musings, save the earth

save the earth one straw at a time

because the earth needs all the help it can get. and my advocacy is to reduce getting plastic bags to contain stuff i buy from stores so why stop there? get your washable stainless steel straws from dvsoria or shops like roots in katipunan (ground floor, fbr building, where yellow cab is located), loyola heights, quezon city.

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.

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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.

art & design, laundry therapy, musings, save the earth, travel

rot fai market, bangkok


it pays to do research. while learning more about places worth visiting in bangkok i would come across a few articles mentioning the rot fai market. night markets are a dime-a-dozen in southeast asia and the biggest night market in bangkok is the chatuchak. however, little is said about rot fai except that if you were to look for vintage items, you would find them there. i enticed faisal, my friend based in bangkok, to bring us to this haven and on the 2nd day of our stay in thailand, we did find ourselves in rot fai (train) market.


and by a lot, i mean, this was the motherload! it’s like cubao x in manila except rot fai market is maybe 10 times bigger (about 6-8 long warehouse stretches of shops in brick) with so much more stuff . the shops are so gorgeously designed and their wares so nicely curated, it’s a pack rat’s candy store. except it’s as big as a mall. an outdoor big-ass mall.


look at all those trucks! most of the stuff on display is in pretty good condition (unlike the stuff we have left in manila). i did not bother asking for prices because it would only break my heart knowing i did not have money for them. waaaaah.



drool all you want, for a production designer it was practically disneyland!  the shop owners were nice and allowed me to just take photos. and shoot i did. they also had the regular tiangge market and a food area. when we were there, a real muay boxing match took place in the middle of the parking lot. more pics on that later.


rot fai market is open from thursday (opens late afternoon) all the way to the weekend. previously, rot fai market was located near chatuchak but it has since moved to its current location in Srinakarin Soi 51, behind seacon square shopping mall at the west side of bangkok. get more information here.


food trip, laundry therapy, musings, save the earth, travel

bana’s cafe and resto

bana's coffee

although the yoghurt house might be the more famous cafe in sagada, the smaller bana’s cafe would take the prize for best coffee AND best yoghurt. found along the same road where yoghurt house is located, bana’s cafe has a small entrance that leads to an interior room with the counter and an outdoor balcony dining space overlooking the mountains.

bana’s yoghurt with bananas and wild honey

20130319004bana s coffee
i ordered their pasta with tomatoes. like in yoghurt house, they serve the pastas with grated cheddar cheese. the alamid (civet) coffee was good!

20130319006bana s coffee
brad ordered the omelette with mushrooms and peppers. lami kaayu

20130319005bana s coffee
carlo got the BLT 😉 winner

the nice spanish couple who ooh’d and aah’d with us with every dish coming out of the kitchen had pansit that afternoon

landian na naman tong dalawa. brad and bianca at bana’s coffee

their home chili was also good but they ran out and wouldnt sell us their last bottle. brought home some coffee though for tita tems, which she loved. and there’s another cute puppy at the entrance of bana’s coffee 😉 after all the dogs we met in sagada i forgot her name. the only name i do remember is tinkerbell, the pitbull we met in on of the shops. will post a photo 😉 all photos were taken using a samsung galaxy note 2 (set to HDR to compensate for exposures). if the other cafes become too crowded for you in sagada, try bana’s cafe, also listed in tripadvisor’s website.

art & design, filmmaking, movies, save the earth, sketch

surviving mount pulag

still shooting pepe diokno’s above the clouds in the mountain province with a trek up mount pulag to culminate the shoot. i cant post most of the photos yet as we are still shooting a few more scenes down in baguio but here’s a shot of the art department at the peak with a view of the sea of clouds. it pays to not work a day in your life with projects like this.

