Journey’s Frontman Concert in Manila

Arnel Pineda: The 50th Birthday Concert

September 5, 2017/ 7:00 PM
Grand Ballroom, Okada Manila


July 04, 2017(Manila, Philippines). Partake in a heartfelt celebration of Arnel Pineda’s colorful life as he turns 50. The Filipino rockstar is marking his golden year with an intimate birthday dinner show at Okada Manila, where he will be singing the songs of his life. The night’s setlist follows Arnel’s life story, from his beginnings in local bands to conquering the world stage as frontman of the legendary Journey. The artist will delight the audience with renditions of his personal favorites and original compositions. Surprise performances await both the audience and the artist himself.  With acclaimed video and event director Paul Basinillo at the helm, the night will surely create lasting impressions for those in attendance.

Our Cause
Arnel’s humble beginnings has shaped him into a man of goodwill. Majority of the event’s proceeds will go to the Arnel Pineda Foundation, Inc. (APFI), a non-stock, non profit, and independent foundation that provides underprivileged children quality education, health services and medical attention. Arnel and his family personally oversee the Foundation and are always present in its events.

The Celebrant

Arnel Pineda is the lead singer of celebrated American rock band, Journey. Since landing the coveted gig in 2007, he has showcased his powerful pipes at the biggest venues including the Hollywood Bowl, Wembley Arena, and Tokyo Budokan. He has collaborated with the likes of Foreigner, Deep Purple, Santana, Joan Jett, Rascal Flatts among others.


Arnel was born on September 5, 1967 in Sampaloc, Manila. After his mother’s illness and eventual death put the family in a dire financial situation, he volunteered to live independently, taking on odd jobs to provide for himself at the age of 14. At 15, he became the lead singer of the band, Ijos. In 1986, along with some members of Ijos, he formed Ammo and the band went on to win the Rock Wars contest. In 1988, Ammo won the Philippine leg of the Yamaha World Band Explosion and competed in Hong Kong for the finals.  In 1990, Pineda and other Ammo members formed another band called Intensity Five which came first runner-up at the Yamaha World Band Explosion, with Arnel winning Best Vocalist. Arnel also fronted the bands New Age, 9mm, Most W@nted, and Zoo.

Our Venue

Okada Manila impresses anyone who enters its halls. This biggest and grandest integrated resort in the country occupies an astounding 44 hectares of land in the Entertainment City.With a five-star hotel, a wealth of dining destinations, exciting retail options, and gaming experiences, Okada sets the bar high in the hospitality and gaming scene.

Tickets

Tickets to the event are now out at Ticketworld branches and online at ticketworld.com.ph. A seat is PHP 7,040.40, inclusive of a full-course sit-down dinner and covering tax and other mandated charges.  For inquiries, get in touch with Up North Productions at upnorthproductionsinc@gmail.com, or at mobile number +63 917 652 7463.

 

Extra! Extra! Disney’s Newsies is coming to town!

Extra! Extra! Disney’s Newsies is coming to town!

Newsies poster

The winner of two Tony awards including Best Score, Disney’s Newsies will make its Philippine debut courtesy of Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical, featuring a creative team and cast of the best talent across the Philippines

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Disney’s 2012 runaway hit musical, Newsies, ran on Broadway for two years. It ran for 1,005 performances and in that time garnered over 24 theatrical nominations including the Drama Desk, Outer Circle Critics Awards, and a total of eight Tony awards. It won Best Score for Alan Menken and Jack Feldman, and Best Choreography for Christopher Gattelli. This high-energy musical inspired by the true-to-life events of the “Newsboy Strike of 1899” is a show about social injustice, exploitative labor conditions, and the power of protesting against large-scale corrupt establishments.

Newsies Casts Another Strike

Newsies was first produced as a motion picture musical in 1992, starring Christian Bale. The movie found a dedicated audience called “Fansies,” who pushed for a live stage adaptation. The clamor was so strong that Disney Theatrical Productions brought the stage musical to life, with Harvey Fierstein (La Cage aux Folles, Torch Song Trilogy) writing the book, and original composers Alan Menken and Jack Feldman adding new songs. Newsies premiered in Paper Mill Playhouse in 2011 before Disney Theatrical brought it to Broadway the following year.

