Sunday, March 18, 2018


Binibining Pilipinas 2018 is later today and here are my top bets on who among the 40 candidates will do well come pageant night. Each one of them are good but I have made my choices based on everything I have seen so far.

Miss Universe - Catriona Gray
Ever since the get go she is my favorite. This is her pageant to lose. She is one of the few who exudes confidence and she is really beautiful. Armed with a great catwalk and over-all presence she can sweep all aside. Add the towering height as an advantage, Catriona is also well known for her wits and great advocacy.

Miss International - Vicky Marie Rushton
One of the more consistent of this batch, Vicky is both beautiful and sexy. Despite her lacking the feistiness as the other candidates, it could also work on her favor. She is fitted to the International Crown and could possibly grab back the crown to our country.

Miss Grand International - Karen Gallman
She is my bet for the Miss International but with her age problem that could make her disqualified for the pageant, I put her in one of the pageants we have not yet won. This is a great chance for her and the Philippines and with a stunning face and a great body she can romp over competition.

Miss Intercontinental - Michelle Gumabao
Backed with a great story she could grab one of the top plums this year if not with one contestant which I see is doing better than her. Pretty and packed with a great body, she has surprised everyone as well on good she handles herself with interviews letting people see who she really is which could really do wonders with her this pageant night.

Miss Supranational - Muriel Orais
Muriel was one of the first ladies that caught my attention during the screenings. She is one that can make the front-runners' lives difficult. With a great charisma and a wonderful personality to boot, she is one that gets noticed easily. She has to work her consistency and she can go far. She is built on the mold of the Supranational pageant - simple, beautiful and can draw audiences.

Miss Globe - Sigrid Grace Flores
She is one of the dark horses for some pageant analyst lists. But for me she deserve a crown. She did pretty well to the build up before pageant night and with her infectious smile adding to her beautiful face, she can win over hearts of people. Although Miss Globe does not have Q&A, her great communication skills pre-pageant times can favor her.

These two runner-ups can sneak into one of the titles but for me I think they will settle for runner-up positions. They have great performances along the way but does not create much buzz among fans and is somehow lacking with charisma and charm. If they perform exceptionally well on pageant night, I would not be surprised if they and a crown.
First Runner-Up: Maria Andrea Abesamis
Second Runner-Up: Wynonah Buot

Top 16
Sandra Lemonon
Kayesha Chua
Agatha Romero
Juliana Kapuendl
Ana Patricia Asturias
Samantha Bernardo
Jehza Huelar
Ena Velasco

Sunday, February 4, 2018


Hollywood movies were on a roll in 2017 with critical successes and box-office triumphs. Movies from all genres made headlines - horror, super hero, comedy, drama, animated and everything else in between.

1. Call Me By Your Name
Through the years, we have been regularly treated to great films dealing with LGBT themes and in 2017 a gem came out of nowhere. This coming of age drama is well received by critics and viewers alike. The chemistry and acting of both Armie Hammer and Timothee Chalamet just adds up to the over-all greatness of this film. Prepare to fall in love and be happy despite one being diverse and unique. A true masterpiece.

2. A Cure For Wellness
Master director Gore Verbinski is known for films that offer grit and uniqueness. With A Cure for Wellness, he was able to masterfully create a psychological thriller that touches human emotions. With a surreal visual style, this film stood out to be one of the great movies of 2017.

3. Logan
A fitting farewell to one of the most beloved X-Men character. With Hugh Jackman clearly saying this is his swan song in playing the role of Wolverine/Logan, we are treated to a more adult and serious side of its characters. The relationships built by the heroes is carefully woven to elicit emotions with every single detail. Logan was a tearjerker but a very well deserved movie for Wolverine. For a superhero movie, this one has got the most heart.

4. Get Out
Horror films are normally a hit or miss. But this Jordan Peele film struck gold as it sent shivers to audiences and instantly became one of the best horror movies of all time. Daniel Kaluuya's acting chops is very fitting to the role that you can really feel the fear in his eyes. It's not actually the surprises that brings out the fear but the absence of surprise instead.

5. Wonder Woman
Truly ground breaking. Before this film the intended DCEU movies were all missing marks. Wonder Woman changed everything. With a seamless screenplay, wonderful cinematography and powerful directing from Patty Jenkins. we are immersed into the world of the Amazons as we are treated to the first solo female super hero and with great success. Gal Gadot is a natural fit to the role and for sure this was one of the must watch from 2017.

6. It
Based from novel by master horror writer Stephen King, the 2017 reimagining of "It" was a surprise hit. Bill Skarsgaard portrays the role of the clown who elicits more fear than laughs. Every scene sends super heart beats to everyone's hearts. After watching the film, no one could argue that they had difficulty sleeping - much more reminiscing scenes in the sewers, the red balloon and the face of It himself.

