It was November 8, 2013 when a powerful and devastating typhoon struck the Philippines, the Eastern Visayas area in particular; it’s name is Haiyan (international) and infamously known as Super Typhoon Yolanda once it entered the Philippine area of responsibility. The path of destruction of this typhoon was very well documented on tv, heard on radio and read on paper worldwide. Many homes and establishments were ripped to pieces, death toll in Eastern Visayas area rose to thousands (final number of death toll still uncertain up to now, according to the Philippine Star Newspaper), and some are still missing up to now. Local and International philanthropies, NGOs and other outreach group quickly acted to help the affected areas. It hindered a lot of activities too in Metro Manila, all the budget and cash donations were allotted to the people severely affected by this horrible catastrophe. From cancelled company Christmas parties to a joint charity event with my good friend Rachel, the Yolanda Victims became the top priority of all companies and charities.

I will forever cherish the moments when Pinoy Malikhain, my puppet group, was sent by the Marikina City Government through an outreach program headed by Vice Mayor Jose Fabian I. Cadiz, M.D.; four times from November 29, 2013 to January 15, 2014 to Eastern Samar (one the state severely affected) to give hope and joy to the people affected through our puppet show and relief goods distribution.  The journey was really exhausting for all of us, it took 27 hours of traveling from Marikina to Eastern Samar via land and sea. We had to sleep in our modes of transportation (vans and boats) in somehow “yoga” like positions, so it definitely took its toll on our bodies. Going there (I was able to join the trip twice) gave me the opportunity to observe up close the damage and the situation of the people, to bond with my friends in Pinoy Malikhain (Mac, Carlo, Christine, Deonel, Jay-R and Sir. Mark) and to meet some wonderful people in that area like Mr. Ervin Dy (the mayor of Juanita on that time) and his wife; Mrs. Cecile Dy who hosted us in our stay in Juanita. They shared to us their stories as well about their Yolanda experience. We performed in front of many people (and distributed relief goods afterwards) through extreme heat and partial rainfalls, and the laughter and smiles on their faces were like sunbeams through a storm… all our hard work, effort and fatigue were all worth it, in that single moment of twinkling hope.  Even by just performing as a puppeteer and helping in the donation of some relief goods, I know it was only a small thing, but it was such a blessing and somehow historic in my part. Ever since then, our puppet group’s friendship became stronger and somehow better. Most importantly it deepened our understanding on the meaning of “volunteerism” and spending one’s time for a greater cause.

As of writing, reports about the people in the Eastern Visayas area are trending, on how they have moved on and the situation of the place; days heading to its first year anniversary. The progress is somehow slow but things are being done to ensure that the recovery goes smoothly in those areas. The government set some deadlines in regards to their housing development, livelihood projects and other related stuff from the donations that amounted to billions.

If there is one simple thing that I learned from my experience in reaching out and going to Eastern Samar, it is that we must always show to our family, relatives and friends their value in our lives by constantly communicating with them; visiting them from time to time; hanging out with them if possible; for we never know when death will strike our loved ones and vice versa. So make everyday an opportunity to celebrate life and give meaning to it.















It was supposed to be just another typical Saturday for me last April 27, 2013.  There I was, seated in front of my computer and all of my attention and energies were focused on my Brickleberry animation scene (our show back then).  Until my friend, Adam Reyes made that Saturday more exciting with a sudden phone call.  He became brief with the call, since he was running out of load at that time, with the information that Playboy Philippines had a “Meet and Greet Session With the Playmates of 2012” at around 3 pm at Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall.  I had to admit, I was a little bit uninterested and hesitant at first and I just wanted to finish my animation work but this statement of his changed my mind that day; and I quote Mr. Reyes with: “Dude, you can do cartoons all of your life but events like these come once in a lifetime, these are the hottest and smartest babes in the Philippines”.  I realized that he was right, this would be a wonderful opportunity to see some beautiful creatures once in a while and it was summer back then, so might as well cool off little a bit.  So I shut down my computer, took a quick lunch, showered then headed to Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall.

