Saturday, December 13, 2014

Attention JaDine Fans: James Reid Dating Kim Chiu Sister Wendolyn Chiu

Attention JaDine Fans: James Reid Dating Kim Chiu Sister Wendolyn Chiu

Yes, they might not be officially lovers, but who cares! We still love James Reid and Nadine Lustre's tandem despite the news that recently surfaced saying the hottie young actor dating Kim Chiu's sister Wendolyn.

According to an article posted at gossip blog, James and Wendolyn supposedly exchanging several text messages accompanied by the caption, unedited: “kilig much!!!! hahahaha

But in a recent interview, James stressed that he and Kim's sister are just friends.

Nothing romantic. We’ve met each other a couple of times outside. She’s a common friend with Andi [Eigenmann] but I haven’t seen her for the longest time. I’m just being friendly. I guess it was just a misunderstanding,” he said.

Asked if he is courting Wendolyn, James said: “No. I’m not dating anyone. Right now, no  I’m not ready to enter into a relationship. I’m so busy I don’t even have time for myself. Maybe next year.”

Darren Espanto Gives Justin Bieber a Run for His Money

Darren Espanto Gives Justin Bieber a Run for His Money

"The Voice Kids" runner-up Darren Espanto reprised his memorable performance in the grand finals of ABS-CBN singing competition as his first single.

Record label MCA Universal has released videos of the recording of the 13-year-old singer's fresh take on Justin Bieber's "Somebody to Love." 

Check out the music video below:

Toni Gonzaga Reveals Rift with John Lloyd Cruz

Toni Gonzaga Reveals Rift with John Lloyd Cruz

Toni Gonzaga’s character in “Home Sweetie Home” gets upset with her hubby Romeo (John Lloyd Cruz) during a couple’s game at Soo Manpower Agency’s Christmas party when Romeo couldn’t answer correctly “important questions” about their relationship. In the middle of the game, Julie (Toni Gonzaga) walks out of the party and goes home.

Can the couple make amends before Christmas day?


Don’t miss ‘Home Sweetie Home’ on ABS-CBN Channel 2, every Saturday at 6 p.m.
Catch up on full episodes and past episodes of “Home Sweetie Home” through ABS-CBNmobile. For more information, please go to

Robin Padilla Gives Away P1-M to Ultimate Talentadong Pinoy 2014 this Saturday

Robin Padilla Gives Away P1-M to Ultimate Talentadong Pinoy 2014 this Saturday

The seven Hall of Famers of Talentadong Pinoy 2014 will meet to outperform each other this Saturday, December 13, for the much-coveted “Ultimate Talentado 2014” title and the P1-million grand prize of TV5's longest-running talent competition.

The seven performances will pass through the scrutiny of seven expert talents scouts composed of Ms. Pilita Corrales, Cherie Gil, Gelli de Belen, Jasmine Curtis-Smith, Richard Gutierrez, Jaya and Charice.


Anyone who has seen this Cavite-based dance group perform will easily figure out why they’re called Tazmania to begin with. Their extreme dance moves does easily recall that Looney Tunes character, the Tazmanian Devil or simply Taz.

It’s this devil-may-care attitude on the dance floor that has also resulted in a recent injury to one of the members named Eric, who recently lost most of his teeth when he hit the floor in one of their performances.

The most remarkable thing about this 17-member group, whose youngest member is 12 and oldest is 30, is how they’re able to maintain their chemistry despite the entry of new members and the retirement of senior ones.


Born Lariza Jane Cabaltierra, this Quezon City native is a member of the Chameleon Dance Theater who has stopped her studies in order to dance full time and teach ballet to kids as a means of sending her younger sister to school.

A big fan of celebrity pole dancer Ciara Sotto, Miztiq started to pursue aerial dancing after she saw her colleagues doing these breathtaking stunts. Like Eric of Tazmania, Miztiq also accidentally hit her head on the floor during one of her rehearsals.

As traumatizing as that incident was, it only strengthened Miztiq’s resolve to win this competition. Making it a point to pray before performances, Miztiq is hoping the show’s talent scouts (judges) will also answer her prayers with a favorable verdict.


Born Neil Ray Garcia, this beatboxing artist from Davao City is very much aware that outside of Ultimate International Talentado Penny Salcedo, no singer or musical talent has ever won the Ultimate Talentado title.

Neil, who says his name is an acronym for “Never Exit in Life”, hopes to change that by hoping to deliver an extraordinary performance in the grand finals. He enhances his beatboxing prowess with fancy footwork and riveting choreography.

With no less than the King of Pop Michael Jackson as his musical hero, he believes he can be just as much as a showstopper without necessarily resorting to acrobatics or any other type of dangerous stunts.


If you ever make the mistake of telling Julius Oberon what he can’t do, he is likely to surprise you with all the things he can. Bound to a wheelchair, Julius is a living example that passion has no limits.
Together with his teammates from the National Team of Wheelchair Dance, Julius and his group have just won the silver medal in an international competition. For Julius, using one’s feet is not the only way to dance gracefully.

