Seira Briones: Young Social Media Personality Breaks Through

Seira Briones e-card small size


Social media, in this case Facebook, is an incubator for stars. That’s the case with young Seira Briones, who for some reason has got over a million followers on the popular social media platform. This writer can’t fathom how a 15-year old girl would become a star on Facebook, but perhaps it’s not the how, and more of, why someone like Seira is popular on social media.

She’s photogenic that’s for sure, and there are enough posted pictures of her to prove it. That alone can explain why boys in and around the same age as her become fan boys. But would that be enough? Maybe she’s fashionable? Somewhat, but not entirely. Maybe she poses timely, relevant posts? Perhaps.

But not long after she posted her first few videos on her FB account, TV shows by Jessica Soho and Korina Sanchez were already calling her up for a feature. This led to an even bigger exposure and before she knew it, she was a certified social media sensation. Seira put it simply. “One of my FB posts was on TV and that did it.”

A million followers after, she was on Viva’s radar. But it was through her mom’s friend that she got introduced to the veteran entertainment company. “I started just last year and that time I was studying in Japan.” A friend of Seira’s mom called and asked ‘gusto ba mag artista ng anak mo?’ And in turn Seira’s mom asked her. Seira said yes of course, but on the condition that she has to finish high school first. From there it was decided. Seira went back to Manila for an interview and audition with the artist management company. “Luckily Viva accepted me and I signed as contract that same day,” added Seira

Actually it wasn’t hard for the star maker outfit to like Seira. One executive said that Seira was “an uncomplicated teen and it was easy to like her.” It was a breeze to work with her too that it didn’t take long for her to record a song with Viva Records. The track, entitled “’Di Mo Lang Alam,” is Seira’s first foray into pop.

Listen “‘Di Mo Lang Alam” on Spotify at

“I’m very simple and friendly,” and “I like pop” chimed Seira.  So the music she implies, should be likewise. “’Di Mo Lang Alam” is an easy-listening number written by one Shim Inventor, and as Seira breaks it down to its simplest explanation, it is a tune about that place dreaded by all millenials, “Tt’s a song about being friendzoned.”

Operating outside of her comfort zone in the social media platform would different for Seira. And being a pop artist is a whole new stage. But how hard could it be for someone like Seira? If the million-plus followers of Seira would just stream her song on Spotify at the same time, or watch her official music video at least three times, then she’s golden.

Seira just laughs at this. She agrees that it is possible, but one of her to do’s in her list is more important.  “To become successful in showbiz is the ultimate goal for me, and hopefully with help from Viva. I’ll achieve it.”

“Di Mo Lang Alam” is streaming on Spotify and can be downloaded on iTunes.



Grand at 30: Regine Velasquez-Alcasid Celebrates Music Journey With Massive Triple Album

R30 presscon

2017 will definitely go down as a momentous year for Asia’s one and only Songbird. For it is this time that Regine Velasquez-Alcasid celebrates her thirtieth year in entertainment. Over a storied career, she has been a Box office queen, a hit variety show host, and a surefire concert draw among others. But everybody knows that Regine’s roots lies in music.

Or in songs to be exact. Over three decades worth of accolades wouldn’t have been possible without the platinum hits that Regine Velasquez popularized. So the Songbird thought it only fitting to mark the occasion in a way that is consistent to who she has been then and now.

This October, Regine will release an album entitled “R3.0” (read as R-three-point-oh) – a massive triple album release that will contain, sure enough, 30, primarily new recordings.

R3.0” is divided into three phases close to Regine’s history. “Renditions,” “Rise” and “Reflections.”

Renditions” is the obvious nod to one of Regine’s most successful excursions in pop, when she released the multi-platinum selling album “Covers” in the mid-2000’s. Fans have since been requesting RVA to do an album of covers, and finally it is here. Regine and her longtime label in Viva Records have already previewed this set with the release of RVA’s take on Up Dharma Down’s modern rock gem “Tadhana.” The song is but a sampling of course, as there nine more ‘covers’ in “Renditions” that Regine carefully picked and recorded, mainly as a treat for her legions of fans.


Rise” meanwhile, is an all-original affair. Here perhaps is the most exciting part of “R3.0” wherein RVA dishes new music. Ten original tracks to be exact. Bannered by the rising ballad “Hugot” – a song that is both a nod to Regine’s classic style and and update of what she can still do as a vocalist. The title itself thrusts RVA into the modern lexicon of the times. As for the rest, just the prospect of new music from Regine is truly an exciting thought for Pinoy pop music fans.


Finally, there’s “Reflections.” Basically, this part of “R3.0” is a newly woven tapestry of Regine’s most beloved hits. It is a re-recording of the songs closely associated with the Songbird. From her signature hits “You Are My Song,” “Kung Maibabalik Ko Lang” to her trademark “Dadalhin” to the anthemic “Isang Lahi” – all lovingly updated by Regine.

There are more surprises of course, like her duet with young son Nate in “I Can.” Or the recreation of “On The Wings Of Love” whose popularity people in this side of the world credit to Regine as much as they do to its original singer. There are more highlights of course, but then one has to listen and see this sprawling 3-CD album to appreciate it fully.

