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Jaycon Yaneza, Author at

Jaycon Yaneza

Jaycon Yaneza is an AB Literature graduate of UST. He is an Ustetika winner and conceptualized one of the pioneer teleseryes on Philippine television. He has written for Manila Bulletin and Icon magazine. Currently a Language Education student at JRU Graduate School, he works full time in the BPO industry in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, Philippines.

Posts By Jaycon Yaneza

It’s Vampire, Romance Movie for Anne Curtis

Aussie Pinay actress and TV variety show host Anne Curtis, 29, is all grown up, and making waves in the international front. Since she started in show business in 1997, she has taken on different roles, and with that a big following. She is the most followed Filipina celebrity on Twitter. (more…)Read More

On Stage Ate Reg Acts and Looks Like Regine

Known as a tribute artist to Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid, 32-year old transgender stand-up comedian Ate Reg (Marvin Cleofas in real life) is rising to fame because of her uncanny likeness to the Pinay diva. She has become such a great impersonator that even Regine’s husband, singer Ogie Alcasid, at times (more…)Read More

Golfer Annyka Cayabyab: Young Star on the Rise

Pampanga-native golf champion Annyka Chanel Pineda-Cayabyab has been hugging the news following her successes in international tournaments in the United States. She is just 10 years old. Cayabyab started in the sport professionally three years earlier and she amazes with her foray into major cups. She has collected several trophies and (more…)Read More

New Pageant Bets on Deaf Mute Beauty Queen


Three beauty pageants were in the news recently. Two of them—Queen of the Philippines and Miss Global Philippines—are new and defy conventions because they open their doors to deaf mute and single mother beauty queen aspirants. The new pageants are an addition to the oldest running mainstream pageant in the country. Mutya ng (more…)Read More

Movie Showcases Modern Pinay Traits

Empowering is how to describe the image of the modern Filipina after watching the most recent romance film, “Maybe This Time,” that opened in Philippine cinemas last May 28. The movie is a collaboration of Star Cinema and Viva Films and stars Coco Martin, Ruffa Gutierrez and Sarah Geronimo.  The two (more…)Read More

Drag Queen Manila Luzon Rocks Music World


New York-based Manila Luzon rose to fame upon joining cross-dressing gay reality show RuPaul’s Drag Race (Season 3) in 2010, where she finished first runner-up. The American reality show is hosted by Hollywood drag personality RuPaul who is in search for America’s drag superstar. Luzon, 32,  Karl Philip Michael Rodriguez (more…)Read More

Koreanovelas Inspire Bianca Bernardino To Write Fiction


Young Filipina professional Bianca Bernardino, a 26-year-old B.S. Psychology graduate, took her angsts on to blogging site Wattpad and produced the internet novels My Girl and I (1&2), She’s Dating the Gangster, Lie About Us, and She’s Dating The Gangster, Too (a sequel). For her hit online fiction work She’s (more…)Read More

Fab Pinays: Beauty Queen Talks

By Jaycon Yaneza Ever since Philippines sent its representative to international beauty pageants in the 50’s more than a dozen of fabulous Pinays have brought pride to the country. It was proven in the world of international pageantry that Filipinos have a penchant for beauty pageants and beauty queens. Filipino (more…)Read More

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Jennifer Lopez talks about living, loving and dancing in her documentary movie - 'Dance Again'

16 April 2015 | 1:46 am
GLAMOUROUS, upbeat and magnificent are three words to describe Hollywood pop superstar Jennifer Lopez's musical career docu film "Dance Again" that opened this week at Cinema 1 of Robinsons Forum in Pioneer, Mandaluyong City.  I saw the movie poster of it a couple of weeks earlier at the same mall and I looked forward to watching it after getting frustrated of not making it to her previous concert at the SM Mall of Asia Arena due to budget constraints. Luckily chancing upon the film's showing very recently, I grabbed the opportunity after learning that the ticket costs less than I expected and I was just 15 minutes away from the 7 p.m. last full show. I was the first audience in that time slot to enter the theater. It felt really exciting to see Jennifer Lopez!

Flashing back, I recalled the "On The 6" CD of her that I purchased in 1999 and the VCDs of her movie "Angel Eyes" (with Jim Caviezel) and her concert "Let's Get Loud." That CD was her debut album following the success of her movie portrayal of slain Latina songstress "Selena." The concert on the other hand, was her first concert and it was staged in Puerto Rico where her parents are from. Jennifer was born and raised in New York. She has come a long way since I first saw her in the movie "Anaconda."

The musical career of Jennifer Lopez just came in perfect timing and she has the talents to back up her act so her longevity in the recording and concert scene should prove that her singing voice is fine. She is amazing in her transition from Hollywood movie star who became a bigger star after successfully penetrating the music scene as recording artist and concert performer. Before becoming an actress, "JLo," as fans also call her after the title of her sophomore hit album, worked as back-up dancer to numerous other artists like Janet Jackson <>, Will Smith and Michael Jackson, so performing onstage has always somewhat had a place in her heart.

The movie "Dance Again" opens to the present day time where Jennifer is already famous as a pop star and all those recent hits she's released are simultaneously shown live show clips of, all from her most recent concert tour. The musical concert clips in the movie start with "Get It Right" and end with "Dance Again." Snippets of her life and sentiments as a singer, daughter, mother, sister, cousin, ex-wife, and judge of hit TV talent show "American Idol" are included in the documentary.

Jennifer always emerged beautiful and classy in all her production numbers regardless if she said there were several wardrobe malfunctions in her shows and almost fell off the stage at one leg of her Asian tour when she pursued the show at an outdoor venue and it was raining hard. Everything was high production value. All her dancers are dreamy. It's also amazing that one of her back-up dancers named Gilbert who is one of her pioneer team when she started as a singer remains loyal and working with her up to this time. I remember that the guy also danced for Britney Spears sometime ago. He still dances for Jennifer and he even looks better now. Her dancers could all pass as Calvin Klein models. It would have been more interesting to see transgen celebrity Carmen Carrera though if she still danced back-up for JLo now as a woman.

My favorite part of the movie was Jennifer's trip to Paris where she met Valentino and Anna Wintour. She shimmered much with old school Hollywood glam. Loved her glittery eyeshadow. Second, I also liked the part where she threw a surprise dinner birthday party for her cousin on a deck with her favorite football player Cristiano Ronaldo! Third place on my favorites list to this movie are the clips featuring Jennifer's beautiful dancers.

It seems funny to me how doubt of Jennifer's credibility as a singer is brought up in this documentary. That issue probably came after she recorded her 1999 version of "Theme from Mahogany" <> which was popularized by Diana Ross <> and also previously recorded by Mariah Carey> on her "#1s" album in 1998. She suffered the comparison She and Mariah have become rivals with their album releases in the early 2000s. The rivalry also resurfaced after Mariah replaced Jennifer as judge on "American Idol" for a season. The two artists have different specialties to offer so I think there should be no competition between them. Here is an old clip of Jennifer looking on as Mariah receives an award

Jennifer was a female pioneer of the Latin music invasion in the US in the late 1990s where she was the queen of the race while Ricky Martin was the king. She is probably humbled by other vocalists like Shakira and Christina Aguilera who possess undeniably superior vocals. But she should be secure about her vibratto. After all, she has not faltered in any of her songs.  In a different feature years back, Gloria Estefan was shown among others who believe in Jennifer's talent as a singer. She even has the guts to sing live.

About relationships, the movie only mentioned her latest flame - her choreographer and back-up dancer Beau "Casper" Smart, the rumor that linked her to Enrique Iglesias, and then her continued friendship with ex-husband Marc Anthony, who is a popular singer in Puerto Rico where her hit song duet with him "No Me Ames" <> is loved.

Marc Anthony  is a brilliant singer and songwriter, probably why Jennifer fell for him aside from the fact that they became friends first before becoming a couple. Some people thought though that he was putting a cramp on her popularity. She divorced him because she wanted artistic freedom. It's still weird though, how messy things were when Marc had to divorce his Miss Universe wife Dayanara Torres just so he could marry Jennifer. It is a sensitive topic that none of them want to talk about and since time has passed and all have moved on, I will not discuss this further. Awkward for me, being a Dayanara fan as well <>.

Jennifer's love affairs weren't comprehensively plotted down in detail. Maybe because she does not want to become Elizabeth Taylor's successor to the identity of being the star with the most number of divorces done. Ben Affleck could have been the best guy for Jen. He's the one that got away. Too bad, he's already married to another Jennifer, Garner <>.

As parting words for thought in the movie, Jennifer Lopez has this to say: "You will live, you will love, and you will dance again." Well-said inspiring words from one lucky and gracious lady who worked hard for her fame and fortune that she now enjoys.

Before this, the last Jennifer Lopez movie I remember watching was "Shall We Dance" (with Richard Gere) some years back. If there's a future project that I hope to see her in, I wish she would do a musical movie somewhat like "Moulin Rouge" or "Chicago." Jennifer's pizzaz in music, acting and fashion is enough to keep followers tuned to the next chapters in her career. 

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Jennifer Lopez - "Dance Again" (Official Music Video) at>

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Bedazzled over Madonna's comeback with her record 'Rebel Heart'

14 April 2015 | 1:19 am
This is not an album review. Though I must say that the elixir of youth is flowing radiant on the Queen of Reinvention - Madonna's latest record album "Rebel Heart," which inspired me to scribble a blog entry about her and her latest work. With songs like "Living for Love" <>; "Ghosttown" <>; "Joan of Arc" <>; "Bitch, I'm Madonna" <> - the 12-track 13th studio album of the Hollywood pop icon sparkles with an array of vibrant tunes that are at par with today's standards of music that the young people listen to. Amazingly, those artists are already young enough to be her children. So how has "Madge"made this brilliant recording comeback?

Madonna has been in the international recording and concert scene since 1983 but has been performing professionally in the US since the late 1970s. She initially dreamt of becoming a successful dancer so becoming a recording star in the process came as a surprise to her. She admitted on a past TV interview that she might not be the best singer or the best dancer but she is sure that she is one great performer.

I have followed Madonna's music and career since I heard her hit song "Vogue" <> in 1992. That was included in her 1990 album "I'm Breathless" which carried songs to the soundtrack of her movie with ex-boyfriend Warren Beatty, that was "Dick Tracy" <>. Sometime in 1992, her album "Erotica" (the first Madonna record I ever bought) was released which did not do so well though its track "Rain" <> faired as the best release off that album. Madonna struggles to be different and fresh everytime she comes out with a new song or a new album. She usually releases studio albums once every two years. That was usually her pacing in the 1980s and the 1990s. There was a time in the early 2000s where Madonna was eclipsed by younger singers like Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce at MTV music awards. But she always manages to find her way in the mainstream and eventually gets her spotlight from time to time and emerges to be on top.

Noticeably, there was a big gap between the release of her "MDNA" album in 2012 and this 2015 release of her album "Rebel Heart." Madonna, ever busy juggling many different things in her life did manage to squeeze in time to create a new album.

As her fans would know, Madonna is not only a singer but also an actress, producer and director of indie films <> and live shows, a hands on parent to her four children, a philantropist with various advocacies <>, and staunch businesswoman of all trades of anything about pop culture and how to generate and maintain her presence with the young market whom she sells her work to. She said it herself, that part of her that is a storyteller is why she came out with a set of children's books sometime years back after she became a mother.

