Friday, March 23, 2012 0 comments

THE MAINE Again Invades the Philippines

“I see you winding and grinding up on that pole...”, “oh she makes me feel like shit..because she’s everything I ask for”… Who could ever forget those lines from the rocking and dumbfounding band? 

After they shook the world of Filipino fans last year, they will again beat the hearts of teens as they will invade the Sky Dome on March 31 to launch their latest album entitled Pioneer. The album hugely features “Don’t Give up on Us”, “My Heroine”, and their lead single “Some Days”. And as they promise, the music video of their new song “Misery” has released. 

Stay Up, Get Down, and The Way We Talk (2006-2007)

The Maine is an American rock band from Tempe, Arizona formed in 2006, January 21st. The band started by bassist Garrett Nickelsen and drummer Pat Kirch. Originally, the band’s name came from the song “Coast of Maine” by Ivory Production. And soon having auditions, John O’Callaghan joined with Ryan Osterman and Alex Ross completed the band. Together they released the EP “Stay Up, Get Down”. Later on, Ryan and Alex left for unknown reasons, though were replaced with Kennedy Brock, the present rhythm guitarist, and Jared Monaco, the lead guitarist. Afterwards, they released their debut album entitled “The Way We Talk”. Shortly thereafter, Ryan and Alex left for unknown reasons, though were replaced with Kennedy Brock, the present rhythm guitarist, and Jared Monaco, the lead guitarist. 

Can't Stop, Won't Stop and ...And a Happy New Year (2008-2009)

Their first full-length album, “Can't Stop, Won't Stop”, was produced by Matt Squire and was released in the summer of 2008, just before the band toured with Good Charlotte and Boys Like Girls. In mid 2008, The Maine and We the Kings supported The Academy the UK.
Their next release was a holiday EP in December 2008 titled ...”And a Happy New Year”, produced by Matt Grabe. The EP included three new original tracks and a cover of the Wham! song “Last Christmas”. In 2009, the band signed to Warner Bros. Records. In February 2009, they toured on “The Secret Valentine” tour, headlining We the Kings along with The Cab, VersaEmerge and There For Tomorrow. In July 2009, the band performed on the Vans Warped Tour. In December 2009, The Maine released “This Is Real Life”, their first published book. 

Black and White (2010)

On July 13, 2010, The Maine released their second full-length album, “Black & White”, produced by Howard Benson. In November 2010, while on the Harmony tour with Never Shout Never, The Maine and NSN had fans gather canned foods to help those in need. As a 'thank you' gift, both acts released a split EP titled “Split – EP” on December 27, 2010. Aside from recording music, The Maine also released books—“This Is Real Life which is a compilation of photos and journal entries written by the band members; and also with the second book Black & White Keepsake Book”. 

They have played in many tours including Warped Tour and The Bamboozle Roadshow. They went on their first headlining tour in 2010, An Evening with The Maine. In October 2010 they joined the Harmony tour with Never Shout Never. In February 2011 they started an international tour that began in the Philippines. From there they went to Australia and performed at Soundwave. They rejoined Never Shout Never for a European tour ending in the U.K.. In April 2011, the band co-headlined a U.S. tour with Augustana, from early May to June 18, 2011. 

For inquiries, call SM TICKETS: 470-2222
PULP ROYALTY: 727-4957
Platinum: P3, 500
Gold: P2, 500
Bronze: P1, 800
The gates will open at 7p.m. 


photo courtesy of


Vampires in Action

Craving for more Vampires? If Edward Cullen’s in Forks, the Salvatore Brothers are in Mystic falls. Learn more about L.J. Smith’s Vampire Diaries.

As the CW announced its schedule for fall 2011 (where The Vampire Diaries will be joined in Thursday nights by The Secret Circle), the network also gave fans a look at season 3 by releasing an official description for what's to come that includes from very revealing information.

"Season three opens the door to learn more about Klaus and The Original Family as his motives for wanting Stefan on his side are finally revealed. As Stefan sinks deeper into the dark side, Damon and Elena struggle with the guilt of their growing bond even as they work together to bring Stefan back from the edge. The ghosts from Jeremy's past have a powerful message they're trying to deliver to him, not to mention the impact they're having on his relationship with Bonnie. In addition, when the CW listed the official cast for season 3, it included Joseph Morgan Klaus, which suggests that he has most likely been promoted to a series regular, or at the very least, he'll be in a lot of season 3.

