im here

havent been able to blog a lot more. im currently writing long hand in a journal offline. seems working though. the internet is a crazier place now than when i started blogging back in geocities days. social media has become too demanding and the pressure to have followers and likes is insane id rather be off it. choz. but i may come back to writing online. jan 14 2019.

this is where i am. this is me

laundry therapy, musings

2020. are we ready?

2019 was great but the 2nd half of the year was challenging for us. change in pace, manpower, and because i travelled a lot for my generally non-paying gigs, i realized i was financially in the low.

december made me reassess my choices and the events in 2019. i can only be positive about the coming new year. 2020 brings in so much hope it’s easy to get carried away with all that positive energy. thank God.

in 2020 i aim to be working more because i need money. i’ve a condo turnover this year (been paying for this for the last 5 years and the closing fees are pretty hefty plus i needed to get a bank loan this year). lord knows i also need new appliances and furniture for this.

i have a few film projects as prod designer this coming year, filming outside the phils. this obviously does not automatically mean i get paid more (it kinda does but not in a major major way). it just means we get to experience (again) living in another country for maybe a month or so (shot in vancouver, slovenia, siargao before. love the experience).

i have to go through a change of manpower this year for my team. maybe more like i need to mix it up. this means i also need to train people again and kinda start from scratch. part of me says im too old to be doing this. the other half tells me i nevertheless need to do it anyway so here goes.

my other plans are also not to put too much of my eggs in one basket so im working as a financial adviser as well since last year. this year i still need to find my stride and approach but im committing to this. it’s also means constantly reevaluating myself in the process and it’s both scary and fun. and scary.

on the back of my head i want to do something “easy” and hopefully income generating so i might dive into a small business of making soaps and shampoo bars this year and im asking my niece to help me out with marketing and sales so she gets her hands into a business she can handle. she’s 18 so im hoping this will help her future self.

last week before i left cdo to go back to manila, i talked to my nieces and nephew (aged 25, 18 and 16) about our family’s land properties and told them what it means and what these represent. what a land title is and why knowing who are named in those titles are important but more important is that these will eventually go to them. both my other sister and i dont have natural-born children so the next-in-line to own and take care of these houses and buildings would be them three. it’s sort of the kind of talk i wished my elders shared to us when we were younger.

it’s gonna be 19 years until im technically in “retirement age.” that’s not a lot of time actually. my SSS tells me i will only get around 6,500 pension when i retire. i need to set aside more for living expenses and if and when i get sick. that’s a lot of planning. huhu.

2020 is promising. let’s hope and pray it continues to be positive all the way through 🙂



We are currently in Busan, Korea for the 2nd leg of FLY FILM LAB 2019 bring Joe Bacus’s 2nd feature length film under development, DEVILS IN PARADISE (Mga Yawa sa Paraiso), with me as producer. FLY FILM LAB is under the Busan Film Commission and in cooperation with the Busan Asian Film School (AFiS). Part of our time here in Busan is also presenting the film to the in the LINK OF CINE-ASIA Project Market. So see you at our table! wohoo!


DEVILS IN PARADISE (Mga Yawa sa Paraiso) is a film about a shaman, GAU who seeks to keep his local traditions and culture alive against the growing power of the Catholic Church in his community. His daughter, SEHANA, an apprentice shaman, looks forward to the day she gets to meet her mother, MAULANA, the head ASWANG, someday. Meanwhile, GAU struggles to continue his duties as healer and leader in his community, which is suddenly suffering from a strange disease, when by his own negligence, the shaman one day finds SEHANA killed at the hands of his spirit familiar, the SIGBIN. His guilt throws him into a journey seeking solace and reprieve and stumbles into the realm of the Aswangs where he is forced to face MAULANA who asks him why he came alone.






musings 05.29.2019

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been working on the set design for a videos series of an insurance company on wealth management. listening to the agents themselves talk, im pleasantly surprised i can follow and understand a lot of what they are talking about. ive explored on finance management myself (im no expert, duh), reading on (a few) books and trying to understand whatever these finance gurus are talking about. im forcing myself to take interest and understand around 5 years ago and im happy i did.

it’s something artists dont really talk about because we love spontaneity and impulsive decisions, we live for moments and the Now.

i still do and i dont think one can take that away but i also forced myself to see bigger pictures and future selves and understand my money today probably wont make it to when im 75 and broke and hungry, given how i spend.

ive taken that road to saving some money for some future self i still need to know and investing on him, too. who is this 70-year old ben (and carlo) and where will they live by then? what will they do and where do they eat and how can they afford to watch movies in cinemas (even if i still hate watching with other people who have no theater etiquette) in the year 2049.

ive slowly taken steps to understand and jusko, im already late in taking that road less traveled. ive shared already to some people in the past and happily theyve taken the advice and the dream and slowly also starting to take care of their kwarta and putting aside things for the future. influenced. charot.

i might take this new-found passion for wealth management to the next level so let’s see if i can influence more people to take the leap and claim bigger goals and ambition and taking care of their future selves!


