Tuesday, June 30, 2009

chokwang at the morongo on july 26th!

last saturday's star-studded star magic show at the citizens bank arena in ontario was nearly overshadowed by the funny antics of two of the philippines best stand-up comics, chokoleit and pokwang.

the crowd wildly received the duo's edgy brand of sarcastic humor. pokwang's studied imitation of manny "pacman" pacquiao's mom's southern accent was hilarious and so was her impersonation of tita annabelle rama, who was incidentally in the audience, much to the surprise of the comedienne.

chokoleit, the diminutive clown who is more known to filipinos in LA as the villain dugong in the hit tfc pioneering fantasy soap "marina", did not showcase much of his talent but i saw him perform before and he sure has a lot of character creations that can bring even the most grumpy individual to laugh really hard.

the duo performs live on july 26th at the morongo casino resort & spa. they will be joined by one of my favorite filipino performers, yeng constantino.

the past weekend was another busy one for me... i worked all day saturday. later that day, my friend ali and i had to rush to ontario to catch the star magic show, which lasted over three hours - and that is already minus diether ocampo! i wonder how long the show could have lasted had the actor not collapsed and rushed to the hospital? hmmm...

we weren't able to grab dinner on the way to the venue so, naturally, we were extremely hungry after the show. we were thinking we'd go to guppy's but it would still be a long way so we decided to just drop by in & out burger near the stonewood mall in firestone. it was already almost midnight and i was still having burgers and chocolate shake. whoa, how can i ever lose that extra "blank" weight? hahaha.

after in & out, ali dropped me off my apartment. he was supposed to borrow my dvd of juno because he was gonna study the costumes used in the movie for his thesis film at UCLA but he forgot about it.

as soon as i got in, my phone rang and my pretty friend dee (see pictures) called me and asked me if i was free the next day. she was going to ruffa's "a beautiful life" event, organized by monet lu (not a relative) at the cbs studios that sunday - and i was supposed to go, too, but it conflicted with another dinner invitation in alhambra that i already said yes to. i told dee i wouldn't be able to go to ruffa's event but i could perhaps make a run for toni gonzaga's show at the heritage forum in anaheim sunday night. we agreed that we'd be calling each other sunday.

sunday came and i was dead tired. i didn't get up until after 11am. heated the leftover lechon (yum! -- thanks jessica!) from camille's graduation, and watched wimbledon rerun on tv. federer was on - borrrring... so i switched channels to cnn headline news. all day, the news was about michael jackson. i must have dozed sometime after because i found myself waking up at about 4pm.

i immediately ran to the bathroom and showered. took out one red chinese lucky envelope, inserted a few $$ and drove to alhambra. i didn't have time to shop for a gift. (will post another story later with pictures of two of the most adorable kids i know! - excluding my nieces and nephews, of course, haha)

i was eating chinese until 9pm. no calls took place between dee and i at all. i will find out later that she was hobnobbing with the stars all afternoon --- see pictures courtesy of benny uy below...

(dee with cher calvin and ruffa)

the next day, i was told that both events were successful. ruffa blew her cake while mr. ernan ebreo, the producer of toni gonzaga's show, heaved a sigh of relief. congratulations!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

roadcheck: hollywood mid-year review

when the academy of motion of motion picture arts and sciences announced last week that the field of nominees for the top award in the annual oscarcast will be increased from five to ten, it was met by a mixture of excitement and apprehension by showbiz denizens.

many in hollywood rejoiced with the thought that the move could benefit many movies that gets unceremoniously thrown out every year into the sidelines because of the restricted number of allowable best picture nominees. last year’s biggest casualties include the mega-blockbuster “the dark knight”, “doubt”, and “revolutionary road”.

yet as much as there are people celebrating the change, not too few voiced out their concerns that the expansion of the list could backfire and may dilute the perceived quality of the top films of the year. many fear that the likes of “transformers” could get nominated just to bring in the much-needed viewership ratings. i sure hope that doesn’t happen – oh dear… please! lol…

i am still ambivalent myself about this development. i was thinking, why don’t they just make a flexible list with a minimum five nominees and a maximum of ten? that way, if there are less qualified movies, they could always have just five or six, or seven! nominees.

this early, though, i am forecasting the following films to make it to next year’s list. most of the films in my list have not screened yet and i am only basing my forecast on the advance buzz and online chatter it has generated.

#1 up (i saw this film and even before the nomination change, i already called this the frontrunner for next year’s race – this is visual filmmaking at its most imaginative and impressive. the evocative images of a life-long dream coming true is something that will leave adult viewers enthralled while at the same time teaching young kids the sacrificial nature of love and the constant adjustment we do to our lives as we pursue our childhood dreams and fantasies)

#2 the hangover (ask me what my favorite film this year is - come on!!! hahaha)

#3 nine (the principal cast consists of academy award winners daniel day-lewis, nicole kidman, marion cotillard, penélope cruz, judi dench, and sophia loren plus academy award nominee kate hudson. rob marshall directs this musical based on the great italian director federico fellini’s autobiographical film 8 ½ - need i say more?)

#4 avatar (four words: james cameron after titanic)

#5 the lovely bones (based on alice sebold’s audacious novel of a girl and her story of rape and murder as she narrates it from heaven. peter jackson directs and saoirse ronan, academy award nominee for “atonement”, stars)

#6 shutter island (martin scorsese, leonardo di caprio, mark ruffalo --- the teaser poster alone makes you want to run to the theater to see what really happened to patient 67!)

there are many other titles being thrown in, including eastwood’s “invictus”, “the hurt locker” – featuring possibly a best actor contender next year in jeremy renner, soderbergh’s “the informant”, “sherlock holmes” – with robert downey jr. and jude law, jane campion’s “bright star”, ang lee’s “taking woodstock”, stephen frear’s “cheri”, and terrence malick’s “the tree of life”.

it's still too early in the year to call the nominees. i would be lucky to have at least half of next year's ten final nominees in my list above. but i have to say my list is pretty solid... :)

on the box office front, there’s a noticeable and very interesting trend this year: star-driven movies are not performing as well as expected. eddie murphy had his nth bomb with “imagine that”. ditto with will ferrell and jack black whose pre-historic comedies, “land of the lost” and “year one”, respectively, flopped as well.

julia roberts and russell crowe were both trounced by miley cyrus and zach efron in early spring while tom hanks’ “angels & demons” didn’t do as well as the “the da vinci code”. last year’s box office hero christian bale and his “terminator” flick got knocked out by the unlikely threesome of relatively unknown actors in the year’s biggest sleeper hit “the hangover”.

here’s the year’s top ten box office tally as of june 28 according to online tracking website box office mojo:

