MARKKI STROEM Depicts Delivery Drag Queen in "My Delivery Gurl"

Friday, December 31, 2021


Markki Stroem seem to be on a roll because right after his thought provoking digital series, here goes another one in Cignal Play called My Delivery Gurl. Thing is, he's going to be in drag most of the time and since it's a lead role, he's going to do most of the talking. Think of it as Carrie Bradshaw in a Philippine setting and a drag persona, you'll love Bianca D. Cignal Play has been really active in putting content on the app and this is exciting because it's a little light, certainly entertaining, and quite a lot romantic.

Direk Carlo Catu says "This was formed because I was inspired with RuPaul's drag race. This aims to bring hope, to make you smile, so you can wake up the next day and feel good because you watched something nice. This shows the life of drag queens, that they are people who care for others, they have a life that needs to be in the spotlight, at the end of the day we are human beings who deserve to be loved and appreciated."

Markki says "Drag is a full art form, you have to wear a lot, hip pads, makeup, and heels. This gives individuals to men, gays, lesbian, to anyone, to wear anything and walk in them. I got to walk in Arab Fashion week doing this, so it really bore fruit when I practiced for this show. It's great that I am able to play the roles very well, I would be fine with character acting. If I be typecast, I'd be glad to, we need people to talk for the community and it's important to have people be proud to represent them. It started with heel training, I needed to walk and watched training videos, I even walk in Eastwood with it on, I also talked to drag queens and do this, understand the history, the laws, Paris is Burning, RPDR and more, it just means we have to learn to love each other. It's funny when I post things on my social channels, there's clearly internalized homophobia and prejudice not just with heteros, but even in the LGBTQ community. Bianca will have a love triangle, one who gets inlove with the masculine one, one that loves my feminine persona. This is really going to be amazing. You are all loved in all ways and forms, you can be femme if you want, masculine, a nice body, but still do drag, you can be whoever you want. If you love yourself and understand yourself, all these words should not affect you. Be you. I really don't know what Direk saw with me, but I think this is because I played queer in the past and I am a huge fan of understanding the whole spectrum. There are other colors of the rainbow, it's diverse, learning all of that shouldn't be feared. I walked in 7 inch heels and did it now, you would think that would impossible in the past. Owning it and how there is so much repression, you just have to love it. I wanna be a voice for the LGBTQ community, to love each other for who we are. I think I even identify as Demisexual, we just don't have to put each one of us in boxes. Bianca has different personalities... one day it's Madonna, next day it's Beyonce, body wise it's Cameron Michaels, comedy is Bianca Del Rio, Talent is Adore Delano. I also have Iyah Minah who taught me how to be a lady and walk that way. Soon, I want to be a drag queen with a trans man partner, you never really see that much on usual shows."



Rocky Salumbides who plays Jakoy says "You have to watch this to see what I'm doing. Respect should be given to those who deserve it, we shouldn't be looking at their appearances. We can't judge people, I learned a lot doing this film because it evolves. Give them what is due them. I was chosen for this role and through script reading. While direk was writing this, I think he already was thinking of me. The character I played is really based on the script, I didn't want to step on the toes of the creative, you don't really have to overthink this because it's a beautiful script."

Victor Basa plays Boss Sam "I am the owner of the delivery service where Bianca works, there's a lot of illegal things happening but it'll all make sense at the end of the day. Markki is one of the best actors I've worked with. I feel I was handpicked, because of who I am in real life. I feel that's why I was chosen for this role and character. It's a challenge because I came from a long hiatus in acting, I had to work with Markki here because he's supported us during the shoot. I don't know if we will have intimate scenes, it doesn't need to be physical, it's the feelings, there's clear attraction and I think you'll see some of this in the series."
 
Markki's character has also adopted kids, which serves as his immediate family in the film. EJ Panganiban plays Raver, Pipay Kipay is called Dyosa and Sky Teotico plays Joey Silver.

Pipay Kipay "This series doesn't have any challenge, I am so good here, it's a major one, it doesn't feel like work, it's like a vacation. I love this and it's very close to me, I didn't have to act, it was just me. We all know the pandemic brought out the worst and best in us, we got jailed at home for years, I think need to leave the fear to love, I realized that I'm beautiful, I am much more, I am more capable, I am looking forward to see everyone to be brave, bold, life is short to be just sad, it won't happy tomorrow, it's a process and that's where we'll be ourselves so be patient."

EJ Panganiban says "I learned from Rayver that it won't make you less of a man if you support others, you can love them, be with them. I was really shocked in my first day of shoot, but it's fun and I played along this good movie. It's one of the aspect that you will love with me, even with my putok and shortcomings, you'll still love your straight ally."

