Back In Town

 

I found a new place to live in the city!

Okay, let’s back up a bit. I said new, because I have to move out of one place and into another. The place is actually somewhere in the area where I used to rent when I was working in Makati at the time, from 2004 to 2008 if I recall correctly. New, because it was entirely abrupt and well, I practically am a starnger to this part of San Isidro.

It’s a steal really. I just happen to ask an acquaintance and just about time because the one I was renting in Quezon City has issues with the caretaker and the owner. Claim issues that nearly went full tabloid headlines, if things did went south.

But hey, I got me new digs.

Check it out!

Really a bargain for the location, righ smack in Makati, access to most major thoroughfares and with a subdued urban charm. This is an old house, probably built around mid-60’s, needs a bit more upkeep but just right for the price. It’s a studio flat, all 6×3 sqm, the wood floors have that sort of  classic give, as most old houses tend to have, glass louvered windows. What’s good about the place is the environment. People here are creative and musical. Just after moving in, I spotted a room with a guitar hanging by the neck, like a criminal hanged for his atrocities. And there’s a child just below my room (I live on the posh upper floor) whose parents may have dreams of nurturing into a full blooming crooner. I could tell by the way the child screams and brays like a wounded mule all day long, and when I say all day long, there’s probably just a couple of hours lull in between braying and screaming, even at 11pm at night. Good training though, builds the lungs, the vocal chords are getting the right amount of stretch. And boy, could that child scream. Astonishingly good sustain. And I say musical people, because there’s acouple who does rehearse regularly a two part harmony that always ends up in a crescendo. And some flowery words that would leave Any poet with envy.

But I digress. Continue reading

The Pinpricks and Papercuts of 2015

. . .or rather, all the good times, the crap-my-pants stuff, the bullshit and the misses (lots of ’em) that happened in the past year. No, I’m not saying nothing good came out of 2015, far from it. But these tiny pinpricks and papercuts must mean something. Things we learn as we go along.

So move along.

Here’s what I learned, and more stuff I have to un-learn.

  • Meeting friends after so long gets trumped by two bubbby daughters whom I also missed dearly. Sorry guys, I just wanna spend more time with my girls.
  • Skinny pants with garters on their cuffs doesn’t even qualify as logical. Men who wear them should be hanged.
  • Boys do powder their faces. it’s sick.
  • Most people tend to believe their online persona.
  • Smartphones are not for stupid people.
  • Cash and Carry still has the best stuff around.
  • Stop calling it “hoverboard”! It’s got wheels, for crying out loud!
  • People who talk big rarely has the stick to back it up. And sometimes the adage ” People who can, Do, People who can’t, Teach” applies.
  • Big paying jobs are rare. Big paying jobs takes a big toll on you.
  • Scott Weiland’s death has painful similarities with the music video “Fall To Pieces”.
  • “Supernatural” marathons are best when spent with your crazy daughters.
  • Minimum wage rocks. Never had so much fun with so little. And I’m not kidding.
  • Short freaking shorts are everywhere.
  • Early last year, found myself with a bunch of really good people working for a BPO gig, and I am really not cut out for this sort of work, but the people I met enriched me in some way. I miss CELO.
  • Still won’t wear tracksuits and sport related apparel. It’s appalling.
  • You can’t enjoy movie marathoins without that special someone to enjoy it with.
  • No matter wher you live in Metro Manila, there will always be that neighbor who enjoys singing that you will not enjoy.
  • Lechon Mami is a miracle in a bowl. And some chili and you’re divine.
  • Reading is still one of the best past times around. Just being stuck in traffic without something to read is murder.
  • Men who smell too much of perfume are, well, not men at all.
  • Women with ill thought tattoos are un-cool.
  • Tattoo’s used to mean something. Nowit’s a fashion statement.
  • You can find a room for Php3,200 and still retain your human dignity.
  • Working for and with celebrities ain’t such a drag after all.
  • KZ Tandingan rocks.
  • Sometimes you can’t trust a kit.
  • My home setup needs an update. badly.
  • Sensible shoes works.
  • I regret taking daental hygiene for granted.
  • Old school is the better school. Of course you can learn a thing or two from the new generation.
  • Pay back old debts when you can.
  • People with loud and filthy mouths and badly dressed are better individuals than those overly educated stiffs who stab you in the back when you turn around.
  • Vape only makes you accept you are in denial.
  • Coffee I make is still better than coffee I buy. No barrista fame can enhance the taste of badly prepared overpriced coffee.
  • Sci-Fi
  • Never ask the printers without the final word from your Boss. It could cost you 4grand. And it sucks.
  • Anilao is beautiful.
  • Need to get my teeth. Lost most of them in last year. Now I got to earn enough to get me some pearly white smiles.
  • A dentist is your best friend.
  • Family is cool again.
  • Philippine movies, in general, suck. Only gets worse when you see Kris Aquino’s mug in some billboard.
  • Indie movies, however deserves a break.
  • I love Regine Velasquez again. Because of  Mrs.Recto.
  • People with names like Jojo, Mark, Alyssa, Myr, Carlo, George, Maryo deserve the title “Cool”.
  • Salt and pepper scraggly beard seems to be my look nowadays.
  • MMFF wouldn’t be complete without a scandal.
  • Pay attention to money matters. Comes with the job.
  • Smartphones are overrarted.
  • When you need another bag (or pouch) so you can carry a power bank to sutain your so-called gamer-life on your mobile phone is just too…pathetic.
  • Sometimes a m,ovie can be secretly a sci-fi one.
  • Powerbank phonnes are cool. Gonna get me one.
  • Jess Lapid Jr. is cool.
  • When your boss is Hagrid, expect to make a bit of magic along the way.
  • El Nino in 2016 could be worse.
  • I’m the most un-showbiz person you could find, and I manage some showbiz oriented stuff in my line of work.
  • I was lazy with my art.
  • Staying holed up in my room is never good. Need to get out more.
  • Missed out on most of the friends I should be with last year.
  • I could be aging rapidly.
  • Gyms are overrated. HIGHLY overrated. Just do household chores and your limbs will be fit. Buying all those conveniences only makes you soft. And they want you to pay so you can shed some fat? Bull.
  • I need a bike.
  • I need some sleep.
  • Having your workplace inside a mall does have it’s moments.
  • Creative Saints has to be resurrected. With a bang.
  • Need to buy a dart board.
  • Need new darts.
  • Ned to draw more.
  • Lost some good illustrations by way of leaving them lying around for a kid to throw water on.
  • Must replace my 12-String with a new one.

