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(Photo from Instagram | @justinbieber)


It's official. The Philippine Arena, touted as the biggest indoor arena in the world, will host a concert of Canadian singer and songwriter Justin Bieber on September 30.

The show is being promoted as the biggest live performance at the biggest indoor arena in the world!


Concert promoter MMI Live confirmed the show of the global superstar who once visited and extended help to victims of supertyphoon Yolanda (international code name:Haiyan).


According to Facebook posts of 55,000-seater Philippine Arena at the Ciudad de Victoria in Bocaue, Bulacan, the Bieber show is to be presented by Smart Communications and produced by AEG Live. The concert is part of his Purpose World Tour 2017in support to his fourth studio album “Purpose” that produced hits “What Do You Mean?,” “Love Yourself” and “Sorry.”  

Bieber will be at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena, California on August 5 and the AT & T Stadium in Arlington, Texas on July 29 before visting the Philippines again for his Sept. 30 concert.


This early, preparations are underway to ensure the success of the concert, according to organizers who assured ample parking for the 80-hectare Ciudad de Victoria and improved traffic system through the North Luzon Expressway. There will be three entrance and exit points (NLEX, Duhat, and Sta. Maria), they announced.


To ensure public safety, there will be 1,000 traffic enforcers patrolling the grounds and officers from the Philippine National Police and local government units will be present inside and outside the venue.


While waiting for the event proper, Bieber fans can also enjoy The Arena’s other facilities and activities such as biking, Zumba classes, food stalls, bazaar, inflatables, Kid Zone and local live band performances inside the premises.


Transportation to Philippine Arena will not be a problem as 50 Point-to-Point (P2P) shuttle buses will be available to all concertgoers. Concert goers may check bus schedule and pickup points at strategic locations. 


Planning to have a “staycation” during the Bieber fever weekend on September 30? Philippine Arena also offers more than 400 housing units to have that full Bieber experience all have been waiting for. 


For reservations, check the website at, or Official Philippine Arena on Facebook, or call (+63) 917-937-2870.


Beliebers Fan Club can purchase tickets before the general public. Smart users will also have a chance to be a part of the exclusive pre-sale at all SM Tickets outlets nationwide.


Tickets went on sale to the general public starting Sunday, July 9, and can be purchased at all SM Tickets outlets or visit www.smtickets.comor by calling 470-2222. 


According to the announcement, the tickets will be: VIP Standing - P17,850,Lower box A Premium - P15,750, Lower Box A Regular - P12,600, Lower Box B Premium - P10,500, Lower Box B Regular - P8,400, Upper Box A - P5,250, Upper Box B Premium - P4,200, Upper Box Regular - P3,150 and Upper Box Sides - P1,575.


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(Photo from Instagram | @bmauwrob)


After Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, another Filipino-Germany beauty is in the limelight. 


She is Maureen Wroblewitz, who has turned 19, who has just won "Asia'sNext Top Model."

Wroblewitz, who stands at 5'6," became the first Filipina to win the popular modeling search. She won over Malaysia's Shikin Gomez and Vietnam's Minh Tu Nguyen in the finals.


Although she was born and grew up in Saudi Arabia, Wroblewitz, pronounced “Robol-weetz," her German family came from Golina which is part of Germany. 


"I was born in Saudi Arabia, where I grew up, and our family moved to Germany when I was 12, one year after my mom died in Saudi Arabia. I have three siblings; we are all girls, I’m the third. We live with our dad who is with Ramcar,” the new beauty titlist said in an interview with showbiz authority Ricky Lo.


Maureen admitted to Ricky Lo that she has no boyfriend.


Hours before she was proclaimed winner, all three finalists donned costumes that represented their country for their final shoot. 

According to a report, Wroblewitz stunned in a sparkling white mestiza gown she accentuated with pearls


"That image is exactly what I wanted to see from you at the end of this competition," Cindy Bishop, a professional model who is one of the judges for this season, told Wroblewitz. 


"You delivered that quiet confidence, which showed that you have been soaking up everything we've been telling you, that you've been taking everything in and just completely laid it all out for us. And I am so, so happy to see that," she added. 