The movie also stars Madeleine Nicolas, Lui Manansala, Allison Piñeda, Brian Black, Andre Miguel, Carlos Dala, Liya Sarmiento, Kakki Teodoro, Juliana Parizcova Segovia, EJ Jallorina, Lady Gagita and Maria Christina. This is produced by Cignal Entertainment and Epic Media. This premiers January 1st on the Cignal Play app. Just download it, register, then upgrade fo premium so you can watch #MyDeliveryGurl. You can follow CignalPlay social channels for more updates about this show. Go treat yourself from something absolutely fun and romantic!
COW

BL Series LOVE AT THE END OF THE WORLD Showcases Extreme Love, Relationships, Hope and Sea Monsters

Thursday, December 30, 2021


Temporary Insanity Pictures has released the BL series LOVE AT THE END OF THE WORLD today on the GagaOohLala App. Honestly, I was trying to find the right words to say how fitting this is to end 2021. I wouldn't fit this as just a series, but more of a quality collection of short films that discuss love and all your inner desires in one boat. It basically answers what you would do if you only had 7 days left to live on earth... director and creator Shandii Bacolod's genius lies on that premise and she doesn't disappoint. 

The series is pretty much, WEIRD. I say that with good premise, it's a good kind of weird because you kinda get in the head of the director. The film gets pieced together, individually introducing the characters that tell a tale of their personalities, their past, what they're doing in the moment. She tries to ask you, what would you do if you knew that it’s the end of the world? Now that's going to be a tough cookie to swallow, you dream of this happening one day, but when met with it, you're going to either just close all your doors, dig a hole and pretend you're a carrot, or go out there and live your life, do things that you've never done before. They're all different guys, have different personalities, emotional baggage. Seeing the first episode, Kristof Garcia and Rex Lantano's characters delve into relationships that dwell on the past. It's a piece about mental health, some intimacy, adult desires, fantasies and how it affects their realities. We talked to them after the premiere and I bet, you'll like what you'll see on the first episode.



 

Theirs is an insanely elaborate structure of living and hoping in a love that gives, and how it's become possible to let the other appreciate love he gives without ruling out the man he loved in the past. It's amazing to start this way especially with actors that are experienced and new to this BL genre. You'll see the act of defiance to norms, which Direk Shandii will present in this first salvo. They didn't just leave themselves drown in fear, they did it before the world ends.

 


Markki Stroem and Khalid Ruiz's episode plays on the emotions of sanity, mental health, unending love, ducks, asteroids and death. It borders on the possibilities of relationships and shows at what lengths you can go to show it for a person. We talked to Markki and Khalid after the advanced screening and here's what they think about the series:




I must say, this opens up a lot of talk regarding age, the nature of partnerships and the value of life. What would one want during an end of the world scenario? This will certainly ruffle feathers (there's a duck reference), and make you think about how one should measure happiness when you get to that age (or have disabilities). Markki and Khalid delivered, and passionately have their own set of scenes that either make you yearn for more, or squirm with the situation, something that deserves to be watched and your subscription. 

 

Not to be outdone, Nico Locco and Gold Azeron's episode was my personal favorite. It had proper elements of a good story that discussed mental health, the many ways to die, profanity, comedy, family, commitment, using people, money, depression, hope and unexpected endings. Nico understood who the character was and remains pivotal for the decisions made in the story. Gold's persona was more of a filo guy, who gets to be the one that's needed, definitely unusual... especially when we often see foreigners that look this good be needed rather than the other way around. Needless to say, theirs is the most romantic, showcasing how love can make one vulnerable, and make it hard to decide if you want to share it with the other. Nico also spent days shooting the underwater scenes, you'll love that part certainly not just because of exposures, but how it was done artistically... without a doubt.


This is also Yam Mercado's first inning as a BL actor. The guy has done several projects that are more commercial in nature, including dramatic ones from previous MMFF entry Culion. Man now has acting chops and he's also part of production for this series. Paired with Elijah Filamor of film Best Partee Ever, it was easy for them to do this since they've known each other from previous projects. These two will showcase extremes in their episode - from cheesy romantic small talk to ravaging hormone filled foreplay (then some) and high intensity fights, that's how their dynamics were played. It also talks about confusion, hunger, donuts, getting lost, driving, high blood, tension, caring about each other, fighting multiple times, making up, extremes, getting hurt, apologizing, toning down, crying and its healing effects on people. You'll also love the scenic shots, which I heard was shot in Socorro in Oriental Mindoro. Knowing Yam personally, this was out of the box for him because I've known him as a goody two shoes who always had a smile worn, and throws jokes when we can at each other. He's up there, and I'm quite proud of what he's done in this flick. We talked to him after the screening, sorry it was so noisy since we were at Aurora Boulevard's traffic lanes, and a celebrative mood after the series was shown.

 


LOVE AT THE END OF THE WORLD would definitely be a good thing to watch today. It's out on the Gaga Ooh Lala App which you can download on Google Play and the App Store. Subscribe to the service and watch the rest of the episodes which comes out every Thursday at 12am, it's a little NSFW as there are adult scenes, but sans that, this proved to be so filling with everything you would desire before you get hit by a meteor. I haven't seen the other episodes (only 5 at this point because of the advanced screening) so I'd be glad to watch with you once the others come out. The actors divulged there's a lot more to be seen other than what we saw, and judging from the first ones, it'll be worth every penny.

Congratulations to the men and women of LOVE AT THE END OF THE WORLD, because in my books, you did good!




COW

KEN CHAN Opens CAFE CLAUS in Tandang Sora Quezon City


It looks like a fun, festive day over at Cafe Claus, the first Christmas themed cafe in the heart of Quezon City. This is the brainchild of Kapuso star Ken Chan and his partners. Cafe Claus is located in front of Tandang Sora Bayan Palengke along Tandang Sora Avenue. It also is the space formerly occupied by HBC Tandang Sora (which closed down during the pandemic). Ken wants this to be a home away from home, to make sure you feel the spirit of Christmas. 

