Tuesday, September 29, 2009

shows lined up to benefit philippine flood victims

so much can be said about the filipino character but in tough times filipinos do not turn their backs from their own.

the past few days filipino communities worldwide have united in concert to help the victims of the devastating flood that swept metro manila and its underlying provinces and cities last weekend displacing half a million people and killing nearly 300.

in los angeles, filipinos from all walks of life have started their own fund drives. i know someone who immediately emptied her closets and sent three balikbayan boxes yesterday. bless your kind heart mel - you are God's gift.

and it's not just filipino citizens who are sending support and assistance home. i have a friend, the gifted austrian artist astrid steiner who is currently on tour in vienna. she sent our friend sally a commiserating email yesterday and instructed sally to go to her new york apartment and get the money she left and send them immediately along with sally's to the philippines. her gesture took me not by surprise - because astrid is a kind person to begin with - but with awe. we didn't tell her about the situation in the philippines but she saw the devastation in the news and immediately thought of extending her hand to help. astrid, i love you and thank you!!!!

in the days after news of the flood and the subsequent call for help, filipino artists based in LA took immediate action and planned several shows to benefit the victims.

this friday, october 2, a charity event called "bayanihan" will be held at the CARVAO (location: 210 w. birch st., brea, CA 90821). the event starts around 7 and is free, however, voluntary donations will be collected. all proceeds will be forwarded to ABS-CBN foundation. surprise performers are expected to show up... but it doesn't really matter who performs, does it? the main purpose is to extend help and we ought to do our own share....

and on october 11, sunday, a fund-raising show will be held at the celebrity center in hollywood beginning at 3 in the afternoon. details are still sketchy right now but here are some details i know:

a) jazz artists tateng katindig and kevyn lettau are expected to perform
b) there will be a silent auction of various items (i.e. disneyland tickets, wines, etc.)
c) event needs volunteers, please email creativeconceptsintl@gmail.com for more details.

will provide more updates later as i get the information...

Friday, September 25, 2009

sarah price in NY on oct 1



i am excited to share this piece of good news from my friend sarah price. she sent me an email invite to her upcoming gig at Arlene's Grocery on October 1st, at 8pm.

sarah will be accompanied by ben tyree on guitars, tony tino on bass, and chris benelli on drums.

it promises to be a memorable evening. her cd is a fixture in my car and her voice has this jazzy feel but a sexy and seductive allure to it.

to know more and to listen to some of her songs, visit her webpage at:
www.myspace.com/sarahpricemusic

see you there!

Monday, September 21, 2009

john keats' bright star

Bright star, would I were stedfast as thou art--
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,

The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors--

No--yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,

Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever--or else swoon to death.

Friday, September 18, 2009

my katy perry interview

i interviewed katy perry nearly three weeks ago. i was really not into her music until after the interview and i saw her perform live in concert.

her songs are simplistic and as pop as pop can be but they are never boring. she laces her lyrics with frank and undisguised sexuality and that makes her a unique artist...

here is my interview as it appears in the philippine star today:

(btw, she's the one pictured with me in my profile pic)

***

Face to face with the girl who kissed another girl By Raymond de Asis Lo, L.A. Correspondent
(The Philippine Star)
Updated September 19, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - She sings of kissing a girl and actually liking it but did you know that Katy Perry used to be Katy Hudson, and that she used to sing gospel songs?

“I started as a gospel singer,” Katy tells this writer over a quick chat inside her backstage dressing room just before her concert at the packed Hollywood Palladium in Sunset Boulevard two weeks ago. “That was like my first open door into the music industry.”

The pretty singer also disclosed that she chose to leave high school to get a different form of diploma. “I was 15 and I knew what I wanted to do, and I had some connections in the gospel music industry.”

The interview was arranged by the lovely Myra Castillo whose company, Music Management International, is bringing the now-internationally famous singer to a concert in Manila on Oct. 3. Katy, who became popular for the sexual undertones of some of her hit songs and her suggestive use of lipsticks, bananas and strawberries in her concerts, will perform at the SM Mall of Asia concert grounds.

Just hours before show time, this writer was surprised to find the singer not dressed in her stylized skimpy outfits. She was wearing a long dotted black dress and bright sparkles around her eyes while doing the round of interviews. I was scheduled for a 6 p.m. interview but was pushed back more than an hour due to production delays. Returning MTV VJ KC Montero was with our group and he also waited patiently.

I was still waiting for my turn when the first group of “Katy Kats,” as her die-hard fans are called, started trickling into the venue. They were dressed as bananas, strawberries, and all sorts of fruity outfits. It was very interesting to see how the singer wields such immense influence in today’s pop culture when just three years ago she was still an unknown, struggling gospel singer trying to break into the mainstream music industry.

“It was great! I was so happy to be doing it,” she would tell this writer later when asked about her early singing days. “It didn’t become a successful venue; it wasn’t something I could do anything with because the label went bankrupt but it was a great experience.”

