2017 Archives

Moms get a much-deserved treat this Mother’s Day at the Moms Nailed It event happening this Sunday, May 14, at the Gateway Mall, Ali Mall and Farmers Plaza activity centers.

Supermoms are our own superheroes without the capes, and on this day, nanay’s perpetually busy hands can finally take a break and get some tender loving care. Hand care pros at the event will be offering relaxing hand massages, as well as nail makeovers to soothe moms’ tired hands.

Gateway and Ali Mall guests with a single receipt worth a minimum of P 600.00 pesos, and Farmers Plaza customers with a single receipt worth P 300.00 from any Araneta Center establishment (Gateway Mall, Ali Mall, New Farmers Plaza, Farmers Market, Coliseum Restaurants, Telus Arcade, Shopwise Arcade restaurants, Araneta Center Bus Station & Manhattan Parkway & Parkview Arcade) may enjoy the treat. Registration starts at 10 am.

Guests can learn how to glam up with basic nail art tutorials by expert nail technicians, and apply their skills during the DIY nail art contest in the afternoon. Souvenir kits with nail grooming essentials also await event participants.

This year’s Mother’s Day activity was extra special for five (5) struggling moms. They were treated to a day fit for a queen on May 11, with makeover packages that included hair and makeup, stylish new outfits, and a professional pictorial to remember the day. A special video showing the moms will be screened at the Gateway event on Mother’s Day.

Prizes are still up for grabs for those unable to make it to Gateway Mall, Ali Mall and Farmers Plaza. Simply follow @thearanetacenter on Instagram, and repost the Moms Nailed It artwork uploaded on their page. Tag nine (9) friends and @thearanetacenter for a chance to win shopping gift certificates from Rustan’s worth P 10,000.00.

The Binibining Pilipinas 2017 pageant was presented by the Araneta Center and ABS-CBN, with sponsors: PLDT Home Fibr, Cream Silk, Jag Jeans, Manhattan Garden City, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen, Taco Bell; Manila Bulletin – the official print partner; Novotel Manila Araneta Center – the official hotel; Philippine Airlines – the official airline; Charter Ping-An Insurance Corporation, David’s Salon, Gold’s Gym, Power Trac Inc., Dale Carnegie, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Picture City, Jeffrey Rogador, People’s Journal, Women’s Journal, People’s Tonight, Domz Ramos, Raymond Saldana Photography, Jojo Bragais Shoes, and Bruce Casanova.

After an exciting but challenging run to the Finals, the new Binibining Pilipinas Queens have been named during the lavish Coronation Night held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum last April 30. Billed on television as “The Game of Crowns,” this year’s pageant has been characterized by a series of upsets, surprise finalists, and strong finishes by top contenders and crowd favorites.

25-year-old Rachel Peters was named Miss Universe Philippines 2017, successor to Maxine Medina. Stunning and articulate, this Camarines Sur stunner also received several Special Awards: Best in Swimsuit among the 40 candidates in their Jeffery Rogador swimwear; Jag Denim Queen 2017; and the Face of Binibini, resulting from an online popularity voting on the Binibining Pilipinas website, Twitter and the free app called Choicely.

Mariel De Leon, daughter of showbiz couple Christopher De Leon and Sandy Andolong, succeeded reigning Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa and was named Binibining Pilipinas International 2017, as well as Miss Cream Silk. She was also named Best in Long Gown.

Binibining Pilipinas Supranational 2016 Joanna Eden turned over her crown to the amiable Chanel Olive Thomas, who also bagged the Miss Friendship title, as well as Best in National Costume with her intricate Muslim royalty-inspired ensemble, complete with a stunning headdress. Both Eden and Thomas grew up in Australia.

Miss Grand International 2016 First Runner-up Nicole Cordoves crowned her successor Elizabeth Clenci from Cebu, who will represent the country in the MGI pageant this year.

The Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental title went to Katarina Sonja Rodriguez, succeeding last year’s title holder Jennifer Hammond. She was also given the Miss Philippine Airlines special award.

Cadet pilot Nelda Ibe was named Binibining Pilipinas Globe 2017, crowned by Miss Globe 2016 Third Runner-up Nichole Manalo.

Charmaine Elima and Kristel Guelos finished First and Second Runner-up, respectively. Other Special Awards winners were Dane Felisse Marasigan, Miss Talent; and Christagale Borja, Manila Bulletin Readers’ Choice.

Now on its 54th year, the Binibining Pilipinas peagent showcased the grace, beauty and elegance of the Filipina. The pageant marked new milestones this year, including online voting for the Face of Binibini; as well as the introduction of the first-ever SMS fan voting system powered by Smart and Voyager, with the winner becoming a shoe-in for the Top 15.

For first time in Binibini’s history, SMS vote winner a shoo-in for Top 15

Filipino fans are set to experience the Binibining Pilipinas 2017 pageant like never before as PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications, along with its digital innovations arm Voyager Innovations, power the SMS and digital fan voting of the Binibining Pilipinas 2017 pageant, where the winner of the text votes will automatically be part of the Top 15 finalists–an exciting first in the pageant’s 53-year history.

Fans only need to send BB (ex. BB23) to 2929022 to cast their votes and support their favorite candidates. Votes will be counted from today until 9PM of April 30 during the Binibining Pilipinas Coronation Night.

Pageant aficionados can vote for their bets an unlimited number of times during the voting period, and subscribers of all mobile networks* can send in their votes to the SMS gateway powered by Voyager.

“As we’ve seen during the country’s hosting of the 65th Miss Universe last January, pageant competitions have become more digital like never before. We’re glad that the Binibining Pilipinas 2017 will also be putting the power into the hands of millions of Filipino pageant fans by giving them a chance to vote for their bets, powered by the combined digital technologies of Smart and Voyager,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman of PLDT, Smart, and Voyager.

Aside from voting via SMS, fans also have the chance to pick this year’s Most Photogenic queen by participating in the online voting via the Binibining Pilipinas website (www.bbpilipinas.com/vote).