#1 up -- $250,234,554
#2 star trek -- $246,331,182
#3 transformers: revenge of the fallen -- $200,077,255
#4 monsters vs. aliens -- $195,984,055
#5 the hangover -- $183,054,267
#6 x-men origins: wolverine -- $177,836,819
#7 night at the museum: battle of the smithsonian -- $163,391,192
#8 fast and furious -- $155,022,220
#9 paul blart: mall cop -- $146,336,178
#10 taken -- $144,989,009

except for hugh jackman's "x-men" and ben stiller's "night at the museum...", all movies in the top ten feature no big name stars. no, i don't consider vin diesel nor shia lebouf that big a star --- i am being mean again, lol

diether was a no-show; claudine, a class act

the talented bunch of star magic artists held a succesful show at the citizens bank arena in ontario, california saturday night minus diether ocampo. it was reported that the actor was rushed to the hospital after suffering from exhaustion during the rehearsal for the show. fellow star magic artist piolo pascual mentioned that diet has something like a congenital heart condition. sunday night, the actor still was a no-show at the san francisco leg of the show. here's hoping he's okay...

i wasn't really planning on watching it. i thought it was gonna be in the afternoon similar to the "ok, kapamilya go" show last year. on friday afternoon, however, my friend from the filipino channel, nerissa, who is always sweet and nice, gave me a call and told me that she set aside two tickets for me for the show. i work saturdays these days and was thinking i couldn't do it. when she told me the show starts at 7 in the evening, that's when i realized i could make it after all. but, i know myself, i'll surely be late --- and i was! blame the three separate car accidents on the 605 freeway for that, hmp! :)

the show was already underway when we got inside the venue at about 730pm. filipino actors piolo pascual, john lloyd cruz (the current box office king and the buzz host ruffa gutierrez' rumored boyfriend), bea alonzo, and sam milby were at the stage introducing the next performers when we found our seats. the venue was filled to near-capacity and we were seated in the lower box section - which was a good thing because our view was not hampered by those who keep on running to the stage to take endless pictures of the stars --- excuse me, i was actually one of those - haha!

the show was very entertaining in an ASAP-esque way. it features a lot of dancing and singing, as well as briliant stand-up comic banter between the talented duo of pokwang and chokoleit (which, incidentally, will be featured in their own show called "chokwang" sometime next month - those interested may call tita jackie regala at 562.219.7235 or 562.787.9030 for more details...)

the sexy and alluring duo of angelika panganiban and roxanne guinoo provided two sultry dance numbers and pumped up the male hormones in the audience. the coverboys provided the same to women. while the gigger boys and girls took care of the teens.

veteran actress bella flores stole the limelight for a little bit when she joined the coverboys number. tita annabelle and tito eddie gutierrez graced the show and watched from their 2nd row VIP seats as well as director michael de mesa who just had a successful father's day show himself at california wok last week.

one of the nicest things about the show was the energetic dance moves of the perrenially chubby mickey perz, who, despite his apparent biggie size, could jump, roll, and sway unlike those who seems more physically fit than him.

ms. claudine barretto (i reserved this specially for you, ati!) took the high road and sat with the audience during the entire show and still came out the biggest star among the 40+ who performed saturday night. she can't sing and dance - and she was wise about it (am not gonna single out those few who dared and failed - hi bea! - but kristine hermosa was also wise and sensible and limited herself to hosting - kudos!).

claudine didn't mount the stage but her 10-second wave to the crowd from her seat provided a glimpse of a real star - the definitive star - in my book.

click here for pictures http://raymond-reviews.blogspot.com/2009/06/star-magic-gallery.html

Sunday, June 28, 2009

star magic gallery










whitney is back!

apparently having just basic cable is not always a good thing after all. i found that out tonight and it crushed me… hahaha – not really. but it offered me an idea to blog about…

i so wanted to watch the BET awards show tonight. it airs over at the BET network on cable but, sadly, my basic cable subscription only covers “basic” network channels, almost all of the spanish-language channels (si señor!), food network, national geographic and cnn headline news. but my current favorite cable channel is not on that list. i really don’t understand myself sometimes. i got this weird fascination with the gems channel. it’s a live tv auction of various kinds of jewelry items and everytime i put it on, it always puts me to sleep --- all the time! lol…

anyway, BET awards are usually held to honor the achievements of black entertainers in hollywood during the past year. in some years, the fights between rival rappers take more entertainment news space than the actual awards ceremony itself. tonight, however, is a different matter. everyone behaved and the awards show was transformed into a tribute for the king of pop.

from host jamie foxx, who moonwalked during his opening set, to beyonce’s moving “ave maria” number, the show was staid but celebratory. janet jackson appeared towards the end of the show and issued her very first statement since his beloved brother’s death last thursday.

the night’s biggest surprise though was whitney houston’s appearance. one website enthusiastically ran a news headline and calling it “the voice has returned.” indeed, whitney, now more than ever, needs to clean up her act (she should get some lessons from jacko’s untimely death somehow) and stage a successful and enduring comeback. she is an icon herself and it would also be waste to see her wither away forever… welcome back whitney!

those are some of the stuff i missed in tonight’s BET show (here’s the link for more pictures http://www.BET.com/specials/BETawards09/BETawards09_photos/) just because of my cheap cable subscription.

oh well, there’s always youtube and reruns later on. or, maybe, someone tivo’d it and will so kindly make me a copy… will you? thanks!!! :)

Friday, June 26, 2009

filipino inmates to redo jacko's thriller dance

tributes to the king of pop are now pouring in. npr radio ran a two-hour non-stop tribute to michael yesterday night and aired songs from his jackson 5 days to his thriller cd. today, 102.3fm in LA is devoting the day airing only michael jackson's songs. what a sad, sad event.

more tributes are being planned as i write this post.

fox will re-air its michael jackson week on american idol, which aired originally in march this year, on monday next week beginning at 8pm.

and in what is the most touching news today, filipino inmates from the southern city of cebu in the philippines, are planning to redo their youtube smash video "thriller" on saturday as a tribute to their idol. if you will recall, these inmates created a huge internet sensation when someone recorded their daily exercise to the tune of the singer's biggest dance hits last year. that spawned many imitators but theirs remain the best.

here's the full report from AFP

Philippine jailbirds reprise Jackson YouTube tribute

MANILA (AFP) – Philippine jailbirds who spawned a worldwide Internet hit with their version of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video are to recreate their dance in tribute to the dead star, television reported Friday.

The performance will be held Saturday inside the provincial jail in Cebu, the country's second-biggest city, GMA television reported, quoting Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Centre officials.

"Thriller", a global hit on the Internet video site YouTube, shows 1,400 inmates wearing saffron prison uniforms performing their own version of one of Jackson's most famous hits.

News of the megastar's death at the age of 50, apparently from a cardiac arrest at his Los Angeles home, is weighing heavily on the prison dancers, the station said on its website.

Crisanto Niere, a balding, gap-toothed drug dealer who impersonated Jackson in the YouTube dance, "is sad his idol died," the station quoted an unnamed prison official as saying.

"For now there?s no word yet how tomorrow?s performance will be affected" by the news of Jackson's death, the official reportedly added.

Cebu prison officials, who could not be reached by phone from Manila on Friday, introduced dances as a way of improving physical fitness and to relieve stress among inmates.