Disney Newsies Strike

The show follows the charismatic newsboy Jack Kelly, a leader of a gang of “Newsies,” who “dreams of a better life far from the hardships of the streets.” From his humble beginnings, Jack Kelly becomes an activist who rallies the newsboys to protest against the rising distribution rates put forward by publishing giants Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. From newsboys to activists, the musical dramatizes the David-versus-Goliath fight for social justice and better working conditions

Gian Magdangal and Kelly
Danielle Chopin as Katherine Plumber and Gian Magdangal as Jack Kelly.

Playing the lead role of Jack Kelly is recording artist, singer, actor and 9 Works Theatrical mainstay Gian Magdangal, who has just come back from a stint at Hong Kong Disneyland’s The Golden Mickeys and Universal Studios Japan. Joining him as part of the newsboys are Jef Flores (recent Gawad Buhay awardee for Outstanding Lead Actor for Tick, Tick…BOOM! ), Daniel Drilon (Secret Garden, Fun Home), Tory Cortez (Hansel and Gretel, A Christmas Carol), Luis Marcelo (Little Shop of Horrors), and Alex Diaz (Host & TV Personality, MYX VJ). Also in the cast are Danielle Chopin (Into the Woods, My Fair Lady), Greg Dulcie (The Wizard of Oz, Sweeney Todd), Pinky Marquez (The Wedding Singer, Beauty and the Beast), and Raymund Concepcion (Annie, The Little Mermaid).

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Rounding up the cast are Franz Imperial, Ariel Reonal, Joni Galeste, Melissa Bell, Ian Ocampo, Ronelson Yadao, Erick Arenas, Jourdan Bartolome, Mark Anthony Grantos, Jim Ferrer, Chesko Rodriguez, Kendrick Ibasco, Anton Posadas, Stephen Viñas, Clark dela Riva, Jon Abella, MC dela Cruz, Vyen Villanueva and Jan Mayo.

 Globe Live and 9 Works Theatrical’s production of Disney’s Newsies is directed by Robbie Guevara, together with PJ Rebullida as choreographer, Franz Imperial as assistant director, Daniel Bartolome as musical director, Yek Barlongay additional choreography for tap, Ed Lacson as set designer, Eric Pineda as costume designer, Martin Esteva as lighting designer, GA Fallarme as video & projection designer, Myrene Santos as hair and makeup designer and Dong Calingacion as technical director.

Heading the production team are executive producers Joe Caliro (Globe Live) and Santi Santamaria (9 Works Theatrical), Denise Seva (Globe Live Director for Events and Production), with 9 Works Theatrical’s Anna Santamaria as company manager, Jonjon Martin and Issa Tuason as PR managers, GM Hernandez as marketing manager, and Arma Bonilla as stage manager.

Newsies will be staged at the Globe Iconic Store Bonifacio High Street Amphitheater, Bonifacio Global City on July 7-9, 14-16, 21-23 & 28-30, 2017 at 8:00pm.

For tickets and more information, go to go.globe.com.ph/newsies, or contact Ticketworld at 891.9999.

Official Hashtags: #GlobeLive9WTNewsies #CreateHeadlines

Facebook: 9WorksTheatrical. Twitter & Instagram: @9WTonline.

Facebook & YouTube: GlobePH. Twitter & Instagram: @enjoyGlobe.

Disney’s Newsies is a production of Globe Live & 9 Works Theatrical, co-presented by FOX and StarWorld, with MAC Cosmetics as the official make-up partner. Special thanks to RX93.1, Bonifacio High Street and Mossimo.

 Disney’s Newsies is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).

For PR inquiries, please contact Jonjon Martin at

0927.568.9215 • jonjon@9workstheatrical.com

 

Ed Sheeran tops the first-ever Billboard Philippines Hot 100

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Ed Sheeran tops the first-ever Billboard Philippines Hot 100, while local singer Inigo Pascual leads the Billboard Philippine Top 20.