Thanks to freenet, the free Internet platform of Voyager, Smart, TNT and Sun subscribers will have free access to the voting website without data charges by simply downloading the freenet app on their Android or iOS phones.

Additionally, fans can also follow @realbbpilipinas on Twitter and use the hashtag of their favorite Binibini like this: #Binibini(number) and #BbPilipinas2017. They may also download the CHOICELY app and vote from there.

With a lot of avenues to interact, this year’s Binibining Pilipinas pageant is proving to be the most digitally powered yet–and with the Philippines being a pageant-crazy and social media-savvy nation, Filipino fans are sure to turn in by the droves and support all their Binibini bets in every way possible.

Fans can tune in to the live telecast of the Binibining Pilipinas Grand Coronation Night on April 30 at ABS-CBN.

The official Binibining Pilipinas 2017 candidates presented to the media on March 22 at Novotel Manila-Araneta Center, seen here in their swimsuits at the hotel poolside (Photo by Halley Saludez /Binibining Pilipinas)

The beautiful candidates vying for titles at this year’s Binibining Pilipinas 2017 pageant wowed members of the press and VIP guests during the much-awaited Press Presentation held at the Monet 2 Ballroom of Novotel Manila Araneta Center on March 22.

Stunning everyone in their neon swimsuits designed by Jeffrey Rogador, the candidates charmed the illustrious guests with their confidence and stage presence. The ladies also let their personalities show with a brief introduction and a strut on stage.

This year’s exciting roster consists of local pageant winners, degree holders from top schools, honor graduates, artists, sports and fashion enthusiasts, and working professionals who excel in their respective fields. Representing various provinces in the country, the official candidates bested hundreds of aspirants that went through rigorous screenings and interviews in January.

It’s going to be a tough competition this year following the stellar successes of the reigning beauty queens. The historic win of Pia Wurtzbach at the Miss Universe 2015 pageant became a shining moment for our country. The winning streak also continued with Anne Colis bagging the Miss Globe 2015 title; and the following year, Kylie Verzosa winning the Miss International 2016 title.

The pageant fever was further fanned by the impressive showing of Parul Shah, Miss Grand International 2015 3rd Runner-up; Christy McGarry, Miss Intercontinental 2015 1st Runner-up; Rogelie Catacutan, Miss Supranational 2015 semifinalist; Nicole Codroves, Miss Grand International 2016 1st Runner-up; Nichole Manalo, and Miss Globe 2016 3rd Runner-up.

Traditionally, the media gets to vote for the Miss Photogenic among the roster of Binibining Pilipinas candidates. This year, the pageant opens this to the public and gives them three ways to vote for their favorite beauty. The total votes are then added to the media’s votes to find this year’s Miss Photogenic.

Visit www.bbpilipinas.com/vote and choose your favorite Binibini.

Follow @realbbpilipinas on Twitter and use the hashtag of your favorite Binibini like this: #Binibini(number) and #BbPilipinas2017

Download the CHOICELY app on your smartphone device and search for Binibining Pilipinas. Vote by clicking your favorite Binibini.

With just about a month to compete, the ladies still have a busy schedule ahead. Meet the ladies as they go around the Araneta Center in the Parade of Beauties on April 22. Then, watch them wow audiences as they headline the Binibining Pilipinas Preliminaty Night at the Kia Theatre on April 23, where the girls will highlight their impressive National Costumes.

Finally, the best of the best will shine bright during the Grand Coronation at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on April 30, to be telecast LIVE on ABS-CBN.

The Binibining Pilipinas 2016 pageant is presented by The Araneta Center and ABS-CBN, with major sponsors PLDT Home Fibr, JAG Jeans, Manhattan Garden City, Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen and Taco Bell. The pageant’s official residence is Novotel Manila-Araneta Center; the official airline, Philippine Airlines; and official print partner, Manila Bulletin. Minor sponsors are: Charter Ping An Insurance Corporation, David’s Salon, Gold’s Gym, Power Trac, Inc., Dale Carnegie, Picture City, People’s Journal People’s Tonight, Women’s Journal, Jeffrey Rogador, Raymond Saldaña Photography, Bruce Casanova Photography, and Jojo Bragais Shoes.

The 40 official candidates of Binibining Pilipinas 2017

After a long and careful deliberation, the officials of Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. led by Mrs. Stella Marquez Araneta revealed the 40 gorgeous ladies that made the official list of Binibining Pilipinas 2017 candidates during the final closed-door screening held at the Kia Theatre on Feb 28.

Prior to fine-tuning the lineup, 95 girls were shortlisted to present themselves to the screening committee composed of Binibining Pilipinas board members, executives of broadcast partners ABS-CBN, and the Binibiing Pilipinas 2016 queens. The hopefuls were narrowed down to 55 ladies that were each meticulously interviewed by the committee.

This year’s exciting roster consists of fresh faces, graduates from top schools, sports and fashion enthusiasts, artists, and young professionals who excel in their chosen fields. They represent various provinces in the country, and have stood out among close to a hundred aspirants that went through rigorous screenings in February.

With the Top 40 list validated by the auditing group of Binibining Pilipinas, the 40 Binibini hopefuls were assigned their official number for the pageant during another closed-door session.

The official Binibining Pilipinas 2017 candidates, with their official social media hashtags, are as follows:

  • #Binibini1 - Dane Felisse Marasigan
  • #Binibini2 – Arienne Louise Calingo
  • #Binibini3 – Maria Gail Devora Tobes
  • #Binibini4 - Jessica Ramirez
  • #Binibini5 - Joselle Mariano
  • #Binibini6 - Ma. Bejieleen Nama
  • #Binibini7 - Jennyline Carla Malpaya
  • #Binibini8 - Leitz Camyll Ang
  • #Binibini9 - Vanessa Saliba
  • #Binibini10 - Jehza Huelar
  • #Binibini11 - Kimberly Pajares
  • #Binibini12 – Angelique Celine De Leon
  • #Binibini13 – Sirene Sutton
  • #Binibini14 – Sarah Jireh Asido
  • #Binibini15 – Mariel De Leon
  • #Binibini16 - Larah Grace Lacap
  • #Binibini17 - Camille Manalo
  • #Binibini18 - Nelda Ibe
  • #Binibini19 - Rachel Peters
  • #Binibini20 - Christagale Borja
  • #BInibini21 - Jamaica Ambal
  • #Binibini22 - Chanel Olive Thomas
  • #Binibini23 - Arah Salientes
  • #Binibini24 – Dindi Joy Pajares
  • #Binibini25 - Clarice Marion Villareal
  • #Binibini26 - Ruffa Nava
  • #Binibini27 - Beatrice Valente
  • #Binibini28 - Juliana Kapeundl
  • #Binibini29 - Karla May Manongsong
  • #Binibini30 - Mae Liezel Ramos
  • #Binibini31 – Katarina Rodriguez
  • #Binibini32 – Charmaine Elima
  • #Binibini33 – Kristi Rose Cequeña
  • #Binibini34 – Gabriela Ortega
  • #Binibini35 – Thoreen Halvosen
  • #Binibini36 –
  • #Binibini37 - Sammie Anne Legaspi
  • #Binibini38 – Ana Patricia Asturias
  • #Binibini39 – Elizabeth Durado Clenci
  • #Binibini40 – Kristel Guelos

These ladies will compete for the coveted Binibining Pilipinas 2017 titles to represent the country in international pageants.

In the past few years, Binibining Pilipinas has produced international title holders like Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach and reigning Miss International 2016 Kylie Versoza.

Follow their exciting journey in this year’s competition on Binibining Pilipinas, visit www.bbpilipinas.com. Like the Binibining Pilipinas official Facebook page www.facebook.com/realbbpilipinas and follow @bbpilipinasofficial on Instagram.

Just like the Empire State Building in New York, the CN Tower in Canada, the Sydney Opera House in Australia, and even Niagara Falls, the Philippines’ iconic entertainment and sports landmark fondly called the Big Dome has been lit up blue for a good cause.

On April 3, the Smart Araneta Coliseum’s main gate was lit blue in line with the global campaign to support World Autism Awareness Day (April 2 in the US), declared by the United Nations. With April being the World Autism Awareness Month, the “Big Dome Lights Blue” project supports the global autism community – a symbolic gesture behind a bigger aim to promote awareness, acceptance and inclusion of people with autism.

“Big Dome Lights Blue” was a joint effort of the Araneta Center, Inc., the Smart Araneta Coliseum, and the J. Amado Araneta Foundation, Inc. (JAAF), in partnership with the Philippine Associate for Citizens with Developmental and Learning Disabilities, Inc. (PACDLD). Prior to the ceremonial lighting of the Big Dome’s main gate, PACDLD held its first-ever Autism Advocate Awards at the Gateway Gallery on the 5th level of Gateway Tower, in recognition of several medical professionals and parents that have made advances and contributions to Autism Awareness and Advocacy in the Philippines.

A short program followed at the gate of the Smart Araneta Coliseum. PACDLD co-founder Ms. Felicite Jean Gonzales said a few words, and introduced special guest Mr. Rizalio Sanchesz, the Chief of Information, Education and Communications Division of the National Council on Disability Affairs, who also delivered a message of gratitude for the “Big Dome Lights Blue” effort.

Before the Big Dome was bathed in blue lights, a handful of children with autism and other learning disabilities, collectively called Kontra Gapi Plus, performed using Filipino ethnic instruments. Trained in art and performance by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), the wonderful kids showed the audience that no disabilities could hamper their leading productive and creative lives. Their joyful performance and demeanor onstage proved an inspiration to all.

“We are proud to support this global awareness movement and the advocacy of acceptance of people living with autism,” noted Ms. Diane Romero, the Executive Director of JAAF, in her speech during the event. “Our founder, Don Amado Araneta, has always envisioned the Center to be a place that welcomes all, and our participation here signifies our commitment to his vision. Today, we light up the main entrance of the Big Dome blue to signify our belief that we can be partners to tireless groups like the PACDLD and the Autism Advocate Awardees in the movement towards acceptance, appreciation and protection of children and individuals living with autism and other learning disabilities.”

“Big Dome Lights Blue” is just one of the CSR activities of the Araneta Group in support of autism awareness. Future plans include activities in partnership with groups like PACDLD in disseminating information on autism, holding art and crafts workshops for kids with autism, and training frontliners in recognizing and giving proper response to people with autism.

(From right) Miss Globe 2016 3rd runner up Nichole Manalo, Miss Grand International 2016 1st runnerup Nicole Cordoves, and Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa try the augmented reality feature during Gateway Gallery’s “SiningLakbay: Philippine History in Augmented Reality” launch on Feb. 22.

Gateway Gallery celebrated the second year of its “SiningSaysay: Philippine History in Art” exhibit by launching a digital feature that utilizes augmented reality (AR) to recount Philippine history and make it more interesting to an increasingly digital-savvy generation.

On February 22, the Gallery launched “SiningLakbay: Philippine History in Augmented Reality,” a project that marries art and technology to give visitors a more enhanced experience of its long-term collection.

The event was attended by guests of honor like Mrs. Judy Araneta Roxas, president of the J. Amado Araneta Foundation president and vice chairman of the Araneta Center, Inc; Manolo Roxas, grandson of Philippine president Manuel L. Roxas; Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc chairperson Stella Marquez-Araneta; esteemed painter Betsy Westendorp; Divina Gracia Pascua, OIC of the Culture and Tourism Affairs Office; Dinky Soliman, former DSWD secretary; as well as BInibini queens Nicole Codroves, Jennifer Hammond, and Nichole Manalo; and 2016 Miss International Kylie Verzosa.

During the event, guests were able to test the AR feature and were encouraged to go around the Gallery to experience it first-hand. Ten DOT-accredited history teachers from various Quezon City schools served as Gallery Guides.

The “SiningLakbay” project is a product of careful and creative implementation spearheaded by artists, filmmakers, historians, curators, editors, and technology providers.

It aims to be a platform for gallery guests to have a more enriched experience of “SiningSaysay,” a collection of 30 large history paintings that resulted from the collaboration between the University of the Philippines and the Araneta Center. “SiningLakbay” also aims to create awareness of history among the youth by appealing to their interest in digital technology.

