Monday, August 28, 2006

150 Words

I'm off to Singapore. Last week, I got a call from Discovery Travel & Living telling me I made it to the semi-finalists of the 5 Takes Season 3 Casting. Even if I'm only on Stage 2 (or 3?), it feels like a dream. I saw on Discovery Travel & Living that they had over 4,000 applicants who sent in their 150 word essays. It's simply remarkable to think how far 150 words can take you. Out of the many submissions, they selected some to fly to Singapore for them to meet and interview personally. I'm a bit nervous - all the candidates are just amazing - but more than that, I feel blessed. I'm really excited. We're booked at the Gallery Hotel, which looks like an awesome place to stay in. I'm really stoked, and I think... and this is always my word... it's going to be really cool. I don't have much time to write a really long entry, but I wanted to share with you what I wrote that eventually landed me this trip. Wish me luck.

My father used to shoot documentaries of Philippine cultural events all over the archipelago. As a kid, that always fascinated me, and was one reason why I took up social anthropology in college. I think it helps give me a different perspective on culture and society. I love films. I made some shorts many years ago, and even shot a music video for a local band using money from my own pocket.

I love writing, drawing, and taking pictures. I love visiting new places, experiencing new things, and meeting new people. I’ll go anywhere and do pretty much anything. I enjoy sharing my experiences with other people, and I relish the chance to translate my travels into blogs and video podcasts. I hardly part with my PowerBook; coupled with a camera and a 5 Takes’ itinerary, I think I can come up with some really cool, amazing things.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

5 Takes Take 2...

What have I been up to lately? It's been a rather busy week for me, as I scrambled to submit a vlog (video log) for Discovery Travel & Living. Len had sent me an SMS alerting me to 5 Takes' casting call for their third season. They were looking for an Asian (and Australian) cast this time around, and all that was needed was to submit a short essay. I actually had a lot of trouble trying to submit my essay because their website wouldn't process their online form. Fortunately, that all got sorted out a few days before the deadline (July 28, I think) and I sent in my short essay.

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an e-mail from them last Tuesday telling me they wanted to see more of me! I had gotten through the first of three steps to becoming the next 5 Takes TJ (or Travel Journalist -- a cooler iteration of VJs or DJs, I think). Three steps! It sounded so unbelievably simple it was daunting. Anyway, I spent the past four days running around Quiapo, Binondo, and Tagaytay with Aila and Eyong to try and get some decent footage. Last Saturday, I chanced on the semi-finalists who had already submitted their vlogs and blogs... and man, I'm up against tough competition! Some of the candidates look really strong -- I've got my personal favorites, but I'll keep them to myself for now. I'm pretty sure you can see who stands out, anyway.

I finished my 5-minute vlog early morning Sunday after a sleepless night editing on my PowerBook. I was supposed to work on the G5 in Tagaytay, but there was an all-day power outage that dashed all hopes of fast and powerful editing. So I submitted my entry only to find that the maximum length for vlogs was THREE minutes! I checked the video requirements and apparently, the site script wasn't working then because I never saw that little detail. So after submitting, I was freaking out and scrambling to edit my vlog down to a mere 3-minuter! I managed to do so with much agonizing... and well, here it is. I uploaded it and hopefully my earlier screw-up doesn't eliminate me. That would be such an imbecilesque tragedy. Here's the video. Hope it helps get me past Step 2.

Monday, August 07, 2006


What is the world coming to? More accurately, what have some residents of the US come to? My attention was called to a recent news report about public outrage over showing breastfeeding on the cover of a parenting magazine. Readers wrote to say they were "embarrassed" and "offended" by the magazine. It's amazing how society can shape how one thinks, isn't it? One reader, a mother of a four-month old baby, said, "gross, I'm sick of seeing a baby attached to a boob." I suppose she thinks her boob is just for sex. Strange how some people think.