A few days ago, I posted a status on twitter about how I got slammed onto a table full of bottles and broken glasses. So here’s how it happened:

It was a monkey day for WilaBaliW as they had 2 gigs, one in 12 Monkeys in Makati and the next one was in Funky Monkey way, way up north – in Fairview.

A really rowdy crowd is normal at the rock gigs that I go to. Your popstars? Your pop-rock stars? SORRY, I can compare and they can’t compete with the kind of crowd I always experience with the rock gigs that I go to.

I’ve been pushed, hit in the head and got wet with beer and It’s very normal. Except this time it was the first time I actually semi-destroyed property, HAHAHAHA. There was a couple who was sitting on the table I slammed onto and they stood up out of fear. I was scared at first, then I felt so relieved nothing happened to me, then hours and days later I started getting all sorts of thoughts about how it could have destroyed my camera, only 3 weeks with me!

The funny thing about all of it is that I actually saved my camera which is why I fell. I could have used my hands to hold on to something, but I decided to just fall on my side or back (or side-back, whatever) to protect my camera.

I said that the photo I was trying to take should be worth it, but it isn’t. It’s a normal photo. I wasn’t looking for danger anyway, danger came to me. If my intention was to get a dangerous photo I would have something different.



Anyway, the photo just looks near to the crowd, but I wasn’t really directly behind them. It was dark and apparently I took a snapshot of the table right beside the one I landed on the way down. Haha.


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Since he was outside during WilaBaliW’s set, Kevin Roy asked the crowd, “Nagbackflip ba si Ian?”  

The crowd shouted yes, and told him Ian flipped twice.

“Dalawang beses? Aba sulit.”

He added, “Well kung may backflip si Ian, ako may ‘long moves’, and he started swaying his arms around slowly.

Oh Kevin. This is why I want Razorback to perform at my wedding, oh and this most especially, a reminder of how the whole of Razorback is super funny.

This is the first time WilaBaliW and Razorback performed back to back. Razorback manager Pat Pulumbarit told me outside that he was surprised that despite the packed gig outside, no one was going out. Usually when there are band productions, fans watch only one band they like and then stay outside or leave, as the fans of the rest of the bands enter to get their turn to watch.

Well it was empty outside during the bands’ sets. In between set-up of course there were people outside because the bands were outside, having their photos taken with fans. This was fun to shoot because of interesting reasons — such as Kevin’s new haircut and Manuel Legarda performing in shorts (not short shorts of course, but it is kinda weird to see ML in walking shorts. BAGETS.)

They also performed Eraserheads – Superproxy in extended version Razorback style (and you’ll see the video of that below so scroll down and watch til the end to see a funny comment from Kevin).

Ian did flip twice, but since WilaBaliW likes blinking lights, as compared to Razorback’s rather consistenly dim set (as they requested, bagay naman sa music), so focusing was difficult, not because of the camera, but because when lights go on and off and you’re trying to focus, the camera can’t decide if there’s a subject in front or none at all.

Also, I FINALLY GOT TO TAKE PHOTOS of my kindred spirit, Audry Dionisio of General Luna. The most badass female guitar player and my work chatmate in the mornings (inside joke). She has been jamming with so many bands the past several months, Kjwan, Razorback, whoelse? I don’t get to follow because I never get to see her. Ever since I got engaged you know my life has just been one big adjustment. My lack of posting here doesn’t mean I’m not active, it just means that there’s a whole lot of jobs that come my way and it’s file dumping and delivery. Grown up stuff you foos!

When you find the opportunity to get paid for what you do then you take it! I’ve been through the whole passion thing, which I sometimes miss, but I’ve got bigger plans. It’s all penciled in, now I just have to find time to do it, just as I recently found time to write this post! Yehay!

WilaBaliW has a 3-song EP out being pushed by Sonic Boom. It’s paired up with a shirt to complement the latest single Not So Fast. Fahira is in that EP too. You should check it out and buy it. The poster is AMAZING. I’m saying that not because it’s a photo I took, but the printing… Oh it just makes everything look nice.

All photos were taken using the Sony A7r with the amazingly crisp Zeiss lenses 24-70 2.8 and 135 1.8. You can find more info on that on the Sony Philippines facebook.


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If you’re in school and you’ve got a band, listen up.

I’ve looked it up and there has never been a student band competition that’s lasted longer than Greenhills Sessionistas.

There may have been other competitions in the past, sure, but it’s the 7th year of Sessionistas and it has consistently provided an opportunity for students bands to show what they’ve got. Good news is that they’re looking for new blood again this year and applications will close this August 31.

If you haven’t heard of Sessionistas, here are 5 reasons why you need to join the competition.

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I watch the Marvel films because missing out on one will leave you lost in a very very lengthy plot which just forces all of us to watch their brilliant franchise (even the TV series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D – which everyone needs to watch because there are many important in between events that happen there right after Captain America: Winter Soldier)

Anyway, back to Guardians of The Galaxy. I loved it! I mean initially I was overanalyzing why the whole thing wasn’t as obviously complex as the other Marvel films but it was quite refreshing, how different the entire approach was, at least to me. I know Iron Man is funny, but this is musically funny.

It reminds me so much of growing up in the 80s with a mother who listens to a lot of rock, soul and classic R&B from the 60s and the 70s, not to mention Motown, plus combined with my aunts and uncles who were into the all the cool and slightly not so cool mainstream 80s hits. The whole movie felt exactly like my childhood with all those sci-fi films that invaded my generation after Star Wars.

Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely an instant classic for me. There are many good movies out there, but there are very few that have scenes you’ll be talking about for days and a soundtrack that I’ll love like how Cameron Crowe’s Almost Famous was to me.

I made a playlist on Spotify. I’m glad they put David Bowie’s Moonage Daydream in there, I love Ziggy Stardust I have a DVD of his last performance!

I want to watch it again just to listen to how the music just made the scenes perfect!

Listen and enjoy!

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

Red Horse Beer Official Rock Journalist | Yahoo! Philippines Celebrity Blogger | Sony A7r


Photos ©Niña Sandejas Unauthorized use is prohibited.

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