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ABS-CBN's movie “A Second Chance” which stars John Lloyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo has earned P400 million in just 10 days.


Star Cinema, the network's movie outfit, made the disclosure on its social media accounts, stating the movie passed the P400-million mark on Saturday, December 5, and was still showing in over 200 cinemas nationwide.

The movie is now also being shown in theaters in the United States (December 4 to 10) and Canada (December 4 to 17).

The worldwide showing of the movie included Middle East (December 3), France (December 5), Italy and Spain (December 6), United Kingdom and Austria (December 5 and 6), Australia (December 10 to 16), and Hong-Kong (December 13).


The movie's top stars said they are overwhelmed by the success of “A Second Chance,” which is a sequel to their well-loved 2007 movie “One More Chance.”


“Parang ang hirap maniwala agad. Nakakalula. But we are very very happy na tinanggap siya ng tao ng ganito,” she said in an ABS-CBN report.


With the movie's box office success, a third installment of Popoy and Basha’s story maybe in the offing.

“Sana meron. After nung magandang resulta ng 'A Second Chance,' after namin mapanood na maganda yung reviews, nagkaroon kami ng hope na puwedeng maraming puntahan ang storya ng installment ng One More Chance. Sana may third,” said the comely Bea Alonzo.


The movie breached the P300-million mark after only six days in theaters since it was released last November 25.


With over P400 million in ticket earnings, "A Second Chance" may well be on the road to breaking the record of Vice Ganda's movie, the 2014 MMFF entry "The Amazing Praybeyt Benjamin," which holds the record of being the highest grossing Filipino film of all time as it earned over P400 million during its entire run.

Directed by Cathy Garcia-Molina, "A Second Chance" revisits the lives of Popoy (Cruz) and Basha (Alonzo) as they traverse the highs and lows of married life.

It also stars Dimples Romana, James Blanco, Bea Saw, Janus del Prado, and Ahron Villena.
It already holds the record of being the highest grossing non-Metro Manila Film Festival Filipino movie on its opening day.

It earned P43.3 million on November 25, beating out the P32 million 2015 record of the romantic comedy "Crazy Beautiful You," top-billed by Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo.


In an interview with Boy Abunda on December 2 which was reported by ABS-CBN, John Lloyd revealed that he was skeptical about giving Popoy and Basha "A Second Chance." 

"It was terrifying. It's not the usual glossy, promising Star Cinema film, 'di ba? With a storytelling like this and a material like this parang it's not very hard to be terrified. Parang mahirap talaga," he said.

He said he and Bea actively worked together to fill in the 8-year-gap between "One More Chance" and its sequel.

The two told Abunda that the past eight years have not only been challenging, but was also rewarding.

"Ang daming pinagdaanan -- maganda, masama. I would like to think na sa bawat mahirap na pinagdadaanan ko I learned," John Lloyd said. "Now, tingin ko I'm more comfortable, even more comfortable with myself. Mas nayayakap ko na 'yong truth ko. Hindi na ako takot ipakilala kung sino ako."

Bea shared that she has been striving to develop herself for the past eight years.

"I am a person who still strives to be better, who still tries to learn things about life, try to be good," she said. "I can fall in love with failure if it will make me feel alive, instead of just floating and being safe all the time, yes."

In the blogger's conference held on December 2, John Lloyd and Bea Alonzo shared how "A Second Chance" changed them in real life.

"After this film, talagang mas maganda 'yong understanding ko about sa relationship," Cruz revealed. "Every character is a journey for me. Kaya dito talagang iyon ang biggest take ko. 'Yong additional enlightenment with regards to relationships."

The 32-year-old actor also said that he really admires Basha's character, especially her intelligence. And if one day, he ends up in the same situation as Popoy, he would definitely review the film and look at how Basha handled it.

Alonzo admitted that she admires Basha's character as well.

"Sana ganoon ako mag-react katulad kay Basha. Kung gaano niya pinanghawakan 'yong pangako at kung gaano ka-unconditional 'yong pagmamahal niya kay Popoy. Sana," she said.

The film director Cathy Garcia-Molina was also present along with the two writers Vanessa Valdez and Carmi Raymundo.


Molina was also the director of other hit films, such as "You Changed My Life," "A Very Special Love," and "One More Chance."

