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Friday, October 21, 2016

Philippine stocks cannot outperform other stock markets all the time.

Are we at the tail end?
If one were to consult sellers, the probability of the benchmark PCOMP Index reaching “bottom” is low. So, the question remains, why are Foreign-domiciled funds still selling? The simple answer is: sellers are taking profit.

Sellers are taking profit because they know that Philippine stocks cannot outperform other stock markets all the time. Thus, this opportunity to take profit now when Philippine stocks are doing well is irresistible. To recall, Philippine stocks “disconnected” from the rest of the world soon after the elections. The local stock market rallied for several weeks after elections while investor sentiment deteriorated globally. As they have in the past, traders will take profit even if they are convinced
that the local stock market can outperform most other markets for most of the time.

Traders will stop selling when there is little or no profit left to take, or when the local market is due for a “bounce”. If it is a question of whether the Philippines is “expensive” or “the most expensive” stock market, then no trader nor stock fund would be interested in Philippine stocks at all.

“Expensive” is old news.

The expensiveness or intrinsic value of a stock market is driven by the cash flow, growth and risk character of its listed companies – not by the trading pattern or signal generated by technical analysis in charts. The intrinsic value of the Philippine stock market is higher than most other markets because of the persistent reality of stronger cash flows, higher economic growth prospects and lower risk that characterize Philippine companies when compared to many companies in most other markets. The reality is persistent because of the character of the local economy, for example the country’s demographics is in a sweet spot with most of the population in working age.

“Price” is driven by the “weight” of the buy and sell flows of traders. Simply put, it is the balance of the demand and supply of shares that determine price. However, stock prices tend to “approach” their intrinsic value. The estimate of the intrinsic value of Philippine stocks by analysts now stands at 8,166, based on a survey from Bloomberg. Expectedly, as stock prices fall or become cheaper relative to their intrinsic value, demand for Philippine shares will increase.

Investors who have a long-term perspective of the markets and are aware that they cannot ‘catch the bottom’ will take on the view that the current administration’s economic agenda will speak louder than the president’s unpredictable words. Investors will look at the economic agenda to find the cheapest stocks.

Fortunately, the theme of ‘inclusive growth’ which aims to increase the purchasing power and improve the living standards of the majority of the Filipinos makes the most-attractive industries or sectors obvious, that is food and staples retailing, packaged foods and meats, restaurants, and multi-sector holding companies involved mostly in infrastructure.

In order to avoid the predicament of waiting in the wings and remaining un-invested, investors will have to start buying before the traders stop selling. It also keeps investors from getting left behind when the stock market does “bounce”.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

“The Calling Live!” on Nov. 11, at Mall of Asia Arena

ISN'T it a bummer when you attend a concert and you don't know anything about the songs being sung on the gig?

Even in the concerts of those popular foreign artists, who have a hit or two, concert goers find themselves bobbing their heads to songs they don't even know.

That is about to change now.

Subterranean Ideas Entertainment is bringing “The Calling, Live at the Mall of Asia Arena!” for the first time ever on Nov. 11, 2016, making it, hands down, the biggest rock concert of the year. Its vocalist/songwriter Alex Band is one of the most successful singer/songwriters in the new millennium and he is fresh from the studio doing new songs. Band, actually, has never left the scene as he embarked on a successful solo career in Los Angeles, California where he is based.

This year, in an engagement special only to the Philippines, Band and his rock cohorts are bound to capture everyone's hearts once again in a one-night concert backed by Smart, Wish 107.5, New World Manila Bay Hotel, Red Fox, DeVant, Eurotel, When in Manila, Philippine Star, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Business Mirror, Home Radio, iFM,, United Neon, Sprinto, McVitie's, Go Ahead, Odyssey, Pulp Magazine, Philippine Concerts, Manila Concert Scene, Nanogen, Village Connect and Bren Media.

