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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Design Week Philippines builds up on creative vibes and tribes

 The Department of Trade and Industry’s Design Center of the Philippines (Design Center), the national agency committed to strengthening the design ecosystem in the country, wrapped up its nine-day creative festivity with a series of free creative workshops and an outdoor film screening of the award-winning live animation movie “Saving Sally” in Plaza Moriones, Intramuros, Manila.

Apart from the activities in Creative Environment Intramuros, Design Week Philippines partnered with key influencers, collectives, and their respective events to showcase the different facets of Philippine artistry and creativity from different creative hubs and destinations across the metro.
“More than a celebration of design and creativity, Design Week Philippines aims to raise awareness on the Philippines’ up-and-coming creative assets, whether these are people, spaces, or initiatives,” Rhea O. Matute, executive director of Design Center, shares. “As long as they and their activities contribute to the creative quotient of the country and encourage a mindset of innovation, Design Week Philippines is open to collaborate with them, and will be a platform that will amplify their vision.”

Matute acknowledges that there is currently a reinvigorated passion given to the local arts and creative scene, with young minds taking the lead in creative endeavors, new spaces opening up for collaborative work, and more creative communities growing together. “Given such context, Design Week Philippines and the DTI-Design Center want this movement to thrive, and we work on it by being one of the platforms where they can meet, build on ideas together, and grow their network.”
The National Commission of Culture and the Arts, through its Arts in Public Spaces program, showed its support to Design Center’s vision of more creative communities coming together by pooling resource speakers and workshop facilitators from various creative fields such as film making and poetry writing.
“[Our] partnership has brought different art workshops closer to the public, and promoted the integration of arts in the community. It also underscored the significant role of arts, artists, and other stakeholders in uplifting the nation’s spirit and utilizing art as a catalyst of values education,” Ronn Fernando, Special Projects Officer for Arts in Public Spaces, explained about the Design Week-NCCA partnership. (PR)

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Beijing Opera’s “The Monkey King Making Havoc In Heaven” in CCP this May.

 The National Commission for Culture and the Arts and the Cultural Center of the Philippines together with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of China and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China proudly presents a special Beijing Opera performance of “ The Monkey King Making Havoc in Heaven ” featuring The Qingdao Peking Opera Company on Friday, 18 May 2018 (Gala Night) at 7:30 pm and Saturday, 19 May 2018 at 7:30 pm at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater) CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City.

Admission is FREE. For ticket reservations, please call the NCCA International Affairs Office at (02) 527-2206 --- Mon. – Thurs. 10 am to 4 pm.

The year 2018 marks the 43rd year of the formal establishment of the Philippines - China Diplomatic Relations. In light of the progress made by the increase of official people-to-people contacts and exchanges, both countries agreed to facilitate cultural activities to further enhance the Philippines-China bilateral relations.
Part of the 2015-2018 Executive Program (EP) under the Philippines-China Cultural Agreement is a cross-cultural collaboration of the Filipino Sarswela 萨斯威拉剧 and Chinese Jingju (Peking Opera) 京剧:

"Both sides will exchange visits of a delegation of artists, composed of, but not limited to performers, directors, playwrights, musicians, and designers, who shall work towards a cross-cultural collaboration engaging the tradition, aesthetics, conventions, and innovations of the Filipino Opera and/or Sarswela and the Peking Opera.

Specifics, including the number of members of the delegation, length of period of visit / interaction, and activities, shall be decided through consultations between the concerned theatre/academic institutions in the Philippines and National Academy of Chinese Theatre Arts in Beijing. ”

A successful synergy of foregoing art forms would not only entail combination of their commonalities but also facilitation of a dialogue between their contradicting attributes. Bridging the differences and how to go about the strict performance elements would provide a good groundwork for this particular theatre collaboration.

The China - Philippines Diplomatic Relations was formally established back in June 9, 1975. The late Premier Zhou Enlai and the late Philippine President Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos signed the joint communiqué of the establishment of diplomatic ties in Beijing and formally established diplomatic relations at ambassadorial level.
Synopsis of "The Monkey King Making Havoc in Heaven"
When Sun Wukong led the monkey training in the “Mountain of Flowers and Fruits”, The Jade Emperor sent the God Venus to invite him to temple peach feast, which is not real invitation. Enraged by the news that he is not in the guest list of peach feast, Sun Wukong smashed abode of immortals in heaven and stole the temple peach and elixir made by the God Venus.

