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DOH Launches World's Safest Firecracker

DOH Launches World's Safest Firecracker

The Department of Health launches what it considers as the world’s safest firecracker to reduce the number of injuries during New Year’s Eve celebrations. (Photo courtesy of Paquito Repelente)

The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) launched Wednesday, December 28, what it considers as the world's safest firecracker to reduce the number of injuries during New Year's Eve celebrations.

It is a compact disc featuring sounds of different firecrackers, such as the watusi, Judas' belt and whistle bomb, among others.

"We call it the Goodbye Paputok (a.k.a. The Safest Firecracker Xperience). This is the safest firecracker in the world. Instead of lighting firecrackers, we should just play this," DOH Assistant Secretary Enrique Tayag said.

The music CD also has a "Fireworks Symphony" preceded by a countdown, as commonly practiced around the world during moments before midnight of January 1.

After being mass produced, the CD will then be distributed to local government officials, which will be tasked to reproduce them and distribute to constituents.

Metro Manila will be given priority since it is where most firecracker-related injuries come from, Tayag said.

The CD, a brainchild of Six Cycle Mind’s guitarist Herbert Hernandez, may soon be available for download, Tayag said.

During the launch of the CD, the official also said that more than half of the total number of firecracker-related injuries is from the piccolo, a firecracker that looks like a miniature dynamite.

"Ang piccolo ang number one na dahilan kung bakit marami nadidisgrasya. Kung wala ito, 64 lang ang kaso natin," he said.

Injuries have reached 141, the DOH's Aksyon: Paputok Injury Reduction (APIR) report said, three days before the New Year.

The number is 32 cases or 18 percent lower than the same period last year, according to the DOH-National Epidemiology Center (NEC).

Of this figure, 77 cases are caused by the piccolo, seven by stray bullets, one due to fireworks ingestion, the report said.

This prompted Tayag to appeal to local government officials to disallow and prevent the sale of the firecracker.

The remaining 133 cases are fireworks-related injuries, the report added. Of this figure, 102 have resulted in blast or burns, 10 with blast and burns with amputation. Twenty cases involve eye injuries.

Eighty-three of those injured actively used firecrackers while another 13 were found to be under the influence of alcohol.

No deaths have been reported by the 50 DOH sentinel hospitals.

- Source

Fans of Kermit and Gang Unite for Newest “Muppets” Screen Adventure

Fans of Kermit and Gang Unite for Newest “Muppets” Screen Adventure

Ranging in age from 8 to 80, Muppet fans span the globe. So it makes sense that Disney’s new comedy adventure “The Muppets” was ignited by a Muppet fan. “It started when I was a kid,” says Jason Segel who stars in the film and serves as one of the writers and producers. “The Muppets were my first comic influence and I was in love with puppetry. I just thought it was an amazing art form.

All comedy writers are Muppet fans,” adds co-writer Nicholas Stoller. “It’s the gateway to comedy. It’s like the first thing you try and then you slowly fall down the rabbit hole of comedy.

A film Segel and Stoller previously collaborated on actually set things in motion, says Segel. “We ended ‘Forgetting Sarah Marshall’ with a lavish puppet musical, and The Jim Henson Company designed the puppets. Something started growing in my belly, and Nick and I came up with this idea and pitched it to Disney. Disney liked the idea so we wrote the script.

Enter producers David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman - each with their own affinity to all things Muppets. “I think there's always been a timeless quality to the Muppets,” says Hoberman, who cites the Muppets’ recent online smash viral video “Bohemian Rhapsody.” “These characters are as contemporary today as they were when Henson first brought them to life. I think people of all ages will respond to them on the big screen.”

Disney’s “The Muppets” will welcome a whole new generation into the world of the Muppets, and director James Bobin can attest to the positive influence these characters can have on young audiences. “I watched the Muppets at a very early age in England, and they have significantly influenced my sense of humor and what I find funny.”

Segel says it’s the Muppets’ sense of humor that differentiates them. “Modern comedy makes jokes at other people’s expense,” he says. “The Muppets never make fun of anybody. They’re all about being good and nice and trying to make the world a better place. It’s easy to get a laugh out of making fun of somebody, but the Muppets never relied on that.”

Influenced by their affinity for Muppet mayhem, filmmakers introduced Walter, a central character who’s driven by his lifelong love of the Muppets. According to Segel, Walter’s wildest fantasy is to meet the Muppets. “Walter is naive, sweet, innocent, wide-eyed—he’s very much like Kermit before Kermit became famous,” says Segel. “But he just wants to belong. He’s looking for a family, really. The Muppets are the only people he’s ever seen who were like him, so his quest is to become one of the Muppets.”

Adds Walter, who is as big a Muppet fan in real life as his character is, “I start out just wanting to meet the Muppets but then have to help Kermit get the gang back together to save Muppet Studios. It’s the role of my lifetime. In fact, it is my life.

Says Kermit, “Walter gets so excited being around the Muppets. I’ve never met anyone like him…except maybe Jason Segel.”

Opening soon across the Philippines, “The Muppets” is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures International through Columbia Pictures.

Vengeance Returns in 3D in “Underworld Awakening”

Vengeance Returns in 3D in “Underworld Awakening”

For the fourth installment of their mega-hit Underworld franchise, “Underworld Awakening,” the filmmakers have taken the extraordinary risk of reinventing and reinvigorating an already hugely successful, internationally acclaimed property. They have transported their Vampire and Lycan characters into a contemporary, human-dominated world in which they are hunted to near extinction, adding the excitement of cutting edge 3D technology into the mix.

With other commitments pending, including helming the upcoming remake of “Total Recall,” franchise creator Len Wiseman chose not to direct the film, but was on hand as a producer and provided the inspiration for the extraordinary storyline. “Len imagined a scenario where Selene and Michael have created a child,” says Gary Lucchesi, president of Lakeshore Entertainment. “That was the starting point for this movie. It would have been impossible to make such a good movie without Len’s contribution. He was involved in everything from production design to writing the script and casting the film.”

Kate Beckinsale, who starred in the first two installments of the Underworld saga, once again returns as the Vampire Death Dealer Selene, who escapes a lengthy imprisonment to discover that humans have almost successfully eradicated both the Vampire and Lycan clans.

This is a continuation of the story that ended in `Underworld Evolution,'” says David Coatsworth, executive producer of the film. “Putting Selene into the context of a modern world and having her interact with humans is one of the two big new elements. The second is the discovery that she’s the mother of a teenage daughter. It brings a whole new twist to the evolution of Selene and sets up the possibility of continuing on into the future.”

Set 15 years after the conclusion of “Evolution,” “Underworld Awakening” adds new characters and new rules to the story. “I think the hardcore fans are going to find a more action-packed and, to a certain degree, more violent Underworld than they’ve seen before,” says Lucchesi. “Selene’s rougher in this movie than she’s ever been. She’s capable of greater violence. It’s a very strong dramatic story and extremely well-acted. We’ve set a high bar with the earlier films and I think the audience will find this really intriguing.”

