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Erik Matti: Give indie MMFF entries a chance 
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Erik Matti (MNS photo)

Erik Matti (MNS photo)

Director Erik Matti said that those criticizing the eight finalists of this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival should watch the films first before passing judgment, triggering an avalanche of support from his fans who have been vocal about their cynicism over the quality of past entries.

Days after it was revealed that the film festival’s screening committee have decided to snub more commercial works from big budget studios for independent films, the “Honor Thy Father” director sounded off on Facebook against the backlash.

“Hinay hinay sa paghamak at paginsulto ng salitang INDIE na parang ito’y may ketong na dapat layuan,” Matti, whose “Seklusyon” is included in the so-called “Magic 8,” wrote. “Ang indie at mainstream ay parehong pelikula rin lang at wag na po ihiwalay sa isa’t isa.”

“Ang indie, tulad ng mainstream, ay pwedeng malalim o mababaw, matalino o stupido, nakakatawa o nakakaiyak, commercial o artistic, pambata o pangmatanda o panghugot, cheap o big budget. Pareho pong pelikula yan.”

“Panoorin n’yo muna ang mga pelikulang napili sa [MMFF]. Merong pagbabagong naganap sa [MMFF 2016]. Bigyan naman natin ng chance na umubra bago husgahan. Lalabas din naman si Vice, si Vic at si Chinoy kahit di nakasali e,” he added.

Matti was referring to studios like Star Cinema and Regal Entertainment, which will be releasing their entries, Vice Ganda and Coco Martin’s “The Super Parental Guardians” and Richard Yap’s “Mano Po 7: Chinoy,” ahead of the annual film festival.

Matti’s post on Facebook has since garnered hundreds of shares, with many agreeing with his sentiments on this year’s MMFF.

One of his fans told him: “Mismo Direk! Suportahan na lang po nating lahat ang pelikulang Pilipino, indie o mainstream man.”

Another added: “Sa tinagal tagal ngayon na lang ulit ako na-excite sa MMFF. …Fan ako ng mga indie films. Kasi walang censorship. Sana ngayon din!”  (MNS)

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Cops involved in Espinosa raid still under restrictive custody –PNP
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PNP chief Dir. Gen. Ronald 'Bato' Dela Rosa presents suspected Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa to media at Camp Crame early Friday morning, November 18, 2016. Espinosa, son of slain Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, is the alleged Eastern Visayas drug lord. Espinosa was brought to Manila after five months of hiding in Abu Dhabi. (MNS photo)

PNP chief Dir. Gen. Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa presents suspected Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa to media at Camp Crame early Friday morning, November 18, 2016. Espinosa, son of slain Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa, is the alleged Eastern Visayas drug lord. Espinosa was brought to Manila after five months of hiding in Abu Dhabi. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Dec 3 (Mabuhay) —

The policemen involved in the raid which led to the death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. are still under restrictive custody even though they were allowed to leave Camp Crame, an official of the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Internal Affairs Service (IAS) said Saturday.

IAS Chief of Staff Maria Lynberg Constantinopla made the clarification following reports that the restrictive custody status of Police Supt. Marvin Marcos and 17 other policemen involved in the raid had been lifted.

“In fact, there is no actual lifting of restrictive custody. They were just allowed to go home to get some information for attachment on their counter-affidavit,” Constantinopla said.

She added that PNP personnel are supervising the cops in Leyte while they are getting the necessary documents for their counter-affidavits, which will be submitted on Monday.

PNP Chief Director General Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa relieved Marcos and other officers over the slay of Espinosa.

