omg! Philippines News Blog
  • “It takes a Man and a Woman” has just passed its P100-million profit mark, barely a week after its release—and I’m not surprised! Put John Lloyd Cruz and Sarah Geronimo together, under the directing prowess of Cathy Garcia-Molina, then you’re in for a total “kilig” experience.

    Read related story: John Lloyd mulls early retirement

    This one’s expected to be a box-office hit: it does help that the Laida Magtalas and Miggy Montenegro love team already has followers—hundreds of fans already fell in love with Laida and Miggy in “Very Special Love” and “You Changed my Life”. Although one need not see the first two movies, fans who’ve seen the previous flicks would certainly appreciate more the third installment which tells how, awww.... Laida and Miggy grew apart.

    The trailer exposes the story: Laida goes abroad, Miggy cheats with an ex-girlfriend. Laida returns to work for the company where she met Miggy, who’s now back in his first ex’s arms. A simple plot? Yes. But certainly it has an

    Read More »from It Takes a Man and a Woman: Total ‘kilig’ from Laida and Miggy
  • Concert review: A 30-something’s perspective on The Script

    I never liked The Script.

    Maybe because I always consider post-boyband artist ventures suspect, at least until they reach their third hit or their second albums. Not that I feel like my tastes are better (I may be a “rock guy,” but I still think Color Me Badd was brilliant in their time, and the Backstreet Boys weren't that bad at all). It's just that those post-98 Degrees artists didn't have the flair and the catchy tunes to actually matter.

    RELATED: Concert review: Bloc Party meets rapturous Manila crowd

    Drummer Glen Power lived up to his name. (Photo by Magic Liwanag)Maybe because I see singer Danny O'Donoghue on “The Voice UK” all the time, I just took him for granted. Or maybe because his band's songs just didn't appeal to me. I like my music challenging.

    I guess that's why I initially considered it a challenge to watch their concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Maybe I'll get them.

    An audience of 20-somethings

    When my bandmate Dax and I went to the Smart Araneta Coliseum to check the band out, the demographic was an interesting lot:

    Read More »from Concert review: A 30-something’s perspective on The Script
  • Heart Evangelista and Kris Aquino (NPPA Images)

    I’m sure the Holy Week has been a heaven-sent respite for heart-bruised Kris Aquino and Heart Evangelista, who, ironically, share the same Valentine’s Day birthday.

    Days after we saw them weep on national TV, laying down every agonizing detail about their predicaments, the time for introspection and painful decisions may be at hand.

    To Europe and the beach

    Kris went to Europe with son youngest Bimby after announcing she was leaving showbiz for good.

    RELATED: Kris: ‘I’m tendering my resignation’

    Heart remains on social sites, instagramming photos of herself sunning on a beach, laughing with a male friend, and wrapped in a bathrobe before ostensibly sharing  a meal in bed with unseen companions.

    She also posted photos of what looks like a few oil paintings she’s been working on. Based on reports, she is not spending the entire Holy Week with boyfriend and reelectionist senator Chiz Escudero.

    Time to plan next steps

    Kris and Heart’s time off may be a good time to reflect and plan their

    Read More »from Kris and Heart: What’s next for our embattled Valentine girls?
  • I have nothing but praises for BB Gandanghari, the “re-emergence” of Rustom Padilla in the entertainment world.

    While people have raised eyebrows on the “reinvention” of this artist, it seems the redirection has done wonders for him, especially with accolades he gets everywhere from his craft.

    RELATED: BB: ‘Not easy playing gay onstage’

    I was witness to this incredible transformation and the first award he got after he transformed himself.


    For the movie “Zsa Zsa Zaturnnah…Ze Moveeh” in 2006, in which he played the lead character’s alter ego Ada, BB got the Best Actor plum from a major award-giving body, the prestigious Gawad Urian in 2007. It was his first.

    I rushed to his side to ask how he felt winning the award.

    “I hope this triumph is proof that someone like me could aspire for such an honor as this,” a teary-eyed Rustom said. Two years after his Best Actor win and a respite in the US, Rustom became BB Gandanghari, a reincarnation that would show his real self. Actually,

    Read More »from What BB Gandanghari really wants
  • Concert review: Bloc Party meets a rapturous Manila crowd

    Bloc Party's show was, well, one hell of a party. And even that is an understatement.

    Their one-night-only show at the World Trade Center in Pasay on March 22 reminded Pinoy fans why the band was one of the best British acts of the past decade.

    RELATED: What Matt Tong of Bloc Party eats while on the road

    The quartet of Kele Okereke, Matt Tong, Russell Lissack, and Gordon Moakes hit it big in 2004 with their breakout album, “Silent Alarm,” which took the post-punk revival (and post-Franz Ferdinand) hipster era into a whole new level.

    Six years too late?

    With their trademark danceable, spiky-yet-textured guitar-based approach to music, Bloc Party's influence even reached local shores (see: Taken by Cars). Some music insiders even thought of the band's arrival in the country as possibly “six years too late,” with people fearing their WTC show would end up a dud.

    Man, were they wrong.

