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Edna & Nonoy Inspire BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO

foreground: Garry Corpuz & Denise Parungao; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground: Garry Corpuz & Denise Parungao; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and Photographed

By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Ballet Philippines latest production AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO promises to be a fun, entertaining romp back to the 1970s when the airwaves were dominated by VST & Company. The band’s music have been so well loved that they have become true iconic OPM hits. At the heart of the musical is a love story based on premiere Ballet figures Edna and Nonoy Froilan.

Edna & Nonoy Froilan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Edna & Nonoy Froilan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will be staged at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo) on Dec. 2 – 8 pm; Dec. 3 – 6 pm; Dec. 4 – 2 pm and 6 pm; Dec. 9 – 8 pm; Dec. 10 – 2 pm and 6 pm; Dec. 11 – 2 pm and 6 pm.

from left: Markki Stroem, Cooky Chua & Sandino Martin; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Markki Stroem, Cooky Chua & Sandino Martin; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

OPM icon Cooky Chua, award-winning actors Sandino Martin and Jef Flores, and The Voice Kids Season 3 alum Noel Comia Jr. in AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO, a new dance musical set to the hits of Manila Sound legend VST & Company.

Vic Sotto in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before movie stardom he was a hit maker / songwriter for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: Jowapao FB fan page https://www.facebook.com/jowapaoofficialpage/?ref=page_internal

Vic Sotto in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before movie stardom he was a hit maker / songwriter for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: Jowapao FB fan page
https://www.facebook.com/jowapaoofficialpage/?ref=page_internal

They will be alternating with the ABS-CBN Kapamilya multi-talented artists, namely Karylle, Michael Pangilinan, Markki Stroem, and Kyle Echarri. The vocal ensemble will be comprised of members of the classical singing group, Viva Voce.

Karylle will alternate roles with Cooky Chua in BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO. Karylle also played Sita in BP’s RAMAHARI (2012). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Karylle will alternate roles with Cooky Chua in BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO. Karylle also played Sita in BP’s RAMAHARI (2012). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Bibeth Orteza was tapped as the librettist for her intimate knowledge of VST’s music. The long time scriptwriter and actress was there to actually there witness Vic Sotto, Joey De Leon, Tito Sotto during the recording of hits like: IPAGPATAWAD MO, ROCK BABY ROCK, MAGSAYAWAN etc. But according to her the true inspiration for the story is Nonoy Froilan who she idolized since she was young.

from left: Jean Marc Cordero, Bibeth Orteza and Ednah Ledesma. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Jean Marc Cordero, Bibeth Orteza and Ednah Ledesma. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Orteza said, “I really wrote the material in my head based on Nonoy. We hailed from the same barrio Calbiga, Samar. So I came across this material. Nonoy was always a figure in my childhood. We all talked about him way back. I wanted to do something about him. I was there in the studio when these songs were recorded. This is a personal thing for me. We had a relative there in a play with his wife and then material is very familiar with me. I was around the making of the songs, it’s a full circle.”

Edna & Nonoy Froilan in RAMAHARI; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Edna & Nonoy Froilan in RAMAHARI; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Froilan was already one of the most celebrated figures in dance by the 70s. He was known as the Philippines’ premier danseur for three decades. He essayed all the leading roles in classical and contemporary ballet partnering world-renowned prima ballerinas such as Margot Fonteyn and Yoko Morishita. He has performed in countless major works by foreign and local choreographers.

Nonoy Froilan performed as Lead to the biggest stars like Lisa Macuja & Yoko Morishita. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Nonoy Froilan performed as Lead to the biggest stars like Lisa Macuja & Yoko Morishita. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Monica Gana & Erl Sorilla in MAGSAYAWAN. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Monica Gana & Erl Sorilla in MAGSAYAWAN. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Nonoy is in the role of Victor while his real life wife Edna Vida Froilan is cast opposite him as Teresa. This marks a comeback for Edna who also has a storied past as a premiere ballerina. BP Artistic Director Paul Morales is exhilarated with the prospect of seeing his favorite and most admired dancer on stage again.

from left: Choreographer Edna Vida Froilan, Nonoy Froilan (Scrooge) and BP Pres. Margie Moran in BP’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2013). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Choreographer Edna Vida Froilan, Nonoy Froilan (Scrooge) and BP Pres. Margie Moran in BP’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2013). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Since retiring back in 1989, AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO is Edna’s first major performance as a dancer as she plays the role of the elderly Teresa. Best remembered as the Firebird, Carmen, and Myrtha in GISELLE, she has essayed leading roles in numerous full-length classical ballets with American Ballet Theater stars such as Natalia Makarova and Patrick Bissell. A prolific choreographer, she has created many of the company’s signature works, such as MUTYA NG PASIG, ENSALADA, VISION OF FIRE and PETER PAN.

Edna & Nonoy Froilan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Edna & Nonoy Froilan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Ballroom dance champion Ednah Ledesma and former BP prince Butch Esperanza will alternately play the same roles at certain performances. Their younger counterparts will be essayed by current Ballet Philippines dancers Rita Angela Winder, Denise Parungao, Jean Marc Cordero, and Garry Corpuz.

from left: Jef Flores, Rita Angela Winder, Victor Maguad & Erl Sorilla. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Jef Flores, Rita Angela Winder, Victor Maguad & Erl Sorilla. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Seated from left: Librettist Bibeth Orteza, BP Pres. Margie Moran & Edna Vida Froilan, Standing from left: BP Artistic Dir. Paul Alexander Morales, Butch Esperanza, Kooky Chua and Choreographer Carissa Adea. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Seated from left: Librettist Bibeth Orteza, BP Pres. Margie Moran & Edna Vida Froilan, Standing from left: BP Artistic Dir. Paul Alexander Morales, Butch Esperanza, Kooky Chua and Choreographer Carissa Adea. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Dekada 70 is still Relevant

A lot of things have changed since the first quarter storm of the 1970s and yet some of the events of the time have also proved to be eerily similar to the problems of today. Orteza goes on, “Merong metrocom, may natatakot, may napatay, may saranggola na lipad to signify hope. It speaks of the time. As a matter of fact we were managing a band there in Holiday Inn when sumabog sa Plaza (Miranda) Nonoy Zuñiga lost his leg. That’s how he lost his leg kasi ni-recall ko lang mga bagay bagay sa aking kabataan. That all went to the loves story. I’m really really happy Nonoy and Edna are doing this talagang sila ang na isip ko. I’m really proud to put them in the cast because wherever I’d go, whether I’m in an airport in Isabela lagi silang magkasama. It was really them.”

From left: Vic Sotto & Joey De Leon in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before they were movie stars they were hit makers / songwriters for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: Jowapao FB fan page https://www.facebook.com/jowapaoofficialpage/?ref=page_internal

From left: Vic Sotto & Joey De Leon in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before they were movie stars they were hit makers / songwriters for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: Jowapao FB fan page
https://www.facebook.com/jowapaoofficialpage/?ref=page_internal

The story is not an exact replica of Edna & Nonoy’s real life love story but is more based on them as people. Orteza then used her own experiences from the era to write the libretto, “When I was talking to Vic Sotto sabi sakin ni Vic there is no way you can present it as a contemporary piece kasi ang music, mood really speaks of a particular period. I decided to come up with a love story shared flashbacks but set in Martial Law Manila. As a young actress who was part of rallying outside the CCP, ngayon I’m telling a story set in Martial Law Manila ang daming layers.”

Edna & Nonoy Froilan in RAMAHARI; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Edna & Nonoy Froilan in RAMAHARI; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

The VST & Co. is considered one of the pioneering groups from the music genre known as the Manila Sound in the mid 70s. The group is composed of Vic Sotto, Spanky Rigor, Tito Sotto, Val Sotto, Celso Llavina, Monet Gaskell, Male Rigor, Roger Rigor, Jun Medina, Joey de Leon, Homer Flores, Chito Ilagan, Ben Escasa, Fred Concepcion, Boy Alcaide, and Clod Baria. Their impressive collection of hits has left a legacy that endures to this day.

top: Vic Sotto with Maine Mendoza, bottom: Alden Richards in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before movie stardom Bossing was a hit maker / songwriter for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: EK10 Youtube trailer https://youtu.be/Pcs7YyMj8xU

top: Vic Sotto with Maine Mendoza, bottom: Alden Richards in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before movie stardom Bossing was a hit maker / songwriter for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: EK10 Youtube trailer https://youtu.be/Pcs7YyMj8xU

Nonoy Froilan as dirty politician Santiago Sr in Tanghalang Pilipino’s WALANG KUKURAP (2012). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Nonoy Froilan as dirty politician Santiago Sr in Tanghalang Pilipino’s WALANG KUKURAP (2012). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Cast

Both Edna & Nonoy have been cast as actors. She appeared as Lady Macbeth in Tanghalang Pilipino’s Macbeth and in Gilda Cordero’s LUNA: AN ASWANG ROMANCE. In 2015, she returned to the stage, starring alongside her husband Nonoy Froilan in Juan Miguel Severo’s HINTAYAN NG LANGIT, which debuted in Virgin Labfest 11 and did a re-run the following year as part of VLF 12’S REVISITED.

In 2013, Nonoy returned to Ballet Philippines’ stage as Ebenezer Scrooge in Edna Vida Froilan’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL, and appeared as the Duke of Courland in the GISELLE Gala in 2014. He is currently playing the role of Lolo Apo on the ABS-CBN television series, BE MY LADY.