In November, suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa claimed that he bribed Marcos with at least P3 million to lay off operations against his drug trade. (MNS)

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Some Miss U candidates to arrive in PHL on Friday for kickoff party
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Eleven Miss Universe 2016 candidates were presented during the media briefing held at the Department of Tourism (DOT) head office in Makati City on Monday (Dec. 12, 2016). They are (standing from left to right) Miss Korea Jenny Kim, Miss China Joyce Li, Miss Vietnam Dang Thi Le Hang, Miss Myanmar Htet Htet Tun, Miss New Zealand Tania Pauline Dawson, Miss Japan Sari Nakazawa, Miss Philippines Maxine Medina, Miss Indonesia Kezia Roslin Cikita Warouw, Miss Malaysia Kiranmeet Kaur Balijeet Singh, Miss USA Deshauna Barber, and Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane. The Philippines previously hosted the Miss Universe pageant twice, in 1974 and 1994. (MNS photo)

Eleven Miss Universe 2016 candidates were presented during the media briefing held at the Department of Tourism (DOT) head office in Makati City on Monday (Dec. 12, 2016). They are (standing from left to right) Miss Korea Jenny Kim, Miss China Joyce Li, Miss Vietnam Dang Thi Le Hang, Miss Myanmar Htet Htet Tun, Miss New Zealand Tania Pauline Dawson, Miss Japan Sari Nakazawa, Miss Philippines Maxine Medina, Miss Indonesia Kezia Roslin Cikita Warouw, Miss Malaysia Kiranmeet Kaur Balijeet Singh, Miss USA Deshauna Barber, and Miss Thailand Chalita Suansane. The Philippines previously hosted the Miss Universe pageant twice, in 1974 and 1994. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Dec 7 (PNA) – About 11 candidates of the prestigious Miss Universe pageant will be arriving in Manila on Friday (Dec 9) to lead a kickoff party a month before the country hosts its coronation night on January 30, 2017.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Wanda Teo told reporters that 11 candidates will spearhead a kickoff party in the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City as a “preview” to one of the world’s most-watched beauty pageants.

The kickoff party will be attended by candidates from USA, Japan, Australia, China, Korea, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Philippines.

Reigning Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach will also be present in the event, which will be arranged by one of the event’s main partners, Solar Entertainment Corp.

Teo said the hopefuls are expected to visit Siargao on Dec. 11 and Cebu on Dec. 12 to begin photoshoots and tour the cities at the same time.

“They will be going around places in the Philippines and tasting our food,” Teo told reporters in the sidelines of the Pasko sa Intramuros program in the so-called Walled City.

The candidates are expected to stay in the country until Dec. 15 or 16 before flying back to their respective countries for the holidays.

They are also expected to make a courtesy call with President Rodrigo Duterte if schedule permits.

Teo, however, clarified that candidates will start arriving Manila for ancillary events on January 13, 2017.

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Bianca, Miguel not rushing into having relationship 
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Bianca Umali (MNS photo)

Bianca Umali (MNS photo)

Bianca Umali is definitely one of the most promising young stars of GMA today.

A former child star, she’s getting prettier and sexier by the day. She was first paired with Miguel Tanfelix in “Paroa, Kuwento ni Mariposa” four years ago and since then, their BiGuel teen loveteam has gained its own legion of fans.

“Four years na ‘yung loveteam namin but we got to know each other as child stars seven years ago pa when I was only nine,” says Bianca. “So ganun na namin katagal na kakilala ang isa’t isa. We saw each other growing up.”

So what’s the real score between them now? “We’re very good friends pa rin po. Hindi kami nagmamadali kasi 16 pa lang naman po ako, never been touched, never been kissed. At siya naman, he just turned 18.”

“Kaya sana po, huwag nyo kaming madaliin,” says Miguel, who’s been appointed as Youth Ambassador of the U.N. Population Commission for being a good and wholesome role model in maintaining his belief in being pure before marriage.

“Basta sa ngayon, we’re so happy na mas nagiging closer ang relationship namin as good, good friends. Mas priority namin ang career and studies. Ako po, araw-araw pumapasok sa La Salle for entrepreneurship.”

