Best of the Week: Dreams, trials, and Interweb blackouts

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Concert of the week: Katy Perry’s California Dreams tour

MANILA, Philippines – The SM Mall of Asia concert grounds will be turned into a fantasyland for Katy Perry’s concert, her last for the California Dreams world tour. Tomorrow will be her second performance in the country, after her Hello Katy concert in 2009 where she asked the audience how to say penis in Filipino — trust us, Katy, ask that again tomorrow and we’ll still fall for it.

Advocacy of the week: Stop SOPA!

This Wednesday, Wikipedia blocked its website for 24 hours donning the words “Imagine a world without free knowledge,” in an attempt to fight the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). The two bills aim to fight copyright infringement and piracy of US products overseas by blacklisting “alleged” pirated content, which could block people from accessing them on the Internet. That should be enough to scare everybody into making a stand and protesting the unfair aspects of the bills.

Quarterback of the week: Tim Tebow

Denver Broncos’ quarterback Tim Tebow is famous for his exceptional skills in football and a meme called Tebowing, where people get down on one knee in prayer in unconventional locations. Pretty soon, he will conquer the Philippines the way he conquered American football by opening a children’s hospital in Davao. It may strike you as odd that he would pick our country, but the NFL star was born here during his parents’ Baptist missionary work. He will partner with CURE International to build a 30-bed hospital that is expected to touch down in 2013.

TV event of the week: the Corona-novela

This week saw the start of the impeachment trial of Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona. Though certainly not our first impeachment trial (former president Estrada, we’re looking at you), if Corona’s prosecutors successfully convict him of betrayal of public trust, violation of the Constitution, and graft and corruption, he will be the first Chief Justice to be impeached in our history. Much like our telenovelas, the case is proving to be every bit as convoluted and controversial, making it difficult to determine who’s playing thebida and the kontrabida. — Cai Subijano

Best of the Week: Out with The Bourne Legacy rumors, in with David Archuleta and Beyoncé’s baby

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Future Economic Boom Of The Week

MANILA, Philippines – Good news for the Philippines! In the year 2050, HSBC predicts in their report,”The World in 2050,” the sleeping giant China, will be alive, awake and enthusiastic in the economic arena, displacing the United States as having the world’s biggest economy. The bank also predicts that the future belongs to the emerging countries, which includes the Philippines, which is supposed to take 27 leapfrog places to become the 16th largest economy in the next 38 years, thanks to our demographics and our rising education standards. We’re all aware of the 2012 end of the world predictions, but for the sake of the future, let’s hope HSBC’s soothsayer prowess is the real thing! — Roxy Valencerina

Band Of The Week: Taken By Cars

“It’s just us, the gig, the trip, and the dream,” Taken by Cars vocalist Sarah Marco posted on her Facebook status earlier this week, along with a photo of TbC featured on the home page of the SXSW Music Festival. As the first Filipino band to be invited to the renowned international music and arts festival in Austin, Texas this March, they’ve come a pretty long way from just wanting to play regular gigs at Saguijo five years ago. However, there is a catch: They’re still short on funds. With just 50 days to go before SXSW, help send TbC to Texas by checking them out on! Let’s show the world that Pinoy music is more than just Charice Pempengco and Manny Pacquiao — no disrespect to their fans! — Cai Subijano

Kapatid Of The Week: David Archuleta

In the wake of international celebrity endorsers, TV5 reigned supreme by booking American Idol alumnus David Archuleta, who just signed for a primetime series with actresses Eula Caballero and Jasmine Curtis-Smith. The singer is already in the country and is filming and promoting the series, with David in a love triangle as the plot. David Archuleta is a Mormon and considering Mormons love dancing and sugary potluck parties, he’ll fit right in with the Philippines’ noontime show culture, especially in Will Time Bigtime.

Baby Of The Week: Blue Ivy Carter

The birth of Beyonce and Jay-Z’s new bundle of joy last Jan. 7 in New York City didn’t stop the brand new papa from dropping a new track entitled Glory (feat. B.I.C.) featuring the wails of the power couple’s first offspring, just a mere hour after being birthed into the world. Baby Blue Ivy Carter or better known as B.I.C., has yet to be caught candid by the vicious paparazzi, but with a sweet number 74 spot on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs Chart, it won’t be long before this kid takes the world by storm. Jay-Z may have 99 problems, but baby B.I.C. sure ain’t one of them. — Roxy Valencerina

Hoax Of The Week: The Bourne Legacy Extras

More than a thousand hopefuls were devastated (including yours truly) when news leaked that the call for 1,000 extras for The Bourne Legacy was fake. Online ads indicated that applicants must send their names and details to a specified e-mail address, and that the only requirement is that they can walk (seriously). Another hoax was that the producers were looking for stand-ins for leads Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz. Sadly, the Philippine producers have revealed that they don’t know the “talent coordinators” mentioned in the ads, and would prefer extras who are in location because they “will act naturally.” Sorry, guys. Hollywood is just one tough bee-yatch to crack.

