Conquered by videoke _ Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

SHE HAS always loved to sing, and as a young girl even joined amateur contests held in her hometown of Mainit in Surigao del Norte. Now based in Los Baños, Laguna, Christine Ajoc hasn’t foregone the joys of singing to an audience, even if she has not become a professional singer. If the 25-year-old is not in a videoke bar where she and her friends feast on crispy pata and take turns singing songs by Rivermaya or Christina Aguilera, Ajoc is singing (and eating and chatting) with the help of a videoke at a friend’s house.

Even in Singapore, Pinoy artists are bankable _ Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism

Twelve years ago, Francisco ‘Kiko’ Escora was already happy when a painting of his fetched P3,000 at an exhibit in Manila. But today Escora must be ecstatic; his works are being snapped up not only in his home country, where they now average P70,000 a piece, but also in places like Singapore, where Escora paintings are bought for S$4,000 each, or a cool hundred grand based on a P30:S$1 conversion.
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