Wednesday, December 31, 2008

everything you want

my not so good acoustic cover of vertical horizon's everything you want... just horsing around in the studio with colleague eugene barona after a hefty discussion on #$%(*& office issues.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

the Common Denominator

Yesterday, I met the "marketing team" to assess what we've accomplished over the last 8 month since our inception. I gave everyone a chance to impart their impressions (or frustrations) for the things that we've done or have not done.

The common denominator of course was the word "frustration", "frustrated" and "duh" over what we are, what we could not accomplish and what we might likely to achieve the coming year.
Prior to the meeting, I asked the assistant manager to print out all the minute of the meetings over the last 8 months to quantify accomplishments and measure results. Bottom line? There weren't much to brag about...

A new member of the team, one who has only been with us for the last three months was fixated with asking questions on budgetary issues and he seems puzzled that everyone else is all smiles (in a cynical kind of way) over his concerns. I asked for the meeting to end and right after, the more senior managers had to explain to him the nature of the beast.

It is frustrating, I know. Most specially when you'd have to douse fire that is now important for us... but for now there seems to be little we can do to right what we know is wrong. Taking the pragmatic stance right now is an insult for me but I'd have to bear with it considering that I would probably have to save my strength for bigger battles to come.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

AMAZING XMAS PARTY!!

xmas party jamming with our impromptu band made up of employees of Amazing Philippine Theatre from rank and file to the VP. It was a rather good team-building activity not to mention fun...

I think that what others don't realize is that being part of a band is a good therapy for people who are not team players.

casie villarosa - guitars
alvin estudillo - guitars
eugene barona - bass
gil montano - drums


featuring jimmy lachica on vocals doing a version of anak (freddie aguilar cover)



featuring taboy on vocals doing the teeth's laklak



featuring justine choi on vocals doing an ulan cover

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Miro

My four-year old is a bundle of disaster... I call him Baby Payne, after the video game character Max Payne. But in all honesty, he is our bundle of joy despite the chaos that he brings to the house, outside the house and sometimes in my office. My eldest enjoys her brother a lot... yesterday, as Miro went on to bug her while she was watching television, she kept shouting "Daddy, please make him stop!" and I replied to her by saying that she requested for a brother when she was younger so she's stuck with him...

My eldest plays the piano and the guitar so I am pretty comfortable with her... Miro? We'll he seems to enjoy any percussion instrument or anything that he could bang around...

Miro Jams!





Saturday, December 13, 2008

frustration golf!

It is really frustrating... I kept wonderng in the past why PGA players needed psychiatric assistance every now and then... now I know.

One of my favorite youtube videos was Robin William's stand up act on golf and that really blew me away... because everything he said was right. I've spent many nights and a lot of man hours playing "virtual golf" and I must say that my handicap has dramatically improved... in screen golf that is and I was excited to try out my new-found skills on the fairway. Hell no, not just in Intramuros.... I wanted a big far-flung fairway with 500++ yards on a par 5. So it happened, East Ridge in Angono, Rizal! My play was the usual terrible, my score?... worse than my last field game.

Robin Williams on Golf



But hell yeah! it was fun and it was eye opening. I was so frustrated that I will soon hit Intramuros once a week starting January to get the feel of the field right... and maybe, I'll get some psychiatric assistance as well...

Thursday, December 11, 2008

an AD experiment

The new company membership card simply isn't moving. That's because no one is pushing hard enough for it... I'm getting tired of all the meetings that ultimately becomes fruitless because implementation simply becomes a burden for the few who will actually implement it.

Often times, I would much rather do things in impulse and get it done with or without the approval of the Boss... anyway, I will be the one to answer for it. So on a whim, I experimented with chroma key from my trusty Adobe Premiere tackling the subject of the membership card and posted the video in youtube.

I asked on of the assistant managers to do the talking based on the short script I wrote and the product is this...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

HAPPY 7th SHOW ANNIVERSARY!

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned
to repeat it.


GEORGE SANTAYANA
, The Life of Reason


What I like the most about being part of this organization is the fact that the institutional knowledge and history is something that I have been a part of since its inception. As of now, I am the last of the pioneers that remains in position aside from the other employees who started with us seven years ago.

December 8, 2001 was the first ever presentation of the Amazing Show intended to showcase to our families and loved ones the outcome of our valiant attempt at making a theatrical variety show.

I remember that we were all ordered to bring our families that day so that we can launch it in front of them rather than the intended market so that we may be proud of what we have accomplished and I guess that boost our morale as well.

I did not bring my family that day since I have always been a pessimist and believed in Murphy’s Law… that whatever will go wrong, will definitely go wrong… and as Technical Director, I knew that we would be up to a challenge running the show for the first time.

My decision not to bring my family was correct… for one thing, they would have had to go through watching a show with so many mistakes, faults and errors that had me cringing at the control room. The then director of course was very impressive in calling in the cues, the performers valiant and the show staff amazingly confused. As if on cue, the black curtain, which is our main blocking device tore in the middle of the 5th sequence and the rest of the show propped on without the benefit of a curtain that was supposed to hide our set changes.

By the end of the show, everyone else had a party at the lobby of the Manila Film Center with their families while the rest of the technical team stayed on stage to repair a curtain 13 meters by 10 meters. Their families could not be cared for at the lobby… but such is work, ain’t it?

Two days later, we presented the show to the media, the public and the networks and that was the official launching of the Amazing Show.

