“Fate Smiles on Mark Oblea”


As a contestant on Pinoy Boyband Superstar, Mark Oblea was called the “Kwelang Bad Boy ng Bacoor.” But while it’s true that he got into his fair share of trouble when he was younger, he isn’t all bad. The truth is, under his leather jacket and tough demeanor beats the heart of a responsible, softhearted young man. 

Case in point : when Mark was eliminated during the grand finals of the show, his first thought wasn’t for himself or the opportunity he lost. It was for his family. His burning desire to give his mother and siblings a better life was the main reason he joined the competition in the first place. “Sila talaga ang nasa isip ko the whole time na lumalaban ako”, Mark says.

His thoughts also went to his mother who had been a struggling single parent. Mark promised her he’ll take on the responsibility of being the breadwinner for their family. It was then that Mark decided to establish a showbiz career. He believed doing so was the fastest way to secure his family’s future. However, finding success as a performer proved to be harder than he thought it would be. Mark went on many auditions but he always came away empty-handed. He also performed whenever and wherever he could, booking gigs at town fiestas and the like.

Mark also tried his luck at an open auditions for reality shows and talent searches. Eventually he realized he might have to give up on his showbiz dream to seek his fortune in a different industry. As much as he wanted to become a performer, Mark could no longer ignore the fact that his family needed him. “Dumating ako sa point na gusto ko na mag-quit sa pag try sa pag-aartista kasi hindi kami stable financially. Sinabi rin ng nanay ko sa akin na baka hindi para sa akin ang showbiz. Hindi naman kami nagkaroon ng intense na away about it, pero ang sakit sa akin na umabot na sa ganun, na kinailangan na niya akong sabihan ng ganun. Pero alam kong tama siya.”

Despite the challenges, Mark chose to hold on to the value of education. A graduate of De La Salle University Dasmariñas, where he studied Hotel and Restaurant Management, Mark applied as a flight attendant. Thankfully, just as he was about to turn his back on showbiz forever, fate suddenly smiled upon him. “Sinabi ko sa Mom ko na maghahanap na lang ako ng ibang trabaho, kaya nag-apply na ako sa PAL. Tapos bigla kong napanood yung commercial para sa Pinoy Boyband Superstar,” he recalls.

But because he himself had started to feel beaten down by all the times he had been rejected, Mark didn’t jump at the chance to audition for the show. He hemmed and hawed about it for a while until he decided to ask God what he should do. He prayed for a sign.

“At that time, yung kagustuhan kong pumasok sa showbiz medyo wala na. Hindi na ako kasing eager ng dati dahil ilang beses na akong na-reject. Sabi ko sa sarili ko noon, ‘Ayoko na. Mag-pa-PAL na lang ako.’ Pero naisip ko rin kasi na sayang kung hindi ko susubukan. Eh kaso hindi ko naabutan yung audition sa Alabang, and sabi nila yun na daw yung last. So nagdasal ako. Sabi ko kay Lord, ‘Kung para po sa akin ito, magkakaroon pa po ng isa pang audition.’ Lo and behold, a few days later Mark heard there would be another open audition for Pinoy Boyband Superstar at the Lucky Chinatown Mall. “Nagulat ako,” he says of that moment. “Sabi ko, ito na yung sign na hinahanap ko. Kaya nagpunta na ako.”

Mark braved a thunderstorm to go all the way to Binondo to try his luck one last time. When he got to the Lucky Chinatown Mall, he was wet from head to toe, so he freshened up in a restroom first. But just before his audition, he decided to approach it differently this time around. “Yung way na nag-audition ako hindi na katulad nung dati,” he says. “Kung kausapin ko yung staff parang tambay lang ako. Nung pinakanta nila ako, kinanta ko yung ‘Simpleng Tulad Mo.’ Pinasayaw din nila ako, so sayaw naman ako. Pero sa totoo lang, hindi na ako kasing gigil nung dati. Chill na lang ako.”

Mark’s nonchalance may have caught the staff’s eye, because soon after he got home, they told him he made it to the next round. Instead of jumping up and down with excitement, Mark considered skipping it. He didn’t want to set himself up for further disappointment in case he didn’t make the cut. But after a close friend gave him a pep talk, he went ahead and auditioned for the show’s judges—Aga Muhlach, Sandara Park, Vice Ganda and Yeng Constantino. The rest, as they say, is history.

When Mark didn’t make it into the group that was eventually named BoybandPH, disappointment, fear, and yes, a little bit of envy threatened to swallow him whole. But he got over it when he realized how fortunate he was to have made it as far as he did.

