Archives For November 2010

Department of Tourism (DOT) Undersecretary Vicente Romano III, who heads the agency’s planning and promotions, resigned his post on Tuesday afternoon as he took responsibility for the controversial “Pilipinas Kay Ganda” slogan and website.

In a verified resignation letter posted online, Romano admitted full responsibility for the botched tourism promotion campaign.

Creative process and execution

Romano defended the design of the logo, which had earlier been criticized as having been “plagiarized” from the ‘Polska’ tourism logo of Poland.

“Getting inspiration from existing designs is not an uncommon practice. In fact, in one of the definitions of plagiarism, it is stated that, ‘While plagiarism is condemned in academia and journalism, in the arts it is often a major part of the creative process.’ I did not consider it plagiarism then. I’m sorry others don’t feel the same way,” Romano said.

He also said that he was “convinced” that the success of the Filipino-language slogan “is (just) a matter of execution.”

“I honestly think a Manny Pacquiao saying ‘Pilipinas kay Ganda’ will make a world curious and try to find out what it means,” he explained.

‘Vote of no confidence’

However, Romano acceded to widespread public clamor against the campaign.

“I take the rejection of the brand by the people as a vote of ‘no confidence’ not just for the brand, but also for the person behind it. I take full responsibility for the branding controversy, and for this reason I am tendering my irrevocable resignation,” he said.

Romano admitted that the campaign was still just a “work in progress” at the time of its “preview” last November 15, but he made the decision to promote the event in the hopes of gaining public support for the brand.

‘Lost opportunity’

“I am fully convinced that every day we do not run a campaign is a lost opportunity to boost our tourism arrivals. It is a lost opportunity to generate jobs and alleviate poverty,” he expalined.

“I now realize a consultation process is long and arduous, and my attempt to fast-track the consultation process is one of the reasons why it failed,” Romano admitted.

Aquino accepts ‘honorable’ resignation

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has already accepted Romano’s resignation.

“(Romano) offered his resignation, he admitted his mistake, it was honorable of him to offer his resignation, and the president respects him for his act. It is with reluctance that the president accepted his resignation,” Lacierda said.—TJ Dimacali with Jam L. Sisante/JV, GMANews.TV

Pacquiao in perspective

November 23, 2010 — 1 Comment
Manny Pacquiao

Manny Pacquiao

Manny is the one icon to rise from the masses and become everything that the upper classes wish they had amongst their kind. They forget that only the downtrodden will not mind getting their faces wrecked in a boxing match.

No, my household didn’t spend that Sunday morning and the rest of the day excited about Manny Pacquiao’s fight. Papa was fast asleep and woke up only to leave for work. Mama woke up and asked: “May live ba tayo?” To which my answer was no, as always. Not one of the channels on our cable subscription could deliver a real live telecast of the Pacquiao-Margarito fight. Like the past eight other fights, we depend on over-acting super biased radio announcers on AM and FM radio to get a sense of what’s going on.

This time though my Twitter contacts kept me updated; Mama was looking at a live blow-by-blow on Yahoo; one of Mama’s FB contacts posted a link to some free live streaming of the fight – it was a dead link. The radio announcerswere ecstatic and announced that the fight was Manny’s. Our TV was still on delayed telecast, showing an earlier non-Pacquiao fight: we were shaking our heads in disappointment. Manny’s advertisements came on one after the other; we shook our heads at the absurdity.

Even more so when it was tweeted that Mommy Dionisia had fainted, and the source of information was nobody else but Vicki Belo; even more so when the image of Jinkee, Manny’s wife, appeared on TV, in a slinky red dress and sleek straight hair, looking whiter than usual. Maybe just different.

All these inform this different perspective I take in viewing Manny, as I look at his particular celebrity and find that while it’s borne of his being the greatest boxer of our time, it is also extraneous to it at this point given its largeness, its breadth. An athlete like Manny is few and far between for this nation, maybe that’s why we don’t know how to reckon with what his fame has become, all-pervasive in the way that only a pop star’s celebrity is. Yes, even when we can’t watch the darn fight like the rest of the pay-per-view world.

