Battle of the Arenas

My online browsing last night turned into two hours of searching and re-searching when I decided to look up the currently ongoing construction for SM Arena at Mall of Asia. The discussions led me to INC’s (Iglesia ni Cristo) latest project: Philippine Arena. After which, I stumbled upon plans to renovate Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Why am I writing about it? Take a look at these:


SM BAY CITY ARENA Mall of Asia, Pasay City (est. completion: April 2012)


PHILIPPINE ARENA Ciudad de Victoria, Bocaue, Bulacan (est. completion: 2014)


SMART ARANETA COLISEUM Araneta Center, Cubao, QC (est. completion: 2012)

All I can think of seeing these architectural renders is… Wow.

I’m all for providing Filipinos the proper world-class venues for sports events, concerts and so much more. For the longest time, it’s only either Araneta Coliseum or Philsports Arena… both aging, both dated. Now, new structures are taking shape; and renovations are being initiated. We’re thinking bigger and better… especially Philippine Arena, which will have a 50,000 seating capacity! WOW.

Right now, it’s still mostly talk and anticipation. We all have no choice but to wait and see what the finished product would look like. I remember walking into Marina Bay Sands (Singapore) and just marveling at the structure and design. I hope to get that feeling when I finally see these completed. Hopefully, they will be iconic and memorable… landmarks of Philippine lifestyle and entertainment. I can’t wait to sit in these arenas as a dot in a crowd and take part in a concert… or witness a game… maybe even do a shoot! It’s going to be totally AWESOME.

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Congratulations Shamcey!

We came so close to the crown once again.

Our bet for this year’s Miss Universe Shamcey Supsup made it to the Top 5 and won Third Runner-Up… one place higher than last year’s Bb. Pilipinas – Universe Venus Raj. Way to go Philippines!

Bb. Pilipinas – Universe 2011 and Miss Universe 2011 3rd Runner-Up Shamcey Supsup

So close… grabe! Still, she deserved a much higher place in my opinion. Her answer in the Q&A was good, one of the hosts said it herself. Miss Universe 2011 Leila Lopes of Angola got a pretty easy question (care of Ms. Lea Salonga). However, I couldn’t deny that she’s beautiful. It was still a well-deserved win.

Anyway, the best thing about this is that next year, even more Pinays with beauty and brains will join the pageant. What has long been an event that only the “judings” (read: gays) tune in to has been revived… much like the nineties when the pageant itself was held here. Ano? Panalo na tayo next year? The pressure is on!

“GOAL”

I’m proud to present the latest commercial I was part of. It took two weeks to put together from pre-production to post production, with a couple of weeks back and forth revisions before this finish product. I prefer not to get into the details of that long exchange. I’m just happy we’re airing! Here are the Azkals Aly, Chieffy, Anton, Angel and Nate with Sam Pinto for the new Smart Netphone.

It’s directed by Franco Marinelli, with director of photography Massimo Hanozet and production designer Adelina Leung. Production house: Straight Shooters Media, Inc. Post house: Optima Digital.

It was shot for two days: One day in A-Venue Hall Makati which served as a studio and one day in Quirino Grandstand. I’ll share some behind the scenes photos once I’ve organized them. But for now, what can I say? The whole thing utilized some wonderful tricks here and there, all coming together with the help of a wonderful photo of a beautiful sky… That’s all I can say. You’ll see what I mean if and when I get around to sharing those photos.

The project posed a couple of challenges:
(1) Weather. It was early August. Weather was unpredictable. It was stormy the week before shoot; and so we can’t be sure of shooting all the scenes outdoors.
(2) Celebrities. All Azkals players were only available for one-day shoots. Sam Pinto was only available for one day as well. The list of shots had to be planned well in order to get the footage we need given these conditions.
(3) Extras! Four hundred (400) of them to be exact. This is not the most extras I’ve encountered (record is 500 extras); but we rarely get shoots with this many people involved. This was still a bit of a challenge.

Anyway, with the right tools for organization and the right people on the job, I’m happy to report that the shoot ran fairly smoothly. Being blessed with beautiful weather during our location shoot was just the icing on the cake. I couldn’t believe how sunny it was given that just a few days before, it was practically stormy in Metro Manila. It was also raining hard during our studio (indoor) shoot the day before. We were really lucky that day, so lucky that right after the director declared that it’s a wrap, heavy rain poured. Talk about right timing!

I’m really happy with the final output; and here’s hoping that this product becomes a hit!

UPDATE! Behind the scenes photos are up.

