TOWNS launches  program on values education for youth


By Crispina M. Belen

TOWNS launches program on values education for youth

To help Filipino young men and women clarify and put into action personal and nation-building values, The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) launches its “Values Development Program” on Wednesday, March 10.

Through a series of 12 video modules that combine lecturettes, testimonies, dramatizations of illustrative situations, animation, music and group discussions the program intends to bring 16 to 25 year olds thru a process of self-discovery and values clarification. The overall aim is to develop or enhance cornerstone values and competencies for transformative leadership such as emotional intelligence, creativity along with discernment and critical thinking.

Upon completion of the program, it is hoped that the participants would have began to be aware of their own personal values and link these to values necessary towards building relationships, especially within their families, and expanding these to the community and the larger nation.

Development organizations, schools, civic associations and other groups, as well as interested individuals are invited to partner with TOWNS in implementing the VDP by hosting sessions with groups of students or youth.

Currently, the TOWNS Foundation is headed by broadcaster Ces Drilon, with Deanie Lyn Ocampo as vice-president. TOWNS counts more than a hundred women awardees honored for their individual accomplishments and work in advocating and advancing nation-building.

To signify willingness to attend the VDP launching and take part in disseminating the video modules, potential partners may get in touch with TOWNS through or +9984008238 on or before March 8, 2021.

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.


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.


FDCP’s CreatePHFilms Grants P12.1M to Support Funding for 22 Filipino Projects


By Crispina M. Belen

FDCP’s CreatePHFilms Grants P12.1M to Support Funding for 22 Filipino Projects

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) announced recently the awardees of its CreatePHFilms Philippine Cinema funding program that provides selective funds for development, production, post-production, and distribution. 

Cycle 1 of CreatePHFilms ended in November and after thorough deliberations in December, the Selection Committee chose 22 grantees: eight for scriptwriting, four for script development, three for small budget production, two for large budget production, and five for post-production. The funding allocated for the CreatePHFilms Cycle 1 awardees amounts to PHP 12.1 million.

The esteemed Selection Committee members for Cycle 1 are Pangasinan 4th District Rep. Christopher de Venecia, FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño, director and writer Clodualdo del Mundo, Jr., director and Directors’ Guild of the Philippines, Inc. representative Raymond Red, Cinema Evaluation Board Chairman Christine Dayrit, Solar Pictures, Inc. General Manager Butch Ibañez, and cinematographer and Lupon ng Pilipinong Sinematograpo President Mackie Galvez. 

“The industry has been clamoring for public funding to support the development of films since 2016. We believe in the importance of public funding, as countries with thriving film industries such as France and South Korea benefit from various government programs and funding. At long last, the Philippines has public funding for film development through CreatePHFilms and now, we have our first batch of grantees,” said Diño. 

“We are proud of the resiliency of our filmmakers and their perseverance to continue the production of their projects in these challenging times. We hope for the government’s continued support to the industry through funding programs,” she added. 

Through the CreatePHFilms Funds for Development for Scriptwriting and Project Development, the FDCP wants to support Filipino scriptwriters by helping them develop innovative stories based on Filipino culture and heritage.

The CreatePHFilms Fund for Scriptwriting is a selective, nonrefundable fund of up to PHP 100,000. Awardees will also have at least two FDCP-led sessions of script consultations with international mentors on concept, creative issues, and developing the screenplay. The eight grantees for scriptwriting that will receive PHP 100,000 each are:

“Ang Alamat ng Gumamelang Bukid” by Richard Soriano Legaspi

“Dead Boy” by Jules Dan Katanyag

“Magiliw (Gentle: A Carnage by the Land of the Rising Sun)” by Bor Ocampo

“Mother Maybe” by Sonny Calvento

“Oyayi” by Mitzi Delima

“Silk Ties” by Wilfredo Manalang

“Strange Natives” by Paolo Herras

“The Fighting Filipinos” by Honee Alipio

The CreatePHFilms Fund for Project Development is a selective and nonrefundable fund of up to PHP 200,000 for production companies. These are the four selected projects that will be given PHP 200,000 each:

“In My Mother’s Skin” by Kenneth Lim Dagatan

“Ninja From Manila” by Miko Livelo

“Outerspace Filipino Workers” by Keith Sicat

“The Tootle & Tina Show” by Danzen Santos Katanyag

The FDCP wants to encourage Filipino film producers to create high-quality films for domestic and international audiences through the CreatePHFilms Funds for Production: Small Budget and Large Budget. The CreatePHFilms Fund for Small Budget Production is a selective refundable fund up to PHP 1 million for production companies. The three films selected as small budget production fund recipients of PHP 1 million each are:

“12 Weeks” by Anna Isabelle Matutina

“Blue Room” by Ma. Anna L. Asuncion-Dagnalan

“Faramanis” by Gutierrez Mangansakan II

Meanwhile, the CreatePHFilms Fund for Large Budget Production is a selective equity investment fund worth P3 million to P5 million for production companies. The two chosen projects that will each receive the large budget production fund worth PHP 3 million are:

“Bansa” by Brillante Mendoza

“Kidplay” by Khavn

The CreatePHFilms Fund for Post-Production seeks to enhance post-production services so that they meet international standards. This selective fund of up to PHP 300,000 will be applied for by a production company and granted to its engaged post-production company. The five recipients of the PHP 300,000 post-production support are: 

“Ang Pagbabalik ng Kwago” by Martika Ramirez Escobar

“Gensan Punch” by Brillante Mendoza

“Kargo” by TM Malones

“Mirador” by Loy Arcenas

“The Brokers” by Daniel R. Palacio

There is also the CreatePHFilms Fund for Distribution, a selective fund of up to P300,000, for the local and overseas distribution of Filipino titles. Producers can apply for this as well as for the CreatePHFilms Funds for Development, Production, and Post-Production this year.

Eligible applicants must be Filipino filmmakers and companies accredited by the FDCP’s National Registry, while eligible projects must have a Filipino director. In addition, 100 percent of the funds must be spent in the Philippines for qualified expenses.

CreatePHFilms was launched in September in time for the commemoration of the closing of the Philippine Cinema Centennial celebration. “This domestic funding program also shows the government’s support for the vulnerable sectors of the film industry by increasing economic opportunities for local services and workers,”  added Diño.

For more information, e-mail or visit    

Marlene dela Pena: Acclaimed Pinay jazz artist in Japan!


By Crispina M. Belen

MDLP solo

Marlene dela Pena: Acclaimed Pinay jazz artist in Japan!

Although she started her singing career in the country of her birth, the Philippines, Marlene dela Pena would find fame and popularity in an unlikely foreign land – Japan!

While in the Philippines, Marlene tried to make a name, or as they say, carve a niche, singing in music lounges like at the Calesa Bar of Hyatt Regency Hotel. But fame didn’t come to her in her country, because as fate would have it, Marlene would make it in Japan, the country she chose to be her second home. She moved to the land of the Cherry blossoms in the late 70’s.

As backgrounder, Marlene recalled that when she was young, she joined a singing contest during a fiesta, without her parents’ knowledge, surprising them with the goodies she brought home from that contest. At 10, Marlene joined Tinno Lapus’ “Eskuwelang Munti.” And at 15, she joined “Tawag ng Tanghalan.”

It was that time that a Japanese promoter offered her to go to Japan but she declined, citing for a reason the fact that she wanted to finish high school first. The talent promoter came back after three years, and as they say, the rest is history!

It wasn’t really her fondest dream to be a singer-performer, Marlene revealed to us. “I thought about singing, but most of all about finishing college and helping send my siblings to school too,” she said.

Her formal introduction to the musical stage came when she, 15, and Dulce,14, performed in a beerhouse at the foot of Jones Bridge in Escolta. Dulce would become Asia’s Diva, while Marlene would be the toast of Japan in the field of jazz!

Specializing in the pop and jazz genres, Marlene endeared herself to Japanese music lovers with her uniquely simple but engaging style of performing. Not long after introducing herself to the Japanese audience, Marlene clinched a recording deal with EMI Japan for her first single which was released in 1979.

