Category Archives: Music

Why The Ransom Collective is My Ultimate Mood Changer

Photo courtesy: Philippine Star

The first time I heard (or read) about The Ransom Collective was in a section of a local daily. The young band was featured to be something to look forward to because it has been starting to make waves in the mainstream music industry, along with Autotelic and other indie artists.

Curious enough, I zapped my current tab to YouTube and the first song that caught me was Fools. The song was catchy enough that I listened to more of their songs until I could not get enough of it. It was a love at first listen.

The Band

The Ransom Collective is a Filipino indie folk band composed of its founder, vocals, and guitarist Kian Ransom, vocalist and percussionist Jermaine Choa Peck, keyboardist sisters Lily and Muriel Gonzales (also violin), bassist Leah Halili, and drummer Redd Claudio. It was founded in August 2013.

The Ransom Collective
Photo courtesy: Gadgets Magazine (
The Ransom Collective
Photo courtesy: Status Magazine (
The Ransom Collective
Photo courtesy: Philippine Star (
Photo courtesy: We the Public (
ransom-notes-8 philstar
Photo courtesy: Philippine Star (

It was the idea of Ransom to form a band with a fellow Hunny Lee, the first drummer, and the others except Claudio. Claudio only came in after Lee returned to South Korea to render his military service duties.

The group proved their chemistry after winning the Wanderland Music and Arts Festival 2014 pre-event band competition, Wanderband and since then, their magic just spread. They were able to produce their self-titled EP in September 2014 featuring their debut single, Fools. It was then followed by the album Traces in May 20, 2017 featuring the singles Settled and Open Road.

And recently, they had a collaboration with the music industry’s John and Gab of Urbandub in the music show Coke Studio Philippines. Following their process of producing new songs make me love them more.

The Songs

There have been so much written about the band. They are ubiquity online is overwhelming. So I will just share my personal favorites from this brilliant band.

Playful yet reflective. That laid-back feeling in the midst of deep-thinking.

Those were the words I can best describe while listening to the songs of The Ransom Collective. I kind of regretted how I let days past before I wrote about them. I just couldn’t help how their songs are making me feel every time I listen to them while in a commute to work. Their music, the enchanting sound of glockenspiel and soothing violin, the amazing vocals and the lyrics is an alchemy. It either changes my mood or sets the tone for the whole day and every song just suits every time of the day.

I don’t know. Maybe it is the youthful vibe that these young artists channel that make you feel inspired. And most of the songs talks about freedom and letting loose in life and the thrill of taking risks in pursuing your happiness. Perhaps, their songs appealed to me most because I am a millennial, the generation  who loves being carefree in their choices, who yearns to express themselves without being judged, and who are so driven and who always wanted to be independent. I admired the group’s kind of energy and attitude and versatility. I haven’t found the interview but Kian shared that they tried each others instruments and they all nailed a performance.

I am a fan now. Have them in your playlist!

More stories about The Ransom Collective:

FEATURE: The crossover appeal of the ransom collective

The Ransom Collective: Not Just Folking Around

The Ransom Collective: Hopeful Wanderers

Ransom notes

The Ransom Collective
Photo courtesy: Purveyr (

TJ Monterde, KZ Tandingan stage first Davao concert

Disclaimer: I do not own the photos used in this article. They are grabbed from Renelyn Barbarona and the Cornerstone Entertainment, Inc on Facebook. 

What happens when a sweet, endearing crooner and an edgy, soul royalty share one stage?

TJ Monterde and KZ Tandingan showed it is so far the most unique blend ever.

The real life couple artists just enthralled and kept their Davao fans swooning throughout their TJxKZ Live in Davao concert Sunday, August 06 at the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) Gymnasium.

It is TJ and KZ’s first concert together and first in Davao.

“Gipili namo nga diri sa Davao kay taga diri mi (We chose to perform here in Davao because it is where we came from),” said KZ in one of chat with the audience. Both artists are from Mindanao. Monterde hails from Cagayan de Oro City while Tandingan is a pride of Digos City, Davao del Sur.

Soft and sweet ballad

At the start of the show, TJ Monterde set a lovely mood by singing Sa Tuwina, a hit from his 2014 album Ikaw at Ako followed by Imahinasyon from his self-titled album in 2016.

