It’s really funny how all of this started. I was hooked on MTV the moment my dad gave me a tv set for my 10th birthday. They say you lose a lot of time doing other things by staring at the screen, but MTV was my education. A dose of new music and amazing visuals everyday opened me up to an adventure-filled life.

I started a blog about my love for music and fashion. Eventually, a really awesome band called Rivermaya hired me to work for them. I bought their clothes and took photos of them and shared it online. Their fans appreciated as they went on to become the first Filipino band to perform at the MTV Asia Awards.

My love for music makes me happy to see all the bands perform these amazing shows. What warms my heart is when I get comments and emails from fans like me who tell me they’re grateful to have found a kindred spirit. I’ve carpooled in festivals with strangers and through the years have met people in this path that have become my greatest friends.

I always tell people that the best way to honor the bands is by sharing thoughts of why you love them. I documented this path the best way i knew how. I went to shows and took photographs of them.

I wrote my thoughts alongside these photos. Who knew this would take me far beyond any fans wildest dreams:  I was invited by some bands to sing back up vocals on their songs, I even did a movie stint as a VJ. I got to tour with bands all over the Philippines. I flew to Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia & North America meeting stars one could only ever dream of seeing. International artists have took notice of my posts and i feel giddy every time it happens.

Being around all these musicians, I even wrote a song and won an award for it!

Right now my life, like MTV is all about music. Being a fan, being in love with music can open you up to great things. I share my experiences to other fans who want to take the path as I have, telling them that the love for music is all you’ll ever need.

Because of it, my life has grown far more interesting.

You’ve played a huge part in my music life, MTV! Please let me show everyone how music can make a difference and that includes not giving up! Haha!




Practice makes perfect… well, almost perfect. I’ve been in pursuit of taking the perfect shot of Ian Tayao’s frontflip for so long that it’s become a personal sport to me whenever I bring a camera to WilaBaliW’s gigs. Despite all the flip shots, this is the first photo I have with the whole band in one shot.

I know it’s a great picture, but I’ll tell you how every time I take a photo I always wish, damn I could have taken a better one if only… bla bla bla… It’s good to sometimes question your work and recognize your mistakes and weaknesses because you learn from them and they become your strength.

Before we move on with the how-to’s let me tell you a story about this picture.

You see, I’ve been practicing with a new body, the Sony A7. For this shot I used a 24-70 f2.8 Zeiss Lens. Sony A7 is the first full-frame mirrorless camera and has a feature where you can actually put non full frame lenses on it and have it cropped automatically in-camera.

I have a 16mm 2.8 which I use for everyday, but it’s not a lens for a full frame camera. The Sony A7 has a feature where you can turn on the APS-C mode (cropped sensor) for lenses like that.

Yet I wasn’t using the 16mm but the 24-70 2.8, which is full frame capable.

It was a human error on my end. I think I had demonstrated the APS-C mode to another photographer when I forgot to turn the mode off, or AUTO at least. (Haha people! Stop asking me questions kasi in the middle of an event! LOL)

So this photograph was taken while the camera was acting as if it had a cropped sensor. It was only after I took the shot when I tried to show the photo to Chaya, Ian’s girlfriend that I realized I had left out a sizeable image space that was cropped out because I forgot to turn off the APS-C mode.

I was too focused on getting the shot that I forgot about it. I would have been able to capture the whole band and not crop out their bodies. It wasn’t really my goal to take a picture of the whole band, it just to happened that I saw it was possible and went with it. You can only imagine my disappointment, haha. If only I could tell the guys to do it again, but that’s cheating.

Despite my own error the photograph still turned out amazing.

This isn’t your typical sports photography (a field that is no joke quite difficult to begin with) put those basketball players and soccer players in a dark room with blinking lights then what you have is concert photography, haha.

Now for any photographer who has tried to get their ideal shot of Ian’s flip below are a list of tips you could follow. I know there’s always that element of randomness in concert photography, but as Frank Underwood in House of Cards said, “Success is a mixture of preparation and luck”.

*tap tap*

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trend talks

The Trend Talks, led by the very people who set the trends, aims to stimulate an insightful exchange of ideas where local and international speakers, authorities in their respective fields, will share their expertise and discuss future trends. If you’re familiar with TED Talks, Globe brings a local touch with global insight to share knowledge to our industry.

On its first run, Trend Talks will focus on electronic music.

Instead of going the traditional route, Trend Talks will be equal parts talk and music. Not only will the headliners discuss the latest in dance music, they will also treat the crowd with special sets showcasing their own brand of sound.

Leading the roster of speakers is five-time top DJ in the world, DJ Armin Van Buuren. Van Buuren, who is also topping a solo dance music concert the same night entitled Armin Only “Intense”, will be sharing his influential insights and international view on the evolution of dance music particularly in the progressive trance and uplifting trance genres.

Opening for Van Buuren are underground music influencers Ingo Voglemann and Pav Parrotte who are both prolific and experienced dance music artists whose singles and remixes have garnered critical and commercial acclaim.

