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CBCP launches Via Crucis for Good Weather 2014


MANILA, Philippines – In the observance of Holy Week, Catholic faithful are encouraged by Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), headed by its president, Archbishop Socrates Villegas to take part in the first-ever Via Crucis for Good Weather 2014, which will be held yearly thereafter. A press briefing was held at the Arzobispado De Manila office, in Intramuros, and was spearheaded by Radyo Veritas in partnership with the Archdiocese of Manila and TV Maria on Monday, April 14.

The panelists were—Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani Jr., D.D. – Bishop Emeritus, Our Lady of Fatima, Novaliches; Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual, president, DZRV Radyo Veritas846 and executive director for Caritas Manila; Msgr. Cesar Pagulayan, parish priest, San Isidro Labrador Parish; and Fr. Paschal Ma. R. Gorgoña, San Roque parish priest, Pasay.

The panelists were—Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani Jr., D.D. – Bishop Emeritus, Our Lady of Fatima, Novaliches; Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual, president, DZRV Radyo Veritas846 and executive director for Caritas Manila; Msgr. Cesar Pagulayan, parish priest, San Isidro Labrador Parish; and Fr. Paschal Ma. R. Gorgoña, San Roque parish priest, Pasay.

The seven-kilometer walk Via Crucis or Penitential Walk will be held on Good Friday, April 18 and is intended for devotees to offer prayers and penitential sacrifices for the country’s safety from any disastrous calamity.

Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle is scheduled to give his reflection and final blessings to the participants of Via Crucis, which will start at exactly 5am at San Juan de Dios Hospital in Pasay City and will conclude at 10am at the recently re-opened historic landmark Manila Cathedral in Intramuros, Manila.

During the press briefing, the Meat-Free Friday Movement was also presented. It is a nationwide public relations campaign initiated by DZRV Radio Veritas846 for which will generate awareness, acceptance and action among Filipinos, especially the Catholic Church to consider offering not Friday of Lent, as well as the rest of the Fridays the whole year round and abstain from consuming meat.

The said movement is in support and in response to the World Cancer Research Fund’s recommendation to limit the eating of red meat such as beef, pork and chicken due to its contributory link to diseases that include colorectoral and bowel cancer, breast cancer in women, heart diseases and obesity—to name a few.

Present in the press briefing and were part of the panelists were—Bishop Teodoro C. Bacani Jr., D.D. – Bishop Emeritus, Our Lady of Fatima, Novaliches; Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual, president, DZRV Radyo Veritas846 and executive director for Caritas Manila; Msgr. Cesar Pagulayan, parish priest, San Isidro Labrador Parish; and Fr. Paschal Ma. R. Gorgoña, San Roque parish priest, Pasay.

The invitations to the Via Crucis were sent to 500 parishes in Metro Manila, which comprise of six dioceses. It is expected to draw 200 parishioners or more.

For further details and to RSVP, please contact Arnel Pelaco and John Julian Muñiz at (632) 9257931; +639184374444 and +639494245275. Also visit, CBCP’s official website.

Thankful for Being Part of Their History


Patrick Libao, an Aliw Awards finalists for Best Actor in a Musical is currently playing Jose Rizal in 'JOE: A Filipino Rock'sical'. Photograph by Dale Bacar.

Patrick Libao, an Aliw Awards finalists for Best Actor in a Musical is currently playing Jose Rizal in ‘JOE: A Filipino Rock’sical’. Photograph by Dale Bacar.

I have encountered the group Philippine Stagers Foundation (PSF) while I was doing PR, take note voluntary PR for the University of the Philippines’ Dulaang UP back in 2010. At that time, they were on the last stretch of their highly successful musical, an all-original Filipino production titled ‘Ako si Ninoy’.

Another show of theirs ‘Enzo… Santo’ did quite well as it inspired its audience through the life of the first Filipino saint, Lorenzo Ruiz. Back then, it was top-billed by Kierwin Larena. In the same year, the lead star was nominated for best actor in Aliw Awards, but failed to bring the award. However, the director Vince Tañada was voted best director.

In 2011, I had the chance to officially joined the company as their publicist. I did help in the publicity blitz of the sequel to their successful, longest running production ‘Ako si Ninoy’—and that was ‘Cory ng EDSA’ with Cindy Liper on the lead. The show gave the director, Mr. Tañada—the best actor in a musical and earned the best musical at Aliw Awards that same year. Also, it had a sweeping win at the first-ever BroadwayWorld.com Philippines awards as well. It earned eight awards. (For more details, click here.)

