Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Bea Alonzo and Alden Richards to Star in the Movie “Pure Soul” under GMA Pictures, Viva Films, and APT Entertainment

Asia's Multimedia Star Alden Richards and New Generation Movie Queen Bea Alonzo will star in Philippine movie adaptation of the Japanese TV drama titled "Pure Soul" to be co-produced by Viva Films, GMA Pictures, and APT Entertainment.

According to Bea, their movie will have a modern look and a Filipino touch since it has been 20 years since Pure Soul aired in Japan.

"But then we're very lucky na nag-inject si Ms. Mel Del Rosario ng Filipino culture doon sa script. And since it's an old title, it was done in 2004, so marami na ring nagbago sa society natin, obviously, with social media and all."

Meanwhile, Alden revealed that he and Bea agreed not to watch the foreign versions of the film to show their own take on the role.

"Since it's an adaptation, we agreed to not really watch 'yung Japanese version, 'yung Korean version, kasi parang, siyempre, kahit papaano naman, kapag may project na ganito, there's always a comparison. What we wanted, as actors, to do our take on how we understood the role," Alden said in an interview.

"Pure Soul" will be directed by Nuel Naval.

2 Weeks in a Row! Jhong Hilario Bested Seven Other Celebrity Performers of “Your Face Sounds Familiar Season 3”

After a rousing performance as Filipino rock icon Bamboo, Jhong Hilario was crowned as weekly winner anew in “Your Face Sounds Familiar Season 3.”

The “Sample King” bested the seven other celebrity performers in the hit musical variety competition airing every weekend on Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, Kapamilya Online Live, and iWantTFC.

Jhong, who is expecting a child soon, took home the P50,000 weekly pot after getting the highest number of votes from the jury and his fellow contestants.

Not to be outdone, host Luis Manzano also got to showcase his talent for rapping and impersonation last Saturday as he performed as Filipino rap legend Andrew E., much to the delight of jury members Gary Valenciano, Ogie Alcasid, and Sharon Cuneta, and mentors Jed Madela and Nyoy Volante.

This coming Saturday (March 5) and Sunday (March 6), Jhong targets his third straight win as he transform into the King of Latin pop Enrique Iglesias. Meanwhile, the iDolls will perform as Earth, Wind, & Fire, Christian Bables will sing and dance ala-Justin Timberlake, and CJ Navato will relive the talent and charisma of Rico J. Puno.

Jaw-dropping performances are also expected from Klarisse De Guzman, who will come out as Queen of Soul Jaya, Geneva Cruz, who will perform as her cousin Sheryl, Vivoree, who will impersonate pop star Camila Cabello, and Lie Reposposa, who will take the stage as April Boy Regino.

Don’t miss “Your Face Sounds Familiar Season 3” every Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 7:30 pm on Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, Kapamilya Online Live, and iWantTFC. Also catch the “KaFamiliar Online Live” show with Darren Espanto and AC Bonifacio on Kapamilya Online Live during the show’s commercial breaks.

To watch last week’s performances, go to the official YouTube channel of “Your Face Sounds Familiar” or watch on iWantTFC. Follow @YourFacePH for updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For news, follow @ABSCBNPR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom.

More Than 20K Online Viewers Tuned in as Ben&Ben Performs "Inevitable" While Smart Light Up Manila Skies in Special Drone Show

Last February 28, more than 200,000 online viewers were glued to Ben&Ben's and Smart’s official Facebook accounts to witness 100 aerial drones dominate the skies of Metro Manila in a rare musical display made possible by Smart and Ben & Ben.

A one-of-a-kind musical display called “The Inevitable Drone Show” held at the Burnham Green in Rizal Park, Manila, Smart and award-winning folk pop OPM band Ben&Ben collaborated for an unexpected visual treat. This online event also capped the weekend when Smart released the sequel to Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin’s latest TVC.

Ben&Ben’s “Inevitable,” which is also the theme song of the latest campaign starring Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin, inspired Smart subscribers who were able to watch the spectacle online.

No matter how hard life can hit us, [we just have] to really just keep being real, keep being true, keep being good people, and take things one day at a time because the good things are inevitable. I think that’s what we wanted to share—the message of the song,” says Ben&Ben lead vocalist Paolo Benjamin during a recent press conference.

The first and probably the most immediate reason why we accepted this project is because it merges different forms of art with technology to create a one-of-a-kind experience for our audience. Some of us have experienced drone shows before, but only set to pre-existing songs and records. The opportunity to actually score and record the music and live performance to one such show was something we could just not pass up on,” he added.

Check out Smart Communications’ Facebook Page (https://www.facebook.com/SmartCommunications) for the highlights of this event.

Nothing but love from BinJin, Ben & Ben fans

Those who tuned in and fell in love all over again with the song “Inevitable” last Sunday at 7pm. The light show powered by 100 drones was the perfect representation of Ben & Ben supporters called Liwanags. The fact that drones lit the darkness of night had fans of the band pointing out this meaningful event for them. To the BinJin fans, it was the perfect gift to their perfect couple – A Filipino song powered by technology made possible by the creativity of Filipinos.

Facebook user Jasmine Reyes exclaimed, “Hala! Ang satisfying ng drone show! Thank you, Smart!” in the comments section while entertainment columnist Danny Vibas who also watched the live visual display said, “Boy what a drone show! Amazing!

Hearts and sunflower emojis also dominated the comments section with most of the viewers ecstatic over hearing the song live and seeing the “magic” of synchronized drones happening right before their very eyes.

This is the kind of spell BinJin does as social media went wild the day Smart released the new Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin TVC last February 14. The hashtag #InSmartWeTrust has had a life on its own as posts requesting and begging for a joint commercial film featuring the former Crash Landing On You stars poured in for months leading to the February launch.

Smart had to make things happen and it was definitely worth the wait for Filipino fans and smart subscribers who are self-confessed #BinJinForSmart supporters.

Twitter replies to posts of Smart SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business Jane J. Basas only yielded much love in replies. Twitter user @daffodilyet did not hold back by saying, “Forever grateful to @livesmart and to you Ma’am @JJBasas for making #BinJin as your Smart endorsers. More power and success to your Smart5G [and] Signature campaigns. We love you!

For @binjinhyunson, Smart’s new campaign means so much more: “Kamsahamnida, Ninang J! You did more than that! Thank you, team Smart! You are indeed SIMPLY AMAZING. You made us all from BINJIN NATION swoon, kilig, laugh, die, and live again! May the BinJin love be with us always.

On Facebook, @HyunBin Philippine Fanpage commented, “Smart never fails to give us a high class commercial. It always goes with the elegance and style of Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin. Now that’s what we call, Smart Signature!

Still, other supporters are just simply overwhelmed. “I’m cryring! I love them sooo much! Thank you, Smart,” posted Queenie Grace. While Monica Zhuo said, “Thank you, Smart! I love the commercial and the BTS video!

The fastest network gets faster with 5G

Taking the massive approach to bring two international superstars together in one TV commercial only speaks of how important Smart 5G is for Filipinos. As the latest evolution in wireless communications, Smart 5G offers amazing benefits for users from its superfast data speeds and fiber-like low latency.

