Christine Allado to star in NYC concert before taking on ‘Hamilton’ role at West End'

NEW YORK CITY -- Singer and actress Christine Allado just snagged the roles of Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds in the forthcoming London West End production of the Broadway hit musical “Hamilton,” produced, written and directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda.
“Hamilton” will premiere at the Victoria Palace Theatre on November 21.
Christine, 26, who is currently on a brief vacation in New York, will give her ‘kababayan’ a preview of her world-class talent at a concert on April 22 at the Sheraton La Guardia East Hotel in Flushing, Queens. The show will be produced and directed by “Miss Saigon” alum Miguel Braganza.
Recently Christine performed in a Manila with world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli. Her most recent stage credential is “In the Heights,” also by Miranda.
“Hamilton” is based on Ron Chernow’s biography of Alexander Hamilton, one of America’s founding fathers. The London production will also have Filipina Rachelle Ann Go appearing with Christine in the role of the other Schuyler sister, Eliza. Christine’s other credits include “Here Lies Love,” the rise of Imelda Marcos, a musical concept produced by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim.
Her website describes Christine as an emerging yet “all-around performer” whose classical soprano voice can ably sing pop and jazz. She trained at the Royal Academy of Music in London where she received a post-graduate degree in Music Theatre in 2013.
Her acting career started in the Philippines where she starred in productions such as “The Phantom of the Opera: Revue” (2009) as Christine Daea, “Hairspray” (2008) as Amber Von Tussle and “Joseph the Dreamer” (2009). At the time, she was taking up Business Administration at the University of the Philippines-Diliman. She had appeared in television programs of both GMA7 and ABS-CBN.
She moved to Hong Kong where she did more performances, playing leads in Disney’s “High School Musical” (2009) and “The Golden Mickeys” (2010). She was featured in Hong Kong’s Tatler magazine and other local media as a “breakthrough artist.” Being in Hong Kong allowed her to perform in nearby Asian cities, such as Bali, Macau and Kuala Lumpur.
“Her success in Asia sparked her desire to move on to a bigger platform. London was the next destination. She received her first break after wowing the judges at a music competition who just so happened to be Sir Tim Rice and Director Tamara Harvey. She then landed a featured role and understudied the lead in Tim Rice’s new musical ‘From Here to Eternity’ (2013). Her dream of being a professional artist on the London stage had become a reality and she continues to pursue a diverse and promising career as an actress and singer,” according to her website.
She described singing with Andrea Bocelli in an interview with Rappler. “I can’t say it was a dream come true because I would never in my wildest dreams have dared to imagine something like that would happen!”
Tickets to Christine’s New York concert are VIP: $100, and General Admission: $65. – Tambi Wycoco for The FilAm

