A word is worth a thousand pictures-Jude B

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Epic Sendoff in STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI

Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Written by

Jude Bautista

Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa): Forget it Poe! Get your squad back so we can get out of this place. Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron): No General we can do this! We have the chance to take out a Dreadnaught! These things are real killers, we can’t let them get away! Leia: Disengage now commander, THAT is an ORDER! Take that look off your face 3-P0. Anthony Daniels (C3P0): I certainly can’t general. Poe: Let’s go BB-8 its now or never…

Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa) and Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron). Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI has fulfilled every fan’s dream. There are epic battles upon epic battles. Just when you think they’re done another action packed sequence comes at you. In a lot of ways this is better than FORCE AWAKENS, which introduced characters in the vein of A NEW HOPE.

the AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas

This latest release STAR WARS Episode 8, reminds one of EMPIRE STRIKES BACK with even more action, battles in different environments sometimes happening at the same time. For hardcore fans they’d recognize the older vehicles, Dreadnaughts and the land based AT-AT (All Terrain Armored Transport), which also figured prominently in EMPIRE only with the clashes taken several notches higher.

New Cream Silk Customized Solution

From the dialogue above there’s the X-Wing and Tie fighter dog fights in orbit/space. There are more spacecraft from both the rebellion and the First Order. Newer androids, BB-8 has an evil twin in all black. One thing that distinguishes this movie from the previous versions is the injection of humor straight from the opening sequence. This was noted by screenwriter, filmmaker, actor and life long fan Kevin Smith in his youtube review.

from left: Benicio del Toro (DJ), John Boyega (Finn), Laura Dern (Vice Admiral Holdo), Disney CEO Bob Iger, Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma) and Daisy Ridley (Rey). Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas

MG-100 Star Fortress SF-17 also known as the B/SF-17 heavy bomber, or simply as the Resistance Bomber. Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

According to Scott Mendelson of Forbes.com, “the Rian Johnson sci-fi sequel has sold more tickets than any other December release aside from Beverly Hills Cop ($234m in 1984/$599m today), The Force Awakens, Titanic and Avatar. 3D bumps notwithstanding, The Last Jedi is way ahead of the inflation-adjusted totals for all of the Lord of the Rings movies.” It’s currently projected for $630 million for U.S. and has already breeched $1.2 billion worldwide.

Writer/Director Rian Johnson; Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Lovable android BB8; Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

The numbers in my mind seem to suggest that the torch has again been successfully passed from the older generation to the millennials. This is no mean feat especially for the young stars in Daisy Ridley (Rey), John Boyega (Finn) and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren). This definitely bodes well for upcoming STAR WARS films such as Ewan McGregor’s return in KENOBI set for 2019 and of course STAR WARS Episode 9.

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Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – Modern Trailer

John Williams’ Milestone

Its not just all about ticket sales but awards too. Reported by VARIETY, legendary composer, musical director John Williams may break the record for most number of Oscar nominations for two of his movies in the running THE POST and THE LAST JEDI. THE POST is directed by Steven Spielberg who has worked with Williams in all of his movies. Williams has also scored 8 of the STAR WARS films.

From left: Producer Ram Bergman, America’s Composer John Williams and Producer Kathleen Kennedy at the LAST JEDI Premiere – The Shrine Auditorium December 9, 2017, L.A. California.

If he is nominated for both it would be the 51st and 52nd respectively. His five Oscar wins include: for Best Musical Score SCHINDLER’S LIST (1994), ET THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL (1983), STAR WARS A NEW HOPE (1978), JAWS (1976) and Best Scoring adaptation and Original Song Score for FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (1972). Oscar nominees will be announced February 5, 2018.

Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Carrie Fisher’s Farewell

The confrontations and action takes place on multiple fronts but there is an even more important reason for a lot of fans to go to cinemas especially in the U.S.. Carrie Fisher who played Leia Organa in the STAR WARS series, has her last living performance in THE LAST JEDI. Fisher passed away December 27, 2016 after suffering from sleep apnea on a commercial flight from London to Los Angeles. Although, traces of cocaine, heroin, were found in her system, they were not conclusively determined as the direct cause of her death. Soon after Carrie, her mother (and Hollywood legend) Debbie Reynolds also passed away from a stroke about a day later while planning funeral arrangements.

Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix) and Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa). Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Carrie’s daughter Billie Lourd referring to her mother said, “She battled drug addiction and mental illness her entire life [and] ultimately died of it. She was purposefully open in all of her work about the social stigmas surrounding these diseases… I know my Mom, she’d want her death to encourage people to be open about their struggles.”

Stigma on Mental Illness and Drug Addiction

Among the cast she is the one who evolved the most creatively. She skyrocketed to fame in 1977 with STAR WARS A NEW HOPE. Apart from being an actress she became a successful novelist, screenwriter, script doctor and playwright. She used her own struggles with mental illness (she was diagnosed as bi-polar) and drug use as material for her best selling novels: POSTCARDS FROM THE EDGE and THE BEST AWFUL THERE IS and one woman play she performed WISHFUL DRINKING. Her openness with her own struggles was a means for her to shed light on the stigma of those diseases.

Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (“Star Wars” Moments)

Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa) and Writer/Director Rian Johnson. Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas

Writer / director Rian Johnson, shared that he worked in the lines that Carrie Fisher pitched during rehearsals and ended up being the funniest moments in the movie. Her humorous touch may be her lasting legacy here in this installment. In a January 2014 interview, Fisher confirmed her involvement and those of the original cast in the upcoming sequels by saying “as for the next Star Wars film, myself, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill are expected to report to work in March or April. I’d like to wear my old cinnamon buns hairstyle again but with white hair. I think that would be funny.”

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In 2016, Harvard College gave Fisher its Annual Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism, noting that “her forthright activism and outspokenness about addiction, mental illness, and agnosticism have advanced public discourse on these issues with creativity and empathy.” From https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Carrie_Fisher#/2000s

Star Wars: The Last Jedi..L to R: Director Rian Johnson with Carrie Fisher (Leia) on set. ..Photo: David James..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

In STAR WARS Episode IX, Fisher was supposed to play an even bigger role in the story. Producers have had to change the script since her death. THE LAST JEDI has become her farewell performance on screen.

Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker) and Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa). Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

What Carrie Fisher fought for concerning mental illness and drug use is particularly relevant for us Filipinos. There are those of us here who believe Carrie should have been killed as an incurable drug addict early in her career. If that happened we, the world would have lost so much, not just her performances but mostly her writings. Whether its her novel, screenplays or one woman act plays which drew a lot of the humor and insights from her experiences with addiction.

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Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Luke Skywalker

Luke Skywalker’s character played by Mark Hamill has truly come full circle in this movie. In NEW HOPE and original trilogy he had the brash aggressiveness of his youth, at this point and realistically he is the older, more reluctant, even cowardly hero. Which only seems more believable, that’s why fans were able to relate with his character from the beginning. We understand how and why he’d feel as a mere mortal. At the same time we’ve seen that evolution in him.

PNB You First with DongYan and JaDine

My own favorite scene from the STAR WARS franchise is in the climax of RETURN OF THE JEDI, (maligned by critics when it first came out). Luke was about to be executed by Jabba the Hutt walking the plank, about to fall to his death into the mouth of a gigantic monster called the Sarlacc in the Great Pit of Carkoon. In what seemed like the most desperate clutches, he was still able to extricate himself through his use of the force. Without ruining too much THE LAST JEDI has its moments in that vein, I think that’s why the loyal fans of the franchise appreciates that from writer / director Rian Johnson.

Sarlacc Pit Battle

John Boyega (Finn) and Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma). Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Rectifying Past Mistakes

Knowing what worked in the past, like the scene above, writers were also conscious of what didn’t work. PHANTOM MENACE was largely criticized for its racist overtones. They had an alien race, Neimoidians that had an Asian accent combined with inordinately large eyes. Jar Jar binks on the other hand had a Jamaican sounding accent. Since ROGUE ONE, that perception has been rectified with the casting of Donnie Yen as a blind Jedi monk Chirrut Îmwe and Wen Jiang as Baze.

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Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

LAST JEDI has put the spotlight on a new Asian character in Rose Tico played by Kelly Marie Tran. But the story also goes beyond rectifying old mistakes by exposing current problems in the world. The plight of modern day slavery is also dealt with here. Rose herself was a victim of it and attempts to damage the gambling haven of Canto Bight that exploits them.

Benicio del Toro (DJ); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Benicio Del Toro and Laura Dern

There are more cool characters introduced in THE LAST JEDI. Among them code breaker and bounty hunter DJ played by no less than Benicio Del Toro. He has had a lot of critically acclaimed performances. He was a vengeful prosecutor turned vigilante in SICARIO which has a much anticipated sequel called SOLDADO set for release in June 2018. Benicio gives all of his characters that dark, morally ambiguous feel, that gives this film even more texture.

