December 31, 2015

Happy New Year 2016!

Thank You God for giving me another lease of life, for all the blessings and guidance.

Thank you everyone for enriching my life this year again.

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us.

Having the gift of faith, the blessing of hope and the peace of His love and keeping it all the years.

May God grant you the 9 Fruits of Holy Spirit : 

“The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)

Wishing you all a year of peace, happiness, prosperity, good health, joy and love!

May God grant us all a blessed New Year !

Happy New Year !!!  Cheers!!!

December 30, 2015

What Edward Benosa is looking forward to in 2016

Year 2015 is promising balladeer Edward Benosa’s best year, and what he is looking forward to in 2016?

In 2015, Edward—most known for his hit song “Di Man Lang Nagpaalam” which made it to the country’s top music charts and won for him a loyal following—won two awards, one a Best New Artist trophy from the Star Awards for Music and another, from the MOR Awards of radio station 101.9FM. He sees these awards as an affirmation that he is in the right place, and that he should continue pushing forward with his career in 2016. “Sa isang nagsisimula na tulad ko, o kahit sinong nagsisimula, mabigyan ka ng Best New Artist of the year, parang enough reason na ‘yon na ipagpatuloy mo itong ginagawa mo. Susundan na kailangan, ipagpatuloy ang sinimulan,” he says.

Edward’s goal is to sustain the momentum of his achievements in 2016. He wants to get into new things, maybe do a concert, record another album and even try more theater.

He is making the phrase “moving forward” his goal for next year. He is happy that groups like the Philippine Movie Press Club (which is behind the annual Star Awards for Music) and MOR 101.9 have seen his potential and by giving him awards and recognition, are encouraging him to do more with what he has.
“Siguro nakikita ‘yung potential ko to be this person na malaki pa yung pwede ko ma-achieve as a singer, sa craft ko, na-a-appreciate nila na ako ‘yung bago ngayon, as a pop rock balladeer.”
His manager, stage and screen actor Arnold Cruz Reyes, believes that Edward will go pretty far in 2016. When Edward won the awards in 2015, he was surprised but says things aren’t going to stop there. There is much more for Edward to achieve in 2016.

Arnold says it is obvious that Edward, while a newbie singer and occasional actor, is meant to go places and encourages him only to work harder and pay attention to the advice of people who want to see him succeed even more next year. “Consistent naman kasi, na-nominate siya na Best New Artist of the Year. Nu’ng nangyari nga, sabi ko, ‘Uy nakakatuwa, napapansin tayo,” says Arnold, who’s hoping Edward will be able to build on his past achievements to have an even greater year in 2016.

Edward says that one way of ensuring a better year in 2016 is also to stay positive and not to mind the bashers and critics. Like when he won those two awards, there were people who didn’t think he deserved to win and asked: “Sino siya? Hindi namin siya kilala.”

He just wants to be positive going into 2016. Regardless of what people say, he will keep pressing forward. Even if there are critics, he says, he intends to see things constructively and make positivity his motto for next year.

Edward has high hopes for 2016. He is excited about all the new things coming his way, and is eager to get things started.

“Ang daming bonus ni God para sa akin,” he says with a big smile. Edward is grateful for all the things that happened in 2015, and is looking to make an even bigger splash in 2016.

December 29, 2015

At the cob of the matter: Corn in the Philippines

When you hear the word corn, the vision of eating hot, buttered corn-on-the-cob may come to mind, or fields and fields of corn plants growing along highways. Indeed for Filipinos, corn is the second most important crop after rice. But do you know that only 21% of the total corn in the country is used for consumption, while majority or 64% of corn supply is used to feed livestock to produce meat and poultry?

Unsheathing corn

The corn you typically see roasted and eaten on the cob is the white corn. With smaller but sweeter kernels, white corn is the most important and healthy rice substitute in the country. On the other hand, yellow corn, while edible, is mostly intended for livestock and poultry feeds with its larger and fuller-flavored kernels. Perhaps most importantly, local pork, beef, and poultry for our lechon, burgers, and fried chicken get their richness and tastiness from the animal feeds usually made from corn. Corn makes up 70% of feeds used to produce treats for our carnivorous countrymen.

And in case you didn’t yet know, corn can also be found in thousands of everyday items around us. From the corn starch that holds cakes and pastries together to corn oil, people have found different uses for corn. There are currently more than 4,000 ways to use this popular crop, and people are discovering even more ways to use corn every day.

Planning for tomorrow’s food from the ground up

Corn is thought to have been first grown 7,000 years ago. The traditional way of growing corn is slow and painstaking, but technology is now dramatically changing the way we cultivate and harvest our food. Today, there is a modern approach to help growers raise healthy, high-quality corn crops. Through modern plant breeding, a way to bring together two specific parent plants to produce a new desirable plant, local farmers now have a better way to grow and bring food to our tables.

