Saturday, April 30, 2011

I LOVE YOU To Premiere At Newport Beach Film Festival

I LOVE YOU To Premiere At Newport Beach Film Festival April 30
All Star Cast Includes Briana Evigan And Jericho Rosales In First Mainstream Role

(Newport Beach, CA) SUBJECT: I LOVE YOU, the much anticipated romantic thriller feature set at the turn of the millennium, will make its World Premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival, 5:30 p.m., Saturday, April 30 at the historic Lido Theatre in Newport Beach.

Filmed entirely in The Philippines, the film features a stellar, multinational cast directed by Manila-born director, Francis dela Torre.

A joint venture between upstart Manila-based production company Tectonic Films and Radiant Studios, the ambitious independent project features a stellar, multinational cast and stars Briana Evigan (STEP UP 2 THE STREETS, SORORITY SISTERS), Dante Basco (TAKE THE LEAD, HOOK), Kristin Bauer (TRUE BLOOD), Dean Cain (LOIS AND CLARK) Apl de Ap (Black Eye Peas) and Filipino Superstars, Gary Valenciano and Jericho Rosales.

Based on events which lead to the creation and global spread of the infamous "I love you" computer virus which infected millions of computers including the systems of The Pentagon, Parliament and the CIA, the film centers on Victor (Jericho Rosales), a working class student in Manila who meets and falls instantly for a popular touring DJ named Butterfly (Briana Evigan). He is the stable, localized yin to her unfixed, cosmopolitan yang and in classic love story fashion, the opposites attract.

Utilizing exotic and picturesque locales, the film follows the two on their developing romance. But that is just the preamble to a thriller involving international intrigue on which Victor and Butterfly find themselves caught up and eventually, separated and desperately struggling to reconnect.

"I'm a believer -- (the production) are believers -- in The Philippines and we specifically sought to make the film back home," said writer/director dela Torre. "The setting may be localized but, there is no mistaking that the story and the film is universal in scope. We are excited at the results and very much anticipate screening it before a public audience for the first time at the Premiere."

Fans of Jericho Rosales will undoubtedly be anticipating the film as well as it represents the Filipino star's mainstream motion picture debut.

"It was a great experience to work with 'Echo (Rosales), he's a great actor'" added dela Torre, an alumnus of the USC School of Cinematic Arts. "I was humbled with having to work with such an amazingly talented cast. I think audiences will be very pleased with what they see. They are in for a ride."

The cast are expected to attend the premiere with festivities beginning at 4:30 with red carpet arrivals.

The World Premiere of SUBJECT: I LOVE YOU is open to the public. Tickets are just $12 and are now on sale through the film festival website box office at Newport Film Festival or at the Lido Theatre
box office located at 3459 Via Lido (@ Newport Blvd.) in Newport Beach, 92663.

For the film's official trailer,

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Quo Vadis, P-Noy?

PerryScope: by Perry Diaz

Ten months into his presidency, President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III seems like he’s lost in the jungle of Pinoy politics where the dynamics are constantly changing. As an avid shooting enthusiast, he knows that it’s difficult to lock the crosshairs on a distant and moving target. So, he’s left with one option: take the offensive and attack in close combat. And attack he did.

Word war

First, he declared war against Ombudsman Merceditas “Merci” Gutierrez. No sooner had it reached the broadsheets, the opposition counter attacked, saying, “Noy wants war, war he’ll get!” And this is where the word war had taken a sharp turn drawing into the fray no less than ex-president and now congresswoman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo herself who claimed that the country has now a “vacuum of leadership” under P-Noy. Gloria also accused P-Noy’s administration of being obsessed in “demonizing” her. But deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte was quick to belie Gloria’s claim, saying, “We just cannot avoid addressing the problems we inherited from her when President Benigno Aquino III assumed office last June 30.” Touché!

With Gloria deeply embroiled in a word war with P-Noy, the battleground is set for the grand battles ahead, beginning with the Senate trial on the impeachment of Merci, which is scheduled to start on May 9, 2011.

