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Singapore’s Nine Fresh is here

BECAUSE of its popularity among Filipinos in its native Singapore, dessert shop Nine Fresh has decided to take a chance and expand outside its home country and into the Philippines.

SM Cinema’s new direction: mores screens in smaller theaters

SM MALL of Asia’s (MOA) cinemas have been relaunched after months of renovations, increasing screens but keeping the same number of seats in a preview of what cinemas under the SM chain would turn into.

K-pop star Tiffany Young’s new motto is becoming ‘brave’

AFTER MORE than 10 years in the South Korean pop industry (K-pop) as part of the country’s biggest girl group at the time, Tiffany Young is now making music that’s all her own: more personal and more intimate.

Netflix membership up 20% in 2019 despite heavy competition

AMERICAN streaming service Netflix reports its membership grew by 20% in 2019 with its fourth quarter earnings growing by 31% year-on-year on the back of viewership of its original series such as The Witcher and You.

Street party, floats mark Chinese New Year in Manila

CELEBRATE Chinese New Year with a bang as the City of Manila, together with the Filipino-Chinese General Chamber of Commerce Inc. (FCGCCI), is holding a street party in Chinatown’s San Lorenzo Ruiz Plaza on Jan. 24 which will include performances from top Original Pilipino Music (OPM) acts including Sponge Cola and Parokya ni Edgar.

K-pop’s Tiffany Young has QC concert on Saturday

AMERICAN SINGER and K-pop star Tiffany Young is set to perform solo for the first time in the Philippines on Jan. 25 at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City as part of her ongoing Open Hearts Eve Part Two tour.

Studio Ghibli classics to be released on Netflix in February

TWENTY-ONE titles from Studio Ghibli including classic favorites Howl’s Moving Castle (2004) and Spirited Away (2001) will be available on Netflix globally starting Feb. 1.

Fantasy and action in Shang’s Spring Film Festival

IT’S ALL about the fantasy and action in this year’s Spring Film Festival at the Shangri-La Plaza Mall in Mandaluyong City, as the festival — which runs until Jan. 26 — features six Chinese films including Zhang Yimou’s 2017 monster film Great Wall starring Matt Damon.

Love in a time of Climate Change

THE PAST few years have seen a glut of Filipino romantic films — from comedies to dramas to everything in between — and with their sheer number, it isn’t hard to predict tropes as old as time that they will use: they meet, they fall in love, they argue, they break up, and they may or may not get back together again but either way they become “better versions” of themselves after the affair.

Holiday horror: Tagaytay under a cloud of ash

THE weather that Sunday was beautiful, said Jose Ricardo “Pepi” Casas who was in Tagaytay for a family reunion. The skies were clear and there was no sign that just a few hours later, the nearby Taal Volcano would explode, spewing ash, steam, and rocks into a cloud that reached a kilometer into the air.

Martin del Rosario, Mystified top Pinoy winners at Asian TV Awards

FILIPINO actor Martin del Rosario and iflix original movie Mystified won Best Leading Male Performance (Digital Category) and Best Single Drama or Telemovie, respectively at the 24th Asian Television Awards held over Jan. 10 to 12 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila, Pasay City.

Speedy zombies inhabit Red’s latest horror outing

TOUTED AS the “first full-scale zombie film by a Filipino studio,” Mikhail Red’s Block Z promises action and gore and thrills as it hits cinemas on January 29.

With a greater online focus, AFC is now AFN

AFTER ALMOST a decade of serving food from the all over the region via cable TV, the Asian Food Channel has now shifted to a “digital-first approach” in order to support its three million-strong online community, hence the need to change its name to Asian Food Network (AFN), according to a channel executive.

Show band Music & Magic celebrates 40 years with a concert...

THE 1980s show band Music & Magic is celebrating its 40th year with a one-night concert on Jan. 14 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila, Pasay City.

PHL gets 20 nominations in Asian TV Awards

FILIPINO TV personalities and shows have garnered 20 nominations at this year’s Asian Television Awards (ATA). The awards will be given over a series of events on Jan. 10 to 12 at Resorts World Manila in Pasay City.

After horror spoof Echorsis, Insight 360 goes mainstream with rom-com Mia

AT FIRST GLANCE, Veronica Velasco’s Mia might be a typical romantic comedy, but she insists that it is more than that as the film tackles issues that aren’t typically covered in films of the genre, like climate change.

6 Underground is Netflix PH most popular show in 2019

IN THE THREE YEARS SINCE streaming giant Netflix entered the Philippines — alongside 90 other territories — in 2016, Filipinos have largely embraced streaming as a new way to consume content.

Amanda comes to the rescue again in 2nd season

ANIMAL SHOW Amanda to the Rescue is coming back for a second season on Jan. 6 on Animal Planet, promising “a lot more consistency” this time around according to its star, Amanda Giese.

Disturbing scenes mar action-comedy

3POL TROBOL: Huli Ka Balbon is an action-comedy film and the second feature from Rodel Nacianceno or more popularly known as Coco Martin.

Telling tales

THIS YEAR’s Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) only has one romance (in contrast, 2018 had three: Girl in the Orange Dress, Mary Marry Me, and One Great Love) and it’s not really that much about romance but more about how art imitates life and how people would try to escape their realities and rewrite their lives if they could.

Comic book artist Gerry Alanguilan, 51

COMIC BOOK artist Gerry Alanguilan, the man behind the award-winning graphic novel Elmer, died at the age of 51 after battling several ailments over the past few years. His death was confirmed by his wife and colleagues on Facebook on Saturday.