They’re now paired anew in another show, “URL (Usapang Real Love)”, billed as the first interactive rom com on Philippine TV. (MNS)

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Sarah G, Ebe Dancel win big at 29th Awit Awards
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Sarah Geronimo (MNS photo)

MANILA, Dec 8 (Mabuhay) — Sarah Geronimo and Ebe Dancel took home the top honors at the 29th Awit Awards held at the Music Museum on Wednesday.

Geronimo won Album of the Year for “The Great Unknown,” while Dancel bagged the Song of the Year award for “Bawat Daan.”

Dancel also won Best Inspirational Recording, Best Engineered Recording, Best World Music Recording, and Best Song Written for Movie/TV/Stage Play for the hit series “Ang Probinsyano.”

Daryl Ong won Best Male Recording Artist for “Mabuti Pa,” while “The Voice Kids” coach Bamboo took home the Best Rock/Alternative Recording award.

Aiza Seguerra was given the Best Ballad award for her rendition of “Araw Gabi,” while the “Dangal ng Musika” honor was given to the 1970s musical group Boyfriends.

The 2016 Awit Awards was hosted by Matteo Guidicelli and Tippy Dos Santos.

Here is the full list of winners of the 29th Awit Awards:

Best Inspirational Recording – “Bawat Daan” by Ebe Dancel

Best Christmas Recording – “Apat na Buwang Pasko” by Jon Santos

Best Performance by a Child – “Believe in Magic” by Julia Concio

Best Musical Arrangement – “Pero” by Conscious and the Goodness

Best Vocal Arrangement – “Waters of March” by Moy Ortiz

Best Engineered Recording – “Bawat Daan” by Ebe Dancel

Best Album Package – “Greetings from Callalily” by Callalily

Best World Music Recording – “Kasayaw” by Ebe Dancel

Best Novelty Recording – “Siopao na Pag ibig” by K.A. Antonio

Best Song Written for Movie/TV/Stage Play – “Ang Probinsyano” by Ebe Dancel with Gloc 9

Best Jazz Recording – “Pero” by Conscious and the Goodness

Music Video of the Year – “Walang Anuman” by Nicole Asensio

Best Instrumental Performance – “The Sound of Life”

Most downloaded song for 2015 – “Wish I May” by Alden Richards

Most downloaded artist for 2015 – Alden Richards

Best Selling Album of the Year – Alden Richards

Best Performance by a new group recording artist – “Imposible” by Gravity

Best Performance by a New Male Recording Artist – “Mabuti Pa” by Daryl Ong

Best Performance by a New Female Recording Artist – “Sabi Sabi” by Kris Angelica

Best Ballad Recording – “Araw Gabi” by Aiza Seguerra

Best Pop Recording – “Free Fall into Love” by Marion Aunor

Best Dance Recording – “Lala” by Yassi Pressman

Best R&B Recording – “Parang Wala Lang” by Tippy Dos Santos

Best Rock/Alternative Recording – “Firepower” by Bamboo

Best Performance by Group Recording Artist – “LDR” by Harana

Best Collaboration – “Triangulo” by Thyro Yumi and Jeric Medina

Best Performance by a Male Recording Artist – “Paano ko Sasabihin” by Thor Dulay

Best Performance by a Female Recording Artist – “Parang Wala Lang” by Tippy Dos Santos

Song of the Year – “Bawat Daan” by Ebe Dancel

Album of the Year – “The Great Unknown” by Sarah Geronimo

Dangal ng Musika – Boyfriends (MNS)

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Derek: Hearing my son call me dad ‘broke my heart’
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Derek Ramsay (MNS photo)

“It broke my heart,” admitted actor Derek Ramsay as he recalled the first time his son called him dad.

This happened last Christmas, Ramsay shared, adding that those moments with Austin, his child with estranged wife Mary Christine Jolly, were the “best” days of his whole life so far.

“I [also] took him to watch my movie and he was very proud. When the fans came up to me and ask for pictures, he’d be like, ‘That’s my dad, that’s my dad,” a beaming Ramsay gushed. “And then we took off to Palawan, and do what Ramsays do: stay under the sun, jump into the ocean, do crazy things where you can hurt yourself. And I was like, ‘Okay, this is my son.”