Small wonder he and his dance partner Rochelle Canoy have made it among Talentadong Pinoy’s Hall of Famers and are now in a position to become this year’s Ultimate Talentado.


Not everyone can play with fire. But if there’s any duo that knows how to spark excitement everywhere they perform, it’s the uncle and nephew team of Florendo and Joseph Mayo from Mindoro Oriental.

Originally a solo performer, Florendo has been doing poi dancing for the longest time and is regarded as one of the best fire dancers in Puerto Galera. He later found a protégé in Joseph who turned out to be a very fast learner.

Now performing as a duo, they are able to deliver awe-inspiring performances that are double the excitement and double the fun.


Originally a singer who fronted her high school band, Amaya Isabel Gonzalez later lost her interest in music when she discovered her love of traveling and food.

Helping out in the family’s food business came at the cost of gaining weight, however, so Amaya looked for a way to shed those unwanted pounds. That’s when she became fascinated with the art of pole dancing which not only helped her regain her lean and mean figure but also became her latest passion.

Expanding her repertoire to include her equally captivating aerial hoops routine, Amaya is a sight to behold as she suspends herself in mid-air while hanging on a large hula hoop.


Former members of a drum and lyre marching band, these boys joined a group whose original members had departed to form another dance team.

Specializing in flag-turning, the group’s dazzling performances have carried them up to this point. Still supported by the group’s former members, Escapade’s current dancers devote their weekends to practicing to ensure they’re always at their best with every performance.

What audiences should really watch out for is how these boys, whose look seems inspired by the Silver Surfer, will elevate their show to dazzling heights.

Find out whose act will join the league of previous Talentadong Pinoy Ultimate Talentados Yoyo Tricker, Joseph The Artist, Astroboy, Penny Salcedo, Sandugo Guardline and Spyro Marco.

Hosted by ultimate action star Robin Padilla, with co-hosts Mariel Rodriguez-Padilla and Tuesday Vargas, “Talentadong Pinoy 2014” Grand Finals Night airs Saturday, December 13, 7p.m. on TV5.

JM de Guzman Caught Kissing Neil Coleta

JM de Guzman Caught Kissing Neil Coleta

Two Kapamilya actors caught kissing!

On his Instagram account, director Don Cuaresma posted a collage of photos showing JM de Guzman and Neil Coleta kissing on the lips as part of their upcoming movie titled "Papa's Boy".

Joining JM and Neil in the movie are Edgar Allan Guzman, John "Sweet" Lapus and Benjie Paras.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Valerie Weigmann Wins Miss World 2014

Valerie Weigmann Wins Miss World 2014

Is she the next Miss World 2014? Could it be a back-to-back victory for the Philippines?

After Megan Young in 2013, Valerie Weigmann, the newly-crowned Miss World-Philippines and the country's representative to the ongoing Miss World 2014 in London, remains in the Top 10 of Miss World’s People’s Choice category.

Determined by votes through the Miss World application, available on iOS and Android, others that made it to the list are Australia, Barbados, Haiti, India, Nepal, Netherlands, South Africa, Tanzania and Thailand.

Weigmann, along with candidates from Brazil, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Bolivia, England, Netherlands and South Africa, also figured in the top 10 in the most impressive Beauty with a Purpose project category.

In her project, Weigmann teamed up with Pinoy band Climax, together with social responsibility group Musikaramay, conducting several street performances to raise funds for the Aetas of Mayantoc, Tarlac, particularly to help provide medicines and livelihood programs for the community.

The 64th edition of Miss World beauty pageant will be held on December 14 at ExCeL London. It will be hosted by the reigning Miss World titlist Megan Young, along with Welsh actor-TV presenter Tim Vincent and Mr. World Talent champion Frankie Cena.

Photos: ABS-CBN Star-Studded 2014 Christmas Special Airs on December 13 and 14

Photos: ABS-CBN Star-Studded 2014 Christmas Special Airs on December 13 and 14

ABS-CBN’s biggest and rising stars unite for a night as a treat to all Kapamilya this holiday season, proving that no typhoon could hinder ABS-CBN from giving happiness and world-class entertainment to Filipinos.

Although fun-filled and star-studded, the heart of the two-part special, which airs on Saturday (December 13) and Sunday (December 14) is the Filipino spirit’s resilience and strong faith in times of calamities.

There are times when sudden changes happen when we least expect them. But whatever the season, ABS-CBN will continue to make Filipinos experience the real essence of Christmas, which is the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ - our light amidst the darkness,” said ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III said during the ABS-CBN 2014 Christmas special titled “Kapamilya Magkapiling Tayo Ngayong Pasko.”

If nothing can stop a typhoon, then nothing can also stop us from being together,” remarked ABS-CBN president and CEO Charo Santos-Concio during her speech.

