13 March 2011


Last Friday (11 March 2011), the Junior Marketing Association (JMA) of Philippine Christian University (PCU) brought us GUIDANCE: GOD, U and I DANCE - a Benefit Concert. Held at the PCU Gymnasium, Taft, Manila, the concert was a montage of all styles of hiphop dancing, delivered by various dance groups in Manila. My group Urban Elite (alumni members of UPLB Street Jazz Dance Company) was one of the crews that performed that night.
5/6 of the Urban Elite line-up

I was unusually anxious with that performance because it was the first performance of Urban Elite in the presence of the hiphop community. I felt pressured, to be honest, because I want our group to be recognized or at least be remembered after that performance. And what's adding more pressure is being juxtaposed to Jay Mastah, Unschooled, Musiqality, Indayog, etc.

forerunner of Philippine breakdancing, Jay Mastah, with his kid
Urban Elite and Believe Dance Company
my two beautiful daughters in glitzy costumes
The performers:

1. Jay Mastah
2. Pep Squad (PCU, EAC, UDM, JRU, Lyceum)
3. FNC Dance Crew
4. UA1
5. Believe Dance Company
6. PUP Common Class
7. Musiqality
8. UP Manila Indayog Dance Varsity
9. Unschooled
10. PH Crew
11. Krumpinoy
12. Pinoy Funkin' Styles
13. LPU Wildstyle Crew
14. Philippine House Dance Community
15. Fligh
16. Urban Elite
17. Collab Crew
18. PCU Street Dance Crew

our certification
Us kidding that the event was a competion and that we won
Anyhow, the night ended nicely. What I like about the hiphop community is that everyone is in good terms with each other. No competitions, no disgust, no superiority complexes. It's good to be a part of this movement. All good vibes. All for the love of dancing.

At this point, I would like to thank JMA-PCU for inviting us to peform. More power to you and to your aims! I hope we somehow gave the audience a good show.

And I hope there will be more invites for Urban Elite. :)

10 March 2011


This was my Part 3 of my journey last Friday. I went to National Bureau of Investigation to have my name cleared from their systems. Their new office is located near LRT Monumento station.

If you're not familiar with DOST, you might be wondering why I am undergoing this. When I went to college, I signed a scholarship contract with DOST (Department of Science and Technology). We wouldn't be able to afford my college tuition anyway, so I had no choice. Once you sign the contract, you become part of the DFA, BI, and NBI watchlist. You will not be allowed to leave the country until you have served the country for the same number of years that they sent you to school.

For my case, I was only a scholar for two and a half years (am discounting all my Pisay years.. *grin*). So now that I have worked for almost three years, I was able to get a clearance from DOST, which will consequently allow me to be cleared from the DFA/BI/NBI watchlists. Hence my 4th of March journey. :)

Now, this is the part where I should be explaining how to get an NBI clearance. however, I wouldn't really be able to tell as when I arrived, I was sent straight away to an office that processes special cases. What I needed was to have my name cleared from NBI systems. however, the official there old me that I won't need to since my papers were approved in the DFA that morning. It meant that the DFA recognized that my name has already been cleared in the NBI. So that means, I won't be needing a new NBI clearance (this time for travel abroad).

I was not utterly convinced, and I would've liked to process a new clearance just in case the DFA turns on me later, however, my really bad cough told me to go home and rest instead.

Final destination. NBI.
Status. Cleared??
Duration. Around 8 minutes.


Me went straight home with fingers crossed.

09 March 2011


I was on an unfamiliar ride one day, heading to an unfamiliar destination. I was staring blankly at the unfamiliar streets, when somehow the vehicle I was in passed by a familiar lane. It was your workplace. I have no idea if you’re still with that group as I had cut all my communications with you since 2009.

As the driver steered the jeepney towards your office compound, I saw that gate where I used to wait for you whenever I fetch you after work. Whether I was excitedly waiting for you to come out, or I had my head down because you’ve been ignoring me since I arrived late, I had always used that exact same spot. I noticed that it didn’t change much. I can still see my old self standing there. Staring back at me. And then I felt my heart swell, when it really did not.

So I looked away.

Next thing I knew, I was stretching my neck back and forth, looking through the gates, hoping that I’ll catch a glimpse of you. How do you look these days? Are you wearing a new hairstyle? Or sporting a new colour perhaps? Do you still bring that Oakley bag we purchased at Makati? Do you still wear those white loafers I chose for you at Shoe Salon?

The jeepney passed by the last building, and the streets became unfamiliar again.

