March 2009


vfa-rallyLast year, a certain ‘Nicole’ claimed that she was abused by a Daniel Smith who happened to be among the soldiers sent by the US for the Philippines-US joint visiting forces agreement. The incident was not actually a global concern but meant a lot for the country that have undergone a lot of local women abuses by invaders earlier than the World War II. Many have followed the judicial proceedings and it even invoked organizations to join hands and lobby for its success. Attorneys have fought to for their clients and the judge has seen the substance to what Nicole is protesting at; granting her the justice not only she needs, but for all the women and men in the country.
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The fact that an American soldier has been convicted was a bold step for the Filipinos, who have been ‘pets’ to Uncle Sam. Some have even pushed for getting Daniel Smith under Filipino ‘care, which means he should be in one of the Filipino maximum cells and not in one of the air conditioned detainee vans of the US embassy. From the proceedings to the conviction and even when Smith is already detained, Filipino vigilantes and organizations rallied and lobbied to ensure that justice is done. That alone should have satisfied Nicole; that her fellows are there to ensure that justice thy will be done for her. But just days before, Nicole retracted her allegations; making not only herself but the entire nation shameful for their acts!
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She just left and sent message to her attorney that everything is to be retracted. That she is now ‘unsure’ of what happen and her conscience is killing her. She is now sad for the fate of Daniel Smith who may not have raped her but she might have sent signals to him that she was amenable to have sex with him. She have asked her fellows why the group (Smith and his buddies) have left her in a well lit place if they just want to dump her or why not just throw her? We don’t know what really happened but to you Nicole, why don’t you ask yourself why didn’t he take you to a motel instead of doing that ‘thing’ inside a full-packed van? Why are you staying for good in America? Did the Smiths paid you and bribed you with a life so great in Uncle Sam’s land?

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FRANCE-CINEMA-CANNES-FILM-FESTIVAL-SERBISThe country is more than happy to welcome Gina Pareño back from Hong Kong after winning the Asian Film Awards’ Best Supporting Actress. The actress was teary eyed when she gave her acceptance speech to her award in the Asian’s counterpart for Oscar’s award giving body. She grabbed this honor for her realistic acting in ‘Serbis’, which was presented internationally as Service. Other winners were: Best Actor Masahiro Motoki from Japan, Best Actress Zhou Xun from China, and Best Supporting Actor Jung Woo-sung. Best Film was Tokyo Sonata and director was Hirokazu Koreeda.
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Gina Pareño later on talks about how funny the award night went. She was in the ladies room when her name was called. Upon hearing, she was overwhelmed and came out as fast as she could and went to the stage to accept her award. Although she wished to win her category, when her time came, she realized she was not ready at all. In fact, she do not have an outright speech for the award. What she then said was that the award was for all her countrymen in the Philippines. The crowd applauded and her eyes misted with tears.

Back in the Philippines yesterday, Gina Pareño is still overwhelmed with her award. In fact, she had her trophy clasp in her hands. She then again told her funny ladies room story to reporters who were waiting for her in the airport and will later talk about on the long list of talk shows and news interviews she have in line. Since this is one of the firsts, it is expected that Gina Pareño will get a feature telemovie or interview of sort in her home studio. She might even get her life story sold and published to the right bidder just like with the rest of the living heroes we have in the industry.

60-earth-hourOnce again, Philippines

GLOBAL

Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales calls each and every faithful around the world to show their environment concern by turning off their lights for an hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 in the evening of March 28, 2009. This is in support to the third year celebration of the Earth Hour, which originated in Sydney, Australia in 2007 as a ‘one city lights out environment initiative’. From there, it made a surge of interest from every concern citizen in every country around the world. By 2008, there were 371 cities in 35 countries that joined the initiative in support of the climate change as well as energy conservation. This year, it is expected that the figures will be tripled; 1,000 cities around the world will be conserving energy for an hour and showing their dire concern on climate change.
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NATION

In the Philippines alone, the estimates rose to 10 Million environment loving people and 500 businesses to join the environmental act. Earth Hour Philippines 2009 will be supported by World Wide Fund for Nature- Philippines, The Green Army Network, and SWITCH Movement together with the Department of Energy. The world-wide environmental activity is viewed to increase public awareness of the need to care for the environment. Along with that is the will to conserve energy, which is depleting alongside the alarming rapid climate change.
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REGION

Region-wide, there will also be initiatives that will ensure that the 2009 Earth Hour will be carry on successfully. This will be under the close watch and awareness initiatives of Environment officers in the local offices as well as local Energy governing bodies. For even better success rating, local officials will also lead in the Earth Hour, making their homes dim and conserve watts of current for exactly an hour. Multiply these watts conserve into the millions of homes that will join and you get a lot of energy conserved!

