HUBO Productions

Raw Artistry Exposed

The Director Speaks: Night of the Auk’s Adam Levi explores “the day after some tomorrow”

Five smart, funny, hard-working, and dedicated professionals is how Adam Levi describes the ensemble cast he has put together in restaging Arch Oboler’s Night of the Auk playing as part of the 16th New York Fringe Festival running from August 10 to 18.

Levi stumbled upon Oboler’s work while entering information for a database covering the 1950s. He found the play extremely entertaining and funny.  Amazed by the talent attached to the original production, Levi discussed the work with Michael Ross Albert and came to an agreement that with some careful editing the play can be revived and retain its relevance within the contemporary setting. “iPads aside, our technology in terms of space flight hasn’t changed all that much. And our last manned mission to the moon was forty years ago – Apollo 17 in 1972!  So, a moon landing seems very much like science fiction again nowadays,” Levi asserted.

Set sometime in “the day after tomorrow,” Adam hopes to “spark the audiences’ imaginations, to give them the feeling of a science fiction spectacle without the spectacle…to have fun, feel free to enjoy themselves and laugh at some of the antiquated future-seen-through-the-1950’s logic.” Adam wants the audience to see the world through the lens of a 1950s world, “long before we actually reached the moon,” and wants them “to remember how we created a spaceship out of thin air.”

FringeNYC is the perfect venue for this kind of production.  Adam expounds that “the Festival gives audiences the opportunity to see something in the theater that cannot be seen anywhere else on stage – here in NYC or elsewhere. The shows may be small, but the ideas and the “heart” are huge. People really pour their blood, sweat, and tears into these productions, and that makes it exciting to me. The ingenuity and the creativity, the igniting of audience’s imaginations – that’s what the theater is all about. And “nobody, nowhere” does it better than FringeNYC and its participants!”

Levi (standing) in action with the ensemble cast of the upcoming revival of Night of the Auk

Levi (standing) in action with the ensemble cast of the upcoming revival of Night of the Auk

The play is co-presented with HUBO Productions whose core venture is in the film medium. In working with HUBO, Adam finds a kindred soul for though the “individual projects/endeavors may differ in form/details, HUBO and Outside Inside both share a commitment to (as the HUBO personal statement puts it) “explore creativity and test the limits of known boundaries and forms of expression.”  As a Director, working with HUBO has been a fruitful experience for me in particular because of their deep understanding and appreciation of the creative process.  I sincerely hope (and truly believe) that this will not be our last artistic endeavor together!”

Night of the Auk will run at The Players Theatre (115 MacDougal Street) in Venue #10 of The New York International Fringe Festival on the following dates:  August 10 @ 5pm, August 11 @ 9:45pm, August 16 @ 4:45pm, August 17 @ 7:30pm, and August 18 @ 5:30pm.  For a detailed performance schedule and to purchase tickets, visit or call 866.468.7619.

OUTSIDE INSIDE and HUBO PRODUCTIONS Present Arch Oboler’s NIGHT OF THE AUK: The First Major New York Revival After More Than 50 Years

Greg Macaraeg (L) and Adam Levi (R)

Arch Oboler’s nail-biting, cautionary yet fun fable Night of the Auk is being restaged in this year’s 16th Annual New York International Fringe Festival.  The new production marks the continuing collaboration between Outside Inside and HUBO Productions, the tandem that presented Michael Ross Albert’s Chagrin during the 15th (2011) installment of the same festival.

This Night of the Auk is presented in a sleek 75-minute one-act adaptation of the original 1956 Broadway play produced by the legendary Kermit Bloomgarden and directed by Sidney Lumet, and which starred Christopher Plummer, Claude Rains, and Dick York.  The story takes place in a rocket ship returning to earth after its first successful lunar expedition, and the characters in the voyage found themselves in the advent of atomic age where the human species is on the brink of extinction.  Directed by Adam Levi with co-direction by Kaitlyn Samuel, this new production stars Outside Inside ensemble members Michael Ross Albert, Lash Dooley, Suzy Kimball, Hannah Timmons, and Brian Rhinehart.

Arch Oboler is regarded as a key innovator of radio drama who sealed his reputation in the radio horror series Lights Out.  Though he generated attention with his radio scripts, his output extended to films, theatre and television.  His screen credits include Escape (1940) and On Our Merry Way (1948).  His pioneering and innovative works have influenced the likes of Rod Seriling, François Truffaut and Don Coscarelli.

