Celebrity reactions Thursday to the death of Nelson Mandela: ___ "What an honor it was to step into the shoes of Nelson Mandela and portray a man who defied odds, broke down barriers, and championed human rights before the eyes of the world. My thoughts and prayers are with his family." — Idris Elba, who has the title role in "Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom." ___ "Mandela was one of the great leaders and teachers of the twentieth century. His passing should re-ignite a worldwide effort for peace." — Paul Simon, whose acclaimed 1986 album "Graceland" was criticized by some for using South African musicians during a time when artists were boycotting the country. Some artists defended Simon and, with Mandela's approval, he toured South Africa in the 1990s. More »Celebrities pay tribute to Nelson Mandela
[caption id="attachment_57652" align="aligncenter" width="512"] In this film publicity image provided by 20th Century Fox, James McAvoy portrays Charles Xavier in a scene from "X-Men: First Class." The “X-Men” franchise will get another boost in 2016 with the release of “X-Men: Apocalypse.” (AP Photo/20th Century Fox, Murray Close)[/caption]LOS ANGELES (AP) — The "X-Men" franchise will get another boost in 2016 with the release of "X-Men: Apocalypse. ... More »New 'X-Men' movie coming in 2016
[caption id="attachment_57623" align="aligncenter" width="500"] GOVERNOR MENDOZA — North Cotabato Governor Emmylou Talino-Mendoza (center) answered questions from the media at the Apo View Hotel in Davao City on December 5, 2013 focusing on current events in the province. (Alexander D. Lopez)[/caption] More »Governor Mendoza
[caption id="attachment_57620" align="aligncenter" width="500"] BLIND MUSICIANS — Members of the Mindanao Association for the Blind of the Philippines in Davao City visited the Manila Bulletin Davao Branch on December 6, 2013 extending their Christmas greetings through caroling that also served as their fund-raising drive to expand their center and sustain their existing handicraft project. (Alexander D. Lopez)[/caption] More »Blind Musician
Orlando Bloom returns as Elven Prince, Legolas (poster art from New Line Cinema)[/caption] English writer J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy world has endured for so long, especially now with the help of Hollywood magic. Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson brings us back to Middle-earth with the highly anticipated “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug,” the second in the trilogy. Set 60 years before the events of “The Lord of the Rings,” it follows the adventures – more like an epic quest, really – of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard, Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) and the 13 Dwarves let by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) to reclaim the Lonely Mounan and the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Freeman puts on the Hobbit garb – hairy feet, pointy ears and all – for this wild voyage and finds that, in this second “The Hobbit” installment, what he’s really looking forward to is “the time where (Bilbo) turned the corner from being fairly mild and meek to finding a bit more of a backbone.” He notes, “You spend so much time playing Bilbo as this reticent person who is just trying to find his voice and trying to find when to speak, just finding permission to breathe almost, that it is really good fun in this film when he does have to find that bit of steel inside himself...” Freeman shares that although he did not consciously try to bring humor to his performance as Bilbo, it all boiled down to “either I can’t help it, or the writing dictates it.” Describing the hobbit as “a flawed, funnyish, slightly ridiculous character,” Freeman adds, “When (Bilbo) thinks he is being really serious, actually the world is going, ‘Prat!’ Because he is puffing himself up in a classically English pompous way.” What the English actor found funny was that Jackson would always ask him to do “that English thing.” Freeman relates, “I don’t really know what that is. It is like asking a Frenchman to be French, I suppose... I think maybe the rest of the (English-speaking) world… they might see something quite British or English in Bilbo.” Although Bilbo’s adventures forces him to find his inner hero, Freeman relishes how the role has slightly changed people’s perspective of him. More »(BULLETIN ENTERTAINMENT EXCLUSIVE) Martin Freeman: Being Bilbo Baggins
In an exclusive interview after the official press screening of her upcoming film “Mga Anino ng Kahapon,” Agot shared that she is expecting her immediate on Christmas Eve, while the whole Isidro clan would be arriving on Christmas Day itself. The 47-year-old actress said that, like most Filipino households, her family also follows some common Pinoy traditions including Noche Buena and “Monito-Monita.” What sets their celebration apart, however, is a little game of Bingo. Every Christmas, “After (eating) we play Bingo. Isidro Bingo Social, meron talaga,” Agot said, laughing. More »A traditional Christmas celebration for Agot Isidro