This was were “Filipino Time” benefited me,  I arrived at the Sta. Lucia East Grand Mall Activity Center around 3:30 pm, damn; I was 30 minutes late for the event; but luckily the event was moved; it would then start two and a half hours later.  I had plenty of time to refresh myself and relax a little bit.   An April 2013 Playboy Philippines Magazine served as a ticket for two persons for the event, and Adam already secured a copy earlier that day to avoid complications.  While waiting for the event to start we were able to meet some interesting people on the venue.  There were these two wacky and cool buddies named Abdul and Saito, who I categorized as celebrity chasers.  Since during our conversation with them, they couldn’t help it but show to us their collection of different actors, actresses, models and even politicians that they had taken their pictures with on their cell phones, psp and their autograph book with various signatures from celebrities.  There was also this guy whom Adam chatted with who happened to be a close friend of Playmate Gray Gomez.  Around 5:15 pm, we saw the Playmates arrived one after another at the venue and headed to their dressing room before taking the spotlight.

The event started past 6 pm with a hot and sexy female host (sorry I forgot her name) coming out from the back stage and greeted us with her high energy and charming personality.  The spotlight then focused on center stage, the music was loud and clear and she called on the Playmates of 2012 who entered the stage doing a ramp model type of thing.  In order of entry were: Bunny Red, Bunny Black (two hot models dressed in a bunny suit), .  It was sad to learn that  couldn’t make it due to their hectic schedules.  Nevertheless, there they were, after around 15 minutes of hot ramping, all of the guys and girls in the venue were stunned in amazement and mesmerized with their charms, fine clothing and voluptuous body curves.

After the ramp thing, the female host questioned each Playmate on how it was like to work with Playboy Philippines.  Every Playmate gave an interesting answer to the question, most of them said they were honored to unleash their passion and craft in this primer men’s magazine and how fun, unique and professional Playboy Philippines was.  Playmate Gypsy and Bella showcased their singing prowess by serenading the crowd with their version of Rihanna’s “Diamonds”.   The singing was just an appetizer as these Playmates prepared a “Bring me contest” afterwards in which me and Adam participated in.  Abdul, Saito and the friend of Playmate Grey entered the stage earlier when asked upon the things for the contest.  The host then asked who had the biggest shoe in the venue, and I stood up and showed the crowd my size 13 sneakers while Adam was quick to his feet when asked to bring a cellphone on stage.  All the guys who participated in the contest were partnered with a Playmate, I was lucky and honored to be with Playmate Ayesha while Adam and Mae Li composed the last team.  The female host added a new twist to the contest: we had to dance the “” with our Playmate partners.  I have acting and theatrical experience with me, so I really tried to perform well to the delight of the audience, plus, I really wanted to impress Playmate Ayesha during that time too.  Not bad, as our team was one the crowd favorites.  Adam rendered a martial arts type of dance steps with Mae Li .  The audience’s cheers became the measuring stick on who would win the dance contest and in the end it was Saito and Playmate Bella’s team that grabbed victory.  It was fun, and the opportunity that we got to dance with a Playmate by our side was truly memorable.  For our prize, all of us were given two pieces of Playboy Philippines April 2013 issue and Playboy stickers as well.

Before the event neared its conclusion, each Playmate took turns in thanking her supporters and the jam-packed crowd who stormed the event.  Each one of them also informed the crowd on how to get in touch with them via their social media accounts.  It was the “Meet and Greet” part finally were guys and girls all lined up to have their April 2013 magazines signed up by these gorgeous ladies.  The line was long, everyone taking turns in getting the autographs of their favorite Playmates and some pictures as well.  Adam and I lined up last to have our magazines signed by the Playmates and had our pictures taken with them for additional souvenir.

I also gave my wonderful dance partner: Playmate Ayesha a quick pencil sketch of herself before we left.  And in return she gave me a friendly hug and the permission to give her a friendly kiss on her cheek too.  We left the activity center with big smiles on our faces and the intensity of the event lingered in our memories as we headed back home.

