Watch Miss Universe on ABS-CBN

ABS-CBN is an official partner of Miss Universe 2021. Pageant fans can watch the live telecast of the 70th Miss Universe Pageant on A2Z channel 11 on Dec. 13 starting at 7:30 a.m. This year’s coronation night, which will be held in Eilat, Israel, will also have a same day replay on A2Z at 11 p.m. and will be shown on ABS-CBN cable channels Kapamilya Channel and Metro Channel, and streaming platform iWantTFC on later dates. Miss Universe Philippines 2021 is Beatrice Luigi Gomez who aims to become the fifth Filipino winner of the event. ABS-CBN also brought Miss Universe 2020 live to Filipinos via A2Z last May. It can be viewed again on the Kapamilya Channel on Dec. 19, and on Metro Channel on Dec. 20, 22, and 25. These replays will also be streamed on iWantTFC.

Spotify launches two new gaming originals podcasts

SPOTIFY announced the launch of two new Spotify Originals Podcasts, Spawn Point by GHOST Wrecker and Weekly GG. Exclusively on Spotify for Free and Premium users, gaming enthusiasts can look forward to brand-new content on the gaming ecosystem by top Pinoy gaming experts. Headlined by Elyson Caranza, more popularly known as GHOST Wrecker, Spawn Point with GHOST Wrecker focuses on all things gaming, finessed with Mr. Caranza’s unique sense of humor and insider knowledge of the industry. The podcast will dissect trends in a variety of formats, including friendly debates between Mr. Caranza and his special guests. Weekly GG, which is gamer speak for “good game,” is hosted by Tier One Entertainment, a homegrown Esports entertainment company. The podcast focuses on building a career in gaming, inspired by the hosts’ professional gaming experience. Spawn Point by GHOST Wrecker and Weekly GG will each premiere two half-hour episodes.

Lumad docu bags UNICEF prize in Japan

A SHORT documentary which puts the struggle of Lumad children in the spotlight won The UNICEF Prize at the recently concluded Japan Prize organized by public broadcaster NHK. Bullet-Laced Dreams, co-directed and co-produced by award-winning independent filmmakers Kristoffer Brugada and Cha Escala, got the prize for being “an excellent work that promotes understanding of the lives of children in difficult situations.” The documentary shows the hardships that children of indigenous tribes in Mindanao face, as they fight for their right to education and the preservation of their way of life, amid armed conflicts between the government and communist rebels. It follows then 14-year-old Chricelyn Empong and her fellow Lumad children as they escape and are forced to move from one place to another to continue their schooling. The Japan Prize, which was established in 1965 as an international educational program competition, got 267 entries for audiovisual works and proposal pitches from 48 countries and regions around the world.

Ventura’s Deine Farbe set to premiere in the PH

THE MULTI-awarded European debut film of Filipino filmmaker Maria Diane Ventura, Deine Farbe (Your Color), continues to reap honors as it clinched its most recent wins — Best German feature at the Berlin Film Festival (Filmhaus) and Best Director at the International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM). At the same time, Best Actor recognition was also given to Nyamandi Adrian at the IFFM while the Best Supporting Actor citation was awarded to Jannik Schumann at Filmhaus. As of the latest count, Deine Farbe has already won 22 awards from film festivals across the world. Written, directed, and produced by Ms. Ventura, the film is a tale of friendship between two young men who leave their German hometown for a freer life in Barcelona, where fate and choices threaten their once unbreakable bond. It is available for streaming in 68 countries via Amazon Prime Video through this link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08W1F86FX?pf_rd_r=AHCNYPNXS5QMHV1JG9N2&pf_rd_p=898790. It is set to premiere in the Philippines on Dec. 8 on WeTv and iFlix.

Gossip Girl season one returns on HBO GO

PART two of Gossip Girl season 1 will debut at same time as the US with three episodes exclusively on HBO GO from Nov. 25. The final three episodes of the 12-episode first season will be available the following Thursday. Developed by showrunner Joshua Safran, a writer and executive producer on the original series, this extension of the pop culture classic takes viewers back to the Upper East Side finding a new generation of New York private school teens being introduced to social surveillance nine years after the original blogger’s website went dark. The series is based on the bestselling novels by Cecily von Ziegesar and the original show, developed by Josh Schwartz & Stephanie Savage. The series stars Jordan Alexander, Eli Brown, Thomas Doherty, Tavi Gevinson, Emily Alyn Lind, Evan Mock, Zion Moreno, Whitney Peak and Savannah Lee Smith. Part one debuted in July with six episodes, currently available to stream on HBO GO. All six seasons of the Gossip Girl (2007-2012) series starring Blake Lively as well as all seven seasons of Pretty Little Liars (2010-2017) will be found on HBO GO from Nov. 25.

