Let the blood, sweat, tears, and fabulousness overflow! Drag Race Philippines is the latest international offshoot spin-off of the original, RuPaul’s Drag Race that is now available to stream Stateside on WOW Presents Plus. To kick off this premiere, the streaming network debuted two episodes for fans to enjoy.
The ten-part series is hosted by the multi-awarded Filipino actor, model, and drag artist, Paolo Ballesteros who took the internet by storm by his make up skills and transformation to some of the biggest stars. His co-star is none other than Drag Race alum, Jiggly Caliente who’ll be a judge alongside Filipina writer, TV personality, and activist KaladKaren.
Check out the official sneak peek below!
Cover Photo Credit: Drag Race Philippines
Fil-Am actress Netta Walker along with the cast of CW‘s All-American Homecoming just completed the first season and they are getting a second! It was announced that the spin-off of the hit series, All-American, which follows Simone Hicks and her friends at fictional HBCU Bringston University are coming back next fall. Netta Walker plays Keisha McCalla, best friends with Simone, resident advisor, dancer, and overall over-achiever. The series tackled each student’s adjustment to college life and further finding their individuality.
One episode during the season, Netta’s Filipino culture was included in the storyline. In the episode,”Godspeed,” her character Keisha lost her mother at a young age and told her friends that every year on her mother’s birthday, it’s Filipino tradition to still celebrate. Her friends helped put together a traditional Filipino feast, “kamayan” where the food was all laid out on a table and everyone eats with their hands. Keisha and friends wore traditional Filipino attire from Barong Tagalog and modern embroidered boleros.
Season 1 ended in Keisha helping keep Bringston University through financial troubles by putting together a fundraiser. Now the gang are staying another semester at university, but it’ll be a long road ahead in Season 2 not only keeping their athletics department going, but navigating the changes at the college. The second season is looking at a fall debut on the CW.
Cover Photo Credit: Netta Walker Instagram
One of the OG love team couples, Daniel Padilla and Kathryn Bernardo will be back together on-screen in their new teleseyre, 2 Good 2 Be True (2G2BT). Late last year, the love team Kathniel teased their upcoming show with a mini trailer and now they take teasing to another level with another teaser. The premiere date still hasn’t been set yet, but a hint of it coming soon. The anticipation is keeping us all on our toes.
The on and off screen couple will play Alisson and Elorde who crosses paths unexpectedly. Their two characters don’t get off on the right foot, but we all know things can change and that opposites attract. Don’t call it a comeback for Kathniel, but it’s a comeback that we’re all waiting for.
2G2BT is the love team’s comeback teleseyre since their 2017 fantasy, action show La Luna Sangre and their first rom-com since 2013 with Got to Believe. As they return to primetime with the rom-com show, the actors say this genre is their personal preference and can’t wait to show their fans the new project.
Rounding out the cast are Ronaldo Valdez, Gloria Diaz, and Irma Adlawan, along with Gelli de Belen, Romnick Sarmenta, Cris Villanueva, and Smokey Manaloto. Matt Evans, Jenny Miller, Yves Flores, and Pamu Pamorada are also part of the project along with Gillian Vicencio, Kristel Fulgar, Bianca de Vera, and Alyssa Muhlach. The series is lead by Mae Cruz-Alviar, who also directed Kathniel in films like “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and “Crazy Beautiful You.”
Cover Photo Credit: RGE Unit Twitter
If you tuned in this week’s to one of Fox’s most watched show, The Cleaning Lady, it highlighted many Filipino elements. Guest stars, father and daughter Lou Diamond Phillips and Gracie Phillips added to the family narrative of the show. The Fil-Am actors contributed to the Filipino elements of the show by speaking Tagalog and sharing relatable family stories.
This was the first time veteran actor Lou Diamond Phillips acted together with his daughter Gracie, telling TV Line it was “incredibly natural” for the both of them. “It was just so wonderful. I had no doubt that we would have instant chemistry and a shorthand to work with.” The father-daughter duo only had one scene together, but the entire episode led to that moment. His character, Joe is an anonymous bone marrow donor who backed out of the procedure for Thony’s son, Luca. With a change of heart at the end because of a Filipino lullaby similar to “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” it led to a reunion between him and his daughter.
