I Am Writing A Song “Let’s Get One Thing Straight”

It’s 7AM. I haven’t slept, for the same reason I haven’t slept much in the last month. Lately, my life belongs to a song. I can’t begin to explain this ...

Viddy: The Future of Social Media is Video

Being the fan of social media I am, I love to share my social media predictions. Off all the up-coming applications/social media companies that are sprouting up, I believe Viddy ...

OFFICIAL: Anne Curtis In Hollywood Film Titled “Blood Ransom”

Finally, it is official as it’s ever going to be! Anne Curtis landed a Hollywood film with the current working title, “Blood Ransom.” Production is in the works! The details, ...

My Acting & Art For The Up-Coming Film "The Voyage"

ANNOUNCEMENT: MY FIRST FILM PROJECT; THE VOYAGE (2012)

Just Updated Today With New Pics.

My Art for The Voyage Film–Part II

Of the art I have produced for the Voyage, I was asked ...

My Art for The Voyage Film–Part I

For those that don’t know yet, I’ve been commissioned to produce art ...

Latest News

AMPHETAMINE 安非他命 Hong Kong Movie Part 2. “My PASSION is ONLY to make the FILMS that I really WANT to make.” – SCUD.

I found this article on Director SCUD, the SAME DIRECTOR OF MY FIRST FILM. You can read more here about his third film Amphetamines. I am so very proud to contribute my work to his 5th film The Voyage, currently in Post-production. This earlier film of his, Amphetamines, was one of him most internationally renowned films, nominated for even a Teddy by Berlin. Enjoy.

KOOLCAMPUS dot NET

SCUD – Writer/Producer/Director of AMPHETAMINE

LAWRENCE LAU – Executive Director

A CANDID INTERVIEW WITH SCUD, FILM DIRECTOR

SCUD could be the kind of director whose works would be as profound and enduring as that of surrealism, or cubism on painting.

Or at least, this is how I feel.

He aspires for creative freedom fearlessly, without sanctions,

and he pursues his artistic vision with a relentless fervor.

“My MISSION is ONLY to make the FILMS that I really want to make, and to tell the kind of stories I want to tell, no less.”

Here’s SCUD – up, close and personal:

1.  In working on a sensitivity-laced film such as AMPHETAMINE, you do know that you are treading on an almost taboo subject in ASIA.  No film maker wants to be seen as if he is promoting drugs in a movie, right?

It is a question of value. Precisely because nobody…

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The “Which Asian Guy Is Right For Me?” Guide for Non-Asian Girls

Don’t cha just wish that somewhere in the universe, there existed a simple to use guide on dating? Perhaps a blog of some sort that explained the types of guys that existed, with a list of qualities, tips and bits of knowledge? Don’t cha just wish there was a section on that guide dedicated to Asian guys, and how to understand the types of Asians, be it Chinese, Filipino, or Korean? … Yea… That would be pretty cool… If only it existed.

*Sigh*

 

*POOF!*

TIS I, RANIER! I am back my friends and I bring you jewels! Jewels I tell you! JEWELS!!! Well, they aren’t exactly real jewels that you can sell, nor are they ones you can find in your undies – these are jewels of knowledge that you shall blah blah blah — let’s get this shit goin, shall we?

*IMPORTANT NOTE*

I already know…

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Jessica Sanchez Begins First Album Under Tommy Mottola

Jessica Sanchez may not have won American Idol, but neither did Adam Lambert or Katherine McPhee. More than one runner up has made it above and beyond. It looks like Jessica’s is already taking off, as record producer Tommy Motola has expressed interest in her first album.

The Mexican-Filipina singer Thalia, whom also happens to be Tommy Motola’s wife, broke the news across Twitter. It seems every major headline nowadays debuts on twitter before anywhere else. 😉

Who is Tommy Mottola?

Tommy is primarily a music executive and record label producer. He is co-owner of Casablanca Records in a joint-venture with Universal Musical Group. He’s worked with a long list of big names, especially across South America–including Celine Dion, Destiny’s Child, Shakira, Gloria Estefan, the Dixie Chicks, Barbra Streisand, Bruce Springsteen, and Billy Joel.

He’s credited with influencing the “Latin Explosion”  music genre. During this period, he produced albums under Sony for Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, and Marc Anthony.

Promoting Philippine Tourism

Long story short, it looks like Jessica Sanchez is in good hands. 😉

Baby Alex

I’m an Uncle. Since I blog about whatever it is I happen to care about, I’m blogging up my 3-month old nephew Alex.

Now that Alex is snoozing in the other room wrapped around his daddy, his cuteness is unavoidable. He’s just that flipping adorable.

“Cute as a button”

Alex is a lot of things to me. Lately he’s a reminder, a little reminder of what I want. He’s a reminder of the children I one day want to have. He’s a reminder of the kind of person I want to have them with.

After having watched  just how committed his mom and dad are, a reality check settles in. They remind me I’m nowhere near ready for any of these reminders, but I look forward to it—very, very much. Reminders. Reminders. 🙂

Best “Call Me Maybe” Covers of All Time

Carly Rae Jepsens’ Call me Maybe has become one of the most viral youtube vids of all time, already having passed the 100 million mark. Respective bow. 🙂 Now, here are some super popular, down-right funny, talented, and not-so-talented covers of Call Me Maybe.

I believe President Obama should naturally start us off. 😉

Call Me Maybe

Best Political Cover

Best Justin Bieber-esque Cover

Best Actual Justin Bieber Cover

Best Talented Cover (Note: He changes the melody’s pace so much; he makes it his own.)

Best PG-13 Rated Cover. Viewer Discretion Advised. 😉

Best Filipino Cover

The Undiscovered Artists of Youtube

Just about every one can name a youtube sensation. Every time someone  hits a few million on youtube, you hear it. But for every one you hear of, there’s a million others you don’t.

Today I give you 9. Every single one of them has written an original song; what you’re hearing is theirs! Think about how much harder that is compared to singing a cover song. Talent! These you tubers sang their heart out and found a following in the thousands. Maybe, you’ll help get them to the millions! 😉

So here are a few people you’ve never heard of. They’re not yet jaded by fame. When you shout them some love on their Youtube channel, they hear you.

And I hear what you say, so, leave comments below! 🙂

I saved the craziest for last! 😉

Lately, I’ve begun writing a song, a very special song. I feel for every single one of these artists. It’s one thing to make a cover to an already popular hit. But writing something from scratch, that is a whole different animal.

Comments Below!! Who do you love. Want to suggest a Youtubers for the list?

Obama = Celebrity Endorsements

Barack Obama has always been honest about his “hope” for celebrity endorsements. As early as January, the list of his hopeful celebrity endorsements was “leaked.” Though, more than one news source speculated even that was a calculated maneuver. The list targeted Hollywood stars, professional athletes and Washington power players, all totaling 194 names 7 pages-long.

I don’t have much respect for celebrity endorsements for politicians. It’s an unfortunate play on democracy. (Read More About Celebrity Endorsement in The Philippines Here). When a celebrity sells a politician to you, keep a few things in mind.

The Obama-Hollywood Celebrity Endorsement Rundown

Clooney and Obama Press Conference

Last month, George Clooney hosted a celebrity-packed fundraiser for Obama. Between  $40,000 tickets and a raffle open to the public, over $15 million was raised. Numerous celebrities attended the fundraiser, including Robert Downey, Jr. and Billy Crystal.

As of lately, Obama’s shifted his attention to women. He’s sought the attention of Sex & The City star-Sarah Jessica Parker and the editor of Vogue herself, Anna Wintours. It’s hard to ignore this unlikely team-up. It seems Obama’s tapping into the world of forward-thinking woman and the fashion world, all in one SJP “dinner party.”

All things considered, neither of these two seems to be selling Obama too pointedly, which is good. Then again, they don’t look like they’re about to start up a worthwhile conversation, either. SJP comes across more on the selling side. I personally prefer Anna Wintour’s approach. Rather than sell, she barks out a “you tell me why you like the guy.” Then again, maybe, that’s just the fashion queen’s personality.

What do you think about these two? What do you think of Philippine celebrity endorsements? Comments Below peeps!

TV-5 & GMA Merger: Fact vs Fiction

A few hours ago, a report by seasoned columnist Ricky Lo of the Philippine Star supposedly ‘confimed’ the merging of GMA and TV5. Many questions followed.

At second glance, Rick Lo’s diction only suggests a ‘merge’ confirmation, if even that. The article was just a validation that TV5 is making a big leap in terms of capturing the lucrative OFW market–very much like ABS CBN’s TFC and GMA’s Pinoy TV. A celebrity tweet or two:

Plot Twist

But wait! There’s more. If we were watching a teleserye, may plot twist dito. As soon as the article went out a screen capture of MVP’s text denying such circulated on twitter.

MVP has hinted multiple times that he is open to the possibility of a merge. Might this back and forth banter be MVP’s way of testing the waters? Before investing P6Billion, might a businessman want to know how his market feels about the whole “shabang”?

MVP is no newbie to mergers. Not to long ago, he recently added SMART- SUN to an already lengthy list of mergers. Many might argue, mergers are what MVP does best.

David & Goliath

But, there is something unique about the holy union of TV5 and GMA, primarily the fact that Manny’s current player is smaller than the player he seeks to purchase. For the first time, David is taking on Goliath. Note: 9 times out of 10, the company purchasing the other is the bigger of the two, case-in-point Facebook and Instagram. The larger Facebook buys out the smaller Instagram all the time. But, MVP has the country wondering if the smaller TV5 has what it takes to buy out the larger GMA.

What are the merger’s repercussions? How would ABS-CBN respond? Who are you going to be watching? Who just gave you your own voting poll? Out of all those questions, I unfortunately only have an answer to the last one. Answer: Sebastian! 😉 And, he gave you your very own Comment box too! So, feel free to share why you’re Kapuso, Kapamilya, or Ka-puso^2.5?

Whose on Top?

TV is a lucrative business in the Philippines, one of the biggest. Challenging the status quo may be worth anyone’s while, well, anyone with P6 Billion lying around. If anyone could pull it off, it’s MVP.

At the end of the day, the top network requires a few simple things: innovative programming, great writers, long-lasting stars, and luck. Up to this day, ABS-CBN is arguably the best in all three conditions. But, TV5 has already demonstrated it’s willing to invest on every account. Doubters only need remember the price tag they paid for Derek Ramsey. Have an opinion? Share if you care!

This blog is a collaboration, coming to you from Aristotle. Visit aristotleandatlantis.blogspot.com for a candid, edgier take on more current event/pop culture. By edgy, I mean edgy. Don’t say you weren’t forewarned.

What We Have to Learn About Feng Shui in Disneyland

Sana Ako si Ricky Lee!

Disneyland is considered by many people as the happiest place on earth, while this is debatable, no one can deny that Disneyland’s success can be attributed, not so much with good physical Feng Shui, but by it’s ultimate positive chi of happiness.

My family and me recently went on a vacation in Hong Kong, needless to say, for the sake of the kids who are traveling with us we went to Disneyland. I won’t be able to post my family’s pictures here because they value their privacy, but out pictures shows that the adults enjoyed Disneyland as much as the kids did.

Somebody once told me that Disneyland Hong Kong did consult a Feng Shui expert, and judging from its entrance, I think it really has good Feng Shui. However, even if they didn’t consult a Feng Shui expert, the amount of positive energy created by all the happy images…

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I Jumped on a Plane. Again.

I jumped on a plane again. Couldn’t help myself. So, where am I heading?

