juliana gomez fencing

OMG. Juliana Gomez Just Won The Gold Medal At A Fencing Competition

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Na Hee Do in the flesh!

Juliana Gomez is the real life Na Hee Do of K-Drama Twenty Five Twenty One.

Most people may know Juliana Gomez mainly because of her parents—actor and politicians Richard Gomez and Lucy Torres-Gomez—but what we love about her is how she chooses to stay lowkey and do her own thing despite the pressure from most people. “Today’s W🥇,” captions the 22-year-old as she posted a photo of herself being awarded the gold medal at the Thailand Open Fencing Championship over the weekend.

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Juliana’s become the face of many fashion brands and magazine covers, but she’s slowly been carving a name for herself in the sports world. On her Instagram account, you’ll be able to see training videos wherein most of it is spent with her dad, who’s also the current president of the Philippine Fencing Association. Who would’ve thought that a hobby you and your dad enjoy would lead you to winning a gold medal for the country?

“May you keep on winning and bring more honor to the country,” Richard Gomez proudly shares to his followers accompanied by videos of Juliana during practice. He himself was also represented the Philippines at the SEA Games in the past, a path that isn’t too far from where she’s in at the moment. Juliana is also a part of the women’s volleyball team in UP but had to return to Ormoc because of the pandemic. Guess the universe is right after all, everything does happen for a reason and this might just be one of those moments.

CONTINUE READING: These Young Winning Athletes at the Tokyo Olympics Are Giving Us All The Inspiration We Need

Turn Up The Holiday Feels With The 2022 Christmas Station IDs

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Christmas bangers incoming.

You know Christmas is almost here when ABS-CBN, GMA-7, and TV5 drop their highly anticipated Christmas station IDs.

Related: How The Christmas Station ID Became An Important Part Of The Filipino Tradition

Christmas is filled with traditions. Hanging the parol, Noche Buena, and Christmas caroling are just some holiday traditions many Filipinos look forward to this festive season. And when it comes to holiday traditions in the country, one special event is the arrival of the Christmas station IDs. What initially started as simple videos to help you identify what channel has now become a staple of Filipino Christmas.

The past decade has helped turn these videos into anticipated events as the major networks and their stars prepare their special songs to help color the Christmas season. This 2022 is no exception with these holiday tracks as all three major local networks are finally out with their station IDs that look to set the stage for what kind of Christmas Filipinos want to have this year. Let’s take a look at their Christmas station IDs and the holiday vibes they give off.

ABS-CBN

With a track that’s over six minutes long and an accompanying video that’s the length of a short movie, ABS-CBN’s Christmas offering, Tayo Ang Ligaya Ng Isa’t Isa, is the longest among the big three. The network uses the length to highlight an important cause. Charo Santos-Concio kicks things off with her iconic narration before the upbeat tune begins.

This year, ABS-CBN wants to celebrate the joy we find in each other. And to that end, they devote most of the music video’s time to highlighting local heroes like emergency rescuers and other special individuals. Tayo Ang Ligaya Ng Isa’t Isa teaches us that we don’t need to be someone big or special to bring happiness to someone’s life, which is a lesson we all can take to heart.

GMA-7

The past two years have forced many families to spend Christmas away from each other. But 2022 saw the world open up more, which means more families and friends can enjoy each other’s company once more. That’s what GMA-7’s 2022 Christmas offering, Love is Us, is all about. The track and accompanying video implore us to enjoy the feeling of Christmas together with loved ones, as seen in the numerous shots of Kapuso stars mingling with fans and each other.

After all, the spirit of Christmas is all about finding that joy in our tribe, whether that be your family, friends, or what have you. There really is nothing like spending Christmas with the people you love, and that is what this song captures.  

TV5

TV5’s 2022 effort is quite cute. Sama-Samang Ihatid ang Ibang Saya ng Pasko combines the best of the network and ABS-CBN to showcase what they have to offer to Filipino viewers as well as the new viewing landscape they operate in. The track is extra charming with an equally wholesome music video.

The storyline revolves around a delivery driver giving gifts to different households as he, and as the song’s name suggests, gives them the kind of happiness that can only be felt on Christmas. We also love the inclusive nature of the plot such as including a same-sex couple as one of the people the driver visits. Truly, Christmas is for everyone.

Continue Reading: A Real Merry Christmas: 7 Ways On How You Can Ease Yourself Into The Holiday Spirit

15 Stars Who Screamed Christmas At The Star Magical Christmas Party

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They were giving Christmas energy.

When Star Magic gave the theme for their magical Christmas party, these stars made sure to show up and show out.

Related: 11 Outfit Ideas From The Christmas Specials You Can Copy For The Holiday Season

With the start of the Christmas season comes that flurry of social activities and parties. Whether it be for work, family, or friends, the holiday party season is upon us, and that means season-appropriate looks aplenty. And one of the first major Christmas parties to come our way is Star Magic’s Star Magical Christmas Party. The thanksgiving party, held at the Sheraton hotel, saw a whole host of Star Magic artists walk down the white carpet in their best holiday fits. 

