Beyond Beowulf melds classic Philippine rock with the sound of American heartland

beyobeo pic02LOS ANGELES, CA - Beyond Beowulf, a Los Angeles-based Fil-Am indie rock band, is thrilled to announce the release of its debut EP, “The Sound of One Hand Clapping,” available early next month at popular online music stores.

The Sound of One Hand Clapping” blurs the lines between traditional Pinoy rock music and American southern rock with its four diverse songs, ranging from dark, brooding refrains to upbeat, anthemic choruses. The EP also features contributions from Pinoy rock music icon David Aguirre, former guitarist of the legendary Philippine rock band Razorback, notably for the song “Kaibigan,” which is one of the more popular songs in the EP according to early listeners. “Kaibigan” will be available as a single before EP release.

A constant presence in the Los Angeles underground rock scene, Beyond Beowulf is headed by vocalist/songwriter Tolitz Rosel, who collaborated with longtime friends and veteran musicians Don Morales, Tim De Ramos, and Jade Figueroa to record and produce the EP. Morales, De Ramos, and Figueroa also played for Glen Jacinto of Teeth, Bamboo of Rivermaya, Dong Abay of Yano, and other famous Pinoy musicians who regularly toured the United States and Canada.

The Sound of One Hand Clapping” was recorded and mixed by De Ramos, a respected name in the Los Angeles Pinoy music scene, and his TDR Studios is one of the fastest-rising sound engineering and production studios in Southern California.

The debut EP represents a significant landmark in the musical career of Tolitz Rosel, who wrote all the songs, and marks the culmination of his efforts after years of bouncing around from venue to venue, playing in several bands, and doing private demos. The EP is the first of two releases planned by Rosel, with the second EP slated for the second half of 2017.

Acting Sol Gen NoelFrancisco described as ‘disciplined’ and an ‘outstanding musician’

NEW YORK -- If all goes well in the confirmationhearings, the next Solicitor General of the United States is a prominentFilipino American lawyer who was a clerk of the late conservative firebrand,Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

Noel John Francisco of Oswego, New York, isreported to be Donald Trump’s choice to be the next Solicitor General,described by Texas Senator Ted Cruz as a “principled conservative.”

Francisco has argued that Trump’s order banningimmigration from six mostly Muslim countries is a decision only the presidentcan make, and not open to any legal challenge.

“The power to expel or exclude aliens is a fundamentalsovereign attribute, delegated by Congress to the executive branch ofgovernment and largely immune from judicial control,” he said in a widelypublished legal brief.

Filipino Americans are divided in their opinion ofFrancisco. Conservatives welcomed the appointment of a FilAm – the third so far— to the Trump administration, while liberals warned against too much rejoicingif the official will work against the interests of immigrant communities,including Filipinos.

Elha Nympha sings Sia’s “Chandelier” | Little Big Shots Season 2

12-year old Filipino singer Elha Nympha sings Sia’s “Chandelier” on Steve Harvey’s LITTLE BIG SHOTS Season 2. Elha won grand champion in The Voice Kids of the Philippines (Season 2). She is also one of the 8 contestants in YOUR FACE SOUNDS FAMILIAR KIDS (Season 1, Philippines).

Focus on the Philippines: Another Filipino singer makes waves on The Voice US

After 16-year-old Anatalia Villaranda turned four chairs on the premiere episode of the 12th season of The Voice US last week, another contestant with a Filipino connection impressed the show’s celebrity judging panel this week. Gaby Borromeo, an 18-year-old child of Filipino immigrants in Seattle, auditioned for the reality talent competition, singing a cover of Leona Lewis’s hit 2009 track Happy. Her performance caught the attention of judges Adam Levine and Blake Shelton, who both turned their chairs for the young contestant. Immediately after Borromeo’s audition, Levine went onstage to congratulate her with a hug.

"I’m very surprised that this was not a four-chair turn," Levine said as he turned to his fellow coaches Alicia Keys and Gwen Stefani."When you started singing, you seemed like you were nervous. But then as the song progressed, you came through in a way that just blew my mind. I think you can win The Voice with no problem. You’re unbelievable and you belong to my team," Levine added.

Making his case for Borromeo to join his team, Shelton told her: "That was an incredible performance. You can probably win this thing."Borromeo eventually picked Levine as her coach in the competition. Responding to her fans from the Philippines, Borromeo posted on social media on Wednesday: "Go Philippines! Thank you, I’m so happy I can be someone who inspires you."Borromeo said she has been passionate about music since she was a child, singing karaoke at home at the age of eight.Like Villaranda, Borromeo has advanced to the next stage of the competition on The Voice, in a round called the knockouts, which will air beginning March 20Filipino film selected to screen at Cannes Film Festival

Filipino designer creates gown for ‘Fifty Shades’ lead actress

MANILA, Philippines — Internationally-recognized Filipino fashion designer, Monique Lhuiller, once again made it to Hollywood her designed gown was worn by one of the lead characters of “Fifty Shades Darker.”