The four-minute video of the original prison dance has so far generated more than 23 million hits on YouTube.

In Manila, street entrepreneurs rushed out to market cotton T-shirts emblazoned with Michael Jackson's surgically altered face and the words "Thank You for the Music," AFP photographers saw.

Local radio stations played Michael Jackson tunes while Filipino Internet diarists paid tribute to the star. Some embedded Jackson song playlists on their weblogs.

"I just feel sad that my hazy childhood memories are so imprinted by his music," wrote "blogger Paulo".

"His songs were the first to teach me emotions that as a child I wasn't capable of understanding yet. I didn't even understand the words. I just felt," he added.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

goodnight michael


michael jackson, the king of pop, is now out to take the crown away as king of never never land from his boyhood hero peter pan. jacko as he was fondly called by media before it turned its back on him died today of apparent cardiac arrest at the UCLA medical center in westwood.

this blog was among the first to break the news minutes after the singer was pronounced dead. from whom and how i got the news is something that i am gonna keep for myself. a few minutes after 2 o'clock today someone called someone and that's how i got the news. first i was skeptical and thought that it might have been a mistake because just a couple of hours before another famous celebrity, farrah fawcett, also died of anal cancer in the same hospital. there was a second call and it was confirmed; there was no mistake - michael jackson was dead. i ran to my pc, drafted an email and shot it immediately to my blog. a good thirty minutes after, mainstream news started running breaking stories of michael's demise.

michael jackson for all his frailties is someone who shaped and influenced how a generation danced, sang, and be whoever they wanna be. he was the first black performer to break the mtv divide and crossed over successfully with his innovative and pioneering mtv videos.

he has accomplished so many things in his short life. he also fought and lost so many battles both professionally and personally. he ruled the charts for most of the '80s and thus was proclaimed the king of pop but he began to unravel beginning in the early part of the 1990s. he was injured in an accident and burned himself during a pepsi shoot; for this he would be taking painkillers most of his later life.

he also had a skin disorder that turned his complexion paler. this brought so many harsh criticisms from many including myself. it was during this time that he also started to change his appearance.

his eccentricity would now overshadow his extraordinary talents. he built a huge ranch in northern santa barbara and called it neverland. in the last 19 years, he would only make two albums that are nevertheless successful but were otherwise dismissed by critics and sold less than his previous megahits. he was on a downward spiral.

he had a series of marriages (including a short-lived one with elvis' daughter lisa marie) and had three children with debbie rowe.

for most of the current decade, michael spent most of his time battling child molestation charges againt him. although he was never convicted on any of the charges his image was irreparably broken. during the past three years he has mostly lived in bahrain and in other parts of europe. he returned to the united states later last year and started a plan to stage a comeback beginning with a 50-date concert tour in england.

today, the king of pop is dead. he brings with him his unmatched talent and possibly hundreds more of unwritten hit songs. his passing is as tragic as his latter life. i couldn't really say if michael would have really welcomed dying more than continue living under the watchful eye of most of the world waiting for him to commit his next mistake.

it's one of the drawback of being a celebrity. you lose all your rights to a normal life. michael lost his at the age of 5 and he never really recovered.

i am never a big fan. i didn't learn how to moonwalk, but his passing still struck me with shock and unexplainable sadness. i am sad for the man who could have been a lot greater and could have had a better life. i am sad because another icon is gone and a generation lost one of its heroes.

i would like to end this tribute to michael by printing the text of his mournful song "gone too soon", which i think resonates more powerfully to everyone now more than ever... good night michael, say hello to wendy, peter and the lost boys for me when you get there...

*****

Like A Comet
Blazing 'Cross The Evening Sky
Gone Too Soon

Like A Rainbow
Fading In The Twinkling Of An Eye
Gone Too Soon

Shiny And Sparkly
And Splendidly Bright
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like The Loss Of Sunlight
On A Cloudy Afternoon
Gone Too Soon

Like A Castle
Built Upon A Sandy Beach
Gone Too Soon

Like A Perfect Flower
That Is Just Beyond Your Reach
Gone Too Soon

Born To Amuse, To Inspire, To Delight
Here One Day
Gone One Night

Like A Sunset
Dying With The Rising Of The Moon
Gone Too Soon

Gone Too Soon

it was a scoop!

i think i am among the very first (check the time stamp in my post) to report that michael jackson, the king of pop, has died.

how did i get my scoop? some bird flew from UCLA and landed on my desk at work... no, but kidding aside, i hope michael finds peace in the afterlife. may he rest in peace.

mainsteam media has now caught on the news and is now reporting more details regarding michael's untimely demise.

what a day! two celebrity deaths in the same hospital? unbelievable...

michael jackson is dead

just minutes ago... the king of POP is dead...

breaking news from UCLA hospital!!!

goodbye farrah

farrah fawcett is dead. she was 62 years old.

the only farrah i know aside from my dad’s cousin is farrah fawcett. i never saw any of the charlie’s angels episode because we never had tv at home when i was growing up. heck, we didn’t even have regular electricity until i was already away in college.

it was actually funny, before there were electric lines, my townmates would only rely on the electrical power generated by my aunt’s huge generator and it would only power on for 3 hours every evening beginning at 6. when we were kids, 6 pm sharp would be angelus time (my mom – all moms, practically -- would start calling out our names when it starts getting dark – we would usually be just a couple of houses away playing with neighborhood kids and she would come out our second floor balcony and start calling our names). we would all go running home or we risk getting spanked or worse, lead the evening’s rosary. dinner would be immediately after angelus.

i have two other siblings and when we were kids we took turns washing the dishes. the youngest would usually do breakfast, the middle lunch, and i would do dinner. so when i am done with dinner, i would usually make a fuss and start telling everyone to hurry up and finish with their meal. lights out is at 9 and i don’t wanna be left in the kitchen alone in the dark with only the faint glow from the gas lamp providing me company. when that happens, i usually just make many excuses and leave the dishes for the next morning. my mom, most of the time gives me reprieve but it means i have to wake up early to do it, argh.

on special days, we get to skip the rosary if there is a very good movie showing at my aunt’s “betamax-powered” mini-cinema. my first introduction to tv was through our aunt’s tv set. they were the first to own a set in our town. when they had it, they brought along from manila a taped copy of the ms. universe pageant and the whole town saw that year’s ms. philippines friida limpin???, i think, lose to someone. the whole town was in uproar and our aunt found a profitable business. (it’s still on until today!)

anyway, so we never had our own generator and relied on the 3-hour days lights-only (stereos are not allowed – no wall sockets to plug any appliances were allowed) power.

here’s comes the funny thing. when napocor finally installed power lines, the whole town started buying tvs, stereos and the town was transformed into a huge loudspeaker. houses would blare away full volume sounds of the latest air supply cassettes and taped “that’s entertainment” shows (no tv signal nor cable reached our town until 15 years ago).

of course, when it’s the government running things you cannot always rely on its efficiency. yes, there were power lines, indeed, but everytime a slight typhoon comes along, the whole town would lack power for weeks or months even. when this started happening, my townmates finally thought of buying their own generators or how else could they use their expensive karaoke machines? lol.

the humming sound coming from the hundreds of generators added to the now irritating noise from the karaoke machines, radios, tvs, etc. the once quiet town turned into a cacophony (finally got to use that word!) of music, talk radio, generators, actors yelling profanities on betamax… it was amazing!

what was i talking about? oh yeah. farrah fawcett died today after a long battle with many forms of cancer. God bless her soul.

i may have never seen any episodes of her hit tv series but it’s her iconic hair do that, like many others, really made me get to know her. a recent special on tv about her ordeal showed how bravely she fought the disease.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

are republicans really conservative?