The episode showed a few commonalities between the main characters and the Phillips’ characters. Sometime we all need a reminder of where we came from and how we got to where we are. They talk about how Fiona’s cooking reminds him of his Lola’s, how their home is similar to his childhood home, and how the lullaby Thony sang to Luca was the same song his wife sang to Grace.
It’s not often we see this much Filipino-ness anywhere on media so it’s both surprising and fun to see. This episode still carried the overarching plot of the show, but it was refreshing to see how much thought went into making sure the details were right. Even the episode title name is named, “Kabayan” which means fellow country men.
Miranda Kwok created and produced the first primetime drama on Fox that stars an Asian woman. The show is based on an Argentinian series, “La Chica Que Limpia” but she pitched it to Fox to have Southeast Asian leads to break the stereotype. “What I wanted to do was … just show people that no matter who you are, where you’re from or what profession you’ve had, everyone deserves the same amount of respect and dignity.” Each episode so far brings new perspective on the immigrant story.
If you haven’t yet seen The Cleaning Lady, catch it on Mondays on Fox at 9PM. It’s worth a watch!
Cover Photo Credit: Gracie Phillips Instagram
Fil-Am JB Tadena recently was casted along with Asian actors Vanessa Yao and Annie Q. for CW’s series reboot of Kung Fu. Their characters, Mia, Juliette, and Sebastian will have large reoccurring roles in the series’ second season after season one’s crazy finale.
According to Deadline, Mia (Yao) is main character Nicky’s cousin who’s been supporting herself for years. It’ll be a family reunion this season, but it won’t be a pleasant one as Mia is a powerhouse. She’s a Guardian and Warrior with insane skills. While Juliette (Annie Q.) is the daughter and heir to businessman, Russell Tan. She’ll need to decide if she’s willing to follow the dark path her father has set or forge her own.
Sebastian (Tadena) is an eager chef new to Harmony Dumplings and ready to show off his skills in the kitchen. He catches Ryan’s eye, but are the feelings mutual? Speaking of relationships, Sebastian also fosters a new friendship with Mei-Li in the meantime. It looks like Tadena’s Sebastian is stirring up interesting relationships this season.
JB Tadena has hustled as an actor after leaving his job of seven years as a satellite engineer. “…while the hustle never really ends, that’s all it was for the first year and a half. I did research on how the business works, took classes, did networking, auditions, experienced rejections…” You can catch him featured on shows like Westworld, NCIS, SEAL Team, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, Grey’s Anatomy, American Horror Story, and also in the Call of Duty: Vanguard lending his voice to one of the video game’s character.
Cover Photo Credit: JB Tadena Twitter
If you’d been following Marvel’s Phase 4 closely, you’d been binging on movies and shows like us! The latest series that aired was Hawkeye starring Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye/Clint Barton and Fil-Am Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop. The tie-in film to the series is Black Widow where Florence Pugh’s character Yelena returns in a hunt for Hawkeye.
Yssa Mei Panganiban appears on Episode 5 of Hawkeye and plays another Black Widow. She accompanies Yelena on a rescue mission as they try to save widows who have been brainwashed. It’s a quick scene but more than the cool stunts and fights she got to do, Panganiban explains it’s the representation on-screen that matters most.
In an interview with The Illuminerdi, she talked about what it was like working with Florence Pugh and where else she’d like to see Sonya pop-in within the Marvel universe. Panganiban votes for Shang-Chi since her widow training would fit right in with the martial arts. We think it’s a perfect match!
Marvel has added a lot more diversity in their projects and we’re seeing more and more Filipinos on the roster. In the MCU alone, there’s Dave Bautista as Drax The Destroyer, Jacob Batalon as Ned Leeds, Mary Rivera as Ned’s Lola, and Ayla Perez as the diplomat/pilot in Falcon and The Winter Soldier.
“Oh, It feels like a blessing, really. I like to say that we’re in a Renaissance right now for, um, AAPI representation, but particularly Filipina representation. I mean, it’s evident in the Marvel universe, the Marvel Cinematic Universe right now. We’re really making our way in and to be one of the people that’s kind of spearheading that it feels really, really, really good. – Yssa Mei Panganiban
Cover Photo Credit: Yssa Mei Panganiban Instagram
The wait is almost over and Season 2 of the high-rating series, He’s Into Her starring Donny Pangilinan and Belle Mariano is coming soon! We catch a first glimpse of the upcoming season in this brand new teaser. Looks like Deib and Max are enjoying their new relationship, but it looks like a huge secret is looming to drive them apart.
