© Copyright, 2015 (PHNO)
 http://newsflash.org   NOVEMBER 18 -19, 2015

SHOWBIZ NEWS THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

APEC 2015: FIESTA SERENADES WORLD LEADERS IN 'YODA' CHAIRS


NOVEMBER 8 -The Leaders’ chairs will also contribute to this garden-like atmosphere, as they are based on Kenneth’s Yoda chair design, which is inspired by blades of grass. Probably his most iconic and well-known piece, the original Yoda chair does not have armrests or wheels. The ones to be used by the Economic Leaders, however, will have both.“The beauty about that chair is you lean back on the rattan reeds, and the natural tensile strength of the rattan supports your back.” says creator Kenneth Cobonpue FROM INQUIRER LIFESTYLE A weeklong fiesta of romantic serenades, hip-hop, ballet, chamber music, world-class singers, themed dinners, historical tours and shopping awaits the global leaders and delegates attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders’ summit and related events being held here next week. According to the organizers privy to the preparations, there will be a series of nightly shows beginning this Friday until Nov. 20, which marks the end of the Philippines’ yearlong hosting of the Apec series of meetings culminating in the Nov. 18 to 19 Apec Economic Leaders’ Meeting. No specific details were given as all those who spoke to Inquirer Lifestyle invoked security concerns. The bottom line is to showcase Filipino talent, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte stressed. And because talent is not limited to the television musical kind, there will be dinners and other social gatherings featuring Filipino artistry and craftsmanship through table settings, furniture, floral displays and stage setups. Raising the barObservers are expectedly curious if the group of private entities and government offices handling the cultural presentations for Apec-related events will outdo previous efforts at entertaining international delegates.A creative team led by former Cultural Center of the Philippines president Nes Jardin is supervising all the cultural events related to Apec.Jardin’s team works under the Office of the President, the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry, Tourism, Finance, Transportation and Communication, Energy and Agriculture, the National Economic Development Authority and the Commission on Higher Education. Less than a month ago, Jardin had just finished overseeing the Apec welcome dinner for energy ministers at the Radisson Blu in Cebu when a woman delegate approached him. The visitor, an Australian woman working at the Apec’s Singapore headquarters, told Jardin that the Philippines had “raised the bar” for welcome dinners and cultural presentations. The visitor observed that the country’s efforts projected “a young, fun-loving and energetic people through a truly entertaining presentation,” Jardin said.Rave reviews Comments like this are not surprising, especially since foreign delegates who attended the series of Apec meetings in the months leading up to the two-day leaders’ summit have raved over the Filipino brand of hospitality and entertainment. READ MORE...

ALSO: 32 piña wear, power dress, for Apec state heads, wives


NOVEMBER 8 -Celebrity designer Paul Cabral COURTESY OF MANILA BULLETIN Momentous events are never complete without a few pictures to record them for posterity; the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Manila on Nov. 18 and 19 is no exception. In fact, one of the most enduring image of the annual event since it was established in 1989 is known as the Apec Leaders’ Family Photo, with leaders of Asia Pacific Rim member economies literally linking arms for a photo op while wearing outfits that reflect the culture of the host member. This year, those leaders will be wearing piña barong by designer Paul Cabral who, when he found out he had outbid other designers, asked Malacañang for the measurements of the attending leaders as early as April this year. Cabral, whose celebrity clients include President Aquino and his sisters, Senators Pia Cayetano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Antonio Trillanes IV, as well as movie stars Judy Ann Santos, Carmina Villarroel, Lorna Tolentino, Piolo Pascual and Diether Ocampo, recalled being informed about the bidding for the Apec barong by a friend, and subsequently submitting some 30 sketches and his quotation for the project. Several weeks later, he got a call confirming that he had given the lowest bid. “I’m not sure how many designers bid on the project but we got down to work as soon as we were notified,” he said. Preparations included searching online for recent images of the leaders to get an idea of their body shape and sense of style. He also stopped accepting other projects three months ago because he wanted to focus on the task at hand. The 51-year-old designer is known for his attention to detail and for making impeccably tailored clothes. READ MORE...

