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October 2012 / Fortnightly

Volume 3 - Number 19


Photo shows Fr. Charles Jayme of the Archdiocese of Cebu with the official statue of Blessed Pedro Calungsod, the soon-to-be second Filipino saint. The statue will be flown to the Vatican with Fr. Jayme for the Visayan martyr’s canonization on October 21. (Photo By: Sammy Navaja/Lungsoranon)

Calungsod image flown to Vatican as ‘passenger’ Andrei Medina/DVM, GMA News THE image of the Blessed Pedro Calungsod was taken aboard a plane on October 16, en route to Vatican City in Rome. Calungsod is to be canonized on October 21. However, the image was flown, not as cargo, but as a “passenger” according to a report from Allan Domingo of GMA Cebu for GMA 7

newscast “24-Oras.” The image first resided at the Archbishop’s residence and was transferred on October 14 to the shrine in Cebu. From there, the image was transferred to the Metropolitan Cathedral where the image was paraded in a motorcade at 4 a.m. to the airport. The plane took off for the Vatican at 12 noon. According to Henrietta de Villa,

secretary general of the national commission of the canonization of the Blessed Pedro Calungsod, two copies of the image were to be brought to Rome, Italy. One of these images will be returning to the Philippines and one will be offered to the Pope as a gift. The image had been approved by Cebu Archbishop Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal as the official image of the Blessed Pedro Calungsod. They

will be what Christian devotees will be praying to after Pope Benedict the XVI canonizes Calungsod.

Missionary catechist On October 21, the Blessed Pedro Calungsod will be canonized by the Pope, making him the second Philippine saint. St. Lorenzo Ruiz is the first Filipino saint. Calungsod was a young missionary catechist who was

persecuted in Guam in 1672. He along with the Blessed Diego Luis de San Vitores had been teaching the Catholic Faith to native Chamorros and had converted a significant number. However, their activities angered natives who retaliated violently. They were ultimately martyred. Calungsod was beatified by the late and Blessed Pope John Paul II on March 5, 2000.

■ (GMA News – October 16, 2012)



Economy / Politics

October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

Philippine Finance Secretary tells Washington Confab: Sick Man of Asia on road to recovery FINANCE Secretary Cesar V. Purisima outlined the steps the Philippine Government took to make the country one of the fastest growing economies in Asia during the Philippine Conference in Washington, D.C. on September 26. After Secretary Purisima’s presentation, the predominantly American audience was convinced that the ‘sick man of Asia’ is finally on the road to recovery, the Philippine Embassy reported. In a statement, Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said the presentation of Secretary Purisima at last Wednesday’s Philippine Conference on the positive macroeconomic developments in the country resulting from the Aquino Government’s mantra that “Good Governance is Good Economics” impressed the audience. “Secretary Purisima did a very excellent job in painting a bright future for the Philippine economy and those who heard him-from officials of the United States government, representatives of thinktanks, executives from big business and members of the media and the academe, both Filipino and Americanall agree that the Philippines has taken off,” Ambassador Cuisia said. In his remarks at the conference sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the US-Philippines Society at the Capitol Hilton here, Secretary Purisima said

President Aquino’s high approval and trust ratings of 78 percent has given his administration more political capital to pursue structural changes to transform the country. He said the Aquino Administration has strengthened its resolve to further consolidate fiscal position, maintain macroeconomic stability, improve the investment climate and ease the cost of doing business to transform the Philippines into Asia’s next tiger economy in the next several years and the world’s 16th largest economy by 2050. “This road to recovery is reflected in the improvements in the Philippines’ ranking in governance and competitiveness indicators such as the World Economic Forum and credit rating agencies, which affirm the Aquino Administration’s belief that good governance is good economics,” Secretary Purisima said. “We are rolling up our sleeves and executing these initiatives on day-to-day basis. We are investing in people, technology and processes, and changing the culture of Philippine institutions,” said the finance secretary who also sits as the Governor for the Philippines of the World Bank. “We are headed in a direction where merit will be rewarded.” Secretary Purisima’s optimism was shared by economists led by US Assistant Treasury Secretary

Charles Collyns, who lauded Manila’s efforts in partnering with Washington in innovative programs, such as the Millennium Challenge Account Compact and the Partnership for Growth. Assistant Secretary Collyns also commended the Philippines for having “graduated with honors” from the International Monetary Fund program to address the balance of payments crisis and for the country’s very strong macroeconomic fundamentals. “Overall, we are very positive with the Philippines. The country is on the right path, given its strong economic leadership and vibrant democracy,” Assistant Secretary Collyns concluded.

For his part, Stephen Groff, Vice President of Operations of the Asian Development Bank, confirmed a growing sense of optimism about the Philippines, saying it is “one of the fastest growing regional economies.” He commended the administration’s good macroeconomic management and acknowledged that the “potential for the country is huge.” Groff encouraged the government to continue working closely with the private sector in identifying priority areas of investments and in setting benchmarks for delivering results. He said the Philippines has “very good plans for budget execution” and recommended the “intensification of investments in Public-Private Partnership projects.”

Jay Collins, Global Co-Head of the Public Sector Group of Citigroup, emphasized that “transparency and good governance is a precursor to investment success” and recognized the Philippines as one of the leading countries in terms of mobile banking and advocacy for financial inclusion. Pointing to the former American bases at Clark and Subic, Collins predicted that the Philippines will be a major global logistics hub and urged the government to ensure the “connectivity of the tourism sector to other themes in the economy.” Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. Del Rosario and Justice Secretary Leila M. De Lima also participated in the conference. ■ (DFA – October 1, 2012)

PNoy admin readies pledging session for Mindanao ©AFP/File, Saeed Khan

Philippines President Benigno Aquino

THE Aquino administration is preparing for a pledging session on Mindanao, gathering institutional lenders and aid agencies under a Philippine Development Forum early next year, the Department of Finance revealed on Tuesday, October 16. This development comes a day after the signing of a landmark peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Monday for the creation of a Bangsamoro autonomous region. Slated for January 2013, the forum would focus on eliciting support for strife-torn southern Philippines where many places have been crippled by decades of armed conflict between government troops and Muslim rebels, Finance

Undersecretary Rosalia de Leon told reporters in an interview. “We are still in the preparation stage,” said De Leon. During the forum, multilateral and bilateral lenders aid agencies are expected to pledge a combination of loans, grants and technical assistance. The administration’s first development forum – that focused on fighting corruption and reducing poverty – was staged in February 2011. The Philippine forum partners are World Bank, Asian Development Bank and Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JAICA). In a statement issued after the peace pact was signing in Malacañang, JAICA noted its role as an active participant in the

development of Mindanao under the Japan-Bangsamoro Initiatives for Reconstruction and Development and by being a part of the International Contact Group that has advised the Philippines and the MILF and sat on peace talks as an observer. The World Bank said the agreement is an important step to a lasting peace, security and development for the benefit all Filipinos. “The World Bank stands ready to work with the government, MILF and other sectors of Philippine society to intensify our efforts to improve the lives of many Filipinos, particularly the poor in Mindanao, and help build the momentum for lasting peace and inclusive growth,” the bank added. ■

(GMA News – October 16, 2012)

Justice Secretary eyes high-level interagency Task Force on EJKs JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima will recommend the creation of a high-level interagency task force that would focus on ‘cold cases’ of extrajudicial killings (EJKs) as part of the steps the Philippine Government will be taking to further improve the country’s human rights record, the Philippine Embassy said. In a statement, the Philippine Embassy said Secretary De Lima conveyed her plan at the Philippine

Conference sponsored by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the United StatesPhilippines Society in Washington on September 26. “I will propose to the President the creation of a high-level interagency task force to focus especially on the cold cases of extra-judicial killings and try to come up with a list of all cases with high chances of successful prosecution,” Secretary De Lima said

in response to a question raised by John Sifton, Asia Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch, during the open forum that followed her remarks at the conference. Secretary De Lima said the task force she will be proposing will be on top of the other existing task forces that have been created to address EJKs and other human rights violations, such as the Department of Justice Task Force, the Philippine

National Police Task Force and the Task Force Usig. “Perhaps if there is an imprimatur from the President and we have all the right people who are committed, dedicated to do it, we can have accomplishments in the coming three years and yes, we have a long way to go in addressing those past killings,” Secretary De Lima told Sifton. Sifton was among the human

rights advocates who attended a dialogue with her and Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. at the Philippine Embassy on September 24. In that dialogue, the groups acknowledged that EJKs have gone down since President Aquino assumed office in 2010 but urged the government to take more significant steps, such as prosecuting cases that occurred in previous administrations. ■ (DFA – October 1, 2012)

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October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

Philippines joins better than Cash Alliance, attends 1st Anniversary Celebration of Open Government Partnership namely the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Citi, the Ford Foundation, Omidyar Network, and Visa Inc. During the event, Secretary Abad served as one of the panelists on the topic “The Journey for Governments: Shift Not Drift,” along with the representatives of Peru and Kenya. Princess Maxima of the Netherlands also joined the panel in her capacity as the United Nations (UN) Secretary General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development. The speakers shared their respective countries’ experience in utilizing electronic payment for government transactions and the gains they had reaped in using this mode payment. Citing the Philippines’ case, Secretary Abad discussed the Aquino Administration’s program to pay the public teachers and the police and Armed Forces personnel through their ATM cards to enable them to receive their salaries and pensions on time. The Secretary also said the government was utilizing electronic

means to give financial assistance to the poor under its expanded conditional cash transfer program. The next day, Secretary Abad attended the Inaugural Meeting of the BTCA Program Management and Advisory Committees.

and maritime safety and security, including prevention of sea piracy and armed robbery against ships.

