Thursday, October 29, 2009

EXPLOSIVE ENCOUNTER: Paranormal Activity

In conjunction with the upcoming Halloween, I would like to share my eerie-sistable and unforgettable paranormal experience way back 2005. And seriously, whenever I look at the pictures below, I can’t help but get goosebumps!


Friend: Naniniwala ka ba sa multo? (Do you believe in ghost?)
Earvs: Noong una, hindi pero nung na-experience ko ang isang nakakakilabot na series of events in 2005, naniwala akong, they really exist! (At first, no. But when I experienced a series of scary encounters in 2005, I start to believe that ghosts exist!)

The first picture was taken in 2005. Our Executive Producer celebrated her birthday in a restaurant in Quezon City. Everyone had a good time. To cap off the night, we had the usual Filipino gathering tradition, to have a group photo! I didn't leave a space beside me. Apparently, when we look at the photo in a digital camera, there's a white smoky figure beside me. We thought, perhaps its smoke or the light bounced. What do you think?


This next picture was taken in a resort in Bulacan. It was quite late when we had a group photo. It was At Home Ka Dito’s annual out-of-the-town/ bonding trips. Apart from the big smiles we had on this pictures, the smoke all over the place was evident. And if you will look closely or zoom in the picture, the smoky figure favored me. Nevertheless, believe it or not, I felt there was an “unseen” someone enjoying the night with us.

Also In 2005, together with AT HOME KA DITO staff, I went to Paranaque for an ocular inspection of Phoemela Barranda’s house where we planned to conduct our next shoot. On our way to the Barranda's house, we passed by a road that is rumored to be haunted. Hell no. It's not a rumor. During the night when we drove in Paranaque, all of us who were inside the car experienced an undeniably scary moment. We saw a big, floating and headless white lady. As we passed by the big tree with the white lady, my colleagues screamed and looked way. It was only me who looked at the figure. I tell you, it was so real. The figure was headless. It was big. It was wearing a white dress. And yes, it was floating! Unfortunately, I can't remember the exact name of the street where we saw the white lady!


My fourth eerie encounter happened inside my room also in 2005. I was sleeping and suddenly a noise woke me up. The noise came from the dark space beside my cabinet. The noise sounds like a dog is scratching the doors of the cabinet. The noise stopped and then...Oh God! When I opened my eyes, I saw a girl with a long hair and white dress. In few heart-stopping seconds, I just stayed on my bed and waited for it to disappear. Thank God, soon, the ghost vanished. She sank in the dark space beside my cabinet.


Before the year ended in 2005 I experienced the scariest and unforgettable paranormal activity in my entire life. We had a Christmas party in one of the newly-opened restaurants along Timog. Of course, apart from the gift giving, raffle prizes and food galore, the night was packed with picture taking. As a souvenir, we rented a BAG TAG maker wherein we can take our pictures and print it on a bag tag "straight away". Apparently, as we painted the night with so much joy, an “uninvited” guest joined our photo session. Look closely at the picture (on the right top most side where I was standing. Yes, I'm the "healthy" boy there). Believe it or not, this is not photoshop-ed! Creepy right? 

Meanwhile, this photo became a talk of the town in the production and entertainment department of ABS-CBN. It was even made as a wallpaper in all of the computers in editing rooms. Also, a television station interviewed me about this for their Halloween episode in 2006. Oh yes, I became popular with this photo. But seriously, I don't want my life to be haunted or chased by ghosts just to have a few seconds or minutes of fame in television! I'm not ready for nightmares! Crazy! 

Here's more. The scary encounter was reported to the Manager. We just learnt recently that the Manager of the newly-opened restaurant asked a priest to bless the place. We also heard that even before we had the party there, the staff had already had eerie experiences, which they'd been keeping to themselves for the longest time. They said that whenever they use the toilet (female), there's always a strange feeling that someone is watching them. Meanwhile, upon further investigation, even before the restaurant was built, a guy was found dead in the spot where the restaurant is located.  Yeah, it sounds like a story in a film but it is true!

I don't believe in ghosts. Apparently, with what I experienced over the past years, I started to believe that "perhaps" there are unseen entities. To be honest, I can see and sense ghosts. I just ignore it. I don't want to scare myself and those who are with me. Meanwhile, it is also strange that my mom passed away during the time when I had paranormal encounters. Someone even told me that it may be possible "na may sumusundo sa akin" and my mom saved me from death. Oh well, it seems that it is normal to put logic behind the abstract or unexplained such as paranormal activities and death. However, despite all of these, I believe that we must respect and pray for the repose of the souls.

This is the official trailer of the movie PARANORMAL ACTIVITY. You might wanna check it out!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Last, Saturday, I was invited to attend two remarkable birthday celebrations – one in the office and one in the gym.

The first celebration happened in the morning. The celebrant was Pei Pei, our marketing executive, a Chinese. Despite the IMPACTS of recession in the office, she treated us with a large super supreme Pizza, an aussie chicken BBQ pizza, and fries! As a treat of our office to her, she received a blueberry cheese cake!Seriously, I was soooo full that morning that I ended up not eating for lunch!

In the picture: Jomai, Zidie and Me!

