Saturday, January 31, 2015

Global-hotel brand Tune Hotels announces further London expansion

Press release

New Canary Wharf property marks further investment in the capital’s hospitality industry

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 January, 2015. Tune Hotels, pioneers of the hotel industry’s ‘limited service’ model, will celebrate the opening of its fifth London hotel and the seventh in the UK next month.

The 130 room Tune Hotel Canary Wharf will open its doors to the public on 2 February, continuing its strategic focus on London. Shoreditch will be the home of the sixth London hotel in 2016 and details of further openings are currently being finalised, contributing new investment in excess of £40m in the capital.

Located in the heart of London’s financial district – 100m from West India Quay, beside Cannon Workshops on Hertsmere Road – Tune Hotel Canary Wharf is just a short walk from the major banks and financial institutions and is conveniently located for people flying in and out of London City Airport.

As well as serving London’s business community, the latest addition to Tune’s portfolio is ideally placed for the leisure market, with local attractions such as the O2, ExCeL and the Olympic Park on it’s doorstep. And, with a tube journey to Bond Street only taking 20 minutes from Canary Wharf, the hotel provides the perfect accommodation for those wanting to travel into ‘town’, without paying the price of a central London hotel.

The global chain, which already has six hotels in operation across the UK and opened a new hotel in Newcastle in late 2014, recently confirmed an expansion plan equivalent to £200m investment into the UK market. Unveiling plans to open 25 new properties by 2020, the company anticipates this will create significant employment growth in the hospitality sector.

Mark Lankester, Group CEO of Tune Hotels Group, said: “London is where we started in the United Kingdom and remains the heart of our expansion into the regions of the UK. There is no foreseeable saturation point for Tune Hotels in London as the capital offers so many locations where our value for money concept would be welcomed by domestic and international travellers alike, especially by those who are familiar with the concept from staying at our hotels in other countries. For this reason, London will continue to form a crucial part of our overall UK plans for growth.”

Tune Hotels focus on what guests really want, which research shows to be high quality beds, powerful showers, central locations, a clean environment and 24-hour security. Guests only pay for what they actually want and need, helping keep room costs low. Rooms at Tune Hotel Canary Wharf start at just £55 with special promotional rates from as low as £35 available throughout February 2015.

The new Tune Hotel Canary Wharf will feature interior design upgrades providing a unique guest ambience and technology support for the modern traveller including 40” flat screen TV’s.

Details on all Tune Hotels’ UK and worldwide hotels and latest rates, visit or for real-time updates and promotional alerts on all UK hotels, stay connected via Facebook at or on Twitter

Friday, January 30, 2015

UFC Fight Night Manila Presscon exclusive blog coverage

In the ancient of days, the arena is the place for entertainment during the Greco-Roman era. This is where the gladiators fight to the death. In the modern The Arena in SM Mall Of Asia, I was able to watch my first boxing match at the ringside seats. I usually watch boxing matches on TV.
Mr. Edgar Tejerero of SMLI(middle) and Mr. Kenneth Berger of UFC Asia(Right) with Boom Gonzales hosting(left)

Like my first live boxing event experience, The Arena is now holding another of its first: They are bringing UFC in Manila. The Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC for short, is the respected MMA or mix-martial arts organization globally. It is shown all over the television in different regions. I also watch it here on cable TV viewing.

What makes mix-martial arts appealing to me because of playing arcade games like Street Fighter and Tekken. These games shows different martial arts discipline that and competes with each one. Popular culture in movies is also one example. Just like the arcade games I play, UFC has its roots in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in the 1990's when the Gracie Family of Brazil to defeat different martial arts masters in Karate, kick boxing, and even Kung Fu.

UFC hold 40 main fight events yearly and it is fortunate that one of the events will be here in Manila and will be the only UFC event in Asia for this year. UFC General Manager for Asia Mr. Kenneth Berger was here during the presscon last January 30 at the lobby of The Arena and signed a trademark UFC glove with Mr. Edgar Tejerero of SMLI as an agreement that this is going to happen and history is about to happen.

It is not yet clear what are the UFC fight cards yet and the prices for admission is also not yet disclosed but it will be open for purchase by March. UFC Fight Night Manila will be on May 16, 2015 and where else but in The Arena. Follow the L.E.N.S blogs for more updates and availability of tickets sales of the UFC Fight Night Manila.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Mall of Asia Arena Opens 2015 with a Bang!

