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Showing posts from 2010

Your medical history now comes in a card at The Medical City

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Your medical history now comes in a card 
By Walter Ang
December 28, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Medical City now makes it easier for patients to access their medical information and history through its e-Partner Card, the Philippines' first individual electronic storage card for patients' personal health records.

The card was launched as part of the hospital's 43rd anniversary celebration. The hospital unveiled four major elements that supported its anniversary theme "Establishing the Pillars of Growth and Leadership."

Pillar one was "Building a National Network," which highlighted its 15 satellite clinics and two acquisitions, Great Saviour International Hospital in Iloilo and Mercedes Medical Center in Angeles City, Pampanga.

The e-Partner card was introduced at the unveiling of pillar two, "Promoting the Patient Partnership Philosophy," accompanied by the introduction of the hospital's second corporate website (asktmc.com) which …

Holiday gifts, according to the stars

Holiday gifts, according to the stars
By Walter Ang
December 16, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

For this year, astrologers recommend patience and allowing for delays and snafus when you do your holiday shopping because there is a Mercury retrograde that started on Dec. 10 and will last until the 30th.

Mercury, the ruler of electronics, communications and transportation, will look as if (from our vantage point here on Earth) it's going backward in its path in the sky. Whenever this happens, its "powers" are "reduced," and there's usually a lot of weird miscommunication, weird traffic patterns and weird weather incidents. Also, gadgets tend to go haywire. Computers get virus attacks, fax machines break down, cellphones hang, ATMs and credit card swipers bog down.

You can already imagine how irritated people will be at the malls. By the way, electronics have also been known to drop in prices after certain Mercury retrogrades?so stave off on any electronics purc…

International experts to grace green architecture confab

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International experts to grace green architecture confab
By Walter Ang
December 13, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Two international authorities, Emilio Ambasz and Francine Houben, will speak at a national architecture symposium on Jan. 21, 2011 to discuss "Global Green Concepts: Evolution of the Built Environment."

The symposium is organized by Architecture Network (Archinet), the University of Santo Tomas College of Architecture's student organization and will be held at Centerstage Theater, SM Mall of Asia.

Archinet planned the 2011 symposium theme to build on issues that were raised in the 2010 symposium that it also organized.

"The 2010 symposium, titled `Asian Green Cities: Visions of the Modern World,' concluded with a cliffhanger and left an open-ended question that begs to be answered," says Archinet president Mesezabel Montano. "What if we change the perception that `building green is something we can't afford' and, instead, embrace th…

Saving San Sebastian Church

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Saving San Sebastian Church
Text and photos by Walter Ang
December 7, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Bring a refrigerator magnet with you when you join the "S.O.S." (Save Our San Sebastian Church) walking tour. Part of the fun is being able to slap the magnet onto portions of the church that have been painted to look like stone.

Those magnets end up sticking onto everything. After all, the Minor Basilica of San Sebastian is the only prefabricated all-steel church in the Philippines, and, according to some sources, in Asia.

Offered by Old Manila Walks, a walking tour company headed by Ivan ManDy, the tour is equal parts art lessons, scientific facts, historical tidbits, and, of course, the most fun component, rumors of possible scandals.

No spoilers here, but be sure to ask the guides who wasn't at the big party to commemorate the completion of the church. Who allegedly broke some of the stained glass windows? Did Gustave Eiffel, of Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty fame,…

The prime of Ana Abad Santos

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The prime of Ana Abad Santos
By Walter Ang
November 29, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

By all accounts, Ana Abad Santos had a fulfilling 2009. "It was a good year, I got to play very strong women characters in several productions with different directors. I learned a lot," she says. She got to direct theater productions and even acted in a film or two.

As soon as 2010 came around, things got even better.

Earlier this year, she was nominated twice in a single category for the 2009 Philstage Gawad Buhay, the awards given out to productions and performers of Philstage member companies. Santos was nominated for the Best Actress in a Straight Play category for her turns as Candida Marasigan in Repertory Philippines's "A Portrait of the Artist as Filipino" and as Blanche Dubois in Tanghalang Pilipino's "A Streetcar named Desire."

The short film she acted in, "Out of Love," directed by Flora Lau, won best film at the Hong Kong International Film…

Aside from sports, Spain has fashion and shopping

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Aside from sports, Spain has fashion and shopping
By Walter Ang
November 28, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

"If you've been to Spain," said Angela Castaño, Director of National Tourist Office of Spain, "you'll understand why our new tagline is 'I need Spain.'"

"When you experience what Spain has to offer, you'll need its food and wine, need its arts and culture, need its passion and lifestyle, need your visit to last forever."

