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Posted in Music, Television

My 10 Favorite Saturday Performances of the Broadway Boys

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The Broadway Boys of Eat Bulaga! become better singers every week. The noontime show is really serious in developing the young boys’ vocal abilities and stage performances. The group is packaged as the youngest singing boy group of the New Broadway Centrum after the first season of Lola’s Playlist segment. The creative team of the longest noontime show made Saturdays as the concert days of the group with a special guest singer.

Since the Broadway Boys had enough number of live performances that may be included in any list of top stuff, here are my top 10 favorite Saturday performances of Joshua Torino, Joshua Lumbao, Benidict Aboyme, and Francis Aglabtin:

10. Broadway Boys with Rico Puno

09. Broadway Boys Sings Broadway Hits

08. Broadway Boys with Wency Cornejo and Tony G.

07. Broadway Boys with Aegis

06. Broadway Boys with Tito, Vic, and Joey

05. Broadway Boys with Marco Sison

04. Broadway Boys with Hajji Alejandro

03. Broadway Boys  with Anthony Castello

02. Broadway Boys with Raymond Lauchengco

01. Broadway Boys with Basil Valdez

My most favorite live performances are those production numbers of the Broadway Boys with Mr. Basil Valdez and Mr. Raymond Lauchengco. I like the boys’ collaboration with the aforementioned OPM icons because of the beauty of the melody and lyrics of the songs, the relaxing and joyful feelings that I experience everytime I press the replay button, the number of opportunities of each group member to become a soloist, and the excellent group singing of the members. Among the 10 performances, I feel more LSS moments whenever the hits of Lauchengco and Valdez play in the air.

I hope that you agree with my top 10 list. I want to know about your own list of anything about the EB Broadway Boys. I’m sure that you also became hooked on these young boys every time you replay their Eat Bulaga! performances. If they were able to capture our eyes and hearts to their stage prowess, I’m sure that they have more surprising performances in the next Saturdays.

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Note: All the videos and images included in this blog post were downloaded from the official YouTube channel of Eat Bulaga! 

Posted in social media, Television

Maine Mendoza and Her Paulinian Identity

The TV performances of Maine Mendoza has been the talk of the towns of netizens since Wednesday. The stage performances are collaborations with Mr. Ryan Agoncillo and professional street dancers for #DabarkadsGoals , an anniversary contest of Eat Bulaga! Many people thought that the performances would just be as ordinary as her previous production numbers but reality was once again proven to be stranger than expectations. Maine Mendoza did many cheerdance stunts on live national television with the Alarma hit dance of 1998 played in the background. Mendoza not only received standing ovation from the judges and the audience, her Team RaMen’s first performance became the Number 1 trending topic on YouTube Philippines. As of this afternoon, Maine Mendoza and the rest of Team RaMen are the official grand champions of the special anniversary contest.
On social media platforms, people describe Maine as a humble celebrity who would suddenly blow your mind with naturality and hidden talents. From my perspective, I did not only sense Maine as a TV and social media personality but a reflection of the Paulinian excellence in the performing arts and the English language. For a long time, many Paulinians showcased their talents in singing, dancing, acting, and hosting, regardless on whether they ventured into the creative professions or the hard sciences.

During the National and International SPC Educators’ Congress held in St. Paul College Pasig in 2016, a professional from the host school presented a paper about their Paulinians. If I could remember it right, part of the results show that Paulinians tend to excel more in the performing arts. The research results echo the papers published in St. Paul University Quezon City and the other St. Paul University System members about the track record of most of their alumni over the years. Maine Mendoza, an alumnus of St. Paul School of Sta. Maria and St. Paul College of Bocaue, mirrors the Paulinian strengths.

Maine Mendoza is a creative millennial who became an online sensation in 2015 due to her Dubsmash videos. In the same year, she maintained a blog and joined Eat Bulaga! where she was accidentally paired with Alden Richards for AlDub. Throughout 2015, Maine and Alden’s fictional AlDub love team took the Phlippines and social media by storm through record-breaking number of tweets and year-long high TV ratings. Aside from her popular Dubsmash performances, she also won a Best Supporting Actress trophy from MMFF 2015 and starred in a blockbuster romantic-comedy film with Alden Richards. She also had performances in a Sunday comedy variety show and a primetime romantic-comedy TV series on GMA Network. This year, aside from singing, dancing, and hosting on Eat Bulaga! from Monday until Saturday, she also continues to appear on various TV commercials.