#Throwback: Tanduay Select Yacht Party 2017

Laura Dern (Vice Admiral Holdo); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Holdo is no stranger to a lot of sci-fi fans as she has figured prominently in JURASSIC PARK (1 through 3). Her scenes with the late Carrie Fisher, Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) are among the most memorable and dramatic in this movie. Most fans will identify Dern as Renata Klein in BIG LITTLE LIES that recently won a lot of awards at the Golden Globes.

Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Game of Thrones actors

GOT fans have given FORCE AWAKENS a thumbs up with Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma. Her character is given even more screen time in this installment. Gwendoline is the tall warrior/ knight who won our hearts as Lady Brienn or with the ironic name of Brienne The Beauty.

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Since then she was not the only GOT actor to be given a prominent role in THE LAST JEDI. Not a lot of GOT fans may remember Ralph Ineson because he only played a minor role in Dagmer Cleftjaw and similarly here as a Senior First Order officer. But Ineson has actually worked in several Hollywood blockbusters: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY1, KINGSMAN1 and HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HOLLOWS.

Kate Dickie was famous as Lysa Arryn in GOT, here she’s Hux’s First Order Monitor. Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Kate Dickie who played Lysa Arryn was almost unrecognizable as Hux’s First Order Monitor. She had a cap and black uniform on annotating / reporting to First Order General Hux played by another prominent British actor Domhnall Gleeson.

Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Apart from lead star Daisy Ridley as Jedi in training Rey, the British influence is certainly felt. Prince William and Harry’s cameo roles were not cut out along with Tom Hardy, Garry Barlow. Other big Hollywood names include director Edgar Wright and Joseph Gordon Levitt as Storm troopers.

from left: Producer Ram Bergman, Daisy Ridley (Rey), Writer/Director Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker). Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Big Screen Goodbye

What writer /director Rian Johnson has done is to give long time fans of STAR WARS what they want with more battle scenes, more action, more intergalactic beasts that are both familiar and strange. The Fathiers are bigger, hairier, faster more powerful versions of racehorses in a galactic casino city. Apart from the epic battle scenes are the individual Jedi vs dark side duels, which may be the best ever. Whether a long time admirer OR NOT it’s the best two and a half hours you can spend in a movie theater.

Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Besides, how else can you say goodbye to a Princess known in the whole galaxy? She made us love her even more admitting her weaknesses with drugs, medication and alcohol through her humor, wit, words and memorable performances. Farewell Leia, ‘May the Force be with you.’

Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron) smooches Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa). Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

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the Porg; Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

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from left: Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Daisy Ridley (Rey) and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker). Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas

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the Fathier is one of many new beasts; Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

from left: Sara Heller (Arashel Sar), Temirlan Blaev (Temiri Blagg) and Josiah Oniha (Oniho Zaya). Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

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Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

The old Millennium Falcon still works. Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

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Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

from left: Writer/Director Rian Johnson and Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker). Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas

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Laura Dern (Vice Admiral Holdo); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

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Crystal Fox is one of many new beasts; Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

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John Boyega (Finn) and Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

John Boyega (Finn) and Gwendoline Christie (Captain Phasma). Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Crystal Fox is one of many new beasts; Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

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from left: Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa), BB8, Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), John Boyega (Finn) and Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico). Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas

Benicio del Toro (DJ); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

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Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix) and Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa). Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

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Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker); Catch STAR WARS THE LAST JEDI in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall and RWM Cinemas.

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SIARGAO, LARAWAN Dominate MMFF Awards

SIARGAO team from left: Social Media Mgr Patti Lapus, Screenwriter Anjeli Pessumal, Suzette Ranillo (Diego’s Mom), Director / Producer Paul Soriano, Jasmine Curits Smith (Abi) and Producer/ Editor Mark Victor. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Jericho Rosales, Erich Gonzales, Jasmine Curtis starrer about a rock star escaping his conflicts by going to his hometown of SIARGAO and a movie musical with a combination of the roaring 20’s and operettas about pre war Manila in ANG LARAWAN with Joanna Ampil, Rachel Alejandro, Celeste Legaspi reaped a majority of the awards in the Metro Manila Film Festival’s Gabi Ng Parangal at the KIA Theater last December 27, 2017.

LARAWAN cast from left: Exec. Producer Girlie Rodis, Dulce (Doña Upeng), Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (Pepang), Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng), Joanna Ampil (Candida), Rachel Alejandro (Paula), The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

SIARGAO had a total of 8 while ANG LARAWAN had 5 awards. Both ALL OF YOU and ANG PANDAY had 4 awards, followed by DEADMA WALKING with 2.

SIARGAO with 8 Awards – 2nd Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Jasmine Curtis Smith), Best Director (Paul Soriano), Best Cinematography (Odyssey Flores and team), Best Sound (Jason Conanan, Mark Locsin, Mikko Quizon, Kathrine Ariane Salinas), Best Editor (Mark Victor), Best Looking Couple of the Night (Erich Gonzales) and Best Original Theme Song (ALON by Hale)

Best Looking Couple of the Night: Erich Gonzales (SIARGAO) and Derek Ramsay (ALL OF YOU). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

ANG LARAWAN with 5 awards – Best Actress (Joanna Ampil), Best Picture, Special Jury Prize to Nick Joaquin for Portrait of a Filipino, Gatpuno Villegas Cultural Award, Best Production Design (Gino Gonzales)

ALL OF YOU with 4 awards – Best Actor (Derek Ramsay), 3rd Best Picture, Best Screenplay (Dan Villegas, Paul Sta. Ana, Carl Chavez and Melissa Mae Chua), Best Looking Couple of the Night (Derek Ramsay)

standing from left: Win Gonzales (Short Film People’s Choice – NOEL), SIARGAO Team: Screenwriter Anjeli Pessumal, Supervising Prod RC Delos Reyes, Suzette Ranillo, Paul Soriano (Best Director), Jasmine Curtis Smith (Best Supporting Actress), Derek Ramsay (Best Actor- ALL OF YOU), LARAWAN Team: Dulce, Menchu Lauchengco Yulo, Joanna Ampil (Best Actress), Rachel Alejandro, Celeste Legaspi, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, ?, LARAWAN Exec Prod. Girlie Rodis and Producer Alemberg Ang. Bottom Row from left: SIARGAO’s Patti Lapus, ALL OF YOU Screenwriter Carl Chavez (Best Screenplay), Dan Vilegas (3rd Best Film) and Edgar Allan Cruz (Best Supporting Actor- DEADMA WALKING). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

ANG PANDAY with 4 awards – Children’s Choice, Best Visual Effects (John David Hukom, Blackburst Team), Special Jury Award- Rodel Nacianceno a.k.a Coco Martin and Fernando Poe Jr. Memorial Award

DEADMA WALKING with 2 awards – Best Supporting Actor (Edgar Allan Guzman) and Best Float.

Gaga for LARAWAN from left: Aicelle Santos (Violet), Bernardo Bernardo (Don Alvaro), Publicist Toots Tolentino and Cris Villonco (Susan). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

This year there was a very clear delineation between more popular commercial films and more creative material. This is a marked improvement unlike previous years when even the box office top grossers were the ones given the awards with their earnings as basis. So there didn’t seem to be space for themes and movies that enlighten and educate the movie going public’s palate.

Organizers MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, MMDA GM & MMFF Exec Committee Chairman Tim Orbos made the right decision by putting National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera as head of the screening committee for the MMFF entries. Lumbera is very well respected in the realm of Filipino film criticism as one of the founding members of the Manunuri Ng Pelikulang Pilipino.

from right: National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim and MMDA GM & MMFF Exec Committee Chairman Tim Orbos The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Lumbera was given an award of recognition in the middle of the ceremonies. And in his speech he essentially admonished the movie going public to patronize the award winning films and not just the more popular commercial comedies, action flicks that Filipinos flock to.

LARAWAN Cast Paulo Avelino (Tony Javier) and Rachel Alejandro (Paula). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

The irony is that a film like LARAWAN is actually incredibly entertaining; the award for Musical Direction – Ryan Cayabyab is testament to this. More popularly known as Ryan C, who is probably one of the most celebrated composers, musical directors of our time. In Japan where LARAWAN premiered in the Tokyo International Film Festival, they garnered the audience choice award.

LARAWAN Cast from left: Best Musical Director winner Ryan Cayabyab, Nanette Inventor (Doña Irene), Director Loy Arceñas and National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes. The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

IF only our kababayan would open their hearts and minds to the creative triumph that is LARAWAN, they will realize how rich our own Filipino culture and history while being moved and yes entertained. From the trailer Zsa Zsa Padilla, Nanette Inventor and Dulce are all in a hilarious mambo line, which should definitely be enough of a draw.