In the picture: Bubuyog me and Shiela!
But what I liked about her celebration, she revived the joyous and quirky ambiance of the office which I thought was zapped out since the onset of the so called indescribable recession. I realized, for a moment, the big laughs totally trashed the prison like workplace ambiance. We had tons of laughter, sharing of stories and of course, cam whoring!

While Pei wore her Big red glasses, she even provided each and everyone a mask for boys and head dress for girls. Well, don’t be surprised, yours truly had both. Walang pakialaman! =)

A rare picture: With everyone's prodding, our boss wore Pei Pei's big red glasses: Pictures below were taken as we test run our mask and head dress with Shiela's MAC Powered PC!
Surely, we’ll definitely miss Pei Pei. She’s one of a kind, a very TRUE person, fun to be with, a cheerful gal, a mother and a friend, a cool officemate, and she has lots of stories to say! I think she should be given a radio show with her wit and talent!
Look at me behind her! Like a Movie Poster of Betty La Pei Pei!=)

Oh! I will never forget her high-pitched voice and laughter in the office. It’s so amazing and funny! Anime power Pei! Happy Birthday Betty La Pei Pei!

The second birthday bash I attended happened at night. Ate Aileen, our kababayan at Fitness Zone threw a pinoy style salo-salo! Seriously, the food was delicious! There was Calderata, Bihon, Butter Prawns, bangus, chicken, and a lot more. I almost lost my diet because of her food.
In the picture: Ate Aileen, the celebrant wearing a black top. =)

On top of that, what I loved about being with Ate Aileen on her special day was the though of being with our happy kababayans – the gym instructors, the members, and more. I felt like I was transported back in the Philippines because of the food and fun times. Yeah! Cam whoring captured the wonderful moments!

Indeed, having a bunch of Filipino friends helps in warding off homesickness. So if you’re planning to go abroad, join groups and be friendly. These kinds of people can be your greatest ally in battling the onset of homesickness or whatever personal problems you may encounter overseas. I'm soooo lucky to have them!

Happy Birthday Ate Aileen! Literally, taob ang pagkain sa SARAP!

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I have a small and simple room back in the Philippines. Compared to my present room here in Brunei, it’s only ¼ of the size. However, despite its crowded look because of the piles of books I have, it contains a lot of HUGE memories.

My bedroom is the sole witness to my joys, sadness, guilty pleasures, insanity, schizophrenia, depression, sickness, and a lot more of my other unpredictable side. Ito na siguro ang bestriend ko na nakarinig ng lahat ng uri ng statements ko ng hindi pumepreno. After ng isang matinding pagsigaw or pagiyak, okay na ako. Normal naman siguro yon.

Back in the Philippines, whenever I’m home, I spent most of my time inside my room. Normally, I do read. Sometimes, I sing and record songs. Sometimes, I clean all the piling readings I acquired over the past years. But most of the time, this is where I contemplate and ponder on life. Dito ako madalas magmuno. Madalas tumingin sa kisame. Magimagine ng mga bagay bagay. Tumingin sa nabibitak na pintura or agiw at mag-imagine kung anong continent ito ng mundo!

Marami na ring eksena ang hindi ko malilimutan sa kuwarto ko. If I’m not mistaken, the most unforgettable moment I had inside my room was when I was sooooo crying hard because my mom was hospitalized. I was begging to our dear Lord to let my mom live more years with us. Sadly, my Mom passed away days after I sobbed inside my room. Gayunpaman, nakatulong ang pagiyak para maibsan ang bigat ng emosyon.

My room is my comfort zone. This is where I kept all my secrets. Only the walls, ceilings and window ang aking malulupit na witness. Of course, my secrets are safe with them. They don’t have the capacity to speak up. Hanggang pakinig lang. Kilala nila ang kinaasaran ko, ang kinatutuwaan ko, at ang mga minamahal ko. Alam nila ang tunay na tinitibok ng puso ko, ang gusto ko, ang pangarap ko, ang lahat lahat na nagbibigay kulay sa buhay ko.

My room has one big Bookshelf. It has some of my books which I got since I was in highschool. It has four levels. The upper three levels have my books. The remaining section has some curtains and bed sheets for my room. Kung hindi ako nagkakamali, sa pinakababa ng bookshelf, makikita rin ang sangkaterbang tela na ginagamit ko pag may production or shooting nung college ako.

The other noticeable furniture inside my “cave” is the study table which also serves as a vanity place. With the help of an old lamp, this is where I study. On one hand, in the morning, this is where I check my face on the table mirror and apply all of those facial products. Kung maaari lang magsalita ang salamin, pinagalitan na ako. Nung college ako, hindi lilipas ang isang araw ng hindi ako nagrereklamo sa pagdami ng pimples ko. Totoo pala, kusa na lang titigil ang pagtubo ng mala-red beans na panira sa ating youthful glow.

With all of these stories, obviously, I miss my bedroom. And since I’m eyeing to buy a house (soon), I’m thinking of bringing my stuffs to my new house. Sa possibleng paglipat, panibagong buhay ang sisibol ngunit mananatiling nakaugat sa nakaraan!

Ngayon, let me share the TOP 10 things I miss about my room back in the Philippines.

BOOKS. Seriously, I have a lot of books. My room is not only a dwelling place to sleep, but it also primarily functions as a library. Well, in my assessment, most of my books are into Philippine Literature, Mass media, Literary Theories, Popular Culture, and Filipino Novels. F.Sionil, Rene Villanueva, Luna Sicat Cleto, Bob Ong, Chris Martinez, Paolo Coehlo, Pablo Neruda are some of my favourite authors. Here in Brunei, Neil Gaiman and Murakami dominate my book shelf.