As corn takes an important place in Filipino farming and cuisine, Monsanto took a similar approach in helping farmers have better harvests by introducing the first biotech corn in 2003. It developed the biotech corn to be more tolerant to nature’s different challenges, like plant diseases, pests and changing temperatures. Over the past 30 years, 1,000 plus studies including the World Health Organization, European Food Safety Authority, and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations have been conducted to prove that there are no health and environmental impact in the use and consumption of biotech crops, including corn. According to the studies, using or consuming biotech corn have no effects on human health, while planting biotech corn maintains ecological balance, posing no threat to other plants and to animals. 

Corn plays an important role in making sure we have enough food to eat and have access to fresh produce. So the next time you see unending rows of corn fields along the highway, think about how such a humble crop can make a positive impact to our everyday lives.

The SM Bears Of Joy promotion will run only until Dec. 31, 2015

The SM Bears of Joy gives you the chance to do something nice this Holiday Season. 

Visit the Toy Fair in select SM Supermalls, where you can buy two bears for only P200. One is yours to keep and the other will be donated to a child in need. 

Don't forget to write your name on the name tags and leave a special message to cheer up the child who will receive your gift smile emoticon

The SM Bears Of Joy promotion will run only until Dec. 31, 2015.

SM Cares.

December 28, 2015

Erik Matti won MMFF 2015 Best Director for 'Honor Thy Father'

'Honor Thy Father ' won 5 awards held Sunday, December 27 at the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Awards Night at the Kia Theatre in Cubao, Quezon City.

Erik Matti won Best Director despite the controversy surrounding Honor Thy Father’s disqualification from winning Best Picture in the Metro Manila Film Festival. 

Honor Thy Father was disqualified from the Best Picture category by the MMFF executive committee for violation of MMFF rules and regulations, for non-disclosure of the film's participation in another festival.

Direk Erik Matti was not present during the awards night but here is his acceptance speech in full, read by Shiel Calde of Reality Entertainment at the ceremony.

The film Honor Thy Father awards including Best Supporting Actor for Tirso Cruz III, Best Original Theme Song, and Best Child Performer for Krystal Brimner and Best Makeup Artist (Ryan Panaligan and Erika Racela.)

Honor Thy Father movie is about a family who find themselves in a Ponzi scheme. Edgar (John Lloyd Cruz) and Kaye (Meryll Soriano) seeks to pay their family's debt to Kaye's co-parishioners. The couple fear that the parishioners may hurt their daughter.

First screened in the Contemporary World Cinema section of the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival, Honor thy Father was also screened in the Cinema One Originals Film Festival on November 2015. The film was accepted as an official entrant to the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival

During the MMFF night, there are guests, artists,and producers air their sentiments on the film's 'Best Picture' disqualification issue.

While accepting her trophy for 'Buy Now, Die Later' and Walang Forever won second and overall Best Picture, respectively, Atty. Joji Alonso appealed to everyone to support all films and 'I hope you would watch all 8 films and not just two films. Thank you very much."
Atty. Joji Alonso said : "This should be an enjoyous moment. But I am not that happy. I only wished that Honor Thy Father was also part of this category. And I mean that with all sincerity. Dondon Montiverde, John Lloyd Cruz, and direk Erik Matti have created an outstanding film. And I would like to congratulate them for not stopping to dream and for continuing their advocacy in making meaningful films that hopefully would reach or touch the lives of people."

Congratulations Direk Erik Matti and to all the winners !

HOOQ, Asia’s largest video-on-demand service, is the exclusive presenter for the 41st Metro Manila Film Festival. The event was hosted by KC Concepcion and Richard Gutierrez. 

Check out the complete list of #MMFF2015 winners. 


#GetHOOQdOnMMFF : Walang Forever won as the 2015 MMFF Best Picture, with its stars Jericho Rosales, Best Actor and Jennylyn Mercado, Best Actress

Walang Forever won 6 awards including Best Picture, and Best Actor and Best Actress for its stars, Jericho Rosales and Jennylyn Mercado during the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) Awards Night held Sunday, December 27 at the Kia Theatre in Cubao, Quezon City.

The FPJ Memorial Award for Film Excellence goest to Walang Forever movie, with Php 400,000 cash prize.

'Buy Now Die Later' won 2nd Best Picture, and "My Bebe Love #KiligPaMore won as 3rd Best Picture. As the Special award, Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award also go to "My Bebe Love #KiligPaMore."

Winners of the New Wave category include the animated film, Buttons, which was created by Marvel Obemio, Francis Ramirez and Jared Garcia of De La Salle University – College of St. Benilde and the short film entitled, Mumu, written and directed by Cheryl Tagyamon of UP Diliman.

