Dec 21, 2011

Tunog Natin: Songs From Home, the compilation album


In promotion of Original Pilipino Music (OPM), TUNOG NATIN, an all-Original Pilipino concert series comes up with a compilation album featuring 16 of the most promising and established artists in the country. 

The album, titled TUNOG NATIN: SONGS FROM HOME is presented by Avida Land Corporation. It is composed of 10 tracks with 3 originals and 7 covers of timeless songs that Filipino love.


  1. ALL STAR – Heto Ako
  2. four-piece Kiss Jane – Beep Beep
  3. Mcoy Fundales and Barbie Almabis – Kay Sarap Mabuhay
  4. Arnee Hidalgo with Tanya Markova – Pumapatak ang ulan
  5. Gloc 9 and Tricia Garcia – Kahit Maputi na ang buhok ko
  6. Myrus with Princess Velasco – Kanlungan
  7. True Faith and Sheng Belmonte – Umagang kay Ganda
  8. 1:43 – Harana
  9. Jim Paredes and Faith Cuneta – Panalangin
  10. Pepe Smith and Letter Day Story – Salamat

The said album will be exclusively available in Astrovision and Astroplus record stores nationwide.Tunog Natin: Songs from home album hopes for Filipino listeners Support to this album to continue the advocacy in promoting Original Pilipino Music.   

Dec 13, 2011

Mang Inasal music advocacy releases four music videos



FILIPINO fast food chain Mang Inasal has released the first batch of the most-awaited music videos of its Mang Aawit Music Advocacy Program grantees.

The well-produced music videos of breakthrough OPM (Original Pilipino Music) artists Myrus, Aries Sales, Arnee Hidalgo and boy band 1:43 (one forty-three) have premiered in the more than 400 Mang Inasal branches across the Philippines.

“The Mang Inasal Mang Aawit Music Advocacy Program has yielded four exquisite and heartwarming songs and music videos from no less than the most talented breed of Filipino recording artists today,” said Mang Inasal General Manager Bong Abela.

“We hope that these distinctly OPM songs will become a part of the everyday lives of our loyal patrons just like their favorite Mang Inasal food,” he added.

New music videos

OPM pop heartthrobs 1:43, composed of Anjo Resurreccion, Kim Nicolas, Goldmon Aquino, and Yuki Sakamoto, present a classic love song titled “Sa Isang Sulyap Mo” in their music video. Written by Myrus and arranged by Jonathan Ong of SonicState Studio, the track is about how a simple glance can make someone fall in love.

After making their fans go gaga over their debut album “Time for Love”, Yuki, Gold, Kim, and Anjo show their romantic side in the new video as they sing the heart-felt lines: Sa isang sulyap mo ay nabihag ako/ para bang himala ang lahat ng ito/ Sa isang sulyap mo/ nabighani ako/ nabalot ng pag-asa ang puso.

143 braved the rain while shooting their music video

The boys of 1:43 have steadily grown their fan base, beginning with a posting of their very first digital single “Merry Christmas Na!” on YouTube back in November 2010. That video has been viewed more than 100,000 times.

This generated even more interest for the group. Their second single “Pag-ibig Na Kaya” was released via Youtube as well and is now above the 56,000-hits mark.

These video releases on the Web were followed by a series of mall shows and campus tours where fans of 1:43 were finally able to meet their idols. All in all, these activities helped secure their fan base online (their Facebook fan page now has about 38,000 followers) and off-line as well.

Another Mang Inasal Music grantee is acoustic heartthrob Aries Sales. His music video “Miss Masungit” features the 23-year old singer-songwriter from Davao City as he tries to charm actress Kathleen Hermosa. Aries’ love struck character follows her around and woos her with his love songs. He does everything just to make papansin to the apple of his eye.

Aries Sales performing Miss Masungit

Aries is musical prodigy who is as skilled with his singing as with his guitar playing. While his guitar skills are nothing short of amazing, his voice is equally impressive for its range, versatility and emotional power. He is also a talented songwriter.

Aries performs a wide range of musical genres from pop to folk, to jazz and hip-hop. He is simply one of the most well rounded musicians in the business today and is an all-around entertainer during live performances.

Aries Sales with Kathleen Hermosa

His music video likewise features Bekimon, who plays the role of Kathleen’s best friend. Do Aries and Kathleen end up together? Watch the video to find out.

There is also the music video of Myrus where he performs his own composition titled “Pusong Lito”. It is about a guy who is torn between two beauties—Stephanie Dan and Cai Cortez. This new single is the modern day “Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko”, which was a huge hit in the 90s.

Myrus performing Pusong Lito

Myrus first gained a following for the expressiveness and velvety quality of his voice—this earned him an initial following for his ballads. His exceptional vocal skills leave audiences in awe once he displays its tremendous range and flexibility—qualities that are best heard when he starts singing his RnB, jazz and rock repertoire live onstage.

