Friday, April 30, 2010


I Just received the sweetest letter from a guest of my tour. Aw. It's letters like these that make all that sweating underneath the Manila summer sun worth it. My favorite line about Manila: "She’s like a complicated lady who dresses badly and wears weird perfume"

Hi Carlos!
I was on your tour last Sunday, April 25 with the rest of the TOSP-NCR gang. I’ll have to admit that I wasn’t a huge fan of Manila. If we played a word association game then, the first words off the top of my head would’ve been pee and pollution. Not exactly flattering descriptions of our capital city, but I have always dreaded a trip along its tumultuous and traffic jammed streets.

After the tour however, it occurred to me that Manila has so much soul. So much spunk. She’s like a complicated lady who dresses badly and wears weird perfume, but when you get to talk to her and take her out to dinner, you’d get to see that she’s full of wonderful personality and interesting quirks. She may not be your type at first, but you’d definitely take her out on endless dates just to get to know each and every one of her fascinating facets.

I live in Makati and I am quite happy with the convenience of everything. Also, the luxury of walking down Ayala Avenue without having to go paranoid over my laptop bag or loosely held wallet is something that makes me wanna live there forever. But. The thing that saddens me about this ultra-modern city is its lack of soul. Come Saturday evening or the entire day of Sunday, it’s as if Makati is a ghost town. During weekends, I realize that it is just a virtual city. People come here to work, go to fantastic malls, grab late-night drinks and maybe pick up a girl/boy or two, but once their business is done, they go back to wherever it is that their soul lies. For my part, I go back to my hometown in Iloilo to get in touch with my psyche. The drudgery of daily life in this business district can wear you down even to the point of desensitization. Contrast this to Manila, which, despite many of its obvious flaws, is a city that has incredible character. It is resplendent, not because it offers humanity the best luxuries in the world, but because it is the cradle to the very essence of the Filipino spirit. You can never be numb to the humanity that Manila presents you with on a daily basis. Whether it be good or bad. There is always something to be said about the splendor of its rich history and the squalor of the urban poor.

So thank you for showing me the many wonders that are hidden under Manila’s skirts. I’m looking forward to another soul-satisfying date with her fabulousness.


Thanks J...

Thursday, April 29, 2010



If you have lived long enough to experience the tea party called Martial Law, ask "Where were you when Ninoy was shot?", witness the tumultous 1986 snap elections, and see all the strange things that have erupted along that highway we call EDSA, then perhaps you can also surmise that Philippine history repeats itself. And not just because it is cyclical, but because for some odd reason, we Pinoys seem to WANT to repeat history.

In 1983, Ninoy died by gunshot in broad daylight at the Manila International Airport; in 2009 his widow Cory died of cancer. Marcos was president then, now it is Arroyo. Then and now, elections were forthcoming as the opposition fanned the flames of indignation against an increasingly unpopular administration. Back then, the more experienced and qualified Doy Laurel sacrificed his presidential ambition so that Cory the housewife could run in his stead; Mar Roxas did the same for her son, Noynoy. Cory and Noynoy were both "unwillingly" thrust into a campaign riding on public grief, buoyed by the Filipino-Catholic impulse to beatify the heroic dead by making their surviving relatives president. It's deja vu. It really is.

But I realize that all is not the same at all. These times are really different. The foreground, the background, the context, and the content are morally distinct. But that nostalgia for our supposedly most glorious moment - EDSA '86 - has been overriding all reason, rendering us somewhat incapable of making that distinction. Our longing to go back to the time when all the world's eyes were upon us for our collective heroism has romanticized our view of what's going on today. But we must see clearly, more importantly, we must think clearly. We must discern romantic notions from the pragmatic. We must open our eyes to the immense opportunity to evolve and transform our democracy NOW, before it passes us by. Again.

Personally, I believe that it is not 1986 that we need to reflect upon, but 1896, the year that our national hero, Jose Rizal gave up his life in order to transform the Filipino people. But sadly, it seems that 114 years later, his martyrdom has not been fully resolved. 114 years later and we haven't moved on from that moment. And even if Rizal the doctor saw all our societal cancers, and predicted the slow, painful death that comes from them; today, in 2010, those cancers remain and they fester. But this time, we can no longer blame the toxicity on foreign interference but our own selves. Filipino against Filipino.

The Philippines is a pluralistic, diverse, and divided nation. It is an archipelago of 7,107 islands with what seems to be 7,107 ways to seeing, doing, and thinking about things. And in the past, as is today, electing a president for this society through a seemingly dysfunctional system amidst a chaotic political landscape, will not change things. It is just changing hands from the Spaniards to the Americans to the Japanese to the presidents that we have today. It's more than apparent then we not only need just a new president, we need a new kind of leadership too.

So do I want history to repeat itself? No, I want our history to resolve itself. Rizal and Ninoy's martyrdom was not enough. The valor of our war veterans, the casualties of Martial law are not enough. The little sacrifices of Doy and Mar are not enough. The unselfishness of our OFWs is not enough. Democracy and freedom demand more from us. Once in a while, it requires revolution; but more than that, it requires a continuing evolution. So I call on that one presidential candidate who has the potential to start this evolution and bring all the oblations and unfinished work to fruition: Mr. Gilbert Teodoro. Qualified, brilliant and competent, I like him as he is, but there is definitely much more that he can do, much more that can be, if we can find the more evolved version of ourselves in him, in his avatar.

Sheltered by his pedigree and education, ensconced frequently in a legalistic mindset, perhaps Teodoro is flawed in that manner. And although his past mistakes might be supposedly clear to all, with these flaws come lessons and through these lessons, events can culminate to a boiling point which will catapult him into the person he was always meant to be. It is a story as ancient as the Greeks. It's the hero's journey. This Gilbert Teodoro I see this late in the campaign has seen enough of the presidential campaign and his own career to realize that the moves he must make to ensure victory are not worth the moral compromises.

