Watch Out: Metro Manila Pride March and Festival – June 30, 2018!

Save The Date!

Yup, be sure to pencil this in on your calendar this year! I will be posting more updates regarding this as we go along! See you there!

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America’s Next Top Model Cycle 24 Episode 2 Photoshoot: Bohemia Pregnancy

The challenge this episode was a runway challenge at the Venice Beach skate park – remember, Cycle 15? Anyhoo, the girls modeled designs from Baja East with the winner getting a chance to walk the the designer’s show at the New York fashion week. Khrystyana won the challenge and deservingly so.

As for the shoot this week, they were to have a bohemian pregnancy shoot with featured photogs Charlotte Rutherford. I honestly didn’t like this shoot very much. It’s almost a beauty shoot in a way and I wished they’d do more of that in the future shoots.

Brendi K

Christina

Coura – I’m not exactly in agreement with Mama Ty when she picked this as the best shot this week. Oh, well.

Erin

Ivana

Jeana

Khrystyana

Kyla

Liberty – I honestly just want her to get the boot.

Liz

Rhiyan

Rio

Sandra

Shanice

Maggie – bye girl!

Call Out Order
First Call Out – Coura
2. Rio
3. Erin
4. Jeana
5. Khrystyana
6. Christina
7. Liz
8. Kyla
9. Ivana
10. Rhiyan
11. Liberty
12. Shanice
13. Sandra
14. Brendi K
Eliminated: Maggie

Photos courtesy of Pottle Productions, Inc. and ANTM Facebok Page

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Specials: The Repeaters

There are only three candidates this year who are out to prove themselves worthy of a Binibining Pilipinas crown after failing their first and even second and third try at the nationals. They may not have the hype of MJ Lastimosa (2011, 2012, 2014 – Miss Universe Philippines), Maria Angelica de Leon (2013, 2017 – Bb. Pilipinas International), and Pia Wurtzbach (2013, 2014, 2015 – Miss Universe Philippines, Miss Universe) but they will surely be stepping up their game this time around.

Juliana Kapeundl just landed in the Top 15 last year – her first attempt. I personally predicted her as my first runner-up because truth be told, the girl is too gorgeous in person.

Here’s what I wrote about her last year: Juliana is a living barbie doll in person and I just want her to train more and come back next year because this girl just screams “Miss International!” but not this year though.

This is Jezha Huelar’s third attempt to win a crown after her being 2nd Runner-up  in 2016 and a Top 15 finish last year, Jezha is more than ready for her final hurrah in the country’s biggest pageant stage!

What I thought about her return last year: Jezha Huelar’s second runner-up finish last year helped her gain confidence and the training she went through along with the 2016 queens was the result of her fierce return into the compeition. I was never a fan before but she’s slowly growing on me. Those legs are to die for! Not sure how many brownie points she had acquired from Madame Stella over the course of her runner-up reign but for now, I am willing to bet that she’d get one of the crowns – the ‘Globe’ one presumably.

Finally, we have 2012 semifinalist Karen Gallman. IMO, she’s the strongest amongst the three returnees this year. Her face to die for and I’ve a feeling that gaining life experiences overseas will work in her favors although I am a bit worried about her height. Pero sabi nga ng Tita Beks ko, at the end of the day BEAUTY pageant parin ang Binbinin (At the end of the day, Binibini is still a BEAUTY pageant).

Who do you think has the best chances to clinch a crown this time around?

Binibining Pilipinas 2018 Specials: The Frontrunners

Whilst Katarina Rodriguez is currently competing in Egypt to bag the elusive Miss Intercontinental crown for the Philippines, the pageant season in the country has officially started with the announcement of this year’s Binibining Pilipinas official candidates.

As per our tradition, we catapult girls to the all-so-important and perhaps the most difficult position to be in – the frontrunners pedestal where there is intense pressure from every pageant fans and pundits.

