Real-time realization of the 21st century #1

Here’s a sudden blog entry for ya.

I just got back to my hotel room after a mini cocktail party with our hosts for Art Stage Singapore. I was sent here by Young STAR to cover the event.

To be honest, I was quite overwhelmed when I entered the main fair because of the vast amount of art surrounding me. I wasn’t used to that kind of setting. A bunch of Warhols and Kusamas were in the fair and I just didn’t know what to do with myself. The works of legends that I have looked up to ever since I had the penchant for beautiful art were with me in the same room. Those few hours of my life definitely changed the way I view creativity.

It’s easy to focus on ourselves when thinking about art. We make things so the world can understand what we think. We document our day-to-day lives to let other people experience a bit of our humanity, even just in the digital setting. We fail to understand that we’re only part of this tiny spectrum in a system that nobody fully explores yet.

I don’t know.

It’s humbling and it’s just pretty fucking nuts.

Challenge yourself, YouTube style


“The best way to get ahead is to challenge yourself.” -Maine Manalansan, literally a few seconds ago.

There’s nothing like competition to help you get ahead of the game. But then again, it’s quite unhealthy to randomly compete someone to a battle of “Who Can Knit the Fastest?” I guess the only way is to challenge yourself. And I don’t mean just setting unrealistic expectations. I’m talking making an actual challenge, YouTube style.

If you’re new around here, I have this project called 100 Movies A Year. It’s pretty straightforward: I have to watch 100 movies in one year. It all started in 2010. I had chicken pox December 2009 so I was bed-ridden and really sad. My friends were cheering me up on Facebook by talking to me non-stop. Our conversation somehow diverted to movies. I realised that I haven’t seen any classics like The Godfather or The Wizard of Oz. As an extremely pa-cool 16-year-old, I got pressured. So I used my previous time in bed to watch movies. Sure, I started with The Incredible Hulk, but progress is progress. Then it somehow became an annual project that I’ve been doing for six years now. Pretty nuts.

Okay, where am I getting at?

Because of this project, I realised that the only way for me to learn is to create a challenge for myself. I also need to document everything and put it out in the world so you can hold it against me if ever I fall short.

This year, I need to:
1. Watch 100 movies, of course.
2. Read 25 books.
3. Listen to 50 must-listen albums of all time. (As in the ones you see in those 1000 Albums You Must Listen To Before You Die compilations. Let’s see if they’re right.)
4. Write 10 blog entries a month.

Yep. Ten. In one month. Now that I have it out in the world, I guess I need to do it. Or I can just edit it out and pretend it never happened.

I’m such a bad creative.

What challenges are you doing in 2016?



Before anything else, I’d like to clarify one thing: 2014 wasn’t my best year. Don’t get me wrong; it was still great. I learned so much and met a lot of new people. But 2015 proved that things can get better (and it did) and I’ve never felt more light and free in my life.

This year, I learned how to let go and just let things happen to me. And because of that, I experienced some pretty cool shit. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to take note of everything. That’s the price you pay for being present, I guess.

1. Having creative freedom is both fulfilling and stressful.

Because of Toff, I was able to learn the meaning of being a design director. At first, I had no idea what I was doing. But you know what they say: fake it til you make it. I did and here I am now! I’ve never experienced a project as big as No Filter and it definitely taught me a shit ton of things. The six months I spent working in that production is better than six months in college, tbqh.

2. Being cool is so 2008.

For years, I’ve denied being a fan of anything because I thought it was ~*uncool*~. But alas, I’m knee-deep in One Direction shit and there’s no turning back. Being in the fandom can be stressful at times but the momentary joy it gives me (when they’re not being problematic) is incomparable.


So, what now?


I’m still awake at 1:30 a.m. with a cup –– yes, a cup –– of wine on my right side and a cup of Kafe Kreme on the left. It’s that kind of balance that I’m longing to achieve ever since No Filter ended.

For the first time in 13 months, I only have Young STAR and this blog to think about. I have no Sandbox, no TKS, no Stache. It’s strange having all these free time. I managed to watch three movies while cleaning my entire room in one day. Yesterday, I watched a Bollywood movie, finish two books and even created a Tumblr for my new yearly project. I miss that kind of self-benefiting productivity. I’ve never experienced anything like that in about a year.

To be quite honest, I also miss the routines: the simplicity of afternoon commutes from school while listening to Hoagy Carmichael to laying out a magazine every two months to setting up a projector in Circuit Makati for a No Filter show. Now, one of the most drastic changes in my life is currently happening and I’m sort of overwhelmed by it.
So, now what?

I can easily take on more freelance work to develop my skills or I can sell my soul to a corporate day job for more stability. I can probably hold workshops on basic Photoshop or InDesign or I can tap more publications where I can share my collage and photography work. I’m presenting myself with more options that I can even imagine doing and that only brings more confusion than final answers.

The truth is I don’t know what to do. And maybe that’s okay. After all, my track record says that I’m good at being at the right place at the right time. And somehow, just being where I am is the best place to be.