Monday, November 30, 2009

5th Annual Fil-Am Jazz Fest in Los Angeles December 4-5

Charmaine Clamor, Mon David & Special Guests
World’s Finest Pinoy Jazz Vocalists to Appear Together
5th Annual Fil-Am Jazz Fest in Los Angeles December 4-5
1st Fil-Am Jazz Fest Comes to New York on December 11-12

Los Angeles. Individually, they have earned the jazz world’s biggest prizes and conquered the radio airwaves. Collectively, they are the finest Pinoy jazz singers ever assembled on one stage.

Charmaine Clamor, the Queen of Jazzipino, will make a special appearance at the 5th Annual Fil-Am Jazz Fest on December 4-5 (Saturday & Sunday) at Hollywood’s Catalina Bar & Grill. The multi-awarded vocalist has had a memorable 2009, winning the FILIPINAS Magazine 12 Annual Achievement Award in Entertainment, the 6th Annual Asian Heritage Award in Performing Arts and a special FAMAS Award (Filipino Oscar) in recognition of her cultural trailblazing.

Viva Records recording artist Charmaine Clamor is the first and only Pinay to place two consecutive albums in the Top10 of the JazzWeek world music radio charts. Her breakthrough album Flippin’ Out introduced jazz listeners worldwide to the sound of Tagalog and made the Top 5 of the national jazz chats. Her most recent album, My Harana, is a collection of beloved Filipio serenades presented in contemporary arrangements. Charmaine’s signature jazzipino music is heard regularly in concert halls and jazz clubs around the world and has inspired critics from publications such as the Los Angeles Times to declare Charmaine “one of the original and important new jazz singers of the decade.”

Also headlining the 5th Annual Fil-Am JazzFest is the winner of the 2006 London International Jazz Vocal Competition, Mon David. A living legend in the Philippine jazz community, Mon David recently relocated to America, where he has released his first album in the United States, “Coming True,” on FreeHam Records. The influential All Music Guide wrote of Mon David, “Filipino-American vocalist Mon David should be a pleasant discovery for those who have been seeking a new champion of male jazz singers in a female-dominated world.”

A native Kapampangan, Mon David sings in his native dialect, Tagalog and English. He is acclaimed as one of the finest scat singers (vocal improvisers) on the planet.

Joining him at the 5th Annual Filipino-American Jazz Festival will be two of the “Asian Jazz Divas,” Sandra Viray and Charito.

Charito is the #1 Filipina jazz singer in Japan, where she has released numerous albums to outstanding critical praise. Her latest outing, Watch What Happens, is a collaboration with the legendary Frenchman Michel LeGrand

A veteran of the international Festival circuit, Charito has wowed audiences all over Asia, Australia and America. The 5th Annual Fil-Am Jazz Festival will mark her debut performance with her Fil-Am kababayans.

Known as the Queen of Manila Jazz, Sandra Viray is a Makati-based vocalist who has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business. Her latest album is a collaboration with the Brazilian masters Flora Purim and Airto.

Sandra Viray has attracted comparisons to the great Ella Fitzgerald. Indeed, at her last appearance in Los Angeles, at the 2nd Annual Fil-Am Jazz Fest in 2006, Viray brought down the house with her spot-on rendition of Ella’s “How High the Moon.”

Joining Clamor, David, Charito and Viray in New York City will be 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Annie Brazil.

The First New York Filipino-American Jazz Festival and the 5th Annual Los Angeles Filipino-American Jazz Festival is presented by JazzPhil-USA, a nonprofit organization based in Southern California. The Festival is sponsored by ABS-CBN, Asian Journal, The Law Offices of Atty. Jemela Nettles, Tribune-USA / The Law Offices of David Zuckerman, CENSUS 2010, and Hydee Abrahan Photography. These shows always sell out. Tickets are available now!

