omg! Philippines News Blog
  • When I heard a British filmmaker had helmed a movie called “Metro Manila,” I was again elated that international cinema has recognized the country and its capital as a worthy topic once more.

    It was even more than just delving on the topic.

    Director Sean Ellis even dived into the abyss, revealing truths that devour its setting, taking the cudgels from cash-strapped local producers, who would rather look at Christmas time for a killing.

    It was definitely a noteworthy take on the woes that force a family from the hinterlands to find its fortunes in the bustling metropolis, where the members’ lives are changed forever.

    Indeed, “Metro Manila” so truthfully depicts the toils we all share and the struggles we fight each day, and the piece that became the toast of the British is now the United Kingdom’s official entry to the Foreign Language Film category in the 2014 Academy Awards. As such, even in Ellis’
    Read More »from An Englishman’s ‘Metro Manila’
  • Kim Jones and Jericho Rosales (From Jericho's Instagram)

    You could feel it when they entered the room.

    It was inexplicable. Both had that individual aura that most certainly draws attention like any other celebrity. But it is their oneness as a couple that made everyone in the room ignite with a thrill.

    In Sara Black's Makati studio, where we did a photo shoot for the events magazine Gala, only a few who were updated with the “latest chika” knew they were an item. But, with the way they looked and glanced at each other, even while both were doing completely separate things, just really gave them away to the uninitiated.

    Meant for each other

    That is, award-winning actor Jericho Rosales and fashion stylist-TV host Kim Jones were really “meant for each other.”

    True enough, only a few weeks after that shoot, Jericho popped the question to Kim in a church service. And now, their engagement, as Jericho noted, will lead to both walking down the aisle in the early half of next year.

    Read More »from The love that Jericho and Kim share
  • Ramon Bautista and Jinri Park (Contributed photo, NPPA Images)

    To some, seeing them together elicits a profound shock, sometimes a puzzled look and not a few warm cheers. But for many, the reaction is a hearty “wiggle.”

    Now, the “relationship” that has since flooded social media since a “confession” over a late-night talk show, has become as real as it gets.

    Or is it?

    Funnyman Ramon Bautista seemed to have snagged the biggest prize of his life, the heart of gorgeous and stunning DJ-actress Jinri Park. In the interview in Edu Manzano’s “What’s Up Doods” on TV5, Jinri admitted finding the comedian “attractive”, with a score of “8” on a scale of “1 to 10.”

    “Funny” and “smart”

    She said the Internet sensation and university professor has these irresistible qualities of being “funny” and “smart.”

    As the interview turned emotional in the end, everyone concluded that something was really going on, given that the girl had first “jumped the gun.”

    Calling each other “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” on
    Read More »from Don’t drop the ball, Ramon
  • Gretchen and Claudine Barretto (NPPA Images)

    Why does the Barretto family keep on hogging the headlines?

    What is it about them that keeps us glued to social media, entertainment sites and blogs just to keep close tabs on the latest about them?

    First of all, they’re celebrities. Who wouldn’t be interested in them?

    Yet, the passion for excising and extracting juicy items about this ever-controversial family has never ceased, even to the point of seeing five items on them in the top headlines of one popular entertainment news site.

    Ingredients of a primetime soap

    The answer lies not so much on how popular the protagonists or antagonists are, it is the way the drama unfolds—which somehow reminds us of a primetime soap.

    How one faction of siblings, led by one ST queen of old, rises against the other faction of family members, led by its patriarch and matriarch and the once-princess of primetime TV dramas.

    As the drama unfolds, the events turn out
    Read More »from Mere fanfare
  • Miguel Escueta is understandably excited.

    His band, The Morning Episodes, can now be heard in as many as 75 college radio stations across the United States.

    The Los Angeles, California-based indie label Sly Doggie Productions has released the Pinoy band’s album “Never Felt So Alive.” The group worked on it in the Philippines for a year before having it mixed and mastered in the States.

    ‘Laging sumusumtok sa buwan’

    "We're very thankful to have penetrated college US radio,” Escueta told Yahoo OMG in Pablo’s, a bar in The Fort which he co-owns. “Suntok lang talaga ito sa buwan pero lagi naman akong sumusuntok sa buwan."

    Miguel, who was a regular with GMA Network’s defunct Sunday variety show "Party Pilipinas," has previously released two full-length solo albums and a couple of EPs under MCA Music's local arm.

    Two years ago, Miguel attended a music conference in Los Angeles, where he met producer Christian "Davis" Stalnecker who liked the band's music. Stalnacker, who owns Sly Doggie,

    Read More »from Pinoy indie band The Morning Episodes gets US radio airplay

  • Eraserheads: so how do the vinyl toys stack up against the real thing? (Toy photo by Francis Brew; Eraserheads photo in MTV Singapore, 1998, courtesy of Day Cabuhat)

    Out comes the expected wisecrack from Buddy Zabala, bassist and once-and-forever Eraserhead as he holds a limited-edition vinyl figure of himself roughly 4 inches tall. Boxes of his and his bandmates' little likenesses adorn the facade of Secret Fresh in Ronac Art Center along Ortigas Avenue in Greenhills, ready for purchase and shipment.

