The worldwide K-pop craze shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, it’s on high-gear mode in the Philippines. Proof: Viva’s Vic del Rosario Jr. has partnered with some of the people behind the success of Psy, Boa, TVXQ, Super Junior, Girls’ Generation, Big Bang, 2NE1, EXO, BTS, and Wanna One for the launch of two new groups: Z-Boys and Z-Girls.
The Z-Boys and Z-Girls are artists who made the cut from auditions held by Z-Pop Dream Project—a company formed by a team of Korean businessmen, music producers, artists, and promoters to discover new talents.
What’s makes the Z-Boys and Z-Girls different from the typical K-Pop groups is that their members are not from Korea.
Among the Z-Boys, Mavin is Indonesian; Perry, Taiwanese; Roy, Vietnamese; Sid, Indian; Gai, Japanese; Blink, Thai; and Josh (Bautista), Filipino. Josh was formerly a member of the G-Force.
As for the Z-Girls members, Mahiro is Japanese; Vanya, Indonesian; Queen, Vietnamese; Priyanka, Indian; Joanne, Taiwanese; Bell, Thai; and Carlyn (Ocampo), Filipino. Carlyn was formerly with the Pop Girls.
The groups have released their respective debut singles and videos. The Z-Boys’ “No Limit” and Z-Girls’ “What You Waiting For” feature elements of contemporary pop: rap-R&B with a film soundtrack feel that complements the cinematic visuals in the videos.
This early, it’s interesting to observe how Filipino K-Pop fans will receive the Z-Boys and Z-Girls when they arrive in Manila on March 27 for a short mall tour: Sta. Lucia Mall, March 30, 3 p.m.; SM Dasmariñas, March 31, 3 p.m.; SM Sucat, March 31, 6 p.m.
A restaurant evolves when it diversifies with new dishes not related to its original menu. For instance, The Smoking Joint (TSJ), a place known for lip-smacking pork spareribs, beef brisket, as well as smoked bacon, liempo, corned beef, and the like, has added the following items only a few weeks ago: cauliflower with cheese; bacon Caesar salad; buffalo wings; Cajun gambas; grilled pompano; tres leches doughnuts with dip.
The cauliflower with cheese is yummy in its creaminess, while the Caesar salad’s cubed bacon makes it stand out from TSJ’s regular salads. The pompano is a tasty seafood contrast to TSJ’s meat regulars. The Cajun gambas is a nice bar chow with beer—on the night of our visit, there was free Engkanto Draft Pale Ale and Blonde beer.
TSJ also now serves breakfast at 7 a.m. with free brewed coffee.
Live gigs are back, too, with Overdrive performing April 27, 9:30 p.m.
The Smoking Joint, Green Sun Hotel building, 2285 Chino Roces Ave. Ext. Makati; Facebook The Smoking Joint BBQ;