Missing KL and SG

It had been a year now since I took the multi-cultural photographs of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

Malaysia National Mosque

Inside the National Mosque of Malaysia.

As I wrote in the Travel section of the 2015 First Quarter issue of The Electrical Engineer magazine:

On the far corners of a photograph are limestone caves beautifully lit by the rising sun. A towering minaret and the statue of Hindu god, Murugan, compete with Petronas over the horizon. An enormous Buddhist temple oversees Chinatown, where the Merlion statue stands proudly. A jam-packed train passes by, filled with Malays, Indians, Chinese and Muslims braving the Kuala Lumpur and Singapore rush hours.

With its wide range of destinations both for the city-dwellers and the nature-trippers, Malaysia and Singapore are few of those nations which can extract the most multi-cultural photographs out of a traveler’s camera.

Get to know these destinations in a free copy of the magazine in this link:

The Electrical Engineer is the official magazine of the Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers of the Philippines, Inc. My article is at page 24.

I also wrote a different story of that trip here at Baggage Counter. 

That night, while roaming around Kuala Lumpur Chinatown searching for good food, I thought I found another Pinoy when someone shouted “Maganda (Beautiful)”. When I looked around, he was an Indian and offered me some Malaysian souvenirs after confirming that I was a Filipina. These Indians sure knew how to make a Pinay smile.

You can read the full blog post in this link.

Enjoy reading! 🙂

U.P. kong Pinakamamahal

Congratulations to all the University of the Philippines graduates today! Let’s look back to where it all started, in a paper called “Admission Slip.” So for you, here is a poem I wrote in Filipino a year ago.

The Viewfinder

University of the Philippines Sunflower The U.P. Sunflower

Sa paglilinis ng bodega
Isang Linggo ng umaga
May mga bagay na nakita
Na nagpanumbalik ng mga alaala

University of the Philippines Admission Slip “… you qualified for admission… to U.P. Diliman… for a DEGREE PROGRAM W/ AVAILABLE SLOTS…”

Taos-puso ang aking tuwa
Noong sa akin ay inihatid
Ang iyong liham ng pagtanggap
Na may basbas na kalakip

University of the Philippines Oblation Atat.

Lumuwas na dali-dali
Patungong Quezon City
Upang litrato’y maiguhit
Kasama ang rebultong kapuri-puri

University of the Philippines Ikot Map Oo, nag-print pa ako ng mapa. Bakit ba? 🙂

Nguni’t sa aking pag-ikut-ikot
Ay may mga nagpaabot
Na ang pagpapalitrato’y
May sumpa sa pagtatapos

Nihonggo quiz Shin Airikku Sekku. Minus 0.5 points for the non-Japanese numberings! 🙂

Nagsimula ang unang taon
Sa pagbati ng Ohayou

Panonood ng horror,

eiga sai 2005 flyer Eiga Sai 2005 Flyer. Required at may reaction paper. Pero hindi pa naman in Nihonggo. In English lang muna. 🙂

At pag-aaral ng mga sailor

Vampires, Psychic Girls, Flying Women and Sailor Scouts: Four faces of the young female in Japanese Popular Culture Hindi ko rin akalaing may ganitong klaseng pag-aaral. 🙂


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Hong Kong and the Lost Tripod

Still can’t get enough of Hong Kong? Here is one of my very first blog posts, detailing how my friend’s tripod got lost in our first trip abroad.

hong kong disneyland

The Magical Disneyland castle.

The Viewfinder

It was the time when one of the major airport terminals in the Philippines was disturbed by a royal rumble between a celebrity couple and a veteran media man.  According to reports, it all started with the unannounced offloading of the couple’s luggage from their overloaded plane.  Still according to  reports, there were also no CCTV cameras installed in the baggage conveyor area of the airport, making it impossible to check on the actual happenings.

Unfortunately, our flight to Hong Kong was booked in the same airline.  But fortunately, we weren’t in the same airport.

It was the wee hours of May 26 when Mai, Jombits, Ami, Sheig and I, arrived at Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in Clark, Angeles City, Pampanga.

diosdado macapagal international airport clark angeles pampanga

Except for Sheig, this was our first trip abroad and we initially did not plan to check-in any baggage as we are in backpack mode, and also to…

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WALANG FOREVER: The CMC Transformation

The concept behind the word “forevermore” had been circulating online, and even in casual conversations, after a TV drama of the same title topped the primetime charts. Suddenly, everybody was asking, “may forever ba? (Does ‘forever’ exist?)”

A recent visit to my beloved alma mater, the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (CMC) made me exclaim, “Walang forever. (There is no forever).”

I left the college in 2010. And the five long years that passed created stunning changes to our beloved Maskom.

Surely, the alumni would be surprised upon seeing the new facade.

University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication

Through the years.

The old facade was a blue wall, complete with all the traces of the past years.

These marks were gone now, and were covered with new stone tiles, bearing the logo of the college.