Today is the 10th of December… so to the Amazing Show, Happy Anniversary!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

she will be loved... the very fast jam

let's see if we can get it (speed) right next time around...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

MAMAW

we decided to change the lyrics of narda to mamaw to better suit us...

amazing philippine theatre employees' band

jimmy lachica on vocals
casie villarosa on guitars
eugene baroña on bass
alvin estudillo on guitars
gil montano on drums

audio and video tech by santos soriano a.k.a. shanquiao
post production editing by casie villarosa

mamaw (bubble gang remake of a kamikaze song)

Friday, November 28, 2008

evolution

the studio re-patching thing started out as an endeavor after my boss told me that we (the executive management team) should do something a bit wacky this coming christmas party to make the event a tad more fun as well as to boost morale of the employees given this tight economic bench vice we are in. so i got to preparing my studio in my 4th floor office so that we may hit the keys in time for the party.

by accident, as i had to test the patches we made, i needed some players to fill in as band members so that we can preview the studio's direct-to-disk recording capability... from there, i got an idea to involve the staff as well so i told my administration director to assemble people from within the company and let's go make a band for the party representing the spectrum of employees.

so during the first rehearsal, i called everyone in and we didn't know exactly what to play... i'm no big fan of the current local songs but i know that my boys are, so we decided on a familiar tune from kamikaze... narda.

this was the first rehearsal, and the reason i'm posting it is because i want to track the evolution of the "band" and find out if we can sound decent in time for the party... and damn, this first jam was really bad... see for yourself. later, i'll post the 2nd rehearsal we did yesterday and you'll see a remarkable difference as we changed the song from narda to michael v's mamaw...

1st rehearsal... kamikaze's narda

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Studio patch testing

so our audio tech finally got to finish the missing cable requirements for the additional patches we were to make so that we can test if the system works. we only had two DI boxes to work with and that means two instruments patched into the console for a direct to disk recording capability. i can only spare two microphones for the drumset because i don't have enough mic stands. nevertheless, i still wanted to test if i could get a decent sounding jam which i would record.

unfotunately there were no players around. my admin director who plays bass was absent, so i ended up calling two engineering services personnel who played drums and bass to do the test with us. and we ended with this jam with no decent ending...

studio test jam

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Re-Patching the rehearsal studio






pictures courtesy of my friend anna barrios... thanks for the photos anna!

i think that it'll be fun once again to play with other people. so after some time of neglect, my rehearsal and recording studio at the upstairs office had been re-patched to accommodate band practices. we spent an entire afternoon for this and we found that we were missing a few cables and patching wires. thanks santi (our audio-tech guy).

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

STING

The best break I’ve had for quite a while.

Seeing old friends… specially those that matters most to you is always a breath of fresh air.

I recently acquired the number of my long lost friend who was like a brother to me and he visited my office last Saturday. To say the least, it was a most pleasant reunion. I am just so happy that he will be part of my life once again after not seeing him for more than 12 years.

Thank you, Sting… for remaining a friend.
noli "sting" cuachon was a classmate from high school but we didn't exactly become friends until we made a band together with common friend carlo valdez when we were in college. sting did the drums, caloy on the bass and i did the shouting and the guitar playing on a band we called insurgency. later on he would be the drummer of the Marginals, my post skalawags band where he played drums on side b of the album. he also wrote some of the most meaningful tracks from the insecurities album.
the two insert pictures were taken the eve of my wedding. i actually spent my last day as a bachelor drinking gin with these guys in my room.

Career suicidal tendencies



Two months ago, I started writing a blog post about a song I was writing about tentatively titled “I’ve learned” about the usual emotional hoola-ballooo sentimental crap of a love gone wrong kind of theme. Of course, most likely as always related to my everyday currently mundane life. I never got to finish that post.

The past few days I’ve spent a lot about thinking a good succession scheme for this company. Perhaps mainly because that I am driving towards my obsolescence… not for anything else except for the fact that I’d want someone to take “sustainable” care of what would be left behind. Unfortunately, at the moment either someone has a plausible amount of care but lacks the capability, or may perhaps has the capability but lacks passionate and sincere care for this company.

I’ve always said that I believed in the “in vino veritas” concept and that is perhaps why I’ve been drinking up to my neck these days… maybe I just want to squeeze the truth out of myself as to what I really want.

Last Friday, I had the chance to drink with some of the employees along with some of my officers and also had a chance to gripe in front of them about the recent occurrences which led to the dismissal of ten employees. It was clear for everyone that it was of their doing but also can’t help the feeling of loss.

We got to drinking until the wee hours of the morning and I came out of it feeling pleasant and alive knowing that I have communicated a lot of points to everyone in attendance. As it turns out, I feel a lot happier hearing their sides as well… something that I haven’t heard for quite a while.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

GO BIG or GO HOME

This is a re-print of another blogger's log on business attitude during hard times... I was searching this morning for "sense" as to what this company is doing when i stumbled upon this. It made perfect sense and it represents what I have been saying for the longest time as to why this company is not making it...

Even in a bad economy, one truth about marketing stands: you have to spend more to make more. By Robert Kiyosaki
Entrepreneur Magazine - November 2008

A few days ago, I spoke at a luncheon with approximately 500 local business
leaders. I began with these words: "I have good news and bad news. The good news is you will have fewer competitors next year because many of your competitors will be out of business. The bad news is you might be one of those out of business."

I then showed them my local newspaper, pointing to the headline "Businesses Are Struggling." I opened the newspaper and said, "I can tell you who will be in business." I pointed to a full-page ad for a local appliance store. "I'll bet money that this business will be here next year. Why? Because this business is advertising more aggressively than its competition."

In previous issues of Entrepreneur, I've written about the importance of advertising and promotion. I've shared my rich dad's lesson that when business drops off, many entrepreneurs
listen to their accountant's advice and cut back on advertising and promotion. That's the worst thing you can do. When times get tough, your job is to promote more, not less.

