to,” he recalls, “because it’s very hard for a Filipino, an Asian male actor to get parts, unless you decided to be in Miss Saigon, which was one of the only very few shows that hire Asian people. So, I kinda fell into producing.” That was when he met a fellow Fil-Am, Regie Cabico, who’s 20 years older than him and became his mentor. He remembers Cabico telling him, “The way to be successful for someone like us in the arts is to start your own opportunities.” Thus, the birth, in 2012, of their company, La Ti Do, which is into production of cabarets and concerts. “I met so many people and worked with so many actors and performers without knowing it’s producing,” he says, smiling at the memory. “I just realized producing means organizing. It means you’re in charge, you’re putting things together and hire people. In those 10 years, I was able to produce small musicals and concerts and special events.” He then put up his own DMH Mendoza Productions, which has La Ti Do as its cabaret-concert arm, to allow him to “produce bigger and more incredible things.” For starters, he produced the off-Broadway play Hazing U that tackles violence in fraternities. Around that time, February 2023, he heard about Here Lies Love being restaged, this time on Broadway. The musical created by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim originally premiered off-Broadway in 2013 at The Public Theater in New York City. A year later, it moved to the Royal National Theater in London, England, and then was restaged at Seattle Repertory Theater in the US in 2017. Mendoza admits with regret that he missed seeing Here Lies Love’s off-Broadway premiere and thought he’d never see it ever again “just because Filipino things don’t usually last very long in America.” So when he heard it was coming to Broadway, he basically called everybody he knew who’s involved in the production to ask how he could help. “I wasn’t really looking for a producer stature,” he says. “I said to many people I’m willing to sell t-shirts in the lobby just to support this show.” It turned out his good friend Lora Nicolas Olaes, who he stayed with in New York, was in the first workshop of the show in 2011, and she personally knows one of the lead producers, Clint Ramos. Olaes then connected Mendoza and Ramos via email, which led to Mendoza joining the Here Lies Love production team. “I’m still having trouble today saying I’m a co-producer. I’m so used to just doing rather than labeling,” he says. “It’s been a wild ride from then till now. I don’t regret any of it. It’s been the best experience so far.” He then shares that having an all-Filipino cast and a predominantly Filipino production team is very important for the lead producers. Two of the five are Filipino: Clint Ramos, a Tony award-winning costume designer, and Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist. This extends to other producers, such as Hal Luftig, Diana DiMenna and Patrick Catullo, as well as to musical writers David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. “They wanted to reach beyond the cast and make sure that the show is escorted into Broadway by Filipinos because it’s a Filipino story,” Mendoza points out. Aside from Llana, the main cast is made up of Arielle Jacobs (as Imelda) and Conrad Ricamora as (Ninoy Aquino), with Lea Salonga (as Ninoy’s mother Aurora) in a limited run until 19 August. “It’s beyond the cast. So our creative team, our production team, our stagehands, everybody. Even our house staff, some of them are Filipinos. We really wanted to make a mark on Broadway. That’s how it came about. So that was an early decision. Because the off-Broadway production was mixed. It was not all-Filipino. It had Ruthie Ann Miles as Imelda. She’s not Filipino. It was hard to move from her and bring in Arielle Jacobs, who is just as amazing, but, you know, it was very important for the team to be culturally accurate. Because it’s our story.” “It’s our show,” he reiterates. “Let’s bring it to the world. Our people are playing themselves. I’ve said this in an interview: The general public is trained to love Filipino as other ethnicities. This is the first time we’re training them to love us, Filipinos, as ourselves.”   Musical textbook Mendoza’s fellow co-producers include Salonga and Fil-Am celebrities like comedian Jo Koy, musical artist H.E.R. and rapper “Our show is a musical textbook,” he explains. “It’s a musical built around facts, what happened historically during her lifetime. Our whole goal for the show is to present to you what happened with, of course, entertainment attached to it. There’s a misconception that it’s a documentary. It is not. It’s musical theater. It’s supposed to be fun. You see what happened. “We empower our audience to make their own decision. We don’t tell them, ‘This was a bad person. This was a good person.’ Here’s what this person did in their life and how she was affected by her surroundings, and go home and do the research. You figure it out. We liken it to giving someone a Zip file of Philippine history in the 21th century and you go home and unzip the Zip file to get into the details. “But we give you an overview. It’s really up to the audience when they leave the show. I know it’s the goal of our writers and directors to not impose an opinion. We’re just here to entertain and make you learn. When you leave, it’s up to you.” Mendoza happily reports that Here Lies Love is being received “very well.” He adds, “The critics have come and said really wonderful about the show, especially the ones we’re nervous about, like the New York Times, or The Washington Post, or the Wall Street Journal. It trickles down to everyone who’s seen the show. I think we’re so proud and excited that it’s well-received. Audience members love it, they keep coming back.” He also notes that audiences are “pretty diverse. You see Filipinos, you see Americans, you see visitors. It’s really a big hodge-podge of different people. We’re happy about that, too. It’s not biased to just one community.” Indeed, Mendoza is living his dream and he has this piece of audience for the younger generation who also hopes to break into theater or arts in general: “Always ask for what you want because the worst that can come back is a no.” He then shares what she’s picked up from Kris Jenner: “If somebody says no to you, you’re asking the wrong person. Keeping asking for what you want. Not just manifesting, but really it’s just speaking up. Nobody can read your mind. Nobody can see what’s happening in your mind and in your heart. So if you express it, you ask and you’ll get there. It may not happen in the timing that you want, but it will happen if you keep pushing.” The post How ‘Here Lies Love’ co-producer found his mark on Broadway appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 18th, 2023

Phl cinema in the first year of BBM

Here, we look back at the state of the Philippine film industry since he took the seat of power 13 months ago. When President Marcos Jr. became the 17th leader of the nation, the country was on the brink of the “new normal.” The campaign elections even saw multitudes of crowds in the streets, the Filipinos’ political passion overpowering the fear of a Covid-19 infection.   Covid-pandemic viewing By May 2022, the month of the presidential campaigns, the Department of Health said the country was at “minimal-risk case classification” with an average of only 159 cases per day. By June 2022, when the President took his oath, 69.4 million Filipinos had been fully vaccinated. Along with the country, the Philippine film industry started healing. On the same month, the country went under Covid-19 Alert Level 2, with 50-percent allowed capacity in indoor cinemas.   Live film festivals The Marcos administration saw the return of Filipino film festivals in theaters. On Marcos’ fifth month as president, the QCinema International Film Festival, with the theme “in10City,” held hybdrid screenings — in-person and online. The Metro Manila Film Festival in December 2022, six months into the new presidency, went full force in cinemas for the second time during the pandemic. Earlier, in 2020, during the Duterte administration, the festival was held online for the first time, and the following year, in December 2021, after level alert measures in the Philippines were relaxed, the MMFF finally went back to the cinemas. However, only around 300 cinemas (down from the usual 900) were allowed to screen the MMFF entries. Meanwhile, the 18th edition of the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival was held from 5 August to 31 October 2022 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, in select mall cinemas and online. But what made a mark during the Marcos administration’s first year was the inaugural edition of the 2023 Summer Metro Manila Film Festival. The SMMFF was held in Metro Manila and throughout the Philippines. Organized by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority in partnership with the Cinema Exhibitors Association of the Philippines, the first MMFF was supposed to be held in 2020, but was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2023, held from 8 to 18 April 2023 with the theme “Tuloy-tuloy ang Saya,” the summer festival featured eight entries and, like its December counterpart, even held a Parade of Stars. About Us But Not About Us by Jun Lana, produced by The IdeaFirst Company, Octobertrain Films and Quantum Films, emerged as the first Best Picture of the summer festival. [caption id="attachment_161372" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] About Us But Not About Us by Jun Lana[/caption]   The Film Development Council of the Philippines’ sixth edition of its own mini-film festival, held during the Marcos administration’s third month, headed back to cinemas, offering free access to award-winning classic films of the new National Artists for Film and Broadcast Arts at TriNoma Cinema in Quezon City and in all Cinematheque centers nationwide (Manila, Iloilo, Negros, Davao and Nabunturan).   CCP closes for renovations On 1 September 2022, CCP president Margarita Moran-Floirendo announced during a hearing of the Senate committee on cultural communities, that The Cultural Center of the Philippines — home to the Cinemalaya festival — will close its doors starting January 2023 for renovation and structural retrofitting works, and will reopen in March 2025. This marks the first time that Cinemalaya, on its 19th year, which has the theme “ilumiNasyon,” will be held at various venues inside the adjacent Philippine International Convention Center, from 4 to 13 August 2023.   The rise of political films With the country deeply driven by polarized political views, the Marcos administration saw a war between political commercial films. [caption id="attachment_161370" align="aligncenter" width="1800"] ‘MAID in Malacanang’ stars Cristine Reyes, Diego Loyzaga and Ella Cruz. | Photograph courtesy of viva[/caption] On 29 July 2022, Darryl Yap’s period drama Maid in Malacañang, touted as “the most controversial film of the year,” was released to packed cinemas. The movie, about the Marcos family’s last three days in Malacañang Palace before they were forced into exile, premiered at SM North EDSA and was released nationwide on 3 August 2022. Yap, who passionately campaigned for Marcos, became a controversial filmmaker with the release of his Marcos film. Leni Robredo supporters tried to boycott the film, with some Filipino movie critics exposing themselves as heavily political and non-neutral with their reviews, accusing the film of propaganda and historical revisionism. The attempt to quash the movie’s release failed and it became a box-office hit, with producer Viva Films releasing a statement that it earned a whopping P21 million on its opening day and P63 million three days after its release. It was the first time in Philippine cinema history that local theaters nationwide saw a deluge of moviegoers lining up to watch a movie on the big screen, mostly driven by political affiliation. Another unsuccessful political attempt to diminish the film’s release was Vince Tañada’s re-release of his Martial Law film Katips to counter Maid in Malacañang. Tañada’s film eventually won Best Picture at the Famas Awards. MIM actress Ella Cruz’s remark during a press conference, that “history is like tsismis,” further fanned the flames of political debate online. Eight months later, in March 2022, Viva released Yap’s second installment in his Marcos trilogy, Martyr or Murderer, which now focused on Ferdinand Marcos and the assassination of Ninoy Aquino. Two anti-Marcos movies rose to combat the film — Joel Lamangan’s Oras de Peligro, released on the same day, and Tañada’s movie adaptation of his musical play Ako Si Ninoy, released one week earlier. Movie buffs, political analysts, film critics, the press and social media influencers dove into feverish commentaries on the three films, and Philippine cinemas were ignited and, for a while, became alive with social discourse.   New FDCP head On 21 July 2022, Tirso S. Cruz III officially assumed his position as the head of the country’s national film agency, the Film Development Council of the Philippines. He replaced Liza Diño, who was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as FDCP chairperson on 12 August 2016. [caption id="attachment_161368" align="aligncenter" width="736"] FDCP chair Tirso Cruz III. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF FDCP[/caption]   Cruz, a veteran actor, said that the target of the FDCP under the Marcos administration was to support local films, not just in Metro Manila, but also from regional filmmakers. He also professed support for film students and highlighted archiving as part of the FDCP’s agenda, with 42,000 materials in its archives to be salvaged.   MTRCB In September 2022, the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board released a statement addressing the controversy about its proposal to expand its jurisdiction to online streaming services like Netflix, Vivamax, Amazon Prime and other streaming platforms. The MTRCB said it was responding to multitudes of complaints from parents and other concerned groups demanding that the agency regulate movie and TV online platforms to protect children from harmful viewing. The Marcos administration has seen a continuous boom in streamers, which began during the pandemic, with Vivamax becoming one of the leading local streamers due to the popularity of Filipino sexploitation films. On 23 February 2023, MTRCB chairperson Lala Sotto-Antonio expressed her gratitude to Senators Francis “Tol” Tolentino, Grace Poe and Sherwin Gatchalian for the separate bills they filed that would amend and expand the board’s mandate. “We welcome the move to amend the charter of the MTRCB as it will allow the agency to adequately adapt to changes in technology and the ever-evolving needs of the viewing public and our other stakeholders,” Sotto-Antonio said before the Senate Committee on Public Information and Mass Media chaired by Senator Robinhood C. Padilla.   Eddie Garcia Act In January 2023, the chamber passed through voice voting House Bill 1270, or the proposed Eddie Garcia Act, at the House plenary session. [caption id="attachment_161367" align="aligncenter" width="1000"] HOUSE Bill 1270 has been proposed in honor of the late actor Eddie Garcia. | Photograph courtesy of gma-7[/caption]   Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund Villafuerte authored the bill, which aims to provide workers in the movie, television and radio entertainment industry opportunities for well-paid employment and protect them from economic exploitation, abuse and harassment, as well as hazardous working conditions. The bill was named after the late veteran actor Eddie Garcia, who died in 2019 after suffering a neck injury while shooting the television series Rosang Agimat, produced by GMA Network. According to Villafuerte, productions would go from 16 to 24 continuous work hours per set and would rush productions to save costs. The proposed law mandates that normal work hours of the worker or talent shall be eight hours a day; overtime work should not exceed more than 12 hours in a 24-hour period;  and the total number of work hours shall not exceed 60 hours in a week. Paul Soriano Relatively unknown to most Pinoy moviegoers, filmmaker Paul Soriano was put on the limelight as the man behind the President’s advertisements — way back from campaigns since Marcos started out as vice governor, and then, governor of Ilocos Norte, up until his senatorial campaign, and eventually his campaign for the vice presidency and presidency. [caption id="attachment_161371" align="aligncenter" width="781"] PRESIDENTIAL Adviser on Creative Communications Paul Soriano. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF ig/PAUL SORIANO[/caption] Of course, the opposition in the film industry predictably canceled Soriano, the blood nephew of First Lady Liza Cacho Araneta-Marcos.   Dolly de Leon It was also during the BBM era that Filipina actress Dolly de Leon gained international fame for her performance in the 2022 Cannes Palme d’Or winner Triangle of Sadness. [caption id="attachment_161366" align="aligncenter" width="705"] Dolly de Leon gained international fame for her performance in the 2022 Cannes Palme d’Or winner ‘Triangle of Sadness.’ | Photograph courtesy ofig/dolly de leon[/caption]   The 54-year old film, television and theater actress made history by becoming the first Filipino actor to be nominated at the British Academy Film Awards and Golden Globe Awards. Filipino movie fans and critics, having been exposed to global content since the rise of the streamers, plus the proliferation of self-published movie reviews, are generally still disappointed with the output and system of the Philippine film industry, but filled with hope that, with full support from the government, Philippine cinema will finally become truly internationally competitive, sustainable and recognized. The post Phl cinema in the first year of BBM appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2023

