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.

SEVEN YEARS IN THE FREELANCE WORLD AND COUNTING…

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.

 

 

Wansapanataping…

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: adventuresofabeautyqueen.com), 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? )

SA TESDA, MTK! (MAY TRABAHO KA)

In this blog entry I will savor the memories of a reality tv show (which happens to be my first national television appearance) and a job reality interview show from the dossiers stocked in my mind.  I was just a fresh graduate from the UP College of Fine Arts in 2006 when I came across an ad in JobsDb.com for MTK! (May Trabaho Ka).  MTK! by the way was a show of QTV-11 (now GMA NewsTV) that aired every Sundays at 6 pm.  I immediately submitted my resume online, without any knowledge of the position they were looking for.  Heck, they would just put me for an interview in their art department once they see my resume, I honestly thought.  Then in a couple of days I got a call from QTV-11 asking me to join their reality tv show MTK! (May Trabaho Ka) for the actor/actress auditions of an upcoming digital film back then, Xenoa.  Immediately, I said yes, I was bitten by the showbiz bug.  It was the morning of September something 2006, where I donned my military get up and headed to the Mowelfund Film Institute located at Betty Go Belmonte, Quezon City.  I saw two nice chicks, Ms. Mariz Umali(the host) and Ms. Hiyasmin Neri (the winner), and class b actors and actresses.  I also met my Acy Ramos there, who up to now remains one of my good friends.  Pen Medina and Xian Lim(director of Xenoa) were two of the judges for us actors and actresses.  I did a battle between a human and an android type of fighting scene.  The imaginary android set itself in a “self-destruct” mode in the script and my acting played on how I escaped the explosion (haha).   Too bad I wasn’t able to search or keep any footages of my audition but some of my friends were able to watch it and even texted me on how funny my audition was.  Even the winner herself texted me on how funny I was.  I made it to the top 10 of the actors and actresses but I fell short in the next round.  In the end, it was a meaningful and remarkable showbiz experience.  Looking back at those days, hehe, I could have done better.  What’s important is the friendship and yes, the television exposure.

Last November 2009, I was supposed to be featured in NBN Channel 4’s one month long show “Sa TESDA May Laban Ka” hosted by Secretary Augusto Boboy Syjuco, but it didn’t happen.  The show was created in order to give the viewers the needed skills and employment information in various sectors of Information & Communication Technology, Tourism and Health etc.  2D Animation falls under the ICT department, so they invited me as their 2D animator guest for their pilot episode.  A segment of the show would also narrate the journey on how I became an animator to serve as an inspiration to aspiring animators.  I actually liked the idea and I was flattered.  TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) then arranged the venue and the day of my interview without first consulting with Toon City (the amazing company that I work for).  TESDA’S mistake was that they only contacted Toon City two days before the actual taping and it was so unfortunate that their timing came during those Typhoon Ondoy & Peping days.  Meaning, people in my company were very busy helping, evacuating and at the same time finishing some animation deadlines.  TESDA failed to contact our president and didn’t get the full nod of my company.  However, the taping still pushed through last October 2009, even without the full consent of Toon City.

During the week NBN 4 & TESDA were busy editing my part, our president contacted TESDA for my interview.  This was the only time our company had the time to formally talk with TESDA after the massive damage the two typhoons had brought to our country.  However, it was a little too late for both parties to agree with the guidelines and rules for the interview because it already took place.  Toon City had a contract confidentiality clause with all of the shows that we were doing that time.  In layman’s terms, any mention and showing of our ongoing production works on air were forbidden.  Kaya in-edit out ng channel 4 yung pag mention ko sa mga show at bawal din ipakita yung actual cartoon scenes.  Dahil dun, wala nang makukuhang impormasyon sakin ang mga viewers.  So they decided to replace me with a 3D animator (asap) instead of doing a re-shoot of my interview because of Channel 4’s super hectic schedule and deadlines in production and tapings.  In fairness, Toon City only followed the rules and regulations of their contracts with their clients, for that I salute them.  Had TESDA contacted Toon City at least two weeks before the interview, naplano sana ng mabuti.  The good thing was that TESDA paid my talent fee and provided me with some pictures of my interview.

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Looking back at my experiences with the two reality shows, I therefore conclude that it is really not easy to your dream job.  My dream job is located in the freelance world, where things are rough, tough, unpredictable, frustrating and nasty.  Even though I am still in the journey of fulfilling it, with prayers and discipline, hopefully I can see the light at the end of the tunnel in the future.  Most people settle for boring jobs just to have a stable salary, sacrificing their passions.  I really can’t blame them, some that I know have families, and lucky for me I am still single.  However there will come a time where I won’t have the “single” excuse anymore.  Most of the models, actors, actresses, animators and artists alike belong in the freelance world, survival of the fittest.  What separates these types of workers from the ordinary workers in the corporate world are their guts and determination to succeed.  Whatever I do, whatever is left of me and whoever I am, it is because of animation and acting.  Remember that no matter how hard life kicks us in our butts, our determination and passion in the things that we love will thwart all impediments towards success and prosperity.

