art & design, interior design, set design

set design photos

i like this new blog theme. i can post photos larger than 450 pixel-width sizes (the limit of my old blog theme) 🙂 that’s geekspeak for photos larger than 450 pixels wide  hehehe still confusing you? let me just show you. these are some photos of my tvc prod design works in the last year or so. the photos are 700 pixel-width! exciting! im such a geek

datu puti’s muhkasim festival

ufc’s tomato guisado. had to build a whole neighborhood street in studio

replicated pizza hut’s kitchen in the studio

lola techie channeling queen elizabeth in eq diapers’ shoot

that’s all the gold left in the kingdom.

i love this set. it’s my “amelie-in-balara” set for a meralco ad.

here’s another side of the room for the meralco ad. esp love the 70s lamp. the wall frames are tita tems’

the wood panel wall is an homage to my grandparents’ house in mindanao.  note their photo on the left. also tatems’ on the right.

felipe flores for viva mineralized water

modern chika for vicky morales’ living room

how’s this for a bedroom?

talk show set for tintin bersola-babao and anya’s eq diaper shoot.

evoking santorini in batangas

wake up to hundreds of balloons

candles galore for san marino tuna paella

romantic candle votives from SM and fake champagne. roses are from dangwa, of course

kitchen for another eq diaper shoot with vicky morales

dolfenal’s “bakit pa” mock film trailer shoot

a set-up of a room, which could very well be mine. those are all my books. and my sheets

onions have layers. my set for kremil-s

recreating tokyo tokyo restaurant in the studio, featuring the lovely AD christine blando

ufc banana ketchup. “bogart!”

deli shop for san marino


palagi nalang si pearl. shooting in caliraya river

kfc’s bucket of fries

sm-modern old house studio shoot

trudis liit before she was ubber famous. for ufc banana ketchup

alam mo na

basta ako, champion

ako din, champion.

benjamin padero

art & design, filmmaking


alumni of st frederick from left: rj ledesma, arnold reyes, dimples romana, ina feleo, benjamin padero and carlo tabije. char lang

the film SENIOR YEAR that we shot last may is rated A by the cinema evaluation board! that means it gets a 100% tax rebate when it is shown in local theaters. im posting below the full review of the board lifted from director jerrold tarog’s tumblr.  furthermore, SENIOR YEAR is one of the independent features to be screened during this december’s MMFF (metro manila film festival).  that means two of the films i worked on as production designer is featured in that festival (shake rattle and roll XII and senior year). wohoo! have a merry christmas!

pogi, official mascot of the SENIOR YEAR shoot. photo by joseph pascual

Film Development Council of the Philippines

Summation of CEB members’ comments on
Grade:  A
Digitank Studios, Inc.

“SENIOR YEAR” is a refreshing and welcome departure from both the cotton candy romcoms churned out by mainstream cinema regularly as well as from the depressing poverty porn sometimes offered by the indies.

“Because of its imaginative, insightful and well-paced direction, intriguing characters and story structure, the film merits a clear `A.’” The film is “very, very good! It is simple and honest” like the graduation speech of the valedictorian, the film is not pretentious, nor over-reaching but just sincere in its quiet little space and in its intention and execution.

Of course, most of the credit goes to Director Jerrold Tarog who also wrote and edited the film; Tarog is also responsible for the overall sound design. His direction is called “superb as he has great mastery of his subject with effortless handling of his actors.”

The script is “well structured with praiseworthy attention to characters and with admirable avoidance of artistic pretensions.” A reviewer also commented that the “dialogue and characters are very natural.”

“The film captures the essence and vagaries of high school life and gives a taste of what may happen 12 – 14 years later.” Furthermore, the “screenplay captures the spirit and fun of the senior year” as well as the uncertainty and fears that are up ahead in college.