Mark Villar seeks probe of cyberattacks vs. PhilHealth, other gov’t portals

A resolution was filed in the Senate on Tuesday seeking an inquiry over the recent cyber attack incidents against the government agencies in the country. The filing of Senate Resolution 811 by Senator Mark Villar stemmed from the recent hacking of the “Medusa ransomware” group of the state health insurer Philippine Health Insurance Corporation or PhilHealth’s online portal. The hackers have asked $300,000 or roughly P17 million in exchange for the stolen data for PhilHealth. It also threatened the government that it would publicly expose the entirety of the hacked PhilHealth data if the ransom was not paid. Villar said the threat would compromise the confidential information of Filipinos, including names, addresses, contact information, medical records as well as internal memorandums of the agency. Ransomware is a kind of malicious software that encrypts files in a device or system with access to a computer that is being blocked by hackers. To regain access to the hacked site, cybercriminals demand a ransom. Villar condemned the cyber attack incident against the PhilHealth, saying: “It is not only a huge case of information theft but an extensive attack against public health and welfare.” “These attacks compromise the medical information of the members of PhilHealth,” he added. The resolution targets to tackle the increasing number of cyber attacks, not only with PhilHealth's case but also the cases of other government agencies that were subjected to hacking. “It is high time that we strengthen our cyberspace security as we are dealing with private and delicate information that could endanger, not just of one institution, but of the general Filipino public," Villar stressed. “The regulation of cyberspace is timely and relevant, considering the increasing cases of cyber attacks on government agencies and the cases of online fraud against consumers,” he added. Earlier this week, PhilHealth said it would not pay the ransom and it has shut down its online systems “to assess the impact of the cyberattack." Philhealth also opted for manual processing of the member benefits following the hacking incident. Meanwhile, the Department of Information and Communications Technology said the cyber hackers already uploaded some PhilHealth information and documents to the dark web, with a countdown of days before the state insurer should pay ransom. DICT clarified the PhilHealth database was not compromised. The post Mark Villar seeks probe of cyberattacks vs. PhilHealth, other gov’t portals appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 26th, 2023

The standouts at Fashion Forte XVIII

After more than two decades in the United States, the enterprising fashion designer Nardie Presa came back to the Philippines. Though he had a lucrative practice in California, home is where his heart is. But then Presa saw that budding designers were relegated to showcasing their creations at malls or clubs. He thought that a hotel was a more proper venue for rising talents to present their collections. The idea not only became a clever business venture; it also became the irrepressible Presa’s advocacy. Together with his longtime friend Audie Espino as director and the Crowne Plaza Galleria as the host, more and more design upstarts are getting their breaks at Presa’s Fashion Forte series held at least four times a year. The lineup is usually composed of neophyte talents but established designers such as Presa also participate to show the newbies how it’s done. At the 17th staging, it was barong Tagalog designer Barge Ramos who gave a master class.   At Fashion Forte XVIII, Albert Andrada displayed his universally loved designs of romantic and dreamy confections. Mikaela Rose Fowler, Miss Grand Australia 2023, gushed on her Instagram: “What an honor to not only walk for Sir Albert Andrada during the latest Fashion Forte runway show. I had the privilege of closing the show as the grand finale.” Here are some of the standouts and their thoughts:   [caption id="attachment_188837" align="aligncenter" width="525"] TONI Kimpo recommends using local fabrics to promote the country to the fashion world. | photograph courtesy of Bert Briones[/caption] TONI KIMPO “The title of my collection is Rise of the Phoenix. My inspirations are the mystical bird phoenix while the emotion behind my creations is the power to rise again like a phoenix. “My materials are sourced locally. I used some indigenous material like pearls and shells. I recommend using local fabrics to promote the country to the fashion world. “I said yes to Nardie and Audie because of their integrity, and the high fashion production that only Fashion Forte can make. [caption id="attachment_188833" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Albert Andrada displayed his universally loved designs of romantic and dreamy confections. | photograph courtesy of Mike Zuniga[/caption] “When I was a child, I grew up being influenced by the works of Tito Albert Andrada. His first shop was in my grandmother’s building. I studied fashion at Slim’s Fashion School and worked at the  Carolina’s fabric store.” [caption id="attachment_188834" align="aligncenter" width="525"] CARL Acusa’s latest collection speaks of political movement through fashion. | photograph courtesy of Bert Briones[/caption]   CARL ARCUSA “Luncheon At The Palace is a political movement through fashion. A collection that is intended to raise awareness to the historical past and to not forget the mistreatment, injustices, killings and power abuse during the… regime. “The materials I used are silk, organdy, piña cloth, tulle, red Swarovski crystals, beads and metal religious emblems. [The challenge of procuring the materials] is their availability to suppliers because some are sourced out abroad and the piña cloth’s availability to the market. ‘My recommended remedy] is fast supplier-to-market transport and communications. “[I said yes to Nardie and Audie] because they are both professional and friendly. Their taste and professionalism established a good foundation of trust to us designers. “I’m a self-taught. I was mentored by Rocky Gathercole and Olé Morabe. My inspirations are Christian Dior, Alexander McQueen, John Galliano, Joey Samson, Ivarluski Aseron and various Filipino veteran designers. My celebrity clients include Andrea Brillantes, Kim Chiu, Vice Ganda, Sanya Lopez, Lea Salonga and Miss Glenda.”   JEZELLE AMORADO “My collection is entitled Imprint. As a fashion designer, one of my primary roles is to create pieces for clients that reflect their identity and persona. It is very seldom that I get to create something that would reflect who I am as an artist. Thus, the ‘Imprint’ collection was born. “For this collection. I wanted to do away with traditional floral and lace details. Instead I focused on the idea of how I can imprint my own DNA as a designer into each piece. The hand-beaded details of each piece were carefully crafted to show my personal way of sketching, yarn and beadwork to mimic my fingerprints and the waves in various colors were created to represent my sound waves when speaking. The Jezelle Hautea Amorado signature book folded details can also be seen in the collection as a representation of my unfolding fashion design story. “The emotions that I wanted the collection to evoke is a sense of identity and self-love for who I am as an artist. I wanted the audience to see who I truly was as an artist and experience the same level of love and admiration I felt when I was allowed to be myself and create what my heart wanted. “I wanted to present a collection that would let people realize and feel that it is OK to be themselves, to love who they are and to not let society dictate who they should be. Imprint is a collection that focuses on the idea of ‘self’ and that no person could ever alter who you are as a person. “I wanted people, women in particular, to have that profound sense of acceptance despite what society would expect of us in terms of how we dress, talk and present ourselves. Hopefully, ‘Imprint’ was able to do that. “The materials that were used were a mixture of silk gazaar, fine crepe, organza and tulle. The finer details were crafted using multicolored yarns, crystals and multi-cut beads. All of my materials were sourced from both local and international vendors that I have worked with in the course of my career. “The main challenge that I face when procuring fabrics was the fear that another designer would be using the same thing as me. My solution for this is that I stay away from already pre-beaded or pre-printed textiles. “Instead of purchasing such textiles I have my team of skilled beaders craft custom prints or details that would guarantee me a unique piece every single time. At times, it is an unavoidable circumstance that I would have to use pre-detailed fabrics such as lace, so to address this situation I would deconstruct the said fabric and have my team rework it by creating new textures, or beading details to give my clients that unique look. “I have a Bachelor’s degree in Consular and Diplomatic Affairs from De La Salle College of Saint Benilde and an Associate’s degree in Fashion Design at Raffles Design Institute Singapore. I apprenticed under Albert Andrada, who is also my mentor and design influence along with Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Iris Van Herpen.” [caption id="attachment_188836" align="aligncenter" width="525"] ‘Fashion Forte’ expresses Nardie Presa’s specialty and strength in conceptualizing clothes and designs. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF MIKE ZUNIGA[/caption] “To be invited back by Nardie Presa and Audie Espino was a wonderful experience and great honor. I had my first show with them back in 2020 before the pandemic and this would have given me another opportunity to work alongside two of the most-sought after personalities in the fashion industry. “Another reason for me to say yes was that Tita Nardie had informed me that this would be a wonderful opportunity for me to continue the Mentor-Protegee story that was unfolding between me and my beloved mentor and fashion father, Albert Andrada. “The period that I got the invite for Fashion Forte was when Sir Albert and I were preparing for our ‘Marry Me at Marriott’ show and it just felt like the perfect fit. Any chance I would get to work alongside Sir Albert and share the runway with him is an opportunity that I would never want to miss.”   The post The standouts at Fashion Forte XVIII appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 25th, 2023