This year, we’ve a few frontrunners who are mostly crossovers and returnees, although there are also some newbies amongst them. Rest assured though, that these girls have the experience, the hype and the power to lord it over the other girls. The only question is – will they be able to maintain said status until the pageant night?

These are the seven considered frontunners based on the hype, connections, experiences or whatever you wanna call it. They have it.

We’ve been hearing Aya Abesami’s name since 2014 as a possible contender for the nationals but it’s only now that she decided to try out under the tutelage of Aces & Queens allegedly leaving behind a very stable job from the Big Apple.

For all of you unaware of her beauty queen pedigree, Aya is the daughter of Miss Universe 1984 3rd Runner-Up Desiree Verdadero and the niece of Miss World 2003 finalist Mafae Verdadero Yunon. Pretty formidable connections yeah?

She is now being touted by many as the flag bearer of her beauty camp but does she have what it takes to win the top plum? Her beauty is a polarizing one but we have to remember that Aya before her beauty pageant quest is a model first and foremost. Will she be able to carry on her legacy this year?

Former DLSU Lady Spiker and Pinoy Big Brother housemate Michelle Gumabao is also gunning for one of the national titles this year as the lone sportswoman who applied and made it through the Top 40. Daughter of veteran Filipino actor Dennis Roldan, Gumabao is one of the tallest from this batch and is all ready to power it up under the Aces & Queens banner.

This is Jehza Huelar’s third attempt to win a crown after her 2nd Runner-Up title in 2016 and disheartening Top 15 finish last year. This Davaoena beauty is still as fresh as ever and she’s now hoping that she’d be able to do a Maricar-MJ-Pia comeback! Mind you, all three of these ladies went eventually won the Miss Universe Philippines title.

Karen Gallman made the semis back in 2012 and won the Miss Photogenic award. After a long hiatus in the pageant world, this beauty from Brisbane is all set to snatch one of the crowns at stake. Her height maybe her most disadvantageous quality at this point but we’ll see if the she’d be able to do a David against her Goliath competitors.

Vickie Rushton is a budding actress and a former Mutya ng Pilipinas 2011 grand winner where Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago was also a co-winner. In 2011, she was unable to represent the country in Miss Intercontinental because of scheduling conflict between the local and the international pageant. Now, she’s back stronger than ever in the pageant stage hoping the represent the country in the international arena!

Like Vickie, Eva Patalinjug was also a Mutya ng Pilipinas grand winner back in 2014 and was supposed to represent the country for the comeback staging of Miss Asia Pacific Quest. Unfortunately for her, the organizers of the pageant were unable to stage it on time until last year so Eva was left without a pageant assignment but retained the title anyhow. Now older and more beautiful, this Cebuana queen is consider to be the flag bearer of the Kagandahang Flores camp, the same camp of reigning Miss Universe Philippines Rachel Peters.

Without question, Catriona Gray became the one to beat the moment she declared her intention to try out for the nationals. Now, as part of the official 40 candidates, this Miss World 2016 Top 5 finisher is more than ready to conquer the universe. Will the stars align in her favor come March 18?

Who for you are the frontrunner/s this year?

 

 

photos courtesy of Official Binibining Pilipinas Facebook Page. 

ICYDK: ‘Call Me By Your Name’ Will Open on January 31, 2018 Nationwide!

If you’ve missed the local limited screening of the most buzzed movie of 2017 and one of this year’s Oscars’ frontrunners during the Cinema One Original Film Festival last November, don’t fret because you will get your chance to see Timothee Chalamet and Armie Hammer heat it up with their summer romance flick, Call Me By Your Name directed by Luca Gaudagnino. It is based in the book of the same name by Andre Aciman.

by Sony Pictures Classics

The film will have its nationwide release on January 31, 2018 Wednesday at select Ayala Cinema Malls!

by Sony Pictures Classics

I will be updating this once the final participating cinema schedules comes out!

Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli

Published: April 7, 2015
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Format: Novel
Genre And Themes: LGBTQ, Romance, Young Adult, Highschool
Length: 325 pages, ebook
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: B00LSRXJKC
Characters: Simon Spier, Martin Addison, Abby Suso, Nick Eisner, Leah Burke

When Simon Spier’s emails to his secret pen pal, Blue, fall into the wrong hands, he is forced to play wingman to his blackmailer

In a usual high school setting where everything is supposed to be a big ol’ cliche, the author tried her best to make this a “not another high school”story but it is a “high school story” so inevitably, it totally reads like one. Only the focus of this one involves the forced “coming out” from the closet of our main protagonist Simon and the not so big reveal of his penpal, Blue.

I liked this one mainly because it’s an easy read. It’s predictable, but good predictable. I loved Simon’s character. He’s got a very fun family and friends who are surprisingly all so supportive of him.

Althought I didn’t find anything out of the box about the whole thing, I do loved its consistency. This could end up all wrong what with the whole blackmailing thing and the whole e-mail thingy between Simon and Blue merely keeping the story afloat but the author was able to maintain the excitement until the end. I mean, I actually guessed Blue’s identity midway through the book but I enjoyed the whole works of the author trying to deviate its readers from its obvious clues. I loved the dynamics between his friends but they’re just too ideal for me. I mean, I loved that it doesn’t have this despicable evil person for a villain and that’s what maybe I was looking for. Something to stir shit up but not to the level, the “villain” of the story did it. I mean, like REALLY stir shit up.

I also want to address the issue of coming out on our own terms. I think everyone should be able to do it the way they want to – No questions asked.

This is an okay read for me, overall. It’s cute, it’s fun and I reckon, very intune with its target audience.

Now, I am really curious to see Love, Simon.

Rating:  3 out of 5 stars

AMAZON BUY LINK

About The Author
Becky Albertalli is the author of the acclaimed novels Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (film: Love, Simon), The Upside of Unrequited, and Leah on the Offbeat. She is also the co-author of What If It’s Us with Adam Silvera. A former clinical psychologist who specialized in working with children and teens, Becky lives with her family in Atlanta. You can visit her online at www.beckyalbertalli.com.

The Official Candidates of the Binibining Pilipinas 2018!

Yesterday’s final screening was a grueling day for the girls hoping to be part of the official Binibining Pilipinas candidates and earlier this morning, the name of the final 40 girls who made it were listed with their respective official numbers.

1. Vickie Marie Rushton
2. Katherine Ventura
3. Rose Murphy
4. Ana Patricia Asturias
5. Muriel Orais
6. Janice De Roman
7. Sigrid Grace Flores
8. Shane Quintana Tormes
9. Agatha Romero
10. Kayesha Chua
11. Aya Abesamis
12. Janette Roanne L. Sturm
13. Istie Cequeña
14. Samantha Bernardo
15. Juliana Kapeundl
16. Annalita Vizcarra
17. Ma Ahtisa Manalo
18. Rosantonette Mendoza
19. Michelle Gumabao
20. Catriona Gray
21. Anjame Magbitang
22. Sophia Baino
23. Ena Velasco
24. Edjelyn Joy Gamboa
25. Jerelleen Rodriguez
26. Wynonah Buot
27. Henna Kaizelle Cajandig
28. Angelica Corbe
29. Samantha Avestruz
30. Sarah Margarette Joson
31. Jehza Huelar
32. Eva Patalinjug
33. Stephanie Joy Abellanida
34. Mary Joy de Castro
35. Sandra Lemonon
36. Loren Mar Artajos
37. Patrizia Garcia
38. Karen Gallman
39. Trixia Marie Maraña
40. Angelie Aubrey Asuncion

Are your favorites on the list?

America’s Next Top Model Cycle 24 Episode 1 Avant-garde Photoshoot (Non-Elimination)

Mama TyTy was back hosting the show and the premiere episode of the 24th cycle of the show introduces us to diverse ladies vying for the Top Model title!

Nobody got the boot yet, so nothing interesting has happened yet aside from the contestant who’s deem to have an attitude but I mean – she telling it straight to mama, so there’s that.

