Bits and Snippets of the Philippines

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Viber’s Philippine Independence Day Biggest Event Ever

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I first started using Viber last year using my Nokia Lumia with Windows Phone operating system. After downloading the app, I took it for granted, ignored those who started messaging me, both known friends and strangers, and thought of the app as something I could do without. Then, something happened. My former and present customers, friends from all parts of the world and people I haven’t even shared a Facebook message started messaging and calling me. “Hey! This is better than Skype!”

I stopped accepting invitations with Skype simply because the profile of a total stranger wanting to connect to me isn’t complete. Who the heck is that guy? But Viber syncs the mobile phone number to the profile and often times has a face to reckon with. That’s as simple as why I stuck it out with Viber. Not having an LTE phone means my data connectivity sometimes sucks. So, I downloaded Viber Desktop on my laptop which is usually on 70% of an entire day, everyday.

Viber it is.

#VIbeOnePH announcement was held at TGI Friday’s in Bonifacio High Street.

I was invited to attend an announcement event by Viber Philippines, led by its Country Manager Crystal Lee, regarding its upcoming Philippine Independence Day celebration entitled as a hashtag, #OneVibePH. Happening the day before independence day (yes, that’s June 11 for those who just woke up) and to be held at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds, this big event aims to integrate Philippine culture, music, artistry and food into today’s ever-changing modern times.

Headlining the event are international artists with Filipino roots like (yes, of the Black Eyed Peas for those who just woke up) and Filipino-Dutch DJ Laidback Luke. But according to Viber, Driven Manila and Eventscape, the main acts are our local music artists like Mars Miranda, Motherbasss and Funk Avy. The latter is someone familiar to me – I see Funk Avy at the bars I’ve gone or go to, I follow him at his social media and music site accounts, and he’s a good friend of good friends Franchelle Oliva and DJ Rico Arce, popular hosts of 71 Gramercy, Imperial Ice Bar, Haze, Prive, Urbn and so much more.

“After the success of #Viberacay which dominated the island of Boracay during the Labor Day weekend, Viber wishes to celebrate Philippine Independence Day (because of the) 13 million Viber subscribers (in the country).” It’s like asking all its Viber customers to come to one 12-hour day of partying.

With Viber Philippines Country Manager Crystal Lee.

Not to mention 12 prime bars and clubs will be closed on that Wednesday to take part in celebrating with six DJs and thousands of the 13 million Viber customers nationwide in one epic Viber event. Which are these bars and clubs that will shutdown for one night? These are Aracama, Dillingers, The Distillery, Haze, Hyve, Imperial Ice Bar, Prive, Prohibition, Republiq, Skye, Time and Urbn. Talk about an awesome event that has premier bars and clubs rooting with Viber.

According to their announcement, entrances at the Concert Grounds will open at 4:00 PM and the party will probably end by 4:00 AM. If you are 18 years of age but look younger than that, it’s best to bring a valid ID as only those with authorized wrist bands will be allowed to buy beer for 1 Peso. Yep, beer for a buck!

Tickets are priced at P1,000 for Patron tickets and P500 for students and Viber users. If you are a Viber user, just Viber Message 0911-VIBERPH using the hashtag #OneVibePH to get a promo code which you can use when purchasing online. Tickets are available through SM Tickets at (02) 470-2222 or and through Ticketworld at 891-9999 or

WooHoo Wednesday it is! As my friend Franchelle would say!

Image poster by Viber Philippines. Photos by @raffypekson.


Lea Salonga Part of World-renown Artists for Benefit Concert

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“After the Storm” is a benefit concert for those in the Philippines affected by last year’s devastating typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda. Directed by Asian-American actress, singer, dancer, choreographer, theatre director, and author Baayork Lee, and produced by Robert Pullen, English theologian and official of the Roman Catholic Church, often considered to be one of the founders of Oxford University. In cooperation with the Philippine Embassy in the Washington, D.C., the US-Philippine Society and the Philippine Humanitarian Coalition.

The concert will be held on Sunday, June 15, 2014, at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall in Washington D.C., and will feature Tony and Olivier awardee Lea Salonga who was one of the first to confirm her participation. Joining Salonga is American actor Lou Diamond Philips, Grammy Award winner, American tenor Rodell Rosel, principal dancer Christine Rocas, Grammy violinist Joshua Bell, and Glee superstar Darren Criss. Joining this roster of performing artists are the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and the Broadway Community Chorus.

The official website for this benefit concert is

For ticket sales and more information, you may contact (202) 467-4600 or go to


Photo from Lea Salonga.