Seize the opportunity to be entertained in the world-class indoor concert venue with ultramodern features only at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City, Philippines.  Don’t miss out on the chance to experience concerts on the exceptional level with world-standard amenities unique in all of Southeast Asia. 2015 marks a history in the making for MOA Arena as it brings to Filipinos the top music artists of the year in the country! The Mall of Asia Arena is gathering music buffs to enjoy live performances of local award winning musicians of the Philippines as well as the top international artists.

The Philippines was visited by an English band last year and now they’re back for more. The 1975 will perform their first headline show which will be held on January 24, 2015, Saturday at 8pm.

Four-time Grammy award winner and Canadian superstar, Michael Bublé, is returning to Manila as part of his World Tour on January 31st 2015. After 10 years since his last concert in Manila, he is even more excited to be come back and serenade Filipino fans with his much loved, chart-topping songs.

The Vamps: Bradley William, James McVey, Connor Ball, and Tristan Evans will warm your hearts this February with their greatest hits: “Can We Dance”, “Wild Heart”, “Last Night” and a lot more! The Vamps is scheduled to perform on February 1st –Mall of Asia Arena.

Get ready to party this 2015 as GMTV Manila Productions brings you T-PAIN together with KALICO FORTYCAL on a party packed night at the MOA Arena on February 10, 2015.

 Celebrate the day of hearts as four of the country’s biggest acts headline a two-night concert: Mr. Martin Nievera, Ms. Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, Mr. Gary Valenciano and Ms. Lani Misalucha are performing live this valentine season on February 13 and 14, 2015 for the ULTIMATE valentine concert.

The crooner and multi-awarded singer and songwriter Ed Sheeran will melt the hearts of Filipino fans for his first concert on March 12, Thursday here in Manila. He will be performing his singles from his latest album X which debuted number 1 in the Billboard 200.

The renowned American rock band Incubus: Brandon Boyd, Mike Einziger, Jose Pasillas, Ben Kenney, and DJ Kilmore will definitely astound MOA Arena as they perform on March 13, Friday at 8pm.

The international pop sensation One Direction will make the teenagers’ wish come true on their first ever concert on March 21 and 22 in SM Mall of Asia Grounds. Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson and get swoon over the world’s prominent boy band of this generation.

The Irish pop rock band, The Script returns to Manila on April 17, 2015 to perform in Mall of Asia Arena. Chart-topping songs from their latest album No Sound Without Silence will be performed by Danny O’Donoghue (vocals / piano), Mark Sheehan (vocals, guitar), and Glen Power (vocals, drums).

American pop superstar, Demi Lovato returns to Manila as part of her Demi World Tour. Get ready to party the night away on April 30, 2015 at the Mall of Asia Arena.

Grammy-nominated artist Sam Smith is set to perform his first concert in the country on May 10, Sunday in MOA Arena. He will be performing songs from his six-time Grammy nominated debut album In The Lonely Hour.

For the first time ever, America’s Biggest Family Entertainment Spectacular is coming to Manila! Brace yourselves as Monster Jam invade the Mall of Asia Arena this coming June 20-21, 2015!

The internationally and locally awarded venue, Mall of Asia Arena, houses the biggest talents to invade the Philippines!  Witness all the great performances by world-renowned and sensational acts this 2015. Mark your calendars now and don’t forget to share this wondrous moment with your family and friends.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On The Way To Their Dream Wedding

Press release

Colgate Optic White’s Dream Wedding Challenge winner, Precious Pasia and fiancée Aljoe are one step closer to their big day.

Photo courtesy of Pat Dy
Precious Pasia, winner of the Colgate Optic White Dream Wedding Challenge, and husband-to-be Aljoe during their prenup shoot at Alpadi Estates, Antipolo, with one of the most sought after wedding photographers, Pat Dy.

Every bride dreams of having the perfect wedding. From choosing the right location, to the impeccable white dress, most brides have a list of non-negotiables for their big day. For some, no wedding is complete without a pre-nup shoot and video coverage from the country’s hottest photographer and videographer –Pat Dy and Jason Magbanua.

“I’ve taken hundreds and thousands of photographs, and it’s really the perfect white smile that makes all the difference,” Pat shares.