Here is the complete list of winners: 

Short Film Special Jury Prize: Daisy

New Wave Best Short Film: Mumu

Manila Bulletin Entertainment Best Animation Award: Momento

New Wave Best Animation Film: Buttons

Best Float Award: Buy Now Die Later

New Wave Best Screenplay: Ari: My Life with a King

Manila Bulletin Best Full Length Film: Ari: My Life with a King

New Wave Best Full Length Film: Ari: My Life with a King

New Wave Best Actor: JM de Guzman, Tandem and Francisco Quinto, Ari: My Life with a King

New Wave Best Supporting Actor: Thou Reyes, Toto

New Wave Best Supporting Actress: Bibeth Orteza, Toto

Best New Wave Film Director: John Paul Su, Toto

New Wave Full Length Jury Prize: Toto

New Wave Special Jury Prize: Little Lights

New Wave Best Picture: Ari: My Life with a King

Best Festival Child Performer: Krystal Brimner, Honor Thy Father

Best Festival Sound: Ditoy Aguila, Nilalang

Best Musical Score: Jessie Lasaten, Nilalang

Best Original Theme Song: "Tao," Honor Thy Father

Best Makeup Artist: Ryan Panaligan and Erika Racela, Honor Thy Father

Best Visual Effects: Nilalang

Best Production Design: Buy Now Die Later

Best Editing: Nilalang

Best Cinematography: Nilalang

FPJ Memorial Award for Film Excellence: Walang Forever

Male celebrity of the night: Cesar Montano

Female celebrity of the night: Jennylyn Mercado

Best Original Story: Dan Villegas and Antoinette Jadaone, Walang Forever

Best Screenplay: Paul Sta Ana, Walang Forever

Best Director: Erik Matti, Honor Thy Father

Best Supporting Actor: Tirso Cruz III, Honor Thy Father

Best Supporting Actress: Maine Mendoza, My Bebe Love #KiligPaMore

Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award: My Bebe Love #KiligPaMore

3rd Best Picture: My Bebe Love #KiligPaMore

2nd Best Picture: Buy Now Die Later

Best Picture: Walang Forever

Best Actor: Jericho Rosales, Walang Forever

Best Actress: Jennylyn Mercado, Walang Forever

Congratulations to all the winners!

HOOQ, Asia’s largest video-on-demand service, is the exclusive presenter for the 41st Metro Manila Film Festival. The event was hosted by KC Concepcion and Richard Gutierrez.

Enjoy award-winning Filipino movies on HOOQ

HOOQ together with MMFF, both answered the call of entertainment buffs who enjoy watching their favorite films and TV shows wherever and whenever they want; through streaming and downloading of award-winning and quality locally-produced films. 

Since 2010, the New Wave category has given independent filmmakers the opportunity to showcase their work and the chance to have more funding for future film projects. This year, aside from the animated and short film entries being shown in cinemas, they were also released through the HOOQ app. It was the first time in the history of MMFF that entries were shown simultaneously online and in theaters. 

“We want the world to take notice of the best content Philippine cinema can offer,” said Jane Walker, HOOQ Philippines Country Manager. “Supporting young filmmakers now is investing in the future of entertainment,” she added. 

Users will soon be able to watch other 2015 MMFF finalists and winners on HOOQ. They can also choose from close to a hundred past winners and finalists in its huge library of local films and TV shows, made available for streaming and download on multiple devices. 

New users can enjoy a 30-day free trial by signing up at Monthly subscription is available at only P149 and can be charged to your Globe mobile bill, via credit card, or it comes free with Globe Home Broadband plans P1,299 and up.


December 27, 2015

Singapore Airlines brings Christmas to NAIA

Singapore Airlines spreads the yuletide cheer to its passengers with a surprise performance rendered by SIA's ground personnel and staff while ice cream in popular Filipino flavors were served. 

Pasko sa SQ is the airline’s way of sharing the spirit of Christmas with its customers.

Christmas Surprise from Singapore Airlines. 
Pasko sa SQ. Singapore Airlines adorns the airport with a belen and colorful lanterns that were creatively designed by Singapore Airlines ground staff using only local and recycled materials. Passengers were also invited to vote for their favorite lantern.

Singapore Airlines staff in Filipiniana attires for the airline's Christmas surprise to its loyal passengers. 

This special treat has been a tradition of Singapore Airlines over the years to celebrate the spirit of this well-loved season in the Philippines. 

December 26, 2015

DepEd to open its recruitment online through Kalibrr

The Department of Education (DepEd), along with four government agencies, signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the Bagumbayani and Kalibrr to democratize the recruitment through widening the contracting net and the market reach of the government online.

[L-R] Bureau of Local Government and Finance OIC Executive Director Jocelyn Pendon, DepEd Undersecretary for Regional Operations Rizalino Rivera, Kalibrr Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-founder Paul Rivera, Department of Transportation and Communications Undersecretary Rene Limcaoco, Department of Social Welfare and Development Undersecretary Angelita Gregorio-Medel and Public-Private Partnership Center Executive Director Cosette Canilao in the MOA signing to democratize recruitment in government agencies through Kalibrr.

Kalibrr is a job-matching online platform for job seekers and companies. Its cloud-based platform enhances the way applicants find jobs and companies hire talents through its series of enhanced assessments. Bagumbayani is a youth organization consisting of civil servants promoting positive change and integrity in the government by sustainably recruiting young people into the civil service.

