Wednesday, November 30, 2016


Press release

Multi-platinum, GRAMMY® Award-winning rock band IMAGINE DRAGONS have released their song Levitate and is available for digital download and streaming via all participating digital retailers.
The song is featured in the upcoming Columbia Pictures film Passengers in Philippine cinemas January 08, 2017.

From the director of the Oscar Best Picture nominee The Imitation Game and the screenwriter of Prometheus comes Columbia Pictures' action-adventure Passengers starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt.

Aurora (Lawrence) and Jim (Pratt) are two passengers onboard a spaceship transporting them to a new life on another planet. The trip takes a deadly turn when their hibernation pods mysteriously wake them 90 years before they reach their destination. As they try to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction... only to be threatened by the imminent collapse of the ship and the discovery of the truth behind why they woke up.

Passengers is directed by Oscar-nominee Morten Tyldum, written by Jon Spaihts, produced by Neal H. Moritz, Stephen Hamel, Michael Maher and Ori Marmur.
The film also stars Michael Sheen (“Underworld” franchise) and Laurence Fishburne (“The Matrix” franchise).

Passengers is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Use the hashtag #Passengers

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

SoundTrack – Pinoy talents take on the LRT-1 station stage

Press release

To exhibit Filipinos’ talent and inject new life to one of the metro’s major transport lines, international media and marketing agency PHAR Partnerships, in partnership with the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC), introduces SoundTrack—a new, exciting experience featuring up and coming artists to entertain the riding public in LRT-1. This busking program launched just in time for the season of merriment. It features performances that promise to give commuters a reason to have fun and relax as they go through their daily commutes – reinventing the public space of the of the city’s major transport.

Noting the breadth of Filipino talent, PHAR handpicked homegrown performers with the help of indie-music and creative partners to enthrall Metro Manila’s entertainment-loving commuters.
“Metro Manila’s commuters spend a lot of time on the road, and they deserve great experience while on their journey. With so much talent in the Philippines, we decided to do a search – a fun and engaging way of tapping great potentials out there. We were amazed at the sheer diversity of submissions, and for the launch, we are proud to have chosen those who we think will make the audience stop, relax and smile,” said PHAR Managing Director for Asia, Prem Bhatia.
Six buskers have been selected to perform at the Doroteo Jose station, one of the busiest stations in the heart of Manila. Performance started last November 25, and will continue in the next two Fridays of December – 2 and 9.
Chosen after a rigorous talent search, the winning street performers now get to show off their talents and engage the commuting crowd. Selected talents will belt out pop favorites, Christmas tunes and some original compositions. Together, their talent and energy are expected to cheer up the stage and riders amidst the hustle and the bustle of the station.
“Filipinos love Christmas and they love to have fun, and this is exactly the mix we want to offer them, perhaps to relieve them of the stresses of traffic and provide them the kind of entertainment they would appreciate. SoundTrack will completely redefine commuters’ experience on the road. We are sure people will enjoy our treat,” Bhatia concluded.
PHAR is the newest international media and marketing agency in the Philippines. It has worked with AirAsia, London City Airport, Transport for London, Manchester City Council, Premier League, and other international organizations and institutions in the past. With its extensive experience abroad, PHAR is capable of developing campaigns, initiatives, and platforms to effectively reach the target audience. The SoundTrack Busking Program is just one of its many endeavors to reinvent the transport experience and effectively connect with the Filipino people, and it certainly won’t be the last.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Ballet Phils.' Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko"

For the holidays and before the year closes, Ballet Philippines gets the groove back with “Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko” featuring the songs of VST & Company. Vic Sotto was one of the songwriters for VST and he shared that the songs were patterned from the style of Bee Gees. They just wrote the songs because they needed the work. They never expected that they will be hit makers.

The songs of VST & Company are considered the music of Manila before there was Original Pilipino Music. Until now, the songs remained timeless. Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko is actually a musical within a ballet production with collaboration with today’s popular OPM artists.

The stories takes place of two elderly people living in different locations and are considered ill because one is a diabetic and the other is a cancer patient. But the two are drawn back to the past at the hype of “disco fever”.

Then the past flashes back during the time of Martial law era Manila. A construction worker named Victor and a college girl named Teresa met in the most difficult of times.  After Manhid, The Pinoy Superhero musical, Ballet Philippines is reunited with Sandino Martin and joined by Karylle, Michael Pangilinan, Cooky Chua , Markki Strom and the Voice Kids’ Kyle Echarri, and Noel Comia, Jr. with Viva Voce for the chorus.