“Nakaramdam ako ng disappointment, and siyempre natakot din ako kasi hindi ko alam kung anong mangyayari sa akin. Eventually naging happy ako sa mga nakapasok. Deserving naman sila. Saka nung binalikan ko lahat, naalala ko na ang hiningi ko lang kay Lord sa simula nung competition was makapasok sa Top 12. Eh higit pa doon ang naabot ko. Nung na-realize ko yun, OK na, nawala na yung sakit. Natanggap ko na yung nangyari.” 

That paved the way for other things to come his way. Immediately the day after the Pinoy Boyband Superstar finale, Mark found himself in meetings with talent management Cornerstone Entertainment. Mark has since done two shows for Dreamscape which gave him his first official TV breaks : Wansapanataym titled My Hair Lady and a primetime hit teleserye My Dear Heart both were in triangle with Loisa Andalio and Jameson Blake. “Forever ako magiging grateful kay Sir Deo and buong Dreamscape family sa tiwala na binigay nila”. After airing of both soaps in July 2017, Mark spent months in honing his music which is his first love. He underwent trainings in vocals, guitars and songwriting. Alongside acting workshops under Nicco Manalo and PETA’s Dudz Teraña.

Mark has high hopes for his music. “Gusto kong dumating din ako sa point na kapag narinig ng mga tao yung intro pa lang ng kanta ko, kahit nga yung first few chords pa lang ang nag-pe-play sa radyo, magsisigawan na sila. Sobrang solid nun pag nagkataon.” December 2017, Mark got signed by one of the country’s prime record labels - Universal Records. “Dream come true na making part ng iconic na record label. Medyo pressured nung una na mas excited kasi para makasama sa roster ng artists ng Universal di ba? Sobrang honored, and also magandang motivation and drive for me to do better ang making bahagi ng UR family”.

Mark released his debut single entitled ‘Langit Pag Nandiyan’ written by Gracenote lead vocalist Eunice Jorge and produced by hit-making producer Ito Rapadas which is performing very well in major digital stores - Apple Music, i-Tunes, Amazon, Deezer and Spotify. Talking about the meaning behind the song, Mark says “The song is about honoring people in your life. It can be a song for a friend, a loved one, a relative, or anyone who’s always there to support you despite different setbacks and challenges. At the same time, it is also a personal anthem for all the people who’ve been a part of my journey to pursue my dreams”. Last May 26, its official music video was premiered on MYX and now enjoying a good rotation on air. 

Mark also recorded a remake of “Tabi”, a 2008 original OPM hit by Paraluman. Universal Records did a silent release online and has been receiving an overwhelming response. In less than three weeks, it already gained almost 200k hits on Spotify without announcement and hype, and included in four playlists to date : Men Of OPM, OPM Chillax, Acoustically OPM and Pinoy Covers. 

Mark also penned couple of original songs that will be included in his EP that’s slated for release on the third quarter of the year. “Masaya ako na nakapasa sa UR ang mga origs ko. Excited ako sa kung paano sila iaarrange ulit ni Sir Ito”. There’s a track too from his co-Cornerstone artist who eventually became his good friend. Frontman of iconic OPM band Callalily Kean Cipriano. “Nagkakilala kami dahil sa Cornerstone. Pareho kami ng handler,” he explains. “Eventually niyaya ako ni Kean pumunta sa bahay niya. Hindi ako makapaniwala. Pinapakinggan ko lang yung mga kanta niya dati, and ngayon kaya ko na siyang i-reach anytime kung may mga tanong ako about music and we have plans to collaborate too. Sobrang astig.”

2018 is a brighter year for Mark for having bagged the following exciting projects : Task Us’ leadman in their very first 6-part webseries, an upcoming guesting in an indie film called “Amats” directed by one of the best names in the industry Direk Dondon Santos which is an official entry in 2018 Pista Ng Pelikulang Pilipino come August, sang one of the sub themesongs for another indie film “Bakwit Boys” produced by T-Rex Productions called “Fiona”. September 2018, Mark will be seen again nightly in ABSCBN’s latest primetime teleserye as a regular cast. Having to share the same stage with OPM bands that he used to listen to when he was growing up and was on the road to being a musician, is another dream come true for Mark. He was recently part of Robinson’s OPM Jams series with Spongecola and come June 19, Mark will be fronting for The Dawn at Eastwood Central Plaza for “Rewind Tuesdays”.

Fate smiled upon Mark by pairing him with the right people who are all guiding him on his way to stardom. As long as he works hard and keeps his eye on the sweet and priceless rewards, there will be no stopping him. With his rugged good looks, charm, and musical talent, Mark is bound to win the hearts of many fans worldwide. 