The theme of the night was simple, Christmas—and most delivered. But there were some stars who not only followed the theme, but made sure to go all out and embody the spirit of Christmas. Here are some of the night’s stars who understood the assignment and will give you some major inspo for your Christmas party look.

ANJI SALVACION

ANJI SALVACION At The Star Magical Christmas Party

If the angel on top of the Christmas tree came to life, it would probably look like Anji Salvacion. The diamonds in her hair, wings, feathered top, and tulle skirt, she did that and looked amazing.

KD ESTRADA AND ALEXA ILACAD

KD ESTRADA AND ALEXA ILACAD At The Star Magical Christmas Party

This is the most expensive Christmas feast we’ve ever seen. For their party look, KDLex decided to take inspiration from, out of all places, classic Filipino desserts. KD looked dashing in his purple suit inspired by puto bumbong while Alexa was a whole meal in her bibingka-inspired yellow and green dress.  

KATHRYN BERNARDO, DANIEL PADILLA, JOSHUA GARCIA, RIA ATAYDE, AND ALORA SASAM

KATHRYN BERNARDO, DANIEL PADILLA, JOSHUA GARCIA, RIA ATAYDE, AND ALORA SASAM At The Star Magical Christmas Party

If you search barkada goals on Google, you’ll probably find pictures of this friend group. So, when they all decided to dress up as the Nutcracker, with matching fake mustaches, we honestly weren’t surprised. Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, Joshua Garcia, and the rest definitely won barkada of the night. And despite the matching whimsical costume, they all looked so good.

AC BONIFACIO

AC BONIFACIO At The Star Magical Christmas Party

AC Bonifacio was channeling a modern-day snow angel in her sparkly white dress with matching boots, gloves, and faux fur hat. The disco ball-esque handbag rounded out this white and silver number.

SHARLENE SAN PEDRO

SHARLENE SAN PEDRO At The Star Magical Christmas Party

A handful of stars decided to show up in their pajamas to the party. And one name was Sharlene San Pedro who was a whole mood in her red pajamas, holiday stocking, and reindeer ears. She decided to keep it simple and comfortable yet on the theme, and we respect that. We also love how she gave chocolates to members of the press at the event. And that’s on Christmas spirit.

BINI

BINI At The Star Magical Christmas Party

Aside from their catchy songs and stage presence, BINI is also known for having a killer sense of style. And their outfits at the Star Magical Christmas party are some of the best they’ve worn. The group’s Christmas gift to BLOOMs this year was the slayage they brought with the red, green, white, silver, and black pieces. They looked like the spirit of Christmas attending a fashion show.

VIVOREE

VIVOREE At The Star Magical Christmas Party

When we say we’re dreaming of a white Christmas, we’re talking about this look from Vivoree. That white fur coat is everything.

KOBI BROWN AND ANDI ABAYA

KOBI BROWN AND ANDI ABAYA At The Star Magical Christmas Party

Simple yet elegant is what Kobi and Andi are giving us here. Kobi looked dapper in his take on the Nutcracker while Andi was glowing like a princess in this purple tulle gown with a matching tiara.

SEAN TRISTAN

SEAN TRISTAN At The Star Magical Christmas Party

Rising actor Sean Tristan was serving Jack Frost in this blue jacket and white top, pants, and shoes. The white details on the jacket and his face were a nice touch. And he completed it with the famous ice staff. You can never be too extra at a Christmas party.

Continue Reading: A Real Merry Christmas: 7 Ways On How You Can Ease Yourself Into The Holiday Spirit

QUIZ: How Well Do You Know Philippine Pop Culture Moments Of The 90s?

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The kind of quiz we like.

You think you know your stuff when it comes to Philippine pop culture of the 90s? Then test your skills by taking this quiz.

If there’s one overarching theme to take away from 2022, it’s that people love a comeback. As we have come to learn, what was once old again is now new. And the revival is not just limited to fashion, it also extends to music, movies, trends, and the like. After all, who doesn’t love a good throwback, right?

And speaking of throwback, it looks like the 90s have been having its moment as of late. The last decade of the 20th century has recently been one of Gen Z’s newest lifestyle inspirations.

But aside from the style inspos, the 90s was also an exciting time for Philippine pop culture, some of which we still talk about to this day. You think you know the 90s though? Then take this quiz and see whether your knowledge is hella rad or could use some brushing up.

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verivery

How K-pop Boy Group VERIVERY Finds Happiness In The Simplest Of Things

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"There's something I'm curious about"

After spending their first album series around darkness, VERIVERY is back to lighten things up with a new comeback all about love.

