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Cooperation — and smiles — are needed to lift the travel...

IT’S no secret that global tourism is one of the industries that has borne the brunt of the current COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic, with health and safety protocols and blanket quarantines lassoing in the once growing industry.

Silent Film Festival adapts to the time of COVID

FOR the first time since its inception in 2007, the International Silent Film Festival is moving online, forgoing live music accompaniment and using original recorded scores from Filipino musicians instead.

Spotify grows 27% on back of discounts in Q3

THE MUSIC streaming service Spotify grew its subscriber base by 27% in the third quarter (Q3) of 2020, bringing its total to 144 million on the back of offering discounted plans which, conversely, brought them a loss of €101 million or $121 million in the quarter according to Spanish analytics firm Comprar Acciones.

Singer April Boy Regino, 51

THE ORIGINAL Pilipino Music (OPM) singer behind the hits “Di Ko Kayang Tanggapin” and “Paano Ang Puso Ko,” April Boy Regino died at the age of 51 on Nov. 29.

Price of K-pop love? An average of P68,000

IT’S no question that K-pop — Korean popular music — has carved out a big chunk of the music world for itself and the resulting “fandoms” have evolved from being just fans clubs to actual forces of nature that can troll and derail a political rally and the social media of US President Donald Trump. And these K-pop fans spend — and spend a lot — for their favored groups. A recent study by Southeast Asian e-commerce aggregator iPrice noted that fans of the group BTS (the fandom is called Army), can, on average, spend upwards of P68,000 ($1,422) on merchandise, concert tickets, and albums.

Full MMFF lineup includes films from canceled summer festival

THE 10 official full-length films that will be featured in the wholly digital version of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) have been named and will include the typical mix of fantasy, comedy, romance, and drama that the festival is known, as well as some of the official entries of the canceled Summer MMFF.

MSI introduces three new laptop lines

TAIWANESE technology company MSI is taking a stab at the growing business and productivity market by introducing several new notebooks, using its “gaming DNA” to develop the new devices.

OPPO unveils concept phone with ‘rollable’ display

CHINESE consumer electronics and mobile communications company OPPO has unveiled its newest concept phone for the second edition of its global conference: one with a proprietary “rollable” display that extends the phone screen seamlessly.

Samsung launches Odyssey curved gaming monitors

SAMSUNG Electronics Co., Ltd. has launched their new Odyssey curved gaming monitors in the Philippines, focusing on providing “next-level game play” and designed for “the serious gamer,” it said in a press release.

QCinema goes online with a smaller lineup

FOLLOWING on the heels of several local film festivals that have opted to go for digital — or hybrid — screenings, the Quezon City International Film Festival (QCinema) will likewise be showing its films online, although it will have a physical screening of its opening film, the black-and-white version of Bong Joon-Ho’s Oscar award-winning film Parasite (2019).

Holiday-themed series top bill TV5’s new shows

LOCAL television network TV5 is ending the year with more new programs as it continues its return to entertainment programming, leading with a holiday-themed drama series titled Paano Ang Pasko.

Lazada’s 11.11 sale draws record numbers

E-COMMERCE platform Lazada Philippines has reported record numbers for this year’s 11.11 annual shopping festival, with more than 70,000 sellers participating — 14,000 of which joined the sale for the first time — and selling over 2 millions items in the first hour.

Drive-in movie launch as Japanese film fest moves online

THE POPULAR Japanese Film Festival (formerly known as Eiga Sai) has shifted to online for this year’s edition, though the opening film will follow in the steps of Cine Europa and be shown at the new SM Cinema by the Bay drive-in theater at the Mall of Asia in Pasay City on Nov. 20 and 22.

Quarantine hiatus leads to more personal music for boy band

WHEN American boy band Why Don’t We announced that it was going on a writing hiatus in January, it was meant to be a short hiatus so the members could focus on creating their new album. Then the pandemic hit and the short hiatus turned into nine months, but the good thing about this hiatus, according to a band member, was that they were able to really grow into their art.