The show looks back on the devastation caused by ‘Yolanda’ and sheds light on stories of hope from victims who are now picking up the pieces to move on with their lives.

Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano also shares a meaningful message on how the Filipinos’ strong devotion is bigger than any typhoon and why Filipinos should be thankful that typhoon Ruby left minimal damage compared to Yolanda’s trail of destruction last year.


With a string of the country’s top entertainment artists, the ABS-CBN 2014 Christmas special features the network’s crème de la crème: Lea Salonga, Gary V, Sarah Geronimo, Charice, Martin Nievera, Lani Misalucha, Arnel Pineda, Bamboo, Zsa Zsa Padilla, and Piolo Pascual.

Anne Curtis, Toni Gonzaga, Kim Chiu, KC Concepcion, Shaina Magdayao, Vhong Navarro, and Jhong Hilario dance and sing to popular movie musicals ‘Chicago,’ ‘Moulin Rouge,’ ‘Burlesque,’ and ‘The Great Gatsby.’

Kapamilya favorites Kris Aquino, Judy Ann Santos, Vice Ganda, Boy Abunda, Angel Locsin, Bea Alonzo, Xian Lim, Luis Manzano, Gretchen Barretto, Dawn Zulueta, Richard Gomez, Jolina Magdangal, Marvin Agustin, Bianca Gonzalez, Robi Domingo, Alex Gonzaga, Nikki Gil, Vina Morales, Kim Atienza, Iza Calzado, Erich Gonzales, Kaye Abad, Yael Yuzon, Denise Laurel, Amy Perez and Roderick Paulate also grace the concert.

The hottest love teams featuring Teen King and Queen Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo, Nash Aguas and Alexa Ilacad, Nadine Lustre and James Reid, Janela Salvador and Marlo Mortel make hearts melt, while Kapamilya heartthrobs John Lloyd Cruz, Coco Martin, Enchong Dee, Zanjoe Marudo, Gerald Anderson, Sam Milby, Jake Cuenca, Richard Yap, Jericho Rosales, Joseph Marco, EJ Falcon, Matteo Guidicelli, JC De Vera, Jason Abalos, Deither Ocampo, Sam Concepcion, and Paolo Avelino thrills the crowd with their charm in a production number.

Star Magic talents Julia Barretto, Jesse Mendiola, Ella Cruz, Julia Montes, Rayver Cruz, Inigo Pascual, Gimme 5, former “PBB” stars, “LUV U” cast, and “Hawak Kamay” kids display their singing and dancing talents, while comedy stars Pokwang, Ryan Bang, Kitkat, Pooh, Chokoleit, John Lapus, Jason Gainza, Melai Cantiveros, and Jason Francisco deliver a surprising production number.

Meanwhile, Yeng Constantino, Erik Santos, Angeline Quinto, Mitoy Yonting, Richard Poon, Juris, Sitti, Kean Cipriano, KZ Tandingan, Morisette Amon, Klarisse De Guzman, Marcelito Pomoy, Rhap Salazar, and Marion Aunor serenade the audience with heartfelt Christmas songs. Also present during the occasion are Kapamilya newcomers Daniel Matsunaga and Isabelle Daza.

The ABS-CBN 2014 Christmas special also features timeless Christmas songs with the participation of Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, musical director Gerard Salonga together with the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, Jamie Rivera, and The Company.

The ABS-CBN Christmas special highlights its corporate social responsibility efforts through the years, spearheaded by Gina Lopez, chairman of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Inc. In honor of the foundation’s milestones, “The Voice Kids” Lyca Gairanod, Darren Espanto, Juan Karlos Labajo, and Darlene Vibares sang a beautiful number during the program.

The show also showcases a truly meaningful Pinoy Christmas experience as Kapamilya stars perform song numbers that put emphasis on the importance of family, hope, joy, and love this holiday season. To celebrate The Filipino Channel’s (TFC) 20th anniversary, the country’s best artists Lea Salonga, Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, and Charice perform a stunning production number.

“Kapamilya Magkapiling Tayo Ngayong Pasko” the ABS-CBN two-part Christmas special premieres on Saturday (December 13) and Sunday (December 14), 9:30PM on ABS-CBN Channel 2.

John Lloyd Cruz Leaves ABS-CBN's "Bridges", Kapamilya Contract Expires

John Lloyd Cruz Leaves ABS-CBN's "Bridges", Kapamilya Contract Expires 

Is John Lloyd Cruz set to leave the Kapamilya network?

After he reportedly backed out of upcoming ABS-CBN series "Bridges" which also stars Maja Salvador and Jericho Rosales, Lloydie revealed his ABS-CBN contract will soon expire prompting him to put his career plans on a halt.

According to Lloydie, one reason why he did not accept the project was because his contract was about to expire when the project was offered to him.

