Nuffnang Ads

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Vienna Boys returns to Manila this 2016.

The Vienna Boys Choir will be in Manila for a one-night only concert on November 11, 2016 at the PICC Plenary Hall as the final stop of their Asian tour this year.

The Vienna Boys' Choir is one of the oldest choirs existing in the world best known for their boy sopranos and altos based in Vienna, Austria.   For nearly five hundred years, they have been a symbol of Austria. The boys are selected mainly from Austria, but also from many other nations around the world, and individually interviewed.

Known for its exceedingly high vocal standard, the choir has worked with musicians including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Caldara, Antonio Salieri, Heinrich Isaac, Paul Hofhaimer, Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Johann Joseph Fux, Christoph Willibald Gluck, and Anton Bruckner.

The Vienna Boys Choir had its last performance in Manila back in 2004. After 12 years, they are coming back for this unforgettable music treat !!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

“Suicide Incorporated”, a play to help raise mental awareness all set to open on July 15

The Actors for Suicide, Inc.
How can a theater company help raise mental health awareness by staging a play that tackles the theme of depression, suicidal tendencies and suicide itself  ?????.

Catch Twin Bill Theater’s eye-opening production aimed to shed light and raise awareness on mental health issues to its audiences in “SUICIDE INCORPORATED”--- a 2010 tragicomedy by brilliant Off- Broadway playwright Andrew Hinderaker.

Imagine a world where a company that edits suicide notes exists. Now imagine being part of that company. SUICIDE INCORPORATED centers around a company that makes money by drafting suicide notes. The business is Hallmark gone Wall Street, turning a profit by bullishly pushing its clients to perform the unspeakable. The CEO speaks, in an advertiser’s tongue, about cornering the market by targeting those suicide victims least likely to leave notes: Men. It turns out all these men are emotional mice when it comes to discussing matters of the self.

SUICIDE INCORPORATED will be directed by Steven Conde.

Six topnotch actors coming from different theater backgrounds have bonded together to essay the pivotal roles in this dark comedy exploring the perils of depression, coping with loss, guilt and redemption,

HANS ECKSTEIN shall play the role of Jason, the newest hire of Legacy Letters, a company that prides itself in doing just that. He has an impressive back catalog of birthday cards 
JEREMY DOMINGO plays Scott, the CEO and owner of Legacy Letters.

BIBO REYES plays the role of Tommy, Jason's younger brother who, much like Jason, has some secrets of his own.

 MAKO ALONSO and GEORGE SCHULZE shall alternately play the role of Norm, Jason's first client.

CHINO VEGUILLAS shall play the role of Perry, Scott's ever loyal employee and the office kiss-ass.  

Produced by Twin Bill Theater, the company aims to produce shows that explore and challenge issues faced by today’s society. As its first official play for their first season, the founders led by theater professionals Joseph and Francis Matheu also noted that their goals are also focused on stirring up the public’s interest to rediscover, love and preserve our historical, cultural and spiritual values through theater; and to make quality, thought-provoking productions more accessible to the non-theater going public.

The artistic team of “Suicide Incoporated” are as follows: Steven Conde (Director), Ed Lacson (Set Design), Jay Pangilinan (Sound Design), and Joseph Matheu (Lighting Design).

The production team includes: Francis Matheu (Production Manager), Leoren Violan (Stage Manager and Graphic Design), Toots Tolentino (Publicity), Juliene Mendoza (Photography), and Kathleen Francisco (Marketing).

The playdates of “Suicide Incorporated” are as follows:
JULY 15 – FRI –   8 PM
JULY 16 – SAT – 8 PM
JULY 17 – SUN – 3 PM
JULY 22 – FRI –   8 PM
JULY 23 – SAT – 8 PM
JULY 24 – SUN – 3 PM
JULY 29 -  FRI --- 8 PM
JULY 30 – SAT --- 3 PM / 8 PM
JULY 31 -  SUN --- 3 PM

Venue: The P.A.R.C (Performing Arts and Recreation Center)  494 Lt. Artiaga Street, San Juan
Advisory: Recommended for ages 15+ due to strong language, and sexual references.
Running time: 1 hour and 20 minutes with no intermission

Artist ? Doctor ? Engineer ? Businessman ? Lawyer ? Teacher ? Writer ? Man ? Woman ? Child ? Mother ? Father ? Grandparent ?

Mental health awareness is for everyone.  It's time to talk about it  And, it’s never too late to show you care !!!!!