Best of the Week: The hackers are upon us! Rachel Weisz on a jeepney! And the most morbid sex tape ever

Divorce of the week: Russell Brand and Katy Perry

MANILA, Philippines – Media darlings Katy Perry and Russell Brand are getting a divorce (insert sad face). The couple has not talked to the public about what happened, but the decision seems final and that they will “remain friends.” Rumors began plaguing the couple, from allegations of cheating (on Katy’s part), pregnancy (also on Katy’s), and a separation that ultimately led to the sweethearts’ demise. Sources close to the two say that Katy’s partying habits and the two’s clashing schedules caused the fireworks display to come crashing down.

Shooting of the week: ‘The Bourne Legacy’

Hello, Hollywood! The set of The Bourne Legacy will be in the Philippines to shoot key scenes. According to director Tony Gilroy, 40 percent of the film will be shot in Manila and eight locations have been selected for filming: Intramuros, Navotas Fishport, Marikina City Market, San Andres Market, Ramon Magsaysay Boulevard, Ayala Avenue, Nagtahan, and Pasay-Taft Rotonda for one of the film’s car chase sequences. We feel that our haphazard jeepneys and murderous bus drivers will contribute more than their fair share of action to the plot. Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz, and Edward Norton, you’re welcome.

Hackers of the week: Anonymous

A collection of online activists who attack government and high-profile websites call themselves Anonymous (so original) and left a cryptic message on government sites saying, “Occupants of the west are still on the move and in no such time, Manila, will be the center of unethical activities in Asia. For some reasons that is (sic) untold, they choose (sic) the Philippines to organize a legion that will nullify the entire Philippine Cyberspace.” For some reasons that are untold, the effect of their message was somehow lost in their wrong grammar. Yoo hoo, Anonymous! If you need people to edit your online writings on the wall, Supreme is your team! Also, how do you divide one by zero? Just kidding, please don’t hack our website and Twitter account! Kthxbye!

Sick f*ck of the week: The Ramgen-Janelle video uploader

As if his gruesome unsolved murder wasn’t sickening enough, some really twisted individual thought the Internet might benefit from a sex tape of the murdered Ramgen Revilla and his girlfriend, Janelle Manahan. According to Janelle’s lawyer, she was being blackmailed through Facebook by one of Ramgen’s siblings warning her, “You are not clean, Ate Janelle.” Sen. Bong Revilla, who helped author the Anti-Voyeurism Act in the Philippines, called then video pambababoy to Janelle and the memory of his slain half-brother. The NBI has stated that they can trace the source of the video to find out who the culprit is. Maybe they can also figure out who really uploaded Mo Twister’s confessional video.   —Cai Subijano

Fan of the week: Atty. Ferdinand Topacio

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio made headlines when he vowed to cut his testicles off if his clients, the Arroyos, would not return after a trip abroad, but he is now facing another controversy when he admitted to “idolizing” Nazi leader Adolf Hitler. The story was brought to light when he was interviewed in his office with a large portrait of the freaky fuehrer hanging behind his desk. Topacio defended his devotion by saying that there is no evidence that Hitler ordered the holocaust, and that Germany became very prosperous under his rule. Hitler is considered as responsible for the death of over six million Jews, but one of the stories that stuck about the leader is that he only had one testicle. Which only means one thing: Um, someone is kind of craaaazy. Just kind of.

Best of the Year: 2011, it’s a wrap!

Woman of the year: Anne Curtis

MANILA, Philippines – Besides hosting Showtime, where she dazzles everyone with her smile and sense of style, Anne Curtis starred in the talked-about box office hit No Other Woman, became the first Filipina L’Oreal endorser, and received a star at the Eastwood Walk of Fame. She also released her debut album Annebisyosa, which received a gold record award three weeks after, giving hope, as Anne said so herself, to non-singers who dream of recording best-selling albums. Anne has conquered everything that comes her way and she’s going to give established singers a run for their money when tickets start selling for her first solo concert next year. She’s all that and a bag of chips and to prove it, she became the first Rogue girl to receive triple covers and made like KC Concepcion (but without the cameras) and rode the notoriously packed MRT just to catch Kylie Minogue perform in Araneta!

