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 🙂

laundry therapy, musings

capsule wardrobe!

first time im hearing this now. capsule wardrobe! maria callas in terence mcnally’s masterclass talked about having the Look. it’s when you’re bound to a certain recognizable style that becomes your brand. lagerfeld with his glasses. steve jobs with his turtlenecks. zuckerberg with his grey shirts. anna wintour with her hair (ok it’s not clothing, what do you expect from a fashion guru). the Look is not necessarily being fashionable but about being yourself. perhaps capsule wardrobe is a mashup of the Look (in relation to a curated wardrobe) and the konmarie method of a. keeping what brings you joy and b. keeping clothes to a minimum.


umm, no, that’s not my Look. it’s my wakanda warrior pose.

im almost always wearing black. it was something that just naturally happened during my college years and cemented itself when i started working. ive had a few colored shirts throughout the years but it’s probably in the last 5 years that ive almost exclusively worn black tops and dark jeans.


well, ok in this photo i wore blue chinos.

my reasons for wearing black were mostly because they were economical. number 1, it takes me about a second to decide on what to wear in the morning. i open my closet and pick oh, maybe this black shirt instead of that other one, and they’re all the same black shirts (fila large size black shirts because the length and width of the shirt is perfect for me and also the length of the sleeves). it’s a no brainer.

secondly, black doesnt scream out fat. i was a skinny 90 lb kid in the 90s. and in the year 2018 im maybe 2018 lbs. no, im not. im hiding some things (like my midsection really). my neck and cheeks have gotten really big too so i should maybe consider turtlenecks. in tropical philippines. thirdly, there’s no third reason. my shirts are inexpensive, only my underwear is expensive but ive stopped buying expensive underwear for the last 3 years maybe but that’s for another blog.

benjamin padero

this is me 50 lbs ago. and without hair. my Look then was a shaved head.

ive read and done the konmarie method of weeding out my stuff in 2015. take note, weeding, not keeping things tidy (at least for me). marie kondo, if you havent heard of her, is a japanese tidying-up master who wrote a book, spark joy, about the konmarie method. basically if you’re cleaning through your wardrobe, you take out all your clothes into a pile and touch them one by one, segregating the items that still give you “joy” when wearing and tossing out items you may not have worn in the last 1-2 years because maybe it doesnt fit you anymore or you were saving them for special events but have tons of those, and you might need to reconsider and let them go. it’s very therapeutic and helpful for hoarders like myself. i was able to cut down my clothes to a minimum. and they’re all black.


i did my kondofying of the closet around 2015. and im proud to say ive managed to keep my closet roughly the same now as it was when i cleaned it out. before photo below. mind you this was carlo’s and mine, yes it was recently cleaned up and organized but there were a lot of clothes here. photo taken in 2015.


here is my closet now, 2018 taken just this afternoon.


carlo and i just celebrated our 11th anniversary. you wanna know the secret in being able to keep a relationship going strong all these years? separate closets! i kid you not. what you’re seeing is just my closet.

in the photo above on pile number 1, i have maybe 5-6 cotton jackets (i get cold easily). pile number 2, i cycle through about 5 shirts for sleep/home use (oversized cotton shirts for comfort). i still have 3 shirts there i cant let go (one is a purple shirt coco martin wore as his costume in his first movie, an ET shirt from my cousin tootsie, and a coke shirt with ET on it from tita an). undernearth i have white button-down shirts i dont normally wear but need for formal events (a tuxedo shirt) or funerals (ironically, white is de rigueur in funerals). pile number 3: 2 dri-fit shirts for shooting (uniqlo shirts are nice) and maybe 10 cotton fila shirts for everyday needs plus around 5 button-down shirts (long and short-sleeved shirts). last pile, i have 5 pairs of denims and chinos. 3 or 4 easy shorts (in dark blue mostly) and another 2 in dri-fit material. maybe 5 boxer shorts for home. there are other seasonal items in my closet (stored separately) but these here are generally my go-to day wear to work (shoots, meeting with agency or clients, even sorta formal events — i just put on a cardigan over my cotton shirt and im good).

ps. the 2 stuffed animals in the closet were owned by our dog-baby who passed away 3-4 years ago. and since every time i see this stuffed monkey and cheetah it sparks joy in my heart and im reminded of pogiboybabyroobabydog all the time so i still keep them in there, on hangers. there is another stuffed banana toy of pogi’s kept safe in my props boxes in storage. hehe. *tear.

capsule wardrobe. that apparently is what i have. cheers!


