WATCH: Rom-com film ‘Miss Q & A’ releases teaser music video

INSIGHT 360 Films has released a teaser music video of its upcoming romantic comedy film—“Miss Q & A: Para Sa Magaganda Lang Ba Ang Love Life?”—starring Kakai Bautista and Zoren Legaspi.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Lemuel Lorca and produced by Chris Cahilig, “Miss Q & A” tells the story of a romantically frustrated pageant trainer and public relations maverick (Bautista) who goes on a blind date with a handsome photographer (Legaspi). The screenplay was written by John Bedia in collaboration with Lorca and Cahilig. 

The song “Halika,” written and performed by emerging recording artist Seth Dungca, became the perfect accompaniment to the teaser music video. The music’s warm and inviting instrumentation, combined with Dungca’s soothing delivery, flawlessly captures the wistful feeling of being in the throes of a new love.

Seth Dungca’s Halika is the official soundtrack of the film

In the music video, we see love beginning to blossom between our two leads as they spend time at a theme park. With each attraction they visit, the sparks that fly between Kakai and Zoren’s characters ignite powerful emotions they hadn’t felt before. 

Cahilig expresses the entire team’s exhilaration in sharing this story with the Filipino audience. “Miss Q & A reminds us that love can happen for all regardless of age or appearance,” says Cahilig. “It’s what makes this film very special to all of us involved in its creation. After investing so much hard work and time in its production, we are incredibly excited about everyone finally seeing the finished product.”

Kakai Bautista and Zoren Legaspi stars in Lem Lorca’s romantic comedy film Miss Q & A

Miss Q & A marks the third feature film from Insight 360 Films. It comes in the wake of Echorsis, an award-winning horror comedy from 2016, and 2020’s Mia, a romantic comedy film with an environmental message. 

Cahilig is confident that the soon-to-be-released film will meet the stringent standards left by its predecessors. “With Miss Q & A, Insight 360 continues its push towards telling unique and compelling stories that Filipinos can relate to. We are very hopeful that Filipino audiences will enjoy this movie just as much as we enjoyed making it for them.”

Seth Dungca’s “Halika” is available for streaming on Spotify. 

Viva Records welcomes ‘Masked Singer Pilipinas’ grand champ Daryl Ong

R &B crooner, balladeer, and songwriter Daryl Ong is the newest addition to the roster of great talents of music label Viva Records. Fresh from his win as the grand champion of the local franchise of hit reality singing competition Masked Singer Pilipinas, he is on for a winning streak!

Daryl Ong was formally announced as the newest artist of Viva Records on a press conference held today, January 6.

Daryl confirmed joining Viva after testing the waters with the label the past few months when he collaborated with powerhouse singer Katrina Velarde for the original tracks “Love Me Now” and their Christmas single “‘Tis The Season” (alongside other remarkable singers) in late 2020. 

And now at start of a new year, Daryl Ong begins a new journey with a new record label. Daryl shares that it’s an exciting opportunity that brings a brand-new environment for him, “I believe that there is always something new to learn in life and it’s the same with music, Viva Records opened up a new world for me to explore, and so I will make sure to make the most out of this wonderful opportunity, expect original songs, and amazing collaborations soon!”

But even before that, Daryl Ong was already on winning. 

In the course of Masked Singer Pilipinas, Daryl Ong was pitted against some of the best OPM artists including Bituin Escalante, Nina, Katrina Velarde, Roselle Nava, and many more. In the grand finale held last December 26, Daryl Ong came out on top, unidentified of course, as fans and the celebrity judges were made to choose among the masked heavy hitters. Winning the Masked Singer Pilipinas is testament to Daryl Ong’s vocal skills and quality. That when it comes down to it, his voice shines through. For him, his victory reaffirmed his confidence in his talent, “It felt awesome, especially the fact na hindi kami kilala or nakikita ng Judges so yung mga binibigay nilang compliments were unbiased, it’s a huge boost sa self-confidence.” 