Nonoy Froilan worked with Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Nonoy Froilan worked with Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo from Nonoy Froilan: A Journey in Dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fgFlx1wv1w

Cooky Chua dances with Jean Marc Cordero; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Cooky Chua dances with Jean Marc Cordero; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Ednah Ledesma

Ednah Ledesma’s training as a dancer began when she was a child of eight. Her mother first enrolled her in ballet classes, which she continued up to the age of sixteen, along with jazz, Hawaiian, and hip-hop genres as well. She also participated in musical plays and got into stage dancing for a year, until she got married. She entered the world of ballroom dancing in 1997, and started joining competitions soon after. She and her partner John Derick Co started out in Asian competitions, like the IDSF International Open Latin in Japan in 2003, where they ranked 28th. They further proved themselves at the Blackpool Dance Festival in England, where they ranked second in the competition’s Senior Latin division in 2003 & 2004, and went on to win first prize in 2005. Ednah has served as a judge in SHALL WE DANCE, a Filipino reality dance competition program on TV5.

from left: Librettist Bibeth Orteza, Ednah Ledesma & Butch Esperanza. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Librettist Bibeth Orteza, Ednah Ledesma & Butch Esperanza. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Butch Esperanza

Butch Esperanza began his dance career with the University of the East Dance Troupe under the tutelage of Gener Caringal. He became a member of the CCP Dance Company (now Ballet Philippines) in 1978, where he performed solo and principal roles such as Ravana (RAMA HARI), Sultan (ANG SULTAN), Mercutio (ROMEO AND JULIET), Rothbart (SWAN LAKE), Prince Charming (CINDERELLA), and Andres Bonifacio (BAYANI), to name a few. He later joined Singapore Dance Theater as a principal dancer in 1988 and Philippine Ballet Theater in 1995. His most recent roles include the king in BP’s 2002 & 2014 production of CINDERELLA, Step Sister in PBT’s 2010 production of the same ballet, as Ebenezer Scrooge in Edna Vida Froilan’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL in 2013.

Conductor Gerard Salonga and the ABS CBN Philharmonic Orchestra; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Conductor Gerard Salonga and the ABS CBN Philharmonic Orchestra; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO is co-presented by ABS-CBN and is a collaboration with the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Gerard Salonga. The show features a libretto by Bibeth Orteza, choreography by Carissa Adea, James Laforteza & PJ Rebullida, musical direction by Jed Balsamo, sound design by Jethro Joaquin, set design by Ohm David, costume design by James Reyes, lighting design by John Batalla.

Ballet Philippines has another hit in their hands. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Ballet Philippines has another hit in their hands. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will be staged at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo) on Dec. 2 – 8 pm; Dec. 3 – 6 pm; Dec. 4 – 2 pm and 6 pm; Dec. 9 – 8 pm; Dec. 10 – 2 pm and 6 pm; Dec. 11 – 2 pm and 6 pm.

from left: Kyle Echarri & Michael Pangilinan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Kyle Echarri & Michael Pangilinan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Ticket prices range from Php 500 to Php 3500, with discounts for students, senior citizens, and government employees.

Connect to Ballet Philippines online through the following social media networks:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/balletphilippines

Twitter: @balletph

Instagram: @balletphilippines

YouTube: balletph

To join in the Ballet Philippines conversation, use our official hashtags: #balletph, #awitinmoatisasayawko

 

from left: Jef Flores & Jean Marc Cordero; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Jef Flores & Jean Marc Cordero; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

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Markki Stroem; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Markki Stroem; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Vic Sotto in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before movie stardom he was a hit maker / songwriter for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: Jowapao FB fan page https://www.facebook.com/jowapaoofficialpage/?ref=page_internal

Vic Sotto in ENTENG KABISOTE 10 & THE ABANGERS. Before movie stardom he was a hit maker / songwriter for VST & Co. whose songs became a soundtrack for a generation. Photo from: Jowapao FB fan page
https://www.facebook.com/jowapaoofficialpage/?ref=page_internal

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from left: Denise Parungao, Garry Corpuz & Michael Pangilinan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Denise Parungao, Garry Corpuz & Michael Pangilinan; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Musical Director Jed Balsamo; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Musical Director Jed Balsamo; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

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from left: Sandino Martin, Markki Stroem, Jef Flores and Denise Parungao. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Sandino Martin, Markki Stroem, Jef Flores and Denise Parungao. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Librettist Bibeth Orteza and Columnist Danny Vibas; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Librettist Bibeth Orteza and Columnist Danny Vibas; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

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Nonoy Froilan as Scrooge in BP’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2013). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Nonoy Froilan as Scrooge in BP’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL (2013). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao & Garry Corpuz; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao & Garry Corpuz; BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

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foreground: Jef Flores shows his moves with Denise Parungao while Sandino Martin sings (background). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground: Jef Flores shows his moves with Denise Parungao while Sandino Martin sings (background). BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: Denise Parungao, Rita Angela Winder, Jean Marc Cordero, Seated from left: Cooky Chua, Librettist Bibeth Orteza , BP Pres. Margie Moran & Ednah Ledesma. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: Denise Parungao, Rita Angela Winder, Jean Marc Cordero, Seated from left: Cooky Chua, Librettist Bibeth Orteza , BP Pres. Margie Moran & Ednah Ledesma. BP’s AWITIN MO AT ISASAYAW KO will run from Dec 2-11, 2016 at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo). Photo by Jude Bautista

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TRUMP vs. DUTERTE Who’s Worse & Why It Matters

tvd1

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Disgraced Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump is a billionaire who managed to spout controversial statements and garner supporters enough to get to become the face of a major political party in the U.S. Rodrigo Duterte was the mayor of Davao, won on a platform of state sponsored murder who was actually elected as president in the Philippines.

There doesn’t seem to be a lot that would be similar in their backgrounds except for their habit of putting their foot in their mouth. But the importance of comparing and contrasting their statements, their thoughts and styles why they’re wrong can still benefit the electorate of America.

The many people who have been deceived by Trump’s empty promises will benefit in seeing the effect of electing someone who’s temperamentally unfit to the presidency. Here in the Philippines we have to figure out where we went wrong, would it be possible to avoid doing it again in the future. Now that Duterte is president we must at the very least find out how we can mitigate his many disastrous statements.

Calling Trump as temperamentally unfit to be president is an understatement.

Calling Trump as temperamentally unfit to be president is an understatement.

And unlike these two we must be able to put our thoughts in the proper context and perspective. The stakes are far higher in the U.S. election as the world’s leading superpower. Choosing the wrong leader could mean an apocalyptic third world war, if not a new nuclear arms race. There are also huge economic and geopolitical implications.

During the VP debates Senator Tim Kaine summarized it best, “If you can’t distinguish between dictatorship and leadership you have to go back to the fifth grade.” Sadly that’s exactly what happened to the Philippine electorate in our previous presidential election, Filipino voters thought that scaring people through a dictatorship is what was needed. Leadership is being able to inspire people to do the right thing. It’s easier to tear the country apart by killing people than it is to unite it under one cause.

VP candidate Tim Kaine: If you can't distinguish between dictatorship and leadership you have to go back to the fifth grade.

VP candidate Tim Kaine: If you can’t distinguish between dictatorship and leadership you have to go back to the fifth grade.

Actress Agot Isidro very courageously pointed out the obvious by calling Pres. Duterte a ‘psychopath’ through her facebook page. In spite of her honesty and accuracy she received a wave of criticism from netizens. The reaction and even the high approval rating of Duterte are strong indications that Filipinos have a great need for voter education and political awareness.

Agot Isidro was criticized for her honesty and accurate description on fb of Pres. Duterte by his supporters.

Agot Isidro was criticized for her honesty and accurate description on fb of Pres. Duterte by his supporters.

Seeing how and why Trump has fallen from grace may be a bigger lesson for Filipinos than the rise to power of Duterte is to the American electorate. Both nations however and other budding democracies can benefit from how and why their thoughts and statements are damaging so here goes.

TALE OF THE TAPE

Trump and Duterte both have a bombshell tape that exposed their worst comments. ‘Worst’ being overtly sexist with overtones of assault if not outright rape (in the case of Duterte). We would also qualify ‘worst’ as statements made so far. As both of them may still make even worse comments in the future. The comparison here is not just from the statements themselves but more importantly how it affected each of their campaigns.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

The Access Hollywood video and audio of Trump talking to TV host Billy Bush, is still very much fresh in everyone’s minds. Some of the most interesting ones: ‘grab them by the pussy’, ‘when you’re a star they let you get away with it.’ The tape is from 2005 from Trump’s guest role in a soap opera covered by Access Hollywood. The distinction from Duterte is that Trump’s comment came from what they call a ‘hot mic’. Meaning both Trump and Billy were not aware their conversation was being recorded.

The bombshell tape during Duterte’s campaign was from an actual speech that he gave as Mayor of Davao where he was addressing his constituents. It was in 1989 after a female Australian missionary Jaqueline Hamill was kidnapped, raped and then murdered. The gist of it which he related to the crowd, when he saw the remains of the Australian missionary he quipped that he wished he was the first in line to rape her ahead of the kidnappers.

Duterte video

The video of Duterte giving the speech naturally drew widespread condemnation. Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Ambeth Ocampo added that Duterte’s comment not only hinted of rape but of necrophilia. Different embassies among them the U.S. and Australia outright condemned the candidacy of Duterte.

BOTH of these men made reprehensible comments but without a doubt comparing these two tapes, Duterte’s is far worse. Trump has the excuse of thinking that his was a private conversation while Duterte made his as an actual speech to a crowd. Even so, the rape and necrophilia laced speech of Duterte did nothing to affect his popularity. In spite of that video, he was still deemed by Filipino voters as being the next president.

In Trump’s case it was a turning point in the campaign. The hot mic tape was correctly called by his campaign as a private conversation. In a halfhearted apology Trump dismissed it as mere ‘locker room talk.’ But it was too late. Legendary actor Robert De Niro immediately posted a video online on why he wanted ‘to punch Trump in the face’. On Twitter NBA players Jamaal Crawford, CJ McCollum, NFL Jacob Tamme even CM Punk who spent most of their lives in locker rooms, as collegiate and professional athletes never heard Trump’s brand of ‘locker room talk’.

Robert Deniro on Trump

Prior to the tape Hillary was only 5 points ahead. After the tape was made public by the Washington Post and the subsequent second and third debates Hillary posted her biggest lead 50% to 38%. That gap has since closed with a CNN/ORC Poll dated October 28, 2016 at Hillary 49%, Trump at 44%.

CNN/ORC Polls show that Hillary is ‘only’ 5-6 points ahead of Trump.

