Sep 29, 2011

For the Bigger Picture

I really feel stressed out because too many things have been happening all at the same time - the Soya Ice party this Saturday, an event for I'mAB, a retreat we're organizing and Manila Kid's restructuring and writing of our book.

What made matters more intense was a call I received last night from the HR of one of the biggest financial companies right now asking if I can already start working this Monday. The original schedule was on October 17, two weeks from now so I have not yet fixed some of the requirements. I had to go to the barangay office, NBI, post office, police district... just to make sure I have all that were needed.

While waiting in the long lines, I was thinking of the many commitments I still have and was trying to strategize a system where I can balance all of it. Soya Ice meetings are on Saturdays, I'mAB's meetings every Sundays and Manila Kid meetings will be weekdays night! Whew!

Having a full week isn't much of a problem. My main concern is that I hope I still remember and see the bigger picture after being immersed in a real job. This is just a stepping stone for me to achieve the bigger things!

Isang Litrong Pag-Asa

This video popped in my facebook newsfeed this morning. It's about this small impoverished village in San Pedro, Laguna where the houses are so closely packed together, light cannot even come in. It was dark so people mostly stayed outside their houses... until "Mang Demi Solar" arrived with the solution of using plastic bottles which would harness the power of solar light and project them inside the homes. Think of it as recycled substitutes for electric powered light bulbs which can generate up to 55 watts. Watch the video and be inspired!

"Parang katulad na rin ng bumbilya. [Ang] dati nating nakakalimutan, napakinabangan natin ngayon." They don't need Meralco after all. It didn't came as a surprise when I found out that this was from the group of Illac Diaz. I definitely wanna be like him.

I think beyond giving light to the villages, the group who invented this continues to give us hope and inspiration  Solutions don't need the backing of millions of pesos or super complex scientific / technological breakthroughs.

Visit Isang Litrong Liwanag to know more about the project.

Sep 28, 2011

Duty to Your Heart

I've grown up, i think. I'm slowly starting to accept that you can't remain like a kid forever. No matter how much you run from your responsibilities, you have to face them eventually. So yeah, I think I'm slowly recovering from my Peter Pan Syndrome.

... and slowly entering my Mulan Phase. When faced with the dilemma between choosing duty versus her heart, one of the characters in the second installment of the movie was reminded by Mulan that her duty is to her heart. Sometimes I wish it was just that easy. 

By heart, I'm not talking about a romantic relationship. It's more of genuine passion. Maybe I still lack the courage to pursue it. I know what I'm entering right now is just a stepping stone, even if I have to swallow what I've been "preaching" the whole time. I'm still not losing sight of the bigger picture though.

Another thing, I have to learn conversational mandarin/fookien as soon as possible or else I'll be racially discriminated (i think). I've never felt so Filipino in my life (which isn't really a bad thing.) So if anyone of you knows a class that I can attend to help me learn Chinese, please feel free to tell me.

I know I sound vague but I'll share the big news once everything has been settled. Stay tuned!

Sep 24, 2011

New Environments and Life Changing Choices

It was boys night out in Cantina yesterday with my college friends and Katipunan has never felt so distantly familiar. The lamp lit avenue with speeding cars reminds me of night classes, org meetings and studying in the library before a long test.

They were there to celebrate the end of the week from the busy corporate world and I was basically present because I needed a break from all the hard work I do at home (blogging, editing pictures, sleeping and eating, haha!)

It's interesting that most of us change our spending patterns after graduation - no Starbucks in the morning and bring your own lunch/baon to work. Maybe it's more difficult to spend hard earned money compared to when your parents still give you financial support.

I don't know if it goes the same with others but most of my friends felt like the people around them are dumb and slow! Haha! It's like their co-workers are easily satisfied with mediocre achievements, and that they feel limited like a big fish in a small pond, where the pond is the set of responsibilities and expectations from your boss.

Then the conversation turned to me. I told them about the big news that I might start joining the corporate world soon (yikes!) and I was surprised with how they reacted! I won't be able to survive because of all the rigid rules. Haha! I better concentrate on stabilizing our small businesses. Then Dondie suggested something that sparked back another field where I used to find interest in - international relations.