 Ken says “The longest Christmas celebration is in the Philippines and honestly, there’s no Christmas themed cafe in the Philippines. Here in Cafe Claus, it’s going to be Christmas all day. When you go here, you forget about your problems, your worries, and you get to have more hope, positivity, and lots of things that remind you of Christmas. This is my first cafe, it’s always been a dream. I told my Dad that I wanted to have one because I love to put up businesses, I also love to eat.” 


 

 The restaurant is also releasing seasonal paper cups (and parts of the proceeds of their sales) aimed to raise money for charitable organizations that they plan to support. Aside from that, they also accept toys for kids and have special boxes for it. They have different items on the menu which are also Christmas themed, I would suggest you try Myrrh (mushroom soup) for your soup, Holy Grail caesar salad, Cinder Klaus Spinach Cheese Dip, Shrimp Poppers, the Signature Lasagna called Nollaig shona duit which is Irish for Merry Christmas, which is part of their 4 pasta dishes, carbonara, pinoy spaghetti and marinara. They also have Ube Champorado (available in hot or cold versions), Chicken Pot Pie which they call Gertrud’s Christmas which is also good to try.

So if you want to have a break, enjoy the Christmas season all year round at Cafe Claus. It's right in front of Tandang Sora Public Market (You can pin HBC Tandang Sora and it should take you there). Congratulations Ken Chan, you're already successful and this venture looks promising!




COW

The Secret to Success of YASMIEN KURDI

Wednesday, December 29, 2021


Yasmien Kurdi has had a very successful career in showbusiness. After becoming runner up in the 1st edition of reality show Starstruck, she's had successful shows, films and released music. 

She then took a pause to finish her studies (with flying colors in Political Science as a Magna Cum Laude!) and got married to pangga Rey Soldevilla, also had her daughter Ayesha (whome she now appears with in their family vlogs). When she did this, she told GMA Artist Center and the network, understood what she wanted to do. They gave her an open invitation to just come back when she's ready, and now she's one of GMA's prized dramatic actresses. Today, she has decided to continue her journey with GMA Artist Center.

Here's our interview with her:



Her reason for staying is simple, she feels the love of GMA. 18 years with the network is huge, they remember her, give her shows, knows what she needs for her family's welfare. When she started, she received a lot of advice from the managers, but now she's a Mom and knows how important it is to live their life even with all the pressures of work as an artist. She had a small time when she almost gave up because she wasn't getting accepted in shows, this shows her tenacity, she feels it's fate, and when she really needed it, she got where she is today. She attributes it to her joining the show Starstruck til now.

Although they don't see much of each other, they still know they would be there for each other. GMA is taking good care of her, and I'm sure, new shows will come for her after this successful one called LAS HERMANAS in GMA Afternoon prime.


COW

What's Happening to GMA ARTIST CENTER?

Monday, December 27, 2021


I am really really invested in this story, what's happening to GMA Artist Center?... and by the looks of it, people are already asking in the comments section speculating about all of this. 

GMA Artist Center kept mum about this but recently, they changed all the profile photos into black ones. I thought the accounts were all getting hacked!

So please, GMA Artist Center, tell us what's happening... this makes us all worried.

Or maybe, this would turn out to be something MORE EXCITING.... some speculate they're going to announce something big this coming year end show on GMA. Can't wait for that!


COW

Perfect Time to Watch and Dine at Gateway Mall and Pizza Hut!

Thursday, December 23, 2021


It's the holidays and since it's also local movie season, I've managed to watch 2 MMFF entries at the Gateway Cineplex 10 just last week. It was surreal to actually go back to the cinemas and they made it also safe, which was so reassuring and the follow all protocols to a T. The city of firsts is actually going to make your movie watching experience even better til February, see they're launching 2 things if you're fond of dining out and watching a movie, either way, you'll benefit from this... sounds fun right?
 
First, you can get Php 100 off on your movie ticket purchase if you order Php 1000 worth of food from Pizza Hut. According to the fine print, you have to do it on the smae day so go and present your Pizza Hut recipe and get 2 tickets to get that discount.

 
If you prefer the other promo, you can get a whopping 20% OFF on Large Pan and Stuffed Crust Pizzas for every purchase of a movie ticket from the Gateway Cineplex 10. Since it's still not allowed to eat inside cinemas (because of government regulations and safety rules by IATF), you can keep your tickets right after the screening and dine in or take out pizzas so you can talk about the movie afterwards. That's huge savings especially if you're out on a date. Pretty good deal no?

If you wanna know more about it, go to Araneta City's channels gatewaycineplex10.com or pizzahut.com.ph when you're hungry! Go take a break at Araneta City, watch a movie, dine in and have fun with your family!




COW

Xiaomi Launches First Service Center in the Country


There's no stopping a growing brand as Xiaomi officially opens their first Mi Service Center in the country. Now there's going to be a one stop shop for all your Mi Smartphone servicing needs and support will be more accessible for Filipinos in the south. This particular branch is located at the ground floor of Ayala Mall's Market!Market!

