Bringing you fresh happenings in the vast expanse of pop culture, as we know it, we round up the week’s relevant news, from comeback collaborations, thrilling releases, and all the pressing discussions raised on the Internet that need our attention.
Lola Amour and Al James reunited
Taking listeners back to nostalgic highschool era, Lola Amour and Al James joined together once more and dropped their single “Madali” released this week, along with a music, along with an official music video that harks back on the school life pre-pandemic.
This is not the first time that the two Filipino acts collaborated for a song. In 2019, the two music acts have joined forces for Coke Studios with two singles, “Sundan Mo Ko” and “Tuloy Na Tuloy Pa Rin Ang Pasko“.
BTS Continues “Permission to Dance: On Stage” with Three-Day Concert in Seoul, South Korea
After the success of four sold-out shows at the SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles at the tail-end of 2021, BTS is set to kick-off another in-person concert, now in their homeland in Seoul, South Korea this coming March 10, 12, 13 of 2022.
The septet’s music label BigHit Music announced the long awaited concert on February 16, stating the concert will be held both an offline physical concert and an online live streaming event.
The label also announced that on the second day of the, a live broadcast will take place in theaters worldwide with participating countries in Asia (yes, including the Philippines, through SM Cinema), North America, South America, Europe, and Oceania.
Fancy seeing TWICE in their “III” 4th World Tour this February
ONCE in the U.S. can finally dance the night away as TWICE had finally set foot on US soil for their “III” 4th World Tour in The Forum, Los Angeles this month. With COVID-19 still surging in different countries, JYP Entertainment released a statement canceling the promotional activities of the group in the US but concert events will still continue.
“We have decided to [have] no option but to cancel all promotions, as the artists’ health is our number one priority, and must proceed with the tour in the safest way possible,” stated in the official Twitter page of TWICE.
The nine-membered group composed of Jihyo, Nayeon, Jeongyeon, Momo, Sana, Mina, Dahyun, Chaeyoung, and Tzuyu, are set to tour in the cities of Oakland, Dallas, Atlanta, and New York.
The 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show is a hiphop nirvana
Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar, in what the Internet calls an “assembly of hiphop Avengers” brought a rousing celebration of the genre and its evolution onstage last February 13 at the SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California for the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show.
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg opened the show with the one iconic hit song from 2009 followed 50 Cent’s surprise appearance with Anderson .Paak in the drums, then Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, before leading to Eminem’s now-20-year-old anthem “Lose Yourself.”
More than the chilling blast-from-the-past, the halftime show sparked controversy and debate with Eminem’s now-talked about stance onstage, taking a knee before the crowd, in a nod to former NFL star and activist Colin Kaepernick’s silent protest on continuing racial injustices and police brutality, that persist to this day in American society. In the midst of all this, the league is embroiled in a dispute and is in the early stages of a lawsuit with the questionable departure of Miami Dolphins’ head coach Brian Flores.
On a more, unexpected note, the performance, has actually opened a Pandora’s box of “generational” war between millennials and Gen X-ers. But that’s a discussion for another day.
Gloc-9 and Yeng Constantino reunite in a song collab ‘Paliwanag’ after 11 years
Two of the most popular OPM icons teamed up for another real and striking message tailored in a song. Gloc 9 and Yeng Constantino announced on their social media accounts yesterday their newest song collaboration, “Paliwanag“.
In their interview with MYX, the two shared the relevance of their song in the political landscape of the country especially since it is an election season. Gloc-9 asserted that the song is about taking and owning accountability.
Their last song collaboration was “Bugtong” released 11 years ago, that also talked and touched a sense of social reality told through verses and melodies in a song. Gloc-9 is known for his courageous and true-to-life songwriting and iconic rapping abilities that spawned an entire new generation of rappers tailing his success.
“Paliwanag” is set to be released on February 19, 2022, on all streaming platforms.
Suho EXO’s Leader discharge from Military
“If waiting is happiness, it’s love.”
One of the dreadful years of a boy group KPOP fan is the 21-month mandatory military service for all able-bodied South Korean men. Of course, being a global star isn’t exempted to serving its country, although this means halting projects and being inactive for months. EXO, one of the biggest KPOP groups of all time, is currently in their military era with three of the members serving in camp, Chen, Chanyeol, and Baekhyun. Meanwhile, Xiumin, D.O. and SUHO were now officially discharged from the service.
Last Sunday, February 13, 2022, fans who were patiently waiting for months welcomed SUHO in the cyber world with tweets to #SuHomecoming, #WelcomeBackSuho with 871.1k tweets worldwide.
Kim Junmyeon or known as EXO’s leader and guardian Suho, is officially discharged as a public service worker and greeted fans on his handwritten letter addressed to EXO-Ls, EXO’s fandom.