This time around, the objective is somewhere “small.” I’ve spent most my lifetime vying for big cities. I thought I might as well try the “road less traveled by,” a.k.a. the flight less booked.

I promised you a post every day. Here it is. I  dedicate this blog to my all-time favorite travel quotes/tweets . I can’t think of a better time to share them than while sitting somewhere in the sky.

Travel

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” –St. Augustine

“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.” –John Steinbeck

“All travel has its advantages. If the passenger visits better countries, he may learn to improve his own. And if fortune carries him to worse, he may learn to enjoy it.” –Samuel Johnson

“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” –Henry Miller

“Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” –Paul Theroux

I haven’t decided yet if I’ll tell you where I’m going, but I will tell you–I plan to be back with my blood by Monday. Baby diapers await.

 Comments Below. Say Whatever You Please, Peeps.

Everything You Know Just Became A Keyboard

Imagine having your cat, banana, or randomness used as a computer keyboard. That is the concept behind the Makey Makey trend of two MIT students.

I’m not going to lie. There is something infinitely cool about watching someone make music out of a banana! In the spirit of thinking outside the box–the same notion these MIT students seem to be pushing—what more potential does Makey Makey have, other than making these two MIT students very rich?

I came to thinking of the same group twitter user @palmhalmi had in mind:

The possiblities are endless, especially for anyone with major physical challenges. MaKey MaKey: youtu.be/rfQqh7iCcOU via@YouTube

Youtube sensation singers like Amanda Palmer and several online platforms/blogs are already jumping on board. Check out some tweetsters!

“Makey Makey” has definitely made some international twitter buzz. Click here to see more of the top “Makey Makey” Tweets buzzing around. You’ll notice a random large population of Japanese tweetsters going “Makey Makey.” That doesn’t necessarily surprise me as much as the fact they didn’t invent the thing. It seems Americans got something right. 😉

Disclaimer: I don’t have the slightest clue what the Japanese tweet above says. If I just tweeted something completely whack, my bad.  Just ignore. Go Makey-Makey!

Comments? Suggestions? Hallucinations? Leave anything you want below! 

Cause Cart: The Revolution of Charity

Imagine donating money that isn’t yours to any charity of your choice? Sounding too good to be true? This is essentially the end game of Cause Cart, the recent start up of entrepreneur Michael Geer.

What is Cause Cart?

Cause cart is just a tool that would help assist e-commerce websites to donate a portion of every user’s online purchases to charity. So, where’s the money coming from? In Geer’s own own words,

“The money we’re actually raising, the money that goes out, is driven by the energy that’s already there,” Geer adds. “The actual money is coming from the marketing expense of the online shop.”

Ultimately, a chart gets micro funded with no additional cost to the buyer. As of now, purchases comparable to $20USD can expect 5% to be donated. With the numbers of online purchases made on sites such as Amazon every second of every day, we’re talking big bucks.

Why Does It Work?

Currently, charity has a very rigid sort-of structure. Most Americans make once a year lump-sum donations, if even that. Cause cart wants to revolutionize the very way we approach donations, from something infrequent to something more at the forefront of our attention. The basic idea: If you donate money on a regular basis and you are given the option as to whose the receiving charity, you give more thought to all causes. And of course the most immediate, absolutely beautiful outcome here is–more money is going to these causes.

Cause Cart’s Interface

How Can You “Cause Cart”?

The process itself is easy. Cause Cart users simply log into CauseCart’s website before making purchases (Link Available Here). As of now, they’re required to use only Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as a browser. From there, they just shop the way they normally do. Check out the look and feel of Cause Cart’s interface above.

Mashable elaborates about their more formal launch in the months to come,

CauseCart is preparing for a soft-launch in June with its Chrome extension, with a bigger push and a Firefox option in the near future.

Bottomline: Remember the name Cause Cart. It may make a bigger splash in the month to come.  And if you’re an online shopper, remember to give something. After all, what you’re giving is no longer you’re own. Walang excuses. 😉

Comments, Thoughts, Hallucinations? Feel free to share any of your random in the Comment Box Below. And, Here’s a Cheers to Michael Geers! ◄ His Twitter Here.◄ 

Tam Airlines Flat-Out Ignores Model Alex Hidalgo

Please read this one blog through, the same way you’d listen through all a troubled friend had to say. The more I talked to Alex, the closer to home everything kept sounding. Ultimately you can help out more than you think.

[Click  on the highlighted words for direct links to his TVC’s]

Many of you might sooner remember Alex’s face from any one of his many modeling campaigns–Smart’s Superhero TVC, Boracay Rum, C2 Green Tea, HSBC Bank, Whisper, or the Cosmo Bachelor Bash. I remember Alex, as “that dude” I would often practice my Spanish with while waiting at VTRs/castings,” more of a “hey what’s new in your life kinda” friend. Though he’s not Filipino-blooded much like I’m not myself, Alex rocked many Filipino modeling campaigns. No doubt, he’s a grateful guy. But after a year and a half of project/modeling gigs since he first left Costa Rica, he doesn’t have a lot to show for it.

Tam Airlines managed to lose all his luggage, and after an entire month of waiting on an unresponsive customer service, they’re only making him the smallest of concessions.

Interviews in Costa Rica

Tam Airlines “Reaction” to Alex

Alex departed Manila on April 21, 2012. He headed briefly for Brazil and afterward homebound for Costa Rica. Upon arriving home, he was told his luggage was mysteriously lost sometime in a Hong Kong connecting flight.

Since then, a month and a week have passed. Every passing day, he’s made phone calls to Tam Airlines, and he’s just not getting the response anyone would hope for.

The second I heard Alex’s story, it brought me back to an eerily familiar story of my own. It may not be the most shared experience in the world, but there is a lot one can lose in a luggage. And, Tam Airlines has made a reputation of it. If you google those three words “Tam-Airlines-Reputation”, the first most-frequented site you see gives 2 of 5 stars to Tam’s Customers’ Service.

Luggages before they were stolen

Lets Get Alex Trending

Admittedly, Alex Hidalgo is not Pinoy, neither am I, nor this blog. After all, I titled it “Pilipino Kuno”, di ba? 😉

All the same, this one Costa Rican has basically made PH a home and has lately lost about all he gained from his time in the Philippines. He’s frustrated, unable to get Tam Airlines to budge, and exhausted from having tried. He’s lost a year and a half worth of contents in his life and a scary fraction of his finances.

So, why not trend Alex? Help out that guy you remember from that one TVC/billboard. Or, help out someone’s friend. Might as well try. Just give it everything you got! Give him all of at least three tweets. What to say and when to do it is sitting below.

Anyone tempted to make a twitter shout out now? You’ll make Alex heard most if what you say is #MakeTamAirlinesHelpAlex and you say it on Friday @ 6pm. Deal? 😉

Trend:   #MakeTamAirlinesHelpAlex

Time:     Friday, June 1st @ 6pm (Manila Time)

Piolo Pascual and Angelica Panganiban’s Every Breath U Take earns P42.82 million in 2 weeks

VERY WANG

Star Cinema’s romantic comedy film Every Breath U Take top-billed by Piolo Pascual and Angelica Panganiban grossed P42.82 million pesos after two weeks at the tills.

The film helmed by Mae Czarina Cruz, released domestically on May 16, was Graded B by the Cinema Evaluation Board and rated PG-13 by the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.

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Angeline Quinto Trends Worldwide & Every Direction

Between trending Worldwide on Twitter yesterday and the release of her much-anticipated film just today, Angeline Quinto has been a-buzzing.

Trending World Wide

Angeline Quinto, alongside Jed Madela, Christian Bautista and Juris Fernandez sang multiple televised songs that Jessica Sanchez had performed on “Idol. This ASAP’s 2012 Variety Show was a tribute to Jessica Sanchez, who of course made it as far as Top 2 of “American Idol’s recently concluded season.

There’s no doubt, Angeline Quinto shares the “Jay team” fandom. Though, some posed doubts on her performance. ABS-CBN themselves, published their own article on Angeline Quinto with the given title, “Angeline gets mixed reviews for ‘And I Am Telling You.” Starmometer seemed to echo the confusion most people shared,

Angeline’s rendition was “all over the place.” We expect her to kill it, knowing her vocal prowess and all, but instead she “murdered” the song. Is it a case of lack of rehearsal?

Whatever the reason for a lackluster performance, Angeline Quinto wouldn’t have much to worry about. When it comes to vocals, Angeline Quinto still carries some of the highest regarded in the country. Angeline Quinto Tweets-of-The-Moment:

Angeline’s Film “Born To Love You” Opens Today

Just today, May 30, 2012, Star Magic Entertainment’s Born To Love You (2012) is released across theaters nationwide.

The Coco-Angeline match-up makes for an interesting combination, especially if you believe “opposites attract.” While this maybe the first on-screen appearance of Angeline on this level, Coco Martin has over 20 indie films to his credit. Some say the two practically balance for each other–one is all singing prowess; the other all acting. Opposites attract, much?

Watch “Born To Love You” just opened in theaters across the country today, May 30, 2012!

Former thank-you-girl Stephany Stefanowitz wins Miss Philippines Earth 2012

VERY WANG

Twenty-two-year-old fashion model Stephany Dianne D. Stefanowitz representing Quezon City won Miss Philippines Earth 2012. The 5’10” beauty bested 46 other delegates in the annual pageant held May 27 at the SM Mall of Asia Centerstage. Stephany was a candidate in the same beauty contest in 2010 when she walked home empty handed.

Other winners are: Miss Air – (Tabuc City) Glennifer Perido: Miss Water – (San Juan City) Sam Purvor; Miss Fire – (Puerto Princesa) Thoreen Halvorsen: and Miss Eco Tourism – Candice Ramos from Vigan City.

Winners’ photo courtesy of Karla Henry. And here’s Stephany’s winning figure:

See Stephany in motion:

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Indonesia Denies Lady Gaga Concert

As of 9 hours ago from posting, Lady Gaga just publicly confirmed via Twitter, her concert set for Indonesia has been canceled. Her unfortunate tweets:

Gaga’s Indonesian Promoters Big Daddy Entertainment made a longer statement on their site, citing “security reasons” for their cancellation and promising full refunds.

Lady Gaga’s Opposition

Like in most of the Asian continent, Lady Gaga comes with very divided public opinion. On one hand, her opposition came in numbers. Indonesia holds the largest population of Muslims in the world, by a good percentage. Lady Gaga upset a range of different religious institutions. Among all the criticism, the Islamic People’s Forum (FUI) and the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) echoed a condemnation made by many, claiming Gaga supports “pornography” and “satanic values.”

Those Defending “Mother Monster”

But on the other hand, Indonesia’ new sources fire up their own uproar. The Jakarata Post made many critical statements of their government, starting with the title of their article “Gaga Cancellation Reflects Weak Government”. They very well argue how this concert cancellations says less about Lady Gaga and more of Indonesia’s intolerant government, elaborating,

The decision by Lady Gaga’s management to cancel her planned June 3 concert reflects a government that is weak in the face of intolerant political groups, according to human rights watchdog group the Setara Institute.

“The authority of the state should have led to freedom of expression and guaranteed security. These are rights guaranteed in our constitution and in our laws,” Setara Institute chairman Hendardi said on Sunday.

Lady Gaga =Tourism

Whether you love or hate, Lady Gaga, there is no denying she stood to offer Indonesia something other than simply music—12,000 foreign tourists to spike Jakarta’s tourism.

Ministry data shows that these ticket-holding fans were coming from Australia, the Philippines and other ASEAN and Middle Eastern countries; That’s not even including her Indonesian fans coming from outside Jakarta.

