From JoAnne Lorenzana – Everyday is Valentine’s day!


By Crispina M. Belen

From JoAnne Lorenzana – Everyday is Valentine’s day!


JoAnne Lorenzana’s latest song, “My Everyday Valentine,” reminds all of us that every day is heart’s day, and not only on Valentine’s Day, February 14. But of course, the launch was made to coincide with that special day dedicated to LOVE.

She said “I wanted to write a song that promoted the relevance of Valentine’s all year round. Because the person you love – your spouse, or for the young ones – your lover, boyfriend, girlfriend or someone you’ve loved but who is already gone – they always linger in your heart. This was the reason I wrote this song. I wrote it for my husband and is a reflection of our love story. The lyrics bring us back to the day we first met.”

Needless to say, JoAnne’s song, is made more special because it is an ode to love for her husband, Brant Blower, who just survived an accident that required surgery. After his successful surgery, he is fast recovering now, and that JoAnne considers a big miracle.

Last Valentine 2021, JoAnne reposted this sweet and loving  message to her husband: “Dear hun Brant Blower, you always keep the music playing! I thank our good, gracious, merciful and compassionate Father for you! Let us keep celebrating the miracle He has given us this Valentine’s and always. I love you to the moon and back as you always say!”


The song “My Everyday Valentine” is her second collaboration with her friend, prolific songwriter Jimmy Borja, who provided the music to Jo-Anne’s lyrics. Says Jo-Anne: “It’s an everyday love song because it is truly even more special when we express our love to our beloved special someone every single day!”

In the mid-80s when Original Pilipino Music (OPM) was at its peak, JoAnne was among the country’s most versatile and noted female performers. She is best remembered for her hit songs:  “I’ll Never Let You Go” (which occupied the Number 1 slot in the Philippine local charts for two months in 1987), “You,” “Kung Alam Mo Lang” (which has been revived a number of times and used as a movie and television show theme song), “Bayan Ko,” “Back In Your Arms,” “Hoy Pakibilisan” (her first published composition which became a campus and disco favorite in 1990’s), and “Goodtimes, Badtimes”  which aired on music video channels and  also released in the mid-90’s, and was shown in 53 countries.  

JoAnne has also represented the country in two song festivals, recorded commercial jingles, performed throughout the Philippines and abroad during her active musical career (1985-2000).

Now based in the U.S., following her migration and marriage to her project designer-musician, America has been her second home since 2005.  As music beckoned, following a 10-year hiatus from recording, JoAnne  released her fifth album titled:  “Between Seasons” under their label NeoMONDE Productions (©2009) which was distributed in the Philippines by UNIVERSAL RECORDS PHILS (©2010). 

The album featured collaborations with San Francisco-based musicians Pepe Jacobo and Paul Olguin, as well as foremost Filipino musician-arrangers and songwriters/hitmakers such as Jimmy Borja and Jimmy Antiporda, to name a few.  

In 2015, JoAnne likewise returned to performing and held a successful One-Woman Show entitled: “JoAnne Lorenzana: ORIGINS” at the California Jazz Conservatory in Berkeley, Northern California.

“My Everyday Valentine” is now available on your favorite digital outlets such as SPOTIFY, Apple Music, iTunes, Amazon Music and your choice of streaming services.  For More Information about our new song, please FOLLOW Me on Facebook at and on YouTube at







Special awards for Cinemadvocates, Gabay ng Industriya & Camera Obscura during FAN 2021


By Crispina M. Belen

Special awards for Cinemadvocates, Gabay ng Industriya & Camera Obscura during FAN 2021

 During the recent virtual mediacon for the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Chairperson Liza Dino revealed with a tinge of sadness that this year, their budget has been lessened to some degree. But still, they will as promised, continue to help the beleaguered film industry workers in whatever capacity they can.