see? im almost always in black. have you figured out what your Look is?

filmmaking, laundry therapy, musings, save the earth, travel

selfie vlog: king’s landing

so this is the story.

i took selfie videos while going around the old city in dubrovnik, croatia where they shot game of thrones. then i edited them with music from the show and posted on youtube. so i thought that was that.


on the day we were to leave croatia, the old landlady from our airbnb told me she saw me “on internet.” because she took note of our names and passport upon check-in, i assumed she researched our names and found me on facebook. so that was that.

in the airport while checking in for our flight, the guy manning the check-in counter told me he recognized me with the blue hair and touring the old city location a few days ago. i asked him if he was there when we were going around. he told me, no. he only saw me “on internet.”


he told me he saw my video. ah. i asked if he saw it on facebook. no, in the news.


then while processing our boarding passes, he whips out his phone and starts searching for the website of the local news. he shows it to me (it was in croatian) and i took note of it. flabbergasted, i later searched the site again. the translation was something else.

Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 12.39.08 AM.png

my video apparently went viral in dubrovnik and was featured in two websites. “dangerous stunt” daw. lol. here’s the full video. dangerous daw, huwag tularan.


a view of the king’s landing from the steps going up the red keep. i cant stop gushing about how gorgeous this little pocket of heaven is.

wanderlust: dubrovnik

carlo, bianca, pepe, royd, bentol, and myself took a short plane ride to dubrovnik, croatia from the czech republic, to take the game of thrones tour. the city has become a major tourist attraction when hbo moved to film scenes from the hit tv show, game of thrones, in croatia for season 2. a lot of the exterior scenes of king’s landing and other locations were filmed in the old city and other parts of dubrovnik. i only knew about it when bianca suggested we take a side trip during the time we’re attending the karlovy vary film festival.


dubrovnik is a gorgeous coastal town and we enjoyed our time in it. it was summer and most of the tourists are heading for the beaches in dubrovnik. and then there was us going for game of thrones!


at the trsteno arboretrum recreating a scene from GOT

i love the cypress trees jutting out of the hills amidst stone-walled houses. ang ganduh parang nasa croatia ka lang. choz.




inside the old city.



people resting by the docks away from the afternoon heat.




we stayed a total of 3 days in dubrovnik before heading to budapest. it was a bit expensive compared to the czech republic but totally worth it. the beaches are awesome and i would love to spend next summer here again. choz.

will post the youtube video of the old city tour we took that got viral in the local news. lol. and for the rest of the photos, here’s the link to my facebook photo dump. cheers!


on the steps where cersei took her walk of shame

food trip, laundry therapy, musings, travel

wanderlust: dubrovnik



wanderlust: karlovy vary


karlovy vary is about 1.5 hours from prague in the czech republic. i had but recently only realized that czechoslovakia had divided itself in 1993 (i blame sleepy afternoons and not concentrating in history). so there is the czech republic and there is slovakia on the map. awesome to learn something every day, right?



karlovy vary is known for their spas and medicinal spring waters and a lot of their tourism is towards people seeking wellness and therapy. however, every july their sleepy little town gets to throw a big party for the summer crowd and because it hosts the karlovy vary international film festival.


this is Hotel Thermal, home of the karlovy vary international film festival. the hotel is kinda like CCP, except with a hotel and is near everybody else.

our film, KAPATIRAN (Brotherhood), was screened this year, ive blogged about it already. this post would show a little bit of karlovy vary instead.


one of the ballrooms in the grandhotel pupp with a big ass morgan freeman portrait. one of the biggest spa hotels in karlovy vary and where a lot of the parties during the festival were hosted. it’s awesome for 1 festival to have most of the whole city so involved. you can see a lot of their poster billboards all over. the theaters are spread out and not just in one venue.




another one of the venues where we had our 2nd screening of karlovy vary. goofing outside the cafe, we were joined by hubert poul (6th from left), programmer in karlovy vary and the one who was responsible for bringing us to the czech republic. also in the photo in lucille (rightmost) who was in-charge of our schedules and car transfers. very organized and with a bmw sponsorship for transfers, we were major alta in karlovy vary haha


early morning and the crowd had just partied the night before. still some few souls traversing through the venue and gardens, others sunbathing for their life. im pinoy, no thanks, i have my umbrella to shield me from the sun.


the view outside hotel ruze, where we enjoy our breakfast buffet of cheeses, hard bread, and yohgurt. plus goulash and different kinds of sausages as well.