These fans, on top of ticket sales, would have generated booked rooms in three- and four-star hotels in Jakarta. With a short notice cancellation of only  7 days, could she have already contributed something to Indonesia’s economy without even having shown up? Although disappointed, Gaga fans come in as many numbers as Gaga’s haters.

Consider The Total Number of Sold-Out Tickets: 52,000 tickets, with prices ranging from Rp 465,000 (US$50.75) to Rp 2.25 million, have already been sold since tickets sales opened on March 10.

Why Cancel?

Lady Gaga had made the occasional promise to do what it took so that show would go on. Just last week, Lady gaga responded to Indonesian authorities’ demands of censoring her show, by publicly stating she was “considering ditching her backup dancers and performing the concert solo in Jakarta.” If the Indonesian government hadn’t publicly denied Gaga’s concert, why was it ultimately canceled.

Big Daddy Entertainment explained it wasn’t just for “the pop star’s safety, but for the 52,000 fans who had bought tickets.” They felt groups could act violently not only to Gaga but Gaga’s fans.

Comments, Suggestions, THoughts, Hallucinations. Would Love To Hear THem Below

BLOG ANNOUNCEMENT + Snapshot of the Day

NEW ANNOUNCEMENT

I haven’t said this sooner only because I didn’t want to make a promise I couldn’t keep. I tend to keep the direction of my life random, much like the direction of my art and the direction I travel. So this was not a promise I’m making easily but I do promise it all the same.

Being of sound mind and body, I, Sebastian Castro, hereby promise to release some of my random on this here PilipinoKuno blog every single day. Tignan mo. It’s official. Nagpapromise kita:

I promise you at least something new, every single day. Whether I’m at home, Manila, Tokyo, South America or sleeping in the corner of some airport parang homeless guy ulit. I’ll give you something, even if that something is a snapshot of me snoozing in an airport.

NOTE: My promise has an expiration date. 30 Days. Which means on June 27th, I’ll be partying. 😀

Camera Still from The Voyage

Drawing Leni. One of my favorite scenes. Of course, the art I’m drawing is my own.

► Follow Leni Speidel’s brand new twitter, by simply clicking on her name here.

For More On My Acting & Art, just click on the top-right “PilipinoKuno” for the Home Page

▼ Comments Box Is Just Below▼ 

Jessica Sanchez’ Number One Fan Goes Youtube Viral

Many of us may have mourned the loss of Jessica Sanchez on American Idol’s last season, but few us may be able to compete with Laney, one down-right distraught little child.

It turns out Laney, possibly Jessica Sanchez’ biggest fan of all time, had a breakdown and an American mom that couldn’t help but videotape the entire thing. Cute stuff.

Day 2 = +600,000 Hits!

Day 3 = +1.3 Million Hits!

Youtube sensation, much?

Little Laney has already caught the twitter eyes of Youtube’s Official account, Philippine Anchorman Julius Babao, and of other Pinoy  Celebs/Personalities you may know, all of whom are of course hardcore Jay Team.

Mara Clara Reaction: How It Affects My Sister

This wouldn’t be the first time a little girl cried her eyes over the TV. One little Filipina had a similar story, with similar results—a  super viral vid.

The magic of film!

Comments! Cute? Crazy? Have you seen anyone else in the blogosphere with more fandom than Laney? How would you have kept your little sister from hyper-ventilating to death? 

So, What Should I Call All My Readers? Vote!

Anne Curtis Lands First Hollywood Film?

No doubt about it, Anne Curtis’ is on fire. Just last month, Anne had the privilege of donning Francis Libiran pieces for America’s Next Top Model. America’s Next Top Model, otherwise known as one of the most broadcasted fashion/modeling TV series in existence with a presence in not only the US but in over 170 countries/regions.

In Francis’ own words, “I picked Anne for this photo shoot; because for me, she represents the perfect Filipina.” Amen.

Before we talk more of Anne in Hollywood, let’s pay a little Anne and Francis tribute. After all, they’ve both already made a Hollywood splash. A quick walk down memory lane:

Hollywood Film for Anne?

Now, it looks like Anne is on to more in the international arena, like say a “full-length role” in a Hollywood film. At least, that’s what Ogie Diaz had to say on Twitter. The exact conversation:

Whether Ogies’ source is valid or not, his words became the talk of twitter and caught the eyes of more than one news source.

ABS-CBN News have echoed some speculation themselves, acknowledging it isn’t more than just that. Yet!

Looks like we’ll have to wait and see before we know anything for sure.

Anne Promises to Return

Anne made news of her departure via Show Time. As soon as she told us she was leaving, she made sure we knew she was coming back. As ABS had to say,

“I was so emotional because I made a special announcement that I will be leaving for a month. Kaya ako naiyak kasi super effort sila, may pa-fiesta pa, send-off party, so nakakatuwa,” Curtis said.

“It’s something to do with pursuing my dream. It’s a new chapter in my life, something that’s challenging. I just really, really want to do it,” she added.

Meanwhile, Curtis assured her fans that she will come back soon.

“Babalik ako, may teleserye pa akong tatapusin, may pelikula pa akong tatapusin. I really have to come back, may contrata ako so kailangan kong bumalik,” she said.

One things for sure, she won’t leave her fans hanging.

Literally only a couple hours before I published this blog, Filipino Blogger Bryan Boy was announced the next season judge of America’s Next Top Model. Once again, Filipinos make an international splash for Fashion. 

[Read the latest on Bryan Boy for ANTM by clicking here. ]

American Idol Reveals Season 11 Winner

“Call Me Maybe”: The Philippine Version Goes Viral

When Philippine Tourism launched the logo “It’s More Fun in the Philippines”, they didn’t lie!

Some of the country’s star-studded A-listers decide they’d get jiggy to the international hit “Call Me Maybe”, originally by Carly Rae Jepson. And, the vid is going..  going.. gone viral!

Day 1 = +100,000 hits. Kudos!

Day 2=  +400,000 hits Chika-chika Wah! wAh!

This has to be what I love most about Philippine culture. Plain and simple, Filipinos know how to smile.

[Click For More of Their Individual Cray-Z]

Lady Gaga Approved for Second Show in the Philippines

Controversial: Eric John Salut vs. KC Concepcion and Sharon Cuneta

VERY WANG

See for yourself. Here’s the screen grab of Eric John Salut vs. KC Concepcion and Sharon Cuneta.

Here’s the transcript of the word war on Twitter:

  • Eric John Salut: Kilala ko na kung kaninong fans ang bitter sa super success ng #EveryBreathUTake. Obvious! Oh well, it’s already on record and official, #EveryBreathUTake is breaking box office records!
  • PIOLO-FIED AKO: kilala ko rin sir ej. hindi sila nag-iisip kung makakatulong b sa idolo nila makakasama ang bitterness nila.
  • Eric John Salut: di ba? Ang sama ng ginagawa nila. God bless their souls.
  • LadyMars⚡: And kilala mo rin ba kung kaninong fans ang bitter at panay bash kay KC at Mega? Dont be GULLIBLE! OBVIOUS! 🙂
  • Eric John Salut: oh why are you reacting? Kayo ba yon? Obvious ka inday! Maglaba ka na!
  • LadyMars⚡: Bitter na kung bitter! eh kayo? plastic!
  • Eric John Salut: ayun, e di umamin ka din! Boba!
  • LadyMars⚡: naku…

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Going Crazy Over Eugene Domingo & Kimmy Dora’s Sequel

I decided to blog about the incredibly awkward moment when I first met Ms. Eugene Domingo, and let’s talk some Kimmy Dora & Temple of Kiyeme while we’re at it!

Kimmy Dora & Temple of Kiyeme

On May 17th, the long-awaited Kimmy Dora sequel premiered it’s trailer to a whopping 100,000 hits in less than 4 days.

Kimmy Dora & Temple of Kiyeme is on fire! With nearly three years in the waiting and Ms. Eugene Domingo starring the thing, maybe, that’s to be expected.

The original Kimmy Dora (2009)–top-billed by the one and only, Eugene Domingo–was a huge success, grossing over 80 million pesos and becoming something of a household classic. Kudos to producers Piolo Pascual, Joyce Bernal, Erick Raymundo, and everyone else who made the project possible. Thank you for giving Eugene the biggest of all breaks and the most-deserved of all projects. I salute you with cool beans!

Kimmy Dora & The Temple of Kiyeme hits theaters June 17, 2012!

Losing My Sanity Over Eugene at Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank Premiere

I first met Eugene at the premiere of Ang Babae sa Septic Tank. I had something of an “OMFG-It’sEugene” moment. Starstruck talaga ako! Somewhere around the time I regained consciousness, I was holding her hand and staring at a bunch of cameras. It turns out good-natured Eugene just wanted to introduce me around, telling ABS and GMA she makes movies for people like me. Gra-a-be!! This all would have been an amazing experience, had my heart returned to a normal pace. But no, my still-tryin-to-recover-heart-beat, pounding a billion times-per-second, left me looking like I just ran a marathon. I still laugh every time I look at the photos. Hindi naman flattering. Pero, undeniably memorable. And in my book, that’s all that counts.

When the interviewer asked Eugene if there could ever be something romantic between her and I, she laughed out, “bata pa sya.” I might have been slightly disappointed. Conti lang. I hope it didn’t show. I don’t even know why I felt that way. I think just like any mortal, it would have been so undeniably cool if Eugene sported a small crush on me. Silly naman. Pero obviously, sobrang professional sya, more than my candid blog. That’s for sure. I can’t even get through typing this without laughing.

Why I Am a Hopelessly Obsessed Fan of Eugene Domingo

So, why do I love Eugene? For starters, she can make me laugh harder than my best friends. Not easy, considering the clowns I hang with.

On a more serious note, I’d say she has the kind of character worth imitation. In person, she’s witty, while all the while graceful. Of course, laughtrip sya!  Naturally! But, I’ve also watched the way Eugene Domingo handles one conflict after another. In the celebrity world, naiintindihan ko syempre may chismes. Pero kahit kung tungkol Eugene o tungkol mga kaibigan nya, she walks in and out of every situation with nothing but grace.

I have said it before. I’ll say it again. My pinakapaboritong Filipina actress of all time, has and will always be Eugene Domingo. Those words have gotten me in trouble before, as more than one person may think I had a “thing” for Ms. Eugene. A romantic thing? I gotta’ say, turning on the TV only to find I was trending because of my alleged, not-so-appropriate crush with an actress twice my age———awkward!

I don’t know if this made me or Eugene laugh harder. But, here it is. The moment of truth, as if I ever really needed to say something:

I Love Her, But Not Like That

Sorry to burst anyone’s bubbles. I am not crushing on Eugene Domingo. But that said, idol ko sya. Kahit kung ‘la akong interest ganyan, I have every bit the fandom. She is all the aforementioned–talented, witty, laugh trip meets graceful, and all around lovable.

Looking back, I think I’m just happy naman I didn’t pee on myself or find my “freak out” footage on Youtube. Count your blessings!

Kimmy Dora & The Temple of Kiyeme hits theaters June 17, 2012! 

Jennifer Lopez to visit Manila for a concert

VERY WANG

Latina superstar and American Idol judge Jennifer Lopez is reportedly planning to stage a concert in Manila by the end of the year according to pepalert.

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The Road (2011): The First of More Filipino Films To Go Hollywood?

The Road (2011) is a first of its kind, a first Filipino film to go as far as it has in Hollywood. Having just opened to approximately 50 commercial theaters across the US, it has landed the largest American release in all of Philippine history.

What Does 50 Theaters Mean Anyways?

The Road landed a limited American release. 50 theaters. Now, what does that mean? The Filipino chilling on the opposite side of the world might not really get the scope of The Road’s presence. In fairness, what did I know about Philippine cinema when first arriving?

The Road’s presence: The Road is no blockbuster—not because of how it was made, but only because of who didn’t make it. “The Big Six” can open any movie, no matter how terrible, in over +2,000 theaters, one of the many advantages that come with their relationship to the movie theatre chains. (“The Big Six”—Warner Bros’ Pictures, Disney, 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, and Columbia Pictures,  are the six long-standing film studios/distribution houses responsible for about 95% of the movies you know. (And like anything that appeals to the mainstream they have a habit of making their films a habit, one remake-sequel-franchise after another. Alas, the downside of mainstream.)

To the point: The Road is beautiful in every way an underdog is beautiful. Having come from the opposite side of the world, having been made at a mere fraction of the budgets allotted to today’s Hollywood films, and having none of the long-standing advantages of the studio system, the Road made an impressive splash, not just in terms of theaters, but where it is coming to matter most in the US—-online.

Just Updated: The Road just became the 6th most popular Horror flick on iTunes. Word!

Online Presence

The American theatre business has been in decline for some time, basically since the advent of DVDs. More and more, Americans would rather forget the drive and watch the latest blockbusters from the comfort of their home, via Amazon’s Instant Video, Netflix, or iTunes. You’ll find “The Road” on all three platforms.

As I flashed The Road’s trailer to my family in Atlanta for the first time, my brother-in-law belted out an “oh yeah! isn’t that The Road?”

He happened to have already seen it’s trailer off the Apple site. (As a teenager obsessed with all things film, this is the same site I’d be on every day after high school. No surprise.) That is online presence. And that is not an easy accomplishment for any SE Asian film looking to penetrate Hollywood. (More Trailer exposure: Hulu)

The two most popular American sites I use to book my online theater tickets–Fandango and MovieFone–both have their excerpt on The Road. So if you’re the average American who just caught sight of the film’s reviews/trailers/buzz only to realize it wasn’t available in a theatre near you, you pay all of  $4.99 via Amazon’s Instant Viewing, and within seconds, you’re on the road to watching “The Road”. The online viewing outlets are so just so much easier here than most of the Asian continent. David Chu, managing director of Asian Media Rights, shares:

“Producers often equate success with how well their film did at the box office,” Mr. Chu said. “But there is a growing market outside of the theaters. You don’t need to be in the theaters to be a success.”

This of course comes in stark contrast to the Philippines, where theater revenue equates total revenue. If it’s not being watched in the theater, it’s being pirated in every street corner, one of those unfortunate facts of life. But, what if Philippine filmmakers could make a habit of penetrating American markets? Earning American dollars over the unfortunately-pirated-pesos from back home? India has itself, an ever-growing very-international Bollywood. Could the Philippines be next?

NY Times Review & the Future of Philippine Cinema?

As you google “The Road (2012)”, you’ll find one blogger/film critic/review after another.  But The New York Times‘ chimed in probably the loudest praise so far:

“this enormously assured movie sucks you in like quicksand. Impossible to predict.”

A few days earlier on May 7, the New York Times actually pointed to The Road in support of it’s headline “New Ambitions in Philippine film business“, saying:

But what is most notable about the film is what is missing. It lacks the melodrama, simplistic plot and poor production standards that have been hallmarks of many movies made in the Philippines in recent years.

It’s no secret. Philippine teleserye does give into some repetition, not that Hollywood is a shining beacon of originality either.

But, the New York Times regarded Yam Laranas among the like-minded independent directors with the potential to take Philippine cinema to new heights.

The Solution: Risk

There’s a reason Filipino producers have stuck to, as the New York Times called it—“melodrama, simplistic plot and poor production standards.” It’s not for a lack of imagination. That oversimplifies the problem. The difference between making something familiar and making something different is the difference between playing it safe and rolling the dice. Film-executives/Producers would rather put their money where they see the most return. Producing the fresh and innovative comes with inherent risk. But, 2011 proved the risk can outweigh the  reward, with more blockbuster hits in one year than all of Philippine history. Note:  Every single one had more “risk-taking” backbone than what normally comes from commercial Philippine flicks. As I said in my earlier blog on :  Not only did 2011 bring in the highest grossing films yet, a large number are hitting the 100 million peso mark. Now here’s the one thing you should take from this blog above all else: The unconventional films are becoming your biggest blockbusters. ‘No Other Woman’ pushed the envelope on Philippine adult film (2). ‘Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin’ made money-making history with gay themes and an unconventional cast (3). Even Indie film lead by ‘Ang Babae sa Septic Tank’ raked in more than anyone imagined (4). And in just the last month, ‘Unofficially Yours’ proved people will pay more to see a ‘modern woman’ than your typical angelic ‘damsel in distress.’ (5)

What more assurance do you need?
Here’s what risk looks like when it succeeds:

Yam Laranas Conquers in More Ways than One

If Yam Laranas proved nothing else, he proved the Filipino director could convince a studio set in its ways to produce a unique piece of art. I don’t honestly know what I find more impressive—the beauty in his film-making or what it might have taken the man to make his film made.

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.
T.S. Eliot

Let’s hope and pray for anyone/anything capable to convince the studio execs the same. A-yus!

Francis Cheng’s Birthday & My Birthday Present Portrait

Last night, I only really got to see Hong Kong’s nightlife for the second time during my stay—with a celebrity packed birthday party to boot.

Francis Cheng

Since I got to Hong Kong, I have either been preparing art for the The Voyage, preparing my acting for the Voyage, traveling somewhere else to film for the Voyage, or filming for, you guessed it, the Voyage.

Direk Scud kindly took me out to the B-day party of friend Francis Cheng— the man behind Occasion’s PR and Hong Kong’s biggest of parties/events/launches/runways. Those that know me, know I love a birthday party like no other—I was deprived the first 18 of mine. Cheer’s to making up for lost time! (Childhood sob stories can always wait..Life cannot.)

I met Francis for the first time after our group had come back from Lady Gaga’s second concert in HK. Naturally, HK was a-buzzing. They say Francis knows everyone. Mother Monster, not excluded.

Lady Gaga and Francis Cheng

A concert to remember!

Post-Gaga-concert-frenzy, I overheard Francis say that he had only felt this way about meeting someone two other times in his life. The first was Actress Lin Qing Xia and the second was Jude Law.

My Birthday Present Portrait

Knowing not much more about him. I decided to take this little tid-bit I did know, scratch my head, pump up the creative juices in my head, and pop out what you’re looking at.  I give you–my latest piece, a Francis Cheng portrait.

A Few More HK Celebrity Snapshots To Come… 

Amsterdam !! ! !!! !

Yes! It was my first time in Amsterdam. I was all wrapped up art-makin’, workin’ away for the upcoming film, The Voyage, that I rarely got a free minute to blog. But now that I’m chilling in Hong Kong with less workload, I’m typing away.

If only I had more free time, I’d do all the touristy things more, but no, there was work to be done. Truth be told, everyone in the film crew worked hard. If that were ever in doubt, a person only has to look below and laugh.

I didn’t exactly catch everyone’s “best angle”–let’s get real– I didn’t catch one person’s better angle. Not by a long shot. But, Direk Scud loved this shot and personally asked that I share. So, here. it. is.

“Photojournalistic”, much?

“Art imitates life” a touch?

Amsterdam in Song-ography

So while I was playing with the pictures, I ended up humming a little melody.

I give you. Amsterdam in song, photography, and song-ography!

I swear. I spoil you sometimes. 😉

It was about that time everyone was snoring..

I thought, Yo! This city's worth exploring!

And I was right. Nothing's boring.

There's boats..canals..a killer sky

not like I'd know, but they say this is what things look like when "high."

We peek into a coffee shop, where those 420 dudes always stop.

Before crossing the street, 'ya better look left and right

Soon enough we had our own bikes.

Soon as we get to New Market Square, we take life a little slower

Dee-dee dah-dah Da! Dah!

Haha-haha- Haaaaa! ha!

We look up high.

We look down low.

..at graffiti..

.. at bike win-dows..

.. and everything between all of those.

From one large crowd..

..to a-not-so-loud..

Toro Dorado! Best steak house in town!!

I'm not gonna lie--I just had, one-hell-of-a-steak.

by the time we leave it's already 8..

the scantily clad will be up til late.

now back at New Market Square and that is where..

..an old couple dances, I can't help but stare..

..Amsterdam! You're something of a magical, love affair.

Sebastian Castro©

ArtWalker Film Crew Behind-the-Making-of The Voyage

If you’ve been following my Twitter at all these last couple weeks, you know I am producing art for the upcoming film, The Voyage. You know I’m following ArtWalker’s film crew, one location after another. You know it’s been Hong Kong, Hanover, and Amsterdam this far. You know I’m loving every second of it! And, you even know that you don’t know what I will want you to know … soon.

Got it? Good!

I’ll eventually let you in, soon enough. For now, here’s the lovable Hong Kong-based Film Crew behind Artwalker Production!

Direk Scud is now on his fifth film, The Voyage. Just wrapping up filming, he’ll be switching gears soon for post-production.

Time To Meet the Crew

Irving Cheung (Art Director), Sebastian Castro (Artist), Scud (Director), Adrian (Actor)

Me Again, Charlie Lam (Director of Photography)

Andrew, Production Manager, When asked what's his job title, he'll rightfully respond, "Oh. I do everything."

Irving, Leni Speidel (Actress), Byron Pang (Actor), Ryo (Actor)

Hayz (Assistant Director)

Everybody Else

Just Because Kinda Pictures 

Sometimes we look serious

Other times, we don't look so serious.

Lyrics. Poetry? Sebastian’s Random.

Two separate pieces I’ve written. No particular reason. Both of them came from characters I temporarily internalized for an acting role. They’re mostly vague memories for now, maybe something more in the future.

Wait

Wait, just wait, make him wait. I’m begging you.
Fate? True Love you say? Well, I won’t tell you what to do.

Maybe he’s yours, maybe she’s mine?
But we know what happens when prince charming changes’ his mind?

I know you, like I know you. I. know. YOU!
We had history before you bid me adieu.
But I don’t know him, if he’ll stay, or if he’s leaving you.

I’ve seen them lie; I’ve seen you cry; I’ve seen that heartbeat slow down and die,

We don’t change. it’s just that strange. I don’t know who’s most deranged.
I’ll stay a slave, dig that grave; It’s like I was made to be your grave digger?

And you, so much to offer, will still waste it on another killer,

This is the story of a girl who would take a bullet for the one pulling the trigger.

Helping Hand

Sometimes, a helping hand has a mind of it’s own. You didn’t know the person, particularly care just 5 minutes earlier, and then you realized something was about to befall them of the likes so few people fully understand—with not so much a decision as gut-feeling, you made the issue your own, only because you know what its like to face it alone. There are things you know now that you wished you knew then, over and over and over again. So there you go, a newly-made friend. You reminisced fears, gave in to tears. At least, you could steer one person into the clear. It was mindless and kind; self-less, blind. Somehow, your own help just outdid all those years. #friendship #whyIneedmorethan2hoursofsleep

Jenna Talackova: Once a Boy, Almost Miss Universe

Miss Universe Canada finalist Jenna Talackova was on her way to winning a title reserved for the most beautiful women in the Universe, until the Miss Universe pageant discovered she wasn’t always a woman. She was disqualified earlier this month (1). The male-born transgendered Jenna Talackova has had a bumpy ride. She’s made it as far as a beauty pageant finalist (arguably the farthestest for a transgender), taken a public disqualification, and sparked tens of thousands to her own defense (2).

