Long-time Philippine showbiz fan and former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go called for an intensified crackdown against movie piracy.
Meeting with the movie press recently for a brief get together, he said that piracy has taken its toll on the local movie industry. He lamented the decline of the local movie industry “because of technology and foreign movies which have heavily influenced our moviegoers nowadays.”
Even worse, Go said pirates and unscrupulous businesses have preyed on the “fruits of sweat, love, and labor,” of the local film industry.
A candidate for senator in the 2019 polls, Go said that if elected, “I will push for strategies to crack down on these illegal businesses and strengthen the campaign against piracy.”
Recalling the heyday of the Philippine cinema that inspired and entertained entire generations of Filipino fans, Go said there is no doubt the local film industry can create stories with depth and value and at par with foreign production given proper support and protection.
Go attended as well the induction ceremony honoring the outstanding achievements of personalities in the fields of film, television, as well as news and broadcasting.
Among those inducted in the Walk of Fame were Pia Wurtzbach, Vhong Navarro, Derek Ramsay, Julia Barretto, Ken Chan, Director Chito Roño, Sampaguita Pictures’ Dr. Jose Perez (Posthumous), Marichu Vera Perez-Maceda, and broadcaster Rico Hizon.
Over at the lunch with the movie press, he recalled how, during his younger years, his parents allowed him to watch the films of FPJ and Dolphy at the cinema in Davao. He also bared his association with actors like Epi Quizon, Dolphy’s son, and Jeffrey Santos, whom he used to drop off at Broadway Centrum for rehearsals for That’s Entertainment.
Go hoped that in the future he could work with the film industry to keep it strong, underscoring that our movies depict our culture and the lives of each and every Filipino around the world.
“We need to amplify the quality of Philippine cinema, especially to our youth. If we are to uniquely identify ourselves as Filipinos, we need more Filipino-made films,” Go said.
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Kamuning Bakery’s Christmas ensaymada
GMA News TV Channel 11’s award-winning I Juander on Dec. 12 featured the history and recipe of the Filipino-style ensaymada, which is very popular especially during the Christmas season. This baking tradition is continued by Quezon City’s pioneer, artisanal Kamuning Bakery Café (established in 1939).
Its owner, college teacher and writer Wilson Lee Flores is also assistant baker to Kamuning Bakery Café’s master bakers and shares old stories. Despite suffering a fire in February this year, the 79-year-old, iconic bakery is still baking, steadily recovering and its staff are I Juander, hosted by Susan Enriquez and Cesar Apolinario, interviewed Flores for the show.
Kamuning Bakery Café hosts the non-partisan “Pandesal Forum” a forum with politicians, businessmen, showbiz celebrities and the members of the mass media. The bakery also hosts the yearly civic and cultural project “World Pandesal Day” on Oct. 16, and its earning are allocated to rural public schools.
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Biggest hotel franchise
Budget hotel chain ZEN Rooms is now the biggest hotel franchise in the Philippines, overtaking international hotel chain Red Planet and local leader, Go Hotels. At present, ZEN Rooms has 3,000 fully serviced hotel rooms and apartments under its management.
Benjamin Nicolas, country manager for ZEN Rooms Philippines, says that this is only the beginning for the company. “We can say with certainty that this is where the industry is heading: there is great demand for hotels that provide quality accommodations at a budget in a market where there is little in between five-star hotels and amateur AirBNBs.”
Another component of ZEN Rooms is its ZEN Homes business, which provides business travelers, staycationers, and tourists with high-quality fully-serviced apartments for short-term stays. ZEN Homes are available in high-traffic business districts and provide hotel-like amenities to the budget market like swimming pools, spas, and gyms.
ZEN Rooms acquires rooms in partnership with other existing hotels and apartments. The company then modifies the rooms and guarantees comforts and amenities to the customers. These hotel rooms are then sold on the company’s website. Partner hotels have found that collaborating with ZEN Rooms significantly increases occupancy year-round and helps reduce costs due to the ZEN Rooms network providing efficiencies in scale.
The ZEN Rooms offerings can be found online at www.zenrooms.com.
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