Philippines Today

Switch to desktop
Philippines Today

Philippines Today

By Celeste Anna Formoso

 

 

(Photo by Celeste Anna R. Formoso)

 

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Palawan – When Arjay Espartero went to Long Beach, California on July 4 to join the World Championship of Performing Arts (WCOPA), all he had was trust in his ability as a vocal soloist and the longing to bring honor to his country and the province of Palawan.

 

WCOPA is no joke. It is touted to be an Olympic-style international competition for aspiring performers and entertainers. Every year, more than 2,500 singers, musicians, dancers, variety artists, actors, and models from at least 63 countries compete against one another to win medals in various categories.

 

Espartero, 33, who in his youth had to deal with making charcoal out of abandoned wood trunks to earn a living with his poor family in Narra town in the southern part of the province, is the first Palaweño to take home four medals and a plaque from the WCOPA international meet held on July 6-15 in California.

 

He won a silver medal for his contemporary rendition of the song “Bridge Over Troubled Water”, another silver for Josh Groban’s Latin song “Un Giorno Per Noi”, and gold for his version of the country song “Home” by Michael Buble. He also received a plaque as WCOPA Contemporary Division Winner for singing.

 

Espartero likewise took home a bronze for captivating judges in the formal modeling category.

 

He said he was introduced to the WCOPA by a friend who thought he has a chance to be selected to join the Philippine team and represent Palawan.

 

“Nagkaroon ng audition last September 2017 na sinalihan ko. So ‘yon, I’m so happy dahil sa dami ng nag-audition, isa ako sa mga nakapasa. More than 5,000 ang nag-audition all over the Philippines para sa WCOPA at 500 lang ang nakapasa (There was an audition in September 2017. I joined, and I’m so happy because out of all those who auditioned, I passed. More than 5,000 auditioned all over the Philippines for the WCOPA and only 500 were selected),” he said.

 

Espartero did not expect to win any medal in the worldwide competition.


Though kind and ready to make friends with competitors, every contender in the WCOPA desired nothing except to win, no matter what.

 

“Lahat ng nandoon talagang magagaling. Kung baga yong pinakamagaling na ata sa mga bansa nila. Pero masayang-masaya ako kasi nakapagdala ako ng karangalan sa bansa natin, dito sa Palawan, at sa hometown ko sa Narra (Everyone who was there were all talented. They’re their countries’ best. But I am very happy that I was able to bring honor to our country, to Palawan, and to my hometown Narra),” he said.

 

“Ang gusto ko lang, maiahon ang pamilya ko sa kahirapan sa pamamagitan ng talento ko. Kahit paano, gusto ko mabigyan ko sila ng magandang buhay kasi talagang lumaki kami sa hirap. Gusto ko rin makapag-inspire ng ibang mga Palaweño na hindi hadlang ang kahirapan para maabot mo ang gusto mong marating (What I really long for is to lift my family out of poverty through my talent. As much as possible, I want to give them a good life because we grew up really poor. I also want to inspire other Palaweños that poverty is not a limitation, that it is not a hindrance to what they want to achieve in life),” he said.

 

Espartero’s singing career, coupled with good looks and height, has already attracted talent scouts who are willing to help him break into the showbiz industry. A record producer has also expressed interest for him to make an album.

 

In the following days, he would be preparing to join artist Jed Madela, the first Filipino to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the WCOPA, in his out-of-town shows and concerts.

 

"Nagpapasalamat ako sa mga tumulong sa akin para makapunta sa competition sa California. Malaki ang tulong niyo sa pag-abot ko ng aking pangarap (I am thankful to the people who helped me get to California. Your help for me to reach my dream is so great)," the Narra artist said. (PNA)

 

By EDDIE G. ALINEA | Sports Editor & Columnist

 

(Photo from Instagram | @coachot)

 

MANILA – The Philippine team will compete in the Asian Games in Indonesia after all.

 

Nearly two weeks after controversially withdrawing its participation in the Asiad, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) formally said that it will send a squad to Jakarta for the quadrennial meet.

 

As expected, the key players of Rain ohine will make up the bulk of the national team lineup to be coached by current NLEX mentor Roseller Yeng Guiao. Caloy Garcia, ROS' chief gaffer, will serve as Guiao's associate.

