Valentine's Day 2020: Date night events to check out
Jennylyn Mercado and Dennis Trillo look back in the ups and downs of their relationship and reminisce their love story through music in their upcoming concert titled “CoLove Live” this February 15.
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Valentine's Day 2020: Date night events to check out

Jan Milo Severo (Philstar.com) - February 12, 2020 - 5:32pm

MANILA, Philippines — There could be nothing more romantic this coming Valentine’s Day than to spend that special day with the one you love.

Concert? Movie date? Stage play? Philstar.com lists down upcoming events this love month.

Valentine’s date in the theater

Scene from 'Stage Kiss'

Fantasy or Reality? Which is which? When does a stage kiss cross the delicate line into a real one?

In "Stage Kiss," Repertory Philippines’ season opener, the intoxicating desire for romance is shattered by the sobering bite of reality. It is clever and funny and—underneath its delicious comic layers—thought-provoking at its core.

"Stage Kiss" is the quintessential must see for the month of love, hearts, and of course, kisses. REP’s first offering for its 83rd Season, running from February 7 to March 1.

Named Critic’s Pick by The New York Times, "Stage Kiss" is a wickedly insightful romantic comedy about the blurred lines in a relationship. When an out-of-work stage actress (She) auditions for the lead in a forgettable 1930s melodrama, all the drama she’s hoping for is onstage. Little does she realize she’ll be in for a whole lot more drama than what she’s signed up for. When her romantic c0-star (He) walks in on the first day of rehearsals, it turns out to be her real-life ex.

Now, He and She will have to tackle their underlying feelings for each other while playing onstage lovers, all while sharing many, many stage kisses. As they lock lips, smoldering embers spark. Are they still actors playing a scene, or offstage lovers in a moment of passion? In this rib-tickling play-within-a-play, life simulates art and art simulates life. It gets tricky telling one from the other, keeping the audience in constant wonder.

Jennylyn, Dennis in a night of love

Kapuso star Jennylyn Mercado and award-winning Kapuso versatile actor Dennis Trillo look back in the ups and downs of their relationship and reminisce their love story through music in their upcoming concert titled “CoLove Live” this February 15, 7 p.m. at the New Frontier Theater.

The real-life couple, who are very private with their personal lives, will open up for the first time and will celebrate their love in this rare musical treat to be directed by John Prats together with musical director Adonis Tabanda.

 “Ever since, Dennis and I share a common love for music. This is one of the things that we are really passionate about so this coming love month, we want to take the audience with us and make them feel the joy and the pain of falling in love through songs that Dennis and I personally picked,” said Jennylyn.

 “We want the whole experience to be real and sincere and that’s why we did our best to keep the authenticity of our journey here.  We are really blessed that we are working with direk because he was able to translate that beautifully in this show. We are really excited for people to see what we are working on,” added Dennis.

 “CoLove” is one of the shows in Jennylyn’s YouTube channel where she and Dennis jam to 80s and 90s hits alongside guest musicians and artists in a makeshift studio inside the ultimate star’s home. This passion project suddenly became a big hit online as fans continuously clamor for more covers from the Kapuso couple. To date, the channel has earned more than 15 million views.

Aside from Kapamilya actor-turned-concert director John Prats, Dennis and Jennylyn’s friends in the industry will also take part as guest performers in “CoLove LIVE” that include Alden Richards, Carlo Aquino, Alex Gonzaga, Janno Gibbs, Nyoy Volante, Kim Molina, Jerald Napoles, Nar Cabico, Nico Antonio and Juan Miguel Severo.

‘All About Love’ returns with Valentine performance

Two of the country’s premier composers, Maestro Louie Ocampo and Fr. Manoling Franciso SJ, come back to stage their successful back-to-back concert last September, “All About Love,” with Martin Nievera, Bituin Escalante, Arman Ferrer, Lian Kyla as main performers on February 9, at the Meralco Theater.

Set to delight audiences anew in the coming Valentine’s show are songs that captured the hearts of Filipinos through the years, including Ocampo’s songs of love like “Say That You Love Me,” “Kahit Isang Saglit,” Ikaw Lang ang Mamahalin,” “I’ll Be There,” and “I Can” by Ocampo, and songs of inspiration and praise by Fr. Francisco like “Tanging Yaman,” “Hindi Kita Malilimutan,” Huwag Kang Mangamba,” “Sa ‘Yo Lamang,” and “I Will Sing Forever.” 

Two performances are slated on February 9 – a matinee at 2 p.m. and a gala at 6 p.m.

Various musical ensembles will support the performances, including the Ateneo Chamber Singers, the Bukas Palad Music Ministry, Hangad Music Ministry, Tinig Barangka Choir, and the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.