R3.0” is produced by Regine Velasquez-Alcasid and is under the Viva Records label of Vic del Rosario.

The album will be released on traditional compact disc albums and will also be available on popular music streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music and iTunes. Check out the Viva Records channel on YouTube for official “R3.0” music videos. 

OST, Pinoy Style

100 Tula Para Kay Stella Fan Girl Fan Boy with artist inset

Local films are back in a big way, in case you haven’t noticed. It took an out-of-the-box story like “Kita Kita,” which featured the unlikely but highly effective pairing of Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez, and the P300-plus million it earned at the tills, for producers to realize it’s okay for them to actually break from formulaic movie-making.

Also making a comeback is the original movie soundtrack or the OST. This is evidenced in the success of KZ Tandingan’s version of “Two Less Lonely People In The World” from “Kita Kita” which has topped the charts.

We are inclined to believe the same would work for “100 Tula Para Kay Stella” and its OST. The album features songs by Rivermaya covered by new acts.

First up is “Balisong,” delivered with aplomb by The Juans. They didn’t do much to the song except give it justice and that’s good enough.

Newcomer Janine Teñoso’s take on “241” exceeds expectation. The straight-up ballad version, highlighted by Teñoso’s occasional vocal histrionics, is not at all misplaced compared to the new wave-tinged original.

There are original numbers, too. “Kaya Natin ’Yan” by Bela Padilla is an upbeat pop rocker fueled by a go-get-em theme.

Padilla sings in character as Stella and it works. Not that we’re saying she shouldn’t attempt some singing out of character in the future, of course.

Then there’s singer-songwriter Caleb Santos with his original “I Need You More Today.” The track is a ballad imbued with some tasty blues rock-styled guitar work.

The “Fan Girl, Fan Boy” OST, meanwhile, is as pop as it gets.

The main track, titled “Isang Tingin,” is a delightful, electro-tinged track that is equal parts pop and dance.

Ditto “Tumalon,” which sounds as catchy. Those and a track each from Ella Cruz and Julian Trono, the groove-induced “Sabi Na Sa’Yo Eh,” and “Balang Araw,” respectively, fill up this pop-oriented OST.

The movie is yet to be released but based on the soundtrack, we bet it’s going be vibrant and energetic.

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Side-by-side comparison of male pop singers

Official Viva Records photo



(Published in Manila Bulletin August 15, 2017, 12:10 AM)

Who is the biggest solo male singer in the country today? There’s no easy answer to that as a lot of elements factor in. It’s easier to answer the same question back in the ’80s and ’90s with the likes of Martin Nievera and Gary Valenciano, among others, lording over the charts. Maybe it was less complicated then, too, with digital media still a generation away. Here, we compare promising talents to the “greats” that came before them, if not provide pegs for career paths.

Jeric Medina and Martin Nievera

Jeric earned notice when he, alongside the duo Thyro & Yumi, won top prize at Philpop 2015 with “Triangulo.” It took him awhile to capitalize on the momentum but Jeric is now out with a new single, the electro-pop tinged “Bale Wala.” The young singer was mentored by Nievera when he joined “X-Factor” so it only makes sense we compare the two. Like his mentor, Jeric’s got good vocal chops. While Martin has a robust, mid range-y voice that he can kick into high gear effortlessly, Jeric has a mid-range tone plus a falsetto that is just as steady. Martin may have the best songs courtesy of the best songwriters of his era but Jeric writes his own tunes. Given the right timing and the right material, Jeric could be the scene’s next hottest ticket.

Caleb Santos and Gary Valenciano

Caleb is a former member of the boy band XLR8. Comparing him to Gary V. is a tall order to say the least but Caleb’s only starting his career. Having seen him sing and dance with aplomb, we believe he can fashion himself in the mold of Gary V. In his current single “Nakaraan,” Caleb dabbles with 80’s sounding melodies impressively. It’s not quite Gary V-level yet but again, Caleb shows a lot of promise.

Jem Cubil and Randy Santiago

Jem entered public consciousness via “The Voice Philippines.” The Davao-based singer has since molded himself into an acoustic guitar-slinging, pop- rock singer in the vein of his idols Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol) and Jason Wade (Lighthouse).

We’re thinking Jem could be Randy Santiago-big. The be-shaded one had that strong band background going for him before he went solo, and somehow that “frontman” feel bled onto his solo work including as actor, TV host and director.

Jem could do well studying how Randy worked himself to the top.

Joseph Santos and Gino Padilla

Gino is a classic. He was an instant hit because he was mestizo, something many Pinoys love in their artistas. He ultimately proved he has the voice, too.

As vocalist, Gino has a distinct approach to singing so recognizable in his hits “Closer You & I” and “Gusto Kita.” In the looks department, Joseph, a 6 foot Fil-Am, could stand toe-to-toe with Gino. As singer, he’s off to a very good start as well with the mid-tempo pop track “Invincible.” Santos would do well to follow Gino’s example. Because we all know that good (pop) hooks and good looks always makes for an irresistible package.

