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Manila then and now, seen through Brocka and Bernal

MANILA in 2019 is a bustling concrete jungle where the middle class and urban poor strive to have decent life, but in reality its streets are riddled with victims of extrajudicial killings, nine-year-old street urchins used by drug peddlers, inefficient public transport, and other inequalities and injustices.

Ang Huling el Bimbo 2.0: same story, better narration

RESORTS WORLD MANILA’s musical Ang Huling El Bimbo will return in March and this does not only mean giving a chance to those who missed it the first time around, more than this it is an opportunity to tweak the script and some songs, and to improve character development.

Listen to the music of the night again

GOOD news for those who missed it the first time it came to Manila in 2012 and for those who wish to see it — and its famous chandelier — again, The Phantom of the Opera is back in town.

NCCA names beauty queen, actors as new ambassadors for Nat’l Arts...

CELEBRITIES, thanks to their clout among their fans, make good endorsers. But beyond influencing us to buy and consume more T-shirts and face creams, four Filipino stars are now the ambassadors of far more important things, our arts and culture, with the goal of bringing them closer and making them more relevant to more people.

Charot isn’t joking

FILIPINO slang that means “just kidding,” the word “charot” is conveniently used to lighten things up and make them fun with the aim of reducing serious discussions into jokes. But PETA’s new political show Charot will take matters seriously.

Art tilt hopes to tap youth’s passion

BECAUSE THE future belongs to the dreamers and the youth, this year’s theme for the Visual Arts Competition (VAC), a partnership between PLDT and Directories Philippines Corp. (DPC), is “Creating the Legacy, Creating the Future.”

Bites off more than it can chew

JOEL LAMANGAN’s Rainbow’s Sunset is a convoluted story of a rich troubled clan, whose main conflict revolves around the family members’ having to deal with grandfather Ramon (played by Eddie Garcia), who comes out as gay and wants to live with his best friend and lover Fredo (Tony Mabesa) who is dying from cancer. But Ramon’s outing himself at the age of 84 (“It’s already 2018!”) should be the least of this family’s — and the audience’s — concerns because Rainbow Sunset doesn’t only feature a conflicted clan, but its storyline is problematic too.

No ghosts are needed when the monsters are real

By Nickky F.P. de Guzman, Reporter Movie Review Aurora Directed by Yam Laranas EVEN WITHOUT the ghosts in it, Metro Manila Film Festival’s Aurora is a horror story:...

Lea Salonga, Binondo win big at Aliw Awards 2018

LEA SALONGA and the team behind Binondo, A Tsinoy Musical were the big winners at the annual ALIW Awards night held on Dec. 13 at the Manila Hotel.

Young artist sets up own gallery in Antipolo

IMPATIENCE and passion have brought young and emerging visual talent Nadia Marie Ibay to put up her own art gallery where she can, of course, showcase her own works.

Reruns and first-times: 2019 theater shows

THE YEAR’S about to draw to a close, and it’s but safe to assume that the Philippine theater scene has been vibrant and prolific. The theater lovers have welcomed international presentations as well as local productions. To keep the ball rolling this 2019, here are some of the shows we can all look forward to next year.

New Cebu hotel aims to provide 5-star service

SMALL DETAILS make the differences at the newly opened Bai Hotel in Mandaue City in Cebu, the largest city-hotel in the VisMin region and outside Metro Manila.

Philippine Art Award discovers new talents

THE Philippine Art Awards will be celebrating it 25th anniversary next year. There is a feeling of unease, however, with some wondering if the award-giving body is on the right track or if it is producing good art and artists.

An elaborate process creates the deceptively simple

ABSTRACT paintings hold a multitude of meanings depending on the beholder, so instead of looking for meaning, one way to connect to the art work is to look at and appreciate the labor behind the creation.

Livin’ in a surreal world

BORN IN 1941, artist Raul H. Lebajo is still a kid at heart. For his ongoing exhibit, he invites viewers into the world of his imagination, of fantastic worlds and phantasmagorias.

Cine Europa ends this year’s run at Shangri-La Plaza, offers free...

FILIPINO film historian and award-winning movie maker Nick Deocampo will be giving a series of free lectures from Dec. 12-14 at the EDSA Shangri-la Plaza’s newly opened Red Carpet cinema as part of the Cine Europa film festival which is ongoing until Dec. 16 at the mall.

Burning heart, cool head

What classical music taught violinist Ryu Goto.

High and low art the same CCP’s Encyclopedia

THE Cultural Center of the Philippines’ 12-volume Encyclopedia of Philippine Art is encompassing, with the inclusion of discourses on popular culture, digital media, and LGBTQ-themed essays in broadcast art, among others.

Consistency in evolution

GUS ALBOR says he is an apolitical artist. But when asked why he called his ongoing exhibition -- on view at the Ayala Museum until Feb. 10 -- Territory, he said it pertains to the Philippine-China dispute over the Spratly Islands.

Focusing on the art of Baguio

FORMERLY THE Diplomat Hotel, the Dominican Hill and Nature Park in Baguio City was recently repurposed to serve as an art gallery. Outside the building were installations by National Artist Kidlat Tahimik, while inside was a showcase of other installations, sculptures, and paintings by local artists like Maela Jose, whose huge mandala-inspired canvas that hung at the ground floor of the once grand hotel.