There are the usual nerds and wannabes, the usual bullies and their victims and the latter’s defenders. They are not portrayed as obligatory stereotypes though and this is what makes the seniors in the film interesting and endearing. Their back/home stories also vividly show the milieu the seniors are forced to sink or swim in. There are the heartbreaks from teen-age break-ups, college rejections and intram defeats and there are also successful physical and emotional make-overs. There are teachers who inspire and challenge and there are classmates who support and encourage but sometimes infuriate and meddle. The kids may not be as attractive or as airbrushed as the Glee cheerleaders; they are just the pimply, gangly and giddy teen-agers in the real world.

The editing is “sharp and competent as well as brisk and disciplined” though a couple of reviewers suggested a pruning of some scenes. Except for some scenes (the blurry footage from the actual intrams), the cinematography is considered “sharp and admirably controlled.”

The production design is “compatible with the theme and period covered.” The great attention to detail” is noted and praised.

“The music, like the other elements of the film, is both understated and worth listening to.” One CEB member says that the “musical score is provocative and aids in the plot development very well.”

Finally, it is the non-acting of the young non-actors that is the crowning glory of the film. The film boasts of “impressive, excellent and memorable repertory performances.” The performers are “natural, fresh, truthful and honest.”  “Together with the professional actors who portray the teachers, the students provide a palpable sense of reality.”

To sum up, the following are some concluding comments from the Board:

“Congratulations for a very well-crafted film.”

“Snatches of high school life become a colorful tapestry of young lives at the brink of adulthood and the Director succeeds in conveying this essence to the screen.”

“Kudos should go Tarog and his young producer. Their film is a quiet but impressive feat.”

“May puso ang pelikula.”

“Love it!”

director jerrold tarog showing his true colors. me (145lbs heavy) in the background. photo by joseph pascual

SENIOR YEAR is written and directed by jerrold tarog. he also edited and scored the whole thing. cinematographer mackie galvez, prod design benjamin padero, assistant director bianca balbuena, sound nicholas varela with songs by johnoy, danao, executive producer beverly tanedo, produced by franco alido.

for screening schedules, please check here. click “like,” too! yey

laundry therapy

blumentritt cafe

from hereon, silofen cafe will be known as blumentritt cafe. so it is written, so it shall be done.


ive always wanted to open a cafe. ive always wanted some open space cafe that invites free souls and spirited travelers from all walks of life. artists who want to hang their lives on canvasses up on my walls. musicians who wish to fill the room with their souls. filmmakers who paint their images on my screens.

when my sister tina and cousin maylin decide to venture into the food business and opened may’s dos in 2000 (an extension to my mom and maylin’s mom’s original eatery, may’s best foods, which has been open since the 80s), i was thrilled with the potential of the place. we painted the walls red and during summers i brought the tv from home and played movies in the afternoons to cultivate a culture.


my cousin tonio and ace also enjoyed their run of the parent’s resto mandex bar (named after my tito jun otherwise called mandex). in the morning it caters to the lunch crowd, evenings are for the night owls.

i always thought if i were based in cdo, i would have used the may’s location in the evenings for the cafe. but im not based in cdo so this never went anywhere.

my friend from fine arts jetro opened his doors to strangers early this year with his cafe-resto van gogh is bipolar, which we all know became a huge hit. carlo and i were one of the first few diners and we were equally excited with jetro’s venture. we even inquired on renting out the 2nd floor space in his building for our cafe/office/bodega/living quarters. i knew we weren’t ready for it yet so i said, let’s not rush it, let’s pray about it and maybe next year we can plot out a more feasible plan for the cafe+design studio we wanted.

during my second trip to van gogh is bipolar, i realize now, jetro’s mix of organic tea always pushes me to self-evaluate my dreams and goals. and we always go back to the cafe idea.

carlo and i created this mock cafe, silofen, to satisfy our desire for the cafe. we put up our menu online in the hopes that the universe will soon listen. and i think it did.

right now carlo and i got to discuss the cafe again. we eventually decided to name it blumentritt (after the original street name where may’s best foods and mandex bar are located in cagayan de oro) but this will be in manila. cafe+design studio+gallery+tea house+screening room+etc. wohoo! crazy combination but we believe it will attract our market.

