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‘Agimat Ng Agila’ Airs Action-packed Finale Tonight

July 24, 2021
GMA Network's top-rating fantasy drama series "Agimat ng Agila" will air its final episode tonight with the biggest and most gripping battle yet between the bearers of the Agila and the Bakunawa's mystic powers.The original series marks the television comeback of well-loved and versatile actor Ramon "Bong" Revilla, Jr. as Major Gabriel Labrador. He is joined by the stellar roster of cast including Sanya Lopez as Maya Lagman, Elizabeth Oropesa as Nanay Berta, Roi Vinzon as Alejandro Dominguez, Benjie Paras as Sgt. Wesley Dimanahan, Allen Dizon as Capt. Gerry Flores, Michelle Dee as Serpenta, EA Guzman as Julian, Miggs Cuaderno as Bidoy, and Ian Ignacio as Malvar.

In the previous episode, Gabriel (Bong) receives a poisonous kiss from Serpenta (Michelle) after his battle with Maya (Sanya) who is then bewitched by the mystic powers of the Bakunawa's bertud.Gabriel embarks on a journey to rescue Maya from her estranged father, Alejandro (Roi), and to finally put an end to his wicked ploys now that he is endowed with the venomous powers of the Bakunawa.

Will the bearer of the Agimat ng Agila triumph over the possessor of the Bakunawa's bertud?With all the positive feedback and high ratings the show has been receiving, the senator-actor conveys his utmost gratitude to the viewers and teases viewers for an exciting revelation, "Nakakataba ng puso na mahal pa rin tayo ng viewers, lalong-lalo na ng mga Kapuso. Sa init ng kanilang pagtanggap, para na rin tayong hindi nagpahinga sa paggawa ng mga palabas sa telebisyon. Kaya mas nakaka-inspire pagandahin ang Agimat ng Agila. Regalo namin ito sa kanila. Mas may malaki pa kaming regalo na nag-aabang sa ating viewers kaya tumutok lang po sila."

Directed by Rico Gutierrez, the grand finale of Agimat ng Agila airs at 7:15 pm tonight on GMA Network.Viewers abroad can also catch the program via GMA Pinoy TV. It is also available for streaming via iQiyi International or IQ.com for subscribers in the Philippines.

Angeline Quinto Talks About Adoptive Mother, New Found Family

July 24, 2021
Angeline Quinto became a little bit emotional when she talked about her departed mom at the contract signing cum presscon of her latest endorsement Ayesha Beauty Products at Romulo's Café in Quezon City.The singer admitted being deeply affected when she lost her mom (who is actually her aunt) who died last year."But I told Mama that her mission here on earth is already finished and that is to make sure I have a good life. Mama is more peaceful where she is right now and I had to let go of her for my own peace of mind as well," said the singer.Angeline is very thankful to Michael Agmata and Armie Rosale Agmata for the choosing her to be the first celebrity endorser of Ayesha Beauty Products.Angeline's song titled "Patuloy ang Pangarap" served as inspiration and motivation for Ms. Armie, the CEO of Ayesha, to put up her beauty line with nothing but a small capital and a big dream."Just like Angeline, I had humble beginnings in life and I never gave up on my dream despite the negative criticisms thrown at me. Her song really inspired me a lot that is why I am happy that we got her as our first celebrity endorser because her story pretty much mirrors the journey I went through in putting up Ayesha," said Ms. Armie.Angeline felt overwhelmed she was chosen by ABP Corporation to be their newest face. But more than the new endorsement deal, the singer expressed how moved she was when she found out her song touched Armie's life."It's very fulfilling to know that your song impacted someone's life. As a singer, that's all we want - for our songs to move the heart of our listeners. What Ms. Armie went through is more than that because the song motivated her to improve her life, work hard in her business, and help other people change their lives too."Before becoming today's Queen of Teleserye, Angeline used to be an aspiring singer who actively competed in many barangay signing contests. She even joined talent searches on television but she never won first place. Until 2011, she was named the first grand winner of "Star Power: Sharon's Search for the Next Female Pop Superstar.""I can very much relate to Ms. Armie's story that's why I am so happy to be part of the Ayesha family. They really worked hard to get where they are now. Aside from producing beauty products, I like that they have a heart for service and they are really passionate to beautify and improve the skin of many Filipinas and even guys too," said Angeline.She may have lost her mother but she found a new family in Ayesha Beauty Products.***Fighting in social media is a not a good idea, whether you are a Kapamilya or a Kapuso.Suzette Doctolero didn't like the comment of Direk Andoy Ranay (without mentioning GMA) that the shows of a network are trash even if it has a franchise.Suzette, in turn, said the Kapamilya network should pay the right taxes. Not paying the right amount of taxes was one of the issues raised against the Kapamilya network (that led to it not being granted a new franchise) although the representatives of the government agencies invited to the hearing said ABS-CBN said didn't have violations.Even without a franchise, ABS-CBN has continued its service to the Filipino via different platforms available.Both networks can brag about their respective achievements without having to disparage each other. Focus on the achievements and don't dwell on the shortcomings. After all, it is the public who will choose whom shows to watch,In the same manner, we hope that ABS-CBN will not condemn or subject to ill talk any of their artists who have decided to transfer to the Kapuso network. It is not a crime to accept work in another network if there is an offer. Work is work. It puts food on the table and to pay for our needs.We are in a pandemic and every opportunity to earn money is welcome, whether in the Kapamilya Channel or the Kapuso Network.

