Saturday, March 13, 2010

The 1st National Children's Book Awards 2010

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49th Silliman National Writers Workshop calls for applications

The Silliman University National Writers Workshop is now accepting applications for the 49th National Writers Workshop to be held 3-21 May 2010 in Dumaguete City.

This Writers Workshop is offering fifteen fellowships to promising young writers who would like a chance to hone their craft and refine heir style. Fellows will be provided housing, a modest stipend, and a subsidy to partially defray costs of their transportation.

To be considered, applicants should submit manuscripts in English on or before 19 March 2010 (seven to ten poems; or three to five short stories; or three to five creative non-fiction essays). Manuscripts should be submitted in hard copy and on CD, preferably in MS Word, together with a resume, a recommendation letter from a literature professor or a writer of national standing, a notarized certification that the works are original, and two 2X2 ID pictures.

Send all applications or requests for information to Department of English and Literature, attention Dr. Evelyn F. Mascuñana, Chair, Silliman University, 6200 Dumaguete City.

Related Link: 15 Fellows to the 49th Silliman National Writers Workshop (May 3-21, 2010)

UST announces 1st Thomasian Writers Workshop

The office of the Writer-in-Residence of the University of Santo Tomas is announcing the holding of the very first Thomasian Writers Workshop which will be held this summer at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) campus in Manila.

This first of a series of annual workshops catering exclusively to Thomasians is open to writers—students, alumni, faculty members or non-teaching staffers—who have not been awarded fellowships to any national writing workshop.

The workshop will be held from May 10 to 15, 2010 at the St. Raymund's Building in UST and the last two days of the workshop will be tentatively held in a resort in Laguna.

The six-day workshop will focus on poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction both in English and Filipino. To conduct the workshop are major figures in the local literary circle, such as UST Writer-in-Residence Ophelia A. Dimalanta and Dr. Cirilo F. Bautista. They will be assisted by other Thomasian writers Eros Atalia, Carlomar Daoana, Lourd de Veyra, Michael M. Coroza, and Al Dimalanta. Guest panelists will also be invited during the workshop proper.

Some 20 fellowships will be available for the workshop. Applications for the workshop will be accepted from February 1 to March 15, 2010. Applicants should submit three printed copies (on short bond paper) and a CD or diskette containing soft copies in MS Word format of their manuscript (at least five poems or two fiction or non-fiction pieces in English or Filipino).

They should also submit their resumé, a 2x2 ID photo, and a certification of authenticity duly signed by any official from their college or faculty or any officer from the institution or company they are presently employed in.

The successful fellows for the workshop will be announced on March 31, 2010. Interested parties may call 406-1611 loc. 8281 (Tuesday to Saturday) or e-mail for more details. Manuscripts, however, should be mailed or hand-delivered to Dr. Ophelia A. Dimalanta, UST Writer-in-Residence, ground floor, St. Raymund's Building in UST.

This first-ever exclusive Thomasian Writers Workshop is only one of the many activities that the UST is holding for its students, alumni, and faculty members in conjunction with the celebration of the University's 400th year in 2011. 

Related Link: 20 Fellows to the 1st Thomasian Writers Workshop (May 17-22, 2010)

3rd Rogelio Sicat National Writers Workshop now open for applications

The UP Department of Filipino now accepts application to the Third Rogelio Sicat Workshop: DFPP 2010 National Creative Writing Workshop to be held in Baler, Aurora from April 28 to May 2, 2010. It is open to beginning writers in Filipino, especially college students, who write poems, fiction, and children’s stories.

Applicants must submit the following: manuscripts (12 points, double-spaced, 8x11 inches) of any of the following: five (5) poems, two (2) short stories (10 pages), and two (2) children’s stories (5-7 pages); short bio-note; photo (2x2, colored); and Application Form (can be requested via email).

All expenses from UP Diliman to the workshop site are free for the chosen writing fellows. A modest stipend will also be provided. 

Send manuscripts to not later than April 9, 2010. For further details, please send inquiries to the email address.

Related Link: 15 Fellows to the 3rd Rogelio Sicat National Writers Workshop

Asian Eye Institute can help detect early signs of glaucoma

Every part of our body is very important for us to be able to function well. We use our eyes a lot everyday - in reading, watching TV or movies, commuting/ walking, at work or in school, when we eat and go out with our friends & family, etc. It is one of the most used parts of our body, I must say. I have not been wearing my eyeglasses for over 7 years now and i have difficulty sometimes seeing things or reading texts from afar. Whenever I watch plays in the theater, I would always bring my binoculars to see clearly the details of the performance.