Globe, Pride@Tech rewrite classics to honor LGBTQ+

GLOBE and Pride@Tech are launching their latest initiative, Retold With Pride, which flips the script on iconic stories by giving better representation to the LGBTQ+ community. Created by Propel Manila, in collaboration with Meta, Elesi Studios, Kerplunk Studios, M&P Creatives, Retold With Pride features Pride and No Prejudice, Dragula, The Gay Gatsby, Life of Bi, Little Women Loving Women, and local classics Ibong Adana, Florante at Awra, and Si Malakas at Si Makisig, all retold to show day-to-day realities of the LGBTQ+ community. Retold With Pride launched on Spotify as audiobooks on Nov. 15. The stories are also available on Pride@Tech’s Instagram page as video books.

D’Sound and Armi Millare collaborate

NORWEGIAN neo-soul band D’Sound joins UDD frontwoman Armi Millare on the single “Run for Cover,” their third collaboration after 2018’s “Lykkelig” and 2019’s “Somewhere in Between.” Ms. Millare was happy to be reunited with bassist Jonny Sjo and drummer Kim Ofstad, as well as keyboardist-producer Morten Gillebo, recounting how, despite the relative ease of the proceedings, the group knew it deserved to be more than just a standalone release. In the end, the Oslo-based group saw it fit for “Run for Cover” to be included in 25, their 25th-anniversary release due Jan. 2022, which will boast of names like Macy Gray, Pher, Cory Henry, and Shontelle in the credits. “Run for Cover” is available to stream on all music streaming platforms.

Raven turns to ‘90s rock for new tune

SINGER-songwriter/producer Raven’s latest single, “Lika Na,” puts a refreshing spin on ‘90s alternative rock and early 2000s power-pop, and turns the thrills of romantic adolescence into an inspiration. Layering romantic earnestness over an explosive chorus and melodic guitars, the song is written and produced by Raven with guidance from music mentor and co-producer Rico Blanco and sound engineer Emil dela Rosa. The tune is accompanied with a music video directed by Daniel Aguilar. “Lika Na” is available to stream on all music streaming platforms.

Ben&Ben to hold their biggest virtual concert

APTLY titled Kuwaderno: A Ben&Ben Online Concert, the Filipino nine-piece collective are pushing the boundaries of music shows in the new normal setting by integrating creative disciplines such as drama, dance, orchestra, and technology with a live performance. Their upcoming major concert will be staged at the SMART Araneta Coliseum, and will be streamed live on Dec. 5, 8-11 p.m., via digital streaming platform, KTX.ph. The audio-visual spectacle aims to open new possibilities despite the limitations of the platform, and build a connection with the audience all over the world. Working closely with Ben&Ben are concert director Paolo Valenciano, along with co-director Maribel Legarda, Philippine Theater Association (PETA), and veteran light designer Shakira Villa-Symes. Believing in the magic that happens when different forms of art intertwine, Ben&Ben and their team were prompted to include actors and dancers as part of the visual narrative to give the audience a semblance of being physically present with them throughout the concert journey. Tickets to Kuwaderno: A Ben&Ben Online Concert can be purchased via the KTX website. The Tinatangi package (priced at P8,000) includes access to the online concert, plus an Exclusive 1 on 1 Harana Session with the band on Zoom and a raffle entry to the Exclusive Ben&Ben House Tour, is already sold out. Other ticket tiers that are still available include Kaibigan (priced at P1,000), Magka-ibigan (priced at P3,500), and Mahiwaga (priced at P5,500) — all containing different packages and inclusions.

Xiaomi holds video contest

XIAOMI Philippines has launched the Making Magic video contest with an entertainment package from Xiaomi and a chance to be featured in the music video for Moira Dela Torre’s newest song, “Making Magic,” as prizes. The contest is done in connection with the launch of the newest tool for content creators, the Xiaomi 11T. To join, those who purchase a Xiaomi 11T or Xiaomi 11T Pro can create a 30-second to one-minute video of their “Everyday Cinemagic Moments” captured using the devices. Entrants must also like the Making Magic contest mechanics post on the official Xiaomi Facebook page and share it publicly on social media accounts and with the hashtags: #MakingMagicMV #XiaomiXMoira. Deadline of submission of entries is on Nov. 30. The winner will be announced on Facebook on Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. The winner will be notified via the registered email. Aside from being featured in Moira’s music video, the winner will also receive a Xiaomi entertainment package worth P45,000.

Smart GigaPlay presents 2021 American Music Awards

MOBILE services provider Smart Communications, Inc. through its new GigaPlay App is bringing the 2021 American Music Awards (AMAs) exclusively to its subscribers, live on Nov. 22 at 9 a.m. Hosted by rapper Cardi B, the 2021 AMAs brings together some of the biggest artists at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. Headlining the event is Korean supergroup BTS, who will be doing two separate performances during the show. The six-time AMA-winning group is also nominated for three major awards this year, including Artist of the Year. The 2021 AMAs will also feature live performances from Bad Bunny, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, Kane Brown, New Edition, New Kids on the Block, Jennifer Lopez and part-Filipina singer Olivia Rodrigo. To watch the show, download the GigaPlay App via smrt.ph/gigaplay. Select the 2021 American Music Awards live while on a PLDT Wifi or Smart network. The GigaPlay App is available to all Smart subscribers.