Clues are out: Blue’s Clues is having a movie
Paramount revealed that there will be an upcoming Blue’s Clues movie on their streaming app Paramount+ to the delight of the franchise’s global fans. Big Blue’s City Adventure will be joined by the childhood favorites, Steve (Steven Burns), Joe (Donovan Patton) and Josh (Josh Dela Cruz).
Nick Jr. released the very first look for the upcoming movie on their Instagram which shows that the three hosts will be joining together. The film follows Blue and Josh as they audition for a Broadway musical show, joined by Steve and Joe on the adventure.
Nick Jr. announced that the film is set to be streamed this year on Paramount+.
Daredevil, and other Marvel series to leave Netflix
Double time your binge re-watching, Marvel fans! Six Marvel series are set to leave Netflix by February 28. Included titles were Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders—marking the end of a licensing deal between Disney and Netflix.
Recently, Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family, Reply series 1997 and 1994, How I Met Your Mother also said goodbye to the streaming service’s library of beloved titles to watch.
Disney also started to pull out its broadcasting operations in countries located in Asia while it started its streaming platform, Disney+ (Disney plus) in 2019 where Pixar, Marvel series, and other western TV series were made available. As of now, no official dates were disclosed on the official streaming of said Marvel shows and series and on which official streaming services they will find their new homes to.
A Quiet Place III is coming, three years from now
Paramount Pictures, the studio behind critically-acclaimed cult-favorite sci-fi horror film A Quiet Place, officially announced the third installment of the globally successful film series set to debut in 2025, initially slated for a 2022 schedule. The announcement came during the studio’s investor’s day presentation this week.
While earlier press announcements disclosing actor-turned-original writer and director John Krasinski, returning to helm the third film in the series, announcements were then made declaring director Jeff Nichols, taking over the reins, with producers Allyson Seeger, Michael Bay, Andrew Form, and Brad Fuller on board.
Released in 2018, the A Quiet Place franchise propelled Krasinski to A-List director status with critics’ raves on the film. Pig director Michael Sarnoski is also working on a spin off that is presently in the works, set for 2023.
Troye Sivan takes first major acting role in Three Months
Young Australian pop superstar, Troye Sivan is a teenager fighting off the horrors of his HIV status and the stigma that comes with it in his first major acting role in the film Three Months.
Set in a time when HIV treatments have come a long way but judgment and preconceived notions of what the disease is persists, Sivan takes the role of a high school student who got exposed to the virus from a one night stand.
The YouTube star-turned-pop music powerhouse has taken jabs at acting in the past from small roles in films like Spud, Boy Erased, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Three Months is set to be released on February 23 on the Paramount+ streaming platform.
Ayn Bernos and other Tiktok creators to launch Kayu Beauty
From FYPs to online shopping carts, Ayn Bernos, Kai Javier, and Rica Salomon launch local makeup brand Kayu Beauty—inspired by YOU. The TikTok creators teamed up to curate makeup products that will scream, ‘I love my Morena skin!’
The three were all known for their love and passion for makeup, Salomon being a professional makeup artist, Javier for her in-depth and honest makeup reviews, and Bernos as the everyday makeup user and entrepreneur behind clothing brand Morena The Label that’s also challenging colorism to push for celebrating Filipino skin.
The brand aims to provide an even better space for morenas in the makeup industry. Kayu Beauty is set to launch its first collection ‘Kayu Kiss’, featuring six different shades of bullet lipsticks to be available on February 19 on Shopee and Lazada.
Vice Ganda shares news of Las Vegas commitment ceremony
Vice Ganda and reel-turned-real boyfriend Ion Perez revealed, in length through a YouTube video, their commitment ceremonies held in Las Vegas last October 2021, around the time the actor-concert performer was traveled to California and Connecticut for a concert series.
The widely-publicized news came on the heels of the recent commitment ceremonies of 222 LGBTQ couples presided over by Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte. This isn’t the first time that the LGU has mounted the said ceremonies. In 2020, the same ceremonies were held in the city joined by Film Development Council of the Philippines chairperson Liza Dino-Seguerra and musician-husband Ice Seguerra.
These stories score a big win on the LGBTQ community to further open the discussion on pushing for equal rights in the country and the continuing value of the SOGIE Bill that remains to be in the hands of lawmakers in the country.
James Reid “leaves” the Philippines
Leading man turned musician and creative entrepreneur, James Reid made news in mainstream news outlets and social media as he is documented to leave the Philippines in what appears to be a pursuit of opportunities overseas. Taking an acting hiatus since his last appearance on the big screen in Never Not Love You and Miss Granny in 2018, Reid has long decided to focus on his music production and continuing growth of independent music label Careless Music.
In 2020, he was introduced as an artist in the roster of international music label Transparent Arts, known for breaking new ground for Asian American talents on the global stage. The said label also manages well-known artists in the international music scene including Korean artist Tiffany Young, Far East Movement, Yultron and Dumbfounded.
Save for personal Instagram posts of friends and family, including sister and content creator Chantal Calicdan, Reid has yet to make an official announcement, but reports suggest that he will be traveling to Los Angeles where his record label is based with little to no disclosure whether circulating news of him leaving the Philippines “for good” is based on actuality.
