Tuesday, July 28, 2009

free download! whitney's new song



follow this link for a free download of whitney houston's latest single "i look to you" composed by r. kelly...

it's good!!!!!


http://www.whitneyhouston.com/

there’s something about esther

here's a clip of my story on "orphan", which appears on the philippine star today:

this is the link: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=491087

************
Little orphan Esther
by Raymond De Asis Lo
LA Correspondent

There’s something wrong with Esther. So goes the tagline for Warner Bros’ latest horror-thriller Orphan which opens in theaters today.

And I know what’s wrong with her. Nope, I am not telling you anything. I was told to keep it a secret and I think it is better we keep it that way — or Esther might get mad. Wicked, eh?

The Philippine STAR was invited to the junket for Orphan over the weekend. The screams at Friday night’s exclusive screening for the press were so loud and unstoppable during the final act of this terrific and engaging thriller from Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra, that I found myself screaming along with everyone. It was so scarrrrrry!

“The script was fantastic. I was very surprised by the level of depth of the story and the characters,” director Jaume tells this writer during the round table interviews at the Luxe Hotel in Bel-Air. The story was developed by Appian Way Productions, which is partly owned by actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

Orphan is that particular movie that leaves everyone in the audience breathless. The clever twist is something no one will ever foresee — and it’s not a rip-off!

Writer David Leslie Johnson started with the 10-page story treatment that calls for a fresh take of the evil child genre (think of The Bad Seed or Omen) and he came up with the jaw-dropping reveal in the end. “I came up with the twist at the end, the secret, and sort of worked backward from there,” he says.

The story begins with a mother experiencing a late-term miscarriage. The tragic loss of her would-be daughter would leave her depressed and estranged from her husband and two young children. To help her cope with depression, the family adopts a girl from a local orphanage but little did they know that Esther, the child they adopt, is not who she seems to be.

For this kind of movie to succeed, only the best actors had to be hired. Newcomer Isabelle Fuhrmann was hired for the lead part of Esther. She was terrifyingly good! Acclaimed character actors Peter Saarsgard (Kinsey, Boys Don’t Cry) and Vera Farmiga (The Departed, The Manchurian Candidate) portray John and Kate, the couple who unsuspectingly adopts Esther.
The couple was drawn to Esther because of her seeming maturity beyond her age. She was placed in the orphanage after she lost her previous adoptive family in a house fire. She paints, she sings, she is someone any would-be parent would want for a daughter — or is she?
“This story puts a new spin on the genre. It’s not just bloodletting; it’s got horrifying events happening to real people with real problems,” says Vera who describes her character as someone with a “gaping hole in her womb and in her heart, but she’s trying to persevere and heal her marriage and her family.”

Her character Kate is also a gifted pianist but her son couldn’t care less and spends more time playing with his guitar hero video game than listening to her play while her daughter is very deaf. When she meets Esther, she sees someone she could become a mother to.

To prepare for her part, the talented actress, who is also part-Ukrainian, spent time on grief websites by reading stories of women coping with the loss of their babies. “It’s no small feat to put back the pieces of a broken heart after experiencing the agony of miscarriage. The ache is desperate, that of an empty womb and empty arms.”

Her character is the first to see the signs that something is wrong with Esther.

Peter, noted for his range and ability to convey complicated characters, plays Kate’s husband, John, who finds himself continually drawn to Esther’s charm even after Kate tells him otherwise. “He is kind of a peacemaker,” says Peter of his character. “He is frequently trying to put things in perspective, and bringing everyone together because he thinks Kate is taking things too seriously and seeing things that aren’t there.”

Peter and Vera are friends in real-life. They share the same management company and both expressed their thrill at working together for the first time. “We have an interesting dynamic,” says Peter. “It’s funny when I think of some of the other projects that we could have done together.”

The actor was persuaded to join the project partly because he wanted to work with Vera and because he was impressed by how the director wanted to cast the parts. “I remember I had lunch with him one day after I got the script,” he recalls. “I was interested but I wasn’t sure about it; I was very attracted to it because Vera was attached to it — and the fact that he isn’t interested in populating it with the biggest possible names that he could get which is how they usually go about casting it.”

“I just thought that it was being made in a very specific way,” adds Peter who is marking his first foray into the horror genre.

The impressive casting elevates this movie above your usual horror genre. The actors, noted for their dedication to their craft, invested heavily on making their characters as credible and believable as possible. Peter, for instance, made his character a smoker (which is already considered a taboo trait in movies) after studying his character to give him a little wild streak while Vera infused hers by adding subtle tricks while playing the piano during one emotional scene which sadly ended up getting cut in the editing process.

Sign language was another factor the actors had to contend with. “I grew up speaking a couple of languages,” says Vera. English is not her first language so when she was learning the language as a child, she was forced to articulate every word which she says is similar to learning sign language.

The sign language, which plays like a dance during one of the happy scenes at the start of the movie, will play a crucial part later on.

I wish I could tell you more about Esther. Yes, she’s cute. She’s smart and charming. But my lips are sealed until the movie opens today.

Monday, July 27, 2009

cinemalaya winners

i want to believe that philippine cinema is well on its way out of a decade-long slump. new filmmakers are showcasing their creations in local festivals while relative veterans like dante mendoza, who won the best director prize at the most-recent cannes festival, are parading theirs in international markets.

last week, scores of independent movies were shown at the cultural center of the philippines during the fifth staging of the cinemalaya film festival.

last sunday, the winners were announced and here is the complete list:

• Best Film — Last Supper No. 3
• Special Jury Award — Colorum and Ang Panggagahasa Kay Fe
• Netpac Award — Baseco Bakal Boys
• National Council for Children’s Television Award — Dinig Sana Kita
• Audience Choice (Full Length) — Dinig Sana Kita
• Best Director — GB Sampedro, Astig
• Best Actress — Ina Feleo (Sanglaan)
• Best Actor — Lou Veloso, Colorum
• Best Supporting Actress — Tessie Tomas, Sanglaan
• Best Supporting Actor — Arnold Reyes, Astig
• Best Screenplay — Nerseri
• Best Cinematography — 24k
• Best Production Design — Mangatyanan
• Best Editing — Astig
• Best Musical Score — Dinig Sana Kita
• Best Sound Recording — Astig
• Best Short Film — Bonsai
• Special Jury Award (Shorts) — Blogog
• Audience Choice (Shorts) — Tatang
• Best Director (Shorts) — Dexter Cayanes (Musa)
• Best Screenplay (Shorts) — Behind Closed Doors

congratulations to all the winners. i wonder when will i get to see any of them. i am looking forward to watching "colorum", which allan diones of the newspaper abante raved about in his review.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"up" balloon soars

i like this picture... if someone tells me "up" will not make next year's oscar list of 10 best picture nominees, i will definitely disagree.