It's very spacious, much of the space was dedicated to tables wherein you could try out the different handset models they currently have released. Aside from that, they've got the various Mi AIoT line like the Mi Scooter Pro, Mi Vacuum Cleaners, Mi Electric Kettles, Mi Smart Wifi LED Lamps, Mi Motion Sensors, Mi Wifi Routers, accessories and more. Check out this video we made of our short tour of the Service Center last week.
 
 
Holiday promos are available so if you plan to get the Xiaomi 11T Series, Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, Mi 11 Lite or the Xiaomi Pad 5, you can get the free Mi Bunny plushie which you can exclusively get just for this instance. This will only me available from November 13 up to January 14 next year.
 
 Now if you're having trouble getting support for your device, simply call the Xiaomi toll-free number (for Smart/PLDT) 1-800-1312-0048 or (Globe) 1-800-8386-5529. You may also email them at service.ph@xiaomi.com or mi-phfeedback@xiaomi.com for your concerns. If you want to know their services, you can check out their official website at mi.com/ph/service/repair as everything is also going to be listed there, at least have an idea before rushing to their service center. This is of course just the start and they plan to put up more of these so you can reach them in major cities because they promised that if there's great demand for their products in certain areas, they'll put one up for it. That's assuring.
 


COW


Golden Haven Memorial Park Wins 2 Awards This 2021


This year seems a good one especially for the folks at Golden Haven. Recently, they have been awarded by Q Asia's Quality Excellence Awards and the Philippine Top Choice Awards fro Excellence and Outstanding Achievers. This comes as no surprise because they've been doing this since 1984, providing final resting place for your loved ones in different price points, made with finely crafted themes and landscapes anyone would love. Their mission of having a themed memorial park in every hometown seems not to be far fetched, which is part of the vast expansion they plan in the next few years.

Right now they have over 30 memorial parks and over 34 other developments in cities across the Philippines and the rate of projects ramp up to almost 4 every fiscal year. They also put up colombariums like the one in Sanctuario de San Ezekiel Moreno in C5, Pulang Lupa Las Pinas and more memorial chapels in the same city and in Pampanga. They've been given recognition or 2020 and 2021 for Best Landscape Design for a Memorial Park. This is something they've pioneered and won't be stopping in the next few years because at the end of the day, they want you to have new and long lasting memories when you visit your dearly departed loved ones in their parks.

Ceremonies happened at Casa Ibarra Hotel lasst June and to accept the award, Ms. Analyn Anero of their Luzon Division and Ms. Iris Guanzon of the Las Pinas Cluster accepted the award in behalf of their company. The other one was given at the New Coast Hotel Manila last December 17, and they have given the proceeds of that event to benefit families affected by the pandemic. They dedicate these awards to the men and women behind Golden Have and to their customers, which they have been so proud to serve all these years.

Congratulations Golden Haven! You deserve these accolades for the services you rendered.


COW

Tzu Chi Foundation and Private Companies Pool Resources to Help in Typhoon Odette Efforts


Tsu Chi Foundation Philippines have already done a lot in the past. Master Cheng Yen founded it in 1996 to inspire people, to put compassion into action. They initially had 30 housewives saving 2 cents from their groceries, but now has a seat in the UN. Tsu Chi reached the Philippines in 1994, and now has volunteers in different areas in the country. Tsu Chi and Master Chung Yen has had the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Presidential Award -Kaanib ng Bayan and more. For now they are doing charity efforts, to provide medical assistance, disaster relief, educational program, livelihood and vocational training. They have worked previously in the restoration of a Tacloban Church, Typhoon Yolanda work and response. 

This year, Typhoon Odette Ravaged the country, making 9 landfalls in Visayas and Mindanao, taking out electricity, water supple, and now they're working with people on ground in Cebu, Bohol and Leyte and with the government units so they could help where there are most affected. This involves isolated towns, coastal ones, where thousands of people are in dire need. Children, mothers, people are going out on streets to beg for food, shelter, so they could survive. They now live in tents and makeshift shelters in the same area where the typhoon hit them as well. Cebu, Ormoc and Palo Leyte Volunteers are serving hot meals and water, Manila is also sending help including blankets, water supply, gen sets. Tzu Chi are calling for donations of water, food and funds. They need construction materials, GI sheets, nails, to protect them from the weather. They are also in need of communications, logistics and support. 

Digital Pilipinas convenor and Geiser Maclang Founder Amor Maclang says "Thank you for all those who came this morning, we all were caught off guard with what happened with Typhoon Odette. One of the reasons of why we're asking for your help to support Tsu Chi Foundation. A few years ago, we were invited to Taiwan wherein I had the pleasure of meeting the founder. A lot of our advocacy areas are in Bicol, Leyte, CAR, and Zamboanga. Digital Pilipinas is working with Tsu Chi Foundation to help scale harness technology, help them move money, to bring help where it's needed the most. They are very transparent. We need leader volunteers for education, environment, and work with the CSR arm of Globe, fintech and payments, beyond just making a donation through digital wallets, repurposing donated electrical appliances and sell them to put profits in Tsu Chi and help people. We need help in logistics, the devastation is massive. We will be calling for meetings, to update you of what's happening on ground. You will hear how you can best help in this crisis. We will have January 2 and 3 some rice donations, we need volunteers to arrange that, work together. Thank you to our friends from the private industry who are here, I wish everyone, the rest of our country have a better Christmas."