To make the music more lively and grand, the ABS-CBN Orchestra will accompany all the songs. Surely this is something that you will reminisce.  The singers are not the only guest artists. Ballet Philippines’ legendary couple Nonoy and Edna Froilan alternates with Butch Esperanza and premier ballroom dancer Ednah Ledesma.

One of the choreographers Carissa Adea said the good thing about the production material was you can infuse hip hop with ballet since there are already early stages of the dance genre in the 70’s. Also choreographing are James Laforteza and Patrick John Rebullida. The story was written by Bibeth Orteza. She was also present during the initial recordings of VST & Co. of the songs we all love.

Relive the disco era as Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko will make you reminisce the 70's from Dec 2 to 11 at CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (CCP Main Theater). For more BP media launch coverage, follow this blog and like For buying tickets online, go to 

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Press release

With film credits like “The Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” under their belts, filmmakers John Musker and Ron Clements clearly enjoy telling stories with music. Their lates film, Walt Disney Animation Studios' “Moana” is no exception.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Auli'i Cravalho, and Dwayne Johnson

The diverse and dynamic team behind the film’s inspired music includes Tony®-, Emmy®- and Grammy®-winning lyricist/composer Lin-Manuel Miranda, who counts among his credits Broadway’s Pulitzer Prize-winning and multiple Tony-winning “Hamilton” and the Tony-winning “In the Heights.”

“I really related to Moana in a lot of ways,” says Miranda, who was “transported” by the Clement-Musker-helmed feature “The Little Mermaid” at age 9. “She has a family that she loves, an island that she loves, but there’s a voice inside that’s calling. The idea of quieting life enough so that you can hear that inner voice was something really worth writing about for me because I think it’s so important.”

Three-time Grammy®-winning composer Mark Mancina created memorable scores for films like “Speed,” “Tarzan” and the Oscar®-winning “Training Day,” and also co-wrote songs, produced and arranged the score for Broadway’s musical production of “The Lion King.”

Opetaia Foa‘i, the founder and lead singer of Te Vaka, is a winner of numerous world music awards, including the Senior Pacific Artist award for his contribution to Pacific music.
Photo credit: Walt Disney Pictures

The soundtrack features seven original songs, plus two reprises, as well as two end-credit versions of songs from the film. Written and performed by Foa‘i and Miranda, “We Know the Way” showcases the rich and vibrant voyaging life of Moana’s ancestors. “After meeting with [directors] John and Ron in 2013, I actually started writing that song on the flight home,” says Foa‘i. “It came quite naturally. Then Lin added his beautiful lyrics and it just came to life.

“How Far I’ll Go” is Moana’s song. “It’s intimidating to write an ‘I want’ song for a Disney animated movie,” says Miranda. “You think of Ariel with ‘Part of Your World’ or ‘Reflection’ from ‘Mulan.’ This is Moana’s chance to say for herself how she feels and where she belongs.”

“Where You Are” is written by Miranda, Foa‘i and Mancina and performed by Christopher Jackson, Rachel House, Nicole Scherzinger, Auli‘i Cravalho and Louise Bush. The song introduces the audience to Moana’s village and the key players.

Written by Miranda and performed by Dwayne Johnson, “You’re Welcome” showcases the colorful personality of Maui. “I just thought that it would be really fun to hear The Rock sing ‘You’re welcome for my existence. You’re welcome that you get to meet me,’” says Miranda. “Dwayne has such incredible charm and he totally delivers the character’s confidence and cockiness.”

Jemaine Clement was tapped for “Shiny,” a song written by Miranda and Mancina that spotlights Tamatoa, the 50-foot crab with trust issues. “Disney has some great villains like Jafar, Scar, Cruella and Ursula,” says Miranda. “Tamatoa is mean and ostentatious, so we really wanted to create the anti-lesson of the movie. If Moana’s journey is listening to her inner voice, Tamatoa is there to say, ‘It doesn’t matter. Who cares? It’s really about how you look.’ He’s from the deepest, darkest part of the sea and feels his armor is important. You got to be shiny.

“I Am Moana (Song of the Ancestors)” was written by Miranda, Mancina and Foa‘i and performed by Rachel House and Cravalho. “The song marks a really important moment in the film when Moana is doubting her decision to take on this huge challenge,” says MacDougall.

With music by Foa‘i, Miranda and Mancina, and lyrics by Foa‘i and Miranda, “Know Who You Are” is performed by Auli'i Cravalho, Vai Mahina, Olivia Foa‘i, Foa‘i and Matthew Ineleo. The song is heard late in the film as Moana’s journey nears its culmination.

