Becca Godinez set to debut at Catalina Jazz Club

LOS ANGELES – Becca Godinez – actress, singer/songwriter, producer/director – makes a much anticipated return to the concert stage with “Me, Myself & Music” on Saturday, May 20 in Hollywood. The intimate show, which highlights songs that have influenced the artist through the years, serves as Becca’s one-woman debut at the legendary Catalina Jazz Club. While Becca has performed in numerous musical concerts in recent years (“Apl.de.ap Takes You to the Philippines” at the Hollywood Bowl and  “Jazzmopolitan” at the Ford Amphitheater, to name a few), the Catalina engagement marks the first time in over seven years she will take the microphone as a solo artist.
“After 2009, I performed with other artists – perhaps because it was safer that way,” muses Becca.  “I was returning to the concert stage after an absence and not having to singularly carry a show was easier.  Sharing an act allowed me the chance to stretch, to rediscover what I could do stylistically and vocally and I began to grow into the entertainer that I wanted to be. Appearing in a solo concert on that [Catalina] stage will be a feather on my cap, for sure.  I like being close to the audience – to reach out and Catalina is the perfect venue for that.”
“Me, Myself & Music” will present an eclectic mix of songs and musical genres covering everything from Brazilian jazz, to contemporary pop to acapella music. There will even be some original music that Becca will be presenting for the first time. “The audience will hear my voice – my choice of songs – the kind of music that I have loved – music that has influenced my song choices and styles.  There will be no frills – just five musicians and me.  I will be able to show all facets of my music and all the crazy sides of me.” 
A portion of the concert proceeds will benefit two needy charities that Becca is personally involved with – Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) (introduced to Becca by friend Ted Benito) and her own library system she developed in the Philippines that benefit children. “I have always leaned towards advocacies for children,” explains Becca. “CHLA is a true friend to children and their health care needs.  They rely on the generosity of philanthropists to support patient care and as well do research that could positively impact all children today and in the future.  In the Philippines, God opened avenues that allowed me to establish four childrens’ libraries to date.  All of these are located in financially depressed areas.  It was my dream but must confess that I did not do it alone.  It is a humble but successful effort.  I believe any child – given equal educational opportunities – can better or even surpass the successes of those who have been given an easier lot in life.”   
As special guests for the evening, Becca will welcome the Philippine Chamber Singers (PCS), the chorale ensemble under the direction of Gelo Francisco. “I love them;  I love their immense talents individually and as a whole and, I love the varied song styles they tackle,” said Becca.  “I love hearing the coming together of musical chords.  I saw PCS perform at the Disney Concert Hall last year and thought…’gosh I’d like to harmonize with that talented group!’”
            The veteran performer, who got her start in Manila in television and in musical theater, will also give a musical nod to those genres as part of the evening’s repertoire.  “There’s a big difference between a concert, musical theater and television.   Musical theatre is scripted; performing in a musical allows me to sing but it is as a fictitious character,” says Becca.  “It is similar with television.  I hosted several of my own TV shows in Manila, but in the end, it is also scripted in a way as to please a specifically themed hour that involves guests, dancers, interviews, etc.   A solo concert is freeing.   I get to choose songs that could be random, funny, crazy – a mash up of musical styles and it is my raw heart that is offered to the audience.”

Mariel de Leon blasts Mocha Uson’s appointment, vows to use her voice for change

Binibining Pilipinas International 2017 Mariel De Leon is not afraid to speak up.

The beauty queen engaged in a debate with her Twitter followers after she criticized the appointment of Mocha Uson as the assistant secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

According to the report by Arniel Serato of Pep.Ph, de Leon called the appointment “biased and disrespectful.”

“I love my country so it breaks my heart to know someone like her got a position in the govt,” she added.

Her statements didn’t sit well with the supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte. Some of them even campaigned against de Leon in the online voting of the upcoming Miss International pageant.

Though her controversial tweets have been deleted, de Leon is firm about her beliefs.

She promised to use her voice “to be part of that change.”