Giant shipworm discovered in PH

MANILA -- Ever heard of the giant shipworm? Probably not. After all, its description seems to be the stuff of myth: a worm measuring 3 to 5 feet long that spends most of its life in a hard shell resembling a tusk.
Well, it is myth no longer, as scientists have just found live specimens of the giant shipworm, or Kuphus polythamia, right in the Philippines.
The shipworm is, in fact, not a worm, but a rare species of bivalve or mollusk, a group that includes mussels and oysters. To be more specific, it is a type of saltwater clam. First documented in the 1700s, the shipworm was partly responsible for the sinking of ships, thanks to its natural tendency to eat wood.
The Kuphus polythamia is slightly different from the regular, ship-sinking shipworms. While scientists have known of its existence for years courtesy of fossils, it is only now that they’ve been able to study it firsthand.
The recent specimens were discovered in Mindanao, Philippines, vertically planted head-down in the base of a lagoon, where they feed on marine sediment and mud. Though the site, which was once an area used for log storage, boasts an overwhelming stench, the researchers were able to gather five living giant shipworms for analysis.
Packing the creatures into PVC pipes, the team brought their cargo to the University of the Philippines.
“We really did not know what to expect,” Daniel Distel, a research professor and the Northeastern University Ocean Genome Legacy Center director, told Seeker. “Most clams are white or beige or pinkish inside.”
‘Like an alien creature’
Margo Haygood – a University of Utah College of Pharmacy medicinal chemistry research professor and a colleague of Distel – described what it was like first laying eyes on the animals.
“We turned the pipes upright and filled them with seawater and airstones and put the animals in to acclimate," she stated. "Before long, I looked into the pipe and could see a strong jet of water coming out of the animal’s siphon. It was alive!”
She added: “The animal inside is dark gray, shiny and floppy. It looks like an alien creature.”
“It was really quite amazing,” Distel stated, speaking about his experience opening the creature’s tube-shaped shell. “I didn’t even have any idea how to open it, but I thought: ‘Carefully.’ ”
Distel admitted being shocked at the animal’s color. “Most bivalves are greyish, tan, pink, brown, light beige colors. This thing just has this gunmetal-black color. It is much beefier, more muscular than any other bivalve I had ever seen.”
According to the scientists from the US, France, and Philippines who have examined the organism, it is the longest bivalve in existence (that we know of). It is slimy and black, with a big ugly head and a tail composed of two siphons. One siphon draws in water, while the other expels it.
The organism secrets a substance to create its tube shell, which is composed of calcium carbonate. Additionally, it creates a hard cap as a head covering. The creature’s growth, which compels it to submerge itself even deeper into the mud, urges it to reabsorb said cap.
“If they want to grow, they have to open that end of that tube, so somehow dissolve or reabsorb that cap on the bottom, grow, extend the tube down further into the mud, and then they seal it off again,” Distel told The Guardian.
Living on bacteria and fart gases
Unlike the usual wood-munching shipworm found in oceans, the survival of the Kuphus polythamia depends on hydrogen sulfide and a special type of bacteria.
Hydrogen sulfide is a compound which you can find in human flatulence and rotten eggs, and which can also be flammable, corrosive, and poisonous in large volumes.
The bacteria, which make a home in its gills, burn the hydrogen sulfide in “the same way we burn carbohydrate or sugar to make energy,” said Distel. The Kuphus polythamia then feeds on the sugar.
Living in the mud, which is rich in organic substances such as the stinky hydrogen sulfide, provides the animal with an endless supply of life-sustaining nutrients.
Thanks to the creature’s strange diet, is digestive system is smaller than the usual shipworm’s.
The evolution of giants
It is not known how the giant shipworm evolved to be this way, but its size is indicative of a healthy diet.
“Gigantism is usually an indication of ample nutrients,” stated Distel.
In contrast, it’s increasingly becoming more difficult for its wood-munching, ocean-dwelling cousin to find food, given how humans are no longer using wooden ships to sail the seas.
“Most wood gets in the oceans via erosion of coastal forests and riverbanks,” said Distel. “People like to clear forests away from coasts and riverbanks so they can build homes, businesses and resorts. We also like to build dams and have dammed most of the great rivers of the world. As a result, a lot less wood makes it to the sea.”
As wooden ships have contributed to the spread of shipworms to various countries, it is possible human activity helped the creature find its way to the shallow bays of the Philippines, where it then evolved into its current form.
Shipworms have even become part of human diet in some places. Its taste is described as “a little more earthy-tasting” than regular clams.
While Haygood believes the shipworm “is valuable just because it's so strange and marvelous,” she also claims these organisms have “potential as sources of industrial enzymes for converting cellulose to sugar and for new antimicrobial drugs.”
'Like finding a dinosaur'
Distel believes the team’s find to be extremely remarkable. “To me it was almost like finding a dinosaur – something that was pretty much only known by fossils,” he said.
The researchers would likely have never found the Kuphus polythamia had they not chanced upon a Philippine documentary, shared on YouTube, about divers who collected the creatures. To prevent shell collectors from disturbing the site, the animals’ location remains a secret.
TV presenter, biologist, and Ugly Animal Preservation Society president Simon Watts was happy at the discovery. “It might well be monstrous, but that does not mean that it isn’t marvelous,” he stated, adding that the Kuphus polythamia evolved to survive in a “pretty disgusting” environment. “If you are down living among murky dirt, then aesthetics are surely not your number one priority.”
The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. — GMA News

