Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Christmas Lighting Ceremony Turns on the Holiday Cheer at Theater Mall and Promenade

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Christmas lighting ceremony is a much-awaited annual tradition at the Promenade and Theater Mall that officially kicks off Christmas in this part of Greenhills.

Enlivened by the presence of stars and entertainment personalities, the tradition began in 2008, the 20th year of the Music Museum, when German “Kuya Germs” Moreno invited stars like Gloria Romero to join him in providing Christmas cheer and dazzle at the ceremony. Through the years, young stars like Barbie Forteza, Bea Binene, Jake Vargas, Hero Angeles, and Ken Chan joined Kuya Germs in spreading Christmas cheer to shoppers and mall goers at the Promenade.

Every year, the celebrities assemble at the site of the Christmas Switch, put their hands together and press the switch. Immediately, the bright lights of Christmas start to shine all over the place -- as if the stars of the entertainment world lend their sparkle to the Holiday look.

This year, stars of GMA’s hit television show Meant To Be Ken Chan, Jak Roberto and Barbie Forteza, including Mark Manicad and John Nite carried on the tradition begun by Kuya Germs. At the flick of the switch, the Christmas lights inside and outside the mall and on the Christmas tree came alive in a blaze of big and little lights, punctuated by transparent Pinoy parols deftly put together by resident artist Francis Dano-og.

“I’m so happy to be doing this again. I love the symbolism of the lights going on at the same time to start the Christmas festivities here” said Barbie Forteza, who first became part of the Greenhills tradition when she was just 13 years old.

The Christmas Lighting ceremony was led by Music Museum Group President Precy M. Florentino and other MMG officials. The event touched off engaging Christmas activities at the mall highlighted by a Christmas Bazaar at the Missouri area that will go on till December 31.

Miss Florentino recalled how Christmas lights are a traditional part of the Christmas celebration and how parols – the traditional Filipino symbols of Christmas – lit the way for country folk on their way to Simbang Gabi. “We want to show that the Christmas spirit is forever alive in us. We want these Christmas lights to provide hope and cheer to our surroundings. Pinoy Christmases are always bright,” she added.

The dining, shopping and entertainment enclave is best known for its popular performance venues, the Music Museum and Teatrino, its state of the art Greenhills Cinemas that pioneered the Dolby Atmos Sound Technology, and its lively mix of shops and restaurants.

For more information about activities, movies, dining places, shops, stores and more at the Promenade and Theater Mall, go to

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Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Award-Winning Film Maestra Screens at Cine Lokal Starting December 8

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Maestra, an award-winning film which pays tribute to teachers as modern-day heroes, will be shown at Cine Lokal in eight SM cinemas — Megamall, Mall of Asia, North Edsa, Southmall, Manila, Sta. Mesa, Fairview and Bacoor — starting December 8.

The film, directed by Lemuel Lorca, features three generations of courageous teachers who will share significant lessons in life as they cross paths in a journey of dreaming to achieve, struggling to succeed and pursuing to find life’s greater meaning — as teachers.

Maestra recently won Best Actress for Anna Luna and Special Mention for Best Screenplay for Archie del Mundo in the feature films section of the Five Continents Film Festival at Puerto La Cruz in Venezuela.

Luna, who previously won Best Supporting Actress trophies for Paglipay at the 2016 ToFarm Film Festival and for Bendor at the 2013 Cinema One Originals, essays the role of Iah Seraspi, a poor dreamer from Looc, Romblon who passionately pursued her studies to reach the top. The story of Seraspi, who managed to place second in the nationwide Licensure Exam for Teachers, became viral on social media and was featured on television.

Gawad Urian Best Actress Angeli Bayani plays Gennie Panguelo, an Aeta-Ilocana parateacher who dreams of passing the LET exam. Panguelo, more popularly known as Ma’am Gennie, defies the odds by walking four hours everyday to school just to teach young Aeta students. She helped build the Tarukan Elementary School for children who mostly have slim chances of completing a school year.

Queen of Visayan Movies Gloria Sevilla portrays the character of Esperanza Bautista, a respected teacher and most outstanding principal. Bautista, or Ma’am Espie to her students, can also compose and deliver poems on the spot as part of her inspirational talks. Now more than 80 years old, she still refuses to retire from teaching.

The veteran actress was able to relate a lot to her role as a tireless educator. “Kahit may edad na ako, gusto ko pa ring mag-artista dahil kaligayahan kong maging artista. I want to enjoy myself. I want to make people happy. Kahit may edad na ako, nandito pa rin ako. Kapag nasa dugo mo ang isang bagay, go for it,” she said.

“I really like the story. This is about the plight of teachers na hindi masyadong napapansin ng mga tao. Ang mga teachers ang siyang nagmo-mold ng utak ng mga kabataan,” she added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Carl Balita, who runs 94 branches of his review center nationwide, produced his second advocacy film after the success of his first production Nars, a film about Filipino nurses. “I want to pay forward to the teachers’ community who has helped me a lot. I realized that they’re really the unsung heroes of our generation,” the popular educator said.