From uploading and downloading heavy files in seconds with ease to streaming high- resolution videos seamlessly, playing online games without noticeable lag, and other benefits from cutting-edge apps and services, Smart 5G brings enable users to enjoy fiber-like speeds on their smartphone. 

Smart has partnered with the world’s top smartphone manufacturers like Huawei, Samsung, realme, OPPO, vivo, and Apple to offer Smart 5G-certified devices under Smart Signature 5G Plans so that more subscribers can get to experience the power of 5G. Smart is also making 5G more accessible to everyone with its continued nationwide 5G network expansion to include strategic sites in Metro Manila, Boracay, Cavite, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Laguna, New Clark City in Pampanga, and Rizal.

Smart 5G complements the company’s already extensive 4G/LTE and 3G network in the country, which remains to be the fastest in the Philippines by third-party mobile internet analytics firms such as Ookla and Opensignal.

Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis, named Smart as the country’s fastest mobile data network in the second half of 2020 after it achieved a Speed Score™ of 24.99, with average speeds of 20.08 Mbps for download, and 7.42 Mbps for upload, based on 3,915,679 user-initiated tests taken with Speedtest®.

On the other hand, Opensignal, an independent mobile analytics firm, noted in its November 2020 Mobile Network Experience Report for the Philippines* that Smart remained ahead of the competition in terms of Video Experience, Upload and Download Speed Experience, 4G Availability, and 4G Coverage Experience.

To know more about Smart 5G, visit 5g.smart and follow Smart’s official accounts on Facebook at facebook.com/SmartCommunications, and Twitter and Instagram at @LiveSmart.

Teacher-Composer Jayson Dedal Releases Debut Single "Bilyon-Bilyong Panalangin" Under Insight Music

Of the billions of dreams cast into the void every day, few make it with the certainty - and confidence - that gifted singer-songwriter Jayson Dedal felt when he did.

The 28-year-old Dedal, who is a real-life MAPEH teacher in a public school in Quezon City, recently signed up with maverick record label Insight Music, which has just produced and released his debut single “Bilyon-Bilyong Panalangin”.

“Bilyon-Bilyong Panalangin” marks Jayson Dedal’s first break as a recording artist under Insight Music, making his first professional affiliation an exceptionally propitious one.

The song also served as one of the official movie soundtracks of the label’s movie production and marketing arm Insight 360 Films’ “Miss Q&A: Para Sa Maganda Lang Ba Ang Love Life?” starring Kakai Bautista and Zoren Legaspi and directed by Lemuel Lorca. The first is expected to be released this summer.

The movie is about lost dreams and trying to redeem them,” says Cahilig. “So having a song like ‘Bilyon-Bilyong Panalangin’ is - pun intended - a dream match.”

Apart from his day job as a public school teacher, Dedal has been writing songs since college and is an active member of the Filipino Society of Composers, Artists, and Publishers (FILSCAP). However, the opportunity to be a solo artist seemed to elude Dedal until Insight Music recognized his potential.

Indeed, Insight Music President and Chief Creative Director Chris Cahilig took notice of this fresh new talent early on. It was Dedal, after all, who wrote boy band 1:43’s hit songs such as “Pasensya Na” and “Ikaw Lang Talaga,” as well as “Sa Iba Na Lang” by BOU, which eventually became the official movie sound track of “Mia” (2020).

I have always been incredibly drawn towards Jayson as an artist,” says Cahilig. “His body of work speaks volumes of his gift. And when you listen to what he has to say in ‘Bilyon-Bilyong Panalangin’, you’ll understand why we simply had to make sure that his talent is heard.”

Set against lush instrumentation and fueled by Dedal’s buttery vocals, “Bilyon-Bilyong Panalangin” conveys Dedal’s deep anxieties about an ambiguous future. Does God hear the songwriter’s ‘prayers’ for a better future?

It’s a personal track, to be sure,” says Dedal. “I wrote it during the lockdown, and it’s the collective result of everything I’ve been worried about - my love life, the future, and my relationship with God.”

Having made peace with his vulnerabilities, Jayson Dedal is even more grateful to Cahilig and Insight Music for giving him the chance to express his creativity, and vent his anxieties, the only way he knows how—through his music.

Cahilig is likewise buoyant about Dedal’s journey in the music industry. “Some people might give a public school teacher one look and put them in a box,” he says. “But if anything, teachers are some of the best storytellers out there, and we’re lucky to have found one as talented and as enthusiastic as Jayson Dedal.”

“Bilyon-Bilyong Panalangin” by Jayson Dedal will be available on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube Music, and all other streaming platforms on March 5, 2021.

Fantasy Action Thriller "Monster Hunter" Opens in PH Cinemas this March

Big action and big monsters are meant to be seen in the BIG SCREEN. This month, moviegoers will get the full cinematic experience again as Columbia Pictures’ new fantasy action thriller Monster Hunter, opens in Philippine cinemas March 2021!

Film fans are advised to refer to the websites and social pages of their favorite cinemas for more details regarding the film’s playdate and screening times.

Watch the trailer with message from Milla Jovovich: https://youtu.be/0q-_Gopcw5s

In Monster Hunter, behind our world, there is another: a world of dangerous and powerful monsters that rule their domain with deadly ferocity. When an unexpected sandstorm transports Captain Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and her unit to a new world, the soldiers are shocked to discover that this hostile and unknown environment is home to enormous and terrifying monsters immune to their firepower. In their desperate battle for survival, the unit encounters the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures. Facing a danger so great it could threaten to destroy their world, the brave warriors combine their unique abilities to band together for the ultimate showdown.

Nearly 20 years ago, writer-director Paul W. S. Anderson and star Milla Jovovich teamed up with videogame company Capcom and Constantin Film to produce Resident Evil, based on the bestselling videogame. Six movies and $1.2 billion in box office later, the franchise stands as the most successful videogame adaptation of all time.

Now, the team has reunited for Monster Hunter, based on Capcom’s bestselling video game of all time, “Monster Hunter: World,” and the origins of the project point to Anderson’s time in Japan. “I was actually a fan of the ‘Monster Hunter’ game before a lot of people in America and Europe, because I spent a lot of time in Japan,” Anderson explains. “It became one of my favorite countries to visit. Because of that, I started playing ‘Monster Hunter’ in 2008 – and by 2009 I was pitching Capcom on making a movie of the game.”

Over the next nine years, during his frequent trips to Japan, Anderson would play the game – which became something of a passion project. Because the gameplay of “Monster Hunter: World” doesn’t rely on a narrative, Anderson had free rein to invent a story. “It felt like an amazing opportunity to build a whole world on the movie screen, and there were countless stories to tell within that world. The more I thought about it, the more stories and characters began to take root.”

Anderson’s screenplay took a decidedly grounded approach to the wild fantasy elements of monster hunting – in storytelling and design, he would give the real-world audience hooks to latch on to. So, in his story, Anderson focused on a real-world team that becomes trapped in the monster world, and the monster world’s locations would be drawn from some of the real world’s strange and unusual but very real locations.