1. Importance accorded by the Philippines to Confidence Building Measures The Philippines has been an active participant in bilateral, regional and multilateral confidence building activities, guided by our abiding respect for international law and norms. Within the Association of

Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ASEAN mechanisms such as the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and the ASEAN Plus One cooperation with Dialogue Partners, the Philippines has engaged in confidence- and security- building measures, promoted cooperative and comprehensive security, advanced maritime cooperation and addressed trans-border issues such as terrorism, trafficking of women and children, drug trafficking and cyber crimes, among others. In these activities, the academe, civil society and non-governmental organizations are the partners of our government agencies in policy formulation and program implementation. On maritime issues, we have cooperated on ensuring freedom of navigation in the high seas

2. Significance of the CICA Process and CBMs Having witnessed the mutual trust and respect generated by CBMs at various forums, we are optimistic that efforts to enhance closer cooperation in the broader Asia region, as initiated by founding Chair Kazakhstan in close partnership with current chair Turkey, are contributing significantly to build understanding and cooperation among countries and peoples in the region. Moreover, CICA activities in the areas of economy, environment, disaster relief, transportation and energy, which are beyond the traditional political and security

3. Philippine Priorities in Comprehensive Security Cooperation On comprehensive security cooperation, specifically the politicalsecurity dimension, the Philippines accords utmost importance to the respect for territorial integrity, adherence to rules-based norms and recognition of equal rights of nation states. The Philippines is equally committed to the realization of comprehensive security’s goals under its economic, environmental and human dimensions, particularly good governance, the rule of law and respect for human rights. Special emphasis is given to the protection of the rights and promotion of the welfare of Filipinos

THE Philippine Embassy in Dili reported that the Philippines shared its unique experience in and perspective on peacebuilding during the 4th Action Asia Peacebuilders’ Forum held in Dili, Timor-Leste last September 19 to 21. Action Asia, whose secretariat is based in the Philippines, is a network of peace-builders in the Asia-Pacific region. With the theme “Towards a New Paradigm: Civil Society and Government Engagement in Peacebuilding, from Exclusive to Inclusive Peace,” the forum aimed to provide an opportunity for peacebuilders from across Asia to share and learn from “uniquely Asian strategies and approaches in the

field of conflict transformation and peacebuilding.” The Philippines was represented by the following individuals who have been actively engaged in peacebuilding and development work in Mindanao: Mr. Charlito “Kaloy” Manlupig, Action Asia Secretariat Head and Founder and President of the Balay Mindanaw Foundation Inc. (BMFI); Mr. Ariel “Ayi” Hernandez, former Executive Director and current Board Treasurer of BFMI, as well as, former Party List Representative of Anak Mindanaw Party; Lt. Gen. Raymundo Ferrer (ret.), former Chief of the West Mindanao Command (WestMinCom); and Maj. Gen. Nonato Alfredo Peralta, Jr., incumbent Superintendent of the

Philippine Military Academy (PMA). In line with the forum’s theme, the Filipino resource persons imparted how the Philippine military and civil society organizations (CSOs) have been working together to achieve durable and sustainable peace and development in Mindanao. Prominent Timorese leaders participated in the forum. Foreign Minister José Luis Guterres talked about the partnerships and engagements of the Timor-Leste Government and the CSOs in the area of peace and governance. Former President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate José RamosHorta rendered the keynote speech at the closing ceremonies of the forum. ■ (DFA – October 2, 2012)

(Photos, frop top, clockwise) Former President Jose Ramos-Horta and the Philippine Ambassador to Timor-Leste Maria Aileen H. Bugarin, Foreign Minister Jose Luis Guterres gives his talk, and Mr. Ayi Hernandez of BFMI shares the Philippine experience and perspective in the area of peacebuilding.

BUDGET and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad represented the Philippines at the recent meetings and activities of the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) and the Open Government Partnership (OGP) in New York. Better Than Cash Alliance Secretary Abad joined the launch event of the BTCA on September 24, at the New York office of the Ford Foundation. BTCA is a new international initiative that aims to raise awareness of the benefits of replacing physical cash with electronic payments. The Philippines, Kenya, Colombia and Peru are BTCA’s four founding member countries. Joining them in the alliance are development organizations, such as CARE, Concern Worldwide, Mercy Corps, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), USAID and World Food Programme (WFP), and private sector organizations,

Open Government Partnership On September 26, Secretary Abad attended the OGP Steering Committee Meeting and the OGP first anniversary reception. The Philippines is among the eight founding governments of the OGP, which was launched in New York on September 20, 2011. The 57 governments now belonging to the OGP are committed to enhance transparency, reduce corruption, promote civic engagement and employ new technology and tools to improve lives in their respective countries. Under the OGP model, governments work side-by-side with civil society organizations to meet their commitments. Secretary Abad welcomed the

(Left photo) Budget and Management Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad (middle) joins the panel during the launch event of the Better Than Cash Alliance on September 24 at the Ford Foundation. (Right photo) Secretary Abad (right) congratulates Minister Kuntoro Mankusubroto of Indonesia (left) and Mr Francis Maude MP, Minister for the Cabinet Office in the UK (middle), for taking over as co-chairs of the OGP during the group’s first anniversary celebration on September 26. (Photos by Consul Zaldy Patron)

decision of OGP, after a year of existence, to adopt an Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM) that will assess the progress countries are making in carrying out the commitments they have specified in their OGP national action plans. The OGP will establish an eight-person International Expert Panel (IEP), to be composed of three high-profile

senior advisors and five technical or policy experts, which will oversee the IRM. Among the highlights of the OGP reception was British Prime Minister David Cameron’s special appearance at the event and the transfer of OGP co-chairmanship by the United States and Brazil to the United Kingdom and Indonesia. ■ (DFA – October 5, 2012)

spheres, help assure greater safety and dignity of the region’s citizens.

working in foreign territories, including those in the high seas. Initiated in 1992 by Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev, CICA has 24 country member states, 8 observer states, and 4 observer international organizations. The 4th CICA Foreign Ministers Meeting was chaired by H.E. Dr. Ahmet Davutoglu, Foreign Minister of Turkey, and co-chaired by H.E. Yerzhan Kazykhanov, Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan. A CICA Observer Country, the Philippines was represented by a delegation composed of Ambassador Alarilla, Head of Delegation, and Office of Strategic Planning and Policy Coordination (OSPPC) Executive Director Queenie Mangunay, Member. ■ (DFA – October 2,

Philippines re-affirms commitment to rules-based norms at the 4th CICA Foreign Ministers Meeting in Astana

THE Philippines participated in the 4th Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), which was held on September 12 in Astana, Kazakhstan. As the Head of the Philippine Delegation, Philippine Ambassador to Turkey Marilyn J. Alarilla highlighted the following points:


PHL shares experience and perspective at the 4th Action Asia Peacebuilders Forum in Timor-Leste

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October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

PLDT launches cloud infrastructure service PHILIPPINES

PLDT has set up PLDT Cloud, its own enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure, to meet the demands of the local market that will reach ₱3.4 billion by 2014. “PLDT has already laid down the groundwork in infrastructure that has enabled us to provide an industry-grade, complete, resilient, and reliable service in the Cloud,” said PLDT executive vice president

Eric R. Alberto. The telco is now offering solutions off its public cloud starting with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), a virtualized computing solution that gives businesses the benefit of a full IT resource which they can directly provision, modify and monitor. According to PLDT, enterprises using PLDT Cloud can scale to the level they require.

“This service allows the customer a level of control on the amount of required computing capacity as well as the period it will be needed. In other words, companies will only pay for the capacity that they need and the service that they use at any given time,” said PLDT ALPHA Enterprise head Jovy Hernandez. “This is definitely more costeffective than for companies to buy

their own physical server stacks which aren’t fully utilized during nonpeak periods,” he added. PLDT also promises quick response to customers’ needs, as it fully controls and manages the cloud infrastructure. “Once a customer is enrolled to PLDT Cloud, virtual machine creation can be done in a matter of minutes,” said Alberto. PLDT Cloud is housed in the

network of PLDT VITRO data centers in Pasig City, Subic, and Cebu City. IaaS is beneficial for businesses with increasing or unpredictable IT workloads over time that need IT infrastructure capable of responsively scaling up or down, such as the business process outsourcing, media and broadcasting, and banking and finance industries. ■ (BM, GMA News –

October 16, 2012)

EU investment in PHL could be affected if sin tax bill not amended – ECCP European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) executive vice president Henry Schumacher said about the progress of the sin tax bill in a press briefing in Makati. In August 2011, the WTO ruled that the Philippines’ taxation on liquor was biased against imported

brands, and that the country should implement uniform taxation for imported and local products. Schumacher said the ECCP does not support the current sin tax proposal as it does not follow the WTO’s ruling. “The Philippine government has to come up with a solution before

[the] March 8, 2013 deadline,” Schumacher said. The Philippines has until that date to implement the rulings and recommendations of the WTO’s Dispute Settlement Body in a manner that adheres to the WTO ruling. Earlier, Rep. Teddy Baguilat

said the proposed EU-Philippine free trade agreement could be jeopardized if the revised Abaya bill is not amended. He further said failure to amend the revised bill would result in EU retaliation through the WTO. ■ (BM,

GMA News – October 16, 2012)


Original Creation and Copyright Reserved By: Hello Philippines 2012

THE flow of EU investment to the Philippines may be affected if the sin tax law does not adhere to the World Trade Organization’s ruling that the country implement a uniform liquor tax, European business leaders in the country said Tuesday, October 16. “We are watching it very closely,”




October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

British retail giant launches Philippine food products line

THE British public will get a greater taste of the Philippines from its opening on October 1, with the launch of over 50 Philippine food brands at Tesco supermarket, one of the world’s largest retailers. Philippine snack foods, seasonings, condiments, mixes, sauces, biscuits, crackers, noodles and juices, among many others, will be available to both ethnic and non-ethnic consumers in the United Kingdom (UK) as they are introduced in some of the largest Tesco branches around Britain. The main launch took place at Tesco Extra Sandhurst in Berkshire, with Philippine Ambassador to the UK Enrique Manalo cutting the ceremonial ribbon. He was joined by Commercial Attaché and

Philippine Trade and Investment Centre-London (PTIC) head Anne Marie Kristine Umali, Tesco Director for International Affairs Ian Hutchins, and importer Manning Impex Managing Director Andre Cheong. “The success of the partnership between Manning Impex and Tesco in promoting Philippine food products in the UK is a very clear reflection of dynamic, active and expanding Philippine-British trade and investment relations,” said Ambassador Manalo. Through the efforts of the PTIC, specialist Far East food importer Manning Impex was introduced to retail giant Tesco earlier this year, and their meetings resulted in the grand Philippine product roll-out.

“We are very pleased that our introduction of Manning Impex to Tesco has moved forward into a concrete partnership, making Philippines food products more accessible to a greater number of consumers in the United Kingdom,” said Ms. Umali. “This step is a splendid illustration of what the Filipino and British private sectors and government agencies can do to advance and invigorate bilateral trade and investment relations between the Philippines and the United Kingdom. Through this partnership, both producers from the Philippines and consumers in Britain get to experience the real benefits of a borderless global trading environment.” ■ (DFA – October 3, 2012)

Ambassador Enrique Manalo leads the unveiling of Philippine food products at Tesco Extra in Sandhurst.


Shoppers try the Philippine food items at British retail giant Tesco.