ALSO AT APEC this week: No ‘tinikling’ or ‘singkil’ this time–instead, there will be hip-hop, tribal druns and sopranos in Grecian gowns


FLASHBACK MARCH 8, 2015 -CYRIL Fallar (left) and Gillianne Therese Gequinto of Ballet Philippines are Puck and Flower in this playful pas de deux choreographed by Carlo Pacis. No tinikling, rondalla or cheesy folk songs. Instead, there were hip-hop, tribal drums and sopranos in Grecian gowns because, finally, the bureaucracy has realized the need to upgrade the entertainment offered to foreign guests. Delegates at the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (Apec) finance deputies meeting could not help whipping up their smartphones and recording the scenes as a youthful cast of Pinoy artists wowed them at the welcome dinner and cultural presentation at Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City Thursday night. Leading the pack was Aicelle Santos, lead star in the longest-running Filipino musical “Rak of Aegis,” whose powerful voice reminded the rest of Asia-Pacific why Filipinos rule as singers. Pao Gumba played Broadway, the Bee Gees and OPM on a ukulele while Luna, an all-female vocal ensemble, serenaded the audience with songs ranging from classical arias to John Legend’s “All of Me.” Nestor Jardin, former president and currently a member of the Cultural Center of the Philippines board of trustees, chuckled when told that guests were watching what seemed like “the BALLETManila’s interpretation of “Anting-Anting,” or amulet, showed how the Philippines “is a land wheremodernity strives with folk beliefs... The power of the antinganting is extolled [and] believed to ward off evil spirits.” READ MORE...

ALSO: APEC souvenir: ‘Sama-sama’ sculpture


‘NOVEMBER 13 -Sama-Sama,’ a sculpture in bronze and wood veneer by world-renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue, will be given to the 20 leaders attending the APEC summit next week. The 18-inch sculpture represents unity, partnership and cooperation among APEC members.
Limited edition sculptures featuring communities grouped around island formations representing member-economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will be the Philippines’ souvenir tokens for leaders attending the Leaders’ Summit next week. Called “Sama-sama” (together), the sculptures were created by world-renowned industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue. The sculptures are made of brass and finished in yellow gold, pale silver and warm copper, symbolizing different races. The detailed figures are linked to each other as they ascend to the top, “towards the heavens,” Cobonpue said in a statement released by Malacañang. The Palace said the sculptures are a visual narrative of the APEC community’s cultural, social and political diversity and “represent unity, partnership and cooperation among the member economies.” Each glass-covered token is housed in a hand-woven metal and buri (palm spine) carrying case with brass handles and clasp. The island formations are made from laser-cut metal sheets and wood veneer. Aside from creating the souvenir tokens, Cobonpue was tapped to be the creative director for the APEC leaders’ welcome reception at the MOA Arena where the dinner for the leaders would be held. According to Cobonpue, rice terraces inspired his vision for the set design. “I wanted to transform the whole space into a huge outdoor garden,” he said. “Part of the challenge was how to transform the coldness and immensity of the arena and turn it into something that’s warm and cozy.” To achieve this effect, a grassy circular stage will be set up in the middle of the arena and colorful anahaw leaf-inspired designs will be hung from the ceiling. The APEC leaders’ chairs will also contribute to this garden-like atmosphere, as they are based on Cobonpue’s Yoda chair design, which is inspired by blades of grass. “Probably my most iconic and well-known piece, the original Yoda chair does not have armrests or wheels. The ones to be used by the economic leaders, however, will have both. I designed the Yoda chair to swivel because the program was going to happen over 360 degrees. It was important for the leaders to be able to swivel their chair so that they could follow the program,” Cobonpue said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Christmas season begins at the Manila Hotel


NOVEMBER 13 -Photo courtesy of Monica Pantaleon, MB File Photo)
With just 43 days before Christmas, Manila Hotel welcomed the yuletide season with its annual tradition of tree-lighting at the hotel grand lobby, Thursday night. Unlike previous tree-lighting ceremonies, hotel officials took a bold risk to take on an elegant theme with lesser decor colors, but this time, bringing the entire lobby to life with dazzling lights for the first time. Guests are welcomed by a huge gingerbread house filled with goodies, stunning lights, and friendly staff dressed in Santa Claus costumes. Corners of the lobby are filled with smaller Christmas trees, polar bears, and penguins. The ceremony was graced by Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno who also led the Grand Lobby lighting together with Manila Hotel President Atty. Joey D. Lina, Resident Manager Gerhard Doll, Executive Vice-President Dr. Enrique Y. Yap, Assistant Vice-President for Public Relations and Corporate Communications Nian Liwanag-Rigor, and Assistant Vice-President of Sales Nathalie Ramirez. The Manila Hotel officials with Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno (Photo courtesy of Monica Pantaleon, MB File Photo) The Manila Hotel officials with Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno (Photo courtesy of Monica Pantaleon, MB File Photo) “We actually took a risk this year doing that (change of theme) because we wanted to be noticed from the other establishments because they always tend to be colorful. We used silver, white, and very subtle greens. We did not light only one Christmas tree. Usually, we would just light one tree… tonight, we lighted the entire lobby so it’s not even appropriate anymore to call it Christmas tree lighting, but the grand lobby lighting of the Manila Hotel,” said assistant vice president for public relations and corporate communications Nian Liwanag-Rigor. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Fiesta serenades world leaders in ‘Yoda’ chairs