Photo Credit: Meredith Jenks

Check out the link to the video of first BillboardPH local chart.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeOpm48v8_M&sns=em

Billboard’s charts have expanded to the Philippines. Billboard Philippines (“BillboardPH”) recently premiered (June 12) the country’s first rankings reflecting local music consumption.

Using localized on-demand streaming data from global services Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube, plus download track sales from iTunes, BillboardPH’s new charts provide the most accurate representation of music popularity in the Philippines.

Leading BillboardPH’s chart offerings is the BillboardPH Hot 100, which ranks the top songs by both local and foreign acts. The Billboard Philippine Top 20, meanwhile, will contain only Filipino artists, and the Billboard PH Catalog Chart will list songs by Filipino acts that are older than three years, but still being actively streamed.

Ed Sheeran commands the No. 1 spot on the BillboardPH Hot 100 with “Shape of You,” while Bruno Mars and The Chainsmokers each place a pair of tracks each in the top 10.  Also occupying spaces in the Hot 100 top 10 are DJ Khaled‘s “I’m the One,” featuring Justin BieberQuavoChance the Rapper & Lil Wayne, at No. 3, and the current Billboard Hot 100 U.S. No. 1 hit “Despacito,” by Luis Fonsi & Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber, at No. 5.

The Billboard Philippine 20 is led by Inigo Pascual’s “Dahil Sa’Yo,” with singer/actress Jona holding down two spots in the top 10, at Nos. 3 and 4, with “Pusong Ligaw” and “Maghihintay Ako,” respectively. Also faring well on the local list is rock/fusion band Sud, which stands at No. 2 with “Sila.”

Billboard PH, launched in September 2016, has quickly become the premier source of music coverage in Philippines. The addition of local charts to a menu already including the U.S.-based Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard 200, among others, further emphasizes the site as the go-to place for Filipino music fans.  The Billboard PH charts refresh each Monday morning local time.

MJ Racadio the Blogger during Billboard Philippines Successful Launched.

 

Baste is the new endorser of NeuBake Super Slice by Gardenia

Press Release

Contact: Ana Manansala/Nadine Tan

Phone: (632) 914-4297

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Baste and Mom Sheila

Baste is the new endorser of NeuBake Super Slice by Gardenia

As Gardenia introduces the newest Neubake Super Slice, it’s no surprise that Bae-by Baste, a super child star now, and his Mom Sheila have been tapped to be the brand’s endorsers with the latest Neubake Super Slice TVC.

Sebastian Benedict Granfon, or most commonly known as Baste is part of our everyday lunchtime habit. He is a bright, precocious young boy who never fails to liven up our afternoon with his charm, wit and natural flair for comedy.

Ever since Baste’s aunt posted his Dubsmash videos on Youtube, everyone fell in love with this child charmer from General Santos. After his on-line debut, he made his appearance in the longest running noontime show on GMA Network, where he was called “Bae-by Baste.” Now, he acts, sings and makes people laugh, and is touted as one of the country’s brightest child stars.

Like Baste, NeuBake is also super in many ways. First, it comes in a Super Slice – it’s bigger than most white breads in the market, making it perfect for Baste’s big appetite. According to his Mom, Sheila, Baste loves to eat sandwiches. And with NeuBake, she can make bigger sandwiches that can easily make Baste full and satisfied with just one sandwich.

MOMMY AND BASTE.jpg

Neubake Super Slice comes in a horizontal, super tipid pack, that is only P29 for 10 slices, perfect for practical moms like Sheila.

NeuBake is now available in leading supermarkets and convenience stores. Like Baste, discover why NeuBake is the super choice when it comes to bread. If Baste loves it, so will you!

#BlogtalkwithMJRacadio: Food Press Coverage

 

From Mount Busay to 10,000 Roses: Discovering Cebu City

From Mount Busay to 10,000 Roses: Discovering Cebu City.

Sirao Garden: a little Amsterdam at Mount Busay. Photo Credit: Rey Tumulak

by MJ Racadio

Cebu City or Queen City of the South is known for its beautiful landscape, history and crispy lechon. 

Local favorites pancit Bam-i.

