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Showing posts from 2006

Toast 2006: The Art of Winemaking at Wine Depot

Bottoms up with Toast 2006: The Art of Winemaking at Wine Depot
By Walter Ang
December 6, 2006
Philippine Daily Inquirer

In his book "The Metrosexual Guide to Style," Michael Flocker concisely articulates a great way of looking at libations: Beer is easily consumed, fun to indulge in and comes in a variety of brands. There are light beers, dark beers, cheap beers and top-of-the-line beers. Wine is more complex and is more of an acquired taste. Defined by region and produced with a much greater attention to detail, wines are multifaceted and contain subtleties and distinctions that are not always immediately recognizable. Of course, there are also cheap wines.

That being said, he also provides a great analogy for both, likening beer to movies and wine to films. If that's the case, then the recent wine festival, "Toast 2006: The Art of Winemaking," was a veritable Metro Manila Filmfest for wine-lovers.

Organized by WineDepot, the festival featured booths of the di…

Not just a camera phone: Sony Ericsson K800i

Not just a camera phone: Sony Ericsson K800i 
By Walter Ang
November 29, 2006
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Apart from the K800's dandy camera capabilities, it's also packed with multimedia capabilities and lots of features that lets the user maximize wireless connectivity.

It's capable of 3G video calling as well as internet access. For insta-info junkies, it has a built in RSS reader. RSS, or Real Simple Syndication, is a way to find out the latest updates of a website (for example new entries from a blog, the latest articles from a news site or even emails from a Yahoogroup) without actually visiting the website. Instead, links to the newest articles are sent to your RSS reader.

The camera is also integrated with blogger.com software so that you can send your photos to your account. If you don't have an existing blogger.com account (like blogspot.com), the phone will create one for you. It also allows you to edit photos (cropping and such) as well as add text before uplo…

First ever Student Advertising Congress held

Advertisers of tomorrow, first ever Student Advertising Congress held
By Walter Ang
November 29, 2006
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The first ever Student Advertising Congress, with the theme "By the Youth, For the Youth," was recently held at the Aliw Theater in Pasay City.

Philippine Information Agency director Conrad Limchaco gave the keynote speech and pointed out that there are currently 2.7 million students in advertising-related college courses like communications arts.

He cited the potentially "tremendous" contributions these students are capable of delivering for the Philippine economy once they graduate.

Opening remarks were given by Matec Villanueva, an officer of the Association of Accredited Advertising Agencies (4A's), who reminded that students and teachers that advertising is "not glamorous and sosyal," and that it is "first and foremost a service industry" wherein the excitement comes from "creating communications that work.…

REVIEW: Distilling Dulaang UP's 'Hamlet'

Distilling Dulaang UP's 'Hamlet'
By Walter Ang
November 27, 2006
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The world of Hamlet, prince of Denmark, is thrown into a doozy when he learns of his father's death and when his mother Getrude marries his uncle Claudius. He encounters his father's ghost who accuses Claudius of murder. Hamlet must now to find a way to confirm this claim and exact revenge.

In Shakespeare's most quoted play ("To be or not to be," "something is rotten in the state of Denmark," "murder most foul," "the lady doth protests too much," and so on.), death is assuredly a constant shadow hanging over the characters.

In Dulaang U.P.'s staging, dubbed "Hamlet: Redux," director Tony Mabesa couples death with its most famous partner: sex. He prologues the play with a bacchanalia of beasts and phantoms with oversized sex organs, then proceeds to immerse the characters in a world of sexual tension filled with shades o…

Confessions of a 'Jewel in the Palace' addict

Confessions of a 'Jewel' addict 
By Walter Ang
November 15, 2006
Philippine Daily Inquirer

By the time the first run of "Jewel in the Palace" was about to end earlier this year, I had become so enamored with the show that when two of its actors visited the Philippines, I waited three hours amidst a throng of fans to catch a glimpse of them.

When they finally appeared onstage, they were as small as ants from where I stood. They scurried away after only about three minutes in the spotlight.

I was first encouraged to watch this Koreanovela (the show is on its encore run, weeknights at 6 p.m. on GMA network) when a friend told me how funny it was. I remembered the seminal "Betty La Fea" back in the '90s and how hilarious it was, so I asked for more details.

