Tag Archives: Manila

‘INFERNO’ STARTS FILMING IN APRIL; FILM CREW BANNED IN MANILA

Hanks
Hanks

Hollywood, California (The Adobo Chronicles) – It’s official. Filming for Dan Brown’s ‘Inferno’ begins in April next year and is expected to hit the theaters in December, 2015, according to an announcement by Sony Pictures.

Actor Tom Hanks will be reunited with director Ron Howard in this movie version of the fourth installment of Brown’s blockbuster novel. David Koepp has been tapped to pen the script.image

Hanks will reprise his role as Professor Robert Langdon, a role he played in the ‘The Da Vinci Code.’

Most of the new film will be shot in Italy, except for a few scenes which, in the book version, happens in Manila where the crowded metropolis was tagged by Brown as “the gates of hell.”  He described Manila as a city riddled with poverty, crime and prostitution. And traffic.

But there is a big problem.  The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has said that it has refused to issue a permit to Sony Films to shoot scenes in Manila or its neighboring cities.  “How can anyone expect us to be hospitable to a film crew of a movie that denigrates our reputation,” an MMDA spokesperson said.

MMDA said that it will grant the filming permit only if scriptwriter Koepp will change the line “gates of hell” to “stairway to heaven.”

Sony pictures has not returned calls from The Adobo Chronicles seeking comment on the MMDA statement.

 

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MANILA’S INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT INSTALLS HEATERS BY MISTAKE

imageManila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – If you are planning to travel to the Philippines in the next  few months, be prepared for extreme hot temperatures when you land at Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) in Manila.

NAIA’s reputation as one of the worst airports in the world has been exacerbated by airconditioning problems in its terminals, with incoming and outgoing passengers describing the terminal as a dry sauna. So it was a welcome relief when the airport administration finally received the shipment of 36 airconditioning units it had ordered from Japan. With much fanfare, Angel Hornado, general manager of the Manila International Airport Authority, announced last week that the installation of the new units would begin and will be completed in three working days.

Like with all projects in the Philippines, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was scheduled Saturday to mark the official switching on of the new airconditioning units. Presidential sister, actress and television host Kris Aquino was invited as honored guest to cut the ribbon. “It’s quite an emotional moment for me,” she said.  NAIA was, of course, named after her dad who was assassinated at the same airport upon his return from exile during the Marcos years.

Then Hornado flashed a thumbs up to signal the switching on of the cooling units.  In less than 15 minutes, all units were functioning and guests and passengers could hear the soft humming of the fans that started to blow air into the sprawling, albeit crowded terminal.

But something was obviously terribly wrong. The new units were blowing hot air and they added to the already warm and humid temperature inside the terminal.

Immediately, an aide came rushing towards Hornado and whispered, “Sir, the units that were installed were actually heaters!”

Apparently, something was lost in translation when the airconditioning units were ordered from Japan.

For now, NAIA remains the hottest airport in the world.

 

 

TOP TEN THINGS YOU’LL NEED UPON LANDING AT NINOY AQUINO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

imageManila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – The murdered Filipino opposition leader must be turning and twisting in his grave as the international airport named after him has gained the reputation as the worst in the world. Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) has been the subject of ridicule in recent months not only for overcrowding, confusing signage or lack thereof, clueless airport personnel, and most of all, non-functioning airconditioning units.

As of press time, new airconditioning units  have reportedly arrived but it is no guarantee that incoming and outgoing passengers will keep their cool.

As a stop-gap measure, the Philippines’ Airports Authority issued a travel advisory recommending the top ten things traveling passengers will need upon disembarkation:

1. Anahaw (wicker) fans. They’re relatively inexpensive. Foreigners can easily borrow these from their Filipino friends and neighbors. They are also sold at NAIA concession stands.

2. If you want to go high tech, you can purchase battery-operated personal fans from almost every mall in America and elsewhere.

3. Cotton towel, to wipe your sweat and keep you dry at all times, especially while in line at the immigration, customs and baggage claim areas.

4. Plastic spray bottle. Make sure to fill it up with water before de-planing. You will need to squirt some mist on your face every minute or so.

5. Deodorant. Be courteous to your fellow incoming passengers.

6. Perfume. Make it a Prada. Filipinos love designer stuff

7. Face mask. It will not only protect you from airborne viruses, but from the stench of sweat all around you.

8. Bikini top for women. Think of it as entering a dry sauna.  And make it Victoria’s Secret. Filipinos love designer stuff.

9. Bikini bottom for men. Make it Calvin Klein. Filipinos love designer stuff.

10. Ice-cold bottled water. Not just any bottled water. Make it a Fiji. Did we already mention Filipinos love designer stuff?

