omg! Philippines News Blog
  • Guitar duels are the quick ticket to music credibility. Jam with your heroes and test your skills! Or learn a a thing or two from the masters. As Pat Metheny once said, “Always try to be the worst player in every band you are in.”

    Guitar duels have been romanticized in the movie “Crossroads,” where “Karate Kid” star Ralph Macchio beat legend Steve Vai in a solo.

    Last July 3, I attended a dueling guitars gig called Mas Mayabang Ako (or simply, MMA) at SaGuijo. It was organized by Barangay Tibay, with selected guitarists invited to jam with each other and show off their skills.

    READ: Linkin Park vocalist on the Manila concert and joining Stone Temple Pilots

    Pair offs

    This was no ordinary show, as the event not only had the most blistering guitarists in the country, it also made sure the pairings were unusual.

    Francis Brew Reyes of Peso Movement faced off with Jeriko Aguilar, Ka Freddie Aguilar’s son.

    Jeriko Aguiar and Francis Brew mirrored the other.

    Former Rivermaya colleagues Kakoi Legaspi and Mike Elgar dueled with the Razorback boys Tirso

    Read More »from Pinoy rock gods face off in a night of dueling guitars
  • “No I haven’t dealt with Scott. But when I was a kid, STP was one of my favorite bands in the world and…Hold on, my friend is asking me a question, hold on real quick.”

    The hyperactive voice fades for a moment and then a child’s voice takes over.

    He returns to our phone interview chuckling. “Kids are real cool because they don’t give a sh*t what you’re doing you know? They don’t care that I’m doing an interview with whoever, they just come in and go (imitates kid’s excited tone), ‘Can I go to my friend’s house??’”

    Chester Bennington: multi-platinum vocalist of Linkin Park (and now also of Stone Temple Pilots) is powerless over his children—last count: 6, including one he adopted.

    READ: New venue built for Metallica’s concert in Singapore

    Johnny-come-lately of ‘nu metal’

    Briefly marginalized as Johnny-come-lately’s of the “nu metal” scene more than a decade ago, Linkin Park started out as the most commercially successful of the ilk: their debut album “Hybrid Theory” has sold 24 million

    Read More »from ONLY ON OMG! Linkin Park vocalist on Manila concert and joining Stone Temple Pilots
  • When a band has been together for 32 years and gained a massive following, how big should an indoor venue be to stage their concert?

    This appeared to be the dilemma LAMC Productions faced when they thought of flying in Metallica for a concert in Singapore.

    None of the venues could accommodate the crush of fans expected to show up to a Metallica concert, scheduled on August 24th in Singapore.

    READ AND CHECK OUT PHOTOS: Private moments captured: hiphop and rock stars bond with kids, family

    If you build it…

    So, said Ross Knudson, co-owner of LAMC Productions, “We had to make a new one.”

    The band will christen the new 30,000 capacity Changi Exhibition Centre in Singapore in what promoters are calling the concert of the year.

    And for me, it may well be.

    READ: Through thick and thin: the confessions of a Rivermaya loyalist

    Epic show in Manila

    When Metallica played Manila in April 1993, I was too young to go. But I remember how disappointed I was as my elder sister and her friends went to the show. I

    Read More »from New venue built for Metallica’s upcoming concert in Singapore
  • It was a typical Sunday afternoon family barbecue with kids running around and friends catching up.

    It was as normal a scene as could be except for one thing: the family consisted of members of the hardest rocking bands in the country laughing with their significant others, taking photographs of their kids and swapping stories about how they grow up so fast.

    You wouldn’t have guessed that these guys are capable of whipping up a sweatstorm of jampacked, writhing bodies in venues big and small. Everyone today seems so tame and happy with such simple joys as being with family.

    READ: Through thick and thin: the confessions of a Rivermaya loyalist

    Biyaya ng supling

    Loonie letting his son wear his shades. (Photo by Niña Sandejas)The gathering also marked another thing: the video shoot of Greyhoundz and Loonie’s new song “Ang Bagong Ako” featuring Biboy Garcia of Queso, directed by Enzo Marcos.

    Friends from contemporaries like Queso and Slapshock were there at the party including those from Stickfiggas and the rest of the hiphop community. Gabby Alipe of

    Read More »from Private moments captured: hiphop and rock stars are family guys
  • Laura Fygi: versatileInternationally acclaimed Dutch singer Laura Fygi has developed such a liking for her Asian fans, her latest album contains Chinese language songs.

    Now that she is in the Philippines for a couple of performances, Laura herself mentioned the possibility of recording songs with Filipino lyrics.

    "If there is a Philippine company willing to make that happen, who knows you'll be able to hear me sing in Filipino," said the veteran solo artist who began her career as member of the very popular girl group in the Netherlands called Centerfold.

    Performing at top hotel

    Fygi is scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. tonight (June 24) at the ballroom of the Fairmont Raffles Hotel in Makati Avenue.

    Called A Magical Night with Laura Fygi, the concert featuring as guests Filipino singers Jacqui Magno, Jeannie Tiongco, and Richard Merk.