In one of the notable scenes in the second chapter of the film based on the worldwide bestselling “Fifty Shades” trilogy novel, Dakota Johnson, who plays Anastasia Steele, dons a custom-made gown and capelet by Lhuillier.

The liquid satin sheath gown with a draped neckline and a crisscross back in a silver hue exuded femininity and sophistication, while the handmade ostrich feather capelet added exquisite glamour for Anastasia’s grand entrance in the film’s exclusive masquerade ball.

Lhuillier, known for her bridal couture, ready-to-wear line, and accessories, was even mentioned by Mia Grey, portrayed by Rita Ora, in the film.

In keeping with the essence of her brand, Lhuillier's design evoked an enchanting, yet sophisticated, vision by weaving together sensuous and modern elements for the character of Anastasia.

“I am so delighted to partner with Universal Pictures’ 'Fifty Shades Darker' to design for the character of Anastasia Steele,” Lhuillier said.

“Like the Monique Lhuillier woman, Ana radiates confidence and femininity, and so the gown I imagined for this iconic scene encapsulates that modern sophistication,” she added.

The film’s costume designer, Shay Cunliff, said she always imagined Johnson in Lhuillier’s stunning gown as a “beautiful siren of simplicity.”

“We sent Monique ideas and images that evoke old Hollywood, and she and her team took the inspiration from there—crafting this stunning confection. Ana’s cape itself was a challenge—each feather was sewn by hand—but I felt it would magnify Ana’s show-stopping entrance at the ball, harking back to the 1930's screen sirens. Monique also beautifully resolved our need to create a gown which can effortlessly slip to the ground…another feat of engineering,” Cunliff said.

For “Fifty Shades Darker,” Jamie Dornan and Johnson return as Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.

The sequel, distributed by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures, opened in Philippine cinemas on Wednesday. On its first day, it already surpassed the original "Fifty Shades of Grey’s" P15 million first-day gross with an P18-million first-day take.

The Movie & Television Rating and Classification Board gave the flick an R-18 rating, which means the movie is strictly for 18 years of age and above. It was also approved in its original US version – without cuts, blurs, and blacked-out parts.

"Fifty Shades" fans may anticipate the last part of the trilogy, “Fifty Shades Freed,” on Valentine’s Day of 2018. —Rosette Adel

Don't work with Baron, PAMI orders members


MANILA, Philippines — A talent managers' group has released a statement condemning the "disgusting act and behavior" of ex-matinee idol Baron Geisler, who came under fire after urinating on fellow actor Ping Medina while shooting a movie scene.
The group has ordered its members to not work with Geisler.
On Saturday, the Professional Artist Managers Inc. (PAMI) led by president June Torrejon-Rufino, responded Medina's complaint. PAMI said the decision on Geisler's case was unanimous.
PAMI added that Geisler's manager, Arnold Vegafria, assured the group that he will refuse to accept projects until Geisler is "mentally fit" and "psychologically stable."

Last Monday, Medina vented his anger on Facebook after Geisler peed on him on the set of "Bubog," an indie film by Arlyn Dela Cruz.
Geisler said he warned Medina that he would go off-script. Both Medina and Dela Cruz have dismissed Geisler's claims.
Geisler has since apologized to both parties.
Meanwhile, PAMI also urged its members to inhibit themselves from working with Dela Cruz.
Lolit Solis and Leo Dominguez, managers of some of the most popular local actors, are two of the members of PAMI.
In a formal complaint he filed to PAMI, Vegafria said the director could have stopped the incident from happening.

"As always, PAMI is together with the industry in aspiring for a healthy, safe and professional working environment," PAMI said.
Below is the full statement from PAMI:
"The Professional Artist Managers, Inc. (PAMI) has called for an emergency meeting in response to the letter of complaint received from actor Ping Medina dated 30 November 2016 regarding an incident that happened during the shooting of a scene for the film 'Bubog,' involving his co-actor, Baron Geisler.
"Ping Medina wrote that 'Baron urinated on my torso and face without my permission.' PAMI strongly condemns this disgusting act and behavior of Geisler.
"After a thorough discussion and deliberation during the meeting, in the presence of Geisler's manager and PAMI member, Arnold Vegafria, PAMI unanimously arrived at the decision to inhibit all our artists from working with Geisler in any movie and television projects for an indefinite period.
"PAMI received Vegafria's assurance that he will refuse to accept any projects until such time that Geisler is mentally fit and psychologically stable to resume his work as an actor.

"In addition, Vegafria filed a formal complaint questioning the capacity of the movie's producer/director, Arlyn Dela Cruz, to exercise control and assume full responsibility on the set, that could have prevented this regrettable incident to happen.
"As managers, when we send our artists to the set, it is with our complete trust that the producer and director will protect and ensure the safety of our artists. Therefore, we have also unanimously agreed to inhibit all our artists from accepting any projects involving Arlyn Dela Cruz.
"As always, PAMI is together with the industry in aspiring for a healthy, safe and professional working environment." 

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