China’s record-breaking drama, Story of Yanxi Palace, hailed as the Best Soap Opera in Asian Academy Creative Awards, is set to thrill Philippine viewers as ABS-CBN, the country’s first and true home of Asianovelas, premieres the epic drama beginning 27 January.
Story of Yanxi Palace follows the journey of a woman from a humble background in her quest to bring justice for her sister.
Wei Yingluo (Wu Jinyan), a smart and cunning lady, enters the Forbidden City to uncover the truth behind her sister’s death and learns that Hong Zhou (Hong Yao), the Emperor’s brother and Fu Heng (Xu Kai), the empress’ brother, are connected to the case.
Using this as her motivation, she manages to rise through the ranks among the harem and obtains both the love and respect of the emperor.
Fate doesn’t make it easy for YingLuo as things start to become more complicated and unforeseen events begin to happen — both to her and the people she cares about.
Find out how YingLuo copes and journeys through the heartbreaks and struggles that she will face inside the palace and how she will find comfort in the emperor’s hands.
The 70-episode story has been viewed online more than 15 billion times and earned the reputation of being the most Googled show in the world on its first airing.
Don’t miss the premiere on 27 January (Monday) after A Soldier’s Heart. For updates, follow @abscbnpr on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or visit www.abscbnpr.com.
Alden, Ruru inspire cancer warriors
Their bedimpled smiles are set to brighten up the days of cancer warriors as Alden Richards and Ruru Madrid guest in GMA News TV’s Bright Side, airing on Tuesday, 22 September at 9 p.m.
Alden is known to have a soft spot for children with cancer. Even during lockdown, he tried finding means to reach out to these children to bring them joy and hope. Like Alden, Ruru also considers cancer warriors close to his heart because his grandmother has colon cancer. Bright Side will share the stories of cancer warriors who, instead of giving up, made it a point to inspire and help others.
Meanwhile in Batanes, which remains coronavirus-free until now, it is said that there is a vaccine against the virus — discipline and bayanihan. The province closed its border to tourists as early as February and the Ivatans themselves help each other so that everyone has food and livelihood. They came up with a project called “Walang Sayang” where farmers are supported so that their harvest do not go to waste. They also have “quarantine resorts” to accommodate those who got stranded in the province.
Aside from Batanes, Balangkayan in Eastern Samar also remains COVID-19-free. With rich marine resources, Balangkayan’s abundant sea produce keeps its residents secure in terms of food and livelihood. Discipline and bayanihan also help them keep the virus away.
And in “Good Eats” segment, COVID-19 survivor Donita Nose joins host Kara David in a cooking face-off featuring Pork Talong Binagoongan.
BTS muses on its success
BTS definitely “brought the fire and set the night alight” with its latest single “Dynamite,” taking the world by storm and setting a new record on Spotify with 12.6 million streams in the first 24 hours of its release last month.
The seven-member K-pop group talked about this milestone in Spotify: For The Record podcast episode entitled “BTS: The Band, The Brand and The Army.”
The members shared their thoughts on what their latest single meant to them during these trying times and showed a behind-the-scenes look at their creative process.
Armys, their fans, were also on BTS’ minds during the podcast, stating how the group appreciates them and how they want to be remembered by future generations.
The boys shared their insights regarding the process that led to the success of “Dynamite.” To mention a few, leader and main rapper RM stated, “It’s very — various, sometimes we start with melodies. Sometimes we start with some just a word or a theme. But basically, when there’s an album, there’s some kind of like a theme or a keyword that comes, that goes through the whole album. And if we succeed to, like, make a decision for the keyword, then everybody gathers and we guess the tracks and melodies and lyrics or whatever. So it’s like making a puzzle when we try to make an album.”
Meanwhile, V mused how the support of the Armys are the best thing about their jobs, saying, “I think the best part is (our) ARMY. They’re the reason (why) we perform. And it’s their energy and their support that allows us to keep going. So they, our ARMY, our fans, are really the best part of this job.”
Spotify: For The Record is a podcast series that provides fresh insights in the world of music, podcasting and tech.
