Archive for the ‘2012 Year End Lists’ Category

Top Local Movies of 2012   8 comments

2012 in cinema is probably one of the most enjoyable in a while. I liked a lot of the movies that I’ve seen this year, (though maybe I really avoided the bad ones? LOL), and a lot of these films would have topped any other weaker years. On top of that, we’ve also seen a lot of impeccable performances from these films. Mind you, while I have seen 60+ local films this year, there’s a lot left still to be seen. Despite that, I feel that 2012 is one of the better years in recent Filipino cinema, and here are 12 reasons why:

Unofficially Yours


Arguably, the best output from commercial filmmaking this year is this Cathy Garcia Molina’s relationship story between two people that sprouted from a one night stand. Molina has really mastered how to make supposedly conventional studio produced films more engaging and interesting. Also, watch out for John Lloyd Cruz and Angel Locsin’s palpable chemistry here.

MNL 143

11. MNL 143

I’m a sucker of travel/road movies. With that said, Emerson Reyes’s first feature length film is a poignant love story of a man (Allan Paule) who’s looking for the woman of his life is something that’s easier to relate to; not the search per se, but the longing and the optimism for it to finally arrive is a familiar feeling that can resonate well to its viewers.


10. REquieme!

Loy Arcenas’ consecutive Cinemalaya entry is a dark comedy that focuses on Swanie, a barangay captain who involves herself as a relative of a suspect in an international murder case. With a witty screenplay and Shamaine Buencamino’s effective portrayal as Swanie and breakthrough talent Anthony Falcon, the movie is definitely one of 2012’s brightest spots.



This Cinema One Originals winner which was also Pam Miras’s feature debut about one’s self discovery about her monsters within is one of the surprise entries in my list. Not because it is bad, but because I liked and appreciated it better days after seeing it. Oh, and if Maria Veronica Santiago’s performance in the title role won’t charm you enough, then I don’t know what will.

Ang Nawawala


Another first feature effort this year, this time by Marie Jamora, Ang Nawawala is bound to be a cult classic. Yes, it probably caters to a younger crowd, to those in the middle status, or to those who are into local music scene, but one universal thing that I sure can relate to is how it connects you back to yourself. Plus points for the eye candy production design and the compilation soundtrack.



The Philippines’ submission to the Oscar Foreign Language Film category this year (and its best submission in years, I must say) is this little gem by Jun Lana about an old gay man living alone with only his dog named Bwakaw, and how he tries to make the most out of his remaining days. It’s just one of the most heartfelt films of the year that makes you laugh and cry while watching. Also, Eddie Garcia’s performance is to watch for here.

Thy Womb


Brillante Mendoza’s Venice entry this year is also the comeback vehicle of one of the Philippines’ greatest actresses to date, the Superstar Nora Aunor. I guess my favorite aspect of the film is how it showcased to us this little gem of a place called Tawi-Tawi, and how the film introduced us to its culture. That, and of course La Aunor’s towering performance in it.

Ang Paglalakbay ng Mga Bituin sa Gabing Madilim


My favorite from the whole Cinema One Originals bunch this year is Arnel Mardoquio’s feature about the escape of three Muslim rebels, together with a ten year old child in the midst of the Bangsa Moro issues in Mindanao. But unlike any previous Mindanao related war-themed films, this one stands out because it’s  does not lecture you. And within this silence is where the actual emotions linger.

Give Up Tomorrow


This Filipino/Spanish/American production directed by Michael Collins on what was labeled as the trial of the century in the Philippines (the involvement of  Paco Larrañaga to the disappearance of the Chiong sisters) is one film that probably triggered the most emotions while watching. The film for the most part was half maddening and half heartbreaking. But it probably contains one of my most favorite quotes of the year when Paco said “If you want to give up, give up tomorrow. When tomorrow comes, then give up tomorrow.



Vincent Sandoval’s Cinemalaya entry about the secluded lives of nuns in a monastery in 1972. The film’s strength lies in its capability to build an atmosphere that was intense and arresting that once the movie hits it middle part, you just feel as if you’re a part of it. If you’re into the technical aspect, this movie also boasts of a complete top notch production values: neat production design,  applicable costumes, captivating cinematography, polished editing, and haunting score.



Ron Morales’s Tribeca entry about a loyal driver caught in the middle of his congressman employer’s paying of sins is as intense as one can get. Fifteen minutes in, there’s already a shooting scene. And the rest of the movie was packed with emotional punches, as it dwells with questions about one’s choices in life. Is this the correct choice? What happens when it’s not? Where do we go next? Also, Arnold Reyes’s terrific performance as the driver is a must see.



