x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 19 February 2018

Focus on the Philippines: Dubai to host Filipino music festival

Plus: Torete tops Billboard charts; all-star cast to headline Filipino version of Ocean’s Eleven; Miss Saigon’s Filipino leads come together on Broadway; Filipino films screen in Dhaka and Oporto

Moonstar88. Courtesy Coke Studio Philippines
Moonstar88. Courtesy Coke Studio Philippines

TagFest, a Filipino music festival, will be held at the Dubai World Trade Centre on March 16. Headlining the event are punk group Kamikazee and pop rock bands Moonstar88 and 6cyclemind. The alternative rock band Teeth will also appear at the festival for a special reunion performance.

This is the second edition of TagFest, following last year’s event which featured Parokya ni Edgar, Gloc-9, Sandwich, Ebe Dancel and Marion Aunor.

“We are happy to present the second edition of TagFest,” said Girish Bhat of Done Events, the festival’s organisers. “We are confident that it will be another huge success.”’

Tickets are available at Virgin Megastores across the UAE and at http://tickets.virginmegastore.me. Ticket prices are Dh149 (regular), Dh199 (golden circle) and Dh499 (VIP). Doors open at 4pm.

Torete tops Billboard charts

Speaking of Moonstar88, the Filipino band’s 18-year-old pop ballad Torete currently occupies the top spot of the Billboard Philippines Catalog Chart, a category for songs that are at least three years old.

Torete is a single from Moonstar88’s debut album Popcorn, which was released back in 2000. The song has remained popular with listeners throughout the years, most recently covered by singer Moira dela Torre for the soundtrack of last year’s blockbuster romantic comedy Love You to the Stars and Back.

Moonstar88 also recently released a special edition Torete t-shirt in celebration of the song’s 18th anniversary.

Explaining the enduring quality of Torete to the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the band’s lead singer Maysh Baay said: “The formula of the lyrics is honest, organic. The chords and arrangement are simple. And most of us can relate and has experienced the story of the song.”

Formed in 1999, the band comprises of Baay (vocals), Buddy Zabala (bass), Bon Sundiang (drums) and Herbert Hernandez (guitars).

All-star cast to headline Filipino version of Ocean’s Eleven

Filipino actor and director Albert Martinez announced he is developing a local version of the Hollywood film franchise Ocean’s Trilogy.

Martinez said the action thriller will feature several of the most popular actors in the Philippines during the 1980s, along with the current stars of the industry. “It’s like 1980s Brat Pack meets millennial stars,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The all-star cast includes Sharon Cuneta, Gabby Concepcion, Richard Gomez, Aga Muhlach and William Martinez. The film will be shot at two primary locations: the Southern Philippine province of Cagayan de Oro and Moscow, Russia.

Younger actors Coco Martin, Paulo Avelino, Piolo Pascual and Arjo Atayde are also being considered for the project.

The Ocean’s Trilogy is a series of comedy heist films released from 2001 to 2007. Directed by Steven Soderbergh, the trilogy featured the A-list ensemble of George Clooney, Matt Damon, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Bernie Mac, Don Cheadle and Andy Garcia. Ocean’s 8, a spin-off starring an all-female cast, will be released this summer.

Miss Saigon’s Filipino leads come together on Broadway

Three Filipino actresses who have played the leading role of Kim on the Broadway musical Miss Saigon recently came together in New York. Lea Salonga, Eva Noblezada and Lianna Sta Ana all posed for a group photograph, which was taken backstage at the Broadway theatre of Once on This Island, the musical that Salonga is currently headlining. She plays the role of Erzulie the Goddess of Love.

A post shared by Lea Salonga (@msleasalonga) on

Salonga starred as Kim during Miss Saigon’s premiere back in 1989. Noblezada and Sta Ana have played the role in recent productions on London’s West End and Broadway.

For her performance in Miss Saigon, Salonga bagged the Tony for Best Actress in 1991, becoming the first woman of Asian descent to win a Tony Award. Noblezada was nominated for the same category at the 2017 Tony Awards.

Noblezada, who is only 21 years old, is currently in talks to star in a Broadway staging of King Kong, playing the lead role of actress Ann Darrow. The musical is scheduled to begin preview performances in New York in October.

Filipino films screen in Dhaka and Oporto

Three Filipino films will screen in this week’s Dhaka International Film Festival, which will be held in Bangladesh from January 12 to 20. Sonny Calvento’s Nabubulok (The Decaying) has been selected for the Cinema of the World section, while Joseph Israel Laban’s Baconaua and Ralston Jover’s Bomba (The Bomb) are included in the Asian Film Competition.

Meanwhile, three Filipino films are also competing at the Oporto International Film Festival in Portugal, to be held from February 20 to March 4.

Veteran director Joel Lamangan’s gritty drama Bhoy Intsik has been selected for the Directors’ Week section.

Featured in the festival’s Fantasy section are two horror films: Dan Villegas’s Ilawod and Prime Cruz’s Ang Manananggal sa Unit 23B (The in Unit 23B). The manananggal is a vampire-like creature in Philippine mythology.

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