What: LA’s 5th Annual Filipino-American Jazz Festival
When: December 4-5 (Friday-Saturday) at 8 PM
Where: Catalina Bar & Grill Jazz Club, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood, CA 90028
How Much: $25 + two-drink minimum
Tickets and More Info:

What: New York’s First Filipino-American Jazz Festival
When: December 11-12 (Friday-Saturday) at 9:30 PM
Where: Triad Theater, 158 w. 72nd Street, NY, NY 10023
How Much: $30 + two-drink minimum
Tickets and More Information

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

L.A. Clippers Embrace Filipino Heritage Night together with the only Filipino NBA Player

By Jay Fermin (Frontliners Media Group)

Staples Center, Los Angeles – The Holidays are upon us and it is time once again for family and community to slow down, celebrate, remember the culture that binds all of us and maybe, just maybe, have it all in a great basketball game! For the first time in Los Angeles NBA history, the Clippers will host “Filipino Hoops and Heritage Night” which will be held at Staples Center on December 5, 2009 in their game against the Indiana Pacers at the Staples Center at 7:30 p.m.

The only Filipino NBA player Raymond Townsend (Golden State Warriors / Indiana Pacers) spoke to members of the media stating that this is a historic event that will show the Filipino heritage thru the NBA and is an opportunity for Filipinos to support their NBA team as well while promoting our youth to follow their dreams. The theme of Filipino Hoops and Heritage Night is “Follow Your Dreams.” He recounted emotionally how his mother related to him about the Filipino heart – if the cause is right, the Filipino heart will beat it.

Townsend declares that he is saddened by the recent floods in the Philippines.” I still have family in Banaue Street in Quezon City and in Taal”, he declares. Born to a Filipino mother from Batangas, and an American father, he grew up in San Jose, California. Townsend played for UCLA for four seasons under the famous UCLA coach John Wooden, and was a member of the 1975 UCLA Basketball National Champions. He was selected in the first round of the 1978 NBA Draft and played for the Golden State Warriors and Indiana Pacers

The Filipino NBA player revealed that it was his dream of playing in the Big League. He also wants the Filipino youth of today to pursue their dream. The Filipino Hoop and Heritage Night will highlight talented young Filipino performers led by 9-year-old Filipina sensation Ciana Pelekai (America’s Got Talent) who will sing the National Anthem.

The evening will start with a meet and great reception from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the City View Terrace inside Staples Center. The meet and greet will be attended by Filipino Cultural performers, celebrities, NBA basketball legends, and Raymond Townsend himself. Attendees will have the opportunity for autographs and photos. Pre-game entertainment begins at 6:30 p.m., followed by tip-off at 7:30 p.m. Cultural performances will be presented during pre-game and at half-time.

Discount tickets will include a free collector’s edition Filipino Hoops and Heritage Night T-Shirt. Lower Level 100’s seating is discounted to $47 (Original price $75). Other discounted tickets are Lower Level 200 $35 (Original price $68) and Upper Level $15 (Original price $40). Buy your tickets at or call (213) 763-4617

Clippers is the first ever NBA team of Los Angeles to reach out to the Filipino community. Townsend shared that a generous donation by the Clippers will be sent to the Typhoon relief effort in the Philippines. Clipper President Andy Roeser said this is a chance for Filipinos to demonstrate their passion for basketball as well as their passion for their culture.

Margeaux Gupilan cannot agree more. She proudly show her State Championship Ring on her finger to me after the presscon. After all, she is a promising Filipina Basketball point guard from Bellarmine Jefferson High. See you at Staples Center on December 5.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pacman Mania!

(Photos by Jay Fermin Frontliners Media Group)

Balitang Kutsero By Perry Diaz

Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao’s victory over Miguel Cotto for the world welterweight title made him a national hero and an international sensation. And “Pacman Mania” struck Pinoys worldwide. Pacman! Pacman! Pacman!

During an interview with Pacman, American actor and TV talk show host Mario Lopez told him that he is the greatest Asian to invade the west since Genghis Khan. Pacman grinned.