And my top pick for local cinema this year is Adolf Alix’s Kalayaan. On the outside, it’s about a soldier solely stationed in the Kalayaan islands and a run on his daily activities, until two additional soldiers were sent there with him. The first hour of the film solely shows on the day to day routine of Julian. Rarely any dialogue was spoken in it, but the message was effectively sent. Once the credits rolled, you feel that you’ve known enough yet it will also prompt you to ask some more. Definitely my favorite film of the year!

Well that’s it! What are your favorite local movies of the year? In case you are wondering, the reason why there’s no top international picks yet is because I’m still catching up on a lot of the Oscar movies til the next two months. So I guess, you can expect my list by March.

And as always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl


12 Best Live Musical Moments of 2012   Leave a comment

Hi everybody! It’s back to work day today. Luckily for me, I’m not required to go back to work yet (I still have my work from home card on me. Hahaha). January is a busy month for me as an awards prognosticator, as we’ll have the American award giving bodies steamroll one after the other. On January 10, nominations will finally be unveiled. So expect my last update for the nominations and the final predictions in the coming days.

As for now, forgive my late posts, but I’ll post the remaining 2012 year-end lists that I had. I still have three lists remaining (this one included), so just for effort’s sake, I’ll still be doing a write up of each. For this one, we’ll be focusing on the different musical moments that were created the past year. A live performance can make or break an artist. Think of Ashlee Simpson in Saturday Night Live or Lana Del Rey, who was once poised to be the next big thing… until we saw her SNL number. Then we have the likes of Lady Gaga who tops each performance she have bringing her artistry with each live performance that she does.

With that said, here are 12 musical moments that we’d sure remember from 2012:

You can click the name of the performance and it will bring you to the YouTube clip of it. 


12: Pink, (“Try”) – American Music Awards 2012

Pink has already solidified herself as one of the best live acts among her contemporaries. Who can ever forget her Grammy performance of Glitter in the Air in 2009? That definitely is one of the best performances to ever grace the Grammy stage. This year, she did the whole acrobatic thing once again, but with a different approach; Pink, barefooted and with patches of paint all over her body, with a partner were just doing random catching and splitting and lifting in an interpretative dance-like number of her new single, Try. And to top things off, her vocals was spot on during the whole number. Amazing, really.

alicia keys
11: Alicia Keys, (“Brandy New Me/No One”) – 12-12-12 Hurricane Sandy Concert

New York native  Alicia Keys was one of the hundreds of singers who volunteered to be a part of the Hurricane Sandy concert last December 12. Belting out a crossover of the songs Brandy New Me and No One, it was such a delight to hear her just like how she used to slay them all off. And don’t you just love how she invited the whole audience to raise their phones during the No One part? Plus, her intro about how she was raised and how she’ll forever love New York is just the icing on top of this sweet cake.
10: Rihanna, (“Diamonds”) – Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show 2012

The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show is probably the meanest event of every year, as it makes all women worldwide feel bad about themselves. But if there’s one good thing that it has given us this year, it’s Rihanna’s performance of Diamonds.  Clad in a Adam Selman creation with Chanel vintage pearl sungless from Depuis to boot, Riri is every inch a model herself as she belts out one of the catchiest songs of 2012.

esperanza spalding

09: Esperanza Spalding, (“What a Wonderful World”) – 84th Academy Awards

Grammy Best New Artist Esperanza Spalding led the In Memoriam segment at last year’s Academy Awards with her rendition of What A Wonderful World. Together with the Southern California Children, this jazzy yet really touching performance as Esperanza served as background voice while pictures of the departed from Sidney Lumet to Elizabeth Taylor were flashing is one of the best highlights of the year.


08: PSY and MC Hammer, (“Gangnam Style”) – American Music Awards 2012

Definitely the biggest song worldwide this 2012, Gangnam Style by Korean singer PSY has been literally everywhere the past few months. From CNN to the Europe Music Awards, it was also the most overperformed song of the year. What makes this number a stand out among all the endless versions of this is that it has MC Hammer in it. It can be credited as a number of one hit wonders, but I’m sure everyone was up their feet during this closing number at the American Music Awards.

christina aguilera

07: Christina Aguilera, (“At Last”) – Etta James Funeral

It was January of 2012 when we  lost one of the many music legends the past year. Etta James, more known as the singer of classics such as At Last and I’d Rather Be Blind, passed away due to a hepatitis C. Of course, there’s no one more fitting to perform her instant classic than one of the best vocals of the younger generation and a self proclaimed fan of the late Etta James herself, Christina Aguilera. Christina belted out At Last in true Etta fashion, and leaking spray tan issues aside, this performance got a standing ovation even before it ended.

jessica sanchez jennifer holliday

06: Jessica Sanchez and Jennifer Holliday, (“And I am Telling You I’m Not Going”) – American Idol Season 11 Finale

Despite the fact that Jessica Sanchez wasn’t crowned the Idol title during its eleventh season, this goosebumps performance of her and one of her most vocal fans, Tony winner and Broadway legend Jennifer Holliday, of the iconic diva song And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going sent shivers all over the world. It was one thing to do a number of it, but it’s another to diva-off with the original singer herself. Now if only they invited Jennifer Hudson as well, all roofs would have been blown after that performance.

