Category Archives: Culture & Arts

Getting started on your passion projects

I’ve been meaning to write something about getting started on doing passion projects. While I haven’t been doing that much work recently, I’m still in a better place than I was two years ago.

Passion projects are things you do outside of your usual work and daily life scope that gives you joy. At least, that’s how I see it.

On August 1, 2019, Canva Manila celebrated its 5th anniversary. Our art group, Kamote PH, was invited to speak during the anniversary celebration, The Best of Us. I, along with Jay Santos of Meow Project, represented the group. Here’s my quick take on how to get started on your passion project.

Photo of the author giving a talk during the Best of Us Canva Manila anniversary
Looking legit. Photo by Geryl Minguillo.

Starting from somewhere

Kamote PH began when a few of the designers at Canva Manila decided to sign up for Komiket and sell merchandise. A few of them had already been doing it, and thought to invite people—designers and non-designers (by this, I mean by job description) alike.

I enthusiastically said yes to the invite, but truth to be told, I was scared of failing. These people were mostly formally trained with art and design, or had at least several years experience doing it. It was pretty much a hobby for me, and it had been years since I actively and consistently did anything. Not to mention that I still didn’t have a clear style or aesthetic, while they had. The internal conflict I had whether I should do it or not was pretty strong.

But I did it anyway, and I have no regrets despite the rocky start.

Sticker I made floppy disks cassette tapes cactus video game controllers
Stickers that I made in the last two years. Slide from our presentation. Check out my Instagram.

Quick tips

Be genuinely interested

This must be something you like and really want to do. It is a passion project, after all. The drive to do this will fuel your creativity, and it will show in your work. There’s a huge difference in creating a design in a haphazard-looking style, versus creating work haphazardly. Be in it not just for the likes.

Be prepared to give it time

Time is a precious commodity—something that can’t be rushed, but goes by quickly. No matter how good you are, you’ll need to devote time in cooking up ideas, putting them on paper, and creating the product. You’ll also need time to get the word around and build your following. especially when you’re starting out. Time will also be needed to help you improve your skills (because there’s always room for that no matter what your skill level is).

Art supplies on a table
Image by Dzenina Lucac

Be prepared to fail

Or at the very least, leave room for errors. I always say there’s value in preparing well, but not everything will be smooth sailing all the time. There are factors you ca’t control, and even if you can, there will be some errors along the way. And when that happens…

Be kind to yourself and learn from those mistakes

Because they happen, and what’s done’s done. How you deal with it matters.

Start with what you have, and build on it as you go

I’m sure I’m not the only one who wants to have the best materials or latest gadget to get started. They’re nothing wrong with that, but using it as the ‘reason’ why you’re not doing anything, well, it’s really more of an excuse. This is admittedly a difficult hurdle for me, but you have to push through. I used to think that I needed Illustrator to create vectors, but there were other options available (try Inkscape. It’s free!)

Just do it

Take a leap of faith and start doing things. You want inspiration? Check out kuyaartist on Instagram. He’s 12 years old, around the same age as I was when I started doing fanart, and now he’s making his own stickers. He’s aiming to join his first con selling them next year.

Getting started with your passion project summary list of tips on starting by Kat Sales

Lessons learned along the way

Push yourself to do it

This lesson is pretty much similar to the immediate tip above. Sometimes you can’t wait for motivation, but you just have to push yourself to do it. Don’t be lazy. Don’t procrastinate. No one’s going to do the work you do but you.

Learn to plan

We always think we have plenty of time—until the day of the con or your deadline is near. Sometimes, because I didn’t plan things out, I find myself staying up late the day before a con printing and laminating stickers, then cutting them. I’ll be tired during con day, and I won’t have enough stock to sell. Not a good thing.

Find a community

When I was younger, I didn’t have enough friends who illustrated or drew. The ones I knew who did had different tastes than I do, and for most of us it was really just a hobby.

Kamote PH to me is like #romanceclass: I’m surrounded by people who are doing something similar and see value in it. Instead of competing, we inspire. We all may be doing stickers, and there may be several of us who likes the same things—like cats, dogs, Broadway shows, or Kpop—but our styles and aesthetics make them unique from each other.

Your community is a great place for support, encouragement, and learning. Knowing that there are people who understand what you’re doing and why is a big deal. I probably wouldn’t have done what I have in the last couple of years if I didn’t have a community.