The ‘legit’ Plays Of The Virgin Labfest

July 24, 2021

The word "legit" has taken upon a much more layered connotation appropriated like a novel street lingo among the Gen Z gamely stalking past the Millennials like robots stuck to their gadget- orientated world.Referenced here are those born between 1997 to 2012, now between the age of 7 and 22 according to US Pew Research Center. Anything less original, authentic, and sincere is deemed fake; as in fake news, brand, or character for that matter, and far from "legit."Said word has always been associated with an age-old phrase "legit stage" referencing those "licensed" to do serious theater to promote compassion and tolerance for others, etc. Its art form is aimed at fostering a generation that understands values, and supports theatre's place in society.The deeper social interaction and risk- taking in theater makes its practitioners a bit unique from the relationship being developed especially among some local industry filmmakers whose tasks hinge on wrapping up at breakneck speed and virtual commodification of sorts.Hence, the expression, "you are just as good as your last project or byline" has become an acceptable nasty thing to hack, albeit it can fall short of a bitter pill to swallow as well.It's not so in the theater. This brings Caveat to welcome the vacationing balik-bayan theater person from the States Herbie Go, former Artistic Director of Tanghalang Pilipino (TP) at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).Into over a decade of fruitful stay abroad as a professional theater guru himself, Herbie is here for a brief vacay to look into the health condition of his mom who is on a dialysis regimen. This allows him to re-connect and bond once more with friends from the country's theater community who all sorely missed him. Think deeper humanity among theater people and nurturing ethos of theater then personified by Herbie's metier.

To recall sixteen years ago in 2005, one among the most prolific multi-hyphenated literati- National Artist material and founder of Writer's Bloc, Inc. Rody Vera teamed up with Herbie and Dennis Marasigan at TP to institutionalize the would-be popular and much sought-after annual Virgin Labfest now on its 17th year come year 2022. This with the funding support of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).Said annual Labfest is an unprecedented feat in the realm of the local theater scene for this became a "legit" showcase of untried, untested, and unstaged works on theater by emerging and established playwrights. Hence, the moniker "virgin" which has since then changed the landscape of playwriting that also redefined the habits of theatergoers. Fortuitously, this gathered together the warm bodies of the Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and yes the Gen Z into it annually more than one could imagine.

I also missed Herbie. He helped leverage with Rody my so-called first virgin play billed "My Padir Is An OCW" by investing it the green light to have it staged resoundingly in 2005 alongside other equally 'virginal' entries at said Labfest; followed thereafter by a few more plays. All mounted plays on hand first went under the knife among critiques-colleagues at our regular Writer's Bloc meetings held every other Sunday afternoon and were moderated in the way of a writers workshop by Rody himself.Incidentally, the said 3rd Labfest was Herbie's swan song. Referring in particular to my play, theater reviewer Alvin Dacanay was effusive in extolling the sleight-of-hand hypnotic scene changes ala-Broadway through the innovative handling of UP theater pedagogue- director Issa Manalo Lopez. This was brought to life by her topnotch cast TP resident artist Riki Benedicto, movie actor Ricky Rivero, the would-be sought-after character actress Ruby Ruiz, and her production creatives.This brought back home some nostalgic memories of the ethereal world that Herbie Go and his production team at the CCP's Tanghalang Pilipino were used to doing. And this resonated the soul of the "legit" stage brought to bear upon by the groundbreaking Virgin Labfest even to the present pandemic time.

