12 Days of Christmas bring the Filipino touch to homes around the world through Christmas carols

World-class Kapamilya artists (L-R) Nyoy Volante, Erik Santos, Jona, Yeng Constantino, Klarisse, Jed Madela, and Jason Dy will serenade Kapamilya in the U.S. and Canada, the U.K., Australia, and Manila with Christmas songs. 
DALY CITY --- TFC, the world’s largest and leading Filipino news and entertainment brand, and Remitlythe easy, fast, and affordable way to send money to the Philippines from a computer or mobile device, have partnered to bring Filipinos all over the world the first-ever digital Christmas caroling experience, Namamasko Po! The Kapamilya Christmas Carols. The project will bring the Filipino Christmas spirit to Kapamilyas around the world.
“I came to realize that in countries like the U.S., you get more trick-or-treaters than you get Christmas carolers,” said Head of Global Events Ricky Resurreccion, a migrant who haslived away from the Philippines for many years. He adds:Mas maraming nananakot, kaysa sa nangangarolling.” (There are more people trying to scare you, than those bringing good cheer through caroling). Anecdotal to some but true for most,there is a sentimental longing for celebrating Christmas the way it is done in the homeland, especially given thatthe Philippines is famous for having the world’s longest Christmas season.
“Namamasko Po!” is an online live event that brings the viewer 12 days of happy, hopeful, and comforting sounds of a true “Paskong Pinoy” (Filipino Christmas) to celebrate the holiday the Filipino way while they’re thousands of miles away from home. Various Kapamilya artists like Erik Santos, Jed Madela, Jona, Jason Dy, Klarisse, Nyoy Volante, Yeng Constantino, and more will brighten the holidays for Filipinos in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and the Philippines.  
Remitly Senior Marketing Manager Katrina Tioseco shares that many Remitly customers who moved away from the Philippines claim that “Iba pa rin ang Pasko sa Pinas,” (Christmas in the Philippines is incomparable). This project seeks to bring the Filipino Christmas spirit to them that they have missed so much. 

Tioseco explains that “Namamasko Po!” hopes to fill in that gap.  By supporting the creation of the first-ever digital Christmas caroling experience, we hope to spread more of the holiday cheer and deliver some of that uniquely Pinoy Christmas spirit wherever they are in the world.

Launching December 1, “Namamasko Po!” will feature a Kapamilya artist each day for twelve days to sing and greet viewers live, with pre-selected Christmas songs. Recording live from Manila, the broadcast will be available to viewers on TFC Onlinein the U.S., Canada, U.K., andAustralia attheir respective time zones and on Facebook Live on the Kapamilya TFC Facebook account
TFC and Remitly are excited to have the project spread Pinoy holiday cheer.Resurreccion points out how technologycan really be an enabler, especially this season.  Hesaid, It’s cool that technology has come a long way where something as personal and real-time like Christmas caroling can be experienced in a unique but familiar way. It is truly going to be a wonderful treat for global Filipinos.”  
Tioseco noteshow “Namamasko Po!” can inspire the community to come together: This is a truly innovative collaboration with TFC, where we see both teams pushing boundaries in terms of delivering engaging, celebrity-packed content that's designed to reach as many overseas Filipinos as possible, online. We hope they enjoy the songs and Christmas carols by their favorite artists, and invite them to join the hundreds of thousands of Filipinos who enjoy great exchange rates when they send money home with Remitly.
True to the season of giving and sharing, “Namamasko Po!” is free.  Spread the word and share the Christmas spirit. “Namamasko Po! The Kapamilya Christmas Carols” can be seen from December 1-12 on TFC.tv/NamamaskoPo and on Facebook.com/KapamilyaTFC. All subscriber levels of TFC.tv will have access to view the live broadcast as well. 

Ed Sheeran rules Spotify in 2017

SPOTIFY'S NUMBER 1. Ed Sheeran performs onstage during 102.7 KIIS FM's Jingle Ball 2017 presented by Capital One at The Forum on December 1, 2017 in Inglewood, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP

NEW YORK CITY, USA – English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran dominated Spotify in 2017, with his latest album Divide played 3.1 billion times worldwide, the leading streaming service said Tuesday, December 5.