GSIS buys up 12% MPIC stake

State pension fund Government Service Insurance System, or GSIS, has accumulated shares in diversified Metro Pacific Investments Corp,, or MPIC, the flagship company of tycoon Manny V. Pangilinan which is up for bourse delisting. The state financial institution led by veteran investment banker Wick Veloso has amassed the MPI shares the past two weeks, buying a total of 2.5 billion shares from 23 August to 4 September. In a report to the stock market, MPIC said it received a letter from GSIS dated 4 September informing the company that from 23 August to 4 September, GSIS purchased 2,490,509,574 common shares of MPIC. GSIS also mentioned that as a result of these purchases, GSIS now owns 3,438,549,038 common shares which represents approximately 11.98 percent of the total outstanding common shares of MPIC. Strong challenge Analysts said the GSIS move poses a challenge to the MPIC proposal to leave the stock exchange. COL Financial research head April Lynn Tan said that with the purchases, MPIC share owners may not attain its target to acquire 95 percent of the company which is pivotal to the delisting plan. MPIC chairman and chief executive Manuel Pangilinan on Monday expressed hope the consortium would secure enough shares to push through with the plan. “The tender period will expire on 7 September, so let’s wait. We are hopeful that the amount of shares will translate to qualification for delisting,” Pangilinan said. In a social media post, Tan said the delisting option can still pull thorugh. “According to industry peers, there is still a chance that the delisting will push through. Since GSIS now owns 12 percent (more or less) it might not be counted in the public float based on PSE proposed amendments. This means that the tender offer might proceed if over 14.58 percent of share owners tender their shares,” she added. The post GSIS buys up 12% MPIC stake appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 6th, 2023

Isabella Po Nouvelot’s curiosity fuels breakthroughs in archaeology

Imbued with passion and driven by curiosity, 22-year-old Isabella Po Nouvelot, who recently graduated from Leiden University with a degree in Archaeology, is doing a remarkable job in understanding mankind’s past. [caption id="attachment_178409" align="aligncenter" width="195"] Isabella Po Nouvelot[/caption] Having completed her BA in Archaeology at Leiden University, Isabella’s dedication to her field is commendable. Leiden’s Faculty of Archaeology, renowned for its excellence, has consistently ranked among the top 10 archaeological institutes globally for seven consecutive years. It even secured the sixth position in the QS World University Ranking. Her love of archaeology stems from her early fascination with history. “Ever since I was a child, I really liked history,” she said. Frequent visits to national museums sparked her interest in discovering uncharted territories of the Philippines’ history. This epiphany eventually led to a dream: leveraging archaeology to shed light on the untold stories and rich heritage of her native country. “There’s so much to know, and that’s what really got me into archaeology,” Isabella told the DAILY TRIBUNE. “As I learn archaeology in general, how it’s practiced and how it’s done, it made me more confident that this is what I like.” [caption id="attachment_178411" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] A PIECE of clay statue made by prehistoric people of Barbados believed to date to around 14th century.[/caption] Isabella looks up to her mentors in her exploration. Among them are Dr. Ligaya (Gay) S.P. Lacsina, known for groundbreaking work on Butuan boats at the University of the Philippines, and Martijn Manders, a Leiden University professor specializing in underwater archaeology and maritime heritage management. Isabella praises those who pursue archaeology despite the lack of financial support. She also emphasizes the significance of archaeology in helping societies rediscover their ancestry. “As a country, it’s important for us to know our roots and who we are. A lot of the time it is overshadowed by the colonial past,” she said. Studying archaeology is a way to reclaim and appreciate the various stories that have defined the Philippines’ identity in a nation rich in legacy. She claims that the field’s “unexplored and underdeveloped” state has the potential to foster a sense of national pride. Her aspirations center on exploring pre-colonial Filipino history, a period often overshadowed by the colonial era. She recognizes that “it’s only archaeology that can bring it to light” and provide a voice to those whose stories were not documented in archives or written sources. She wants to “connect people to his past,” bridging the gap between earlier times and present-day realities. Beyond her dedication to archaeology, Isabella’s interests span multiple disciplines. Her engagement with maritime archaeology, geographic information systems and data science demonstrates her multidisciplinary approach to research. Amid her academic pursuits, Isabella finds solace in basketball, trekking and camping, revealing a balanced and adventurous spirit. As Isabella takes a well-deserved break after graduation, she reflects on her journey — a path adorned with internships, excavations and experiences that have deepened her connection to history. Looking ahead, she envisions herself as an intern at the National Museum, honing her skills and participating in excavations in the Philippines. She also plans to pursue a master’s degree in archaeology, further refining her research capabilities. Isabella views herself as a researcher at the National Museum in 10 years, similar to Dr. Bobby Orillaneda, a senior museum researcher at the Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage Division. Alternatively, she aspires to become a professor, driven by a passion for imparting knowledge to the next generation. Throughout her journey, Isabella draws strength from her supportive family, who firmly believe in her potential and inspire her to overcome doubts and pursue her dreams and embrace her dreams. “‘We believe in you,’ that’s the only thing that I keep in my heart. They believe in me. I shouldn’t doubt myself. If they believe in me, I should also believe in myself,” she shared. For Isabella, the journey into archeology is more than just a pursuit — it is an ‘enriching experience’ that unveils the layers of history, recovers forgotten narratives and bridges the gap between past and present. With determination and history as her guide, Isabella is a beacon of inspiration for those who seek to unlock the mysteries of time and make their mark on the canvas of human knowledge. The post Isabella Po Nouvelot’s curiosity fuels breakthroughs in archaeology appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 1st, 2023

PBBM sends heartfelt condolences to Mike Enriquez’s bereaved family

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Wednesday morning extended his condolences on the passing of veteran journalist Mike Enriquez. Enriquez, a household name in the Philippines for his decades-long career in broadcasting, died on Tuesday at the age of 71. He was a news anchor for GMA Network's flagship newscast "24 Oras" and hosted the long-running public affairs program "Imbestigador." In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), Marcos Jr. said that Enriquez was a "pillar in our broadcasting industry" who "dedicated his life to delivering unbiased news to the Filipino people." "Our heartfelt thoughts are with his family and loved ones during this time," the president said. Former journalist and now Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Velicaria-Garafil also extended her condolences to Enriquez's family. In a statement Tuesday evening, Garafil said Enriquez was one of the journalists they consider an ally in delivering honest and unbiased news. "Truly, his contribution to the field of journalism is immeasurable," Garafil said. Enriquez, who is survived by his wife Lizabeth “Baby” Yumping, began his career as a staff announcer at the Manila Broadcasting Company in 1969. He subsequently worked in various other broadcasting networks, including Freedom Broadcasting Radio Network and Radio Mindanao Network. Enriquez then joined GMA in 1994. He underwent heart bypass surgery in 2018 and a kidney transplant in 2021. Before he passed away, he took another leave of absence shortly after returning to work to cover the 2022 elections. Enriquez has received multiple awards throughout the course of his five-decade career, including four straight years as the Most Outstanding Male News Anchor at the De La Salle Araneta University's Gawad Lasallianeta Awards. The post PBBM sends heartfelt condolences to Mike Enriquez’s bereaved family appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 30th, 2023

Bong Go honors late DMW Secretary Ople

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go expressed profound sympathy and sincere condolences on the untimely demise of Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan 'Toots' Ople, who championed the rights and welfare of migrant workers. In his co-sponsorship speech on Wednesday, 23 August, Go echoed the collective sentiment of the Senate and the Filipino people. The senator honored the memory and legacy of Ople, whose dedication to the betterment of the lives of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) left an indelible mark on the nation. “We grieve the passing of an extraordinary leader and commemorate the life of a woman who devoted herself to our nation's service and the well-being of our OFWs. Kapag narinig niyo po ang pangalan ni Secretary Toots Ople ay talagang nako-connect po iyan sa ating mga OFWs, ang ating modern-day heroes,” said Go. “Secretary Toots Ople, the inaugural Secretary of the DMV, stood as a symbol of hope and a genuine patriot,” he highlighted. As the visionary founder and esteemed leader of the Blas Ople Policy Center, Ople dedicated herself to aiding distressed OFWs on a global scale. Through her influential radio programs "Bantay OFW" and "Global Pinoy," she provided a lifeline of support, guidance, and a resounding voice to those whose struggles often went unnoticed. Her unwavering commitment gained international recognition. In 2020, the Secretary-General of the United Nations appointed her as one of five experts to serve a distinguished three-year tenure on the Board of Trustees for the UN Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking. In 2013, she was bestowed the prestigious Trafficking in Persons Hero award by none other than the former US Secretary of State, John Kerry. The senator recounted the various achievements and initiatives spearheaded by Ople during her tenure, adding that she had tirelessly worked to provide a better life for those who had to leave their families behind to seek greener pastures. The senator also highlighted how Ople had bridged gaps between government agencies related to overseas employment and migration to create a unified effort in addressing the concerns of OFWs. He acknowledged that her work had gone far beyond the confines of her office, leaving an impact that would be felt for generations to come. “Chosen by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr. as the inaugural secretary of the newly formed DMV, Ople's fervor for social justice and steadfast dedication to the rights of migrant workers have etched a permanent mark on our society,” Go continued. “Lubos po akong nalulungkot at nakikiramay sa pamilya ng ating butihing kalihim ng DMW na si Ma’am Susan “Toots” Ople. Siya po ay isang tunay na kaibigan at kakampi pagdating sa pagtataguyod ng karapatan at kapakanan ng ating mga OFWs. Maraming salamat po sa iyong pagmamahal sa mga OFWs, ang iyong inisyatibo na maging maayos ang OFW Hospital at sa pagsulong mo na magkaroon ng Malasakit Center doon sa naturang ospital. Malaki po ang naitulong niya sa mga OFWs,” he stressed further. As he concluded his co-sponsorship speech, Go expressed his deepest condolences to Ople's family, friends, and colleagues, saying, “Her memory will stand as a lasting testament to the power of one individual to transform the world. Her legacy will continue to echo in our hearts and minds.” “As we say goodbye to this remarkable woman, we should not dwell on sorrow but honor her memory, we must carry on her relentless fight for justice, equality, and the welfare of our people, especially our OFWs,” he added. The post Bong Go honors late DMW Secretary Ople appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsAug 24th, 2023

Rebels turning into cops

A cornerstone of any peace pact between the government and rebels is the delivery of promises made by both parties. It is a give-and-take process, a sort of quid pro quo, where one party gives in to the demands of the other and vice versa. The fulfillment of the commitments is the supreme test of the sincerity of the parties to make peace. On the part of the dissidents, they vowed to rein in their rebellious mindset in favor of peace. On the government’s side, it offered a package of promises to prepare them for integration into society, including issuing transitional justice. The failure of either to do their part may jeopardize the whole process, forcing the parties to return to condition ante and back to hostilities that could lead to further fratricide and the dystopian situation that was hoped to be resolved by the process. Among the principal terms of the peace pact between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF was the integration of the latter’s fighters into the state’s uniformed forces. This was supposed to happen after the détente. That it took years for its implementation due to the stringent selection process imposed by the government on former rebels who wanted to be soldiers or policemen. They had to undergo physical and psychological screening tests just like any ordinary applicant. We imagine the former rebels could easily hurdle the strenuous physical tests but would have difficulty satisfying the educational and psychological criteria. The latter test would be tough considering the rebels had nurtured and developed through years of fighting a deeply ingrained mindset of antipathy and hostility against the entity they would now be serving. We suppose they had to undergo rigid teach-ins and seminars for value reformation and psychological counseling to upend their rebellious minds. These thoughts cascaded in our minds upon reading about former Moro rebels being sworn in as policemen in an elaborate “historic rite” attended by the Secretary of Local Government who read the message of the President. A total of 102 former rebels qualified — 52 from the MILF and 50 from the MNLF (it was a clever decision to include former rebels of the MNLF who had made peace with the administration of President Fidel Ramos). It is sad that only 1 percent out of 11,033 applicants made it to the final selection process and were later inducted by the DILG Secretary who described them as “the best of the best and the cream of the crop of the young generation of Bangsamoro police.” President Marcos had a poignant message for them: “The moment you take your oath, you pledge your allegiance not just to the Philippine National Police, you pledge your commitment and dedication to the public, to the Filipino people (whom) you promise to serve and protect. You will be issued arms, which you will be using for the protection of Filipinos, the arms of protection, which you will now use with the government and not against it.” Never mind that a paltry number was taken in. What is important is that the other party has started delivering on its promise on this particular concern. The DILG Secretary promised that about 400 former rebels would be inducted as cops before 2024, igniting a flicker of hope to other rebels. And we expect a follow-through with more qualified rebels being enticed for integration into the government security and defense cadre. This may well define the profound policy of the new administration towards political and social dissidents. We look forward to the fulfillment of more commitments provided in the terms and conditions of the peace agreement. We should take a leaf from what happened with the peace pact with the MNLF where the struggle and pocket skirmishes continued because of the failure of the government to deliver fully the major and substantial stipulations of the agreement. This should be avoided. The post Rebels turning into cops appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 18th, 2023

