Nothing like a giant dance party to welcome what we hope will be a much better year. David Guetta will be bringing his Unity World Tour to Manila for a one-night-only show this Thursday, Jan. 5, at the Smart Araneta Coliseum; tickets are available at Ticketnet outlets or online at ticketnet.com.ph.
Our favorite cake-throwing DJ will be headlining the Plus63 Music Festival on Jan. 14 at the Cebu Business Park. Aoki has just released his new collab track with 1D’s Louis Tomlinson titled “Just Hold On,” which should be all the more reason for fans to head to Cebu for the Sinulog Festival this year.
The self-proclaimed Titas of Manila have a very good reason to be excited this month. The rocker with the raspy vocals will be serving up golden hits and some new tracks from his latest album “Get Up” on Jan. 18 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tickets are available via Ticketnet outlets or online.
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt walk up on a spaceship called the Avalon—but everyone else is still in cryogenic slumber. Who woke them up—and why?
“Live by Night”
Ben Affleck goes gangster in this Prohibition-Era adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s book.
“The Great Wall”
A ponytailed Matt Damon is a skilled warrior who discovers the Great Wall of China was built to keep out actual monsters in this big film from Zhang Yimou.
“Carve the Mark,” by Veronica Roth
Veronica Roth is back with another interesting sci-fi/fantasy duology. In “Carve the Mark,” two teens find themselves with powers that leave them at the mercy of others who wish to exploit their abilities.
“The New Celebrity Apprentice”
With Trump moving on to the White House, someone else needs to fire aspiring businessmen from the boardroom, and who better to do it than Ah-nold. Yes, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is back to terminate bad businessmen. If “The Apprentice” is the breeding ground for future presidents, does that mean Arnold may have a chance to become the next Potus? Airs Jan. 2.
Fans of Wizard of Oz and Wicked will want to add this gritty retelling—airing Jan. 6—to their collection.
It’s Tom Hardy in a wearing nothing but a loincloth. ’Nuff said. Airs Jan. 10 on FX.
“Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events”
The unlucky orphans with a scheming guardian get the TV series treatment. Neil Patrick Harris is going to be a riot for sure. Airs on Netflix starting Jan. 13.
“The Young Pope”
HBO’s fictionalized look into the first American Pope (Pius XIII) stars Jude Law airs starting Jan. 17.
Iron Man Experience
Are you on Team Iron Man? Start the year geeking out at the Iron Man Experience which officially opens on Jan. 11 in Hong Kong Disneyland. It’s a Stark Industries showroom and museum combined with inventions and Iron Man memorabilia found inside its halls—plus you get to try out Tony’s latest gadgets and meet the man in the suit (nope, not Robert Downey Jr. himself).
Chinese New Year
Dragon dances, fire eater performances, festive fireworks while feasting on tikoy and xiao long bao? The streets of Binondo are a riot come Chinese New Year, but still a crazy cultural experience for all to enjoy.
Snow and Ice Festival
Boasting gigantic sculptures that mesmerize both in daylight and nighttime, the annual festival is also an international competition. Every year the ice creations just get bigger and better, a winter wonderland of color and design.
Baler surf season
In dire need of vitamin sea? We got you covered. Baler surfing season doesn’t end until February.
Held at Melbourne Park and running from Jan. 16-29, tennis season’s kick-off major event is the most fun and festive of the grand slam tournaments.
The creator of “The Sandman” comes up with one of the year’s most anticipated books in what should be an accessible take on Odin, Thor, Loki and company.
Hong Kong Arts Festival
The annual HKAF presents an international lineup of programs for all arts enthusiasts to enjoy and runs from Feb. 16 to Mar. 18. The best part? Even those new to arts appreciation and travelers on a budget can immerse themselves, as there are free events and exhibits.
All grown up and armed with a couple of new albums, the South Korean whiz kid is back to charm Manila with his mad acoustic fingerstyle guitar skills. Catch him live at the Newport Performing Arts Center in Resorts World Manila on Feb. 4; tickets are available via TicketWorld. Get a VIP ticket for a meet-and-greet!
They’ve had a pretty good 20-year run, these guys. Better head to SM Skydome on Feb. 10, as this will be the last time you’ll hear the American pop-punk band perform anthems like “Ocean Avenue,” “Only One” and “Light Up the Sky” along with new tracks from their final eponymous album.