And, despite budget constraints, FDCP’s FAN 2021, now on its 5th edition,  will push through. Scheduled on February 28, it will bestow special awards to pay tribute to the invaluable contributions of film industry stakeholders who continuously work for the betterment of Philippine Cinema.

Cinemadvocates is a special segment of this year’s FAN to laud individuals and groups that tirelessly champion the welfare of film workers and the development of the industry. Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia, National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairman and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) President Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso, Lockdown Cinema Club, Inter-Guild Alliance, Dingdong Dantes, and Angel Locsin are the FAN 2021 Cinemadvocates.

The Gabay ng Industriya Award is a new citation to honor those who serve as Philippine Cinema’s guiding light and inspiration. The industry is grateful and honored to have witnessed their admirable artistry, incredible work ethic, and encompassing love for film. Cinematography icon Romy Vitug is the Haligi ng Industriya Award recipient and legendary actress Gloria Romero is the Ilaw ng Industriya Award recipient. They will, Chair Dino said, receive cash incentives.

The Camera Obscura Artistic Excellence Award is the highest citation awarded by the FDCP to trailblazers and legends in the industry. This year’s Camera Obscura awardees are Jun Juban of Philippine Film Studios, Inc., multi-awarded documentary “Aswang” by Alyx Arumpac, and former NCCA Commissioner Teddy Co. They also will receive cash incentives.

Juban’s Philippine Film Studios, Inc. has been a critical figure in the country’s film and audiovisual industry, having produced and co-produced numerous films and audiovisual content, the most notable of which are Academy Award winners “Born on the Fourth of July” and “Platoon” by Oliver Stone, “The Bourne Legacy” by Tony Gilroy, Metro Manila Film Festival Best Picture “10,000 Hours” by Bb. Joyce Bernal, and several editions of reality television programs “The Amazing Race” and “Survivor.”

Arumpac’s “Aswang” was an A-Lister in FAN 2020 after taking home the Fipresci Prize in the 2019 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). The full-length documentary went on to win eight international awards in 2020, including Best International Feature-Length Documentary at Festival Film Dokumenter in Indonesia, Grand Prize-Best International Feature at the RIDM Montreal International Documentary Festival in Canada, Amnesty International Human Rights Award at the Thessaloniki International Film Festival in Greece, and White Goose Award (Grand Prize) at the DMZ International Documentary Festival in South Korea.

Teddy Co, a former NCCA Commissioner of the Arts and Head of National Committee on Cinema, is a director, curator, and archivist, who significantly helped in the repatriation and restoration of lost films by Manuel Conde, Gerardo de Leon, and Nonoy Marcelo, among others. He co-founded Cinema Rehiyon, which he continues to curate, and is a selection committee member for Cinemalaya, Cinema One Originals, and QCinema International Film Festival.




How Smart made what seemed impossible, possible!


By Crispina M. Belen

How Smart made what seemed impossible, possible!

It was an exciting virtual press event presented on February 22 by Smart 5G and Sony Music dubbed “Unstoppable with Smart 5G,” moderated by Catherine Yap-Yang. The media event detailed how Smart made what seemed impossible, possible – the new Hyun Bin/Son Ye Jin TVC. A very smart move indeed for Smart, the Philippines’ fastest mobile data network!


But prior to this, on February 14, Smart delivered a video surprise that sent fans of power couple Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin into total K-lig frenzy. Like a climax to a trilogy that started with Hyun Bin’s Simple Smart Ako TVC last June to Son Ye Jin’s Smart Signature turn, the new Smart 5G campaign really made what seemed impossible, possible! 

Subscribers and fans who did not give up on the social media hashtag #InSmartWeTrust finally got what they’ve been yearning for—a joint campaign top-billed Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin.    

“Here at Smart, we always have the best interest of our customers at heart. So you can just imagine how we felt when fans of Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin flooded our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with requests, begging for a joint material featuring the pair. It may have taken a while but we felt it was worth the wait as the stars aligned for us to finally launch our new campaign last Valentine’s Day,” said Jane J. Basas, Smart SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business.    