“To us in DepEd, better government service depends on having the right people for the right job to serve our Filipino learners in the best way we can. We look forward to maximizing our partnership with Kalibrr and Bagumbayani so we can cast our nets wider and allow for merit-based recruitment and talent sourcing that allows Filipinos anywhere in the world to be given a chance to take part in the deep and unique privilege of serving the Filipino people through government service,” said DepEd Undersecretary Rizalino Rivera.
“We are not only helping people get jobs, we are making an impact to the trajectory of the Philippines by helping connect inspiring and progressive public servants to government. Through combination of technology and the desire to bring change, we are transforming what it means to find a job in government. I will give you an example: A job seeker in Davao can now by just being on the internet learn about and engage with the thousands of government jobs. Before Kalibrr, these jobs may have been online or may not have onlive and would require visit to that Department in its Metro Manila office,” Paul Rivera, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and co-founder of Kalibrr, said.

According to the Kalibrr CEO, this partnership will “break the notion that in order forsomeone to land a job in government, one should be connected with someone else inside.” This partnership intends to make government jobs accessible to all online.

“I have seen the challenges in the human resource and development in the bureaucracy. Sourcing is not really a problem for us. Talent pool management is not totally practiced in the bureaucracy. Our human resource is more on personnel administration role and we need to transform it into human resource reform,” Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Undersecretary Angelita Gregorio-Medel said.

The five new agencies—DepEd, DSWD, Department of Finance - Bureau of Local Government Finance (DOF-BLGF), Department of Transportation and Communications(DOTC), and Public Private Partnership (PPP) Center—are the second batch of government agencies to sign agreements with Kalibrr and Bagumbayani. The first batch of government agencies which signed on August 27, 2015: the Department of Finance (DOF), the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Department of Tourism (DOT) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

December 21, 2015

Catch Up the Animation entries as HOOQ places student films in the spotlight at this year’s MMFF

Join and enjoy the gateway to a world of unlimited entertainment.

HOOQ, Asia’s largest video-on-demand service, gives you unlimited access to over 10,000 movies, indies and animation and TV series. Discover endless adventure, eternal drama and non-stop laughter at your fingertips.

It's time to widen your world of entertainment, as HOOQ, has signed a groundbreaking deal with the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) to screen a selection of the official entries on the app. 

“Everyone has to start somewhere and for many directors, that happened while they were in school. Young filmmakers from schools like Ateneo de Naga University and DLSU-CSB made it as finalists in this year’s MMFF” said Jane Walker, HOOQ Philippines Country Manager. 

“It is very encouraging that their animated films were chosen among hundreds of entries to take part in this festival,” she added. 

HOOQ is the exclusive presenter for the 41st Metro Manila Film Festival and its New Wave Category, a partnership geared towards promoting quality Philippine entertainment. 

For the first time in the 41-year history of the film fest, the entries under the New Wave category will be simultaneously available in theaters and online, exclusively through HOOQ. 

Since the films will be on the HOOQ app, you can now watch them wherever you are, anytime you want. With just one app, you can stream, download and enjoy thousands of movies and TV series. All from your phone, laptop or tablet.

The MMFF New Wave category has been around since 2010 to give the opportunity to independent filmmakers to showcase their entries and the chance to take home prize money that could potentially be used to fund future film projects. This year’s finalists were selected by a jury out of hundreds of national submissions which was then trimmed down to five finalists each. 

Here are the entries for animation:

The Seed 

The Seed by Joven Maniaol shows the relationship of a man and his wife’s dog, with whom he does not favor, and how this relationship develops when the dog irrevocably ruins an anniversary surprised prepared by the husband. The film was inspired by the Pixar animated film UP and French film “Floating in my Mind.”


Buttons was created by Marvel Obemio, Francis Ramirez & Jared Garcia of De La Salle College of St. Benilde. It is a story about 2 voodoo dolls living in a world where others seem to not notice their existence until one day, a mysterious voodoo doll shows up. 

The taboo nature of voodoo one of the pulls that attracted the creators to animating this story.


Geo was written and directed by John Aurthur Mercader of Puppeteer Animation Studio has previously won the grand prize for Animahenasyon, the biggest animation film festival in the country. His team also won best in technical quality, Best Animation in Category B (6-30 mins.), and the Hero TV Choice Award in Animahenasyon. The short is about young Geo with a wild imagination, whose mother must always come to his rescue whenever he takes it a step too far.

Little Lights

Little Lights by was written and directed by Rivelle Mallari, the only finalist submission that claims no affiliation to a school or studio. It is a touching story about a physically weak yet strong-willed firefly named Charlie who struggles with his fear of darkness and finding his place within the firefly community. 

Alamat ng Giraffe

Alamat ng Giraffe, directed by Alyssandra Kyle Mallari and written by Karl Marlo Gonzales and Mel Jeffrey Jabido of De La Salle College of St. Benilde, tells a made-up legend on how the giraffe came to be.

Each film is under 10 minutes and (will be) screened started December 17 up to 24 at Glorietta 4, Robinsons Movie World Ermita and SM Megamall. All ten entries will be available on HOOQ from December 18.