Goo Goo Dolls
If you ask us what we want this year, it’s the chance to see this band live. It’s been a long time coming, really —from late ’90s radio hits “Name” and “Iris” to “Black Balloon” and “Better Days,” John Rzeznik and Co. are now touring to promote their latest album, “Boxes.” Expect ’90s alt-rock fans to sing along with them (and loudly) on Feb. 11 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum. Tickets are available via Ticketnet.
Karaoke fanatics will get their “birit” on this February—with our very own Arnel Pineda as vocalist, legendary rock band Journey brings its arsenal of power anthems like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Faithfully” and “Open Arms” to the SM Mall of Asia Open Grounds on Feb. 17. Tickets are available at SM Tickets outlets or via their website.
For those who miss the boy band-studded ’90s like crazy, this is the farewell show for you. The Moffatt brothers Scott, Clint and Bob (minus youngest brother Dave) will be helping us channel our inner tween one last time on Feb. 18 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum, with tickets available for purchase via Ticketnet.
Before You Exit
Speaking of heartthrobs, another band of brothers will be flying back to Manila to make millennial tweens squeal on Feb. 24. Connor, Riley and Toby McDonough will be holding a show at the Kia Theatre in Quezon City to support their “All the Lights” EP; tickets are available at Ticketnet.
The rerun of Peta’s hit musical comedy launches the theater company’s 50th anniversary. Runs from Feb. 3 to Mar. 19.
“The LEGO Batman Movie”
There are antics galore here for brick fans and Bat fans. Will Arnett reprises his “LEGO Movie” role as the voice of the LEGO caped crusader.
“John Wick: Chapter 2”
Keanu Reeves had an unexpected hit with the retired hitman forced back into game with the first film; he returns to aid a friend with more choreographed violence.
“Big Little Lies”
This HBO series is based on Liane Moriarty’s juicy, small-town secrets and scandals story starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon. It also marks David E. Kelley’s (“Ally McBeal,” “The Practice”) return to TV.
Danny Pudi (“Community”) and Vanessa Hudgens (“High School Musical”) star in this comedy set in the DC Comics Universe about an insurance company handling claims from damages wrought by superheroes.
“Santa Clarita Diet”
Drew Barrymore stars in this Netflix series about discontented housewives and suburbia. Although with Timothy Olyphant as her husband, we wonder how she could be discontented.
Now that Jack Bauer’s Kiefer Sutherland is playing the reluctant POTUS in “Designated Survivor,” “24” must continue without its original hero. Corey Hawkins (“The Walking Dead”) takes over the mad race against time.
This Marvel series follows David Haller (Dan Stevens) in this show produced by the same people behind “Fargo.”
“The Good Fight”
The Good Fight is a spinoff of “The Good Wife” and also CBS’ first foray into streaming services. Can they take on the legacy of Julianna Margulies and Netflix at the same time? Only time will tell.
“King’s Cage” by Victoria Aveyard
Aveyard’s “X-Men”-like series set in a dystopian monarchy that began with “Red Queen” was a riveting hit that bagged the author film deals and a cult following. “King’s Cage” is the third book in the series that follows Mare as she now struggles in defeat. Will the third book be the “Return of the Jedi” of the series where our heroine emerges victorious at last?
“Girls” Season 6
Everyone’s favorite (debatable) millennials are back for another helping of coping with relationships, career and friendship in modern day New York.
“Last Week Tonight with John Oliver”
Hilarious satirist John Oliver is back on HBO to take on the freshly inaugurated Trump and other mind-boggling realities of life and politics.
Pinxi Lantern Festival
Want your own “Tangled” moment? Watch paper lanterns take over the Taiwanese sky on Feb. 11.
You can’t not wear Renaissance fashion—even just an elaborate Venetian mask—when you’re in Venice, Italy on Feb. 11-28. Sure, it’s not a Carnevale requirement, but it’s not everyday you get to be a masquerader. Go on a pub crawl or people watch at the piazza, the entire city is under mystique!
“South and West: From a Notebook” by Joan Didion
The author of “A Year of Magical Thinking” looks back at the 1970s through her actual notebooks about a road trip from that time.
Atlantic Theatrical Entertainment Group’s musical, whose 2016 staging reunited “Les Mis” headliners Lea Salonga and Eric Kunze, will have a limited rerun of only 12 performances.