The ginger-haired pop guitarist was streamed more than any other artist in the year so far – not a surprise, considering his song Shape of You, the fourth track on Divide, reigns as Spotify's most streamed song ever.

Despite Sheeran's triumph, the Swedish-based streaming service said the larger trends of 2017 included hip-hop, with streams growing 74% over an already large base in 2016.

Hip-hop star Drake came in second on Spotify in 2017 and rapper Kendrick Lamar was fourth, with R&B singer The Weeknd, a protege of Drake, placing third.

Latin music also saw major gains, with streams more than doubling on the back of viral Spanish-language hits – most notably the worldwide sensation Despacito.

Rihanna was the most streamed woman on Spotify for the third year in a row, despite her lack of major releases in 2017.

Sheeran, 26, has seized on the rapid growth of streaming during his rise to pop fame.

His success on Spotify, however, did not help him at the Grammys, with Sheeran shut out of major categories announced last week – a surprise to many watchers of the music industry's top prizes. – Rappler.com

What’s Life Like Outside a Rape Schedule?

Saturday Night Live‘s recent sketch called “Welcome to Hell” could not be more accurate. If you’re surprised at just how common sexual predators are at home, in an actor’s studio, in the boardroom, at a party, then you either don’t exist or you’re a man.

Women have long adjusted their lives to the fact that rapists and sexual predators exist. Rather than living in an environment that lets these criminals think twice before doing what they want, women always have to second guess their safety.

It’s not even victim-shaming I am talking about here. It’s the rape schedule: “the ways in which women alter their daily lives in order to limit their chances of sexual assault.” It’s the very subtle ways women are equipped to protect themselves. I bet you don’t notice it even, it’s almost second nature. At night, I call my sister at least two minutes before the car gets to my house so she can open the gate. Why? I don’t want to ring the bell and wait for her to come. It’s the perfect time for someone to come and harm me.

Dark alleys are a no-no unless you’re walking in a group. I’ve delayed plans to make sure a male companion can be with me during nights out. We’ve even developed tracker apps to alert loved ones if we feel unsafe and even straws to detect date-rape drugs.

My mother always reminds me to bring a jacket especially when I wear something sleeveless. Sure, it’s because I might get cold but she also made it clear it’s for something else.

I received compliments on the extra steel legs found at the bottom of my bag because I can use it as a weapon. I’ve seen women walk around waving their big umbrellas in an exaggerated fashion. In the morning, I time my jogging so there’s some sunlight in my path. Sometimes, the first toys given to young girls are whistles to remind them to make noise if they feel threatened.

Of course, there is such a thing as being cautious and erring on the safe side. But for women, the way we observe safety is doubled, if not tripled. This is how our sole responsibility to make sure we don’t get raped is emphasized. There should be no flaw or fault that people can pin on us. The painful part? We will still be blamed whatever happens most of the time.

Still, we will continue to teach women to follow the schedule: carry some pepper spray, limit private interactions with males unless in a group or in a public area, giving our girl offspring a curfew while their brothers come home whenever they please. We make sure that we don’t give men any signals for him to claim as an invite. That’s why there are still a lot of women who walk with their eyes downward.

It’s hard to live outside the rape schedule. And some of you may think it’s not real. Just evaluate your day or ask the precautions a girl friend takes and compare it to one of your male pals. You’ll see the difference is terrifying.

Art by Lara Intong


WATCH | Marvel assembles biggest superhero cast for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

A scene from 'The Avengers: Infinity War.'
LOS ANGELES | The evil villain Thanos is preparing to take over the universe and Marvel has recruited all of its cinematic superheroes, from Iron Man and Thor to Doctor Strange and Spider-Man, to save the galaxy in Wednesday’s new trailer for “Avengers: Infinity War.”

The film, due in theaters in May 2018, will see the biggest gathering of Walt Disney Co.-owned Marvel’s fast-expanding cadre of cinematic superheroes, including Doctor Strange, Black Panther and the Guardians of the Galaxy.

“This is the culmination of 10 years of filmmaking and I think it’s unprecedented,” Joe Russo, who co-wrote and co-directed the film with his brother Anthony Russo, told Reuters in July, after early footage of the film was shown at Disney’s D23 fan exposition in Anaheim, California.

