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.


Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 7.44.00 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 7.44.11 PM.png

from ABS-CBN:

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 7.47.22 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 7.46.34 PM.png

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

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 7.47.22 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 7.49.13 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 7.49.21 PM.png

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?

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 7.53.03 PM.png

Screen Shot 2019-01-09 at 7.53.23 PM.png


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.



laundry list

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 11.11.15 AM.png

long laundry list for the government, written in 2016. i was once encouraged by the current president but even before the elections i had apprehensions and my gut told me to vote for somebody else. and my apprehensions and fears turned to reality.

regardless, there are some things on this laundry list that i can check off. higher wages for some sectors of the government is a yes (the police and military), fair taxation (except that the effect is not so favorable i.e. inflation, but we’ll see), accessible venues for art despite generally for metro manila residents. that’s about it. we have to moved more mountains to go through the rest of the list. remember, if the government cant help you, ikaw na gagawa. Godspeed!


i had a dream. part iviix

so i had a dream (woke up tired after all that).


nasa excursion daw ako or something kasama carlo, sisters ko, other friends etc. tapos may pa-raffle at nanalo ako ng He-Man and Skeletor na action figurines. kaso yung guy na may dalang maraming masters of the universe na figurines din (si pigong) hindi nilabas agad yung napanalunan ko, i think nilaro niya tapos ayaw ibigay sa akin agad.

tapos need na umalis so sumakay na kami ng vans and separate ang vans namin kay pigong. hindi ko nakuha ang He-Man and Skeletor ko. pagdating namin sa mall (limketkai na madilim at parang brownout pero maraming militar), parang nadedma na ang prize ko at di ko makukuha. so ginawa ng ate ko kumuha siya ng ibang action figures dun sa collection ni pigong.

hindi pa natatapos ang kwento. manonood daw kami ng sine ni carlo dun sa limketkai na madilim na parang brownout pero maraming militar. bibili kami ng ticket pero magkaiba ang papanoorin namin. ang papanoorin ko ay Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas.


ang tagal ko mahanap yung wallet ko kaya nagtagal ako sa ticket booth. eventually nakabili na ako ng ticket at nilagay ko siya sa bulsa ko na marami ding resibo kasama. tapos alam kong last full show ang papanoorin pero ang dami pang tao sa mall at ang layo ng sinehan na posible kaming ma-late. tapos sa paglalakad nawala kami, ibang coridor, ibang area pala ng mall at malayo sa cinema 4. eventually nahapan na namin ang cinema 4 at pwede na pumasok. mejo late na ang nagsimula na ata ang sine. hinahanap ko ang ticket kaso di ko mahanap. tumagal ako sa paghalungkat ng bag at bulsa dun sa mga resibo at nahirapan ako hanapin ang ticket ko para sa Sana’y Wala Nang Wakas ni ate shawie. ang ending hindi ako nakapasok at hindi ako nakapanood.

Tapos gumising na ako. The end.




watched CITIZEN JAKE last weekend march 10 at its world premiere in the UP film institute (formerly film center which we still fondly call it). it was a very strong piece of work and timely for this generation. mike de leon hasnt made a film in 18 years but clearly he hasnt lost his magic touch. the little touches of breaking the narrative with inserts of bts footage reminds you of bayaning third world.

atom araullo was awesome as the titular character and i was pleasantly surprised by max collins’s performance. luis alandy’s jonie was the ER we all wanted to have and even richard quan’s take on the henchman, enchong, was chilling i was afraid to approach him after the premiere coz he might pull out his gun on me. lol.

maybe i havent been clear but, yes, atom araullo is gorgeous on-screen and in person. probably not ok to drool on his coat but it’s hard to stop oneself. charot.

the film also brings in mike’s long-time collaborator, cesar hernando, the production designer for his previous movies, and who just retired from teaching at the up college of fine arts. he was our mentor and friend in university, he often brought us along to film festivals and continued to nurture our love and passion for filmmaking and we owe much to this awesome guy.

rounding out the stellar staff are colleagues from our FA organization, UP CINEMA AS ART MOVEMENT (UPCAM): editor tom estrera iii, who was chairman before me, and noel pascual our lib-sci member who eventually went to write for graphic novels like patay kung patay and now co-writer with mike de leon for citizen jake.

didnt have a photo but dix buhay is cinematographer i normally get to work with in commercials (and also dop for erik matti’s honor thy father and pepe diokno’s dinner for three) and martin mayuga, bianca balbuena’s little me, played line producer for mike de leon in this film.