Night of the Auk will run at The Players Theatre (115 MacDougal Street) in Venue #10 of The New York International Fringe Festival on the following dates:  August 10 @ 5pm, August 11 @ 9:45pm, August 16 @ 4:45pm, August 17 @ 7:30pm, and August 18 @ 5:30pm.  For a detailed performance schedule and to purchase tickets, visit or call 866.468.7619.

Outside Inside is a New York City based theatre company, founded by co-artistic directors Michael Ross Albert, Adam Levi, and Kaitlyn Samuel.  The company and its artists are dedicated to the independent production of exciting new works for the stage.

HUBO is an independent group of people who pursue ways to expose the complexity of the individual.  As a collective, HUBO is focused, innovative, compassionate and committed to explore creativity and test the limits of known boundaries and forms of expression.  HUBO encourages artistry through practical means, and dedicates its art to stimulate the mind however unconventional and unfamiliar.  Two of its founders, Will Fredo and Greg Macaraeg, have recently been recognized by Press Photographers Philippines-USA and Philippine Children’s Charities, Inc. as among 100 Outstanding Filipino-Americans for their contribution to the movie and entertainment field.


HUBO Productions founders Will Fredo and Greg Macaraeg have been named among the “100 Outstanding Filipino Americans in the USA” by the Press Photographers Philippines-USA and Philippine Children’s Charities, Inc.  A black-tie charity event is to be held on July 28 at the Universal Hilton in Los Angeles, California where the awardees will be officially recognized.  Main beneficiary is Bantay Bata 163, a Philippine-based organization that helps abused, underprivileged, sick and indigent Filipino children.  Expected to attend the event to accept donations are Robbie Fabian, President of ABS-CBN Foundation International, and Tina Monzon-Palma, Executive Director of Bantay Bata 163.

Greg Macaraeg (left) and Will Fredo lead a group committed to “testing the limits of known boundaries.”
Photography by Kim Guanzon, Make-up by Laa Hernando-Guanzon, Stylist/Creative Director Roldan Din

Darna B. Umayam, Philippine Children’s Charities, Inc. chair, who is also project director and lead organizer of the event, said the outstanding Fil-Ams had been picked “from among many who were highly recommended for this prestigious award because of their achievements as professionals and for their philanthropic works for less fortunate Filipinos back home, especially the children.”  There were nearly 300 such recommendations.

Fredo and Macaraeg are being recognized for their continuing achievements in the movie and entertainment field through HUBO Productions, established in 2006 with Fredo as CEO and resident director and Macaraeg as president.

HUBO released three full-length films, among them are Compound and Ganap na Babae (Garden of Eve) that won multiple nominations and awards in the Philippines and abroad. Two films—N.A.S.L. and In Nomine Matris—are in post-production stage.

In Nomine Matris is set to be released this year.  In addition to its core film ventures, HUBO has collaborated with other artistic endeavors consistent with its mission statement.  From the time of its founding, HUBO has produced Brave New Music, the accompanying soundtrack to the film Sa Pagdapo ng Mariposa (At The Touch Of A Butterfly), which it also produced.

HUBO supported the film Señorita by Vincent Sandoval; the music video Ayoko na Sa ‘Yo (I Don’t Want You Anymore) by Jeepney Joyride; theatre works Chagrin by Outside Inside Productions and Mirror Mates: A Two-Faced Farce , both in New York, and the stage adaptation of  Ang Unang Aswang (The First Ghost) in the Philippines.  The company also supports and advocates the work of painter Roldan Din, the first Filipino to be featured in the Finch Lane Gallery in Salt Lake City, Utah.  HUBO has also sponsored one of the recent stagings of The Next Wave Seattle Butoh Festival, in Seattle, Washington.

Fredo began his professional career at Microsoft managing various software developments.  He earned his computer degree from Brigham-Young University, Hawaii.  In 2005, after years of corporate dedication and success, Fredo decided to pursue his passion for filmmaking.  He finished an intensive filmmaking program at the New York Film Academy before founding HUBO in the Philippines.

Fredo currently divides his time between Seattle and Manila using HUBO as a springboard to tell his stories, and as a platform for artistic pursuits.  In the course of overseeing HUBO’s operations, Fredo discovers and nurtures fellow artists.  Outside of HUBO, Fredo is a Butoh performer who has regaled audiences in Seattle and San Francisco. He says Butoh greatly informs his narrative technique.

Macaraeg, a physician based in New York City, has more than 15 years of pharmaceutical industry experience.  He has spearheaded domestic (Philippines), regional (Asia-Pacific) and global medical events and clinical development functions, and worked in a variety of therapeutic areas—cardiovascular/metabolism, immunology/rheumatology, virology, and oncology.