As I was browsing her latest music videos on Youtube, I came across her 1991 interview on "Good Morning America" <> where she shared her plans where she saw herself 20 years from that time. Fast forward to 2015 and her predictions came true. She has become a parent and she still remains on top of her career. Sadly, she's divorced for the second time again. Which stays true to what she said that it's hard for her to find a man who can keep up with her because she is a control freak and being busy, successful and a career-driven woman, it can be threatening to any guy who is not secure about himself.

Going back to Madonna's brilliant comeback, how did she manage this one? She said, she was just happy to get to work with the right people that she wanted to work with on her "Rebel Heart" album, the creative team and the marketing team. According to her, none of the songs on this album had anything to do with her personal life but all reflect her personality with the stories they tell. She expected it to be a double album but later agreed to keep it single to avoid confusion among her fans.

In the 1980s, Madonna hardly collaborated with other artists. There was a Michael Jackson song where she sang some back-up lines to, but it wasn't really publicised as an official duet <>. But since the 1990s, she's come into the public eye rubbing elbows with younger pop singers like Geri Halliwell <>, Britney Spears <>, Justin Timberlake <>, Pharrell Williams <>, Nicki Minaj <>, Lady Gaga <>, Jennifer Lopez, Rihanna...

Now, Madonna is friends with Miley Cyrus <> and has even performed with Taylor Swift <>. Somewhat, these new friendships and collaborations benefit both parties. With Taylor Swift, Madonna can benefit by introducing herself to Taylor's young followers and for Taylor, she benefits by becoming more of the pop star she aspires to be as she departs from her country music identity. And it is a brilliant idea to do that by working with the original Queen of Pop herself.

With that said, now at 56 years of age, even if Playboy nor FHM would get her now, Madonna still amuses with her racy antics as she continues to dance and sing to youthful club music like she is known for. Her "Rebel Heart" album is expected to surpass her "Ray of Light" hit album from 1999. On this one, with hand movements identified as her trademark <> and artistry that boasts of style yet manifests intelligence like her Friedrich Nietzche quote on her "Living for Love" music video <>, Madonna stays true to the title of her latest album as she defies conventions about women her age, to remain young beyond what time says she is.

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Wiki trail of Madonna's body of work and comprehensive musical career path at>

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Good things that Cher said about Madonna>

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What it takes to be a beauty queen in the Philippines: An overview of the Binibining Pilipinas queens through the years

20 March 2015 | 3:23 am Talent, skill and luck are three elements that a pageant contestant needs to win at any beauty contest. But sometimes it takes more than that with the reality of pageant politics where organizers have favorites and preferences that determine which queen will represent what in pageants abroad. There is no fixed formula for winning a pageant and for Binibining Pilipinas alone, it is the founder and CEO Mrs. Stella Araneta who has the final say on which lady will be delegate to what pageant abroad. This topic is brought up after the recent selections and proposed reassignments of titles to the 2015 winners of Binibining Pilipinas.

According to reports, the winner of Bb. Pilipinas-Intercontinental 2015 (Christi McGarry) should be switched with the winner of Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational 2015 (Rogelie Catacutan), because the former was already sent as delegate in 2010 by Mutya ng Pilipinas. And then, there is also a clamour from the supporters of Bb. Pilipinas-International 2015 winner Janicel Lubina that she should swap with Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2015 winner Pia Wurtzbach because of the conventions we have been used to, with morenas as delegates to Miss Universe and meztisas, to Miss International. But being fluent in English is preferred for Miss Universe, and Miss International being organized by the Japanese, are not particular with the English proficiency of contestants. So in my opinion, the queens are okay where they are.

I have followed the Binibining Pilipinas pageant since 1993 when movie star Ruffa Gutierrez joined and was picked for Miss World. Since then, I have noticed the variety of winners chosen. There is a rule that if any of the queens fail to attend to her duties, the first runner-up is eligible to replace her. But this is only an option. Mrs. Araneta of Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Incorporated (BPCI) has the power to reassign.

In 1999, I recall that the original winner to Bb. Pilipinas-Universe was Janelle Bautista. She was dethroned because it was later found out that she did not possess Filipino citizenship. Instead of the first runner-up taking her place, Mrs. Araneta instructed the other winners to fill in the gap. So, Miriam Quiambao who originally won as Bb. Pilipinas-World 1999 was sent to compete in Miss Universe and Bb. Pilipinas-International 1999 Lalaine Edson was sent to Miss World. First runner-up Georgina Sandico was sent to Miss International and a new second runner-up was named. Something trivial about this was actress Sunshine Cruz was offered to be delegate to Miss World but she turned it down because she said that she was not prepared and it is not fair to those who joined Bb. Pilipinas 1999.

In 2008, when controversial winner Janina San Miguel resigned from her post as Bb. Pilipinas-World, it was then that first runner-up Danielle Castano was sent in to replace her.

A life of fame and fortune await these queens that's why many continue to aspire and be crowned. Though with it comes the expectation of a life of grace under pressure, which means they have to avoid scandals.

The most elusive beauty title of Miss World has already been won by Megan Young for the Philippines, in 2013. Unfortunately, it was not under the umbrella of Binibining Pilipinas. But the quest for Miss Universe continues. Having its last winner to the pageant with Margie Moran in 1973 is a long time but we should not lose hope because our delegates have always been noticed and excelled in pageants abroad more than any Asian country has. In Miss Universe alone, we have always come forward in consecutive years from 2010 to 2014.

Looking closely at Pia Wurtzbach, she does have international appeal being meztisa and looking like Fil-Am Hollywood actress Tia Carrere. So let's just all hope for the best.

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Advice for women bothered by ogling men

16 March 2015 | 5:33 am Went to a salon for a haircut yesterday. While waiting, I got hold of a Cosmo Ph back issue with Katy Perry in the cover, dated July 2014. Anyway, there was an interesting page where a guy gives advice to women. One entry that caught my eye was that of a girl who confided that she felt bothered by her boyfriend's roommate whenever she visited him at his flat. She said that the roommate likes to stare at her and always asked if she was thirsty, every time she came to visit. Her concern was she disliked the attention and she wanted to know how to make it stop. My reading was cut short when a barber called my attention that I was next. But I read a few lines of the advice which in a way stirred my interest: "Ogling guys will always be there. Just ignore it..."

Being struck by that trivial generalization and left hanging as it was a busy Sunday night approaching closing time for the salon, I wondered somewhat about the peculiar girl's situation. Therefore, I've decided to concoct my take in response to her concern:

1.) PUT HIM IN YOUR FRIEND ZONE. Establish rapport. If the guy was really hitting on you, befriending him can discourage him from doing that.  Based on what you said, the guy sounds harmless. You can just take his gestures as a compliment. Maybe you were just conscious or overreacting. Or perhaps, it feels awkward because you have yet to get to know your boyfriend's roommate more. Since you prefer to visit your boyfriend frequently at his flat, try to be friends with his roommate. That can lessen the awkwardness that you feel towards him. Based on what you shared, he just admires you and shows you his hospitality, being their house guest. You will know if it becomes inappropriate when he stares at you more like a rapist than an admirer, if he suggests something more than a beverage whenever he brings up the word "thirsty," with more verbal innuendoes, and when he advances to becoming frisky towards you. Otherwise, just keep calm and be nice. He's your boyfriend's friend. He might just be simply adoring you and wondering how lucky his friend is to have a pretty girl like you for a girlfriend.

2.) WEAR MODEST CLOTHING. Check your attire if you don't want men ogling at you. If you like to wear spaghetti strap blouse and short shorts when you visit then better rethink your wardrobe like maybe wear a sweater and jogging pants instead. This is only a suggestion. You should know that the sight of cleavage and a nice pair of lady legs always get guys' attention. Dress appropriately to have less ogling men around you.

3.)  KNOW YOUR PLACE. Speaking of appropriate, you did say that he is your boyfriend's roommate. At his dorm/condo/apartment? -Which suggests it's a guys' place. You should be meeting him at a living room and not in his bedroom. If it's a dorm and it does not have a living room to receive visitors, then might as well meet him at the front door of the house or elsewhere. Being female hanging out in the  bedroom of a male dormitory sends the wrong signal to men. And you don't have to be a pretty girl to get that kind of attention. It's just like barging into the opposite sex's locker room. Don't get yourself into places where you shouldn't be, so that you wouldn't get any unwanted attention. Make sure no other person is around to look when you have private moments with your boyfriend. Then again, if there are other people at his flat, stop hanging out in his bedroom.

So, in recap and summation to the resolution to this lady's problem: You can try to be close with your boyfriend's roommate to break the awkwardness you have towards him. Dress appropriately so you do not attract any unwanted attention. Make sure that you know your boundaries yourself and not hang out in your boyfriend's bedroom with the presence of another guy who also has it as his room. If the roommate persists to make you uncomfortable, it's best to be up front about it and tell him in a nice way. You can also confide it to your boyfriend. But if you think it can cause  trouble between them then just quit seeing him there. Go meet him some other place and in that way you can put a period to that ogling roommate whose fuss towards you made you uncomfortable and at the same time still keep the peace between him and your boyfriend since they live together.

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Working Mom VS. House Mom, what I said on Facebook

12 March 2015 | 9:12 pm
@Desperate Housewives Everywhere: You don't need to be a plain housewife forever. If your kids reach the fifth grade, they're on their way to adolescence. You can do less nanny work at home and do real work where you earn your own money and not be a beggar to your husband for all eternity. Even if you're only a high school graduate or a college undergraduate, there are jobs out there that you can apply for. You just need to be patient and determined. Jobs like: Shampoo Girl,... Elevator Operator, Tiangge (Flea Market) Sales Lady, Avon Lady... If the disabled can work then what more for those who are able. Why am I saying this? Because I pity some women whose futures are vague. What if your husbands leave you, become jobless or die? Are your husbands rich enough to secure your future? If not, then you should be practical and act now. ‪#‎SupermodelYouBetterWork‬ (wink emoticon)

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My conversation with Fil-Singaporean singer Miguel Antonio today on Twitter

12 March 2015 | 6:19 am Direct Messages › with Miguel Antonio

Hi Jaycon! How are you? Have you heard of my new song? I'll be in Philippines next week!
5 hours ago

Which song? I saw the music video you promoted on Facebook, which was produced by apl.d.ap. When will you be here? And where will you go? :)
3 hours ago

Here's my business card.
3 hours ago

I'll be there this Monday. I have interviews, shoots and recording there!
3 hours ago

Very cool. Are your TV visits going to be exclusive to ABS-CBN Network?
3 hours ago

I'm not sure. I don't have my schedule yet. :) Why do you ask?
3 hours ago

Do you know Curve Entertainment?
3 hours ago

So I know which channel to tune in to, to see you. :) Curve, not really. Are you signed up with them?
3 hours ago

I'm signed up on Apl's label BMBX. Curve is the partner who handles my stuffs there.
3 hours ago

Very cool. :) How long are you staying here for?
3 hours ago

5 days. Quite long.
3 hours ago

That sounds short. It would be nice to meet you if you're not too busy. :)
3 hours ago

Well, have a safe trip and enjoy your visit. ;)
3 hours ago

Sure! I'll inform Curve to get in touch with you.
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Miguel Antonio's latest single is entitled "Every Day." The official music video can be viewed at>

For a background on Miguel Antonio, please refer to a previous post here of the full transcript of my Q&A interview with him for the Manila Bulletin  Students & Campuses section. Condensed final print version at *About a boy and his music>

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My opinions about family and relationships, after being confided to by two Facebook friends

