Invitation: The Guitar Friends & Gitara Manila present ENCORE! Iconic Pieces of the Classical Guitar

GUITAR FRIENDS -Encore banner

Get ready for a night of beautiful artistry and music

Y Space at the Yuchengco Museum, The Guitar Friends & Gitara Manila present


Iconic Pieces of the
Classical Guitar

Performances by:

(Monching Carpio & Dr. Ivar Fojas)

The beneficiaries of the

Maestro Jose Valdez Guitar Scholarship Fund,
Aaron Aguila, Edel Mark Bitao, Bea Rose Cena,
Leandro Ong, Iqui Vinculado, PWU Guitar Ensemble
andSt. Scholastica’s College Guitar Ensemble

Thursday, November 21, 2019


Php 700 (Regular)
Php 500 (Seniors & PWDs)
Php 300 (Students, YGC Employees &
Embassy Employees in RCBC Plaza)
For tickets and reservations contact:
OR (02) 8-889-1234

GUITAR FRIENDS -Encore-Poster-1

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Cinema One Originals World Cinema v2

Cinema One Originals brings multitude of new takes on storytelling through its exciting World Cinema section line up for its 15th year, featuring the films “The Lighthouse,” “The Father,” “The Invisible Life of Eurice Gusmao,” “Knives Out,” “Matthias and Maxime,” “Portrait of a Lady on Fire,” “The Truth,” and “The Two Popes.”

Opening the festival is the much-awaited sophomore film from “The Witch” director Robert Eggers, “The Lighthouse,” which stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as lighthouse keepers slowly going insane on a black rock. David Sims of commends the film for capturing its audience in its strangeness. He wrote, “It’s a bracing squall of a movie, a briny delight that’s as amusing as it is mesmerizingly strange.”

The Lighthouse poster

Thematically kindred in many ways, Fernando Meirelles’ “The Two Popes“, about the often tenuous relationship between Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis, is also about two men negotiating their estrangements. The Netflix film stars Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce.

The Two Popes poster

Alienation shadows two other films in the lineup, this time, between parent and offspring, with Kristina Grozeva and Petar Valchanov’s tragicomic road movie “The Father“, which won the Crystal Globe at the 2019 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, centering on a father who takes a trip with his son after their neighbor claims his dead wife has been making phone calls from beyond the gravel; and Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s follow-up to his Palme D’Or winning “Shoplifters,” and first feature outside his native Japan, “The Truth.” It features Catherine Deneuve as a French movie star whose tumultuous relationship with her daughter gets even more fractious when her revealing memoir goes into publication. The film also stars Juliette Binoche, Ethan Hawke, and Ludivine Sagnier.

The Father poster
The Truth

Xavier Dolan’s present day “Matthias And Maxine,” where two friends reconcile dormant and kindled feelings during a summer abroad, and Celine Sciamma’s period drama “Portrait Of A Lady on Fire“, which screened in competition at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and won both the Best Screenplay award as well as the Queer Palm, about a young painter who falls in love with her subject, may be generations apart in their settings, but both are incisive and poignant evocations of desire. According to, the director demonstrated “a deeply satisfying new mastery of classical style to go with the contemporary social realism” in this drama.

Matthias & Maxime
Portrait of a Lady on Fire poster v2
Brazilian filmmaker Karim Aïnouz’s describes his sprawling and expansive “The Invisible Life of Eurice Gusmao”, which won the Un Certain Regard prize at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and is based on Martha Batalha’s 2016 novel, as a tropical melodrama with all the emotional upheavals the descriptor suggests, while Rian Johnson’s “Knives Out” is an Agatha Christie riff that lovingly reconstructs it while cleverly deconstructing it and being fiendishly entertaining in the process. Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer star in this film.

The Invisible Life of Eurice Gusmao
Knives Out poster
The Lighthouse” officially opens the 15th Cinema One Originals on November 7 (Thursday), 7pm at Ayala Malls Manila Bay Cinema 7. The festival runs from November 7 to 17 at Trinoma, Glorietta, Ayala Malls Manila Bay, Gateway, and Powerplant Makati. There will also be screenings at Vista Cinemas in Iloilo and Evia Lifestyle and in Cinema Centenario, Cinema ‘76, Black Maria, UP Cine Adarna, and FDCP Cinematheque Manila.

For updates, visit @CinemaOneOriginals on Facebook, @c1origs on Twitter and @c1originals on Instagram.

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Artur Dutkiewicz – Photo by Rafael Latoszek (medium)

THE Cultural Center of the Philippines in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Poland presents leading Polish jazz pianist and composer Artur Dutkiewicz in a solo concert on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at 7:30 PM and Piano Improvisation Workshop on Wednesday, November 13, 2019 from 10:00 AM – 12 noon. Both events will be held at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater).

Called the “Ambassador of Polish jazz” by the Jazz Forum Magazine in 2012, Dutkiewicz has appeared in more than 60 countries around the world from the USA through Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Artur Dutkiewicz studied composition and arrangement where he graduated from the Jazz Department at the Academy of Music in Katowice (Poland), receiving a diploma with distinction. He was a finalist of the Thelonious Monk Competition in Washington, USA.

Artur Dutkiewicz has taken part in dozens of renowned jazz and music festivals around the world. These include the Hague’s Northsea Jazz Festival, Warsaw’s Jamboree, Hamburg’s Campnagel Theater, Bern’s Festival Kleiner Bunchen, Nuremberg’s Jazz Ost West, Cannes’ MIDEM, Milan’s Music Oggi, Paris’ Festival D`Europe Centrale, Budapest’s Sziget Festival, Havana’s Jazz Plaza Festival, Tel Aviv Jazz Festival, Glasgow Jazz Festival, Duesseldorf’s Jazz Rally, Berlin’s World Culture Festival, Milan’s Notturni in Palestro Festival, Beijing’s BJ Ninegates Jazz Festival, Helsinki’s Kontu Festival, and Melbourne’s International Jazz Festival.