Miss Universe Pageant Set To Make History In Israel

July 24, 2021

The Philippines' next opportunity to win the Miss Universe crown will be historic for the pageant will mark its 70th anniversary as the world's most prestigious beauty contest on that fateful night, as well as its very first time to be held in the proud Jewish nation of Israel.The Manila Times Entertainment broke this exciting news Wednesday online, shortly after the Miss Universe Organization (MUO) released a brief that the pageant's 2021 edition will take place in the resort city of Eilat with Philippine favorite Steve Harvey returning as host.

Quoting an AP report, "The three-hour event will end with the current Miss Universe, Mexico's Andrea Meza, crowning her successor."Meza, a former software engineer, has advocated for women's rights and is encouraging people to get [vaccinated for] Covid-19.She further expressed hope for "many people as possible to get vaccinated so they can participate in the Miss Universe contest."In the same vein, Israel Minister of Tourism Yoel Razvozov shared Meza's optimism, saying in a statement to The Manila Times, "I fully hope that in December we will be celebrating not only the new Miss Universe here in Israel, but most importantly, the end of the world pandemic."Coursed through the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines, the same statement also provided the latest updates on Miss U's 2021 edition.According to the facts sheet, the decision to hold the pageant in the Middle Eastern country was made through the efforts of Israeli producer Tali Eshkoli and Los Angeles-based producer Assaf Blecher. As always, the MUO will be on top of production and other related events in cooperation with the Israeli Ministry of Tourism and the Eilat Municipality.

By the end of November, candidates from around the world should begin arriving in Israel for three weeks' worth of globally broadcasted TV events. These include the pageant's semi-finals and finals, the national costume show and other gala events such a red carpet gala, community activities, charity works and more.Delegations from about 100 countries with representatives to the pageant are expected to arrive in Israel, comprised of officials from national franchisees, journalists and media crews, pageant enthusiasts and tourists, as well as "more than 100 American celebrities, including top-tier artists and world-famous judges."Meanwhile, Israel's tourism agency proudly noted, "The choice of Israel as the host country once again underscores Israel's attractiveness, its rich history and the wide variety of spectacular tourist and resort sites that Israel has to offer pageant viewers around the world. An international event of this scale will positively impact awareness and image of Eilat and Israel as a leading tourism destination and a world-renowned international brand."In response, MUO president Paula Shugart expressed, "Israel has been on our shortlist of host countries for a number of years due to its rich history, beautiful landscapes, myriad of cultures and appeal as a global tourist destination. As we sought an impressive location for our 70th anniversary celebration, it became clear through our conversations with [Eilat] Acting Mayor Lankri and the Israeli Ministry that Israel has the best resources to host Miss Universe in December."Following her semi-finals finish in last May's Miss Universe pageant in Florida, USA, the Philippines' Rabiya Mateo has yet to crown her successor, who will then compete in Israel at the end of the year. As of press time, the organizers of Miss Universe-Philippines have released the preliminary list of possible candidates for the national competition, which is slated on September 25.The Philippines has already crowned four Miss Universe candidates, namely, Gloria Diaz in 1969, Margie Moran in 1973, Pia Wurtzbach in 2015 and Catriona Gray in 2018.

Nico Antonio Headlines ‘Magpakailanman’ Tonight

July 23, 2021
Gifted actor Nico Antonio finally gets to strut his stuff in his first-ever lead performance for a TV drama anthology tonight on GMA Network, via "Magpakailanman." Playing the role of a regular Filipino male who falls in love with a beautiful Russian model, he headlines a fresh episode of the weekly drama program, titled "From Russia With Love: The Eric Baylosis/Anna Rabtsun Baylosis Story."A familiar face among the biz's most capable supporting actors, Antonio says of his #MPK experience, "Mahirap pala siya - not just physically but also mentally and psychologically. Matindi ang pressure and kailangan always on your toes. No room for mistakes."

