April 27, 2019

Antong Falls: a Tourist Destination in Sison, Pangasinan

Antong Falls may not be a well-known destination in the province of Pangasinan but it’s a great destination nonetheless. As more visitors of the Falls spread the word about the place, it’s rise as a top destination in the province is inevitable. Located within the municipality of Sison, Antong Falls is a nice place to visit if you love cool and crystal-clear waters. Antong Falls is actually a series of three waterfalls. The upper cascades of these waterfalls is called Limmingaling Falls. The place is open from 6 am to 5 pm. So spending a night there is definitely prohibited.

Take note as well that there’s an entrance fee of 10 pesos per head. When you are there, you should also abide by the rules and regulations. For example, fishing in the river is not allowed. Since the place is open for group and family picnics, people are allowed to cook in the area. However, you can’t just cook anywhere you want. There are designated areas for cooking so you should only use these designated areas. Violators of the rules will be asked to pay penalties that range from 300 to 5,000 pesos depending on the violation. There’s a sign board at the picnic area detailing the rules and regulations. You should read these before you proceed doing anything in the waterfalls.

How to get to Antong Falls
If you are coming from the city of Manila, just board a bus bound for any of the following destinations: Laoag City, Baguio City, Vigan City, La Union, Candon City and Abra. You can find many of these bus stations in Cubao or Pasay City. These buses will pass through Sison, Pangasinan where the Antong Falls are located.

You need to get off at the village of Paldit. There’s a connecting road there that leads to the village of Labayug where the Northern Cement Corporation (NCC) is located. At the road intersection, hire a tricycle to take you to the village of Inmalog. If you reach Inmalog, you can just ask from the locals there or inquire at the barangay hall/center as how you can get to the falls.

If you are coming from San Fernando City in La Union, you can ride any of the Dominion buses headed to Cubao then get off at Sison, Pangasinan.

If you are coming from Baguio City, just board any of the Victory Liner, Genesis or Dagupan buses that are bound for Manila. Get off the bus in Sison, Pangasinan and find your way to the waterfalls from there.

Here’s a few tips
1. When you get to Sison, it’s best that you eat there first before you head out to the falls. Going there will require some trekking and hiking. It would be a bad idea to go out hiking to the place with a hungry stomach. Don’t worry, there’s several eateries and food stalls at the drop-off point in Sison.

2. Always keep on asking directions. It will be easy for you to get lost in the area if you don’t ask for directions. The locals are very helpful and hospitable so don’t be shy to ask questions.

3. Bring food and snacks with you to eat at Antong Falls. They have a picnic area there where you can enjoy eating your food under the cool shade of huts or trees.

April 18, 2019

Bestselling American Author Jacqueline Woodson's New Book "Red At The Bone" To Be Released In September 2019

Fans of the literary works of the American writer Jacqueline Woodson has something to look forward to this year. It was recently announced that the prolific author's newest book titled Red at the Bone will be released on September of this year. The cover for the new book has also been released. Check it out below.

The 56-year-old Woodson has penned over two dozen books. She has written for a wide array of audiences from children to young adults to adults. Many of her works are huge bestsellers. For some, he accumulated a stunning collection of awards and recognition. These include the Coretta Scott King Award, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the National Ambassador for Young People's Literature for the Library of Congress, the Young People's Poet Laureate, the National Book Award, the Hans Christian Andersen Award, and the Newberry Honor.

Here's the description for her newest book Red at the Bone:
An extraordinary new novel about the influence of history on a contemporary family, from the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of Another Brooklyn and Brown Girl Dreaming.

Two families from different social classes are joined together by an unexpected pregnancy and the child that it produces. Moving forward and backward in time, with the power of poetry and the emotional richness of a narrative ten times its length, Jacqueline Woodson's extraordinary new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of this child.

As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, escorted by her father to the soundtrack of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for her own ceremony-- a celebration that ultimately never took place.

Unfurling the history of Melody's parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they've paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives--even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.

The cover for Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson.
Red at the Bone will be released on September 17, 2019. You can preorder it right now on Amazon. Read an interview with Woodson wherein she talks about her new book here.

April 12, 2019

Ramon Gonzales Submits Akihiro Fujisawa In The Opening Bout Of One Championship: Roots Of Honor

Ramon Gonzales of the Philippines fought like he was in a rush to catch an early train to Bicol. Gonzales aka The Bicolano made quick work of Japan's Akihiro Fujisawa by making him tap in the very first round with a nasty guillotine choke. The two prospects locked horns in the opening bout for One Championship: Roots of Honor which is currently being held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

With the victory, Gonzales improves his record to four wins and two losses. Gonzales debuted in the One Championship in March of 2015. He had a rough start as he went on to lose his first two bouts under the promotion. He bounced back by winning his last three bouts including the one with Fujisawa. All three victories came via submission.

