(Photos taken from Monsters The Musical IG page. Screen capped cuz I’m a G.)
What can I say about Monsters The Musical? Well, since I’m at a complete loss for words, allow me to borrow my friend, Alem Garcia’s words- “the show in one word was FLAWLESS.”
As we all know, Monsters The Musical is a musical play about being brave. With hints of it having an #LGBTQIA centered synopsis where of course, #LoveWins, my ignorant self thought that it would simply just be about that and nothing more but believe me, it was more than “just that”. And then some.
This modern love story which was beautifully written and directed by THE Sir Jude Gitamondoc cleverly uses our ever loved and cherished Cebuano talent, Cattski‘s, music to add an unexpected twist and new light to her songs that we 90’s kids grew up with.
If you need a refresher to her music- catch it here. If you haven’t heard her music yet, you can thank me later.
With an amazing cast that added so much life and character to the story and songs, Monsters The Musical was familiar; it was our kind of funny; it was heart warming and more importantly, it felt like home.
But I would have to say the star of the night was definitely Jacky Chang. As a seasoned singer, I always knew she could sing but it was her acting skills that blew me away. Her portrayal of Bea, a strong willed yet troubled woman, is what truly captivated the crowd together with her magnetic chemistry with co-star, Trixie Alturas, whose acting also really captured our hearts. Trixie’s powerful vocals and amazing stage presence has me eager to see more of her in the upcoming months and years to come.
Of course, Marlon Tansengco and Von Saw‘s performances did not go unnoticed. They were all very, very good actors and I truly wish I could go into detail about their characters and why I love them so much without going too much into too much detail and robbing you of the experience of learning the story so I will just have to leave it at that. for now?
Overall, Monsters The Musical is a beautiful production with so many components that made it great. The acoustics were top notch, lights & technicals world class (hi Justin! I’m a fan!), the set design was straight to the point & no frills and while there were a couple mic issues, they were surprisingly resolved quite smoothly.
Monsters The Musical may be positioned, somewhat, as a modern love story but I still feel like it is a very classic love story (in it’s own ways). It talks about love between friends, family, one’s self, facing our most inner demons, being brave and honestly, I can’t imagine anyone who couldn’t relate to it.
I had an amazing time watching Monsters The Musical, I laughed; I cried; I pondered on my life and how precious yet fleeting every moment is and I feel like I came out of it a better person and for this experience, I am truly grateful.
As I end this review, I would like to commend the Cebuano theater community and supporters for our unwavering support for the arts. The Center Stage of SM Seaside was packed and every one in the audience was so amazing & behaved- not that I am surprised but I would still really like to congratulate us, as well. Cebu is ready for more productions like this and I am looking forward to us taking on bigger projects and taking our talents to a wider audience.
Congratulations to MDF Productions for a more than successful first production, Sir Jude Gitamondoc, Cattski, all the cast and crew.
I am looking for more runs! I also think that Jake’s character could get his own spin off. hahaha.
Paolo & I wed last April 27, 2019, officially making me a Mrs. (lol. what? I still can’t believe it!) We were engaged for a year and 4 months which gave us more than enough time to explore all of our options, suppliers and ideas. While we didn’t initially have a theme, looking back at what had come into fruition, I would like to believe that it was somewhere between the lines of “Sprinkles & Sparkles” or you know, just fun colors.
I look back at our wedding with such joy and contentment knowing that was everything I had wanted it to be. It was more of a personal experience for me more than it was a visual because what we lack in decorations (flowers), we made up for with bright spirits and CRAZY stories to tell after.
But while those stories will just have to wait for their time to shine, I wanted to share other stories of the wonderful bodies that made this wedding come together and hopefully they can help any and every couple out there!
Bridal Robe: Bree Esplanada & Hoarder’s Closet I’ll be doing a separate blog just for my dress alone. Sorry, I can’t help it! I just love it SO SO MUCH!
Customised Bedroom Slippers: Cheeky Chic Fun fact: These were gifted to me by the owner of Cheeky Chic and I loved them so much, I brought them with me to the reception area and spent the entire night dancing in them!
Shoes: Maggie’s Box These shoes were custom made for me for only P 1,500.00 (plus shipping)! I got to choose to add platforms, the color and the height of my heels. It was perfect because I have size 4 1/2- 5 feet. lol
Groomsmen boutonniere : Lazada (link)
I really think this is the best alternative if you’re trying to stay away from flowers!!
Groomsmen giveaways: Lazada
Their goody bags came with a wallet & a rubber belt. We opted to keep the belts though cuz they were… rubber.