First night,  already enjoying the mouth-watering pancit called Bam-i. After that, walked around Fuente Circle and tried tea and dessert at a cafe.

Second Day:

New found friends in Cebu City at The Temple of Leah. (Middle) Rey Tumulak, (MR) Sunshine Kim, (Far Right) Kuya E, (Upper Middle) Rayna, (UR) Mandal.

Cebu is bustling and hustling city that has something unique to offer. I had the time of my life exploring the city and some friends showed me around town what to do in one day.  From driving around mouth Busay to enjoying the romantic feel at 10,000 roses.

Backdrop 10,000 Roses in the town of Cordova. Photo Credit: Rey Tumulak

Mouth Busay

Sirao Garden: a little Amsterdam

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213636719495063&id=1316182103

The Temple of Leah

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213645624677687&id=1316182103

Lechon Luncheon

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Seaside Mall:

City Hall

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213638719225055&id=1316182103

Lapu-lapu Shrine: The Battle plus affordable souvenir shopping. Photo Credit: Rey Tumulak

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213675648268258&id=1316182103

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10,000 Roses

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213675847793246&id=1316182103

Third Day: Ipars Spanish Authentic Restaurant.

https://www.facebook.com/IparsCebu/

We really enjoyed the mouth-watering appetizers from chorizo to paella as main course plus dessert like leche flan.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213654347375749&id=1316182103

Needed to unwind before going back to Manila. Vacation would not be complete without pampering myself at reflexology and spa. Feel rejuvenated after the massage. 

Airfare made possible by Starcruise Travel and Tour
https://www.facebook.com/Starcruise-Travel-and-Tour-343419855818852/

If you happen to visit Cebu City,  explore and get lost. It’s better that way anyway so what are you waiting for travel now. 

Cebu Photo Album

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213640749435809&id=1316182103

starcruise
Starcruise Travel and Tour. “Travel like a star, cruise in style”.

 

 

When International Model meets Pagbilao

When International Model meets Pagbilao

Discovering Pagbilao in One Day

Beautiful Kuebang Lampas of Pagbilao, Quezon.

by MJ Racadio

Ironically, the top model of John Ablaza Limuel Hayag Vilela is from Pagbilao and happens to visit the quiet and beautiful town in the province of Quezon.

Breakfast with Limuel Hayag Vilela (International Model)

What better way to kick-start the day, by eating a mouth-watering breakfast at a local restaurant called carinderia from sauteed eggplant with scramble eggs(Torta) to Bicol express.

Right after, we proceed at the Pagbilao Park, discovering the meaning of Pagbilao: Papag (Wooden Bed) plus bilao = Pagbilao.

Little did I know, Pagbilao was very rich in natural resources from mountains to white sandy beaches.

As tour guide, International Model Limuel Vilela did not wasted any time to show the Beautiful landscape of Pagbilao.

On the way to Kuebang Lampas,  we also took pictures on the roadside with beautiful landscape from riverside to power plant,  which was a magnificent sight.

Getting-to-know Limuel up close and personal while showing us around Pagbilao.

Before Kuebang Lampas

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After visiting Kuebang Lampas

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Facebook Live

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213530790726910&id=1316182103

The travel was well worth it, we finally reached the Kuebang Lampas from land to boat. Describing the place like paradise with white sandy beach, I had a chance to enjoy the sound from beach waves along the shore.

Kuebang Lampas https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213531095094519&id=1316182103

It was really worth the travel four hour drive from SLEX:South Luzon Express Way. Pagbilao’s Kuebang Lampas should be included in one of the top beaches in the country. With better accomodations and restaurant, this place will be another top tourism destination in the Philippines. 

Pagbilao Photo Album https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10213533338190595&id=1316182103

Successful Launched of Spark Up

I Got Sparked at sparkup.ph Launched

by MJ Racadio

SparkUp_Press Release

SparkUp

(Quezon City, Philippines) I got sparked at the successful launched of a new website called Sparkup.ph in Quezon, City last week June 10, 2017. It all started from photo-op and getting-to-know fellow bloggers from lifestyle to business.

