From Nuffnang

Friday, February 28, 2014

Filipino Movies with Titles that Include the Word "Huli" (End or Last): 1995 to 1996

Knowledge that today is the end of February led me to browse the collection and look for Filipino movies with titles that include the word huli.  In this context, huli that means "end or last" is pronounced with stress in the second syllable. It should be noted that huli pronounced without stress means "to catch" or "to arrest." From 1995 to 1996, there were four action movies with titles that include the word huli.

Robin Padilla and Andrew E. played the role of partner cops in P're Hanggang sa Huli! (Dude, Until to the End!), a Viva Films presentation that was released on March 22, 1995. This action-comedy was directed by Ricardo "Bebong" Osorio. Other members of the cast include Mat Ranillo III, Daniel Fernando, Donita Rose, Angelu De Leon and Charlene Gonzalez.

P're Hanggang Sa Huli, Andrew E., Robin Padilla

The release of actor-turned-politician Lito Lapid's Hanggang Sa Huling Bala (Down to the Last Bullet) marks his win as provincial governor of Pampanga. It was released on May 31, 1995 just a few weeks later after the May 12 elections. Lapid's political career started in three years earlier, when he won as provincial vice governor. In the 1995 elections, Lapid defeated the incumbent Bren Z. Guiao.

Hanggang Sa Huling Bala, Lito Lapid

This Megavision Films presentation was written and directed by Jose N. Carreon. It also features Plinky Recto, Dennis Roldan, Dante Rivero, Jess Lapid Jr., Sharmaine Suarez and Dick Israel. Hanggang Sa Huling Bala has the following tagline: "Alone and Down to His Last Bullet, Can This Man Survive the Final Battle?"

Ace Vergel, Monsour del Rosario, and Aiko Melendez were dubbed as the "The Ultimate Action Triangle"during the promotions for Huling Sagupaan (Last Battle). Vergel's career as an action star started in the late 1970s, while Del Rosario was a taekwondo champion prior to venturing into movies. Melendez is still known for her dramatic portrayals in movies and television.  Huling Sagupaan, a Regal Films presentation, opened in theaters on August 8, 1996. Philip Ko and Teddy Gomez co-directed this action movie.

Ben Balasador ... Akin ang Huling Alas! (Ben Balasador ... The Last Ace Is Mine!) had Ian Veneracion in the title role. In Filipino gambling parlance, balasador refers to someone who shuffles the cards. This co-production by OctoArts Films and Cinemax Studios opened in theaters on August 21, 1996. Under the direction of Pepe Marcos, other members of the cast include Patrick Guzman, Mark Gil, Shirley Fuentes, King Gutierrez, Charlie Davao, Bing Davao, Teresa Loyzaga and Beth Tamayo.

Ian Veneracion, Ben Balasador

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Great Appetizer: Fresh "Talaba" (Oysters) in Vinegar

Talaba (oyster) is a type of shellfish that is commonly found in coastal areas in the Philippines. This shellfish can be used as an ingredient in many kinds of dishes, but it is also best eaten raw when freshly plucked out from the shell. Talaba is also an affordable source of protein. It may be sold with or without the shell. A package that includes about half a cup of shucked oyster meat sells for as low as 20 pesos in public markets.

talaba, oyster, kilawin, food
Talaba shells

As said before, talaba can be eaten raw. To add twist to the eating experience, raw talaba can be made into kilawin. Kilawin is an appetizer similar to ceviche, but vinegar is used instead of lemon juice. Shown below is talaba prepared kilawin. It is made by adding vinegar, ground black pepper, crushed garlic and chopped onions to about half a cup of talaba. At least two chili peppers are then cut into threes and added to the mixture to make a spicier appetizer.

talaba, oyster, kilawin, food, appetizer, ceviche, kilawing talaba

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Implications of the 1986 People Power Revolution

In a 1996 article for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Amando Doronila wrote that the 1986 People Power Revolution hindered a military plot to seize the government. He said that ten years later, the Philippines did not make a clean break from the Marcos dictatorship so its democracy and its transition remain flawed. Following is a copy of Doronila's analysis of the People Power Revolution.

"The prediction that the fervor of celebration of the People Power Revolution would wane over the years has been proved wrong. Ten years after the event, Edsa is commemorated with even more intense passion and partisanship than it was in the past..."

"If there should be a coup after the collapse of civil authority, it is certain to come from segments of the armed forces which not only monopolize the power of state coercion. The military also continues to harbor messianic officers who believe that the army has a right to intervene to save the nation from chaos..."

The EDSA Shrine on the corner of Ortigas and the People's Power Monument on the corner of White Plains were the center of the tenth anniversary celebration of the uprising. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer / February 25, 1996)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Remembering the 1986 People Power Revolution

Today is the twenty-eighth anniversary of the culmination of the People Power Revolution, a series of nonviolent demonstrations that resulted in the departure of President Ferdinand Marcos and the restoration of democracy in the country.