Nevertheless, he enjoyed every minute of completing the episode, especially since he was deeply touched by the Baylosis' love story."Sa script pa lang, naiyak na ako," he admitted. "First time ever na nangyari sa akin 'yung ganito kaya I am very grateful sa GMA for this opportunity," he added.A freelance artist being managed by Becky and Katrina Aguila, Nico Antonio started his career as a Star Magic Artist and says he is grateful to ABS-CBN for honing his acting skills. He is currently in a month-long lock-in taping for a new series that's still under wraps, but will definitely be glued to GMA watching Magpakailanman tonight at 8 p.m.Kapuso actress Max Collins plays the role of Anna Baylosis across Antonio, under the expert direction of Don Michael Perez.

Barack Obama And Bruce Springsteen To Release Book; The Rolling Stones Relaunch US Tour; Billie Eilish Concert Film To Premiere Soon

July 23, 2021
Obama-Springsteen book Renegades coming in OctoberNEW YORK: Renegades: Born in the USA is a bound edition of the popular "Renegades" podcast featuring conversations on various topics between former President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen.

To be released on October 26, the book will include rare photographs, handwritten Springsteen lyrics and annotated Obama speeches."In our own ways, Bruce and I have been on parallel journeys trying to understand this [country]. Trying to chronicle the stories of its people. Looking for a way to connect our own individual searches for meaning and truth and community with the larger story of America," Obama said in a statement. * * *'We're back on the road!' Rolling Stones relaunch US tourNEW YORK: The Rolling Stones announced the relaunch of their US "No Filter" tour, beginning in St. Louis on Sept. 26."I'm so excited to get back on the stage again and want to thank everyone for their patience," Mick Jagger said in a statement.

Added Keith Richards: "We're back on the road! See you there!"The tour has rescheduled stops in Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Nashville, Minneapolis, Tampa, Dallas, Atlanta, Detroit and Austin. The band also added three new dates for Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. * * *Billie Eilish to release concert filmThe Billie Eilish concert film "Happier than Ever: A Love Letter to Los Angeles" will premiere on Apple TV+ on Sept. 3.The film will highlight the July 30 release of "Happier Than Ever," Eilish's follow-up album to "When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?"

Directed by Robert Rodriguez and Oscar-winner Patrick Osborne, the film will also include animated elements, "taking viewers on a dreamlike journey through Billie's hometown," according to the announcement.It will also feature her Grammy winning producer-brother Finneas, the Los Angeles Children's Chorus and Brazilian guitarist Romero Lubambo, with orchestra arrangements by David Campbell.

Up All Night To Get ‘Loki’

July 23, 2021

I'm not about to pretend I am a super nerd and say I completely understood Marvel's latest series on the Disney+ streaming platform, "Loki." In fact, I can't even begin to ask to questions beyond, "what just happened?" at regular intervals within each episode.Loki dances and traipses about the notions of time travel, timeline branches, alternate universes, multiverses, alternate timelines, parallel universes - that sort of thing. Just when you thought the pandemic and quarantine messed enough with your sense of time, here's something to add to it.The series is for those moments when you feel like time is standing still, like your feet are in molasses, or if you're wondering what sort of life other versions of yourself are living. Perhaps when you're envying that "you" living in a world where there is no Covid. Speaking of which, those other versions of a character or self are called "variants" in the series.

All the same, Loki starts off with an emphasis of sticking to one "sacred timeline." We get introduced to the Time Variance Authority or TVA, which tries to keep the universe that is all in it on that one straight and narrow. But when you have Loki on board, or in this case "a Loki" - because there are many - then you might as well shove the notion of following the rules and staying on the beaten path out the window.But wait! Hold on a minute - didn't we already say goodbye to Loki in "Avengers: Infinity War?" We did see his demise at the hands of Thanos. Well, Loki, the series, attempts to explain that and more but these will certainly leave you with even more questions after.It's strange, befuddling, fantastical and funny, and held together by the incredible talent and supernatural charm and magnetism of actor Tom Hiddleston. Truth be told, if it were not for him, I'm not sure I would have stuck with it. Not to mention Owen Wilson, who as Mobius, is a great presence on the show. There was just one episode in the season without him and I missed him terribly.Now I don't want to spoil too much but Loki has a cliffhanger ending. It doesn't tie up enough the same way "WandaVision" or "Falcon and Winter Soldier" did at the end of their respective first seasons. On top of that, it cracks open a piñata of new characters and scenarios for some of the upcoming films in the MCU, most obviously, "Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness," which will feature Wanda Maximoff.So if you do decide to watch Loki on Disney+, there are two ways you can go about it: You could go watch all the YouTube videos that explain the episodes and Google all you can side by side with the series, or you can just go for the wild ride. It is the kind of show befitting the God of Mischief after all.