Castaño visited Manila to invite Filipinos to include Spain in their travel plans. She noted the historical relationship between the two countries and said, "Perhaps some Filipinos see Spain as a 'historical' place and therefore 'old' place. I'm here to let everyone know that, yes, we have historical sites for you to visit, but we are also very cosmopolitan and always exciting!"

Fashion and sports
Just this past year, Spain has been in the sports spotlight with Rafael Nadal winning at …

Aquino Museum in Tarlac up for redesign

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Aquino Museum in Tarlac up for redesign
By Walter Ang
November 22, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Architects, interior designers, conservators, and curators are invited to join "Reawakening Democracy: Aquino Museum Redesign Competition," a contest that aims to find the best design solution for the museum that will capture the impact of Benigno "Ninoy" and Corazon "Cory" Aquino on Philippine history.

The Aquino Musuem is housed in the Aquino Center located in Tarlac. It features the Aquino family's memorabilia and a chronological depiction of how the couple "re-awakened and regained the democracy that the Philippines lost during the martial law regime:" the assassination of Senator Ninoy Aquino in 1983 that led to the emergence of the People Power revolution in 1986 and the presidency of Cory Aquino.

Opportunity
Architect and University of Santo Tomas College of Architecture professor Dan Lichauco, nephew of Mrs. Aquino, developed the design c…

Theater-in-a-backpack brings Orwell to the streets

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Theater-in-a-backpack brings Orwell to the streets
By Walter Ang
November 22, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

"Imperio Animalia," despite sounding somewhat scary, is actually meant to be "an engaging and highly interactive children's play and installation art piece." It's the title of Sipat Lawin Ensemble's adaptation of George Orwell's "Animal Farm."

Orwell's allegory tells of barn animals that revolt against their human master to establish a utopia where "all animals are equal." The plot turns when the pigs start changing the rules and stealthily espouse, "but some animals are more equal than others."

SLE plans to stage its production in "nerve centers of the metro." So far, their line-up includes Market!Market! Mall (in collaboration with the "Arts in the City" program), Intramuros, UP Diliman and UP Los Banos.

In order for the group to achieve its goal of performing on the streets "for fre…

'Little Women' is Rep's 2010 holiday musical

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'Little Women' is Rep's holiday musical
By Walter Ang
November 18, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

A hundred eighty degree turn from the material it staged last year for its annual big musical, Repertory Philippines has gone from a suspense-thriller about people eating pies made from people (a sold-out run of "Sweeny Todd") to a decidedly more genteel, light comedy romance about the lives and loves of four sisters: Little Women.

This family musical, with music by Jason Howard, lyrics by Mindi Dickstein and book by Allan Knee, is based on the novel by American author Louisa May Alcott.

"This is a wonderful story that's appropriate for the holiday season," says director Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo. Yulo won the 2009 Philstage Gawad Buhay for Female Lead Perfomance in a Musical for her turn as Mrs. Lovett in Rep's "Sweeny Todd." Her most recent directing credit was for the musical "West Side Story."

"Audiences will see how the Mar…

Dance Forum marks 15th year with "Re-performing"

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Dance Forum marks 15th year with "Re-performing"
By Walter Ang
November 15, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

In celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of Dance Forum, a collaborative group of contemporary dance artists headed by Myra Beltran, a dance concert titled "Re-performing" will feature excerpts of selected choreography from her earlier works.

The concert marks Beltran's 21 years of independent contemporary dance practice. "It's also my birthday celebration," she says with a laugh.

Since Beltran's choreographic career started in 1989, she has been a moving force in shaping current contemporary dance practice in the Philippines. Notable is her push for the solo form.

She founded Dance Forum in 1995 and proceeded to pursue collaborations with artists of different disciplines such as musician Alfonso "Coke" Bolipata, Ramon Bolipata and Dr. Ramon Santos, filmmaker Carlitos Siguion-Reyna, theater director Anton Juan, visual artists …

The thrill of the (cheap) hunt: Marc Ablaza collects watches

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The Thrill of the (cheap) hunt
By Walter Ang
November-December 2010 issue
Asian Dragon Magazine


Pawnshop scion Marc Ablaza collects watches but doesn't have to dig deep into his wallet. He tells Walter Ang it's all about 
The thrill of the (cheap) hunt

When people find out that Marc Ablaza has a collection of Seiko, Citizen and Casio G-Shock wristwatches, the first question they always ask is "Why not Swiss watches?"

While he doesn't dismiss the pleasure most collectors derive from owning classic Swiss timepieces, he also points out that these are the pieces that most collectors deal with, and most of them are just in it for the resale value. "I want to be different," he says. "I'm in it for the fun of it!"