The swelling was gone.


Many weeks ago I marked today’s date in my planner. I tried to save up for this night but the bills just won't stop. I tried to borrow cash from my friends, however, more urgent debts were also due. And now, the date has come.

Tonight is the big night.

Anberlin: Live in Manila.
8:00pm, 9 March 2011
A.Venue Hall, Makati City

Okay, so I give up. No matter how much I talk about it, no matter how much I tell people how I lily-lily-lily want to watch the show, it won't happen. I feel extremely bad because I'm just a thousand bucks away from the show. And I really don’t have it now. Bad timing? Perhaps it’s fate. *frown*

For the whole day (well, ALMOST the whole day) I had my ears watch the radio closely, waiting for my chance to get me some free tickets. Jam 88.3 is giving away six(!) “meet-and-greet(!)-the-band” passes, for your information. So I charged my phone (my radio), pre-loaded my mobile with a hundred bucks, listened to Jam, and waited for my chance to pounce. And by the way, I wasn’t even looking forward to the “meet and greet” part. I’d be happy just seeing them play live and getting to sing along with them and the rest of the fans.

Luck really likes me though. I missed Hilary and Scottie’s Schizo game because I was away preparing my tea. I missed the whole Eric and Miggs Show because I was in a forum. When I turned the radio back on, I just missed Lana’s game in her show, Jaminator. All I heard was her announcing the correct answers in her game, and naming the ugly winner who won the tickets. And that ugly winner had already purchased tickets even before she won the game. Bitch.

At that point I gave up. As I was listening to Roanna's show though, a good turn of events happened. I knew by then that I wouldn't have the chance to watch the concert. However, Roanna featured a guest in her show. It was none other than Stephen Christian, the band's vocalist. Yay! They just flew in the Metro and Christian decided to show up in the radio station to invite the listeners to watch. Yay!

I think that was good enough for me. For now. As for those who have the time and resources, go watch the band tonight at A.Venue Hall, Makati. Trust me, the music is good. You may get your tickets from Ticketworld.

Have a good time!

08 March 2011


Now I shall post Part 2 of my journey on the 4th of March. I hope this will serve as a guide for other DOST scholars like me who wants to clear their names.

First thing, you need to have a clearance from DOST. If you don't have this yet, then you would need to process this at the DOST-SEI Head Office at Bicutan. But that's another story.

The Bureau of Immigration is located at Magallanes Street, Intramuros, Manila. If you don't know how to get there, here are the routes you may take:

Route A - Take a bus/FX/jeepney going to Lawton
Route B - Take the LRT and get off at Central Station
Route C - (I'm not too faimliar with this) take a ferry ride on the Pasig river and get off at Intramuros

Route 1 - take the underpass and walk straight to Intramuros exit, take a tricycle ("padyak") going to Bureau of Immigration, approx. Php20-Php30
Route 2 - take a jeepney going to Pier, and drop off at Bureau of Immigration

As for me, I took Route A-1.

I recognized the building from afar, as per confirmation from a staff the day before, their building is painted white and green. Also, when I got in, I noticed right away that the demographics is that 40-50% of the population (including staff) were foreigners.

As all DOST scholars should, I headed straight to Window #17. When the attending staff saw my DOST clearance he pointed me straight to Window #12. I read that to be cleared in Window#17 you have to:

1 - go to Window #12 to get a derogatory printout
2 - Have a photocopy of the printout letter
3 - go back to Window # 17

Here are what I exactly did:

STEP 1 - Presented to Window #12 my original letter of clearance from DOST, addressed to the Head of the Bureau of Immigration.
STEP 2 - Waited.
STEP 3 - Waited some more.
STEP 4 - Received the letter that is now stamped -- "NO DEROGATORY RECORDS".
STEP 5 - Went back to Window #17 where the guy just looked at the stamped document and gloriously sang, "You've been cleared. This is the end of the process."

Okay, so he really didn't sing. But due to my disbelief of my sudden clearance from BI, and since I was bugging him endless on why the document is enough and whether I should be paying for anything first, he pointed me to a room in the 4th floor where I could confirm these. The guy there told me that the document should be enough. I could prepare copies of it and bring one with me everytime I travel abroad. Also, he said that I could get an actual document certifying my BI clearance but that would cost me something and it would be really unnecessary.

Bureau of Immigration. Completed.
Duration. Around 30 to 40 minutes.
Next Stop. NBI.


07 March 2011


(Documentation of my personal experience in Passport Application)

4th of March. First destination, Department of Foreign Affairs. For those who didn’t know, the new office of Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) is now located at Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard corner Bradco Street, Pasay City. And before going for the interview, make sure you have with you your complete set of requirements, and of course, you must have already set an appointment earlier. You haven’t yet? Here are the steps:

Preliminaries: Setting an Appointment

You have two options in setting up an appointment: (a) Via online application. Visit the DFA Passport Appointment System and follow instructions indicated; or (b) call (02) 737-1000, and a friendly service agent will gladly assist you. Be sure to set your appointment as soon as you can, even if you still lack the requirements, as the next open schedule might not be in the next one to two months.

On the day of the interview, make sure to be there 30 minutes earlier, and bring EVERYTHING. If you don't know how to get there, just go to Pasay Rotonda, take a bus heading to MIA-611, and get off right in front of DFA.

As for the requirements, double-check everything, and make sure to have a photocopy of them. Requirements vary from person to person. Mine were:
- printout of Application Form from online appointment
- Original Birth certificate from NSO
- Valid ID (my laminated BIR ID = trash; my old university ID = good)
- Supporting documents (I brought my TOR with dry seal, NBI clearance, and BIR Form 2316)
- NSO-certified Marriage Certificate of my parents <-- required since my family name is foreign sounding
- DOST Letter of Clearance <-- necessary to clear me from the "watchlist"
- Passport Fee: Php950

And so my journey began:

8:26AM. Just the right arrival for my 9:00AM appointment. Before you can go inside the building, you will have to present your application form at the Verification Counter right by the entrance. This part makes sure that you indeed have an appointment and other forms of verification.


They have (I think) more than twenty windows that serve applicants simultaneously, but still I spent almost an hour here as the queue was really long. At this part, you could check your documents for the nth time like what I did, or bring out your novel/magazine/crossword/sudoku/etc. If you don't have any, the overhead monitors showing Just For Laughs: Gags (and the full trailer of the final Harry Potter movie... Neat!) will surely alleviate your boredom. And don't worry, you'll be seated while in the queue.

And then my turn came. Window # 19. Before the serviceman could actually process my documents, he had to send me to the Director's Office for clearing of my DOST status. (NOTE: Only DOST Scholars who have not cleared their status yet will undergo this stage. I would assume that anyone whose name is being watchlisted for whatever purposes would have to undergo this step).


I was sent from Window #19 to the Director's Office to have my name cleared. In the D.O., they took my documents and had me wait as they cross-checked my records. some of us were called in cubicles for interview. In my case, they just gave me back my documents, with my application form now stamped with something that says I have no obligations in the DOST anymore.

STEP 1. (Continued)

I went back to Window #19 for processing of my documents. They took most of it and returned some. I'm sorry, everything happened relatively fast and I wasn't able to keep track of which documents were left on my hand. Anyhow, the serviceman said my records and requirements are good. So now I have to proceed to the Cashier for Payment.


The Cashier was located at the second floor, as well as the other remaining steps. The queue was short, and the whole process was quick. You will be given a queue number that you will use in the next and final step.


Here, you will see a network of micro-cubicles, each servicing the last step of the whole application process. Once your number is flashed in the monitor, you will have to go to the corresponding counter assigned to you. The staff will scan your documents, have you verify the details they encoded, get your digital thumbmark, get your digital signature, and Voila! You're done.


Passport Delivery/Courier Service

You have the option to come back for your passport once ready, or have them delivered to you. While waiting in Step 3, I saw girls roaming around, issuing receipts for those who want to avail the courier service. You will have to go to their stations (right beside the Step 3 stations) and have them encode your mailing address. You can do this step before or after Step 3.

10:20AM. I had the whole process COMPLETED.

DFA Passport Application. Check.
Duration. Two hours.
Next stop. Bureau of Immigration.


04 March 2011


So I climbed at the top of the cliff, raised my right fist to the high heavens, and shouted:
"Tomorrow! I will embark on a journey that no other man has taken!" Then I scurried to my dump of documents and re-checked the completeness of the requirements including all necessary photocopies. *grin*.. I will attempt to process three documents in one day: Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) passport application at Diosdado Macapagal Boulevard, Pasay; Bureau of Immigration (BI) clearance at Intramuros, Manila; and NBI clearance at Monumento.

Okay so that was last night. I woke up (unusually) early this morning and (unusually) had my rice breakfast. I had to summon all my strength because I know that it will be a long day full of endless queues, counters, window transfers, etc. It's like UP registration all over again! *grin* Not to mention, I knew Manila streets so well, strolling there will be like looking at the back of my hands (NOT). So I already expected that I'll get lost somewhere at least once today.

