May 24, 2018

Meet the "Citizens" of Citizen Jake

Director-producer Mike de Leon has a stellar ensemble cast for his newest movie Citizen Jake, which opens in Philippine cinemas nationwide on May 23.

Citizen Jake is about Jake Herrera, journalist and estranged son of a powerful Philippine Senator. Driven by disdain for his father, Jake moves to Baguio City where he attempts to build a new life. But circumstances force him to try to solve the brutal killing of a young, female student in the university where he teaches in. Jake conducts an investigation—a move that leads him to face corruption and his personal demons. The screenplay is written by Mike de Leon, Atom Araullo and Noel Pascual. The film is produced by Cinema Artists Philippines and distributed by Solar Pictures. 

The cast includes Cherie Gil, Dina Bonnevie, Nonie Buencamino, Adrian “Luis” Alandy, Gabby Eigenmann, Max Collins, Teroy Guzman, Lou Veloso, Richard Quan, with Victor Neri, Allan Paule, Anna Luna, Elora Españo, Cholo Barretto, Raquel Villavicencio, Nanding Josef, Ruby Ruiz, and featuring Atom Araullo as Jake Herrera.

Many of the actors auditioned for their roles, while others like Dina and Cherie, were stars that Direk Mike had worked with in the past. In a series of posts on the Citizen Jake movie Facebook page, Direk Mike revealed some behind-the-scenes stories about his cast.

Gabby, for instance, was told by others to “underact” for his audition as Roxie, the congressman-brother of Jake. Direk Mike found the “underacting” advice strange. Gabby then did a more intense second reading. “The transformation was amazing,” said Direk Mike. “Right there and then… I decided I would cast him… He was so good in the film that I wrote two new sequences later.” For the director, Gabby possessed the intensity of his father, the late Mark Gil, whom Direk Mike had worked with in Batch ’81. 

Max Collins, meanwhile, purposely dressed down for her reading of Mandy, Jake’s significant other and fellow university teacher. Direk Mike noticed that she prepared. “I was immediately very impressed,” he said. “She came across as a very honest, sincere person and this was reflected in the genuineness of her reading.” Direk Mike likened Max to French film star Isabelle Adjani of The Story of Adelle H. In spite of being a bit young for the role, Direk Mike said Max was credible and moving. “She can only get better in time,” he said of the Kapuso actress.

Direk Mike also had good things to say about Adrian “Luis” Alandy who plays the role of Jonie, a Baguio pony boy who is the best friend of Jake. “Most of the actors who auditioned for the role were good but Luis impressed met he most. He had a certain sensitivity and vulnerability and I imagined that this actor could easily switch scenes of casual banter to ones of deep tragedy.” Direk Mike found out he was right because during the shoot, Luis proved to be consistent from rehearsal to take. “He’s perhaps the finest actor I’ve worked with since Jay Ilagan,” Direk Mike added.

Cherie Gil, Teroy Guzman and Lou Veloso are three of the more experienced actors in the cast. Cherie was among those who did not audition since Direk wrote the part of Patti Medina (a cunning businesswoman with political connections) with the award-winning actress in mind. “From the very first draft…” Direk emphasized. Years ago, Cherie and Direk Mike had collaborated on the video filmBilanggo sa Dilim. “The Cherie I encountered in ‘Citizen Jake’ has honed film acting to an unprecedented degree. Wala siyang kapantay,” he raved.

Teroy’s extensive work in theater made his characterization of Sen. Jacobo Herrera (the father of Jake) smooth. “Only in his 50s, (he) plays the role of a man in his 70s… You learn to appreciate, though not necessarily like, the character being portrayed because the character of Jacobo can easily slip into caricature. But with Teroy, it never did. It is the subtleties you watch as he performs and you feel fortunate to be working with an actor like him,” said Direk Mike.

Lou—who auditioned for his role as the hippie professor Lucas—has a major contribution to the film. He recited his own poem, “Bayan Mo” in a totally improvised scene with Atom. For that, Direk Mike thanked the veteran film/stage actor. “He is capable of serious nuanced acting and his grizzled weary old rebel looks adds much to this.”

As for TV journalist Atom Araullo who not only acts in the film but is also co-writer, Direk Mike said, “I was amazed by Atom’s keen mind and his contribution to the screenplay was substantial… As an actor I believe he did a good job and I won’t say the usual ‘in spite of…’ There were scenes where he acted unevenly but there were also scenes, many of them major, where he was terrific.”

For updates about Citizen Jake, follow Citizen Jake on Facebook, @citizenjakefilm on Instagram and @thecitizenjake on Twitter. 

