Wednesday, December 31, 2014

DISCOVERY CHANNEL TAKES YOU ON A PERSONAL JOURNEY THROUGH THE WORLD OF STEPHEN HAWKING

This January, Stephen Hawking – renowned theoretical physicist and one of the world’s most brilliant minds – invites you on an intimate and revealing journey through his life. Told for the first time in Stephen’s own words, A BRIEF HISTORY OF MINE is the powerful story of Stephen’s battle with his debilitating disease, his rise to fame, and its devastating effects on his family life. The two-hour special premieres January 4 at 8:00 p.m.; encores Monday, January 5 at midnight.
 
Photo courtesy of Discovery
Stephen Hawking was born in 1942. Shortly after his 21st birthday while he was pursuing his PhD at Cambridge University, Stephen was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as motor neuron disease or ALS. He was given two to three years to live but he has somehow defied the odds. For more than 50 years now, he has been travelling the world studying and lecturing about time and space, and the laws that govern the universe. Stephen reveals how keeping an active mind has been vital to his survival, as has been maintaining a sense of humour. We also hear from those who know and work with him – his family, friends, peers, and also Hollywood actor Jim Carrey whom Stephen did a skit with.


Now 72 years old, Stephen still goes to work every day at Cambridge University. He has twelve honorary degrees, and is the author of numerous publications and books. He is the recipient of many awards, medals and prizes, is a Fellow of The Royal Society and a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences. 

While he is wheelchair-bound and dependent on a computerised voice system for communication, Stephen is still very much involved in his research and family life. The grandfather of three continues to travel extensively for lectures, and hopes to make it into space one day.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

DISCOVERY CHANNEL’S EATEN ALIVE?

Discovery Channel release

Naturalist, author, and award-winning wildlife filmmaker Paul Rosolie attempts a groundbreaking feat aimed at investigating the eating habits of the mythical
Giant Green Anaconda

EATEN ALIVE? premiering Sunday, December 28, at 9:00 p.m., features snake researcher and conservationist Paul Rosolie who has dedicated his career to studying the Giant Green Anaconda, the largest and most powerful snake in the world and the top predator in the Amazon.  An author (“Mother of God: An Extraordinary Journey into the Uncharted Tributaries of the Western Amazon”), Paul has specialized in the western Amazon for more than a decade and his efforts have helped bring awareness to the Peruvian Rainforest, the natural habitat of the Giant Green Anaconda.    
 
Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel
This past summer, over a 60-day period, crews documented Paul’s expedition to an enchanted and hidden realm deep within the Amazonian jungle, an area the locals call the “floating forest.”  It is in the floating forest that Paul believes the largest anacondas in the world live and breed, and one of the only locations to truly study these elusive and majestic snakes in the wild.  On his one and only previous expedition to this secluded part of the Amazonian jungle, Paul was very close to capturing what he believed was the world’s largest anaconda, a 25 to 27-foot (7 to 8-metre long) behemoth that slipped through his hands and nearly dragged him to the bottom of the floating forest. If Paul succeeds this time in capturing this giant beast, he’s going to attempt something no one has ever dared.

“I’ve seen first-hand how the Amazon Rainforest is being destroyed.  It is so rampant that we may be the last generation with the opportunity to save it.  People need to wake up to what is going on,” said Paul. “What better way is there to shock people than to put my life on the line with the largest snake on the planet, the Green Anaconda?”

"It is strange to think that one of the giant species of snakes on the planet is also one of the least understood,” said biologist Shawn Heflick. “An amazing and mysterious serpent, the Green Anaconda is what myths and legends are made of.”

Since Paul’s goal was to persevere through the constriction and potential ingestion deep into the belly of the beast, he relied on a custom-built suit he designed for his protection.  Constructed by Paul and his team of engineers working alongside herpetologists, the suit was built to ensure the snake’s safety just as much as it was to protect Paul’s life.   After all, the highest measured force of an anaconda constriction has been documented at 90psi, which would be the equivalent of having a large school bus on one’s chest.  Since anacondas rely on their massive size and power to subdue their prey,  Paul risked life and limb in the hopes of measuring the constriction force of a massive anaconda, to gain more insight on its hunting and feeding behaviors, and ultimately, to gain a greater understanding of the inner workings of these majestic creatures.  

Both Paul Rosolie and the Giant Green Anaconda are healthy and alive.


EATEN ALIVE? is produced for Discovery Channel by Expedition AmazonFor Discovery Channel, Michael Sorensen and Matthew Kelly are executive producers and Meagan Davis is the producer. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

ANIMAL PLANET UNVEILS SECRET LOCATIONS AND HIDDEN LIFE IN WILDEST MIDDLE EAST

- Join an expedition that takes you from scorching deserts to sweltering wetlands to discover a world of extremities and the life that inhabits it -
  
  
Embark on a thrilling exploration of the Middle East as Animal Planet zooms in on this vast and varied region in a brand new series, WILDEST MIDDLE EAST. Premiering every Tuesday at 9:00 p.m., starting December 30, this stunning three-part series visits Turkey, Jordan and Egypt to showcase the region’s most spectacular locations, incredible wildlife and vibrant culture. Encores every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. and Thursday at 6:00 p.m.
  
Photo courtesy of Animal Planet
The Middle East has a natural history quite unknown to the outside world; it’s a place where east meets west – of thick forests, remote deserts, wild mountain ranges and rolling seas. Breathtaking in scale and filmed in high-definition, WILDEST MIDDLE EAST combines the extraordinary stories of animals, plants and people to provide revelations about life in this land of extremes.  
  
