A new era for Filipino music lovers.

I wanted to write something music related for quite some time now but with the first publishing of our official local charts, I found the right time to discuss music, which as an avid listener all these years, I have collected many things to say.

Billboard PH’s Playlists is available on Spotify for your convenience!

June 12 of this year marks another milestone…not just for the continued celebration of our Independence but for the first time, we have an official music chart! How official? how about Billboard Official! Since Billboard announced it will put out a ‘local shop’ in the country, I have been thinking about what it will do to our local OPM scene and personally as a chart statistics aficionado having a local version is a delight.

Some may question whether we need an official local charts and the answer is absolutely. Sure there are some barometers for finding a song’s success (Itunes charts, Spotify rankings, radio countdowns, music video polls) but they are so fragmented and they are susceptible to certain bias (There is always this one artist (no names!) who I always question why he/she/they always managed to be in the top half of a certain chart).

Now for the charts: there methodology is already explained well by Billboard Philippines and for the charts themselves, they currently published three (BillboardPH Hot 100 – basically the top 100 across all genres and nationalities; Philippine Top 20 – all genres by Filipino artist (or maybe signed to a Filipino Label?) and BillboardPH Catalog Charts – top 10 songs for OPM songs older than three years old).

You can click on the link but I have some random thoughts about this first outings of the three charts:

  • The less we talked about their huge blunder, the better.
  • Admittedly, I haven’t heard all songs in the OPM Top 20 and when I searched for those songs, I like it so yay for diversity!
  • At first I thought that the twenty position OPM charts seems few but then I see KZ’s song from 2014 and there seems to be lacking newer songs (even the number 1 song if I remember was released January).
  • Speaking of KZ, her songs seems to be at the edge of the three-year catalog rule.
  • So Jona is the queen of the OPM charts with her three songs?
  • Going to the Hot 100, so we really like The Chainsmokers, Ed Sheeran and Little Mix?
  • We have some K-Pop in the house but not the ones I am fully aware of (I counted eight and thank God we have ten OPM on the Hot 100).
  • Speaking of old-timers: Stay the Night, See You Again and All About the Bass?
  • There are some foreign non-Korean acts on the charts I haven’t heard yet (e.g. Khalid, Lany and I’m interested to hear them).
  • We seemed to embrace Hip-Hop songs more than ever now.
  • The Catalog Charts can be described as anything goes (Up Dharma Down! Aegis! Nina! Jericho Rosales!).

Going through these charts, I am amazed about our music tastes and hats off to Billboard Philippines that they have created these charts that reflects most aspects of how we consume music and it includes a wide variety of acts and genres. There are still some things I want to see happen in the near future and not just for the charts:

  • For that blunder to never ever happen again. I felt sorry for that lady who sang an ‘Encantadia’ theme (her song is fine and she may come back).
  • I hope one day that radio airplay will be incorporated to the charts as I feel that this will dramatically alter the chart (I hypothesize that what is playing on the radio is vastly different to what we stream and buy) and to better reflect on how we consume music (for what I know there are still discussions on how to incorporate radio plays).
  • Hoping that newer OPM songs will be included on the charts as well. The older songs here are good (really good) but if you look at the international ones it is full of relatively newer foreign songs (although that maybe down to the consumer and not the chart’s fault).
  • For the charts to be promoted more (I know everybody involved is invested but visibility is everything)

Lastly I hope that every Filipino who consume music will continue to do so because now every listen to YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music and download of a song will matter more to your favorite songs and artists. So keep on loving music!!

I’m a senior millennial!

Everybody is broadly defined to which generation you are born. But what if you find out you belong to a specific subset of your generation? This post tackles about the w’s and h being at a clique in a broad group.

One Sunday evening, I was scrolling down my timeline when an article from CNN caught my eye. It was actually thoughtful, insightful and it makes me realize something: I am a senior millennial! You should read for yourself said article as I’m not going to articulate its contents but in a nutshell it states there that there are two generations of millennials and I based on that, I belong to the older millennial. (the article contents depicts American POV so it might be a little different for us here).