 

"Kasama po rito si Maverick Ahanmisi, Chris Tiu, Gabe Norwood, James Yap, Beau Belga, at si Raymond Almazan," Guiao announced the Elasto Painters' core that will play in the Asiad.

 

They will be joined by Asi Taulava, one of Guiao's players at NLEX, Magnolia's Paul Lee, San Miguel's Chris Standhardinger, GlobalPort's Stanley Pringle, Blackwater's Poy Erram, TNT's Don Trollano, and Gilas cadets Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero.

 

While Guiao announced a 14-man pool during a press conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City prior to Game 5 of the Commissioner's Cup Finals between Ginebra and San Miguel, he added, "We will cut that down to 12 before we leave."

 

Daily practices, according to Guiao, will begin on Monday night at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City and will go full throttle when the team heads to the Indonesian capital on Aug. 14.

 

Philippine Olympic Committee president and Philippine Basketball Association board chairman Ricky Vargas assured, "Hindi lang [ito]team but it's going to be a competitive team. We promise our basketball fans that we're not only sending a team but we're also sending a team that they will be proud of." 

 

Presidential assistant Christopher Lawrence Bong Go said Gilas and the rest of the Philippine team that will go to Jakarta and Palembang for the quadrennial meet will have President Rodrigo Duterte’s full support.

 

"Maaasahan ng Philippine delegates sa Asian Games ang buong suporta ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. Andito kami para suportahan ang mga manlalarong Pilipino na magdadala ng karangalan sa ating bansa (The Philippine delegates to the Asian Games should expect the full support of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration. We are here to support the Filipino athletes who bring honor to our country)," Go said. 

 

A day after getting the imprimatur to represent the country in the coming Asian Games, coach Yeng Guiao and members of the Philippine basketball team met for the first time on August 6 to start their short but extensive preparations at the Meralco gym in Pasig City.

 

Only light skirmishes were scheduled, mostly for purposes of designing plays that will be, Guiao hoped, able to master comes competition time as his boys responded spiritedly.

   

“Maganda ang simula,” Guiao, who is in his second stint as a national mentor following the 2009 FIBA-Asia, assessed. “Feeling ko, inspired ang mga bata. Alam naman natin na biglaan ito at ilan sa kanila ay hindi man mang makakaisip na makalalaro sila sa Asiad representing our flag had it not for the circumstances presently prevailing in th local basketball community.”

 

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, one of the people responsible for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ change of heart from not sending a team to eventually allowing the country’s participation owing to a strong public clamor, agreed.

 

“Alam mo, dapat nga nating hangaan at purihin and mga manlalarong ito who defied criticism that they don’t really deserve being in the national team,” Marcial emphasized.

 

“To me, these guys are already winners in the sense that they save Philippine basketball from being in the doldrums had earlier decision to not play in the Asiad pushed through,” Marcial added.

 

“That’ right,” Raymond Yu, who co-owned the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters franchise with Terry Que, butted in. “These boys saved, too, our relations with all Olympic Council of Asia member countries for agreeing to play in the midst of kantyaw ibibabato sa kanila ng ilang kababayan natin.”

 

“And for that, I consider them our modern day dheroes, ngayon pa lamang na hindi pa nagsisimua ang Asa Games,” Yu declared.

 

 “Most importantly, we must thank our basketball-crazy kababayans who didn’t stop clamoring that we send a team in a sport closest to their hearts, Marcial said. “Our thanks also go to the PBA, the SBP and the Philippine Olympic Committee for heeding the insistent demand from our basketball-loving people.”

 

Given the limited time to prepare and the equally limited talents available, Guiao said his team has sufficient manpower to perform creditably and decently and win as many games possible that will make the Filipinos happy.

 

“Out of this pool of players, we hope to build a team composed of 12 men who might come short of coming to the medal podium, but, win the admiration and respect of our people and those of our rivals,” Guiao vowed.

 

“Sisiguruhin namin sa coaching staff at sa mga mamumuno ng ating koponan na ang mga batang ipadadala sa Indonesia ay makapagbibigay karangalan sa aking bansa at sa pangalang Pilipino kung hindi man medalya,” Guiao vowed.

 

“Of course, we’ll try our best to bring home that coveted basketball edal our countrymen have been craving for quite some time,” he added.