Last year, Colgate Optic White launched their Dream Wedding Challenge, giving brides-to-be the opportunity to shoot with both Dy and Magbanua by simply uploading a short video of their absolute worst wedding woe. After numerous entries from future brides all over the metro, Precious Pasia was awarded the ultimate grand prize –a chance to work with “Dream Team” Pat Dy and Jason Magbanua.

Captured by Pat Dy, this shot makes Colgate Optic White Dream Wedding winner Precious Pasia and fiancé Aljoe look like they came out of a movie.

With her wedding day fast approaching, Precious and fiancé Aljoe crossed one thing off their wedding bucket-list, by claiming ½ of their prize, a pre-nup shoot with Pat Dy. “We had an amazing time shooting with Pat. Working with him was a joy. He was abundantly knowledgeable, very accommodating, and extremely creative. This combination of traits made the experience unforgettable,” she shares.

Having gone through all wedding preparations, Precious has one less thing to worry about and is  one step closer towards having her dream wedding – Walking down the aisle towards her groom, flashing her perfect white smile. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Press release

- Featuring Zac Efron, Ben Stiller, Channing Tatum, Tom Arnold, Deion Sanders
and Tamron Hall -

- Vote for your favourite celebrity and catch the highest-voted episode during a special Valentine’s Day preview -
Photo courtesy of Discovery
Private jets, after parties, sparkling swag bags and a coterie of personal assistants, publicists, agents and managers. Why would anyone trade this for two days of roughing it in the wilderness? In RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS, the famed adventurer and survivalist will take six celebrities into wild and remote locations for a journey of a lifetime. RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS premieres every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., starting February 17. Discovery Channel is available nationwide in the Philippines on every major cable, DTH, and local provincial operators.

The celebrities who will be teamed up with Bear in their own stand-alone episodes are Zac Efron, Ben Stiller, Channing Tatum, Tom Arnold, NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, and anchor Tamron Hall. They will each take on the challenge of surviving the wild in an action-packed 48-hour adventure with Bear. Together, they will endure the harsh wilderness and run a high-stakes gauntlet of mental and physical obstacles, with a reward of spiritual renewal waiting at each remote extraction point. From skydiving into the Catskill Mountains, to rappelling down the cliffs of Utah, to battling torrential wind and rain in Scotland, Bear and each of them will have to push both their minds and bodies to the limit.

Join Bear and the celebrities as they step out of their comfort zones and embark on their individual high-octane, action-filled empowering journeys on each hour-long episode.

Catch a sneak preview of the series with a special airing of one of the episodes. Which one? You can help decide! Who would you like to spend Valentine’s Day with (on television, that is)? Vote for your favourite celebrity from RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS and Discovery Channel will air the highest-voted episode as a Valentine’s Day preview on Saturday, February 14 at 9:00 p.m. Voting is from January 30 through February 8, on

RUNNING WILD WITH BEAR GRYLLS encores every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m., Saturday at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday at 9:00 p.m. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

PETA's Haring Lear at School of Design and Arts Dela Salle College of St. Benilde

In partnership with
School of Design and Arts Dela Salle College of St. Benilde


Bienvenido Lumbera’s Adaptation of Shakespear’s King Lear

The play is set in a post nuclear landscape that highlights the dramatic descent of a king into madness. As he is plunged into the world of anarchy, the themes of vision and blindness are explored masterfully by Shakespeare in this drama of purgation. Lear becomes mad at the same moment when he gains a vision of the cruelty of the world and the evil nature of his daughters. He discovers the real meaning of loyalty, love, and fidelity in his servants and his youngest daughter, Cordelia, whom he banished

ABNER DELINA JR Cordelia/Lakayo
ROI CALILONG Hari ng Francia
JEFF HERNANDEZ Duke ng Cornualles
JASON BARCIAL Duke ng Burgonia.

DIRECTION: Nonon Padilla

LIGHTING DESIGN: Jonjon Villareal

MUSIC: Dodjie Fernandez


PLAYDATES: Fridays / February 27, March 6, 2015 / 7:30 pm
Saturdays / February 28, March 7, 2015 / 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Sundays / March 1, 8, 2015 / 2:00 pm

VENUE: School of Design and Arts (SDA) Theater
Dela Salle College of St. Benilde
P.Ocampo (formerly Vito Cruz) St Malate Manila


Regular Prices: 1000, 800
Student Prices: 500, 400

20% discount on the regular price for senior citizens
and PWD (persons with disability)
**please present valid ID