Another Movie For #KimJe

July 23, 2021
Twenty twenty-one is definitely the year of #KimJe, as theater stars-turned-movie stars - not to mention real-life sweethearts - Kim Molina and Jerald Napoles team up for their second headliner, "Ikaw at Ako ang Ending."

Fresh from their successful team up in the Vivamax original, "Ang Babaeng Walang Pakiramdam," Molina and Napoles collaborated with no less than romantic movie hit maker Irene Emma Villamor for Movie No. 2 of the year. Villamor, of course, is best known for such blockbusters as "Camp Sawi," "Meet Me in St. Gallen," "Sid & Aya: Not a Love Story", "Ulan," and "On Vodka, Beers, and Regrets." Now, that list leaves no doubt "Ikaw at Ako ang Ending" will end up as another Irene Emma Villamor hit."Ikaw at Ako" is a story of two hopeless strangers who meet at a time when they are both trying to escape their miserable realities. While it seems like the perfect plot for a heavy drama, the movie's teaser, which went up on YouTube on July 11, shows an action-packed 30 seconds of running, car chasing and #KimJe's hot love scene, all building up in a compelling suspense thriller. But again, once the entire movie goes to streaming, expect the Villamor touch with lots surprising love-filled moments throughout this very unique story.Surprising is in fact this movie's key element since Molina and Napoles will definitely turn heads with their respective performances. Besides their trademark hilarious acting, #KimJe will show a different side to them that's bound to leave viewers impressed.Asked in a media conference if wedding bells will ring both on screen and real life given the movie's obvious title, however, the pair quickly deadpanned in sync and said, "Next question please.""Ikaw at Ako ang Ending" streams globally on August 13 via ktx.ph, iWant TFC, TFC IPTV and Vivamax.

Alamat Grows Stronger With New Single ‘kasmala’

July 22, 2021

The boys of Alamat have shifted to high gear. With the success of their debut single "kbye" now neatly tucked under their proverbial belts, members Taneo, Jao, Mo, Tomas, Valfer, R-Ji, Gami and Alas are ready to level up with the release of their new single titled "kasmala.""kasmala" is a disjointed word play on the Tagalog word "malakas" which means strong.This eight-member Pinoy pop group have kept busy and have been working hard since their debut early this year. Besides breaking the million-stream mark on YouTube with their "kbye" music video, Alamat has achieved a notable career milestone impressive for such a young act.They have the distinction of being the fastest OPM act to break into Billboard's Next Big Thing charts with their impressive Top 2 debut. Currently, they are the highest chart position for a new Pinoy act. Aside from that, Alamat has also impressed music tastemakers with their modern R&B-tinged dance pop sound mixed with a style that is distinctly rooted in Filipino aesthetics.For their brand-new single "kasmala," Alamat has raised the stakes sonically. To keep up with the times, their new song is produced by a Swiss music production team called The Kennel. Viva Records tapped the Stockholm-based music team described as "one of the most successful independent music publishers, having written and produced music more than a hundred No. 1 chart hits." And of course, in typical Alamat fashion of highlighting proudly Pinoy, writing the lyrics for "kasmala" is ace songwriter Thyro Alfaro. Essentially, the new single is a collaborative mix between the Swedish music production outfit and Filipino musicians and songwriters.