bnpp1A billion dollars or P 48,500,000 plus an island where nuclear waste can be stored in isolation are all the Philippine government need to make the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant to work! That will give us independence in producing 621 megawatts of electricity, a good solution to the continually glooming global economy. That is just the good thing. Of course, there would be so many negative sides like its effect to the people living within the radius of effect and on the environment in general.
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Just recently, on January 29, 2008, the 8-man team of International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) led by Akira Omoto inspected the nuke plant and among their recommendations were: First, the power plant’s status must be thoroughly evaluated by technical inspections and economic evaluations conducted by a committed group of nuclear power experts with experience in preservation management. Second, the IAEA mission advised the Philippines Government on the general requirements for starting its nuclear power programme, stressing that the proper infrastructure, safety standards, and knowledge be implemented.
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GOOD

Every rich country known in this world have first invested on nuclear power plants, and that is what our dear government is trying to do now with the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant. Following the 1973 crisis, which put heavy strain in the Philippine economy, the Bataan Power Plant was thought to be the solution for the countries energy demands and will eliminate the country’s dependence on imported oil. The nuke plant was actually started in 1976 and completed 8 years after in 1984 that cost us $2.3 billion. It was designed to produce 621 megawatts of electricity but was never used nor has operated since then.
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BAD

The Bataan Nuclear Power Plant was inspected and revealed over 4,000 mistakes. Among the very basic were being built near major earthquake fault lines and close to the dormant Mount Pinatubo, which erupted and killed many recently. It is situated in a 3.57 square kilometer government reservation at Napot Point in Morong, Bataan just 100 kilometers or 60 miles west of Manila, making it all the more very risky. This inquiry was fuelled after the Three Mile Island accident and Chernobyl disaster. It was left unused due to very many considerations, one of which is the strong opposition of residents and the citizens of the Philippines.

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Finally, the last 10 convicted soldiers in the assassinations of former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. and purported gunman Rolando Galman are now released through the executive clemency granted by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. This happening, roused different arguments and notions from the public. From the very many, two became too significant: good for those who believe in the innocence of the 10 men who have lost their prime years to prison and bad for those who believed in their guilt.
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To the families of Rogelio Moreno, Ruben Aquino, Arnulfo Artates, Romeo Bautista, Jesus Castro, Arnulfo De Mesa, Rodolfo Desolong, Claro Lat, Ernesto Mateo and Filomeno Miranda, they were more than happy to learn that their father, brother, husband, grandfather or whatever they are to someone have finally been freed. To these date, they still believe in the injustice done to their family member and at least happy of the decision made by the President.
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The 10 men walked out of the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) at 3:20 pm in effect of the executive clemency grabnted by PGMA last March 2. They were earlier escorted by Lawyer Persida Rueda-Acosta, head of the Public Attorney’s Office, and other PAO officials out of their cells at 1:10 p.m. yesterday. The NBP in Muntinlupa City was their home for more than 20 years of enduring the anger and hard life behind bars.

The men were among the 16 members of the Aviation Security Command which were sentenced of being guilty of the monumental Aug. 21, 1983 killings at the former Manila International Airport. Moreno was convicted as the triggerman while the opposition leader (aquino) was being led down the stairs of the plane that brought him back to the country.
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The 10 men were the last of the original 16 and were found to be suffering multi-serious illnesses like hypertension, diabetes, kidney disease and cerebrovascular disease. This is among the considerations that lead PGMA to granting the first earlier prisoner out in December, another two in February, and now the last remaining 10. Their endorsements were signed by Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez and the time was reviewed by the Bureau of Corrections. Chief Superintendent Ramon Reyes, in charge of the maximum prison compound, signed their release letter and a prison official read it to them at exactly 3:20.

francis_magalonaThe Philippine showbiz industry was surprised by the passing of one of its institutions, Master Rapper Francis Magalona. Also known as Kiko, Francis suffered from complications of leukemia and was suppose to undergo marrow transplant from her donating sister. The actor’s death was announced at Eat Bulaga where he is a mainstay host. Kiko was 44 and turning 45 this October 4. He left 8 kids (2 being step-kids) to her courageous wife Pia Arroyo-Magalona whom he met and married in 1985 through his friend Richard Gomez. They met in a disco house owned by the late film director Ishmael Bernal.
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Kiko was a loyal man to his career and family as well. Unlike most of his batch mates and friends in the industry who have gone through broken marriages, he and his wife Pia had surpassed them all. His death was really unexpected but his family showed strong and intact in this hard time. A close friend and showbiz buddy, Vice-Mayor to Quezon City Herbert Bautista vowed to take care of the late master rapper kids until needed. Herbert is himself remained single all this time and this act is indeed humbling and stunning. All other friends and close showbiz buds extended help and aid in any way possible to Kiko’s bereaved family.
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The late master rapper will continue to be an inspiration to the Filipino youth. In his time, he contributed so much to the industry. Some of which were:

Discography under Octo Arts

* 1989 Francis M. (Extended of Loving You)
* 1990 Yo!
* 1990 Mga Kababayan (E.P. Dance Remix)
* 1990 Gotta Let ‘Cha Know (E.P.)
* 1992 Rap is FrancisM
* 1993 Meron akong ano! (“I have something!”)