The finalists also had to walk the runway for the show one last time, representing "goddesses that had come to life."


With her win, Wroblewitz took home the coveted contract with London-based Storm Model Management. She will also be on the cover of Nylon Singapore's online edition, in addition to being featured in other high-profile fashion campaigns. She also won a Subaru Impreza car.


Before her win, Wroblewitz said during the episode that she dedicated all her efforts in the competition to her mother, who passed away when she was 11. "She would have been so proud," she shared. 


Her journey to the title was far from smooth sailing. In one of the earlier episodes, Wroblewitz had to endure what many thought of as a form of bullying when her fellow contestants, led by Indonesia's Clara Tan, labelled her as just a "pretty face with no skills." 


Wroblewitz then opened up about her insecurities, saying that she tends to overthink every pose. Fueled, however, by her determination to prove her doubters wrong, she went on to capture best photo.

Addressing her feud with Tan, Wroblewitz wrote on Twitter: "It's hard to hate Clara actually, at least for me! She can be really annoying but you get used to it." 


Wroblewitz later admitted that she nearly gave up on the competition when her fellow Filipina Jennica Sanchez dissed her for being "just a pretty face" early on in the show. 


"That really brought me down, especially in the start and I was trying to grow more confident," Wroblewitz recounted to television host Boy Abunda in ABS-CBN's "Tonight with Boy Abunda" show.

 "By that time, I was feeling like I wanted to give up," she revealed.


"But then the next week, she (Jennica) actually got eliminated and that's when I knew I'm the last Filipina and now I have to fight," she added. 
She later said that Jennica Sanchez apologized to her. 


American host and former model Tyra Banks is all praises for Maureen Wroblewitz.


Banks, creator of "America's Next Top Model" from which the Asian franchise of the competition was based, called Wroblewitz a "Pinoy Queen" on Instagram.


"Pinoy Queen! Mama TyTy is so proud of you!" Banks wrote in a comment on Wroblewitz's Instagram post on her Nylon magazine cover.


“My mom was a fighter,” Maureen Wroblewitz replied when asked what inspired her during the highly-competitive Asia’s Next Top Model (AsNTM). “Before she died, she would always remind my three sisters and me, ‘Believe in yourselves; you can do it!’”


Being the shortest (at 5’6”) and the youngest (at 18) among the hopefuls from all over Asia, Maureen first thought she didn’t stand a chance and was the most surprised when she bagged the title.


The Philippines's candidate to the search two years ago, Katarina Rodriguez, finished second runner up. This year, Katarian was crowned 2017 Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental.


Ricky Lo wrote that he and the Philippine Star team caught Maureen at a Makati City studio while being photographed by Sara Black for the #WhyWeFight campaign of the ICanServe Foundation, a breast cancer advocacy group that promotes Awareness and Early Detection. The flagship program, “Ating Dibdibin,” a community-based breast cancer screening program, is the first of its kind in the country and partners with local governments to provide access to affordable diagnostics and timely cancer treatments. ICanServe is also a founding member of Cancer Coalition Philippines which is working for Congress to pass an Integrated National Cancer Prevention and Control Act.


Maureen’s Filipina mother, Mariefe, succumbed to breast cancer, explaining why she’s supporting the foundation.


“Maureen’s mom Mariefe used to be an ICanServe volunteer because she was a cancer patient,” shared Kara Magsanoc-Alikpala, a breast cancer survivor who is the founder of the foundation. “She passed away in 2009. Mariefe was a kind, strong, nurturing person. That’s why it was easy for Maureen to embrace this advocacy. So I knew Maureen since she was a little girl. Her dad and my uncle also work together.”


One of the judges in the contest was 2015 Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach. Ricky Lo asked how much weight did Pia’s vote count?


“Pia was a guest judge and she was very fair to every candidate. Her comments were very fair. She wasn’t biased at all. Besides, it was not just her who was making the decision; there were other judges from other Asian countries,” Maureen promptly answered.

