US Ambassador Kim announces Php 5.1 M in assistance to those affected by Taal eruption

US AMBASSADOR: US Ambassador Sung Y. Kim visits a school serving as an evacuation center in Nasugbu, Batangas on Wednesday / Jan. 22, 2020. (US Embassy in Manila Photo)

Nasugbu, Batangas, Jan. 22, 2020 — US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Y. Kim announced the provision of Php 5.1 million ($100,000) in US government support to communities affected by the January 12 Taal volcanic eruption.

The announcement was made during the US ambassador’s visit to a school serving as an evacuation center in Nasugbu, Batangas on Wednesday / Jan. 22, 2020.

Ambassador Kim was joined by the Philippines Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) partners in distributing supplies to evacuees in Calatagan. 

With this new funding, the US government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID) partner World Vision, is providing relief supplies including soap, sleeping mats, and blankets, to nearly 7,600 people in the Nasugbu West Central School evacuation center in Batangas.

During his visit, the ambassador spoke with families who were forced to evacuate their homes.

“I’m inspired by the strength and resilience of these families who faced such devastation and loss following the volcanic eruption. As friends, partners, and allies to the Philippines, we will continue to support our Philippine government counterparts as they work to address the needs of those communities most affected by the eruption,” Kim said. 

In Calatagan, Ambassador Kim thanked PDRF companies for their assistance to evacuees.

“I have been very encouraged to see the private sector – American companies alongside Philippine companies – mobilize to address urgent needs of communities following the Taal volcanic eruption.” PDRF is a major private sector vehicle and coordinator for disaster management in the Philippines.

This newly announced US assistance complements existing support to transport emergency supplies to evacuees, provide technical assistance to manage evacuation centers, and loan specialized equipment and analytic support to monitor the Taal volcano.

US Embassy Photo

#USEmbassy #USAID #PDRF #TaalVolcano #TaalEruption #USAmbassadorSungYKim

‘Itim Asu,’ viewed as catalyst for PH modern dance returns to CCP

After three decades, the landmark production “Itim Asu” returns to the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) Main Theater as part of the Ballet Philippines’ 50th season.

Itim Asu is based on the three ritual scenes from Virginia Moreno’s award-winning play the “Onyx Wolf” with music by National Artist for Music Antonino Buenaventura. The story centers around Governor-General Bustamante’s wife, Luisa, who seeks revenge after her husband was assassinated in 1719 by a hooded mob in the Residencia in Intramuros for carrying out the Royal Orders to stop the Galleon Trade corruptions by religious and influential people.

The ballet premiered in 1970 with the now-National Artist for Dance Alice Reyes essaying the role of the vengeful governor-general’s wife.

The CCP was just inaugurated the year before, in 1969, and soon after the Alice Reyes Modern Dance Company was established. Reyes began to choreograph Itim Asu. It would become one of her most important works to date.

The role of the governor-general’s wife was later on played by Edna Vida in 1984, then Sofia Zobel and Tina Fargas, who alternately played the role in 1990. Itim Asu was last staged in 1990.

“This production became the catalyst for modern dance choreography in the Philippines and showcases the company’s strength in varying dance styles,” a BP statement said.

“It has paved the way for Ballet Philippines’ journey to where the company is today. It is considered one of the most highly anticipated and beloved dance masterpieces in this Golden Anniversary Season” it said.

In this production, BP expresses its relevant views on humanity, revealing how dance has become a nation’s true social and historical barometer, BP said.

The “Other Dances” are “Glinka’s Valse,” choreography by Adam Sage; “The Weight on Our Toes,” choreography by Erl Sorilla; “Carmen Pas de Deux,” choreography by Augustus “Bam” Damian; “We Men,” choreography by Lester Reguindin; and “Ne neh le dej,” choreography by David Campos.

In this production, BP expresses its relevant views on humanity, revealing how dance has become a nation’s true social and historical barometer, BP said.

The “Other Dances” are “Glinka’s Valse,” choreography by Adam Sage; “The Weight on Our Toes,” choreography by Erl Sorilla; “Carmen Pas de Deux,” choreography by Augustus “Bam” Damian; “We Men,” choreography by Lester Reguindin; and “Ne neh le dej,” choreography by by David Campos.