“There are so much issues happening in our country now so I’m glad that I have the platform now to voice out my opinions. See, beauty pageants aren’t just for ‘standing there and looking pretty.’” she said in consecutive tweets.

Spoken like a true (beauty) queen. You go, girl!

By Coconuts Manila


ARROW's Stephen Amell Makes the AMERICAN NINJA WARRIOR Course Look Easy

Stephen Amell is perhaps the greatest special effect on Arrow. Amell has the look of a superhero, and he’s got the physicality and the athleticism to back it up. Amell can not only climb a salmon ladder, he’s a really compelling performer as well. It’s hard not to admire Amell’s willingness to take on challenges outside of his TV show. Two years ago, Amell took part in a match at WWE’s SummerSlam. And later this month, Amell is setting his sights on American Ninja Warrior.

Via TVLine, the first footage from Amell’s appearance on Celebrity Ninja Warrior: Red Nose Dayhas emerged. And unsurprisingly, Amell doesn’t seem to be phased at all. If anything, the famous obstacle course appears to be too easy for Amell, who actually plays to the crowd between the challenges.

Link to youtube video: https://youtu.be/baHfmHeySkE

The rest of Amell’s appearance on Celebrity Ninja Warrior will air on Thursday, May 25th at 8pm, as part of NBC’s Red Nose Day programming. But Amell won’t be alone: Erika Christensen, Derek Hough, Natalie Morales, Mena Suvari, Nikki Glaser, and Jeff Dye will all make their own runs through the course, in addition to Olympic gold medalist Ashton Eaton and former Yankees player Nick Swisher.

The Red Nose Day special will be hosted by our very own Chris Hardwick, and the entire evening features celebrities contributing to comedic sketches and stunts while raising money for various charities. You can find out more about Red Nose Day by visiting the official site.

BY -Nerdist

Chris Cornell, Soundgarden frontman, dies aged 52

Chris Cornell, lead singer of American hard rock bands Soundgarden and Audioslave, has died aged 52 in a possible suicide.

n a statement to the Associated Press, his representative, Brian Bumbery, said Cornell died on Wednesday night in Detroit.

Bumbery called the death “sudden and unexpected” and said his wife and family were shocked. The statement said the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause, and asked for privacy. 

Cornell was found dead in the bathroom of his room at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel, after Cornell’s wife asked a family friend to check up on him. Detroit police spokesman Michael Woody told Associated Press that the death was being treated as a possible suicide. 

Cornell had been touring with Soundgarden, and was tweeting upbeat messages about a sold-out concert the band played in Detroit just hours before his death.

His rock peers paid tribute, such as Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy PageMark LaneganBilly Idol and Jane’s Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist Dave Navarro.

Soundgarden were part of the Pacific Northwestern grunge scene of the late 1980s and early 1990s, coming up alongside bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam – Cornell recorded a 1991 album with the latter under the name Temple of the Dog. Like Nirvana, Soundgarden were first signed to indie label Sub Pop before making the jump to a major, taking their heavy, angsty sound into the mainstream with singles like Black Hole Sun.

The band sold more than 10m albums in the US alone, and were nominated for nine Grammy awards, winning two. They broke up in 1997, but reformed in 2010; their most recent album was King Animal in 2012, and they had been working on new songs over the past year.

Following the breakup of Soundgarden, Cornell recorded a solo record, before being recruited as the singer for Rick Rubin-produced supergroup Audioslave, which also featured former members of Rage Against the Machine. Featuring a glossy yet robust update of the bands’ 1990s sound, their 2002 debut album was a big success, eventually going triple platinum in the US.

Cornell also recorded You Know My Name with composer David Arnold, which was used as the theme for the 2006 James Bond movie Casino Royale, which introduced Daniel Craig as 007.

He had struggles with addiction to drugs and alcohol, checking into rehab in 2003 and going sober ever since. “I actually like rehab a lot. It’s like school; it’s interesting. I’m learning that I can be teachable at age 38,” he told Spinmagazine that year. “I would sometimes drink before we played. It wasn’t a big deal. It became a bigger deal when I stopped doing the other things I liked to do. I used to ride mountain bikes around with my friends, and we’d keep 40-ouncers where the water bottle was supposed to be. But once I removed the mountain and the bike, there was just the drinking.” 