Gala Night (Celebrity Night) – February 27 at 7:30pm
Regular Prices: 1,500, 1,000
Student Prices: 750, 500

20% discount on the regular price for senior citizens
and PWD (persons with disability)
**please present valid ID

* Special performances also available upon special arrangement

PERFORMANCE: Approximately two hours and 15 minutes

For ticket reservations, showbuying,sponsorship,and other inquiries, pls contact:

Marketing Director
Mobile: 0917-750-0107, 0918-959-3949
Wireless: 218-3791


Photography by Jojit Lorenzo
Poster Design by Aira Go

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Press release

Billy Brown, his wife Ami and their seven grown children live deep in the Alaskan wilderness – so far removed from civilisation that they often go six to nine months of the year without seeing an outsider. The children – five boys and two girls – were born and raised in the wild. The Browns have developed their own accent and dialect, refer to themselves as a “wolf pack” and at night, all nine sleep together in a one-room cabin. Simply put, they are unlike any other family in America. How do they survive in such isolation? And why do they choose to live this way? Step into their lives and hear their intriguing story on ALASKAN BUSH PEOPLE, premiering every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m., from February 10 on Discovery Channel.

According to the Browns, recently, the cabin where they lived for years was seized and burned to the ground for being in the wrong location on public land. They were devastated, but instead of giving up and moving back to society, they decided to go deeper into the wilderness to continue their way of life. Their new land is located in the Copper River Valley, where temperatures can drop to -50 oC. As winter gets closer, it's a race against the clock – the Browns must work together to build a new cabin that will protect them from the harsh Alaskan environment, but the falling temperatures and dwindling daylight make it harder and harder. They'll use what the land provides to construct their small home and will also have to contend with other rogue bush people. It'll be tough, but having lived this way for decades, the family wouldn't have it any other way.

“Our family is doing what is natural for human beings to do. We survive on what we hunt, fish, trap and barter for,” Billy says. “If you think about it, it’s the life we were meant to live.” The rest of the family shares his outlook. Here’s what they have to say about their lifestyle:
     Ami – “We figured out we didn’t need modern society… we could live off the ocean and the forest.”
     Matt (aged 31) – “People are always saying we have some kind of accent.  I don’t know where it comes from. I guess it’s from all the different people that live here in Alaska.”
     Bam Bam (aged 29) – “You go through the forest and then into the wilderness, and you just keep on going; when you think you can’t go any farther and you’ve come to the very end of the wilderness, that’s where the bush starts, and that’s where nobody else ever goes.”
     Bear (aged 26) – “Our family is a lot like a wolf pack or a clan ‘cause we stick together.  We’re like the three musketeers, actually.  It’s all for one and one for all.”
     Gabe (aged 24) – “It’s not like we’re backwards or cavemen even though our lifestyle can be quite primitive.”
     Noah aged (21) – “We’re all homeschooled, and even though we’re in the middle of nowhere, we do get bits and pieces of the culture from the lower 48.”
     Snowbird (aged 19) – “Girl time is different in the bush.  We don’t just do our nails and play with dolls.  We like to hunt, and we like to fish…”
     Rainy (aged 11) – “My name is Merry Christmas Catherine Raindrop Brown, and people call me Rainy.”

This “simple life” of the Brown family is far from simple. But it is what they know and love. Tune in and see how they live and thrive on ALASKAN BUSH PEOPLE.

Encores every Wednesday at 1:00 p.m., Friday at 11:00 p.m., Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and Sunday at 6:00 p.m. 

Friday, January 23, 2015


Tanghalang Ateneo, the longest-running theater company of the Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University is celebrating its 36th season for the school year 2014-2015.

            Growing from a fledgling band of student players to one of the country’s leading school-based theater companies, Tanghalang Ateneo proudly announces its 36th season line-up of three productions with the theme “Navigating Identities” revolving around man's need to define himself and his significance in the world.