Friday, July 24, 2009

imelda parties while cory is dying

who says life is fair? tell me who!

here's an interesting story by crispina belen of the manila bulletin about imelda marcos' lavish 80th birthday party held recently in manila.

judge for yourself...

here's the story:

It was a grand “surprise” birthday bash tendered for former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos last July 2 at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, the hotel she built more than two decades ago. The elegantly formal party, prepared by FIRM (Friends of Imelda Romualdez Marcos), was to celebrate her 80th birth anniversary.

Earlier in the day, a morning mass was held at the Sto. Niño Church in Tondo attended by a cheering throng of well-wishers from the families she provided homes for during the time that she was First Lady.

FIRM appointed Mari Hilario and Creative Files, Inc. to prepare an elegant dinner reception for Mrs. Marcos. It was auspiciously coincidental that Mari and Rep. Bongbong Marcos were classmates at De La Salle Greenhills during their grade school years. Mari and his team came out with a beautiful event that is definitely a most memorable experience for Mrs. Marcos and her well-heeled and bejeweled VIP guests.

When she came down from her room, the celebrator was met by eight violinists of the Manila Strings Ensemble who serenaded her with her favorite songs. She was welcomed by the executives of Sofitel Philippine Plaza led by GM Bernd Schneider. She was then given bouquets of red roses by children of her supporters. Mrs. Marcos shed tears of joy with the warm and lavish welcome given her.

Among her special guests was another former First Lady, Dewi Sukarno of Indonesia. (It is remembered that Dewi Sukarno slashed the face of Filipina international socialite Minnie Osmena during an encounter at a party in the US years ago.) Anyway, Dewi gifted Mrs. Marcos with a framed photo of them together taken during their heyday as first ladies.

Aside from Dewi Sukarno, the guests included members of the diplomatic corps, her friends from Senate and Congress and old-time friends.

Bongbong delivered the welcome remarks, followed by accolades from the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China Liu Jian Chao, Dewi Sukarno, Rep. Roquito Ablan, Jr., Pitoy Moreno and Cory Quirino.

There was also a musical program and leading the performers was Anthony Castelo who came from the US just to sing for his favorite and beloved ninang. Imelda Papin, who was also very close to Mrs. Marcos, performed via a video tape from Las Vegas.

The show was opened by an Italian pianist, Andrea Spolti, followed by the Angelos, Victor Wood, Aristeo Demavivas, Dulce and upcoming singers Bianca Lopez, Fame Flores, Zsaire Vidal and others.

The highlight of the evening was the appreciation speech by Mrs. Marcos and a prayer she offered for the speedy recovery of former Pres. Cory C. Aquino.

Given the very limited time given to Mari Hilario and Creative Files, they however pulled off with flying colors. Mrs. Marcos even signed an old photograph with Mari and former First Lady of Guam Madeleine Bordallo as her gift to Mari for the very efficient management of the event.

Creative Files, Inc., one of Manila’s premier event stylists, has made a name in the industry, handling events in the Embassy circle like the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Belgium, the Republic of France, and Taiwan (Republic of China); they’ve also done business with members of the Chambers of Commerce and foreign associations like Le Club (for the annual soiree), the European British, German and Spanish Chambers of Commerce and American Women’s Club among other accounts.

*****

i've got no other comment....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

orphan

if you go for scary movies, orphan is for you.

fans and non-fans will definitely have a screaming good time watching this. i was fortunate to see this movie a week in advance and my interviews with the cast will appear in the philippine star http://www.philstar.com/ in the coming days.

orphan opens in theaters today, july 24th and in the philippines on wednesday next week, july 29th.

watch it! it's scarrrrrrrrrry!!!

to get a taste of how good it is, see the trailer below:




video

celebrity chronicle awards pics

two saturdays ago, i was invited to the 11th annual celebrity chronicle awards night. founded by tony v. the annual event recognizes filipino-americans who have made great strides in the entertainment field and beyond.

some of the honorees included jackie regala of katz entertainment (most outstanding concert producer of the year), patricia javier (outstanding celebrity mom of the year), jet montelibano (man of the year), willie revillame (entertainer of the year), ciara sotto (female artist of the year), jonathan badon (male artist of the year), among many others.

here are some pictures provided by tita lydia solis and greg leviste.

congratulations to the awardees!



tita jackie


patricia with hubby rob walcher


james curry, patricia, sarah lazatin, & vince flores


myself and james eiselstein

edith and jet montelibano

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

say bye paula

who's gonna miss paula abdul when idol returns in winter without the nearly incoherent and always interesting comments from the exuberant (according to attorney general janet napolitano) host?

abdul's publicists are running the media portion of the sometimes heated contract renegotiations common in the business. after ryan seacrest received a whopping $40++ million contract to host idol for a few more seasons and simon cowell reportedly inked his own contract extension to a reported sum north of $100 million, the singer-dancer's tactic turned public.

i wonder if idol producers will take her bait.

personally, since simon cowell's comments seem to be the only one that matter, i would prefer seeing just simon on the panel with different guest hosts every week. what do you think?

is it time to prepare ourselves to see paula in one of those reality shows? dancing with the stars, are you paying attention?

oh well, she already made millions from the show anyway, while i am scrambling a few cents from this blog. my opinion does not matter anyhow - hahaha...

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

cholocate hills in "world's most astonishing landscapes list"



imagine my surprise when i clicked on the forbes website and discover this picture prominently displayed on their front page. i thought it was familiar and i was right. it was the chocolate hills of bohol, indeed. i've never seen it photographed as majestically as this before.

amazing!

here's is the entry on the world-famous chocolate hills of bohol in forbes magazine's 2009 listing of the world's most astonishing natural landscapes.



The name of these unique mounds comes from the fact that the green grass covering them turns deep brown during the annual dry season, but is does not hurt that they bear a striking resemblance to Hershey Kisses. The stunner is how perfectly uniform each of the conical hills are, and inevitably, first time visitors simply cannot believe they are not man made. However the scale of this construction project was best left to Mother Nature: There are too many of the hills to count—estimates range from over 1,200 to 1,700!



for the complete list, please follow this link:


http://www.forbestraveler.com/best-lists/landscapes-2009-story.html

voltron coming to the big screen!

how do you kill a successful genre? saturate the marketplace with every imaginable variant of the same formula.

i hope i am wrong. i really do.

what gets me worried is this report from reuters based on a story that came out in the hollywood reporter today that says voltron, the '80s japanese cartoon of a robot that transforms itself into five independent lion planes, will be made into a movie as well. blame transformers' huge success! hahaha!

here's an excerpt of the news story filed by steven zeitchik:

****
Japanese cult hit "Voltron" heads to big screen

The producers behind "Get Smart" and "The International" have acquired the rights to make a live-action feature based on the Japanese robot-lion property "Voltron."