...or plain hypocrites? this is not a sweeping accusation of course, but i can't seem to reconcile the fact that more so-called republicans are doing the very things they themselves call "immoral"! shoot the crap!

i guess it's those ultra-conservative republicans that i should be calling out in this post. with deference to my republican friends, pls allow me to air my thoughts about this, after all, in my view, the world is yellow anyway... :)

two weeks ago republican senator ensign revealed that he had extra-marital affairs. today, another top republican, governor sanford of south carolina dropped his own bombshell: he, too, had been having dalliances with another woman. a couple of years ago another republican congressman was caught with his pants down in a men's restroom!

and if you will also recall, dethroned ms california, carrie prejean, who is a fierce conservative from orange county drew wide criticism over her comments against gay marriages only to admit later that she posed nude when she was a teenager? what the F!

would you rather be open and tolerant and be branded a liberal than be a conservative but doing exactly the opposite of what you say you adhere to when the spotlight is not shining on you? i'd rather be called a liberal sinner, if that is the case - lol.

and i thought the news about north korea, with it nuclear capability, threatening that it could wipe out the entire united states in minutes was the day's most outrageous news! oh well...

_____________
oscar news!!!

it's not all bad news though... today, the academy of motion picture arts and sciences or AMPAS announced that beginning this year, the nominees for best picture will be increased to 10 from the current 5. that is indeed good news.

this early, i am calling "UP" and "The Hangover" as two possible nominees...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

true blood


last sunday, after mass, and in-between my two-part laundry day, i drove to borders in cerritos towne to get myself a boxed set copy of the first season of hbo's vampire series "true blood".

i was at costco earlier that day - stuffing my cart with cartons of vienna sausage, spam and fruit cocktail bound for manila, lol - when i saw it. i wasn't thinking of buying it but i saw an episode of the current season saturday night on hbo (my cable company aired all premium movie channels for free this weekend, apparently to lure "basic" cable customers like me to subscribe - hahaha, am sorry, a weekend of free hbo, starz, and cinemax is enough for me) and i was pleasantly surprised how engaging it was.

the set was priced at $44 in costco. my budget-conscious mind immediately recalled that i received an email and printed a 40% coupon from borders last friday. i put the dvd set back after deciding that it would be cheaper to get it from borders instead.

from costco, i drove to the mall in downey to grab lunch, buy graduation presents for pia, james and camille (i know you are reading - wink, wink - thanks!) and i also started my father's day post (which received such enormous response that i am still overcome with joy for the positive effect it had on so many readers - thank you!) from the mall, i went to the laundromat and started running the first of my 6-week stack of laundry (i know what you are gonna ask next, and the answer is no... hahaha!) i finished my post, published it without re-reading it, dropped my freshly laundered clothes at home, took the borders coupon and ran to the church. i had a shower in the morning - yes. thank you :) because i was supposed to meet with wilma, her two kids, and tony v. for a father's day lunch, but i overslept and failed to join 'em.

at borders, i was surprised to find out that the store no longer carry a library of movies. another sign of recession hitting my favorite bookstore, i guess. luckily though, the store still carry the top 20 new releases and surprise, surprise, "true blood" is in their top 20! hmmm... :)

i took the only copy they had. borders' price was $60 before discount. am not deliberately trying to compare costco and borders, but to give you added perspective, i checked wal-mart, which was only next door to borders, and their boxed set is priced at $39 - i should charge these stores for giving them free advertising --- which reminds me to remind you my readers to help me fund my next car by clicking on the ads scattered somewhere on this page (shameless, i know -- and a little bit delusional, a car???? hahaha)

with the coupon, i paid borders $37 for the dvd set; and my sunday turned a lot better. writing that post for my dad drained me of some energy - i admit, i was crying at some point while writing it and it must have shown by the amount of typos and errors in the first draft.

went back to the laundromat and finished the rest of my laundry. would you believe that i washed more than 60 shirts (that's not counting the undershirts, shorts, boxers, and others) that day?

i finished at about 10 pm and went home exhausted. i had a late dinner (leftovers from california wok -- xtn, ali and i went friday night and had tremendous fun with my super-funny friend joseph gelito) and caught "bull durham" on cable. it was an amazing movie. will try to post my review of that '80s flick sometime this week.

i was so exhausted that i left the dvd set in the car. i will not pop disc one of "true blood" until monday night.

... and my next post will be about it :)

where is the love?

that's for rapper and black eyed peas member will.i.am... dude, where is the love? come on!

the singer who preached love and understanding in their eponymous breakout hit is apparently not for real. he supposedly gave notorious celebrity blogger perez hilton a black eye. now, consider this: black-eyed peas versus black-eyed perez! nice huh? that creative blurb is how tmz (or was it ew.com) described the feud.

will and perez were in canada when the incident happened. since the incident, both have posted videos on the net, each claiming that he is the aggrieved party - what's new, eh? but what is being whispered around hollywood is how perex earned his current beauty mark (lol). it seems that perez called will.i.am the F-word. nope not the swear word but the other f-word that gays consider derogatory, get the idea? so, is will.i.am gay? i don't know and who cares...

another couple publicly feuding is jon & kate. i blogged before how i hate this couple. they made tons of money off their lives and that of their 8 children and when they felt that they are no longer in love with each other, they suddenly wanted privacy and lambasted the media for intruding into their lives. what the F! (now, that's the other f word, hahaha)... i promised myself i will not give this two blogtime anymore but i just can't resist the urge --- hate them, hate them... lol

yesterday, they filed for divorce and their reality show effectively canceled (in TV parlance, an "indefinite hiatus" means cancellation). good for them, though i feel bad for those cute, adorable kids.

and chris brown gets 5 years probation, 6 months community service and 0 (read: ZERO) jailtime for beating his former girlfriend, singer rihanna, to pulp last fall. the singer gets what they call "celebrity justice".

if you got kids, tell them it's okay to hit women or commit near-homicide as long you are a celebrity --- and women deserves to be beaten black & blue if they start yelling at men, too!

when you are a celebrity, you get away with everything unless you are a has-been. it's an oft-repeated quote and it is never truer in this case... oh life, indeed...

where is fairness, where is love?