The updates take the story out of its mythological past and place it squarely in the world of the science-fiction action thriller. “It doesn’t take place in our past or present or future,” says Richard Wright of Lakeshore. “It takes place in its own version of all three of those temporal periods.

With “Underworld Awakening,” the filmmakers set out to create an all new story that would appeal to both long-time franchise fans and attract the attention of those who have not yet experienced the Underworld saga. “I think that when people who have enjoyed the earlier films come to a new one, there are certain things they expect to see, certain conventions to be adhered to,” says Coatsworth. “But I think they also want something new. That presents a two-fold challenge. We had to be loyal to the rules of the game and also provide a new dimension to the story.

Coatsworth believes the film succeeds on both levels and will be able to stand on its own as an exciting and entertaining film. “You don’t have to have seen any of the other Underworlds to appreciate it. I think a new group of people who enjoy action films and 3D will be a big part of our audience.”

By giving Selene and Michael a daughter, the filmmakers hope to extend the life of the franchise well into the future. “Since both Selene and Eve are immortal, who knows what will happen.” says Wright. “They may be together for a thousand years.”

Opening across the Philippines in January 2012, “Underworld Awakening” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit to see the latest trailers, get free downloads and play free movie games.

TV5 Launches the Biggest Reality Programs this 2012

TV5 Launches the Biggest Reality Programs this 2012

This coming 2012, the Kapatid network is set to turn ‘dreams’ into a ‘reality’ as TV5 ushers the New Year with a formidable line-up of reality programs that promises to shake up Filipinos’ TV viewing experience.

Headlining these new shows is the much awaited and highly anticipated Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Philippines. This touching reality series franchise, originally produced by Endemol, follows the original format of providing home renovations to less fortunate families and communities within the span of seven days. It seems like an impossible task, but with the help of the show’s dedicated design team and kind-hearted volunteers, EM:HE is able to bring a new home and a new hope to the lives of deserving families. For its Philippine debut, the design team will be led and hosted by the country’s “King of Reality TV” Paolo Bediones, who will be joined by Tessa Prieto-Valdez and Divine Lee.

TV5 serves another heartwarming and entertaining reality show in Dancing Nation, a unique and inspiring dance-off competition that unites the whole community toward a common cause. Recognizing the Filipinos’ singing prowess, the network embarks on a nationwide search for true talent in Kanta Pilipinas.

Bringing variety into the mix, TV5 also acquired two big-title reality game shows: The Biggest Game Show in Asia and The Amazing Race Philippines. The Biggest Game Show in Asia will have teams from four South East Asian countries (Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Philippines) competing against each other through games and obstacle courses. Hosted by Richard Gomez and Joey de Leon, the show was recently shot at a purpose built production hub in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Fans of The Amazing Race franchise can expect the same level of heart-pumping adventure and thrilling challenges with the all new The Amazing Race Philippines.

Finally, intrigue, drama, and titillating characters will surely spice up your viewing experience with Temptation Island: Dare to Win. Focusing on a group of beautiful young men and women marooned in a beautiful island, this show is inspired by Regal Entertainment’s ‘80s cult classic Temptation Island.

TV5 understands the Filipino viewer and strives to fulfill their aspirations and dreams through this line-up of big reality shows. For 2012, expect only the most amazing and most exciting reality programs that are sure to stir the emotions of Filipinos across the nation.

Robert Downey Jr. Returns as Sherlock Holmes in “A Game of Shadows”

Robert Downey Jr. Returns as Sherlock Holmes in “A Game of Shadows”

Robert Downey Jr. returns as the world's smartest detective in Warner Bros.' new action-adventure “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows,” the highly anticipated sequel to the 2009 hit for which he won a Golden Globe Best Actor Award.

The titular character created by Downey in the first “Sherlock Holmes” had defied convention. Gone were the once-emblematic deerstalker hat, curved pipe and posh British decorum, replaced by a streetwise, bare-knuckled brawler, whose physical prowess was equal to his superlative mind and preternatural powers of perception.

Director Guy Ritchie says, “One of the most important things about the first movie was to get away from the somewhat dustier, if you will, impression of the character that I think many people were expecting. In keeping with Conan Doyle’s original creation, we wanted to access the physicality of Holmes while conveying his intelligence and wit, and Robert brought all that and more to the equation. There were a lot of little nuances going on that added so much to the role. I find it impossible now to imagine anyone else as Sherlock Holmes.”

Downey reciprocates, “I love working with Guy; it’s such a collaborative process and he has a terrific sense of humor that really comes into play here. On this film, there was an element of rediscovering Sherlock Holmes all over again. We wanted to maintain that sense of fun but with even more gravitas.

Robert knew how to get inside Sherlock Holmes’ head—to make him funny and eccentric and yet absolutely believable as the most renowned detective of all time. It was fantastic to watch,” producer Joel Silver remarks.

In the time that has elapsed since the end of the first film, Holmes has been bent on a singular mission, triggered by the revelation that, while he had taken down the evil Lord Blackwood, he had somehow missed an even greater threat. Shrouded in secrecy, Professor James Moriarty (Jared Harris) had been patiently lying in wait to capitalize on Blackwood’s handiwork.

For the sequel, Downey says, “We wanted to maintain the visceral tone that was part of Guy’s original vision, while presenting Holmes with an even more difficult case, one that would challenge his considerable skills.”

Professor Moriarty not only is Holmes’ intellectual equal, but his capacity for evil, coupled with a complete lack of conscience, may give him an advantage over the renowned detective.

Downey concludes, “We see the aftereffects of Holmes having been consumed with Moriarty, to the point that he’s clearly kind of ‘nutting up.’ He’s focused on him to the exclusion of everything else, including, quite possibly, his own sanity,” the actor smiles.

Ritchie emphasizes, “Because they are intellectual equals to a degree, there is the sense that this is a game that is stimulating to them both. In this way, they actually need each other, and that idea is authentic to the books. Holmes needs Moriarty as much as Moriarty needs Holmes.”

Opening across the Philippines on Sunday, January 08, 2012, “Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Clint Eastwood Unveils Latest Masterwork – “J. Edgar”

Clint Eastwood Unveils Latest Masterwork – “J. Edgar”

J. Edgar Hoover, the subject of Warner Bros.' new drama “J. Edgar” starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was a complex and compelling figure who captivated America and whose legacy is still felt in the halls of the FBI building named for him. He was the catalyst for modern forensics and created a system of federal laws that transformed the U.S. in a multitude of ways that remain relevant today. Both feared and revered, the man was a dichotomy whose public and private lives would spark rumor and innuendo, but, thanks to his eternal secrecy, the question of who he really was remains largely speculative to this day.

Director Clint Eastwood, who grew up during his reign, was intrigued by the chance to explore Hoover on film. “Hoover was a top cop, or a top ‘G-Man,’ as they called them in those days, but I didn’t really know much about him. He kept a high profile - he was seen with movie actors and famous writers at social gatherings and what have you - but he was an enigma in many ways.”

Therefore, when the screenplay for “J. Edgar” crossed his desk, the filmmaker says, “I was already curious, especially about how the screenwriter, Dustin Lance Black, had approached it. It was really a character study. I liked the story a lot.”