The “Other Dances” are “Glinka’s Valse,” choreography by Adam Sage; “The Weight on Our Toes,” choreography by Erl Sorilla; “Carmen Pas de Deux,” choreography by Augustus “Bam” Damian; “We Men,” choreography by Lester Reguindin; and “Ne neh le dej,” choreography by David Campos.

Itim Asu and Other Dances runs from Feb. 21 – 23, 2020 at the CCP Main Theater. Show dates and schedules are as follows:

February 21, 2020 | 8:00 PM

February 22, 2020 | 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM

February 23, 2020 | 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Get your tickets exclusively at TicketWorld (8891-9999), CCP Box Office (8832-3704), or Ballet Philippines Box Office (8551-1003) or online at https://bit.ly/33DsBkx as well as in all Ticketworld outlets.

Enjoy 15% savings when you use your RCBC Credit Card to purchase tickets in any TicketWorld Outlet or CCP Box Office.

You can also enjoy 15% savings when you use your Rustan’s Frequent Shopper Program (FSP) Card and Rustan’s Beauty Addict Card to purchase tickets in any TicketWorld outlet or CCP Box Office.

Avail of real 0% interest when you subscribe to Ballet Philippines’ Golden Season Tickets using your BPI Credit Card with a minimum spend of P3,000 (Gold Mastercard, Blue Mastercard, Petron Mastercard, Corporate Mastercard, Skymiles Platinum Mastercard, Skymiles Mastercard, Amore Visa Platinum, Visa Signature). This is valid for three- and six-month installment plans until August 8, 2020. 

All Intellicare members are also entitled to 15% off on ticket purchases.

This production is made possible through the generosity of our esteemed partners and sponsors.

Ballet Philippines, the country’s preeminent dance company, is celebrating 50 years of dance excellence. Don’t miss the celebration! Get your Golden Ticket by subscribing to Ballet Philippines this season at http://ballet.ph/subscribe. You can also call 8551-1003, 09566379432 (Globe) and 09212921282 (Smart) to subscribe. Choose, reserve, and get the best seats before anyone else!

For more information, connect to Ballet Philippines online:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/balletphilippines

Instagram: @balletphilippines

YouTube: balletph

Website: http://www.ballet.ph

Photos by Jojo Mamangun

#BP #ItimAsu #Dance #Ballet #OnyWolf #VirginiaMoreno #AliceReyes #AntoninoBuenaventura

REMEMBERING: Mendiola Massacre, Jan. 22,1987

By Ibarra C. Mateo

Most of the journalists and photographers who covered the Mendiola Massacre are still alive. Ageing, sick, but not unbowed.

I was at the Commission on Human Rights complex near UP Diliman on Jan. 22, 1987 when fatal gunshots were aimed at a group of farmers and peasants protesting at the intersection of Mendiola Street and Recto Avenue. At least 12 protesters died and 51 injured.

On Jan. 22, 1987, I was covering the peace talks between the Cory Aquino government and the National Democratic Front represented by former journalists Satur Ocampo, Bobby Malay, and Antonio Zumel. Minutes after the 4:30 pm massacre, the peace talks meeting was abruptly adjourned due to safety and security concerns with the NDF team. The NDF team and support staff went into hiding.

To commemorate the Mendiola Massacre, the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Pelicoolab, a program under Arthouse Cinema, presents five winning Gawad Alternatibo films about the Mendiola Massacre and the present plight of Filipino farmers.

Free film screenings on Jan. 24, 2020, from 2 pm, at Tanghalang Manuel Con##de.

CCP Photo

Most of the journalists and photographers who covered the Mendiola Massacre are still alive. Ageing, sick, but not unbowed.

I was at the Commission on Human Rights complex near UP Diliman on Jan. 22, 1987 when fatal gunshots were aimed at a group of farmers and peasants protesting at the intersection of Mendiola Street and Recto Avenue. At least 12 protesters died and 51 injured.

On Jan. 22, 1987, I was covering the peace talks between the Cory Aquino government and the National Democratic Front represented by former journalists Satur Ocampo, Bobby Malay, and Antonio Zumel. Minutes after the 4:30 pm massacre, the peace talks meeting was abruptly adjourned due to safety and security concerns with the NDF team. The NDF team and support staff went into hiding.

