Archives For Hong Kong

This is my second home.

Joseph T Francia - First VP and Head of International Operations, GMA Network

Joseph T Francia – First VP and Head of International Operations, GMA Network

GMA Pinoy TV

GMA Pinoy TV

GMA Life TV

GMA Life TV

GMA News TV International

GMA News TV International

GMA International, which manages the operations and distribution of GMA Network’s international channels abroad, continues to expand its presence further across the globe.

 

“As we celebrate our 10th anniversary, we continue to uphold our commitment to bring quality Kapuso programming to a wider audience,” expresses GMA First Vice President and Head of International Operations Joseph T. Francia.

 

For the first time since the launch of first two flagship international channels GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV, GMA News TV International is now within reach of Filipinos in the United States.

 

Since July 1, subscribers of Charter Spectrum TV all over the United States have been able to watch and enjoy their favorite Kapuso entertainment and news programs through GMA’s three international channels.

 

Charter Spectrum TV is a leading broadband communications company and the fourth largest cable operator in the US, which provides a full range of advanced broadband services all throughout the country.

 

While GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV have been available in the US since 2005 and 2007, respectively, this year marks the first time that GMA News TV International will be available for all Kapuso fans in the United States.

 

According to Allan Singer, Charter Communications Senior Vice President for Programming, “Spectrum TV offers a wide array of diverse, quality content that touches many cultures, and we are pleased to bring GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, and GMA News TV International to our customers in these communities, and more will follow.”

 

GMA’s international channels offer a diverse menu of Kapuso programs which Filipinos abroad will surely enjoy. Regular Kapuso shows in the Philippines can be watched from GMA Pinoy TV, and lifestyle programs can be followed through GMA Life TV. Meanwhile, GMA News TV International serves up the latest news straight from the Philippines and delivered to the viewers without much delay.

 

Aside from the US launch, GMA’s flagship international channels have already been widely available in other parts of the world.

 

PCCW recently carried GMA News TV International and brought it to Filipino viewers in Hong Kong beginning June 2, 2015.

 

GMA Pinoy TV, GMA Life TV, and GMA News TV International will also soon be available on LycaTV to cater to Kapuso fans in Europe.

Advertisements
Moy Ortiz of The Company

Moy Ortiz of The Company

OJ Mariano of The Company

OJ Mariano of The Company

Online Host Julian Trono

Online Host Julian Trono

Prince Paltu-ob of D'Crew

Prince Paltu-ob of D’Crew

Ryan Cayabyab

Ryan Cayabyab

Sweet Plantado of The Company

Sweet Plantado of The Company

Tony V of Sound Squad

Tony V of Sound Squad

GMA Network launches the Philippines’ first-ever multi-platform boy band competition – To The Top.

 

Produced by GMA Public Affairs, To The Top is a twice-a-week reality-based, talent development program featuring 18 young and gifted male vocals who are all vying to be part of the Kapuso Network’s newest boy band.

 

Unlike other reality programs which held open auditions, To The Top scoured the country and invited the best male vocals from different schools and organizations to join the auditions.

 

The show documents the journey of these young men from being solo artists or being members of their respective singing groups to ultimately becoming part of the country’s newest boy band.

 

All these experiences were seen by the public when GMA made the competition initially available online via www.gmanetwork.com/tothetop. Serving as host of the program’s webisodes is Kapuso homegrown artist Julian Trono, who recently underwent intensive training under the Kpop system.

 

After a series of rigorous auditions, the program announced its 25 finalists, which were later trimmed down to 14. Adding a twist to the competition, netizens were then asked to vote for their favorites who were earlier eliminated in the series to become the competition’s wildcards.  Thus, a total of 18 finalists will now work their way to the top.