I still can’t get over of Maine’s Eat Bulaga! performances this week. Once again, she made me and the other AlDub supporters more excited to see what she can offer to the viewers. I believe that she will be able to bring more to the entertainment industry and will be able to sustain her popularity for a long time. I believe so because she is a Paulinian and a Paulinian will never cease to be timeless and relevant whether it is in the academe or outside the academe.

Posted in Book Review

Read John C. Maxwell’s ‘The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader’

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Leadership is probably one of the topics that sounds too technical and too exclusive for people. It means educational management for teachers while it means business administration for entrepreneurs and company managers. It is also called in different names in other fields. The existence of many synonyms for leadership in general and specialized dictionaries give the impression that it is a difficult and broad subject. It is something guided by theories and experiences of those who assumed the high positions, and such perception remains across all hard-to-read leadership, management, and supervision titles in the academic sections of school libraries and book shops.

One month ago, I found a book from my brother’s little bookshelf. It is a book entitled The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader published by American pastor John C. Maxwell in 1999. It is indicated in the cover page that it sold over 1 million copies worldwide. Judging the cover page, it looked like a usual leadership book but my brother shunned the first impression when he told me that the book not only talks about leadership qualities but also talks about Christian values and inspirational quotes. Upon hearing the recommendation of my brother, I got hold of the book and read it until the last page.

John C. Maxwell says in The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader that the most important about being a leader is to develop the following 21 essential qualities: character, charisma, commitment, communication, competence, courage, discernment, focus, generosity, initiative, listening, passion, positive attitude, problem solving, relationship, responsibility, security, self-discipline, servanthood, teachability, and vision. Maxwell was right when he emphasized the importance of the aforementioned qualities of a leader. The qualities are indeed important and timeless regardless of any new leadership theory or technique that comes out in the next years.

The 21 qualities are discussed in the book in an easy-to-read and well-organized manner. The qualities are arranged and explained in such a way that the reader can easily get the essence, can do a self-reflection, and can apply each leadership quality in daily living. Maxwell’s book accentuates that being a leader of one’s self is an important pre-requisite to  being a leader of other people.

If you have not yet read this book from the top leadership expert in the world, you must get a copy of it either from the big book stores or from legitimate online stores.

Posted in Music, Television

The Cuteness and Talent of Joshua Lumbao

I posted about my favorite Francis Aglabtin videos this week. Francis Aglabtin, among the 4 members of Eat Bulaga’s Broadway Boys, is the one who has the greatest potential to be a competitive singer if his puberty will be in favor of him. Aside from Francis, there is another member who has a big potential in the local show business. This member, though can sing, can also be picked for modeling and teen acting in the future. The Broadway Boys member that I’m describing is Joshua Lumbao from Baguio City.

Joshua Lumbao is one of the 5 grand finalists of Lola’s Playlist, a singing contest of Eat Bulaga  (GMA Network). He is now 10 years old and an elementary student on weekdays. Some of the best performances of Joshua L. on Lola’s Playlist are ‘Born Free’ and ‘Fly Me To The Moon.’ He also performed his rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone,’ ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love,’ and ‘My Way’ on Eat Bulaga. 

Aside from his classic-type male voice, the Eat Bulaga viewers also praise him for being handsome and fresh-looking every time he performs with Joshua Torino, Benidict Aboyme, and Francis Aglabtin in Quezon City. He also has a few dubsmash videos, vlog interviews, and home-made music videos uploaded on YouTube. The EB viewers also like his English language fluency and innocence.

I hope that the parents and publicists of Joshua Lumbao will encourage him to try modeling and other showbiz activities while continuing the Broadway Boys thing. This is the right time for him to build up his child star image while puberty is still dormant. In the present competition in local showbusiness where there are many child stars, teen actors, love teams, and other stuff, not all people who became famous deserve their popularity. For Joshua Lumbao, he has more right to claim the spotlight if he wills it. As of now, what he could do are a few baby steps. He should prioritize in finising his studies first prior to dedicating all his resources to the local entertainment industry. Joshua Lumbao has the potential and he can either be the next Nino Muhlach or the next Kurt Perez.