Manny as Pinoy celebrity

Where we come from, the creation of a celebrity is particularly wrought with a crisis: how much of the personal do we reveal to the public, how much of the public image is actually real? In Manny’s case, this is even more complex: he isn’t an artista in the conventional way, and athletes like him usually limit their exposure to some TV hosting (ala Christine Jacob), or to doing some comedy (ala Freddie Webb, Benjie Paras, Olympic boxer Onyok Velasco), or to a movie or two (such as the triumvirate of Alvin Patrimonio, Jojo Lastimosa and Jerry Codiñera). It also isn’t new, the sportsman who decides to become public servant in Congress or the Senate, such as Robert Jaworski and Ramon Fernandez.

What is new is the fact that Manny does all of these – pag-aartista and being public servant – while he is a professional boxer. In fact, since 2008 he’s been visible on TV, first as a host of Pinoy Records with college basketball heartthrob Chris Tiu and recently as a comedian on Show Me The Manny with star Marian Rivera. The celebrity status would come to a head with his first major movie Wapakman in December 2009, the making of which coincided with his training for the November 2009 fight with Miguel Angel Cotto. He won the latter of course, but he also had to contend with talk about his infidelity, complete with footage of his wife Jinkee refusing to be touched by Manny, post-fight. Suddenly, Manny was fodder for both sports show and showbiz talk.

And in perfect showbiz fashion, Manny denied committing infidelity; Jinkee meanwhile was suddenly selling a weight reduction injection for a beauty clinic, with a billboard showing her fab new body beside an injured Pacquiao in the context of the flashing lights of a boxing match. We were supposed to go figure.

And yes, I said billboard. Because that is what being a celebrity on these shores is about: getting endorsement deals and some billboards if possible. There is a major difference though between Manny as celebrity worthy of endorsement deals and international athletes on his level who have the same. The likes of Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, Kobe Bryant and David Beckham will sell mostly sports products, i.e., Nike and Adidas, Spalding for Bryant, AeroProDrive Racquets for Nadal. When these international athletes do sports-unrelated endorsements, they’re given TV commercials that respect their status as world-class athletes. Those Rolex advertisements of Federer, and Nadal’s Kia commercial are wonderful; their advertisements in their native Switzerland and Spain are the same.

So how have Manny’s local endorsement deals treated his world class stature? Well, most of them make him speak in English for one, which necessarily makes them funny given his Bisayan accent. This isn’t because viewers are discriminatory, it’s because these ads mean to be funny for better recall. Manny’s celebrity has also sold everything from deodorant to shampoo, ice cream to milk, mineral water to a fast food chain, pain killers to car batteries, making it seem like he’s saying yes to every endorsement deal that comes his way, regardless of the kinds of ads they’ll make him do.

Never mind that the Nike ads by Manny have consistently let him be himself. His first Nike TV commercial had English subtitles because they let him speak in Filipino; a later ad shows some clips from his recent fight and a slogan that’s creative and touching; the same is done for his training ad where what Manny does was deemed more important than what he says. In Nike ads that put together various international athletes, Manny appears with Nadal and Bryant, and as with his other Nike advertisements, it is reason for pride. And goose bumps.

It’s also reason to imagine that Manny’s image could be better handled, with respect that befits him. Meanwhile, what we have is this absurdity: Manny’s kids and wife in a fast food commercial here, a suka commercial there, wife Jinkee as cover girl in magazines, mother Dionisia dancing some ballroom on TV and doing a movie with ex-President Joseph Estrada. That last bit is reason for goose bumps too, but of the kind reserved for the absurd.

Manny’s humility

Manny seems to be all we’d like to see, not just in an athlete but in a person, too, yes? There is humility to him that we don’t know to be normal for world-renowned boxers, not when we remember ears being bitten in boxing. It’s easy to think that this is also about his brand of professional athleticism in boxing: if there’s one thing to be said about his training, it’s that it has kept him human. And for this Freddie Roach deserves some credit, for allowing Manny to be his humble self, much like the way managers will keep their showbiz talents grounded in the face of fame and fortune.

At the same time I daresay that like singing, humility is something that we create in the hundreds in this country, especially in those who come from the poorer classes. These are the ones of us who know only to dream, and once it’s fulfilled can only be overwhelmed and be kept down to earth by the truth(s) that their beginnings hold up as mirrors. It’s in every other celebrity who has lived the rags-to-riches story, which is to say it’s in most every athlete. This is a humility that’s almost an ideology in the way being hospitable is, where sometimes we are abused for it, sometimes it’s unclear if we’re in control of what happens because of it.

