Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guesting at Penthouse Party for 1st Asia Pacific Open Photshoot Competition

As the social media partner for 1st Asia Pacific Open Photshoot Competition, I was invited to cover their guesting in Penthouse Party TV show that will be aired on Sunday, August 5, 2012.  The taping was done at the Metro Bar in West Avenue, Quezon City last Monday July 30.

Penthouse Party TV show is hosted by Jojo Alejar, or more popularly known as Jojo A. together with the lovely and funny Daiana Menezes. It airs every Sundays 10-11 pm.  In my opinion, the tandem of the two works because they compliment each other and have very good comedic chemistry.

The wacky duo during the program intro.  Definitely a good tandem.
The rehearsal atmosphere was fun.  Jojo & Daiana livens up the ambiance with their jokes and antics.  The guests were rehearsed one by one before the actual taping.

Taping started and each sequence were performed and taped.

Photos During The Taping

Opening dance number
Lovely, bubbly Daiana joking around the stage

The singing Marines being interviewed by Jojo A. & Daiana Menezes

Doughboy and Lil Humble performed "Lovely Lovely" with Ziporah Flores dancing to the tune

Doughboy and Lil Humble, Ziporah with Jojo A.

VFort promoting their new album

Ms. Kristel Atinen entering the stage

Ms. Kristel Atinen singing Lady Gaga's Edge of Glory

The main reason why I was invited:  To document the guesting of the 1st Asia Pacific Open Photoshoot.  The contingent was headed by Jay-Ar Rosales, the promoter of the event accompanied by the 3 models of previous/future photoshoot.

Jay-Ar Rosales promoting the 1st Asia Pacific Open Photoshoot competition

Models of the 1st Asia Pacific Open Photoshoot being interviewed

Behind The Scenes (BTS) Photos

Here are some of the BTS shots and of course photos with the stars, crew and other guests.

JoJo A posing with 1st Asia Pacific Open Photoshoot models and Jay-Ar

At the front row being oriented by one of the Directors

Daiana and Jojo A posing with the models, Jay-AR &  Kristel Atinen

Models Stacey, Chiara and singer Kristel

VFort posing with Daiana

Models with The Penthouse Party Director

Daiana with Direk Boy

Yours truly posing with the hilarious Jojo A.

Cannot miss having a photo op with Daiana

Don't miss to watch Penthouse Party on PTV Channel 4 this Sunday, August 5, 2012 10-11 pm and every Sundays to liven up your evening.

More behind the scene photos at my Facebook Page Guesting at Penthouse Party Album.


Be a part of this fun-filled event that celebrates excitement and fun, with a showcase on Filipino talent and the beauty of the Philippines!


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Furniture and Homewares Sales at Interior Zone, SM City North EDSA

The Interior Zone at SM City North EDSA is having a sale with up to 50% discount on selected items from July 27 to August 12, 2012. Participating are some of the shops at the arcade plus SM's Our Home and Homeworld, and Ace Express.  SM Appliance Center will also hold a one day sale on July 31.

In surveying what items are on sale, I went to the Interior Zone last Saturday, July 28.  I visited first SM's Our Home showroom.

Looking for deals, I noticed a couple of items on the 50% discount list:

Flower vases on 50% sale

How about storing up for your Christmas tree decor for 50%

Some carpets were on 20 - 50% sale.  Mattresses on 20-30%.  Selected chairs and sofas were also on sale.

I just love the Black & Red with accents of white motif.  I remember decorating my whole studio pad while I was working in Dubai with that theme down from the Audio Video showcase down to my kitchen appliances like toaster and coffee pot!  So I said let me look out for some furniture in that motif.

I saw this Black glass LCD TV stand.  I have one that I used and brought in from Qatar when I came back to the Philippines.  They are really strong and well suited central piece for your AV if you want an open type (not in a shelf) type of setup.  This is Ph 9,995 but you can get it at 30% off.

LCD TV Stand

I saw this black sofa with nice accent pillows of black/white and red partnered with a black table as well.  The 3 seater is Ph 39,960 and the 2 seater is Ph 31,960 after the 20% discount.

Other Interior Zone Shops

Just as you enter Our Home showroom, on the left side you will see the showroom of Lamin8.  The black and orange motif (which I also love) attracted me to enter the shop. 

Lamin8 showroom

Why the name Lamin8?  Their products are mainly furniture made from laminated wood! 

One item that caught my eye was the Japanese table set. It is a low table with 4 cushioned seats in black and red color combination.  It's an ideal highlight or center piece for a carpeted corner of a den or even the bedroom.  It will be great for lounging setup while drinking Japanese / Chinese herbal tea after having your oriental dinner.  The price is Ph 3,999 with further 10% discount. Their items seems to be reasonably priced.


Another piece of furniture caught my eye.  Watch the video below to see what I'm talking about.