When we experience eye problems, it is best to consult an eye specialist immediately to avoid complications and so that  remedy can be done. Glaucoma is one of the many eye conditions that people of old age suffer from. It is characterized by damage of the optic nerve and loss of field of vision. Those who have high risk of glaucoma probably have high nearsightedness or farsightedness, diabetes, hypertension, family history of blindness, history of blood transfusion, eye accidents/ injury, steroid use, or are smokers. An early detection or glaucoma treatment is safer to prevent it from occurring. It is better to be careful than sorry.

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Some of the early signs of glaucoma are: difficulty in using corrective glasses, clumsy movement such as frequent spills at meals, difficulty estimating distances, and some parts of the visual field get dimmer. It is also possible when we experience headache or nausea after reading a book, watching TV or movies, difficulty in navigating the stairs, see halos around lights, or frequently bumping into things. Check out the different services that the Asian Eye Institute offers. Maybe you would already need an eye check-up soon, like me.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Dance for Fitness at Blue Wave

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Dance for Fitness at Blue Wave Pasay. A series of weekend-workshop-classes with a focus on ‘dance’ from March 13 until April l8. Choose from Hip Hop, Yoga and Freestyle Dance, Breakdance and Contemporary Dance with established performers from the Metro’s dance community. Come and recharge after a busy work week, get fit and have fun while expressing your creativity and passion to dance. To reserve call (632) 8338658, +63.927.8748789 or email

Register today to avail of Wellness giveaways and complimentary massage therapy.  
An Urban Wellness platform presented by Blue Wave, Anahata Foundation and Links 2 Prosperity which aims to promote alternative spaces for dance and holistic health. Blue Wave Metropolitan Park Complex is located at EDSA Ext. cor. Macapagal Ave. Visit Blue Wave Mac on Facebook for your comments and input. This event is Co-presented by C2 Cool and Clean. Special thanks to Enzacta, Bio-Ready Nutrients for providing the powerful natural building blocks your body needs.

Biogesic supports John Lloyd Cruz's latest film

In his lovable portrayal of his characters – whether as Popoy in “One More Chance” or as Miggy in “a Very Special Love” & “You Changed My Life,” John Lloyd Cruz consistently shows an innate sensitivity.

“With every character I assume, I hope that the character’s heart lives in me,” says the 26-year old star in an interview for a local showbiz talk show. And it is this palpable empathy on-screen that translates to his real-life off-screen, as well--most evident perhaps in the way he ensures that for both himself and his loved ones, only the best and safest will do.

As endorser of popular headache and fever reliever brand Biogesic, it's clear he has taken to heart his famous catchphrase “Ingat!” “It’s hard being sick,” the actor shares at a time when he was under the weather. And given the taxing nature of his work and the demands of his career, he prizes the value of good health more than ever. That’s why he takes Biogesic at the first signs of headache or fever that might get in the way of his performance. “It’s a nice feeling endorsing one of the brands you truly believe in," the celebrity says.

As the number one brand prescribed by doctors for headache and fever, Biogesic can be taken even before meals. And just like John Lloyd who trusts the brand, so does millions of Filipinos.

For 4 years in a row, people listened and viewed John Lloyd as he spoke about the benefits of having Biogesic by his side. And as the brand grew more in popularity along with the wholesome actor, John Lloyd knew that endorsing Biogesic for Kids, the brand’s line specially made for children, would be a wise move as well. After all, his mom would give him Biogesic for Kids when he was young to relieve him of his fever.

Whether on-screen or off, Biogesic’s endorser John Lloyd Cruz knows: only the best and safest will do. And so to the millions of Filipinos who look up to him and eagerly wait for his film and TV projects— including his latest on-screen offering “Miss You Like Crazy”--John Lloyd expresses his gratitude and concern by bidding them all a heartfelt “ Thank you and Ingat!”

Biogesic is the leading fever and headache reliever trusted by millions of Filipinos. As the top analgesic brand in the country, Biogesic has been proven safe and effective – with virtually no side effects, even when taken on an empty stomach. Biogesic comes in 500 mg tablet form, while Biogesic for Kids comes in 100 mg/mL Suspension (Oral Drops) for infants 0 to 2 years old, 120 mg/5mL Suspension for kids 2 to 6 years old, and 250 mg/5mL Suspension for 7 to 12 years old.

Havaianas will send Happy Soles to Brazil

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The world-famous fashion brand Havaianas kicks off its new Happy Soles campaign that will give a chance to the happy soul a trip to Brazil.  This campaign celebrates the fact that Havaianas has been both a witness and a reminder of Filipinos’ happiest moments. A constant companion on everything from beach trips to food trips, Havaianas has trekked up mountains, walked down wedding aisles and danced under the pale moonlight. For many happy soles, Havaianas is a daily reminder of moments spent with friends and filled with laughter – moments that define who we are.  

