Friday, August 5, 2022

HOLLYWOOD FILM MAKERS ARE MOUNTING A FEATURE THAT SEEKS TO SHOWCASE FILIPINO HISTORY AND HEROISM TO AN INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCE

Puerto Princesa, Palawan (Aug. 5, 2022) -- US-based Filipino producer Francis B. Lara Ho and Filipino-American actor-director Michael Copon are collaborating for the film "1521" which will depict a clandestine love story against the backdrop of the epic clash between pre-colonial Filipinos and Spanish forces of Ferdinand Magellan in Mactan, Philippines more than 500 years ago.


The film boasts a powerhouse cast including Copon, renowned American actor Danny Trejo, Filipino superstar Bea Alonzo, and award-winning actress Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan.


 
Left to right: Francis B. Lara Ho (producer); Danny Trejo; 
Bea Alonzo; Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan;  Michael Copon; 
Costas Mandylor; Hector David Jr.; and Terry Amos. 

 

"1521" opens with the character Didi or Diwata, who dreams of being transported to pre-colonial Philippines while exploring the ruins of an ancient Spanish fort. In her dream, she becomes a native princess who falls in love with Magellan's handsome translator Enrique — their romance caught up in the conflict.


The events become more complicated after Didi awakens, and soon finds the line between her dream and reality blurring.


The film will also be told largely from the perspective of Lapu-Lapu, regarded as the first Filipino hero for leading the forces that defeated the Spaniards.


Copon, who will both direct the film and portray Lapu-Lapu, said he took on the project to highlight Filipino history and culture.


"People don't know what happened to Magellan. Some people in America think he just died. And a lot of times, the history of the Philippines gets pushed under the rug, unnoticed, which led to the passion that we wanted to embrace those stories and embrace the culture, and say 'Hey! Let me get this out there,'" said Copon, known for starring in "Power Rangers Time Force" and the teen drama "One Tree Hill."


"Even more historic is, this is the first time a Hollywood director and producer are producing a movie about a Filipino story with Hollywood stars and Filipino stars in one movie," he added.


Trejo, who starred in the "Machete" and "From Dusk till Dawn" film series, will play Magellan. 


Alonzo will take on the role of Diwata while Puerto Rican actor Hector David Jr., who also appeared in "Power Rangers," portrays her love interest Enrique.


Copon said "1521" would not focus entirely on the Battle of Mactan, citing the romance between Diwata and Enrique, which he described as the "heart and soul" of the story.


"We didn't want to make a movie that is just about the battle and the war," he said.


Lara Ho said the film would be shot entirely in Palawan, which was picked for its scenic beaches and mountains.


The producer, himself a Palaweño, hoped to provide more opportunities to the people in the province through the project.


"I am actually pleasantly surprised when we did the casting that there are quite a few Palaweños who are really incredible in talent. They just need the opportunities and so that’s what we are bringing here," Lara Ho said.


"Sad to say that Palawan is one of the richest in terms of natural resources but our poverty level is very high compared to other provinces. That's why I'm hoping that bringing projects here would change that," he added.


"1521" is scheduled for release on June 12, 2023, coinciding with the 125th celebration of Philippine Independence Day. ###


Tuesday, July 26, 2022

SM Supermalls welcomes you into a new era of change

The honest truth: No one came out of the COVID-19 pandemic in quite the same way. The pandemic was an isolating period of self-discovery, emotional growth, and life-altering realizations. It changed people, and in the process, it shaped the way so many of us view ourselves and the world around us.  

Because of this, consumer tastes and behaviors have shifted. Where in a pre-pandemic world, people often spent on luxuries and experiences that allowed them to celebrate their accomplishments, studies show that consumers now want a different experience, one that is kinder and more embracing of the changes that each individual had gone through in the past 2 years. People are now prioritizing their personal wellness and supporting products and services that champion growth.  

As consumer tastes have shifted, brands are starting to adapt to these changes. And true to its foundational commitment to make people happy, SM is ready with a host of new offerings as the entire brand is poised for a refresh this year.  

“The history of SM Supermalls is one that has been built on innovation and change to serve the needs of millions of Filipinos,” says SM Supermalls President, Steven Tan. “We’ve been with our customers through their every milestone for almost four decades. And we are committed to always changing, always growing with our customers in the years and decades to come.”