Based on Japanese anime properties Beast King GoLion and Kikou Kantai Dairugger XV, "Voltron" features a "Transformers"-like conceit, in which a band of five robot-lions combine to form one super lion. A group of five pilots control the lions, which are charged with defending the planet Arus from villain King Zarkon, who dispatches evil creatures called Robobeats to fight the Voltron robots.

"Voltron" aired on U.S. television in 1984 and 1985. Since then, the property has remained a favorite in diverse communities, from the fanboy to the hip-hop worlds.

"It's undeniably impressive that Voltron has sustained itself globally for a quarter of a century," said Charles Roven, who will produce with his Atlas Entertainment partners Richard Suckle and Steve Alexander.

"Voltron" has not yet been set up at a studio. Atlas has a production deal with Sony, which like other studios has been seeking a fresh action tentpole to rival Paramount's "Transformers" mega-franchise.

"Voltron" previously spent several years in development with Mark Gordon, the producer of action-drama hits such as "The Patriot" and "Saving Private Ryan."

Monday, July 20, 2009

maricel soriano defies aging

filipino superstar and great actress maricel soriano has been in the business almost all her life - and it's been a loooong time; however, the flawless actress seems to defy aging as evidenced by her latest pictures appearing in the current preview magazine.

photos courtesy of tita girlie rodis...





mar & korina!



the future president and first lady of the republic of the philippines?

i got these pics from tita girlie rodis' facebook album. thanks tita!




Saturday, July 18, 2009

Twilight Saga Unearths New Eclipse Hottie

news clip from the web esp for tita amie and yvonne...

Twilight Saga Unearths New Eclipse Hottie

by Natalie Finn
Los Angeles (E! Online)

So this is what the face of an impressionable lad turned corrupted bloodsucker looks like.

It looks fang-licking good, if you ask us!

Summit Entertainment has tapped Australian newcomer Xavier Samuel to play Riley in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third film in the burgeoning franchise based on Stephenie Meyer's megaselling novels, according to the Hollywood Reporter's Risky Business blog.

As fans of the series know, Riley starts off as a plain old human college student, only to fall under the spell of the increasingly vengeful Victoria and, as a newborn vampire, join her crusade against Bella.

Among the names bandied about for the Riley role were Tom "Draco Malfoy" Felton and Channing Tatum, whom screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg once said would play the part "beautifully."

Well, we think Samuel's doing beautifully so far...

Eclipse is expected to start shooting sometime next month in Vancouver in time for its June 30, 2010, release, while Twilight fans are expected to go into overdrive any day now as they await the Nov. 20 arrival of New Moon.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

day 6

i was wondering during the past nights if will ferrel and jack black share the same feelings that i had after their pre-historic comedies both bombed at the box office: were they also feeling "alone in the dark?" - sorry, i just had to write it...

oh, if you are a first time reader, would you mind if i direct you to these two previous posts so you'll have a better chronological understanding of what am writing about?

let's pretend that you are interested at this point and is very eager to see my first post on this subject - lol... here's the first link: http://raymond-reviews.blogspot.com/2009/07/aaaaargh.html

and when you're through with the first post, here's the follow-up post: http://raymond-reviews.blogspot.com/2009/07/days-of-darkness-day-5.html

don't worry, we're gonna wait up. when you are through with the two previous posts, we'll still be here when you come back - hahaha... am trying to be funny. it's a good thing you can't hit me over the net, otherwise i would be all bruises now :)

if you noticed, am a little perky and playful now. that's because i got power back in my apartment! yay! i had it restored early wednesday morning. i didn't leave for work until i get to see my landlord and tell him personally that i need to have electricity back running in my apartment again. for full effect, i did not comb my hair after showering. nor did i blow dry it. i looked like a big wreck coming off a hair-pulling fight when he saw me. hahaha.... i told him, my hair was suffering because i can't use my hairdryer. he only nodded; he barely had hair on him...

am not exxagerrating (is that how you spell it? am not using ms word and can't check it - lol), my hair did look very funny. i am currently experimenting (in the spirit of the recession) by growing my hair longer than usual. i like it alright, but it takes me a long time in the morning to dry it. and without power, i've been driving with the windows down just so the airwind could help me dry it --- take that as a tip. or is it? hahaha...

so power was restored. thank goodness! bob, my landlord, was very apologetic about it. i told him i didn't really mind. i wasn't really pissed at him at all (it wasn't his fault, actually) --- besides, my rent is so cheap that a few days without power is something i could live by (am saying all that in hindsight now, of course) but hopefully not everytime a tenant moves in or out in the lower floor.

i would be able to watch "oro, plata, mata" tonight. oh, by the way, tomorrow night, i am watching the press screening for ORPHAN at 8pm in santa monica and, on sunday, i will have an interview with talented actors vera farmiga and peter saarsgard. can't wait!

tomorrow night, i have a rendezvous with my friends jo and james. they are watching aureus solis' BOY, which will screen at the outfest festival in fairfax. we plan to meet after and head to los feliz to catch a late-night dinner at fred 62.

my days in the dark are over. day 6 is bathe in glowing light... yay!

days of darkness, day 5

i wrote in my post last monday that power supply to my apartment would be restored that day. i didn't realise that it was like wishing for michael jackson to dance again because when i reached home monday night, it was still pitch dark! but what really surprised me most was that i still remained calm.

my friends jaggy and pochaco kept provoking me to get mad at my landlord friday night but i kept my cool. how can i be mad when my neighbor at the next building had to cut short his dinner to drive to wherever bob, my landlord, lives to tell him personally that i was feeling miserable? - which reminds me, i need to get the kids (my neighbor's kids, that is) some presents this weekend :)

so my apartment was still power-less. sigh. i called bob (and i was taken to his voicemail box again!) to gently remind him again that power was still out. i was in a quandary. i didn't know what to do. i was planning on watching peque gallaga's masterpiece "oro, plata, mata", which my new friend jo atienza loaned to me with strict reminder to "soli mo kaagad ha!". jo is someone i wouldn't tire of talking about movies with. she knows a lot! amazing! it was just amazing to hear her tell funny anecdotes on how some of the movies i love - and despise - got made. but i am again rambling...

i had a lone lamp providing me light. a small fan to circulate the trapped warm temperature from the oppressing summer heat during the day and my fridge with nothing in it except for juices... what am i gonna do??? sleep, i guess. hahaha.

morning came and bob called me at about 8am. he told me power would be restored later tuesday. i said my usual thanks - with half a smile on my face. tuesday night came, it was still dark ---- and i am no longer amused.