Stressing the value and importance of trust earned, she added: “We owe this TVC to our subscribers and Crash Landing On You (CLOY) fans who rallied behind the hashtag #InSmartWeTrust, hoping that we would bring them together. Trust is not easily earned, so we value it so much. We knew that this has turned into something bigger and the trust of our customers propelled us to fulfill their wish.”    

Hyun Bin, Son Ye Jin send heartfelt wishes to Filipinos     

From “The Captain Has Landed” to landing into each other’s arms, Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin took chemistry to a whole new level in the Smart 5G TVC as they chase each other on the road and through different dimensions only to meet again just as Bin asks, “Do you believe it’s possible?” To which Ye Jin replies, “I do!”    

In a Smart-exclusive video, the two shared their experience working on the project. Hyun Bin revealed that they had to shoot in the middle of a snowstorm in January. “I remember it snowed a lot on the day of the shoot. Thanks to that, the shooting was fun despite the cold weather.”    

Son Ye Jin recalled how unique the experience was working with the Smart team anew. “I am so happy to be with Smart for the second time. It’s a lot easier because we worked with the same team.”    

Having said that, she disclosed that she’s looking forward to more campaigns from Smart. “And I am so excited to see more wonderful advertisements.”    

The pair also revealed that they wanted to visit the Philippines to be with their supporters physically but would have to settle now with the warmth of virtual love by being with local fans online.    

Addressing Filipinos everywhere, Hyun Bin said, “Hello. This is Hyun Bin. I have been given another chance to meet you all through Smart’s new campaign video. I hope that you’ll continue to support Smart and me. I wish you a Happy New Year. Please keep yourselves healthy and warm this year.”    

Son Ye Jin echoed her partner’s message by saying, “I may not be able to meet you all in person but I’m very happy that I can greet you through this video. Last year was a difficult year for everyone. I sincerely hope you become happier this year. I hope to see you soon. Stay healthy until then.”     

Ben&Ben joins the ‘inevitable’   

While it was important for Smart to grant wishes of its subscribers when it comes to bringing consumers closer to their foreign idols, the TVC also presented an opportunity to put a local band behind the video’s soundtrack and musical scoring.   


Here’s where Ben&Ben comes in, providing “Inevitable,” the song that is heard in the background while Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin pursue each other in this romantic-sci-fi TVC.   

With lyrics inspired by real-life events, Ben&Ben members simply happen to be CLOY fans as well. In a collaboration set to motion by the band, Smart, and Sony Music Phils, things started falling into place when it came to lending soundtrack and musical score for the TVC.  

In an official statement released by Sony Music Phils, lead singer Paolo Benjamin said, “Inevitable is a song that tries to describe the nature of fate, and how all our actions somehow lead us to some better place that is destined for us. It’s also a song about being real with someone, and that no matter how scary that may seem at times, there is freedom in baring your truest nature with someone dear to you, even if that someone is yourself.”     

Miguel Benjamin added, “The songwriting in itself presents a concept of the state that is both a surreal mystery and a peaceful certainty, so we wanted to create an aural representation of what these lyrics felt like. Our process started with a mix of acoustic guitars, which I tweaked with sitar effects as the main intro riff; kind of like a representation of the two contrasting feelings working together.”    

Leader in 5G        

Smart has done what seemed impossible by putting Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin together in one project for the first time much like the latest development with Smart 5G, which has started enabling subscribers to do groundbreaking things we thought we couldn’t do.        

The latest evolution in wireless communications, 5G offers superfast data speeds and fiber-like low latency, which enable users to upload and download heavy files in seconds, stream high-resolution videos seamlessly, play online games without noticeable lag, and benefit from other cutting-edge apps and services on their smartphone with fiber-like speeds.            