This was surely a memorable event for me this 2013 and I realized that there was more to it than these ladies posing without any clothes in a men’s magazine.  It mirrors their passion and dedication to their craft.  As an artist I appreciate the “nudity through art” more in Playboy Magazines.  These Playmates give more color to that term in their posses.  It also opens up a new perspective on things once you get to read the write-ups on these ladies on their respective issues and on the internet as well, their journeys; how they tend to improve more in their career; places they dream of visiting, stuff like that.  Aside from modeling, all of them also have other extra-curricular activities in the field of sports, music, acting, martial arts and participation in community services to help our less fortunate countrymen. Women like them can also be a motivating factor in influencing people in our society to stick with their passion no matter how difficult things are and to live life to the fullest.   Image




















Filipino Artists can play an important role for a better Philippines

I live in the Philippines, if you check the facts and data about this country, it is a 3rd world and a developing one. There are so many areas in this country that need improvement such as the education, foreign relations, pandemics, scientific development, and so and so forth. Even though the facts are somehow degrading, this country is still home to resilient, hard working and talented individuals; teachers, engineers, architects and scientists are the ones heavily relied on to bring some improvement in this country. Opportunities come when scholarships, study grants or foreign support are awarded to Filipino students who are strongly related to the areas of development to study abroad. Of course with their new found knowledge and advanced techniques learned from powerful countries, they are a big factor in the development process.

However, not all Filiipino students get this opportunity easily, as they go through heavy screening that are conducted by Filipino Institutions. I really have high respects for the types of students given this rare chance of studying abroad who are mostly teachers, architects, engineers etc but artist like myself should also be given a chance to prove that we can contribute as well to this country’s development. Artists too are integral in the Philippines rise to success, because we possess something that most of the others don’t, creativity, which we use to convey emotions and enter the mind of an individual or institution by our visual presentations and ideas, if only given the funds for support, we present world class ideas and solutions. We make lasting impressions through our artworks, be it a simple print ad, campaign ad, movie or an animated film. Imagine our creativity combined with the advanced techniques that these teachers, engineers, scientists and all of the others learned from their study abroad; we can build a team that present solutions to these sectors in an entertaining and enticing manner that could convince the government or other potent foreign institutions for their support and finance.

This tandem can be the start of something big, to inspire other artist as well to be more nationalistic and think of what they can do for a better Philippines. And if artists are given more opportunities to study and learn new stuff abroad, they wouldn’t feel discriminated in applying for international scholarships screened by fellow Filipinos. If these local institutions and the government could only open their minds and hearts for the possibilities. Filipino artists are sons of the Philippines, an animator, comic book artist, cultural performers, sculptors, painters , etc., it is with their creative minds and artistic expression that can speed up this country’s development, they should be given the chance no matter what.


I really got interested in purchasing the Buzz and Woody toys of an animator friend of mine when he told me that he finally decided to sell these wonderful pieces of art last January 2013 while eating snacks at 7-Eleven.   Deep down, I knew I should be the rightful buyer, because, stuff like these should only be bought by a fellow artist, a passionate animator and nobody else.  When we returned to work after a short off-season(kinda), I got the necessary budget after a couple of weeks to purchase the two main stars of Toy Story.   I immediately informed him my interest in buying them and during the last week of April we met at KFC Tuazon for that special moment.  A special moment because Buzz and Woody would finally have a new owner and home and a sad goodbye to their former owner (similar to the ending of Toy Story 3, isn’t it? :)).  The moment I saw and touched these highly detailed, generated from Pixar’s computer files toys; I knew these are not only toys but treasures, as these two represent one of Pixar’s breakthrough films and they make you capture every movie moments every time you play with them and in saying so, they create the Andy in you, in real life.

Here is my review of them after a few weeks of displaying and playing with them, and yes, I also bought Bucket O Soldiers,  from a toy store when they went on sale early May (thank goodness they still have on bucket left).  These toys are created by Thinkway Toys; which is a very good company that is known for their high sense of details , on-modelness, and movie accuracy of their Disney and Pixar line of toys in the market.