Journey across the stunning landscapes of Turkey, an earthquake hotspot where flora and fauna live on the edge. In the land of pharaohs, pyramids and sacred tombs, witness the life that rule the desolate terrains where ancient Egyptians believed creatures had power over nature. In historically-rich Jordan, contrasting natural formations such as deep valleys, sheer cliffs and panoramic mountains belie the actual vastness of this kingdom.

The Middle East is the surprising home to some of the world’s most exotic creatures. Fennec foxes, Caucasian lynx and Anatolian Ground squirrels – these are just some of the amazing species that have developed unique ways to survive the region’s inhospitable environments.
  
WILDEST MIDDLE EAST also gives insight into what life is like for the human inhabitants of the area. Meet the people who, through ingenuity and determination, have found ways to make the most of what the region has to offer. Learn of the ancient rituals, vital skills and fascinating lifestyles that shape their identity. The nomadic Bedouins still practice the art of falconry to this day, are experts at camel husbandry and continue to hunt with Saluki dogs – the oldest known breed of domesticated dogs which were also considered to be the royal dog of Egypt.
  
The series not only examines the prevalent wildlife and cultural issues, but also spotlights the environmental pressures that are threatening the natural wonders that exist in this land. Experience day-to-day life in the wildest corners of the Middle East, where the natural world is fighting a constant battle to survive in an ever-changing world. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Smart and Easy Travel Tips You Have to Know

The most seasoned travellers can attest--it’s really the little things that make the biggest difference when you’re exploring new territory. A few upgrades here and there and the necessary nuisance of going through airport security or going for a long-haul journey becomes a breeze; you might even get a couple of perks along the way.


From coach to business class

If you want to get upgraded from your cramped coach seats up to roomier business class, then you have to dress the part. Sure a t-shirt and flip-flops might be comfortable for your flight, but the airline will be less likely to put you with their top paying clientele if you don’t look the part.

From deluxe rooms to suites

The only time tardiness might actually be worth something. Checking in later in the afternoon or even evening gives hotel front desks a better idea of their occupancy; which means asking for an upgrade at this point might be more feasible. Remember to be polite (you are boldly asking for an upgrade, after all) and do so when there are no other guests around.

From casual to cosmopolitan

It’s hard to be fashionable when you’re essentially trying to fit a week’s worth of outfits into a single suitcase while making sure they’re comfortable, but it is possible. For instance, bring flat shoes that run a half size bigger (feet swell while on air and you’ll need the respite from all that walking), bring clothes that you can layer depending on the weather, try to keep your color palette strictly basic—blacks, whites, navys and nudes are easy to mix and match.


From falling into tourist traps to taking the road less travelled

Smart travellers know that most popular tourist destinations are expensive and sometimes, not even all that interesting; so try going for the road less travelled. If you absolutely have to or want to go to a popular tourist destination, go on a weekday and at a weird hour to minimize lines.


From holding up security lines to breezing through

Here’s a quick tip on how to make sure you don’t bumble through the security checks—place your shoes (and coat) on the first bin, your laptop and liquids in the second bin, and your purse or carry on in the third. As you wait for your things on the other side, your shoes and coat come out first giving you time to grab your bag and place your laptop back inside. Also, it pays to not wear belts and thigh high lace up boots to the airport.

From being unprepared to staying healthy

Travellers who have to share cabin space with 100 other humans who could possibly have cough and colds have to arrive at their destination healthy. It’s no fun exploring a new city when you’re running a flu, nursing a cold and dealing with a cough.

Before you go on a Vitamin C binge though, you have to know that it’s not advisable to double-up on your vitamin C dose. Our bodies our only capable of absorbing up to 400g, so anything more than that, will do nothing to boost protection for your immune system.


Instead, pop one capsule of Conzace to stave off germs and viruses from fellow passengers. Conzace multivitamins is proven to activate more immunity cells than plain Vitamin C.  And when your immunity is in top shape, you can better manage illnesses – allowing your body to prevent catching common viruses or recover faster if you do fall ill.

It’s available per piece and only for P12.40 per capsule, but when you’re trying to keep yourself healthy for a cross-Atlantic journey, you might as well keep a generous stock. Conzace is also easily available from all major drugstores and supermarkets over the counter.


Finally, here’s an added plus, the zinc and vitamins A, C and E, which all contain anti-oxidants, also help in maintaining great skin. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Atlantis Group Brings Hit Musicals to Manila

Release material

Pinoy lovers of musical theatre are in for a treat in 2015 as a line-up of hit musicals from Broadway and London’s East End are on their way; brought to you by Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group (ATEG).  ATEG has already brought three of the most acclaimed shows such as Rock of Ages, Ghost and Shrek here in our shores.
Shrek The Musical

These shows, which featured an international cast of actors, set a fashionable trend for high quality entertainment that Filipinos appreciate and love - earning kudos from local showbiz personalities such as Lea Salonga, Christian Bautista, Rachel Ann Go, Mark Bautista, Michael de Mesa and Cherie Gil. Atlantis team also prides itself on having significant collaborations with international and Tony award-winning artists like Lin Manuel-Miranda, David Gallo, Mig Ayesa and Lawrence Cohen.