Related: K-pop Boy Group DRIPPIN Just Closed Their Villain Era With A Bang

Tonal shifts in music aren’t easy to do. Going from one concept to another requires proper planning and execution. When done right, it can show off an artist’s different artistic sides. But when done wrong, it can feel like a jarring transition. For K-pop boy group VERIVERY, their latest comeback leans heavily towards the former. After their first album series, SERIES ‘O’ [ROUND 3 : WHOLE], in April delved into a darkness that saw them touch upon and face their struggles, the boys are back to see the brighter side of life with their new EP, Liminality – EP.LOVE. 

I FALL IN LOVE WITH YOU

This new comeback is the start of their next chapter, and the new EP is episode one. It tells a short, but charming story of how they find those moments of love and happiness. And they tell their unique tale of love through two new songs, the title track Tap Tap and B-side Motive. Tap Tap mixes hip-hop beats and pop-rock flavors for a colorful variety of sound that harmonizes to produce a fun and dazzling energy. Motive, meanwhile, takes inspiration from hyper pop and mid-tempo electronic for a track that both stands on its own and compliments Tap Tap. 

It feels like a natural progression of VERIVERY’s career, and they’re hitting all the right notes. Just recently, the boys achieved their first-ever music show win with Tap Tap, nearly four years after their debut. And this is on top of their successful 2022 VERIVERY CONCERT PAGE: O tour in Korea, the US, and Latin America. NYLON Manila recently spoke with VERIVERY in the lead-up to the release of Liminality – EP.LOVE. Read on below for the full interview as members DONGHEON, HOYOUNG, MINCHAN, GYEHYEON, YEONHO, YONGSEUNG and KANGMIN share how they prepared for the album, their new era, finding happiness, and more. 

How did the concept of Liminality – EP.LOVE come about?

VERIVERY: [Liminality – EP.LOVE] is the following chapter of our SERIES ‘O’ albums that discuss facing one’s inner darkness and living with it, so this new chapter narrates a story of looking for elements of happiness. Since it is EP.LOVE, we wanted to express love, an emotion that we face on our way to find happiness, in VERIVERY’s unique way. We’re expressing multiple emotions, including OVER as an excessive expression and SHY as a shy child, and the process of feeling fluttered with love in more bright and positive perspectives.

Since the single album is about love and happiness, what is one simple thing you do in your lives that makes you happy?

DONGHEON: I think my simple happiness in daily life comes from small moments such as talking with members, eating good food, and looking for fun videos.

HOYOUNG: Taking a shower and eating ice cream after a long day gives me great joy.

MINCHAN: For me, it feels great to eat a delicious meal after a long, hard day!

GYEHYEON: My simple happiness is sleeping for a long time on my off day.

YEONHO: I feel happy when I get off work and watch TV shows, dramas, and movies.

YONGSEUNG: I recently found watching soccer games while eating delicious food with members really make me happy.

KANGMIN: These days, I’m excitedly waiting for a theatrical version of an anime I like.

What can VERRER expect from VERIVERY in this new era?

VERIVERY: We’re back with a bright song and a fresh concept, and it’s been a while since to try such a concept after our debut. You can look for our happy and positive energy from performances, various expressions of love from each of us, and VERIVERY’s own loveliness.

Does your work process change when you’re working on an album, EP, OST, or single album?

VERIVERY: The biggest difference would be expressing tracks through many genres and ways when there are more tracks in the album. When working on an OST, it is crucial to match the vibe of that drama or movie. Therefore, we focus on following the director’s lead and imagining a certain scene when singing an OST.

What lessons did you learn from your recent album series that you’re applying to your future releases?

VERIVERY: We studied and practiced to really immerse ourselves into the universe of SERIESO’, which led us to think again about ourselves. We think that experience allowed us to focus and express our emotions better in the new series.

How was it like getting to meet fans around the world during your PAGE O tour?

VERIVERY: We felt so much love from our fans who support us from countries far away from Korea. They were all very welcoming after waiting for us until the tour. It was our honor to communicate and share our passion with international VERRERs whom we rarely get an opportunity to meet in person. We got great energy from them and had so much fun, so it was a memorable tour. We hope we get more opportunities like that in the future.

What’s one thing about VERIVERY that you wish more people knew?

VERIVERY: Our teamwork! Our biggest strength and characteristic is our sharp group dance, and we believe our teamwork really accentuates that.

What’s one VERIVERY song that you think should be in everyone’s playlist?

DONGHEON: I recommend our new song, Tap Tap!! We’re going through several inflection points these days around the world, and I hope this song brings comfort to everyone.

HOYOUNG: I want to recommend Tap Tap because it is very fresh and easy to listen to.

MINCHAN: Our new title track Tap Tap! It’s a very fresh and bright song, so please give lots of love!

GYEHYEON: I’d choose Tap Tap, because I want to deliver its bright energy to everyone around the world.

YEONHO: Of course, our new single title track Tap Tap!

YONGSEUNG: Candle is very easy to listen to, and it’s just a good song. I definitely recommend it.

KANGMIN: I’d like to recommend Candle.

