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The Ambassador and his books

The Czech Ambassador to the Philippines Jaroslav Olša, Jr. will be leaving his post in December, but he will leave behind an indelible legacy: Books.

Houston, we have a problem

YOU NEED TO KEEP reminding yourself: Damien Chazelle’s adaptation of James Hansen’s biographical book First Man is not The Right Stuff and astronaut Neil Armstrong (played by Ryan Gosling) is no test pilot in the mold of Chuck Yeager, nor was it -- or he -- meant to be. Question: does it manage to stand on its own four radically redesigned fins?

The undisputed king

LET’S FACE IT. The NBA 2K franchise is a venerable one built on both the intrinsic pull of its source material and the collective talent of its developers. Never has the National Basketball Association (NBA) been more popular, and its already immense global reach -- propped up by outstanding leadership and instantly recognizable marquee names -- continues to grow by the day. Meanwhile, Visual Concepts has turned the otherwise-vicarious experience of appreciating matches at the sport’s highest level into an extremely impressive undertaking.

I was on the world’s longest flight. It was brutal, but...

GETTING from Singapore to New York in one hop is better than a layover -- even if it involves taking the world’s longest flight.

Star wars

By Noel Vera Movie Review A Star is Born Directed by Bradley Cooper THERE ARE as of this writing five, count em, five, different versions of the story,...

Children’s book writer fights the stigma of HIV-AIDS

ENZO, Gab, Chuchay, and Luis join a support group on social media under their online alter egos. Enzo starts a group chat and sets a date to meet with the group’s other members. At a coffee shop one day, they all get together because of something called “Pete.”

Road Safety 101 for students and drivers: starting them young

Maybe it is best that people learn about road safety at a young age -- perhaps as early as grade school.

Family plot

WITH all the horror films that popped out last year (and continue to emerge this year) few if any come close to being as bizarre as Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Killing of a Sacred Deer.

Healing conversations on body love

From personal issues to topics many still consider taboo -- heart to heart conversations may go beyond a circle of friends.

What to see this week

7 films to see on the week of September 28-October 5, 2018 Peppermint THE ACTION THRILLER centers on Riley North, a young mother who wakes up...

Tales from the dark days

Compiled by Doris Lois Rifareal As we approach the 46th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law on Sept. 23, 1972 (not Sept. 21 as was...

Going for the goal and taking risks

Malou Treñas-Del Castillo, who was then 27-years-old when she worked as a brand manager for multi-national company, came home early from work one evening due to a bad headache. She recalled receiving a phone call from a friend when she suddenly passed out leaving the other person hanging on the line. She regained consciousness unaware of what had happened.

Disney invests in bear market with Christopher Robin

LOS ANGELES -- “Sometimes the smallest things take the most room in your heart,” a wise little bear once remarked -- and Jim Cummings has put his heart and soul into playing Winnie the Pooh for three decades.

The best game in the series to date

IT’S NOT HARD to understand why Nihon Falcom and NIS America have moved to port Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana in the Nintendo Switch. Having seen the title generate positive reception upon its release on the PlayStation Vita in 2016, on the PS4 last year, and on the PC earlier this year, they understand its potential to reach a new set of gamers via the hybrid console. Their confidence is not unfounded, and not simply because they carry a lot of weight in the gaming industry. More importantly, their latest contribution to the Ys franchise has been praised as the best yet.

Family legacies

An agriculturist who never got to travel outside the country built the first Art Deco building in the country in 1936; a kapitan del barrio’s widow strategically equipped her home so she could see everyone’s movements; and a frequent traveler erected a mansion for his unmarried children and in memory of his deceased wife. The legacy of Negros Occidental’s sugar barons lives on in the stories of their homes.

After movie, Cher to release album of ABBA covers

NEW YORK -- Pop legend Cher has announced an album of ABBA covers as she stars in a film sequel to Mamma Mia!, the musical inspired by the iconic Swedish group.

Signature Art Prize gives voice to minorities

By Sam L. Marcelo, Associate Editor, High Life Verdant in color and languid in pace, Phan Thao Nguyen’s Tropical Siesta was named the Grand Prize...

The Philippines’ corals are disappearing

The Philippines, with its more than 7,000 islands, is considered one of the world’s 18 mega-biodiverse countries -- the archipelago contains “two-thirds of the earth’s biodiversity and between 70% and 80% of the world’s plant and animal species,” according to the Convention on Biological Diversity.

Home is where the harm is

THE TRUE HORROR in Ari Aster’s Hereditary doesn’t come so much from demoniac forces as they do from human frailty and the cruel chaotic confusion of life.

Riding the rails

TYCOON GAMES aren’t for everyone, but it isn’t hard to understand why they have a loyal following. They’re flashy, and they’re capable of producing a surprising amount of fun and complexity. From Sim City to Zoo Tycoon to Roller Coaster Tycoon, the process of building something from scratch and seeing it thrive and prosper brings about catharsis. And, by the same token, Kalypso Media delivers.

The greatest show and (tell) on earth

A SYNTHESIZER made from assorted metal objects, comic character figurines made with a 3-D printer, and children’s toys made from recycled materials -- these are just some of the creations that will come alive at The Mind Museum this weekend in an effort to promote science and innovation.

Helping Filipina scientists

In the coastal towns of Anda and Bolinao in Pangasinan, P110 million worth of milkfish (scientific name: chanos chanos) was lost earlier this month. The fish kill was reportedly caused by dissolving oxygen levels on the water surface of the fish ponds in which the bangus was being raised. If more fish kills occur, this may reduce the milkfish supply in nearby provinces and in Metro Manila. What few people in the area know is that a Filipina scientist -- Dr. Charissa M. Ferrera -- and her team are currently working on research to help alleviate the problem.

