Thursday, December 21, 2023

GMA Network’s official entry to the 2023 Metro Manila Film Festival: “Firefly” inspires moviegoers to be brave

WHO taught you to be brave?

This holiday season, relive the magic of storytelling and the power of a mother’s love with GMA Pictures and GMA Public Affairs’ coming-of-age road trip drama “Firefly.”

Top-billed by GMA Sparkle child star Euwenn Mikaell and award-winning actress Alessandra de Rossi, “Firefly” is GMA Network’s official entry to this year’s Metro Manila Film Festival. Also part of the ensemble cast are Ysabel Ortega, Miguel Tanfelix, Cherry Pie Picache, Epy Quizon, Yayo Aguila, and Kokoy de Santos, with the special participation of Max Collins and Dingdong Dantes.

The story begins with the adult Tonton (Dingdong) being interviewed by a skeptical journalist after winning the National Book Award. The interview unravels the origin of his stories.

Elay (Alessandra) is a mother who loves to share bedtime stories with her son to encourage him to be brave and to make the most out of life.

Tonton (Euwenn) is a 10-year-old inquisitive, sweet, and smart boy who is often bullied and ridiculed by the big kids in school.

To encourage Tonton, Elay tells him a story of bravery set in a magical island filled with fireflies. She tells him that the island is real and that you could make a wish if you ever made it there. In an old notebook, Elay draws a map to the island. And in his heart, Tonton forms a plan to get there and wish for one thing: to be brave.

On the road, he meets three strangers who will either help him or hinder his quest.

Firefly is directed by Zig Dulay, who is famous for his works such as the hit TV series Maria Clara at Ibarra and the internationally-acclaimed films Paglipay and Black Rainbow.

Writing the screenplay from her original story is GMA Public Affairs Senior AVP Angeli Atienza, who is also the showrunner of some of GMA Public Affairs’ most-awarded programs.

Award-winning cinematographer Neil Daza further highlights the film’s cinematic masterpiece.

Catch Firefly in theaters beginning December 25.

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Ryan Gallagher Returns to Manila to Share his Heartfelt Christmas Single: "The Feeling of Christmas"

MANILA, Philippines - Ryan Gallagher, American singer and alumnus of the popular reality show, 'The Voice,' has returned to Manila to promote his new Christmas single, "The Feeling of Christmas."

Known for his powerful vocals and captivating performances, Gallagher is excited to share his heartfelt holiday song with his Filipino fans. The song, which is now available on Apple Music, offers a fresh take on the holiday season, infusing it with Gallagher's unique musical style and emotive vocals.

Having visited the Philippines numerous times, Gallagher considers Manila his second home and always looks forward to connecting with his Filipino friends and soaking in the festive atmosphere. The warmth and kindness of the Filipino people have left a lasting impression on him, making each visit a special experience.

"The Feeling of Christmas" holds a deep significance for Gallagher as it captures the nostalgic and joyous spirit of the holiday season.

"I wanted to capture the feeling of Christmas for me. For me, it was all about the snow, the gifts, and the presence of family and loved ones. But then I thought, it's Jesus's birthday, and what did he do?

The story of Christmas is about Him coming into the world to save us, right? So, I wanted to write something that was dear to my heart but also fun and upbeat," explained Gallagher.

"The Feeling of Christmas" is part of a 16-song Christmas album that was recorded last year with a full orchestra in Nashville, Texas, and Los Angeles. While the album's official launch will be in the coming year, Gallagher and his team decided to release this special single as a soft launch during this holiday season.

CNN Philippines highlighted the song's release, noting that Gallagher is spreading cheer with his new single. The collaboration for the single was also mentioned by composer Harlan Hodges, who worked closely with Gallagher on this project.

"I sat at the piano in Orange County and just started hitting the chords. And then, I realized I needed some help with the melody. So I went to my buddy Harlan Hodges, and he's a beautiful composer in Los Angeles. And we just started writing out ideas like that nostalgic thing, and it took about a day to get the actual thing down but then two more years to get the sound I wanted to sound like."

As a classically trained baritone-tenor, Gallagher has performed alongside renowned artists such as Carrie Underwood, Josh Groban, and Lea Salonga. He has entertained audiences worldwide, including Presidents, dignitaries, and Fortune 500 companies. With his exceptional voice, showmanship, and professionalism, Gallagher's performances are always a highlight of every event he is part of.

