Sunday, July 31, 2011

Jun Manalo's Funeral

It is always a fact in a Police Officer's life that the threat of dying of unnatural causes, like a bullet in the brain, is always imminent. I am saddened by the passing of friend who has always been there in my lowest and highest points. Jun was a constant in my life... he is not a fair-weather friend who would show up when he is in need. He would show up at all times. We've managed to get by on gin-pomelos, alfonsos, fundadors, jacks and blacks. I have laughed and cried in front of my friend. He has seen my best and worse... and I will miss him badly.

Rest well, Jun...



video by Joey dela Vega
photography by Jerry Santos

Friday, July 29, 2011


There are competencies and there is incompetence. Over the past few years, I have openly stated that handling the marketing department would entail hiring a marketing specialist. What would a marketing department be without someone with enough marketing training and experience?

Of course, hiring the right person is quite a challenging task. We've stumbled upon people who thought and openly professed that they could turn everything around as if they were God's light upon the dark earth and failed miserably in the end.

The success during the 5th year of operations was the peak of what we could attain. That was what my former boss told me when I was attempting to convince everyone (in 2006) that a new marketing strategy should be developed in reference to the changing characteristics of the market. I was turned down and eventually my apprehensions came to pass.

In 2008, the Chairman gave me the assignment of making a marketing department but did not give me the mandate to start from scratch, meaning I had to heavily rely on existing personnel none of which had real marketing experience and so I wrote him talking points to which I pointed out two important variables...

#1 A marketing team without a marketing specialist;

It has been evident that none of the staff involved in the marketing team have previous or have a strong background in the field of marketing. Though, somehow, experience taught us what could be the possible ways on how we could market the show but it will still be best for the interest of the business to hire or to get a marketing specialist / consultant. Someone who already has the expertise to run a marketing department and the marketers.

#2 High expectation on the marketing team;

Marketing is long term; a successful marketing plan cannot be gauged in a short period of time. For us to achieve the effects of our marketing plan, extensive leg work, days of mind busting meetings, and the possibility of high expenditures are to be expected to earn the desired results...

The efforts did pay off. Statistics will prove that, except that it was not enough. There was a rise in market share and a rise in sales in 2010 -- A year after all the efforts were put in its implementation phase.

Then the very thinkable happens... the Chairman constructively attacks all the Filipino managers for a cause which I considered trivial, not to mention outright baseless. In hindsight, the Korean managers are the ones who should have suffered the brunt of the grunt but they did not. In the process, I lost my competent Filipino Marketing Director, lost my very dependable Korean Finance Manager while I lost my faith and respect to someone whom I believed I served and served well.

And now, after all that's been said and done, the time for amends are coming. I am back in the marketing department, I will have absolute control of the entire operations of the theater once again or so they say. Unfortunately, the ill-feeling I have has not yet recovered despite all the sweet talks and the lip services I have heard since time immemorial.

The challenge is this... I still don't have a marketing team that enjoys my full confidence. As I have told them in the workshop, I feel like a General out in battle with troops armed only with sticks and stones. But that is the challenge and I will take it on... I will work with what and who I have as I have always done. And on judgement day, I will hopefully stand side by side with Spartan wolves who were once rabbits! And we will reap the benefits of our labour.

the new Amazing Show Marketing Team -- young, grim and determined! (except me)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Goodbye Kuya Jun

Gunmen kill cop, wife in Batangas

Armed men shot dead a policeman and his wife in Malvar, Batangas, Sunday afternoon, police said.

Superintendent Arcadio Ronquillo, provincial police spokesman, identified the fatalities as PO3 Zoilo Manalo, assigned at Metro Manila’s Southern Police District, and his wife Elvie.

Two unidentified men shot the couple along R. Latayan st., Brgy. Poblacion, around 4:10 p.m. before fleeing towards Lipa City on board a motorcycle, Ronquillo said.

Manalo was brought to the Mercado General Hospital in Tanuan City due to two bullet wounds on the head, but was declared dead on arrival by doctors.

His wife expired while being treated at the same hospital for a bullet wound on the body, Ronquillo said. (John Roson)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

the circle called life

More than ten years ago, I had a boss with whom we referred to as the Lord King who was the worst of the lot of bosses I've ever worked for. His arrogance I suppose stems from his superiority complex, that no work can be done without him.

I worked my butt off for him and so did many others only to be dismayed by his meanness and lack of people skill... or maybe that was only applicable to us subordinates. I well remember my resignation letter that had "effective immediately" on it and it was one of the happiest moment of my life.

I spent the next three months in the studio writing songs for an album I'd later call "Freedom". Music they say is universal and at the time I thought that the album would be the end of it as I cruised further into my life's existence. And since music is universal, things turn around and you're back to the same state of sorry shit you were into.

The good news is... I don't have to write songs anymore for this chapter of my life. I've already written them ten or so years years ago and everything is as applicable then as it is now.