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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sponge Cola Releases Double EP “SINAG” + “TALA”

At a time when music has gone almost all-digital,  pop rock band SPONGE COLA, composed of Yael Yuzon (vocals), Erwin “Armo” Armovit (lead guitar), Gosh Dilay (bass) and Ted Mark Cruz (drums), defy the norm by releasing not just one but two (extended play) EPs!
 
The two EPs, one entitled “Sinag” and the other one “Tala,” is the band’s fourth (and fifth), having released their self-titled Sponge Cola in 2003, Tambay in 2011 and District in 2012.
 
Their EP Tambay has likewise earned them the rare distinction of being the only other recording band (besides the Eraserheads) to reach Diamond Record status.
 
But frontman Yael stressed it wasn’t a conscious effort from the group to come up with a double EP instead of a full album; “It just so happened that when we looked at the list of tracks, we couldn’t decide on a proper flow for the track list.”
 
“There was an even split, half of the songs were upbeat and “sobrang happy” while the rest of the tracks were quite “somber.” Doing mini-albums felt like the natural thing to do, so in the end, we decided to make a double EP instead,” adds Armo.
 
Mood Music
Taken as a single unit, the EPs are aptly called “Sinag Tala,” a portmanteau of “sinag” or ray of the sunshine and “tala” for stars. It also underscores the contrast in themes of the material the band has put together in the last few years.
 
“We were thinking of a title that would also be a play on the words that would best describe the mood of each EP. It’s like when you want to listen to fun music then all you have to do is play “Sinag,” and when you’re feeling a bit “emo” you can switch to the songs from “Tala,”explained Yael.

“In a way, it’s like curating a playlist for our fans. “Sinag” is suited for daytime listening and “Tala,” for an evening, one perks you up while the other is best for reminiscing and introspection,” I guess that’s another way to look at it,” says  Armo.
 
SINAG
Setting up the good vibes is “Pag-ibig” the carrier single of “Sinag.” “The song was written by Simon Tan and is being used as the theme song of the GMA 7 TV series “Dangwa,” which stars Janine Gutierrez, Mark Herras, and Aljur Abrenica.
 
“The melody of the song is as rosy as its lyrics, ‘Gumaganda ang paligid, Kung bawat tao ay puno ng pag-ibig napapawi ang pighati, masilayan lang ang iyong ngiti oh Kay gandang isipin, ang isang mundong puno ng pag-ibig.” We were given two songs and we liked this one better,” explains Yael.
The second track to be released is the almost anthemic “Pasukan na Naman” a throwback to the band’s school days and inspired by one of the old songs from the Eraserheads. 
 
“This is also the first song that we incorporated math in the lyrics; “may PE at history and x squared = 9, X = 3…” the band noted.
 
“Ang Saya,” the band revealed is the sibling of their mega hit “Tambay.” 
 
“Back then, we were commissioned to do a song for a campaign and they chose Tambay,” Yael recalled. “Ang Saya” was the other choice, and we felt it also deserved a shot to be heard so we included it in this EP.
 
The only English track in the “Sinag” EP is the song “Butterflies,” which they group describes as “yazzy” or their own take on jazz.
 
Wrapping up the first EP is the song “Bisita” a shout out of thanks to all the places that the band has performed throughout their career. 
 
“The lyrics says it all, ‘hindi naman ako tagarito, pero salamat sa maayang pagtanggap, ang bukas ay darating ala-ala'y babaunin, sana ay magkita pang muli.” All these years, we’ve played in so many places and we are just grateful that we are always well-taken cared of by our hosts, bisita man kami pero they treat us like family,” Yael stated.
 
TALA
On the other end of the spectrum is the EP “Tala” which is filled with melancholic slow-burners such as the carrier single “Coda.”
 
Bassist Gosh Dilay explains, “It’s a post breakup song, and we were trying to reimagine how it felt to end a relationship, and contemplating if you made the right decision.
 
Next, the band explores meaning of desire in the song “One and Only Weakness.” 
 
Yael says “it’s the feeling of how badly you want someone and what you’d do once the table has turned. It’s also a bit experimental for us as we used digital drums on the track.”
 
Completing the track list are “Pagtungo” written by Yael’s brother Yan Yuzon, an acoustic and full band version of “Bahaghari” and “Sabay Tayo,” which became the theme song of the Gilas Pilipinas Basketball team.
 