The Voice

05: Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green, and Christina Aguilera, (“Hallelujah”) – The Voice Finale Performance Night

The aftermath of the Connecticut shootings left the whole world in shock, but more so, in tears. Thus, it was expected that all shows would pay tribute to the countless lives that we lost there. Probably the best tribute that I’ve seen was the two minute version of Hallelujah by the four The Voice coaches. Together with the rest of the finalists (both eliminated and not), hosts Carson Daly and Christina Millian, each of them holds a name tag with the names of the victims of the shooting. Then we’d hear Adam Levine, Blake Shelton, CeeLo Green, and Christina Aguilera belt out this Leonard Cohen classic. It was simple, heartfelt, and I bet there’s not a dry eye in the room that night.


04: Adele, (“Rolling in the Deep”) – Grammy Awards 2012

Yes, we’ve all heard that she was under operation because of too much smoking during the last year of 2011. But like a true pro, you know that we’d still hear that voice back. And there’s no better way than to showcase it to the world with a performance of her Grammy winning song Rolling in the Deep at the Grammy Awards itself. Not only was she the Queen of Grammys that night (winning a perfect six trophies out of six nominations), but this performance received a long standing ovation with everyone from Rihanna to Sir Paul McCartney cheering for her.

Spice Girls

03: Spice Girls, (“Wanna Be/Spice Up Your Life”) – 2012 Olympics Closing Ceremony

90s kids, represent!!!! London did a really good job hosting the Olympics this year with their showstopping opening and closing ceremonies. What takes the cake though is the reunion performance of the Spice Girls doing a medley of Wanna Be and Spice Up Your Life on top of cars as they go around the huge stadium. It might take a long time before we see this again, so I guess we’d have to cherish this performance as if it’s the last.

Jennifer Hudson

02: Jennifer Hudson, (“I Will Always Love You”) – Grammy Awards 2012

A day before the actual Grammy Awards ceremony, the whole world was stunned when news broke out that The Voice herself Whitney Houston passed away. That’s probably the most difficult thing to hear on a day before music’s biggest night. So with no time left to do a tribute, it was just a simple number. But Oscar and Grammy winner Jennifer Hudson made sure that it will be a tribute that will never be forgotten. Just Whitney’s picture, a mic stand, and her soaring vocals in one of the most popular songs ever, Whitney definitely was smiling up from the heavens after this performance.

Bridgestone Super Bowl XLVI Halftime Show

01: Madonna (with LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, MIA, and Ceelo Green), (“Vogue, Music, Party Rock Anthem, Sexy and I Know It, Gimme All Your Luvin, Like a Prayer”) – Superbowl 2012 Halftime Show

And let’s all bow down to The Queen. Proving that she is still a force to be reckoned with, Queen of Pop Madonna showed all these artists how it’s actually done when she performed at the halftime of the Superbowl this February. With matching visual floors and coming from a throne, there’s no entertainer more fitting to do this year’s job than Madonna. Singing a medley of her most prominent hits from Vogue to Music to Like a Prayer, and inviting friends like LMFAO, Nicki Minaj, MIA, and CeeLo Green, this fourteen minute performance is nothing but a showstopper, all provided to you by Madonna herself.

What were your favorite performances from the list? Did you think I missed something? Pipe them in below at the Comments section.

And as always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

2012: The Year in Lead Actresses   7 comments

2012 lead actresses

Hey there everyone! And Happy New Year once again from Tit for Tat! 😀

There’s no better way to kick off 2013 with a blog post that covers a topic awards prognosticators love the most: BEST ACTRESS. The past few days, I have been covering acting performances in local cinema, and we’ve already tackled supporting actressessupporting actors and lead actors. To complete the list, here’s my coverage of lead actress.


