Archives For November 2012

GMA International celebrates the best in Filipino lifestyle and offers the latest and most relevant local news to more Filipinos in Canada with the upcoming launch of GMA Life TV and GMA News TV International in British Columbia and Alberta via Telus Optik TV recently last November.


GMA Network’s second international channel, GMA Life TV captures the exciting and colorful lifestyle of Filipinos through a wide-range of program genres, while GMA News TV International – powered by most trusted and multi-awarded news organization in the Philippines GMA News and Public Affairs – serves as the ultimate source of local news abroad.


Leading the vibrant mix of TV programs on GMA Life TV is Kusina Master, a 45-minute cooking show hosted by Chef Boy Logro. With his funny antics and excellent kitchen skills, Chef Boy makes way for a fun and enjoyable experience when preparing meals in the kitchen.


Fashionistas are in for a treat as Fashbook hosted by multi-talented singer, actress and host Solenn Heussaff leads an inside and out makeover for her guests and inspires viewers with the help of an A-list makeover team.


MARS gives viewers fresh, fun and intelligent conversations for and by mothers via on a variety of topics concering each member of the family. Dubbed as television’s go-to show for all mommy concerns, MARS is hosted by celebrity moms Suzi Entrata-Abrera and Camille Prats.


Other GMA Life TV programs include Weekend Getaway, a traveler’s guide to the best destinations in the Philippines hosted by Drew Arellano; Let’s Fiesta, which offers highlights of the latest festivals all over the archipelago; and Reel Time, which tackles the lighter side of Pinoy culture via movie-like documentaries, among others.


Meanwhile, bannered by the most respected names in Philippine broadcast journalism today – Jessica Soho, Mike Enriquez, Mel Tiangco, Arnold Clavio, Vicky Morales, and Howie Severino – GMA News TV International provides the latest, most comprehensive, and most credible news from the country.


The country’s number one local news channel, GMA News TV boasts of a formidable line-up of programs to give Pinoy viewers overseas relevant and credible news reportage all throughout the day.


At the forefront of the list of programs on the channel is the flagship newscast State of the Nation, which delivers in-depth and comprehensive news reporting and anchored by no less than GMA News TV pillar Jessica Soho.


News To Go, meanwhile, gives viewers different news and feature stories hosted by GMA News Online Editor-in-Chief Howie Severino together with Peabody award winner Kara David.


Viewers can also look forward to a most interesting gathering of programs including a modern spin-off of GMA Network’s hugely popular news magazine program in the ‘90s, Brigada Siete, in GMA News TV’s Brigada. In the show, Jessica Soho gives a new generation of reporters the opportunity to present the stories behind the headlines as she mentors each of them to get a deeper understanding of their reports.


Powerhouse is a program hosted by another GMA News TV pillar, Mel Tiangco. Through the program, viewers get a peek into the private homes and lives of Philippines’ most powerful and controversial personalities.


Led by broadcast journalist Arnold Clavio, Tonight with Arnold Clavio treats viewers to a no-holds barred and informative discussion of the hottest issues today, with the most sought after personalities.


GMA News and Public Affairs is the only broadcast news organization in the Philippines that has won the highly prestigious George Foster Peabody Award. The team was also awarded with five citations by the Telly Awards and another one from the US International Film and Video Festival – the only USIFVF award for a Philippine program in 2011.


GMA News and Public Affairs also has the New York Festivals International Television and Film Awards and the Asian TV Awards in its roster of accolades. Just recently,GMA News and Public Affairs was awarded with three Silver World Medals and six Finalist Certificates in the 2012 New York Festivals.


GMA Life TV can be seen on Channel 516 while GMA News TV International can be seen on Channel 511. To subscribe, call 310-MYTV (6988) or visit Channel and program information are also available at and


Both channels are charged separately at only $5.00/month per channel. Subscription to Filipino TV is required.


“It has indeed become necessary that the delivery of news be essentially in real time as information now flows fast and free in a world without borders,” GMA Network Chairman and CEO Atty. Felipe Gozon said, in reference to the recently concluded elections in the United States, which he considers a preview of things to come for next year’s election as far as media coverage is concerned.

Forging stronger ties with formidable names in the media, telecommunications, technology, research and the academe, business groups, public service and government organizations, the Philippines’ news authority, GMA Network, gears up to mount the most comprehensive and most credible coverage of the 2013 elections.