Let me start with Woody the Sheriff, his packaging box is similar to the film, so in that instance I can feel the movie moment already. The tailoring of his clothes are smooth and made of high end fabric materials of some sort, I can tell by its texture and toughness.  The details are complete, from his scarf to the belt area.  He has a stand, but I only tried it once, because the neck lock is so tight, it could make a mark if attached to him for a long time.  So Woody is peacefully just sitting on top my computer ;).  His arms and legs are like a puppet, so it do not have any joints and are not poseable, which is how Woody should be, so I am fine with that.  Woody is proportioned to Andy when he was still a small boy, so Woody stands about 15 and a half inches.  His cowboy hat is made of a high grade plastic, with strings knitted around the hat, way to awesome to describe it!  He has an “alive” mode switch located at the back of his right ribs, and when I turn this on, he speaks by himself and sometimes he reacts to any sound or word that I make, very entertaining and funny, makes me feel like an eight year old child.  He has a pull string, just like in the movie, located at his back, and when I pull this, he delivers his famous movie lines like “There’s a snake in your boot” or “Howdy, partner, I am Sheriff Woody, glad to meet ya!”.  It is amazing to just observe Woody in his “alive” mode because it releases my stress and makes me forget of my personal problems.  There is a slight factory damage on his hair, but it is forgivable, and overall, Woody the Sheriff rocks!!  A perfect ten in my books.

The other toy, Mr. Buzz Lightyear, is also similar to how Woody was made, in terms of accuracy, detail but he has more features than the sheriff.  His packaging is the same as the one featured in Toy Story 1, however, you have to attach the side wings of the box once you open it to capture the accuracy of the box design in the film.  Buzz has joints and is completely poseable too.  I give Thinkway an “A” grade for making Buzz’s fingers poseable too.  His head though moves only sideways.  Buzz has four buttons that makes him deliver different movie dialogues, depending on the button pushed, and a button that activates his laser pointer.  Compared to Woody, Buzz is more interactive because when I open his arm lid or helmet, he reacts and sometimes gets upset.  Same thing happens when I close it, he thanks me for it.  He even requests for me to open his helmet sometimes, to breathe some fresh air :).  He also has an “alive” mode with matching head movements every time he talks.  The only thing that is frustrating with Buzz is when I fold his right wing, it is trial and error until I get it locked.  Plus, his left wing is not blinking, I guess factory damage too.  Even though he only measures 10 inches vertically, he is heavier than Woody, because of the mechanism inside his body.  What also surprised me is that Buzz is glow in the dark folks, and he is a wonderful sight every time I close my lights and go to sleep.  Another perfect 10 for this toy!

The Bucket o Soldiers are simple, pieces of soldiers with different poses, and looking at all of them in different formations remind me of my first toys back in the 80’s when I was a small child.  The bucket design itself is a collector’s edition and there are a total of 72 pieces of green soldiers.  There are really not much features for these soldiers like the things Woody and Buzz do, but two of the soldiers have parachutes and when I see those soldiers land after throwing them up, well, another Toy Story moment again my friends.

That’s a wrap up for this article, more reviews shall come up when I purchase more Toy Story toys.  So stay tuned.



June 15, 2012 marked my 7th year Anniversary in this unpredictable, profound, meaningful, adventurous yet risky world of freelance work.  May it be animation, comics or an acting job; everything has been a blessing.  Even though the salary in this third world country is not that good plus limited benefits, the challenges and experiences are always worth remembering.

Interacting with homo-sapiens such as David Campitti, local actors and actresses, International Hip-hop artist Akala and other famous celebrities in their respective fields have truly contributed to my growth as an artist.  The lessons that I have learned from these people that I met over the past five years have been my foundation for motivation and inspiration in doing something creative and spectacular, whether for work or personal.

It is always about the passion, and capturing a special entertainment moment, mesmerizing your audience; planting it in their hearts so that they would remember it and talk about for a long time.  This is what makes my job in the freelance world a remarkable one, making me always excited to wake up each morning knowing that I can do something to enthrall the tv audiences or readers.

Furthermore, last July I was lucky to be one of the participants in Akala’s acting and rapping workshop held at the Peta Theater in Quezon City; it was sponsored by the British Council.  The workshop was a unique one, considering that it combined acting, rapping and lessons about William Shakespeare’s works.   In the three day workshop I met some freelance actors and actresses as well who like myself have big goals in life and are semi-weird (haha, just kidding).  The groupings, Akala’s ingenious games, rehearsals to the final performance; all made our bonding stronger.  And working with experienced PETA performers helped me become more disciplined and prepared in any stage performance.