Finally, the lineup is complete! Headlining this year’s Wanderland installment are returning Australian alt-rock faves The Temper Trap, whose third album “Thick as Thieves” has just come out, and English indiepop duo The Ting Tings. Other foreign acts include Malaysian popstar Yuna, Canadian synthpop duo Purity Ring, Australian indie-folk group Woodlock, English electronica duo HONNE, American pop outfit LANY. Homegrown talents Up Dharma Down, Gab and John of Urbandub, Fools & Foes, Tom’s Story, Reese Lansangan, and Wanderband winners Lola Amour, Banna Harbera and Mickey Sulit round up the cast. Wanderland 2017 happens on March 4 at the Filinvest City Grounds in Alabang; get your Wanderbuddies package while you still can.
No rest for the wicked. The 7th Malasimbo Music & Arts Festival kicks off in Mt. Malasimbo, Puerto Galera, on March 10.
For fangirls fawning over the hunky singer-songwriter, the wait is mercifully almost over. Originally slated for October, Shawn Mendes’ concert will now happen on March 18 at the Mall of Asia Arena, with tickets still available via SM Tickets. If you bought your tickets last year, don’t worry—they’ll still be honored on the new date.
The sequel nobody thought was ever going to be made, this “T2” has the original cast—yes, Ewan McGregor—and creators—yes, director Danny Boyle—more than two decades after we snorted the iconic original up our cinematic noses.
In his final appearance as the mutant Wolverine, Hugh Jackman faces a bleak future with a sick Professor X (Patrick Stewart) and a girl—X-23 to those in the know—with a serious connection to Logan himself.
“Kong: Skull Island”
A stellar cast (Tom Hiddleston Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman) journey to the titular island and run into a bit of ape trouble-King Kong size trouble.
Will the De La Salle Lady Spikers defend the volleyball crown in the UAAP Season ’79 Women’s Volleyball tournament?
“Beauty and the Beast”
Disney cast the perfect Belle (Emma Watson) for this live-action (but still sorta animated) take on the 1991 animated musical. The castle is populated with animated inanimate objects voiced by everyone from Ewan McGregor to Emma Thompson. Ready to be their guest?
The 1990s powerhouse franchise morphs unto the big screen with this gritty teenage take that, if successful, should herald a new history for the Japanese-turned-American spandex property.
“Ghost in the Shell”
Scarlett Johansson plays the cyborg Major in this live-action adaptation of the tech-prevalent anime classic.
Another show with an ambiguous release date (Spring), we can’t wait to see if the revival of this weird TV series will live up to the strangeness of the original one.
Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” did seem like it was meant for TV’s serialized format vs a full-length film. We can’t wait to see what showrunner Bryan Fuller (“Hannibal”) will do with Wednesday (played by Ian McShane) and the gang.
“Marvel’s Iron Fist”
Another Netflix produced spinoff from the Luke Cage Marvel universe focusing on martial arts expert Danny Rand/Iron Fist. The series star Finn Jones and Rosario Dawson.
Holi Hai! Get bathed in color during this famous Spring festival happening on March 12-13 in India. The celebration of love and color start with a symbolic bonfire where people gather to sing and dance. Holi does not only mark the start of Spring, but is also known as a day to forgive and forget.
Ultra Music Festival
United we dance. The Ultranauts will be at it again in the hottest EDM party in Miami, Florida on March 24-26.
Mardi Gras, New Orleans
Catch the beads on March 28.
Only in Spring does whimsical blooms paint a dreamlike image over the monotonous concrete jungle in the cities of Seoul and Tokyo. The famous Sakura season begins in the second half of March with the flowers in full bloom.
Manila Improv Festival
The best local and international improv groups will perform in this five-day festival organized by Silly People’s Improv Theater (SPIT) with Peta. Runs March 22-26.
“The Secrets of My Life” by Caitlyn Jenner
The world’s most famous transgender recalls how she went from Olympian Bruce Jenner to the icon she is today as Caitlyn.
Coldplay’s much-awaited Asia leg of its spectacular “A Head Full of Dreams” tour arguably tops every concertphile’s bucket list for 2017, with tickets for all shows having sold out soon after release. Second shows in Singapore, Taiwan and Korea have been added and are likewise sold out based on their respective ticketing sites. If you’re still praying for last-minute tickets, better try your luck at the Japan show, whose general sale date starts on Jan. 28 at 10 a.m. Good luck!
“The Fate of the Furious”
The eighth installment in the “Fast & the Furious” franchise takes a hard turn as Dom (Vin Diesel) turns on his family in this actioner from “Italian Job” director F. Gary Gray.
Dave Eggers’ novel about an Apple/Google clone with possibly illegal intentions asks hard questions about the role of tech in everyday life, and the movie does the same with Tom Hanks, Emma Watson and John Boyega in the lead.