Pacquiao pays tribute to 52 sports-military heroes

Published in Sports



TWO-TIME OLYMPIC silver medalist Teodoro Yldefonso and bronze medalist Miguel White


GENERAL SANTOS CITY (via PhilAmPress) — Boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has paid tribute to the Filipino athletes, who, besides bringing honor to the country in international competitions, sacrificed  their lives in the field of combat.  


Speaking on the eve of the country's celebration of Gat Andres Bonifacio Day, the Sarangani congressman and boxing's only eight-division champion, offered good, inspiring  words on his 52 fallen comrades, who, on separate occasions,  perished during the war even as he called on the present-day athletes to emulate them. 


"Tomorrow, the entire nation will be commemorating  one of the most important day in our history and that is the 150th  birth anniversary of our hero, Andres Bonifacio, founder of the Katipunan, who led the country's fight for freedom and democracy, and, died  in the process," Pacquiao said in a telephone interview.


"Like our National Hero, Gat Jose Rizal, tapakahalaga ang nagawa ni Bonifacio at ng iba pa nating mga bayani sa tinatamasa nating kalayaan ngayon," said Pacquiao, who rose from a junior lightweight campaigner to crown himself the world kingpin, not only in that weight but in super-bantamweight, featherweight, super-featherweight, lightweight, junior welterweight, welterweight and super-welterweight in a 20-year fighting career.


"And I'm happy and honored to note that said heroics had been duplicated by our countrymen, not only in the field of sports, but in the battlefield as well, " he said in reference to Filipino athletes, who not only distinguished themselves in athletic campaigns in the sports capital of the world, but in the battle against those who tried to violate their right to live in a free society.      


Of the 52 sports-military heroes, nine are Olympians, including swimming double silver-medalist Teofilo Yldefonso, and another third place finisher in track and field, Miguel White. Other Olympic veterans were Jacinto "Jumping Jack" Ciria Cruz and Amador Obordo in basketball,  Lt. Nemesio de Guzman, in track and field, Lt. Otoniel Gonzaga in shooting, Lt. Simplicio de Castro in boxing and Lt. Enrique Jurado and Abduraman Ali, both in swimming. 


Yldefonso, a Philippine Scout from Piddig, Ilocos Norte, is remembered as the only Filipino who broughtg home a pair of Olympic bronze medals both in the 200-meter breaststroke, a feat he did in 1928 in Amsterdam and in 1932 in Los Angeles, California. He died in the infamous “Death March” from Mariveles in Bataan to the Capas Concentration Camp in Tarlac. 


White, who was from Legaspi City in Albay, was also a bronze medalist in the 400-meter hurdles during the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, the same year Ciria Cruz, along with another basketball Olympian Amador Obordo, helped the Philippine team to a fifth place finish, up to now the highest by any Asian nation in the quadrennial conclave popularly known, too as “The Greatest Sports Show on Earth.” 


Ciria Cruz was executed by the conquering Japanese forces while performing underground works in Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya. 


Of the 52, 19 carried the country’s colors in many international competitions in track and field, 10 in swimming, nine in baseball, five in basketball, three in boxing, two in football, two in tennis and one each in wrestling and shooting. 


Yldefonso and White were two of the 11 Olympic medalists who were recipients of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Sports Communicators Organization of the Philippines (SCOOP) during the 80th Anniversary of the Philippine participation in the Olympic Games. 


Majority of the honorees were either members of Philippine Scouts, the USAFFE or underground guerilla units. Three had just been honored as “Most Outstanding Filipino Athletes of Half-A-Century “– Yldefonso, Ciria Cruz and Virgilio Lobregat in football. 


De Guzman of the Philippine Army was a member of the national delegation in the IXth Olympiad in Amsterdam in 1928, while Gonzaga and De Castro saw action in the XIth Games in Berlin in 1936. Ali swam in the Xith Olympiad in Los Angeles. 


Besides White and De Guzman, other Filipino runners, throwers and jumpers who were victims of war were Miguel Sugeco, Sgt. Doming Espanol, Lt. Jose Antonio, Mayor Emilio Bucoy, Wenceslao Bansale, Eliseo Razo, Civico Granado, Maximino Pasaporte, Albino Bangayan, Delfin Danguilan, Lt. Constantino Alambra, Moises Lucas, Felizardo Casia, Francisco Danao, Bartolome Barabad, Alejo Alvarez and Simon Santos. 


Swimmers Rosendo Aguinaldo, Policarpio Tolentino, Donato Cabading, Miguel Bartolaso, Ulka Mangona, Jakara Angkang, Bernardino Tugbo and Mauricio Guidote, perished also as solders-athletes like Yldofonso and Ali. 


