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Ai Ai delas Alas headlines the A.I. H.E.A.R.T R.C.B.N. Charity Concert


The charity concert that Ai Ai delas Alas promoted in May and is dubbed as A.I. H.E.A.R.T R.C.B.N. is all set on Monday, June 24 at 7pm, Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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The said musical production is for the benefit of the Kristong Hari Parish in Novaliches, Quezon City. The affair will also commemorates two celebrations–the 16-year service of His Most Reverend Antonio R. Tobias and delas Alas’s 30-year anniversary in the entertainment industry.

Brother Eugenio Isabelo Tomas Reyes Sanchez Jr. or widely known as Bo Sanchez is a best-selling author, entrepreneur, Catholic lay preacher and minister will also be one of the highlights in the said concert. Other artists who are set to perform in the huge charity event are as follows: Lovely Abella, Bayani Agbayani, Kyline Alcantara, Wally Bayola, Sancho Vito delas Alas, Sophia delas Alas, Jeric Gonzales, Jose Manalo, Valeen Montenegro, Mike ‘Pekto’ Nacua, Alden Richards, Julie Anne San Jose, and Eric Santos.

Apart from the celebrities, the 40 priests, 25 nunsm, and 30 lay presidents of parishes will also be performing on the night of the concert.

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The bloggers’ conference was sponsored by BLI Farm. To know more about the farm, visit its official website.

Related Article: Ai-Ai delas Alas spearheads a fundraising concert

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The Kundiman Party: An Awakening of Hopes?


The Kundiman Party is one stage production that deserves a rerun. The cultural-political-drama written by Floy Quintos and directed by Dexter Santos is timely after the national midterm elections.

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The said play that was staged in the summer of last year, is one of Santos’s best plays along with Angry Christ (2017) and Ang Nawalang Kapatid (2014) and Orosman at Zafira (2008).

Despite the exclusion of some of the former cast membersy, having Nonie Buencamino onboard as Sen. Juancho Valderama (replacing Teroy Guzman) and him being with his real-life partner–Shamaine Centenera-Buencamino as Maestra Adela is already a theater treat.

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The Second Run is indeed Fun.

It’s fun because of the four ‘Titas’ and the dynamics of their relationships.

Mitoy Sta. Ana’s production design from Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero Theatre may have some minor changes, but the familiarity of Maestra Adela’s home is still intact.

Who would ever think the three women friends of Maestra Adela–Frances Makil-Ignacio, Stella Cañete-Mendoza, and Missy Maramara as Mayen, Helen and Mitch, respectively, would click and fit perfectly in the private life of a reclusive voice teacher? Their bond and their personalities are perfect caricatures of women with different set of truths.

Makil-Ignacio perfectly fits as the fiercest among the three female friends, while  Cañete-Mendoza as the motherly and neutralizer, and Maramara as the socialite but still the wackiest for she channels that ‘young vibe’ in her as her defense mechanism.

Quintos managed to retain the fun parts as well as the heavy stuff. It worked well in painting how the three women have remained strong amid a situation that they were all shocked to occur in the home of Maestra Adela.

In these challenging times, these three women are our ideal company we can wish for. They are all strong in their respective rights. A newcomer Gabriel Paguirigan as Ludwig, Maestra’s accompanist and veritable sidekick has his own moments. He’s a comic relief. His debut onstage as an actor is sweet and remarkable.

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Centenera-Buencamino personifies Kundiman.

Due to Maestra Adela’s decision to isolate herself from the political scene or her refusal to be identified by the present generation or simply live a quiet life by teaching Kundiman, it was Bobby Valderama portrayed by Boo Gabunada who exposes the woman and her art to the online world.

Adela personifies Kundiman, forgotten probably or neglected for too long by some Filipinos. It is like song for the motherland. The rest of the Filipino people have probably heard the music but has taken it for granted instead.  The scene where Adela had her breakdown was a wakeup call for the citizens to be alert and have a sober mind just as described in Scriptures (1 Peter 5:8-9). However, Gabunada who replaced Kalil Almonte (Bobby in the first run) lacked depth in assuming the pivotal role of a rebel son.

Though the story took the audience to where it was envisioned by Quintos, Gabunada provided a weak interpretation of his character, maybe because it was his first time to perform with an audience and in an intimate venue?

That scene where Antoinette (Miah Canton in a flawless voice), his girlfriend serenaded him with a Kundiman song titled Bituing Marikit; it could have been a tender and romantic one. His eyes weren’t gazing on her and it sent a different emotion instead. The scene with Almonte and Teetin Villanueva was ecstatic when I last saw it.

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Thankfully, Centenera-Buencamino maintains such commanding presence even with the disruptive acting he (Gabunada) was channeling onstage. Not too sure if he was channeling his Emman character from Ang Huling El Bimbo to the The Kundiman Party of Maestra Adela.