The Calling will be singing their countless hits such as Adrienne, Stigmatized, Could It Be Any Harder, Things Will Go My Way, Our Lives, Anything, Why Don’t You and I?, For You (theme song of the movie DareDevil), Tonight, Euphoria, Only One, and the mega-hit song Wherever You Will Go, dubbed by Billboard 100 as the Song of the Decade and is the No. 3 Greatest Adult Pop Song of All Time.

In youtube, the song boasts of 160 million hits and counting, not to mention its hundreds of iterations, covers and other related video content. In the Philippines, it is a staple in almost all videoke renditions, a song young and old alike, may have sung in their lifetime a countless times.

For ticket inquiries, call SM Tickets at 470.22.22.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

E-Com Centers hold its first Halloween Party: Freaky Fright Day!

Put your best Halloween costume on! May it be spooky, magical or marvel, just make sure that you will stand out from the crowd because this coming October 28, a trick-or-treating day awaits everyone as E-Com Centers hold its first Halloween gathering dubbed as Freaky Fright Day.

Open to all OneE-Com, TwoE-Com and FiveE-Com Centers’ tenants and guests’ kids with ages 5 years old to 11 years old, Freaky Fright Day is set to add a unique and colorful vibe to all hard-working employees working on these establishments. Kids and adults alike will surely have a great time bonding with different characters too as all participants are set to explore different offices to get their well-deserved treats.

To join, aspiring participants must register to Freaky Fright Day marshal, Mr. Kristoffer De La Costa, through e-mail or by calling (02) 8571000 local 1993 starting October 12 until October 26 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm. Participants may register in one of these four categories: Most Unique Costume, Cutest Costume, Spookiest Costume and Best Super Hero Costume.  Freaky Fright Day participants can only register under one category.

On Friday, October 28, the Trick or Treat Parade will start at 10 in the morning, and then followed by a magical program, judging and awarding ceremony in the afternoon where costume contest participants are required to be present. This program will start at 5 in the afternoon at the Prism Plaza, 4th Floor, TwoE-Com Center.

Aside from the Trick or Treats activities, winners of the costume contest will also get to take home some sweet prizes to enjoy. While parents and guardians can look forward to a colorful and relaxing night as Prism Plaza presents PureSound Band for their Halloween Prism Rhythm Special.

For more details, you can visit the Prism Plaza Facebook page (, Twitter (@thePrismPlaza) and Instagram (@thePrismPlaza). Happy Halloween!

Brace yourself for The Walking Dead Season 7 this coming October 24!

Who is excited for The Walking Dead Season 7? Who would you want to save? I am anticipating for Carol and some group for the rescue, but since we are all clueless for what would happen let us all wait for Monday, PH time, to come. October 24th, 2016 at 11:35 AM and 8:55 PM (same day as US)
exclusively on FOX.

 “Who did Negan kill?”  That has been the question plaguing the minds of The Walking Dead fans around the world following the cliffhanger ending to season 6 earlier this year.  Fans don’t have to wait much longer to find out with the highly anticipated Season 7 premiering on FOX on October 24th at 11:35 AM and 8:55 PM, on the same day as the US premiere.

To kick off this latest season, FOX is launching ‘The Riding Dead,’ an exclusive VR campaign that places fans in the world of a zombie outbreak.  “You’ve picked the wrong day to be stuck in a traffic jam…” says FOX as the premise of the stunt.  Partnering with Samsung and GrabCar, FOX will offer passengers an opportunity to experience their ride immersed amongst ‘walkers,’ as zombies are commonly referred to in the series, using Virtual Reality technology, promising a ride they will never forget.  

Charo Espedido, Head of Marketing and Programming at FOX Networks Group Philippines, said the campaign aims to excite new and die-hard fans alike.   