 

All but one members of the team – Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, James Yap, Chris Tiu and Maverick Ahanmisi, all of Rain or Shine Paul Lee of Magnolia Hotshots, Stanley Pringle of Global Port, Don Trollano of Talk ‘N Text, Asi Taulava of NLEX, Poy Erram of Blackwater and Gilas Cadets Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero – were in attendance.

 

Only San Miguel Beer’ contribution to Guiao’s selection, Christian Stanhardinger, wasn’t around, attending the Beermen’s preparation for their on-going best-of-seven series in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, now in Game 5.

 

Another Cadet member, Abu Tratter, filled the void in Stanhardinger’s absence by joining the light, but, inspired workout scheduled for the day that satisfied Guiao, assistant coach Coy Garcia, ROS owner Yu PBA Board of Governors member, Atty, Mamerto Mondragon, and PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, among others.     

 

Before practice began, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio, Yu and Guiao spoke to the team in a closed-door meeting.

 

The squad will leave for Jakarta on August 14 before plunging to action on August 16.  

By EDDIE G. ALINEA | Sports Editor & Columnist

 

(Photo from Instagram | @coachot)

 

MANILA – The Philippine team will compete in the Asian Games in Indonesia after all.

 

Nearly two weeks after controversially withdrawing its participation in the Asiad, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) formally said that it will send a squad to Jakarta for the quadrennial meet.

 

As expected, the key players of Rain ohine will make up the bulk of the national team lineup to be coached by current NLEX mentor Roseller Yeng Guiao. Caloy Garcia, ROS' chief gaffer, will serve as Guiao's associate.

 

"Kasama po rito si Maverick Ahanmisi, Chris Tiu, Gabe Norwood, James Yap, Beau Belga, at si Raymond Almazan," Guiao announced the Elasto Painters' core that will play in the Asiad.

 

They will be joined by Asi Taulava, one of Guiao's players at NLEX, Magnolia's Paul Lee, San Miguel's Chris Standhardinger, GlobalPort's Stanley Pringle, Blackwater's Poy Erram, TNT's Don Trollano, and Gilas cadets Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero.

 

While Guiao announced a 14-man pool during a press conference at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City prior to Game 5 of the Commissioner's Cup Finals between Ginebra and San Miguel, he added, "We will cut that down to 12 before we leave."

 

Daily practices, according to Guiao, will begin on Monday night at the Meralco Gym in Pasig City and will go full throttle when the team heads to the Indonesian capital on Aug. 14.

 

Philippine Olympic Committee president and Philippine Basketball Association board chairman Ricky Vargas assured, "Hindi lang [ito]team but it's going to be a competitive team. We promise our basketball fans that we're not only sending a team but we're also sending a team that they will be proud of." 

 

Presidential assistant Christopher Lawrence Bong Go said Gilas and the rest of the Philippine team that will go to Jakarta and Palembang for the quadrennial meet will have President Rodrigo Duterte’s full support.

 

"Maaasahan ng Philippine delegates sa Asian Games ang buong suporta ng administrasyon ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte. Andito kami para suportahan ang mga manlalarong Pilipino na magdadala ng karangalan sa ating bansa (The Philippine delegates to the Asian Games should expect the full support of President Rodrigo Duterte's administration. We are here to support the Filipino athletes who bring honor to our country)," Go said. 

 

A day after getting the imprimatur to represent the country in the coming Asian Games, coach Yeng Guiao and members of the Philippine basketball team met for the first time on August 6 to start their short but extensive preparations at the Meralco gym in Pasig City.

 

Only light skirmishes were scheduled, mostly for purposes of designing plays that will be, Guiao hoped, able to master comes competition time as his boys responded spiritedly.

   

“Maganda ang simula,” Guiao, who is in his second stint as a national mentor following the 2009 FIBA-Asia, assessed. “Feeling ko, inspired ang mga bata. Alam naman natin na biglaan ito at ilan sa kanila ay hindi man mang makakaisip na makalalaro sila sa Asiad representing our flag had it not for the circumstances presently prevailing in th local basketball community.”

 

PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, one of the people responsible for the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas’ change of heart from not sending a team to eventually allowing the country’s participation owing to a strong public clamor, agreed.

 

“Alam mo, dapat nga nating hangaan at purihin and mga manlalarong ito who defied criticism that they don’t really deserve being in the national team,” Marcial emphasized.