GIF of young men in football jerseys doing a pre-game pep talk

You will learn new things and your process will change

When I first started out, I didn’t know how to do vector art. I crammed learning it in a month, and rushed the printing three days before the con. A few months later I was a little more confident with it. Later, I realized I could do away with vector for some designs and use watercolor. Sometimes I combine them, sometimes I experiment.

I also learned how to print my own stickers, and in the process learned about the best paper to use, the kind of inks, how to laminate, where to buy, etc. Most of all, I learned how to deal with people because as introvert as I am, I’m still the shopkeeper and I need to sell my work.

Someone will like your work

We’ve been hit with imposter syndrome one time or another, and it’s something that becomes a blocker. When I first started, I made designs that I wanted. I knew there will be a few who’ll like it (namely my friends haha) but I never expected enthusiastic reactions from strangers. It never fails to make me feel good, and want to make more cool things.

Have fun

I started this because I liked drawing, and I wanted to make something that I didn’t see from other artists. I didn’t expect others to like it, and that I’ll make money from it. Now I enjoy making it—and making money from it is a huge perk.

There will be days when you’d rather not do anything, and that’s ok. But if you really want to make a success of your passion project, you have to make time and do it.

Getting started with your passion project summary list of learnings by Kat Sales

Balancing act

Here are some questions that we were asked after the talk:

“How do you get word out about your works?”

We rely on social media. For most of us it’s Instagram, as it’s visual and easy to share. We also rely on word of mouth, especially if we’re going to be selling at cons or other events. Some of us cosign with stores like Common Room or La Local PH. Others market at our personal social media pages, and have family and friends buy our merch.

“How do you balance your passion project with work/daily life?”

I said that you have to make time, not just find it. I said something earlier about planning, and it applies to that. You plan what you need to do so you won’t have to rush things, and you find time in your daily routine that lets you do these tasks. I like to brainstorm while in transit, and if I can, write or sketch things down. Then on weekends, I make stuff. Sometimes, I even use my vacation leaves to do it.

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

My top 5 podcasts (1st quarter 2019)

I started listening to podcasts instead of music at the start of the year. The most basic reason was that I didn’t have a subscription to Spotify so I couldn’t download music, and I didn’t always have data. I discovered that you can download podcast episodes from Apple Podcasts, so I went with that.

Podcasts for me are much better to listen to on the commute than music. With music, I don’t have to really engage my thoughts—I just let the tunes flow and it helps me with my work. Podcasts, on the other had, needs me to be engaged with the conversation. It’s like you’re in class listening to your professor, or if you’re in a TED Talk.

My podcast topics these days are mostly about art, side hustles/business, and romance (novels, including the author and reader community). Here are my top 5 (in no particular order), selected mainly for the quality of the episodes, the speakers, and the frequency of their updates.

1) 3 Point Perspective

The 3 Point Perspective is a podcast hosted by illustrators Will Terry, Jake Parker, and Lee White. They talk about illustration— “how to do it, how to make a living at it, and how to make an impact in the world with it.”

Logo of 3 Point Perspective podcast

What I love about this podcast: They talk about things beyond actual illustration skills: How you can be a better student, lessons they learned (yes, they still are learning!), the importance of finishing projects, and so on.

My favorite episode: Episode 2: Am I too old to get started? Though I’m far from a beginner, I’ve still got ways to go. This episode was great because their examples were for people past their 20s who were able to make it as illustrators.

2) David Tennant Does a Podcast With…

Actor David Tennant has a lot of fans, thanks in part to his work with Doctor Who and Harry Potter—more so now that he’s done Broadchurch and soon, Good Omens. Venturing into podcasts with David Tennant Does a Podcast With… seems to be a casual move, but on the other hand seems fitting.

Photo of David Tennant's podcast

What I love about this podcast: David’s voice is just wonderful to listen to, and each episode goes right off the bat—no long introductions, no advertisement or sponsorship spiels. Just David and his guest, and their conversation is very much like one between friends. Honest, heartfelt, real.

My favorite episode: It’s a very new podcast, and I loved every guest David has had so far. This far, I’d say my favorite guest is Whoopi Goldberg. I enjoyed listening to her story about how she stumbled upon acting, her encounters with other actors, and how important it is to be kind.

3) Overtime Design Podcast

Dribbble’s Overtime Design Podcast goes behind the scenes with designers and artists. Hosted by the site’s co-founder, Dan Cederholm.