For months now, there is always this paradox that somehow bothers my mind: By almost all definitions I am a millennial and I do mid-twenties millennial stuff but when I look at the younger ones (aka. my brother and his cohorts who is five years my junior) they are different than me and my buddies. It’s like having two different templates that is united by … love of social media. Ok, so different social medias. By personal preference and my friend’s preference too, most of us are in select social media. Almost all of us have Facebook, about half have Instagram, fewer have Twitter and that is mostly it (Sure, I have this blog, I don’t have Twitter). Observing my brother, his friends and some of my younger co-workers, they love Tumblr (It makes me an older person but I don’t get Tumblr), SnapChat and its ilk and my brother even have this VR app thing and they seem to love it the way they talk about it online. Even our thought processes are contrasting. At first, I thought it is an age thing but I realize that two millennial groups life goals are different. Most of us in the late twenties now (again, from the persons that I personally knew and talk it about and it is not a reflection of all of us) we seem to have a clear if not rigid plan for our lives. We want to accomplish this by this point; I want to have that by the end of a period etc. But it seems to me, that most younger millennials wanted to live in the moment. They wanted to explore more, THEY LOVE TO TRAVEL. They are more conscious on themselves. When I was their age, yes I wanted to explore, I would want to travel, but the operative word there is ‘would’. I think I have discussed it before but there is pretty much a traditional life path to follow. The young ones want to create their own path.

The question now is why social media is the bridge for the two millennial generations? Social media started to gain traction when I was a teenager. During those times, I have a YM and Friendster account as most of my peers were. But then, the technology is limited and the internet speed is mind bindingly slow (PS – posting my profile pic on Friendster took almost all of my hourly internet time in the computer shop). Facebook came a few years later as the new shiny thing that combines almost all of the previous social medias that came before it. We would chat about assignments, play games, post our pictures there etc. The way Social Media is now, I guess we set out the template for what the younger folks are doing more and elevating it for them.

The second factor for me, is the life condition during that time. Yes, it was roughly ten years ago but the quality of life (in regards to wealth) is different. I have no data to show here but a lot of people did improve their financials. During those times, Internet is expensive! Travelling is expensive! Airfares are very expensive! Cellphones are expensive (even the second hand Nokia 3310 still costs thousands and it was already a few years past its prime – the first Nokia phone with camera costs around the same as an IPad today)! It is absolutely hard to get a credit card! Cars are very costly! To be totally fair, some of the things I mentioned are still expensive but now there are options and the demand is greater. I recognize just by writing this segment of the post that our generation’s choices are really slim and we need to do the traditional path of work first, then enjoy life a little later unlike now with our economic climate in which the young ones, if they want to can work and enjoy life hand in hand.

Is there something that needs to be done about this millennial crack? No. I feel that this two group should cohabit one another and let them grow into whatever path they want to take them. And in case there might be someone there who are conscious about this two splitting further apart, it’s not like there is this great divide amongst the two groups and as I alluded earlier, there will always be exceptions (I personally knew a few who are more akin to the younger millennials). As long as everybody is living their lives the way they wanted to and not breaking any laws in the process let them be. Let us be.


LaBoracay: not for me.


Stitch 000
The Philippines has more 7500 islands to choose from to stay during Labor Day Weekend … not just Boracay!

A few years ago, my friends are planning to go to LaBoracay for Labor Day Weekend (hence, LaBoracay: Labor + Boracay). I remember saying along the lines of “LaBoracay what?” Fast forward to now and it seems like everyone is flocking over to the eponymous island during Labor Day or when that event happens to land on the calendar. Before, during and sometimes weeks after the event, my timeline will be flooded with pictures of their exploits during those days. Admittedly some of them seems to be really nice and having a good time. This year, they plan again on going there but it sadly went the ‘drawing’ route (drawing is a modern Filipino slang when a plan did not push though) and I wasn’t going to join nor necessary sad about it not happening.

Why? I don’t get the idea behind the glitz of LaBoracay. I don’t get the fuzz of going there nor what it should be doing to my satisfaction senses. I understand the partying scene and I don’t mind crowded clubs (trust me on this one) but that small island during the event seems to be bursting and I kinda don’t prefer the idea that you could see the horizon and yet it is so crowded. Some think of it as a friends outing and/or vacation at the same time and it feels like hitting two stones but not fully hitting the target right on point with one outweighing the other.

I think my main issue with LaBoracay is not about the partying or the booze or the idea of a vacation. For my own accord, the idea of going to the beach is to be partially away from the populace and just enjoy: Not to worry too much about life and just enjoy the view and the time spending doing anything other than your usual grind.  In my opinion, going to Boracay for that occasion will be counterproductive for what my idea of a vacation is. Or maybe I am just getting older. I don’t know, maybe one day I might reconsider and go there but for now, I will continue to decline any invitations.


I attended a wedding!