7 March 2015 | 2:34 pm
No, not all babies are a product of love. Generally, they are products of the successful union of egg cells and sperm cells. Other than that, you can't say that the parents of children were or are really in love with each other or were in a serious and committed relationship. In the Philippines, marriage is sacred. You should not marry anyone unless you are sure you really want to marry that person and keep him/her for a long time in your life and you do not have children them if you're not sure that they are the partners you want to grow old with. When you find someone different and better than your spouse, you do not cheat on them. You stick with your spouse through thick or thin, for better or for worse. But it's not until death anymore because people may now seek annulment in the Philippines for troubled marriages where couples would both be better off apart. In the US, marriages are taken lightly and divorce is so accessible. For whatever reasons, they can opt out and file it stating "irreconcilable differences." But in the Philippines, annulment is different. It is time-consuming and expensive for both parties because of all the court hearings and paper work. Not to mention all the scandalous premises required of each party to be inked down on paper stating why the marriage should be annulled. In this modern age, such decisions could probably be seen on the internet. So in a way, you can say that not all those who seek annulment in the Philippines succeed because there are obstacles that will hinder them to want it. I am saying these because of some people who stimulate my opinion about family and relationships. To be straight to the point, @Friend #1: Babies are a product of sex. Love doesn't always have to do with it. One night stands can be blamed on that. And, entering into a relationship with a married woman or a married man is wrong. Civil law and the doctrine of the Catholic Church say why. @Friend #2: When you marry a woman, you stick with her. If you don't love her anymore then divorce her and then decide later on if you want to file for child custody. But make sure whether the kids stay with her or with you that they are given your financial support 100%. It is wrong to keep a mistress unless you love her more than your wife. In which case, you cannot keep both or you can lose them all, even your kids' love and respect. If you marry in the Philippines, you should exhaust all means to make your marriage work before you decide that it really can't work anymore.

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Diva talk with my actress friend Trixie Dauz, on Facebook

7 March 2015 | 2:30 pm
Shocked to learn Bobbi Kristina Brown, the daughter of Whitney Houston is in serious condition>…/a-look-back-at-bobbi-kristin…/21149602/.

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  • Trixie Dauz Uhm, Jam of Jamich died. Weren't you shocked by that? Hehe, I don't even know Bobbi from Adam.

  • Jaycon Teodoro Yaneza I am a big Whitney Houston fan. I was hoping that Bobbi Kristina would follow in her mother's recording star footsteps just like KC Concepcion was in the shadow of her celebrity mother Sharon Cuneta. I've heard about the story of that Youtube couple but I predicted it was going the way of how Camille Prats became a widow too soon. Camille's late husband died young of the similar illness.

  • Trixie Dauz At least they were able to get married though.

  • Jaycon Teodoro Yaneza Well, things happen. At least they found love. What use is it getting married to someone who will die soon? Like Shane West who married Mandy Moore in the movie "A Walk to Remember." Useless. You're gonna have to move on and live your life. If you're lucky, you'll find someone else. The girlfriend is known in cyberspace. She won't have a hard time meeting a new guy. I'm sure a lot of guys are eyeing her already.

  • Trixie Dauz Well, I guess people have different views on the so-called "eternal love" then.

  • Jaycon Teodoro Yaneza "Eternal Love" only exists with God. ( You can still love departed partners. But eventually, you'll have to move on. An aunt of mine died in a car crash in Illinois in 1991. She and her husband loved each other very much. Two years after her death, her husband remarried. Moving on is a reality. And finding someone else is included in that process. She can't become a spinster just because her quality boyfriend died young of cancer. Life goes on. Being single is a choice but if you can continue to live and love, go for it. Look at former widows Boots Anson-Roa and Zsa Zsa Padilla. They found new loves.

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Trixie Dauz is a full-time Theater Arts student at UP Diliman. She acts in stage plays and indie films. Her big break for TV in 2014 came when she was cast in the nightly ABS-CBN teleserye "Sana Bukas Pa Ang Kahapon" which starred Albert Martinez, Paulo Avelino, Susan Roces and Bea Alonzo. She also sidelines as writer, being contributor to Pinay.Com and PEP.Ph.

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8 December 2014 | 11:48 am
SPECTACULAR is one word to describe the return concert of Ms. Lani Misalucha at the Araneta Coliseum last Dec. 6, 2014. Dubbed as “Asia’s Nightingale,” the diva was hounded by detractors some years back as they say that her singing has seen better days. This was after her 2008 homecoming from Las Vegas when some of her miscalculated live performances were blamed to jetlag and effects of cosmetic surgery. But after last Saturday night’s extravaganza, it should prove that she can still sing and reach those high notes as ever!

Her concert started on time at around 8 p.m., in contrast to most that start at least an hour later than what is declared. She did not have a front act. The opening number saw her in a sparkly ruffles gown with G-Force doing Cirque du Soleil stunts from all around. Her first number was a live cover of three popular radio tunes these days, one of them being “Bang Bang,” her second song (of her first set), which was popularized by Jessie J., Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj.

Among her guest performers were Arnel Pineda, Erik Santos and Martin Nievera. All, she sang duets with and performed solo intermission numbers while she rushed to change and refresh. As Martin Nievera jested – “You’re gonna drink water again?”

Those she constantly had on stage with her for this concert were The ABS-CBN Orchestra led by musical director Louie Ocampo and the Manila Philharmonic Orchestra led by Maestro Gerard Salonga.

Lani has gone a long way since her first foray in the limelight in 1997 as an interpreter of MetroPop Song Festival entry and Awit Award recipient for Record of the Year - "Ang Iibigin ay Ikaw." Since then, she was seen and heard on GMA-7. People remember her as one of the divas that constituted the Sunday noon concert show “SOP.”

In 2004, opportunity knocked when traveling Hawaiian-based Filipino band Society of Seven (SOS) invited and hired her to be their vocalist and they toured the US for live performances but basically were regulars at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas.

There, Lani got to channel her funny side and part of the acts she has mastered to do is her impersonation segments of other divas. She sampled that in her 2006 concert at the Araneta Coliseum, which she did again for her concert there this year. Although for this time, she only picked two women to copy. She said, “One foreign and one Pinay.” The crowd was amazed when she mimicked Celine Dion in “Because You Loved Me” and then everyone went gaga when she did Mommy Dionesia Pacquiao’s version of Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball.”

Lani donned fabulous gowns and had several costume changes.

She also got to sing some of her hits. Her #1 signature hit “Bukas Na Lang Kitang Mamahalin,” her recent Star Cinema movie theme “Starting Over Again,” her latest record cover which is that of Freddie Aguilar’s “Anak,” and soap opera theme songs she recorded.

She is now currently a Star Records contract artist and some of those songs she did on the show were cuts from her latest album ‘The Nightingale Returns.’ Check out the 12 cuts from the album here>,+kz+tandingan+%26+yeng+constantino)&stick=H4sIAAAAAAAAAGOovnz8BQMDgzEHsxC3fq6-gaGhWbFlYZYSjFOUUWGsJZqdbKWfW1qcmayfmJNUmmtVnJ-XXnzPO8D21372_7kZxrfy5i1Mv_prUx0AYst67lAAAAA.
Lani also did Broadway songs on this show. She did a string of Barbra Streisand hits medley.

There was also a segment where she showcased her signature aria operatic soprano voice when she sang classical pieces – “Queen of the Night” (not the one by Whitney but by Mozart>, “Ave Maria,” and a song from ‘Phantom of the Opera.’

There was also a Whitney Houston segment medley which I loved the most. She is compared as the Pinay counterpart to Whitney, which she does well. I loved her cover of “I Look To You,” the most and felt somewhat emotional when she sang it.

The show ended around 10:30 p.m. She did an encore but people still clamoured for more. There was no dull moment in the show. Everyone was alive.

Spotted in the crowd were Lani Misalucha’s celebrity family and friends. All in attendance in the audience were ABS-CBN executives Malou Santos, Roxy Liquigan and Cory Vidanes, movie directors Laurenti Dyogi and Olivia Lamasan, comedy actress Jinky Oda, celebrity stylist Fanny Serrano, fashion and furniture designer Rajo Laurel and many others.

Lani acknowledged her audience who flew in from Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and the US. People trooped to buy souvenir concert posters upon exiting the venue as others took turns posing for photos with her poster at the entrance of The Big Dome.

It was truly one successful show and a night to remember as everyone enjoyed the music and kept praising Lani Misalucha’s voice at the lobby after the show came to a close.

Photos at

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X Factor winner Leona Lewis takes to acting on the big screen

11 September 2014 | 7:32 am Another diva ventures into acting. Last September 9, I won a movie invite from my actress friend Trixie Dauz via her CinePhiles group on Facebook, to watch the Philippine premiere of "Walking on Sunshine," a new romance comedy musical production.

Leona Lewis, known for winning X Factor in the UK, and for hit songs like "Bleeding Love" and "Better in Time," top-bills the promotional material for this film but surprisingly she only plays supporting character Elena in the movie. She's also pretty as an actress and her acting is fine for starters. Because this is a musical, she also got to contribute her vocal prowess.

The movie stars Hannah Arterton (who plays love-torn protagonist Taylor), Giulio Berruti (as the dreamy beefcake beach bum Raf), and Annabel Scholey (who plays Maddie, Taylor's mischievous sister who is engaged to marry Raf). It's a love triangle which progresses into a square when another guy from Maddie's past comes back into the picture, Greg Wise (who plays Doug).

The setting is Puglia, Italy. It's an all fresh-faces cast in a brand new production via an old predictable formulation. I mean, the story falls flat but the movie compensates through its visual treats and musical extravaganza, with a repertoire of 1980s pop hits which include Madonna, Whitney Houston, Cher, George Michael, Bananarama, Roxette, Cyndi Lauper, Duran Duran, etc.

The Philippine premiere night of "Walking on Sunshine" was held at the new Director's Cut Cinema of SM Megamall at the 5th Level, Fashion Hall. The theater has twin reclining sofas. Complimentary popcorns and softdrinks were served. A Starbucks and the new SM Mega ice skating rink is just outside the cinema. It was a fun and new experience. Regular showing starts October 1 in all SM cinemas nationwide.

Overall, "Walking on Sunshine" invoked a cozy campy feel. It was a fun and feel-good movie experience. No "kilig" factor, but it was all good.

It was also interesting to learn from one of the movie trailers prior to the exhibition that another diva from a reality search, American Idol winner Jordin Sparks is acting again in "Left Behind," a horror remake with Nicolas Cage and Chad Michael Murray. But that's another story that I also hope to write about in the future.


With Trixie Dauz
September 9, 2014 - Tuesday - 7:30 p.m.
Director's Cut Cinema, 5/L, Fashion Hall
SM Megamall

"Walking on Sunshine" movie trailer at> 

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27 June 2014 | 6:03 am Seen many sad and desperate posts on various dating groups on Facebook about people "Looking for a SERIOUS RELATIONSHIP."

Just a couple of tips to better market yourselves:

1.) "A picture says a thousand words." Present a decent image if you want people to take you seriously. It's just like applying for a job. You must be presentable. Whatever image you put out there will impact the kind of responses you will receive.  Here's Kylie Minogue in different personas on this "Did It Again" slideshow, so you can catch my drift>

2.) "Be careful what you wish for 'coz you just might get it." Take things slow. Don't jump into things without certainty. Only crazy people will take strangers seriously. Beware of psychos out there. "Serious relationship" is such an abused tag line. Why not use "Long-term relationship" or "Meaningful relationship" instead? Here's Beyonce's "Dangerously In Love," so you can catch my drift>

Hope these tips help.