Jamie Rivera, Basil Valdez team up for inspirational concert

Basil Valdez and Jamie Rivera

Inspirational diva Jamie Rivera and Filipino balladeer Basil Valdez team up this February 13 (Thursday) on a one-night only show dubbed “Love and Light: A Valentine’s Dinner Concert” happening at the Mayuree Grand Ballroom of Dusit Thani Manila.

The affair is surely a treat for Valentine’s evening as the two OPM icons, who popularized some of the country’s greatest love songs, are set to serenade the crowd with their timeless hits and inspirational anthems.

Jamie is known for the string of meaningful songs that she popularized such as “Tell The World of His Love” and “We Are All God’s Children,” as well as some touching love songs like “Hey, It’s Me,” “Awit Para Sa’Yo, ”and “I’ve Fallen For You.”

Basil, meanwhile, is another OPM legend with a series of enduring classics under his name, such as “Ngayon at Kailanman,” “Hanggang sa Dulo ng Walang Hanggan,” and “You," among others.

Produced by PLA Events and Nikki Renemer Caranguian, with Star Events as media partner, “Love and Light: A Valentine’s Dinner Concert” is under the musical direction of Adonis Tabanada. 

The wait is over

Netflix will release the sequel of “To All The Boys I love Before” on February 12.

In “To All The Boys I love Before: P.S. I Still Love You,” Lara Jean (Lana Condor) and Peter (Noah Centineo) are no longer pretending to be a couple.

They are already a couple. And, as Lara Jean navigates a trove of official firsts with Peter — her first real kiss, her first real date, her first Valentine’s Day — she finds herself leaning more on Kitty and Margot (Anna Cathcart and Janel Parrish), Chris (Madeleine Arthur), and an unexpected new confidant, Stormy (Holland Taylor), to help her manage the complex emotions that come with this new chapter of balancing a relationship and figuring out her authentic self.

But when John Ambrose (Jordan Fisher), another recipient of one of Lara Jean’s old love letters, enters her life again she must rely on herself more than ever as she’s confronted with her first real dilemma: Can a girl be in love with two boys at once?

Art in the time of love

The dawn of 2020 brings a great sense of anticipation for the next decade in Philippine art. An exciting shift in the landscape is upon us, as a collective of 10 galleries have come together to experiment on new ways of presenting and experiencing art, with the purpose of meeting the evolving needs of the industry. Their pioneering project is ALT Philippines 2020, which will be held on February 14-16 at the SMX Convention Center at SM Aura Premier.

The collective is composed of visionary and dynamic local galleries, ranging from the most veteran and experienced along with exciting young vanguards. These include Artinformal, Blanc, Finale Art File, Galleria Duemila, MO_Space, The Drawing Room, Underground, Vinyl on Vinyl, West Gallery and 1335 Mabini, who consider ALT a passion project.

With their combined expertise and experience, they offer a rare opportunity for visitors to view an exceptional and thoughtfully curated selection of work from over 150 established, mid-career, and emerging artists in one venue in an immersive and engaging format.

Exhibiting artists include some of the most dynamic in the industry, whose works have shaped the conversation of art in the last decade. Their works are rooted in exceptional research and unexplored directions, championed by galleries willing to take risks as a way to broaden ideas on art.

A unique feature is the collective’s hands-on approach to producing and designing each aspect of the art show: from the hive-like design of the venue, to dedicated spaces highlighting each galleries’ distinct contemporary visions, to public programming.

Back-to-back exhibitions 

Up next on Salcedo Auctions’ roster of events are its back-to-back exhibitions at this year’s Art Fair Philippines, featuring works by Luis Romero and Ricky Ambagan.

In "Split Landscapes" by Luis Romero and ‘Unoccupied’ by Ricky Ambagan, guests can observe the shift in approach towards a shared theme, from the modernist framework of the '60s to the contemporary approach of today. 

Romero presents his most recent iteration of a series he started over nearly forty years ago which cuts across a variety of media and art forms. His piece explores the aesthetic of linear design in space - evidence of his architectural background. 

Romero, who has been based in New York since the 1960s was among the first artists to exhibit at the Luz Gallery. His works were collected by Fernando Zobel, and were later donated to the Ateneo Art Gallery to form part of its permanent collection. His 1968 work entitled ‘Yellow Collageis currently on show at the museum as part of the exhibition ‘Yellow Ambiguities.’