Smart is at the forefront of the 5G revolution in the Philippines with the continued nationwide roll-out of its ultrafast 5G network, which includes strategic sites in Metro Manila, Boracay, Cavite, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Laguna, New Clark City in Pampanga, and Rizal.          

To enable more subscribers to experience 5G, Smart has teamed up with smartphone manufacturers like Huawei, Samsung, realme, and vivo in offering Smart 5G-certified devices under Smart Signature 5G Plans.    

The Philippines’ fastest mobile data network        

Smart’s 5G rollout complements the mobile services provider’s extensive 4G/LTE and 3G network in the country, already considered the fastest in the Philippines by third-party mobile internet analytics firms such as Ookla and Opensignal.    

Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis, named Smart as the country’s fastest mobile data network in the second half of 2020 after it achieved a Speed Score™ of 24.99, with average speeds of 20.08 Mbps for download, and 7.42 Mbps for upload, based on 3,915,679 user-initiated tests taken with Speedtest®.     

On the other hand, Opensignal, an independent mobile analytics firm, noted in its November 2020 Mobile Network Experience Report for the Philippines* that Smart remained ahead of the competition in terms of Video Experience, Upload and Download Speed Experience, 4G Availability, and 4G Coverage Experience.      

To know more about Smart 5G, visit and follow Smart’s official accounts on Facebook at, and Twitter and Instagram at @LiveSmart.      

*Independent data referenced with consent from Opensignal “The mobile network experience across five regions in the Philippines has greatly improved since Q4 2018 – October 2020”        

* Opensignal Awards – Philippines: Mobile Network Experience Report November 2020, based on independent analysis of mobile measurements recorded during the period July 1 – September 28, 2020 © 2021 Opensignal Limited.



Rhian Ramos renews contract with GMA Network


By Crispina M. Belen

Rhian Ramos renews contract with GMA Network

Versatile actress Rhian Ramos reaffirmed ties with GMA Network as she renewed her exclusive contract with the network last February 19.

A Kapuso through and through - Rhian Ramos reaffirms ties with GMA Network (1)

Rhian Ramos reaffirms ties with GMA Network

Present during the contract signing were GMA Senior Vice President for Entertainment Group Lilybeth G. Rasonable, GMA Vice President for Drama Productions Redgie Acuña-Magno, GMA Vice President for Business Development Department III Darling de Jesus-Bodegon, GMA Senior Assistant Vice President for Alternative Productions Gigi Santiago-Lara, GMA Assistant Vice President for Drama Productions Cheryl Ching-Sy, Senior Program Manager Charles Koo, and Rhian’s manager Michael Uycoco.

Following her string of successful projects and impressive portrayal of diverse roles, Rhian conveys her gratitude and loyalty to the network saying,  “I feel so lucky that I get to live my dream and continue to live my dream with the station that supports me and it feels so right because GMA is my home, they’re my family. I feel comfortable here. I feel well-guided and taken care of. I’ve been here for 15 years already and loyalty is a value that I really appreciate in others and I also try to emulate it myself. I feel that GMA has also been so loyal to me through the years with all the opportunities and guidance they’ve given me.”

Having first graced the small screen in 2006 with her acting debut in “Captain Barbell” and further establishing her name in the industry after her iconic role in “Stairway To Heaven,”  Rhian has truly evolved into a fine actress. At present, she is one of the lead stars of the top-rating primetime series “Love of My Life” where she plays the role of Kelly Generoso.

The talented Kapuso actress shared that she is likewise excited to do more hosting projects in the future. “I am looking forward to doing more hosting. I’ve done many hosting shows in GMA before, but as I’m getting older and as I grow, I feel much more comfortable and confident with myself that it’s really fun to just experience something with the audience kasi that’s what hosts do.”