There's this diplomatic/foreign exam shizz happening next year (January if I'm not mistaken) and I should try out for a career in diplomatic relations. I had dreams of becoming the Philippine ambassador to France before and that suggestion really want me to consider this path. Come to think of it, all of my organizations and volunteering back in college had a touch of international relations in them (from HPAIR to UNICEF) so this might not be a bad idea.

What do you do when you have so much interests that it opens a lot of opportunities and choices, but in the end you don't know where to go? Can't help but wonder if not having any choice is actually better.

I remember the first time we were in Cantina more than four years ago. The conversation was about subjects to look forward to, teachers to avoid and other topics that a first year college student might find interest in. I looked around and the place almost hasn't changed at all - even the people there look familiar (hey, I even saw my elementary best friend!).

The management had a choice to improve it like what McDo, Jollibee and Kenny did, but they opted not to. Maybe it's that familiarity that keeps people coming back. That no

Sep 23, 2011


If you've been following my blog, you would know that I have this obsession with bamboos. Aside from looking very elegant, bamboos will be the next big thing when it comes to construction material because it is easily renewable and very sustainable. That's why I can't wait to put up my bamboo farm soon, as in within 2 years soon!

I was invited to come to the press preview of Philippine School of Interior Design's exhibit dubbed as "Jak en Poy" to view the 20 booths of it's Adanced Class 2011. 

"The exhibit takes the audience on a trek through childhood games, in corridors showcasing sustainable materials “Bato” (stone), “Bakal” (steel), “Papel” (paper), “Kawayan” (bamboo), “Semento” (cement or concrete), “Salamin” (glass), “Plastik” (plastic), “Goma” (rubber), “Kahoy” (wood) and “Putik” (mud or clay) applied to 20 interior design booths that evoke different moods and styles, conscious of the concept of designing for a better world."

I was more excited when I learned that the theme for Aivan's booth is bamboo! When you're at the center of the room, you would feel like you were standing in the middle of a bamboo grove. Each section of the bathroom is enclosed in a cylindrical space which makes the room cozy even though there concrete is used for the finishing.

The theme of the booth beside Aivan's is also bamboo, but they used the smaller kind here. We are familiar with how bamboos are used in the provinces to build huts, but both of the groups made bamboo look more sophisticated and expensive.

This is actually my favorite section of their booth! The texture created looks like cork, although those are baby bamboos cut and and sandpapered to perfection! I seriously want to take this home. Haha!

And this is Aivan who colored his hair for the occasion (i think) since bamboo is green.

The whole exhibit will be open to the public from October 1 to 30 at the former Super Savers Club, beside SM North EDSA!

Groping in the Dark

First of all, I'm very proud of how some of my classmates turned out. One group has the audacity to create a project that wants to challenge facebook, think of social networking, virtual gaming and real life simulations combined in one! I can't reveal the whole detail because they might sue me, but I heard they have a group of computer engineers, programmers (even a psychologist!) tinkering with the software and devices for this to work. Definitely something to look forward to!

On the other hand, my group is trying to come up with a book that, as simply put, wants to fight the "death of idealism/ambition/passion." We met a few days ago and I'm really glad that they bought into the idea of creating a guideline for the youth to help them pursue their genuine dream. Think of a less academic sounding thesis filled with case studies of real people and organized in a list of principles. It's like Sean Covey's 7 Habits but with a Filipino youth context and examples.

We felt like groping in the dark. Universities don't teach its students to write books like this so we had a hard time creating a "methodology" on how to make this happen. But there's a reason why we grope in the dark - we want to find a switch that will help us see clearer or make the room brighter.

And maybe that's our goal for the book. We've been surrounded by so much noise that we lose sight of what we are really born for. How often do we make our choices based NOT based on what the media or our friends tell us?

We've got a long way to go and I'm not sure how difficult this whole project is going to be, but when we ended our meeting, the vision is so clear and so real that you can see the excitement in our wide smiles.