Update as of Feb 20, 2022: Reid’s father, Malcom Reid, in an Instagram post, ended “unfounded” rumors of the multimedia star and entrepreneur leaving the Philippines for good. In a photo he posted with his son, he disclosed that the 28-year-old creative is in the U.S. to record a song and visit his brother Andrew. He added, “Anything else is basura … sorry to disappoint the fake newsmakers.”
What Happened at the SMNI Presidential Debates?
Image via The Manila Times
The deeply polarizing presidential interviews mounted by Pastor Quiboloy-run SMNI News network featured aspirants Ka Leody De Guzman, Norberto Gonzales, Ernesto Abella, and multiple debate absentee Bongbong Marcos. Presidential candidates Vice President Leni Robredo, Senators Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, and Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno did not join due to schedule conflicts and candidate’s volition in light of a standing criminal case filed against the network’s owner.
In the course of debates, the 75-year-old professor in political science and international studies, Carlita Carlos gained salutations from viewers with her stern and no-nonsense questions that many jokingly likened to a “thesis defense”, some even comparing her strong presence to that of the late senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.
In the end, Carlos’ words about education, pointing out the relevance of education in society, especially with the next ‘possible’ president during the debate resonated well with the viewers. She said,“Therefore, if you want to do any policy changes that means you pay attention and you invest on the teacher.”
In the midst of this fanfare, though, several past and present statements made by the educator have been unearthed, supposedly revealing an “apologist’s” behavior that dismisses atrocities of the Martial Law period in the Marcos regime. A 2017 post on Twitter read that the U.P. professor allegedly said, “The first year of Martial Law in 1972 was so good. I don’t know why we fear it, we create our own ghosts.” In what appears to be a series of video interviews released and “applauded” in social media by supporters of former dictator’s son who is running for office, the professor urged a “categorical” look at the Martial Law era to see where it succeeded and failed, which of course does not sit well with readers online given the 21 years of oppression that should never be overlooked.
To this day, the professor has not officially expressed direct affiliation to any of the presently-running candidates for the highest seat of office in the 2022 May elections.
Reactions On Ka Leody’s CPP-NPA Stand
In one of the discussions regarding armed struggles, a heated debate between presidential aspirant Leody de Guzman and Bongbong Marcos arose. Leody De Guzman, a presidential candidate from the Labor Party, mentioned supporting pushing for peace negotiations with communist groups. De Guzman was promptly challenged by former Senator, who stated that he could not accept an “ideology” that called for armed struggle, which then showed the audience cheering for the dictator’s son’s answer.
De Guzman then proceeded on justifying his answer that no one wants an armed conflict, since it would entail facing off against a government with all the weaponry it needed to retaliate. He then stated the roots of the issue and countered that if people are forced to be in hunger and deprived of livelihood and job security, and injustices are continuously widespread and unaddressed, then these struggles can result in armed struggle.
World icon Cher encourages women to take space
On an unexpected internet moment, multi-awarded entertainment and cultural icon Cher landed on the trending list after learning about the Vice President of the Philippines and presently-running candidate for the presidency, Leni Robredo.
Learning of Robredo, Cher expressed her support and advocated that women should lead in fighting against climate change, save the children and the poor, the LGBTQIA+ community, and other major dilemmas that the majority of the the world is facing.
Several Filipino fans of Cher and supporters of VP Leni, of course, rejoiced for the indirect endorsement, one of the notable reactions of which is from the Megastar herself, Sharon Cuneta, who is the wife of Robredo’s running-mate and vice-president candidate Kiko Pangilinan. More than this, the message was warmly received by readers online seeing women cheering for women, especially breaking out from a culture that has consistently pitted women against one another.
Cher is an award-winning singer and television and film personality. Some of her popular songs were “Believe”, “Gypsys Tramps And Thieves”, and “If I Could Turn Back Time”. She is also tagged by the media as the “Goddess of Pop”. In movies, she has clinched the Best Actress trophy at the 1988 Academy Awards for her performance in the film Moonstruck.
Recently, with the intense atmosphere during the campaign period, COMELEC drew flak once more when their move with Oplan Baklas, in which they took down posters and tarpaulins of running politicians supposedly in violation of Republic Act No. 9006 or the Fair Election Act. What makes this controversial? COMELEC received backlash after dismantling huge tarpaulins from private properties, and reportedly, most of which came from the supporters of Vice-President Leni Robredo.
Aside from the confusion whether COMELEC has the right to interfere with private people, supporters and the camp of Robredo once again questioned the real policies of this Oplan Baklas, pushing the Internet and the watchful eyes of its citizens to ask #AnyareCOMELEC?!
Compiled and written by Jaime Bautista, Melanie Uson, Isaiah Bailon, Andrea Ysabel Andres, and Roni Mae Serrano. With additional text by Leo Balante.