In addition to the New Wave shorts and animated films for this year, HOOQ has close to a hundred MMFF past winners and finalists among its huge collection of local TV shows and films, made available for streaming and download on multiple devices. 

New users can enjoy a 30-day free trial by signing up at 

Monthly subscription is available at only P149 and can be charged on your Globe mobile bill or via credit card, or it comes free with Globe Home Broadband plans P1,299 and up.

December 20, 2015

Chevron donates P1 million to Red Cross for rebuilding communities damaged by Typhoon Lando

Photo above shows PRC Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang (second from left) receiving the cheques from CPI General Manager for Philippine Products Peter Morris (rightmost), CHPI General Manager Kee Teek Hong (third from left), and CMLLC Asset Manager Sabino Santos (leftmost).
As communities in northern and central Luzon struggle to get back on their feet more than a month after being ravaged by Typhoon Lando, Chevron companies in the Philippines recently donated a total of P1 million to the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to help in the rehabilitation efforts.

Chevron Philippines Inc. (CPI), marketer of Caltex brand of fuels and lubricants gave P400,000; Chevron Malampaya LLC (CMLLC) P450,000; and Chevron Holdings Inc. (CHPI) P150,000 respectively. The donation will go to PRC’s post-Landodisaster recovery and rebuilding efforts in Chevron’s host communities such as San Fernando City, La Union; Baguio City; Kalinga; and North and Northwest Palawan.

“Chevron and Philippine Red Cross have a long history of partnership in disaster response and volunteerism, which becomes stronger especially during disaster management efforts. We are very grateful for this latest donation from Chevron as this will come a long way in providing assistance to a large number of the population which are still in need,” said Pang.

Chevron companies have donated millions of dollars to the PRC which helped in the rebuilding efforts caused by the most destructive typhoons to hit the country such as Frank, Ondoy, Pablo, Sendong and Yolanda. Chevron employees also support PRC blood donation drives.

December 19, 2015

HOOQ up with Metro Manila Film Festival’s indie entries for the very first time

This 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival in partnership with HOOQ, Asia’s largest video-on-demand service, presents the entries under the New Wave category and will be simultaneously available in theaters and online, exclusively through HOOQ.

For the first time in the 41-year history of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), and now the exclusive presenter for the 41st, MMFF New Wave category has a new Short Film Competition for amateur and professional filmmakers.

It's open-themed and for films ten-minute films. The Metro Manila Film Festival New Wave category features progressive works of independent and student filmmakers to express themselves through the powerful medium of film.
Some of the most inventive techniques are shown in short films,” said Jane Walker, HOOQ Philippines Country Manager. “We’re very proud to showcase this and the creativity and talent of Filipino filmmakers.”
A partnership geared towards promoting quality Philippine entertainment, HOOQ and MMFF to address the growing needs of the digital natives to consume content at their own time; through streaming and download of the finalists’ animation and short film entries.

The MMFF New Wave category has been around since 2010 to give the opportunity to independent filmmakers to showcase their entries and the chance to take home prize money that could potentially be used to fund future film projects.  

This year’s finalists were selected by a jury out of hundreds of national submissions which was then trimmed down to five finalists each. 

There are five finalists from the short-film medium and another five from the animated genre. 

The complete list of entries are listed below.

Short-film finalists:

Daisy (Bryan Reyes of Colegio De San Lorenzo)

Ding Mangasyas (Justine Emmanuel Dizon of Kayumanggi Pictures)

Lapis (Maricel Cariaga of Center Stage Productions)

Momento (Jan-Kyle Nieva of UP Film Institute

Mumu (Jean Cheryl Tagyamon of UP Diliman)

These entries for short film feature:

Daisy, a story about a wife and mother Barbara who orders a Proxy Daisy robot to take care of household duties, only for Barbara to have a growing realization that there may be something very wrong with the robot that she has let into her families’ lives.  Written and directed by Bryan Reyes of Colegio de San Lorenzo, this is his first film competition that he joined on a whim and shot two days prior to the contest deadline.

Ding Mangasyas

Ding Mangasyas (Tough Guys) centers on 2 brothers who have had a lifelong love-hate relationship filled with violence. They’re faced with the emotional reality of separation as one of them packs up to work in the US. The film was directed by Justine Emmanuel Dizon and written by Jason Paul Laxamana of Kayumanggi Pictures, who was initially discouraged by the rejection of this same film in another competition. This is his first national competition, and he is proud to show off the “homegrown” talents of his team who are from Pampanga like him.


Lapis follows the career shift of a pencil artist in his 50s as he applies for a job as a graphic artist only to be confronted by the realization that his medium of expertise is defunct in a modern world.  This moving film that addresses the conflict of analog vs. digital artistry was inspired by real stories of unemployment in the country.  Written and directed by Maricel Cariaga of Center Stage Productions, this is her third competition after UP POV 11 and Sinkwento International Film Festival, wherein she placed top 3 for both.