To commemorate the Mendiola Massacre, the Cultural Center of the Philippines’ Pelicoolab, a program under Arthouse Cinema, presents five winning Gawad Alternatibo films about the Mendiola Massacre and the present plight of Filipino farmers.

Free film screenings on Jan. 24, 2020, from 2 pm, at Tanghalang Manuel Conde.

CCP Photo

#CCP #Cinema #Film #MendiolaMassacre

‘The Kingmaker,’ docu on Imelda Marcos, showing at CCP on Jan. 29

Barely one month before the 34th anniversary of the uprising which booted out the Marcos family and its cronies from power, “The Kingmaker,” the critically acclaimed documentary by Emmy Award–winning filmmaker-photographer Lauren Greenfield about Imelda Marcos, premieres in the Philippines on Jan. 29, 2020, 7:30 pm, at the Cultural Center of the Philippines Little Theater.

The Kingmaker will have a matinee screening at 3:00 pm in the same venue.

The Kingmaker explores the disturbing legacy of the Marcos regime and examines the Marcos family’s improbable return to power in the Philippines.

The 100-minute documentary had its world premiere at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, followed by screenings at the 2019 Telluride Film Festival, Toronto, and London Film Festivals. The first documentary film to be invited to all four of these top festivals, the film has since garnered a Writers Guild Nomination, as well as three Critics Choice Nominations and the Critics Choice honor for the “Most Compelling Living Subject of a Documentary.”

The Jan. 29 screenings are under the CCP Arthouse Cinema program, in cooperation with the De LaSalle University-Taft.

The CCP, is a 50-year-old edifice built through the initiation of the Former First Lady Imelda Marcos. In September 1969, after the decades-long quest of countless Filipino artists and government officials, the CCP rose on a reclaimed land along Roxas Boulevard and served as a beacon of Philippine arts and culture. It opened its doors for the premiere of “The Golden Salakot: Isang Dularawan.”

In 1986, during the presidency of Corazon C. Aquino, the CCP re-invented itself to become a people’s art center. Filipino works were given priority, while outreach programs and regional artmaking became one of the main focuses.

Access to artworks and performances was de-centralized.

It has been its mandate to present good and relevant arts – in this case, film – for its audience. Part of its mission is to bring in rich and varied contents from local and international filmmakers.

CCP Vice President and Artistic Director Chris B. Millado said “the CCP as a government cultural institution has a contentious history, so it cannot be denied that Imelda founded this during the Marcos years, that Imelda was the main patron for the establishment of this institution.”

“But it also cannot be denied that the Marcos regime had its excesses in terms of corruption, and its human rights record. And it also cannot be denied that they have been convicted in courts for this. By screening this film, it’s a way of making artistic expression engage with issues that we feel are very important to tackle in this part of the political or social psyche of the Filipino,” Millado said in a statement.

“We can’t deny the relations of the center with the Marcoses, but CCP has moved on to become a People’s Art Center. The CCP has always been a platform for artistic expressions and rational conversations. We are presenting a documentary tackling an issue that we are concerned about, as a Filipino people,” Millado said.

The idea of creating a documentary on the Marcoses began when Greenfield read an article by William Mellor in a Bloomberg magazine about one of the family’s least-known but most bizarre excesses.

In 1976, at the height of their powers, Ferdinand and Imelda evicted more than 1,000 poor inhabitants of a Philippine island and replaced them with a menagerie of African animals shipped 6,000 miles from Kenya in a latter-day Noah’s Ark.

Investigating the untold story of a dictator’s forgotten safari park, Greenfield gained intimate access to Imelda and other members of the Marcos clan, filming in Imelda’s extravagantly-furnished city apartment and the family mansions in Manila and the bailiwicks of Ilocos Norte and Leyte provinces.

“Imelda Marcos, the former First Lady of the Philippines, famed for her addiction to excess, has been an iconic reference in my long-term investigation of wealth through my photography and films. Astonished that she had managed to re-enter Philippine politics after being ousted by a popular uprising, I began filming her and discovered that, at age 85, she remained a skilled ‘political animal,’ as her son Bongbong describes her,” Greenfield said in her artist’s statement.