I'd like to end this with my favorite quote from Steve Jobs, "If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don't have to be pushed. The vision pulls you.”

Sep 19, 2011

Interview With DZMM

It's always a pleasure whenever we get invited to guest in radio and television shows because it allows us to communicate to a wider range of audience. Imagine our delight (and fear) when DZMM Teleradyo invited us to guest last Sunday in their 9-10pm show! My week was filled with meetings and events so it was only during that day when it dawned to me that I'll be needing all the skills which I learned from my philo and theo orals to survive humiliation on a nationwide scale.

I was so awestruck when we entered the ABS-CBN compound! Like, Woah! The security was very intimidating because the guards were dressed in a navy-combat-ready-for-war suit armed with there armalite rifles! 

We surrendered our school IDs then waited in the conference area of DZMM. My brother realized that our camera memory card was broken so he had to rush to the nearest grocery to buy. Thank God he was able to find a cheap one (500 pesos) else our trip won't be documented.

Remind me to bring my own foundation and brush next time. But I have to say, I can get used to all this pampering. Haha!

Our show started 30 minutes earlier! Last time we were interviewed, I was saying so much "uhms" so I had to be conscious this time. Aside from the 630 AM Station, our show was also aired on Channel 26 so we had to look "camera friendly."

I guess the main theme of our interview revolved around sustaining the passion and idealism of the youth even after they have entered the real world. I was also able to inject thoughts on corporate slavery, Christian meditation, the deceptive world of advertising and something about the power of love to change a person (cheesy?).

Fr. Jerome told us that kinilabutan siya because of the high idealism that Manila Kid wants to push for. I believe that a lot of youth are innately talented, but it is difficult to sustain it once you are faced with a job in the corporate world or things get too complicated because of relationships or family.

I told them that we'll be releasing a book some time on 2013 that intends to fight the death of idealism. It is inspirational at the same time directional. We want to stretch the vision further by producing a concrete and well researched material that our students can use to really guide themselves on the career they genuinely want to pursue.

I met with some of my high school friends to brainstorm more about this project and I'm very thankful that they are committed in making this plan into a reality. It is ambitious, I know that, but it's worth the try.

PS: Thank you very much to DZMM (Fr. Jerome and Ms. Ilsa) for giving us the opportunity to express our thoughts on a nationwide scale. Fr Jerome told us personally that he was inspired by what we said that night, I hope that goes the same to the listeners.

Sep 13, 2011


It's like writing a thesis paper with the help of many people who share the same goals for six months, then suddenly when you're about to submit the final paper, your computer's hard drive crashes and all the files get destroyed with no back up. got hacked again and this time, I think the articles were completely erased. We were able to recover the site when it crashed the first time then several days after bringing it back up, shit happened.

It's very frustrating because aside from investing so much money and effort trying to build the concept, site and content, people are actually hoping that their articles and features get published on the site. I don't want to let anyone down that's why when the site crashed for the first time, we really tried our best to bring it back to life with a better layout and design.

I only wanted to create an avenue where the youth can share their thoughts, passions and talents so that people will be inspired to remain true to their ideals and really push for their dreams in whatever field they will pursue. Yes, there's also that nationalistic touch to it, but the bottom line is - it's for the youth of our country. This vision of Manila Kid will remain true.

The website is just a tool for the vision to be realized and if we can't sustain a dot-com website, then we might move to a smaller blogspot-dot-com site. What doesn't kill you strengthens you, and somewhere, there's a lesson to be learned here.

Actually, several hours before the website was hacked, I was talking with some friends for a much bigger project (still under Manila Kid). I won't say what it is but it remains true to the vision that was there since the beginning!

We'll keep moving forward.

Sep 9, 2011

Next Illac Diaz

Got a call earlier from an environmental NGO offering me a job. Good pay, 2 days a week work! I always wanted to be like Illac Diaz (minus the good looks, plus a brand empire.) He's the perfect balance between an environmentalist and an entrepreneur. Take note, we graduated the same course in the Ateneo!