7. Wonder
This 2017 drama deals with the story of a child with mandibulofacial dysostosis. Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson were great in this film but it was Jacob Tremblay who played the child with the facial deformity that really shined its way to everyone's hearts. The film let us believe that in our own uniqueness, love and care could still exist. It is the purest of intentions that make the heart a wonder.

8. Thor: Ragnarok
Finally the Marvel Cinematic Universe did justice to the God of Thunder Thos. This third installment to the Thor trilogy was a breath of fresh air. The cinematography and color grading was more inspired and the story telling became less rigid - more fun and more laughter. We all know that Chris Hemsworth is great as Thor but the supporting cast here was superb from the evil Hela played by Cate Blanchett, Valkyrie played by Thessa Thompson and Jeff Goldblum's comedic run as the Grandmaster. The story makes us appreciate Thor more and it was great addition to the MCU.

9. Dunkirk
Great war films have been missing from the past few years and this was changed with the release of Dunkirk. Directed by master director Christopher Nolan, the film was gritty and compelling at the same time. The ensemble cast was also well portrayed and the wonderful music amps up all of the emotions. With a story told on a point of view of characters, the formula was indeed a great success from the get go.

10. Coco
Animated feature films always bring joy to audiences and Coco was no exception. This gem of a film shows the value of family and the intricacies of dealing with the past and living in the present. There are several scenes that are hilarious and all but what makes this film stand out are the scenes that make us shed a tear or two. "Remember Me" was a great song that really sums up the whole idea of the film. Truly wonderful.

11. Beauty and The Beast
Disney is on a roll. This latest reimagining and live version translation of their beloved animated classics was a rousing success both on the critical and commercial side of things. This musical triumphed in a lot of ways from the designs, visuals, music and even from the wonderful ensemble cast. And who could resist the sight of Emma Watson as Beauty/Belle?

12. The Disaster Artist
All I could say is James Franco is truly a class of his own. In this film starred and directed by James himself, we are treated to a class and tasteful attack on biographical comedies. The lines are witty and well written as this film has instantly become one of the best comedies in recent times.

13. The Beguiled
Riveting - this 2017 drama which has ensemble cast that include Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst and Elle Fanning was masterpiece from start to the end. Well crafted and well written the film has a solid direction thanks largely to director Sofia Coppola. Although not as commercially successful as expected, the film did manage to score big wins from award bodies.

14. Baby Driver
Ansel Elgort was a revelation in one of the surprise hits of 2017. This action film that focuses on the life of a young man seeking freedom was carefully woven into a masterful action caper. And we never thought that having tinnitus could be cool. Elgort played the part of the lead role quite convincingly and we are yearning for more journeys to come.

15. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
The second serving of the dysfunctional Marvel family that is Guardians of the Galaxy stayed true to its predecessor. Although not at seamless as the first one, we are immersed into the story on a more personal level. And with lovable characters like Yondu and Mantis joining the fray, the gang just became even greater. Fun in all aspects - we are continuously being treated to the wonderful cosmic world of Marvel and we ain't complaining.

Here are the rest of the great movies from 2017:

Saturday, February 3, 2018


While mainstream movie continue to chunk in huge amount of earnings in Philippine cinema, 2017 is also a big year for the indies. Not only did these films hit the mark with the critics but some of them also earned their way to box-office. Here are my top movies for 2017.

1. Kita Kita
Who would have thought that a simple love story starring an unusual couple turned out to be one of the gems of 2017. Empoy and Alessandra De Rossi impressed and made us see the beauty of true love. Kita Kita makes us realize that we love not for what we see but what we feel. Both critically and commercially successful, this film refueled the careers of both it lead stars. Kita Kita was simple and pure and that is all we need.

2. Smaller and Smaller Circles
This Raya Martin film has mystery written in the best way possible. We are treated to a brand new genre of movies and surely was compelling and superb. Nonie Buencamino and Sid Lucero were the cherries on top as they delivered exceptional performance adding to the greatness of this masterpiece.

3. 2 Cool To Be Forgotten
This coming of age drama is one of the gems of 2017. We are immersed to how a young individual fights his way to some things he have not experienced or felt. Delivered in a subtle but effective way, we see how people's desire and motives can trigger certain actions. Khalil Ramos did a breakthrough performance that is worth every applause.

