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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 16 December 2018

Focus on the Philippines: Filipinos make waves on The Voice of Spain

Plus: Crazy Rich Asians film gets August 2018 release date, while two Filipino teenagers honoured by Time magazine

Liam Cloud. Courtesy Telecinco
Liam Cloud. Courtesy Telecinco

Two contestants born and raised in the Philippines are featured in the current season of the reality singing programme La Voz (The Voice of Spain).

Singer and guitarist Liam Cloud auditioned with a cover of the track If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys. The 23-year-old turned the chairs of the entire judging panel, comprised of Pablo López, Juanes, Malú and Manuel Carrasco.

The four judges then scrambled to convince him to join their respective teams, with Cloud eventually going with López, a pop-rock singer.

Cloud has now advanced to the show’s battle rounds, where the remaining contestants will compete in pairs.

Another Filipino contestant featured on the show was Mariz Molina, an 18-year-old singer who performed Celine Dion’s It’s All Coming Back to Me Now. Malú, a popular flamenco singer in Spain, turned her chair during the final seconds of Molina’s performance.

It was a reunion for the two women: Malú coached Molina when the latter joined The Voice Kids of Spain back in 2013.

Molina told ABS-CBN News, “I’m really so happy to get in the auditions because I wasn't really expecting to qualify out of the 15,000 applicants for the show. Just the fact that I got in is already a great privilege and a really great honour because I am here to represent Filipino talent.”

Molina, however, lost to contestant Samuel Cuenda during their battle round, where they covered the hit song Cheap Thrills by Sia (featuring Sean Paul). While Malú praised Molina’s powerful vocals, she selected Cuenda to advance in the competition.

This is the fifth season of The Voice of Spain. The series, presented by Jesus Vazquez, airs on the Spanish network Telecinco.

Crazy Rich Asians gets August 2018 release date

Warner Bros has announced that one of its latest features, Crazy Rich Asians, is scheduled for a worldwide release on August 17, 2018. Directed by Jon Chu (Step Up 3D, GI Joe: Retaliation), the comedy is based on Kevin Kwan’s 2013 novel about a clan of wealthy Singaporeans.

The film features a star-studded ensemble of Asian actors from around the world, including Constance Wu (Fresh Off the Boat), Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Gemma Chan (Humans), Harry Shum Jr (Glee), Ken Jeong (The Hangover) and Filipino actors Nico Santos (Superstore) and Kris Aquino.

Earlier this year, Chu announced on social media that his film will feature “amazing Asian actors cast in every single role. It’s time”.

Aquino, one of the most popular stars in Philippine showbiz, flew to Singapore last June to film her scenes for the movie. Her costumes for the movie were created by the Filipino designers Michael Leyva and Michael Cinco, the Dubai-based couturier.

“Thank you THE Michael Cinco for making me gowns truly befitting a ‘princess’,” Aquino posted on social media, hinting about her role in the movie.

Aquino is dubbed the “Queen of All Media” in her country, having appeared in multiple film, television and advertising projects since 1990. She is the daughter of the late President Corazon Aquino and Senator Ninoy Aquino, and the sister of President Noynoy Aquino, who led the country from 2010 until 2016.

Filipino teenagers honoured by Time magazine

Two Filipinos have been included in Time Magazine’s list of the 30 Most Influential Teens of 2017.

Shibby de Guzman, a 14-year-old student in Manila, was cited for her courage in protesting against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s drug war and the burial of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos’s remains in the country’s Heroes’ Cemetery.

De Guzman told Time: “It’s so important that [young people] know their own rights and when authorities abuse them. There are values that aren’t up for debate.”

Also featured on the list is Bretman Rock, a social media star known for his humorous YouTube videos. Rock, who is based in Hawaii with his family, hosted this year’s red carpet coverage for the Miss Universe pageant, which was held in Manila.

Rock, 19, boasts of nearly nine million followers on Instagram.

Time’s annual list includes 13-year-old Stranger Things actress Millie Bobby Brown, Chinese singer Wang Yuan, 16-year-old Rayouf Alhumedhi, who proposed Apple’s new emoji with a headscarf, and 19-year-old Muzoon Almellehan, who in June became Unicef’s youngest ever goodwill ambassador.

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Read more:

Focus on the Philippines: Alisah Bonaobra returns to X Factor UK as wildcard

Focus on the Philippines: Jessica Sanchez takes knee at NFL game

Focus on the Philippines: Rapping Filipino grandma draws cheers on Asia’s Got Talent

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