Sunday, March 28, 2010


I can't contain the excitement I'm feeling right now. Imagine, three days from now, I'll be home again to my beloved Philippines. For an OFW's perspective, to be home and be one's family and friends is a blessing. At least, for a few days, an OFW's sadness or homesickness can be warded off. In my case, it's more than that. Going back in th Philippines and staying for days mean reconnecting with my identity as a Filipino, as a son, a brother, and a friend.

No one can deny I'm very excited to go home. In fact, I started my countdown long before I got my plane ticket. To me, the thought of a vacation is simply overwhelming and worth highly anticipating. Although I just had a vacation last December because I attended my brother's wedding, still, vacation in the Philippines is a reality which never fail to excite an OFW's emotional baggage.

As a springboard on my ecstatic state, few weeks ago, I printed on paper my "lakwatsa" schedule with family and friends. Here's some: my family and I will go to Bicol. We will be observing "Cuaresma" or Holy Week there. In addition, my family and I will take a tour at Camaromoan and at the Camarines Sur Water Complex after the Holy Week.

My family and I also agreed to go in Subic for more under the sun adventure. Also, we will have an overnight at Laguna and afterwhich, plunge at the cold breeze of Tagaytay.

Despite these compact schedules, I have allotted some time to meet my closest friends. I am definitely expecting sleepless nights packed with food trippin, road adventure, a parade of chikahan, and a lot more chaotic fun! These are not to be missed. I guess, it's fatal! =)

Today, in preparation of my vacation, I already shopped some pasalubong for my closest friends and for my family. I also began to review and jot down my itineraries for a one month vacation.

Since I will be leaving my room for one month, I already arranged my books, DVDs and personal stuffs. I am definitely expecting a pile of dusts to surface. Perhaps, I will just think of cleaning the mess when I get back.

Honestly, my feelings right now are mixed. For the past days, my mind has been pondering on a lot of things. To lessen the psychological burden, I am ready to share it with you.

In Brunei, I am able to save. I am not saying I wasn't able to save back in the Philippines. Positively, what I saved here in the Abode of Peace is in dollars. And with this reality, I am looking at it as an advantage for me just in case I plan move, work and live in another country. If you have been following some of my Facebook shout outs, I am planning to either go in New Zealand and Australia where I can bring my family. Hopefully, God will hear my wishes and grant me soon.

Oddly, despite the good financial status I have, I still feel something is lacking in my life. I guess you felt that same feeling of being at a state of uncertainty at one point in your life. In my case, I'm getting bored with my job. Despite the creative input which is always required in my job, I sometimes feel the facing the computer from 8 am until 5 pm is so flat. Thankfully, few client meetings break the monotony.

Career is very important to me. I love my job. I like sharing my creativity. I enjoy throwing my naughty ideas and sometimes vulnerable thoughts. However, over the past weeks, as boredome knocks, I began to seek a different career path. Don't get me wrong. I plan to finish my cotract here in Brunei. But for now, I am looking at teaching, production work or job which require higher interactivity as my options.

I couldn't give up my life in Brunei because of two apparent reason: Comfort, school and Church Service. I must say I am so blessed since the day I arrived in this peaceful country.

Brunei has been so gooood to me. It has given me an unsurpassed level of comfort and security which I also wish my own country can provide me and the millions of Filipinos scattered in the world. From being a foreign country, Brunei has become my second home which not only stuffed with happiness and good memories, but also has put some weight on my body which I am struggling to battle out with.

In Brunei, traffic jam is an abnormal sight. The roads are clean. The cars follow road signs. Each and everyone gives way. On top of these, positioned as a city on the middle of a rich ecosystem, Brunei bustling city is occupied by birds and different animals which blend well with cosmopolitan landscape.

I plan to stay for another two years in Brunei because I want to finish my masters here. As a Development Communication student, I want to reach out to our Kababayans who need guidance and knowledge enrichment. Hopefully, I can design a program which can best address the changing and even the basic needs of the OFWs here. Relatively, after my masters, I can pursue another degree in Media Studies.