Now stop imagining and get your tickets at, 0927-460-4652, or 0916-775-9374
Suicide Incorporated is presented by special arrangement with Playscripts inc. (

To know more about Twin Bill, you find us on Facebook at or visit our website,: www.twinbilltheater.comFor updates, follow our social media account (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram): @twinbilltheater. (PR)

Unli check-ups for P500

How far can your P500 go when visiting a doctor’s office for check-ups? With MediCard Health Check Card, you can get unlimited consultations with doctors plus discounts on laboratory tests for only P500!

The MediCard Health Check Card is an offering from MediCard Philippines, a leading HMO provider in the country, to help Filipinos get regular health check-ups and preventive health care services at an affordable price point. “MediCard believes in the importance of a regular doctor’s visit to maintain good health. However, some families can’t afford consultations and lab tests. That’s why we offer the MediCard Health Check Card as a smart way for Pinoys to take charge of their health without taking a heavy toll on their budget,” says Luis Montoya, SVP for Strategic Planning of MediCard Philippines.

For a one-time payment of P500, MediCard Health Check cardholders are entitled to a one-year unlimited consultations with MediCard primary care physicians, including general practitioners, internists, family doctors, pediatricians, and ob-gynaecologists. Consultations with MediCard specialists, like ENT doctors, ophthalmologists and rehab medicine physicians, are available for a flat rate of only P350.

MediCard Health Check cardholders can also avail themselves of the annual physical examination (APE), which covers comprehensive physical exam, complete blood count (CBC), urinalysis, fecalysis, and chest X-ray. In addition, they can get a 20% discount on all laboratory and diagnostics procedures.

All MediCard Health Check Card benefits may be availed from Mondays thru Fridays and by appointment at the MediCard free-standing clinic where the card was purchased. There is no age limitation and no pre-acceptance medical exam to avail of the card. Membership is good for one (1) year.

To apply for a MediCard Health Check Card, simply visit or call MediCard free-standing clinics at the MediCard Lifestyle Center, King’s Court II, McKinley Hill, Centris, Fairview, Ortigas, Alabang, Imus, Sta. Rosa, Calamba, SM Clark, Cebu and Sta. Lucia. For more information, go to (PR)

Let The River Rest, An International Film Festival in Puerto Princesa City.

On July 1, a bus full of artists & filmmakers will close the Puerto Princesa Underground River for three days. During those days, they will try to sell 3,600 passes to the river by driving from North to South of Mainland Palawan and continuously upload videos of performances at stopovers and collaborations with the locals on Instagram to encourage buyers and Palawenyos to join the #PositiveValues Instagram video contest that can make them win US$3600 worth of Palawan adventure or Php360,000 film grant.

With a purchase of US$30 or Php1500 and not going to the river, one not only becomes a lifetime member of and be eligible to participate in all future events and contests of the organization but will also be able to sponsor one Palawan artist to the organization. (US$10 or Php500 only for Palawan residents until July 3.)

This is the #LetTheRiverRest Int'l Film Festival & New Media Convergence 2016. A project on PerCent Integrated Marketing Communications through its IsDa Revolution (Indie Support and Development Advocacy) Project in cooperation with, The Palawan Heritage Center,, Palawan Council for Sustainable Development & the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River & National Park.

This year’s proceeds will be used as seed money to build the FilipiNow Theater, a state-of-the-art theater by the Underground River that will exclusively screen content and exhibit works produced by the members of IsDa Revolution. (PR)

Monday, June 27, 2016

The 3rd World Premieres Film Festival all set on June 29 - July10

The Film Development Council Philippines in cooperation with the Cinematheque Centre Manila proudly presents the third World Premieres Film Festival (WPFF)  slated from June 29 up to July 10, 2016.

The WPFF celebrates the power and magic of film by showcasing the works of film directors from across the globe. Featuring a dazzling array of human narratives, cultural diversities, and social issues, the festival provides a unique opportunity for filmmakers to reach new audiences in the Philippines, and launch their international premieres in Asia’s rapidly growing film climate.
This year, over 60 international films will be shown at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, as well as partner venues: SM Megamall, SM North EDSA, Greenbelt 3, the Shang Cineplex, and Uptown Cinemas. Films will be shown at a festival price of P100 at all venues, unless indicated otherwise. 
The Festival’s 12-day duration kicks off on June 29 – 3pm at the Cinematheque Centre Manila, with the Opening Film premiere of the newly restored classic, “Pagdating sa Dulo” by Ishmael Bernal. The film features the legendary actress Rita Gomez and Vic Vargas.
At 7 p.m., a variety of local and international performances will take place to give audiences a sneak peek into the films lined up for the WPFF’s newest edition.
The different sections that will be featured in the festival are as follows: Main Competition, Filipino New Cinema, Intercontinental, Vietnam - Country of Honor, ASEAN Skies, Spotlight: China, and many more.