Flaunting the banner of “The Monkey King”, Sun Wukong called his own troops in the “Mountain of flowers and Fruits”. After defeating the Li Tianwang army sent by the Jade Emperor, Sun Wukong and all monkeys enjoy their happy lives in the “Mountain of flowers and Fruits”.

Established in 1950, Qingdao Peking Opera company is “National Key Provincial Opera Troupes” and “National Advanced Culture Collectives ” named by the Ministry of Culture, People's Republic of China. Awarded as “Shandong National Advanced Culture Collectives”, Qingdao Peking Opera company was officially ratified as “Province-level Intangible Cultural Heritage” by People’s Government of Shandong Province.

Over the past 60 years since its founding, Qingdao Peking Opera company has inherited and developed various schools of Peking Opera through endless efforts of Peking opera artists as Yan Shaopeng, Zhang Chunqiu, Zhang Shaolou, Jie Yun Hong, Li Shibin, Dong Chunbo etc. In recent years, Qingdao Peking Opera company has been developing vigorously “Young Talent Cultivation Strategy”. Qingdao Peking Opera company is charged with the important task of cultural exchanges with foreign countries, and constantly sends art troups performing visit to Japan, Russia, Britain, South Korea, Norway and other countries. Qingdao Peking Opera company is one of the elite and distinguished Peking Opera Troupe with strong ability in China.

The theater is actively developing the performance market, which is a very active Beijing opera performing art group in the country. In the years of artistic creation and the performance appraisal in the Central Propaganda Department won five awards, "China Peking Opera Art Festival Award", "National Children's Drama Repertoire of Outstanding Performances Award", "Shandong Province Quality Engineering Award" and "Shandong province Taishan Literary Award and other awards.

The classic traditional repertoires are "Harmony through a Royal Marriage," "Silang Visiting His Mother," "Wild Boar Forest," "Qin Xianglian," "Wangjiang Pavilion, "Zhu Lian Village," “The Legend of Wang Baochuan and Xue Pinggui," "Big Two," “Uproar in Heaven," "Bazhen Decoction," "Mu Guiying," "Losing Pavilion·Use of Empty City·Killing Masu," "Farewell to My Concubine," "Nest," "An Imperial Concubine Gets Tipsy," "Changbanpo" " Village Of Tigers," "Champion," "Taking Turns Fight against Four Pairs of Mallets.” The repertoires have won extensive influence and deep love among audiences from home and abroad. (PR)

Film workshop held at 3rd Navoteño Film Festival.

Navotas City Hall, through its Public Information Office, conducted a seminar-workshop on digital filmmaking for junior high school students and teachers last May 10 and 11, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Pangisdaan Hall, 4th Floor NCH.

The workshop, which was facilitated by advocacy filmmaker and film educator Seymour Sanchez, aims to prepare the participants for the shoot of their short narrative film entries to the 3rd Navoteño Film Festival. Navotas City Mayor John Reynald Tiangco and Vice Mayor Clint Nicolas Geronimo also delivered inspirational talks during the event.

Sanchez teaches filmmaking, film appreciation and video production at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde School of Design and Arts, and cinema, scriptwriting and journalism at the Far Eastern University Department of Communication. He is a graduate of the 14th Ricky Lee scriptwriting workshop for film and the first Brillante Mendoza directing class.

His short film "Caretaker" won second prize in the short fiction category of the sixth CAM International Festival for Short Films in Cairo, Egypt, as well as the Golden Philippine Eagle Festival Director's Choice and Best Actor award for Rolando Inocencio at the third Singkuwento International Film Festival, Audience Choice prize at the Active Vista Human Rights Film Festival, among others. He also won the grand prize for "Hiwaga" in the screenplay category of the 59th Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature.

Sanchez discussed development, pre-production, production, post-production and distribution, and talked about scriptwriting, cinematography and lighting, production design, sound, music, editing and directing. Eloisa Sanchez imparted her knowledge in production management and producing films for Red Room Media Productions while FEU's resident actor and short film editor Rowi Du shared some tips and advice in his fields of expertise.
The annual project, which is facilitated by PIO head Irish Cubillan, is open to all junior high school students from the city. Among those competing this year are Kaunlaran High School, La Naval Academy, Navotas National HS, Navotas National Science HS, San Jose Academy, San Rafael Technological and Vocational HS, San Roque National HS, Tangos National HS and Tanza National HS. Only one entry per registered school will be accepted.

