MMFF 2016: A Hope for the Better Change

The Metro Manila Film Festival is an annual event held in Metro Manila from Christmas Day (December 25) to the first weekend of January. Filipino films are the main focus of the festival and the event would mostly feature blockbuster hits. However, tables have turned for the festival in 2016, wherein the featured movies are mostly indie. I am completely glad that these small budget works of art are given a chance to be seen and talked about by the masses, and I believe that these masterpieces deserve being known nationwide for their incredible cinematic technique, artistic quality, outstanding and natural acting, and most especially (what I personally most care about) their “out-of-this-world” (well, in a good way), and uniquely designed and developed story line with unexpected twists and thrills and unintentional given lessons to the audience.

As much as I would like to devor the movies in the MMFF 2016, I only managed to watch the three of them. I appreciated them all and I’m hoping that avant-garde films will be given another chance to be shown in the same festival in the years to come. If they can make it internationally, they deserve the same recognition nationwide.

For more information

Metro Manila Film Festival Official Website

Further readings

  • My own blog entries

Die Beautiful, Live Beautiful: “To die will be an awfully great adventure.”

Saving Sally: A Plot to the Sweet Escape

Seklusyon: The Clash Between Good and Evil

  • Other articles

“An MMFF 2016 rundown: Why you should watch all 8 entries,” Rappler

“Is MMFF 2016 a big success?, Manila Standard

“‘Sunday Beauty Queen,’ ‘Seklusyon’ emerge as big winners in MMFF 2016,” CNN Philippines


A Day in Care, Inc: a small bond that makes a huge difference

The real adventure began as we – my life coaching and social skills friends and I – bought school supplies and self care materials for donations. We equally bought a packed food for 30 persons, and repacked the donation goods while divided in two groups. Then we headed to Care Inc., a caring center for male youth in Las Piñas City, Philippines. It is indeed endearing to be the sunshine of these young people lives and it is touching to see that the youth appreciated our gifts. Not forgetting to mention that we enjoyed the short bond over Jenga games and socializing.

This particular outreach activity is also where we applied our skills in money management and decision making that we learned in class. Kudos to the coaches for such a life-learning and charitable experience and I am way looking forward to more activities such as these.

With current friends (Life Coaching and Social Skills co-mentees) and newly-found friends (Care Inc children and teens)

For more photos of the event, kindly check Candent Learning Haus’s Outreach Activity 2016 at Care Center, Las Piñas album and Instagram

Further reading

#CLHPamilyaParaSaBata2016: Care, Love, Help and MORE FUN

Xtraordinary Talents, Xceptional People: an Xcellent Dinner Concert Xperience in tribute to Candent’s 10th Anniversary

Thank you for providing us the opportunity to show our existing musical talents and releasing our inner musicians through stage performances. I am personally thankful for the combined well-paid efforts to organize an outstanding dinner concert, and for the artistic and musical efforts I have poured into the souvenir programs and song performances. I am equally glad that I finally have a chance to see and interact with friends I have not seen for long. And since the concert is in commemoration to Candent’s 10 glorious years, I would love to highlight about my overall experience in the place I consider my second home.

I discovered Candent back when I was a teen, when I visited my childhood teachers (who happened to be the center’s main pioneers) while on vacation from abroad. It was not until 2012, few months after I moved back to the Philippines for good, that I became fully involved in Candent, starting from being a junior facilitator in camp to being a now assistant and camp’s volunteer facilitator. I also attended Life Coaching sessions and became one of the vocalists of the student band. From then until now, I cannot help but reminisce the good memories Candent and I shared together. I am happy that it has given me an opportunity to maximize my strengths (talents in arts, music and writing), to improve my weaknesses (dealing with stressful and problematic situations) and low self esteem, to discover a skill that I never thought I had (leadership and advocacy) and to meet friends I consider family.

Thank you Candent for being a beacon of hope to differently-abled individuals like myself and for providing us a community with so much sense of belonging and that gives us a chance to learn different sets of skills that are home, work, community, school, social interaction and leisure related. Wishing you all the success in the future years!

My biggest congratulations once again to Candent for another successful concert! It was indeed a blast.


 “Xtraordinary Talents, Xceptional People” Dinner Concert and Awards Night is organized to celebrate Candent’s 10th anniversary. Please visit Candent’s official website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. 