 

The 18 TO THE TOP artists are AJ Ajrouche, Lance Busa, Ken Carpena, Mico Cruz, Cholo dela Cruz, Martin de Vera, Luis Gragera, Joshua Jacobe, MJ Magno, Miko Manguba, Seph Manlapaz, Bryan Olano, JP Palanca, Adrian Pascual, Louie Pedroso, Lharby Policarpio, Edric Ulang and Chris Yumang.

 

Throughout the season, the artists – who will be divided into three groups – will be housed together and will undergo more intensive vocal and dance trainings for their upcoming performances and evaluations.

 

Helping the program achieve this are some of the country’s top music icons led by no less than Maestro Ryan Cayabyab serving as the competition’s main judge.

 

Joining The Maestro in this project are vocal coaches Moy Ortiz, Sweet Plantado and OJ Mariano of the Philippines’ premier vocal ensemble The Company; dance coaches and 2-time World Hip Hop Champions Philippine All-stars alumni Madelle and Prince Paltu-ob, as well as international breakdancing champion Jesse “Reflex” Gotangco; and the Sound Squad of musical arrangers and sound engineers led by Jonathan Ong and his team from Sonic State Audio — Chino David, Chrisanthony Vinzons and Brian Lotho.

 

Also lending his expertise in the early part of the competition is celebrity ace photographer Mark Nicdao.

 

Who among them will make it to the top? Find out as the showdown begins July 20 in ASPAC and July 19 in the US, Canada and the Middle East.

 

For the latest updates, follow TO THE TOP on Facebook www.facebook.com/GMAToTheTop, Twitter twitter.com/GMAToTheTop, and on Instagram instagram.com/GMAToTheTop.

Jessica Soho

Jessica Soho

Award winning GMA News personality Kara David

Award winning GMA News personality Kara David

I JUANDER Susan Enriquez

I JUANDER Susan Enriquez

I JUANDER Cesar Apolinario

I JUANDER Cesar Apolinario

Philippine broadcast giant GMA Network delivers the latest news and information from the country straight to Hong Kong with the launch of its international news and public affairs channel, GMA News TV International, through the carrier now TV beginning June 2.

 

“This year marks GMA International’s 10th year of bringing Filipinos abroad closer to home,” says GMA Vice President and Head of International Operations Joseph T. Francia. “As we celebrate this milestone, we continue to uphold our commitment to bring quality Kapuso programming to a wider audience,” he adds.

 

Powered by the Philippines’ most trusted news and public affairs team, GMA News TV International is the top choice to meet the Filipinos’ demand for complete, accurate, and credible news from home, provided by the Network’s multi-awarded news personalities and top-rated programs.

 

Among these are its flagship newscast State of the Nation with Jessica Soho, hosted by Peabody award winner and highly regarded broadcast journalist Jessica Soho, which features in-depth analyses on current issues.

 

The only show of its kind currently on Philippine TV – Investigative Documentaries, hosted by Malou Mangahas solidly follows the paper trail behind issues every week. Investigative Documentaries assesses the performance of political clans, studies the impact of government policies and investigates corruption.

 

Powerhouse, hosted by award-winning journalist Kara David, gives the public never before seen access into the private lives – and homes – of the country’s most powerful individuals.

 

I Juander led by Susan Enriquez and Cesar Apolinario, has captured viewers’ hearts with its unforgettable social experiments and its entertaining discussion of Filipino culture, food, traditions and superstitions.

 

Game-changing weekend documentary programs Reel Time and Front Row tackle poverty and social ills, telling the raw stories of the subjects themselves, using no hosts or voice-overs.

 

Moreover, GMA News TV International offers live telecasts of the latest news coverage and breaking news from the Philippines.

 

With this new launch, GMA International, the business unit that manages the operation and distribution of GMA’s international channels, strengthens its partnership with now TV and distributes GMA Pinoy TV, GMA’s flagship international channel, and GMA Life TV, GMA’s international lifestyle channel, in Hong Kong.

