By Oliver Carnay
Reflections Awards - The Most Successful
Awards Show in Los Angeles Still Kicking at its 16th Anniversary
Reflections Awards, in its 16th
year, is an annual awards show which recognizes major achievements, not only
for the Filipino-American communities in Los Angeles, but as well as those
individuals or organizations that have had an impact on uplifting the
Asian-American society in the United States.
Formed in 1988 by a group of hairstylists
headed by Monet Lu to help raise money for a friend who was stricken by the
AIDS disease, Reflections Awards is a fashion gala-awards show and has featured
fashion collections from several well-known designers.
In the past, such collections included Fanny
Serrano, Henry Hayag, Louie Mamengo, Randy Ortiz, Rene Salud, Criselda Lontoc,
Nardie Presa, Dave Tupaz and Lou Razon-Chua, among others. The Reflections
been attended by almost all of the big celebrities
from Manila (Richard Gomez, Aga Muhlach, Charlene Gonzales, Gretchen Barretto,
Lorna Tolentino, Ruffa Gutierrez, Sheryl Cruz, Dawn Zulueta, among the endless
list), as well as international celebrity stars like Barbara Carrera. Former
recipients of the coveted Golden Reflections Awardees included Lea Salonga,
Lou Diamond Phillips, Billy Crawford, and the film "The Debut."
This year, several prominent figures were
among the awardees: Dra. Vicki Belo, owner and proprietress of Manila-based
The Belo Medical Group, Inc.
(www.belomed.com) pioneered the introduction
of the latest cosmetic skin care technologies in the Philippines and has
been conducting lectures in different prestigious dermatologic organizations
around the world; World-renowned Skin Health Restoration
researcher-scientist-dermatologist, and author of many articles, Dr. Zein
Obagi, M.D. (Obagi Beverly Hills Store Clinic) has taught hundreds of surgeons
regarding his invention about skin rejuvenation
A company that has sky-rocketed its mega-consumer
products is First Quadrant International. Because of its strategic marketing
the company marked
as one of the top dynamic and fast money-making investment company in the
Philippines and U.S.A. Under the excellent managerial abilities of CEO Rubi
Esteves (Reflections XVI-Woman of the Year Awardee), the company continues
to shine with the completion of its Milpitas, California bureau.
In the concert scene, Ana Co-Puno of StarMedia
Entertainment received the Concert Producer of the Year Award. Her next project
is the back-to-back U.S. concert tour of Concert Queens Pops Fernandez and
Regine Velasquez (with special guest Erik Santos), which will kick off in
Los Angeles on April 2, 2005.
Celebrity and former television-host Rio Diaz
and couture designer Henry Hayag who both passed away this year were given
each a Posthumous Award by Reflections XVI Committee, for their immeasurable
contributions in staging past Reflections. Rio Diaz is a very good friend
of producer Monet
Lu and helped out collaborated Reflections
events during Reflections I, II, & III, while Henry Hayag's couture design
fashion collections has been featured many times, wherein his designs for
Hollywood stars Barbara Carrera, and other dignitaries (Betty Ford and Nancy
Reagan, to name a few) have worn.
Reflections XVI was hosted by Miss Universe
1997 Miss Brook Lee (former Miss U.S.A.-Hawaii) with the help of mainstream
publicist Winston Emano and former Miss Asia-USA winner- Feilani Bennet -Rubin.
The awards night/gala was held at the Marriott
Hotel in downtown, Los Angeles, California last Saturday, November 20, 2004.
To browse more awardees and other information about Reflections XVI, visit
its web address at
www.reflectionsxvi.com More pics
Jim Brickman Returns
with "Jim Brickman & Friends 2004" - A Christmas Holiday Annual U.S.