Dahil sa libro, lumawak ang kaalaman ko sa mundo. I’ve been to places which only books can show me. I’ve traveled the world dahil sa books (imaginary). I’ve met characters which inspire me. Some of them, kinaasaran ko pa. Galing kasi ng author magpaikot ng story. And with books, I see a lot of realities and imbibe fresh perspectives to understand the world I’m living in.

Oo. Bookworm ako. Sabi pa ng ng friend ko, pangaasar lang, Book Anaconda daw ako! Pero tingin ko, mas enjoy lang talaga ako magbasa on my free time. Mas preferred ko ang books on life, inspiration, although sometimes, trip ko ang mystery and thriller. Trip ko rin lalo na ang comedy. Mababaw kasi talaga ang kaligayahan ko. Tawa lang ganyan. Dahil sa kakabasa, gusto kong makapag-publish ng book ko in the near future. And guess what, I’m thinking of writing my life abroad and eventually me publisher na magbibigay atensyon to publish it. Kailangan lang ng right framing of stories and timing.

PERSONAL ALBUM. I have a personal album which mostly has my pictures when I was still working in the glamorous world of show business. Seriously, I miss that! Whenever I open it, I see my growing years in ABS-CBN. Despite the sleepless nights, the ngaragan and all of those unforgettable horrific experiences, I’m still thankful I worked in that company because it opened a lot of awakenings for me, sama mo na rin ang oportunidad to spread my wings.

Sa album ko makikita mo ang kakulitan ko. Ang big smiles. Ang napakaraming Korean pose. Ang pakikipagtagisan ng pose with the celebs. At makikita mo rin ang true friends ko sa ABS. Selected and very few. Pano ba naman. Hirap makakita ng true friends sa mundong nababalot ng mga Orocan. Seryoso ako sa puntong yan!

KARAOKE. The karaoke is one of my best buddies in my room. I normally use it not only to rehearse for an upcoming singing engagement, but on most times I’m stressed and I want to relax and feel like a star! I’m sure, nabingi na kapatid ko sa gabi gabi kong konsiyerto!

Martin Nievera songs ang tinitira ko. Mas gusto ko ang challenging piece which is ma-a-achieve sa songs ni Martin. Pero lately, dahil nauso na ang R and B, join din ako sa bandwagon. Sa tulong ng Center for Pop, nahasa ko ang kulot style sa pagkanta! Wagi!

ELEMENTARY GRADUATION PICTURE. I miss looking at this picture of mine. Why not? It’s the living legacy of my “chubbyness.” I just can’t imagine how many hands ang kumurot sa aking malulusog na pisngi when I was a child. Isama mo pa ang mga komentong, aba, napagiwanan sa kusina! But seriously, I’m sooooo lusog when I was young. Buti nga pumayat na ako with diet and exercise. In highschool, I weighed around 190 pounds. That is soooo true!

KAHOL. Yeah. I miss the kahol of our dog. It’s my alarm clock on my mornings! Unlike here in Brunei, chirping birds wake me up! Imagine, bahagi ang kahol ng aking kuwarto. Pano ba naman, nakakatuwa ang aso namin. Dumudungaw pa yan sa window ko at kumakahol! Kakatuwa! Mejo di ko lang type ang pagkahol ng aso naming especially pag galing ako sa taping na tipong pamorningan! Nevertheless, I miss COCA!

When my mom died, I discovered something in her things. She had a lot of notebooks and even outdated planners where there were a lot of savings and expenses computations. With that, I realized, sa kanya ko pala naman ang habit or writing my computations on even the simplest expenses I made. And we’re the same, we keep it kahit super tagal na! Actually, hanggang ngayon na, dala ko ang habit nay an. Tuloy tuloy ang computations ng barya barya sa kaban!

Kaugnay niyan, tambak ang kuwarto ko ng kapapelan. Lahat yan mga readings na nakolekta ko nung nagaaral pa ako. Hindi ko pa tinatapon. Kaya yan, gabundok na ang papel sa kuwarto ko. Kung ipapakilo ko siguro, baka yumaman ako, instantly!

RECORDING. My room is not only a place to rest, sleep and study, it also function as a recording studio. Yeah! I recorded a lot of my rehearsals in this room. Imagine, I even recorded inside my room when I lip-synched in one event. Secret na ang event!

Sa kabilang banda, I sometimes record my voice doing ala-DJ. Dahil ako’y isang frustrated DJ, nagrerecording na lang ako sa sarili kong kuwarto. Take note, may sarili pa akong playlist ha!

CDs. As a singer, this is what I definitely miss. I have lots of CDs, and I mean minus one cds which use whenever I’m asked to perform in a gathering. Kung nadala ko lang to dito Brunei, I’ll have more selection of songs. Mas bongga pa tuloy ang nakanta ko sa event! As if!

Maliban sa minus one, kapansin pansin din sa aking collections ang mga cds ko na pang-aerobics. Marami ako niyan. That’s what I play especially while I’m exercising. Sa totoo lang, nakakagana!

