Tuesday, June 30, 2015



            Red Turnip Theater is back for another season! Their splashy debut season gave us the much talked about hits CLOSER and COCK, which was followed up with the critically-acclaimed sophomore season of RABBIT HOLE and last February’s TIME STANDS STILL. All four productions have gone on to reap multiple awards and nominations from the Aliw and BroadwayWorld Philippine Awards, with COCK topping critics’ lists as the Best Play of 2014.  True to form, this band of 5 actors (Ana Abad Santos, Topper Fabregas, Jenny Jamora, Cris Villonco, Rem Zamora) promises to push the envelope further as they show another facet to Red Turnip this year.

            Opening the Third Season is 33 VARIATIONS by Mois├ęs Kaufman.

            33 VARIATIONS tells the story of a renowned musicologist, Katherine Brandt, who is on a mission to discover why Beethoven composed the Diabelli variations, considered as one of his greatest masterpieces. Her daughter, Clara, is on a mission to find her place in her mother's world. Together, they maneuver through Beethoven's colorful life, their own challenging relationship, and somehow find their answers within his music. Shifting between periods and places, 33 VARIATIONS is the story of mothers and daughters and the legacies we long to leave behind.

            33 VARIATIONS made its Broadway premiere in 2009, famously marking Jane Fonda’s return to the theater after a 46-year absence in the role of Katherine. It went on to garner several Tony Award nominations, including Best Play and Best Actress for Fonda. It had previously won the Edgerton New American Play Award in 2007 and the Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association Best New Play Award in 2008.

            Leading the Manila cast are theater icons Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino and Teroy Guzman. Fresh off her heralded turns in Tanghalang Pilipino’s “Juego de Peligro” and the CinemaOne Original indie “Lorna”, Shamaine steps into the role of Katherine. This is sure to add to her list of memorable performances that already include Queen Elizabeth (“Mary Stuart”), Elizabeth Proctor (“The Crucible”), Masha (“Three Sisters”) and Jocasta (“Oedipus Rex”) just to name a few. 

            Teroy Guzman plays Ludwig Van Beethoven. He is most recently known for his King Lear in the PETA adaptation “Haring Lear”, Tiyoy Berning in Tanghalang Ateneo’s “Rite of Passage” and the title role in Anton Juan’s “Screen: Macbeth”. Notorious for shying away from the spotlight, Red Turnip is glad to give Guzman center stage in his return to the contemporary drama.

            Theater stalwarts Paolo O’ Hara, Rem Zamora and Roselyn Perez make up the supporting cast. O’Hara (“Hedda Gabler”, “Titus Andronicus”, “Tatlong Mariya”) and Zamora (“The 39 Steps”, “Skin Deep”, “Glorious”), complete the Beethoven flashback scenes as Anton Diabelli and Anton Schindler respectively. Perez (“Equus”, “Frozen”, “The Normal Heart”) is Gertrude Ladenburger, Katherine’s stern and loyal confidante.

            Rounding out the cast are fresh faces Ina Fabregas and Franco Chan. Fabregas is Clara, Katherine’s estranged daughter who slowly starts to fall in love with her mother’s male nurse, Mike Clark, played by Chan.

            33 VARIATIONS also marks Red Turnip’s first show to incorporate live music: critical moments in the play are underscored by the Diabelli Variations themselves, played live and on stage by Ejay Yatco (“Sa Wakas”, “Dani Girl”, “The Boy in the Bathroom”). Although he is mostly known as a composer and musical director, the 24 year-old has also competed at the 2013 World Championship of Performing Arts under the Classical Piano category, where he made it to the final 3 instrumentalists of the world and took home one gold and three silver medals. Yatco will be playing the Variations on a baby grand piano, provided by LYRIC.