Opening across the Philippines on Nov. 30, Moana is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures through Columbia Pictures. Like us on Facebook, WaltDisneyStudiosPH; follow us on Twitter, @disney_phil; follow us on Instagram, @disney.phand use the hashtag #MoanaPH.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Musical Feature: Mula Sa Buwan

My first encounter with the story Cyrano de Bergerac was from the movie Roxanne. Instead of the traditional French Renaissance era, it was set in a modern day U.S.  I later found out that it was an adaptation when a Tagalog version was played by Dolphy in the right timeline.
Nicco, Boo, Director Pat. KL, and Fred.

It is also the same with the musical adaptation Mula Sa Buwan. The story was set in 1940’s Manila before the Japanese occupation. Cyrano is now one of the soldiers enlisted in the early days of ROTC where the young men are tested for their love for country.

For those who are not familiar the story, Cyrano is a person who can almost do anything.  But his only flaw was his nose which was deforming long. In traditional productions, his nose was similar to the Japanese spirit called tengu. What he lacks in looks, he can make it up of poetic words. When the love of his life Roxanne got attracted to Christian because of his looks, Christian seeks Cyrano’s help because of his poetic tongue.

This is the second time it is going to be staged. Title character was played by Nicco Manalo and Boo Gabunada. It is the first time Boo is playing the part.  Boo says both of them will wear one prosthetic nose per performance. For Nicco, who is playing the part for the second time, the challenge was to make the prosthetic nose won’t get off during performance. He has to put in on 90 minutes before performance. Nicco adds that his version of Cyrano was not like a skilled fighter but a tough one. He can take on someone taller and look straight in the eye if he has to.

Fred Lo and Edward Bezonia alternates as Christian and KL Dizon plays Roxanne. Music by William Elvin Manzano and direction by Pat Valera. Watch Mula Sa Buwan in Irwin Theater, Ateneo De Manila University, Katipunan, Quezon City from December 2 to 4 with 6 performances at 3PM and 8PM.

For more musical stage productions, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Friday, November 11, 2016


Press release

11th November 2016, Singapore – Disney’s latest animation title, Moana, will feature the lead song, “How Far I’ll Go” and the track will be adapted into five Southeast Asia local languages – Bahasa Indonesian, Bahasa Melayu, Thai, Vietnamese and English. 

Five singers from Southeast Asia, namely Janella Salvador from the Philippines, Maudy Ayunda from Indonesia, AydaJebat from Malaysia, Myra Molloy from Thailand and MinhNhu from Vietnam were selected to cover the song in each of their local languages. 

Launch dates of the local version of the music videos as follow:
•           9th November - Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesia), Bahasa Melayu (Malaysia) and 
Vietnamese (Vietnam) 
•           15th November -             Thai (Thailand) 
•           18th November -             English (Philippines) 

All five singers performed the song together for the first time at the Disney’s Moana press junket held in Singapore on 8th November and also present at the event were Auli’ICravalho (voice of Moana), OsnatShurer (Producer), Roger Lee (Singaporean Lighting Artist) and Griselda Sastrawinata (Indonesian Visual Development Artist). 

Alessia Cara’s version of the song is out now, and the Southeast Asia local languages to be released on all digital music services on 18th November
Photo courtesy of Disney Pictures
Disney’s Moana opens in cinemas across the Philippines on Nov. 30, 2016.

About Disney’s Moana
For centuries, the greatest sailors in the world masterfully navigated the vast Pacific, discovering the many islands of Oceania. But then, 3,000 years ago, their voyages stopped for a millennium – and no one knows exactly why. From Walt Disney Animation Studios comes “Moana,” a sweeping, CG-animated feature film about an adventurous teenager who is inspired to leave the safety and security of her island on a daring journey to save her people. Inexplicably drawn to the ocean, Moana (voice of AuliÊ»iCravalho) convinces the mighty demigod Maui (voice of Dwayne Johnson) to join her mission, and he reluctantly helps her become a wayfinder like her ancestors who sailed before her. Together, they voyage across the open ocean on an action-packed adventure, encountering enormous monsters and impossible odds, and along the way, Moana fulfills her quest and discovers the one thing she’s always sought: her own identity. Directed by the renowned filmmaking team of Ron Clements and John Musker (“The Little Mermaid,” “Aladdin,” “The Princess & the Frog”), produced by OsnatShurer (“Lifted,” “One Man Band”), and featuring music by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Mancina and OpetaiaFoa‘i, “Moana” sails into theaters in the Philippines on Nov. 30, 2016.  For more information, visit, like us on Facebook, WaltDisneyStudiosPH; follow us on Twitter, @disney_phil; follow us on Instagram, and use the hashtag #MoanaPH. 