GHOST. Believe it or not, I know there’s a ghost inside my room. It’s a girl with long hair and it’s hiding near my cabinet. Oh Well, dahil nasanay na ako, I’m used to it. Akalain niyo yon, namimiss ko siya. Pero seriously, the first time I saw ‘her’, sobrang goose bumps! After that incident, di na siya nagpakita. Baka natakot sa akin.

Nako ha! Ayoko namang sumunod ang kaluluwa dito sa Brunei. Spare me!

Lastly, RATATOUILLE. Yeah. There’s a rat inside my room. Ilang beses na akong ginapangan nito. Ilang beses na rin akong napabalikwas sa kama ko dahil sa daga. Actually, bubwit level ang daga. Thank God, nung umuwi ako, wala ng daga sa room ko. Lumipat na ata sa kabilang kuwarto, sa room ng brother ko!

Ikaw, what are the TOP 10 things you miss about your room in the Philippines? Share mo na! Now na!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Last week was HELL WEEK for me. I was soooo busy. I juggled 3 campaigns for our major client. I had a meeting with a new client. I was tasked to make a proposal. I handled the media booking. And on top of that, subject selection and assessment for my postgraduate started knocking on my door while my mind was so into my brother’s upcoming wedding.

And so, upon pondering on the hectic week, I realized, the stress bug kinda bitten me. I felt it.

However, with a schizophrenic personality, seriously, no one can determine if I’m totally stressed. And speaking of stress, I listed some of the attitude change you could probably observe on me especially if I’m stressed.

EXTREME SILENCE. I’m a kind of person who would work work and work rather than talk during working hours. However, if I’m stressed, oddly, I tend to become quiet. Yeah. I concentrate a lot to meet deadlines. But mind you, once I finish my job, I tranform back into a loud and witty me.

IRAP (SUNGIT). If you see me making a sudden “irap,” that’s the sign that maybe I’m busy thinking or doing something and suddenly I’m interrupted. Back in the Philippines, whenever I study, my family knows that I should not be disturbed. They only talk to me once I get out of my room, join them for dinner, and engage in a relaxing chit chat in the living room. Thankfully, here in Brunei, my housemates are sensitive enough to distance themselves whenever the” I’M BUSY” button is on. Isa pa, at least we have our own rooms here in Brunei to enjoy our privacy. Don’t worry, the ‘irap’ moments are very rare. As much as possible, iniiwasan ko!

WORKOUT. If I work out a lot, that’s the sign I’m battling stress. And for the past days, I hit the gym for almost everyday. Well, it’s part of my plan ever since to consume my days in the gym because I’m paying for it. Thankfully, working out relaxes my mind and keeps me focused on achieving a healthy and active lifestyle despite the work and upcoming school loads.
JOKER. I’m a certified joker. I joke a lot. But during stressful times, I tend to joke more. And I mean more. You’ll mistake me as going insane! To me, it’s one of the thousand ways I can cope with stress. As they say, laughter is the best medicine. And so, I fire jokes to paint smiles around me. Coz if I’ll be drowned in total silence especially on free times, I might loose my sanity. Kinda scary.

SLEEPY EYES. Blame that to some over thinking. Yeah. I’m a workaholic, before. I’m a schoolaholic, always. Frankly, I never let my schooling suffer. But then again, right now, I’m lowering my standards. To me, what’s important is to pass the subjects I’m getting, learn from it, and absorb anything critical which can be beneficial for me if I move to another company or land a job in the academe. As they say, hinay hinay Earvs!

SHOP MORE. Shopping is therapeutic for me. If I’m stressed, I shop a lot. I buy anything that piques my interest – books, clothes, etc. And here in Brunei, I shopped a lot of DVDs. Well that’s reserved for more DVD marathon nights.

SWEETS GALORE. I’m a self-confessed chocoholic and if I’m stressed, I tend to eat more sweets – candies, ice cream, chocolates, etc. Seriously, sweets boost my energy to finish a project or to fuel my mind on a brainstorming session.
HIGH PITCHED. I don’t have a high pitched voice but whenever I feel like soooo stressed, that ‘matutina’ voice suddenly appears. Well, put it in context, I guess it has something to do with being ‘magugulatin’ or slightly ‘irita’ on some situation. Again, this happens on rare occasion.
LETHARGIC. Sluggish movements happen after the stressful phase. This happens once my energy is zapped out. Tendency, I move so slow and lethargic. But don’t worry. I don’t let this interfere with work. Minsan, sadyang mabagal lang ako kumilos!

BANGENGE. This is very common to me. Sometimes, when I talk, I talk nonsense. Sometimes, pag humirit, wala sa context. And worse, I sometimes forget things. Well, blame it to some sleepless nights packed with either extreme studying or some anxiety visits which normally happens once a month. Well, at this point, isama mo na ang homesickness.

LONER. I’m used to being alone. In fact, I love being alone. My solitude keeps me to know myself better. And if I’m stressed, I seriously sometimes prefer to be ALONE. I just want to sometimes not speak, not start a conversation or not laugh. Silence keeps me calm. Madalas, if I’m alone, I go to NEVERLAND! Baliw? LOL!

LATE ON LAKADS. Before I left the Philippines, I promised to never be late on any kita kits or meeting. Although I followed that vow, sadly, not totally. Slightly na-la-late pa rin ako minsan especially if I don’t have enough rest. Ang totoo nito, if I’m stressed and feeling na-drain ang energy, I’m hungry to take a power nap which normally slides to long rest! Kaloka!