Parties announce termination of talks for acquisition of GMA Network

MEDIAQUEST Holdings Inc. (Mediaquest) and the major shareholders of GMA Network, Inc. (GMA) have announced the termination of recent discussions

with respect to a possible acquisition of a controlling interest in GMA by Mediaquest and its affiliate within the PLDT Group. The parties have been

unable to arrive at mutually acceptable terms despite the continual discussions and efforts exerted in good faith. MediaQuest is owned by

PLDT’s retirement fund. Quote from Atty. Felipe L. Gozon “The issues that the parties were not able to resolve had

nothing to do with the price.” “If there is a serious offer in the future, then we are willing to consider.” ■ (GMA Network Inc – October 4, 2012)

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Business & Finance

October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

Property boom transforming Philippine skylines PHILIPPINES

Cecil Morella, AFP AS a Philippine property boom gathers pace, even Paris Hilton, Donald Trump and high-fashion house Versace are getting a piece of the action. The good times are into their fourth year, fuelled by steady economic growth, Western firms offshoring jobs to the Philippines, the buying power of millions of Filipinos working abroad and low interest rates. “It just so happens that today the stars are aligned... we have never seen the economy this bullish,” said Antonino Aquino, president of Ayala Land, one of the country’s biggest property developers. Ayala Land is one of the main players in what industry figures describe as an unprecedented construction boom that is transforming the skyline of the nation’s capital, as well as many provincial cities. In Manila, formerly sleepy pockets such as the Fort army base and the rundown Eastwood industrial zone have become chic, new business districts, catering mainly for the fast-growing outsourcing sector. At the Fort, Ayala Land this year broke ground on its $714-million One Bonifacio High Street project, which when completed in 2017 will host the Philippine Stock Exchange, a Shangri-La hotel, and retail outlets. The project also has a 63-storey residential tower, with 298 suites ranging from $500,000-$1.9 million that sold out last month in 96 hours, according to the company. Across the country, more than 850,000 square metres (9.1 million

square feet) of office space and 14,000 residential units will enter the market this year, property consultants CBRE Philippines said in a report. It said many of the residential units catered for a growing middleclass on the fringes of Manila and other urban centres. The building boom has also spread to hotels, shopping malls and casinos, triggering hopes of a long-anticipated take-off of the underdeveloped tourism industry. Three of the world’s biggest gaming industry leaders are building a $4-billion, 100-hectare (247-acre) Entertainment City complex of casinos on Manila Bay. The first of the casinos are set to open early next year. Meanwhile, Trump, the New York mogul, has put his name to a $150-million, 56-storey, curtainglass-walled Trump Tower that broke ground in the financial district this year. “High-end buyers look for key differentiated features,” said Robbie Antonio, managing director of Century Properties that is behind the Trump Tower development. He said 70 percent of the 220 residential units, which are worth up to $1.86 million each, have been sold. The firm is putting up a nearby tower designed by the Versace fashion house – the first of its kind in Asia – featuring individual wading pools as well as its iconic Medusahead brand imprinted on lamp shades and cutlery. Century also flew in socialite and hotel heiress Hilton to Manila last year to help design and promote a suburban Manila residential project

that features a man-made beach. Industry players say the property boom reflects the overall status of the nation’s economy as it picks up steam after decades of underperforming compared with many of its Asian neighbours. The economy grew 6.4 percent in the first quarter, the stock market has surged 20 percent this year to hit all-time highs, and the country’s credit rating has been bumped up to just a step below investment grade. The central bank’s benchmark interest rates are also at historic lows – 4.0 percent for the benchmark borrowing rate – ensuring large piles of cheap cash for property development. Aside from the macro economic picture, real estate analysts point to the outsourcing phenomenon as one of the key drivers of the property boom. From virtually nothing a decade ago, outsourcing now employs more than 600,000 people and is worth $11 billion annually, according to the main industry association which is forecasting 15 percent growth in the years ahead. Many of the skyscrapers are being built to cater for the outsourcing workforce, which performs a myriad of tasks from call centre duties to designing architectural plans for foreign firms. Meanwhile, roughly nine million Filipinos who work overseas are sending large chunks of the $22 billion they earn – equal to 10 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product – back home, often investing in real estate. The frenetic building pace has some quarters anxious over a potential property bubble, with the

©AFP/File, Jay Directo

Across the Philippines, more than 850,000 sq. m of office space will enter the market this year. ©AFP/File, Jay Directo

Donald Trump has put his name to a $150 million, 56-storey Trump Tower that broke ground in Manila this year.

global economic woes adding to concerns. But Rick Santos, CBRE Philippines chief executive, remains bullish, in large part because of the expected continued growth in the outsourcing sector. “As economies in the West tighten, global companies will see it in their interest to outsource their non-core functions to save on costs,” Santos told an industry briefing recently.

©AFP/File, Jay Directo

Philippines’ economy grew 6.4% in the first quarter while stock market has surged 20% this year to hit all-time highs.

Ayala Land’s Aquino also said local market had not seen the price bubbles that preceded crashes in other countries, where property values suddenly doubled or tripled. “The price increases have been very close to or a little more than the inflation rate,” Aquino said. Trump Tower developer Antonio added: “We are confident that there’s still a demand that has to be met.” ■ (©AFP – Manila, Philippines – July 24, 2012)

PHL participates in 2012 Helsinki World Design Capital Signature Event

Philippine Ambassador to Norway Bayani S. Mercado, Charge d’Affaires, ai, Blesila Cabrera (right) and the Philippine Trade Attaché Mary B. Hedlors at the opening of the IDHE in Helsinki.

Showcasing Philippine design at the International Design House Exhibition 2012

THE Philippine Embassy in Helsinki reported that the Philippines proudly participated in one of the signature events held for the 2012 Helsinki World Design Capital celebrations in September 2012. The International Design House Exhibition (IDHE), “Everyday Discoveries,” is a comprehensive presentation of international design ideas and concepts by 20 participating countries from all over the world. The exhibition opened on September 5 and lasted for two weeks, drawing in a total of about 15,000 visitors. The exhibition, which was held in Helsinki’s industrial Suvilahti District, featured a Core Exhibition built around a joint display in the main hall where all the participating countries came together under the different themes: “Icon,” “Innovation,” “Imagination,” “Tradition Reinterpreted,” “Invisible” and “Gathering.” The original Spindle II Bamboo Arm Chair by Budji Layug was

featured as the national design icon entry for the Core Exhibition while the Philippine “bayong” was showcased for the theme “Invisible” which highlights everyday objects made by unknown designers. Also featured under the theme “Gathering,” which dealt with table settings and the communal table, were various types of Philippine Capiz dinnerware and a stool inspired by the banana trunk made from traditional t’nalak fabric. The Litre of Light Project by Illac Diaz and the My Shelter Foundation were featured under the theme “Innovation” on design and projects related to the environment and making the world a better place. In addition to the Core Exhibition, each participating country also staged a Satellite Exhibition built around the suggested themes of “Activism,” “Play,” “Story” and “Memory.” Philippine participation in the IDHE is a testimony to the immense pool of design talent and the vibrant

creative community which thrives in the Philippines. Featured Philippine designers for exhibition included Daniel Latorre-Cruz, Stanley Ruiz, Jinggoy Buensuceso, Martha Cech, Wataru Sakuma and Olivia D’Aboville. Philippine participation in the Exhibition was jointly coordinated by the Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM) of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Embassy in Helsinki. ■ (DFA – October

1, 2012)

Innovation: The Litre of Light Project by Illac Diaz

Overseas Filipino remittances post highest y-o-y growth in 8 months Victor D. Sollorano GMA News REMITTANCES by overseas Filipinos last August posted their highest year-onyear growth in eight months since December 2011, First Metro Securities Brokerage Corp. noted in its daily Trading Signals on Tuesday October 16. “This favorable development brought the cumulative personal remittances during the first eight months of the year to $15.3 billion, higher by 5.6 percent compared to the level registered in the same period last year,” Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas officer-incharge Juan D. De Zuñiga Jr. announced on Monday. Remittances for the month of August surged by 7.6% year-on-year, beating

estimates of a 5.0% gain and the previous month’s 5.4% increase, according to First Metro Securities, saying, “This is also the highest [year-on-year) growth since December 2011’s 6.2 percent.” “What this means for the economy are two things: “One, that conditions for personal consumption will continue to improve and that our remittances remain resilient in the face of recent reports by the World Bank of a slowdown in the global economy,” Jonathan Ravelas, BDO Unibank market strategist, told GMA News Online. Ravelas noted the significance of remittances for the economy. “Their indirect results are consumer spending, and consumer spending is a primary driver

of our economy which is consumer driven. “This means we can see real GDP growth of 5 to 6 percent… that the economy can continue to grow 5 to 6 percent… and that the outlook remains buoyant,” he added. In a statement, Bangko Sentral said in the face of sustained demand for skilled Filipino workers, remittances are projected to continue to boost economic activity and provide a steady supply of foreign exchange. “Moreover, the increasing use of financial channels for transfers and the continued introduction of innovations in remittance products are expected to contribute to the steady flow of remittances into the country,” the central bank added. ■ (GMA News –

October 16, 2012)

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Business & Finance

October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

GMA Network continues to gain nationwide ratings edge Remains unrivaled in the afternoon block across all areas

LEADING broadcast company GMA Network, Inc. (GMA) prevailed over rival stations in nationwide TV ratings last September according to the industry’s more trusted ratings provider, Nielsen TV Audience Measurement. Based on full September data (September 23 to 30 based on overnight data), GMA posted an average total day (6 AM to 12 MN) audience share of 34.1 percent in National Urban Philippines (NUTAM), leading ABS-CBN’s 32.9 percent by 1.2 points, and TV5’s 15.7 percent by 18.4 points. More television viewers also tuned in to GMA across all dayparts (morning, afternoon and evening inclusive of primetime) in the important areas of Urban Luzon and Mega Manila, where the bulk of urban television households are found. In Urban Luzon, which accounts for 77 percent of the total urban TV households nationwide, GMA reigned supreme with a 38.2 percent total day audience share, 9.7 points higher than ABS-CBN’s 28.5 percent, and 23.2 points higher than TV5’s 15 percent. GMA likewise ruled in Mega Manila, which represents 59.5 percent of rural TV households in the country, after generating a 39.2

percent total day audience share, while ABS-CBN trailed behind by 12.6 points with only 26.6 percent. TV5 lagged father behind by 23.4 points with only 15.8 percent. Leading across all areas, GMA continues to reinforce its strong showing in the afternoon block (12NN to 6PM), scoring double-digit margins over other networks. GMA registered an afternoon audience share of 38.7 percent in NUTAM, considerably ahead of ABS-CBN’s 25.1 percent, and TV5’s 16.3 percent. In Urban Luzon, GMA’s afternoon block scored 43.3 percent, zooming ahead of ABS-CBN’s 20.6 percent, and TV5’s 15.2 percent. Likewise, in Mega Manila, GMA registered a commanding 44.1 percent afternoon audience share, leaving ABS-CBN behind with only 19.0 percent, and TV5, which managed only 16.0 percent. GMA dominated the top programs lists in Urban Luzon and Mega Manila with 18 and 20 Kapuso programs making it in each list, respectively. Among the top-rating GMA programs in both lists are GMA’s banner newscast 24 Oras, the recently concluded GMA drama Makapiling Kang Muli, GMA Telebabad’s One True Love and Luna Blanca, the country’s longest running noontime show Eat

