SO, what good things has the year 2017 given you so far? Let’s not dwell much on the bad things. It’s good to focus on good things at the start of anything, right?

After meeting the new year, the next big thing that Cebuanos and those from other areas look forward to is the Pista Senyor or feast of the Holy Child with the Sinulog Festival as one of the much anticipated highlights.

The feast formally opened yesterday with the Walk With Jesus procession from the Fuente Osmeña circle to the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño. Thousands of devotees joined the activity.

At least 11 daily masses are offered until the last day of the novenario. Other activities are the fluvial procession, the grand procession along Cebu City’s main streets and the high masses officiated by high ranking Catholic church officials.

On the socio-cultural side, we have the regular treats like the Sinulog Idol which starts tonight at the Fuente Osmeña circle, the deejay mixing competition, the Cebu Popular Music Festival which hops from the Cebu Coliseum to the new IEC Pavillion in Mabolo, the Sinulog Festival Queen pageant and the Sinulog Grand Parade on Jan. 15.

The long running Miss Cebu beauty pageant was sidelined. Many are hoping it will still be revived in the near future.

For the past three years, my participation in the Sinulog Grand Parade was accompanying the celebrities onboard the M. Lhuillier float and documenting the happenings along the route.

For a change, I’ll be hanging out at the Cebu City Sports Center this time from the start of the parade and, hopefully, until the culmination.

I had been doing this for the past several years and interspersed with float rides every now and then. Well see if there are big changes and surprises that the grand parade participants will spring this year.

Pit Senyor!

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Of the eight entries to the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMF) last year, I was only able to watch five due to time and budget constraints. But the showing has been extended and I might still be able to complete the line-up.

So far, I enjoyed the five movies in varying degrees. The scene where Paolo Ballesteros mimicked 2016 Cannes filmfest best actress Jaclyn Jose in Die Beautiful made the audience burst out laughing.

Same with that where his character tried to hold back the wife of Luis Alandy in the latter’s hospital room only to tell her after some seconds of silence: “Wala.” Funny, without trying.

The real-life situations in Sunday Beauty Queen were eye-openers for me. The movie did not look exactly like a documentary. It was well edited. Not surprising at all that it won the best picture award.

A line in the interview of an employer struck me much. It went something like: “If the Philippines will stop sending helpers, the world will be in trouble.” It highlighted the importance of trusted Filipino domestic helpers in the lives of their employers.

The now controversial scene of dog butchery in Oro really made me sit up and wonder while watching it. True enough, the scene created quite a stir.

In fairness, Irma Adlawan did a good acting job. So did Joem Bascon.

Although Nora Aunor was in her usual best as an actress, the story was not very impressive as well as the handling. It was no surprise that she did not figure in the winners’ list.

I was jolted several times watching Seklusyon. However, I was not able to grasp the ending scenes. I must have been daydreaming or what at that time. Lead actor Ronnie Alonte shows much promise in the acting department.

Again, this development in the MMFF might prove to be beneficial to the local movie industry if and only if the MMFF committee will stick to their decision and not buckle down to some pressure from whatever source.

More power, MMFF!

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After the youth oriented Vince & Kath & James in the MMFF, Star Cinema comes up with another treat that sounds more sexy but the underlying theme is more of action not far from Charlie’s Angels.

Extra Service features three pretty and sexy actresses Jessy Mendiola, Arci Munoz and Coleen Garcia in challenging roles. Extra Service starts screening nationwide on Jan. 11.

That’s only five days from now.