the selfie album. part 1.


tourist mode on the streets of macau. we walked a lot in macau because there were less cars hence less pollution. the streets were clean and safe. the weather was cold and we didnt sweat. at all. everything was fascinating to look at, we just had to walk all over macau. the only time we took the cab was when we left the airport going to our hotel.


selfie at a korean cafe with a filipino waiter. it’s awesome to bump into filipinos working abroad. we then hear stories of woe and i do wish the conditions in the philippines were much better so these pinoys dont have to leave the country just to get a good paying job.


one way to ward off homesickness in a foreign land is to be in the company of pinoys. and to eat food from home. getting tired of steamed fishballs or beef brisket noodles on just the 2nd day in macau, i wanted to eat tapsilog already. good thing filipino restos  and sari sari stores were aplenty along the r. da alfandega. they ran out of tapsilog though. so i ordered the next best thing. lechon kawali.


the fake sky at the four seasons cotai shops was amazing but dizzying. dont stare while walking. the venetian canals with their gondolas line the area and a lot of them singing gondoliers were, you guessed it, filipinos. it’s hard work too. imagine rowing a boat WHILE singing opera.


when we checked in at the holiday inn macau in central cotai, we did not know they’d give us a room on the 33rd floor! awesome view… of the next hotel building. and a view of the venetian hotel where we’d walk the red carpet the day after. woot woot!


while researching for things to do in macau, i read a lot about koi kei bakery. when i saw the shop near the ruins of st. paul, i thought it was a one-shop bakery. then i saw another branch just a few stalls away. and another. and another. na-over franchise ata itong koi kei, OA lang sa dami lol

food trip, musings, travel

macau in 6 pictures, part 3

selfie mode. because.


magpa-practice tayo araw araw!

the sprite tv commercial airing locally in the philippines last december may be confusing to some, knowing there was an indian version of it (click here to watch it). sometimes when a company’s tvc from some other region becomes successful, clients either allow that tvc to air in other territories or produce a similar ad with local talents and reflecting local culture. this sprite commercial is a mixture of both.

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the gorgeous teacher, chalo apni chaal, from the original is clearly indian, with her sari costume, and the scene set in some church with vaulted doorways and stone walls. the reverse shot of the guys can pass off for the pinoy tv audience, though they are not necessarily filipino looking. we only needed to replace the shots of the teacher then.

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somewhere in the series of meetings with creative heads, it was decided we avoid situating our version in a church. i tried to find a non-sectarian location that would tie up to the high-ceiling space and big doorways of the boys’ reverse shots (and maybe nobody will notice the left side of the shot that showed the painted glass windows). i thought a backroom of some auditorium or the side of a stage could nicely pair it up without getting too left field. cinematic license if you must. some groups do use backstage areas for music rehearsals or hold workshops where music equipment are kept.





my initial inspiration for the set design was the westminster abbey in the da vinci code, which actually used the interiors of the lincoln cathedral in the movie. so i was putting the church feel and merging it with the backgstage look. sketched out the set design on my ipad for presentation.

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paper app

eventually the set design was revised to look like this (with photos of instruments scattered all over the set because i was trying to build less flats (panels) and install stage curtains on the right for illusion of depth. id have the rolling scaff as foreground as well. agency wanted me to add some filipino string instruments in the background so i added hegulungs (or kudyapi, depends on who you ask).

proj teacher pd deck ppm revised.001

refining my paper app drawing of the set design with real-world measurements by going the google sketchup route by the time we started construction. this became the color guide as well for my painters.  further reduced the number of flats in this version, thereby cutting my construction costs further down. i also utilized the actual look of the studio if ever anything would be “peeking” beyond my built set.


here’s the finished set, dressed up and lit. head carpenter (setman) is the famous abrio. on the guitars behind the drum set is cinematographer odie flores.

benjamin padero-1

we cast patricia tumulak, a pageant beauty currently groomed for binibining pilipinas, as the teacher. i hope she makes it to the top. more stills from the shoot