Tokens – Cheekychic I super love the gifts we had custom made for our Godparents because we were able to customize them to our liking. Inside the side table notepad contains different sheets of paper that says thank you in different languages in printed paper that matched our theme! It was soo special!!
Dresses & Hair piece: H&S Clothing I went back and forth with the possible alternatives for my flower ladies. I felt like head dresses were a bit too feminine and I couldn’t succumb to letting them carrying flowers so I really had to rack my brain for an alternative. Luckily, my friend Banisa gave me an idea after playing around with scarves that were given out during an event and thus, the floral wrap arounds!
I made the backdrop myself with the help of my staff and Alyssa! Unfortunately I wasn’t around during set up so I wasn’t able to even out the fringes so it’s a bit bulky on the top and thin in the middle. I was too meh to care anyways.
Host: Ryan Uybengkee If you’re reading this, thank you so much for everything, bro! You really brought so much life to the wedding and your games were BOMB!! ALSO, THAT PLAYLIST! FTW!!!
Cake: D&M Cafe My brother and sister in law are pastry chefs from the States and I am so happy that they decided to make our cake for us! My sister in law was soo adorable because she was literally stressing out because our actual cake didn’t quite come out the way we had initially planned it. I had first asked for a naked cake with the sprinkles showing and buttercream in the middle but things changed and they opted for a buttercream cake with cookie dough filling instead. In my most honest opinion, I think it turned out so much better (especially in photos) and it tasted even better than it looks! Seriously, I LOVED IT!
On the day coordinator/ Event Styling/ Flowers: Karen Go
A hot minute ago, my precious bag and all my possessions inside of it were stolen from me. I talk about that story in the video above so if you’re a sadist who enjoys a good crying episode- don’t hesitate to subscribe to my channel!
I figured I would make a good situation out of something bad and since I technically lost every single valid ID possible, I felt like this would be helpful to anyone who might need it.
Here’s what I lost:
* Valid IDs: Drivers license, Passport, PRC ID
* iPhone, Hard drive, wallet with cash & an issued check, important notebooks/ organizers & bag
Here’s what I did:
1. Checked all CCTV footage in the area for any information from the recent incident.
My bag was snatched in front of the FLC building so I was hoping that there was footage that could lead me to anything that could have been useful. I was also advised to message Bantay Mandaue- Team on Facebook in case they could access the other CCTV’s in the area. They did reply, not everything they said was useful but it was a reply nonetheless and I was pretty thankful for it.
2. Called up my bank. I only have debit cards and while they’re generally safe, I still wanted to make sure that even if the guy who stole my bag was able to punch in the right numbers, I had already secured my money.
3. Cried. Cried a lot. Just kidding. Or not.
4. Tried to see what I could do with my phone. I had very important documents on my phone so I had to make sure that even if I would never get my phone back, the thief couldn’t get through to my important notes and what not. I had an iPhone and had some issues because of the two point authentication codes so in the end I had to call up the Apple hotline and ask them what they could do to help me in my situation.
5. Called up the police. I was feeling a bit dazed and confused with so much that was going on that I just had to call the police on the phone and ask them what the next step was. They did advise that I go in and get a police report so if in case anyone tried to use my identification IDs they would know that it wasn’t actually me. They said that I could walk in any time that I wanted to and that I didn’t have to pay anything so I decided to go a week after because I really wasn’t in the mood nor did I have the willpower to do anything.
6. Because I came in so late, I had to secure an Affidavit of Loss from my attorney first. There are 2 ways that you can do this, print your own affidavit online and have it notarized (or so I’ve heard) at City Hall or you can walk into an attorney’s office to have one made. I paid P500.00 for mine at my regular firm and it only took me 3o minutes. It wasn’t so bad that I had to get an AOL since I would eventually have to get one for my drivers license and passport anyways…
What To Do With Lost License:
7. I haven’t really done this yet part yet mostly because I have no interest in driving anytime soon but there are articles online and hereis one with enough information.
What To Do With Lost Passport:
8. I’ve been advised to prepare my AOL and Police Report. I do happen to have a scanned copy of my passport so I’ll make sure to send it over along with my NSO (because I don’t have any valid IDs at the moment). I’ve heard that getting a passport right now is hell but we might try out luck elsewhere. Luckily we haven’t planned our honeymoon yet so we all good…. so far.