His fading alliance with Gloria Macapagal Arroyo only showed him that her Machiavellian ways - the end justifies the means, power no matter what the cost - may have helped her accomplish her goals, but lost her the trust of the people. For it is not just by what we achieve, but HOW we achieve it that history judges us in the end.

His public rift and break with his powerful uncle may have landed him his first break into politics. But perhaps it was necessary. Staying on with his controversial uncle's party would also have a price. It would have cost him his own independence and personal sovereignty. Perhaps Teodoro would have just ended up another fallen prizefighter in the hands of these cockfighters/kingmakers of Filipino patronage politics should he have maintained the status quo with his powerful uncle.

But perhaps the best lesson here is that the greatest legacy he can possibly leave his country and future generations is not just that he won and finished a six-year presidential term, but that he stood up against all the malevolent forces of Philippine politics and freed himself from them. He fought the fight and overcame the formerly negative and divisive system. It would be Gilbert Teodoro who would change the way campaigning in elections would be done in the Philippines. And in the end we would all learn in the end that paradigm shifts can happen through the accentuation of the positive and dwelling upon the promised goodness that the Filipino could be.

Teodoro does not just owe it to us: he owes it to himself to be the man he ought to be. That is why I will vote for Gilbert Teodoro and start this evolution.

Published in The Philippine Graphic

Wednesday, April 28, 2010



NCR Grand Motorcade & Caravan for GIBO to THE MITING DE AVANCE

We call on all GIBO supporters and volunteers to join the biggest motorcade ever in the NCRÅ  our Grand Caravan for GIBO!!! We will parade our way from four converging points leading up to the CCP Complex to meet our fellow volunteers for the PAMBATO SA PAGKAPANGULO! Join up and let us show the Philippines our GIBO force!!!

There will be four converging teams (G,I, B, O) of supporters and volunteers who will join the caravan. You are encouraged to join the teams nearest to your place. Below are locations, assembly time and coordinators whom you can contact for any questions or to confirm attendance.

Converging Point G
Location: Freedom Park Monument, White Plains Road, corner EDSA
Assembly Time: 1:00PM
Coordinators: Camille Zamora ­ 0906-2053308 / 0933-5252902
Julius Puruganan ­ 0917-5411918

Converging Point I
Location: Toyota Balintawak along EDSA, Bagong Barrio, Caloocan City
Assembly Time: 1:30PM
Coordinators: Sarge Bernardino ­ 0917-2087150
Dan Remo ­ 0917-5372161

Converging Point B
Location: 7-11 Convenience Store (in front of Shell Gas Station), MacArthur
Highway, BBB, Marulas Valenzuela
Assembly Time: 2:00PM
Coordinators: Rizza Gunigundo ­ 0917-6016858

Converging Point O
Location: H. Lopez St. Along C3 Road
Assembly Time: 2:30PM
Coordinators: Jerwin Bacsal ­ 0928-2677716

Watch how our caravan grows longer and stronger all the way up to the CCP
Complex!!! Tara! Sakay Na! Sulong Na! SULONG G1BO!!!

This caravan will lead to CCP Complex in front of Manila Film Center for the Miting de Avance of Volunteers:

COME ONE, COME ALL!! This is a first ever in the history of the Philippines, a MITING DE AVANCE/FREE CONCERT given by VOLUNTEERS for a Presidential Candidate.

Instead of the usual politicos, this will be a MITING DE AVANCE/CONCERT/PARTY with RIVERMAYA, RAZORBACK, TRIBAL DRUMMING and dancing with DJ MANOLET DARIO until the wee hours of the morning.


Start Time:
Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 6:30pm
End Time:
Sunday, May 2, 2010 at 2:00am
CCP Complex, Pasay City (across FILM CENTER and World Trade Center)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I'm stoked to be collaborating with Team Manila. I'm looking forward to touring them and selected friends and press folks on Friday, April 30, at 3pm for the launch of their Pamabansang T-shirt (National T-Shirt) line. It will be a tour with a party afterwards. Awesome.

I also love their map and guide to the Philippines on the TM website. Click on it here: It's super cool. If you are a blogger or in press, contact us, we've saved a few spots just for you. And hurry before all the spaces get taken. Just email

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


My wife Tesa is a yoga teacher. This is her teacher. His name is Govinda Kai. He'll be teaching Ashtanga Yoga. He also taught people like Christy Turlington, Sting, and Gwyneth daw. Seriously. He did. Google it.

Maybe he can teach you, too. Check it all out on his site:

Email my wife the yoga teacher at if you want to be taught by her teacher.




Knowledge, skills and Professional Characteristics:

- BA or BS Degree with General knowledge of the Art Studies, Humanities, Visual Arts, Art History, Arts Education, Advertising and Marketing or related discipline from a reputable school

- 3+ years of related experience or proven track record of working in the art market, museum or gallery setting

- Excellent verbal and written communication skills with strong editing and proofreading proficiency.

- Ability to produce high-quality job and ability to manage multiple projects, priorities and deadlines.

- Ability to communicate with various clients and maintain confidentiality when working with sensitive information.

- Strong project management and problem-solving skills and demonstrated ability of working with a Team and a demanding environment.

- Strong interpersonal and organization skills.

- General retail/merchandising experience


- Master’s Degree in Art History, Fine Arts, Museum Studies, Arts Management or related field

- Working experience in arts management, exhibition or collections management.

- Familiarity with computer systems and applications: Database (Access) Management, Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint experience preferred.

Interested applicants may send their comprehensive resume and transcript of records with latest picture to:

The Art Director
210 Loring Street, Pasay City
Tel. No. 833-9815 or 831-9990
or email at: