Plus: Justin Trudeau tries out Jollibee and surprises Filipino diners; Alisah Bonaobra bows out of The X Factor UK; Dark is the Night screens in international film festivals.
Focus on the Philippines: James Reid wins MTV Europe Music Award
Filipino actor and singer James Reid bagged the Best Southeast Asia Act trophy at the MTV Europe Music Awards, which was held in London on November 12.
Reid beat fellow nominees from the region, including Indonesia’s Isyana Sarasvati, Malaysia’s Faizal Tahir, Vietnam’s Dam Vinh Hung, Singapore’s The Sam Willows and two Thailand acts: Palitchoke Ayanaputra and Slot Machine.
Appearing in a pre-taped video to accept his award (posted on MTV Asia’s website), Reid said: “It is such an honour to be representing the Philippines. And with this recognition, I will keep on making music and bring the Philippines to the world stage.
“I really think it’s a good opportunity to gain recognition around the world, especially the Philippines, because I just started my own label and I really wanna help progress local music.”
The Best Southeast Asia Act award was introduced in the EMAs back in 2013. Filipino pop superstar Sarah Geronimo won the prize in 2014, while Reid was nominated for the same category in 2015.
The 24-year-old recently released his third studio album, titled Palm Dreams (Viva Records), which features nine songs that Reid wrote and produced, including lead single Cool Down.
Aside from his music career, Reid is also one of the most popular film and television actors in the Philippines. He recently wrapped up the television series Till I Met You and is currently shooting for a new film adaptation of Pedro Penduko, a popular Filipino comic book character.
Justin Trudeau tries out Jollibee, surprises Filipino diners
Hours after arriving in the Philippines for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit on Sunday afternoon, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Likhaan, a women’s health advocacy centre in Manila. Then he headed to a branch of the Filipino fast food chain Jollibee, where he gamely posed for photographs with surprised staff and diners. Jollibee posted images from Trudeau’s visit on their social media accounts.
Trudeau ordered a serving of Jollibee’s fried chicken and a strawberry float, then hopped from one table to the next to chat with diners and pose for selfies, according to a report from Reuters.
“Can I get it to go? I’ll eat it in the car,” Trudeau told the cashier.
Trudeau visited the first Jollibee store in Winnipeg, Canada in January, a country with hundreds of thousands of Filipino immigrants.
Alisah Bonaobra bows out of The X Factor UK
Filipino contestant Alisah Bonaobra was eliminated from The X Factor UK last weekend after placing last in an audience vote. For her final performance on the reality singing programme, Bonaobra covered George Michael’s Praying for Time, receiving a standing ovation from judges Sharon Osbourne and Nicole Scherzinger.
Bonaobra finished in eleventh place overall in the competition.
“I never thought I’d go this far, and I can’t believe I just did it. Thank you very much for all your support,” she said.
The 22-year-old was previously eliminated in an earlier round called “judges’ houses”, but returned as a wild card contestant on the live shows.
Bonaobra flew to London last summer to audition for The X Factor UK, which now welcomes contestants from around the world. She previously appeared on The Voice of the Philippines in 2015, finishing as the runner-up of the competition.
Dark is the Night screens in international film festivals
After premièring at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, Filipino director Adolfo Alix Jr’s new feature film Madilim ang Gabi (Dark is the Night) is heading to film festivals in Japan and Poland.
Dark is the Night, Alix Jr’s 30th film, tells the story of a couple caught in the crossfire of president Rodrigo Duterte’s extrajudicial war on drugs when their son goes missing. The film stars an ensemble of veteran Filipino actors led by Gina Alajar, Phillip Salvador, Anita Linda, Elizabeth Oropesa, Cherry Pie Picache and Angel Aquino.
Dark is the Night will screen at this week’s Five Flavours Film Festival in Warsaw, Poland, which runs until November 22, then head to compete at the Tokyo Filmex in Japan from November 18 to 26. Alix Jr will also serve as a member of the jury at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, to be held in Brisbane, Australia on November 23.