Focus on the Philippines: Nadine Lustre, James Reid begin shooting new film

Filipino designers take centerstage at Miss Universe pageant, while Steven Seagal films new TV series in the Philippines

James Reid and Nadine Lustre. Courtesy ABS-CBN Entertainment
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Nadine Lustre and James Reid surprised fans earlier this week when they revealed that they have started filming their next movie project. A couple on-screen and in real-life, Lustre and Reid are two of the most popular film and television actors in the Philippines today.

Their new feature film will be directed by Antonette Jadaone, who posted on social media a behind-photograph from their first day on the set.

It will be a reunion for the director and two actors: Jadaone directed their television series On the Wings of Love in 2015 and Till I Met You in 2016.

The project is still untitled and no details have yet been revealed, except that it will be produced by Viva Entertainment, a major Philippine production studio.

Last week, Lustre and Reid got matching tattoos of the words “ikaw at ako” (you and I), which led to speculations from fans online that the phrase is the title of their new feature film.

Earlier this month, Reid won as Best Southeast Asian Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards. He is also set to star with Lustre on a new film adaptation of Pedro Penduko, a popular Filipino comic book character. Reid, 24, joined the entertainment industry after winning the reality television programme Pinoy Big Brother: Teen Clash in 2010.

Lustre will also be directing Reid for the first time in the music video for his song The Life, which is the third single from his latest album Palm Dreams. Lustre, who is also 24, has been acting and singing on television since the age of nine, but rose to fame after headlining the romantic comedy Diary ng Panget (Diary of an Ugly Person) with Reid in 2014.

Filipino designers take centerstage at Miss Universe pageant

The creations of four Filipino fashion designers were featured at the Miss Universe 2017 pageant, held on Sunday in Las Vegas. During her final walk as Miss Universe 2016, Iris Mittenaere from France wore a gown by the Dubai-based designer Michael Cinco.

Cinco posted on social media: “The super stunning reigning Miss Universe 2016 Iris Mittenaere wears a scarlet red ombré couture gown in full Swarovski crystals on her final walk during Miss Universe 2017 finals in Las Vegas. Thank you Miss Universe Org. Thank you Lord.”

Filipino actress and model Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, who won the Miss Universe crown back in 2015, was one of the evening’s judges. She wore a red gown by the young Filipino designer Michael Leyva.

Meanwhile, the country’s representative to this year’s pageant, Rachel Peters, wore a creation by designer Val Taguba during the evening gown competition. Peters reached the top 10 round, but failed to advance to the final five.

Another featured Filipino designer was Leo Almodal, who created gowns for Miss Great Britain Anna Burdzy, Miss Guam Myana Welch and Miss Japan Momoko Abe.

Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa won this year’s crown. Colombia’s Laura Gonzalez finished as first runner-up, followed by Jamaica’s Davina Bennett. The pageant was hosted by Steve Harvey, Ashley Graham, Carson Kressley and Lu Sierra, and featured performances by Fergie and Rachel Platten.

According to media reports, the Miss Universe Organisation are in talks with the Philippines’s Department of Tourism to hold next year’s Miss Universe back in Manila, after the country successfully hosted the 2015 pageant.

Steven Seagal shoots new TV series in the Philippines

American actor Steven Seagal has temporarily relocated with his wife Elle to the Philippines to film a new television series titled General Commander. The show is directed and produced by Philippe Martinez and co-produced by Filipino businessman and former politician Chavit Singson.

The series has filmed scenes this week in the northern Philippine city of Vigan, a Unesco World Heritage Site famous for its preserved colonial architecture.

In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Seagal delivered Filipino phrases he has learnt from the show’s production crew, which he said are mostly Filipino.

Seagal, 65, said General Commander will feature his crime-fighting character, a former CIA agent named Jake Alexander, dealing with terrorism and drug trafficking in Southeast Asia. His wife Elle will also appear on the show. The series, which is set to run for 12 episodes, is also scheduled to film sequences in New York, Tokyo and Hong Kong.

According to Seagal, he has fallen for the Philippines to the point that he wants to shoot his next feature film, titled Attrition, in the country.

“The people are very, very nice and the government is friendly to us,” Seagal told reporters. “There’s a reason why they call it the ‘Pearl of Asia’ — it’s really because of the people.”


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