Gozon also added that the key responsibility of delivering news and information about the Philippine elections and how they affect the Filipino people here and abroad is, at best, a shared goal among like-minded inviduals and groups like the GMA Network and its election partners.

Dubbed Eleksyon 2013, GMA Network’s special coverage of the 2013 elections brings together the best and most distinguished organizations in an unparalleled partnership to keep people up to date with developments in the hope for a clean, honest, efficient electoral exercise.

“That is why we are very proud of the many prestigious names in our Eleksyon 2013 partnership. This is proof that we are keeping the bar for media coverage of the elections high not only among us partners, not our respective clients, but moreso for each and every Filipino whose right to vote is enshrined in the Philippine Constitution,” Gozon also said, adding that the Eleksyon 2013 partners are not only driven by a singular passion for excellence in their respective fields, they are also in it for public service and the strong motivation to do what is right for the Filipino people.

Led by GMA Chairman & CEO Gozon and GMA President and COO Gilberto Duavit Jr., the Kapuso Network brings in in full force its internal partners-GMA News and Public Affairs, GMA News TV, GMA International (GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, and GMA News TV International), GMA New Media Inc., GMA News Online, RadioGMA, DZBB, DWLS FM, and the GMA Kapuso Foundation.

Also signing for their respective organizations are long-time partners who are committed to join hands with the Kapuso Network: the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) and Smart Communications led by Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan and PLDT President and CEO Napoleon Nazareno; the Philippine Daily Inquirer represented by its President and CEO Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez; Inquirer.Net President Paolo Prieto;  Ambassador Amable Aguiluz V of the AMA Education System; Malou Mangahas, Executive Director of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ);  Fr. Francis Lucas of the Catholic Media Network (CMN); Ambassador Henrietta de Villa, Chairperson, and Ana De Villa-Singson, National Media and Communications Director of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and of course Commissioner Elias Yusoph of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Coming in strong for the academe are Ateneo de Manila University with Vice-President for Social Development Atty. Jaime Hofileña; Bro. Ricardo Laguda, President of De La Salle University; Dean Rolando Tolentino of the UP College of Mass Communication, Dean Ramon Clarete of the UP School of Economics, and Dr. Evelyn Songco of the University of Sto. Tomas.

The MOA signatories also included YouthVote Lead Convener Natalie Christine Jorge, RockEd Founding Director Therese ‘Gang’ Badoy, Punongbayan and Araullo Partner for Advisory Services Michael Gallego, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Atty. Miguel Varela, Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands President Jose Luis Yulo, Jr., Philippine Bar Association First Vice-President Atty. Beda Fajardo, and Philippine Red Cross Director for Special Concerns Paul Gwyn Pagaran.

With the above roster of partners, GMA’s Eleksyon 2013 coverage becomes an even more anticipated television event for Filipino viewers here and abroad.


Filipinos all over the world can catch the coverage on GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, GMA News TV International, DZBB and DWLS. For more details, or

GMA Pinoy TV showcases a formidable cast via PAHIRAM NG SANDALI, a compelling study on love and relationships.  The drama series premieres on November 27 on the flagship international channel of Filipino broadcast giant GMA Network.

Ms. Redgie Acuña-Magno, GMA’s AVP for Drama enthuses, “Bawat isa sa atin ay may hiram na sandali.  Kaya magugustuhan ang Pahiram Ng Sandali ng ating mga Kapuso. Yung buhay natin.  Yung makapiling natin ang mga mahal natin sa buhay.  Yung trabaho natin.  Makapag-aral. Lahat iyan ay mga hiram na sandali.”

“Pero ang tanong, matatagpuan ba ang pag-ibig na karapat-dapat ipaglaban sa isang hiram na sandali?”, Director Maryo J. Delos Reyes, who helms the masterpiece, interjects with the very intriguing question which according to him the series will explore for its viewers. 

Direk Maryo, as fondly called by the industry, is one of Philippine’s most admired directors; his body of work is a brand in itself which is synonymous to excellence.

His brilliance catapulted Lorna Tolentino to celebrity status via Diosa, a romance-fantasy that also advocated pro-nature messages.  And his opus,Magnifico, gave him grand slam victory in 2004.

