Monday, September 29, 2014

The Yellow Room Battle Of the Bands

This is actually late news already but good news is always worth sharing no mater how late it is. 

It seems only yesterday when Mayonnaise won the Red Horse Muziklaban in 2004 (it's actually been 10 years!) I was in a College back then and never would I have imagined that Paul and I would be covering events and blogging for The Yellow Room Philippines- helmed by Mayonnaise front man Monty Macalinao, which is a talent management and recording studio for up and coming independent bands in the Philippines.

The Yellow Room Philippines is paying it forward and giving other talented independent bands out there a shot through THE YELLOW ROOM BATTLE OF THE BANDS. 

Through a rigorous elimination process, band hopefuls sent videos of their performances in the hopes of being included in the coveted list that would ultimately fight it out Rock Of Ages style in a good old Battle Of The Bands.

Paying it Forward: They too were Battle Of The Bands winners, which helped Mayonnaise sky rocket into the local music scene and now Monty Macalinao is paying it forward by giving that same chance to a new generation of musicians.
Taken during The Yellow Room Music Battle of the Bands
(c) Roi Francisco Photography 

Held last August 22 ab B-side, we were actually invited to cover the event but unfortunately we weren't able to because of work but that doesn't mean I wouldn't be writing about it (albeit late) I believe and admire the efforts that The Yellow Room Philippines is doing in order to showcase up and coming talent and as if that wasn't good enough, winners were not simply going to get a Certificate or a Trophy, prizes included free recording packages and even a contract for the winner!

These prizes would surely help these budding artists get their music across, it wasn't just exposure for one night, the Battle Of The Bands served as an opportunity for the bands, it was a door that opened for them, even if they didn't win- they could count that to experience and as for the winners -

Congratulations and I'm definitely looking forward to the new material that you guys will be coming out with!

Kudos to The Yellow Room Music Philippines! You guys rock! 


You can check out the winners list below and their amazing prizes! 

First Runner Up - False Apart

Sunday, September 28, 2014

BIO To Get A Face Lift With FYI

Sometimes Paul and I have so many events and gigs to go to - our schedule gets really crazy and we love it even if it can be tiring but there's also a side of us that just likes to just sit back, chill at home and watch TV (while Paul edits photos and I write) and one of our go-to channels is BIO. :) 

We love their Home Renovation shows, whether it is Extreme Make Over or Flipping Vegas/San Diego/Boston or Reno vs. Relo (we're always rooting for Reno) There are times when we lose sleep just watching their shows and weekends are just better kicking back, relaxing and checking out their food and travel shows also. 

And as if things can't get any better - BIO being re-branded as FYI - For Your Inspiration, Innovation, Imagination and personally I cannot agree more to the direction to which the channel is taking, all those hours watching their shows definitely gets us inspired - to travel, to taste new food and watching all those renovation shows lets us dream of awesome designs (photo studio included for Paul) for our future home. :) 

Here are some of the things to look forward to with the new FYI! 

In a Press Release dated last September 19, the re-branding of BIO to FYI aims to give each viewer a personalized experience. "The network embraces the way audiences really live their lives - proudly -hyphenated and not constrained by one passion or interest. Never an instruction manual and always an inspiration engine (I love that line!) FYI offers viewers a more adventurous, personalized and non-prescriptive approach to programming with a range of stories that reflect how people actually live their lives today, not defined by just one passion or interest. 

"FYI's mission is to inspire personal creativity that emphasizes improvised living, while reflecting our authentic slate of programming" says Michele Schofield, Senior VP, Programming & Marketing at A+E Networks Asia. "And with its rich mix of inspirational content, the new channel's Asian premiere is sure to bring its viewers a season of quality entertainment." 

FYI will feature over 300 hours of original content each year across four programming genres taste, space, look and journey. FYI will include locally commissioned productions and local acquisitions.

Here are some of the shows to look forward to on FYI 


One of the shows that have caught our attention. Tiny House Nation features "renovation experts and hosts, John Weisbarth and Zack Griffin as they travel across America to show off ingenious small spaces and the inventive people who live in them. They also help families design, construct and prepare to downsize into their own mini-dream homes no larger than 300 square feet! 


Paul has a love-hate relationship when it comes to the show, Destination Flavor: Japan, he loves it because the show features Japanese Cuisine, he hates it because he gets jealous of chef Adam Liaw who travels "from the frozen ponds of Hokaido in the north to the southern multicultural island of "savor the cuisines from local legends and master chefs while watching Adam Liaw immerse himself in a vibrant food culture that embraces innovation and cherishes tradition." 

