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.