Meanwhile, Rasonable recalled Rhian’s humble beginnings with the Kapuso Network and expressed her admiration on her growth as an artist.“’Yung television career niya, dito talaga nag-umpisa sa GMA. We saw her first in a TV ad and then we looked for her. Since she was 16, she has been with GMA and we consider her our GMA baby. Over the years, it makes me proud na makitang nag-grow talaga siya bilang isang artista. We try our best na higitan kung ano ‘yung nagawa na namin at bigyan ang ating mga aktor ng roles that will challenge them more and improve their craft.” 


Winnie Wong: Teaching is also a Learning Process


By Crispina M. Belen

Winnie Wong: Teaching is also a Learning Process

Winnie Wong 2

It has been said that teaching is the noblest profession, but it could also be the most tasking vocation. And nobody knows this better than Winnie Wong, better known to her avid YouTube subscribers as Penelope Pop.

Not everyone knows that the social media sensation (who has amassed hundreds of thousands of followers) works full time at International School Manila where she teaches Graphic Design and Photography. She says that dealing with students with different personality types requires a great deal of patience and an innate love for teaching.

Winnie Wong 2

“One of the biggest challenges for me as a teacher is really trying to identify with key personality traits of every single student and being able to adapt to their learning. So, I have to find the balance to cater to all those students. It can be difficult to navigate in the beginning,” she explains.

She added that the transition from face-to-face learning to online schooling brought about by the pandemic also posed some challenges when it comes to developing a more direct interaction with her students.

A persistent student herself, Wong studied and earned her degrees in Canada (one from the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, and the other from Vancouver College where she majored in Early Childhood Education). And, after a year of teaching children in Canada, she decided to fly back to Manila and continue her teaching career, this time for high school students.

Soft-spoken and petite, the pretty school teacher can easily pass off as a high school student herself, a fact that encourages some students to treat her with a little unwelcome flippancy and cheekiness. In cases like these, she finds that conducting herself with more firmness than usual works to put her message across.

She says, however, that the rewards that come from imparting her knowledge are innumerable. For one, she is able to build meaningful relationships with students who get to know her better and vice versa.

“I have some students that I still talk to up to now even if they’ve already graduated,” Wong remarks. “And that’s very educational because you get the youthful perspective of life from them. I feel like there’s a lot to learn as a teacher because you’re dealing with all sorts of people,” she adds.

In the future, she hopes to be able to grow into a position of leadership in school to effect more positive changes and implement steps that will develop the potential of every student to the fullest. But for now, like the avid learner that she is, Wong is acquiring more insights from her daily encounters with students and teachers alike.

“I’m still learning a lot as a teacher. There are still areas for growth and development,” she admits.


‘Prima Donnas’  airs finale this Friday


By Crispina M. Belen

‘Prima Donnas’  airs finale this Friday

The top-rating and well-loved GMA Afternoon Prime series “Prima Donna”’ is set to conclude its run this Friday, February 19.  

“Prima Donnas” is about the life of the three Donnas – Donna Marie (Jillian Ward), Donna Belle (Althea Ablan), and Donna Lyn (Sofia Pablo) – and the endless pursuit of their rightful place as heiresses of the Claveria clan amidst the many grudges of Kendra Fajardo (Aiko Melendez). Playing equally vital roles in the original drama are Katrina Halili as Lilian Madreal, Wendell Ramos as Jaime Claveria, Ms. Chanda Romero as Lady Primarosa Claveria, Benjie Paras as Agaton, Elijah Alejo as Brianna, Vince Crisostomo as Cedric Villarazon, Will Ashley as Nolan, Eunice Lagusad as Juday, and James Blanco as Ruben Escalante.

Katrina shares feeling bittersweet as the series nears an end, “Nakakalungkot pero masaya. Malungkot dahil sobrang napamahal na sa akin ang show na ito, pati lahat ng bumubuo ng production namin. Masaya rin dahil despite the pandemic, hindi kami binitawan ng viewers at hanggang ngayon ay sobrang init pa rin ng pagtangkilik nila sa amin.”

