Saturday, February 20, 2016

Bubble Bible by Bitoy

Bubble Gang, the longest running comedy sketch in the country celebrates its 20th anniversary. Its muli-awarded comedian and creative director Beethoven del Valle Bunagan, more known by his stage name Michael V. a.k.a. "Bitoy", wrote his first book.

Bitoy says it took a while for them to finalize the list of characters that will appear in the book.

Bubble Bible by Bitoy is about a few characters in Bubble Gang. Nagbotohan sino pinaka kilala o pinakapwede namin gamiting material. We came up with 12 na ginamit namin sa book. This one is a combination of all the things that I do. I write, I make jokes, I draw.

Among the characters who appeared in the book, Michael V says Junee Lee, his alter ego, is his favorite.

Siya yung awkward na sarili ko pag may nakikita akong artistas and famous personalities

My personal favorite is "Yaya" as she battles each day with positivity and tames down the spoiled brat "Angelina"
(I'm happy I was able to work with them in "Hole in the Wall" back in 2009:))

Michael V dreams of coming up with other books in the future featuring other characters he breathed life into in the show.

Catch the IMBG Book Signing with the Bubble Gang cast on FEBRUARY 22, 5PM at the TriNoma Activity Center. 

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Fringe Manila this Feb

Fringe Manila kicks off with a bang shortly after Chinese New Year in Makati.  The brainchild of Fringe Manila Andrei Pamintuan is happy to usher Fringe in Manila this second time around.

Fringe Manila has been a representative of the cultural landscape of the Philippines. When it comes to the art that we create as Filipinos, Fringe is also a multi arts festival. There is theater, spoken word, dance and everything in between.

With the diversity of material that flows through Fringe, Andrei says it encourages local and foreign artists and enthusiasts to contribute regardless of age or experience. 

We're on the periphery and we're still making an impact. We are representing artists, we are a voice waiting to be heard. This is the perfect venue for that; it is intimate.

Aside from Pineapple Lab in Poblacion, Makati, other venues collaborate to add to the Fringe vibe such as the Cultural Center of the Philippines, the National Commission of Culture & the Arts gallery, and bars like Saguijo.

Fringe Manila will run from Feb10 to 24, 2016.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Joey Albert: in Manila for Valentines

My long time idol (I have known her songs by heart since I was a toddler) --singer Joey Albert -- will have a concert in Manila this Valentines. 

Her songs lulled me to sleep as a child & comforted me as an emotional teen. They serve as anthems for the broken-hearted. She's like a living saint for sad hearts.

Imagine how ecstatic I am now that she knows that we exist in the same dimension. She's such an angel up close!

Joey shares my favorite song "Tell Me " takes on a new meaning as she faces adversity...and continues to battle with cancer.

If you really read thru the lines.. It's a short and quiet song. That's how surrender should be. Short and quick.
But there's an irony here. I do fight; there is a battle within me to keep my head above the water. The real battle with cancer is within yourself. There is a fight and yet the only way to win the fight is to surrender. It's very ironic

Joey reveals that she has a say in choosing who she would perform with in her concerts. She laughs that she can't see herself doing rap anytime soon. This Valentines, she's singing with another music icon-- Dennis Lambert.

Joey recalls when she met Dennis in one of their charity events for the first time.

I met Dennis for a fundraiser for typhoon Ondoy in San Francisco... Dennis loves the Philippines. He wants to do something for the Filipino people. He was surprised by their zest for him in 1997 and he didn't know he was big here. He had no idea; he was in shock! A few years later, I was commissioned to do a fundraiser for my church.. I braved myself to ask Dennis and he said Yes! So I'm bringing him back!

Joey sings and trudges in life as cheerfully as she can. She continues serving others in any way possible.

Life should be what inspires us.
It's a little more difficult physically but emotionally it's actually more inspiring. Things like that if taken with the right attitude, adversity can actually propell you to go further than you would have imagined you could go

Their one night only concert "Celebrate Love" happens on Feb 14, 8pm at the Theater in Solaire.

You have to fall in love again on Valentines. What better way than with my songs? Songs that meant so much when you were younger. These are the songs Dennis and I are going to bring back...Music has an esctatic way of transporting you back to the best times of your life and make you fall in love all over again and remember all your old boyfriends and girlfriends.