Bulaga, and consistent weekend top-rater Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (KMJS). KMJS was also the number one program in Mega Manila. Newly-launched GMA shows Pepito Manaloto: Ang Tunay na Kuwento, the sequel to the top-rating reality sitcom starring Michael V. of the same title, and Aso ni San Roque, the latest addition to the Network’s primetime block headlined by Kapuso child star Mona Louise Rey, also made it to the top 30 highest rating programs lists in NUTAM, Urban Luzon, and Mega Manila. GMA subscribes to Nielsen TV Audience Measurement along with 22 other paying subscribers including another local major television network, TV5, Faulkner Media, CBN Asia, 15 advertising agencies, and 4 regional clients. Nielsen has a sample size of 1,190 homes in Mega Manila versus Kantar Media’s 770 homes. Nielsen also has a nationwide sample size of 2,000 homes compared to the lower sample size of 1,370 utilized by Kantar Media. GMA Network’s top-rating programs can be seen worldwide via its flagship international channel GMA Pinoy TV. For more details, please visit [ international] and [www.facebook. com/GMAInternational]. ■

Jessica Soho

Michael V

Winners take home cash prizes in Lupa Bahay Cash Promo

(Left photo) PPP Center Executive Director Cosette V. Canilao delivers her presentation on the Philippine government’s Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects. (Right photo) The ASEAN Forum participants. (Photos courtesy of OSEC Business Network Switzerland)

PPP Center promotes infra projects to Swiss companies

EXECUTIVE Director Cosette V. Canilao of the Philippine PublicPrivate Partnership (PPP) Center was keynote speaker at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Forum held on September 19 in St. Gallen City, Switzerland, the Philippine Embassy in Berne reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The Forum was organized by the OSEC Swiss Business Network. Ms. Canilao presented the Philippine government’s PPP agenda, frameworks, bidding process and infrastructure development projects. In presenting the PPP projects in the pipeline, she drew audience attention to the result of the ADB Infrascope 2011 Study which concludes that in terms of PPP readiness, the Philippines ranked highest in the ASEAN region.

About 80 Swiss companies participated in the Forum that aimed to provide an overview of the business opportunities and challenges in Southeast Asia, including in the infrastructure and food processing/ processed food sectors. Ms. Canilao was the only Southeast Asian official to speak in the Forum and the only resource person to make a presentation on the programs of a particular country. Other speakers dwelt on the opportunities in ASEAN in general. Some companies have shown interest in partnering with local players in the Philippines to bid in some hard infrastructure projects. Ms. Canilao’s participation in the OSEC ASEAN Forum was recommended and coordinated by the Philippine Embassy in Berne. ■ (DFA – October 1, 2012)

LBC UK has recently awarded three weekly winners of its grandest promo to date – Lupa Bahay Cash promo. “I haven’t won any raffle promos ever, so this is very memorable to me,” said Sheryl Castro, UK’s first winner in the weekly raffle draw for the said promo in an interview with Team LBC UK. She currently resides in Surrey and sent her balikbayan box to Bulacan. “My nephew didn’t believe it at first, but now I’m collecting the winnings and it’s real,” said Elvira Vick, aunt of 2nd week winner Eleazar Manalili who collected the

prize on his behalf. “I’m very happy, surprised and very thankful for LBC!” said Maricel Lewis, 3rd weekly winner who sent a box full of gifts to Davao del Sur. Each weekly winner took home £650.00 cash prize for winning in the promo. In LBC’s “Lupa Bahay Cash” promo, customers availing of LBC’s cargo, courier and money remittance transactions through any LBC branch in the US, Canada, Middle East, Europe, Asia Pacific, Australia, and through LBC’s partner agents worldwide will get a chance to win weekly prizes

starting September 7, 2012. Customers can also get a chance to win one of ten house and lot units in the Philippines in the grand draw on January 4, 2013 in partnership with Avida Land Corporation. Like Sheryl, Eleazar, and Maricel, you too still have a chance to win in the weekly and grand draws so send your Balikbayan boxes through LBC now! Promo runs from September 1 to December 31, 2012. Call the 24/7 LBC Customer Service Hotline at 020 3110 2522 or visit for complete mechanics of the Lupa Bahay Cash promo. ■

LBC UK awards week 1 winner Sheryl Castro with £650.00.

LBC UK presents cheque to 2nd week winner Eleazar Manalili’s representatives.

Maricel Lewis takes home £650.00 for winning in the 3rd week draw.







October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition



2 November 2011 to 31 October 2012

Filing of Applications for Registration / Certification and Transfer of Registration Records

Philippine Embassy, 6 Suffolk Street, London SW1Y 4HG

Philippine Embassy, London, United Kingdom

For purposes of the May 13, 2013 elections, the filing of applications for registration / certification and transfer of registration records will resume at the Philippine Embassy.

20 October 2012 – Saturday 6:30pm

Batangas Association UK – 19th Annual Charity Dinner & Dance

The Ballroom, Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, 22 Portman Square, London W1H 7BG

Batangas Association UK (BAUK)

Cora Santos 07956 271 750 / Lorna Fortunado 07776 223 212 / Gloria Diaz 07572 795 321 / Attire: Strictly Formal

27 October 2012 – Saturday 5:00pm to 11:00pm

Fancy Dress-up Halloween Disco

The White Hall, Glencoyne Square, Bristol BS10 6DE

FilCom Bristol

Bel Pangilinan 07789 935 777

27 October 2012 – Saturday

MFBA Halloween Party

Mitcham Filipino British Association (MFBA)

Roger Ferreol 07771 892 997

27 October 2012 – Saturday 5:00pm to 11:00pm

Battle of the Bands Benefit Concert

Colliers Wood Community Centre, 66 – 72 Colliers Wood High Street, London SW19 2BY Littleport Village Hall, Victoria Street, Littleport, Ely, Cambridge CB6 1LX

Bai-Bisaya Ako, Ikaw “The Filipino Community Association in East Anglia”

Mike Baclayon

28 October 2012 – Sunday 3:00pm

Thanksgiving Mass in Honour of San Pedro Calungsod

28 October 2012 – Sunday

Halloween Party of the Filipino Community of Peterborough

Filipino Community of Peterborough

Celso Valmonte (Chairman) 01733 263 112

2, 3 and 4 November 2012 – Friday, Saturday and Sunday

1st Reel Gate International Film Festival in London and Manila (1st RGIFF) Thanksgiving Mass for the Canonization of San Pedro Calungsod Eat Bulaga! Live in London, United Kingdom

Riverside Studio in London

23 November to 1 December 2012

Okay Fine, Todo Na’To! – Ms Rufa Mae Quinto

24 November 2012 – Saturday 5:00pm

3 November 2012 – Saturday 2:00pm

Parish of Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Somin Stock, 41 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4BB

Westminster Cathedral

The Filipino Club at Westminster Cathedral

Flora Cayaban 07875 867 739 / Eleanor Dayawon 07877 027 667

ExCel London, ICC Auditorium, One Western Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock, London E16 1XL

OSN and Hello Philippines

Hello Philippines TV Connect 020 3174 1894 / 07553 767 059 / / / / Ticket Prices: £35.00 / £45.00 / £55.00 / £65.00 / £75.00 Premium / £85.00 VIP

Star Dragon Events UK Limited

Port Talbot 07769 273 618 / Swindon 07897 753 064 / Newcastle 07886 742 417 / Belfast 07850 151 678 / Sussex 07827 965 478

Little Miss and Mr Philippines UK 2012

23 November – Port Talbot 24 November – Swindon 25 November – Newcastle 30 November – Belfast 1 December – Sussex Baden Powell, 65 – 67 Queen’s Gate, London SW7 5JS

Pinoy Faces Entertainment

Jojo Serra Tseng 07515 475 780 /

9 December 2012 – Sunday 5:00pm to 11:30pm

Christmas Charity Party for Cancer Research

York Sports Club, Clifton Park, Shipton Road, York YO30 5RE

Cancer Research UK – Filipino Beat Cancer

Kim Hawker 07871 446 135 / 01904 691 308 / Les Bright 07758 356 639 / Admission: £10.00 Adult / £5.00 Tennagers / Under 10s Free

15 December 2012 – Saturday 4:00pm to 12:00am

Pambansang Musiklaban UK Battle of the Bands 2012 – Pinoy Rock Challenge!!! – Battle of the Bands Night Pambansang Musiklaban UK Battle of the Bands 2012 – Pinoy Rock Challenge!!! – Tour Gig with the Champion Band MFBA Thanksgiving / Christmas Party

The Harrow Club W10, 187 Preston Road, London W10 6TH

Ron Albano 07827 965 478 / Ticket: £20.00

Beaumont Leys, Beaumont Leys School, Ansty Lane, Leicester, LE4 0FL

Randy Mana-ay 07967 191 176 / £20.00

17 November 2012 – Saturday

16 December 2012 – Sunday 5:00pm to 11:00pm 22 December 2012 - Saturday

Colliers Wood Community Centre, 66 – 72 Colliers Wood High Street, London SW19 2BY

Mitcham Filipino British Association (MFBA)

Roger Ferreol 07771 892 997

FREE LISTING of your events on the Hello Philippines newspaper and if you know of any Events do not hesitate to contact us. Please kindly contact us and submit your event via email or text to the following at / 07553 767 059. DISCLAIMER: The Events Diary Listing does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favouring by Hello Philippines newspaper. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of Hello Philippines newspaper. This is merely an Events Diary Listing of what is happening within the Filipino Communities in Europe. This is for general information only.