Medyo unfair sa akin how it all played out kasi parang ang lumabas, iniwan ko yung show. Sabi ko nga nung una, isa lang ako sa mga na-consider lang for the part. Hindi pa naman final 'yun. Sinasabi ko nga sa kanila na bago tayo mag-proceed sa kung ano mang bagay, after mai-pitch sa 'yo, after ng story con, ayaw ko mag-proceed kasi alam ko nga na mag-e-expire ako. Paano ko aayusin 'yung kontrata ko if I have a show na gagawin na magra-run for six months? It’s not going to make sense,” he said.

Ang nangyari, since inaayos nga namin 'yung kontrata ko, ang sabi ko sa management, ‘Baka po gusto niyong mag-consider ng iba for the part kasi ayaw ko naman silang paghintayin kasi parang hinihintay nila ako.’ Ayaw ko ng ganun. And added pressure din 'yun kasi 'yung decision mo napakaimportante and ayaw mo siya maging clouded because merong pending na show na hinihintay ka,” he further explained adding that it is not possible for him to leave a show which he has not accepted yet.

Unang una, hindi pa ako entirely committed doon para iwan. Pangalawa, hindi ko pa 'yun tinatanggap para masabing iniwan ko. Hindi pa ako talaga solid na part noon as much as si Maja and si Echo. So parang ako, paano ko iiwan 'yun kung hindi pa naman talaga ako diyan?” he said.

"Bridges" was first announced in August as a production of Star Creatives, the team behind the primetime hit "The Legal Wife," with Echo and Maja as lead stars. Both of them started filming for "Bridges" last September 12.

Kathryn Bernardo Decides to Leave Her Family

Kathryn Bernardo Decides to Leave Her Family

Kathryn Bernardo’s character is set to make a big decision for her future in the continuation of “Wansapanataym Presents Puppy Ko Si Papi” this Sunday (December 14).

As she starts to build a better relationship with her father, Iris’s (Kathryn) love for her Papi Douglas (Dominic Ochoa) will be tested once again now that her grandmother is giving her the opportunity to study abroad and have more freedom. Will Iris decide to follow her dreams and leave her father especially now that they still have to break the curse she gave him? In the end, what will Iris choose - her dream or her family? 

Also part of “Wansapanataym Presents Puppy ko si Papi” are Khalil Ramos, Marlann Flores, Chienna Filomena, Apollo Abraham, John Steven de Guzman, and John Lapus. It is written by Yam Tanangco Domingo and directed by Don Cuaresma. 

The original story book for Filipino kids “Wansapanataym” is under the production of Dreamscape Entertainment Television, the group that created top-rating TV masterpieces such as “Walang Hanggan,” “Ina, Kapatid, Anak,” “Juan dela Cruz,” and “Ikaw Lamang.” 

Don’t miss the continuation of Kathryn’s “Wansapanataym”special this Sunday, 6:45PM, after “Goin’ Bulilit” on ABS-CBN. For more updates, log on to or follow @abscbndotcom on Twitter. Viewers may also catch up on full episodes and past episodes of “Wansapanataym” through ABS-CBNmobile. 

For more information, please go to

ABS-CBN Wins Copyright and Trademark Infringement Case vs. Vonn Ryan Motomal from New Zealand

ABS-CBN Wins Copyright and Trademark Infringement Case vs. Vonn Ryan Motomal from New Zealand

ABS-CBN Corporation, ABS-CBN Film Productions, Inc. (Star Cinema) and ABS-CBN International ("ABS-CBN") received a judgment today for $25 million in the U.S. Federal Court in the Southern District of Florida against Vonn Ryan Motomal from New Zealand.  Motomal owned more than 90 pirate sites which were infringing the copyrights and trademarks of ABS-CBN’s popular TV shows and movies.  Under the terms of the judgment, Motomal’s pirate sites will all be transferred to ABS-CBN.

This is another example of our relentless campaign to enforce against all pirate sites wherever in the world the pirate is located.  This time we have found the pirate operating out of Auckland, New Zealand,” said Elisha Lawrence, ABS-CBN International’s Assistant Vice President of Global Anti-Piracy.

Among the many pirate sites Motomal owned were,,,, and  (Please see graphic for complete list).

This is another instance wherein ABS-CBN pursued a pirate, a content thief, and won,” said ABS-CBN Global COO Raffy Lopez. “We will continue to challenge anyone who will undermine the integrity of our copyrighted body of work to rightfully protect the talented creative teams that worked hard to produce them.”

Lawrence added: “We are continuing to receive reports that these pirate sites contain dangerous malware which cause substantial harm to people including identify theft of their financial information, phishing attacks where people receive emails from their banks asking for passwords and attacks on their email contacts.  Just investigating these sites caused our computers to become infected with numerous viruses.  We will not rest until every one of these pirate sites are down and the owners of these sites are held financially responsible and punished.