ATEG is a the collaboration of three of the country’s leading figures in the broadcast-entertainment industry –Antonio Tuviera, the President of TAPE Inc. and producer of the longest running television program EAT Bulaga; Bobby Garcia, a world-renowned theatre director and Bobby Barreiro, former TV 5 and GMA7 top executive who is highly regarded by peers in the country’s broadcasting industry.

Slated for next year, is the well-loved and enduring classic hit, Saturday Night Fever. Filipino fans would remember the John Travolta film version which became the iconic symbol of a rising generation. Now these grown-ups and their children have something to look out for as this acclaimed musical classic comes to Manila to rock and roll.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Sangobion Leads Bloodletting Drive

Last year, I was able to see the one of Sangobion's campaign using a theatrical monologue to promote awareness. This time, it was done more differently. A massive bloodletting drive in collaboration with Red Cross.

It seem fitting that Sangobion spearheads this campaign since it is a supplement for low blood. Also, after another storm struck the Visayan region again, Red Cross surely need to replenish their supply. I have been donating blood before and I find it very healthy. If you chose to blood-let, it will be replenish with new blood.

It will only take few minutes for the process. First, you will be screened for medical purposes only. There are some things to consider before blood-letting. You should not be drinking, smoking, or having piercings and tattoos, not under medications and more to mention medical conditions.

But be assured that this screening process will be confidential. After being given approval for blood-letting, it's standard procedure to classify your blood type even if you know what. Then the next step is the actual blood-letting. The duration will depend on house fast your blood will be transfused in a 450cc bag which is the same size as your disposable juice pack. But you need to be lie down for the whole duration.

After the bag has been filled, you are not yet allowed to get up to avoid collapsing. After few minutes, you can sit up and drink a fruit juice. It is a standard procedure so you can have your strength back. Then you will be issued with a blood bank booklet in case you need to avail of the blood in times of emergency. Truly blood is a source of life and what more fitting to give a gift of life by donating your blood.

The campaign was held at SM City Fairview last December 5. For more advocacy and campaigns, follow this blog or like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Friday, December 5, 2014

SM Lifestyle and Entertainment Inc. signs contract with Blink

This probably a historical event that will change how we view movies. SM Lifestyle and Entertainment Inc. signs the memorandum of understanding with Omni Digital Ventures, under Solar Entertainment Corp; who brought you the mobile movie app Blink.

Blink is not online movie subscription app that gives the current movies or even the old ones or the latest episodes from your favorite U.S. series anywhere you go. Present during the launch and signing were Mr. Hans Sy; president of SM Prime Holdings, Mr. Edgar Terejero of SMLI, Mr. William Tieng and Mr. Wilson Tieng of Solar Entertainment Corp and Mr. Roland De Guzman of Omni Digital/Blink.

To avail Blink, you have to download the application whether in your PC or mobile devices. You need to register online so you can subscribe to their library of movies and TV series. I am not ignorant about the piracy issue but this is probably the best solution. It will be better to watch in Blink than an illegal copy because it may not be HD quality and it may contain viruses in the digital file. You can just pay using your mobile cellular credits in subscribing. Now that SMLI is part of Blink, you can probably use your E-Plus credits in the future.

This is also a good innovation for the movie industry. It is also possible that you can watch advance screenings, premieres or block screenings in your mobile devices. But even though movies can go mobile, it will never replace the magic in watching in cinemas but it compliments the movie industry so it won't affect the cinema operations and the producers and distributors.

For more updates from SMLI, follow this blog or like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

SM Lifestyle Entertainment Inc hosts Philippine National Skating Tournament

Ice skating as a sport gave a boost among Filipinos after Philippine home-grown skater Michael Martinez took part in the Winter Olympics. SM Malls continues to showcase more talents who are also training themselves in the sport.

As the only facility that operates skating rinks in the country, SM Lifestyle & Entertainment, Inc. hosts for the 15th year, the National Figure Skating Championship at SM Mall Of Asia Skating Rink on November 26 to 27.

This two-day event will serve as a pre-final round wherein the participating skaters are required to perform interpretative routines on the first day and on the second/final day will showcase the free-skating program.

Twenty-nine young skaters will participate with age ranging from 8 to 17 years in nine categories.  According to Ms. Nicole Deato of SMLI’s Educational Leisure Center and Mr. Manuel Pocholo Veguillas, President of Philippine Skating Union;  these competitions will give them the proper exposure in the sports and to be better in the next competitions. This also includes international competitions.

Mr. Veguillas added, “Just to be fair, they will prioritize the winners.  Ms. Deato also shares that it also opens a lot of doors. Our country was taken seriously in the sport even though we are a tropical country. The story of Michael Martinez is a Cinderella story. It also provides awareness that these athletes need financial support if they want to represent our country.  Not to mention the cost of training with coaches for a long term. They will need corporate partners.


The competition will be a whole day affair from 9:00 to 4:00. For more updates about the competition, follow this blog or like the L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

R&E Group of Taxi Pioneer GPS-enabled Taxi Dispatching System in PH

The R&E Group of Taxi -- Nine Stars, Sturdy, EFE and R&E fleet have started using its own Global Positioning System (GPS) enabled dispatching systemwith its very own taxi booking app.

The integrated R&E taxi dispatching system will automatically take bookings received from the R&E call centre and booking app and assign them to the nearest available taxi in the area. 

R&E taxi drivers can easily monitor and respond to incoming job orders through a GPS –enabled 7-inch monitor installed on each taxi unit. This results in faster response time from the point of order to passenger pick-up.

R&E partnered with local tech-solutions firm Govago Inc., which brought the Singapore-based transport system in the country.

