Saturday, October 31, 2015


I love Halloween costumes. But I don’t like wearing them; okay na’ko looking at others in their Halloween costumes.

Yesterday, I brought our talent, Thea Tolentino of The Half-Sisters, to the Pepper Lunch office after my friend Dinna and Cecile Van Straten aka Chuvaness asked for an artista to help pick the employee wearing the best costume.

Bongga, they asked me to judge, as well.

There were five different teams: the Addams Family, people from Oz, the Harry Potter peeps, people from Wonderland (as in Alice in Wonderland), and the Neverland guys. Apart from wearing a costume, the employees also had to decorate their work area.

The Addams Family won Best in Decor especially because they had a family photo and the tombstones of some popular people.

The guys from Neverland won Best in Costume – Group, thanks to the gigantic Captain Hook with a gigantic hook, the chic lola (sorry I don’t remember my Peter Pan anymore), and this guy in a pajama holding a stuffed toy (super sorry, I really don’t remember my Peter Pan anymore).

The employee who won Best in Costume also came from the Neverland guys: Mr. Smith (tama ba?), whose belly-baring get-up won him the award and prize.

Actually, a lot of them had really cool, creative costumes. There was this Harry Potter character wearing a toilet seat around her neck (sorry, I don’t know my Harry Potter), this Harry Potter character with big ears and wearing a sack (sorry talaga, I don’t know my Harry Potter), plus the Yaya Dub twins from the Addams family.

I enjoyed judging but highlight of the day was seeing Cecile again and getting to spend time and talk with her coz I learned a lot after our time together even if it was just short.

Friday, October 30, 2015


There is no doubt about it: Alden Richards and Maine Mendoza are the most in demand endorsers right now. When their love team AlDub became a hit not so long ago, various brands naturally wanted them to endorse their products. Endorsement deals were sealed one after another, from McDonald’s and Bear Brand to Talk ‘N Text. And that’s not the end of it, of course. I’m pretty sure we’ll be seeing some new billboards and TVCs of Alden and Maine endorsing other brands in the next few days. 

Even without each other, the two are booking some endorsement jobs. Maine, for example, has 555 Sardines. Alden, on the other hand, is the newest endorser of Snow Caps, a food supplement. The launch took place last yesterday in Plaza Ibarra, and boy it was jampacked when I got there.

I went straight to the holding area and tagged along showbiz reporter Nelson Canlas and his boyfriend, who wanted a photo opp with Alden. After they left, I took some shots for the GMA Artist Center Instagram account and then went to our table.

Everyone was excited to see him, it was very obvious, and when he finally went onstage to say hi and sing, everybody whipped out their phone and just didn’t stop taking photos and video clips. It was crazy.

Well, not as crazy as after the program. People dashed to the stage to have selfies taken and when it got a little out of control, Alden was escorted back to the holding room. Many people followed him there and all of a sudden there was a line of people who wanted to see him again up close.

I didn’t bother following coz the scene was really crazy.

I couldn’t even help the writers and editors AND colleagues/friends who came up to me to ask for assistance. Sorry!

Alden had a shoot after the Snow Caps launch so he had to run to his van not just coz he was running late but also coz the crowd was pretty wild.

Some people were lucky to get to have a selfie with Alden, some were not. And then there were these really lucky mallrats who got to meet Alden in a gimmick the brand did earlier. They asked mall-goers to go inside a photo booth not knowing that the guy holding an Alden Richards mask was really Alden himself. Lucky, noh? I know they plan to do that in other malls so better research and pretend to be surprised when Alden reveals himself na ha? ;)

BTS, super thanks to Jen and Lan of Summit. Lan went to the Snow Caps event just to hand me my copy of Yes and Preview magazine’s November issue, both featuring AlDub on the cover.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


Have you see the November issue of Preview magazine? Our talent Alden Richards is on the cover – together with Maine Mendoza, of course.

Why are they on the cover of Preview?

Why not?

They are the most popular people in the world right now (medyo exagg, but you know what I mean, right?).

This is the third time the magazine got someone from GMA Artist Center. The first was Janine Gutierrez, whose May cover was shot in Palawan. And then there is Julie Anne San Jose, whose August cover/issue came with a gorgeous music video that Preview produced.

And now there is Alden.

What’s challenging about the issue is that Alden and Maine couldn’t be shot together because back then, they never really got to see each other yet. We went back and forth with scheduling the shoot but it was easy for us after we locked in a date.

After his Eat Bulaga episode that day, Alden proceeded to the Sulo Hotel for the shoot. We did the interview first with Leah Puyat, who if the founding editor of Preview, and then did the photo shoot. 

It was a breeze, actually. And fun, as usual. Everyone from Preview is such a joy to work with, from EIC Pauline and the always energetic Vince, who styled and art directed the shoot, to EAs Mau and Yanna, who was the body double of Maine. I admire how chill and professional she was during the whole time. As in. I mean if I were in her stylish shoes, I couldn’t help but die every time I held hands with or put my arm around Alden.

Sayang Alden couldn’t stay long. He sounded nasal and sick and was coughing a little so he didn’t join us for dinner anymore. Sayang coz the dinner was so fun with all the crazy and funny and interesting things we talked about.