Above is the list of the 90 sites Von Ryan Motomal of New Zealand owned that infringed the copyrights and trademarks of ABS-CBN's movies and TV shows.  Under the terms of the judgment, Motomal’s pirate sites will all be transferred to ABS-CBN.  This latest win follows the $10M judgment against Jeffrey Ashby imposed by the U.S. Federal District Court in Oregon, the search and seizure of pirate DVDs and other items from the home of Mary Smith in Australia, the largest eBay seller of pirated ABS-CBN DVDs in the world and the recent $12M federal lawsuit filed against 18 pirate sites for alleged copyright and trademark infringement of ABS-CBN's content.

ABS-CBN has recently partnered with Crimestoppers. Please call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or text TIPLA plus your tip to 274637 if you have any information on a pirate site and you could be eligible for a reward if your information leads to the conviction of the pirates involved.

Kean Cipriano, Chanel Morales and Nicole Estrada Caught in the “Game of Love”

Kean Cipriano, Chanel Morales and Nicole Estrada Caught in the “Game of Love”

People say that love blossoms in the perfect time, within the perfect situation and for the perfect reason. But what will happen if four people all try their luck by playing the game of love all at the same time?

For the week of December 15, Wattpad Presents proudly brings the TV adaptation of aine_tan’s “Game of Love” which has almost 6 million Wattpad reads. Featuring Kean Cipriano, Chanel Morales, Nicole Estrada and Phytos Ramirez, this mini-series features the tale of four people trying their luck and eventually getting entangled in the game of love as they try to find their significant other. Find out how Jin (Chanel) and Gab (Kean) team up in order for Jin to win back Zeke (Phytos), her ex-boyfriend who broke up with her, while Gab tries to score a date with Mica (Nicole), his ultimate crush. Is love really a game that everyone has to play and win or is it something destined to happen?

Completing the cast of this kilig primetime mini-series are Marlon Mance, Val Victa, Sheila Marie Rodriguez and Ms. Almira Muhlach

Learn the moves and strikes on how you can perfectly score in this gamble called love on Wattpad Presents “Game of Love”, starting this Monday, December 15, 9pm, only on TV5.

ABS-CBN Chairman Eugenio Lopez III Recognized by Araw Values Awards for Promoting Good Filipino Values

ABS-CBN Chairman Eugenio Lopez III Recognized by Araw Values Awards for Promoting Good Filipino Values

ABS-CBN Chairman Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III was honored with the Tanglaw ng Araw award at the 9th Araw Values Awards for promoting good Filipino values alongside five more recognitions for the Kapamilya network.

ABS-CBN is really the recipient of this award.  Since the Araw Values Awards was conceived in 2000, we have been offering it our utmost support as we both know that our institutions’ respective mission and vision statements are aligned with promulgating the importance of Filipino values,” said Lopez in his acceptance speech during the awarding ceremony held in Dolphy Theater at the ABS-CBN compound in Manila recently.

For more than a decade now, ABS-CBN has been the home of the Araw Values Advertising Awards, and Lopez has been a firm believer of the award-giving body’s aim to promote good Filipino values.

ABS-CBN also received five awards this year: two Bronze and three Silver awards, four of which are under Advocacy Communications and one under Branded Communications.

ABS-CBN News’ TV Commercial “Tumayo Para sa Bayan” won both a Silver and a Bronze in the categories for Respect for Laws and Authority and Promotion of Self Discipline and Love of Country and Respect for National Customs, respectively, while the “Buong Puwersa, Buong Bayan” campaign earned a Bronze and “Agosto 21 Documentary: Salamin” bagged a Silver in the Commitment to Truth, Honesty and Integrity category.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN’s “Tulong Na, Tabang Na, Tayo Na,” a campaign launched just after the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda received the Silver award in the Love of Country and Respect for National Customs and Traditions category.

During the main event, ABS-CBN President and CEO Charo Santos-Concio shared in her opening remarks that she is very proud to be part of a community where competitors unite for worthy causes.

There are so many things to be done, so many more children to feed, more rivers to clean, more calamity-stricken areas to rebuild, more sick people to heal, more families to strengthen, and more corruption to expose and eliminate.  May God always guide us to use the gift of creativity and the power of media that He has entrusted us,” she added.

Gracing the night with beautiful performances were Tres Marias, Jovit Baldivino, Itchyworms, Radioactive Sago Project, Jett Pangan, Raymund Marasigan, Maxene Magalona, Boboy Garovillo, Chacha Cañete, Darlene Vibares of “The Voice Kids”, Erik Santos, Maris Racal of “Pinoy Big Brother All-In”, Nicole Asencio, Quest, Bassilyo with Crazymix, and KZ Tandingan. The event was hosted by Xian Lim and Iza Calzado.

The Araw Values Advertising Awards stands uniquely among the other recognition-giving bodies as it gives importance to the values that an ad campaign communicates, particularly the seven Araw Cornerstone Values.

Smart Infinity Subscribers First to Get Glimpse of "Chicago: The Musical" at The Theatre, Solaire

Smart Infinity Subscribers First to Get Glimpse of "Chicago: The Musical" at The Theatre, Solaire

It only took four masterful hours for 14 Filipino musicians to get “All That Jazz” together and come out sounding like a well-acclaimed “Chicago” stage orchestra, at the Theatre – Solaire.

