December 31, 2010

I ♥ 2010!

Truth is, I'm apprehensive to meet 2011 because 2010 just ROCKED! True, there were many life highlights. I got signed as Creative Consultant after being offered a high-paying job by a competing network. (Allow me to be braggadocio just this once, please.) I had the most fantastic Hongkong getaway with work and life friends. My heart got bruised and broken again during summer. There were many more. However, at the end of the year, I would best remember 2010 as the year when I finally achieved my childhood dream. I became a director.

The showing of my short film Ang Asawa Kong Si Nikulet in SM Cine Expo back in August was just the prequel. The main feature happened during the last week of October when the producers of the soap opera Kristine asked me to direct for the show because the main director (also one of my mentors) Direk Rory had to go on a medical leave. To say that I figuratively "jumped" would be an understatement. I found out I'll be directing for Kristine the night before taping day. It would also be my first time directing for television. But I "jumped" and I "swam" and I did it.:)

Of course I wouldn't have done it without years of production training in Star Cinema and studying in a film school. However, I also don't think I could have done it without the support given to me by my bosses (Direk Lauren, Miss Maru, Miss Mavic, Direk Richard and Direk Rory who constantly gave me feedback that helped improve my craft), by Creative who gave me the best scripts, by the Core Production Staff who might be generally young but are one of the best in their field already (Direk Rory and Miss Mavic surely mentored them well), and of course the cast. Biases aside, the Kristine cast is definitely one of the most professional set of actors I've worked with. (I need to mention Cristine Reyes and Zanjoe Marudo for trusting me with their first love scene on television. Thank you, Zantine!) I have nothing but respect and gratitude to all of them. They made everything cool! :)

Doing Kristine for 2 months was also a crash course in directing different genres. I directed love scenes, action scenes, traditional soap breakdown scenes, and many more. Writing about it now, I'm still wondering how I did it but if there’s one thing I’m sure of, the learning will definitely help me in my new projects for 2011. Yes, I'm sad to note that I will not be back to do Kristine in the New Year. The good news though, is that I was offered to direct an exciting TV project and an episode of a film trilogy. It's still uncertain whether both will push through but with the kind of experience 2010 gave me, I say 2011, bring it on!

October 31, 2010

First for TV

I just listed my 7-year highlights when I experienced another life highlight a few days ago. This one came unexpectedly, though, and fast. I was in a creative meeting for Alyna last Tuesday night when our Production Manager Miss Maru told me that they're looking for a director to pinch-hit for Direk Rory in Kristine because she's sick. I recommended a few directors who are proteges of Direk but it turned out they're also busy with their personal projects. The unit was already a bit panicky since they needed to tape the scenes before the long weekend. A few hours before pull out, our business unit head Direk Lauren came with a decision. He asked me to direct the 2nd unit so the 2nd unit director Richard can pinch-hit for Direk Rory.

I thought he was joking. I haven't had any TV directing experience. My training was for the film medium. Moreover, I haven't even studied the script, the visual template and editing beats for Kristine. While I hoped to become a TV director someday, I was under the impression that Direk Lauren will train me first via the youth show he'll be directing before I get to direct for TV. Yes, I'd love to direct but I had to resist the offer. I thought I was unprepared. But if you know Direk Lauren, he really has this gift of persuasion. He explained to me that I can direct the soap well since I was familiar with Kristine being its Creative Manager during the first 4 weeks. He also assured me that production will be supportive. Despite the assurance, I was still hesitant. I mean, at the end of the day, I will be judged for the material I taped and I deem that unfair since I was called to work unprepared. Still, I just don't have the heart to refuse Direk Lauren so I said yes eventually. Besides, let's admit it, it was an opportunity of a lifetime.

I hardly slept before pull-out. I'm not sure if I even slept at all. I was just too nervous to tape. I would be directing veteran actors and I'm not sure if they would respect a newbie like me. But I guess, my film school MDAFI trained me well. I remembered the protocol, the lessons, and more essentially, the reason why I wanted to direct that a sudden rush of energy came to me. Taping went smoothly, thanks in part to the staff and crew who were indeed supportive and the cast who treated me with respect. I appreciated that. I packed up at 5 in the morning taping 22 sequences and only dropping 2. They told me that's fast for a newbie. I was happy and on a high.

Now I'm not sure if the scenes I taped will come out okay. I also know that I still have a lot, and I mean A LOT, to learn. But what the experience really confirms is that I'm on the right career track and I'm grateful to the universe for that.