“It was December 1978 when I landed at the Land of the Rising Sun!” Marlene recalled. After I was I introduced to the people in the music industy in Japan, I got my recording contract with Toshiba-EMI. I was marketed as an idol singer with my debut single ‘Love Me,’ composed by Tsutsumi Kyohei. Few more singles followed. I was also fortunate to do a commercial song for Seiko watch Credor, became a poster model for Blue Jean’s UFO. I also was asked to sing the theme song of Tatum O’Neal’s ‘Ganbare Bears’ for NTV4. I was also featured in magazines along with some of the most popular idols of the time!”

She added that two years later, the big break came when Sony’s top producer Ito Yasohachi, approached her personally. After talking to her manager, Ito offered her to be one of his artists. Six months later, she was working on her very first album, “Just Like First Love” which had 32,000 copies reserved even before press time. From then on, she was recording albums twice a year!

Marlene remains a contract artist of CBS Sony, now Sony Music Entertainment, till today. In 1983, two of her albums appeared on the Oricon Charts, with “Deja Vu” reaching No. 8, and “Magic” reaching No. 5. Each of the albums sold over 150,000 copies, not bad for a relatively new artist in Japan.

So far, Marlene has recorded 31 albums, five of them Gold Records. In the United States, she was known for her ” Stay With Me” album that climbed to No. 28 in the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart in the 90’s.

Marlene worked with Seawind with whom she recorded her second album “Summer Night” in Los Angeles, California in 1982. Her sixth album, “Looking for Love,” was also recorded in LA, in 1984. Another album, “This Time,” was recorded in New York in 1987.

Significantly, Marlene has earned the reputation of being the highest-paid Pinay jazz artist in Japan. Aside from singing, she has also dabbled into acting, appearing in two Japanese movies: “Nantonaku” in 2007; and “Karanukan” in 2017. Marlene was also the subject of “Mundo ni Juan sa Japan,” a TV film documentary made in 2015.

Her hit song in 1986, “Left Alone,” was used as the theme song for the Kadokawa movie “Cabaret.” The song was composed by Mal Waldron with lyrics by Billie Holiday.

Among Marlene’s most memorable and successful performances and/or concerts include her debut stint at the Carnegie Hall in New York City In February 2, 2019. Another unforgettable show is her 2019 sold-out dinner show with THREESOME at the Fairmont Hotel in Makati. It was attended by the Who’s Who in Philipine society including Bongbong Marcos and few Ambassadors.

THEEESOME was the trio created by Marlene that included prominent musicians – accomplished guitarist Jiro Yoshida and acclaimed pianist Makoto Kuriya.

Yoshida Jiro is Japan’s 51st UN WAFUNIF Goodwill Ambassador for various humanitarian efforts. He is also a music producer for National Geographic Channel. He has also performed with a number of famous singers like Barbra Streisand, Cyndi Lauper and Sting, etc.

Makoto Kuriya is also a music producer never had a formal music education. He is very well known and very much respected in Europe ! He’s a well sought music director for both TV programs in Japan .

Another memorable concert that Marlene was part of was the “George Benson and Friends,” at Axis Theater, Planet Hollywood Las Vegas. Held on January 8, 2019, it featured George Benson, Patti Austin, Robert Duvall and Marlene.

Marlene was also a special guest at the State Dinner for Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte held at the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s residence in May 2019.

As it did to all of us, the COVID-19 pandemic also affected Marlene. “It was both bad and good for me,” she said. “Good because I got to become a full time mother to my children, aged 13 and 16. Bad because I was out of income…until September last year when things got better.”

With the pandemic, things went “crazy and unpredictable. But I have to live with it; I knew worrying won’t take me anywhere. I just have to let things be and move on!”

Knowing too that she’s luckier than most, Marlene also embarked on her own charity work when she turned 60 last January 4, 2020. She pledged to help about 150 relocated families in Davao del Sur affected by the consecutive earthquakes through a water support for life. She called it “Sweet 60 Project.” As part of it, she celebrated her birthday with children afflicted with cancer at the House of Hope in Davao,

Marlene also gave away shoes and bags to displaced pupils of Tagaytay Elementary School. In her charitable endeavors, she was assisted by a sister, a brother and a cousin. As to why, she personally involved herself, she said “I wanted to give the gifts from my hands to theirs!”