it's best to refer to my previous post about life and fairness then, i suppose... http://raymond-reviews.blogspot.com/2009/06/yield.html

Sunday, June 21, 2009

father's day musing

i was trying to write a tribute or something for my dad who passed away more than 13 years ago but i couldn't make myself complete it. there are just too many distractions and i also don't think i am ready to write a complete tribute.

i miss my dad. lately, i have had a series of dreams with him and my grandmother, who is also gone. in my dreams, they are both interestingly alive but quite honestly, though, i don't remember what exactly those dreams are about -- i forgot... you know how dreams go, they're like a badly-edited montage and the only things that really strike you are those that are very familiar to you.

my dad died when i was 19 and was about to graduate from college. i can still remember the day when i was told of his death. it is something i wouldn't wish for any 19-year-old to hear about anyone of his or her parents - to say it is devastating is simply not accurate. it's a feeling of loss that's just simply incomparable and indescribable.

i was only three months away from graduation when my dad passed away. it was on a wednesday. there was nothing unusual that morning except for that urgent long distance call from our province telling me that my dad was rushed to the town hospital and would be airlifted to manila when his condition improves. i was asked to contact his primary physician in the city (he was being treated for cirrhosis of the liver) and arrange for her to see my dad when he gets to manila. i didn't panic. my dad was being treated for an illness and i thought it was just normal for him to be brought to the hospital.

when you are young, mortality is not something you associate immediately to situations like being hospitalized or by merely being sick. i always thought any sickness could be cured unless it was something like aids or cancer.

after i called the doctor (who was unfortunately out of town), i made a mental note to call again later that day. i prepared for school. we were having mid-term exams that week and my focus was more towards passing those exams than really worrying about dad - but the thought was nagging me throughout the day.

i couldn't completely recall now what happened in school. all i remember is that i was feeling so low and down that day and i thought i was just gonna get sick.

i was in school the entire afternoon. i did not hang out with my girlfriend at her dorm like i used to after classes. i just decided to go home.

i was on my way home when i felt hungry. i was already near my tito's house in fairview when i felt it. it was a different kind of hunger - my stomach wasn't growling or anything, it was as if i was being controlled by something to stop somewhere and stuff myself with food. i usually don't eat out (my allowance was just enough for the essential stuff). i checked if i had money and luckily i still have with me this pizza hut gift cheque given to me by my tito a week earlier.

at pizza hut i ordered a box of their personal size pizza and i ate everything - i was that hungry! when i was done, i lingered for sometime before i took the next jeepney home.

when i arrived home, the house was quiet, which was normal, but now, as i look back, it was unusually, eerily quiet. i was asking everyone if there was another call from the province but everyone was evasive and pretending to be busy. no one was really talking to me except for my grandma who kept prodding me to eat. i told her i could't because i just had a box-full of pizza. but she just kept going on and on about me having dinner. they all had dinner and the house help had already prepared the table for me so i forced myself to eat.

i probably had a few bite before my grandmother came to me crying. all she told me was, "your papa (that's how i call my dad) is gone." i was probably naive or what, but all i uttered back was "how?"

everyone in the house gathered around me, including my ailing uncle who would also die a week later, to comfort me. they were all crying but i wasn't. it was only later, when i was alone praying inside the room i shared with my two other cousins, that the tears started to flow. the pain of losing a parent coupled with the fear of having an uncertain future is like having your heart pierced and broken into pieces yet you are so helpless to even voice out a cry.

i may have cried myself to sleep that night. in the morning we all went home.

when we buried him, i promised my dad that i would just be okay. i have two younger siblings and i didn't really worry about us. we were lucky to have each other and our mom who is just the best there is. 13 years to the present, i would really have wanted to take dad out today. i am not ashamed to tell the world that my dad struggled with alcoholism. it's not his fault. he grew up in a time and in a culture where drinking is the only other alternative to socializing. he had no other choice.

to my dad... happy father's day to you. see you soon in my dreams. i love you.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

pixar's "up" leads oscar race

ladies & gentlemen, the 2010 oscar race has begun.

i know, i know. it's only been four months since the oscars were last handed out but i couldn't help but consider next year's race heating up as early as today.

all the buzz on the net today was this associated press story about a dying girl and her last wish to see the disney-pixar animated flick "up" before she drifts into the night...

it's a story that will most likely move you to well up in tears, too. stories couldn't be more touching and affecting as the story of little colby curtin. read it and please say a little prayer for her after...

***


here's the story from AP:



California girl gets dying wish to see movie 'Up'

Colby Curtin got her final wish.

The 10-year-old girl desperately wanted to see the new Disney-Pixar movie, "Up." But the cancer-stricken girl was too sick to go to a theater.

Thanks to a family friend who got in touch with the movie studio Pixar, an employee of the Emeryville-based company arrived at Colby's home with a DVD copy of the movie, The Orange County Register reported Friday. The girl died later that night.

Colby's mother, Lisa, said she had asked her daughter if she could hang on until the movie arrived.

"I'm ready (to die), but I'm going to wait for the movie," she said her daughter replied.

"Up" is the animated tale of a grumpy old man who, after his wife's death, tries to fulfill their joint dream of visiting South America by tying thousands of balloons to his house and floating away.

"When I watched it, I had really no idea about the content of the theme of the movie," Colby's mother told the Register. "I just know that word 'Up' and all of the balloons and I swear to you, for me it meant that (Colby) was going to go up. Up to heaven."
Colby, who was diagnosed with vascular cancer in 2005, saw previews for the film in April.

"It was from then on, she said, 'I have to see that movie. It is so cool,'" family friend Carole Lynch said.

But the girl's health began to deteriorate. On June 4, Curtin asked a hospice company to bring a wheelchair so that her daughter could go to a movie theater but the chair was not delivered over the weekend, Curtin said.

By June 9, Colby was too sick to go anywhere.

Another family friend, Terrell Orum, called both Pixar and Disney, which owns the animation studio. The message was received by Pixar officials, who agreed to send someone to Colby's house the next day with a copy of "Up" for a private screening, Orum said.

The employee arrived with the DVD, stuffed animals of characters and other movie memorabilia.
Colby was unable to open her eyes to see the movie so her mother described the scenes. When her mother asked if she enjoyed it, the girl nodded, Curtin said.

The Pixar employee left after the movie, taking the DVD, which has not been released. Lynch, who was with the family during the screening, said the employee's "eyes were just welled up."
A call to Pixar seeking comment was not immediately returned Friday.

Colby, with her parents nearby, died later that night.

Her mother said one of the memorabilia left by the Pixar employee was an "adventure book" based on a scrapbook that, in the movie, is kept by the wife of the main character.

"I'll have to fill those adventures in for her," Lisa Curtin said of her daughter.

Friday, June 19, 2009

rafa withdraws from wimby!

what a tragedy!

i now join my friend sally in rooting for marat and his sister dinara safina. if i want history to be made at wimbledon this year, i want to see the siblings win over roger federer finally eclipsing pete sampras' 14 grand slam wins... i just can't!!!

here's a report i clipped from AP on rafa's withdrawal. here's hoping that king rafa gets well soon because men's tennis needs him more than anyone else - that's including roger. am no hater, but i just don't like the guy - lol.