In July last year, PSF launched its latest offering—JOE: A Filipino Rock’sical, which also wowed its audience all over the country and had 328 shows in total. It also got a nomination at Aliw Awards for Patrick Libao’s portrayal of the three Jose Rizals in the said musical.

Within that year, one of its ensemble actor Jerome Ponce who landed on a role in ABS-CBN Channel 2’s morning romantic comedy series, ‘Please be Careful with My Heart’. He was part of the musical, ‘Cory ng EDSA’ and now included in Star Magic Circle 2013.

In November that year, one of former PSF’s prized actors, Kierwin Larena assumed the character that JM De Guzman portrayed in Dulaang UP’s ‘Orosman at Zafira’. With his training in PSF and talent, combined–he was able to land on one of the lead roles of Francisco Balagtas’s literary pieces turned into a musical stage presentation.

Kierwin Larena appeared in Dulaang UP's 'Orosman at Zafira' as replacement to JM de Guzman. Photograph courtesy of Dale Bacar.

Kierwin Larena appeared in Dulaang UP’s ‘Orosman at Zafira’ as replacement to JM de Guzman. Photograph courtesy of Dale Bacar.

Another reason why PSF had to rejoice–is the victory of Vince Tañada’s entry to Carlos P. Palanca Awards–for his straight play, ‘Ang Bangkay’.

PSF, as a group was also awarded as third best Jollibee Yumbassadors in 2012.

Jordan Ladra plays the second Filipino saint in PSF's 'Pedro Calungsod: A Filipino Musical' and JM Encinas, alternates with Vince Tañada in 'Bonifacio: Isang Zarswela'. Photograph courtesy of Mark Miranda.

Jordan Ladra plays the second Filipino saint in PSF’s ‘Pedro Calungsod: A Filipino Musical’ and JM Encinas, alternates with Vince Tañada in ‘Bonifacio: Isang Zarswela’. Photograph courtesy of Mark Miranda.

This coming season, I am excited to support the two musicals that PSF is producing—‘Bonifacio: Isang Zarswela’ and ‘Pedro Calungsod: A Filipino Musical’. For the first musical, it will star Vince Tañada as the lead role and is endorsed by DepEd and CHED, while the second is going to be starred by Jordan Ladra and endorsed by CEAP.

2013 is something to look forward to, not just for me, but also for the rest of the PSF family along with the two other heads Jeffrey Ambrosio and Chris Lim.

With all the blessings that this company has received, I am thankful for being part of this relatively new, but unstoppable theatre group’s history.

Ricky Lee’s ‘Himala’ book launched at Shang Cineplex


MANDALUYONG CITY, Philippines – After 30 years or so, the best-selling author Ricky Lee launched his latest book titled ‘Sa Puso ng Himala’ on Thursday, December 4, at Shang Cineplex lobby, Shangri-La Plaza Mall-EDSA.

Nora Aunor as Elsa is seen on the cover of Ricky Lee's 'Sa Puso ng Himala' coffee table book. Image courtesy of Philippine Writers Studio Foundation (PWSF).

Nora Aunor as Elsa is seen on the cover of Ricky Lee’s ‘Sa Puso ng Himala’ coffee table book. Image courtesy of Philippine Writers Studio Foundation (PWSF).


According to Ricky Lee, “It was a very difficult book to put together but the response made it all worth it.”

He added that in less than a month after they announced it on the social network site—facebook, they received more than 900 reservations for the hardbound edition. Some pre-orders even came from as far as Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Canada, Japan, and even more.

The concept was thought about when ABS-CBN Film Archive was coming out with the restored version of the film aside from the documentary on its making, Lee said, “Why not come out with a memorabilia book?

“Eventually the book became a peek into the 30-year journey of the film.”

The coffee table book features the full screenplay of ‘Himala’ with an English translation, interviews with Superstar Nora Aunor (who depicts faith-healer Elsa in the movie and was known for her performance in the said film), and everyone involved in the production. It also contains over 300 rare, unpublished photos that will take the reader on a fascinating trip behind the scenes in the making of this film.

‘Himala’ was directed by the late National Artist Ishmael Bernal in 1982 and was filmed entirely in the province of Ilocos Norte in just three weeks with a budget of only three million pesos. It was based on a true incident on a teenage girl in Cabra Island in Occidental Mindoro between 1966 and 1967.

The regular price is at Php600 per copy. For a bulk minimum purchase of 10 copies, buyers will get one copy for free. For reservations and confirmations, contact Jerry at (632) 4264961; 9289557; +639175331948.