Monthly Archives

November 2020


Reminiscing the Good Old days in America

As I look back on my experiences before, this month marks a memorable thing that happened in my life. As I cherished the journey I had in the place called the Land of Free, America. This is my third year anniversary of the unforgettable travel I had in California, USA. The experience of going and visiting in another country will always be as fun and thrilling as you could imagine. It will provide you so much lesson and makes you realize the things that life has to offer.

Exactly three years ago I went to California USA to have my vacation, since I am already retired from my office job and for the mere reason that my visa will expire soon. That is why one year before my visa expired I already took an initiative to use it and had my vacation. I also decided to go to the USA to look for great opportunities that might help me to stay there for good. Nonetheless if there’s no way I can petition myself to stay I will choose to go back to the Philippines. I went there last 2017 up to April 2018 and my visa will expire in May 2018. I stayed in California, USA for almost 6 months and that was also the period of time given to me by the US immigration because if I exceeded my stay it will make me an illegal immigrant.

First, I stayed at my former officemate for more than two months. As the time went by I felt the discomfort and being unwanted. Her daughter even sometimes bad-mouthed me and I can’t even tell it to my officemate since I’m just making a favor of staying in their place. After that I also reside with my friend in college for 1 month but the thing is I also feel unwelcomed by her foreigner husband that’s why I leave there and decided to go to my relative’s place. I’m fine staying there but I can’t freely go out on my own, because they should accompany me every time I go out.

While staying in California I met my former officemate that convinced me to rent a room for my own. Since my savings is good enough to rent, so I’ve tried 2 months in bed space with two other people. It is worth two hundred fifty dollars a month. Almost all of the time, I am left alone in the room as my room mates work as a caregiver. Along with that I sometimes watch over in a room and look after in the elder that gives me one hundred fifty dollars per day.

Staying in the USA gives me a lot of experiences. You will learn a lot and meet different kinds of people. It is truly a free land and a lot of opportunities will be served by the place itself. Their salary amount is also very big enough that it can seduce you to stay and look for many opportunities. Indeed, California is really an expensive place. From the food, the hotel rooms, and even the transportation it will cost you a lot of money but in the end the unforgettable vacation I did there is truly worth it.

Thus, having a vacation in another country like the USA has a lot of consideration to make like in the place you will be staying. And staying in another place must be hard especially if you don’t have any friends or relatives that will help and accommodate you.If you want to have a good relationship you must establish a good character because you will need that especially in going to other places and you will be meeting a variety of people. Also if you want to stay longer in your relatives you must need to know basic household chores like cooking, cleaning and must initiate to work and present yourself to do the necessary chores so that they will also treat you well. Lastly, always be kind and thankful for all the things you have experienced. As I looked back to those good old days even if I encountered a lot of unwanted situations but still it left me with good thoughts and yearning to visit that place again.

For the next blog I will discuss about how to get a visa and what are the transaction needed for you to get one here in the Philippines. So you better keep in touch because my experiences in getting a visa will be soon uploaded.


The unfettered truth about love: PhilPop releases final batch of songs

PhilPop, the country’s premier songwriting competition, drops the final batch of songs from the South Luzon cluster.

Carefully selected from thousands of submissions, the entries from this particular group reflect the unfettered truths about romantic relationships, disappointments, and heartaches, written based from personal experiences or from the perspective of an outsider looking in.

Distributed by Warner Music and produced by PhilPop, the homegrown tracks are available today, November 27 (Friday) on all digital and streaming platforms worldwide. The entries include “Para Kay Catriona,” composed by KulasBasilonia and interpreted by I Belong to the Zoo; “Bitaw,” composed by Keen and interpreted by Zsaris; and “Lunod,” composed by ChochayMagno and interpreted by ShairaOpsimar.