As a blogger, I am covering something different aside from the entertainment industry. After all, spark up is all about business catering the millennials and entrepreneurship to those who wants to start their business whether it be an online store to event services. In addition, it is a platform for everyone to connect and jump-start his or her dream business.

spark up with a friend
The Blogger with another Blogger Gus.

Let’s watch the interesting panel discussions.

 

From Rockstar to Popstar

From Rockstar to Popstar

Getting-to-know #LouisXavier

By Viva Alvaro-Galvez and MJ Racadio

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Louis Xavier Official Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/louisxaviermusic/
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Louis Xavier (International Pop Recording Artist/Model/Songwriter). Photo Credits: Memo Photography Studio, Stylist: Elora Camille E. Aragon

Who would not recall Junard, the rockstar from the famous Philippine Sprite commercial in 2015? Yes, that’s him!

Together, let us discover how he managed to land the famous character, and witness his transition towards fulfilling his dreams and aspirations.  There is so much more than what his character in the commercial offers.

This is a story of a young man who has overcome undertakings at a very young age, by focusing not on his negative experiences, but on the things that he wants to pursue, and the person that he wants to become.

“I didn’t really enjoy being a kid because I was bullied. Everyone was calling me names. Somebody would say nobody likes me, I should just go home.”

“But I enjoyed listening to music, and playing various musical instruments. I did not have lots of friends but I enjoyed being with my family all the time.”

Hearing his past experiences would make us wonder and ask how and why he has become the person that we know today.

Graduating from high school marks the end of the darkest moments in his life. “That’s the best and most memorable part for my high school life; saying goodbye to everyone. New environment, new me,” he said.

In 2011, he went to the best culinary school in the Philippines. He did great in school and he was half scholar. He started meeting a lot of great people and great friends, however, he felt like something else is missing.

“There was a piano in the lounge. That’s where I learned how to play piano. No one taught me. I started with Happy Birthday, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star at first and then soon, I became good at it,” he recalled. He did it everyday without a miss, before classes, during breaks, and after classes.

That’s when he found the answer to the question he was asking himself way back. He already knew what was missing! This is something he has always been passionate about, his joy, his solace, one of his selected companions during his unhappy days in high school – his love for music.

He recalled his thoughts and dilemmas during that time. “At the back of my mind, I still think about music. I was good at baking and culinary stuff, but the urge to play and make music was there, and not even my parents knew about that.” Nobody knew about this except him.

It’s the universe showing a glimpse of what he would do and pursue in the coming years, but not in culinary world. He was so used to playing piano that he would hum along, and eventually sing while playing, until he started writing songs out of these melodies. It gave him a hope that he could make it to the industry.

Aside from his love for music, he would attend TV commercial auditions. His Dad is an award-winning advertising creative director, but during his younger years, he would always think he wouldn’t make it. “I’ve always wanted to be a model, but before, I was thinking I will never reach that level. I am not saying that I am a really good looking person now, but I tried my best to make myself look and be like one,” he added. Little did he know, his first ever commercial break would air on the national TV in 2015.

Sprite Commercial: ‘Jhunard as Rockstar Vocalist’

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Louis Xavier’s Transformation from Rockstar (Jhunard Of Sprite TV Commercial) to Popstar.

He was chosen as one of the main characters in Sprite commecial. “Ako si Jhunard,“Punta ka sa gig ko, ako Bokalista” was his line. To him, it’s not only about having a noticeable part in a TV advertisement. Moreover, it is about being portrayed as a musician, because that’s what he is in real life. “I perfectly fit in that commercial,” he said.

More than 200 young men auditioned for the role.

In 2016, he went to Hollywood for an auditon, to sing, and participate in a workshop for John Robert Powers. He stayed there for 5 months. “It was hard to be away with my family. It was also scarry because there are a lot of con artists in Hollywood and I met a lot of them,” he recalled.

When asked about the learnings he acquired during his stay in US, he would say it taught him a lot of things. “Life is really hard. You don’t get an overnight success in Hollywood, you really have to work for it. You have a lot of competitors. You have to be realistic with your dreams, but you do not have to be discouraged. It seem impossible, but there is a possibility.”