CNN/ORC Polls show that Hillary is ‘only’ 5-6 points ahead of Trump.

TYRANT TALK

During the second U.S. Presidential debate there was this exchange:

TRUMP: If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it, and we’re going to have a special prosecutor… and we’re going to look into it, because you know what? People have been — their lives have been destroyed for doing one-fifth of what you’ve done. And it’s a disgrace. And honestly, you ought to be ashamed of yourself.

CLINTON: … Last time at the first debate, we had millions of people fact checking, so I expect we’ll have millions more fact checking, because, you know, it is — it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.

TRUMP: Because you’d be in jail.

Trump you’d be in jail video

In U.S. politics this was almost unheard of save for a very few exceptions. And threats like these were never made so openly. Of course no one is naïve enough to think it never happens where the President doesn’t influence cases indirectly. But the way that Trump said it also revealed his ignorance of the division of the branches of government and their roles: the executive, legislative and judiciary.

CNN political analyst David Gregory called it as “criminalizing political differences”. He explained that kind of talk was fairly common from tyrants and less developed democracies but definitely not in the U.S. Legally speaking there was no recourse for a sitting President to ask a ‘special prosecutor’ to go after political opponents.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

The Philippine Situation

Theoretically in the Philippines, we’ve adopted a similar form of government from the U.S. We supposedly have the same separation of functions between branches of government. We’ve also adapted parts of the Constitution and bill of rights; we used to be a U.S. colony after all.

In reality however, the Philippine situation is different especially with a trend of political persecution in the past several Presidential administrations. Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo went after and prosecuted ousted President Erap Estrada for corruption. Pres. Noynoy Aquino then went after Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and EVEN Chief Justice Corona. Naturally even during the campaign President Rodrigo Duterte promised to prosecute Vice President Jejomar Binay. This extended even to Binay’s whole family who are accused to be a political dynasty and on corruption charges.

In the case of PNoy and Duterte, they actually made the threats as part of their campaign promise to clean up corruption, almost exactly the way Trump did against Hillary.

Duterte has failed to deliver on his campaign promise of prosecuting political rival Binay who was accused of numerous corrupt deals.

Duterte has failed to deliver on his campaign promise of prosecuting political rival Binay who was accused of numerous corrupt deals.

Persecution of De Lima

By the time President Duterte assumed his post, he seemed to forget his threats against Binay. There was someone else who got his ire. Senator Leila De Lima, opened up the Senate hearings on extra judicial killings that have risen alarmingly with Duterte’s assumption to power. Duterte promised to have 100,000 drug addicts, drug pushers killed in the first 100 days. By the time the senate hearings began there were already 2,300 in what the Phil National Police called Deaths Under Investigation.

The hearings intended to shed the national spotlight on what was happening in Duterte’s war on drugs. A week or so later after it began, De Lima was ousted as Senate Justice Committee Chair by the pro administration majority in the Senate. The lower house began its own investigation on anomalies in the New Bilibid Prison. The principal suspect just happens to be Leila De Lima who was Department of Justice Secretary previous to her current stint as Senator.

There’s credence to support the theory that the lower house investigation is a witch hunt out to persecute De Lima as the congressmen in the hearing are allied with President Duterte. Presidential appointee and current DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre has taken the lead in the presentation of witnesses against Delima. They are composed mostly of Drug Lords already in custody seeking parole or a chance to cut prison terms.

Senator De Lima is a victim of Duterte’s ‘criminalizing of political differences’ in a similar way that Trump went after Hillary.

Senator De Lima is a victim of Duterte’s ‘criminalizing of political differences’ in a similar way that Trump went after Hillary.

The congressional hearings have involved a fake sex video supposedly between Delima and her ex lover a former driver and security personnel. The female in the video was later proven as someone other than Senator De Lima. The attacks on Delima’s reputation continue in media by Aguirre including publicizing her cellphone and home address. As consequence Delima has received thousands of death threats via text and calls to her cellphone from Duterte supporters who see her as obstructing the War on Drugs.

In the tyrant talk- persecuting political opponents Duterte has proven to be worse. The Donald has talked a lot of trash but has not really done anything about it.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

HITLER CONNECTION

The tyrant and dictator label doesn’t end in their criminalization of political differences. Ken Burns is a multi-awarded documentary filmmaker. His latest work DEFYING THE NAZIS: THE SHARP’S WAR is about an American couple Waitstill & Martha Sharp who helped Jews escape persecution and death camps in Europe. Christiane Amanpour interviewed him in her show. In it Burns had an important insight with Trump, “Hitler also wanted to make Germany Great Again without backing it up or explaining how he’d do it. There’s this simplistic messaging that has become so popular.” Trump’s racist remarks against Mexicans, African Americans and other minorities also echo somewhat Hitler’s racist doctrine.

Ken Burns in Amanpour’s interview explained that Hitler also promised to make Germany Great Again like Trump’s tagline. Both have not presented solutions to back it up. Its this ‘simplistic messaging’ that resonated with the masses similar to the peace and order slogan of Duterte. http://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2016/10/20/intv-amanpour-ken-burns.cnn/video/playlists/amanpour/

Ken Burns in Amanpour’s interview explained that Hitler also promised to make Germany Great Again like Trump’s tagline. Both have not presented solutions to back it up. Its this ‘simplistic messaging’ that resonated with the masses similar to the peace and order slogan of Duterte. http://edition.cnn.com/videos/world/2016/10/20/intv-amanpour-ken-burns.cnn/video/playlists/amanpour/

Duterte’s campaign also had a simplistic messaging of eliminating all drug lords, drug addicts by killing them as the miracle solution that would solve all the problems of Filipinos. It’s the same ‘effective playbook’ that the Nazi’s employed which Burns was referring to. Duterte also promised this would all be done within 100 days. His on again off again running mate Sen. Peter Cayetano explained that once peace and order was in place economic improvement would follow.

After several months in power, without solving the traffic crisis and other major problems Duterte revised his own 100-day deadline. He asked for 6 more months for Filipinos to feel the ‘effect’ of his magic bullet. He believes the extension is warranted as there are 4 million drug addicts. He believes the number of addicts and menace of the drug problem has been so bad that he HAS TO step up his war on drugs in the next months. Duterte said he would be ‘happy to kill 3 million addicts’. There have already been 3,600 lives lost since his term began.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

IF that’s not enough Duterte was also quoted as comparing himself to Hitler. Likening his desire to kill 3 million criminals to the genocide of the Jews. “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are three million drug addicts. I’d be happy to slaughter them…At least if Germany had Hitler the Philippines would have… you know my victims, I would like to be all criminals to finish the problem of my country and save the next generation from perdition.” He later on apologized for the comments. Ironically the pro Nazi sentiment was also echoed by his appointee to the U.N. Teddy Locsin via twitter.

Who’s worse in the Hitler connection? Although he’s not AS consistently racist as Trump, Duterte’s need to kill more people is a lot closer to the Hitler dogma. So again Duterte is worse in the Hitler Connection.

Duterte on Hitler video

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

LOVE PUTIN HATE OBAMA

Both Trump and Duterte have been quoted praising Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. They are also very much aligned in their dislike, sometimes violent reaction (in Duterte’s case) to U.S. President Barack Obama. This similarity only reinforces the dictatorial/tyrant tag for Trump and Duterte. Putin was a former Head of the KGB, known for jailing, persecuting and yes, assassinating political rivals. Putin also invaded territories of neighboring Ukraine and annexed Crimea. He continues to influence and meddle in the affairs of Ukraine. Trump has gone so far as to praise him for handling the Syrian crisis by supporting another dictator in Bashar Al Hassad.

Early in the Presidential campaign Putin complimented Trump. Intelligence analysts in the U.S. such as CIA director Michael Morell believe that Putin did this in order to manipulate Trump. Putin’s background as in the KGB has given him experience in exploiting mental weaknesses such as stroking Trump’s ego.

Putin is known for assassinating political rivals.

Putin is known for assassinating political rivals.

During Duterte’s recent trip to China his host Pres. Xi Jing Ping, including the whole world was shocked to hear extremely loaded statements in his speech. Duterte announced categorically that the Philippines would have a ‘separation of military and economic ties’ with its long time ally the U.S. He added, There are three of us against the world. China, Philippines, Russia.”

China meanwhile was a gracious host talked about numerous investments and new economic projects with Duterte. China however, was wisely silent about his ridiculous pronouncements. Not surprisingly when Duterte went back home, Washington asked for an official clarification to his statements made in Beijing. After some thought and advice from cabinet members, he took those statements back citing the interest of 4 million Filipino Americans working and living in the U.S.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

RECOMMENDATIONS for U.S. Voters and Republican Party

The first and most important recommendation is for the American electorate, obviously because of the upcoming elections. There’s no denying that Hillary Clinton has her own issues with the 33,000 emails in a private server, questions on companies or foreign governments paying for meetings with the Clinton Foundation. With that said comparing all the facts, all the insanity and absurdity, Donald Trump is a far, far greater danger not just to the U.S. but also to the whole world if he becomes President.

Calling him temperamentally unfit to become president is a severe understatement. It is THIS danger and threat to world peace, world economic stability etc. that disqualifies him as President more than the hot mic tape. The solution is to make absolutely sure that he doesn’t become president. U.S. voters should come out in droves to absolutely reject him and vote for Hillary Clinton. You can’t waste your vote on Gary Johnson or anyone else. There has to be a strong mandate from the people that you won’t tolerate a sexist, racist and an insane candidate.

Calling Trump as temperamentally unfit to be president is an understatement.

Calling Trump as temperamentally unfit to be president is an understatement.

For the Republican Party once Trump loses the election, the whole party should be unanimous in kicking him out. There was never a moment when he embodied Republican values OR ideology. On those very grounds he should never have been your candidate in the first place, no matter how popular he is. His rise only divided the party almost irreparably. The hot mic issue and claims that the electoral system is rigged has even threatened your party’s control of the lower house and the Senate.