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FLOW – A Growing Organisation FLOW (Filipino League of Wansbeck) Northumberland promotes a harmonious relationship amongst members & local community with the main goal of promoting our Filipino values cultures & traditions through social, cultural, spiritual and civic activities. Our MISSION: To inspire and nurture our members, as a valuable part of the community. MISSION STATEMENT: “Together, we can make a difference...” It’s not just a belief, it’s our commitment. Together, we embrace diversity and equality, to establish a place where each of us can be ourselves, with great deal of respect to each other, and with a duty to hold that standard. When we are fully engaged, we connected with laughter and uplift the life of our members even if it’s just a simple kind gesture. But our passion goes far beyond that... it’s really about being Pinoy and how to live and enjoy as Pinoy. FACEBOOK: Flow Northumberland / TWITTER: twitter FlowNorthEast ■

October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition




October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

300 attend pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Assumption and St Simon Stock Oliver Abasolo AN all Filipino pilgrimage to Aylesford, Kent was held last October 7, 2012. It was very well attended by approximately 300, belonging to various Filipino groups across London and even neighbouring cities, all came in their coach and private cars. This event was initiated by Rev. Fr. Ari Dy, SJ (and hopefully will become an annual celebration). The actual day of the pilgrimage was the feast of Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary. The different groups carried different images of our Lady to afford her due honour, i.e., image of Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Penafrancia, Our Lady of Walsingham, Our Lady of Fatima and the Carmelite sanctuary’s own image of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel & St. Simon Stock. A small image of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, the first Filipino saint, was also carried during the procession. It is interesting to note that there are various titles & images of our Blessed Mother, however we truly venerate and honour only one Mary, who has been so generous and faithful with her response to the message given by the Archangel Gabriel. The Filipinos have always been known for their great love and affection to the Mother of God. The national pilgrim image of Our Lady of Fatima was carried in a beautifully decorated litter and was leading the procession. It is under the care and custody of the World Apostolate of Fatima (England & Wales), a worldwide association of the baptised, approved by the Holy See, who seek to live and spread Our Lady’s message. Rev. Fr. Ari blessed and crowned the pilgrim image and led in saying the Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

in the presence of the congregation and the Carmelite friars. The Marian Procession was in the “Rosary Garden” where meditation of the different mysteries of the Holy Rosary normally takes place. During the procession, the rosary was recited and meditated upon. All then gathered in the open theatre of the shrine after the procession, for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. It is truly a remarkable example of seeing unity in diversity. The Holy Mass was celebrated by two Jesuit priests Rev. Fr. Norlan Julia, SJ & Rev. Fr. Ari Dy, SJ. Before the final blessing, the Father Prior of the Carmelite friars, Fr. Brendan Grady, welcomed all the pilgrims and even gave a brief explanation on the importance of the Aylesford shrine dedicated to Our Lady & St. Simon Stock and the significance of wearing the Brown Scapular of Mt. Carmel. There was a formal enrolment and investiture of the brown scapular, where more than 482 pieces were distributed. After the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, pilgrims had the chance to visit different chapels of the shrine for personal, private devotion. There were lots of opportunity for silent prayer and meditation. One of the main chapels enshrined the first class relic of St. Simon Stock. Other pilgrims explored the bookshop for souvenirs and others purely enjoyed the beautiful place. There were tables and chairs provided for picnic and one can indeed see the “agape” among the various Filipino groups. It was truly a blessed and grace filled pilgrimage. If anyone wants the national pilgrim statue of Our Lady of Fatima to visit your group/ parish, please contact Oliver Abasolo on 07782 661 922 / email: ■



1st Reel Gate International Film Festival in London, UK

October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

Boy Abunda renews contract with 2012 Reel Gate International Film Festival’s Ambassador of Charity Boy Villasanta FORMER actress and now entrepreneur Yvonne Benavidez and the baptism of fire of the 2012 Reel Gate International Film Festival’s Ambassador of Charity were meant to be. Many of us call it fate. Some call it destiny. Still some others call it serendipity. People and places are entwined in a particular time. Showing of Filipino films in London is one hell of a preparation on the one hand and sponsoring it is another. And controversial and intriguing Fil-Briton filmmaker Jowee Morel knew it. From the start, Morel, RGIFF founder and director, was convinced an international film festival is a mix of vision and a steel of heart. Precisely, when the idea of creating a world film event was vouched on him some five years ago, he liked the idea but couldn’t easily move a finger because of limitations, one of them logistics although there were a lot of people he could approach and talk to about money support but would rather do it his own. Lack of time was another thing to consider. He was in the Philippines to do films yet independent filmmaking in any part of the world is a struggle he took his time. When he went back to London and enrolled in filmmaking at the University of Greenwich where he finished his Masters of Arts in Cinematography and PostProduction, he had nothing to pour his mind on except embarking on a new direction – film art just the same but with a turn. Yes, an international film festival in London. Thus, Reel Gate Int’l film fest was born. Initial preparations went on. One of the big parts, though, was consolidation of entries, Filipino and British films.

Boy Abunda and Yvonne Benavidez

He left it at that and concentrated on marketing, another concern which was gargantuan until Benavidez came along to lessen the burden. It was veteran entertainment reporter Alice Vergara who introduced Yvonne to this writer who in turn presented the latter to Morel. But what got Benavidez to do with Reel Gate aside from sponsoring and selling her Mega C, a vitamin brand? In an instant, Jowee thought of Yvonne as the Ambassador of Charity of his pet project. Morel saw in Benavidez the essentials of an emissary of altruism – kind heart, pleasing countenance, socio-civic orientation, God-fearing, magnetism, clean thoughts, and if it is qualified as a requisite – beauty. At the time Yvonne was already in her alter ego as Tita Mega C popularized by her radio show “Kagandahan, Showbiz, Kalusugan Atbp.” at DWBL, 1242 khz every Wednesday at 2-3 pm with Tito Gary Sta. Ana, a movie scribe. “Tita Mega C suits her and her mission,” Morel interjected. A meeting with Benavidez was in order when Jowee went back to Manila recently. In person, both Tita Mega C and Morel were already at ease with each other. In no time at all, they were partners in Reel Gate. “I am thankful Mr. Jowee Morel got me as the Ambassador of Charity for Reel Gate International Film Festival 2012. I don’t know what to say as I am thrust to this but would do everything to make the event successful,” said Benavidez. You see, RGIFF is for charity. The net proceeds of the show which runs from November 2 until 4 will go to various social institutions like Terrence Higgins Trust, a private group in London whose current advocacy is on HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, the Pilar V. Pilapil Foundation, an NGO which nurtures and oversees Christian values and education among the youth; Ilayang Ilog Association, a private


Ang Balut ni Mang Roger

Jowee Morel



The Dusk


The Passenger

Can’t Get Past


Waiting for the Whisper

Hidden Thoughts

group which promotes and protects gay rights and Positive Action Foundation, an active organization which extends care and support for Persons Infected with HIV/AIDS in the country. Still, what got Boy Abunda to do with Reel Gate? Abunda is associated with the festival because of his endorsement of Benavidez’s product, Mega C. Just recently, Boy renewed his contract with Health Ventures, Inc., a company which manufactures Mega C and he signed up with Tita Mega C as the General Manager of the group. “Boy is also fond of films and I think he could be a very good ambassador of charity which pertains to an international film festival like this. “Anyway, he could be with me later in spreading altruism to people all around the globe. Boy is such a good person he needs to be pronounced to all and sundry his charitable causes in the Philippines,” commended Tita Mega C.

For her part, Tita Mega C will go the rounds of RGIFF beneficiaries in the Philippines and London. She is bound for the United Kingdom next month to spread goodwill to socio-civic groups in London. “I was still a young girl when I felt I would be of help to the needy,” she said. Tita Mega C is also a film buff so an international film occasion is a perfect avenue for her penchant for films. Among the full-length films to be shown which she would take her time out are “Bisperas (Trespassers)” (2011) Quantum Films and Cinemalaya Foundation, Producers; Jeffrey Jeturian, Director; “MNL 143” (2012) Voyage Films, Producer; Emerson Reyes, Director; “Manila Kingpin The Asiong Salonga Story” (2011) Scenema Concept International, Producer; “Thelma” (2011) Time Horizon Pictures, Producer; Paul Soriano, Director; “Tribu (Tribe) (2007) 8Glasses Productions and

Cinemalaya Foundation, Producers; Jim Libiran, Director; “Happyland” (2011) 8Glasses Productions, Producer; Jim Libiran, Director; “Rindido (Rage)” (2010) Ironoriel Films, Producer; Noriel Jarito, Director;“Bangka ha ut sin duwah sapah (The Boat Between Two Rivers)” (2012) Film Development Council of the Philippines, Fireball Multimedia, Red Room Media Productions, Producers; Sigfreid Barros-Sanchez , Director. 2012 Reel Gate International Film Festival is supported by Hello Philippines, Pinoy Radio UK and Mega C. The 2012 Reel Gate International Film Festival runs from November 2 to 4 at the Riverside Studios, a historical landmark in Hammersmith, London (Crisp Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9RL). For more information and tickets please call 020 8237 1111 / 020 3086 7993 / 07979 353 939 / / www.reelgate. com. ■


2012 Reel Gate International Film Festival is supported by Hello Philippines, Pinoy Radio UK and Mega C. The 2012 Reel Gate International Film Festival runs from November 2 to 4 at the Riverside Studios, a historical landmark in Hammersmith, London (Crisp Road, Hammersmith, London W6 9RL). For more information and tickets please call 020 8237 1111 / 020 3086 7993 / 07979 353 939 / /



Spotlight - Filipino Achievers From Around The World

October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

Philippines participates in the 2012 Asian Science Camp in Israel PHILIPPINES

FOR the first time, a group of young Filipino scientists from the field of natural sciences participated in the 2012 Asian Science Camp (ASC) held in Jerusalem from August 26 to 31, the Philippine Embassy in Tel Aviv reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). Mr. John Keith Magali (Junior), Mr. Rovi Angelo Villaos (Junior), Ms. Nicole Olayres (Sophomore), and Ms. Shereyl Daguinod (Sophomore) are all taking BS Applied Physics at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Los Baños, Laguna. Professor Lou Serafin M. Lozada accompanied the young scientists during the trip. The ASC, an initiative led by

a number of East Asian Nobel Prize laureates, is one of the most prominent and important gatherings for young scientists in the science world. ASC envisions fostering an epistemic community of young science enthusiasts and serves as a special opportunity to enhance scientific cooperation and exchanges among Asian countries. The 2012 ASC was held at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and was formally opened by President Shimon Peres last August 26. About 300 participants from countries in Asia and the Pacific attended the six-day event. The event consisted mainly of

lectures and discussions led by outstanding scientists from around the world. At camp, the participants were exposed to fascinating scientific topics presented by leading scientists, and, at the same time, they had an opportunity to meet the next-generation of leading scientists, their peers. The Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Deputy Director General for Asia and the Pacific Ruth Kahanoff said that Israel hosted and fully funded the participation of our young scientists including their airfare and accommodation. ■ (DFA – September 3,


Philippine Ambassador to Israel Generoso D.G. Calonge (centre) poses for a souvenir photograph with the group of young Filipino scientists participating in the Asian Science Camp 2012 held in Jerusalem, Israel.