Modufit video  

That sofa was really unique in design and a real eye catcher!


Not all the shops shops at the Interior Zone were on Sale. One shop that would have been nice to have participated is the Lazy Boy showroom.  I sure miss my Lazy Boy copy cat chair left with my daughter in Dubai.

So if you are looking for new furniture or just want to remodel or refresh some parts of your interiors, please visit the Interior Zone at SM Cith North EDSA.  The sale is up to Aug 12.  However, Our Home is only up to July 31.  SM Appliance Center is also doing a one day Sale on July 31.

Enjoy shopping!  Please let me know in the comments if you find any good deals at the sale.


Friday, July 27, 2012

ThinkTank Photo Bags & Accessories on Sale at Echo Stores

Echo stores is having a clearance sale on their ThinkTank Photo Photo Bags & Accessories (mostly v1s).  Here is the price list that was emailed to me.

Hurry, supply/availability is limited. Prices is valid for cash or credit card purchases.

For more details, please visit their website or facebook page:  http://www.echostoreph.com


UNTV at 8th Year: Launching "Manibela Academy"

UNTV, the flagship TV station of Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI), Inc. headed by Mr. Public Service Kuya Daniel Razon, celebrated its 8 years of setting the gold standard of public service on television and providing exceptional community and educational services in the Philippines.

I was invited to the evening anniversary dinner celebration last last July 24, 2012 at One Esplanade MOA Complex in Pasay City by the TV Show Bread N' Butter host Rodel Flordeliz.

"Manibela Academy"

One of the highlights of the celebration was the launch of the 1st mobile driving school dubbed as "Manibela Academy" in cooperation with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and Ang Dating Daan headed by Brother Eli Soriano.

The mobile school, Manibela Academy - Ang Choice ng Matalinong Motorista, is equipped with full-learning facilities for driving and mechanical lessons including livelihood programs to be transported to baranggays.

The "Manibela Academy" Bus

The "Manibela Academy" Bus

Interior of the "Manibela Academy" bus

Video of the bus interior

Adding up, the said mobile school also launched the search for the Most Outstanding Public Utility Vehicle (PUV) Driver to a win a utility vehicle of his own. One should have the good qualities of a responsible motorist to qualify for the award.

Keynote Speech

The keynote speech was delivered by MTRCB Chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares.  Joined by her presence, UNTV introduced new and newly-reformatted ideal programs that suited this year's anniversary theme "Tahanan Mo, Tahanan Natin" (Your Home, Our Home).

MTRCB Chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares delivers the keynote speach

Video of the keynote speech and the awarding

MTRCB Chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares received a plaque of recognition from UNTV by Chairman and C.E.O. Kuya Daniel Razon for being the Keynote Speaker during the 8th Anniversary celebration of the station.

New Programs and Re-formatted Programs

New shows to watch are "Bahay", a weekly light dramedy focusing on the real essence of love and unity at home, top billed by Brando Legaspi, Charmaine Santiago, Jannel, Anna, Moonlight and Toni Rose Gayda,

"Huntahan", a daily radio talk show now a weekly TV program, hosted by Atty. George Erwin Garcia, Jocas Castigador and UNTV News Anchor Beth Santiago,

"Police @ Your Service," a police matter talk show hosted by "Ito ang Balita" News Anchor, Ms. Louella Decordova and the Director of Police Community Relations Group, Police Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr; and

"UNTV Hard News," a daily morning news program to be anchored by Mr. Bitag Ben Tulfo and Bitag Angel Nica Alejar.

The newly-reformatted shows are "Doctors On TV", a weekly medical magazine show to be hosted by beauty queen turned politician Daisy Reyes, Lyn Perez, Family Physician Dr. Mike Vergara, Endocrinologist Dr. JM Co and Nutraceutical Consultant, Ms. Yas Moralla.

Doctors on TV hosts Ms Daisy Reyes holding the mic

"QUAT" (Quick Action Team), a rescue-based educational program to be hosted by Ley Ann Lugod, Benedict Galazan and Kier Legaspi along with the UNTV News and Rescue Team. With its glorious past and promising future, as pioneered with Tulong Muna Bago Balita (Rescue First Before News), Dunong Gulong in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and UNTV-Radio mobile booth, UNTV - Your Public Service Channel, will continue to offer a relevant alternative to the mainstream TV programming.

Video of QUAT where they mentioned their motto and how they help in the recent commotion at the last SONA

Other programs:  "Campus Challenge", a campus quiz show in partnership with DepEd with quizmaster Bianca Saldua and Sib Sibulo, "Klasrum", a youth-oriented show hosted by World Championship on Performing Arts 2011 winner Glee Nette Gaddi, Birit Baby Champion of 2009 Jude Matthew Servilla, Abbey, Princess, JC, Ara, Gelai, Jigs, Jolo, Anton, John, Mack, and Rap;

State of the Network Address (SONA)

UNTV Chairman and C.E.O. Kuya Daniel Razon delivered what he termed SONA, the State of the Network Address.

