December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas Soju!

(December 24)
Christmas eve dinner with my family! Delicious Korean food with bottles of red wine and soju. hic!

In case youre wondering, thats my brother Justin and his girlfriend Monica.

December 25, 2006

Long lost spark

(December 19)

I had fun wrapping gifts for Hangad the whole day. I felt a spark of creativity I had not felt in a long time. Sounds shallow but it made me realize how uncreative my job had made me. I can feel my mind waking up again to ideas and being reintroduced to that sense of wonder I had lost. This is what happens when a puppet breaks free from his strings. Exciting :)

We're singing for the Simbang gabi at Gesu later. The Hangad Christmas marathon continues...

2 1/2 hours with a Swede

(December 18)

I celebrated my first official day of freedom by putting together a Vattern.

A what?
A Vattern
A what?
A Vattern

Oh a Vattern

(how does that game go again?)

Vattern is the model name for one of Ikea's modular cabinets. You buy them in, well, modules and have the option of stacking them up, pairing them together or using them individually. This gives you a wide range of opportunities to come up with complicated shelving all with customizable parts and components in terms of dimensions, color and even depth. For the Ikea shopper, this means first getting the Vattern box in your cart and choosing which legs, drawers or shelves go with your Vattern (each part has a different model name which also serves as legs, drawers or shelves for other modular units aside from the Vattern). All parts are purchased seperately as knocked down furniture (as with all other Ikea stuff).

The fun begins when you start the assembly process at home. Fortunately for me, my Vattern consisted of only one module with four legs, a drawer and a shelf. I didn't need power tools for this one. Just my handy screwdrivers (flat and star) and a hammer.

Now I'm bad at assembling stuff (and all puzzles in general). Ask my brothers and they'll tell you I never contributed to putting together any of their Lego models. When Pau and I had to assemble a cabinet from Our Home, it was utter hell. It also didn't help that the manual wasnt accurate and the pre-punctured holes in the boards weren't precise. Don't you think its sad how we Filipinos have to satisfy ourselves with sub-optimal furniture (style, price and quality-wise) from SM when the same furniture can be found outside the country at a more reasonable price, with better product quality and superior design concept? I'm not talking about antiques, plastic or rattan furniture but the everyday stuff like cabinets, shelves, drawers, tables and chairs. Yes there are quite a number of local outlets who carry neat stuff but the price is just too much. This calls for a totally new blog entry...

Anyway going back to my Ikea Vattern, I was surprised on how easy it was to put togther the whole thing. It was amazing how the parts fit together considering they were all purchased seperately (I guess I was still stuck in the mindset that you buy furniture as a whole. And even if you bought it is as knocked down, you still get all the parts in one box). Not just that, all prepunctured holes were accurate and very easy to fit parts into. The best part of everything how was stable the Vattern turned out. Its not wobbly like the Our Home cabinet (HNH!).I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IKEA! I definitely dont mind the 2 1/2 hours I spent putting this unit together.

I wonder if Manila is on their map of regional expansion. Until then, I will have to limit my Swedish indulgences outside the country.

December 15, 2006

Unofficial Hangad videos

Have you seen my unofficial Hangad videos? Check out my YouTube channel. Below are some of my favorites:


Jagged Pieces

Send Your Spirit

If you like our music, make your own unofficial Hangad video. Send me the link or mail it to

Donation to Spark Hope=1000000 calories

I was on my way home from Hangad rehearsals when I remembered I only needed one more sticker to complete my Starbucks planner. I wasn't sleepy yet and didn't feel like heading home so I decided to drop by Metrowalk (part of me was also half hoping to catch someone online on YM :) ). When I entered, both counters had long queues and it moving quite slow. When it was finally my turn, I told the barista I was going to claim my planner. She turned to the next barista and said

"Handa mo ang videocam".

She then proceeded to tell me that I had to prepare a Christmas message for Starbucks so they can record it. It was required of everyone who claimed their planners. I said,

"Thanks to Starbucks and the pursuit of a planner. I'm now a lot fatter this Christmas...."

At this point she agreed with me (Aha! even baristas agree their coffee is fattening) and told me it was just a joke.

"Pinapasaya lang po namin lahat ng mga kumukuha ng planner"


Anyway, now that I have my planner I really don't know what to do with it. I don't use planners. I've had one before and I never got to fill up the pages past January. The only reason I got this one was to complete the damn sticker card (SUCKER!). I'm thinking of giving it away for Christmas or making it a raffle prize during the Christmas party or maybe just keep it and sell it online to collectors after 48 years. I dunno. Well, even if I have no use for it, I least I got to donate to SparkHope (STRIKE 2 SUCKER!). Hmm, so it not Starbucks who is making me fat. Its SparkHope. Gosh. If people really wanted to give to SparkHope, they really shouldnt do it via Starbucks. This is just another one of those marketing ploys used to justify people's guilt over spending too much money on coffee.