Good luck and cheers! 

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Recalling tales of the glitz and glamour of Tita Linda’s heydays

7 March 2014 | 10:53 am
Every time my father would nag me, he would bring up to compare me to my aunt Linda who was quite the rebel child in her days, who took on the fancy jobs and was and still is most eloquent with her English. I don’t mind the comparison because even if her years of grandeur have passed, Tita Linda remains legendary for living the fabulous life. Most of her story remains a mystery to me as elders in the family do not want to talk too much about things they do not want the young ones to know about.

Tita Erlinda Yaneza-Kapadia is the younger of two daughters of my Lolo Jaime Yaneza to his first marriage in Pangasinan. She graduated AB Journalism from UST in the 1960s. She was a beauty queen, not of the national or international level though. She was Miss Lingayen in her youth. She is fair and stands somewhere between 5’6” to 5’8”. My mother compared her beauty to Sunshine Cruz during her days when she was at the prime of her life. She was sexy, a fashionista. Her hair was usually styled a certain way. Her eloquence and swagger could be compared to Celia Rodriguez and Cherie Gil. She was a party girl, a frequent guest at clubs, I was told. She was a writer too but I think most of her work was for public relations and advertising. She was very intelligent and well-read.

Tita Linda was well-traveled too. She was the first among her brood to set foot in America. She’s been there since the 1970s. And now in her 60s, she fortunately still lives there today.

Many will probably be surprised, especially relatives who may read this, why I decided to write about her when most of the world have forgotten about her after her major meltdown in the 1980s. Well, I’d say her fab days as a diva in her own right deserves some merit. After all, not everyone has lived a fabulous life. She was the epitome of grace and intelligence. That is why I honor her with this entry.

Tita came from modest origins, her parents were both Panggalatok but she lived like an A-lister. I mean, her dresses! Even if I haven’t seen them, my mother being the vain lady that she is all by herself had all beautiful accounts to say about my Tita Linda in her glory days.

According to my mother, Tita was quite a socialite. She smoked cigars and even cigarettes from pipes. Now, I think Bohemian every time I have this in mind. It’s like Hollywood glam.

Tita lived quite a sad but fab life. Like my idol Ruffa Gutierrez, she was also married twice. So if her life would be turned into a movie, I think Ruffa can portray her best.

Her first husband is Filipino by the last name of Mercado. They got divorced after he left her for someone else. Her second husband is a foreigner by the last name of Kapadia. I was told that he was a wife beater which caused Tita Linda to have her turning point of ballistic proportions that can be compared to Britney Spears’s moment when her marriage to Kevin Federline hit rock bottom and to Angelina Jolie’s award-winning role in “Girl Interrupted.”

Tita returned to the Philippines after her nasty separation and spent many years here from the mid-1980s all the way to the 1990s.

I am amazed when I imagine about her scarves, winter gloves, fur coats, boots, and Louis Vuitton suitcases with a lot of fantastic stuff from the fabulous life she used to have.

Tita Linda’s life was filled with adventure, glitz, and glamour. These may all be superficial but what I admire about her most is that despite all that she has suffered, all that she has lost, and her transformation into the likeness of Fantine but with no children, life is still good to her because even if she is still the “Breakdown Queen,” now of Grenada Hotel in San Francisco, California where she lives, she remains to be the lady who possessed sophistication, lived the life, and continues to love to this day even if already in her twilight years. Sometimes she manifests traces of her old persona. And I salute her for that. 

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Go Gaga for Bulalo

28 February 2014 | 6:24 am
COLD summer nights and hungry? Looking for something native to fill your tastebuds? Then make a turn into this unlikely corner on Sultan Street, Baranggay Highway Hills, Mandaluyong City where an old recipe gets interesting mixes and a beefy new image to bulalo that you could say it can be ladies night all week long with the hunky owners on board nightly to serve their hordes of customers.

The restaurant was conceived last December 2013 when three gym buff friends, all in their twenties - Joel Lopez of Novaliches, Ed-Ryan Eder of Bataan, and Ariel Alud-ud of Isabela decided to embark on the food business together. They hired 32-year-old chef friend Lucas Nunez from Cebu on board their dream venture and so Bulalo Factory was born.

The owners come from different backgrounds. Lopez is a nurse (now in charge of materials and deliveries). Eder was in retail and sales (now in charge of utilities). Alud-ud was a call center team leader (now in charge of inventory and acts as the general manager of the restaurant). They originally thought of going into the food supplements business together then thought of a coffee shop but as they thoroughly thought things over, they finally decided something that is more conducive, realistic, and most commercially viable that would appeal to the Pinoy market, so they decided to open a food stand that runs long hours all days of the week. They are now open from 12 noon to 3 a.m. And they offer delivery within the area.

Visiting their restaurant, we got to sample their specialty which is Bulalo Sinigang and it was good! It also comes in Bulalo Putsero and Bulalo Original. But there's more! They also serve beef, pork, and turkey siomai; sago gulaman; watermelon, banana and mango shakes; ice tea in pitcher; softdrinks; bulalo noodles; and now too – beef adobo and a whole lot more! New offers are being introduced and considered to the menu like shawarma and longsilog to meet the demands of the dining public.

“Short orders are being planned to be added to the menu from time to time. We like to keep up with what the public wants. It is a privilege for us to be a pioneer restaurant of a kind here in our location. We are just across Greenfield. A lot of people pass by so we have a lot of diners. We're happy that they notice us and they like our food. Our food is for everyone.” says owner Ariel Alud-ud.

Asked if they think their good looks contribute as a crowd drawer, the men are quick to smile and humbly retort that they are glad that it helps but they did not plan it to be that way. It must be an added blessing to their marketing strategy, but there is no conscious effort on their part as they want to be known and remembered for their food.

“We make our own siomai. We put it all in so that it can be consumed even without need for condiments.” said Chef Lucas Nunez who has a background in Marine Technology and whose recipe for bulalo he inherited from his family.

“You can only taste food like we serve only here at Bulalo Factory. We also plan to offer something that our Moslem brothers can eat like viands with no pork. Halal meat is being considered in the menu.,” said Ed-Ryan Eder.

“Rest assured, we serve authentic quality and affordable food for all,” Joel Lopez said.

“Everything is continuously updating to meet the demands of our dining public. We also plan on opening another stall in another location, somewhere in Producer's Market but we are concentrating on this main site for now. It is flattering that we have female patrons who dine and take photos with us. But of course, we cater to all and we want people to know us because of our food which is an absolute good.,” ended Ariel Alud-ud.

For more about Bulalo Factory, their Facebook page is at>

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Teacher Blog 1.0 : Teaching literary writing to college students

19 August 2013 | 9:01 am
By the end of this essay, the students are expected to: (1) know themselves and their writing genre; (2) collect their influences who they think they would like to pattern their writing after; (3) channel their inspiration, what things can stimulate them to write; (4) determine their audience; (5) bring a blank journal and pen next meeting as we embark on a writing exercise at a venue that is yet to be announced.

In lieu of a partial requirement for completion of the course GS-740 (Instructional Analysis), I come up with this instructional essay as flip teaching material, which aims to model writing for college students.

First of all, writing is a tedious task all by itself. This is even harder for foreign non-native speakers of English, like Koreans who struggle more in written English than when they speak it. It is amusing to note that most eloquent speakers are not as good in writing and vice versa, most writers are better in writing than in speaking.

Different genres of writing require different approaches. In essay writing alone, there are the six stages in composition: prewriting, drafting, revising, evaluating, editing, and publishing. The principles of a good composition are unity, coherence, and emphasis. The elements of a good composition are style, voice, and tone. You can research about these details online. We will have rubrics to guide you on this journey. However, what we will be doing later is not your usual expository essay. You will write a free-falling essay.

College writing is different from high school and elementary because you are expected to be more mature in your form and content. Expository writing is taught in the lower college years. Non Fiction however, the literary essay, is a subject offered specifically to Literature and Journalism majors. Basically, it immerses students in creatively writing essays like those you can read in the broadsheet column Young Blood, or better – the way some news desk/ lifestyle columnists do their writing.

Points to ponder on before you embark on the writing exercise: Where do I write from? Who do I write for? Once you know where you are coming from, you will have a picture in your mind as to where you are going. Are you a poet, a fictionist, a playwright…? The free-falling essay will serve as a tray where you can select material from. It is something that does not require much thinking, but a lot of inspiration. That is why we shall tackle the rubrics much later.

Find your muse. Discover your diva. That is another thing a writer must do. Painters, sculptors, and writers are all artists. Inspiration is vital for creation. That is why when you write, you must have collected your thoughts and have a clear mind to function. Otherwise, you will experience what is known as the “writer’s block.” This is experienced when something is bothering you while writing. A columnist former boss of mine suffered this when a former copy editor staff of hers got on her nerves. That columnist is Crispina Martinez-Belen, from the perspective of a print journalist.

Another insight about writing in the domain of the literary, specifically poetry, the late great poetess Ophelia Alcantara-Dimalanta, advised that poets should allow their emotions to simmer down before they write because you are supposed to let the clouds clear so you will not make a mess with your metaphors and your imagery when you compose your poem.  

The free-falling essay however, like I mentioned earlier is an exercise to gauge where you can start writing from. It may not make sense because it is an abstract of your thoughts. Once you accomplish your first draft, we will know if you can turn it into a poem, improve it as an essay, or turn it into a short story, or a premise for a play.

Aside from the modern and radical essays in the broadsheet column Young Blood, you can also research the style of writer Maxine Hong Kingston, in her work “No Name Woman.”

Like painters in front of a nude model, we will meet at a place where you can draw your creative juices from. But as I said earlier, by this time you must already know where you write from, to acquire your inspiration.

Music has been one of my major sources of inspiration. Madonna’s “Ray of Light” record album was a major influence when I wrote my poem “Ripples” (after listening to “Shanti/ Ashtangi”>, and entitling my poem “Aliptaptap/ Ang Aking Ilaw” (patterned after “Drowned World/ Substitute for Love”> Gloria Estefan’s beautiful ballad “Steal Your Heart” from her 1996 record album ‘Destiny’ was also a literary inspiration>

My Non Fiction class during my college years, under poetess Prof. Nerisa del Carmen Guevara saw me scribbling down an essay which I later entitled “Chicken Bones,” which somewhat like my poem “Alitaptap,” was inspired by the memory of my late beloved maternal grandfather.  The venue where I initially wrote “Chicken Bones” was the fish pond at the then Colayco Park across the UST Faculty of Civil Law. That place has been transformed into something different now. Anyway, that place evoked nature’s muse that successfully drew output from us, including an unsure Doland Castro, who was a classmate then.

Summarizing the steps to get you ready for the free-falling exercise that we will do when we meet: (1) know what kind of writer you are; (2) know who you intend to read your work; (3) zero in on things that inspire you; (you can bring something to class and discuss its significance to you – a work by someone else or any special object); (4) discover your muse, your inner diva; and (5) let the location we will be writing from inspire you.

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Jaycon Yaneza: My so-called life

24 July 2013 | 9:13 am

“Nothing phony, don’t hate on me. What you get is what you see.”

