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CELEBRITY TOP 10: National Artist F. Sionil Jose Passes Away At 97; Manix Abrera Launches First DC Comics Cover Of ‘Batman: The Knight’

CELEBRITY TOP 10: National Artist F. Sionil Jose Passes Away At 97; Manix Abrera Launches First DC Comics Cover Of ‘Batman: The Knight’
National Artist for Literature F. Sionil Jose writes 30.

Top 10: Grammy Awards postponed

The most-awaited biggest night in music has been postponed amid the Omicron surge.

“After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners,” CBS and The Recording Academy announced in a joint statement that they decided to postpone the 64th Grammy Awards.

The show was supposedly scheduled for the last day of January. For now we’re still waiting for the new schedule to be announced.

Top 9: Golden Globes to push through without audience, broadcast

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) said the Golden Globe Awards will push through.

However, there will be no red carpet, no audience, no media credentials et cetera.

It will continue to honor the best in film and TV, and the organization will highlight its philanthropic work more in the ceremony.

“Over the past 25 years, the HFPA has donated $50 million to more than 70 entertainment-related charities, film restoration, scholarship programs and humanitarian efforts – and we look forward to continuing these efforts as the years come,” it said in a statement.

Celebrities who were invited have also said no to special appearances as presenters, according to Variety.

Aside from the surge in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, members of the industry decided to boycott HFPA due to issues of racism, sexism, bullying and corruption.

Top 8: Sundance Film Festival to go virtual

Sundance Film Festival will also push through with the event this year, but there will also be no in-person gathering.

It will be held from Jan. 20 to 30, and there will be a virtual component for the participants and the audience.

Films and other specials will be available through online portals. 

For those who have already purchased tickets for the in-person event, they will have the option to have it changed to virtual screenings.


Top 7: John Mayer tests positive for COVID-19

John Mayer has tested positive for COVID-19, as confirmed in a report by Variety.

Because of this, the singer will not be performing as a frontman for Dead & Company at the Playing in the Sand Festival in Riviera Cancun, Mexico.

John has been successful in his solo career and as Dead & Company frontman.

He is the second member of the band to have health concerns after their drummer, Bill Kreutzmann, also announced that he will not be able to make it to the show upon his doctor’s advice.

Top 6: ‘Scream’ red carpet premiere scrapped

Paramount Pictures decided not to push through with the original schedule of the red carpet premiere for “Scream” on Jan. 11 due to the wave of the Omicron variant.

Fans are expected to see the original “Scream” stars Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox and David Arquette plus the new cast.

Red carpet was out but the big screen release will proceed as well as some press and radio promos.

“Scream” created a new take on the horror genre since it was released 25 years ago.

Top 5: The Weeknd’s new album is out

Hit singer-songwriter The Weeknd has released his new album “Dawn FM.”

Prior to this, he has been teasing about the album a few weeks ago. He even showed the album cover this week where he is shown as an old man.

In this new album, The Weeknd has collaborations with Jim Carrey, Quincy Jones, Tyler, The Creator, Lil Wayne and OneOhTrix Point Never.


Top 4: National Artist F. Sionil Jose passes away

National Artist for Literature Francisco Sionil Jose, whose widely translated works delved into the Southeast Asian country's painful colonial past and social injustices, died Thursday, Jan. 6, according to a literary guild he had founded. He was 97.

In a prolific writing career spanning seven decades, the Filipino writer penned more than a dozen novels, several short story collections, essays and a regular newspaper column. He also owned a bookshop.

He died at a Manila hospital one day before he was to undergo an angioplasty, the Philippine Center of International PEN said in a statement on its Facebook page.

His death was also announced by The Varsitarian, the student paper which he had edited at the Manila university where he studied.

A self-declared “agnostic,” the writer took to Facebook earlier Thursday in what would effectively be his last words, thanking God as well as his “brave heart” for “this most precious gift” as he waited for his blood vessel procedure.

“Now, that I am here in waiting for an angioplasty, I hope that you will survive it and I with it, so that I will be able to continue what I have been doing with so much energy that only you have been able to give,” he wrote.

The son of a church minister and a dressmaker, F. Sionil Jose, as he was popularly known, grew up in a poor rural village in the northern province of Pangasinan -- where he developed an early love for reading and later set many of his novels.

