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The Manila Times : Atan Bocaling's game-changing 'BBM 2.0'

News & Interviews
20 November 2021

By George Vail Kabristante | The Manila Times

During the pre-pandemic period, "Ang showbiz at politics ay iisa" (Showbiz and politics are one and the same) was our favorite mantra at our weekday teleradyo program called "Wow It's Showbiz."

This was at Radyo Inquirer 990 AM hosted by Philippine Movie Press Club (PMPC) colleague Fernan de Guzman with Caveat and award-winning short filmmaker Joey Austria as co-hosts. Our guests were usually cross-sectoral coming from showbiz, lifestyle, and politics.

Said mantra refers to the notion that showbiz and politics almost share a similar chunk of followers who are personality and intrigue-driven with movie stars as "de rigueur" during election campaigns.

Think Mocha Uson, Robin Padilla, etc. who are now unabashedly reaping the labor of love ( "gratis et amore") over what they have sowed at the difficult and most trying time at the trails during the presidential campaign of President Rodrigo Roa-Duterte.

Well, why not? With the currency value attached to their names they rightfully deserved the so-called "ex-deal" position given them; charge it to the highly valued Filipino trait "utang na loob" personified by President Rodrigo Roa-Duterte.

This brought me recently into the prevailing frenzied atmosphere of "miting de avance," Certificate of Candidacy last-minute switchings, thin-veiled, albeit cut-throat caravan visualities of public display of support, etc. These are now dominated mostly by those coming from the overwhelming pro-BBM-Digong sympathizers and the so-called scatter-brain "pinklawans;" and those with grey matters in-between their ears you know who.

The recent one I witnessed was the international launch (cum "miting de advance") of the groundbreaking "BBM 2.0" app originated by its cyberspace brainer-inventor and charismatic rock star-looking Jonathan "Atan" Bocaling.

He is a good friend of another good friend of mine, film director Dave Cecilio of FDCP (Film Development Council of the Philippines) under Director General Vivian Velez/Kapisanan Ng Mga Direktor Ng Pelikulang Pilipino (KDPP) where yours truly is Chairman of the Board under its current prexy William G. Mayo.

See that connection where I had to do some Stage Managing improvs for director Dave witnessing the empowered event in situ. As elaborated by its brilliant creator Atan Bocaling, this "BBM 2.0" app can slay wholesale all opponents and pretenders to the throne now overwhelmingly lorded over by the line-up of presidentiable Senator Bongbong Marcos and his tandem vice presidentiable Sara Duterte-Carpio.

Unlike Magellan's chronicler Pigafetta observing an- ongoing heinous battle from a distance, under my nose I got wind of how Atan's digitized armamentarium of so-called modern-day battle gear of Superman in a manner of speaking through the cyberspace can bring hubris to any ambitious political opponents; this is via the surfaces and inter-connectivity and power of the social media worldwide. I'm hard put disclose its conundrum for reasons of confidentiality.

In any case, said launch all gathered by Atan's initiative and his inner circle of die- hard volunteers was well represented by over a thousand BBM-SARA loyal supporters coming from all parts of the country; including even hefty delegates from Bicol and Mindanao (get the drift?).

This also included overseas representatives from Moscow, Russia; Japan; Hollywood of LA area signed under the names of film director Ed Samson, Rowel Ebora, and former editor of Abante Roger Parajes; and two from New York, painter and Manila Times' Oscars Awards correspondent Rommel Rico, and film director Carmelo Soberano. Italy was not to be upstaged either under the name of Viola Oronos-Riva, one of Milan's most active community leaders.

The whole event was awash with showbiz celebs that we helped gather co-hosted by the edgy, testosterone-pumping presence of former Sex Bomb dance artist turned sensational social media influencer Louise Jane Bolton, and drop-dead looks of actor-model and half-Filipino Takayuki Sakamoto Yuki of "Bidaman" fame turned popular recording artist on digital platforms. Imagine their never-ending photo-ops with the stimulated audience.

The famous Filipino-American rapper Apl.De.Ap look-alike Henry Santos with his two back-up dancers, Myls Bovis and Hazel Ann Lausa, had a helluva time catching the wired-up delegates in the palm of his hand chanting with him an infectious feverish BBM moral boosting slogan which he cleverly weaved into the world-famous repertoire of its originator.

The historical and memorable launch of Atan Bocaling's "BBM 2.0" app was held at the swanky and airy activity center of Seascape Village.

The state-of-the art soundstage was provided by Yatai Asian Cuisine which hosted guests as well with their exquisite food choices; this is located right at the vicinity of Sofitel Plaza Manila overlooking the breathtaking expanse of Manila Bay's blue sea waters, along 2F Bay Slide, Atang Dela Rama St., Pasay City. Politics aside, Yatai's menu is absolutely a gastronome's delight and it's worth your visit I swear!