Para Kay Catriona: A Beautiful Serenade

“Para Kay Catriona” comes to terms with the painful reality of loving someone who will never be aware of your deep and strong romantic affection. KulasBasilonia penned the track when he was aboard the bus, seeing Catriona Gray on television as she struts in the runway with her signature slow-mo twirl. “It felt as if my life is in a slow-mo too,” the up-and-coming singer-songwriter quips. “I immediately researched about her and found out that she has a Music Theory certificate from my dream school. I was amazed, and it made me daydream about the possibility of being destined together. But reality check: we’re different in a lot of ways, and I know, it’s never going to happen.”

The intricately arranged folk ballad is interpreted by I Belong To The Zoo, and produced by Caio Cadiz. Instead of synthesized sounds, Cadiz went for real instruments such as classical guitars in his attempt to record a serenade that is both heartwarming and beautifully melodic.

Bitaw: A Soulful Ballad

“Bitaw” is an emotional R&B track that centers around the dissolution of a romantic relationship, and the struggles of dealing with healing and self-love. With slinky beats and soulful delivery, the Keen-helmed song refuses to stick to the time-tested formula of pop music, tapping someone like Zsaris to interpret the material with the right balance of sensitivity and nuance.

“We are confident enough to win the vibe of the listeners,” Keen shares, beaming with so much enthusiasm and confidence. “The production team sauces up the final piece, they’ll be hearing a different approach from the original one that I made.”

Lunod: A Colossal anthem

According to composer ChochayMagno, “Lunod” is about finding merit in quitting, and how it can be liberating sometimes to just give in to loneliness and melancholy. “Sometimes quitting is winning,” the South Luzon finalist shares. “And walking away from those who failed to see your worth is your first step towards regaining yourself back.”

Magno wrote “Lunod” while lying in the sands of La Union. She attests to the power and tranquility that nature gives off, which allows her to hit the reset button and escape the toxicity of work and personal life. “I can cry my tears out without being obvious because when you’re soaked in water nobody knows you’re crying, right,” she explains. “I can shout to the waves without being judged. It’s like the sea is my witness and fortress.”

“Lunod” is interpreted by pop newcomer ShairaOpsimar, who gave justice to the song’s colossal nature and emotional depth.

“Para Kay Catriona,” “Bitaw,” and “Lunod” are are now available on streaming and digital platforms worldwide via PhilPop and Warner Music Philippines.


“2 more weeks”, Gareth.T R&B track for the holidays


Hong Kong-based R&B producer/artist Gareth.T has dropped a soulful jam called “2 more weeks” via international indie label, Umami Records.

Infused with a Mac Ayres-inspired vibe and lo-fi beats, “2 more weeks” feels ripe for a laid-back holiday party. Telling the story of someone wanting to go home to see their loved ones, this R&B bop stands out with hip-hop verses coasting through breezy melodic lines and a slinky pop edge reminiscent of unfussy, eternal summer.

“I co-wrote this song with my roommate in Boston when we were both preparing to leave and go back to Hong Kong for the summer,” said the multi-talented artist. “He was in this long distance relationship with his girlfriend and the song is about how he couldn’t wait to get back to her.

Citing his favorite part of the song, Gareth.T. remembers how instantly he got attached with the chorus. “I like the chorus the most, despite it not being really clever or even catchy. In my opinion, it feels very warm and smooth, which is basically the essence of the song.”

Currently based in Boston while studying at Berklee College of Music, the prolific producer has been dropping a new track every 4 weeks, and has no plans to slow down.

Listen to 2 more weeks by Gareth.T everywhere at this link:


Plastic Hearts by Miley Cyrus retro-inspired album

Miley Cyrus

Miley Cyrus, pop trailblazer makes an explosive return with the release of her highly anticipated new album, Plastic Hearts, is now available on all digital platforms worldwide via RCA Records. Weeks after her single “Midnight Sky” and revamping the ‘80s discotheque with her Dua Lipa-assisted jam “Prisoner,” peaked at No.1 on iTunes Philippines.

“Plastic Hearts”, Cyrus seventh studio album features collaborations with Billy Idol, Joan Jett and Dua Lipa. In a handwritten letter about the new album, Miley recalls that she began writing the album over two years ago.