-          Jennifer Lopez (from her hit song ‘Jenny from the Block’)

          Sultry diva/ writer iconoclast is how I describe myself. A co-teacher of mine urged me to write an autobiography but I said that it is still premature as I feel I have not reached those moments yet in my life that movies or books are made of. But she said that I have lived experiences worth telling. To come to think of it, I have fantasized about it for years. As I said though, the biggest elements are yet to be filled. Then again, if I were to write how I did so far, it could go something like this:

          Jaycon Yaneza (February 9, 1979 to present), is a published entertainment journalist and award-winning literary writer from the Philippines, best known for his entertainment/ feature stories for the Entertainment and Students & Campuses sections of Philippine broadsheet - The Manila Bulletin, where he has written since 2005.

          The eldest of four children of a lawyer and a medical technologist, he was born in Manila, was raised and lives in Mandaluyong City. He was named after his two grandfathers. A third generation Thomasian, he comes from a family of lawyers, bankers, and educators. He started his elementary education at the University of Santo Tomas (in 1983), continued and finished it at Don Bosco Technical College in Mandaluyong (1985 to 1992). His favorite subject was Writing and he excelled in his daily jottings and penmanship exercises. His first published work was a school project collection of short stories and fairytales he compiled and edited, entitled “Story Book Friends,” published by D & E Printers in 1991.

          Yaneza was a consistent conduct award recipient in his early years at Don Bosco. Music, Art, and Science were the other subjects he liked. But he also liked Reading and Language. His innate interest to widen his vocabulary saw him jotting down vocabulary words to the calendar of his bedroom wall. He ranked number 11 in his Grade 6 class. He was member of the Arts Club, and was appointed Practical Arts workshop foreman for a semester. Off campus, he was also a member of the Milo Club. He also had private piano lessons at home, for about three consecutive years.

          He was not really into sports but it was something he went through. He earned a yellow belt in Kung Fu (circa 1989-1990, at Don Bosco School, Santa Mesa) and a black belt in Tae Kwon Do (in 1991). His favorite sport was volleyball, which made him a class player in the intramural games when he was in Grade 6. He also had swimming lessons at Don Bosco, Mandaluyong.

          Yaneza was also a religious kid as he was member of Knights of the Altar, at Sacred Heart Sub-Parish of Ayala Homes (in Mandaluyong), from 1989 to 1991. He was also a devotee of Our Lady of Guadalupe and often prayed the novena, three times a day. He relishes fond thoughts of his Christmas family reunions as a kid who grew up in the 1980s with Santa Claus. This instilled in him his number one unique trait, which is being thoughtful and generous at birthdays and Christmases.     

          He returned to the University of Santo Tomas for his secondary education (1992 to 1996) and in 1996 contributed the lyrics of a Youth for Christ inspirational song he wrote - “Manalig Ka,” to The Aquinian, which is the student organ of the UST High School, where his maternal grandmother Evangelina Teodoro, was principal from 1976 to 1986.

          Yaneza became an entertainment buff as he grew up being fascinated with TV, movies, and music. He became an avid fan magazine and record album collector. He started his magazine collection in 1992, upon purchasing an issue of Super Teen, with Marky Mark Wahlberg on the cover. That same year, he began collecting records after becoming hooked to Whitney Houston’s signature anthem “I Will Always Love You,” from ‘The Bodyguard’ movie soundtrack. Regine Velasquez’s “R2K” concert at the Araneta Coliseum in 2000 was the first of a string of live events that he followed to attend.

          He was also a member of a glee club, the Music Society of UST High School, in his junior year, sometime in school year 1994-1995. Former TV actress Em-Em Mabanglo was a co-member that time. Yaneza sang as a tenor. He has mastered to sing though in his femme fatale falsetto fashion, strongly influenced early on by OPM hits “Narito Ako” by Regine Velasquez>, and “Kailan” by Geneva Cruz>

          In 2005, he won second place for his live rendition of “Vision of Love” at a Mariah Carey singing contest by the Philippine Mariah Carey FanClub (PMCF), at their ‘Bloody Mimi’ Halloween party in Taft, Manila. He included his winning song in a CD Lite he recorded in 2006, among his other renditions - Janet Jackson’s “Together Again” and Whitney Houston’s “All At Once.” In 2011, he recorded and uploaded his first music video on Facebook, of his cover of the Jennifer Hudson/ Charice Pempengco-popularized Broadway ballad “And I Am Telling You.”              

          He continued his tertiary education in UST, at the Faculty of Arts & Letters, taking up the degree Bachelor of Arts, major in Literature (1996 to 2000), a CHED-listed center of excellence, where he was mentored by great writers like top poetess Ophelia Dimalanta (+), and National Artist for Literature - F. Sionil José, among others. Yaneza was Secretary to the UST Literary Society for the school year 1999-2000.

          In 1999, he won second place in the Tula category of The Varsitarian’s Annual Ustetika Literary Awards, where in the panel was one of his mentors - Professor Vim Nadera, with Filipino-English dictionary author Rebecca Añonuevo, and National Artist for Literature – Virgilio Almario. The results made the news in various publications within and outside the university. It was Yaneza’s second time to join the literary contest upon the encouragement of friends which included playwright Rogelio Braga and Professor Michael Coroza. Yaneza’s winning work was a collection of 10 original poems in Filipino where the title piece “Alitaptap/ Ang Aking Ilaw” (inspired by the memory of his late maternal grandfather Atty. Conrado Teodoro) saw publication in the Ustetika 2000 Folio that was published by the UST Printing Press. Yaneza’s collection consisted of free verse, and tanagas - which specifically appealed to Dr. Almario because “it is a rare art form of national heritage,” which some members of the Ustetika committee that time quoted him as saying. 

          His most memorable encounter with another writer was when he met the now late fictionist Genoveva Edroza-Matute at a symposium in UP Diliman, when he was in sophomore college. He got to ask her about her insight about the modern school of thought which is Feminism, and to his surprise, Mrs. Matute was happy with the old-school conventions that she was used to, of women being loving partners and followers of men which defines the purpose of their existence. Yaneza won an autographed typewritten manuscript draft of her short story with the catchy exposition - "Heno ngayon?". 

          Yaneza also attended José Rizal University and San Sebastian College-Recoletos, for summer school, in the late 1990s, before he graduated from college at UST.

          He started working at age 16 as a casual assessor for the UST Accounting Division, attending to enrollees of the College of Nursing, the Faculty of Civil Law, and the Faculty of Medicine & Surgery; and was also a casual employee for the UST Personnel Department.

         In 2000, he did paralegal work for his father’s law office in Santa Ana, Manila. The following year (2001), he took his first call center job for SVI Connect, an American BPO in Ortigas Center, Pasig City, where he briefly did sales calls on behalf of Reader’s Digest.  This experience led him to work for more international call centers later on.

         During work for a call center based in Eastwood, Libis, Quezon City (2003), which assigned him in Ayala Avenue, Makati City, Yaneza was a major contributor to the Entertainment section of Rush, eTelecare’s outbound newsletter. However, sales burned him out and while on break, a major TV network called out for applications to a major scriptwriting workshop. He joined and felt confident pitching his idea, only to learn two weeks later that his concept materialized into a pioneer TV series of its kind but was credited to the TV/ movie director who was an interviewer during the workshop screening and he now claims he conceived the idea. It was a big frustration for Yaneza. Most especially that he felt that it was really his concept and the head of the workshop even personally called him up to address the situation. Unfortunately, the idea was not patented so there was no legal action that could be sought for copyright infringement. The big time TV/ movie director got away with it. The series made a brief dent to popular culture but was only short-lived. It served to jumpstart an actress’s waning popularity, which was a successful instrument, only to delay her showbiz career’s inevitable demise from stardom.

          Two Americans inspired his stay in the call center – Scott Lane (at eTelecare, 2003), and Tony Clark (at ICT, 2004). Yaneza was star-struck with two separate phone calls in two different centers that made his day: one outbound surveying call to the office of then California Governor Arnold Schwarzennegger (2004) on behalf of Dun & Bradstreet (at ICT), and an inbound technical support call from Hollywood actor Brendan Fehr, when Yaneza received calls on behalf of XBox, at NCO in ABS-CBN (2007).  Yaneza also met former showbiz personalities and celebrity relatives during his call center-hopping experiences, to his amusement.    

          While at eTelecare, he was also director to a small literary group of literature enthusiasts called eTelepoetix, upon the insistence of former colleague Manuel Hong, for leisurely writing workshop sessions. Former colleague Dominic Agcaoili coined the name of the elite group. The group engaged in online sharing of tips on or literary materials and occasionally met for poetry workshops and readings at the LKG Tower Patio in Makati, after shifts.
         Yaneza’s passion for the entertainment scene drove him in the pursuit of his dream to become an entertainment writer, and in 2005 luck came to him after three years of waiting. An editorial assistant position opened for him at Manila Bulletin Entertainment where he worked under columnist editors Crispina Martinez-Belen and Shirley Matias-Pizarro. He multitasked as writer, typesetter, editor, and photographer. His first assignment was an interview with Anak TV ambassador Mikee Cojuangco-Jaworski, at a press conference that year held at the main store of Goldilocks bakeshop on Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong City. Yaneza was a major contributor to the Entertainment section’s Juicy Cornercolumn. He also had his own column simply called Trivia.

         As office politics would have it, his detractors in the newspaper found a way for him to be transferred to the police report section, which was not in the writer’s best interest. So he opted to leave and he embarked on freelance writing ever since. He has written event press releases and wrote copies of event proposals for two event organizers, in between 2005 and 2006. In the latter year, he also wrote for the Entertainment, Events, and News sub-sections of pink elite glossy magazine – Icon, which was circulated in major bookstores and magazine stands nationwide, where he also influenced the editor-in-chief Richie Villarin, of who would look best as the magazine’s future covers. He was a part of Icon Mag from the Polo Ravales cover issue, down to the issue which had Ford model Ram Sagad on the cover.   

          Yaneza also attended several auditions for different spots on TV. There was praise and applause. However, luck was hard to come by. Unexpected exposure came though. On TV, he was featured in the 2006 Halloween report by Nikko Baua, for evening news show “TV Patrol,” while partying with friends in Orosa, Malate. In February 2010, he also had a close-up cameo appearance opposite Karylle, in an episode of noontime variety show “Showtime,” after making it to the show as a front row studio audience, courtesy of his college friend Anna Bernaldo-Romulo of ABS-CBN.  

          In 2012, he returned onboard the Manila Bulletin as contributor to the Students & Campuses section under then editor Ivy Lisa Mendoza, where he got to work with features coordinator Jaser Marasigan. Yaneza’s first story under this section was an interview with teen stars Khalil Ramos, Diego Loyzaga and Daniel Padilla. He remains contributor to the section until today.  

         Being a movie fan ignites Yaneza’s passion to write about stars and spot them in a crowd. He cherishes the memory of his high school days. The fondest of his celebrity encounters was getting autographs from Jao Mapa and Charlene Gonzalez. In freshman high, he courted actress schoolmate Jane Zaleta, who later became a friend. He became classmates and friends with TV news personality Doland Castro, from high school to college. He has noticed former UST High schoolmates Jet Alcantara and Polo Ravales, even before they made it in show business. Actor Archie “Pasa de Papeles” Alemania, was a college classmate of his too, who chased after him when he attended to cover an event of ABS-CBN in 2005. This came to his photographer Dante Lagana’s surprise: “Why does Archie Alemania know you and he’s the one chasing after you?!,” he said. Katrina Halili’s ex-manager Omar Sortijas, was also a college friend. Former Binibining Pilipinas 2000 First Runner-Up - Cristina Tan, was a college friend too.

