My Observations: Orient Cable told by Optic Media Board to Explain Piracy of Avengers: Endgame

Orient Cable has been ordered by the Optic Media Board or OMB (the national government’s arm on regulating the production, use and distribution of recording media) to explain to them why they should not be charged over the piracy of the mega blockbuster film Avengers: Endgame.

According to a report by Philippines News Agency (PNA), a “show-cause order” was served by the regulator to the Dipolog City-based company on May 6. The action was the result of a formal complaint issued by Teatro de Dapitan, a movie house that was authorized to show Avengers: Endgame to paying customers.

Atty. Hywel Vergara of the OMB’s legal division was assisted by police officers when the order was served to Orient Cable. It was reported that the company’s officials were reluctant to receive the order.

“With it is an order for the owners (of Orient Cable) to attend hearings at OMB in Manila on May 7 and 14,” said Vergara, referring to the show-cause directive.

For his part, OMB Chairman Ansel Adriano warned establishments and individuals to respect the intellectual rights of the film industry, especially local productions.

The movie opened around the Philippines on April 24 along with many other countries that same day. There were people who claimed to have seen the illegal airing of Avengers: Endgame on April 25 through Orient Cable. Subsequently Teatro de Dapitan complained to the local police the same day the airing happened.

As of this writing, the management of the cable firm is still silent over the issue.

Whatever questions the OMB has for them, it would be nice for the cable TV operator to answer the following questions:

  1. Who within Orient Cable had the capability (or connections) of getting a pirated copy of the movie and make adjustments to show it publicly?
  2. Where did the pirated copy come from?
  3. What could the company gain from showing Avengers: Endgame in pirated form?
  4. How is the financial health of Orient Cable and just how many paid subscribers do they have now?

Check out my review of Avengers: Endgame here.

 

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Alabang Hills Update (May 9, 2019)

At Alabang Hills Village, Muntinlupa City today, the stage is finally set for the Alabang Hills Village Association’s (AHVA) schedule Annual General Membership Meeting. The big meeting is set for 2PM of May 12 (Sunday) at the Multi-Purpose Pavilion of the village.

At the clubhouse the AHVA official I talked with said that the agenda of the meeting was not available. In most meetings related to homeowners associations (HOAs) like this, it is expected that the HOA’s board of directors (BOD) and officials will meet with the legitimate members and give them updates about what happened during the past year, how is the association doing financially, how did the association follow the standards of the Housing and Land Use Regulator Board (HLURB) in accordance to Republic Act Number 9904 (RA9904 or the Magna Carta for Homeowners and Homeowners Associations), etc.

And then I saw some other updates on the desk in the AHVA clubhouse. A paper showed that there will be a car registration service for vehicles ending with number 5 on their plates, set for May 11 (no time specified) and applicants are required to bring the valid emission test result.

Last but not least was a new document related to a legal conflict between an association and a private organization.

For transparency, I posted it below. Read and learn.

AHVA

 

Carlo Carrasco’s Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame

I’ll just say it straight and clear – Avengers: Endgame is an epic superhero movie that, like its predecessor, is great to watch again and again although there are some noticeable differences.

For starters, the creative led by the Russo Brothers came up with a story that somewhat defied most people’s expectations in relation to the ending of Avengers: Infinity War. Considering what happened in the previous film, it’s too easy for moviegoers to anticipate another uniting of remaining superheroes to defeat the omnipotent Thanos who wields the Infinity Gauntlet.

Quite daringly, the filmmakers came up with a story that focused more on time travel and time paradox. Since Endgame is still a new film, I won’t spoil the plot details and will focus on the technical aspects as to why the film is great.