Logo of Dribbble's Overtime design podcast

What I love about this podcast: As with the 3 Point Perspective, this podcast is about design, illustration, art, and everything creative. However, Dan talks to different people and they share their journey as creatives—how they started, the challenges, how they got to be where they are now. You’ll definitely pick up a lot of learnings, and find that perhaps you’re not alone in your journey.

My favorite episode: Lauren Hom. I love how she talks about how her passion projects opened up opportunities for her to earn money and step out from the rat race. She’s realistic but encouraging, and while she doesn’t pretend it’s not easy, she makes you feel that it is possible to do.

4) Smart Podcast, Trashy Books!

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books is a community website of people who love romance fiction—but the discussion here is so much more about that.

Logo of the Smart Podcast, Trashy Books!

What I love about this podcast: Aside from the very obvious fact that it talks about my favorite genre, it explores a lot of other topics that fall within the periphery of it. There’s the usual author interviews, but conversations can cover art, the publishing industry, plagiarism, racism, gender and sexuality, etc. Even if you’re not a romance reader, there will be topics that may be of interest, but are discussed within the world of romance fiction.

Favorite episode: I’m pretty biased, but I really enjoyed the episode when Mina Esguerra was a guest. It was great to hear about #romanceclass, and how it’s creating waves across the romance writing and publishing industry. I also enjoyed the episode with Regina Flath who talked about designing book covers (which lead me to reading new YA books).

5) Getting Curious with Jonathan Van Ness

Like most people, I got to met Jonathan Van Ness through Netflix’s Queer Eye. I didn’t know he had a podcast until I started listening to podcasts in general. Getting Curious has no particular niche. Rather, the topics are just about anything that Jonathan is interested in, including the environment, self-care, current affairs, and figure skating.

What I love about this podcast: The description of the podcast is “A weekly exploration of all the things Jonathan Van Ness is curious about”, and he is curious about a lot of things! While he asks a lot of questions, you’ll also know how smart and prepared he is because of what he asks. I’ve listened to episodes with topics I didn’t think I’d be interested in, but I come away a bit more informed about things that are relevant. He talked about how separation affects families (during the time when immigrant families where being broken up and children detained for months), the difference of British English and American English, trans rights, and if your vote makes a difference.

My favorite episodes: Honestly, I started listening for Jonathan’s interviews with his fellow Queer Eye cast—Antoni Porowski, Karamo Brown, Tan France, and Bobby Berk. I continued to listen because Jonathan is an engaging host, his topics are timely and relevant, and his guests are people who really know what they’re talking about.

I’ve since added a few more shows to my list. Maybe I’ll make another post, for the 2nd or 3rd quarter of 2019. Do you listen to podcasts, and if you do, what do you listen to?

#StickerConMNL2019 recap

Nearly a month after #StickerConMNL2019 and I’m still on a bit of a high. While I tried not to have expectations (particularly with how much I’ll sell), I couldn’t help but hope that it would surpass last year.

So what’s #StickerConMNL? Well, it’s the biggest and only convention dedicated to stickers. Artists from all over the country showcase their works and sticker enthusiasts come to meet them and buy stickers to add to their collection.

I love the theme of the poster. StickerConMNL does feel like a carnival of sorts.

While the venue was still Bayanihan Center, StickerConMNL now occupied both halls allowing more tables and more artists to join. Over 200 local artists have signed up as exhibitors, some even coming from areas around the country like Bicol and Cebu.

Guests weren’t just from Manila either. I’ve seen posts from people who said they came from Cavite and Batangas, and maybe some came from further places.

Not an idle moment.

The bigger venue also afforded for bigger number of attendees. By 3 PM, there were 2,000 guests (based on the number of tickets sold), and the total number of tickets sold for the day reached up to 2,700.

Artists old and new

#StickerConMNL2019 featured a lot of the artists who were present last year. I don’t know the ratio of new and returning artists, but with over 200 there probably is a whole lot of first timers.

Last year, I had the experience of selling on my own on the behalf of my group because they were suddenly sent off on a business trip. This time, they got to sell and their experience was overwhelming. They were worried at first that they might not sell much, but I assured them they will. I guess it’s safe to say that all their expectations were blown out of the water. Even mine, to be honest. The sheer number of people were overwhelming, but I’m really grateful for everyone who stopped by and bought a sticker.