MANILA, NOVEMBER 16, 2015 (INQUIRER) By: Cathy Cañares-Yamsuan Inquirer Lifestyle 03:43 AM November 8th, 2015 -


The Leaders’ chairs will also contribute to this garden-like atmosphere, as they are based on Kenneth’s Yoda chair design, which is inspired by blades of grass. Probably his most iconic and well-known piece, the original Yoda chair does not have armrests or wheels. The ones to be used by the Economic Leaders, however, will have both.“The beauty about that chair is you lean back on the rattan reeds, and the natural tensile strength of the rattan supports your back.” says creator Kenneth Cobonpue FROM INQUIRER LIFESTYLE

A weeklong fiesta of romantic serenades, hip-hop, ballet, chamber music, world-class singers, themed dinners, historical tours and shopping awaits the global leaders and delegates attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders’ summit and related events being held here next week.

According to the organizers privy to the preparations, there will be a series of nightly shows beginning this Friday until Nov. 20, which marks the end of the Philippines’ yearlong hosting of the Apec series of meetings culminating in the Nov. 18 to 19 Apec Economic Leaders’ Meeting.

No specific details were given as all those who spoke to Inquirer Lifestyle invoked security concerns.

The bottom line is to showcase Filipino talent, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte stressed.

And because talent is not limited to the television musical kind, there will be dinners and other social gatherings featuring Filipino artistry and craftsmanship through table settings, furniture, floral displays and stage setups.

Raising the bar

Observers are expectedly curious if the group of private entities and government offices handling the cultural presentations for Apec-related events will outdo previous efforts at entertaining international delegates.

A creative team led by former Cultural Center of the Philippines president Nes Jardin is supervising all the cultural events related to Apec.

Jardin’s team works under the Office of the President, the Departments of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Industry, Tourism, Finance, Transportation and Communication, Energy and Agriculture, the National Economic Development Authority and the Commission on Higher Education.

Less than a month ago, Jardin had just finished overseeing the Apec welcome dinner for energy ministers at the Radisson Blu in Cebu when a woman delegate approached him.


NES Jardin, former President and trustee of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

The visitor, an Australian woman working at the Apec’s Singapore headquarters, told Jardin that the Philippines had “raised the bar” for welcome dinners and cultural presentations.

The visitor observed that the country’s efforts projected “a young, fun-loving and energetic people through a truly entertaining presentation,” Jardin said.

Rave reviews

Comments like this are not surprising, especially since foreign delegates who attended the series of Apec meetings in the months leading up to the two-day leaders’ summit have raved over the Filipino brand of hospitality and entertainment.

READ MORE...

From Tagaytay to Boracay, Cebu to Makati, private entities and government agencies working under the Office of the President have organized for the Apec delegates carefully crafted and cleverly themed dinners and entertainment numbers that reflect both contemporary and traditional Filipino culture through dance, song, fashion and parties.

Last March at the Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City, for example, the “Blissed Out” theme featured sopranos in Grecian-style gowns singing classical arias and Top 40 Hits, hip-hop artists, drum ensembles and bare-chested folk dancers.

The 1980s-themed “FuntaSea” held two months later on the beachfront of Shangri-La Boracay had senior ministers dancing to ABBA, Gloria Gaynor and Donna Summer beside a coral reef-inspired stage set.

Last September, “Exquisitely Filipino” organized by SM City Cebu treated guests to a Philippine version of Fashion Week as models strutted the designs of Philip Rodriguez, Jun Escario, Cary Santiago, Arcy Gayatin, OJ Hofer, Albert Arriba, Yvonne Quisumbing, Mia Arcenas and Philipp Tampus.