Case in point, when Manny sings in the Jimmy Kimmel show with Will Ferrell, what exactly do we make of that? That is supposed to be funny, right? He is being made to sing, to showcase his talents, yes? But is this not a gaze that is farthest from being positive? Because Michael Jordan isn’t made to sing in a late-night comedy show, though I’m pretty sure he holds a microphone to do some karaoke, too. But Manny, because he has told the world that he sings – even has a CD and concerts – seems to be that world-class Pinoy athlete who’s being egged on: come on, sing for us! Come on, we want to see this absurdity! Show us who you are, so we may feel better about ourselves.

America isn’t the kindest of nations, and I don’t know why we even let these instances of making Manny reason for laughter, slide. There are many things we believe about Manny, and many Americans who believe him to be the greatest boxer alive. This obviously doesn’t make him invincible to what is a silent racism, the kind that we’d rather turn a blind eye to: let’s not think about it, Manny seems to be enjoying himself. Of course that is beside the point.

Manny’s politics, or the lack of it

Because the point is this: Manny, as with all athletes the world over, stands for nation in ways that only an athlete’s pain and determination and success can. For the Philippines though, Manny is also about dreaming and possibility, fame and politics. In the Philippines, Manny is athlete, but also artista and congressman; in the Philippines Manny is the one icon to rise from the masses and become everything that the upper classes wish they had amongst their kind. They forget that only the downtrodden will not mind getting their faces wrecked in a boxing match.

Meanwhile, we apparently don’t mind that someone like Manny will surround himself with politicians – even the ones that we’ve decided are the most crooked and corrupt of them all. Apparently, he can endorse US candidates, and we barely care. Apparently, we will let Manny do what he wants, no matter that it reeks of everything we’ve kicked out a President for: gambling, cockfighting, womanizing. Apparently, we will see him as credible still, regardless of the fact that he sells every other product in the market, including a beauty clinic. Apparently, we don’t mind that he is Congressman, and after that last fight, we will dare say that he deserves to be Senate President, never mind that we’ve been insisting that those we put in office be people who deserve it because they have proven themselves intelligent, honest, credible. The same goes for the calls to make him tourism icon. Apparently, Congress will celebrate his arrival by spending P300,000 pesos on a party, erasing all his absences and giving him the Congressman of the Year Award, forgetting that being the best boxer in the world isn’t equal to being the best public servant in the Philippines, in fact at this point it’s farthest from it.

But too, we seem to be absolving Manny of all possible faults, including the lack of a clear stand on anything. And I don’t know that this is the most productive way to deal with a world class athlete in our shores. Elsewhere in the world, athletes lose endorsements for bad behavior; elsewhere, they need to take good care of their public image, keep personal lives private, as a matter of gaining and keeping respect. Elsewhere, people dare to take athletes to task as public figures. On this side of the world, we are all just overwhelmed by Manny, so much so that we will forgive him anything, if we aren’t blinded completely to his faults.

It almost seems like we don’t know how to bring Manny up. Or maybe he’s happened so rarely for us, we don’t know how to deal with someone like him other than to coddle and humor him. That’s ultimately not bringing him up at all. – GMANews.TV

Dingdong Dantes

Dingdong Dantes

Nitong Sabado, November 6, ipinakilala si Dingdong Dantes bilang youth ambassador ng National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA). Simula na ba ito ng political career ng actor? Text by Loretta G. Ramirez, Photos by Connie Tungul

Sa press conference ng NCCA, masayang hinarap ni Dingdong Dantes ang mga members ng media upang pag-usapan ang kanyang bagong role as the youth ambassador for the culture and the arts.

“Nagpapasalamat ako sa trust na ibinigay nila. Kasi both private and public sectors pinagkakatiwalaan ang aking kakayahan para makaimpluensya. Ang I give so much credit to that because it inspires me more para mas galingan ko pa ang mga ginagawa ko bilang isang aktor,” ang pahayag niya.

