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Bruno Mars leads American Music Awards nominations

Published in Entertainment

(Photo from Instagram | @brunomars)


Award-winning Filipino-American singer-composer Bruno Mars is the top nominee in this year’s American Music Awards with eight nominations.


The FilAm actor, meanwhile, has started preparations for his return concert at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City next year


Meanwhile, The Chainsmokers, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran and The Weeknd also got five nominations apiece for the awards.


The nominations were announced Thursday for the fan-voted American Music Awards, with an all-male lineup for the top prize of artist of the year. Mars will compete against The Chainsmokers, Drake, Lamar and Sheeran.


Justin Bieber, Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi received four nominations each, including favorite pop/rock song for their hit collaboration, "Despacito." The video for "Despacito," which set the record for most-watched clip on YouTube with more than 3 billion views, was also nominated for video of the year.


Keith Urban leads country artists with three nominations. Nominees for the new artist of the year are James Arthur, Niall Horan, Julia Michaels, Post Malone and Rae Sremmurd.


Alessia Cara, Lady Gaga and Rihanna are nominated for favorite female artist pop/rock.


The show will air live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Nov. 19 at 8 p.m. Eastern on ABC.


Bruno Mars return concert in Manila on May 3, 2018 at the SM Mall of Asia Arena is promoted by MMI Live which announced the ticket prices for the concert started selling last month.


The announcement via the SM Tickets website stated that the tickets are priced as follows: VIP 1 STANDING: P23,850; VIP 2 STANDING: P18,550; LOWER BOX A: P13, 250; LOWER BOX B: P 8,480; UPPER BOX: P4,770; and GENERAL ADMISSION: P2,650.


The multiple Grammy winner will perform on May 3 next year as part of his “24K Magic” tour. 


The Filipino American singer last performed in Manila in March 2014 for his “The Moonshine Jungle” tour. 


Some of his hits include "Versace on the Floor," "That's What I Like," and "Just the Way You Are."


The concert is  the singer’s third visit in the country. He first performed in April 2011 in Cebu, followed by a concert in Manila in 2014 as part of his “The Moonshine Jungle” world tour.


His visit in 2018 is part of his "24k Magic World Tour.


The tour, which kicked off last March in Europe, is in support of Mars’ latest album of the same tour name, with three hit singles so far: “Versace on the Floor,” “That’s What I Like,” and the title track.



(Photo from Instagram | @praybeytbenjamin)


Vice Ganda has been the top grosser of past Metro Manila Film Festivals and, after a year-long hiatus, wants to reclaim the title this year.


Vice, who is Jose Marie Borja Viceral in real life, stars in the movie “The Revengers,” one of the first four films selected for this year’s filmfest which opens this December.


It was announced that in the movie, Vice is joined by Dennis Padilla and comebacking actress Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, the former beauty queen.


But Vice is being threatened by actor and friend Coco Martin who also has an entry in the filmfest entitled “Ang Panday” whose earlier editions from Fernando Poe Jr. and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. were box office hits.


And it seems there is bad blood with the bosom buddies due to the Metro filmfest competition.


It can be recalled that Vice and Coco had starred in the box office hit Star Cinema’s “Beauty and the Bestie” and had since cemented their friendship.


Showbiz authority and entertainment editor Ricky Lo had reported on the apparent rift between Vice Ganda and Coco Martin in his column.


In his latest column, Ricky Lo wrote about the update on the alleged rift.


Quoting his VDPA (Very Deep Penetration Agent), the columnist reported that the “cold war” between the (former) bosom buddies has gotten worse.


“Guess what is causing the widening gap — yes, the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) this December,” he wrote.


“Both stars have entries: Coco’s is Ang Panday (which he produces and stars in) and Vice’s is The Revengers (with Daniel Padilla and Pia Wurtzbach). Neither would give way to the other, especially not Vice who wants to strengthen his “reign” as Queen of MMFF (which he missed last year, but released his movie, Star Cinema’s Beauty and the Bestie, with Coco as co-star, second week of December, and grossed more than the total gross of the indie-dominated MMFF),” according to the respected columnist.


“It seems that Kapamilya (ABS-CBN) bigwigs are ‘siding’ with Coco and it’s hurting Vice,” added Ricky Lo, quoting his VDPA.


He said the gap had caused Vice Ganda to abandon Star Cinema, the movie outfit of his home studio ABS-CBN, and signed up with Viva Films.