Aiko expresses her utmost gratitude to the viewers for their overwhelming support and hints for an exciting revelation in the finale episode, “We appreciate their love and for never missing an episode. For those asking for book 2, thank you dahil lahat ng pagod namin ay may saysay kasi ibig sabihin nagustuhan nila. Abangan nila ang pagtatapos dahil marami silang ‘di ine-expect na mangyayari.”

Chanda, in turn, shares that she will miss the genuine camaraderie of the team, “Working on this teleserye is pure joy. Every taping day is exciting because I know that I will again be with a group of people who are all professional. And off cam, we are one big happy family. I will miss laughing with them and making the rounds, checking who brought what food and other junk.”

Meanwhile, Jillian reveals how “Prima Donnas” has changed her life, “This show definitely helped me grow so much—not only as an actress but as an individual. I have more appreciation and love towards my craft ever since God blessed me with this show.”

Althea also discloses what she has learned from her character, “Ang natutunan ko mula sa character ni Donna Belle, kapag may gusto ka talagang makuha dapat paghirapan mo. Natutunan ko rin ang pagiging hard working, sobrang worth it lahat ng pagod dahil maganda ang natatanggap na feedback ng show.”

Finally, Elijah is also delighted with the high ratings and viewers’ clamor for a Book 2 of the series, “Masaya po ako dahil ganon na po pala ‘yung impact ng Prima Donnas sa mga tao. Praying din po ako na may Book 2 ang show. Blessed din po dahil magtatapos po ang show ng mataas ang ratings.”

As the truth about Kendra’s wicked schemes comes out in the open, will the Claverias finally find peace in their lives or will Kendra succeed in wreaking havoc until her very last breath?

As an added treat, viewers should also stick around to the very end of the finale episode for a special surprise that they would not want to miss.

Don’t miss the exciting finale of “Prima Donnas” – under the helm of esteemed director Gina Alajar – this February 19 on GMA Afternoon Prime.


The 5th Film Ambassadors’ Night goes virtual


By Crispina M. Belen


It’s the first virtual event of the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ 5th Film Ambassadors’ Night that’s happening on February 28 at 8 p.m. on the FDCP Channel ( for free.

Coinciding with the National Commision on Culture and the Arts’ (NCAA) National Arts Month, FAN will bestow honor and recognition to individuals and entities for their contributions to the film industry.

The FAN, an annual event spearheaded by the FDCP since 2017, recognizes Filipino film industry creatives, artists, filmmakers, and films of various formats that gained recognitions from established international film festivals and award-giving bodies in the past year.

02 - FAN 2021 A-Lister Lav Diaz

FAN 2021 A-Lister Lav Diaz

Leading the FAN 2021 honorees are the A-Listers filmmakers Rafael Manuel and Lav Diaz. A-Listers pertain to those who bagged awards in prestigious A-List international film festivals as declared by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF).

03 - FAN 2021 A-Lister Rafael Manuel

FAN 2021 A-Lister Rafael Manuel

Rafael Manuel was awarded the Berlinale Shorts Silver Bear Jury Prize for “Filipiñana” at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival in Germany while Lav Diaz won the Orizzonti Award for Best Director for “Lahi, Hayop (Genus Pan)” at the 77th Venice International Film Festival in Italy.

The Feature Films category has six honorees: “Sunshine Family” by Kim Tai-Sik, “Write About Love” by Crisanto Aquino, “Latay (Battered Husband)” by Ralston Jover, “Pan de Salawal” by Che Espiritu, “Lingua Franca” by Isabel Sandoval, and “John Denver Trending” by Arden Rod Condez. The honorees in the Directors category are Maria Diane Ventura for “Dein Fabre,” Mallorie Ortega for “The Girl Who Left Home,” and Derick Cabrido for “Clarita.”