Govago Managing Director Dennis Ng said that the innovation is a timely opportunity for the R&E group as the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) urges Taxi operators to modernize and shift to tech-based land transport services and solutions.

“We provide a tried and tested full fleet management system that can help taxi operators like R&E to maximize their revenue and give the riding public a convenient and user-friendly tech-based solution.”

Dennis shares that R&E preferred to use the 7-inch monitor over the usual mobile phone device used by other taxi booking app providers because of its reliability and safety.

“Dispatching systems using mobile phone devices are dependent on the device’s battery. If the mobile phone is turned off, it can no longer receive bookings or dispatches. The R&E dispatching system is triggered by engine power which informs the call centre whether a taxi is running or not.
“More importantly, the use of mobile phones while driving is a hazardous practice for drivers.”

According to R&E group representative Ramil Enriquez, “The development of a GPS enabled dispatching system and booking app is aimed at better customer service and efficient fleet management.  Most importantly, we want to build a sustainable working relationship with our drivers.

“With our own system, R&E drivers can build a stronger and more stable income as they no longer need to rely on other taxi booking apps for additional income.”

Ramil added that the R&E dispatching system is equipped with an emergency button that allow their drivers to immediately  alert the R&E call centre  during emergency situations such as hold-ups or vehicle break downs.

To date, 500 taxis from the R&E group have been installed with the system and are readily available for online booking orders. Passengers can easily download the R&E Taxi booking app from the Apple App store or Android Playstore.

Ramil stressed that bookings made through the R&E app assure passengers that they are exclusively served by R&E taxis only.

“The R&E group of taxis share one unified hub. In the event that items are accidentally left behind, we can easily track and trace it for our passengers through their booking details.”

Passengers can also call the R&E call centre at 362.1890.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Music, Shadow Play and Puppetry in Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Prinsipe Munti”

By Regina De Vera

Music, shadow play and puppetry provide the spectacle for the adventures of Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Prinsipe Munti” – Layeta Bucoy’s adaptation of the beloved children’s book, “Le Petit Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. A little prince leaves his planet and goes off into an adventure, discovering that “it is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”  In this staging, audiences will witness actors performing live mixed with puppetry led by Ms. Teta Tulay of the Anino Shadowplay Collective together with original music by Toni Muñoz and lighting design by John Batalla. Karilyo, the shadowplay group of DLS-College of Saint Benilde’s Office of Culture and the Arts are the pupper creators and shadowplay mentors. Micko Laurente and Allen Immanuel Ryce (“AIR”) alternate as “Prinsipe Munti” with the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company playing multiple roles. Tuxqs Rutaquio provides overall direction.



“Prinsipe Munti” runs from November 28 – December 7, 2014 with shows at 10AM, 2PM and 6PM at the Tanghalang Aurelio Tolentino (CCP Little Theater). Tickets (P600, P800 and P1,000) are available through Tanghalang Pilipino: 832-1125 loc 1620 / 1621 (0905-254-4930/0908-894-1384) and Ticketworld: 891-9999 / www.ticketworld.com.ph. For blurbs, promos and updates, please visit www.facebook.com/tanghalangpilipino

Friday, November 21, 2014

Wattpad Presents...Four more stories starting Nov. 24

During the last launch, I realized how much trend from writing online makes it possible for getting your work published in print. This is why TV5 once again releases four more stories at Wattpad Presents.

This batch of stories opens on November 24 with Mr.Popular Meets Ms. Nobody Book 2 which continues the story of "Kamahalan" Kyle.. Original work by Pinky Jhewlii that has 15.6M reads on Wattpad. Featured in this episode are Mark Neumann and Shaira Mae Dela Cruz, Diego Loyzaga and Yassi Pressman, who is also part of another Wattpad story adapted into movie, "She's Dating A Gangster".
Game Of Love author Aine_Tan

Opening December on it's first Monday, Wattpad Presents "His Secretary" by Elise Mae that has 10M reads on Wattpad featuring Bianca King and John James Uy followed by Just For A While by Orange Leaf(almost 1.5M reads) featuring Eula Caballero and Martin Escudero who is also an HRM student and applies his culinary skills for his role in the story as Chef Luke.

To end the year year 2014, Wattpad Presents "Game Of Love" as the last of this batch of story which features Kean Cipriano Chanel Marquez, Nicole Estrada and Phytos Ramirez which airs Dec, 15. I got to meet it's author Aine_Tan who was the only Wattpad author present during the presscon. In a short interview, she told me that the story was already three years old now and she was glad that it is now adapted for television. She was present during the shoot and she believes that it is not far from her original work. Although the cast was not her ideal choice in mind but she was convinced that the actors embodied the characters she created.

According to a Nielsen research, 31% of increased of viewers are teenagers who watches Wattpad Presents basing on social network trends. The next batch of Wattpad stories will be released in 2015. For more Wattpad adaptation and TV5 shows updates, follow this blog or like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

MELANIE elevates the role of actors on stage

Tanghalang Pilipino release material

Manila, Philippines - MELANIE, a joint project of Tanghalang Pilipino, the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines, and global organization UNICEF, which has toured different areas in Metro Manila, returns this December for the celebration of World AIDS Day. Penned by renowned playwright Layeta Bucoy, MELANIE brings together a powerful ensemble, which includes the Tanghalang Pilipino Actors Company, with guest artists Phi Palmos, Cyril Balderama, and Anton Nolasco. Using Forum Theater as a device, the production effectively inculcates important information about HIV and AIDS to the audience by involving them into the performance through an interactive ‘breaking of the fourth wall’. This way, audiences feel that they are part of the process, and at a greater extent, are involved in creating an effective solution. In order to equip the actors with the right skills in mounting the production, they underwent rigorous workshops and seminars which helped broaden their understanding of, not just the principles behind Forum Theater, but of the essential information on HIV and AIDS.