Filipina wins 2012 Seventeen magazine-Malaysia Covergirl search

Dr. Nina R. Ingle (2nd from left) poses with (left to right) Field Museum President and CEO Richard Lariviere, Consul General Leo. M. Herrera-Lim and Mrs. Jan Lariviere.

Conservation Environmentalist receives the 2012 Parker/Gentry Award from Chicago Field Museum WILDIFE Conservation Society of the Philippines (WCSP) President and founding member Dr. Nina R. Ingle received the 2012 Parker/ Gentry Award from the Field Museum President and CEO Richard Lariviere during the Parker/Gentry award reception held at the Field Museum on October 11. The Parker/Gentry Award honors an outstanding individual, team or organization whose efforts have had a significant impact on preserving the world’s rich cultural heritage and whose actions serve as a model to others.

Dr. Ingle’s commitment to biodiversity conservation through research, management, and education exemplifies the spirit of the Parker/Gentry Award. Early in her career she choose to focus on bats, fascinated by their diversity and their role in forest ecology as seed dispensers, pollinators, and insect predators. She wrote the first identification key to the 70 species of bats then known from the Philippines with Dr. Lawrence R. Heaney of the Field Museum (A key to the Bats of the Philippines; Fieldiana, 1992). ■ (DFA – October 15, 2012)

A 16-year old Filipina, Erika Magora won the Malaysian edition of Seventeen Magazine’s Covergirl Search for 2012. She paid a courtesy call on Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia J. Eduardo Malaya on October 1, with her mother, Anne Patricia Magora. Ambassador Malaya congratulated the Filipina teen fashionista for her victory, and urged her to remain a well-rounded individual-both in school and in extracurricular activities. “Do continue to be a pride of your Filipino heritage, and show to them the beauty, spirit and other positive Filipino traits. Also, be a good

example to your fellow teenagers on what they can strive to be,” he said. Ms. Magora was born of Filipino parentage and grew up in Valenzuela City. She arrived in Malaysia in 2008 with her mother and grandmother, and studies in a private school in Subang Jaya, Selangor. She is fluent in Filipino, English and Malay. Her favourite pastime is playing the guitar, singing, surfing the net and she loves reading books. Currently, she is in her last year in high school and is always a top student in her class. Ms. Magora intends to pursue law studies in college. Last January, Ms. Magora attended an event entitled “Clinique

Seventeen Malaysia Covergirl 2012 winner Erika Magora (centre) presents an issue of the magazine with her on the cover to Ambassador J. Eduardo Malaya (right). Joining them in this photo is Ms. Magora’s mother, Anne Patricia Magora.

Sweet Seventeen Makeover Party” organized by Seventeen Malaysia. During the event, one of the magazine editors spotted her, and because of her natural Filipina beauty, was invited for a photo shoot for their June 2012 issue. In April, she also joined the Seventeen Covergirl Search 2012, and was one of the 10 finalists. The winner was to be chosen by SMS votes. Because of her charm and beauty, she stood out from all other contestants and won the contest. She then appeared in the magazine’s October 2012 issue, together with Malaysian pop star Mizz Nina. ■ (DFA

– October 5, 2012)

A page from Seventeen Malaysia magazine featuring the 2012 Covergirl Search finalists. Ms. Magora is third from right.



October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

Spotlight - Filipino Achievers From Around The World



Natalie Chua – UK Platinum singer songwriter, sold over 1/3 million CD album in UK and Europe NATALIE Chua, a UK award winning singer songwriter & Platinum song artist for up to half a million CD album sales in the UK & Europe. Her Philippine song & music tour starts this December – In pursuance of her aspiration and determination to help the deserving registered Philippine charities. Natalie Chua, 19 year old, born and bred in the United Kingdom of a Filipino father and Irish mother. This true Filipina Brit is a UK award winning singer songwriter, the youngest ever winner of the British Academy of Songwriters supported worldwide UK Songwriting contest. Natalie is also a UK Platinum song artist for up to half a million of her CD album sales in the UK & Europe – other recipients of the UK Platinum award includes Leona Lewis, Pavarotti, Madonna and Adele. Natalie was managed by Simon Cowell with her former classical group Angelis. In continuation of her aspirations and determination to help the deserving registered Philippine charities, she will embark on a Philippine song & music tour starting this December 2012. From a very young age of 4, Natalie has been actively involve and supportive of the Filipino community events and activities in the UK – and very visible in her participation and song performances at the Barrio Fiestas, Filipino beauty pageants, charity shows and parties. Natalie won the major titles Little Miss Philippines UK 1998 and the Philippine National television’s ABS CBN Munting Miss U. An estimated 300,000 children auditioned for this live TV show shown throughout the Philippines and also televised worldwide for the overseas Filipino workers. Natalie won this crown and the much coveted fully paid family holiday to Disneyland USA plus $2,000 pocket money. Natalie has been competing in many talent song competitions up and down Great Britain and won over 75 major trophies. Natalie even competed with the likes of Leona Lewis and Katie Melua in the nationwide talent contest UK Unsigned of which Natalie holds the title as the youngest winner of this UK nationwide contest – years before the emergence of X Factor or Britain Got Talent. She continues to perform all over

Natalie sings to 50,000 audience

the world singing classical, musical theatre and her own original song compositions. Her US concert tour last year was a sell out success. Natalie has created a new sound using her love for rock/pop music and incorporating the training, influences and experiences she has with classical and musical theatre. She is currently recording her debut solo album and by special invitation she is performing in the Philippines this December in honour of the recently Vatican canonised Filipino saint blessed Pedro Calungsod. Natalie believes in Angels and by coincidence, her award winning song composition is called Guardian Angels, her group , managed by Mr Simon Cowell of the X factor fame, is called Angelis ( meaning Angels in Latin ) and their chart topping number 1 song in the album is Sarah McLaughlin’s Angel. Natalie confessed that her family, fans and friends are her top priorities with her enduring love and passion

for music, singing and songwriting comes first above everything else – she admittedly said: giving no time for boyfriends. Her primary aim at the moment is her Philippine Music tour to help as many deserving Philippine charities as possible. You may contact Natalie on 01908 370 579 / Her Philippine cell phone number during her music tour is 0915 342 2980 / nataliechua@ / nataliechua_london@ / Facebook: Natalie Chua / Twitter: @natalie_chua All these information are verifiable and proofs are available on request. You may also GOOGLE or search YAHOO for: • Natalie Chua was signed by Simon Cowell and went on to receive a Platinum Album for sales of over 500,000. She is now a UKSC judge. • THE UK SONGWRITING CONTEST 2012... past UKSC winner and Platinum Album artist Natalie Chua. ■





Celebrity, Showbiz & Entertainment

October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

“Busong” wins grand prize at National Geographic Filmfest “BUSONG,” a critically-acclaimed Filipino independent film on the vanishing Palawan tribe in the Philippines, won the grand prize in the National Geographic Society’s All Roads Film Festival in Washington, D.C. The Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. said “Busong” (“Palawan Fate”), directed by Aureus Solito, bested 25 other indigenous film entries from all over the world to win the Merata Mita Award named in honor of a noted Maoiri filmmaker. “It is an honor to receive the Merata Mita Award which I dedicate to my mother and to my tribe, the Palawanon,” said Solito after receiving the award from All Roads Film Festival director Francine Blythe. The awarding ceremony was held shortly before ‘Busong’ was screened at the Grosvenor Auditorium at National Geographic’s headquarters on Thursday, 27 September 2012.

“Busong,” which Solito said was based on stories his mother told him as a child, is a mythical drama that revolves around a young Palawanon’s search for a healer to cure her sister and the strangers who helped them along the way. It is the first of a trilogy that focuses on the island-province of Palawan, the so-called last frontier of the Philippines. According to the Philippine Embassy, “Busong,” which stars Filipina actress Alessandra de Rossi, was among 25 that were chosen from more than 300 films that National Geographic considered for the All Roads Film Festival. The festival was launched in 2004 to provide a platform for indigenous and underrepresented minority-culture storytellers around the world to showcase their works to promote knowledge, dialogue, and understanding with a broader, global audience.

“Busong” premiered last year at the Cannes International Film Festival’s Directors Fortnight section and won Best Director, Best Sound Design, and Best Musical Score at Cinemalaya 2011’s Directors Showcase category. It also received the International Federation of Film Critics International Critics Prize at the Eurasia International Film Festival in Almaty, Kazakhstan and the International Competition Tomorrow’s Cinema Award at the 38th Brussels International Independent Film Festival in Belgium. The screening of “Busong” was co-sponsored by the Philippine Embassy, which was represented by First Secretary and Consul Emil Fernandez, First Secretary and Consul Elmer Cato and Second Secretary and Consul Angelito Nayan. ■ (DFA – October 1, 2012)

Fresh new mornings with GMA News TV International’s Kape at Balita WAKE up to a perfect morning combination ready to be served by the leading news channel in the Philippines as GMA News TV International launches its latest offering “Kape at Balita” this October. Best paired with the freshlybrewed coffee one takes in the morning, “Kape at Balita” is a daily news and talk program that tackles news and current issues for one and a half hours starting October 22. Bringing together the newest team of journalists – multi-awarded

broadcast journalist Susan Enriquez together with veteran radio commentator Joel Reyes Zobel, experienced senior reporter Michael Fajatin, and seasoned news anchor Mariz Umali – that is set to deliver news in a unique style, the viewers are definitely in for a quick jumpstart to their day. Susan and Joel will deliver the latest news and most pressing issues to date giving viewers the pros and cons of issues at hand. Meanwhile, Susan and Mariz will keep women informed as their segment features

female-related topics ranging from health, diet, lifestyle, and even gadgets and trends. Michael, on the other hand, will go around the metro to know what people think on certain issues. “Kape at Balita” will set the pace for the banner news of the day Mondays to Fridays beginning October 22, on GMA News TV International. More details on the show can be found on the GMA International website [ international] and Facebook page []. ■

Extra Challenge, soon on GMA Pinoy TV!

EXPECT extreme excitement and adventure as the multi-awarded news organization GMA News and Public Affairs brings together two of GMA’s most prized Kapuso stars – Richard Gutierrez and Marian Rivera – in one exhilarating,

challenging and exciting program – Extra Challenge! Adding spice to the show is comedian Boobay. Extra Challenge, one of GMA News and Public Affair’s originals, will air beginning October 28 on GMA Pinoy TV. ■

Magpakailanman returns to GMA Pinoy TV this November

GMA PINOY TV brings back the award-winning and high-rating drama anthology Magpakailanman to mesmerize the hearts of the Kapuso viewers all over the globe once more. It will be hosted by multi-awarded broadcast journalist Ms. Mel Tiangco. Magpakailanman, an original concept and creation of the GMA Entertainment TV Group, initially ran from 2002 to 2007 and has twice been awarded Best Drama

Series at the Catholic Mass Media Awards. During its five-year run, the program, which was a consistent top-rater, inspired the lives of many Filipinos and promoted good family values to its viewers. Because of the growing clamour to revive the program, GMA Pinoy TV is happy to announce the return of Magpakailanman with new elements and more in-depth investigation and dramatization of real-life inspired stories.