During the Vice Presidential debates everyone saw how a levelheaded, articulate and true Republican like Mike Pence would have been a far stronger candidate against Hillary. The good news is he can be your next Presidential bet. Choose Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, McCain, ANYONE except Donald Trump. IF he still wants to run as President again let him do so but not as a Republican definitely not with your financing, network and support.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

Hitler’s modern day heirs: Trump, Duterte and Putin.

Duterte’s emphatic endorsers include Vice Ganda during the campaign.

Duterte’s emphatic endorsers include Vice Ganda during the campaign.

RECOMMENDATIONS for Pres. Duterte

No matter how divisive the previous Presidential elections were here in the Philippines, no Filipino would want you to embarrass yourself in your foreign visits or in any speech. This is because you’re representing us. Whenever you insult or antagonize ANY country we’ve had a long friendship and alliance, the whole nation suffers.

You’re undoing the efforts of names like Carlos P. Romulo, most recently Albert Del Rosario in increasing the prestige of the Philippines in the world stage of diplomacy and international affairs. Del Rosario fought hard in The Hague, international court to defend our territorial waters from the invasion of China. After a hard fought and long legal battle we won. In one statement you cozied up to the invader and broke ties with the one superpower willing to bolster our armed forces. Last July 27, weeks before your trip to Beijing the U.S. donated 42 million pesos worth of high tech equipment including night vision goggles, bulletproof vests and bomb suits.

Former Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert Del Rosario fought for Phil interests at The Hague, Intl court.

Former Foreign Affairs Sec. Albert Del Rosario fought for Phil interests at The Hague, Intl court.

The first qualification as President is the ability to THINK FOR and in behalf of the welfare of the whole country. After thinking things through, gathering relevant facts, sage advice that’s when you make a speech or make major decisions. Why is it that your recent statements seem to be without planning or preparation? You have a background as a lawyer and as fiscal. For every case aren’t you supposed to know the facts? Aren’t you obligated to research pertinent laws, regulations similar cases and decisions? Any lawyer should have an obsession with reading, research and basic homework. This particular work ethic should have been ingrained in you long before you became President.

A sensible suggestion would be to have a well-crafted, effective catchphrase that you can use for every ambush interview. The best example is from former Pres. Fidel V Ramos whose catchphrase during his term “Everything is under control.”

Duterte was able to use his ‘simplistic messaging’ to become popular in a very similar way Trump and Hitler used theirs.

Duterte was able to use his ‘simplistic messaging’ to become popular in a very similar way Trump and Hitler used theirs.

It didn’t matter if he was being asked about the power crisis, coup threats or corruption. He would inevitably start or end with ‘everything is under control’. He explains his favorite statement as an assurance to the Filipino people that the government is aware of the problem and is doing the necessary steps to solve whatever it is. More importantly as a speaker, it puts HIM into a certain frame of mind or way of thinking and allows him to expound on the catchphrase and customize it to the current question or concern. And it worked, every single time. He was perceived as one of the most effective/problem solving presidents that we had.

Needless to say FVR also did his homework. He was known to wake up at 5am, just to read the newspapers. President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was known to, if not write her own speeches, to constantly edit, re-edit and review them.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

Duterte’s fist symbol is eerily similar to another tyrant’s Sig Heil.

Get the best minds not just in government; hire a whole PR agency just to come up with the catchphrase. You can even ask FVR his suggestion for a new catchphrase. Most of all do your homework. You owe it to yourself; you owe it to the Filipino people to prepare conscientiously for each speech, each statement and each word that comes out of your mouth.

Immeasurable Damage of War On Drugs

There’s a reason why ‘Thou shalt not kill’ is one of the Ten Commandments. In his divine wisdom the Lord saw that you cannot make up for it. You can never bring back the life you’ve taken. The numbers are staggering. To think that not one life is taken but thousands and if it were up to you Mr. President could easily reach into the millions. All human lives swept into nothing, they’re all considered less than animals.

Tony Bourdain was a rehabilitated drug addict before he became a world famous writer and TV Host. If Duterte had his way he would have been summarily executed, the world would have been denied the huge hit PARTS UNKNOWN.

Tony Bourdain was a rehabilitated drug addict before he became a world famous writer and TV Host. If Duterte had his way he would have been summarily executed, the world would have been denied the huge hit PARTS UNKNOWN.

Anthony Bourdain, Andrew Zimmern, David Bowie and Robert Downey Jr. are just some of the names of drug and alcohol dependents who rehabilitated their lives. Bourdain was a dishwasher in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Barely out of his teens he was shooting LSD and Heroin recreationally in the 70s. After cleaning himself up he became a bestselling author and TV host. He promoted his love for cuisines from around the world. His favorite region happens to be Southeast Asia and the Philippines.

David Bowie was a creative genius in music, fashion and art that transformed our whole concept of rock and roll. He was deep into cocaine and alcohol but after his rehabilitation he went on to become an even more prolific musician. As a young actor Robert Downey Jr went into rehab a total of 6 times for his cocaine addiction. After cleaning himself up, he was finally able to prove that he is one of the most talented actors of his generation among them his most iconic role as IRONMAN.

Robert Downey Jr went into rehab for his cocaine addiction six times. If Duterte had his way he would have been summarily executed, the world would have been denied the huge hit IRONMAN.

Robert Downey Jr went into rehab for his cocaine addiction six times. If Duterte had his way he would have been summarily executed, the world would have been denied the huge hit IRONMAN.

The list is long. If these people were killed summarily just because they were addicts, the world would have lost all their invaluable contributions. You would never have given them the chance to rehabilitate themselves and become productive members of society. That loss in life, the loss in human potential is something that you can’t measure.

The damage and loss doesn’t end with the life taken either. Every so often, a father, a mother, a sister or brother is shot while a young child is present. Even worse kids are shot in the crossfire accidentally. This happens over and over again because the killings frequently happen in the congested slum areas, where whole families live in small shanties. For those children who do live to see a parent, sibling or family member die a violent death, they are scarred for life. How would you expect them to deal with that trauma? In turn their relatives, barangays and whole communities are all traumatized.

Left: German’s hail Hitler (1940), right: Pinoys hail Duterte (2016)

Left: German’s hail Hitler (1940), right: Pinoys hail Duterte (2016)

Wasn’t this your intention Mr. President, to create an atmosphere of terror and fear where we are all collectively traumatized as a nation? If we do reap the benefits of your idea of law and order how will the country be able to recover from the incredible loss of human life, human potential and collective trauma?

The recommendation here is to emphasize rehabilitation over summary executions with your war on drugs. The immeasurable loss is too steep a price for the Philippines to pay. You end up destroying the lives of people you swore to protect and improve. Different donors come from China, the Catholic Church, trying to donate, raise funds and organize rehabilitation centers. They all want to help solve the problem of the drug menace while minimizing the loss of life. Make this a policy of your government before we go further down a path of destruction we can never come back from.

Filipinos need Duterte to think before he speaks.

Filipinos need Duterte to think before he speaks.

Woo! OK! Hillary Charms & Trump Falters in Debate

Hillary smiled a lot during this debate. The first U.S. Presidential Debate 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Hillary smiled a lot during this debate. The first U.S. Presidential Debate 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Written by

Jude Bautista

Hillary was seen as stiff and unemotional before the first U.S. Presidential debate. Political observers wanted her to smile often and play to the camera and be more approachable. When Trump bragged about his superior temperament over Clinton, which got laughs from the crowd. Hillary gave out a loud “Woo! Ok!” gave a quick shoulder shimmy and beaming smile that indicated very visually that she had clearly won the first debate held at Hofstra University last September 26, 2016.

Based on a CNN/ORC Poll of debate watchers 62% thought Clinton won the debate over 27% for Trump. A group of undecided voters were also assembled by CNN in the swing state of Florida. 18 out of 20 people in that group thought Hillary handily won the debate over Trump.

The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

After the smile and shimmy she very calmly and clearly talked about how NATO stood with U.S. troops after 9/11. For every exaggeration, for every generalization, every monosyllabic nonsense from Trump like “Why not?”- In reference to blaming everything on his opponent, Hillary responded with clarity and facts.

Trump’s incendiary comments have come back to haunt him. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Trump’s incendiary comments have come back to haunt him. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Temperament & Ignorance of Foreign Policy

Trump repeatedly criticized the Iran proposal signed by President Obama and assailing Hillary’s temperament. She then enumerated her own role as Secretary of State, “Iran was weeks away from having enough nuclear material to form a bomb. They had mastered the nuclear fuel cycle under the Bush administration. They had built covert facilities. They had stocked them with centrifuges that were whirling away. And we had sanctioned them. I voted for every sanction against Iran when I was in the Senate, but it wasn’t enough. So I spent a year-and-a-half putting together a coalition that included Russia and China to impose the toughest sanctions on Iran.

Hillary boosted her numbers with undecided voters after the debate.

Hillary boosted her numbers with undecided voters after the debate.

And we did drive them to the negotiating table. And my successor, John Kerry, and President Obama got a deal that put a lid on Iran’s nuclear program without firing a single shot. That’s diplomacy. That’s coalition building. That’s working with other nations.”

In the same breath she gave a clear example of why Trump is unfit to be President, “The other day, I saw Donald saying that there were some Iranian sailors on a ship in the waters off of Iran, and they were taunting American sailors who were on a nearby ship. He said, you know, if they taunted our sailors, I’d blow them out of the water and start another war. That’s not good judgment.”

Hillary calmly responded with facts and clarity. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Hillary calmly responded with facts and clarity. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Stamina Comment

Apart from words, there was tremendous irony in Trumps actions, while taking numerous sips of water; he questioned the ‘stamina’ of Clinton. He also sniffled countless times almost every single time he began to speak. Which led people to wonder if he had a cold or as Steven Colbert has implied may be cocaine related.

He said, “She doesn’t have the look. She doesn’t have the stamina. I said she doesn’t have the stamina. And I don’t believe she does have the stamina. To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina.”