Lopez then asked Pacman whom would he like to play Pacman in a movie. “Filipino or American?” asked Pacman. Lopez replied, “Either one.” Pacman paused and then said, “I’ll play me,” and then laughed. Hey, Pacman is smarter than what most people think. He’s multi-talented. He’s a boxer, singer, actor, basketball player, and politician. And he’s multi-lingual too. He can speak Visayan, Tagalog and English… all in one sentence! It’s called “Vistaglish.”

Unknown to many, Manny has acted in 10 movies already, not to mention his television comedy show, “Where is Da Manny.” His latest movie, “Wapakman,” will be released in December. Sounds like “Wah Pacman,” huh? The producers are promoting the film as “Ghostbusters, Spider-Man, Desperado, Superman, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, The Cider House Rules, every Jackie Chan movie ever, Rocky III and V (but not IV), Clash of the Titans, Gladiator, and Leonard, Part 6 all rolled into one.” Wow! They should have called it, “Wow Pacman.”

But government censors might ban the film from being shown in the Metro Manila Film Festival because Manny is planning to run for political office. The law forbids candidates from appearing in movies. Now, that’s a stupid law. There are clowns and actors on television who are running for office and their shows are still being shown on television.

Presidential wannabe Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro picked showbiz celebrity Edu Manzano for his vice presidential running mate. With Gibo’s 2% rating in the polls, he needs Edu to boost his ratings. Well, it doesn’t work that way all time. Sometimes the presidential candidate loses and his running mate wins. Perhaps, they should switch places, Edu for prez and Gibo for veep. That might work better.

Prez Gloria Arroyo seems like she’s beginning to see the handwriting on the wall -- Lakas-Kampi-CMD (LKC) is sinking… fast. Not wanting to go down with the ship, she stepped down as party chairman and turned the job over to Gibo. Poor Gibo, he might not just lose the presidential election, he might sink with the ship too.

Gloria’s resignation as LKC chairman activated the “panic button” causing members to jump ship. An LKC party leader said that 30-40 percent of the members have become “balimbings” (turncoats) and joined either the Liberal Party (LP) or Nacionalista Party (NP). However, my investigative reporter James Macaquecquec heard from a reliable source that many of those who are still with LKC have made secret pacts with either LP or NP. These are the dangerous kind of “balimbing.” But the most dangerous are those who made secret pacts with both LP and NP. They’re called “double balimbing.”

Some of the high-profile “balimbings” are Ralph Recto and his wife Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto who left LKC to join LP. Vilma said, “It’s no bandwagon move.” Yep, it’s not. It’s called “tailgating.”

But there are some LP members who didn’t like the Rectos, so they left LP and are now “butterflying,” that is, flying from one party to another looking for the one to join. I call them “paro-paro” (butterfly). Yep, this is “paro-paro politics,” the game that traditional politicians (trapos) play.

A few days ago, presidential wannabe Manny Villar selected Loren Legarda to be his vice presidential running mate. Finally, after “butterflying” around with five presidential wannabes, Loren finally settled for Villar, the richest of the presidential candidates. Maybe she should change her campaign song from “Loren Loren sinta” (Loren Loren my love) to “Paro-parong bukid” (Butterfly in the field).

Now that Loren has teamed up with Villar after Chiz Escudero bolted the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), NPC found itself with no candidates for prez and veep. What’s Danding Cojuangco going to do now?

LP’s standard bearer Noynoy Aquino and LKC’s standard bearer Gibo Teodoro are Danding’s nephews. Recent polls were favorable to Noynoy who has 44% rating to Gibo’s 2%. If Danding would support Gibo, I would be very suspicious. And if Danding would support Noynoy… I wonder if that would help Noynoy in the election. A lot of Noynoy’s supporters were veterans of the People Power revolution in 1986 that toppled Ferdinand Marcos. They will not forget that Danding was Marcos’ closest crony.

A news report says that Gibo said that he has two options after the 2010 elections: the presidency or retirement from politics. Well, I think his two options are: retire BEFORE or AFTER the 2010 elections. Since he has only a 2% rating in the polls, BEFORE is better than AFTER. That would save him at least P3 billion and that’s a lot of moolah!