Things turned better for the singer beginning 2007 when she changed her name to Katy Perry. During this time, she also started wearing bright pastel colors and dropped gospel music altogether; she brought sex into her act and completely reinvented herself.

“There wasn’t really much of a transitioning. I am pretty much the same person. I just didn’t want to be asked if Kate Hudson was my sister — how silly would that be if you named both your daughters Kate!” she broke into a brief laughter. “The transition of myself came naturally — just the evolution of growing up.”

She’s only 24 and yet Katy has seen herself transform several times already in just under 10 years.

The day after our interview Katy was to perform in her hometown of Santa Barbara for a homecoming show that was canceled earlier this year due to a forest fire. “It’s going to be amazing.” She talked excitedly about going home and doing the show in front of people she saw when she was a teenager singing at the local Farmers Market.

“I was 12, 13, 15 — this was one way of making money as a young kid,” she recalled. “It was fun because people would buy their fruits and vegetables and there was a violinist in one corner, there’s a kid doing some kind of drum interpretation and then there was me at 13 in my own little corner singing my own silly songs.”

“It was a great experience; it was great to be in front of people when you want to be in the music industry because it gives you a good read.”

She did it for a couple of years until someone spotted her perform and offered her to record in Nashville where she would spend the next seven years trying to score a hit song.
All her hard work paid off in 2008 when her hit single I Kissed a Girl exploded and rocketed to the top of the charts and became the summer’s No. 1 song.

What did she feel when she finally broke through?

“It feels intense, there’s no feeling that will ever compare to it because once you are there you worry if it’s going to happen again and or you can only go down,” she shared. “I was always preparing myself for my lucky break; for that shooting star — to catch it, to grab on.”

“I really didn’t know what a No. 1 hit mean. I didn’t really know when I had it but now I guess I know by looking back at this whole year and a half realizing that it is f—ng hard to do!”
It also helped that the song talked openly about a subject still considered taboo even in this politically correct times: Homosexuality.

The first single released off her break-out album was Ur so Gay, which received equal condemnation from both sides of the debate. Some said it was anti-gay while others contend it was actually promoting homosexuality. Katy wisely kept her distance from the controversy and quietly released another single, and this time she wasn’t being coy. She was proud she kissed a girl! It was an instant hit.

“It’s a fun pop song. I don’t know if it is necessarily controversial,” Katy argued. “I think some people think it’s silly, some people think it’s an eye-opening great thing for them — to each his own interpretation, you know. I lace my song with tongue-in-cheek and a great sense of humor and you can hear that. And also the topic of sexuality is evolving. Gay Marriage Rights was on the tip of everybody’s tongue and so, I think, me kind of coming out and saying it in a lighthearted way, it might have given it a more mainstream appeal.”

When I saw the singer perform later, I saw how she makes magic with her songs — sexual or otherwise. She is Katy Perry, after all — and fans love her!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

new face of murderers?

gone are the days when killers or murderers look like your typical hoodlum. they no longer don full body tattoos and they don't live in so-called ghettos anymore.

this evolution is terrifying... below are the faces of two men charged with two of the most gruesome murders this year.


guy on top is philip markof, the so-called "craiglist killer"



the guy above is raymond clark III, the alleged murderer of yale grad stude annie le.

scary times! wonder which guy's story makes it first in the movie of the week race?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

good manners 101

serena williams.

kanye west.

joe wilson.

these three people are the newest faces of how not to act in public. their actions in the past week have launched a thousand newspaper headlines all over the world. television news have reran countless times the footage of their shameful outbursts. and the public have weighed in with their opinions and it's clear: the world hates them!!!

the trio have officially offered their apologies and are now on damage control mode.

serena was fined $10,000 for her outburst during her semifinal match against eventual champion kim clijsters at the us open. she was said to have threatened to kill a line judge (to which serena vehemently denied in the beginning) over a disputed call. the us tennis association are still investigating and serena may lose her $375,000 prize money just for reaching the semi finals - i hope she does! --- i am so mean :D

joe wilson is not the same wilson depicted in the julia roberts-tom hanks movie "charlie wilson's war" - the real charlie wilson immediately distanced himself from the issue - but he sure has become famous overnight just for his inappropriate "you lie" remark during obama's health care address last week. the congressman remains steadfast on his action and have refused to publicly apologize insisting that he already apologized to the president directly - what a jerk! haha --

kanye west is a pitiful publicity hound. he is delusional. he thinks he is the biggest music superstar in the world today. his mic-grabbing and subsequent tirade at the MTV music awards sunday night showed the world what kind of brat west is. today, he blames his outburst to his mom's untimely passing last year. but wasn't he carrying a bottle of cognac on the red carpet before the start of the show? shouldn't that be the reason - aside from him being a "jackass" (as obama himself called him?) oh well, he got two days of free publicity and he got the world talking about him. certainly, he IS the most popular singer these days... sad!