Listen to the podcast here: open.spotify.com/episode/1qBjha3AyRBSzkfsfTnPfg?si=XOHtZdwrR9GQRnfyuP-bQw.
GMA News TV brings back full line-up of newscasts
News channel GMA News TV beefs up its programming line-up as newscasts Balitanghali, Quick Response Team (QRT), State of the Nation with Jessica Soho and Stand for Truth return on air beginning today, 21 September.
Connie Sison and Raffy Tima bring viewers the day’s news and updates from Monday to Friday via the midday newscast Balitanghali.
Emil Sumangil reports news straight from the field via on-the-scene newscast QRT weekdays at 3:30 p.m.
GMA Network’s flagship newscast 24 Oras continues to simulcast on GMA News TV from Monday to Friday at 6:30 p.m. It is anchored by Mel Tiangco, Mike Enriquez and Vicky Morales. Viewers can catch the simulcast of 24 Oras Weekend anchored by Pia Arcangel and Ivan Mayrina at 6:15 p.m. on Saturdays and at 6:05 p.m. on Sundays.
Making the much-awaited comeback as well at 10 p.m. is GMA News TV’s flagship newscast State of the Nation anchored by Jessica Soho.
Giving viewers access to local news that matters is GMA Regional TV Strip airing weeknights at 11 p.m. Every Monday, catch the North Central Luzon newscast GMA Regional TV Balitang Amianan. Central and Eastern Visayas’ GMA Regional TV Balitang Bisdak follows every Tuesday. Delivering the latest news and information on Wednesdays is unified Hiligaynon newscast GMA Regional TV One Western Visayas. Unified local newscast GMA Regional TV One Mindanao airs every Thursday, while the replay of GMA Regional TV Live! rounds off the line-up every Friday.
Also returning on air at 11:35 p.m. is pioneering mobile journalism newscast Stand for Truth anchored by Atom Araullo with Richard Heydarian and mobile journalists Nico Waje, MJ Geronimo, Jairo Bolledo, Manal Sugadol, Shai Lagarde, Izzy Lee and Jm Encinas. It continues to air online every night at 9 p.m.
Meanwhile, GMA Network’s flagship AM radio station Super Radyo DZBB 594 kHz continues to air newscasts and programs via Dobol B Sa News TV Mondays to Fridays beginning 5:30 a.m. and weekends at 6 a.m.
On Saturdays, GMA Regional TV Weekend News airs the latest news from all over the Philippines at 5 p.m.
On weekdays, catch back-to-back afternoon entertainment with Legend of Fuyao at 1 p.m. and Siesta Fiesta Movies at 1:30 p.m. Spreading kilig every night is the hit Korean rom-com series My Absolute Boyfriend at 8:30 p.m.
Surviving the new normal continues with New Normal: The Survival Guide at 9:15 p.m. Airing every Monday is Newsmakers hosted by Winnie Monsod, followed by Bright Side on Tuesdays with Kara David. Susan Enriquez takes the Wednesday slot with Pera Paraan, while Tonipet Gaba and Rovilson Fernandez join forces for Home Work on Thursdays. Rounding off the week is Drew Arellano in Family Time every Friday.
At 10:30 p.m., Power Block features GMA Public Affairs’ highly-acclaimed documentary programs. Catch Front Row every Monday, Alisto on Tuesday, Tunay na Buhay on Wednesday, Reporter’s Notebook every Thursday and I-Witness on Friday.
Meanwhile, following the simulcast airing of 24 Oras Weekend is Saturday Cinema Hits at 7 p.m. while airing more fresh episodes is investigative news magazine program Brigada at 8:45 p.m.
Lifestyle show Taste Buddies dishes out its memorable episodes at 9:30 p.m. to be followed by Turbo Zone, In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley and Legend of Paranormal Story.
On Sundays, viewers can catch I Juander, followed by replay episodes of Idol sa Kusina and Glow Up after the simulcast of 24 Oras Weekend.