In 2011 Arthur Dutkiewicz performed at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin during the World Culture Festival, arranging and playing a piece for 30 pianos with pianists from around the world, gathering an audience of 35,000 from around the world.

Besides playing in solo recitals, he is leader of the Artur Dutkiewicz Trio which plays modern jazz. His last albums “Mazurki”/solo, “Prana”, “Traveller”/trio, have been superbly received by audiences and critics alike.

His CCP program entitled ImproMazurka is as follows: Antonin Dvorak’s Theme from the 2nd part of New World Symphony; Dutkiewicz’s Africa Mazurka, Polish Mazurka, Chased Mazurka, Morning Mazurka, Mazurka Oberka; the Polish Christian song The Lord is my Shepherd; Ignacy Paderewski’s Nocturne in C Major, Op. 16 No. 4 and Minuet in G Major, Op. 14 No.1; and Alexander Tansman’s Les Iles Philippines.

Ticket prices for the concert are at P1,000 and P800 with 50% discount for students and 20% discount for senior citizens.

For more information regarding the concert please contact the CCP Box Office at 8832-3704. For information regarding the Piano Improvisation Workshop please contact 8832-1125 loc. 1604/1605 or email

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News: Cinema One Originals continue in challenging audiences on their 15th-year of delivering brave cinematic experiences

2019 Cinema One Originals Logo

For its fifteenth year, Cinema One Originals loudly and proudly declares what it’s stood for all these years, originality in all its forms, with the tagline “Kaya Mo Ba?” (Can you handle it?) challenging old and new audiences if they’re ready for the Cinema One Originals experience that goes beyond cinema, beyond cinephilia, beyond entertainment.

All these years, the Cinema One Originals mandate is to give filmmakers, first-timers and otherwise, a platform to fully express their visions. This year, eight original narrative features got P3 million worth of grant each. There are four first time filmmakers, three previous Cinema One Originals alumni, and one director making her second feature and her Cinema One Originals debut.

The Cast and crew of METAMORPHOSIS, C1Originals 2019, Photo by Erickson dela Cruz
J.E. Tiglao makes his feature debut with “Metamorphosis” which stars Gold Aceron, Iana Bernardez, Ivan Padilla, Ricky Davao, and Yayo Aguila in a coming-of-age drama about intersexuality that’s as wistful as it is provocative.

UTOPIA cast and crew, C1Originals 2019, Photo by Erickson dela Cruz

Dustin Celestino reverses the wrong time/wrong place dynamics of noir with a little help from a comet in “Utopia,” a blackly comic riff on the genre starring Enzo Pineda, Joem Bascon, and Aaron Villaflor.

Jana Agoncillo and Eve Baswel from TIA MADRE, C1Originals 2019, Photo by Erickson dela Cruz

Eve Baswel’s “Tia Madre” is a gothic horror featuring Cherie Gil and Jana Agoncillo in which a young girl starts to suspect her mother has been changed into something not quite herself and perhaps not quite human either.

Yours Truly, Shirley cast and crew - C1originals 2019, Photo by Erickson dela Cruz

Nigel Santos’ “Yours Truly, Shirley” casts Regine Velasquez as a widow who believes a young pop star (Rayt Carreon) is the reincarnation of her late husband.

Returning to Cinema One Originals are Victor Villanueva and Kevin Dayrit, who made their feature film debuts with Cinema One Originals.

Victor Villanueva, Alessandra de Rossi, JM de Guzman of LUCID, C1Originals 2019, Photo by Erickson Dela Cruz

Victor’s resumes his fascination with the intertwining of rom-com tropes with supernatural tinges that made “My Paranormal Romance” a quirky treat with “Lucid”, in which Alessandra De Rossi plays a lucid dreamer whose waking life and dream life start to blur when she meets JM De Guzman.

The Cast and crew of O _C1Originals 2019, Photo by Erickson dela Cruz

Kevin, whose “Catnip” was the multi-awarded darling of its year takes on vampirism, necrophilia, the drug wars and rom-coms in “O” which stars Anna Luna, Lauren Young and Jasmine Curtis-Smith.

Topper Fabregas, Gio Gahol and Giancarlo Abrahan from SILA SILA, C1Originals 2019, Photo by Erickson dela Cruz

Giancarlo Abrahan whose second feature was the Best Picture-winning Cinema One Original “Paki” returns with “Sila Sila”, which stars Gio Gahol and Topper Fabregas and which he describes as an LGBT ghosting story and which finds him taking another look at the interstitial dynamics of yet another extended family, a group of friends nursing consensual emotional traumas.

Denise O' Hara, Jane Oineza and JC Santos of Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Tayo, C1Originals 2019

Denise O ‘Hara makes her Cinema One Originals debut and her second feature with “Tayo Muna Habang Hindi Pa Tayo” a rom-com inversion with JC Santos and Jane Oineza, about the underside of trauma that even the truest of loves have.

Cinema One Originals has been producing breakthrough films with thought-provoking contents for the Filipino audience for 15 years. This year’s celebration will be held in line with the 100th anniversary of Philippine Cinema and the 25th anniversary of leading cable channel Cinema One.

Fresh, cool, vibrant, inclusive, brave, original. The 15th Cinema One Originals runs from November 7 to 17 at Trinoma, Glorietta, Ayala Manila Bay, Gateway, and Powerplant Makati. There will also be screenings at Vista Cinemas in Iloilo and Evia Lifestyle and in Cinema Centenario, Cinema ‘76, Black Maria, UP Cine Adarna, and FDCP Cinematheque Manila.

For updates, visit @CinemaOneOriginals on Facebook, @c1origs on Twitter and @c1originals on Instagram.