Momento features an ageing couple, Teresita and Ronaldo, as they celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary--despite Teresita having made a terrible discovery earlier in the film that “marks the darkest hour of their relationship.”  Written and directed by Jan-Kyle Nieva of the UP Film Institute, Nieva states that he enjoys disturbing films and made this film to challenge himself into delving into a genre that he has not previously explored.


Mumu is about a fresh grad named Kara who resists pursuing a nursing career despite her nagging mother and pressure from witnessing the success of her friends.  She also finds herself being haunted by a ghost – a character she had played in a blockbuster horror film. Mumu is directed by Cheryl Tagyamon from UP Diliman, who also wrote the film.  Mumu has thus far won 3rd place in the National Digital Arts Awards 2014 Motion Graphics Category for Students, and in the UP Film Institute’s Black Beret Film Festival it won the Audience Choice Award, Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, and Best Performance.

The short films and animations under the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival’s New Wave category will be shown simultaneously on the country’s biggest subscription video-on-demand platform. Anyone with a HOOQ subscription can watch the shorts on just about any screen they own, on the same day the films are being shown in theaters.

Each film is under 10 minutes  and screened started December 17 and up to 24 at Glorietta 4, Robinsons Movie World Ermita and SM Megamall.  All ten entries will be available on HOOQ from December 18.

HOOQ has the largest collection of Pinoy movies and TV series, which includes close to a hundred winners and finalists of the Metro Manila Film Festival such as “Baler”, “Tanging Yaman”, “Mulawin the Movie, “Pedro Penduko” and many more.

New users can enjoy a 30-day trial by signing up at  

Monthly subscription is available at only  P149 and can be charged on your Globe mobile bill or via credit card, or it comes free with Globe Home Broadband plans P1,299 and up.

Catch these Animation finalists too! 

Animation finalists:
8 (Johanna Kaye Boncodin of Ateneo De Naga)
Geo (John Arthur Mercader of Puppeteer Animation Studio)
Little Lights (Rivelle Mallari)
Buttons (Marvel Obemio, Francis Ramirez, Jared Garcia of De La Salle College of St. Benilde)
Marvino’s League of Superheroes (Ja Marti Escandor of Ateneo De Naga)

Francis Kong shares tips to financial freedom at Avida’s Homepossible: Live Free! Conference

Most hard-working millennials today aspire to grow their savings and achieve financial independence, if only to prepare for a better future and to quickly realize their dreams such as building their early retirement fund, starting their own business, or simply buying their own house and other investments.

Avida Land recently held the Homepossible: Live Free! conference at the Grand Ballroom of Fairmont Hotel in Makati City to inspire millennials to take charge of their finances and achieve financial freedom.

Financial management wizard, published writer and thought leader Francis Kong made the seminar more meaningful as he shared valuable insights on how to develop the right perspective when it comes to savings as well as how to cultivate discipline and control cash flow, towards becoming debt-free.

“The way you spend your money, time and energy is reflective of the way you spend your life, and your future depends on how you manage these,” Kong said as he reminded the audience of mostly single millennials and young parents on the importance of keeping track of money, time and energy spent on everyday things. To help change their financial perspective, Kong challenged the participants to replace “spending” with “investing”.

Kong talked about the different concepts of money to provide the audience a deeper understanding of how to appreciate its value.

Francis Kong
“Money is just an idea that represents a tool for exchange. When you exchange money for the things that you consume, those things represent value. Price is what you pay for, value is what you experience,” said the financial guru, illustrating another example closer to home.
“Our friends from Avida are offering different beautiful units, you pay for it and you experience it because of its value.”
Kong also warned about another nature of money that can become a hindrance to achieving financial freedom. “Mysteriously, expenses always rises up to the level of your income. Kung kelan lumalaki ngayon ‘yung kinikita mo, sumasabay naman ang expenses mo.”

The financial consultant also stressed the importance of developing discipline in managing finances.
“When we master the basics such as saving money and tracking our expenses, and we discipline ourselves, the moment when we are faced with emergencies and crises, we don’t have to bother with the financial basics anymore because it has become second nature. We only have to focus on coming up with creative financial solutions.”
During the conference co-presented by The Philippine Star, in partnership with Cinema1, Kong also shared a financial advice especially for those who want to make their dream homepossible. “Live within your means but improve your means by increasing your income.”

The financial guru also addressed concerns about having debts. “Not all debts are bad. There are also good debts (which you incur) when you buy something that increases in value.” Kong said these could include investments such as houses, lots and other properties.

As part of Avida’s Homepossible series, Homepossible: Live Free! conference gave participants a better understanding of how to take back control of their finances towards achieving financial independence, and how to finally make their dream homes a reality. 

Watch out for details of upcoming Homepossible events from Avida.

Disney On Ice presents Magical Ice Festival at Araneta

Celebrate Christmas with your family and Disney favorites Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Goofy, together with Ariel, Belle, Rapunzel, and sisters Anna and Elsa in the enchanting world of Disney on Ice presents Magical Ice Festival at Araneta Coliseum, Quezon City.