Myrus’ previous album "Love Cycle" and its repackaged version are Certified Gold Records by Sony Music. He is also a dedicated advocate of Original Pilipino Music (OPM) and is the project head of the “Tunog Natin” all-OPM concert series.

    Myrus with Stephanie Dan and Cai Cortez in Pusong Lito

Arnee Hidalgo’s heart-breaking love song called “Bakit Ba?” completes the first batch of the videos for the music advocacy program. Her music video featuring model-actor Victor Aliwalas, presents the different ways that couples end their relationships across various eras in history.

Arnee Hidalgo with Victor Aliwalas

Arnee has been dubbed as “the Philippines’ RnB Siren” ever since she recorded her own version of the Francis M. original hit “Cold Summer Nights”. She has become one of the most sought-after Filipino performers locally and abroad. She is a winner of several awards including Voice of Asia 2002 Silver Prize Winner and Most Beautiful Contestant Special Award; 2003 Campus Radio 97.1 OPM Artist of the Year, and 2004 Meg Magazine Breakthrough Artist.

Mang Aawit program

The Mang Aawit Music Advocacy Program was launched a few months ago to help revive the local music industry by developing new and exciting OPM talents. This program provides opportunities and resources to eight groundbreaking Filipino singers and songwriters so they can continue recording new and original songs.

“The Mang Aawit Music Advocacy Program is about continuing the legacy of OPM. Only when we support the young artists can we make sure that Filipino music will go on for generations to come,” said Abela.

For Myrus, the Mang Aawit music grants are valuable opportunities that help build the careers of young artists like him.

“Every young artist has to struggle to make it in this industry. There are just so many talented Filipino musicians and singers—but not enough venues for them to show their talents. The Mang Aawit music grant is a great encouragement to young artists; it gives us the once-in-a-lifetime chance to finally share our music to a nationwide audience,” he said.

The second batch of Mang Aawit Music Advocacy Program artists who will soon release their videos are singers Sheng Belmonte and Stephanie Dan; alternative pop rock band Kiss Jane and radio DJ/singer/composer Onse.

“Producing the songs and music videos is a way of supporting and promoting OPM. They are going to be shown in all Mang Inasal branches nationwide so more Filipinos could listen to and appreciate new and original Filipino music recorded by our grantees,” Abela said.

Dec 9, 2011

Paris-based AXA Global and CARE Int’l help CamSur municipality practice disaster risk reduction


A teacher of Cagsao Elementary School in the town of Calabanga, Camarines Sur lectures her students on the hazards of typhoons as part of the Advancing Safer Communities and Environments Against Disasters (ASCEND) program.

The municipality of Calabanga in Camarines Sur is now more prepared to cope with natural disasters, thanks to the efforts of an international NGO and its corporate partners. In particular, the barangay of Cagsao was selected for DRR (disaster risk reduction) efforts, due to it being at high risk of floods, storm surge and tsunami.

Paris-based AXA Global and the international Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE) of Switzerland France are partners in providing a DRR program to Calabanga municipality. The DRR program is implemented under the European Union-funded ASCEND (Advance Safer Communities and Environments against Disasters) project and implemented by CARE Philippines and its partners.


AXA with CARE in Calabanga

Representatives from AXA Global and AXA Turkey recently visited barangay Cagsao in the municipality of Calabanga to observe the latest developments in the DRR efforts. Their visit was assisted by AXA Philippines.

“The partnership of AXA Global and CARE are very welcome and very timely, considering that many parts of the country are vulnerable to the effects of frequent typhoons throughout the year. We at AXA Philippines support these efforts as part of the AXA Group,” said AXA Philippines President & CEO, Rien Hermans.

Caring for Calabanga


Helping Hand. Amandine Soulier (left), AXA Global Corporate Responsibility Philanthropy Manager, lends a hand to a local volunteer during the mangrove cleanup in Cagsao, Calabanga, Camarines Sur recently.

Through the years, Calabanga, one of the biggest municipalities in Camarines Sur in terms of population (73,333 ) and land area (16,384 hectares) has been terribly hit by calamities.

Located at the coast of San Miguel Bay and surrounded by Bicol and Tigman Rivers, the town is highly vulnerable to flooding. In 2004 Typhoon Unding, Violeta, Winnie and Yoyong wrought havoc to life and property; and Barangay Sibobo, between San Miguel Bay and sloping hills made even more treacherous by quarrying, became the hardest hit.

“We thought we shouldn’t stop in giving away relief goods. More than that, we should follow it up with disaster preparedness and disaster mitigation projects,” said Celso Dulce, CARE Philippines representative.