Photos courtesy of ANTM Facebook Page / Pottle Productions, Inc

Book Review: Call Me By Your Name – André Aciman

Published: January 23, 2007
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Format: Novel
Genre And Theme: LGBTQ, Romance, Coming-of-Age
Length: 268 pages, ebook
Ebook ISBN/ASIN: B004L62E08
Characters: Elio Perlman,Oliver

I’ve had this on my files for years now but never paid any attention to it until it was picked up for a film adaptation. So last night, I finally finished reading it – a good 15 days before the movie hit the theaters locally.

Call Me By Your Name is narrated by and tells the story of a seventeen-year-old American-Italian-Jewish youth, Elio Perlman, and his six-week, summer love affair with Oliver, a university professor who is seven years older than Elio and who has been selected to live in Elio’s parents’ home as a guest “resident” while finishing a manuscript for publication as part of the parents’ way of aiding budding writers.

First, let me tell you that this isn’t a five-star read for me. I’ve conflicting feelings about it. I liked it enough but then I’d think of one scene which I hated then I would hate the whole thing but then Elio will do this, Oliver will do that, Elio will say that and so on… it’s just giving me a lot of feels – good, bad, depressing, wonderful feels. I’d say that all throughout the book, I was invested enough.

In the first part of the novel, you can really tell Elio’s struggle to reign his desire, to reign his emotion. It was that youthful struggle I think most of us in some way or another have experienced. At times, it felt like his struggle to conceal his feelings for Oliver was bordering on obsession.

“I wanted him gone from our home so as to be done with him. I wanted him dead too, so that if I couldn’t stop thinking about him and worrying about when would be the next time I’d see him, at least his death would put an end to it. I wanted to kill him myself, even, so as to let him know how much his mere existence had come to bother me…”

These struggles became even harder because he is also questioning his identity and questioning people around him who might question his actions and decisions. Remember, this was set in 1980’s Italy – a predominantly Catholic country.

Although what’s affected me most is the way Aciman was able to bring forth Elio’s emotion as he narrated his times with Oliver. His observations and opinions were so real it felt like you are Elio in that moment, in that scene.

“It never occurred to me that if one word from him could make me so happy, another could just as easily crush me, that if I didn’t want to be unhappy, I should learn to beware of such small joys as well.”

I also loved that Aciman isn’t following a chronological timeline here. It goes back and forth from that one fateful summer up to the present and back again.

“You can always talk to me. I was your age once, my father used to say. The things you feel and think only you have felt, believe me, I’ve lived and suffered through all of them, and more than once—some I’ve never gotten over and others I’m as ignorant about as you are today, yet I know almost every bend, every toll-booth, every chamber in the human heart. – Elio’s Father

Now the second part has more dialogues than the first. It let’s you in more into Elio and Oliver’s interaction. Elio’s acting like his very young self – the shy but very vibrant boy of the B. Elio is definitely the life of this novel.

“What would happen if I saw him again? Would I bleed again, cry, come in my shorts? And what if I saw him with someone else, ambling as he so often did at night around Le Danzing? What if instead of a woman, it was a man?”

Tis here that you can see Elio’s funny side.

“Don’t make it difficult, don’t talk, don’t give me reasons, and don’t act as if you’re any moment going to shout for help. I’m way younger than you and you’d only make a fool of yourself by ringing the house alarm or threatening to tell my mommy. “

“This was not a dessert she was familiar with. But she was going to let me have my way in her kitchen without interfering, as if humoring someone who’d been hurt enough already. The bitch knew. She must have seen the foot. Her eyes followed me every step of the way as if ready to pounce on my knife before I slit my veins with it.”

His internal musings are just funny yet heartbreaking most of the times.

“for you in silence, somewhere in Italy in the mid-eighties.”

