Archives For New Zealand

New Zealand

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 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, Twitter, and on Instagram

New Year Countdown!

December 29, 2010 — Leave a comment

Mga Kapuso na nasa Abroad! Be part of the New Year Countdown!!!! I-Videocam or Webcam lang ang masigabong “happy new year” greeting niyo. Share with us the video link at bongga! Makikita ang greeting niyo worldwide sa GMA!!!!! Visit and click on the NEW YEAR COUNTDOWN for more details!!! Sali na, Kapuso!!!

I remember years ago I once read an article in the National Geographic about shoes. It told how there is a story behind every pair of shoes.

As a 13-year-old fashionista, I naturally delved into it and used it as a subject for an English class presentation, knowing all along that really – when you think about it – there is a story behind every personal possession. As if to confirm that, a Rimowa shopping bag for my laptop read “every case tells a story” (I didn’t make this up).

Nonetheless, I was prompted to think about the story behind my shoes a few days ago when they were complimented upon.

The shoes in question are a humble-looking pair – brown, suede oxfords – that are slightly worn but can look impeccably new if given a decent polish (a task that doesn’t seem to be on the calendar any time in the near future).

My mom told me she got them around 20 years ago and stopped wearing them because they fell out of fashion.I first tried them on the night before Secondary Three started. My school had a rather annoying rule that only brown shoes could be worn. So after some fretful scavenging, I found an abandoned pair of Ferragamos in my mom’s closet. I remember being mildly wary of their masculinity. But that night I was desperate. I decided anything was better than the muck- colored Mary Janes I had been wearing for the past three years.

I haven’t worn them since I left secondary school, but began wearing them again a week ago because I thought they looked cool.

Stories that children hear and learn about the world, stories that adults make up to satisfy the world, and stories in general are told in the past tense.

We all love stories because they explain things of the present and anticipate events of the future. We tell them because they are the only way to relate to things and people long past. My shoes are a quiet pair. They don’t say much – but before long, you will see them as a loyal pair that have been through rain, sprints, Hong Kong, New York City, mother and daughter. Student Gloria Yu lives life with passion and writes about it with hope.



December 1, 2010 — Leave a comment

Margie T Logarta

Margie T Logarta, managing editor, Asia, Panacea Publishing Asia and Business Traveller magazine, has observed the travel and hospitality industry long enough to be constantly asked for her opinion on issues affecting service and burning industry concerns.

Here’s her take on the world of business travel. She welcomes your comments, arguments and other musings.

‘Tis the season when our thoughts turn to giving.

But why should it take us just this time of the year to think of others less fortunate? Because of the pile of charity mailers reminding us that we’ve been too consumed by work to reach out? Because the tinsel and trimmings and bright paper packages remind us that there are so many, many people who have little, if anything to celebrate?

But we are luckier to have our jobs that come with the exhilarating perk of travel, our talents, our families, our health (hopefully), our friends and the luxury of being able to buy the latest tech gadgets and go on holidays to somewhere nice. If we don’t have exactly all of these, at least a combination, I hope.

Countless others, who have experienced war, famine, natural disasters, human abuse and prejudice, do not even dare to dream anymore. Such are the depths of misery they have sunk to, and they continue to stare into the gates of hell.

Edmund Burke, the Irish political philosopher, said it best when he declared all that was needed for evil to triumph was for “good men to do nothing”. I agree – what is the use of being good at your job, at being a partner, at being a parent, at being a colleague, but do nothing for the wider community?

There are many ways to do this. The important thing is to start – and never stop.

Margie T Logarta

Managing Editor, Asia

Business Traveller Asia-Pacific

Fresh from our visit to neighboring Australia, we headed to Auckland in New Zealand.  Basically New Zealand and Australia, more or less share the same custom restrictions.  I find New Zealand more of a nature lovers paradise, as it looks so pristine.

Sky Tower Auckland

We stayed at the Heritage Auckland, which is a great old style hotel.  Plus the hotel is near The Sky Tower Hotel & Casino.  Upon completing the formalities, we went to The Sky Tower.  We went to the viewing deck, and saw almost the whole of Auckland.  My son was so happy feeling like he was on top of the world, as seen in this photo.  We also happen to meet up with my wife’s friend from college/university.  After our little adventure, we went back to the hotel.  I briefly spoke with the concierge and asked him what other attractions can one do in Auckland? He told me there were a lot of attractions to be had in Auckland, such as swim with the dolphins, nature hike, harbour tour, mountain bungee, and a lot more.

Harbour Tour Auckland

The next day we decided that the best attraction, which we could do as a family is the harbour tour.  We toured the Auckland Harbour, as the picture show.  After this we were treated to the Haka, a traditional dance of the Maori, the native people of New Zealand. After this we had to go back to the hotel and pack, as we have to catch our evening flight back to Hong Kong.

We promised ourselves, that next time that we come to New Zealand, we would stay longer, and visit more attractions.