And in an effort to be present in even more unique life experiences, Havaianas kicks off the Happy Soles campaign with a creative competition titled “Happy Soles Will Travel to Brazil.”  Answer the question, "If anything was possible, what would you do to make the world happy for a day?” as creatively as possible and you could get the chance to win an all-expense-paid vacation for four to the land of sunshine, Brazil. 

The winner, along with three friends, will fly to Brazil on an unforgettable, all-expense-paid retreat, complete with travel must-haves from Havaianas, Sony, David and Goliath, and Aloha Board Sports. The group of friends will get to experience the cool climate of cosmopolitan Sao Paulo and the endless summer of Rio de Janeiro in quirky clothes from David and Goliath, and stylish resort wear from Aloha Board Sports. Not only will they stay in chic, boutique hotels and dine at world-class restaurants, the four friends will also visit Oscar Freire Street, home to Brazil’s fanciest boutiques, where they will enjoy a shopping spree at the Havaianas Concept Store.   

A visit to Daslu, a super luxurious shopping mecca is also on the agenda.  In Corcovado Mountain, they will get to see the Brazilian icon, Christ the Redeemer, and record the priceless memory with their Sony CyberShot cameras. They will also experience everything from the football madness at Morumbi and Maracana to the breath-taking tropical landscape of Jardim Botanico, a UNESCO site, and the laid-back beach culture of different world-renowned beaches like Copacabana.  The winner will also be able to share these memories with ease, with a new Sony HandyCam camcorder and Sony Vaio laptop, and even a new Sony Walkman mp3 player to bring home the sound of Samba.  

Answers can be recorded via the Havaianas roving video booth that will travel to key malls nationwide or uploaded on the campaign website: The top ten happiest and most creative entries will be shortlisted by a board of judges that includes a representative from the Brazilian Embassy, magazine editor Pauline Suaco-Juan, travel blogger Anton Diaz, Capoeira guru Professor Fantasma, and the Managing Director of Havaianas Philippines. The public will then decide who of the ten will be awarded the grand prize through online voting at the campaign website. The remaining nine finalists will also walk away with prizes from Havaianas and new Sony CyberShot cameras.


“Havaianas has always had the privilege of being with Filipinos during their happiest moments - at the beach, in malls, at home, practically everywhere.  We wanted to create the happiest possible experience through this unique, luxury vacation to Brazil,” says Anne Gonzalez, Managing Director of Havaianas Philippines.

Visit for complete contest details or visit the roving video booth in Lipa from February 8 to 14, Metro Manila from February 18 to 28, Cebu from March 8 to 14, Cagayan de Oro from March 22 to 28, Davao from April 5 to 11, Bacolod from April 19 to 25 and Metro Manila once more from April 30 to May 2. 

The official media partners of this event include RX93.1, MYX, Studio 23, Lifestyle Network and Velvet Channel.   

Helpful Link:
The Truth About Happiness

Havaianas is available in All Flip-Flops, Aloha Boardsports, Celio, Duty Free Fiesta Mall, J&S Surf Shop, Manila Polo Club, Moana, Nail Spa, Orange Juice, ROX, Rustan's, Sepatu, Souk, Stoked, The Zone and Kidsports. For provincial outlets, visit

The Bar launches its official website

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You’ve seen it on TV, heard it on the radio, partied with it in the hippest clubs, beaches, functions, and within the comfort of your homes. Now, the hottest and trendiest party drink – The BaR – sets its sight in redefining yet another venue to interact with party people all across the country… cyberspace! Be sure to log on to!

The new official website of The Bar was just launched on February 27, 2010 at Manor Superclub, Eastwood City at Libis, Quezon City.

“The BaR prides itself in continuously and successfully reaching out to our target market,” shares Mr. Nedzi Romero, The BaR Marketing Manager. “And now, keeping all our friends and everyone interested in the know, hearing from them, and giving them the chance to be rewarded in the process is of utmost importance to us.” 
With The BaR being a vanguard in the industry, the launch of their Official Website is another benchmark:  a fully interactive online resource on everything The BaR, a partygoer’s gateway to the latest happenings in the metro and the entire archipelago, plus a spot wherein everyone may get the chance to be graced with a party and win cool stuff at the same time. All you need to do is surf and be part of the fun!

Imagine, just by logging in, you can find out all there is to know about your favorite party drink and discover what some of the brightest young stars have to say about their unique experiences with it. And if that’s not enough, maybe The BaR could fancy you with downloadable content such as wallpapers, ringtones, and other creative widgets that may complement your digital lifestyle.  
Then with just a few clicks here and there, anyone could follow where The BaR is headed next with their Event & Party Calendar. Be it an event, a bar tour, a college org function, or even your city of locality’s biggest fiesta or celebrations, the parties just keeps getting better! But rather than just scanning though where you’d like to attend, guide your cursor to lead The BaR to your very own event!