For everyone, young and old, kids and kids at heart, Christmas is never complete without the colorful, magical show that makes Christmas dreams and fantasies come to life —Disney on Ice. And this holiday season, the awe-inspiring Disney On Ice returns for another spectacular performance on ice. 

Now on its 33rd show worldwide, Disney On Ice presents Magical Ice Festival will once again capture the hearts of the Filipino fans, both parents and their children, who will watch the show at the Big Dome.

This year’s grand production will wow viewers as it features Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Tangled, Beauty and the Beast, and – for the first time – the Academy Award winning and number one animated feature film of all time, Frozen!

“We are taking a fresh new spin on how we’re presenting the Disney stories. We are weaving together the four worlds of royal sisters Anna and Elsa, Ariel, Belle and Rapunzel as they each embark on their own epic journey,” says producer Juliette Feld.

Disney on Ice presents Magical Ice Festival showcases a medley of splendid set elements, impressive light display and costume pieces, along with show-stopping performances by a cast of world-class skaters!

Sure to amaze and delight kids and young at heart, Disney On Ice will take you to an unforgettable magical journey as you get whisked away into the wintry world of Disney movie’s Frozen! 

“Everyone will be in awe as they watch Ariel slowly pulled upwards and then rapidly twirl above the ice. This is the first time that we’ve captured her transformation like this in a production. That’s what makes Magical Ice Festival different, we selected scenes we’ve never done before and then took our time on the details to make them truly special,” says director Patty Vincent. 

“In our more than 30 years of producing Disney On Ice shows, Feld Entertainment has been waiting for a film like Frozen,” says producer Nicole Feld.

“By pulling together moments from classic Disney stories to the newest feature film sensation Frozen and combining them with elements of comedy and music, we developed a truly unique way to re-tell each fairytale,” says producer Juliette Feld.

The show runs from December 25 to January 3. Tickets are now on sale. 

For more information, visit TicketNet website or call 911-5555.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Gateway Dolby Atmos Cinema

The biggest Dolby Atmos Cinema in the country located at Gateway Mall, Araneta Center was launched last Wednesday December 17, the perfect time with the advanced screening of perfect movie “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

Featuring a revolutionary audio platform that creates powerful, moving audio using audio objects and overhead speakers, Gateway Mall’s Dolby Atmos Cinema boasts of sounds that come from all directions, the dialogue and music of the onscreen story move all around the audience in three-dimensional space, transporting them into the scenes and putting them in the middle of the action. Definitely the most suitable venue for the much-awaited movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. 

Araneta Group CEO Jorge Araneta shared that this will definitely be a fantastic and world-class movie experience not just for Star Wars fans but for the whole family.
“We are very excited to screen Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Gateway Dolby Atmos Cinema 5. With its revolutionary sound technology, the theatre will be filled with breathtaking audio and the audience will feel like they are inside the Star Wars universe. This will definitely be a fantastic and world-class movie experience not just for Star Wars fans but for the whole family,” says Araneta.
Compared to regular theatres, Dolby Atmos Cinema has the most number of speakers with a 53.5 sound system (53 individual surround channels and 5 subwoofers). Each speaker is powered independently and gets its own separate audio feed. In effect, the movement of every sound in the scene is reproduced in all three dimensions.

The Dolby Atmos technology gives content creators unprecedented control of the placement and movement of sound within the movie theatre. Sounds can be placed and moved anywhere in the cinema’s three-dimensional space. The Dolby Atmos Cinema processor then determines which of a cinema’s huge array of front, back, side, and overhead speakers it will use to recreate this lifelike movement. 

With sounds coming from all directions, the cinema is filled with astonishing clarity, richness, detail, and depth. This creates a multidimensional sound system that makes audiences feel as if they are inside the film and not just watching it.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the seventh installment in the Star Wars film series and the first to be directed by J.J. Abrams.

Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and the First Order. When a defector named Finn crash-lands on a desert planet, he meets Rey (Daisy Ridley), a tough scavenger whose droid contains a top-secret map. Together, the young duo joins forces with Han Solo (Harrison Ford) to make sure the Resistance receives the intelligence concerning the whereabouts of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), the last of the Jedi Knights.

Set around 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, the sequel follows the adventures of new lead characters Finn (John Boyega), Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) as they join forces with original characters Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), and Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) to fight Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and his broadsword lightsaber. The film also features Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, and Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata.

The Force Awakens is the first film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, announced after The Walt Disney Company's acquisition of Lucas film in October 2012. The film is produced by Lucas film president Kathleen Kennedy, Abrams, and his long-time collaborator Bryan Burk.

Don’t miss the chance to have a 360-degree experience of the glorious Star Wars saga.

Catch Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Gateway Mall’s Dolby Atmos Cinema!

For more details and the latest updates from Araneta Center, visit their official website at and Facebook page at

December 18, 2015

Build Hope this Christmas with Habitat’s “Pamaskong Handog”

This Christmas, thousands of families will be celebrating in evacuation sites and temporary shelters because of recent calamities that struck the country. Amidst the busyness of the holiday season, Habitat for Humanity Philippines (Habitat) is committed to building their homes and bringing hope in disaster affected communities.