Posted in Music, Television

My 5 Favorite Francis Aglabtin Videos on YouTube

Francis Aglabtin has been making a name in the hearts of GMA Network viewers since he won as the 1st Ultimate Champion   of Lola’s Playlist. This 10-year-old boy from San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan is regularly seen every Saturday as a member of Eat Bulaga’s Broadway Boys, a group of 4 young gentlemen who sing the classic songs of OPM icons. But even in the group singing part, the voice of Francis undeniably outshines the voices of Joshua Lumbao of Baguio City, former The Voice Kids contestant Joshua Torino, and Benedict Aboyme of Cavite. After many unforgettable Saturday performances on the Eat Bulaga stage, I became addicted in listening to Aglabtin’s Lola’s Playlist and amateur singing contest performances via YouTube. Soon, the songs became permanent part of my relaxation playlist.

Among all the Francis Aglabtin videos uploaded on the world wide web, I have considered 5 of them as the best footages of the adorable boy’s talent.

Number 5. You’ll Never Walk Alone

The video shows Francis singing one of Frank Sinatra’s popular hits in the 1960’s. The performance marks Aglabtin’s 8th win in the Lola’s Playlist segment of Eat Bulaga. The video was uploaded by julie ann on September 12, 2016, and registered more than 510 000 views, 3 000 likes, and 900 comments since its appearance on YouTube. 

Number 4. Bridge Over Troubled Water

This performance marked his victory of claiming the title as the 1st Hall of Fame of Eat Bulaga’s Lola’s Playlist. This another upload from julie ann attracted more than 440 000 views, 2 000 likes, and 700 comments since September 26, 2016.

Number 3. Impossible Dream 

This is Francis’ beautiful rendition of an inspiring Matt Monro classic. This another julie ann upload recorded more than 101 000 views, more than 600 likes, and more than 100 comments from September 01, 2016 until July 18, 2017. I pesonally like this song because the high notes that the boy hit match the emotions that he showed to all present in the New Broadway Centrum. It is also a motivational song to remind everyone to keep on chasing their dreams.

Number 2. If I Never Sing Another Song

Another Matt Monro classic performed by Francis on the Lola’s Playlist stage with a few adjusted arrangements with the notes. This is one of his most competitive performances because everything that he could vocally offer can be well-observed by both the judges and the audience. Francis’ version literally displaced Monro’s version from my musical memory. This wonderful performance was uploaded by Eat Bulaga on their official YouTube channel and has been attracting more than 106 000 views, more than 700 likes, and more than 70 comments.

Number 1. May Bukas Pa 

There are two versions uploaded on YouTube. The first version is a performance done at an invitational singing contest for a birthday party in Montalban, Rizal. The video shows Francis soulfully singing his rendition of the iconic OPM hit with gradual hitting of notes towards the end part of the performance number. This video, uploaded by misteraj23 on August 07, 2016, has a record of more than 110 000 views and over 180 comments as of July 18, 2017.

On the other hand, the second version is a performance done in an amateur singing contest sponsored by Barangay Malalay in Balayan, Batangas. Based on the audio of the video, this is a footage of Francis prior to winning the championship of Eat Bulaga’s Lola’s Playlist. A certain Oliver De Leon recorded the performance using a gadget with low resolution camera yet Aglabtin’s voice still sounded magnificent. This performance that already attracted more than 38 000 views, more than 400 likes, and more than 74 comments is so far the highest version that Francis ever sang in front of an audience.

Francis “Biboy” Aglabtin has a rare vocal gift from God developed by his family, by his experiences in all singing contests that he attended, and by the Eat Bulaga production team. I know that the high pitch of his voice will not remain forever  because of puberty. Whatever adjustment that Francis will do in response to his growth and development, I hope that he will be able to transition successfully just like what Charlie Green, Darren Espanto, and Sam Concepcion did when they experienced the same stage in their singing career.