TJ Monterde x KZ Tandingan Live in Davao
TJ Monterde Photo courtesy: Renelyn Barbarona

Despite his fame, the musician still humbly introduced himself to the shrieking crowd. “Hello po. Ako nga po pala si TJ Monterde,” he said and went on telling the stories behind his songs. Monterde is known for his serenading approach to songs. His lyrics, which most of them he wrote are also quite unorthodox compared to most of the OPM songs.

WATCH: TJ Monterde intro performance

Monterde, after a few chats, sang the soothing Majika, one of his latest songs which he said is dedicated to his partner.

“Sa kada album nako, naa gyud koy kanta para kang KZ (I always have a song for KZ in every album),” the 28-year-old crooner, who spoke all throughout the show in Bisaya, shared to his avid supporters. He said KZ is also his inspiration of his song Ikaw at Ako, the song that catapulted him to popularity. “Mao ni ang kanta nako katong nanguyab pa ko sa iyaha (That was my song for her when I was still courting her),” he said.

Aside from that, he performed his only Bisaya hugot song Kung Siya Man, and other hit songs such as Dating Tayo and capped his set with Tulad Mo.

WATCH: Kung Siya Man, TJ Monterde sings Kung Siya Man

Edgy and beastly soul

From the sweet atmosphere, the mood gradually shifted into something heavy and soulful as KZ had her dramatic entrance. Her edgy style – blue, baggy top, glittery boots and bleached thinly braided hair, demands attention as her voice crept into senses. She is doing yet a breathtaking act. Not until she displayed her rapping prowess in her rendition of rap icon Gloc-9’s Sumayaw Ka. She seemed to have transformed into a beast.

It was about three minutes of awe.

TJ Monterde x KZ Tandingan Live in Davao cornerstone entertainment inc.
Photo courtesy: Cornerstone Entertainment, Inc.
TJ Monterde x KZ Tandingan Live in Davao cornerstone entertainment inc
Photo courtesy: Cornerstone Entertainment, Inc.

WATCH: KZ Tandingan’s amazing performance

Tandingan was taken far from by her jazz rendition of the 1955 Judy Garland song Over The Rainbow as her audition piece in the Philippine franchise of the singing reality show X Factor in 2012 and became its very first grand winner. Since then, she had been performing pop-belting songs but after she established a name in the music industry, she realized she can do better than just hitting high notes. She followed her heart’s delight and finally evolved into a soul and contemporary R&B royalty, with rapping on the side.

What is being concealed by her strong image is her comical demeanor. She, an effortless comedienne, lightened the ambiance with her usual Davaoeno humor.

Being an alumna of the university where the concert was mounted, she felt comfortable “catching up” with her fans in between her songs, retrospecting her memorable experiences in her school days and perpetually thanking the people behind her successes. She also granted hugs and selfies to few of her fans on stage and messed around with them at the same time.

TJ Monterde x KZ Tandingan Live in Davao cornerstone entertainment inc
KZ invites fans to have selfies with her on stage. Photo courtesy: Cornerstone Entertainment, Inc.
TJ Monterde x KZ Tandingan Live in Davao cornerstone entertainment inc
Photo courtesy: Cornerstone Entertainment, Inc.

Despite having members of the band coming from places other than Mindanao, Tandingan loosened up by sharing stories in Bisaya. She remarked that those who can’t understand the dialect should be the one to adjust since the concert is in Mindanao.

“Kanang mga katapad nga bisaya sa mga tagalog, kamo na bahala og explain unsa akong ginapang-ingon diri. Magbisaya ta. Naa ta sa Mindanao (To those Bisaya people beside those who can’t understand our dialect, just explain to them what I am talking here. We should speak in Bisaya. We are in Mindanao), ” she jested. The empowered fans cheered loudly.

Among the songs she sang in the show is Labo from her latest album Soul Supremacy. Aside from that, she performed her version of Tadhana by UDD, the OST of the prime time teleserye Ang Probinsyano, Wag Ka Nang Umiyak, electrifying renditions of a Parokya ni Edgar hit Bagsakan and Teeth’s Laklak, and finally, her one of the most requested song, Mahal Ko o Mahal Ako. She also granted the fans’ request to sing a sample of Two Less Lonely People, the official theme song of the high-grossing film Kita Kita.