Jasmine Curtis Smith of SIARGAO earned Best Supporting Actress nod. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

SIARGAO on the other hand is a movie that highlights the scenic beauty of what is considered to be the surfing capital of the Philippines. There’s a chance at a new relationship for both Diego (Jericho Rosales) and Laura (Erich Gonzales) who meet on the plane. While an old flame in Abi (Jasmine Curtis Smith) still has feelings for Diego. We see a lot of the local culture, at the same time young characters who show a lot of their lives on line.

Nowhere is the gap between quality of films and quantity of audiences more apparent than in SIARGAO director Paul Soriano’s speech. He gave a glowing endorsement to their competitor, which is practically unheard of in the MMFF.

Nar Cabico sang ALL OF YOU theme with Raflesia Bravo, Phi Palmos and Joshua Cabilados. The talented performers can be seen in HIMALA THE MUSICAL this Feb 2018 with LARAWAN cast member Aicelle Santos as lead star for Sandbox Collective. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Soriano credited his cast and producer Mark Victor. But he made note of the underwater cinematography of Gaps Abuero and Max Abasolo as well as Odyssey Flores who employed drones to get picturesque aerial shots of Surigao Del Norte.

Paul Soriano of SIARGAO won Best Director; The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Paul Soriano in his speech continued, “Yesterday a film touched my heart. I know what they’re going through. You guys, I watched it yesterday in a full house in Rockwell. I know what it is you’re going through. I hope you get the opportunity to see such a beautiful film; Against the World. That’s kinda what we do. It just really hit me. To the team ANG LARAWAN I share this with you guys.”

Days before Soriano caused a stir on line when he lamented publicly when cinemas decided to pull out LARAWAN and other entries early in the MMFF run.

LARAWAN’s young ladies from left: Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (Pepang), Cris Villonco (Susan), Cara Manglapus (Patsy) and Aicelle Santos (Violet). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

LARAWAN Producer Alemberg Ang, in an interview, clarified that there was coordination with cinema owners and management who requested to prioritize the more popular family oriented films in the opening MMFF weekend (December 23 to Christmas). This is to maximize the greater portion of the movie going public who went with kids and their families.

LARAWAN cast Best Actress Joanna Ampil (Candida) and Producer Alemberg Ang . The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

And immediately after that show titles like ANG LARAWAN, DEADMA WALKING, SIARGAO and ALL OF YOU, especially now after awards night. Alem has confirmed that LARAWAN and the others have now been released to even more theaters around the metro. Please check listings on newspapers and online to find out which cinemas are running the awardees.

Shang Cineplex is already running LARAWAN, SIARGAO and DEADMA WALKING.

Click on link for full schedule.

TANDUAY, one of the BEST and most awarded brands in the country, is also a long time supporter of the MMFF and Philippine cinema.

Of the glowing endorsement from Paul Soriano in his acceptance speech Alem added, “Paul already posted on facebook and tweeted tagging all of us in twitter and fb. I’ve worked with him on TRANSIT. He’s really such a gentleman. He’s such a sincere person, such a great guy. And I guess the concept of Contra Mundum of art versus commercialism (translates to Defy the World). Which is what (MMDA Chairman) General Danilo Lim mentioned in his speech. That really blew us away. It’s our battle cry and continually we’re living it. Even all my indie films its like that. So right now we have a very good product and we’re glad people are responding.”

LARAWAN Cast standing from left: Producer Alemberg Ang, Musical Dir. Ryan Cayabyab, Bernardo Bernardo (Don Alvaro), Director Loy Arceñas, Rayver Cruz (Charlie Dacanay), Mid row seated from left: Executive Producer Girlie Rodis, Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng), Nanette Inventor (Doña Irene), Dulce (Doña Upeng), Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (Pepang), Cara Manglapus (Patsy), Bottom row from left: Aicelle Santos (Violet), Rachel Alejandro (Paula), Paulo Avelino (Tony Javier) and Cris Villonco (Susan). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Full MMFF 2017 Awards list

Best Actress

Joanna Ampil – ANG LARAWAN

Best Actress Joanna Ampil (Candida)- LARAWAN; The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Actor

Derek Ramsay – ALL OF YOU

Tanduay endorser Derek Ramsay (ALL OF YOU) won Best Actor. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Picture

ANG LARAWAN

LARAWAN sings acceptance speech from left: Producer Girlie Rodis, Joanna Ampil (Candida), Rachel Alejandro (Paula), Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng), Dulce (Doña Upeng) and Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (Pepang). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

2nd Best Picture

SIARGAO

SIARGAO team from right: Jericho Rosales (Diego), Director / Producer Paul Soriano, Jasmine Curits Smith (Abi), Producer/ Editor Mark Victor, Supervising Producer RC Delos Reyes and Suzette Ranillo (Diego’s Mom), The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

3rd Best Picture

ALL OF YOU

ALL OF YOU team from right: Producer Atty Joji Alonzo, director Dan Villegas; The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

LARAWAN Cast from left: Bernardo Bernardo (Don Alvaro), Aicelle Santos (Violet), Paulo Avelino (Tony Javier) and Rachel Alejandro (Paula). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Special Jury Prize (tie)

ANG LARAWAN posthumously to Nick Joaquin

ANG PANDAY – Rodel Nacianceno

PANDAY’s Jake Cuenca; The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

People’s Choice Award

GANDARRAPIDDO: THE REVENGER SQUAD

Best Supporting Actress

Jasmine Curtis Smith – SIARGAO

Jasmine Curtis Smith of SIARGAO earned Best Supporting Actress nod. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Supporting Actor

Edgar Allan Guzman – DEADMA WALKING

Edgar Allan Cruz is Best Supporting Actor-DEADMA WALKING. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

TANDUAY, one of the BEST and most awarded brands in the country, is also a long time supporter of the MMFF and Philippine cinema.

Gatpuno Villegas Cultural Award

ANG LARAWAN

LARAWAN Cast Rayver Cruz (Charlie Dacanay) and Cara Manglapus (Patsy). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Director

Paul Soriano – SIARGAO

Paul Soriano of SIARGAO won Best Director; The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Child Performer

Baeby Baste

Baeby Baste (Sebastian Benedict Granfon Arumpac) won Best Child Performer (MEANT TO BEH). He also charmed audiences by giving his acceptance speech completely in Cebuano. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Children’s Choice

ANG PANDAY

Best Screenplay

Dan Villegas, Paul Sta. Ana, Carl Chavez and Melissa Mae Chua- ALL OF YOU

ALL OF YOU team from left: Director Dan Villegas, Atty Joji Alonzo and Screenwriter Carl Chavez show their 3rd Best Picture, Best Screenplay (Dan Villegas, Paul Sta. Ana, Carl Chavez and Melissa Mae Chua) awards. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Cinematography

Odyssey Flores, Gaps Abuero and Max Abasolo– SIARGAO

Best Sound

Jason Conanan, Mark Locsin, Mikko Quizon, Kathrine Ariane Salinas – SIARGAO

Best Editor

Mark Victor – SIARGAO

Producer / Editor Mark Victor picks up Best Editing award for SIARGAO. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Looking Couple of the Night

Erich Gonzales – SIARGAO

Derek Ramsay – ALL OF YOU

Best Looking Couple of the Night: Erich Gonzales (SIARGAO) and Derek Ramsay (ALL OF YOU). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Production Design

Gino Gonzales – ANG LARAWAN

LARAWAN cast from left: Dulce (Doña Upeng), Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (Pepang), Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng), Exec. Producer Girlie Rodis, Joanna Ampil (Candida), Rachel Alejandro (Paula). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Visual Effects

John David Hukom, Blackburst Team – ANG PANDAY

David Hukom and Blackburst Team took home Best Visual Effects award for PANDAY. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Original Theme Song

Alon by Hale – SIARGAO

Best Musical Score

Ryan Cayabyab – ANG LARAWAN

LARAWAN Cast from left: Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng), Director Loy Arceñas, Musical Director Ryan Cayabyab and Bernardo Bernardo (Don Alvaro). The LARAWAN Press con was held at Promenade Theaters in Greenhills last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Short Film People’s Choice Award

NOEL

Short Film People’s Choice winner NOEL by Win Gonzales of Go motion productions. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Short Film Best Picture

ANONG NANGYARI KAY NICANOR DANTE?

Short Film Best Picture winner ANONG NANGYARI KAY NICANOR DANTE? by Brian Spencer Reyes of EMJEI Films and Photographs. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Best Float

DEADMA WALKING

DEADMA WALKING co stars from left: Edgar Allan Cruz and Joross Gamboa. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

TANDUAY, one of the BEST and most awarded brands in the country, is also a long time supporter of the MMFF and Philippine cinema.