MELANIE tells the story of gay parlorista who became the subject of gossip after his death, due to an AIDS-related complication. At his funeral-turned-disco party, his friends and colleagues gather to discuss the horrors of ‘becoming like Melanie’, showing a fear of infection, which is caused by sheer ignorance on the virus and the disease. Each one has a story to tell; and each one has a fear to conquer. In the end, everyone is left with an eye-opener: we are only afraid of what we don’t understand.

MELANIE is directed by Tanghalang Pilipino’s Associate Artistic Director Tuxqs Rutaqio and is written by Layeta Bucoy. Jed Balsamo creates the music, while John Batalla designs the lights.


MELANIE runs at the CCP Tanghalang Huseng Batute (Studio Theater), from December 3 – 14, 2014, Thursday to Sundays, at 7:30pm. Tickets are priced at Php800 and Php600. Discounts 20% discount on the regular price for senior citizens, government employees, military employees and PWDs. (Please present valid ID). Tickets can be purchased at Ticketworld, or you may call Tanghalang Pilipino at (02) 832-1125, local 1621.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Kathryn Bernardo renews contract with Juicy Cologne

Juicy Cologne is composed of eight variants of scents from the same company that brought you Silka Papaya. The image of Juicy appeals to teen girls who fits the image which is why the ideal endorser is a teen celebrity influencer Kathryn Bernardo. Besides that, her personality that she shares with Juicy as fun and vibrant which is the criteria that made her a household name.

I joined the blogcon as Juicy Cologne renews their contract with Kathryn Bernardo on a fun-filled event. What made Kathryn find it appealing because the scents are not that strong that even her mother uses the brand.

Juicy comes from three different sizes to choose from (45ml, 75ml and 125ml) and is available in leading stores. Watch out for her new TVC soon. For more updates, follow this blog or like L.E.N.S.blogs on Facebook.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Greenhills COD 2014

Every year, I go to cover one of Metro Manila's longest running cosmopolitan tradition: The Christmas On Display by Greenhills Shopping Center. This display first started by COD in Cubao. When it ceased operation, the holiday tradition was continued today with the help of the original marionette designers.

The COD draws the crowd from the nearby areas and shoppers in the parking lot to watch the display. Besides the display, the Christmas tiangge is now open for your shopping needs and the snacks to enjoy while watching.

The annual COD launch is not just for show but it also gives back to the community. Every year, Ortigas and Company with the help of the local municipal government gives gifts to White Cross which is not far from the venue. White Cross is an NGO that housed abandoned children. Some of these children are abandoned after their birth.

The theme of the display is the first Christmas which is actually good to get back to where it all started since for the longest time, I've seen their futuristic theme and an ancient imperial Chinese theme. It's only flaw was that the Magi was never part of the Nativity event but on Epiphany.

The display is now ongoing every night from 6PM onward every 30 minutes until Epiphany which is January 6th. For more holiday updates, follow this blog or follow L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

SAVING AFRICA’S GIANTS WITH YAO MING PREMIERES NOVEMBER 21 ON DISCOVERY CHANNEL; NARRATED BY EDWARD NORTON

- World-famous basketball star Yao Ming, WildAid and Discovery Channel expose the African poaching epidemic, which fuels a multi-billion-dollar global black market -

In partnership with basketball superstar Yao Ming and WildAid, Discovery Channel announces the premiere of SAVING AFRICA’S GIANTS WITH YAO MING, which looks at the worldwide crisis of elephant and rhino poaching. The one-hour feature documentary – narrated by award-winning actor Edward Norton – premieres on Friday, November 21 at 9:00 p.m., exclusively on Discovery Channel.
 
Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel
Background on the crisis and the demand that fuels it
Each year, the death toll rises with 25,000 African elephants murdered last year alone, and 4.5 million killed in the last 60 years. These magnificent creatures are victims of ivory poaching, perpetrated by one of the most organized, widespread wildlife trafficking networks in history. The growing demand in China and Southeast Asia is driving sharp increases[1] in poaching. In China, ivory is prized as a status symbol by the nation’s growing affluent and middle classes, and the country’s legal market perpetuates demand and provides a laundering mechanism for illegal, poached ivory from Africa. Rhino horn is highly sought after for purported health benefits. In Vietnam, rhino horn has a reputation as a cancer treatment and a hangover cure regardless of the fact that the horn is composed of keratin – the same substance as human hair and fingernails.

Fortunately, Africa's giants have their defenders. Basketball legend and wildlife advocate Yao Ming travels to Africa in SAVING AFRICA'S GIANTS WITH YAO MING to uncover the brutal secrets of this multi-million-dollar underground trade, and spotlights Yao's mission to educate and inspire his countrymen and the world alike, in the effort to stop the killings and save these innocent creatures from the very real possibility of extinction. Yao’s combination of strength, vision and voice serves as a megaphone to help spread awareness about the cruelty of poaching.