“Thought I had it all figured out,” she wrote. “Not just the record—its songs/sounds but my whole fucking life. No one checks an ego like life itself. Just when I thought the body of work was finished it was all erased, including most of the music’s relevance because everything had changed.”

Miley’s new sound gives listeners a renewed sense of appreciation for music made in the ‘70s and ‘80s, as seen in her cover art, which was photographed by iconic rock & roll photographer Mick Rock. Rock adds Miley into the list of artists and legends that he has photographed over the years, including David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Joan Jett, and Debbie Harry.

Miley prisoner still

So far, Miley has released two singles from the album: “Prisoner” feat. Dua Lipa, which was accompanied by a shamelessly campy rock video featuring the dynamic duo, and directed by Alana Oherlihy and Miley, plus Miley’s summer hit, “Midnight Sky.”

Watch the video for “Prisoner” here.

Watch the video for “Midnight Sky” here.


The Itchyworms brings festive cheer with “Have A Merry Christmas” and “Maligayang Pasko”


The Itchyworms keeps the holiday cheer going with the simultaneous release of two Christmas songs “Have A Merry Christmas” and “Maligayang Pasko.” In honoring the time-tested tradition of writing Yuletide-themed originals that are meant to bring people closer to home in feeling and essence, the pop-rock quartet is keen on uplifting our spirits during the pandemic. 

Drummer and lead vocalist Jazz Nicolas points out the important of Christmas songs in a very crucial time like this. “We need to be reminded of the joy and hope and the spirit of giving. It’s the time of year when the world falls in love, so it’s important to listen to Christmas songs all year round.”

Kelvin Yu, the band’s bassist, echoes Nicolas’ sentiments. According to him, Christmas songs are those anchors in our lives that we can always expect to be there for us no matter what the situation is. “There will always be Christmas songs: during good times, itfurther uplifts us; and during not so good times, it can provide us with that warm hug that everyone needs come December,” Yu shares.

Have A Merry Christmas: A Modern Holiday Standard

According to lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jugs Jugueta, “Have A Merry Christmas” is inspired by a meme featuring Jose Mari Chan, inarguably one of the most popular holiday tunesmiths ever. “When the Jose Mari Chan meme first came out, it was funny,” says Jugueta. “But then, people just do it every year and it becomes not as funny anymore. Anyway, one time I posted a challenge to my Facebook friends: instead of posting about Jose Mari Chan, why don’t you write your own Christmas song? ‘Have A Merry Christmas’ is an attempt to do so.”

Intricately arranged with Beatlesque pop harmonies, swoony string arrangements, and catchy, sing-along moments, “Have A Merry Christmas” fills the air with comforting message of joy and positivity. In describing the musical process behind the Christmas bop, Chino Singson, The Itchyworms’ guitarist, envisions a lush template in mind: “The melodies are definitely Britpop, and our classic shuffle a la Akin Ka Na Lang and Chocophotolandcompletes the aesthetic vibe.”

Written by Jugs Jugueta, “Have A Merry Christmas” is a “smorgasbord of Christmas tropes or cliches all rolled into one song.” Nicolas adds, “When you mix them all together, you get a song that pretty much says, Merry Christmas!”

Maligayang Pasko: A jazzy, tropical-infused jingle

Helmed and produced by Jazz Nicolas, “Maligayang Pasko” takes you back to the ‘70s and early ‘80s era: a laid-back, groovy tune that winks toward Manila Sound and city pop. It’s a nostalgic Hallmark anthem whose groove, to quote Nicolas, “is partly based on a latin or bossa nova beat, mixed with funky guitars.”

The multi-instrumentalist member of The Itchyworms also add a little bit of camp experimentation in the mix in an attempt to highlight the band’s sense of musical adventurousness. Nicolas recalls, “I was very excited to use a combination of a vocoder, which is sort of a voice synthesizer and a text-to-speech type program to sing the chorus harmonies with us. I programmed three tracks of text-to-speech saying ‘mah lee guy young pass koh’ and tuned each them to sing in harmony.”