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Baeby Baste (Sebastian Benedict Granfon Arumpac) won Best Child Performer (MEANT TO BEH). He also charmed audiences by giving his acceptance speech completely in Cebuano. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

LARAWAN cast from left: Best Actress Joanna Ampil (Candida), Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng) and Rachel Alejandro (Paula). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Presenters Lance Raymudo and Regine Tolentino. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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DEADMA WALKING co stars from left: Edgar Allan Cruz and Joross Gamboa. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Nar Cabico (center) sang ALL OF YOU theme with Raflesia Bravo, Phi Palmos and Joshua Cabilados. The talented performers can be seen in HIMALA THE MUSICAL this Feb 2018 with LARAWAN cast member Aicelle Santos as lead star for Sandbox Collective. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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TANDUAY, one of the BEST and most awarded brands in the country, is also a long time supporter of the MMFF and Philippine cinema.

LARAWAN cast from left: Celeste Legaspi (Doña Loleng), Rachel Alejandro (Paula), Joanna Ampil (Candida), Menchu Lauchengco Yulo (Pepang) and Producer Alemberg Ang. The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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standing from left: Jasmine Curtis Smith (Best Supporting Actress-SIARGAO), Derek Ramsay (Best Actor- ALL OF YOU), LARAWAN Team: Dulce, Menchu Lauchengco Yulo, Joanna Ampil (Best Actress), Rachel Alejandro, Celeste Legaspi, MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim, Bottom Row from left: ALL OF YOU Screenwriter Carl Chavez (Best Screenplay), Dan Vilegas (3rd Best Film) and Edgar Allan Cruz (Best Supporting Actor-DEADMA WALKING). The MMFF Metro Manila Film Festival 2017 Awards Night – Gabi Ng Parangal was held at the Kia Theater December 27, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Regine’s Gift in Shang Ball

Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

Ang sarap nitong pag-ibig, Lalo na noong sinabi mong, Dadalhin kita sa ‘king palasyo

Dadalhin hanggang langit ay manibago. Ang lahat ng ito’y pinangako mo…

—from DADALHIN, with music and lyrics by Tats Faustino.

It was a special night for the Shang Retail Partner’s Appreciation Ball held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. This is the yearly occasion Shangri-La Plaza Mall gives thanks to their retailers and celebrates Christmas with them. That night Regine Velasquez’ inspiring voice was able to transport audiences to a magical place, just as she described in her signature hit DADALHIN. Video Excerpts of Regine’s performances are included below.

from right: CNN Philippines – Leading Women’s Host Angel Jacob, Phil Star Motoring Columnist James Deakin, PRIMAVERA, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and PRIMAVERA. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Regine, performed with PRIMAVERA, the Mandaluyong Children’s Choir, and the full Manila Philharmonic Orchestra. They all took retailers and friends on a musical journey that set the mood for the season of giving. The glittering event was in Isla Ballroom, a well-designed and decorated venue after a sumptuous buffet.

Phil Star Motoring Columnist James Deakin and CNN Philippines – Leading Women’s Host Angel Jacob were the remarkable masters of ceremony for the evening.

Shang Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Addressing the retailers, Shangri-La Plaza Mall EVP and GM Lala Fojas in a short speech was able to emphasize the mindset for the ball, “We have always looked forward to this annual event because it allows us to personally thank you for your unwavering faith in us and your continuing support. 2017 as we all know has been a challenging year but challenging in many wonderful ways. Aimed at keeping our position as a premiere lifestyle destination, we spearheaded bigger and bolder initiatives to give our mall guests a truly exciting and enjoyable Shang experience. Through the vast array of novel and innovative programs the totality of our offerings is best characterized as the feast for the senses, the food for the soul.

Karylle is one of many artists who performed at Shang’s Grand Atrium for free this Holiday season. Photo from Shang Plaza official fb page:
https://www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficial/

Fojas talked about the thought process behind their wide ranging marketing efforts, “And this year we brought in novel and non-traditional brands and concepts to enrich our merchandise mix and cater to our different target segments. Among them our core market as well as the Millennials and the Gen Zs. After all Shang has been and continues to be a generational mall. And indeed our future rests on our ability to resonate with the ever-evolving consumer with their lifestyles and their changing preferences.”

Photo from Shang Plaza official fb page:
https://www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficial/

But the speech was able to garner even more applause and excitement when she announced a prestigious promo that will attract even more shoppers to the mall, “Our marketing programs and events of the Shang continue to feature inspired themes that have been well received. And many remain to be very relevant to our many audiences. We mark the holiday season with Shang’s signature magical Christmas. Our Shang Yuletide Escapade has delighted everyone through our unique Christmas décor, featuring the many reindeers of Santa, our exciting activities and exciting line up of entertaining musical performances. To top it off next week, our launching the Grand Shang Give Away, a raffle promo that will be giving away 3 Mini Coopers. This is sure to thrill the young ones and those that are still young at heart.”

Photo from Shang Plaza official fb page:
https://www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficial/

Every P2,500 worth of purchase in establishments / retailers in Shang Plaza Mall entitles the shopper to an entry. The Great Yuletide Escapade Promo will run from December 15, 2017 to April 1, 2018. Watch out for more details on to the official site http://www.shangrila-plaza.com/ Or official facebook page.

Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Prior to the concert Shang Rila Plaza honored their most loyal retailers celebrating their 20th and 25th years of relationship with the famed mall. Each awardee will receive a commemorative plaque of a designed portrait by National Artist for Visual Arts – Cesar Legaspi.

In the 25th year group are:

Ambassador Home & Electronics Centre represented by Mr. Abraham Lim

BPI ATM represented by Mr. Ferdinand Pantangco

Florsheim Philippines represented by Mr. Manny Concepcion

LS Pascual Optical represented by Ms. Liberty Cajipo and Mr. Ace Ryan Ching

Polo Ralph Lauren represented by Ms. Elizabeth Quiambao

Washington represented by Mr. Hans Clifford Yao

Wendy’s represented by Ms. Romalyn Mendoza

from right: Shang Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas, Hans Clifford Yao of Washington, Ace Ryan Ching, Liberty Cajipo of LS Pascual Optical, Ferdinand Pantangco of BPI, Abraham Lim of Ambassador Home & Electronics Centre, Elizabeth Quiambao of Polo Ralph Lauren, Romalyn Mendoza of Wendy’s, Manny Concepcion of Florsheim and Shang Properties CFO & COO Atty. Karlo Marco Estavillo. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Mandaluyong Children’s Choir; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude

In the 20th year group are:

Besa’s represented by Mr. Armert and Mrs. Liza Besa

Clinica Dentale De Manille represented by Mr. Gabriel Gaerlan

Holland Tulips

The Big Chill is represented by Mr. Kenneth Tan

from right: Shang Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas, Gabriel Gaerlan of Clinica Dentale De Manille, Liza Besa, Armert Besa of Besa’s, Kenneth Tan of Big Chill and Shang Properties CFO & COO Atty. Karlo Marco Estavillo. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Company profiles annotated by emcees Phil Star Motoring Columnist James Deakin and CNN Philippines – Leading Women’s Host Angel Jacob:

Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

25th Year Awardees

from right: Shang Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas, Abraham Lim of Ambassador Home & Electronics Centre and Shang Properties CFO & COO Atty. Karlo Marco Estavillo. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ambassador Home and Electronics Center is a quality home and electronics retailer that offers the latest in appliances, gadgets and I.T. products at the best possible prices supported by reliable after sales service.

from right: Shang Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas, Ferdinand Pantangco of BPI and Shang Properties CFO & COO Atty. Karlo Marco Estavillo. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Bank of the Philippine Islands ATM, the BPI was founded in 1851 and is the oldest financial institution in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia. BPI pioneered the 24-hour Automated teller machines in the Philippines and now has one of the widest networks of self service machines nationwide.

Manila Philharmonic Orchestra; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Shang Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas, Manny Concepcion of Florsheim and Shang Properties CFO & COO Atty. Karlo Marco Estavillo. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Florsheim was established in Chicago in 1892, their footwear line is not just known for clean lines but the best materials and incorporating comfort technologies in creating the best designs.

from right: Shang Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas, Liberty Cajipo, Ace Ryan Ching of LS Pascual Optical and Shang Properties CFO & COO Atty. Karlo Marco Estavillo. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

LS Pascual Optical is an eye care center dedicated to offering quality optical services plus a wide array of latest in designer frames, sun glasses, lenses and contact lenses. Thus their promise ‘like you’ve never seen before’.