Lester Holt served as moderator. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Lester Holt served as moderator. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Hillary did not sip water once and spoke in a strong crystal clear voice. She also smiled easily perhaps at more times during any campaign engagement. She bit back, “As soon as he travels to 112 countries and negotiates a peace deal, a cease-fire, a release of dissidents, an opening of new opportunities in nations around the world, or even spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.” Which was followed with applause.

Hillary has proven her stamina.

Hillary has proven her stamina.

Hillary’s best weapon was Trump’s own words, their absurdity, incoherence and effectively used them against him. Although she was factually right she didn’t sound condescending. The actual statements of Trump are funnier than any stand up comedian could make up. But the fact that he has managed to garner supporters and has become the Republican Party’s standard-bearer takes the humor out of it with the possibility of him being elected as president.

Hillary calmly responded with facts and clarity. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Hillary calmly responded with facts and clarity. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Nuclear Proliferation

The Donald flip-flopped on the issue of nuclear weapons. She called him out on it and had this exchange:

CLINTON: … of what we heard Donald say has been about nuclear weapons. He has said repeatedly that he didn’t care if other nations got nuclear weapons, Japan, South Korea, even Saudi Arabia. It has been the policy of the United States, Democrats and Republicans, to do everything we could to reduce the proliferation of nuclear weapons. He even said, well, you know, if there were nuclear war in East Asia, well, you know, that’s fine… TRUMP: Wrong. CLINTON: … have a good time, folks. TRUMP: It’s lies.

CLINTON: And, in fact, his cavalier attitude about nuclear weapons is so deeply troubling. That is the number-one threat we face in the world. And it becomes particularly threatening if terrorists ever get their hands on any nuclear material. So a man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes, as far as I think anyone with any sense about this should be concerned. TRUMP: That line’s getting a little bit old, I must say. I would like to…

CLINTON: It’s a good one, though. It well describes the problem.

Your future depends on THIS election.

Your future depends on THIS election.

Ever since Japan was bombed at the end of World War II killing 146,000 in Hiroshima, 80,000 in Nagasaki and injuring thousands more, the world has seen the destructive power of the Atom bomb or nuclear weapons. Throughout the cold war in the 1950s to the 80s the world was under threat from the possibility of nuclear holocaust. Both the Soviet Union and the U.S. had hundreds of inter continental ballistic missiles spread around the globe. Each of them has a nuclear warhead thousands of times more powerful than the original A-bomb. There have been many pacts from Russia, the U.S. and other nations since then to decommission these extremely dangerous weapons of mass destruction. Today the more nations or groups who have nuclear weapons (their proliferation) the greater the chance of humanity blowing itself up.

This is a basic concept that seems to escape Donald Trump. As a nominee, he was asked about how he would handle the problem of North Korea developing its own nuclear weapons. He responded to Anderson Cooper in a CNN Republican Presidential Town Hall suggesting that South Korea and Japan should arm themselves as well with nuclear weapons. This wild statement caused a lot of security experts such as former CIA director Michael Morell to call Donald Trump as a huge threat and risk to the U.S. if he were to be President. “President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was a career intelligence officer, trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated. In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”

86% of those polled by CNN believe paying taxes is a civic duty.

86% of those polled by CNN believe paying taxes is a civic duty.

50 former cabinet members and security experts of Republican Administrations echoed the assessment. Among them Michael V. Hayden, a former director of both the C.I.A. and the National Security Agency; John D. Negroponte, who served as the first director of national intelligence and then deputy secretary of state; and Robert B. Zoellick, another former deputy secretary of state, United States trade representative and, until 2012, president of the World Bank and Two former secretaries of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge and Michael Chertoff. They all signed a letter stating Trump “lacks the character, values and experience” to be president and “would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.” They warn, “would be the most reckless president in American history.”

Trump: You have no plan! Hillary: I wrote a book about it.

Trump: You have no plan! Hillary: I wrote a book about it.

Sexism/Misogyny

Perhaps the most offensive comments by Trump were the ones defending his derogatory comments towards women that he tried to defend in vain. It wasn’t just the content of what he was saying but more on how he conducted himself throughout the debate. He interrupted Hillary a total of 52 times. Even when there were supposed to be designated 2-minute portions where the candidates were supposed to speak, uninterrupted.

CLINTON: You know, he tried to switch from looks to stamina. But this is a man who has called women pigs, slobs and dogs, and someone who has said pregnancy is an inconvenience to employers, who has said… TRUMP: I never said that.

CLINTON: …. women don’t deserve equal pay unless they do as good a job as men.

TRUMP: I didn’t say that.

Hillary smiled a lot during this debate. The first U.S. Presidential Debate 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Hillary smiled a lot during this debate. The first U.S. Presidential Debate 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

There was an audible sigh of disbelief from the crowd after Donald tried to explain himself, “You know, Hillary is hitting me with tremendous commercials. Some of it’s said in entertainment. Some of it’s said — somebody who’s been very vicious to me, Rosie O’Donnell, I said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.” He dug himself into a hole faster than he could get out of and he didn’t even realize it. Not even after the debate claiming to reporters that he did well.

Trump was generally reviled for making this comment on Rosie O’Donnell during the first Presidential debate.

Trump was generally reviled for making this comment on Rosie O’Donnell during the first Presidential debate.

Alicia Machado

Hillary also had a bombshell revelation with one of Trump’s own beauty pageant candidates. Alicia Machado of Venezuela won Miss Universe in 1997.

CLINTON: One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest. He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman “Miss Piggy.” Then he called her “Miss Housekeeping,” because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name. TRUMP: Where did you find this? Where did you find this? CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado. TRUMP: Where did you find this? Where did you find this? CLINTON: Her name is Alicia Machado. TRUMP: Where did you find this? CLINTON: And she has become a U.S. citizen, and you can bet… TRUMP: Oh, really? CLINTON: … she’s going to vote this November. (APPLAUSE)

Trump Criticizes Former Miss Universe | Alicia Machado Speaks Out

Post debate Trump never denied making those statements that are patently offensive for being not only sexist but racist as well. By calling her “Miss Housekeeping” he generalized Venezuelans and Latinos as being ‘housekeepers’. He went on the Bill O’Reilly show saying: “I will bet you if you put up and added up all the time I spoke to her, probably less than five minutes. I had nothing to do with this person, but they wanted to fire her. I saved her job because I said that’s what I was going to do. Look what happened? Look what I get out of it? I get nothing.”

Ana Navarro is a Republican Strategist and commentator and former Ambassador To the United Nations Human Rights Commission in 2001. Navarro succinctly gauged the damage of Trump’s reaction to Machado, “The Hispanic community was very familiar with Alicia Machado. We remember when this happened. We remember when she was made to work out in public like a guinea pig and calling her an eating machine. These were not allegations. This was widely covered at the time. Hell hath no fury like a Latina who was called fat. He could have admitted after the debate it was the wrong thing to do and he should have moved on. He’s got a gap with women, He’s got a gap with Hispanics. If you think destroying this woman trying to link her with all sorts of things is going to help him any, it doesn’t.” The comments were made during Anderson 360.

Ana Navarro nails Trump: He needs to work out if he wants to attack women for their weight

 

73% of those polled by CNN believe Trump should release his Tax Returns.

73% of those polled by CNN believe Trump should release his Tax Returns.

Tax Returns

Jake Tapper of CNN along with several analysts was most shocked at how Hillary was able to elicit a clear admission of guilt from Trump on the Tax issue. His statement of him being ‘smart’ in NOT paying federal taxes was very categorical and mystifying that he would do so openly:

CLINTON: Well, I think you’ve seen another example of bait-and- switch here. For 40 years, everyone running for president has released their tax returns. You can go and see nearly, I think, 39, 40 years of our tax returns, but everyone has done it.

We know the IRS has made clear there is no prohibition on releasing it when you’re under audit. So you’ve got to ask yourself, why won’t he release his tax returns? And I think there may be a couple of reasons. First, maybe he’s not as rich as he says he is. Second, maybe he’s not as charitable as he claims to be. Third, we don’t know all of his business dealings, but we have been told through investigative reporting that he owes about $650 million to Wall Street and foreign banks.

Hillary calmly responded with facts and clarity. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Hillary calmly responded with facts and clarity. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.

TRUMP: That makes me smart.

CLINTON: So if he’s paid zero, that means zero for troops, zero for vets, zero for schools or health. And I think probably he’s not all that enthusiastic about having the rest of our country see what the real reasons are, because it must be something really important, even terrible, that he’s trying to hide.

Avoiding federal taxes according to Trump makes him smart.

Avoiding federal taxes according to Trump makes him smart.

After the debate the New York Times revealed that Trump had a $916 million dollar loss based on a 1995 tax return. As a reaction he again made the same admission of guilt calling himself a ‘good businessman’ for not paying federal taxes. The loss goes against the very heart of the Trump claim of being an ultra successful businessman. The loss will also allow him to legally not pay federal taxes for 18 years, a claim which he denies.

Trump: African Americans, Hispanics are living in hell.

Trump: African Americans, Hispanics are living in hell.

Racism

Trump’s own statement on race had a grain of truth admitting that he’s attempted to mend fences with the African American community ‘the last little while’: “When you talk about healing, I think that I’ve developed very, very good relationships over the last little while with the African-American community. I think you can see that. And I feel that they really wanted me to come to that conclusion. And I think I did a great job and a great service not only for the country, but even for the president, in getting him to produce his birth certificate.”

Racism for Trump is not just a matter of making off hand comments through the campaign and through the years. His racial prejudice is something that he practiced as a real estate mogul. He was actually sued by the U.S. Justice Department as bared during the debate:

CLINTON: Well, just listen to what you heard. And clearly, as Donald just admitted, he knew he was going to stand on this debate stage, and Lester Holt was going to be asking us questions, so he tried to put the whole racist birther lie to bed.

CLINTON: But it can’t be dismissed that easily. He has really started his political activity based on this racist lie that our first black president was not an American citizen. There was absolutely no evidence for it, but he persisted, he persisted year after year, because some of his supporters, people that he was trying to bring into his fold, apparently believed it or wanted to believe it.