During his stay in Manila, Gallagher plans to collaborate with Filipino talents for an upcoming show. He sees great potential in the Philippines and believes in the talent and creativity of Filipino artists. He aims to create a robust and successful production that showcases the best of both worlds.

"I'm very thankful for the support of the Filipino people throughout my career. They've been helpful and encouraging, and I owe so much to them. Whenever I'm here, it's like a snowball effect, one gig after another," expressed Gallagher.

For booking inquiries or more information about Ryan Gallagher and his new Christmas single, "The Feeling of Christmas," please contact or contact 09175420303.

A Yuletide Celebration: 'Pamaskong Handog' by the Princess Revilla Foundation, Inc.

IN the heart of Barangay Bayan Luma, Bacoor Cavite, the spirit of Christmas radiated even brighter last December 17, 2023, thanks to the Princess Revilla Foundation, Inc. 

The foundation orchestrated a heartwarming 'Pamaskong Handog', a Christmas gift-giving extravaganza that brought joy to 500 eager children.

Princess Revilla

The day was a delightful fusion of generosity, laughter, and the true essence of the season. The highlight of the event was the distribution of toys, a gesture that embodied the foundation's commitment to the well-being and welfare of children. As the children's eyes sparkled with excitement, the air was filled with the contagious spirit of giving and sharing.

Adding a playful twist to the festivities, the foundation organized fun games that not only entertained the youngsters but also led to the distribution of additional prizes. Laughter echoed through the venue, creating an atmosphere of pure joy and delight. 

The games were not merely a source of amusement but an embodiment of the foundation's belief in the importance of fostering happiness among the children they serve. 

Amidst the jubilant activities, a sumptuous snack spread awaited the young participants, further elevating the festive holiday mood.       

The joyous occasion also featured a small program where the visionary founder of the Princess Revilla Foundation, Inc., Ms. Princess Revilla, and esteemed Barangay Officials delivered meaningful messages. 

Ms. Revilla, with grace and warmth, shared the true spirit of Christmas—that it is a season meant for children. Her words resonated with the audience, emphasizing the importance of spreading love, joy, and compassion during the holidays.

The foundation's commitment to the well-being of children was evident throughout the event. Beyond the material gifts, 'Pamaskong Handog' served as a reminder that the true essence of Christmas lies in giving, especially to those who hold the key to our collective future—our children.

As the day unfolded, Princess Revilla and her foundation accomplished more than just distributing toys; they ignited a spark of happiness in the hearts of 500 children, making their holiday season a little brighter. 

In the spirit of Christmas, the Princess Revilla Foundation, Inc. exemplified the commitment of sharing blessings and creating moments that will be cherished by these children for years to come.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

STATEMENT OF THE BOARD: Imposition of Preventive Suspension on Two (2) SMNI Programs

THE Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) issued a preventive suspension order for two SMNI programs "Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa" and "Laban Kasama ang Bayan," effective 18 December 2023. This decision is a result of a thorough review and investigation into alleged violations related to content aired on these shows.

Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa – 10 October 2023 Episode

The MTRCB received multiple complaints regarding an alleged death threat made by a guest on the 10 October 2023 episode of "Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa." After a Preliminary Conference on 08 November 2023, SMNI committed to pre-recording and reviewing episodes, having been warned by the Board that similar incidents will be dealt with more sternly.

Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa – 15 November 2023 Episode

On 30 November 2023, the Board received a complaint about an alleged death threat and profane language by a guest on SMNI's "Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa." Subsequently, a Notice was issued for SMNI to appear before the Hearing and Adjudication Committee on 07 December 2023, with the respondent represented by counsel Atty. Mark Tolentino.

Laban Kasama ang Bayan – 27 November 2023 Episode

On 30 November 2023, the Board received a complaint about unverified news broadcasted on "Laban Kasama ang Bayan" related to the purported expenditure of PhP1.8 billion in travel funds by House Speaker Martin Romualdez. Following a Notice issued to SMNI, a Hearing and Adjudication Committee meeting was held on 07 December 2023.

Board Decision Imposing Order of Preventive Suspension

Upon careful review and consideration of recent events and complaints received by the Board, it was found that certain aspects of the abovementioned programs may have violated the established guidelines and standards set by Presidential Decree No. 1986 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations governing broadcasting content.

To prevent the possible repetition of these alleged infractions which may pose a negative impact on public welfare, ethical considerations, and the overall reputation of the broadcasting industry, the Board determined the need to preventively suspend the subject program/s by virtue of Section 3, Chapter XIII of the IRR of P.D. No. 1986.