Aside from merely telling and narrating the story, Mel Tiangco will take a more participative role in making each story not only inspiring and uplifting but also informative and interesting. This will be about “the real story behind the story.” Mel Tiangco, a popular and credible news and TV personality, remains to be the ideal host of the well-loved drama anthology. A multiawarded journalist that delivers investigative and informative news

and at the same time a woman with a soft spot and of substance that a lot of people can relate and look up to – a perfect combination for Magpakailanman’s new offering. Find out what these new elements are as Magpakailanman premieres this November 2012 on GMA Pinoy TV. For more information about the show visit [ international] and [www.facebook. com/GMAPinoyTV]. ■

Celebrity, Showbiz & Entertainment

October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

Coffee Prince – Love all over again

FALL in love all over again with the all-time favorite Koreanovela Coffee Prince as GMA Pinoy TV launches the Pinoy remake of the well-loved drama series. Coffee Prince became one of network’s highest-rating Koreanovelas in 2008 and captivated the hearts of Filipino viewers for its engaging storyline, witty dialogues and endearing characters. And to reprise the immensely popular characters of Arthur and Andy in the Pinoy adaptation is the hottest and sought-after loveteam of Aljur Abrenica and Kris Bernal. The two Kapuso artists are both primed to star in this romantic-comedy series with their excellent onscreen chemistry and natural acting skills. Making Coffee Prince even grander are two of the network’s fresh-faced and fast-rising stars who will add spice to Aljur and Kris’ love story. Introducing in this soap are Max Collins as Arlene; Benjamin Alves as Errol in their very first primetime project. Adding star power to the program are the scene-stealing actors and actresses who are the cute baristas

at the Coffee Prince shop including Boy2 Quizon as Ervin; Steven Silva as Bamboo; Fabio Ide as Leo; Sef Cadayona as Baldo; Kim Komatsu as Mylene. Playing equally vital roles are some of today’s biggest names in drama: Tessie Tomas as Beth; Leo Martinez as Ernie; Ces Quesada as Lorna; Ronnie Henares as Oliver; and Ms Celia Rodriguez as Mamita. Coffee Prince tells the story of Andy, a hardworking young woman who supports her mother and sister after the death of their father. To sustain their daily needs, she earns a living as a tricycle driver. Arthur, on the other hand, is a happy-go-lucky and wealthy bachelor whose family owns the biggest coffee factory in the country. His grandmother constantly pressures him to settle down but Arthur is not yet ready to tie the knot. In order to avoid the dates arranged by his grandmother, Arthur hires Andy to pretend to be his gay lover. He doesn’t know that Andy is just pretending to be a guy to keep her job in Arthur’s coffee shop. Desperate to payoff her family’s


Sef, Kris, Fabio, Boy 2 Quizon

debt, Andy is left with no choice but to agree with Arthur’s plan and to continue with her charade. Things get complicated when Andy starts to fall in love with Arthur. He is likewise unable to control his feelings for Andy and he starts questioning his sexuality. How will Arthur deal with his romantic feelings for Andy? If Arthur finds out about Andy’s real identity and lies, will the truth sabotage their romance and relationship? Will the love story of Arthur and Andy have a happy ending despite the complications and interventions of Errol and Arlene in their lives? Coffee Prince is under the helm of acclaimed actor at TV director Ricky Davao with Des Garbes-Severino as Headwriter. Prince of Soul Jay-R gives a new interpretation for the program’s theme song, Because of You. Coffee Prince finds its way back into the hearts of Filipino viewers all over the globe beginning October 9 on GMA Pinoy TV. For more details, visit the GMA International website [www.] and Facebook page [www.facebook. com/GMAInternational]. ■

Max and Benjamin


Aljur Abrenica

Kris Bernal

Benjamin, Max, Kris, Aljur

Ms. Celia Rodriguez

Ronnie Henares

Ces Quesada

Sef Cadayona

Max Collins

Steven Silva

Leo Martinez

Tessie Tomas

Boy 2 Quizon

Kim Komatsu

Fabio Ide

Benjamin Alves




Celebrity, Showbiz & Entertainment

October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

NEWS5 Chief Luchi Cruz-Valdes receives World Achiever Award in Documentary TV5 NEWS and Information head Luchi Cruz-Valdes was recently conferred the World Achiever Award in Documentary at the 8th International Center for Communication Studies (ICCS) Media Convention held at Henry Lee Irwin Theater at the Ateneo de Manila University. Sharing her experiences in her decades-long broadcasting career, Valdes told the convention, “You’re going to have to focus first on exactly what you want to do, what you want to accomplish in a story, and what you want to show.” In a separate interview, Valdes recalled the challenges and rewards of being one of the country’s documentary-making pioneers, “Being a veteran reporter for 30 years, I can take pride in having been the first to do [documentaries on] many issues that are now being brought up by younger reporters. I’m so glad to see so many TV journalists who start with dreams of becoming investigative reporters. I’d like to think that what I contributed helped inspire many of these reporters to go rough way. More than ever, we need in-depth perspective – we can’t go by the shallow conclusion.” Valdes has had the unique experience of having worked in newsrooms of the Philippines’ major TV networks after her 10-year stint as a co-founder, production manager and reporter at Probe Productions.

One of the most admired names in broadcast journalism, Valdes has virtually documented and reported the country’s history throughout her career, allowing her to bring to bear clear insight and extensive knowledge in her work. Aside from this most recent commendation, Valdes has received several distinctions, including KBP’s 2001 Ka Doroy Brodkaster of the Year, Titus Brandsma Awardee for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, three medals at the New York Film and Television Festivals in 1990, 2000 and 2001 and the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award in Broadcast Journalism given by the University of the Philippines Alumni Association (UPAA). But for the NEWS5 chief, her greatest work lies in the current generation of broadcast journalists, whom she mentored and coached. In an earlier interview, Valdes shared words of inspiration to the young reporters under her tutelage: “They should look at journalism as a calling more than a profession. Part of being a journalist is doing what it takes to deliver a story that will inform. And the information that you need to know is something that will have a bearing on the decisionmaking capacity of your viewers.” Valdes earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Broadcast Communication from the University of the Philippines Diliman in 1981 and 1989, respectively. She had

NEWS5 Chief Luchi Cruz-Valdes (second from right) receives the World Achiever Award in Documentary at the 8th International Center for Communication Studies Media Convention. Seen in the photo were (from left to right) Dr. Jocelyn Dollente, Chair, Central Luzon State University – Department of Development Communication; Dr. Olga Angelinetta Tulabut, Dean, Angeles University Foundation - College of Arts and Sciences; Mr. Augusto Lulu, Head, Tarlac State University – Communication Department; Mr. Alexander Baltazar, Convention Chairman, The Big EdukCircle (Photo courtesy of Henry Philip Lu).

previously hosted NEWS5’s public affairs programs Journo and Anggulo and co-hosted the debate program NEWS5 Debates – Hamon sa Pagbabago (A Challenge For Change) with Atty. Dong Puno, which was a finalist at 2011 New York Festival’s Community Service

Programs category. Currently, she anchors the late-night news magazine program Reaksyon which airs nightly after Pilipinas News. Catch Luchi Cruz-Valdes on AksyonTV International available in North America, Guam, Europe and the Middle East via DISH Network,

MCV Broadband, and OSN respectively. To subscribe to GMA PINOY TV in Europe please call HELLO PHILIPPINES TV CONNECT (Master Dealer for UK & Ireland) on 020 3174 1894 / 07989 403 904 / ■

Kapatid programs, stars reap trophies at CMMA and FAMAS

TV5 officially launches superhero drama Kidlat “TATAMAAN KA!” That is what viewers should expect from Kidlat, TV5’s newest and most anticipated primetime drama. Starring Kapatid star Derek Ramsay, the exciting new show was officially launched September 29, in Cosplay Mania ’12 at the SMX Convention Center at SM Mall of Asia Complex. The event attracted thousands of cosplayers and fans of comic books and superheroes who were there to witness TV5’s first foray into The genre. The main star of the show, along with his co-star Ritz Azul, director Mike Tuviera, and TV5’s Head of Creatives and Entertainment Production Perci

Intalan, graced the event to officially break the news. The project marks many ‘firsts’ for Derek, who takes on the titular role as a man coming to terms with the responsibility of having a strange superpower. “I always do drama in films and TV. This is going to be my first time [to play a superhero], so I’m really excited,” he said. “It’s also my first time to work with Ritz and Nadine [Samonte]. I’m always excited to work with new people and I can’t wait to start working with them,” he added when asked about his two leading ladies. Following the success of the eco-fantasy series Enchanted

Garden, TV5 created an all original material that marries the elements of an action-packed superhero story with a soap opera format. But unlike other soaps, Kidlat will run in the vein similar to big Hollywood blockbuster films. Already working behind the scenes of Kidlat is the world-class production team who worked in Hollywood movies such as X-Men: First Class and The Bourne Legacy. Promising to strike the hearts of every Filipino with its tale of love, family, and modern heroism, Kidlat is another monumental project from TV5 that you should surely watch out for. ■

TV5 continues to raise the bar in television and radio programming with award-giving bodies commending the Kapatid Network’s top-quality shows. The network bagged five recognitions at the recently-concluded 34th Catholic Mass Media Awards (CMMA), while two Kapatid stars were hailed at the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences (FAMAS) Awards. At 34th CMMA, Extreme Makeover Home Edition Philippines won the Best Public Service Program award. “This is a culmination of all the struggles and triumphs from the past year and a half. Naibuhos namin ang lahat sa programang ‘yan. Itong award na ‘to ay icing on the cake. Natapos namin ‘yung season on a very high note and ito ay isang napakalaking bagay para sa aming lahat,” said Bediones after accepting the award. The 34th CMMA also awarded the Best Entertainment Program trophy to Talentadong Pinoy. Three other Kapatid programs – Pinoy Explorer (Best Adult Educational/ Cultural Program), Ang Katapusan (Best TV Special) and USI: Under Special Investigation “Sendong” episode (Best Special Event Coverage) –

earned special citation nods from the award-giving body. Hosted by Paolo Bediones, USI is also set to compete for the 2012 Japan Prize this October. On the other hand, Enchanted Garden star Edgar Allan Guzman was a recipient of German Moreno Youth Achievement Award during the FAMAS Awards night. Baron Geisler, who was recently announced as part of new superhero drama series Kidlat, also won Best Supporting Actor for his role in Manila Kingpin: The Asiong Salonga Story. ■