And for everyone out there who are simply raring to let everyone in the archipelago know how much they “Love The BaR," there is a very special section in the website situated just for you! Show your love by interacting directly with the BaR team via a solid feedback system to let them know exactly what you think, or join in with the online promotions that could get you and your friends premium branded items! Lastly, you could also upload your pictures for you and your friends to browse and grab!  

“This is our way of giving back to all of our loyal consumers who never let up in supporting us. We plan not just to continue producing the party drink that everyone loves, but to build and maintain strong relationships the fun way as well,” said Mr. Kendrick Tan, Creator of The BaR.

Be sure to find out more about The BaR, its products, events and other types of promotions. Log on to their Official Website at for complete details. The BaR is a quality product of The BaR Beverage, Inc., a subsidiary of Emperador Distillers, Inc.    

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Atlantis Productions presents the Broadway hit musicale, Avenue Q

The cast of Avenue Q
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Atlantis Productions brings back Broadway’s hit Tony Award winning musical AVENUE Q to Manila from March 12–27, 2010 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati.

AVENUE Q first premiered in Manila in 2007 and has had three sold out runs since then plus a hit run in Singapore’s Esplanade Theatre in 2008.

Tony-winning musical Avenue Q is the hilarious and heartfelt story of a bright-eyed college grad who comes to New York with big dreams and little money. He can only afford to live on Avenue Q but—good news!—his neighbors turn out to be a remarkably funny bunch of characters (and monsters!).

Described as a cross between SESAME STREET and RENT and performed by an unholy comedic alliance of humans and puppets, AVENUE Q was the winner of the 2004 TONY AWARD® for BEST NEW MUSICAL, BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL and BEST ORIGINAL SCORE! Featured in the cast are Aliw Award winner Rachel Alejandro, Felix Rivera, AizaSeguerra, FrenchieDy, TheaTadiar and Joel Trinidad.  Joining them for the first time is Calvin Millado.

AVENUE Q, with Music and Lyrics by Jeff Marx and Robert Lopez and a Book by Jeff Whitty, is Directed by Bobby Garcia and Chari Arespacochaga and has Set Design by Mio Infante, Lighting Design by Jonsy Reyes, and Puppet Design by Samuel Fuentes based on the original Broadway designs of Rick Lyons. Due to full puppet nudity, parental discretion is advised.

Tickets on sale now! Call Atlantis Productions at (632) 892-7078 or 840-1187.

9 Works Theatrical opens auditions for The Wedding Singer

9 Works Theatrical will be having auditions for their new, upcoming musicale, The Wedding Singer, on March 19 (Friday) and March 20, 2009 (Saturday) at the Philippine Opera Company located at 15 Garcia Villa St., San Lorenzo Village, Makati City. Registration starts at 9 am for March 19 and 10 am for March 20. Bring your resume, photo, and prepare 2 pop songs from  the 80's.

The musical comedy is based on the 1998 film, The Wedding Singer. The lyrics was written by Chad Beguelin and the music was composed by Matthew Skylar. The story was based on the book written by Chad Beguelin and Tim Herlihy.

For the full details, please check out: 9 Works Theatrical website.

Kraft Eden sets a new Guiness World Record

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Note: The photos from the event that took place in Araneta Coliseum on December 14, 2009 were downloaded from Daily Mail Online

If there’s one distinguishing feature about the Pinoy, it’s that they love a challenge. We have epic tales of Lam-Ang conquering various tasks and earning his place in the mythic pantheon of Filipino heroes. We sought our independence from Spain, from America and other countries that sought to subjugate us. In the 20th century we distinguished ourselves with EDSA 1 or the first People Power Revolution. After years of preparation, not only did we have an all-Filipino team conquering Mt. Everest  but an all-Pinay team as well after a few years! These real-life victories have been underscored with a sense of joy, achievement and pride.
Baked Cheese Potato
We also have other characteristics that define us as a nation: the achievements of our inventors and artists.  Through their creativity, originality, inventiveness, ingenuity, and innovativeness, they contributed in giving the country a sense of pride. Mr. Ramon del Rosario is the man we thank for the "karaoke”. Lea Salonga defined the title role of Miss Saigon on the West End and Broadway. Rafe Totengco conquered the hearts of fashionistas all over the world with his accessories, while Brillante Mendoza triumphed in Cannes for “Kinatay.”
Cheese Choco Pancake
And when it comes to putting our country in the record books, imagination and resourcefulness is what our culinary geniuses brought honor to our country and another Guiness World Record: crafting over 5,000 (yes, that's more than FIVE THOUSAND) dishes using cheese, besting the previous Guinness world record of 4,668 set by India. This is made known to the world on the first week of March 2010.
Cheese Omelette
Last December 14, 2009, cooking enthusiasts, culinary students, kusineros, chefs and foodies were gathered together for one battle royale featuring cheese, with Kraft Eden products demonstrating their versatility in various dishes, from the savory to the sweet. They created, invented and innovated more than 5,000 unique dishes using Kraft Eden cheese. at Araneta Coliseum in Cubao, Quezon City. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend this breakthrough event because I got terribly sick of unceasing fever and cough.