If you would like to help, donations can be course through these channels:



Yoly Crisanto of Globe CSR says "This is a test for resiliency, and we need to make things better. Communication is key. The challenge is to respond and build things better next time. When Ondoy struck, Marikina valley was under water, we had to build towers higher after that. We need our cell sites to withstand even greater winds than ever before. We build cell sites that can do that, to hopefully invest and pour out more, and there's no donor fatigue in the country. We should never be in this position again, we need to have more resilient measures. We will be there to help, we need to put together our resources, to help coastal communities, to battle the pandemic and climate change. There is a challenge for everyone, and hopefully we can build on our network. The government is very open, the NDRMMC, the LGU's, Siargao, Cebu, Davao, we need to have a concerted efforts, not just work after the Typhoon and say it's done. Let us understand that we need to put new antennas when the roads are blocked, it's hard to work in disaster response. The power lines are down, you can only repair if there is power. That's the reality on ground and it's a concerted effort. We are doing everything we can right now, every single minute counts before, after disaster happens. It's not easy. I'm appealing to everyone to hopefully get back and be connected again after that strong typhoon."

Tsu Chi Foundation has been doing in environmental protection, we have done it in Taiwan. It's something we can replicate in the Philippines, to make sure we don't experience these climate change caused disasters.

Nauman Mustafa of Coins.ph says "I've experienced the Typhoon while I was in the BPO sector at that time. People have come together and there are many companies who want to do this. We decided to put our own business partners to have their proceeds be given to those who need it most. I am a firm believer that we should help others. We are here to support Tsu Chi, we'll ask our partners to also support the foundation in our capacity. We just have to take this challenge an fight with it."

There were tons more from the private sector, it was really nice to see them connecting and trying to help in their way, so please help if you can in your own capacity.

"When the poor cannot come out, the blessed ones should go in and help." -Master Yeng Chen


COW

DANIEL PADILLA for MMFF 2021 Entry "Kun Maupay Man it Panahon" (Whether the Weather is Fine)

Tuesday, December 21, 2021


This is one of the most awaited films in the Metro Manila Festival this 2021, not just because of its story and cause, but because the one and only Teen King Daniel Padilla is starring in a film. This is called Kun Maupay Man it Panahon (Whether the Weather is Fine). The film has also been seen in 25 festivals outside the country and this time, you have to opportunity to see it in the cinemas this MMFF 2021. This is the handy work of different production companies which includes Cinematografica, PlanC, House on Fire, IwantTFC, Globe Studios, Black Sheep, Quantum Films, CMB Films, AAND Company (based in Singapore), Kawan-Kawan Media (of Indonesia), Wedemann Bros. (of Germany) and Dreamscape. The cast has never seen the movie yet, so they'll be watching it together with you come Christmas Day.

Three stars and the director welcomed us in the virtual presser, Direk Carlo Francisco Manatad, actress Rans Rifol, Ms. Charo Santos Concio, and my favorite boy Daniel Padilla.

Daniel says "Just now, I am very nervous sitting here with Ms. Charo, I am a little intimidated, but being with her during the whole filming process, she's very giving actress, very welcoming. It's a beautiful experience being with her, I always sing when on set just to keep her happy. Her passion is also so good, you can see that when we were making the film. This isn't my first time making a serious film, but this is the first about a real event. I wanted to challenge myself too, and doing this, I had fears doing it because it was the first time I'm working with the Director. Because it was also in Tacloban, I knew I had to do it. We can't really stop natural disasters, but what I want to know is how we would be ready each time it happens. There are people suffering, it again hit a lot of our countrymen. For the film, it's just sad that it happened again, I hope this would be an eye opener for a lot of people. We hope to make them aware especially now. When we were in Colloseo near the Tacloban Airport, when people were there, I felt how they were not acting, the fear was still there, it was hard to see that while shooting this film. Direk talked to them before putting that on camera, we really thanked them after the film, the locals experienced that and it's hard to take in. This is very personal to me, I was afraid to accept this first, but when I knew I wanted to do challenging films. I didn't think about Carlo being a new director, he did good and this film is a different experience especially in making this film.


Ms. Charo says "During breaks, we had Waray rehearsals. When this was offered to me, I was drawn to the story, the character, the script that was sent to me was written in English. They told me I will have the opportunity to work with DJ, I was really looking forward to do that. Working with a new director is a challenge and opportunity, there is something to learn from these young people, and he has worked with previous films too as an Editor, and this is his vision, an affirming one because of his personal experience. I really loved the learning sessions about Waray, reading sessions of the script. We also had coaches on set, when the scrip arrived, you kinda get the hang of the story and how to say it during the filming process. This film mirrors how natures wrath would be a hard battle to win. You can see how people need help, but see how we as Filipinos still get together, do our best to help especially in the Visays region, it's really sad it happened again. I'm glad there are less deaths, and people followed when they were asked to evacuate. When you're beside the beach, you should think twice getting a permanent home. You can see the resilience and spirit of helping each other, I'm happy to see that too. Yes it is empowering because this is based on Carlo's personal experience, and how his family also survived during that time. It's part of nature, we have to be prepared though each time this happens. We hope we can address when people get their homes destroyed, we shouldn't be complacent in just doing that in our community. It's really nice to be out of your comfort zone, you learn their culture, and working with young ones is like this youthful energy, this desire is so good and my character is a woman, a wife, a mother, but her persona might be different, it's a choice, she made that choice and not all would understand it. In the end, it's her journey and it's what she followed."