salzburg is quaint and charming and small. dropped by for a day and a half and only saw outdoor sights but not the bigger museums -which is unfortunate because we love seeing works of the masters aside from all the architecture and food.

we did try catching some of the nearby shoot locations of robert wise’s the sound of music, starring julie andrews and christopher plummer.

we stumbled into the abbey from TSOM by accident and i knew right away it was the same one.

the famous mirabelle garden was still open but this section’s gate was already closed so we couldnt act out that finale of do-re-mi.

the escape from the nazis after the farewell performance at the cemetary was not shot here in st. patrick’s but definitely was the inspiration. they copied the gates and tombstones in a studio.

also checked out the other plazas and streets where they shot at. bought a music box playing eidelweiss for my aunt who’s a huge fan of the film.

got around mozartplatz and also visited where he was born and raised. apparently the music scene in salzburg was too small for mozart so he left for vienna and stay there.

so off we go to vienna!


i live to travel. it’s when im most excited and most calm. i love seeing new sights and recognizing cultural patterns similar to mine apart from learning what is also different. more often than not, we are the same so there is a balance and we as a people are not far removed from our 1st world brothers. this is the beauty of the human race. and i bask in it and distance myself from it at the same time. i will remain wanderlust.

on the train from salzburg to vienna now. mozart was born in salzburg and while he was a prodigy, his talents and works were more celebrated in vienna where the performing arts scene was exploding. i wonder what jose rizal and his barkadas thought about vienna?

slovenia was gorgeous and the snow up in the mountains was a killer. glad we got our snow for our shoot in motel acacia.

excited for vienna. see you in a few!


excited for the coming year. i kinda have an idea about the work that will keep us busy for upto maybe the 3rd quarter but im also excited for the things i still dont know ill be doing. positive about wanting to make some changes and working on advocacies for my community, whatever it will be. solid waste management, financial independence for low-income workers, interior designing, a book, a screenplay, or maybe a business. i dont know. all i know is im excited.

so help me, Lord. thank you!


theater me

mind blown. articles about 2018’s theater scene have come out in recent weeks talking and celebrating the year’s best. the philippines may not have something like the tony’s but im honored to be mentioned and even in one article, singled out as the best stage design for PETA’s ‘night, mother.

screencaps and links to articles below.


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from ABS-CBN:

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i was also able to design for vincent de jesus’s CHANGING PARTNERS, which got cited in SPOT.PH:

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carlo and i would normally design only for film and tv commercials but occasionally dabble in theater when opportunities arise. i was able to do 2 virgin labfest productions with melvin lee until early last year when PETA closed its season with ‘night, mother, directed by lee, and starring sherry lara and eugene domingo. right after ‘night mother, we worked with vincent de jesus again (who did ‘night, mother’s music) with rem zamora directing in the restaging of CHANGING PARTNERS. our other theater run was in 2017 with ateneo blue repertory for again, vincent de jesus’s KUNG PAANO KA NAGING LEADING LADY ZE MUSICAL under the direction of issa manalo-lopez.

it seems vincent de jesus is my go-to fairy godmother haha

PS. i might as well mention that i did have an industry citation midyear with philstage’s GAWAD BUHAY. i dont know how it works but i understand there will be a final lineup maybe about now on who actually gets nominated and who will win. fingers crossed?

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FIRST LOVE Teaser Trailer

our teaser trailer is out! FIRST LOVE is a love story shot in vancouver, canada, with Aga Muhlach and Bea Alonzo, directed by Paul Soriano. Carlo and i worked on the Production Design for this film!


like our time in siargao, surigao del sur, we also stayed for roughly 5 weeks shooting the film in vancouver, british columbia, canada. we had such an awesome time we are considering of moving over there! hahaha it’s actually called the hollywood of the north so it’s perfect.


more news coming for the release of the film. last word was that it will be released on oct 17, 2018, birthdays of our director Paul and lead actress, Bea! wohoo!


i had another dream

had another dream a few nights ago. i was in another shoot (shoot na pud) and was with this friend from college, who has a wife and son in real life. we were traveling to another shoot location so we were all in an production fb auv vehicle and talking about life. he mentions the guy companion i once met and saw him with in the mall was his boyfriend. i asked what happened to his wife and kid now that he’s supposedly out of the closet. he tells me he hasnt seen his wife and son since, and his wife has kept him out of his son’s life. i was of course heartbroken about that. and while he was saying this, the fb vehicle’s back door suddenly swung open (while in transit) and he fell out of the vehicle and tumbled onto the street while all the other cars just behind us and tricycles everywhere!

eventually he got back on the fb but now there were a lot of flies in the fb. i was trying to swat them out of my face and decided to open a window so they could fly out. i was using this abanico fan to drive them out the window but there too many of them. i slightly opened the fb door (still while in transit) and i found lots of maggots and fly pupae on the door so i was using the fan and trying to brush off these maggots from the door. they fell onto the streets as the fb continued to drive away to our wherever location. end of dream.