"It's about Jang Geum, a little orphan girl who wants to become a kitchen chef in the King's palace. She's the 'jewel' the title alludes to," he explained. "When someon…

Kitchie and Barbie in back-to-back concert

Kitchie and Barbie in back-to-back concert 
By Walter Ang
November 8, 2006
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Barbie Almabis and Kitchie Nadal recently performed back-to-back for the first time, albeit only a handful of selected people got to see the performance. The two musicians actually headlined a private concert for 19-year old Veron Samonte and forty of her friends and family.

A 19-year old nursing student from Kestergard College, Veron was treated to a free private concert as her winning prize in Sunsilk's "Great Hair Day" promo. Used to taking care of other people as part of her academic tranining, Veron said she enjoyed having the tables turned. "[The Sunsilk staff] made me feel special," she said. "Up until the concert ended, they gave me and my friends VIP treatment."

The concert was held at the intimate Teatrino Hall in Greenhills Promenade where a dinner buffet was also served to the guests. "I've always loved rock bands," exclaimed V…

Halloween party madness

Halloween party madness 
By Walter Ang
October 25, 2006
Philippine Daily Inquirer

So you're tired of the same old Halloween party themes where everyone puts red liptstick on their chins and runs around screaming, "Blood! I have blood running down my chin!" Pretending to be monsters, vampires, fairies and pirates sure are a fun way for us to let our hair down but they can get a little trite. For a change this year, try out some of these alternative themes.

Run, Tagpi, run! 
Want the chance to scream, "Hayop ka!" to your friends? Fun and animal welfare consciousness come together when you organize an endangered-species party. Guests must announce the scientific name of the animal that their costume represents followed by "Save the (common name)!" For example, "Pithecophaga jeffreyii! Save the Philippine Eagle!"

Endangered human species like "honest politician" or "intelligent person" are not allowed. As a twist, you can just …

REVIEW: Ghosts in the toilet, skeletons in the closet

Ghosts in the toilet, skeletons in the closet 
By Walter Ang
October 25, 2006
Philippine Daily Inquirer

THIS Halloween, you can opt to explore haunted, dingy bathrooms or you can just take a trip to a darkened theater situated in the basement of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP).

Nope, no cobwebs and coffins here, only Tanghalang Pilipino's staging of "Bakeretta (Ghost Operetta)," a Filipino translation of a Japanese play that deals with an amateur theater company as they rehearse a ghost (bake) story "The Ghost in the Toilet."

In this horror-comedy-musical-drama, fans of Japanese horror movies like "Ring" and "The Grudge" will certainly enjoy the way this production pokes fun at the recently popular movie genre. For example, a gaggle of Sadako-wannabees make an appearance, however, they share the stage with one of our very own manananggals. In a recent preview held at lighting designer Shoko Matsumoto's Sinag Arts Studio, even…

Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Rhett Eala do Bikram yoga

Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Rhett Eala do Bikram yoga
Some like it hot
By Walter Ang
Sept.-Nov. 2006 issue
Metroactive Magazine

Unlike most gyms that blast icy, cold air into your face, the lobby of Bikram Yoga Manila makes you feels as if you've stepped out into the street on a sunny day. Ceiling fans provide a semblance of a slight breeze in this sparse foyer as you step onto its hardwood floors that are lit just-so. None of the thumpa-thumpa beats of a remixed version of yet another Kylie Minogue song. More of the silence of a library with a similar palpable, mute energy.

The only sound you hear is the constant stream of directions barked out by Tristan Choa, instructor to a group of students striving to hold their asanas or yoga poses in the heated studio. Choa, who opened the studio late last year, explains that the raised temperature, 36 degrees Celsius, is the trademark of Bikram Yoga -- an attempt to simulate the climate of India, where all current iterations of yoga are derived…

Lauren Dyogi is Walking Tall

Walking Tall 
By Walter Ang
August-September 2006
Metro Him Magazine

Lauren Dyogi towers above everyone in an ABS-CBN studio bustling with production assistants and auditionees. A veritable lighthouse wearing a crisp white long-sleeved polo, you can feel him sending out invisible beams of guiding light to keep everyone on course. It is just another day in a busy week for this prolific director when we encounter him. Today, he is filtering out groups of hopefuls in order to distill a workable cast for his upcoming show ? the Pinoy version of international reality-TV hit "Big Brother."