Balita, who is also an entrepreneur and media personality, revealed that he knows of several other inspiring stories of teachers. “There’s so much to say. There’s so much to tell. Beyond three is probably too crowded. It’s blending three different stories in one harmonized script.”

Maestra also stars Lou Veloso, Lui Manansala, William Martinez, Yayo Aguila, Suzette Ranillo, Karl Medina, Bong Cabrera, Paul Salas, Star Orjaliza and Balita as himself. A co-production with the Carl Balita Review Center and Spotlight Artists Centre, the film also competed at the Sydney World Film Festival, Warsaw Avenue Film Festival, 24th annual Filipino International Cine Festival and NPS International Children’s Film Festival in India.

Balita explained why he also decided to take the festival route. “I believe in the movie. I got the right people. I got the right production team. I got the right artists. I know we got a good story. I’ll let it speak for itself.” The film was Graded A by the Cinema Evaluation Board.

Cine Lokal is a cinema line that houses independent, award-winning films and Film Development Council of the Philippines programs in select SM Cinema branches across the country. The CBRC branches will be in charge of further local distribution of the film.

MAESTRA trailer:

Katy Perry Witness The Tour Comes to Manila

Wazzup Pilipinas!

In the wake of the North American tour’s stellar reviews and added concerts, Katy Perry announces the Asia leg of WITNESS: The Tour. Produced by AEG Presents and Ovation Productions, Katy Perry will visit Manila on 02 April 2018 at the Mall Of Asia Arena. Besides Manila, WITNESS: The Tour Asia leg also includes Tokyo, Hong Kong, Taipei, Singapore, Bangkok and Jakarta.

This announcement follows the addition of a South American leg in March, Mexico, UK and European legs kicking off in May of 2018, and an Australian/New Zealand leg commencing in July of 2018.

Tickets for the 02 April 2018 show go on sale 12 noon of 11 December 2017 via Ticket prices are P19,540/ 16,370/ 13,200/ 6,870/ 2,640. See itinerary via

The North American leg, which began in September, has received rave reviews.

“Eye-popping” – USA Today

“Ms. Perry was as confident and adept onstage as she’s ever been” –The New York Times

“Enormous, colorful sets with eye-popping props, strong vocals that kept her at the front of top-40 live performers, and a presence now more refined than radicalized” – Los Angeles Times

“Fast-paced and fun” – Boston Globe

“Katy Perry’s Witness Tour Looks Are Out of This World” – InStyle

“Colorful, sparkling spectacle” – Billboard

“As concert productions go, Perry’s is the definition of top-notch and an Instagram dream: a highly choreographed, sensory overloaded assault that sparkles, swings, struts, and even flies.” – Variety

With Witness, Katy finds liberation, in the changes in her own life and in the world around her, delivering songs that inspire both thought and movement. The singles released thus far – the Platinum-certified “Chained to the Rhythm” featuring Skip Marley, and the singles, “Bon App├ętit” featuring Migos and “Swish Swish” featuring Nicki Minaj – hint at the breadth of the musical and thematic elements found on Witness.

WITNESS: the Tour is an imaginative trip from outer-space to inner-space, from the planets to the bottom of our oceans, and a musical journey through Katy Perry’s biggest milestones and mega-hits right up to her latest album. The dramatically original staging means that there isn’t a bad seat in the house, when Katy brings out her band and dancers, along with all the bells and whistles.

WITNESS: The Tour is Katy’s first run since the sold-out, 151-date Prismatic World Tour, which concluded in 2015 and was hailed by Rolling Stone as "a show to damage retinas and blow minds." Sponsors include KATY PERRY PARFUMS.

Katy made her Capitol Records debut with 2008’s One of the Boys after signing to the label in 2007. She cemented her status as a global superstar with the follow-up album, Teenage Dream (2010). PRISM, her 2013 album, debuted at No. 1 on iTunes in 100 countries and has sold more than 12.5 million adjusted albums worldwide. With the singles “Roar,” “Firework” and “Dark Horse” each surpassing the 10 million threshold including song sales and streams, Katy is the first female artist to earn three RIAA Digital Single Diamond Awards. In her 10 years with Capitol, she has racked up a cumulative 18+ billion streams alongside worldwide sales of more than 40+ million adjusted albums and 125+ million tracks. She is the most-followed person globally on Twitter, and the first to surpass 100 million followers.

AEG Presents is one of the largest live music companies in the world. The company is dedicated to all aspects of live contemporary music performances, including producing and promoting global and regional concert tours, music events and world-renowned festivals. AEG Presents promotes more than 8,000 shows annually worldwide. For more information, visit
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