On time travel and time paradox, Endgame felt somewhat self-aware by referencing other popular movies that had time travel concepts. The inevitable time machine gets set up obviously and when the superheroes went their own ways through time, Endgame suddenly felt like The Empire Strikes Back mixed with elements of Back to the Future. What do I mean? What I’m saying is that character development ramps up when the superheroes go their separate ways (not individually but by pairs or small teams) and their time travel exploits brought moviegoers back to the past, especially the unexplored segments of what we saw in previous movies of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The good news here is that the Russo Brothers did a great job telling the story even though the concepts of time travel and time paradox were so challenging to execute on-screen. Clearly the co-directors did their research to ensure that the story still made sense. Of course, there is the expository dialogue designed to explain to readers the film’s time travel concept.

When it comes to performances, just about each member of the cast performed nicely on bringing to life their respective characters. I felt Robert Downey, Jr.’s performance as Tony Stark/Iron Man is his best since Iron Man 3. Still, I think the standout performer of them all was Mark Ruffalo who proved to be creative not only with his smart Hulk but also managed to deliver the solid performance the movie script required from him. Personally, this cinematic Hulk is the best one yet and we can forget about the mindless, rampaging Hulk of years ago.

Josh Brolin returned as Thanos and his performance was great (as expected) but in order to understand this film’s version of his character, you need to watch the previous appearances of Thanos from the past years especially with 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

When it comes to superhero spectacle, Endgame delivered the fun stuff – the flying, the energy blasts, powerful strikes, collateral damage, cosmic powers, futuristic sci-fi technology and the like. However, I felt that Infinity War was much more loaded with action, stunts, special effects and superhero spectacle. This is understandable because the first 30-45 minutes of Endgame was more about story build-up, heavy dialogue and character development delivered with little action. The good news is that the pace of the film ran faster when the time travel sequences started. Of course, there is also the anticipated giant battle near the end of the film. A very action-packed final battle indeed although I felt the darkness (lack of light on the setting) somewhat lessened the impact.

Overall, Avengers: Endgame is an epic superhero movie that must be seen and it also justifies replaying Infinity War. While both Endgame and its predecessor are epic movies heavily loaded with spectacle as well as a lot of heart in the story and character development, the major differences go like this – Infinity War carried more shock value while this new movie was more about the pleasant surprises related to time travel.

Does Endgame deserve its massive commercial success? Absolutely! More than that, this film is also the undeniable climax of the 11-year buildup of the Marvel Cinematic Universe that started with Iron Man.

Where the Marvel Cinematic Universe will go next after Endgame will most likely be another uncharted territory of superhero cinema.

Note: When watching Endgame, I highly recommend viewing it on an IMAX screen as it was filmed entirely with IMAX cameras. Go for it if you can afford it!


Thank you for reading. If you find this movie review engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

 

 

My Observations: Philippine Government Takes Action Versus Cable TV Company Over Avengers: Endgame Piracy

The national government of the Philippines, through its agency the Optic Media Board which is in charge of regulating the production, use and distribution of recording media, took action against Orient Cable for the illegal showing of Avengers: Endgame.

According to the CNN Philippines report, the Optic Media Board announced on May 2 that it has ordered the cable TV company in Dipolog City, Zamboanga Del Norte to explain why it should not be charged over the alleged acts of piracy. In that particular province, movie house Teatro de Dapitan complained about Orient Cable’s illegal showing of the Marvel Studios film even as it was still playing in cinemas nationwide. Teatro de Dapitan is the lone theater licensed to show the movie to paying customers in the province.

The OMB added that Orient Cable could face administrative and criminal raps for violating Republic Act 9239 (the Optical Media Act of 2003), which carries a penalty of up to six years of imprisonment and a fine of up to ₱1.5 million.

According to Teatro de Dapitan owner Lovely Nice Custodio, Avengers: Endgame was played on channels 10 and 18 on Orient Cable.

As of this writing, Orient Cable still has yet to issue an official reaction to the charges and accusations of piracy.

It would be nice for the cable TV operator to answer the following questions:

  1. Who within Orient Cable had the capability (or connections) of getting a pirated copy of the movie and make adjustments to show it publicly?
  2. Where did the pirated copy come from?
  3. What could the company gain from showing Avengers: Endgame in pirated form?
  4. How is the financial health of Orient Cable and just how many paid subscribers do they have now?