What I loved

  • It’s all about the stickers. Duh. People come to the event for it, and you won’t really be competing with other products like comics or toys (even if there will be some available). Even if you think what you made is pretty obscure, there will still be someone there who will appreciate it.
  • The bigger space! Like I said earlier, the bigger space allowed not just for more artists to join the event, it also allowed for wider aisles for people to move through.
  • The games. StickerConMNL isn’t just a marketplace. The organizers made sure that everyone—guests and exhibitors alike—were not bored. There were several ‘Bring Me’ games, and a sticker cutting contest that showed one’s dexterity and skill in handling scissors and paper.
  • The 1:1 ratio of displays to artists. StickerConMNL is pretty strict about having each individual artist sign up for a space, rather than sign up and sell as a group. You can still sign up under your group name, but you have to list each participating member. I like this because it allows each artist to showcase their work and become more known to newcomers.
  • My location. The tables assigned to us were towards the side and near the exit. Was worried at first because we feared that maybe by the time people reached us, they’d have no more money to buy our stickers. Fears unfounded though. And since we were by the wall, we had space for our things and not had to worry about having it in anyone’s way. Bonus: There was a nearby power outlet which I used with my extension cord.
  • It’s a one day event. I know a lot of attendees are clamoring for StickerCon to be a two-day event. As an exhibitor and with the con’s 1:1 rule, it’s difficult for us to sell two consecutive days. We don’t have assistants, and practically all of us didn’t get a break. Doing it two days in a row takes a toll on our health, and unlike Captain Marvel we don’t have an unlimited well of energy to tap. While a two-day event will definitely bring us more money, I think most would just love a break—especially since we’ve mostly been up days before preparing for the con. Thank you for your understanding.
Photo by Raphael Angelo Salen. Thanks for getting this sticker, and for the amazing photo! PS. I should fix my hair.
With Landlee, Pat, Thea, Kitkat, Neobie, and Christine.
stickerconmnl2019 table exhibitor stickers katsales
My display of stickers

Can’t wait to see what #StickerConMNL has in store next year! For more photos, do check out the #StickerConMNL2019 hashtag on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Event Recap: StickerConMNL2018

It’s been a little over a year since my colleagues at Canva and I have embarked on this journey to sell our creations, mainly in the form of stickers, but we also sell a few pins, postcards, keychains and whatnot. We started at Komiket last February 2017, but have also dabbled in the BGC Art Mart and other creative events. We joined Komiket as well this year, and StickerConMNL.

What is StickerConMNL? Check out this article by When in Manila to get caught up! Fandom Feels PH Presents Sticker Con MNL 2018!

I heard about StickerCon last year, but I didn’t know it was my friend Grace of Fandom Feels PH who was spearheading this venture. This made me more excited. I rallied my officemates, and finally got a list of who will join me in this adventure.

I have to say that I was very unprepared for StickerCon, despite the long lead time. I left a lot of things at the last minute, thinking that I’ll be able to do things in two, then one, week. Nope. Instead of getting new stuff printed, I ended up hoping that my remaining stock will suffice.

Then came the news that my fellow artists will be going away for a business trip. That left just me to man the booth. The good thing with StickerCon it was just one day, unlike Komiket. However, I’ve never manned our booth for a whole event just by myself. Usually I’d pick up from the last person, but this time, it’ll be from start to finish. Thankfully, Drew and Ryan came by and kept me company for a bit.

I wasn’t expecting the crowd. A quick chat with my friends and they said it was totally unexpected too. Their last count was about 1,700 people (based on the number of tickets sold), and that didn’t count the number of artists, assistants, staff, and complimentary tickets. Towards the end of the day, they let in the attendees of another event happening in the same venue.

The sales were amazing. There were always people at the table, buying one or two stickers. One lady had an amazing haul of nearly 20 stickers. Another guy got all the retro gaming stuff we had, and quite a few dropped by to get more of their favorites. Almost all of the stock I had on hand were gone, and many last minute buyers were disappointed that we ran out of stuff. [Lesson: Come early as possible].

stickercon_bryan

With the organizers and staff of StickerConMNL

Congratulations to the team of StickerConMNL! Hope this will be an annual event, and maybe have some small pop-ups too?

My First Graphika Manila Experience

I had long wanted to attend Graphika Manila. To me, it was the design and art event to be at because of the guests who would be there to give a talk. Last year they had Seb Lester and in 2014, Jessica Hische.