Beauty queens of the year: Shamcey Supsup, Gwendoline Ruais, Dianne Necio, and Athena Imperial

Annual beauty pageants are the Super Bowls of beckys, so it was a good year for our sisters when Shamcey Supsup, Gwendoline Ruais, Dianne Necio, and Athena Imperial won respective titles in the pageants they participated in. Shamcey Supsup was awarded 3rd runner-up at Miss Universe, Gwendoline Ruais won 1st runner-up at Miss World, Dianne Necio placed in the Top 15 of Miss International (being the fourth consecutive Filipina contestant to do so), and Athena Imperial bagged the Miss Earth-Water title. With all the titles our beauties have been bagging this year, we wonder why Veejay Floresca, Martin Bautista, Lex Librea and Aleq Africa haven’t recorded themselves jumping up and down in their pajamas for old times’ sake.

Festival of the year: Cinemalaya

Cinemalaya, the bastion of Filipino indie cinema, has received its long-awaited and well-deserved recognition from mainstream media. Films from the festival in July, such as Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank, Ligo Na U, Lapit Na Me, Ang Sayaw Ng Dalawang Kaliwang Paa, Zombadings: Patayin Sa Shokot Si Remington, and Rakenrol received commercial release, much to the delight of fans. Interest in indie films has increased over the years mainly because mainstream actors have started participating, most notably Eugene Domingo, much to the dismay of purists. Most exciting is Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank’s entry into the Oscars shortlist of Best Foreign Language Film. Whether or not it brings home the big win, is beside the point because finally, we may be evolving from formulaic teenybopper dramedies.

Network of the year: TV5

A great shift began in local television when business mogul Manny V. Pangilinan bought TV5 in 2009. The network has been MVP-fied for two years, but the masses only felt the change when big stars started transferring, beginning with Dolphy, Ruffa Gutierrez, and Willie Revillame in 2010. This was soon followed by Aga Muhlach, Nora Aunor, Lorna Tolentino, and Sharon Cuneta, whose move was rumored to have cost the network over P5 billion. TV5 under MVP shook the industry, changing the game from a two-player deal to a free-for-all, threatening those who relaxed in a one-competition setup. The successful rebranding of the network has made MVP even more relevant (especially after the Digitel takeover last month), probably as relevant as the PNoy himself, but we hope TV5 won’t monopolize the entertainment industry by getting all the artists — imagine Marian Rivera and Kris Aquino ending up sharing a talk show!

Breakups of the year: John Lloyd Cruz and Shaina Magdayao, KC Concepcion and Piolo Pascual, and Mo Twister and Rhian Ramos

The Ruffa Gutierrez-John Lloyd Cruz-Shaina Magdayao love triangle was confusing, then amusing at best, and KC Concepcion’s breakup with heartthrob Piolo Pascual was intriguing because of all the ambiguity during her interview with Tito Boy Abunda. After all, what are we supposed to think when she said “May mga hinahanap ako na basic lang na hahanapin ng isang babae sa isang boyfriend, sa isang lalaki.” But shortly after KC’s tearful tell-all, Mo Twister stole her thunder with the anonymous uploading of a “repaired video” wherein Mo detailed Rhian’s alleged abortion of their child. Though Mo denies having anything to do with the video’s public release, Rhian and her lawyer slapped him with a case accusing him of violating the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act. Since then, another video surfaced of Rhian straddling Mo while dry humping, groping, making out and giving icky poo loooove declarations to the camera. For Rhian’s sake, we hope nothing worse surfaces. —Cai Subijano

Most celebrated musicians of the year: Adele and Amy Winehouse

Adele may have been performing since 2008 with the release of her studio album “19,” but it was the January release of “21” that propelled the British crooner to international fame. Her hypnotic voice gained a large following with her proclamation that she makes music for ears, not eyes. Despite the criticism on her weight, her hit single Someone Like You became an anthem (and the subject of a hilarious SNL spoof) and her cover photos for magazines, like Rolling Stone, British Vogue, and Cosmopolitan, are proof that big talent is beautiful. Her passionate and soulful voice reminds us of another tortured soul, Amy Winehouse, who we sadly lost this July, but we hope that Adele goes past the infamous 27 Club, which has taken many of our musical greats, to make the album “28.”

Icon of the year: Steve Jobs

News of the death of Steve Jobs came as a huge shock, especially for those who lived by the gadgets he created, from the iPod, the iPad, and everything in between. His death in October was due to a rare form of pancreatic cancer, which he rarely talked about since being diagnosed in 2003. Steve is credited for leading the technology wave with revolutionary products that changed how we viewed communication. Currently, rumors regarding the iPhone 5 are spreading (again), but things haven’t been the same without Steve, who was celebrated for his personality aside from his products. Many believe that the company would do just fine, even when the maker has met the maker.