Standout event

One event expected to stand out is the Malacañang-sponsored gala dinner somewhere in southern Metro Manila where the heads of the 21 Asia-Pacific members are the honored guests.

Given its “Modern Nature” theme, the venue will reportedly highlight furniture designed by the internationally renowned Kenneth Cobonpue.


Kenneth Cobonpue is a perfect example of the global Filipino. Born and raised in Cebu, he left the country at a young age to study industrial design in New York, subsequently taking up apprenticeships and further studies in Italy and Germany. Now a regular at design shows and entrepreneurial talks, Kenneth travels all over the world to exhibit new work, speak about Southeast Asian design, and find new inspiration.

Heads of states and governments, including US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping and 18 others, with President Aquino, will sit on Cobonpue’s iconic “Yoda” chairs made of high-quality organic local materials.

The design of the chair has been modified to allow it to swivel, a source said.
Organizers also disclosed that seasoned restaurateurs Glenda Barretto and Margarita Fores have joined forces to whip up a memorable meal for the world leaders.

Biggest production

Another source revealed that the biggest production is an event in another southern Metro Manila venue where 500 guests will be feted.

There will be more than 200 Filipino performers, including singers, modern and traditional dancers, and a chamber orchestra.

In still another gathering, a select group of VVIPs will join a cultural tour that involves shopping for curated, “top-of-the-line” locally crafted products sourced from various livelihood projects around the country.

“The upcoming Leaders’ Meeting will serve as another opportunity for world leaders and their delegations to see and experience (Filipino) talent firsthand,” Valte said in a solicited e-mail statement.

“They will be treated not just to musical performances, but rather the entire experience of Filipino hospitality. After all, our talents extend far beyond singing, to fashion, art, food, dance and so much more,” she added.

Because Filipinos have so much to offer, Valte said the team tasked to highlight culture and entertainment “is making a conscious effort to infuse the Filipino spirit in every aspect—from the food and souvenirs to the cultural performances.”


VALTE

Valte said President Aquino was “happy” that highly respected business entities like the Ayala and SM groups as well as local government units have agreed to support the government’s hosting of the Apec summit this year.

“In this particular case, you see even rivalries being set aside. It’s certainly a welcome sight that these groups of stakeholders have set aside their differences for the sake of our hosting. After all, in the end, it is the entire Philippines that should be at the forefront,” she said.

VVIP hotels

High-end hotels all over Metro Manila are doing their own sprucing and beefing up of security as the countdown continues for the arrival of world leaders for the summit later this week.

Earlier reports said President Obama would be staying at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City, the same hotel he used during his overnight state visit last year.

The presence of a helipad and the hotel’s proximity to the US Embassy on Roxas Boulevard supposedly makes Sofitel ideal for the US President.

Sofitel told Inquirer Lifestyle in a solicited e-mail that it was working closely with the Apec national organizing committee as it is “within the tightened security area.”

Sources quoted by Inquirer Business also revealed that China’s President Xi would be staying at the Century Park Sheraton owned by ethnic Chinese businessman Lucio Tan.

Russia’s President Putin is said to have chosen the Edsa Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong City. [PHNO: Last Thursday November 12 Putin withdrew from attending the this APEC summit]

Hotels in the Makati central business district are said to be hosting one world leader each.

The Makati Shangri-La Hotel, the venue for the Apec CEO Summit and related meetings, will not have a VVIP guest staying as it is the venue for the Leaders’ Meeting.

Cristina Ong Cruz, director for sales and marketing for the hotel, said some the preparations include “additional safety equipment, weekly briefings with security heads, internal meetings and coordination to ensure smooth operations consistent with excellence in our service.”

Hotel Jen Manila will be hosting Korean reporters covering the summit. General manager Edward Kollmer told the Inquirer that the hotel has “doubled” all exercises related to safety and security “so everybody in the hotel would be ready on how to handle and respond given a specific situation.”

Frencie Duadua, Jen’s director for operations, said the hotel has also added and strengthened its Internet bandwidth.

The Henry Hotel, a boutique establishment in Pasay City, is also hosting some Apec delegates. Marketing manager Kristine de Guzman said the establishment stays in tip-top shape to accommodate the guests who prefer to stay close to the airport.