20130322001ATC pulag.jpg

clockwise from left: arman montallana, mikee supetran, carlo tabije, ramon recana, docdoc, russel amis, randy, and me

laundry therapy, musings, save the earth

luna resurrected


here was luna when i bought her in august 2008. she’s a mac book pro 4,1 a1260 model with 2.5Ghz intel core 2 duo, 250gb hd and at that time, i stuffed her with 3gb 667 MHz DDR2 sdram. we had a great time working together but like all gadgets, they do have a life span. my extended warranty took ample care of luna for three years and we enjoyed at least 3 lcd and dvd replacements, and a new trackpad and keyboard.

my luna started to get weak in the knees about a year ago. basic surfing had become a bit laggy and photoshopping 16×20 ft tarp images have been challenging. the battery would only give me about 15 minutes of juice before it went kaput so luna became a desktop computer coz i had to keep her plugged in. ALL THE TIME. eventually the battery died about a few months ago.

i thought of buying a new machine last year. the idea of a smaller, lighter laptop was tempting but i thought luna and i still had more to go. i especially love her matte 15″ screen. watching movies without worrying on viewing angles is apparently important to me! haha

first i purchased a new battery at the local apple store. although my first one gave me 5 hours of juice, this one would only give me 3 hours from a full charge but at least luna is no longer a desktop unit.

then i went to google.  came across the iFixit website and it regaled me with parts replacement for the penryn model (late 2008, early 2009 mbp models) and how to install them yourself. at first i was bent on purchasing from the site but later checked on for price comparisons. there were some good reviews on items and at a lower cost than ifixit so i ordered a new crucial 256GB solid state hard drive, a 4GB ddr2 sodrimm ram (to boost my memory to its max 6GB ram limit), and the Goonies dvd (very important and necessary purchase).

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laundry therapy, musings, save the earth

what’s the dream

my architecture barkada and facebook friend, amillah, posted a question on her page, “what’s your dream for manila?” a few days ago. there were a few comments and i decided to join in the fun. a few short suggestions grew to a longer list. i apparently had my bone to pick and had more things to say than i would like to admit. if you were president, or at least mayor, how would you improve things here in manila? or in the philippines, as a larger whole? here’s my random, clearly unorganized list of wishful thinking:

photo credit dale iranon

1. strict implementation on jeepney stops, an organized and logical pila system. what we can do in UP, we can do in the world.  add to that an improved traffic decongesting scheme on top of the color-coding and a stricter anti-smoke belching campaign implementation.  also we should have a centralized/unified smoke belching certificate.  right now, you have to get a different one from every city –pasig, mandaluyong, makati etc and they’re not offering official receipts! read: raket!  we must have more MRT train cars. and more blowers in the MRT stations! ang init kaya! and an EDSA skyway that skips cubao and mandaluyong haha  🙂

2. Save the earth, Manila! stronger better programs on recycling and campaigns on environmental awareness, privatized garbage collection, garbage cans every 100 meters, urinals every half kilometer.  we should promote a greener Manila, a greener Philippines. i applaud how Bayani cleaned up Marikina (though he garnered more critics when he became MMDA chief) and how Hagedorn practiced green living in Palawan . it can be done! Cuerpo’s garbage disposal solutions in Montalban were for the books and his methane plant would have really helped. unfortunately, his detractors pushed him out of office, dont quote me  🙂  a lot more cities should adopt the no plastics/styro ordinance. please! yes to recyclable bags for groceries and to wheeled carts.  we also need more trees. our urban development should include a tree plan or better yet, a park plan. more parks built = more trees planted. building codes should be revised imposing a 30% tree/park plan for every site being developed.  and a 10% provision for pedestrian passageways! walang daan ang mga tao juskoday. our streets are almost not people friendly. i do commend makati with trees, the parks, the wide walkways and an elevated catwalk along dela rosa. it’s practically fun to walk in makati because you wont get run over!

3. appreciation (and preservation) of heritage structures. yun yon

4.  no more billboards EVER (esp since di na pwede underwear ads hahaha). we’ll miss views like this but let’s look up to the night sky instead. no more free-standing billboards on EDSA and the major highways.

5.  clean, potable water from our faucets.  in my childhood, we could drink water from a hose. let’s bring that back.

6. clean fuel for vehicles.  if our gasoline and diesel were processed better, there would be less carbon emissions (please correct me if i got this wrong). less soot on roadside structures, less pollutants in the air. better yet, let’s go electric! or have a hydro car or a solar-powered one. 

7. building more construction of farm-to-market roads, more rewards for farmers and removal of middle men.  let’s help the farmers, not the men who do less sweat and still take home the larger bulk of income. also, if we invest more in our lands, we may need not import goods we can grow ourselves.