He graduated cum laude in B.S. Speech Pathology from the University of the Philippines, Manila where he also earned his medical degree.  After clinical practice, Macaraeg went full-time with pharmaceutical medical roles.  His professional interests include research & development, medical-marketing, medical communication, and medical risk management.  He oversees HUBO’s strategic plans and networking.

HUBO is committed “to expose the complexity of the individual.”  As a collective, it professes to be “focused, innovative, compassionate and committed to explore creativity and test the limits of known boundaries and forms of expression.”  As such, it dedicates its art to stimulate the mind however unconventional and unfamiliar.

Completing the board of directors and founders of HUBO are Medwin Garcia, Joan T. Manalang, Ida Ceniza Tiongson, and George Sommerrock.

[ Article originally came out of PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER, JULY 23, 2012, Entertainment Section, G4 ]


“We were shocked by the turn out. With the rain pouring earlier in the day, our expectation was below 100 participants. Even the media came in full blast, from ABSCBN, GMA, Inquirer, and over 25 writers all for the Department of Health launch of “DANCE FOR LIFE.”   With over 240 Fitness First and DOH members in attendance, the event was a huge success” exclaims Ida Tiongson, HUBO Productions CFO/Producer.

Inspired by the YouTube phenomenon Dubai Airport Flashmob, Ida and her friend Ining Dalmacio, took the big task of bringing together the right people to bring greater awareness to exercise and fitness in Manila: UNO Magazine’s Managing Director Maan Ilustre, Philippine Department of Health Dr. Eric Tayag, Fitness First Philippines management heads, Country Manager Mark Ellis and Marketing Head Anna De Guzman, GX Head Teoh Yee Sin plus their 19 Fitness First instructors headed by Jojo Cruz.  The goal of making “Retropop”, a popular dance exercise in the Philippines, as a flashmob in the heart of Ayala Center was a great success.

Ida Tiongson, Anna De Guzman, Eric Tayag & Maan Ilustre

“Everyone easily jumped on board given that it’s for health promotion,” Tiongson shares.  Aside from Fitness First Philippines, UNO Magazine, Ayala Center, and HUBO Productions, sponsors accepted the concept with delight — Izod, Hurom, Summit Mineral water, Gardenia, Condura, Buddys, Flawless, Greenbelt 3 Cerveseria.

George Sommerrock aka FitMonkey

HUBO Productions’ Executive Producer George Sommerrock, also a fitness expert by profession (#fitmonkey) in the greater parts of Seattle reiterates “There is an urgent need in the world today to be more conscious about moving. We all live in the technological world where sedentary activity rule. And as reported daily in the news in the past couple of years, obesity is the number one cause of deadly ailments. I got excited when Ida informed us of the plans. We’re going beyond our art and film mission.”  When asked what is next for HUBO Productions in the fitness world, Sommerrock shares “We’re thinking of doing a fitness event in Seattle, together with my FITMONKEY brand. If Manila has a RETROPOP in the gyms, we’re thinking of putting some POP in the Northwest.”

Ida further shares her passion, “We need to continually reach the public about becoming healthy. Going to the gym should not be a chore. I look at it as a fun activity to do for myself and my kids. It is in fact like going to a party where you eventually bond, meet good friends, and network.”  And through Ms. Ida Tiongson and her gym-mate’s example, from one or two individuals with a common and inspired goal, a mob can be accomplished.

Here’s clip of the fun event. Enjoy!

Hubo Artist Roldan Din @ The Finch Lane Gallery

“PROMISES” Promises Success: A Filipino Artist Featured in Finch Lane Gallery

Utah is known as the mecca for Latter Days Saints (Mormon) and the home of the top American film festival called Sundance founded by Robert Redford. In between the extremities is the fast growing Art World in its capital Salt Lake City. Every year, the prestigious The Salt Lake City Arts Council (a division in the SLC Department of Community and Economic Development) look for artists to feature in its historic Finch Lane/Park Gallery.

Out of hundreds of applicants, the Visual Artist Committee of the Arts Council has selected budding artist/painter Roldan Din, the first Filipino to be featured in the much coveted opportunity in Utah. The gallery showcases Roldan Din’s “PROMISES,” a collection of mixed media paintings on big wood boards, canvases, and paper. His work will be on display March 9 until April 27, 2012.

Also on exhibit are stone and bronze sculptures by established Bryon Draper called “Proxy Offering.”  The Salt Lake Seven, a group photography exhibit called “Prisoners of Consciousness” completes the featured collection.