Hillary smiled a lot during this debate. The first U.S. Presidential Debate 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Hillary smiled a lot during this debate. The first U.S. Presidential Debate 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

But, remember, Donald started his career back in 1973 being sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination because he would not rent apartments in one of his developments to African-Americans, and he made sure that the people who worked for him understood that was the policy. He actually was sued twice by the Justice Department. So he has a long record of engaging in racist behavior. And the birther lie was a very hurtful one. You know, Barack Obama is a man of great dignity. And I could tell how much it bothered him and annoyed him that this was being touted and used against him.

But I like to remember what Michelle Obama said in her amazing speech at our Democratic National Convention: When they go low, we go high. And Barack Obama went high, despite Donald Trump’s best efforts to bring him down.

Michelle Obama: ‘When they go low, we go high’

Trump’s incendiary comments have come back to haunt him. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Trump’s incendiary comments have come back to haunt him. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016. 

Inveterate Liar

Sometimes keeping track of the Donald’s lies can be tiresome. But others are clear and just a Tweet away. When Hillary mentioned his stand on climate change:

CLINTON: They’ve looked at my plans and they’ve said, OK, if we can do this, and I intend to get it done, we will have 10 million more new jobs, because we will be making investments where we can grow the economy. Take clean energy. Some country is going to be the clean- energy superpower of the 21st century. Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.

TRUMP: I did not. I did not. I do not say that. CLINTON: I think science is real.

TRUMP: I do not say that. CLINTON: And I think it’s important that we grip this and deal with it, both at home and abroad. And here’s what we can do. We can deploy a half a billion more solar panels. We can have enough clean energy to power every home. We can build a new modern electric grid. That’s a lot of jobs; that’s a lot of new economic activity.

Trump believes Climate change is a hoax perpetrated for and by the Chinese.

Trump believes Climate change is a hoax perpetrated for and by the Chinese.

Trump repeatedly denied it saying you’re wrong and no. But a very quick check of his official Twitter account shows, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” The Tweet was dated Nov 6, 2012.

The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Sometimes the debate was more an effort in futility with Trump sounding insane or juvenile at best:

TRUMP: And I will tell you, you look at the inner cities — and I just left Detroit, and I just left Philadelphia, and I just — you know, you’ve seen me, I’ve been all over the place. You decided to stay home, and that’s OK. But I will tell you, I’ve been all over. And I’ve met some of the greatest people I’ll ever meet within these communities. And they are very, very upset with what their politicians have told them and what their politicians have done.

CLINTON: I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And, yes, I did. And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that’s a good thing. (APPLAUSE)

Preparation is not in Donald Trump’s vocabulary.

Preparation is not in Donald Trump’s vocabulary.

Sources/ Links:

 

U.S Presidential Debate- FULL Video

http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/politics/100000004673000/full-video-first-presidential-debate.html

 

U.S Presidential Debate Full Transcript from Washington Post

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/09/26/the-first-trump-clinton-presidential-debate-transcript-annotated/

 

CNN.com

http://edition.cnn.com/

 

New York Times – Trump’s $915 million dollar debt from 1995 Tax Return

 

 

Alicia Machado talks about Trump

http://edition.cnn.com/2016/09/27/politics/alicia-machado-donald-trump-2016-election-anderson-cooper/index.html

 

 

A Letter From G.O.P. National Security Officials Opposing Donald Trump

 

Full Rush Transcript: Donald Trump, CNN Milwaukee Republican Presidential Town Hall

Full Rush Transcript: Donald Trump, CNN Milwaukee Republican Presidential Town Hall

The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Trump’s economic policy favors the rich.

Trump’s economic policy favors the rich.

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Hillary smiled a lot during this debate. The first U.S. Presidential Debate 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Hillary smiled a lot during this debate. The first U.S. Presidential Debate 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Hillary calmly responded with facts and clarity. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Hillary calmly responded with facts and clarity. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

tumblr:

http://judebautista.tumblr.com/

Trump wanted housing crisis to happen so he can make money.

Trump wanted the housing crisis to happen so he can make money.

flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14686025@N00/

57% of those polled by CNN believe Trump is hiding something in his Tax returns.

57% of those polled by CNN believe Trump is hiding something in his Tax returns.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/14686025@N00/

http://judebautista.tumblr.com/

Viewers were ticked off when Trump pulled Hillary close to him when they shook hands and put his arm behind her. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

Viewers were ticked off when Trump pulled Hillary close to him when they shook hands and put his arm behind her. The first U.S. Presidential Debate for 2016 was held at Hofstra University, September 26, 2016.

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Raf raf: Not Just Another Killing

from left: PD Lizo and Raf raf Gueta Claveria, Burias-May 17, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: PD Lizo and Raf raf Gueta Claveria, Burias-May 17, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

On the morning of August 25, 2016 Pinky Gueta a midwife at the Health Center in the town of Claveria, Burias Island (Philippines), had to attend a meeting in nearby Masbate. It was a work conference where she had to leave the island and asked her son Raphael Gueta to accompany her. Since there were no trips from the large lantsa (outrigger boat) to their destination they hired their own boat. In the middle of the open sea, out of nowhere another boat showed up with masked men (bonnets over their faces). They gave chase and when they were near open fired with assault rifles. Pinky, Raphael and the boatman were all hit with several bullets. Pinky managed to call a relative with a fast lantsa to come to their aid.

A large lantsa waits for passengers at daybreak Claveria, Burias-May 19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

A large lantsa waits for passengers at daybreak Claveria, Burias-May 19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Pinky and Raphael were both treated in hospital at Legaspi City. August 26, Raphael who is known as Raf raf to most people died from gun shot wounds, one to his head. He was a father of two with his young wife. Pinky is still recovering from her bullet wounds and is no longer in critical condition. The boatman survived. Some have theorized the boatman was the intended target as both Pinky and Raf raf had no known enemies.

Raf raf Gueta on stretcher after he was shot August 25, 2016 on a boat coming from Claveria, Burias. - from fb pic.

Raf raf Gueta on stretcher after he was shot August 25, 2016 on a boat coming from Claveria, Burias. – from fb pic.

Who shot them and why is still a complete mystery. No one knows. All we know is that it happened. All we know is that it is a modus operandi that has been replicated across the Philippines. Unidentified men with either masks, shades, caps would walk up to their victims and shoot them, in internet cafés, slums, inner city neighborhoods. Most recently the ones that have reached the headlines of newspaper and tabloids are the killings in the inner city, usually drug related.

Raf raf Gueta on stretcher after he was shot August 25, 2016 on a boat coming from Claveria, Burias. - from fb pic.

Raf raf Gueta on stretcher after he was shot August 25, 2016 on a boat coming from Claveria, Burias. – from fb pic.

But the numbers have climbed so high, the victims so indiscriminate they do not have to be involved in drugs at all. Bodies have been found in EDSA the major highway wrapped in tape with the sign SNATCHER AKO or HOLDUPPER AKO WAG TULARAN. (I am a snatcher/ I am a holdupper don’t end up like me) In another incident a 5-year-old girl was killed while her grandfather was being targeted just days before Raf raf.

Mayon Volcano can be seen from the port of Claveria, Burias, in the foreground is a concrete cross-May 19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mayon Volcano can be seen from the port of Claveria, Burias, in the foreground is a concrete cross-May 19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

What scares me even more is that Filipinos seem to have desensitized themselves to the news and spate of killings. We knew it was coming. President Rodrigo Duterte won on a mandate of state sponsored murder in his own city of Davao as Mayor. He even bragged it would not cost the state coffers a cent. His campaign funds had a surplus estimated to be P1 Billion. This will be his ‘budget’ for the eradication of drug pushers and criminals. During his campaign he proudly proclaimed at least 100,000 dead. A direct quote translated from his tough guy talk in Filipino: Their carcasses will become feed for the fish in Manila Bay.

Raf raf Gueta was loved by family and friends and had no known enemies.- from fb pic.

Raf raf Gueta was loved by family and friends and had no known enemies.- from fb pic.

As a journalist during the election I felt compelled to write against it. But I also felt absolutely powerless. The electorate, tired of the seeming insurmountable increase of crime propelled him to victory.

Even before he was sworn to office in June, the killings have begun. What is commonly called extrajudicial killings, vigilante killings have been officially changed by the Philippine National Police to Deaths Under Investigation: DUI. Even cops in full uniform have been found dead with the sign DRUG PUSHER AKO WAG TULARAN. By August 23 the official number of killings in the DUI category has risen to just over 1,900 (PNP statistic). The real number may even be higher as most victims don’t even want to report them.

Raf raf Gueta was hospitalized in Legaspi but passed on a day later. - from fb pic.

Raf raf Gueta was hospitalized in Legaspi but passed on a day later. – from fb pic.

The number of surrenders of both drug pushers and users have reached more than several thousand in provinces across the country: 2,000 in Zambales, 300 Quezon, 762 Rizal Province, etc. The number of petty theft and other crimes have also gone down as a result of the ‘President’s War on Drugs’. An unprecedented 91% approval rating for Duterte was scored by Pulse Asia the highest of any president since the survey was instituted a decade or so ago.

Daruanak islet on Mabiton coast Burias Island-May 20, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Daruanak islet on Mabiton coast Burias Island-May 20, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

THIS is what Filipinos wanted. They wanted the bad guys killed. They want to scare people into obedience. It doesn’t matter if once in a while (or often) they get it wrong. We don’t really know anymore. We’ve been desensitized from the daily headlines of people being summarily executed, killed without reason or notice.

Mayon Volcano seen from the hilltop that Raf raf Gueta brought me in Claveria, Burias-May 18-19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mayon Volcano seen from the hilltop that Raf raf Gueta brought me in Claveria, Burias-May 18-19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

There was a powerful photo in the Inquirer front page of a woman clutching her husband a pedicab driver shot that has acquired international attention. It was covered by CNN. A recent feature by the BBC was about a hitman who is actually a woman. She relates that she’s haunted by guilt of already having killed 6 drug pushers at P50,000 pesos each. The amount is distributed among her and her ‘team’ so she gets 10k.