What To Do With Lost PRC License: 9. Instructions here
THE MOST IMPORTANT PART. IF YOU LOST YOUR ORGANIZERS/ NOTEBOOKS:
Losing your organizer might not feel like a lot but because my work notebook had a list of all my clients and our current collectibles which also reflected on my planner along with the exact times and dates that I or my staff were scheduled to pick up. I opted to choose my safety first and drop any/ all events, commitments and meetings that were reflected on my planner. It just seemed like the safest thing for me to do so needless to say, I spent majority of my time inside the house.
So that’s basically it. I hope this helps at least one person.
Amazing things happen when you least expect it, like being the first ever person to win The Great Cebuano Flatlay Challenge despite possibly being the worst person to take flatlay photos on the face of the earth.
It was a fun afternoon filled with food & creativity and I got to play with my food and win some prizes which was definitely the sweet and sour sauce on top of my spring rolls!
Here were my winning shots:
ROUND 1: Greens & spices
ROUND 2: Appetizers
ROUND 3: Main Course (I used my cover up for my background!)
ROUND 5: Dessert
Please do not ask my for flatlay tips because I won on sheer dumb luck!
I hope this post makes you as hungry as it made me,
On Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018, wasn’t a holiday but it might as well had been. Women and men all over the world paid homage to the movie Mean Girls, which is all know is a totally fetch movie.
Seriously, if you don’t know what I’m talking about you can’t sit with us.
All puns aside, I decided to play along to the tribute and deck myself out in a pink ensemble because we all know that “On Wednesdays, We Wear Pink.”
It was honestly quite fun to be able to dress up in theme and it was even more fun to see hundred and thousands of people on social media join in on the fun. While I doubt Regina George would have ever let me sit with them in this ensemble, I’m still glad I got to wear something that was pink yet was still a good reflection of who I am and my style.
Obviously I’m not a huge girly- girl but I like the think that I get to be more adventurous with my fashion options that way 😉
On the day that I represented the Philippines for the second time for International Podcast Day, I wanted to make sure that I represented the Philippines well and in something that I could actually be proud of.
Gone are the days of tacky, neon colored touristy shirts for me- my Zero Three Two t-shirt was a simple, yet catchy homage to our culture. I mean, come on, name one true blue Cebuano who wouldn’t be able to recognize the Veco logo?
While most of the people who were watching the segment from all around the world had no clue of what my shirt mean, ZERO THREE TWO is in fact our local area code while the type face is our local electricity providers logo.
It was an honor to represent the Philippines again! I hope you enjoyed my session and that it inspired and/ or taught you a little something when it comes to podcasting.
I do intend to return to creating podcasts for everyone but maybe I’ll do it sometime after the wedding. There’s just so much on my plate right now- I know you’ll all understand 🙂
First of all, it was such an honor to represent the Philippines for the second time in a row- despite being on a “break” until god knows when.
If you are reading this online and don’t have access to headphone but would still like to know about my segment, here was my flow guide:
Before I start I’d like to thank the creators of International Podcast Day, Steve and Dave and of course to our sponsors: Blubrry, Repurpose.io & The Podcast Success Academy. It’s an honor to be here for the second year in a row- we almost didn’t make it this year but the team was so great and made sure that the Philippines would be able to share our stories and so here we are!
For those who don’t know me, my name is Issa Perez, I’m an online content creator from the Philippines. I generally like to consider myself as a storyteller more than anything where I blog, vlog & podcast about anything and everything ranging from originally fashion, to food, to travel, technology, entrepreneurship and through my podcast- other people’s stories, as well.
Just to give everyone a little recap of who I am or what I do or what I have done, last year I represented the Philippines with the topic: How I Started My Own Podcast through Facebook Live. As I mentioned last year during my session, podcasting was always something I’ve wanted to achieve as I explored the different platforms of online content creation.
For me, there was always just something special about podcasts because it requires another level of attention. In modern times where information or stories are easily passed around and are oftentimes disposable, podcasts allows listeners to really relate or immerse in on another level.
Before I started my podcast, IssaTalks, I was able to identify a huge problem: that Filipinos did not know what podcasts were. Yes, there were a few podcasters at the time, a majority of which I discovered after my segment on International Podcast Day which meant there were creators however, a lot of us were having a hard time finding our audience. And a lot of us didn’t know we were out there or how to connect with one another.
So what I did to address this problem of people not knowing what a podcast was was create a live podcast recording, similar to what a live interview/ talk show would be like, and somehow get the audience from my live sessions to transition into the audio podcasts on different platforms.