Philippine Daily Inquirer February 25, 1996

The People Power Revolution also paved the way for Corazon Aquino, the widow of opposition leader Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., to become the Philippines' first woman president. It is also known as EDSA Revolution because majority of the demonstrations took place on a long stretch of Epifanio de los Santos Avenue, popularly known by its acronym EDSA.

In 1996, the Philippine Daily Inquirer published a series of excerpts from Chronology of a Revolution, a book researched and written by Angela Stuart-Santiago and edited by Lorna Kalaw-Tirol. The book provides snippets of the People Power Revolution. The following are scanned copies of the fourth part of the series.

People Power Revolution, EDSA, Chronology of a Revolution, 1986

"MALACANANG PALACE: (Ferdinand) Marcos' two sons-in-law were supervising the packing of dozens of crates of family possessions, including hundreds of thousands of dollars of gold bullion and bonds, more than $1 million worth of freshly printed pesos, as well as artifacts and jewels. These were delivered by boat to a bayfront lawn adjacent to the US Embassy..."

People Power Revolution, EDSA, Chronology of a Revolution, 1986

"MALACANANG PALACE: (Col. Arturo C.) Aruiza saw Fe Roa Gimenez, Ms. Marcos' private secretary, emptying her desk of papers. At first, she fed them to the shredder but it was slow work. Aruiza suggested that she pile them all in one place and he would order the boys to burn them ..."

People Power Revolution, EDSA, Chronology of a Revolution, 1986

Monday, February 24, 2014

This Week in Philippine History and Culture (February 22 to 28)

Feb. 22, 1899: Filipino forces under the command of General Antonio Luna started counterattacks against the American forces during the Philippine-American War. Manila, however, is not regained from the Americans. 

Feb. 22, 1927: Florencio Campomanes (d. May 3, 2010), the first Filipino to hold the presidency of the Federation internationale des echecs (FIDE) or World Chess Federation, is born in Manila. Campomanes held office as FIDE president from  1982 to 1995. 

Feb. 22, 1942: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt orders General Douglas MacArthur out of the Philippines as the victory of the Japanese military forces in the Pacific theatre of the Second World War becomes imminent. 

Feb. 22, 1971:  Actress and singer Maria Lea Carmen Imutan Salonga, more popularly known as Lea Salonga, is born in Angeles City, Pampanga. Salonga is known for playing the lead role of Kim in the original West End and Broadway productions of the musical Miss Saigon. For her performance, Salonga won the Olivier, Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Theatre World awards.

Aside from being the first Filipino artist to be signed to an international record label (Atlantic Records in 1993), Salonga is also the first Philippine-based artist to have received a major album release and distribution deal in the U.S. Salonga is also the first Asian actress to play the roles of Eponine and Fantine in the musical Les Miserables on Broadway.

Feb. 22, 1986: The People Power Revolution started in the Philippines.

Feb. 23, 1945: The 11th Airborne Division, with the assistance of Filipino guerrillas, free the captives of the internment camp in Los Baños, Laguna.

Feb. 23, 1945: Manila, the capital of the Philippine Islands, is liberated by combined Filipino and American forces.

Feb. 24, 1945:  Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo declares Proclamation 1017 placing the country in a state of emergency in an attempt to avert a possible military coup.

Feb. 25, 1965: Award-winning film and television actress Maricel Soriano is born in Manila. Popularly known as "The Diamond Star," Soriano's filmography encompasses different genres including drama, comedy, fantasy, horror, suspense, action and romance. 

Feb. 25, 1986: The People Power Revolution culminates with the President Ferdinand Marcos fleeing the Philippines after two decades of rule. On the other hand, Corazon Aquino is sworn in as the Philippines' first woman president.

Feb. 25, 1993: Mary Walter (b. September 10, 1912) dies at the age of 80. Walter's career as an actress spanned almost seven decades, starting with the 1927 film Ang Lumang Simbahan. She retired to her hometown in Sorsogon province in 1948 but was persuaded to act again a decade later, appearing in Kastilaloy, an LVN Studios production.

Walter was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences in 1980 and the Gawad Urian in 1992.

Feb. 26, 1937:  Zamboanga is declared a city by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 39.  Located in the tip of Zamboanga Peninsula, the city was formerly known as Jambangan or "Land of Flowers." 

Feb. 27, 2004: A bomb planted by terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf Group in SuperFerry 14  explodes, killing 116 aboard. SuperFerry 14 was a 10,192-ton vessel that sailed out of Manila for Cagayan de Oro City via Bacolod City and Iloilo City. The explosion tore through the vessel an hour after its 11 p.m. sailing. The 3.6-kilogram TNT bomb was inside a television set placed in the vessel's lower decks.

