P.I. Jazz Fest 2008

Raul Midon

Are you a fan of jazz? Are you a fan of music?

If you are, then prove it by joining the biggest musical festival in the country this year: The Philippine International Jazz and Arts Festival 2008, which started last 29th of February in Manila and runs until the 15th of March. Featured international artists include Lee Ritenour, Kurt Elling, Omar Sosa, Sara Gazarek, Chico and the Gypsies, and Incognito. From local shores we have Johnny Alegre, Bob Aves Group, Toti Fuentes, Gerard Salonga, Manuel Baldemor, and the Brass Munkeys, among others.

The event this year is made more special because the organizer, P.I. Jazz Foundation, is now involved with UNICEF. Efforts are being made to bring jazz to the youth through development programs such as school workshops in Far Eastern University and the University of Santo Tomas, summer music training courses, a talent search contest, and mall tours featuring our top local musicians.

The real reason why I am all hyped up about it, however, is the phenomenal Raul Midón. You’ve simply got to see him! The blind New York City-based singer-songwriter and guitarist will be down at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza to give a free workshop on March 12. And on March 13, he’ll be featured in the main concert with Montreal-based jazz pianist Lorraine Demarais.

For more information, visit the official website at http://www.pijazzfest.com.

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March Music Madness!

Well it’s March and there’s too much going in the music scene in the Metro. Hundreds of foreign artists (well just several actually) are dropping in for concerts and most of these concerts are sold out already. Mandy Moore will be in Eastwood, Maroon 5 will be in Araneta, Incubus will be dropping in by March 9… so save up for that band or artist specially since Holy Week (aka the 4-day holiday) is near.

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Interfaith Rally in Makati City

“Kayo ba’y naniniwalang may bukol ang NBN-ZTE Deal?”

As I write this, Rodolfo Jun Lozada is delivering a speech at an ongoing interfaith rally in Makati City. Lozada is the star witness in the national broadband network scandal who claimed that Arroyo’s husband, Jose Miguel Arroyo, and her political and business allies were behind the overpricing of the project that eventually went to China’s ZTE Corp.

Among those leading the rallyists are former president Joseph Estrada, Brother Eddie Villanueva, and Archbishop Oscar Cruz. Estrada’s spanking red sneakers are hot.

For updates, read the breaking news courtesy of Inq7.net.

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Selda: Not your typical Valentine’s date movie

If you’re looking for something different this Valentine’s, you need not look far. Opening tomorrow at the Robinson’s Galleria Mall’s Indiecine is Selda, a Filipino indie film by Paolo Villaluna and Ellen Ramos.

True to form to their themes of love and its different vagaries, filmmakers Paolo Villaluna and Ellen Ramos follow up their highly-acclaimed debut film ILUSYON (Rated A 2005, Cinemanila IFF 2006, Pusan IFF 2006) with the tragic tale of 3 characters in Selda. The film stars Sid Lucero, Emilio Garcia and Ara Mina. Also starring are Michael de Mesa, Allan Paule, Soliman Cruz and Ping Medina.

Set in two contrasting enivronments that undeline the same premise of imprisonment, Selda tells the story of Rommel, a young man who accidentally kills a boy, resulting in his incarceration. Inside the jail, he befriends another inmate, Esteban, who becomes his rock and protector. Seven years later, Rommel is living in the province as a farmer together with Sita his wife. Esteban tracks down Rommel in hopes of renewing a brewing love affair. Rommel and Sita welcome Esteban into their lives, until their intimacy crosses borderlines and results in the undeniable scourge of self-discovery.

Selda is a return to classiscist forms and delivers a stylish, deliberately-paced treatise on love. At moments strange, Selda is a sublime and disquieting portrait of a young man whose search for happiness, innocence and true love is laden with guilt and doubt.

Source: Selda Trailer at Youtube.com

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Jokefest for the Dateless

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Are you dateless this Valentine’s? Instead of wallowing in your singledom, how about spending it with other singles and laugh about it? The Youth Tourism Response Philippines (YouthTRiP) is inviting all singles (or even couples) to the Jokefest for the Dateless event on the 16th, at the Club Intramuros Roof Deck. Doors open at 8pm, and an entrance fee of Php150 will be collected. Don’t fret about the fee; it gets you one drink, and the rest is contributed for YouthTRiP’s upcoming Yayain si Yaya Day, “a project that will take Yayas and their kids and wards to Museo Pambata for an afternoon of history, storytelling, and Pinoy games. It is a tribute to our second mothers and quasi-big sisters.