I mentioned last year that my biggest challenge with the live sessions was the internet connection, as in the Philippines we are known to have very slow internet. What I eventually learned was the slowness in our internet connection would eventually my biggest aid in transitioning my audience from videos to audio. Because the internet was slow, interested viewers were left to wait for the live sessions to end and go on audio which they eventually listened to at work or during their daily commutes or during their free times. ADLIB
I eventually learned that this opened a new interest amongst the audience and from not knowing what a podcast was, they were able to discover my podcast and eventually find other podcasters for them to fall in love with. Or it would work the other way wherein a small portion of people who already listen to podcasts would discover me and then look for other local podcasters.
As a content creator, I was also able to make a profit out of my podcast as clients were then approaching me and asking to be on my show as they wanted their consumers to get a better idea of what they were and what they had to offer. They had seen what the show was doing for the guests and they also felt that they wanted people to experience the same thing in terms of the services and experiences they had to offer.
In return, I was also required to get out of my comfort zone and try completely different things like getting my Feng Shui & Astral readings done live on the show.
I also did a couple of fan favorites which are: when I announced my engagement to my long term boyfriend, I had him on the show to talk about the details of our engagement and another episode where I got drunk with my mom and asked her a lot of questions you wouldn’t usually ask your mother.
But despite these being my viewer’s favorite episodes, it was in two very specific ones that I felt made a huge impact on me personally: the episode where I talked to the theater company behind Vagina Monologues and another episode wherein I talked about body shaming.
Statistically, they were the lowest viewed episodes to date but I felt like the messages were so strong that it empowered me to want to spread more information about certain issues like: women’s rights, gender equality, social issues, depression and other issues of the like.
Although those episodes did not quite get the reach we were hoping for, we were still able to reach out to a couple of viewers who personally messaged us showing an interest to help out the different causes and find the support system that they felt like they needed.
There was definitely something that sparked inside of me and made me feel like, I have this immense power in my hands and what am I going to do with it? I liked entertaining people and making them laugh but at the same time, I liked talking about things of substance, as well. I didn’t realize that I could actually mix both.
So there was a time where I was bit confused, overwhelmed and faced with the huge problem of not really knowing how to balance everything that I was going on the online and offline world. I was confused because Facebook was changing the algorithm of how my content was being seen by my viewers which eventually turned into frustration, I felt that there was still a lot of people I had yet to meet so I could improve the content of my show and at the same time I was also dealing with some personal challenges of my own. So in March, after a year of podcasting, I decided to take a break so that I could realign my goals for the podcast. 44 episodes in in a matter of a year, I felt like it was time for me to take a break so I could focus on other aspects of my life.
But It was in my hiatus that I discovered the greatest thing that could happen for other content creators in my community- not only in my city but in my country, as well. There was suddenly an influx of podcasts emerging around me which I did not expect to happen.
See, one great thing about us Filipinos is that we are great story tellers whether it’s telling our own stories or telling other people’s stories. In a span of 9 months, over 10 podcasts had emerged ranging from conversations with musicians, content creators, travel, business, storytelling and self- love & personal development topics. It was such an honor for me to step back, watch and mentor these fellow story tellers and share insights on how to change the way we not only tell stories, but share them with our audiences, as well.
Whether it be through prerecorded episodes, live interviews or highly produced shows- Filipinos are now understanding and immersing themselves in this wonderful way of communicating with other people.
I realized that there is a NEED and a want for people to share their experiences with others and now it’s just a matter of developing their own brands, streamlining content and sharing them with their audiences.
Having said this, I am encouraging those listening to this session to share their podcasts as well so we can all connect with one another and hear everyone’s stories.
For all those who are listening and want to start their own podcast, I would like to share these pieces of advice that I’ve learned over the year that I have experienced the wonders of podcasting based on my own personal experiences and from other podcasters, as well:
Work with what you have. I admit I stretched myself a little too thin when I started- I was a one woman team from setting up and housekeeping, recording, editing, publishing and marketing. It was definitely a well worth feat and if I have to do it all again, I definitely would but this time around, I would definitely work with people who have similar interests.
It was with an episode with 032 conversations by carlo villarica that I realized that my set up shouldn’t be as complicated as I had envisioned it to be. Carlo started his podcast by meeting his guests at convenient locations with his compact microphone and it works! I realized that you can build your set up as you go and the important thing is really content. Which brings me to my 2nd lesson:
Understand that there is time to grow and improve your content, quality and set up. It doesn’t and will not be perfect right off the bat but you will grow in time as your show does.
Learn how to ask for help. As I ended my first IPD session, I felt confident that I was doing everything right in my podcast but it was a fellow podcaster from the Philippines who pointed out a lot of things that I could use to improve my episodes. It was as simple as how I title my segments and tagging and even my descriptions but it made a huge difference.