During the course of the competition, Daryl lent those golden pipes of his to songs such as “Kiss From A Rose,” “How Am I Supposed To Live Without You,” and “One Last Cry” for the finals. 

Indeed, exciting times lie ahead of Daryl Ong as he carves a new phase in his singing career with Viva Records. And still glowing hot from his big win as first Masked Singer Pilipinas champ, we can expect more new music from Daryl Ong this 2021. As we await Daryl Ong’s upcoming endeavors, he thanks all the supporters that are with him in this new venture, “My message to all my supporters would be a message of thankfulness and love, for supporting me and continuously believing in me and accepting me for who I am as a person and as an artist, And I hope that wherever this musical journey takes me, they’ll be there to be my inspiration and strength, that I will always think of, every time I perform.”

Fate pairs Adrian Lindayag, Keann Johnson in ‘The Boy Foretold by the Stars’

Adrian Lindayag and Keann Johnson, two of the most talented rising stars in the country today, play the leads in the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) 2020 romantic comedy “The Boy Foretold By The Stars.”

Adrian is a stage performer who was a mainstay of the iconic late night variety show “Walang Tulugan” hosted and produced by the renowned German “Kuya Germs” Moreno. Among Adrian’s notable projects include ABS-CBN’s top-rating afternoon teleserye “Kadenang Ginto” and the blockbuster stage musical “Rak of Aegis.” Currently, Adrian can be seen in the TV 5 sitcom “Oh My Dad” with Ian Veneracion and Dimples Romana.

Keann, meanwhile, is a model who has appeared in commercials and TV shows.

Adrian and Keann get the biggest breaks of their careers in “The Boy Foretold By The Stars” produced by Clever Minds, Inc. of actress Jodi Sta. Maria and her partners, The Dolly Collection and Brainstormers Lab. In this feature directorial debut of writer-director Dolly Dulu, Keann and Adrian play Luke and Dominic, respectively — both students at an exclusive boys’ school.

“Luke is an athletic, boy-next-door, introverted type of guy,” Keann says of his role. “He’s very mysterious. Once you get to know him, you’ll end up falling in love with him.”

Adrian discloses that his character Dominic is outgoing and studious.  He says, “Dominic is a senior high school student. He is an achiever. He is a student leader. Very logical ang personality niya. Straight ‘A’ student. Ambitious siya.”

Luke and Dominic develop a special relationship after meeting at a school retreat called Journey With The Lord.

Fans of the boys love (BL) and rom-com genres will be happy to know that “The Boy Foretold By The Stars” has a lot to offer: a kilig story with a heartwarming message, moving performances of the good-looking cast and topnotch production values. “Our movie was shot and created even before the recent BL hype,” says Adrian. “Nakunan namin siya at natapos before the pandemic. Kaya sobra naming swerte wala kaming restricitons. Ang dami naming talents. Pwede kaming mag-shoot kahit saan.”

The rom-com features big scenes and breathtaking locations, one of which was a scene shot in a field filled with numerous lights. “The mounting, the quality of our film… it’s really a visual treat,” says Direk Dolly.

It’s really a big film with an important message, says co-producer Derrick Cabrido of Clever Minds, Inc. “Noong napunta sa amin ang materyal na ito, almost tapos na ang pelikula. When we saw the material, we already saw yung potential ng product…. Sa dami ng nangyari sa atin this year, we deserve a movie like ‘The Boy Foretold by the Stars’ na light and we can learn from.” 

“The Boy Foretold By The Stars” won 3 awards, including 2nd Best Picture, at the recently concluded Metro Manila Film Festival 2020 Gabi ng Parangal.

It is still streaming worldwide at UpStream.ph. Go to bit.ly/BoyForetold to buy ticket. Click “Pay” to get your ticket to GMovies.ph, the partner ticketing site. Click “Create an Account” if you don’t have a GMovies account yet. Click “Stream Now” to watch. For details and updates, like and follow The Boy Foretold By The Stars on Facebook & Twitter and follow @clevermindsinc on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

One ticket for the whole family! Metro Manila Film Festival 2020 goes online

For the first time in over 4 decades of its run, Metro Manila Film Festival is going online. This is made possible by the new online video streaming platform, upstream.ph, and its official ticketing partner, GMovies.