December 11, 2006

Mau idol

I didnt really follow Philippine Idol during the past 6 months but I was able to catch last night's results. Filipinos really have a thing for the "api". Not that Im saying that's all there is to Mau. She's a fantastic and soulful singer but its unfortunate her physical appearance had to be an issue. I personally dont think her appearance was a hindrance. In fact its about time we recognize somebody like her with real talent. There are just too many of these models/actresses/actors turned singers with no vocal talent at all. Personally, I was rooting for Pao (who, by the way, had a breakthrough duet with Aiza last night. I think it was the high five in the end that did it for me. Does anybody know where I can get a copy of that performance?) but Mau will do. Go Mau!

Wedding factories, Elaine interrupted and irritable church manangs

We havent sung for a wedding in San Agustin for the longest time until yesterday. We stopped accepting weddings in San Agustin ever since it turned out to be one of those "wedding factory" churches. "Wedding factory" churches are those that have weddings scheduled every hour on the hour so couples usually have to buy an hour or two and spend up to P50,000 just for the church rental (big revenue source for wedding factories). And because you rent by the hour, they have time guards(usually young girls wearing tops with fancy cuts which went of style 2 years ago) making sure that you stick to your slot. This often results to very mechanical weddings that have to fit 60 minutes. First, your entourage and bridal march have to run to the altar to save time. Then your officiating priest has to deliver his homily as short as he can (possibly the only advantage of this set-up? =p). The choir only gets to sing during offertory and communion. And doing your pictorials is like waiting for your order in the food court ..."Parents of the bride get ready...Next we will have the bride's immediate family...friends of the bride will be next...customer number 23 your salisbury steak is ready..." (I have to mention at this point that after the priest has said his final blessing, a time guard has kidnapped your commentator and has taken over the microphone. It is her duty to scurry your guests from one pictorial set-up to the next.)

Luckily for us the couple we sang for yesterday was wise enough to buy 2 hours(Congratulations Randy!). This meant a smooth and meaningful celebration from start to finish (though the time guard still took over the pictorial part).

Doinks #1--The bride had picked Panunumpa as the wedding march and we had Elaine sing it "Ikaw lamang ang pangakong mahalin... At mapapawi...."

[crakle. Pan camera to old lady with manang uniform on the lectern]"Annoucement. Please turn off all your cellphones as the mass is going on. Also please watch your valuables..."

Doinks #2--Nicky plays Ito ang Araw as the responsorial psalm. After the choir repeats the chorus, a manang suddenly appears beside him and asks irritably

Manang: "Matagal pa ba yung kantang yan?"
Nicky : "Opo. May dalwang ulit pa"
Manang: "Bilisan mo. Ang haba pala nyan may susunod pang kasal"

5 days to go til Independence Day

"When God closes a door, someday he opens a window"

These days I certainly find myself saying that line again and again, Though in my case God did not close the door, I did. Come to think of it maybe he just used me to do his job. At least I'd like to think closing the door was part of his plan. If you ask for what then I still cannot say but I know deep inside me its for better things.

Some windows,maybe even doors, are starting to open and its exciting. I havent felt this spark in a long time.

Solongfarewell/Gilbert knew better

Sept 27, 2006 (late posting)

I've finally decided. I'm taking a break from corporate life. No I'm not going back to school
or have signed up for the seminary (though that remains to be an option). I've just had
enough of telco. You know you want out when waking up in the morning is impossible knowing its gona be another day at the office. When your mind ceases to function in meetings and just
agree with what everyody has to say just to get it over with. When you don't question the directions given to you even if you feel it doesn't make sense. When you you totally don't care about what you do with your job anymore. In short, when you at look at yourself in the mirror and see Pinochio - the wooden boy puppet version.

What does making investors happy got to do with my own happiness? That's a load of corporate crap. Yes I may be "on top of my class" but at what expense? High stress levels about meeting sales targets that you don't even get credit for. BULLSHIT.

Honestly at this point I'm not sure if I really need to get out or just take a break. It's not just because Im burned out. I've given up on the industry. Yes its fast moving and that means itll always change and products will continue to evolve and there will always be new products to launch ...So this should be exciting right? Im not sure if I really want to be in the bandwagon. If I leave now it'll still be fastmoving. Nothings gona change.

"I'm afraid once you start working for telco you'll be stuck in it forever" - quote from our new
BM. I'm with your bro all the way.

Gilbert knew better when he left his job of 10 years. He was their no. 1 salesperson in the service chain and yet he left in the middle of it all.