PRIMAVERA; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Shang Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas, Elizabeth Quiambao of Polo Ralph Lauren and Shang Properties CFO & COO Atty. Karlo Marco Estavillo. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Polo Ralph Lauren is one of the five brands in the portfolio of the more than 50-year-old Ralph Lauren Corporation. The company under internationally renowned designer Ralph Lauren has been an innovator in aspirational lifestyle branding and continues to build a strong influence in fashion, trends and advertising.

from right: Shang Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas, Hans Clifford Yao of Washington and Shang Properties CFO & COO Atty. Karlo Marco Estavillo. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Washington Jewelry Emporium is a major multi brand watch and jewelry retailer in the Philippines. More than a dozen mid and high-end brands can be found in their stores.

from right: Shang Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas, Romalyn Mendoza of Wendy’s and Shang Properties CFO & COO Atty. Karlo Marco Estavillo. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Wendy’s is an Ohio based fast food franchise opened its doors at the Shangri La Plaza in 1992. And has always lived up to its catchphrase quality is our recipe to make sure that anytime is the best time for Wendy’s.

from right: CNN Philippines – Leading Women’s Host Angel Jacob, Phil Star Motoring Columnist James Deakin, PRIMAVERA and Regine Velasquez-Alcasid. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

20th Year Awardees

from right: Shang Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas, Armert & Liza Besa of Besa’s and Shang Properties CFO & COO Atty. Karlo Marco Estavillo. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Besa’s established in 1935 their shoes and services have become a trusted name in high quality shoes, reliable maintenance for shoes bags and other leather goods Services.

from right: Shang Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas, Gabriel Gaerlan of Clinica Dentale De Manille and Shang Properties CFO & COO Atty. Karlo Marco Estavillo. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Clinica Dental De Manille is a one-stop oral care shop with the objective of giving their clients top dental and that perfect smile.

Photo from Shang Plaza official fb page:
https://www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficial/

from right: Shang Plaza EVP & GM Lala Fojas, Kenneth Tan of Big Chill and Shang Properties CFO & COO Atty. Karlo Marco Estavillo. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Big Chill was established in 1994 with a brilliant new idea of premium quality blended shakes and refreshing drinks made with 100% freshly cut fruit for people of all ages.

Holland Tulips could not be at the Retailer’s Ball but Shangri La Plaza Mall thanks them for their loyalty.

Regine Oh Holy Night

Regine’s Performance

Regine made note of how special the concert was because of the full orchestra playing behind her. Most of her shows, according to her, are with 5 piece bands. She also commended Musical Director Rodel Colmenar who was at the baton for the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra.

Musical Director Rodel Colmenar was also the conductor of the MPO. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Regine tailor fit her song list for the Christmas season as audiences were moved by:

Go the Distance – from the Disney hit movie HERCULES, Christmas Wish List, O Holy Night. She ended with a bang by revving up the crowd with a 70s disco medley: A Little Prayer, I Will Survive and Last Dance.

Regine – Go The Distance

Regine Velasquez-Alcasid pulls James Deakin to dance. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Phil Star Motoring Columnist James Deakin and CNN Philippines – Leading Women’s Host Angel Jacob were the emcees. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

PRIMAVERA; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Karylle is one of many artists who performed at Shang’s Grand Atrium for free this Holiday season. Photo from Shang Plaza official fb page:
https://www.facebook.com/shangrilaplazaofficial/

Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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The Mandaluyong Children’s Choir; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude

Regine Velasquez-Alcasid pulls retailer on stage. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from right: CNN Philippines – Leading Women’s Host Angel Jacob, Phil Star Motoring Columnist James Deakin, PRIMAVERA, Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and PRIMAVERA. The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Mandaluyong Children’s Choir; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude

Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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PRIMAVERA; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

The Mandaluyong Children’s Choir; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude

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PRIMAVERA; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Manila Philharmonic Orchestra; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid; The Shang Plaza Retailers Ball was held at the Isla Ballroom of the EDSA Shangrila Hotel, Mandaluyong City last December 7, 2017. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Unity in JUSTICE LEAGUE

From left: Ezra Miller (The Flash), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Ben Affleck (Batman), Ray Fisher (Cyborg) and Jason Momoa (Aquaman). Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Written by

Jude Bautista

Ray Fisher (Cyborg): My father called it a change engine. It was found by the British during World War I. They studied it but they couldn’t even date it, it was so old. It was shelved ‘til the night Superman died. Then she lit up like Christmas. They brought it to Star Labs where my father recognized it as a perpetual energy matrix.

The Mother box and Steppenwolf allowed writers to deal with the origin of Cyborg and add the histories of both the Amazons and Atlanteans. Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Ezra Miller (Flash): That sounds cool. I thought it was like a nuclear bomb. Cyborg: A mother box destroys as it creates. It’s a cycle of life a million times faster. My father thought it was the key to unlimited energy. New formulas cellular regeneration but its too volatile to control. Ben Affleck (Batman): He used it on you.

Ray Fisher (Cyborg); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Cyborg: I was in an accident. I should’ve died. My father thought he could use the mother box to rebuild the broken parts of me with a few cybernetic adjustments. Instead he built a living machine, maybe stronger than its host. Batman: Too much, too much life. Jason Momoa (Aquaman): What’s on your worried mind? Batman: Coordination basic cellular integrity. The human being can only absorb so much. The mother box was designed to reshape a planet. Aquaman: So?

Batman: What if you were stronger than a planet?

From left: Ezra Miller (The Flash), Ray Fisher (Cyborg), Henry Cavill (Superman), Ben Affleck (Batman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) and Jason Momoa (Aquaman). Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

JUSTICE LEAGUE puts together the strongest team possible, at least in the DC Universe: Superman (Henry Cavill), Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot), Batman (Ben Affleck), Cyborg (Ray Fisher), Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and Flash (Ezra Miller).

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Any superhero mega blockbuster movie in my mind is not only as good as the team up but the villain has to be just as compelling and awe-inspiring. The antihero here is the very reason why they’re coming together. That’s why even on the MARVEL side of things they’re already hyping up the enemy in Thanos.

From left: Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Henry Cavill (Superman),
Ezra Miller (The Flash), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Ray Fisher (Cyborg) and Ben Affleck (Batman). Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

DC Film Legacy

I’ve written this before in previous reviews BATMAN VS SUPERMAN, there’s greater pressure on DC because they have the added burden of pleasing the critics and award giving bodies as well as having to make a gazillion dollars to be called a ‘success’. MARVEL for the most part just has to make money.

Jeremy Irons (Alfred); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger have either been nominated or won an Oscar for the Joker role. Christian Bale, Michael Keaton have both made their mark as Batman not to forget their directors Chris Nolan and Tim Burton. And even before those Christopher Reeve & producer Alexander Salkind have also reaped critical acclaim for SUPERMAN in the 1970s. Marlon Brando was Jor-El, Gene Hackman (Lex Luthor), THE GODFATHER novelist Mario Puzo co-wrote the screenplay. Their work was so memorable that a huge number of people to this day think of Christopher Reeve as THE Superman.

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While JUSTICE LEAGUE may not necessarily be Oscar material, I feel it has more than lived up to the creative expectations. If you were to say ANY other film breached the half billion mark it would have been considered a huge success. But because of production costs along with global marketing and having to compare it with the competition apart from other DC AND Marvel titles specifically WONDER WOMAN, THE AVENGERS etc. it is seen as a box office disappointment.

The Mother box and Steppenwolf allowed writers to deal with the origin of Cyborg and add the histories of both the Amazons and Atlanteans. Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Mother boxes Origin

So going back to the point of why I think it’s a creative success, one of the reasons is their usage of Mother boxes and Steppenwolf as the antagonist. The mother boxes help thresh out the origin of Cyborg. In cartoons Cyborg has come out in TEEN TITANS but his origin was never fully dealt with. As related in the lead dialogue above the mother boxes put an interesting twist to the human/cybernetic combination that is not a new concept.

Ray Fisher (Cyborg); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Cyborg is a lot more than just a Six Million Dollar Man or ROBOCOP. Victor Stone’s exposure to mother boxes allows him to evolve and give him a direct connection with machines, both physical and ‘mental’. For the youth of today who are constantly online, seeing someone who can surf the web with the internet coming out of his hands is a power they can relate to.

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Steppenwolf

The Steppenwolf character also ties together the history of the Amazons and the Atlanteans. There’s a greater appreciation of the origin stories of two JUSTICE LEAGUE members in Wonder Woman and Aquaman. That’s why Wonder woman was the one who best explained what the mother boxes are and Steppenwolf:

Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Gal Gadot (Diana Prince): They don’t contain power, they are power. Carried from planet to planet the mother boxes combine to form the ‘unity’ an apocalyptic power that not only destroys worlds but transforms them into the primordial house gate of Steppenwolf’s birth world. We should’ve died but we formed our own unity: Amazons, Atlanteans all the tribes of man fought side by side. Warriors of legend, allies from other worlds even the gods themselves all acted as one laying down their lives to drive Steppenwolf away. Some say it drove him mad the disgrace of his first retreat. Before our alliance would crumble the darkness would cover the earth. He vowed that he would return when it did. Left behind the mother boxes were too dangerous to be kept together. One was entrusted to the Amazons, one to the Atlanteans, both sealed and guarded secure strongholds. The box of man was buried in secret so that no tribe would be tempted to use its power. Such harmony out of such horror, it was truly an age of heroes.