A four-hour rehearsal, yeah, that’s all we were allowed. I knew from the very beginning [that we’re well covered with the Filipino talents we found] as soon as we played the overture. We met for four hours together on Tuesday (December 2) and that was it! We did the dress rehearsal the following day and the opening that night (December 3). So they came a long way in two days, pulling this show together,” said Robert Billig, the musical’s conductor who joined “Chicago” three months into its original run in 1975.

Billig performed with 14 Filipino musicians he selected from 25 submitted video auditions prior to “Chicago’s” Manila debut. Unlike other musicals, “Chicago” weaves its band into the story and Billig gets to be part of the performance alongside its touring cast led by Terra MacLeod (Velma Kelly) and Bianca Marroquin (Roxie Hart) who have performed for Manila media and members of Smart Infinity since the start of the musical’s Manila run last December 3.

Billig was sure he would find the kind of musicians he was looking for in the Philippines. It took only a few notes for him to get this affirmation during the one and only rehearsal the band had before show time. “Our associate general manager from the show who is from New York was there and she was standing in the back of the room when we started orchestra rehearsal. So when we started playing, I looked at her and she looked at me and we knew! Sounds like Chicago! Yes! It truly sounds like the He added, “This is what the show is supposed to sound like. I was very pleased that they did their homework. You know they did their preparation. We sent them music in advance; we sent them CDs of the show so that they know what Chicago sounds like and everybody rose to the occasion. So on that day, when we have only that four hours, it was just me guiding them and working on the little details.”

The theater veteran said he knew he was in good company even before he searched for musicians in Manila because he worked with Lea Salonga and the Broadway cast of “Miss Saigon.” “I had a sense
[that Filipinos are good musicians] because I know that there is a strong tradition of musical theater here. I’ve worked with Lea Salonga. I did ‘Miss Saigon’ with her on Broadway so I know her background that she worked with some of the best musicians here. I mean a lot of my friends now from all of the different companies of ‘Saigon’ are Filipinos. I knew I was in good hands. I knew we would find great Among the Filipino musicians jazzing it all up on stage are Lester Dematillo (banjo, mandolin) and Jayson Rivera (ukulele, woodwind). Dematillo said it wasn’t easy at all rushing into rehearsals. “For us it was really hard. Last time, I also performed with the Manila staging of ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and ‘Wicked’ and we did at least 10 rehearsals to tackle everything. So for this one, you can just imagine because it’s just one big rehearsal and only for four hours. Also I play classical music most of the time. This is my first time to play more modern, jazz type of music.”

Worth the Rush
It was however worth all the trouble because the band and the All-American cast have been earning standing ovations in almost every performance from the audience, some of whom are Smart Infinity members who are able to watch “Chicago” because of complimentary VIP tickets, discounts and privileges received through Smart Infinity, co-presenter of “Chicago” alongside Visa.

Billig said the standing ovations are “great because it’s hard to know during the running of the show how the audience is reacting and we don’t get a lot of sound on stage and I’m facing the band so I can’t see what goes on behind me but when we finally played the exit music and all the people are still there and you can feel the energy.

Rivera gauges audience reaction through “the clap after every number, because it more or less provides a ‘thermometer’ that tells us if it’s going well.


For Infinity subscribers who watched the show, it was nothing short of a year-end highlight. One Infinity subscriber, Hector Fajardo raved over the “Chicago” treat. He won the tickets through Infinity Rewards and was able to give them to his daughter, Christian Lauren Strasser Fajardo. The younger Fajardo said, “It was a privilege being able to watch the show as an Infinity VIP. Having no line [to wait in], a lounge for waiting, freebies and food! The staff was very much accommodating as well. And yes, ‘Chicago’ was as good as I expected it to be. Actually, it was even better than my expectations.

Just like the successful local runs of other world-class stage spectacles like ‘Cats,’ ‘Mamma Mia,’ ‘The Phantom of the Opera,’ and ‘Wicked,’ bringing ‘Chicago’ to the Philippines is again a very special treat for our subscribers,” said Julie Carceller, Department Head of the Smart Infinity Business Group at “The ongoing run of ‘Chicago’ is part of the realization of the premium mobile lifestyle that complements the experience our members get from Smart Infinity. The experience of seeing the longest-running Broadway musical in Manila is really a big takeaway for our members,” said James Chi, marketing manager at Smart Infinity.


For details the “Chicago” run, visit and

Smart Infinity is also the first to launch iPhone 6 and iPhone6 plus last November 14. New Infinity subscribers have the option to get the iPhone 6 (64GB) or the iPhone 6 Plus (16GB) with an additional P5,000 worth of GCs or bill rebates compliments of Smart Infinity starting on their fully consumable Prestige Plan 5000. On the brand’s fully consumable Premium Plan 8000, new subscribers can choose to receive two 16GB units of the iPhone 6, or an iPhone 6 16GB plus a MacBook Air. New sign-ups at P3500 per month, or the Aspire Plan come with a 16GB iPhone 6.