Box office diva of the year: Vice Ganda

Patrons of comedy bars in the days of yore knew who Vice Ganda was even before Showtime. The comedian has been in the comedy circuit since 1999, delivering the punchlines that would eventually break a Philippine record. He dominated national consciousness when he joined the hit series Showtime, where his jokes, which centered on the “may nagtext!” theme became insanely popular. But it was his self-deprecating attitude that endeared him to many fans, and he still remains the unkabogable judge, meaning he’s un-evictable (though we believe he would be a staple even if he could be booted out). His biggest coup for the year was starring in Praybeyt Benjamin, which broke the record for highest-earning Filipino movie of all time. Call him a horse as many times as you want, but Vice Ganda will be galloping all the way to the bank.

Arrest of the year: CGMA

We’ve all heard of the tragic executions of the suspected drug mules in China and our hearts go out to their families, but the biggest arrest for this year is of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. An arrest warrant for electoral sabotage was charged against the Pampanga representative while she was at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Taguig City where she was nursing a rare bone disorder. This was one of the missions of President Noynoy Aquino, but he didn’t seem satisfied as he went on a vicious tirade against the Supreme Court and Chief Justice Renato Corona for blocking his efforts with Corona immediately impeached. The furor raised against this was so great that pundits are calling the President a dictator, which is of course not true because the mark of a true dictator is having a Tumblr account of him looking at things or dropping the bass.

Good riddance of the year: Osama Bin Laden, Kim Jong-Il, Muammar Gaddafi, and Hosni Mubarak

It was a good year for politics as we saw the deaths of terrorist Osama Bin Laden, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and the ousting of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. These four have led different lives, but what they have in common is the feeling of discomfort they gave while in power, whether it be for their nation’s people or people from around the world. Bin Laden was finally captured by a US special forces military unit, Kim Jong-Il passed away due to a heart attack, Gaddafi was beaten and shot to death, while Mubarak was ousted after 18 days of protest. Suddenly, with the exception of natural calamities, the world suddenly seems like a safer place.

Team of the year: Team Philippines!

The Philippine Azkals paved the way for Filipino athletes getting the recognition they deserve by making the most out of a crack at entering the World Cup and putting up a good fight against David Beckham and the rest of LA Galaxy. The Philippine Volcanoes managed to live up to all that underwear-related hype by bagging the silver medal at the Asian Men’s Rugby 7s Championships. The Philippine Dragon Boat team has won five gold medals and two silver medals at the 10th World Dragon Boat Championships in Tampa Bay, Florida, on top of their gold medal wins in 2007 and 2009. All this athletic popularity proves that becoming a professional athlete in the Philippines is a viable career because if all else fails, you could also go for being a sought-after endorser. —Cai Subijano

Discussion of the year: The RH Bill

From the ridiculous schism among Ayala Alabang residents over whether a doctor’s prescription is needed to buy oral contraceptives to the intense verbal wars between Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Mommy Dionisia, and Lea Salonga and Manny Pacquiao, the RH Bill was one hot topic people couldn’t stop talking about. The discussions reached their peak with the exhibition of Mideo Cruz’s “Poleteismo” where even The Huffington Post took note of the way he offended the CBCP by gluing a wooden penis on Jesus Christ’s face on a poster. Admittedly, the exhibit was shocking, but the CBCP’s involvement in its removal begged the question of whether the Catholic Church was meddling a tad too much in society’s affairs. They may insist on refusing Holy Communion to politicians who support the pure logic of the RH Bill, but messing around in matters of art may be taking their position of power way too far. —Cai Subijano

Facelift of the year: NAIA

It took an international double blow for us to realize that NAIA 1 was overdue for a makeover. The Guide to Sleeping in Airports blog ranked NAIA 1 as the worst airport in the world and fifth most hated airport in the world by CNN’s travel site. A plan to rehabilitate the airport turned awry when renowned designers Kenneth Cobonpue, Budji Layug, and Royal Pineda revealed that Cabinet officials commissioned them to prepare a pro bono design. Teddy Boy Locsin demanded that the designers should be given subpoenas to reveal who these officials were, hinting that the officials granted them permission in exchange for free or almost-free furnishing. In spite of all the negative backlash, what’s important is our government has been moved to action. PNoy signed off on a P1.1 billion rehabilitation plan — P500 million for the interior design, with the help of the team behind Singapore’s Changi International, P340 million for structural upgrades, P300 million for much-needed rapid exit taxiways, P20 million for 72 new toilets (thank God!), and P20 million for urinals and other amenities. Hey, if an airport was named after your father, you’d better make it a priority!           —Cai Subijano

Disappointment of the year: Banned underwear billboards on EDSA

Clothing magnate Bench has always pushed the boundaries when it came to advertising, but one series of billboards along EDSA apparently went too far and bothered the wrong people. Described by Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos as “inappropriate,” he had them dismantled. Ads featuring Aly Borromeo, along with the rest of the Philippine Volcanoes, the brothers Younghusband, Angel Locsin, and Lovi Poe in provocative wear were also removed because they were “offensive.” While it may appear that the MMDA has a personal vendetta against fit people, the organization’s chair Francis Tolentino said that they were removed because the operators didn’t have the proper permits. Whatever the reason — because really, most, if not all, of the ads removed had barely-clothed endorsers — EDSA is probably now safer, with less road accidents, but a lot less eventful.