However, I'm also interested in the minor characters. It looks like Caroline and Tyler will be having a Romeo and Juliet love affair with the warring Forbes and Lockwood families. The Vampire Diaries started this at the end of season 2 when Mayor Carol Lockwood threatened to replace Caroline's mom as sheriff, and while that scene seemed innocent, it was obviously designed to set up a big storyline for those two founding families. My only concern is that, other than the two moms, there are no other Lockwoods or Forbes to keep the feud going. Jeremy also looks to be getting a big storyline as the ghosts of Anna and Vicki try to give him a message. Clearly he seeing dead people isn't just a side effect of coming back from the dead. With those two stories, plus Stefan's dark side and the growing romance of Elena and Damon, The Vampire Diaries season 3 will be full of excitement.

The Vampire Diaries is a supernatural drama television series developed by Kevin Williamson and Julie Plec, based on the book series of the same name written by L. J. Smith. The series premiered on The CW Television Network on September 10, 2009, and is currently in its third season, which premiered on September 15, 2011. The series takes place in Mystic Falls, Virginia, a fictional small town haunted by supernatural beings. The main focus of the series is the love triangle between the protagonist Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) and vampire-brothers Stefan (Paul Wesley) and Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder). As the narrative develops in the course of the series, the focal point shifts on the mysterious past of the town involving Elena's malevolent doppelgänger Katherine Pierce (Katerina Petrova), the family of original vampires, all of which have an evil agenda of their own.

The pilot episode attracted the largest audience of any series premiere since the network began in 2006. During its course it maintained admirable ratings for a show that airs on a relatively new, small and not so famous network. The first season averaged 3.60 million viewers. The show initially received average reviews, but critics agreed that the series improved over the course of the season; the second season premiered to generally favorable reviews. The show has received numerous award nominations, winning a People's Choice Award and many Teen Choice Awards. On April 26, 2011, The CW renewed the series for a third season which began on September 15, 2011.

The series follows the life of Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev) a 17-year-old girl, who falls for a 162-year-old vampire named Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley).Their relationship becomes increasingly complicated as Stefan's vicious and malevolent older brother Damon Salvatore (Ian Somerhalder) returns with a plan to wreak havoc on the town and a revenge against his younger brother. Both brothers begin to show affection towards Elena, mainly because of her resemblance to their past love Katherine Pierce. It is revealed that Elena is a descendant of Katherine, who eventually returns with plans against the trio.

The series is set in the fictional town of Mystic Falls, Virginia, a town charged with supernatural history since its settlement of migrants from New England in the late 17th century. Other story lines revolve around the other inhabitants of the town, most notably Elena's younger brother Jeremy Gilbert(Steven R. McQueen), her best friend Bonnie Bennett (Katerina Graham), their mutual friends, Caroline Forbes (Candice Accola), Tyler Lockwood(Michael Trevino) and Matt Donovan (Zach Roerig). The town's politics are orchestrated by descendants of the original founding families, all comprising a "Founders' Council". Some of the founding families of Mystic Falls include the Salvatores, the Gilberts, the Fells, the Forbes and the Lockwoods. They guard the town mainly from vampires, although they seem to be oblivious to other supernatural threats such as werewolves, witches, and ghosts.

List of The Vampire Diaries characters

Although the show is based on the books of the same name, many of the characters are changed, although the main story lines from the original books are maintained Nina Dobrev portrays Elena Gilbert, the main protagonist, as well as Katherine Pierce, also known as Katerina Petrova, a recurring antagonist. Paul Wesley portrays Stefan Salvatore a good-hearted and affectionate vampire, and the complete opposite of his older brother Damon Salvatore portrayed by Ian Somerhalder, the malevolent vampire brother who, in the beginning, serves as the show's anti-hero; however he shows a kinder, more caring side as the series progresses. However, later in the series Stefan fall on the dark side and his role changes into a more antagonistic one.
Other cast members include Steven R. McQueen, who portrays Jeremy Gilbert, Elena's younger brother, later revealed to be her biological cousin, with Sara Canning acting as Jeremy and Elena's aunt and legal guardian, Jenna Sommers who is killed at the end of the second season after being turned into a vampire. Katerina Graham portrays Bonnie Bennett, Elena's best friend, who is also a witch.Candice Accola portrays Caroline Forbes,[  Elena's insecure friend and occasional rival, who becomes a vampire in the second season. Zach Roerig portrays Matt Donovan, Elena's childhood friend and ex-boyfriend, who later becomes romantically involved with Caroline. Michael Trevino portrays Tyler Lockwood a werewolf, Jeremy's rival, Matt's best friend and son of the mayor of Mystic Falls; male members of his family have been shown to carry a lycanthropic trait. Kayla Ewell portrayed Vicki Donovan, Matt's troubled older sister and girlfriend of Tyler and then Jeremy. She was written out of the show in the seventh episode of the first season, after being turned into a vampire by Damon and killed by Stefan. Soon afterwards Matthew Davis joined the cast as Alaric Saltzman, a history teacher, vampire hunter, and love interest for Jenna. Joseph Morgan joins the main cast in season three, after being a guest star in season two, as original vampire Klaus, one of the main antagonists of the second season, and the main antagonist of the third season.