At every turn, though, Anderson and the filmmakers kept hewing close to the original games that inspired them. “The movie pays honor not just to the ‘Monster Hunter: World’ game, but to the entire franchise that I personally have loved for ten years now,” says Anderson. “The game creators have created a richly textured world, and we embraced that.

When he’d completed the screenplay, Anderson had to do a bit of convincing with Jovovich to play the lead role. “My first thought was, really, from zombies to monsters? You’ve got to be kidding me,” jokes the star of Resident Evil. “He said, ‘Just read it,’ and when I did, I felt like it captured everything I love about making action movies, but I really loved the character of Captain Artemis. She just felt real to me,” concludes Jovovich. “I felt like it would be wonderful to play somebody that disciplined.”

Monster Hunter is distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Vlogger, CEO, Student Achiever, and Former "TNT" Contestant Enter Pinoy Big Brother House

Big Brother has another explosive surprise in the next few days as official houseguests will enter his house for a special task with the remaining housemates on “PBB Connect.”

Christian Bahaya and Russco Jarvina emerged as the official houseguests after successfully hurdling Big Brother’s online tasks in “PBB Connect Online Bahay Ni Kuya” on Kumu, wherein they bagged the most number of diamonds with 32.1 million and 27.5, respectively.

Christian, who hails from Kiblawan, Davao del Sur, is fond of showcasing his singing chops by joining competitions. In fact, he was one of the Season 2 semi-finalists of “Tawag ng Tanghalan,” and he even earned a spot in the top 15 of “Your Moment” with his boy group, COVE.

Meanwhile, Russco is an 18-year-old YouTube vlogger and basketball player. He prides himself for being part of his school’s basketball varsity team while juggling his studies. Since Russco also likes being in front of the camera, he spends time making content on TikTok and YouTube. As a natural in the limelight, Russco idolizes Daniel Padilla, Enrique Gil, and James Reid.

Joining Christian and Russco are Glenda Dela Cruz Victorio and Dale Patrick Chua. They were chosen after getting the most number of diamonds during “PBB Kumunect ng mga Housemates” with 95.9 million diamonds and 71.2 million diamonds, respectively.

Glenda is a young mom and CEO of a cosmetics and skincare brand. Although she has experienced countless hardships, Glenda is a living proof that anyone can succeed in life with determination and hard work. She was also chosen by Go Negosyo as part of its top 15 ‘Inspiring Negosyante.’

Dale on the other hand, is a 17-year-old student achiever. He is a consistent honor student since grade school and he also juggles academics with his love for basketball as a student athlete. Right now, Dale is pursuing a degree in accountancy to fulfill his dream to become an entrepreneur like his parents.

Christian, Russco, Glenda, and Dale are still completing their mandatory 14-day quarantine before they enter the ‘PBB’ house. What will be their special task as official houseguests?

Find out on “PBB Connect” from Monday to Saturday at 10 pm on A2Z channel 11, Kapamilya Channel, Kapamilya Online Live, iWantTFC, and ABS-CBN Entertainment Channel. Join Bianca at Robi on “PBB KUMUnect Tayo Primetime” at 10 pm (Mon-Sat) and 8:30 pm (Sunday), as well as Melai and Enchong on “PBB KUMUnect Tayo: The Afternoon Show” at 5 pm on the PBB Kumu account (https://app.kumu.ph/PBBabscbn). Watch out for updates from Richard anytime via the “PBB” official accounts sa Facebook (PBBABSCBNTV), Twitter (PBBABSCBN), Instagram (PBBABSCBNTV), at YouTube (Pinoy Big Brother). For more details, follow @ABSCBNPR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or visit abs-cbn.com/newsroom.

Monday, March 01, 2021

Recap: Regine Velasquez “Freedom” Concert - Explosive Performances, Surprise Guests, World-Class Production

Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid gave an intimate yet explosive live performance at the "Freedom" digital concert, which streamed worldwide last Sunday, February 28.

"Ang feeling ko I'm just singing to one person," said Regine, calling the much-awaited concert "a more personal one" and very different from her previous online shows while addressing the thousands of Filipino viewers who tuned in from different parts of the world.

"Freedom's" repertoire - which includes Billie Eilish's "When The Party Is Over," TWICE's "Heart Shaker," Elton John's "Brooklyn Yellow Brick Road," and Britney Spears "Hit Me Baby One More Time" - was indeed distinctive, surprising audiences with songs that bared Regine's beautiful range and exceptional artistry.

The concert, produced by ABS-CBN Events and IME and presented by PLDT, also brought to life her astonishing "Himala" duet - one of the show's major surprises - with rock royalty Bamboo.

Regine's #FreedomConcert, which became one of the top trending topics on Twitter for hours on Sunday night, also presented her rendition of several OPM hits such as The Juans' "Istorya" and Ben&Ben's "Leaves" and of own songs '"Bukas Sana" and "Tanging Mahal."

She also gave a beautiful rendition of Madonna's "Crazy For You," which she dedicated to her husband of 10 years, Ogie Alcasid, and a touching performance of "Make You Feel My Love" featuring the voice of their son Nate.

She closed the one-night show with a wish. "I realized that we all want freedom from fear, financial difficulties, anxiety, depression, a lot of things. But there's another kind of freedom," she said, citing her hope for the "truth" for all the viewers.

Filipino audiences worldwide got to watch "Freedom: Regine Velasquez-Alcasid Digital Concert' via ABS-CBN's various platforms ktx.ph, iWantTFC, TFC IPTV, and SKYcable PPV.

The show's stage direction was led by Paolo Valenciano, TV direction by Frank Mamaril, and musical direction by Raul Mitra.

Sarah Geronimo's "Tala: The Film Concert" Airs March 27 on KTX.PH, iWantTFC, and TFC IPTV

Popstar Royalty Sarah Geronimo is back in the limelight as she treats fans to a one-night only event for “Tala: The Film Concert,” which will premiere worldwide on KTX.PH, iWantTFC, and TFC IPTV on March 27 at 8 PM.

Named after her smash hit, the two-hour film will offer a live concert experience where fans will get to see the star perform 18 songs including her fresh interpretations of “Kilometro,” “Ikot-ikot” and “Isa Pang Araw.” A surprise guest will also be joining Sarah on stage for two special numbers.

Viewers can purchase regular tickets on KTX.PH for P1,500 and VVIP tickets for P3,000. VVIP ticket holders will be also treated to a special interaction segment with Sarah via Zoom.

iWantTFC users in the Philippines can also purchase regular tickets priced at P1,500 via web on iwanttfc.com and the Android app. Fans outside the Philippines, meanwhile, can get regular tickets for USD25 on iWantTFC and TFC IPTV.

Produced by Viva Entertainment, “Tala: The Film Concert” was taped last December at the Araneta Coliseum. It is directed by Paul Basinillo, with Louie Ocampo as the musical director and Georcelle Dapat-Sy as the creative director.