Guests will also receive souvenirs where the names of all 21 member-economies have been etched. “The souvenir is made of metal and the design has people interlinked to one another as a sign of unity,” said one source.


INQUIRER

32 piña wear, power dress, for Apec state heads, wives By: Raoul J. Chee Kee @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 02:42 AM November 8th, 2015


Celebrity designer Paul Cabral COURTESY OF MANILA BULLETIN

Momentous events are never complete without a few pictures to record them for posterity; the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Economic Leaders’ Meeting in Manila on Nov. 18 and 19 is no exception.

In fact, one of the most enduring image of the annual event since it was established in 1989 is known as the Apec Leaders’ Family Photo, with leaders of Asia Pacific Rim member economies literally linking arms for a photo op while wearing outfits that reflect the culture of the host member.

This year, those leaders will be wearing piña barong by designer Paul Cabral who, when he found out he had outbid other designers, asked Malacañang for the measurements of the attending leaders as early as April this year.

Cabral, whose celebrity clients include President Aquino and his sisters, Senators Pia Cayetano, Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Antonio Trillanes IV, as well as movie stars Judy Ann Santos, Carmina Villarroel, Lorna Tolentino, Piolo Pascual and Diether Ocampo, recalled being informed about the bidding for the Apec barong by a friend, and subsequently submitting some 30 sketches and his quotation for the project. Several weeks later, he got a call confirming that he had given the lowest bid.

“I’m not sure how many designers bid on the project but we got down to work as soon as we were notified,” he said. Preparations included searching online for recent images of the leaders to get an idea of their body shape and sense of style.

He also stopped accepting other projects three months ago because he wanted to focus on the task at hand.

The 51-year-old designer is known for his attention to detail and for making impeccably tailored clothes.

READ MORE...

“We needed to prepare early on because the embroidery on the piña takes such a long time, anywhere from three weeks to a month per barong. Everything was made by hand; we don’t use a machine to do the embroidery,” he told the Inquirer in an exclusive interview.

One-of-a-kind patterns

Cabral came up with different patterns for each barong he designed, but made sure to give all of them a Filipino look. Before picking up his pencil and sketching the designs, he researched on the traditions and cultures of the Apec countries.

“For US President Barack Obama, I made a very Filipinized design, but for the others, especially the female attendees, I was able to experiment a bit,” the designer said.

Graceful swirls appear on the sheer piña jacket he made for Chile President Michelle Bachelet, while the barong for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has stylized “M” running down the front.

Geometric patterns inspired by Peru’s modern weaves appear on the barong for Peru President Ollanta Humala, while circular and sharp shapes were paired for the barong of Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Cabral looked to Thailand’s architecture, Buddhist art and scenes from Indian epics before coming up with the pattern for Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha’s barong.

The designer even made a top for the wife of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, featuring a delicate branch of cherry blossoms, an image usually linked to Japan. All in all, Cabral designed and made a total of 32 piña outfits for the leaders and a few spouses.

Painstaking process
 



In Cabral’s light-filled atelier in New Manila, the starched barong were neatly arranged in a row, ready for pickup. One could only imagine the months he and his team spent getting ready, waiting for measurements that arrived in trickles, and monitoring the entire process.

“The patterns had to be transferred to the fabric by hand before embroidery could begin. After they had been embroidered, each piece was handwashed to remove the pencil marks, sprayed with starch and ironed before we could sew on the lining.

“Piña is a natural fabric that foreigners might find a bit scratchy, so I lined each barong with organza and even affixed strips of satin piping on the inner collars and cuffs to prevent chafing,” he said.



This attention to detail is Cabral’s trademark and one that his loyal clientele appreciate and can identify almost immediately.

“I’ve been designing for close to 20 years. What I want to do in the next five years is train two or three apprentices who share my temperament and work ethic so that I can retire and they can continue what I started.

“Marunong ako magbutones, mamalantsa, maglilip, mag-beads—lahat kaya kong gawin. These are skills that aspiring designers should learn and develop; I’m willing to teach that because I do the same with my workers,” Cabral said.


INQUIRER EARLIER REPORT (MARCH 2015)

No ‘tinikling’ or ‘singkil’ this time–instead, there will be hip-hop, tribal druns and sopranos in Grecian gowns By: Cathy Cañares-Yamsuan @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 06:49 AM March 8th, 2015


CYRIL Fallar (left) and Gillianne Therese Gequinto of Ballet Philippines are Puck and Flower in this playful pas de deux choreographed by Carlo Pacis.