Lastly, if there's anything I will surely miss in Brunei if I will leave, that is Church Service. The choir has been my constant source of strength to overcome homesickness in a foreign land. To me, Friday choir practice is more than rehearsing songs for the Sunday mass. It also means reconnecting with my kababayans and good friends who remind me how life is worth enjoying. And in a way, cantorship not only has led to the improvement of my singing skills, but has catalyzed for more dedication in serving our Dear Lord and optimizing the fulfilling essence of sharing one's own talent. On top of that, the good advices from others and my deep faith in God keep me more positive in my overseas journey.

Now, as I pack my bags and head back to the Philippines, I promise myself to truly enjoy my vacation. Truth is, I need a break. I have to energize myself as I see the big waves of school work in June and more work loads in May. With God, I believe I can manage all of these challenges. Mabuhay tayong lahat!

Friday, March 26, 2010


The final thread of my coverage to the Birthday Party at Istana!

On top of the ala-fairy tale evening, I went home with even more joy in my baggage. Out of the hundreds of guests, my ticket number won in the raffle. Seriously, the thought of winning never came across my mind. Although I had been winning in raffle draws since I started working in Brunei, I assumed it was all Godsend and a pure luck.

So what did I get? I brought home a coffee set which is made from Sri Lanka. Now, I have something to accentuate my future home with not only pictures from Brunei, but with pieces that brand an unforgettable evening at Istana!


I would like to take this opportunity to thank my friend Faith. Not only because you motivate me to always sing at my best in “Church Cantorship,” you also tag me along to some unique, out-of-this-world, very Brunei, and unforgettable functions which makes me realize how lucky I am to have a friend like you. I seriously admire your humble spirit and church service dedication - especially on training the kids to sing. Thank you very much for sharing the positivity in life. Truth is, I wouldn't go this far (From singing in the church, joining singing contests, and up to literally celebrating a remarkable night at Istana) without having you by my side. Thank you very much for the friendship!

And now that the perfect time for you to open another chapter in your life, I will definitely miss you. I know you will embark a beautiful and promising journey toward a family life. I will always be here for you – mapa-letter making pa yan or facebooking comment advice! Mabuhay ka Faith! God Bless! =)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


This is the third part of my special coverage with the Royalty's Celebration of Princess Majeedah's Birthday.


After I enjoyed my food in about 20 to 30 minutes, I tagged along Faith and we began walking around like a hungry beast ready to jump on our prey. The urge was to have a picture with the "I don't know" celebrities. At this role playing, we were like literally the paparazzi who wants a piece of the unknown celebrities.

What's our proof they were celebrities? Well, we only knew they were celebrities from other countries because some people approached them just to have a picture with them. By merely observing how other people went gaga, we were convinced they're for real! And so we thrived on that reality to support our crazy and desperate assumption to make the night even more unforgettable.

The funny thing was, despite the fact that I didn’t know them, I took the courage of approaching them and asking to strike a pose with me - either in a formal or candid, eccentric and outrageous composition.

To start off, see these girls? Okay, they are not gays. They are real gorgeous girls. God! They’re just toooo tall! Thankfully, when I approached them, they’re cooperative with me to try the serious shot and the WACKY POSE! Seriously, having a picture with them was just overwhelming. I thought at that moment I was a host of some Beauty Pageant. They're simply stunning.

Next celebrity catch, she is one of the Emcee. She's another goddess to mesmerize your eyes! And. she’s tall too! Unfortunately, I didn't like the way she delivered her spiels and her interaction with her co-host. Truth is, her physical glamour saved her weakness in hosting.

I always believe that there are people who are not gifted with jaw-dropping beauty but definitely blessed with incomparable talent. Meet this girl! She is one of the host during the celebration. And I must say, her wit and natural banters spiced up the gathering. Job well done! Plus, cute baby ah!

After hunting for the Athenas of the night, Faith and I walked around to look around for the Zeus. Our first catch was this guy. By merely looking at his fashion, you can say that he's the "boy next door type" of celebrity. Actually this guy resembles John Lloyd dressed in a preppy outfit. Unfortunately, this picture contradicts his look in person. Kinda not photogenic.

The entertainment industry or celebrity world won't be complete without the Adonis to lure the girls and gay crowd. At this point, I present to all of you, the hunky persona! Wondering what did he do in the show? Well, he just joined a game where he acted out some fashion show scene. But I guess that appearance gave him loads of kaching kaching!