Rounding off the Sunday evening line-up are Cata, Aladdin (You Would’ve Heard the Name), U Prince and Legend of Paranormal Story.
Never forget. These are wonderful words to live by. All of us have made mistakes or were wronged by someone. How we choose to get past our blunders or the transgressions inflicted on us is our own choice.
As a little girl growing up in a predominantly Catholic country, my indoctrination included being told “to forgive and forget.” There’s nothing wrong with it but as I grew older, I came to the realization that it takes a saint to be able to uphold it.
So I came up with my own version: “Forgive but never forget.” The logic is simple: forgiving makes moving on easier but choosing not to forget means holding one’s self accountable for committing the same mistake again or for suffering the same pain from a previous wrongdoing. Who wants to be called a fool for committing the same mistake and failing to prevent it from happening again?
This is great when applied as a personal motto but I believe this can even be a guiding force for us, the Filipino people, as a nation.
Remembering history seems to be not our strongest suit. There’s an air of forgetfulness that permeates these days. As a Filipino, today is a date we all should remember. It’s a day of infamy, one that cannot be refuted never occured. But for those who tend to forget or maybe have a warped sense of history, it was on 21 September 1972 that former President Ferdinand E. Marcos read Proclamation 1081, which placed the country under Martial Law.
Now, those who are Gen Xers and Baby Boomers know too well what this means. Logic, critical thinking and sensitivity should be able to let them know what it meant then. The annals of modern Philippine history have quite a list of related literature on what transpired during those years, and if they are of sound mind and heart, they would know better than to fall victim to obvious propaganda/revisionist posts on Facebook and YouTube.
Now, to the younger ones, the Millennials and Gen-Zs, I must commend the majority of them because they are the ones who are passionate about this particular part of our history. A quick search on social media would reveal the young ones soundly engaging in discourse about this particular time in the Philippines. It’s clear they have their history right, and it is both a relief and a shame — that those who were not yet born are the ones who are fighting for that part of history to remain true to itself.
Why should we be faithfully true to history no matter how distasteful and horrible it was? Let me quote American thinker and philosopher George Santayana who penned this immortal line in his 1905 book, The Life of Reason.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” His message is direct and clear: If we are to move progessively forward, we must not forget what happened in the past. History is marred with many ugly truths and miscreants leading governments but these details help shape a nation. A nation that forgets will always suffer a cycle of ugly truths and unscrupulous personalities until and unless its people conscientiously avoids repeating mistakes by not forgetting them.
For those who are conveniently forgetting what those “ugly truths” were, thankfully, there are quite a lot of materials with which they can freshen their memories.
First off, the ongoing “Daang Dokyu, A Festival of Philippine Documentaries,” opened with a selection of Martial Law related titles. These are Imelda (2003) by Ramona Diaz and Marcos: A Malignant Spirit (1986) hosted by seasoned broadcast journalist Angelo Castro Jr. These can be streamed on its web site: www.daangdokyu.ph/.
Marcos: A Malignant Spirit is a must-watch simply because it contains rare footages of the “baggage” that went with the Marcoses when they fled to Honolulu, Hawaii after Ferdinand’s ouster in 1986. The astounding amount of fur coats, boxes of freshly printed Philippine monies, and the ludicrous collection of jewelry, notably diamonds, sapphires and pearls, the latter which can occupy a 48-square-meter room when neatly placed on the floor, are quite incriminating pieces of evidence.
It also has taped conversations between Marcos and Americans Robert Chastain and Richard Hirschfeld who befriended the former and posed as arms procurers/dealers. They testified in a 1987 hearing on the US House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs about their series of wiretapped conversations that revealed Marcos’ plan to invade the Philippines and of his admission of “1,000 tons of gold hidden in a secret cache and $500 million in Swiss bank accounts.”
For context, it is best to read Carmen Navarro Pedrosa’s The Rise and Fall of Imelda Marcos (1987). This one details the early life of Imelda in Leyte, growing up as the daughter of her father’s second family; how she pined for a better life after growing up owning and treated less by his aristocratic family; of her, her mother and siblings living in an apartment above a garage while her siblings from the first marriage lived in a mansion.