“Sabay Tayo” was memorable not only because my wife Karylle wrote the lyrics but because we also got to work with the UP Tugma who played the traditional instruments in the song,” said Yael.
Frankenstein Baby

In their previous interviews, the band used to describe their new EPs as a “Frankenstein” of sorts because of the recording process.
 
“Frankenstein because we worked with several writers and producers for the EPs and also got the chance to record the tracks in several studios and whole lot of other places,” explains Yael.
 
“There was a time I was recording my vocals at our house, guitars inside the car while Armo did “One and Only Weakness” in this really nice bar in Katipunan called Route 196.”
 
“It was fun to do the album because we were not forced to finish everything inside the studio.”
 
The band adds that this is also the first time they didn’t have to cram to finish the album.
 
“In all our previous albums we would often be pressed for time and would always end up rushing to finish the album, this time, we had the luxury of working at a relaxed pace,” Armo added. 
 
“We had breathers to refresh our minds. So, every time we resume the creative process, there’s always something new.”

Episodic EP-ics?
The band also teased that the double EPs may just be a sign of things to come.
 
“We want to create something episodic—parang Star Wars! So “Sinag” and “Tala” could be part 1 and 2 of a series—and hopefully we could connect everything both visually and musically; from the album covers which you could connect into a bigger picture—who knows!” Yael says with excitement.
 
But for now they are releasing the EPs separately; “We often interact with our fans through Facebook and social media, and they would tell us that they go to several of our mall shows and end up buying several copies of the same CD. So this time, since we are releasing two EPs it would be cheaper than a full album and they could just buy one now and get the other one on our next show!” 
 
To celebrate the release of “Sinag” and “Tala” Sponge Cola will be having a concert at the Teatrino on August 26, 2016.  VIP tickets are priced at P1000 which comes with 2 free EPs, front row seats, and SoundCheck party passes. P600 for the succeeding rows, comes with 1 free EP and P500 for the remaining rows plus 1 EP.
 
Sponge Cola Sinag  + Tala is produced by Spongecola and Alvin Cornista and released by Universal Records.
 
For tickets and reservations call Ticketworld at 891.9999 or log on to www.ticketworld.com.ph

Monday, August 8, 2016

Starbucks PH commemorates Filipino's rich culture and heritage

 In celebration of Starbucks Philippines 3rd anniversary, it commemorates Filipino 's rich culture and heritage through its newly released Starbucks Card and Tumblers.
The Manila Starbucks Card. Inspired by “Summer Night in Manila,” the design focuses on the iconic Philippine commuter jeepney traveling the busy city at night. The colorful and intricate designs on the body of what is dubbed as the king of the roads in Metro Manila represent the vibrant culture of the Filipinos.  The Manila Starbucks card will be available only in Metro Manila.
The Cebu Starbucks Card. It features the exquisite scenery of the Marcelo Fernan Bridge and Mactan-Mandaue Bridge as if viewed from the hilltops of Cebu that are decked with the Sinulog flower. The Cebu Starbucks Card will be available only in Cebu.
Aside from Cards that represent Filipino culture, the global coffee brand also offers a Special Edition Siren Starbucks Card, highlighting the Siren as the heart of Starbucks. It tells the story of Starbucks rich heritage, representing the brand’s loyalty to its roots as it evolves. This elegantly designed card is available in all stores nationwide.
 
All of the three Cards are available for an initial consumable load amount of ₱300 starting today. As an anniversary treat, customers who activate any of the featured qualified Starbucks Cards with at least ₱1500 from August 8 to 10 will receive a complimentary Starbucks mini green apron card carrier or any Grande handcrafted beverage. Qualified Cards are Manila Starbucks Card in Metro Manila, Cebu Starbucks Card in Cebu and Special Edition Siren Starbucks Card in all non-Metro Manila and Non-Cebu stores.

Friday, August 5, 2016

HOOQ Hangouts

Last Saturday, HOOQ, Asia’s first and largest video-on-demand service, partners with Globe LIVE brought the biggest outdoor cinema event in the Philippines, the HOOQ Hangouts.
Powered by Globe LIVE and in cooperation with Samsung, the BGC Amphitheater was turned into a free outdoor cinema venue with massive LED screens, bean bags, blankets, and cushions. The premiere of HOOQ Hangouts featured the Hollywood TV hit, DC's Legends of Tomorrow which will be available exclusively on HOOQ.
 