As far as the Philippine government is concerned, piracy is a crime.

Stay tuned for more!

My Observations: Cable TV Company In Dipolog City, Philippines, In Legal Trouble Due To Alleged Illegal Airing Of Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame is all over the news and social media. It is breaking multiple box office records. Its high level of anticipation compelled many movie theater operators to adjust themselves to accommodate the moviegoers. Of course, there are these people who, for some reason, found it enjoyable to spoil the plot and surprise of the movie online.

And then there was another type of news about Endgame that caught my attention lately…..the piracy of the movie allegedly done by a cable TV company in Dipolog City.

According to a news release by Philippine News Agency (PNA), the company Orient Cable and Telecommunications, Inc. showed the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie which made a certain movie house to complain to the local police. Orient Cable stopped the showing of Endgame after the legal representatives of the movie house went to the police.

Even so, the movie house pushed through with filing a case against the cable TV company.

Apparently Orient Cable is liable for violating three Philippine laws. Republic Act Number 10088 (Anti-Camcording Act of 2010), Republic Act Number 8293 (Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines) and Republic Act Number 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012).

To put things clearly, showing the movie locally is clearly illegal given that Endgame is still brand new in cinemas. I doubt that the Walt Disney Company (parent company of Marvel Studios) gave Orient Cable special authority to show it. At the same time, showing the movie via cable TV is itself a way of spoiling the movie to members of the public.

This, of course, leads to questions…

  1. Who within Orient Cable had the capability (or connections) of getting a pirated copy of the movie and make adjustments to show it publicly?
  2. Where did the pirated copy come from?
  3. What could the company gain from showing Avengers: Endgame in pirated form?
  4. How is the financial health of Orient Cable and just how many paid subscribers do they have now?

According to the PNA report, Orient Cable remained silent about the issue as of April 26.

If any breakthrough happens, I’ll keep you readers updated.

For now, if you have not seen the movie yet and you really want to watch it, go for it while you still can! Spoilers are constantly spreading online and there are still many people who believe that spoiling the movie is a good thing (in fact, it is not).

 

 

My Observations: Las Piñas Is Modernizing Public Transportation With Electric Tricycles (E-Trikes)

In recent times the City Government of Las Piñas headed by its Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar has been making a lot of progress with modernizing public transportation within its jurisdiction by releasing to local tricycle drivers and operators electric tricycle (e-trike) units that they received from the Department of Energy (DOE).

The DOE donated 100 e-trikes to Las Piñas which in turn coordinated with the varied tricycle operators from the city’s twenty barangays. On April 5, 2019, the City Government’s Facebook page posted pictures of its most recent turnover of e-trikes to specific operators. Posted below is one of them.

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Las Piñas City Government officials with the recipients in a turnover ceremony at City Hall. (photo by Shawnette Ramos for City of Las Piñas Facebook page)

Right below is a picture of electric tricycle units that I photographed during my visit at Las Piñas City Hall.

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From my visit at Las Piñas City Hall.

The future of local public transportation in the city is looking bright. Once these electric tricycles go into full operation, the following is expected to happen:

  1. A more comfortable ride for passengers thanks to the new tricycle design. The e-trike is one whole unit (versus the motorcycle linked with a passenger-carrying unit of the old tricycle design).
  2. Reduction on noise pollution because there is no fuel-based engine.
  3. Reduction on air pollution because there is no fuel-based engine and no exhaust.
  4. Complete avoidance on spending money on fuel which by the liter, as of this writing, is expensive. Recharging, not refueling, is the way for E-Trike operators to recover and keep operating the next day.

Think about it carefully. E-Trikes can bring passengers through the quiet villages more safely, quieter and without adding anymore air pollution that would affect families at their homes.