Promotion is a six-week cycle. That means if I promote today, business increases six weeks later. Many businesses violate the six-week cycle. They promote for, say, four weeks, and because nothing happens, they stop. Two weeks later, there's a sudden increase in business. For four weeks, business remains strong. Then, just as suddenly, business drops off, because six weeks earlier, the entrepreneur had stopped promoting.

My rich dad's lesson was to never stop promoting: Promote whether the economy is strong or weak; promote even when you may not have the money. If you have no money, stand on a street corner at lunchtime with a sign hanging around your neck promoting your product or service. Not only will you meet new customers, but you might also save money on lunch, lose some weight and get a suntan.

Obviously, it takes more than just promotion to do well. To be successful, a business also requires strong fundamentals and a desirable product or service. During tough economic times, though, even some good businesses fail; some businesses shrink and others grow. When a business closes, its customers migrate to the business that fights hard and stays open. Businesses that promote while others cut their ad budgets have a better chance of getting bigger . . . even if the economy is shrinking.

______________________
Robert Kiyosaki, author of the Rich Dad series of books, is an investor, entrepreneur and educator whose perspectives have changed the way people think about money and investing.

AMAZING SHOW CEBU

I recently visited the Amazing Philippine Theatre branch in Cebu for the purpose of video documenting the Cebu Show as well as celebrate our 5th year anniversary there. I have finally finished the editing of the show video and I also came out with the Amazing Show Cebu teaser video... enjoy!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Kumbento Boys '84 Graduation Song Video

Thanks to Sandi Martin for the photos from FLICKR, I was able to update the video and add some more materials. It's a work in progress and it still isn't finished yet since i need more materials to complete this.

Anyway, here's an updated repost for my batchmates.

Pasig Catholic College KB'84 Graduation Song video

Thursday, November 6, 2008

file hosting problem...

I'm dying to post all the acoustic remakes I made over the last couple of years in this blog but I unfortunately have not found any file hosting site that accomodates cover versions of songs without issue over property rights...

anyway, not all of the songs are cover versions. I also made songs intentionally ala-scratch pad style and impromptu styles from original compositions recorded earlier... aaahhh.. the beauty of hard-disk recording...

but for now, i'll just post some original songs remade several times by myself.


From my 5th album called "under your shade", the title track performed live by myself and jun san pedro in pasig city perhaps nine years back. Damn Movie Scenes, originally from the same album that I remade into an acoustic song two years ago.

"Ikaw ba ay masaya?" from my album 8th nandito lang ako, which i recorded after downing a bottle and a half of bourbon. "You won't be there" from the same album but from another bottle of Jack Daniels.

As soon as i update my iLike page, i'd post the other remakes as well.

P.S. click on the 2nd play button to hear the music from this page. the 1st song button will bring you outside of this page onto the iLike song page.







i wish...

I remember the usual question when one was young... when one had his future unknown to himself and to others... I was asked several times, "what do you want to be when you grow up?"... Looking back I should've just said, "I just want to grow up!". Hehehe... but i never did.

Last Tuesday, the Miss Earth Pageant fashion Designers' Show was held at the Manila Film Center as way of our company's contribution to environmental awareness. I'm pretty tired of pageants lately because we've just concluded our very own annual search for Miss Amazing Beauties 2008.

I remember instructing my Director not to have me ushered to the stage with the tallest of the lot but he still managed to give me a 6'1" and a 5'10" escort onstage and they were wearing heels. It looked as if they were escorting the prince of lililiput onstage. I suppose that it was too demanding of me to request for people of the same height as I am since the rest of the planet seems to be taller than myself. Grrrrr.... even the pageant winners whom I awarded were of course model-like tall. The Miss Earth candidates were no different except for Ms. Sweden, who unfortunately didn't win an award that day... dang!




Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ouch

I have always said that the best part of my job is hiring people to be part of this company...
the worst part..? well, you guessed it... so today is OUCH day.

Friday, October 31, 2008

KUMBENTO BOYS '84 Graduation Song

25 years ago, i wrote my first ever composition. It was the graduation song of Pasig Catholic College's High School batch 1984... I honestly don't remember the song specially the verses but i do recall the choruses/refrain parts and it took me quite a while to put this thing together. anyway, from PCC Batch 1984, our graduation song.

More casie villarosa music on iLike



BECOMING WHAT WE ARE AN IMAGE OF CHRIST
Casie Villarosa (1984)

Pasig Catholic College High School Batch 1984 Graduation Song

Jumping up and down with mixed emotions
Wondering why we cry on this occasion
We’ve waited for today and now it’s here
But the feeling seems different, it ain’t clear.

Feeling the pressure of leaving friends behind
The distance will make the pressure grow
But everyday we’ll dig on the memories
Of the friends and love we used to share.

We used to laugh at our mistakes
Often did we blush when we faked
Trying so hard to be careful
Especially, when feelings are at stake…

Always remembering what our teachers say:

CHORUS:

Time boys will come
When you’ll be gone away from these walls
But never in our hearts
Remember the things our walls have to say:
BECOMING WHAT WE ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD

We hope not forget
The scriptures on the walls
Reminding us to always be strong
And all we have to do is follow His steps:
BECOMING WHAT WE ARE AN IMAGE OF CHRIST

Time boys will come
When you’ll be gone away from these walls
But never in our hearts
Remember the things our walls have to say;

BECOMING WHAT WE ARE AN IMAGE OF CHRIST

An image of Christ …..