Continue Reading: CRAVITY’s New Era Is All About Enjoying Yourself On Your Terms

Immerse Yourselves In A Rich Tapestry Of Cultures At Tingin Southeast Asian Film Festival

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Revel in Southeast Asian heritage.

Experience a trove of cultures, histories, and dreams through the eyes of cinema with Tingin Southeast Asian Film Festival.

Is it your dream to travel to Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, or Hanoi, but time and money forbid you from going? Well, you’ll get to experience the best of Southeast Asia as if you’re there for free and at the comfort of your home with the Tingin Southeast Asian Film Festival. Through enriching cinematic experiences, Tingin will transport you to a diverse range of stories and culture, spotlighting the region’s rich heritage and resonant social contexts.

Related: 7 Regional Film Festivals That Spotlight Filipino Creative Voices

IMAGINARIES OF NEIGHBORLINESS

Hatched in 2017, Tingin Southeast Asian Film Festival was formed to celebrate the fiftieth founding anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). As part of a slate of projects under the Culture and Diplomacy program of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), its primary aims are to showcase the best films of the region, expand the Filipinos’ cultural knowledge, contribute to the education of film students, and to strengthen the country’s ties with our ASEAN neighbors.

Tingin Southeast Asian Film Festival 2022 poster

A Tagalog word for perspective or to look at, Tingin seeks to capture a composite image of contemporary Southeast Asia through its representative cinemas that shed light on the countries’ diverse cultures, as well as pressing social issues. For its fifth edition, the film festival banners the theme: Imaginaries of Neighborliness. 

Patrick Campos speaking at the festival in 2019
Patrick Campos speaking at the festival in 2019

“This year’s program is centered on the idea of neighborliness, positively, about what it means to live harmoniously with and compassionately for others, and negatively, how we suffer when the people around us or the structures we expect to look after us (e.g. governments, laws) don’t care, foster divisiveness, or are downright cruel,” Patrick Campos, festival programmer and Associate Professor of film studies at the University of the Philippines Film Institute, tells NYLON Manila. 

“The program is also about neighborliness in that, in keeping with the vision of Tingin, it seeks to give us more insight into the realities of our neighboring countries,” Campos continues. “So we can imagine ourselves as being part of a regional community and develop a sense of cross-border solidarity with them.” 

SELECTION

Tingin Film Festival Film Lineup

Since 2017, Tingin Southeast Asian Film Festival has typically chosen one or two representative films and co-productions from the region. This year, the festival boasts a ten-film lineup that, as festival director Maya Quirino writes, will transport the Filipino audience “to various lived experiences in Southeast Asia” and expose them to “shared wounds and desires, histories and dreams.”

The selection features award-winning shorts from ten ASEAN member nations that have traveled in the international film festival circuit. Foregrounding the themes of migration and diaspora are Cambodia’s Further and Further Away, Indonesia’s short animation Homebound, Laos’ grief-centered A Long Way Home, and Singaporean documentary Partitions.

Innovative cinematic voices, which melds the coming-of-age-story with experimental styles also grace the lineup with Brunei’s Cloud Jacket, Vietnam’s The Graduation of Edison, and Thailand’s four-part offering The Threshold 1969

Meanwhile, Malaysian drama Here I Am chronicles the plight of an undocumented child during the country’s independence day. Radiating a powerful message of peace, Myanmar’s Lashio Ambulance revolves around a Muslim ambulance crew’s dedication to helping those in need. Finally, the Sundance winner Headhunter’s Daughter about an aspiring country singer in the Cordilleran highlands will represent the Philippines.

As the mission of Tingin Southeast Asian Film Festival has always been pedagogical and not commercial, its program is open and free to the public. And this year, you can catch all of these exciting titles on Vimeo, from December 2-4, 2022. Follow Tingin’s Facebook page and stay tuned for more details about this enriching event.

Continue Reading: QCinema Comes Back With Intensity For Its 10th Year

These Filipino Artists Are Flexing The Diversity Of OPM At The Just Music Fest

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Yes to supporting local artists.

A who’s who of OPM stars like TJ Monterde, MC Einstein, I Belong to the Zoo, and more are coming together for a concert that’s for the music.

Related: And We’re Live: Concerts Coming To The Philippines This 2022 And Beyond (So Far)

If there’s one thing you need to know about OPM, it is its diversity in terms of both music and genres. Name a genre, and most likely a Filipino is doing it. There lies the beauty—it doesn’t discriminate against the kind of music you want to make or even where you come from. Any kind of local artist is welcome to contribute to OPM’s vast lexicon. The quality and kind of music alone speak for themselves. And letting the music speak for itself is what Cornerstone’s Just Music is all about.

Its artists come from a wide field with their music alone enough to tell their story. It’s a story that’s going to be on full display this November 27 when Claudine Co, Kenji, TJ Monterde, MC Einstein, NKO, and I Belong to the Zoo, take to the stage for a special Just Music Concert. Safe to say that it’s going to be a memorable concert, one that showcases the excellence of OPM. Ahead of the concert, NYLON Manila had the chance to speak with all six artists as they let us in on their music, performing on stage, and more.