Product Review: TONY MOLY Clean Dew Lemon Foam Cleanser

I've been using TONY MOLY's Clean Dew Foam Cleanser for a couple of years now- this is my third purchase and it's because I love the product! 

Since using it I haven't had any crazy break outs. I would say that the product is good on my skin ("hiyang"), it's at a good prize. The new release is at P198.00 for 180 ml. It lasts me for about a year - I kid you not. 

There are different variations for different skin types. I used to buy the Tea Tree variant, it's not available any more so I got the Lemon Cleanser (for normal skin types). 

I wouldn't spend a lot of money for facial cleansers so the Clean Dew, fits right in the budget and gets the job of cleaning my face done. :) 

This is a product I love and would continue patronizing simply because it's affordable and it works! :) 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Kampaii Sushi Bar

So for our 9th Aniversarry, Paul and I had originally planned on attending Blogapalooza (it's the biggest Business to Blogger event with over 500 Bloggers registered) but because of Typhoon Mario the event was cancelled and suddenly Paul and I had our Saturday open with nothing to do. 

Roads were still flooded and impassable Saturday morning so we just decided to stay within the confines of our home on a mountain in order to stay safe and dry from the floods. 

Paul suggested this Japanese Restaurant near our place- like 5 minutes and I thought - hey why not? It was our anniversary and I guess it was about time we stopped eating at Pizza Hut for our anniversaries (did it for the 5th and the 8th) I'm pretty much a creature of habit, especially when it comes to food, I'm not really that adventurous when it comes to trying out new food (I stick to what I know) and for all my love of the Japanese culture, I'm not a big fan of their food. All of my aversion to trying out new food is a cause for great dismay for Paul who is the more adventurous one when it comes to food. 

Kampaii Sushi Bar is in a narrow building, upon entering the restaurant, all the tables were already filled with diners, two tables joined together to accommodate a large family, and a couple in another table. We were ushered to the second floor, which was only used when the first floor was already full. The AAC Units were turned on, the second floor had more tables and also were the Comfort Rooms were. It felt weird staying there, because it didn't really feel like a restaurant since it was just Paul and me there but then a Korean couple also took a table next to us, and the space suddenly started to feel more like a restaurant. 

We ordered their Chicken Teriyaki and Tempura meals. Paul and I both decided to come back and try their sushi and ramen which got good reviews on their social media sites and recommendations from friends. 

I was just a bit disappointed with the staff, specifically our server who can obviously use more training and here's why: I wanted to order the Tempura Bento but was instead served with a Tempura ala carte plate, so I had to order additional rice. 

Paul ordered their lunch set meal, but we weren't informed that the miso soup that came with the meal set was not available. She should have at least told us that before we ordered. 

The dessert that came with the set meal was apples with Cherry Syrup, I didn't expect to like it but it was pretty good! :) 

With my disappointment in their service said and done, I can go ahead and say that I did like their food. The batter in the tempura was good, in the first bite you can already taste the flavors of the batter. Paul's Chicken Teriyaki was pretty good too. 

We loved the presentation and the plates that they used. The ice tea was at least blended, so it's not the usual powdered type. Since it's a Sushi Bar there was a lot of different kinds of cocktails and liquor for sale (much to Paul's satisfaction) he ordered a Rum and Coke (which probably weirded out the staff since we ate at Lunch time) there are probably more patrons who order liquor in the evenings. 

Paul and I have decided to come back for the sushi and ramen and we have now decided to make a conspicuous effort to feature more local businesses. :) 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Pinto Art Gallery

So after our Kampaii SushiBar escapade Paul and I headed to Pinto Art Gallery, another jewel in our hometown of Antipolo, another 10 minute trip from our house. 

Paul has actually been urging me to go to the Gallery with him, I have actually been there years back so I wasn't really jumping on going but since Typhoon Mario foiled our original plans I just went along with Paul's suggestion (we weren't going anywhere with the flood). 

The gallery is inside one of the many villages in Antipolo, there's a small sign outside and enough signs along the way, so you wouldn't get lost. People around the place know where the gallery is so you can easily ask around if ever you do get lost. 

We were surprised when we arrived at the gallery, since there were a lot of parked cars outside, I was actually not expecting that there were going to be a lot of guests. It's either they were probably herded to go here coz of the floods or the Gallery does get a lot of visitors, which is good at least people aren't walking around malls having their money siphoned to consumerism and capitalism. 