This is a story about relationships,” Eastwood says, “intimate interactions between Hoover and everyone around him, from those closest to him - Clyde Tolson, Helen Gandy, his mother - all the way to Robert Kennedy and other well known political figures, even presidents. If it had just been a biopic, I don’t think I would have wanted to do it. I like relationship pictures, I like exploring why people do or did certain things in their lives.

Coming off of ‘Milk,’ Hoover was someone I really wanted to investigate,” writer Black states. “To me, he seemed the very opposite of Milk: a man with tremendous political power, but intensely closeted when it came to his personal life.”

The project came to Black through veteran producer Brian Grazer, who had worked with Eastwood once before and was eager to do so again. “I wanted to do a movie about J. Edgar Hoover - not a documentary, but an actual feature film,” he relates. “I was interested in the power and corruption that existed in his world, much of it of his own making, in spite of his being such a dedicated patriot.”

Black and Grazer settled on a few key points on which to center the film, including the Lindbergh kidnapping and the formation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

I really wondered how this man, who started out with the best of intentions and went on to create the FBI and bring down some of the country’s most iconic gangsters, became so paranoid and, by some accounts, diabolical,” Grazer says.

Black notes, “My initial research labeled him either a hero to the nation, to whom we owe everything in terms of our protection and safety, or a villain who did things in an underhanded manner and was a terror to the country. It all seemed so extreme; I thought the truth had to lie somewhere in between.”

Grazer agreed with that conclusion, and with the writer’s idea to “present it from an internal point of view, from Hoover’s own psyche, letting him tell the story as he remembers it,” the producer says.

“J. Edgar” begins in the mid-1970s, when Hoover is nearing the end of his life and his time as Director of the FBI. Wanting to preserve everything he’s built, he begins dictating his memoirs, reflecting back on his early days as a man in his early twenties, when he first began working with what was then simply the Bureau of Investigation.

I think he was interested in his place in history,” Eastwood surmises, “but probably prone to some exaggeration. There are proven moments where he fudged his stories a bit to make himself look a little better.

Early on in his career, solving the Lindbergh case and capturing outlaws like John Dillinger helped Hoover to fashion the G-Man image in the eyes of the general public,” Leonardo DiCaprio adds. “There were comic books about them, they were on cereal boxes, engaging America’s youth. It was all part of his publicity campaign to turn government into a force that was helping your family and keeping your children safe.”

Whether or not Hoover was ever able to feel the country was safe or that positive changes were on the horizon, is still a question.

I think even as an old man, J. Edgar Hoover was still so obsessed with communism that he didn’t recognize things were changing for the better during the Civil Rights Movement,” the actor goes on. “He saw it as an uprising that had the potential to become something more destructive. That’s when he lost his footing. That’s when he failed to see the real future of our country.”

Opening soon across the Philippines, “J. Edgar” was produced under the banners of Imagine Entertainment and Malpaso. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

‘Velvet Best of 2011 Marathon’ Special Airs on December 31

‘Velvet Best of 2011 Marathon’ Special Airs on December 31

Velvet (SkyCable Channel 53), the country’s premier general entertainment channel, proudly highlights this year’s best happenings in a marathon special beginning December 31, Saturday, 5:30p.m.

Dubbed as “Velvet Best of 2011 Marathon,” this special block is set to air the grandest red carpet events such as “Will and Kate: Road to the Altar,” “63rd Primetime Emmy Awards,” “2011 Miss Universe Pageant,” “2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show,” “2011 Teen Choice Awards,” “2011 Elite Model Look: 28th World Finals” and “An Audience with Michael Buble.”

For those who missed the Royal Wedding of the century, TV and radio personality Ryan Seacrest recaps the entire celebration - from the arrivals to the famous guests to the scoop on what’s ahead for the Royal couple - in “Will and Kate: Road To The Altar,” a one-hour post-event special which will be aired once again on December 31, 5:30p.m.

Velvet also looks on its celebration of Primetime TV excellence, as it will air the “63rd Primetime Emmy Awards” also on December 31, 6:30 p.m. Jane Lynch, the woman behind the love-to-be-hated tracksuit-wearing gym teacher Sue Sylvester, hosts the awards night. Also catch some of Velvet’s offerings to be awarded in this event.

Being truly beautiful entails intelligence. This is what Filipina Shamcey Supsup has proven when she was hailed 3rd Runner-up in the 2011 Miss Universe Pageant in Sao Paolo, Brazil. Supsup’s statement in the competition’s Question and Answer portion - that she wouldn’t change her religious beliefs for the sake of romantic love - blew everyone away. Catch this moment again in the much awaited re-airing of the “2011 Miss Universe Pagaent” on December 31, 9p.m.

The landing of the Victoria’s Secret Angels was also a big hit this year. Now, they will sizzle the TV screens again, as Velvet re-airs the “2011 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” on December 31, 11p.m. This year’s show is a creative interpretation of pure fantasy, divided into five glamorous themes - ballet, superheroes, passion, underwater and turn-of-the-century New Orleans. In each segment, the models emerge with beautiful wings and elaborate costumes to accent the latest collections from Victoria’s Secret. The show will also feature a fun youthful segment highlighting its Club Pink collection, made up of underwear, loungewear and pajamas.

Velvet is also spicing things up with the hippest red carpet Hollywood event of the year. The Teen Choice Awards 2011, which will re-air this January 1, Sunday, 12 a.m. will celebrate the hottest teen icons in film, television, music, sports and fashion. Kaley Cuoco, best known for her starring role in the comedy series “The Big Bang Theory,” rides the surf in to take on hosting duties for this year’s ceremonies. This is the only awards show where the winners - in categories in movies, music and television - are decided based purely on teen votes.

What do Cindy Crawford, Stephanie Seymour, Gisele Bundchen, Julia Saner and Constance Jablonski have in common? They were all discovered through the Elite Model Look contest! Created in 1983, Elite Model Look is now the most prestigious international modelling contest. A genuine career accelerator, the competition has propelled many aspiring and up-and-coming talents to become international top models. Witness again how models are groomed to be the world’s best in the “2011 Elite Model Look: 28th World Finals” also on January 1, 2 a.m.

Velvet, the home of the biggest red carpet events, is available on SkyCable Platinum, SkyCable Gold, SkyCable Silver and other quality cable operators nationwide. For updates, log-on to

Jason Lee: For the Love of Kids in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked”

Jason Lee: For the Love of Kids in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked”

Jason Lee reprises his role as Dave Seville with his trademark shout Alviiiin! in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked.” In the movie, the beleaguered Dave Seville ( Lee) takes Alvin Simon and Theodore as well as the Chipettes, Brittany Eleanor and Jeanette, on a fabulous vacation via a luxury cruise ship where chaos inevitably ensues.

As the irrepressible Alvin creates mayhem on board, they find themselves ‘chipwrecked’ in a remote island and find themselves embroiled in an exciting and hair-raising adventure.