Those are my 5 favorite Francis Aglabtin videos uploaded on YouTube. Do you also like the videos included in this list? Have you heard of Francis Aglabtin live? If you want to listen to all of the performances that I included in this Top 5 list, click each video below:

Posted in social media, Television

An ALDUB Supporter Since 2015

This day marks the celebration of the 2nd anniversary of AlDub, a phenomenal love team that unexpectedly started on the Juan for All, All for Juan segment of Eat Bulaga on July 16, 2015. The on-the-spot formation of the split-screen feature took the TV and social media by storm via the subsegment called Kalyeserye. Thanks to the supporters of a conservative love story, to the popularity of Eat Bulaga, and to the JoWaPao trio, Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza became instant superstars. The Kalyeserye subsegment made Eat Bulaga episodes as the highest-rated episodes of 2015, AlDub as the world-record holder with the most number of tweets generated in 24 hours, My Bebe Love, #KiligPaMore movie as one of the highest-grossing films of the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival, and AlDub as the top TVC model of 2015. In addition to everything mentioned above, Eat Bulaga’s ‘Tamang Panahon’ episode for AlDub became the live concert special with the most number of on-site audience of 2015, the first AlDub called ‘Imagine You and Me‘ became one of the top romantic-comedy films of 2016, and AlDub’s Destined To Be Yours TV series registered decent AGB Nielsen NUTAM people ratings during its entire run in 2017.

More than just getting into the bandwagon in 2015, what made me love AlDub is its mysterious appeal that began at the time when TV viewers had too much of infidelity, sensuality, and violence in almost all forms of entertainment media. AlDub’s unexpected popularity became possible on the perfect day at the perfect time. The love team and the  Kalyeserye (a subsegment that later became a segment) promoted the conservative Filipino customs on love, courtship, and family using some telenovela cliches’ and comedy in the longest-running noontime show Eat Bulaga on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Mount Carmel 2015 in an era of too much sexual scenes, too much drama, too much vulgar words, and too much negative political issues. AlDub served as an ice-breaker and a reminder of the core Filipino values that were already being forgotten in the present Philippines.

In addition to their miraculous rise to the limelight, I love the personality of Alden and Maine. Alden is a mother’s boy and a humble actor of GMA Network. Maine, on the other hand, is a humble and millennial blogger and social media user. For 2 years, they maintained professionalism, popularity, and decency. I hope that they will try new ventures in the showbusiness without becoming slutty, become entrepreneurs while they are still in their heydays, and continue their charity works with their fans. HAPPY 2ND ANNIVERSARY TO ALDUB AND TO THE ALDUB NATION! May God give you more blessings.

Posted in Music

My 15 Favorite International Singers

One character in a science fiction film said that music is the best medicine. It is especially true for people who listen to their favorite music genre after work or any event that brings too much emotional load. Many people say that music helps them to relax, recover, and reflect aside from being an entertaining creation. No wonder, a report released a few years ago said that music is among the top topics that people love to search and describe on the world wide web.

Last July 07, 2017, I posted the list about my 10 favorite Filipino singers. Today, this post is about my favorite international singers. I thought of coming up with 10 favorite artists but so many artists popped up in my head. Instead of limiting my list to 10 musicians, it included additional 5 artists. Here is the list of my 15 favorite international singers based on the number of their songs that became my all-time favorites:

15.) Aaron Carter

Aaron Carter is the only brother of Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys. He became popular child rapper and hip-hop singer in the late 1990’s after singing in one of the concerts of the Backstreet Boys. His popularity continued until the early part of 2000’s when he was becoming a teenage guy. I like most of his songs because each one of it contains remnants of bubble gum pop of the 1990’s and his voice is like a male counterpart of Britney Spears’. My most favorite songs from his records include ‘I’m All About You,’ ‘Leave It Up To Me,’ and ‘Do You Remember.’

14.) Jesse McCartney

Jesse McCartney is a former member of a short-lived 1990’s pop band. If I could remember it right, he became popular between 2004 and 2005 when he released the hit single ‘Beautiful Soul.’ He released 3 more studio albums after his chart-topping debut album. I personally like his songs because they perfectly describe my emotional adjustments during my teenage years. Each single he releases fits my developmental years and I think that Jesse is the musician that sings about my soul.