Season 1 left off on a huge cliffhanger where we find out Max’s (Mariano) uncle is responsible for putting Deib’s (Pangilinan) brother in the hospital. Based on the teaser, it looks like a majority of the cast is returning in this brand new season. Most of the Alpha 3 and Bearkadas looks like they just received intense news while hanging out at The Barb. With everyone having an opinion on Max and Deib’s relationship, will they be able to defy the odds and overcome this hurdle this early in their relationship? A premiere date for the new season isn’t yet available, but all we know is that it’s coming in 2022, so until then we’ll just have to wait and see.
Need to catch up or rewatch Season 1? Catch it on iWant TFC!
Cover Photo Credit: He’s Into Her Twitter
Hailee Steinfeld reprises her role as the original sad girl, Emily Dickinson in the final season of the Apple TV+ series Dickinson. The trailer show the chaos that has happened because of the previous seasons, a civil war, secrets, and family drama. Don’t worry though, Emily Dickinson is here to help. She’ll look to conquer the darkness and the suffering with her words and poetry.
To celebrate the final season, Hailee and the rest of the Dickinson cast gathered for a premiere at the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles. Apple TV+ is releasing the first 3 episode to the season with weekly episodes following after. The third season is set during the American Civil War, Apple describes it as “Emily Dickinson’s most productive time as an artist falls amid the raging American Civil War and an equally fierce battle that divides her own family. As Emily tries to heal the divides around her, she wonders if art can help keep hope alive, and whether the future can be better than the past.”
If you can’t get enough Hailee on your screen, catch her also on Disney+ late November on the much awaited Hawkeye series as she teams up with Jeremy Reiner as Kate Bishop and Clint Barton. The best presents always come with a bow.
Cover Photo Credit:
October is almost over and that means Filipino American History Month is rounding out as well, but that doesn’t mean we can’t keep on celebrating us. However for now, let’s dive in with these last couple of FAHM Spotlight features. If you’ve seen the Netflix hit, Bling Empire and binged in basically a day, did you know the mind behind the show is Fil-Am Brandon Panaligan.
1. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Brandon keeps his Filipino roots close
Brandon looks forward to spending more time in Manila when he can travel back. It’s been years since the first time he visited the Philippines. He remembered taking a side trip to Manila and meeting his dad there while filming Shahs of Sunset in Thailand. After traveling throughout Luzon, he now wants to see Palawan and hang out at some of the best beaches with his family.
2. Brandon enjoys his Filipino food, especially halo-halo
Listing off some of his favorite foods, Brandon is definitely a foodie! You can’t visit the Philippines without trying some of the most amazing food. He shared that he loves Filipino food like crispy pata, sinigang and anything with ube. Maybe he can link up with some of our favorite ube spots in LA. However he says his all time favorite is halo-halo. Same here!
3. Before becoming the Executive Producer and show runner of Bling Empire, Brandon worked in the music and film industry
According to an interview with Metro Style, Brandon worked with big names like Madonna and he always had a talent for storytelling. The passion for documentaries led him to taking on reality series. With the boom of reality tv, it was only natural for him to take on a new challenge of storytelling. He looked to increasing representation on television and he’s definitely doing that.
4. Bling Empire isn’t the first reality series, he’s produced
You’ve definitely seen some of the other shows Brandon has produced. Does Million Dollar Listing New York, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, and Big Rich Texas sound familiar? Yes, he’s also produced those too. He’s also taken space in the Netflix world with Made in Mexico and DeafU.
5. With Bling Empire, show creator Jeff Jenkins wanted an all-Asian cast and crew off and on camera
With Jeff Jenkins wanting to bring an all-Asian cast and crew, Brandon’s Fil-Am heritage helped in his role as executive producer. The series may seem like it’s all glitz and glam, but Brandon intended to share the “entire spectrum of life” and everything in between about the cast’s families and lifestyle. He tells viewers “don’t get distracted by the diamonds.” He wanted to tell an honest story and make sure he represents everyone as a full person.