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News: A Series of Cultural Events in Commemoration of Leonardo Da Vinci’s 500th death year anniversary

Da Vinci in Manila _banner v2

On the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, a theater play entitled “Being Leonardo da Vinci, an impossible interview” by renowned italian director and actor Massimiliano Finazzer Flory will be staged on November 21, 2019, 7 pm at the Little Theater of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. The event is held in cooperation with the Philippine Italian Association, Italian Embassy, and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Inc. with the support of OMAN AIR, Rustan’s, Hotel Jen Manila by Shangri-La, East West Bank.

Who doesn’t know Leonardo da Vinci?

The painter, the musician, the scenographer, the machines and automation inventor, the anatomist, the philosopher, the civil and war engineer, the scientist… and even a master cook!

Leonardo excelled in an extraordinary number of different fields, often envisioning prototypes centuries ahead of their actual invention.

His legacy is vast but still seems freshly inspiring for the trust Leonardo endlessly placed in the power of Reason and his sensitivity to Beauty.

500 years have passed from the death of Leonardo da Vinci and on this important anniversary, cultural events in Italy and throughout the world are remembering and celebrating the multi-faceted genius and icon of the Renaissance.

Alessandro Milani (President, Philippine-Italian Association, PIA) (image 01)
Alessandro Milani, President of Philippine-Italian Association, PIA (Photographed by Erickson dela Cruz)

Massimiliano Finazzer Flory’s latest project, with the special collaboration of Filipino actor, director and screen/play writer Carlito (Lito) Casaje brings the immensely multi-talented Leonardo da Vinci to life on the stage. Being Leonardo da Vinci is a one-act play, which uses theater to present the Italian genius’ true life, art history and science. Through the format of an impossible interview, Finazzer Flory “physically” becomes Leonardo. Dressed in period costumes and wearing make-up which reconstructs da Vinci’s face, he performs in Renaissance language original texts written by Leonardo himself, among which the famous “Trattato di pittura” (Painting Treaties). Finazzer Flory’s Leonardo answers questions about his childhood, his civil and military activities, and how to become a “good painter” (bono pittore), and about the relationship between Painting and Science, Painting and Sculpture, Painting and Music. He comments on “The Last Supper” and the figures of the apostles, replies to his enemies’ attacks, prophecies man’s flying, and finally offers maxims and aphorisms to live by in our times. The theatre play has been toured in USA, Russia, Japan, France, Italy and Switzerland, among other countries.

Likewise, a masterclass and short film screening of “Being Leonardo da Vinci, an impossible interview” will be held on November 20, 2019 at the CCP Dream Theater at 2 pm. The masterclass will deal with the topic of interdisciplinary through the conjugation of: Art and Science, Memory and Imagination, Tradition and Technology, Theater and Cinema.

LEONARDO in MANILA media conference at the CCP (image 01)

Other events in celebration of Leonardo da Vinci’s 500th anniversary include the following:
  1. Introduction on the secrets of Leonardo’s “The Last Supper” by Mr. James Freney – November 13, 2019 at the Italian restaurant Caruso, in Bel Air, Makati.
  2. Cook-Off with Leonardo – November 5,-6, 14, 2019 at the LPU (Lyceum of the Philippines University Manila) Culinary Institute.
  3. Film Presentation – November 19, 2019  at Cinematheque Center Manila.
  4. Dinner and lecture on “Leonardo da Vinci, wine and cuisine” by Chef Salvatore Arria, and Mr. Luca Galli, sommelier – November 20, 2019 at the Italian restaurant Pnte di Rialto, in Venice Piazza mall, Taguig.

Alessandro Milani (President of Philippine-Italian Association, PIA) with Ms. Irene Rada (CCP Public Relation)
Alessandro Milani with Ms. Irene Rada (CCP Public Relation)

The above mentioned events are part of a series of cultural and artistic activities in Metro Manila aimed at remembering and spreading knowledge of Leonardo da Vinci and the relevance of his achievements in our contemporary world to be held from November 5 until November 21.

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NEWS: Emerging, Seasoned Filipino Visual Artists Support Launch of Online Art Marketplace,

Sariling Sining – FilipinoArt .ph

A first of its kind in the Philippines,, an online art marketplace that showcases emerging and seasoned Filipino visual artists and their artworks, has been launched. The launch also coincides with the physical exhibition titled Sariling Sining: A Showcase of Contemporary Filipino Art, which runs at Art Circle Gallery, 3L Ayala Malls Circuit, Makati City until October 27, 2019.

CEO and FOUNDER of FILIPINOART.PH, Mr. YURI STEGEMAN (Photographed by Erickson dela Cruz)

Together with, led by its CEO & Founder Yuri Stegeman, six exhibiting artists Armenius Aralar of Binangonan, Rizal; August Punzal of Taytay, Rizal; Hermel Alejandre (guest artist) of Camarines Sur; Jose Ehric Egualada of Boracay Island, Aklan; Pamela Lei Bermudez of Las Pinas City, Manila, and Ryan D. Orig of Pandacan, Manila/Iloilo City, rally behind the new digital platform.

_Exhibiting Artists with Jellicleblog creator ORLY AGAWIN, SARILING SINING Art Exhibit (image 01)Exhibiting Artists with Jellicleblog creator ORLY AGAWIN has been created to help Filipino artists to be seen by a wider audience and for art lovers to have easier access to art. People are diverse and so is art. By being accessible online, provides plenty of space to showcase this diversity and the Filipino’s exemplary artistry.

Egualada says: “Art in my region is extremely popular. Even though I live by the beaches of Boracay, I’ve been hoping that my art will be able to reach even the outskirts of Manila. Myart pieces recreate a society centered on faith, nature, and people. It’s an honor and privilege to share my works with other people. Thanks to, I can make these things possible.”

“Of course, physically seeing an artwork in real life is and should be a different experience than seeing a representation online, but considering the benefits, it’s a very good alternative for perusing and buying such,” says Stegeman.