    This is not the first Manila visit of the jazz singer. She was in Manila 18 years ago—an experience she describes as "lovely with a lot of temperament."

    She observed how Filipinos

    Read More »from Dutch jazz vocalist also sings in French, Chinese and soon, Filipino?
  • It is the official launch of the Fujifilm Instax instant camera line in C3 Events Place in Greenhills and the cutesy theme nearly gives me a toothache. The place is decked out with candy colors and balloons. You expect a more formal product launch perhaps, and suddenly feel like the odd godfather in a baptismal party…

    Retreat to the display shelf.

    Instant cameras were fascinating, if a bit clunky looking, back in the day. They allowed you take a picture and almost immediately, the cameras printed out your shot.

    READ: Through thick and thin: The confessions of a Rivermaya loyalist

    Candy colors

    The new instant cameras come in 5 colors. (Photo by Francis Brew)The new Fujifilm Instax cams have improved on the old, hand torture-looking devices. The new instant cameras are light and come in blue, white, yellow, pink and black. (Ahhhh, that explains the theme of the launch party.)

    Peruse the black one. You don’t really have a color hated or favored but you have a strong feeling pink won’t sit well on days when your facial hair is unkempt.

    The Polaroid company

    Read More »from The throwback thrill of the instant photo print
  • I love Rivermaya.

    Before I became a music photographer, I once worked as a fashion stylist for Rivermaya when the band was just on the verge of breaking through the Asian music scene. It was the time when Rico Blanco fully owned being the frontman for the band alongside Mike Elgar, Mark Escueta and Japs Sergio.

    It was a memorable time because I was a mere freshman in fashion school and barely knew anything. But then there I was, assigned to work with the hottest band in the country. For such a great band to trust an unknown was something I credit to being in the right place at the right time.

    ALSO READ: Why biggish OPM stars are signed to this smallish indie label

    ‘I owe them my career’

    Thanks to Rivermaya, I met more of the bands I would later cover when I went into music photography. I owe them my career.

    When Rico Blanco left, I felt pretty much the same way everyone else did. The fact that he was the frontman (after Bamboo left) and the band’s chief songwriter fed into the uncertainty

    Read More »from Through thick and thin: The confessions of a Rivermaya loyalist
  • Let’s admit it, falling in love is one of the best feelings in the world. No matter how much as you try to explain it, no words can quantify the feeling of being kilig. From exchanging messages, to going on dates and holding hands, to the peak of exchanging “I love you’s”—everything just seems to be on cloud 9.

    Sometimes, though, good things have to come to an end. Yes, we all have a tendency to be tanga in love especially when our emotions declare marital law and take total control of our brains.

    We do things we never thought we could and, in extreme cases, people enter what I’d like to call “Martyr Mode”—that condition when you know things aren’t working anymore but you’re too stubborn to get out of it.

    ALSO FROM SAM YG: Avoid the ‘Kilig Ninja’ and other tips to ‘sun block’ your heart

    So what are the signs that it’s time to move on?

    Here are a few things I’ve observed:

    1.  It’s been a year since the breakup but you still stalk his/her Facebook profile page. You can’t move on if you

    Read More »from The SAM YG Exposé: Top 6 signs that tell you it's time to move on
  • Daiana Menezes (NPPA Images)

    I met and interviewed Daiana Menezes two years ago for a cover story in the Sunday Inquirer Magazine.

    What I liked about her was her bubbly, extroverted self; it made me feel like I wasn’t a stranger during that first meeting. She even asked how I was, as I traveled all the way from Taguig to see her in Quezon City.

    But what really struck me was how quickly she picked up Filipino, from the time she arrived in the Philippines from Brazil for a modeling stint to becoming part of the host “dabarkads” of “Eat Bulaga!”

    A love affair with PH and our people

    She said being fluent so fast in the local language spoke of her love affair with the country and its people, and how she even thought of getting married to a Filipino and settle in the Philippines for good. While she kept mum about her travails and her relationships then, the happiness in her face was all too infectious and wiped out my own concerns for the day.

    Reading her recent posts on
    Read More »from A different Daiana
  • Vice Ganda (NPPA Images)

    Vice Ganda’s popularity has spawned a culture of ridicule, and not the kind of comedy we love to watch and hear.

    His brand of comedy shows just how low we are willing to go with the cheap punch line that is meant to demean and embarrass.

    He owes his success to us.

    Is cruelty the norm in entertainment?

    We laughed hard and cheered him on when he poked fun at a disability or magnified an imperfection.

    His “victims” even laughed along, too scared (or confused) to show offense lest he or she be labeled pikon, a bad sport.

    Vice Ganda has made cruelty the accepted norm of entertainment nowadays.

    Fat jokes are common. Rape, perhaps less so, but certainly not off limits.


    And, when the opportunity came to combine the two in his recent sold-out concert at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, Vice was in his element.

    It proved to be combustible. But not in the way Vice meant it to be.

    He didn’t count on the firestorm
    Read More »from What made Vice do it?


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