Paolo Bediones

October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

Celebrity, Showbiz & Entertainment



Kapuso Programs: In demand in today’s global television market

GMA7 continues to showcase its high calibre entertainment programs among international audiences through the aggressive marketing efforts of its content acquisition and distribution arm, GMA Worldwide, Inc. (GWI). Over the last ten months, GWI actively participated in various TV markets and expositions all over the globe alongside other major players in the international entertainment industry. Last December 2011, GWI attended the Asia Television Forum 2011, Asia’s premium content market across all entertainment platforms, held in Singapore. Among the titles that were highlighted during the event were the groundbreaking epicserye Amaya, the equally successful drama Munting Heredera (Little Heiress), Daldalita, Ikaw Lang Ang Mamahalin (Only You), and the first Filipino film ever to be shown in Hollywood, The Road. This year, in addition to Amaya and The Road, GWI also brought the Network’s originally produced drama series Legacy, and My Beloved, as well as its top-rating afternoon dramas Kung Aagawin Mo Ang Langit (Losing Heaven) and Hiram na Puso (A Change of Heart) to the Hong Kong International Film and TV Market 2012 (HK Filmart) last March. The HK Filmart is considered as one of the best locations to promote cross-media and cross-businesses partnerships among entertainment producers in Asia. In August, GWI promoted the Kapuso brand at the Beijing International Radio and Television Expo 2012, or what is dubbed as ‘The must-attend industry exhibition in Asia.’ The Kapuso programs that were featured in the expo were Langit Sa Piling Mo (Heaven With You), the local adaptations of the well-loved Koreanovelas Stairway to Heaven, Endless Love, and Full House, and the original teledramas, My Lover, My

Wife and Ngayon at Kailanman (Now and Forever). Meanwhile, in keeping with the increasing demand for a complete in-flight experience, GWI also distributes movie titles and TV shows through video-on-demand. In the Airline Passenger Experience Expo held last September in Long Beach, California, GWI brought GMA Films’ Of All The Things, Just One Summer, My House Husband, My Kontrabida Girl, and The Road. It also showcased a number of GMA News and Public Affairs, and GMA News TV Specials including Travel: It’s More Fun in the Philippines, KMJS Summer Special 2012, Pinoy Adventures, among others. This October, GWI is set to participate in MIPCOM in Cannes, France, the Tokyo International Film Festival 2012, and the DISCOP Africa 2012 exhibition in Johannesburg, South Africa. It will also join the Asia TV Forum 2012 in Singapore once again this December. “The demand for GMA-produced television content has never been

as high as it is today,” said GWI Vice President Roxanne J. Barcelona. “In the first nine months of 2012 we were able to sell over 50 television programs and movie titles to the

USA, Kenya, Tanzania, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Macau, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. We look forward to bringing more of

our world-class, home-grown titles to our existing clients, and to opening new overseas territories so more international viewers will have access to GMA7’s content,” she added. ■



Celebrity, Showbiz & Entertainment

October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

Bianca King and Heart Evangelista take centerstage in Luna Blanca’s third book

KAPUSO prime actresses Bianca King and Heart Evangelista headline GMA Pinoy TV’s original drama, Luna Blanca, as they breathe life to the adult characters in the story’s third generation which started airing September 12. As the series enters its third book, Bianca as the dark-skinned Luna and Heart as the fair-skinned Blanca will continue the journey of the twin sisters in discovering their ancestry and, at the same time, fulfilling their personal destinies. In this generation, Luna and Blanca’s relationship will be tested after being trapped in a love triangle with Joaquin, whose character will be portrayed by Mark Herras. The sisters are in love with the same man, but Joaquin is smitten with

Blanca from the moment he laid eyes on her. The sisters continue to live separate lives. Blanca stays with Luis and endures Divine’s ill-treatment, while Luna takes care of Rowena who is now under the spell of Devolas/ Diego. How will the separate lives of Luna and Blanca affect their relationship? When the time comes and their paths cross again, will the sisters be able to reconnect with each other? Now that Joaquin is back, will Blanca find the strength to fight for their love without hurting Luna? How much is Blanca willing to sacrifice for Luna’s happiness? Will Luis be able to save Rowena from the hands of Devolas and Divine? Will Luis and Rowena

succeed in having a second chance at life and love? Playing equally important roles in the last phase of the series are the characters associated with Luna and Blanca including seasoned actor Christopher de Leon as Luis, drama actress Lani Mercado as Rowena, Carmi Martin as Divine, Carlos Morales as Devolas. Under the direction of Dominic Zapata, catch Heart Evangelista and Bianca King in Luna Blanca on GMA Pinoy TV. Get the latest updates about Luna Blanca from the GMA International website [ international] and the show’s official facebook page [http://www.] and twitter account [http://www.].

To subscribe to GMA PINOY TV in Europe please call HELLO PHILIPPINES TV CONNECT (Master Dealer for UK & Ireland) on 020 3174 1894 / 07989 403 904 /

The real life story of PEPITO MANALOTO on GMA Pinoy TV THE well-loved family sitcom Pepito Manaloto started airing since September 22. Pepito Manaloto, Ang Tunay na Kuwento is different from the previous season as it is a standalone show that follows the ordinary life of an ordinary person who was blessed with extraordinary luck. This original family sitcom is top billed by Asian TV Best Comedy Actor recipient Michael V. as Pepito Manaloto. The show also stars Manilyn Reynes as Elsa Manaloto, Angel Satsumi as Clarissa Manaloto and Jake Vargas as Chito Manaloto. Playing equally important roles are John Feir as Patrick, Ronnie Henares as Tommy, Mosang as Baby, Janna Dominguez as Maria, and Arthur Solinap as Robert.

Completing the cast are the new characters who will make the lives of the Manaloto family more interesting — Jessa Zaragoza as Deedee and Nova Villa as Mimi. Pepito Manaloto and his family’s rags to riches experience earned them a TV show, but because they thought it didn’t reveal the true story, they had the TV network responsible to scrap it. Instead, they came up with the idea to show exactly what goes on in the Manaloto household by having a camera crew film their lives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The merry mix of characters of Pepito and his wife Elsa, their children Chito and Clarissa, their house help Patrick, Maria, Robert,

Baby, and their neighbors Tommy, plus the mother-daughter tandem of Deedee and Mimi, will bring more color to the life story of Pepito Manaloto. These different characters surrounding Pepito will definitely make his life a lot more interesting. For more details on Pepito Manaloto, visit the GMA International website [www.] and Facebook page [www.facebook. com/GMAInternational]. To subscribe to GMA PINOY TV in Europe please call HELLO PHILIPPINES TV CONNECT (Master Dealer for UK & Ireland) on 020 3174 1894 / 07989 403 904 / ■

Michael V

Jake Vargas

Manilyn Reynes

Angel Satsumi

John Feir

Janna Dominguez


Arthur Solinap

Ronnie Henares

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October 2012 / Fortnightly – No. 19 • UK & Europe Edition

PBA to organize revised 20-man pool for SMART-Gilas Pilipinas Rey Joble, InterAKTV THE elite team of the SMARTGilas Pilipinas program will be composed from a revised PBA pool of 20 players for two international tournaments next year. PBA commissioner Chito Salud said that he had met with SMARTGilas coach Chot Reyes, who suggested the revision in the team’s preparation for next year’s FIBA Asia Championship, which serves as qualifier for the 2014 FIBA World Cup. According to Salud, SMARTGilas will participate in the Dubai International Invitational from

January 10 to 19 and the King’s Cup in Hong Kong from January 22 to 27. SMART-Gilas, under coach Rajko Toroman, finished third in the Dubai tournament in 2010 and runner-up last year. “The conditions were also clear that there will be no disruption on the schedule of the PBA and all players will play in the PBA and walang maga-absent because of the national team,” said Salud. Even though the two tournaments were not part of the original agreement between the league and the national program, the PBA still chose to accomodate SMART-Gilas.

“That was not included in the proposal, but we’re bending backwards and since the PBA will be on a break from January 23 to February 8, that’s a go,” said Salud. “Chot understands that he cannot use these players as long as they’re playing in the PBA. Those players who will not be able the tournament are probably the teams that are playing in the playoff.” Reyes also asked Salud to schedule regular Monday practice for the members of the pool, to be held at the Philsports Arena, with more training sessions to be held as the tournaments near. ■ (InterAksyon –

© Apolonio

October 17, 2012)

Philippine Embassy in Riyadh hosts ASEAN Table Tennis Tournament THE Philippine Embassy in Riyadh hosted this year’s ASEAN Table Tennis Tournament held at the Philippine Chancery on September 27. During the awarding ceremony of the table tennis tournament, Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Ezzedin H. Tago thanked the seven ASEAN Ambassadors for their attendance and participation. Mr. Tago added that one of the objectives of the ARSSC competitions is to promote the ASEAN community as a united family. Handsome crystal trophies were awarded to the champions, first runners-up and second runners-up in the men’s singles, women’s singles, and doubles events. The Philippines’ Eman Galvez, son of the Philippine Embassy’s communication officer Emmanuel Galvez, defended his championship title in men’s singles against a strong challenger from Indonesia who settled for first runner-up. Indonesia won the championship

in the women’s singles event, while Brunei and Malaysia settled for first runner-up and second runner-up, respectively. The Singaporean doubles team prevailed over the duo of Philippine Labor Attaché Abet Valenciano and Welfare Officer Boy Rodrigo in the match for second runner-up. Indonesia took home the Championship trophy after beating Myanmar who settled for first runnerup. The eight diplomatic missions of ASEAN countries in Riyadh organized year-round sports tournaments where each member country sponsors at least one event for the year. On April 29, the Myanmar Embassy hosted the lady golf putting tournament in parallel to the golf tournament sponsored by the Thai Embassy on the same day at the world-class Dirab Golf Course in Riyadh. On May 2, Malaysia hosted a darts competition at its chancery inside the diplomatic quarter. Indonesia

held a singing competition, which was a new event, at its Chancery on May 10. The ASEAN sports activities are organized by the ASEAN Social and

Sports Committee in Riyadh which is under the ASEAN Riyadh Committee composed of the heads of missions of ASEAN missions in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The Singaporean Ambassador currently chairs the ASEAN Riyadh Committee. The Philippines served as committee chair right before Singapore. ■ (DFA – October 2, 2012)

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October 2012 Fortnightly issue  
October 2012 Fortnightly issue  

Filipino news, sports and entertainment