Lee gained mainstream attention from his string of films starting with “Mallrats” followed by “Chasing Amy,” “Dogma,” “Almost Famous,” “Vanilla Sky,” “Dreamcatcher” and “Enemy of the State” Lee shares in the following q&a on taking the role of Dave Seville for the third time.

Q: Why did you return for a third film?
A: “I am very proud of the franchise and so are my kids. The script was great and this is a fun film. Most of it takes place outside in a jungle, or on a cruise ship, so there’s a lot more scope for exciting things to happen. There is certainly more of a cliffhanger. It is a little bit more mysterious, not scary but more adventurous.”

Q: You look very fit. Have you been working out for the film?
A: “I dropped a lot of weight recently. I started cycling and running and working out a lot and changed my lifestyle and my diet. I quit smoking and started eating well. I turned 40 so I thought it would be a good time to give up all the junk food and get clean and healthy. It feels good; I got into shape after twenty years of smoking and eating whatever I wanted. I have finally become athletic.”

Q: Returning to the film, how has Dave evolved through the films?
A: “I think he’s loosened up a little bit or he likes to think he has. Ultimately he’s a good guy. He still has more to do in terms of becoming a relaxed father, but this time he has to discover what it means to be trusting and know that he does not have to control everything himself. He sees a side of Alvin that he is not expecting. From then on he lightens up quite a bit.”

Q: Would you say Dave is quite a realistic character (although he’s Dad to chipmunks)?
A “He is authentic. Of course in life you sometimes lose your patience to a greater or lesser degree and here we have a little bit of license because of the comedy. Dave is funny. The kids love to see Dave get worked up by these Chipmunks. Though in real life I certainly don’t yell at my kids like he does. But he is constantly being challenged by fatherhood and life. He is trying to be present and trying to be as cool about everything as he can.”

Q: How has your experience as a father contributed to your role as Dave?
A: “Being a dad, I know what it feels like to give lots of love and understanding, but I also know what it feels like to have my buttons pushed. My son is nine now and he’s very mature and intelligent. But there’s a part of me that misses the time when he was a really little kid. So I’m trying to hang on to him being a kid and appreciate the time because it goes by so fast.

Q: How interesting is work for you right now?
A: “I enjoy the variety. I think the idea of being an actor is to work. I used to be really opposed to being on television, but then I did “My Name Is Earl” which was a life changing experience for me. You realize that you’re blessed to be an actor and work and make money so you can support your family and travel and have a good life. I went from being an actor to being a producer too, which involved gaining a lot more knowledge about the filming process; I learned a tremendous amount about acting too. Every time you gain knowledge like that, it creates more confidence. Now I’m here making a film that kids love.”

“Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked” opens January 8, Sunday, in Philippine theaters from 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.

From Blockbuster Novel to the Big Screen: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

From Blockbuster Novel to the Big Screen: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

Director David Fincher's “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” kicks off the screen adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s blockbuster Millennium Trilogy, the epic series of thrillers that have sold 65,000,000 copies in 46 countries. First published in 2005, shortly after Larsson’s own death, the first novel in the series, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo introduced readers to financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and avenging hacker Lisbeth Salander (played in the film by Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, respectively).

With Salander, Larsson forged a heroine unlike any who had come before in the wide-ranging world of crime thrillers – a punk prodigy whose appearance warns people to stay away, who doesn’t interact “normally” with others, yet whose personal link to those who have been violated lures her into helping Mikael solve the disappearance of young heiress Harriet Vanger. Her pursuit of retribution and her tenuous partnership with Mikael would become the core of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and the two books that followed – The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.

Fincher and screenwriter Steven Zaillian aimed at staying true to Larsson’s unflinching focus on the corporate, societal and personal corrosion Mikael and Lisbeth confront as they descend deeper into the question of Harriet Vanger’s vanishing. Zaillian took his inspiration directly from Larsson’s words. “The script was cut whole cloth from the novel,” says Fincher. Faced with the necessity of compacting the first book’s intricate plot, they also honed in on what has made the Millennium novels so alluring to people around the world. “The thing we were interested in most were these two characters, Blomkvist and Salander, who powered the books to be the cultural phenomenon they are,” Fincher says. “There was a lot of juice there, a lot of friction and a lot of dramatic possibility.

Adds Zaillian: “Lisbeth is a great, unusual character, but I think it if the books were only about her, they wouldn’t work as well as they do. It’s the way her story and Blomkvist’s come together, and what they each are going through, that makes the books so resonant.

Fincher and Zaillian had no interest in withholding any grit from the book’s scenes of brutality and revenge. “We were committed to the tack that this is a movie about violence against women, about specific kinds of degradation, and you can’t shy away from that,” Fincher says. “But at the same time you have to walk a razor thin line so that the audience can viscerally feel the need for revenge but also see the power of the ideas being expressed.”

This is precisely what Larsson had achieved with the novels, drawing readers into themes of corrupted power, misogyny, intolerance, fanaticism, globalization, social welfare, justice and judgment through the twists and turns of Mikael and Lisbeth’s renegade investigation. Says Rooney Mara, who won the role of Lisbeth Salander: “I think people are more intrigued by the under-workings of society than they’re willing to admit. They’re interested in the dark secrets people and societies hold. `The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' has that component combined with these two outsider characters people really, really love.

Opening soon across the Philippines, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit for trailers, exclusive content and free downloads. Like us at and join our fan contests.

‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’ this 2012!

‘Journey 2: The Mysterious Island’ this 2012!

The follow-up to the 2008 worldwide hit “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” New Line Cinema’s “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” takes moviegoers on a fun and fantastic new adventure to parts unknown, a place so remote it has lain hidden for centuries … and, when found, is almost impossible to escape. The film stars Dwayne Johnson, Vanessa Hudgens, Josh Hutcherson and Michael Caine.

A fan of the first film which introduced intrepid young explorer Sean Anderson (Hutcherson) to audiences worldwide, director Brad Peyton says, “I wanted to embrace Sean’s story and advance it, with amazing new landscapes and a fresh set of challenges that will take him further than he’s ever been because he’s not a kid anymore. He’s seventeen now and ready to blaze his own trail in the world. This is his chance to prove he’s not just along for the ride; he’s an explorer in his own right.

Peyton is no stranger to combining action and comedy with a sweep of scale and a dash of the unexpected. Upon seeing the script for “Journey 2,” he says, “I never imagined doing it small. Right away, I knew it had to involve land, sea and air, with creatures, caves, storms, underwater battles and aerial chases, and all of it set against the most incredible, breathtaking terrain. That meant utilizing the latest and best technology, to deliver something special in the 3D realm that ‘Journey to the Center of the Earth’ helped to establish.”

In 2008 that film broke ground as the first narrative feature to employ the Fusion System, a sophisticated digital 3D camera rig developed by James Cameron and cinematographer Vince Pace, and subsequently used on “Avatar.” Not surprisingly, the “Journey 2” filmmakers returned to the Cameron Pace Group for state-of-the-art strategies and equipment to capture the depth and scope Peyton wanted to achieve in a range of real-world environments.