“This campaign was created specifically for fans in Southeast Asia with all the VR content shot in the region as well. We wanted to bring new fans into The Walking Dead world but also heighten the anticipation amongst the fans who have been following the series over the last 6 seasons, especially given the massive cliffhanger in last season’s finale episode. Fans will be mesmerized by the VR experience, and avid fans will also notice certain hints and references to the series storyline that we’ve purposely dropped in. Make sure to look for them!”

Based on the comic book series written by Robert Kirkman, The Walking Dead is an award-winnning drama series and a global phenomenon, following Rick Grimes and his group as they navigate life and dangers after a zombie apocalypse.

The Riding Dead campaign will run in Manila from October 21 to November 17, 2016.  Fans can book a ride through GrabCar’s mobile app and keep a look out for the specially customized The Riding Dead GrabCars on the road.

Catch The Walking Dead Season 7 premiere on
October 24th, 2016 at 11:35 AM and 8:55 PM (same day as US)
exclusively on FOX

Follow FOX TV on social media for more on The Walking Dead and the best of TV entertainment:

Intstagram and Twitter: @FOXChannel_PH
YouTube Fox TV Asia
Hashtags                                 #TWDonFOX, #TheWalkingDead, #TheRidingDead

Monday, October 17, 2016

Torque Mobile launches EGO Series Boost Edition smartphones

Torque Mobile launches EGO Series Boost Edition smartphones together with Celebrity Ambassador Elisse Joson last October 13 at 111 Paseo Makati.

Torque Mobile, the leading maker of Android-based tablets in the Philippines, announced the Torque EGO series Boost Edition, a breakthrough line-up of noteworthy devices that allows users to easily take their phone usage to the next level and truly embrace the age of the smartphone.

Almost a decade after the invention of the modern smartphone, major features, perks, and conveniences can now be made available at the entry-level, further whittling down at any excuses one might have against ditching an old phone in favor of a full-fledged smartphone.

“Much like the human ego, we view the now-ubiquitous smartphone as something that is here to stay,” said Chris Uyco, CEO and chief innovator at Torque Mobile. 

“The long-term vision for the Torque EGO series is for it to be treated much like a person’s pride, identity, or self-esteem. Something that will always be around, being shaped by personal decisions and circumstance, and needing the occasional boost every once in a while.”

For this reason, Torque is offering a full line-up of Boost Edition phones for its EGO series, with compelling upgrades to offer as a way of boosting what one may otherwise view as normal, typical, or acceptable. The EGO Series Boost Edition is all about getting to the next level.

Android Boost

Starting with the EGO Zero, Torque underlines its plan to get fully-working smartphones into the hands of more and more Filipinos. The Torque EGO Zero runs a stable version of the Android software, giving it advanced features for messaging, media playback, and Internet communications. You can forget about typing on a clunky plastic keyboard where the printed letters and numbers eventually fade over time, because the touchscreen will let you do all the things that you need. The EGO Zero is currently one of the most affordable smartphones available in the Philippines, and is the most affordable smartphone that Torque has ever made.

Performance Boost

For those who demand more performance out of their smartphone, a quad-core chip is most necessary. For this, Torque created the EGO Surf S and EGO Max S, featuring 4- and 5-inch screens, respectively. Both phones are equipped with 1.3GHz quad-core chips, 4GB internal storage, and microSD card support, easily handling apps that are normally used by smartphone users everyday. It doesn’t matter if you just left the house or are already heading back from the office: you’ll be able to view your Facebook, check your Twitter and Instagram, or quickly send text messages and more with either of these two phones.

Memory Boost

And as for avid multi-taskers, Torque has prepared the EGO Surf i and EGO Max i, both of which come with 1GB RAM as standard. With these phones, running multiple apps at the same time shouldn't be a problem, and switching from one app to another quickly won't be an issue. Whether you want to play music in the background as you check the news, or reply to a chat thread in the middle of playing your favorite mobile game, you wouldn’t need to worry. As a bonus, the phones also include 8GB storage space, with support for extra storage through microSD cards up to 32GB.