The Actors category will award Cristine Reyes for “UnTrue,” Ruby Ruiz for “Iska,” Elijah Canlas for “Kalel, 15,” Louise Abuel for “Edward,” Isabel Sandoval for “Lingua Franca,” Alden  Richards for “Hello, Love, Goodbye,” Lovi Poe and Allen Dizon for “Latay,” and the cast of “Kaputol” led by Cherie Gil, Alfred Vargas, Angel Aquino, and Ronwaldo Martin. Dingdong Dantes and Arjo Atayde are the television awardees who made it to the FAN 2021 Actors list.

“Philippine Cinema continues to thrive amid the pandemic because Filipino filmmakers and artists did not allow the global health crisis to derail them from sharing our stories to the world. Through the Film Ambassadors’ Night, we celebrate their efforts and laud their achievements,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.

The FAN has other categories such as Short Films, Documentaries, Creative Awards, and Special Citation. The two Special Citation recipients are veteran television and film director Luisito Lagdameo Ignacio and the late filmmaker and International Film Festival Manhattan co-founder Gerry Balasta.

The FAN is supported by the CCP through the participation of its resident symphony orchestra, the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO). The PPO will perform in various production numbers alongside the country’s premiere performers such as Bamboo, Tres Marias (Bayang Barrios, Cooky Chua, and Lolita Carbon), Bituin Escalante, Beverly Salviejo, Karla Gutierrez, Lawrence Jatayna, and The Pogi Boys. A special number featuring Ice Seguerra, Juris Fernandez, Princess Velasco, Sitti, Richard Poon, Kean Cipriano, and Duncan Ramos will also take place.


Cinemadvocate honoree Cong. Toff de Venecia pushes for Philippine Creative Industry Bill


By Crispina M. Belen

Cinemadvocate honoree Cong. Toff de Venecia pushes for Philippine Creative Industry Bill

09 - FAN 2021 Cinemadvocate Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia

FAN 2021 Cinemadvocate Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia

The upcoming 5th Film Ambassadors’ Night or FAN will honor individuals working hard on their own right for the betterment of the country’s movie industry. One of them, under the Cinemadvocate category, is Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia.

“I’m very honored to be recognized by FDCP for our efforts to help the local movie industry and to continue my grandfather Doc Perez and Manay Ichu’s legacy,” he expressed via #Facebook #Messenger chat.

It can be recalled that one of his valuable contributions to the industry is his crucial role in the landmark Eddie Garcia Bill.

“I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to serve as its lead person for the said bill that will provide protection to our film, television and radio entertainment workers,” shared the lawmaker.

To date, the Eddie Garcia Bill has since been passed on its third and final reading at the Lower House.

As explained by the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), Cinemadvocates is one of the special segments of this year’s FAN “to laud individuals and groups that tirelessly champion the welfare of film workers and the development of the industry.”

A more recent action of Cong. Toff de Venecia as the chairperson of the Special Committee on Creative Industries and Performing Arts, is the launching of an inquiry into the rampant online piracy that happened during the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival. He said that they hope to “strengthen the movie industry’s intellectual property regime.” According to him, they have filed an amendment to the intellectual property code which is now on the technical working group stage.

His committee’s pet bill, he added, is the Philippine Creative Industry Bill.

“This bill will institutionalize a framework for the development of our creative industries, including film, and will create both a creative industry development council and a creative industry development plan,” he described. “It will also institutionalize support mechanisms such as infrastructure, fiscal incentives, creative economic zones, research and development, creative education, marketing, and others benefits.”

Another Bill which he is pushing to be passed as a law is the Film Philippines Bill which he signed with other congressmen. It is about institutionalizing film and television incentives for tourism and providing financial support to both our local and foreign producers. He is also in the process of filing a Film Archive Bill to strengthen the state’s preservation of our cinematic heritage.

