Wednesday, December 9, 2015

A Whole New Adventure

I finally found another job, and it is a work-at-home arrangement and I'm loving it!

I am quite relieved at this turn of events as I was starting to get really worried how I was going to get by this month. Whew!

I now find myself faced with a whole new adventure and I am happy.

Anyway, I am itching to get on my bicycle again and go off on another multi-day tour. A bike trip to Sagada has been on my mind lately and I am hoping I will finally find the time to get back on the road again very soon!

Friday, November 20, 2015

And Tomorrow is a New Day

Today was my last day at the office.

Tomorrow will be my first day of unemployment.

This is yet another chance for me to steer my life in a different direction.

It's going to be one hell of a ride.

Stay positive. Work hard. Above all, love what you do, and be true to yourself.

Let's go!

Friday, November 6, 2015

A Pic A Day VIII

I can't remember what i was thinking about at the time

but it seems to describe my present circumstances

i reached a crossroads

and i made a decision

and i have no clue where the road will take me

yet i smile

i forgot about my friends

reminding me that i don't have to be so alone

and that the future is how i choose to make it

strangely, i feel relieved.

it's going to be alright, jay.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Road trip to Tabaco City, Albay

I found myself in the rear with all the gear.
It wasn't comfy, and it was really hard to fall asleep
with the winding, bumpy roads and cramped space.
Our band BARABBAS was invited to perform at a club house in Tabaco City, Albay province last October 31st.

I really looked forward to this gig since I was longing to go out of town.

I filed for an early leave from work on Friday so I have lots of time to prepare for the road trip.

By Friday evening, we had packed all our gear inside a van we rented, and we went on our way on a 12-hour ride down south!

Ben's house at the back, and their eatery
at the front.
Entrance to Ishiaya Japanese Restaurant.

We arrived at our bandmate's house in Albay at around 10 am, and we had a delicious late breakfast before we were escorted by our hosts to a resort nearby where we can relax for a bit before hitting the stage later that evening.

At noon, we were treated to an awesome lunch at a Japanese restaurant!

Well rested and stomachs full, we were ready to make some noise that evening.

The stage at Jamaica Mansions Club House
The evening's entertainment


And this is us performing!

I think it was already past 3 am when it all ended, and we were all exhausted! We went back to the resort and hit the sack.

Later that morning, we took a dip in the pool and just chilled. Since we all had work the following day, we had to pack up our gear again for the journey back to Manila.

We had a pit stop at a local market to buy some snacks. We also went to a cemetery a short while after to visit our bandmate's mom's grave to lay some flowers. 

Jon, our vox, visits his mom...
The ride back was just as exhausting. I arrived back home so late and with a splitting headache, that I didn't have the energy to go to work.

Check out my photos here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Barabbas gig videos from last weekend

Here are some videos of our BARABBAS gig in Tabaco City, Albay last 31 Oct-01 November.

So, what we did was hand over the camera to the audience to do whatever, and we were surprised with the results.

Audio isn't stellar but I liked the raw, in-your-face videos taken.

Check em out below.

Will post blog update of our road trip soon!

"Pataasan ng Ihi"

"Neural Bend of the Thinking Man"


"Mindplight of the Catalyst"

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Walking the bike home

I walked my bike the last 5 kilometers to my apartment because of a flat tire. Took me around 1 1/2 hours. No worries. Took my sweet time. I still had a smile on my face. My music player kept me company.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Barabbas band update

Here's our second studio track. We will be releasing a 3-track EP called "False Flags" this weekend when we arrive at Albay to perform live!

Title: "Matapos Ang Dilim"
Band: Barabbas
EP: False Flags
Recorded at: Mindplight Recording Studio
Mixed & Mastered: Sound Carpentry Recording Studio

I'm excited to go on our upcoming 12-hour road trip down south!

I haven't travelled in a long time. Maybe soon I can go to the southern provinces again, but on my bicycle!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

A concert at the park...

Just arrived home from Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium where my band BARABBAS performed live on a lovely Saturday late afternoon!

The park brought back memories. My alma mater is just a few blocks away (Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila) and I used to walk through this park all the time.

I took a lot more photos and videos and I hope to stitch together a new video soon.

