Wednesday, July 18, 2018
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Luminaries in the news

/ 12:20 AM August 14, 2017

Spanky Manikan

Colleagues and fans of gifted actor and all-around theater-TV-film talent Spanky Manikan are urged to do what they can to help defray expenses in his fight against lung cancer.

Healing prayers are also needed, of course, but donations to bolster depleted resources are similarly needed.

Spanky’s savings account is at BPI Magallanes, 0086-3268-64, under his name, Manuel Manikan.


Spanky is too good a talent to lose. He’s married to the similarly respected and admired Susan Africa, and they make— quite a team!

On the international festival scene, Mike de Leon’s “Batch ’81” has been chosen as one of the restored films to be screened at the prestigious Venice Classics section of the Venice International Film Festival this month.
In good company

Mike is in very good company, because the other memorable movies to be showcased are by Antonioni, Spielberg, Godard, Forman and Chabrol. Talk about really heavy and scintillating cinematic name-dropping, that’s it.

“Batch ’81” truly deserves the retrospective encomiums it’s been getting, because it’s one of Mike’s best—a scathing satire on political violence that turns cautionarily tragic in the end.

Its lead player, the late Mark Gil, is similarly at his most promising best in this production, coming across as a young but already insightful player, with great cinematic substance and charisma going for him.


The film’s having been singled out for Venice’s special “retro” showcase bolsters the logical view we’ve expressed in this space that Mike de Leon should “by rights” be our next national artist for film.

Film buffs who agree should pitch in, and help make it happen.

Finally, on the global music scene, shock waves are still being felt as a result of Justin Bieber’s abrupt cancellation of the remaining 14 performances of his “Purpose” tour, including a show in Manila.


At first, the decision came across as an impulsively petulant move, but Bieber has since come out with a clarifying statement that has mollified some of his fans.

It has made them realize that their young idol was actually in desperate personal and artistic straits, and needed to take a long breather to heal, reflect, learn from his mistakes, and regain his psychic balance.

The way his long “explication” sounds, his decision to take a break from touring was actually a desperate cry for help and surcease, before things got far worse.

Feeling and understanding his pain, John Mayer has come out in support of the embattled Bieber, tweeting: “When someone pulls remaining dates of a tour, it means they would have done real damage to themselves if they kept going.”

Will Bieber’s “heartbroken” fans listen—and learn to forgive?

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