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(Photo from Instagram | @bernardokath)


There’s a scary series being shown every night on prime time television and yet despite of the vampire’s pangs and the maddening wolves, it is ironically and surprisingly getting raves and top ratings.


This show on ABS-CBN is “La Luna Sangre” which sees the return to television on a lead role of actor Richard Gutierrez, once a matinee idol, and in a supporting role singer Randy Santiago.


Richard’s new role is poles away from his previous shows and movies as he stars in “La Luna Sangre” as the “Supremo,” the leader of the vampires.


Initially, the show also featured top actors John Lloyd Cruz and Angel Locsin as Mateo and Lia.


What made the show really tiqued to nationwide and global viewers?


Some big factors are the story, superb cinematography and the fantastic work of award-winning director Cathy Garcia Molina.


La Luna Sangre is actually a horror-fantasy drama television series which is the third installment of the top rating show “Lobo” and the sequel to “Imortal.”


But many viewers credit the initial success of the show to the outstanding performance of actress Kathryn Bernardo.


The Box Office Queen is the top star of the show as Malia, playing a breathtaking action role as “the chosen one,” a big departure from the love stories she was previously known and became popular.


Kathryn appears with her perennial leading man Daniel Padilla, who plays Tristan, and together is showcasing their fiercer and bolder side in the fantasy-action serye, according to columnist Isah Red.


Kathryn reportedly shot daring scenes without a double as the show made its debut on prime time on June 26.


Reviews of the show indicated that Kathryn was most lauded during her performance on the June 28 episode with her enviable stunts and notable acting skills. The latter episode showed her character Malia being beaten up real hard in order to unleash her powers as the “Bagong Itinakda.”


Professor and columnist Isah Red wrote that netizens even raved about how she approached the said scene with some even calling her “The Best Actress of her generation” for “establishing herself with her astounding acting prowess.”


Kathryn, one of the country’s bankable actresses, revealed her versatility in the succeeding episodes even further as she nailed the combination of the action, drama and comedy scenes, it was reported.


Angel Locsin, who portrayed the role of Lia in the last I- installment, even praised Kathryn for being “on fire” as Malia.


Touted as “The Newest Primetime Action Queen,” Kathryn mentally and physically prepared for Malia by undergoing combat trainings like pekiti tirsia kali and wushu for the action scenes, according to producers of the show. 


“Kathryn had drop her soft side since pekiti is a style of fighting that combines the use of arnis and daggers with close-combat maneuvers. She also had to learn to move with certain firmness while training in wushu as it helped in the choreography for big action movements,” the report added.


It was reported that the show was able to sustain its lead against its competition with steady 30s in ratings. Its second day garnered a 35 percent rating, it had 33.6 percent on Wednesday, and 33.9 percent on Thursday. The action-packed pilot week ended with the show’s record high of 35.2 percent on Friday.


The show’s June 26 episode, which happened to be the first day of Kathryn and Daniel’s appearance complete with action scenes garnered a total of 34.5 ratings, according to the report.


 Since that episode, Kathryn and Daniel proved their bankability in primetime as the ratings stayed steadily in the 30s. For Tuesday the show had 34 percent ratings. By Wednesday the show had 32.8 percent, but it soared again on the following day to 35.1 percent and ended on a good note with 32.8 percent on Friday. The new week started with 34.8 percent ratings based on Kantar National TV Ratings. 


Since its debut, “La Luna Sangre” has been a nightly topic in social media as it dominated the Twitter trending topics. The show not only raked in viewership on TV but even on the ABS-CBN content platform iWant TV. Two weeks in and La Luna Sangre has topped the Most Popular Shows chart in iWant TV with a roughly 2.5 million views, the columnist wrote.


The supporting case of the show includes Ina Raymundo, Isabelle Daza, Victor Neri, Randy Santiago, Gelli de Belen, Sam Pinto, Dino Imperial, Polo Ravales, Noel Trinidad, former Senator Freddie Webb and Maymay Entrata.