Nico, me, Gracie, Illac and Anna during the National Conference

So I told my mom about the job and she said, "what will I tell my friends, that you work in an NGO?" Then coldly stares at me. Well, I don't care much about what your friends think anyways.

I have lots of big projects that I want to accomplish in the next few years - build my bamboo farm to support my "Illac-Diaz-project" / housing for the poor, then start Manila Leadership Academy and publish several books under the Manila Kid name. Then sustain I'mABosco and Soya Ice.

People always say I'm too much of an idealist. Too ambitious for their taste. Well, I can't wait to prove them wrong! It's been done before by other young entrepreneurs - to change the world for the better, one project at a time. If they can do it, why can't I? Why can't you?

Manila International Book Fair

Manila International Book Fair (MIBF), the biggest and longest-running book fair in the Philippines, returns to the SMX Convention Center on Sept. 14-18 for its 32nd year of contributing to the reading awareness of the Filipino public.

For three decades now, the MIBF has been a one-stop shop for local and foreign publishers, wholesalers, retailers, book lovers and collectors, librarians, authors, and publishers’ representatives, and serves as a venue book launches, dialogues with readers, and other book-related activities that reach out to a wide audience.

MIBF showcases the largest and most varied collection of literature, textbooks, educational supplements, general references, religious and inspirational titles, self-help books, management books, Filipiniana, coffee table books, popular novels, children's books, art books, graphic novels, rare and hard-to-find titles, magazines, audio and e-books, multimedia, teaching supplies and services, publishers' technology, and travel materials.

Students can avail of books at lower-than bookstore prices, while teachers and school administrators can compare offerings from various exhibitors and get the best prices for bulk purchases. 

Youngsters can look forward to story-telling sessions, puppet shows, reading-related contests, robotic demonstrations, a parade of exhibitors’ mascots and cosplayers of their favorite book characters.  Classes can also enlist in special seminars and workshops available round the clock at the Manila International Book Fair, while the young and old alike can enjoy mini-concerts or meet-and-greet sessions with well-known and up-and-coming authors and illustrators. 

Co-located at the MIBF are events The 3rd Philippine English Language Conference (Sept. 15-17); My Wellness Program (Sept. 16-17, Function Rooms 1&2), a two-day health and wellness fair; Super Kids 2011 (Sept. 16-17, Function Room 3), an early childhood education conference; The Best of Anime 2011 (Sept. 17 &18, Function Room 4 & 5), a festival featuring anime exhibits, gaming, cosplay, concert and special activities that will thrill anime and manga enthusiasts; and the 2011 Music Festival Manila (Sept. 18, Function Rooms 1, 2 & 3).

MIBF runs from Sept. 14-18 at the SMX Convention Center, Seashell Drive, Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City. MIBF is organized by Primetrade Asia, Inc. in partnership with Asian Catholic Communicators, Inc., Book Development Association of the Philippines, Philippine Booksellers Association, Inc., and Publishers Representatives Organization of the Philippines. For details, call 896-0661 or 896-0682, or e-mail

What If

What if after all this time, you thought you were something that was dictated by your friends and the society, but because of some circumstances, you find out that you might be otherwise?

This is you because you grew up with friends who are similar and shared the same interest with the rest of the collective, but apparently something stronger tells you that you're not. How well does external factors define you compared to your internal senses? Possibilities...

Because of some strange sensation or experience or person (maybe even all of that option), you're willing to do whatever it takes prove to the world you are otherwise. Or do you really need to prove anything in this post modern world that "to define is to limit" and anyone can be what he says he is? I wonder...

Sep 8, 2011

Rock and Run for History Week

Relive history with RockEd and the National Historical Commission's
Rock Rizal Concert and Run Rizal activities

Manila, Philippines — The National Historical Commission of the Philippines and Rock Ed Philippines gather up the biggest stars and names as they make this year’s history week more fun and exciting with Rock Rizal concert and Run Rizal.
“History should not be boring. This is why the commission is trying its best to come up with different activities that encourage students to participate and be more involved,” says Dra. Serena Diokno, Chairperson of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines.
“Music has become the language of the youth. If we take time to listen to, say, Gloc 9 then we'll realize that his music reflects as much truth as we see in the streets of Manila--and perhaps, for this reason, we have labeled rap 'ang bagong balagtasan.' I'd also like to believe that running is more than just a fad. For some people, running is instrumental to achieving a cause, to beginning a day right, to becoming healthier. A passion for sports and an appreciation for the arts, whether visual, drama, or music--they are all attributes of Rizal.” she further enthuses.

