Starving from Disaster in PETA’s The Tempest

The most moving scenes in the Philippine Educational Theater Association’s The Tempest–produced in collaboration, with The British Council and The Japan Foundation–stage starvation.  Shakespeare’s shipwrecked nobles–Sebastian (transformed into Sebastiana), Alonso (transformed into Alonsa), Gonzalo, and Antonio–are thrilled by a vision of a feast, only to find that they have been tricked by vengeful spirits. These same actors…

Manny Pacquiao Reads the Bible

Manny Pacquiao and the Book Manny Pacquiao’s social media accounts are rife with images testifying to his conversion. These images are readerly, as if the boxer had been converted into a scholar when he turned to God. Our devotion everyday and night is reading the scriptures and meditate on it. I learn a lot about…

Where Have All the Boy Bands Gone? (Part 3, The Smokey Mountain)

Read Part 1 about the Hagibis here and Part 2 about the Apo Hiking Society here. The Teen Group of Good Intentions The Philippines suffers from a shortage of pop music svengalis. Leading entertainment industry visionaries–such as Lily Monteverde of Regal Films–primarily handle actors. But the Philippines does have Ryan Cayabyab–still one of the Philippines’…

Where Have All the Boy Bands Gone? (Part 2, The Apo Hiking Society)

Read about the Hagibis in Part 1 here. The Campus Boy Band In 1991, the Apo Hiking Society—composed of Boboy Garovillo, Danny Javier, and Jim Paredes—released Songbuk ng Apo [Apo’s Songbook].  The first song, “Sa’n Na Nga Bang Barkada” [“Where have our friends gone?”], alludes to the groups origins as part of a large group…

Where Have All the Boy Bands Gone? (Part 1, The Hagibis)

Where have all the (Pinoy) boy bands gone?   This September, ABS-CBN will be premiering the reality competition show Pinoy Boy Band Superstar. The show is a franchise of Simon Cowell’s La Banda, hosted by Ricky Martin on Univision. Following the format of reality star-making shows, host Billy Crawford (himself a former singing and dancing…

Endo and Endo the Movie

Endo  is available to stream on iFlix. Subtitles are not supported. President Duterte and Endo The Duterte administration has taken a hardline stance on the practice of “endo.” Endo is shorthand for “end of contract,” which refers to the termination of contractual employment. Although businesses sometimes hire contractual workers for seasonal needs, President Duterte and new…

Max’s Chicken, Brillante Mendoza, and the Commercial

Independent cinema auteurs have been making headlines in 2016. News outlets celebrated the reception of Lav Diaz’s Hele sa Hiwagang Hapis (2016) in Berlin, where it won the Alfred Bauer Prize for exploring the boundaries of cinema.  Another auteur, Brillante “Dante” Mendoza, has also made news for  directing President Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address. Like…

Sorry, Not Sorry: Digong, Tito Sen, and the Language of Sexual Assault

In the middle of campaign season in 2016, Presidential candidate Roderigo “Digong” Duterte made international headlines when a video was posted on Youtube. In the video, the would-be President, then Mayor of Davao, commented on the attractiveness of an Australian missionary. Jacqueline Hamill, a  lay minister of the Joyful Assembly of God, had visited a…

Binay, Sotto, Goebbels, and Paranoid Politics Part 2

Read Part 1 on Binay here. Tito Sotto, the RH Bill, and Paranoia  In 2012, Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago and Pia Cayetano sponsored the Reproductive Hill Bill. The passing of the Reproductive Health Bill into law represented a major victory, since the bill had been stalled in Congress for over a decade. Before the RH Bill…

Binay, Sotto, Goebbels, and Paranoid Politics Part 1

During the March 20, 2016 Presidential Candidate Debate, Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay identified his opponents with Joseph Goebbels, the leading propagandist of Hitler’s regime. Binay called Manuel “Mar” Roxas III, Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government, a disciple of Goebbels twice. Binay pretended to confuse Roxas with Goebbels once. The Vice…