Here’s everything you need to know about the first online edition of MMFF:

  • How to buy tickets for #MMFF2020
  • Duration of #MMFF2020 as an online film festival
  • Cost of tickets for #MMFF2020
  • How to stream movies of #MMFF2020
  • List of movies showing at #MMFF2020

How can I buy tickets for #MMFF2020?

If you live in the Philippines, you can buy tickets for #MMFF2020 just by going to www.gmovies.ph/stream-now. Viewers abroad can buy tickets starting December 18.

Steps on how to buy online tickets for MMFF 2020:

  1. Go to www.gmovies.ph/stream-now to view the available movies. Click your chosen movie title (VIEW DETAILS).
  2. Click PAY to get your ticket from GMovies, the film festival’s partner ticketing site.
  3. If you still don’t have a GMovies account, click CREATE AN ACCOUNT. It’s for FREE!

When is #MMFF2020?

The online film festival will run from December 25, 2020 to January 7, 2021. You can watch anytime during that period.

Your purchased movies are under “My Shows” in your GMovies account. Once you press Play, you have 24 hours to finish the movie.

How much is the ticket for #MMFF2020?

If you’re using a PH SIM on your GMovies account (whether you’re in the Philippines or abroad), you can watch an MMFF 2020 movie for only PHP 250.

If you’re using a non-PH or foreign SIM on your GMovies account (whether you’re in the Philippines or abroad), you can watch an MMFF 2020 movie for only USD 10.

How should I stream #MMFF2020 movies?

Once you’ve booked your ticket, you can select the “Stream Now” section in the GMovies website or mobile app. Or if you prefer to watch at a later time, you can access and stream all your purchased movies that are not expired yet from My Shows.

Streaming is strictly capped to one device at a time. You can watch using your cellphone, tablet, laptop, computer, or Smart Android TV.

A movie is only valid for viewing 24 hours after you pressed Play.

What are the 10 official entries to #MMFF2020?

Instead of having the usual eight entries on its lineup, #MMFF2020 features a total of 10 movies — a mixed bag of family drama, romance, fantasy, action, thriller and horror.

MAGIKLAND (adventure-fantasy)
Starring Miggs Cuaderno, Elijah Alejo, Joshua Eugenio, Princess Aliyah Rabara
Directed by Christian Acuña

COMING HOME (drama)
Starring Jinggoy Estrada, Sylvia Sanchez, Martin del Rosario, Edgar Allan Guzman, Vin Abrenica
Directed by Adolfo Borinaga Alix Jr.

THE MISSING (horror)
Starring Ritz Azul, Joseph Marco, Miles Ocampo
Directed by Easy Ferrer

TAGPUAN (romance-drama)
Starring Alfred Vargas, Iza Calzado, Shaina Magdayao
Directed by Mac Alejandre

ISA PANG BAHAGHARI (drama)
Starring Superstar Nora Aunor, Phillip Salvador, Michael De Mesa, Zanjoe Marudo, Joseph Marco, Sanya Lopez
Directed by Joel Lamangan

SUAREZ, THE HEALING PRIEST (biofilm, drama)
Starring John Arcilla, Jin Macapagal, with Alice Dixson, Rosanna Roces, Rita Avila
Directed by Joven Tan

MANG KEPWENG, ANG LIHIM NG BANDANANG ITIM (comedy-adventure)
Starring Vhong Navarro, Barbie Imperial, with Jaclyn Jose, Benjie Paras, Ryan Bang, Ion Perez
Directed by Topel Lee

PAKBOYS (comedy)
Starring Andrew E, Janno Gibbs, Jerald Napoles, Dennis Padilla
Directed by Al Tantay

THE BOY FORETOLD BY THE STARS (BL/romcom)
Starring Adrian Lindayag, Keann Johnson, Iyah Mina
Directed by Dolly Dulu

FAN GIRL (coming-of-age)
Starring Charlie Dizon and Paulo Avelino
Directed by Antoinette Jadaone

About GMovies

GMovies is a mobile app and website platform that provides a seamless booking service for both cinemas and 3rd party online video streaming services.