The Mother box and Steppenwolf allowed writers to deal with the origin of Cyborg and add the histories of both the Amazons and Atlanteans. Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

In any movie I review I include either dialogue or a scene that would pique the interests of the readers. At the same time I don’t want to divulge too much that would ruin the experience of watching it. For the dialogue I have included in the lead and the explanation of Diana (alter ego of Wonder Woman), I feel having a better understanding of the mother boxes and Steppenwolf would definitely enhance the experience.

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Unity

Not included in the dialogue above are the scenes running while she related this story which included the Green Lantern race—‘allies from other worlds’ as described by Diana. It may be a teaser for a future member of JUSTICE LEAGUE, which is Green Lantern (most famous human alter ego) aka Hal Jordan.

Green Lantern race joins fight against Steppenwolf. Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Using Steppenwolf as the antagonist we get a better sense of how Aquaman came to be. And how the Amazons are not just parts of Greek lore but are defenders of humanity. The use of the mother boxes also drives home a theme of unity from both sides: the boxes have to come together to form a portal for Steppenwolf and the JUSTICE LEAGUE heroes have to gel as a team.

TANDUAY – Piliin Mo Ang Bubuo Sayo

Director Zack Snyder has story credit with Chris Terrio who wrote the screenplay with Joss Whedon. Story and dialogue aren’t the first things that come to mind with superhero movies but in this case they made it work. Terrio has already won an Oscar for ARGO. He also wrote: BATMAN VS SUPERMAN and the upcoming STAR WARS Episode IX, he’s also on board for JUSTICE LEAGUE 2. Interestingly enough Whedon co wrote both AVENGERS (2012) and AVENGERS AGE OF ULTRON (2015).

Ciaran Hinds as the legendary Mance Rayder in Game of Thrones. Mance Rayder quote from http://gameofquotes.blogspot.com/

Casting Choices

Connected to Steppenwolf is the actor in the role: Ciaran Hinds. He was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and his name is pronounced KEE-rin. For most fans they know him as Mance Rayder from Game of Thrones. Rayder was an exceedingly tough, legendary leader who united the Wildlings, North of the Wall. I think that’s part of the reason why there was some dissatisfaction with not seeing him and having a CGI character instead.

Ciaran Hinds is the voice behind Steppenwolf. Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

The problem is the need to have Steppenwolf as physically imposing or threatening to the likes of Wonder Woman and Batman. If you can imagine Jason Momoa (Aquaman) who looks like a 6’3” bodybuilder, running back, Heavyweight UFC fighter. You have to have an antagonist who puts the fear in THEM. So in this age of 3D animation, the visual compromise was acceptable. Hinds vocal performance was powerful and scary, definitely a testament to his acting abilities.

Jason Momoa (Aquaman); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Hilarious Ellen Adarna – Tanduay prank vid

Connie Nielsen

Nielsen is an unforgettable, tall almost imposing Danish beauty. She was also one of the women offered by the devil (Al Pacino) to seduce Keanu Reeves in THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE. There’s something striking in her features and blonde hair that seems to denote royalty. She was notable as the emperor’s daughter in GLADIATOR. That’s why as Queen Hippolyta, Nielsen’s performance is equally memorable. One of the scenes hinted at a Lesbian relationship. Which is understandable since they are all women who cannot leave the island of Themyscira. Hippolyta’s sister and Amazon Lieutenant Menalippe played by Dutch actress Loven Kongsli also makes an appearance here. If only for those scenes, JUSTICE LEAGUE has proven its worth.

from left: Connie Nielsen (Queen Hippolyta) and Loven Kongsli (Menalippe). Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Ray Fisher (Cyborg); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Millennial Heroes

Ray Fisher, will reprise his role in a stand-alone movie CYBORG and FLASHPOINT (with The Flash) in 2020. Fisher has a solid acting background in theater and once played Mohammad Ali in FETCH CLAY MAKE MAN. He also auditioned for STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, although the part went to John Boyega. Cyborg being included in JUSTICE LEAGUE is a great way to add a hero, the younger generation can relate to.

From left: Ben Affleck (Batman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Ezra Miller (The Flash), Jason Momoa (Aquaman) and Ray Fisher (Cyborg). Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Ezra Miller is the youngest and geekiest of the heroes as the Flash. He looks like a younger, Asian looking version of Jimmy Fallon. Miller’s quirky, self conscious and insecure version of the Flash, is again a character millennials can identify with. His performance however is a departure from his more serious dramatic roles that have earned him critical praise in WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN (2011) opposite Tilda Swinton and PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER (2012) with Emma Watson. He earned a Chopard trophy in Cannes as a homicidal son in …KEVIN. Most fans will likely remember him as Credence Barebone in FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM.

Ezra Miller (The Flash); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall

Ellen Adarna intrudes – Tanduay prank vid

J.K. Simmons (Commissioner Gordon); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Oscar Winners

Talking about awards, JUSTICE LEAGUE boasts of several Oscar winners (as actors): Jeremy Irons (Alfred), JK Simmons (Commissioner Gordon). Ben Affleck has two, as producer in ARGO (2012) and as screenwriter in GOOD WILL HUNTING (1997). The one weakness, however in the performances for this movie should be Affleck’s. We understand that the voice of the Batman with the mask is distorted. But he made the decision to make himself sound tougher when he’s not wearing the suit/mask. The result is closer to a bad impression of Clint Eastwood in DIRTY HARRY.

From left: Ben Affleck (Batman) and Jason Momoa (Aquaman). Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Once you can get over that, you can enjoy the rest of the movie especially with the gorgeous and strong Gal Gadot more than making up for it. Ever since WONDER WOMAN Gadot has raised the bar high for women in action films. JUSTICE LEAGUE not only continues that but allows her to ‘fight’ together with other members that makes the scenes even more complex and exciting at the same time.

Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Jason Momoa (Aquaman); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Jason Momoa

In my opinion, casting Jason Momoa as Aquaman was Zack Snyder’s best decision. Aquaman isn’t necessarily the action laden, tough, superhero that attracts legions of fans –unlike Batman, Superman or even Wonder Woman. HBO’s ENTOURAGE in one of their episodes made a joke of it as Vince Chase (Adrien Grenier) was hesitant to take the role in a blockbuster film.

Jason Momoa (Aquaman); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Enter Jason Momoa who instantly makes Aquaman, for lack of a technical term: bad ass, or bad ‘mother@#$%*!’. Momoa’s most famous role also in GAME OF THRONES is Khal Drogo. Fierce doesn’t begin to describe that role as the undefeated leader of the Dothraki. Novelist and creator George RR Martin based the Dothraki as an amalgam of real nomadic horsemen in history: the Huns, Mongols and the Apache. Unlike Affleck, Jason doesn’t have to change his voice or speech, he just looks, sounds naturally tough and intimidating. Before his breakthrough role he also played CONAN THE BARBARIAN in the 2012 remake. His look and identity is exactly what the Aquaman role needed to be taken into kick ass level and he did it.

Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo the feared king of the Dothraki in Game of Thrones. Wallpaper from https://s3lwyn.deviantart.com/art/Portrait-of-Khal-Drogo-from-Game-of-Thrones-304219209

Momoa’s Haka for Mark Hunt

There’s a video on YouTube of Jason performing the Haka a Maori war dance for Mark ‘The Super Samoan’ Hunt. Jason is friends with Hunt who is a UFC heavyweight fighter, living in Sydney, Australia. Momoa was there to shoot AQUAMAN the movie set for release in 2018. In an interview with BBC he revealed that it was director Zack Snyder’s idea to use his Polynesian heritage and covering him with tattoos for his role of Aquaman.

Jason Momoa as Khal Drogo the feared king of the Dothraki in Game of Thrones.

Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall. Wallpaper by Bryan Zap from https://bryanzap.deviantart.com/art/Justice-League-Wallpaper-Art-707003829

If you’re a fan…

The critics have not been kind, but if you’re a comic book fan who wants fast action, if you’re cartoon series fan, a Game of Thrones fan, a Millennial or just a kid in a grown up body (like me), you’re going to love JUSTICE LEAGUE.

Alien supermen from left: David Bowie, Henry Cavill (Superman) and Prince. Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Snyder pays homage to some of the same heroes I have apart from the DC ones. In one early montage, there’s a newspaper front page with David Bowie, Superman and Prince. Recently passed Bowie and Prince certainly seem otherworldly because of their unprecedented talent as musicians and larger than life personas. All the 12 year old in me can say is: Thank you Zack. You showed that you don’t need to wear a cape to be a hero. But it can be really fun to watch people who do.