       There were many highlights in Yaneza’s life and writing career. But the interview that he considers as the most important was his exclusive luncheon coverage at a function room at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, with Cinemalaya chairperson Nestor Jardin, in lieu of the film fest’s first run in 2005. “You are good with your questions,” Mr. Jardin said. This quality of the writer was noticed by his editors, which remains one of his best assets to this day.

       The writer also cherishes his cover sessions of MTV Philippines, his meetings with his beauty icon Ruffa Gutierrez, pop icon Gary Valenciano, former Penshoppe endorser Brad Turvey, stellar actress Iza Calzado, and Hollywood actor Ricky Ullman.  

         Now, Yaneza is also gearing up for the teaching profession as he began mentoring since 2006 via online teaching, Koreans in English. He is now a masteral student of Language Education at José Rizal University and he has earned 24 units and is enrolled to six more units at this time. After a successful trimester, he hopefully expects to take the comprehensive exam in September and will be writing his thesis the following trimester. If all goes according to plan, this writer will earn his MAED degree by summer 2014 and if destiny has it, everything else will fall into place in God’s time. The saga continues. Becoming a book author of fantasy children’s fiction is next on his agenda. So stay tuned.

          If you are wondering where romance came into the picture, you would probably have a tabloid field day if you made a rundown of whom Yaneza dated. But most of his liaisons were not from show business. Only one of them in particular could be an item for paparazzi, being an actor in racy independent movies. Clue? - “Kapeng Barako.”  



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‘Urong-sulong:’ Regine Velasquez on Memory Lane

24 July 2013 | 9:12 am


        Soaring Songbird on a ledge at the Manila Pen on New Year’s Eve 2000 was my best memory of Regine Velasquez. A co-teacher requested me to write about Asia’s Songbird, and since I have some time to spare, I now indulge to collect for this retrospective.

          I have watched Regine live in concert, in about five occasions: “R2K” at the Araneta Coliseum (2000), “Women on Fire” with Jaya at the Folk Arts Theater (circa 2000-2001), “Two for the Knight” with Brian McKnight (2001), at the Araneta, in her "Reigning Still" show with Kyla, Rachelle Ann Go, and Sheryn Regis (2004), and in Jay-R's "Gameface Reloaded" concert at the Folk Arts (2006). She was always breath-taking to watch and she could blow anyone away with her powerful vocals. Offstage, I have seen her in person some years later: while shopping at Shangri-La Plaza, and at an autograph-signing session during the launch of her album "Low Key" at The Podium.

          As a record collector, I remember fondly listening to my sister’s copy of Regine’s ‘Reason Enough’ album. I later bought a copy of Regine’s ‘Retro,’ and then her ‘R2K’ album, and her ‘Greatest Hits’ collection under Viva Records.

          My favorite Regine Velasquez song and music video of all-time though is her “How Can You Leave,” from her record album ‘Drawn.’ In my opinion, it is her best work ever.

          For most of the young people these days who might not know, Regine was a product of the talent show “Ang Bagong Kampeon,” hosted by Pilita Corrales and the late comedian Bert Marcelo. Like her successor Sarah Geronimo and other younger Filipina powerhouse songstresses who followed suit, she won as the champion after eight weeks in a row in the adult division of the talent show. That was sometime in 1984, at the age of 14, and her self-titled debut album was released by Viva Records in 1987. One of her early hits was "Isang Lahi."

          Regine made records for different labels which makes it impossible to produce one whole official comprehensively complete collection of her greatest hits. Yes, she came to the spotlight ahead of Mariah Carey who emerged in 1990, so it is wrong to say that Regine just copied Mariah on her way to the top. Known as Chona to her family, she belongs to a big brood of music lovers where she became the breadwinner. She inherited her singing talent from her mother whom she was able to record a duet with in “Dance with Me,” that was a single included in her last Polygram international album ‘Retro.’

          Her sister Cacai Velasquez also entered show business, only to quit after getting married, as she could not handle the public’s constant comparison of her to her more popular elder sister Regine, who they say is prettier and possessed the better voice. The siblings do not have any rivalry though as Cacai is contented supporting her big sister Regine from behind the camera. The Velasquez sisters’ younger brother James has become a TV reporter for GMA-7, for several years now.

          As a child, I looked up to Regine’s released hit “Narito Ako,” which catapulted her as one of OPM’s best female voices of her time> In 1989, she made ripples in the international scene after winning at the Asia Pacific Song Festival in Hong Kong, singing "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "And I Am Telling You">

          Her ‘Reason Enough’ album in 1992 elevated her recording status, especially when she released her high-octane cover of Gary Valenciano’s hit song “Sana Maulit Muli”> 

          Regine’s collaboration with Gary Valenciano in one of the latter’s concerts in the early 1990s caught the interest of international producers who signed her up on a three-album contract deal which saw the release of her records: ‘Listen Without Prejudice,’ ‘My Love Emotion,’ and ‘Retro.’ She became one of OPM’s pioneer music video icons who was seen on Channel V, which started with her duet with Jacky Cheung>, and led to more future international collaborations with other artists, like Hollywood star David Hasselhoff, for the theme song of the Star Cinema international movie ‘Legacy’>, which he did in the Philippines, with Donita Rose. By that time, Regine was also seen on MTV Asia.

          Regine also became friends with Brian McKnight whom she has performed with. She also sang live duets with visiting Latino telenovela stars Eduardo Capetillo and Fernando Carrillo.

          I love her live duet with Mandy Moore in 2003, when they performed “Cry” together on GMA-7’s ‘SOP’/ MTV Asia>

          In the mid-1990s, Regine’s “You Are My Song,” which was her hit cover of Martin Nievera’s original, was a double success to her Star Cinema movie that same period which was ‘Wanted: Perfect Mother,’ her first pairing with high-caliber mainstream movie actor Christopher De Leon. The success of their tandem was refreshed when they worked again in a Viva Films production in 2003 - "Pangarap Ko Ang Ibigin Ka">

          Regine did well in her movies with Robin Padilla, Richard Gomez and Aga Muhlach. They were all hits in the box office.

          Her foray into the primetime teleserye scene via GMA-7’s “Forever in My Heart” did well and “Kim Sam Soon” was so-so. Her comedy series “Diva” though was devastating. 

          She also acted in fantasy productions. She played Darna in a "Captain Barbell" movie that starred Bong Revilla> On TV, she played space villain Elektra to Marian Rivera's "Darna"> Her theme song to Angel Locsin's "Darna">, and her musical animated movie "Urduja" also come to mind when one would recall Regine's participation in the fantasy realm> She also sang the theme song to Marian Rivera's "Mari Mar">

          Regine became a long-time Sunday noontime performer, a talent show host, and a talent show judge. Strangely, she is now also a cooking show host via "Sarap Diva."

          It is happy to know that she has settled down, got married and is now a parent. She only seems to give her showbiz career a backseat now, similar to what Celine Dion is doing. Being a parent does change a star’s priorities, especially if one is new to it or has a different view on how becoming a wife and a mother is. Regine’s status right now though reminds me more of Jennifer Lopez, when she was still married to Marc Anthony.

          Regine’s biggest break as an actress came when she starred opposite Piolo Pascual in the episode of ‘Maalaala Mo Kaya’ entitled “Lobo,” where she played a retardate who fell in love with a normal guy. She received accolades for it and her first acting award. Her loyalty to one network though probably wore down her star power. It was sad to notice that everything started to take a plunge upon the release of her “Covers (Volume 2)” CD which did not reach the same success as her "Covers (Volume 1)" CD. Her overdue movie team-up with Piolo Pascual did not fair high enough in the box office.

          Now, do not get me wrong. I mention these not to put the lady down. I am just stating observations and opinionating on how she has done so far. She was the banshee vocalist of her generation and I would like her to bounce back someday. Becoming thin, restoring her diva voice,  repackaging her image, and acquiring more substantial and beneficial TV stints and acting projects will help her reignite her baton. She is a precious talent and too young for retirement. So if she is not transferring to the other network, maybe she can reconsider her steps for her to come back on top. Think of the new roles that some other personalities are now taking on: Kuh Ledesma, who rarely acts is now seen in “My Husband’s Lover;” and KC Concepcion, is now a villainess to Judy Ann Santos in their teleserye on the rival channel.

          Since Regine is still a diva and she is the first lady of Ogie Alcasid, who is still the incumbent president of OPM, maybe it is high time that she considers taking on the same advocacy of VH1’s Save the Music Foundation, by staging annual diva shows here, to supplement learning materials in public schools in the Philippines via the humanistic approach towards educational instruction which is gauging student learning of the sciences through music, art, and literature.

          Regine is still part of the divas collage tacked to my bedroom wall. I believe that she can become great again and all we can do is watch. 

      More about Regine's life is at> and at> Here is a view of Regine, live from her concert "20">

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Appreciating the Voice of Ms. Lea Salonga

14 June 2013 | 7:45 am

BROADWAY DIVA – Lea Salonga, who now sits as one of the celebrity mentors of “The Voice of the Philippines,” in recent press releases expressed that there were times in her musical career in the Philippines that she felt unappreciated as a singer because her voice did not meet the sound that was dictated by pop culture. She feels strange that she had to excel abroad just to be recognized in her homeland. And now given the privilege as judge and mentor in the weekly reality/ talent show - “The Voice,” which ABS-CBN 2 has franchised, Lea promises to give the opportunity to aspiring singers who sound different, a fair chance to become the next wave of OPM artists. Looking back, growth as an artist entails finding your voice and then finding your sound. Eventually, that is what happened to Lea Salonga. She may not have the funk and the moves of Gary Valenciano or the banshee vocals of Regine Velasquez, but she found a place for herself in the entertainment industry and she is still doing well in it today.

Speaking of jury duty to “The Voice,” this is probably the second thing in common Lea Salonga has now with Christina Aguilera, who also recorded the song “Reflection,” for the movie soundtrack of the Disney animated film ‘Mulan’>

Lea Salonga is the epitome of “Glee.” She has been a role model and an idol of mine since my freshman year in UST Pay High. And high school is usually that stage in people’s lives where they discover what they want to become and who to follow in the pursuit of this goal. That is, of DIVA proportions. Haha! Anyway, going back to Ms. Lea, I have admired her since the ‘90s when her songs “He’s Got To Be Someone,” and ‘Tagumpay Nating Lahat” were released. Well, of course, her movies with Aga Muhlach, her Broadway songs, her self-titled US debut album, her singing for Disney animated movies, and her American television appearances were all on my radar. Like every fan, buying her records, magazine covers, posters, were part of patronizing her as an artist and as an icon. A fond memory was a time during my junior year, when I joined the USTHS Music Society as tenor (my audition piece was “Journey”), and former TV actress Em-Em Mabanglo auditioned too and we became successful members to the club. She had a copy of the lyrics to “On My Own” from ‘Lés Misérables,’ <> of which she gladly shared a photocopy to me, and I was touched. Funny thing was my bestfriend then, Vincent (now known as Kimberly Dianne), took my copy and never returned it. But that is all water under the bridge now. This just shows how much of an influence Ms. Lea was, and still is. I cherish the memory of growing up having Lea Salonga as an inspiration and a role model.

It somewhat holds true what Ms. Lea claims that there are Pinoys who do not appreciate her music. But no one can please everybody. She has actually found her niche and she continues to thrive in it. She admitted that pop was not her world, then later, she was welcome to return to it as long as her fans requested for it. I for one wonder, she could have actually recorded similar tunes to what Emma Bunton sings, or the love songs Janet Jackson sings. But Lea’s training has been in classical music and theater so it is understandable if she stays loyal to the path of Barbra Streisand. Simply said, the entertainment industry is big enough for everybody and she has found her place in it. She really sounds her best in Broadway tunes.