My most favorite JMac songs are ‘Beautiful Soul,’ ‘Because You Live,’ ‘Just So You Know, ‘Right Back in the Water,’ ‘We Can Go Anywhere,’ and ‘How Do You Sleep.’

13.) Michael Jackson 

Michael Jackson is one of the iconic best-sellers in the modern music of the entire planet. This former member of the Jackson 5 became popular from the 70’s until the 90’s and was hailed as the King of Pop Music. Michael Jackson’s music videos are among my most favorite because each was artistically created. Some of my favorite songs from his legendary records include ‘Smooth Criminal, ‘Thriller.’ ‘We Are the World, ‘Heal the World, and ‘Billie Jean.’

12.) N’Sync

The American pop band that almost equaled the success of Backstreet Boys. The boyband that defined the street dance of the 1990’s recorded some of my favorite dance songs such as ‘Bye Bye Bye,’ ‘It’s Gonna Be Me,’ and ‘Tearin’ Up My Heart.’ Aside from their dance steps, I also like their voices because they carried the signature bubble gum pop sound of the 1990’s decade.

11.) Blue

Blue is a British pop band that rose to fame in the beginning of the 21st Century. Unlike the sound of the Backstreet Boys and N’Sync, theirs is a mature type. Most of their songs are about mature love struggles, adult love, and sensuality yet catchy because of the good combination of their voices. One member is a belter, one is a rapper, one is a soft ballad singer, and one has a husky and manly voice. Some of their songs are also among the hardest to sing. My favorite songs from this European band include ‘All Rise,’ “Breathe Easy,’ “Guilty,’ ‘Best in Me,’ ‘If You Come Back,’ and ‘One Love.’

10.) Justin Timberlake

JT is a former member of N’Sync and an award-winning performer. This former boyfriend of Britney Spears knows how to sing and how to make a hit song. Some of my favorite songs came from his music collection such as ‘Can’t Stop the Feeling,’ ‘Mirrors,’ ‘Cry Me A River,’ and ‘Like I Love You.’

9.)Linkin Park

The rock band that perfectly describe my political and environmental stance, and gave an accurate picture of what everyone feels in times of extreme loneliness and uncontrollable rebellious feelings. Linkin Park is known in the early 2000’s as a rock band, the singer behind the highest-grossing Transformers films of Michael Bay, and a transitioning pop band. Some of my favorite songs from their records are ‘In The End,’ ‘Numb,’ ‘What I’ve Done,’ and ‘New Divide.’

8.) Celine Dion

The Canadian diva behind the theme song of Titanic and Beauty and the Beast. She is considered one of the top 3 greatest divas of all-time and remains as a true inspiration to those who want to win any major singing competition. Celine Dion can hit high notes yet retain the right emotions that the her songs needed to convey. Some of my favorite songs from her include ‘My Heart Will Go On,’ ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ and ‘Power of Love.’

7.) Whitney Houston

The American singer that established the standard of being a diva in the 1980’s. Her golden voice earned her 7 consecutive Billboard Number 1 hits, certified hit albums, and sold out concerts all over the world. Some of my favorite masterpieces from this music icon include ‘When You Believe,’ ‘Greatest Love of All,’ and ‘One Moment in Time.’

6.) Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey is the best-selling diva of the 1990’s and known as the world’s songbird at that time. She also served as a standard of amateur singers who wanted to win a talent competition. Mariah brings variety to the themes of her songs. She sang ballads, pop songs, and RNB. She successfully maintained her market value from the 1990’s until 2010.

Many songs from Carey are included in my inspirational playlist. Some of my favorite Mariah Carey songs are ‘Hero,’ ‘When You Believe,’ ‘Can’t Take Away,’ ‘Through the Rain,’ and ‘Hero.’

5.) Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber is the only new artist in this list. This best-selling artist of the world started in 2009 as a new teenage pop musician whose growth in the industry and in life is on the limelight in 24/7. I placed Bieber at the No. 5 spot because most of his songs are part of a playlist that brings good vibes into the air. Just like Jesse McCartney, Bieber sings about my soul and his songs describe the optimistic side of my personality.