Feb. 28, 1916: Cesar Climaco (d. November 14, 1984) a politician who served as mayor of Zamboanga City for 11 years and three nonconsecutive terms, is born in the said city. He was a prominent critic of the martial law regime of President Ferdinand Marcos.

Climaco became famous for his refusal to cut his hair until democratic rule was restored in the Philippines. An unknown gunman assassinated Climaco in 1984. Nobody has been convicted for the crime.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Movie Ads: "Ultimatum" (1994)

Ultimatum, an action movie produced by Viva Films, opened in theaters on February 23, 1994. This movie features veteran actor Eddie Garcia in the lead role, under the direction of Cirio H. Santiago. Other cast members include Dina Bonnevie and Vernon Wells.

action movies, Eddie Garcia, Ultimatum

Saturday, February 22, 2014

"Pan de Sal" Featured in Saveur Magazine

The January-February 2014 issue of Saveur Magazine features what it calls "The 100 most mind-bending, eye-opening, and palate-awakening dishes, drinks, ingredients, people, places, publications, and tools ..." The Philippines is represented through the pan de sal, which is No. 89 in the list.

In the write-up for the magazine, Kellie Evans describes pan de sal as "pillowy rolls that the Filipino women in our Catholic congregation would bring along with them from home. The rolls, which take a tumble in bread crumbs before proofing and baking, have a sweet and tender, spongy interior."

A recipe for the pan de sal is also included in that issue of Saveur Magazine.

pan de sal, Saveur, recipes, food
Image Credit: Saveur Magazine

Pan De Sal (Sweet Filipino-Style Bread Rolls)

6 cups bread four, plus more
1 cup, plus 1 tbsp. sugar
1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt
2 1⁄2 cups milk, heated to 115°
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted, plus more
1 egg
1 cup plain bread crumbs

1. Whisk four, 1 cup sugar, and salt in a bowl. Stir 1 tbsp. sugar, 1 cup milk, and yeast in another bowl; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add remaining milk, plus the melted butter and egg; whisk until smooth. Slowly stir in dry ingredients until dough comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead dough until smooth, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl and cover loosely with plastic wrap; set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 

2. Place bread crumbs on a plate. On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Working with 1 piece at a time, pat dough into a 4" x 9" rectangle  about 1⁄2" thick. Working from one long end, roll dough into a tight cylinder. Cut dough crosswise into five 1 1⁄2" rolls. Gently coat cut sides of rolls in bread crumbs; place cut side up on parchment paper–lined baking sheets, spaced about 2" apart. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. 

3. Heat oven to 350°. Bake rolls until golden, 15-20 minutes.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Filipino Movies with Titles that Include the Word "Langit" (Heaven): 1994 to 1995

The Tagalog word langit means "sky" or "heaven" in English. As a result, langit has a positive connotation in the Filipino language. In the mid-1990s, a number of movies that include the word langit were released.

Kapantay ay Langit  (Equal to Heaven), a Viva Films production, opened in theaters on February 9, 1994. It was one of the movies that featured the tandem of Sharon Cuneta and Richard Gomez. Under the direction of Joel Lamangan, other cast members include Tonton Gutierrez, Bing Loyzaga, Charina and Hazel Huelves.

The title is based on a George Canseco composition that was original sung by Amapola and later popularized by Pilita Corrales. It can be noticed that the phrase "Brought to you by Selecta and Bench" appears at the top of the advertisement. During those times Cuneta and Gomez were endorsing the ice cream brand and apparel line, respectively. After two decades (and if the casting is already final), Sharon Cuneta and Richard Gomez will once more topbill the upcoming TV5 show My Pirated Family.

Vina Morales and Ariel Rivera led the cast of (again) Joel Lamangan's Anghel na Walang Langit (Angel Without a Heaven), another production by Viva Films. Albert Martinez, Gary Estrada, Bing Loyzaga and Marjorie Barretto are part of the supporting cast. This movie opened in theaters on November 2, 1994.

The OctoArts Films production Muntik Nang Maabot ang Langit (Almost Reached Heaven) was a launching vehicle for contract star Jennifer Mendoza. The similarly-titled theme song is performed by rock band True Faith. The movie, which was directed by Manuel "Fyke" Cinco, opened in theaters on August 23, 1995. Other cast members include Charito Solis, Tonton Gutierrez and Patrick Guzman.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Rice Cake Called "Espasol"

Espasol is a type of rice cake that is said to have originated from the province of Laguna. It is made from rice flour cooked in coconut milk and sweetened coconut strips. The mixture is then shaped into tubes and dredged with toasted rice flour. Espasol can be wrapped in Japanese paper or banana leaves.

Wrapped espasol

The espasol shown in the photos is part of a set of four sold for 100 pesos in Tagaytay City. It is sold by ambulant vendors who sell their wares at the city's public market. The four-for-100 promo was available in 2012. Perhaps the price has increased after almost two years.