“Thus, Vice’s decision to sign up with the Viva Group which was his original ‘home’ anyway, the same company that produced his first solo starrer. Vice is still with ABS-CBN/Star Cinema, with Louie (Andrada) taking care of his schedule but it’s now Viva minding his endorsements,” the Philippine Star columnist wrote.


With his move, will Vice be “totally” a Viva artist?


“Stay tuned. It might not be long from, now,” Ricky Lo speculated.


Aside from the Vice Ganda and Coco Martin movies, two other official entires to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival has been chosen.


The other two are “Almost is Not Enough,” and “Love Traps #FamilyGoals.”


“Love Traps #FamilyGoals” stars Vic Sotto, another filmfest box office king.


The fourth, “Almost is Not Enough,” reunites the two stars (Jennylyn Mercado and Jericho Rosales) of the MMFF 2015 blockbuster “Walang Forever” and is also from the same creative team.


A second batch of four entries — to be selected from a field of finished films to be submitted on or before October 2 — will be announced on November 17.


“Ang Panday,” directed by Rodel Nacianceno and produced by CCM Creative Productions, Inc., stars Coco Martin. "Ang Panday” is a reboot of the beloved action-fantasy franchise headlined by Coco Martin, produced by him under his own company, the CCM Creative Productions, Inc., and directed by him under his real name (Rodel Nacianceno).

“Almost is not Enough,” a romance drama starring Jennylyn Mercado and Jericho Rosales, who first teamed up with director Dan Villegas and producers Quantum Films and MJM Productions in the 2015 MMFF hit “Walang Forever.”

Star Cinema and Viva Films’ entry, “The Revengers," a horror comedy is megged by Joyce A. Bernal and has as lead actors Vice Ganda, Daniel Padilla and former Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach.

“Love Traps #Family Goals” is a reunion for Vic Sotto and Dawn Zulueta, who first teamed up in the early “Enteng Kabisote” movies, a staple of the MMFF in the past two decades; directed by Antonio Y. Reyes and produced by OctoArts Films.


Martin, Ganda, and Sotto were shut out of the festival last year when their movies — “The Super Parental Guardians” for Martin and Ganda and “Enteng Kabisote 10 and the Abangers” for Sotto — failed to make the so-called Magic 8.


In a press statement, the MMFF executive committee said the first batch of four entries were “thoroughly evaluated by the body’s selection panel.”

Trump to meet Duterte in bilateral talks in Manila

Published in National News


FOREIGN AFFAIRS Secretary Alan Peter S. Cayetano (3rd from right) with members of the Filipino community in Washington, D.C. during the town hall meeting held at the Philippine Embassy on 27 September 2017.


WASHINGTON, D.C. (via PhilAmPress) —  President Donald Trump will meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte during his 12-day trip to Asia and Hawaii next month, the White House reported.


Trump will have bilateral meetings with the Philippine president and "other leaders" when he goes to the Philippines for a dinner celebrating the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.


Trump will have multiple bilateral meetings during the trip, including with Japan's Shinzo Abe, South Korea's Moon Jae-in and China's Xi Jinping. But talks with Duterte, whose government is accused of widespread extrajudicial killing amid a crackdown on drugs, will raise the most eyebrows.


Trump received swift blowback in April for taking a call with Duterte, which the U.S. president described as "very friendly." He drew further criticism by inviting the Philippine leader to the White House.


In the call with Duterte, Trump congratulated him for doing "an unbelievable job on the drug problem," according to a transcript cited by The New York Times.



SECRETARY Alan Peter S. Cayetano (left) meets with US Solicitor General Noel Francisco (right), the first Filipino-American to hold the senior position in the US Government.


When the White House announced Trump's trip last month, it said he would travel to the Philippines. But it did not previously highlight the meeting with Duterte.


The White House did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the Duterte meeting.


During the 12-day Asia trip, Trump plans to discuss curbing North Korea's nuclear and missile program, as well as trade deals with Asian nations.


Meanwhile, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano sees a stronger Philippine-US alliance.

“From my meeting with the first Filipino-American Solicitor General of the United States, to my interaction with various FilCom groups throughout my visit, and to my conversations with the Filipino waiter at my hotel in Washington and the Filipina airline employee who assisted us at the Dulles Airport, it was clear that the Philippine diaspora is the foundation upon which were built over the years, the deep friendship and vital partnership between the Philippines and the United States, and their peoples,”  Cayetano said in a statement shortly before returning to Manila.


The Secretary expressed the hope that members of the Filipino diaspora would view themselves as active partners for change in the Philippines, and in their communities here in the United States.