Press release

In line with its silver anniversary, the Ateneo Blue Repertory goes creepy and topsy-turvy as they present “The Addams Family: An American Musical” with music and lyrics by Andrew Lippa and book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice for its Newbie Production.

Set in the Addams family home in the middle of Central Park, The Addamses are once again at their graveyard doing what Addamses do, but something has gone horribly wrong, or worse—horribly right. Charming little Wednesday who once poisoned her little brother for a ride in the ambulance is in love-- with a boy from Ohio. The question of “Will Wednesday stay loyal to the darkness inside of her, or is this the end of the Addams family as we know it?” will haunt the audience as they go through the family’s wills and woes.

            The leading cast of THE ADDAMS FAMILY are as follows: Bryce Palafox – Gomez Addams; Arianna Norton – Morticia Addams;  Trisha Balan and Ashe Uy– Wednesday Addams; Janine Idquival – Pugsley Addams; Jolo Fernando and Michael Ubamos – Fester Addams; Mar Argente – Grandma Addams; and Adrian Chio – Lurch.

The supporting cast of THE ADDAMS FAMILY are as follows: Don Mabalot and Anthony Peralta – Lucas Beineke; Kirk Kierulf – Mal Beineke; Sofia Santelices – Alice Beineke; and Alexa Prats – Alice Beineke.

The ensemble of THE ADDAMS FAMILY are as follows: Polo Buenafe – Conquistador Ancestor; Matthew Fernandez – Caveman Ancestor; Sari Avedillo – Soldier Ancestor; Lulay Santiago – Puritan Ancestor; Yanni Bunagan – Saloon Girl Ancestor; Adrie Amante – Courtesan Ancestor; Tara Oppen – Flapper Ancestor; Jam Binay – Indian Ancestor; Frances de Guzman – Cousin Helga; Shawn Landayan – Aunt Herman; Lexi Cruz – Acrobat Ancestor; and Migs Lim – Gambler Ancestor and Grim Reaper.

            THE ADDAMS FAMILY: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL is under the direction of Darrell Uy, a blueREP alumnus holding a degree in BS Management Engineering from the Ateneo de Manila University. Working with the Ateneo Blue Repertory, he was the assistant director of the company’s run of Urinetown: the Musical alongside Missy Maramara in 2015 and Breakups and Breakdowns by Joel Trinidad, also in the same year. Mr. Uy has also worked with the Ateneo Fine Arts Department as assistant director in multiple productions, including Authorial Intent (2015), Purgatorio (2016), and Iphigenia and Other Daughters (2016).

            Alongside Darrel Uy, is the Artistic Team composed of Mia Fortugaleza as Assistant Director, Abi Sulit as Musical Director assisted by Nicole Chiang and Senanda Gomez, Evee Raypon assisted by Marcel David for choreography, Kayla Teodoro as Set Designer, Miguel Panganiban as Light Designer, and Mikka Espino for costumes and makeup whose teams will help bring the dead back to life.

            Watch the Addams family in action as they face a massive threat to their family’s name. Join the Ateneo Blue Repertory in this year’s newbie production as we test the notions of ‘normalcy’ in our day-to-day lives and be with us as we hold our family first and family last.

            THE ADDAMS FAMILY: AN AMERICAN MUSICAL will run from November 9 - 23, 2016 at the Rizal Mini Theater, Ateneo de Manila University. Tickets will cost Php 300 each. During weekdays, shows will be at 8 pm; on Saturdays, the production is scheduled to begin at 3 pm and 8 pm. For ticket inquiries, please contact Rion Reyes at 09175089706.

            The production team of THE ADDAMS FAMILY are as follows: Kassandra Barnes – Production Manager; Pia Ronquillo – Assistant Production Manager; Jesse Lim – Head Technical Director; Mikee Alvero – Heas Stage Manager; Steph Escuadro – Assistant Head Stage Manager; Rion Reyes – Front-of-House Head; Mikka Espino and Kyla Frencillo – Costumes & Makeup Technical Directors; Miko Castro – Lights Technical Director; Pilar Matoto – Sounds Technical Director; and Isyan Sandoval and Mine Sandoval – Set & Props Technical Directors.