Thanks to my brother Nal vivo Jr. from HATEURE and THE INSEKTLIFE CYCLE  for these photos!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The shit has hit the fan

So, I just did something today where I figuratively jumped off a cliff.
As I plunge head first onto the rocky depths below, there is literally no turning back this time.

For better or worse, I made a decision.

This is going to be a painful descent, and as I reach rock bottom, I either get back up and rock n roll, or just lie there dead.

Let's fucking do this.

Holy shit.

Monday, October 19, 2015

A Pic A Day VII...

i suppose...

for you to go where your heart truly desires...

you have to take a leap of faith,

scrape your knees,

endure the pain.

find the courage to

face the fear of uncertainty.

your heart knows where to go.

take the rest of you with it.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

My band Barabbas performing at Luneta

My local metal band BARABBAS will be rocking Luneta
this October 24, 2015 folks!
"Neural Bend of the Thinking Man"
by Barabbas

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

These sandals were made for pedaling...

I just realized that I have been using these Merrell sandals since 2013.

It's unusual since my feet have a penchant for destroying footwear in a short span of time.

I'm impressed.

Monday, October 12, 2015

My Dog, Boss...

His name is Boss, and he's
an American Bulldog.

Here he is at my balcony
barking at something that
caught his attention.

He's big enough now to make it
very difficult for me to carry him.

He is my ever loyal monster companion.

He never fails to greet me
with an enthusiastic
wagging of his tail.

Amazing creature.
Boss when he was younger.
Cute and cuddly.

Friday, October 9, 2015

My Little Carnival by The InsektLife Cycle

My instrumental band The InsektLife Cycle performing one of our songs "My Little Carnival" at Archipelago 7107 Bar at Ortigas Center, Pasig City...

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A Pic A Day VI...

Dinner at some eatery before going home.
the hustle & bustle of marikina...

enjoying the view,

an ocean of people on their way home,

a hearty meal, a dependable bicycle, a full stomach.

today was a good day.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

In the recording studio...

This is me recording my guitar parts at
instrumental band The InsektLife Cycle.

Getting it done in the hopes of releasing
a full length album this December and a
possible tour around China next year.

Monday, October 5, 2015

A Pic A Day V...

Intramuros Walls, Manila

i detest this crumbling, corrupt cesspool of a city

            there is nothing here that inspires me

except for a few nooks and crannies here & there,

the buildings and structures of the past,

the cobblestone streets,

   the old glory of manila.   

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Pic A Day IV...

Somewhere in Ilocos

I looked to my left
and the brightest white and vivid blue
took my breath away

I stopped
captured the scene
and just sat on my bicycle
taking it all in.

it was worth it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Pic A Day III...

Underneath the Light Rail Train elevated tracks in Manila
the way i ride...

what is the point of speed,

if you don't have time to enjoy the journey

or to stop and soak in the view.

slow down.

life is not always a race to the graveyard.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Biking Around Marikina

I spent my Sunday today (9/27/15) taking a leisurely ride around my neighborhood in Marikina City, Philippines.

Marikina is one of the cities that make up Metropolitan Manila. It probably has a population of more or less 500,000 inhabitants by now. It is a more bike-friendly town as opposed to its surrounding cities, with bike lanes available along most of the major roads.I particularly like biking along the Marikina River, and I make it a point to take the scenic river side bike path when going to work in the morning. 

Here's a compilation of pics and clips I took earlier this afternoon. Enjoy!






Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Pic A Day II

if you can...

get out...see the world outside the four corners of your concrete slab of every day life...

because there is so much to experience

let your feet touch unfamiliar ground,

you've come this far...keep going.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Down by the river...

There's this cycling path right along the Marikina river that I take when I bike commute to work. 

It's a quiet, cool, scenic route away from the scorching hot, gas-guzzling, traffic-clogged main road to my right.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Pic A Day...

Somewhere in Mindoro
alone...but not so lonely.

after awhile, the body just does what it needs to do, and no further encouragement is necessary

and it gives you enough freedom for your mind to wander

to think about other things...and people

and places, memories, good and bad

cherish them all. it's who you are.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A 48 kilometer kind of work day

Selfie - I'm starting to burn off fat, and my
double chin is beginning to disappear.
I gotta watch my diet and remain active.
So, I had to go on a work-related errand this morning. I decided to bike to my destination since I was 99% certain that I would get there faster rather than taking the cab. Turns out I was right. Traffic was slow going to virtual stand still.