 Cheese Burger Soup
In a country that loves fiestas, with various culinary traditions from many regions and 7,107 islands, where almost any snack worth enjoying can be improved with the addition of cheese: ensaymada, puto, bibingka, pichi-pichi – coming up with over 5,000 dishes is a piece of --- cheese!

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Who is God?" service series

This March will cover topics of who God is. Block off your Tuesdays at 7pm, to be held at the Dasmarinas Hall, Makati Sports Club. Free admission.

March 2     Savior
March 9     Lord
March 16   Father
March 23   Healer (Worship Night)

"Avatar" at IMAX, Extended

The indescribable experience of watching Avatar at IMAX has been a major topic among friends since it opened last December 17, 2009. With crystal clear images, laser-aligned digital sound, and maximized field of view, it's no wonder that after months and months of screening, everyone who missed out still wants to flock over to IMAX Theatres to see for themselves how it feels like to be “inside the movie." 

So to submit to constant requests, Avatar will continue showing at IMAX Theatre SM City North Edsa and IMAX Theatre SM Mall of Asia.

Don't miss this chance for the most immersive movie experience yet! 

For more information on tickets and show times, please contact:  
IMAX Theatre SM North EDSA (632) 
929-5452/ 924-4274/ 442-0061 


IMAX Theatre SM Mall of Asia 
(632) 556-(IMAX) or (632) 556-0242 


or Log on to

DreamWorks Animation presents "How to Train Your Dragon"

 DreamWorks Animation Presents 
How To Train Your Dragon
Produced by Bonnie Arnold
Directed by Chris Sanders, Dean DeBlois 

Cast: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, Kristen Wiig, TJ Miller 

Synopsis: From the studio that brought you Shrek, Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda comes How To Train Your Dragon -- an adventure comedy set in the mythical world of burly Vikings and wild dragons, based on the book by Cressida Cowell.  The story centers around a Viking teenager, who lives on the island of Berk, where fighting dragons is a way of life.  Initiation is coming, and this is his one chance to prove his worthiness to his tribe and father.  But when he encounters, and ultimately befriends, an injured dragon, his world is turned upside down. How to Train Your Dragon, distributed by Solar-UIP, opens in all SM Cinema branches on March 26. Watch it best in SM Digital Theaters (March 19) and IMAX Mall of Asia (March 26). 

Log on to for more details.

"Connecting with Greatness" by Ferdinand Cacnio (March 11-27, 2010)

In line with its 6th anniversary celebration, LRI Design Plaza proudly presents “CONNECTING WITH GREATNESS” – an exhibit that will showcase a collection of table-top sculptures and a few functional art pieces by artist Ferdinand R. Cacnio.

      The invitational opening exhibit is set on March 11, 2010 at 6:30 p.m.

LRI Design Plaza has become the design hub for upcoming and established designers and artists, with over 30 showrooms/galleries featuring world-class furniture, furnishings and artworks.   Over the years, LRI Design Plaza has been actively supporting the promotion of design and arts.  Thus, annually during its anniversary celebration, it launches an event featuring homegrown designers and artists.  And this time, it presents a one-man exhibit by respected sculptor Ferdinand Cacnio as it believes in the artist’s talent and admires his excellent creations.  
  “CONNECTING WITH GREATNESS” is an all new series wherein artist Ferdinand Cacnio came up with a lot of small human figures and surrounded them with tall graceful trees.

Ferdinand has been applying his style of composition inspired by the fluid lines of dance on subjects other than dance. He has done this with his sculptures of fishing villages in a previous exhibit. This time around, he applied it on trees. He has always had a fascination for trees. “They dance with the wind; they change with the seasons; they make me feel alive and safe.” He played around with the leaves, branches, tree trunks and even the roots, infusing them with strength, fluidity and grace. And then he conveyed his message of the need to connect / reconnect with Greatness by adding a lot of small human figures. His delivery of this message is ever so subtle, with a play of bigness and smallness, but a viewer would know that the artist’s understanding of Greatness is that which comes from the Almighty.
      In a separate exhibit area, LRI Design Plaza and the Galerie Astra decided to display a few dancer sculptures. In keeping with the nature theme of the exhibit, Ferdinand introduced a new element in his flamenco dancers – their long flowing skirts appear to be embroidered. Upon close scrutiny, it is evident that the artist derived inspiration from foliage. 