Camera Boost

For many people, the most important part of any smartphone is the camera. That's why Torque created the EGO Pro and EGO Max, both featuring 8-megapixel rear auto-focus cameras and 5-megapixel front cameras for superb photos, videos, and selfies.

The EGO Pro is unique as the only 4.5-inch phone in the Torque EGO series line-up, and also boasts a combination of a quad-core chip, 1GB RAM, and 8GB storage. Meanwhile, the Torque EGO Max sports a bigger, 5-inch HD screen, while running on the same processor, memory, and storage combo mentioned earlier.

With their 8MP rear auto-focus cameras, these phones can be used for day-to-day snaps that are meant for Facebook or Instagram. Filter or no filter, pictures are sure to come out looking clean, clear, and share-worthy, especially with the use of the convenient LED camera flash.

Entertainment Boost 

Entertainment can come in all shapes and sizes, but if there's one thing that most people can agree on, it's that TV absolutely has to be one of them. For Torque, that is the purpose of having the EGO Beat TV in the line-up: to offer free mobile TV wherever you go. Now you can just whip out your smartphone whenever you want to, and pull out the built-in TV antenna to start watching local TV channels for free. It also has front- and rear-facing 3MP cameras for your quick selfies and mobile photography sessions. It’s an all-around entertainment device.

Connectivity Boost

And of course, as smartphones are Internet-connected devices, their wireless antennas are of utmost importance. To that end, Torque has included a selection of high-speed data handsets, in the form of the EGO Chat, EGO Boost, and EGO Zoom 4G.

Both the EGO Chat and EGO Boost feature built-in high-speed 3G data chips, capable of supporting the country’s fast 3G networks as well as ubiquitous 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi. Now, you can actually enjoy going online and checking your favorite websites, thanks to instant high-speed connections. When you’re indoors, just use Wi-Fi. But when you’re outside, 3G is your friend.

Meanwhile, the EGO Zoom 4G comes with support for all local 4G LTE networks. And not only that, but it’s also the most powerful and feature-packed model in the entire line-up. For its screen, the Zoom 4G uses a 5-inch HD IPS display, while it relies on a quad-core MT6375 processor with 1GB RAM and 8GB storage for its performance. Its rear camera is fitted with an 8MP auto-focus sensor, while the front uses a 5MP camera. Both of them have an accompanying LED flash, on the back as well as the front. And to top it all off, it ships with Android 6.0 Marshmallow as standard. It is comfortably Torque’s most advanced smartphone yet.

The EGO Zoom 4G can basically offer all the features of every other EGO series handset, all in a lightweight and compact package. It can be used to stream online music, play HD movies, capture sharp photos, and access all forms of social media. It’s your well-connected companion.

Tablet Boost

Part of the line-up is a selection of highly-reliable Android tablets, namely the EGO Tab S, EGO Tab Q, EGO Phab, and EGO Phab 3G. Depending on your needs, you may find a suitable model from these whether you’re looking for something with only Wi-Fi or you prefer one with built-in 3G networking. The tablets come pre-installed with either Android 4.4 KitKat or Android 5.1 Lollipop, and can be used for a variety of tasks and applications like watching online videos, reading e-books, viewing photo albums, or online chat, depending on the model.

EGO Speaks Community

To further emphasize Torque Mobile's commitment to empower its users, the company has built an exclusive platform for the community to enjoy easy interaction and near-effortless communication. Dubbed Torque EGO Speaks, it is a centralized user forum that allows posting under a wide-range of topics, many of which relate to the experience of being an everyday smartphone user. The EGO Speaks forum will offer Torque users a quick way to voice their concerns, give feedback, and simply connect with others in the greater Torque community.

Torque EGO Speaks can be found online at

The entire Torque EGO series smartphone line-up, including the Torque EGO tablets, will be available starting October 2016, with prices ranging from 999 Pesos to 3,499 Pesos. For more information, you can visit the nearest Torque concept store or kiosk, check out the Torque homepage, or follow any of Torque’s social media pages.