            Jenny Jamora makes her directorial debut.
“We had decided on this show almost two years ago, we knew it was what we had wanted to open the Third Season with. This play has been simmering in my head since then. ’33 Variations’ is such an elegant, intricate piece of work and I am excited by the challenge of bringing it to life. I’ve also surrounded myself with a powerhouse cast and a young, energetic production team. I cannot wait for everyone to see what they’ve all brought to the table.  It’s going to be unlike anything you’ve seen from Red Turnip so far.”

            33 VARIATIONS opens July 24 and runs weekends until August 23 at Whitespace, Makati.


Tickets are available through TicketWorld (891-9999 or www.ticketworld.com.ph) or Red Turnip Theater (redturniptheater@gmail.com or https://www.facebook.com/RedTurnipTheater)

Lighting Design / Technical Direction: John Batalla
Set Design: Ed Lacson, Jr.
Costume Design: Raven Ong
Sound Design: Teresa Barrozo
Choreography: PJ Rebullida
Dramaturgy: Mahar Mangahas

33 VARIATIONS is presented in cooperation with Whitespace, Lyric, FILA, and PLDT.

Sunday, June 21, 2015


Press release

MICKLE joins this year’s Electronic Music Expo and Convention (EMEX) to be held at the SMX Center of SM Aura in Taguig City from June 19 – 21, 2015.

A new name in the market, MICKLE is a brand of dependable and reliable sound mixers that is priced reasonably lower when compared to other known brands now available in the market locally.  Solely distributed in the Philippines by Panvin International, MICKLE’s aim is give quality electronic sound mixers without making a hole in your pocket.  From simple sound mixer set-up - 2 to 4 channels (starters) to 18 channels set-up (mid-level), MICKLE has a unit for your need. 

Introducing into this event is his professional mixer board which is comparable to the one being used in big concerts or dance parties. The professional board set-up has a minimum of 22 channels and increases in features as you go up with your channel needs.

When asked about their expectations in joining this event: “MICKLE is a good and reliable brand.  True that there are other companies providing the same thing but we are not afraid to go head-to-head with them because we (Panvin International) believe in what it can offer”, as stated by Mr. Rahul Daryani, Panvin International.

The Electronic Music Expo and Convention is a yearly event where different sound suppliers are placed in one spot and showcase what they can offer to the buying public.  Known and newcomers in the market of electronic sound equipments are presented to the scrutiny of the dynamic attendees.  This year it is to be held at the SMX Center of SM Aura in Taguig City.  From June 19 till the 21st, SMX Center will open its doors to those who wish to know what is new and latest in the world of electronic sound business.

  “Joining this event will open doors for us and make MICKLE the new word of mouth when it comes to professional sound mixer needs.  We are good in our word and equipment!  Trust us when we say, having the best sound mixer doesn’t have to put you at the negative budget-wise”, says Rahul. 

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Sitting In at Raffles Design Institute

It's been a while since I was inside a class and I mean years. I never thought that in my age, I am going to attend one. But the reason why I agreed to attend because it is a photography session and it's relevant to blogging.
Mr. Sven Pfrommer

Mr. Sven Pfrommer is one of the instructors at Raffles Design Institute who teaches photography. After orienting us about the course description, he proceeded with the photography workshop. Although I have an understanding in the subject because I started old school photography, I still need to adjust to different digital cameras since there are different types of operating system running the camera's menu.

I am used to film cameras that wind up the film when the exposure occurs. I always have control over the opening and shutter speed. After the workshop, we applied it by testing our shots with LED lights as subject at a slow shutter speed. This gave me an idea for action sequences that I can try for the Monster Jam the next day.

Now, I have an idea how Raffles Design Institute is serious about educating. Though the tuition is not cheaper than a regular college, there are advantages to it. The ratio per class is less than a handful. The maximum of student per class is 6. This way, you will be given full attention and mentored properly.

They eliminated the minor subjects that are irrelevant to the course but more on the practical subjects. Besides, you don't need units of Physical Education for a fashion institution. The best part here is that you can finish it in three years. If you look at the photo, the room is equipped with projector and mannequins needed for the students of fashion.