Roldan Din, a resident artist at HUBO Productions, has selected pieces from various periods since he started painting in 2006. PROMISES includes his work in Seattle (2006-07), New York (2007-09), and Utah (2009-present). Each piece represents emotions and experiences living in those places and circumstances at certain points of his life. The collection, as expressed by those who have seen them, are both strikingly moving and thought-provoking. His play with colors and texture gives a certain mixture of sensitivity and callousness, a must see for art students and patrons.

“My work focuses on change. I try to capture transitions unconsciously by creating tangible pieces over periods of time. My works are impulses of the moments I am in. I feel that collectively they are layers of time passing and of movements from one state to another. I am not interested in positing an idea or image because I believe in the more meaningful dialogue between a piece of work and its viewer. So, in that sense, my works are always abstract.  Even the identifiable imageries in my paintings and photos are not fully calculated nor staged. The real people, places and things in my work exist within the context of time, places, cultures, relationships, intentions, hopes and dreams and are therefore only representations of something bigger and more complex. I do not offer enlightenment but only a view of my own personal journey.”

Forever 1 - Mixed Media on wood panel 48"x48"

Promises - Mixed Media on wood panel 48"x48"

Flight - Mixed Media on wood panel 48"x48"

Hidden - Mixed Media on wood panel 48"x48"





























See more works @

For him, “art is a powerful tool for education and growth for both the artists and viewers. I also believe art can transcend all kinds of barriers and limitations.” As promised, Roldan Din’s work promises nothing but a bright future for the budding artist.

The successful opening reception last March 9 filled the gallery with guests from the Salt Lake City Arts Council patrons and supporters to the beautiful families of the featured artists. The work will be on display until April 27. Visit for special events and art walks scheduled for the next coming months.

Finch Lane Gallery is open Mondays – Fridays, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00pm. It is located at 54 Finch Lane, Salt Lake City, Utah. For more information, call +1.801.596.5000.

With Kim Duffin, SLC Arts Council Asst. Director and Grants Officer | With Will Fredo, CEO/Resident Director of HUBO

With family Chef Ferdz Din, Jacqui Din, Ruth Din, Photographer/Videographer Kim Guanzon, and Makeup and Grooming consultant Laa Hernando-Guanzon

With esteemed members of KULTURANG PILIPINO ENSEMBLE | With Interior Designer Kim Kienow and hubby, Kim & Laa Guanzon and Hair Stylist Eddie Bellini

With Laa and Kim , Models Victoria and Jonath Packham, Rhyan Atrice, Danielle Huffin, Jewelry Designer Lauren K. Benally, Will Fredo and Jacqui Din

With NYC friends Sandra Gail Frayna and guest | With local socialite Larry Acosta Chua and CPA/Model Benjie Anthony Rivera

Roldan Din with family and friends


NCCA’s ANI NG DANGAL (Harvest of Honors) 2012 Official Photos


ANI NG DANGAL (Harvest of Honors) 2012 Event

THIRTY-TWO artists from different fields of the arts—seven for music, 13 for cinema, 13 for visual arts, two for dance and one for more than one field—were honored this February 28 at the Malacañang Palace, by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) headed by chairman Professor Felipe de Leon Jr. and acting executive director Adelina Suemith with Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, representing President Benigno Aquino 3rd, as guest of honor.

The “Ani ng Dangal” (Harvest of Honors) Awards recognizes artists who have earned international awards and accolades during the past year. It is an annual event, which serves as the closing activity of the Philippine Arts Festival; NCCA’s grand event in celebration of the National Arts Month.  Six artists received the much coveted award in the Cinema category for their work in HUBO Production movies–GANAP NA BABAE (Garden of Eve) and COMPOUND. In attendance to the glamorous TERNO gala were awardees actress Liza Diño, director Sarah Roxas, and cinematographer Myk Manalastas. HUBO Producer Ida Tiongson was also in attendance for awardees directors Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos, and cinematographer Gym Lumbera.

According to Roxas, “suddenly the room became silent once Miss Lea Salonga entered the hall,” the Broadway and West End star Lea Salonga leads the glamorous batch of awardees in the said event. Also in attendance was actor Jericho Rosales, another awardee for the cinema category. Diño brought her family with her into the event. She candidly shared, “I’m very humbled to be one of the honorees in this year’s NCCA ANI NG DANGAL. I will treasure this trophy forever. Plus, I got a lot of complement wearing this beautiful red ‘terno’, I’m definitely keeping the dress.” She also added, “I also want to thank the people behind HUBO, they are for me, to the truest sense, enablers of Philippine art. I love them so much.”