A Viva Records exec describes it as "Top caliber music production used by K-pop acts meets the best Pinoy lyricist of his generation. And throw in a talented, disciplined, stylish and good-looking act like Alamat, it's a dynamite mix!"Thematically, "kasmala" champions the indomitable Pinoy spirit.According to Ninuno Media's creative director Jason Paul Laxamana, the new song bears a strong message. He said that Filipinos have always been strong in the face of diversity. That the song "kasmala" is a reminder for "fellow Filipinos that we, too, have always been subject to hate, dehumanization and prejudice throughout history." Adding that, in spite of, "We shall not be broken down. We shall persist and continue to thrive. We shall endure. For we are strong. We are 'kasmala.'"Weeks before the release of their new single, Alamat's social media pages have been lit with art-y and stylish photos that took its inspiration from the #StopAsianHate campaign, hence, Laxamana's comment.The same teasers, plus the anticipation of the release of their new "kasmala" track and accompanying music video generated so much buzz for Alamat that they broke into Billboard's Next Big Thing charts days before the new track dropped.For their part, the boys of Alamat are laser focused on making this outing bigger and better than their first. And in the context of what they've achieved already in such a short time, that's really saying something.Alamat garnered considerable attention for championing a Pinoy feel to their aesthetic. The group made it a point to highlight a modern theme that not only highlights several Philippine languages (Tagalog, Ilocano, Kapampangan, Bicolano, Waray-Waray, Hiligaynon, and Bisaya) on their songs, and modern fashion and style aesthetics that is distinctly Pinoy.The track "kasmala" was released July 15 on all music streaming platforms. Likewise, the accompanying music video directed by Jason Paul Laxamana debuted on YouTube the same day."kasmala" by Alamat is released by Viva Records.

Vinyls Pa More!

July 22, 2021
Good news for vinyl record collectors and OPM fans. After a slew of amazing albums reissued from its storied catalog, Vicor Music's classic vinyl series has released a new set of titles fans and audiophiles alike will love.New vinyl reproductions of classics such as Pinoy rock's Mike Hanopol, Resty Fabunan's "Maria Cafra," Yoyoy Villame's comedy album and Gary Valenciano's early hits were recently released and are now available on independent record stores and audio specialty shops across the metro.

Mike Hanopol's "Awiting Pilipino" is the successful solo debut from the Pinoy rock singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. This vinyl record includes Hanopol's rock hit "Laki Sa Layaw," a song that established Hanopol as a solo artist after his stint with the seminal rock group Juan Dela Cruz Band.Meanwhile, the "Maria Cafra" self-titled record was the vehicle for Resty Fabunan's rock musings. This album includes the rock hit "Kumusta Mga Kaibigan" and is a veritable rock classic all throughout.Gary Valenciano began his streak of hit songs with the Vicor-produced "Gary Valenciano Next" album. This collection includes two of his biggest hits: the Danny Javier-written "'Di Na Natuto" and "Reaching Out." The latter is a theme song from the 1983 Viva Films "Hotshots" that also launched Gary V's acting career.No doubt that Yoyoy Villame was a comedic genius and the proof is in this lengthy 14-track "Best of Yoyoy Villame" record that has "manong Yoyoy's" finest moments immortalized on vinyl - "Granada," "Si Felimon," "Butsekik" and "Mag Exercise Tayo" to name a few.Previous releases that include the once hard-to-find "Segreto" album by the late Ric Segreto, "VST & Company I," Rico J. Puno's "The Way We Were," Rey Valera, Martin Nievera, Freddie Aguilar's "Anak" and Sharon Cuneta's "Mr DJ" albums have since become a big hit in the vinyl-collecting community."Segreto" in particular sold out its stocks twice. Vicor has since followed up with titles such as "Batucada Sa Calesa" by Bong Penera, Basil Valdez's "Ngayon At Kailanman," "Kuh" by Kuh Ledesma, "Himig Natin" by Juan Dela Cruz Band and Asin. All titles are manufactured overseas on 180-gram vinyl.More are forthcoming such as the second Ric Segreto album "Man Of The Hour" that will the re-issue of the late singer's whole discography. Titles by Side A, Sampaguita, Cinderella, Hotdog and other artists are all slated to be made available soon.Collectors usually fork over exorbitant amounts for rare OPM albums. But the Vicor classic vinyl reissue series will make once hard to find, quality sound recordings of all-time favorite OPM artists easier to own. Priced at P1,900 per title, these records are perfect for audiophiles and for the budding vinyl collectors looking out for quality classic albums.Contact Vicor on Facebook to know where to buy these vinyl records.