Defending champ Nadal withdraws from Wimbledon
By Howard Fendrich

WIMBLEDON, England – Defending champion Rafael Nadal withdrew from Wimbledon on Friday because of tendinitis in his knees.

He is the first reigning Wimbledon men's champion to not defend the title since Goran Ivanisevic in 2002 — and only the second in the last 35 years. The grass-court Grand Slam tournament begins Monday.

"I'm just not 100 percent," the No. 1-ranked Nadal said during a news conference at the All England Club. "I'm better than I was a couple of weeks ago, but I just don't feel ready."

His announcement came about 2 1/2 hours after he lost to Stanislas Wawrinka in an exhibition match on grass at the Hurlingham Club in south London.

"Today was the last test," Nadal said. "I didn't feel terrible but not close to my best."

He also lost an exhibition there Thursday against 2002 Wimbledon champion Lleyton Hewitt — and, coincidentally, Friday's draw for this year's tournament set those two up for a second-round meeting.

Nadal looked ragged during his straight-set loss against Hewitt on Thursday. But the Spaniard appeared in better condition against Wawrinka, several times racing toward the net for sharp volleys or scurrying along the baseline for winning groundstrokes on the run.

Still, Nadal said he just did not sense that he could win Wimbledon — and so he did not want to compete at all.

"When I start a tournament like Wimbledon, it is to try to win, and my feeling right now is I'm not ready to play to win," the six-time major champion said.

Nadal has complained about his knees since a fourth-round loss to Robin Soderling at the French Open on May 31 ended his streak of four consecutive championships at Roland Garros. Later that week, Nadal pulled out of the Wimbledon tuneup tournament at Queen's Club, then went to Barcelona to have tests on his knees.

"I think I reached the limit right now. I need to reset to come back stronger," Nadal said.
Asked what sort of threat the knee problems might present to his career moving forward, he said: "It's not chronic. I can recover, for sure."

But aside from the physical issues, Nadal spoke Friday about the mental toll the injury has taken. This is, after all, a player whose rise to the upper echelon of tennis was built in part on his ability to race around a court and track down shots.

"One of the big problems is, when I am playing, I'm thinking more about the knees than about the game. So that's very difficult to play well like this, no?" he said.

The withdrawal opens the door for Roger Federer to reclaim the No. 1 ranking, a spot he held for a record 237 consecutive weeks until Nadal pushed him down to No. 2 in August. That happened about a month after Nadal beat Federer in the 2008 Wimbledon final, a taut thriller decided by a 9-7 fifth set in fading light.

Nadal prevented Federer from claiming a sixth consecutive championship at the All England Club. Now Federer — who beat Nadal in the 2006 and 2007 Wimbledon finals — doesn't have to worry about his nemesis standing in his way this year.

Federer, who is 7-13 against Nadal, also avoided facing him at the French Open. Instead of a fourth consecutive final in Paris against Nadal, Federer faced Soderling for the championship June 7 and won in straight sets to complete a career Grand Slam and tie Pete Sampras' record of 14 major titles.

Federer's agent, Tony Godsick, said the Swiss star would wait to comment on Nadal's withdrawal until a pre-tournament news conference Saturday.

yield

i didn't realize until today how powerful seemingly simple words could be if seen in life's perspective.

"yield" for example. whenever you are caught in a traffic jam and someone wants to cut through you, yield! am just trying to be funny but when someone is humble enough, he will never have problems yielding to the virtues of sacrifice, love, and charity.

why am i saying all these? ahhh, it's because someone sent me this wonderful email today and i am sharing it with all of you.

some of you may have encountered the list before but i am sure you will be glad to revisit the timeless life wisdom the list imparts...

happy friday everyone! if you wanna go to the movies and you live in LA, try to check out "FOOD, Inc." the movie has been universally hailed by critics as a frightening documentary about the origins of the food that america serves to its citizens (poultries fed with antibiotics and grow to giant sizes or cows herded by the thousands and end up stepping on each other's excrements all day, etc...)

i haven't seen it yet so am holding my thoughts about it. otherwise, there's sandra bullock and ryan reynold's "the proposal" or better yet, go see "the hangover" again - i will.

and before i forget here's the list called "the odd friday".

***

THE ODD FRIDAY
by Regina Brett
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH

Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
When in doubt, just take the next small step.
Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
Your job won't take care of you when you are sick - your friends and parents will... Stay in touch.
Pay off your credit cards every month.
You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present.
It's OK to let your children see you cry.
Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.
When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
Over prepare, then go with the flow.
Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
The most important sex organ is the brain.
No one is in charge of your happiness but you.
Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In five years, will this matter?'
Always choose life.
Forgive everyone everything.
What other people think of you is none of your business.
Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
Believe in miracles. (you are one)
God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
Growing old beats the alternative... dying young.
Your children only get one childhood.
All that truly matters in the end is that you are loved.
Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back.
Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
The best is yet to come.
No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
Yield.
Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a "gift"

Thursday, June 18, 2009

is pops mahal & mura's long lost sis?

first this disclaimer: it is not my intention to make fun of mahal & mura. is it my fault if i think they are prettier than pops fernandez???



do you agree, my readers?

where's kevin?



"kevin cosme", that is... lol

the picture is real. saw it on the net just minutes ago --- and i thought it's only in the philippines where i can see a sight like this? haha, what a wonderful surprise.

the house was built in 1839 and is located in the small low country town of walterboro, south carolina

nice, huh...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

summer celebrities

it's almost summertime. i only wish the weather gets more "summery" (is that a word?) because i am starting to hate the unseasonably cold temps in the morning.

i tend to be slow getting up and the weather is not helping me at all.

it's been another usual day at work. and nothing really big entertainment news broke out today - if you consider jon & kate celebrities or even that chase crawford guy, then there were some breaking celebrity news indeed.

wait, you say chase crawford who? nope, he's not billy's little brother. am not even sure what he's done in hollywood, but apparently he knows "some" people (wink, wink...) otherwise, how could he become hollywood's hottest summer bachelor and not either of the dueling twilight hunks rob pattinson or taylor lautner? --- wait, hahaha... i forgot, rob patz is already engaged to my friend yvonne so technically he's not a "bachelor" anymore, right? my bad.

i am actually being mean. chase is starring in the upcoming "footloose" remake. he was also in miley cyrus' "hannah montana" movie. i have no other info for you....

and speaking of celebrities, i received in my mail today three new pictures of ivory cunanan.

oh, by the way, ivory is the reigning ms. celebrity chronicle!

for those unfamiliar with her, ivory is a singer and a songwriter. she has been singing since she was 3.

she is currently represented by the M international talent agency in los angeles and has been a member of 2 pop girl groups.

she is currently busy working in the studio with paperboy productions, the outfit best known for their work with the black eyed peas and the pussycat dolls.