Living up to its promise

SINCE its inception in 2005, Sega’s Yakuza series has invariably churned out virtual masterpieces. While a bit all over the place at times, this part family drama, part mafia flick, and part martial arts and adventure franchise has always boasted of top-notch quality in terms of presentation and humor. In this regard, Yakuza 6 does not disappoint; it offers the same blend of action, comedy, and emotional heft via traditionally outstanding production values.

Citizen me

MIKE DE LEON’s first film in — has it been 18 years? — has to be an event; the latest from one of our finest filmmakers, in the same league as Lino Brocka, Mario O’Hara, Ishmael Bernal, Celso Ad. Castillo. If it’s arguably the weakest feature he’s done to date (hopefully not his last) it still stands head and shoulders above most anything out there today, Filipino or Hollywood.

Measuring our UHC progress

WHERE is the Philippines now in its journey to Universal Health Care (UHC)? This was the critical question that Dr. Gundo Aurel Weiler, Country Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), answered during the recent “Health for Juan and Juana: Moving Forward with the Philippine Health Agenda” forum.

Exploring a heritage cuisine

While some people may be surprised by the wealth of rich heritage food that can be found just one hour away from Manila in the province of Cavite, it should not really come as a surprise since Cavite was part of the galleon trade where goods and spices were exchanged between Spain and China via the Philippines and Mexico.

Four by three

PLAYING CATCHUP: In the ever-changing landscape of World Cinema, what happened to Hong Kong’s “heroic bloodshed” movement -- those action filmmakers who featured slow motion, balletic action sequences, guns pointed at each others’ faces?

Beach town Glan aims to make its ancestral homes another tourism...

GLAN, SARANGANI -- This coastal town, home of the annual Sarangani Bay Festival every May, is popular in the tourism circuit for its long, pristine white sand beach.

What to see this week

4 films to see on the week of June 8-15, 2018

Malipayon nga pag-abot sa Iloilo

The recent opening of Courtyard by Marriott in Iloilo all but signaled the transition of the bustling provincial city of Iloilo into a metropolitan city rivaling Cebu and Davao.

Rock the Devil

NOT LONG AFTER Brillante Mendoza’s Amo (which takes its cue from Respeto’s rap-driven score) we have Lav Diaz’s take on the Duterte regime. Panahon ng Halimaw (Season of the Devil, 2018) is no small-scale response: 234 minutes long, some six minutes short of four hours. And it’s a musical.

Cinematic and polished

FAR CRY 5 will not come as a shock to those who have been following the series since its inception in 2004. Characterized by open-world gameplay and satisfying gunplay, each of its releases has consistently strived to be bigger and badder than the previous one. And while its iterations don’t stray too far from its tried-and-tested formula, every new addition brings good things worthy of praise, Far Cry 5 included.

Solons step up support for national cancer care bill

IN A PREVIOUS COLUMN, we highlighted the efforts of the Cancer Coalition Philippines (CCPh) in urging Congress to pass a bill that will ensure quality health care for all Filipino children and adults with cancer. A national alliance of patient groups, health care providers, and advocates, CCPh is pushing for the enactment of a National Integrated Cancer Control Act, which increases investments for the prevention, early and accurate detection, and optimal treatment for all forms of cancer. The law also mandates the adoption of an integrated, multi-disciplinary, and patient/family-centered approach to cancer management.


By Noel Vera Video Review Porco Rosso Directed by Hayao Miyazaki DVD HAYAO MIYAZAKI’S Porco Rosso started out as a manga for a modeling magazine, was turned into a...

2018 is the Year of the Kid

By Richard Roeper Warning, warning, warning! SPOILERS TO FOLLOW. In the global mega-hit Black Panther, the smartest (and most charming and endearing) person in any room...

Your Weekend Guide (May 25, 2018)

Flamenco performance THE EMBASSY of Spain and Instituto Cervantes de Manila present Delicatessen, a sophisticated and delicate flamenco performance by the Compañía Anabel Veloso Flamenco...

Best superhero movie of the year

By Noel Vera Video Review Psychokinesis (Yeom-Iyeok) Directed by Yeon Sang-ho Netflix I KNOW, I know, I know, I know — if you’re sick of the genre as I...

A buffet of fitness

By Michelle Anne P. Soliman Fitness event FitCon MNL|5 May 18 to 20 Green Sun Hotel, Chino Roces Ave. Ext., Makati City HEALTH AND FITNESS programs, sessions on the new...

From prayer to party

By Zsarlene B. Chua, Reporter That the Philippines is a Christian country — more than 90% of the population is Christian, with over 80% Roman...

The Hulpon festival and value of pagtutulungan in Brgy. Malico

Text and photos by Michelle Anne P. Soliman A six-hour drive away from Makati, through the sharp curves of Dalton pass in between Nueva Vizcaya...

Tale spin

By Noel Vera Video Review The Breadwinner Amazon NORA TWOMEY’s animated film The Breadwinner (adapted from the children’s novel by Deborah Ellis) is a gorgeous tapestry of a...

Poetry, music, performances at literary fair Wordello

Literary Fair Wordello May 5, 5 p.m. onwards Casa Real, Acacia Ave., Acacia Estates, Taguig City IN A GRAND ancestral home this Saturday, some of the country’s finest writers...

What to see this week

6 films to see on the week of May 4-11, 2018 Blockers WHEN THREE parents find out about their daughters’ plans to lose their virginity on prom...

Closed for renovation

By Teddy Y. Montelibano BORACAY — A few days before the closure, the mood in Boracay was, understandably, subdued, if not totally gloomy. “This is the...

Marvel heroes together en masse for Avengers: Infinity War

LOS ANGELES -- More than two dozen superheroes. One big baddie. Let the mega-battle begin -- and watch the box office receipts pile up. This...