Director Zack Snyder and Ezra Miller (The Flash). Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

From left: Ezra Miller (The Flash), Henry Cavill (Superman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Ray Fisher (Cyborg), Ben Affleck (Batman) and Jason Momoa (Aquaman). Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

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Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman) drives a Mercedes Benz. Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Ray Fisher (Cyborg); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

from left: Connie Nielsen (Queen Hippolyta) and Loven Kongsli (Menalippe). Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

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From left: Jason Momoa (Aquaman), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Ezra Miller (The Flash) and Ray Fisher (Cyborg). Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Ezra Miller (The Flash); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall

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from left: Ray Fisher (Cyborg) and Jason Momoa (Aquaman). Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

Ray Fisher (Cyborg); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall.

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From left: Ben Affleck (Batman), Ezra Miller (The Flash), Ray Fisher (Cyborg), Gal Gadot (Wonder Woman), Jason Momoa (Aquaman) and Henry Cavill (Superman). Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall. Wallpaper by Bryan Zap from https://bryanzap.deviantart.com/art/Justice-League-Wallpaper-Art-707003829

Ezra Miller (The Flash); Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall

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Catch JUSTICE LEAGUE in Shang Cineplex, Shangri La Plaza Mall, Eastwood City Mall, and Lucky Chinatown Mall. Wallpaper by Bryan Zap from https://bryanzap.deviantart.com/art/Justice-League-Wallpaper-Art-707003829

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Hungarian Film Fest at Shang Plaza Mall

Watch Oscar winner SON OF SAUL for free at the Hungarian Film Festival running from December 1-2, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.

Contributed Article:

The Embassy of Hungary in the Philippines and Shangri-La Plaza are proud to present the first Hungarian Film Festival in Manila on 1-2 December 2017. The event will showcase four critically acclaimed films never before screened in the Philippines.

Hungarian cinema has a long tradition dating back to the first years of the 20th Century, during the past decades the inhabitants of the Central European country gave major contributions to world cinema. Many pioneers of Hungarian cinema influenced the art form from within Hungary, like directors István Szabó, Béla Tarr and Miklós Jancsó, or from abroad, like producers William Fox (founder of Fox Studios), Adolph Zukor (founder of Paramount Pictures) and Alexander Korda (a pioneer of the British film industry).

Watch movies for free for free at the Hungarian Film Festival running from December 1-2, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.

Presenting the Academy Award Winning Son of Saul (2015) as its main feature, the festival aims to bring Hungarian culture and history closer to a new audience in the Philippines. Son of Saul is drama directed by László Nemes and is set the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II, and follows a day-and-a-half in the life of Saul Ausländer (played by GézaRöhrig), a Hungarian member of the Sonder kommando, a special forced labour unit made up of prisoners.

The film won the Grand Prix of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, the award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. Son of Saul was the first Hungarian film to win the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film and it is the second Hungarian film to win an Oscar, the first one being István Szabó’s Mephisto in 1981.

Watch KINSCEM for free at the Hungarian Film Festival running from December 1-2, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.

The 2016 blockbuster Kincsem – Bet on Revenge will also be screened, a historical drama about the world’s most successful racing horse. With a more serious tone, Strangled (2016) will bring to the screen a psycho-thriller set in the 1960s oppressive Hungary, when a series of atrocious murders shock a small town. On a lighter note Paw (2015) is a family film about a world famous rescue dog and his family.

The Embassy of Hungary recently reopened in Manila in March 2017 and is endeavouring to provide opportunities to introduce the art, culture and history of Hungary the the Filipino audience. Join us for the first two day festival of Hungarian cinema in the Philippines on 1-2 December 2017. Screenings are free of charge, on a first come, first served basis

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Watch STRANGLED for free at the Hungarian Film Festival running from December 1-2, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.

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Watch movies for free for free at the Hungarian Film Festival running from December 1-2, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.

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Watch PAW for free at the Hungarian Film Festival running from December 1-2, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.

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Watch KINSCEM for free at the Hungarian Film Festival running from December 1-2, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.

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Watch STRANGLED for free at the Hungarian Film Festival running from December 1-2, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.

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Watch Oscar winner SON OF SAUL for free at the Hungarian Film Festival running from December 1-2, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall, Mandaluyong City.

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Panama Debuts in CINE LATINO

Watch THE CHANCE from Panama for free in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City.

Written by

Jude Bautista

For the first time in the Philippines audiences will be able to watch a cinematic treat from Panama. There have been quite a number of international fests here even the WORLD PREMIERES film festival (instigated by former FDCP Chair Briccio Santos), which featured titles from as far as Russia, Turkey, Mongolia and so on. Panama, however, is one of those countries that have yet to debut a movie for Filipinos.

Through the very first CINE LATINO Film Festival, Pinoy cineastes will be able to watch movies from this region of the world for free from December 6 to 10, 2017 at the Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall in Mandaluyong City. Shang Cineplex has established itself as the home of many international fests having just concluded the Argentinian Film Fest and Danish Fest. There is also the upcoming Hungarian film fest from December 1-2, 2017.

CINE LATINO will have a mix of drama, comedy, romance and many more. The festival is set to show films from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela that are truly unforgettable.

from left: Brazilian Amb Rodrigo do Amaral Souza, Argentinian Amb Roberto Bosch, Chilean Amb Jose Miguel Capdevila, Panamanian Amb Rolando Anibal Guevara Alvarado, Colombian Amb Victor Hugo Echeverri, Mexican Consular Officer Gerardo Regalado—NOT IN PHOTO but will be participating is Venezuelan Amb Capaya Rodriguez Gonzalez and Mexican Amb Gerardo Lozano Arredondo. Watch free movies in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City. Photo by Jude Bautista

In a recent presscon Chilean Amb Jose Miguel Capdevila made note of the reasons why storytellers from Latin America have captivated the world, “Latin America has been quite prolific, first with literature. If we remember the 70s, the so-called Latin American boom. We have authors such as Jose Donoso, Pablo Neruda and so on. There was a very important point of culture that came from Latin America and was very successful. Nowadays from 90s onwards cinema kind of took the post. Our countries started producing wonderful films. And the quality of films were of such level that if you take a look at the international festivals all over the world you’ll see that the one of the top three are Latin American films proposed for awards. That speaks for itself in terms of the quality of films we are producing.”

Watch SUBTERRA from Chile and CHANCE from Panama for free in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City.

Chilean Amb. Jose Miguel Capdevila also emphasized the importance of cinema in bridging cultures, “I would say in the past 10 years we have advanced very much. The concrete and living proof is that our films have been awarded in the most important festivals all over the world. Needless to say that was one of the ideas in organizing this festival. Because we were fully aware and conscious we would like to share with you something very good about Latin America such as cinema. Cinema as literature cinema is a way of language and expression. Essentially what is expressed is ourselves, the way we are, the way we feel. Once you watch these films and books you get an impression of who we are. The more we know each other the better the ties will be. In that token this festival plays an important role in making us closer, the Philippines and Latin American countries. That is the worthwhile effect of this common activity.”

Chilean Amb Jose Miguel Capdevila; Watch free movies in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City. Photo by Jude Bautista

Argentinian ambassador Roberto Bosch proposed the CINE LATINO Film fest to the other Latin American countries who have embassies here namely: Brazil– Amb Rodrigo do Amaral Souza, Chile – Amb Jose Miguel Capdevila, Colombia – Amb Victor Hugo Echeverri, Mexico – Amb Gerardo Lozano Arredondo, Panama – Amb Rolando Anibal Guevara Alvarado and Venezuela – Capaya Rodriguez Gonzalez. The Spanish language is a point of emphasis in the shared history of the region and the Philippines.

Watch THE CHANCE from Panama for free in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City.

THE CHANCE

Panamanian Ambassador Rolando Anibal Guevara Alvarado talked about how their government has started to assist their filmmakers, “Panama has a film industry but is in the initial stages. Now we have more opportunities for filmmakers, actors in the worldwide audience. For us it’s significant to bring a movie here. The title is CHANCE, which is a hilarious comedy. It’s basically about 2 housekeepers who work for an aristocratic family. For a certain time they were mistreated in one trip of the family to Florida, the yayas have a plan of their own. They take care of the mansion in their absence. In doing so they discover intimate secrets of the family. The message is all dirty clothes have to be washed in house. It’s going to be a hilarious comedy for Filipinos.”