There’s no better person more fitting to begin this coverage with the one and only Superstar herself Nora Aunor. After years of absence in local filmmaking scene, she is back with Brillante Mendoza’s Thy Womb as midwife Shaleha who wants to grant her husband’s wish of having a child. Aside from La Aunor, Gina Alajar‘s role as the matriarch in Adolf Alix’s Mater Dolorosa gives her a huge possibility to have an awards comeback as well. A pair of Kapamilya actresses can find themselves contending at different award giving bodies: Angel Locsin will definitely be nominated either for her role as the sultry Princess in Unofficially Yours though my bet is she’ll get nods  for her role as a mother who will do anything for her son in the MMFF entry One More Try. Bea Alonzo‘s most mature performance to date as the title role in Olivia Lamasan’s The Mistress can reap some nods as well. As for the fifth spot, a consecutive visit at award giving bodies is plausible for veteran actress Shamaine Buencamino, this time, for her comedic turn in Loy Arcenas’s Requieme.


Aside from the five names above, other noteworthy lead actress performances the past year were from Jodi Sta. Maria as the newest member of Adoracion Convent in Aparisyon, Pokwang as another mother who sacrificied as an OFW in the US in A Mother’s Story, and French actress Isabelle Huppert having the most vital role in Brillante Mendoza’s Berlin entry Captive. Vilma Santos can get in based on name status alone for her movie last year, The Healing, while Lauren Young as the psycho best friend of Maxene Magalona in Catnip can break through the awards circuit too. Other performances that gained buzz this year were Cinemalaya Best Actress winner Ama Quiambao in Diablo, Erich Gonzales who is in search of her sister in Manila in Mariposa sa Hawla ng Gabi, Veronica Santiago who plays the charming  title role in Pascalina, LJ Reyes who resorted to being the town prostitute in Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino, and Judy Ann Santos as the owner of the diary in Mga Mumunting Lihim.


As for the rest of the race, there’s also Anne Curtis, not as the other woman, in A Secret Affair, the pair of Fe GingGing Hyde and Glorypearl Dy trying to escape in Ang Paglalakbay ng Mga Bituin ng Gabing Madilim, Mylene Dizon as the other nun in Aparisyon, and Cinema One Originals Best Actress Mara Lopez in Palitan. There’s also the performances of Erich Gonzales as the unang aswang in Corazon: Ang Unang Aswang, Angelica Panganiban as the naive Majoy in Every Breath U Take,  and real life sisters Assunta and Alessandra de Rossi in Baybayin. Lastly, Angel Aquino can also see herself nominated either for her performance as the torn mother in Amorosa: The Revenge or as the reporter who everybody thought was dead in Biktima.

That’s it. Who are your bets this year? Are you excited for the coming award giving bodies? I sure am! 🙂

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

2012 Weirdest Search Entries on my Blog   3 comments

Being a blog owner, one of the small yet funny perks is seeing what viewers are searching when they’re visiting your page. Usually, it’s the keywords to the current movie reviews or more specific ones including the name of the actors in it. However, here are 12 of the weirdest items that they tried to look for in my blog:


scott nails naked

In case you are not aware, Scott Nails is a pornstar. And I knew that by searching it up on Google after seeing that nine people tried to search him on my blog. How in the world did people thought I’ll have Scott Nails naked in my blog is beyond me.


mga larawan ni daniel padilla

Last time I checked, I’m not Google Images? In fairness, the search is specific and complete. Sadly for these nine people, I don’t have pictures of Daniel Padilla in my blog.


jude law's teeth

First, I’m no teeth expert. Second, what’s up with Jude Law specifically? His set of teeth is the only one I’ve seen being searched in my blog. Hmm.


buod ng enteng ng ina mo

Possible title for the next sequel?


edele adarna

I simply don’t know her. Is she the lovechild of Adele and Ellen Adarna? Is she the one responsible for Someone Like You? 😦


ang saya ng dalawang kaliwang paa

I’m really happy for them. Kung ano man ang dahilan kung bakit ang SAYA ng dalawang kaliwang paa, then so be it. 🙂


naked gifs

I’m sorry but I can’t help you with this one.

05. TITS


It only occurred to me now that having a blog name of TIT for TAT might actually confuse people into thinking this is a porn site. That might be the case for these people searching tits of different actresses. If you’re into statistics, Cristine Reyes’s tits is the most searched in my blog.


aiai delas alas boobs

…and it all went downhill from there.



I really don’t know where to start with this one. And to think there are two separate results searching for the same thing.


mocha uson butas

I don’t think I’ve specifically written anything about Mocha Uson since I started my blog. And what butas are they referring here?


ryan gosling naked

What’s shocking with this one is the number of search entries it had. A thousand plus posts! I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned having a naked Ryan Gosling on my blog. That’s weird. Hahahaha.