Watch the one and only Sarah G’s return to the concert stage in “Tala: The Film Concert,” streaming worldwide on KTX.PH, iWantTFC, and TFC IPTV on March 27 (Saturday) at 8 PM (Manila time).

For updates, follow @abscbnpr on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom.

MNL48 Crowns Abelaine Trinidad as the Third Generation Center Girl

The third time turned out to be a charm for 23-year-old Abelaine Trinidad as she was proclaimed the Third Generation Center Girl of MNL48 after she got the most number of votes in the MNL48 Third General Election, on "It's Showtime" today (February 20).

After finishing Rank 2 in the First General Election and Rank 3 in the Second General Election, Abby finally secured the Center Girl position to lead the Third-Year members this year.

The MNL48 Third General Election is an annual event where fans get to choose who among their oshis they think should be part of the Top 48, following the system of MNL48’s international sister group, AKB48. The said election started last March 2020 and ended last November 2020.

"Grabe hindi ko ineexpect bilang first generation member na ngayon na naging parte pa rin ng third generation member," Abby said. "Thank you so much sa binigay niyong opportunity kasi talagang tinulungan niyo ako mag-improve. Kaya po ako nandito dahil sa inyo. Kung wala po kayo wala din po dito. Thank you sa MNLoves, family and friends po. Kaya po ang dahilan kung bakit ako nandito.”

Coming in 2nd in this year's general election is MNL48's First Generation Center Girl, Sheki Arzaga while Maria Jamie Beatrice Alberto took the 3rd Rank. Completing the KAMI7 are MNL48 Ruth (Rank 4), Ella (Rank 5), Jan (Rank 6), and Andi (Rank 7). Adding to the Senbatsu roster are Jem, Yzabel, Gab, Alice, Princess, Lara, Coleen, Thea, and Tin. The new Senbatsu led by Abby, together with the Undergirls will start preparing for their 7th single.

Meanwhile, four of Third General Election's hashtags also trended on Twitter last Saturday. As of this writing, netizens have produced 600,000 tweets about the said election.

Stay tuned for updates on their latest single and other projects on MNL48's official social media accounts on Facebook (fb.com/mnl48official), Twitter, Instagram, Kumu, and TikTok (@mnl48official) for more updates and exclusive content, and subscribe to its official YouTube channel.

Zack Snyder's "Army Of The Dead" Premieres May 21 on Netflix

Army Of The Dead, a zombie heist film set in Las Vegas, written, created, and directed by Zack Snyder will is set to stream on Netflix on May 21.

Topbilled by Dave Bautista, Ella Purnell, Omari Hardwick, and Ana De La Reguera, "Army of the Dead" follows a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas, a group of mercenaries take the ultimate gamble, venturing into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted.

Maymay Entrata, Edward Barber, Francine Diaz, Donny Pangilinan, Arjo Atayde, and Gary Valenciano Remain Strong as Kapamilyas

The trust and love for ABS-CBN remain strong for Kapamilya stars Maymay Entrata, Edward Barber, Francine Diaz, Donny Pangilinan, Arjo Atayde, and Gary Valenciano, who renewed their contact with the network that they all call home.

ABS-CBN executives warmly welcomed each of the six stars who still chose to be with ABS-CBN at the “Kapamilya Strong” special contract signing event and media conference on Friday (February 26).

First to sign a new contract was Maymay whose eyes were sparkling with joy.

Mahalaga sa akin ang pagiging Kapamilya dahil dito ako nagsimula. Para sila ang naging tulay ng mga pangarap ko. Dito ko nahanap ang purpose ko,” Maymay, who was last seen in the digital romcom movie “Princess DayaReese,” shared. Maymay will continue to be part of “ASAP Natin ‘To” and “iWant ASAP.”

Meanwhile, Maymay’s loveteam partner, Edward, is ready to take more risks this 2021. According to the host of the MYX online show “Kwentong Barber” on Kumu, “kailangan kong sumugal ng konti ngayong taon. To jump, to take risks. I’ll take a chance. I’ll train, not try.”

As for Francine Diaz, she is now busy preparing for her comeback in the much-awaited biggest inspirational teleserye, “Huwag Kang Mangamba” with the Gold Squad.

Inaaral ko ang mga eksena, lalo na po ‘yung scenes na kasama ako. Pero kinakabahan din po ako kasi kailangan marami kaming mabigay na message at lessons sa mga Kapamilya natin,” Francine explained.

One of the stars who also marked a career milestone with ABS-CBN was Donny Pangilinan who will be seen next on the upcoming iWantTFC series, “He’s Into Her,” opposite Belle Mariano.

I'm glad to be here in my roots. Thank you so much ABS-CBN for giving me wings to fly as well,” Donny added.

2020’s Asian Academy Creative Awards Best Actor Arjo Atayde also inked a new contract with ABS-CBN and teased that he is already working on a new project for the Kapamilya network.

Although Arjo was tightlipped about the project, he said that he’s excited to work again. He also became emotional while expressing his gratitude to the network.

It [ABS-CBN] feels like home. For a lot of reasons they take care of us. They give us the projects we deserve, as long as we work hard for it. I just love being a Kapamilya and I will stay here no matter what,” Arjo said who also received a special video message from girlfriend Maine Mendoza and his co-star in "The General's Daughter," the Diamond Star, Maricel Soriano.

One of the pillars of OPM, Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano, was also filled with gratitude as he remains a Kapamilya. According to Gary V, who will still be seen every Sunday on “ASAP Natin ‘To,” he and his co-artists will continue to spread happiness and inspiration.

What do I hope for this 2021? Just for us to continue to inspire and encourage so many people out there through our music, stories, dance. Everything,” he said.

Like Arjo, the rest of the stars also received special video messages. Maymay’s mother in Japan greeted her, while Edward got a message from a charity organization in Thailand called Friends of Thai Daughters. Meanwhile, Belle Mariano greeted Donny, and finally, Gary V’s granddaughter, Leia, gave a short, but adorable greeting.

Meanwhile, before the “Kapamilya Strong” event started, it already became a hot topic on Twitter, with multiple trending topics, including #KapamilyaStrong, #MayWardSolidKapamilya, and #DonnySolidKapamilya, among others.

Among the ABS-CBN executives present were chairman Mark Lopez, president and CEO Carlo Katigbak, COO of broadcast Cory Vidanes, head of entertainment production and head of Star Magic Laurenti Dyogi, managing director of ABS-CBN Film Productions Olivia Lamasan, and head of finance, Rick Tan.

For more details, follow @ABSCBNPR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or visit abs-cbn.com/newsroom.

Sunday, February 28, 2021

NBA Partners with Smart to Launch NBA.com/Philippines

The National Basketball Association (NBA) and digital services provider Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) announced the relaunch of NBA.com/Philippines, the league’s official digital destination in the country. The announcement builds on the NBA and Smart’s existing partnership to provide Smart subscribers with access to NBA League Pass, the league’s premium live game subscription service, and NBA.Smart, Smart’s over-the-top service that livestreams NBA TV Philippines, a localized version of the NBA’s dedicated 24/7 channel.