Baseball players, who represented the country in many international meets, including the Far Eastern Olympic Games, were Sgt. Aquilino Jacob, Cpl. Pabalo Chu, Sgt. Gervacio Estorba, Atilano Rivera, Cacimiro Francisco, Ramon Oncinian, Toribio Oncinian, Regino Bertulfo and Cipriano Platon. 


Other non-Olympic athletes who died wearing military uniforms were Carlos Canillas, Albert Murrow and Robert Keesy in basketball; Francisco Zarcal and Martin Roxas in boxing, Jose Miranda in football and Concepcion Santos-Cepeda and Juan Ladaw Jr. in tennis. 


Mrs. Cepeda, a long-time singles and doubles tennis champions, incidentally, completed a Santos brother-sister siblings while also competing in their respective sports events. She died during the war


A commemorative plaque, measuring 33 x 24 inches and cast in bronze containing their names was attached and unveiled on July 17, 1951, in the wall at the Basketball Coliseum facade inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex, by Jorge Vargas, president of the now-defunct Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation. 


Last year, The Philippine Sports Commision transferred the commemorative plaque outside of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex tennis courts. (Eddie G. Alinea/PhilAmPress)

US trade office ends review of PHL workers rights abuses

Published in Business

AMBASSADOR Michael Froman


WASHINGTON (JGL) — The Office of the United States Trade Representative has  closed the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) review of worker rights abuses in the Philippines after the Philippines government addressed worker rights issues in that country, including reforms of labor laws and regulations.


U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman made the announcement adding that the USTR would hold a hearing in January on several country practices reviews of worker rights under the GSP trade preference program.  

The hearing will include testimony on a newly launched review of worker rights in Thailand based on a petition submitted by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).  The petition alleges that Thailand is not meeting the GSP program’s country eligibility criteria on worker rights with respect to freedom of association, collective bargaining, acceptable conditions of work, and forced labor, including with respect to migrant workers. 


“Protecting labor rights is a core priority of President Obama’s trade agenda,” according to Ambassador Froman.  “The United States stands ready to work with Thailand and other trading partners to advance respect for worker rights and to generate sustainable, broadly-shared growth that builds strong and stable economies.  We will use every tool at our disposal – including trade preference programs such as GSP and the African Growth and Opportunity Act and our free trade agreements – to improve labor laws and working conditions in countries with which we trade.  We look forward to engaging with Thailand and other foreign governments on the worker rights reviews under GSP.”


Mr. Froman was among the U.S. government officials, who accompanied Mr. Obama to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit more than a week ago.


In a statement, Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said, “The Philippines welcomes the formal closure by the USTR of the GSP country review case regarding our protection and promotion of workers’ rights. It is a testament to the great strides of the Philippine Government, under the Aquino administration, towards establishing a system of governance that is based on the rule of law, respect for human rights, and the notion of accountability.”


According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in Manila, in 2013, Philippine exports under the US GSP reached US$ 1.256 billion, making it the 5th largest user of the program. Major Philippine exports under the US GSP include measuring and checking instruments, appliances and machines (US$ 78.2M); other cane sugar (US$ 74.8M); telescopic sights for rifles not designed for use with infrared light (US$ 61.9M); other acyclic monoamines and their derivatives (US$ 60.4M); and insulated electric conductors (US$ 60M).


In 2012, when President Aquino affirmed the recommendation of his Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz to side with the Philippine Airlines (PAL) management to terminate the employment of 2,600 members of PAL Employees Association (PALEA) because PAL was in the red although Mr. Aquino’s information is based on “incomplete information by his subalterns,” Gerardo “Gerry” F. Rivera, PALEA president, was forced to accept an invitation from a U.S.-based non-government organization, International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF), which wrote a letter earlier to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) in Washington, D.C. to let Mr. Rivera ventilate the violations of the labor rights of Filipinos under the Aquino government, notably against PALEA members.


There in Washington, D.C., Mr. Rivera spoke before a hearing organized by the USTR and laid bare the union bustings instigated by PAL management backed by the Philippine government.


It prompted the Philippine government to send to the USTR forum Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, Labor Undersecretary Rebecca Chato and Undersecretary of Justice Francisco Baraan and other officials from the Philippine Embassy, and Joshua Mata, secretary general of Alliance of Progressive Labor of the Philippines to testify before the USTR, which reviewed the workers rights in the Philippines, including the passing of reforms of labor laws and regulations.