KB'84 GRADUATION SONG THE VIDEO
video

The ghosts will always haunt us…

Like I’ve said a zillion times over, our ghosts will always haunt us no matter what. As a person, I’ve had my fair share of mistakes… non-mistakes… things I did perceive as mistakes or whatever things I did that might one day turn around and bite me in the ass. As a general rule, everything that we do,… good or bad will return one day like a boomerang and we ultimately get what we deserve.

Like a lot of people that I know, we may be a tad shy of some of the memories and recollections we and others might have of us in the past that we’ve shared. I remember having attended a reunion of our alma mater and one of my classmates from grade school asked if I still remembered myself taking a dump on my seat and he was the one who cleaned up my mess… of course, I remembered that incident! Who wouldn’t… but then again, I’d much rather forget.

I guess the best way to reinvent one self is simply refuse association with people from your past but I suppose that it seems inappropriate to hide… not unless you were a serial killer. But no matter what, like I’ve said; the past is like a ghost that ultimately catches up on you and it will haunt you one way or the other.

I am recently saddened and agitated by events that I have accidentally discovered and it pains me that I will make a decision sooner or later on the appropriate action to be taken. A lot of employees will lose their livelihood I suppose, but then again, the right thing must be done… examples must be set and that is how it is.

I guess like most of us, their past has caught up with them… and now they will have to face the consequences.

Likewise, today I face my ghosts…

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Vision of fools

Jack Welch once said, “Willingness to change is strength, even if it means plunging part of the company into total confusion for a while”.

One afternoon, I attended an event of an association actively involved in tourism development in the country and had the wonderful opportunity to chat with some key players in the business. The comments I received made me feel a bit awkward as to their impressions of the company I represented so I had to dodge my way around the conversation. I had to explain that it is not within my core competency to do marketing for my company since we have, for the longest time nestled on our laurels hoping against hope that the present market share (or rather the past market share) we enjoyed would remain constant and undiminished.

It would have been easier I guess to point fingers at those who opposed my earlier preposition that our dependency on a particular market will lead to our demise but I chose to be careful on the choices of words I had to deliver, almost admitting fault altogether to what has transpired. It is a fact that indeed, one’s inability to affect change means that one is as much at fault as those really at fault.

I must admit that for quite some time, I have allowed mistakes to be made to effectively prove my points. I do admit that up to the present day, random thoughts of apathy has been allowed within our non-corporate environment simply because it is the prevailing culture at the moment.
But how could one fool such as I ever embark on a crusade of realizing a vision, if the direction is not even clear?

I was advised by a dear friend recently that I should start to think about my survival and that was all that mattered. I guess that it was on the premise that everyone else does… to get by, to survive, to hang on, to build tolerance, to endure, and so on and so forth.

My boss on the other hand on one on one conversation would rather put me up on a challenge and arouse me on thoughts of greatness and the future greatness of this company, although much of it doesn’t hold true when everyone else is around. I guess that the premise there is that he has to motivate a lot of us and therefore he does not want to take the risk of alienating the other executives.

On my part, I have been steadfast about what is real and what is not. What is probable and what is not. In the case of this company, eventually, the demise of the market will dictate the outcome of its leadership and the perhaps the revision of its vision.

I have no problems with taking risks, as Sam Zell was quoted; “The reality is that I need to be challenged and interested, as long as the risk and reward is in line”. The same holds true for many of the people I work with, but I guess that with the recent changes in the organization as well as the prevailing uncertainty of the structure, most would rather concentrate on survival.

Yesterday, the marketing team had an update meeting so that we can fast track the deadlines and the things needed to be done. With finality, I stressed the urgency to push through with the plans we’ve previously agreed upon but has not yet implemented… the new home page, the membership card system, the contents of the homepage, etc, etc… including the meeting with important people and associations in the industry.

I honestly think that the risks should remain calculated and therefore the strategies well planned. To be aggressive at this point would mean that we put the livelihood of our shareholders mostly our employees at risk and I am not up to that. If I had the “core competency” to get us out of this crisis, then perhaps “aggressive” would be my middle name but then again, I’d just keep my present middle name, “stressed”.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Rebuilding the Film Palace


the MANILA FILM CENTER


aerial views

The Manila Film Center, a grandiose structure inside the Cultural center Complex of the Philippines has been my professional home over the last seven years… I started working for this company as the musical director of the Amazing Show and had the first chance to re-enter this building October 10, 2001 for an ocular inspection. I remember the Film Center during my college days as the Experimental Cinema of the Philippines, a venue for budding and established local film makers and my last visit prior to 2001 was when I was a faculty at St. Scholastica’s when we had a film showing of “Cry Freedom” in 1989 I think… I remember holding hands with a co-faculty (she is now my wife) and that made the Film Center a most memorable place.

Little did I know that this building would someday be home to my dreams… and I guess home to some of my occasional nightmares, and by the latter I don’t mean the ghostly reputation of the building but rather my new-found professional life.

The Manila Film Center, in a far corner of the Cultural
Center complex on Roxas Blvd., is probably the country's most infamous structure. Some would say it is cursed, although a Korean-owned company is currently making a flamboyant effort to rehabilitate its image with a transvestite Las Vegas-like act. Now housing the "Amazing Philippine Theatre," the massive building is patronized nightly by dozens of Korean honeymooners who pose in front of the kitschy Egyptian Pharoah figure above the doorway before entering to enjoy the performance by the "country's prettiest gays." Most of the couples are completely unaware of its ghostly reputation, if one doesn't consider Filipino males with long hairless legs as apparitions. But prettiest
gays or not, ordinary superstition-loving Filipinos have avoided the building
like SARS.