All members of the production team (maximum of eight students per school) must be officially enrolled in the school they are representing. A certification from the school principal must be submitted to PIO prior to production. They must also submit a written parental consent endorsed by the teacher-adviser/s and principal to PIO prior to the shoot.

The film festival, which has tourism as its theme this year, serves as a platform for the city's future filmmakers to develop and harness their craft and showcase their works, as well as a means to discover young and talented Navoteños for the city's art scholarship program. (PR)

Monday, May 7, 2018

500 College Scholarships for SY 2018-2019 given by SM.

In a simultaneous program on April 27, 2018, SM awards its College Scholarships for SY 2018-2019 to 500 senior high school graduates nationwide.

Most of this year’s chosen scholars, who belong to the first batch of K+12 graduates are children of vendors, tricycle drivers, jeepney drivers, farmers, fishermen, laborers or unemployed parents.

Among the 500 fortunate recipients of the said scholarship, 200 students are from the NCR and 300 are from the provinces including the nine scholars from Palawan.

These scholars all passed the screening process that involved a written examination, a face-to-face interview, and background validation. Most of them graduated with high honors.

Each scholar will be able to enjoy the following benefits: full tuition and miscellaneous fees; a monthly allowance; activities that will develop their character; and opportunities to work at The SM Store during their summer and Christmas breaks.

“[The] awarding of SM Scholarships, a gift from SM thru the SM Foundation, is a testament to our commitment to uplift the lives of our surrounding communities. Mr. Henry Sy, Sr., our founder strongly believes that poverty should never be a hindrance to good education,” said Maidja A. Saliente, mall manager of SM City Puerto Princesa.

The SM College Scholarship program started with the vision of SM patriarch Henry Sy, Sr.—to send one child from a less fortunate family to college. After graduation, this child should send one sibling to school and should be able to provide a better future for the family.

Starting with only 100 scholars in 1993, the SM Scholarship Program has produced 3,000 graduates to date. Now on its 25th year, the Foundation continues to provide poor yet deserving students a chance for a better future through higher education. Currently, there are 1,000 SM Scholars enrolled in the Foundation’s 110 partner colleges and universities, nationwide. (PR)

Monday, April 30, 2018

Bong Aguhar, master dancer from Palawan.

The Amazing Guys Dancers.
World's best island Palawan also produce great dancer and one of them is Manuel "Bong" Aguhar, who made waves from being a favorite in many public shows in Puerto Peincesa City, to a competitive dancer on a noon time show.
His group the former Amazing Guys is one unique dance group in the City, that gives many notable dance moves, they are famous in dancing like the world icon king of Pop Michael Jackson. After many decades in staying in the province, Bong the founder of the group decided to take up one great leap in venturing in showbiz as a dancer of course.

Bong now works in Singapore performing many signatures dance in one of the famous theme park, the Universal Studios, he still go home occasionally and encourage young ones to strive hard in dancing.

Below is my feature about him fresh from winning in dance contest on a noon time show.
From Sipet-Sipet Espesyal archives, Bandillo Ng Palawan. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Changing Partners returns to the PETA Stage this May.

Following its successful transition into film, the critically acclaimed and award-winning musical CHANGING PARTNERS is returning to the stage this May at the PETA Theater Center.

The Journey
According to multi-awarded composer and writer Vincent A. DeJesus, the book, libretto, and music of Changing Partners were inspired by his own personal stories and of his friends. When asked how long it took him to write this piece his reply was, “A lifetime.”

Changing Partners was first presented in a full-house, one-night only Stage Reading at the Virgin Labfest in July 2016. The Virgin Labfest, spearheaded by the Writers’ Bloc Inc., is a festival of new plays by emerging and established Filipino playwrights held annually at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP). The staged reading featured actors Ricky Ibe, Patricia Ismael, Giannina Ocampo, and Sandino Martin and was directed by Director Rem Zamora.