American Artist ASTN Makes A ‘Serious’ Comeback

July 22, 2021
It's no secret that Filipinos love music and are always in the pursuit to find something new to discover. Today, the spotlight falls on Florida-native ASTN. Philippines is one of the top locations of his streams in South East Asia.The 22-year-old has wooed his listeners with his sultry, indie-R&B pop style of music. His debut EP "Tell All Your Friends" amassed a loyal and engaged fanbase which has now blossomed into 500 thousand monthly listeners in Spotify and has received over 19 million streams to date on his "Flower" single alone.

ASTN has explored various genres of music in the hopes of finding one that resonates with him the most. Part of this process was to take a small hiatus to allow himself to grow and mature in his music, gain perspective and work on his craft. Now, he is ready to show the world what he can do and take the next step by releasing his latest EP "It's Not That Serious".The five-track EP is a refined body of work, highlighting ASTN's silky vocals, intimate lyrics, and cultivated sound.Listeners can expect to experience first-hand ASTN's journey in growth and figuring things out in life. He wants to portray that hardships happen for a reason and that in the end, it will always work out.Created in a year and a half, ASTN embraces beautifully who he is in "It's Not That Serious" and showcases his acceptance of life for what it is - that feelings change and people grow but life moves on.Accompanied with wavy guitar strings and sultry vocals, the focus track of the EP is titled "LA Don't Look Good On U," a hymn about the lifestyle he has associated upon moving to the city. Currently the MV has garnered over 341K views on YouTube.With over 24.2K followers on Instagram and 96.9K followers on TikTok, ASTN reminds his followers through his own brand of pop music that life is journey and that people's only job is to enjoy it."LA Don't Look Good On U," is now up on his YouTube channel while the whole EP "It's Not That Serious" is now streaming on Spotify.

The Latest From The World Of Music

July 22, 2021
Lady Gaga, Tony Bennett reuniteTony Bennett and Lady Gaga will team up at New York's Radio City Music Hall.

"One Last Time: An Evening with Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga" will open on Aug. 3, Bennett's 95th birthday, with the second performance on Aug. 5. Promoters say the concerts will be Bennett's last New York performances of his career.Lady Gaga and Bennett collaborated on the song "The Lady Is a Tramp" for Bennett's 2011 "Duets II" album and their collaborative album "Cheek to Cheek" debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard Album charts and earned them the Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album Grammy.* * *'Without Me' singer Halsey announces birth of first childHalsey has something new to sing about: motherhood.

The pop star announced on Instagram on Monday (Tuesday in the Philippines) that she has given birth to her first child. The 26-year-old posted black-and-white photos of her holding her baby next to her boyfriend, screenwriter Alev Aydin.The singer wrote that their baby was born July 14 and is named Ender Ridley Aydin."Gratitude. For the most ‚rare' and euphoric birth. Powered by love," Halsey wrote on her post.Halsey has released three platinum albums and is known for hits like "Without Me," "Bad at Love" and "Closer" with the Chainsmokers.* * *Bob Dylan returns to stage - albeit onlineNEW YORK: Bob Dylan returned to a concert stage - at least online through the live-streaming platform Veeps.

Titled "Shadow Kingdom," it was more like a stylized black-and-white film, with the singer fronting a four-piece band in a juke joint. It included wardrobe changes and differences in the placement of the band.The performances feature more folk, blues and country instead of rock 'n' roll. Dylan concentrated on material from early in his career, including infrequently performed numbers like "Queen Jane Approximately" or "Wicked Messenger." His luminous version of "Forever Young" was the best-known of the 13-song performance.

A Lecture From Direk Joel Lamangan

July 21, 2021
Read this in The Manila Times digital edition.An extremely bold and timely movie written by Troy Espiritu and directed by film master Joel Lamangan is set to stream worldwide beginning July 23. Titled "Lockdown," it stars young and determined actor Paolo Gumabao in a story that is both compelling and disconcerting, as it brings to light what many Filipinos are forced to endure in reality in order to survive this crippling pandemic.Lockdown sees Paolo as Danny, an Overseas Filipino Worker retrenched from his job and repatriated at the height the global health crisis. The family bread winner, he comes home to find his ailing father worse than ever and in dire need of costly hospital treatments to save his life. With no jobs available amid the lockdown, a friend of Danny's takes him to the underground world of cybersex, where in sheer desperation, he is stripped of his clothes every "working day" to perform the most unthinkable pornographic acts in front of a "director," a computer camera and strangers on the internet to make money for his dad and family.