Katya Angara – The journey of a woman and artist

The promising artist that Katya is today is the latest phase in a lifelong journey that began at an early age when she began drawing characters from cartoon comics. All the while she was growing up in a home that nurtured her interest in the arts, as much as it prepared her for rigorous academic training. She read early in life, in a house filled with books. In this second part of our interview, Katya shares with us how she made a number of choices that would lead to where she is today. But once upon a time, for all that had been given to her on a silver platter, she was in a quandary as to what to do with her life. But when she finally decided on what she wanted, there was no stopping the talented and smart girl who, it turned out, possessed an intellectual prowess not unlike those of her parents, the lawyer, and senator Edgardo Angara, whose affinity for the land had been impressed on his daughter, and the lady educator Gloria Manalang Angara, who opened up her daughter’s eyes and minds to the wonders of world literature and the other arts. And it was in art that the young girl did not only find solace but also healing. Here is the final part of our interview: DT: After high school, did you immediately leave for London? KA: To be honest, and I don’t want filters here, I had mental health issues at that time. I was severely depressed. Before I went to London, I went through a tumultuous period of deciding where to go with my education. So, after Poveda, I went to Woldingham (boarding school). then I did half of my BA Psychology degree at UP Diliman from late 2000 to 2002. I loved my time at Diliman but it was a tumultuous transitional period for me, so I decided to revisit pursuing university in London. Central Saint Martins, to be precise, is one of the most prestigious and distinguished art and design schools in the world DT: Around what time was this? KA: It was in 2002. I was bouncing around like I couldn’t anchor myself to one thing. Like, okay, I’m here in London already. And then, okay I’m going to study Psychology in UP. So, what’s with the leap, the sudden jump, the sudden shift? I couldn’t make up my mind. And I think that frustrated my parents for the longest time. I was also being hard on myself because I ended up causing a lot of frustration for myself. And I think that depressed me. So, you know, I’ve been diagnosed with different things. I’m bipolar. And then, I had the hallmarks of ADHD. Let’s just say that my brain works differently DT: Well, one can never be sure about oneself. KA: No, you can never be sure about yourself. And I was questioning myself. For the longest time, all those years I thought, what’s wrong with me? Why am I making all these strange decisions? Why am I behaving this way? Why do I react to people this way?”. You know, parang I shouldn’t be talking or reacting to people like this in this kind of situation. And I’m not just saying with family or what. But with my classmates in school. What drew me to art was it being a place that has its own language e. It’s a place where I can express myself. Art is also a way of healing your own wounds. It’s also a way of revealing those aspects of yourself that you wouldn’t be able to otherwise. It really was a way of healing for me. And I didn’t even know that I needed it. Because again, I was a very quiet and introverted kid. I don’t know why. I couldn’t rely on people, talk to people the way I thought, or maybe people thought I should. So, you know, I kept to myself. I’d hide away in the library every recess or lunch. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. So, that carried on until my university years. Daily Tribune (DT): What did you finally take up in college? Katya Angara: Well, first I just wanted to do a purely art course. So, my foundation course to get me a degree was an Art and Design course. My first choice for this was Central Saint Martins, which continues to be ranked as one of the best art and design schools in the world. I was over the moon when I made it in. DT: What did you have to show to qualify? KA: I needed to show my work. I had some already since I was drawing a lot in my childhood and teenage years. DT: Your works are not the usual ones that use oil, watercolor, acrylic, and all that. KA: I was drawing mostly. And for some reason, I have always been more of a draftsman eh. I’m always more into drawing. I have more illustrating tendencies. DT: Like pen and paper? KA: Yes, pen and paper. Pencil, charcoal. I’ve always had a thing for dry media and pen and ink. It’s more about the control and the precision. That’s my personality. DT: That’s not easy ah. KA: It’s not easy. But you have an affinity for it. And your hands have to be steady. Which is unlikely for someone with pasmado hands like me. But that’s where I find my control eh. That’s why I like it so much. DT: So, what was it like when you showed your drawings at Central Saint Martin? KA: So, I showed my drawings because that was required during the interview. And so I went through the ropes. They asked questions like, "why do you want to do this course here?" DT: Your work must have been good to get you accepted. KA: They were fine. I think it was good enough. But there was a lot I had to improve on. I only knew that once I got into the school. Then, you told yourself, Ah, oo nga pala. There was so much I had to learn. That I could be taught. DT: How was your learning experience? KA: From the beginning, as a child, I always copied from cartoons. And they didn’t like that. They didn’t want to see any cartoons or anything like that. They wanted to see me. They wanted to see my work. My drawing from life. DT: So, how did you do that? It must have been challenging KA: So, I gave them the best of my life drawings. But when I showed them my other works, they weren’t happy with them. So, I learned from that. Being young, you got a bit crushed. But then, you realize it’s a different way of thinking. It’s a different way of doing things. Okay, there’s still so much to learn in terms of art. And it’s not the be-all and end of it all. And then, they said, “This is where you should be learning from.” And they showed me art books. They said, “Go to this gallery or this museum.” DT: How was it like living abroad? Back home, you were the daughter of a senator. KA: Which means nothing when you’re abroad. It meant nothing. Which I actually loved. It was something that I was looking for. Because I lived in a bubble back home. To my parents’ credit naman there’s a reason for that. I was very protected. They wanted to keep me safe and secure given my father’s position. So, I’d always lived in a bubble. I’d always have bodyguards and drivers and all that. And it just felt at times a little restrictive. DT: So, it was a welcome thing? KA: It was a welcome thing. Really, I felt different. I felt normal na parang my family name didn’t mean a thing. And that was refreshing. I could be anything I wanted to be. I could experiment and nobody would judge. Because in schools like that and abroad, especially in Europe, they’re so open-minded. They’re so liberal. DT: How were the teachers? KA: Oh, wonderful. Of course, you always have your favorites, right? Very varied. Depending also on what course you were taking up, whether industrial design or sculpture which I was horrible at when I tried it. I didn’t really get close to my tutors until I moved on to my actual degree. Funny enough, instead of ending up in a practical course. Which would have been like Fine Arts, Graphic Design, or even Illustration because I love drawing. You would think that I would end up in a more practical course like Fine Arts, Graphic Design, or even Illustration, I did a complete shift and I did a theoretical course. I did Curation, Art Criticism, and Art History. So, my training is as a curator and an art critic. DT: Wow, that was very intellectual. It’s good that you always read a lot. KA: Yes, I think that helped because you have to read a lot. You have to love reading. You have to like doing the research. And that served me well. Who would have known, right? But if you think about it, as long as you follow what you want to do in life, it just opens up even if you don’t intentionally seek it. Somehow it just finds you It just fell into place for me in that sense. This is not what I initially set out to do. But I think you have to allow yourself to change your mind. Parang whatever happens at the time, you change with it. You adjust to it. And it worked out beautifully for me. DT: So, were the teachers terrors? KA: Mabait naman sila. But they have very different personalities. My course leader was a lovely older lady who was really into Victorian arts and culture. As in, Victoriana lahat. She would tell you everything about English Victorian history. And she was very passionate about it. And you know, it involved a lot of writing and research. But my favorite tutor was someone who was writing about comic books. Comic books and Pop culture. So, for me, that was a revelation because I didn’t think you could take comics books and put them in the academe. You know, academic level like intellectual. Pwede pala e. Because he showed me a way. He took me under his wing and he showed me his work and from there I learned to write. And because I love comic books. I’m actually a huge geek. I’m a nerd, I’m a dork. DT: What was your thesis? [caption id="attachment_165427" align="aligncenter" width="463"] Roger Sabin was Katya's pop culture mentor at Central Saint Martins in London.[/caption] KA: Because I wanted Roger Sabin, my pop culture tutor, as my professor for my thesis, it was about a 1990s Japanese animated film called Ghost in the Shell 101. It was an animated film based on a very heavy graphic novel, a manga or Japanese comics, by Masamune Shirow. And for me, his work is revelatory. It wasn’t just the style of the Ghost in the Shell. And to think just one man could draw like this. I mean it was a very thick graphic novel. He could draw like that. And he wrote the story too. And to think you had the mental stamina to be able to write something like that and to draw. DT: You must enjoy doing comics. KA: Since I was a kid, I’ve made my own comic books. You know, I would sell my own comic books and people would actually buy them. I taught myself to draw in the comic book style. I learned them all. You know, there’s like Stan Lee of Marvel. DT: You really had it in you. KA: I had it in me. My love for comic books started by reading the ones my brother had collected over the years. He had a stash of them, so, I just devoured them. It was all very amazing to me. Kasi the drawings, the stories, these are worlds written by someone else. So, you have Marvel comics, DC comics, Dark Horse comics. [caption id="attachment_165417" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] With brother, Senator Sonny Angara, whose comic books she devoured for their cartoon figures.[/caption] Q: You didn’t idolize anybody? A: Well, I wasn’t particularly huge on the American comics. I think it was until I stumbled upon the Japanese comics or manga. That really piqued my interest to a degree I never felt before. Kasi it wasn’t just the style, which at first for me was very girly. I mean, I love the romantic comics. But I also felt myself leaning toward the darker stuff. DT: What did you like about Ghost in the Shell? KA: It’s a cyberpunk graphic novel. So, ang galing, ang ganda ng style. It was like, wow. You know, the sheer amount of detail that he puts into the drawings. I said I want to draw like this. I want to tell a story like this. But I don’t know if I was capable of telling if I had the stamina to tell something so intricate and complex. DT: When did you graduate? KA: In 2008. The BA in the UK is only three years. That’s why you take a foundation course. There’s a BA in Curation, and Communication, and criticism in Arts and Design. DT: I am told that you graduated at the top of your class. But you’re not telling me. KA: It sounds so funny kasi eh. Anyway, I graduated with first-class honors for my degree. So, basically, I was Suma Cum Laude in my batch in my year. So, that was what sealed the deal for me and my dad. Kasi for the longest time, I was kind of meandering. I was kind of flip-flopping. My mom knows this eh She goes, “You know Katya you have a tendency to be whimsical.” I am an artist eh, what can I do? Besides, I was young and I wasn’t sure. I knew what I wanted to do, which was to be in the arts but not where I wanted to go. I was asking myself if I had the stamina, the commitment, the fortitude to see it through. [caption id="attachment_165415" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] Katya and mom Gloria Angara, who first ignited her interest in the arts.