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Ai-Ai is Queens’ Best

Famous as a comedienne, Ai-Ai delas Alas was named Best Female Actor by the Seventh Annual Queens World Film Festival (AQWFF) for her performance as an aging prostitute in Area (photo), an indie directed by Louie Ignacio.

Ai-Ai delas Alas woke up to your Funfarer’s text message yesterday morning congratulating her for winning Best Female Actor in a Narrative Feature at the Seventh Annual Queens World Film Festival (AQWFF) for her performance as an aging prostitute in Area, an indie directed by Louie Ignacio who accepted the trophy for Ai-Ai.

The good news was relayed to The STAR by Funfare’s New York-based contributor Felix Manuel barely five minutes after Ai-Ai was announced the winner at the Kaufman Astoria Studio Complex in New York City Sunday night (Monday morning Manila Time). Louie failed to bag the Best Director award.

Famous as a comedienne, Ai-Ai proves her mettle in drama in Area which has already won a major award in Kazakhstan. From Queens, the film will compete at the international film festivals in Cleveland, Boston and Houston.

“Ai-Ai has always dreamed of having an international acting award and I am so thrilled that her dream has come true,” said Louie. “She literally had to immerse herself in the ‘Area’ for several weeks and interact with real prostitutes and had a rare glimpse of how life in the brothels unfolded daily. The title of the movie is actually the name of the district in a nearby province.” — With a report from Felix Manuel

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Baby Nebrida named Ambassador for Peace

Congratulations to my friend Baby Nebrida for being named Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF) and International Association of Parliamentarians for Peace (IAPP). Baby is the only Filipino to be so honored at a ceremony held at the Manila Hotel on March 7.

As the names indicate, UPF and IAPP are composed mostly of parliamentarians and outstanding citizens of the world. They convened in Manila March 6 and 7 for the inauguration of IAPP-Philippines, with a message from Pres. DU30, represented by Sec. Jesus Dureza, presidential adviser on the Peace Process.

The award came as a complete surprise to Baby who thought all along the invitation from Irma Astilla was for a formal dinner closing the two-day conference of UPF and AIPP. After which came the awarding rites naming 10 individual ambassador awardees for Peace coming from various countries.

Baby nearly fell off her chair, in a manner of speaking, when she was first to be called. It was totally unexpected.

The citations read:

“The Universal Peace Federation acknowledges as Ambassadors for Peace those individuals whose lives exemplify the ideal of living for the sake of others, and who dedicate themselves to practices which promote universal moral values, strong family ties, interreligious cooperation, international harmony, renewal of the United Nations, responsible public media and the establishment of a culture of peace.

“Transcending racial, national and religious barriers, the Ambassadors for Peace contribute to the fulfillment of the hope of all ages, a unified world of peace wherein the spiritual and material dimensions of life are harmonized.

“The Universal Peace Federation is proud to hereby recognize as Ambassador for Peace Baby R. Nebrida.”

Why me? Baby asked.

It turned out she was nominated by those who watched her latest film, Across the Crescent Moon, a family drama-action which speaks of unity, peace, beauty and harmony in diversity, referring to Christians and Muslims. Also cited are her religious and civic activities, including feeding the past many Christmases street dwellers really delicious and sumptuous food.

Aside from the international delegates, those who participated in the two-day conference included former House of Representative/Speaker Jose de Venecia and son Pangasinan Rep. Christopher de Venecia, Cebu Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, lawyer Rene Sarmiento (Philippine Peace Panel member), Archbishop Elias Soria, D.D. (president of Asian Clergy Leadership Conference), Sultan Pax Mangudadatu (governor of Sultan Kudarat) and Cecile Guidotte Alvarez.

By the way, Baby is proud and happy to announce that Across the Crescent Moon will have a return engagement at Rockwell Power Plant Theater on March 31, April 1 and 2, this time with the Dolby Atmos sound, the first Filipino film to do so.

Across the Crescent Moon stars Matteo Guidicelli and Alex Godinez, co-starring with Christopher de Leon, Gabby Concepcion, Dina Bonnevie, Sandy Andolong, Jerico Estregan and Joem Bascon.





Cebuano musician in NYC rock band

The Under Culture band once again delighted its growing fan base in the New York rock scene during the music video release of its single Hard Time Letting Go at the Smash Studios in Manhattan a few nights ago.

The UC energetic performers are Michael Turk (vocals), Jon Popin (first guitar), Junio Rodriguez (bass), Andres Marin (drums) and Wendell Ypil (second guitar and keyboards).

Wendell, the band’s newest member, used to be a member of Sony BMG’s ManoMano, a Cebu-based band discovered by former Eraserheads manager Ann Angala) and eventually followed in the footsteps of several Visayan bands which became popular during the resurgence of performing bands during mid 2000s. 

Wendell believes that there is not really a big difference between performing in the Philippines and in New York.

“It’s almost the same when it comes to musicality,” said Wendell. “I mean, we, Filipinos, also have a good taste of music and basically we’re also influenced by western music, so there’s no big difference at all. If there’s one thing, maybe these guys are more good looking than me!” 

Wendell has a message to Mano-Mano fans.

“Please support my new band here in NY. We are looking forward to have tours or concert there. I’ll be happy to hear my kapwa Filipinos singing our songs one day. And oh, they can check our website. It’s www.underculturemusic.com and our FB page is www.facebook.com/undercultureband. The single is already available on iTunes and Spotify.”

(E-mail reactions at entphilstar@yahoo.com. You may also send your questions to askrickylo@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on www.twitter/therealrickylo.)

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