Focus on the Philippines: fans lobby for 4th Impact to perform at Pacquiao fight

Plus: Filipino dancer performs with Bruno Mars at Super Bowl; Heneral Luna receives nods from Asian Film Awards; and TV director Johnny Manahan exhibits art at National Gallery Singapore.

The girl band 4th Impact begin The X Factor Live Tour tomorrow in Aberdeen. Ken McKay / ITV / REX / Shutterstock
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Fans of Filipino girl group 4th Impact have launched a campaign on social media to convince the organisers of Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao’s next fight, against Timothy Bradley, to have the sisters perform the Philippine national anthem at the event.

The match, scheduled for April 9 in Las Vegas, is billed as Pacquiao’s last, as he is due to run for election as a senator in the Philippines.

As a testament to the growing powers of fandom in launching such online campaigns, the hashtag #Pacman4thImpact has been trending on Twitter this week, particularly in the Philippines and in the United Kingdom, where the four sisters are based.

The band shot to fame after appearing in the most recent edition of The X Factor UK, where they finished in fifth place.

A video from 4th Impact's X Factor audition in August, performing a cover of the hit track Bang Bang, received an impressive 40 million views over the past weekend. The video is the most-watched clip from the latest season of The X Factor.

4th Impact will begin a concert tour tomorrow in Aberdeen, Scotland, as part of The X Factor Live Tour, with gigs across the UK. The group will be joined by fellow X Factor finalists Louisa Johnson, Ché Chesterman, Lauren Murray, Reggie 'N' Bollie, Mason Noise and Anton Stephans.

Asked last week whether a record deal was in the works, eldest sister Almira Cercado said they are in negotiations with two labels. She said they have been composing songs and hope to release the album soon.

“We’re doing an album, of course – for this year,” said Cercado. “We’re looking forward to our own music, our own original songs.”

Filipino dances with Bruno Mars at Super Bowl

Filipino-American dancer Phil Tayag performed with Bruno Mars during his half-time show at the Super Bowl on Sunday. The 24-year-old was one of Mars’s backup dancers.

Tayag is a member and a choreographer of the Filipino-­American dance crew Jabbawockeez, best known for winning the first season of the reality-TV programme America's Best Dance Crew in 2008.

“First of all, thank you to my brother @brunomars for having me be a part of this project,” Tayag posted on Instagram. “Too many epic stories to tell. Hard work pays off and dreams keep coming true.”

Tayag also features in the music video for the Mars's song Uptown Funk.

Mars has a Filipino connection: his mother emigrated to Hawaii from the Philippines as a child.

Heneral Luna nominated for Asian Film Awards

Acclaimed historical film Heneral Luna has received three nominations at the upcoming 10th Asian Film Awards.

John Arcilla, who plays the title role of General Antonio Luna, a Filipino commander during the ­Philippine-American war of 1899, received a nomination for Best Actor.

The film is also nominated for Best Production Designer and Best Costume Designer.

The Asian Film Awards, which honours the best in Asian cinema, will be held in Macau on March 17.

Released last September, Heneral Luna was selected as the Philippine entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category of the Academy Awards, though it failed to make the shortlist.

The film’s success has encouraged director Jerrold Tarog and his co-producers to plan a sequel, which will focus on another Filipino general, Gregorio del Pilar. A third film will reportedly focus on the life of former Philippine president Manuel L Quezon.

TV director Johnny Manahan’s exhibition

Veteran television director Johnny­ Manahan is exhibiting his video art at the National Gallery Singapore.

He is the first Filipino artist to be featured in the gallery, which is dedicated to contemporary art in Southeast Asia.

Considered a pioneer of Philippine television, 68-year-old Manahan began his directing career in 1971. He has helmed the country’s most beloved variety programmes and sitcoms. In addition, he helped launch the careers of some of the country’s biggest celebrities.

Manahan, known in the entertainment industry as Mr M, is considered the first Asian artist to work with video as a medium. He famously presented his work at the Paris Biennale in 1982. Unknown to most Filipinos, Manahan graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in architecture.

Manahan's show, The Fact Has No Appearance: Beyond the Object, focuses on his photographs and videos from the 1970s and '80s, which are being shown in public for the first time in decades.

The exhibition is at the National Gallery Singapore until June 19.