Dedicated to a full location shoot from the start, the director states, “I felt the actors should have dirt under their feet. I wanted a real jungle, not a green-screen jungle. As the setting for so many spectacular images, it needed that literal grounding.”

The filmmakers also liked the fact that the characters thrown into this tropical paradise-turned-deathtrap must use their wits as well as their reflexes to survive, especially when they discover that plant and animal life there grows by its own rules.

It’s the Island Rule, in fact, also known as Foster’s Rule. Producer Charlotte Huggins explains, “It’s a genuine biogeographic theory, that, over the course of evolution in an isolated environment, large things can become small and small things become large. So a herd of elephants there might look and act exactly like elephants except that they’re miniatures, while butterflies could look and act exactly as butterflies would, except that they’re enormous.”

The downside of such visual wonders would be great carnivorous birds and lizards, some the length of a football field, who see the explorers as their next meal.

Michael Caine, starring as Anderson patriarch Alexander, who made wanderlust the family business and is the catalyst for this latest excursion, acknowledges, “This is no children’s fairy tale. It’s very fast, and the kids are going to have to be smart to keep up.”

Opening in theatres beginning February 2012, “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” is a New Line Cinema presentation, will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Mike Enriquez and Dingdong Dantes to Hosts "Trending 2011: The GMA News and Public Affairs Yearend Special" on December 31

Mike Enriquez and Dingdong Dantes to Hosts "Trending 2011: The GMA News and Public Affairs Yearend Special" on December 31

After seven days of online polling through the microsite, this year's top newsmakers are about to be revealed this Saturday, December 31, 2011 in GMA 7's Trending 2011: The GMA News and Public Affairs Yearend Special.

Join veteran journalist Mike Enriquez with special co-host Dingdong Dantes as they host the network's first ever interactive yearend special.

Find out who topped the list according to the public's choice in five different categories: Newsmakers, Shocking Crimes, World News, For the Win (Sports) and Showbiz and the Arts.

In the newsmakers category, the voters chose from six nominees namely: President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, Congresswoman Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Department of Justice Sec. Leila de Lima, Audit Commissioner Heidi Mendoza, former senator Juan Miguel Zubiri and Chief Justice Renato Corona.

On the shocking crimes category, it was the mall shooting incidents and crimes involving celebrities that grabbed headlines in 2011.

Nominees in the world news category include the death of Osama Bin Laden, the execution of Filipinos in China , the Japan tsunami, the Royal Wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William, the death of Muammar Gaddafi and the fall of Hosni Mubarak.

Meanwhile, in the sports category, the public chose among boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, the national football team Philippine Azkals, the courageous Philippine Dragonboat Team or the emerging rugby team Philippine Volcanoes.

In the final category, showbiz and the arts, some of the biggest and hottest news for the year include the controversial "Poleteismo" of Mideo Cruz, Filipina beauties who bagged various beauty titles, the epicserye Amaya, Eat Bulaga's dominance, and Showbiz Breakups are the nominees.

Trending 2011: The GMA News and Public Affairs 2011 Yearend Special will air this Saturday, December 31, 9 p.m., in GMA-7 after Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho.

“Marvel's The Avengers” Character Posters Revealed!

“Marvel's The Avengers” Character Posters Revealed!

Eight character posters have been revealed for the superhero ensemble movie “Marvel's The Avengers.” Check out them out below!

Marvel Studios presents “Marvel’s The Avengers”—the Super Hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel Super Heroes Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in Philippine theaters on May 2012.

Sneak Peek: Underworld Awakening

Sneak Peek: Underworld Awakening

The millennia-old battle between Vampires and Lycans rages on in stunning 3D in Columbia Pictures' “Underworld Awakening,” the fourth and most spectacular installment in the hugely popular franchise. Taking the celebrated saga’s signature action and mayhem to a new level, “Underworld Awakening” pits the legendary Vampire warrioress Selene (Kate Beckinsale) against her most powerful adversary yet, just as she discovers a shocking secret that will change everything she has ever fought for.

Fifteen years have passed since Selene and her human-Lycan hybrid lover Michael vanquished the Vampire Elder Marcus in “Underworld Evolution.” In the intervening years, mankind has discovered the existence of both the Vampire and Lycan clans, and launched an all-out war to eradicate both species. Selene, captured during the genocide, awakens after more than a decade to find herself captive in a sealed laboratory at Antigen, a powerful biotech corporation dedicated to developing a vaccine against the viruses that have created the Vampires and Lycans.

Selene is heartbroken to discover that Michael is dead, but her grief is soon overshadowed by the shock of her discovery that, while in a cryogenically frozen state, she has given birth to his daughter, Eve (India Eisley). As she seeks asylum for herself and her child, Selene finds herself in a world in which her once proud people have been hunted nearly to extinction and the few survivors hide underground.

Shunned by the remaining clans, Selene enlists the support of a young Vampire, David (Theo James), who joins her in a bloody vendetta against Antigen, where shadowy forces conspire to destroy both her and her child. With their traditional enemies, the Lycans, once again in ascendance, even Selene seems powerless in the face of the most ferocious opponent in Underworld history—a genetically enhanced uber-Lycan.

“Underworld Awakening” stars Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley and Charles Dance. The film is directed by Mårlind & Stein (“Shelter, Storm”). The screenplay is by Len Wiseman (“Underworld”) & John Hlavin (“The Shield”), and J. Michael Straczynski and Allison Burnett (“Untraceable”). The story is by Len Wiseman and John Hlavin; based on characters created by Kevin Grevioux and Len Wiseman & Danny McBride.

Opening across the Philippines in January 2012, “Underworld Awakening” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International. Visit to see the latest trailers, get free downloads and play free movie games.

Sneak Peek: J. Edgar

Sneak Peek: J. Edgar

Oscar® winner Clint Eastwood directs Academy Award® nominee Leonardo DiCaprio in Warner Bros.' critically acclaimed drama “J. Edgar” from a screenplay by Oscar® winner Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”).

During his lifetime, J. Edgar Hoover would rise to be the most powerful man in America. As head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for nearly 50 years, he would stop at nothing to protect his country. Through eight presidents and three wars, Hoover waged battle against threats both real and perceived, often bending the rules to keep his countrymen safe. His methods were at once ruthless and heroic, with the admiration of the world his most coveted, if ever elusive, prize.
Hoover was a man who placed great value on secrets—particularly those of others—and was not afraid to use that information to exert authority over the leading figures in the nation. Understanding that knowledge is power and fear poses opportunity, he used both to gain unprecedented influence and to build a reputation that was both formidable and untouchable.

He was as guarded in his private life as he was in his public one, allowing only a small and protective inner circle into his confidence. His closest colleague, Clyde Tolson, was also his constant companion. His secretary, Helen Gandy, who was perhaps most privy to Hoover’s designs, remained loyal to the end…and beyond. Only Hoover’s mother, who served as his inspiration and his conscience, would leave him, her passing truly crushing to the son who forever sought her love and approval.

As seen through the eyes of Hoover himself, “J. Edgar” explores the personal and public life and relationships of a man who could distort the truth as easily as he upheld it during a life devoted to his own idea of justice, often swayed by the darker side of power.