 

Ms. Loke Kheng Tham, PCCW’s Executive Vice President of Pay TV, said: “We are delighted to provide Pinoys in Hong Kong with their favorite home country channels exclusively on now TV, as part of the Filipino Pack.” She added: “Now TV is Hong Kong’s largest pay-TV provider, offering more than 190 top-class channels to 1.2 million customers. Adding GMA News TV International to our lineup further demonstrates now TV’s commitment to providing all customers with a wide range of content choices. On this occasion, we are very pleased to serve Hong Kong’s Pinoy community with comprehensive Filipino programming.”

 

The GMA channels are included in The Filipino Pack, which is priced at priced at HKD 108 per month. GMA Pinoy TV and GMA Life TV are also available for individual subscription. To subscribe, interested parties may call 2888 0008 and press 2 or visit www.nowtv.now.com

 

Kapuso viewers abroad can catch the latest updates from GMA International channels by visiting the website www.gmanetwork.com/international, Facebook pageswww.facebook.com/GMAPinoyTV, www.facebook.com/gmalifetv, and, www.facebook.com/gmanewsinternational, and Twitter pages @GMAPinoyTV and @GMA_LifeTV.

GMA also participated in the Hong Kong Filmart, the biggest content exhibit in Asia

GMA also participated in the Hong Kong Filmart, the biggest content exhibit in Asia

GMA Worldwide, Inc. (GWI) continues to showcase the best of what the Kapuso Network has to offer by participating in various TV content markets all over the world.

 

Over the years, GWI – being the global content distribution and acquisition arm of GMA Network – has opened doors of new opportunities for Kapuso programs and artists through content development partnerships and international distribution deals.

 

Kapuso programs received enthusiastic response from foreign buyers at the MipTV market exhibit in Cannes, France

Kapuso programs received enthusiastic response from foreign buyers at the MipTV market exhibit in Cannes, France

In April, GWI participated in the biggest gathering of entertainment industry professionals, the MipTV Market Exhibit in Cannes, France. Here, top television execs and creative talents from 100 countries had the chance to preview some of the Network’s latest programs for international licensing; among them Carmela, The Borrowed Wife, Rhodora X, Innamorata, Kambal Sirena, Paraiso Ko’y Ikaw and Magkano Ba Ang Pag-ibig.

 

Jocelyn Go, GWI Assistant Vice President for Sales and Marketing, noted on the positive response for Kapuso programs, “Buyers and other TV groups predominantly radiate positive and enthusiastic reactions when presented with GMA programs. This is an acknowledgment of the high standard and improving quality of our products.”

 

“Equally significant are the great relationships we have built with the other companies who attend these markets with us because their positive opinions are a reflection of GWI’s reputation and standing with our international partners,” she added.

 

Aside from MipTV, GWI also hosted a booth at the NATPE conference in Miami, Florida. Titles that were highlighted include Katipunan, Titser, The Politician (Bayan Ko), and Love Sonata.

 

GMA Worldwide's booth at Discop West Asia in Istanbul, Turkey

GMA Worldwide’s booth at Discop West Asia in Istanbul, Turkey

GWI likewise established a strong presence at DISCOP West Asia in Istanbul, Turkey, and at Hong Kong Filmart, the largest content exhibit in Asia. My Husband’s Lover, Rhodora X, Carmela, The Borrowed Wife, among others, were warmly received by buyers in both conferences.

 

In the first quarter alone, GWI sold over 1,000 hours of programs and movies for airing in Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, South Korea and the US.

 

With GMA’s proven ability to create globally competitive content, GWI is gearing up to explore new territories and expand GMA’s growing international audience in the months to come.

Last December 26, 2013, me and my family were bound for Hong Kong to spend our week long Christmas vacation there. We perused our American Express Cards issued by BDO, so we can use the Club Manila airport lounge located in Ninoy Aquino International Airport, while waiting for our boarding announcement. The lounge was full as it was Christmas and a a lot of people were taking advantage of the Christmas vacation from school. Since the lounge was full, we were escorted to another airport lounge, which is part of the same company, although on the second floor. We relaxed, ate some light meals, had coffee, a few drinks, and check our e-mails. We had an 11 am flight, which would bring us to Hong Kong at around 1 pm. At around 10:35 am, we heard our boarding announcements and proceeded to the departure gate.