Mabuhay! Welcome to Manila, you know, the place novelist Dan Brown calls “the gates of hell.”

OBAMA’S KINDER, GENTLER WORDS FOR MANILA

Obama inspecting the honor  guard in Manila
Obama inspecting the honor guard in Manila

Manila, Philippines – Author Dan Brown, in his latest novel ‘Inferno’ called Manila the ‘Gates of Hell,’ but visiting U.S. President Barack Obama has much kinder, gentler words for the Philippine capital.

“I would rather call it the ‘Gates of Purgatory,’ since I just have a couple of days  to endure the city’s sweltering heat,” Obama said, soon after he inspected the honor guard during arrival ceremonies at Malacañang, the Philippine presidential palace.  Obama reviewed the troops under 93- degree weather, considered mild by Philippine standards.

Catholics believe that purgatory is the half-way or temporary place their souls go to after they die while they wait for St. Peter to open the gates of Heaven. During this interim period, the souls can atone for their sins with the help of prayers by their living relatives.

It remains to be seen whether Obama will still have the same kind words for Manila after he experiences the enormous traffic gridlock that’s part of everyday life in the metropolis.

JAPAN OFFERS TO BUY METRO MANILA FOR $57 BILLION

imageTokyo, Japan –  Noting that Metro Manila’s traffic, infrastructure and housing problems can no longer be solved by the Philippines’ National Capital Region, Japan has offered to buy Metro Manila for $57 Billion.

The Japanese government, acting on a report by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), made the offer to Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay. By purchasing Metro Manila, Japan hopes to implement JICA’s “Dream Plan” to solve once and for all Metro Manila’s decades-old woes.

The dream plan seeks to achieve by 2030, the five “No’s” considered to be the ultimate key to the revival of the dying metropolis : no traffic congestion, no excessive transport cost burden for low-income groups, no households living in high hazard risk areas, no barriers for seamless mobility of people and no air pollution.

Under the purchase proposal, Metro Manila will become a Prefecture of Japan and both the local and national governments  of the Philippines will totally give up ownership and control of Metro Manila which consists of 17 cities and towns.

The only remaining obstacle to the proposed purchase is to determine how the $57 Billion will be divided among Philippine President Noynoy Aquino, Estrada, Binay and the rest of the mayors of the cities and towns of the metropolis.

 

 

MANILA’S MASS RAPID TRANSIT (MRT) WINS PRESTIGIOUS ‘MOST POPULAR’ SYSTEM AWARD

The queue at an MRT station in Manila
The queue at an MRT station in Manila

Manila, Philippines – The embattled general manager of Manila’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) may have the last laugh despite calls for his resignation for the problems that have been plaguing the light railway system in the populous metropolis.

Activist groups have demanded that Alan Vitangcol III step down from his post for mismanagement of the transport system that millions of residents depend on for their daily commute to and from their work places. Vitangcol is also accused of  allegedly extorting $30 million from a Czech train car  builder in exchange for being awarded an MRT expansion project contract.

Today, the International Association of Light Railway Systems (IALRS) announced that Manila’s MRT has been unanimously chosen to receive the prestigious 2014 Most Popular Transport System Award. The annual award is given to the railway system that has the largest patronage.

The international body said Manila’s MRT won the judges’ nod hands down, after they saw photos of the long lines of commuters waiting to board the commuter trains. “We haven’t seen such massive popularity among MRT systems anywhere in the world,” one of the judges commented.

This prestigious award adds to the long long list of international recognitions recently awarded to the Philippines. Last month, the Philippine cities of Makati and Pasig were named the selfie capital of the world.

METRO MANILA WILL BE SPLIT INTO TWO MAJOR CITIES

imageManila, Philippines – Metro Manila in the Philippines is probably the most congested metropolis in the entire world. It comprises of several big cities and towns with their respective local government units but that in itself makes the delivery of government services truly inefficient and ineffective.  That is about to end.

Manila Mayor and former Philippine President Joseph Estrada is proposing to split Metro Manila into just two major cities: Northern Manila and Southern Manila.  Estrada’s plan is quite simple. The division line will be the Pasig River which runs from Manila Bay to Laguna Bay. All cities and towns north of the Pasig River will comprise Northern Manila and everything else south of the river will comprise Southern Manila.

There is one big problem.

Most of Manila and Makati are south of the Pasig River, which begs the question, who will be the mayor of Southern Manila? Joseph Estrada or Makati Mayor Junjun Binay, son of incumbent Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay who is running for president in 2016?

A poll conducted by The Adobo Chronicles shows a 50-50 split in support for Estrada and Binay.