Extraordinary harmony

Two different genres. A balladeer and a soul supreme. A romantic and an edgy.

They may, at some point, have contrasting appeals when it comes to their music but it only made them the most interesting couple there is. It is their love for music that kept them in harmony.

The moment the couple ruled the stage, it became a celebration of Vispop (Visayan pop). TJ and KZ sang few of the famous Cebuano songs to the delight of the audience. On top of the lineup are the frequently requested songs Hahahasula by Cebuano artists Kurt Fick, Pero Atik Ra by Jacqueline Chang, Balay ni Mayang by Martina San Diego and Kyle Wong, and Ay Labyu Langga by Jerika Teodorico. The two capped their show with their song, “Ikaw at Ako Pa Rin“, leaving their awesome fans a kilig-filled night.

TJ Monterde x KZ Tandingan Live in Davao
Photo courtesy: Renelyn Barbarona
TJ Monterde x KZ Tandingan Live in Davao cornerstone entertainment inc
Photo courtesy: Cornerstone Entertainment, Inc.

WATCH: TJxKZ, TJ and KZ join together on stage

But more than the blissful songs are the sweetness of the lovebirds. KZ fondly teased and messed around with her partner in front of the swooning crowd. The couple became official since January 28, 2015 but their relationship became public in February after they guested on a morning show in Kapamilya network. They considered themselves an inspiration to each other, especially to their music.

It was an awesome and love-filled concert. Aside from TJ and KZ, Mark Carpio serenaded the audience with his song Hiling along with few Davaoeno artists Rexvin Galang, the band Footwear, and Zhalia trio. The show was organized by the Positive Impact Productions.

Latest Kadayawan jingle released, an ode to unity

[Featured photo: Kenneth Baroquinto/CrossTV/105.9 Balita FM]

Its overture is an enthusiastic beat of an ethnic drum, perhaps gimbal. In a few counts, the enchanting chant of Maan Chua (I should know) resounds until a burst of harmony from the instruments kulintang, kubing, and some stringed instrument I am no expert at completes the ensemble. And finally, the unique voices of Mindanawon artists Popong Landero, Joey Ayala, Bayang Barrios, Maan Chua, Raffy Ayala, Maree Cantaoi Cayas, and the female band Duchess in Throne weaved the euphoric musical colors of the newest anthem for the 32nd Kadayawan Festival entitled “Kadayawan, Kahiusahan.”

The full version of the song was released on Tuesday by the official Facebook page of the festival Kadayawan sa Davao. “The song talks about the celebration of Kadayawan as an ageless story of unity and resiliency,” the caption says.

The song is a refreshing addition to the Kadayawan music repertoire following the one composed and performed by Dandin Ranillo in 2011. The song was entitled “Davao (Kadayawan sa Davao)” which spoke purely of the festival and the interesting and iconic spots in the city.

Kadayawan, Kahiusahan (Kadayawan, Celebration in Unity) was composed and arranged by Mindanawon country, folk, and reggae artist Popong Landero.

Listen to the full song here and sing along:

Composed and Arranged by: Popong Landero
Featured Artists: Popong Landero, Joey Ayala, Bayang Barrios, Maan Chua, Raffy Ayala, Maree Contaoi Cayas, & Duchess in Throne.

Kasaganaan ng pamayanan
Kahiusahan natong tanang
Napulo ug usang kaliwatan

Sa dagat, lawa, kapatagan, kabukiran
Nagtitipon-tipon, salo-salo sa biyaya

Matatag na pamayanan
Di natitinag ang kahiusahan

Pasalamatan ta ang Kahitas-an
Sa biyaya ng kalikasan

Kasaganaan ng pamayanan
Kahiusahan natong tanang
Napulo ug usang kaliwatan
Sa dagat, lawa, kapatagan, kabukiran
Nagtitipon-tipon, salo-salo
Kasaganaan ng pamayanan
Kasaganaan ng pamayanan
Kasaganaan ng pamayanan
Kahiusahan natong tanang
Napulo ug usang kaliwatan

Like the Kadayawan sa Davao Facebook Page and follow its Twitter account for more of the event schedules. Enjoy!

