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Shin Min-Ah in talks for a medical drama

Louise Lizan



Award-winning female actor Shin Min-ah. / Photographs courtesy of ig/illusomina and diva

It’s possible that the role of a nurse will be added to the list of characters that award-winning female actor Shin Min-ah has portrayed. Shin’s agency, AM Entertainment, has issued a statement that she has been offered the lead role in a new medical drama, I am Nurse, a Human.

“It is true that Shin Min-ah has received an offer to star in I am Nurse, a Human. Nothing is confirmed,” the agency said. It is one of many projects Shin is considering. Previously, she was confirmed to be included in the star-studded cast of Here (working title) whose filming was indefinitely postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

I am Nurse, a Human is a drama adaptation of an essay from its screenwriter, Kim Hyun-ah, who worked as a nurse in a surgical intensive care unit for over 21 years. Its novel of the same name, written by Kim herself, sheds light on the people working alongside doctors, their struggles and sacrifices while tending to patients.

If negotiations turn out fine, Shin will portray nurse Park Hee-ae, whose genuine care for her patients starts to change after getting abused by a patient’s guardian. According to news reports, the drama will focus on the theme of “the nurse is a person, not an angel of white,” a message apt for the kind of situation the world’s frontliners are in today.

Shin gained fame in the 2010 romance/fantasy series My Girlfriend is a Gumiho with Lee Seung-gi. Her last drama series was 2019’s Chief of Staff where she portrayed Kang Seon-yeong, a lawyer-turned-politician.

Shin is also in the thriller film Diva, which premieres on 23 September.

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DEAR DIARY DAY: 10 films about or based on diaries

Sundy Locus



Not only an escape, but diaries are among the greatest sources of stories.

It is where one gathers his deepest thoughts and feelings, translating them into words and phrases that describe his experiences. It is where reality and fantasy often divulged, and where secrets are whispered.

Writers, musicians, and artists have taken inspiration from this universal experience, giving birth to endless novels, films, and songs based on diaries.

In celebration of ‘Dear Diary Day’, we listed some of the best movies and novels straight from one character’s journal to another:


1. Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank)


History junkie or not, Anne Frank’s name surely resonates.

The young Jewish girl lived through the Holocaust and started writing in her diary when she was 13.

Addressed to her friend ‘Kitty’, Anne’s journal became her haven during the World War II and where she documented the story about her and her family’s life while in hiding.

It landed on the hands of Miep Gies after her death, who gave it to her father Otto — the only survivor in their family.

Entitled ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’ or ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’, her book of writings was published in 1947 and is now considered as one of the most popular books of all time. It is translated into 60 languages and has sold over 30-million copies worldwide.

It was also adapted into a movie in 1959 where Millie Perkins acted as the young Anne.


2. Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

Based on the 1997 novel of the same name by Arthur Golden, Memoirs of the Geisha is about Chiyo Sakamoto, a young Japanese girl who was sold by her impoverished family to a geisha house in order to support them.

The film centers around the sacrifices and hardship faced by pre-World War II geisha, and the challenges posed by the war and a modernizing world to geisha society.

The movie stars Ziyi Zhang, Ken Watanabe, Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Youki Kudoh, Suzuka Ohgo, and Samantha Futerman.


3. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid

This is one relatable story about growing up, the book series from author Jeff Kinney tells the tale of middle-school student Greg Heffley.

Wanting to become popular at school, he wrote down his misadventures in his journals and shared the lessons he learned along the way.

First published in 2007, the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ book series remained on the New York Times bestseller lists since its publication.

It is currently available in 76 editions in 64 languages and was adapted into four films: Diary of A Wimpy Kid (2010), Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rule (2011), Diary of A Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (2012), and Diary of A Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (2017).


4. Diary ng Panget (2014)

The movie that launched JaDine or the loveteam of James Reid and Nadine Lustre into fame.

‘Diary ng Panget’ tells the story of the main character ‘Eya’ and how she met Cross Sandford– straight from her diary.

It was based on the romantic-comedy novel of the same title by ‘HaveYouSeenThisGirl’ or Denny R. in real life.


5. The Notebook (2004)

Based on the Nicholas Sparks-classic ‘The Notebook’, the 2004 film adaptation stars Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams as a young couple who fell in love in the 1940s.

Their story is read from a notebook in the present day by an elderly man (played by James Garner), telling the tale to a fellow nursing home resident (played by Gena Rowlands).


6. Mara Clara (1992-1995)


Talking about plot twists, the biggest revelation in the hit Filipino television series Mara Clara revolved around a diary.

Mara and Clara were switched at birth, and the details of this event were recorded by Kardo, a hospital staff, in his diary.

Mara (Judy Ann Santos) lived as the poor daughter of the couple Susan (Susan Africa) and Gary Davis (Eruel Tongco/William Martinez) while Clara (Gladys Reyes), their real daughter, was brought up by the rich couple Amanthe (Juan Rodrigo) and Almira Del Valle (Beverly Vergel).

This was reprised in 2010 by then teen stars Kathryn Bernardo ang Julia Montes.

Mara Clara is considered as one of the most popular television series in the country, with over 300 episodes airing for three years.