Even before it was finished in 1982, in time for the Manila International Film Festival, Imelda's film palace -- as others would call it -- suffered the first of its outrageous misfortunes. On November 17, 1981, during the pouring of cement, an upper floor collapsed, sending an untold number of workers hurtling into fresh cement or onto upright steel bars where they hung like barbeque (this was a witness's analogy, not mine) for hours until their bodies were retrieved. The story all this time, or at least as I and countless others believed it, was that Imelda immediately ordered the bodies in the cement to be paved over so that work could resume and her looming deadline met. News
about the tragedy was censored during the martial law era, so rumors and ghosts
filled the vacuum.


So in all honesty, the first time I saw the building, I said to myself that it wouldn’t be easy heading up a team for the preparation of set designs and set pieces for the Amazing Show since by that time, I was already music and art director. It was our task to make the set pieces for the show with all the 14 sequences and a hell of a lot of technical difficulties given that the theatre was never really designed for theatre.

In short, my team and I, as well as the engineering contractors practically lived in the building for the next three months without electricity, water or a decent comfort room. Slowly, we cleaned and renovated the building to get it ready for a December maiden presentation. There was this particular instance where the entire team boycotted works as apparently “something” or “someone” helped one of the crew carry a 12-foot ladder at the intermediate level. I simply said that they should have just been appreciative of the fact that the ghosts here are friendly and if I might add “familiar” with construction work. I guess that they didn’t find it funny… because I ended up with three other people brave enough to spend the rest of night at the Film Center as we hanged a 26-foot high back drop onto one of the battens.
Fast forward…

Upon the signing of the new lease of the building and with no investors whatsoever and with the amount of losses that we’ve suffered over the previous couple of years, we are still at it. Developing, renovating and improving the Manila Film Center. It is really a gargantuan task considering about 76,000 sq.m. of floor area, we’ve yet to cover half of the objective.

But work goes on, dreams remain and hopefully, much like the field of dreams… if we build it, they will come
.
the view from the ramp way of the main lobby
the hallway leading to my office during the APSS days and my office
reconstructing the ceiling of the upper floor and the stairway

Monday, September 1, 2008

Handling with care



I recently went out with an old college friend and colleague for dinner and a bit of reminiscing. I usually am not, since recently, been comfortable meeting up with people who knew me in the past since as I have mentioned a zillion times in this blog that I grew up poor, deprived, exceptionally unfortunate and griping constantly. Not that I would want to hide my past but it is in particular association with an experience a couple of years back with a friend from college who visited me in my office… to cut to the chase, as we decided to call it a night and went out on the parking area, his ride refuses to cooperate. I asked my best friend and my driver to assist him and we all went to his ride to check out what was wrong. Since it was drizzling that night, my ever alert security guard rushes over with an umbrella and I guess that that may have been the catalyst for what was to come… With the five of us standing around his car’s hood, he suddenly blurted out of nowhere “Alam nyo? Eh, bata ko lang yang Boss nyo dati nung nasa college kami. Ako ang boss niya noon…” I didn’t exactly know where that came from but I guess that I saw it coming…

Occasionally, there would be others as well with comments on how the hell did I get to where I am now. Comments like, “damn, I shouldn’t have gotten a PhD, look at Casie”, a quip like, “you get paid to drink?”, or a friend asking loudly “so how much are they giving you? 70?... 80?... a hundred???...”

For most of the people who knew me in my past life, and those of whom I’ve lost contact with while slaving away in the process of building this company, it may seem rather fascinatingly fast (of course in my perception, the last seven years was not exactly fast) . But for those who have seen this company work its way up from scratch, I get the opposite comment… (maybe they mostly knew what it took to get me here)

Going back to my opening statement, my old friend said loudly while I was playing the piano that I was compensating and I loudly replied that indeed I was. My entire life actually was well spent on efforts compensating for what I lacked or what I felt I lacked and that may have been the key to why I have gotten as far as I did.

A couple of days ago, I was asked by the chairman to speak to our scholars about the nature of the program as well as the benefits that would be had for both them and the company once the pilot program commences. As usual, I stated with the usual history of the company as well as my personal history with the company. Bottom line? No pain, no gain. Success will entail sacrifices and efforts. But most of all, it will entail the ability to recognize who and what we are. I have often said that everyday as I wake up, I recognize three things… one – I am short, two – I’m nowhere near the word handsome or attractive, and three – it is another day!


P.S.

To my Nanay... I love you and miss you very much. I hope you're not that disappointed as to what i have become... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Long time, no blog!

Yes it has been quite a while since I blogged except for the airsoft games that I have managed to edit for this blogspot. I guess that for a while getting shot at and shooting co-players became my therapy… and it was a good therapy given that it will probably spawn a new business venture for the corporation. Yup, the game that gave me “sanity” for quite sometime will become a minor business for us. Although I honestly doubt the earning potential of the business, there is the possibility that given the proper perspective and perhaps good people that will manage it, it could turn into something fruitful.

Someone once told me that I have a lot to be thankful for and I agreed. Indeed, I never thought that I would be where I am right now… or to the best of my knowledge no one ever did. Despite my constant raving and ranting about how things ought to be or how much I hated where I am, if I’d count my blessings based on the privileges I have, then indeed I am blessed. Of course, I wouldn’t want to simplify things as such or I’d probably end up being happy and content and therefore… mediocre. That would be a crime.

By September, my godson will be opening the second of its kind “screen golf” in the country or virtual golf. It’s right below my promenade office so I’d have access to a virtual 18-hole golf game perhaps anytime the facility is available. Whooaaa! That would be like a heavenly perk… In a month or so, I’d probably open an airsoft CQB (close quarter battle) facility under the building and would hope to attract airsoft enthusiasts from all over… double whoooaaa… I’d probably enjoy making videos of skirmishes between teams.