The women in the event would like to thank their International Filipino designers, Ida Tiongson by Lulu Tan Gan and Liza Diño by Philippine designer Jontie Martinez. Sarah Roxas would like to extend her appreciation to her sponsors Jamie Ramos of Coral Couture, Makeup by Jernest Mansilla Carpio and stylists Donna Manio and Markee dela Cruz.




Developed as a mentorship program for freshmen women directors, this small film from HUBO Productions called GANAP NA BABAE (Garden of Eve) has gone from a humble worthy cause to a noteworthy film about women. National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Office of the Philippine President announced that the women and men behind the movie are among this year’s ANI NG DANGAL (Harvest of Honor) awardees.

Directors Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos, and Sarah Roxas together with Cinematographers Gym Lumbera and Michael Manalastas are thrilled to receive the recognition. “I know that this does not come often as it is a very prestigious award. When the other directors and I started on this film, we did not expect to receive any recognition. To be granted this highest honor by the NCCA and by the Office of the President is extremely gratifying. I could not be prouder to be part of this film,” Roxas exclaims. Manalastas expresses upon hearing the news, “I felt happy and proud that our film that we worked so hard on is getting the appreciation it deserved. It was an honor to be given the chance to be a part of the film. The cold beer after the grueling 48-hour shoot I thought was my reward. This recognition definitely tops that.”

Directors Sarah Roxas, Rica Arevalo and Ellen Ramos

The movie spearheaded by HUBO Chief Executive Officer/Resident Director Will Fredo with Arevalo started out as a vision to bring more women directors to the forefront of Philippine cinema. Arevalo says, on receiving such an honor from the Office of the President, “It was a happy surprise! Making the movie was a blessing to everyone. The ANI NG DANGAL recognition simply is an affirmation that we have to keep on making meaningful and substantial films. We worked together with the best people with a very sincere vision. GANAP NA BABAE has gone places and God has been generous to us from opening the prestigious CINEMALAYA 2010 Festival, garnering a trophy at The SoHo International Film Festival 2011, being named as one of MEGA’S Filipino International Achievers, and now, the precious ANI NG DANGAL. We are truly grateful and humbled for all the recognition on the film. We are raring to do more films!” The movie stars Mercedes Cabral, Sue Prado, Jam Pérez, Rome Mallari, and the legendary Ms. Boots Anson-Roa in which she comments to her director, Arevalo upon hearing the news, “Proud to have been a part of the film.”

Award-winning director Ramos explains, “An acknowledgment of a personal work encourages an independent filmmaker to bravely pursue a soul-wrenching, financially-draining, and unpredictable craft.” One of her most memorable experiences in making the movie reiterates that encouragement, “During location-hunting, I met women whose circumstances parallel the characters in “Two Sisters”, my segment in the trilogy – women who till the land, bearing their sorrows with grace and resilience. One woman allowed us to use her home and another to cast her children in the film.” Such production headaches are always memorable to Ellen, “but being able to hurdle the challenges is a rewarding experience.”

Cinematographers Gym Lumbera and Michael Manalastas

Receiving this award means so much to Manalastas,  “I hope that I will continue to grow as a Filipino filmmaker and that the Filipino film industry would also continue to grow.” Arevalo expounded on the message by saying, “Government support for artists is a good agenda for every administration. Creating art reflects the society’s ills and dreams. Taking care of artists means also protecting the voices of the people.”

As the mentorship program recipient new director for the project, Roxas shares, “This entire movie has been filled with nothing but good experiences and fond memories. Through this film, I was able to work with seasoned directors Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos, and Will Fredo as well as the very talented actress Mercedes Cabral.  I met a wonderful writer named, Mike Portes, who gave me inspiration about my segment of the movie. I was able to direct my first independent movie and gain new friends. The cast and crew now have a special place in my heart.”

HUBO Productions President Greg Macaraeg is delighted that the objective of the movie has been met through the directors, especially with the young Roxas. “For the film to achieve this recognition is definitely icing on the cake for all the people involved. We applaud the awardees and we wish them continued success in their respective careers.”

“Be true to your sensibility,” shares Ramos to all the young filmmakers. “Do not box yourself in perceived notions of womanhood and cinema, your point of view will emerge with experience and maturity. There are still many uncomfortable and daunting issues that women filmmakers must confront without blinking and articulate without flinching. Success may never come in the box-office or the awards, but the creative experience and the finished film in itself is the success.” Her thoughts, simply put, summarize the experience of finishing a film like GANAP NA BABAE.