Special guests are Albert Martinez, Romnick Sarmienta, Tanya Garcia, Wowie de Guzman, Geoff Eigenman, Khalil Ramos, Arci Munoz, Maricar Reyes, Teresa Loyzaga and Danita Paner.


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(Savannah Gankiewicz | Photo from Instagram | @savannah_gankiewicz)


Yes, Virginia, two beautiful girls from the United States are contestants in this year's search for Mutya ng Pilipinas.


The two are Mutya ng California Suzanne Perez and Mutya ng Hawaii Savannah Gankiewicz.


Mutya ng California Suzanne Perez is only 20 years old and is already a pre-school teacher and a model at the prestigious Models & Talent Agency.


Suzanne is also the ambassador for UNA, an organization for the youth, according to columnist Ricky Lo.


“I come from a family of politicians, mayors and senators,” Suzanne was quoted as saying by the columnist.  


It was also reported that Suzanne was Miss Popularity/Miss People’s Choice second runner-up at Miss Philippines USA 2015 and the reigning Miss Fullerton USA 2016.


Suzanne admitted she looks up to her Filipino mother as role model, best friend and “forever love,” adding, “Thank you for raising me to be independent, strong, confident in who I am."


"I appreciate everything you have done and given us,.” she also said about her mother.


Mutya ng Hawaii Savannah Gankiewicz, on the other hand, is only 21 and she’s a model from the island of Maui in Hawaii. 


Savannah is a beautiful blend of Filipino, Chinese, Spanish and Vietnamese blood, reported Ricky Lo. 


“My great uncles were former Mayors in Abra,” she shared. She bagged the People’s Choice Award at Miss Super Talent of the World 2015 and also participated at Miss Virginia Teen USA contest in 2013.


In his latest column, Ricky Lo wrote that the Mutya ng Pilipinas prides itself as the longest-running beauty contest in the country, with overseas beauties adding glamour and glitter annually. 


Together with the other homegrown Mutya contenders, as part of the search’s tourism drive the “imported” bets are busy with pre-pageant activities that include visits to the luxurious Sheridan Beach Resort and Spa in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan, Iloilo City and the world famous resort town of Boracay, leading to the grand coronation night on Aug. 4 at Resorts World Manila which will be televised by ABS-CBN.  


To inspire the Mutya hopefuls, reigning Miss Asia Pacific International Tessa Helena Le Conge arrived a few days ago from her native The Netherlands to promote the Miss Asia Pacific International 2017 around the country. She will be back to crown her successor in November.


True to its tradition, the Mutya “beauty hunt” still goes on in various Northern, Eastern, Western and Southern regions. The final Manila screening will be held at the West Avenue Suites (on West Ave., Quezon City) next Tuesday,  July 3, from 1 to 5 p.m. Regional screenings were held in Davao on June 21 at Regency Inn; and Cebu on June 25 at LIV Super Club, Mandaue City. Another screening is set for Sunday, July 1, in Batangas.


Ricky Lo listed the other candidates, namely:


·         Mutya ng Scandinavia Bertmari Yr Bergmannsdottir, 21. She comes from Iceland and holds a diploma in Hotel and Restaurant Management (HRM). “I received a scholarship from the Cesar Ritz Colleges in Switzerland to complete my HRM; it’s effective July this year. But I had to beg off in favor of competing in the Mutya ng Pilipinas pageant.”

·         Mutya ng Melbourne Abigail Grigsby, 18. A model at MASmodel, Ltd. Co., she was also one of the top contenders for the Top Model of the World Philippines in 2016.

·         Mutya ng Japan Jessa Wada, 22. She won Best in Swimsuit, Miss Photogenic and People’s Choice at the Mutya ng Japan 2017 search. She was also Reyna ng Bulacan in 2014. “I love enhancing other people’s beauty using my self-taught make-up skills,” she said.


Other delegates from overseas Filipino communities in Asia, Australia, various locations in the USA, the EU and Scandinavia are consistent participants in the pageant, which has three major titles at stake: Mutya ng Pilipinas-Asia Pacific International, Mutya ng Pilipinas-Tourism International and Mutya ng Pilipinas-Overseas Communities.

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