You can register for FREE by going to www.gmovies.ph or by downloading the app on your phone.

WINNERS: UFC Reel Life short film tilt awards inspiring stories of enduring Filipino spirit

The first ever UFC Reel Life: Nagsasama-samang Sarap Short Film Competition, an event meant to celebrate UFC’s 50th anniversary as well as highlight the talents of local filmmakers, has officially selected its top three winners. 

The competition focused on sharing stories about how ordinary Filipinos rise up and find hope despite the odds. Together, UFC celebrates these special moments of triumph, inspirations of courage, and resiliency for the coming year. 

The daunting task of selecting the prize-winning films from the 57 entries that came in fell upon an esteemed panel of judges. This panel included Kip Oebanda, writer and director of Liway, Bar Boys, and Nay; Noel Teehankee, a prolific cinematographer from blockbuster films including The Hows of Us, A Second Chance, and Crazy Beautiful You; Victor Kaiba Villanueva, the director behind films Patay na Si Hesus, My Paranormal Romance, and Ang Nanay ni Justin Barber; and representatives of UFC marketing. 

Directed by Crismel Gida, “Cancelled,” a hopeful story of two resilient Filipinos working their hardest to make ends meet after their livelihoods were affected by recent events, took home the P100,000 grand prize for Best Short Film. Gida also took home the P15,000 Best Director Prize as well as the P5,000 Best Cinematography award.

In second place, and winning P50,000, was Ken Leviste’s “How’s my Driving,” which tells the engaging narrative of a jeepney driver turned deliveryman. Meanwhile, the third place prize of P20,000 went to Marco Paulo Castro’s “Budjoy,” a light hearted story about a forgetful boy who misses his OFW mother as his family tries to make ends meet.

Aside from the top winners of the competition, excellent performances both on and off screen were given special credit. Acting citations were given to outstanding performers from the competition’s entries. The Best Actor prize of P5,000 goes to none other than young talent Sean Angelo Tutanez for “Budjoy”. Meanwhile the Best Actress prize of P5,000 goes to Andrea del Mundo for “Prank” (directed by James Edward Golla), a short film that tells the story of an innocent prank between husband and wife that takes a dramatic turn.

The competition likewise gave recognition for technical skills to highlight the immense talent that filmmakers showed behind the scenes. The Best Screenplay prize of P5,000 went to Jojo Livelo and Miko Livelo for “Anana”, a comedic tale of cheesy dad jokes made real.

The Best Editing prize of P5,000 went to Dexter de Jesus for “Ma,”, a beautifully animated film about a young man missing the comfort of his mother’s home cooking.

Special awards were also given in response to the overwhelming amount of talent on display during the competition. Best Mobile Short Film was given to the filmmaker who made the best use of simple equipment such as their very own cell phone cameras. The People’s Choice Award rewards the most popular film in the competitions as determined by the number of YouTube views. Seven honorable mentions were also selected from the shortlist of 30 as their skill and quality could not go unrecognized. 

The winner of Best Mobile Short Film was Dexter de Jesus for “Ma,”. The awardee will receive a mobile filmmaking kit that includes a Kase Four Lens Kit V2, a Zhiyun Crane M2, a Kase Phone case, a Phone Cage 2990, and a Synco Shotgun Mic M1. Lexter Taganas’s “Uli” snagged the People’s Choice Award and the P15,000 prize for getting over 22,000 views. 

UFC also awarded a P10,000 consolation prize to each of the seven honorable mentions: “Ma,” by Dexter de Jesus; “Kambal” by Yves Publico; “Rico” by Ronald John Mendenilla-Teodosio; “Tatalon” by Don Ralph Diaz; “Bato-Bato Pik” by Alejandro “Bong” Ramos; “Uli” by Lexter Taganas; and “Anana” by Quentin Tolentino.