    Kele Okereke, lead vocalist of Bloc Party, performs during their concert held at the World Trade Center in Pasay city, south of Manila on 22 March 2013. (George Calvelo/NPPA Images)

    WATCH INTERVIEW: Bloc Party on album ‘Four,’ writing songs, social media, more

    Opening act Up Dharma

    Read More »from Concert review: Bloc Party meets a rapturous Manila crowd
  • LSS doesn’t just happen with hit songs.

    Advertising jingles have the same "Last Song Syndrome" effect. They drone on in our heads. We hum them, whistle them and sometimes flat-out sing them.

    Try this: “The closer I get to touching you / The closer I get to loving you / Give it a time / Just a little more time / We'll be together.”

    Or this: “You’re just a smile away / Just a smile away / A smile that blows a kiss into my heart.”

    Now try getting any of those tunes out of your head.

    Internet hit

    There is reason then for both songs to have become certified pop hits with Gino Padilla performing the former (“Closer You and I”) and Jaime Garchitorena the latter (“Just a Smile Away”).

    That tradition continues with Never the Strangers’ “Moving Closer.”

    ALSO READ: ‘Scrapmetal’ rockers win a holiday in Cambodia

    Initially heard in the summer of 2012, the track, which is the sophomore release off the band's debut album, has become a favorite especially by netizens. One YouTube post featuring the

    Read More »from Remember these classic jingles?
  • Reggae legend Jimmy Cliff is onstage… in Mindoro. The idea seems surreal but maybe not for Cliff himself.

    It has been said that Jamaica and the Philippines share similar climates and perhaps the legend feels like he never left home.

    He expresses how wonderful it is to be playing music in such a beautiful environment and emphasizes the need to protect nature.

    ALSO READ: It’s never about you: 5 rules for rock photographers

    I feel a slight discomfort knowing that the amphitheatre he is playing in was allegedly sculpted to provide supposedly good sonics and seating.

    Cliff and his band continue with their set that lasts nearly two hours… and the energy is nothing but positive.

    Stunning location

    Bamboo flute-making workshop. (Photo by Francis Brew)I can’t help but think about what one of the festival organizers said about future for the Malasimbo Festival: there are plans to sculpt out more areas as amphitheaters. Hopefully they’ll rethink it and just search for areas with good acoustics sculpted by nature herself.

    Optimistically, future

    Read More »from Festival review: Conflicted in Malasimbo
  • Matinee idol Coco Martin generated a kind of mass hysteria when he visited three schools in Manila last Thursday, March 7.

    He was actually a side attraction, if that term could ever apply to the actor, now a primetime TV star and sought-after endorser of products galore.

    ALSO READ: Coco’s message to Erich’s boyfriend

    In fact, he went on his university tour as guest and endorser of senatorial aspirant Sonny Angara (Team PNoy).

    Youth idol

    They school-hopped, first visiting Philippine Normal University (PNU), followed by Technological University of the Philippines (TUP) and then Philippine Women's University (PWU).

    At every stop, the scene was the same. Students would remain politely seated at first.

    VIEW COCO PHOTOS: The cast of ‘Juan de la Cruz’

    Then, the politician would announce, “Siya ay isang youth idol na naranasan ang hirap, nagsumikap, at nagtagumpay," before giving the floor to Coco.

    ‘Raket’ to help lola

    That was when students, especially girls, would erupt

    Read More »from Coco endorses politician for a measly trip to Boracay?
  • The photo pit is the music photographer’s workplace and gigs are generally what I’d call my office. It occupies that section between the audience and the stage.

    To many it’s a dream job to just be able to go to concerts and take photos of musicians, but it’s not called a job if there isn’t any hard work involved.

    With anyone now having access to advanced cameras, the photo pit has seemingly become smaller and smaller—making it more and more difficult to shoot.

    RELATED: The girl at the rock show

    I accepted these changes as a challenge for me to do whatever it takes to get the shot.

    Still, it shouldn’t be all that hard—if people in the pit were aware of the rules that govern that small space between the audience and the stage.

    Here are some I abide by.

    1. Give way to those who need it.

    Give way to the bouncers. Security is of utmost important in events. No one wants anyone injured, unless you want the event cancelled or the organizer sued and then there are no more events for you to

    Read More »from ‘It’s never about you’: 5 rules for rock photographers
  • Yeng Constantino is off to Singapore to receive a special citation from the Academy of Rock Singapore, a music school “dedicated to teaching rock and popular music.”

    Her moment is part of the Academy's event scheduled on Saturday, March 2, at the Star Performing Arts located within the city-state.

    She will be cited for her contribution to Original Pilipino Music.


    "Sobrang grateful po ako sa citation na ito. Excited na po ako pumunta d’un and play some songs," she told the press at a recent gathering at Insomnia Bar in Centris, Quezon City where she promoted her latest album “Metamorphosis.”

    RELATED: Yeng dreams of Asian success for OPM

    According to Yeng, AOR is based in Europe with a branch in Singapore and Manila. Yeng performed during the Manila launch of the academy last year.

    She is also performing at the academy’s charity rock event in Singapore, scheduled on the same day she receives her citation.

    Yeng's new album is produced by Sandwich frontman Raimund Marasigan. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Ramos)Called Rock With Heart—Up Where We Belong, the concert

    Read More »from Yeng to receive citation from Singapore Rock Academy


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