A dazzling array of international premieres featuring human narratives, cultural diversities, and social issues from around the globe. With the acclaimed foreign directors in attendance. Awards to be given by an international jury shall include the Grand Festival Prize and Grand Jury Prize, Best Performance by an Actor, Best Performance by an Actress, Best Artistic Contribution, Technical Grand Prize, and Best Ensemble Performance.
The Main Competition Gala Premieres will take place at Shang Cineplex, Uptown Cinema and Greenbelt 3, followed by a Q&A with the Director (free admission).

Come and #SupportLocal at the Philippine premieres of six films that helps Filipino filmmakers screen to local and international audiences. A special jury of Philippine cinema experts will award these six contemporary Filipino films with prizes including Best Picture (1st and 2nd place), Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Musical Score, Best Sound Engineering, Best Production Design, Best Performances, and Best Supporting Roles.
The Filipino New Cinema Gala Premieres will take place at SM Megamall and SM North Edsa, followed by a Q&A with the Director and Cast (by invitation only).

Highlighting the wealth of cultural diversity across different continents, and narrating the human condition through the medium of cinema, all countries outside of the Southeast Asian region are in the running for the “Intercontinental Prize for Best Film.”

With films hailing from the ten member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, this exhibit aims to create a regional community of active cultural exchange. Their close proximities and shared history gives each member state much common ground. Films will compete for the “ASEAN Skies Prize for Best Film.”

A WPFF first ! The Country of Honor highlights the cinema of particular countries around the world to honor their filmmaking talent here in the Philippines. Our inaugural Country of Honor is Vietnam: eight contemporary Vietnamese films will screen throughout the Festival, with each Vietnamese director taking part in the Festival, roundtable discussions, attending media functions during their stay, and representing Vietnam at each gala event.
From beyond The Great Wall and beyond ! Join us as we screen new and critically acclaimed Chinese films: blockbusters, love stories, action...  and an aupair. Prosperity to all who watch!

Timeless Philippine films, digitally scanned and restored, provide a wonderful look into our cinema’s past, meanwhile carrying a torchlight into our future. Catch a sneak peek into the budding collection of the National Film Archives of the Philippines (NFAP).

An illuminating exhibition of foreign films which have garnered success and critical acclaim at other international film festivals around the world.

Cine Verde raises awareness of environmental issues and aims to incite societal change societal through the power of cinema. Presented in partnership with Connect4Climate (C4C), a global partnership program based at the World Bank, and global campaign, Film4Climate, committed to spreading climate change knowledge through cinema and related creative industries, and to finding ways to mitigate the environmental impact of film production.

Featuring a special selection of rare short silent films, these timelessly whimsical clips from France’s past will lend the Festival a little extra European je ne sais quoi.

JULY 1 --- 11 a.m.
International Film Conference (IFC)
Venue: Casino Español de Manila
Free and open to the public, the IFC aims to impart global film industry perspectives to everyone from those in the Filipino film industry, to students alike.  Focused on the topic “Behind the Scenes: a 360 degree view of the film industry”, speakers includes top-tier film industry leaders from around the globe such as Katharina Böttinger (Sales and Technical Department of the European Film Market), Edgar Tejerero (President of SM Lifestyle Entertainment Inc.), Attorney Ted Roper (partner lawyer of Freeman Freeman & Smiley, LLP, based in Los Angeles), and Hyong-Joon Kim (Korean film producer).

JULY 1 --- 11 a.m.
Mini International Film Expo (IFX)
Venue: Cinematheque Centre Manila
A spin-off to 2015’s International Film Expo (IFX), this year a Mini IFX will accompany the IFC. Featuring a short and sweet selection of the industry’s latest and greatest technologies, a select handful of exhibitors included RSVP, CMB, Arrays Technology, and Black Magic will digitally dazzle.

Director Roundtables and Q & A Panels
Venue: Cinematheque Centre Manila ( ASEAN Library )
Host: Mike  Sano
A Vietnamese filmmaker will have panel discussion at 2 p.m.
A Main Competition filmmaker will have director round table discussion at 3 p.m.