8. subsidies and more education grants for IP youths, more lumad schools so they get educated but still maintain their cultures. land certificates for the indigenous people, more programs for training IPs to be better farmers and managers of their lands. empowerment to the people, let’s not keep them in the dark.

9. streamlined tax collection system. perhaps we can pay our taxes through online banking. or have we already started that?

10. promotion and patronizing locally produced goods.  the US market is receiving flak because of high fructose corn syrup and many other unhealthy extenders in US processed foods, indirectly causing a high rise in obesity and diabetes cases in the states.  we should be grateful, for example, our locally made peanut butter is unstable and has oil (check lily’s); that means it’s natural and there is less preservatives. our veggies have lesser carbon footprint since the Philippines is a much smaller country than the US.  our food may not be exempted from the use of preservatives and extenders, but i think it’s way better than their US counterparts. please read food labels and their ingredients!

11. improved health classes in schools, encouraging better dental and skin health for all and providing more services for them; the passing of the RH bill. health is wealth, so they say. PEHM classes should now be more comprehensive, discussing food and diet in detail, making gym fun and accessible to even the dweebest of the dweebs.  schools should teach how to read and understand labels, effects of too much sugar and salt, calorie content and how to measure their intake.  kids should know which food item is healthier just by reading labels.  the first three ingredients listed in any product indicate the largest components of that item. bottled iced tea lists water, sugar and tea, in that order. that means, there’s more sugar than anything (which is why i stopped drinking bottled iced teas).  school programs should encourage our youth to be fit, toned and be body gorgeous! we should instill dental hygiene practices like flossing, gargling with hydrogen peroxide, the pinas is not exactly dental health conscious.  the RH bill should already be put in effect 20 years ago so we can start reaping its benefits. sex education, information on reproductive health for our kids and in barrios where it is most needed. aborti-what? even the pope encourages condom use.

12. promotion of tropical design versus american/euro style homes.  the greater population should understand why we cant keep having all this american style homes in a tropical country! it’s too damn hot! also, tropical design is also green architecture; design considers orientation of the house to maximize airflow and minimizing solar heat. more windows, better ventilation and lighting, lesser use of air-conditioning and lights.  redirect rainwater and laundry water for washing the garage or for flushing toilets. form should follow function. bathrooms are living areas too, dont make it the size of a broom closet!  we need to promote our cultural sensibilities in design! we need more kenneth cobonpues, more budji layugs and ann pamintuans, more locsins and lichaucos!  more important than promoting them abroad is promoting them here in the philippines, maximizing their talents and creating awareness and more appreciation in the motherland. we tend to look up to international designers when we can do better by buying local.

13. centralized ID system, centralized banking system if possible. forget what nostradamus feared, 1 ID may be all we need.

14. cheaper unlimited data plans for mobile phones or tablets hehe or a wi-fi ready manila! how about being out in the park and bam! we got wi-fi with up to 16mbps speeds! haha

15. instill nationalism and pride in local efforts and practices (like, support pinoy movies!).  no more colonial and crab mentality! please no more negativity. there should be no factor in the bakya.  ok, there’s jejemon and pre-2k jologs type pero kanya-kanya lang yang trip. no need to separate yourself from the other. we’re all in the same boat, we breathe the same dirty air and hide from the same sun.  japan was able to help its economy after the world war by keeping out of the world market. the japanese bought japanese. by this they were able to instill local pride.  when the japanese go abroad, they still bought japanese-made products and that helped their economy a lot. since products continued to improve, the world wanted their products and so a happy cycle was established.  in the same vein, if pinoys bought pinoy, quality of products would improve because tayo na nga gagamit then more would buy it.  if pinoys watched more pinoy movies, im sure we’d have better fare since we’re helping the industry. if pinoys stopped heckling lower class sentiments and see the beauty in the positive, our culture would be richer and more exciting. i love what team manila is doing, maybe they should instead be called the Department of Tourism. oops.

it was only after writing my first draft that i read this other article on dreaming for a better manila. there are a lot of similar wants for manila here. goes to show a lot of people want the same basic things and changes. im sure the government would have picked up on these ideas as well. i just hope it translates to some constructive reality.

laundry therapy, musings, save the earth

salvaged photos and other stories

photographs salvaged from the debris of the flood were left out to dry on clothes hangers.  this collage welcomed us as we made our way into the house of my aunt in cainta on wednesday afternoon.  my cousins and i came to cheer up the residents with cake and palabok, also since it was tito rene’s birthday.  and there, fresh from a scrub of zonrox we stayed in the house eating and listening to stories of that trying saturday night when tita nida thought she’d be meeting God if the waters reached the ceiling.