Concert Tour; Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees Headlines Four Guest Artists
An exclusive chat with Jim Brickman
by Oliver Carnay
Platinum-selling pianist / songwriter Jim
Brickman just got out of the plane out to Texas when he called for this exclusive
interview. With the release of his Grammy-nominated latest Christmas album
"Peace" last year, the artist is getting ready for another Christmas Holiday
U.S. tour, a 31-key cities major tour, which will kick off November 26 in
Sacramento, California (Community Center Theater) and ends on New Year's
Eve, at the Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Marking his tenth anniversary
in music this year with the release of his "Greatest Hits" CD under BMG Records,
this world-renowned music traveler wants to make sure that the spirit of
Christmas be with all his Filipino fans all around the world, as well, and
be a part of this tour, before he revisits Manila come February 2005.
To start off, I asked - What makes it so
special about doing an annual Christmas tour. Isn't it tiring that you choose
to be on the road every year during the holiday season, instead of relaxing
yourself and enjoying moments with your loved ones?
Oh no, it's really fun doing great Christmas
music! People are in a good mood, they are in a Holiday spirits --It's a
"get your energy" for me. This is my eight year of having my Christmas tour.
I love playing Christmas songs, and it's always a fun time to do Christmas
You've been in the Philippines many times
- and the Filipino people have always embraced your music. Each year your
audience gets bigger. What have you got to say to all your fans now that
you have plans to return and have a concert in Manila?
I have been very fortunate to always have
a wonderful time in the Philippines. I've been there 12 times and hopefully,
I will visit there again this January or February 2005. As you know, I love
going there and working with Filipino artists. I have made a lot of friends
over the years. I have collaborated with such talented artists - Sharon,
Martin, Agot, Ariel, among others.
Aside with Jeff Timmons, who is also promoting
his "Whisper That Way" new CD album, you are being reunited with such same
artists from last year's tour: Kristy Starling (Today Show Superstar), Anne
Cochran, and Tracy Silverman. Why is that so?
This is the second time that we're bringing
the same group in the album "Peace".
There was a successful Christmas tour last
year and we had a wonderful time together, singing holiday songs - so we
thought of reliving our good rapport, that is why they are joining me
One of your songs in the Christmas album
"Peace" is being used as a theme by USO, what is this all about?
One of the songs from the "Peace" album,
"Sending A Little Christmas", which reached #1 on the Billboard Adult
Contemporary chart, is being used as the theme song to honor our troops who
have been deployed. It is endorsed by the Department of Defense, the song
was adapted by the United Service Organizations (USO) for their "Operation
Care Package" campaign program and with hundreds of thousand of U.S. troops
deployed around the world, many engaged in the fight against terrorism. The
USO is offering a way to send a reminder to the troops that they are appreciated
and have not been forgotten. I will continue to endorse and promote "Operation
USO Care Package". I, together with other artists, donated our Cds for them
to enjoy, and to further support the cause.
During these eight years of mounting a
Christmas tour, you've never had a Christmas presentation in the Philippines.
Is there any chance of doing one, at least a Christmas special with some
main Filipino artists?
I would love to do and record some Christmas
songs with any Filipino artists, but it's always the hits -- people want
to hear your hits whenever you mount a concert. Of course, you can't take
that away. And yes, every time I do the Christmas tour, it always fall within
the U.S. Perhaps, someday!
Among the many countries you've performed,
is there any you have not reached and that you've always wanted to go?
I haven't performed in India, which I think
would be cool.
One of your signature styles is bringing
out other people's talents by collaborating with them to do vocals with your
music arrangements. Is there such a Jim Brickman method?
That's the idea, I like great singers.
And you know, Filipinos singers are some of the best in the world, I think.
I've recorded about three or four songs with Sharon, and I've sang with Lea
Salonga for her Christmas album, I've performed with Martin Nievera and Pops
Fernandez, Ariel Rivera and Agot Isidro.
Are there any other Filipino artists you
think you want to work with? Have you met Gary Valenciano?
No, I have not met him.
There is a Filipina performer named Lani
Misalucha and a group
called The Society of Seven, currently making
waves at the Bally's in Las Vegas. They are performing at the Jubilee Theatre
for a six-month stint engagement. I've heart that the producers wanted to
extend it to a year because of great demands for a lot of people to see.