Related readings

Dutdutan ’16: concerts, games, bazaars but most of all, a tattoo exhibition in one whole package

I was personally glad that my friends and I pushed ourselves to go despite the heavy rain. The festival was indeed a blast as it let me explore the world of tattoos seeing those beautifully created, colorful and soulful body art on stage (tattoos were presented by their artists through their models), and it gave me further opportunities to know more tattoo parlors and artists (since I’m planning to get one :D) and to enjoy the festival’s extra perks including band performances, drum, electric guitar and graffiti deck contests. I equally appreciated the simultaneous arrangement of the event, where the attendees were either given an option to have tattoos in booths, or to watch the ongoing shows or contests on stage. In case they did not like what was currently on stage (like how we did not like Dutdutan pin-up so instead of watching, we just had a tour taking pictures beside the huge displays), there were still other things that attendees could do in the event without getting out the venue.

Featured tattoos during Dutdutan 2016
Tattoo stands
Drum Fest Drum Contest
Shred Fest Guitar Contest
Skateboard Deck Art Contest

featuring band performances of..

Valley of Chrome
Baron Geisler performing with Mayonnaise band
Butcher Babies

I might go back to the event if budget, availability, proximity of location and transport convenience will allow it. I will be more than interested if the band line ups catch my attention and if any of my gig friends can afford to go.

Dutdutan is a tattoo convention that opens the minds of the Filipinos towards tattoo culture. Founded in 2001, it seeks to promote tattoo ingenuity through tattoo parlors bazaars owned by professional artists and runway shows featuring models with tattoos. Other perks such as band performances and contests add more color to the festival. 

For more information about the event, check its official website and its Facebook page. 

Additional reading

“Dutdutan 2016” 

#CLHPamilyaParaSaBata2016: Care, Love, Help and MORE FUN

I was impressed with the warm and harmonious ambiance that Family Day Outreach sought to provide. It was an event where students and their families extended their helping hands through donations to young people from caring homes named Care Inc. and Pequeña Casa de Nazareth, and bonded with them on the event proper during activities and games (each family was given a child to host). It was my first time going to an outreach family day as I had always attended family days that are sport fest themed back in elementary school. I attended CLH’s for the first time in 2014, yet it only consisted of gatherings over bowling, billiards and karaoke sessions.

This particular event reminded me of my first camp. While I took my chance as a camper and junior facilitator to have fun and extend my hand to the youth with special needs, the Family Day Outreach gave me an opportunity to do the same to my assigned adoptee (while also fulfilling my marshall duties), bonding with him as a friend and an older sister. He further mentioned that he enjoyed the activities marking the garter race as his favorite, and that he would pray for me, the people he met and the CLH as a whole. Looking forward to events such as these and may Family Day Outreach be the start of extending love, help, care, concern and support.

With two children from caring homes

For more photos of the event, kindly check Candent Learning Haus’s Facebook  under Family Day Outreach 2016 album. 


Color-coded performance: Let’s break the night with colors in Aliwan Fiesta 2015

And YES! It has been an excellent festival after all. It has already satisfied first time attendees in opening their eyes towards various colorful and cultural tribal fests through street dance parades, beauty pageants and floats, and its featured eye-catching bazaars from different Philippine regions, while it has managed to pursue captivating the repeating attendees’ eye in making them relive the glorious days that every Filipino region culture has to bring each year (the street dance parades are in fact contests of the tribal dance champions from different regions). What made the festival more worth is its free entrance, thus the easy access where the attendees only need to spend their money on transport and shopped products in bazaars. A series of unbearable external circumstances – lack of seats, terrible seat location that did not allow us (me and a friend whom I went to the festival to) to take good photos, being unable to finish the show as it was late and difficulty in looking for transport on our way home to name a few – may have come our way but those did not impede us in enjoying what the festival had to offer.

The following are the pictures taken (some came from the Aliwan Fest official website) during the colorful fest.