Lastly, Raffles Design Institution is widely connected internationally. They have many schools in different countries in case you will continue studying elsewhere that has a Raffles Institute. I think an institution like Raffles has more educational substance than any traditional schooling. We need more schools like these since there are collegiate studies that does not teach you how to work in the real world and not just theoretical studies. I didn't say we don't need traditional schooling but it will compliment the educational system in a macro level.

Raffles Design Institute offers courses in Business, Fashion Design, Visual Communication and Interior Design. They are located along Metropolitan avenue in Makati. Just a few blocks after the police station if you are coming from Ayala-Buendia intersection. For more lifestyle features, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Press release

Every day, twenty million people all over the world pass through airports. In fact, airports are one of the most engineered environments one will ever step into.
Photo courtesy of Discovery

Witness for the first time how this epicentre of engineering works in a new five-part series on Discovery Channel, X-RAY: MEGA AIRPORT, premiering June 24, Wednesday, 9:00 p.m.

Using cutting edge camerawork and computer-generated imagery (CGI), the series reveal the inner workings of one of the busiest hubs in the world: Frankfurt’s mega airport. Each 60-minute episode provides an insider look on the state-of-the-art equipment and security in the airport, its round-the-clock deadlines, its role in the international air network and the quick decisions that make-or-break the exhibition of flights through unparalleled imaging technology.   

In unprecedented detail, X-RAY: MEGA AIRPORT crunches the raw data captured by laser scans to track flows of people, machinery and money, exposing elements invisible to our naked eye and giving an x-ray overview of Frankfurt’s Mega Airport.

·         Race Against the Clock. Discover how every action at a mega-airport is planned to the hour, the minute, and the second. Keeping to such a regimented schedule requires thousands of engineers to race against the clock, twenty-four hours a day.

·         Total Control. Using advanced equipment to x-ray scan the airport, find out how every action is precisely and predictably controlled, including that of the passengers as they enter the terminal, one of the most highly-controlled environments on Earth.

·         The Airport Never Sleeps. Head behind the scenes at one of Europe’s busiest hubs, and discover how an operation the size of Frankfurt never enjoys down-time.

·         Crossroads of the World. Head into the heart of this global mega-airport and explore its vital role in the world’s vast international air network. Flights from five continents land at Germany’s biggest airport every day - a feat only possible due to specialists from seventy countries working together to welcome passengers to the Frankfurt hub.

·         Failure Is Not An Option. The airport’s engineering teams are under pressure, managing specialist technology that they cannot risk to fail. Witness an engine change on an A380 airliner, before finding out the precautions involved in pumping tens of thousands of litres of highly flammable aviation fuel.

X-RAY: MEGA AIRPORT exposes what it takes to be involved in airport operations – the extreme time pressure, the massive numbers and the small but vital systems designed to keep processes under control – all for the sole reason of providing people with a quality travel experience. Marvel at this epicentre of engineering this June on Discovery Channel.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fiestas are not always good for the community

Before you judge me as killjoy, I want you first to read the whole post. I like fiestas especially in my father's hometown in Lucban even though I am a Protestant. It's not perfect but at least it is building up tourism that flocks the streets every year. The people know where to park their cars because they have been advised days before.

Unlike here in Manila especially in the baranggay where I grew up. You can never tell where you can pass or not because there is no advance notice. I thought they dismantled the stages because they used the national holiday last Friday for their programs. Earlier before we left for church, we can still get a cab ride from my place. But later in the afternoon, the road was blocked just a few blocks away. The reason was the street is being used for games/programs we thought was finished last Friday or Saturday. So along with my grandmother and my 7-year old niece were forced to walk along carrying a week worth of groceries because even a tricycle can't enter.

The worse part was when we are passing the closed area, we were begged to contribute for the fiesta. I am really pissed off  and snapped back, "If it wasn't for this fiesta, we would not be having hard time walking." And you see all these banners of elected officials with their fiesta greetings so why these people bother begging anyone who passes by.