I will officially be credited as Kristine 2nd unit director on Monday, November 1. Please watch KRISTINE, every night, on ABS-CBN Primetime Bida.

October 03, 2010

7 Highlights

In celebration of my blog's 7th anniversary, I thought of listing down 7 life highlights in the 7 years that I've been blogging.

1. My first movie screenplay
Prior to this, I've been script doctoring for other Star Cinema movies (Till There Was You to cite one) as part of my job as Creative Assistant but it's only until My First Romance that I finally got to see my name on the poster. Nowadays, I don't write scripts anymore but it's fun to read now how I acted so defensive about writing a teenybopper.

2. My first assistant director job
My first AD job was actually for Till There Was You but it's in All My Life where I was officially credited. Reading my All My Life entries now, I'm starting to get nervous about being Direk Lauren's AD again for a youth show we're producing. It's obvious I was really stressed out during the shoot. I just realized my first working relationship with Direk Lauren, who I now consider my mentor and "Tatay" in showbiz, was not smooth at all. :)

3. My first apartment
No, I didn't own it but after sharing a room with my parents or dormitory roommates for 24 years, I finally was able to afford renting an apartment and having a room of my own in 2004. Our UP Village abode was definitely a place of many beautiful memories - the impromptu post-PBB Celeb 1 celebration, Emman's 2005 birthday, my 26th birthday party, etc. I even wrote an emo entry about it when we left the place two years ago. Haha.

4. Film school!
In the end, it was worth the risk! The positive reception of my first short film Ang Asawa Kong Si Nikulet surely helped, too. :)

5. My first ____.
I'm sorry, it will remain a secret but the date will forever be etched.

6. My first heartache
At 26, I fell in love and got my heart broken. I even wrote a corny goodbye letter to express my pain. Haha! I experienced four more heartaches after but I guess the song is right, the first cut is the deepest.

7. Other memorable highlights
Haha! Madaya alam ko but I realized the past 7 years had so many highlights. I had a difficult time trimming them to 7. :p

- Yoboseyo Seoul
- First headwriting job
- First reality show
- First time in HK (Last March's Hongkong trip was memorable too!)
- THE Baguio trip of 2005
- THE scandalous 2005 elementary reunion
- PBB Celeb 1 Cebu-Iloilo immersion
- Meeting the Survivor castaways
- Rose's 28th birthday in Tagaytay
- Coron & Bora in 2009
- My worst yet most favorite birthday ever!

Actually marami pa. I know, right? I had a life after all! :D

September 29, 2010

Grade 1

My blog is turning 7 today, can you believe that? I can't believe it either. Happy birthday, Beatlebum! :)

August 22, 2010


I should have written this yesterday nung fresh pa pero gusto ko lang ihabol para pang sense memory. Yesterday was one of the happiest and most fulfilling days of my life. Ganun pala ang ibig sabihin ng exhilarating. Hehe. Ang sarap maki-pulso sa audience. I was laughing and crying with them. Ang sarap lang ng feeling that you know you got your message across. Nakaka-amaze din malaman kung saang eksena sila tinamaan na hindi mo akalaing tatamaan sila. Ang sarap balikan actually ng mga eksena sa loob ng sinehan kahapon.

Pasensya na kung parang gloating ang basa nyo. Pagbigyan n'yo na ko. :) Dumaan rin kasi ako sa depression nung narinig ko ang comments sa first cut ng short ko. Kaya yesterday's positive response was totally and surprisingly cool!!!

I always say na ayokong magsalita ng patapos but I think this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Thank you Jesus!

August 20, 2010

Ang Asawa Kong Si Nikulet

My student short film Ang Asawa Kong Si Nikulet will finally have its premiere tomorrow, August 21, 1pm at SM Mall of Asia Centerstage as part of SM CinExpo2010. I hope you can come and support me and my film. I will very much appreciate it.

Here's the LINK to SM CinExpo2010.

Ang Asawa Kong Si Nikulet stars Jairus Aquino, Mica dela Cruz, Cinemalaya best actress Ina Feleo, Cinemalaya Best Supporting Actor Arnold Reyes, Cinemanila best actress Angeli Bayani & former Ang TV star Farrah Florer. It is written by the Michiko Yamamoto, the writer of Magnifico & Ang Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros.

See you tomorrow!