“J. Edgar” also stars Academy Award® nominee Naomi Watts (“21 Grams”) as Helen Gandy, Hoover’s longtime secretary; Armie Hammer (“The Social Network”) as Hoover’s protégé Clyde Tolson; Josh Lucas (“The Lincoln Lawyer”) as the legendary aviator Charles Lindbergh, whose son’s kidnapping changes the public profile of the F.B.I.; and Oscar® winner Judi Dench (“Shakespeare in Love”) as Hoover’s over-protective mother, Annie Hoover.

“J. Edgar” was produced by Eastwood, Oscar® winner Brian Grazer (“A Beautiful Mind,” “Frost/Nixon”) and Oscar® nominee Robert Lorenz (“Letters from Iwo Jima,” “Mystic River”), with Tim Moore and Erica Huggins serving as executive producers.

Behind the scenes, Eastwood reunited with his longtime collaborators, including director of photography Tom Stern, production designer James J. Murakami, editors Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach, and costume designer Deborah Hopper. Eastwood composed the score for the film.

Opening soon across the Philippines, “J. Edgar” was produced under the banners of Imagine Entertainment and Malpaso. The film will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Herbert Chavez Then and Now Pictures

Herbert Chavez Then and Now Pictures

Herbert Chavez, a 35-year old Filipino pageant trainer, could be considered the superfan of all superfans as he decided to undergone several cosmetic surgeries to transform into his heroic alter-ego superidol Superman!

Herbert Chavez Before Medical Enhancement Picture

Chavez started having surgery in 1998. He has admitted to a nose job, chin augmentation - for that iconic cleft, silicone lip injections and thigh implants. He even revealed that he plans on traveling to Japan to surgically enhance his height.

Herbert Chavez After Medical Enhancement Picture

The medical professionals, however, said that Chavez clearly suffers from some form of body dysmorphic disorder, as he won't stop getting plastic surgeries.

Cinema One Unveils Its List of 2011′s Most Fascinating, Interesting, Exciting People

Cinema One Unveils Its List of 2011′s Most Fascinating, Interesting, Exciting People

Cinema One, the no. 1 cable TV channel in the Philippines, will once again present the “Cinema One’s Top 10 F.I.E People of 2011,” a special hosted by no less than the king of talk, Boy Abunda.

F.I.E. stands for “Fascinating, Interesting and Exciting,” which describes the prominent Filipino personalities who made it to the coveted list of Cinema One. Carefully strained from a bevy of names who made a mark in the field they’re known for, these luminaries are an exciting mix of celebrities, sportsmen, media, politicians, businessmen and people in the arts and culture. Some are distinct achievers, but some are just newsmakers. Some set new standards of being an achiever while inspiring others.

Topping this year’s list is the country’s hailed “Superstar” Nora Aunor, who recently had a red carpet comeback. After bearing all the negative issues being thrown at her, the Superstar is now back to restore her “never-dying” showbiz career. Nora was recently given an honorary award by the Cinema One Originals Festival for pioneering efforts in the Philippine Cinema.

Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and husband Mike Arroyo are also newsmakers this year. Macapagal-Arroyo was recently arrested following the filing of criminal charges against her for electoral fraud. But before the infamous president was finally put in hospital arrest, she was involved in a series of dramatic incidents - at the airport and hospital.

Still on politics, Leila de Lima maybe is one of the most mentioned names in the news this year. Having been appointed as the Justice Secretary of the current Aquino administration, de Lima faced controversies, especially on her decisions in the country’s most prominent cases. Before taking his post as Aquino’s cabinet member, de Lima was the chairperson of the Philippine Commision on Human Rights, under the previous Arroyo regime.

In show business, another name who has made a buzz this year is Star Magic artist Andi Eigenmann, who fiercely faced the challenges of unwanted pregnancy. Behind her is supportive mother Jacklyn Jose, who said that Andi’s pregnancy only strengthened their mother-daughter relationship.

Ever since he was hailed world boxing champion and eventually elected as congressman, Manny Pacquiao and his family have regularly been in local and international news. Manny recently won against Mexican Juan Manuel Marquez. Nothing, however, can ever beat the support of his Filipino fans who still consider him as the “People’s Champ.” Jinky Pacquiao, on the other hand, finally disclosed her marital problems such as her boxer husband’s alleged infidelity, which almost prompted their split up. Now, the couple faces the public as if nothing happened. Jinky said that after serious talks with her husband, they decided to remain being together.

Topbilling “Praybet Benjamin,” the highest-grossing Filipino film of all time, Vice Ganda enters Cinema One’s list of most talked about showbiz personalities. Truly an icon to the LGBT (lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders) community, Vice is a successful as TV host, comedian and recording artist.

In the world of business, SM-owned businesses have mushroomed in the country this year. From building Asia’s biggest malls to establishing the most operational bank, the Sy’s are now into condominiums and other real properties. Get to know the people behind all this success, as Boy features siblings Teresita Sy-Coson and Henry T. Sy Jr., children of the legendary Henry Sy Sr.

Following the thread of Filipinos making noise internationally is Miss Universe 3rd Runner-up Shamcey Supsup. She enthralled everyone when she said in the pageant’s question and answer portion that not even her romantic love life can change her faith in God. Her answer was reflective of a Filipina with instilled traditional values, which critics say was not appreciated by a predominantly Western-raised panel of judges.

In sports, the Philippine Dragon Boat Federation team has also made buzz this year, after winning series of competitions abroad. What makes them more newsworthy is their battle for government’s recognition as an official competing team to the ASEAN Games and other official tourneys. A lot may be proud of their winnings, but they never received even a single centavo from the Philippine Sports Commission.

Emerging filmmakers such as Loy, Marlon Rivera, Antoinette Jadaone, Victor Villanueva and Sari Dalena are also featured in this special.

Catch “Cinema One’s Top 10 F.I.E People of 2011” on Friday, December 23, 10p.m. Cinema One (SkyCable Channel 56) is available on SkyCable Gold, SkyCable Silver and other quality cable operators nationwide.

TV5 Enters Global Awards Scene with Asian TV Awards Win

TV5 Enters Global Awards Scene with Asian TV Awards Win

JoAnn Banaga, Production Unit Manager of TV5 Star Confessions

Barely two years after it was launched as the Kapatid Network under the chairmanship of Manny V. Pangilinan, TV5 has garnered awards and outstanding recognition for its innovative shows and noteworthy talents. Not only is the country’s fastest growing network figuring more among local award-giving bodies, it is also gaining international recognition.

After being the Philippine broadcast network to receive the most number of nominations in this year’s Asian TV Awards, TV5 bagged its first Asian TV Awards trophy for Star Confessions in the awarding ceremony held recently at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore.

Hosted by “mother of showbiz talk” Cristy Fermin, Star Confessions (now airing as Real Confessions) won the Best Theme Song category for its official soundtrack “Ito ang Buhay Ko” (This is My Life), beating five other theme songs from Malaysia and Singapore. The song is a composition of Boy Christopher Ramos. Star Confessions production unit manager JoAnn Bañaga personally received the award for the program.

