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Talk of the Town: #LoveIsAllWeNeed, Gloria Arroyo, Mamma Mia!, and Celine Dion

What people about Town have been buzzing about this week.

1. Several Filipino celebrities reached out to senators before the SONA to show support for the SOGIE bill.

Senators Manny Pacquio, Jose Villanueva, and Senate President Tito Sotto were the main targets of the #LoveIsAllWeNeed social media campaign, as they are strongly against the SOGIE (Sexual Orientation Gender Indentity and Expression Equality) Bill.

Celebrities tagged the conservative senators in various Tweets and Instagram posts, imploring them to reconsider passing the bill which seeks to protect people from economic and accommodation discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation.

SONA attendees Heart Evangelista and Tootsy Angara sported rainbow pins to rally behind the cause, while Senator Risa Hontiveros, who filed the bill in the Senate in 2016, wore a rainbow-striped terno. Former senator and presidential candidate Miriam Defensor had initially filed the bill in 2000 but was consistently stalled by extreme-right senators till her last term in 2016.


2. Former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo takes the House Speaker position from Davao Representative Pantaleon Alvarez.

Embed from Getty Images

The coup d’état came with a couple of snags, including microphones going off, the mace going missing, and Alvarez allies abruptly adjourning the morning’s House session (which led to congress failing to endorse the Bangsamoro Organic Law in time for the SONA). The 2018 State of The Nation was delayed by an hour due to the confusion regarding the legitimacy of the change in leadership. President Rodrigo Duterte spoke with both Representatives and it was Alvarez who ended up sitting with him and Senator Tito Sitto at the SONA.

With 184 votes backing her, Arroyo was sworn in again around 9 p.m., with microphones and a mace found in the House library, since the sergeant-at-arms refused to bring the original out. Arroyo is the first female and former president to ever hold the post. She was under hospital arrest for four years and was acquitted for plunder charges by the Supreme Court in 2016.


3. Filipino fans braved the rain to catch Celine Dion at Mall of Asia Arena.

The Canadian singer arrived in Manila past midnight on July 19, then performed the first show of her two-night concert later that evening. During the shows, she shared a few tales including how Ryan Reynolds wrote her a letter asking her to do the theme song, Ashes, for Deadpool 2.

The sold out show included 5 quick costume changes and elaborate lighting. Dion opened the show with her hit The Power of Love and sang many more popular tunes. She ended with a cover of Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling in Love. She had originally been scheduled to perform in Manila in November 2016, but she cancelled her tour to be with her ailing (now deceased) husband.

4. Catch Mamma Mia 2 with your Chiquititas!

The sequel to movie adaptation of the long-time broadway show hit Philippine theaters on July 18. The feel-good film showcases ABBA's hits and a couple of less popular songs. In the sequel, we get a look at younger versions of Donna and The Dynamos, as well as Donna’s three lovers, Sam, Harry, and Bill. The sequel also introduces new characters like Andy Garcia as Fernando and Cher as Ruby, Donna’s mother. The trailer hints at something ominous for Meryl Streep’s character, but it looks to also promise a good time.


5. If you don’t get your fill of Pierce Brosnan in Mamma Mia 2, then you should check out his sons.

His two boys, Dylan and Paris, have been working their way up the fashion industry ladder. Both have been landing modeling gigs. You may have seen 21-year-old Dylan featured in a Saint Laurent campaign, and he recently signed exclusively with Burberry. He is also the frontman of surfy rock band Raspberry Blonde. 17-year-old Paris walked the runway in a Dolce & Gabbana show and has been in a GQ Korea spread and a Vanity Teen cover.

6. Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne is dead.

Italian-Canadian Sergio Marchionne resigned as chief executive officer of both Ferrari and FCA last weekend after experiencing post-surgery complications. Marchionne started restoring Fiat after taking over as CEO in 2004. He was the mind behind the revival and merger of Chrysler and the Fiat Group. The two struggling auto firms were merged in 2014, and became completely free of debt the same year. The well-liked auto icon was known for his charming personality and wit.d a fire disaster nearly this bad was back in August 2007.


7. Beloved former Net-a-Porter CEO Mark Sebba passed away at 69.

The former head of popular fashion website Net-a-Porter had a heart attack on Monday in his Crete home. Previously the chief operating officer, he held the helm as CEO from 2003 till his retirement in 2014. Sebba made significant contributions to the growth of the online fashion retailer by opening several businesses like Iris & Ink, Mr. Porter, and Porter magazine. Founder Natalie Massenet and Sebba’s former team posted a video of their tribute performance on YouTube.

8. U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte has been suspended, for a second time, for a doping violation.

The athlete seemingly alerted the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency by posting an Instagram photo of him and a friend getting IV drips. While Lochte didn’t take any illegal substances, the photo was posted on May 24, two days before the national championships. It is against the rules to take intravenous infusions with a volume more than 100 ml 12 hours before a competition, unless legitimately given for surgery or hospital treatment. Lochte was previously suspended for vandalizing a gas station bathroom in Rio de Janeiro during the 2016 Summer Olympics.


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Angela Escudero
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