To Gallery visitors a more immersive experience, 10 paintings from the collection will “come to life” on their WIFI-enabled digital devices like mobile phones and tablets using the Layar app that can be downloaded for free (on iOS and Android). Users will then be able to scan the selected paintings on their device to watch the video and hear the narration on chapters of Philippine history.

The videos are accurate historical accounts of events depicted in the paintings. Each video lasts roughly three minutes, with the whole tour lasting about 30 minutes total. This launch is just the first phase of an even bigger project of making all 30 paintings in the collection AR-enabled.

This launch is just the first phase of an even bigger project of making all 30 paintings in the collection AR-enabled.

Gateway Gallery opened on November 21, 2014. Its long-term exhibit, “SiningSaysay: Philippine History in Art,” opened to the public on Feb. 18, 2015.

The SiningSaysay artists are: Junyee, Benjie Cabangis, Randy Solon, Bim Bacaltos, Jonal Salvosa, Ding Hidalgo; brothers Simkin and Vincent de Pio with their father Gig de Pio; Janice Young, Aileen Lanuza, Romy Mananquil, Don Artificio, Grace Alfonso, Norman Dreo, Cris Cruz, Romy Carlos, Norly Meimban, Julius Samson, Michael Velasco, Neil Doloricon, Adi Baen-Santos, Ben Infante, Angel Cacnio, Grandier Bella, Dennis Dasco, and the late Abdulmari Asia Imao, National Artist for Visual Arts.

In over two years of operations, the Gallery has grown its art collection to 50 artworks donated by various artists. Attendance has also risen to an average of 200 visitors a day in the same period.

Last year, it received an accreditation from the Department of Tourism.

The Gallery will continue to expand its horizons this year, providing artists a home to hone and showcase their craft, and giving the Filipino public a haven of learning and creativity. Projects lined up for this year include: the Reading Nook, a mini library for all ages, highlighted by story-telling sessions for kids in partnership with Adarna Publishing; and Bravo Weekend, which showcases Filipino culture through music and dance.

With its vision to make arts and culture accessible to ordinary Filipinos, Gateway Gallery will continue programs that introduce arts to young children, holding art workshops for hobbyists, portrait sketching sessions for professional artists, and hosting talks by artists and historians.

Located at the 5th level of the Gateway Tower at the Araneta Center, Gateway Gallery is free to the public and is open Mondays to Sundays from 10am to 7pm. It is supported and managed by the J. Amado Araneta Foundation, the CSR arm of the Araneta Group.

Miss Philippines Universe Maxine Medina signing copies of the Miss Universe Tour Book during the Miss Universe Pop-up Store grand launch in Gateway Mall.

In her first public appearance after competing at this year’s Miss Universe pageant held in the country, Philippine bet Maxine Medina looked flawless as she waved to the fans gathered at Gateway Mall’s activity area for the opening of the pageant’s pop-up store on Friday, Feb. 10.

“Thank you to all my supporters,” Maxine said in a hushed voice as media and fans swarmed the area for a glimpse and photo ops with the reigning Miss Universe Philippines.

For pageant fanatics, the Miss Universe Pop-up Store in Gateway Mall is an added treat as they are able to buy exclusive and official merchandise like Miss Universe travel pillows, teddy bears, hoodies, tank tops, and t-shirts. The most coveted item in the collection is the replica of the Miss Universe crown. Pia Wurtzbach collection like shirts, tote bags, travel pillows, and posters are also available at the store.

During the launch, fans who bought the Miss Universe Tour Book, which featured 2015 Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach on the cover in a stunning Michael Cinco red couture gown shot in New York, were able to get their copies signed by Maxine.

The Miss Universe Pop-up Store, which will be open at the Gateway Mall until March 9, was launched via a ribbon cutting ceremony led by Maxine. She was joined by executives of the Araneta Center Inc. (ACI) and partners SM Lifestyle Entertainment, Inc. (SMLEI).

One of the paintings in the ‘SiningSaysay’ collection, on display at the Gateway Gallery, Araneta Center

History comes to life as Araneta Center’s Gateway Gallery launches ‘SiningLakbay: Philippine History in Augmented Reality’

Art meets technology as Gateway Gallery celebrates the second year of its “SiningSaysay: Philippine History in Art” exhibit by launching a digital interface that utilizes augmented reality (AR) to recount Philippine history and make it more interesting to an increasingly digital-savvy generation.

On February 22, the Gallery will launch “SiningLakbay: Philippine History in Augmented Reality” in connection with its long-term exhibit that depicts prehistoric Philippines up to the time of President Benigno Aquino III in 30 large history paintings by the talented artists of the UP College of Fine Arts.

“SiningLakbay: Philippine History in Augmented Reality” aims to be a platform for gallery guests to have a more enriched experience of “SiningSaysay,” a collaborative project between the University of the Philippines and the Araneta Center. It also aims to create awareness of history among the youth by appealing to their interest in digital technology.

An augmented reality interface will soon turn the ‘SiningSaysay’ collection on display at the Gateway Gallery, Araneta Center into ‘living’ re-telling of Philippine history

By downloading a free app (on iOS and Android), visitors will be able to see 10 select paintings “come to life” on their WIFI-enabled digital device like mobile phones and tablets. Using the app, gallery visitors can point their device to the key paintings to watch the video and hear the narration on chapters of Philippine history. The videos are accurate historical accounts of events depicted in the paintings.

The “SiningLakbay” project is a product of careful and creative implementation among the artists, filmmakers, historians, curators, editors, and technology providers.

Gateway Gallery opened on November 21, 2014. The “SiningSaysay” exhibit celebrates its second year anniversary in the gallery on the 18th of February. The “SiningLakbay” project will be launched in time for the anniversary of the People Power Revolution on February 25, and with key history players and public personalities in attendance.

Located at the 5th level of the Gateway Tower at the Araneta Center, Gateway Gallery is free to the public and is open Mondays to Sundays from 10am to 7pm. It is supported and managed by the J. Amado Araneta Foundation, the CSR arm of the Araneta Group.