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A quick one from Coldplay

By: Punch Liwanag

Published July 25, 2017, 12:15 AM


coldplay from their official facebook

Pegged as a companion piece to 2015’s “A Head Of Full Of Dreams,” Coldplay’s newly released “Kaleidoscope EP” is the 13th Extended Play album from the British band. It’s 25 minutes-worth of material – new songs and a live performance of a previously released tune – set to whet fans’ appetites for more from the band.

Named after one of the interlude tracks from their last album, “Kaleidoscope” opens with the slow-burning “All I Can Think About Is You.” Written by bassist Guy Berryman, guitarist Jonny Buckland, drummer Will Champion and singer-pianist-acoustic guitarist Chris Martin, the track is a pulsing, slow-to-mid tempo number that eventually rises and finishes with frenetic Brit Rock progressions.

Following suit is the dreamy “Miracles (Someone Special)” featuring American rapper Big Sean. It’s a caboodle of electro, pop, dance and rap that could’ve been part of the band’s previous album.

Coldplay’s last two CDs saw the band delving into pop and their fair share of collaboration with Rihanna, Beyoncé, Tove Lo, and Avicii. Reminding us all again of Coldplay’s predilection for picking out pop acts for collabs is a live take of the Coldplay-Chainsmokers jam “Something Just Like This” performed live in Tokyo, Japan.

Those pining for vintage Coldplay sounds will find “All I Can Think About Is You” satisfactory. It’s the slow-rising, intensity-building kind of song the band has mastered since their “Parachutes” days. “ALIENS” likewise has that classic Coldplay thump a’la “A Rush Of Blood To The Head.”

Wrapping up the set is the aptly titled “Hypnotised,” a glittery, piano-decked number that harkens to the alt-rock balladry and sonics that put Coldplay on the map years ago.

Tags: “Kaleidoscope”, A quick one from Coldplay, Audio Junkie, Chris Martin, Coldplay, Jonny Buckland, Manila Bulletin, Manila Bulletin Entertainment,

Sexy and unbound


Published May 29, 2017, 12:07 AM



Diana Dayao is used to being in the background having started her music career by writing songs for other artists.

“I wrote two songs in Keith Martin’s album, and that’s how my songwriting career started,” said she in an interview with Bulletin Entertainment. “Eventually I got to write singles for Zsa Zsa Padilla, Kyla, Jed Madela, Ronnie Liang, even the Mocha Girls.”

The artist added: “I’ve always liked singing but I always hear na, ‘No, stick to songwriting. Singers come and go, but songwriting ’yan ang buhay ng industry.’”

Friends and family eventually changed their minds – and hers. The result is her nine-track debut album “Senti Sultry,” which is almost exclusively made up of her compositions.

The collection begins with “One Day,” a no-nonsense ballad that Diana describes as “a journey in fulfilling a promise of love.” The song is a grower just in several plays.

Diana leans heavily on her rhythm & blues roots throughout the album. There’s the ’90s-styled R&B ballad “I;” the mid-2000 R&B beats in the synth heavy Tagalog track “Bakit Ganon;” and themid-tempo R & B romp in “Questions” featuring Knowa Lazarus of Q-York.

For pure maudlin “feels,” check out “Another Day.” On “Ikaw Lamang,” Diana gets help from American singer-songwriter Keith Martin.

If there’s a quality that Diana prides herself of, it is her flexibility.

“‘Senti Sultry’ is a mix of different moods. We express sentimentality in different ways. Sometimes you’re ‘senti’ but still want to be positive. And at times (you’re) hopeful, or minsan naman you’re down. It’s all reflected in this album.”

The Juans release ‘Balisong,’ theme from movie ‘100 Tula Para Kay Stella’


The Juans- Balisong

Manila, Philippines — Pop boyband The Juans has just released a new single today. The group, which includes singers Carl Guevarra (Keyboards), Japs Mendoza (guitar), Jason DeMesa (bass), Daniel Grospe (drums) and Jiad Arroyo (guitars) have made their recording of “Balisong” recently available on Spotify (and all other digital platforms).

“Balisong” marks the first time the group has released a cover. The song was originally released by Rivermaya (and written by Rico Blanco) back in the early to mid 2000’s. The band have been mostly releasing their originals for their singles, which includes “Atin Ang Mundo,” “Prom” and “Nasayang Lang.” An A&R exec from Viva Records said “The Juans was tapped to record one of the main theme songs for a movie that featured Rivermaya songs.” The said movie is the upcoming Bela Padilla and JC Santos- starrer entitled “100 Tula Para Kay Stella.” The movie’s underlying theme involves some of Rivermaya’s biggest hits, thus prompting producer Viva Films to tap The Juans (a Viva Records artist) to perform one of movie’s main songs.

For their part, the group dubbed as ‘the boyband next door’ laid down a masterful cover of this old gem. Proving that they are not just photogenic poster boys of pop but are real-deal musicians who can do a modern pop rock classic justice. The song features Carl Guevarra handling all of the vocal work. The arrangement is perhaps poppier but is as robust as the original. The Juans will debut their music video for “Balisong” on Myx this friday, 6pm at the program’s Myx Premiere segment.

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