ivory most recently performed at the hollywood knights celebrity basketball game which featured celebrities like aaron carter and several stars from the cw and disney networks.

last march, her own original music premiered on 92.5 burbank radio with host mr. r. she opened for european r&b sensation "fundmental" and has appeared on mtv, telemundo, cctv 4 china, gma philippines and knla tv.

freedom for iranians!

my ipod nano (yeah, it's the only apple product that i can afford - lol) ran out of battery and while i was charging it i was forced to use the radio on my sony ericsson w890i mobile and listened to npr radio broadcast.

when i tuned in i caught the last 5 minutes of critic elvis mitchell's interview with todd phelps, the director of this year's first runaway blockbuster hit "the hangover", which, as i correctly predicted, held on to the top of the box office ranking two weeks in a row now, the first to do so since february when tyler perry's "madea goes to jail" topped the box office.

after elvis' segment, the npr 3 oclock news came next.

in the news today was the huge turnout the lakers attracted to their parade and the subsequent rally at the colisuem. an estimated count of 150 thousand people showed up at today's event. and please tell kobe that not everyone who attended today's rally came because of him... somehow, kobe thinks he is the star! - duh... today, he wore a dark-colored championship shirt while the rest of the team wore white - he stood out because of it. well, he's just being kobe i guess... haha...

also in the news was the uprising in iran. i thought it would be the usual news about riots and violent police dispersals. it was actually more disturbing than what i imagined. it was reported that universities are being raided and students organizing the demonstrations against the ruling government are being abducted! what the f@@@! what's happening in iran now is eerily similar to what occured in the philippines in the 70s. it is my hope that iranian people don't have to wait another decade for them to finally get the freedom they so wanted.

and it is my further hope that, should they succeed, they immediately put the perpetrators of these atrocities to a swift trial and cast off to jail for the remaining of their lives. if only the philippines did that...

ahhh, the ifs again...

rafa tops wimby seeds

Top 16 mens seeds
1. Rafael Nadal (ESP)
2. Roger Federer (SWI)
3. Andy Murray (GBR)
4. Novak Djokovic (SRB)
5. Juan Martin del Potro (ARG)
6. Andy Roddick (USA)
7. Fernando Verdasco (ESP)
8. Gilles Simon (FRA)
9. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA)
10. Fernando Gonzalez (CHI)
11. Marin Cilic (CRO)
12. Nikolay Davydenko (RUS)
13. Robin Soderling (SWE)
14. Gael Monfils (FRA)
15. Marat Safin (RUS)
16. Tommy Robredo (ESP)

Top 16 womens seeds
1. Dinara Safina (RUS)
2. Serena Williams (USA)
3. Venus Williams (USA)
4. Elena Dementieva (RUS)
5. Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS)
6. Jelena Jankovic (SRB)
7. Vera Zvonareva (RUS)
8. Victoria Azarenka (BLR)
9. Caroline Wozniacki (DEN)
10. Nadia Petrova, (RUS)
11. Agnieszka Radwanska (POL)
12. Marion Bartoli (FRA)
13. Ana Ivanovic (SRB)
14. Dominika Cibulkova (SVK)
15. Flavia Pennetta (ITA)
16. Zheng Jie (CHN)

lilo topless



need i add more? i don't think so - lol

wait --- where did the missing jewelries go? haha

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

meet singing champ daryl orgalino

from my friend tony v here's a story written by david casuco of the california examiner...

It has happened before - talented children of Filipino expats from North America going home to Manila and establishing successful careers in show business. It happened to Ariel Rivera in the 80s and so did to Kris Lawrence recently; It could very well happen again to Daryl Ogalino, who is the current toast of “Tawag Ng Tanghalan-USA,” a prestigious annual singing competion based in Los Angeles that has launched many successful careers of young Fil-Am talents.

Daryl, an 18-year old student of Cal State University-Northridge, is now forging his plans at conquering Manila as well. In a couple of weeks Daryl, who is essentially an R&B singer, will be arriving in Manila to do exploratory talks with people in the music industry. While in the city his parents have arranged several radio and television appearances for the young singer.

Now, the question every singer has to deal with: Does Daryl have what it takes to chart a successful career in an industry where the likes of Arnel Pineda, Martin Nievera, Jed Madela, Charice Pempengco, Lani Misalucha, and Lea Salonga consider as one of the toughest market to penetrate?

Daryl thinks he is up to the challenge.

A level-headed young man who grew up in a family that adheres to Christian values Daryl says, “I want to be a successful music artist someday. If given a chance to be in show business here in the States and abroad, I know that I can succeed because I have the confidence to face any challenges, self discipline, responsibility, and I learned how to work harder in order to succeed.”

Confidence, self-discipline, responsibility, and hard work are key ingredients in the pursuit of any successful career. And Daryl believes that he has them all. Juddging by his resume, it seems that he has the versatility that could help him deal with the ups & downs of life in the entertainment business. “I have many hobbies other than singing. I consider myself very athletic. I enjoy swimming, running, and martial arts. In fact, I am a 2nd degree black belt in taekwondo. I also love to cook. I find cooking fun because I love learning how to make many different types of food for myself and others. On top of that, I am very active in my church by being involved in Evangelistic events and the worship band,” he says.

In an interview with noted broadcast journalist Awee Abayari, Daryl further showed that he has what it takes to be a winner. Here is an excerpt of that interview (used with permission):

Awee Abayari: Who was Daryl before he became a champion of Tawag ng Tanghalan-USA?
Daryl Ogalino: I was just an ordinary teenager who never expected to win a talent competition like Tawag ng Tanghalan-USA. Aside from prestige, winning the competition was one of the high points of my life because people see me as a good role model.

AA: Tell us about your family and who encouraged you to pursue music and to join Tawag ng Tanghalan-USA?
DO: I come from family that loves music, and I owe my talent to them.They were very supportive because they know music is my passion. It motivates me to pursue my dreams to become successful one day.

AA: How did you prepare for the Tawag Ng Tanghalan Grand Finals?
DO: I prepared mentally, physically, and spiritually for the Grand Finals. I vocally rehearsed extensively each and everyday. Winning this competition was my primary focus throughout the past months. As I sought the Lord for guidance, I believed that winning this competition was possible. Nothing was going to stop me.

AA: What are your present and future plans?
DO: My present plans are to develop my singing abilities through hard work and practice, hoping to join American Idol in the future.

AA: Who are your favorite singers?
DO: My favorite singers in the Philippines and United States are Martin Nievera, Erik Santos, Ogie Alcasid, Luther Vandross, James Ingram, and Andrea Bocelli because their voices and musicality inspire me most.

AA: What makes you proud be a Filipino-American?
DO: There’s just so much to be proud about being Filipino-American. I’m proud to be Filipino-American, because no matter how bad things get they always seem to find someth ing positive or something to smile about to keep themselves going. Filipinos are also peace loving and very talented.