This is Fujisawa's first loss since he went professional in 2008. Prior to his bout with Gonzales, he was undefeated in One Championship. He previously fought in other organizations namely Full Metal Dojo and Rings.

Other Filipinos fighting in the event are Eric Kelly, Edward Kelly (brother of Eric), and Joshua Pacio. Eric will be facing Kai Tang of China while his younger brother Edward will face Sung Jong Lee of South Korea. Pacio on the other hand will try to reclaim his strawweight belt from Yosuke Saruta of Japan. Saruta took Pacio's belt last January via split decision.

You Can Now Listen To Nightshade By The Lumineers (Plus Lyrics And Lyric Video)

A few days ago, HBO announced that they will be releasing a music album that contains songs inspired by the Game of Thrones television series. The project was in collaboration with Columbia Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. The album carries the title For The Throne (Music Inspired By The HBO Series Game Of Thrones). It's expected to be released on April 26, 2019.

The album will feature brand new songs from various artists which include the following: A$AP Rocky, Chloe X Hale, Ellie Goulding, Jacob Banks, James Arthur, Joey BadA$$, Lennon Stella, Lil Peep, Maren Morris, Matthew Bellamy, Mumford and Sons, Rosalia feat. A.CHAL, SZA, The Lumineers, The National, The Weeknd, Travis Scott, Ty Dolla $ign, and X Ambassadors.

The album will contain fourteen tracks. The whole track list is yet to be announced. The first song to be announced and released from the album is Kingdom of One by Maren Morris. You can listen to the song here. Kingdom of One is the first song in the album. Hours after the song hit online, the third song in the album called Nightshade by The Lumineers also got released. The Lumineers uploaded a lyrics video for the song on their official YouTube channel. You can watch and listen to the song here.

Lyrics for Nightshade by The Lumineers

Some of us love to think
Of life as a game
Others are born into royalty
And can never behave

Some find a freedom
Locking men in a cage, oh no
Some priest insisted
It's a test of the faith
And only holy devotion
Can keep the devils away

There's only so much
That a man can pray, oh no

Oh my love, oh my love
Spare my blood, spare my blood

I saw the footprints in the white of the snow
I counted thousands
And I was just a rider alone
Eighteen degrees and eighty miles from home, oh no

We built a wall to keep
The devils at bay
A distant army was marching
Through the night and the day
I swore an oath
And with my life I would pay, oh no

Oh my love, Oh my love
Spare my blood
Nightshade, won't you take me away
And I could hold my breath
For another day
But it was all, it was all
For the throne

We were surrounded
And the ending was near
All of the sudden, a ranger arrived
A savior appeared
Made it to safety
But the devil was here, oh no

Oh my love
Nightshade, won't you take me away
And I could hold my breath
For another day
But it was all, it was all
For the throne

The eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will start airing on April 14, 2019. It will contain only six episodes. The first episode carries the title Winter is Here and the second episode carries the title The Rightful Queen. The titles of the four other episodes are yet to be announced.

The Lumineers has a new album coming up. It's called III and it's their third studio album. It's scheduled to be released on September 13, 2019. A track list for the album was already announced. Gloria, the first single from the album was released by the band on April 5, 2019. Other songs in the album include Life in the City, Donna, It Wasn't Easy To Be Happy For You, Leader of the Landslide, Left for Denver, My Cell, Jimmy Parks, April, Salt and the Sea.

The album also has three bonus tracks. These are Democracy, Old Lady, and Soundtrack Song.

April 3, 2019

Joker 2019 Movie Trailer Video, Review, and Reactions

The highly-anticipated trailer for the standalone Joker movie has finally been released by Warner Brothers Pictures and it's absolutely worth the wait. Joaquin Phoenix looks fantastic as expected. The cinematography is topnotch. And the accompanying music is great. After the lackluster Joker performance by Jared Leto in 2016's Suicide Squad, it looks like the character is getting a much better treatment this time with Phoenix under the makeup.

The trailer opens with a scene of Arthur Fleck (the Joker) talking to a social worker from the Department of Health. "Arthur, does it help to have someone to talk to?" the social worker asks Arthur. Arthur just looks at her and grins.