            The productions are as follows:

written by Han Ong
translation by Ronan B. Capinding
direction by Ed Lacson Jr.
August 1-2, 5-9, 12-16, 19-22, 2014
Venue: Ateneo's Fine Arts Black Box Theater

MIDDLE FINGER is an adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s modern classic “Spring Awakening.” Set in the U.S., the play centers on four young Filipino-American high school students who seek their identities in a world dominated by the repressive authority of adults. This play was first produced by Tanghalang Ateneo in 2007.

written by Glenn Sevilla Mas
an adaptation of Ma. Milagros Geremia-Lachica’s
“Sa Pagtubu kung Tahud / Upon the Growing of the Spur”
direction by Ronan B. Capinding
November 27 - December 13, 2014
Venue: Ateneo's Rizal Mini Theater

RITE OF PASSAGE is a Carlos Palanca-winning full-length play about a young man from the Visayas who wants to escape the monotony of rural life and seeks guidance in navigating his teenage years but finds none from his family. The young man is overwhelmed by the fact that no one understands him as he navigates his way through life on his own. The play was first produced by Tanghalang Pilipino for the Virgin Labfest, the Cultural Center of the Philippines' annual festival of new plays in 2005.

written by Samuel Beckett
translation by Rolando S. Tinio
direction by JK Anicoche
February 5 - 21, 2015
Venue: Ateneo's Fine Arts Black Box Theater

WAITING FOR GODOT / PAGHIHINTAY KAY GODOT  is a Nobel Prize winner for Literature. A classic absurd play, this will be staged in both English and Filipino. The play, translated into the national language by National Artist for Theater and Literature Rolando S. Tinio, is about two characters Vladimir and Estragon who go through the motions of patiently waiting for the arrival of a mysterious Godot.

            Glenn Sevilla Mas, a well-respected playwright and noted Carlos Palanca winner is at present the artistic director of Tanghalang Ateneo.
He also teaches various subjects in theater at the Ateneo de Manila University.  

            The officers of Tanghalang Ateneo (SY 2014-15) are as follows: Jose Antionio I. Caluag (Company Manager), Hershee D. Tantiado (Finance Officer), Rachelle Ann L. Go (Marketing), Ma. Julienne Ella S. Bautista (Publicity Coordinator), Joe-Nel C. Garcia (Secretary General), Angelique Louis S. Basa (Special Projects Officer) and Dane Larieze L. Chua (Theater Manager).

            For details of the show, please contact Acel Go at 0905-492-5988 or email:

            Connect to Tanghalang Ateneo online through the following social media networks:


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Manhid: The Pinoy Superhero Musical revived by Ballet Phils.

Instead of the usual write up, I will list the reasons why should I watch Ballet Philippines' production of Manhid: The Pinoy Superhero musical this February 2015 and I will just add more details in the end.

Why should I watch Ballet Philippines Manhid:

-I was still in high school when it was first staged in U.P. back in 1991.

-I am a fan of comic books and I also collect.

-Even if I am not a comic book fan, I will still watch this.

-I also appreciate theatrical productions.

-Manhid's original music was from Eraserheads.

-This time, the music will be played by Radioactive Sago.

-For me, Manhid's story is like a hybrid of X-Men, Alan Moore's Watchmen and the TV series Heroes with a mix of alternate history like in Harry Turtledove's paperback novels in context of Philippine setting.

-The names of the characters are pre-colonial and from our local folklore like Lam-Ang.

End of list.

The story is set in an alternate world where the EDSA uprising didn't succeed but it also dawned the age of the super-powered beings or meta-humans. Bantugan, one of the meta-humans gifted with the ability to see visions and can communicate with other meta-humans through dreams, is being drawn in conflict between two factions of super-powered beings.

According to Mr. Paul Alexander Morales, director of Manhid and one of the original cast in UP; there will also be multi-media and visual effects that was not used back in '91 because it was a student production. But this low-budgeted production became the talk of the town.

Also a comic book fan, Mr. Morales emphasized that it was created by Kankan Balintagos when the comic book fandom is on its hype. It was also that time when I started collecting current comic book titles.

Just like in the X-men and Heroes, you are not sure who are the good guys or bad. The story also gives a paradign shift using popular culture like superheroes. It just so happens that that we are celebrating the 29th year of EDSA uprising but most Filipinos especially this generation is not aware why it happened. This also bring paradign shift for us to teach this generation the effects of the historical event and relived its legacy. I was still in elementary school when it happened but I was already being taught its significance.