2017 World Slasher Cup solo champion Frank Berin, owner of entry Sebastian NEJ EES 2683: Sebastian NEJ’s Frank Berin (left) receives the 2017 World Slasher Cup championship trophy with his handler Jonathan Tabuloc EES 2632: 2017 World Slasher Cup solo champ Frank Berin shows off his trophy with Binibining Pilipinas Supranational Joanna Eden, Binibining Pilipinas 1st runnerup Angelica Alita, and Uniprom, Inc. OIC-COO Irene Jose

Solo champion Frank Berin received the most coveted World Slasher Cup trophy in an awarding ceremony held on Monday, Feb. 6, at the Monet Ballroom of Novotel Manila Araneta Center.

Berin’s entry, Sebastian NEJ, tallied 8.5 points to rule over 306 participants at this year’s first edition of the WSC, which ran from January 23 until February 1 at the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum.

He has been joining WSC since 1995, using the popular entry Mulawin of former Rep. Rudy Albano, with which he won his first ever WSC title in January 1999. He won again in June 2002 with his entry Scepter Mulawin. In recent years, he has been fielding the Sebastian entry with his brother Greg from Australia.

In this year’s WSC, Berin’s Sebastian NEJ entry outlasted the bird fielded by ARC March 10 in the finals witnessed by about 5,000 aficionados.

The second edition of 2017 World Slasher Cup Invitational 9-Cock Derby is set from May 22 to 28 at the Big Dome. Berin expressed interesting in joining again to square off with local and foreign participants intent on returning to the fray after this year’s First Edition.

At the awarding, host Pintakasi of Champions also revealed the WSC 2 format in May: 2-cock eliminations on May 22 and 23; 3-cock semi-finals on May 24-25; with a 4-cock pre-finals on May 26-27, and 4-cock grand finals on May 28.

The World Slasher Cup is the premier cockfighting derby in the country and has become the most prestigious in the world.

A participant from Oklahoma said he flew to the country just to compete this year, and marvelled at the Big Dome for being “one of the biggest facilities (for cockfighting) in the world.”

American John Seider, who also flew in just for WSC, noted, “(The World Slasher Cup is) the toughest place to be in.”

A man known to many repeat participants as Stickman, also from the US, agreed. “Your participants here (in WSC) are only the best of the best. If you don’t have good roosters, don’t come to the Slasher,” he declared.

The 2017 World Slasher Cup was supported by Thunderbird, B-Meg, Petron, and Excellence Poultry and Livestock Specialists, with Pit Games Media Inc. as media partner.

The recently concluded 2017 World Slasher Cup at the Big dome

The second edition of 2017 World Slasher Cup Invitational 9-Cock Derby sizzles on May 22 to 28 at the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Pintakasi of Champions, host of the illustrious derby, made the announcement yesterday in response to queries from local and international participants. Many participants, including the foreigners that joined the just concluded WSC 1, have expressed their intent to join in May and want a longer preparation, the group said.

The World Slasher Cup remains the premier cockfighting derby in the country and has become the most prestigious all over the world. A participant from Oklahoma said he flew to the country just to compete this year, thrilled that the derby is being held in “one of the biggest facilities (for cockfighting) in the world,” he said of the Big Dome.John Seider, who also flew in from the States, noted of WSC, “It’s the toughest place to be in.”

A guy known to many repeat participants as Stickman, also from the US, agreed. “Your participants here (in WSC) are only the best of the best. If you don’t have good roosters, don’t come to the Slasher,” he declared.

The May event’s format: 2-cock elimininations on May 22 and 23; 3-cock semi-finals on May 24-25, with a 4-cock pre-finals on May 26-27, and 4-cock grand finals on May 28.

Frank Berin, recently hailed solo champion of the WSC 1, has been joining the WSC since 1995 using the popular entry Mulawin of former Rep. Rudy Albano, and recently the Sebastian entry with his brother Greg of Australia. About 5,000 aficionados witnessed the cliffhanging battle where Berin’s NEJ Sebastian entry outlasted the bird fielded by ARC March 10.

Joey Melendres of Australia ( Swerteng Anak, 7.5 points ) lost his championship fight against Marvin Millo's super bulik, but vowed to compete again in May after experiencing a warm welcome from other sabungeros.

''Melendres and all the foreign participants marvelled at how the Filipino cockers improved tremendously, and this is seen in the World Slasher Cup,'' said WSC media partner Manny Berbano.

Frank Berin (center, with trophy) wins 2017 WSC championship with his entry NEJ Sebastian, seen here with his team

Fifteen years after capturing the prestigious World Slasher Cup crown at the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum, former gamefowl handler Frank Berin wrested the solo championship anew last Wednesday.

Berin’s entry, NEJ Sebastian, tallied 8.5 points to rule among 306 participants of the WSC 2017 edition.

James Uy of Manila and Paolo Malvar of Tarlac, who posted eight points each last Sunday, bagged runner –up honors.

The World Slasher Cup remains the premier cockfighting derby in the country and has become the most prestigious all over the world. A participant from Oklahoma said he flew to the country just to compete this year, thrilled that the derby is being held in “one of the biggest facilities (for cockfighting) in the world,” he said of the iconic Big Dome.

John Seider, who also flew in from the States, noted of WSC, “It’s the toughest place to be in.” A guy known to many repeat participants only as Stickman, also from the US, agreed. “Your participants here (in WSC) are only the best of the best. If you don’t have good roosters, don’t come to the Slasher,” he declared.

The last two championship fights on Wednesday turned out to be cliffhangers, according to WSC media partner Manny Berbano.

Australia’s Joey Melendres ( Swerteng Anak ) lost the first championsip duel and finished with 7.5 points.

Luck smiled on the NEJ Sebastian entry after outlasting ARC March 10 in the next fight amid the jubilation of 5,000 aficionados.

Day 2 and Day 3 finalists Gov. Tony Kho and Alex Alea, respectively, tallied 7.5 points each and fell one point short of the title.