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_165419" align="aligncenter" width="854"] Katya with her dad, the late Senate President Edgardo Angara from whom she learned to apply the principles of nature to her art[/caption] DT: College made you really bloom. KA: Yes. It was the environment. it was the people I was with. Because I was able to go into something I really enjoyed. I wasn’t just doing homework because I was told to do homework. I loved what I was doing. I was invested in it. DT: What did you do after you graduated? KA: Apart from community work, I also worked for some small galleries. I did some work for the Victoria and Albert Museum. I tried to have experiences in bigger institutions, bigger museums, and small independent galleries. I thought that experience would hone me and make me well-rounded. With the smaller galleries, I was able to practice my curatorial background. I was able to help a lot of young artists. They don’t know how to talk about their work or they’re not confident enough to do so. So anyhow, apart from helping them put together shows, I help them speak about their work. Or offer them a perspective they have never seen or thought about. And I feel that that was helping them and I think that’s where I have been able to engage with them. It was fulfilling to help them find their voice as an artist. DT: All the while, you were all alone in London? KA: I was married actually. To a Filipino who was born in the UK, in London. He’s an Englishman, for all purposes. It didn’t work out. We have a daughter. I had a beautiful little girl with him. She lives in London with her father. She’s been here. She lived here in her early years. After she was born in 2010, I decided to move back here. Then, after four years, we went back to London because it was what my husband wanted. He and my dad had a falling out. DT: When was your first exhibit? KA: Last year. Earlier, I did a group show at the Lethaby Gallery at Central Saint Martins. So, I did it with other emerging artists. My next group show was at The Crucible. But it was for a book that Sari Ortiga had commissioned me to do. He wanted to do a series of children’s books about Philippine artists. I did mine. Mine was about Anita Magsaysay-Ho. I did the illustration. It wasn’t new to me because I had been making my own books. I would staple them myself. Although up until that point I didn’t know how to really do it professionally. I found out it could be lucrative and fulfilling. This was in 2008 when I didn’t have a daughter yet. DT: Tell me about your forthcoming show. (The current show had yet to be opened). What paintings are you showing? KA: They’re not paintings, they’re not just drawings. They’re an amalgamation. They’re what you call a compendium of everything I’ve ever done as an artist. The book illustration, and then I dabbled a bit in black-and-white photography. I like the look of black and white photography. So, I do it with my phone or a simple camera. It’s also good for taking reference photos for my work. Because if you can’t sit in the park drawing people or objects, or subjects, the next best thing is you take pictures. And you can draw from those pictures. Kaya maganda siya for reference. So, my work is that, actually. DT: So, what about your subjects? KA: Well, I’m a very central person. We live in a very conservative culture. And I have subjects that would make people say ay, you know, you shouldn’t talk about that. So, there’s no filter, it’s very raw, very natural. In London, I was able to talk to people about things like BDSM or Bondage Sado-Masochism. And you know, that can get a bad rap. Because if you do it wrong, it would look strange to anyone who is not familiar with it. Among the Japanese, there is a subculture that does that. DT: Do they consider BDSM an art form? KA: There’s a particular Japanese artist whose work I used to admire. He’s a photographer. And his subject is BDSM. There were pictures of women tied up and then there were flowers and reptiles. So it was very sexual. I found myself drawn to that because there’s the element of the dark side. Carl Jung, the psychoanalyst, talked about how we have to make our unconscious conscious. The darkness in us is unconscious. And if you don’t make your darkness conscious, it’s going to come out in other ways at some point. Meaning to say, you shouldn’t repress those sides of you. I think it is a side that’s intertwined with the creative side of me. I can’t be an artist without being sensual. Without that aspect, all that would be macabre. Which brings me to my mom again. She used to chide me for reading Stephen King when I was a kid. I’m a huge Stephen King fan. She was like, “It’s so macabre, so dark.” And I’m like, “I like it, I like his work.” He’s such a skilled writer. And I like how he could take something so mundane and make it terrifying and frightening on all levels. Stephen King said that he writes two thousand words every morning. I’m not sure if I can do that. I wanted to write na rin eh because the natural partner of my art is my writing. Because as a curator, I didn’t just read. I had to write a lot. And that’s where I honed my skills. Kasi siyempre, it’s a sword that you have to sharpen every now and then. So, for the show. I did a lot of writing. I did my own writing. DT: While we're on the talk of artists, what about the Filipino artists? Who among them do you admire? Do you have any mentors and idols? KA: Among Philippine artists, Junyee is my second father and my first artistic mentor. He is my OG sage and shaman of Philippine art, the Father of Philippine Installation Art. I'm actively lobbying for him to become National Artist soon, as no one deserves it more than he does, with his magnificent oeuvre. I'll always remember how, in a fleeing moment of impostor syndrome, he consoled me by saying that making art for myself always comes first. Love the process and the rest follows. The maverick attitude is very Junyee! And yet, he lives a modest life in the forest-like setting of his home in Los Banos, echoing the nature-loving ethos of our favorite Japanese animator, Hayao Miyazaki, creator of Toroto, Nausicaa, Spirited Away, among many other magical films. Since I was a child, Junyee saw my potential and continued to push me to have my own gallery shows, as did his longtime friend and one of my other mentors, Sari Ortiga. Sari's daughter Yasmin is a good friend and batchmate of mine from Poveda. Sari owns and runs the distinguished Crucible Gallery, and he hired me to illustrate one of the children's books for his series "Growing up with Philippine art" in 2009. It's thanks to Sari that I pushed myself to evolve as an artist, to grow outside of my comfort zone. The acclaimed visual artist and sculptor Jinggoy Buensuceso is something of a bad boy du jour of the Philippine art scene, and his dissident attitude is something I can identify with. I love the unorthodox, the sensual, the macabre, the dark stuff that delves deep into the psyche. I'm so bored of the "covers" or "riffs" of the countless Amorsolo, Basquiat, Picasso, or Rothko-type artworks that I see so much of in the local art scene. As wtih Junyee and Sari, Jinggoy has taught me how to navigate the perilous seas of art and life, echoing Junyee's advice to remain myself, in a world that often pushes us to be someone else. My three mentors, by example, taught me how to be original. DT: How many are you exhibiting? How many works? KA: Now, I have 9 complete pieces. I’d like to add another one. Honestly, medyo cramming ito because I only had two months to do the show. Normally for this kind of work - especially with the big piece I am doing - it’s a seven-foot piece. I would need, preferably to be comfortable, at least four to six months to do all this work. Kasi, there is so much nicer when you give it time to compost. To come together, to become fertile. DT: Is there enough time for one more work? A: Yes. I have one more work that I want. Because I feel that it rounds it up eh. If I do ten, I love the work that I’ve already done. Again, it’s not a painting, it’s a collage. So, I’d call it a photographic collage with paper cuttings on canvas. I wanted to treat canvas in a way that is not painting DT: Shouldn’t someone curate for you? KA: For now, I’m happy to have to do it myself. Because I feel that I’m the only one who can portray myself in a way that I feel I should be portrayed. Kasi it’s art eh. You’re trying not so much to explain yourself as you’re trying to convey who you are to somebody without being obvious. That’s art. DT: Where does Stephen, your partner, come in? [caption id="attachment_165418" align="aligncenter" width="2560"] With her partner and anchor, Stephen Lu.[/caption] KA: Stephen is somewhat of an anchor for me. So, I feel comfortable, I feel more confident when he’s around. But I guess I’m okay. DT: Now, as we wind up, let’s talk about how you are like your parents and not like them. You said that your interest in the arts came from the exposure that you received from your mother, and of course, the presence of books at home. Tell me more about your father’s role in your becoming the person that you are. KA: One of my fondest memories of my father was his love of nature, gardening, and farming, which I learned from him. He was at his best and calmest when he was at his farm in Nasugbu and Baler. Whilst my father was a “man of the soil”, I learned to be an “artist of the soil”, a gardener who applies the principles of nature to my art. Hence the overlying themes of nature in my oeuvre of artwork. And the most resonant themes of philosophy (which my father also studied and applied in his life) are the themes relating to lessons learned from nature: patience, fortitude, temperance. From this I’ve become more acutely aware of life’s transience, making our time all the more precious, being grateful for small and simple pleasures, and the opportunities that come my way. The naïveté of my younger years meant that I didn’t have a complete grasp of the opportunities presented to me by my father, I took much for granted. Now I see why he did what he did, he gave me the tools to be able to achieve my full potential. Only now that I’m embracing that fire and heading in a direction that makes the most of my talents. I had impostor syndrome for the longest time. Always questioning and doubting myself. Now I can fully embrace who I am and it is cathartic. DT: In what way are you like them? KA: I have the different strengths of my parents. I’ve inherited their academic minds and cultured tastes, with an eye for detail and beauty. I have many mannerisms and behavious in common with my mum, in terms of poise and self-possession. But, she is like Audrey Hepburn and I am infinitely more of a Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn was also a very private person and something of a poet and writer. I guess it’s no surprise that I am drawn to art and writing; I am highly introspective, painfully self-aware and attuned to my moods and to the moods of others; like my Dad, I’m intuitive and know how to read people. DT: My last question is, how has art influenced you in your direction in life? And where are you going from here? KA: Being an introvert, I don’t always translate into easy social interactions with most people. So I channel it all into my art. It’s a language that best expresses my psyche, thoughts, and emotions. Working with my hands is healing and consolation for the isolation, depression, and anxiety attacks that grip me on bad days. That’s why as an artist of the soil, gardening and art go hand in hand. In the future, I can see myself tending to the land and becoming a farmer as my father was. It’s like coming home. The post Katya Angara – The journey of a woman and artist appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 1st, 2023