Young Generation Stars Live in SM Sangandaan June 30

All roads lead to SM Sangandaan as SRATS (the young stars of Asian Artists Agency) and LA Santos perform on June 30.



SRATS are Aiana Juarez (online singing star and cover princess), Selena Marie (dubbed as the Ukulele Girl of YouTube and Facebook), Drei Raña (acoustic singer and PolyEast recording artist who just launched his debut single titled Ligaya), Miko and Gab (singing duo who popularized the hit song Hugot and who recently released another single, Sino Ba S’ya), and Mastermind (online dance superstars and YouTube Silver Creator Awardees).

LA Santos is a Star Music recording artist whose self-titled debut album features the hit single Tinamaan.

The show's repertoire includes solo numbers and several musical collaborations.

Expect SRATS and LA Santos to enliven the stage as they perform songs that are close to their hearts and speak about today’s millennials. One special number is the Anton Juarez's penned I Wanna Be On Top. Anton also serves as the musical director and arranger of the concerts. 

For inquiries, please call (02) 855-4765 or (02) 405-4423, email info@asianartistsagency.com, and visit fb.com/asianartistsagency

PDRF, PCPPI to provide 20, 000-liter Water tanks for Marawi rehabilitation

Marawi is on its way to recovery. As the efforts continue to revive Lanao Del Sur’s capital after being ravaged by war, private institutions and government organizations are partnering to address the need for water of Maranaos and others in the area.

(L-R) Holding the scale model of the 20,000-liter water tank to be deployed in Marawi is Lanao Del Sur Provincial Information Officer, Salma Jayne Alonto Tamano; Task Force Bangon Marawi Undersecretary, and Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Secretary General, Falconi Ace Millar; Pepsi-Co Products Philippines Inc. President Samudra Bhattacharya, and Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation President Butch Meily


As the country's major private sector driver and coordinator for disaster resilience, the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) linked with Pepsi-Cola Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI) to provide the internally displaced people of Marawi with clean and safe water. PDRF tapped PCPPI to provide 12 cylindrical, 20,000-liter water tanks to various gravely affected barangays across the province. PCPPI will also partner with PDRF to conduct community training on water management and hygiene, as well as initiate various programs for the holistic, socio-psychological recovery of the Maranaos.

In full support of this partnership is Atty. Falconi Millar, Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council Secretary General, who was present during the signing ceremony.

Millar also serves as Undersecretary of Task Force Bangon Marawi—the inter-agency task force group of the government dedicated to the recovery, reconstruction, and rehabilitation of Marawi and other affected localities.

“Much has been done by Task Force Bangon Marawi, yet much is still left to be done,” said Millar. “In the evacuation centers, we have 1,248 families as of last week while in ground zero about 10, 000 families are living there. There are about 12, 000 households who are currently home-based living with relatives, however they still want to return to their households. We are targeting the groundbreaking for the most affected area of Marawi for the last week of June. We are working double time.”

The Undersecretary underlined that PDRF was one of the first to send recovery teams to Marawi, and that with their partnership with PCPPI he sees an evolution of responsible corporate citizenship in the private sector.

“Everyone is being called to be a responsible corporate citizen. In trying times like these it now becomes a duty of every corporation to lend a helping hand,” Undersecretary Millar said.

The collaboration between PDRF, PCPPI, Task Force Bangon Marawi and the Lanao del Sur government helps mobilize the next phase of rehabilitation efforts in the war-stricken area, beginning with the need for water.

"Water is a critical need and a fundamental right," said Butch Meily, President of the PDRF. "It's been a year since the siege of Marawi, and until now more than 70, 000 families still have to live with the hardship brought about by the war. Today we are even more determined to turn the tide by providing them with the water they direly need." 

The PDRF implements an eight-cluster system model for private sector coordination aimed to provide a more robust platform for collaboration and interoperability with key partners in disaster preparation, response, and rehabilitation. PCPPI’s efforts fall under the Water and Sanitation cluster.

"This project will benefit the 12 most affected areas in Marawi, the biggest of which is Saguiaran," said Meily. "Community consultations will continue to ensure the project's viability, accessibility, and efficacy."

"Marawi has always been one of the key communities that patronize and support our products and we have great stories of partnerships with PCPPI built throughout the years. This is why when PDRF approached us and asked for help to rehabilitate the city, we did not hesitate," said PCPPI President, Samudra Bhattacharya. " By providing access to clean water to the 12 evacuation sites, especially in this time of Ramadan, we hope for a renewed determination for the residents to pursue the rebuilding of the city."