Calling all interested in ASEAN cinema! The FILM ASEAN Library - or “Knowledge Management Centre” - is Asia’s newest hub for ASEAN cinema culture, creating access to books, magazines, and a rich variety of resource materials graciously contributed by the ten member states of the FILM ASEAN—Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Outdoor screenings will bring a new cinematic experience to the festival! The outdoor courtyard within the Cinematheque complex is the perfect spot for cinema lovers to sit down and catch a flick, sipping refreshments in a more casual atmosphere than inside the darkness of the theatre.

Films to be shown include: French Silent films, environmental films in the parallel Cine Verde film section, and Filipino Classics.

Celebrate the best of international cinema this June to July !!!!

For more information, visit, email, call (02) 256 9908, or check out our official Facebook page:

To join in the social media conversation, use our official hashtags: #enjoythescene #wpff


Learn #HowToBreakup in Single/Single episode 7.

Joee and Joey, played by Shaina Magdayao and Matteo Guidicelli, deal with break-up blues.
Heartaches and pain are inevitable in every relationship. But such experiences impart valuable lessons and opportunities to help us become better individuals.

Yup, break-ups tend to make people melodramatic but the 7th episode of Single/Single season 2 goes beyond the drama and takes viewers into a whirlwind of emotions. Be ready to laugh and cry as the lead characters, Joee and Joey, played by Shaina Magdayao and Matteo Guidicelli respectively, struggle with different kinds of break-ups.

In the previous episode, Joee finally admitted to herself that her feelings have waned for Steve, JC Santos’ character.  Steve tries hard to turn a blind eye on all the signs that their relationship is doomed; he continues to woo her.  But Joee has finally mustered the courage to tell the truth – she and Steve have to break-up.  How will he take it? Will he continue to fight for love or will he let her go?

Joey, on the other hand, finds himself often arguing with his mom, Bianca, played by Cherie Gil, when it comes to managing Bistro Biajo. These little fights are starting to impinge on their mother-son relationship. Deep inside, both know that their partnership has to end but who will have the courage to break-up first?

Join your favorite Single/Single characters as they confront themselves and their relationships in learning #HowToBreakup. Don’t miss out on this inspiring episode of Single/Single, the award-winning series of PhilStarTV and Cinema One. 

Catch the show every Sunday, 10PM on Cinema One with replays on Wednesdays, 8:30pm and Saturdays, 9pm.  Past episodes can also be viewed on For more updates, visit and  follow @SingleSingleC1 on Twitter and Instagram.  (PR)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Study shows, 60% of Heart Patients fail to comply with their medications.

For patients with cardiovascular disorders, adherence to medication goes a long way in ensuring that their health is in its tiptop condition. However, 60 percent of these patients are not complying with the medication as prescribed by their doctors, according to a study.

Published in the American Heart Association, the study revealed that non adherence to medication remains to be a major problem for cardiovascular patients, often leading to poor clinical outcomes, frequent hospitalizations, and increased mortality.

To prevent the worst consequences of heart disease, expert says that religious compliance to medication should be a top priority—starting from curbing the risk factors associated with the disorder.

“One of the risk factors for developing heart disease is having high blood cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of formation of plaques and atherosclerosis,” said Dr. Amado Nazal, medical director of Pharex HealthCorp. “If our patients will comply with their medication from the moment their doctors instructed them to lower their cholesterol levels, then we will be able to keep their condition from worsening.”
He added, “We believe that many patients fail to adhere to their medication because of the costs that come with it. However, medication need not be expensive. This is why at Pharex, we provide optimum health assistance to these patients through maintenance medicines that are not only of high quality but also affordable.”

Pharex HealthCorp., the most prescribed brand of medicines, offers quality maintenance medicines that are designed to help curb high cholesterol levels at an affordable price.

With Pharex’s 15-day Compliance Pouch for Cholesterol, patients will be able to comply with their medication to prevent tendencies of having chronic cardiovascular diseases.

“Fat as a result of bad cholesterol can build up on the walls of your heart’s arteries, which suppresses the smooth blood circulation that’s crucial to our body system’s functions,” Nazal said.

When arteries are narrowed down or blocked, the heart will not be able to pump blood to the other parts of the body, Nazal added. “Too much cholesterol weakens our heart, therefore putting to risk our lives.”