Just from the trailers shown at Lockdown's virtual media conference last week, there is no denying that Joel Lamangan's latest obra is powerful in every way. It is powerfully moving with its raw depiction of an unyielding love between father and son in such scenes where Danny - in their dark, hot and cramped shanty house - devotedly sees to his dad's every need. Unable to do anything for himself, it is Danny who patiently feeds him, cleans him up and carries him like a baby to a makeshift bathroom every time he needs to urinate or defecate.It is also powerfully shocking by the time Danny is forced to join so many others like him and perform for paying perverts across the screen. Stark naked, they're made to grind their bodies, masturbate, have oral sex and so on, until their disgusting recruiter decides they have given their "audience" their money's worth.And in the same way Direk Joel presents poverty in the movie as if you can smell the stench of slums, neither does he takes any short cuts in showing what exactly takes place in cybersex dens. It is all there for the movie's audience to see.In an exchange with The T-Zone at the media conference, producer Jojo Barron - who completely deferred to Direk Joel's vision, expertise and artistry in bringing the story of "Lockdown" to life - the movie has clear-cut takeaways.First, that love for family, especially in the Philippine culture, takes precedence over everything; secondly, that the pandemic has gravely affected the poor and continues to threaten not just their health but their sheer existence; and third, that the evil of cybersex is more rampant than ever amid the health crisis, victimizing an ever growing number of young and destitute Filipinos, who, along with their families, can barely survive these ever uncertain and endangered times.Given the producer's summation of "Lockdown's" key messages, The T-Zone acknowledged a sound and compelling understanding why this story - this reality - has to be told as it happens.

The T-Zone's subsequent question, however - whose answer only Direk Joel can provide, is whether Lockdown's story needs to be shown in the manner he chose. Given the three-pronged message Mr. Barron listed, is the nudity and the very explicit sexual acts captured in the trailers alone critical to the movie?Direk Joel's ensuing and enlightening lecture should put any further doubt if "Lockdown," in any way, might encourage voyeurism."It would be voyeurism if it increased a man's libido," replied the multi-awarded director, who has passionately tackled socially relevant films throughout his career. Direk Joel, it can be recalled, was imprisoned and tortured in the Martial Law era for being a youth activist.Eager as ever to mirror reality as truthfully as he can in his movies, he continued, "[Voyeurism] is not the purpose of the movie [but]... to show a fact that happened at a particular time."Cybersex ang kanilang trabaho. Alangan namang wala akong ipakita eh iyon ang pinaka-esensya ng trabaho na pinilit nilang kapitan dahil sa hirap. Ang purpose nito ay magpakita ng katotohanan sa isang partikular na panahon."Ito'y pagre-reflect ng isang katotohanan na ang taong gipit na gipit sa buhay, kahit na anong uri ng pagkakakitaan ay gagawin, makatulong lang sa mga mahal na magulang, kahit ang kabayaran ay ang kanyang dignidad bilang tao o kanyang buhay man."Direk Joel further shared that he needed no convincing in taking on the project because over a year into the pandemic, he has neither seen a script nor a movie that honestly shows what is happening to so many Filipinos during the Coronavirus - sad, disturbing and shocking as it is.To round up the lecture, The T-Zone finally asked the prominent director- who will always raise the victims of society's ills in his work - if there is any person in authority or anyone in government he hopes will see "Lockdown," he simply replied, "Everyone who wants to know what's true. Everyone who exploits poor people in times of need. Lockdown is intended for anyone who wants to see reality happening around them."Produced by the For the Love of Art Film, completing the cast with Paolo Gumabao are Alan Paule, Max Eigenmann, Ruby Ruiz, Jess Evardone, Paul Jake Paule, Angellie Sanoy and Jim Pebanco. The uncut version of Lockdown streams worldwide on July 23 via KTX.ph, Upstream.ph, RAD (iamrad.app) and WeTV.