How a deli opened in the middle of a pandemic

IF there’s anything good that came out of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic it’s that more people decided to try out their hand at businesses centered around something they love or enjoy doing. In the case of Bettina Sandiego, it’s deli meats.

Want to see singing cooks? Turn on the TV

FILIPINOS are known for their love (and talent) for both singing and cooking and so it seemed a no-brainer for the Kapamilya Foundation and Phoenix Super LPG to concoct a show that combines both with Kalderoke: The Singing and Cooking Showdown.

14 movies for P14

FOURTEEN Filipino movies for P14 starting Nov. 14 is what movie booking platform GMovies is offering for the next two weeks as part of the lead up to the first online version of the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), according to a Globe executive.

Boys Love shows get serious

FOR those who can’t get enough of the Boys Love (BL) genre currently sweeping across the Philippines, here are two more shows worth watching — with one tackling “more serious issues” such as queerbaiting and another showing the lead character being confused by his sexuality.

DIY pho at home with PHO24 meal kit

VIETNAMESE restaurant chain PHO24 is trying to make Vietnamese food more accessible while trying to up their customer’s cooking game with pho meal kits.

Babae at Baril is the big winner at Gawad Urian

FEMALE-LED crime/thriller Babae at Baril was the night’s big winner at the 2020 Gawad Urian awards ceremony, winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and three other technical awards. The awards show was held on Nov. 10 via YouTube.

Pick.A.Roo delivery choices now include SMEs

ON-DEMAND lifestyle delivery app, Pick.A.Roo, may have presented itself as a platform featuring more premium choices and curated stores but now it has made a place for itself as a platform that also supports small-medium business enterprises (SMEs).

Golden Age actress Mila del Sol, 97

There’s much to be said about living life as the Queen of the Golden Age of Philippine Cinema, of having a rags-to-riches story to starring in over 40 films from 1930s to 1940s, but to condense it in a few words, Mila del Sol’s life was a life well-lived.

Facebook holds PHL digital summit

SOCIAL media giant Facebook will be holding its first digital summit in the Philippines from Nov. 11 to Dec. 9 on its dedicated summit website.

How K-dramas are made

NO ONE can deny the current popularity of Korean dramas in the Philippines and the rest of the world. In fact, as an executive of the Korean Creative Content Agency — a government agency that oversees and coordinates the promotion of Korean content — put it, “Korean dramas have become their own genre.” But what does it take to create a Korean drama and what contributes to its global popularity?

If ‘true crime’ shows are your thing, go to hayu

STREAMING platform hayu (pronounced like “hey you”) is adding 40 new true crime series to its current reality slate with programs ranging from “unthinkable mysteries that would send shivers down your spine, to the entertaining lives of your favorite reality stars,” according to a press release.

Disney UK ad pays homage to the Pinoy Christmas

DISNEY UK has launched a Christmas ad that not only has all the hallmarks of a tearjerker holiday ad, but also pays homage to the Filipino Christmas and diaspora while supporting the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Exciting time for skincare enthusiasts

SPENDING months mostly indoors has inspired many people to take stock and make improvements on their skincare routines, especially now that skincare is widely considered as a form of self-care.

When wearing a mask, focus on the eyes

THE PANDEMIC has forced most people to wear face masks for health and safety reasons, which means that more than half of people’s faces are now covered. But that doesn’t mean that they should stop enjoying playing with makeup and that is what the newly launched beauty brand, Ready Set Glow, wants to do.

Beauty and the Boss: new iflix series offers a male view...

STREAMING service iflix’s new series, Beauty and the Boss, tells a love story from the point of view of the male protagonist which serves as a refreshing twist though the story (based on its first episode) still has the hallmarks of a typical romantic comedy.

PPP adds films to lineup, extends festival run

TO an impressive slate of 160 films, the online edition of Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) has added 10 more films to its lineup bringing the total number of featured films to 170. The huge number of films, together with public demand, has also led the festival to extend its run — which kicked off on Oct. 31 — from 16 days to 44 days.

