IKEA PH opens online store, checkout resumes 9/24/2021

The second happiest place on Earth is now open… online but that’s the same thing these days. IKEA PH opens up their online store today, September 23rd. But don’t get too excited just yet. It was apparently just a test run.

Ikea is a Swedish furniture maker that is known for low-cost, nice-looking, good quality products. They even have a collection of food items that are also pretty good (chocolates, meatballs, sausages!) but they’re not in the PH website yet as of today.

Still, you may now see the items that you can shop for online and the corresponding PH prices. Also, the website says you may keep adding to cart as checkouts will resume tomorrow.

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ICC authorizes full investigation into Duterte’s war on drugs

September 15, 2021 – The International Criminal Court has finally authorized the investigation into the alleged extra-judicial killings in the Philippines under the administration of Rodrigo Duterte. The investigation will cover the time of Duterte’s reign as Davao Mayor up to March 16, 2019 when his administration seemingly tried to escape accountability by withdrawing from the ICC.

Duterte has, on several occasion, announced that he will protect law enforcers should they murder in the name of his infamous war on drugs. He even admitted that his “only sin is extra-judicial killings” – a statement explained by his lackeys as simply being playful even as dead bodies piled up with both witnesses and evidence contradicting the usual police narrative that the victims all fought back. These accounts were later confirmed by a UN investigation that suggests that the police planted evidence to justify these killings.

The murders are all part of Duterte’s campaign promise in 2016 – a promise that was backed by a history of murders in his own hometown. When brought up during the campaign, the Duterte camp dismissed the death squad association as mere propaganda, conveniently leaving out the fact that these stories surfaced long before his bid for the presidency.

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Inigo Pascual to star alongside Susan Sarandon in Fox Country Music Drama ‘Monarch’

Inigo Pascual is going to Hollywood! This is a well-deserved break I must say. More than just being a showbiz legacy, Inigo has made a name in PH entertainment and music industry on his own merit. He has massive hits locally and has released the international album ‘Options’ in June 2021.

Monarch is a cross-generational musical drama about America’s first family of country music, the Romans. At the head of the Romans is the incredibly talented but tough Queen of Country Music Dottie Cantrell Roman (Susan Sarandon). Together with her beloved husband Albie (Trace Adkins), Dottie created a country music dynasty. But although the Roman name is synonymous with authenticity, the basis of their success is a lie. When her reign as country queen is jeopardized, crown heiress Nicolette ‘Nicky’ Roman (Anna Friel) will stop at nothing to protect her family’s legacy while ensuring her own pursuit of fame. Pascual will play Ace Grayson, Nicky’s adopted son who also dreams of becoming a country star.

“Monarch” will debut midseason for Fox on January 30, 2022.

Gameboys gets 2021 International Emmy Kids Awards nomination

Gameboys – the acclaimed Filipino series that tells of a love story between two boys amidst the pandemic has added another feather in its cap. Today, it was announced as one of the nominees under the Kids: Live-Action category at the 2021 International Emmy Kids Awards.

“Children see and learn much of what they know of the world through the stories and characters they watch on television.” said Bruce Paisner, President & CEO of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. “We congratulate the Nominees for their outstanding talent in entertaining and educating young viewers worldwide on a diversity of topics that impact their everyday life.” Winners will be announced on October 12, 2021 at 9 am Eastern Time on the International Academy’s website.

No stranger to international recognition, Gameboys won Best Web Series at the Seoul Indie Shorts Awards in November 2020.

Gameboys is available on Youtube (better version IMO) with an updated version on Netflix. A movie was recently released online and a second season is coming up real soon.

Check out the trailers below:

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Over 40 LGBTQIA+ organizations, personalities reject LGBT Pilipinas propaganda for Duterte

The thing about fighting for human rights is you cannot nitpick and support only what benefits your politics. You cannot claim to be a rights advocate and speak for the LGBTQIA+ community if you support misogyny, abuse, and murder – all of which are represented to the very core by Duterte.

Of course, people are free to support abusive madmen and murderers but they should do so under their own name. They should not drag the name of an entire group of people whose struggles may be aligned with those who are oppressed and victimized by this administration. We cannot forward our own agenda while maintaining support for the rotten politicians whose words and deeds have claimed the lives of thousands of FIlipinos.

LGBT Pilipinas Party-list group claims to be “a grassroots alliance and national network of LGBTQ+ individuals and organizations, including allies, that seek to campaign LGBTQ+ human rights and non-discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and expression.” The page has consistently supported Duterte since it was created in 2017. It registered the group name – Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, and Transgenders Pilipinas Inc. at the SEC in 2016.

In 2021, they have dedicated several posts campaigning for the presidential daughter. On September 4, 2021, a propaganda page based in Davao mentioned the group in an article saying, “LGBT Pilipinas and its allied and network organizations are collectively throwing their “unflinching loyalty” and “all-out support” to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte if she decides to run for President in the 2022 national elections.” Because of the name of the group, it can be deceptively construed that they speak for the LGBTQIA+ community in the country. This cannot be further from the truth and a cheap attempt at using the community for their appalling choice of politicians.

Read below the full statement of over 40 LGBTQIA+ organizations and personalities that stand against what this group supports.

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On The Job: The Missing 8 to premiere at the 78th Venice International Film Festival

The sequel to the critically-acclaimed 2013 action thriller, On The Job, is set to premiere on September 10, 2021 at the 8th Venice International Film Festival. An Asia-wide release will follow as a 6-episode series on September 12 on HBO GO.

On The Job: The Missing 8 tells the story of Sisoy Salas, a corrupt journalist seeking justice for his colleagues, and convict Roman Rubio, a hired gun who is regularly brought out of prison to perform assassinations.

Per director Erik Matti’s post: This film attempts to explore, through the disappearance of eight people, the reality in the Philippines that is never shown in the news. Politicians are gangsters. Journalists are paid hacks. Prisoners as assassins. This ensemble of crazy characters intersect to represent a deep-seated culture of impunity and non-accountability in a country like the Philippines.

While I disagree that this is not in the news, as we have heard of the very words uttered in the film from the current administration’s murderous war on drugs, OTJ has always shown the bloody and ruthless reality in the country. Not surprisingly, this film is based on true events.

Check out the Venice International Film Festival trailer below.

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Gawad Urian 2021: Full List of Nominees

It is interesting to note that the films considered in this year’s awards season may be the last films that were shot before the pandemic. These films mark the end of a certain way of making movies before the time of shooting bubbles, social distancing, and endless Covid tests.

But while we eagerly await how Filipino creatives wiggle their way around the limitations of a world that is standing still, let us look back at a simpler, (arguably) safer time. Here is the complete list of nominees for the 44th edition of Gawad Urian. The awarding ceremony is set to be streamed on YouTube and the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino Facebook Page on October 6, 2021.

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