P-Noy’s political future might hinge on Merci’s impeachment trial. If Merci were impeached, then P-Noy would be ready to take the final offensive against Gloria; otherwise, his anti-corruption campaign might take a severe setback. Indeed, it could be so severe that it could bring his anti-corruption crusade to shambles and usher in the return of the corrupt dynasties for a clean sweep of the elections in 2016.

SWS surveys

With P-Noy’s recent Social Weather Station (SWS) “favorable” rating down by five percent (from 74% to 69%) and his “unfavorable” rating doubling (from 9% to 18%) with a net rating of 51%, he has to change his strategy if he wants to achieve the Pagbabago (change) that he promised during the campaign last year.

Although he made an impressive progress in revving up the economy – the GDP per capita has doubled in the past 10 years to $2,000! -- he has yet to address the plight of the poor. Hunger continues to be the biggest obstacle in the fight against poverty. Under his watch, 20.5%( up from 15.9%) of respondents experienced hunger in the past three months while 51% (up from 48%) considered themselves to be poor. However, hunger and poverty have been prevalent for at least the past decade.

The danger that P-Noy faces is if he can’t find a way to alleviate the suffering of the poor, then the poor could turn – in desperation -- to a false “messiah” in the 2016 election, who would hammer in the argument that the 1986 EDSA people power revolution failed and that the people were better off before the “Yellow Army” took over the land. It’s an effective populist demagoguery -- give hope to the hopeless -- that panders to the emotions of the powerless poor.

Indeed, when people find themselves aimlessly wandering in the wilderness of hopelessness, they’re prone to fall prey to charlatans peddling snake oil to cure the social ills of the country. And, yes, they’re already out there. Some have already gone to the extent of repackaging and waxing over the “failures” of the past into bright “promises” of the future. And if you were poor and hungry, wouldn’t you take it?


P-Noy needs to remember that he was overwhelmingly elected on his campaign promise, “Walang corrupt, walang mahirap” (No corruption, no poverty). Although he kept on telling the people that he’s going after corrupt officials in his government as well as those in the previous administration, not much has been done, which make people wonder if he is really serious about fighting corruption. His cry of “Heads will roll!” is beginning to sound like a broken record. Indeed, heads have yet to roll.

P-Noy had a chance to prove that he was serious about fighting corruption when his “shooting buddy,” Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Rico E. Puno, was accused of receiving payola from jueteng lords. Many believe that Puno was corrupt to the bone. When Puno publicly offered to resign from his position, P-Noy should have accepted it without batting an eye. Instead, he reaffirmed his unqualified confidence and told him to stay. Since then Puno has stealthily performed in his job, quietly laying low out of the range of the media’s radar. However, his “phantom” existence in a sensitive government post makes people wonder why P-Noy would still keep him like an albatross around his neck.

Recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ) recommended that Land Transportation Office (LTO) Chief Virginia Torres be suspended for the failed takeover of Stradcom, the sole information technology service provider of LTO. In addition, DOJ also recommended that administrative charges be filed against her. Some people also suggested that she takes a leave of absence. Instead, P-Noy told Torres – she is also one of P-Noy’s “shooting buddies” -- to stay on. A few days ago, however, he finally told her to take a two-month leave of absence. But why only two months? Is it because Torres is a member of the politically powerful Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC), which threw its support behind P-Noy’s presidential bid last year?


In my article, “Rx for Poverty and Corruption” (Global Balita, December 9, 2005), I wrote: “A study made by Management Systems International in Washington, DC, in 2003, has concluded: ‘Corruption has direct consequences on economic and government factors, intermediaries that in turn produce poverty.’ The study produced two models. On the one hand, the ‘economic model’ postulates that corruption affects poverty by first impacting economic growth factors, which, in turn, impact poverty levels. In other words, ‘Increased corruption reduces economic growth which would increase poverty.’ On the other hand, the ‘government model’ asserts that corruption affects poverty by first influencing governance factors, which, in turn, impact poverty levels. In other words, ‘Increased corruption reduces governance capacity which would increase poverty.’ ”


If P-Noy really wants to eradicate corruption and poverty, then he should – nay, must – impose harsh discipline at all levels of the government. Indeed, it can be said: “If poverty is the fever and corruption is the disease; then, the prescription is discipline.”

If P-Noy has to clean up his house of corruption, he should start with the “housekeepers,” some of who are his personal friends, before he could truly sanitize the entire house of the “disease.”