Some of my favorite Bieber songs include ‘One Time,’ ‘Baby,’ ‘U Smile,’ ‘Favorite Girl,’ and ‘Never Say Never.’

4.) Backstreet Boys

The American pop band that defined the boyband songs of the 1990’s. The songs of this group are part of my work mode and good vibes playlists. The signature sound of the 1990’s are very evident in their first singles and in their voices. Some of my favorite songs from them include ‘As Long As You Love Me,’ ‘I Want It That Way, and ‘Drowning.’

3.) Britney Spears

Britney Spears is the all-time pop princess of global music whose voice is one of the most iconic in the music industry. Many of her songs perfectly describe my personality, remind me to continue working hard and smart, and help me relax. Some of my favorite songs from this beautiful woman include ‘Sometimes,’ ‘Crazy,’ ‘Overprotected,’ and ‘Oops… I Did It Again.’

2.) A1

A European pop band whose songs are included in my work mode and good vibes playlist. They are one of the pop bands that started in the late 1990’s and rose to fame in the early 2000’s. Some of their iconic singles that I love are ‘Everytime,’ ‘Like A Rose, ‘Heaven By Your Side,’ and ‘Walking in the Rain.’

1.) Westlife

If there is one artist whose songs have been my most favorite since grade school, it is none other than Westlife. Their songs are not only part of my work mode and relaxation playlists; they are also part of my videoke hit list if I am in the mood to sing. Their songs are classic in the sense that I still experience the exact relaxing and inspiring feelings whenever their music passes through my ears. Unlike the songs of the other musicians, the songs of Westlife are those that I can replay many times a day without getting bored of it. The songs of Westlife not only help me survive a day but it also reminds me of the best moments of my childhood.

My favorite songs from Westlife are those in their self-titled debut album, in their Coast to Coast album, and the singles from the World of Our Own album. I also like ‘Obvious,’ their rendition of ‘Mandy’ and ‘Home,’ and their rejected ‘Beautiful in White’ song.   

I already shared the list of my favorite international singers with you. What artists are inlcuded in your list of favorite musicians? Feel free to post your own list in the comments’ section below.

Posted in Music

My 10 Favorite Filipino Singers

I am not a professional musician but music is one of my favorite forms of entertainment. I have been a music listener since kindergarten and I noticed that most of my favorite musical masterpieces are sung by a few musical artists. Most of my favorite songs and live performances belong to the OPM category while the remaining percentage are foreign music. In this blog post, I listed my top 10 favorite Filipino artists from 1997 until 2017.

Rank No. 10. Francis Aglabtin, Joshua Lumbao, Joshua Torino, and Benedict Aboyme

These 4 excellent boys make-up the Broadway Boys of Eat Bulaga. They are the grand finalists of a singing contest segment of the noontime show. They started as a boy group singing old songs from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. Later on, TAPE Inc. made them a weekly group that sing with the pillars of OPM every Saturday . Some of their Saturday performances include those with Aegis, VST and Company, Hajji Alejandro, and other OPM icons. These boys do not have their original singles and studio album yet. I hope that Eat Bulaga will continue to develop them until they release their original works.
Rank No. 9. VST and Company

VST and Company is a group that pioneered the Manila sound, the popular music genre that flourished during the Martial Law Era. According to some sources, Manila sound is the predecessor of OPM that everyone knows. Some of the classics from this Bee Gees-inspired group include ‘Ikaw Lang Ang Aking Mahal,’ ‘Ipagpatawad Mo,’ and ‘Awitin Mo at Isasayaw Ko.’ Their songs have sensible messages and the melody is smooth to the ears.

Rank No. 8. Darren Espanto

Darren is the first winner of The Voice Kids Philippines, a franchise of The Voice broadcasted by ABS-CBN. He is known for belting Sia’s ‘Chandelier,’ Whitney Houston’s ‘One Moment in Time,’ and the songs of Ariana Grande. What I like about him is the fact that he can reach high notes effortlessly.