Incidentally, Marcos’ son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. announced that he accepted the offer of former president and presidential wannabe Joseph “Erap” Estrada to be a “guest candidate” in the senatorial slate of Erap’s Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP). He is also a “guest candidate” in the senatorial slate of Danding’s NPC. Then Bongbong insinuated that he may also run as “official candidate” of Manny Villar’s NP.

But recently, in a press conference, Bongbong announced that he’d be willing to run under LP if Noynoy invited him to join. He said that he’s just waiting for Noynoy’s phone call. That’s “double double butterflying.”

Meanwhile, cousins Noynoy and Gibo signed a pact for an orderly, honest, and clean elections. Last August the other presidential and vice presidential wannabes signed a similar agreement. Now, let me guess… whoever breaks the pact would win. Gloria won in 2004, didn’t she? Remember the “Hello Garci” election cheating scandal during the 2004 presidential elections? As someone once said, “In Philippine elections there are no losers, only the winners and those who were cheated.”

“Lakas-Kampi opens door for Pacquiao,” says news report. It looks like “Pacman Mania” is going to catapult Pacquiao into the world of “politicomedy” where anything goes and anybody can run for office. If Erap Estrada and Edu Manzano can run, why can’t Manny Pacquiao run? They all have the same size of brain, right? However, the difference is that Pacquiao can think faster than punch while Erap and Edu can talk faster than think.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Lions join LAPD in Crime Prevention Poster Campaign

Los Angeles: The Lions Clubs International – District 4-L3, in conjunction with LAPD is producing a Crime Prevention Campaign poster for the youth.

Last November 14, 2009, Officers of District 4-L3 of Lions Clubs International joined LAPD Deputy Chief Terry Hara at the Police Academy where a photoshoot was conducted by members of the media including Frontliners Media Group. This campaign will be educating the youth against crime, drugs, and gang activities. To that end, the Lions club are in the process of designing Posters to distribute throughout the area of the District. The Lions District covers from Catalina Island, Palos Verdes Peninsula through Malibu, and from the Pacific Ocean coastline to the west of 110 Freeway.

The poster launching ceremony was done at the LAPD Police Academy with Lion Members, and the LAPD Deputy Chief Terry Hara. Terry Hara is the first Asian-American deputy chief of the Los Angeles Police Department, the highest ranking Asian-American in the department's history.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Balitang Kutsero: By Perry Diaz

When Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero dropped a bombshell the other day with his announcement that he bolted from the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), it stunned the public. The unexpected happened and all of a sudden the country was buzzing with “chizmis” about Chiz and his “machizmo.” It was a day when “chizmosos” and “chizmosas” dominated the media. Scoop here and scoop there. Some scooped some good scoop and some scooped pure dirt. Well folks, it’s “Chizmisan” time again.

One of the “chizmis” that’s been going around in the Internet is that Chiz is being likened to U.S. President Barack Obama as the real candidate of “change,” now that he’s freed from “political bondage” and patronage of Danding Cojuangco. Okay, let’s see some action, Chiz -- walk the talk.

And here’s my own “chizmis” for whatever it’s worth -- Chiz bolting from NPC was calculated to make a huge impact; thus, increasing his visibility and project himself as the candidate of “change.“ Although he did not say whether he’s going to run or not, his campaign manager said that Chiz will run for president. Well, that’s as good as coming from the horse’s mouth. Suddenly, Chiz is in the limelight. That’s a brilliant marketing strategy. I’m sure we’d be hearing more about things like a new cake recipe called “Chizcake” and other marketing gimmicks or “chizmicks” -- and a new following of groupies called “Chicks for Chiz.”

Everybody is now talking seriously about Chiz, the kid who wants to be president. And guess what, presidential wannabes Gibo Teodoro and Manny Villar asked Chiz to be their vice presidential running mate. Marvelous!

The question is: Is Chiz going to be a “balimbing” and join another party? Well, for now, he said he’ll remain independent. But for how long?