What is more amazing about Lea Salonga is that she is already a huge star yet she is still grounded. Being more of a theater star than a movie star must have its perks because she evades the interest of paparazzi and the nasty gossip of the tabloids. She is a self-confessed geek yet she has the grace, poise, and decorum of a beauty queen. She is smart and she is not afraid to support advocacies that are relevant and will benefit the majority. Her PDI column “Backstory,” is always a delightful read.

What is more to Ms. Lea is that she reads a lot: “Tuesdays with Morrie,” “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” Conrado de Quiros... She attended OB Montessori in Greenhills, UP Diliman (where she took up an extension program for Music and Theater Arts), Ateneo de Manila (where she took up a freshman pre-Med course, as she thought she would pursue Dermatology), and Fordham University in Lincoln Center, Manhattan (where she took up double courses in Philosophy and European History). She is a PSP and XBox 360 console gamer like her husband Robert Chien and their daughter Nicole. She also plays games on her i-Pod. When it comes to love, generally, she is into tender-hearted guys who are funny and intelligent, and a head-over-heels lover. That is how she chose the man she married. They are basically like soul mates and a match made in heaven.

In person, I have seen Ms. Lea in about four occasions. The first time was when I took my family to watch her “Songs from Home” concert at the PICC in 2003. The second time was when I took my sister Yvette with me, to watch the musical play “Baby” at the Meralco Theater in 2004. And that same year also, I went with my Grandma Helen and balikbayan Grand Aunt Flor to watch her “Home for Christmas” concert at the Araneta Coliseum, where she had Erik Santos and Christian Bautista as her guest performers. The last time I saw Lea Salonga in person was when she sat as guest judge to TV5’s “Philippine Idol” in 2006 at a theater in SM Megamall. She dazzled in a red gown.

Being a diva, Lea Salonga remains simple, modest and conservative. Her wholesomeness comes out natural to her person and even if she is simple, some notice her beauty that has been compared to “Charmed” actress Holly Marie Combs. An interesting trivia about her is she is no stranger to fabulous creatures: She has been friends with Ricky Martin since she worked with Menudo in their Manila shows in the 1980s. Her half brother Gie Salonga works as a drag performer and indie actor. And she has an ex-boyfriend who is of the fab kind. Can you guess who? ;)

Watching Lea Salonga in the mini-series “The Redwood Curtain,” and tuning in to catch her bit part in the series “E.R.,” made me excited and proud to be Pinoy. And the same goes for all the acclaim she has earned in the international arena from her stints in theater, her animated movie singing projects, and the greatest goose bumps --- seeing her on “TV Patrol,” being approached by Hillary Clinton, after singing the Philippine National Anthem at a function the latter attended when she visited the Philippines when she was still US First Lady. Covering the opening of the Star Olympics in 2005 at Araneta Center, Cubao for the Manila Bulletin, I have also heard her sing the national anthem, live.

Lea Salonga’s stint as judge at the 2011 Miss Universe pageant is surely an added gem to her tiara as she became the sixth Filipino to sit as judge in that world-famous pageant, her predecessors being Emilio Yap (1994), Kuh Ledesma (1991), Josie Natori (1989), and Carlos P. Romulo and Gloria Diaz (1974). Now, her mentoring job in “The Voice of the Philippines” is an equally privileged platform where she can sustain the diva that she has become, one that sparkles with positive energy and you can say that she is a diamond because divas without scandals are hard to find.

If there is one project that has yet to come true, I hope that is the role of teacher and love interest to Mr. Schue in “Glee.” I know Ms. Lea wished to play the mother to Charice Pempengco’s character Sunshine Corazon, but her character is now out of the picture. However, there are still opportunities. Mainstay Darren Criss, who is half Filipino, has been doing well on the show. And after appearances by Charice, Tamlyn Tomita, lucky Filipino “Glee” televiewer contest winner Hazel Faith Dela Cruz, and Jessica Sanchez, accommodating one Lea Salonga with a legitimized voice is a possibility worth exploring. “Glee” should hire her.     


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Portrait of the Coconuter as a Diva

10 June 2013 | 3:42 am
“Jaycon asan ka? Let’s do the interview now if you can. This is David Poarch / Coconuter,” read the SMS sent to yours truly by the popular Fil-Am blogger last May 19, 2013 at around 1 p.m.  He is back in the Philippines for the nth time doing the “Re-ignition” to the serious version of his take of the defunct Paris Hilton-Nicole Ritchie reality show “The Simple Life.”

David Eric Poarch, born in 1986 to an American ranch owner in Texas, USA and a Filipina housewife who hails from Olongapo, has been passionate about the Philippines since his teen years. He rose to fame after many online readers followed his blog in 2006, which led to his TV debut that same year via a feature interview by Bernadette Sembrano, in “Nagmamahal, Kapamilya,” on ABS-CBN 2. Several features on him followed, mostly in print.

“The Coconuter,” as David is also known, started his wandering as a young single guy in his early twenties, somewhere early on around that time. His purpose, he said was to find himself because he is half Filipino and would like to learn and know that other half of himself. And then, to prove to his mother that life in the Philippines is not so bad like she and most Pinoys put it. In the course of his discovery, he found love with a local girl from Batanes, whom he married and has two children. The couple originally had three children, but one perished because of a serious health condition in infanthood.    

It was in that same year when this writer was contributor to Icon magazine, seeing David on TV gave an idea to pitch him to the editor-in-chief then, Richie Villarin, to get him as a model for a future cover. He was actually approved. Unfortunately, he still had some inhibitions back then and he changed his mind when he learned that Icon Mag catered to the pink market. A year or two later, he notified that he was okay to do it if the offer was still good. But by that time, Icon Mag in the Philippines folded up already. Tough luck! And it feels unfair, because after that, he gave an interview to Out Loud magazine which is an American pink glossy, and he was also featured elsewhere.

In 2010, he was in Manila and he rented a house in Laon-Laan Street in Sampaloc. It was another meeting that nearly pushed through. However, the circumstances that time were vague. He was open to join show business. He was advised about reality show auditions but he hesitated to go by himself.

Now, David Poarch is back again after finishing his bachelor’s degree in the US, and he plans to make it big in the Philippines as a business tycoon in engineering and global digital technology. This writer was supposed to interview him for an approved feature story for MB SCB. But he is now like Leonardo DiCaprio in one of his movies… “Catch Me, If You Can!” An ironed out date was expected but the hunky Fil-Am prefers to be spontaneous and short-notice of when he would like to do it.  The diva interviewer discovered a diva interviewee. But surprisingly, there is more, as the new bigwig broadsheet section editor showcased the diva in her as well when communicating became difficult and she will not clarify if she was serious to pursue a story on David.

David now rents in Sta. Mesa. He has goals. They are very ambitious and top of the line challenging. Will he be wasting his precious dollars again to the wind and end up returning to the US to work, save, and restart all over? Or will he finally get what his heart is searching for, that will anchor him here in the Philippines for good?

It is needless to say that a factor that contributes to David Poarch’s online celebrity status aside from his nationalistic blog, is basically his heartthrob looks. But his biggest challenge to date, if he intends to rekindle his internet fame, is his relevance among the other online celebrities who have professed their similar love for Filipinos and the Philippines, like Fil-Canadian Mikey Bustos, and Peruvian model Sebastian Castro, who has a resemblance to him.  

The saga of the Coconuter for success in the Philippines continues. Will he make it, or will he pack up his bags again, and finally give up then vanish from cyberspace as the blogger he is known for? Will he and this writer eventually get to meet in person? Can he not find patriotic Pinoy fraternal love within the comforts of the US via the Filipino communities there? Suddenly, Janet Jackson’s song from “The Nutty Professor 2” movie soundtrack comes to mind. Good luck to you again this time, David! Your followers will stay tuned.

David Poarch is also on Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. His website is


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A STAR IS BORN: Pinoy boy wonder in Singapore

15 May 2013 | 5:23 pm

“MANY are called but only a few are chosen.” – This holds true in the case of 12-year-old Fil-Singaporean singing sensation Miguel Antonio when he made it to the  shortlist of David Foster’s international online talent search ‘Born to Sing’ in 2011 and won, leading to a string of great opportunities which include gigs with the famous American songwriter.

The millennium saw many highlights in the music industry, and it was in this time, on Nov. 9, 2000 that one Miguel Antonio Piñon Vedanaigam was born in Davao City, lived there for six years and was schooled at Ateneo de Davao. The eldest among four children of Singaporean infrastructure developer Samuel Vedanaigam and Filipino music enthusiast Katherine Piñon-Vedanaigam, Miguel was already passionate with music since he was a toddler. His talent was nurtured and supported by his parents and when the whole family moved to Singapore, the young Vedanaigam pursued joining singing contests which included a major tilt in his school where he won as the champion. What is remarkable about this kid is that he excels in music with his young heart but old soul, he charms international audiences, and still manages to be in the honor roll of his class. Below are snippets from our online interview:

Q: You have joined several singing contests. Most of them solos, and one with a choir. Why did you sing in a choir? And for you, what is the most memorable contest that you have joined which led to all these breaks that you are having right now?

 A:    I'm part of the school choir. And as part of the group, I have to be with them. The most memorable contest for me was winning my school competition, Qifa Idol 2010, where I sang “I Dreamed a Dream” from ‘Lés Misérables’. (See That's where I and my parents discovered that I can sing. It opened a lot of doors for me and gave me confidence with the gift of voice that God has given me.
Q: It has been a while since you won Qifa Idol 2010. How are you today since that day? What are the changes that occurred in your career and life since that big win?

 A:    Well, so much has changed! That time, I did not even know I could sing! After that school competition, we posted the video on Facebook. My Dad's friend Cheryl Miles is a DJ. She saw the video, liked it and shared it to her friends. The next thing we know, I appeared on the front page of a newspaper and did a couple more interviews after that.  I was also contacted by organizations for shows and I was cast in a lot of benefit concerts. I was able to help and give back through my singing.
Q: How did you manage to be included in the roster of performers in David Foster’s concert in Singapore in 2011? How did David Foster know about you?  Were you personally chosen by him?

 A: Yes, I was chosen by him personally. He discovered me after I sent him my video entry to his "Born to Sing" online talent search competition. I received an e-mail just a few days after I sent my video that I was among those picked as finalists to his contest, and then I won. He invited me to join his “David Foster & Friends” concert in Singapore after that.

Q:  How was that experience?
A: It was a great experience! I am so honored and blessed that I sang with him. The thing that also caught my eye was the performers that he brought along with him - Michael Bolton, Ashanti, Russel Watson, and Philip Bailey. Plus, David Foster was really nice!
Q: What does David Foster think of your voice and talent in general?
A: He actually said after I sang on stage, "Wow!" And offstage he said, "See you next year," which he did. I sang for his birthday last year.

Q: At what age did you start honing your singing talent? Who trained you? Is your family into singing as well? Did you get your talent from your Dad or from your Mom?