One event that clearly and stereotypically personifies a person being in their twenties is when you are invited to your long time friend’s wedding! It seems like one of the things that everybody I know have been a participant of in recent years (of course those ‘everybody I know’ might be the attendees to this wedding). To be totally fair, there are people getting married the moment that they can be legal (and unfortunately and illegally sometimes younger than 18) but most of the late teens weddings are small, intimate ones attended by family and close friends. There is this sense of normalcy and order when you follow this specific life path: getting a college degree (and then passing the professional board examinations for those who needs to), getting a decent, enough paying job and keep it for the mid to long term, find the significant other and then get married and have children. It is just one of those ‘life paths’ that were handed down from our earlier generations and some might have arguments about that but that is the traditional point of view.

What makes this one very special is that I have, for over a decade(!), glimpses of this romance from its infancy, its middle years up to their special day. There is always that sweetness and connection that they only have and it is not like he changed in any way but more like having an additional dimension in him that might not be existing before. As the years go by, they seem to be the steady couple whereas most of us have romances that bud and break (and going for the ride again) for a limited time. They (for me anyways) became my #couplegoals: Someone who has two personalities that over time complemented each other and grew strong over the years. She became an unofficial part of the larger group as well that this year, she joined us for a short vacation and there not a single amount of awkwardness that bringing a significant other usually brings.  During that vacation, you could say that they are an almost young husband and wife who have shared responsibilities but also having fun so getting married last December is totally deserved.

So to Emai and Shine, I just want to say congratulations! and happy life ahead as husband and wife!


So many TV options?

Preface: Writing for this site have taken a very back seat because of so many commitments I have to attend that even on weekends my schedule is full (including my next topic to be written about) but I’m back now and the article presented below are one of my earliest drafts that just gotten finished recently and decided to publish it now.

I’m owning the fact that I am a Television junkie. I have watched so many television shows that in my earlier years, I fashion myself as a critic without an outlet: always having something to say about everything that was presented (which I might have already started)I prefer the television medium because of one thing: its commercials in between programs. That may seem controversial to some but the idea of taking a break from the ‘action’ without losing any important stuff, specially those shows I christened as appointment TV, just feels right for my taste unlike in movies that if you decided to go to the CR, you might miss an important scene (I never forgave myself for missing a good scene on the 3rd Harry Potter movie that my friends kept talking about for months and I was out of the loop so to speak).

So when the opportunity came for us to have a cable subscription, I was elated. This bloke finally got to watch Titanic in its  entirety (of course being me, watched it in three sections at three different time blocks for my utmost convenience) and was hooked on certain shows (e.g.: Chuck  and 24) and even certain channels (National Geographic, Hallmark). I always say that my watching habits became good distraction against the demands of being a college student. So after graduation and already secured a stable job, I volunteered to pay for the subscription myself.

Fast forward to this current year, the company announced a ‘restructuring of its packages’ which entails that our subscription plan will have more channels. I decided to took it a step further and asked for the next higher plan because why not. After all of the legal stuff, we basically have doubled our channels and less of country specific channels (they are a part of a separate package and losing them is in no way a shade but why would you watch them if you cannot understand a thing they have to offer #commonsense). Channels that previously weren’t part of the previous package are now present and I am elated with all of this and got me thinking at the time that more channels equates to a merrier viewing experience. But did that happened?

As the months passed, the answer is clearly no. Basically, I am having viewership problems. Developing to love more shows (examples include X Factor UK -Yay! and Amazing Race Asia – Double Yay!!) is a problem if both shows airs on the same time (both examples aired at Thursday 9:00 pm) and while cable is full of repeat airings, most of those airs outside of primetime and finding another suitable time can be laborious (of course I cannot watch the ‘live’ X-Factor results show on Monday AM). Let us also not forget the viewing habits of the other persons living in the house. My mom ‘declared’ Saturday to be her TV day so we cannot really watch shows we like unless she likes it also. Considerations must also be done for important programming that should not be missed like the evening newscasts.

So what does a TV junkie gotta do? I began prioritizing which shows to watch ‘live’ versus a repeat airing, also dropping certain shows (mostly procedurals in which important storylines I can read online), previewing less new programming and finding myself watching at midnight on some days (some repeats airs at midnight) which is not healthy at all physically and productively. I even decided to limit watching movies on TV just once a month (If I see something interesting to watch).