      Ferdinand R. Cacnio is, in essence, a visual artist. He finished his studies at the University of the Philippines, Diliman with degrees in B.S. Psychology and B.S. Civil Engineering. Although he had no formal training in the arts, he has been nurtured in the aesthetics of fine arts since childhood with the mentoring of his artist-father and members of the Philippine art world.

This led him first to a fruitful 20-year career in graphic design as Creative Director of his Atelier Cacnio. In 2005, Ferdinand's career as a sculptor started with a successful solo sculpture exhibit "The Dancer." In that same year, he bagged an award from the Art Association of the Philippines. His passion has produced a public art in Bonifacio Global City, seven solo exhibits, participation in a number of group shows and art auctions that have caught the attention of art collectors and the elusive approval of well-respected art critics. His recent solo exhibit “Sapatusin”  (October 2009) received the critical nod of Dr. Alice Guillermo. 
          Ferdinand is a member of numerous art groups in the Philippines: Tuesday Group of Artists, Art Association of the Philippines (AAP), Sining Tambobong and Society of Philippine Sculptors (SPS).
          “Connecting with Greatness” will be on view until March 27, 2010. Open from Monday – Saturday from 10 am–7 pm. 

      LRI Design Plaza is located at 210 Nicanor Garcia St. (formerly Reposo St.), Bel-Air II, Makati City.  For further inquiries, please call tel. nos. (632) 895-1772; (632) 895-7949.  

Sunday, March 7, 2010

PHILSTAGE Bares 2009 Gawad Buhay Nominees

Photo taken by Hilda Abola (My Manila) during the February 2008 awards night
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Productions and artists of Ballet Philippines (BP), the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), and Repertory Philippines (REP) topped the nominations for thirty categories up for grabs in the 2009 Gawad Buhay: The PHILSTAGE Awards for the Performing Arts.

Now on its second year, Gawad Buhay is the first-ever industry awards conferred upon outstanding individual and group achievements in the performing arts by PHILSTAGE member-companies. It is judged by an independent jury composed of critics, reviewers, educators, artists and aficionados.

With thirteen nominations, BP’s Neo Filipino leads the race followed closely by PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre? and Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto with eleven nominations each. REP’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino weighed in eight nominations to claim the third berth. Other major contenders include Ballet Manila’s Alamat: Gunaw at Sibol, PETA’s Ismail at Isabel, REP’s Sweeney Todd and Tanghalang Pilipinos’s ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal with seven nominations each.

A dance trilogy that pays homage to the vast riches of the Filipino cultural heritage, BP’s Neo Filipino won citations for outstanding dance production; ensemble performance in a dance production; female lead performance in dance (Candice Adea for "Amada"); male lead performance in dance (Biag Gaongen for "Amada" and Ronelson Yadao for "Ulaging"); female featured performance in dance (Marian Faustino for "Amada"); male featured performance in dance (Lucky Vicentino for "Ulaging"); adaptation or translation (Alice Reyes for "Amada"); choreography for dance production (Alice Reyes for "Amada"); musical composition (Kalayo for "Kati-Taog"); costume design (Gino Gonzales for "Ulaging"); lighting design (Katsch Catoy); and set design (Gino Gonzales for "Ulaging").

Tied for second most nominated productions are PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre? and Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto. The former is a psycho-emotional journey into the lives, loves and relationships of three people, while the latter is a musical-comedy about the elections and various iconic characters of an imaginary island-state. REP’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino is an edited adaptation of National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin’s classic pre-war tale about two spinster sisters and their struggles to maintain residence in their ancestral home with their aging artist-father.

The individual categories yielded an exciting mix of nominations pitting veterans versus relatively young bloods. In yet another surprising development, the jury elected to honor lone nominees in outstanding libretto (Vincent De Jesus for PETA’s Juan Tamad), and featured performances in dance (Marian Faustino and Lucky Vicentino for BP’s Neo Filipino).

Fernando Josef, president of PHILSTAGE and artistic director of Tanghalang Pilipino, expressed satisfaction at the high level of artistry and steady patronage that performing arts productions achieved in 2009. “Despite the economic and political crises, Filipino audiences have found the time to support Filipino artistic productions, particularly those that mirror present-day realities,” quipped Josef.

PHILSTAGE is the country’s only organization of professional performing arts companies with a regular season programming of repertory development and performance pedagogy training. Its Board of Directors include PETA's Melvin Lee, vice president; Ballet Philippines’ Sandy Hontiveros, secretary; Repertory Philippines Gidget Tolentino, treasurer; Actors Actors’ Leonardo Lim, Ballet Manila's Susan Macuja, Gantimpala Theater Foundation’s Tony Espejo, Organisasyon ng Pilipinong Mang-aawit’s Mitch Valdes, TRUMPET's Joel Reyes, and PHILSTAGE Executive Director Elmar Beltran Ingles as members.

