Fil-Am director doing docu films for billionaire-philanthropist

While waiting for his big film to materialize, Ace Cruz, a Filipino-American actor-filmmaker based in California, is busy doing documentary film for billionaire-philanthropist Yank Barry.

Ace is currently filming “The Art Of Giving,” which documents the humanitarian endeavors being undertaken by Yank for the benefit of the disadvantaged all over the world.

[caption id="attachment_134891" align="aligncenter" width="576"] PHOTO shows (from left) billionaire-philantrophist Yank Barry, boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, boxer Evander Hollyfield and Hollywood actor-director Ace Cruz[/caption]

Ace started documenting Yank’s efforts in 2013, following the devastation caused by super-typhoon “Yolanda.”

Yank, by the way, is the chairman of the Global Village Champions Foundation (GVCF), a non-profit organization that has donated about one billion meals to the hungry throughout the world. Barry needs to donate at least two billion meals to qualify for the Nobel Peace Prize, which is his main goal in life and for which he has been nominated three times.

He visited the Philippines two years ago with boxing champ Evander Holyfield to ask Manny Pacquiao to be a GVCF ambassador like Holyfield himself, as with Muhammad Ali, Bo Derek, James Wood and Jon Voight, among many other famous personalities.

After Typhoon “Yolanda’s” devastation brought to eastern Visayas, Barry donated tons of rice to Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez for victims in Ormoc. He also donated about two million meals for distribution by Lucy, Cesar Montano and Mother Jean of Sisters of the Poor.

Ace said he was fascinated by what Barry has been doing. When he asked Barry why, the billionaire-philanthropist answered, “Because I want to make a difference in the world; I want to make a difference in the lives of people.”

On his part, Ace’s mission is to make films with spiritual content that will inspire or uplift the spirit of people. Among the Hollywood films he has made are “The Circuit,” “Psychotic,” “Fate,” “Urban Task Force,” “Outrage: Born In Terror,” “Desert Of Death (The Golem)” and “Gangstaz.”

He would have watched the Pacquiao-Bradley fight in Las Vegas, but Ace had to attend “Celebrity Fight Night,” an annual charity event spearheaded by Ali to raise funds for those suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

Ace flew to Arizona where the event was held to film Robert de Niro, Kenny Rogers, Billy Crystal, John Corbett and Ali, of course.

Ace studied filmmaking at the University of Southern California where he also took up drama studies. For a while, he came home to the Philippines to try his luck in acting, and signed up with Viva Films. He made some movies but when nothing significant happened, he went back to the US.

He formed his own film company, Spirit Films, LLC in 1996.

Ace is preparing for his next film, to be bankrolled by Yank Barry, which will star GVCF’s ambassadors Derek, Wood and Voight.

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ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra Pays Tribute To Ryan Cayabyab

[caption id="attachment_134898" align="alignright" width="190"] MAESTRO Ryan Cayabyab and Gerard Salonga[/caption]

In its first Spotlight Series, the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra will pay tribute to Maestro Ryan Cayabyab via “The Music of Ryan Cayabyab” on May 3 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the CCP’s Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo.

Held on the eve of Ryan’s 60th birthday, “The Music of Ryan Cayabyab” will showcase the maestro’s sacred works as interpreted by the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra, a 70-piece choir that includes some of the country’s most distinguished musical performers.

Highlights of the tribute concert includes: Basil Valdez singing two of the 14 Cayabyab songs written specifically for him; a reunion of Mitch Valdes and Celeste Legaspi – original leads of “Katy! The Musical;” Hajji Alejandro doing his original interpretation of Metropop’s “Kay Ganda Ng Ating Musika;” OPM President Ogie Alcasid discussing what it takes to compose a hit song; an acoustic-harana take on a love song by Piolo Pascual; Martin Nievera singing his hit, “How Can I;” The Ateneo Chamber Singers and Mass Appeal Choir singing Mr. C’s novelty songs and commercial jingles; a brand new, orchestrated version of “Mamang Kutsero” by jazz-vocal group Baihana; and a performance of “Gloria” from Misa 2000, which won top honors at the Onassis International Cultural Competition in Greece.

Tickets are available through Ticketworld ( Bonafide students are entitled to a 20 percent discount for the matinee show.

The ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra is a joint venture of ABS-CBN and First Philippine Holdings. The orchestra is composed of 42 musicians under the baton of Music Director Gerard Salonga and the guidance of Managing Director Mickey Muñoz. The orchestra was created for the main purpose of connecting and reinstating symphonic music into the lives of the Filipino people, especially for the younger generation.

The orchestra reaches out to the general public through its “Educational Outreach” programs, each designed to cater to certain age groups with the goal of sparking interests in symphonic music.

The orchestra mounts off-season, affordably-priced or free concerts and cultivates a significant presence on TV, film and the Internet.

The orchestra also supports the creation of new works by Filipinos and aims to preserve both popular and rarely-heard OPM classics.

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Covert Operation

The Toronto-based Cineplex theaters hosts more than 70 million guests annually and, with the digital revolution, continues to give audiences more and better viewing options.

Now CEO Ellis Jacob goes undercover to get a glimpse of how his employees have been helping him run his business.

Before going undercover, Ellis shaved his 35-year-old iconic mustache and used a wig to keep his identity secret. He then handed out popcorns, swept the floor, sold tickets and supervised a private party.

During his “tenure,” he learned to appreciate the dedication of his employees. So, he decided to reward them for always upholding his main concern of giving clients the best service.

Watch “Undercover Boss” every Saturday at 6 p.m. on Solar News Channel available on Metro Manila Free TV Ch. 9, SkyCable Ch. 14, Destiny Ch. 14, Cignal Ch. 10, Cablelink Ch.14, Cebu Free TV Ch. 9, Davao Free TV Ch. 9, Zamboanga Free TV Ch. 5, Baguio Free TV Ch. 12 and Bacolod Free TV Ch. 8.

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Tidbits: Happy b-day greetings today, April 29, go to senatorial contender Tingting Cojuangco, Charito Ampil, Evelyn Salvador, Isagani Cruz, president of Manila Times College, Erick Abella San Juan, Angeles “Toto” Santocildes, Michael Patero Cabra, Josefine Orlina, Kaye Roque, Geralyn J. Baluyot, Ma. Delicia Bacani, Tata Acosta and Joel Armas... Happy wedding anniversary to Tip and Mita Torres and Ira and Jackie Maniquis...