The trailer shows the Avengers coming together as they prepare to battle Thanos.

Tony Stark and Bruce Banner are seen with Dr. Stephen Strange and Wong, Peter Parker feels his Spider-Man senses tingling while on the school bus, Loki gets his hands on a powerful Infinity Stone and Black Panther teams up with Captain America, Black Widow and the Winter Soldier.

“When you combine them, you get something that you haven’t seen before,” Joe Russo said.

The Russo brothers said that “Infinity War” will close out a 10-year storyline that began with 2008’s “Iron Man,” and set the stage for a new iteration of Marvel’s on-screen superheroes.

Watch the trailer tease of “Avengers: Infinity War” here: https://youtu.be/3VbHg5fqBYw


Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar lead male-dominated Grammy nominations

Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar. (Photos by Reuters)
LOS ANGELES | Jay-Z’s soul-baring album on love, life and social fractures led the Grammy Award nominations on Tuesday with eight nods in a list that saw women sidelined in some major categories and Katy Perry excluded completely.

Jay-Z’s “4:44” album was nominated for album of the year, one of the top three Grammy accolades. The album’s title track and “The Story of O.J.” songs were nominated in song and record of the year.

“4:44” will compete for album of the year against R&B star Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” New Zealand pop singer Lorde’s “Melodrama,” hip hop artists Childish Gambino’s “Awaken, My Love!” and Kendrick Lamar’s “Damn.”

Lamar landed seven nominations overall, Mars got six including the top three categories and Childish Gambino, the alter-ego of actor Donald Glover, scored five nominations.

“Despacito,” the hit from Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi featuring Justin Bieber and Daddy Yankee landed three nominations including record and song of the year.

The 60th Grammy Awards, music’s biggest night honoring the year’s achievements across more than 80 categories, are scheduled for Jan. 28 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.

Music released between October 2016 and September 2017 qualified for this year’s awards and will be voted for by members of the Recording Academy, made up of music industry professionals.

Newcomer R&B singer SZA was the most-nominated female artist with five nods including best new artist, in which she will face singers Julia Michaels, Alessia Cara, Khalid and rapper Lil Uzi Vert.

Taylor Swift’s “Reputation” album will not be eligible this year due to its November release, but she garnered two nominations including writing country group Little Big Town’s “Better Man.”

The most notable ommission from Tuesday’s Grammy nominations was Canadian hip hop artist Drake, whose “More Life” album dominated streaming, charts and radio play since its March release.

British singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran, whose “Divide” album topped charts around the world, garnered two nominations in the pop categories. Lady Gaga and Kesha landed two nods each in the same categories as Sheeran.

Pop star Katy Perry, who is yet to win a Grammy award, did not score a single nomination for her “Witness” album.

The absence of some of the biggest female artists marked a stark contrast with the 2017 awards, when Beyonce led the nominations and Britain’s Adele swept the top awards. Neither released new music this year.

Meghan Markle departs ‘Suits’ after engagement to Prince Harry

Prince Harry poses with U.S. actress Meghan Markle in the Sunken Garden of Kensington Palace on Monday after the pair announced their engagement. (Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters)
LOS ANGELES | U.S. actress Meghan Markle has wrapped up her role on legal drama series “Suits” after seven seasons, USA Network and Universal Cable Productions said in a statement on Tuesday, a day after Markle and Britain’s Prince Harry announced their engagement.

Markle, 36, played Rachel Zane on the cable network drama, rising up the ranks from paralegal to lawyer. The character is engaged to be married to Mike Ross, played by Patrick J. Adams.

Markle has completed all her filming for the seventh season, which will return in early 2018, the network said.

“We want to send our most heartfelt congratulations to Meghan Markle and Prince Harry on their engagement,” USA Network and Universal Cable Productions, both units of Comcast Corp, said in a joint statement.

“Meghan has been a member of our family for seven years and it has been a joy to work with her. We want to thank her for her undeniable passion and dedication to Suits, and we wish her the very best,” the statement added.

Markle and Harry, 33, announced on Monday they were getting married in May 2018.

The couple met on a blind date in July 2016 and said their relationship had blossomed “incredibly quickly.”

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