CLAUDINE CO

Claudine Co

To some people, Claudine Co is just known as a popular YouTuber. But in reality, Claudine has dabbled in music for a while now. In fact, some of her earliest videos on YouTube are song covers. “Napakita naman sa kanila ang music taste ko.” So far, she has two singles, I Love You Goodbye and Patay Sindi, that showcase her take on jazz and pop ballads. But her upcoming single is set to be a special one. Not only is it more upbeat, but it also was written by OPM icon Yeng Constantino. “It’s an honor for me because isang pop rock royalty ang sinulat ng kanta ko,” shares a giddy Claudine on the collaboration.

While it’s still early days for her music career, Claudine already has an album planned, “we’re working on an EP,” that is set to connect all her songs. As for her Just Music performance, she expressed excitement and nervousness about it because this will be her first-ever show. Though she isn’t coming unprepared as she’s done dance workshops and practice sessions to hone her performance skills.

KENJI

Kenji

OPM isn’t just limited to Metro Manila. All over the country are artists flexing their regional culture through their music. One such rising star is Kenji from Cebu City. Despite being relatively new to the game, he already has received positive attention for his acoustic jams. Some have even called him the male Moira Dela Torre. “I try to relate my songs to personal experiences. I’m trying to pick parts in my life and put in a song,” says Kenji on how he manages to get those hard-hitting tracks. To him, the secret to his music is his honesty and making sure that what he puts down in writing comes from the heart.

Aside from just making a name for himself, Kenji’s rise in the industry is also helping put a spotlight on Bisaya artists. He name-checks Kurt Fick, Jericho Streegan, Jacky Chang, and Morrissette as Bisaya artists who he both looks up to and wants to work with. He even hopes to represent his roots by making a song in the full Bisaya language. “It’s also very good to cater to our Bisaya crowd.” In the meantime, fans can look forward to a hugot-filled performance at Just Music Fest. “They’ll feel talaga na ang sakit naman ng kanta, but you can also learn from experiences.”

TJ MONTERDE

TJ Monterde

With several hits under his belt, TJ Monterde is a certified pro in OPM. Whether it be sad or happy music, TJ knows how to craft a relatable bop. “You’re not alone with what you are feeling.” Just like his fellow Bisaya artist, Kenji, TJ expresses that honesty is where his success comes from. “The honesty in music always be in check. You will know when you’re writing a song just for the sake of writing it.” It’s this feeling that also guides TJ’s songwriting. “You’ll just know when it’s honest or not.” And during those moments when his creativity needs a spark, he actually turns to K-dramas for help. “Whenever they have their soundtracks, it makes you feel that you want to be there.”

Aside from his music, one thing that has got people falling in love with TJ is his wholesome relationship with KZ Tandingan. It’s a relationship many roots for, as seen in their TikTok videos that often go viral. “I feel very happy realizing I married a legend. I’m a huge fan of hers,” he happily shares. It already is enough for him that he’s married to one of his idols and frequent collaborators, it feels even better that their marriage of two sonically different artists is one of the internet’s favorites. “I’m happy people like it and love it whenever we are together. I hope they also follow us not just as a couple, but as musicians.”

For those attending Just Music Fest, prepare to get in your feels as TJ hopes for a night of performing on stage and singing along with the crowd.

MC EINSTEIN

MC Einstein

Pinoy hip-hop and rap have always been popular. But it seems the genre has seen an explosion this past few years. And one artist who has had a front-row seat to this boom is Darlon Adrian Elmedolan, more commonly known by his stage name MC Einstein. He got his start as a hype man in a club before a local DJ discovered him and gave him the name MC Einstein. The name has stuck as he’s spent the next years releasing viral hits. “Nakakarating sa kanila ang message,” is what he’s most happy about when it comes to the success of his tracks.

His secret sauce to making his music consistently hit is that he likes to imagine himself in the music. “Nilalagay ako sa situation sa kanta na ginawa ko.” That way, he’s able to envision how the track can feel even if he’s not experienced the situation before. MC Einstein has seen multiple successes in his career, but the rapper still has items on his bucket list he has yet to cross off. In particular, he would love to work with Gloc 9 and Moira Dela Torre, collaborations we would love to see as well. As for his advice to the young kids who want to make it in hip-hop, he says it all comes down to practice to perfect your craft.

NKO

Every generation sees young artists enter the OPM space ready to bring something new and exciting. And one such name that should be on your radar is NKO. His take on the playful 80s city pop vibe is unlike most of his contemporaries, and that’s not an accident. “I really want to bring something new to the table na hindi masyado kilala sa Philippines.”

This new energy can be felt in his work like his criminally underrated debut EP, XOXO, which was released earlier this year. Taking inspiration from Western culture, he set about making a body of work that spoke to him. And that meant taking over a year to produce the EP. “All of the songs on XOXO, I had to experience everything. I didn’t want to release an EP I didn’t relate to.”