He thanked all the people involved in the success of the station including the station crews, the different partners including the Philippine National Police, DEP-ED, PCSO, various government organizations and sponsors.

He stated despite of all the innovation and success of the station in their public service and programming, the station is unfortunately not making money.  He explains this is because of the outflow of resources to the station's mission of public service.  He mentioned that although there were willing sponsors whose products/services are not in-line with the stations ideals, he could not bend the principles to accept their advertisements.

UNTV Chairman and C.E.O. Kuya Daniel Razon

Brother Ely Soriano delivered a message also through a video.
Video Message delivered by Bro. Ely Soriano


One Esplanade was packed.  Guest arrived to walk the red carpet and have photos taken on the photo wall.

From L-R:  Migs Dela Rosa (Primer Group of Companies), Rodel Flordeliz (UNTV Bread N' Butter),  Azrael Coladilla (Azraelsmerryland.blogspot.com), Ted Claudio (me)  (WazUpPhilippines)
Food was catered by Karate Kid.  I liked the food:  California Maki, Fish Fillet with Honey Mustard Sauce, Beef Teryaki, noodles, rice and their red ice tea.  There were cakes and pastries as well.

It was a fun and informative evening.  Having to learn more of UNTV and how it excels in its public service and programming.

Thanks for the invite, Rodel Flordeliz of UNTV's Bread and Butter Tv Show and of NogNog In the City blog.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Camera I Have Been Waiting For: Canon EOS M is Now In Stores

(from Canon website)
I think I have found the camera suited for my blogging and street photography needs, the new Canon EOS M!  With its compact size, excellent video features, APS-C size sensor for low noise performance, high quality photos and videos and ideal price range, it seems to be the almost perfect match for my photography requirements.

My requirements as a blogger:
  1. Compact and not a DSLR especially for venues/events that does not allow DLSRs like concert
  2. Very good image quality for both photos and videos
  3. Low light performance both on video and photos
  4. Continuous auto focusing while shooting videos
  5. External Mic connection for better audio in video interviews
  6. Exposure control during video recording 
My requirements as a street photographer:
  1. Compact so it's not threatening to subjects on the street and to improve my "invisibility"
  2. Very good image quality for photos
  3. Low light performance since like to take photos inside malls and indoor public settings

The EOS M Camera Features

(From Canon website)

Initial impressions of the Canon EOS M from What Digital Camera

Canon EOS M preview video by Digital Camera

My Rig

Canon 40D with Sigma 18-50 f/2.8 EX lens, 580 EXII flash
  • work horse for my events photography

Canon G12 (mainly for photos, occasionally for videos)
  • compact
  • Good zoom range
  • Excellent low light photo capability in low light mode using pixel binding but limited to lower resolution and automatic exposure mode

Lumix LX-5 (for video)
  • compact
  • high quality HD movies
  • excellent f/2.0 lens low light capability
  • continuous focusing in video
  • Exposure options availability like P/A/M modes in video and exposure settings and compensation controls options during video recording
Me doing a video interview of Bianca Valerio in the Nine West 9 Most Stylist Women coverage using my Lumix LX5 mounted on a flash bracket
(photo courtesy of Seventh High)

Why Canon EOS M is Ideal for my Needs?

Aside from the obvious reason that I have invested in Canon gears like my 580 EXII flash and Canon EF-S mount Sigma lens, that I can use with the M, using their EF/EFS lens adaptor, here are the reasons I think this camera is the one-for-all solution for my blogging and street photography requirements.

1. Compact

With the small dimensions (WxHxD) of approx. 4.28 x 2.62 x 1.27 in./ 108.6 x 66.5 x 32.3mm, it is very compact compared to a DSLR with the same sensor and processor specification and weighs only 14 ounces/392g.

It's not really the weight or the bulk that made me enumerate compactness as a requirement, it is the stigma of the DSLR being a professional camera that made compactness a prime consideration.  A lot of events like concerts does not allow audience to bring in DSLRs.  When I was covering the David Cook Live in Manila concert at the Smart Araneta last July 14, 2012, we were instructed by the organizer not bring any DSLRs but compact cameras were allowed.   Actually, the Big Dome policy is no DSLRs allowed but you can shoot as much as you want with compact cameras.

Let me put more weight in this requirement by sharing my experience.  During the same concert, the authorized photographers were allowed to bring DSLRs.  They were positioned at the photo pit in between the stage and the mosh pit separated with a barrier were allowed to shoot with their DSLRs but only during the first 3 songs. After the 3 song, they were all sent away.  I was at the barrier in the front of the stage at the mosh pit and was able to shoot photos with my G12 and videos with my LX5 throughout the duration of the concert untouched by security because I was using a compact camera!  I would have taken these photos and a complete set videos of the concert if I was using a DSLR.