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Blood is Thicker than Water?

The ancient and famous English proverb that means that familial bonds will always be stronger than the bonds of friendship or love–is evident between Bobby and his father, the senator. Though the conclusion of the play was subject for the audience’s interpretation, Gabunada’s Bobby is mysterious and unpredictable and at times exhausting.

But at the end of the play, what matters the most was what Bobby has started.

Nonie Buencamino as the loving father of Bobby made a stirring performance just like when Guzman had the role in summer of 2018. Like Shamaine, he was there onstage making the most of his brief but needed appearance. It will forever remind everyone how good he is as an actor.

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As a member of the audience, Juancho spoke with authority, but with much love and understanding for his son. It was tough love. Going through the motions of that crucial scene between Bobby and the Senator, a line rang loudly into my consciousness that no matter how the latter was perceived wrongly; Bobby fears the inevitable that he’s turning like his father, somehow. Though not entirely, but he mimics him, unknowingly.

The confrontation scene was essential. It defines who Bobby is and it leads Maestra Adela to a path she has been longing for the longest time.

The Kundiman Party serves as a vehicle to fully embrace the change that this country has gotten into. Whether good or bad, it succeeded in making hope afloat in a stormy seas.

Also in the cast are Jenny Jamora as she alternates for Maramara as Mitch. Soprano Rica Nepomuceno as Melissa, a professional Kundiman singer who desperately wants to be ‘relevant’ again.

The Party runs on these dates: May 24, 8pm; May 25, 3pm and 8pm; May 26, 3pm and 8pm; May 30, 8pm; May 31, 8pm; June 1, 3pm and 8pm; June 2, 3pm and 8pm. Tickets can be obtained via Ticket2Me.

Photographs courtesy of Evo Joel Contrivida.

ASEAN Party-List must have a Spot in Congress!


Perhaps, the one party-list that really attracted me in supporting is the Academicians, Students and Educators Alliance (ASEAN). It further solidify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), an international agreement for child rights.

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Under the terms of the convention, governments are required to meet children’s basic needs and help them reach their full potential. Central to this is the acknowledgment that every child has basic fundamental rights and these are the right to:

  • Life, survival and development
  • Protection from violence, abuse or neglect
  • An education that enables children to fulfil their potential
  • Be raised by, or have a relationship with, their parents
  • Express their opinions and be listened to

Let me focus on the third right, am education enables children to fulfill their potential. That is where ASEAN Party-List can do.

With the promising vision that the said Party-List has and when in Congress, ASEAN will push for the interests of Students, Out-of-School-Youth, Educators, Parents, OFWs and Professionals.

In an intimate forum with Professor Win Ballada, chairman and first nominee for ASEAN Party-List on May 4, Saturday, he presented the group’s platforms:

  • Access to Education, Adopt-A-Student- Act, Faster and Cheaper Internet, Free WiFi in Schools
  • Scholarships, Subsidies and Support for Reviewees, Students and Educators, Salary Upgrades for Educators;
  • Employment, Entrepreneurship, Ease of Doing Business, OFW Reintegration, Enhanced TESDA, all for Economic Development;
  • Anti-Corruption, Anti-Red Tape, Pro-ASEAN integration, Amend CPD, Accountability in Government Service
  • Nation-Building, Nominees are CPA-Deans, Educators, Book Authors, Practitioners and HR Professional

There were two points that caught my interest. First the establishment and enhancement of public libraries via the Enhanced Public Libraries Act and the OFW Reintegration Act.

The first one that hit me is the need for any local public library to attract today’s younger generation to love going to the libraries and read, read and read; not just depend on the Net alone.

For him, the Generation Zers could be a challenge in implementing the Enhanced Public Libraries Act. How would he intend to implement it? He considered it as a twin bill–pass the free WiFi as the data infrastructure. The physical infrastructure will follow–the materials, the employees as the brick and mortar way because he doesn’t believe that today’s students can rely on smartphones alone in gaining knowledge. He wants to add more public libraries in the city that is accessible of course to all students and out-of-school youth.

According to Ballada, the OFW Reintegration Act was an idea of the party’s third nominee Dr. Christopher Biore, CPA, MBA, a Dean, an Advocacy Projects Mentor and a Book Author. He was able to incubate a lot of business ideas that won in competitions abroad. His works were tested in the Univedrsity of Cebu. Though ASEAN hasn’t really worked hand in hand with any government agency or with Overseas Workers Welfare Association (OWWA)–the group is confident enough that they can facilitate the vision in providing business concepts to returning OFWs and invest and grow the money they earned while working across the globe.

ASEAN is worthy of a spot in Congress in the interest of the nation’s improvement in education. Vote for the Party with number 23 this coming Monday, May 13.

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