Don’t Look Up premieres on Netflix

KATE Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence), an astronomy grad student, and her professor Dr. Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio) discover a comet orbiting within the solar system that is on a direct collision course with Earth. The problem is that no one really seems to care. Turns out warning mankind about a planet-killer the size of Mount Everest is an inconvenient fact to navigate. So they embark on a media tour. With only six months until the comet makes impact, managing the 24-hour news cycle and gaining the attention of the social media obsessed public before it’s too late proves shockingly comical — what will it take to get the world to just look up? Written and directed by Academy Award winner Adam McKay, it also stars Rob Morgan, Meryl Streep, Jonah Hill, Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, Mark Rylance, Ron Perlman, Timothée Chalamet, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi (aka Kid Cudi), Himesh Patel, Melanie Lynskey, Michael Chiklis and Tomer Sisley. Don’t Look Up premieres on Nov. 24.

TV5’s Christmas station ID has music video

TV5’s new Christmas Station ID, “Atin Ang Paskong Ito, Kapatid,” will be launched officially on Nov. 22. Featuring music by Sing Galing’s Rey Valera, the lyric video of the Christmas station ID was launched in the Nov. 4 episode of Sing Galing. Directed by Winnie Cristobal, the video features performances by the Sing Galing cast: Randy Santiago, Rey Valera, K Brosas, Allan K, Ronnie Liang, Ethel Booba, and Donita Nose, featuring Mandarhyme. The Christmas station, featuring the Mandaluyong Children’s Choir, will be on Nov. 22, before FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.

Silk Sonic drops first album

MULTIPLE Grammy Award winners Bruno Mars and Anderson Paak have dropped their debut album as Silk Sonic with help from special guest host Bootsy Collins. An Evening With Silk Sonic includes their three previously released hits, “Leave The Door Open,” “Skate,” and “Smokin Out The Window,” alongside five unreleased tracks. Warner Music Philippines, together with Magic 89.9, are hosting a listening party at Stationhead on Nov. 20, 7 p.m. Philippine Time. Listeners will get a chance to win official Silk Sonic merchandise. To join, download the Stationhead app and join the party at Silk Sonic’s official Stationhead profile at wmp.lnk.to/silksonicstationhead.

GMovies, UPSTREAM mark first anniversary

IT HAS been a year since GMovies and UPSTREAM.PH — the ticketing platform and the transactional video on demand (TVOD) service — inked a deal to usher Filipinos into a new world of cinema. To celebrate, they will present an originally produced film by veteran and award-winning director Erik Matti, and a 2021 Cannes Film Festival entry, along with other binge-worthy Filipino classics, Korean movies, Hollywood features, and series to their users. The films include the UPSTREAM Original Rabid, which is currently streaming. Directed by Erik Matti, Rabid is an anthology film that probes everyday reality of anxiety, uncertainty, and paranoia. Also in the lineup are: Benedetta, streaming Nov. 17, about a 17th century nun who can perform miracles but who also suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions; Gagamboy (streaming now), a comedy which pits Gagamboy, a do-good crusader, against Ipisman; Korean films lik Okay! Madam streaming until Nov. 21, Beauty Water (until Jan. 16, 2022); and Hollywood features like Stillwater, and Limbo, both streaming now. To access these movies and more, download the GMovies app via Apple Store, Google Play Store, or Huawei App Gallery or visit gmovies.ph or https://bit.ly/GMovies-Shows. To know more about GMovies and UPSTREAM, visit https://upstream.ph/ and https://www.gmovies.ph/.

PICC marks 45th year with Ebe Dancel

THE PHILIPPINE International Convention Center (PICC) celebrated 45 years of hosting the world through a special virtual performance from top OPM (original Pilipino music) artist and songwriter Ebe Dancel. Accompanied by his guitar while singing his soulful songs, Mr. Dancel lit up the iconic Plenary Hall of the PICC, performing onstage for the first time in almost two years for Pagdiriwang: The PICC 45th Anniversary Special streamed live on the PICC Facebook page.  Since transitioning to the new normal, PICC has been strictly implementing health and safety protocols within its premises to ensure the safety and security of all clients, guests, and employees. All of PICC’s employees and outsourced personnel are fully vaccinated. The Center also has a Safety Seal from the Department of Tourism, which ensures compliance with the minimum public health and safety standards. Aside from the required safety and sanitation measures, PICC also upgraded its WiFi and technology capacities to address client requirements for virtual and hybrid events. The PICC is accepting bookings for meetings and events. For more information, visit the official website of the PICC.