“I’m very happy that artfairs have become increasingly popular; it shows that art is important to Filipinos. But even in those fairs,they often showcase the more established artists whose artworks are quite inaccessible to many because of their prices,” he adds.

“ takes away those boundaries by showcasing a whole lot more artists and offer prices for every Juan. And if an original piece of art is still inaccessible because of the price, we also offer prints via our partner, No Blank Walls; it’s a less expensive way of getting beautiful art into your home, office, or personal space.

”Developed by Internet solutions company Chanz Global, currently features curated contemporary artworks such as painting, drawings, and mixed media–sculptures and photographs will be available, too, in the coming months.

About the Artists Supporting Launch-Exhibit

Armenius Aralar
Expressionist, Binangonan, Rizal
Armenius only realized this passion for arts at a later age. His art revolves around freedom and expression; he believes that everybody has their interpretations of everything, which includes his art.

_Artist ARMENIUS ARALAR, Painter of Jose Rizal and the GangARMENIUS ARALAR, Painter of Jose Rizal and the Gang
August Punzal
Abstract Artist, Taytay, Rizal
A former banker at a top firm, August presents his art in the abstract form–with a twist of enthusiasm for what is life beyond his home country, such as in Egypt and elsewhere.

Hermel Alejandre (Guest Artist)
Cubist, Expressionist, Camarines Sur
Inspired by Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, Hermel is an artist born to fulfill one thing: to bring forth happiness in his audience. Strength, passion, and integrity are his main ideas to reflect on his art.

Jose Ehric Egualada
Expressionist, Boracay Island, Aklan
Raised in a religious family along the beaches of Boracay Island, Ehric channels his creative flow into art pieces that recreate a society centered on God, nature, and people. He is also an art educator and critic.

_Painter, Jose Ehric EgualadaPainter, Jose Ehric Egualada
Pamela Lei Bermudez
Expressionist, Las Pinas City, Manila
A graphic designer and painter, Pamela’s artworks are visual representations that pay tribute to some of the most respected occupations of Filipinos.

Ryan D. Orig
Portrait Artist, Pandacan, Manila/Iloilo City
Ryan’s works creatively portray the lives of our fellow Filipinos in the rural areas.

_Painter, Ryan D. OrigVisual Artist/Painter, Ryan D. Orig Launch-Exhibit has been made possible with the help of our industry partners: online property portal; art and craft company The Craft Central; courier service company SNDT; high-quality photo printer No Blank Walls; Art Circle Gallery-Circuit, and Ayala Malls Circuit, Makati.

_SARILING SINING Art Exhibit (image 01)
_SARILING SINING Art Exhibit (image 02)
_SARILING SINING Art Exhibit (image 03)
_SARILING SINING Art Exhibit (image 06)
_SARILING SINING Art Exhibit (image 05)
_Ribbon Cutting, SARILING SINING Art Exhibit (image 01)
_Ribbon Cutting, SARILING SINING Art Exhibit (image 02)
_Ribbon Cutting, SARILING SINING Art Exhibit (image 03)
_Exhibiting Artists, SARILING SINING Art Exhibit (image 01)

Exhibit Event, Photographs by Erickson dela Cruz

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News: Glenn Barit’s debut film wins top award at the 2019 QCinema International Film Festival

CLEANERS cast and crew receives the Best Film award at the QCINEMA 2019 (image 01)

A film made of photocopied stills and hand colored with highlighter pens wins big at QCinema International Film Festival.

Cleaners of debuting filmmaker Glenn Barit won best film, besting seven other films in the QCinema’s main competition section – Asian Next Wave.

The nostalgic coming-of-age film Cleaners, set in schoolyear 2007-2008 in a high school in Tuguegarao, also bagged audience choice award and best screenplay.

Glen Barit, Director of CLEANERS, a full length film entry in the Qcinema 2019.


CLEANERS cast and crew receives the Best Film award at the QCINEMA 2019.


CLEANERS cast and crew, QCINEMA International Film Festival. Photographed by Erickson Dela Cruz © 2019

Two other new directors bagged major awards. Chinese Qui Sheng won the NETPAC Jury Prize for Suburban Birds and Rae Red brought home the best director award for her first solo-directorial work, Babae at Baril. The film, Babae at Baril, also won the Gender Sensitivity Award.

Janine Gutierrez, who plays the titular lead in Red’s film, got her first international acting award as best actress while Por Silatsa of the Laotian film The Long Walk won best actor.

Lee Chatametikool of the Thai and German film Nakorn-Sawan was recognized for his artistic contribution in film editing.

It is the first time QCinema pitted its local grantees against Asian directors in this competition section, Asian Next Wave (ANW) Competition . It put in ANW’s wing the former cluster — Circle Competition, which was for the Filipino filmmakers.

In the QCShorts competition, Judy Free won best short film for Che Tagayamon, a recent UP film graduate,

Judy Free is about a young girl whose reality is intruded when her father, an overseas Filipino worker, brought home an animated doodle figure.

The Special Jury Prize was awarded to Bontoc-based filmmaker, Carla Pulido Ocampo. The comedy short Excuse Me Miss Miss Miss by Sonny Calvento garnered the audience choice award for shorts.

This year’s batch of winners is an affirmation of the festival’s theme, Rising Wave, which recognizes debuting and female filmmakers.

The international set of jury for the Asian Next Wave is headed by renowned screenwriter Ricky Lee. The members are Richard Bolisay, Toshiyuki Hasegawa, Phan Dang Di, and Claire Marty.

The QCShorts competition jury members are Sari Dalena, Jun Sabayton, and Benjamin Tolentino.

Also, for the first time in 7 years, QCInema recognized the contribution of one of the living pillars of the film industry. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Mr. Vic del Rosario or “Boss Vic” of Viva Films.