Home page:
Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: TorqueMobile

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Anthony Diaz V: Fall for a new kind of screen hero in “Break”

Who would have imagined how far a China-made digital 4MB SD card palm camera could take a young dreamer’s film making dreams?

In the case of Filipino-American actor-director-producer Anthony Diaz V, it is quite far indeed. “When I was a kid, my family had movie night every Friday,” Anthony recalls. “After every film, I would ask my parents, ‘What motivated the characters’ actions?’”

That sort of set Anthony off on an early film education with his father encouraging his then ten-year-old son to lap up with glee movies like “The Godfather,” “Taxi Driver,” “Reservoir Dogs,” “Pulp Fiction,” “El Mariachi,” “The Shawshank Redemption,” the list goes on. These are films that Anthony admits “many kids my age at the time wouldn’t be interested in.”

He was, in a manner of speaking, a normal kid whose growing love for films made him a misfit.

Before he was 20, the brawny Anthony Diaz has completed dozens of short films. The independent film making spirit has been evident early on with Anthony multitasking, taking on screen writing, directing, producing, acting, and editing duties. By the time he reached 20, he has already graduated with high honors at the University of Las Vegas Film School (UNLV), making him the youngest graduate in the history of the program.

Anthony has received acclaim for the early short films he made like “Delusion” and “Forgotten Heroes.” In 2012, he put up a film production company called Kaizen Studios in Las Vegas, USA. The following year, he established a satellite of Kaizen Studios in Shibuya, Japan.

Japan is close to Anthony’s heart, having been a frequent visitor to the land of sashimis, cherry blossoms, and top-tier car brands since he was 8. Little wonder then that when he embarked on his first full length feature, Anthony chose to make “Break.”

“Break” can be described in many ways depending on how the viewer sees it but at its core, it is a story about alienation and angst as a young Japanese-American lad is thrown into the underworld while he deals with personal issues as an outsider trying to fit into Japanese society.

It is, in a way, a throwback to Anthony’s childhood when he was watching movies that wouldn’t strike a chord with children his age. He was like a misfit then, as his character in “Break” is. There is a need to find his place in an environment that isn’t very welcoming. Then he loses the girl he loves and the downward spiral begins.

On screen and in photos, Anthony Diaz strikes you as a kind of millennial James Dean, but this time a rebel with a cause, and with a more relatable Liam Neeson-ish vibe. In the movie “Break,” he even does breakdancing in one scene. Clearly, Anthony is the new kind of screen hero who has a good head to match the well-toned physique. And somehow you sense that there is a tenderness that lies beneath the swagger and the action star gait.

But Anthony assures that the similarities between him and his movie character end there. “The movie is not autobiographical at all,” he points out. “Break,” according to him, “was actually inspired from a short film I made when I was 17 years old called ‘Lunch Break’ which I shot with my high school friends in Vegas. The premise of the story is similar, but I expanded the universe and characters against the backdrop of Japan.”

Why should Pinoy audiences not miss “Break?” “This film is really unique as it blends American storytelling with Japanese cinema infused with hip-hop. It’s the first time to my knowledge that a film has simultaneous English and Japanese language throughout the movie with supporting subtitles. But most importantly, the overall theme is of a foreigner trying desperately to fit in. It is what most of us have experienced in some form or another.”

“Break” has had a private screening in Japan last April and its second stop is the Philippines before it heads off to Sundance.

To find out more about “Break,” go to or visit the Kaizen Studios FB page

1st Sem wins Best Feature at India filmfest; lead star Lotlot de Leon cited

If earning Best Picture nomination nod at the 2nd CineFilipino Filmfest was any indication that indie film 1st Sem was bound for something great, it all became clear when it won Best Feature Film at a prestigious international film dubbed the biggest in South Asia.