As the 29th franchise in the world and the 2nd in Asia, the voyage of mounting our very own adaptation of the show is daunting to say the least. Dyogi, however, is blanketed in an aura of serenity. "I pace myself," he announces in a deep, deliberate voice. "As a director, I always believe that the particular ingredients for putting up a show will fall into place at the right time.&…

Charmed life of Miguel Castro

Raising the curtains 
By Walter Ang
July-September 2006 issue
Metro Him magazine

After Miguel Castro decided to leave his bucolic childhood in Lipa behind to pursue higher studies in the loud and crazy streets of Manila, he soon had to choose between college, his job, and pursuing his growing interest for the performing arts.

The stage wooed him over from the classroom and he hasn't looked back since. While Miguel is soft-spoken and projects a come-what-may attitude, a relentless zeal for theater broils behind those limpid eyes.

Cutting his teeth with Gantimpala Theater Foundation, Miguel started out developing his acting chops under the tutelage of theater pillars Tomy Abuel, Mia Gutierrez, and Roni Lazaro. Since then, he's essayed character roles and lead roles, protagonists and antagonists. He's also forayed into broadcast with occasional roles in television drama anthologies. He's currently in ABS-CBN's "Bituing Walang Ningning" in a supporting role.

M…

An interior designer's compact city retreat

An interior designer's compact city retreat 
By Walter Ang
June-August 2006 issue
Metro Home & Entertaining

Forty square meters. That's all the new studio owner had to work with in her new little cubbyhole in one of Makati's newest high rise condominiums. But for this on-the-go restaurateur and interior designer, it turned out to be more than enough.

"When I got this studio, I just wanted to try out having a small space near my restaurant, a half-way house if you will," she recalls. "But having spent several nights here already, I've realized what a huge convenience it is."

The long commutes home to the family residence south of Manila during the week have lessened. More than just a place to rest or freshen up before zooming off to the next meeting, the space has been imbued with a more meaningful purpose. "It's become somewhat of a spiritual center for me. I come here to clear my mind. I even hold Bible study sessions here."

The el…

Ana Rocha designs a multicultural Asian-safari home

Ana Rocha designs a multicultural Asian-safari home
By Walter Ang
June-August 2006 issue
Metro Home & Entertaining magazine

A safari awaits visitors to the home of this Filipina and her Irish husband. As one treads through the foyer, the feet and eyes are led into an open space that serves as the living area. Awash in varying hues of the earth, an organic sensation of earth and sand persists, yet a lightness of being pervades.

A herd of elephant figurines and a nest of ostrich eggs are stationed in the living area table. Surrounding it are three long sofas. Swathed in fabrics with interweaving elements, they meld into one another despite their girth. The moss color of this is found in the other, the textured fabric of that is repeated in that one over there, and so on. Leaf motifs are iterated and textures are alternated in the multitude of pillows, almost like a neat row of foliage.

Further down this rectangle hall is another seating area. Surrounded by four wooden chairs, a large…

Aquamen, the Philippine Water Polo team

Aquamen, the Philippine Water Polo team
By Walter Ang
April-June 2006
Metro Him Magazine

The sun pierced the morning clouds with shafts of light that skimmed the water's surface. Across the pool were sinewy bodies, skin glistening, cutting figures that belied graceful strength.

These bronzed gods of the National Water Polo team broke the stillness of the air with their whoops of encouragement for each other. Through the motions of a training session, their exuberance was to be expected. Under the aegis of coach Reynaldo Galang, the team had just recently won the silver medal in the SEA (South East Asian) Games held in our country.

The triumph is testament to the commitment this group of hardy athletes has put in to the team. Meeting daily at 5am, the next four hours are purely dedicated to training. Every day is a heady dose of drills and swimming exercises, with weightlifting thrown in for good measure.

With an average age of 28, these men have come together from across the nation…

DJ Montano yearns for old-world elan

Yearning for Old-World Elan 
By Walter Ang
April-June 2006
Metro Him Magazine

"My favorite piece of clothing is my plain black Bench t-shirt," states DJ Montano in his paced, genteel manner. "It's so versatile. I can dress it up with a jacket or pair it with jeans for a casual look."

DJ credits grandmother, Virginia, for fostering his ability to mix and match. "She was a politician's wife and she was always so elegant. At our home, there was always a constant stream of visitors calling on my grandfather, former Cavite governor Delfino ? the "D" in DJ. As such, she was very particular about what we wore and how we behaved. My sense of style is greatly influenced by her."

Born into a family dedicated to public service (great grandfather, Justiano ? the "J" in DJ, was a senator), DJ's upbringing was steeped in propriety, etiquette and graciousness. It appropriately led to his calling as one of Manila's most happening restau…