There are also other accounts that detail the psyche of Imelda, the child and beautiful woman who would catch the attention of Ferdinand who she will marry a few days after meeting him. It also has pictures of the family, notably one that fashions Ferdinand and Imelda and their children as a royal family complete with sashes.
Among the better of Star Cinema’s offerings is Dekada 70, penned by critically acclaimed writer Lualhati Bautista. Aside from its stellar cast that includes Vilma Santos, Piolo Pascual, Marvin Agustin and Christopher de Leon, it illustrates how limiting and limited one’s freedom to expression was during that era.
Lauren Greenfield manages to elicit powerful and revealing statements and imagery in her 2019 documentary, The Kingmaker, which had successful repeat screenings at the Cultural Center of the Philippines last year. “Perception is real, but the truth is not,” Imelda remarked while seemingly oblivious to the severity of her statement.
Hopefully, Filipinos of all ages will not only forget what today is. But more than the date, it is implored for them not to be disheartened by our ugly truths. If we conveniently forget them, we’re bound to repeat them.
Unstoppable BLACKPINK soon to become PUBG avatars
BLACKPINK members Jennie, Jisoo, Rosé, and Lisa are expected to become avatars as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) announced its collaboration with the K-pop group.
In a post of PUBG Corporation’s social media accounts, it was revealed that the team-up will soon be experienced in its mobile platforms. While not so much is known of yet, BLINKs have been hyping the collab which will be a first for a KPop group.
Individual teaser posters of the girls were also recently released to give a glimpse of how they will appear on the assault mobile game.
The powerhouse girl group is indeed unstoppable as they go beyond the music charts.
Recently, their collaboration with Selena Gomez for Ice Cream has been a mainstay on Billboard Hot 100 since its release.
Hollywood stars don pajamas for pandemic-era ‘virtual’ Emmys
TV stars picked out their favorite pajamas ahead of Sunday’s reinvented, pandemic-hit Emmys, which will see nominees accept prizes live from their homes, with dark superhero satire “Watchmen” tipped to dominate the night.
Hollywood’s first major Covid-era award show will look radically different to previous editions, with no red carpet and a host broadcasting from an empty theater in Los Angeles, which remains under strict lockdown.
Winners at the 72nd Emmys — the small-screen equivalent of the Oscars — have been sent cameras to hook up in their own living rooms, gardens and even bedrooms.
They have also been encouraged to get creative with their acceptance speeches as well as locations, meaning even the show’s producers are in for a few surprises.
“They don’t know what it’s going to look like — it’s a crapshoot,” said Deadline awards columnist Pete Hammond.
Jimmy Kimmel has been tasked with hosting the night.
The late night funnyman began presenting his own talk show from home months ago, and held together the notorious 2017 Oscars after a fiasco saw the wrong best picture winner announced.
“The executive producers at least seem very prepared for anything and more importantly everything to go wrong,” said Libby Hall, IndieWire’s TV awards editor.
As for the awards themselves, “Watchmen” leads the charge with a whopping 26 nominations, primarily in the limited series categories.
The timely graphic novel spin-off — which won rave reviews from critics and audiences alike — tackles historic US racism, police violence and even mask-wearing.
“‘Watchmen’ speaks so specifically in so many unprecedented ways to the moment in which we’re living right now,” said Hill.
“I think people will probably get pretty tired of hearing Watchmen’s name getting called… it’s as much of a lock as we have right now.”
The prestigious drama series categories promise to be more closely contested this year than in recent editions — HBO’s Emmys record-breaking “Game of Thrones” has finally mounted a dragon and soared off to Westeros.
“It’s a relief for HBO that they have ‘Succession’ hitting at the right time,” said Hammond.
The dark portrait of a powerful Murdoch-esque family’s wrangling for control of a dynastic media empire has amassed 18 nominations.
It is tied with “Ozark,” Jason Bateman’s crime saga set in the American heartland from Netflix, which despite landing a record 160 nominations this year is still desperate to win its first major series Emmy.