Supported by Thunderbird, B-Meg, Petron and Excellence Poultry and Livestock Specialists, with Pit Games Media Inc., this year's WSC is hosted by Pintakasi of Champions.

The champions of the 2017 World Slasher Cup Invitational 9-Cock Derby will finally be known today, Wednesday, Feb. 1 as the best fighting breeds from all over the world clash in this most prestigious competition. Gamefowl experts and breeders will descend upon the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum for one last shot at the prize and prestige.

Supported by Thunderbird, B-Meg, Petron, and Excellence Poultry and Livestock Specialists, with Pit Games Media Inc., this year's WSC is hosted by Pintakasi of Champions.

Attention shifts to four participants with perfect five points going into today's 4 -cock finals, one of whom may actually score nine points.

They are Pol Estrellado of Laguna with partner James Yap of Boracay, Marvin Rillo of Quezon City, Max Benedicto of Ilocos Sur and Amante Capuchino of Bataan.

Those with 4.5 points:Joey Melendres ( Swerteng Anak ), Rep. Kulit Alcala ( Krisha ), Mayor Dennis Panganiban ( Argem Col Mar. 10 ), Estrellado/Yap ( JPY PE Boracay Pirates 1 ) and Frank and Greg Berin ( NEJ Sebastian 1 and 2 ) are also expected to put their champion breeds to the ultimate test.

Last Monday's Day 2 finals had Gov. Tony Kho as top scorer with 7.5 points, while Philip Chiongbian, Leo Nogoy, Aylwyn Sy, Edwin Tose and Gov Ito Ynares posted 7 points.

WSC'S new 9 -cock format is expected to be used again in May for the second edition of the 2017 World Slasher Cup, slated from the 22nd to the 28th. WSC media partner Manny Berbano noted this format has really been a challenge to participants and pushed them to the limit, and has proven exciting for sabong aficionados.

TEES 1450: Canada’s Richard McCormick and former WSC champ Boy Marzo doing the pitting of the roosters at the 2017 World Slasher Cup at the Versailles Tent in Novotel Manila-Araneta Center with Binibining Pilipinas Intercontinental Jennifer Hammon, Binibining Pilipinas Supranational Joanna Eden and Binibining Pilipinas First RunnerUp Angelica Alita

Close to 400 of the best cockers and gamefowl breeders in the United States, Canada, Australia the Philippines and other countries will fight it out with their roosters in this year’s World Slasher Cup at the Smart Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City which starts today, Monday, January 23.

Organized by the Pintakasi of Champions, the 10-day event will also be participated by confirmed cockers and aficionados from Mexico, Kuwait, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan, making it the biggest edition of the competition so far.

Cockfighters from Vietnam and Cambodia and other countries who attended the three-day World Gamefowl Expo at the World Trade Center have expressed their intention to be at the World Slasher Cup.

The foreign contingent that has reportedly confirmed to join the World Slasher Cup include Darrel Mack of Texas, and Hall of Famers Mike Formosa of Hawaii and Ray Alexander of Alabama, the two being prominent fixtures in the event.

Cockfighting enthusiasts from California, Utah, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Washington, Hawaii and Guam were the latest addition from the United States joining the event.

At a press conference on the event at the Novotel Hotel at the Araneta Center in Quezon City, organizers introduced some of the foreign and local participants in the World Slasher Cup. Among the Americans vying in the event are Titing Ariosa and Erik Rosales of California, Tim Fritzgerald of Utah, Butch Cambra of Hawaii, Larry Whitehead of Tennessee, Dr. Bel Almojera of Chicago, Roger Roberts of Georgia, and Matthew Dunne, Cornelio Amby, Lester Chow, Ken Graham and Patrick Dunn of various states in US.

Noted cockers Rene Sonny Penalosa and Joey Melendres will lead the participants from Australia which Richard McCormick will come in from Canada.

World Slasher Cup is touted as the biggest international cockfighting event, known as the Olympics of Cockfighting and, at nearly 60 years at its home, the historic and iconic Smart Araneta Coliseum, is one of the world’s longest running gamefowl spectacle.

The World Slasher Cup 2017 is actually a 9-cock invitational derby featuring the best breeders and cockers and the finest winged warriors.

The competition begins with 2-cock eliminations on January 23 to January 25. Qualifiers will then move on to the 3-cock semi-finals set on January 26 to 29.

Individual entries with a score of 3.5 or 4 points will compete in the 4-cock pre-finals from January 29 to 31. Undefeated entries with a score of 4.5 or 5 points earn the chance to be named this year’s World Slasher Cup champion at the grand finals on February 1.

Last year’s World Slasher Cup II champion Magno Lim will defend his crown against the elite in cockfighting from America, the Philippines and many other countries.

Lim declared to Pit Games Magazine that he is ready for another thrilling event to be champion again.

“No matter what….I enjoy cockfighting,” the defending champion confessed oozing with confidence with his roosters. “I’ve seen the seemingly impossible happen before my eyes. For instance, just when I begin thinking I’m about to lose my fight, something quickly changes and the referee calls it in my favour.”

Earlier, 2016 World Slasher Cup 1 yielded tie champions, namely, the entries from Blueblade Farms AA, and Phoenix II (the team composed of Mario Villamor, Eddie Aparri and Art de Castro).

The 2017 World Slasher Cup I is sponsored by Petron, Thunderbird, and B-Meg with partners like the Excellence Poultry and Livestock Specialists and Pit Games Media Inc.

Pitting of the cocks at last year's World Slasher Cup 2 press meet

Ten straight days of world class cockfighting begin at the air-conditioned Smart Araneta Coliseum today, Monday, Jan. 23 as the 2017 World Slasher Cup Invitational 9-Cock Derby sizzles at 10 a.m. with more than 100 fights.

Supported by Thunderbird, B-Meg, Petron and Excellence Poultry and Livestock Specialists, with Pit Games Media Inc as media partner, this year's WSC is once again hosted by Pintakasi of Champions.

Known as the “Olympics of Cockfighting,” this is the most-awaited battle of champion gamefowl breeds, and to be named the WSC champion brings prestige to both the breeders and the winning lines.