CHANCE trailer

OFWs, Ship Registry

Panama has strong economic ties with the Philippines, “You have Filipinos around the world. We have also in Panama Filipinos working as caregivers, nurses. Last year we deployed a lot of Filipinos, 1,000 experts who worked on mining because Panama is starting the mining process.”

from left: Panamanian Amb Rolando Anibal Guevara Alvarado & Colombian Amb Victor Hugo Echeverri. Watch free movies in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City. Photo by Jude Bautista

Ship registry according to Alvarado is still the focus, “But the main reason we have an embassy here is because of shipping. Panama is the number one ship registry (for the Panamanian flag) and Filipinos are the largest and best seafarers in the world. That’s our connection. That’s basically the main purpose. We had our national Day just two weeks ago. We were celebrating the hundred years of the ship registry. We are very well known for that. We have a whole state policy behind that. Just to give you an idea of how close our ties are, we receive a total of 150 applications per day for ship registry. We have a very good synergy between governments in that particular area. We have signed Memorandum of agreements on high level official visits.”

Watch THE CHANCE from Panama for free in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City.

Connected to the ship registry is another film they would like to screen by next year, “We’re also trying to bring Historias De Canal HISTORY OF THE PANAMA CANAL this is a feature film we’re going to screen in the near future most probably in the first quarter of 2018. I would also like to invite the shipping community. We are a country of mariners by nature.”

Boxing Legend Roberto Duran makes cameo appearance in THE CHANCE from Panama for free in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City.

Duran-Pacquiao Connection

Boxing legend Roberto Duran actually makes a cameo appearance in this current film EL CHANCE screened in CINE LATINO Dec 8- 6pm and Dec 10- 1pm (Shang Cineplex). Alvarado revealed a new role for the world renowned ‘Hands Of Stone’, “Roberto Duran is appointed now as Special Envoy for Sports. He’s an icon of Panama has given a lot of glory for our country. He was recently inducted in the Boxing Hall of Fame. He’s now doing a nice job of promoting sports to young people. By the way we are very fond of Manny Pacquiao. There are quite a few people who follow the fights of Manny Pacquiao.”

Watch Hermano (BROTHER) from Venezuela for free in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City.

History with Spain and U.S.

Ambassador Alvarado also enumerated the historical similarities between the Philippines and his country, “In the case of Panama and several countries in Latin America we came from hundreds of years of Spanish rule. Panama has a twin connection with the Philippines. Apart from being a Spanish colony we also have the influence of the U.S. Americans. You have the military bases as well as us. They controlled us for 40 years until the canal was turned over to Panama. So the U.S. has influenced us, making a big impact on the economy, lifestyle. So we have that special thing. We are very Catholic basically we are in the same equator, just on the opposite side of the world.  We have the same weather, fruits and products. And we have a lot of connections between our two countries.”

Panamanian Amb Rolando Anibal Guevara Alvarado; Watch free movies in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City. Photo by Jude Bautista

Watch Mexican short films for free in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City. Photo by Jude Bautista

CINE LATINO schedule

Time December 6 • Wed Running Time
1:00 – 2:35 Patas arriba (Venezuela) 1.35
3:30 – 4:45 Sofía y el terco (COLOMBIA) 1.15
7:30 – 9:35 El hijo de la Novia  SON OF THE BRIDE (Argentina)
opening night film
2.05
  December 7 • Thu  
1:00 – 2:55 Dois filhos de Francisco (Brasil) 1.55
3:30 – 4:50 Shortfilms (México) 1.20
5:30 – 7:10 Hermano (Venezuela) 1.40
8:00 – 10:10 Cidade de Deus (Brasil) 2.10
  December 8 • Fri  
1:00 – 2:50 El comienzo del tiempo (MEXICO) 1.50
3:30 – 5:20 Subterra (CHILE) 1.50
6:00 – 7:30 El chance (PANAMÁ) 1.30
8:00 – 10:05 El hijo de la novia  SON OF THE BRIDE (ARGENTINA) 2.05
  December 9 • Sat  
1:00 – 2:30 Esperando la carroza (Argentina) 1.30
3:00 – 4:55 Dois filhos de Francisco  (BRASIL) 1.55
5:30 – 7:20 El comienzo del tiempo (MEXICO) 1.50
8:00 – 9:15 Sofía y el terco (COLOMBIA) 1.15
  December 10 • Sun  
1:00 – 2:30 El chance (PANAMÁ) 1.30
3:00 – 5:10 Cidade de Deus (Brasil) 2.10
6:00 – 7:35 Patas arriba (Venezuela) 1.35
8:00 – 9:50 Subterra (CHILE) 1.50

Watch SUBTERRA from Chile for free in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City.

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Watch THE CHANCE from Panama for free in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City.

Watch THE CHANCE from Panama for free in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City.

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Watch THE CHANCE from Panama for free in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City.

Watch THE CHANCE from Panama for free in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City.

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 Watch free movies in the first CINE LATINO Film Festival running from December 6-10, 2017 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza, Mandaluyong City.

WordPress:

http://judebsports.wordpress.com/ ,http://judebfood.wordpress.com/ ,

http://judebphoto.wordpress.com/ , https://judebgallery.wordpress.com/  ,

http://judebautista.wordpress.com/

Gloc-9 Homage

from left: Lira Bermudez, Gloc 9 and Denise Barbacena. Gloc 9 was the biggest winner: Album of the year (LIHAM AT LIHIM), Song of the Year (MAGDA featuring Rico Blanco), Best Collaboration Performance (MAGDA featuring Rico Blanco) and Best Rap (MAGDA). The 27th Awit Awards was held at the Newport Performing Arts Theater, Resort’s World Manila last December 12, 2014. Photo by Jude Bautista
for full awards article click on this link:
https://judebautista.wordpress.com/2014/12/14/gloc-9-dominates-27th-awit-awards/

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

ARTIST PLAYGROUND presents a series of 10-minute plays inspired by the songs of rapper Gloc-9 called the G9 SERIES running this weekend from November 18-19, 2017 at the ARTS ABOVE, 112 West Avenue Building Quezon City.

Alleah Hugo (Magda) in ITIM NA SAMPAGUITA part of AP’s G9 SERIES running this weekend from November 18-19, 2017 at the ARTS ABOVE, 112 West Avenue Building Quezon City. Photo by Jude Bautista

For the reasonable price of P150, you are able to catch 6 plays together with performance art (on Saturday night) in the DISTRICT GALLERY currently housing GROUND ZERO. This is an exhibit running from November 11- December 9 from artists: Racquel De Loyola, Celine Lee, Nasser Lubay, Jose Tong, Marc Gaba, Wipo and Kevin Nieves. DISTRICT GALLERY is just the next floor ARTS ABOVE.

Artwork by poet / artist Marc Gaba from GROUND ZERO exhibit running in DISTRICT GALLERY- November 11- December 9, 2017 with artists: Racquel De Loyola, Celine Lee, Nasser Lubay, Jose Tong, Marc Gaba, Wipo and Kevin Nieves.

The G9 SERIES is the second set of the RATED AP: ARTS & PERFORMANCE FESTIVAL, which aims to find new talent in the dramatic arts by allowing young people the experience of production work. ARTIST PLAYGROUND for this fest is cooperating with the PAMANTASANG LUNGSOD NG VALENZUELA. PLV’s Theater Majors have done their school proud by producing noteworthy plays.

Playwrights from left: Kate Rose Urrutia-HINAHANAP NG PUSO, Overall director Paul Jake Paule, AP Artistic Dir Roeder Camañag, Wenna Jarito-MAGDA and Kimberley Claire Somoza-FIRST LOVE. AP’s G9 SERIES is running this weekend from November 18-19, 2017 at the ARTS ABOVE, 112 West Avenue Building Quezon City. Photo by Jude Bautista

IN ORDER of performance: 1) BAYAD by playwright Renalyn Alvaran directed by Alleah Hugo, 2) SCANDAL by playwright Mary Jean Moises directed by Beulah Saycon, 3) MAGDA by playwright Wenna Diaz Jarito directed by Roxy Hipolito, 4) HINAHANAP NG PUSO by playwright Kate Rose Urrutia directed by Jester Ramirez, 5) ITIM NA SAMPAGUITA by playwright EJ Malicdem directed by Emman Deliarte 6) FIRST LOVE by playwright Kimberly Claire Somoza directed by Alex Gallo.

Installation by artist Nasser Lubay from GROUND ZERO exhibit running in DISTRICT GALLERY- November 11- December 9, 2017 with artists: Racquel De Loyola, Celine Lee, Nasser Lubay, Jose Tong, Marc Gaba, Wipo and Kevin Nieves.

The venue is near the EDSA side of West Ave. As a landmark look for the large signs of the B.I.R Bureau of Internal Revenue on the West Avenue Building. The government agency occupies several floors while ARTS ABOVE is at the penthouse, two top most floors, hence the name.

Scene from HINAHANAP NG PUSO part of AP’s G9 SERIES running this weekend from November 18-19, 2017 at the ARTS ABOVE, 112 West Avenue Building Quezon City. Photo by Jude Bautista