Shopping Diary #1

I love to shop… and not just for clothes. Books, shoes, gadgets, bags, DVDs… I purchase all sorts of things. So I thought it would be great to share and write about some of the things I buy from time to time. Today, I went on a quick trip to my favorite mall (Robinson’s Place Manila) after lunch. So for the inaugural blog entry of Shopping Diary, here’s what I bought:

DATA BLITZ
The Sims 3 Deluxe & The Sims 3 High-End Loft Stuff
Php1,795 / Php695

Because I missed playing Sims since I started The Sims Social on Facebook, I’ve decided to buy an original copy of The Sims 3 over two years after it was launched. Pathetic? Maybe. I don’t care.

I just finished installing the game, the expansion pack and the add-ons. I can’t wait to play it. I just have to keep myself in check; because I might lose track of time once I get drowned in the world of Sims yet again.

MANGO
pockets shirt in lichen (green)
Php1,495


Mango pockets shirt in planita; (inset) discreet cardigan-like stretch material

I would like to rave about this shirt. It’s a brilliant, BRILLIANT design.

It’s never been easy for me to buy shirts with buttons. They usually “almost” fit me fine; but I always run into the same problem so I end up not buying it. Don’t get what I mean? Read on. What makes this shirt design different is thanks to a certain feature on this particular top (see inset above). With it, the shirt fits me perfectly and I’m able to close the shirt up no problem (if you get my drift). Thank you Mango!

I love it so much, I’m planning to buy the other colors next time I pass by the store.

ASTROVISION
The 40-Year Old Virgin
Php299

I remember liking and enjoying this movie. I watched a poor copy years ago and never got around to watching it again. I simply wish to revisit it.

That’s about it for today. It was a quick shopping trip with some good buys. Until the next one…

My Fall TV Calendar

It’s that time of the year again… New shows, old shows. Good TV, bad TV. It’s all coming back.

I just bought the Fall TV Preview issue of Entertainment Weekly, an annual special that I never failed to purchase since 2003.


EW Fall TV Preview 2011

Unlike previous years, I haven’t been as invested in keeping track of the hottest new shows; so I’m completely clueless as to which shows are worth checking out and which ones may get canceled after only a few episodes. This is why I’m relying heavily on this issue to guide me in the right direction.

I’ve skimmed. I’ve scanned. I’ve picked. This is a rundown of the shows I’m going to watch, the shows I’m returning to and maybe a short explanation why I’m tuning in:
[*new show]   [**need to catch up]

September 13
Ringer* The CW – Sarah Michelle Gellar playing twins.

September 14
Up All Night* NBC – Maya Rudolph. Will Arnett. Christina Applegate. That is all.

September 15
The Vampire Diaries** The CW
The Secret Circle* The CW – It’s Lux (from Life Unexpected) as a witch. It’s from Vampire Diaries’ Kevin Williamson. This may potentially be Charmed for teenagers.

September 19
How I Met Your Mother CBS
The Sing-Off NBC – After an addictive and satisfying second season, 16 groups will battle it out for acapella supremacy. If the groups are better this year, this is gonna be a hell of a competition!
2 Broke Girls* CBS – Kat Dennings is on TV!

September 20
Glee Fox – The second season was a bit of a mess; but I’m still watching for the music.
New Girl* Fox – Zoey Deschanel is on TV!
Raising Hope Fox

September 21
The Middle ABC
Modern Family ABC

September 22
The Big Bang Theory CBS – What comes next after that twisted finale where Penny and Raj hook up? What now?!
Community NBC – I simply miss the gang.
Grey’s Anatomy ABC
The Mentalist CBS – Patrick Jane is in jail. I wonder where they’re going with this.

September 23
Nikita The CW – So much stuff happened in the first season. I’m really looking forward to see where they’re going this year.
Fringe** Fox

September 25
Desperate Housewives ABC
The Good Wife CBS – My current number one favorite drama. I gotta see what happens next!
Pan Am* ABC – Cristina Ricci is on TV!

September 26
Gossip Girl The CW
Terra Nova* Fox – Dinosaurs. ‘Nuf said.

September 28
Suburgatory* ABC
Happy Endings ABC – I got hooked on this show after season one was shown on ABC. It’s charming. It’s funny. It’s got the potential to be close to my all-time favorite Friends.

October 2
Dexter** Showtime

October 5
American Horror Story* FX – Connie Britton!!!

October 16
The Walking Dead AMC – More zombie action!

October 21
Chuck NBC – It’s the final season. I cannot miss it.