Also at the event was Lanao Del Sur’s Provincial Information Officer, Salma Jayne Alonto-Tamano. Millar reiterated the government's relentless pursuit of rebuilding Marawi, returning it to its vibrancy.

"With Pepsi and PDRF's partnership, it's evident that a scarcity of care does not exist--they have answered the call to be responsible corporate social citizens, with PDRF running toward the fire to lend a hand. Today, we find Task Force Bangon Marawi isn't an organization; it's all of us pitching in to help," said Meily. 

"PCPPI's help will not only quench the thirst, wash the hands and bodies of the affected community, but will also help them feel human again," said Meily.

PDRF first worked with the bottling company last year for the donation and installation of 1,000 gasera lights and 500 solar street lamps in Marawi.

Panasonic now accepting applicants for 2018 scholarship

Panasonic, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary is now accepting applicants for its annual scholarship program in the Philippines.



The scholarship provides promising senior students (graduating in 2 years’ time) in a bachelor’s degree program and newly-enrolled/accepted students in a vocational course program for the school year 2018~2019. 

In the Philippines, Panasonic Scholarship is administered by Panasonic Manufacturing Philippines Corporation (PMPC) along with the support of Panasonic Precision Devices Philippines Corporation (PPRDPH), and offers financial assistance to promising students, who can contribute to the country’s progress and development.

Applicants must be: a Filipino citizen, and a bona fide full time senior college student in a state university enrolled in the fields of engineering, industrial design, accountancy, and economics; and those currently enrolled/accepted in a TESDA-accredited institution, specializing in the fields of electro-mechanics, consumer electronics, or refrigeration & air conditioning;academically deserving and financially needy, who is of good character; determined to excel and make a difference…

Panasonic is founded on the basic objective to be a corporation devoted to the progress and development of society and the well-being of people, thereby contributing to the growth of human civilization.

Interested parties may send e-mail to: jafanika.sibal@ph.panasonic.com or lorenzo.magsingit@ph.panasonic.com to request Official Application Form. Applications will be accepted until June 29, 2018 (for vocational) and July 20, 2018 (for undergraduate). Documents submitted shall not be returned under any circumstances.








Sachi, the best Japanese restaurant in town

Craving for authentic Japanese cuisine? You don’t have to go far - you can find it in SACHI, the best Japanese restaurant in town!


Located at the Araneta Coliseum Circle, Sachi (which means happiness and good luck) serves the best-tasting Japanese dishes made with the freshest ingredients. True to its name, Sachi makes every guest jump with joy with every bite of their mouth-watering cuisine, served in big portions and available at reasonable prices.



Sachi will surely satisfy your cravings and match the festive mood with their authentic Japanese food. For as low as P600, couples can enjoy a sushi-filled date! Sachi also accepts reservation for functions and events.


Aside from their signature Japanese dishes, Sachi also serves Singaporean food from its sister restaurant Rasa.


Here are the dishes you must not miss on your visit to Sachi:

1. Sushi and sashimi platter. Indulge in tamago, kani, ebi, ika, maguro, shiake uni – name it, they have it fresh and raw! To guarantee that Sachi serves quality food every single day, they get their seafood straight from Farmers Market, the undisputed benchmark and source for fresh seafood in the metro.




2. Maki. It’s satisfaction guaranteed once you try their best-selling Volcano Roll and California Maki 



3. Tempura. Fresh and crispy, Sachi has the best tempura in town. Their secret sauce also brings out the flavor with every bite.



4. Ramen. Warm up with Sachi’s flavorful seafood and pork ramen.



5. Kobe beef. It’s the best beef you can ever eat! You surely wouldn’t mind splurging on this!


6. Toro. Highly sought after in the world of sashimi, this fatty tuna melts in your mouth!



And if you want a taste of Rasa’s favorite dishes, try the following:


1. Crispy Squid. Sweet and spicy crispy squid that serves as an excellent appetizer.


2. Singapore Chili Crab. Giant crabs stir fried and braised with chili crab sauce.



3. Hainanese chicken. World famous authentic poached white chicken best paired with Rasa’s home-made sauce.





4. Beef kwey teow. This best-selling flat noodle with egg and barbecue slices goes well with other classic Singaporean cuisine in their menu.






5. Laksa. Want some spice? Then go for this rice noodle spicy coconut gravy with prawns and fish balls.

*Sachi has been serving the best Japanese cuisine in town since September 2003. You may visit them at the Araneta Coliseum Cirle. For reservation or inquiries, please call 911-1806. They also offer free delivery within the Araneta Center.



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