7. Vampire Diaries (2009)

The Vampire Diaries is a supernatural teen drama television series based on the popular novels of the same name by L. J. Smith.

It centers around the lives, loves, dangers and disasters in the fictional town of Mystic Falls in Virginia as told through the journal entries of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev).


8. The Carrie Diaries (2013)

The prequel to the popular movie series “Sex and the City”, The Carrie Diaries foretold the adventures of 16-year-old Carrie Bradshaw after landing an internship in New York.

She recorded her internal musings in her diary and documented her growth both as a writer and as a person.


9. Princess Diaries (2001)

The coming-of-age film from Garry Marshall revolves around the life of Mia Thermopolis, who has just found out that she is the heir apparent to the throne of Genovia.

With her friends Lilly and Michael Moscovitz in tow, she tries to navigate through the rest of her sixteenth year.


10. Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

Bridget Jones (played by Renée Zellweger) wants to fall in love and her diary surely knows it.

The romantic-comedy film released in 2001 is about her entries and how she improved herself while she looking for love.

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Xian Lim takes the strings

Danny Vibas



XIAN Lim dabbles in directing movies with the Filipino puppeteery film, ‘Mala.’ PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF IG/XIANLIMM

Film-TV actor Xian Lim is about to make history (in the Philippines). He is all set to direct a pioneering Filipino puppetry film. (Yes, there are puppeteers in the country who are not with a foreign government and are also non-oligarchs. They are mostly little-known artists from hardly known cultural groups.)
Xian will direct a film with puppets as main characters for the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), specifically for the program Sining Sigla of the CCP Office of the President, whose occupant was a film-TV director for many years, though he started his career as an artist as a theater director: Arsenio “Nick” Lizaso.

Foremost puppetry practitioner in the country Dr. Amelia Lapena Bonifacio of the University of the Philippines has acknowledged Xian’s work, which will be the first ever the country.

The actor will make not just one film, but two, though both will be adaptations of literary masterpieces of the Philippines: Florante at Laura and Ibong Adarna. The screenplays were written by ventriloquist-puppeteer Ony Carcamo who was once entertainment editor of a tabloid attached to a broadsheet (not the Daily Tribune).

Ony’s alter-ego puppet Kiko in his ventriloquist act may appear in any of the two films — with Ony himself giving voice to the puppet, as all ventriloquists do.

The puppetry films belong to Sining Sigla’s MALA project. The acronym stands for Modern Adaptation of Literary Arts. But as Ony explained at the virtual media conference for Sining Sigla, when MALA is written in lower case, it becomes the Tagalog prefix that means “resembling” or “like.”


“The films will be mala-Florante at Laura and mala-Ibong Adarna. They will not be the full-length versions of those literary masterpieces we inherited from our ancestors. Those two works have dozens of characters, long-winding plots that take hours to stage. So we’re doing film adaptations that can be viewed on a shorter time.

Our versions will be just mala,” explained Ony at the Zoom media huddle.

Xian has directed only one film so far, and it must be familiar to CCP officials and personnel. Tabon, a suspense-drama, was an entry in the 2019 Cinemalaya at the CCP. It had mixed reception, but a film is a film and not everyone can conceive and direct a film to qualify as an entry to a festival as prestigious as Cinemalaya. That acceptance must be more than good enough qualification for Xian to be asked to direct what is expected to be a historic film.

The films will be shown online for free at the CCP Facebook page in either October or November.


Other components
Sining Sigla is actually a festival in its own right. One component will be historic for actor-director Ricky Davao because it will be his first time to helm a project for the CCP. And it is a mini-festival in itself: Isang Pagbabalik-Tanaw sa Hari ng Balagtasan. That hari (king) is Jose Corazon de Jesus, more popularly known as the poet “Huseng Batute,” after whom a laboratory theater at the CCP is named.

It’s the third time that a mini-festival for the versatile literary man (he also wrote plays, essays, editorials and even screenplays for which he also acted) will be held at the CCP. Its format is a cultural variety show and this year’s edition will be hosted by GMA 7’s star comedian Michael V. Among the performers will be John Arcilla and soprano Lara Maigue.

Sining Sigla also has a jazz festival component that will be shown on the Facebook pages of the CCP and the CCP Office of the President on 25 to 27 September and 2 to 4 October 2020, all at 7:30 p.m. Among the artists performing will be saxophonist Tots Tolentino and Michael Guevarra, singers Nicole Asensio, Lorna Cifra, the all-female group Baihana, the Simon Tan Trio and pianist Pipo Cifra.

Aside from individual performances, there will be one grand performance for all of them to be directed by Stanley Seludo, a member of the CCP Board of Trustees who is a musician himself.


As of this writing, dramatic and messy events have broken out off-camera among showbiz idols, such as Liza Soberano getting upset by a female netizen’s Twitter comment that she is “sarap ipa-rape sa ano,” followers of former child star Xyriel Manabat howling at netizens’ nasty comments about the seemingly oversized breasts of the now 16-year-old Civil Engineering student. Also, Miss Universe Catriona Gray has filed a case against the (female) editor and (female) writer of a tabloid who published the world beauty queen’s alleged nude photo.