Here at the Aliwan Festival entrance (#warmwelcome)
Chocolate Piaya rarely found. Finally tasted it!!
Empanada de Vigan filled with egg, sausage, and lettuce. Best paired with vinegar.
Street dance winners 2015: Catbalogan City’s Manaragat Festival
Winning float goes to Pinabacdao, Samar
Reyna ng Aliwan 2015 Winners (c.f. “Reyna ng Aliwan,” Aliwan Fiesta 2015)
With a child Sinulog performer
At the Rockszta Dolls, a store based in Bulacan. This is where voodoo dolls and other reggae-based accessories are sold (#myfavorite).
..and a white “ship” before we depart!
featuring the cute fluffy dog while scouting for bazaars! 🙂

Founded in 2003, Aliwan Fiesta is an annual event featuring various Philippine cultural festivals that include street dance parades, floats and beauty pageant competitions as to showcase the richness of each Philippine regional culture both among Filipinos and foreigners. 

For more information about the event

Aliwan Fiesta official website

Aliwan Fiesta Facebook page

And the DREAM continues to LIVE ON..

Students, their families and teachers have once again gathered to turn this concert into a memorable experience as to pursue building a better home for students and to help them in living their dreams as performers, developing skills needed in professional world (esp. for trainees and adult students), improving themselves in person and sharing their talents on stage. A sequel to last year’s One Dream benefit concert, the goals of which are to find a better home for students and to help them achieve their dreams, The Dream Lives On is also a success. The known concert has equally promoted the message underlying unity and diversity stating that we are all different and unique and being in the same community, we must learn to tolerate and respect them.

I am personally proud to be part of the concert. It has successfully improved my personality, talents and skills being an all-around performer and staff, unleashed my creative juices while pouring my efforts onto the creation of certain collages and sponsor advertisements in the souvenir program, helped me live my dream as a rock star (although this time, I am more of a member in an all-girls pop group) and further exploited my writing talent as I poured the unforgettable experience it provides into a blog. It has also reunited me with my center-related friends I have not seen for long, the reason I am way looking forward to the concert despite all sweat and blood.

A very special thanks to the organizers, performers and guests for the success of the concert! And also to God for making it come true!!

Dressed as a teen rocker in one of my performances.

Disclaimer. Once again, The Dream Lives On is organized for educational purposes. Concert organized by Candent Learning Haus (CLH). 

Related readings

Candent Learning Haus official website and page

One day in COSMANIA 2014

It is indeed a pleasure to have attended this major cosplay convention, having shopped for worth-keeping merch and witnessed several well-done cosplays. Here are some of the best features found in this particular event.
















And meanwhile, the most anticipated anime this Fall 2014..



The mere purchase of Bronze ticket will not guarantee the unforgettable experience that this huge cosplay event seeks to provide. It mainly features booths, as well as little activities, which may not respond to a cosplay convention goer’s expectations in a said event. However, it is possible to still upgrade one’s Bronze ticket into Silver at the very least. A purchase of Silver ticket will at least guarantee an experience sought by a cosplay convention goer, seeing multiple well-designed cosplays, a gigantesque and cute Pikachu maskot, and a huge cosplay contest filled with advance leveled cosplayers with certain years of experiences and outstanding skills. The upgrade (from bronze to silver, for instance) will require an additional price as to reach the original price of the said ticket type when bought initially (in Silver ticket’s case, it is to reach P 250 and therefore, requires an additional price of P 100 when upgrading a Bronze ticket).

cosmania tickets
Cosmania Ticket Matrix presenting the activities proposed by each ticket type. Taken from Cosmania Facebook page.

Cosplay Mania (COSMANIA) ’14. October 4-5, 2014 @ SMX Convention Center (SM Mall of Asia). 

For more information about the said event

“What is your One Dream?” My Ultimate One Dream Experience

Each of us has his or her own dream in life. My biggest dream, for instance, is to become an accomplished musician and artist. I’ve been working hard enough to attain those goals and realize how I’m close to reaching it – being in a band/theater, performing in various places and ending with my solo performance in One Dream. My other dream consists in being an inspiration and role model to the youth with special needs, the main reason for me to become part of the organizing team and the line of performers.

The concert has its own dream too. Teachers, students and guest performers have poured their efforts in turning One Dream into a memorable experience, as much as I strive being the best musician and artist I can be. The benefit concert is indeed a success!! The room is filled as expected and the concert gave me as much unforgettable feels – performing on stage, watching others perform, helping the organizing team and reuniting with my friends. One Dream realized. Yes indeed. 

My solo performance during the concert

Disclaimer. One Dream Benefit Concert, organized by Candent Learning Haus (CLH), is for educational purposes only. It is neither related to any profit organization nor a profit concert. 

Candent Learning Haus Official Website and Page

Up ↑