Continuing along the same vein in ‘Unoccupied,’ Ricky Ambagan illustrates how words revolving around the idea of space shape the imagery that finds its way onto the canvas. According to the artist, words like ‘outside,’ ‘inside,’ ‘empty,’ ‘full,’ ‘boundary,’ ‘maze,’ ‘path,’ ‘open,’ ‘close, ‘and ‘haiku’ inform his pieces. Ambagan, who was a regional winner of the Philippine Art Awards and has exhibited extensively with local and international galleries such as Art Trek Singapore, is counted among the most promising artists of his generation whose works have also graced the auction block in the past months. 

The back-to-back shows present a unique and rare experience to see past, present, and the past engaging with the present. By exhibiting Romero, whose participation marks his return to exhibitions for the first time in nearly four decades in the Philippines, together with Ambagan, Salcedo Private View brings dialogues on space and contemporaneity to life.

Salcedo Private View will be participating in Art Fair Philippines on February 21 to 23, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Booth 74, Level 7, The Link, Ayala Center, Makati City. 

'James and Pat and Dave' this love month

Scene from 'James and Pat and Dave.'

A new breed of movie stars—Ronnie Alonte, Loisa Andalio, and Donny Pangilinan—topbills Star Cinema’s Valentine’s movie offering, “James and Pat and Dave.”

The romantic-comedy picture, a sequel to 2016’s hit film “Vince and Kath and James,” will see the return of Ronnie, whose character James was rejected by Kath for Vince. Now, he finds himself entangled in another love triangle by pretending to be his co-worker Pat’s (Loisa) lover, who wants to make her ex-boyfriend Dave (Donny) jealous.

Director Theodore Boborol, who also helmed “Vince and Kath and James,” said they wanted to use the film to depict what happens to the person who doesn’t get chosen by the one they love.

 “In a romcon, there’s always someone who doesn’t get picked, and we thought that was so relatable. So we wanted to know what’s their story, don’t they also deserve a ‘happily ever after?’ And for us that’s very relatable, because at one point in our lives, we were all rejected for another,” he explained.

As for the lead actors, starring in the film is nothing short of a dream come true. “Of course we waited for something like this for a long time so we are very excited. We just entered 2020, then there’s this new opportunity, new life. So when this was given to us we really didn’t think twice,” Ronnie said.

 “It feels amazing to be starring on our own film and to finally be noticed. This has always been my dream ever since I was young—to see myself in the big screen. That’s why I’m so excited,” Loisa added.

 “The environment on set was so light. It’s also exciting because finally, we get to show this movie to you guys and I'm just very thankful and blessed,” Donny echoed.

 “James and Pat and Dave” is written by Daisy Cayanan and also stars Awra Briguela and CJ Salonga.

Youth for music

The experience of watching your favorite artists perform right in front of you is what makes music festivals popular around the world. In the Philippines, music festivals cover nearly every genre ranging from EDM, rock, pop, alternative indie, and are patronized by its core market: The Filipino youth.

In essence, Found aims to be known as a non-denominational and highly experiential movement that seeks to inspire, engage, and motivate. While the festival’s immediate audience includes members of Christian organizations, it also serves as a platform for secular entities to appreciate music and art.

After its massive success last year, Found came back last February 08 at the Filinvest City Events Grounds.

Found’s year 2 featured Christian folk rock band Rend Collective and worship group Citipointe Live, together with local acts such as IV of Spades, The Ransom Collective, and Leanne and Naara.

“We had a good first run and we’re expecting to have an even better second one. Our goal really is to inspire purpose and inclusivity,” says Alexandra Guerrero-Reyes, Found Music Festival’s founder.

“We took into consideration what our audience wants, and that’s feel good music. That’s why we really worked hard to get your favorite local acts and bring them to Found next year,” she added.

“We’re even including talks, arts and crafts, and other engaging activities this coming 2020. We want Found Music Festival Year 2 to be a full experience for everyone,” said Stephen Ku, Eventscape Manila’s CEO and Found Music Festival’s official event partner.

Gerard Salonga conducts PPO at CCP

Salonga and Fernandez-Ching

The Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra performs under the baton of guest conductor Gerard Salonga in the PPO’s 6th season concert on February 14 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines' Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (Main Theater). Soprano Andion Fernandez-Ching is the guest soloist.

Slated on Valentine’s Day, the program for the concert includes Lucio San Pedro’s Ang Buwan sa Kabundukan, Franz Schubert’s Erlk?nig, Manuel De Falla‘s Siete Canciones Populares Españolas, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Tatiana’s Letter Scene (Eugene Onegin), Jeffrey Ching’s My Heart Stayed Numb (The True Story of King Kong) and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Symphony no.6, op. 74, B minor “Pathetique."