A hidden oasis

Manila, Philippines – The iconic SM Megamall is a structure that people associate with ultimate convenience. Apart from offering several floors of shopping, dining and entertainment, it’s also a one-stop shop for those errands that never seem to get crossed off your to-do list, like renewing your driver’s license, getting yearly health and dental check-ups, even sorting out your banking affairs, then hopping on the MRT once you’re done. Indeed if you build it, they will come, and so came the bustling crowds that are as identifiable as Megamall itself. In that rush to get everything done before that movie you bought tickets for starts, all while making your way through a packed escalator, you might feel that you just want to stop and take a break. But being able to relax right in the middle of a busy crowd? Indeed, when SM Megamall proclaimed that they’ve got it all for you, they left no stone unturned.
This is exactly what the Team Supreme found out when we invaded the Mega Atrium at SM Megamall, an area that appears suddenly like mirage for mall goers who need a bit of respite, yet disguises itself as a blur in the corners of the eyes of determined shoppers hopping from one store to another. Truly, once you finally take notice of it, you’ll realize that it’s been there all along, waiting for you to enter. Located right in the heart of SM Megamall, literally in between Mega A and Mega B, the Atrium has a bright, yet intimate feel about it, despite the fact that it houses nearly 100 stores and restaurants.
Some of us, like Chief Supremo Tim Yap, were dropped right off at the Mega Atrium Lobby, which is located in the center of the mall facing J. Vargas Avenue. Once in the lobby, all he had to do was take the elevator and be whisked away, crowd-free, to meet the team for lunch at Yabu. If it’s your chauffeur’s day off, valet service is also an option at a P100 flat rate. Like those who drove their own cars, you’ll be pleased to know that the Mega Carpark C opened last month and offers direct access to the middle of Megamall at only a P45 flat parking rate. That’s right, no more lugging your purchases from one end of the mall to the other just to get to Mega Carpark A or B.

All five floors of the Mega Atrium at SM Megamall offers a balanced selection of shops and restaurants.
In fact, you don’t even need to lug your shopping bags at all because there is the luxury of sending your purchases to the Package Pick-Up Counter. The service is totally free. Simply shop at the participating stores, fill out a form to have your items sent to the Package Pick-Up Counter, then fetch them when you’re all shopped-out with your claim stub. If you urgently need to send out an important e-mail to your boss, worry not because there is free wireless Internet available in the entire SM Megamall.
And finally, when every aspect of yourself has been satisfied physically, head up to the fifth floor of the Atrium where you can find the beautifully spacious Chapel of the Eucharistic Lord. Capping off a full day of shopping and dining with a moment of silence before heading home is a great way to end a well-rounded Mega Atrium experience.
Turn to the next pages to see how TeamSupreme spent the day at the Mega Atrium at SM Megamall!


Amici satisfies the most discriminating tastes with authentic Italian dishes, offering Italy’s finest and using the freshest ingredients. Sadly, authentic comes with the price of newcomers thinking that it is expensive, but Amici believes that quality food does not require a hefty price tag and its back story proves just that.

Amici di Don Bosco began in 1994 when a Salesian priest opened a turo-turo canteen to serve the Don Bosco Printing Press employees. The canteen served Italian coffee and gelato, later introducing wood-fire oven-baked pizzas and homemade pasta. Word got around and Don Bosco students began flocking to the canteen, followed by visitors from all walks of life: from celebrities and socialites to housewives and blue-collar workers. Realizing that business was not their specialty, the Salesian priests sold the business to Iboy Pinga and Danny Moran, the founders of Red Ribbon.

Amici is known for its pastas, pizzas, and the dessert obsession du jour, gelato. The pizza choices are diverse, from the classic Margherita and Napoletana to specialized pizzas, such as the seafood-based Frutti di Mare, the meat-only Tutta Carne, and the cheesy Al Quattro Formaggi. Pizzas cost roughly P300 to P400 and are good to share. First-timers must try the Chorizo e Spinaci, one of their specialties. The pastas are just as varied, from tomato-based, cream-based, to olive oil-based. The must-try is the Spaghetti ai Tesori del Mare, a spicy dish with chili oil and the Linguine al Proscuitto e Tartuffo, a dish with two kinds of mushrooms.