First lady Liza Araneta Marcos promotes inclusivity in phl arts and crafts

Patronage of the arts and promotion of Philippine culture are two endeavors that have always been the domain of Philippine First Ladies. The approach, of course, varies, whether through the presentation of Filipino folk dances and fashion shows featuring Filipiniana designs during state dinners, showcasing the best of the Philippine arts on the walls of Malacañang Palace or highlighting Philippine crafts in during international expositions. When the presidential couple visits other countries, they bring with them gifts of Philippine crafts for the kingdom’s monarch and their escort or the republic’s president and his first lady. Presidential wives, too,  have always been the foremost models of Philippine costume, which they wear during state visits abroad, formal functions at the presidential palace and when attending big events such as raising the Filipino flag in Rizal Park on Philippine Independence Day. Liza Araneta-Marcos, almost in all activities that she graces, whether right in the Palace or outside, wears a knee-length version of the terno, its butterfly sleeves defining its uniqueness and versatility. With her, terno has become an almost everyday get-up, which she accessorizes with heeled shoes, mostly Marikina-made.   Cultural mapping The current First Lady’s support for arts and crafts and her involvement in cultural development manifested early on in her public life when her husband was the governor of Ilocos Norte in the early years of the millennium. Right in her husband Bongbong’s home province, she spearheaded efforts in the documentation of Ilocano culture. Under her auspices, a full-scale cultural mapping of Ilocos Norte took place. Then a new thing in the country, its aim was to list and document everything about the inherent culture of each barangay — songs, dances, oral and written literature, zarzuela and other dramatic forms, crafts using indigenous materials, historical sites, architectural marvels including ancestral houses, native delicacies and festive fare, musical instruments, gardens, parks, tourist spots and, of course, the people who make these things happen and exist — the weavers, painters, cooks, writers, local historians, harpists and so on in the vast field of arts, culture and heritage. It was trailblazing in that only years later would local government units be required to identify their cultural assets and provide the data needed for development, especially in education, tourism and creative industries. Eager to know more about her husband’s home province and absorb its culture, she even joined the team in its fieldwork in the seashore towns like the Pagudpud coastline and the highland town of Adams which they reached by riding a dump truck. Among the highlights of her undertakings for heritage tourism was her support for the Museo Ilocos Norte, which housed artifacts and the local textile, inabel. Most significantly was her commitment to the revival of the local weaving industry that produces the exquisite inabel. In an interview, the young and smart wife of the governor said, “I was looking for a viable project that would help boost the livelihood of the Ilocano, one that was low-key, which was not difficult to fund and uniquely Ilocano.” According to Liza, “Ilocano women love multi-tasking.” She explained that in the past, each home would have a loom, “so the mothers could weave while doing their home chores, including taking care of the baby.” Indeed, well spoken by a career woman who, while lawyering, made sure she was at the top of her family home and the care of her children. What she was telling them was it was possible to earn one’s livelihood while fulfilling one’s duties as a homemaker and parent. She thus advocated for the putting up of weaving centers where the young Ilocano may learn the craft.   Embroiderers, woodcarvers and basket makers Fast forward to 2016, Liza joined the Board of Trustees of the Asian Cultural Council which fosters cultural exchange and unity by widening the exposure, knowledge and expertise of individual artists, scholars and art professionals. All her years spent on supporting Ilocano crafts had not only been beneficial to the local weavers. It also became a model, a small-scale version of what she would eventually achieve from her day one as First Lady. This time, she would widen the scope of her advocacy by supporting as well the other crafts in the regions. In Feburary 2023, the Office of the First Lady, in cooperation with the Office of the Social Secretary of Malacañang, other government agencies and private creative industry practitioners put together an exhibition that introduced the talented weavers of the country. It was a success as it showcased the best of Philippine weave from the Ilocos region to Laguna, Aklan and Zamboanga. A few months later, she expanded the project to “Likha” to showcase not only talented weavers — but also our skilled embroiderers, basket makers, woodcarvers, pottery makers and shell craftsmen,” among other Filipino artisans in cities, shores and hinterlands of our beautiful country.     Community of artisans Hers was a most welcome support to the local artisans and craftsmen, anthropology scholars, tourism workers and educators. Dr. Marygrace Ac-ac, an associate professor of De La Salle College of Saint Benilde, who accompanied her father, Paete master sculptor Luis Ac-Ac, shared her thoughts about the First Lady, who spoke at the opening ceremonies of the three-day exhibit. [caption id="attachment_163255" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos with master sculptor Luis Ac-ac and his daughter Marygrace.[/caption]   Marygrace said, “What impacted me the most about the First Lady’s speech is her promise to support talented Filipinos and the traditional crafts, which is in keeping with the words of President Bongbong Marcos in his first State of the Nation address. It was, to me, giving hope to the industry and to Filipino artists and artisans. I am happy that she herself said she is looking forward to “Likha” 3, 4, 5 and so on. “Beyond the First Lady’s support for livelihood among the local communities, just as important is that, through the “Likha” exhibitions, she is fostering a national community of artisans, which cultivates a sense of cultural identity among our people. Moreover, this gives us national pride as through the First Lady’s initiatives we are able to show to the world what we are capable of creating.” Of her father, the master craftsman Luis Ac-ac, she said, “he is grateful to the First Lady for her initiative and for spearheading the advocacy to uplift the traditional crafts of all the artists and artisans.”   Goldenberg fashion series On her new home grounds, the Malacañang compound, the First Lady has imprinted her passion for heritage through the renovation of three iconic structures, long out of use and run-down Teus Mansion, which is now the presidential museum containing memorabilia of past presidents; Bahay Ugnayan, which houses memento of President BBM; and the Goldenberg Mansion, which the First Lady has designated as a venue for cultural and artistic events. All three are now open to the public for free. Last May, the Goldenberg Fashion series started with a fashion show featuring the creations of Puey Quiñones, who collaborated with weavers, embroiders and artisans, thus elevating Filipino style as he used them in his interpretation of the modern terno, suits and barong for men. [caption id="attachment_163256" align="aligncenter" width="928"] With designer Puey Quiñones at the Goldenberg Mansion fashion show.[/caption]   Next was Avel Bacudio’s “Avel,” which, in turn, was a spectacle in black and white as the designer paid tribute to the handiwork of Filipino artisans all over the country, his creations manifesting virtuosity even as he downplayed extravagance and over-the-top ornamentation by focusing on well-defined structure, casual elegance, comfortability and versatility, the last allowing the wearers to mix and match to suit the occasion. In a way, the whole collection resonates with the overall style of the First Lady who has insisted on simplicity, function and comfort in her wardrobe, while now and then showcasing the innate artistry of the Filipino through indigenous textiles. Finally, when we celebrated the nation's Independence Day, with the President and the First Lady hosting a vin d’honneur in Malacañang Palace, the various lady ambassadors assigned to the Philippines attended in their most beautiful and exquisite Filipiniana, thanks to the First Lady who made the collaboration between top Filipino designers and the ladies possible. It was an evening that did not only enhance the beauty and charm of the lady ambassadors, but also made our designers proud. Indeed, our artisans and fashion designers, as well as performing artists, are fortunate to have a friend, ally and benefactor in a First Lady whose sense of nationalism combined with her heartfelt admiration for Filipino ingenuity has made her the best ambassador for Filipino craftsmanship and artistry. The post First lady Liza Araneta Marcos promotes inclusivity in phl arts and crafts appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 27th, 2023

DepEd shares Bongbong vision in education

The Department of Education on Tuesday said it continues to share the “noble mission” of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to provide Filipino learners with an education that secures their future. DepEd said that President Marcos’ statements on basic education, made in his second State of the Nation Address, demonstrated his dedication to improving the lives of every Filipino. Marcos vowed to continue his support for the MATATAG Education Agenda. “Aligned with the directives of the President, the Department has been institutionalizing relevant and innovative reforms to recalibrate the curriculum, provide rapid and responsive delivery of education services, and ensure the welfare of our learners and teachers,” the DepEd said in a statement a day after Marcos’ second State of the Nation Address. The post DepEd shares Bongbong vision in education appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 25th, 2023

Suppress TB, AIDS cases — BBM

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday said a holistic approach is needed to halt the rising cases of tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus or HIV in the country. In his annual State of the Nation Address, Marcos put forward his concern about the alarming cases of TB and HIV/AIDS in the country. “The whole of society must exert effort to suppress the alarming rise of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS,” he said in his 2nd SoNA. “To stem the tide, the strategic plan is to ensure early diagnosis and treatment and ample testing sites and medications.” Based on the 2022 Global TB Report, the Philippines is one of the eight countries that account for two-thirds of the estimated global TB cases. The Philippines is also one of the countries that contribute to most of the estimated increase in tuberculosis deaths, next to India, Indonesia and Myanmar. Meanwhile, more Filipinos are getting infected with HIV, which could turn into AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome if it remains untreated. In May alone, the Department of Health breached the country’s 2,000 mark on HIV cases.   Food stamp program Marcos also mentioned the newly launched Food Stamp Program, which aims to address hunger and nutrition-related issues like stunting and wasting. “The FSP shall complement our nutrition continuity programs, such as the First 1,000 Days program which ensures nourishment for the first three years of a child’s life,” he said. “The Supplemental Feeding Program is for our children attending daycare centers. The K-to-6 Program will feed Kindergarten to Grade 6 public school students, who are suffering from wasting and severe malnutrition,” he added. The President also mentioned the government’s efforts to catch up with the routine vaccinations of Filipino children who missed their immunization vaccines due to Covid-19 restrictions. “As of this year, more than 80 percent of our eligible children have been vaccinated against measles, rubella and polio,” he said.   Structural changes Marcos said the country’s healthcare system is “undergoing structural changes.” He noted that public health facilities are being increased, both in number and capability. “Last year, more than 3,400 projects were completed. To improve capacity for specialized medical treatment, specialty centers in various fields are being established and integrated into our government hospitals,” he said. “Last year, an additional 60 specialty centers were opened to the public,” he added. The President also boasted of the government’s success in its effort to lower the cost of basic medicines. “The prices of most important and basic medicines dropped by almost 90 percent,” he said. Meanwhile, he vowed the long-overdue Covid-19 benefits of healthcare workers would be released. “To reward the sacrifices of our health workers from private and public hospitals last pandemic, we are distributing their Covid Health Emergency Allowance and other pending benefits,” he said. Last week, he lifted the Covid-19 emergency in the country through Proclamation No. 297. Health Secretary Ted Herbosa said the emergency allowance intended for medical frontliners and the emergency use authorization for Covid-19 vaccines will be extended an additional year. According to a United Private Hospital Unions of the Philippines report, the still-unpaid benefits of 20,304 healthcare workers stood at P1.84 billion, which is comprised of the One Covid Allowance amounting to P985.6 million, P737.5 million in health emergency allowance, special risk allowance amounting to 16.8 million, and meals, accommodation and transportation benefits totaling P6.7 million. Last October, then Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DoH would need a total of P103 billion to pay for the combined benefits of more than 800,000 healthcare workers involved in the Covid-19 healthcare response. Vergeire said the agency still needs to pay at least P64 billion worth of health emergency allowances intended for health workers under Republic Act 11494, also known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act. The post Suppress TB, AIDS cases — BBM appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 24th, 2023

Filipino fashion brilliance at SONA 2023

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) turned into a spectacular fashion extravaganza as politicians, their significant others and esteemed guests graced the red carpet in stunning ensembles, capturing the attention of the nation. Behind the sparkle and splendor of this grand affair were the brilliant minds and artistic souls of Filipino designers who brought their enchantment to life, turning the SONA fashion into an absolute triumph. The Batasang Pambansa was transformed into a runway of style expressions, a welcome sight amidst the gravity and solemnity of the political event where the President will present his first-year report to Filipinos. [caption id="attachment_161835" align="aligncenter" width="525"] ALBERT Raqueno’s hand-painted barong inspired by Andres Bonifacio.[/caption] Leading the pack of top designers who dressed the powerful and influential was Michael Leyva, whose about 100 ensembles garnered attention from the moment they hit the red carpet. Among the notable personalities who donned his creations were Senator Mark Villar’s wife, Atty. Emmeline Aglipay, in a white draped modern Filipiniana; Congresswoman Len Alonte, exuding elegance in a French lace white tasseled couture Filipiniana gown; Angelica Alita Revilla, the wife of Jolo Revilla, draped in a Filipiniana gown with floral applique details; and Senator Nancy Binay, who stunned in a vision in white gown, accentuated with her mother’s jewelry and organza sheer details. Senator Koko Pimentel’s wife, Ma. Anna Kathryna Pimentel, also made heads turn with her elegant appearance. In addition to the roster, Heart Evangelista, an actress and fashion influencer, was in a breathtaking cutout white column gown with embellished pearls and crystals. Ivar Aseron unveiled a stunning banig terno jumpsuit that was exquisitely embellished by Senator Chiz Escudero’s wife Heart Evangelista, deviating from the norm during the opening ceremonies of the Senate. [gallery columns="5" size="full" ids="161837,161838,161839,161840,161841"] Puey Quiñones displayed his expertise with Sandro Marcos, the representative of Ilocos Norte’s 1st District, who stood out thanks to his simple yet attractive barong outfit. The talented designer’s modern floral Filipiniana made for Marga Nograles, wife of Civil Service Commission chair Karlo Nograles, looked stunning. The event’s centerpieces included Jhobes Estrella’s works, but Senator Koko Pimentel’s wife once again stole the show in a stunning emerald Filipiniana gown. Ladylyn Riva, the wife of Congressman Irwin Tieng, made a fashion statement with her choice of blue Filipiniana, while Congresswoman Ruth Marian Hernandez of Laguna dazzled in a white Filipiniana attire. [gallery columns="5" size="full" ids="161842,161843,161844,161845,161846"] The next in the fashion line-up was Rajo Laurel, who gave the Philippine Senate’s opening a graceful air by dressing Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri’s wife, Audrey Tan Zubiri, in an embroidered garden terno. Randy Ortiz showcased his talent as Senator Nancy Binay donned a fully embroidered Filipiniana terno in pale powder blue, adorned with dove gray geometric senepa abstract patterns and gilded calado/lubid accents all over. Completing her ensemble was a cerulean Beatrice clutch bag, adding a touch of elegance to her overall look. [caption id="attachment_161882" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Senator Loren Legarda in a Patis Tesoro ensemble. | PHOTOGRAPH BY DIANNE BACELONIA FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE[/caption] Joel Acebuche drew inspiration from the Philippine weaving tradition, translating it into a modern baro’t saya for Senator Risa Hontiveros. The senator looked stunning in a hand-embroidered piña calado, woven by the skilled women weavers of Lumban, with the bodice made of piña fabric intricately woven into a banig-like pattern. [gallery columns="5" size="full" ids="161848,161849,161850,161851,161847"] Even student-artists left a mark on the red carpet as Albert Raqueno’s hand-painted barong, inspired by Katipunan founder Andres Bonifacio, turned heads. The mural on the barong depicted a katipunero handkerchief with a heart at the center and a multitude of youth at the back, symbolizing the spirit of unity and patriotism. The post Filipino fashion brilliance at SONA 2023 appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 24th, 2023