At the end of the day, P-Noy holds the key to achieving the ideals of EDSA 1. While it’s sad that real progress and change were stalled when the sham EDSA 2 catapulted Gloria to power in 2001, the prospect for change and real reforms has never been brighter than in P-Noy’s presidency.

If he wants to be an effective and respected leader, he must follow the dictum: “Loved by his friends, feared by his enemies.” Indeed, his friends will always respect him; but to his enemies, their respect will only come with fear.


Sunday, April 17, 2011

Martin Nievera: The Knockout Concert

A Las Vegas concert to benefit ABS CBN Foundation International’s “Sagip Kapamilya sa Japan”

Redwood City, Calif. (April 15, 2011) - ABS CBN Foundation International will host a one night performance by Martin Nievera, acclaimed balladeer and Concert King of the Philippines. “Martin Nievera: The Knockout Concert” will take place on Friday, May 6, 2011 at 7PM at the Hollywood Theatre at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. Presented in partnership with Codinera-Chua Productions and PAE Live!, the fund raiser show is part of a weekend of Filipino-related events which includes the shows of Filipino-American comedian, Jo Koy, and the much anticipated Manny Pacquiao/Sugar Shane Mosley fight on May 7.

“Martin Nievera: The Knockout Concert” will benefit Sagip Kapamilya sa Japan (Saving Family Members in Japan), a relief and assistance program directed to Filipinos who were affected by the recent tsunami and earthquake disasters in Japan.

“I heard from my kapamilya how the Filipinos who have made Japan their second home were affected and I wanted to help,” shared Martin Nievera. “Thank God Sagip Kapamilya and my producers had the same idea and moved quickly to make a difference.” The homecoming performance for Martin Nievera at the MGM promises great music and special guest performers.

On March 11, a magnitude 8.9 quake unleashed a 23-foot tsunami and was followed by more than 50 aftershocks. A few hours later, the Pacific Rim was blanketed with tsunami warnings. The Japanese government alerted residents near a nuclear power plant in Onahama City to evacuate, for fear of a radiation leak. On April 7, a 7.4 magnitude tremor hit once more.

The Philippine embassy in Japan reports that there are 305,972 Filipinos living in Japan, many of whom were affected by the devastation.

“Many Filipinos in Japan lived within and around the Fukushima area and were affected by the recent disasters,” says J. Robbie Fabian, President of ABS CBN Foundation International. “We created a special hotline for them to call. There are requests for food, bottled water, medicines, temporary housing, and even assistance to relocate back to the Philippines.”

Tickets to the event are $100 and $75 and are available at any MGM Grand ticketing outlet. To charge by phone, call (800) 929-1111 or (702) 891-7777. Tickets are available for purchase online at, or Direct donations to Sagip Kapamilya sa Japan can also be made through the same foundation website or sent to ABS CBN Foundation International at 150 Shoreline Drive, Redwood City, CA 94065.

ABS CBN Foundation International is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of disadvantaged Filipino children and their families in the Philippines and around the world. Its flagship program, Bantay Bata (Child Watch), is a child abuse rescue operation that responds to an average of 15,300 calls for assistance a year. The program assists more than 21,000 children and families in relocation communities and feeds at least 4,400 severely malnourished children a year. Its education program serves 4.2 million elementary school children and their teachers.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Philippine Consulate General LA conducts Emergency Preparedness meeting

Los Angeles, 4 April 2011 – The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles held an Emergency Preparedness Meeting on 1 April 2011 at the Consulate General with Mr. James G. Featherstone, General Manager, Emergency Management Department, City of Los Angeles, as Resource Person.

Mr. Featherstone emphasized how important it is for each individual to be prepared to take care of themselves and their loved ones after a disaster.

The meeting aims to create awareness on how to cope with emergency situations while at home, in transit or at the office and to develop a mechanism of effective coordination, through Area Coordinators, in times of emergencies.

The Consulate, during times of emergencies, will become the central coordinating office for the Filipino community. The Philippine Disaster Relief Organization (PeDRO) accepted the challenge of organizing leaders and volunteers from the Filipino-American community to effectively respond to emergencies in their areas.