Posted December 31, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in 2012 Year End Lists, Lists

12 Best Local Shows of 2012   7 comments

Local television in 2012 have been filled with star studded primetime dramas, variety specials, and more interesting shows to watch to. With every personality trying to get a TV gig nowadays, it’s safe to say that TV is indeed one of the most powerful form of message delivery these days. For 2012, these are the shows that took top honors:

Showbiz Inside Report

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Hosts: Ogie Diaz, Carmina Villaroel, Janice de Belen, Joey Marquez | Saturdays, 3:00-4:00 PM

This Saturday showbiz oriented program of ABSCBN is different from the usual fare of tsismis related shows nowadays. It does not need guests on its studio just to discuss something. Each host usually does canned and a long interview that tackles beyond the usual promoting questions that personalities are usually asked. It also does not hurt that the four hosts have charming rapport with one another and that the audience can be a part of the discussion via Facebook and Twitter.

Luv U

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11. LUV U (ABSCBN 2)
Cast: Miles Ocampo, Kiray Celis, Igi Boy Flores, Marco Gumabao | Sundays, 3:15-4:00 PM

Usually the time slot for teen dramas, the usual 4PM Saturday barkadahan show has shifted to the Sunday 3PM slot, and there’s no better show to represent it than ABSCB’s Luv U. Unlike previous shows, it does not go beyond the usual teens acting as mature dramas that past youth oriented programs tried to depict. This one is very tongue in cheek, light, and fun, and that’s where the show’s strength lies.


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Host: Charo Santos-Concio | Saturdays, 8:00-9:30 PM

The only one who made the list for the second consecutive year, the longest running drama anthology in Asia is still far and away one of the best showcases not only of acting performances but some of the most interesting stories as well. This year alone we saw the award winning Kamao with a boxer Coco Martin, Edgar Allan Guzman as a gay student wanting to be a seaman in Bangkakng Papel, and my personal favorite, the Angel Aquino-Jane Oineza starrer Manika about a young girl’s cursed beauty.

Himala Ngayon

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Premiered: December 9, 2012

Premiering as a special documentary on Sunday’s Best, this documentary by Sari Dalena and Keith Sicat about the behind the scenes details of what is arguably the best film in local cinema, Ishmael Bernal’s Himala was premiered to local viewers nationwide. It is just fitting that this was the year they showed it after the restoration of the film in its 30th anniversary. Watching this documentary was such a blast and I’m not sure it’s not just the cinpehiles and the Noranians who enjoyed this.

Pinoy Adventures

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Host: Richard Gutierrez | Saturdays, 6:00-6:45 PM | May 13, 2012 – September 29, 2012

Despite the show being canceled now, it was still a blast to see Richard Gutierrez travel all around the country to find the most engaging activities and learn more about the cultures of different provinces in the Philippines. From Palawan to Bukidnon and from Surigao del Norte to Bicol, we witnessed interesting things that’s why it’s sad that it only lasted for a season.

Dolphy Alay Tawa

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When the Comedy King passed last July, it is given that the whole showbiz industry regardless of network, genre, and age will mourn as we all lost an icon. One good thing that came out of it was this joint benefit concert that featured talents from the three biggest stations in the country. Simultaneously broadcasted over at ABSCBN, TV5, and GMA, history was definitely made this time around.


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Host: technically, nobody | Fridays, 11:00 PM

Now nearing its fifth year on air and with almost 300 episode under its belt, Storyline has maintained its quality given the range of the theme of its episodes. Headlined by the tandem of Patricia Evangelista and Paolo Villaluna, this weekly documentary shows gives much of the thinking and realizing part to its audience rather than spoon feeding them about it. We need more of this in local television, but I’m also thankful that we have at least there’s one that already exists.

Inside the Cinema

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05. INSIDE THE CINEMA (Cinema One)
Host: Boy Abunda | Every first Tuesday of the month, 7PM

This informative movie talk show is probably the closest one that we’ll have in terms of tackling the different experiences of important people in the film industry with their past efforts. Think of  Brillante Mendoza discussing the moment before he was announced to be the Cannes Best Director or Amy Austria discussing her disappointment with her Bubbles film, this discusses moments in movie making that are too good to be true. And for this year alone, Boy Abunda got the likes of Cesar Montano, Gina Alajar, and Nora Aunor to discuss what’s inside the cinema.

Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho

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Host: Jessica Soho | Sundays, 7:30-9:00 PM

Just this year alone, this magazine shows has picked up awards from the PMPC Star Awards for Television, PMAP Makatao Awards for Media Excellence, USTv Student Choice Awards, Gawad Tanglaw Awards, and even the 6th Hildegarde Awards for Women in Media & Communication. Need I say more? Jessica Soho’s covered topics range from really anything and everything under the sun, and that’s what makes the show fresh when you watch it every single week.


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Premiered: November 24, 2012

Probably the celebrity wedding of the year, there’s no better way to be a part of it than by watching how this fairy tale unfolds right before our eyes. And by the time that the couple has exchanged their I Do’s already, there’s literally not a single dry eye in the room.