Cover Photo Credit: IMDB
Your favorite traveling trio of Megan Batoon, Jo Franco, and Luis Ortiz are back for more adventures! Grab your favorite travel pillow, airport fit, and your BFF for a staycation with Megan and friends. Season 1 of The World’s Most Amazing Vacation Rentals on Netflix flew us to private islands, showed us the most amazing boats, and experienced the van-life of traveling.
Season 2 continues to cater to everyone’s tastes whether you’re looking for a luxury, unique, or budget-friendly travel. The traveling trio showcased loads of places around North America from the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York to eco-friendly homes in Colorado then finally taking it back to the best coast, west coast for a taste of the So Cal style in Santa Barbara and Malibu. There’s also a few international destinations like waterfront stays in Anguilla, lodge home in Finland, and a possible destination wedding in the Bahamas. It’s another packed season that will have you adding to your bucket list.
Originally, 16 episodes were filmed for the lifestyle series and the first 8 episodes aired early this summer ranking in the Top 10 shows on Netflix for four weeks! Now you can catch both seasons and binge away!
Cover Photo Credit: Megan Batoon Twitter
The trailer for NCIS: Hawai’i starring Vanessa Lachey as Jane Tennant is finally here. We don’t have to wait much longer for the premiere as we’ll get to watch it starting September 20th! Vanessa plays Jane Tennant Special Agent in Charge (SAC) and the first woman in the NCIS franchise to do so.
Along with Yasmine Al-Bustami and Jason Antoon who were casted as series regulars, another Fil-Am Kian Talan is also slated to co-star in the series. He’ll play Alex Tennant, the eldest between the two Tennant siblings. Alex is struggling with his parents’ divorce and all the changes that come along with that. Talan’s character is described as a strong willed, mature teen who’s good at his core, but not always make good choices. The New Hampshire native previously appeared on Netflix’s Brainchild, Cicada, Homebound, Shadows, La Passion, and Mukbang. NCIS: Hawai’i will be Talan’s biggest break yet. He wrote an essay about the experience of auditioning for a Filipino character, here on Backstage.
The trailer gives us a glimpse of what to expect in the series. There’ll be action, great backdrops, and teamwork. Vanessa as the leader and SAC which is so refreshing to see and she does it so effortlessly. Who wouldn’t want to be on her team?
Jane Tennant is described as being as diplomatic as she is hard-charging both in her career and personal life. She looks to thrive in a male-dominated profession through her confidence in her team and strategy. She’s also a single mother raising her kids while juggling her career with NCIS. She tasked with balancing the duty to both her children and her country. Check it out on CBS on September 20.
Cover Photo Credit: NCIS Hawaii Trailer.
The beloved animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender is switching gears as a live series. The popular Nickelodeon’s animated television show aired from 2005 to 2008. The live series is spearheaded by Netflix with Fil-Canadian young actor Gordon Cormier as the lead character, Aang. Cormier is 11 years old and a Vancouver native who’s relatively new to the industry. His latest roles includes The Stand from Paramount+ and Netflix’s Lost in Space. Joining Cormier as part of the cast are Kiawentiio as Katara, Ian Ousley as Sokka , and Dallas Liu as Zuko (Fil-Am Dante Basco was the voice of Zuko in the animated series).
The Netflix series follows Aang, a boy who happens to be the last airbender on earth. An airbending prodigy, Aang is a reluctant hero, struggling to deal with the burden of his duties while still holding on to his adventurous and playful nature. He’s been frozen in an iceberg for 100 years and meets new friends after he’s been discovered by waterbender siblings Katara and Sokka. Aang is joined by a group of young heroes as he gains the powers to manipulate the four elements of air, water, earth and fire to become the Avatar in order to save the world.
According to Deadline, Albert Kim (Sleepy Hollow, Nikita) will serve as showrunner, executive producer and writer of the series with Rideback’s Dan Lin (The Lego Movie, Aladdin) and Lindsey Liberatore (Walker) executive producing, along with Michael Goi (Swamp Thing, American Horror Story). Roseanne Liang is co-executive producer and Goi, Roseanne Liang and Jabbar Raisani will serve as directors.
Cover Photo Credit: Variety Twitter