im writing this down because we need to put it out in the universe. i truly believe God listens to prayers written in blogs. and if this isnt a prayer and a wish, i dont know what is. see you at the opening of blumentritt cafe!


diet worked!

last july (source) i posted my most recent weigh-in results. this was it:

weight 142 lbs (not bad, i guess)
body mass index 22.9
fat index 23.7% (desirable range is 17-23%. that means im borderline overweight)
fat mass 33.6lbs (desirable range is 22.2 to 32.4lbs)

the results indicated my target body fat should only be 20% of my total weight, i should ideally be 135lb heavy (based on my weight and age) with a fat mass of 27lb. that means i have to lose 6.6lbs to achieve my ideal weight. tootsie, how hard is it to lose 6lbs? ghad.

today (nov2) i did a weigh in at the mercury drugstore in katipunan and these results came out:

weight 133 lbs (omg. 9lbs difference?)
body mass index 21.5 kg/m
fat index 17% (desirable range is 17-23%)
fat mass 22.7lbs (desirable range is 22.2 to 32.4lbs)

this means in the last 4 months, more so in the last 2 months i lost 9lbs! 9lbs! i really didnt think it was possible! 😉 i was at my heaviest in may of this year, i could have clocked in at 145lbs im sure.  i sure am thrilled!  now im only 3 lbs to my ideal weight! wohoo!  😉 the braces were a big factor in the weight loss but it only made me realize how effective cutting down on certain kinds of food for the sake of eating healthy really is.  if i exercised i would actually lose my tummy and build some muscles but im quite thrilled with the outcome of just the diet. my (imposed) healthier diet (no rice, less sodium, less sugar–no softdrinks, no iced tea,– more fish, more yoghurt, more oatmeal, less fatty food, no bread worked!

– me in my october size with mercedes cabral hehehe

filmmaking, laundry therapy


“please watch all kubrick, lynch, finch, fincher, ridley scott movies so you dont have to catch up when you’re 32 #tweetyour16yearoldself”

a trend on twitter ran last week about tweeting your 16 year old self. the tweets ranged from warnings on your current flame (@jiritajackson Stop waiting for your first kiss because your boyfriend is gayer than springtime) to what the lotto winning numbers are today (@ejpadero GrandLotto 6/55 winning combination for the 2010-Nov-3 draw is 43-20-05-37-13-06).

most of my tweets are telling my old self to continue dreaming because they will all come true. at least, most of them. i was in 3rd year high school when i was 16. i remember dreaming of directing films then. but in 1993 the internet was in its infancy and our computers ran on windows 3.1 with green crt monitors. my access to art films and world cinema was zero. i would read up on some films that never saw the light of day in mindanao. it would actually take me 5 years or more before i could get my hands on these. there were film festivals hosted by embassies but i they were in far-off makati. it was only in the advent of piracy (vcds, late 90s) and quiapo dvds (2000) that i fully satisfied my thirst for non-hollywood fare. it was really educational and inspiring.

but i realized i also did not watch everything that i could actually get my hands on to, like kubrick’s barry lyndon or dr. strangelove, the 90s indie hit sex, lies and videotape, twin peaks or eraserhead and so on. should have watched them when i actually had time to do so.

so to my 16 year old self, when you do get hold/have access to all these cinematic gems, please watch all of them. all films by stanley kubrick, ridley scott, martin scorsese, david lynch, david fincher, david lean, jean luc-goddard, francois truffaut, giussepe tornatore, asian masters akira kurosawa, wong kar-wai, hayao miyazaki, mike de leon, lino brocka, ishmael bernal, manuel conde, eddie romero, etc.

be inspired by their works. learn from them, feed on them, then find your own self.

and believe me when i tell you you will meet and direct ricky davao and susan africa in college, work with cesar hernando, tikoy aguiluz and this new director, brillante mendoza. doors will open for you and as long as you stay true to yourself, things will get better.

16 year old self, this is you at 20+.  not 16, 20+

the list is long and the history wide, but believe me you’ll have more time watching these movies while in school. good luck, 16 year old self, and ill see you at the oscars 😉