Cine Europa moves online

LIKE many film festivals, the Cine Europa film festival has also moved its 2020 installment — featuring 19 films from 20 European countries — online.

Garnier goes green

AS PART of its ongoing sustainability initiatives, L’Oreal has introduced “green packaging” for its skincare brand, Garnier. These include replacing bubble wrap with honeycomb paper and cassava starch bags in place of plastic packaging.

Smart taps Park Seo-Joon as its newest endorser

SMART has included Korean actor Park Seo-Joon to its growing slate of Korean endorsers following Hyun Bin and Son Ye-Jin as the telecommunications company continues to ride the wave of popularity of Korean dramas and pop culture.

Look-alikes, Dolly Parton, and Christmas cookies in Netflix’s holiday lineup

STREAMING service Netflix has unloaded its holiday slate for the Philippines which includes a hefty collection of Christmas movies including the second installment of the The Princess Switch film series starring Vanessa Hudgens.

Lenovo announces new laptops, phones

TECHNOLOGY COMPANY Lenovo has announced a slew of new products, including the introduction of the fifth generation entries for its convertible laptop line, Yoga, a gaming phone, and new phones from Motorola.

Pandemic inspires online performance

THE PANDEMIC may have torn people apart from each other, but in many ways it has also brought people together as in the case of Virologues, an online play featuring 19 monologues musing about the virus and its effects on humanity, which brought together an amateur troupe of actors and poets from several countries (and several time zones).

iWant releases horror movie anthology in time for Halloween

IT’S a few days before Halloween and in line with the spooky season, streaming service iWant is coming out with a horror movie anthology starring Jake Cuenca and Ivana Alawi as people who want to take the easy way out only the easy way out has dire consequences.

Short film tilt looking for stories of ‘resilience and strength’

LOCAL ketchup brand UFC is celebrating its 50th year through a short film competition meant to showcase the “resilience and strength [of Filipinos] in the face of tremendous challenges,” according to a press release.

Calendar girl

AKLAN’s Miss Universe Philippines candidate may not have won the crown but some may argue that being named Ginebra San Miguel’s 2021 Calendar Girl is a very good consolation prize for Christelle Abello.

MMFF to go online this year

It seems that having film festivals migrate online is the safest, and maybe the only way, for filmmakers and viewers to still celebrate Filipino...

Hotels turn to quarantine business to survive the coronavirus pandemic

ARTHUR D. GINDAP, who’s been in the hotel business for almost four decades, reckons 2020 as the worst year of his career.

A happy ending guaranteed in latest boys love show

BOYS’ Lockdown is another entry to the ever-growing list of boys’ love (BL) series, a genre which has seen a surge in popularity this year, and this time, its writer said that this is for people who want to see a cute, fluffy romance with a happy ending.

How creators can make more money online? Merchandise

MANY people have made a career for themselves online as YouTube creators or as influencers on other social media platforms, and while having ads and sponsorships may bring in a lot of money, a company specializing in creating branded merchandise said that there’s no better way to strengthen one’s personal brand and create another revenue source than by having your own merchandise, especially for those just starting out.

TV5 boosts entertainment programming to challenge GMA

AFTER reintroducing entertainment shows to its programming in August, TV network TV5 is once again introducing a whole slew of programs this October as it attempts to go head-to-head with what is now, with the non-renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise, the biggest TV network in the country, GMA.

A small glimpse behind the K-Pop curtain

For its first original Korean Pop (K-Pop) content, streaming giant Netflix turned its gaze onto what is arguably Korea’s top girl group, BlackPink, as it tries to answer why the group — which is the first Korean girl group to perform at Coachella and which has a string of chart-topping hits around the world -- is so popular and the overarching question why Korean acts are so popular right now. But while the attempt is admirable, Black Pink: Light Up the Sky offers little more than a crash course introduction to K-Pop and BlackPink and rarely offers anything new to people with a modicum of knowledge about the genre or the group.