    

She’s A Lady ♫

-Tom Jones

“With blonde locks, long legs, and delicate features”, the National Post for one dubs Jenna “a strong competitor”(3). 23-year-old Jenna Talackova was born male, but she identified as a female since age 4. She began hormone therapy at the age of 14 and underwent gender reassignment surgery at 19. In her own words, Jenna is just “a woman with a history (4).”

A Very Filipinoa Kind of Story

Admittedly, I found this topic very Philippine for three reasons: One. Filipinos love Beauty Pageants. They’re basically like the Superbowl to Americans. No one goes to work/school. All eyes are on the TV; if you change the channel, you risk getting killed. Two. Filipinos love scandals, especially the celebrity-flavored. Just look at where “scandals” ranks on the Philippines’ most-Googled search queries. Three. The Philippines already have a Miss Universe beauty that regained her crowns after having lost it. Backed by millions, 2010 Miss Universe fourth runner-up Venus Raj  was dethroned for “birth-certificate inconsistencies”. She took the opportunity to fight for everyone “born out of wed-lock”. Venus took her case public, got officially reinstated, and made another first for Philippine History. Nothing “major major”. Jena Talackova’s future isn’t so certain, but in just the last few days the momentum’s definitely there–over 40,000 people strong.

Backlash

The Huffington Post is dubbing the reaction to Jenna’s disqualification “an international media firestorm.”

Pageant director argues Jenna was disqualified on the grounds “she was dishonest”.  Change.org Author Oscar Dimant doesn’t agree calling it, “discriminatory, unjust and quite frankly disgusting.”

“She is a woman and deserves to be treated as any woman would be”. 44,758 others didn’t just agree they’ve voted via a Change.org online petition demanding her reinstatement.  (Voting Link Below)

A Couple Comments, so far:

Connie McNaughton is both the winner of Miss World Canada of 1984 and a five-year long coordinator of the pageant. Being no stranger to Miss World Canada, she shared, “I think it’s outdated and I think that as a society we’re evolving. There are certain countries who cosmetically, surgically, have their girls go and have updates. So (how different is it) if you’ve augmented your gender because in your heart and soul, you believe yourself to be a woman?” Divine .

Just A “Pilipino Kuno” Poll

Not that it should have anything to do with her re-instatement. But since we’re talking beauty pageants, let’s talk beauty.  Did you find Jenna beautiful? Could there be more to Jenna’s character that might help explain why near 40 thousand-in-counting are speaking up? Two polls here.

The question of beauty. I took the question to 13 friends, 8 guys/5 girls, I’ve only gotten an unanimous yes, followed by some “total babe”, “aw yeah she’s pretty”, “drop dead gorgeous” and an “Oh no! It’s like Bangkok all over again.”

Disclaimer: Okay, I made up that last one, but the rest are good.

There’s something interesting my sister blurted to me earlier, saying –“hey, she kind of looks like Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka?” And that came out her mouth before she knew Donald Trump actually owns the Miss Universe Pageant. I suppose DonaldTrump owns so much, it’s easy to forget one beauty pageant over a TV series and a sizable fraction of New York City real estate. That aside, what do you think of the two? Similar? #random

Ivanka Trump Below

 

11-Seconds of Your Time

Jenna’s beauty shouldn’t be a factor in whether or not she is re-instated. Her finalist-status already came at her own merit. I don’t know enough of her to say more on that merit. But, it’s clear enough there’s no merit to the disqualification, just blatant discrimination. So far, she’s taken a very public blow and reacted only as you’d expect from a true blue beauty queen,  gracefully.

Now here is the one site where voting could make the most difference. At time of my publishing, there are 40,304 votes.

→  11 SECONDS HERE

I literally had my sister stop-watch the time it took for me to sign the online pledge. All of 11 seconds. Think you can top me? Go for Gold!

Philippine Celebrity Endorsements: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

A sign of a celebrity is that his name is often worth more than his services.
– Daniel J Boorstin

You’ve spent your entire lives listening to what Celebrities say about endorsements. Here, Pilipino Kuno weighs in on what endorsements have to say about celebrities.

It’s an interesting little fact of life that not many give serious thought—a good fraction of the products you buy have someone selling them. The celebrity makes an amusing substitute for a salesman. For one, they’re no longer physically talking to you; for another, their biggest selling point is reduced to a winning smile over anything substantial on the product’s utility. But after marketing research, talent negotiations, and a multi-million peso contract, that celebrity sold. 25 pesos lang! Oh. And, 25 million pesos for the celebrity.

And then there are celebrity endorsements that boost something a million times more relevant than sales—-politicians that might not have been elected otherwise. The following is more an editorial than an opinion-free piece. Before you’re half way through reading, I hope you let your own opinions run free and nail down the research that makes them unkabogable.

Even good opinions are worth very little unless we hold them in the broad, intelligent, and spacious way.—John Morley

The Good—Kris Aquino

To date, YES Magazine has published the only recent public information on the Top 20 Filipino Endorsers. They gave you the biggest money makers out there, an explanation as to why, and the list. (1)

Kris Aquino topped the list and kahit ang isang banyaga ay makakapagsabi kung bakit—she is completely believable. Live television is a beautiful thing. Just knowing everything happening is happening here and now makes way for an undeniable “kilig” factor. “Walang “take two”; walang “take three.” There is just here and now. The obvious downside: the singer/performer just lost all room for mistake. The upside: the audience appreciates the mistake-free that much more. And, this is where Kris Aquino shines brightest.

While watching Kris Aquino myself on Gandang Gabi Vice  Jan 8th 2012 via TFC of course, Kris Aquino had a passing moment  that stuck with me (2). When Vice had brought up some past memory they both shared, Kris corrected the sequence of events discussed. Vice naturally raised a candid eyebrow and questioned the “Queen of All Media”. Kris’ immediately quipped back something to the paraphrased-effect:  “hello? wala akong commercial na bitamina? Itong memorya ay gumaganang malinis gaya ng pito”

I bow to you Kris. You make me smile, laugh, and wish I was part of an award-giving body only so I could rightfully give you one.

If Kris Aquino were playing devil’s advocate against her own success, I can already hear her saying, “in fairness, matagal na ako sa industriyang ito, bata. Kung ano ang nakikita mo yun ang makukuha mo.” I wouldn’t expect anything less.

The Bad—Overpaid Celebrities &Underpaid Salesman

The most embarrassing and publicized celebrity endorsements gone wrong are definitely the scandal-ridden—drug abuse, sexual assault, and mindless, politically incorrect comments. Books could be written on the subject. People don’t only make brand to celebrity associations, they can make brand to celebrity scandal associations. This freaks out the marketing world to no end.

But there is another category of celebrity endorsements I found more interesting—those that didn’t quite fit to begin with and by virtue of lazy salesmanship lost respect for both celebrity and product. These are just as prolific and occasionally headline-worthy. Actress Helena Bonham Carter told the world she rarely wears make-up while the face of Yardley Cosmetics. She went on to say she didn’t know why they even chose her. The examples are there [Suze Orman, (3A), (3B) (3C)].

In some situations, the celebrity didn’t ever particularly care about what they were selling; serving only to remind the public: money was the only motivation. Everyone gets paid in one currency or another. Not everyone deserves it. To this I can only say: The masses can forgive an over-paid celebrity sales rep for being over paid; but don’t expect forgiveness when you, the overpaid celebrity, failed to do what the underpaid salesman does every day. Now, let’s get ugly.

The Ugly—Celebrity-Endorsed Political Campaigns

You would think this category would be reserved for the likes of celebrity scandals. No, I have much more respect for celebrity scandals than what follows.

Paid political celebrity endorsements are an insult to human intelligence, an insult spanning too many decades and political campaigns to deserve sugarcoating. It is one thing to endorse a brand toward company sales. It’s another thing to endorse a politician and bypass the substance behind one political platform after another. If the act itself weren’t sickening enough, the exorbitant amount of money “top celebrities” have made from these endorsements is down-right dirty.

In some forgivable cases, celebrities campaign for the politician they believe in. Who can blame a sincere celeb for starting relevant discussion? The same very same influence we’re talking about can fit anywhere on this simplified scale of “the good, the bad, & the ugly.” A celebrity has so many possibilities at their disposal; there’s a responsibility too. But in many cases, “top philippine celebrities” campaign for jaw-dropping figures between 20-50 million pesos. And even after all those zeros, there’s still no relevant conversation coming from the celebrity’s end (PCIJ article source here).

Even when ill-informed, a single celebrity is still a force to be reckoned with come election day. For those going skeptical, multiple economists point to the last American presidential election, possibly the highest benchmark of a celebrity-fueled election. Two well-respected economists believe Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Barack Obama is responsible for one million votes, claiming Obama would have lost the election without her. As one institution after another are making acknowledgements (not limited to Freakonomics’ Authors and the NY Times), the claim of two economists is holding strong. Now, look a little closer to home. PCIJ via political strategist Ronald Jabal argued (4):

a large part of the victory at the 2001 polls of Senators Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan and Ralph Recto can be credited to their showbiz wives. Pangilinan is married to ‘Megastar’ Sharon Cuneta while Ralph Recto’s wife is ‘Star for All Seasons’-turned-politician Vilma Santos-Recto. Cuneta’s selling prowess is unquestionable. She can sell anything to the public – from burgers to milk to movies. Jabal is only one of many who believe she helped sell her husband’s candidacy.

Unfortunately, this is only one example of a long list of Celebrity Endorsed Philippine Politicians and the equally exhaustive list of tactics used. [Sources of public coverage: (4), (5), (6), (7)]

The Bottom Line

A political campaign endorsement is not a brand. A political campaign has too much at stake to justify distraction from what matters most, the issues. Every Filipino that cares the least about their country is already invested.

 

Ultimately, the modern-Filipino has social media down to a science. I swear Americans simply can’t compete with ang unkabogable trending super powers ng Pilipinas. Here’s where the creative Artist in me pops out.

Where Can You Be Heard

The next time you watch a celebrity endorsement that upsets you, speak up. Did it over simplify the situation. Did it ask you to vote for a popular politician with out so much as giving you a reason why?

Channel your thoughts where you think it’ll be heard most. Try directing your tweets at a couple new sources that make avoiding media bias their priority. The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism has impressed me time and again. But lately, Rappler has really taken off.

Come election season, remember to angle your thoughts with the same hash tag. Try hashtags:

#CelebrityEndorsements #UglyCelebrityEndorsements

#TypicalPinoyTeleserye: Top National Trend in the Philippines

For over 7 hours on March 19, 2012, #typicalpinoyteleserye topped Philippine Twitter Trends (1).

If I were to start this conversation on just how typical is typical pinoy teleserye, I really wouldn’t have anything new to say, nothing you haven’t heard before. But, that is what’s impressive. Trending at #1, it’s the most talked about subject in the country! There was never so much a debate as to whether or not pinoy teleseryes is typical; that’s the premise of the conversation,  a fact of life, so well understood it made the country want to list their biggest grievance. But, trust me. Im not here to rant on a culture I’m overly obsessed with.

Popular Tweets on #typicalpinoyteleserye

The Top Retweeted Tweets Out There/All +50

Before you beat yourself up, there’s no film industry that doesn’t resort to copying what has worked before. Hollywood tops the list. The Twilight saga. Vampire Diaries. True Blood. Teen Wolf. Need I really say more? And while Philipppine television is no beacon of originality, it could learn a thing or two from its own film market.