After 16 years of recognizing the best programs in Asia, the Asian TV Awards 2011 introduced the Best Theme Song category under the Technical and Creative categories, making TV5’s Star Confessions the first ever to win the trophy.

As the most competitive Philippine TV network in this year’s Asian TV Awards with a total of three nominations, TV5 also competed in two other categories – Best General Entertainment category for Talentadong Pinoy and the Best Comedy Programme category for Lokomoko.

Asian TV Award-Winning ‘Bottomline’ Episode Reruns this Saturday

Asian TV Award-Winning ‘Bottomline’ Episode Reruns this Saturday

Rediscover the ‘international appeal’ of the Mangudadatu episode that made “The Bottomline with Boy Abunda” the ‘Best Talk Show for 2011′ in the recent 16th Asian TV Awards.

According to ‘Asia’s King of Talk’ Boy Abunda, the guesting of Maguindanao Gov. Toto Mangudadatu was one of the most riveting episodes he has done with “Bottomline.” He recounted, “The interview was done during the height of the Maguindanao massacre and I remember being so passionate about the issue. I was ready to listen to his story.

Abunda added, “It wasn’t easy for me to ask him how he felt about the death of 58 people because of his filing of candidacy. The interview was so personal that the viewers surely felt what the governor was going through—the sadness, the anger.”

Don’t miss the episode that bested top Asian programs, including “Talk Asia” of CNN Hong Kong and “The Euthanasia Debate” of New Delhi Television in India.

With “bottomliners” Xiao Chua, Mike Lopez, Dr. Denis Ngo, Nini Santos-Borja, Caloy Conde, and daughter of a massacre victim, Reynafe Momay-Castillo, catch Asian TV Awards’ Best Talk Show for 2011, “The Bottomline with Boy Abunda,” this Christmas eve at 11:30pm, after “Banana Split” on ABS-CBN. For more updates, log on to or follow abscbndotcom on Twitter.

Pinoy Travel Photographer George Tapan wins NatGeo Photo Contest

Pinoy Travel Photographer George Tapan wins NatGeo Photo Contest

Travel photographer George Tapan bagged first place in the 2011 photography contest of National Geographic, according to the contest’s official website.

Tapan was picked as the winner in the Places category for his photograph “Into the Green Zone.”

The Filipino photographer submitted a photo of a rainbow after a rainstorm taken in the island of Onuk in Balabac, Palawan.

The photo also captured a fisherman in a small boat and a woman walking on the shore of Onuk Island’s pristine beach.

According to the website, judge Tim Laman said the photo “showed a perfect sense of timing and composition in the way he captured the two small human subjects in this beautiful scene, and that really made the shot.”

Judge Amy Toensing described the photo as "very moody, beautifully composed."

Nature photographer Peter Essick, meanwhile, was captivated by the detail of the woman's hair on the photo, saying that it only "fills a fraction of the picture's real estate, but by capturing the movement at the apex, the photographer has documented a sense of style and flair.”

Tapan’s photo showed that "small things can sometimes make a big difference," according to National Geographic.

Aside from receiving a cash prize of $2,500, Tapan’s winning photograph will be published in National Geographic magazine.

- Source

‘The X Factor’ Finale Airs Via Satellite on Studio 23

‘The X Factor’ Finale Airs Via Satellite on Studio 23

Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik, and Chris Rene: Who got the X Factor?

Melanie Amaro, Josh Krajcik, and Chris Rene will battle it out to become the first ever American “The X Factor” winner who will win US$ 5 million Sony recording contract and a spot at the Pepsi’s 2012 Superbowl this Thursday, December 22 and Friday, December 23, in the show’s highly anticipated special two-night finale airing via satellite on Philippine free TV at 7 PM on Studio 23.

It’s not only a battle among acts but also a battle among judges as Melanie is being mentored by Simon Cowell, Josh by Nicole Scherzinger, and Chris by L.A. Reid. Not a single act from judge Paula Abdul’s Groups, unfortunately, made it to the finals.

Chris gained a following as the only rapper in the competition who even went as far as writing and singing his own composition in the live shows. His originally composed audition piece instantly got the judges’ votes while his touching story as a trash collector who just underwent rehab captivated the hearts of the judges and the audience.

Thirty year-old Josh, on the other hand, impressed the judges during auditions with his rendition of Etta James’ song “At Last.” From slinging burritos at a restaurant in Ohio, Josh is now singing his way to stardom as the only Over 30’s act still in the competition.

Lastly, college freshman Melanie proved she deserved her spot in the show and even beat other Girls act initially chosen by Simon during Judges Homes’ week. Simon personally went to Sunrise, Florida to ask Melanie to come back and admitted before her family that he made a ‘big mistake’ to send her home. Since then, Melanie has been receiving great reviews as the show’s resident diva and belter.

Their fates now lie on America’s hands as they will be the one to decide who will be the first ever “The X Factor USA” winner. Who will it be?

America hasn’t chosen the top act yet but producers of the show are already beginning auditions for the show’s second season. A Philippine version of the show is also in the works and will be aired soon on ABS-CBN.

Don’t miss special the two-night finale of “The X Factor” airing via satellite on Philippine free TV this Thursday, December 22 and Friday, December 23, 7 PM on Studio 23.

Nonito Donaire KO of Fernando Montiel Named ‘Knockout of the Year’ by Sports Illustrated

Nonito Donaire KO of Fernando Montiel Named ‘Knockout of the Year’ by Sports Illustrated

Sports Illustrated named Nonito Donaire’s second-round knockout of Fernando Montiel last February 20 as the Knockout of the Year.

This is what Sports Illustrated said about Donaire’s Knock Out moment:

"Yes, Montiel got up from the crushing overhand left that nearly caved in half his face. But he only lasted a few more seconds before the referee stepped in to save him. Couple that with the significance of the matchup — both Donaire and Montiel were pound-for-pound guys going at it in a highly anticipated super bantamweight fight — and Donaire’s savage knockout becomes that much more impressive."

Other winners in’s Boxing Awards include:

Fighter of the Year:
Andre Ward

Fight of the Year:
Pawel Wolak vs. Delvin Rodriguez I

Comeback Fighter of the Year:
Antonio Tarver

Prospect of the Year:
Gary Russell Jr.

Upset of the Year:
Nobuhiro Ishida KO1 James Kirkland

Round of the Year:
James Kirkland vs. Alfredo Angulo, Round 1

Trainer of the Year:
Robert Garcia

Photo Credit: AP

Jose Manalo as Budoy (Unggoy) in Eat Bulaga!

After, Willie Revillame, Jose Manalo now impersonates Gerald Anderson's character in ABS-CBN primetime soap "Budoy".

Watch the hilarious video below:

Hero TV’s Fiery, Adventure-Filled Lineup Heats Up the Cool Yuletide Season

Hero TV’s Fiery, Adventure-Filled Lineup Heats Up the Cool Yuletide Season

Fantasy comes alive. Legends unfold. These are what Hero TV, the country’s most wanted anime channel, promises this Yuletide season, as it proudly presents its thrilling December lineup, featuring new and returning anime titles, exciting Theatrixx movies, newest season of “My Hero Nation” and the much-awaited “2011 Hero Year-end” special.