He later told Details magazine: “When I transitioned into adulthood – high-stakes emotional responsibilities – I did everything I could get my hands on. It happened without me really noticing it. The thing is, when you pick up the pipe for the first time, you don’t know that that’s your fate. The moment isn’t that dramatic. And then that was it – I didn’t want to care anymore.”

In 2012, he and his wife Vicky created a foundation that works with vulnerable children facing poverty and homelessness. The couple had two children, Toni and Christopher Nicholas; Cornell also had a daughter with first wife and former manager Susan Silver.

-The Guardian.


Filipino expats celebrate Independence Day in Dubai

Filipino expats from across Dubai and the Northern Emirates trooped to the Dubai World Trade Centre as early as 7am on Friday to take part in the celebration of the 119th Philippine Independence Day (PID).

It was definitely a whole day of festivities, highlighted by cultural presentations by performers from various Philippine schools in Dubai and Sharjah. They were dressed in bright-coloured national costumes and danced to the rhythm of native drums, gongs and other musical instruments as the audience were busy capturing and sharing every moment on their smartphones.

The Filipinos' passion for singing also took centrestage as UAE-based crooners battled it out in the OPM (Original Pinoy Music) singing competition. Besting a dozen contestants, Noryneel Hernandez grabbed the top prize with her rendition of 'Ako Ang Nagwagi' (I'm Triumphant). Coming in second place was Christian Encelencia who sang 'Ikaw Mahal Pa Rin' (I Still Love You) and Elton Bautista, in third place, who did his own interpretation of the classic Filipino song 'Magsimula Ka' (Start Over Again).

In the side hall, some students and budding artists were busy competing in the on-the-spot painting competition while others were preparing in the Pinoy hairstyle challenge and some musicians were tuning their instruments and fixing their outfits for the battle of the bands. Some teens were seen preparing for the Mr and Miss Teen PID.

"The event highlighted Philippine music, art, dance, ingenuity and creativity," said Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes.

"It was also a time of strengthening the bond and camaraderie within the Filipino community," added Wafa Qasimieh, executive cultural consultant at the islamic affairs and charitable activities department - Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Islamic Culture.

Of course, not to be missed were the Filipino food and snacks on sale. From pancit (stir fried noodles) to puto bumbong (rice cake); favourite deserts ube halaya and leche flan; Pinoy pan de sal, chicken inasal, kare-kare and lumpia, the visitors had a taste of home-cooked meals and delicacies.

But it was not just Filipinos who sold Pinoy food. French-Lebanese Houssam Abdul Malak, owner of Fiesta Pinoy restaurant in Deira, proudly vended his own version of Pinoy sweets and breads.

The Pinoy 'dyipni' (jeepney or jeep), an ubiquitous symbol of Philippine culture and art, was also a crowd-puller. Kids were seen playing inside it while adults were taking selfies, probably out of nostalgia and yearning for their homeland. In the Philippines, jeepneys are used as public utility vehicles and considered as the king of the road for their sheer passenger capacity.

It was a day of celebration as well as patriotism. The Filipinos, though most have been away from their country for a long, did not forget that they too have a duty to celebrate their country.

Angel Tesorerohttp://www.khaleejtimes.com

LOOK: Miss World PH 2014 gets engaged at Machu Picchu

Valerie Weigmann, who represented the country in the 2014 Miss World pageant 2014, is engaged. 

The Filipino-German's fiancé, lawyer-businessman Bodie Pulido, proposed to her during their visit to Peru's Machu Picchu last month, according to entertainment columnist Ricky Lo.


The couple have been together for seven years. 

In Lo's column, he shared photos of the beauty queen's engagement. 

Weigmann finished in the top 25 of the Miss World 2014 pageant. She first shot to fame after joining "Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Edition" in 2008, which Ejay Falcon won.

After her stint on the show, she went on to star in TV commercials, co-host noontime shows and appear on magazines.

Weigmann is currently working as a model in New York. 

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