No tinikling, rondalla or cheesy folk songs. Instead, there were hip-hop, tribal drums and sopranos in Grecian gowns because, finally, the bureaucracy has realized the need to upgrade the entertainment offered to foreign guests.

Delegates at the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (Apec) finance deputies meeting could not help whipping up their smartphones and recording the scenes as a youthful cast of Pinoy artists wowed them at the welcome dinner and cultural presentation at Taal Vista Hotel in Tagaytay City Thursday night.

Leading the pack was Aicelle Santos, lead star in the longest-running Filipino musical “Rak of Aegis,” whose powerful voice reminded the rest of Asia-Pacific why Filipinos rule as singers.

Pao Gumba played Broadway, the Bee Gees and OPM on a ukulele while Luna, an all-female vocal ensemble, serenaded the audience with songs ranging from classical arias to John Legend’s “All of Me.”

Nestor Jardin, former president and currently a member of the Cultural Center of the Philippines board of trustees, chuckled when told that guests were watching what seemed like “the BALLETManila’s interpretation of “Anting-Anting,” or amulet, showed how the Philippines “is a land wheremodernity strives with folk beliefs... The power of the antinganting is extolled [and] believed to ward off evil spirits.”

READ MORE...


BALLETManila’s interpretation of “Anting-Anting,” or amulet, showed how the Philippines “is a land where modernity strives with folk beliefs… The power of the anting-anting is extolled [and] believed to ward off evil spirits.”

iPhone 6 of government-sponsored shows.” Jardin is head of the creative team within the CCP tasked by a subcommittee on arts composed of the CCP, National Commission for Culture and the Arts, Tourism Promotions Board and the private sector, to oversee these cultural presentations.

He will handle 18 of the 35 other events that began last December with one for Apec senior officials in a five-star hotel in Makati City.

The last event will be on Nov. 18 with US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the guest list when Manila hosts the Apec Economic Leaders Meeting.

Lasting impression

Jardin said top officials in the Department of Foreign Affairs were very clear when he was tasked to organize the shows for visiting dignitaries.


PIANIST Madeline Jane Banta (left) and flute player Gaille Ramos play classical music and Broadway hits to relax Apec delegates before the dinner and cultural presentation.

“The cultural presentations are an important facet of Apec. Several DFA officials told me they create a lasting impression of the host country and these (impressions) might redound to us in terms of tourism,” he said.

“The positive impression [delegates] get from these welcome dinners and cultural presentations could [bolster] the thinking and perception of the delegates who are very important people to us,” Jardin explained.

It is actually Jimenez’s tourism department that is in charge of the hospitality receptions. The sub-committee it formed includes Jardin and renowned composer Ryan Cayabyab.

Jardin said Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. specified one thing: The shows must “create a cumulative net impression that the Philippines is one of the most progressive, youngest and most inclusive societies in the 21st century,” and that these presentations must showcase “contemporary Filipino culture, reflect… soft power and our modern modes of thinking.”

Local flavor

On Thursday, members of the Centro Escolar University Folk Dance Troupe donned colorful native costumes and interpreted “Iisang Bangka” by The Dawn in choreography sprinkled with hip-hop and breakdance.

Ballet Philippines’ Cyril Fallar and Gillianne Therese Gequinto’s pas de deux utilized the massive stage with a backdrop of geometric-shaped houses and other architecture reminiscent of a Baldemor painting.

Ballet Manila’s half-naked male dancers braved the chilly winds while female performers incorporated cheer dancing in a number choreographed by Gerardo Francisco for “Anting-Anting.”


SINGER Aicelle Santos wowed Apec finance deputies with her powerful voice.

The De La Salle University Dasmariñas Chorale and Imusicapella provided local musical flavor at dinner.

“Everything is fast-moving, never a dull moment,” one delegate raved. The whole show ran for about 30 minutes.

Earlier at the cocktail reception, Madeline Jane Banta played piano while Gaille Ramos played flute before guests at Taal Vista’s covered terrace, while the Citizen’s Brigade Band of Dasmariñas City played covers of American pop songs to liven things up.