Equally renowned is Caramia, Amici’s gelateria. It offers cakes and gelato, a healthier alternative to ice cream. Compared to ice cream, gelato has less fat and is richer and creamier. It comes in many flavors such as pistachio, sans rival, and cioccolato and costs P75 a scoop. Slices of cake range from P65 to P125, with the Di Lusso as one of their newer offerings, a combination of pistachio, chocolate, and strawberry gelato wrapped in chocolate and has a crushed graham crust.

Dining at Amici may sound sinful, but true to its religious roots, its core value is sharing. Not only is eating more pleasurable with loved ones, an order of select dishes called Tuloy Speciali will give P10 to the Tuloy Foundation, a non-profit organization in Alabang to help street children. At Amici, it’s all about eating good and doing good!

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Amici is located on the 4/F Mega Atrium, SM Megamall and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For reservations, call 636-1341.

Gotti’s Ristorante

Tucked away in the fourth floor of the Mega Atrium at SM Megamall is one of its best-kept secrets: Gotti’s Ristorante. An Italian restaurant by trade, its interiors promise a taste of Italy: lots of wood and brick, subtle lighting, and posters of Italians and their dishes. Even though its name evokes Italy, it references one of the most infamous mobsters ever, John Gotti, who is also known for his epicurean tastes.
Lovers of Italian food appreciate what Gotti’s has to offer. That’s because the pizzas and pastas are authentic, something owners Eileen and Manuel Gonzales and John Erich and Malou Taca have mastered over the years. The idea began when Eileen was working in an Italian restaurant in New York. She felt that “it would be right” to offer thin-crust pizza in the Philippines, so in 2002, she opened Pizzeria Pronto with her husband and the Tacas in SM Bicutan. It wasn’t until 2008 when they changed names and decided to expand to SM Mall of Asia and the Mega Atrium at SM Megamall after studying their products.
The joint is known for its pizza and pasta, but what separates Gotti’s from the rest are the secret recipes, their affordable prices and heaping servings. Pastas come in single and to-share servings, with prices ranging from P200 for single servings to P300 for groups of two to three. The must-try, or “most wanted” is the Frutti di Mare, a seafood-based pasta in rich marinara sauce. Other pasta dishes not to be missed are the garlic shrimp in white wine and the creamy basil bacon. One interesting pasta dish is the Pasta ala Vodka, a pomodoro cream sauce dish with chili and the alcoholic drink.
An Italian meal wouldn’t be complete without its pizza offerings and Gotti’s doesn’t come short. For P260 to P360 per 12-inch pie, customers will have a taste of Italy with its oven-baked thin crust. The classics are there but the stars are the Four Seasons, Mi Mama’s Quattro Formaggi, and the Contadina, a pizza with prosciutto, grilled eggplant, and freshly grated Parmigiano Romano.
Highly recommended for dessert is the decadent Tartufo Nero, a pure dark chocolate gelato with a brandied cherry core, capping off a delicious Italian meal. Gotti and his mob crew have reached our shores and might soon be the Philippines’ most wanted.
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Gotti’s Ristorante is located on the 4/F Mega Atrium, SM Megamall and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. For reservations, call 634-0348.

Best of the Week: Gaga gets hacked, a Pinoy saint, and Britney is engaged! Again.

Saint of the week: Pedro Calungsod

Manila, Philippines – Blessed Pedro Calungsod will be canonized as the second Filipino saint since Lorenzo Ruiz in 1987. Calungsod, a native of Iloilo, is known as the 17-year-old martyr who taught Catechism and evangelized the Chamorros in the Marianas Islands, Guam. He was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2000 for his unwavering dedication to Christ, and that “young people today can draw encouragement and strength” from him. On Dec. 19, Pope Benedict XVI approved his sainthood after a woman was brought back to life from a heart attack through Calungsod’s intercession. The date of his canonization has yet to be announced, but we Filipinos are proud!
Partyboy of the week: PNoy
Actress Valerie Concepcion and President Noynoy Aquino are getting negative attention for attending a Christmas party for the employees of Malacañang at the height of Typhoon Sendong. The story broke after Valerie tweeted that she was at a party with the president and that he was laughing at her jokes. The Aquino team (meaning his sisters), came to his defense saying that the party has been planned ahead of time but that he was constantly on the phone, monitoring affected areas such as Cagayan de Oro. His unofficial spokesperson, Kris Aquino also said that “Hindi naming pwedeng huminto nalang ang buhay at magmukmok nalang tayo.” All we have to say is that it must have been one hell of a party!
Death of the week: Kim Jong-Il

Kim Jong-Il has been a popular figure even outside the political circle, so it came as a huge shock when it was revealed that the North Korean leader died over the weekend. The news came as a double surprise because it was declared two days after, similar to what happened when his father, Kim Il-Sung passed away. The Dear Leader died of a heart attack caused by overwork and stress, and his son Kim Jong Un will soon take control of a 24 million strong nation, raising concerns over his plans and capabilities. The local media has elevated him to mythic status, but politicians and the masses are still cautious with the Great Successor, wondering if he can be iconic enough to have a Tumblr account of him looking at things.