. . .and there are more I should be ranting about but, like a resolution, things won’t get done, even if you write them down. So let’s just leave the past back there. 2016 is just another calendar to go through, but getting through it with style is the key.

A photo of my daughters Amiya (L) with Ate Alyssa, my eldest Alia and Kuya Kian (R). I learned these kids need to see each other from time to time.

A photo of my daughters Amiya (L) with Ate Alyssa, my eldest Alia and Kuya Kian (R). I learned these kids need to see each other from time to time.

Happy New Year!

Looking In

The Outcast Outsider

Nowadays, it’s rush up and finish what I have on my work table so I can jump to the next project that comes along.

Most of the time, it’s a waiting game of sorts.  Most of the people I deal with on my freelance gigs tend to act like they couldn’t be bothered, yet, they take up much of my time when it comes to negotiating with my skills for their project.

Illustration jobs for books tend to be somewhat shady. Lot’s of grays. My idea of  sourcing out your illustration needs is this: it’s either you have a Creative Director and list down instructions for the illustrations you require – point by point, angles, number of characters , etc – or you could give me the script and let me draw them how I understand the story. When you give me a script it is bound to be an artist’s interpretation, not someone else’s idea of how the drawing should be.

And most of the time I followed this line of thinking, it worked.

Now I’m holding onto some scripts with the illustrations done with and inked. Sure I got my down payment. Had to make sure this project doesn’t end up like what most freelance jobs I did – botched payments, rates scaled way down, and worse, some are still unpaid. The last I heard from this project was “OK”.

Which is not okay really, because with my experience with this publishing, there are gray areas that need to be addressed.  So I finished this stack. And I wait for someone to inform or ask me when can I submit the finished illustrations.

No calls.

No emails.

No text.

Last Sunday I sent sms telling them that I’m done, which is really a dead giveaway that they have to prepare the balance for this particular gig.

And all I got was “OK”.

Like I said, lots of grays.

That was last Sunday. Monday came and went – no calls.

You’d think accepting jobs for a publishing firm will give you black and whites.

So this morning I missed a call. And the reason was, I was in transit and I was informed, that someone in management wants to “talk” to me.

Please.

They know I finished the job already. An email would have sufficed since I scrimp and save just so I can keep myself online. Asked them to call me in the afternoon, but, and I hate to repeat myself, they act like they couldn’t be bothered. If someone wants to “talk” to me, only means they want to negotiate something.

Values books.

How can they teach values if they don’t even value the skills and talent of writers and artists? Those in their employ are dwindling in numbers. I only accepted this freelance job because the old lady is nice enough, but to have cut the rate down, and now  I’m skeptical about the balance, it’s just so insensitive of them to think they can just call me in the middle of something and drop everything so that they can “negotiate” the terms again.

Feels like a commuter patiently waiting in line at an MRT station, for a train to come, only to be told that there are no more trains.

I find ways to do a project, even take the necessary measures to finish early. But to have this one done and not getting any calls for balance payments, whew, I have got to get me some new projects.

I don’t have to go and tell them what I think.

But I think I’ll hold on these illustrations for the meantime.