I can’t help but think that this book is more like a book of ruminations of lost love and about someone who has maybe moved forward in life but never moved on. That’s a rather hard pill to swallow right? It was like Elio’s in a limbo waiting for his salvation. Alas, the only salvation that happened here is that Elio’s remain faithful to his heart. There may have been people whom he tried to loved, lived with and even be passionate about but there could only be one Oliver for him. It was sad. It will grate on you that he hasn’t moved on. It will make you mad, that this selfish American guy who captured the heart of this seventeen year old Italian boy has never returned such connection. At least that’s what I’ve felt from Oliver’s character. There was not enough regret from him. Oliver simply just moved on from that summer. It was just a memory for him. And that’s what annoyed me the most about this book. Oliver’s character is one selfish sonofabitch who doesn’t deserved Elio’s lifetime adoration. Well, that’s just me tho.

Overall, the writing for me was almost a reminiscent of Alire-Saenz’ technique but perhaps Aciman’s went overboard resulting to a mostly hifalutin dialogues. ‘rolled my eyes several times but knew that the ending should at least be hopeful or if not, hopeful for someone that is not Oliver. Alas, it’s a disaster. I don’t blame the author for this. I just regret investing so much time caring for Elio. And no, I’m not calling Oliver by his name.

I am hoping that I’d like the movie more.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

AMAZON BUY LINK

About The Author
André Aciman was born in Alexandria, Egypt and is an American memoirist, essayist, novelist, and scholar of seventeenth-century literature. He has also written many essays and reviews on Marcel Proust. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, The Paris Review, The New Republic, Condé Nast Traveler as well as in many volumes of The Best American Essays. Aciman received his Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from Harvard University, has taught at Princeton and Bard and is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at The CUNY Graduate Center. He is currently chair of the Ph. D. Program in Comparative Literature and founder and director of The Writers’ Institute at the Graduate Center.

Aciman is the author of the Whiting Award-winning memoir Out of Egypt (1995), an account of his childhood as a Jew growing up in post-colonial Egypt. Aciman has published two other books: False Papers: Essays in Exile and Memory (2001), and a novel Call Me By Your Name (2007), which was chosen as a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and won the Lambda Literary Award for Men’s Fiction (2008). His forthcoming novel Eight White Nights (FSG) will be published on February 14, 2010

Will Catriona Gray’s Rogue Magazine Cover Ruin Her Binibining Pilipinas Dreams?

After Catriona Gray’s successful filing yesterday in the hopes of becoming a Binibining Pilipinas candidate, pageant fans and pundits are waiting in bated breath whether she’d actually make it as an official candidate or all of her preparations will be for naught.

You may recall that Miss World 2013 Megan Young was allegedly denied participation during the 2013 edition of the Binibining Pilipinas pageant due to her very daring editorial for Rogue Magazine in 2012.

Catriona was featured on the cover of Rogue Magazine during its January-February 2014 Music Issue wearing a backless Roland Mouret dress. I personally don’t see anything wrong with this and the editorial that goes along with it was too high-fashion to even be considered racy. At all.

Just  let me post what Rogue Magazine exactly is based on their website. I personally don’t read the magazine so forgive me.

Rogue is an award-winning magazine that covers entertainment, culture, and current affairs for an affluent and important audience in the Philippines. Rogue is synonymous with beautiful women, powerful photography, and intelligent storytelling. Thought-provoking, relevant, and glamorous, Rogue has become a lifestyle filter whose pages reflect the unique pulse of Filipinos, in the Philippines and abroad. Combining cutting-edge style with profiles on the country’s influencers — from art and design to business and politics — Rogue is a purveyor of impeccable taste, elegant covers, and world-class journalism.  – Rogue.ph

The crux of the matter is, detractors of Ms. Gray are already clamoring for her disqualification which I thought was really mean-spirited and very unsportmanlike stating it clearly violates the Binibining Pilipinas rules of posing for men’s magazine. SERIOUSLY GUYS, GET A GRIP. Let the girl chase her dreams!

And to Catriona, Ganbatte! ^_^

Photo Credits: Fashion Media PH