THE BOURNE LEGACY SHOOTING @ MARIKINA CITY

February 8, 9 and 10 were extraordinary days for the Marikina Government and some of the market people because the shooting of the upcoming Hollywood espionage thriller “The Bourne Legacy” was held in Marikina City, yes, in the shoe capital of the Philippines.  Upon hearing the news on the afternoon of February 8, I decided that I would go to the shooting location on the following days (Thursday and Friday) to make a blog entry about this rare Hollywood experience.  I jumpstarted February 9 with my usual push-ups and sit-ups exercise routines then took a glass of warm water, brushed my teeth and headed straight to the shooting location with my sleek and classic Sony Ericsson C902 (the phone used in the James Bond Film “Quantum of Solace”).  I decided to skip breakfast because I was really excited to document the event for my blogsite.  Since it was just a 20 minute walk from our house to the location area which was in the Sto.Nino Market Area, I had the time to picture out the possible scenarios on the location.  Besides traffic jams, security guards and staff of the movie could be strict that observers would not be allowed to go near the shoot; or it could be the other way around.  When I reached the Marikina Sports Center just across the Market Area at around 9:30 am, I immediately took a picture of the “set” direction sign.  To my surprise everything was organized, there was no traffic, and normal people doing their daily stuff.  The Marikina Sports Center was temporarily closed from February 8-10 because of the shooting.  There were about 20-30 huge utility trucks parked inside the Marikina Sports Center were the tech and unit bases of the film camped.  There were many foreign set designers, production staffs roaming around the sports park, busy getting this and that, buying foods and drinks from Mc Donalds etc, they were Americans and Europeans.   There were also local marshals helping and assisting them out as well.  I crossed the street to get to the Sto. Nino Market Area where the actual shooting took place, I saw this traffic advisory sign.  I thought they would be strict but still, I managed to enter and observe.  When I took out my camera phone, a security guard noticed me immediately and told me that it was forbidden to use cameras on this area.  However, his remarks just unleashed the inner spy in me and so with some sleight of hand routines, I managed to take some pictures of the location clandestinely.  I was actually caught twice, but it still didn’t stop me.  Three streets inside the market area were closed for the shoot, meaning, it was hard to buy fruits and vegetables in those areas, and only during break times that buyers were allowed to enter.  I saw the go mobile, the make up artists and the expensive motorcycles that were used for the chase scenes (I presume) for the movie.  I think I also saw the director (if I am not mistaken) consulting with the storyboard artists and screen writers about the scene.  I was not able to see any of the main actors or actresses only the actors with secondary roles.  Even some of the market people made a profit (Php 500) for being extras in the film (bloody lucky them).  Most of the buyers were congested around the shooting area, perhaps waiting for the actual shoot (which started in the afternoon) and the main actor.  I decided to go home at around 11 am and decided just to come back on the last day of the shoot, February 10.

The following day, it was super strict, they started at around 4 am and ended about 6 pm for the final day of the shoot, this time, buyers and observers were not allowed to enter or go near the shoot.  It was useless to hang out just wasting my time observing from afar so I went to The New Broadway Centrum for a while for my gesture drawing.  When I came back to the Marikina Sports Center at aroung 7:30 pm, it was open to the public.  Yehey,  I took close up pictures of the go mobile and even chatted with one of the set crew who was an American.  The 20 plus huge trucks which carried the film’s equipments also left on the last day of the shoot, around 8:20 pm.  Also you might want to visit www.gostunts.com, to see how the go mobile was used in the past Hollywood blockbuster films.

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Overall, it was a memorable observation for me, because it was really rare to have a Hollywood film shot in your city or should I say in the Philippines.  Even though I wasn’t able to see Rachel Weiss, I am still happy to see the expensive Hollywood equipments that were used.  I also felt that there was a special moment, upon seeing the set, you know a “moment” in which when executed well would forever be imbedded in the hearts and minds of the viewers.  Since I also get involved with acting sometimes, I really envy these guys for not being “projectless”. Hahaha.  I guess everyone is pumped up and excited for the premier of “The Bourne Legacy” in theaters here in the Philippines, watch out for it on September 2012.

FROM UP-DILIMAN WITH LOVE

Join me as I take a walk down memory lane and relive some of my remarkable adventures from my thrilling but yet meaningful college days in The University of The Philippines-Diliman.  Well, since I already created a blog site, why not share this stuff?  Those who want to enter UP after high school might learn something here (hopefully).  From the memoirs planted deep down in the catacombs of my creative mind, I will just be concise with my points and lessons from this wonderful journey.  And as an added bonus, I will also mention some of my memorable classmates and professors as I go along the blog.

I am not an UPCAT passer, but how did I qualify to march down the graduation lanes at Quezon Hall last April 23, 2006 to receive my cum laude medal? The answer:  talent and determination.  Yep, I became an official UP College of Fine Arts Student by passing the talent test sometime April 2002.  Complementing the exam results are my high grades from my Freshman year at the University of Santo Tomas (yes, I am a transfer student).  My gratitude goes to UST of course because I was able to furthermore hone my drawing skills during my first year which eventually became an advantage in taking the UPCFA Talent Determination Test (And big thanks to UST too, I was exempted from the ROTC program in UP, but I miss ROTC somehow).  After hearing the words “Congratulations, you’ve finally made it here”, from Mr. Leo Abaya (the college dean, back then), I had smiled from ear to ear knowing that I am officially a student of the most sought after university in the country.  My first day in UP was filled with the get-to-know-your-classmates stage and a free tour around the biggest campus in the country.   When formal classes began, it was there that I had realized that I still had plenty of rice to eat in order to be one of the top dogs.  There were many talented artists in my college: Rommel Joson (Mr. Magna Cum Laude), Jethro Razo, Jay David Ramos (who’s a colorist in Glasshouse Graphics Studios), Joseph Manuel (the future animation king of the Philippines) and Hari Lualhati are some of the popular ones.  I must admit that I was intimidated by their talent and if ever you ask my batchmates about me, besides saying that I am one of the good looking guys, they would probably describe me as snobbish introvert (DURING COLLEGE, but I am a complete changed person now, well, somehow), had my own world sometimes and I had only “regular” talent skills.  That was were my determination to excel came into play, no matter what grades I got during the course of my first year up to the last semester of my fourth year, I always told myself that I would always give my 100% and always exceed my previous submissions.  There were times that I would surprise my classmates with out of this world plates but mostly the masters always took the spotlight during submissions.  Looking back at the growth of these magnificent artists from our freshman days up to our senior years, some are really “gifted” that no matter what kind of task was given to them, they were always a cut above the rest.  When it came to the general education subjects in UP (which was like a food buffet type of variety, you know, you choose the subjects you want to take) I did excel in most and even made a strong bind with some of my non-fine arts classmates.  My most favorite subject of all is Sociology 10 under Mrs. Dionisio (the best professor ever!!!).  It was also in this subject where I met the most amazing cheerdancer of the UP Pep Squad, Ms. Frances Diaz.  She helped me in making our mini comic book presentation for our group report (budget-wise nga lang).  I was still able to include her photo in this blog which I saved from the Ondoy tragedy (thanks again for the remembrance).Frances Diaz  There was also the Humanties 2 class of Mr. Fernando Dakila a.k.a Sir. Daki, where I learned to appreciate the history of arts (local and foreign) literally.  Sir. Daki by the way is a well traveled man, he is the shaman of the arts and he also has an impressive passport(padamihan nalang ng mga napuntahang bansa, walang tatalo sa kanya).  I also liked my P.I. 100 class, which was about Jose Rizal of course.  I inserted a wallpaper of my theater groupmates in that class.

P.I. 100 TFV 1

Going back to my major course subjects, how can I forget VC 137? It was a great honor to attend the class of the celebrity professor himself, Mr. Marlon Rivera (director of Ang Babae sa Septik Tank, starring Ms. Eugene Domingo, and he’s also the Julius Ceazar of Publicis), and his parlance was simply unmatched.  I really learned a lot from him and how to look at advertisements in a psychological fun way.  My thesis class with Mam. Mitzi Reyes was also a remarkable one, where I really started strong in the first semester and then ran out of gas in second semester (sad but true).  It was really in my thesis class that I really maximized all of my artistic talents and understood the world of hearing impaired students; from the research paper up to the actual product output; sweat (medyo mainit summer kasi nun), blood (nasugatan ako nung nagsusulat ako one time) and tears (nakaka-iyak yung gastos) were involved.

I would also like to take this opportunity to give praise to one of the underrated celebrities of our college (back then, and I think up to now), Ms. Gayle Dizon.  She is really into music and she really sings from the heart.  Even though she fell short in winning the “Star In A Million” contest of ABS-CBN, in my eyes, she is a star.  Just keep up the passion and fire, sweetheart! Rock On!

That’s about it! I hope most you learned something from my short tale of memoirs from the State University.  What makes UP unique in my humble opinion is that it gives its’ students freedom on how to start and end their journey in the university.  Every semester is an adventure and every year is a new chapter.   Interacting with different people and discovering different cultures, all in one action packed university, what more can you ask? Many other UP stories have been written and will be written in different blog sites, newspapers, magazines and in Kule (formerly known as The Philippine Collegian) all with different twists and flavors.  I think though that one’s journey doesn’t end in receiving the college diploma, because it continues outside the university, where one makes his/her mark in the path he/she has chosen.  Life is all about the journey, not the destination.

(P.S. The title of this blog was inspired by the James Bond film “From Russia With Love”)