The online NBA destination will offer Filipino fans access to game highlights, stats, standings, scores, schedules and more. In addition, NBA.com/Philippines will offer localized content, including recaps and analysis from its roster of sports reporters and basketball personalities, as well as a weekly podcast titled “NBA Hype Squad,” which will feature discussions hosted by local influencers about the latest league news. As part of Smart’s promotions, the network will provide its prepaid and postpaid subscribers access to editorial content on NBA.com/Philippines without incurring data charges.

We’re excited to partner with Smart and relaunch NBA.com/Philippines as we continue to expand our digital footprint in the country,” said Ramez Sheikh, NBA Asia Head of Global Content and Media Distribution. “Through our redesigned destination, fans will be able to connect with their favorite teams and players through instant access to NBA news and original content.”

This is a huge milestone not only for Smart, but also for Filipino fans who now have a dedicated new platform to follow their idols, stay up-to-date on games, and engage with fans who share the same passion for hardcourt action,” said Smart President and CEO Alfredo Panlilio. “NBA.com/Philippines bolsters our line-up of NBA offerings for Smart subscribers, which embodies our “It’s all here” campaign tagline and reflects our commitment to bringing the world’s premier basketball league closer to fans nationwide.

Smart users can watch the 2020-21 NBA season by subscribing to NBA League Pass, which is offered in monthly and 3-Game Choice packages at Php 485 and Php 85, respectively. NBA League Pass provides the most comprehensive live and on-demand access to an entire season of NBA games in high-definition with live stats and additional camera angles including NBA Mobile View, which delivers a closer shot of the action optimized for viewing on mobile devices.

Additionally, Smart prepaid customers can watch the livestream of NBA TV Philippines by subscribing to Smart’s data packages by dialing *123#, choosing GIGA VIDEO 99 and registering their mobile and ticket number on NBA.Smart. GIGA VIDEO provides 1 GB for watching videos on NBA League Pass, YouTube and Cignal Play as well as 2 GB of additional data per week.

Smart subscribers can visit www.smart.com.ph and follow Smart’s social media accounts on Facebook and @livesmart on Instagram and Twitter for more details on promotions and services.

Fans in the Philippines can follow NBA Philippines on Facebook (@NBAPhilippines) and Twitter (@NBA_Philippines).

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Trailer of Explosive New Cinematic Adventure "Mortal Kombat" Released

Get over here! 

Watch the official trailer for “Mortal Kombat” now, coming soon to Philippine cinemas this 2021.

YouTube (Restricted Version): https://bit.ly/3bnB28G

From New Line Cinema comes the explosive new cinematic adventure “Mortal Kombat,” inspired by the blockbuster video game franchise, which most recently enjoyed the most successful video game launch in its history, Mortal Kombat 11. The film is helmed by award-winning Australian commercial filmmaker Simon McQuoid, marking his feature directorial debut, and produced by James Wan (“The Conjuring” universe films, “Aquaman,”), Todd Garner (“Into the Storm”), McQuoid and E. Bennett Walsh (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”).

In “Mortal Kombat,” MMA fighter Cole Young, accustomed to taking a beating for money, is unaware of his heritage—or why Outworld's Emperor Shang Tsung has sent his best warrior, Sub-Zero, an otherworldly Cryomancer, to hunt Cole down. Fearing for his family's safety, Cole goes in search of Sonya Blade at the direction of Jax, a Special Forces Major who bears the same strange dragon marking Cole was born with. Soon, he finds himself at the temple of Lord Raiden, an Elder God and the protector of Earthrealm, who grants sanctuary to those who bear the mark. Here, Cole trains with experienced warriors Liu Kang, Kung Lao and rogue mercenary Kano, as he prepares to stand with Earth’s greatest champions against the enemies of Outworld in a high stakes battle for the universe. But will Cole be pushed hard enough to unlock his arcana—the immense power from within his soul—in time to save not only his family, but to stop Outworld once and for all?

The diverse international cast reflects the global nature of the brand, with talent spanning the worlds of film, television and martial arts. The ensemble includes Lewis Tan (“Deadpool 2,” Netflix’s “Wu Assassins”) as Cole Young; Jessica McNamee (“The Meg”) as Sonya Blade; Josh Lawson (“Bombshell”) as Kano; Tadanobu Asano (“Midway”) as Lord Raiden; Mehcad Brooks (TV’s “Supergirl”) as Jackson “Jax” Bridges; Ludi Lin (“Aquaman”) as Liu Kang; with Chin Han (“Skyscraper”) as Shang Tsung; Joe Taslim (“Star Trek Beyond”) as Bi-Han and Sub-Zero; and Hiroyuki Sanada (“Skyscraper”) as Hanzo Hasashi and Scorpion. Also featured are Max Huang as Kung Lao; Sisi Stringer as Mileena; Matilda Kimber as Emily Young; and Laura Brent as Allison Young.

McQuoid directed from a screenplay by Greg Russo and Dave Callaham (“Wonder Woman 1984”), from a story by Oren Uziel (“Mortal Kombat: Rebirth”) and Russo, based on the videogame created by Ed Boon and John Tobias. Richard Brener, Dave Neustadter, Victoria Palmeri, Michael Clear, Jeremy Stein and Larry Kasanoff served as executive producers.

New Line Cinema Presents an Atomic Monster/Broken Road Production, “Mortal Kombat.” The film will be released in Philippine cinemas soon and distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Join the conversation online and connect with #MortalKombatMovie

Regine Velasquez Promises New Repertoire and Surprise Guest in "Freedom" Concert this February 28 on SKY PPV

Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid promises fans a repertoire different from her past concerts along with a surprise guest who will join her for the very first time on stage this Sunday (February 28) as SKY airs her "Freedom" concert on SKY Pay-Per-View.

Regine expressed how excited she is for "Freedom" compared to her previous shows in the past. "I did a couple of online shows last year, but I am so eager with this one because the repertoire is different—different songs, different genres," she excitedly shared.

The concert is directed by Paolo Valenciano with musical direction from acclaimed musician Raul Mitra.

Invite your loved ones to watch the one-night-only "Freedom" in high-definition and commercial-free on SKY Pay-Per-View this Sunday, February 28 at 8 PM, priced at P1,200. Get your pay-per-view concert pass now at mysky.com.ph/vipaccess.

For more inquiries, visit mysky.com.ph or follow SKYcable on Facebook (fb.com/MySKYCable), Twitter, and Instagram (@myskyupdates).

The Asia Pacific (APAC) Predator League 2020/21 DOTA 2 and PUBG Grand Finals Set on April 6-11

Acer announced the Asia Pacific (APAC) Predator League 2020/21 will be held from April 6-11, 2021. 

Fans who were left on the edge due to the 2020 league’s postponement have something to look forward to as teams across the Asia Pacific will finally battle it out in an online-only tournament.