FUNNY FLICK. I love watching comedy films. But on stressful times, I tend to watch these flicks even more. Well, after a long day in the office or school, I just want to get a HUGE laugh to take the blues away.

MOODY. I don’t know if this has something to be with being a Gemini, but I’m so moody when I’m stressed. Sala sa init, sala sa lamig. And sometimes, I can’t decide on things easily. Minsan din, I decided to go YES but in the end, I backed out. Promise, mooooody talaga ako. Thankfully, ang moodiness di ko na nadala sa Brunei.

SING SING. Yeah. Singing relaxes me. Now if you hear me sing a lot, you would definitely know that either I’m rehearsing for a gig or just warding off the stress around.

Despite the busy week, as a certified survivor, I undeniably survived. I know that more stressful days will come. Soon, postgraduate studies will eat my schedule. Tons of projects will come along as this is our agency’s peak season. And more office brouhaha will fire to spice up each day. Nevertheless, as long as I have a complete trust to God and I’m confident I’ll succeed on each task, everything will be alright. On top of that, I would never let the good relationship I have with the people around me just be ruined just because I’m stressed. I guess, being stressed is not an excuse to hurt others or pull down the joyous environment. For that, I would rather trash kasungitan, moodyness, kairapan, and all of those nega attitudes.

At these times, I need to balance my life, be optimistic and enjoy whatever experiences I may choose to take. I have to be strong. I have to dwell on happy times than wallow on lonely and stressful times.

Life is full of decisions. I decided to work and study. It’s my choice. I have to deal with it.
Gayunpaman, work hard, study harder, pray harder-ER!

Now, let me share this for those who want to fight stress!

O, bakit ka na naman na-i-istress? Did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed?
Meron ka bang deadline na i-bi-beat ngayong araw na ito?
It's important to understand stress before we can effectively manage it
kaya Stress ang pag-uusapan natin ngayon.

Ayon sa mga scientists mayroong dalawang uri ng stress.
Eustress and Distress.

Eustress is positive stress. Ito ang nararamdaman ng isang dalaga kapag dumarating na ang kanyang manliligaw at may daladalang flowers. Eustress din ang tawag sa stress na nararanasan ng mga nagwo- work-out when they are doing their exercises. Ang mga athletes, pagkatapos na ma-stress ang kanilang muscles, they rest para ma-repair ang kanilang muscles. Kapag hindi sila nagpahinga, the stressed muscles will be injured. When injury happens, yan ang distress.

Distress is the negative side of stress. Nakakaramdam ka na ng sakit ng ulo, pagsakit ng tiyan,
hindi na makatulog, di pa makakain. Distress ang uri ng stress na nagreresulta sa kung ano-anong sakit tulad ng hypertension , minsan nga ay emotional breakdown pa.

Ano ba ang pwede nating gawin para ang stress natin ay hindi maging distress? Famous author and inspirational speaker, Dr. John Maxwell has the following suggestions:

Don't be overly sensitive to criticism.
Tanggapin na natin ang katotohanang hindi natin kayang i-please ang lahat ng tao. Talagang mayroong hindi aayon sa iyo kahit na napaka-noble ng iyong mga intentions and motives.
So when you receive criticisms, take it constructively kung sensible ang criticism.
If you think the criticism is not objective , huwag na lang pansinin at ng hindi ka madistress.

Don't take too much pride in your achievements.
Ang pride ay parang uling, ginagatungan niyan ang distress. Ang taong proud ay mas lalong nadi-distress dahil masyado niyang iniingatan ang kanyang achievement at accomplishment. Minsan nga our achievements hinder us from growing and learning kasi sinasabi natin sa ating sarili, aba may na-accomplish na ko. Mas mahusay ako kaysa sa iba, hindi na nila ko pwedeng turuan.
Ang lungkot ng buhay kapag naging ganyan ang attitude natin.

Don't harbor jealousy over the achievement of others.
Ang taong mainggitin madalas ding madistress, kasi nga totoo namang mayroong mas higit kaysa sa atin. Natural ang iba ay maaaring magkaroon ng achievements na wala tayo di ba. Instead of being jealous or envious, let's learn to rejoice in the successes of others. Malay mo malibre ka pa bogchi dahil nakikigalak ka sa kanilang tagumpay, di ba?

Don't focus on your weaknesses and inadequacies.
Ang sugat kapag mas lalo mong ginalaw mas lalong lalala at baka maimpeksyon. The more you focus on your weaknesses and inadequacies the bigger the tendency of wallowing in self-pity. While it is important to acknowledge your inadequacies, it is helpful to focus on your strengths and capabilities.

One effective way of fighting distress is by counting our blessings -the good things which life brings. When we have grateful hearts, we will always be reminded that we are too blessed to be stressed!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Ngayong nasa abroad na ako, in a way, may mga eksena, lugar at bagay pa rin nagpapaalala sa akin ng aking mahal na Unibersidad, ang UP Diliman.

Dito sa Brunei, normal ang mga puno, ang malalawak na damuhan, at ang malinis na surrounding. Dahil diyan, flashback talaga ang UP days. Since ang mga building dito ay hindi kataasan, parang Colleges lang sa UP ang effect. Nakakaaliw. Seryoso, nakakatuwa!