to bob's luck, i had to run to nearby musikahan bar and resto to join some of my friends in a despedida party for tony v. who had decided to leave for manila (for good!) after 21 years of living in the US. he says he's tired of america, but i think it's because hilary, whom he voted for in the last election, lost... lol - just kidding.

the party was already winding down when i got to the venue. i caught a couple of speeches and songs for tony v. before the group gathered for pictures. am still waiting for my copies of the pictures from my friend greg and as soon as he sends me those, i will share some of them with you. i will write more about the party as soon as power is restored in my apartment.

to be continued...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

meet LA's newest eponine!

on the 24th and 31st of this month, recent bb. pasinaya winner and singing star sarah lazatin will be featured in foothill theater workshop group's staging of the hit broadway musical "les miserables."

i saw sarah's mom maru last saturday at the 11th annual celebrity chronicle awards and she excitedly informed me of the teener's latest project. sarah will essay the role of eponine, which was played to high acclaim by her idol, filipina great lea salonga.

my schedule would be a little bit lighter by the end of the month and i would be able to catch the musical play. i saw the musical staged in pantages theater in hollywood three years ago with another filipina (who am currently forgetting the name) playing the part of eponine. les miz is easily one of the best plays i have ever seen - hahaha, as if i have seen a lot!

my limited theater experience include watching: avenue q (my #1 favorite --- saw it 3times!!!), cats (except for "memory", the play disappointed me), the full monty (rent the dvd instead), and phantom of the opera (i was too sleepy when i saw it, so am not gonna comment - lol).

i also saw the color purple (the movie bored me and so did this version - haha), mamma mia (who doesn't like abba???), a chorus line (one the bests!), minsky's (delightful!), 13 (saw the LA premiere before it bowed on broadway and i was totally amazed by the talents of the young cast!), 9 to 5 (dolly parton's labor of love. period. lol), wicked (one of the bests as well - saw it 3 or 4 times, i think).

after avenue q, rent is my next favorite. i saw the original cast on tour and i must say that this play really, really makes you want to see every other musical plays there is! it is a masterpiece! there are other plays i saw but am currently unable to recall all of them :)

sarah is a junior at temple city high school. she is not new to the stage though as she has been performing since the age of 4. discovered by tita lydia solis, sarah, has opened numerous concerts for various filipino artists and tours with her campus-based singing group.

for those interested in watching the play, pls contact maru lazatin at (626) 675-3080.

Video of Jackson 1984 Pepsi burn accident surfaces

lifted this story from the web...

link to video:
http://cosmos.bcst.yahoo.com/up/player/popup/index.php?cl=14532128

Video of Jackson 1984 Pepsi burn accident surfaces
By Nekesa Mumbi Moody

NEW YORK Us Weekly magazine has obtained video it says shows never-before-seen footage of Michael Jackson's head catching on fire during filming of his 1984 Pepsi commercial.

Jackson suffered severe burns after a pyrotechnics mishap caused his hair and scalp to catch afire. Still photos of the accident have been seen before, but the new video on Us Weekly's Web site shows the moment Jackson's hair caught on fire and the top of his head became engulfed in flames.

Jackson didn't realize his hair was on fire. In the video, he's still dancing as the flames are on his head. When he spins, the flames go out. People on the set tackle him to extinguish the fire, and his brother Jermaine Jackson, playing the guitar in front of him and oblivious to the commotion, turns around. When Michael Jackson emerges from the pile of people trying to help him, the top of his head is bald.

The accident marked what would be the beginning of serious, lifelong pain for Jackson, who had been treated for painkiller addiction and has been described by relatives and friends as being hooked on pain medication at the time of his death.

Jackson required several surgeries and needed skin grafts to treat the injury.

In his autobiography, "Moonwalk," he described the cause of the accident as "stupidity, pure and simple."

As he described the accident, he wrote: "... bombs went off on either side of my head, and the sparks set my hair on fire. I was dancing down this ramp and turning around, spinning, not knowing I was on fire. Suddenly I felt my hands reflexively go to my head in an attempt to smother the flames."

As a result of the accident, Pepsi gave Jackson $1.5 million, which he donated to a burn center named after him.

A representative for Us Weekly had no immediate comment on where the video came from.

Jackson died June 25 at age 50.

___

On the Net:

Us Weekly: http://www.usmagazine.com

robert redford off the block at 72

surprise, surprise!

iconic movie actor and film legend robert redford has tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend in germany. after a spate of hollywood separations, including football superstar tony romo's dumping of girlfriend jessica simpson (on the eve of  her birthday - perfect timing, eh? - lol) this week, a marriage by a hollywood royalty is such a welcome news. congratulations!!!

here's a report from the net...

***

Robert Redford married his partner, a 51-year-old German artist, over the weekend, a German church said Wednesday.

Renate Massfeller of the St. Catherine Church in Hamburg said that Pastor Frank Engelbrecht presided over the wedding of the 72-year-old U.S. actor and artist Sibylle Szaggars at the luxury Louis C. Jacob Hotel.

The Hamburger Abendblatt newspaper said 30 friends and family members attended the service.

Szaggars, born in Hamburg, is an abstract artist whose work has been exhibited in Britain, Germany, the United States and elsewhere. She moved to Sundance, Utah where Redford's Sundance Institute is based in the 1990s, according to her Web site.

A message seeking comment from Redford's publicist in New York was not immediately returned.

Redford has starred in dozens of films, including "The Sting" and "The Natural." He won the Academy Award for best director for the 1980 film "Ordinary People."

In 1981 he founded the Sundance Institute to create what its Web site called "an environment designed to foster independence, discovery and new voices in American film."

Since then, it has grown to encompass the Sundance Film Festival, one of the world's premier film festivals that focuses on independent film but also has become known for its parties and celebrities.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

rafa to return august 8

AFP is reporting that tennis king rafael nadal will return to tennis after missing nearly two monts of active play on august 8. yay! during rafa's absence roger federer recaptured the number 1 ranking and won the french and wimbledon on his way to topping tennis great pete sampras' career grand slam record...

here's the full story from the wires:

Rafael Nadal, who has lost his French Open and Wimbledon titles, as well as his world number one spot, in a summer of injury misery, said Tuesday he plans to return at the Montreal Masters in August.

"I am really looking forward to practice again and to do what I most like: to play tennis," he said in a statement posted on his official website after undergoing medical tests in Barcelona.

"The event in Montreal (where he is defending champion) is important and I expect to be there and fit to play. Until then I need to continue to work on my recovery and practice well."

The 23-year-old Spaniard has been suffering from tendinitis in both knees and has not played since being upset by Robin Soderling in the fourth round at the French Open in May.

It was his first defeat at Roland Garros where he had been the four-time champion. The injury forced him to pull out of Wimbledon, where he was also defending champion, two days before it started.

During his absence, Roger Federer won both the French Open and Wimbledon and regained the number one ranking held by Nadal.