“Always and Forever, Lara Jean” by Jenny Han
Lara Jean and the Song sisters are back in this third book that started with the delicious “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” Lara Jean is now a senior and dealing with the inevitable move to college—is she going to stick it out with Peter? What’s going to happen to Kitty and Jamie Fox-Pickle?
Songkran Water Festival
Water guns at the ready! Escape the heat at the world’s largest water fight, happening on April 13-15 in Thailand.
Coachella is probably the only reason why people would love to party in the dessert. It’s a weekend with the music scene’s biggest names performing on its stages, fashion sights that are sure to set the trend, and heaps of Hollywood A-listers.
Peta Workshop Express
Anyone—kids, teens, adults—interested in theater can join this year’s workshops. It will be conducted not only in the metro, but also in key cities around the country. Runs April 27-May 28.
Can men’s top seed Novak Djokovic be beaten at the Roland Garros clay courts this year? Find out starting May 22.
“Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)” by David Sedaris
This book is exactly what it promises, excerpts from the famous diaries humorist Sedaris has been keeping since 1977 and from which he takes a lot of the material used for live performances.
“Star Trek Discovery”
The first Star Trek TV series since “Star Trek: Enterprise,” “Discovery” vows to present something different on CBS with “The Walking Dead’s” Sonequa Martin-Green as first officer Rainsford.
“Men Without Women: Stories” by Haruki Murakami
The author of “1Q84” works his oddball magic on the single life of men in this new collection of short fiction.
“New Boy” by Tracy Chevalier
“The Girl with the Pearl Earring” author Chevalier takes her turn in the Hogarth Shakespeare series (which transposes classic Shakespeare works into modern settings) by presenting “Othello” in 1970s Washington state.
On May 4, we celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of the greatest Filipino writer in English, National Artist for Literature Nick Joaquin. The man who wrote in practically every form will be honored this year through various activities, including the first release of Joaquin from an American publisher, Penguin Classics’ “The Woman Who Had Two Navels and Tales of the Tropical Gothic.”
“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2”
OK, so nobody predicted the Z-list heroes of the original Marvel movie were going to be big. Now, there’s no excuse to miss the continuing adventures of the ragtag bunch of cosmic, uh, avengers (Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista and everyone else comes back) from director James Gunn. Also, more Baby Groot!
“Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins
Loved “The Girl on the Train”? Author Hawkins now presents her second thriller.
Can you honestly say that you’re not the least bit interested in a big-screen take on the beach-based TV series? Dwayne Johnson? Zac Efron? Alexandra Daddario? In swimwear? Thought so.
The Great Singapore Sale
Southeast Asia’s gem of a sale entices shopaholics and those looking for designer duds at marked-down rates to travel to The Lion City.
“The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” by Arundhati Roy
The writer releases her first novel since the 1997 Booker Prize-winning “The God of Small Things.”
Gal Gadot is the Amazonian superhero in Diana’s first live-action film. This is a groundbreaking release, the first of two major DC Comics movies this year.
Need a new take on the bandaged movie monster? Tom Cruise and Russell Crowe star in a film with a female mummy in Sofia Boutella’s Ahmanet.
Hey, Lightning McQueen is really, really back.
“Transformers: The Last Knight”
The Transformers live-action franchise heads into a different direction but we’ll still get Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), Cade (Mark Walhberg) and cool transformations.
The 16th Philippine Toys, Hobbies and Collectibles Convention (better known as ToyCon) is on! This is the year’s biggest toy and collectible show.
The biggest musicfest in England gets going June 21-25.
It’s off-peak and dry season for the ancient destination.
The NBA Eastern and Western Conference champs go head to head in a seven-game showdown. It’s still a long way to go, but ball is life.
The Marvel Universe saw a new Spider-Man in last year’s “Captain America: Civil War” and now Tom Holland gets a chance to win over the fans in his solo film.
After years working with Batman and sci-fi concepts, director Christopher Nolan goes the war route with what looks to be a kinetic telling of the Battle of Dunkirk during World War II.
“Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets”
If you’ve missed Luc Besson’s lavish visual style, here he comes with this movie adaptation of the seminal French sci-fi comic starring Cara Delevingne.
“The Dark Tower”
Perhaps the most sweeping of Stephen King’s sagas (eight novels), “The Dark Tower” comes to cinemas with Idris Elba as the Gunslinger Roland and Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black.
Wear white to this most revered of tennis tournaments in England from July 3-16.
Boryeong Mud Festival
Boryeong, Korea, is the place to go for all mud-related activities from July 15-24.