Kiehl’s focuses on student market in new Manila branch

AMERICAN BEAUTY brand Kiehl’s has opened its newest store at Robinsons Manila bringing the total store portfolio to 16.

Max’s Group opens multi-brand site along EDSA

MAX’S Group Inc. (MGI) launched a new multi-brand site along Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA), as the casual dining company is ramping up expansion in the country.

Holiday shopping at ‘Divisoria of the North’

CHRISTMAS is less than a week away and that means it’s the home stretch for those wanting to get their Christmas gifts locked and loaded and ready for distribution.

Chat site, election, and Avengers among top 2019 Google searches

ONLINE CHAT SITE Omegle, a website for game cheats, and another site for game credits and vouchers dominated the Filipino conversation this 2019 according to the annual Google Year in Search list on the most searched trends, news, and personalities on the search engine.

Maine Mendoza tops most tweeted list for 3rd year

Local TV personality Nicomaine “Maine” Mendoza dominated Twitter conversations in 2019, topping the Most Tweeted accounts, Most Tweeted Celebrities, and Most Tweeted Hashtags on Twitter’s #ThisHappened list.

Products to try for a ‘new you’ in the New Year

I FELT IT would be a pity if I didn’t end the year with a skincare review -- and this time it’s all about Filipino skincare brands that I’ve discovered and would recommend to those who want to start their “new year, new me” regimen in a bit more than a weeks’ time.

FDCP can’t use taxes as incentives — SC

THE Supreme Court (SC) has affirmed with finality its 2015 decision to disallow the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) from collecting and giving film amusement taxes as incentives to select films.

Bono-backed firm partners with PHL Red Cross

THE Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has tapped California-based drone delivery service Zipline to make on-demand and emergency blood deliveries nationwide starting 2020.

Film takes a look behind the scenes of filmmaking

A FILM about the unsung heroes of the film industry is what the Metro Manila Film Festival entry Write About Love is about, according to a production executive. The film explores the often personal journey a writer takes to create a screenplay.

4 Weddings and a Funeral is now a mini-series

A MINI-SERIES based on Mike Newell’s popular 1994 film Four Weddings and a Funeral is set to air on Blue Ant Entertainment starting Dec. 17 at 10:35 p.m.

December Ave. is most streamed artist in PHL

ORIGINAL Pilipino Music (OPM) reigned supreme in 2019 according to music streaming service Spotify, as indie rock band December Avenue topped the Most Streamed Artists list in the Philippines, the first time a Filipino did so.

Lenovo adds two new models to its ThinkBook product line

FOR its last hurrah for 2019, Lenovo Philippines launched two entries to its newly-introduced ThinkBook line created for “today’s young and digitally-inclined professionals who seek the perfect balance between high-end specifications and premium aesthetics in work devices.”

Goyo bags top Luna Award

HISTORICAL epic Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral by Jerrold Tarog won Best Motion Picture along with several technical awards at the Luna Awards, held on Nov. 30 at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Short films, video art the focus of .giff Festival

LOCAL PRODUCTION company Globe Studios is holding a two-day art fair for video art projections and independent short films. It will be held on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 in three venues in Makati City.

Unbreakable explores a different kind of romance

THE STORY of “unbreakable” friendships is the crux of Unbreakable, the newest film from ABS-CBN Star Cinema which screens nationwide starting Nov. 27 and stars Bea Alonzo and Angelica Panganiban.

Mom makes the decisions on online purchases — survey

THE FILIPINO digital mom makes “the biggest purchase decisions in the household,” relies on social media for parenting tips, and goes online after the children are asleep, according to the results of the 2019 Digital Moms Survey by Singapore-based community app, theAsianparent.

Canva looks to double workforce

THE local headquarters of graphic design company Canva is looking at doubling their workforce, especially their design and operations team, by 2020 as the country continues to be “design hub” for the company.

Acer partners with Realme for holiday promo

FOR the holidays, Taiwanese hardware and electronics company Acer is partnering with Chinese smartphone company Realme as they give away Realme smartphones for every qualified Acer laptop purchase from now until Dec. 31.

MullenLowe’s NOVA Awards Manila shortlist out

MARKETING communications company MullenLowe has announced the shortlist for its inaugural NOVA Awards Manila which “celebrates the work of the Philippines’ most talented artists,” according to a company release.

Films on gay men, intersex person bag top prizes in film...

SILA-SILA, a film about gay men navigating through breakups and friendships, and Metamorphosis, a film about an intersex individual, won the top prizes — Best Picture and Best Director, respectively — at the recently concluded Cinema One Originals film festival.

Enjoy music on YouTube without ads interrupting

VIDEO-SHARING platform YouTube has finally brought YouTube Music and YouTube Premium to the Philippines. Both are paid subscription services for ad-free streaming alongside other features and original content.

Shangri-la mall’s Gourmet Fest back this weekend

SHANGRI-LA Plaza brings the Gourmet Fest back for a second year with 27 restaurants presenting “the many textures and flavors of [the mall’s] well-curated gastronomic selections,” according to a press release.

Signal Rock, Liway get most Luna Awards nominations

THE FILM Academy of the Philippines (FAP) and the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) have announced the nominees for the 37th Luna Awards, to be given on Nov. 30 at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Reclaiming Maria Clara

SINGER-SONGWRITER Abby Asistio is back with a new song about reclaiming the meaning of the term “Maria Clara” for the Filipinas of today.