 

“To me, these guys are already winners in the sense that they save Philippine basketball from being in the doldrums had earlier decision to not play in the Asiad pushed through,” Marcial added.

 

“That’ right,” Raymond Yu, who co-owned the Rain or Shine Elasto Painters franchise with Terry Que, butted in. “These boys saved, too, our relations with all Olympic Council of Asia member countries for agreeing to play in the midst of kantyaw ibibabato sa kanila ng ilang kababayan natin.”

 

“And for that, I consider them our modern day dheroes, ngayon pa lamang na hindi pa nagsisimua ang Asa Games,” Yu declared.

 

 “Most importantly, we must thank our basketball-crazy kababayans who didn’t stop clamoring that we send a team in a sport closest to their hearts, Marcial said. “Our thanks also go to the PBA, the SBP and the Philippine Olympic Committee for heeding the insistent demand from our basketball-loving people.”

 

Given the limited time to prepare and the equally limited talents available, Guiao said his team has sufficient manpower to perform creditably and decently and win as many games possible that will make the Filipinos happy.

 

“Out of this pool of players, we hope to build a team composed of 12 men who might come short of coming to the medal podium, but, win the admiration and respect of our people and those of our rivals,” Guiao vowed.

 

“Sisiguruhin namin sa coaching staff at sa mga mamumuno ng ating koponan na ang mga batang ipadadala sa Indonesia ay makapagbibigay karangalan sa aking bansa at sa pangalang Pilipino kung hindi man medalya,” Guiao vowed.

 

“Of course, we’ll try our best to bring home that coveted basketball edal our countrymen have been craving for quite some time,” he added.

 

All but one members of the team – Gabe Norwood, Beau Belga, Raymond Almazan, James Yap, Chris Tiu and Maverick Ahanmisi, all of Rain or Shine Paul Lee of Magnolia Hotshots, Stanley Pringle of Global Port, Don Trollano of Talk ‘N Text, Asi Taulava of NLEX, Poy Erram of Blackwater and Gilas Cadets Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero – were in attendance.

 

Only San Miguel Beer’ contribution to Guiao’s selection, Christian Stanhardinger, wasn’t around, attending the Beermen’s preparation for their on-going best-of-seven series in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup, now in Game 5.

 

Another Cadet member, Abu Tratter, filled the void in Stanhardinger’s absence by joining the light, but, inspired workout scheduled for the day that satisfied Guiao, assistant coach Coy Garcia, ROS owner Yu PBA Board of Governors member, Atty, Mamerto Mondragon, and PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial, among others.     

 

Before practice began, Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Ricky Vargas, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) president Al Panlilio, Yu and Guiao spoke to the team in a closed-door meeting.

 

The squad will leave for Jakarta on August 14 before plunging to action on August 16.  

By JO ERLINDA MAUFIT

 

(Photo from newsfeed.ph)

 

Is actor, singer, composer, host and businessman Willie Revillame running for mayor of Quezon City?

 

Manila media are full of reports on speculations that the popular GMA network “Wowowin” show host is entering politics next year following a meeting with President Rodrigo Duterte last May and lately on August 1, with the President's popular daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte who has formed a political party which is a breakaway from the administration party PDP-Laban.

 

Revillame, 57, whose real name is Wilfredo Buendia Revillame, first met and had a long talk with President Duterte during the wake of senator Edgardo Angara. The meeting fueled rumors that the actor and comedian could be consulting the President on his possible political plans,

 

Last week, Revillame met with the popular Mayor Duterte at the executive lounge of Quezon City Hall, bolstering speculations of a political plan to run in Quezon City where he is a resident and a voter.

 

A Facebook post by Revillame’s executive producer Adrian Gret showed that the “Wowowin” host Willie Revillame appeared to be happy meeting the Davao mayor and presidential daughter.

 

Three clues after the meeting were elicited by the Facebook post, according to media reports.

 

One clue indicated that after the photo session, the scene transitions to the Philippine flag, and the words “Pag-ibig, pagmamahal, pagmamalasakit sa bawat Pilipino” (Love and compassion for every Filipino) were seen in the post.

 

Greta also described his video on the Willie-Sara meeting: “Duterte. Revillame.”

 

A third clue could be found in a comment left by composer and Revillame’s friend Vehnee Saturno: “Tuloy na tuloy na!” (It’s really happening!), local media reported.