Habitat’s annual Christmas program “Pamaskong Handog” (Christmas offering) inspires the public to give back to our fellow Filipinos in need during this season of giving. Companies and organizations can set aside some funds from their Christmas party budget, or gather voluntary contribution among members which will help ongoing rehabilitation efforts in various areas nationwide. In appreciation of their generosity, Habitat will match every P1000 donation with a Noche Buena pack to be shared with its assisted family under the donor’s name.

“This season is the best opportunity to show that a little help goes a long way for a family who would like Christmas a bit more special.” Charlie Ayco, CEO and Managing Director of Habitat explains. 

More than just giving Noche Buena packs, Pamaskong Handog is really about rekindling hope among numerous families’ who slowly rebuild and improve their lives when they move to their new home. 

“Like Jesus Christ who was born in a humble shelter, he was able to inspire hope to a vast majority of people. Together with our donors, would also like to lead by example and demonstrate the love of Christ through this program”, Ayco adds. 

For more information on how to partner, kindly contact our Mass Marketing Unit at 846-2177 or email 

You may also visit www. and learn more about the on-going program.

How Cebuana Lhuillier helps micro entrepreneurs grow

Most Filipinos dream of becoming an entrepreneur someday and they start early – the student who sells candies or pad paper to his classmates, or the girl who sells stationery paper to her peers. Then the entrepreneurial dream grows bigger to include home-baked goodies, a sari-sari store or small grocery, a fleet of tricycles, and other small-scale businesses.

The country’s leading microfinancial institution, Cebuana Lhuillier, recognizes this potential and aims to help strengthen the chances of Filipinos succeeding in entrepreneurship through a financial literacy campaign that showcases the available support for micro entrepreneurs today.

There are Cebuana Lhuillier products that provide for the needs and protect the resources of micro entrepreneurs – from micro insurance products to immediate financial assistance.

Keeping small businesses safe

One of Cebuana Lhuillier’s micro insurance products is the Alagang Cebuana Plus which offers affordable personal accident and fire insurance. For only P25, the holder is covered from accidental death, dismemberment, and disablement for P20,000, with an additional P5,000 coverage from fire. The coverage is valid for four (4) months.

There are other Cebuana Lhuillier micro insurance products that help micro entrepreneurs protect their investments and resources against various risks.

Banking without the bank

Nowadays, payment options available for businesses, no matter how small, include transactions that do not go through the banks. Social networking platforms have become the new marketplace that offers products ranging from home-baked goodies, imported candies and chocolates, second hand clothes and bags, and almost anything under the sun.

Micro entrepreneurs are taking advantage of this to grow and reach a wider market. With the help of Cebuana Lhuillier’s 24/7 Pera Padala nationwide operations, they are able to receive payments sent from across the country, in real time, hassle-free and without the need to open an account.

Easy-Access Funds

No matter how small the business, it is integral to have easy access to funds in the course of the operations. Cebuana Lhuillier offers a nationwide pawning service that can address the need for funds for sudden business expenses. Its high appraisal rates, low interest rates, flexible terms, hassle-free transactions and 24/7 operations for select branches, make Cebuana Lhuillier’s pawning services the perfect partner for micro entrepreneurs.

Becoming an entrepreneur can be a challenging task, but with the right support from microfinance institutions like Cebuana Lhuillier, it can be a sweet success.

Watch the ‘Epson Spectacular Christmas 3D Projection Mapping Show’, join the #Selfietacular Contest and win an Epson home projector

Leading digital imaging company Epson Philippines Corporation (EPC) invites the public to watch the ‘Epson Spectacular Christmas 3D Projection Mapping Show’, join the "Selfietacular Contest and win an Epson 3D home projector.

Ed Bonoan, Epson’s Head of Marketing Division shared that “since this is the first Christmas 3D projection mapping show in the country, we want as many people as possible to experience it – and to remember it.

People who watched the show can take a photo of themselves with the show in the background, post it on their Facebook, use the hashtags #selfietacular and #epsongivesback, and tag the Epson Philippines FB page to get a chance to win an Epson EH-TW570 home projector.” 

The Epson EH-TW570 is a highly affordable 3D home theatre projector that delivers quality entertainment and immersive gaming experience. Through Epson’s bright 480Hz drive technology, a stunning level of 3D brightness is made possible. The 480Hz drive technology minimizes the “blackout time” of the projector when 3D images are transitioning from frame to frame, giving viewers the smoothest 3D movie or gaming experience.

Epson’s Spectacular Christmas 3D Projection Mapping Show was made possible in partnership with Ortigas & Company. The show is held from 7pm to 12 midnight at the Capitol Commons Park in Ortigas Center, Pasig every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from December 11, 2015 until January 3, 2016.

Epson is a global technology leader dedicated to driving innovations and exceeding customer expectations in printing, visual communications, quality of life and manufacturing. Epson’s lineup ranges from inkjet printers, printing systems and 3LCD projectors to industrial robots, smart glasses and sensing systems and is based on original compact, energy-saving, and high-precision technologies.


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