PDI front page: LAMENTATION A weeping Jennelyn Olaires hugs partner Michael Siaron, 30, a pedicab driver and alleged drug pusher, who was shot and killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen near Pasay Rotonda on Edsa. He was one of six killed in drug-related incidents in Pasay and Manila yesterday. RAFFY LERMA/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO photo from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/799260/duterte-on-photo-of-wife-cradling-slain-drug-pusher-nagda-dramahan-tayo#ixzz4IXeYY6Bc Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

PDI front page: LAMENTATION A weeping Jennelyn Olaires hugs partner Michael Siaron, 30, a pedicab driver and alleged drug pusher, who was shot and killed by motorcycle-riding gunmen near Pasay Rotonda on Edsa. He was one of six killed in drug-related incidents in Pasay and Manila yesterday. RAFFY LERMA/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
photo from http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/799260/duterte-on-photo-of-wife-cradling-slain-drug-pusher-nagda-dramahan-tayo#ixzz4IXeYY6Bc
Follow us: @inquirerdotnet on Twitter | inquirerdotnet on Facebook

We Filipinos have gotten so used to it. There’s this seeming inescapable desensitization to the countless number of stories, pictures. We’ve come to accept this new reality, new normal. This desensitization includes myself until now, until Raf raf.

Raf raf Gueta was loved by family and friends and had no known enemies.- from fb pic.

Raf raf Gueta was loved by family and friends and had no known enemies.- from fb pic.

I woke up at 5am, something I never do and I looked through my old image files from last year. I was in Burias Island with my family and I was certain that I was able to photograph him. It took a while but I found it. He’s overweight closer to obese, something we teased him about in his young age of 26. I also thought the pic was evidence he wasn’t a user at all. Shabu (crack) is known to make users lose weight and look emaciated. The photo is also for people who didn’t know him.

from left: Nanette Montenegro, Annie Puyo, Beth Javier, Nana Tely Gomez and Rose Lizo; Claveria, Burias-May 18, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Nanette Montenegro, Annie Puyo, Beth Javier, Nana Tely Gomez and Rose Lizo; Claveria, Burias-May 18, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

He always had a warm smile. His potbelly was more evidence of his grandmother’s and mother’s excellent cooking of Bicolano fare. His grandmother Thelma Gomez was called Nana Tely by most. Nana Tely was the wife of my mother’s cousin. She was a long time midwife who loved and served her community, often helping women give birth in even more remote places than Claveria, around the island. When she passed away in November 2015, hundreds of people turned up. The huge and long procession was a testimony to the countless people she helped and served for decades.

Nana Tely with her favorite apo Iggy; Claveria, Burias-May 18, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Nana Tely with her favorite apo Iggy; Claveria, Burias-May 18, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

When Raf raf found out I was shooting the dawn, he volunteered to bring me up the hilltop overlooking the coast on his motorcycle. The way was scary because it was dark before daybreak we were going relatively fast. He was so proud of the newly cemented roads we were going through, especially the one that went up to the hilltop. I found out later on he actually worked for the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) responsible for constructing those roads. He took me up there to photograph the dawn, now he’s never going to see another one again.

Mayon Volcano seen from the hilltop that Raf raf Gueta brought me in Claveria, Burias-May 18-19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mayon Volcano seen from the hilltop that Raf raf Gueta brought me in Claveria, Burias-May 18-19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

We don’t know who killed him or why. I’d be the first to admit we have no idea if it’s even remotely related to Duterte’s War on Drugs. What we do know is that this kind of killing has been happening over and over again. Whether they’re drug pushers, users, innocent bystanders they’re all getting killed. All I’m saying is we shouldn’t be desensitized from this loss or any other. Raf raf should not be just another killing.

Raf raf Gueta in green w his family- from fb pic.

Raf raf Gueta in green w his family- from fb pic.

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bgy Dapdap coast Claveria, Burias-May 17, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

bgy Dapdap coast Claveria, Burias-May 17, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

That’s Raf raf helping my mom alight from a tricycle Burias Island-May 17, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

That’s Raf raf helping my mom alight from a tricycle Burias Island-May 17, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Mayon Volcano can be seen from the port of Claveria, Burias-May 18-19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

Mayon Volcano can be seen from the port of Claveria, Burias-May 18-19, 2015. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Finding THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From right: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

My Angel, My Warmth, I love you at any age.

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Santiago (Guillermo Francella) and Eugenio (Fabián Arenillas) have known each other for more than 30 years. They’re business partners but for Santiago they were more than that closer than brothers or even twins. They did everything together from breakfast to paddle ball and drive the same model and make of a car. One morning Eugenio didn’t show up and it baffled Santiago. Eugenio’s wife Laura (Ines Estevez) suddenly came storming in their office screaming. She was a lot more definite with what happened; he abandoned her, the business and everyone else.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Laura is middle aged, blonde, kooky but has this Latin fire in her. Santiago and Laura tried to retrace the places where they knew Eugenio would go. On Thursdays she revealed they went dancing ‘Mambo for me and Salsa for him’. Just as Santiago asked how they did this, a tall, young, handsome dancer pulls Laura to the dance floor. Laura adds, “We each had different partners that’s why it was so much fun.” When the music died down to a slow dance Laura pulled Santiago to dance and embraced him. He was still very much confused not just with the disappearance but there was a whole side to his friend he didn’t know about. She whispered, “We pretended to be strangers and introduce ourselves with different names and stories every time. We’d always end up at the hotel in the corner.”

Argentinian Amb. Roberto Bosch; Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Argentinian Amb. Roberto Bosch; Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS (El Misterio Dela Felicidad) is one of many films in the Argentinian Film Festival 2016 you can watch for free from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall. There are a total of 6 award-winning films in the line up, most of them garnering accolades in Cannes and other international fests.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS is a fun romp that is very Argentinian whether its family barbecues or saucy dances. While it is amusing, touching, charming we learn the universal truths of friendship and recapturing the lost once in a lifetime opportunity that is love.

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from http://www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines Estevez

The two lifelong buds of Santiago & Eugenio may be the leads at the start but the wife Laura played by Ines Estevez very easily steals the show. She plays her as a very frazzled and mentally unbalanced character, which is understandable for a woman dealing with a missing husband. But she is kooky and vulnerable in an endearing way that audiences can’t help but fall for her.

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from http://www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines is a very accomplished actress having won awards from her work in cinema, TV and theater. Most recently she has gone back to her musical roots and has proven to be a captivating jazz singer as well. She teamed up with established Bassist Javier Malosetti who is also her life partner.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Javier Malosetti; Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Javier Malosetti; Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from http://www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines has showed her conviction, standing up for herself in a huge facebook controversy just this week. She was bullied by netizens who criticized her as being too old (at 52) for showing too much cleavage at a red carpet event.

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from http://www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

She responded by saying on her fb page (roughly translated from Spanish) “the human body is not something that is offensive. I don’t think we should support perfection knowing the trend towards surgeries, maiming, anorexia and bulimia. So I propose: accept each person’s uniqueness; avoid the tyranny of eternal youth, live and let live.

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

And every one of those who have written something against my cleavage upload a photo of your pecs on my page http://www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial Because of their destructive criticism, you will see a recent picture of my boobies, taken this evening in a natural position, without silicone or photoshop. I am proud of them.” Ines’ spunk and daring in real life also shines through in her role as Laura here in this film.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Guillermo Francella

Guillermo who played the abandoned business partner Santiago is no slouch himself. He is one of the most recognizable film and TV stars in Argentina. Whether it’s a comedy, drama or action he’s done it. His international success came in 2009 as part of the cast in THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES, which won Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. He also earned rave reviews from his newest film THE CLAN (2015) as Arquímedes Puccio the patriarch of a crime family.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

His performance here THE MYSTERY… is the discreet gentleman trying to make sense of his partner’s disappearance. He becomes convincing because he never overacts. His is a very precise and measured approach, everything comes naturally. His character finds that the mystery of happiness isn’t in wanting more but is in discovering what is already in his life and looking at them in a new way.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

Ines Estevez (Laura); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.-photo from http://www.facebook.com/inesestevezoficial

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From right: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

From left: Guillermo Francella (Santiago) and Fabián Arenillas (Eugenio) did everything together. Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

WordPress:

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Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

Ines Estevez (Laura) and Guillermo Francella (Santiago); Catch THE MYSTERY OF HAPPINESS and other films for free at Argentinian Film Festival 2016 from August 19-22, 2016 at Shang Cineplex, Shang Rila Plaza Mall.

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BP’s WINGS Soar

from right: Jemima Reyes (Firebird), Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Jemima Reyes (Firebird), Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Written and photographed

By Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

Ballet Philippines calls the 47th season WINGS and the opening salvo makes it soar high. Audiences will be captivated by a very wide range of pieces put together in one stage called FIREBIRD and Other Ballets running from August 19-21, 2016 at the Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo, CCP Main Theater. There will be two shows each day of the weekend on the 20th and 21st at 2pm and 6pm.

Jemima Reyes is in the title role of Firebird. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jemima Reyes is in the title role of Firebird. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

The headline among 4 different pieces is FIREBIRD with choreographer George Birkadze and elaborate costumes designed by Mark Higgins. Truth of it is every piece is able to stand on its own and is vastly different from one another.

standing from left: Sea Princess Tessa Prieto Valdes, Choreographer George Birkadze and Costume Designer Mark Higgins seated from left: Cyril Fallar (Koschei), Garry Corpuz (Pearl Merchant), Denise Parungao (Spice Princess) and Rita Angela Winder (Firebird). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

standing from left: Sea Princess Tessa Prieto Valdes, Choreographer George Birkadze and Costume Designer Mark Higgins seated from left: Cyril Fallar (Koschei), Garry Corpuz (Pearl Merchant), Denise Parungao (Spice Princess) and Rita Angela Winder (Firebird). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

There’s no dull moment. The accompanying music literally sets the tone for the performances. For example there’s the romance of Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major for MOVING TWO, the energy shifts to the unique vocals, rhythmic string and singular violin of Iva Bittova’s NE NEH LEDEJ.