All the tracks on the EP are bangers, but the opening track, Pano Na, is a standout. The pop track bore out of NKO’s desire to “release a sad song that can be played in a club.” He actually submitted the song to his label right at the final deadline. Keep an eye out for NKO as this young artist is bringing his music theory knowledge to give a new flavor to OPM.

I BELONG TO THE ZOO

I Belong to the Zoo

I Belong to the Zoo’s success feels even more phenomenal when you learn that the indie band originally started with just one member. Argee Guerrero started the project as a solo endeavor in 2014 before eventually expanding to a group in 2018. And since then, the band has racked up millions of streams with hit tracks like Sana and Patawad, Paalam.

If their tracks can feel like gut punches, that’s because Argee processes his thoughts, emotions, and personal experiences through music. “My songs are mostly about personal experiences and different stories I gathered from my friends, which coincidentally are almost all about heartbreaks and relationships. I end up using songwriting as some sort of release because I’m not too keen on talking about what I’m going through. I’d much rather write a song about it.”

When it comes to his music-making process, Argee doesn’t have a set process. It all depends on the moment. “I have to be in the right moment to be able to properly put the feelings I have into song. It usually starts with an event or a memory, then I’ll come up with a verse or a chorus, which I will then send to my bandmates so they can take part in completing the song.”

Needless to say, fans and concertgoers can expect all the feels when I Belong to the Zoo takes the stage. “I can say that our performances are heartfelt and emotional. As for the Just Music concert, we will be performing our newest single, Aalis Ka Ba?, and we’re just hoping that the listeners will appreciate what we have in store for them.”

Catch all these six artists and more at the Trinoma Activity Center on November 27, Sunday, 5 PM.

Just Music Fest poster

Continue Reading: 6 Tips On How You Can Make The Most Out Of Your Concert Experience

Don’t Sleep On This Underrated Locally-Made Customizable Lollipops

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Now that's a sweet deal.

If you’re looking for a fun yet affordable gift this Christmas, LollyKiss and their lollipops may just be what you’re looking for.

Related: A Real Merry Christmas: 7 Ways On How You Can Ease Yourself Into The Holiday Spirit

No matter how old you get, candy will never go out of style. The joy you get when eating the sweet treat you’re craving is a happiness that is rarely replicated in the culinary world. And when it comes to candy, lollipops will always remain a classic. Hard candy on a stick that came come in a variety of flavors, what’s not to love? So simple yet so satisfactory. But lollipops can be so much more and that is what local candy maker LollyKiss is doing with their customizable edible lollipops.

A SWEET KISS

If you thought that lollipops couldn’t be exciting, then you probably have never heard of LollyKiss. Established on November 5, 2021, by Charm Bautista, the one-year-old brand is the first and only local company that specializes in edible printed lollipops. How it works is that your chosen image (which will be made out of candy) will be encased in more transparent candy to form the lollipop. Think of it as a see-through Kinder egg. You get to enjoy a lollipop designed based on your specifications. As for the taste, LollyKiss’s lollipops have a sweet, but not overwhelming taste that you can sometimes find in other commercial offerings.

Each Gluten and GMO-free vegan-friendly lollipop is handmade with care, so expect nothing but quality. It doesn’t take long to realize the endless possibilities with these customizable lollipops. Whether it be a place, thing, person, object, animal, and everything in between, if you can think of it, they can put it in a lollipop.

ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES

Having a birthday party? Then give guests lollipops with your face on them? Want to stand out during your work or family exchange gift? Then get lollipops that are customized with the faces of the person or people you’ll give them to.

Lollykiss lollipops
Guests at the NYLON Manila 2nd Anniversary Party with their Lollykiss lollipops

Nothing says I love you to your significant other by getting them a lollipop with their face on it. For the K-pop fans out there, the lollipops can feature your fave K-pop artists printed on them for cup sleeve events on other fan get-togethers. It can be even made as souvenirs for personal celebrations or corporate employee engagement events. The list goes on and the possibilities are endless! And the best part is that they all come at affordable prices.

So, if you’re looking for a fun, cute, and personalized gift, Lollykiss has got you. The printed image can be whatever you like, so let your imagination run free. Check out their Instagram pageonline store, or email them at [email protected] for details on how you can order.

an-inconvenient-love-review

There’s Nothing Inconvenient About DonBelle’s ‘An Inconvenient Love’

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With An Inconvenient Love, Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano’s second film together offers a tight rom-com that surprisingly cuts deep.

Related: DonBelle Were Shining Stars In The Red Carpet Premiere Of ‘An Inconvenient Love’

Most people assume that love is supposed to be about the good, special, and even once in a lifetime. And while that isn’t a wrong way to assume, it also isn’t the complete picture. Love isn’t just limited to what makes you feel good, but also those uncomfortable and challenging moments. As much as we hope for it, there’s no such thing as that perfect relationship that won’t go through its fair share of struggles to hurdle.