Rank No. 7. Julie Anne San Jose

This alumnus of Angelicum College Q.C. started as the artist behind some of the Tagalized Korean dramas broadcasted by GMA Network. When she reached the right age, GMA packaged her into a sexy pop singer. I like most of her original songs because they are light and relaxing. Some of my favorite singles from her catalogue are ‘I’ll Be There,’ ‘Right Where You Belong,’ and ‘Enough.’

Rank No. 6. Sarah Geronimo

Sarah Asher Geronimo is currently the queen of Viva Records and ABS-CBN Star Cinema. Prior to winning Star for a Night in the early 2000’s, she is a high school student of my sister in the University of Santo Tomas Education High School. She used to be an off-shoot of the era of Philippine divas. In the present decade, she successfully transitioned into a singer who sings catchy low-key pop songs in order to bring something new to the listeners. Some of my favorite Sarah G. songs are ‘Sa Iyo,’ ‘Dahil Minahal Mo Ako,’ and ‘If Only.’

Rank No. 5. Lani Misalucha

Lani is one of the versatile singers in the Philippines. She is the only one who can rival Regine Velasquez in terms of vocal prowess. Her music is similar with the sound of Black American singers such as Whitney Houston and Jennifer H. Some of my favorite songs of her are ‘Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin’ and ‘Tila.’

Rank No. 4. Charice (Charice Pempengco or Jake Zyrus)

Charice Pempengco was a grand finalist of a singing contest of ABS-CBN. After losing to Sam Concepcion, she became popular on YouTube. Her international fame started after her critically-acclaimed number when she performed as a guest of Oprah and The Ellen Degeneres Show. She also did belting moments on the ASAP stage, appeared as a guest star on Glee, and released a song that broke into the higher part of Billboard Top 100. I like her because of her vocal prowess and she became a threat to Sarah Geronimo’s dival career before. Now, Charice is happy with her life.

Rank No. 3. Gloc 9

He is the only rapper on my list yet he placed 3rd. It is because his songs are both cool and deep. His rap songs have political and social undertones which made him a singer that echoed my opinions on Philippine politics and Filipino society. Among his songs, my most favorite is ‘Dapat Tama,’ the official theme song for the electoral coverage of GMA News and Public Affairs.

Rank No. 2. Sam Concepcion

Sam Concepcion is the grand champion of Little Big Star. He became an artist of Universal Records after his winning moment and grew up into a total package — he can sing, dance, and act. That is why he has a lot of exposures. Sam became so passionate about his craft yet he was not given the break that Daniel Padilla, Anne Curtis, and James Reid experienced. For me, Sam has one of the versatile male voices in the Philippines and also a triple threat to anyone if given the right break in his showbiz career. Some of my favorite Sam Concepcion songs are ‘Dati,’ ‘Forever Young,’ ‘Mahal Na Mahal Kita,’ and ‘I’ll Follow Your Heart.’

Rank No. 1. Regine Velasquez

Regine Velasquez is a grand champion of a local singing contest and an international singing contest. She became one of the OPM singers that defined the 1990’s and the early 2000’s. She has a soft voice that can hit high notes like Mariah Carey and Celine Dion. She can properly and perfectly shift from low notes to mid notes to high notes and back to lower notes without sounding awkward. She is also a good live performer; no wonder all her concerts are certified sold out. Her voice even outlived the voice of Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston. Some of my favorite Regine songs are ‘Araw Gabi,’ ‘Kung Maibabalik Ko Lang,’ ‘Pangako,’ and ‘On the Wings of Love.’

Those are my 10 favorite OPM singers of all time as of July 07, 2017. I am not sure whether the ranking will remain that way forever but most likely, no one will be removed from the list because their songs became permanent part of my playlists. Thanks for reading this post and I hope you liked it.

Posted in Opinion

‘The Lost Symbol’ May Bring Back the Lost Appeal of Robert Langdon Films

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I finished reading The Lost Symbol today. I think that this 3rd book of Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series is more thrilling and more interesting than Inferno. No wonder it is listed by some online sources as one of the best-selling novels in the world alongside with The Da Vinci Code and Angels and Demons. It sold more copies than Inferno and will probably become a blockbuster suspense-thriller if adapted into a Hollywood film.