I enjoyed the ride so much, I made a wrong turn somewhere so I had to back track. I eventually arrived at McKinley Hills where I had to file some paper work.

If you're curious to know the route I took on this ride this morning, check out my STRAVA route here.

I got the job done, biked my way back to our office, and around 2 hours later, I headed out again on yet another errand, this time at Quezon City Hall. But, I took a cab this time.

While I was there, I saw this guy on a wierd-looking motorbike pass by. When he got off the trike, I saw him grab crutches and limped his way towards a building. The guy suffered from polio.

Anyway, it looks like he took a motorcycle, chopped it in half, rammed a sidecar into the innards of the rear half of the bike, and jammed the front half of the motorbike including the handlebars onto the sidecar. To top it all off, he decided to throw a plastic chair into this monstrosity.

LOL. I was impressed. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lifting my bike over my head was a ritual

Lifting my bike during my Laguna Bay loop

Before my all-steel, heavy-as-a-sack-of-cement touring bike, I rode around with this nimble, dirt jump Felt mountain bike.

I hit upon this idea of lifting my MTB over my head and getting my picture taken in the act of hurling it down some ravine! Unfortunately, the prospect of attempting that stunt now with my Surly Troll with all the gear attached to my steel horse would, I fear, cause me bodily injury.

But it's fun to reminisce. Check out my bike-lifting feats of strength!

Me about to hurl my bike at the lake during my
Jala Jala, Laguna ride

Lifting my bike during my bike ride to Kaybiang Tunnel

This was taken on a different Kaybiang Tunnel ride

There were locals in a tricycle who saw me doing this and
thought I was going insane and about
to throw 
my bicycle in the water!

During my bike trip to Puray Falls

Another bike throwing stunt at Tagaytay

When we rode to Thunderbird Resort

Sacrificing my bike to the gods of pavement and trail -
during another trip to Thunderbird Resort

Monday, September 21, 2015

Into the Unknown

The roads are endless, but there is
always a destination.
So I'm off to another journey into the unknown.

I just recently handed in my resignation letter from my job and it's the scariest thing I have ever done in a long while. Scary in the sense that I'm not exactly sure what the future holds for me.

Then again, I guess life in general is like riding a bicycle.

I could spend countless hours and days planning my next adventure - and get stuck second-guessing myself, doubting my preparations, paralyzing myself brooding over worst case scenarios.  Eventually, I step back, take a deep breath, and simply tell myself, "Just do it."

Not everything goes according to plan.
Fix it. Keep pedaling.
It took me a long while to just do it, and now that I have, I find myself in unfamiliar territory. The prospect of impending unemployment, limited job opportunities, and the fear of not knowing what's around the next corner is both unnerving and exhilarating. Kind of similar to what I experience on the road. You know, something like cycling in the dark in unfamiliar territory, harboring thoughts of impending danger, limited options for help or rescue, and the fear of not knowing if that next switchback leads to your destination or several more miles of pavement. But I keep pedaling, because stopping is not an option. Don't stop. Keep going. I can do it.

And so I do the same in real life. Keep going, Jay. Don't stop. You can do it. You have no other option but to keep going forward.

Reassess your desires, passions, priorities, goals. Make do with what you have. Shed everything that you don't need. Live within your means. Treasure the few friends and loved ones in your life. Take care of your health. Be thankful for everything that has happened in your life. No regrets. You probably have a little over 2 decades left in your life if you play your cards right. Live the rest of your days the best way you know how. Be true to your yourself and others. Don't be miserable. Know who you are and what you are capable of. Don't try to change what you know are the best things about you.

Sweat, aches and pains - and then I look up
and around, and I realize how amazing
it is to be alive.
I don't know how my actions are going to play out. But like I always scream to myself in the middle of a hellish climb in the middle of the dark with the next town still hours away..."Keep pedaling damn it." And then I let out a laugh under my breath, and manage a faint smile.

I'll be alright, man. I'll be alright.