The guests were couples like us, some with their smart phones on mono pod sticks for selfies with paintings no doubt and there were also groups of friends who were at the gallery, hanging out by the Cafe- yes, they have a Cafe! More on that later on. 

Pinto Art Gallery is not your typical Gallery, a building or a room with paintings and sculptures, it is on a large property and the artworks are housed in separate buildings, some even having their own structure made specially for them. There's a lot of walking around and climbing up and down stairs so it's best to leave your high heels and skirts at home. Make sure you come in comfortable shoes and clothes. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Villamar-Flores Nuptial

We have some new projects coming up, taking a break from gigs and bars and shooting weddings. Yehey! 

I remember when we were preparing for our wedding almost 3 years ago, I went through a LOT of wedding photos and videos and let me tell you that there are a lot of talented Filipino Wedding Photographers out there but Paul is also a very talented and passionate photographer :) 

We were fortunate enough to be tapped to cover the wedding of Robert and Meme who I know through her sister, being a former colleague of mine.  

It was a beautiful ceremony filled with love from families and friends and between the Bride and Groom of course :) 

We're looking forward to getting to cover more weddings and more life events of course! :) 

We already have one booked in December! :D #Stoked 

Congratulations to the newly weds and thank you for making us a part of your big day! :) 

Click HERE for MORE photos! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Maze Runner Movie Review

I was fortunate enough to have been invited by Sky Cable to the special advanced screening of The Maze Runner last Tuesday night at The Bonifacio High Street Cinemas and I must say that I am just loving that Dolby Surround. If you haven't been to the cinemas in High Street then you really should and I just have to tell you guys something that I found amusing, so you know how it is in. In cinemas before a movie starts they play the National anthem right? 

Well in the Bonifacio High Street Cinemas instead of playing a video of "Lupang Hinirang" studded with local stars (I actually prefer the alternative one with the modern heroes) with a loud recording of the National Anthem playing, the cinema played a Karaoke version without the music. So of course people were only singing in a whisper like volume as the lyrics flashed through the screen and the words lit up - pretty much like your standard karaoke. 

I sang at a moderate level, my years of singing in the church choir giving me the necessary confidence and boy was I glad I did too - because after the anthem the following was flashed on the screen: 

"That was the sound of our future.
Did you do your part?" 

Of course people who sang in whisper volume would feel sheepish about themselves, so make sure you guys vocalize before hitting the High Street Cinemas okay? 

Before the movie started, our host for the evening Sky Cable reminded the audience that the Fall TV series was coming up which means new seasons of all our favorite drool...drool...

Speaking of new shows, there's a new channel up at SKY Cable! Universal Channel 73 it offers fresh from the US shows like Chicago Fire and Grimm. You can also book Movie Nights with Universal Channel. So make sure you guys check that out the next time you open the TV. 

Now on to the Movie Review! 

I was still reading the book (still am actually) when I saw the movie, now I usually prefer finishing the book first before watching the movie adaptation but like I said in my If I Stay book review, it's hard to keep up with the rate of book to movie adaptation that's coming out these days. 

I really wasn't following the production news of the movie, so I was pleasantly surprised to see a few familiar faces on the screen. 

First off was Thomas Brodie-Sangster who played Jojen Reed in the HBO Series Game Of Thrones (now we know what happened to him after he (surprise) died in the last season. (although in the book he didn't die -well not yet) So from the Frozen North we find Thomas Brodie-Sangster in the Glades playing the second-in-command Newt. 

He is also known as the voice of Ferb in Phineas and Ferb and of course his role as Sam in the movie, Love Actually.

Next up we have Will Poulter who I first saw as Eustace Scrubb in The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Voyage Of The Dawn Treader and I must say that I was really impressed with his performance in that movie. 

He also stars alongside Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis and Emma Roberts in the comedy, Meet The Millers now I haven't seen this movie yet but I definitely want to see it! :) 

In case you didn't know Will Poulter won the 2014 BAFTA Rising Star Award and the 2014 MTV Movie Award for  Best Breakthrough performance for his role in Meet The Millers -so this guy has some acting chops with him and you see that too in The Maze Runner as he plays the tough Gally. 

It's surprising that it's the supporting actors whom I was glad to see in the movie, I honestly haven't heard of lead actor Dylan O'Brien who plays Thomas. Thumbs up to him for leading a talented cast of actors. 

The movie opens with a dazed Thomas in a steel crate, he is dirty and confused, he can't remember, anything, a group of boys of different ages, open the crate which contains Thomas, they point and laugh at him and call him 'greenie' 

In what seems like a twisted version of Peter Pan's The Lost Boys (without the pixie dust) these boys have lost more than just their mothers as they can't seem to remember anything or why they were placed in The Glades. 