Rans Rifol says "I hope this film would make people hope, take action, how we could cope with disasters. My character is like anyone, one who dreams, even if they are under a rubble, they don't forget about it."



Director Carlo Manatad says "I was in Manila but almost all my family was in Tacloban, I didn't have a way to contact them, I feared that they all perished because I saw the images in that town. Eventually, I found them, and they were safe, but it was a difficult experience for them. Daniel's range is really huge as an actor, he's done several that made me see him as the perfect fit with this character. I have always mentioned collective healing, one of which I saw with my own eyes in my province, I hope the film calls for hope that there should be change when Yolanda happened, it's sad, but I hope the citizens of the Philippines see what needs to be done. I don't think this is a trend, but this is an advocacy, it's just that things happened again in the country, but films in general have had this particular way of creating things. Ever since we made this, our stars knew that just finishing this film and having it on a film festival was already an achievement. We're just blessed that it is being screened around the world, the award give us confidence that we are doing the right thing. It boosts our morale in what we do, but we didn't expect them to win some awards during the pandemic, I wanted to share the award to everyone but it's just hard. More than anything it's not the film being presented with a political stance, but a more realistic one, of what people experienced during Yolanda. You can feel how the characters fell aimlessly ask where they could go, how they could get help, it's not political stance, it's just the experience. Two extras approached me and thanked why we're making the film, I know regardless, they were there, they were sincere, and the actors knew what this was all about.

Filipinos are hopeful, we are big dreamers, this film will teach you that WE can weather storms, and overcome adversities. Please, do what you can to also help with the efforts on Typhoon Odette. I'm sure Daniel would love to see that. 
 
Make sure you see it on theaters on Christmas Day!



COW

With Globe MyFi, You Can Do It All!


Life seems coming back to normal and yes, bloggers are starting to attend events and press conferences left and right. I've been working remotely on occasion, while it's hard to juggle a laptop, 2 mobile phones and a DSLR camera, I pretty much would depend on data that my postpaid phone would be able to accommodate. My iPhone is pretty ancient and yes, batteries are kinda dismal. So instead of putting it in hot spot mode all day, I needed something that can handle all my devices and save me some headaches when deadlines occur.

 


Meet the new Globe MyFi LTE Advanced, it's a device that can connect up to 12 devices. This only costs Php 1,899 and links to an LTE Advanced network powered by Globe. I took the liberty of powering one up because I needed it for uploading content fast, I've been known to do that right after a movie, press conference or event that I cover. It's actually pretty easy to set this up, and you can customize and secure the network if you need to. 

When you open the box it contains the unit, a sim card pack, the battery, they Type C cable, the Quick Start Guide and the Warranty Certificate. Go and insert the micro sim, take note of the SSID and WIFI KEY at the back side before you insert the battery. You need this information to connect to the device so make sure you do that. There are two buttons on the device, the Wifi Protected Setup button (WPS) and the Power button located on the side. The reset button is inside the device when you open the flap. Turn it on, and wait for the prompt. It will indicate when a signal is available and also count the MB's that you've used. Got one of my phones and connected to the device, I automatically got internet connection because this has Surf4All99 or 9GB of data which you can use for all sites in the first 7 days.


To change the WIFI settings of your device, login to your router via 192.168.8.1 on your browser. Type in the username and password, I used admin for both and got to the interface above. This is the place you'll change your network name and password, if you want to elect a new one, go ahead and do it here. Save the settings and you should get the prompt that it has saved successfully. Then reconnect to your network with the new password you saved. Make sure you remember the router password so you can go back to the page if you want to change settings. If you forget the password, that's what the reset button on the device when you open the flap.

What I love about this device is the battery life. A single full charge could make this device last around 48 hours. Since its got its own battery, you don't need to depend on your mobile phones that drain too fast when its on hot spot mode. This frees up a lot of the power consumption I can use for social media, or other phone functions that I need to cover the whole day. Aside from that, I can share the connection to a few friends who would need it, that's very convenient for work and play.

 I also downloaded the GlobeOne App to register the number and load it up using that. It manages the connection, and it's good that you can buy load and subscribe to promos all in one app. The namesake works, and I'm glad I'd be able to know more about how I spend my data, budget it especially since I already have a postpaid line. The convenience of having Globe MyFi is just insurmountable, I'd be glad to have this as my companion now especially if I'm going out for work. I hope you find that feeling too!

The Globe at Home MyFi LTE costs Php 899.00 while the Globe at Home MyFi LTE Advanced costs Php 1,899.00. For more information about these devices and other Globe products, you may visit their website at https://new.globe.com.ph/prepaid-wifi/myfi-lte. With it, Carry Mo Ang Lahat!

