Category Archives: Entertainment

Rizal Monument at Rizal Park

Twenty Things I Love About Manila

A portion of this article was published in The Manila Bulletin as part of a larger list of things people love about Manila. You can view the edited version here

When I was first asked to write about the things I love about Manila, I was a little apprehensive. I love this city, there’s no doubt about that, but it isn’t because of any one thing (or any twenty things for that matter). If Manila was a person, it would be a 100 year old veteran of several wars, a romantic, cultured but slightly off kilter, and broke. It would have a ton of character, would be a little seedy, would probably refuse to take a bath every day, and might stab you at the slightest provocation. But it would also be very charming and lovable, if you knew where to look.

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John Lloyd Cruz smiling

Five Ways John Lloyd Cruz Betrayed Filipino Men Everywhere

Here’s the thing: we love John Lloyd Cruz. He seems like a smart, funny, down-to-earth fellow who gives the average Pinoy man hope. And how could he not? He’s the boy-next-door who doesn’t have typical movie star good looks but who, beyond everyone’s expectations, still became a movie star. He became the poster boy for every slightly handsome, kind of pudgy, doe-eyed Filipino male who believes that, despite all the odds, they can still have it all and get the pretty girl in the end.

Which is why it is a bit alarming to see signs which show that John Lloyd Cruz, the Everyman, is starting to change. It was subtle at first, but the writing on the wall is becoming more and more apparent, and it is clear now that John Lloyd Cruz has in fact, started to denounce us all. In this article, we will give you at least five ways John Lloyd Cruz has betrayed all our hopes and dreams.

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Dreams Get Real: The Search For The Next OPM Star

My friend Chris Cahilig is on a mission to discover the next OPM star, and he’s not very shy about it.

“The problem with a lot of Filipinos”, he says, “is that we automatically assume that OPM, or at least the type that gets the most airplay and which our poorer countrymen enjoy, are inferior compared to its foreign counterparts, which I believe isn’t true.”

“OPM is a victim of bad marketing really, and I think it’s just a matter of pushing the idea that Filipino pop has a place and a role to play in our music industry, and it is neither superior nor inferior to foreign pop acts. It should be judged based on its own merit, and on its own strength.”

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Piolo Pacual and Toni Gonzaga

Lessons In Love From Star Cinema’s “Starting Over Again”

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably watched, or at least heard about, Star Cinema’s newest rom-com offering, Starting Over Again. The film solidifies Piolo Pascual’s  reputation as a leading man (notwithstanding persistent rumors on his sexuality) and Toni Gonzaga’s ability as the go-to funny girl of local cinema (her comedic timing is impeccable).

Iza Calzado as Patty is also notable, especially in that final confrontation between her character Patty and Toni’s character Ginny. Director Olivia Lamasan must be given credit for exercising restraint. The confrontation could have been a cliché-ridden, bombastic affair, but Lamasan understood that a quiet (and awkward and funny) conversation can deliver a more powerful emotional hit than a ton of screaming and hair-pulling.

If you haven’t yet, you really should watch it. It’s light stuff, and doesn’t exactly push artistic boundaries, but for a rom-com, it’s remarkably well-made. And, if you watch closely enough, you’ll realize how smartly the movie understood the process of falling in love. In this article, we’ll talk about lessons in love and romance you will pick up from the movie.

(Warning. Spoilers ahead.) 

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