Bida Ka. Dito!” goes the channel’s tagline, which encourages kids to be the heroes of their families and friends. In aim for a joyous journey this Christmas, Hero TV challenges kids of all ages to enter the realm of true power. Are your shadow warriors strong enough to protect your families and friends and ready to become ultra?

Top billing Hero TV’s thrilling lineup are “Blue Dragon Season2,” “Superior 8 Ultraman Brothers” and “Megamonster Battle Ultra Galaxy The Movie.” A feast dubbed as “Feast of Animated Theatrixx” also completes this yuletide season as it features the best-of-the-best animated movies on December 24 and 25, 12p.m. to 12a.m.

Returning titles, on the other hand include “Reborn Season 1,” “Code Geass,” “Needless,” “Eyeshield 21 Season 3,” “One Outs,” “Yugioh GX Season 2,” “Hana Yori Dango,” “Devil May Cry,” and “Lovely Idol.”

Two years after the world is freed from darkness, Shu and his friends once again go on board to fight dark forces with the sudden appearance of the most unexpected enemy. It’s now a face off battle between two of the most powerful dragon - Shu’s Blue Dragon versus the fearsome Red Dragon. Catch this exciting action on “Blue Dragon Season 2,” Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m., with replays at 5a.m. and 12p.m.

Also on “Hero Theatrixx,” two Ultraman movies are set to be shown—“Superior 8 Ultraman Brothers” on December 18 at 12:30 a.m., 12p.m. and 9:0p.m., which is the most commercially successful Ultraman movie of all time and “Megamonster Battle Ultra Galaxy The Movie” on Christmas Day, December 25 at 1a.m., 12p.m. and 9p.m., the second highest-grossing Ultraman film.

Meanwhile, this December “My Hero Nation Season 2” will feature interesting activities and events for the holidays. From performances, dubbing and gaming to cosplaying to anime fan mail reading to comics and manga style drawing, name it, this talent-filled youth-oriented show offers it all. “My Hero Nation Season 2” airs every Saturday at 12p.m. and 8p.m. with replays every Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 12p.m. and 8p.m.

Also, another awesome chapter is about to end. But before bidding goodbye to the current year, Hero TV reminisces on the exciting journey and thrilling adventures that viewers of the most wanted anime channel had this year. Catch the “2011 Hero Year-end Special” on December 31 at 12p.m. and 9p.m. with replays on January 1 on the same timeslots.

Hero TV (Channel 44) is available on SkyCable Gold, SkyCable Silver and other quality cable operators nationwide. For more updates, log on to

Blessed Pedro Calungsod Declares the Second Filipino Saint by the Vatican

Blessed Pedro Calungsod Declares the Second Filipino Saint by the Vatican

Blessed Pedro Calungsod of Cebu, who got beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000, will be canonized as a saint for the Roman Catholic Church as announced by the Vatican through its website today, December 20.

This is after Pope Benedict XVI officially approved the promulgation of decrees for canonization of Calungsod and six others who have been said to have performed miracles.

Though no definite date has yet to be released by the Vatican, Calungsod, once canonized, will become the second Filipino Catholic saint following Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, who was elevated to sainthood in 1987.

The other six candidates for canonization together with Calungsod are: Blessed Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Holy Family of Nazareth and of the Congregation of the Humble Sister Servants of the Lord; Blessed Jacques Berthieu, French martyr and priest of the Society of Jesus; Blessed Maria del Carmen, Spanish foundress of the Conceptionist Missionary Sisters of Teaching; Blessed Maria Anna Cope, German religious of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis in Syracuse; Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha, American laywoman; and Blessed Anna Schaffer, German laywoman.

ABS-CBN RNG Named WWF Media Partner of the Year

ABS-CBN RNG Named WWF Media Partner of the Year

ABS-CBN Regional Network Group (RNG) was named as World Wildlife Fund (WWF)’s Media Partner of the Year for its unfailing support in helping promote the organization’s vision in preserving the wildlife.

The award was given during the WWF Philippines Anniversary Black and White Benefit at the Manila Polo Club held recently as a part of WWF’s 50th anniversary celebration. The event also marked WWF’s 15th year in the Philippines.

Through airing WWF plugs in its 32 TV stations and 14 My Only Radio (MOR) stations, RNG has helped promote awareness for the protection and preservation of pawikan. Local news programs such as “TV Patrol” and “Umagang Kay Ganda” also followed WWF activities as its representatives visit RNG areas to check their projects or to hold seminars among city stakeholders.

Desiree Bretana, Customer Marketing Group Head for RNG, received the award. “We feel that this is a timely advocacy to support and take to heart, in view of the fast changing climate worldwide,” Bretana said. “This also brings full circle complementary corporate projects like the “11.20.11. Run for the Pasig River.”

ABS-CBN RNG has been supporting WWF since January 2011. Bretana added that RNG will continue to support WWF’s projects in the future.

Sneak Peek: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Sneak Peek: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

In Columbia Pictures’ eagerly awaited “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” Academy Award®-nominated director David Fincher (“The Social Network”) uncoils the world of author Stieg Larsson’s global blockbuster thriller on the screen.

Within the story’s labyrinth lie murder, corruption, family secrets and the inner demons of the two unexpected partners chasing the truth of a 40-year-old mystery. Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is a financial reporter determined to restore his honor after being convicted of libel. Engaged by one of Sweden’s wealthiest industrialists, Henrik Vanger (Academy Award® nominee Christopher Plummer), to get to the bottom of the long-ago disappearance of his beloved niece, Harriet – murdered, Vanger believes, by a member of his large family – the journalist heads to a remote island on the frozen Swedish coast, unaware of what awaits him.

At the same time, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), an unusual but ingenious investigator with Milton Security, is hired to do a background check on Blomkvist, a job that ultimately leads to her joining Mikael in his investigation of who killed Harriet Vanger. Though Lisbeth shields herself from a world that has repeatedly betrayed her, her hacking skills and single-minded focus become invaluable. While Mikael goes face-to-face with the tight-lipped Vangers, Lisbeth plies the wired shadows. They begin to trace a chain of homicides from the past into the present, forging a fragile strand of trust even as they are pulled into the most savage currents of modern crime.

Columbia Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures present a Scott Rudin/Yellow Bird Production of a David Fincher film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, starring Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen and Joely Richardson.

The film is directed by David Fincher and produced by Scott Rudin, Ole Søndberg, Søren Stærmose and Ceán Chaffin, from a screenplay by Steven Zaillian based on the book by Stieg Larsson originally published by Norstedts.

The film’s crew includes director of photography Jeff Cronenweth, ASC, production designer Donald Graham Burt, editors Kirk Baxter, A.C.E. and Angus Wall, A.C.E., costume designer Trish Summerville and composers Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross.

Opening soon across the Philippines, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is distributed by Columbia Pictures, local office of Sony Pictures Releasing International.