Anne Curtis, Baler big winners in the MMFF Awards

THE ONLY Movie I've watched so far bagged most of the awards in the 33rd Metro Manila Film Festival including the most coveted Best Picture and Best Actress awards for Anne Curtis' performance.

Following is the list of winners in the various categories in MMFF 2008.

Metro Manila Film Festival 2008 Winners

Best Picture: Baler
2nd Best Picture: Ang Tanging Ina N'yong Lahat
3rd Best Picture: Iskul Bukol: 20 Years After
Best Festival Actor: Christopher de Leon (Magkaibigan)
Best Festival Actress: Anne Curtis (Baler)
Best Supporting Actor: Phillip Salvador (Baler)
Best Supporting Actress: Manilyn Reynes (One Night Only)
Best Festival Director: Mark Meily (Baler)
Best Festival Screenplay: Roy Iglesias (Baler)
Best Festival Original Story: Jose Javier Reyes (One Night Only)
Best Festival Child Performer: Robert Villar (Shake, Rattle & Roll X)
Best Festival Musical Score - Jessie Lasaten (Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia)
Best Festival Theme Song - “Lipad” by Jessie Lasaten and Artemio Abad Jr., performed by Lea Salonga (Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia)
Best Festival Cinematography - Lee Meily (Baler)
Best Festival Makeup: Noli Villalobos (Desperadas 2)
Best Festival Visual Effects: Robert Quilao (Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia)
Best Festival Production Design: Aped Santos (Baler)
Best Festival Sound Recording: Albert Idioma and Wally Dellosa (Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia)
Best Festival Editor: Danny Anonuevo (Baler)
Gender Sensitive Award (for promoting equality of men and women through film): Baler
Gatpuno Antonio Villegas Cultural Award: Baler

After watching the movie I was quite sure that it would have a good chance at winning the Best Cinematography. Although not quite at par with these movies but Baler reminded me of Cold Mountain and The Notebook.

There were a few scenes that I was not comfortable watching: the black-and-white clips showing historical events like the declaration of Independence. The movie could still have a good standing without it. I don't think those scenes were necessary.

The actors were great. The love pairs, Anne Curtis, Nikki Bacolod, Jericho Rosales, and Mark Bautista did their parts well. Of course, Phillip Salvador and Rio Locsin were great. Jao Mapa is a winner for his hysterical cry. There plenty of cameo roles by some good actors, too, that added more spice to the movie.

But overall, the movie is one that we'd want to remember.

Congratulations to my friend, Mark Meily! Haha. I'm friends with art lovers and advocates!


Is Marian Rivera Pregnant?

BUNTIS BA si Marian Rivera?

That was the question Boy Abunda asked Karylle on The Buzz. For those who'd been wandering in the mountains in the past few days, Karylle is now a Kapamilya, she jumped over ABS-CBN after her much talked-about breakup with Dindong. By that I don't mean to say that the breakup is the reason for her moving in to Channel 2. I don't also include myself with those who talked about the breakup. Haha.

Poor Karylle, all she could muster was a smile that is as mysterious as Mona Lisa's. But I'm loving the girl. I don't think she's hiding anything. For me, she's smart and civilized.

About the other girl Marian, hmm, let me think. I think she just over-reacted. She said, Karylle could simply say she doesn't know. I'd like to tell her that she could also just say that she's not pregnant. Her reaction just proves that she is surrounded by stupid people and palengkeras. I'm not judging her. She might just be so hurt about it. Did she confront Karylle and ask her why she just smiled? That could have helped before she staged an outpouring of emotion.

Well, that girl's quite reactive, really. Who could forget her scene in one of her tapings where she made taray to one of the fans. That could be her idea of a strong woman. But it doesn't quite sound like it. A strong woman can control her emotions and knows how to act when in public.

Just a thought, I will not wonder if Marian really bears Dingdong's baby. Who would dare ditch a girl this tempting?


Songwriting Workshop held in GenSan

Mon del Rosario shares his method in writing songs

THE MAESTROS, a group of reknowned composers Nonoy Tan, Mon del Rosario, and Tito Cayamanda, conducted a songwriting forum at Shalom Crest Wizard Academy, General Santos City.

The workshop was an activity help alongside their dinner concert sponsored by Sabrina Haw Music Studio at Mr. Big Shot Bar and Badminton Court.

About thirty participants joined the workshop, where the following topics were discussed: Songwriting Made Easy, Preparing Your Demo, and Is There Money in Songwriting.

I should say it was a very fruitful event. The composers were very generous in sharing their knowledge and were very willing to help aspiring composers and artists in the provinces. There was really no air of arrogance or pride. They simply wanted to help. The fee was very minimal and I don't think they'll get proper compensation for what they have shared with us. I really pray that their tribe will increase.