 "Yao Ming represents the next generation of conservationists. Having him as an ambassador is probably the best thing that could happen to wildlife," says Peter Knights, executive director of WildAid, the world's only organization focused on reducing the demand for poached products. On his journey, Yao sees for himself the evidence of a losing battle, where Africa's giants are senselessly slain every day for their tusks. Yao, who is a cultural icon in both his native China and across the globe, quickly realizes the real war is not in Africa but in the marketplace.

In the program, Yao travels to Kenya, home to the ancient Samburu people and a natural habitat of African elephants. Elephants are part of the Samburu heritage and are critical to their livelihood. Poaching not only destroys the wild species but also the tribal villagers who depend on them. Yao meets with Sir Iain Douglas-Hamilton, renowned elephant expert who echoes WildAid's dire conservation message, which he urges Yao to bring home and disseminate globally: it is a race against time for these elephants – when the buying stops, the killing will too.

"The huge price motivates poachers to persist," says Yao. "And if we buy ivory, it makes all of us killers as well."

Unfortunately, elephants are not the only victims to poaching. Rhinos are poached for their horns at a record rate as two rhinos a day are slain in South Africa alone. Yao travels to the Kariega Game Reserve, located at South Africa's East Cape, to experience the struggle and pain of orphaned rhinos, whose parents have been killed.  

"When our message is spread by those who see this documentary, people can join us and hopefully wipe out this black market," says Yao.

To play a part in saving elephants and rhinos from possible extinction, make a donation or sign the pledge against purchasing or consuming products made from endangered species at www.DiscoveryChannelAsia.com.

SAVING AFRICA’S GIANTS WITH YAO MING encores on Saturday, November 22 at 6:00 p.m., Sunday, November 23 at 10:00 p.m. and Monday, November 24 at 2:00 p.m.



[1] WildAid | Yao Ming Urges China to ‘Say No To Ivory and Rhino Horn’ With New Film. 2014. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.wildaid.org/news/yao-ming-urges-china-%E2%80%98say-no-ivory-and-rhino-horn%E2%80%99-new-film. [Accessed 24 October 2014].

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Galleon Launch and Groundbreaking Ceremony

SM Lifestyle and Entertainment is offering more than just a mall experience. After the Exploreum, another educational and entertaining facility is going to make a huge waves in the future. The Galleon is a museum which add more options for educational field trips.

The Galleon will soon rise at a former parking lot near IMAX theater at Mall Of Asia. It will also has the same specs(65x65m) like a real galleon during the old trade route( Manila-Acapulco). During the launch, We were also honored by the company of Sen. Edgardo Angara. He regaled us with the stories of history from his native town of Baler. 

According to the senator, Baler was the last stronghold of the Spaniards before they realized that the Spain has turned the Philippines over to the Americans. Another fact the senator mentioned that because of the Galleon, some Filipinos were already OFWs transported to Mexico.

According to the curator, Cavite is known for shipbuilders during that time. The Manila Galleon was responsible for transporting the Lady of Antipolo which is originally from Mexico which is why we have pilgrimages from Mexico. The Galleon was able to bring 33 countries across the three continents more closer. The Galleon was a medium of commerce, trade, banking, diplomacy,etc. Just like my favorite sci-fi series, the Galleon was already doing "Trek" in fairer seas.

The Galleon museum will bring people to be interested in history. It will also proved something that we don't know yet. There are most historical facts that our high school or elementary textbooks haven't written yet. The Galleon will search new findings that time forgot.
The Andalucia. A Spanish Galleon ship.

Who knows what new historical discoveries The Galleon will uncover. Probably, it may require rewriting our textbook curriculum. For more updates on The Galleon, follow this blog or like the L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Ballet Philippines' Cinderella on November 28 at CCP

As part of their Sapphire Season, the longest running dance company Ballet Philippines presents Alice Reyes' Cinderella starting November 28 at CCP Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo. Earlier this year, Ms. Reyes was named National Artist For Dance.

Ms. Alice stressed that despite the title given to her, she is still the same person. She started dancing since 4 years old. She showcases her range of choreography in neo-classical and original classical forms. 

Why should anyone watch this production? Not only that it showcases Ms. Alice's choreography but it also features two guest artist: Ms. Isabel Garacion and Ballet Phils. president Ms. Margie Moran alternates for the the role of the wicked stepmother. Taking note of the word wicked not ugly which is the description of the stepsisters, says Ms. Margie.

Artistic Director of BP Mr. Paul Alexander Morales plays the role of the King. Performing for the major roles are Denise Parungao and Monica Gana alternates for the title role. Richardson Yadao and Jean Marc Cordero alternates for the role of the Prince. Ms. Parungao just won in the recent Ballet Competition.

The production set also costs half a million and there are some special effects applied especially on transformation of Cinderella's dress which will make you ask, how did she do that? After Cinderella, the next production will be Manhid, the Pinoy Superhero musicale. For more updates, follow this blog or like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Coca Cola Sari-Sari Happiness For Christmas

Going to communities and establishing their development is what I do during my younger years as a volunteer. For the Coca-Cola's campaign of Sari-Sari Happiness, it was similar to what I used to do. This campaign empowers women from these selected communities to start their own sari-sari store business.

Coca Cola did not just gave it simultaneously. They selected the right candidates for their capability to handle a sari-sari store. Also, they undergo several months of training from TESDA before they are awarded with certificates and their own sari-sari store.

Just before Christmas, these empowered women are finished with their training and are ready to open for business. But this didn't happen in the Taguig which I covered, but also simultaneously in Batangas, Pampanga, Davao, Bacolod especially in calamity-ravaged Tacloban. More than 100,000 stores are awarded and are called Christmas Hubs.