Ms. Lilybeth Gomez-Rasonable, OIC of GMA’s Entertainment Group shares, “Viewers will find Pahiram Ng Sandali exciting because it mirrors our lives, how we are, what we are and how falling in love makes us different from who we thought we were.  Even more engaging is to discover how someone we love can alter our destinies.”

Coming from the phenomenal success of her latest production One True Love, Ms. Redgynn Alba, Program Manager of Pahiram Ng Sandali, is confident that GMA’s latest offering will also exceed expectations, “Considering the exceptional talent of our cast and the team behind Pahiram Ng Sandali, we can promise that viewers will witness the finest on Philippine television.”

Max Collins and Dingdong Dantes

Leading the casting coup of Pahiram Ng Sandali is Metro Manila Filmfest 2011 Best Actor Dingdong Dantes who is all set to show off his acting prowess as Alex Santiago, a man driven by his desire to care for his mother who falls in love with an older woman, whose love realigns his goals in life.

Aside from being recognized as one of the country’s youth advocates and sought-after endorsers, he was also lead actor and producer of Tiktik: The Aswang Chronicles.

While Lorna Tolentino portrays Janice Alvaro, a media executive who is hurt by her husband’s lack of interest and is flattered by a young man’s sincere interest and affection.

She appreciates the project with this perspective, “Magugustuhan niyo po ang Pahiram Ng Sandali kasi kapag nakilala ninyo ang characters namin sa series, makikita niyo rin yung sarili ninyo.  Maaalala ninyo yung sarili niyong experiences, yung sarili ninyong feelings.  Na lahat tayo ay tao lang. Lahat tayo ay nagsisimula sa tamang rason at motivation.  Pero nagugulat na lang tayo na natatagpuan natin ang sarili natin sa maling sitwasyon dahil sa desisyon ng ibang mga tao at dahil sa mga pangyayari na hindi natin inaakalang makaka-apekto sa pagkatao natin.”

Lorna is one of Philippine cinema’s very few grand slam actresses.  Her most memorable award-winning performances were for Maging Akin Ka Lamang and Narito Ang Puso Ko.

Christopher de Leon

Seasoned actor Christopher de Leon joins the powerhouse cast of Pahiram ng Sandali as Phillip, Janice’s husband.  Highly respected, Christopher won acting recognitions for Tinimbang Ka Ngunit Kulang and My Other Woman, just to name a few from a long-list of awards.

Mark Gil is Larry Gomez, Dingdong’s domineering father.  He has three Best Supporting Awards and one is for Magnifico, under the guidance of Pahiram Ng Sandali’s director.

Introducing in Pahiram ng Sandali is fast-rising Kapuso actress Max Collins as Cindy, an independent and adventurous woman who falls for Alex. She has appeared in The Good Daughter and Coffee Prince.

Alessandra de Rossi

Alessandra de Rossi is Baby, Philip’s lover. She earned her first critical acclaim at only sixteen years of age, for her performance in Azucena

Sandy Andolong

Playing equally important roles in Pahiram Ng Sandali are Sandy Andolong, Roi Alvarez, Isabel Rivas, Neil Ryan Sese, Julio Diaz, Kristoffer Martin, Luz Valdez.

Isabel Rivas

Dingdong expounds, “Words will never be enough to articulate the beauty of Pahiram Ng Sandali as an artwork.  And am proud to say na sa palabas namin ay walang bida at kontrabida.  Dahil ang mas mapapansin ng viewers ay kung paano pinagsanib ang galing ng bawat isa sa amin, sa harap o likod man ng camera, dahil para sa bawat isa sa amin, ang project na ito ay isang hiram na sandali lang.  Bihira ang ganito kaganda. Bihira ang ganitong pagkakataon.”


“And like the best things in life, you can’t have it for a lifetime.  Puwede pa siguro na, you shall remember Pahiram Ng Sandali for a lifetime.  Kaya sana, huwag niyo pong palampasin.  Sana ay sama-sama nating pagsaluhan ang hiram na sandaling ito.”

Pahiram Ng Sandali will redefine television viewing experience beginning November 27 on GMA Pinoy TV.

Grace Labaguis receives Ruby Prize

The Filipino Reporter, the oldest and one of the most popular and most trusted Filipino publications in the Tri-State area, celebrated its 40th anniversary via a grand gala last November 10 at the Astoria World Manor in Queens.