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benjamin padero-2

benjamin padero-4



production house: filmex
director: ianne co
cinematographer: odie flores
production design: benjamin padero
wardrobe stylist: carlo tabije
assistant director: kristi gallaga

art & design, filmmaking, movies, set design

ABOVE THE CLOUDS Production Diary #2

the next installment to the behind the scenes videos for ABOVE THE CLOUDS was released a few days ago. here it is:


the 1st video is posted here.


salamin unearthed

so i finally decided and got to uploading the short film we worked on back in 2001 when we were dreamers. salamin was born out of ambition and drive to be the next big-shot filmmaker of the decade. nearly 10 years later, here i am burned out and i havent even directed a short film since 2004.  but i hope this reminds me of things i lost.  like passion, ambition, creativity, vision and a future with the elusive oscar.

official website here.  watch the whole thing here:

art & design, interior design, set design

corned tuna


got a text last night to let me know the full version of the san marino tvc will be airing at 9pm. the dingdong-marian ad was shot on location in zambales, particularly on camara island.  wish theyd air a 45-seconder as the current version seems too short in fleshing out the telenovela-ish story.


for this ad, i worked on the set design mainly, dingdong and marian had their own respective stylists.  the beach bar/deli shop was a joy to look at, and it got roughly 4 seconds of screen time (lalo na yung first 2 frames of house interiors with about a second each hehe).  here’s posting more photos during the shoot.  kudos to the artdep lolafer, carlo, syrel, ivan and to buboy setman and his boys for a job well done.  yey!  more photos after the jump.

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art & design, musings, set design

propel arnis no video yet


we worked on this commercial. proud of the work we put in despite the fact that you dont really see the detail of the costumes (carlo’s blood, sweat and tears) but nevertheless, for this we proved to ourselves we can do something as wild as this. ill post a full blog entry when i have time.

sorry nobody has uploaded the ad on youtube yet so i have nothing to put up here. hope you caught this on tv though.

art & design, movies

urian 2008

By Bayani San Diego Jr.
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—For the fourth straight year, independent movies dominate the Urian awards, given by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Pilipino, the country’s oldest critics’ group.

The Manunuri, now in its 31st year, nominated only five mainstream works: Jinggoy Estrada in “Katas ng Saudi” for Best Actor; Judy Ann Santos in “Sakal, Sakali, Saklolo” and Lorna Tolentino in “Katas” for Best Actress; Jose Javier Reyes’ “Katas ng Saudi” for Best Screenplay; and Liza Lorena in “Katas” for Supporting Actress.

Clean sweep

Since 2003, the Manunuri has picked indie movies for Best Film.

This year, all six nominees for Best Film are indies: Jerrold Tarog and Ruel Dahis Antipuesto’s “Confessional,” Jade Castro’s “Endo,” Dante Mendoza’s “Foster Child” and “Tirador,” Lav Diaz’s “Death in the Land of Encantos” and Jim Libiran’s “Tribu.”

“It’s the first time for indies to have a clean sweep of the Best Film category,” says Lito Zulueta, Manunuri member. Adds National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, founding member and former chair: “It’s an indication of the enthusiasm of indie directors. It’s a good sign… that the film industry is being revived by new filmmakers.”

Although it can be argued that “Foster Child,” produced by Seiko Films, can fall under the mainstream category, it is directed by Mendoza, known mainly for indie films.

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“Foster” received the most nominations, along with “Tribu” and Adolf Alix Jr.’s “Tambolista” which each got 10 nods. (But “Tambolista” is not in the Best Film race.) “Tirador” got 9 noms; while “Endo” and “Confessional” each has 7.

Mendoza isn’t the only one who scored double nods, for Best Director and Film (“Tirador” and “Foster”). Jiro Manio is nominated for Actor (“Tambolista”) and Supporting Actor (“Foster”); and Sid Lucero is in the race for Actor (“Selda”) and Supporting Actor (“Tambolista”).

Tarog has the most nominations for an individual—six (Sound, Editing, Screenplay, Actor, Director and Film) for a single movie, “Confessional.”

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