FAHAM induction commemorates landing of first Filipinos in US

By Zen S. Laluna, Las Vegas Correspondent

Las Vegas, NV ─ The Filipino American Heritage and Arts Museum (FAHAM), the first ever to be established in Las Vegas, Nevada, hosts a Fundraising Gala-cum-Induction of Officers on Friday, April 21, 2017 at the Dallas Ballroom, Texas Station Hotel & Casino at 6:00 p.m. with a dinner-and-dance, art exhibit, cultural and fashion show, brief Philippine History presentation and vendor booths.
The event also commemorates the ”historic landing of the first Filipinos (then known as Indios Luzones or Luzon Indians) on October 18, 1587 aboard the Nuestra Señora de Buena Esperanza which dropped anchor in what is now known as Morro Bay in the Central Coast of California.”*
Keynote speaker and Installation officer Congresswoman Jackie Rosen (D/NV-Dist. 3 ) will address the significant economic, political, and social contributions of Filipino-Americans in the development of Nevada.
Among the inductees include Ditta Camomot, FAHAM founder-and- Publisher/Filipino American Heritage™Magazine; Salve Vargas- Edelman, National President/Board Chairperson; Dr. Thomas Stone, Ruel Rodriguez, Estelita Paulin, Motusi Alston, Gina Bea-Tritley and Lenida Balce- Sutton, National vice-presidents; Marilyn Ante, secretary; Ed Leano, treasurer; Rosemary Stone, chief Internet officer; and Chris Genobaga, chair/Advisory Committee.
Other festivities include a cocktail reception, Meet & Greet with recently elected government officials, and a Silent Auction. Proceeds from the Silent Auction and Gala Fundraiser will all go to the FAHAM.
Entertainment features the FAHAM Cultural Dance Group, Heart of Polynesia, Gina Kim Korean Dance Group, Filipiniana Dance Company of Las Vegas, Viktoria Vysoke, and Sharon Tanyag. A Philippine Tango Dance exhibition will be performed by Ed and Cora Leano, while Sean Argham and Estelita Paulin will showcase a Latin Dance exhibition.
The FAHAM (originally known as Filipino Heritage and Arts Museum, Inc. (FHAM, Inc. and a.k.a. Institution of Filipino-American Heritage (IFAH), was founded by Manuelita “Ditta” Camomot, M.Ed., M.A., in Newark, Delaware on January 8, 1995. It was incorporated on November 20, 1995. Following the induction, FAHAM founder Camomot will present Recognition Awards to several deserving recipients.
A 501(c3) non-profit organization, the FAHAM (or FHAM/IFAH) is dedicated to educate the next generation of Filipino Americans about their heritage by preserving Filipino American history, legacy, arts and culture through a vast collection of artworks, books, articles from writers, poets and artists; relics, artifacts and other expressions of fine arts produced over the centuries, and continued production of artworks, murals, pictures, hand-made products and dioramas, etc., that depict the different periods of Philippine history.
The FAHAM houses memoirs, narratives, biographical sketches and documentations of historic values and anthropology of living and deceased Americans of Filipino descent, clippings of Filipino Americans who made outstanding contributions in the fields of medicine, science and technology, communication, entrepreneurship, public affairs, community service, entertainment, literary, arts and culture, among others; and artifacts and objects of historical importance.
Salve Vargas Edelman, founder-president and executive director of Rising Asian Pacific Americans Coalition for Diversity (RAPACD), was appointed National President and Chairman of the Board for FAHAM. Her task? To establish the first ever Filipino American Heritage and Arts Museum in Las Vegas.
“It is a monumental task but our Philippine legacy matters. So, I am up to the challenge as always,“ says Edelman. In April 2016, the first FAHAM Arts Exhibit was held at the RAPACD Cultural Center for three weeks.
The FAHAM, according to her, is an extension of what she had previously conceptualized as SoVegas Pilipinas or the Philippine Village.
FAHAM (or FHAM/IFAH) is a staunch supporter of the RAPACD Cultural Center and the Twin Lakes Community Clinic located inside the historic Las Vegas Lorenzi Park.

North Korea’s desperate situation

North Korea and its leader Kim Jong Un have no one to blame but themselves for their worsening global isolation. Only a certified fool or madman would threaten the rest of the world with nuclear war, which is precisely what Kim and his cabal of like-minded generals have being doing of late.
There is little doubt that the country’s economic and political survival is highly dependent on China, which has long tolerated the hermit kingdom’s intransigence.
Indeed, their logic is difficult to comprehend. North Korea insists on developing its nuclear arsenal because it insists that a US and South Korean invasion is imminent.
In fact, it is South Korea that should be prepared for a North Korean invasion. Between the two, the former is an economic powerhouse, while the latter is essentially an impoverished state, albeit with a huge military of more than a million troops.
With the recent suspension of imports of coal from North Korea – one of the country’s primary sources of export earnings -- China sent a signal that they have finally gotten tired of Kim’s sabre rattling.
There are other bad signs. Last week, flights between Pyongyang and Beijing were suspended for lack of passengers.
Meanwhile, diplomatic relations with Malaysia, one of the very few countries that has “normal” relations with North Korea, took a downward turn when a brother of Kim was assassinated in Kuala Lumpur airport, apparently at the behest of an unnamed and unknown North Korean spy.
Finally, US President Donald Trump took the threats of thermonuclear war against the US and its allies more seriously and sent a fleet of warships off the coast of North Korea. The message was loud and clear. Launch an attack on any of the friends of the US or even on the US mainland itself, and the retaliation will be swift, brutal and total.
Kim may or may not have a handful of nuclear warheads at his disposal, but the US has hundreds, perhaps thousands. If he believes he can win a nuclear war with the US, he is absolutely delusional. This is as good a reason as any for the Trump administration to adopt a policy of doing everything possible to remove Kim as head of state.
The North Korean leader derided as a “fat kid” had no training in governance, merely taking over the reins of power when his father passed away. He seems to think that leadership is a game of which there will be no consequences if he commits a fatal error in judgment.
Kim and his cabal have brought the world to the brink of nuclear war, one which will have no true winners. But the North Korean leadership insists on not only staying the dangerous course it has been taking for decades, but upping the ante.
Sometime soon, something has to give. Either Kim will do the unthinkable and launch a nuke, thereby assuring the destruction of his state, or he will be forced to back down and eventually resign.
Either way, the fate of the Kim family that has ruled North Korea since inception is assured. Their time will soon be over.

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