Now, share ko sa inyo ang mga bagay/places/ eksena na nagbabalik ng aking iskolar days!

1.BLUE BOOK. Sino ba naman ang iskolar na makakalimot sa ever magical and flexible blue book. Well, maliban sa ginagamit siya for exams, ginamit ko rin ang blue book on soooo many ways. Una, ginagmit kong pananggalang sa ulan. Pangalawa, ang mga scratch, ginamit pampahid ng ebak na naapakan. Third, ginawang pang-book mark sa mga malalaking libro. Fourth, ginagamit na sulatan ng chismis with classmates habang pretend na nakikinig sa prof. Fifth, naging eroplanong papel. Sixth, drinowinangan ng kung anu ano. Seventh, naging guide sa bond paper. Eight, ginawang upuan sa maruming bangko. Ninth, sulatan ng drafts sa creative writing at BC class. At pang huli, ginamit para sa usong usong FLAMES! Hahahaha!

2. COLOR YELLOW. Whenever I see a yellow color and a flag, naaalaala ko talaga ang UP IKOT at TOKI. Dami ko rin karanasan sa jeep na yan. Nadulas ako. Nahulog bitbit ko. Nakasubok umupo ng super 1/8 na lang ng pwet ko kasya. Nakasiko ng katabi dahil sa pagmamadali. Naging lugar ng tawanan with friends. At ang pinaka-memorable, naging sasakyan para maihatid ang kaibigang na-broken hearted!

3. IHAW. Sa tuwing makakaamoy ako ng may nagiihaw dito sa Brunei, well, flashback talaga ang UP days. Nangunguna na dyan ang Isaw. Aaminin ko, hindi talaga ako fan ng isaw. Pero hindi rin naman ako elitista not to taste it. Tumikim naman ako nyan at nagenjoy! Sa UP, dami talaga. Kumpulan ang mga estudyante lalo na pag uwian. Dinadayo pa yan ng mga taga ibang school. From Ateneo, Miriam at kung saan saan pa. Aaminin ko, takot akong kumain ng isaw kasi paranoid akong makapulot ng sakit sa kung saan saan. Pero kung aalukin mo ako, puede na rin for more adventure!
4. CHEESE. Usong uso sa UP ang cheese products. Sa isang adik sa keso na tulad ko, patok na patok yan. Siempre, suki ako ng cheese lumpia sa may Vinzons at ang bonggang bonggang tinapay with cheese sa CAL. Sobrang panalo talaga ang days with orgmates habang kumakain ng cheese chuva! Mura na, masarap p! Samahan mo pa yan ng mga cheesy chit chats. Andyan ang nagpaguusapan ang prof na dragon, ang dapat kunin next sem, ang requirements na sandamakmak, ang sharing ng notes, ang syllabus checking, ang org’s projects, at kung anu ano pang fund raising projects na nauuwi sa either CAKE raffle at kung anu ano pang uri ng raffle!

5. GREEN AREA. Basta madamo at mapuno, UP agad ang naiisip ko. Yeah. Pano ko ba naman makakalimutan ang lagoon. Don kaya kami nag-shoot ng aming Horror film for our Bisaya Class. Nakakaloka! Ang kawawang tweety bird stuff toy (yung japeyks), ginamit namin at tiyanaks in the jungle. Kaloka ang lighting. At nag ghost hunting pa kami dyan! Segue, gumawa rin kami ng commercial about tissue paper na pinagbidahan ng best actress kong friend na si Jhoanna Garcia! Di ba Jho? Remember? On the side, di ko rin naman makakalimutan ang Sunken Garden na talaga namang bongga ang magic sa gabi. Totoo pala. Lover’s hub ito. Aba, one day, naglalakad kami, nakakita kami ng used Condom! Akalain mo yon! Eeeeeeeeeew! Pero sa kabila niyan, mas hindi ko makakalimutan ang ROTC days. Pakshet yon! Putikan! At ang singaw ng lupa, pamatay! Eto pa, kahit college at university graduation, sa damuhan! Unforgettable di ba!
6. JOLLIBEE. Oo. Di lang iisa ang Jollibee dito sa Brunei, eleven po! Yiheeees! Sa tuwing nakikita ko si Jollibee, UP days naaalaala ko. Hello! Tambayan kaya namin ni Jhoanna Valdez Garcia ang Jollibee, Philcoa. Kung hindi lunch time, dyan kami tumatambay sa hapon hanggang gabi. Madalas kong order, chickenjoy, si Jho, Burger steak! Dyan kami madalas magpretend na nagaaral habang nagchichismisan. Dyan kami madalas kumain ng sundae habang nagookrayan. Dyan kami madalas umupo habang nagpapatila ng ulan or habang waiting sa pinaxerox namin! Di pa uso ang laptop nung college kami. Madalas, readings kami at draft muna sa yellow pad. Saka i-ta-type. Saksi rin si Jollibee sa stories of love ni Jho at ang pamomoroblema ko sa pimples ko noon. I’m sure turete na si Jho sa kapapakinig ng rants ko bout my pimples.Pero kakaiba ang Jollibee. Dyan namin pinapatay ang oras at binubuhay ang aming friendship! Naks!Imagine, pati thesis ko about Jollibee! Hindi ko naman masyadong minahal si Jollibee. Actually, sa sobrang hate ko siya, gusto kong mag-franchise in the future! Seriously!