what happened to civility?

prince harry turns 25



the late princess diana's youngest son is 25 today.

time, indeed, flies fast.

wasn't it just a few short years ago when the world was engulfed in grief over princess diana's untimely death? when the world saw how the two young princes, william and harry, showed royal grace when they waved their mom's casket goodbye?

now, those two young boys are men and about to take the world! harry is the most outgoing of the two brothers - he has been photographed wearing a swastika patch on his shirt, he graced magazine covers wearing just his boxers and have been very public with his love life.

william's demeanor on the other hand is more traditional and reserved, a trait truly befitting that of a man who will one day govern the united kingdom.

if the princess were alive today, she would most definitely be proud of what his sons have become.

happy birthday harry!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

[500] days of summer

saw [500] days of summer monday last week. i was supposed to write my review about it the same night, however - and, here comes the confession part - i have been too distracted with my new blackberry and facebook that i never got around to doing it.

i set out to do this review today, saturday (sep 12), and i don't think i'll finish at all. am switching back and forth between this blog and my facebook page. aaaaaaaaaahhh, facebook, what have you done to me?

i am stopping now. it is 730pm. i need to rush to alhambra, my friends rjay and roby are inviting me to dinner and i don't wanna be late, although at the rate am going, i am gonna be late anyways...

to be continued...

and i returned to this post monday noon.

[500] days of summer debuted at the sundance film festival this winter and was released to wide audience in july. i never got to see it at once as i was stuck with my deadlines at work. august came and i almost forgot about it until i started getting more active with facebook and saw how my friends were raving about the movie.

so on labor day last week, to avoid the traffic on the highway, i decided to pay edwards a visit and catch this love story and finally see what the buzz is all about.

the movie begins with tom and summer breaking up. [500] days of summer is not your eternal sunshiny summer days (as i initially thought back in january) but the 500 days that it took tom to finally understand his complicated relationship with summer finn (the summer in the title).

the movie has a winning cast and two charming leads in zooey deschanel and joseph gordon-levitt.

the story is not so complicated. it's your typical boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, and the complications that follows. what makes it more special is how it treats the subject matter with warmth care and incredible insight. it is like watching my own story unfold on screen! it was sweet torture.

there are no debates that could ever settle what constitutes true love, but this movie makes a good case for those who are still hanging on, holding on, in their beliefs that love, after all, comes to everyone and maybe it would take years, months, weeks, days, or hours from now --- but it will come.

in my case, my 500th day has yet to come but i am not losing hope. i know somewhere out there, someone waits for me in a coffeeshop or just on a cross street. i am not miserable anymore but i am not completely happy either.

when tom erupts in a joyous sing-and-dance mood after he discovered that he was in love with summer finn, i couldn't help but break into a wan smile - the exuberance of the moment makes me long for my own sing-and- dance moment, too...

i love tom, i love summer, i love [500] days of summer.

thank goodness, i finished. there are so many good stories to cover and i am just lazing around.

Friday, September 04, 2009

photo shock!



this is the AP photo that stirred so much controversy. it features a fallen marine (he later died) in afghanistan. it shocked everyone for its graphic content!

the marine's name is Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard and this photo was taken after an ambush.

this is not related to anything that's showbiz but his sacrifice to combat global terrorism, i thought, should be remembered with at least a few minutes of prayer. will you please?

here's the link to a story on how AP made its decision to make the picture public. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0909/26762.html

back from hiatus

i recently bought a blackberry for cheap.

i was on my way to seafood city on vermont in LA and i chanced upon this radio shack offering blackberry curve for $19.99 (i had to purchase a 2-year data plan - but, of course) and i immediately grabbed the offer.

i have been thinking of getting one for sometime now. i wanted to experience the mobile lifestyle that's the current craze among several of my friends. true enough, just the day after i had my blackberry activated by sprint, i was already hooked on facebook mobile and was tweeting endlessly --- for hours!

i did not forget about my blog of course. i was busy the past weekends having interviews with kate beckinsale, gabriel macht (yup, that't the spelling), and aussie actor alex o'laughlin (who is appearing this fall on "three rivers" over at cbs - i think). the threesome appears in "whiteout" due in theaters later this month. i was at the ultra-chich luxe hotel in brentwood for the interview and i was so awed by the rich people having $60 dollar lunches!

last saturday, i was at the hollywood palladium in sunset for a late-scheduled interview with singer katy perry. the singer is behind the hits "i kissed a girl", "ur so gay", and "hot & cold". it was originally scheduled at 6pm and was pushed back to after 7. my 15 minutes was trimmed to about 5 minutes ---- sob... but she was fun and very, very nice.

i saw her concert after the interview and she gave a rousing show!

i am back!!!

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