During my time, this part of the building was closed. And this veranda was used as a hangout place of a student organization.

Now, the entrance in the facade area is fully operational.

Inside the main building, the U.P. Gawad Plaridel Gallery is still at the lobby, bearing the portraits of the recipients of the award. The Gawad Plaridel is granted to people who showed exemplary public service in the fields of film, radio, television, and print.

The Administration Office nearby was basically the same except for some accents. A water station was also set up at the opposite side.

The opposite corridor going to the photocopy area, complete with the gate, continued to be a favorite subject among black and white photography students.

University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication

Main building corridor.

Artworks now lined the walls. The AV Library and the TV Room swapped places. The lockers and the benches were also out of the place. But the photocopy area was still there.

Going upstairs, the Broadcast and Journalism departments were still on their rightful places. The latter was even given a Certificate of Excellence by the Commission on Higher Education.

The corridor on the other side of the second floor was also lined by artworks now.

A photograph of Gilda Coronel was also prominent beside the Ladies’ Room.

Going further, the skywalk, which is the connecting pathway between the Main building and the Annex building, now had tables and chairs.

University of the Philippines. College of Mass Communication.


At the second floor of the Annex building, the Communication Research Department had also adapted some glass doors.

Opposite Comm Res was the new look of the library.

University of the Philippines. College of Mass Communication.

CMC Library.

Downstairs, the alumni would be welcomed by more portraits of the more recent Gawad Plaridel awardees. Computers also lined up the old “Film” lobby.

And going left from the stairs would not lead anyone to the Film department anymore. The area was now an extension of the library.

University of the Philippines. College of Mass Communication.

The area beside the A-107 room is now a part of the library.

Opposite this was still the Graduate Studies Department, with the new steel name on the wall.

Outside, the alumni could not help but be awestruck by the new landscape.

lawn copy

The old parking lot was now lined with grass and a lot of plants.

At the far end of the area was the new canteen called the M Cafe.

University of the Philippines. College of Mass Communication.

The new CMC canteen.

There was still the ramp going to the basement. The dirty bluish green paint was now an artistic representation of the College’s battlecry, “Midyang Malaya at Mapagpalaya (A free and liberating Media)”.

University of the Philippines. College of Mass Communication.

The ramp.

The basement itself was also a whole new entity now. Artworks also lined the walls on this part of the college. The end part now had tables and chairs where students could hold their meetings. The door at this side was also operational now.

University of the Philippines. College of Mass Communication.

The new basement

At the far end of the CMC compound was the Media Center, the newest building of the college. It finished its construction just before my graduation in 2010. And that was also the time when the Film Department started transferring to its new home.

University of the Philippines. College of Mass Communication.

The old movie posters lining up the walls of the basement were transferred to the Media Center.

The new building was equipped with more facilities, like the new Dark Room, since then. The Film Institute’s name was placed at the facade. Tables and chairs were provided for student use. Water stations were also everywhere now.

University of the Philippines. College of Mass Communication.

At the facade of the Media Center. Taken in 2013.

But of all these changes, what surprised me the most were the parking lots. The one in Media Center and the one in front of the Main Building were all filled with cars, even on a Saturday. And these were not just cars, these were expensive cars.

University of the Philippines. College of Mass Communication.

All these cars.

And this was not evident only in Maskom but in other colleges in U.P. as well.

During my time, the main parking lot hardly had this much vehicles.

Even the curriculums, especially in Film, changed.

With all these transformations, the college was a living example that change, truly, was the only constant thing in this world. And this statement alone already negated the concept of forever.

But I still wanted to believe that forever would exist in two aspects of Maskom, and the whole of U.P. as well.

First was the oath to excellence. All these transformations could take place as long as quality education remains, forever.

Second, I wish that U.P. could forever be a State University for the masses. But it seemed like this statement alone had already been negated by reality.

University of the Philippines. College of Mass Comuunication.

So U.P. was it all about “paying it forward”?

So tell me, does forever really exist?

The College of Mass Communication sure was now ready for its Golden Jubilee Homecoming happening on the 19th of June. The event entitled “CMC @ Fifty Shades of Great” will celebrate it’s 50 excellent years at F1 Hotel Manila, 32nd street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. For more information visit the official event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/540942259372759/ .



2010 photos were taken during my graduation day. Photos were by Sheen Irerick Seeckts, Jerson Guiwa, Nessa Gabrillo and Jay Jomar Quintos.


Lazada Philippines

Growing up is…

Growing up is finally choosing the path I wanted to take.

Growing up is finally realizing and defining what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

Growing up is running, literally and figuratively, after something I really really wanted.

Growing up is doing those things I do before and realize that I really do not want to do them anymore because it’s not taking me to my chosen path.

Growing up is doing something new and realizing it’s not what I wanted to do in life because it’s not taking me to my chosen path.

Growing up is saying “no”.


Sheen is happy

Photo by Jesse Rey Baban.

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