    A few 'Heads fans hand Buddy and Raimund Marasigan their respective figures to be autographed. "We finally get to play with ourselves!"

    For a band whose influence remains unparalleled, it's about time.

    Two years in the making

    Say hello to my little Buddy. (Photo by Francis Brew) You too can play with an Eraserhead of your choice, thanks to BigBoy Cheng and his partners in Secret Fresh. A lifelong Eraserheads fan, Cheng said he wanted to make vinyl art toys of and for the band. The process took two years and included input from each band member.

    While Cheng intended to commemorate the 20th year of "Ultraelectromagneticpop" (the Eraserheads' first album which changed the local music scene and industry forever)

    Read More »from Take home an Eraserhead
  • Willie Revillame (NPPA Images)

    Everybody sees it as another setback for the always-controversial Willie Revillame.

    But Willie, the irrefutable comeback king in entertainment, sees it differently.

    After his announcement in May about his sabbatical from showbiz after TV5 decided not to renew his contract and scrap his noontime show, “Wowowillie,” Willie has seen it as an opportunity to try something new.

    Indicating that he would not simply leave his showbiz earnings in mere time deposits or other financial instruments, Willie has announced investment ventures in tourism and property development in Tagaytay City, where he resides. In his initial sole venture, Willie has indicated he will embark on a resort hotel project that will include a 40-room five-star hotel and individual villas, which can occupy 30 people with amenities, such as private pools, across the complex.

    Willie has also turned his $5-M private jet into a lucrative business enterprise, as he started renting out his aircraft to unnamed VIPs. This
    Read More »from What now, Willie?
  • This is a band of virtuosos who refuse to let it bleat.

    Amidst the clink and clatter of wine glasses and beer bottles and the chatter of customers winding down after work, there is genuine joy on the second floor of Strumm's.

    An ever-smiling and congenial mountain of a man is visibly proud as his band Kiss The Bride's second album "Subway" plays in the club's PA system.

    His name is Tony Razon and he looks more like a jolly gentleman bank manager than a David Benoit-influenced keyboardist and prolific composer. He is, in fact, a purser for the country's flagship airline for decades.

    File this next to Dave Grusin, not Kenny G

    Tony's calm banter bears out his experience and his tuneful compositions will not sound out-of-place on a good long flight.

    "Subway" is a fine collection of “contemporary instrumental jazz.”

    The second album Okay, maybe that's a less pejorative rewording of “smooth jazz” but, fortunately, Razon's compositions do show imagination and tunefulness in equal measure. The album will not be out-of-place in the GRP record label in its prime: file

    Read More »from Kiss the Bride goes beyond ‘smooth jazz’
  • You are set to fly to Singapore to see the biggest metal band in the world. Your head spins with all thoughts of Metallica. Then, a few days before the concert, you find out that Anvil is opening for them. Suddenly, your mind can’t take the idea of having two metal bands, each with their own level of fame, perform in one night.

    I braced myself for the double-header gig. “I would have flown just for Anvil if they passed by the region,” I said to myself. The perfection and irony of having both bands play one night surprised me on so many levels that I was trying not to wear myself out with excitement.

    Everyone knows who Metallica is. On my way back to Manila, an immigration officer asked me what brought me to Singapore. I told him I had just gone to see Metallica. The officer then held up my passport photo and said that I didn't look like a rocker.

    RELATED: 40,000 attend Metallica concert in Singapore

    But who is Anvil?

    The Toronto-based metal band has as main members Steve “Lips” Kudlow and

    Read More »from Metal on metal: Anvil joins Metallica in historic show
  • (UPDATE) It just happens again and again.

    And all who watch are just baffled.

    Here’s another sex video scandal, allegedly involving two celebrities, less than a month after the last leaked sex video.

    Hot search

    Comedian Wally Bayola is surely someone being hotly searched these days and it’s not because of his stage antics with Jose Manalo, but for something that seems to be a trend affecting show business nowadays.

    It’s about an alleged recorded tryst with a fellow talent from the top noontime program “Eat Bulaga!”, Yoshika “Yosh” Rivera, now circulating online. Yes, it’s another sex video scandal—something that doesn’t surprise anyone except of course that in this instance, it documents a possible act of extramarital sex.

    The big question on everyone’s mind is: why in the world record it?

    A criminal act?

    Hayden Kho said his sex videos were merely personal mementos of being a single
    Read More »from No laughing matter for Wally


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