When heroes alone are not enough… the world needs legends.
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow is a spin-off from equally successful TV series Arrow and The Flash, and further expands the “Arrowverse.” 
 
Having seen the future, rogue Time Master Rip Hunter is tasked with assembling a group of heroes and villains to confront an unstoppable threat — one in which not only puts the planet at stake, but all of time itself.  For this seemingly impossible mission Rip brings together a ragtag team of divergent talents, which includes Sara Lance (White Canary), Jefferson Jax Jackson, Dr. Martin Stein (FireStorm), Ray Palmer (Atom), Hawkgirl, Captain Cold and Heat Wave.
 
DC’s Legends of Tomorrow completes HOOQ’s catalogue of DC shows which includes The Flash, Arrow, Gotham and Supergirl (also a HOOQ exclusive).  All the latest seasons of these DC shows are also now available on HOOQ.
 
Attendees  of HOOQ Hangouts can also enjoy on-ground entertainment, munch on free popcorn and check out on-ground activities and win raffle prizes. The good news is, the HOOQ Hangouts will now be a regular monthly event! In this way, it will create meaningful engagements between Globe and its customers. HOOQ Hangouts aims to build a stronger HOOQ community by bringing them together so they can watch the best movies and hottest TV releases.
 
HOOQ subscribers can also check out other binge-worthy TV shows on HOOQ such as Damages, Selfie, Community, The Big C, Lost Girl, and Two and a Half Men which recently premiered on the service.  Meanwhile, movie franchise fans will also be delighted with the complete series from The Lord of The Rings, The Matrix, and Harry Potter, now all available on HOOQ.
 
HOOQ is Asia’s largest video-on-demand service hosting over 10,000 movies and TV shows available for streaming or download.  Globe customers can get free access to HOOQ with selected GoSURF mobile data plans and as well as Broadband Plan 1299 and up.   Visit www.hooq.tv to sign up for a 7-day free trial.
 
How to get HOOQ:
It’s easy to get HOOQ!  Sign up today for a 7-day free trial on www.HOOQ.tv.  Globe mobile customers can up to 90 days free HOOQ on selected GoSURF plans.  Broadband customers also get HOOQ for free on Globe Home Broadband.  Once the trial period expires, Globe customers can continue enjoying HOOQ at P149 subscription fee monthly charged to your Globe bill.  Simply text HOOQ149 to 8888.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Meryl Streep and The Magic of Music in FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS THE MOVIE

The movie is built on a captivating premise: What would happen if you pursue your dream? In Florence Foster Jenkins’ case, her bucket list included singing opera at New York’s Carnegie Hall. Everything would be fine and dandy, except for one thing – the aspiring operatic diva cannot hit the right notes.
 
The true-to-life biopic is an engaging one, where Meryl Streep shines as Florence Foster Jenkins, the heiress with an innate love for music. It has always been her dream to be a famous opera singer, and that dream was made possible by her chutzpah and the loving support bestowed by her husband St. Clair Bayfield (played by Hugh Grant) and her pianist Cosme McMoon (Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg).
 
One would understand the other characters’ reluctance in the beginning. Florence is not exactly gifted in the musical arts, and yet, she was able to sing on-air and to sold-out crowds. What is even more amazing is that it is based on a true story: one month before she passed away in November 1944, at the age of 76, Florence was able to hold her first and only concert at the world-famous theatrical venue, to an audience that included the city’s Who’s Who, including composer Cole Porter, soprano Lily Pons, and silent-film actress Tallulah Bankhead.
 
The film is a tragic-comedy about the effects of love and the spirit to endure. Florence was struck by an illness in her early age, and endured countless treatments which caused her to have a progressive loss of her mental faculties and her constant fatigue. What kept her alive was her love of music and the love of her second husband, who indulged in her fantasies. It was her joy in singing that kept her alive.
 
The movie is already being hailed by critics, garnering a high rating of 98% from movie site Rotten Tomatoes, and the lead actors are said to be at their cinematic best. The movie is inspiring and uplifting, as it ends with a lesson on working hard to make your dreams come true –with a little help from your friends.
 
