Hitmakers return sans Rico J; AiAi a fitting replacement

The day after Valentine, hitmakers Marco Sison, Hajji Alejandro, Rey Valera will be back on stage to serenade lovers. But one of them will be missed – the group’s loveable prankster Rico J. Puno who as we all know passed on last year.

And so, the producers of the show that somehow has become a staple on Valentine season in the Metro decided to put in someone who can fill in the shoes that Rico J. left behind. And guess who is edging to fit in the shoes. It’s none other than AiAi de las Alas. She may not be a prankster, but she’s funny enough to make the three male singers feel Rico J. hadn’t left all along.

The show is now called The Hitmakers and Ai and it’s designed as a tribute to the late Rico J.

Hitmakers return sans Rico J; AiAi a fitting replacement
 AiAi delas Alas with hitmakers Rey Valera, Marco Sison and Hajji Alejandro
The memory is still fresh among the three and AiAi and during the presscon at Mesa on T. Morato they admitted tears could well from their eyes when they do the show.

Malapit na siyang mag-sink-in sa akin. More than 10 years na kaming magkakasama. Ayaw nu’n ng malungkot, ayaw niya ng nagdurusa. Gusto niya laging masaya! Nalulungkot lang kami kasi tulad niyan, meron akong kakantahin na kanta niya sa concert,” Marco said.

AiAi said, “Ako, nalulungkot talaga kahit hindi ako Hitmaker. Kasi madalas ko ring kasama si Kuya, eh. At saka, mami-miss ko ’yung binabastos niya ako. Kasi minsan, pumipili lang ako ng bumabastos sa akin. ’Pag iba, nau-offend ako o hindi ko pinapalampas.”

“Ang pagiging mahusay sa timing sa comedy ang mami-miss ko kay Rico.’Yung timing sa comedy at ang sarap niyang kabatuhan. Kausap mo pa lang siya, may sagot na. Kahit ano, hindi nakakasawa ang sasabihin niya,” Hajji added.

While feeling sad while reminiscing their memories of Rico J, they didn’t forget that they have to be in good spirits for their audience.

Hitmakers & Ai is on Feb 15, 8:00 p.m. at the Newport Performing Arts Theater (NPAT), Resorts World Manila.

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Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! returns to the stage

After its August 2018 run, Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! is back for its second run by popular demand. The critically-acclaimed musical runs until March 17at the Maybank Performing Arts Theater, BGC.

Eto Na! Musikal nAPO!  is an original Filipino musical with lyrics and music by Danny Javier, Jim Paredes and Boboy Garrovillo, and written and directed by Robbie Guevara. The story takes place in a university in the 70s, revolving around a group of students working hard to win a songwriting and singing competition. They experience a series of ups-and-downs, from first love and heartbreak to fighting to keep their love for music strong and doubting their own artistic abilities - all under the iron claw of Martial Law. Thanks to its charming cast and heartwarming coming-of-age story, it’s sure to bring APO fans back to their youth.

For its second run, the musical is adding five new members to its cast as alternates - Floyd Tena as Rick, Mica Javier as Anna, Roxanne Barcelo as Jane, Vien King as Benjie, and Luis Marcelo as Jojo. The rest of the cast are back: Mark Bautista, together with Jobim Javier, Alfritz Blanche, Jon Philippe Go, Jef Flores, Jon Abella, and Vyen Villanueva. Joining them are Rita Daniela, Marika Sasaki, Sab Jose, Raul Montesa, and Neomi Gonzales. Rounding out the cast are Gian Gloria, Shalee Vicencio, Peachy Atilano-Guevara, Anton Posadas, Jourdan Bartolome, and Derrick Gozos.

Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! is on stage Feb. 9-10, 16-17, 22-24, March 1-3, 8, 10 and 15-17, 8:00 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, and 2:30 p.m. on Saturdays & Sundays. Tickets are available at

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More Philippine-made products in duty-free stores in 2019

Quality export Philippine-made products will be put in the spotlight at all Duty Free Philippines Corporation (DFPC) stores, as the state-owned retail company is set to add more homegrown brands this year.  

In line with the thrust of Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat to support Filipino businesses and artisans, DFPC will add about 27 local brands at the Philippines’ Finest kiosk of the newly opened Luxe Duty Free at the Mall of Asia Complex and about 11 brands at the DFPC Fiestamall in Parañaque City.

DFPC Chief Operating Officer (COO) Vicente Pelagio Angala said the brands include fashion, furniture, and home merchandise. 

 “We’re very thrilled with our additions this year. We believe that DFPC is an effective vehicle to promote Filipino creativity because our products are sold to departing passengers for their consumption abroad,” he said.

Currently, there are 39 existing Filipino brands available at the DFPC stores. The newest addition includes Malagos Agri-Venture, Theo and Philo Chocolate Factory, Filipinas Oro de Cacao, Ralph and Matthew’s Chocolate Enterprise, Gourmet Farms, Armson Foods, Freefood Coconut Manufacturing, and the Manila Cookie Story. 

 “Locally made products in our stores have steadily grown to this day and we expect for it to continue to grow in the coming years,” COO Angala said. 

Meanwhile, all local products sold in all DFPC stores went through product testing to ensure its adherence to global quality standards. 

Suppliers also need to secure Import Commodity Clearance (ICC), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) registrations, and other government business requirements.

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Topics:  AiAi delas Alas , Rey Valera , Marco Sison , Hajji Alejandro , Danny Javier , Jim Paredes , Boboy Garrovillo , Bernadette Romulo-Puyat
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