SM Supermalls: Welcoming Every Change in You  

SM continues to stay true to its mission to provide Filipino families with a fun and engaging in-mall experience so they can go home with a smile on their faces.  

There will always be a plethora of experiences for each person who comes through SM’s doors. This is true for the various personalities that emerged during the pandemic; from eco-warriors and Plantitas to health buffs and sports personalities who embraced biking, healthy eating, and home gyms, and bakers and homemakers who turned their passion projects into small businesses.

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“I believe that now more than ever, it is important to recognize the new changes to our world,” adds SM Supermalls President Steven Tan. “And people are continuing to grow as they invest in experiences that uplift their lives.”  


Ushering the Future with the Transformation of SM Supermalls  

In the next few months, Filipinos across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will get to experience the wellness-oriented and sustainability-driven transformation of SM Supermalls with a host of new and exciting activities. These include paw parks for pet moms and dads, al fresco dining areas for hangout groups, plant hubs for eco-enthusiasts, bike facilities for the growing cycling community, co-working spaces, experiential retail, blockbuster and larger-than-life cinema escapades and so much more. 

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As SM’s brand refresh campaign ushers in a newness to the Philippine mall experience, curious visitors, foodies, friends and families will have much to rediscover. So come on in, you’re always welcome here!   For more information, follow SM Supermalls on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/smsupermalls to experience what’s new in any SM Supermall near you today!

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Mall of Asia (MOA) Complex: A sterling landmark of disaster resilience

We all know that the SM Mall of Asia (MOA) is a popular destination for unforgettable gastronomic and recreational experiences, but did you know that the 67-hectare Mall of Asia Complex where MOA stands is engineered to withstand disasters caused by natural hazards?

The foundation of the Mall of Asia Complex was built to be safe and secure because SM Prime Holdings, Inc., one of Southeast Asia’s largest integrated property developers incorporates disaster resiliency measures in every project, with the MOA Complex as one of its biggest investments. 

SM Prime collaborated with a team of local and international experts to ensure the feasibility of both water and land before the MOA complex was built and once finalized, Belgium’s renowned coastal development construction company, Jan de Nul, developed it from the ground up. 

The reputable Jan de Nul made sure the terrain was stable and the complex’s roads were made resistant to earthquakes and erosion, in accordance with the National Structural Code of the Philippines and approved by both the Philippine Reclamation Authority and the National Government. 

Three important disaster resiliency features were used in protecting the Complex and the coastal community of Pasay from tides and waves: One, a three-kilometer seawall built to stand against liquefaction; two, a meter-high inverted wave return to serve as defense against high waves; and three, a drainage channel to prevent floods during storm surges. This was put to test when Typhoon Pedring hit in 2011, and the Mall of Asia Complex was spared from destructive waves and flooding that submerged many other surrounding establishments. 

As an added feature, both the Complex’s main road and all its structures are elevated 4 meters above the parameters set by the National Building Code. Pilings strengthened its foundation and greatly improved its soil bearing capacity. 


Family fun, leisure and entertainment are the objectives behind the awe-inspiring grandeur of SM Mall of Asia, but this vision is founded on a commitment to safety and a secure foundation throughout the Complex. This is a firm philosophy of SM Prime Chairman of the Executive Committee Mr. Hans T. Sy, a champion for disaster resilience, who continuously invests in DRR and in allocating 10% of the company’s expenditure for DRR in all of SM’s infrastructures throughout the country.    

“Today, disasters have become more frequent and severe. The government and the private sector must work together to find solutions for greater resiliency.  SM prime as a responsible property developer places Disaster Risk Reduction as one of its core strategies. It simply makes good business sense.” emphasizes Mr Hans Sy. He believes that not only is DRR an effective way to grow the business but it protects the communities where SM is located amid the increasing risks of climate change. 


Today, the MOA Complex is a bustling realization of Mr. Henry Sy Sr.’s grand vision for it to become both a premiere integrated leisure destination with a complimentary business and lifestyle district – one of the country’s truly revolutionary mixed-use developments, and a thriving example of disaster risk reduction at work. 

The next time you visit the MOA Complex – whether it is to visit the world’s largest IKEA, or to view the sunset from the top of the MOA Eye, or to simply shop and dine with your loved ones – it will be good to know that SM Prime has ensured your safety and security from the time the development was conceptualized and opened in 2006.. to today and tomorrow.