The series was given a full, 22-episode order on October 21, 2009 after strong ratings for the first half of the season.

On February 16, 2010, The CW announced that it had renewed the show for a second season, which premiered on September 9, 2010. On April 26, 2011, The CW renewed the show for a third season. The third season premiered on September 15, 2011.

President of The CW Mark Pedowitz said in an interview at the summer TCA's that The Vampire Diaries didn't receive an extra episode order at the request of Kevin Williamson. "Kevin Williamson felt to do the best show possible he would rather do 22. I'd rather have a great 22 than a good 24 if Kevin couldn't do it," he explained.

Decisive response

The Vampire Diaries initially received mixed reviews. Metacritic gave the show a Metascore of 50 based on 22 critical reviews, indicating mixed to average reviews.

Entertainment Weekly gave the pilot a B+, declaring that the show "signals a welcome return to form for writer-producer Kevin Williamson". Reviewer Ken Tucker ended his review by writing that "Diaries promises us a season of sharp-tongued amusement." Linda Stasi of the New York Post gave the premiere a perfect score, saying that she was "hooked after one episode". Stasi praised the pacing of the episode and the "vicious, bloody vamp action", which "starts in the opening scene and continues throughout The Vampire Diaries with such ferocity and speed that it's truly scary." Conversely, San Francisco Chronicle's Tim Goodman gave the episode a highly critical review, calling the series "awful". Goodman disliked the dialogue and hoped that the extras on Buffy the Vampire Slayer would "return en masse to eat the cast of Vampire Diaries, plus any remaining scripts."

Many TV critics felt the series improved with each episode. Sarah Hughes of The Independent says The Vampire Diaries turns into "a well-crafted, interestingly developed series", despite a poor opening episode. The New York Post also praised the portrayal of Elena, finding the character to be a strong-minded woman who did not allow her feelings for her boyfriend to control her. Karla Peterson of The San Diego Union-Tribune said that "the supernatural drama is a first-class production, featuring an insanely gorgeous cast, sharp scripts and a brooding vibe that is hard for even the most levelheaded adult to resist." Mike Hale of The New York Times gave the series an honorable mention on his list of the top TV shows of 2009.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 0 comments

Intentional or Accidental?

Blazing Fire out after 82 hours in Ever Gotesco Grand Central 

The unpreparedness and lack of equipment has been blamed for the failure of firefighters to put out the fire at the Ever Gotesco Grand Central Mall in Caloocan City, which broke out Friday night.The Grand Central fire reportedly broke out from a shoe stall on the mall's ground floor. The fire has reportedly destroyed about 90 percent of the mall.

Firefighter trying to diminish the fire that torched the entire Grand Central Mall

Almost four days after it broke out, the fire that hit the Ever Gotesco Grand Central mall in Caloocan City was finally declared out yesterday morning, signaling the start of a formal investigation whether it was accidental or arson.

Officials of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) declared the fireout at 7:25 a.m.

The fire broke out inside the Rusty Lopez outlet located on the ground floor of the Ever Gotesco Grand Central Mall along Rizal Avenue Friday at 10:30 p.m. 

Bureau of Fire Protection-National Capital Region Director Santiago Laguna said nobody is allowed to enter the establishment, even its tenants, except the firemen.

Earlier, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo has created an inter-agency task force that will conduct a thorough probe of the blaze following reports that the mall was deliberately set on fire to claim insurance.

He said they are looking into reports that fires were still erupting in other areas of the building while firefighters were operating on the ground floor.

The fire department also raised the estimated damage to P700 million.

Arson investigators explained that fires that cause damage exceeding P30 million will be investigated by the regional or provincial offices of the BFP.

In a television interview, Oscar de Asis, Caloocan City fire marshal Superintendent, said firefighters lacked equipment such as breathing apparatus to fully pot out the fire.

Affected residents behind the mall 

"Yes, we lacked equipment, including breathing apparatuses. We've been trying to put out this fire for more than two days already. We are tired, including the volunteers," de Asis said.
De Asis said the agency's modernization program is still "pending", but said that meanwhile, they would have to make do with their equipment.

Nearly 200 fire incidents have been recorded in the country since the beginning of March, which has been designated as Fire Prevention Month to raise awareness about fire and safety.