Akala’s workshop concluded with a two day performance, tickets were sold out and on the first day it was our groups and on the last day, it was Akala’s band.  All of the performances were held at the PETA Theater.  I would also like to mention the lovely ladies from the British Council who helped supervise the event: Ana Tan, (Programmes Manager) Jen Domingo (Programmes Officer) and Verily Villamor (Programmes Assistant).

One may conclude that working in a freelance world is really cool and risky.  Cool in a sense that you don’t wake up 4 am in the morning and go to a stable job and click in and out in that office like a zombie; you manage your time everyday.  Cool in a way that you do what you like, you wear clothes that represent your personality, no uniforms (well, actors, actresses and dancers have in the movies and television shows).  I can always choose if I would dress up like James Bond going to work, or John Cena.

Looking at the other side of the picture, it is risky because you don’t have health benefits and yes, you don’t earn salary on a regular basis.  But that is what it is all about in life, achieving greatness and taking the risks, balancing your dreams and reality.  My ultimate dream is still to make it to Pixar or Dreamworks as an animator in the future, and I won’t stop until I fulfill that.  As long as I believe that life is a journey, I can graciously accept failures and celebrate victories as I continue pursuing my goals, one step at a time.




The month of June greeted me with an acting gig as an extra in an episode of ABS-CBN’s Wansapanatym.  The gig actually came in a form of an accidental text from Sir Jairen Garcia, who had thought that I was the “James” that he texted.  Well, I just said “yes” to the taping invitation in the evening of May 31 with excitement running in my veins because this was the first time again that I would be involved in an acting gig after a long long time.   After I prepared all of the costume that would be used for the taping day, I immediately went to sleep.

Call time was 8:00 in the morning, so I woke up at around 5 am and took a quick breakfast and traveled for two hours at the rendezvous located somewhere in the busy streets of Quezon Avenue.  I arrived exactly at 8:00 in the lobby of the Cocoon Botique Hotel and when Sir Jairen saw me, he had discerned me and realized that he texted the wrong guy.  However, I was there already, and he apologized at first for the low talent fee for the show, but that was okey with me, so he officially included me in the talent line up of that episode.  The first two persons that I met on that day was Sir Jairen’s contact “Gwaps” and another actress named Isabel.  I came along with them to the 5th floor of the building where a scene was being shot.  There I saw it again, after a while, the lights, the electric cords, the PA’s and the cameras, indeed this was showbiz at its’ finest.  In the fifth floor I also met the lovely and super talented girl named Sophia (sorry sweetheart, I forgot your surname).   I came back to the lobby to change to my businessman costume and waited at the talent’s area located near the parking lot of the hotel.  While waiting for our 11 am scene shot, I had to opportunity to make friends with my fellow talents and somehow bond with them.  Most of them are already veterans in this business, and im glad that they told me succulent stories about their lives in which I learned valuable lessons from.

We were finally called to come up the 6th floor of the hotel for the scene at around 11:30 am.  So there were Vandolph, Jodi Sta. Maria and Xyriel Manabat in a lunch scene and we were the background rich crowd. Haha.  I was glad that the floor director gave a role of passing by them after the waiters delivered their foods so somehow a closer camera exposure for me, yeah!  The scene lasted for about an hour and a half and we ate lunch then.  After lunch came the torture part, or should I say the waiting part.  We waited for about 4 hours for our next scene. Then another 8 hours for the pay part.  I was really upset with the waiting game, but as all of my fellow talents informed that this was really normal in tapings, so I just accepted it.

Our taping ended at 2 am the following rainy day and we were all restless, I pity Xyriel and Sophia, the two children must be super sleepy at that time.  But I really admired their passion for the acting craft, and surely bigger things will come their way in years to come.  And yes, how can I forget Sophia’s Japanese made Crocs, it really rocked!!! Even though the pay for this taping was not that big, the friends that I met, the pictures with the stars, and the experience were truly worth it.  I would also like to comment on the “aura” of Ms. Jodi Sta. Maria in person.  She is indeed pretty and she projects this somehow religious persona that one would truly respect.  Perhaps it has something to do with her roles as a nun or a religious preacher in her past films.  She is not a Solenn Heusaff type of a hot chick, she’s just really the conservative respectable type.  So just watch the upcoming episode of Wansapanatym, entitled “Biik” staring Vandolph, Jodi Sta. Maria and Xyriel Manabat on ABS-CBN Channel 2 at 7 pm.  Stay tuned.