Monday, June 15, 2009

patricia javier wins 2nd runner up at mrs. asia-usa!

with so many coinciding events last weekend it was almost a given that i had to miss some of them... but i really feel bad to have missed the mrs. asia-usa pageant held at alex theater in glendale saturday night.

my friend genesis (patricia javier to her fans)was one of the top winners -- congratulations!!!

here's a note she sent me over email today...

***

Hi Reymond,

How are you? hope your doing ok. by the way I attached a picture from the pageant - you can use it.

I'm happy na naka 2nd runner up ako for Mrs. Asia USA at dalawang major awards (Mrs. Congeniality and People's choice award.)

Okay na sa akin yun kase dahil sa pageant na ito ang dami kong nakilalang ibat ibang natonality at natutunan tungkol sa ibang mga lahi na nandito sa USA.

***

Mrs Vietnam took the crown.

the little drummer boy

monday. finally it's monday... i thought i woudn't reach monday awake. man, i was so tired! i was at jewell's (my niece) birthday party at max's in puente hills mall yesterday and i think what kept me awake was max's delicious chicken :) - i need to charge max's for this plug. lol...

i had a hectic schedule last week. apart from my usual load at work (we are again scrambling for another july deadline - 70 hour weeks again!), i had to attend to two events with filipina megastar sharon cuneta and her gorgeous daughter kc -- good thing both events were scheduled after 7pm. and, on top of that, there was another event organized by the philippine consulate held at the westin bonaventure hotel in downtown LA saturday evening - i had to rush from work as well that day, whew! :) the event was in celebration of the 111th independence day of the philippines.

seated: Nita Jazmines, Nora Guerrero and Darna Umayam
standing: Irwin Jazmines, Sid Guerrero, Chiz Escudero, Anthony Castillo and Boby Saddul.

the anniversary of the philippines independence was also the reason why i was in a semi-patriotic mood last week. i even posted my thoughts (however irrelevant - hahaha) on the current (actually, it is beyond current. do you consider a situation that hasn't changed in years... no, decades, still current?) state of my beloved homeland.

so i went to the event courtesy of tony v. and his pretty friend sheila ferrari (picture) in my barong tagalog (the only one i own! - lol) and i was mightily surprised by the huge turnout. the california ballroom of the hotel was completely filled. it must have been a huge logistical nightmare to the organizers but somehow they were able to pull it through - except for one, that is.

please don't get me wrong, i don't wanna sound like am mocking the event or something, i just thought it would be interesting for my readers to know the night's biggest booboo. when you have presidential contender chiz escudero and energy secretary angelo reyes in attendance, you would want to ensure a smooth and clean program, right?

here's what happened: at the beginning of the program, the flags of the philippine revolution are supposed to be presented through a grand march. it was a great sight. the sound of drums announcing the entrance of the flags to the hall filled the entire ballroom and the crowd was in complete awe of the pageantry when the unthinkable happened. the christmas song "little drummer boy" started playing! the hall instantly erupted with laughter - typically filipino i suppose. it was corrected immediately and the march proceeded smoothly. the drumming sound apparently was from the first chords of that chrismas song. whoever was in charge of looping that is probably not gonna get invited again next year. :)

oh, i finally saw raymond bagatsing's wife. she didn't look so old. they were actually a lovely pair that night.

and don't ask me about the speeches... please

Sunday, June 14, 2009

sad note

a pillar of contemporary philippine showbiz is gone. douglas "tito dougs" quijano is dead.

*****
here's a report from philippine-based entertainment writer allan diones:

SA INDUSTRIYANG PUGAD NG MGA PATING, SI TITO DOUGS AY ISANG DOLPHIN!
by Allan Diones

ANG shocking news na pumanaw na si Tito Douglas Quijano ang gumising sa amin nu’ng Sabado nang umaga.Hanggang kahapon na tinitipa namin ito ay umiiyak pa rin kami at parang hindi pa nagsi-sink in sa amin na wala na ang pamosong talent manager at haligi ng industriya na minahal at naging kaibigan namin nang matagal-tagal na panahon.

Nakausap namin kahapon sa telepono si Kuya Ces Evangelista, isa sa matatalik na kaibigan ni Tito Dougs at kasama niya sa ipinatayo niyang bahay sa Lucban, Quezon nang matagpuan siyang wala nang buhay bandang 10:00 AM nu’ng Sabado (Hunyo 13).

Gustong ikorek ni Kuya Ces ang maling naisulat sa ibang pahayagan kahapon na winasak ang pinto ng kuwarto o puwersahan itong binuksan bago nakita ang bangkay ni Tito Dougs.Si Kuya Ces mismo ang kumuha ng master key at nagbukas ng kuwarto nu’ng mapansin nilang hindi lumalabas si Tito Dougs gayong lagi itong maaga kung magising.

Nilinaw rin ni Kuya Ces na hindi nila nasilip si Tito Dougs na nakahiga pa sa kama bandang 9:00 AM. Totoong pinasilip daw nila ito sa katulong mula sa gilid ng kuwarto na may salamin, pero dahil hindi katangkaran ang maid at hindi nasilip nang buo ang loob, malamang ‘yung nakaangat daw na comforter sa kama ang napagkamalan ng kasambahay na katawan ni Tito Dougs at patagilid na natutulog.Sabi pa ni Kuya Ces, ayon sa SOCO ng Lucban na tumingin sa bangkay ni Tito Dougs, base sa kulay violet na nitong talampakan ay at least five hours na raw itong patay nang makita nila.

Ani Kuya Ces, ang tantiya ng SOCO ay posibleng nasa 12:00 AM hanggang 2:00 AM inatake sa puso at na-stroke ang butihing manager. At dahil nakita nilang bukas na ang aircon (na patay nang matulog ito bandang 8:00 PM), malamang bandang hatinggabi o madaling-araw ito binuksan ni Tito Dougs nang mainitan (pero naka-fan lang ang aircon).Komplikasyon na rin daw sa sakit na diabetes ang sanhi ng pagpanaw ni Tito Dougs dahil ayon sa doktor nito na tumingin sa kanya nu’ng Biyernes nang gabi ay bumagsak ang kanyang sugar level kaya siya nagtsi-chill. Sabi sa amin ng longtime driver ni Tito Dougs na si Francis nang makausap namin ito sa lamay kahapon nang umaga ay hindi nila sigurado kung ininom ni Tito Dougs ang gamot na ibinigay ng doktor para sa kanyang sugar condition.

sharon & kc at the shrine

last friday, nearly five thousand angelenos trooped to a single venue- and it's not at the staples!

the shrine held thousands of screaming sharonians and kcnians friday night as the megastar and her superstar-in-waiting daughter sang and entertained los angeles for more than two hours.

i took pictures to tell you the story... my review and related stories will come out later, watch for it...

congratulations tita jackie and KATZ entertainment!




the picture below will tell you how beautiful and gorgeous kc is!



and finally, as we were heading out the venue, guess who would we chance upon? "ate sha" herself!!! lol...

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