Quest inspires to begin again with Unang Hakbang

Do you want to start something, perhaps a project, a cause, a hobby or whatever but you have a lot of reservations, the fear of not being accepted, of failure and of disappointments? Do you want to start your life again because you are too torn and stressed, tired and depressed but are afraid that hurt will continue to haunt? Then Quest demands you to make his new song your motivational anthem.

When I was in the middle of it all (and still is), the new song Unang Hakbang by Quest feat. Keiko Necesario came to my solace.  I first heard the 35-year-old Filipino artist when he was featured in fliptopper Loonie’s song “Tao Lang”, an equally empowering music.

Quest ft Keiko Necesario Unang Hakbang

But the Hiphop and R&B singer Quest or Jose Villanueva III in real life earned his popularity through his music “Sige Lang” in 2012 which was the anthem of the basketball team Gilas Pilipinas. He then swooped up after he wrote the “Walang Hanggan”, the official soundtrack of “Ang Kwento Nating Dalawa (The Story of Us that Never Was)”, a melancholic independent film by Nestor Abrogena starring Nicco Manalo (Sam) and Emmanuelle Vera (Isa). It is the story of two souls who are both aware of their romantic connection but are afraid to admit it. They just played everything by ear, until the end.

Writing inspiring songs could be Quest’s cup of tea, perhaps influenced by his Christian background. He was a lead vocalist and music ministry director at Victory in Manila. He concentrated on his music in 2007 and started recording Flip Music with Jumbo de Belen in 2009.

Since then, he reaped the ‘Best Urban Music Video for 2010’ at the MYX Awards Philippines for his first single “Back to Love”. Finally, he became an official Warner Music Philippines baby in 2015 with his sophomore album Life of a Champion which was released on May 20, 2016.

And just recently, he introduced his newest song in his Youtube Channel officialQuesttv. This will be the first of the original songs he presented “stripped down as requested”. Set in a room with his band, he sang it raw and live. The song is as chilling as the one prior to this but with an optimistic sting. His husky voice compliments the tone and melody. Adding to the dramatic spice is Keiko Necesario.

The song is a perfect moral support when you wanted to move on but do not know where to start. “Yung di na mababago bitawan mo na, sa paghilom ng sugat may bagong simula. Maniwala ka man o hindi, lahat yan ay merong silbi, sige. (Leave those you can’t change. In the healing of wounds, there is a new beginning. Believe it or not, it will pay off in the end.),” the song suggests.

And further, the chorus taps into a reality you either did not recognize or deny to believe. “Pwede ka nang kumawala, dyan sa rehas mong gawa-gawa. Wag na magpanggap na nawawala. Wala namang mawawala kung magsimulang muli. (You can now break away from your makeshift chain. You will not lose anything if you begin again),” the song added.

Get the feels by listening to it here:

Unang Hakbang (Lyrics)

Ayoko ko na dito.
Sawa na ko dito.

Hingang malalim, damhin ang hangin
Tingala sa langit, di pa to tapos
Meron pang galit, inagaw, inakit, paasa, pasakit
Pusong naghihikahos, kumapit ako
Kahit ano gagawin ko pero bakit gan’to
Nangyari sa’yo, bakit ako
Pwede na’kong sumuko
Dito na lang sa dulo
Pero sinubukan kong matuto

Quest, Keiko:
Yung di na mababago bitawan mo na
Sa paghilom ng sugat may bagong simula
Maniwala ka man o hindi, lahat yan ay merong silbi, sige

Pwede ka nang kumawala
Dyan sa rehas mong gawa-gawa
Wag na magpanggap na nawawala
Wala namang mawawala kung magsimulang muli

Quest (Rap):
Pagbigyan mo ang bukas
Wag kang matakot umusad
Kapag nahanap ang lunas ang nakaabang ay walang katulad
Ang puso’y namulat, may mga patunay na sugat
Mas malakas ka na ngayon, tumingala ka sa ulap
Kwento ng tagumpay ang pinakahihintay
Akala mo tapos na, muntik ka pang bumigay
Ngayon nagdiriwang ang langit, simulan mo na ulit umawit
Ibaon ang noon para sa ngayon unang hakbang