[caption id="attachment_57570" align="aligncenter" width="500"] BARANGAY TALA ROUND UP — National Bureau of Investigation and Special Weapons and Tactics operatives guard residents of Barangay Tala in Caloocan City taken into custody following an anti-drug operation which resulted in the death of an NBI civilian agent yesterday. (KJ Rosales)[/caption] More »Barangay Tala Round Up
Malacañang has denounced the brazen bombing at the Yemen's defense ministry complex that killed seven Filipinos. "We condemn the senseless violence that killed seven Filipinos and inflicted injury to several of our citizens working in Yemen. Our officials are working with the local authorities to ensure the safety and well-being of our countrymen," Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said Friday. At least 52 persons, including seven Filipinos, were killed in the suicide bombing on the defense minatory complex in Sanaa, Yemen. More »Palace denounces Yemen attack
Malacanang assured on Friday that attacks in Mindanao will not derail the peace talks being held between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said the government has a solid determination to complete the peace process with the MILF. Coloma, however, said the incident was not the first time that those who are against the peace pact with the MILF have made disruptive actions to show their disapproval of a GPH-MILF peace agreement. “These are the enemies of peace and the government is determined to use all its power to stop them from disrupting the peace process,” he said. More »Palace: Attacks in Mindanao won't derail peace talks
Investigation showed the three rode in the taxi driven by Francis Diaz along Congressional Avenue and asked the latter to bring them to Sinagtala, Quezon City where they declared a hold-up. Diaz said he was dropped off at Tandang Sora where he sought the help of another taxi driver and they had the incident reported to the police, who responded by following the group. More »Hold-Up Suspects
Santiago then asked why her fellow senators "consented to remain silent" on the course of her 45-minute speech on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Senator Francis Escudero said the unparliamentary portions of the speech of Santiago shall be stricken off. More »Santiago: Is Enrile allowed to insult me?
Fuelled by her impassioned privilege speech last December 4 against the scandalous pork barrel scandal, the official Facebook fan page of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago reached one million Likes on the same day. According to the administrators of her Facebook page, a photo of Santiago thanking her followers for the page’s milestone was posted on her Facebook account last December 5. Santiago proved her "megastar" status by drawing to the Senate some 300 students from 15 universities, who attended on their own resources to hear their idol deliver her oration against what she called “the forces of darkness.” Universities represented included: U.P. Diliman, U.P. Manila, U.P. college of law, De La Salle University, University of Sto. More »Miriam's Facebook reaches 1M 'Likes'
[caption id="attachment_57455" align="aligncenter" width="714"] Sid Lucero (Photo by Bhenj Agustin)[/caption]Like Geoff Eigenmann several months and plenty of pounds ago, award-winning actor Sid Lucero has received a “fat memo” from GMA-7.“Yeah…difficult to find suitable roles (when you’re on the heavy side)…” said Sid who aims to go from 180 lbs to 140 lbs.Aside from body type that predisposes him to be stocky, Sid has been extremely busy lately, making it impossible for him to work out in the gym or even engage in sports regularly. ... More »Sid Lucero working on losing weight
Niño Shrine and Heritage Museum in Tacloban City will reopen to the public this Sunday to contribute to Leyte's tourism and economic revival after super typhoon Yolanda destroyed a large part of the province. The Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) said the reopening of the former Presidential residence and a popular tourist destination in Eastern Visayas on December 8 would be historic as it opens exactly a month after super typhoon Yolanda hit the city. PCGG Commissioner for Asset Management Richard Amurao said the resumption of the Shrine’s operation is the agency’s way of helping Tacloban get back on its feet since tourism is one of the city’s major industries. More »Sto. Niño Shrine in Tacloban reopens Sunday
The Marawi City police chief, who was abducted by suspected members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Thursday, has been released Friday afternoon.The Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities (CCCH) and the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG) of the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) have played key roles in the release, Army’s 103rd Brigade commander Col. Glen Macasero said.He also said that the existing peace mechanisms helped in the successful release of Marawi City police chief Supt. Christopher Panapan. ... More »MILF releases Marawi police chief