Eat-All-You Can Pizza for Free at Tuscano Italian Kitchen

Eat-All-You Can Pizza for Free at Tuscano Italian Kitchen

Forget about diet. It's the time of the year to be merry and full...for FREE!
Experience an unlimited serving of Tuscano Italian Kitchen’s famous Italian Wood Oven Pizza by joining the Merry Merry Unli-Pizza Facebook contest.

Here are the simple mechanics:

1. Post the image above on your Facebook timeline.
2. Add a caption telling us why you want to win a “Merry Merry Unli-Pizza” with the hash tag #TuscanoUnliPizza.
3. Tag at least 5 friends that you want to share the Tuscano experience with.
4. Tuscano Pizza will choose 1 winner of Unli-Pizza from this blog and 9 other winners from 9 other participating blogs.
5. Deadline for this promo is December 20, 2014 so post your entry now!

For more info about Tuscano Pizza, like and visit their Facebook page:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Join the Audition and Be the Next Philippines' Streetdance Sensation

Join the Audition and Be the Next Philippines' Streetdance Sensation

TV5 is offering yet another reality-dance competition that will surely elevate Pinoy talent in the world map.
Do you have what it takes to become the next big thing in Streetdancing? 

Will your moves make you a million peso richer?

Are you the next big thing?

TV5 invites the country’s hippest dance crews to show their best moves and dance their heart out in an audition for an upcoming Streetdance competition that will soon hit Philippine primetime TV.

If your dance crew is composed of 5-10 members, aged 12-35 years old, prepare your 1 ½ minute dance performance and head to TV5 Novaliches this Saturday (December 13). Auditions will run from 10AM to 4PM. Members are required to bring their birth certificates or valid IDs with birth dates to prove their age.

Don’t miss this chance of a lifetime! The next big Streetdance competition will air soon on TV5.

What to Expect in Julie Anne San Jose's "Hologram" Concert at MOA Arena on December 13

Finally, a major concert for Asia's Pop Sweetheart Julie Anne San Jose!

This Saturday, December 13, the  Kapuso multi-platinum recording star is holding her first major concert in a venue only big names in the local and foreign music industry set foot on and staged a highly successful sold-out concerts in the past.

Dubbed as Hologram, Julie Anne is set to bring the house down with her powerful vocals, electrifying dance moves and undeniable talent in playing various musical instruments simultaneously using the hologram technology highlighted by an extravagant display of visual effects that will surely elevate the Philippine concert experience.

Q&A with Julie Anne San Jose: 

1. What can we expect from your concert that you have not done before?
- A Fiercer Julie anne! Maraming pasabog na mangyayari.

2. Who from other networks do you want to collaborate with? Why?
- Gary V and Lea Salonga. Ever since, I have always admired them.  Although i get to see them during events, di ko pa po talaga sila nakakaduet.  Having a duet with them would be such a great honor.

3. Will you be singing love themes in the concert? What song will describe the status of your love life now?
- Yes of course. Dear no one by Tori Kelly.

4. Where will you take us with your music in the future? What should we look forward to from you in 2015?
- Probably urban vibe, or perhaps I can also do R&B

5. What has been your most significant achievement as an artist?
- Nung nag diamond status po ung first debut album ko. At the same time, am really looking forward to my upcoming concert. Sana maging successful talaga.

6. May personal request po ba mga fans ni Julie na kakantahin niya sa concert?
- Marami po.

7. Anong song yung mag dedescribe ng Christmas niya ngayon?
- Give love on Christmas day :)

8. What special preparations has she made now that she will be doing a concert in a huge venue like the Arena?
- Voice and dance lessons. I'm not on a diet, baka manghina po ako, I burn what I eat so there's no need for that. Of course, I also condition myself, para maging malakas ung resistensya.

9. Who thought of the concept Hologram?
- My producer, Robby Taroza.

10. Which ideas has she pitched in for the production?
- I'm pretty much hands on sa lahat ng bagay na mangyayari sa concert. Songs, guests, music team, dancers, and everything else.

11. A lot of local artists have done concerts in the Arena, how different is hers?
- Doing a Hologram concert.
12. If she will be given the chance to do a concert with an international act as a guest, who would it be?
- Chris brown, Beyonce. And a lot more.

13. Besides your guests, are you going to have a surprise guest and will there be a surprise number for the fans to have something to be more excited for?
- Wala pong surprise guest. Unless ako ung masurprise haha.

14. What are your expectations for your concert, HOLOGRAM?
- I hope everything falls into place, and ma-pull off. I just really want everyone to enjoy the show that we have been working hard on.

15. How are you going to celebrate Christmas and what is your Christmas wish?
- Planning to have another charity event, which happens every year naman po.  My Christmas wish is, peace.