another of the collonades that feature a spring of water, supposedly medicinal and which you can drink (if you buy them touristy ceramic mugs).


we stayed for 4-5 days but wish we could stay the whole week. got to watch brillante mendoza’s ma’rosa (heartbreaking) and swiss army man, directed by dan kwan and daniel scheinert (amazing). then of course, the new edit to kapatiran, which we saw for the first time in karlovy vary. during the q&a, pepe likened the philippines to shattered glass, an archipelago of broken people, separated by seas and subcultures yet connected by affiliations. and then there was a proposal that occurred. but that will be another story.


for the rest of the photos i took in karlovy vary, head on to my fb photodump album.

art & design, filmmaking, laundry therapy, movies, musings, travel

wanderlust: karlovy vary



had a grand time in karlovy vary celebrating its 51st international film festival and especially because our film was part of the festival. aside from kapatiran (brotherhood), lav diaz’s 8-hour opus, hele sa hiwagang hapis, and brillante mendoza’s cannes entry, ma’rosa (which won jaclyn jose her biggest international acting award), were also screened in karlovy vary.

but more than anything, i particularly love the paparazzi theme of the festival. and with that, we staged our own.

benjamin padero 20160414IMG_4729.jpg

producer, bianca balbuena

benjamin padero 20160414IMG_4733.jpg

production designer, benjamin padero

benjamin padero 20160414IMG_4743.jpg

production designer, carlo tabije

benjamin padero 20160414IMG_4750.jpg

director, pepe diokno

benjamin padero 20160414IMG_4758.jpg

director, pepe diokno, and associate producer, royd santiago

benjamin padero 20160414IMG_4764.jpg

production designers, benjamin padero and carlo tabije

benjamin padero 20160415IMG_4878.jpg

thug life editor, benjamin tolentino

filmmaking, laundry therapy, musings, travel

evading the paparazzi



stayed away from facebook and logged off twitter since monday because i havent had time to watch the new game of thrones episode. but im looking at all the positives of this action. i had more time to nap between meetings and shoots and during the long uber ride home in rush hour. i missed the hullabaloo of catcalling and whistling controversies and i think that’s a good thing. too much drama and the guy hasnt even really started working yet. my mobile internet is not exactly all that happy though because instagram consumes a lot more data and i hit my cap too fast.


btw, im blogging because im not exactly on facebook still.

im thankful carlo and i got to watch x-men apocalypse last week before we got busy. btw, the critics should just really stop because the movie was awesome. the only thing i didnt like about it is nightcrawler’s jeje hair. sansa stark was awesome as sophie turner as jean grey. and im loving the new cyclops. the character was always my favorite compared to wolverine.



we just finished majority of principal photography for SINGLE/SINGLE season 2 with pepe diokno. the cast is awesome and fun but shooting as fast as we did takes a toll and ill never really like shooting for tv. unless maybe if i were working on a show like game of thrones or some weta production in new zealand then i wont have complaints whatsoever. the best person on the set in S/S was, hands down, utility jay-r who was always gracious and checking that everyone gets hydrated. such a selfless man. thanks, kuya jay-r.

also finished a shoot with paolo dy that i wasnt able to personally shoot haha (because i had a conflict sked with single single). carlo supervised the shoot as double unit instead. wow double unit. i never do double units, btw, but had no choice for this because of the celebrity talent’s schedule. paolo’s fast on the finishing touches and marketing of his new full length movie, ignacio, a gorgeous costume drama on the saint, coming on in july. hope all goes well for paolo and the film!


and im excited to buy a new printer. my other one conked out after 3 years of continuous, “unlimited” printing. and when it did, i was broken and unproductive creatively and realized i was totally reliant on printers. i wish i could afford a portable printer that does A3 paper but i can only afford this. and im happy.


had a short trip flying to cagayan de oro last week to see my cousin get hitched. he wanted me to “host” his reception as i have done with our other cousins’ wedding reception dinners years ago. and so i went. hahaha congrats tonski and zsazsa!

then i got to meet my brother-in-law’s adopted pitbull, bruno. and while i believe in good-hearted dogs, this 8-month old puppy chilled my heart a bit because i was considered a stranger in their house. he barked at me! hahaha and while he slowly approached and licked my hands, his body language was still on guard and anxious and he stares at me (head to toe). it will take a bit more time for him to fully accept me but ill only be seeing him again in december and by then he’ll have grown up and totally forget me. cesar millan, help. haha


but i was at the beach with him that sunday. and because he was so busy swimming to get back to land, i got to hug him and carry him above water.