Like a kid with his stacks of gaming cards, Ablaza has an earnest gleam in his eye when he talks about his collection. Scion to the Ablaza chain of pawnshops, Marc grew up surrounded by plastic bags filled with Rolexes and an assortment of…

REVIEW: Campus productions tackle cruel nature of life, memory, death

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Campus productions tackle cruel nature of life, memory, death
By Walter Ang
October 25, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

In our world of sensory overload through various mediums, desensitization to real life is a constant threat, if not result. Last month, the University of the Philippines' College of Arts and Letters put up three productions whose different materials and staging methods provided meditations on this implication while commemorating International Day of the Disappeared.

The college's Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas staged a twinbill of Palanca Hall of Fame awardee Reuel Aguila's works: "Alimuom / Walang Maliw," directed by Chris Millado and its Dept. of English and Comparative Literature staged Argentine playwright Griselda Gambaro's "Information for Foreigners," directed by Anton Juan. Its Dept. of Speech Communications and Theater Arts, through Dulaang UP, staged Floy Quintos' "Shock Value," directed by…

Asian American playwrights lend support to their Filipino counterparts

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Asian American playwrights lend support to their Filipino counterparts
By Walter Ang
October 18, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Tony Award winning playwright David Henry Hwang noted the importance of supporting local playwrights as part of efforts to establish Philippine theater in the global arena.

"[The Philippines] has a unique, beautiful and complicated identity that needs to be shared with the world," he said at a reception at the Ayala Museum hosted by the Asia Society Philippine Foundation in cooperation with the Lark Play Development Center.

Hwang's most famous work is the play "M. Butterfly," which has been staged in the Philippines several times by theater groups such as Dulaang UP and Repertory Philippines. His "Golden Child" has also been staged by Tanghalang Pilipino.

Hwang co-wrote the libretto for the Disney musical "Aida" and wrote the libretti for the Disney musical "Tarzan" and an updated version of the Rodgers and…

'Dolce Italia!' launched

'Dolce Italia!' launched
Text and photos by Walter Ang
October 18, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Italian ambassador Luca Fornari and his wife Silvana opened this year's Italian Festival 2010 at a reception held at Italian furniture retailer Furnitalia's showroom in Bonifacio Global City.

Fornari gave a few inspiring words, highlighting that the festival is indeed the perfect time to celebrate the continuing partnership between Italy and the Philippines.

Organized annually by the Italian Trade Commission, this year's theme is "Dolce Italia," aiming "to promote fine Italian living through a series of interesting events that mix art with technology, design with function, and tradition with development."

Hosting the launch were Furnitalia managing director Florence Ko and Italian Trade Commission senior trade officer Lyndon Villanueva. Noted personalities from the social, business and diplomatic circles were treated to a red, white and green celebra…

REVIEW: American Hwangap -- charming, funny and fuzzy

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American Hwangap -- charming, funny and fuzzy
By Walter Ang
October 14, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Distance is a recurring theme in Korean American Lloyd Suh's "American Hwangap," recently staged by Tanghalang Pilipino.

Min Suk left his family in Texas for Korea fifteen years ago and has returned for his 60th birthday. David, his eldest son, is in New York City, closer to Texas than Korea, but refuses to join the reunion. Esther, his daughter, is in the same house as he is but can't wait to leave. Ralph, the youngest son, lives in the basement but now Min Suk wants him out. Mary, the mother, is in a new place in her life, even if she's still physically in the same location.

Suh's play is charming and funny enough: the characters are endearingly quirky, the punchlines are good for laughs. But it plods along at a slow pace and fizzles at the end due to both scripting and staging.

Hwangap commemorates the completion of one full astrological cycle and is a sym…

New internet experience from Sky Broadband

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New internet experience
By Walter Ang
October 11, 2010
Philippine Daily Inquirer

Cable internet provider SkyBroadband has launched its 112mbps service, the fastest ultra high speed plan available for residential customers. Speeds of 48mbps and 24mbps are also now offered, all surpassing its high speed connections of 6mbps and 12mbps.

SkyBroadband provides internet connection using the same infrastructure used for the SkyCable cable television service. Cable lines carry more data and allow for higher bandwidths compared to DSL internet connections which use phone lines.

"With this service, we bring the Philippines to the next level, moving closer to first-world countries such as Japan," said Ray Montinola, marketing head of Sky. Japan ranked the highest in a study of 30 countries on the fastest advertised broadband speeds offered commercially and technologically. The study was conducted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.

"We are committed to el…