RISK MANAGED. Amandine Soulier (center), AXA Global Corporate Responsibility Philanthropy Manager, led the AXA Turkey delegates in Classroom Discussions on Risk Reduction at Cagsao Elementary School in Calabanga, Camarines Sur recently.

Thus, since 2007, CARE with the help of AXA Global, has not only been distributing food packs in times of calamity in Calabanga, it has also conducted numerous trainings and workshops such as Community-based Disaster Risk Management; Disaster Preparedness and Contingency Planning.

These trainings help prepare the community for future emergencies. CARE has also adopted simple action plans that have benefited the communities even more. In the Calabanga and Cagsao DRR efforts, for example, community members engage in tree planting projects, river clean-ups and gabion construction in San Miguel Bay coast--to protect the coast from storm surge and erosion.

Beyond DRR workshops

More than actual DRR training for designated officers in the community, there are other things the community needs to help them cope with and recover from disaster. CARE’s partnerships with AXA Global are also helpful in this regard.


DUCK! Students of Dominorog Elementary School show what they learn from Classroom Discussions on Risk Reduction during an earthquake drill.

Even as community members participate in DRR seminars and conduct risk reduction efforts, the community also receives food packs and livelihood training through the help of CARE and AXA Global.

Some examples of these food security and livelihood projects include the donation of farm animals like carabaos, farm trucks and also free seminars on tilapia-raising. According to Dulce, poverty limits the people’s capacity to cope with disasters so there’s a need to strengthen their livelihood.

Education: Starting DRR early

AXA Global and CARE are also helping in efforts to educate children in high-risk communities about DRR.


TOP OF CLASS. AXA Turkey delegates led by Urman Ünal (second from right) pose with selected pupils ofCagsao Elementary School in Calabanga, Camarines Sur recently at the

Classroom Discussions on Risk Reduction.

And so, aside from the 3Rs (Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic) -- the foundations of a basic skills-oriented education--the students in Calabanga, Camarines Sur are learning another big R: Risk reduction.

In one session, Grade One teacher Norma Guiriba of Cagsao Elementary School flashed illustrations of children in various situations that show good and bad practice in disaster prevention. The children were asked to identify each situation and flash a cardboard happy or sad face to indicate their approval and disapproval. They got it all right.

The lesson plan consists of identification of hazards; routes of action before, during or after the calamity; including preventive measures to mitigate the unfavorable effects of climate change. This knowledge could mean life and death to people in Cagsao.

“We laud the project because the children learn a lot from it at an early age,” says Antonio Endani Jr., principal of Cagsao Elementary School. “More importantly, they know that they can do something about it,” said AXA Philippines President & CEO, Rien Hermans.

CSR as a way of life


Meeting the Locals. Amandine Soulier (8th from left), AXA Global Corporate Responsibility Philanthropy Manager, and Vianney Sauvage, CARE France’s Corporate Partnership Manager (5th from left), led the environmental discussion with local leaders in Cagsao, Calabanga, Camarines Sur recently. Also in the photo are Celso Dulce (6th from left), CARE Philippines representative; Meltem Şimşek (third from right), Hüseyin Ali Ŏzeren and Urman Ünal from AXA Turkey, and AXA Philippines representative Angel Antiga who led the delegates to the Calabanga projects tour.

According to Amandine Soulier, AXA Global’s Corporate Responsibility Philantrophy Manager, who was part of the delegation to Calabanga, AXA practices social responsibility as part of its corporate culture.

“Corporate social responsibility is not an external department; it’s a way of thinking differently,” said Soulier,. “We like to anchor people to be more responsible.”

Soulier added that helping poor communities is a must in reducing the risk posed by natural disasters due to climate change. “Climate change has a huge impact on poor people. The fight against climate change is a fight against poverty,” she said.

Dulce looks forward to doing Disaster Risk Reduction Management in a larger scale soon with AXA Global.

“Our projects in Calabanga have become a model framework for other similar endeavors, in fact, its mayor (Calabanga Mayor Evelyn Yu) presented her municipality’s best DRR practice in Phuket, Thailand recently,” Dulce revealed.

This came on the heels of a 2009 Gawad Kalasag (KAlamidad at Sakuna LAbanan SAriling Galing ang Kaligtasan) award for Calabanga given by National Disaster Risk Reduction & Management Council (NDRRMC).


Mangrove Clean-up. Amandine Soulier (right), AXA Global Corporate Responsibility Philanthropy Manager, and Vianney Sauvage, CARE France’s Corporate Partnership Manager (third from left), led the mangrove clean-up in Cagsao, Calabanga, Camarines Sur.

Dulce said that CARE, with the help of AXA Global, will undertake DRR trainings nationwide in cooperation with Department of Interior and Local Government as well as the Department of Education.

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