Fans excited to see Coldplay's Manila concert

Tonight is the night.
Local celebrities and fans took to social media to share their excitement to watch the Manila concert of British rock band Coldplay at the Mall of Asia Arena open grounds.
Host-actress Anne Curtis posted a photo of her “A Head Full of Dreams” ticket on Instagram and shared how Coldplay’s songs played important parts in her life.
“Soooooo excited. Coldplays music has played such a big role in my life. Like, I can’t even explain it. Fix You was my song to myself during a low point of heartbreak. I cried when I heard them play it LIVE for the first time back in 2011 at Splendour in the grass. A Rush of Blood to the Head was and still is my fave album,” Curtis wrote in the caption.

“Hoping they play a mix of new and old songs!!! Songs I can super relate to until now are The Scientist, Warning Sign, Magic, In My Place, Clocks, Swallowed in the Sea, Amsterdam, The Hardest Part, A Sky Full of Stars, Everglow, Viva La Vida and Something Just Like This!!! Ok. Mej madami. So ready to sing my heart out!!!!!” she said.

Known Coldplay fan Maine Mendoza also could not contain her excitement upon the arrival of frontman Chris Martin in the country. On Twitter, Mendoza wrote: “OH MY GADDDDDD” and “TODAY. IS. THE. DAY.”

Dance duo Ella Cruz and Julian Trono on Instagram said they will watch the concert together. An excited Dani Barretto on Monday said she has been listening to Coldplay’s music all day.
As of writing, the hashtag #ColdplayManila is the second top trending topic on Twitter Philippines.
The concert, which sold 35,000 tickets, is expected to be the biggest live event in the country this year. Here’s what other fans have to say.


The majestic gathering of warrior tribes, bonding in search for peace and prosperity was more than a fitting backdrop for visiting President Duterte’s call for friendship with China. Last Saturday’s Kaamulan festival in mountainous Bukidnon province also showcased the enduring indigenous culture that thrived in pre-Islamic and pre-Spanish times as depicted in extensive street dancing, culminating in a day-long presentation by some 5,000 performers.

Over a hundred thousand people, many travelled from afar, filled the sprawling Capitol Grounds of Malaybalay City to witness the spellbinding dances of at least eleven contingents of 500 each.

The rituals dramatized themes of war and reconciliation; conflagration and recovery; peace, brotherhood, friendship, courtship, harvest and thanksgiving.

“Kaamulan is unique in that it is a kaleidoscope of the rich and colorful culture of our ancestors that people, foreigners and Filipinos alike, came to see… All is not lost, as cultural festivals like this help preserve our identity as a people,” said Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo, also a Mindanao native herself.

The only authentic ethnic festival in the country features the cultures of seven distinct tribes in central Mindanao, namely Bukidnon, Higaunon, Talaandig, Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon.

She said the hand-woven garments, elaborate headdress, and handcrafted warrior gears, planting tools, as well as the intricate musical instruments show the Filipino ancestors sophistication and high degree of civilization.

Teo arrived with the President, along with special guest Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, on the invitation of Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri, Jr.

“Quite a number of local families, in coordination with the DOT and the provincial tourism office, opened their homes to visitors for an overnight stay. This is genuine Filipino hospitality at its best,” said Teo.

The DOT head said Duterte’s acceptance of China’s offer of friendship reflects the essence of Kaamulan where tribal leaders forged peace pacts and trade relations. “I want friendship... In fact, we are brothers,” declared Duterte, admitting feeling a strong kinship with the Chinese, whom history attests had never committed any atrocity against Filipinos.

Duterte and Zhao led the groundbreaking of a P1 billion drug rehabilitation facility in Malaybalay which is funded by a Chinese group Friends of Filipinos. Beijing pledges to encourage at least two million Chinese visitors to the Philippines this year.

2017 ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation


Asean, China back cooperation program

MANILA— A new era in international tourism looms as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and China reaffirmed full commitment and support for the 2017 ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation program during its launching attended by Chinese officials at the Philippine International Convention Center on Thursday night.

The leader of host country The Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte, hailed the “reawakening of an age-old kinship” with China that dates back to pre-Spanish barter trade and tourism.

“Through regional cooperation and diplomacy tourism, the goals to increase visitor arrivals, promote cultural exchanges, generate more livelihood for local people, improve infrastructure, and diversify investment in tourism activities can be achieved between ASEAN and China,” said Duterte in a message read by Philippine Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo.

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang, who heads the portfolios of Agriculture, Water Resources, Commerce and Tourism, delivered a message from Chinese President Xi Jinping who lauded the friendly ASEAN neighbours for neutrality in regional affairs and sharing the geography through tourism cooperation.

“China accepts such stance as a sign of mutual respect, opportunity for development, and affirmation for global peace and prosperity,” Duterte said.

“The current world situation is reconciliatory. Through tourism cooperation, ASEAN and China can do great and good things together like our situation in the Philippines where we are prioritizing sustainable and inclusive tourism. With booming travel between ASEAN and China, our cooperation will bring nations and peoples closer together,” Duterte said.

The ASEAN-China Tourism Cooperation is an initiative that seeks to enhance the partnership of China with the ten ASEAN member-countries, including the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Having been designated this year’s host of ASEAN Summit on rotation basis among the ten member-states, the Philippine Department of Tourism (DOT) coordinated with the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) for this week’s meetings.