Manhid will be staged in CCP Nicanor Abelardo Hall starting February 20, 2015. For more updates about Manhid and BP productions, follow this blog or like L.E.N.S. blogs of Facebook.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


- The one-hour special to premiere on January 25 in over 220 countries, exclusively on Discovery Channel -

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, Discovery Channel presents ONE DAY IN AUSCHWITZ, which follows one woman’s poignant return to Auschwitz-Birkenau 70 years after her liberation. The one-hour original production will air globally in over 220 countries on Sunday, January 25, exclusively on Discovery Channel, with its Philippines premiere at 9:00 p.m. nationwide on every major cable, DTH and local provincial operator.
Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel
ONE DAY IN AUSCHWITZ features the story of Polish-English Holocaust survivor Kitty Hart-Moxon, who was only 16 years old when she was sent to the notorious German-Nazi concentration and extermination camp with her mother. Kitty and her mother miraculously survived for two years in a place where the average lifespan was less than three months due to starvation, thirst, disease and hard labour. Now 89, Kitty makes an emotional journey back to her former prison with Natalia and Lydia, two students the same age as she was when she was interned there, to share her eyewitness experience. As a mentor to the girls, Kitty demonstrates that even in the face of the most dire straits, it is possible to keep going one day at a time to retain one’s humanity and to survive against the most desperate odds.

ONE DAY IN AUSCHWITZ has been produced in partnership with the University of Southern California’s (USC) Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education, established by Academy Award®-winning director Steven Spielberg.

ONE DAY IN AUSCHWITZ shares a firsthand account of an important historical lesson, which is critical for us to preserve for future generations, as we lose more survivors and witnesses with each passing day,” said David Zaslav, President and Chief Executive Officer, Discovery Communications. “We are honoured to share Kitty’s story of inspiration, courage and hope, and proud to work with Steven Spielberg and his USC Shoah Foundation to broadcast this special to our global audience.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Ecumenical Event During Papal Visit: Part Two of my Theological Reflection

This will serve as my post-papal visit reflection or part two of my theological reflection I posted the other day. If there is one thing that this papal visit was able to accomplish in this country was that it gathered religious leaders from different religious affiliations in this country at University of Santo Tomas last Sunday.

It seems good to be true that this event happened because even in our country, there are still tensions that are religious in nature. If the message of Jamie Rivera's song We Are All God's Children is clear, then all who recognizes God will understand that religion does not matter but faith since we are all worshiping the same God. No one can can say that their religion is true because religion is human-made. Show me any text from the Bible, Koran, Torah or any ancient religious text that mentioned the word religion.

The reason why I am saying this because a high school classmate of mine, a Roman Catholic, declared to me that their church was the only religion. I argued, Jesus Christ does not preached about religion and he is a Jew.

But this event happened and Pope Francis was able to meet with an Imam(Islamic leader), a Hindu spiritual leader, a Buddhist monk. I only saw it on the news but I am not sure if a rabbi(Jewish teacher), a Protestant pastor  or other religious sectors were present. There are many Protestant denominations in the country but not all are ecumenical.

History proves that religion can also be a primary cause in tension and wars. The Crusades, the Inquisition, the Holocaust,etc. are among the many examples of religious wars and persecution. There are also racial persecutions and terrorism that are religious in nature.

Pope Francis delivered a very good message last Sunday. But will it fall on deaf's ears. When the Pope Francis fever subsides, will the message subsides too few month from now.  In my opinion, I never saw any change during the last visit in 1995 by the late Pope John Paul II; who is now a saint. Forgive me for being skeptical that change will not occur to most but maybe to some and the Philippines will be just the same until the next papal visit. I am a realist. I only wish my opinions were wrong. My opinions may be critical but it will be a challenge to all of us.

Sunday, January 18, 2015


Press release

Manila, Philippines - Nissan Philippines, Inc. (NPI) recently donated P110,000, gathered from different Nissan dealerships nationwide, to support the daily needs of the residents and the maintenance of facilities of San Lorenzo Ruiz Home for the Elderly, an organization operated by the Little Sisters of the Poor. The donation was handed by Mr. Antonio Zara, President and Managing Director of NPI and was received by Sr. Cecilia Emmanuel, OIC of outreach activity and donation accounts.

This initiative took place as a form of an outreach activity participated by NPI employees whose birthdates fall on the last quarter of the year.

According to Zara, "When we started our operations in the Philippines, as the sole national sales company of the Nissan brand, our mission was not just to grow the business; we also wanted to participate in nation-building. Reaching out to San Lorenzo Ruiz community is a great start as we move towards solidifying our efforts to help more individuals, communities, and institutions."

Since it has started its operations, NPI has launched two global sedans namely the Sylphy and Altima early in 2014. This was followed up by the highly anticipated and award-winning X-Trail which was launched in September.