The decision to host the Asia Pacific Predator League fully online, instead of a cancellation, demonstrates Acer’s commitment to the gaming community,” said Andrew Hou, President of Acer Pan Asia Pacific Regional Operations. “With the ongoing COVID-19 situation, we made the decision to move the competition to Spring 2021 for the safety and best interests of the tournament’s competitors, fans, spectators and staff.

The teams who qualified for APAC Predator League 2020 Grand Finals are the first ones to claim a slot for this year’s tournament, while the remaining will be filled by other teams invited by Acer. Altogether, these teams will battle head-to-head to take home the coveted APAC Predator League shield.

This year, the league has been divided into four sub-tournaments. The teams will be pre-assigned based on their geographical location:

1. APAC Predator League 2020/21 Grand Final Dota 2 Asia
2. APAC Predator League 2020/21 Grand Final Dota 2 APAC
3. APAC Predator League 2020/21 Grand Final PUBG Asia
4. APAC Predator League 2020/21 Grand Final PUBG APAC

A sum of US$400,000 is pooled across the competitions of the APAC Predator League 2020/21.

All ticket holders of the postponed APAC Predator League 2020 Grand Finals will be compensated in full while VIP ticket buyers are guaranteed of Predator League souvenirs as a token of appreciation for their patience and support. Acer will soon release further details regarding the refund process.

The APAC Predator League 2020/21 will be broadcasted live on Acer Predator’s channels, Facebook and Twitch.

Follow the league’s official site, and Acer Predator’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for up-to-date tournament schedules and programs.

Tickets to the Much-Awaited Star-Studded "Kapamilya Strong" Event on February 26 Gone in 1 Day on KTX.ph

All tickets to the anticipated “Kapamilya Strong” event of ABS-CBN on Friday (February 26) have been claimed, a day after it was announced by the Kapamilya network.

Fans were quick to show their love and support by grabbing tickets on ktx.ph to witness Maymay Entrata, Edward Barber, Francine Diaz, Donny Pangilinan, Arjo Atayde, and Gary Valenciano ink new contracts with ABS-CBN. They also have the chance to be featured on the video wall of the event as virtual audience.

Viewers will also witness special surprises for the stars from people close to their hearts, as well as a grand warm welcome from ABS-CBN executives.

Meanwhile, the “Kapamilya Strong” event and the media conference after the contract signing will also be streamed simultaneously on the Facebook pages of ABS-CBN and Star Magic, as well as on iWantTFC.

Even fans abroad can witness their favorite Kapamilya stars ark another milestone in their career through livestreaming on TFC IPTV on February 26. Meanwhile, there will be a delayed airing on TFC Cable and Satellite on February 27 in the US, Canada, Latin America, Saudi, London, (10:30 pm PST), Rome, Hong Kong, Singapore (11:30 pm), and in Guam on March 1, 1:30 am. The event will also be available on TFC IPTV Video-On Demand starting February 28.

Don’t forget to show the love for MayWard, Francine, Donny, Arjo, and Gary by watching “Kapamilya Strong” and tweeting #KapamilyaStrong on social media this Friday (February 26).

For more details, follow @ABSCBNPR on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or visit abs-cbn.com/newsroom.

ICYMI: New Spider-Man Movie Official Title Reveal

Columbia Pictures has just revealed the official title of the newest Spider-Man live-action film: Spider-Man: No Way Home, coming to Philippine cinemas soon.

Watch the announcement trailer below:

Spider-Man: No Way Home will be distributed in the Philippines by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.

Connect with #SpiderManNoWayHome and tag columbiapicph

Netflix Releases "DOTA: Dragon’s Blood" Anime Series Based On The Popular Video-Game Franchise By Valve

Netflix announced the upcoming release of DOTA: Dragon’s Blood, an all new anime series based on the popular DOTA 2 video-game franchise by Valve.

The 8 episode anime series is set to launch globally on March 25.

The upcoming fantasy series tells the story of Davion, a renowned Dragon Knight devoted to wiping the scourge from the face of the world. Following encounters with a powerful, ancient eldwurm as well as the noble Princess Mirana on a secret mission of her own, Davion becomes embroiled in events much larger than he could have ever imagined.

Fans will love how we’ve imagined the DOTA 2 universe and woven together an epic, emotional, and adult-oriented story about some of their favorite characters,” said showrunner and executive producer Ashley Edward Miller. “The cinematic animation, acting and music are simply next level and I’m grateful to Valve for supporting our creative ambitions.

The series is based on the hugely successful global video-game franchise DOTA 2 by Valve. Ashley Edward Miller (X-Men: First Class, Thor and Black Sails) serves as series showrunner and executive producer. Renowned Studio MIR (The Legend of Korra and Netflix's Voltron: Legendary Defender) is responsible for animation, with Ryu Ki Hyun serving as Co-Executive Producer.
For more updates, visit netflix.com/dotadragonsblood.

Jamie Rivera Sings PH's 500 Years of Christianity Mission Song "We Give Our Yes"

Jamie Rivera launched the inspirational “We Give Our Yes,” the official mission song of ‘The 500 Years of Christianity in the Philippines’ yearlong celebration that commenced this month.

She shared how she felt honored to sing the song during Star Music’s “We Give Our Yes” virtual media conference. “I think this is really my mission, a mission for me to be able to give people a prayer and, at the same time, they could sing with it as well,” Jamie said.

The Inspirational Diva introduced “We Give Our Yes” in a remarkable performance on “ASAP Natin ‘To” last Sunday, rendering it beautifully together with The Company and other Kapamilya singers Erik Santos, Jeremy Glinoga, Jed Madela, Jason Dy, and Nyoy Volante.

Jamie first performed the song live at the Manila Cathedral during the Archdiocese of Manila’s launch of the 500 Years of Christianity festivities on February 6.

Meanwhile, Star Music released the “We Give Our Yes” music video, directed by Frank Mamaril, last week. Together with the lyric video, the song currently has more than 150K combined views on Star Music’s YouTube channel.

The MV, shot in Manila Cathedral, featured important Catholic Church events in the past.

It also showed Jamie wearing an immaculate Mak Tumang creation, which was inspired by the logo of the celebration.

The motivating tune “We Give Our Yes,” originally commissioned by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Christianity in the country, conveys the power of faith and hope during difficult times and reminds Filipinos to keep saying yes to the mission of Jesus.

Written by the multi-awarded composer Fr. Carlo Magno Marcelo, Jamie’s version of “We Give Our Yes” was produced by the award-winning hitmaker and ABS-CBN Music creative director Jonathan Manalo.

“We Give Our Yes” is now available on music streaming services worldwide. For more details, like Star Music on Facebook (www.facebook.com/starmusicph) and follow it on Twitter and Instagram (@StarMusicPH).

"ASAP Natin 'To" Welcomes Summer 2021 with Sizzling Performances and Surprises, Plus Kathryn Bernardo's Birthday Celebration

"ASAP Natin 'To," the longest-running musical variety show in the country, welcomes summer in fiery fashion with the biggest Kapamilya stars and special guests serving up sizzling world-class performances and more surprises to avid viewers this Sunday (February 28).