16. Who generated the "Hologram" concept?
- Robby Taroza, my producer.

17. Will the concert really be using the "Hologram" technology?
Yes. Of course!

18. Why MOA Arena, is she confident enough to expect for a sold out concert?
- No, i'm not expecting anything. I'm just hoping it turns out great, and this show is for my supporters and everyone else.

19. What did you feel after learning that Regina Velasquez and Kyla can't make it to your concert?
- Sayang po talaga.. May conflict po kasi sa schedules. We're really in good terms and in fact, they support the concert pa rin po in their own way. There's always next time. :)

20. What is the song that you're most excited to sing at your concert and why?
- My own songs! They're special to me, because these are really my own compositions.

21. In the music video for "Dedma," netizens noticed that you have a screen chemistry with Abra. Are you friends in real life? IF GMA will form a Julie-Anne-Abra loveteam, are you willing to do so or would you prefer someone else?
- Yes we're friends. We see each other occasionally, and sa work lang talaga. Ako naman, whoever comes along, there's no problem with that.  I'll be more than willing to work with other people too.

Joining Julie Anne are some of the country's best male performers: Asia's Romantic Balladeer Christian Bautista, Youtube sensation Abra, Kapamilya star Sam Concepcion, and other surprise guests that will make the night even more memorable.

Hologram is produced by Tarroza Entertainment Productions

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

After Manila and Cebu, Radyo5's Taxi Squad Brings Public-Service-On-Wheels to Davao

After Manila and Cebu, Radyo5's Taxi Squad Brings Public-Service-On-Wheels to Davao

Picking up the pace from the unprecedented success of its membership recruitment and renewal activities in Metro Manila and Cebu, Radyo5 “Taxi Squad” steered its way this time to Davao, heeding the call of over a hundred-strong Davaoeños who had long wanted to be part of this trailblazing public service campaign that is already winning recognition and accolades from prestigious award giving bodies. 

The much-anticipated “Nasa Tama” workshop, which was held in the garages of Davao’s biggest car companies, kicked-off with a seminar on traffic rules and regulations, back-to-back with a discussion on grooming conducted by the LTO. This was then followed by a helpful crash course on proper news reporting led by News5 Reporter Paolo Anota. A PhilHealth helpdesk was likewise included to assist the “Taxi Squad” members in attendance, all of whom were very delighted as well with the free meals, massages, medical check-ups, and loads of freebies that they took home from generous partners and sponsors.

Similar to its aforementioned nationwide runs, the “Nasa Tama” workshop ultimately aimed to further strengthen the “Taxi Squad” Davao community as a more credible news force. On top of this, the exclusive event also focused on enhancing the intrinsic values expected of these “Taxi Squad” members.

But more than just growing the entire Radyo5 “Taxi Squad” force by number, the even more remarkable story is how the “Taxi Squad” Davao community took it upon themselves to take their already significant role in society to even greater heights. Since its launch in the ‘Crown Jewel of Mindanao’ in December 2012, the Radyo5 “Taxi Squad” Davao community has undeniably become an effective and strategic partner of TV5 in delivering exceptional standards of public service to the Davaoeños - ultimately going above and beyond their role as TV5’s extra ‘eyes’ and ‘ears’.  

On top of being citizen-journalists-on-wheels, the “Taxi Squad” members have also proactively taken to heart their roles as front liners of the local city government and the local tourism industry.  From being true to their pledge of honesty by immediately returning items that were left behind by their passengers, to being vigilant motorists, these particular “Taxi Squad” members have inevitably made an impact in promoting the positive image of Davao.  

Indeed, Radyo5 “Taxi Squad” has embraced public service and has truly impacted the society in more ways than one. As TV5 Davao Station Manager Tayna Miclat puts it, “It was during the very first investiture of 'Taxi Squad' members in Davao back in 2012 where we emphasized their importance as the front liners of the local city government and the local tourism industry. As citizen journalists, their role also calls for honesty and trustworthiness, so the riding public would feel more secure and their news reports more believable.” 

With the growing number of “Taxi Squad” members and their undeniably significant role in delivering news,  Miclat also shares the future plans for the program, “The ‘Taxi Squad’ will soon have a regular news segment in Radyo5 101.9 NewsFM.  We have lined up a series of training aimed at furthering their role as ambassadors of local tourism. We also intend to train them on how to act as immediate responders in times of disasters — such as floods, fires, earthquakes, among others.”

Radyo5 “Taxi Squad” event was made possible through the generous support of Talk ‘N Text.  Generous local sponsors like Julie’s Bakeshop, KBA Ad Promo, International Pharmaceutical Inc. (IPI), University of Mindanao- Psychology Department, Davao Doctors Hospital- Nursing Department, and The Big House likewise supported the event. 

For any questions and inquiries about Radyo5’ “Taxi Squad”, please contact the hotline +63909 411 1180.




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