so many gorgeous people on the set of SINGLE/SINGLE, mind you. and all are easy-going, kind, and considerate of everyone. matteo, shaina, anna luna, brian sy, bernardo bernardo, jc santos, and the dame cherie gil. then we have the gorgeous will devaughn, who walks in and worlds stop. actors aside, i only agree to work in non-tvc projects based on the cast of characters behind the camera. who can say no to bianca balbuena? aber? along with her epic partner, pepe diokno, and epic lover, bradley liew, we have kuya ruel (char kuya), kulas, ms ninay, lilit, patti lapus (extraordinaire), martin and maki. kalorks roll call na ito sige nga. pero hindi na lahat ha, haba the list. shoutout to our hard working team, kitch, sammy, docdoc, nante, melben, isabel, ken, vinze.


and speaking of vinze, this guy was our intern for the whole two months of summer. i warn interns that production shoots go beyond their required 240 hours of internship and they have to be willing to stay a bit longer to complete a project. this guy stayed two months and went through 5 different tv commercial shoots and 6 days of the SINGLE/SINGLE shoot. still so much to learn but hardworking, he wanted to just stay forever as art department. but like all interns, and because i believe in real education, i strongly demanded he bring his ass back to school and finish college before coming back to work full time in the art department. i tell you, you’ll thank yourself years later. and your mom will be the most fulfilled mom because she’ll see you on stage getting your diploma. congratulations in advance on your graduation, vinze. 😉

and i have now finished my coffee and have to run off do prep for another shoot. cheers and wishing everyone a safe and productive weekend!


ps. this is perhaps the best ramen in manila ive ever experienced. was introduced to this by direk erin pascual. life changing ramen. this is mendokoro ramenba in salcedo village, makati. the shoyu ramen is the best and the only thing i order and eat because i cant get over it. no, i cant.

art & design, filmmaking, food trip, laundry therapy, movies, musings, set design, sketch

a week off facebook

filmmaking, laundry therapy, movies


there are movies that move you to tears and some to laughter. this one makes you scream and curse and rage and hyperventilate over the awesomenessofitall. it drives you mad. to the max. now i understand.

a lot have been said over the direction and the design (the costumes and car designs have been unanimously praised) of the movie and i agree with everything. it’s so awesome it blows my mind. the musical score and sound design were phenomenal; i especially love the visual aspect of the score pairing the army drummers onscreen with the kickass doof warrior character doing riffs on that rig, it’s insane! george miller. colin gibson. jenny beavan. junkie xl. john seale. tom hardy. charlize theron. nicholas hoult. they’re all insane!

another thing i love about it was the practical effects the director took lengths to do. it harks back to the days when cg was so low tech and most people do live effects and puppets and all to create a tangible, physical world to shoot in. i dont know if they shot in film as well (too tamad to research) but the look was just gorgeous and the effect visceral that if it were not for the 3D glasses i had on, i swear i was back in the old decripit theater downtown in my province in the 80s gawking at the fast paced road rage going onscreen.

i hate 3D but if there was anything you needed to see in 3D iMAX this year, this is it. 5/5


laundry therapy

Too much social

I should just stop taking photos hoping to post them afterwards and i never do. Like this photo below. Found painted leaves left out to dry probably for use in some tv commercial shoot calling for autumn leaves. Thought id add an interesting filter or two. Then i decide not to post it so this photo sits in my Dropbox, losing its potential to be what it was meant to be.


Normally the need to post is overwhelmed by how much garbage is on social media timelines and my photo would just add to it. And so in the end i post nothing. Because they are really just people’s daily trash left out in the sun. Like dead leaves painted to resemble dead leaves. Somebody’s participation or need for validation of self online. It subtly screams, im here, like me. Here’s my dirty laundry aired for everyone to sniff.

As to why this photo even makes it to my blog and into your timeline, i cant explain that. In fact, this goes against the whole idea of this blog. Damn.

art & design, laundry therapy, set design

random drawing

drew a kitchen set design that was eventually cut out from the director’s treatment of that particular tv commercial project. playing on blacks and neutral colors (cappuccino maybe) and brushed aluminum steel for the appliances, plus bright vintage acrylic lamps in orange for a pop of color.

in reality i wouldnt put the oven right next to the refrigerator but sometimes for a commercial, one has to employ creative license and in a second or two, establish the whole kitchen in a wide shot and in the succeeding frame show why the oven had to be positioned at the back of the talent standing behind the counter.

posting that drawing here. drawn via app on the ipad using paper by 53.