Austin, whom Ramsay first introduced to the public in June last year, is currently based in Dubai with his mother Mary Christine. Ramsay said that he wishes he could spend more time with him. “That’s probably the only thing missing in my life,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ramsay also talked about his relationship with girlfriend, model Joanne Villablanca.

Asked if she gets jealous of his intimate film scenes with other women, Ramsay replied: “Before we got into this relationship, she knew what my line of work is and we talked about it, and said, ‘I don’t want to get into this relationship if we are going to bring this up again. I don’t want to sound selfish but I will guarantee you that the love that I have is only for you.’” (MNS)

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Trillanes: Senate panel’s report on EJKs a ‘a piece of garbage’
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 The Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee, chaired by Sen. Koko Pimentel, resumes its inquiry on the alleged overpricing of the 11-storey new Makati City II Parking Building, the 22-storey Makati City Hall Building and related anomalies. (MNS photo)

The Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee, chaired by Sen. Koko Pimentel, resumes its inquiry on the alleged overpricing of the 11-storey new Makati City II Parking Building, the 22-storey Makati City Hall Building and related anomalies. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Dec 7 (Mabuhay) — Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on Wednesday called the Senate justice committee soon-to-be released committee report “a piece of garbage” allegedly meant to cover-up extrajudicial killings.

“Talagang lumalabaas na ano siya, Duterte collaborator. Ang committee report na iyan ay cover-up ng extrajudicial killings na nagsimula at dumami ngayon noong nagsimulang umupo si President Duterte,” Trillanes said

He added: “Talagang this is a piece of garbage, ang committee report ni Sen. [Richard] Gordon.”

The senator added that the committee report is an alleged product of Gordon’s “selective justice” and “twisted logic.” “Talagang sumisipsip lang si Sen. Gordon sa kanyang political patron,” he added.

Trillanes cited Gordon’s pronouncement that he will recommend the filing of murder charges against self-confessed hitman Edgar Matobato for the killing of alleged terrorist Sali Makdum.

“On one hand pinaniniwalaan niya (Gordon) ang contention ni Matobato na siya ang nag-abduct kay Sali Makdum, na enough na ire-recommend niya na murder, pero ‘di niya pinaniniwalaan ang allegation ni Matobato na si President Duterte ang nasa likod at pag-create ng Davao Death Squad noong siya ay mayor pa,” he said.

Gordon slashed back at Trillanes.

“I’m sorry that he said that about his fellow senators. I don’t know where he comes from and he calls hardwork garbage,” he said.

He added: “Maybe sa kanya hindi lang mapaunlakan ang gusto niyang palabasin. Hindi kasi abogado eh. Kung gusto mong maipalabas kailangan mapatunayan mo. Kung di mo mapatunayan ‘wag mong sasabihing garbage.. Ito nga sasabihin ko sa kanya, it takes one to know one.”

Gordon on Tuesday said that the committee has found that the summary killings of drug suspects are not state sponsored.

However, he said the Philippine National Police’s Project Tokhang violates rights of drug suspects.

Gordon said the committee report would include recommendations against the bad behavior of Trillanes and Sen. Leila de Lima during the hearings.

Gordon cited Trillanes’ decision to allow Matobato to leave the Senate premises without waiting for the committee hearings to finish and De Lima’s “material concealment” regarding the kidnapping case filed against the self-confessed hitman.

Trillanes, however, reiterated durig the interview that it had been proven that De Lima had disclosed the information in a previous hearing.

“Blatant lie ang sinasabi niya (Gordon) na may material concealment. Nahuli na nga siya eh, nandoon pa nga sa transcript ng Senado ang sinasabi niyang concealmen ni De lima.. Siya pa mismo ang nakausap ni Matobato nang isinasalaysay ito,” he added

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