After meeting the boy-next-door star and the hunk, we now move on to the ever cool and witty guy. Seriously, this guy goofed around a lot. Imagine Luis Manzano's character and you'll understand my description. He was hurrying up when we had this picture. He's was being called on stage!

Lastly, my night wouldn't be complete if I didn't have a picture with one of the performers who stole my heart. I'm talking about this girl named Angel. Seriously, I loved her voice. She's simply amazing. And she proved that in her 12 straight song performance that night. Unfortunately, someone should throw her a fashion makeover. She doesn't deserve to be dressed like a doll.

Whoa! The night was just spectacular and star studded. The moment I sat and as I browsed the pictures on my camera, I felt I appreciated how beautiful and handsome our Asian Race is! Although in reality some of the celebrities who attended the gathering are half-breed (in my assumption), still, they are a sweet sore in the eye! On one hand, they just have to improve their rapport with the people and their performances especially if they want to stay long in the industry or if they have plans to get into the international market.

Guess what, after this night, I started to have an inclination on Asian music. Although I don't understand the Malay Language, I find the melody amusing and adorable! Mabuhay ang Asian Celebs!

Monday, March 22, 2010


My Friends: Faith (in black), Elna (in red) and Daniel!

The Coverage continues...


The Palace was jaw dropping. The first time I had the chance to visit the Palace was in broad daylight. Last Saturday, it was festooned with bright and bubbly lights which made the evening truly majestic.

The Palace was blasting in full colour. There were green, blue, red and a lot of robust rainbow hues well-positioned to perk up the celebration.

The garden was transformed into a posh banquet covered with a series of tent. The former garden grown with grass was covered in gray carpet.

The chairs were covered with a white cloth and chiffon. The tables were embellished with fresh white flowers paired with a glass lamp with a candle inside. The utensils were simply a regal sight paired with the exquisite glass.


The well arranged and irresistible food was everywhere – left, right, front and back! There were even some quirky decorations which emphasized a birthday celebration for a kid.

It was a buffet. There was a popcorn stand, a Japanese food set, a big frying fan, a grilling for seafood and lamb, a coffee/tea corner, a bread and salad combo rack, and a lot more. To top it all, there were mouth watering desserts which were near our table.

There was a stage designed with lights and some plant landscape. There was also a complete band set up. And interestingly, there was an in-house video coverage – from cameras with tripods, to moving ones, and to a crane which moves gracefully. There were also big projectors while the whole area was filled with televisions so people from afar can watch what’s going on stage. Frankly, the set up was similar with a wedding banquet held by some celebrity wedding in the Philippines.

I asked one of the staff who was managing the floor. He told me that the set up took them three days. Plus, the Palace had a hundred waiters/ waitresses to serve the food and assist the guests. There were also chefs on each food section to deliver the best culinary services.

Because we were early, we had the chance to have our shoot near the Banquet Hall. It is where the royalty normally do their gathering. Last Saturday’s affair was a deviation. It was held in the garden turned into a seven-star hotel hall design.

After our picture taking near the Banquet Hall, we took our seat and relaxed. The moment I composed my energy, I roamed and took a picture of the interesting pieces which I want to share. Too bad, my camera was not fully charged. With this, I had to turn it off and on to take pictures. Luckily, my camera was cooperative when I was so engrossed drowning my eyes into the details.


This is the red carpet where the Royal Family shall make an entrance. Interestingly, there’s a glass stand with some orchids.

Here is another interesting piece. It’s a big glass with fresh fruits. In a dry country, obviously it’s not a liquor. There's also a big glass with some bread.

This is where the King and Queen will seat. The table was topped with a white candle placed in a Victorian era themed silver candle holder. White fresh flowers added the grandeur.

Lucky Draw prizes were properly organized in one table. They had electronic draw.

The celebration started at around 8:30. The amazing sights made my hunger fade away.

Soon, the people approached the catering. By merely looking at the guests gestures, fashion and composure, I can tell they belong to the superclass. There were model-likes. Some I guess were Asian celebrities – Malaysian or Indonesia- as some guests approached them for some souvenir shots. And

some were affiliated or relatives of the Royal family.

This is my plate!

I heard the Royal Family invited Bea Alonzo, Jericho Rosales and Vina Morales. Unfortunately, these Pinoy Stars had some taping schedule conflicts. Waaaaah!

See this? Strict Security!

To be continued...