It's going to be a hot Sunday on ASAP as real-life sweethearts Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla will each deliver their own exciting performance for fans worldwide.

Expect a high-octane dance showdown between Maymay Entrata, AC Bonifacio, and the dance royalty herself, Kim Chiu.

Sing along with the hottest young OPM artists Kyle Echarri, and Darren Espanto. Also showcasing their tremendous skills on the microphone are ASAP's newest breed of talents Sam Cruz, KD Estrada, Anji Salvacion, and Diego Gutierrez, together with Your Face Sounds Familiar contender, Geneva Cruz.

Filling the air with warm romantic feels are "He's Not Into You" stars Donny Pangilinan, Belle Mariano, Kaori Oinuma, Rhys Eugenio, and Vivoree Esclito.

Scorching the stage with their heartfelt musical performances are today's generation of OPM idols Kyle Echarri, Jeremy Glinoga, JMKO, Agsunta, and Moira dela Torre as they kick-off the Himig 11th Edition celebration.

Meanwhile, Ogie Alcasid treats viewers this Sunday as he channels his hilarious alter-egos, Ban Sot Mee and Eydie Waw, together with dance idols Maymay, Vivoree, Jeremy, Enchong Dee, Jin Macapagal, Aljon Mendoza, and Karina Bautista.

The heat is on as ASAP's singing royalties Erik Santos, Sheena, Janine Berdin, Elha Nympha, iDolls, Nina, Klarisse de Guzman, Bamboo, Angeline Quinto, Martin Nievera, and Zsazsa Padilla go for an on-fire vocal showdown.

Don't miss the hottest collaboration from Mr. Pure Energy, Gary Valenciano, together with Enchong, AC, and Joshua Garcia; and the blazing musical number from Morisette and Asia's Songbird Regine Velasquez.

All of these sizzling hot performances and more on "ASAP Natin 'To"'s jam-packed celebration this Sunday (February 28) at 12 NN on Kapamilya Channel (SKYcable channel 8 SD and channel 167 HD, Cablelink channel 8, G Sat Direct TV channel 22, and Cignal channel 22), Kapamilya Online Live, and A2Z (both available on analog and digital TV).

ASAP continues to simulcast on TV5 while also streaming worldwide via iWantTFC and TFC.

For updates, follow @abscbnpr on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

B. Braun Avitum Philippines "Share-A-Dialysis" Treatment Program Brings Free Dialysis Treatments to Patients in Need

B. Braun Avitum Philippines, one of the leading dialysis companies in the Philippines, saw yet another opportunity to give back with the launch of its ‘Share-A-Dialysis’ treatment program.

‘Share-A-Dialysis’ allowed kind-hearted individuals to nominate a B. Braun Avitum dialysis patient to receive free dialysis treatments simply by “nominating” the patient via Facebook Messenger, sharing their inspiring story, and explaining why they deserve the free treatment on B. Braun’s official Facebook page.

In addition to ‘Share-A-Dialysis,’ another contest, called the B. Braun’s Vlog Contest, provided an opportunity for B. Braun patients to showcase their “vlogging” talents on 1 to 2 minute-long videos where they can share amazing and inspirational stories of their dialysis journey with B. Braun.

Selected winners on the ‘Share-A-Dialysis’ program and the B. Braun’s Vlog Contest were awarded three free treatments as a consolation prize, and five free treatments as a grand prize.

The winners of ‘Share-A-Dialysis’ and the B. Braun’s Vlog Contest were announced in the company’s official Facebook page on December 15 and December 20, respectively, with the latter’s winning vlog entries also being posted in the Facebook page.

The coronavirus pandemic affected countless numbers in ways we cannot imagine, but perhaps more so with those who are poverty-stricken.

B. Braun always answers the call with a readiness to lend a hand.

Part of the ‘B. Braun Cares’ umbrella advocacy, ‘Share-A-Dialysis’ and the B. Braun’s Vlog Contest are just some examples of many CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs that demonstrate the company’s faithful concern for its patients.

These company initiatives help deserving indigent patients, providing moral and financial support extended willingly not just to B. Braun Avitum Philippines stakeholders but to others, as well.

Due to the overwhelming successes of last year’s B. Braun Cares, the company has committed to introduce similar programs that will surely touch the lives of many others in need.

Zanjoe Marudo Kills McCoy De Leon in "Walang Hanggang Paalam"

Another innocent person fell victim to Anton (Zanjoe Marudo) after he shot and killed Bernie (McCoy De Leon) in Wednesday’s (February 24) episode of the Kapamilya teleserye “Walang Hanggang Paalam.”

After sneaking into Anton's house and overhearing Anton and Amelia’s (Cherry Pie Picache) conversation about their illegal organ trafficking business, Bernie was able to reveal their family secrets to his brother Emman (Paulo Avelino) on the phone but failed to escape his death after getting shot by Anton.

Although there is no conclusive evidence against Anton, Emman still believes that he killed Bernie as he continues to uncover the truth about him and his family’s illegal business. Anton, meanwhile, covers up his tracks and asserts his innocence by making it seem that Bernie committed suicide.

What will Emman’s next step be now that Bernie is dead? How much longer will Anton be able to conceal his true identity?

Don’t miss “Walang Hanggang Paalam” on A2Z channel on free TV and via digital TV boxes like ABS-CBN TVplus. Digital TV box users can scan and look for A2Z channel in Metro Manila and in some parts of Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Rizal, Bataan, Batangas, Bulacan, and Pampanga.

Catch it also on cable and satellite TV via Kapamilya Channel (SKYchannel 8 on SD and channel 167 on HD, Cablelink channel 8, GSAT Direct TV channel 22, and most cable operator-members under Philippine Cable and Telecommunications Association). Viewers can also watch on Kapamilya Online Live livestreaming daily on ABS-CBN Entertainment’s YouTube channel and Facebook page, on the iWantTFC app (iOs and Android) and on iwanttfc.com. For viewers outside of the Philippines, catch it on The Filipino Channel on cable and IPTV.

For updates, follow @abscbnpr on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram or visit www.abs-cbn.com/newsroom.

Monday, February 22, 2021

How SMART Made the New TVC of Korea’s Hottest Real-Life Couple Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin Possible

Last February 14, Smart delivered a video surprise that sent fans of power couple Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin into total K-lig frenzy. Like a climax to a trilogy that started with Hyun Bin's Simple Smart Ako TVC last June to Son Ye Jin's Smart Signature turn, the new Smart 5G campaign just made what seemed impossible, possible.

Subscribers and fans who did not give up on the social media hashtag #InSmartWeTrust finally got what they've been yearning for - a joint campaign top-billed Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin.

"Here at Smart, we always have the best interest of our customers at heart. So you can just imagine how we felt when fans of Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin flooded our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram with requests, begging for a joint material featuring the pair. It may have taken a while but we felt it was worth the wait as the stars aligned for us to finally launch our new campaign last Valentine's Day," said Jane J. Basas, Smart SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business.