Marcos wants all-out efforts vs TB, HIV/AIDS

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Monday said a holistic approach is needed to halt the rising cases of tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus or HIV in the country. In his annual State of the Nation Address, Marcos put forward his concern about the alarming cases of TB and HIV/AIDS in the country. “The whole of society must exert effort to suppress the alarming rise of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS,” Marcos said. “To stem the tide, the strategic plan is to ensure early diagnosis and treatment and ample testing sites and medications.” Based on the 2022 Global TB Report, the Philippines is one of the eight countries that account for two-thirds of the estimated global TB cases. The Philippines is also one of the countries that contribute to most of the estimated increase in tuberculosis deaths, next to India, Indonesia and Myanmar. Meanwhile, more Filipinos are getting infected with HIV, which could turn into AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome if untreated. In May alone, the Department of Health breached the country’s 2,000 mark on HIV cases. Food Stamp Program Marcos also mentioned the newly launched Food Stamp Program, which aims to address hunger and nutrition-related issues like stunting and wasting. “The FSP shall complement our nutrition continuity programs, such as the First 1,000 Days program which ensures nourishment for the first three years of a child’s life,” he said. “The Supplemental Feeding Program is for our children attending daycare centers. The K-to-6 Program will feed Kindergarten to Grade 6 public school students, who are suffering from wasting and severe malnutrition,” he added. The President also mentioned the government’s efforts to catch up with the routine vaccinations of Filipino children, who missed their immunization vaccines due to Covid-19 restrictions. “As of this year, more than 80 percent of our eligible children have been vaccinated against measles, rubella and polio,” he said. Structural changes Marcos said the country’s healthcare system is “undergoing structural changes.” He noted that public health facilities are being increased, both in number and capability. “Last year, more than 3,400 projects were completed. To improve capacity for specialized medical treatment, specialty centers in various fields are being established and integrated into our government hospitals,” he said. “In the last year, additional 60 specialty centers have been opened to the public,” he added. The President also noted the government's success in efforts to lower the costs of basic medicines in the country. “The prices of most important and basic medicines dropped from almost 90 percent,” he said. ‘Health Emergency Allowance’ Meanwhile, Marcos also vowed the release of long-overdue Covid-19 benefits for healthcare workers “To reward the sacrifices of our health workers from private and public hospitals last pandemic, we are distributing their Covid Health Emergency Allowance and other pending benefits,” he said. Last week, he lifted the Covid-19 emergency in the Philippines through Proclamation No. 297. Health Secretary Ted Herbosa said emergency allowance intended for medical frontliners, as well as emergency use authorization for Covid-19 vaccines, will be extended for an additional year. According to a United Private Hospital Unions of the Philippines report, the still-unpaid benefits of 20,304 healthcare workers stood at P1.84 billion, comprising the One COVID Allowance amounting to P985.6 million, P737.5 million in health emergency allowance, special risk allowance amounting to 16.8 million, and meals, accommodation and transportation benefits totaling P6.7 million. Last October, then Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the DoH would need a total of P103 billion to pay for the combined benefits of more than 800,000 healthcare workers involved in the Covid-19 healthcare response. Vergeire said the agency still needs to pay at least P64 billion worth of health emergency allowance intended for health workers under the Republic Act No. 11494, also known as the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act. The post Marcos wants all-out efforts vs TB, HIV/AIDS appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 24th, 2023

Jewels in the Palace kitchen

Power and food. These are not usually spoken in the same sentence, but hey, they go hand in hand. Last September, First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos posted on her official Facebook page a photo showing her at the groundbreaking ceremony of the new catering area in Malacañang. No other details of the project were released. The post got mixed reactions from netizens. However, despite the praise and criticisms of said post, it somehow got us into thinking — who are the people behind the important functions of each and every chief executive living in the Palace? Hands down, Glenda Rosales Barretto comes to mind. The one and only doyenne of Philippine cuisine. She of the Via Mare fame. From Ferdinand Marcos Sr. down to Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Barretto presided over numerous state dinners in Malacañang. The most recent was the inaugural ball of the 17th president of the Philippines, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. Barretto is caterer extraordinaire well-known for reinventing and refining Filipino dishes fit to be served at the highest tables in the land. During PBBM’s inauguration, she served savory chicken soup with ginger, lemongrass and green papaya (more like a deboned chicken tinola), prawn in roasted coconut cream, seared prime beef tenderloin with kaldereta sauce and guava-basil sorbet. Barretto is also popular for her humba (a Visayan braised pork similar to the classic adobo), crispy adobo flakes (ultra crunchy and extra flaky dish using chicken, beef or pork), pancit luglog, puto bumbong and bibingka. Via Mare, founded in 1975, has a well-established and long-standing reputation of being the choice concessionaire to do banquets for heads of state and international guests in the Palace serving traditional flavors. It can be recalled that Barretto rose to prominence when she catered the silver wedding anniversary of President Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos, and soon after became the official caterer of the Palace. [caption id="attachment_161357" align="aligncenter" width="1137"] MARGARITA Fores | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESYOF[/caption] Margarita “Gaita” Fores  Gaita Fores has also been trusted in handling the country’s most delicious affairs, hosted by the Palace for visiting chiefs of state. “I started catering only during Presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino’s time,” said Fores in a text message to Daily Tribune. Fores recently catered the state dinner for Czech Republic Prime Minister Petr Fiala, the first European prime minister to visit the country under the new administration to discuss trade relations and mutual cooperation. The Asia’s Best Female Chef also served a delectable Filipino spread before the men and women of the diplomatic corps during the last vin d’honneur in Malacañang to celebrate the 12 June Independence Day. In 2016’s vin d’honneur, the last major function of the Aquino administration, Fores’ Cibo presented a Filipino buffet of three kinds of longganisa, toasted adobo flakes and corned beef flakes. Fores, who’s been in the food business for more than 30 years, has also prepared presidential dinners for King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, US Presidents George Bush and Barack Obama and Prince Albert of Monaco in Malacañang state dining room. Fores is the first cousin of former senator and interior secretary Mar Roxas, who is the second cousin of First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos.   Chef Jessie Sincioco Jessie Sincioco, dubbed the “Papal Chef,” is still the most in demand chef for fine dining and fine catering today. She has served the dining pleasure of Presidents Corazon Aquino, Fidel V. Ramos, Joseph Ejercito Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Noynoy Aquino and Rodrigo Duterte. She catered the inauguration lunch of PBBM for the diplomatic corps at the National Museum, serving smoked milkfish on toast with bihod, mini croissant sandwiches of smoked salmon or chicken salad, mini pandesal stuffed with chicken adobo or grilled kesong puti, lemongrass chicken, brochette of beef lamb ball with potato and ensaimada balls with ube halaya, to name some. A frequent caterer to Malacañang, Sincioco shares with us some of the favorite food of each president that she has served through the years. “Tita Cory loved spinach mushroom soufflé,” said Sincioco in a text message to this writer. “FVR, pan-fried Chilean seabass. Estrada, roast beef. GMA, chocolate durian souffle. PNoy, US black angus bistek. Digong, pan-fried Chilean seabass. BBM, brochette of lamb and beef ball with potato (pica-pica).” [caption id="attachment_161361" align="aligncenter" width="730"] millie and Karla Reyes. |PHOTOGRAPH COURTESYOF[/caption] The Plaza The Plaza Catering, another reputable food and catering service run by the mother-and-daughter team of Millie and Karla Reyes, also has the privilege of serving the head of state and official banquets. “We have catered all presidents from Marcos Sr. to Duterte,” said Karla. “Not yet with PBBM.” The Plaza has been in the business since 1965 and is well-known for its piece de resistance — The Plaza premium baked ham and corned beef which Millie and Karla include in the menu whenever they cater to the Palace banquets. The Plaza has played host to foreign heads of state, such as Pope Paul VI, US Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and George H.W. Bush, Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Premier Li Hsien Yen of the People’s Republic of China. They also shared their version of the presidents’ favorites. “Marcos Sr., fish and Ilocano food. He had his own cook preparing his meals,” said Karla. “Imelda, steaks and she’s a very good cook. Erap, lechon and our boiled Angus corned beef and baked ham. GMA and husband Mike, The Plaza ham. PNoy, barbecue and angus tapa.” She added: “For Duterte, we didn’t get to serve him up close and personal. We catered an event at Malacañang but he came like five hours late to his own event so he didn’t eat anymore.” [caption id="attachment_161358" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Bulak Bustaliño at the Arlegui Guest House in 1996. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF kusina ni maria[/caption]   Kusina ni Maria During the time of Cory Aquino and Fidel Ramos, Kusina ni Maria would also cater to Malacañang events, including special occasions at the Arlegui Guest House, where Cory and FVR lived during their time while holding government affairs in the Executive Building. Among their favorites were lengua con setas, chicken relleno, callos a la Madrileña, zarzuela de mariscos, grilled blue marlin, sarsiadong bias, paksiw na bihud, asadong curacha, tostadong alimango, kare-kare oxtail with bagoong, lao-ya, minaisang kabute and pancit buko. “Same dishes as what we have now,” said Ding Bustaliño, who now runs Kusina ni Maria founded by her late mom Bulak Bustaliño in 1984. “I used to join my mom in Arlegui when she would check the table setting, flowers and those were the food she would serve.” The real jewels in the Palace — made up of the virtual who’s who in Philippine cuisine — are in the kitchen. The post Jewels in the Palace kitchen appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2023