The committee heads of THE ADDAMS FAMILY are as follows: Johnason Wei – Chief Finance Officer; Justine Narciso – Design and Publications Head; Gab Mesina – Design and Publications Art Director; Pam Villareal – Logistics Head; Czarina Tiongson and Ar-j Castelo – Documentations Heads; Maia Dapul – Corporate Relations Head; and Clarisse Infante – Public Relations Head.

You may also visit Ateneo Blue Repertory’s official website: and follow its accounts on Facebook:, Twitter: @_blueREPERTORY and Instagram:bluerepertory. 

Thursday, November 10, 2016


Press release

From December 2 to 11 at the CCP Main Theater, celebrate the holidays with “Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko”, Ballet Philippines’ new dance musical featuring the songs of popular Filipino disco group, VST & Co. The show is an exciting collaboration with ABS-CBN and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Gerard Salonga.          

“Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko” tells the story of the forbidden love between Teresa, a high-class kolehiyala and Victor, a construction worker. They are brought together and torn apart amidst the backdrop of the Philippines in the late ‘70s – brimming with disco fever but within the confines of Martial Law.

The show features Filipino disco favorites such as “Rock Baby Rock”, “Magsayawan”, and “Ipagpatawad Mo”, along with Bert de Leon’s “Hindi Ko Akalain, Roger Rigor’s “Ikaw ang Aking Pasko”, and Celso Llarina & Roger Rigor’s “Puwede Ba?”, all woven together by a libretto by Bibeth Orteza and transformed into dance by choreographers Carissa Adea, James Laforteza, and PJ Rebullida. It will be directed by BP artistic director Paul Alexander Morales.

Taking the lead roles of Victor and Teresa are two of Ballet Philippines’ legendary principal dancers: Nonoy Froilan and Edna Vida Froilan. Their younger selves will be portrayed by Jean Marc Cordero, Rita Angela Winder, Denise Parungao, and Garry Corpuz.

Joining them are two casts of singers culled from the ABS-CBN talent pool and distinguished actors from the Philippine theater scene. The gala cast from ABS-CBN is comprised of Michael Pangilinan, Karylle, Markki Stroem, and Kyle Echarri. They will be alternating with Sandino Martin, Cooky Chua, Jef Flores, and Noel Comia.

“This has been a rather fortuitous undertaking,” shares Morales. “Jed Balsamo had the idea to do a show with the music of VST and Co., then ABS-CBN approached us to do a project together... We’re very lucky that all of these pieces came together so easily.”

A Filipino disco group prominent in the late 1970s, VST & Co. is one of the pioneering groups of the music genre known as the Manila Sound. 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.

“Awitin Mo At Isasayaw Ko” will be staged at the CCP Main Theater (Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo) from December 2 to 11, 2016. 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:
Twitter: @balletph
Instagram: @balletphilippines
YouTube: balletph
To join in the Ballet Philippines conversation, use our official hashtags: #balletph, #awitinmoatisasayawko

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Insights from Ebe Dancel

Previously, I was able to see the launch of Pioneer Insurance’s Campus Caravan. This time, the target is the aspiring songwriters.  Last year, it was for playwrights and the year before that was for short movies. For this Caravan, I was able to attend at University of the Philippines- Los Banos campus.
I was only going to document the event but I never thought I will get insights from Ebe Dancel. I was never a fan but I got to appreciate his music that he wrote for mainstream artists and he also does workshops just like this caravan.

For Ebe Dancel, songwriters are also storytellers. This I agree. We Filipinos have a heritage of minstrels especially in harana (serenade) which is not far from Ebe’s songs.  He shared that in his younger years, there was no internet yet and he is in the province, airwaves are limited and his only source of songs is the songs that his mother sang. Then he sang a couple of lines of Moon River. This was the first time I heard him sang in English because most of his original works are in Tagalog.
Back to his talks, one of the tips that he points out was that a song writer should be an observer. He shared that most of his songs gets content from his immediate surroundings. His base of residency, Los Banos, is an ideal place for observation especially the campus setting. This is also true for a blogger like me, I also like to observe.

There are lots of interactions from the audience which are mostly students. They were eager and asked the right questions. The organizers said that this was one of their best caravans that produced results. Even a high school student aged as young as 16 participated in the discussion. It was a mutual and informal workshop. There were 140 participants.

Yael Yuson also shared his insights and hosted the caravan. I will not publish all what Ebe pointed out because you might also want to attend his workshops and my blog post will get long. Pioneer Insurance has a songwriting contest with the theme, #MoveOnLang. This was made possible by Pioneer Insurance and FILSCAP. The contest is extended until November 15. For more events from Pioneer Insurance, follow this blog and like . I got to check out Entablado next time I get back in Los Banos.