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laundry therapy, save the earth


it’s a crazy time to be living.  the freak flooding that happened in metro manila only happens in emmerich’s disaster movies, scenes played out for all the world to see. crazy crazy.  the networks get their news from facebook and twitter, their video footage from youtube.  this is the age of technology and alarming climate changes.

last saturday we were in a shoot on location in new manila when it started to rain all day.  ondoy was at work.  titatems started calling me about the flooding in the metro.  fortunately we werent being encroached by rising waters so we continued to shoot in what would become an island.  vans could not get into or out of the area we were in.  by merienda time, the staff could only serve cup noodles because the caterers’ kitchen in makati got flooded, plus the roads have become impossible to traverse through.

i was worried for the dogs at home and none of our neighbors were responding to texts. communication started to lag or waver and we eventually lost electricity in the shoot area. good thing we were running on generator.  apparently, carlo’s family were affected by loss of power too and a bit of flooding in their house in montalban, rizal.  his grandmother’s backwall collapsed and the floodwaters started to pour in her yard.  my aunt and her family in cainta is currently in waist deep waters and has practically lost everything.  my colleague lolafer’s house in pasig was also filling up with waist deep waters while we were shooting.  his neighbors broke down the door and tried to bring up his stuff to the 2nd floor in his apartment.  most were saved, including his 3 dogs, except for his electric organ and the refrigerator. he left the shoot early so he could tend to the house. was texting him way into midnight and he only been having coffee since there was no food to be had.

we’re fortunate to be living in an area in katipunan that was not affected by the rising flood. electricity, water, phone and even cable tv and internet were unaffected. carlo and i got home around 11pm saturday and found the dogs extremely hungry though.  we slept troubled but well enough to prepare for the 2nd day of shoot the next day.  the production decided to go on with the shoot since everybody else was practically stranded in that house location. there was no way the equipment could leave anyway.  even the talents that were packed up at 10am had to stick it out until the next day in the house, otherwise theyd just be stuck immobile on the road home.

it’s heartbreaking to realize thousands of people losing a lot in the flood.  and i cant even begin to comprehend how much damage has already been done. personal belongings, clothes, houses, cars, pets, family members. as i stay here dry and comfortable, im compelled to do something and reach out.  this afternoon carlo and i decided to go get food and cook them for distribution.  we couldnt afford to get sacks of rice and boxes of canned goods. but we strived to have cooked food for the victims and so we sent tuyo, boiled egg and steamed rice to akbayan, food you can easily eat off your hand even while standing up.  also packed our old clothes and shoes and sent those off.

tomorrow’s another day and we’re expecting two more storms coming our way.  like in cagayan de oro when the city got flooded again 1 week after the first flooding early january this year, im sure when it starts to rain again, the flooding in metro manila will get worse. the earth’s climate is really haywire and we’re suffering.  i dont know if any of this is repairable. how can you fix that hole in the ozone layer? the warming of the earth’s atmosphere? the melting of antartica and the snow caps, the shift of ocean currents and the mercury retrograde?

dear Lord, only you can save us from all this. Lord, help. love, ben.

images pulled out from the internet. no copyright infringement intended.

art & design, save the earth

bottled lights


back in college, we had projects that required us to recycle or reuse materials and create artworks. i remember using busted lightbulbs and glued them on board, then stuck rolled up the foil from chocolate kisses on it, with the paper tag flailing out in the wind. it was more of an idea than an artwork really but i was fascinated with the project. there have been numerous lamps in galleries and in the market that used pet bottles and other recycled material. however, this stood out with its imaginative. creative and very dramatic reuse of plastic. takes recycling to another level, doesnt it?