Meanwhile, homegrown talent Nicky Jurado, with decades of experience on his belt, is slated to follow up with how EDM infuses sounds from the underground club scene to the mainstream.

Katrina Razon and Mikail Schemm, both having traveled the world and immersed themselves in different cultures, sub-cultures and sounds, go back to their roots and explain why they ended up having a passion for music mixes and how their brand of sound incorporates elements from the underground.

Top local DJ Mars Miranda and business maverick Stephen Ku will take on the business side of music. They will expound on their own experiences in their chosen careers which aspiring musicians and producers, as well as entrepreneurs, can use as inspiration to succeed in the music business.

Finally, further enriching the local club scene are influences from across the globe brought about by international acts landing on our shores courtesy of Driven Manila’s Domini Primero and Bigfish International’s Ricky Daker. They carry a wealth of experience and extensive knowledge on bringing in and managing international acts may it be in a massive arena or in an intimate club.

The first edition of Trend Talks happens on May 30, 2014, Friday, at the Grand Ballroom of Solaire Resort & Casino. Tickets to the event are available at P2,500 through Ticket World. A ticket gives you exclusive access to Tattoo’s Trend Talks and Armin Van Buuren’s Armin Only “Intense” concert, which will take place at the Mall Of Asia Arena on the same day.

What? A concert without sound? Far from it.

Sony Philippines held the first silent concert in the country with performances by Bamboo and Ely Buendia at the Rockwell Tent last Thursday May 8, 2014. A historical feat considering that no one has ever done this in the Philippines before.

What’s a silent concert you ask?

In 1999, the Flaming Lips held the world’s first headphone concert in SXSW using radio transmitters and headphones so people can hear their music through FM channels. For the Sony Silent concert, their latest MDR headphones were given out during the event which people plug in on headphone amplifiers that were available all over the venue. The music comes from the performers were in a soundproof booth set up at the center of the venue, their music inaudible to those without headphones.

Music is personal and what makes the headphone concept so enticing is that it gives you exactly what you want. Imagine listening to a live recording in your living room, the difference is you’re actually listening to it as the show unfolds and seeing the artist interact with you. With headphones, you turn the volume up or down, sing mindlessly in tune or out and the best part about it being in a packed venue is that you don’t have to hear your neighbour while they overpower the actual music. I don’t want to hear you sing. I want to hear Ely and Bamboo. Haha

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“You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find… you get what you need.”

L ast March, I went to Singapore with my mom so we could both watch The Rolling Stones gig. The band is extremely important to me, looking to them as inspiration during my days in fashion. There was no better way to spend that time but with my dearest mother who has been one of my greatest supporters in my journey working in the music scene.

My friends call her “Groovy mommy” and she’s beautiful, wise and a hippie at heart. She’s more ‘rock’ than I wish I could ever be and I’m saying that not only because I find my mornings with her listening to The Doors, or Iron Butterfly and hearing stories about my uncle telling me he used to borrow Black Sabbath records from her. She’s super solid in a sense that with everything she’s been through (and I’m not only talking about my extremely bratty teenage phase) she’s become an example of love and gratefulness not only in the good parts of our lives, but most especially during the challenging ones.

It’s my 10th year in the music industry and I wanted to celebrate it by showing her what it feels whenever I travel for work, seeing all these amazing musicians that one could only dream of. There were so many things I wanted her to experience on that trip, but not everything panned out.

She has never seen me work due to the fact that most of my days are spent sleeping and my nights are spent at gigs. Taking photos of The Rolling Stones was a far fetched deal since they’re legends that could level with The Beatles. I wanted to be able to do that because I’ve always looked up to Annie Leibovitz who started her career with them and share that with mom who is a HUGE Rolling Stones fan and maybe give her a photo that I took of Mick Jagger.

Rolling Stones Singapore photo courtesy of Marina Bay Sands

Rolling Stones Singapore photo courtesy of Marina Bay Sands

Instead, I was there just to review the concert and we caught a glimpse of the tiny tiny heads of The Rolling Stones as they appeared right before the show to greet the audience outside. (Oh my Keith Richards!)

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The first Ian Tayao frontflip I took was in 2006 during the Myx Music awards. It became the benchmark of what kind of photographs i wanted to take. Yet it was only six years later that I was able to take the next flip (after a year of following the band) and realized that in 2 years, I have quite a handful of shots from all those times.

There are more photos that weren’t included in this set, but these are the acceptable ones. 7 out of these 10 I think are decent, the rest I tell myself that with the numerous times I’ve seen WilaBaliW perform live, I should have more pictures. It’s not easy to take high action shots in low light, considering most of the time I use primes. There’s only one shot here that uses flash and I’m sure you’ll figure out which one it is.

Posted this because we always pray really hard for a Ian’s safe landing every single gig. The stunt is so crazy it makes for a heart stopping moment every single time.

Happy birthday Ian, from me and Niño. (He is helping me with this new site layout haha)


My name is Niña Sandejas. Duly educated in fashion but would rather take photos of musicians and go to concerts for a living.


Photos ©Niña Sandejas Unauthorized use is prohibited.

Rock & Roll Snapshots