“Philippines Arts Festival is a month-long and nationwide activity that aims to promote Philippine culture and the arts, highlighting the empowerment of the Filipino creativity and imagination. This 2012 celebration will be a call to hope, a challenge to act, an invitation to commit, a celebration of creativity and an affirmation of the Filipinos’ inner strength that can be a catalyst for social transformation,” NCCA/PAT Festival Manager, Vanessa Nicolas explains. The festival culminates on February 28, 2012 during the ‘Ani ng Sining Awards and Recognition Night’ at The Heroes Hall of the Malacañang Palace. Honorees also include highly celebrated Filipino artists such as Olivier and Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga, Director Jeffrey Jeturian, and the world renowned BAYANIHAN Philippines National Folk Dance Company.

Related Link: GANAP NA BABAE



Ending the year with an acting award from her tour de force performance in HUBO Productions’ movie COMPOUND at the recently concluded International Film Festival Manhattan 2011, Liza Diño starts the year with yet another recognition. National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) just announced their list of ANI NG DANGAL (Harvest of Honors) 2012 awardees. Diño, one of the 32 awardees this year, has been cited in the field of cinema. Included in the list are highly celebrated Filipino artists such as Olivier and Tony Award Winner Lea Salonga, Director Jeffrey Jeturian, and the world renowned BAYANIHAN Philippines National Folk Dance Company.

According to NCCA, ANI NG DANGAL  is an annual affair celebrated to give recognition to artists who won top international honors from the previous year in the seven art disciplines of music, dance, cinema, literary arts, visual arts, dramatic arts, and architecture and allied arts with the inclusion of multi-disciplinary arts. The ‘Ani ng Sining Awards and Recognition Night‘ event serves as the highlight and concluding rite of the National Arts Month celebration.

Liza Diño in "COMPOUND"

NCCA/PATFestival Manager, Vanessa Nicolas explains,

“Philippines Arts Festival is a month-long and nationwide activity that aims to promote Philippine culture and the arts, highlighting the empowerment of the Filipino creativity and imagination. This 2012 celebration will be a call to hope, a challenge to act, an invitation to commit, a celebration of creativity and an affirmation of the Filipinos’ inner strength that can be a catalyst for social transformation.”

The celebrated actress, Diño, is scheduled to appear at this year’s Awards and Recognition Night which will be held on February 28, 2012 at The Heroes Hall of the Malacañang Palace. NCCA and the Office of the Philippine President will give recognition to individuals or groups who have given honor and pride to the Philippines.

Diño will next be seen in IN NOMINE MATRIS, a Filipiniana-Flamenco dance movie under the helm of his COMPOUND director Will Fredo. She leads a cast that includes dramatic actor Biboy Ramirez, Italy-trained opera singer Al Gatmaitan, Flamenco master Clara Ramona who also choreographed the dance sequences and Philippine theater thespian Tami Monsod.

Filipina Actress/Beauty Queen Liza Diño Receives Achievement in Acting Award at The International Film Festival Manhattan

Mutya ng Pilipinas 2001 runner-up and 2007 Miss Philippines-Earth finalist, Liza Diño, received the lone acting citation during the 2011 International Film Festival Manhattan (IFFM) Awards Night held in New York City last November 18, 2011. She won for her pivotal role in the movie COMPOUND.

COMPOUND, a critically acclaimed psychological thriller from writer/director Will Fredo, was received with enthusiasm making it the only Filipino film to have a repeat screening during the said festival.

Produced by HUBO Productions, COMPOUND also stars John Arcilla, Jake Macapagal, Janet Russ, Joan Palisoc, Perry Escaño, Lily Chu, Marq Dollentes. Award-winning world and jazz musician Bob Aves music scored the movie.

COMPOUND delves into the mind-bending descent of a once happily-married man. It explores the chilling effects of substance abuse as it destroys himself and his relationships and the terror it brings to people inside the compound.  Within the confines of the compound, a manipulative domestic helper played with subtleness by Diño got noticed by the festival jury and its organizers.  The audience at the festival took notice of the powerful performances of the entire cast.

Also an accomplished Flamenco dancer, Diño has done numerous independent films while she was living in Manila. In 2008, she moved to California and finished a course at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Los Angeles and is presently working at Spago in Beverly Hills with the famous Top Chef Wolfgang Puck. Whenever she travels to the Philippines she follows her passion and continues acting.