Unwrapped espasol

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Looking for Ben Tisoy

Many are wondering about the whereabouts of Ben Tisoy, a comedian known for a characteristic hand movement that he does while speaking. The palms are positioned parallel to the cheeks. Each palm is positioned about five to six inches. For each syllable of spoken word, the palms are waved.

Ben Tisoy, comedians
Image Credit: Quick Meme

A quick check with IMDb, however, reveals that Ben Tisoy is a moniker of Ben Sanchez. Sanchez played bit roles in movies from the 1960s to early 2000s. He probably got the nickname at a time when political correctness is not yet widespread. The slang term tisoy is the diminutive of mestizo. Anyone labeled as such is expected to have a fair complexion. Ben Tisoy does not.

According to entertainment writer Butch Francisco, the comedian is also part of Ito 'Yun, ang Galing!, a lunchtime program that was broadcast by MBS-4 (currently known as PTV4) before the EDSA Revolution. Ben Tisoy's popularity increased when he became part of John en Marsha, the long-time RPN-9 sitcom that was topbilled by Dolphy. The following video is a snippet of a John en Marsha episode that features Ben Tisoy.

When the sitcom ended in 1990, Ben Tisoy continued to appear in movies. Based on Ben Tisoy's IMDb page, the comedian last appeared in the 1998 film Ala eh... con Bisoy Hale-Hale-Hoy! Laging panalo ang mga unggoy. He was never heard of ever since. There are some jokes that Ben Tisoy died due to a fall after doing the famous gesture while clinging outside a running passenger jeepney. I still believe that Ben Tisoy is very much alive. His whereabouts? I do not know. Do you?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"Gilingang Bato" (Millstone)

In an era when there was no electric food processing equipment, our ancestors used the gilingang bato (millstone) to grind rice and other grains into flour. The end product is then cooked with other ingredients to make puto (rice cake). The gilingang bato comprises a stationary bedstone and a turning runner stone. The runner stone is rotated above the bedstone to conduct the grinding. It has a shaft that is typically made of wood.

gilingang bato, millstone

Monday, February 17, 2014

Michael Christian Martinez: First Filipino Figure Skater at the Winter Olympics

Filipinos witnessed sports history on February 13 and 14 as Michael Christian Martinez participated in men's single figure skating at the XXII Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Martinez, the lone Filipino delegate to the quadrennial event, is also the first Southeast Asian skater to qualify for the Olympics.

Michael Christian Martinez, Winter Olympics, figure skaters, Sochi, figure skating
Image Credit: InterAksyon

Considering that the Philippines does not have winter, audiences from other countries got amazed with Martinez's flexible moves. Despite the lack of proper training facilities in this country, Martinez still pulled it off. No thanks to the government, their family's house was even mortgaged to finance the preparations. He has proved that dedication and determination is a bigger factor to realize significant achievement in sports (and any other endeavor).

Martinez may have finished nineteenth in a field of thirty competitors, but his first Olympic stint is considered a quantum leap for his skating career. Only seventeen years of age, he has still lots of opportunity to further improve his skills and prove to be a threat to leading names in figure skating.   This young man has just proved that there is hope for Philippine sports. Let us support his quest to win the elusive Olympic gold medal and impart glory to this country.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

This Week in Philippine History and Culture (February 15 to 21)

Feb. 15, 1895: Jovita Fuentes (d. August 7, 1978)  is born in the capital town of Capiz (now Roxas City) in Capiz province. During the 1920s and 1930s, Fuentes gained renown as an opera singer abroad. In 1976, Fuentes became the first Filipina who earned the National Artist in Music.

Feb. 16, 1899: Apolinario Mabini, the Prime Minister of the Philippine Republic under President Emilio Aguinaldo, writes a letter to Galicano Apacible in Hong Kong. The letter informs Apacible of the outbreak of the Filipino-American war on February 4. Mabini blames the Americans for initiating the hostilities. At that time, Apacible is an adviser to the High Council of the Revolutionists.

Feb. 17, 1872:  Fathers Mariano Gomez, Jose Apolonio Burgos and Jacinto Zamora, better known for the acronym GOMBURZA, were executed by Spanish authorities in Bagumbayan (currently known as Luneta Park) in connection with the 1872 Cavite Mutiny.

GOMBURZA was apparently the target of a hate campaign for these priests' efforts to lead a campaign against abusive Spanish friars and advocate equal rights among priests. Their stand about secularization in the Philippines also led to animosity between religious regulars and church seculars. 

Feb. 17, 1897: The Battle of Zapote Bridge between the Spanish forces and the Filipino revolutionaries takes place. General Emilio Aguinaldo led Filipino revolutionaries to victory over Spanish troops under Governor-General Camilo de Polavieja. The bridge connected the provinces of Rizal and Cavite. 