First-time feature film directors Dexter Hemedez and Allan Ibanez found directorial breakthrough right on their first try after they won the Debut Directors Competition at the All Lights India International Film Festival last September 27. They bested entries from the US, Brazil and other countries.

1st Sem is a family comedy centered on mother and child relationship and themes on  schooling, separation anxiety, youth, friendship, education, and ultimately, the sanity and sense of home.


“This victory is overwhelming for us considering that we went to India not expecting anything but just to enjoy being there,” expressed Dexter who informs that the film is a comedy that does not force itself to be and a drama told with just the right light feel to it.

The movie actually delivered a double strike after its lead actress Lotlot de Leon was honored with a Sole Acting Citation for her “exceptional performance." The Indian Filmfest usually gives honorable mention to the next best film but this time around, the esteemed jury decided to give the honor to the Pinay actress. It is her first international acting recognition -- a feat she bagged by acting lead for a comedy just for the first time in her career.  

The triumphant film, with screenwriting icon Ricky Lee as creative consultant, was cited by the All Lights jury as “containing courage and cinematic storytelling.” The jury was composed of Hassan Nazer whose film Utopia was Afghanistan’s Best Foreign Film entry to this year’s Oscars, Pan Nalin who directed the globally distributed Samsara, and Rajesh Touchriver who was nominated best debut director at Cannes.  

In 1st Sem, Lotlot stars as single mom of three Precy Marasigan, a probinsyana who sends his son Maru, played by Darwin Yu, to a Manila university to attend collegiate education. The incoming freshman apparently cannot cope with the transition to dorm life that he quickly returns home. From there, the story, describes by film critic Oggs Cruz as “a tender coming-of-age tale that has its heart in the right place” smoothly takes off.

Allan, who as writer has collaborated with Dexter, ventured to film directing with an eye for what’s honest and courageous. He related, “We crafted a story that will appeal to the youth, especially high school and college students, and to mothers like Precy. We intend to inspire and this win is for us, inspiring.”

Supporting Lotlot is a cast loaded with newbies taking her lead well, led by boyish-looking Darwin who honed his acting chops from Star Magic workshop. He plays the academically brilliant son who heads back home ahead of the batallion that sends him to the big city. That description alone from the duo director solicits laughter without them trying at all.

Allan Paule is no newbie, but him playing “that” cool uncle, makes way for  a good balance opposite rising young actors Miguel Bagtas and Sebastian Vargas who are seen here as Maru’s brothers. Others in the cast are tried and tested thespians, including Teri Lacayanga, Maddie Martinez, and Karen Romualdez who had her acting training in Toronto, Canada.

Rounding up the 1st Sem cast are film and TV actor Simon Ibarra, model Marc Paloma, and fresh-faced Sachie Yu who plays Maru’s loyal bestfriend Michelle.

“On my first taping day, I was told by Tita Lotlot to just be natural on camera. She really helped me loosen up,” shared Darwin who played lead role Hercules in a high school production.
Last July 7, 1st Sem’s DP (Director of Photography) Neil Daza received recognition for his cinematography, given by Cinema World Fest Awards in Ottawa, Canada.

The movie is set to participate at the Nazioarteko Zinetxiki Children and Youth International Film Festival to be held in Bilbao, Spain from November 14 to 27, 2016. The Hemedez-Ibanez tandem is bound to make a wave at the New Directors Section.

The Kids First! Film and Video Festival in New Mexico, USA likewise shortlisted 1st Sem in its selection and raved that “it offers a very realistic depiction of a Philippine single mother dealing with her son’s misadventures."

Part of 1st Sem's quick success is the brilliant camera work termed by the directors as "tuhog scenes" shown without the usual cut intervals --- for as long as five minutes. The background music is anchored on a couple of songs from seminal alternative rock band Siakol titled "Inihaw" and "Sige Na Tuloy Pa." Yes, the movie is very Pinoy and universal.