This year, I decided to take the plunge and get a ticket. I got a student early bird discount so my ticket was cheaper than the one advertised. I expected to go alone, but thankfully a bunch of people from work were going. In the end, I was the only non-designer in the group, but it was fun to hang out with them. I was inspired not just by the people talking onstage, but also by the ones I was with. No bull guys. 🙂

Here’s a few pictures from both days.

IMG_1458Gemma O’Brien

IMG_1442Timothy Goodman ends day 1 with a bang

IMG_1524Everyone enjoying Harvey Tolibao’s presentation on day 2, which was really brilliant, in a stand-up comedian way.

IMG_1485Simone Legno

IMG_1542Simone, Gemma, and Timothy

Looking back on Graphika Manila, my favorite lessons came from Matthew Encina of Blind.

At one point he three points that he takes to heart when it comes to his passion:

  1. Be yourself
  2. Start before you’re ready
  3. Learn it, teach it, own it.

But of all three, what stood out the most for me was “Start before you’re ready.” All too often we wait inspiration to strike, or for the “right time” to come before we do something. Then again, how do we know when we’re ready? How do we know when the time is right? His advice is close to Nike’s “Just do it”. It will happen.

He also said, “Embrace your passion. You’ll never know how it’ll play out.” Many of the speakers showed how they started out without having formal study of art or graphic design, but it was something that they wanted to do. They indulged it and kept working with it, until they got to the point where they were considered experts in their field. A lot of people start with an interest in art and design, but not everyone sees it through. So keep at it, keep doing, and who knows where you’ll end up.

The Sounds of Manila Transitio

It was a beautiful night as my Couchsurfing friends and I sat on a makeshift mat made of cardboard boxes at the Plaza Moriones at Fort Santiago, Manila. We were waiting for the Manila Transitio to start, and after a full day of walking and eating, it was nice to just be able to relax like this in the middle of busy Manila. We had food and drinks. The night was pleasantly cool and not a sign of rain anywhere in the horizon.

Manila Transitio 1945 is an annual event organized by Walk This Way tours and Carlos Celdran. It is held every February to commemorate the fall of Manila during the second world war where an estimated 120,000 lives of Filipino civilians were lost in a battle. This year, the crowd was treated with performances by the Mabuhay Singers and Deoro.

The program started with the singing of the Philippine National Anthem. It was the second time that day that I sang it, but this time it was in Spanish. It was a pretty rousing rendition and you couldn’t help but be amazed by it. After a few words of welcome from Carlos, the Mabuhay Singers took the stage.

The Mabuhay Singers
The Mabuhay Singers has been around since 1958 and is one of the pioneers of the kundiman genre. Many people of my generation would not be familiar with it, being more inclined to listen to foreign pop acts. It was great to listen to these singers who have been around far longer than I have been alive.

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Philippine Postal Heritage Tour

Pictures to follow. Sorry! Photos added. Still a work in progress. 🙂

About two years ago, I went with Lornadahl for a Postal Heritage Tour around Manila. While it’s not an official tour of the Philippine Post Office, it was nevertheless an educational tour on the postal service and philately, as well as some places around Manila that isn’t covered by the usual Celdran tour. This tour is hosted by the Filipinas Stamp Collectors Club and guided by Lawrence Chan.

What makes this tour interesting is that you get a look into the very fascinating field of philately, as well as a glimpse inside the majestic yet sadly dilapidated Metropolitan Theater in Manila. The tour also stretches to include Intramuros but as the tour is flexible, it sometimes doesn’t even get that far. Still, it’s a trip that is worth the time and effort.

I joined Anne and her cousin for this tour. Rence said that it usually lasts until early evening, mostly because the participants are fascinated by exploring that it’s hard to stick to the time table. We met at Liwasang Bonifacio, the park in front of the Post Office that is more known as Plaza Lawton. The older generation would probably recognize it as Arroceros Park.

The fountain was being used for the Bourne Legacy shoot, and the crew had set up camp at the park itself. I tried to catch a glimpse of Edward Norton but I doubt that he was still around.

The Historical Post Office
We went inside the Post Office first. The Post Office is a small, self-sustaining compound. Because of the large fleet of vehicles it needed, they had their own gas station. There are also smaller buildings within the compound, but sad to say, more than half of them are in a bad state. One is the Post Office museum, but it’s currently closed. I had the chance to attend a philately lecture there during the last tour, but the building is off limits now because it’s structurally unsound.