If those stories still sizzle by weekend, I’ll be able to deal with them in my Sunday column.

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New K-Pop group ENHYPEN

Louise Lizan



THE seven boys who survived the world of ‘I-Land’ find a new beginning in ENHYPEN. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF VLIVE/ENHYPEN

A day after the 18 September final episode of the South Korean survival reality show I-Land saw the seven winning contestants prepararing to debut as new K-Pop group ENHYPEN.

The show was produced by Belift Lab, a joint venture between entertainment companies CJ E& and Big Hit.

Three months of intense training in I-Land trimmed the aspirants from 23 to nine. The show had the nine finalists vying for a spot in the new septet.

Jungwon, Jay, Jake, Niki, Heeseung, Sunghoon and Sunoo emerged as the chosen seven.

I-Land’s final test was a performance of a new original song, “Calling (Run To You).”

BTS and TXT, both managed by Big Hit, were present to give support and advice to the new group, along with Big Hit founder Bang Si-Hyuk. Rapper-producer Zico and superstar singer-dancer Rain were both mentors on the show.


‘I-land’ winners (from left) Ni-ki, Sunghoon, Jake, Jungwon, Heeseung, Jay and Sunoo.

Past trainees also graced the I-Land stage one last time and reunited with the finalists to perform their signal song “Into the I-Land.”

“Similar to the ‘hyphen’ that connects one word to another, ENHYPEN means that seven different boys connect to discover one another and grow together,” said BELIFT Lab. “They also have an ambitious plan to connect people and the world through their music.”

Jungwon, Jay, Jake, Ni-Ki, Sunghoon and Heesung were chosen by the global viewers, while member Sunoo was the producers’ choice.

Three days after joining social media, ENHYPEN was warmly welcomed by the fans who have been watching the trainees’ growth and progress in the observation reality program. As of this writing, the group’s Twitter account (@ENHYPEN) has gained half a million followers already while its Instagram (@enhypen) is nearing 600,000 followers.

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Pinky Tobiano returns with online show






Chemist Pinky Tobiano is back with a new show, Grateful Tuesdays, with its first episode airing on 22 September, 7 to 8 p.m. on Cornerstone Entertainment’s Facebook page with a simultaneous streaming on CSTV’s Kumu account.

Pinky first drew attention via online show, Essential Cleaning Tips, which provided important information to households.

This led to new opportunities to serve the public’s interest.

Grateful Tuesdays, which has replaced Essential Cleaning Tips, aims to help people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each episode will choose one barangay as recipient of food packs from the show’s sponsors.

Charm Aranton, grand winner of the reality talent competition Witty 101 and now part of Cornerstone’s roster of artists, will visit the chosen barangay.

Grateful Tuesdays will also feature inspiring stories on social media that depict Filipino resilience in these trying times.

The household cleaning tips will still be part of Grateful Tuesdays. Joining Pinky in the show as cohost is singer Yeng Constantino.

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Piolo to produce Robin, Angelica, Sam Netflix animation starrer





Piolo Pascual has kept mum on all the recent controversies that hound him but he’s got good news for his fans.

The hunky actor is the executive producer of the adult animation Hayop Ka! The Nimfa Dimaano Story.

It will feature the voices of Angelica Panganiban,  Sam Milby, and Robin Padilla and is set to premiere on 29 October.

Netflix released its look on 21 September.

Additional voice cast include Empoy Marquez, Piolo Pascual, Arci Muñoz, Eugene Domingo, Yeng Constantino, Moira dela Torre and Joyce Bernal.

It is directed by Avid Liongoren and produced by Rocketsheep Studio and Spring Films owned by Piolo and his partners which includes Bernal.

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‘Virtual’ Emmys open with cardboard cutouts, remote video calls

Agence France-Presse



Host Jimmy Kimmel opened the Emmys on Sunday from an empty Los Angeles theater filled with cardboard cutouts of the nominees, marking the start of Hollywood’s first major Covid-era award show.

“Hello and welcome to the pand-Emmys,” said Kimmel, as producers cut to archive footage of a star-studded audience, before revealing the venue’s empty seats.

Nominees for the 72nd Emmys — television’s version of the Oscars — are beaming in remotely from their homes, with only a handful of special guest presenters appearing in person including Jennifer Aniston.

After last year’s hostless Emmys, Kimmel joked: “You can’t have a virus without a host.”

The first prize of the night, best actress in a comedy series, went to Catherine O’Hara for “Schitt’s Creek,” who was handed her award by a presenter in a hazmat suit at a socially distanced event for the show’s cast in Toronto.

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Alden, Ruru inspire cancer warriors





VETERAN journalist and ‘Bright Side’ host Kara David.

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.

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BTS muses on its success

Raye Sanchez



RM, leader and rapper, says the process is like a puzzle whenever the group tries to make an album. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF BIG HIT ENTERTAINMENT

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:

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GMA News TV brings back full line-up of newscasts





‘24 Oras Weekend’ anchors PIA Arcangel and Ivan Mayrina. PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF GMA NEWS TV

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.


Emil Sumangil reports the latest news on the streets on ‘QRT.’

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.

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