The rest of the trailer shows how Arthur turned into a life of crime and chaos. He wasn't always an agent of chaos. "My mother always tells me to smile and put on a happy face. She told me I had a purpose. To bring laughter and joy to the world. Is it just me or is it getting crazier out there?" He failed as a stand-up comedian and then he snapped.

In pursuit of Arthur is the Gotham Police Department. In the words of one of the cops: "Gotham has lost its way. What kind of coward would do something that cold-blooded? Someone who hides behind a mask."

The trailer ends with the following words from Arthur: "I used to think that my life was a tragedy. But now I realized, it's a comedy."

Reactions to the trailer are mostly positive, mostly because of Phoenix's portrayal of the famous character. Some are even comparing the performance to that of Heath Ledger. When the trailer was uploaded on Facebook and YouTube, the video quickly went viral in both platforms. Joaquin Phoenix and The Joker quickly trended on Twitter.

Joker is scheduled to hit theaters in the United States on October 4, 2019. Starring alongside Phoenix in the film are Robert De Niro, Zazie Beetz, Bill Camp, Shea Whigham, Frances Conroy, Brett Cullen, Glenn Fleshler, Dante Pereira-Olson, Douglas Hodge, Marc Maron, Brian Tyree Henry, and Bryan Callen.

March 26, 2019

MMA Superstar Conor McGregor Says He's Retiring From The Sport

On Monday night, Conor McGregor who is arguably the most popular mixed martial arts fighter in the world today, tweeted that he is walking away from the sport. In his Twitter post, McGregor wrote: "Hey guys, quick announcement. I've decided to retire from the sport formally known as mixed martial arts today. I wish all my old colleagues well going forward in competition. I now join my former partners on this venture, already in retirement."

Many people are surprised of the announcement because just a few weeks ago, there are talks that McGregor will be returning to the octagon as early as July. A lot of people are also not buying the Irishman's tweet because this isn't the first time that he announced retirement on Twitter. He pulled the same trick back in 2016 when he tweeted that he's retiring after being pulled from UFC 200.

The tweet had the MMA community buzzing. As of this writing, the tweet has 42,000 retweets, 137,000 likes, and 10,000 comments. The consensus among fans and pundits is that McGregor is making a power play. He's not retiring. He just wants more money from his next fights.

Brett Okamoto, an MMA journalist for ESPN reached out to UFC president Dana White for his comment on the issue. White's answer is as follows: "He has the money to retire and his whiskey is killing it. It totally makes sense. If I was him, I would retire too. He's retiring from fighting. Not from working. The whiskey will keep him busy and I'm sure he has other things he's working on. He has been so fun to watch. He has accomplished incredible things in this sport. I am so happy for him and I look forward to seeing him be as successful outside of the octagon as he was in it."

There were talks that McGregor will be facing Donald Cerrone in July but it was recently announced that Cerrone was booked to fight Al Iaquinta instead. Rumor has it that the UFC wanted McGregor to fight in the undercard of an event in July. McGregor turned it down. 

McGregor last fought in October of last year. He was submitted in the fourth round by Khabib Nurmagomedov. 

January 25, 2019

Danny Kingad of Team Lakay Defeats Tatsumitsu Wada of Japan via Unanimous Decision

Danny Kingad of Team Lakay extends his mixed martial arts winning streak to four with a unanimous decision win over Japan's Tatsumitsu Wada in the undercard of One Championship: Hero's Ascent. The MMA event held at the Mall of Asia Arena in Manila featured a championship bout between Geje Eustaquio (also from Team Lakay) and Adriano Moraes of Brazil for the One Championship flyweight strap.

In the three-round affair, Kingad earned the nods of the ringside judges by controlling the majority of the rounds. He swept the first round with his leg kicks, boxing, and grappling. A couple of times during the round, he was close to submitting Wada but the tough Japanese fighter was able to fend off the submission attempts. The second round was very close with Wada taking down Kingad and making his own submission attempts. The third round was another close round featuring a back-and-forth engagement between the two combatants.

With the win, Kingad improves his record to nine wins with just one loss. His only loss was to Adriano Moraes, the former One Championship lightweight champion. After the loss to Moraes, Kingad racked up wins over Sotir Kichukov, Haobin Ma, and Yuya Wakamatsu before being pitted against Wada. With the loss, Wada drops to twenty wins and ten losses.

Kingad debuted as an MMA fighter way back in 2014. With two professional fights and two victories, he was signed by One Championship in 2016. He has fought eight times under the organization and he won seven of these fights. Young and constantly improving, he's a promising prospect who might challenge for the flyweight title sometime down the road.