This 7th edition of QCinema is its biggest yet, with 73 titles contained in 10 sections. Twelve of these have received generous grants, which are 3 full-feature films, 6 shorts, and 3 documentaries.

The festival will run until October 22 at Gateway Cineplex 10, Robinsons Movieworld Galleria Ortigas, Ayala Malls Cinema Trinoma, Cinema Centenario, Cinema 76 Anonas, and Cine Adarna.

Festival partners are Quezon City Film Development Commission, The Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, The Film Development Council of The Philippines, Sine Sandaan, Australian Embassy, Embassy of France, Japan Foundation, Embassy of the Republic Of Singapore, Viva Communications, ABS-CBN Sagip Pelikula, CMB Film Services, Outpost, Novotel Manila Araneta City, Cinema Bravo, ClickTheCity, GMA 7, Phar Philippines, Film Geek Guy, Film Police, Pelikula Mania,, MagandaBa, MagandaBa Movie, When in Manila, Unreel, Geoffreview, Explore Philippines, Business Mirror, and Jura Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

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News: Repertory Philippines’ 2020 season holds a mirror up to human life

(5) 2020 Season Directors

Throughout its 53-year illustrious history, Repertory Philippines has allowed audiences to see the world with new eyes. By transporting them back in time or putting them in the shoes of another, REP has always reflected humanity in all its great diversity. For its 83rd season, REP is holding up a mirror to different experiences, highlighting stories that are both unique and familiar.

With Liesl Batucan on her first season as REP’s Artistic Director, audiences can expect a new creative spirit that remains faithful to REP’s legacy while bringing it forward, as she assembles a brilliant and diverse core of creatives who will be making their debut in the REP director’s chair; celebrated thespians who will be treading the REP boards for the first time; and REP veterans who will be making their much-awaited theater comeback.

Tarek el Tayech (as HE), and Missy Maramara (as SHE) are caught in a delightful mess in the romantic comedy Stage Kiss.

The 2020 season opens with The New York Times’ Critic’s Pick of 2014, Stage Kiss by American playwright Sarah Ruhl, which runs from February 7 to March 1, 2020. This romantic comedy takes audiences backstage and introduces them to She and He, two stage actors who find themselves cast as lovers in a 1930s melodrama. But She and He have a romantic history together, and after sharing several stage kisses as their characters, they unintentionally rekindle their love. A deliciously witty and insightful play about life imitating art and art imitating life, Stage Kiss stars Missy Maramara, Tarek El Tayech, Andres Borromeo, Justine Narciso and Mica Pineda, among others, and is directed by Carlos Siguion-Reyna, renowned and multi-awarded filmmaker of critically-acclaimed movies Hihintayin Kita sa Langit, Ligaya ang Itawag Mo sa Akin, and Azucena.

Gab Pangilinan (as Marela) contemplates how Tolstoy’s ANNA KARENINA ominously intertwines with their lives in Anna in the Tropics.

From March 13 to April 5, 2020, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Anna in the Tropics by Cuban-American playwright Nilo Cruz comes to the REP stage. When Juan Julian arrives in Tampa, Florida in 1929, he unwittingly heralds change in the Cuban cigar factory where he has been employed as a lector. As he reads aloud from Leo Tolstoy’s passionate Anna Karenina, the workers soon find the story creeping into their lives and informing their decisions. Marriages collapse, affairs are pursued, and tensions run high as the workers are confronted with the threat of automation. To be directed by New York-based noted production designer Joey Mendoza and starring Ana Abad Santos, Jake Macapagal, Paolo O’ Hara, Brian Sy, Gab Pangilinan, Gie Onida and Madeleine Nicolas, Anna in the Tropics paints a sympathetic portrait of oppressed laborers and lovers who flout tradition, as it shows the transformative power of literature.

Gian Magdangal (as Billy Bigelow) and Nikki Gil (as Julie Jordan) grapple with issues of love, forgiveness and redemption in the award-winning musical Carousel.

The universally-loved and enduring favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical Carousel caps off the season and runs from May 1 to 24, 2020. Helmed by much lauded young director Toff de Venecia, the production showcases a star-studded cast led by the luminous pairing of Nikki Gil and Gian Magdangal, who will both be making their REP debut. The musical follows a poor young couple, millhouse worker Julie Jordan and carousel barker Billy Bigelow. When they both lose their jobs because of their whirlwind love affair, Billy is pressured into committing theft to provide for their unborn child. After everything goes tragically wrong, he is given a chance to make things right. Hailed as TIME Magazine’s Best Musical of the 20th Century, Carousel explores the heartbreak and complexities that make its characters so tragically and wonderfully human.

Snow White and the Prince brings a beloved fairy tale to life for families everywhere.

REP 2020 ends with REP Theater for Young Audiences’ (RTYA’s) children’s musical Snow White and the Prince by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Friedman. From the same writers of REP’s mega hit 2018 production Rapunzel, Rapunzel, A Very Hairy Fairytale comes this witty new take on a beloved classic. Running from September 12, 2020 to January 31, 2021, this play is directed by none other than the legendary Joy Virata. When Snow White meets her prince at the ball, they fall in love. But when the magic mirror tells the Evil Queen that Snow White is the fairest in all the land, she burns with jealousy. She vows to vanquish Snow White, but the young girl flees into the forest and befriends seven unusual miners. Children of all ages will delight in this fun re-telling of this beloved fairytale that reminds us that people united in goodness are more powerful than the forces of evil.

Ed Lacson Jr. directs for REP Unplugged, REP’s edgy take on alternative theater, which will be launched in June 2020.

For the first time in REP history, audiences will get to experience REP Unplugged, an edgy and exciting new staging concept that is independent—or “unplugged”—from the rest of the season. Directed by theater wunderkind Ed Lacson Jr., REP Unplugged is alternative theater and will be performed in unconventional performance spaces. It will be launched in June 2020 during the interim between REP’s first three plays and its children’s production. Featuring an out-of-the-box approach and a fresh take on theater, REP Unplugged is ready to shake things up.