As to her personal info, Marlene was born on January 4, 1960 in Sta. Ana, Manila and studied at Sta. Ana Elementary School, then finished secondary school at Villamor High School. For college, she studied at Centro Escolar University.

A single mother of two, Marlene’s American husband died in June 2019.

Marlene is now working on a new CD, to be released sometime this year. On a positive note, Marlene said with great enthusiasm: “I’m looking to a NEW me in the years to come!”


GMA programs and personalities win top honors


By Crispina M. Belen

GMA programs and personalities win top honors

GMA Network, the country’s leading  broadcast company, continues to receive accolades with its various programs and personalities winning honors from various award-giving bodies.

Asia’s Pop Diva and The Clash Master Julie Anne San Jose won big at this year’s Aliw Awards after being named “Entertainer of the Year” and “Best Rhythm and Blues Artist, “ another notable feat she can add to her growing achievements. On the other hand, The Clash Journey hosts Rita Daniela and Ken Chan took home the “Best Featured Performance” award for their number at the “Two-gether Again” concert. 

Earning the nod as “Best Male Host” was Kapuso actor Derrick Monasterio. Fast-rising singer Golden Cañedo received the “Best New Female Artist” award, while comedian and TV host Donita Nose was chosen as the “Best Stand-Up Comedian.”

Louie Ignacio

The Clash director Louie Ignacio was inducted into the Aliw Hall of Fame for “Best Concert Stage Director” after winning the said award for the fifth time.

‘Bilangin ang Bituin sa Langit’ director Laurice Guillen was given the “Lifetime Achievement Award,” while her daughter, professional actor, distinguished classical performer, and acting coach Ana Feleo was recognized as “ Best Classical Performer.”

At the recently concluded Paragala: The Central Luzon Media Awards, GMA News and Public Affairs dominated the News and Current Affairs category.

24 Oras

The Network’s flagship newscast, “24 Oras,” was hailed once again as “Best News Program.” This is the seventh time “24 Oras” was given the award, making it the only newscast to win the recognition since Paragala was launched.

Top-notch documentary program “I-Witness” won the “Best Documentary” for Kara David’s episode “Silaki” while travel and adventure program “Biyahe ni Drew” received the “Best Magazine Show” award.

Six out of Paragala’s Top 7 News Personalities also came from GMA. These included GMA News pillars Mike Enriquez, Mel Tiangco, and Arnold Clavio, as well as award-winning broadcast journalists Kara David, Ivan Mayrina, and Atom Araullo.

Various Kapuso shows also received special awards by various Paragala juries.

Pepito Manaloto

‘iJuander’ was given this year’s Paragala Pang Kultura, which was chosen by the Center for Kapampangan Studies. Earning the Paragala Pampamilya award was ‘Pepito Manaloto’ as it was the Jury’s choice of Holy Angel University’s Campus Ministry and Guidance Office. Infotainment show ‘AHA!,’ on the other hand, received the Paragala Pang-Likhaan as decided by the Communicator’s League, the official organization of the Holy Angel University’s Communication students.

Meanwhile, at the 10th EdukCircle Awards, Asia’s Multimedia Star Alden Richards and Phenomenal Star Maine Mendoza were recognized as part of the Most Influential Celebrities of The Decade for their impact among the audience and using their platform for social good. Continue reading →

Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Announces Nominees, #PPP4SamaAll Awards Night on Dec. 12


By Crispina M. Belen


Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino Announces Nominees, #PPP4SamaAll Awards Night on Dec. 12

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) headed by Ms. Liza Dino-Seguerra, has announced the following;

Nine out of the 13 films from the Premium Selection Section of the 4th Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) were considered for the selection of nominees for the #PPP4SamaAll Awards Night to be held virtually on December 12. 

The #PPP4SamaAll Awards Night will be streamed on the FDCP’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. While musical performances at the #PPP4SamaAll Awards Night will be showcased by Raf Bernardino, Acel Bisa, Bayang Barrios and Naliyagan, Joey Ayala, Ice Seguerra, and Ms. Regine Velasquez.