7. BIG HOUSES. Isa lang ang naaalaala ko pag nakakakita ako ng PINK BIG HOUSE, walang iba, ang mga overnight session sa ‘mansion’ ni Joy Anne Fabre! Sobrang masaya pag nagoovernight kami kina Joy. Mapa for MP class or prod class. Siempre, ikaw ba naman, di ka matutuwa, aircon na kuwarto, me libreng dinner pa. At ang bongga, me chikahan pang bonggang bongga! At maaaliw ka pa sa decorations sa house nila especially sa kitchen. Homey na homey as in! Bongga pa, me libreng hatid pauwi. Kakaiba si Joy eh! All out yan basta team effort. Lahat binibigay. Kaya all I can say, UP life will never be complete without Joy! Bongga ang kabaitan sa pagpapatuloy ng mga dukhang tulad namin ni Jho! Tama Joy? Naks! Apir tayo dyan!
8. MANG JIMMY’S. Walang katulad ang Mang Jimmy’s. Dito Brunei, walang lelebel! Kakaiba talaga ang Mang Jimmy’s. Kahit hindi kami masyadong madalas dito, bentang benta sa akin ang pagkain! Super sarap ang sisig talaga at bongga ang eat-all-you-can rice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

9.SHOPPING CENTER. Sa tuwing makikita ko ang isang shopping complex dito sa Brunei, naaalaala ko talaga ang Shopping Centre. Siempre, suki ako ng shopping complex lalo na panahon ng typing, internet at printing. Di pa kasi uso laptop noon at mejo wala rin kaming PC sa house. Sa shopping centre ako madalas magpa-xerox ng gabundok na reading. Sa shopping center, especially sa rodics, madalas kami kumain ng kanilang tapsilog (the best ito!). Dito rin ako bumili ng kauna unahang UP memorabilia ko, dalawang T-shirt! Dito rin ako sa shopping centre nagpa-xerox at nagpa-bind ng aking thesis. Nakatikim rin ako ng korean food dahil sa shopping centre. At pati mga panregalo, dito ko minsan binibili. Nako, isama mo pa dyan ang pagpa-xerox ng ID picture na super mura! Hindi ko talaga makakalimutan ang shopping centre. Classic! At teka, dito sa lugar na’to muntik ng madulas si Jho noong isang maulang hapon! Hahahaha
10. KUBO. Kubo ang tambayan ng org namin sa UP. Sobrang pag nakakakita ako ng kubo dito, flashback talaga ang UP days. Siempre, sa tambayan kami madalas noon. Second home namin yan maliban sa library. Dyan kami nagmemeeting, nagchichikahan, nagtatawanan ng bongga, at nagaasaran. Dito kami nagshashare ng mga katatakutan, katatawanan at kahit kalokohan. Gossip hub din talaga. Tas biglang dadaan ang nagtitinda ng Karioka pag hapon, banana que or tinapay, ayan, meryenda na! Sa kubo rin kami nagpapalitan ng notes at nagsha-share ng mga problema sa acads. At pag lunch time, dyan din. Bibili lang ng food sa CASAA then diretso na dyan. Those were the days of college!

Pero kung may isang bagay man ang magpapaalaala sa akin ng UP, yan walang iba kundi si OBLE. Kakatuwa. Meron akong paper weight dito sa abroad. Binigay ng prof ko nung umuwi ako sa Pinas.

Sa totoo lang, everytime na makikita ko ang paper weight with Oble, naaalaala ko ang pananagutan ko sa Pilipinas. Oo nga. May bayan akong iniwan. May bayan akong dapat balikan at pagsilbihan. May bayan akong dapat tulungan. May bayang nangangailangan ng pagbabago. Dahil dyan, talagang ipinangako ko sa sarili ko, babalik ako ng Pilipinas.

Kailangan ko lang magipon sa ibang bansa. Matuto sa labas. At muling bumalik para ibahagi ang bawat kaalaman. Totoo nga, kailangan ako ng aking pamilya at ng aking bansa, hindi ng mga dahuyan. Abangan ang aking pagbabalik.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I never expected I’ll get a hosting or even a singing stint here in Brunei. To me, it was all luck, a blessing from God.

For everyone’s information, I am currently working as a writer in an Advertising Agency. I’ve been working here in Brunei for a year and 7 months now. And to date, I’ve already hosted five events, sang at three affairs, and currently, I’m teaching a Chinese to sing English songs. All of these hosting and singing “rakets” were gifts from our dear Lord.

Back in the Philippines, I knew I had this dream of becoming a talk show host, a DJ or a singer. That’s one of the reasons why I took Broadcast Communication as one of my majors in college and eventually gave me a job in some television networks. Looking back, I always loved the pockets of hosting on parties of my friends and relatives, and even teaching a children’s choir in the church. Also, I enrolled at Center for Pop Music Philippines to harness my singing and performance skills. Obviously, these co curricular activities or exposures gave birth to my versatility in entertaining people.

Admittedly, my passion on showcasing my talent increased when I worked in a television network. Being exposed to the glitz and glamour of show business, I stepped into the realm of the superficial yet spectacular celebrity life. I was so envious. Yeah. I envied these celebrity act and talk on cam. I also envied those DJs talking over the radio. How I wish I was one of them. But of course, we can't all the things that we want.
I became a writer. As a writer, I trained celebrities to deliver spiels which I wrote. Still on show business but just behind the camera.