During the 13 December 2023 Board Meeting, a unanimous decision was reached to impose a fourteen-day preventive suspension on "Laban Kasama ang Bayan" and a majority vote for "Gikan Sa Masa, Para Sa Masa." The decision aligns with the powers granted to the MTRCB by Presidential Decree No. 1986, ensuring that television programs adhere to contemporary Filipino cultural values.

Legal Basis for Preventive Suspension

The MTRCB cites Section 3(c) of Presidential Decree No. 1986, empowering the Board to approve or disapprove television programs that may be objectionable, including those undermining faith in the government or authorities, and being libelous or defamatory.

Moreover, Section 3, Chapter XIII of the Implementing Rules and Regulations allows the Chairman of the BOARD to issue a Preventive Suspension Order to prevent further violations or protect the interest and welfare of the public.

The decision supports the legal precedent set by Soriano v. Laguardia, et al., where the Supreme Court affirmed the MTRCB's authority to issue preventive suspension as part of its regulatory and supervisory mandate.

The MTRCB emphasizes that said order of preventive suspension is a proactive measure aimed at addressing concerns and ensuring compliance with established standards which shall be in effect for fourteen (14) days, during which SMNI is expected to address and rectify the identified issues.

Cheers to Stress-Free Celebrations: Enjoying the Holiday Season with Healthy Beverage Choices

THE holidays are a time for joy and delicious treats, often accompanied by usual holiday beverage choices like alcohol and sugary drinks. 

While it's tempting to indulge during festive gatherings, excessive drinking can impact your well-being. However, you don't have to compromise on enjoying the season with your loved ones. This year, consider adding a healthy twist to your celebrations by making your own festive barley drinks using Santé Barley with Stevia.

These nourishing drinks, recommended by Santé, one of the fastest-growing distribution and direct selling companies globally dedicated to helping people live better ylives, provide a worry-free way to savor and cherish every moment with your loved ones.

Explore a variety of healthier options. While the holiday season often involves toasting with alcoholic beverages, there's a world of non-alcoholic options that are just as festive and enjoyable. Consider indulging in mocktails, sparkling water with fruit infusions, or virgin versions of your favorite cocktails.

One recipe you can make is a sparkling barley drink inspired by a mojito, containing sparkling water, Santé Barley Powder with Stevia, lemon slices, and mint leaves. Simply combine a scoop of Santé Barley Powder with Stevia with sparkling water and add fresh citrus slices and a few mint leaves for a burst of flavor.

Create a drink with natural and fresh ingredients. When selecting ingredients for your holiday beverages, choose fresh and natural options. Freshly squeezed juices, real fruit purees, and herbs can elevate your drinks without the need for added sugars or artificial flavorings. This not only enhances the taste but also ensures that your beverages contribute positively to your overall well-being.

One recipe you can make is creating a yogurt drink with mixed berries and Santé Barley Powder with Stevia. You can blend Santé Barley Powder with Stevia, mixed berries, and a dollop of Greek yogurt until smooth. Sweeten with honey if desired. Pour into festive glasses and garnish with additional berries for a delightful and nutrient-packed treat.

The health benefits of Santé Barley Powder with Stevia are the perfect you can give to yourself this holiday season. Certified organic barley grass by BioGro, it contains dietary fiber that aids in digestive health. Rich in Vitamins A, B, and C, along with essential nutrients such as potassium, iron, zinc, and more, a single scoop in a glass of water can boost your immune system and promote regular bowel movements. This festive season, enjoy the added health benefits while toasting to joyous moments.

"In Santé, we believe that the joy of celebrations can be complemented by mindful beverage choices. Our focus is on providing options that enhance the festive spirit while aligning with individuals' wellness goals," said Joey Marcelo, Chief Executive Officer of Santé.

With its mission to help people live better lives, Santé promotes, produces, and distributes natural health and wellness products and services. Santé consistently delivers top-quality products to its loyal customers globally.

To learn more about the Santé and its health and wellness products and services, visit its website at mySanté.com.

Friday, December 15, 2023

GMA Network airs the action-packed final match between Mapúa and San Beda this Sunday

WHICH school will take pride in bringing home the championship crown this season? 
Witness as the Mapúa Cardinals and San Beda Red Lions battle it out in their much-awaited final face-off in Game 3 of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 99 Men’s Basketball Finals live this December 17, 2 PM at the Araneta Coliseum.
The game will have a simulcast on GMA and GTV and livestream on the social media pages of GMA Sports and NCAA.
Game 1 of the best-of-three finals series boosted the confidence of the Red Lions as they trumped the Cardinals, 68-63, moving an inch closer to the championship crown. However, the Cardinals proved their ability to bounce back from a tough loss in Game 2, 71-65, forcing a winner-take-all Game 3. 