She added, "We owe this TVC to our subscribers and Crash Landing On You (CLOY) fans who rallied behind the hashtag #InSmartWeTrust, hoping that we would bring them together. Trust is not easily earned, so we value it so much. We knew that this has turned into something bigger and the trust of our customers propelled us to fulfill their wish."

Hyun Bin, Son Ye Jin send heartfelt wishes to Filipinos

From "The Captain Has Landed" to landing into each other's arms, Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin took chemistry to whole new level in the Smart 5G TVC as they chase each other on the road and through different dimensions only to meet again just as Bin asks, "Do you believe it's possible?" To which Ye Jin replies, "I do!"

In a Smart-exclusive video, the two shared their experience working on the project. Hyun Bin revealed that they had to shoot in the middle of a snowstorm in January. "I remember it snowed a lot on the day of the shoot. Thanks to that, the shooting was fun despite the cold weather."

Son Ye Jin recalled how unique the experience was working with the Smart team anew. "I am so happy to be with Smart for the second time. It's a lot easier because we worked with the same team."

Having said that, she disclosed that she's looking forward to more campaigns from Smart. "And I am so excited to see more wonderful advertisements."

The pair also revealed that they wanted to visit the Philippines to be with their supporters physically but would have to settle now with the warmth of virtual love by being with local fans online.

Addressing Filipinos everywhere, Hyun Bin said, "Hello. This is Hyun Bin. I have been given another chance to meet you all through Smart's new campaign video. I hope that you'll continue to support Smart and me. I wish you a Happy New Year. Please keep yourselves healthy and warm this year."

Son Ye Jin echoed her partner's message by saying, "I may not be able to meet you all in person but I'm very happy that I can greet you through this video. Last year was a difficult year for everyone. I sincerely hope you become happier this year. I hope to see you soon. Stay healthy until then."

Ben&Ben joins the 'inevitable'

While it was important for Smart to grant wishes of its subscribers when it comes to bringing consumers closer to their foreign idols, the TVC also presented an opportunity to put a local band behind the video's soundtrack and musical scoring.

Here's where Ben&Ben comes in, providing "Inevitable," the song that is heard in the background while Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin pursue each other in this romantic-sci-fi TVC.

With lyrics inspired by real-life events, Ben&Ben members simply happen to be CLOY fans as well. In a collaboration set to motion by the band, Smart, and Sony Music Phils, things started falling into place when it came to lending soundtrack and musical score for the TVC.

In an official statement released by Sony Music Phils, lead singer Paolo Benjamin said, "Inevitable is a song that tries to describe the nature of fate, and how all our actions somehow lead us to some better place that is destined for us. It's also a song about being real with someone, and that no matter how scary that may seem at times, there is freedom in baring your truest nature with someone dear to you, even if that someone is yourself."

Miguel Benjamin added, "The songwriting in itself presents a concept of the state that is both a surreal mystery and a peaceful certainty, so we wanted to create an aural representation of what these lyrics felt like. Our process started with a mix of acoustic guitars, which I tweaked with sitar effects as the main intro riff; kind of like a representation of the two contrasting feelings working together."

Leader in 5G

Smart has done what seemed impossible by putting Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin together in one project for the first time much like the latest development with Smart 5G, which has started enabling subscribers to do groundbreaking things we thought we couldn't do.

The latest evolution in wireless communications, 5G offers superfast data speeds and fiber-like low latency, which enable users to upload and download heavy files in seconds, stream high-resolution videos seamlessly, play online games without noticeable lag, and benefit from other cutting-edge apps and services on their smartphone with fiber-like speeds.

Smart is at the forefront of the 5G revolution in the Philippines with the continued nationwide roll-out of its ultrafast 5G network, which includes strategic sites in Metro Manila, Boracay, Cavite, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Laguna, New Clark City in Pampanga, and Rizal.

To enable more subscribers to experience 5G, Smart has teamed up with smartphone manufacturers like Huawei, Samsung, realme, and vivo in offering Smart 5G-certified devices under Smart Signature 5G Plans.

The Philippines' fastest mobile data network

Smart's 5G rollout complements the mobile services provider's extensive 4G/LTE and 3G network in the country, already considered the fastest in the Philippines by third-party mobile internet analytics firms such as Ookla and Opensignal.

Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis, named Smart as the country's fastest mobile data network in the second half of 2020 after it achieved a Speed Score™ of 24.99, with average speeds of 20.08 Mbps for download, and 7.42 Mbps for upload, based on 3,915,679 user-initiated tests taken with Speedtest®.

On the other hand, Opensignal, an independent mobile analytics firm, noted in its November 2020 Mobile Network Experience Report for the Philippines* that Smart remained ahead of the competition in terms of Video Experience, Upload and Download Speed Experience, 4G Availability, and 4G Coverage Experience.

To know more about Smart 5G, visit 5g.smart and follow Smart's official accounts on Facebook at facebook.com/SmartCommunications, and Twitter and Instagram at @LiveSmart.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Filipino Builders Eyes Modest Rebound in Construction Sector this 2021

The domestic construction industry is poised for a modest rebound this year as the government ramps up its major infrastructure projects and with sustained support for small and medium contractors who were the most affected by the global pandemic.

This is the outlook of the Philippine Constructors Association (PCA) which groups not just the highest-rated construction companies in the country but also small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and suppliers through its chapters and affiliates nationwide.

According to PCA President Wilfredo Decena, the construction sector will contribute strongly to the recovery of the domestic economy this year after slumping 26% last year, sending the national gross domestic product (GDP) to a steep 9.5% year-on-year drop.

Fitch Solutions recently upgraded its growth forecast for the Philippine construction sector to 9.5% this year, near to its average 10% annual growth before the COVID-19 crisis that battered economies around the world in 2020.

Decena said that timely public spending on infrastructure would boost the industry despite soft private construction investments as the national government has allocated a sizeable P1.1 trillion of the P4.5 trillion national budget this year to infrastructure projects.

We are hearing of contractors, particularly the small and medium companies, being unable to close any projects at this time. Public investments need to fill the gap until investor confidence is restored,” he said during the recently-held PCA regular membership meeting.

As part of the ten-point industry trends and challenges discussed during the meeting, Decena called for the prompt payment of contractors, especially the SMEs, since they were already absorbing extraordinary costs related to COVID-19.

The PCA also noted that there’s a need to rethink the supply chain conditions and address the cause of spiraling costs of materials. On top of these, there are sectors that had been pushing for the unrestricted entry of foreign contractors that could further displace Filipino contractors, particularly SMEs which comprised 97% of all registered contractors in the country.

This is happening while other countries have taken steps to protect and support their local industry amid the global pandemic,” Decena said.

He added that the current quarantine conditions have exacerbated the shortage of skilled labor force and skills mismatch. As part of its thrust for the year, PCA is further expanding its knowledge and skills development program nationwide.

On top of all these, PCA reminded members to be prepared to continue complying with evolving health and safety protocols to make construction sites virus-free.

Also identified as among the top trends in the construction industry this year are the acceleration of digitization and other emerging technologies to increase efficiency and productivity, and the move towards sustainable infrastructure which is not just green but also resilient.

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