At Thursday’s opening ceremonies, spectacular cultural performances were staged by the CNTA including a song number, called “Travelling Around the World” by a Chinese songstress and an all-male kung fu demonstration called “Kungfu Revelations-9 Scrolls”.

Cardinal Tagle lauds ‘The Messiah’ musical

MANILA– “The Messiah”, a Jamaican reggae musical, opened in Manila on Friday, gaining an ecstatic response from the crowd including Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle.
The musical received a standing ovation after its first showing at the Star Theatre in Pasay City with the cardinal noting how the characters “have been treated with so much compassion, love, and mercy”.
“Every movement, every dance, every note was done executed with love specially for the poor whom Jesus love,” Tagle said.
Produced by the Missionaries of the Poor and was first shown in Jamaica in 2012, the musical looks into the life and work of Jesus.
For its Manila show, the musical features some of its original casts including MOP’s founder, Father Richard Ho Lung, and more than 70 local actors, singers and dancers.

Fr. Lung was the recipient of the 2016 Nelson Mandela Human Rights Achievement Sunshine Award in New York, USA, for his service to humanity, especially to the poor.
“No matter how often the story is told and no matter what form the story is presented to us, it never fails to touch us because it is about love, love eternal,” Tagle said.
“And it is never finished and it will continue and hopefully through us the Messiah will again become flesh in love, in concrete actions of love,” he added.
Over the years, the MOP have been assisting the poor and destitute across the world by staging theatre productions to raise funds.
In the Philippines, all proceeds are in aid of their works with the poor and homeless, and the completion of the Divine Mercy Apostolate Center in San Andres Bukid, Manila. – CBCP News

"Rainbow Traveler " by Fitz Herrera for Art in the Park

Art in the Park bird turned into sculptures for the fair’s 2017 edition
This year's Art in the Park will feature 57 galleries, art collectives, independent art spaces, and student groups—a big leap from 12 art galleries in its inaugural outing in 2006.
In addition to the white booths teeming with artworks, Art in the Park has partnered this year with Secret Fresh to create a resin sculpture of the fair's iconic logo. The resin birds will be customized by different artist, rendering each piece unique.
The limited edition sculptures will be sold at Art in the Park on April 2 at the Museum Foundation of the Philippines booth. Prints by Mark Justiniani ("Kumpas") will also be sold in the booth. The sales fund the projects and programs of the National Museum of the Philippines and its network.

As an affordable art fair, Art in the Park continues its mission to help art lovers start their collection by setting a price cap on the works (at P50,000 this year). However, through the years, the fair has also become an annual art appreciation destination for friends, couples, and family.
Bringing art closer to the public, the fair will also feature an installation by Carzen Esprela: "Bag in a Boat" has a headless figure sitting in a 14-feet long boat with arms for oars—a perfect conversation piece while enjoying the music of featured band Brat Pack.
Mark your calendars and enjoy a day of art on April 2 at Jaime Velasquez Park, Leviste corner Tordesillas Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City. The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. — GMA News

Photo Caption: Customized acrylic and spray paint on resin, 9 x 12.5 inches by JJ Zamoranos and Nemo Aguila in collaboration with Secret Fresh Gallery. Photo from Art in the Park Facebook page.

A new era for Pinoy action films

The prestigious Cinemax HBO Action Film Competition and the Urban Action Showcase & Expo awarded the coveted Best Short Film (2016) trophy to “Blood Hunters,” a film written, produced and directed by Filipino filmmaker and martial arts action star Vincent Soberano.

This sets the stage for a new era of Filipino action films penetrating the international market.

For Soberano, his main motivation is to promote Filipino martial arts in Filipino movies to the international audience. “They’ve used Filipino martial arts in blockbuster action films like ‘John Wick,’ ‘Jason Bourne,’ ‘Frankenstein,’ and a huge list of other films,” he says. “But no one knows its Filipino because it’s always portrayed by Hollywood stars. It’s about time I did.”

This film is a collaboration between two Filipino martial arts stars – Taekwondo Olympic delegate Monsour Del Rosario and Muay Thai world champion Vincent Soberano.

Del Rosario wants to inspire the young men and boys of the country to build a strong character and fighting spirit. Soberano wants to portray Filipinos to the world as powerful and formidable warriors.

Soberano’s personal interest in comic books and stories of the supernatural inspired him to combine martial arts and fantasy into an action-packed screenplay. Melding fantasy, action and martial arts makes a good universal theme for commercial films, judging from box-office hits like “Blade,” “Matrix,” “Frankenstein,” “Warcraft,” “Assassins Creed,” “Man with the Iron Fist” and a slew of other hard-hitting blockbusters.

He points out, “The martial arts action sequences are so unique and have never been seen in action cinema before. This is a big factor in the film’s success. That, and the introduction of ancient Filipino folklore and superstitions, with characters such as the Aswang, Dwende, Kapre, Multo, and Diwata. A cultural, martial arts, fantasy action film is always a great combination if done right. This is the perfect blend that we have achieved.”

For both Del Rosario and Soberano, as well as lead actress Sarah Chang, martial arts is a way of life. Del Rosario and Soberano both started training at the age of eight in their hometown of Bacolod City. They have been friends as young boys.

Chang started training Wushu at age seven in her hometown of Virginia, under the tutelage of Jet Li’s former teammate.

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