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Showing posts from November, 2010

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…