During the celebration, the publication awarded community leaders with the Ruby Prize in honor of their contributions in shaping the Filipino-American community.


Among the awardees this year is GMA International East Coast representative Grace Hufano-Labaguis, who helps oversee the operations of GMA Network’s international unit in the area. Labaguis has been a consultant for GMA International since 2009 and has been playing a key role in bringing GMA International closer to the Filipino community through trade shows, fiestas, and expos nationwide.


She has been instrumental in the unprecedented success of various Filipino-American community events for GMA Pinoy TV which included the Phil-American Friendship Committee (PAFCOM) Parade in NJ, Philippine Independence Day Committee, Inc. (PIDCI) Parade in NY, Philippine American Friendship Day Parade in VA Beach, Asian Festival in Reston, VA., PhilFest in Tampa, Florida, Skokie Festival of Cultures in Chicago, IL, and several GMA International celebrity presscons and road shows. Grace has also line-produced GMA Pinoy TV Dance Show Down, a hip-hop dance competition held at Marist High School in Bayonne, NJ in 2009.


Meanwhile, Filipino Reporter publisher Bert Pelayo brought inspiration to the audience as he walked them through the important milestones of his publication over the last 40 years. “The Reporter is an enduring proof of the critical role played by the print media in the evolution of the Filipino American community,” he said  in his speech.


Community champion Ms. Loida Nicolas-Lewis was also the Guest Speaker at the occasion.


Broadway stars Adam Jacobs and Eli Ewoldt entertained everyone present with their well-applauded numbers from “Phantom of the Opera” and “King and I.” The program was hosted by ABC 7 news anchor Nina Pineda, Lito Pernia of Friends Indeed with Jocelyn Bernal Ochoa.

TOFA winners

Twelve Filipinos reaped the harvest of their hard work and exemplary contributions to the Filipino-American community at the 2nd The Outstanding Filipino Americans (TOFA) in New York Awards held last October 27 at the Weill Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall New York.


The awardees are Eduardo Sicangco (Arts & Culture); Edwin Josue (Business & Entrepreneurship); Yves Nibungco (Community Service & Advocacy); Agnes ‘Bing’ Magtoto (Education & Research); Kirby Asunto (Entertainment); Danelle Izza Dungca (Fashion & Style); Anthony and Lisa Siopongco (Food & Restaurants); Jona Jane Tajonera (Health Care); Cecilio Asuncion (LGBT Advocacy); Ryan Songalia (Media & Publishing) ; Mayor Guillermo Udarbe (Public Service & Politics); Advancement for Rural Kids, Inc. (Youth & Sports). The winners were chosen based on the number of votes they garnered on Facebook.


Five community organizations were also given the Heritage Awards in recognition of their dedication and service to the community. They are the Association of Fil-Am Teachers of America NY-NJ; Ma-Yi Theatre Company; Philippine American Chamber of Commerce; the San Lorenzo Ruiz Choir of New York and the Philippine Nurses Association.


GMA International, which manages the distribution of GMA Network’s international channels GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV and GMA News TV International, participated as a major sponsor in this event which recognizes exemplary Filipino Americans in the New York Tri-State. GMA’s participation at the TOFA Awards earned a Third Place Diversity Awareness Award from the EMMAs (Excellence in Multi-Cultural Marketing Awards) at the 26th National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) last September.


For more information on GMA International, visit

Magpakailanman Host Miss. Mel Tiangco

GMA Pinoy TV brings back the award-winning drama anthology Magpakailanman to inspire the lives of the Kapuso viewers all over the world once more. It will be hosted by multi-awarded broadcast journalistMs. Mel Tiangco.


Magpakailanman, an original concept and creation of the GMA Entertainment TV Group, initially ran from 2002 to 2007 and has twice been awarded the Best Drama Series category at the Catholic Mass Media Awards. It also garnered the 2008 and 2009 Anak TV Seal. Actor Noni Buencamino won the 2005 Asian TV Best Actor award and Actress Sunshine Dizon won the 2004 PMPC Star Awards for TV Best Actress award for their outstanding performances in the program. During its five-year run, the program, which was a consistent top-rater, inspired the lives of many Filipinos and promoted good family values to its viewers.