For the full experience of REP’s 2020 seas0n, purchase season passes now. Season subscribers can get access to REP’s 2020 plays at up to 30% off. The Gold Year Pass (includes 3 season shows + RTYA) costs Php 4,900, the Silver Year Pass (includes 3 season shows + RTYA) is only Php3,700, the Gold Season Pass (includes 3 season shows) is Php 4,200, and the Silver Season Pass (includes 3 season shows) is Php 3,150.

For show-buying and ticket inquiries, contact REP at 8451-1474 or 0966-905-4013. You may also purchase your season passes by calling Ticketworld at 891-9999, or through

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CCP Official Stamp Design (small)

The celebration for the 50th founding anniversary of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) continues with the launch of the special commemorative stamps, featuring the facade of the CCP main building and the CCP 50th Anniversary logo.

CCP chairperson Ms. Margarita “Margie” Moran opens the launch with her welcome remarks on October 15, 2019, at the Main Theater Lobby, followed by a short message from PHLPost postmaster general Joel Otarra.
PHLPost chairman Norman Fulgencio presents the special commemorative stamps, along with the CCP 50th Anniversary Souvenir Folder and the Official First Day Cover.

Acapellago (Photographed by Erickson dela Cruz)

Acapellago performs well-loved Filipino songs including “Handog” and “Limang Dipang Tao,” while PPO Brass Band provides musical entertainment.
In partnership with the Philippine Postal Corporation (PHLPost), the special stamps commemorate the CCP’s innumerable contributions in the preservation, promotion and development of the Philippine arts and culture for the last 50 years.

“The CCP stamps encapsulizes what the CCP is, what it has been doing in the past decades, and what the future brings. The stamps are our tangible promise that CCP will continuously be at the forefront in making arts matter to every Filipino,” enthused CCP chairperson Margie Moran-Floirendo.

This is the second time that the CCP launches a commemorative stamp. The first one was in 1969, two months after CCP’s inauguration. The CCP’s 1969 postage stamp, showing the CCP building and ground, came in a set of two stamps with 10s and 30s denominations.

Signature signing for the CCP commemorative stamp.

“The stamps serve as visual reminder about the architectural significance of the main building designed by National Artist Leandro Locsin. Serving as a beacon of Philippine arts and culture, the CCP has always been in the forefront of cultural development, art appreciation and art education. And it will continue to do so in the next 50 years,” said CCP VP and artistic director Chris Millado.

Inaugurated on September 8, 1969, the CCP has been the premiere venue to showcase the best of Philippine arts and culture, and remains peerless in its achievements in nurturing excellent artists, producing high quality works and developing audiences for the performing arts. One of the first major venues for the performing arts in Asia, it is considered one of the world’s finest examples of Brutalism architecture.

Through the years, the CCP has been keeping its promise to make arts matter to every Filipino. It has become the leading institution for arts and culture in the Philippines by promoting artistic excellence and nurturing the broadest audiences to participate in art making and appreciation.

PHLPost has printed 10,000 copies of the CCP 50th Anniversary commemorative stamp sold for P12.00 each. The stamps and official first day covers are now available at the Philatelic Counter, Central Post Office, Liwasang Bonifacio 1000, Manila and area post offices nationwide.

CCP staff
PHLPost and CCP officers.
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News: Digitally Restored “ANG TV Movie The Adarna Adventure,” “Saan Ka Man Naroroon” screen at Power Plant Cinema

_Cast of ANG TV movie The Adarna Adventure (v2)

ABS-CBN Film Restoration’s “Reelive the Classics” brings to the big screen new digitally restored and remastered films, including “Ang TV Movie The Adarna Adventure” and “Saan Ka Man Naroroon” in its week-long run at the Power Plant Cinema from September 20 to

Star Cinema’s “Ang TV Movie The Adarna Adventure” had its premiere on the event’s first day, which was attended by the movie’s lead stars Patrick Garcia, Camille Prats, Gio Alvarez, Guila Alvarez, and Paolo Contis. Camille, who revealed that she kept the shoes she used in the movie as a memento, said that she hopes that new generation of viewers would learn the value of friendship as
demonstrated by their characters in the film.

“It’s not often that we see movies like this today. The film has an important lesson about friendship. We (characters) worked together as friends so we can give the Ibong Adarna to Angelica’s (Panganiban) grandmother and cure her illness,” the former child star said.

Paolo, on the other hand, shared that he gets to hangout with some of the cast members but would love to be reunited with the whole gang in the future.

“If I’m not mistaken, I was 11 or 12 (years old) when we did the movie. Actually until now, some of us (cast) remained friends. Hopefully we can have a reunion, even not in a movie, just to hangout and catch up, that would be fun,” he shared.

Now a family man, Patrick considers the event a special moment, especially his kids haven’t had the chance to watch him on the big screen.

“It’s a special moment for me and my family because my kids would be able to watch me in a movie for the first time. It’s a clean, wholesome, and fun comedy that can be appreciated by any generation,” he stated.

Moviegoers relieved the fantasy of the 1996 film that revolved around a group of friends who were magically transported to the kingdom of Berbanya where they helped a prince find the elusive bird Adarna, who is actually a cursed princess, to save his dying father.

The cast and crew of ANG TV Movie The Adarna Adventure.

Aside from the comedy-adventure flick, the digitally restored version of the 1993 romance film “Saan Ka Man Naroroon” is set to make its debut on September 22 (Sunday). Led by the iconic tandem of Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta, fans will once again feel the “kilig” with the tale of two lovers Miguel (Richard) and Amanda (Dawn) who were separated by fate but found their way back together.