"Just like our products, we to wanted give the San Lorenzo community the feeling of security and comfort," added Zara.

The San Lorenzo Ruiz Home for the Elderly started on December 17, 2005 and now accommodates 42 residents.

Zara also added that they will still continue to support the institution in the coming years.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Theological Reflection on the Papal Visit in the Phils.

When I first started this blog, I was still studying in the seminary. It started as my reflection of my experiences before it was commercialized, Five years later, I am going to theologize about the Papal visit.

Just a background, I am baptized as a Protestant but I was also baptized secretly as Catholic later which is why my mother was wondering why was it allowed without her consent. Even though I was raised as a Protestant, I was told that once I was baptized as a Catholic, I am automatically a citizen of the Vatican as any Roman Catholic.

During my year at the seminary, I was told that the late Pope John Paul II was an ecumenical pope. When John Paul II died, we thought there will be no pope like him that is willing to break barriers. And then Ratzinger resigned and for the first time, the new Pope was not from Europe. Pope Francis is a native of Argentina. Just like the Philippines, his native Argentina is also a former colony of Spain.

Just like John Paul II, Francis I also breaks barriers. He was able to accept gay people as fellow believers as long as they are not doing anything sinful. He is also open to reproductive health which is his cardinals are opposed to as well as the local bishops here.

In preparation of his arrival and his papal visit, I was able to see how Pinoys are preparing for the event, One of the news broadcast features a house that was repainted because the baranggay funded it because they are aware that the Pope's motorcade will pass there. When the owner was interviewed, a grandmother, told the reporter that they are doing this because the Pope is second to God. I find this Biblically wrong. According to general Christian faith, the Church is second to Christ since he called the Church the Bride. The Catholic Church should orient their believers more like how we Protestants do in Sunday School. But I prefer the world as second to God since majority of the people believes in God.

As a Protestant, I still have respect for the Pope as a head of state, Besides, protestants during the Reformation never intended to break away from the Universal Church which was the Roman Catholic Church. They were excommunicated and even executed by the Inquisition.

But that is history. Back to the main event, I am not surprised how people prepared for this. Even though according to the owners of the commercial establishments complained that 5 days is too long but they have to comply since it is for the Pope and the government already made it a holiday. It did affect the public transportation even our LRT. Some of the stations are affected and people have a hard time going home. On Day 2, the mobile networks were down the whole morning in the Metro Manila area especially in Manila and Pasay. I already knew that it was intentionally planned during the papal convoy.

But again, it is not about religion. It is about mercy and compassion as the current Pope is emphasizing. Today, there is an Encounter With Filipino Families at The Arena in Mall Of Asia. I just hope that Reproductive Health will also be addressed by the Pope in the event. But I am glad that the Pope emphasized to the leaders to reject corruption. Hope it does not fall on deaf ears even though I am doubtful. Follow this blog for more theological reflections or like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Friday, January 16, 2015


Press release

Discovery Channel's ambitious gold miners are at it again and the stakes have never been higher. Who's in and who's out? In season five of GOLD RUSH, everything has changed – new miners, new claims, and new tools, technologies and methods to get gold out of the ground. Will big risks lead to even bigger pay outs? GOLD RUSH 5 premieres on Discovery Channel every Monday at 8:00 p.m., kicking off with a two-hour special on January 26. Encores every Thursday at 11:00 p.m., Saturday at 5:00 p.m. and Sunday at 10:00 p.m.
Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel
Returning this season is 20-year-old Parker Schnabel who proved himself in his rookie season mining the Klondike - raking in over 1,000 ounces of gold worth USD1.4 million dollars. Parker is taking off his "training wheels" this year, setting an unprecedented goal of 2,000 ounces worth more than USD2.5 million dollars - double his take from last season. Parker re-invests every last cent in a mad scramble to get to good gold, asks more of his crew than ever before and manages to steal one of rival gold miner Todd Hoffman's top mechanics. If Parker can hit his lofty goal, he could be on his way to becoming a Klondike legend. Otherwise, it will become clear that his first season was simply a stroke of good luck.

Last season, Todd Hoffman rolled the dice and fell flat on his face. He hit rock bottom after braving the jungles of Guyana, South America, in an attempt to make a fortune along with his father Jack, Dave Turin, Jim Thurber and the rest of the Hoffman crew. This year, Todd is back at square one. His right hand man, Dave, has had enough, deserting Todd to mine with legends Freddie and Derek Dodge. Not only has Todd lost his land, most of his money, his crew, but worst of all, he has lost his dignity. His dream of mining in the jungle nearly destroyed him, but will he be able to rise from the ashes and turn things around? Or will this be the season that Todd throws in the towel? One thing is for certain - Todd will not go down without a fight.