Ayon sa NCCA napili ang aktor dahil sa kanyang “invaluable support to the arts and culture sector, as well as his positive and wholesome image.” Ang aktor din ang magiging kinatawan ng youth sector ng bansa for the celebration of the Philippine International Arts Festival 2011, isa sa mga flagship projects ng NCCA.

“One of their advocacies is to promote our own talent not just here but also abroad, so everything starts kung saan tayo, which is, sa akin, bilang isang aktor. So, doon ako magsisimula,” pahayag ni Dingdong.

Dahil na rin sa bagong niyang responsibilidad at sa kanyang YESPinoy Foundation, sunod na tinanong ng press kung hudyat na ba ito ng pagpasok niya sa mundo ng politics?

“Hindi,” paglilinaw ni Dingdong. “Wala namang kinalaman ‘yan, e. Like what I said, we all have to get out of our comfort zones, na hindi porke’t kuntento na tayo sa trabaho natin, e, titigil na tayo ro’n.

“Kung meron namang kakayahang gumawa ng iba, at kung may kakayahan na tumulong sa ibang cause, e, bakit hindi?”

Pag-usapan si Dingdong Dantes at ang kanyang mga proyekto sa mas pinagandangiGMA Forum. Not yet a member? Register here.

Daniel Matsunaga

Daniel Matsunaga

Viewers of the riveting drama series, Grazilda, will definitely be charmed with GMA’s resident hunk Daniel Matsunaga as he takes on a major role in the well-loved primetime bet on the Telebabad block.

Daniel is the newest addition to the all-star cast of Grazilda as he plays the role of Kasmir, the cold-hearted prince turned amorous lover of Glaiza de Castro. His character will not only spice up the adventures of Grazilda in Fantasia but also add excitement in her journeys in the real world.

This week, Grazilda meets Daniel’s character Kasmir as she escapes Fabiola. She needs to capture a magical creature which is the only animal that can kill the evil Fairy Godmother. But Kasmir will get in her way and make her quest even more complicated.

Meanwhile, Eric realizes the importance of Grazilda and regrets being separated with her. Veronne and Cindy use Eric as bait to manipulate Lolo Leon.

Fabiola uses her magic wand to create an earthquake in Fantasia in order to locate Grazilda. She succeeds but Grazilda and Kasmir’s life will be jeopardized. Kasmir saves Grazilda and soon, he gets attracted with her sincerity and smitten by her charms.

Will Grazilda find a new Prince Charming in the arms of Kasmir? Can Grazilda end Fabiola’s wickedness in Fantasia? Will Grazilda have a change of heart if she finds out the real identity of Kasmir?

Daniel has been flying high on Philippine showbiz as one of today’s hottest leading men. With his smoldering hot looks, disarming smile and boyish appeal, his stint inGrazilda will further cement his popularity among Filipinos and make his female fans and admirers swoon over him even more.

Grazilda airs weeknights right after Survivor Philippines Celebrity Showdown on GMA Telebabad. Text and photos courtesy of GMA Network

Paolo’s simple joy

November 23, 2010 — Leave a comment
Paolo Contis

Paolo Contis

Matagal-tagal din na hindi napanood sa isang drama series si Paolo Contis. Now he’s back as another kontrabida for Little Star. But aside from the joy he gets from acting, Paolo also talks about the simple joy of being a father. Text by Ayessa De La Pena. Photo by Mitch S. Mauricio.

Masaya si Paolo Contis sa kanyang pagbabalik sa drama through the afternoon soapLittle Star. Marami siyang gustong ikuwento tungkol sa kanyang bagong project, pero he was more excited to talk about her baby girl Xonia.

“My baby is doing great,” masayang kuwento ni Paolo, “She’s very healthy, mage-eight months na siya, so masaya [ako]. Nagiging mas kamukha ko na raw, pero hindi ko alam. Hindi ako marunong tumingin ng kamukha, e.”

Ayon pa sa aktor, masaya siyang panoorin ang paglaki ng kanyang baby girl dahil everyday ay may mga bago siyang nalalaman tungkol dito. “Everyday, iba-iba iyong ginagawa niya. Minsan magugulat ka na lang…iyong bilis ng transition niya mula walang magawa, biglang iikot, hanggang sa gumagapang. Ngayon nakatayo na pero kailangan may alalay pa,” he notes.