This way of celebrating fiestas is a bad image for the community especially if I take a picture of the roadblocks, you will see how many banners with photos of many elected officials. I only advise that the baranggay officials should give notice days ahead where the roadblocks will take place and give alternate routes.

I hope this will be my last rant which is I am doubtful. Feel free to share your thoughts and like my Facebook page, the L.E.N.S. blogs.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Jawsome July Returns With Shark Week On Discovery

Press release

- 2014’s Shark Week set ratings high in Singapore and the Philippines 
among viewers aged 25 to 54 

SHARK WEEK, one of the longest running and most anticipated television events, returns to Discovery Channel on Monday, July 13 at 9pm (PH).
Photo courtesy of Discovery Channel

Last year’s Shark Week netted record high ratings in the Philippines since 2009, and the highest viewership in Singapore over the last ten years since 2005, among viewers aged 25 to 54. From Return of the Great White Serial Killer, to Bride of Jaws and Ninja Sharks, SHARK WEEK is set to be even more jawsome this year!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Necessary Theater stages The Normal Heart

Before it was an HBO original mini-series, it's an autobiographical play by activist Larry Kramer. The Necessary Theater is going to stage it here. The Normal Heart brings us back to the 80's when AIDS is not known yet but it is already spreading.

Topnotch theater actor Bart Guingona will not play the part of activist Ned Weeks but will direct it as well. Joining Bart are the powerhouse cast consist of Richard Cunanan, Topper Fabregas, Red Concepcion, Nor Domingo with Roselyn Perez and making his theatrical debut is TJ Trinidad.
Roselyn Perez, Jef Flores and Bart Guingona in a reading excerpt.

We were given a reading excerpt of the production and I find it really intense because there are quotable lines there that can be powerful. Even though the story is set in New York during the 1980's, it still mirrors the present day setting of our country because of the opposition of the conservative religious community that maliciously suppressed the RH Bill that will give the citizen a choice to use contraceptives and get informed through sex education.
The cast of The Normal Heart

For the actors, this is not just a theatrical production but also advocacy that they can only voiced out through what can they do best. The Normal Heart will be stage on RCBC Carlos P. Romulo auditorium for one weekend only from July 3 to 5. Tickets are available via Ticket at this hotline 891-99-99 or 215-07-88/0917-537-8383. For more theatrical events, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Half Day Tour at Lotus Garden Manila

City of Manila is always the center of many travel destinations for everyone. Ermita has lots of money changers which is located in one block. It is accessible when you are travelling to the airport or by the pier and there are has lots of active nightlife. All this besides the Rizal Park/Luneta.

During the Papal Visit, lots of hotels are booked since everyone wanted to have a glimpse of the patriarchal figure head of the Roman Catholic Church. Hotels like Lotus Garden Manila which is located at the corner of Padre Faura and Mabini sts. in Ermita.

After having breakfast at their lobby buffet area, we passed by their bar which is open every morning. Unlike the local bars, the bar patrons can drink because they are more tamed than most local drinkers. You go to a bar just for social drinking not to get into trouble.

Lotus Garden has only one Multi-purposed Function Room ideal for big celebrations like debut or wedding receptions. The capacity may vary depending on the set up of the event but you can be sure that there are lots of potential you can do with the event venue.

Going through their new building hallway gives it a mixture of old fashioned furnishing since their staircase and floors are made of wood. In a more open area, they have a bistro-like atmosphere with bar and a jacuzzi at one rear end. The jacuzzi can also be used by guest as part of the amenities upon request. But it is limited to 15 people max. The area also has a billards table for added amusement. The area can also accommodate a band area for the event.

Located in the premises of the open area, there is a room for ideal for corporate functions. It is a closed room for privacy. It is an air conditioned board room set up with a projector for meeting and conferences outside company offices.