4. Seven Sundays
Family drama has always been a staple for Filipino films. And for 2017, we are treated to a star-studded movie that touches simple but relateble family scenarios - from happiness to conflicts and everything in between. Aside from the wonderful screenplay and story, Seven Sundays triumphed with its stars. Ronaldo Valdez was specifically heart-felt in his every scene. Aga Muhlach, Dingdong Dantes, Enrique Gil and Cristine Reyes all upped the drama and we did shed a tear or two.

5. 100 Tula Para Kay Stella
JC Santos and Bella Padilla starred in this wonderful romance film that show all the beauty of love and every heartache there may be. In this movie, we follow the love story of two unlikely pair as their relationship blossom. 100 Tula was both heartfelt and sincere and the unlikely twists makes you wanna cry.

6. Deadma Walking
Joross Gamboa and Edgar Allan Guzman shined in this stellar film about life and the various colors. We see how each person view life and where each one derives their happiness. We are brought into a world of whimsical fantasy and a powerful friendship that stays till forever. Deadma Walking is a breakthrough in its own right and is one of the best from 2017.

7. Ang Larawan
Ang Larawan brought back the flair and hype for musical movies. This 2017 film wonderfully woven into a masterpiece of sounds and music stood out to be different in all the good ways possible. The ensemble cast all performed exceptionally well making every scene compelling.

8. Siargao
Cinematography at its finest. This Paul Soriano helmed film showcases one of the wonders of the Philippines while incorporating a story about life, love and personal choices. This may not have the emotional punch like most of the dramas from 2017, but it stands out as something light and simple.

9. Love You To The Stars and Back
Prepare a tissue or two. In hindsight, this film looks and light-hearted rom-com like the rest but deep inside it is packed full of emotions. The idea of having people leave is always a difficult thing which puts people at their saddest moments. Joshua Garcia once again showed how talented he is and makes us dive into his world loving him more and more.

10. My Ex and Whys
Liza Soberano and Enrique Gil is one of the hottest love teams of this time. And the formula for success on this film is simple - be true and sweet and everything else will fall into place. But not only is this a rom-com but the storyline for this film is a tad more mature than your regular Filipino romantic films.

11. Patay Na Si Jesus
Jaclyn Jose simply spells greatness. In this dark comedy, we joined Jaclyn's character on a road trip to visit the remains of his estranged husband dragging along her children. Hilarious and very witty, Patay Na Si Jesus joins humor and irony and combines them to make a memorable movie worth watching by everyone.

12. Respeto
This Indie hit seemed a simple hiphop film on the surface but man we are caught into a surprise. This movie is one of the more poetic masterpieces in years and by the end credits, one would definitely shed a tear. This is one of the few ones that will stay for us for long. Director Treb Monteras II delivered this in a dynamic and at time gritty way.

13. Star Na Si Van Damme Stallone
Perhaps one of the more underrated comediannes of our time. Candy Pangilinan showed perfect timing and brilliance in this heart-warming film. Dealing with a story that focuses on a child with down syndrome, this film touches at the innermost corners of every heart.

14. Kiko Boksingero
Simple but truthful, Kiko Boksingero surprised everyone with a compelling storytelling and wonderful ensemble performance. Noel Comia as the young boxer showed innocence beyond his years. This film made headlines with a handful of awards and nominations from the last year.

15. Nervous Translation
Looking into the eyes of a young one often exposes us to the truthfulness of things. Nervous Translation mixes a lot of wonderful ideas and compiles them to have a collage that is a masterpiece. A young girl who shows little understanding of the adult world reacts in a way that she mimics her elders. Witty and one of a kind.

Here are the rest of the best movies from the year that was.


2017 is a big year for diversity in the music charts. The international scene is filled with great music all year round and here are my top list from the year that was.

1. HUMBLE. - Kendrick Lamar

2. Mic Drop - BTS ft. Steve Aoki

3. Shape Of You - Ed Sheeran

4. That's What I Like - Bruno Mars

5. Despacito - Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber

6. Thunder - Imagine Dragon

7. Look What You Made Me Do - Taylor Swift

8. Sorry Not Sorry - Demi Lovato and Luis Fonsi

9. What About Us? - Pink

10. 1-800-273-8255 - Logic ft. Alessia Cara and Khalid

11. Havana - Camila Cabello ft. Young Thug

12. New Rules - Dua Lipa

13. Too Good at Goodyes - Sam Smith

14. Closer - The Chainsmokers ft. Halsey

15. Attention - Charlie Puth

16. Slow Hands - Niall Horan

17. Nothing Holding Me Back - Shawn Mendes

18. Something Just Like This - The Chainsmokers and Coldplay

19. I Don't Wanna Live Forever - Zayn Malik and Taylor Swift

20. Perfect - Ed Sheeran

Here are the rest of the best music from 2017.


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