Philippine Film VS Philippine Television

In the last year, the Philippine film industry is raking in more box office hits in all its history. Not only did 2011 bring in the highest grossing films yet, a large number are hitting the 100 million peso mark. Now here’s the one thing you should take from this blog above all else: The unconventional films are becoming your biggest blockbusters. “No Other Woman” pushed the envelope on Philippine adult film (2). “Unkabogable Praybeyt Benjamin” made money-making history with gay themes and an unconventional cast (3). Even Indie film lead by “Ang Babae sa Septic Tank” raked in more than anyone imagined (4). And in just the last month, “Unofficially Yours” proved people will pay more to see a “modern woman” than your typical “angelic damsel in distress.” (5)

The trend is all too obvious. It makes you wonder,”why wouldn’t a film market experiment all the time?” Films are among the biggest of financial gambles out there. In many cases, film-executives aren’t the most “artistically inclined”. When given the option to fund “a risk” or fund what has worked before, well, money is always a priority.

Conclusion

Again, there’s not always a lot I can say that hasn’t already been said:

For your own amusement, the PilipinoKuno confesses: Sometimes a campy melo-drama is all I’m in the mood for. Sometimes.

Art is courtesy of Deviant Art User Jhin22000 and is purchasable here . Thank you for the use!

KLOUT: The Most Influential People in the Philippines

For most of you, the word Klout doesn’t mean anything. In just 6 months, it’s going to mean everything for the marketing world.

What is KLOUT? & What’s the Big Deal

Klout is a new company that studies everyone’s social media analytics based on their social media applications. And, that’s just a complicated way of saying–Klout measures a person’s influence primarily via the biggest of social media, twitter and facebook. By some wildly-complicated algorithm, it calculates every twitter retweet/facebook share/youtube hit/etc and pops out a “Klout score”, simply on a scale from 1 to 100. That Klout Score is becoming the “de facto” official measure of someone’s influence. An average person rocks an average score of 20. Only Justin Bieber scores a perfect 100. Lady Gaga is currently at 93. Kim Kardashian, 92. Barack Obama, 91. Ellen Degeneres, 89. Katy Perry, 89. Pete Cashmore (behind Mashable), 90. Oprah, 85. David Archuleta, 72.

And, I already know what you’re thinking. Whose got the biggest Klout Score in the Philippines?! Teka-teka-teka-teka!

At the moment, no one in the Philippines have hit the 90’s mark. As far as I can tell, there’s less than 10 people so far in the entire world.

I give you the first official listing of the “Philippine’s Most Influential People” via Klout:

KLOUT: The Most Influential Filipinos

    1. 81 – Anne Curtis

    2. 80 – Vice Ganda

    3. 76 – Paolo Feliciano 

    4. 76 – Xian Lim

    5. 74 – KC Concepion

    6. 73 – Angel Locsin

    7. 73 – Bianca Gonzales

    8. 72 – Luis Manzano

    9. 71 – Kim Atienza

    10. 71 – Julia Montes

    11. 70 – Kean Cipriano

    12. 70 – Angelica Panganiban

    13. 70 – Maxene Magalona

    14. 70 – Jasmine Curtis-Smith

    15. 69 – Tim Yap

    16. 68 – Sarah Geronimo

    17. 68– Karen Davila

    18. 67– Derek Ramsay

    19. 67 – Kris Aquino

    20. 67 – Sam Milby

    21. 67 – Lea Salonga

    22. 67 – Karylle

    23. 67 – Pokwang

    24. 67 – Mo Twister

*President Noynoy Aquino is currently at a 52.

** Figures fluctuate on a day-to-day basis, normally not more than a point at a time

KLOUT’s Relevance

Truthfully, we all know Boy Abunda, Piolo Pascual, and John Lloyd would have made the list had they ever bothered with a Twitter account.

It’s not as if the thought never crossed their mind. Given their influence, of course, “no social media” was a deliberate decision, not one easily made. Respectfully, they are so well into their careers; at the moment, there’s no question who’s the Philippine’s “King of  Talk” or “Box Office King.” But given enough time, might some young starlets enter the picture? The world will know when Anne Curtis’ fanbase hits 3 million on Twitter. But, it would seem the gap between what we know of Annes’ fans and what we don’t know of Piolo’s keeps on growing. No pressure, Papa P.

So, just how influential is the measurement of the influential? With the onset of Twitter, fame already has itself a measurement, but there’s a big difference between Twitter and Klout, and that’s just because there is a fundamental difference between fame and influence.

There are a lot of people on Twitter with fame who don’t actually influence their followers in any way. Case-in-Point: The Charlie Sheen Melt-down. Charlie Sheen, once the highest paid actor in television, publicly challenged his studio to either increase his pay or cut his contract. When studio CBS booted him off the show, he had a very public melt down and made twitter history by becoming the first and only person to garner a million followers in just one day. Clearly, Charlie Sheen accomplished fame. But, influence? And, there’s the difference.

What Do You Think of the Most Influential People in the Philippines? What do you think of Klout in general? Cool? Creepy? Share your thoughts. (Sebastian’s Klout here)

Vice Ganda Reads Our Blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s 4Am in the morning here in Atlanta. And under any other circumstances I’d be in bed right now, but thanks to all the tweetsters out there,

VICE GANDA, the one and only—not only just tweeted us, not only just retweeted our blog, and not only just followed @sebastianslife–but he had this to say:

From the bottom of my heart, thank “you”, Vice! You can see what the country thought Vice deserved by clicking here: #whatvicedeserves

Clearly, I put a particular amount of effort in that last blog. I sought not only to make a nice gesture to Vice, but to really objectively deliver a factual piece. Vice is in many respects one-of-a-kind, and under some factual parameters, yes, the most followed gay man in the world. The under-appreciated inspires me. Truth inspires me.

This was a remarkable wave of assurance. Na ku! Of course having my blog Retweeted a hundred times and spike with another two thousand hits is reassuring! And, the love is a two-way street! But an important note: I do not blog only to please people. I like the idea of blogging honestly. I am as biased as I am human. And, my preconceptions will naturally shape anything I have to say. But what inspires me above all else is the overlooked and the underestimated. When I see something either other people miss or all the more so if they deliberately choose to overlook, you best believe I’m interested.

In my last Vice blog I didn’t just reveal some new found statistic. The facts were always there. I merely connected the dots, in such a way most people don’t realize.

Some times, a complete and total stranger can tell you more about you than you imagined.

I’m the “Pilipino Kuno”. I’m an outsider looking in. The Philippines will forever be a world that isn’t mine. No matter how hard you try, you can’t inject the Philippine blood in me. Sayang!

It’s just me! I look forward to more blogs! More Philippine Showbiz! More Philippine culture! More Art! More You!

Good night beautiful people,

Sebastian

Art is courtesy of Ryan Adriano. Purchasable here at Art Flakes.

The Streets of Manila from Inside a Car – Part 2

This is a Re-blogged Post from Photographer Benson Kua. Click up above for Part 1 of the Streets of Manila & more of his Blog.

Benson Kua's Blog

A continuation of my previous post about taking pictures of the street from inside a car. I managed to find some more pictures that I liked and decided to show them off here in the blog. Enjoy!

“A classic car stuck in traffic (well, us too…) on the Southern Luzon Expressway – I wonder if it had air-conditioning….”

View original post 84 more words

Vice Ganda: The Most Followed Gay Man in the Entire World ? [Tagalog Version]

[Click For ENGLISH VERSION of Blog here]
[Click To Read VICE GANDA‘s Reaction After He Read Our Blog]

Sobrang nakakatuwang ikumpara ang mga Philippine showbiz celebrities sa mga Hollywood counterparts nila. Ito ang mga ilan:

 Anne Curtis = Angelina Jolie

John Lloyd Cruz = Johnny Depp

 Kris Aquino = Oprah Winfrey

        Robin Padilla = Tom Cruise

   Vice Ganda = ?

Nandyan si Vice Ganda, at wala tayong maisip kung kanino natin sya ikukumpara?

Sino nga ba si Vice Ganda?

Para sa mga banyagang hindi nakakakilala kay Vice Ganda, karangalan ko syang ipakilala. Si Vice ay isang matagumpay na Pilipinong artista, komedyante, talk show host, singer, at dancer (1). Sa mga kalalakihan, sya ang may pinakamalaking following sa Twitter sa buong bansa, at kasalukuyang pangatlo kung  pangkalahatan ang paguusapan (2). Si Vice ang may hawak ng highest grossing Filipino film of all time, pangatlo sa lahat ng pelikulang pinalabas sa Pilipinas, kabilang ang dalawang Hollywood films (3). Kakatwa ito dahil alam nating lahat na mahilig sa “all things American” ang mga Pinoy, at (4) si vice ang unang celebrity na nakalikom ng 1,000,000 fans sa Facebook fan page nya noong 2010

Si Vice ba ang Pinakamamahal na Openly Gay Man sa Buong Mundo?

Kahit na sinong Pinoy ang tanungin mo, sasabihin nilang “si Vice ang pinakasikat na bading sa buong Pilipinas.” Meron pa bang ibang bading sa buong mundo ang mas minahal pa kay Vice Ganda? Katibayan? Hindi na kailangan kung Twitter ang pinagbabasehan. Katumbas ng kasikatan nya ang trending at dami ng bilang ng mga followers nya. Sa totoo lang, may mga openly gay men ang mas maraming following kay Vice Ganda (5). Lima sa kanila ang may advantage sa kanya dahil sa English-speaking fan base nila. (Si @Ricky_Martin halimbawa ay may advantage dahil sa English and Spanish fan base nya). Ang English language ay ginagamit sa buong mundo, samantalang ang wikang Pilipino ay hindi (6); Kung susuriin ang actual proportions, lalo nating makikita kung gaano ka impressive ang fan base ni Vice. Kung ang population ng Pilipinas ay 93.3 million, at ang followers ni Vice ay 1.4 million, lumalabas na isa sa 66 na tao ang sa Pilipinas ang tagasubaybay nya sa Twitter (7). Kung ang 3.8 million fans nya sa Facebook naman ang pagbabasehan, isa sa bawat 24 na Pinoy ay fan nya sa kanyang page. Dapat nating isipin na marami pang ibang fans si vice na walang facebook o Twitter accounts. Kung ang language-demographic na ito ang gagamitin sa social media, si Vice Ganda nga ang openly gay man na may pinakamalaking bilang ng followers sa buong mundo.

Ang Pilipinas ang pangalawa sa Asia kung saan may pinakamalaking population na gumagamit ng English. Si Vice ay aral din sa English, kaya hindi malayong isipin na pwede sya sa Hollywood (9).

Sa mga heterosexual celebrities, hindi nakapagtatakang si Anne Curtis ang may pinakamalaking fan base at si Angel Locsin naman ang pangalawa. Hindi mo aasahan na ang “unkabogable” bading natin ay magkakaroon ng ganito kalaking fan base. Walang ibang bansa ang may Vice ganda, pero may British long list twin sya, si Allan Carr (click here (8)).

Today’s Trend or History-in-the-Making?