“With the new Pharex 15-day Compliance Pouch for Cholesterol, we are assuring patients of three things: first, they can conveniently bring their medicine whenever and wherever they go as it is packed in a resealable foil pouch. Second, it’s affordable and accessible to leading drugstores nationwide.Lastly, healthcare professionals proved and tested the effectiveness of the medicine, making it a top choice for people who have high cholesterol levels,” said Nazal.

Nazal concluded, “Failure to comply with medication could cost our lives more than we realize. Now that the new Compliance Pouch for Cholesterol is here, patients will be more able to improve the quality of their lives without the added costs.”

The new Pharex Compliance Pouch is available in all leading drugstores. For more information, please contact 4338088 (local 820).(PR)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

On its 20th Year, a newer and bolder Al Gatmaitan is now ready.

Al Gatmaitan
Every artist have dreams to pursue, but it is how one conquers those dreams that make a difference. Over the last couple of months, noted award-winning actor and classical / crossover artist AL GATMAITAN was quietly working on a dream project to further hone his craft in music and theater.

To further widen his horizons, Al Gatmaitan embarked on a major decision --- a bold move that he has taken very seriously in the forthcoming  production of Linda Faigao-Hall’s “THE FEMALE HEART” under the direction of Banaue Miclat-Janssen for the UP Playwrights’ Theater

Set in the late 1980's, the play follows Adelfa and her elder brother Anghel’s struggles as resident of the infamous mountain of garbage popularly known as Smokey Mountain. Confronted by extreme poverty and her brother's ailing health, Adelfa agrees to become a mail-order bride in the United States. 

When queried by Al’s peers about this challenging job as Anghel, he was straightforward to share his point of view and said that "In an actor's career path, it does not happen all the time when a role that will be much more challenging is offered. From film, television and theater, roles vary from age to genre. And of late, we decided to take ten giant steps to test our mettle in this straight play and not a musical. Apart from immersing ourselves into the role, we have also been simultaneously prepared our physical well-being through a strict diet and workouts in the gym. The rigidity has been getting tougher each and every day. Of late, rehearsals are even much more intense and here’s hoping that when the play opens on July 1, the theater audiences will like and love this one role of a lifetime I have taken. It's really going to be an exciting year for me. To God be the Glory ! ”
AL GATMAITAN is a much sought-after theatre, film, and television actor, as well as, a crossover artist who excels in all musical genres such as pop, musical theatre and classical. Al began his training at the UP College of Music, majoring in Voice Performance. He continued further studies in Italy for three years, joining Spazio Teatro and Teatro Calabria, working with renowned masters in theatre arts including Italian soprano Maria Francavilla from the Conservatory of Torrefranca 'Vibo Valentia.'

He won second place with distinction at the First Filipino European Pop Song Festival in Reggio Calabria, Italy.

In 2014, Al attended the Music and Performing Arts Profession Summer Program at the New York University Steinhardt School of Music, New York USA under the mentorship of tenor, Michael Ricciardone, while continuing to work with Juilliard- trained mezzo soprano Clarissa Ocampo.     

In theatre productions, to name a few, Al played the Tenor for Philippine Opera Company's Master Class (under Mr. Michael Williams) and he has been part of the successful runs of Ang Bagong Harana under the direction of Mr. Floy Quintos, and the latter's Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini 2015 (under Mr. Dexter Santos). He covered as Roger Davis  for NineWorksTheatrical Production of Rent (under Mr. Robbie Guevarra), collaborated with Tanghalang Pilipino for Banaag at Sikat (under Ms. Jose Estrella) and Noli Me Tangere 2011 (under Mr. Audie Gemora) where he was nominated as Best Male Featured in a Musicale for PhilStage's Gawad Buhay Awards. Last 2013, he played Kuya Boy for Bit by Bit's production "Maxie the Musicale," (under Mr. Dexter Santos).
He has been nominated for Aliw Awards' Best New Male Classical Performer and Best Actor in a Musical categories. In 2015, Al was blessed to win the Aliw Award for Best Classical Performer.

Later this year, Al will also present his collaborative work with noted composer Jesse Lucas. 

Let's wish Al all the best. After all, two decades of creative energies in his body of work truly deserve a newer, fresher and a bolder act.

Go for it Al !!!!!