“We are very much excited for the final face-off between the Mapúa Cardinals and San Beda Red Lions with Game 3 of the best-of-three championship series happening this December 17 at the Araneta Coliseum. We wish both teams good luck as they vie for the much-coveted championship crown and congratulations in advance to the winning school. 
"We look forward to the support of the NCAA community and the sports fans as this game will definitely be another historical moment in the NCAA,” says Senior Vice President and Head of GMA Integrated News, Regional TV, and Synergy Oliver Victor Amoroso.
The NCAA Men’s Basketball Finals will be anchored by Sports Anchor Anton Roxas. Joining him is Sports Analyst Coach Topex Robinson.
Adding fun to the halftime excitement during the finals arSparkle artists Thea Astley and Anthony Rosaldo.
Don’t miss Game 3 of the NCAA Season 99 Men’s Basketball Finals this December 17 airing live simulcast on GMA and GTV.
Kapuso abroad can catch all the action via international channel GMA News TV.
For more updates on NCAA, visit its official website Follow @ncaaphilippines, @gmasynergy, and @gmasportsph on social media.
For more stories about the Kapuso Network, visit

KMJS Christmas Special Takes Viewers to a Trip to Switzerland


EXPERIENCE a winter wonderland Christmas this holiday season as award-winning journalist Jessica Soho takes viewers to viral places in Switzerland in Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho (KMJS) Christmas Special, “Lumipad ang aming team sa Switzerland,” airing this Sunday, December 17, 8:15 PM on GMA-7.

Feel the holiday vibes and spirit as Jessica and the KMJS team tour one of the richest countries in the world while riding a train to understand and discover why millennials and Gen Zs consider Switzerland to be a dream destination.

KMJS visits the viewing deck of Matterhorn, one of the iconic mountains in Switzerland, which is known to be imprinted in the packaging of a popular chocolate brand.

Jessica also conquers her fear of heights as she rides a rotating gondola, Ice Flyer, and walks on the highest suspension bridge in Europe that is located at the summit of Mt. Titlis.

The KMJS team searches for the famous Santa Claus riding in his flying sleigh as they roam around Montreux.

The tour in Switzerland is not complete without Jessica visiting fellow Filipinos and knowing their success stories. Get to know Mila, a daughter of a farmer in the Philippines, who now has a 22-hectare hacienda in Switzerland!

The award-winning journalist likewise interviews Filipinos who found their love life and forever in Switzerland. Viewers will definitely feel kilig with Chantal and his Swiss fiance Pascual who got engaged at the bridge where the Korean series 'Crash Landing on You' filmed.

Jessica also travels to Geneva to attend the annual Christmas party of almost a thousand Overseas Filipino Workers. She joins the fun and accepts their challenge to dance the famous Tinikling.

Catch the Christmas adventures and surprises of KMJS in its Christmas Special, “Lumipad ang aming team sa Switzerland” airing this Sunday, December 17, 8:15 PM on GMA-7. Global Pinoys can catch KMJS via GMA international channel GMA Pinoy TV.

For more stories about the Kapuso Network, visit #

Sustainable Snacking: Mondelez Philippines Hosts 1st Coastal Clean-up Activity

LEADING snacking company Mondelez Philippines held its first-ever coastal clean-up volunteer program at the picturesque Las Pinas-Parañaque Wetland Park as part of its commitment to sustainability.

In partnership with the social business HOPE Philippines, the initiative is a part of the company’s efforts to support the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Law and promoting environmental consciousness by helping minimize marine debris. The initiative also supports its goal of achieving 100% plastic neutrality, which it committed earlier this year.

A number of employee volunteers participated in the joint endeavor, which aims to create an impact on the marine ecosystem inside the Wetland Park. The activity included Mark Allen Besa, the head of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Parañaque City; Caitlin Punzalan, the Corporate and Government Affairs Lead for Mondelez Philippines; and Meg Anne Santos, Senior Sustainability Campaign Manager at Plastic Credit Exchange, Mondelez Philippines’ partner in plastic waste diversion.

Leading The Future of Sustainability

As a company deeply invested in the well-being of our communities and environment, Mondelez Philippines is proud to participate in this coastal cleanup,” Punzalan said, expressing enthusiasm for this endeavor.