 

 



COW



Abizo OFW App: Peace of Mind for OFW's and Their Families This Christmas

Monday, December 20, 2021


Overseas Filipino Workers have been dubbed as the new heroes. Back in 2020, their remittances have amounted to 9.66 percent of the country's GDP which is worth over 33.2 billion dollars. It's a huge chunk and they deserve good news, so here's the ABIZO OFW app which is backed by the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency.

As you know, employment abroad doesn't always mean greener pastures, rainbows and butterflies. Your family at home and your government worries for OFW's safety, this app solves a lot of that and give you peace of mind. The ABIZO OFW app provides real time updates of your activities in other countries. Through this app, they look after your welfare, and give you the option to tell them where you are when you arrive in the host country. This mobile app platform is convenient, takes a few steps to register and would ease the mind of your families back home. The app also has a button for emergencies, so in case you encounter any difficulties with your employment, they can go and give you needed help.

This would prove useful especially in the Middle East, the US, Europe, or elsewhere in the world. If you need help from the government, this would be your first line of defense and prevent physical, emotional abuse if it occurs at your place of work.

To make things even better, they have published a few videos in the app that will make you remember Christmas in the Philippines, and how the app would work in real life! They actually have a few of these episodes out including Episode 2: Kamusta Ka Na Ate? It will certainly pull heartstrings, because these are short stories everyone can relate from, especially if you have loved ones abroad who work tirelessly for their family back home.




If you want to see the videos, like the link above and their Facebook page, or subscribe to their YouTube channel at ABIZO OFW. Aside from that, you can download the ABIZO OFW app on Google Play or the App Store. Make sure you do before you leave the country, it's better to be prepared especially if you're going out there to improve the lives of your family.





COW

Come "Roar with Confidence in the Year of the Water Tiger" from Feng Shui Queen Marites Allen


To say that I'm guided is an understatement especially when I've had the pleasure of knowing Ms. Marites Allen. This year is special for Earth Horses like me who have undoubtedly weathered a lot these past few years, and now becoming more, shall I say LUCKY?

You too may have the pleasure of knowing what your fortune is during the Year of the Water Tiger (2022) through Marites Allen's 2022 Feng Shui Forecast. The event is entitled "Roar with Confidence in the Year of the Water Tiger" and will be held this coming December 26 at 6PM (times below for other territories). You may get tickets through Eventbrite, the official Frigga website, KTX.PH and ticket2me.net. I've attended previous ones and I am so excited to know straight from Ms Marites the stories that changed our lives in 2021. She also takes time to explain things, in lay man's terms so we would understand how we could have better times this year.


You can be guided and grow, aside from that, Frigga will showcase their latest products so you can mix fortune with fashion, something that Ms. Marites Allen has fabulously done throughout the years. You have to make your year work for you, enhance it with things that can help. Ms Marites always give practical advise, and honestly, I've seen a lot of people do this, but she's different. If you want to take matters in your own hands, take note of the schedule and listen to her on this date. It'll change the way you see Feng Shui, and keep it classy.

Experience this all on the event, see you there!



COW

LANDERS SUPERSTORE Opens Uptown BGC Branch


It looks like businesses are back in action as a couple of days ago, we witnessed the opening of LANDERS SUPERSTORE at Uptown Palazzo in BGC. It sits in front of the restaurant lane opposite the Adidas Uptown Mall entrance. This is a much needed refuge for residents inside the former base and nearby communities. As you know, LANDERS has carry tons of food products, appliances, clothing and so much more. This is also their 6th one in the country and if you ask me, they win in variety especially with imported products. Here's how my trip there went, oh and please subscribe!


 What I like about this new branch is that it isn't as warehousy as most membership shops do. They aesthetics are clearly made that way so you look at every corner and feel like you'll love taking photos for Instagram on it. They've got good deals so make sure to check out the signs especially the meat section, the grocery too. Now I've had questions thrown over at YouTube and asked about not going here because it's unhealthy, that's misconstrued and old ideas. First, I've seen a LOT of organic food being sold there including veggies and other healthy options. Food prepared in packages are also prepared on site with an actual cold kitchen in the center, that can be seen from the fresh produce area. You should take a look.

 

Nico Locco of Love at the End of the World (showing soon on Gagaoolalah app)

Sweethearts Maverick Legaspi and Kyline Alcantara. I have interviewed them previously online and just met them in real life today! <3
 

There's also Dough and Co. inside the store where you can get excellent breads, cookies and pastries that usually cost a lot in coffee shops but you can get it there at a fraction of its original cost. You can get coffee at Doppio, their in house coffee shop. Aside from that, you can get a free haircut at their barbershop soon, as it was still being finished when I was there during the launch. They took time putting in items in the store, you'll love each isle and find something that would be best for your family, your friends, I wouldn't be surprised if you get them stuff for Christmas.

Now take the trip in Taguig today or maybe the weekend, there's lots to see at the new LANDERS SUPERSTORE in Uptown BGC!





COW


BIG NIGHT: A Feisty, Funny Entry for the 2021 Metro Manila Film Festival

Sunday, December 19, 2021


It’s been a while since Direk Jun Lana came out with a film but this one produced by Cignal Entertainment, IdeaFirst Company, October Train Films and Quantum Films would certainly ruffle feathers as the topic delves on the governments drug war that cost so many lives. It would be interesting to see how they would be able to tell a story about it especially when this topic in particular is very pointed politically. Watched it a few days ago in Gateway Mall as part of the press screening, you could say it’s a dark dramedy. With award winning actor Christian Bables on the lead role, it made the gay spin effective; and put the point across without people realizing how serious this is. This is also their official entry for this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival.