This organized chaos resulted into a Christmas song dipped in Tropicália and jazzy elements, and serves as an exploration into an unfamiliar sonic territory.

Both “Have A Merry Christmas” and “Maligayang Pasko” exude the timelessness of holiday songs, and its significance in bringing festive cheer to everyone, despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic. As Kelvin Yu puts it, “I feel that Christmas should still be celebrated this year, especially with the important people in your lives. This year has been tough on everyone, and has made us all appreciate our loved ones, and we can keep them close and celebrate life with them every day, and not only on Christmas.”

The Itchyworms’ Have A Merry Christmas” and “Maligayang Pasko” are now available on all streaming platforms worldwide via Sony Music.


Acoustic pop newcomer Bianca releases Rivermaya’s “Hinahanap-hanap Kita,”

Bianca drops a stripped-down version of Rivermaya’s ‘90s classic song “Hinahanap-hanap Kita,” out on November 26, Thursday will be part of her upcoming debut EP to be released soon under Sony Music Philippines. Her latest release is out now on all digital platforms worldwide..

Delicately arranged with acoustic guitars, lush strings, and subtle electronic beats, Bianca’s rendition of the 1997 alt-rock staple makes good on the promise of the original’s melodic sensibilities, while infusing a more poignant take that resonates with the generation of young listeners today.

“I’ve come to realize that I have this tendency to make songs more melancholic because of the fact that I’m more drawn to sad music,” the promising singer-songwriter explains. “This time, I was able to express my own style authentically and show my emotions meaningfully in singing. Through experience, I’ve learned the importance of owning a song by altering its characteristics and technicalities, and ensuring that it’s suited to my personality and liking.”

Being a fan of Rico Blanco herself, Bianca decided to cover one of the singer-songwriter’sbiggest songsas a form of tribute. Bianca clarifies, “I also had no specific plans of having this as my second single. However, when I made my own rendition of this song for my guesting at RX 93.1, a lot of people enjoyed it and I did as well. Because of the interest of others, I thought of sharing and releasing it.”

“Hinahanap-hanap Kita” is co-produced by Bianca and 6cyclemind’s Rye Sarmiento, and was recorded at the Backdoor Recording Studio a few months ago. Sarmiento was instrumental in molding the finishing touches of Bianca’s first single “Biglaan,” which to date has racked up more than a million streams on Spotify alone.

Bianca specifically wanted to work with the prolific producer again because she knew for a fact that the material would be in good hands. “The experience that I had recording with sir Rye was very laidback and fun because of how patient and supportive he was with me as a newcomer in the industry. As a result, I definitely would love to work with him again on future projects.”


The teen songstress plans to step back from doing covers and start releasing new songs that she’s written during the quarantine period. Bianca admits, “I’m still a bit hesitant about it because of my fear of people seeing me be so vulnerable through my music, but thanks to my loved ones and the management I’m in, their continuous love and support motivates me to release my own work.”


Kairat Akhmetov is All Praises for Danny Kingad Ahead of Battle Between Top Flyweights

Former ONE Flyweight World Champion Kairat “The Kazakh” Akhmetov has nothing but kind words for his next adversary before they both step inside the ONE Circle. 

The 33-year-old from Almaty, Kazakhstan threw heaps of praises towards the Philippines’ Danny “The King” Kingad ahead of their highly-anticipated flyweight bout.

Akhmetov and Kingad will meet at the center of the Circle at ONE: BIG BANG, which broadcasts live from the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Singapore on Friday, 4 December.

Before he locks horns with the Filipino top flyweight, Akhmetov took the time to study his opponent and offer his take on their impending showdown.

“He doesn’t have many holes in his game. He is a complete fighter who can strike, wrestle, and grapple well. He always has good cardio too. But me and my coach have analyzed him a lot. Everyone has some weak spots, and I will work on exploiting him when we meet,” said Akhmetov.