September 7, 2006

Waiting for Sopranos

Recorded Child Emmanuel earlier tonight. For the first time, it took us(basses)a much shorter time to record than the sops hehehe Can't wait till the recording's over. I'm very excited for this project :)

Hmmm for some reason the photo upload function doesnt seem to be working. Pix to follow

August 30, 2006

Solo flght

Partying solo flight. What the@#!? God is a DJ. My life is a dancefloor. Just keep the booze flowing

August 26, 2006

Gusto na Kitang Makita

SuperCat for Teej

When I told my friend TJ I was taking a supercat to Ormoc(ugh!) he asked me what a supercat was. I realized not everybody outside the Visayas ever had the need to cross islands(duh). So for everybody who’s never heard or a SuperCat, it’s the cousin of the Super Ferry us Visayas folks use to hop from one island to another.

Ho-hum Friday night (late upload)

Ho-hum Friday night
I decided to stay overnight in Cebu because I missed my family. I had dinner with them a couple of hours ago and because my brother had to start his shift (he works for a call center), we had to break up and head home. Now I’m stuck in the hotel and bored bored bored BORED BORED BORED! All my friends seem to be busy tonight. Or maybe they just don’t wana meet me hehe.

I’ll visit the house tom. Yey! This means I’ll get to eat a home-cooked meal again  It’s kinda sad thinking about how long I haven’t had a home cooked meal…well that’s what you get for being independent. I should really learn how to cook real food. Maybe I’ll graduate into real cooking when I buy an oven next month. I’m already excited about all the cookies, brownies and other pastries I’m going to bake hahaha I sound so Betty Crocker. But seriously I do like to cook. I even considered enrolling in CCA when I was still in college. Maybe when I finally get tired of having Hangad as my second career I can go into cooking or enroll in PSID. Oh well lets see

August 23, 2006

Raymond’s Lullaby

Hangad is recording its 5th album!!! This time it’ll be a 4-track Christmas card CD to be launched this October. One of the original tracks in the CD is a song entitled “Raymond’s Lullaby”. The lyrics is as inspiring as the story behind it.

Marchan Padla, a L’Arche volunteer (L’Arche is a non-profit organization committed to cause of mentally-handicapped street children), emailed Hangad out-of-the-blue about wanting to share a song he wrote. He has never known nor heard of Hangad but he suddenly found himself at the Hangad website. He wrote a song for one of the L’Arche kids named Raymond – a kid who was autistic and hated loud noises. Every holiday season, the volunteers would bring Raymond and the other kids outside the city to somewhere quite. In the serenity of the countryside, the kids would be safe from kapows and bangs urban folks use to celebrate the holiday’s with (firecrackers are definitely the Chinese’s biggest holiday influence on us). Anyway, Marchan aptly wrote “Raymond’s Lullaby” as the song title.

Raymond’s Lullaby
If I’d make a wish for Christmas,
Each day would be like Christmas night.
When we put aside our fighting,
find the warmth that comes from giving,
When the rushing world slows down for once to share a song of joy

Then the noise will fade
Weary hearts will find themselves at ease.
Throughout the world, all men will learn
To live in Christmas peace

Only then shall we feel the baby Jesus in our hearts
What a miracle, the heavenly King,
Born in our hearts!

I might not be able to post again once we’ve launched the album but check out by October to see where you can get a copy :)

August 4, 2006

Hangad Keeps Me Grounded

Check out our website at

Respecting Choices

I found out yesterday one of my best friends in high-school was getting married tom. Weird. You think since you guys were close for a significant number of years you at least expect to get an invitation. But anwyay that's not my point. My point is that both of us were each other's "coming-out-buddy" in high-school. Of course at that stage we both agreed to "cure" it. It seems like he's finally taken that last step into defining his straighthood.

Good for him. I guess he's happy. Well he should be for the sake of the misus. The last thing I want to hear is him having extra servings of fresh adolescent meat while feeding a family of 5.

Seriously, I will learn to be happy for him. Maybe not now but eventually.

July 21, 2006

My Mom was a Carpenter

The other night I finally bought a copy of The Carpenter's greatest hits collection. It came in a box set with 2 CDs and 1 DVD for only P895(great buy!). Looking at the list of songs in the CD I coudn't help but sing all the titles. Then it hit me. How'd I know so many Carpernter songs? It certainly isnt my style but I love humming along to the tunes. I blame this all on my mom (in a good way of course :))

The Carpenters would probably be one of my musical influences. I think listening to them gave me my first taste of simple yet moving lyrics(like "we've only just begun to live", "why do birds suddenly appear everytime you are near", "don't they know its the end of the world" and "calling occupants of interplanetary craft" =p).

Thanks for introducing me Karen mom!
By the way, does anybody know why a lot of groups in the past had "THE" attached to their names? The Cascades, The Platters, The Beachboys?