Pride of place

Jardin said pride of place is one of the thematic pegs for the Apec presentations. When senior officials of the conference were feted at the CDC Parade Grounds in Clark, Pampanga, on Feb. 6, BMX bikers did their stunts among tables and ramps arranged at the back of the stage set up inside the former US military base.

Ballet Philippines danced a beat-box version of “Atin Cu Pung Singsing.”


NES Jardin, member of the Cultural Center of the Philippines board of trustees, is one of the prime movers in organizing 18 out of 35 welcome dinners and cultural presentations for Apec delegates. LEO M. SABANGAN II

“We featured the contemporary culture of Clark and Pampanga. The bikers are very strong there. Aside from Pampanga parol, there were also hot-air balloons and hip-hop groups [to indicate] the strong influence of American culture,” Jardin said.

A similar effort to allow foreign guests to experience the local lifestyle was supposed to take place in Albay province. Jardin said Albay Governor Joey Salceda stopped at nothing to spruce up their astrodome. Local bands practiced Bach and Vivaldi and more than 120 dancers from Manila were set to arrive.

Alas, a weather disturbance forced organizers to relocate the entire event to Fairmont Makati hotel. Jardin managed to pull in eight choirs from all over Metro Manila for the finale.

“We got a standing ovation,” he said.

Food and cuisine

Food is another important element. Via Mare was tapped for Pampanga cuisine served during the Clark presentation. Taal Vista pulled out former Malacañang executive chef Babes Austria, who has just retired.

Jardin is busy prepping for the dinners and cultural presentations for two ministerial meetings in Boracay that would be held three days apart in May.

No shirts and ties while on the island. Jardin said loot bags will contain flip-flops, insect repellent and a selfie stick. And instead of ushers in baro’t saya, there will be diwata, sirena and other mythical creatures from Pinoy folklore to entertain the guests.

“We have already showcased tinikling and singkil in the past. Gasgas na, and foreign visitors should now see a different facet of Philippine society,” Jardin stressed.

Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Philippines! If you still haven’t heard, we know how to party.


PHILSTAR

APEC souvenir: ‘Sama-sama’ sculpture By Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 13, 2015 - 12:00am 1 25 googleplus0 0


‘Sama-Sama,’ a sculpture in bronze and wood veneer by world-renowned designer Kenneth Cobonpue, will be given to the 20 leaders attending the APEC summit next week. The 18-inch sculpture represents unity, partnership and cooperation among APEC members.

MANILA, Philippines - Limited edition sculptures featuring communities grouped around island formations representing member-economies of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) will be the Philippines’ souvenir tokens for leaders attending the Leaders’ Summit next week.

Called “Sama-sama” (together), the sculptures were created by world-renowned industrial designer Kenneth Cobonpue.

The sculptures are made of brass and finished in yellow gold, pale silver and warm copper, symbolizing different races. The detailed figures are linked to each other as they ascend to the top, “towards the heavens,” Cobonpue said in a statement released by Malacañang.

The Palace said the sculptures are a visual narrative of the APEC community’s cultural, social and political diversity and “represent unity, partnership and cooperation among the member economies.”

Each glass-covered token is housed in a hand-woven metal and buri (palm spine) carrying case with brass handles and clasp. The island formations are made from laser-cut metal sheets and wood veneer.

Aside from creating the souvenir tokens, Cobonpue was tapped to be the creative director for the APEC leaders’ welcome reception at the MOA Arena where the dinner for the leaders would be held.

According to Cobonpue, rice terraces inspired his vision for the set design.

“I wanted to transform the whole space into a huge outdoor garden,” he said. “Part of the challenge was how to transform the coldness and immensity of the arena and turn it into something that’s warm and cozy.”

To achieve this effect, a grassy circular stage will be set up in the middle of the arena and colorful anahaw leaf-inspired designs will be hung from the ceiling.

The APEC leaders’ chairs will also contribute to this garden-like atmosphere, as they are based on Cobonpue’s Yoda chair design, which is inspired by blades of grass.

“Probably my most iconic and well-known piece, the original Yoda chair does not have armrests or wheels. The ones to be used by the economic leaders, however, will have both. I designed the Yoda chair to swivel because the program was going to happen over 360 degrees. It was important for the leaders to be able to swivel their chair so that they could follow the program,” Cobonpue said.

READ MORE...

“The beauty about that chair is you lean back on the rattan reeds, and the natural tensile strength of the rattan supports your back,” he added.