This is what Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano’s newest movie, An Inconvenient Love, is all about. As their highly anticipated film and return of Star Cinema to the movie house, the offering weaves together a tale of how a one-sided and antiquated view of love is not what makes a relationship great. And for the most part, the film succeeds in saying what it needs to say.

CONVENIENT LOVE FOR BOTH

An Inconvenient Love follows Ayef (Mariano), a young woman on the cusp of finishing college. Like most young people, she’s not optimistic about her prospects in the country. So, she’s looking to bag a coveted internship in Singapore to jumpstart her animation career and leave behind her work at the 24-Ever convenience store. Manny (Pangilinan), meanwhile, is a rich kid next door with a good heart who either is busy running his plant shop, Hala Manny, or secretly helping the workers of his father’s company fight against its unfair practices.

One day, while fleeing the police after a rally, Manny bumps into Ayef on a bridge, and their love story begins there. Both decide to enter a short-term love contract to not hurt each other. But as their brief fling continues, it becomes clear that what they initially thought was a convenient love proves to be complicated.

Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano in An Inconvenient Love

Star Cinema is no stranger when it comes to romance, but An Inconvenient Love is arguably one of their more refreshing concepts in years. It’s a unique premise that allows itself to play around with the rules a bit. Granted, some scenes of Ayef and Manny together feel more like puppy love. But given how their relationship has a finite date, it adds a bit of tension to see how things shake up. It’s a cute love story, one that sometimes veers into typical rom-com areas, but also has something worth saying.

In a time when people expect instant gratification, An Inconvenient Love reminds us that life isn’t a convenience store where you can get everything right away. Certain things, like love, require a more nuanced approach. It’s an interesting take on love, one that feels very of the time.

DONBELLE ON THE BIG SCREEN

DonBelle in AIL

Helping bring to life this story are the talents of Belle Mariano and Donny Pangilinan. Seeing both actors on the movie screen feels natural as their chemistry shine bright. Belle continues to rack up points as one of Gen Z’s best new actresses with her dynamic performance as Ayef. She’s straightforward, hopeful, and energetic. Donny also delivers a striking take on Manny, a good boy who has his baggage to deal with. Donny gives his character that confident energy while also being able to peel back his more vulnerable moments. 

DonBelle can and does bring the kilig during those cute montages, but also in the more emotional, introspective, and quieter moments. In particular, a scene involving the two in a jacuzzi hits right in the heart. It also does help that the movie gives time to flesh out Ayef and Manny.

FLAWED LOVE, FLAWED LIFE

Director Petersen Vargas effectively uses the two-hour run time to build Ayef and Manny as unique individuals with problems to sort out. Vargas is no stranger to this sort of storytelling, and he does that effectively here as well.

Ayef’s love of K-pop (and BTS in particular) and P-pop as well as incorporating her animated work into the movie was a nice touch. The story of a robot not having a heart is reflective of where Ayef is, especially with the rocky ground her parents are on. Ayef is jaded about love because of her experience, so she understandably only wants a love that’s easy and uncomplicated.

An Inconvenient Love

As for Manny, his seemingly perfect life is shattered by a mom who doesn’t care much about him and a dad who can be as cruel to him and his brother as he is to his workers. Aside from a mutual liking, both also know what it’s like to have broken families. Our main couple is colored by their experiences in life, which gives them depth and background to their actions.

The soundtrack of An Inconvenient Love also deserves some praise. All the songs on the OST are expertly used, most especially BINI’s Huwag Muna Tayong Umuwi. It was already a standout on the group’s Feel Good album, and it complements the movie so well. The emotional punch it adds to the scene it’s used in is oh so good.

INCONVENIENT MOMENTS

The film though isn’t without its flaws though. First, the supporting cast is a mixed bag. On one hand, Epy Quizon and Matet De Leon as Ayef’s parents are phenomenal, especially De Leon. Their scenes together are memorable gut punches that prove to be some of the best of the entire film. Teresa Loyzaga as Manny’s mom is chaotic in the best way possible in the few scenes she has while Tirso Cruz III continues to be one of Philippine entertainment’s best actors. But on the other hand, supporting players like Krissy Achino and Brian Sy’s Ben 1 and 2 are woefully underutilized.

Adrian Lindayag, Iana Bernandez, and Sheenly Gener as Ayef’s co-workers at 24-Ever are fun to watch, but are more stereotypical characters. Maxene Magalona as Manny’s sister is near non-existent. And as for JC Alcantara, his role as Manny’s brother Dobs delivers emotion for the audience and motivation for Manny. It’s an interesting decision, to say the least, of having an able-bodied actor play a character with special needs (Dobs has autism spectrum disorder) given the movie’s progressive stances.

Donny and Bell in An Inconvenient Love

And speaking of that, it’s commendable that Star Cinema would include forward-thinking and timely topics in the film from the plight of the working class, protesting against capitalist policies, and gaslighting. Manny even educates two police officers on the difference between a communist and an activist at the start of the movie. (Go off, king.)