Her next big leading role is a Flamenco-inspired film, IN NOMINE MATRIS [In the Name of the Mother], also from director Will Fredo. Liza plays opposite Biboy Ramirez, Al Gatmaitan, Tami Monsod, and Spain’s top flamenco dancer, Ms. Clara Ramona. The movie, produced by HUBO Productions, is scheduled for release next year.

From the looks of it, we are just starting to see the talented Miss Liza Diño.

The former GMA network artist was overwhelmed when her name was announced. Looking back, she reiterates, “I was shocked, it took awhile for me to realize that I won an award. So they had to call me twice to come up on stage. But I think the beauty queen in me took over because I felt too composed during my speech. I can’t even remember what I said. It’s like that pala… It’s like you’re floating.”

We had the opportunity to speak to Liza Diño and here are some of her insights regarding her win, her role, and her future.

Actress Liza Diño with theater actress Tami Monsod

How does it feel to win the sole acting citation award from IFFM?

 It is overwhelming to say the least. There were a lot of film entries from different countries and to be given the recognition is a big honor. I am proud to represent the Philippines. It just shows as well that we have a lot of talent back home.

What does it mean to you, to have this recognition?

 It is such a great feeling to be validated as an actress, for something that you do out of passion and love for the art. I take acting as a craft and an extension of myself…so to be given this acclamation just drives me more to find avenues to share myself.

What’s your role in the movie COMPOUND?

I play ROMINA, the housemaid of the Delos Reyes family. Her character is very complex and that’s what challenged me to take on the role. She is basically the eyes and ears of the whole compound. She used her unassuming demeanor to manipulate the members of the household into exposing their vulnerability to her.

What is it like working as an actor with director Will Fredo?

Anybody who has worked with Director Will has said the exact same thing—he pulls out the rawness in you. That’s a gift that very few directors can draw from an actor. If there is such a thing as soul mates, I think that’s how we are with each other. He knows how to bring out the best and the worst in me and use it effectively to make my character come to life.

How did you start acting?

I was in college in University Philippines (UP) Diliman where I took BA speech communication. I had a theater elective class under Tony Mabesa, and during that time he was directing a play with DULAANG UP (Theater Company of the University). I was a perennial latecomer, so he said if I audition for the play, Mr. Mabesa would not fail me in my classes. The rest is history. I became a resident actress of DULAANG UP during my entire stay in Diliman.

After my reign as Mutya Tourism International, I did a National ad on Likas Papaya and GMA 7 offered me to be part of the artist pool of GMA TALENT CENTER. After that, I had the opportunity to act for both commercial and independent studios in Manila.

Flamenco Master Clara Ramona_Actress Liza Diño

Biggest influence in your acting career?

My mentors from Dulaang UP—Tony Mabesa, Direk Ogie Juliano, Anton Juan and Jose Estrella. If not for them I wouldn’t have found my voice on stage. Director Will gave me the opportunity to portray roles that allows me to explore my ability to get in touch with my vulnerability. Acting is an endless journey of discovery and I look forward to every chance to do that. It gives me high.

 What is next for Liza Diño?

 I have a film in 2012 entitled IN NOMINE MATRIS [In the Name of the Mother]. It is based on a true story of a young woman in the Philippines who is torn between love and her love for Flamenco. This is an opportunity for me to show my other passion, which is Flamenco. I’m so excited. The film is very personal to me and I’m playing the lead role in the film.


Official Trailer

BREAKING NEWS: New York City, 17 October 2011.

COMPOUND, the psychological thriller from writer and director Will Fredo, has just been announced as an official selection for this year’s International Film Festival Manhattan NYC (IFFMNYC).

The festival runs November 11-17 at the Quad Cinemas (34 West 13th St, New York, NY).

COMPOUND is scheduled on November 12 at 4pm.  A Q&A follows the screening with Fredo and select members of the production.

Produced by HUBO Productions, COMPOUND stars John Arcilla, Jake Macapagal, Janet Russ, Joan Palisoc, Perry Escaño, Lily Chu, Marq Dollentes and Liza Diño. Music score is by award-winning world and jazz musician Bob Aves.

SUMMARY: “Unable to cope with harsh reality and looming misfortune, Virgilio delos Reyes (Arcilla) keeps appearances to his family by resorting to the use of crystal methamphetamine. Taking in Jay Juanillo (Macapagal) as their tenant, Virgilio finds an easy target and scapegoat of his escalating paranoia as reality catches up with them inside the compound.”

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The WOMEN are heading back to Manila!

Directors Ellen Ramos, Rica Arevalo and Sarah Roxas


The WOMEN are heading back to Manila!