Mt. Fuji climb
This month marks the start of climbing season on the iconic Japanese mountain.
The Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen (Gishwhes) is a yearly week-long scavenger hunt event hosted by “Supernatural’s” Misha Collins. Gishwhes has broken multiple Guinness World Records since the contest formally began in 2011. Absolutely anyone from anywhere in the world can register to participate in this event which runs from July 30 to Aug. 6.
The Readers & Writers Festival
National Book Store and Raffles Makati stage the annual event that celebrates the written word. Amy Tan, Matthew Quick and Anna Todd are only some of the writers who visited Manila for this festival at Raffles Makati.
Aug. 3-6 sees this major music event in the US.
“Wonder Woman: Warbringer” by Leigh Bardugo
Think “Smallville” for Wonder Woman, this book penned by Bardugo of The Grisha trilogy fame focuses on an adolescent, pre-Wonder Woman (Wonder Girl?) Diana Prince. Eager to prove herself to her warrior sisters, Diana defies the rules of their world by rescuing a mortal named Alia whose own lineage may bring about the end of the world. Alia is a Warbringer, a descendant of Helen of Troy, and predestined to leave bloodshed and death in her wake.
Notting Hill Carnival
Be part of the playful Jouvert tradition—throw paint, powder and chocolate (yup, you read that right) during London’s largest two-day party on Aug. 27-28.
Those cute Pikachu mascots you see all over the internet? You can catch them—around 1,000 in total—dancing around Yokohama’s famous landmarks all week long. We wonder what this year’s theme will be.
It’s the players’ last chance to claim a major trophy for the tennis season, so matches are fought with more grit and abandon—which is great for spectators. Runs Aug. 28-Sept. 10.
Bill Skarsgård is Pennywise The Clown in this remake of another Stephen King screen adaptation.
38th Manila International Book Fair
Get your book buying hat on as the Philippines’ largest book fair gets going at the SMX Convention Center on Sept. 13-17.
“One Dark Throne” by Kendare Blake
In “Three Dark Crowns,” Blake introduced us to heiress triplets with supernatural abilities who must fight each other to the death to secure the throne. “One Dark Throne” is the second book in the series that follows the three sisters as they continue the battle. We loved Blake’s “Anna Dressed in Blood” series and this is another keeper from the inventive author.
“Origin” by Dan Brown
Robert Langdon is back with new ancient symbols to decode while racing against time and possibly a terrorist in this fifth book by Brown.
Witness the beautiful change of season in Korea and Japan.
It’s the best time for a wildlife tour in South Africa.
UAAP Season 80
College pride is once again at stake as UAAP Season 80 opens this month.
“Blade Runner 2049”
Harrison Ford is back as the “Blade Runner” story continues with Ryan Gosling searching for Ford’s Deckard character.
Beer, bratwurst and bread are the thing during this festival in Munich, Germany.
Catch professional tennis’ best female players as they fight for the yearend cup—just a figurative stone’s throw away, at the Singapore Sports Hub.
Super 2.0 turns a year old today (Oct. 30)!
Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is joined by the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) in this Marvel Cinematic Universe Asgardian throwdown.
DC Comics takes its biggest stab at the cinema with director Zack Snyder’s onscreen gathering of Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. This is the movie that DC fans have been waiting for.
Return to the Bayanihan Center for the most important convention for Filipino comic fans and creators.
“The Lost Book of the White” by Cassandra Clare
The first book with Shadowhunter fan favorite character Magnus Bane.
Dia de los Muertos
This iconic festival is held in Mexico on Nov. 1-2.
Hogwarts in the snow
It’s exactly what it sounds like. Catch it in London starting Nov. 19.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
Not a fan of turkey legs? Maybe the view of massive balloons all over New York on Nov. 23 would give you something to be thankful about.
“Star Wars: Episode VIII”
“Looper” director Rian Johnson picks up where JJ Abrams’ “Star Wars: Episode VII-The Force Awakens” left off, as we catch up with the adventures of Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega) and Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). After all, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) will surely be back in this continuation of sci-fi cinema’s biggest saga.
“Pitch Perfect 3”
Want something aca-awesome? The Bellas are back for one more tuneful film with Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Hailee Steinfeld back as well.
Experience Middle Earth during the dry season, when the lush beauty and wonders of the 12-acre Shire warp you right into the cinematic world of “The Lord of the Rings.” The region depicted straight from J.R.R. Tolkien’s imagination is equally breathtaking at night, so don’t miss the chance to dine like a hobbit during the Evening Banquet Tours.