Dagdag pa ni Paolo, “It’s very fast and hindi ako nagsasawa na pare-pareho iyong ginagawa niya araw-araw. I love looking at her! She’s very playful—a very, very happy baby kaya ang sarap alagaan.”

Ano naman kaya ang traits niya na nakikita niya sa kanyang little girl?

“Maldita iyong anak ko, e, parang ako,” natatawang pahayag ni Paolo, “Ayaw magpahawak, pero sobrang sweet niya sa akin. Medyo daddy’s girl siya at saka magkamukha kami ‘pag nakasimangot, ‘pag salubong kilay.”

Sa Little Star ay isang kontrabida ang papel ni Paolo, ngunit ayon sa kanya hindi naman siya natatakot dahil sigurado siyang ang pagiging kontrabida niya sa isang mag-ina ay hanggang sa set lang.

“I will make sure naman na hindi ko gagawin sa anak ko iyon. At saka iyong mga hindi ko kayang gawin sa anak ko, gagawin ko na lang doon sa hindi ko anak,” pabirong sagot ni Paolo. But he is quick to add, “It’s a role that I do. I never take a role personally. I never bring it home.”

Sa pagtatapos ng interview, Paolo made it clear na inspired siyang magtrabaho dahil na rin sa kanyang baby. “Kung meron mang use iyong baby ko [sa akin], I know when I go home I have this little girl na reality check ko na I’m working for her.”

Panoorin si Paolo Contis as he plays the role of Lester sa Little Star tuwing hapon pagkatapos ng Ang Yaman ni Lola sa GMA Haponalo

Pag-usapan ang bagong project ni Paolo sa mas pinagandang iGMA Forum! Not yet a member? Register here.

Ang Yaman ni Lola Nanette Inventor

It has the drama and vivid characters of a teleserye, the fun of a comedic storyline, and the excitement of a reality game show all rolled into one generous program that will surely have everyone screaming: ANG YAMAN NI LOLA!

This groundbreaking new show from GMA Life TV features “Lola Barbie,” (Nanette Inventor) a rich 60-something year old woman who hires a group of “workers” every week. These workers – real people from various professions who have been chosen through auditions – will go through Lola’s chores and challenges within the context of the teleserye’s storyline.
This doesn’t sit well with some of the people around Lola Barbie. Enter the teleserye element. Lola’s family

Ang Yaman ni Lola Sheryl Cruz

attorney, Kimberly Cabagnot (Sheryl Cruz), is ambitious, manipulative and obsessed with keeping Lola’s fortune intact and available to her. Naturally, she resents the workers and makes life in the villa harder for them. Life at the villa becomes even more challenging with Kimberly’s bratty kids (Joyce Ching and Aaron Novilla). Also included in the cast are Kimberly’s husband Benjo (Benjie Paras), Lola’s confidante Mayordoma (Patricia Ysmael), and the resident hunk Boggart (Fabio Ide), who is also Lola’s all-around handyman.

During the week, Lola Barbie hands out a set of chores to the workers. The chores are based on the theme of the week. After going through the challenges, the most efficient worker wins a hefty P100,000.00 paycheck. The following week, a new set of workers is hired according to the series’ storyline.

Who among the workers will fall victim to the scheming family attorney’s machinations? Who will be rewarded for a job well done with a portion of Lola’s enormous fortune? ANG YAMAN NI LOLA! premieres on GMA Life TV on August 24. Call your preferred pay-TV operator to subscribe.

Kara David

In 1999 I-Witness aired “Koreskyonal” a documentary which provided a glimpse into what was then a hidden world behind the women’s correctional institute. Veteran journalist and I-Witness pioneer Jessica Soho spent a night in the correctional to document these women’s lives up close.

Kara David explored the same prison in her documentary “Selda Inosente” which won the ABU/CASBAA UNICEF Child Rights Award in 2003. The documentary showed the plight of children born to women in prison. After seven years, Kara David revisits the place and finds that the innocent are still literally awakened to a world behind bars.

Dayang (not her real name) is in a bind. She has just given birth but, unfortunately for her and her newborn, not in the best circumstance.

Child birth is one of the most unforgettable moments in a woman’s life. It brings enormous joy and hope to the mother especially as she nurses her bundle of joy for the very first time.