Silence and simplicity in Manila Notes

SILENCE, slowness, and finesse are characteristics that are typical in Japanese films and plays. Manila Notes -- an adaptation of the play Tokyo Notes -- won’t be any different.

Ubuntu opens at Arete

ATENEO DE MANILA University’s (ADMU) Arete formally opened its main plaza which will be called the Ubuntu Space. The link that will connect Arete’s arts and innovation wings is sponsored by the UnionBank of the Philippines.

Imelda will be invited to the CCP’s 50th anniversary

IF IMELDA MARCOS is still not behind bars next year, she will probably be attending the 50th anniversary celebration of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), a project she initiated.

On being a Filipino-Chinese artist

VISUAL ARTIST Hau Chiok delivered his opening speech for his exhibition Coalescences: 60 years of Hau Chiok in Fukienese.

Uncomplicated fashion

LACOSTE, which is celebrating its 85th anniversary, remains true to its style philosophy: keep things simple.

BenCab goes punk

IN BETWEEN Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera’s iconic Sabel and Larawan series, the National Artist had a phase when he focused on drawing punks as a form of diversion from his signature paintings in the early 1980s.

What we can learn from Italy’s contemporary and modern museum scene

THE PHILIPPINES and Italy share the same dilemma when it comes to art: their governments doesn’t care much about it. But our shared problem stops here, because as an Italian art critic and curator who recently visited the county said, Italian politicians are only apprehensive to fully embrace contemporary art because they don’t understand it. Here, meanwhile, politicians aren’t very keen in prioritizing arts and culture at all.

13 Artists Award exhibit: mirror of society’s illnesses

THE WINNERS of the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ 13 Artists awards this year demonstrated that they’re not only concerned with their aesthetics, but also with what is happening in reality. The recipients have responded to the problems of our times: extrajudicial killings, social injustices, the oppressed’s endless plight, and fake news.

Waitress starts serving pie

ATLANTIS Theatrical Entertainment Group this week will open a sweet musical — literally and figuratively — about the bitter realities of abusive relationships and the stresses of the everyday life. The Broadway musical Waitress will feature lots of pies, singing, and a whole lot of positive attitude.

Does an artist’s ‘success’ rely on making it in the USA?...

FRANK SINATRA made us believe that New York is the center of the world when he sang “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere. It’s up to you New York, New York.” Filipino fans, then, including visual artists and the patrons behind them (if they have any), have always aspired to break into and make it in the Big Apple art scene.

Compromises and celebrations

HOW DOES an artist negotiate their aesthetics with their clients?

Variety marks Repertory’s 82nd season

HISTORY, comedy, drama, and a classic epic fill up Repertory Philippines’ 82nd season, running from 2019 to 2020.

Think there’s nothing more to do in Hong Kong Disneyland? Think...

FROM SIMULATED SNOW to new rides and shows, Hong Kong Disneyland (HKDL) is upgrading and refreshing its offerings in time for the holidays -- and beyond.

Romulo Café goes off-menu

A FAVORITE Filipino restaurant of many, Romulo Café is introducing family- and friend-favorites as part of its off-menu buffet choices.

Duterte honors first batch of National Artists

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte on Wednesday formally conferred the Order of National Artist on seven veteran artists, all renowned in their respective fields. They constitute the first batch of National Artists under his administration.

Trumperte: comedy is political

MELANIA and Donald Trump will be visiting the Philippines on Oct. 26 and 27.

Simple story, classic music in All Out of Love

WHAT DO Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born and Resorts World Manila’s All Out of Love have in common? Besides their good music, both show the perils of the entertainment industry.

Jennylyn Mercado is new face of Max Factor

INTERNATIONAL cosmetic brand Max Factor has found its first Filipina muse to be its beauty ambassador: Jennylyn Mercado.

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.

The politics of the barong Tagalog

WHO WEARS the barong Tagalog most often? Presidents and other political figures. Using the national men’s shirt as her metaphor and metonymy for politicians, artist Ninel Constantino unpacks the meanings and messages of the garment in her solo exhibition, Facade.

Quantifying the arts

ART HEALS, literature enriches vocabularies and our sense of empathy, and theater helps children develop their imagination and creativity. But these truths aren’t quantifiable — or not quantified yet — which makes it hard for the government to see the positive impact and contributions of art and culture to economic development.

Hans Brumann: The jeweler as an artist

HANS BRUMANN is a jeweler first and a visual artist second, but this is a pragmatic stance. “Jewelry making is my bread and butter, but I multitask now — everything that has to do with design, I love,” he told BusinessWorld.

Newcomers make up half of this year’s Palanca winners

A TELEVISION reporter, a father and daughter, and a former entertainment reporter were among the winners in this year’s Palanca Awards, the annual award that recognizes outstanding Filipino literary writers.

Mamma Mia! Here it goes again!

HOW DO you keep yourself restrained when there’s a party on stage and iconic ABBA songs are playing? This can be the biggest challenge one encounters when watching the ongoing run of Mamma Mia! at The Theatre at Solaire: controlling your desire to stand up and dance and sing along with the cast.

PETA’s State of the Nation

THE PHILIPPINE Educational Theater Association (PETA) is devoting its 51st season to shows that tackle the current state of the nation: the extrajudicial killings, the rise of trolls and fake news, and historical revisionism, among other topics.