Within the year, I am hoping that we will be given the opportunity to attract more locators and investors into the building so that we will continue to exist as a business entity given that we are in the red as of the moment.


But I tend not to worry too much these days… last night, I had dinner with a long time friend and a father figure who is well accomplished in life and he mentioned that I looked less-haggard compared to the last time we’ve seen each other. I simply replied that it does not mean that I’ve ran out of gripes… I simply decided to lay low on gripes for the meantime… conserve my energies on more worthwhile things and simply enjoy the small pockets of happiness afforded to me by life.

P.S.

If I were to gripe?.. I’d gripe about the fact that I have a busted
up rib after being pushed into the pool last Monday by a drunken fellow
executive who humiliated himself in front of many employees the entire
anniversary celebrations. What a f#&@*$ up piece of work.

My new staff that had a giant zest for reforms?... He went back
into his bad old ways…. It was the case of a short-lived zest.

What keeps me from griping this week? – all marketing activities were
approved by the Chairman… it’s a go! Time to level the playing field… it’ll entail more work, more time, more effort… but at least it’ll give this company a chance for a longer lease on life.

The new projects in Boracay island is a go and on the way, except for a
few glitches which I’ll have to iron out.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

airsoft crazy!

my therapy! shoot and get shot at.









sick and tired?


sounds like an opening question for a vitamin supplement ad doesn't it?

i suppose that life isn't really meant to be as joyous as joy would go. i haven't blogged for the longest time perhaps because the feelings that linger in my heart right now is something that i wouldn't want to be as transparent as this blogspot was designed to be. but then again, if i wouldn't want to write about it then it defeats the purpose of this blogspot being my therapy.

over the last few weeks, i've done nothing much but feel myself spiraling downwards in a never ending pit of hopelessness over what to do with what i have and how to get what i want and how to do what needs to be done. -- damn, sounds like a perfect dilemma for a perfect screw up.

one of my managers came to my office the other day to discuss his vision about what the company is to be like... i was impressed... with such motivation, with such zest and gusto... i had it before but i've lost a lot of it because of the amount of chronic disappointments i've had over the past year.

i really just wanted to say, ... been there, done that, tried it, proposed it and it was turned down... but i wouldn't want to kill zest like that because i was impressed with the renewed attitude.

anyway, i'll need to shake off this rotten feeling to the core thing out of my system as soon as possible if i want to survive this career. problem is... do i even want to remain in this career? Time and again, i have already proven that kibun is too powerful an element to overcome in a korean company. and i guess that such is life... really!

for now, i guess that i'll have to seek other forms of therapy for my soul.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

my 2nd airsoft game

PAIN! getting hit through a relatively thin fabric hurts like hell. I got two marks on my left upper arm that's now black and blue almost a week from that day. But it was fun. It is fun to go back to your childhood "barilan" games, this time with the right gear and stuff. I don't think I'll be playing any golf soon. Airsoft is relatively cheap compared to golf and more adrenaline, too.



Wednesday, July 23, 2008

my first airsoft game

it was fun... the adrenaline rush was great... to say the least.

i keep my gear in a sports bag in the office just in case i get a call from my friend that there's a game in the afternoon. this being the first, i didn't exactly know what to expect except that the same principles in CQB exercises applies. donning the gear was fun since i miss being in uniform. over all, it was a very good experience... i got one kill and 2 minutes later i got pelted on the face with about 20 rounds of bb's. yesterday, i got a call that there's another game but i unfortunately had to turn it down since i had a deadline.


special thanks to the Pasay City hall detachment friends for the game

Sunday, July 13, 2008

AMAZING… BORA!

The last show of Amazing Show Boracay was jam packed with Amazing Family’s friends accumulated over the last year of our stay in this beautiful island. The show of course is the same as any of the shows we’ve done for the past year since we opened a theatre here, except that it was the last…

The night started with an opening number that had the main lead teary-eyed from the introduction of the song… the feeling was both festive and heavy at the same time as I watched the performers move about on stage and the crowd of around 300 people was swooned off their feet by a most heart-felt final performance. I captured everything on my camcorder and it would be well worth watching and posting on the tube.

I understand very well the feelings of the staff, production people and performers. This island has been home for them for the last year and they have made friends from the locals and the business establishments here… I guess that was why I saw a lot of the audience members crying during the show.

Credit is very much due to the performers since they extended the show further with a very touching closing number after which photos and videos were taken with friends.

I was advised earlier by the branch manager that I would be delivering a farewell speech, but halfway through the show I realized that it would be out of context delivering a speech to people that really don’t know me that well since I’ve spent a lot of time in the island only on special occasions. On the same note, I wouldn’t really want to spoil their moment by delivering a clinical speech since I’ve already made a company call earlier… and like I’ve said at the time, I would really miss shouting at the top of my lungs… AMAZING!!??... and a resounding response of… BORA!!!!

amazing show boracay family
amazing show boracay view from craftys rooftop bar
Amazing Show Boracay - Farewell...

Friday, July 11, 2008

closing shop

i've recently been to aklan on a one-day trip to spend the day with our employees there for some R&R on the mainland, then we went home to boracay for a staff dinner as i broke the news to everyone that we will be closing shop very soon.

today is that day and it feels kind of heavy... i'm packed and ready to go the airport for closing a branch which everyone worked hard for. but i guess that such is life. you can't win all battles and you certainly don't get to earn in all endeavors. but maybe, as luck would have it and like all my blessings, it is always in disguise...

this trip might very well be an adventure as there is much pressure to put up a new business in the island... well i am certainly hoping for that.