Feb. 17, 2006:  A massive mudslide occurs in Guinsaugon village in the town of Saint Bernard, Southern Leyte province. It is preceded by a ten-day period of heavy rains and an earthquake measuring magnitude 2.6 on the Richter scale. According to official reports, the mudslide claimed 1,126 lives.

Feb. 18, 1976: Broadcast journalist Bernadette Sembrano is born in Manila. Sembrano currently hosts Salamat Dok!, a current affairs television program that deals with health-related issues. She also anchors Radyo Patrol Balita on radio.

Feb. 18, 1981: Pope John Paul II beatifies Lorenzo Ruiz, an altar boy in seventeenth-century Binondo, during his papal visit. The beatification, which was the first held outside the Vatican City, paved the way for Ruiz's elevation to sainthood six years later.

Feb. 19, 1886: Jose Abad Santos (d. May 2, 1942), the fifth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, is born in San Fernando, Pampanga. Abad Santos' refusal to cooperate with the Japanese led to his execution during the early years of the Second World War in the Philippines. In commemoration of Abad Santos' martyrdom, his image appears on the currently circulating 1,000-peso bill. 

Feb. 19, 1888: Aurora Aragon-Quezon, wife of Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon, is born in the town of Baler, Tayabas (now Aurora province.) She was known for her involvement in civic organizations.

Aragon-Quezon served as the first chairperson of the Philippine National Red Cross when it was established as an independent Red Cross Organization in 1947. She was also appointed as honorary vice president of the Philippine Tuberculosis Society.

Feb. 19, 1993: Actress and commercial model Empress Schuck. She is currently part of Star Magic, ABS-CBN's roster of talents. She started her showbiz career as an award-winning child performer in the 2000 film Nine Mornings. Empress' latest films include On the Job and Pagpag: Siyam na Buhay

Feb. 20, 1862: Francisco Balagtas (b. April 2, 1788), the so-called "Prince of Tagalog Poets" for his contributions to Philippine literature, dies. Balagtas was known for writing Florante at Laura. A form of debate in extemporaneous verse is named balagtasan in his honor.

Feb. 21, 1853: Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo (d. March 13, 1913), one of the greatest nineteenth-century Filipino painters, is born in Manila's Binondo district. Hidalgo's silver-medal finish for the painting, Las virgenes Cristianas expuestas al populacho, at the 1884 Madrid Exposition of Fine Arts is one of the highlights of his career.

In 1904, Hidalgo received a gold medal for his overall participation at the Universal Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri. Another gold medal was accorded to his El Violinista.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Mat Ranillo III, the Pork Barrel Scam and His Religious Movies

Anyone who follows local news have heard about the alleged involvement of actor Mat Ranillo III in the 10-billion-peso pork barrel scam. For instance, ABS-CBN News has reported about documents showing that Ranillo earned millions of pesos in commissions from mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles. Ranillo, however, has apparently sent feelers indicating his intention to cooperate with the investigation and clear his name.

The news might come as a surprise considering that Ranillo's good looks and charisma cannot be associated with such corrupt acts. Moreover, he is famous for portraying religious movies in the Philippines, a predominantly Catholic country. Those who recall this film roles of his movies might be left in disbelief.

In 1988, he played the title role in Lorenzo Ruiz: The Saint ... A Filipino. This movie was released in the aftermath of Pope John Paul II's canonization of the first Filipino saint. Reruns of Lorenzo Ruiz can be seen on television. Interestingly, I recall that the actors who performed as Ruiz's Japanese persecutors spoke in Tagalog but with Japanese accent.  

Mat Ranillo III, pork barrel scam, Lorenzo Ruiz
Image Credit: Video48 blog

Eight years later Ranillo portrayed Jesus Christ in Kristo, which is also an adaptation of a stage presentation that were performed every Lenten season during the late '80s and early '90s. Although the dialogue is spoken in Tagalog, the movie has the very appropriate tagline "The Man behind Mankind's redemption." In view of the thickening plot of the pork barrel scam, Ranillo should prove his innocence and gain redemption in the eyes of the public.

Mat Ranillo III, pork barrel scam, Lorenzo Ruiz

Friday, February 14, 2014

Filipino Movies with Titles that Include the Word "Puso" (Heart): 1994 to 1996

Today is Valentine's Day or Araw ng mga Puso in Tagalog. Araw ng mga Puso literally translates to English as "Day of the Hearts." In light of this celebration, let us recall some old movies having titles that include the word puso (heart). As expected, these films belong to the romance and/or drama genres.

Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko (I Wish I Had Two Hearts), a co-production by Viva Films and GMA Network, opened in theaters on July 27, 1994. Rustom Padilla, Dina Bonnevie and Alice Dixson led the cast of this movie. The title is based on a song by Bodjie's Law of Gravity. Under the direction of Laurice Guillen, other cast members include Gloria Romero, Tonton Gutierrez and Charito Solis.

Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko, Viva Films, GMA Network, Rustom Padilla, Dina Bonnevie, Alice Dixson

The cast of Kazuki Omori's Sigaw ng Puso (Cry of the Heart), a co-production by Premier International Corp. and Megavision Films, includes Filipino and Japanese actors. Lorna Tolentino, Sharmaine Arnaiz and Hiroyuki Sanada led the cast. Cynthia Luster even had a guest role in this movie, which opened in theaters on November 23, 1995.

A check with this movie's IMDB entry shows that the Japanese title is Kinkyu yobidashi - Emajenshi koru (Emergency Call). Omori is also known for directing a couple of Godzilla movies: Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989) and Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991). 

Hiroyuki Sanada, Sigaw ng Puso, Lorna Tolentino, Sharmaine Arnaiz, Kazuki Omori

Muling Umawit ang Puso (The Heart Sang Once More) was an entry to the 1995 Metro Manila Film Festival. It swept 11 major festival awards including Best Picture for Viva Films, Best Actress for Nora Aunor, Best Supporting Actress for Donna Cruz, Best Supporting Actor for Albert Martinez, Best Director for Joel Lamangan.

Muling Umawit ang Puso,1995, Metro Manila Film Festival,Viva Films, Nora Aunor, Donna Cruz, Albert Martinez, Joel Lamangan

Based on the poster's layout, Ganti ng Puso (Revenge of the Heart) might be surmised as a sex-drama movie. It opened in theaters on January 31, 1996. The cast of this Mahogany Pictures production was led by Stella Ruiz, under the direction of Francis "Jun" Posadas. Other cast members include Dennis Roldan, Efren Reyes, King Gutierrez and Gandong Cervantes.

Ganti ng Puso, Mahogany Pictures, Stella Ruiz

Tubusin Mo ng Bala ang Puso Ko (Redeem My Heart with a Bullet), a co-production by OctoArts Films and Cinemax Studios (currently known as GMA Films), teamed up then-couple Edu Manzano and Anjanette Abayari. It was first released on March 14, 1996. The action-drama movie was helmed by Toto Natividad. Supporting roles were portrayed by Mark Gil, Bembol Roco, Jenette Fernando and Ronaldo Valdez.

Tubusin Mo ng Bala ang Puso Ko, OctoArts Films, Cinemax Studios, Edu Manzano, Anjanette Abayari, Toto Natividad

Bayarang Puso (Hired Heart) opened on June 20, 1996 as Regal Films' entry to that year's edition of Manila Film Festival. It was about a love triangle involving characters portrayed by Lorna Tolentino, Carmina Villarroel and Aga Muhlach. Jose Javier Reyes directed this movie.

Bayarang Puso, 1996, Manila Film Festival, Lorna Tolentino, Carmina Villarroel, Aga Muhlach, Jose Javier Reyes, Regal Films

Pusong Hiram (Borrowed Heart), an RJ Films Production of a Kara Films International presentation, was first released on November 5, 1996. It features Emilio Garcia, Richard Bonnin, Gem Castillo and Rita Magdalena. Jose "Kaka" Balagtas wrote the story and screenplay, while Leonardo Jose handled the direction.

Pusong Hiram, RJ Films, Kara Films International, Emilio Garcia, Richard Bonnin, Gem Castillo, Rita Magdalena, Jose Kaka Balagtas, Leonardo Jose

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Ylang-ylang Tree

The ylang-ylang, scientifically known as Cananga odorata, is a tree that is known for its fragrant yellow flowers. An essential oil derived from these flowers is used for making perfumes and for aromatherapy.

Originating from the Philippines, the name of the ylang-ylang tree is presumably derived from the Tagalog word ilang, meaning "wilderness", alluding to its natural habitat. Other sources say it was ilang-ilan or "rare."

Other countries propagate ylang-ylang as an export crop. For instance, the essential oil alone  constitutes 29% of the annual exports of Comoros. The Philippine government should take note, start an industry and penetrate the growing world perfumery market.

ylang-ylang, Cananga odorata, ilang-ilang

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Nano-Nano Candy TV Commercial

Nowadays, the word "nano" refers to the shortened form of "nanotechnology." Repeat it twice and nostalgia ensues. Many people who grew up during the 1990s probably remember a candy brand named Nano-Nano. It has that catchy commercial jingle with lyrics going like this:

Oh Nano, Nano it drives me crazy
I really love what it does to me
Sweet, sour and salty
Nano, Nano, Nano, Nano
Nano, Nano

Out of curiosity, I recall buying a sachet of this candy once. The taste did not really stick to my memory. The jingle, however, remained ingrained in the collective consciousness of many '90s kids, yours truly included. I have always thought that the candy was a Filipino product, but surfing through YouTube proved otherwise: Nano-Nano is an Indonesian brand. It is a product of Nimm's, a subsidiary of the pharma firm Konimex.

