Rest in Fins

Our long-time “receptionist”, Angelina the Pouty Flowerhorn died this morning. “She” was, more or less, 7 years old. Not bad for a fish.

We bought “her” at a nearby pet store in 2005 when “she” was only slightly bigger than a danggit. In less than a year, she ballooned to 3 times “her” size, thus, we had to replace “her” aquarium. Now, about the name. See, we never really bothered to know “her” actual sex and “she” remained nameless all this time. It was only early last year when my cousin from Australia came to visit, saw the fish and said, “Look at those pouty lips. Let’s call it Angelina”. It caught on from there.

RIP, Angelina. Swim blissfully in heaven’s fish tank.


UPDATE 1: Saw half-eaten fried tilapia in the fridge later that day; asked out loud: “Siya ba ‘to? (Is this her?)”. The household help weren’t amused. 

UPDATE 2: My Tita messaged me. Apparently, she remembers the pet store owner telling her that “Angelina” was a male. (FAIL!)

UPDATE 3: Angelina is no longer a Flowerhorn. “She” is now an AngelFish. (Pucha, ang corny.) 


Sugod Mga Kapatid sa Sinulog

Last Thursday wasn’t just a whirlwind trip for me but for the TV5 talents who participated in the activities as well. Upon their arrival in Cebu, the stars had quick lunch then it was straight to a quick press conference.

Upcoming young talents such as JC De Vera, Danita Paner, Ritz Azul, Arci Munoz, Nina Jose, Morisette Amon, and Eula Caballero joined the likes of established names like Ruffa Gutierrez, Zoren Legaspi and Wendell Ramos in tackling questions about their current projects and their personal lives.

After the press-con, the stars immediately flocked to Fuente Osmena Circle later that afternoon for the main event. Hosts Arnel Ignacio and Cebu’s own Marife Castillo kicked off the show with their hilarious banter, after which they ushered in the Sinulog dancers for a fiery opening number.

More fun and festivities followed later on. Prizes kept flowing as trivia challenges and Celebrity Samurai-inspired games kept Cebuanos at the edge of their seats.

Then it was one performance/onstage appearance after the other:

Talentadong Pinoy alumnus Astroboy setting the stage ablaze with a fiery hula hoop performance.

TV5‘s own ferocious catwoman Arci Munoz (who also celebrated her birthday that day) performing an energetic song number before promoting her upcoming show Felina.

Faith Cuneta singing her take on “Bukas Na Lang Kita Mamahalin”, the theme to Glamorosa.

Valiente stars Nina Jose and JC De Vera delivering a warm “Pit Senor” to the crowd.

Danita Paner and Zoren Legaspi also took the stage minutes before another game.

Then the unexpected happened: A technical mishap at the venue suddenly marred the proceedings. But that didn’t stop the rest of the Kapatid stars from gathering onstage and showing their love to a very appreciative and understanding crowd.

Way to cap off a dizzyingly fast Cebu assignment.

‘Till the next event!

The Idol has landed

Today’s the day for Archie fans all over the country!

New Kapatid star David Archuleta arrived in Manila this morning to shoot his upcoming miniseries with homegrown TV5 stars Jasmine Curtis-Smith and Eula Caballero. Upon stepping out of the airport, the 21-year-old pop star was immediately greeted by enamored chants and screams by his eager fans and supporters. He is no stranger to warm Pinoy reception, of course as this marks his 4th trip to the country.

After that, it was straight to EDSA Shangri-La Hotel for his official contract signing and a press conference (the first out of many, to be sure) where he opened up about how much he loves visiting the Philippines.

And through all that, it’s a good thing he still found time to acknowledge our department’s efforts:

So yeah. You heard him. For more exclusive updates and content, visit

Nandito Ako coming soon on TV5!

Hello again, Cebu.

Currently in Cebu to cover the TV5’s Sugod Mga Kapatid Sa Sinulog event.

We arrived in the city at 7:00am. Which means I didn’t have enough time to get ample shuteye. Actually, that one-hour flight was my one shot at salvaging some sleep. Unfortunately, I was seated in front of that one-man snore-chestra. Could have sworn he was almost as loud as the engine.

Breakfast was hardly Cebuano:

Breakfast platter from Bo’s Coffee.

…Either way, this should be enough to keep me up and about within the next few hours.

 Today will be jam-packed with activities. I’ll be covering a press conference with some of the TV5 talents this afternoon. Some of them are now starting to arrive in the hotel as we speak. Then it’s straight to the Fuente Osmena Circle for the event proper.  We’re also scheduled to fly back to Manila tonight. This is for work, after all, not really a trip per se.

 Nonetheless, I’m psyched to be here in the Queen City of the South again. My first and last visit was late March 2002. That’s two months shy of a decade, if you really want to be mathematical.  So, I might as well make the most out of this 13-hour trip. Later!

My 2011 from A-Z

Because I can’t let the first week of 2012 pass without looking back at the unbelievable year that was, here’s my alphabetical review of the events that defined my 2011.

A is for The Accidental Filmmaker.  Lisa Yuchengco’s timely and inspirational tribute to the life and works of her sister-in-law, Marilou Diaz-Abaya. It has always been an honor to have been a student of Direk Marilou and a pleasure witnessing the making of this documentary.

B is for The Black-Eyed Peas. Their recent Manila concert went from dance party to a showcase of shoehorned branded segments in a span of one hour, much to the bewilderment of the crowd. Turns out it was really “The E.N.D.” for the phunky quartet (for now, at least), as they tearfully announced their upcoming hiatus before wrapping up the show.

C is for Cinematography and Production Design Exercises. From recreating movie stills to re-interpreting famous screenplays, these continuous drills served as an exhilarating jumpstart to the last stretch of my film course.