Truly this is an ideal Christmas gift especially in Tacloban so they can start anew. I can understand that this campaign also needs the cooperation of the local government office. For more updates on the social campaigns of Coca Cola, follow this blog or like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Share Photos The Way You Want With Photo Chat


We Filipinos like to have our photos taken. With the innovation of digital camera phones, social media and wifi connections, the Philippines is now the selfie capital of the world. But in order to share photos, you need a stable connection to a wifi hub or a mobile subscriptions but most can't afford it.


Photo Chat is a new mobile that let's you share your photos even without wifi connection. You can also choose who to share your photos with if you are concerned with privacy or security. Photo Chat partnered with Globe to provide services of P1/day of unlimited use of Photo Chat.

Just like any mobile app, it is also fun. You also get stickers. Even if you are not a Globe subscriber, you can still use Photo Chat via wifi. To download Photo Chat via Google Play, search Paloma Photo Chat. 

Photo Chat was launched exclusively for bloggers last November 10 in Ortigas. For more techie updates, follow this blog or like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook. Do visit the L.E.N.S. blog booth at Glorietta Activity Area this November 23. L.E.N.S. blog is the official media partner of this year's Kiddo-Preneur Xmas Bazaar.

Monday, November 10, 2014

It's A Yo-Ho-Ho Xmas at SM Sucat

The Christmas Season is the longest holiday celebrated in the Philippines. When the last quarter starts, everyone in who celebrates the Nativity in the country is beginning to prepare for the Advent. Public establishments are already preparing for the decorations and SM Malls is no exceptions.

Ever since I can recall, each SM Mall have different theme display for Christmas. It makes us want to bring our families go all over the Metro wherever we can to see the displays they prepared. Most of these displays are sometimes licensed characters like Hello Kitty in SM The Block last year.

In one of the SM Mall Xmas Display launch at SM Sucat, the theme that was revealed is Pirate theme. You can see Santa is manning the helm of a sailing ship than a sled wearing the pirate hat and an eye patch instead of the usual red one we are familiar with.

During the launch, the choir that looks like a merry band of pirates sang some Yuletide tunes to start spreading the Holiday cheer among the passing mall patrons. The display also includes a towering ice mountain standing approximately two floors high beside Santa's ship. The ship display can only accommodate two people at the time including Santa so people should take turns taking photos taken one at a time.

In addition of the celebration, SM highlights their campaign to sell stuffed bears for two hundred a pair. One bear will be donated to less fortunate child and the other will be kept by the buyer as part of the advocacy program of SMCares. You can find these bears in Toy Kingdom or SM department stores.

Watch out for the activities SM Sucat in store for you this season. The Santa Meet-and-Greet started during the launch and will appear on the next dates: Nov, 22, 29, Dec. 6, 13, 20, 21, at the Christmas display at Atrium B.

There will be fireworks display outside the mall on Dec. 6, 13, 20, 21 at Open Parking D starting at 7PM and a Christmas musicale on December 8, 14 and 27 also at Atrium B starting at 5PM. It will surely making our mall visit festive as we do our Christmas rush.

Feel free to get more holiday updates by following this blog or like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

ROEDER CAMANAG REPRISES ROLE OF DON SIMOUN IN “EL FILIBUSTERISMO” FROM NOV. 14 – 28, 2014

Fresh from his critically-acclaimed performance as the sublime paralytic in “Ang Huling Lagda ni Apolinario Mabini,”  ROEDER CAMANAG
shall once again reprise his role in Gantimapala Theater’s EL FILIBUSTERISMO.


            “ EL FILIBUSTERISMO ” --- the novel of national hero Dr. Jose Rizal written by noted playwright Jomar Fleras narrates the return of the protagonist of Noli Me Tangere, Crisostomo Ibarra, under the guise of the wealthy jeweler named Don Simoun.

            The role is being essayed by multi-talented actor Roeder Camañag who is stepping into this role for the 7th time for Gantimpala Theater Foundation. His foray as Don Simoun started in 1998 and then again in 2005, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013. Indeed, Roeder’s celebration of his 27th year as an artist in the entertainment and theater industry is being etched  with very significant roles in the legitimate stage. He also won the 2013 Aliw Awards for  Best Actor (Musical) for “Stageshow” under Tanghalang Pilipino.

            “El Filibusterismo, whose alternate title is The Reign of Greed, is a very dark novel, it was set in a dark time, written during the dark days of the Spanish tyranny, the themes progression is wheeled by an unseen dark force, a force that is so powerful that it controls even the characters trivial actions and choices that often lead to nothing but tragic endings. This unseen and destructive force is greed,” said director Jose Jeffrey Camañag.

            “It is the intention of this production to reconstruct the face of greed as painted by the great Jose Rizal in this novel and to resonate Rizal’s definition of greed as the key evil that chains and enslaves the mind, heart and soul of a society away from the real path toward genuine freedom,” Camañag continues.

            “Through creative staging, powerful visuals, clear storytelling and moving music, we hope to usher and challenge the audience especially the students who will be watching this show as an aid to their curriculum, to look beyond the entertaining value of our production and try to listen to the remarkable messages embedded in Don Simoun’s confessions to Padre Florentino,” states Camañag.


            The artistic team of EL FILIBUSTERISMO include Joel Lamangan (Artistic Director), Jose Jeffrey Camanag (Director), Andy Villareal (Lighting Director), Joey de Guzman (Set Designer), Pauwie Garcia (Production Manager), and Kate Butch Weaver (Stage Manager). 