Kingad is one of the Philippines’ finest young martial arts talents. “The King” is a winner of seven of his last eight contests. He earned a spot in the ONE Flyweight World Grand Prix in 2019, beating highly-touted opponent Senzo Ikeda in the quarter-finals. 

Kingad was supposed to meet Akhmetov in the semi-final round, but with the latter being injured, Australia’s Reece McLaren stepped in to replace “The Kazakh”. The Filipino overcame a tough challenge from McLaren to earn a date with former UFC legend Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson, whom he lost to in the final round.

All the while, Akhmetov has been watching on the sidelines as Kingad put together a fantastic run. Needless to say, the two have been on a collision course. After a long wait to face Kingad, Akhmetov is relieved he can now finally meet “The King” in the Circle, so they can settle their unfinished business once and for all.

“Danny is a very interesting fighter with a big heart, and a strong will to win. He is a very explosive, and well-rounded athlete. This bout is interesting to me because we were supposed to face each other in the Grand Prix. Now, we have a chance to finish our business. I have only a good impression of him. He is a really good and worthy opponent,” said Akhmetov.

“I’m confident in all areas of my game. I’m not just a wrestler. We are ranked very high in this division, and this match is a can’t-miss for all fans. There’s a lot on the line in this one. I will do everything in my power to get my hand raised on that day. Everything else is up to the Almighty.”

ONE: BIG BANG is the first of ONE Championship’s live event offerings in the month of December. The main event features a showdown between ONE Light Heavyweight Kickboxing World Champion Roman Kryklia of the Ukraine and challenger Murat “The Butcher” Aygun of the Netherlands.

Watch the show on One Sports+ at 8:30 p.m. Philippine Standard Time (PHT). One Sports will air the event on a same-day delay at 9 p.m. PHT. Additionally, TV5 will air the event on a next-day delay at 11 p.m. PHT.

Health and Wellness, Tech

The Herbalife Nutrition Leverages Digital Technology to Attain to be Fit and Healthy during this New Normal

The premiere global nutrition company Herbalife Nutrition takes place in digital technology to bring fitness to the people. As they go through different platforms through videos, virtual events and other interactive activities as their approach to this new normal. These different health protocols forbid the people to go outside and stay at their houses, but this doesn’t stop Herbalife Nutrition from giving their best to serve the people. I also witnessed their fitness platforms as I joined in their exercise through their fitness portal. It features workout videos that caters the beginner routines to the advanced workouts making fitness a reachable goal for everyone. It’s also great as all of their videos can be accessed for free.

Samantha Clayton, Vice President, Worldwide Sports Performance and Fitness, and Chairwoman of the Fitness Advisory Board of Herbalife Nutrition stated, “Three years ago, we started on our digital platform for fitness. It’s a free resource that’s for everybody.”

Ms. Clayton spoke in the media and the blogging community during the virtual Wellness Tour of Herbalife Nutrition Philippines. The conference was done in accordance with Herbalife Nutritious Get Moving with Good Nutrition, this campaign aims to stop this health sedentary lifestyle and encourage the people to take action and support one another on living a healthy lifestyle. It was introduced as part of Herbalife Nutrition’s 40th Anniversary Celebration.

 According to Samantha Clayton, “Digital has been driving fitness for a long time. It really amplified the average everyday fitness professional’s voice. If you see a lot of the content that’s on YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram, the content that gets the most likes tend to be fitness-based content, so the digital transformation of the fit-ness world has been happening for a long time. It has always been supported hand in hand with going to a location to exercise, but as this year has gone on, the physical getting together piece has gone down a little, which has made the digital transformation of fitness move at a more rapid pace.”

She also said that people will still choose to do their home workout even if the gym starts to open and people can go out as they realized the convenience of doing their routine in the comfort of their own home.

Those companies that tend to create content, the challenging part is making it fascinating for the people and customers.

When the Olympic sports stopped this year, we really had a challenge in engaging in communicating to other communities and meeting with our distributor.

Clayton and her team addressed the challenge and came up with 2020 Quarantine Sports and Fitness content, including athlete cook- off contest, social media workout videos, sports nutrition blog contest series, Facebook lives workout series and social media workout graphics.