So where does all of this writing build-up lead to? Maybe I am writing this contemplating “What’s a bloke gotta do?”. There are theories floating around saying that too many options is not good and upon being reminded of this again, it got me thinking if it does apply to me and my TV habits. Don’t get me wrong; I am still a TV junkie and will continue to enjoy watching the television for a long time as my main entertainment medium. My life when I’m physically at home kinda revolves on watching TV but with the culmination of different factors (work, traffic taking up a big chunk of my daily time, interpersonal life, worsening traffic and the sheer gluttony of programming and channels) it is increasingly becoming harder to cope up and continue allotting the same amount of time for my habit. Maybe I should decrease my allotted watching time more?, lose some more programs (I still watch some shows that admittedly became mediocre along the way), embrace streaming more? or time management? I need to sort this out.


Office Drama!!!

Let’s be honest: Whether you’re an active participant or watching from afar (preferably with popcorn at your clutches) there is always this human fascination when it comes to office drama. I will confess that even if I swear that I don’t condone joining in the circus of it all, I really really wanted to know the latest happenings especially the juicy ones. While this post is not about the minute by minute drama that unfolded in our division the last few weeks (give me two years give or take), I will talk about trust: your co-worker’s trust (aww, boring!). This employee I will call “V” did the unthinkable and broken everyone in our division’s trust; even mine to a certain degree. V had issues with the other employees and were asked by our immediate boss to answer it in a dialogue with the complainers. We found out later that V go behind our boss’ back (despite him just doing the right way IMHO) and broke a deal V, my boss and the other party agreed upon just thirty minutes after that deal has been made and right after the lunch break where we ate take-outs! (priorities on what is worse people!).  

Now, V as far as I can tell is an emotional being and can be described as having a heart on the shoulders. I was on the far side of the office when they were talking (arguing?, crying and shouting?, fighting?) and I could already tell that V is not 100% hearing what our boss is saying. I can sense the gears in V’s minds saying to keep it cool but at the same time is hurting. I went out of the office to do office matters (and no it is not some code… I pass around some papers to the upper floors) and when I returned it was nearing lunch and V is (seemingly) happily talking and sometimes giggling as if nothing happened with them. Then the ‘betrayal’ happened and we found out from our ‘higher up’ boss of all people.

I do not feel 100% betrayed because that specific issue they had were their own and although  I am indirectly affected by it, it did not cause me to complain especially telling it to our boss. My gut reaction is that V will never be trusted again by the immediate co-workers. That is a deeper problem because words spread like wildfire and it becomes attached to you (whether it is fair or totally not is up for debates) and it will ruin your reputation. The ultimate sign of un-trusting is that my boss (who has a very long patience with subordinates) decides to redistribute all of V’s load to all of us in the division while awaiting for our ‘higher up’ boss decision about the development. It was decided that V will now be under another division where the what I call ‘vicious workers’ are located. From what I heard, V is silently doing the new assignments and I’m still waiting for the division’s infamous claws to come out (it can be a zoo out there, but that’s another story).

This represents trust.

Trust is a fragile thing. Just like a plate that is broken, you can try to glue them together but the cracks are going to be there forever to be seen. You can try to reuse them and reuse some more but it will never be the same as before. There will be evidence of a fracture. Trust can also go hand in hand with other aspect: making or breaking of a relationship or in V’s case reputation. The reputation that were built for decades will become tarnish by a single thing and it will be remember synonymous when they see you.


I changed a life…

I never thought that working in corporate and not dealing with outsiders would lead to that title that hold much gravitas: but I did. It started when due to backlogs in data gathering that cannot be ignored anymore (around seven years of backlog) the company decided to hire contractual employees (don’t judge, nothing earth shattering has changed as of this posting, I am just an employee). Weirdly enough I were on a long vacation when it was finalized to be put in motion so upon my return, the first thing they ask of me is to sit down and be at the panel for interviews (they will eventually be temporary be assigned  in our division). With me being me, I was half listening throughout the interview still thinking about that vacation until out of nowhere a statement was made which made me ask a random question: “How will you travel from your house to here?”. It is a weird question but given that she lived on the other side of the city I was really curious for the answer (She answered “just a bus ride”). A few days have passed  and my boss revealed his decision. He hired that aforementioned lady. His reason: it is a temporary job and he doesn’t want to hassle the others who were travelling farther. I was stunned: First, I rarely have an input that could really sway my boss. It is not that I’m terrible, he always already decided but just looking for input for formality sake. And secondly I ACTUALLY CHANGED A LIFE BY HER HAVING A WORK BY MY QUESTIONING. To be fair she really have done really good to be able to be interviewed (I know our process, I experienced it) but just by asking a seemingly random question, She landed her first work experience.

In my work where all my dealings are inside and rarely set everything rolling, I am glad that for once my input lead to something amazing for someone. Sometimes you really need to experience this to feel better in an occupation that is always associated with stressful work.