Walang Hanggan

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Cast: Coco Martin, Julia Montes, Paulo Avelino, Richard Gomez, Dawn Zulueta | January 16-October 26, 2012

Probably the year’s biggest primetime drama, this ABSCBN soap opera that included three generations of actors in it from veterans like Susan Roces and Helen Gamboa to the likes of Richard Gomez and Dawn Zulueta up to the next in line such as Coco Martin and Julia Montes, Walang Hanngan has been both a critical and commercial success during its ten-month run. The show has been the most widely watched and has left a lot of pop culture references in it. It will definitely go down as one of the most prominent TV dramas in soap opera history.

Be Careful with My Heart

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Cast: Jodi Sta. Maria, Richard Yap | Mondays-Fridays, 11:15 AM – 12:00 NN

And probably the biggest surprise in local television this year is Be Careful with My Heart. Thinking about it, this is the little show that could. And it actually did! But given more time to think, there is no surprise why this certainly hooked to all demographics. This simple tale of an optimistic young lass who aims to be a flight stewardess yet ends up as a household maid captured the hearts of the whole country with its natural and positive approach. This show proves that a program does not need a major villain for people to watch it. And it does not need a young loveteam for it to actually work. And with that, I say kapit bisig!

That’s it! What are your favorite shows in local boob tube? Pipe them in the Comments section! 🙂

And as always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

2012: The Year in Lead Actors   1 comment

2012 lead actors

Hey everyone! We’re still continuing the yearend lists over here at Tit for Tat. Aside from that, we’re also doing the recap of the movie performances in local cinema the past year. The past two days, we gave the focus to the supporting actresses and supporting actors. It’s time to move now to the leading categories. For this day, we’d give the spotlight to the men and tackle the Best Actor category. Like what I said, these are possible choices from all the award giving bodies this year from mainstream to indie and those that can cross-over in between. Let’s begin!


Probably the strongest contender in this category for this year is acting legend Eddie Garcia as he adds another memorable turn for his role as the old gay man living with his dog in Bwakaw. His competition this year might skew to much younger actors though as there have been lots of good awards-bait performances this year such as the likes of Dingdong Dantes‘ MMFF winning performance in One More Try, Coco Martin‘s indie comeback as the father who found the remains of his daughter in Santa Nina, Jericho Rosales as the single parent whose son gone missing in Alagwa, and JM de Guzman as the mussel diver in the title role Intoy Syokoy ng Kalye Marino.


As for the other lead roles in contention, award giving bodies might also throw a bone to Arnold Reyes as the loyal driver who was caught in the middle in his Congressman employer in the Tribeca hit Graeland, awards staple John Lloyd Cruz might get some nominations as well for his performance opposite Bea Alonzo in The Mistress or for his movie with Angel Locsin, Unofficially Yours.  Scene stealing Archie Alemania should hear his name be read especially at the Comedy Best Actor of the Golden Screen Awards for his role in Cinema One Original entry Slumber Party. And in a surprising turn of events, we’d have a battle of two heroes this year in the Best Actor category: Alfred Vargas as Andres Bonifacio in Richard Somes’ Supremo and ER Ejercito as Emilio Aguinaldo in the MMFF entry El Presidente.

Cinemalaya movies also produced a lot of worthy Best Actor turns such as the winning performance of Kristoffer King in Oros, Pen Medina in Kamera Obskura, Dominic Roco‘s Gibson in Ang Nawawala, and Thai actor playing lone soldier Ananda Everingham in Kalayaan. Casting issues (from Cinemalaya) aside, Allan Paule‘s fantastic turn in Emerson Reyes’s MNL 143 can possibly reap nominations as well.


Other lead actor contenders that might are still in the race are Dennis Trillo in the title role of Ang Katiwala, Cinema One Originals Best Actor winner Alex Medina in Palitan, newbie actor Gerry Adeva as the title role in Mamay Umeng, Allen Dizon in Joel Lamangan’s drama Migrante, and the most intelligent and uptight of the three gay friends Markki Stroem in Slumber Party. Among mainstream movies, one can also consider Derek Ramsey in A Secret Affair, Aga Muhlach in Of All The Things, Piolo Pascual in Every Breath U Take, Enchong Dee in The Strangers, and Vice Ganda in either This Guy’s in Love With U Mare or Sisterakas.

That’s it. Last part of the acting spotlight tomorrow with everybody’s favorite category: Best Actress!