Right now, he is preparing for a come back. Every bit of him could really tell that he is excited for everything. He is being mentored, and he is very much willing to work things out. “This is it! There is a strategy. I feel like I am on a right direction. I never thought that there is a better way of doing it. I just have to do it.”

He will be making a music video soon, featuring one of his original music. “I am polishing all my songs. I need to sharpen my performance, and work on my vocals even more. I am giving myself a 6-month preparation before I launch myself in New York and Hollywood,” he said.

He picture himself launching an album, and becoming an International popstar, a year from now. “I can see my future as that person. I see myself playing my music, performing, and having concerts in different places,” he said.

It is indeed a dream that one could only imagine as a reality. Louis is far different from the many because he is doing something about his dreams. He has a goal, a plan to reach that goal, and a way to work on everything thay may hinder him from reaching it. He is unstoppable! 

His dreams would only remain as dreams without the most important people who believed in him; his family. Family is the sole foundation throughout his transformation, and towards becoming the person he was just used to dreaming about.

“To me, they are the only people that I can lean on to. Friends will come and go, but my parents are always going to be there for me. My family is my real friend.”

Horror of the past may sometimes hunt him in sleep, but they are no longer there when he wakes up. It’s now too far from his reality, not even a slight of it show today.

The world and some people in it may take away some of the valuable things in life (confidence, happiness, and true identity)but in their most powerful way; Music, and family seem to be a refuge. There is no room for a vengeful heart, but a fighting, pure, forgiving, and loving soul conquers. “I didn’t really change, I just made myself stronger, and better,” he said.

Louis is currently working in the studio finishing his debut album with Ryan Klos (Record Producer) . His dream of becoming a pop recording artist is a work in progress, and he is surely getting there. It’s 90% completed, and only 10% is a work in progress. He’s got what it takes, and he believes he can!

Louis Xavier Official Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/louisxaviermusic/

Memo Photography Studio

https://www.facebook.com/MeMoPhotographyStudio/

Billboard Philippines Play Sound

Billboard Philippines Playsound

by #FrancesTheReviewer

listening
#FrancesTheReviewer

 

Your ultimate go-to for the world’s most popular charts, videos, events, and music news is now in the Philippines! Since the 1950’s, Billboard has been the authority in the music industry. It is the standard record chart in the United States (and eventually internationally) for global singles.  To celebrate Billboard’s presence here in the Philippines, #BillboardPH and Ayala Malls are holding three events this month called #BBPHPlaySound: The BillboardPH Music Trip. The first one was held last May 13-14 at Trinoma Activity Center. There will be another one this weekend at Alabang Town Center.

Live Coverage of Blogtalk with MJ Racadio with #FrancestheReviewer

Luckily for the #BlogTalkWithMJRacadio Team, we were invited to celebrate and witness the ribbon cutting ceremony last Saturday, May 20 at the Glorietta Activity Center. The event was attended by big names in the local music industry such as Maestro Ryan Cayabyab, Elmo Magalona, Gab Alipe of Urbandub and Tutti Caringal of 6CycleMind plus Louis Xavier up and coming pop artist. According to the #BlogTalk interview with the Mr. Cayabyab, chart rankings are based on physical and digital sales, radio play and YouTube streaming.

The event was full of celebrities, upbeat music, sweet Billboard chocolate lollipops, and many more! There was definitely no shortage of fun that afternoon.

MJ Racadio Interviewing Legendary Mr. Ryan Cayabyab

#FrancesTheReviewer interviewing Elmo Magalona

Below are clips from our interviews with Mr. Ryan Cayabyab, Elmo Magalona, and Gab Alipe of Urbandub.

Teasers for Blogtalk with MJ Racadio

with Louis Xavier (Pop Artist)

The Story of a Dreamer: Via Galang

The Story of a Dreamer: Via Galang

By Viva Alvaro-Galvez

Photo Credit: Elvie Manlulu
http://www.elvirapalmesmanlulu.com

HMU: Alvicel Cee of Alluring Vision by Cel

(May 24, 2017) When she was 4, she used to name all of her shoes. Never had she imagined naming her own brand of shoes, fast forward to more than 20 years later.