One of the amenities for the guest is the gym. It is equip with treadmills to keep any health buff in good shape. Their basic rooms for accommodation is just basic ideal for an executive from out of town who needs only a place to sleep and a place to refresh and leave the luggage. But it also has an office type desk in case the desk needs to work and a TV to get news update. The room can accommodate two people max since the bed is just twin sized.

There is also another room ideal for families who just need to have a staycation. It has two beds and has bigger area with a small dining table and chairs in case the guest has some food with them. There is one room equipped with a kitchen set up if the guests needs to prepare dishes within room quarters.

What I also find unique in the room and hallways are it has display of Baguio or any Northern Highland souvenirs like the rice god Bulol statue in the rooms. What is good about the vicinity of the hotel is that it is near the mall, the hospital and many restaurants. Upon leaving the hotel, you can choose upon taking a cab or public jeepney that can pass by.

For more updates in Manila's commercial areas, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.

Monday, June 8, 2015

City Garden Suites Manila

Right in the heart of Manila stands a benchmark of comfort and business-class luxury. City Garden Suites – Manila in Ermita, Manila, Philippines provides the perfect accommodation for business guests and leisure travelers seeking a home away from home at an affordable price.
Photo courtesy of City Garden Suites Manila
This sprawling, central option exudes an impressive homey charm. The 142 rooms, 45 in the new annex, feature plush beds with generous pillows, a private toilet and bath, ambient lighting, wood furniture, and parquet floors. Hospitable staff adds to the warmth of the place, making guests feel safe and secure. These allow full relaxation, a luxury amid the bustling center of the commercial and business district.
The pulsating vibe of its location encourages one to go harder and faster, both in business and leisure pursuits. But when the sights and sounds die down, the same landscape intensifies a longing for home. Fortunately, the hotel in Ermita is there to fill the void.
  • Wi-Fi Internet connection
  • Cable TV with 72+ channels
  • Pay movie system
  • Refrigerator with mini-bar items
  • Coffee and tea maker
  • Private toilet with bathtub and hot and cold shower
  • Hair dryer
  • Complimentary newspaper
  • IDD/NDD phone
  • Safe

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Siddhartha The Musical World Premiere

Buddhism is one of oldest religions. It's even older than Christian and Islam. Just like any religion and philosophy, Buddhism also has insights which is logically sound. It even has similarities with Christianity.
Ven. Master Yung Guang(Standing, left)

In popular culture, there is Hermann Hesse novel Siddhartha which is used as a textbook reference and the movie Little Buddha by Bernardo Bertolucci which stars Keanu Reeves as the title character of Prince Siddhartha before the enlightenment and a manga by Osamu Tezuka.

For eight years now, a musical production in Cebu depicting the life of the enlightened One and was brought to many tours in other countries and now will be shown in CCP for it's world premiere. Musical composer and director Jude Gitamondoc says it will be an entirely new production compared to the previous productions. It will cover from his birth to death and even after. It will be a new experience even to those who've seen it.
With main cast and production

The idea of making a musical started in Buddha's Light International Association in Cebu to promote Buddha's teaching through a theatrical production. Using the poetry of Ven, Master Hsin Yin and the composition of Jude Gitamondoc with the cast with different backgrounds auditioned, the stage was set.

Jude Gitamondoc add, the new production will add new songs and new characters fit for a CCP production. For actor Benjie Layos, the expectations for him to play the title role are very high. Even though he is not a Buddhist, he still lives up the principles so he can understand the part. Just like Benjie, the cast were reading Siddhartha's biography. The Buddhist monks are also involved in the production to make sure that everything's on track and accurate.
Benjie Layos as Siddhartha

Director Jude mentions that the purpose of the play is not to be preachy but to witness Siddhartha's journey that changed the course of history as we know it. Watch Siddhartha the musical on July 17 at CCP for 2 performances only. For more updates about Siddhartha the musical and more theatrical productions, follow this blog and like L.E.N.S. blogs on Facebook.