Now that the benefits of E-Trikes have been discussed, it’s time to take a close look as to how these positive developments in Las Piñas happened in the first place.

The answer is City Ordinance Number 1536-18 (Series of 2018). and below is a summary of the details written on it.

The Ordinance

Formally titled “An Ordinance Allowing The Operation of E-Trike in The City of Las Pinas and Providing Guideliness Thereto.”, with “E-Trike Ordinance” as the shorter title, City Ordinance Number 1536-18 (Series of 2018) was approved by the City Council and Mayor Aguilar on May 28, 2018. As written on the Ordinance, it was deemed that the adoption of the e-trike project is a necessary step in combating unreasonable high oil prices and ending dependency on oil. The E-Trike was viewed to be eco-friendly, noise-free and air pollution-free. It has the potential to generate higher income for operators and even create new jobs.

Section 2 of the Ordinance states: The City of Las Pinas fully supports the national government’s e-tricle project. It is also committed in enforcing the applicable provisions of the Clean Air Act and in addressing community concerns about high oil prices, pollution and health hazard as well as in providing new job opportunities.

Section 4 (E-trike Franchise Grant) legalizes the use of electric tricycles within the territorial jurisdiction of the city. For this purpose, one hundred units of three-wheeled electric power driven vehicle or e-trike shall be granted franchise by the City of Las Pinas through the Sangguniang Panglunsod.

Section 5 (Guidelines) states that no e-trike franchise shall be granted unless the unit utilizes environmental-friendly batteries as determined by the Environment and Natural Resources Office, has an on-board charger and is deemed roadworthy while also possessing the required safety features.

The individual applicant is an actual resident and registered voter of the city. The transport cooperative may be granted in its name up to five franchises subject to compliance with the qualification requirements of the drivers.

For E-Trike Rent-To-Own Program or variations thereof and/or meanwhile that the ownership of the unit is not yet fully transferred to the intended buyer, a provisional franchise may be granted in favor of the proponent. Provided, that the qualification requirements of the intended buyers or drivers of the vehicle are complied with.

Section 6 (Parts Availability) – the proponent shall make available within the city such parts as may be needed for the continued operation of the E-Trike.

Section 7 (Charging Stations) – charging stations shall be established in strategic public places in the city. For the total franchises herein fixed, no less than two charging stations shall be required of the proponents to establish. In this regard, not all contemplated franchises shall be issued by the Sangguniang Panglunsod unless the establishment of the charging stations is assured or completed.

Section 8 (Incentives) – Franchisees shall be granted a 50% discount on all fees applicable to trimobiles specifically the franchise fee, the annual supervision fee, the mayor’s permit fee, the legal research fee, the sticker fee and the police inspection fee.

If you wish to obtain copies of the Ordinance, visit City Hall.

Conclusion

With the E-Trike Ordinance in full force, Las Piñas City is clearly on its way forward with modernizing public transportation within its jurisdiction using electric tricycles which serve passengers traveling between the important city roads and the villages.

As far as South Metro Manila is concerned, Las Piñas has joined the electric vehicle bandwagon with Muntinlupa City (which has e-trikes and electric jeepneys already for years) for public transportation.

The City of Parañaque meanwhile remains behind. Last time I checked at Parañaque City Hall, they don’t even have a draft ordinance needed to legalize the use of electric vehicles for public transportation.

Speaking of Parañaque, I can’t forget the embarrassing failed launch of the electric tricycle project of the BF Federation of Homeowner Associations, Inc. (BFFHAI) of 2016. From the way things looked back then, BFFHAI failed to verify if Parañaque (which occupies a huge portion of BF Homes subdivision) had any ordinance legalizing the use of electric vehicles for public transportation. Back then, Las Piñas (which occupies another large portion of BF Homes subdivision) obviously did not have a similar ordinance.

Right now in South Metro Manila, Las Piñas and Muntinlupa are leading the way for public commuters with electric vehicles.