In a statement announcing the review closure, the DTI noted that this issue had been in the forefront of the DTI-led Trade and Investment Facilitation Agreement (TIFA) meetings between the Philippines and the US, and in various bilateral meetings, including representations by the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C.

“The hard work and excellent collaboration among the Departments of Labor and Employment (DOLE), DTI, Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. made this possible,” DTI Undersecretary Adrian S. Cristobal, Jr. added.


Eligibility reviews under the GSP program typically involve a public hearing and the solicitation of views from interested stakeholders.  USTR will hold a public hearing January 14-15, 2016 to gather information relevant to its review of the Thailand petition.  During that hearing, USTR also will receive testimony on ongoing GSP worker rights reviews concerning Uzbekistan, Niger, Fiji, Georgia, and Iraq to determine whether those countries are meeting the GSP eligibility requirements.  The reviews of these countries were suspended during the recent lapse in GSP authorization.  

Worker rights criteria are a key component of U.S trade preference programs and trade agreements and have helped to advance greater respect for worker rights in many countries that are trading partners of the United States.  

USTR said the United States is committed to working cooperatively with our trading partners to improve respect for labor rights, but the Administration is equally committed to taking strong action when progress is not made, as it did in suspending trade benefits for Bangladesh under GSP in 2013 and for Swaziland under AGOA in 2014.  

The United States also brought the first-ever labor rights-related dispute settlement action under a free trade agreement against Guatemala under the Dominican Republic-Central America-United States Free Trade Agreement.  

In addition, the Administration recently completed negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which contains the strongest protections for workers in any trade agreement in history.  The TPP sets a benchmark for global trade agreements with fully enforceable commitments to provide in law and practice for the fundamental labor rights recognized by the International Labor Organization. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Philippines' Angelia Ong wins 2015 Miss Earth title

Published in Entertainment

(Photo from Twitter | @MissEarth)


Filipina Angelia Ong was crowned 2015 Miss Earth at the Marx Halle in Vienna, Austria last week, giving the Philippines back-to-back titles in the beauty contest.


Ong, a 25-year-old marketing management student at the De La Salle-College of St. Benilde, beat more than 80 contestants from around the world.


The Cebuana beauty succeeded the crown from 2014 Miss Earth Jamie Herrell, also a Filipina.


It is the first time in 15 years since two Filipinas won the title in a row.


 Malacañang congratulated Filipina Angelia Ong for winning this year’s Miss Earth beauty pageant.


“Ipinaparating po natin kay Binibining Angelia Ong ang pagbati ng buong bansa dahil sa kanyang tagumpay sa pageant ng Miss Earth,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said during an interview over state-run dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.


Ong bested 85 candidates from different countries in this year’s Miss Earth pageant.


“Ito po ay pagpapatunay muli sa kagandahan, katalinuhan at kahusayan ng kababaihang Pilipina at ng mga Pilipino sa mga pandaigdigang kompetisyon na idinaraos din naman para palawigin ang pakikipagkaibigan at kooperasyon ng iba't ibang bansa,” Coloma said.


Also crowned as runners-up to Ong were Dayanna Grageda of Australia as Miss Earth-Air (first runner-up); Brittany Payne of USA as Miss Earth-Water (second runner-up); and Thiessa Sickert of Brazil as Miss Earth-Fire (third runner-up).


Miss Earth is considered one of the world’s largest beauty pageants, along with the Miss Universe, Miss World and Miss International.


The runners-up were: Dayanna Grageda of Australia, who was named Miss Earth Air (first runner-up); Brittany Payne as Miss Earth Water (second runner-up) and Thiessa Sickert as Miss Earth Fire (third runner-up). 


In a Radio ng Bayan interview, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma commended Ong on her victory.


"Ipinaparating po natin kay Binibining Angelia Ong ang pagbati ng buong bansa dahil sa kanyang tagumpay sa pageant ng Miss Earth. Ito po ay pagpapatunay muli sa kagandahan, katalinuhan, at kahusayan ng kababaihang Pilipina at ng mga Pilipino sa mga pandaigdigang kompetisyon na idinaraos din naman para palawigin ang pakikipagkaibigan at kooperasyon ng iba't ibang bansa," Coloma was quoted saying during the interview, "Congratulations po at best wishes para sa kanya." 


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