Let’s start from the beginning. Sort of.
I wrote my first poem when I was in the third grade for a Valentines card project for art class to impress a girl. I wrote some more when I was in high school to impress more girls. Then a bit more on college, and acted as if I wasn’t trying to impress anyone with it. I didn’t. My current job description requires not poetry but writing press releases, office memos, and the occasional letter to the editor; the rest of my job is corresponding with media assigned to cover the Philippine Senate as public affairs and media relations officer of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago. Yes, her. I also accept the occasional writing job depending on possibility of it being done. Writing as part of my job in the office requires me to avoid the semicolon as much as possible, and I am quite aware that I used that particular punctuation mark.
The semicolon–to paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut–only serves to declare that the writer went to college. I actually did, and the presence of that particular semicolon serves to introduce this fact. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Philippine Studies in the University of the Philippines in Diliman, dabbling with both Philippine literature and political science. I am currently in the protracted process of getting my masters degree in Communications in the same university because I love it there and I am hoping it will lead me to what I want to be when I grow up, something I never really thought about seriously when I was in primary school.
One thing I seriously thought about during that time was playing the drums. I’ve been drumming since I was 11, got into a band as soon as I got to high school and never looked back ever since after being in a number of bands.
Part of that insanity can be blamed from my omnivorous musical diet. While Ginseng’s bedrock is punk, my iPod houses 34 days worth of songs from different genres and eras. I’m not bragging–it’s just that there is just a lot worth listening to. I tell my friends this: one sure sign that you are getting old is your reluctance to listen to new music and settling for the music you grew up with. So now I have this active resistance to getting old.
Listening to new music requires a few things. One of them is making some of my own, and another is going to gigs and taking a gander at what these young ‘uns are rattling about.
And I take pictures of them. I am still so reluctant to use the term photography because I deem the term too grand. Call it false humility, but while some people use the term photographer for anyone who brandishes a camera, I’d rather have other people consider me as such than me proclaiming it to the world. But I have to put it in my resume somehow. So anyway…
Picture-taking is a fairly recent interest of mine. I take pictures of my boss as part of my job–but not really. I take her pictures because the event calls for it (Ess muss sein!), and I have no other person to depend on for that task except for myself, especially after I bought my first DSLR (a Canon 1000D) and was happily obliging to use my new toy. So it became my job description eventually.
I like taking pictures of musical performers for catching for posterity the feel of being there as part of the audience and capturing the precise moment the song flows, rises or ebbs. I usually take pictures of co-performers in gigs, and only recently do I purposely bring my camera to a gig where Ginseng isn’t playing and get down to business. Every chance possible, I do that for friend bands The Purplechickens and Ang Bandang Shirley.
For those who are curious:
- I don’t have a drum kit, but I bring to gigs a Pearl 14″ x 3.5″ free floating brass snare, 13″ Zildjian Avedis hats, an 18″ Zildjian Avedis medium crash cymbal, and a 21″ Zildjian A Custom ride; and
- I use a Canon EOS 7D with a Canon 40mm f2.8 stuck to it most of the time. For rock photography I usually use a Tamron 24-70mm f2.8 . Both only have UV filters on them. I am now quite comfortable with Adobe Lightroom 3, and use Photoshop CS4 for detail-intensive jobs. That is all.
So here are things I am either good at or trying to be so. This page contained my résumé for some time, but for those who want to see it, here it is.