We took Cathay Pacific Airways as we converted our Asiamiles points in exchange for flights. We were five passengers, namely me, my son, my wife, my sister in law, and my mother in law. When we landed in Hong Kong, we proceeded to the immigration counters, afterwards the luggage claim counter. Upon our exit, we saw a man carrying a placard with my name. So I approached him, and he told me that a limousine was arranged to bring us to our hotel. He was surprised that there were 5 people in our group, as he was notified that there were only 2 people. So instead of 1 car takings us to our hotel, we rode in two separate Mercedes Benzes.

We arrived at our hotel in a little over 30 minutes from the airport. We were billeted at the Renaissance Harbour View Hong Kong Hotel, for 6 nights. We also perused my Marriott Rewards to redeem our hotel stay in exchange of my Marriott Rewards Points. Our room was rather spacious. My son’s first instinct was to turn on the TV and check if there were any channels featuring animation, which there was, which pleasantly surprised him. We rest for the duration of the afternoon. My son informed me that he wanted to go to Hong Kong Disneyland the very next day, to which I said yes.

The very next day, me and my son proceeded to the Wanchai MTR Station, to go to Central MTR Station/Hong Kong Station. Upon reaching Central/Hong Kong Station, we proceeded to the interchange, in order for us to take the MTR from Central/Hong Kong Station to Sunny Bay MTR Station. Upon reaching Sunny Bay MTR Station, we disembarked and waited for the Hong Kong Disneyland Resort Train, which would ultimately bring us to Hong Kong Disneyland. Since it was the Christmas holidays, there were may people. We visited some of my son’s favorite attractions, such as Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blaster, Philharmagic, Mystic Point, Enchanted Gardens, Toy Story Land, Grizzly Gulch, etc. The Mystic Point Manor was closed when we passed by in the morning, so we decided to proceed to Grizzly Gulch. We had a bite at the Grizzly Gulch Salon. We took some pictures at the Gold Nugget, etc. Afterwards we went pass Toy Story Land, which had long lines, so we opted to go to watch the Philharmagic show. We were treated to a feast in Beast Enchanted Castle, safari trip in Simba’s African Kingdom, flew in a magic carpet in Alladin’s Dessert Palace, and got wet and swam in Ariel’s Underwater Kingdom. Afterwards we proceeded to Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blaster. We had tons of fun blasting Emperor Zurg and his nasty space minions. We came back to Mystic Manor, but the lines then was too long. It stated that we needed to wait in line for an hour. So my son decided to head back to forego the attraction. We proceeded back to our hotel.

Taken near Food Street in Causeway Bay

Taken near Food Street in Causeway Bay


That night we decided to eat at our favorite restaurant, Delicious Kitchen, which was located in Food Street in Causeway Bay. When we arrived there were not too many customers yet, so we were able to get seats immediately. We ordered their specialty Double Pork Rib with Vegetable Rice, plus I ordered an additional deep fried pigs intestine. We had a sumptuous dinner.

The next day me and my wife, ran some personal errands. We jumped from place to place the whole day. We were tired from all day of walking and commuting, that we decided to retire to our hotel early, and rest.

The next day, me and my son went to the Apple IFC Hong Kong Store, to have a cousins iPhone 4S checked and repaired. While in IFC we decided to watch the movie Frozen in 3D at the IFC Cinema. Afterwards we decided to have dinner in Crystal Jade Restaurant. We were stuffed, and decided to take home additional food for my wife, my sister in law, and my mother in law.

My son wanted to visit Windsor House to check out what’s new in Toys R Us. He saw something he liked, but we opted not to buy it as we were carrying a lot of things already. We just decided to buy Pork Coin and Pork Jerky from Bee Cheng Hiang.