Photo Credit: Tobi Cabrera
Instagram/Facebook @sazaefunkadelic

She started making a living at a very young age. From Marikina, they moved to Mindanao (Butuan City). There, she recalls selling hair clips as early as 11. At 10, she was selling stationeries in school, and pinasugbo (a local delicacy) a year later, to have an extra on top of her daily allowance.

Photo Credit: Tobi Cabrera

At 17, back to Marikina for college, together with a friend, she would post photos of foot wears and sell them online through Multiply (a social media giant that time).  A journey she would later on continue by herself, due to some circumstances. That’s where all the magic started.

Photo Credit: Tobi Cabrera

She reminisced some of the most unforgettable moments when she was starting on her own. During that time in the Philippines, only few people knew about an online market, and the main communication medium was only through text. Today, almost everyone can sell almost anything and can be reached out on Facebook.

Photo Credit: Elvie Manlulu

None of us would have made it like her — a nursing student with an iconic all-white uniform and neat hair bun rummaging stalls and put-up-stores along the sidewalks of Marikina, knocking on the doors of shoe factories, saying, “hello po, ako si Via Galang, may online shop po ako, nagtitinda po ako ng sapatos” (“hello, I’m Via Galang, I have an online shop where I sell shoes”). She is nothing but an epitome of a bold, and brave persona. And because of that, she finally had a shoe factory “to-go-to”.

Inside the Shoe Museum
Photo Credit: Tobi Cabrera

The owner was generous enough to let her take pictures of all the shoes, however this time, she could not do reservations, so she should buy the items outright. With a limited budget as a student, she could only afford one pair of shoes to start with.

Photo Credit: Elvie Manlulu

She recalled one of the most beautiful items on her list. It was the Gretchen shoes which is (according to the factory owner) designed by the famous Filipino actress Gretchen Barreto. It was only available in black, and red, and since it was in demand, the factory only had limited stocks of it. The shoes remind her of her bitter-sweet experience while she was embarking her journey into shoe-selling. It’s through these shoes that her perseverance, and determination was tested.

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Photo Credit: Evan Mogol of Memo Photography Studio https://www.facebook.com/MeMoPhotographyStudio/

In an extraordinary afternoon, she had to meet a client in Sta. Mesa who ordered Gretchen shoes. The rain was pouring real hard; the flood was already on the waist level while walking to the destination. She was on the way to V. Mapa Station when she had to carry her school bag all the way to the top of her head, for the shoes were there, while the flooding was persistent which then reached chest level. Her mind was saying “huwag lang mabasa ang shoes” (“the shoes should not get wet, no matter what happens”). She had to do that so she wouldn’t have to spend another penny for another pair, since part of her savings out of the school allowance was spent for it. She was thinking that’s probably the last pair in her bag right there. “It was the most difficult delivery I had to do” she said.

Photo Credit: Evan Mogol

From then on, she gained a lot of followers and resellers. “I was the first seller of Marikina shoes online before. The factories did not have online accounts, there was no Facebook. If you find the same type of shoes sold in Multiply, I was the supplier, and the pictures on their page were from me” she said. She had more than a hundred resellers/clients from Mindanao, Vizayas, and Luzon.

Photo Credit: Evan Mogol of Memo Photography Studio

Her venture continued until she graduated from College and she was able to buy herself a better camera phone that she’d been dreaming of. In the hopes of expanding her inventory, she would get Korean sandals from Muslim sellers in the basement of Farmer’s Market. She had a huge competitor selling imported shoes from China and Korea, and she also tried to sign up and import shoes from the same suppliers. “I think the market wants to have different designs, so while I don’t have the budget to create and design my own, I’d just be everybody’s reseller” she said.

Photo Credit: Evan Mogol of Memo Photography Studio

She was a writer/copywriter in a company, when Multiply died. When she changed her career path, the shoe business led to a full stop. That was May, 2012. All the while she thought that the shoe-selling journey would stop from there, but no.