Gerard Salonga is currently the music director of the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra in Manila, and is in his second season as assistant conductor of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. He has guest-conducted the HK Philharmonic, Philippine Philharmonic, Shanghai Opera House Orchestra and Chorus, Evergreen Symphony, Bangkok Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, Orchestra Victoria in Melbourne, and early this year made his debut with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.  In December of 2016 Gerard orchestrated the Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra by National Artist Col. Antonino Buenaventura, which was given its world premiere by the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra and bassoonist Adolfo Mendoza.

A soloist of the Deutsche Oper Berlin from 2001 to 2010, Andion Fernandez-Ching graduated with honors from the Universität der Künste, Berlin, and studied voice with Karan Armstrong and contemporary music with Aribert Reimann following her studies with Fides Cuyugan-Asencio at the University of the Philippines.

She is a prizewinner of Operalia International Opera Competition (Placido Domingo World Opera Contest, Hamburg) and the Cardiff Singer of the World competition, and has sung in the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin, the Festspielhaus in Baden Baden, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein, the Gulbenkian Auditorium in Lisbon, the Kallang Theatre and Victoria Theatre in Singapore, the Glazunov Hall in St. Petersburg, and the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona.

A bookish kind of Valentine's


The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale will be returning to Manila after several successful runs in the Philippines, aiming to feed the appetite of the army of readers in the country.

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale Manila 2020 will be open 24 hours straight from February 14 to 24 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City, Metro Manila.

During the 11-day duration of one of the world’s biggest book sales, more than two million English titles will be available at 50 to 90 percent off recommended retail price and entry is free.

The Crazy Deals promotion will also be introduced for the first time in Manila, offering incredible further markdowns as low as P60.

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale made several trips to cities across the Philippines in 2019, including Cebu, Davao, Pampanga and of course, Manila, which saw a total of 750,000 visitors flocking to the Sale.

This year, readers can delve into the scores of books on hand once more and enjoy handpicking from genres such as literature, thrillers, young adult, romance, self-help, architecture, cooking, graphic novels and many more.

Watercolor bonding with 'bae'

Workshop instructors Alvin De Jesus and Iris Babao Uy
Manila Hotel/Released

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it is your world for the moment,” said Georgia O’Keeffe, the 20th century painter that reinvented the way flowers are represented.

Flowers have always been considered vessels of meaning and messages that accompany man’s most memorable milestones in life. This is why there is always an interest in floral when it comes to art, and it goes as far back as the emergence of still life painting.

On February 1, the Art Gallery by The Manila Hotel opened the “Paper in Bloom” exhibit, which highlights the stunning work of awarded artists who – with their delicately created pieces – demonstrate amazing control over a difficult medium, as well as the exquisite play between colors, shapes, and shadows. 

“Paper in Bloom” showcases the watercolor paintings of waling-waling and phalaenopsis by artists who champion Philippine aquarelle, namely: Bianca Borlagdan-Luztre, Suklin Chang-Pena, Buds Convocar, Romina Dayanghirang, Jerry Dela Rosa, Dinna Delos Reyes, Edna Delos Reyes, Rolly Delos Santos, Hemy Fabay, Kyle Fortu-Legaspi, Jean Govinda, Ella Hipolito, Elizabeth Jarantilla, Judy Liuson, Sarah Luson-Ongsun, Christine Nunez, Tessa Punzalan-Brodeth, Sheila Quisumbing-Bondoc, Jinky Rayo, Melanie Reyes-Tuquet, Thur Toledo, Manny Vailoces, Ralph Villaluz, and Arvino Yanuario.

This collection, of course, highlights Phalaenopsis, commonly known as orchids, which have around 70 types in the orchid family endemic to the Philippines and other parts of Asia. It also features the Waling-waling, the local name for vanda sanderiana, a flower of the orchid family. Varieties of it were identified among Philippine flora in the late 19th century.

Apart from launching the exhibit, The Manila Hotel is also encouraging budding artists and hobbyists to try out watercolor painting for themselves. There is no better way to discover hidden talents or develop skills you already have than by joining a workshop.

The “Paper in Bloom: Watercolor Painting Workshops” are scheduled on February 16 and 23, and March 15 and 21 at the Roma Salon, The Manila Hotel. They will be run by the Philippine Chapter of the International Watercolor Society (IWSP), which is accredited by the SEC under the group name Philippine Guild of Watercolorists (PGW).

Open to participants ages 13 years old and above, attendees will learn the basics of creating watercolor art, specifically in urban landscapes, seascapes, florals, and still life subjects. Aside from basic watercolor techniques, they will also learn color harmony and finish the workshop with their very own artwork. 

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