Viva grooms Via Ortega as next pop star

Viva grooms Via Ortega as next pop star

Dwein Baltazar, Best Director and Best Screenplay winner at this year’s FAMAS Awards, is at the helm of the iWant series “Past, Present, Perfect” which stars Loisa Andalio, Shaina Magdayao and Vin Abrenica.

The digital series’ debut on iWant last week trended on Twitter, has since earned praises, and has been recommended by netizens because of its nostalgia-inducing and relatable story and the performances of the cast.

Direk Dwein shared that her first job was as PA (Production Assistant) in an advertising company. “I won’t say na pangit na pangyayari iyon of my past. Pero iniiyakan ko ‘yung nagxe-xerox ng bulto-bultong papel. I won’t say na pangit na bahagi iyon ng buhay ko. But I must say na naging inspiration dahil naisip ko na later on I might become successful as well,” she related.

Direk Dwein said she even worked as a secretary in Malacanang until an opportunity was opened to become a stylist for films and this led to her getting a break to become a screenwriter and a director.

“It would not be nice kung sasabihin ko na pangit ang naging pagsisimula ko as a PA pero I guess there is a reason why that happened. At least, I am now in a different field and I am happy where I am.”

The first four episodes of “Past, Present, Prefect?” are already streaming for free on iWant while the next episodes will drop today. Download the iWant app on iOS or Android or register via iwant.ph.


New Viva recording artist Via Ortega had a media launch for her debut single titled “Paghanga.”

The talented 13-year-old is being groomed to become a pop star by her home studio. Among her idols is Pop Star Sarah Geronimo, whom Via bears some resemblance to her idol.

Via has been taking voice lessons since she was three years old. But she has yet to experience joining a singing contest. Viva believes she has the potential to become a major singing star if given the right break.

She was cast as the lead character in the school musical “Fina and The Vitas.

Via’s “Paghanga” is now out on Spotify, Apple Music and other digital streaming platforms.


Film director Petersen Vargas’ second feature project “Some Nights I Feel Like Walking” has been selected for this year’s Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors Hub program in Switzerland.

Established 17 years ago, the Open Doors Hub Program is Locarno Film Festival’s industry sidebar. Directors and producers with projects chosen for the program will be mentored and will have the opportunity to network with potential international distributors and partners. This year, the co-production platform will present eight promising projects from Southeast Asia for international collaborations.

The Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP), the country’s film agency, takes pride in the honor brought to the country by Vargas and his team.

“We are focused on encouraging our Philippine filmmakers and talents to go international now more than ever, and Locarno’s Open Doors Hub gives our filmmakers and their projects the platform to make this goal happen. We are very proud of Petersen, and we wish them all the best in looking for potential international collaborators during the program to realize his project into film,” said FDCP Chairperson and CEO Mary Liza Diño.

Vargas’ coming-of-age debut feature “2 Cool 2 Be 4gotten” won best picture at Cinema One Originals Film Festival 2016. “Some Nights I Feel Like Walking” is part of the five projects that are selected for the third edition of the Southeast Asia Fiction (SEAFIC) Film Lab, an intensive script development lab for Southeast Asian filmmakers, making him the Lab’s first Filipino participant.

“Some Nights I Feel Like Walking” is co-produced by Jade Castro and Alemberg Ang. The film project is currently in the pre-production stage.

In the Director’s Note, Vargas said, “My second film aims at being a portrait of a nation (and of a city, homeland, people) as seen through its outskirts and shadows. To walk Manila by night is a revelatory peek into Filipino youth on the fringes of society.”

The Locarno Film Festival’s Open Doors Hub runs from August 7 to 13, while the 72nd Locarno Film Festival takes place from August 7 to 17. It is one of the longest-running and most prestigious film festivals in the world that showcases arthouse films.