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Dolls for a cause

Straight from the Press Release…

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Dolls for a cause by Philippine contemporary artists
Manikako doll fair and auction on February 16-23 at the Podium

We invite you to be a part of Manikako, Future Ko! A Fund-Raising Doll Fair at The Podium Activity Center along 18 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong City., February 16 to 23, 2008. The proceeds of the event will fund free doll-making workshops for underprivileged kids conducted by the House of Comfort Art Network (ARTHOC).

The week-long fair will open with a “loud auction” conducted by artist/critic Cid Reyes on February 16, 6pm with TV personality Tintin Bersola Babao as program host.

Doll-making workshops will be held daily at the fair, led by a wide variety of groups such as : ManikaManila, avid collectors of ball-jointed dolls; Mistula, concept doll band; Pilipinas Street talented grafitti artists; Sewing Circle, needlepoint craft enthusiasts; Creatives from Y & R Philippines; Superficial Girls; and, INK or Illustrador ng Kabataan whose works breathe life into Filipino children’s literature. (Do it yourself) doll manikako kits and other
manikako products will be available for sale during the event.

Capping the week is Salamat sa’yo, Manikako!, a thanksgiving celebration featuring musicians like Moonstar88, Joey Ayala, Susan Fernandez Magno, Ciudad and the multiawarded performance poet, Vim Nadera, among others.

Almost a hundred dolls created by noted visual artists, singers, composers, dancers, photographers and cultural workers, including those by National Artist Abdulmari Imao and senior artist Mauro Malang Santos will be exhibited and auctioned off throughout the fair. Participating artists include Leo Abaya, Mike Achevido, Cynthia Alexander, Willie Alicdan, Yasmin Almonte, Ligaya Fernando-Amilbangsa, Edda Amonoy, John Paul Antido, Marcel Antonio, Ral Arrogante, Pandy Aviado, Joey Ayala, Pablo Baensantos, Mara Bernaldo, Joan Bitangcol, Plet Bolipata, Remy Boquiren, Elmer Borlongan, Alan Cabalfin, Benjie Cabangis, Noel Cabangon, Angel Cacnio, Michael Cacnio, Imelda
Cajipe-Endaya, Bong Callao, Bea Camacho, Susan Canoy, Rafael del Casal, Rey Paz Contreras, Tala Contreras, Daniel Coquilla, Chie Cruz, Noel Cuison, Aba Dalena, June Dalisay, Ginny Dandan, Nadya Melina David, Antipas Delotavo, Romina Diaz, Neil Doloricon, Noell El Farol, Gigi Escalante, Bob Feleo, Egai Fernandez, Karen Flores, Nonoy Froilan, Esther Garcia, Gian Gianan, Gino Gonzales, Guerrero Habulan, Sid Hildawa, Grace Imao, Juan Sajid Imao, Toym Imao, Ferdie Jingco, Lett Jingco, Tiffany Jingco, Katwo, Prudencio Lammaroza, Lilia Lao, Glo Tenza-Lava, Lao Lianben, Bing Libatique, Lenore Lim, Margarita Lim, Tita Lim, Alfredo Liongoren, Julie Lluch, Jojo Lofranco, Athena Lopez, Noli Manalang, Baidy Mendoza, Ferdie Montemayor, Peter Mutuc, Teresita Narciso, Wawi Navarroza, Romulo Olazo, Jim Orencio, Gabie Osorio, Vincent Padilla, Gapas, Mario Parial, Mikel Parial, Mervy Pueblo, Alma Quinto, Ton Raymundo, Jucar Raquepo, Roberto Ma. Robles, Riza Romero, Jose Tence Ruiz, Rovi Salegumba, Jaypee Samson, Julio Samson, Soler Santos, Ching Abad Santos, Mia Singson, Sharon See, Sherwin Tan, Kitty Taniguchi, Lia Torralba, Cez Nunez-Uhing, Clairelynn Uy, Rosel Valenzuela, Brian Vallesteros, Anna Varona, Lydia Velasco, Edna Vida, Kris Villanueva, Liv Vinluan, and Nestor Vinluan.

Manikako, Future Ko! is a collaboration of ARTHOC, a non-stock, non-profit organization that believes in the power of art to comfort the needy and the afflicted and its fund-raising arm MANIKAKO, Liongoren Gallery, The Podium, Y & R Philippines and Britania Art Projects.

ARTHOC and Manikako have been conducting doll workshops with out-of-school youth in Naga city, typhoon Reming survivors in Albay, among the wards of SOS village in Ayala Alabang, and among children from slum communities in Cubao, Project 2, and Payatas in Quezon City.