Dark horses include British royals saga “The Crown” and live-action Star Wars series “The Mandalorian,” which boasts lavish Thrones-esque production values and has already won multiple Emmys in technical categories for newcomer Disney+.
In the race for comedy honors, past winner “The Marvelous Mrs Maisel” — Amazon’s quirky tale of a 1950s housewife who becomes a standup comic — will battle sleeper hit “Schitt’s Creek.”
The latter, a Canadian comedy about a privileged family forced to live in a rundown motel, failed to earn a single nomination in its first four years, but gained attention by later airing on Netflix and signed off with a heartwarming final season.
Emmy voters “know it’s the show’s last chance… that’s the one that’s got big momentum,” said Hammond.
Of the more than 100 acting nominations in the drama, comedy, limited series and television movie categories this year, more than a third of them went to black actors — a new record
Aside from the awards themselves, the night will honor the career achievement of Tyler Perry.
The African-American entertainment mogul has championed greater diversity in Hollywood, and this year paid funeral costs for black victims of police violence including George Floyd.
The theme of tackling racism is expected to feature prominently throughout the night.
Many stars in famously liberal Hollywood are likely to have a wary eye on President Donald Trump’s re-election bid — and to express grief over the death of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
And then of course there’s the pandemic itself to address.
“Even if Sunday night is a complete disaster, it’s at least going to be an interesting disaster,” said Hill.
“And that’s really all you can ask for in 2020.”
All-Korean digital channel launched
GMA 7 is widening its programming of all things Korean with Hallypop — the first digital channel dedicated to K-pop, lifestyle and entertainment.
The Kapuso network has partnered with international streaming media company Jungo TV to give its Filipino audience 24/7 access to the hottest Korean shows including international concert tours, music videos and live performances.
Top South Korean variety show Running Man debuts on 20 September in the Philippines. The upcoming episode will feature Record of Youth’s Park Bo-gum and K-pop superstar group BTS.
Other shows from Hallypop are Music Bank, StarGazeMuzik, JYP’s Party People, Sidewalk Talk and K-Pop Star.
Meanwhile, the Hallystage will air performances by global music stars U2 and Beyoncé.
ABS-CBN online shows now have 30 million views
ABS-CBN Films remains active online with two variety shows, an innovative visual podcast and the most-watched digital series with a combined 30 million views.
Enjoying 10.1 million views is the one-hour talk-variety-musical show I Feel U hosted by Toni Gonzaga. The program features reunions of famous TV show cast members, mini-concerts, contests and tributes to heroes in the pandemic.
The show is live-streamed Sundays at 9:30 a.m. with a replay at 5 p.m. on the Facebook pages of Star Cinema, Black Sheep, TFC, ABS-CBN Entertainment, Star Music, One Music, Jeepney TV, MyChos, as well as the YouTube pages of Star Cinema and Jeepney TV.
It is also available on the Star Cinema and oks.abs-cbn.com websites and the newly merged iWant TFC. On cable, viewers can catch it on Cinema One, Jeepney TV and Myx while catch-up viewing is on the Kapamilya Online Live via the ABS-CBN Entertainment Facebook page.
After a successful first run that premiered in May, the show is now on its second season.
The pandemic did not stop ABS-CBN Films from discovering and introducing new artists. Via its new management team, Rise Artists Studio, the company has produced a twin set of shows with 16 young faces.
We Rise Together is a youth-oriented variety show that features the Rise Artists Studio talents in lively chat sessions and games. It live-streams Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 12 p.m. on Rise Artists Studio’s Facebook and YouTube accounts, oks.abs-cbn.com, iWant TFC and Kumu and has replays on the same platforms in the evening.
Giving the show’s fans a chance to get closer to their Rise Artists Studio idols is Rise Here, Right Now, an Instagram live spinoff that is now on Kumu every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
ABS-CBN Films has also given Filipinos an innovative new kind of entertainment format with the visual podcast series Listen to Love. Its first book, titled Four Bad Boys and Me, is hosted by Maymay Entrata and features Kaori Oinuma, Rhys Miguel, Jeremiah Lisbo, Karina Bautista, Aljon Mendoza, with Chie Filomeno.