BMG Records (Pilipinas)

* 1995 Freeman
* 1996 Happy Battle
* 1998 The Oddventures of Mr. Cool
* 1999 Interscholastic
* 2001 Freeman 2
* 2002 The Best of FrancisM
* 2004 “Pambihira Ka” (single)

Other

* 2008 F Word
* 2009 The Sickos Project (with Ely Buendia; working title)
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Television appearances

* MTV Pilipinas Music Video Award 2006
* Eat Bulaga!
* S.O.P. (Guest Co-host)
* A Telefantastic Christmas: The GMA All-Star Spcecial (2005)
* True Love: Eat Bulaga Special (2005)
* Philippine Idol (Judge)
* Show ko ‘to (2004)
* Astigmatism (2004) as Victim 1
* GMA Telesine Specials
* MTV Talk
* Life’s A Beach
* Music Bureau
* Kamada (1997)
* Student Canteen
* That’s Entertainment
* Plaza 1899
* U. F. O. (Urbana, Felisa & Others)
* Loveliness (co host)
* Vilma In Person (co host)

Filmography

* Anak ni Brocka (2005)
* Kwentong kayumanggi (2002) as Narrator – Hundreds Island and the Bravery of Datu Mabiskeg
* Tong-its (1996)
* Ano ba ‘yan 2 (1993)
* Mama’s Boys (1993)
* Engkanto (1992) as Uban
* Estribo Gang: The Jinggoy Sese Story (1992)
* Joey Boy Munti, 15 anyos ka sa Muntilupa (1991)
* Iputok mo… dadapa ako!!! (1990)
* Gumapang ka sa lusak (aka Dirty Affair) (1990)
* Hati tayo sa magdamag (1988)
* Action Is Not Missing (1987)
* Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Lahat Sa Akin (1987)
* Family Tree (1987) as Edwin
* Ninja Kids (1986) as Tone
* Doctor, Doctor, We Are Sick (1985)
* Bagets 2 (1984) as Ponce

Boston Pops Natalie Cole
If you want to relive the 70s, 80s, and the 90s, 8-time Grammy winner Natalie Cole is going to here in the country on March 11! The successful singer-actress-performer is expected to serenade the crowd with her hits (as well as her father’s) Inseparable, This Will Be (An Everlasting Love), Sophisticated Lady (She is A Different Lady), Someone I Used To Love, I’ve Got Love On My Mind, Our Love, and many many more!
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Natalie Cole’s first voice appearance was in her dad’s Christmas Album. She was 6 years old that year and by the time she was 11, she was already performing. Her debut album titled ‘Inseparable’ in 1975 paved the way to her chartbuster single ‘This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)’ in 1976. It became #1 for R & B genre and #6 for Pop. She also stole Grammy’s Best Female R & B Vocal Performance from Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin who won the same title for 7 years in a row, from 1968 to 1975. She also won the Grammy award for Best New Artist that same year.
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Subsequently, she also released different successful hits like the Sophisticated Lady (She is A Different Lady) also in 1976, I’ve Got Love On My Mind in 1977, Someone I Used To Love and Our Love in 1980. In 1988, she also joined Richard Campbell, Jeffrey Worrell, Eddie Cole, and Dave Joyce for Nelson Mandela’s birthday tribute. In 1990, she also did a duet with Jazz vocalist Al Jarreau in ‘Mr. President’ for HBO’s comic relief special hosted by Whoopi Goldberg, Robin Williams, and Billy Crystal. She also maintained friendship with John Mathis when he first appeared for Cole’s special in 1980 and in 1992; Mathis invited her in the Tribute to Cole for BBC England.
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The most significant contribution she did to the music industry was her 1991 album ‘Inseparable with Love’, which is her arrangement of her father’s greatest hits. With the help of digital editing and modern technology, she was even able to reunite with his father’s voice by singing the Unforgettable with him. This sold more than 7 million copies in the US alone.

Natalie Cole did find second career in acting appearing on ‘I’ll Fly Away’, ‘Touched by an Angel’, ‘Law and Order: Special Victim Unit’. She also shocked us with her memorable guest appearance in ABCs popular Grey Anatomy as the terminally ill patient.

Watch her live at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds this Wednesday as she brings back the good old memories….