(THE FEMALE HEART runs from July 1 – 10, 2016 at the Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theater, University of the Philippines Diliman. For tickets, sponsorships, and show buying inquiries call Samanta Clarin (09277406124) or Camille Guevara (09178239531). You may also contact Dulaang UP Office at 926-1349, 433-7840, 981-8500 local 2449 or email dulaangupmarketing at (PR)

Spotlight is on for MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016.

Gary V and son Gab, Jadine (James and Nadine)
The Philippines will once again make its mark in the global entertainment scene as local and international pop icons gather together to perform in one of this year’s biggest music event, the MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016. Presented by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB), this event will be on June 24, 2016 at the SM Mall of Asia Concert Grounds in Pasay City.

With the theme “Can’t Stop Movin!”, the MTV Music Evolution 2016 presents the amazing evolution of pop music and its dance influences that will definitely keep the fans moving all night long.

Headlining this year’s MTV Music Evolution is iconic international pop band and prolific hit-maker One Republic, with L.A. grown electric dance trio Far East Movement Billboard Hot 100 Artist, American singer-songwriter Bebe Rexha and one of Korea’s favorite K-pop idol female groups Apink.

Also sharing the stage are iconic local artists headed by Pinoy pop superstar father and son tandem Gary V. featuring Gab Valenciano and Filipino pop darlings and favorite teen love team, James Reid and Nadine Lustre. Hosting the event will be MTV Asia VJs Alan Wong and Hanli Hoefer along with MTV Pinoy VJs Yassi Pressman and Andre Paras.
Bebe Rexha, One Republic, Far East Movement and Apink. 
Now on its 2nd year, MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 is expected to gather thousands of fans from different parts of the globe in a grand one-night only live celebration of pop music like never before. The Philippines will also be highlighted in a global live telecast reaching an international audience of more than three-quarters of a billion households in over 160 countries under the MTV World Stage global series.

The MTV Music Evolution Manila 2016 proves once again that the Philippines is not only a premier global destination for arts, culture, leisure and adventure, but is also one of the world’s top destinations for world-class entertainment.

To know more, visit or (PR)

Bianca Ilustre, Sipet-Sipet Espesyal, Bandillo Ng Palawan Dec 3-9, 2001

She was once a news maker in Palawan, her public image as the first outspoken, and advocate for LGBT earn her the reputation as the first gay Palawenyo who undergo knife operation to change his gender, many young gays aspire to become her especially her ala-Cinderella story in achieving the beauty that envy even by women.

But aside from being the liberated LGBT persona in Puerto Princesa, her celebrity status also involve her in many stories that also land in this colorful newspaper, her whirlwind love affairs, those silly cat fights with other young gays, shows that she headlined, and her many trips abroad.

Bianca as of now is based in China wherein she work for a certain hotel, she still go home in Puerto Princesa City where her family is still residing.

here is the clip of my first interview with Bianca aka Geraldine.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Darren Wants You To Be With Him

Darren Espanto, the guy with amazing pipes and the so-called Total Performer, seems to have everything going on for him at such a young age. Though he won as a runner up at The Voice Kids, there was no stopping him from reaching the top after the competition. A Platinum award for his debut album “Darren”, 3 #1 singles, countless awards from prestigious award giving bodies in the Philippines and concerts and gigs left and right are just some of Darren’s achievements. Add to that, he was noticed by international artists Nicki Minaj, Ashton Kutcher and Fantasia Barrino for his viral videos of him singing in a radio station bus showcasing his powerful vocals. Flying from his hometown Calgary, Canada to Manila for a dream paid off.

He knows he wouldn’t be there without the support of his fans- the Darrenatics. That is why for his sophomore album, released just in time he celebrates his 15th birthday, he wants them to still be with him with the album title “Be With Me”.

“I want to take you guys along my journey as an artist, as a musician and I just wanna express myself through music. Since music is my passion, I just wanna share what talent God gave me,” Darren said.

With top-notch producers Kiko Guevarra, Jungee Marcelo, Jay-R, Kiko Salazar and a line-up of international and top Filipino composers, the standards of this sets apart from his previous debut album.

“It’s a bit different from my debut album that it’s more mature. The recording process for this album was actually a lot of fun. I got to work with a lot of very talented songwriters and each song has a different message and a different sound to it,” Darren said.

The first track from the album “7 Minutes” written by international composers Cimo Frankel, Jochem Fluitsma, Mark van Tijn, Ramon Marco debuted at #1 on iTunes Philippines on its first day of release and in Darren’s words, “about having just little time to show how much you care for that person who is about to leave.”