Continuing the celebration of the 150th birth anniversary of Jose Rizal and participating in the week-long celebration of our country’s history, nine of the country’s biggest artists will come together on September 16 at the SM Mall of Asia Music Hall for Rock Rizal, a concert highlighting the songs that reflects the life and works of our national hero. 
Prepare yourself to be captured in different performances by artists Ely Buendia, Sandwich, Gloc-9, Ebe Dancel, Jett Pangan, Peryodiko, Hijo, Aiza Seguerra and Radio Active Sago Project, all of who pledged for this monumental project to happen.
“With our goal to take Rizal out of the classroom and into radio stations, the Rock Rizal concert is a true testament and celebration of the youth’s passion for learning, for music and for history” says Pepe Diokno, Executive Director of Rock Ed Philippines.
And if music is not enough to give you the adrenaline rush you’re looking for, join the Run Rizal on September 18. Proceeds of this activity will be given to continue the preservation of the three Rizal Shrines administered by the NHCP—Rizal Shrine in Calamba, Rizal Shrine in Dapitan, and Rizal Shrine in Fort Santiago.
The run starts and ends at the Rizal Monument and will wind through Roxas Blvd. and Diosdado Macapagal Avenue. Runners can participate in the 3K, 5K, 10K, and 16K categories.
For updates, you may visit the National Historical Commission of the Philippines at for more details.

Sep 7, 2011

Manila Kid: As Seen on the Runway

" ngayon, isang patalastas mula sa Manila Kid!"

That's your cue! Get out now and stall while the models are still having their hair and make up! "But for how long!?" Until someone calls your attention. "WTF!" (suffers panic attack and stage fright!)

We are not new to the backstage scenes of fashion shows. The stress level is always high several minutes before the runway for reasons like the stylist isn't done putting the accessories, the make up artist only glued one false eyelash or the model still can't find her other pair of shoe.

I think no matter how much you prepared, you should always have a Plan B. A concrete example would be a model backing up on the exact same day! That happened to us, but good thing Mikey was able to save the day.

We were invited by the College of Education Student Council Vice President, Ryan Bulosan, to take part of their Buwan ng Wika celebration - Bisti: Rampa ng mga Kultura. "Maybe you'd want to showcase the Manila Kid tshirt collection?" Sure! Challenge accepted - one week to pull off a mini fashion show.

We immediately asked the help of our friends and our previous models if they can help us, and we're really thankful that most of them said yes!

Sorry we weren't able to take much photos! So much drama backstage:P

Dressing Room / Hair and Make Up

"I know models don't eat but here are two orders of pizza!" Then Aya, one of the most sought after PMAP models looked at me incredulously and said smilingly "No, no!" Ooops. Haha!

So after ten years, here are the photos!

Ironically, Alexis (below) opened the show but she was the last one to have her hair and make up. Uhm, what hair and make up? LOL!

Another male model backed out so Jonard has to take his place! I told him several times not to walk but here he is!:))

Camille (below) is one of the newest endorsers of Jollibee!!! We love her so much!

And all the way from Katipunan is KC! Glad that she was able to make it safely. Haha!

Of course, Aya was there to close the show! Loves it!

Finale walk! Clap and smile! Clap and smile!

It was a surreal moment to be seeing your clothes walk out of the runway! We were especially proud during the finale walk where the models aligned in a row then me and my brother bowed to the audience! Too bad there wasn't any picture.

Thank you to everyone who helped! From the clothes, to the hair and make up, to the models, photographers and organizers of the event! 

I can proudly now say, "Manila Kid Shirts as seen on the runway!" Haha! Details on how to buy them will be announced once our website is back!:)