Challenge your creative abilities. I feel like we as creators are constantly challenged to change our narratives and the way that we deliver stories- think outside the box and try to find ways to set yourselves apart. I’ve started a short segment called candid conversations where I record conversations I have with my mother (that she doesn’t know about) where I capture her most unfiltered opinion about certain topics. I haven’t released it yet but I do intend to when I return to podcasting, hopefully soon.
This is just one thing that I can think of but I’m sure that everyone has their own ways of setting themselves apart.
Put in the necessary amount of work. Here in the Philippines we are taught by agencies and through experience that collaborating is the way to go if you want to boost your presence online which is perfect when it comes to podcasts. However what I want to point out to everyone who is listening is that, if it’s your podcast, you shouldn’t depend on your guests to boost the show. They’ve already been on your show so their job is done. I’ve heard some feedback when a podcaster will complain that they had someone big on their show but that guest didn’t “plug” the podcast as much as they would’ve wanted but in my opinion, it’s your show so you need to do more or the work. So that’s really just my two cents. 😛
Don’t be afraid to experiment on how you market yourself!
I mentioned this last year and I will say again, don’t be afraid of not having an audience, especially at the start.
Because of my experiences online, I have also spent a huge portion of my time in the offline world mentoring and giving inspirational workshops and talks to individuals, schools, businesses, agencies and the content creator community about what we all do which is telling stories. Based on the turn out alone, I see the interest whether it be from little children, business owners and those hoping to improve their craft.
The most frequent question I get asked is: what if nobody listens to me and do I respond to haters? If you search my content online, you will see that I am no stranger to criticism but the one thing I like to tell those who ask is that ____________________
Also, to quote my favorite podcaster Bobby Lee of Tigerbelly, 50% of your listeners will love you and the other 50% will hate you and that’s how you know you’ve made it. That is the thing that will keep driving you. And I do agree with those sentiments.
As I come to the end of my segment, I would like to thank all the listeners who stayed with me for the entire hour. I also urge you to check out the other amazing creators from my country and around the world, as well- for the interviews with other podcasters from the Philippines that I’ve worked with, you can find them on my blog www.issaplease.Com or on different platforms.
It is indeed a wonderful time for creative and creators and I am confident that next year, there will be another breed of Filipinos representing my country that I am so proud of! J
Salamat kaayo sa inyong pagpaminaw nako karung adlawa, mahal ko kayong lahat!
Allow me to go out on a limb and dare use the term “best”- besides, how often have I ever used thisto describe a burger before? Only one other time and it was for this episode.
I don’t like throwing the word best around because we tend to use it so lightly nowadays but this time, I truly believe that I have found the one when it comes to burgers and let me tell you why:
Its price. At P75.00 for a regular burger and P90.00 for their signature cheeseburgers heavily smeared with their special cheese dip, you’d first take a look at it and think that 1 burger might not be enough- WRONG.
Because of it’s tightly packed meat and generous toppings, one burger is actually enough. It also goes well with a bottle of soda for P15.00.
The flavor. At D&M Cafe, they use the finest quality ingredients, making sure that this brings out the best taste in their recipes. From the fresh, soft buns; tender & flavorful meat and especially their special cheese sauce that you can also order separately as a dip.
The taste. While some burger joints like to garnish their burgers with overbearing sauces, I find my favorite aspect of this cheese burger is that I still know what I’m eating, I can feel the extra kick & flavor they’ve added to the dish and everything works so well together, creating a wonderful harmony in my mouth. It’s not a combination of a million things that leaves you wondering what you’re eating- it is simply a burger and that is, after all, what I came for.
The effect. I walked into D&M Cafe thinking with my stomach and not my head. I had this grand illusion that I was going to eat everything on the menu and go back on my merry way- WRONG AGAIN. While a full stomach is good, it was the effect of such good food that impressed me the most. You see, I blog about food round the clock almost and so, it’s become hard to come by a dish/ dishes that blow me away, but here I am, not only blown but completely swept away by the food & the charm that D&M Cafe has to offer.
Admittedly, this cafe is still in it’s early stages of life having just opened about a month or so ago. It is currently run by the American & Filipina chef couple who recently moved to the Philippines to share their love of food & pastries with us Cebuanos.
If you’ve got a sweet tooth, make sure to stock up on their cookies & brownies because they are absolutely bomb especially the fudge brownie and the butter scotch which are my faves!
Other must tries are the rice toppings that sell for P65.00 (Chicken Teriyaki) & P75.00 (Pork Stroganoff & Sausage Gravy).