Published Works from the Past Months

Can’t get enough of the “Huling Sayaw” concert of Kamikazee last December? Refresh your memories through this concert coverage I did for Rappler.

I also did an exclusive interview with the band wherein they shared five career lessons to budding Filipino rockstars.

Rockstars are definitely flocking the Philippine stage. Last January, the Japanese band, ONE OK ROCK, invaded Manila by storm. Catch my pre-concert article on Rappler.

Also last December, I covered the UP Lantern Parade with lighted floats to give tribute to the Philippine Cinema.



PHOTO ESSAY: The Emotions of Good Friday

It was that familiar sound of wooden whips striking people’s backs.

It was around six o’clock in the morning when I arrived at St. Michael Parish Church in Orion, Bataan. People were already flocking the church vicinity when I recognized that nostalgic noise. Emotions suddenly came rushing in, as the church grounds transforms itself into a 21st-century Via Dolorosa.


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Anger (in the eyes).


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Standing up.


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Deciding, in the name of the Father, and the Son…


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Final decision.


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PUBLISHED: The Coolest Japan Experience in the Philippines

Authentic Japanese drum performance? Sushi-making from certified Japanese chefs? Yamada Nanami from AKB48’s Team 8? No, we were not talking about Tokyo. Last November 7 and 8, at Trinoma mall, Quezon City, the Philippines experienced a different and authentic perspective of Japan through the Cool Japan Festival 2015.


AKB48’s Team 8 in Manila.


“The event, being an effort to empower the cultural and economic friendship between the two countries, was an exchange of the coolest Japanese traditions and trends, and the warmest Filipino values” said the article that the Viewfinder wrote for Rappler. Catch the rest of the viewpoints that enlightened Filipinos about the Japanese culture in my published piece entitled, “IN PHOTOS: Highlights from Cool Japan Festival 2015.”

Take a glimpse of some of the other photos that the Viewfinder was able to summon through her lenses.


The lovely ladies of AKB48:

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Niigata’s Sato Shiori.

Kyoto’s Nao Ota.

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Nara’s Momoka Onishi.

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Kagawa’s Yurina Gyouten.

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Hyogo’s Yamada Nanami and Gunma’s Maria Shimizu.

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Akishibu Project:

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Alodia Gosiengfiao, cosplaying Hatsune Miku from Project Diva:

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An on-site cosplayer:

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Characters from the anime Doraemon:

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Gian playing with the camera.

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Nobita trying to kiss Shizuka.

The traditional Japanese drum performance by Tokoro Taiko:

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Down the Rabbit Hole of Manila

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Reaching for the jellyfish. Photo by Nessa Gabrillo.

Since I was a kid, wondering had been my hobby. And finding Lewis Carroll’s wonderland had been one of my dreams. Growing up, I became curiouser and curiouser about that place.

As I traveled around the world, the white rabbit of curiosity lured me to different rabbit holes, like the Hong Kong Disneyland, and the Moment of Imagination and Nostalgia with Toys or the MINT Museum in Singapore.

But I never thought that our beloved Manila could also house such a treat. Magic was overflowing even outside this rabbit hole located at Roxas Boulevard corner South Drive. With P250, I was given a local magic carpet ride back to my childhood days. Boasting its 8 enchanted rooms, Museo Pambata promised to bring me to that one true wonderland.

My Museo Pambata tour published online. Read the full story on Rappler.

Spread the magical love! 🙂

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.

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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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HONG KONG: A Reblog from Hacking Travel Asia

Chi Lin Nunnery, Diamond Hill, Kowloon, Hong Kong.

My Hong Kong travel secrets finally revealed at Hacking Travel Asia. Here is a reblog from their site.

Asia: Korea Vietnam Indonesia Thailand Taiwan Etc

Sheen Irerick Seeckts Shares Insider Secrets of Hong Kong for Expo Printing Co.

Twitter: @SheenSeeckts |

Blog about this page and Facebook it so people will find it and love you!

Amidst its seemingly-expensive and highly-urbanized streets, Hong Kong also offers a night life fit for tourists on a tight budget.

From four in the afternoon to twelve midnight, Tung Choi Street in Mong Kok, Kowloon is closed to all traffic to give way to the “Ladies’ Market.” The place is a shopping haven not only for ladies but for gentlemen as well. All sorts of items can be found in the area: clothes, accessories, bags, shoes, various souvenirs and even toys. You name it, they have it here.

There are actually a bunch of stores selling the same items so shopping here also means using your Sherlock skills to find the right item and the right bargain for…

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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.

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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 .



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


Lazada Philippines

Travel Secrets: Hong Kong


An apartment in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong Disneyland? Victoria Peak? Lantau Island? Are you tired of the usual tourist destinations? Are you the explorer type of person who is fond of the “road less traveled”?

I shared some hot and top-secret destinations in Hong Kong in Hacking Travel Asia.

Plus know a place that resembles some of the locations of Wong Kar Wai’s Chungking Express!

And learn a destination where you can watch Hong Kong classic films from renowned directors!

Only on Hacking Travel Asia!