The Spaniard, who was also forced to miss his country's Davis Cup quarter-final win over Germany last weekend, will resume training on Monday ahead of the Montreal Masters which starts on August 8.

"The evolution of his injury is positive and the player will continue with his physiotherapy and muscular work and will resume his tennis activity in a progressive way starting next Monday, estimating his return to competition on August 8th at Montreal," said his doctor Angel Ruiz-Cotorro.

His great rival Federer, who clinched a record 15th Grand Slam title when he regained the Wimbledon title, has insisted that his achievements have not been diminished by the injury-enforced absence of Nadal.

Federer has a 7-13 career record against the Spaniard.

"I would have loved to play Rafa again. You never know how he would have played, but it's sad he couldn't even give it a fair chance," said Federer.

"I'm happy at least that I became No. 1 in the world by winning the tournament, not just by him not playing at all, or me playing decent or someone else playing decent and getting to No. 1. That's not the way it's supposed to be."

Monday, July 13, 2009

aaaaargh!!!

there is a reason why i haven't posted any blogs in the past two days. a big, dark reason!

i got no power in my apartment for the entire weekend beginning friday night, sob...

i am renting the upper unit of this two-storey structure. i got no next door neighbors. i occupy the entire second floor. the building is a mixed commercial/residential type and a company was (notice the tense) renting the lower floor until the end of last month.

friday night, my friends pochaco and jaggy were supposed to stay overnight and we were supposed to watch "true blood" (i wonder, how i'll ever get to watch episodes 3 onwards???) and the paul blart dvd i borrowed from the corner video shop until the wee hours. that was the plan. at about a little past 8, pochaco called and left me a voice message. i couldn't get to her call because i was busy picking out a dvd to rent.

i was already driving home and about to make a turn to my apartment, when i checked her message. she was asking me i paid my power bill for the month. i wonder why was she asking me that; my rent covers all utilities!

it turned out power to my apartment was cut off that afternoon! aarrgh!!!

the power company came to cut off the lower floor's power supply and the stupid guy (sexist eh? it could be a woman, for all we know, so to be fair i will add stupid gal as well - lol) who cut the power inadvertently cut connection to the upper floor, too.... what the F@#@!!!

i immediately called my landlord only to get his voice mail box. shoot! went to my neighbor (they live in a separate building) and asked if they know any number through which i can contact my landlord. they had nothing besides what i already have...

when i came up, pochaco and jaggy were languishing in darkness with only the faint glow of their cell phones providing them light (if you can call it "light" at all!). they were trying to boil rice on the stove as my rice cooker was practically useless. the kare-kare from barrio fiesta that i left in fridge got spoiled - we were supposed to have it for dinner. good thing my friends bought fried tilapia and fried squid from the filipino store. and bless the makers of canned goods, we opened two cans of sardinas to supplement dinner, hahaha! we had an impromptu candle-lit dinner that night.

after dinner, bob, my landlord, called (thank goodness!) and told me what had happened. he said power won't be restored until monday and what he could offer me for the meantime is to connect me to the other building using this super-extended extension cord. i was able to plug in my fridge and a lamp after. that's it!

don't ask me about the weather this weekend. i actually hated myself for wishing for summer!!! i was actually sick yesterday but being the only day that i am free these days, i still had to go out to do some errands. went to the mall (the cold from the airconditioning gave me chills! - hahaha) to pick out some stuff and drove to pasadena. i stayed in glendale most of the day helping tony v. pack up his stuff and i went home at about 10 wishing for a good night's sleep after two previous nights of sweat and discomfort. no luck there :(

i remember posting a story sometime last month about the lack of electricity during my childhood. this was worse. i am a slave to the modern world. i can't go back to the days of darkness anymore...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Joseph Gelito: Embracing America

There are so many good stories to tell about the so-called American dream. It is the dream commonly shared by those who wish to live out a life of freedom and prosperity. To most Filipinos, it is the reason why they choose to leave their motherland and bravely restart a life so foreign but full of endless promise.

And yet there are also those who chase it for the sake of just finding themselves – their true calling, if you will. Joseph Gelito was one of those.

Joseph moved to the US in 1995, leaving behind a thriving TV career in the Philippines and a lucrative job as a cruise director for a popular cruise line in Asia. He had what one would consider a successful career and yet he still decided to move to the US and get his own share of the dream.

But in America, like most immigrants, he had to struggle and weather rough times when he began reestablishing his performing career. His natural knack for comedy plus his legitimate theater training proved to be his biggest advantage and he eventually managed to penetrate the Fil-Am entertainment scene. Before stand-up comedy became a hit among Filipinos in LA, he was already wowing many corporate events with his comic flair and comedic antics. And when sing-along became the craze he was among the very first to blaze the trail.

Not only is Joseph a brilliant comedian he is also one of the most sought after LA-based concert performers. With his fabulous soaring voice, he has been featured in concerts alongside superstar Nora Aunor, comedy box office queen AiAi Delas Alas, Aiza Seguerra, and Keempee De Leon, among others.

For all his talents and accomplishments, Joseph has earned the title "Star for all genders."

This summer, the comedian will unveil a month-long series of shows called "The Star for all Genders: Embracing America." The shows will be held on all Sundays of September except for the 19th. The show is scheduled to coincide with Joseph’s celebration of his first year as an American citizen.

"I consider this as my major one man show for this year as I celebrate my birthday and my 1st year as an American citizen," he states. "Embracing America" is a musical-comedy show that will showcase a fusion of American and Filipino cultures through skits, spoofs, and character sketches. It will feature artists both established and unknown and will try to shed light into the "Americanization" of Filipino transplants in the US. "I will do some sketches on the lives of nurses," adds Joseph who is, not surprisingly, also an activity director for a nursing chain. He promises to fill his script with touches of his own experiences, and those of others he knows, while chasing the proverbial American Dream.

"I have discovered so many things since becoming an American citizen," he says. "I noticed the difference in how people talk and think; how their philosophies have evolved. Can you imagine our Filipino doctors choosing to become nurses, or our teachers becoming caregivers? It’s not funny but, you know how Pinoys are, we just laugh it off. Compared to others who commit suicide when faced with problems, I think Filipinos are better off with our innate sense of humor."

It is this sense of humor that Joseph will be celebrating in his shows. "There will be a lot of medleys that I commissioned specially for these shows in the Philippines. I will have character sketches that will spoof familiar personalities like Madonna, Elvis, Sharon Cuneta, Manny Pacquiao, or even Charice!," he declares. Most of the segments will be musical-like that he promises the audience will enjoy.

Former 14K singer Jonard Yanzon and Seafood City singing competition winner John Alcera will join Joseph in his series of shows on September 6th, 13th, and 27th at the California Wok Restaurant in Los Alamitos. Talented performers Ate Sya and Lawrence will likewise join the comedian along with Kambayoka Arts dancers Lilet and Marlyn Batino.