Most immediate and of great importance to the congressman is providing assistance to industry workers rendered jobless or unemployed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Through our efforts also in the crafting and implementation of Bayanihan 2, in partnership with Speaker Lord Allan Velasco’s office, we will be providing cash assistance to thousands of film workers through DOLE – a total of 200 million pesos worth to as many as 30,000 freelancers from various creative industries,” he stated.

Also honored alongside Cong. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia as Cinemadvocates are National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) Chairman and Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) President Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso, Lockdown Cinema Club, Inter-Guild Alliance, Dingdong Dantes, and Angel Locsin.

Other special awards categories of FAN are Gabay ng Industriya and Camera Obscura.

The Film Development Council of the Philippines’ online 5th Film Ambassadors’ Night will take place on February 28.


The villains in Voltes V: Legacy ready to wreck havoc!


By Crispina M. Belen

The villains in Voltes V: Legacy ready to wreck havoc!

Now ready to wreck havoc are the villains in the much-awaited live-action adaptation of the Japanese anime series “Voltes V: Legacy” of GMA Network.

Liezel Lopez and Martin del Rosario

Liezel Lopez and Martin del Rosario

Martin del Rosario has been chosen to play Prince Zardoz, the Prince of the Boazanians who will lead in attacking and eventually governing the whole world. Martin considers this the biggest break in his acting career. 

“Yung puso ko talagang kumabog nang kumabog kasi alam ko kung gaano kalaki itong project na ito. Ang daming good roles na dumating sa akin, pero kino-consider ko itong si Prince Zardoz as my biggest break.” 

On the other hand, the character Zandra, who loves Prince Zardoz is played by Liezel Lopez. Related the Kapuso actress; “Noong nag-audition po ako, hindi siya ‘yung usual na kontrabida na like strong. I focused on the love for Zardoz and I think maybe that is the reason why ako ‘yung napili.” 

Epy Quizon

Epy Quizon

Meanwhile, Epy Quizon plays the scientist and cruel adviser of Prince Zardoz Zuhl. “This is unique because this is from my childhood. Nilalaro ko ‘yung Voltes V so to be part of this show is really not just an honor but bumalik ‘yung pagkabata ko,” Epy says.

Carlo Gonzales

Carlo Gonzales breathes life to General Draco. In preparation for his role, Carlo has to grow his beard in keeping true to his character. “Malaking tulong ‘yung quarantine dahil I don’t need to go out anymore, talagang bahay lang ako. I don’t need to groom it; I just need to grow it out,” he related. 

Watch out for the other colorful characters in the upcoming and much anticipated anime series “Voltes V: Legacy” on GMA-7.




Paul Salas says love the ‘Franks’ in your lives 


By Crispina M. Belen

Paul Salas says love the “Franks” in your lives 

Paul Salas and Mikee Quintos

Mikee Quintos and Paul Salas

Paul Salas believes that his character  Frank is relatable to viewers of  highly-rating show – “The Lost Recipe,”  the fantasy-romance series from GMA Public Affairs. 

Frank is the best friend of Apple (Mikee Quintos) and rival of Chef Harvey (Kelvin Miranda). Pail is grateful to those who are saying that they can relate to the character Frank in the series aired every night on GMA News TV. 

Paul expresses, “Sana po lalo pa nilang mahalin ang character ni Frank habang tumatagal ang series kasi for sure they all have a ‘Frank’ in their lives.” 

Paul is referring to their show’s viewers. He is enjoining them to be loyal to their loved ones.

Paul also admitted his  delight for the growing Team Frank vs. Team Harvey phenomenon of the show. In real life though he assures everyone that there is no raw competition between him and Kelvin. 

“Ang importante lang sa amin ay magawa namin ng mabuti at 100%  ang bawat characters namin, so sana suportahan nila ang mga susunod na episodes ni Frank. Gusto kong magpasalamat sa lahat ng nanunuod gabi-gabi at sana subaybayan nila kami hanggang dulo.”

“The Lost Recipe” is aired Mondays to Fridays, 8 p.m., on GMA News TV.