Pachelbel’s Canon in D

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

MOVING TWO is choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo and performed by Victor Maguad and Katrene San Miguel / Jemima Reyes. NE NEH LEDEJ is choreographed by David Campos. The performers for each piece is shared among dancers of Ballet Philippines such as Jean Marc Cordero, Gilliane Gequinto, Victor Maguad, Denise Parungao, Lester John Raguindin, Jessa Tangalin, Erl Sorilla, Monica Gana, Garry Corpuz and Sarah Anne Alejandro.

Garry Corpuz in NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Garry Corpuz in NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis also has JM Cordero and Jemima Reyes. SHIFTING won Outstanding Choreography for Modern Dance from Gawad Buhay in 2010. This version is expanded to six dancers from four. Along with the expanded cast there is experimentation in the pairings: female to female, male to male.

Denise Parungao and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

How the dancers are able to change 180 degrees from one choreography to the next is a testament to their skill and versatility. Just like actors they have to inhabit moods and emotions in the characters they portray. They have to do this in less than a few minutes or as quickly as they can change costumes.

Denise Parungao and Mark Grantos in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Mark Grantos in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

SHIFTING WAIT

Has the ingenious design of handles in the torso. This allows dancers to be lifted in different ways. Pulling them using the large handles can also be jarring not just for the dancer being dragged but also for audiences. When a jealous lover suddenly yanks on the handle away from another the effect can be heart rending. The lighting is one directional with high contrast which adds to the drama of movement. Carlo Pacis has to be given credit, there seems to be a more equal treatment between genders. Women also carry men instead of just the usual way.

from right: SHIFTING WAIT Choreographer Carlo Pacis, Jean Marc Cordero and Jemima Reyes. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: SHIFTING WAIT Choreographer Carlo Pacis, Jean Marc Cordero and Jemima Reyes. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

MOVING TWO

Highlights the synchronous movements of a pair in this case and Jemima Reyes and Victor Maguad. Jemima is also in the title role of Firebird while Vic is Koschei the Immortal. Conductor Olivier Ochanine has modified Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major into a slightly faster tempo. This gives the oft-used melody for weddings seem more exciting at the same time retaining its romance. Having the grand sound of all the instruments in the Philippine Philharmonic makes it a moving experience, enhancing the already powerful performance of Maguad and Reyes. Jemima is sometimes interchanged with Katrene San Miguel. The matched height and frame of Vic and Jemima adds to the fluidity and timed movements of the pair.

from left: MOVING TWO Choreographer Dwight Rodrigazo with dancer Victor Maguad. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: MOVING TWO Choreographer Dwight Rodrigazo with dancer Victor Maguad. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ

This is also the title of the track by Czech singer and violinist Iva Bittova (not performed live unlike Philharmonic). She has a very unique style where she scats. There’s almost a beat box quality to the vocals creating rhythm along with plucking her violin string. Nearly the whole BP Company joins in this piece. The huge cast has a more powerful effect especially when they leap and bound at the same time. There’s a lot of athleticism as with all ballet but even more so here.

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Iva Bittova

from right: Jemima Reyes (Firebird) and Cyril Fallar (Koschei). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Jemima Reyes (Firebird) and Cyril Fallar (Koschei). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

FIREBIRD

This was a hit production for BP back in 1978 and featured the best dancers of the country. This version is reimagined from the spectacular costumes by Mark Higgins, the set by Ohm David. Russian trained, U.S. based choreographer George Birkadze also modified the main character of the FIREBIRD as well. Olivier Ochanine conducts Stravinsky’s FIREBIRD with the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra fresh from their stint from Carnegie Hall.

Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

For this all-star creative team FIREBIRD is a true labor of love. Mark Higgins said, “People were asking why don’t you sell the pieces (to make it feasible) no. 1 I don’t think I can repeat a head dress like this. 2. The whole point of doing this is I want to support the dancers well and put them in something lavish. There’s a real psychological effect from my clothing.” In 1998 Higgins collaborated wth Ballet Philippines in designing costumes for choreographer Agnes Locsin’s FOUR LAST SONGS. He has been co-director of SLIM’s Fashion and Art School since 2009.

Standing from left: BP Artistic Dir. Paul Morales, BP Pres. Margie Moran, Sea Princess Tessa Prieto Valdes, Firebird Rita Angela Winder, Costume Designer Mark Higgins and Choreographer George Birkadze. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Standing from left: BP Artistic Dir. Paul Morales, BP Pres. Margie Moran, Sea Princess Tessa Prieto Valdes, Firebird Rita Angela Winder, Costume Designer Mark Higgins and Choreographer George Birkadze. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Birkadze talked about their concept, “This Firebird is really from Asia. This Firebird is authentic, unique. Mark did such a great job, Ohm did such a great job. Everything in this firebird lets say 99% transmitted to the stage. Even the choreography, I studied Filipino dance, Indonesian dance we did deep research. Its not just choreography we’ve achieved something very special.”

Jemima Reyes is in the title role of Firebird. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Jemima Reyes is in the title role of Firebird. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

BP Artistic Director Paul Alexander Morales explained why they chose FIREBIRD,“ We only have 4-5 shows this season. We really have to be deliberate about which particular show to comeback and also because we have so many pieces. So at the moment Ballet Philippines has a repertoire of about 500. It’s hard to prioritize which piece to do. In the history there is so many interesting pieces. With Firebird, internationally they did it 2011 about 5 years ago. Firebird premiered 1911 and also Stravinsky’s centennial. For this side it’s the spirit of it. You will see it’s like the original where there’s a big emphasis on the design and overall schematic. This is with the purpose of creating exciting work for the audience. On one level there is artistic priorities. The other level is what we think would be interesting production to create. We always discuss the seasons back and forth and many times. There’s a factor of fate on how everything comes together. Napapanahon siya the same with Swan Lake. Swan Lake was the first production I performed in as a dancer for Ballet Philippines. That’s the root of why I’m a dancer and why I’m still here because that first production we had with Mia Barredo and Morishita with Nonoy Froilan for me that’s a life changing experience. As director I wish we could also achieve the same for the audience. So we can have more people supporting the ballet.”

Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: BP Pres. Margie Moran and BP Artistic Dir. Paul Morales. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: BP Pres. Margie Moran and BP Artistic Dir. Paul Morales. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

BP President Margie Moran adds, “Margie: We make sure that what we choose is palatable to the audience. Its something that will excite the audience to come and watch the show. We have a very good pool of dancers and we want to put them in a position to where they can really excel and go to the next level as dancers. Although every year we lose talent most of whom go abroad. But we have young ones that come up in the ladder. We’re also excited we have very good dancers. We want to bring out the best in them. The past years we’ve been successful. We’ve done very well in showcasing our best masterpieces. It has given us financial rewards we are able to produce better shows and train our dancers well.”

from left: Victor Maguad and Cyril Fallar are both in the role of Koschei the Immortal. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Victor Maguad and Cyril Fallar are both in the role of Koschei the Immortal. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

While FIREBIRD is the first show of the season BP’s Principal Soloist Cyril Aran Fallar announced this will be his last for the company. He thanked Morales for his long term support and mentoring and thanked Birkadze for entrusting the role of Koschei The Immortal to him.

from right: Cyril Fallar (Koschei) and Jemima Reyes (Firebird); Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Cyril Fallar (Koschei) and Jemima Reyes (Firebird); Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

ROLES:

Firebird: Rita Angel Winder, Jemima Reyes

Pearl Merchant: Jean Marc Cordero, Garry Corpuz

Spice Princess: Denise Parungao, Monica Gana

Koschei the Immortal: Cyril Fallar, Victor Maguad

from left: Denise Parungao (Spice Princess) and Rita Angela Winder (Firebird). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Denise Parungao (Spice Princess) and Rita Angela Winder (Firebird). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Mark Grantos in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Mark Grantos in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Garry Corpuz in NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Garry Corpuz in NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Denise Parungao and Mark Grantos in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Mark Grantos in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Cyril Fallar (Koschei); Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Cyril Fallar (Koschei); Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Janine Arisola in NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Janine Arisola in NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

NE NEH LEDEJ choreographed by David Campos; Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Denise Parungao and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Denise Parungao and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Denise Parungao, Sarah Alejandro and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Denise Parungao, Sarah Alejandro and Garry Corpuz in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Victor Maguad & Jemima Reyes in MOVING TWO choreographed by Dwight Rodrigazo. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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from right: Denise Parungao, Garry Corpuz and Sarah Alejandro in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Denise Parungao, Garry Corpuz and Sarah Alejandro in SHIFTING WAIT choreographed by Carlo Pacis. Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

Monica Gana (Spice Princess) and Jean Marc Cordero (Pearl Merchant). Catch BP’s FIREBIRD AND OTHER BALLETS at the CCP Main Theater from Aug 19-21, 2016. Photo by Jude Bautista

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Leica to Solji

Left: EXID member Solji has similar features with (right) Filipina triathlete and PR exec Leica Carpo.

Left: EXID member Solji has similar features with (right) Filipina triathlete and PR exec Leica Carpo.

Written by

Jude Thaddeus L. Bautista

They both have unique names but have similar features. From Manila’s elite circles Leica Carpo is a former Sunday Inquirer Magazine publisher, L’Oreal Exec and now Public Relations Executive in the U.S. Her chinita eyes, luscious lips bears a striking resemblance with K-POP star Heo Solji who is a member of the group EXID. The group’s name is short for Exceed in Dreaming. Solji has the most technically polished vocals in the group. She actually started out as their vocal coach before becoming an official member.

Left: EXID member Solji has similar features with (right) Filipina triathlete and PR exec Leica Carpo.

Left: EXID member Solji has similar features with (right) Filipina triathlete and PR exec Leica Carpo.

In 2015 she won the King of Mask Singer TV competition garnering more attention for EXID. Leica however, is also a famous runner having participated in the Boston and New York Marathons as well as being a consistent triathlete.

Left: EXID member Solji has similar features with (right) Filipina triathlete and PR exec Leica Carpo.

Left: EXID member Solji has similar features with (right) Filipina triathlete and PR exec Leica Carpo.