California Wok roster of talented comics Kasia, Maui, and Justine, completes the show’s cast.

Friday, July 10, 2009

stars to descend on glendale saturday


sookie & bill or bella & edward


take your pick... hahaha

did stephenie meyer copy - oops, it think that's too strong and almost accusatory, let me correct that - hahaha.

okay, now, did stephenie get her idea for her "twilight" series from the sookie stackhouse series created by edgar award-winning author charlaine harris? that thought came to me while watching an episode of the current season of "true blood", hbo's adaptation of the series of books based on the lives of vampires in a fictional town called bon temps in louisiana that harris publised beginning in 2001.

what actually made me very curious were the seeming similarities (i don't know if you can call it that but it's intriguing in a way) between the two major characters of the two source materials. in "twilight", edward cullen, the hunky vampire couldn't read through his beloved bella swan's thoughts while in "true blood", sookie stackhouse couldn't read her beloved hunky vampire's thoughts. neat, huh!

harris' story is more gothic in style and follows the genre's convention almost faithfully with a little tweaks here and there. meyer's, curiously, does the same thing. hmmm...

i haven't read any of harris' novels but i have read all four of meyer's books. but after watching the pilot episodes of true blood (bought the boxed dvd three weeks ago) the tv series somewhat struck as being familiar! but whatever, i maybe just thinking too much.

i haven't watched beyond the first disc of my 6-disc dvd set but the two episodes i saw showed me enough to instantly like it. sookie, as played by oscar-winner anna paquin, is sweet yet strong-willed and is struggling with her telepathic gift when she met vampire bill compton, played by brit stephen moyer (why do brits make good vampires??? will someone tell me please...) the two strike an instant connection and find themselves attracted to each other - switch the characters and what do you get? very familiar, right?

there are murders that the town of bon temps have to contend with. i believe the town of forks (twilight's setting) had the same problem too... stop it!!! hahaha

please don't get me wrong. i actually like both so i will stop comparing the two now.

i just wonder when will i be able to pop the next discs again. the somber news of the past two weeks made me watch tv more! help me sookie! er, bella may do. hahaha...

Thursday, July 09, 2009

american idol tour song list

grabbed this from anoop desai's chat transcript...

runner-up adam lambert has five songs while eventual winner kris allen only has four! my count may be incorrect as i am very, very sleepy now - haha

but seriously, though, i wonder how long does the show last? 3 hours? whoa!

***
American Idols Live Tour 2009 set list:

1. Michael Sarver, "In Love With a Girl" (Gavin DeGraw)
2. Michael Sarver, "Closer" (Ne-Yo)
3. Megan Joy, "Put Your Records On" (Corrine Bailey Rae)
4. Megan Joy, "Tears Dry on Their Own" (Amy Winehouse)
5. Scott MacIntyre, "Bend and Break" (Keane)
6. Scott MacIntyre, "A Thousand Miles" (Vanessa Carlton)
7. Lil Rounds, "Be Without You"/"Just Fine" (Mary J. Blige)
8. Lil Rounds, "No One" (Alicia Keys)
9. Lil Rounds, "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)" (Beyoncé)
10. Anoop Desai, "Always on My Mind" (Willie Nelson, Elvis Presley)
11. Anoop Desai, "Mad" (Ne-Yo)
12. Anoop Desai, "My Prerogative" (Bobby Brown)
13. Matt Giraud, "Hard to Handle" (Otis Redding, the Black Crowes)
14. Matt Giraud, "Georgia on My Mind" (Ray Charles)
15. Matt Giraud, "You Found Me" (the Fray)
16. Group medley: Megan Joy and Lil Rounds, "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" (Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons); Scott MacIntyre and Matt Giraud, "Tell Her About It" (Billy Joel); Michael Sarver, "Suspicious Minds" (Elvis Presley); Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud, Scott MacIntyre, Michael Sarver, Lil Rounds and Megan Joy, "Beggin'" (the Four Seasons)
17. Allison Iraheta, "So What" (Pink)
18. Allison Iraheta, "Cry Baby" (Janis Joplin)
19. Allison Iraheta, "Barracuda" (Heart)
20. Danny Gokey, "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" (Michael Jackson)
21. Danny Gokey, "Maria Maria" (Santana)
22. Danny Gokey, "What Hurts the Most" (Rascal Flatts)
23. Danny Gokey, "My Wish" (Rascal Flatts)
24. Adam Lambert, "Whole Lotta Love" (Led Zeppelin)
25. Adam Lambert, "Starlight" (Muse)
26. Adam Lambert, "Mad World" (Tears for Fears)
27. Adam Lambert and Allison Iraheta duet, "Slow Ride" (Foghat)
28. Adam Lambert, "Life on Mars"/"Fame"/"Let's Dance" (David Bowie medley)
29. Kris Allen, "Heartless" (Kanye West)
30. Kris Allen, "No Boundaries" (the American Idol coronation song coauthored by Kara DioGuardi)
31. Kris Allen, "Ain't No Sunshine" (Bill Withers)
32. Kris Allen, "Bright Lights" (Matchbox Twenty)
33. Group number led by Kris Allen, "Hey Jude" (the Beatles)
34. Encore, Group number, "Don't Stop Believing" (Journey)

shows in the southland (LA and Ontario) shows are scheduled for later this month...

Jackie Regala: Outstanding Concert Producer of the Year!



finally, after two weeks of somewhat somber news, someone relayed this piece of very good news concerning one of the most beloved figures in Los Angeles this morning. tita Jackie (pictured with rising singer daryl orgalino), will be named outstanding concert producer of the year during the 11th annual celebrity chronicle awards night on saturday in glendale.

congratulations tita jackie!

here's the press release:

When one mentions the name Jackie Regala, what immediately comes to mind is her impeccable record as one of Los Angeles' most successful concert producers. Jackie and her company KATZ Entertainment has been producing some of the biggest and spectacular concerts by Philippine-based performers in LA for the past 12 years

The lovely Ms. Jackie has brought to LA some of the biggest Filipino celebrities, including megastar Sharon Cuneta and her superstar-daughter KC Concepcion, who most recently wowed a near-capacity crowd inside the famous Shrine Auditorium in downtown LA

She has likewise brought to LA concert king Martin Nievera, pop icon Gary Valenciano, concert queen Pops Fernandez, the original Philippine diva Kuh Ledesma, Asia’s songbird Regine Velasquez, the nightinggale Lani Misalucha, soul diva ZsaZsa Padilla, the Eat Bulaga cast, enduring bands Side A and Freestyle, singer-songwriter Ogie Alcasid, MYMP, Basil Valdez, Piolo Pascual, and Pokwang. KATZ Entertainment, under Jackie’s management has been noted to mount shows that are highly entertaining and rich in production values. It is also known as being well-supported and liked by its countless sponsors.