Mark, the Christmas Tree, and Central Plaza

Mark, the Christmas Tree, and Central Plaza


We also went to Worldwide Plaza to check on things. On the way there we passed by Central Plaza, and decided to take some pictures.

Disney Character Christmas Tree in Harbour City

Disney Character Christmas Tree in Harbour City


Second to the last night, we decided to go to Tsimshatsui, and do some shopping. We weren’t able to find anything we liked, but my son was able to get 2 Power Rangers Megazords. He was ecstatic with his haul.

Taken at Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui

Taken at Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui

On the day of our flight, after checking out, we waited for our transportation to the airport. We were pleasantly surprised that our service was a Toyota Alphard, which is the luxury version of an MPV/Van. Our flight was at 5:55 pm, so we were supposed to arrive in Manila at approximately 8 pm of December 31, 2013. We also perused the benefits of our credit cards, which was complimentary lounge access at the Traveler’s Hong Kong Airport Lounge. We had some meals, drinks, coffee, read newspaper, browsed the net, etc.

Simply to put our Christmas Family Vacation in Hong Kong, it’s “Spectacular!”

I have traveled a lot, to different countries/cities, and I have notice that there is great disparity between us, and some of our closest neighbors.

We are being left behind by our neighbors. Let me sight some examples. In Hong Kong, there are free wi-fi connections in public areas, such as public parks, and public libraries. Even buses have free wi-fi connection, although you have to accept the terms and conditions to access the free wi-fi connection. In Hong Kong and Singapore, the public transportation system is impeccable. The trains are clean, on time, and well ventilated. There is seldom traffic congestions in the roads. Safety, and cleanliness, are perfect. You can walk around in the wee hours of the morning, and you would not be scared of getting mugged or hold up.

We shouldn’t allow ourself to be left behind. We should accept technology, and the advancement it provides us.

We should have had an internet capable government offices, if the ZTE broadband deal was to have been completed, but due to the discrepancies, and the uncovered corruption of the Arroyo administration, the deal was dropped.

We should have quality roads and infrastructures, due to the donations and assistance of our neighbors such as Japan, but due to corruption, and self enrichment, we are left with dilapidated roads and infrastructures.

We should as a people, be wary of the people who govern us. We should be wary of the mistakes they have committed in the past, and not forget it. We should not vote for those who should not be voted. We should as a people guard our freedom, our future, and our country from enemies not only foreign, but also domestic. We should vote for what is right! We should vote for politicians, who will bring about positive changes to our country, bring advancement in technology, mass transportation, health care, and other fields. We should vote for politicians, who will give us jobs, food for our table, shelter for our families, and education for our children.

Make the change you want want to be! Start it with you!

Marina Bay Sands

This post has been my first in a long time.  I do hope that everyone who reads it, would love it.  I just want to share my joy and experience for traveling.  Me, and my family went on a Pre-Christmas Family Vacation to Singapore.  We left Chep Lak Kok International Airport in Hong Kong, early in the morning of December 19, 2011, taking Cathay Pacific Airways, and arrived Changi International Airport before noon.

Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore

Upon passing Immigration, and getting our luggage, we headed to the Ground Transportation Section, where we got a Mercedes Benz taxi, which cost S$45, to bring us to our hotel.  We were also informed that there was free wifi at the airport, all you need to do is go to information desk, to ask for the username and password.  We were billeted at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore.  When we arrived at our hotel, we were courteously

View from our lift lobby

greeted by one of their Guest Relations, Miss. Jaslyn, who was kind enough to inform us of the amenities, facilities, restaurants, and shops in and around the hotel.  Upon clearing check in, we were told to proceed to our room, and that they would send our luggage up.  Our room was big, and it was impeccable.  Everything was automatic, from the day blinds, night blinds, bathroom blinds, lights, etc.  All you need to do is touch a switch, and