Greenfield’s cameras followed the lavishly funded Marcos vice-presidential campaign from its launch in 2015 through to the election night drama and aftermath. During this time, Greenfield also conducted moving interviews with victims of the Marcos years, ranging from courageous women activists who had been raped and tortured to an elder Calauit islander who had been evicted from her home to make way for the Marcos’ menagerie.

Soon, Greenfield realized she was onto an unfolding story that would be as topical as today’s headlines.

The film chronicles Imelda’s present-day push to help her son, Bongbong, win the vice-presidency. To this end, Imelda confidently rewrites her family’s history of corruption, replacing it with a narrative of a matriarch’s extravagant love for her country.

“In an age when fake news impacts elections, Imelda’s comeback story is a cautionary tale,” Greenfield said.

Named by the New York Times as “America’s foremost visual chronicler of the plutocracy,” Emmy Award–winning filmmaker/photographer Lauren Greenfield has produced groundbreaking work on consumerism, youth culture, and gender for the last 25 years.

Her films “Generation Wealth,” “The Queen of Versailles,” and “Thin”, her viral commercial #LikeaGirl, and her photography books “Generation Wealth,” “Fast Forward,” and “Girl Culture” have garnered countless awards and provoked international dialogue about some of the most important issues of our time.

After the screening, there will be a talkback with the film representative and other guests from different sectors.

For ticket inquiries and reservations, please contact 0966.570.6016; kingmaker.ccp@gmail.com; and kingmaker.ccp@yahoo.com

#CCP #ImeldaMarcos #TheKingmaker #LaurenGreenfield

@culturalctrPH @ibarramateo

Cherry Pie Picache featured in PETA’s ‘Under My Skin’ play

UNDER MY SKIN: PETA’s Under My Skin artistic, creative, and production teams and partners

Rody Vera’s “Under My Skin,” featuring movie and television actress Cherry Pie Picache, closes the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA) 52nd season.

Seasoned theater actress Roselyn Perez alternates with Picache in the role of Dr. Gemma Almonte.

Under My Skin is “a provocative, relevant, and heart-wrenching drama anthology,” PETA said.

“Inspired by real people and events, the play accurately depicts the realities, triumphs, and struggles of people living with HIV, while navigating an important conversation about acceptance and tolerance,” PETA said in a statement.

Under My Skin is directed by Gawad Buhay Awards nominee Melvin Lee. The artistic team members are: Eric Dela Cruz (dramaturg), Migs Cortes (music/sound designer and arranger), Benjamin Padero and Carlo Tabije (production designers), Ian Torqueza (lights designer), Steven Tansiongco (video designer), and Nicole Primero and Bubbles Deriada (choreographers) from Airdance.

Other cast members are: television, film, and theater artists Miguel Almendras, Mike Liwag, Anthony Falcon, and Dylan Talon, together with a roster of PETA artists: Eko Baquial, Gio Gahol, Lotlot Bustamante, Kitsi Pagaspas, Ekis Gimenez, Dudz Teraña, Jarred Jaicten, She Maala, Gold Villar-Lim, Bene Manaois, Mico Esquivel, Erold Enriquez, Jason Barcial, Joseph Madriaga, Rach Gimpes, Reggie Ondevilla, Roy Dahildahil, and Csai Habla.

Under My Skin is part of PETA’s creative campaign “Acting on HIV,” aimed at re-examining the issue of HIV and AIDS, as the numbers of recorded cases rapidly increase every day.


CHERRY PIE PICACHE: Movie and television actress Cherry Pie Picache stars in PETA’s Under My Skin. Seasoned theater actress Roselyn Perez alternates with Picache in the role of Dr. Gemma Almonte.


“I’ve always wanted to do a play with PETA, so I am very excited to be finally doing it now,” Picache was quoted in the PETA statement as saying.

“Most of what I’ve been doing lately is getting involved with different advocacies. So when our director and my good friend Melvin Lee told me that Under My Skin is going to be an advocacy play on HIV, I was enthusiastic to join even if I was worried in the beginning.”