Cobonpue said the main challenge in creating the set design was to project the image of a global Filipino.

“What I always find challenging is to still use natural materials and natural themes, and to make it sophisticated – to show that we are rooted in the past but we are right in the 21st century,” he explained.

“I think it’s really important…to showcase the best of who we are and what we are. And we do that with the program, and all the little details that make up the whole welcome dinner,” he added.

Cobonpue said it was a fun and satisfying project overall.

“I’m very proud of the outcome. How I wish everybody could be in that space, because it’s really unique and wonderful,” he added.

Malacañang said an exhibit of world-class Filipino products will be held at the International Media Center (IMC) at the World Trade Center in Pasay City.

“We also have items that can be bought and taken home as souvenirs. It is said that the way to make an event most memorable is to give the people who experience it a tangible memento of that event. And so therefore, the souvenirs that are being exhibited – the handicrafts, the excellent work of Filipino artisans that are here – will serve as a memento of the unique experience that is APEC 2015 in the Philippines,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a message during the opening of the IMC.

He also said the products being exhibited are manifestations of how the country was endeavoring to build an inclusive economy. “And this is also a showcase of why, as host, the Philippines has chosen the theme: Building Inclusive Economies and Building a Better World.”

Earlier, the Palace released photos of the different Barong Tagalog designs that President Aquino would give as gifts for leaders to wear during the summit.

The outfits were created by designer Paul Cabral, who began working on the project in April as soon as he was notified that his submission won the bidding.


MANILA BULLETIN

Christmas season begins at the Manila Hotel by Ces Dimalanta November 13, 2015 (updated) Share0 Tweet5 Share0 Email0 Share13 image: http://www.mb.com.ph/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Manila-Hotel3.jpg


(Photo courtesy of Monica Pantaleon, MB File Photo)

With just 43 days before Christmas, Manila Hotel welcomed the yuletide season with its annual tradition of tree-lighting at the hotel grand lobby, Thursday night.

Unlike previous tree-lighting ceremonies, hotel officials took a bold risk to take on an elegant theme with lesser decor colors, but this time, bringing the entire lobby to life with dazzling lights for the first time.

Guests are welcomed by a huge gingerbread house filled with goodies, stunning lights, and friendly staff dressed in Santa Claus costumes. Corners of the lobby are filled with smaller Christmas trees, polar bears, and penguins.

The ceremony was graced by Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno who also led the Grand Lobby lighting together with Manila Hotel President Atty. Joey D. Lina, Resident Manager Gerhard Doll, Executive Vice-President Dr. Enrique Y. Yap, Assistant Vice-President for Public Relations and Corporate Communications Nian Liwanag-Rigor, and Assistant Vice-President of Sales Nathalie Ramirez.


The Manila Hotel officials with Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno (Photo courtesy of Monica Pantaleon, MB File Photo)

“We actually took a risk this year doing that (change of theme) because we wanted to be noticed from the other establishments because they always tend to be colorful. We used silver, white, and very subtle greens. We did not light only one Christmas tree. Usually, we would just light one tree… tonight, we lighted the entire lobby so it’s not even appropriate anymore to call it Christmas tree lighting, but the grand lobby lighting of the Manila Hotel,” said assistant vice president for public relations and corporate communications Nian Liwanag-Rigor.

According to Doll, there is a new addition to the festivities called the ‘Christmas Village’, which aims to provide a grand family staycation for both parents and kids at the hotel. Little surprises await visitors who will be welcomed by a character named “Willy”.

Kids from the hotel’s chosen charity beneficiary — House of Refuge Foundation, were given goodies by Santa Claus during the event. The hotel works in partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in providing quality care for children who are abandoned, neglected, orphaned and abused.


(Photo courtesy of Monica Pantaleon, MB File Photo)

The kids will also be returning on the first week of December to visit the hotel’s ‘Christmas Village’.

Guests were serenaded by the award-winning Las Piñas Boys Choir with Christmas carols, followed by performances from Harmonia Filipinas and San Sebastian Chamber Singers.

The Christmas decorations will be at the lobby until the Feast of the Three Kings, January 4 of next year.


Las Piñas Boys Choir (Photo courtesy of Monica Pantaleon, MB File Photo)


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

© Copyright, 2015 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE
All rights reserved


PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE [PHNO] WEBSITE