Photo credits: courtesy of Citizen Jake Facebook page and Cinema Artists Philippines

May 23, 2018

Global Experts Tackle Benefits of Blockchain on PH Business on May 28-30

Blockchain is a new form of technology, although one that has the potential to change the way people do business. Being a relatively new concept, blockchain remains an arcane concept to many local businessmen and company executives, particularly those that are not too tech-savvy.

As such, many questions are floated around business circles. How can blockchain help improve the way we do business? Will the blockchain technology prove to be a boon for Philippine commerce? Is our country ready for it?

These and many other questions are what the coming Blockchain Applications and Economics Forum 2018 aims to answer. With the theme "Transforming Businesses and Industries with Blockchain Technology," the three-day forum, which will run from May 28 to 30, aims to increase the general understanding of the blockchain technology and bring together business leaders and thinkers that are not yet on the blockchain but are evaluating its impact on their business.

The forum also aims to help entrepreneurs and corporate decision-makers find the right blockchain solution for their businesses, particularly in the light of the fact that aside from Fintech, blockchain solutions can be implemented into gaming, supply chains, logistics, digital identity, and much more.


Blockchain Applications and Economics Forum 2018 will have blockchain and fintech experts from Europe, Asia, and North America who will act as speakers, panelists, trainers, and moderators during the three-day forum.

The first day of the forum, which will be on May 28, will be devoted to two pre-conference bootcamps. One is a whole-day workshop on "Ethereum and Smart Contract Development" which is designed especially for software developers, tech experts and blockchain enthusiasts who wish to get into coding in the blockchain platform Ethereum.

The trainers for this workshop are Harpreet Singh Maan and Adly Abdullah, CEO and CTO, respectively, and co-founders of Blocklime Technologies, one of the foremost blockchain consultancy and development service companies in the world.

While the second bootcamp will be devoted solely for members of the press, dubbed the “Media Blockchain Workshop.” The workshop aims to help media understand and have a better appreciation of what Blockchain is all about, its challenges, risks and opportunities.

This workshop is open to all interested journalists and will run from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. The trainer for this workshop is Amor Maclang, globally awarded brand architect; risk, crisis, and reputation strategist; marketing and communications innovator; and co-founder of GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications, Inc.


The formal opening of the the conference will be on May 29th, and will start out with the official launch of the Blockchain Association of the Philippines (BAP), the very first official blockchain-related association in the country. The keynote address for the launch will be delivered by BAP and Unionbank chairman Justo A. Ortiz.

Panel discussions will be held throughout the day as well. Topics to be discussed include Global Developments and Perspectives in Blockchain, with panelists from Singapore, Malaysia, Russia and Ireland; Managing Legitimacy in Blockchain--Regulations, Risks, and Communications, moderated by Amor Maclang; Can Blockchain Replace IPOS?, moderated by Daphne Ng, Secretary General of Access Singapore and committee member of Singapore Fintech Association; Blockchain and its Impact on Financial Transactions and Services, moderated by Arvie de Vera, first vice president and head of the Fintech Business Group at Unionbank; and The Future of Blockchain, Cryptocurrencies, ICOs, and Digital Currency Exchanges, moderated by Shawn Tham, founder and CEO of Blockrypto.

The last day of the forum, May 30, will focus on exploring the role of blockchain in disrupting, enhancing, and creating new business opportunities in established business verticals and will involve major technology giants including IBM, SAP and Microsoft.

The panel discussions on the last day will help give business leaders the opportunity to learn more about how blockchain can be used to leapfrog the technology curve and gain a competitive advantage.

A special discussion on blockchain for the social good will be led by Daniel de Gruijter, of Incitement, as well as Paolo Magnata, from the UNDP; as well as a look at how Blockchain can be applied to the Entertainment, Logistics, Energy, Commerce, Healthcare and even Government sectors.

The three-day forum will be capped by a panel discussion on What is Next? Taking the Leap into Blockchain, which will focus on what corporations need to do with newly acquired information on blockchain and what they can do to move ahead.

May 20, 2018

Stephen Bishop to perform May 22 at Resorts World Manila

Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Stephen Bishop is resuming his round of successful concert tours in the US and the international scene, including the Philippines. Bishop who popularized such unforgettable songs as “Separate Lives, It Might Be You, Something New In My Life, On and On and Save It for a Rainy Day” will return to entertain Filipino audiences on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 in “Love Rocks”. 

This is a one-night concert at the Newport Performing Arts Theater of Resorts World Manila.