Photo Credit: Elvie Manlulu

She would recollect glimpse of difficulties in importing, versus selling locally made shoes. According to her, there was not a lot of earning because of tax and payables in customs. “The designs are really nice, and if ever it gets manufactured in Marikina, it would be way cheaper. Since I am already living in the Shoe Capital of the Philippines, I feel like I have to take advantage of that” she said. That’s when her fascination of designing her own shoe collection started. Little did she know that this would turn into a reality in the next coming years.

Via Galang with Boyfriend John Tancuan

In December 2015, she met her Prince (John, now her fiancé). Like a fairytale story, there would be moments full of sparkles, and moments that are too tough to handle.  This chapter of her story made her realize that in creating a masterpiece, one doesn’t just need perseverance and determination, but also people that could be trusted; the ones that won’t let nor bring you down, through thick or thin.

In 2016, amazed by her compelling stories, John motivated her to continue what she has always wanted. He introduced her to the very first client who needed 37 pairs of shoes (same style and color) for an event in one of the known Universities in the Metro. This was when she made her very first shoe design. She signed up simply because she wouldn’t want to turn her first ever clients down. She found a shoe factory owned by a family friend who was willing to her design and get the job done just 3 weeks from the day of the event. “I was assured” she said, so she trusted.

The event was to be held on the 19th of May, however, the most painful part of the story set in — the factory sent the items a day late from the promised delivery date. Worst, that was morning of the very day before the event, with only 9 pairs finished. “We had to magically create 28 pairs a day before the event. I was already bad shot with my client because I was supposed to deliver the items on the 17th” she said. What a very unpredictable villainous plot by that factory.

Photo Credit: Tobi Cabrera

But in the dark times, Via has always found her calmness through her very own fairy god mother (her Mom, Gina). Afternoon of the same day, she asked for an early out (from work) to meet her mom. “Whenever I have problems, I always tell it to my mom, because she always has a solution” she added. Hours later they had bags of 28 pairs of shoes sourced from different malls from Cubao all the way to Ortigas. She had spent more than what she prepared for, not thinking about the profit, but the commitment and promise she made.

Photo Credit:Tobi Cabrera

Sad to say, her mom never got to see some of the latest designs after the first one. In January 2017, she passed away. When asked about her mom being an inspiration, she said “I am what I am now because of her, and my taste is greatly influenced by her” she said.

MJ Racadio (The Publicist) Via Galang

This May, just in time for the very 1st anniversary of Versaheel (her very own shoe-brand), she met   MJ Racadio (a long time Publicist of the famous Filipino Eco-couture fashion designer John Ablaza). Both of them was in an event of the famous designer Francis Libiran. She never thought of meeting brilliant designers and some of the notable celebrities in Fashion and Entertainment industry. Days after, Ms. Jaclyn Jose (the 2016 Cannes Film Fest Best Actress) got her first ever Versaheel pair. A whirlwind experience she couldn’t believe up to now. “I was not planning to do something like this a week ago. So this opened my mind, and made me think of going out more often, just try new things.”

Via Galang with Ms. Jaclyn Jose (Cannes Film Festival Best Actress 2016).

“For new designers, just play with colors, play with fabrics, do not produce shoes that are already out there. If you want to be distinct, you must take inspiration from your own personality” her answer when I asked her thoughts about aspiring shoe designers.

When asked about her own flavor she’s putting in her design, she said “I want my shoes to be the outfit. Even if you’re wearing sako (sack) or what, when you have my shoes, you stand out. Shoe is every period in your fashion statement. It pulls everything together. I want to be known as Via Galang, the girl in better shoes.”

Photo Credit: John Tancuan

Nice shoes indeed take us to beautiful places, but it’s us, our perseverance, our determination, our talent, and right people who believe in us take part in most of our accomplishments.

Versaheel’s Official Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/versaheel

Instagram and Twitter : @versaheel

Via Galang’s Personal Blog:

http://encyclopevia.wordpress.com/

HMU: Alvicel Cee of Alluring Vision by Cel

FB : Alluring Vision by Cel

https://www.facebook.com/Alluring-Vision-by-Cel-1376846909059035/

IG : @alluringvisionbycel

For any questions and inquiries contact The Publicist: social.dragonpr@gmail.com