Gibo, his former NPC partymate, became the first “balimbing” this year when he bolted from the NPC and leapfrogged into Gloria’s PaLaKa -- short for Lakas-Kampi-CMD -- to become its presidential nominee.

Well, it’s “balimbing” season again, folks. The “balimbing” --star fruit -- has become the mark of a turncoat. The star fruit's cross section is shaped like a five-sided star; thus, a person who changes political loyalty is called a “balimbing.”

Basically, this is how it works: If you want to run for, say, president and your political party doesn’t support your candidacy or has selected another person to be your party’s standard bearer, then you look for another party who would support you. And if an existing party wouldn’t take you in, then start a new party. I call it “bolt, shake, and roll.”

In 1946, Manuel Roxas -- Mar’s grandfather -- bolted from the Nacionalista Party and formed the Liberal Party to run for president. He won.

Roxas died in office in 1948 and his vice president, Elipido Quirino -- also a Nacionalista-turned-Liberal -- took over the presidency. In 1949, he won a four-year term.

In 1953, Ramon Magsaysay resigned as Quirino’s Defense Secretary, bolted from the Liberal Party and joined the Nacionalista Party to became its standard bearer. He won the election by 68.9% of the vote.

Magsaysay died in a plane crash in 1957 and Vice President Carlos P. Garcia, also a Nacionalista, took over the presidency. That same year, Garcia ran for president and won while Diosdado Macapagal, a Liberal, won the vice presidency.

In 1961, Macapagal ran against re-electionist Garcia and won. In 1965, when Macapagal ran for re-election, Ferdinand Marcos, his rival within the Liberal Party, bolted from the party and joined the Nacionalista Party. Marcos captured the nomination and defeated Macapagal in the election.

When Marcos ran for re-election in 1969, his partymate Sergio Osmena, Jr. bolted from the Nacionalista Party and became the Liberal Party’s presidential candidate. Marcos won handily. In 1972, Marcos declared martial law and stayed in power until he was overthrown in the “People Power” Revolution of 1986. Cory Aquino then took over the presidency and served a six-year term.

In 1992, when Fidel V. Ramos lost the nomination of Laban Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) to Ramon Mitra, he bolted from LDP and formed his own party, the Partido Lakas ng Tao (People Power Party). He then ran for president and won.

In the same election year, Joseph “Erap” Estrada ran under NPC as the vice presidential running mate of presidential candidate Danding Cojuangco. Danding lost to Ramos and Erap won the vice presidency.

In 1998, Erap bolted from NPC and formed his own party, Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino, and ran for president. He won.

In the same election year, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo bolted from LDP and formed her own party, the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KAMPI), to run for president. But she changed her mind and decided to run instead as the vice presidential running mate of Jose de Venecia, Jr. under the newly formed tripartite coalition Lakas ng EDSA-National Union of Christian Democrats-Union of Muslim Democrats in the Philippines (Lakas-NUCD-UMDP). De Venecia lost the presidency to Erap but Gloria won the vice presidency.

In 2001, when Erap was deposed in another “people power” revolution due to charges of corruption and the jueteng scandals, Gloria took over the presidency. In 2004, Gloria ran for president against popular actor Fernando Poe Jr. She won but was later exposed for cheating in the election. Kawawa naman ang Pilipinas.

Today, with only one month left to the deadline for filing certificates of candidacies, party-switching has reached fever pitch and will continue at a fast pace up to the eleventh hour.

Now, here’s some interesting numbers. Of the nine presidents, not counting Cory Aquino, seven were “balimbings” -- Roxas, Quirino, Magsaysay, Marcos, Ramos, Estrada, and Arroyo. Garcia and Macapagal were the only ones who didn’t switch parties when they ran for president.

From a statistical standpoint, the five strong presidential contenders in the 2010 elections, the “balimbings” -- Teodoro, Estrada, and Escudero -- would have a better chance of winning over Villar and Aquino. And based on their ratings in recent polls, Estrada has a better chance of winning over Escudero Teodoro. So, based on these simplistic “process of elimination,“ there is a good chance that Erap Estrada might be the next president of the land of Wah Wah We!