His writing was deeply influenced by the Philippine national hero Jose Rizal and he was best known for his “Rosales Saga.”

The five-novel series follows several generations of two families over 100 years from the Spanish colonial period to martial law under former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, exploring issues such as social inequalities, land rights and insurgencies.

"One of the greatest tasks of Filipino writers is how to make Filipinos remember. Not only to remember but to love this country," he said in a 2011 interview.

Born under US rule

Sionil Jose was born on Dec. 3, 1924, when the Philippines was an American colony.

After working in the US Army Medical Corps during World War 2, he studied literature and edited The Varsitarian, the student publication at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila.

He quit college before finishing his degree.

After a stint at the now-defunct United States Information Agency at the US embassy in Manila, Jose joined the Manila Times newspaper where he worked for a decade.

In the early 1960s, he moved to Hong Kong to edit Asia magazine. He later returned to the Philippines, where he opened the Solidaridad bookshop in 1965 in what was then a middle-class neighborhood of Manila.

Sionil Jose described Solidaridad as a “literary saloon” for political figures and local writers to discuss social issues.

After he founded the Philippine chapter of PEN International in 1957, the bookshop also served as its headquarters.

Trademark beret

A married father of seven, F. Sionil Jose was a prominent member of the country's literary scene where he was known as “Manong Frankie,” or “Old Man Frankie.” He was rarely seen without his trademark black beret.

The notoriously acid-tongued writer earned plenty of detractors for his forthright, derisive and cantankerous manner.

Sionil Jose was branded a racist and bigot in 2015 after suggesting the Philippine’' ethnic Chinese population could not be trusted if conflict broke out with Beijing.

And he was accused of sour grapes after suggesting Philippine journalist Maria Ressa did not deserve the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, saying on Facebook he had not “read anything memorable by her.”

He who wrote mainly in English and signed his works as F. Sionil Jose, is one of the most translated Filipino writers, with novels printed in more than 20 languages.

Sionil Jose was named National Artist for Literature in 2001, the highest award accorded by the Philippine government to writers.

In 1980, he won the Ramon Magsaysay Award, Asia's equivalent to the Nobel Prize – but to his apparent chagrin never received the latter.

In a 2019 interview with CNN Philippines, Jose said he wanted his epitaph to read: “He wrote stories and believed in them.”

Top 3: Belle Mariano doing online series minus Donny Pangilinan

Belle Mariano starts the year with an online project for iWant TFC entitled “Click, Like, Share 3.”

For this one, she will be working with Shania Gomez and other stars, but not with her onscreen partner Donny Pangilinan.

Recently, DonBelle has released their first movie “Love Is Color Blind” under Star Cinema, Smart and Cignal.

How did Belle adjust as she worked on her first project without Donny? For Belle, this is only a breather and that they will continue doing projects soon.

Top 2: KC Concepcion attends ‘And Just Like That…’ premiere

KC Concepcion was one of the special guests in the recent premiere of “And Just Like That…” in New York.

KC happily posted selfies with the stars including Sarah Jessica Parker.

“And Just Like That…” is a spin-off limited series based on “Sex and The City.”

KC was also the talk of the town when she penned a heartwarming message for her mother Sharon Cuneta, who celebrated her birthday on Thursday, Jan. 6.

She turned off the comments section for this post, but nevertheless, followers gushed over how she referred to “The Megastar” as the queen, her first best friend, first Valentine, and only mama. KC also said she’ll love her mom no matter what.

Top 1: Manix Abrera launches first DC Comics cover of ‘Batman: The Knight’

Well-known Filipino comics creator Manix Abrera is making it internationally as he created his first published cover for DC Comics which is “Batman: The Knight.”

Manix’s creativity and artistry indeed deserves to be in the spotlight. He is known for his Kikomachine Komix series.


Celebrity Top 10 airs on Cignal TV’s One News channel at 4:15 p.m. every Monday to Friday, with replays on Cignal TV’s One PH at 10 p.m. Watch the full episode here:


Producer: Maryan Alivio
Writer: Von Belinario
Researcher: Angelyn Gamido
Video Editor: Peter Pormento
Graphics: J'cel Patrick Dy