Two months after, DeJesus and Zamora came together once again to produce the full production of Changing Partners: A Torch Musical. Produced by DeJesus and the PETA Theater Center, the musical was staged at the 115-seater PETA Theater Center’s Studios in September and October 2016. Actors Agot Isidro, Jojit Lorenzo, Anna Luna, and Sandino Martin starred in the play, while DeJesus was the musical director and provided live piano accompaniment. About the same time, The Bindlestiff Studio in California, U.S.A. produced and performed the musical as part of its Tagalog Theater Festival and featured Fil-American actors. Several weeks after, DeJesus submitted the script to the Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature where it received a Best Full-Length Play award. In November and December 2016, the musical went back onstage and had another successful rerun at the PETA Theater Center Studios.

In November 2017, Changing Partners: A Torch Musical transitioned from being a theater musical to full feature film. Under the direction of blockbuster movie director, Dan Villegas, the film starred the same cast as the full musical theater production and was a film entry at the 2017 Cinema One Originals Film Festival. Changing Partners - The Movie won eight awards: Best Director (Villegas), Best Actress (Isidro), Best Actor (Lorenzo), Best Acting Ensemble (Isidro, Lorenzo, Luna, Martin), Best Editing (Marya Ignacio), Best Music (DeJesus), Audience Choice Award, and Champion Bughaw for Best Film. Because of its success and critical acclaim, Changing Partners – The Movie was given a nationwide commercial release in January 2018. The movie also released the Changing Partners – The Movie Original Soundtrack on Spotify. Produced by Star Records, select song from the musical movie were covered by Star Music artists KZ Tandingan, Jona Viray, Khalil Ramos, and Daryl Ong. In February 2018, it won big at the 34th Movie Press Club of the Philippines – Star Awards 2018, bagging five awards under the Independent Film Category: Best Film, Best Director (Villegas), Best Screenwriter (DeJesus and co-writer Lilit Reyes), Best Editing (Marya Ignacio), and Best Music (DeJesus).

A New Offering
Looking at its track record, Changing Partners seems to be moving in the fast lane. In the span of less than two years, it has impressively achieved what would normally take about a decade, or more, to reach. But the team behind this gut-wrenching, anti-romcom musical is not slowing down anytime soon. They are taking Changing Partners to another level by bringing it to a bigger stage—the 400-seater PETA-Phinma Theater.

Agot Isidro, Jojit Lorenzo, Anna Luna, and Sandino Martin are returning to reprise their roles, and Director Rem Zamora is again directing. DeJesus will be joined by cellist Poch Gutierrez to provide live music accompaniment. Another addition to the close-knit team is production designer Ben Padero, who also designed the set of PETA’s adaptation of Marsha Norman’s “Night, Mother.”

CHANGING PARTNERS: THE STAGE MUSICAL is having a two-weekend run at the PETA-Phinma Theater, PETA Theater Center on May 11-13 and 19-20, 2018. Show dates are as follows:

May 11
8:30 pm

May 12
3:00 and 7:00 pm*

May 13
3:00 and 8:00 pm

May 19
3:00 and 8:00 pm

May 20
3:00 pm

Ticket prices for all shows except May 12 (7:00 pm) are Php1200 (VIP), Php1000 (Orchestra Center), Php800 (Orchestra Sides), Php1000 (Balcony Center), and Php500 (Balcony Sides).

*The May 12 (7:00 pm) show is sponsored by the UPCM Class of 1998 as a fundraiser for the benefit of the National Children’s Hospital Pediatric Surgical and Cancer patients. Ticket prices are Php1500 (VIP), Php1300 (Orchestra Center), Php1000 (Orchestra Sides), Php1200 (Balcony Center), and Php800 (Balcony Sides).

You can book your tickets through Ticketworld (http://bit.ly/CPticketworld). You may also call or text (0945 499 1008) or send a message to the PETA Theater Center Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/PETATheaterCenter/) for inquiries and reservations. (PR)

Monday, April 23, 2018

Binondo A Tsinoy Musical Set To Open June 29

SYNERGY 88, Rebecca Chuaunsu Film Production (RCFP) and Fullhouse Asia Production Studios, Inc. proudly presents BINONDO, A TSINOY MUSICAL directed by Joel Lamangan and written by Ricky Lee with Gershom Chua and Eljay Deldoc.