Titanic The Artifact Exhibition

presto.  Our hotel was a stones throw from The Marina Bay Sands, and The Singapore Flyer.  The only thing, which we did not like was the fact that it was raining on and off, and we were told that it would last for a couple of days.  During the afternoon, we decided to go to Orchard Road by taking the MRT (Mass Railway Transit).  After window shopping in Orchard Road, we decided to go to The Marina Bay Sands, so we took the MRT

The Art Science Museum

again, but this time going to The Marina station.  We were able to reach The Marina Bay Sands, where we had our dinner, and we even visited the Art Science Museum, but unfortunately it was already closed.  We decided to walk to our hotel, which was quite near.  We walked by the Helix Bridge.

Toast Box @ Resorts World Sentosa

On our second day, we decided to go to Universal Studios Singapore, which is located at Resorts World Sentosa.  The place was magnificent.  We had breakfast first at Toast Box, and my son loved their Peanut Thick Toast, and Iced Milo.  After breakfast we proceeded to the escalator, which would bring us to Universal Studios Singapore.  When we reached the main entrance, and showed the staff our tickets, we excitedly went in.  We were like a

Universal Studios Singapore

bunch of adults, who became big kids.  We first hit the Universal Store, to see what souvenirs we could buy.  There were a lot of choices to choose from, from shirts, to watches, to stuff toys, to jewelry, and many more.  I bought a started pin set; my son bought a shirt, souvenir coin holder, and a water bottle.  There were lots of rides, and attractions to see, and feel.  We first went to the Madagascar Zone, then Water World, then Jurassic

Madagascar Crate Adventure

Park, then Far Far Away Land, then The Mummy Zone, then The Battlestar Galactica Zone, then The Transformer Zone, and last but not the least the Hollywood Zone.  We rode the rides, and soaked in the attractions.  We especially liked The Transformer The Ride, Shrek 4D Movie, Jurrasic Flyer, Crate Adverntures (Madagascar), and The Treasure Hunt (The Mummy).  What we did not like about the experience, were

Jurassic Park

the long queues for those rides, and attractions.  There were lots of people, from all parts of the world.  We had a blast spending the whole day at Universal Studios Singapore.  After our theme park experience, we met up with an old friend, who was based in Singapore, lets call her Mayette.  She told us to meet her at Sentosa Station @VivoCity of the Monorail, which is a free service, by the way.  There we had dinner at an Italian Restaurant.  We had Pizza, Rissotto, Salad, some stories, and juicy comments.  Which is of course part of every dinner conversation among friends.  After dinner, we decided it was still early, so we decided to do some shopping.  It was a good thing that our friend was there, and that she brought her MPV with her, otherwise we would have to carry all of our groceries to the hotel.

The Singapore Flyer

On our last day, we decided to visit The Singapore Flyer, which was a short walk away from our hotel.  It was a nice experience, and it lasted around 30 minutes.  While at The Singapore Flyer, we were able to see much of Singapore.  We even saw The Merlion, The Esplanade a.k.a. The Durian Centre, The Marina Bay Sands, and The Fullerton Hotel.  After our ride, we decided to have our lunch in the area as well.  After lunch, we decided to

Inside The Singapore Flyer

head back to the hotel, for our trip back home.  We packed our things, ask the concierge to pick up the luggage, and call us a MaxiCab.  We thanked the staff for taking good care of us at The Ritz Carlton Millenia Singapore.  When we arrived at the Changi Airport, everything was smooth, until the check in counter.  The check in staff at Cathay Pacific in Changi Airport seems to be inexperienced, and seems to have a hard time

The Merlion and The Fullerton Hotel

accommodating us.  After the initial hassle, we passed the Immigration Check, we headed directly to the GST Rebate Centre to ask for payment of our GST Refund.  After that we strolled around the airport as there was still time.  So far we have enjoyed our Pre-Christmas Family Vacation in Singapore.  It was a fun filled three (3) days, even though it was raining on and off.