BIG NIGHT usually is coined from the events that gay bars in this part of the world do when they let it all out. It’s the evening where they make all the grand production numbers and let hell hath fury when it comes to adult entertainment/male pageants. This is where Christian’s character “Dharna” also works as his partner Zeus played by Nico Antonio joins these pageants as he dreams to win some day. Dharna also works in the beauty industry (owns a shack salon) but has unfortunately found himself reported in a "watch list". That entails being hunted down or killed, even if he isn’t involved in it. This starts the quest to clear his name, a chase that might prove lethal as he's seen a couple downed just because they're on it. He needed to hurry though because chances are, he could be next. Here, he hopes to live another day. The story also involves a lot of interesting characters, an ensemble of actors with the likes of Eugene Domingo, Gina Alajar, Ms. Janice de Belen, Ricky Davao, Ms. Gina Pareño, Nico Antonio, Allan Paule, Soliman Cruz, Martin del Rosario, Awra Briguela, my friend VJ Mendoza, Cedrick Juan, Ogie Diaz, Ms. Sue Prado. and best actor John Arcilla.




Christian says “When I watched this, I thought it wasn’t me. The work we do with the director and co actors are different, it changes you to become the other person, and I think that’s why this is good! I had a hard time doing the ambulance scene physically, I think I lost 5 pounds (he kids). If I win awards for this I’d gladly accept it, but whatever happens I’m already happy that you didn’t see me as Christian but just Dharna on screen.”

Direk Jun Lana took us on a ride, bringing real scenes of poverty, family, religion, community, corruption, society and heartbreak. This movie made me feel very sad, to see how things could be, to make something so evil become just a norm. He put it out there for us to discuss, the interpretation is left to the ones who watches it. The musical scoring in different scenes will haunt you a bit, effective and makes you feel like it was you involved in the scene. John Arcilla’s scenes is on another dimension, it was crazy and unusual, and Christian’s reaction to that was gold (you'll know more about it if you watch the movie!).

Miss Janice adds “People need to see other people go out in the streets, in malls and watch movies again. It’s okay but of course with proper protocols, we need to learn to live with this and try to live normally.”

Perci Intalan, Atty. Joji Alonzo, Isabelle Santillan was also in the screening. Miss Isabelle says “We’re very excited about the film because this is the first time Cignal is sending an entry for the MMFF.”

Atty Joji says “Jun and Perci asked me to co produce this and I hope you like this, if not please be kind.” she jokes.

Perci says “Thank you to everyone, to our partners, this was a passion project in 2019 and we were able to produce it during lockdown. Please, spread the word!”

Here are excerpts of the interview we had with them right after the screening, enjoy! 


 

BIG NIGHT is part of the Metro Manila Film Festival, and according to Direk Jun there will be a sequel. I’d love to see that, because this movie just begs for more. It’s organic, funny, and you get what they’re doing the scenes itself because it's so relatable, it talks about what is happening in current Philippine society. I remember Direk Jun mentioned that this may not be fully understood by foreign audiences because this was made for FILIPINOS. Also, there would be several scenes that would be Easter egg moments for you, and they left it to your interpretation. I'd love to see this again during MMFF and see how audiences would react to it. I sincerely loved how they presented the message, and I won't expect less because this is a Jun Lana film. It makes you want to talk about it, and it makes you think.

See you on theaters this MMFF 2021!





COW

There Exists a 5G Enabled Smart Hospital in Thailand

Saturday, December 18, 2021


In the eve of health care being in the forefront of importance because of the pandemic, technology has gone strides in the ASEAN region as they've started to enable a hospital in Thailand with 5G connection. Huawei together with the Thailand Office of the National Broadcasting Telecommunications Commission and Siriraj Hospital bares this as the "Siriraj World Class 5G Smart Hospital".

This was announced last December 16 and was witnessed by various government leaders, faculty leaders and members from Siriraj Hospital Mahidol University, the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission, the Chinese Ambassador to Thailand Han Zhiqiang and Abel Deng the CEO of Huawei Thailand and hospital representatives too. This makes Siriraj the first and largest 5G Smart Hospital in the whole region and brings top of the line technology within reach of patients, medical heiarchy. They have already started several projects with 5G Portable Medical Boxes, 5G Unmanned Vehicles, 5G Medical Carts and 5G enabled Hospital Beds. They aim to implement this on a large scale next year in around 30 other applications, a step forward in healthcare in Thailand. The Prime Minister has put a lot of importance in technology and would want to push for a more Digital Thailand. The start of the 5G enablement in the medical field is just the start, and would have it more efficient for patients. They lauded Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Huawei, NBTC and private groups. He also mentioned how this could be implemented in other hospitals in the country from hereon.

This long term cooperation between Siriraj and Huawei has bore fruit, and now implements things for health monitoring, diagnosis, data collection and tech training for medical professionals in the hospital. This has won them in CommuncAsia Awards as the Most Innovative 5G trial in Asia Pacific. There will certainly be more about it here soon. Stay tuned!





COW