The PPP Premium Selection features titles that had a limited release in the country or have never been shown in the Philippines, along with a non-competition title, opening film “Ang Lakaran ni Kabunyan: Kabunyan’s Journey to Liwanag” by National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik, and three restored titles: “Batch ’81” by Mike de Leon, “Brutal” by Marilou Diaz-Abaya, and “Markova: Comfort Gay” by Gil Portes.

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) made known that only Premium Selection films with Philippine premieres at PPP or had limited releases were considered for the PPP4 Awards nominations:

Poster_Blood Hunters Rise of the Hybrids.jpg

“Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids” by Vincent Soberano


“Cleaners” by Glenn Barit

Poster_Come On Irene.jpg

“Come On, Irene” by Keisuke Yoshida

Poster_He Who Is Without Sin.jpg

“He Who Is Without Sin” by Jason Paul Laxamana


“Kintsugi” by Lawrence Fajardo


“Metamorphosis” by J.E. Tiglao


“Sila-Sila” by Giancarlo Abrahan

Poster_The Helper.jpg

“The Helper” by Joanna Bowers

Poster_The Highest Peak.jpg

“The Highest Peak” by Arbi Barbarona

The 4th PPP, which has a 170-film lineup with 90 full-length feature films and 80 short films, will end on December 13. It has drawn more than 8,000 subscribers since it began on October 31. 

With the #PPP4SamaAll tagline, the festival aims to be a solidarity event that promotes Philippine Cinema and boosts the Filipino film industry as it is struggling to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Below is the official list of nominees of the #PPP4SamaAll Awards Night:



He Who Is Without Sin



The Highest Peak



Glenn Barit (Cleaners)

Jason Paul Laxamana (He Who Is Without Sin)

J.E. Tiglao (Metamorphosis)

Lawrence Fajardo (Kintsugi)

Arbi Barbarona (The Highest Peak)



Sarah Chang (Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids)

Nats Sitoy (Come On, Irene)

Hana Kino (Come On, Irene)

Hiro Nishiuchi (Kintsugi)



Ken Yasuda (Come On, Irene)

Gold Azeron (Metamorphosis)

Gio Gahol (Sila-Sila)

Elijah Canlas (He Who Is Without Sin)



Iana Bernardez (Metamorphosis)

Yayo Aguila (Metamorphosis)

Gianne Rivera (Cleaners)



Phi Palmos (Kintsugi)

Topper Fabregas (Sila-Sila)

Roweno Caballes (The Highest Peak)

Allan Gannaban (Cleaners)

Henyo Ehem (The Highest Peak)



J.E. Tiglao and Boo Dabu (Metamorphosis)

Glenn Barit (Cleaners)

Jason Paul Laxamana (He Who Is Without Sin)

Herlyn Alegre (Kintsugi)

Daniel Saniana (Sila-Sila)



Boy Yñiguez (Kintsugi)

Steven Paul Evangelio (Cleaners)

Takeyuki Onishi (Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids)

Tey Clamor (Metamorphosis)

Emmanuel Liwanag (He Who Is Without Sin)



Noah Loyola and Che Tagyamon (Cleaners)

Mai Calapardo (He Who Is Without Sin)

Lawrence Fajardo (Kintsugi)

Renard Torres (Metamorphosis)

Annika Lok Yin Feign (The Helper)  



Alvin Francisco (Cleaners)

Hai Balbuena and Rolando Inocencio (Kintsugi)

James Arvin Rosendal (Metamorphosis)

Lars Magbanua (He Who Is Without Sin)

Fritz Silorio (Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids)



Shichihei Kawamoto and Yuji Akazawa (Come On, Irene)

Dale Martin (Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids)

Aian Louie Caro and Erlyn Tomboc (He Who Is Without Sin)

Arbi Barbarona (The Highest Peak)

John Michael Perez and Daryl Libongco (Cleaners)



Glenn Barit (Cleaners)

Arbi Barbarona (The Highest Peak)

Peter Legaste (Kintsugi)

Dale Martin and Tamara dela Cruz (Blood Hunters: Rise of the Hybrids)

Igo Gonzalez (Sila-Sila)


Sushmita Sen remains firm on the essence of being a woman after 26 years,

discusses women’s empowerment with Filipina business leaders


TaskUs Vice President of Finance Rosanna Arceo, upper left; TaskUs Senior Vice President of Operations Jean Lim-Parlade, lower left; and Miss Universe 1994 Sushmita Sen

The first Miss Universe from India engages with women executives in a TaskUs web series raising awareness on gender equality and uplifting fellow women

Sushmita Sen has been a cultural icon and a paragon for women across the globe since winning the Miss Universe crown in 1994. Today, she remains firm in her advocacy as she joins global business leaders in speaking about their experiences as women in leadership roles in a web series entitled TaskUs 121: Women on Spotlight.