Shown above is, the only available copy of the TV commercial, on YouTube. The Indonesian origin of Nano-Nano led many viewers to believe that the characters in this commercial sing in Bahasa Indonesian. Many commented that it was Bahasa Malaysian. A voice announcer named Harith Iskandar speaks into the end of this commercial. Hopefully in the future, an English version that was aired on Philippine TV surfaces on YouTube.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A Rice Cake Called "Kutsinta"

Kutsinta is a type of rice cake that has a characteristic taste imparted by lihiya or lye. The brown or brownish-orange color is the result of the inclusion of achuete (annatto) extract. Kutsinta comes in circular bite-size pieces. It is typically served with grated coconut.

kutsinta, cuchinta, rice cakes

Monday, February 10, 2014

1990 Añejo Rum 65 TV Commercial Featuring Robert Jaworski

Recent media reports tell about a survey showing that Filipinos ranked third among the world's heavy drinkers. Filipinos tend to drink all year round to mark any event conceivable. Both situations worth grieving or celebrating warrant a tagay (shot) while making inuman (drinking spree).

As a result, I got reminded of Filipinos' passion for basketball, especially for the Barangay Ginebra San Miguel team. Everyone knows that Ginebra San Miguel is a gin brand. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the team was known as Añejo Rum 65. The team was led by playing coach Robert Jaworski.

One of the well-remembered television commercials of the rum brand first aired in 1990. Highlighting  the tag line Bidang-Bida sa Bidahan! it featured a group of friends who enjoy the rum while watching Jaworski demonstrate his basketball skills on TV. The drinking buddies then use makeshift instruments to accompany the Añejo Rum tune: a saw, a strip of cellophane and one's own armpit!

Video Credit: Youtube / fiahstatah

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Movie Ads: "Geron Olivar" (1994)

Geron Olivar, an action movie produced by Regal Films, opened in theaters on February 10, 1994. This movie features Lito Lapid in the title role, under the direction of Jesus Jose. Other cast members include Edu Manzano, Zoren Legaspi and Kris Aquino.

Lito Lapid, Regal Films, action movies, Geron Olivar

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Movies Ads: "Pinagbiyak na Bunga: Lookalayk" (1994)

Pinagbiyak na Bunga: Lookalayk, a comedy movie produced by Viva Films, opened in theaters on February 10, 1994. This movie features veteran comedian Chiquito and rapper Andrew E. in the title role, under the direction of Ben Feleo. Other cast members include Leo Martinez, Donna Cruz, Dale Villar, Ruby Rodriguez, Raffy Rodriguez and Dindi Gallardo.

Pinagbiyak na Bunga, Lookalayk, Andrew E., Chiquito, Viva Films, movies

Friday, February 7, 2014

Movie Ads: "Dino Obrero: Haring Daga" (1994)

Dino Obrero: Haring Daga, an action movie produced by Pioneer Films, opened in theaters on February 2, 1994. This movie features Raymart Santiago in the title role, under the direction of Cesar SB. Abella. The story was based on a series in Pilipino Reporter Komiks magazine. Other cast members include Kier Legaspi, Liza Lorena, Lito Legaspi, Lovely Rivero, Zaldy Zshornack, Sunshine Cruz, and Jess Lapid Jr.

Dino Obrero, Haring Daga, action movies, Raymart Santiago

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Flower of the "Gumamela" (Hibiscus) Plant

Gumamela, scientifically known as Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, is a shrub widely grown as an ornamental plant. Being native to East Asia, this plant is propagated throughout the Philippines. The leaves are green and glossy. Red is the color of the most common variety of the gumamela plant. This plant reminds many Filipinos of their childhood; they might have used the petals and leaves in making bubbles.

gumamela, shoe flower, flowers, hibiscus, bubbles

The procedure involves crushing the petals and leaves using mortar and pestle. If unavailable, a stone and a hard flat surface will do for the crushing process. The resulting paste is then mixed with soapy water. To make the bubbles, dip an end of a plastic straw or a papaya stalk into the mixture. Blow into the other end and enjoy the bubbles.

I have just learned that the flower has other applications. According to Wikipedia, the flowers of are eaten as salad in the Pacific Islands. Aside from being used as a hair care preparation, the flower is used to shine shoes. That might be the reason that the gumamela is also known as shoe flower.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Movie Ads: "Impakto" (1996)

Impakto, a horror movie produced by Regal Films, opened in theaters on January 18, 1996. The cast is lead by Gelli De Belen, under the direction of Don Escudero. Other cast members include Daria Ramirez, Cherry Pie Picache, Ernie Zarate, Rochelle Barrameda, Candy Pangilinan and Antonio Aquitania.