A: My Mom said that I've been singing since I could barely talk. I only started attending proper singing lessons in 2012. My Mom was my first vocal coach. She sings very well too. Mom has a great voice. But she doesn't sing professionally. She was the one who used to coach me and she’s very good with pitching. She will know when you're flat or sharp. Now, I’m being trained by Amanda Colliver, who trained Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor for “Moulin Rouge,” Hugh Jackman, and many other stars. She is amazing!
Q: What kind of training did you undergo?
 A: Amanda taught me how to use my diaphragm, to reduce strain in my voice and techniques to protect it, sing better, and much longer without much effort.

Q: You were born in 2000. Who influenced you to listen and emulate Michael Jackson?

A: My Mom and Dad have influenced me to listen to great music including Michael Jackson. But I am not copying him. He is just one of my inspirations growing up as a singer.

Q: Aside from Michael Jackson, who are your other singing idols?

 A: I like Michael Bolton, Tina Turner, Axl Rose, Steve Perry, Andrea Bocelli, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Queen, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Celine Dion, Otis Redding, BB King, Robert Plant, and many more!

Q: Are you still in school right now? What level are you in now? What kind of a student are you? How do you manage to juggle school and your singing career? Do you still attend school like a regular student or are you now home-schooled? What is the name of your school in Singapore?
 A:   I’m in the Primary level, Grade 6. I’m still like any normal student. I play and do my homework first and balance my time, myself. So after that, I can go back to music. I’m writing my own songs now too. I still attend school like any regular student. My school has been very supportive of me. When I have shows, I just need to inform them. My parents’ condition is that for me to continue singing, I also need to do well with my studies. I’m in the best class at Qifa Primary School and I’m in the Top 5 of my class. Not bad, right? (Smiles.)

Q: Are you planning to pursue a musical career in college? If yes, what course are you planning to take up?

A: I will still continue my music career even when I attend a university. I haven’t decided yet.

Q: What are your other interests and hobbies? Have you always wanted to be a singer?

A: I still play like any child. I go fishing, skating, play basketball... To be honest, I actually wanted to be a doctor, and a singer. It did not take me long to decide that I wanted to fully pursue a singing career.

Q: You said you like playing basketball. How tall are you?

 A: All my uncles play basketball. My late grandfather was also a varsity player. I’m not that tall though. I’m just 4'11" now.

Q: Do you have a girlfriend right now? Who are your celebrity crushes?

A: I don't have a girlfriend (yet). I like Halle Berry, Angelina Jolie, Mariah Carey and Miss Universe 2009 Stefania Fernandez of Venezuela. (Blushes.)

Q: You now live in Singapore City, Singapore. Do you still have any attachment to your Filipino roots? Do you speak any Filipino word?

A:     Yes, I do know a bit of Tagalog. I understand and know how to speak it. But I'm a bit what you call "barok." (Smiles.) I can understand some Bisaya words but can’t speak it well. (Gushes.)

Q: What do you know of the Philippines? How much of a Filipino are you?

A: I stayed in the Philippines until I was six years old, and still - I’m proud to be a Filipino.

Q: Does your Mom cook Filipino food for you? What is your favorite Filipino food? What fond childhood memories would you like to come back to when you return to the Philippines?

 A:  My Mom is the best cook! I love pork and chicken adobo. I always miss Jollibee and taho...the one that you buy on the streets. (Smiles.) I have a lot of cousins and playmates there.

Q: Are you into acting as well? Do you see yourself doing something like “The Kitchen Musical” or “Peter Pan (The Musical)?”

A: I've never acted in a musical play before, but I could do it. I love musicals. Maybe, sometime in the future, there could be a possibility.

Q: Do you have any relatives in Philippine show business? Who are the Filipino celebrities that you admire?

 A: My Mom said my Great Grandfather was a comedian and a famous painter, his screen name was "Tugak," but also known as painter Pek Piñon. My Mom's family moved to the south and we do not have any contact with them. Only my Great Grandma told us stories about him. The Filipino celebrities I like are Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera and Regine Velasquez.
Q: How would you describe your family? Do all your siblings sing too?

A: My Dad is 53 and my Mom is 35. My Mom was a dance instructor and my Dad was her student. That’s how they met. They got married in Singapore and in the Philippines. My Mom is now a homemaker and my Dad has his own business called The Shelter Company. I’m the eldest of four children and the only boy (at the moment). My parents are both music lovers. There is always music at home. And yes, aside from my Mom and me, all my siblings can sing too. My nine-year-old sister Isabella Marian just won Gold for Pop Star of the Year 2013. She loves musicals too. My four-year-old sister Gabriella Salome is just all of the above. My youngest sister Mikaela is three this year and she dances non-stop. (Smiles.)
Q: Do your sisters also go to school at Qifa?

A: Isabella goes to Qifa too.

Q: You said that you will be coming over to the Philippines sometime in the third quarter/ fourth quarter of this year. What projects are you going to be doing here?
A: Last year, I was supposed to do some guestings over there but that was cancelled because of the tight schedule of the launch of my EP here in Singapore. After my PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination) on Oct. 1, we will be able to know and I hope to see you all when I go there for a tour. I would like to be able to meet some great artist there. And also do charity works and fundraising to help the less fortunate.

Q: Is there any Filipino singer you would like to sing or record a duet with?

A: It would be great to work with Gary Valenciano, Martin Nievera, or Regine Velasquez.

Q: Are you considering venturing into pop and maybe record a duet with a bigger Asian music star like Psy? Or are you sticking to classical, opera, and pop ballads?

A: I’m not just classical and opera. I’m into rock too. Psy is good but I prefer Leehom.

Q: What can you offer to Filipinos that is different from the singers we already have in the Philippines?

A: I am the birth of a new era whose base sings of old soul music that is everlasting. I don't want to be a one hit wonder. I aim for a long term singing career. And with all that Pinoys have heard, I believe they haven’t seen or heard the combination of a Filipino and a Singaporean which are both sides of me. That is something new that I can offer to all the music lovers out there. 

Q: What is your message for your Filipino fans?

 A: First, I would like to thank you all for your support. Even though I’m so far, you are always there sending me messages. It really makes me so happy and hoping that I will meet you when I’m there!

     For updates about this young artist who continues to charm Singapore and the world, Miguel Antonio’s official website is Fans can also follow him on Facebook at Singapore/256506274367110?ref=ts&fref=ts, and or on Twitter at JAYCON YANEZA


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Weighing Intention and Realization

29 March 2013 | 8:34 am

Sometime late last year, Megastar – Sharon Cuneta expressed her desire to return to the Kapamilya network after her recent talk show hosting stint at the Kapatid network.

Now, the Queen of All Media – Kris Aquino has announced her intent to resign from her current jobs at ABS-CBN to iron out personal problems she has with her estranged husband James Yap. This move of Kris is speculated also as a sacrifice to spare her president brother from the controversies of her showbiz life.

Will the former now take over the slot to be vacated by the latter?

Coincidentally, these two women are related to men who are on the opposite sides of the fence today.

Sharon Cuneta’s outgoing senator husband Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan is pushing for the Magna Carta for the Poor.  

Kris Aquino’s president brother P-Noy vetoes the bill and proposes a later related solution.

Supporters of the bill say that it will secure continuity of the government’s support of the basic necessities of the poor.

Critics say it is a timely image enhancer for election time and some challenge the president’s concern for the poor.

But the president, known for his honesty and integrity relays that it is unrealistic as the Magna Carta proposes to disburse more than the national budget can afford.

President Aquino has been for long term solutions. His sisters go out to assist in his feeding programs. He has brought home job opportunities from his trips abroad. He pushed for the implementation of K-12 and the enhancement of TESDA. He has liquidated aid for those left homeless from calamities and provides relocation sites for informal settlers. He is for the RH bill and his Health Secretary is often in the media plugging campaigns and announcing medical missions.

P-Noy has been trustworthy all the way. He vests no interest in the pork barrel nor does he engage in anomalous transactions that make money.  He has stayed true to the legacy of his parents of sincere and honest public service. He knows the budget. If he has addressed the basic concerns of the poor then why should we pressure him for more money to subsidize it? If he says that the time is not right because the budget is insufficient to the request, why should we insist? -If we know that a disappointed public will be frustrated later when they expect and are led to wait indefinitely. So, why do not we look at the bigger picture? Be more resourceful with prospective solutions.

Let us take time to think about this bill. Is it sincere? The purpose sounds good. If approved, it will surely be credited as a contribution of Mr. Pangilinan during his duty as senator. We should be realistic with the facts, nevertheless. The government cannot give what it does not have.

It is unfair and irrelevant to say that P-Noy sides with the rich because his family has lived a modest life in the public eye.

The president cannot do everything to “baby” the poor. There are boundaries. All that he/she can do is lead them to a better life through scholarships and abundant jobs. The common Filipino should learn not to rely their daily living on the government re the progress or decline in their lifestyle. They should possess the initiative to survive and sustain them selves through honest hard work.

On the pressing concern regarding subsidized education, reforms should be implemented to address the situation similar to what the deceased UP Manila student Kristel Tejada faced. Being a UP student, she still could not afford to pay her tuition on time. Financial assistance could have been extended through SEEDS program. This should be proactively offered today as an affective measure to alleviate poverty.

Regarding health, the president’s stance for the RH bill is a wise and impartial decision. It is the right of the Catholic Church to vocally oppose this but it is the prerogative of the discerning public to follow what they think is best for them.

Housing for the masses is a tricky situation. The working class should not cuddle the unemployed and do not pay taxes. Low cost housing for the poor is good but for the informal settlers, we should imitate the standards and practices that the US does for its homeless citizens. Temporary shelters with meals and abundant casual blue collar jobs should help ease the congestion of urban poor that inhabit the metropolis.

If you roam the entire Philippine archipelago, you will notice that most of the poor are concentrated in the urban areas. Controlling the influx of rural poor to the urban areas could be a measure to consider lessening the poor who roam Metro Manila. Maybe we can control the numbers of urban poor by putting boarders similar to that between Mexico and Texas.

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How Jaycon would ask Anne Hathaway if he did the questioning on “Les Miserables:”

24 March 2013 | 4:34 am
1.      When you portrayed Catwoman in the Batman movie with Christian Bale, you were quoted as saying that you did not want to watch other actresses’ portrayals of the role so you could inject originality to it. Did you do the same for Fantine in this movie?
2.      Uma Thurman was the last actress who portrayed Fantine in a movie adaptation of “Les Miserables.” How would you differentiate your portrayal to previous actresses who have done it for the silver screen?
3.      How did it feel to work with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, and the rest of the cast?
4.      Your co-star Amanda Seyfried already did a musical movie before, “Mamma Mia.” How would you compare or differentiate this production of yours to that movie or to “Moulin Rouge,” “Chicago,” and “Nine?”
5.      Your mother is a stage actress. Did she influence your take on this role of Fantine, and did she give you any tips on how to attack the role?
6.      Madonna did some voice lessons to maximize her vocal capacity when she did “Evita.” How did you prepare for your song numbers in this movie? Are you releasing a pop record album after this?
7.      You have been used to glamorous roles. How was it like to take on a deglamourized role like Fantine?
8.      Halle Berry and Nicole Kidman took home Oscar wins, when they took on deglamourized portrayals in “Monster Ball” and “The Hours.” How do you feel about your role in this movie?
9.      Would you do future movie musicals like this? You have ventured into singing, is a dancing movie not far behind?
10.  Lea Salonga adores you as Fantine and the Filipino people love you. What is your best or favorite line in the movie that you can dedicate to Lea and to the Filipino people as they look forward to your version of “Les Miserables?” 

Watch: "I Dreamed A Dream" by Ruthie Henshall, Lea Salonga and Anne Hathaway here>

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