Highlights and Lowlights of the 87th Oscars


At 3 hours and 43 minutes, it was the longest Oscar telecast we’ve seen within the last five years. The 2011 ceremony seemed longer, but that was only because the Franco and Hathaway were a drag. I’d rather not join the public pillorying of Neil Patrick Harris because I still found him entertaining, even if some of his jokes fell flat. Besides, hosting the Oscars is one of Hollywood’s most thankless, most brutally-scrutinized gigs. It can either showcase the talent, or at the extreme, readily expose the flaws of even the most seasoned entertainers. In NPH’s case, his strength is being inherently funny; his weakness is not knowing when to stop (case in point: that prediction box gag took forever). At the end of the day, he knew how to put up a show.

It’s also a bittersweet surprise that Birdman (my personal favorite) won over Boyhood (the oddsmakers’ pick) for Best Picture. Weeks before the ceremony, the momentum seemingly belonged to Richard Linklater‘s coming-of-age saga – if even by just a tiny margin. Shockingly, Boyhood won only one award, versus Birdman‘s four. My over-analysis: the voters probably got over the fact that Boyhood was filmed over 12 years and started seeing it as just another coming-of-age film. This probably made Alejandro G. Iñárritu‘s achievements feel fresher by comparison, hence the shift. I’m filing this under “sweet upset”.

Here’s the full list of winners (from Oscar’s official site).

And here are my thoughts on the telecast:

Continue reading Highlights and Lowlights of the 87th Oscars

My 2015 Oscar Picks


Oscars Season is upon us once again, and I’m glad I was able to binge-watch all eight Best Picture nominees (and then some) before the big day – something I wasn’t able to do last year. Without further ado, here’s how I hope tomorrow’s ceremonies will transpire. My picks are listed in bold italic.

Continue reading My 2015 Oscar Picks

First Work Day of the Year

The fanfare surrounding the new year has now diminished, so it’s back to regular programming for us in the workforce. Here are a few snippets from our first work day of 2015 (which also happens to be a Monday):

This early morning exchange with Digital5‘s Chay Garces: 

10398674_10152691400856871_4357149770811326697_n 2

The Mancom paying us a surprise visit during our first meeting: 


(And in case you’re wondering what Atty. Dan is staring at…) 

Evidence of Holiday hangover. What’s left of it, that is. 



Whereabouts for the next couple of days (or so)

Hello again, Puerto Princesa!

It’s very fitting that my eldest paternal first cousin Paolo chose to celebrate his 40th birthday here in our Lolo’s hometown. I never got to meet my paternal grandfather (he died before I was born; same as my maternal grandfather), but from the stories I heard, well, let’s just say he led quite a prominent life here – even if he wasn’t necessarily Palaweño in origin. Consequently, this is also where my father and his siblings spent some of their formative years.

As for me, this marks my second visit to the island since 2003. I didn’t really get to see much back then, since I was only saling kitkit in my mom’s environmental trip. This visit, however, should be quite eventful, not really for me, but for some of my visiting relatives from California and Perth, who haven’t seen this country in decades.

And it looks like Paolo planned quite an itinerary. We’re going on city tour in a couple of hours. So, later!

The Cosmo Hunk Formerly Known as Gerard Sison

"That's Mr. Garcia to you": Gerard Garcia (Formerly known as Gerard Sison) all set to make his debut Cosmo Bachelor Bash appearance
Gerard Garcia (Formerly known as Gerard Sison) is ready for his debut Cosmo Bachelor Bash appearance

We got to know him as Gerard Sison, the Australian-raised model-surfer who played shady suitor Miguel Asuncion in JasMine the Series. Now, the Kapatid hunk is ready to conquer the scene anew with a bolder attitude and a brand new moniker. Introducing: Gerard Garcia!

His rebirth (so he calls it) couldn’t come in more proper timing: The 25-year-old TV5 contract artist was selected to grace the pages of Cosmopolitan Philippines69 Hottest Bachelors 2014 insert as one of the Top 10 Centerfolds. As per tradition, he is slated to make his Cosmo Bachelor Bash debut in the corporate-themed “Cosmo Tower 69” fashion show this September 24 in World Trade Center, Pasay City. There, he will be joining co-Centerfolds Paulo Avelino, Geoff Eigenmann, James Reid, Pancho Magno, Joseph Marco, Benjamin Alves, Daniel Velasco, Diego Furoni, and Chris Banchero.

At the press conference held last September 9 in Luxent Hotel, Quezon City, Gerard couldn’t hide his elation. “It’s a dream come true. It’s such an honor to be part of this magazine. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time”, he said to News5’s MJ Marfori during his side interview. Throughout the round of questions, he showed no qualms in showcasing his playful attitude. He then took a serious turn when asked about what he wants to get out of his Bash appearance in terms of career. To which, he shared one of his lifelong goals: “My dream is always to be a movie star, not just movies for the sake of doing movies but to have choice in what I want to do, so I’m working towards that. That’s all I want.”

Valeen the Movie Max Vixen


TV5 has added a fresh face to liven up your daily movie-viewing experience. Introducing: VJ Valeen Montenegro! The spunky Tropa Moko Unli mainstay has been selected as the official video jock (or VJ) of the Kapatid Network’s rebranded Tagalized movie block, Movie Max 5. You can now see her every day sharing fun facts and perky commentary before and after each featured blockbuster.

Being a movie fan herself, Valeen shared her own diverse preferences: “I like comedy and chick flicks; mga no-brainers. Pero I have days na I wanna think (laughs). Gusto ko rin iyong tipong after the movie, [sasabihin ko sa mga kasama ko na ] let’s talk about the movie”. With a cinematic taste as eclectic as her own personality, it’s no surprise how her new role fits her like a glove.

During her first taping day held last June 19 in Studio C, TV5 Novaliches, the 24-year-old spoke candidly about the experience: “Well of course, I am excited. Kasi parang in front of the mirror pa lang, gusto ko iyong ini-imagine ko iyong sarili ko [as a VJ]; parang ginagaya ko iyong mga nasa HBO. Parang relaxed lang sila, pero nakikinig iyong mga audience sa mga kung anong gusto nilang sabihin”.

 Valeen revealed that her gig is no easy task. A shoot would require her to finish a week’s worth of spiels, which entails talking to an imaginary audience for 12 hours.“It’s hard enough for you to be talking to yourself, tapos ico-converse mo pa iyong imaginary na tao. Tapos sinasagot mo iyong sarili mo”, she described. When asked how she gets the job done, Valeen humorously quipped: “It’s the baliw-ness in me. I’ve accepted that”, she said while laughing.

As the discourse continued, Valeen offered her take on Tagalog-dubbed foreign movies: “I love it. It’s a way of TV5 reaching out to the masses. It’s also a way of educating them [in the English language] little by little. Kung nagustuhan nila iyong movie in Tagalog, puwede nilang panoorin in English so they can understand it more. Mas matututo silang mag-English.”

Finally, Valeen fondly described working with segment director Mac Alejandre as a motivational experience. “Alam niya na gusto ng mga artista na ini-inspire sila and, speaking for myself, gusto ko iyon. Somehow, it pressures me; it triggers something in my brain to do more and he believes in me. Kailangan ko gawin. He’s very inspiring to work with especially with how he speaks. I enjoy his anecdotes a lot.” One of the important lessons inculcated to her by Direk Mac is to treat every role, regardless of nature and magnitude, as a major break: “[He told me, here,] I’m not just a VJ, I have to own it. That really inspired me to own this segment”, she said.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.