The 2009 Gawad Buhay jury is composed of Exie Abola, Walter Ang, Gilbert Cadiz, Ronald Elepaño III, Arvin Ello, Ralph Semino Galan. Rolando Inocencio, Glenn Sevilla Mas, Joy Parohinog, Joey Ting, and Basilio Esteban Villaruz. As jury members, they were deputized to watch all productions of PHILSTAGE member-companies throughout 2009 and held deliberations to come up with quarterly citations and the final nominations.

The date and venue of the awards ceremonies will be announced soon. Below is the complete list of final nominees:

Outstanding Play Production:
REP’s A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino, TP’s Madonna Brava ng Mindanao and Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto/Apples from the Desert, and PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?

Outstanding Musical Production:
PETA’s Ismail at Isabel and Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto, and TP’s ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal

Outstanding Dance Production:
BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw, and BP’s Masterworks and Neo-Filipino

Outstanding Stage Direction:
Jose Mari Avellana (REP’s A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino), Teresa Jamias (TP’s Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto/Apples From the Desert), Maribel Legarda (PETA’s Ismail at Isabel), Phil Noble (PETA’s Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto), and Nonon Padilla (PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?)

Outstanding Original Script:
Vincent De Jesus (PETA’s Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto), Tony Perez (PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?), and Rody Vera (PETA’s Ismail at Isabel)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Play:

The Casts of TP’s Madonna Brava ng Mindanao and Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto, and PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre

Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Play:

Liesl Batucan and Ana Abad Santos (REP’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino), Ana Abad Santos (TP’s Streetcar Named Desire), Shamaine Centenera Buencamino (TP’s Madonna Brava ng Mindanao), and Sherry Lara (TP’s Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto/Apples From the Desert)

Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Play:
Lex Marcos, Juliene Mendoza and Jack Yabut (all for PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?)

Outstanding Female Featured Performance in a Play:
Mailes Kanapi (TP’s Stretcar Named Desire) and Peewee O’Hara (TP’s Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto/Apples from the Desert)

Outstanding Male Featured Performance in a Play:
Chrome Cosio (TP’s Madonna Brava ng Mindanao), Dido Dela Paz (REP’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino), and Jonathan Tadioan (TP’s Flores Para Los Muertos)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Musical:
The Casts of PETA’s Ismail at Isabel and Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto, and TP’s ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal
Outstanding Female Lead Performance in a Musical:
Caisa Borromeo (REP’s I Love You Because), Mechu Lauchengco-Yulo (REP’s Sweeney Todd), and Eula Valdes (TP’s Zsazsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal)

Outstanding Male Lead Performance in a Musical:
Nar Cabico and Joey Paras (TP’s ZsaZsa Zaturnah Ze Muzikal), and Audie Gemora (REP’s Sweeney Todd)

Outstanding Female Featured Performance in a Musical:
Liesl Batucan (REP’s Sweeney Todd) and Kyla Rivera (REP’s I Love You Because)

Outstanding Male Featured Performance in a Musical:
Miguel Faustman (REP’s The Fantasticks), and Franco Laurel and Marvin Ong (REP’s Sweeney Todd)

Outstanding Libretto:
Vincent De Jesus (PETA’s Si Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at ang Limang Milyong Boto)

Outstanding Choreography for Play or Musical:
Carlon Matobato (PETA’s Ismail at Isabel), and Dudz Terana, Phil Noble and Carlon Matobato (PETA’s Juan Tamad)

Outstanding Choreography for Dance Production:
Augustus Damian III’s "Evacuation" (BP’s Masterworks), Alice Reyes’ "Amada" (BP’s Neo-Filipino), and Edna Vida’s "Ensalada" (BP’s Masterworks)

Outstanding Ensemble Performance in a Dance Production:
The Casts of BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw, and BP’s Masterworks and Neo-Filipino

Outstanding Female Lead Performance in Dance:
Candice Adea (BP’s Neo-Filipino), Lisa Macuja Elizalde (BM’s Don Quixote), and Yanti Marduli (BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw)

Outstanding Male Lead Performance in Dance:
Francis Cascano (BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw), and Biag Gaongen and Ronelson Yadao (BP’s Neo-Filipino)

Outstanding Female Featured Performance in Dance:
Marian Faustino (BP’s Neo- Filipino)

Outstanding Male Featured Performance in Dance:
Lucky Vicentino (BP’s Neo Filipino)

Outstanding Adaptation or Translation:
Alice Reyes (BP’s "Amada" in Neo-Filipino), Daisy Avellana (REP’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino), Liza Magtoto (TP’s Mga Mansanas sa Disyerto), and Don Pagusara (TP’s Madonna Brava ng Mindanao)