Si Vice ang nag iisa at una sa kanyang kategorya: Openly gay and openly loved. Sa bansang tulad ng Pilipinas, ito ay kakaiba at hindi maaring isantabi. Hindi tulad sa mga Hollywood stars na yumayaman sa laki ng mga talent fees nila sa pelikula, ang mga pinoy counterparts naman nila ay yumayaman sa kanilang mga endorsements (11) (12) (13) (14). Dinidikta ng mga endorsements na ito ang pagkakaroon nila ng malinis o inosenteng imahe dahil dito nakasalalay ang kanilang kredibilidad. Sobrang ingat sila sa kanilang mga galaw at mga opinyon. Ang isang maliit na pagkakamali o iskandalo ang tatapos sa kanilang pinagkakaingatang career (15) (16) (17).

Ibahin si Vice Ganda. Walang pakundangan syang nanlalait o nang ookray ng kahit na sino. Sa kabila nito, imbes na ma-offend o magalit ang mga tao, lalo pa silang natatawa at napapamahal kay Vice. Isang social phenomenon si Vice, truly an exception. Anne Curtis and Angel Locsin are well accomplished, but Vice is accomplishing something on a level never before seen – ever. Pinatunayan nya na ang isang openly gay man ay kayang abutin ang tagumpay sa showbiz at kayang mahalin ng buong bansa.

Palaisipan ko lang kung bakit sa Pilipinas lang nangyayari ito, of all places.

Tinatamasa nga ba ni Vice Ganda ang kanyang Tagumpay?

Kampante si Vice sa pagkakamit ng pinakamalaking following sa Twitter, pero hindi ito nagpapayaman sa kanya. Alalahanin natin ang equation sa pagyaman ng mga Pinoy celebrities = Product endorsements. Madaling isipin na ang celebrity na may pinakamalaking bilang ng Twitter following ay sya din ang may pinakamaraming product endorsements. No, think again. Madali ding isipin na nasa top ten endorsers sa bansa ang lead star ng highest grossing film. Hindi pa rin. According to YES magazine, hindi kabilang si Vice Ganda sa top 20 endorsers sa bansa ng taong 2011 (18).

Kailangan nating suriin ang income disproportion dito.

Tell Vice Yourself What He Deserves

Hindi mo kailangang maging bading para ma appreciate mo si Vice. On top of making life a little easier para sa under-represented gay minority, carry ni Vice ang boses ng kabataan, ng mga outsiders, sa kahit na sinong naghahanap ng konting ngiti o tawa, at sa lahat ng naghahanap ng kakaibang panlasa sa Philippine entertainment.

Walang katumbas ang tabloid paparazzi sa Pilipinas. As the first openly gay mainstream showbiz personality in national history, Vice underwent his fair share of intrigues. Pero gaano nga ba katotoo o kaimportante ang mga sinasabi at sinusulat tungkol kay Vice? Ang mga pinakamaiinit na tsismis ay minsan nagiging national headlines. But in the grand scheme of things, history won’t remember today’s most talked about celebrity scandals. Isang daang taon mula ngayon, maaalala pa kaya lahat ang mga sikat na celebrities sa panahon natin ngayon? Yan sana ang paniwala ko, pero sa akin, nakakatiyak ako na si Vice ganda ay hindi makakalimutan.

Now the million dollar question:

Ngayong napili ng bansa si Vice Ganda, kailan kaya sya magkakaroon ng maraming product endorsements? I am an artist and I expect to die even before I get rich and famous. Umaasa ako na makukuha ni Vice ang nararapat na para sa kanya habang sya ay buhay pa.

What do you think Vice deserves? It only takes a twitter hash tag. Sabihin natin lahat kay Vice sa Myerkules ng 3 pm. Siguro mapapansin nya. There’s no harm in trying. Ibalato natin ito sa kanya bilang isang maagang regalo sa kanyang kaarawan!

“KONY 2012”: The Uganda Guerrila Group Leader & Viral Phenomenon

On March 5, the organization Invisible Children shared a video already amounting 10 million views after just two days time. The film aims to build awareness around Uganda, Joseph Kony, and the abduction of children into war.

The film has taken over most online social media. #Kony2012, Invisible Children, and #stopKony have already made national and worldwide Twitter trends. Here, you’ll find everything you need to be in the know with an even two-sided take.

Who Is Joseph Kony?

Joseph Kony is a Uganda guerilla military leader and head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a violent group seeking for government control of Uganda. Since Joseph Kony’s authority in 1986, an estimated 66,000 children have been abducted and forced into combat.

In just 30 minutes, the film “KONY 2012” breaks down the issue in such a way that really does inform anyone with no knowledge on the subject. Ultimately, the Invisible Children Charity behind “KONY 2012” aims to make Joseph Kony internationally famous to rally the support that ends him and his regime. I absolutely believe this is worth all 30 minutes of your time:

Much like every story has its two sides,  Kony “2012” has a two-sided argument on everything from their finances to the effectiveness of their goals. There is a noble cause hear reaching an unprecedented number of people. But with an international broadcast coming from just one source, it’s all too easy to join the “KONY bandwagon”. What didn’t you hear the first time that you might just want to hear now?

Invisible Children: A Less-than Legitimate Charity?

Plenty of groups are beginning to raise questions on Invisible Children’s legitimacy as a charity. Research people! Before donating any funds to a charity, know where your money goes.

For starters, the Better Business Bureau doesn’t recognize Invisible Children because “(Invisible Children) did not provide requested information.” Charity Navigator, the long standing non-profit organization that evaluates all other charities,  has given Invisible Children all of a two-star rating for accountability and transparency. Have Invisible Children actually hidden their finances from the public? No. The information is out there, but it’s no where near satisfying. By their own admission, two million dollars has gone to travel expenses and their film-making business, leaving only 31% for their noble cause. For an organization openly asking to be taken seriously on an international scale, this is a big no-no.

In fairness, Invisible Children has been quick to respond. They thoroughly address all the major points of criticism here, with some satisfaction. At the very least, no one can accuse Invisible Children of lacking transparency. But among others, Washington Post correspondent Elizabeth Flock isn’t convinced.

What is the Most Effective Solution?

Invisible Children have openly admitted to simplifying a problem; in their own words, “the film meant to serve as an entry point to the topic”. Ultimately, their purpose and call to action is the death of Joseph Kony. But that brings up two arguments on its own:

1) Will Joseph Kony’s death actually bring peace? The prevailing argument here believes Kony is less the cause for the wide spread turmoil witnessed in Uganda and more a symptom of all the problems that come with wide spread poverty.

2) The support of the current Ugandan government only supports a military force that has proven to be a destructive regime, guilty of rape and sexual assault. The Daily What Blog puts it more eloquently than I’m going to attempt:

The group is in favour of direct military intervention, and their money supports the Ugandan government’s army and various other military forces. Here’s a photo of the founders of Invisible Children posing with weapons and personnel of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. Both the Ugandan army and Sudan People’s Liberation Army are riddled with accusations of rape and looting, but Invisible Children defends them, arguing that the Ugandan army is “better equipped than that of any of the other affected countries”, although Kony is no longer active in Uganda and hasn’t been since 2006 by their own admission. Thesebooks each refer to the rape and sexual assault that are perennial issues with the UPDF, the military group Invisible Children is defending.

Truthfully, Obama has taken measures against Joseph Kony. If you want to make the most of your money, here are charities to consider. (1) (2) When only 31% of what you give Invisible Children goes to actually helping someone, at least research the alternatives people

The Bottom Line

On one hand, the Invisible Children accomplished no easy feat with “KONY 2012”. Awareness is an accomplishment in and of itself.  Were it not for this group, a collective 20 million people wouldn’t be involved in a worthwhile cause. On the other hand, there message oversimplifies not only a problem but that very important thing called a solution.

Their end game, the death of Joseph Kony, will only go so far. With the present level of corruption in the region, even the U.S. government can not always allocate the right funds to the right people. Time and again, the very money meant to help has fueled opposing forces. Joseph Kony is one piece of a very big puzzle.

After all the good and bad attention their way, Invisible Children made an adequate public statement, thoroughly addressing all the major points of criticism. If you read no other cited link I offer you, I suggest you read their statement here. Their finances are no model of a non-profit. Their documentaries are no model of unbiased journalism.

But, the proper steps can be taken. They can get there. The sooner Invisible Children gains recognition from the BBB and the right institutions, the sooner they’ll be taken more seriously by the bigger authorities, including their ever ambitious list of “culture and policy makers”. With enough time, we’ll know if their actions speak as loud as their viral words.

All that said, I believe in the general message behind Invisible Children. I believe three film-makers have the best of intentions. And much like their cause in Uganda, Invisible Children is no black-and-white picture—just a light altruistic shade of gray.

Even though I donated my bit to Invisible Childrens’ Donation, I can’t get myself to encourage the same. That 31% figure just about ended any chance of that happening. But, I will say this. If you want to contribute to the pocket expenses of very talented artists that will further awareness of this cause, go with Invisible Children. If you want to contribute to the actual relief of the very people that need relief, the respected long-standing institutions have been there—just because they lack the momentum of 10 million views a day makes them no less effective.

Jimmy Kimmel Creates the Most Watched Youtube Video of the Week—Movie: The Movie

In the spirit of the Oscars, talk show host Jimmy Kimmel delivers a movie like no other. It’s no mere drama, horror, romantic comedy, or action thriller.

It’s all of the above! And more! Here’s a movie starring not only every storyline you’ve ever heard of; it stars every star you’ve ever hear of too! I give you:     Movie: The Movie

Jimmy delivers just about every possible plot twist imaginable in a 9 minute trailer, including: Merryl Streep in a moustache; Cameron Diaz in a love rage; Gabourney Sidibe as a black hitler; Tom Hanks as a robot; Tyler Perry as George Washington; and Jason Bateman getting peed on.

With 9,587,102 hits as of 8PM EST today, Movie: The Movie is the most-watched Youtube vid of the week. Enjoy!

Jimmy Kimmel Live’s Next Season & Manny Pacquiao

Some people believe there was an underlying message to the madness.  If Jimmy Kimmel was poking fun at Hollywood’s over-repetitive habits, he did a good job. But he did an even better job at assuring ratings for the next season of Jimmy Kimmel Live, a top priority for any talk show host.

Hollywood has long realized a simple equation:  More stars = More movie goers = More $

Valentine’s Day and New Years’ Eve may be the biggest examples in recent years. It turns out if you stick enough stars into even a trailer. The world will watch.

His well-deserved ratings give Jimmy Kimmel Live the reassurance of a good season ahead. And, his future star-studded guest stars will include one Filipino super-star —- Manny Pacquiao

As of just 20 hours ago, the “Pac-man” tweeted:

Considering the recent success of Jimmy Kimmel Live’s Youtube account, it’s safe to say they’ll be airing future segments on Youtube. Check back in the coming weeks to catch the Pac-Man on Jimmy Kimmel!

For anyone wondering what the second most watched video of the week is, you’ll find more Oscar memories:

Sebastian’s Official Oscar Predictions: 84th Academy Awards

Alas. The awards have come and past. You can find Wikipedia’s complete list of the official winners here.

Below you’ll find not just the list of nominations, but listed in the order that they were most expected to win before the actual winners were announced.

Just click on the link of each Blue Category and, you’ll find the most convincing argument on the web for the winning candidate. Ah, silver screen. The things you do to me.