[caption id="attachment_57394" align="aligncenter" width="519"] Kris Aquino, Vicky Morales, Marian Rivera and Mike Enriquez (Photo from Instagram)[/caption]Despite not bringing home trophies from the Asian Television Awards in Singapore, actresses Kris Aquino and Marian Rivera are more than happy over being nominated.“No Filipino brought home the trophy tonight, but these commendations are certainly worthy of Pinoy Pride. ... More »Kris, Marian proud of Asian TV Awards nods
A 3.8-magnitude earthquake has jolted Virac, Catanduanes Friday morning, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. Phivolcs said than an intensity III has been recorded in Naga City while an intensity II was felt in Virac, Catanduanes, Legazpi City. More »3.8 magnitude quake jolts Catanduanes
Just like ordinary working Filipinos, boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao must still pay the correct taxes, a Palace official said Friday. Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said he finds the proposal to exempt Pacquiao from paying income tax for life unreasonable, insisting that tax payment is a civic duty. Valenzuela City Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo earlier filed a bill seeking lifetime tax exemption for celebrities and athletes who give honor to the country. The bill also stated that the tax exemption should cover Pacquiao for bringing honor and pride to the Filipino people. More »Palace: Pacquiao must pay taxes
Malacanang on Friday said the parole granted to former Batangas Gov. Antonio Leviste was in accordance with the law. Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. also said that the parole did not need any presidential action. “Ito ay [This is ] parole process and the Parole Board granted the request in accordance with law,” Coloma said. The Palace official also said that those who would like to contest the parole granted to Leviste may ask for a review of the process. More »Palace: Leviste's parole in accordance with law
At least eight flights bound to and from Visayas were cancelled on Friday due to inclement weather affecting the country, Department of Transportation and Communications said.These flights are from Manila to Caticlan, Manila to Legaspi, Caticlan to Manila and Legaspi to Manila.“Cancelled flights due to bad weather at destination: 2P-925 MNL-Legazpi, 2P-926 Legazpi-MNL, 5J-329 MNL-Legazpi, 5J-330 Legazpi-MNL, 5J-901 MNL-Caticlan, 5J-902 Caticlan-MNL, 5J-899 MNL-Caticlan, 5J-900 Caticlan-MNL,” DOTC announced on Twitter. ... More »Eight flights cancelled due to bad weather
"Kung ganoon ang criteria natin, madami ding mamamayan na nagbibigay ng karangalan eh bakit hindi natin bigyan ng exemption [There are many other individuals who also give our country honor, so if that is the criteria, why don't we exempt them too?]," Henares said. We have other national heroes, why aren't we giving them the same privilege?" Henares said. "Yung mga athlete, hindi naman nila tinataya ang buhay nila for the benefit of other people, it's for themselves [Athletes do not risk their lives for the benefit of other people, it's for themselves]," Henares said. On Thursday, Valenzuela City 2nd district Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo filed a bill that seeks to give Pacquiao a lifetime tax exemption. More »Henares opposes tax exemption bill for Pacquiao
Government employees should not expect additional cash bonus this Christmas. Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said other than the bonuses mandated under the law, government employees will not get additional bonuses before the end of the year. The Palace official noted that its top priority is the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts of areas hit by typhoon “Yolanda” as well as the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in areas hit by other calamities this year. “Baka kailangan i-calibrate o i-defer ang mga pinaplano na gastusin habang nagbibigay daan sa mas mahalagang prioridad na relief and rehabilitation [Maybe there is a need to calibrate or defer other plans using government funds while we give way to other more important priorities like relief and rehabilitation],” Coloma said. More »No extra cash bonus for gov't
The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said it is now keeping an eye out for “zombie” recruitment agencies which continue to operate long after being shut down. Last May, POEA reported it closed down the office of LJP Travel Assistance Agency in 1534 2nd Street near Main Street, Sta. POEA administrator Hans Cacdac, however, said POEA anti-illegal recruitment branch later found out LJP only relocated its office to the 2278-B Onyx Street, Sta. More »POEA guarding against 'zombies'
This was what I thought about when I watched Atlantis Productions’ presentation The Addams Family at the Meralco Theater. The Addams Family consists of Gomez Addams, who is a faithful husband to his wife and a great father. His wife is Morticia Addams, who is so in love with her husband. They have two kids: Pugsley and Wednesday. Wednesday is serious, often with a sullen expression. More »Show review: Laughs all around