Prize winner or not, however, each and every entry in this contest placed the prodigious talents of local filmmakers on full display. The organizers of UFC Reel Life: Nagsasama-samang Sarap Short Film Competition take great pride in having been able to shine a spotlight on these excellent works. Congratulations go out to all the winners and to the rest of the filmmakers who showcased their abilities for the competition. 

All thirty short films that were shortlisted as finalists can be watched right now on YouTube

Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol welcomes Richard Gutierrez, Sarah Lahbati, kids as brand ambassadors

Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol continues its campaign to be Filipino families’ ally in germ protection in the new normal as they welcome newlyweds, Richard Gutierrez and Sarah Lahbati, together with their adorable kids Zion and Kai, as their brand ambassadors.

Adjusting to the New Normal with Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol

Richard and Sarah, who got married in a solemn ceremony earlier this year, celebrated their new life together in quarantine. While being stuck at home was an opportunity for them to spend more time together as a family—planting, painting and playing all sorts of games, they also needed to go through a lot of adjustments as a family. 

One adjustment that they had to do was to look for better ways to protect their family against germs, with the threat of the virus still continuing up until now. They found their newest ally in Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol, which promises a higher level of protection against germs and viruses. 

“We believe in innovative products. Not only does Defensil come from a company we trust, Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol is also recommended by experts,” said Sarah. 

“And since we use alcohol more frequently to sanitize, I also like how it not only kills germs and bacteria, but also has moisturizer to not dry our skin,” she added. 

One way to prevent the spread of germs is regular disinfection of hands and high touch surfaces using a rubbing alcohol. To provide a higher level of defense against germs in the new normal, the Philippine Society for Microbiology is recommending Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol.

Created by Beauty Elements Ventures Inc, Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol kills 99.9% of germs to give Richard and Sarah’s family the peace of mind that they are well-defended. It starts to kill germs on contact and upon constant use, provides up to 12-hour protection. 

New Normal Holidays

Celebrating the holidays is surely going to be different for the Gutierrez family this year. For Richard and Sarah, social distancing is something that they’re keeping in mind as they celebrate the holiday season, along with making sure that everyone sanitizes and disinfects using Defensil. 

The family wishes to go on a local holiday trip with family bringing their new ally, Defensil. With this, Sarah shares three simple tips to fellow parents on how to keep their family safe from germs during the holiday season. 

First, social distancing is a must. Second, always wear a mask. It is important for parents to teach their kids the importance of wearing masks, which help to prevent the transmission of the virus. And, lastly, always disinfect with an alcohol that makes sure you and the family are well-defended— like Defensil Isopropyl Alcohol. 

To know more about Richard and Sarah’s newest ally, Defensil 70% Solution Isopropyl Alcohol, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/defensil.philippines

***

*Defensil 70% Isopropyl Alcohol was tested against Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella typhimurium, Escherichia coli or E. coli and Candida albicans

UFC Reel Life short film competition names finalists

UFC’s first-ever Reel Life: Nagsasama-samang Sarap Short Film Competition has officially selected thirty (30) finalists from the vast field of submitted entries. 

Launched as part of UFC’s 50th anniversary celebration, the competition seeks to provide a platform for gifted Filipino artists to showcase their filmmaking potentials and tell their stories. 

The Filipino creative spirit was on full display by the entrants for this contest, making it incredibly difficult to narrow down the entries to only 30 finalists. 

The finalists are as follows: “Almusal” by John Renz Cahilig, “Anana” by Quentin Tolentino, “Ang Pagsibol” by Ramil Lantican, “Asam-asam” by Michael Angelo Hernandez Valencia, “Bato-Bato Pik” by Alejandro “Bong” Ramos, “Budjoy” by Marco Paolo Castro, “Byahe Natin” by Rusty Palacio Guarin, “Cancelled” by Crismel Gida, “Crush” and “New Normal” by Niokz Arcega, “Gift Box” by John Kenneth Paclibar, “How’s My Driving?” by Ken Leviste, “Ina’Ko” by Michael John Tuclaud, “Kambal” by Yves Publico, “Ma,” by Dexter De Jesus, “Mabote Na Lang” by John Verlin Santos, “Magpadayon” by Jose Carlo Gloria, “Module Legends: Papa Sir” by Renel Ian Gacayan, and “Modules (Info Sheet)” by Marienel Calma. 