* This symbol is for my personal favorites, even if they’re not expecting an Oscar nod

** This symbol is for incredibly close ties, where either of the two marked candidates could just as easily win

*** These Film Categories are harder to predict; primarily because they are the less anticipated categories when compared to “Best Actor/Actress”

The 84th Academy Award Oscar Nominations of 2012

Best Picture   ← Click for Daily Mail’s Prediction

  1. “The Artist”
  2. “The Descendants”*
  3. “Hugo”

“Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
“Midnight in Paris”
“The Help”
“Moneyball”
“War Horse”
“The Tree of Life”

Best Actor  ← Click for IndieWire’s Prediction

  1. Jean Dujardin, “The Artist”
  2. George Clooney, “The Descendants”
  3. Brad Pitt, “Moneyball”

Demian Bichir, “A Better Life”
Gary Oldman, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”

Best Actress    Click for IndieWire’s Prediction

  1. Viola Davis, “The Help”*
  2. Meryl Streep, “The Iron Lady”
  3. Glenn Close, “Albert Nobbs”

Rooney Mara, “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
Michelle Williams, “My Week With Marilyn”

Best Supporting Actor  ← Click for MTV’s Predictions

  1. Christopher Plummer, “Beginners”*

Max Von Sydow, “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”
Kenneth Branagh, “My Week With Marilyn”
Jonah Hill, “Moneyball”
Nick Nolte, “Warrior”

Best Supporting Actress  ← Click for Rope of Silicon’s Prediction

  1. Octavia Spencer, “The Help”*
  2. Berenice Bejo, “The Artist”
  3. Janet McTeer, “Albert Nobbs”

Jessica Chastain, “The Help”
Melissa McCarthy, “Bridesmaids”

Best Director  ← Click for MTV’s Prediction

  1. Martin Scorsese, “Hugo”
  2. Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
  3. Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”

Terrence Malick, “The Tree of Life”
Alexander Payne, “The Descendants”

Best Original Screenplay   ← Click for FilmSchoolReject’s Prediction

  1. Michel Hazanavicius, “The Artist”
  2. Woody Allen, “Midnight in Paris”
  3. JC Chandor, “Margin Call”

Asghar Farhadi, “A Separation”
Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, “Bridesmaids”

Best Adapted Screenplay ***  ← Click for MTV’s Prediction

  1. Alexander Payne, Nat Faxton, Jim Rash, “The Descendants” **
  2. Bridget O’Connor, Peter Straughn, “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy”**

Aaron Sorkin, Steven Zaillian, “Moneyball”
John Logan, “Hugo”
George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon, “The Ides of March”

Best Animated Feature  ← Click for GoldDeryby’s Predictions

  1. “Rango”
  2. “Puss in Boots”
  3. “Kung Fu Panda 2”
  4. “A Cat In Paris”*
  5. “Chico & Rita”

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year   ← Click for IndieWire’s Prediction

  1. “A Separation” (Iran)**
  2. “In Darkness” (Poland)**

“Bullhead “(Belgium)
“Footnote” (Israel)
“Monsieur Lazhar” (Canada)

Best Original Score   ← Click for MTV’s Prediction

  1. “The Artist,” Ludovic Bource
  2. “Hugo,” Howard Shore

“The Adventures of Tintin,” John Williams
“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy,” Alberto Iglesias
“War Horse,” John Williams

Best Original Song  ← Click here for Movie Muse’s Prediction

  1. “Man or Muppet,” The Muppets; Music and Lyric by Bret McKenzie
  2. “Real in Rio,” Rio; Music by Sergio Mendes and Carlinhos Brown, Lyric by Siedah Garrett

Best Achievement in Art Direction   ← Click for MovieMuse’s Prediction

  1. “Hugo”
  2. “Midnight in Paris”

“The Artist”
“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
“War Horse”

Best Achievement in Cinematography   ← Click for MovieMuse’s Prediction

  1. “The Tree of Life”
  2. “The Artist”

“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”
“Hugo”
“War Horse”

Best Achievement in Film Editing   ← Click for MovieMuse’s Prediction

  1. “Hugo” – Thelma Schoonmaker
  2. “The Artist” – Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
  3. “The Descendants” – Kevin Tent
  4. “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” – Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall
  5. “Moneyball” – Christopher Tellefsen

Best Documentary Feature    ← Click for IndieWire’s Prediction

  1. “Undefeated”
  2. “Pina”
  3. “Hell and Back Again”

“If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front”
“Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory”

Best Documentary Short Subject   ← Click for GoldDerby’s Prediction

  1. “The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom”
  2. “Saving Face”
  3. “Incident in New Baghdad”
  4. “God Is the Bigger Elvis”
  5. “The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement?”

Best Animated Short Film***   ← Click for GoldDerby’s Prediction

  1. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  2. La Luna
  3. A Morning Stroll
  4. Dimanche/Sunday
  5. Wild Life

Best Achievement in Costume Design   Click for MovieMuse’s Prediction

  1. Hugo” – Sandy Powell

“Anonymous” – Lisy Christl
“The Artist” – Mark Bridges
“Jane Eyre” – Michael O’Connor
“W.E.” – Arianne Phillips

Best Achievement in Makeup   ← Click for MovieMuse’s Prediction

  1. “The Iron Lady” – Mark Coulier and J. Roy Helland
  2. “Albert Nobbs” – Martial Corneville, Lynn Johnston and Matthew W. Mungle
  3. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2” – Nick Dudman, Amanda Knight and Lisa Tomblin

Best Live Action Short Film ***  ← Click for GoldDerby’s Prediction

  1. “Tuba Atlantic”
  2. “Raju”

“Pentecost”
“The Shore”
“Time Freak”

Best Achievement in Visual Effects   ← Click for MTV’s Prediction

  1. “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”
  2. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2”
“Hugo”
“Real Steel”

Photos Courtesy of Creative Commons

Twitter Insider: Keys Symbols

You may have seen more than just basic text on twitter before. You may have even copy and pasted some. (e.g. I ♥ you, @mylittlesugarplum). But, few of us ever took a glimpse at all the crazy characters twitter has to offer, and that is because Twitter isn’t the one offering them. Twitter Keys is a unique UTF8-based tool developed by the founders of  The Next Web Blog: @Boris   &  @Sandervdv . You can thank these two twitter gurus for giving future tweetsters a little more pizazzzz!! But with great power, comes great responsibility.

I don’t want to see any:

Hey, everyone’s got their own style. ♕ .

So, Bookmark my page. And, Copy and Paste whenever you need that extra “✵”! And, don’t forget to Re-Tweet me while you’re at it. ☮ .

Art Commission for Up-Coming Film

I’ve been commissioned to produce art for the upcoming motion picture The Voyage, a project I’ve been looking forward to for two years. Yes, just short of two years!

This will be the fifth of Hong Kong Director Scud’s films. Below is the trailer to his last film, Love Actually..Sucks. And, above is some of the art behind the promotion of Love Actually.. Sucks. I’ve admired the aesthetic of his films—their beautiful compositions and seamless editing. For years, Scud has made an undeniable impact in the Mandarin-speaking world. But this will be his first film primarily in English.

This would be his latest film Love Actually.. Sucks :

The Voyage film will include the story of an artist, an artist that paints the woman of his obsession to no end.

And, his art in the story will be my own in reality!

Tune In! I’ll be posting early sketches of pieces to come right here.

__________________________________________

4 AM 2.25.12 -London

I’ve been sketching late into the morning here while still in London. I need to sleep before that little light bulb in my head breaks a fuse. I’m playing with the human figure and dramatic linear shadows. She’s laying in a bed the blinds filter light across her. The early concept:

**I will have to find a way for you to vote on your favorite art pieces. I love to hear random ideas. As I work more soon, I’ll post more soon. Sleep more than I do! Night!**

LOVE, SHARE, SMILE: JAMICH + Kimpoy Feliciano’s Youtube Vid

JAMICH & Kimpoy’s first Youtube Vid together just went viral!  Now, I blog about my randomly meeting Kimpoy & behind-the-scene talk tungkol “LOVE, SHARE, SMILE.”

WATCH: LOVE, SHARE, SMILE

Who is Kimpoy?

Last week, Kimpoy Feliciano tweeted me out of the blue. For the very few of you who haven’t heard his name before, Kimpoy Feliciano (legally named Paulo Feliciano) is a Twitter/FB/Youtube sensation, a Filipino guy that would describe himself as normal with 300,000+  hard core girl Twitter followers who definitely disagree. Imagine a nice guy with a randomly enormous following that even the majority of showbiz doesn’t understand.  🙂

That’s Kimpoy. He’s honestly a cool little dude.

Chatting With Kimpoy

Kimpoy thanked me for having mentioned him in a blog. Earlier, I compared Klout Scores of the “Most Influential Filipinos” on the internet, naturally including him in my blog. At the time, he was statistically  the third most influential Filipino in social media (Click Here To Read)–well now, he’s the first, the FIRST MOST INFLUENTIAL PINOY ON SOCIAL MEDIA–as I told him when he asked, “I included you in my “Most Influential” list because that is a fact. If you want to thank someone, you should probably thank Klout for making that information accessible. All I did was make a unique graph of the Most Influential Pinoys based on information presented on Klout, but you’re welcome all the same, little buddy. Kudos to making the list!”

One conversation later, I decided to blog up Kimpoy. And now, Jamich & Kimpoy have launched their first every Youtube Short Film together!

Chismes & Funny Background Story

Shooting Took Place on Kimpoy’s Actual “Fan Day.” 

Kimpoy Feliciano’s fans coordinated a day to meet Kimpoy. As promised, Kimpoy showed up, making their day. The funny twist: Kimpoy fans had no idea they all just got casted in Jamich’s next film. They all starred as themselves, Kimpoy fans. 🙂  So at this very moment, dozens of Kimpoy fans will be watching themselves on Youtube. They had no idea they’d be watching themselves. Cute, di ba?

Globe endorsement

Thanks to the support of fans, Jamich and Kimpoy Feliciano have you to thank for their endorsement of Globe. Congrats to all three of you. 😀 Cheeri-O !

Cool beans !!

Look out for Jamich & Kimpoy Feliciano in the 2012 Tattawards!! They are both finalists competing in different categories. Hopefully winners din. Go for Gold !!

Kimmy Dora & The Temple of Kiyeme

Kimmy Dora Love is in the air! The long anticipated sequel has arrived TODAY in theaters nationwide!

5 Things To Expect

I promise not to spoil a thing. Here are just 5 more reasons you’re going to love watching Kimmy Dora. 😉

1) Look Out For A LOT of Celebrity Cameos

Including Slater Young, Kris Aquino, and Regine Velasquez

2) TWITTER TRENDS

#SLAVINEKimmyDoraAndTheTempleofKiyeme is trending at the moment of publishing this blog. More trends to come.

3) ALODIA GOSENGFIAO, RYAN BANG,  KIRAY CELIS 

These two actors and the famous Cosplayer joined the cast halfway through filming. As always, Alodia is dressed to impress:

4) BOX-OFFICE FIGURES

Without any official press releases, many people are expecting big figures.

5) A VERY PACKED AUDIENCE

Click Here To Read About When I Met The Great Ms Eugene Domingo

Click on CHOS’ Link For Behind-The-Scenes Footage (Below In Tweet)

Single Pringle & Proud

My tweets might have made it a little obvious, okay, VERY obvious–I’m single, very single. I think it’s starting to show. 🙂

But, I believe one must love himself 100%. So my dear single pringles, I dedicate this blog to your singleness. Your everything you’ll ever need and a bag of chips. You’re a single pringle!

Wise words

I Labyu too

Having only slept maybe a couple hours in the last few days, fulfilling my one blog-a-day-promise couldn’t get much harder than today. But, I am way to stubborn not to make a post.

What I look like right now

I dedicate one single shout out to the Pilipino Kuno readers, who keep coming back for more. I have three words for you. They’re three Filipino words, even better than the three Americans use.

I Labyu too.

Pilipino kuno ako. 😉

G’ Night!