Meanwhile, movie aficionados will be able to catch hits and other critically-acclaimed movies at “Reelive the Classics,” including “Hihintayin Kita sa Langit,” “Minsa’y Isang Gamu-Gamo,”
“Bad Bananas sa Puting Tabing,” “Sarah… Ang Munting Prinsesa,” “Eskapo,” “Tanging Yaman,” and “Gimik: The Reunion.”

To date, ABS-CBN Film Restoration Project has already restored nearly 180 films, some of which were already screened internationally via film fests, screened locally via red carpet
premieres, aired on free-to-air and cable television, viewed via pay-per-view and video-on-demand, distributed on DVD, and downloadable even on iTunes.

Visit for more information on the screening schedules of digitally restored films.

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News: TBA Studios presents “Habambuhay”, a docu series celebrating the 100th year of Philippine Cinema

Habambuhay Docu Series – TBA studios [banner]

In celebration of the 100 Years of Philippine Cinema, “Habambuhay” is a new, insighfully entertaining documentary series that commemorates the lives and efforts of the people behind and in front of the camera who helped shape the Philippine Movie industry for a very long time.

In features exclusive interviews, rare archival footage, clips and photos that will help illuminate the fascinating stories behind the industry’s most significant contributors and biggest names in Philippine Cinema.

TBA Studios big bosses. Photo by Erickson dela Cruz.

“Habambuhay” boasts a star-studded list that includes screen legends like Anita Linda, Luis Nepomuceno, Eddie Mesa, Rosemarie Gil, Gloria Romero, and Eddie Garcia, in the actor’s last in-depth interview before his untimely passing, as well as industry pillars such as Mother Lily Monterverde (Regal Entertainment), Charo Santos-Concio (Star Cinema), and Marichu Vera-Perez (Sampaguita Pictures).

Renowned filmmakers Peque Gallaga, Laurice Guillen, Lav Diaz, Brillante Mendoza, Jerrold Tarog, screenwriters Ricky Lee, Racquel Villavicencio, Rody Vera, and Philippine Cinema’s Golden Age screen idols Christopher de Leon, Bembol Roco Jr., Michael de Mesa, Cherie Gil, and Ms. Nora Aunor are some of the illustrious names featured in this one-of-a-kind legacy project.

Filmmaker Doy del Mundo Jr. Photographed by Erickson dela Cruz

Directed by award-winning writer, director, and author Clodualdo “Doy” Del Mundo Jr. and produced by TBA Studios (Heneral Luna, Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral, Women of the Weeping River to name a few), “Habambuhay” made its premiere at this year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

An omnibus episode, featuring an all-star-cast, was screened last Friday, September 13th at Gateway Cineplex and an episode dedicated to one of the country’s most prominent shwobiz families, The Eigenmanns, was screened on last night, September 14 in the same venue.

Ms. Cherie Gil and Ms. Rosemarie Gil Photographed by Erickson dela Cruz

“Habambuhay” is made by TBA Studios in partnership with the Film Development Council of the Philippines and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

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News: PhilPop, PETA and NCCA boost Taga-Alog 2019 campaign with songwriting bootcamp

Taga-Alog Mini Bootcamp

PhilPop, Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), National Commission on Culture and the Arts (NCCA) have teamed up for Taga-Alog Mini Bootcamp—a two-day songwriting workshop that aims to promote Ilog Pasig as a center of cultural narrative and heritage, as well as raise awareness for the rehabilitation efforts of the river through creative advocacy in music.

Songwriting for Advocacy 

Headed by acclaimed and award-winning music industry professionals Noel Cabangon, Trina Belamide, and Jungee Marcelo, the music camp gathered upcoming composers and songwriters who have shown immense promise in writing the next big anthem for the environment. 

With the success of last year’s TampisAwit and its initiative to foster a culture of sustainability and utmost care for Ilog Pasig, PETA and NCCA have expanded the mentorship program for budding songwriters and composers by tapping PhilPop to come up with a more comprehensive syllabus that put emphasis on Songwriting for Advocacy.


Camp Activities

Fellows were in for a treat as mentors provided their expertise on songwriting basics with emphasis on both form and content. The sessions included consultation with the coaches, as well as presentation and evaluation of their work. 

“This time, we’re not only imparting techniques to improve their craft,” Taga-Alog Mini Bootcamp 2019 Chairman Noel Cabangon said. “It is also our responsibility to prepare them in the real world, and help them pitch advocacy concepts that are geared toward creative ways to build awareness on various environmental causes. As musicians, we are more than just entertainers; we can change the world with our art.”

The two-day songwriting workshop and competition culminated with the performance of the top 5 finalists and the announcement of the top 3 songs. The first place winner will be given a grant for official recording and promotions during the entire Taga-Alog campaign for 2019.


Day 1 Photos:


Day 2 Photos:

 For more information, visit the Taga-alog official Facebook page ( or email

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Himala Isang Musikal 2019 (landscape) promotional banner

Kunan mo ako at gawin mo akong sining. Gawin mo akong imortal.” — Elsa

Truer words were never spoken. From Nora Aunor to May Bayot-De Castro, the former to Aicelle Santos, the iconic role of Elsa has been immortalized every which way—transcending various mediums from page to stage. Whatever the form, the legendary heroine, who beckons to a higher being then aches with disappointment in the lines, “Walang Himala!” launched a crusade of sorts, bringing in flocks of followers, who struggle with their own faith and morality.

Based on allegations of Marian apparitions on Cabra Island, Occidental Mindoro, writer Ricky Lee sought to document one of the country’s greatest mysteries—faith healers and religious crusaders. Amidst the film’s multiple revisions and developments, one thing remained constant: the casting of Nora Aunor, whom the creators had in mind from the very beginning. Considered one of Philippine Cinema’s greatest films of all time, Himala is also considered Aunor’s best work, earning her multiple nominations and awards, including her Best Actress Award in the 1982 Metro Manila Film Festival.