FULLY BOOKED and IFC in cooperation with Hubo Productions present Garden of Eve (Ganap na Babae) by directors Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos, Sarah Roxas!

A must see film!

Date and Time: October 15, 2011 3:00PM and 6:00PM
Where: U-View, Basement Level, Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street
Ticket Price: PHP 150.00
Tickets are available at the Ground Floor Customer Service Desk of Fully Booked Bonifacio High Street

Sarah Roxas is a discovery, a fresh director with a strong sense of her feminine self & a visionary. Her perspective about the continuos struggle of women, prostituting themselves for their family is worth seeing… Her ending, a jaw dropper!

The very first Cinemalaya Best Director awardee, Rica Arevalo‘s timing and humor is apparent in her direction of the widow-gone-wild-story, a taboo issue about Ageism & Women. She is a storyteller with a gentle & caressing touch. You’ll hear the audience laugh & giggle at her scenes!

Director Ellen Ramos‘ poignant take on strong willed women following their dreams of a better life outside the Philippines and those who stays is both silently heartbreaking & poignant, even funny. Unforgettable cinematic scenes! Worth the discussion!

MEGA Honors Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos, Sarah Roxas and Ida Tiongson

GANAP NA BABAE (Garden of Eve) women directors, Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos, Sarah Roxas and Ida Tiongson were honored last June 2011 as FILIPINO INTERNATIONAL ACHIEVERS at a fashion forward TERNO BALL. Together with their fellow honorees Charice Pempengco (Glee singer), Paquiao (boxing champ), Venus Raj (Ms. Universe beauty queen), Efren Peñaflorida (CNN Hero), Monique Lhuiller (fashion designer) among others, the women directors and Ida Tiongson of HUBO Productions attended the event!

And this month, the directors are featured once again in their September 2011 Forward March 100 Pinoys.

With gratitude, thank you to Mega Magazine “PINOY PRIDE” for the recognition! Itaguyod ang Pelikulang Pilipino! Mabuhay ang mga ganap na babae!”



New York Film Academy Graduate Wins Award at Soho International Film Fest

New York Film Academy Graduate Will Fredo won the inaugural Mient’s Pick Excellence in Cinematography award at the Soho International Film Fest. The award was given out for the first time by film distributor Mient, a major sponsor of the festival. Mient’s Pick is the first technical award given out in the festival’s history and Will’s film Ganap Na Babae (Garden of Eve) is the first recipient of the award.

NYFA Graduate Fredo executive produced the film about women directed by women along with his company, Hubo Productions. In Ganap Na Babae (Garden of Eve), a prostitute, two sisters, and a widow come together to tell their stories about womanhood. The three stories are interwoven to see the plight of Filipino women from the sensitive eyes of the three contemporary women directors, Rica Arevalo, Ellen Ramos and Sarah Roxas. Soho International Fest marked the international premiere of the film. Says Fredo on the award:

“It was supposed to recognize the technical mastery of a movie, awarded by the film distributor Mient. I seriously thought the award would again go to Todd Bellanca (director of “The Bad Penny,” best feature award winner). When [our movie’s title was] announced, all of us were floored. With everyone in shock, I composed myself and thanked the SIFFNYC and Mient.”

New York Film Academy extends a congratulations to Fredo, who comments that the experience of screening in New York was “extra special for me personally since I started my film career in NYFA.”

Will Fredo (Right) photographed with Todd Bellanca (Left), winner of Best Feature Award

Will’s Personal Account of the Journey: Road To SoHo : Winning the Last Silver Woman

GANAP NA BABAE (Garden of Eve) : SoHo International Film Festival

Only seven awards were handed out and for the first time a technical award was up for grabs this year when Mient (pronounced Mint), a film distributor and major sponsor this year, partnered with SIFFNYC in the early planning of the festival and decided to recognize technical mastery via a Mient’s Pick for Excellence in Cinematography. This was the last award of the night and HUBO Productions’ Ganap na Babae (Garden of Eve) is the first recipient of this award.

HUBO CEO/Resident Director Will Fredo accepted the award and in his speech recognized the valuable contributions of Myk Manalastas and Gym Lumbrera, the cinematographers of the film.

Others in attendance were Directors Arevalo and Roxas, and HUBO Productions President Greg Macaraeg, Board of Director Ida Ceniza Tiongson, and Board Member Fernell Cruz. Fredo reiterated in his speech HUBO’s support for women directors, the very essence why the project came to fruition. Fredo further added “This is a day to celebrate women and the hard work and commitment of everyone behind the production. We thank SIFFNYC and Mient for recognizing our work.