It promises to be a night of fun and sweet memories, “I am very excited about going back to Manila where I have so many friends” says Bishop. He will sing the blues, pop, rock and light rock in his inimitable way that has charmed his millions of fans of all ages.

Joining him are Grammy-nominee Bobby Wilson, who sang “Your Love Has Lifted Me Higher, Get the Sweetest Feeling, Lonely Teardrops” and J Michaels who recorded “Wildflower, Smoke from a Distant Fire, and I Just Can’t Help Believing”.

OPM artists also performing in the concert include “Prince of Jazz” Richard Merk, Milet Abrenica and Janis Cagara.

“Love Rocks” is an MGM Global Entertainment Productions offering to be directed by Maestro Danny Favis. Tickets are available through and

May 18, 2018

Globe brings bigger-than-ever GoSURF and GoSAKTO promos with free 2GB data

Enjoy more videos and games starting May 18

Starting May 18, 2018, Globe Prepaid customers who subscribe to GoSURF50 and up, GOTSCOMBODD70 and 90, or GoSAKTO120 and 140 will enjoy the additional 2GB for free to access their favorite video streaming and gaming apps and sites.

“The digital Filipino youth has various passions and obsessions. As purveyor of the Filipino's digital lifestyle, Globe knows that they need access to a wide breadth of content in order to pursue these passions. Because of this, we're proud to offer additional GBs for customers to GoWATCH AND PLAY for free on top their favorite Globe surfing promos. More than the sizable data allocation of 2GB they get for free, customers can enjoy access to a wide array of video and gaming apps and sites. Along with our powerful LTE network, only Globe gives you unstoppable access to enjoy all the things you love,” said Issa Cabreira, Senior Vice President-Head of Consumer Mobile Marketing.

With this freebie, Globe customers can immerse in thrilling movies, award-winning shows, and fun videos from Netflix, YouTube, HOOQ, NBA, Cartoon Network, and Disney; plus, they can step into the exciting worlds of Arena of Valor, Mobile Legends, Clash of Clans, Pokemon Go, and Clash Royale! Stream and play away without worrying about consuming your GoSURF or GoSAKTO MBs or getting charged regular browsing rates.

Let Globe power your passions and obsessions for all the things you love. Register to the bigger-than-ever GoSURF50 with free 2GB for videos and games. Just dial *143# and choose GoSURF50. For other promos with free videos & games and more information, text WNP INFO to 8080.

Speed up productivity with the new Volvo EC200D

The new Volvo EC200D Excavator was launch on May 15, 2018 at ABS-CBN Tent, Ayala Vertis North., Volvo EC200D is a solid performer overall that offers excellent fuel efficiency and productivity in general construction applications such as road construction, building, landscaping and utility work .

The combination of a powerful engine, compatible hydraulics and precise controls in an exceptionally well-balanced machine makes the EC200D capable of lifting heavier loads. 

Volvo EC200D is the fastest 20-tonne class excavator on the market. With shorter cycle times and outstanding lifting capabilities it delivers significant productivity improvements for all types of general construction work.

World-class fuel efficiency, productivity, quality, safety and service availability are always included when you buy a Volvo excavator.

The new EC200D has all these premium Volvo features – and more. The EC200D offers exceptionally high swing torque and unique lifting capabilities which makes it the natural choice for general construction earthmoving work.

The excavator cycle time includes digging, swinging loaded, unloading and swinging empty. The faster the cycle can be finished, the higher the productivity for the machine. With the powerful Volvo D5E Tier 3 engine (with an output of 123 kW at 2,000 rpm), and compatible hydraulics, the EC200D is designed to operate fast and with short cycle times.

In addition, the EC200D is extremely well balanced which gives the machine outstanding loading and lifting capabilities at any boom and arm position.

“The combination of a powerful engine, compatible hydraulics and precise controls in an exceptionally well-balanced machine makes the EC200D capable of lifting heavier loads. All this translates into higher productivity,” says AM Muralidharan, VP Sales Support and Dealer Development in Volvo CE, Sales Region APAC.

The operators feel right at home in the cab too as it features the ergonomic design, comfort and visibility that are synonymous with Volvo machines. The EC200D is extremely easy to control and the superior stability secures smooth and efficient operation of the machine.

The Volvo EC200D is a solid performer overall that offers excellent fuel efficiency and productivity in general construction applications such as road construction, building, landscaping and utility work. It is configured with a 5.7 m boom, 2.9 m arm and 0.8 m3 bucket, while maximum breakout force is 116 kN.

The EC200D is available in all markets in Southeast Asia and India.


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