In a span of three years, the group of boys have come up with a system and society that has allowed them to coexist and live together, each one has an assigned task and our hero Thomas has his eyes set on a huge maze, which Runners run through every morning but must come out of before dusk as the maze closes, changes and becomes the home of Grievers and no one has seen a Griever to tell the tale.

With Thomas' arrival, he begins to ask questions and to challenge the rules that have been set, little does anyone know but things are about to change-and fast. 

In a surprising combination of Temple Run, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Aliens, the action and suspense scenes in The Maze Runner left me with my mouth open, hands clutched because of the heart stopping sequences. 

Fans are also buzzing about the only rose in the thorns - Kaya Scodelario (Skins) who plays mystery girl Teresa. I'm really not familiar with Skins but she was definitely a pleasure to watch on the big screen! 

Although lacking in logic and explanation as to the real reason for the post apocalyptic situation (an explanation is given at the end of the film, but that just gives you more questions) I would just put it off so that audiences would either pick up the next book in the series or wait for the movie sequel. 

Darker in tone than most Young Adult Post Apocalptic movies, and also lacking in the social and moral questions of The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner focuses on another attribute of adolescents - what it means to work as a team, the perseverance to fight and the strength to challenge the set norms. 

I recommend the movie - although you'll probably want to read the book after, as I said earlier you'll get more questions at the end but the action scenes throughout definitely make up for all that. 

The Maze Runner is distributed by 20th Century Fox and is already showing in cinemas! 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Project 365: March 2014

March is the mark of graduations and the beginning of summer in the Philippines.  Sun burns intensely, climate turns to even greater humidity but the story goes on.  The camera keeps on clicking despite of the odds of being busy with work and other stuff.

Day 60(2014) - First sight of light
Day 61 - Cool, cute and curious
Day 62(2014) - Path above the street
Day 63(2014) - Embracing the sun
Day 64(2014) - In hardships
Day 65(2014) - Leaving a mark

Trying to remember what transpired back in March, I think I was feeling down due to dry spell that I wasn't getting any gigs, and was having financial issues.  Although I wasn't making any money in doing this project, I think it may be my avenue for expressing myself, to even out the balance between work, and other things.  At times I think I'm not going anywhere with what I do.  But my wife worked on the Day 64 image and made it as a typography, inspirational image.  It helped me during those trying times.  

Day 66(2014) - Lines, and lights meet
Day 67(2014) - Back-lit by sunset
Day 68(2014) - Wet look
Day 69(2014) - Grip

Day 70(2014) - Making a living

Day 71(2014) - Alignment

Day 72(2014) - Vandalism
Day 73(2014) - Preferred brand
Day 74(2014) - Preparation
March was a month of adventures, familiar places, and experimentation.  

Adventures: March 8, 2014 we went to Pampanga for a little vacation with the family. 

March 15, 2014 we drove all the way to ParaƱaque to watch Japanese Rock Band Tricot. March 22,2014 in 3rd Floor Bar in Marikina, to cover Paramore Night 7.  

Familiar places are my home, home town, the office, Ever Ortigas, and La Salle Antipolo.  As for my experimentation, I tried out strobing in day light and got pleasing results(see Day 67 and 68) and a combination of panning and flash(Day 82).  I just wish I could shoot with ETTL wirelessly or shoot on a faster sync speed. The flash remote trigger that I have I can go up until 1/250 sec only.

Day 75(2014) - Flying in mid air
Day 76 (2014) - Game on
Day 77(2014) - Dust on our feet
Day 78(2014) - New heights
Day 79(2014) - We lay broken
Day 80(2014) - Going for another walk
Day 81(2014) - Riot
Day 82(2014) - Trying something new

Day 83(2014) - Gravel

March is indeed a roller coaster ride of emotions for me, but all in all I had a blast, and I learned a lot with regard to photography.  I'm still not that technical but I think I'm slowly learning.  Looking at the images that I've shot here, the way I look at light now has changed or is changing from the way I look at it earlier, but things are definitely looking up indeed.  Hopefully, in the next few months we'll see more improvement. 

Day 84(2014) - Double exposure of sorts
Day 85(2014) - From the top
Day 86(2014) - Side mount
Day 87(2014) - Through the window, again
Day 88(2014) - These halls

Day 89(2014) - Beating the heat

Day 90(2014) - Circles