Juana Change Videos

KUYA RALPH of Ayala Young Leaders Alliance sent to our e-group the links to Juana Change videos.

Juana Change is the new symbol for change in the Philippines. She's a sharp-mouthed flabby woman who'll make you ask yourself, what have you been doing all the while? At least,that's how it affects me.

Who is Juana Change?

I really don't know. But I know what she wants. I learned about her through We Deserve Better Forum Series.

Introducing Juana Change (on Elections and Automation in the Philippines):

Juana Change on Cha-Cha (Charter Change):


Charice Pempengco Concert in Eastwood Libis

CHARICE PEMPENGCO was home December 5, 2008 and she didn't fail to give her expectant Filipino fans the best performances.

She says that she feels a deeper sense of happiness when she's performing for her kababayans. That's so sweet, Charice. Because of that attitude, the Filipino people will love you and will always be behind you as you continue to make your dreams, and ours, come true.

For those who are quite far from Eastwood City, Libis, the full-packed venue of her first solo concert in the Philippines, here are some clips I got from various YouTube accounts:

Charice Pempengco sings "No Air"

Charice Pempengco sings "All By Myself"

Charice Pempengco sings "Because You Loved Me"

Charice Pempengco sings "Alone"


Pacquiao-dela Hoya Dream Fight Replay Videos

A HISTORY has again been made our People's Champ, the world's greatest pound-for-pound boxer, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao as he beat The Golden Boy Oscar dela Hoya in the 8th Round of the Dream Fight Las Vegas, Nevada, December 7, 2008.

The world watched out this fight but not everyone got the chance to see it live. Here's a collection of videos from one of the greatest matches in boxing history:

Rounds 1 & 2

Rounds 5& 6

Round 7 & 8


Manny Pacquiao and Oscar dela Hoya Fight Replay Video

YOU MIGHT be wondering why I am writing about the Pacquiao-dela Hoya dream fight in this music and entertainment blog. I only have one answer: boxing is entertainment.

Well, anyway, everything is entertainment in the Philippines. Maybe, just maybe, we have problems about putting things in order or classifying things and we end up mixing up politics and showbiz, sports and showbiz, sports and politics. Or, maybe, just maybe, again, it's not a problem whether things have to be strictly classified. Apparently, that's not a problem with Manny Pacquiao who definitely the best of both (er, three?) worlds.

This fight is deemed a big-buck fight. There's big bucks for the boxers themselves, the promoters, the media partners, the sponsoring merchants, the wise betters/gamblers/Singson, and some SEO experts. This a great win-win fight.

Maybe, just maybe, if the fight were a movie, it's a sure global mega-blockbusters that would surpass the combined incomes of Harry Potter and Twilight the Movie.

What more, how about video replays of the Manny Pacquiao and Oscar dela Hoya Fight?

This is a dream fight and Bob Arum is an excellent dreamer. The question is, after dela Hoya, who's next?


Charice Pempengco and Sarah Geronimo sing To Love You More

I DON'T have the intention to start a war here. I am just appreciating two great singers of our country. I find listening to these singers worth my time. It makes me feel good about us as a people.

Here's a video of Charice Pempengco's recent performance in the ABS-CBN Morning Show, Umagang Kay Ganda:

Here is Sarah Geronimo's version of the same song that won her the Star for A Night title when she was fourteen. Today, Sahah is reaping the fruits of her talent.

Bravo, bravo!

Join the YouTube Symphony Orchestra!

THERE'S SOMETHING great brewing on YouTube! If you are into music and if you can play an instrument, why don't you join the YouTube Symphony Orchestra!

It's pretty easy. Easy as 1 2 3.

1. Prepare - Select your instrument to access the sheet music and rehearse with the conductor
2. Submit - Upload your performances and submit them to join the YouTube Symphony Orchestra
3. Entries - Browse videos to get ideas and check out the competition

It could just be your way to perform at New York City's Carnegie Hall in April 2009!

Here's a quote from the project:

Play your part in music history.

Interested in joining the first-ever collaborative online orchestra? Professionals and amateur musicians of all ages, locations and instruments are welcome to audition for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra by submitting a video performance of a new piece written for the occasion by the renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). We have tools to help you learn the music, rehearse with the conductor and upload your part for the collaborative video.

And how do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice and upload. Send us your talent video performance from a list of recommended pieces. Finalists will be chosen by a judging panel and YouTube users to travel to New York in April 2009, to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra summit, and play at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.

The deadline for all video submissions is January 28, 2009.

I hope there's a Filipino among those who'll get the chance to perform at Carnegie Hall.

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