Close to 400 local and foreign cockers and breeders tackle their assigned 2-cock elims on Jan. 23, 24 and 25.

Hostilities continue on Jan. 26, 27 and 28 with the 3-cock semifinals.

Participants with 3, 3.5 and 4 points will have their final rounds (4-cock) on Jan. 29, 30 and 31.

The grand finals (4-cock ) on Feb. 1 is reserved for those with 4.5 and 5 points.

The Philippine contingent, led by defending champion Magno Lim of Isabela, will be challenged by entries from United States, Mexico, Kuwait, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Guam, Saipan and Vietnam.

Gary Tesorero (left) and Jun Durano (representing Magno Lim) of entry MLG 63 with their trophy, flanked by the Binibining Pilipinas queens at last year’s awarding of the 2016 World Slasher Cup II championship

The rueda is almost ready and the historic Smart Araneta Coliseum will once again be rocked by the most intense battles among the top gamefowl breeds from all over the world in the prestigious 2017 World Slasher Cup.Slated from January 23 to February 1, this year’s 9-cock invitational derby is still the most awaited competition among breeders and enthusiasts.

Over 300 entries will vie for the Slasher title in the 9-day global spectacle. Touted as the “Olympics of Cockfighting,” contenders with the finest winged-warriors will come from the US, Kuwait, Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

The beauty of this gentleman’s sport is that the odds are never truly set. Though people pick their bets between “meron” or “wala,” the tide can turn in a blink of an eye.

2016’s World Slasher Cup II champ Magno Lim tells Pit Games magazine, “That’s why I enjoy cockfighting... I’ve seen the seemingly impossible happen before my eyes. For instance, just when I begin thinking I’m about to lose my fight, something quickly changes and the referee calls it in my favor.”

The 2-cock eliminations will start on the January 23 for a three-day smackdown until January 25. Qualifiers will then move on to the 3-cock semi-finals set on January 26 to 29. Individual entries with a score of 3.5 or 4 points will compete in the 4-cock pre-finals from January 29 to 31. Undefeated entries with a score of 4.5 or 5 points earn the chance to be named this year’s World Slasher Cup champion at the grand finals on February 1.

Lim’s entry under the banner MLG 63, with his teammate Gary Tesorero, won the pot money and the prestige at the 2016 World Slasher Cup II in May last year.

Earlier, 2016 World Slasher Cup 1 yielded tie champions, namely the entries from Blueblade Farms AA, and Phoenix II (the team composed of Mario Villamor, Ed Aparri and Art de Castro).

2016 Archives

Araneta Center, the site of Ali’s most memorable fight ‘Thrilla in Manila’ at the Big Dome, pays tribute to the greatest of all time.

Legendary boxer Muhammad Ali claimed that he is the greatest – and he proved it. During his boxing career, no one doubted his claim, and in retirement, people advocated it.

The “Thrilla in Manila” bout between Ali and Joe Frazier on October 1, 1975 (September 30, US time) remains one of the greatest boxing matches ever fought. By many accounts, it was a sweltering Wednesday when the two fighters met for the third time on the ring at the Araneta Coliseum. With over 25,000 spectators packed inside what was then the biggest enclosed coliseum in the world, the tension was palpable but nothing prepared the audience at the venue and all over the world for the fight that unfolded.

Coming from the improbable victory over George Foreman a year before to the World Heavyweight title, Ali seemed primed to handle Frazier. Still, the champ “took a beating like you wouldn’t believe...” shared Ali’s former physician and cornerman Ferdie Pacheco in the book “Muhammad Ali: In Perspective” (Collins Publishers San Francisco, 1996). The heavy pounding he took prompted him to say it was the closest to death he’d ever been. Frazier took a beating as well and was nearly blind from the swelling around his eyes. The fight ended in a TKO win by Ali when the former’s manager threw in the towel after the 14th round.

It was Ali’s ability to tap into an inner reserve of spirit that resonated most to his followers, and endeared him to his Filipino fans.

The day after the fight, the Araneta family famously hosted Ali at their ancestral home, BahaynaPuti, where, in a serendipitous moment, the Araneta Group president and CEO Jorge L. Araneta told the World Heavyweight champion he wanted to build a mall and name it after him. Ali was thrilled with the prospect and graciously agreed without asking for any royalty payment in return.

Thus, Ali Mall was born – the first shopping mall ever built in the Philippines stands as an appropriate monument to the fighter. Inaugurated on June 30, 1976 with the champ himself as the guest of honor, Ali Mall featured many firsts for a shopping mall a multiplex with two cinemas, a food court and even a skating rink -- unprecedented features that defined the shopping experience for Filipinos. Although bigger and more modern malls have since risen, Ali Mall set the blueprint for many to emulate and build upon.

Another structure indelibly linked to Ali is the Araneta Coliseum, the venue for the Thrilla in Manila superfight – arguably the most significant sporting event ever held in the Philippines. Visionary business tycoon and Araneta Center developer J. Amado Araneta foresaw a place where every Filipino, regardless of social status, can enjoy world-class entertainment. Opening in 1960, it was the largest indoor arena in Asia for a long time, setting itself apart for having the largest clear-span dome in the world at the time.

Days after Ali’s death, Ali Mall rightfully pays tribute to the man whose name it proudly bears with an art and photo exhibit billed “Forever The Greatest: Remembering Muhammad Ali.” Its highlights include several Ali-themed artworks and a bevy of collectors’ items and memorabilia from “Thrilla in Manila.” The exhibit will be launched on Friday, June 10, in time for the boxing hero’s burial in the US, and will last until the last week of June.

Born Cassius Clay on January 17, 1942, Muhammad Ali – the name he took after converting to Islam in 1965 – rose among the ranks of boxing greats with some of the most memorable matches against world-class fighters. Ali’s boxing exploits are well known but what sets him apart and truly made him “The Greatest” are his social conscience and advocacies.

Ali is known for his outspoken stance on social issues (his opposition against the Vietnam War, for one) and charity work supporting the likes of UNICEF, Athletes For Hope, and many others. When he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 1984, just three years after retirement, he eventually supported the Michael J. Fox Foundation (put up by the actor who also suffers from the illness) and put up the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.