Do you think you could check them out while you're in Vegas and let me know
what you think?
Sure, I'll give you my e-mail and leave
me the information about them. It's always good to know that there are good
Filipino artists out there. Filipinos, like I've said, are such talented
singers and artists. I've always believed in them.
How did you start collaborating with Jeff
I was looking for somebody to record a
song with and his name came across at that time. I've always wanted 98 Degrees
to do one of my songs before but never got the chance. Finally, we connected
and started hanging out and singing together and writing a bit and it evolved
into a friendship, until we talked about bringing him in with the holiday
tour. It was a natural choice.
He's a great guy, very sweet, kind, funny and very nice. I think he's a perfect
singer to be singing with my songs. With this tour with him, it's going to
be half and half - half holiday Christmas songs and the hits ("Valentine"
and "The Gift") and his new songs."
I heard that you have a syndicated radio
show? How are you going to divide your time between on the road with the
tour and being with your show?
Yes, I have a syndicated radio show which
comes once a week, every weekend. It's pre-recorded once a week.
Any messages to all your Filipino fans
before you hit Manila in February?
Certainly, as you know that I've been there
many times and I love the Filipino people so much and their appreciation
to my music. Here, they always come up to me and say - hey, I love your music,
I saw you with your duets with Sharon Cuneta and saw you at ASAP, etc. I
love their appreciation for such melodies and love songs, and so I'm inviting
everyone to watch my Christmas concert. You can get the venues and schedules,
or other details through my web site: www.jimbrickman.com. I love to know
that, again, we could have such wonderful audiences.
With more than a decade of experience in
the entertainment industry OLIVER CARNAY is an accomplished international
Fil-Am writer, Publicist, Talent Manager, Project Consultant, Booking Agent,
Event Organzer, Photographer, Concert Line-Producer, movie associate producer,
and Concert Booking Agent.
Oliver has written for major publications,
domestic and international, including Asian Journal Publications
BALITA MEDIA, INC. ("Balita USA", "Weekend Balita" and "Go4Women
Magazine," available online at
ASIAN-AMERICAN PEOPLE'S JOURNAL (circulated in northern and southern
part of California), Philippine and other Asian Headline newspaper
- circulated in Sacramento, San Francisco and its vicinities) also published
in northern and southern parts of California.
In San Diego: FAME Magazine and
PHILIPPINES TODAY. In New York / New Jersey he writes an entertainment
column for CAROUSEL PINOY ENTERTAINMENT
He is a contributor for BUZZINE Magazine
www.siklab.com, PARA TODOS
Magazine, and other L.A. based publications.
He is the Los Angeles correspondent of
Global Pinoy Entertainment Corporation (GPEC) which publishes S Magazine
(circulated in Manila, all over the United States and Europe) and PINOY
GAZETTE (published in Hong Kong and Japan.
He is an active member of the National
Press Photography Association (N.P.P.A.), Press Photography Association
of Greater Los Angeles (P.P.A.G.L.A.-see
www.ppagla.org for member
listings), and is under the directory list of the Motion Picture Association
of America (M.P.A.A.) covering movie Premieres, junkets, and other major
Oliver is the Publisher of
an online entertainment newswire magazine. Always a pioneer in bringing first
rate news about Fil-Am talents in Hollywood as well as introducing them to
the Filipinos and Fil-Am communities in the U.S. and in the Philippines.
Oliver Carnay is the proprietor of
International Artists Production Company established in 1995 where
he had produced, directed concerts and stage plays.
Oliver Carnay is in full blast as a Talent
Manager and Publicist. He is the proprietor of International Artists PR
& Talent Management
full-service publicity and talent marketing company, which represents a roster
of multi-ethnic actors, musicians, directors, writers, and other celebrated
artists in Hollywood. Oliver Carnay takes pride in being a member of the
Talent Managers Association