The Lost Symbol is about the 24-hour adventures of Dr. Robert Langdon in Washington D.C. Upon receiving a phone invitation to speak to an audience, he went to the United States’ capital and arrived at the venue of the evening talk. He was surprised to find out that there was no scheduled talk on that night. In the middle of his confusion and disappointment, he received a cellphone call that initiated adventurous and mystery-filled events involving Freemasonry, the landmarks and icons of Washington D.C., a family, and the CIA. It is in this unexpected involvement where the famous Harvard University professor faced his scariest antagonist.

For those people who have not yet read the book, all the prejudices and overused plot elements that you know about Washington D.C. will almost diminish throughout your reading experience until your eyes reach the mind-boggling ending. Just like the other Dan Brown books, the notable twists and clever use of conspiracy theories in this book will never disappoint you.

I have not heard any update on whether there’ll be another Robert Langdon film in the future. If ever Paramount Pictures decides to produce another Dan Brown-inspired film, there is a 50 % chance that it will be The Lost Symbol while the remaining 50 % goes to The Origin (upcoming 2017 fiction). I am hoping that the next Robert Langdon film will be The Lost Symbol and the future director should stick to R-18 quality in order to make it more faithful to the book. If The Lost Symbol becomes an R-18 Hollywood movie that I wanted it to be, it may bring more positive film reviews and more earnings for the Robert Langdon series, and make-up for the disappointing box-office performance and negative reviews recorded by the Inferno movie.   

Posted in Opinion

My Request as a Loyal Supporter: “Manny Pacquiao. Please Retire.”

Horn won the Brisbane fight today, adding another entry in Pacquiao’s list of losses. Many commentators and viewers contest that Manny should have won the match based on the number of counted punches released. This is indeed a controversial outcome yet undeniably brought back the thrill of uncertainty to world boxing. The post-fight interview lead to more news and teasers to all sports news outlets, online media, and mainstream broadcasting media companies. The Battle of Brisbane this year made sports more exciting. 

Beyond the informal press conference beside the boxing ring. Beyond Horn’s corner, I am imagining how the face of Pacquiao looks like at his corner. Maybe he is with his wife and other Filipino companions now. Maybe they are doing a press conference of their own or heading towards their Australian place for rest and reflection. I am not sure about what Team Pacquiao will discuss when fly back to the Philippines but I hope that they are not thinking of a rematch or a new match for Manny. I’m a loyal Pacquiao supporter but I do not want to see another ring where Pacquiao struggles more for his life than for bringing a good boxing scene. 

When Pacquiao made historical and newsworthy wins on national television in the 1990’s, he became a household name. He rivaled the brand of Fenando Poe Jr.’s movie characters because whenever people talk about speed, big deal boxing, and powerful punches, Pacquiao is the immediate metaphor that comes to mind. From the late 1990’s until the mid-2000’s, Pacquiao brought exciting games to the world and such endeavor etched more than 50 matches, national and international awards, and a showbiz career. Back then, every fight of Manny made me excited because throughout all rounds until press conference, he used to remain strong and passionate. Those were the glorious days.

I guess every public figure on the limelight, whether in sports or showbiz, experiences more life and career challenges as they get older. In the case of Manny Pacquiao, he experienced many challenges at the peak of his career. Now, considered a “Hall of Fame” personality, I feel more nervousness than excitement in every Manny Pacquiao boxing match. I do not feel nervous because of a possibility of loss at the ring; I’m nervous for Manny’s life. I got the feeling that Manny’s life is already at stake for every younger challenger that he faces and it should be a sign already that his time has ended. As a loyal supporter, Manny does not anymore need to undergo the same physically-painful kind of making a living at the sunrise of his 40th year. He does not need a political or pastoral career as part of his retirement plan. He has a lot of money, and I guess it is not yet too late to make investments in stocks, more savings, and in establishing more businesses. 

As a loyal supporter, I think Manny Pacquiao should retire. Not because I’m disappointed of the results of the Battle of Brisbane , but because I think it is what’s good for Pacquiao. Manny has done so much for the Filipino flag and for boxing, his retirement will be understood by more than 100 million Filipinos and millions of boxing fans around the world. He inspired a significant number of boxers and I think he will leave the boxing ring confidently with fresh talents who will sustain the excitement and popularity of boxing.