In its quest to promote sustainability, Mondelez Philippines has taken steps to use less packaging, better packaging and help improve waste collection and diversion systems in the country. In its quest to promote sustainability, Mondelez Philippines has taken steps to use less packaging, better packaging, and help improve waste collection and diversion systems in the country. 

This year alone, Mondelez Philippines has pledged to collect and divert 100% of its post-consumer plastic packaging, ahead of the requirements of the EPR Law. It has also established a plastic recycling facility within its home City of Paranaque in celebration of its 60th year in the Philippines.

The cleanup effort in Las Pinas-Parañaque Wetland Park helped collect 184 kilos of waste, including mostly plastic packaging. This activity helps demonstrate Mondelez Philippines’ commitment to helping create a circular economy where plastic is viewed not as waste but as a valuable resource and should be collected properly and diverted through recycling or upcycling.

Mondelēz International, Inc.  empowers people to snack right in over 150 countries around the world with 2022 net revenues of approximately $31.5 billion, MDLZ is leading the future of snacking with iconic global and local brands such as OREO, belVita and LU biscuits; Cadbury Dairy Milk, Milka and Toblerone chocolate; Sour Patch Kids candy and Trident gum.


IN a bold move that challenges traditional beauty norms, White Castle Whiskey has announced Angelie "Pench" Andanar as their new calendar girl. 

This decision marks a significant shift in the portrayal of beauty, especially in the Philippines, where tattoos have often been viewed with skepticism.

At 36, Pench, a freelance model and single mother from Pampanga, defies the typical calendar girl stereotype. Her detailed and extensive body tattoos set her apart, making her a symbol of edgy beauty and self-expression.

Pench kicked off her modeling career in 2006 and gained notable recognition as FHM Philippines' Girlfriend Of The Month in May 2010. Her unique combination of an angelic face and bold tattoos has established her as a prominent influencer in beauty, fashion, and lifestyle.

Pench's resilience and dedication to her craft are as remarkable as her advocacy against tattoo discrimination in the Philippines.

Pench’s collaboration with White Castle Whiskey transcends a mere modeling gig; it's a profound statement. White Castle, a brand known for its iconic imagery of beauties on white horses, is taking a stand for inclusivity and the celebration of diverse forms of beauty. By choosing Pench, they are not only embracing her individuality but also sending a powerful message that beauty transcends conventional standards.

Pench's advocacy against tattoo discrimination in the Philippines is a significant part of her identity. Her extensive body tattoos are not just adornments; they are a statement of her individuality and a challenge to societal norms.

Her influence extends to Alua, a platform where she shares exclusive content with her audience. With over 242 photos and 19 videos, Pench offers an insider’s view into her life and style, further solidifying her status as a role model and a voice for self-expression.

White Castle Whiskey, from Destileria Limtuaco & Co., Inc., the Philippines' oldest distillery, has long been an industry pioneer. It has embraced diversity and inclusivity in its marketing strategies, evident in the bold choices they make for their iconic calendars. Moving away from traditional imagery, the company has embraced a more inclusive and diverse array of personalities.

Notable examples include vlogger Ninong Ry, known for his charismatic and unconventional online presence; and Ria Atayde, who promotes body positivity, challenging traditional  beauty standards and encouraging a more inclusiveview of beauty. Her involvement signifies the brand's commitment to celebrating all body types.

In a similarly progressive move, Destileria Limtuaco made a significant stride in inclusivity by featuring Sassa Gurl, their very first LGBTQIA+ personality. This not only highlights the brand's openness to diverse representations but also resonates with a broader audience, acknowledging and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community in a public and influential platform. 

These choices underscore Destileria Limtuaco's dedication to breaking away from conventionalnorms, showcasing a range of personalities that embody the different aspects of beauty, individuality, and empowerment in the Philippine liquor industry.

Their decision to feature Pench aligns with their history of innovation and breaking boundaries. The brand, which has been an outlet for inclusivity since 2020, is making a significant cultural impact with this campaign. It's a celebration of self-expression as an art form, challenging the stigma around tattooed individuals and conveying that tattoos are a form of art and personal expression.

Choosing Pench as the new face of White Castle Whiskey symbolizes the evolving perceptions of beauty. It's a move that not only acknowledges tattoos as a form of beauty but also celebrates the stories and experiences they represent. 

Pench Andanar, with her compelling persona and advocacy, is not just a model; with the support of White Castle Whiskey, she continues to be a trailblazer who redefines beauty standards, one tattoo at a time.