However, Dayang is serving time in prison.

Her predicament is one that mothers behind bars face – should one sacrifice her own baby’s freedom to be able to care for the child as a mother? Or should she give up her baby to allow the child to enjoy the liberty of a normal life?

In her 2003 documentary, Kara and her I-Witness team were able to document this difficult choice made by two mothers. Today, she searches for the children who were born in prison to find out how their lives were molded by their mothers’ choices. One was taken away to live in shelters while the other stayed and grew up behind bars. What will Kara discover in this reunion?

This November, Kara David gives a classic I-Witness documentary a new perspective as she looks at the plight of mothers and the children they bear behind bars.

Catch this award-winning episode on GMA Pinoy TV.



GMA Network dominated the nationwide ratings survey last November 14 with the telecast of the highly anticipated boxing match between  Pound for Pound King Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and Antonio “Tijuana Tornado” Margarito for the WBC Super Welterweight title.
Based on AGB Nielsen’s total day (overnight) people data, GMA outranked ABS-CBN in National Urban Philippines in audience share with 45.8 percent, 21.7 percentage points ahead of ABS-CBN’s 24.1 and up by a huge 35.2 percentage points over TV5’s 10.6.

In Urban Luzon,  which comprises 77 percent of the total urban TV household population in the country, GMA posted a total day audience share of 46.5 percent, 25.7 percent higher than ABS’ 20.8 and 33.2 percent ahead of TV5’s 13.3.

In Mega Manila, which comprises 55 percent of the total urban TV households nationwide, GMA scored 48.8  percent, almost 30  percentage points above ABS’ 18.9 and 34.7 percent higher than TV5’s 14.1.

The Pacquiao-Margarito boxing bout, where Pacman won his historic eighth world division title, ranked number one in the list of overall top 30 programs in National Urban Philippines with 23.2 people rating points. The fight was followed closely at number two by the GMA Flash Report, still on the Pacquiao-Margarito fight, with 18.1 rating points.

In Urban Luzon, the bout led all programs with 21.9 people rating points. The GMA Flash Report followed second with 17.9 rating points. Meanwhile, in Mega Manila, the fight charted a people rating of 22.4 points.

Beauty Queen Iza Calzado

The ultimate face-off between former best friends-turned-rivals Maita San Miguel (Iza Calzado) and Rebecca Rivas (Maggie Wilson) happens in Beauty Queen this week on GMA Pinoy TV as both ladies compete in the same beauty pageant for the very first time.

Since declaring war against Maita, Rebecca has been taking desperate attempts to win over Marc (TJ Trinidad) going as far as fabricating a story about a fake pregnancy. Marc, thru his trusted friend Greg (Victor Aliwalas), was able to verify Rebecca’s claims, putting an end to Rebecca and Leavida’s (Carmi Martin) plans.

Meanwhile, a reconcilation takes place between Maita and Marc with the former still determined on getting his mother’s approval for Maita. Knowing how Madamme Yuri (Gloria Diaz) greatly admires beauty queens, Marc encourages his girlfriend to join the Lakambini ng Kalikasan pageant, to which Maita agrees.

In doing so, Maita hopes to earn, not only the approval of Marc’s mother, but also her mother Amparo’s (Elizabeth Oropesa), who still continues to give her a difficult time.

Come the day of the rehearsals, Maita is surprised to find Rebecca in the same pageant igniting tension between the former childhood friends. For the first time, Maita and Rebecca are forced to share the same stage and compete for the same crown. Whose beauty will shine brighter?

Find out the answer this Friday in another exciting and tension-filled episode of Beauty Queen on GMA Pinoy TV.

The Philippine Consulate General would like to invite entries to the 2010 Parol-Making Contest.

The contest is open to all Filipino Associations in Hong Kong duly registered with the Philippine Consulate.

Competing parols must be made out of recycled materials, battery-operated and with a diameter between 0.80 m and 1 m. Entry will be displayed during the Misa Aguinaldo, scheduled at 10 pm on 24 December 2010 in Chater Garden, and the winners will be announced at the end of the mass.

For more information on the contest and to sign up, please contact our Cultural Section (Attention: Rennie/Gloria) at telephone numbers 2823-8534 and 2823-8536.