“Starlight”, written by Singaporean composer Amir Masoh (Jacky Cheung, Ziana Zain), likewise topped iTunes Philippines Singles Chart on its first day of release.

“It’s about living in the moment and having just one life to live. It’s kind of like a “YOLO” you-only-live-once anthem, so it’s pretty fun, you could dance to it, it’s EDM. It’s a great song to listen to as well,” Darren said.

Another single “Parachute” was penned by Berlin-based Filipino composer Jeffrey Abrego and international composer Xavier Schmid and according to Darren “talks about just letting go and living in the moment. Just being free and doing what you wanna do and doing what you love.”

This also signals his growth as an artist having composed 2 songs in the album: “Hanggang Hi Hello” and “Home”.

“I actually wrote two of the songs on this which is really really different for me because I’ve always been so hesitant with sharing the songs I compose, but now, I guess I was confident enough to share it and now it’s in my upcoming album. I wrote “Hanggang Hi Hello” originally when I was eleven but then I changed some of the lyrics to fit my age now. And then “Home” talks about just wanting to be home…and it’s a ballad. It’s actually one of my favorite compositions, I’d say,” Darren said.

Other tracks to watch out are “Alam” by multi-awarded composer Jungee Marcelo, “Be With Me” (Kiko Salazar), “Surrender” (Jay R, Flavamatikz of Q-York), “My Baby & Me” (Allan Eshuijs, Marco Rakascan, Maruja Retana Fransen) and “Talking Bout Love” (Kris Coutinho, Ricardo Burgrust).

Darren considers doing the album “Be With Me” a learning experience.

“I got to learn more techniques in “Be With Me” and I got tips actually from each of the song writers that I worked with. And I guess I developed a new sound as well. So that’s how I developed in this album,” Darren said.

Join Darren as he continues his musical journey which with his talent will span for years.

“Be With Me” is now out through digital downloads and streaming via Spinnr, iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify and VEVO and in CDs at Astroplus and Astrovision outlets.

Catch Darren at his major concert entitled “D Total Experience” on June 25, 8pm at the Kia Theater. With special guests, Jed Madela, Maja Salvador and G-Force. Call Ticketnet at 911-5555 for tickets. (PR)

And The Best Adobo is....

The Oinkery’s Pugon Smoked Pork Adobo won 1st prize in the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge.
How much do you love your Adobo?
In celebration of the cultural gastronomic heritage that is the Adobo, NutriAsia’s Datu Puti put Pinoys to task in finding and feting the best adobo recipes at the recent Datu Puti Adobo Challenge held last Saturday, June 11, at the Mercato Centrale food market in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Co-presented with Mercato Central and Our Awesome Planet, The Datu Puti Adobo Challenge was part of the thrust to take the Datu Puti Adobo Movement a step further this 2016. Launched in 2015, the Datu Puti Adobo Movement was created to push for Adobo to be our pambansang ulam. It is a movement that hits close to home because Adobo is a dish that is as personal, as it is national. Each household has its own signature Adobo, and the shared flavor defines families, identifies us as Filipinos, and boosts us as a nation. This event is also supported by partners Philippine Culinary Heritage Movement (PCHM) and the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP).

The push for Adobo has reached much acclaim and has even been echoed by efforts in Congress. In fact, Bohol First District Representative Rene Relampagos filed House Bill 3926 in 2014, which sought to formally declare it as the national dish. The Datu Puti Adobo Movement has drawn support for the bill through a petition since the launching of the advocacy in June 2015.
The Adobo Squad.
The Adobo Challenge
To get people more involved in the Datu Puti Adobo Movement this 2016, the advocacy group mounted the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge and gathered Mercato Centrale’s veteran home-based cooks to create their own special Adobo dish. Participating food vendors of Mercato Centrale prepared adobo dishes using any type of meat and vegetable, and were marinated in or cooked with at least two of the three main Datu Puti products: vinegar, soy sauce, and patis (fish sauce). The top 14 entries were selected based on various criteria, including: creativity of concept, which looks at the story behind the dish as well as originality, branding and cooking technique; innovation, noting the use of unique special ingredients and Datu Puti products; and Philippine culinary heritage, including how it adopts and represents regional cooking styles.