I dont know what's more disturbing... the hair, the make-up, the dress or the pose [shrudder]

My Attraction to Melancholy

I dunno why but I'm attracted to melancholic songs. Here's one I discovered last Tuesday. It doesnt reflect my current state at all (defensive ba? =p)

What If

What if there was no light
Nothing wrong, nothing right
What if there was no time
And no reason or rhyme
What if you should decide
That you don't want me there by your side
That you don't want me there in your life

What if I got it wrong
And no poem or song
Could put right what I got wrong
Or make you feel I belong
What if you should decide
That you don't want me there by your side
That you don't want me there in your life

Oooh, that's right
Let's take a break, try to put it aside
Oooh, that's right
I can't ignore it if you won't even try
Oooh, that's right

When every step that you take
Can be your biggest mistake
And it could bend, or it could break
Well that's just the risk that you take
What if you should decide
That you don't want me there by your side
That you don't want me there in your life

July 18, 2006

Petron Taguig Stopover

July 18, 2006
12:30 pm
Petron (somewhere in Taguig C-5)

Finished my first round of interviews for an FMCG company specializing in toothpaste. They didn’t want to discuss the benefits(which was weird) because I needed to pass 2 more interviews before they can discuss it. I’m thinking this means they’re pretty flexible in terms of compensation. An officemate’s brother haggled his way from a meager package to a great one. As of now the only thing I see that sucks is the Saturday work schedule. C’mon! Isn’t Monday to Friday enough? We don’t even have a weekend schedule in telco. But anyway, no need to fret. I haven’t gone through the first round yet. I’ll worry when they’ve handed me the offer and the package wont compensate the Saturday work.

A lot of people ask me which company I want to work for and I always answer “it depends”. Its not that I don’t have ideal companies in mind. I do but for some reason I feel I’m never going to be part of them because of my scholastic background and work experience…but anyway, there are companies I’d like to be part of. Nestle is definitely one of them. It’s the only company wherein I’ve sent my resume more than 3x for a position… even if I’ve already gotten a rejection notice. I definitely want to be in the FMCG industry. I think its something I can learn a lot from and actually grow into. Right now I don’t have any preference as to which FMCG company but whatever I get into I hope it’s a good one. I have 3 non-negotiables for my next employment 1) net xxxk salary, 2) service mobile, notebook and vehicle and 3) opportunity to travel. Other than that I’m much better off at my current employer.

So why have I given up on telco? As my boss clearly pointed it out “It’s only going to get worse”. For one I’m tired of hearing news about the incumbent’s increasing subscribers. Although we’re steadily increasing market share, we’re no where near where we want to me. I cant wait for that to happen. Now that I finally have a solid corporate career, I want to explore greener pastures. I don’t want to grow old in my present company. Yes the pace is exciting and there are a lot things happening but “It’s only going to get worse.” Do I have the tolerance to face the “worse” in telco. Don’t think so. Another reason I’m leaving is simply because I feel I’ve been there too long. I’ve been an employee of that company for four years now. Man that’s forever for my generation of yuppies. Most of my peers are already earning 6 digits. Mine’s is a meager…its too depressing.

You see that’s another thing. When you’re an Ateneo graduate you somehow expect a premium from society. God were such brats. Its totally not fair to other graduates of schools not as prestigious but students as smart as you are. I haven’t really felt discriminated because of my school. Sometimes I think I’m just out of touch but maybe its also because I don’t necessarily flaunt my blue eagle wings. People know me more as an Atenean than as a Cebuano. Hmm…I guess it means there is some sort of discrimination there.

So why cant I be the guy who slacked through college with a Philosophy degree but ended you successful in the corporate world? Maybe not yet. I’m not as successful as I want to be. Wish I were….Wish I may…Grant the wish I wish tonight… Starlight starbright…

I dread going back to work tomorrow. I cant wait to my long overdue vacation. I really really need it. If I don’t get an offer by middle of next week I’m going to take a long vacation 2 week of august after my TV launch. I need it. I deserve it.

July 13, 2006

Sorry weather

I've always wondered what I'd write If I had a blog account. I really dont consider myself much of a talker but I wanted to check this out. I am in the telco/IT industry anyway (well hopefully not for long. YES. TAKE ME OUT OF THIS INDUSTRY! IVE BEEN HERE FOR TOO LONG --im saving more details on that for my next blog).

So there. my first blog. blah blah blah

I'm running out of Wi-Fi minutes. Gotta run (or swim considering the sorry weather).

July 15, 2006
Added the picture just now. Doesnt really match my "sorry weather" Blog. Blogger says you gotta have a pic in your blogs so I can have a pic in my profile.