Florence Foster Jenkins shows in Philippine cinemas on August 24, produced by Pathè, BBC Films, Qwerty Films Production and is exclusively distributed by Octoarts Films International.  

Friday, July 29, 2016

Silka launches two new products to give #TheSkinYouLove


Silka celebrates its 15 amazing years by launching two new products that will guarantee to give #TheSkinYouLove, the new Silka Premium Moisturizing Lotion with SPF23 and Silka Moisturizing Soap with Avocado Oil and Almond Milk Protein as well as the Silka Whitening Soap with Shea Butter.
Silka Premium Moisturizing Lotion with SPF23 and Silka Moisturizing Soap with Avocado Oil and Almond Milk Protein are especially formulated with avocado oil and almond milk. Aside from providing smoother, fairer skin, the lotion comes with SPF23 to protect the skin from the harmful rays of the sun. These are available in three sizes, 50ml, 100ml and 200ml. The new Silka Whitening Soap with Shea Butter nourishes and moisturizes the skin, with the added protection of SPF23. The rich, creamy lather of this new soap variant comes in luscious mild butter scent. It perfectly complements the Silka Whitening Lotion SPF 23 with Shea Butter introduced in 2013.
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Along with launch of these new variants, Silka introduces #TheSkinYouLove Campaign, intended to inspire every Filipina to be more confident with themselves. With everyday use of Silka’s whitening soaps and moisturizing lotions, we Filipinas can continue to achieve the Skin we love.
Silka’s new soap and lotions variants are available in all major stores and supermarkets nationwide. Congratulations Silka on your 15 amazing years!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Look: Starbucks Fruit Frappuccino®!!!


Brace yourself Starbucks lovers! This July 26, Starbucks will officially serve the new Starbucks Frappuccino® flavors – Mango Fruit Jelly Yogurt and Strawberry Fruit Jelly Yogurt.
Tall - Php 160, Grande - Php 175, Venti - Php 190
 
The Mango Fruit Jelly Yogurt Frappuccino® perfectly blends honey-citrus sweet mango sauce with yogurt, topped with a layer of mango fruit jelly with real mango bits. Meanwhile, the equally refreshing and irresistible Strawberry Fruit Jelly Yogurt Frappuccino® features a visual treat with the yogurt blended with strawberry sauce puree topped with strawberry jelly with strawberry bits.
 
Along with the new Starbucks Frappuccino® flavors, we will get to enjoy the following new Starbucks featured food items
Triple Chocolate Truffle Cake (Php 150/slice & Php1350 - whole), a moist buttery white chocolate sponge cake with generous layers of milk and truffle finished with dark chocolate ganache and white chocolate shavings. This will only be available until September 13.
Maple Pecan Danish (Php85), a light and flaky Danish pastry with maple filling and topped with chopped pecans, perfect for a quick breakfast;
Chicken Cannelloni (Php165), an al dente pasta filled with chicken flakes and topped with creamy tomato sauce, you can have for your lunch;
Pan Au Chocolat (Php85),, which features two chocolate batons wrapped in 100% French butter croissant dough and finished with chocolate drizzle that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
 
Are you excited to try these new offerings from Starbucks!? Please let me know who won on your taste buds!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Silka Celebrates 15 Silkamazing Years of Beauty

Silka Skincare just recently celebrated their 15th year anniversary at the SM City Lipa Events Center, by staging a mini concert with the theme: "Silkamazing @15: Todo Buhos Ang Galing". 
Silka was the brainchild of Cosmetique Asia Corporation. Silka is a beauty and skincare brand that creates the superior line of affordable and effective products that help consumers achieve lighter complexion and smoother skin naturally. It was first released in 2001 and in the span of its fifteen years in the industry, many Filipinas have been loyal users of Silka products. Iya Villania and Piolo Pascual being its notable endorsers.
The famous local rock band, Hale graced the occasion with the performance of their best hits.
The event was packed with booths, games and raffle prizes to name  a few.
Three people received the grand prizes such as Smart TV, IPAD and Iphone. 
The celebration at SM City Lipa Events Center was the last of the regional celebrations in honor of Silka's 15 years, the places being Cebu, Davao and Pangasinan respectively.
 
Congratulations Silka!

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