Revillame, however, has remained mum on the speculations that he would be entering politics in 2019. The wait, however, will be short as filing of certificates of candidacy starts this October.

 

There are speculations also, however, that Revillame may not be running in the May 2019 elections after all. One comment from an entertainment website, for one, stated, “nasa contract nya sa GMA not to get involve in politics diba? hmmmm … mawawala na kaya yun show nya ulit?”

 

There was also speculation that the Sara-Willie meeting was probably a discussion only about the show of Willie to be held in Davao City.

 

To recall, photos the “Wowowin” host with the President Rodrigo Duterte has gone viral online during a serious conversation at the wake of Senator Edgardo Angara at the Heritage Park last May of this year.

 

Media in Manila have also reported on rumors that political leaders were actually convincing Revillame to run as Quezon City Mayor.

 

Among those convincing the actor, singer and host to run are veteran Quezon City politicians, namely, Representatives Winnie Castelo and Bingbong Crisologo of Quezon City, Rep. Ace Barbers of Surigao, and former Cabinet Secretary Mike Defensor who was also a former congressman of Quezon City.

 

Since Revillame has not committed to running for mayor, Congressman Crisologo has declared he would run for mayor against incumbent Vice Mayor Josefina “Joy” Belmonte, daughter of former Speaker Feliciano Belmonte who is serving his third and final term as Quezon City’s fourth district representative and had served as mayor of Quezon City.

 

The younger Belmonte has earlier joined Mayor Sara Duterte’s group and Revillame’s entry to the race could become a headache for the Davao City mayor if speculations are true that the popular host would really run for mayor of Quezon City, although there are also speculations that Revillame would run for senator.

 

Prior to the much-publicized meeting of Revillame with Mayor Sara Duterte, there were media hypes about the popular television host, adding fuel to speculations that he has political plans.

 

 One such media publicity about Revillame’s resort-like mansion at the Ayala Heights, a posh subdivision in Quezon City, which gives readers and viewers a glimpse about the actor’s private life.

 

Another report showed off Revillame’s achievement as one of the top three richest celebrities in the country, after fighting Senator Emmanuel Pacquiao and megastar Sharon Cuneta Pangilinan.

 

Joe Saballa, reporting for KAMI, stated that Revillame has declared his net worth at P600 million.

 

Another report from Top 10 World indicated that the estimated net worth of Willie including the first two quarters of 2018 is at $25 million or P1.3 billion.

 

The Philippine Entertainment Portal (pep.ph) also added fuel to speculations of Revillame’s run with a feature article opening: “With the possibility of Willie Revillame running for mayor in Quezon City, here's to give you a glimpse of his private life in his sprawling home in Ayala Heights.”

 

The Pep report stated that Revilame bought the Ayala Heights property from Gabby Lopez, his former boss in ABS-CBN, for P80 million.

 

The house was built in the 1990s and designed by National Artist for Architecture Leandro V. Locsin.

 

According to the report, Willie wanted it to look like a resort, so he spent an additional P65 million for its renovation.

 

When the improvement was completed, the actor called this P145-million-peso house his "legacy."

 

The house stands on a 2,300 square-meter lot. It features an infinity pool, a Jacuzzi, a garden, a gym with sauna, a koi pond, and a guest house which, according to him, looks like a first-class hotel.

 

Pep also reporte that Revillame commissioned Ponce Veridiano, the landscape artist who did the Greenbelt gardens, to turn his lawn into a relaxing oasis.

 

The formal dining area features an eight-seater narra table, Maxalto chairs from B&B Italia, and the 2097 Chandelier, which was designed by Gino Sarfatti for Flos, a well-known lighting brand.

 

The cooking area is equipped with appliances from trusted brand Thermador.

 

His bedroom has a king-size bed and an 85-inch flat TV.

 

The main house has a total floor area of 700 square meters, according to the Pep.ph report.Revillame has also another mansion in Tagaytay City and owns the WilTower with former Senator Manny Villar.

 

Willie started as a drummer of Randy Santiago before he was tapped to do sideline hosting. He is now 57 years old and is remaining active on his business and hosting careers.

Copyrighted for Philippines Today Tel: (650) 872-3200. Website developed by: SP3Media.com

Top Desktop version