Great Brown Hope

The entire nation erupted in celebration when Kai Sotto finally made his debut in the National Basketball Association Summer League. It was such a memorable performance. The 7-foot-3 Filipino posted six points, four rebounds, three blocks, and an assist in the Orlando Magic’s 88-71 defeat to the Portland Trail Blazers. Aside from washing away the bitterness from being benched in their first three matches against the Detroit Pistons, Indiana Pacers, and New York Knicks, Sotto’s breakout performance could pave the way for him to land a two-way contract in the NBA. We, however, have to manage our expectations. The Filipinos’ road to the NBA is littered with tears, frustrations, and a lot of heartbreaks. Unlike the Chinese, Japanese, Iranians, and Koreans, no full-blooded Filipino has ever penetrated the NBA since its founding in 1946. Johnny Abarrientos came very close when he caught the attention of the Charlotte Hornets following Alaska’s grand slam season in 1996. In fact, the Hornets sent its international scout, Joe Bettancourt, to the country to watch the 5-foot-7 Abarrientos live and in action. Bettancourt was on the sidelines when Alaska battled Purefoods, hoping to give Abarrientos a 10-day contract that would have him replacing the injured Muggsy Bogues, the 5-foot-3 court general who ran the offense for Hornets coach Dave Cowens. Abarrientos, Bettancourt, and Alaska coach Tim Cone even had a “secret meeting” at the Manila Peninsula in 1997 to discuss the terms of Abarrientos’ contract and the possibility of him becoming the first Asian to play in the NBA. But it never happened. Cowens eventually pulled the plug on Bogues and sent him to the Golden State Warriors in exchange for BJ Armstrong, a 6-foot-2 playmaker who was part of the great Chicago Bulls squad that won three straight NBA titles. With Bogues gone, Abarrientos’s chance of making it to the NBA also vanished. Japeth Aguilar tried to revive the Filipinos’ NBA dream a decade later. After seeing action for Ateneo de Manila University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines league, Aguilar moved to the United States to enroll at Western Kentucky University, a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I program that produced NBA players like Courtney Lee, Mitchell Robinson, and Jeremy Evans. But the 6-foot-9 Aguilar failed to adjust to the speed and physicality of American basketball that had him struggling in his two years with the Hilltoppers. Aguilar was invited to a two-day workout with the New Orleans Hornets but their scout, Don Sellers, said that he remained a “work in progress” and was not yet ready for the NBA. Then, he was drafted in the seventh round by the Santa Cruz Warriors in the NBA D-League but his run also didn’t last long as he was eventually relegated to being a practice player until he was waived. Aguilar’s Gilas Pilipinas teammates — Ray Parks and Kiefer Ravena — also tried their luck with the NBA but their journeys only brought them as far as the NBA D-League. Veteran international campaigner Jojo Lastimosa was spot on with his observation: In this time and age, making it to the NBA is harder than it used to be. It’s no longer height that matters, but the mentality, work ethic, international exposure, and overall skill set that are the most important. For Sotto to make it to the NBA, he has to develop a reliable outside shot and quicker feet that will make him deadly in pick-and-roll attacks and enable him to switch to smaller, faster players at the defensive end. He also has to spend a lot of time getting exposed to American basketball, where giants like Joel Embiid, Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Nikola Jokic are shooting, running, attacking, and dribbling like skilled playmakers. Sotto is a generational talent. He is our only hope to break the solid walls of the NBA, where only 450 roster spots are available. If he doesn’t make it, maybe — just maybe — it’s time for us to abandon our NBA dream. The post Great Brown Hope appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 15th, 2023

Gatchalian: NGCP’s existing shareholder pact ‘violative’ of Constitution

Senator Win Gatchalian sees there's a violation in the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines’ shareholder agreement. Gatchalian said on Friday that the existing pact prevents majority shareholders from convening and making emergency decisions “unless minority members are present” and described it as “violative of the Constitution.” “A constitutional provision limiting foreign stake in public utilities to 40 percent is meant to safeguard Filipino interests,” he emphasized. In the case of NGCP, Gatchalian lamented that Filipino board members account for a 60 percent majority stake in the grid public utility. In comparison, he added, the State Grid Corporation of China accounts for a 40 percent minority stake. However, Gatchalian cited that a board meeting—per the shareholder agreement—cannot happen if the minority shareholders do not attend. This can only happen for two consecutive times, after which the majority shareholders can proceed with the board meeting despite the absence of the minority, he added. “This provision effectively tied the hands of the Filipino shareholders. Filipinos should always be in control, management-wise, finance-wise, and in terms of operation,” he further lamented. In a recent Senate hearing by the Committee on Energy on the performance of NGCP, Gatchalian questioned the grid’s ownership. “The Constitution is very clear that 60 percent of the capital of public utilities should be owned by Filipinos. This ownership structure allows Filipinos, and not foreigners, to make decisions on the direction, management, and operations of a crucial business imbued with public use and public service. How can Filipinos make a decision if they cannot convene?,” he said, citing Article 12, Section 11 of the Constitution. Gatchalian was irked that the existing NGCP shareholder agreement won’t really provide Filipino shareholders the power to decide on their own, even during emergencies, including those relating to national security. During the hearing, NGCP Assistant Corporate Secretary, Atty. Dylan Concepcion, said the internal agreement is supported by a Supreme Court decision covering public utility companies. “Concepcion and his team, however, failed to provide the specific general register number of the high court decision he cited,” Gatchalian said. “The constitutional provision that a utility company should always be majority-owned by Filipinos with at least 60% stake is meant to enable control of the utility by Filipinos to ensure public interest and national security are upheld and protected,” he added. Senator Raffy Tulfo, who chairs the Committee on Energy, previously raised concerns over the poor performance of the NGCP and China’s massive control over the Grid’s operations despite the 60-40 investors’ shares. The post Gatchalian: NGCP’s existing shareholder pact ‘violative’ of Constitution appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 14th, 2023

Sandara Park joins ‘The Super Stage by K-pop in Manila’ this August

OctoArts Entertainment announces the new addition to the anticipated The Super Stage by K-POP in Manila — the ever-talented Sandara Park. The 2NE1 superstar is ready to bring her game-changing star power to the Super Stage. Fondly called Dara, the star, known for her amazing musical talent, captivating stage presence and magnetic personality, has garnered a massive following in the international K-pop scene. The cheerful artist left a timeless mark on her Filipino fans since she had a successful showbiz career in the Philippines before going back home to South Korea in 2007 and debuted as a member of the girl group 2NE1 in 2009. Park now joins the all-female ensemble of Mamamoo+, Kep1er and Lapillus as the event will take place at the Mall of Asia Arena on 11 August. This also marks Park’s historic homecoming gig in a long time in the country and will also celebrate the release of her solo mini-album, SANDARA PARK which will be out 12 July. With Park at the forefront of Super Stage by K-pop in Manila, the festival is set to become a more enjoyable and game-changer in the industry. Her ability to connect with Pinoy fans and her deep understanding of the Filipino culture makes her the perfect choice for this kind of event. The Super Stage by K-POP in Manila promises to be a phenomenal spectacle, featuring state-of-the-art production, electrifying choreography and mesmerizing visuals. Tickets are available starting 11 a.m. of 3 June via SM tickets outlets nationwide or through The post Sandara Park joins ‘The Super Stage by K-pop in Manila’ this August appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2023

Why haven’t we gotten our ‘pangarap na Oscar’?

In Jules Katanyag’s raunchy horror-comedy Ang Pangarap Kong Oskars, from Mavx productions (now showing in cinemas), the eccentric director DMZ (Joross Gamboa) screams, “I want actors, not celebrities!” He and producer friend Bobby B (Paolo Contis) are gunning for the elusive Oscar trophy, or “Oskar,” via their dream movie project. Unable to fund their film, they get someone to produce it — but they have to compromise. The daughter of the producer, who is terrible at acting, has to be in it. They also want a big-budget movie that involves aswangs (special effects would cost gazillions), but they get “lucky” because Bobby B manages to hire actual local aswangs — mananganggal et al. The advanced screening held last 23 June was followed by a mediacon where Contis was in a fight-or-flight mode all throughout, with some press members squeezing into the conversation the controversies surrounding the prolific actor. But it was boring the lights out of me. Not much discussion on the film itself: the creative process, the craft. It’s all personality-based. An ingrown nail is more fascinating to me than Contis’ love life and his Eat Bulaga stint. But this is showbiz, the Internet is a vulture preying on rumors and controversies and a celebrity’s life is converted into views, comments, likes and shares. [caption id="attachment_152144" align="aligncenter" width="1600"] PAOLO Contis’ ‘Eat Bulaga!’ co-hosts Kokoy De Santos, Buboy Villar, Cassy Legaspi, Alexa Miro, Kimpoy de Leon and Mavy Legaspi attended the movie’s premiere last week.[/caption] Big event But at least the Oscars was discussed a bit. Since we started submitting to the Oscars in 1953, why haven’t we even been shortlisted? Katanyag’s directorial debut triggered thoughts in me about the Oscar dream. Sure, a subset of Filipino film professionals and critics spit at the Oscars as if it is the worst thing in the world. Still, no one can deny it’s a big event and it has some pretty great movies on its nominations list. The Oscars is an international media magnet. Imagine a Pinoy filmmaker going up the stage — for the first time in history — to take home the Best International Film award (or Best Director award), catapulting them to global fame and putting our country on the map of quality cinema. At the mediacon, someone asked the two actors about the possibility of an Oscar for the country. “Yes, possible… Naniniwala ako na kailangan ng buong suporta ng buong bansa. Una sa lahat, funding para sa mismong pelikula, magandang-magandang proyekto, at, again, kailangan ng campaign. So kailangan ng budget,” Contis said. “Actually, maganda maisabatas ‘yung support sa industry… Parang katulad sa ibang bansa, suportado talaga ng government. Kaya talaga napo-promote eh. Kasama napo-promote ang country,” said Gamboa. [caption id="attachment_152145" align="aligncenter" width="590"] PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF mavx productions(FROM left) Joross Gamboa, Paolo Contis and Kate Alejandrino in a scene from ‘Ang Pangarap Kong Oskars.’[/caption] Dark side Personally, I believe it is the dark side of the Filipino mentality that hinders us from getting the elusive Oscar. Great stories need no huge budget. Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation cost roughly $800,000. Nomadland, Moonlight and Call Me By Your Name are also some of the small-budget films that took home the Oscars. The “palakasan” system, the politics, corruption and chika play a major contribution. The Filipino crab mentality, deeply embedded in our culture, is also to blame. If it happens in your office or organization, of course it also happens in the film industry. There are plenty of untapped talents — promising filmmakers and creatives who never get an iota of a chance in a dog-eat-dog industry. The big people would rather pick their “tropa” or “bata” even if said people are untalented. Then, there are award-giving bodies driven by political agenda, granting awards to butt-ugly films to fight for their personal cause. Plus, Pinoys are celebrity-obsessed. Filipino moviegoers will watch Pinoy movies only if their idols are in them. Movies with unknown actors? These are snubbed. Most resort to Koreanovelas because they love the content and the storytelling — bonus is the fact that most Pinoys find Koreans attractive. We also lack originality and a real cinematic identity. Mainstream fare is heavily influenced by Hollywood, or we adapt Korean plots. Others even downright copy plots and dialogue from American films. Where are the unique stories? They are mostly found in indie fests, in Cinemalaya, where the best of the best can be found. Politics has also split the Filipino film industry. A movie will be bashed even before its release because it features actors or directors who campaigned for a politician the critics oppose. Then there are budget constraints, forcing productions to shoot in a matter of days, so everything is rushed. The result? Crude high school projects. What also irks me is how the industry almost demands or begs “support” (i.e. buy tickets to local movies). A ticket price, which is P500 average, is equivalent to a minimum-wage earner’s daily salary. We do not part with our money just because you said so. Show me an impressive trailer first.   Jaded audience The Filipino audience is now jaded given the same old crappy local content — especially after being exposed to content worldwide through affordable streaming subscriptions. Where do you think Pinoys would spend their hard-earned cash if they desperately need entertainment? On a locally produced theatrical release that has a plot that they have seen a thousand times? Or a subscription to a streamer with more content to choose from? They can also get the cheapest: internet data for unlimited short-form entertainment in TikTok and social media. Also, this industry hates honest criticism. They feel that negative reviews are personal attacks on filmmakers. This mindset is not progressive at all. I believe in the talent of the Filipino creative. It’s just that if this toxic culture continues and the obsession with personalities versus the art of cinema continues, we will be left behind in the film arena. This is no longer just about winning the Oscars, or at least getting nominated. This is about acknowledging our dirt and learning to triumph over self-interest, politics and envy for the sake of Philippine cinema. But I guess, that’s a dream that is never going to happen soon. It’s already in our DNA. The post Why haven’t we gotten our ‘pangarap na Oscar’? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 1st, 2023