Golf Day @ TAT

This was on a Friday... a company sponsored golf day at TAT golf and country club in Laguna. It was sort of like a despedida for one of the executives who recently resigned. As usual, no one had decent sleep the night before because we were drinking.

Monday, July 7, 2008

GEAR CRAZY!

my stress level has risen to new heights lately with both personal and family issues as well as the regular office hula-baloos. Tonight, I just wrote a five-page letter to my boss in response to a letter he has written addressed to all the managers. Of course, I'm pretty pissed off after having a meeting last night with the managers and I had to bring the feeling home...

The bright side of course is that in a stressful environment, one has to cope and as they say, get some "distraction" or simply stated... a life. These days I'm GEAR CRAZY. A friend of mine introduced me to a hobby that suits me just fine where one can manage stress by shooting at people and nursing pain afterwards. It's a hell of alot better than the usual CQB exercises where you aim at inanimate targets that don't shoot back. It also helps develop camaraderie and team play. It's airsoft. The gears, gadgets and the weapons are pretty expensive but the thrill and the adrenaline rush is worth it I hope. So the past two weeks, I've been collecting gear and enjoying it.
My wife took these photos the other day.

m4a1 carbine airsoft from vincent's hobby shop
philippine air force flight suit and field boots courtesy of my friends from the PAF
swat vest, helmet, knee pads, scarf and face mask also from Vincent's
gloves were a gift from a friend from the pnp
commissioned officer's field boots from the korean army, 2 units marui beretta 92F courtesy of
my adopted korean son fresh from military service
in the picture is my trusty .45 acp from charles daly

Monday, June 30, 2008

only god knows why

from kid rock... my not so good cover. i just wanted to put together a video since i've not edited anything for quite a while.. this features my 4-year old son with footages from my daughter in Boracay.

hard to handle

fits the description of my life to a tee... jamming with black pipe at HOOTERS Sports Bar as usual on a tuesday night

GOLF again... I want to be good at it, but i can't

Last Year's golf game at the Riviera in Silang, Cavite with the entire corporation executives and managers... it felt like comedy golf and it was hilariously fun. Everybody, as usual was drunk the night before and did not have much sleep. the result? BLOOPER GOLF!



This one was just last week at the East Ridge Golf and Country Club in Binangonan, Rizal. I couldn't refuse the offer of playing for free... and matter of factly, i learned a lot that day... though the score remains dismal. I want to break a hundred in a decent course.

Friday, June 20, 2008

what am i to do?

it's actually a funny story... i am not in a particular mood today to blog a rant... since i feel jolly today after having slept decent last night. The day before yesterday, one of our Korean managers invited me to play golf at eastridge in Binangonan and since i haven't played for a while, I gladly obliged.

To say the least, he didn't trust me to keep the time since I have always been a night person. To say the least, I didn't trust myself to keep the time since I have always made it to early morning golf games by not sleeping the night before and that meant drinking until it was time to wake up... duh?

but the golf game is not the topic of this blog. it's what came after it... we were on our way back, I was dead tired and hungry when i got a call from a branch manager asking for help.. on something that i ordered the other managers a day befiore and those managers ordered him. Of course, he has no idea that the order came from me. Funny thing is that the other managers claimed the order i suppose. last night while i was sipping beer at the coffeeshop, one of the staff approached me that she needed help for an assignment that was given to her by one of my staff... i simply told her that i asked the manager for that.

i guess that this is the crazy part of working for this company... right now, there is no one higher than i am except for the chairman... but every time i give orders and the order is delegated, it seems to always go back to me.

hahahhaa... which reminds me, this is the best story yet... two years ago i gave the chairman a call and gave information on business opportunities inside our sphere of influence...

so the chairman informed his Korean lap dog to investigate, the lap dog calls me up and says that he has "information" which he allegedly got and he asked me if i could check it out... I simply told him that I was the source.

Stupid! I think that it is the only word applicable for people like him. But then again, I would much rather laugh out loud these days because feigning intelligence is such a daunting task for morons... and their very recent demise has proven that already... LOL

Thursday, June 5, 2008

the talents behind the curtain

as i dug up old mini dv tapes in the office in search of materials for a video project that the chairman needed, i came across a lot of tapes with footage from everywhere... boracay, cebu, manila... and i came across this one tape that my admin director used for a shoot we did last year of the cleopatra sequence for the new DVD. seems like he was taking behind the scene clips and i really appreciated the fact that i stumbled upon it...

for the past several months, i've ranted over a lot of management crap problems i have in the office and for the most part, it has eaten a substantial amount of effort and energy from my life. this clip simply reminds me that there is work to be done... more important than facing the challenges of expanding this business but keeping a family together. the men, women and those in-between (gender-wise) who has worked so vigorously for what we already have and working even harder to get to where we want to go... the technical team, engineering services, the production staff, the performers and of course the very talented managers of this company.

it has been quite hard for all of us... but i am sure that we will get through everything. that is so long as we enjoy what we do, then it wouldn't be called work. so to the Amazing Philippine Theatre Family... let's rock on!!!

my sonata's video story

i finally got around to it after i realized that my videocam's lcd monitor was in bad shape since i haven't used it for a long time. Equipment, like any other thing i guess is like that. they get rusted out when they are inactive. so i brought it out of its resting place and had a mini-shoot with my sonata. my best friend joey as usual took the video and took shots of the normal route.