As always, you can follow me on Twitter: @nikowl

30 Best Songs of 2012   Leave a comment

Yesterday was about fashion (Part 2 of the Best Red Carpet looks two days from now!) , but today’s focus will be on the music. Music in 2012 has been a transitional stage. While we still get the likes of club bangers, the music industry has been more welcoming in embracing alternative and electronica music as well. That of course, and the usual pop fare we had.

cover photo

The eight songs above are the past songs which the topped my list since I started doing them back in 2004. Which one will take the top spot this year? Will Usher finally have a guy companion on the list? Moving from Gangnam Style and Starships aside, here’s thirty of the stand out songs of the year.


30. NOW IS THE START (A Fine Frenzy)
Album: Pines

Alison Sudol, more familiarly knows as A Fine Frenzy has been in the industry since 2006, but I don’t think a lot of people are still familiar with her music. While her genres cover pop-rock the most, I think listening to Now is the Start will give you an idea with her musical direction, and this song is a perfect representative of that.

29. TONIGHT (John Legend featuring Ludacris)
Album: OST – Think Like A Man

While most of John Legend’s recent outputs are with The Roots, he never lost touch using his jazzy voice that are perfect for romance time music. This one, a collaboration with Ludacris, can be inluded to that list.

28. I WON’T GIVE UP (Jason Mraz)
Album: Love is a Four Letter Word

While he won’t probably achieve success that is similar to the longevity of his song I’m Yours had, it’s perfectly fine especially if he’s spewing hits such as this romantic song I Won’t Give Up which was the carrier single of his latest album.

Album: Take the Heartland

Best well known for that romantic song with then girlfriend Marketa Iglove, Oscar winner Glen Hansard is back releasing EPs and singles such as Talking with the Wolves which is a perfect contrast to the genius that is Falling Slowly.

26. LEVELS (Avicii)
Album: The Singles

Swedish DJ Avicii broke into a more commercial fare this year, thanks to his song Levels which took a sample from the famous Etta James song “Something’s Got a Hold On Me.” There’s no better promotion than this than being heard worldwide when it as used as the song during the Swimsuit Competition of Miss Universe this year.


Album: Unbroken

The follow up to her inspirational song Skyscraper, Demi Lovato’s next single Give Your Heart a Break was a catchy pop single that reminds us of late 90s pop music. Well done, Demi!

24. FREEDOM AT 21 (Jack White)
Album: Blunderbuss

While his Grammy nomination for Blunderbuss as Album of the Year was a surprise, it is definitely not surprising to think that it contains the rock track Freedom at 21 which is one of the songs of the past year.

23. ANYTHING COULD HAPPEN (Ellie Goulding)
Album: Halycon

While the US is lately catching up on Lights (which was released two years ago), Ellie’s first single from her latest album Halycon, Anything Could Happen is as catchy as one can get, and definitely worth to be heard by many.

22. VIDEO GAMES (Lana del Rey)
Album: Born to Die

Probably one of the weirdest instances of Saturday Night Live ruining your career (hey there, Ashlee Simpson!), Lana del Rey was next in line for stardom but that just didn’t happen. Regardless though, the quality of her music deserves a second chance especially with songs such as Video Games.

21. ADORN (Miguel)
Album: Kaleidoscope Dream

 Considered as the biggest R&B hit of the year, Miguel’s Adorn definitely deserves the accolades it received such as the Grammy Song of the Year. If anything, Miguel’s songs are perfect throwback to the old R&B, and this is no exception.


20. JUST A FOOL (Christina Aguilera featuring Blake Shelton)
Album: Lotus

It’s quite saddening to know that Christina Aguilera’s latest album did not do well commercially thinking that it had some great gems in it such as this collaboration with fellow The Voice coach Blake Shelton. In Just a Fool, Christina showed potentials of going the country route which will probably work well for her career.

19. DAREDEVIL (Fiona Apple)
Album: The Idler Wheel

Fiona rarely does albums, but when she does, you know it’s worth the long wait. From her latest album The Idler Wheel, this track entitled daredevil is one of the standout tracks.

18. SAFE & SOUND (The Civil Wars featuring Taylor Swift)
Album: OST – The Hunger Games

When she’s not singing about heartbreaks and boys, Taylor Swift can do much better such as this T-Bone Burnett produced song that was recorded as a collaboration with fellow country acts The Civil Wars. Safe and Sound perfectly captured the environment created in the world of The Hunger Games.

17. OVER YOU (Miranda Lambert)
Album: Four the Record

From one country superstar to another, Miranda Lambert donned back to back great albums with her follow up Four the Record. This CMA Song of the Year winner, which was dedicated to Blake Shelton’s younger brother, was sung so emotionally by Miranda that it transcends to its listeners effectively.