A Rocket to the Moon...and to Your Earphones

One of the talented bands who rocked Manila in LIV5 is the band A Rocket to the Moon... composed of talented guys: vocalist Nick Santino, guitarist Justin Richards, bassist Eric Halvorsen and drummer Andrew Cook. 


Before touring the world and playing on foreign stages, A Rocket to the Moon started in Santino's bedroom years ago when he posted original songs on the internet. But the electro-tinged sonic music shifted into a matured sound and released a full-length album On Your Side--a collection of catching upbeat pop music which they only recorded in just seventeen short days. 

The album includes ballads (Like We Used To), energized rocks (Dakota) and electronica-inflected (Sometimes) songs. On Your Side is a concept album that revolves around the characters of Dakota (the protagonist of the band's hit single) and Annabelle (the album's opening track). They developed a theme that all negative songs are about the character Annabelle and all the love songs are about Dakota.

Although the bands songs are based on personal experiences, they are cautious not to make the songs too literal so that each listener can create his or her own unique interpretation. Santino explains that the beauty of writing songs is being able to make up stories and to write from other people's point of view. 

The band sees to it that they have an intact relationship with their fans by posting several video blogs online that feature their everyday lives and tours. Santino even personally mailed out copies of his debut EP to fans who supported him when the band was just starting out. 

From Santino's bedroom at his parents' house, the band sky-rocketed to stardom and toured has with equally talented bands such as Cobra Starship, Boys Like Girls, All Time Low and NeverShoutNever; and has played music fests like the Vans Warped Tour, Bamboozle and LIV5.

Santino has never actually intended for A Rocket to the Moon to get this far, however fame is destined for the band. 

"It's been an amazing ride so far and I can't wait to see what happens next," Santino says. 


Writer's Black recommends you to listen to these tracks: "Like We Used to", "Dakota", "When I'm Gone", "Mr. Right" and "Baby Blue Eyes". 
And watch the band's videos: 
"Like We Used to" M&feature=list_related&playnext=1&list=ALHTd1VmZQRNpVRbBHCzxVuogBsxJV0UIG
"Mr. Right"
"If Only They Knew" 

For more of A Rocket to the Moon visit the band's page:
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 0 comments

What's Cool this Summer?

Filipinos have become more sophisticated about skin care especially summer is waiting for us like countless endorsements from many different beauty experts, but how does one know which is the best?

Bikinis, sundresses and beach time are all part of summer fun, but the warmth and humidity can create makeup challenges. To get just a cool look this summer, follow these makeup tips. 


Use a moisturizer with SPF 15 or higher to help protect you from damaging UV rays. Moisturizers formulated with SPF help keep your skin soft and ward off wrinkles caused by the sun. Exposed skin needs a little TLC to look its best for skirts and sleeveless tops. Problem is, in the heat of summer, thick body lotion holds all the appeal of a wool sweater. And skin absorbs a gel faster than a cream, so it won't leave a greasy residue. Try Nivea Express Hydration Freshening Gel.


Avoid wearing heavy foundation and try out a tinted moisturizer, such as Girlactik Skin Tint Moisturizer.  It’s lightweight, provides coverage and gives your face a natural-looking tan. If you need more coverage, for blemishes or face discoloration, use a concealer that matches your skin tone and brush over the area lightly with powder.


Apply primer after moisturizing to look fresh and pretty all day. Primer provides a smooth surface for your makeup to adhere to and keeps the makeup in place. It only takes seconds to smooth on your face, but the effects last all day.

Summer Glow

Use a waterproof bronzer that guards against moisture, Pop Beauty’s Tan in a Pan, the answer to your agony. Put on the bronzer sparingly, rather than covering your whole face, to maintain a natural look. Apply the bronzer to your forehead, cheekbones, chin and nose. Use a bronzer brush with long and loose bristles to apply the bronzer more evenly.


Apply a lip moisturizer with SPF to protect your pucker. Sport a natural look by using clear or light-colored lip gloss. Check out E.L.F. Plumping Lip Glaze, which comes in a variety of light summer colors to make your lips extra kissable! This summer, the trend regarding lips is to keep the natural color but make it shine, and maybe even sparkle. You can achieve this look by just using clear lip gloss. Just make sure that your lips aren’t cracked before you apply any kind of lip product; use a soft toothbrush to gently exfoliate the lips and always use lip balm.


Faces glisten with moisture as they sweat. Keep pre-moistened face wipes, such as pure derma facial cleansing cloths, with you at all times. The wipes are especially useful after the beach, for touch-ups and to keep your skin looking fresh. Reapply makeup as needed.