Completing the list are: “Panahon” by Lawrence Lagdameo, “Pasko sa Pandemya” by Armilane Jarin, “Prank” by James Edward Golla, “Project Blessy” by Norman Mark Boquiren, “Reges (The River)” by Jamal Baulo, “Rico” by Ronald John Mendenilla-Teodosio, “Spaghetti ni Mamu” by Raymark Estael, “Stick” by FJ Cancino, “Tatalon” by Don Ralph Diaz, “Uli” by Lexter Taganas, and “Unexpected” by Ron Garcia.

In partnership with CinemaBravo and Mobile Filmmakers Philippines, all entries incorporated one of the following UFC products as an organic part of the narrative: UFC Tamis Anghang Banana Catsup, UFC Sweet Chili Sauce, UFC Tomato Sauce, UFC Gravy, UFC Hot and Spicy Banana Catsup, UFC Hot Sauce, UFC Spaghetti Sauce, UFC Ready Recipes, and UFC Fresh Selections. The entries came in a variety of genres and mediums, proving yet again that there is an enormous reserve of local talents out there waiting to be tapped. 

The 30 listed finalists have automatically won a gift pack from UFC. All are eligible to win the following prizes: 1st Prize (P100,000); 2nd Prize (P50,000); 3rd Prize (P20,000); Best Actor (P5,000); Best Actress (P5,000); Best Cinematography (P5,000); Best Screenplay (P5,000); Best Editing (P5,000); Best Director (P15,000); and People’s Choice Award (P15,000). 

Members of the public are encouraged to vote for the People’s Choice Award by watching their favorite short film online on YouTube. 

A panel of judges will choose winners from the finalists through a deliberation. Results will be announced on December 14.

John Arcilla, handpicked as ‘Suarez: The Healing Priest’ for #MMFF2020

Best known for his portrayal as a tough-as-nail patriot in the blockbuster independent movie, ‘Heneral Luna,’ John Arcilla marks his second time to portray the titular role in a biopic through the 2020 Metro Manila Film Festival entry ‘Suarez: The Healing Priest.’

Before the untimely death of the 53-year old, crowd-favorite, Father Fernando Suarez was able to handpick award-winning actor John Arcilla. The latter explained in a recent intimate press conference that he researched about the life of the priest, and even watched numerous videos to study his movements and behaviors. Not to mention, he was bold in having regular discussions with the source material as well as the filmmakers.

Produced by Saranggola Media Productions, ‘Suarez: The Healing Priest’ is directed by Joven Tan, who is also the composer behind the film’s theme song, “Yakapin Mo Ako,” sung by John Arcilla himself.

The film will truthfully present the timeline of Fr. Suarez’s gift of healing through the years, starting in his teenage years when he first realized his special ability. Young actor Jin Macapagal, who was the grand winner of It’s Showtime’s BidaMan talent search, takes on the role of the young Suarez.

Jin remarked the importance of faith in making this movie, saying that it is through faith that he brought justice to his character that John Arcilla subsequently puts on. “I play the role of that young boy who decided to keep the gift a secret until I pursue my religious calling.”

Joining the cast is Troy Montero as Father Jeff. The last movie he appeared in was ‘Open,’ an official entry to last year’s Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino. Prior to that, he had not been visible in movies. Through the years, he seldomly accepted roles in TV while juggling with his passion for car racing. Troy shared his excitement to be a part of an MMFF movie that will heighten positive through these trying times.

Also included in the cast is Jairus Aquino. Even though he is mostly with actress Rosanna Roces in his scenes, he is proud to be part of a faith-centric movie that does not only showcase the life story of Father Suarez but also brings inspiration to Filipinos here in the country and around the world.

