JUST A THOUGHT: ‘There is no sincerer love than the love of food.’ – George Bernard Shaw
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STAR IN LONDON: Joanna Ampil may not be a by-word among mainstream entertainment enthusiasts here, but in London, she has made a name for herself as a musical theater star.
Cast as Kim in “Miss Saigon” following a long line of other tested Filipino thespians led by Lea Salonga, Joanna has moved on to play different characters in various theatrical productions (“Rent,” “Hair,” “Jesus Christ Superstar”) not only in London but also in other European cities.
She came home recently to promote her first film, “Larawan,” and the release of a new single, “Memory” (theme from “Cats”).
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‘LARAWAN’ TO MMFF 2017: “Larawan” is, of course, the film version of a highly successful musical theatre production based on Nick Joaquin’s classic play, “Portrait Of The Artist As Filipino,” set in an old decaying, mansion in Intramuros, Manila in the 1940s.
Joanna plays Candida Marasigan, the older of two sisters who are the film’s leads. Her sister, Paula, is played by Rachel Alejandro.
Joanna left Manila the following day to join the touring company of “Cats” that will take her to Germany and other parts of Europe. Her recording of “Cats” is in line with the tour.
Her “Larawan” producers are also releasing songs from the film (by Ryan Cayabyab), which are actually songs from the stage, very soon. “Larawan,” produced by Celeste Legaspi and Girlie Rodis and partners, hopes to make it as an entry to the 2017 MMFF.
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LOCAL COLOR AT THE VERANDA: Tried out Taal Vista Hotel’s freshly minted Veranda Café, formerly known as Café on The Ridge one weekend in Tagaytay City recently.
The Veranda has a fresh, new, renovated look, light and comfortable, looking even wider than it used to be. The machuca tiles that cover the entire restaurant give it an even more homey, rustic feel.
Much more can be said of the lunch buffet spread where one can actually eat local colour.
We started with crisp, fried baby ayungin as appetizer, the Tagalog equivalent of danggit, which we dipped in spicy vinegar. Local colour peaked with pan de coco as our dessert.
The wonderful showcase of Filipino, continental and heirloom dishes is designed by the hotel’s executive chef, Alessio Loddo and sous chef Jason Cabauatan.
If you go for local colour in your food, try out The Veranda for a rainbow of delightful possibilities. The up close and personal view of Taal Volcano from a short distance only is mere topping to your meal.
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RELIVE THE ’90s: The most popular Pinoy rock bands of the 90s headline “The ’90s Live!” on July 22 at The Theatre of Solaire.
Watch in awe this grand reunion among ’90s rock icons Wency Cornejo of Afterimage, Jett Pangan of The Dawn, Paco Arespacochaga of Introvoys, Cooky Chua of Color It Red, Medwin Marfil of True Faith, Dong Abay of Yano, Naldy Padilla of Orient Pearl, Perf De Castro of Rivermaya, and Lei Bautista of Prettier Than Pink.
Audie Gemora, Solaire Entertainment Director, considers it a feat to have gathered the vocalists and musicians from the ’90s rock bands for “The ’90s Live!” “It is a rare occurrence,” Gemora declares.
The ’90s rock music spoke to a whole generation about timeless themes like love (True Faith’s “Perfect”), friendship (The Dawn’s “Salamat”), and hope (Afterimage’s “Next In Line”).