For all her unparalleled accomplishments in the Fil-Am entertainment scene, the petite and lovely, Jackie Regala, was also recently named Concert Producer of the Year by Reflections Awards.

Her career in the entertainment business started back in the Philippines. Jackie graduated from the exclusive Assumption College in Makati Philippines with a degree in Communication Arts. After graduation, she was hired to write for the lifestyle section of the Philippine’s No. 1 newspaper, The Bulletin Today, now known as the Manila Bulletin and was a regular contributor to Panorama Magazine. Soon after, she was named associate entertainment editor of Crispina Martinez-Belen. After her stint at Manila Bulletin she became the youngest entertainment editor at the Philippine Times Journal before she was assigned the entertainment editor post of Manila Standard

It did not take long before Jackie formed her own public relations company called JYR & Associates. Its primary aim was to promote celebrities. Some of the notable clients under JYR & Associates included promoting foreign celebs visiting the Philippines such as Paula Abdul, Julio Iglesias, Swing Out Sister, Gloria Estefan, Duran Duran, James Taylor, Basia, and Patti Austin among many others

When she moved to Los Angeles, Jackie was asked to be the Entertainment Editor for MixMax Magazine. After which, she wrote for the Asian Journal Publications. Her columns are still syndicated today in various publications and on Carousel Pinoy.com.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

what if lindsay lohan dies tomorrow?

i immediately thought of that question even before i finished reading E online's "would any other celeb death be such a big deal?" story today on its website.

now, isn't that interesting? i can't think of anyone right now (except for lindsay) who could command the same global media attention and immense outpouring of grief from fans and non-fans alike for two weeks (and counting) than michael's death have. well, i thought, princess diana's death would be the biggest thing there is until michael surprised millions with his death.

leslie gornstein's article supposes what would the public reaction be if some stars do die suddenly; she doesn't think madonna, barack obama, or bruce springsteen would elicit the same sentiment from the public.

"at first you might think of a bruce springsteen or madonna or whatnot. or even a barack obama, who certainly is credited with, you know, making hope spring anew, and all this," she writes. "but then again, maybe not. lots of people are record-ripping hitmakers or worldwide hope generators, but I doubt we'd see the same collective hair tearing over mariah carey or nelson mandela."

"one of the reasons people are dissolving into such sanctimonious hysterics over M.J.'s death is the image of loneliness and vulnerability he had in life," she adds. "madonna's image is more hardass, but jackson's was all about vulnerability, more like marilyn monroe—fans wanting to take care of a person seen more as a victim, someone you would ferociously defend. when someone like that dies, fans feel like they've failed. and then they react accordingly—with an outpouring of love and adoration that isn't necessarily proportional to achievement."

the writer presented the case of princess diana and judy garland whose respective deaths generated widespread outpouring of emotion and grief.

"people who induced a collective public guilt because we, as fans, somehow didn't do more to protect them from all that sad... that eliminates obama, who, if anything, can handle himself. and springsteen, being a champion of the working man and whatnot, doesn't quite embody helplessness."

the writer doesn't think oprah's death could be bigger than michael's either...

God forbid, what if lindsay lohan does die tomorrow? we can safely gauge how people will react to that by studying how people reacted to heath ledger's untimely death last year. heath is not an american and not really that much of a household name yet his death caused a media firestorm that also lasted several days.

so much for morbid discussion.

let's talk about life, shall we?

this saturday will be the 11th edition of the annual celebrity chronicle achievement awards. some of the awardees include german moreno, willie revillame, patricia javier, jet montelibano, and bb. pasinaya 2009 sarah lazatin.

also, my friend joseph gelito will be featured in a series of shows soon. i will post a story on that sometime this week...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

world bids michael farewell

at the end of today's moving funeral, a lone spotlight shine on a blank spot where michael jackson would have been still standing on had he not died so suddenly twelve days ago.

how does the world say goodbye to one of the greatest entertainers of all time? the world is still grappling with the idea…

echoing some of the speeches at the very solemn memorial, michael was primarily a son, a brother, a father, and a friend to those very close to him. to the world however, he was the best in his time and will perhaps live on forever in the hearts of many.

goodbye michael and thanks for the music.

farewell to the king

had tita mabe not emailed me today and told me how they are all turning crazy in the philippines thinking about michael jackson's death, i wouldn't have entertained the idea of actually trekking to the staples center and be witness to history as it unfolds.

tonight, after having thai bbq dinner (again! lol) i called several of my friends to ask them if they wanted to join me at the staples. only my friends xtn and malou were willing to brave the police blockade and the expected mile-long walk to the staples center (the police cordoned off the area and cars are not allowed to park within a certain distance from the staples).


we agreed to meet at 10. i thought i could leave the office at 930 but a late discussion with my boss extended beyond 930. i was only able to leave at 10. they were already waiting for me at the pico-hope intersection where there were two remaining free parking spaces.


don't tell highway patrol but i again violated speeding limits and it only took me about 20 minutes what would normally take me 35-40 minutes to drive to downtown.


when i reached pico and hope, guess what would welcome me? two huge tow trucks. hahaha, call it perfect timing! we were forced to move our cars another block farther from the staples center. we got no choice :(


we found parking along grand and walked more than amile to the staples center.

it was no longer a surprise to find hundreds of people gathered near where the huge memorial poster of michael jackson is located. we took pictures and joined the queue. at the LA live square, i met three lucky people who all received the "golden ticket".



mother-daughter shirley and ivy have a very interesting story how they got to LA today. they were informed that they won tickets to the public memorial yesterday afternoon. they are based in oakland and had no idea how to get to LA the soonest time they can to be able to get their tickets today. they had no money for airfare so one of shirley's daughters, who's a masseuse, posted an ad on craigslist offering free massages in exchange for plane tickets. a kind gentleman took the offer and, voila, ivy and shirley found themselves at the dodgers stadium today and received their tickets to the nokia theater.


another person i met was this filipino guy who got his for a cool $1000 bucks! no more details necessary. ebay and craigslist, someone's able to break through! lol... robert teng was a cool guy and he let me hold his ticket for a closer look. it was the "golden ticket" alright.

the staples center had a different aura tonight. structures surrounding the center were all lit up while a projector beams huge pictures of michael jackson on their walls. it was an amazing sight!


we wrote our messages on the memorial poster, took pictures and ran back to our cars worried that the police might have towed them already. luckily, our cars were still where we left it.

here are more pictures from our farewell visit to the king of pop...