‘Suarez: The Healing Priest’ also stars Dante Rivero, Rita Avila, Rosanna Roces, and Alice Dixson in a very special role, with Richard Quan, Yayo Aguila, Alan Paule, Biboy Ramirez, Patrick Sugui, Jerico Estregan, Maru Delgado, Yñigo Delen.

Let the touch of healing bring posivity and joy this Christmas through the MMFF entry, #SuarezTheHealingPriest. Tickets are now available via upstream.ph. Online streaming starts December 25 worldwide.

Watch the full trailer here:

‘Miracle In Cell No. 7,’ WeTV Originals lead platform’s content slate

It was a gathering of creative minds at the online media event of the newest streaming platform that launched in the Philippines – WeTV, the home of Asian Premium Content. It promises to deliver the very best in regional content, including highly-anticipated Chinese dramas, K-dramas, Indonesian horror, Thai series, and now the best in Filipino content. Apart from the Philippines, WeTV is also streaming in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and India! 

WeTV is owned by Tencent, one of the largest global tech and entertainment companies, which has built a reputation as an industry leader in internet-related services. Among their more popular brands are RPG titles League of Legends, Fortnite, Clash of Clans, Path of Exile, Minecraft, and instant messaging platforms Tencent QQ and WeChat. They have also expanded further into music and film production with Tencent Music Entertainment, which has partnerships with top global music labels, and Tencent Penguin Pictures, which produces popular Chinese movies and series. 

In China, their streaming platform Tencent Video is the leading OTT platform, with more than 600 million users per month, delivering a large content library across many categories. They are also leading the pack in producing premium Chinese movies and series. In 2019, they expanded that reach into Asia, under the carrying brand of WeTV, delivering Asian premium content to a wider audience. The platform is also working with content producers in each territory to create original movies and series for its users. 

There was a lot of creative energy in the air as WeTV presented its 2021 content slate to the members of the press. As country manager Georgette Tengco stated during her opening remarks, the arrival of WeTV is “…an exciting thing for the Philippine market, as we have fully embraced Asian content, making it part of our regular entertainment consumption.” With this in mind, she adds, “We have steadily introduced popular Chinese Dramas, Korean Dramas, Thai drama and BL series, and so much more! As we add more Filipino content to the mix, we are poised to deliver on all your entertainment needs.” 

Among the top Asian titles coming soon are Chinese Dramas Oath of Love and The Golden Hairpin, the new Thai BL series Manner of Death, K-drama hits like Tale of the Nine Tailed and Flower of Evil, and Filipino rom-com James & Pat & Dave.  

For its initial movie offering for 2020, WeTV is pulling out all the stops as it brings one of the biggest movies of 2019 – Miracle In Cell No. 7 – exclusively to its users starting November 27. The lead cast of the film – Aga Muhlach, Bela Padilla, and Xia Vigor – joined the media launch, sharing their enthusiasm that the film, produced by Viva Films and was the top grosser of MMFF2019, will be seen by a wider audience through the platform. It was a lively exchange, as the cast eagerly talked about their experience working on the film, and about how it was so warmly received by their fans. 

Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of the slate of WeTV Originals coming out in 2021. “As a streaming service, we have a distinct opportunity to offer our users the widest variety of content across genres. It also gives us a platform to work with really creative minds to tell unique and compelling stories,” Ms. Tengco explains. “Taking our cues from Tencent and Tencent Video, we have seen how well-crafted Chinese WeTV Originals are, and how they are gaining traction across Asia and other markets. WeTV Philippines carries on this DNA in creating quality original content designed to cater and appeal to the Filipino market.”

The selection process for a WeTV Original starts with a good story. “Whether it is just the seed of a story idea, I keep an open mind at every content pitch,” adds Ms. Tengco. From there, it is a collaborative process between the writers, directors and producers – delivering on the promise of compelling stories and good entertainment. 