Other projects by ARTHOC include workshops such as the “House of Comfort Art Project” and “Malaya Ka Ba? Freedom Quilt” which yielded handcrafted textile pieces created by participants from various communities throughout the Philippines. For inquiries, please call 9124319 or log on to www.manikako.com and www.traumainterrupted.org/arthoc

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I hope we’ll see each other there! :D

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Checkpoint here, checkpoint there

Due to work, I stay at home every week night. Even when I don’t have work, I rarely venture far from home. So it is with some surprise that within one week, we had to pass through a police check point twice.

The first one was on Thursday, around 2 o’clock in the morning. My friends and I were driving from Antipolo, on the way home to Quezon City. As we turned right to Katipunan Avenue, we were stopped by a couple of policemen. They flashed their lights inside the vehicle, and proceeded to check who and what was inside the car.

The second one was last Friday night, around 8 o’clock in the evening. I was riding a cab along Visayas avenue, when we passed through a check point, made by two police cars parked on the outer lanes, and policemen checking out passengers. This made me recall the number of times I saw a police car parked on the corner of Mindanao and Congressional avenues.

Why are they doing this? Since when did this start? What are they looking for? Is this only happening in Quezon City?

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Pepperlunch Coming to Manila

i am very excited. pepperlunch coming to manila (at rockwell). please stand by… i’ll keep you guys posted.

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*computer rendered image of the facade (photo from www.chuvaness.com)

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Lunch at John and Yoko

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Hubby and I had lunch at John and Yoko at Greenbelt 5. I’ve heard a lot of great things about this restaurant so we decided to give it a whirl.
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Bellissimo Ristorante

Great company, a cozy dining place and good food in one of Manila’s restaurant hubs spell a wonderful night. Two Fridays ago I met with some blog pals, mommies who are well into gastronomic adventures.

Dining at an Italian restaurant located at Tomas Morato, Bellissimo Ristorante, was a good experience. The serving time is fast enough and the staff quick to check on our needs. The best seller is their Aglio Olio with anchovies and Pasta Montano.

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No wonder the owner of the restaurant, actor Cesar Montano, stamped it with his name. See the picture on the top right. It has a generous filling of cheese, red sauce and sausage. The sausage completes the full flavor of the pasta.

The interior is something of interest. There’s a brick oven, a deli, collection of wines and the paintings on the walls are feasts for the eyes. Try the place when you’re in the vicinity.


Home Sweet Legend

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Just as 2007 turned 2008, we’re now tearing off the first month in our calendars and looking at February: to the romantic, the month of love.

Pardon me if this sounds like an advertisement, which it isn’t, but do look into the treats and packages of The Legend Villas in Mandaluyong as you consider your options for going out with family, friends, or special someone. How ironic to be escaping from the city by going to the heart of it, you say. I say ironic and worth your while. I’ve been to that hotel only once, briefly last year, but I single it out now if only because their extraordinary service is quite unlike the kind most people have gotten used to in this age of rude attendants and careless discourtesy. It’s my way of being patriotic, I guess.
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The Outback at Swagman; Carmelino’s

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I don’t know how I ended up eating in two unassuming restaurants last week, but I’m very glad anyway that I did.

The Outback Café in DOT-accredited Swagman RPL Hotel Manila should be one of the best and most authentic Australian cuisine specialty restaurants in town. It’s not first-class at all. Located on A. Flores Street at Ermita, the place feels rather like a pub in a foreign country. Very cozy. Subtle lighting. Great location. When I went there, I saw a nice little poster of Steve Irwin (who must be a hero in his country), a huge crocodile replica beside the versatile bar, two big-screen TVs playing The Australian Open, and a two-member band playing the requests of a thick, expat-filled crowd. There’s also free Wi-Fi Internet access for those who have to send E-mails while knifing away at the fabulous steaks.
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Manila stripped bare

Manila, stripped to it’s essence, is not about glitzy Makati or the decked bars of Malate and Fort, it’s all about its poeple.

Photo By Reinar, found on Manila Metblog Pool in Flickr


Too much crocs at the congre…the zoo

It appears that there are too much crocs at Manila Zoo (about 40 or so crocs) and Manila Mayor Lim wants to exchange 20 of the crocodiles for other animals. Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn is among those who are willing to exchange the animals. Now if they can only do the same for congress?

Inquirer.net – Manila Zoo problem: Too many crocodiles


Manila, in Theroux’s Kowloon Tong

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Have you read any Paul Theroux? One of the American writer’s more recent novels is Kowloon Tong, a story about a forty-something Brit who has lived all his life in Hong Kong, and whose escapades include being “entertained” in dark clubs by a Filipina from Manila named Baby.

Following is a passage from the novel, chosen for its description of Manila:
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