But being exposed to a glamorous world paved way for the sharpening of my talent. Absorbing the celebrities’ techniques and PR skills in reaching out to their fans aided me to position my self act smoothly in events where I was given an opportunity to host or performer. Yes, the celebrity spirit within me soon surfaced.

Those were my past which led to the beauty of my present. The frustrations blended well with a highly driven spirit and the support of my family and friends made me realize I’m uniquely talented. Thankfully, Brunei saw that and opened a lot of doors for a dreamer like me.

My first hosting stint happened in September 25 to 28 in 2008 at Seri Q-lap Mall. It was the Twister Roadshow which was our Agency’s concept.

Frankly, it was an accidental stint. TelBru, Telephone Brunei, the client, had no budget for a host. Surprisingly, my boss recommended me to host the said event. He was so confident in me that I can pull it off. Viola! After the four days of hosting, the client was impressed with my hosting skills. As they say, I’m very articulate and I have a certain “wit” which captivates people’s attention! Naks! And from there, the client trusted me on my hosting skills and got our Agency to do MORE “loud and exciting” campaigns or roadshows for them.

Believing in my talent, TelBru got me for another project. This time, I drove all the way to Pantai Kenangan, Tutong Beach to host their annual event, the Let’s Cruise. This happened on 30 November 2009.
The event was memorable for me because I got to be exposed with a lot of people. Plus, with an adventurous outdoor feel, I had to host like Paolo Bediones to pull it off! Gladly, I made that! Again, TelBru praised me with my performance and promised me to produce a campaign for them which I will be the host.
Came 5 February 2009, my agency had another Roadshow for TelBru. This time, the road show happened in Brunei’s major mall, The Mall. Meaning, having bigger crowd, I had to double my hosting efforts.

Having worked in a television network, I introduced the “Fear Factor” element and tagged the event as “Be Home or Be Wild.” Yours truly hosted the said event. And frankly, I so loved hosting this show. Not only I showcased my “kakulitan and uber kadaldan” in prodding the contestants to enter the Chamber filled with ‘fake’ insects, I was able to interact more with the Bruneians. Some even commented I’m crazy!

Then again, at the end of the day, the Manager of TelBru praised our campaign and especially patted my back for a job well done. I was speechless! We were even featured on a popular blog here in Brunei.

Before the month of love ended, our agency fired another roadshow for TelBru, it was called Dive and Crack the Code. I again injected the consistent chaotic and fun approach on the show's concept!
The contestants had to get a key in an aquarium packed with live crabs to unlock the treasure boxes to win prizes.
Again, the event was swarmed with screaming and loads of laughter. I was so animated on this show. In the end, we were congratulated for the event’s success! Again, we were featured on a popular blog site.

Suddenly, because my agency charged high, TelBru pulled out. That left me on a hiatus on my hosting. Alternatively, singing opportunities started coming. The highlight, I was asked by a Chinese to teach her sing English songs after seeing me sing in the church. Happily, up to now, I teach her and she pays me per hour. The fee is good enough to cover the 10% deduction by my company on my salary. Recession issues! Waaaaaah!

Relatively, I also sang in a Charity event organized by Fitness Zone and in a wedding which provided me LOADS of food as a fee and promoted me very well!
Thankfully, just recently, I hosted an event. It was a Bridal Fair organized by Prime Media Event Management and Advertising, in cooperation with Full House Communications. Guess what, the organizer got me because she saw me on my previous hosting. Plus, she saw me sang in Brunei’s Got Talent and she thought I can perform for her fair. Fair enough, although I didn’t win the Brunei’s Got talent, I was discovered! Naks! Opportunities during the fair knocked at my door step. After I sang, a music school from Singapore was offering me to work with them. Also, the organizers from Singapore were asking if I’ll be interested to work with them after my contract ends here in Brunei. They even gave me a calling card and asked me to email them. On top of that, I was so happy because the client was pleased and overwhelmed with my hosting and singing performance! Seriously, I can’t ask for more! I’m sooooo OVERWHELMED!

Speaking of OVERWHELMED, yes, I'm overwhelmed. Next week, I'll be hosting another event. It's a car launch of Porsche new sports car! Yikes!

At least, aside from earning from my company, these hosting stints give me extra to meet my savings and help me pay the tuition, books and shipping of books for my upcoming postgraduate studies.

With all these blessings, let me thank those people who inspire me to be at my best. First is my family. They are very supportive and caring. Second are my friends. Their uplifting words keep me moving in showcasing more my talent. Third are my choirmates. They harness more my talent by serving God and sharing one’s God given talent. Fourth are my officemates. They are always there to back me up on my gigs. Fifth are my bosses for opening the doors. Lastly is God. He has always showered me with loads of blessings. Indeed, I’m so blessed to have a family, friends and God! Mabuhay tayong lahat!

Bottom line, I learned that yes, each and everyone of us has its time to shine. We only have to firmly believe in ourselves and never loose hope. We should be strong and never let others crash our dreams. Plus, let God be the center of our life and surely we'll definitely move forward! Trust in him and fear nothing.

Follow your dreams! The time is NOW!