Because of the growing clamour to revive the program, Magpakailanman returns to television but with new elements such as more in-depth investigation and dramatization of real-life inspired stories. The show will bring in Mel Tiangco’s broadcast journalism expertise in each story by not only presenting what happened in the story but also examine some aspects as why it can happen, how can it be prevented from happening again and what concrete moves or steps can be done for it not to occur again.


“I wanted to add some new elements into the show. I told the staff that they should put my elements, my persona in the show. I told them that they should put it into the context that I am Mel Tiangco. I am a news personality. I am a public servant… all these things should be incorporated in the show,” said Mel Tiangco.


Aside from merely telling and narrating the story, Mel Tiangco will take a more participative role in making each story not only inspiring and uplifting but also informative and interesting. This will be about “the real story behind the story.”


Thus, one can already perceive the new kind of stories that “Magpakailanman” will be delivering. Keeping the primary objective that the stories will be inspiring and should uplift the human spirit, the new stories of “Magpakailanman” will be provocative, exceptional, arresting and even sometimes sensational. Tiangco’s spiels and interviews will serve as the thread that will bring all these elements together.


GMA Entertainment TV’s AVP for Drama Redgie Acuna-Magno says Mel Tiangco remains to be the ideal host of the well-loved drama anthology. “There is really no better person to host the show except Mel Tiangco. She is already identified with the show and the show reflects her true persona. ”   

“Mel Tiangco is a multi-awarded journalist that delivers investigative and informative news and at the same time a woman with a soft spot and of substance that a lot of people can relate and look up to – a perfect combination for Magpakailanman’s new offering,” said Magno.  


Magpakailanman premieres November 18 in the US, Canada and Asia Pacific, and on November 23 in the Middle East and Europe.


For more information on GMA International, visit

In celebration of the Philippine Heritage month, GMA Pinoy TV, the flagship international channel of Filipino broadcast company GMA Network, lived up to its promise of bringing Filipinos closer to home at the Musika SamaSama: The Together Concert held last October 27 in Chicago.


Organized by the Tinley Park-Frankfort Rotary Club, the event celebrated the diversity and richness of the Filipino culture through an unforgettable concert event.


Around 700 attendees from across the Midwest including Philippine Consulate General, Honorable Leo Herrera-Lim joined the celebration to catch the performances of Chicago’s premiere Filipino Folk Fusion band, along with local dance troupes, martial artists, and the Rip Chords – an all-female group of singers from the University of Illinois.


Known for blending Filipino traditional folk music with contemporary songs, the SamaSama Project is a regular fixture at cultural festivals, museum shows, and commercial and private engagements in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa. The group, whose members include Baron Cabalona (drums), Ran Sevilla (guitar), Lee Maningas (bass), Louella Cabalona (vocals), Josue Torres (conga) and Ben Corpuz (keyboard), had the rare chance to perform at the Pope’s World Youth Day MacroFestival Concert in Madrid Spain last year.  


Other performers during the SamaSama event were Girlie Pascual, James DC, Karrel Bernardo, Michael Baylon, 3JNR Rondalla, the Bolingbrook Park District Dance Force, the Philippine American Cultural Foundation (PACF) Performing Arts, the Illinois Rip Chords, the Kampilan Eskrima Team, the Philippine Dance Troupe of Eastern Iowa, the Philippine Dance Troupe of the Quad Cities and the Loyola Breakers.


As the show aimed to bring Filipinos together through music, the two-hour program featured songs highlighting the role of Filipino women in the course of history, Filipino songs performed by American  artists (such as Nat King Cole and Eartha Kitt), Filipino classic hits during the ‘80s and from the prior decades, and the all time-favorite Original Pilipino Music (OPM).


In addition to the concert, spectators also had the chance to witness a mouth-watering display of Filipino food arranged by various Pinoy restaurants, as well as Filipino artefacts by Pinoy-owned businesses. Clothes by Filipino designer Jason Lee were also part of the display.


The Musika SamaSama: The Together Concert is a much-awaited event among Filipino-Americans in the area. It stemmed from the celebration of October as the Filipino American Heritage Month, which was proclaimed by five city mayors in the surrounding community. In California and Hawaii, where a large number of Filipino Americans reside, Filipino American History Month is widely celebrated as many Filipino American organizations in the US often initiate their own independent celebrations including those in the state of Illinois.


Highlights of the show can be seen on GMA Pinoy TV. Call your preferred pay TV operator to subscribe or visit