PLAYDATES:
November  14 & 15 - AFP Theater 9AM/12NN
November  21 & 22 - STAR Theater 9AM/12NN
November  28 - SM Southmall Cinema 3 11AM/2PM


For tickets, call Gantimpala Theater at 998-5622 or 872-0261. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

SCROOGE THE MUSICAL - A JOYOUS CHRISTMAS SPECIAL ALL SET TO OPEN ON NOVEMBER 21

Repertory Philippines release material

Repertory Philippines proudly announces its special holiday treat for the entire family with the new production of SCROOGE THE MUSICAL live on stage.


            SCROOGE THE MUSICAL is set to open on November 21, 2014 at Onstage, 2/F, Greenbelt 1, Paseo de Roxas cor. Legazpi St., Makati City.

            Renowned writer-composer-lyricist Leslie Bricusse has adapted the classic Charles Dickens tale, A Christmas Carol, into the hit musical. SCROOGE THE MUSICAL closely follows the classic story with the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge undergoing a profound experience of redemption over the course of a Christmas Eve night, after being visited by the ghost of his former partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.
           
            Based on the 1970 film musical of the same name, the original production of SCROOGE THE MUSICAL opened in 1992 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. After a series of UK tours, the show opened at the London Palladium in 2005 where stage veteran Tommy Steele took on the leading role. The production continued on tour and was revived again for the 2012-2013 Christmas season at the London Palladium. The musical features all the songs from the film, including the Oscar nominated song ‘Thank You Very Much’, written by Leslie Bricusse.

            The Repertory Philippines’ production of SCROOGE THE MUSICAL will be directed by Ms. Baby Barredo, the company’s artistic director.

The cast of SCROOGE THE MUSICAL and the characters they portray are as follows:

Miguel Faustmann and Chinggoy Alonso will alternately play the role of Ebenezer Scrooge –  a stingy, chilly, cowardly, grumpy and money-hungry businessman. While he is much more benevolent than before his “caroling” experience, he is still uncertain as to the reason behind generosity in general.

            Raul Montesa will play the role of Jacob Marley – the business partner of Scrooge who died seven years ago.

            Cara Barredo plays the role of Ghost of Christmas Past – the first of the spirits foretold by Marley who shows Scrooge his past Christmases.

             Oliver Usison plays the role of Ghost of Christmas Present – the second of the spirits foretold by Marley that shows Scrooge Christmas celebrations in the present time.

            Dwight Angelo Vito Cruz plays the role of  Ghost of Christmas Yet-to-Come – the third spirit foretold by Marley that shows Scrooge Christmases in the Future.

            Chino Veguillas plays the role of Bob Cratchit – Scrooge’s clerk.

            Gabo Tiongson and Soleil Luna Bueno will alternately play the role of
Tiny Tim – the crippled son of the Cratchits who is the beneficiary of physical therapy paid for by Scrooge.

            The other cast  members are Justine Peña as Ethel Cratchit, Ashlee Factor as Kathy,  Arnel Carrion as Young Ebenezer,  Christine Flores as Isabel,  Noel Comia as Ebby (child Ebenezer), Steven Conde as Tom Jenkins,  Alexander Cortez as Mr. Fezziwig and Sheila Francisco as Mrs. Fezziwig. 

            The ensemble is composed of  Andee Achacoso, Khevin Almario,  Rachel Coates, David Shawn Delgado, Daniel Drilon, Natalie Everett, Thea Gloria, Vien Alen King, Bianca Mauricio, Chill Ocampo, Jay Pangilinan, Joshua Ramirez, Albert Silos and Dwight Angelo Vito Cruz.

The artistic team of SCROOGE THE MUSICAL is composed of  Baby Barredo (Director), Natalie Everett (Assistant Director), Onyl Torres (Musical Director),  Jason Zamora (Choreographer),  Miguel Faustmann (Set Designer),  Valeen Vicente (Costume Designer),  John Batalla (Lights Designer) and the Manila String Machine (Orchestra).

            SCROOGE THE MUSICAL runs until December 14, 2014 with shows on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m. and matinee shows on Saturdays and Sundays at 3:30 p.m.

            Come and share the wonder and magic of SCROOGE THE MUSICAL.  We guarantee your heart will be blessed, your toes will be tapping, and you will be humming as you leave the theatre, full of the “Spirit of Christmas (Past, Present, and Future!).”

            For details of the show, you may contact us the following ways:
            By phone      :           843-3570 and 451-1474
            By e-mail       :           shows@repertoryphilippines.com
            By Internet   :           http://www.repertoryphilippines.com

Tickets are available through Ticketworld at 891-9999, or via http://www.ticketworld.com.ph.

Connect to Repertory Philippines online through the following social media networks:
           Facebook      :           www.facebook.com/repertoryphilippines
Twitter           :           www.twitter.com/repphils
Instagram     :           www.instagram.com/repphils
YouTube      :           www.youtube.com/repphils

Repertory Philippines would like to thank the City of Makati, BusinessWorld, Ticketworld, Raintree Restaurants: Mr. Jones, Kabila, MOMO Café and Museum as well as Art Magazine, WhenInManila, Chihuahua Restaurant, Astroplus, AstroVision, Lane Moving and Storage, Greenbelt, and Ayala Malls for their continuing partnerships.

            SCROOGE THE MUSICAL is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.

            See you at the theater!!!