Another sayang: I couldn’t stay long because of a meeting so I didn’t get to meet Maine. Can you believe I’ve never met Maine?

Well, sa tamang panahon, I guess.

Anyway, don’t forget to grab a copy of the November issue of Preview. 

Paolo Pineda’s photos are AMAZING. 

Thanks, Pauline, for mentioning me in the ed’s note. Thanks, Leah, for the great read – and including me in the story.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


I just put Sadako to sleep.

Before she dozed off, I was scratching her back and telling her how when I was a little boy her age my grandfather used to go to my room and scratch my back until I fell asleep.

The other day, I remember sharing with her how every summer night, my mom used to give my brother and I a sponge bath. Afterwards, we'd be so fresh and so clean, thanks to Johnson's baby powder. Before hitting the sheets, we'd go to our grandfather and ask for some coins that we could put in our alkansya, which were old and empty plastic bottles of Johnson's baby powder.

I love telling Sadako how it was like when I was her age. For some reason, I usually share stories that involve a routine or pattern, like how my late maternal grandfather used to buy me art supplies from the plaza after mass and barbecue, or how I'd remove my socks by rolling them down into "donuts" every time I got home from school (and how my yaya would pretend to hate it).

Tumatak talaga sila because I did those things regularly and because there was always a loved one involved. This realization reminded me to do more regular things with my daughter because I want her to have a lot of good memories to treasure decades from now, whether it's a weekly Krispy Kreme date or a nightly scratch-my-back-while-you-tell-me-a-story-until-I-fall-asleep thing.

What fun routines do you have with your kids?

Monday, October 5, 2015


I am a big fan of boybands.

As in.

During my teenage years (when the term boyband wasn’t really that popular, if I remember it right), I was into boybands just like a lot of my female and gay classmates.

I was a fan of a lot of them: Backstreet Boys, N’SYNC, Boyzone, 98 Degrees, Code Red, Plus One, O Town, 3T, Human Nature, 5ive, The Moffats, Hanson, All 4 One, Take That, BBMak, Westlife – just to name some. I bought their cassette tapes/CDs, tuned in to MTV and Channel [V] to watch and even record their music videos, bought magazines featuring them, and watched their concerts here.

I think I was into them a little more than most of my peers. This was because I wanted a career in music.

As in I wanted to be part of a boyband.

I wasn’t just a fan of these cute and talented singers; I wanted to be like them, too.

And so I found myself listening to and learning all their songs, released or not. I studied the structure of their songs, the delegation of parts, the usual and not-so-usual topics, the patterns when releasing singles.

I also became familiar with the in demand songwriters and producers they worked with (Max Martin, Soulshock and Karlin, etc.), trends in album art, plus other things like the importance of branding, imaging, logos, and choreography.

So when GMA 7 announced they were forming a boyband through a show called To The Top, I was excited because I’ve always wanted to form my own vocal group and I’ve always wanted to form and manage a boyband and a girl group. I should learn a lot of things from the show, I thought.

I got even more excited when my boss one day invited an officemate and I to help him judge in one episode together with Joshua Zamora and Kuh Ledesma. We basically had to watch the performances of the three competing groups and rank them.

Kuh and I had different opinions on the contestants’ performances and I just loved it when she told me that after being in the industry for 37 years (37 nga ba?), she sure knows who can and can’t sing. Good TV moment there, Speidi would be proud.

A week after, I judged again, this time together with Jett Pangan and Ryan Cayabyab. 

Now I love Mr. C because, well, he is Mr. C! I met him a long, long time ago, when I auditioned for Smokey Mountain. Of course, I just had to remind him.

To The Top ended last week and I am suffering from separation anxiety. Watching the show on Saturday and Sunday nights became a habit. I also enjoyed live tweeting and exchanging tweets with some of the contestants (some of them recognized me as a guest judge and as someone from GMA Artist Center).

The good thing is that the boys are now with us.

I got to meet the winners – Miko M, Mico C, Adrian, Louie, and Joshua – just last week, as in for the very first time! I had coffee with them and it was nice to get to know them, of course. I asked them about their musical influences and the genres they like. I also asked about their love life!

I ended up giving them tips, as well, and showing them an interesting music video of another boyband.

The next day, I saw them again. My officemates and I were having a planning session and the boys dropped by to sing an original song called Paggising. Intro pa lang and I was sold! Harmony was great, Miko M’s runs were amazing. The whole song is pretty catchy and it is not forgettable so I hope a studio version becomes available soon so that you guys can listen to it.

By the way, the boys are now called T.O.P. but we haven’t finalized what the letters mean.

Transfer of Payment? Tower of Power? Throes of Passion???

We’re looking at either Top One Project or Tunay|Orihinal|Pinoy. What do you think?

As for the rest of the To The Top boys, don’t be sad because they are also with us and we do have plans for them so you will still see Cholo dela Cruz, Lance Busa, Edric Ulang, Lharby Policarpio, and the others. Who knows, maybe they’re really meant to be solo singers and not boyband members, di ba?

As for my dreams of being a member of a boyband, I have given up on that already so you won’t see me doing choreographed moves while blending with others.

Like I said, maybe some people are meant to be solo singers and not boyband members nga, di ba??? ;)