Through the years, the Indian actress, poet, and philanthropist broke barriers and lived a life not weighed down by dated societal expectations on women. She is proud to have broken through the glass ceiling––a proverbial metaphor for the barrier that prevents women from reaching their full socio-economic potential—and encourages other women to follow suit.

Sen, famous for her winning answer to the question, “What is the essence of being a woman?” is thrilled to be part of the web series and determined to use her influence to amplify women’s voices on pressing issues.

“In the twenty-six years that I have spent after that moment, I still stick to my answer: A woman is a precious gift of God, and we should all appreciate her. At 18, I answered that question, and it has taken me twenty-six years to understand its true meaning, and I’ve lived it,” said Sen.

The online talk show features women leaders from different fields coming together to discuss the advantages of having more women in leadership positions. It looks into how diverse and inclusive workplace cultures create sustainable communities.

TaskUs is the leading outsourcing provider for high-growth organizations. The company has massive global operations with key delivery centers in India, the Philippines, Taiwan, Greece, Ireland, Mexico, and the United States.

The term “121” is a play on words referring to TaskUs’s one-on-one coaching sessions between leaders and their reports.

“TaskUs is committed to creating diverse and inclusive work environments that respect everyone’s unique abilities and cultures. We aim to achieve a gender-balanced workforce that is free from discrimination and enables women to succeed and participate in leadership. Our company is built on global diversity and we see our strong culture of inclusion as one of our key indicators of success,” said TaskUs CEO Bryce Maddock.

Maddock has been recognized by HR tech company Comparably as one of the Best CEOs for Women, and TaskUs as a Best Company for Women.

The Philippines has made progressive strides in terms of gender equality in the workplace, and TaskUs is committed to strengthening that leadership, and improving existing statistics: while 47.7% of working age Filipino women participate in the workforce, they remain to be underrepresented in senior leadership positions.

“TaskUs is committed to increasing and improving representation for women in leadership roles, especially in the Southeast Asia region. I am proud to say that 75% of my direct reports are women and that I work with women colleagues who are key decision-makers in the organization. As we continue to grow, we also strive to reach a gender-balanced talent pipeline for our emerging high-growth and leadership roles,” said TaskUs Senior Vice President for Operations in Southeast Asia Jean Lim-Parlade.

The web series brings out insights of leaders who act as the company’s cultural heralds and gatekeepers. Its mission is to inspire women to take space, advance in positions of leadership, and pave the way for others to succeed—values that set TaskUs apart from its competitors and make up the company’s “ridiculously good” culture.

Similar to how TaskUs sees its women talent as key to its success, Sushmita Sen believes it is time for society to be aware of female strength.

“Male dominance is a perception. That perception is fueled by the fact that women have accepted it because our conditioning has taught us that,” she said.

“Human beings have tremendous potential. If you were to put a man and woman together, faceless, without knowing their gender, to sit down in an exam to get into an organization, you’ll be very impressed to see how many women actually make it.

“To get over our biases is one of the most important ways to be better and thrive as a society,” added Sen.

Episodes of TaskUs 121: Women on Spotlight are exclusively featured on TaskUs’s LinkedIn account.

PPP4 Extended until December 13 


By Crispina M. Belen 

PPP4 Extended until December 13 

PPP4 Updated Poster

Due to popular clamor, the duration of  of the 4th Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino (PPP) has been extended  to  December 13, 2020. This is to accommodate  the inclusion of new titles to the lineup now totaling 170 films, and to accommodate the final fine-tuning of some works in the PPP Premium Selection section.

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) said during a recent virtual online presscon that it has extended the festival’s run from 16 days to 44 days. PPP4 will start on October 31 and will culminate on December 13, 2020.