Outstanding Musical Direction:
Jed Balsamo (PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?), Vincent De Jesus (PETA’s Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto), Vincent De Jesus (TP’s ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal), and Gerard Salonga (REP’s Sweeney Todd)

Outstanding Musical Composition:
Vincent De Jesus (PETA’s Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto), Vincent De Jesus (TP’s ZsaZsa Zaturnnah Ze Muzikal), Kalayo (BP’s Neo-Filipino), and Mebuyan (TP’s Madonna Brava ng Mindanao)

Outstanding Set Design:

Salvador Bernal (PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?), Gino Gonzalez (BP’s Neo Filipino), Jonathan Janolo (BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw), Boni Juan (PETA’s Ismail at Isabel), Boni Juan (PETA’s Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto), and Tuxqs Rutaquio (TP’s Streetcar Named Desire/Flores Para Los Muertos)

Outstanding Costume Design:
Michael Angelo Albay (BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw), Gino Gonzales (BP’s Neo-Filipino), Gino Gonzales (REP’s Sweeney Todd), Boni Juan (PETA’s Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto)

Outstanding Lighting Design:

Katsch Catoy (BP’s Neo Filipino), Martin Esteva (REP’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino), Ian Torqueza PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?), Jimmy Villanueva (BM’s Alamat: Si Sibol at Si Gunaw), and Jonjon Villareal (PETA’s Juan Tamad, Ang Diyablo at Ang Limang Milyong Boto)

Outstanding Sound Design:
Lamberto Avellana, Jr. (REP’s Portrait of the Artist as Filipino), Aries Alcayaga PETA’s Saan Ba Tayo Ihahatid ng Disyembre?), Gie Bernardo (PETA’s Ismail at Isabel).

Other Links for your Reference:

Microsoft China rips off's codes & design

My plurk account was born on March 29, 2009. Three weeks from now, my Plurk baby will turn one year old. I have enjoyed using it because I get to be updated of many things. And it's my first experience of microblogging. It's surprising to know that Microsoft, being one of the biggest IT companies in the world, has copied the codes and design interface of Plurk.

Here's the story and evidences: 

Then, a follow-up story on Microsoft's apology: 

Adventures of the film "Alice in Wonderland" since 1903

The storybook, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was written by the English writer & mathematician, Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898), who is also known as Lewis Carroll. The first ever edition was published in 1865 by Macmillan and Co. in London. The title was also popularly known as Alice in Wonderland - a story about a girl named Alice who follows the rabbit until she falls down into a big hole beneath a broken, old big tree and finds herself in a fantasy world that, according to her, only appears in her dream. There she sees various animals and bizarre creatures that talk just like humans. She faces quite an ardous task of fighting the monster and bringing the glory back to the White Queen, a mission she doesn't have a choice to decline.

Lewis Carroll: The Autism Connection

"Lewis Carroll" was the pseudonym that the writer created for himself by translating his first and middle names into Latin, reversing their order, and translating the words back into English. That must have been difficult to think over, don't you think? He decided to use this pseudonym in 1856 when he had begun writing humorous texts and stories to distinguish from his formal, scholarly writings in the field of Mathematics, which he published under his real name.

Charles Lutwidge Dodgson unexpectedly died of pneumonia in January 1898.

Alice in Wonderland (1951)

It's amazing to know that this adventure story has been rewritten, adapted, restaged and made into films in many different approaches. The story was translated into 125 languages and has been one of the favourite children's stories ever published. I remember that I have watched an animated film version on a Betamax tape way back in the early 1980's.

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Watching the premiere night of Alice in Wonderland in Disney Digital 3D format at  SM Megamall Cinema 1 (Ortigas, Pasig City) on March 3, 2010 was a joy to behold. I rarely able to watch movies in 3D that is why it's a precious treat for my discriminate eyes on films. It's another achievement being added on Tim Burton's career as a filmmaker and visionary director. His other magnificent films were: Edward Scissorhands, Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetle Juice, The Sleepy Hollow, and Sweeney Todd.

Alice in Wonderland (Silent film; Pre-Disney, 1903)

Johnny Depp plays the role of the Mad Hatter and Mia Wasikowska as Alice. The other important characters are: Red Queen, White Queen, White Rabbit, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Dormouse, the Caterpillar, the Cheshire Cat, etc. This film has excellent, brilliant graphics; colors are very vibrant! Both children and adults will surely adore this breathtaking masterpiece!

Alice in Wonderland (1933)

I love adventure stories but Alice going to the Wonderland seems abrupt in the story. The film must have also revealed the time she spent in Wonderland (like in the Harry Potter series) equivalent to the time in the real world. When she came back to reality, yes, the family & friends asked her what happened, but never wondered really what took her so long to return.

Watch Alice in Wonderland in Philippine theaters nationwide beginning March 5, 2010.


Alice in Wonderland (TV-movie, 1985)