The recent launch of Palarong Pambansa 2014 held by the DepEd at the ULTRA in Pasig City was a grand and star-studded affair. Laguna won the bid to host this year’s Palarong Pambansa, the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) of which was signed by DepEd Sec. Armin A. Luistro and Laguna Governor ER Ejercito.
In his pledge of commitment speech, Gov. ER expressed excitement over Laguna's turn to host the games on May 4 to 10. He stressed that Laguna is all set to welcome 15,000-17,000 athletes, coaches and officials from 17 regions of the country. The athletes will compete in 19 sports disciplines in 399 athletic events in seven days.
[caption id="attachment_85350" align="alignright" width="300"] LAGUNA GOVERNOR ER Ejercito with DepEd Sec. Armin A. Luistro and Pagsanjan Mayor Maita Sanchez-Ejercito
(Photo by Mark Balmores)[/caption]
“This is the time that the Province of Laguna is hosting Palarong Pambansa and this momentous event is the best time to showcase our unique traditions, culture, products, services, tourism destinations, as well as our successes and achievements in local governance,” Gov. ER said. Laguna has six cities and 24 municipalities.
“It is a great honor and a testament of Laguna’s capability and preparedness to stage the country’s grandest Palarong Pambansa ever, which aims to develop the character of the youth of our nation and instill in them the values of discipline, dedication, humility and self-confidence through sports. These are the same values that our youth need in all aspects of their lives. After all, in Laguna, sports is a way of life.”
Gov. ER also said they started the ground works for Palarong Pambansa 2014 last year in order to ensure its success. To start off, the 30-second TV ad of Palarong Pambansa in Laguna has already been aired on major television networks as early as December 2013.
“The La Laguna Festival: The Festival of Life, awarded as the Best Tourism Event of the Philippines in 2011, 2012 and 2013, and is nowadays DOT-ATOP Hall of Fame Pearl awardee will be incorporated in our historic hosting of Palarong Pambansa 2014.”
Gov. ER concluded his speech by saying, “The Palarong Pambansa in Laguna will be the benchmark of future Palarong Pambansa.”
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[caption id="attachment_85352" align="alignleft" width="174"] COUNCILOR YUL SERVO (right) and Kebab Turki franchise holder Edmundo Rogando[/caption]
Yul Wants To Improve As An Actor
“Being an actor helped me a lot in my pursuit of a political career,” Councilor Yul Servo stressed in a brief interview with him during the first anniversary celebration of Kebab Turki restaurant at the Robinson's where the actor was one of the celebrity guests.
“Being an actor already earns 50% recognition from the voters, and the next step is to convince them to vote for me,” Yul explained. The actor-turned-politician has already received more than a couple of awards as Best Supporting Actor.
“I want to improve more as an actor, like Eddie Garcia, Ronnie Lazaro, and several others who have become icons in the movie industry,” he explained.
“This is my third term as councilor of Manila, representing the third district,” Yul said. A term is three years, and councilors are limited to three terms, or a total of nine successive years. After his full term ends, he will have to wait after three years to file candidacy for the same position or seek a different office.
Edmund Rogando, president of Asia Classic Gourmet, sole franchise holder of Kebab Turki restaurant, was very thankful to Yul for gracing the restaurant's first anniversary in the Philippines. Kebab Turki, which serves Middle Eastern food, now has eight branches in popular shopping malls all over Metro Manila.
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[caption id="attachment_85351" align="alignright" width="300"] RICHARD VILLANUEVA (2nd from left seated) and Robin Nievera (3rd from left seated) with the Crowd Bar family[/caption]
Coming Together In The Crowd Bar
A much-talked about venue along Pioneer St. in Mandaluyong is the Crowd Bar, now dubbed as “Ang Bagong Tambayan.” Among those who've performed there are no less than Pops Fernandez, Joey Generoso of Side A band, Freestyle, Juris, Faith Cuneta and Robin Nievera, among many others.
Its habitués include Vice Ganda, Vivian Velez, Teresa Loyzaga and Pops, among others. Every Tuesday night, a search for the “Crowd Idol” is undertaken, according to Richard Villanueva, the entertainment director, who also happens to be a veteran sing-along master. He also performs every Friday night, together with the Crowd Diva, Laarni Lozada.
Some of the regular performers at The Crowd Bar also include Inday Garutay and Peewee of Jeremiah.
The Crowd Bar is owned by concert and indie movie producer Cora Rodrigo of Goldmine Productions, along with Pia Espedio, Zaldy Carpeso, Cris Roxas and Gene Sison.
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Tidbits: Happy b-day greetings, Jan. 28, go to Sen. Loren B. Legarda, Atty. Oscar Orbos, Bernardo Bernardo, Tina Maristela Ocampo, Josie Trinidad Lichauco, Rogelio “JB” Bangsil, Jr., Susan Paredes, Deeda Tanopo, New Jersey, USA-based Helen Banaria, Ric Jumasa, Andok’s Sandy Javier, Regina Yui-Dee, Manuel Silva, Nelson Rosario, Jules Lopez, Miguel D.C. Alegre, Jacob Dionisio of ABS-CBN, Anecito S. Flores, Hutch Montenegro Pla, Patricia Anne Maribay of Phil. Heart Center, and my New York-based sister, Constancia “Ching” M. Schreiner… Happy wedding anniversary to Oliver and Jane Buenaflor, and Oscar and Sally Maliwanag…