Among the first slew of titles launching under WeTV Originals are the following: 

  • Section St. Valentine: The Disappearance of Divine – A dark teen drama about senior high school students of Section St. Valentine, all of whom resume classes via Zoom except for “IT” girl in school, Divine Concepcion. Her absence triggers an online investigation to solve the mystery behind her disappearance. (Premiering January 2021)
  • BetCinThis is a GL story about lesbian couple, Beth &  Cindy, who are on the verge of a break-up, until they find themselves joining an online contest to become social media’s most favorite And adored loveteam. Beth sees the cash prize as a chance to start a new life with her new girlfriend, Kate. Cindy on the other hand, has other plans.
  • B&B: The Story of Battle of Brody & BrandyThis modern day romantic comedy starring Iza Calzado and Ian Veneracion. Brody is a charming guest staying at Brandy’s B & B. At the end of his vacation, he promises to return. And he does, except this time, it’s to open up his own B & B right across! (Premiering February 2021) 
  • The Anatomy of Loneliness – A simple guy, Mamon, has one dream – to win the heart of his muse, Nene. The series tells the story about two lonely individuals who unexpectedly find real connection amidst the very impersonal platform of social media.

Joining host MJ Marfori and Ms. Tengco for the evening’s conversation to talk more about their upcoming work with WeTV were Anatomy of Loneliness Writer / Director Pertee Briñas, and B&B: The Story of Battle of Brody & Brandy’s Writer / director Mark Reyes along with his co-producers from Sanggre Productions (who will be line producing the series) Sunshine Dizon and Karylle Yuzon. Rounding out the group was B&B’s lead actress Iza Calzado, who could not contain her excitement on being able to work not only on a romantic comedy, but alongside ian Veneracion as well.

The evening ended with a very spirited discussion during the Q&A portion of the program, as the stars, directors, producers and Ms. Tengco gamely answered questions from the press. They expressed their excitement over the upcoming show launches, especially since platforms like WeTV open up opportunities for filmmakers to tell unique stories. Aga was also quite intrigued by the premise for “Anatomy…” and was looking forward to seeing the show when it comes up. 

2021 is gearing up to be an exciting year for WeTV as they work towards delivering 20 exclusive films alongside 12 WeTV Original productions. 

To stream the very best in Asian Premium Content, just download the WeTV app from the App store and Google Play, and start watching! A monthly subscription rings in at only P59, quarterly at P159, and an annual subscription is only P599. Don’t wait, and spend some quality time with the family watching Miracle In Cell No. 7, exclusively on WeTV.

About WeTV

Tencent Video is China’s leading online video platform with over 100 million paid subscribers, and WeTV is a product launched by Tencent Video for overseas users. Since 2019, WeTV is now available in these markets: Indonesia,  Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, India, and others. WeTV is the first Chinese streaming service platform to be launched in multiple overseas regions. The platform is centred on high-quality Tencent original Chinese language content and continues to expand quality content in other Asian countries and regions.

Lyca Gairanod signs with VIVA Artists Agency

Lyca Gairanod is now part of VIVA’s roster of talents as she signed with VIVA Artists Agency.

She looks forward to working alongside other VIVA Artists, including her dearest coach from The Voice Kids Philippines, Sarah Geronimo, who convinced her to join the talent agency.

The 16-year old singer shared how close she is with her grandmother from her mother’s side. Since she was raised by her Lola, she’s been with her throughout her young career.

CinemaBravo asked her about the greatest lesson her Lola has given her. “She always tells me to persevere in order to achieve whatever I want in life. If I want it, I have to work hard for it. Reaching for a dream is never easy unless you are determined to do it. I always become emotional whenever I talk about her. It’s music to my ears when I hear that she is proud of me.“

A teary-eyed Lyca noted that perseverance has always been the key to success.

True enough, the grand champion of the first season of The Voice Kids Philippines has gone a long way already at such a young age. Now under VIVA, she expects herself to push the boundaries of her capabilities as an artist, not only as a singer but also as an actress. CinemaBravo asked her about any other path she would want to take in life.

“I want to act, I want to dance, I want to showcase my talents on avenues I might not be familiar with. If I were not in showbiz now, I would just keep on studying hard so I could fend for my family.”

Watch out for Lyca’s upcoming projects as she begins a new chapter in her life under VIVA Artists Agency.