I just love Joey Albert. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Multiverse after Ms Universe

This Valentine season, Red Turnips brings another hit from the West End and Broadway-- Constellations. A non-linear play, it presents multiple possibilities between a bee-keeper and a cosmologist who were attracted to each other. 

Director Rem Zamora says

There's quite a buzz about Constellations; people are interested with the concept of the multiverse. Is there another person out there for me? In another place outside the universe would I have the same job/ the same situation? People are fascinated by that.

These hops through space are accomplished without elaborate set changes. With the set's sheer simplicity, thespians JC Santos and Cris Villonco are challenged in this production. The piece demands no less than hardcore masterclass acting; Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson starred in the Broadway version.

Yet actor JC Santos says preparation is better when you don't overthink.

Kailangan mo hanapin yung timpla na yun. It boils down to sincerity

Actress Cris Villonco (who juggles her sched with her own real-life wedding preps) says it was an advantage that she dated a scientist before.

They really do work differently; they think and communicate differently. She's more on the social side rather than a complete big bang theory nerd. It's a balancing act actually

The endless possibilities are delightful. Constellations will run from Feb12 to March 6 at the Circuit in Makati.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Karel Marquez Goes Shady!

Kitchen inspirations host Karel Marquez somewhat shocks us as she stars as Anastasia Steele in the Manila leg of 50 Shades of Grey: the Musicale Parody.

But she assures us (& to the quiet dismay of her male fans) there will be no nudity for her in this production. In their press launch, she hilariously sang "There's a hole inside of me" 

At first I expected the 50 Shades movie...When I found out it was a parody and they sent me the script. The music is lovely. I'm with very talented foreigners from Las Vegas, New York & LA. It's a new experience for me working with foreign artists.

Co-actress Bituin Escalante agrees that it is indeed wonderful being part of a multi-racial cast.

Oh man they're so much fun! I think we had to get in the spirit of the book. They're so open and loving. Seriously, it's a wonderful cast. Everyone's learning from each other.

Albert Samuels, their director, was quite surprised that it was Vivere Fort (the one who brought a lot of hit foreign acts here like Hi-5 & Peppa Pig) who offered to stage it in Manila. But he is definitely excited to shock the audience.

We start with the book club ladies.. we just bounce back and forth between them. Anything that needs exposition, we give it to you

50 shades the Musicale Parody opens on Feb 12 at RCBC Theater in Makati.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

People of the Year

What makes a person truly remarkable in his/her lifetime? When can you say a person is at his/her prime?

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending People Asia's People of the Year awards night in Manila & I got to chat with several recepients on the list. 

Among the awardees is the "host with the most"...Mr. Johnny Litton. (yes, he's the uncle of Cesca & Issa :))

His career has spanned several decades and says he's been handing out awards all his life. He's super thrilled to be the one receiving the award this time around.
His advice?:)

Live life to the fullest with morality and integrity...don't experience it, don't exist. Live it!

Then there was Heneral Luna star/ environmentalist/ Fluffy Pwets ambassador John Arcilla along with the formidable love team Aldub and the great pianist Cecille Licad (whom I believe is a vampire. She hasn't aged a bit from her picture in my gradeschool history book; plus she puts the piano on fire everytime and manages not to get burned. How is that even possible?) 

Meantime, Jorge Araneta, the wind beneath the wings of Bb Pilipinas Chairperson Madame Stella Marquez- Araneta (the one responsible for training our new Ms Universe Pia Wurtzbach!) was also included in the list. A charming visionary, he's positive we can produce more international titlists while businesses boom in Araneta Center. Hopefully we get to host Ms Universe this year too!

I have to continue the work of my wife to produce another Ms Universe...we have to find the most beautiful girls in the Philippines

Suicide/depression awareness advocate and fashion designer Jeane Goulbourn was another recepient. Sizzling with color and genuine interest in people, it's amazing how she seems to know everyone.

I'm happy to be inspirational to those who want to do something for the country.

Doctors, actors, players, musicians, philantrophists, activists and hard-core businessmen...they all seem to own a version of Hermione's time turner and squeeze so much out of life.