D is for Davao. My first trip to the city of “Love, Peace and Progress” hardly felt like one and the only durian I ate was in the form of a cheesecake. But the non-stop food trips and incessant banter with my officemates made this whirlwind of an out-of-town assignment much more enjoyable.

E is for Elevator ng Lagim. Netizens call this interactive online trailer for TV5’s Regal Shocker remake an innovative marketing ploy. I call it my claim to 15-minute voiceover fame.

Go through the floors and wait for the scream. 😉 

F – Florence and the Machine. “The Dog Days Are Over” was my New Year’s anthem. When their sophomore album “Ceremonials” was released, “Shake it Out” became my daily pick-me-up. Florence Welch and her posse were essentially my 2011 soundtrack.

G – Game of Thrones. Or as I would fondly call it, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Royal Incest and Random Beheadings* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)”.

H – Hang Girl. My first directorial project – a comedy about a suicidal girl (my friend, Trixie Ballesteros) and her overbearing best friend (actor Joem Bascon). More than a short film, it’s the culmination of my MDAFI journey and proof that I was able to silence my self-doubts and rise to the challenge. The subject matter may be morbid but my urge to tell more stories never felt so alive.

Awesome trailer by my editor Adi di Larrazabal

I –  In the Heights and Next to Normal. Two awesome musicals that rocked the stage in 2011; both Philippine stagings of Tony Award winners and both tearjerkers about learning to love amidst life’s many complexities – and with excellent music to boot.

J – Jamba Juice.
The American franchise opened its first Southeast Asian branch in the Philippines last November and we all got, well, Jambafied. Only in its first 3 months of operation, the store attracts customers by the droves and is constant Twitpic fodder (they have a photobooth by their pick-up counter). One can only hope that they don’t pull a pearl shake anytime soon, if you know what I mean.

K – Kapatid Network. In a completely random twist of fate, I found myself back in the workforce last July as part of TV5’s New Media (formerly Multimedia) department. To say that my life has been a blur since then is an understatement.

L – Lee Dewyze. People barely noticed when the American Idol Season 9 champ visited the
country last May and his Eastwood Mall mini-concert received tepid fanfare at best. But, hey, I got an autograph.

M-  milk tea. My daily transfusion.

N – New Media. A fledgeling department working for a fledgeling TV station; thankful to be a part of this creative, driven, and wacky bunch.

TV5 new media’s video game-inspired department portrait. 

O – One-Hundred. DLSU celebrated its 100th year in the Philippines in 2011 and I’m glad I managed to elbow through the crowds in the campus during the Centennial celebration. last June. It’s just a matter of honoring the institution that shaped me.

P – Pizza overload in PLDT’s MyDSL Awesome Hunt. Last April, I was asked to be a production assistant in the Las Pinas leg of this Amazing Race-inspired celebrity blogging challenge. Curiously, two of the stops were pizza restaurants. Is Las Pinas the Metro’s pizza capital? Not quite. But there’s no room for skepticism when there’s free food, is there?

Q – Quattro. My short certificate film course in MDAFI ended last May, so did one hell of a ride with my Batch 4 classmates.

R – Reunions. The first half of the year was greeted with an influx of balikbayan guests: Relatives from US, Australia and Bahrain from January-February, my Chicago-based Ninang in March, and my childhood friend in April. All that, plus I got to spend Christmas with my Dad for the first time ever. A milestone in every sense of the word.

S – Singapore. A colossal improvement from my disastrous first visit 4 years ago, mostly because I got to see more places and I now have a lot of friends based there. Highlight of the trip: Universal Studios. I felt like a 12-year-old again.

T – Tagaytay and Tarlac. Balikbayan guests meant a lot of spontaneous road trips. These were two of our most memorable destinations.

U – Usapang Matino. My umbrella title for my illogical banter with my closest friends. What these conversations lack in sense, they more than compensate in uplifting my spirits.  

 V – Vinyl on Vinyl. My favorite spot in The Collective, which became a constant hangout place early last year.

W – Weddings. Three of my friends got married this year: My college org-mates Joseph and Leia last February (and on my birthday, no less) and my high school batchmate Ogge and his high school sweetheart Sel last May. It may be an indicator that we are getting older, but we are all still pretty much kids at heart.

X – Xmas (Christmas) with a Hundred Stars. Hands down, my favorite coverage assignment so far. The likes of Sharon Cuneta, Nora Aunor, Aga Muhlach, Lorna Tolentino, and more than a hundred other TV5 talents flocked to NBC Tent for this extravagant Christmas ball. If we took their “wattage” in the literal sense that night, the entire city of Taguig would have short-circuited.


Y – Younghusbands. The half-Brit heartthrobs signed on to become AKTV’s official football ambassadors last November. Just one of several ambush live-tweeting assignments that took place in the office.

Z – Zombadings. Chris Martinez’ uproariously funny (although, some might argue, politically incorrect) horror-comedy about gay zombies terrorizing a quaint Quezon town was a hit in last year’s Cinemalaya. It was an effective vehicle for lead star Mart Escudero and the supporting cast, including Roderick Paulate as a vengeful psychic and Odette Khan as a drunken mayor, was an ensemble made in becky heaven.


Her name is Note. Note, as in “Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti Do”.

She’s from Thailand and a good friend of my cousin Marj. Took her to see Tagaytay today – a far cry from my initial plan to stay at home for my day-off. Nonetheless, I always enjoy playing the tour guide. Throughout the road trip, I kept on telling her two things: (1) How much I love the sound of her language and  (2) that her country has always been part of my travel bucket list. For the latter, she told me that she’d be more than happy to be my gracious host once I go there.

All I can say is, if today’s an indicator of how spontaneous the rest of the year will go, then bring it on.

2012 will be all about seeing new places. 😉