“SEAG opening ceremony a spectacle to remember” – SHARP EDGES by JAKE MADERAZO
Five Currents Consortium, the 14-time Emmy Award-winning company, was behind the Southeast Asian (SEAG) Games opening ceremony held on Saturday at Philippine Arena.
The rousing spectacle showcased the excellence of Filipino culture in art, dance and music, with the participation of our greatest sportsmen, international beauty queens and the best voices of our generation.
The Santacruzan-like parade of athletes from 11 SEA countries was highlighted by the Philippine delegation’s grand entrance to the tune of Hotdog’s iconic song, “Manila,” triggering goosebumps and tears.
The opening ceremony was a “digital masterpiece,”a technology-driven TV production carried out with precise execution from start to finish, using world-class visual displays and drone shots.
I would not discount the fact that experienced live event producers from ABS-CBN, GMA7 and even TV5 could have picked up a thing or two from the stunning production.
But this was not surprising since Five Currents was also behind the successful opening of the 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, 2015 Baku European Games and last year’s Asian Games in Jakarta.
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Motorists and commuters from Southern Tagalog are very thankful to San Miguel Corp. president Ramon Ang for being true to his word by putting an end to the daily heavy traffic on the northbound lane of the South Luzon Expressway approaching the Alabang viaduct.
Until last week, the tail end of the traffic gridlock reached as far as San Pedro, Southwoods and Carmona, lasting from morning until nighttime, to the dismay of people from Calabarzon and southern Metro Manila.
As promised, a new two-lane Alabang-Skyway ramp and the reopening of the third lane at the at-grade section provided an additional three lanes for northbound motorists. Ang led the inauguration of the structure on Dec. 1 with Public Works Secretary Mark Villar and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade. The feedback now from commuters is that it takes them only 30 minutes to get to Alabang, Muntinlupa City from Calamba, Laguna.
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I interviewed Henry Chua, the father of a 2-year-old autistic boy kidnapped on Dec. 2, 2003, or exactly 16 years ago yesterday. The boy was held hostage for 28 days by a kidnap-for-ransom syndicate from Laguna. Four kidnappers were killed while several others were convicted in court in 2008.
Chua was teary-eyed, recalling his family’s ordeal as he emphasized that they were lucky to find honest police officials.
He cited then Supt. Guillermo Eleazar and Police Lt. Col. Ed Iglesia of the Police Anticrime and Emergency Response, or Pacer unit, who worked with his family during the entire 28 days, rescued his son and arrested the kidnappers. “They did not accept any reward or tokens after the successful rescue but only requested that a complaint be filed against the suspects,” Chua said.
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