Hacking of the week: Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga wins the Associated Press’ Entertainer of the Year award, besting Apple’s Steve Jobs by three votes, but 45 million Facebook fans and 17 million Twitter followers weren’t entertained when a virus hacked into Mother Monster’s accounts promising an iPad 2 for every follower who clicked the link posted. The post read “FREE iPad2′s to each one of you in the spirit of the holidays” luring unsuspecting followers (at least 7,000 of them) who thought she was just being her fan-loving self. The posts have been deleted, but her AP win might be eclipsed by the hacking. After all, what use does a cooperative shared by 1,700 newspapers, 5,000 radio and television broadcasters, 243 news bureaus, and 120 countries have compared to 62 million rabid monsters?

Engagement of the week:  Britney Spears and Jason Trawick

Pop superstar Britney Spears is tying the knot for the third time with her former manager, Jason Trawick. The engagement was announced in the most bizarre way, though: by changing her Facebook status from single to engaged. While the method of broadcasting the news may be questionable, it might be a case of “third time’s the charm” with the pop icon, who is about to marry a 40-year-old man who chose a ring based on quality and beauty rather than size. Many cynics are probably betting on the union’s longevity (hers is still the record to beat with 55 hours), but we believe in happily ever after, even when she sang “Mama, I’m in love with a criminal, and this type of love isn’t rational, it’s physical.”

Flight attendants of the week: Thai ladyboys

New Thai airline PC Air made a bold move by hiring transsexuals, or ladyboys, to serve as flight attendants. The decision to hire one of Thailand’s “trademarks” came after more than 100 transsexuals applied for the job. Four were accepted with the condition that they must walk and talk like a woman and that they meet the qualifications for female flight attendants. One transsexual flight attendant, Tanyarat Jirapatpakorn said that the opportunity is the beginning of acceptance of transsexuals in Thailand and that maybe they could get a future job in the police force and the army, scaring homophobes into bullying members of the LGBT community with access to machine guns. 

Best of the Week: Heroes, iPhone wars and the Person of the Year!

Release Party Battle Of The Week
MANILA, Philippines – Since 2008, Globe Telecom has been enjoying sole distribution of the iPhone, but their reign has ended. Apple has now given Smart Communications the green light on the iPhone 4s release as well. To set themselves apart, both companies went head-to-head with the baddest release parties. Globe’s iPhone 4s launch last Dec. 15 had house DJ, Kaskade, perform at the Ayala Museum while Smart took them on by bringing performers Lupe Fiasco and Jermaine Dupri last Dec. 16 at Rockwell. It’s hard to tell who fares better in the telecommunications game, but one thing’s for sure: with the release of the iPhone 4s and the jaw-dropping line-up of performers, everybody wins.   — Roxy Valencerina

Hero Of The Week: Robin Lim

Filipino-American midwife Robin Lim was announced as 2011’s CNN Hero of the Year, being the second Pinoy to win after 2009’s Efren Peñaflorida and hiskariton klasrum. Lim, who was proclaimed last Sunday in Los Angeles, is known in Indonesia for her free prenatal and birthing services to low-income families. Mother Robin, or Ibu Robin as she is called by locals, set up the Yayasan Bumi Sehat (Healthy Mother Earth Foundation) in 2003 to fight the rising costs of delivery that result in high maternal and infant mortality rates. Mother Robin received an additional $250,000 grant for her foundation on top of the $50,000 each of the 10 finalists received. Filipinos are proud, yet eye Indonesia as a competitor for the most populated country in Asia.

Rude Awakening Of The Week: Tvmaria.Com

Polite Manila got the shock of their lives when a live streaming link to the installation of new Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle led them to a transvestite porn site with a man wearing lingerie greeting them with “Are you over 21 and feeling horny? Then enter me, darling!!” The website link was posted on the Manila Archdiocese’s website and features the correct site but with a different domain. The group has yet to release a statement but it is safe to say that it was a rude awakening, in more ways than one.

Time’s Person Of The Year: The Protester

Time magazine’s annual Person of the Year award is out and it honors The Protester for strengthening the idea that “individual action can bring collective, colossal change.” The idea sparked when a Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in a public square because of the dictatorship, which was followed by the iconic toppling of dictators in the Middle East, and then the Occupy Wall Street movement. Other candidates were considered, such as Apple’s Steve Jobs, Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, Kate Middleton (we don’t know either), and Admiral William McRaven, the overall commander of the secret US mission to kill Osama Bin Laden. Filipinos have yet to meet The Protester, argue that Kris Aquino should be Person of the Year.