i was preparing this video to get my angst out over the accident but i needed a happy ending which meant i needed a new car. when it finally came, i was too busy for it 'til now.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

the tale of the terrible sportsman

someone asked me one time during a drinking session after playing golf... "casie, what's your handicap?" I actually don't have any idea what the hell a handicap meant so I just answered unsure.... "I'm stupid...?"

for most golfers, the objective was to reach the hole with a minimum number of swings. for me, the objective is always to reach the "tea house" stop alive...

i'm a terrible golfer... i'm a terrible sportsman for that matter. when i was in school, the only game i ever enjoyed was "war ball". it's a game that is endemic to my alma mater, so that meant that a kumbento boy should know this game and at the minimum play it decent. that meant, catch a few, throw a few and take a few. (the objective of the game is to literally "hurt" your opponent using a soccer ball, i think they call it dodge ball anywhere else)





golf at splendido with office mates. (from left to right, the former company president, finance officer, the former consultant, my boss and myself)

shooting? well, that one i never treated as a sport. it's more like necessity and that meant that you have to be good at it or else taking a few means you die. but of course, the discipline involved in handling a weapon is equated with how responsible one should be.


anyway, i have a co-worker that excels fairly well in almost all the sports activity he gets involved in and i envy him. wish that i'd have the time one day to just play golf, run around in a shooting courses and have fun without worrying about how much is left in my wallet at the end of the day.


our team at the company's summer games...

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The chicken or the egg…

It is an issue for everyone who has ever felt that one is a “lesser being”… the comparative notes stuck inside your head that says “I should be better off” or “I don’t have what I deserve” or” it’s unfair” or “things aren’t the way it should be”.


People and their characters are judged… that’s just the way it is, and it will never change. One of my favorite artists, Sting once sang “don’t judge me. you could be here another life, in another set of circumstances”.

I try my best to avoid judgmental perception, but as a human being, it cannot be helped.

I remember having thoughts of my bosses in the past as “mad raving idiots”, which deserved less than what they had, but I guess that Sting was right with the lyrics… because when the tides are turned, then being judged is quite unpleasant. I must admit that my efforts and actions are reflective of what interests me for the moment, or more profoundly what bugs me at the moment.

I have been very eloquent in the past over the direction this company should take… over time, my efforts dissipated with the seeming inability of the company to at least recognize the efforts made to pursue a more relevant direction, i.e. the development of the show and the venue, a better system of management with a merit system that is more considerate of actual performance efficiency etc., etc. and so far we have not done much of it.

Being in management puts one in a very compromising situation. In the case of this company’s history years back, the lack of a systematic management scheme was well compensated with a lot of interpersonal and personal affinities with rank and file which allowed us to become family members of this company. Hence, the results were productive…

I have said to a good number of people that when the time comes that I am given the presidency of this company that it should be on my terms, my vision, and my freehand. Positions are nothing more but glorified labels of a salary man such as I if the power yielded is not real and only virtual. Enough said…

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

my sonata



i never got around to taking a picture of my sonata... 'til i drove in to the office today and saw my admin director with his camera...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

paalam



i finished this album last year but never got around to fixing the album format and stuff... usually, i give copies of new albums to friends for the holidays. I haven't done that for the last two years since my holiday season always seems to be in some sort of "shit" state. December 25, 2007 my driver trashed a brand new motorcycle i gave to my wife as a gift... a year later, December 23, 2008 my driver's brother trashed my brand new car, a gift from my boss' wife.

anyway, this year, i plan to package this new album i finished and give it to friends. most of the songs i wrote. both the lyrics and the music and some were from tinkering with some available files over the net and i ended up compiling everything into an album.

so to my friends... sorry for the delay.

Friday, May 23, 2008

my other office

i must admit that for the past couple of weeks... hiking up and down the manila film center is getting too tiring. The staff in particular found it very difficult that if i wanted something, they'd have to spend nd enormous amount of energy to give it to me. at least that takes care of the 10,000 step requirement for a fit and healthy life... 'till one day, the chairman says that i should move to the admin office... so i said that that i want to keep my office at the 4th floor and make the other office a sattelite so that i wouldn't be that far from the rest of the planet.

so right now i'm here at promenade level looking at the Sofitel Hotel much like the view i had in my office at the 2nd floor. i'm back together with my staff and i must admit that it is more convenient. the thought that i still have my main office and recording studio at the 4th floor keeps me comfortably at ease knowing that i have another place to run to when the stress level and boredom overheats.





Tuesday, May 20, 2008

driving the sonata



it came at a good price... the budget allocation allowed me for a Sonata 2.4 GL but unfortunately, a black one wasn't available in that category and I was stubborn enough not to settle for another color... so i decided to do the next best thing, and that was to hunt for a black sonata through other dealers. Unfortunately, the Korean managers in-charge of purchasing the car for me were hell bent in getting the unit from a Korean distributor, but I've already talked to another dealer who owns the black unit plus a generous amount of discounts to boot. Well, whatever the motives were, I didn't exactly care. Except for the fact that they wasted an entire two days settling the issue until they finally gave in. I had to advance my 13th month pay to cover for the slightly higher priced, top of the line model V6 3.3 which was the only black unit available anywhere.

so my sonata had it's recent one month anniversary and its first check up and oil change last week. I ran it at SLEX at 160KPH without any hitch. The handling is superb and doing a regular 120KPH feels like a 70KPH cruise. I'm a short guy so i really appreciate the driver seat adjustments. I love the factory sound system, I love the leather seats except that my four year old already baptized it with puke from one of our out of town trips. The interior is much like the camry... my dream car which is way "out there" in terms of budget. The mileage? well... it's a 3.3 liter engine, what would one expect?

Here's the driver's seat review of the sonata...