Quest, Keiko:
Kung gusto mo ng bago iwanan mo yan
Hilumin ang sugat ito na ang paraan
Maniwala ka man o hindi, lahat yan ay merong silbi, sige

Chorus then…
Buksan  mo ang ‘yong mga mata
Para hindi ka na nangangapa
Di mo na kailangan pang mangamba
Magpaalam sa nakaraan at magsimulang muli

Ayoko ko na dito
(Quest: Hindi kita iiwan) (3x)
Sawa na’ko dito

2nd Chorus then…
Magsimulang muli (3x)

It turns out, the song is actually a sequel of first hit music Walang Hanggan. Quest shared the video of the indie film’s OST on his twitter with a teaser:”Let me tell you a story. A Trilogy. Feb – WALANG HANGGAN (Pt 1) Mar – UNANG HAKBANG (Pt 2) Apr – KALAWAKAN(Pt 3)”.

Putting the pieces together, the story chronicles the heartbreak with Walang Hanggan and standing up and starting again with Unang Hakbang.  Meanwhile, He already performed Kalawakan live in a musical session called A Space Manila and several venues. Uploaded on Youtube by radiorepublicph, Quest conveyed the message about opening your heart again.

Watch it here: Quest – “Kalawakan” Live and _Acoustic at A Space Manila!

Whatever you are going through, wherever you are right now in your life, you are joined by Quest in your quest. For now, you should be taking the risk, beginning again, and refreshing your life. All you need to do is to take that Unang Hakbang (First Step) and everything will follow. Aja!

Radio Jock 101: 7 Basic Things I Learned in my Radio Jock Stint

My desire to be a radio disc jockey was once a Facebook status in my early Mass Communication years. It is only until I was hired as a Multimedia/Web/Social Media Manager last October 2015 in a local radio station here in Davao City that I was able to fulfill that dream. I was under the news department but seeped into the entertainment department courageously just to be a DJ. Thanks to DJ Clea. Without her help and guidance and the permission of the station, I wouldn’t able to taste how to become one.20151112_170215

My DJ-ing stint is not long enough to be considered myself professional or expert though but I have learned a lot during that short span of time. Thus, it is but proper to call it “basic” and could be the start-up skills for the neophyte or budding DJs like me. Also, these do not debunk the I-learned-these-skills-in-my-radio-class idea. In fact, practicing it makes me feel authorized enough to share what I learned to those aspiring jocks.

It can be categorized into something technical knowledge and an interpersonal one. However, you can fully understand it through practice. But no worries, I want to share this handy basic tips and skill you can bring the moment you decide to begin your radio journey.

Note: I believe that radio business in other parts of the countries is quite different and may vary from culture to culture. This knowledge is based mostly a Philippine radio station perspective.


To be in the radio industry, especially FM is to deal with music. (And I guess one of the reasons why you want to be a DJ is you love listening to music.) As a DJ, you have to be knowledgeable about the music of different periods, from 80’s hits to the current jams. There were a lot of AHA moments during my mentoring with DJ Clea when she introduces me to a song I know except the title and its artist. And she admitted it is normal. What I usually do is to research the song on the web using the lyrics. And to be honest, it is doubly difficult if you are trying to figure out a song which has undecipherable lyrics or just music or melody. EDM or club music is one.



You should also be familiar with various genres, even metal rock. Our programs are based on genres. My debut program is folk rock and country. I play the songs of Bread, Lobo, Cat Stevens, Lobo, Kenny Rogers, James Taylor, Don Mclean, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Simon and Garfunkel, Freddie Aguilar, Asin, Coritha, Bayang Barrios, Maan Chua, Joey Ayala among others. But sometimes, DJ Clea would allow me to play mellow or slow rock like Christopher Cross or Survivor, Reo Speedwagon, or Firehouse at the last quarter of my show. So if you are not familiar, you might mistakenly insert songs that do not belong to the genres required by the program. However, it depends on your program format. You don’t necessarily have to like it but least you are aware of it, especially those hits and those well-loved by the people of any ages.