Subscribers will get to watch more films as titles are added during peak hours and weekends, plus they will get to learn more about filmmaking and Philippine Cinema from industry experts through numerous events such as talkback sessions, panel sessions, and masterclasses. 

This year’s online PPP will have a mixed format on the FDCP Channel platform ( The video-on-demand (VOD) streaming will be available for free for 80 short films as well as for one full-length feature: the restored version of “Anak Dalita” by National Artist for Theater and Film Lamberto V. Avellana. The free VOD streaming is available from October 31 to December 13.

Meanwhile, the rest of the full-length features will have scheduled livestream screenings in four virtual cinemas (named after the FDCP’s Cinematheque Centres). A maximum of six screenings per film was agreed upon by the producers and FDCP to minimize exposure to piracy. The paid scheduled screenings will run from November 20 to December 13.

“We are listening to our subscribers, producers, and the rest of our stakeholders in order to make the 4th Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino a more inclusive solidarity event. Aside from announcing the PPP4’s extended duration, we are also pushing forth the ‘Sama All’ spirit by offering a wide array of events to further promote Philippine Cinema, encourage more viewers to learn about the art of filmmaking, and boost the thriving PPP community,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Liza Diño.

PPP Short Film Showcase with ‘Anak Dalita’ Special Screening 

From October 31 to December 13, the festival will have a PPP Short Film Showcase with an impressive lineup of Philippine shorts from the CineMarya Women’s Film Festival, Sine Kabataan Short Film Competition, and 21 regional film festivals.

The CineMarya Shorts Premiere will feature the 12 finalists of CineMarya,  the short film lab initiative of the Department of Interior and Local Government in partnership with the FDCP, Quezon City Film Development Council, and Philippine Commission on Women.

Meanwhile, five films will be shown from FDCP’s Sine Kabataan: the winners of the previous three editions along with the Jury’s Choice and Audience Choice recipients of 2019. As for the Regional Shorts, a total of 63 films from various regional film festivals all over the Philippines will be screened to give spotlight to regional cinema.

The free screening of the restored version of Lamberto V. Avellana’s “Anak Dalita” (1956) will also be available throughout the PPP4 run in the Sandaan section. “Anak Dalita” will be screened for free to make it more accessible to the public as part of the Sagip Pelikula Advocacy Campaign of ABS-CBN in partnership with LVN Pictures, Inc.

PPP Main Feature Film Showcase 

On November 20, PPP paid subscribers can watch all the feature films in the following sections: PPP Premium Selection, Romance, Youth and Family, Classics, Pang-Oscars, Genre, Bahaghari, Tribute, Documentaries, PPP Retro, and Special Feature with the five-hour “Mula sa Kung Ano ang Noon” by Lav Diaz. 

There will be scheduled livestream screenings of the said feature films through the four PPP virtual cinemas named after the FDCP’s Cinematheque Centres in Manila, Iloilo, Davao, and Nabunturan. 

As an homage to the FDCP’s arthouse cinemas that remain closed because of the pandemic, the national film agency wishes to take the Cinematheque experience and film festival atmosphere online. 

With scheduled livestream screenings, subscribers can still enjoy the community experience of watching films together. Although the FDCP Channel website is accessible worldwide, the content within the platform is geo-locked to Philippine territory only.

Public and Exclusive Events at PPP4

From October 31 to December 13, free and exclusive events will be held to further the “PPP4: Sama All” spirit. Such events aim to strengthen the PPP community and promote the appreciation and love for Philippine Cinema.

The free events highlight the PPP Short Film Showcase composed of the CineMarya Shorts Premiere, Sine Kabataan, and Regional Shorts. The following are just some of the free events:

  • Talkback Sessions with featured shorts
  • PPP Panel Discussion (Remembering Yolanda and the Stories of Eastern Visayas, Bringing Regional Stories to the Big Screen, and Film Restoration)
  • CineMarya Specials (Women in Philippine Cinema and Women in Public Service)
  • CineMarya Awarding Ceremony (November 6)

There will also be the Sine Kabataan Story Development Lab from November 13 to 15 for selected filmmakers aged 18 to 30. Meanwhile, beginning November 14, Premium Festival Pass holders can access the following Exclusive Premium Events:

  • PPP4 Grand Virtual FanCon (November 14) – The PPP FanCon tradition continues online to bring together PPP fans and participating filmmakers and artists.
  • Opening Night of Main Feature Film Showcase (November 20) – Talkback with National Artist for Film Kidlat Tahimik for “Ang Lakaran ni Kabunyan: Kabunyan’s Journey to Liwanag” 
  • PPP Premium Showcase Talkback Sessions with filmmakers and actors from selected Premium Selection titles
  • PPP Exclusive Panel Discussions (Explicit and Realistic Depiction of LGBT+ Films, Visual Storytelling for Kids, Coming-of-age Films for Young Audiences, Auteurs and Arthouse Panel, Romance Films, Dissecting a Genre Film: From Conceptualization to Audience Reception, The Cinema Experience – Nood Tayo ng Sine Panel, and Documentary Filmmaking)
  • PPP Masterclasses (Philippine Queer Cinema, Love to Write on Love, Intellectual Property and the Film Industry, and Musical Scoring)
  • PPP4 Awarding Ceremony (December 12) – for Premium Selection films, excluding the restored titles 
  • Replay of “Sine Sandaan: The Next 100 – Closing Celebration of the Centennial of Philippine Cinema” (December 13)

‘PPP4: Sama All!’ Subscription Options

The FDCP is offering subscriptions options that cater to all: those who want to watch films and attend events throughout the festival’s 44-day run, those who have less time to watch and join events, and those who want to access content for free. 

  • Free Pass – Access to PPP Short Film Showcase, Special Sandaan Screening, Full List of Films, Festival Calendar, Festival Guide, and PPP Public Events
  • Day Pass (PHP 99) – Access to PPP Short Film Showcase, Special Sandaan Screening, Full List of Films, Festival Calendar, Festival Guide, PPP Public Events, Main Feature Film Showcase except Premium Selection titles, and Two (2) Virtual Cinematheque Screens; valid for 24 hours from the date of purchase and available on November 20 onwards
  • Half-Run Pass (PHP 299) – Access to PPP Short Film Showcase, Special Sandaan Screening, Full List of Films, Festival Calendar, Festival Guide, PPP Public Events, Main Feature Film Showcase except Premium Selection titles, Two (2) Virtual Cinematheque Screens; valid for 12 days from the date of purchase and available on November 20 onwards
  • Premium Festival Pass (PHP 599) – Access to PPP Short Film Showcase, Special Sandaan Screening, Full List of Films, Festival Calendar, Festival Guide, PPP Public Events, Main Feature Film Showcase including Premium Selection Showcase, All Virtual Cinematheque Screens, All Exclusive PPP Events (Q&A Sessions with Premium Showcase Cast and Director, Panel Sessions, Masterclasses/Lectures, Exclusive Access to PPP Grand Virtual FanCon, and 15% off on PPP Merchandise); valid for the whole festival duration *An Early Bird Rate (PHP 450) for the Premium Festival Pass is available until November 8. 

The FDCP is also offering discounts on the Premium Festival Pass and Half-Run Pass — 30% for students and 20% for senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs). There is also a PPP4+1 Bundle promo coming soon.

With the extension of PPP4 and the expansion of its calendar of screenings and events, the FDCP hopes to encourage more viewers and stakeholders to support the film festival that will give 100% of gross proceeds to the producers of participating full-length films. 

The PPP, established in 2017, is presented by the FDCP and powered by the FDCP Channel. PPP4 is in partnership with Cocolife and supported by Glimsol Web & Digital Solutions, Team On Ground, and Dragonpay, the official payment gateway partner for PPP4. Media Partners are The Manila Times and CNN Philippines.

The Government Partners in this year’s edition of PPP are the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPOPHL), and Optical Media Board (OMB).

Also supporting the PPP4 are the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, League of Cities of the Philippines, Department of Trade and Industry, Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions, Presidential Communications Operations Office, Philippine Information Agency, Intramuros Administration, and the City Governments of Muntinlupa, Valenzuela, Malabon, Quezon, and Makati.

For updates and additional information, visit and For more information on discounts and bundles, contact