Trim those eyebrows

Whatever season it may be, having well-groomed eyebrows will always enhance your look, even without makeup. You should start by plucking out all of the unruly hairs and then give your eyebrows a great shape using eyebrow gel. This product is available in different colors and it’s also waterproof so you don’t need to worry about it coming off when you jump into the pool.

Ice Your Sunscreen
Turn the task of applying your SPF lotion into a heat-quelling experience: Keep sunscreen in your cooler instead of your beach tote. When it comes time to reapply, you'll get all the necessary sun protection plus a chilly treat for warm skin. Or, try Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Body Mist Sun block SPF 70, which keeps out harmful rays and cools on ice packs required. You've likely gotten into the habit of rubbing sunscreen on any exposed skin, expecting that what's clothed is already protected.

Read more: 

Cooling Beauty Products - Best Skincare Products - Good Housekeeping
Summer Beauty Tips - Quick Makeup Ideas - Good Housekeeping
Makeup Tips- Get a Sizzling Hot Look this Summer 

Monday, March 19, 2012 0 comments

The Yellow Boat of Hope

Jay Jaboneta published a status on a social networking site in the late 2010 sharing the story of the children in Zamboanga who had to swim just to be able to go to school. 

But first, who is Jay Jaboneta? Jay Jaboneta was born in Cotabato City, Philippines and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce Majoring in Management Accounting with a minor in Philosophy in Ateneo De Davao University.

He is the man behind Hungry People, a website for leaders and other individuals who are hungry for ideas worth spreading. 

He was the first Filipino who appeared on a TEDx Talk.

He was also one of the Yahoo! Philippines' Pitong Pinoys (Seven Pinoys) awardees in June 2011. 
But most importantly, Jay Jaboneta is the Fire starter and the Chief Storyteller of the Yellow Boat of Hope. 

Late 2010, when he found out that there were children in Zamboanga, Philippines who had to swim just to be able to go to school. he published the story on Facebook and instantly moved friends that started the Philippine Funds for Little Kids.
Philippine Fund for Little Kids raises funds to build these children boats and provide for their other needs. The Yellow Boat Project, a campaign that become a global movement.

The first boat, which became a symbol of hope, they gave to the community was named New Hope because they believe they are not just providing a vehicle that can ferry the children to school, they are also providing them hope and optimism. 

The Yellow Boat Project is currently present in three communities: Layag-Layag, Brgy. Talon-Talon, Zamboanga City; Isla Mababoy, Brgy. Guinhadap, Monreal, Masbate; and Lakewood, Zamboanga del Sur.

 Jay Jaboneta's HOPE theory:
H-harnessing your potential/passion
O-open your mind/open your heart
E-empower others

Jay Jaboneta on success: "Personal success for me is finding the courage to stand up every time we fail. There will be always adversities in life; the challenge is how we respond to. 

Jay Jaboneta is an ordinary individual with an extraordinary idea that has started a global movement for charitable causes for our fellowmen, proving that no individual is too little or too insignificant when it comes to changing the world for the better.

"I have to stress though that the real heroes of our story are the children who used to swim to school. They are the brave heroes in our story. I am just the storyteller." -Jay Jaboneta

The story has been told, the people listened, and help came. Perhaps what seemed to be a trivial status on a social network can create a wave of change--a change that helps improve the lives of the little children who are now rightfully hailed as heroes. 

A Day with Mr. Anton Diaz

Having a voluminous piece of work, this man of the year perhaps never gets tired. A daddy to three vigorous boys, lecturing professional blogging and internet marketing at the Asian Institute of Management and conducts a 90-day coaching program called maven secrets, and supervising Mercato, a place of fun food fair which opens every Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. 

Needless to say, we just enjoyed our staying there capturing some of the meals I know we can't afford. 

Right after his college, Anton Diaz employed for the biggest multinational company in the Philippines for almost 13, before becoming a full time online entrepreneur. He was the chief information officer of Proctor and Gamble Philippines when he finally quit his job and decided to take his blog, Our Awesome Planet. 

Our Awesome Planet, which he founded in 2005, is a valued food and travel blog in the Philippines with more than 15,000 hits per day, 31,000 plus and 7,800 plus readers, and is still developing. This good name has an advocacy to promote Philippines’ tourism by sharing his “food and travel secrets in the Philippines” and to motivate more of his fellow countrymen to appreciate that living here is very much pleasurable caressing the positive views. 

Mr. Anton Diaz
In 2010, he was awarded as one of the inspiring young Filipino entrepreneurs by Go Negosyo. Bringing up the spirit of success, he was included in the 7th book of Go Negosyo in 2011 titled “Go Negosyo’s 50 Inspiring Stories of Young Entrepreneurs”.