Meanwhile, Tony Beets and his crew dive in full-time to take on the unthinkable. Tony, known throughout the Klondike as "The Viking," buys a million-dollar 75-year-old floating gold dredge. But to resurrect the gold-catching monster, he needs to take it apart piece by piece. The 210-foot (over 64 metres) dredge has not been used in over 30 years and is a risky proposition. Can The Viking resurrect the machine capable of pulling millions out of the ground or will he be left with 1,000 metal pieces of junk?

Catch more gold than ever seen before, as well as shocking twists and turns in the all-new season of GOLD RUSH

Thursday, January 15, 2015


ABS-CBN release

ABS-CBN will introduce to viewers four women who will depict the different faces of love this Monday (January 19) as it airs its newest afternoon drama series “Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita” starring Denise Laurel, Jane Oineza, Loisa Andalio, and Vina Morales.

After being abandoned by her father at such a young age, Cecilia (Vina) vowed to do everything to finish her studies and see her family whole again someday. Despite all the pain she endured, Cecilia eventually finds the love through Leandro (Christian Vasquez).

What will Cecilia do when she begins to experience the pains of her past all over again? How will her daughters make her even stronger when her family faces a big challenge? Will love be able to erase all the anger and bitterness in Cecilia’s heart?

Completing the cast of “Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita” are Jerome Ponce, Joshua Garcia, and Aleck Bovick. Also joining the cast are Arron Villaflor are Sue Ramirez for their special participation. It is directed by Jeffrey Jeturian and Mervyn Brondial.

“Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita” is based on the ‘80s movie written by multi-awarded screenwriter Ricky Lee

Don’t miss the beginning of the newest teleserye that will show the different faces of love, “Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita” this Monday, after “Flordeliza” on ABS-CBN’s Kapamilya Gold. For more information about “Nasaan Ka Nang Kailangan Kita,” log on, or follow @abscbndotcom on Twitter.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


PR 1142015

immediate release

- Each episode is a unique adventure into a fishing subculture, where a crazy idea turns into a working technique for hauling in the catch -
Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel

OFF THE HOOK: EXTREME CATCHES  follows “Showtime” Eric Young as he travels across North America to learn about some of the most extreme fishing techniques some people have come up with to land the big one, including using pantyhose to catch sharks in the Atlantic Ocean and launching live bait with fire extinguishers on Lake Michigan! This season, he’s on the hunt for even larger fish, stranger characters, and bigger challenges. From tarpon fishing on stand-up kayaks and underwater spearfishing for toxic lionfish, to slingshot bait fishing for sturgeon and a massive ice fishing festival on a frozen lake, you can be sure Showtime Eric Young will dive right in. Starting January 15, two episodes of OFF THE HOOK: EXTREME CATCHES  premiere back-to-back every Thursday at 9:00 p.m.

This season on OFF THE HOOK: EXTREME CATCHES, Eric’s quest is taking him to even more extreme environments. In Alaska, he will join a hardened crew of cod fishermen on the dangerous Bering Sea and snowmobile to remote lakes to ice fish for invasive northern pike and free-diving for smallmouth bass under the winter ice. On the tropical side, Eric will be spear fishing and dodging sharks in the wide-open Atlantic Ocean off Puerto Rico. We’ll also see him returning to Florida and Texas to try new challenges, like hunting alligators and hand-lining a 300-pound goliath grouper.

It’s not just the catch and environments that are extreme – on each trip, Eric will meet and fish with some of the most unusual characters in the fishing world. Guys like Awesome John and Gary “The Toad”, extreme surfcasters who brave heavy waves in Montauk, New York, for striped bass and bluefish; and Rattlin’ Randy, a Texas sling-bow fisherman with a huge arsenal of weapons for hunting and catching fish at night.

For Eric, it’s all about achieving that adrenaline rush – so he’s going to continue putting himself on the line, all for the sake of the catch. These adventures are not just on the edge, they’re OFF THE HOOK!

Encores every Friday at 2:00 p.m., Saturday at 7:00 p.m and Sunday at 10:00 a.m.