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The Post Office building is an impressive structure. It is often used in many local productions as a setting for school graduations or law offices. Sad to say, there is news that the building will be sold in the near future as the postal company is losing more money than what they are earning. Fullerton Hotel is said to be interested in it.

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Enter the Dragon

I’ve been a member of Couchsurfing since February 2010 but have yet to participate in anything the local group would organize. With all this free time in my hands, I’m eager to join in activities that sound like fun and do not cost much. When an invitation to join the group in Binondo to celebrate the Chinese New Year appeared on my dashboard, well, I couldn’t pass it up. I dragged Anne, my usual partner-in-crime for such adventures and off we go.

Getting lost, sort of
I’ve been to Binondo many times, and I was confident that I knew how to get there. However, I would normally come from the Sta. Cruz church side and walk up to Ongpin. I forgot what jeep I should ride if I wanted to arrive in front of Binondo Church. In the end, I walked a long way just to get where I was supposed to meet Anne.

The Philippines has a long and rich history with the Chinese. Business relations had been on going long before the Spanish set foot in the country. The establishment of the Chinatown here was in the 1500s, making the the oldest recorded Chinatown in the world — outside of China, of course. An interesting read about Binondo can be found here.

Filipino-Chinese Friendship arch

Meeting the Couchsurfers
Anne and I have the shyness gene so it took us quite a bit before either one of us had the gumption to ask the group of mostly red-shirted people in front if they were the CS group. Thankfully, we got it right the first time and a flurry of introductions began.

Street Party
The festivities had already started by the time our group of (my estimate) 40-plus people made our way through Ongpin. The street was clogged with people (tourists and locals alike) watching the dragon and lion dances. Hawkers lined the street selling lucky charms. Some shops were closed but many were open like a regular working day. It was easy to get separated from the rest of the group, which was what happened to me several times during the day.

After the fireworks and dance, the proprietors of a grocery store threw candy and other giveaways to the crowd. It was scary as people clamored to get something. To avoid getting crushed, I immediately left the area.

The colorful crowd scene

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Get Inspired: Michael Cacnio + Lego

Here’s another one for you Lego fans: Sculptor Michael Cacnio collaborates with Lego to recreate his iconic work to integrate pieces of the childhood toy we all know and love.

My first encouter with a Michael Cacnio work was at my aunt’s house. It’s a brass sculpture of a young boy flying a kite. I was fascinated by this piece because despite being static, it gave a feeling of movement and freedom. Quite like the feeling you have when you’re doing something you love. This impression is punctuated by the kite itself, extending a feet or so from the main piece and supported by a thin brass wire. A light touch will make the wire move, giving the impression that the brass kite is really flying.

Cacnio is a self-professed Lego fan, and with his latest showing, “Inspire”, he recreates several of his works by incorporating Lego with his usual medium brass. Here are a few photos of the pieces that are on display at Greenbelt 5.


“Kindness”


“Accelerate”


“Boost”


“Thrill”

The exhibit will be until September 29, 2011.

Random find: Taglish

I was listening to 99.5 RT this afternoon. I tuned in while Neil and Scarlet where talking to some guy and I knew their guest was American. Or at least, someone who grew up in America. It shouldn’t really be anything special, but then he started singing Yeng Constantino’s “Hawak Kamay”. First in the original Tagalog, then in English.

Amused, I searched “Taglish” on YouTube (the singer said to use that term if you can’t spell his last name) and quite a bit of videos came up. Turns out Taglish is a band, and is the project of Jason Fernandez and David DiMuzio. Yes, he is American.

I listened to a few of their covers (they seemed to do a lot of Rivermaya’s, not surprisingly since Jason is the current frontman of the band) and I just blown away by their performance.

Here’s one cover which I particularly liked. Elesi is my second favorite Rivermaya song while Bamboo was still with the group (next to Ulan which Taglish also covered). While I enjoyed this performance, what made an impression was the English translation of the song (seen as subtitles in the video).

So much of the song is, sad to say, lost in translation. Not that the translation is bad, but the poetic flair and the rhythm of the language is diminished. While I used to wonder what the heck a “mahiwagang elesi” had to do with the song, it sounded worse when translated. I’m not criticizing the group, mind you. Heck, I like these guys. I’m just saying that I grew to appreciate the song even more.

In the meantime, enjoy watching and listening to Taglish.