Monday, July 06, 2009

republican congressman calls jacko pervert!

i had my hands full the entire weekend. saturday, i was at work most of the day and went to my friend sarah's house and had barbeque while waiting for my other set of friends to come back from santa barbara. they arrived at quarter to 9 and i didn't get to meet with them anymore. i watched the local fireworks display in cerritos while they went to the los angeles olympic memorial stadium where they spent a good hour watching the fireworks display billed as the biggest in california. my friends nearly injured their necks after they had to crane for seemingly an eternity. a couple of my friends vowed not to watch any fireworks show in the next ten years! hahaha.

it didn't help that they spent the previous twelve hours on the road. my friends drove to solvang for a little wine-tasting trip and took a side trip to california's latest tourist attraction never neverland. i think disneyland should be scared now. if this sprawling michael jackson estate north of santa barbara isn't the newest happiest place on earth then how do you explain the wide smiles that i see of people as their pictures are taken in front of the huge steel gate? lol.

michael jackson will be laid to rest tomorrow in an undisclosed location. many are saying that he would be interred at either of the glendale or the hollywood hills location of forest lawn, a nearly exclusive cemetery for the stars.

tomorrow, a public memorial will also be held at the staples center in downtown los angeles. hundreds of thousands of michael's fans are expected to flood the area.

but while the world seems so enamored of michael jackson, one person is not totally sold on the michael jackson hysteria as evidenced by the report from AP about this republican congressman from new york who called michael a low-life and a pervert. ouch.

here's the story:

Michael Jackson called "pervert" by New York congressman Peter King

NEW YORK (AP) - A New York congressman says in a YouTube video that Michael Jackson was a "pervert."

Rep. Peter King said society is "glorifying" a "low-life" while ignoring the efforts of teachers, police officers, firefighters, veterans and volunteers.

Jackson was acquitted of molesting a boy.

In the video, the congressman says the "day in and day out" coverage of Jackson's death is "too politically correct."

He conceded that Jackson "may have been a good singer" and "did some dancing."

King is among the possible Republican contenders for the seat held by Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

Jackson family spokesman Ken Sunshine says the family is preparing for Jackson's funeral and will not dignify King's statement with a comment.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

michael jackson news ticker

Madonna pays tribute to Michael Jackson in concert

Madonna paid tribute to Michael Jackson on Saturday night in the same arena where he was to stage his comeback, dancing along with an impersonator doing Jackson's distinctive moves.
Jackson, who died last week, was to begin a series of 50 concerts at the 23,000-seat O2 starting July 13.

A picture of a young Michael Jackson appeared on stage while Madonna was performing "Holiday," then the impersonator came on, wearing a sequined jacket, white T-shirt, white glove and white socks in the Jackson manner.
The music then switched to Jackson's song, "Wanna Be Starting Something," and the impersonator worked through Jackson's moves, including the famous moonwalk. The impersonator didn't sing.

After the number, Madonna told the crowd, "Let's give it up for one of the greatest artists the world has ever known," and the crowd roared its approval.
read full story here:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090704/ap_on_en_mu/eu_britain_madonna_3

***
Massive demand for Jackson memorial tickets

More than half a million fans from around the world applied for 17,500 free tickets to Michael Jackson's public memorial service next week, organizers said on Friday as a massive security operation got underway.The life and music of the self-proclaimed "king of pop," who died of sudden cardiac arrest last Thursday, will be celebrated on Tuesday at the Staples Center, a basketball arena in downtown Los Angeles.

Officials on Friday unveiled an ambitious online lottery that will allow fans to attend either the televised service at the arena or watch the proceedings on a big screen at the nearby Nokia Theater.

But within minutes, the staplescenter.com server crashed. Officials warned additional disruptions were likely as fans logged on ahead of the Saturday deadline at 6 p.m. PDT.

"You might want to consider watching this from the comfort of your own home," said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Jan Perry, who is doubling as the city's acting mayor.
The ceremony will also streamed online.

read full story here: http://new.music.yahoo.com/jermaine-jackson/news/massive-demand-for-jackson-memorial-tickets--61720652

***
Networks to offer live Jackson memorial coverage

The memorial for Michael Jackson may be a tough ticket live, but it shouldn't be hard to find it on television.

ABC, CNN, MSNBC and E! Entertainment are among the networks that have already announced plans to offer live coverage of the Tuesday memorial, set for 10 a.m. PDT in Los Angeles' Staples Center.

ABC is sending anchor Charles Gibson to Los Angeles for the story, setting aside its typical daytime programming. CBS anchor Katie Couric will also be at the Staples Center, although the network has not yet said whether it was offering live coverage of the memorial.
NBC is not planning live coverage, but will wrap up highlights in a one-hour prime-time special Tuesday night.

CNN has seen its ratings soar with the Jackson story, and it will show the memorial on the main network and HLN (formerly Headline News). CNN International will air the ceremony to the rest of the world. Anderson Cooper, Larry King and Don Lemon are the anchors for CNN coverage. Robin Meade, A.J. Hammer and Jane Velez-Mitchell will anchor at HLN. CNN en Espanol will also cover it.

Chris Jansing will anchor live coverage of the memorial on MSNBC. Fox News Channel hasn't announced its plans.

E! Entertainment will cover the ceremony on its television network and its Web site.

Friday, July 03, 2009

it's all about kids!

really! it's really all about kids... many of you may have noticed that my only "free" day these days is sunday. sometimes, all invites overlap that i so disappointingly have to beg off.

take for instance what happened just this past sunday. i had an invitation to filipina actress ruffa gutierrez' birthday party at the cbs studios and to toni gonzaga's concert in anahaeim but i had to give up both because i already said yes to the baptism of my good friends louie and lito's second child in pasadena and a reception dinner in alhambra. i skipped the church ceremony and went straight to dinner - lol. it was fun. i met with old friends and we had a good time packing on extra calories!

if it wasn't for someone who mentioned that i seem to be going to a lot of kiddie parties, i wouldn't have noticed that, yes, indeed, i have been spending the past couple of sundays going to birthdays and baptisms. is that what turning 33 does to you? you try to channel the so-called fountain of youth? lol...

here are some pics that i want to share... aren't they adorable?



pictured above are lisa marie, my goddaugter, with my "adopted" niece naomi ann woody. third picture is my big fat face and my other "adopted" niece lauren abrams.


group picture!!!


my aunt lita and my niece, my cousin jerome's daughter, jewell. she celebrated her first birthday a couple of weeks back... isn't she pretty?

but of course, my sister will not forgive me if i don' t include my favorite of favorites! here's a picture taken in may in boracay with my mom (yep, that's her - sexy and all, and she's 52!!!) and and my pretty and smart (she sings abc and tomorrow, tomorrow to me on the phone. she also "reads" her story books to me!) niece christelle! she's only two and showing real smart traits! you have to forgive me, i am her uncle and this is my blog. hahaha....


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