November 23
I Hate My Teenage Daughter* Fox – It’s about two mothers who weren’t particularly popular in high school… but somehow spawned teenage queen bees. I hope it’s got the wit and heart of Mean Girls.

Waiting List
These are shows that are on “wait and see” status. If it lasts on TV, maybe I’ll tune in.
The Playboy Club
Person of Interest
Grimm
Once Upon A Time
The X Factor

25 Shows: Better Off Ted

Show 5 of 25: BETTER OFF TED
(2009-2010)

it’s about:
A huge and evil corporation named Veridian Dynamics… We witness its everyday inner workings through the eyes of Research & Development Head Ted Crisp, his team as well as his boss Veronica Palmer.

my earliest history with the show:
I eagerly awaited the series based on the following teaser for the show:

What can I say? It looked really smart, offbeat and funny… something different from the usual comedies. So I watched when it premiered and wasn’t disappointed. I watched the series until its untimely demise only two seasons after.

why it sticks:
I can’t declare that there’s absolutely no other show like it… But as far as my extensive viewing of various television series is concerned, there’s no other show like it. It’s unique. The humor is refreshing, bordering on flat out hilarious. This satire hits the right notes without getting too political or corny. In fact, it satirizes political correctness at some point. That’s how bold and different it is.

The cast is made up of such characters as well. You have the boss who literally has no emotions. You have the scientists who will do anything to keep Ted impressed and happy. You have the love interest slash corporate drone who hates her job and the company. Ted seems like the only normal one; but that’s mostly because of his daughter keeping him grounded.

At its core, the show is simply a hilarious take on corporate life. I may not be able to relate to them; but I do get the humor in it. Once in a while, we hear of corporations who conduct practices that go against their public image… And that’s what this series makes fun of. Veridian Dynamics itself becomes an important character in the series. Its questionable practices, funny approach to issues, and the overall corporate culture serve up some of the best comedy. The writing is sharp and clever. The cast is brilliant. The series may have been short; but Better Off Ted demonstrated what a comedy could be and how far it could go.

best memory:
Season 1, Episode 12: “Jabberwocky”

Ted moves some budget around to fulfill Linda’s (his love interest) wish of doing a “green” project for the company. After all, despite doing a corporate ad about Veridian Dynamics going “green,” they’re not actually doing it. Upon noticing the blip in the budget,Veronica started questioning what the project was. To cover it up, Ted makes up Jabberwocky followed by the line, “You don’t know about Jabberwocky?” Of course, Veronica is too proud to admit she didn’t know what Jabberwocky was.

News about Jabberwocky got bigger and bigger. No one, not even the higher ups, wants to admit not knowing what it actually is that things got out of hand. Ted finally admits to Veronica the truth when they were tasked to make a presentation about the project. What they came up with to present this project that doesn’t exist is simply brilliant. BRILLIANT. In the end, still no one knows what the hell Jabberwocky is…

The whole episode is funny. This stood out and made me love this show. If you do have a chance to catch an episode, watch this one.

The Howl and the Fussyket

This is the first and only short film I was involved in. It’s called “The Howl and the Fussyket.” This film stars a bright young actor named Gerald Pesigan, with Eugene Domingo, Dennis Padilla and Kiray Celis as co-stars.

It started as a story proposal in the last quarter of 2010 for Nestlé Philippines and their planned film anthology for mid-2011. Director Chris Martinez had in mind a “Rocky” type story set in the midst of a competitive grade school declamation contest. Thus, Aaron Lumibao’s story was born.


The Howl and the Fussyket mood board

This film has a simple story with a brilliant script. In the end, unfortunately, we had to cut certain key scenes (Note: I’m trying to see if we can get permission to release these deleted scenes.) to make up for running time. It was heartbreaking for us; but in the end, audiences still gave great feedback with this finish product.

We were fortunate enough to put together an amazing cast… A feat that was tiring, stressful and overall challenging. Organizing, producing and shooting the whole thing was another thing.

The entire film was shot in 3 days: one day in a house in Pateros, one day in Pateros Elementary School and one day in Amoranto QC Auditorium. Compared to TV commercials, a film is so much more challenging logistically, especially with a cast of actors that each have their own schedules, and a budget that is quite limited. Everything has to be planned perfectly in order to ensure a smooth running shoot. I won’t get into all the troubles we went through with this project; but just trust me when I say I don’t want to go through something like this anytime soon. Still, seeing the final product and hearing the wonderful feedback more than make up for the hardships and headaches this film gave me and my staff.

Be sure to check out the rest of the short films in the NestlePH Youtube Channel.