To cut the long story short, I made it!! Or at least that's how it appears. I think I will know within 6 weeks if I really did make it. Also, I will create separate posts on my individual journeys today. I want it to look like "how to" entries. And that's because online "how to" pages helped me a lot in my tasks today. So I want to thank them by paying it forward. *genuine smile*

Gotta scoot for now. I'm late for training.

02 March 2011



That was the event title of Sugarfree's farewell concert, held last night (1 March 2011) at Eastwood Central Plaza.

Despite my lack of finances, my bad cough, the bad weather, and the venue's proximity, I hurried myself after work and fought the really bad traffic. After all, it will be the last concert of Sugarfree, and I sure can't miss it for the world.

The poster
A little past 7:00, I found myself skipping through the thick Megamall crowd. I have to meet Ate Charm and TJ first. You know, companions meant lower cab fare. *grin* Also, I know that these guys would like the music, if they're not yet familiar with the band's discography.

While having dinner at Yellow Cab, I couldn't help but fidget on my seat. I've been listening to the live broadcast of the show on the radio. Thank you, Jam 88.3! It was Quark Henares speaking, he was tasked to introduce the band. I learned that the young director was a good friend of Ebe's and that he directed most of their music videos. I wonder if he was behind that cute music video of "Kung Ayaw Mo Na Sa Akin".

Anyhow, the band had started while we were still in the cab. I can hear the crowd going crazy as Ebe sang Kung Ayaw Mo Na Sa Akin. I felt like the "envy" monster is eating me up from the inside. Hey! That was my favorite song. So while in cab, I crooned in between coughs, together with the rest of Eastwood.

Ate Charm and TJ

the crowd to my right

the crowd to my left

When we arrived at the venue, I was surprised at how big the crowd was. I mean, I already expected that a lot of people will come as this is Sugarfree's last night. But boy, what we saw was a rebellion! Even the ala frescos around weren't able to operate since all the spaces between tables were swarmed with fans. Even the exits and the walkways were full.

Despite the non-stop rain, the crowd prevailed. And I was one with them. We were there to show support to our favorite local band, the geniuses who crafted the songs that defined our happiness, our heartaches, or whatever it was that we went through. It was good to sing with everyone the lines that I remember in Dear Kuya, Makita Kang Muli, Hari ng Sablay, Huwag Ka Nang Umiyak, Kwarto, Mariposa, Hay Buhay, and of course my favorite, Tulog Na. In between segments, the band members get to say their individual farewells. And it was really sad. Ebe cried, Haha.

Also, I would like to mention that I learned a few things that night. First, the band members were Ebe Dancel (Guitars and Vocals), Jal Taguibao (Bass), Kaka Quisumbing (Drums, 2006 onwards), and Mitch Singson (Drums, 1999-2006). Second, I learned that Jal is a professor in UP Diliman and UP Manila. If I'm not mistaken, he teaches Political Science. Another learning is that, there were a lot of great Sugarfree songs that I wasn't aware of. So I hope someone will give me a copy of their albums. *grin* Or at least the following, Burnout, Nangangawit, Taguan, and Telepono.

Lastly, I realized (or maybe I'm just speculating) that, based on their general appearance, body language, and overall attitude as audience, most of the people in the crowd belongs to Class A or B. And since I'm part of that crowd, I guess that makes me someone with a superior taste in music. Kidding! But really, I encourage everyone to start (or continue) to listen to Sugarfree. Theirs is good music.


Tip No. 1 - NEVER! EVER! Do activities that will start a fire. Hehe (Me and Kristia @ the gym)
So the ugly month is finally over. Yay! Now I can write again!

Firstly, I would like to congratulate meself for making it alive. I mean, February is my kryptonite, and yet here I am on a March, typing on my laptop. Can you believe that?

Secondly, I would like to congratulate meself for becoming a regular employee in our company. Yay! I worked hard for that regularization. And luckily, I was able to achieve it in a little less than five months(!). I can't wait to tell my parents. But maybe I'll just tell them the good news in time with my father's birthday, two weeks from now.

Tip No. 2 - If you catch yourself on fire, dive straight into the water.

Well, I hope more good things will happen in this fire-prevention month. But for what it's worth, I'm just glad that I'm back to writing. Did you see my attempts to write last month? Pretty lame, huh.
Powered by Blogger