August 14, 2010

Jealous Guy

I was dreaming of the past.
And my heart was beating fast,
I began to lose control,
I began to lose control,

I didn't mean to hurt you,

I'm sorry that I mad you cry,
I didn't want to hurt you,
I'm just a jealous guy,

I was feeling insecure,You might not love me any more,

I was shivering inside,
I was shivering inside,

I was trying to catch your eyes,
Thought that you were trying to hide,
I was swallowing my pain,
I was swallowing my pain.

August 01, 2010


In times like these, I don't see myself having this job forever. Lord give me wisdom and strength. It's not good to make a countdown like what I'll be doing now.

2 years and 5 months to go.

July 25, 2010


Can somebody tell me why the people I love almost always end up hating me? Why?!???? OA. :)

July 17, 2010

Bad Love

Am I really a bad person? Or does love make me a bad person? If it's the latter, then I'd rather not fall in love. :(

Must forget. Must move on.

January 01, 2010

Counting Blessings

Despite some setback in life and love, there are still a lot of things to thank for in 2009.

My family’s been blessed with good health. My parents are already approaching their 70’s (my Tatay just turned 70 actually) but they’re still strong as a horse, thank God. My family’s also living a happy normal life. Normal is good in today’s fast-changing world.

I was also able to direct my first short film in 2009. It’s still in post-production stage with major comments from my superiors but I did accomplish something I only dreamt about when I was a kid. I guess that’s something to be proud of. And while my future in film directing is hazy, the important thing is I tried (sacrificed 2 years of my life actually) and after all has been said and done, it was all worth it.

A more important realization in the process of making the short is the reality that I’ve been blessed with really good friends who are selfless in offering their help because of their belief in me. Or maybe because they’re my friends and friends are supposed to help each other! I’ve often complained that the reason for my non-existent love life is because people only see me as their best friend but never their partner. I take that back. Being somebody’s partner would be cool, yes, but being everyone’s best friend is way cooler. I mean, who would have thought I could produce and direct a film just for being a good friend? Cool, right?!

Still single since birth in 2009 but it doesn’t mean I was loveless. Yes, I fell in love again. Yes, it was one-sided again. And yes, I got my heart broken again but no regrets. Falling in love in the early months of last year is one of my recent happiest memories. Somebody’s inspiring me again these days and because I’m not lucky in love, the person also happens to be committed so we all know the rest of the story. What’s important though, is that I’m still capable of loving despite years of broken-heartedness and rejection.

2009 was also a year of firsts. It was my first time to go to Boracay and Palawan. It was my first time to go parasailing, to snorkel in deep water and to swim in a lake. I will cherish these firsts forever and will cherish more the fact that I did all these in the company of friends, of friends for keeps.

Lastly, I returned to Direk Lolo’s unit in 2009 and feel so much grateful to be accepted back. I’m the unit’s prodigal son having left after SCQ Reload & Qpids to pursue film scriptwriting, then leaving again after PBB Season 2 to pursue film studies. This time, I would like to believe that I’ll be staying for good and will do my very best to return the trust and kindness the unit has given me. I think I can now say that after almost 10 years of working in the network, I finally found home.

(But since I will always be a wanderer, I will show them that while I may not be the most loyal person when it comes to work, I do give all my heart and soul to every work assigned to me. I hope that would suffice.)

Thank you, 2009 and I'm nervously excited as to what 2010 will bring!

10 Resolutions for 2010


1. Lose weight.
I will enrol in Gold’s Gym Waltermart or Slimmers SM North in January and live a healthy life.

2. Stop being tactless.
I will be more sensitive to the feelings of other people. I will know when to keep my mouth shut and be less "igat".

3. Learn to swim.
I will enrol in Lozada or any swimming school during PBB break and finally learn to swim.

4. Save money.
I should buy my own house in the next 5 years. I should also save enough to fund my next short film, hopefully in 2011. Pasensya na, ambitious! Haha!

5. Finish short.
I will finish editing my short film in the first quarter and not fear if the finished product sucks.

6. Read more.
I will read a good book at least once a month starting with the film book I asked Michiko to buy in Amazon in 2007.

7. Go out with friends more.
Work should never be an excuse. I should go out & reconnect with friends at least once or twice a month. I will be a good friend to everyone.

8. Lessen internet time.
While very difficult, I should only surf the web two hours a day – one hour after waking up & one hour before sleeping time.

9. Learn to say no.
I will not say “yes” when I don’t want to say “yes”. I will not be guilty to say “no”.

10. Stop procrastinating.
There should be no more “later na lang” moments but not to the point of stressing out over everything.

Good luck to me! Happy New Year! :)