Listen to Love can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. To catch it, fans can go to the Facebook pages of Star Cinema, Black Sheep, Rise, MyChos, ABS-CBN Entertainment, Star Magic, Star Hunt, TFC and Star Cinema’s YouTube channel.
The show is also on the music streaming app Spotify and podcast apps from Apple, Pocket Cast, Google and Overcast as well as the Star Cinema and oks.abs-cbn.com websites, Jeepney TV and iWant TFC.
Launched in August, the visual podcast already has a combined total of 4.6 million views.
ABS-CBN Films has likewise produced the phenomenal digital series Hello Stranger. Belonging to the now popular boys love or BL genre, Hello Stranger gave Filipinos a chance to fall in love with the pairing of a nerdy college student and a school jock, played by JC Alcantara and Tony Labrusca, respectively.
The show has recently ended but can still be viewed on Black Sheep’s Facebook page and YouTube channel, on iWant TFC and on cable via Cinema One.
During the show’s entire run, it consistently became the No. 1 trending Twitter topic in the Philippines. It has also crossed borders and garnered a steady international following, trending worldwide including the United States, Puerto Rico, Belarus and Thailand.
So far, It is the only Filipino series to have been invited to the ImageOut Film Festival in New York.
The success of Hello, Stranger prompted ABS-CBN to give fans a chance to interact with the series’ stars in a finale fan conference and advanced finale screening, drawing viewers from across the globe including Jakarta, Bangkok, Taipei, Doha, Paris, Chicago, London, Vancouver, San Diego, Dublin, Melbourne, Toronto, Seattle, Calgary, Riyadh, Kiel, Barcelona, Sharjah, Kuwait, Houston, Rio de Janeiro, Al Kobar, Bethlehem and Copenhagen.
With close to 14 million views, it is now the most viewed digital series in the Philippines. Fans hoping to see the stars together again won’t have to wait long as the show will soon have a movie spin-off.
Filmmaking webinars, workshops till today
The Philippine International Comics Online Festival (PICOF), ongoing till today, 20 September, features filmmaking webinars and online workshops from experts in their fields.
Learn to adapt your story into films, animation, TV series or video games in the following curated classes:
• Writing Characters and Effective Dialogue by Ricky Lee, 20 September, 9 a.m.-12 p.m.
Learn to create memorable characters and write effective dialogue with Ricky Lee, the scriptwriter of Himala, Relasyon, Moral, Jose Rizal, and Anak. He has won over 70 scriptwriting and lifetime achievement awards, authored several books including Trip to Quiapo and mentored writers, directors, and producers in the film industry for the past 40 years.
• Illustrating the Storyboard with Josel Nicolas, 20 September, Sunday 1 to 4 p.m.
Illustrating comics can be a viable profession–if you get hired to illustrate for films, animation or TV commercials. Josel Nicolas is the creator of Windmills, editor of Piko a children’s comic book anthology, and has worked with film director Erik Matti in Buy Bust, Kuwaresma, and Darna. Nicolas will share the work process of working with directors and film storyboard work.
• Animating Comics Featuring the Full Circle Lab 2020 Filmmakers, 20 September, 5 to 8 p.m.
Meet the creators who want to bring their stories and comics to life. Avid Liongoren (Saving Sally, Hayop Ka and Zsazsa Zaturnnah vs the Amazonistas of Planet X) plans to animate Rob Cham’s Light/Lost, Mitzi Delima’s Oyayi, Strange Natives by director Paolo Herras and producer Magoo del Mundo, and Kim Timan & August Lyle Espino’s With You.
Log on to bit.ly/picof2020week3. #PICOF2020 is a partnership with National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Film Development Council of the Philippines, British Council Philippines, Embassy of France to the Philippines, SIKAP-Creative Content Creators Association of the Philippines, Inc., Adobo magazine and Thames International.