“I believe na tapos na ‘yung time ko na pang-sarili,” Picache said, referring to getting involved in advocacy theater.

“I want to use my position, wherever I am now, to influence and advocate certain issues. I was also interested kung nasaan na ba ang Pilipinas sa usaping HIV. It’s very timely because we should all give a part of ourselves to make people aware,” Picache said.

When she was 9 years old, Picache worked with Orlando Nadres, a writer-director for stage, television, and film in the 1970s.

In 2017, Picache was in Chris Millado’s ‘Buwan at Baril sa E♭ Major.” The production was first staged by PETA in 1985, tackling different lives burdened by repression under the regime of then dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

“Dr. Gemma Almonte is very dedicated,” Picache said, describing her character.

“She is very objective like most doctors are. But inside, she’s very involved. Andoon ‘yung empathy niya.”

Picache is hopeful that Under My Skin will not only be a learning experience for audiences, but will also contribute positive change and action to combat the HIV and AIDS crisis in the country.

“There should no longer be a stigma. HIV is not and should not be a death sentence anymore. We, as a community, as a society, have the responsibility to get involved,” she said.

In the statement, PETA said watching Under My Skin provides a holistic learning experience. Apart from the play, audience members can stay for a talkback and debriefing with HIV experts and avail of free HIV screenings. A photo exhibit, which features 100 portraits of people from the theater industry who are HIV and AIDS advocates, will be also mounted.

Under My Skin is presented by PETA in partnership with UNAIDS and Unilab. The play runs from Feb. 7 to March 22, 2020 at the PETA Theater Center, No. 5 Eymard Drive, Quezon City.

For tickets go to http://www.ticketworld.com.ph, 891-9999, http://www.petatheater.com/undermyskin.

PETA Photos

#UnderMySkin #CherryPiePicache #PetaTheater #UNAids

Sarah Ruhl’s Stage Kiss opens Rep’s 2020 season

With a book by American playwright Sarah Ruhl and directed by multi-awarded film and stage director Carlos Siguion-Reyna, “Stage Kiss” opens the Repertory Philippines’ 2020 season.

Stage Kiss runs from Feb. 7 to March 1, 2020 at Onstage Theater, Greenbelt 1 Makati.

Playing the romantic leads She and He are Missy Maramara and Tarek El Tayech.

Other cast members are Robbie Guevara and Jamie Wilson, Andres Borromeo, Justine Narciso, Mica Pineda, and Nick Nañgit.

STAGE KISS: Cast of Repertory Philippines’ production of Stage Kiss

In Stage Kiss, Rep said in a statement that “the intoxicating desire for romance is shattered by the sobering bite of reality.”

“Stage Kiss is the quintessential must see for the month of love, hearts, and of course, kisses,” the statement said.

Named Critic’s Pick by The New York Times, Stage Kiss is a wickedly insightful romantic comedy about the blurred lines in a relationship.

When an out-of-work stage actress (She) auditions for the lead in a forgettable 1930s melodrama, all the drama she’s hoping for is onstage. Little does she realize she’ll be in for a whole lot more drama than what she’s signed up for. When her romantic co-star (He) walks in on the first day of rehearsals, it turns out to be her real-life ex.

Now, He and She will have to tackle their underlying feelings for each other while playing onstage lovers, all while sharing many, many stage kisses. As they lock lips, smoldering embers spark. Are they still actors playing a scene, or offstage lovers in a moment of passion? In this rib-tickling play-within-a-play, life simulates art and art simulates life. It gets tricky telling one from the other, keeping the audience in constant wonder.

And beneath all the fun, Stage Kiss will make us ponder the bittersweet longing for how we want things to be versus how they really are.

If you’re way past fairy tales and run-of-the-mill love stories, Stage Kiss is that edgy rom-com that’s your surefire pick for Valentine’s.

For inquiries, please contact 8451-1474, 0966-905-4013, Ticketworld at 8891-9999, or by logging on to http://www.repertoryphilippines.ph

For updates and show schedules, log on to http://www.repertoryphilippines.ph, like and follow repertoryphilippines on Facebook and Instagram.

Repertory Philippines Photo

#StageKiss #RepertoryPhilippines #Rep