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Focus on the Philippines: 4th Impact release new music video

Plus: Michael Cinco designs Swarovski heiress wedding gown, while Filipino stars gear up for Miss Saigon’s UK tour.
Filipino girl group 4th Impact. Courtesy ITV
Filipino girl group 4th Impact. Courtesy ITV

Filipino girl group 4th Impact have released the music video for their debut single, the uptempo track Unleash the Diva.

The video premiered on the Filipino music network Myx to lukewarm reviews from their supporters. On social media, fans admonished Star Music, the Philippine recording company behind the single, for the video’s lacklustre production quality.

“The song is strong, and the music video is a pretty good low-budgeted visual,” wrote a review by the British entertainment website Celeb Mix. “After a long wait, we were expecting something bigger and better, but the girls totally work it to the best of their ability.”

Comprised of sisters Almira, Celina, Irene and Mylene Cercado, 4th Impact rose to fame after appearing on The X Factor UK in 2015, finishing in fifth place in the reality singing competition. The group’s audition performance of the hit track Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj has now racked up over 83 million views on YouTube.

Since their appearance on the programme, they have returned back to Manila, where they regularly appear on musical variety shows on television. They continue to perform in cities around the world, including a sold-out concert in Dubai back in April of 2016.

4th Impact’s next international shows are scheduled in New Zealand, Melbourne and Sydney from August 18 to 20.

Michael Cinco designs Swarovski heiress wedding gown

Dubai-based Filipino couturier Michael Cinco created the gown worn by Victoria Swarovski to her wedding earlier this week.

The 23-year-old Austrian singer and heir to the Swarovski crystal empire, married property investor Werner Mürz in Trieste, Italy over the weekend.

I said YES to the love of my life! ❤️❤️❤️

A post shared by Victoria Swarovski (@victoriaswarovski) on

Cinco embellished the wedding gown, which featured a six-metre train and weighed in at 46kg, with 500,000 Swarovski crystals. The Telegraph reported that the gown cost £700,000 (Dh3,258,000).

Cinco also designed a red, beaded dress that Swarovski wore to her wedding’s reception party.

In a post on social media earlier this month, Cinco shared a video from Swarovski’s dress fitting, though he did not specify if it took place in Dubai.

He wrote: “Fitting with the super charming and gorgeous singer Victoria Swarovski in a couture Michael Cinco crystallised red high-low gown. She was so happy and ecstatic that she keeps on dancing with the dress.”

At last month’s Cannes Film Festival, Cinco designed the blue, embroidered gown worn by Bollywood superstar Aishwarya Rai Bachchan on the red carpet — a dress Vogue India called “one of the biggest, most dramatic looks we saw on the red carpet this year”.

Filipino stars gear up for Miss Saigon’s UK tour

Rehearsals for the forthcoming UK tour of the musical Miss Saigon started this week in London. In a video posted on Miss Saigon’s official social media pages, Filipino actors Gerald Santos, Joreen Bautista and Red Concepcion were featured alongside the show’s creators and new cast.

Seventeen-year-old newcomer Bautista has been cast as an alternate for the lead role of Kim, while Concepcion will play The Engineer. Santos, a recording artist in Manila and previous winner of the reality talent programme Pinoy Pop Superstar, will take on the character of Thuy.

“Working with this award-winning creative team, it’s a dream come true,” said Concepcion, a theatre actor who auditioned for the show in Manila. “Sometimes I find myself just sitting in the corner and thinking, ‘I can’t believe that I’m here.’ But everybody’s been so lovely and I’m learning so much.”

Two more Filipinos, Ela Lisondra and Christian Rey Marbella, have also been selected to join the ensemble cast of Miss Saigon’s UK tour, which kicks off in Leicester on July 3 and will run until September 2018.

Created by Claude-Michel Schonberg and Alain Boublil, Miss Saigon is based on Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly and tells the story of a romance between a Vietnamese bar girl and an American army officer in the 1970s during the Vietnam War.

Miss Saigon debuted in London’s West End in 1989, starring Filipino actress Lea Salonga, then 18 years old, as Kim. The musical is currently showing on Broadway in New York, headlined by Filipino actors Eva Noblezada (as Kim), Jon Jon Briones (The Engineer), Rachelle Ann Go (Gigi), Devin Ilaw (Thuy), and Lianah Sta. Ana (Kim alternate).


Updated: June 22, 2017 04:00 AM