More than just a boxing icon and a hero to those who love the sport, Muhammad Ali’s greater gift to mankind is inspiration. He encouraged people to believe in themselves and accomplish things beyond what they think they are capable of. The world will forever remember his greatness.

For 60 years the vast and dynamic community known as Araneta Center has offered a seamless blend of business, leisure, commerce, entertainment and hospitality to locals and foreigners alike. Home to some of the country’s greatest landmarks, the Center has evolved with the times, keeping pace with innovations to become a premiere destination in the heart of Metro Manila.

Fueled by over 30 billion pesos in redevelopment investment, the extreme transformation of Araneta Center continues to unfold, where old and familiar landmarks blend with modern edifices to present a bold, new face to a bustling community.

Like a grand play, each property of Araneta Center has begun to assert itself on its 35-hectare stage. And even as familiar structures like the iconic Smart Araneta Coliseum, the award-winning Gateway Mall, the ever-present Ali Mall and the mainstay Farmers Plaza each weave their own stories, new actors wait in the wings to take center-stage and share the limelight in what has become a familiar story of success and growth that is Quezon City’s premier central business district.

And headlining this new batch of players are three new names that are already making an impact on the evolving landscape of Araneta Center.

A Classic Entertainment Venue is Reborn

Immediately it established itself as the biggest cinema in the country, with only Araneta Coliseum as its competitor in size.

Fast forward to 2014 and after a major renovation that is part of the ongoing Araneta Center extreme transformation, the New Frontier’s familiar lines and character re-emerged. With 2,500 seats, the ultra-modern theater is now equipped with the latest in audio, visual and lighting technologies. Its new façade also reflects the trend seen in Araneta Center – a melding of old and new.

And it has even taken on a new name – the KIA Theatre, after a five-year naming rights agreement was signed between the Araneta Group and the Columbian Autocar Corp. As part of the deal, KIA will be setting up a 305 square-meter Kia showroom and service center, among other inclusions. Now poised to reclaim the top spot as the country premier performing arts landmark, the KIA Theatre opened in August 19 with the Musical MLQ: Ang Buhay ni Manuel L. Quezon, a modern re-telling of the life of the national hero.

Disney Live! Opens September

KIA Theatre’s doors will open this September welcome patrons to a world of wonder that only Disney can achieve. Disney Live! Mickey’s Music Festival will feature Mickey and his pals along with Disney characters from Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Disney/Pixar’s Toy Story.

The 90-minute production features an irresistible lineup of more than 25 Disney stars, including Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy; Ariel, Sebastian and Ursula; Jasmine, Aladdin and Genie; and Woody, Buzz and Jessie; singing and dancing to popular Disney hits remixed to rock, pop, reggae, hip-hop, country and more.

It’s going to be a frolicsome Disney jam session fit for the entire family, but what is sure to pique the interest of viewers is the venue where this spectacular show will be staged, which is the former New Frontier Theater, reborn into the modern entertainment venue – KIA Theatre. After Disney, international youtube sensation Kina Grannis will take the stage to wow fans with her vocal stylings.

Not to be outdone by the glitz and glamour of the KIA Theatre, the exciting cast of future developments are also set to enter stage-right and take their cue from the evolving Araneta Center redevelopment script.

2015 Archives

Bb Pilipinas International 2014 Bianca Guidotti, Miss Universe Philippines 2014 Mary Jean Lastimosa, DCI President Jose Oscar O. Salvacion, Araneta Group ‘s VP for Architecture and Engineering Julie Castro, SVP for Operations Antonio T. Mardo, EEI CEO and President Roberto Jose L. Castillo, Bb Pilipinas Intercontinental Kris Tiffany Janson and Bb Pilipinas Supranational 2014 Yvethe Santiago join the Novotel Manila Araneta Center Topping off Ceremony last July 28 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Green Gate

The Araneta Group, the pioneer in entertainment and leisure development in the country, celebrated the structural-completion of Novotel Manila-Araneta Center in a recent topping off ceremony. The hospitality giant’s first and only hotel in the Philippines is at the tail end of construction, and is poised to invigorate local tourism and bring in revenues to Quezon City.

Well positioned to cater to the needs of more than 56,000 registered businesses in Quezon City, the hotel also aims to take advantage of the increasing volume of domestic and international tourists. Its strategic location, at the intersection of two major thoroughfares (EDSA and Aurora Boulevard), major mass railway lines (MRT 3 and LRT 2) and proximity to all major provincial bus stations, also gives it the strategic advantage as a preferred venue for events north of the Metropolis.

The Novotel Manila Araneta Center hosts 415 rooms, a 600sqm ballroom and large function rooms. Dubbed as the ‘crown jewel, a garden city within a city,’ the property is made even more extravagant with the addition of a lush wedding garden, all-day dining areas and relaxing garden terraces that offer breath-taking views of the city. The hotel will also showcase world-class amenities including a gym, pool bar, upscale restaurants, and 250 parking slots spread out in a total floor area of 40,000 square meters.

Guests are sure to experience the best and finest in hospitality management, perfected by Novotel. The company is a proud member of the Accor Group, the European leader in hotels and tourism and a global leader in corporate services operating in nearly 100 countries.

Set to be the newest hotspot for work and pleasure, the hotel’s ambience was aptly designed to exude both elegance and functionality. Its interiors manifest a cutting edge high tech approach without losing its charm and bits of indigenous flavor.

A synergy of the world’s best construction and design firms were handpicked to develop the project. Among them are Los Angeles-based Architect Sudhakar Thakurdesai, Taiwan’s Kang Tang, Lumino Design, IA49 for the Interiors, Hill & Associates for security, ihD Ltd. for the information technology requirements, audio visuals and acoustics, PGAA for landscaping, and more.

The new Novotel hotel is just one part of the Extreme Transformation development plan within the commercial complex. More developments are set to rise at the Araneta Center skyline, including additional residential condominium towers for Manhattan Garden City, mixed retail and office building Gateway Tower 2 and modern performing arts venue New Frontier.