BINONDO, A Tsinoy Musical’ tells the story of how LILY, a Filipina night club singer in pre-Martial Law Manila, and AH TIONG, a mainland Chinese scholar returning to Cultural Revolution-era Beijing, embark on a journey of great love and heartbreak that begins one fated, moon-lit night during the Mid-Autumn Festival of 1971 in the heart of Manila’s Chinatown.
LILY, a hopeless romantic, finally finds her unlikely great love in AH TIONG, a cynic about destiny, during this night of one of the fullest moons ever recorded and on the birthdate of Ge Lao, the Old Man Under the Moon or the Chinese Deity of Love. Vying for LILY’s heart as well is CARLOS, a local Chinese childhood friend of hers who is finally pushed to confront his feelings for her with the arrival of this stranger set on stealing her heart. A triangle centered on different ways of loving and receiving love forms the crux of this story.  
Spanning two decades and two countries, the musical explores how love overcomes even times of racial prejudice and political turmoil and endures years of waiting and absence, only to grow deeper and change the lives of everyone who dares to put their hearts on the line.

The schedule of performances are as follows: June 29 at 8pm; June 30 and July 1 at 3 and 8pm; July 6 at 8pm; July 7 and 8 at 3 and 8pm. Venue: Theatre at Solaire

BINONDO, A TSINOY MUSICAL shall feature the country’s multi-talented artists from film, TV, stage namely Shiela Valderrama Martinez and Carla Guevara Laforteza (Lily); Arman Ferrer and David Ezra (Ah Tiong); Floyd Tena and Noel Rayos (Carlos); Yela Laurel (Jasmine); Ashlee Factor (Ruby); Ima Castro (Mrs. Dela Rosa); Ana Feleo and Jennifer Villegas (Lourdes); Kay Balajadia and  Jennifer Villegas (Mrs. Chua); Dondi Ong (Mr. Chua); Russell Magno (Mr. Zhang); Elizabeth Chua (Mrs. Zhang); Jim Pebanco, Lorenz Martinez. Khalil Kaimo, Ellrica Laguardia, Rhapsody & Tuesday Vargas (Koro); Jonel Mojica (Ge Lao); Philip Deles & Ivana Billanueva (Swing);
The ensemble are as follows: Carlos Derriada, Cheeno Macaraig, Claire Borja, Daniel Cruz, Dusty Suarez, Janine Tolentino, Joseph Billeza, Joseph Puducay, Julia Chua, Paul Clark, Precious Sementilla, Rence Aviles, Randy Rey, Romcel Brinquiz, Roy Sotero, Ryan Caraan, VJ Cortel, Xander Pineda, and Zyruz Imperial

The artistic team of BINONDO, A TSINOY MUSICAL are as follows: Joel Lamangan (Director ), Rebecca Chuaunsu (Original Story / Producer), Ricky Lee, Gershom Chua, Eljay Castro Deldoc (Story / Libretto), Von De Guzman (Music), Douglas Nierras (Choreography), Joey Nombres (Light Design), Otto Hernandez (Production Design / Technical Director).

The production team are as follows: Gina T. Godinez (Creatives/ Line Production), Maricel Santos (Production Manager), Lani Tapia (Stage Manager), Rice Ramos (Asst. Production Manager), Froilan Dabalus & Christaliza Dabalus (Dance Masters), Therese Arroyo & Celine Bugcat (Associate Production Designers), Nikki Borbon, Bing Galla, Reynaldo Balaran, Henrick Jueco & Ronaldo Alim (Production Staff), Reynan Jalos, Leo Asetre, Jayson Busa, Jay-Ar Talanay Cruz (Assistant Stage Managers); Jenny Uy Estrope (Production / Marketing Coordinator); Sonny Aniceto (Graphic Artist); Christine de Los Santos, Sherry Gocheco, Hepzibeth Ting (Marketing / RCFP staff).

For tickets, call TICKETWORLD 8919999. Ticket prices: Orchestra center: PHP 2500, Orchestra side PHP 2000, Loge or gold premium side PHP 3000, Balcony center PHP 1000, Balcony side PHP 500.

For further inquiries, please contact: REBECCA CHUAUNSU 09189169357 & 09173012445.
Email: rebeccachuaunsufilmproduction@yahoo.com (PR)