Last February (super late post due to *lame excuse here*), we did a docu-reality tv show for FilAm TV. It was about Bayani Tour (http://bayanitour.com/), a program by Gawad Kalinga US that encourages Filipino Americans to visit and rekindle their love for their motherland. For this tour, we were to follow around 5 Fil-Ams who are in the entertainment industry in the US - Sean Afable (actor), Koko Laimana (model/actress), Gaby Borromeo (singer), Sharon Apple and Arnold Basingat (tv hosts) for 8 days around Manila-Puerto Princesa-Bulacan.
It was a pretty long week and I’d probably end up writing a novel-long post if I blog everything about it - so highlights!
EVADING SECURITY GUARDS
We had to do a guerilla shoot at the airport which we all know has a very strict rule regarding shooting. Of course, sneaked our way around the roaming security guards. Almost got caught but we used the “we’re-just-waiting-for-our-family” card. We were just using DSLRs which made it believable. One guard even asked one of our crew if we were Judy Ann Santos’ photographer - don’t ask me where he got that idea, I have no clue. On the third day, they went shopping at Greenhills (probably to experience haggling Pinoy-style). Apparently, Greenhills shopping mall also has No Photography/Video policy. We did some negotiation and ended up with the compromise that we can’t include certain products on our shots and we are to be escorted by their assigned marshals -which is kind of cool actually.
THIRD WORLD SOLUTIONS
Our team didn’t have the luxury to rent lighting equipments so we had to make the most of available lights and our 500w lights from Ace Hardware. And I’m proud to say, we did a hell of a job out of it (mostly Gian Caluag and Karel Sevilla’s lighting skills).
The above photo is at Hotel Fleuris at Puerto Princesa, we used 500w tungsten light, put it in front of a plastic box with a blue plastic folder and viola! Soft lighting! We also had to use plastic bags to waterproof our equipment from the rain and a towel as windbreaker for the mic.
Aside from the technical adventures and learning curves, we got to meet and bond with the people in the tour. Our five “subjects” became our friends even the body guards assigned to them! Especially the show’s director Rodney Cajudo. The whole tour was not just a tour indeed, it stands up to their tagline “it’s not just a tour, it’s a journey home”. (Photo below, from top to bottom: Gaby Borromeo, Sean Afable & Koko Laimana, Arnold Basingat & Sharon Apple)
YouTube stars Jeremy Passion, Joseph Vincent and AJ Rafael (photo below: l-r) were also with us which made our whole week a musical tour. The three had a meet-and-greet with their fans at Mabuhay Restop Restaurant. They only promoted it overnight but still over 300 fans came to see them perform live!
(Yes, I’m a fan of Jeremy too, since my college days!)
All in all, we learned a lot, made a lot of friends and had A LOT of fun!
(photos from Karel Sevilla, Bayani Tour http://www.flickr.com/photos/93092426@N08/ & Morris Jamlang)
It has only been 2 months into 2013 and it’s already a fun roller coaster ride - made new friends, got to go places and got to work with awesome people.
The past month I’ve been going around bars in Makati and Quezon City with Quark Henares to interview bands for our show on FilAmTV called Indie Manila under FilAm Jams. It focuses on Filipino-American independent / underground music scene here in the Philippines and in the US.
I don’t have a band, I can’t play any instrument - I can’t even sing! But I love listening to music and watching bands perform live. January has been a musical month for me. Meeting awesome bands around the metro made me see how hard they fought and worked for their craft, how they love their craft. They told us their stories, how they started out and how they continuously work hard to maintain and improve their music. It made me appreciate them even more. Their stories reinforced my belief that there is hope for our art scene (in general), we just have to believe in ourselves and continue to fight for it.
We’ve interviewed a lot of bands already but I know there are a lot more great bands out there and I can’t wait to meet them, hear and watch them play and most of all, I can’t wait to hear their stories.
Taken by Cars
We also got to interview Up Dharma Down, Ang Bandang Shirley, Hannah & Gabi, Ciudad, Tarsius, Monsterbot, Twisted Halo, Outerhope and Karylle. Watch out for online episodes on filamtv.com.
Here’s a first look on FilAm Jams: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vzWTaZYWWqM#!
Right now we’re still working on how we can also air the show here in the Philippines - fingers crossed!