Mercato Centrale was truly the right venue to celebrate this culinary heritage and mount the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge. The Mercato Centrale food fair is the go-to destination of urban foodies. Finding its home on 7th avenue and 25th street (across The Forum and in front of the “Between the Lines” art mural) in the heart of the BGC business district, this fab food fair happening every Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 3 a.m. has earned the disctinction of being a hub of culinary experiences. It is a venue for both comfort food cravings and fresh gastronomic finds all prepped by budding food entrepreneurs. During the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge, some select Mercato vendors added Adobo to their usual fare, and the foodies were all in for awesome renditions of the national comfort fave.

The Winning Adobo, Atbp.
Hosted by a familiar foodie himself, Tonipet Gaba, the feast was made even more festive with musical performances by homegrown talents UpDharma Down and Ebe Dancel. It was truly a treat to see both culinary and entertainment talents back up the Adobo initiative. As guests were treated to aromatic flavors and local OPM, Pinoy pride was truly in the air.

Among the participants, the Top 3 among the entries wowed the crowd with their inspired versions of the dish. Based on criteria that took into account taste, presentation, story, and heart, three Mercato vendors were named as the winners of the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge. And based on on-the-spot voting by the Mercato foodies, one was hailed as the People’s Choice.

The Oinkery's receive the Datu Puti Adobo Challenge Grand Prize from Gretchen King, Datu Puti Sr. Brand Manager.
The big winners of the night were:
First place: The Oinkery

DISH NAME: Pugon-smoked Pork Adobo
DESCRIPTION: Pork shoulder pugon-smoked for 8 hours, glazed with a rich Cebu-style adobo sauce and garnished with fresh manggang hilaw
Inspired by Cebu’s method of cooking lechon, The Oinkery roasts their pork meat inside a traditional pugon giving it that distinct smoky taste. Matthew combines the finished product with his sister’s Cebu-style adobo sauce and garnishes it with fresh green mangoes on the side. Having been slow-cooked for a total of eight hours, the meat is guaranteed to be soft and juicy with every bite.
Adobong Laing Pinangat
Second place: Dayrit'sDISH NAME: Pork Adobong Laing Pinangat

DESCRIPTION: Two Filipino favorites, Adobo and Laing, in one unique and flavorful dish.
Pork Adobong Laing Pinangat – that’s two of the famous Filipino favorites, adobo and laing, combined in one extraordinary dish. Dayrit’s 40 years of experience in creating sumptuous heritage home-cooked meals is very evident with their entry for The Adobo Challenge 2016. According to Chef Miguel Dayrit, their version of the classic adobo recipe is different from the rest because it combines the strong flavors of two Pinoy viands to create an outstanding dish. This Bicolandia inspired concoction is a fusion of the creamy, hot and spicy and the sour and salty trademarks of laing and adobo respectively.
Babi Kekap Adobo Nyonya
Third place: Bakmi Nyonya
DISH NAME: Babi Kekap Adobo Nyonya
DESCRIPTION: Classic Filipino adobo infused with Indonesian spices. Served with Sambal.

Lucy of Bakmi Nyonya, one of the well-known food vendors in Mercato Centrale, reinvents the Pinoy classic adobo and incorporates her Indonesian-style of cooking to come up with a unique entry to the Adobo Challenge 2016. This delicate pork adobo treat is mixed with secret Indonesian spices, cooked in soy sauce and vinegar and served with the classic sambal.
Seafood Adobo
People’s Choice Award: Lariza's
DISH NAME: Seafood Adobo
DESCRIPTION: A mix of crab, shrimp and mussels cooked adobo style and topped with cheese.

Lariza’s, another well-known food vendor in Mercato Centrale shares their expertise in creating a unique dish for the Adobo Challenge 2016. Their very own “Seafood Adobo” is a mixture of mussels, prawns and crabs stirred in a mixture of vinegar and soy sauce, garlic, onion, pepper and finished off with cheese on top to add a creamy, tangy taste. Tess Gonzales, the proud owner of Lariza’s knew that her opponents would stick to the usual pork or chicken adobo, so she decided to come up with something edgy. With her “Seafood Adobo”, she hopes to motivate Filipinos to be more daring and “adobofy” fresh catch from the sea as an alternative to the usual adobo recipes.

All Adobo winners were awarded start-up funds in cash, so they could include their winning dishes in the regular Mercato menu. The People’s Choice awardee also received P3,000 worth of Datu Puti goods.

With these latest initiatives and the warm response of urban foodies, the Datu Puti Adobo Movement has definitely made strides in rallying more people behind the nation’s ulam of choice. Interested parties may still support the Datu Puti Adobo Movement by signing the petition at (PR)