But the bigger problem lies in how these plot points get resolved. One of Ayef’s co-workers is revealed to be getting abused by her boyfriend, but that gets played off mainly for laughs. As for Manny helping the protesters, that storyline is left dangling as the movie shifts its attention to the main love story. It would be nice if these serious issues had better resolutions instead of just being used as just moments of character development. It’s no deal breaker, but things are left unsaid.  

A FUN AND EMOTIONAL LOVE STORY

Overall, An Inconvenient Love is a convenient watch. The rom-com vibes are there, and there’s plenty of it. But it also cuts surprisingly deep with its story of love and young adulthood in today’s world. The love story of a plantito and aspiring animator moves at a brisk pace while the more poignant scenes involving their families are some of the film’s best.

DonBelle’s acting continues to impress with a chemistry that lights up the silver screen. Life can jade you into thinking that love isn’t worth it. But quick stops aren’t what makes a relationship. It’s a complicated mess that’s worth going through with that special someone. Star Cinema’s return to the cinema is a rom-com made for the new generation.

An Inconvenient Love is showing in cinemas nationwide.

Images from Star Cinema Youtube

Continue Reading: Love Is Color Blind Finds DonBelle At Their Most Mature Yet

Sad Ghorl Era: Mimiyuuuh Shares Some Lessons From Her First-Ever Heartbreak

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Our girl Mimiyuuuh is back to motivate us, not to get out of our beds this time, but to power through our heartbreaks.

Recently, we’ve been seeing our LOcq4l j3j3 gHuÖrl and vlogger superstar Mimiyuuuh serving us some needed encouragement through her Monday motivation videos. Like a personal professional life coach, Mimi awakens us to the harsh reality of life with hurtful, but true words, and at times, complemented with our deserved pillow-smacking violence to snap us out of our rut. 

But in her latest inspirational video, Mimiyuuuh gets personal and emotional, this time motivating herself to work even though her relationship has not. Our girl has just got her heart broken. But instead of wallowing in it, she powers through it like a true dalagang Pilipina. And in her latest vlog, Mimiyuuuh proves the strong individual that she is as she shares some lessons learned from her first love, some profound advice to get us out, not of our beds this time, but from the equally gutting thing called heartache.

Related: Related: Begin Your Week Right With Mimiyuuuh’s Monday Motivation Videos

STRONG MIMIYUUUH

Mimiyuuuh making a pabebe face

“You’ve been in my ups and siyempre isasama ko na rin kayo sa aking mga down. Sabay-sabay tayong bumagsak, Kimmy!” A minute into her vlog, Mimiyuuuh shows emotional strength and maturity as she cracks her natural humor, still able to make us laugh out loud even after a painful experience.

FOR THE MARUPOK

Mimiyuuuh filled with kilig

For some context, Mimiyuuuh shares that she has met the mysterious guy from a dating app, inspired by her best friend who ended up having a successful love life. Eventually, the two settle with a long-distance relationship, a tricky setup admits Mimi, who falls in love for the first time. 

And as expected, the couple has had some conflict, for weeks even, but after a reconciliatory message from him, Mimi, the marupok ghorl that she is, can’t help but fall for him all over again, much to her disappointment. “Kung magiging marupok man po tayo,” advises Mimiyuuh, “sana naman po ay sa tamang tao tayo maging marupok.”

SELF-AWARE MIMI

Mimiyuuh saying "toxic po tayo"

Admirably, Mimiyuuuh is also aware of her shortcomings. During her reconciliation with the ex, she shares that she has tried to do away with past “toxic” inclinations like her pabebe attitude. About this, Mimi shares another important piece of relationship advice. “Mali po pala ‘yon,” she realizes. “Kasi kapag gusto mo ng something, sabihin mo. Kasi ang mga jowa natin, hindi po ‘yan mga mind reader at hindi po [sila] si kuya Kim na mapre-predict niya na at this time, ay totoyoin tayo. So, kung gusto mo ng lambing, sabihin mo.” 

WISER AND STRONGER

Mimiyuuuh being filled with kilig

After a passionate narration of what has transpired during the breakup, Mimiyuuh takes it gracefully in stride, noting that while life may not be good to us at times, there will always be something to learn from it. “Sometimes, [life] doesn’t really go the way we plan it,” says Mimi. “And ‘yung ganitong experiences, these are the things that will make us wiser and stronger.”

SELF-LOVE

Mimiyuuuh saying "know what you deserve"

Totoo po talaga ang self-love,” Mimiyuuuh asserts. This comes after what seems to be Mimi’s wake-up call at a crucial time where all she has and can turn to is herself. And those who are looking for the one, Mimi warns that before getting into a relationship, to love yourself first, to not be “blinded” by love, to always be wary of red flag, and to know your worth. “Know what you deserve,” she continues. “You deserve the best.”

Continue Reading: Good Vibes Only: 5 Highlights From Mimiyuuuh’s Latest House Tour