16. TAKE CARE (Rihanna featuring Drake)|
Album: Take Care

Rihanna and Drake’s collaborations are always top notch. In 2010, I ranked their first collaboration What’s My Name at number 7. The second time they did it, this time for Drake’s album, is a perfect song that captures the status of an optimistic relationship. There’s something about this ex couple’s songs that works well.


15. DIAMONDS (Rihanna)
Album: Unapologetic

When will this girl srsly take a rest? While waiting, we’d have to admit that this first single off her seventh album Unapologetic, was real LSS worthy. The Sia penned track Diamonds also showed improvement in her vocal abilities. But again, rest please?

14. ANGELS (The xx)
Album: Coexist

From their sophomore album Coexist, this English indie band’s first single Angels was reminiscent of some Norah Jones melody, only this time, with a three man band performing.

13. TRY (P!nk)
Album: The Truth About Love

Pop superstar Pink has just came up with her best album date, and as she effectively switches from tongue in cheek songs such as Blow Me One Last Kiss, she’s also capable of giving us worthy tracks such as Try that shows her powerhouse vocals.

12. I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE (Taylor Swift)
Album: Red

Bash her all you want, but this dubstep inspired song from Taylor Swift definitely shows that she can be creative with her approach in music even if the lyrics remain about moving on (or lack thereof).

11. LONELY BOY (The Black Keys)
Album: El Camino

The lead single off their Grammy nominated album El Camino, Lonely Boy was a clear representation of the different influences had that results to this catchy distinctive sound in the song.


10. HO HEY (The Lumineers)
Album: The Lumineers

Giving the current trend of folk pop in it, The Lumineers are one of the year’s breakthrough acts, thanks to their lead single Ho Hey which garnered both critical and commercial success.

09. MERCY (Kanye West)
Album: Cruel Summer

Kanye West’s celebrity status (he’s dating Kim Kardashian after all) can be really annoying, but the same can’t be said for the music that he releases. With the help of fellow rap artists Big Sean, Pusha T, and 2 Chainz, this song Mercy is probably the best rap effort of the year.

Album: Matangi

Her first and so far, solo single, for her latest effort Matangi, Bad Girls was part hypnotic, part bad ass, and the infused Indian sounds in the beginning already had you hooked. Plus points for that awesome music video.

07. HOME (Phillip Phillips)
Album: The World from the Side of the Moon

Just when we’re ready to erase American Idol from the planet, here comes latest winner Phillip Phillips doing a Mumford & Sons inspired song as his coronation single. In the eleven years that the show existed, Home is the best song that they have ever given to a winner.

06. SKYFALL (Adele)
Album: OST – Skyfall

2011 champ Adele might not be as visible as last year (though she picked up six Grammys earlier this year), but she donned one of the best Bond soundtracks ever in history via the same titled Skyfall. Trivia: Adele asked and read the whole script of the movie first before penning the song with constant collaborator Paul Epworth.


05. WE ARE YOUNG (fun featuring Janelle Monae)
Album: Some Nights

We Are Young which was fun’s debut single was one of the pioneers on the abolished domination of the clubbangers from the Billboard Hot 100 this year. After all, who wouldn’t get hooked to this song? Even Emma Watson and Kristen Stewart were jamming to it.

Album: Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming

M83 is on their sixth album already, and yes, even I wasn’t aware of them prior to this one, but this catchy Midnight City (which inspired Christina Aguilera’s Lotus Intro) with it’s  really memorable riff in it is definitely one of the year’s bests.

03. PYRAMIDS (Frank Ocean)
Album: Channel Orange

Probably the best new act this year, Frank Ocean’s smooth vocals were just to die for. This is the voice of classic R&B that made it really famous. While Thinking of You is the one getting recognition left and right, I’d still prefer the underrated Pyramids as his best effort from his breakthrough album.

02. THE A TEAM (Ed Sheeran)
Album: +

Not that he needs Taylor Swift just to boost of his popularity, but Ed Sheeran is a talent act of his own. This young Brit (just 21!) is already making a name for himself prior to the Swift collaboration and was even one of the performers at this year’s Olympics. Ultimately, his A Team song got the recognition it deserved as it got a nod for Song of the Year. And deservingly so.

01. SOMEBODY THAT I USED TO KNOW (Gotye featuring Kimbra)
Album: Making Mirrors

And in the end, my pick as 2012’s song of the year is this collaboration between Gotye and Kimbra.  Somebody That I Used to Know starting from its sampled beat in the beginning up to its repetitive lyrics in the near end is an appealing track of its own. While Gotye being a one hit one wonder is on an issue of its own, I’d still defend this as the song of this year.

Now I ask you, what are your picks for this year? How about the year of music in general? And what are you expecting this 2013?

Posted December 29, 2012 by Nicol Latayan in 2012 Year End Lists, Lists, Music