May Bayot-de Castro (c) Photographed by Erickson dela Cruz

Aunor passed on the baton of faith to May Bayot-De Castro in 2003, when the original stage adaptation was mounted at the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Bayot-De Castro’s turn as Elsa earned her an Aliw Award for Best Actress in a Musical. She is equally honored and humbled to be returning to Barrio Cupang in the role of Nanay Saling, and admits to having the jitters prior to rehearsals. “Ninenerbyos ako days before the rehearsal. Maybe the anxiety came from not knowing what to expect. Also, most of the cast members did the musical before, and coming in with a new track is kind of nerve-wracking.

Still, she thanks her lucky stars for giving her the opportunity to work on the musical that may well be considered her big break. Over all, the rehearsal process has been a refreshing and reassuring experience for the veteran actress. She shares “It was refreshing to find out that Ed is very open to new attacks on the characters. It was also reassuring to know that there are no set profiles for the characters. The process and technique appealed to me— that we are freely allowed to explore and discover our characters and relationships within the community.”

Aicelle Santos and Celine Fabie will alternate for the role of Elsa.

Returning to the show, albeit in a different role and track, May Bayot-De Castro shares that she has nothing but pride and admiration for the Elsas of this generation. “Having played Elsa in the past and now watching Aicelle and Celine take on the iconic role, makes me proud of them. It is not an easy role to play. I’m also learning from them. May mga nakita akong acting choices na ginagawa nila na I wished I could have done myself.”

She elaborates further on her return to Barrio Cupang in the role of Nanay Saling, a role that came naturally to her because of her maternal instincts. “Being a mom myself has helped tremendously. And as I’ve said, it’s helpful that Ed is very open to acting choices. He does not censor right away.” Challenges and all, she is thrilled and inspired to be retelling the story of Himala, and passing on the torch to Aicelle and Celine for this year’s re-run.

Down from the hill of Barrio Cupang, Elsa will continue to call on her followers and unveil the hard truth—that miracles merely exist in the eyes and hearts of its firm believers. Decades after the film and the original stage adaptation, the baton of faith will be passed on generation after generation to keep the legacy of Himala alive, and forever in the annals of Philippine film and theater.

HIMALA isang Musikal 2019 will star Aicelle Santos in the role of Elsa, with Celine Fabie covering for the role at certain performances. Joining her are May Bayot-De Castro and Sheila Francisco alternating for the role of Nanay Saling, Kakki Teodoro as Nimia, Neomi Gonzales as Chayong, Sandino Martin and Vic Robinson alternating for the role of Pilo, David Ezra as Orly and Floyd Tena as Padre.

Rounding out the cast are Jon Abella, Roxy Aldiosa, Sigrid Balbas, Gene Barsaga, Jay Barrameda, Patricia Bermudez, Raflesia Bravo, Joshua Cabiladas, Dannielle Cruz, Christian Cusi, Katreen Dela Cruz, Angelo Esperanzate, Marielle Estalani, Mano Domingo, Kits Falcis, Jef Flores, Nel Gumalog, Pam Imperial, Sean Inocencio, Jasper Jimenez, Gary Junsay, Glenda Liao, Alvin Maghanoy, Roby Malubay, Hazel Maranan, Eizel Marcelo, Nathan Molina, Red Nuestro, Ivan Panganiban, Matel Patayon, Cristy Peredo, Neil Tolentino, Onyl Torres and Jenny Villegas.

Award-winning director, Ed Lacson, Jr., returns to the director’s chair in this year’s re-run of Himala: Isang Musikal. He also doubles as the show’s set designer. Multi-awarded composer and lyricist, Vincent A. deJesus, is at the helm once again as composer, lyricist and musical director. Completing the artistic team are Ricky Lee as writer and lyricist, Barbie Tan-Tiongco as lighting designer, Carlo Pagunaling as costume designer, Jed Balsamo as music consultant, JM Cabling as assistant to the director and Ejay Yatco as assistant musical director.

Toff De Venecia leads the production team as co-executive producer alongside Santi Santamaria, for The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical, respectively. Rounding out the team are Anna Santamaria as operations and finance director, Sab Jose as marketing and PR director, Maine Manalansan as design director, Erwin Romulo as creative consultant, Charyl De Guzman as production manager, Jonjon Martin as public relations manager and Mara Agleham as head stage manager.

Ricky Lee and Vincent A. deJesusHIMALA: ISANG MUSIKAL will open on September 20, 2019 and will have a limited engagement until October 20, 2019 at the Powermac Center Spotlight in Circuit Makati. Tickets are now available through Ticketworld online or 891.9999, The Sandbox Collective at 0956 200 4909, 0917 554 5560 and 586 7105.

This Musical is co-presented by The Sandbox Collective and 9 Works Theatrical, in commemoration of their 10/5 anniversaries.

Official (character) posters of Himala: Isang Musikal 2019
More Photos from the Press Conference:

Photographs by Erickson Dela Cruz

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News: Commemorative markers unveiled at CCP’s 50th Anniversary

CCP CommemorativeMarkers Unveiling -10Sept2019-Kiko

THE Cultural Center of the Philippines unveiled yesterday (September 10) two markers to commemorate the important role played by the premiere institution in promoting, preserving and developing the Philippine arts and culture in the past 50 years. The markers were installed at the CCP Main Theater Lobby.

“The Cultural Center of the Philippines is a fulfillment of the decades-long quest of countless Filipino artists and government officials for a National Theater,” the marker partially reads.

The event was graced by CCP president Arsenio Lizaso who welcomed the guests, while CCP chairperson Margie Moran Floirendo and Board of Trustees member Baltazar Endriga read the full text of the markers in English and Filipino, respectively.

Likewise the event was attended by CCP Board of Trustees, executives and employees, former chairmen and presidents. The family of the late National Artist Leandro V. Locsin (who designed the 50-year-old structure) was represented by son Andy. (Photo by Kiko Cabuena)

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