Photo taken with Canon G12

Photo taken with Canon G12

David Cook with Yeng Constantino in a Duet Singing Always Be My Baby

Video taken using Panasonic Lumix LX-5
(For the complete David Cook Live in Manila Concert Coverage, please follow blog post link)

In Street Photography as well, having a compact camera helps you to be more "invisible" and it's less "threatening" to your subjects in the street.  They will just think of you as someone not too serious or just like a tourist who will not publish their photos for commercial gain or for the media.

2. Very Good Image Quality (IQ)

DSLR are equated with very good IQ because of their use of larger sensors like the APS-C.  While the compacts have reasonably good IQ almost comparable to DSLRs especially in very good lighting conditions, it still falls short.  This is due to the smaller sensors they use which does not performs as good as the bigger ones used in DSLRs especially in low light conditions.

The Canon EOS M is a mirror-less compact camera with same large APS-C 18 megapixel censor and same Digic 5 processor found in its bigger DSLR sibling, the Canon t4i/650D.  With the same sensor size in a compact body, the M can deliver the same quality as the Canon t4i/650D theoretically.

3. Low light performance both on video and photos

The camera's low light performance depends heavily on it's sensor size and processor.  Since the M uses the larger APS-C sensor and the latest sophisticated Digic-5 processor, the low light performance ot the M is very impressive as it's DSLR sibling.  ISO can be set to 100-6400 (expandable to 12800 in H mode) for video recording, ISO 100-12800 (expandable to 25600 in H mode) for still images.

In addition, the standard lens provided is a 22 mm f/2.0 fast lens. With it's f/2.0 fast wide aperture capability which will allow more light to come in combined with the above specs, it stretches your limits when it comes to shooting without flash in low light situations.  This is very important when covering events in poorer lighting and shooting street style photographs indoors.

4. Continuous Auto Focusing while Shooting Videos

The M is equipped with Movie Servo AF for continuous focus tracking of moving subjects.  It uses Hybrid CMOS AF that uses both phase and contrast detection to deliver faster autofocus speed for video.  In addition, with the new STM (stepping motor) focus technology, focusing is silent so it does not interfere with your audio in the video recordings.

5. External Mic Connection for Better Audio in Video Interviews

In addition to its built-in stereo mics, the M has a input jack for an external microphone.  This is very important if you want to use an external microphone like a unidirectional mic or lapel to improve the quality of the audio in interviews during video coverages.

6. Exposure control during video recording

Adjusting / overriding the automatic exposure before and/or during video recording is critical for proper exposure.  The M has manual exposure control or exposure compensation depending on the mode you.
It has even manual audio level adjustment.

The reasons above are my main consideration in concluding that the Canon EOS M will be a perfect match for my requirement at the target price range of around P 35,000 pesos.

Other Negative Factors and Considerations

Nothing is perfect of course.  With its scaled down size comes compromises.

The battery is smaller so it would not last longer. Coupled with no optical viewfinder, the dependence on the usage of the LCD for framing and as interface control, wlll definitely reduce battery life.  I have to consider buying an extra batter to counter this issue similar to the one I have with the Lumix LX-5 as well.

Slower Focusing for Photos
The M's new sensor-based AF system to focus, while this system is great for video it's not nearly as powerful it's DSLR sibling's 9-point optical autofocus sensor.  Focusing will be slower and could be a concern in events photography and street photography.  I have to really try it out in actual to be able to judge if it's fast enough.

The search continues (and the search of funding as well) for my ideal blogging and street photograpy camera.

What do you think?  Do you think the other models like Olympus Pen, or other mirrorless camera will suit my requirement?  Please leave your comments and suggestions in the comment section.  I would really love to hear your valued opinion.


The Canon EOS M is now available in stores in the Philippines. Here are the kits you can choose from:

  • w/ EF-M18-55mm STM, EF-M22mm STM lenses, and Speedlite 90EX flash (Black, White): Php47,998.00
  • w/ EF-M22mm STM kit lens and EF-Mount adaptor (Black, White): Php40,998.00
  • w/ EF-M18-55mm STM kit lens (Black, Silver, White, Red): Php35,998.00
All come with 3-year warranty and 8GB SD card.

Stay tuned for my hands-on review and road test.  Hopefully I can get a demo unit from Canon.


Canon Website: http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/consumer/products/cameras/slr_cameras/eos_m_ef_m_22mm_stm_kit#Overview

Gizmodo: http://gizmodo.com/5928129/canon-eos-m-finally-a-tiny-camera-designed-to-slurp-hd-video-that-slays

Digital Review: http://www.dpreview.com/previews/canon-eos-m