The Peta Universe, revisited.

Today, May 15 marks the 2nd Anniversary of our Peta Recital Plays entitled Amnexia and Elevator (I hope my bathmates still remember).  Wow, it has been two years since those unforgettable Peta memories.  So despite my super busy schedule, I took some time to sit back and relax in front of my laptop in commemorating my wonderful adventures in Peta, in text. 😉

Summer of 2010 was truly a memorable one for me as I got my first formal taste of theater experience by joining the 2010 Peta Summer Theater Arts Workshop.  It was off season at Toon City Animation Inc, back then, so I decided to kill time by enrolling in the summer workshop.  The theater workshop was all about discovering your inner self, while at the same time interacting with different kind of creature, I mean people.  Our batch was unique, so many noble young ladies and gentlemen with their respective personalities spicing up every session of the course.  There were the religious people; composed of Ed, Dodik and Kuya Renate; the hunks; the students like Steph, Rizza and the beauties like Dian and Maria, and others.  In the workshop, besides learning how to act, I kind of bonded with the universe, my body, the people around me, and the learning process touched all of my childhood experiences.  Amazing, it was like going back in time.  The four week workshop was really fast and each day was like a precious jewelry that has to be put in treasure chest.  One of the exciting and unforgettable activities that I liked was the trip to the call center office where we did a research for our recital play.  We all took an airconditioned jeepney going to the office and we just simply walked back from there to Glorietta going home.  I could still recall the moment where we all passed by the skywalk connecting Greenbelt and Glorietta as we headed back to the transport area.  I told myself that this moment would never happen again.  Too bad nobody even took a picture of it, haha.  There were also the “express your feelings” sessions, where in all of us made letters that were read out loud in the circle (clap clap clap), voicing out our opinions and feelings towards each other and the course.   I also missed my regular routine of having lunch at Broadway Centrum before heading to class.  So I usually see the celebrities of Eat Bulaga! (hosts, dancers etc), and it was really a motivating factor before heading to class ;). Haha.

In our group’s recital play entitled “Amnexia”, I was lucky to be the leading man and the mastermind behind the play.  Perhaps unconsciously inspired by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Starlight express, I created a world of a call center which starred Rusty (Me) and the beautiful Princess Zen (Diandra Zach).  Thanks of course to the help of my super friends like Erwin, Dodik, Kuya RJ and John for the polishing of the story.  Alas, May 15, 2010, we pulled through with the play and congratulations also for the success of the other group, with their Elevator play.  We had our final “express your feelings” and good byes to one another in our final circle formation (clap clap clap) that day.  Tears and joy came out of that session, a truly remarkable one.  The theater workshop indeed changed something in me, I learned to appreciate nature more and value life, the people around me and love unselfishly towards others.  Nowadays, the members of the batch are living normal lives, having normal jobs, continuing their studies, going abroad, some are active in show business (T.V shows, movies etc.) but all of us are still in the journey of learning, and striving hard to reach our individual goals toward success.

This is my sweetest blog yet, recalling all of the moments from that workshop.  I really miss all of the Peta people who made my 2010 summer the best summer of my life.

I would like to thank Mam. Joyce Titular for the group picture (visit her amazing blog site:, John Harold Bulilan and Chad Turingan for their financial contributions for my Peta Summer Workshop Tuition Fee.  And of course I would also like to thanks our great teachers Mam. Lot Bustamante and Sir. Ron Alfonso, for the guidance and making summer 2010 one heck of a roller coaster ride.  Let me end this blog with a line from the song “Memory” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats:

“Touch me, it’s so easy to leave me, all alone with the memories; of my days in the sun, If you touch me, you’ll understand what happiness means, let the memories live again.”

(P.S: To anyone who ever reads this, please take the time to hang out with your friends, family and loved ones, from time to time. Indeed we are all super busy these days, that’s a given fact, but life is not all about work, it is spending time with the people around you and creating special bonding moments with them.  What is the point of living, if you can’t feel life? )