Best of the Week: Rumors, gossip, a catfight, oh my!

Rumor of the week: Ryan Gosling in Siargao
MANILA, Philippines – A frenzy erupted in Twitterverse when a rumor spread that actor Ryan Gosling was surfing in Siargao, Surigao del Norte. Known for his roles in The Notebook and Crazy, Stupid Love, the rumor had everyone questioning, from fangirls to celebrities, such as Ruffa Gutierrez and Maxene Magalona. Tweets poured in from users, some confirming his alleged presence with an Instagram photo. The rumor was eventually quelled with a tweet saying that he was in L.A. at the time of the “sighting,” on the set of a new movie. The Instagram photo was real (the abs were not Photoshopped), but it has been said that it was taken years ago in Miami, disappointing Filipino girls, feminist Ryan Gosling fans, and secretly, boys.

Beauty pageant of the week: Miss Earth 2011

Miss Philippines Athena Imperial was crowned Miss Earth-Water, placing her among the ranks of Shamcey Supsup and Gwendoline Ruais, but a controversy met the recently concluded pageant. A screencap of Miss USA Nicole Kelley’s Facebook Wall went viral, with a post that said the Philippines is “dirty and noisy,” that “these people want to touch you and be with you all the time” and that she’s “scared to eat.” Kelley later denied the post, claiming that her account was hacked and that she was at a community garden tour when it was posted. Netizens expressed their disbelief, saying that she should have been grateful for being welcomed with open arms, while admitting that what she said was true.

Rally of the week: Slutwalk

Girls in conservative Singapore gathered for the very first Slutwalk, a worldwide campaign to fight sexual violence that started in April after a Canadian police officer said “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order to not be victimized.” Based on the manifesto, society should stop blaming the victim, emphasize that “no” means “no,”and for women to reclaim their right to express their sexuality without fear. The global campaign has had 50 marches around the world and will include talks and workshops to discuss sexual assault and to provide support services for rape victims. According to Cher Tan, one of the organizers, the event is “not about the right to wear skimpy clothes, but rather the right to be without fear,” and that participants need not wear provocative attire in the rally, resulting in a low turnout of perverts, and therefore, rape. Mission accomplished.

Visitor of the week: Isis King

Isis King, the first transgender model from hit series 
America’s Next Top Model is in the country to shoot a film called Hello Forever. The film will be about a mother looking for her lost child with Isis playing a transgender in search of love. The model and actress is having a blast in the Philippines, where she guested on Umagang Kay Ganda, shot for Mega magazine, and partied with locals at KYSS. Isis is the third ANTM personality who has visited the Philippines, after photographer Nigel Barker and runway coach Miss J. Beckys are hoping Tyra’s next, bringing with her all the fierce our country can handle.

Couple of the week: Vic Sotto and Pauleen Luna

Notorious ladies’ man Vic Sotto has found himself another girlfriend, this time in the form of co-host Pauleen Luna. The news was publicized last Tuesday by Philippine STAR columnist Ricky Lo who revealed the news after a close friend to the couple confirmed it. Bossing, as he is known to his loyal fans, has had a very colorful love life that once involved Dina Bonnevie, Coney Reyes, Christine Jacob, Kris Aquino and Pia Guanio. The news was met with shock (from girls) and reverence for Vic’s prowess (from boys), and a slew of comments, one of which was an open letter to Paolo Ballesteros saying “Keep up the drag queen dress-up and you just might be next on Vic Sotto’s list!”

Catfight of the week: PNoy and the SC

A potential catfight broke out last Monday when President Aquino berated the Supreme Court and Chief Justice Renato Corona in the televised First National Criminal Justice Summit at the Manila Hotel. In his speech, he grilled the Supreme Court for stopping him from going after ex-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and that they should be serving the Filipino people. Officials were disturbed by this tirade and described the President as a “bully,” but Corona did not react during the speech and even shook hands with the President. Supreme Court spokesman Midas Marquez announced that Corona would not resign and that he would just “let it be, it’s almost Christmas,” but we suspect Corona’s Burn Book will be filled with pictures of Aquino and catty remarks.

Video of the week:

Just when DJ Mo Twister was about to leave the country and escape his “dark place,” a video of him was uploaded on YouTube tearfully narrating an abortion his then-girlfriend Rhian Ramos had in 2010. In it, he blames her family, her manager and her station, forcing GMA to file suits against the DJ for “malicious and false imputations.” According to Mo, he did not have anything to do with uploading, saying that he sold many of his items including his computers just before leaving for New York, but that Rhian knew of the video’s existence. Rhian was described as traumatized and has filed for a temporary protection order and a harassment case against Mo, saying that he violated the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004. He later apologized to Rhian and the network, but spoke further about his grief over the abortion, prolonging the issue and making things more awkward for everybody.