“Whether in big things or small things, it is our hope that you will always strive to make your own contributions to the change that we are all moving towards, as a people. Give back to our people, to your communities here and at home, the knowledge, the expertise, the experiences, the learning, the wisdom, that you have gained, from over the years since when you left,” Secretary Cayetano told audiences of his Filipino community events in the US, extolling the Filipino values of bayanihan and pakikipagkapwa-tao.


He also highlighted the importance of sharing the Philippine narrative with the American people, from the shared sacrifices of our soldiers in war-time; and our peoples’ shared commitment to democracy and human development in peace. He recalled that in one roundtable discussion, a law professor remarked that many Americans may think they know the Philippines and Filipinos, when actually they don’t.


“In sharing our story with Americans, we will be able to affirm how our separate histories have been woven by the threads of our common experiences, our shared values, and our mutual commitment to development. And may we strive to ensure an enduring friendship between our two peoples,” Secretary Cayetano also said.


The Secretary likewise reminded the Filipino-American community that a very important aspect of the Philippine story is our culture. He urged them to always treasure our culture, which is constant and a defining element of the national identity.


“Culture transcends technology, time, distance, and place. Our culture and traditions go with Filipino families wherever they go. The Filipino diaspora and families overseas bring our time-honored traditions all around the world. Into households in Hong Kong, the churches of old Europe, tiny communities in Africa, and wherever else we find ourselves,” the Secretary said, emphasizing the importance of people-to-people ties and urging Filipino Americans to be ambassadors of Philippine culture.


During his visit to the United States, Secretary Cayetano met with Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the first Filipino-American to hold the senior position in the US Government; held Town Hall Meetings in Washington DC and New York; interacted with various groups of Filipinos in the United States, as well as individuals; and had discussions on Philippine issues with Americans.


He then joined Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III and other economic managers last week for the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. ###    

Duterte retains high approval, trust ratings

Published in Latest News

(Photo from PCOO)


MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has maintained his big majority approval and trust ratings both at 80 percent despite issues faced by his administration in the latest Pulse Asia Research survey which is in sharp contrast to an earlier survey by the Social Weather Station (SWS). 


The results of the Pulse Asia Ulat ng Bayan made public on October 13 refuted the findings of the SWS which had Duterte’s net satisfaction rating plunging by 18 points from +66 in June to +48 in September.


“We hope this survey inspires us in the government, that despite the odds and challenges, we continue to provide a comfortable life for the Filipinos in an environment free from illegal drugs and criminality. This is the way we return the overwhelming trust and support of our people,” Malacanang said.


“Most Filipinos continue to approve of and trust President Rodrigo R. Duterte, Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo, and Senate President Aquilino L. Pimentel III,” Pulse Asia said, while “indecision is the plurality sentiment toward the performance and trustworthiness of House Speaker Pantaleon D. Alvarez and Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes A. Sereno.”


In the September 2017 nationwide survey on the performance and trust ratings of the top Philippine government officials, President Duterte received an approval rating of 80 percent, slightly lower than 82 percent in June. 


Seven percent of Filipinos expressed disapproval of his work, while 13 percent were undecided. 


Also, a big majority of 80 percent of those surveyed trust the President, 14 percent are undecided and 6 percent distrust him or has small trust.  


Across geographic areas and socio-economic classes, Duterte enjoyed majority approval ratings at 72 percent to 92 percent and 75 percent to 86 percent, respectively. 


Trust figures were at 72 percent to 93 percent and 74 percent to 85 percent, respectively. 


The survey, conducted from Sept. 24 to 30 using face-to-face interviews, said also enjoying majority approval and trust scores, albeit lower ones, are Vice-President Maria Leonor G. Robredo (57 percent and 55 percent respectively) and Senate President Aquilino L. Pimentel III (55 percent and 52 percent). 


“While the performance and trust ratings of the President and the Vice President are essentially unchanged between June and September 2017, the other top national government officials experience marked movements in their own ratings both at the national level and across geographic areas and socio-economic classes,” it said. 


Among the key events during the survey period include Senate’s investigation into the shipment of illegal drugs worth P6.4 billion, the Senate’s hearing into the suspected hazing death of law student Horacio Castillo III, and the sacking of virtually the entire Caloocan City police force in the aftermath of the killing of teenagers Karl Arnaiz and Reynaldo de Guzman. 


The nationwide survey is based on a sample of 1,200 representative adults 18 years old and above.

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