Previous Olympic Athlete; Clayton also stated that the audience for Fitness Sport and Nutrition is getting wider until today.

Years have passed, the fitness and sports industry, in particular, was focusing on the athletes. Everything shifted the attention towards athletes, a person is doing his/her best at their specific sports, what is exciting is the audience is expanding not just for sports and fitness nutrition.” Clayton said”, people now are more interested in what nutrition has to offer.

These are the data that Herbalife Nutrition gathered between February 23- March 25, 2020. She shared that pointers of communication in sports nutrition online listening are: Nutrition 10%, Market growth (28%), Science (10%), Food (15%) and health (37%).

Based on the data these are the reasons why people are moving: running and endurance training ranked highest at 26% followed by bodybuilding and weightlifting at 23%, cycling at 13% and plyometric at 12%.

 Clayton believes that it is important that people must practice a healthy lifestyle. Doing so doesn’t mean you are striving to be an athlete. It’s not about you reaching specific performance, it is about improving your daily habits.

So whether you’re eating good and nutritious food, or having an exercise in the morning, an active lifestyle is sustainable healthy habits that last a lifetime. Your body is like a vehicle, the lifespan and how it operates relies on you.

A mother of four children, including a set of triplets Clayton has finished Bachelor of Science degree in Public Health Major in Nutrition and Wellness. A personal trainer and competed in the Sydney 2000 Olympics, is an athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA)- certified trainer, specialize group exercise and International Sports Science Association (ISSA)- certified trainer, group exercise specialist, and youth fitness specialist.

For more information, please visit


UE Jam Sessions pay it forward with a music video of Gloc-9 and Jenny Legaspi’s inspirational anthem

UE Jam Sessions has finally debuted the music video of “LalabanTayo” (The Renewal of Honors), featuring one of the most prominent Filipino rap icons, Gloc-9. Initially premiered on Apple Music, Spotify, and Deezer, the video has been making rounds on YouTube since November 22 at exactly 7pm.

Drawing inspiration from real-life experiences during the pandemic, UE-student dancers appeared throughout the music video with their unique interpretation on the material.

“I’m really proud of the 158 students who participated and made this project possible,” Executive Producer Tommy Tanchanco said in a statement. “Their cumulative efforts have produced an inspiring and powerful visual filled with passion and love for the country. I’m happy of the outcome.”

Even Gloc-9 himself shared appreciation for the organization through his Facebook post of the audio track with the caption, “Salamat sa UE Jam Sessions for this collaboration.”

The MV of “Lalaban Tayo” (The Renewal of Honors) is helmed by Cher Manulit, a 3rd year student from UE.


Jason Derulo teams up with Nuka on pop brand new single “Love Not War”

Jason Derulo x Nuka

Another future smash of the global superstar Jason Derulo after topping the charts and going viral in the Philippines and the rest of the world with the infectious bop “Savage Love.” The multi-platinum pop artist joins forces with Nuka on brand new single “Love Not War (The Tampa Beat),”—out now on Robots + Humans/Columbia Records. The hypnotic siren-infused instrumental finds Jason Derulo in his element, singing over tropical beats and summery, pulsating rhythms.

With a staggering 40 million followers across TikTok, Derulo is the biggest musician across the platform. The undeniably catchy yet enigmatic instrumental from 19-year-old New Caledonian producer Nuka captured the attention of many and amassed over 200 billion impressions worldwide.

Derulo being a big fan of the viral sensation, sifted through the videos and across the internet, sought after the creator. Regardless of the miles that separated the two artists, the power of music brought the two artists together to create new hit “Love Not War (The Tampa Beat).”

“Love Not War (The Tampa Beat)”follows on from a string of anthemic singles released by Derulo over the past year, with “Savage Love” being his fifth UK #1 with over 550 million global streams and the latter “Take You Dancing”amassing over 205 million global streams and counting.

Watch Love Not War (The Tampa Beat) HERE.