The titular creature looks similar to a tiyanak (changeling). According to Jose Juan Paraiso's The Balete Book: A Collection of Demons, Monsters and Dwarfs from the Philippine Lower Mythology, the tiyanak usually assumes the form of a newborn baby and cries like one in the jungle to attract unwary travelers. Once it is picked up by the victim, the tiyanak reverts to its true form and attacks the victim.

Gelli's sister, Janice, led the cast of the 1988 Regal horror movie Tiyanak.

 Impakto, Gelli De Belen, Regal Films

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

PBA Action in 2006: Helterbrand vs. Reavis

The photo below originally appeared in the sports section of the May 18, 2006 issue of The Philippine Star. Photographed by Jun Mendoza, the caption was "Jayjay Helterbrand of Ginebra soars for a shot against Rafi Reavis of Coca-Cola in last night's game at the Araneta Coliseum."

Ginebra and Coca-Cola refer to the Philippine Basketball Association teams Barangay Ginebra Kings and Coca-Cola Tigers. Ginebra San Miguel Kings is currently known as Barangay Ginebra San Miguel. On the other hand, the Coca-Cola Tigers disbanded in 2012. Its franchise was acquired by the Sultan 900 Inc., the company that owns the current PBA team GlobalPort Batang Pier.

How about the players involved? Helterbrand continues to play for his team, while Reavis is now part of the San Miguel Coffee Mixers. Interestingly, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel and San Mig Coffee Mixers are facing each other in the best-of-seven semifinal series of the 2013-14 PBA Philippine Cup.

Rafi Reavis, Philippine Basketball Association, Jayjay Helterbrand, Ginebra San Miguel, Reavis, Helterbrand

Monday, February 3, 2014

"Manny": A Documentary about Boxing's First Eight-Division World Champion

Manny Pacquiao, boxing's first eight-division world champion, is the subject of the upcoming documentary Manny. The documentary, which is narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Liam Neeson, chronicles the rise of Pacquiao from poverty to boxing superstardom and politics.

The official world premiere of this documentary will be held sometime in March during the 2014 SXSW Festival. The documentary would be a good promotional move for Pacquiao's upcoming fight against Timothy Bradley in April.

Based on the trailer, Manny depicts Pacquiao as a "Cinderella Man" who not just provided for his family through his boxing fortunes: Pacquiao is also a fighter who unites the nation, sort of a standard bearer who elevates the country in the global stage.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Fried "Tinapa" (Smoked Fish)

Tinapa is the Tagalog term for smoked fish. It can be fried before serving and eaten with boiled rice and chopped tomatoes. Aside from being added to sauteed mung beans, tinapa flakes are also used as toppings for pancit palabok. There are many types of tinapa, based on the type of fish subjected to the smoking process. Probably the most popular one is tinapang bangus (smoked milkfish).

I bet those who grew up in the 80s still remember the lyrics to Tinapang Bangus. It was a song which was popularized by Kiko Matsing (Kiko the Monkey) in the children's television program Batibot. Moreover, the popularity of the tinapa has found its way in profanities. Anak ng tinapa (literally translated as "child of the smoked fish") is a common swearing expression in Tagalog.

Shown below is fried tinapang galunggong (smoked round scad). As mentioned before, we ate those delicacies with boiled rice and chopped tomatoes. The frying process, however, got a bit out of control. The tails of one of the ill-fated fishes got removed! On the plus side, the bones also turned crispy enough to eat.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Chinese New Year Delicacies: "Tikoy" and "Hopia"

Thanks to the Chinese for the Lunar New Year celebrations that gave way to a long weekend and for the countless delicacies related to the festivities. Two of those are tikoy and hopia, although the latter is more popular among Filipinos during the rest of the year.

Tikoy is a sweet round cake made from glutinous rice. Eating tikoy during the celebrations is considered lucky. The cake can be readily eaten, but many people dip sliced tikoy in beaten eggs and then fry it before serving. Refrigeration is preferable deter ants from partaking of this sweet delicacy.

tikoy, hopia, Chinese New Year, Eng Bee Tin

Plain tikoy is white in color, but it also comes in a wide variety of flavors including buko pandan, strawberry and ube. A variant of this delicacy is the tikoy roll. This pastry has a chewy outside layer with many kinds of filling to choose from.

The packaging for tikoy has also become more sophisticated. As can be seen above, the Ka-Ho brand has a pair of dragons and Chinese characters that presumably mean good fortune. The purple box for the Sweet Cake brand conforms to the purple yam flavor of its content.    

tikoy, hopia, Chinese New Year, Eng Bee Tin

Hopia is originally a bean-filled pastry that might be circular or cubic in shape. Through the years, pastry makers have used other fillings including winter melon paste and ube (purple yam). The successful business of Chinese deli Eng Bee Tin is attributed to its introduction of the ube hopia.

tikoy, hopia, Chinese New Year, Eng Bee Tin