Aside from that, know also the songs’ tempo. It could be fast (usually dance or pop or club), slow usually love songs) and MOR (middle of the road, not too fast, not too slow). This would usher you to the next skill.

Lastly, keep updated with the songs. List them as you hear them. Know the artists of different times and what people love to hear. The key here is to listen more and research more.


Everywhere I go, I always have earphones plugged in my ear and listen to other stations. I was able to observe how their programming goes on and most especially what songs they play and how it is playlisted. And ironically, I can say that many disc jockeys fail at this. This is the foundation of a mix.

This is quite challenging to illustrate. I’ll try my best. Remember the tempos? What you should keep in mind is that songs having the same tempos or beats should or best listened to if they follow each other. In moments that you have to escalate the speed and mood of your playlist, choose songs that have tempo not far from the one you played first.

The parts of a song that matters here are the beginning and the ending tunes. There are two types of tunes in a song, the fade or the gradual and the drop or the sudden or definite beat to punctuate a song.


Based on my experiences, I find it best to put next to each other songs that have similar intro and outro beats. My preference is If the song ends in a fade, it is good to follow it with a song starts with a fade. Same goes with drops. I am also fond of arranging songs having quite the same melody or sound or instrument. Acoustic follow by an acoustic or electronic next to an electronic and some of them belonged to different genres. For example, Katy Perry’s Roar sounds nearly identical with Sara Bareilles’ Brave. Although, DJing software like OTS DJ has an auto beat match feature, meaning they crossfades the tails and the heads of the song for you. So the beat matching is enhanced by great song choices.

In other words, my formulas are based on:

1. Instrument (acoustic, piano, electronic, etc.)
2. Beat (fast, slow, MOR, etc.)
3. Genre (Pop, Ballad, Rock, Folk Rock, Dance, RnB, )
4. Beginning and End (fade or drop)

However, there is no limit to experimentation. Just the right mix.

Why is it important? You don’t want to cut the mood of your listeners. Make sure your playlist is not a rollercoaster ride. The transition should not be obvious, and if it is, at least it is smooth. If you pull it off effectively, they wouldn’t notice it is the next song they are listening to. It makes them enjoy it.


Playlisting is the manner of organizing songs in a program clock or hour. Briefly, it is creating a playlist. DJ Clea told me that, ideally, there are more or less 15 songs in an hour but it can be cut if you have commercials, adlibs and breakers and stingers within the program clock.

From what I have learned in my radio class and practiced in a short-lived stint, a huge no-no in playlisting is PUTTING TWO OR MORE SONGS OF THE SAME ARTIST IN THE SAME HOUR.



Before I proceed to the nitty-gritty of adlib, I want to let you know first that the station where I worked caters audience in C, D, and E bracket. Ad-libbing in CDE radio stations is quite different from AB radio stations. In the AB stations, only a quick and concise speaking is required. However, whether it is AB or CDE, adlibbing is very challenging.

Adlib is spontaneous speaking on air. This is where the glam of the radio personality comes in. It is one of the motivations of freshmen in the communication courses to enter into the radio industry, the voice modulation, the projection and such. But how did I learn them? Practice.

First, you should have something to say. As what DJ Clea shared to me, “You are behind the mic not because you have to say something but because you have something to say.” The basic elements that should be present in an adlib are the time, the call sign, name of the station, the program, and your (DJ) name. The audience should know what station and to whom they are listening to. Plug your text line for greetings and requests.


Our time is ____. You are listening to 105.9 Balita FM. Welcome to the first-hour drive of our program Best of Folk Rock and Country Sunday. This is DJ Amber and I will be with you for two hours of playing your favorite folk rock and country songs, from 12 noon down 2 in the afternoon. If you have songs in mind, don’t hesitate to text me through this number______. For our next song, here’s _________.

Be as creative as you can every time you say your intros and extros so as not to bore your audience. State them in different ways, juggle them taking care not to confuse those who are listening. For the adlibs in the middle of the hour, some radio jocks read light news or tips, throw poll questions or topics, read greetings and text messages, or just brief, snappy song introduction, again, depending on the program. This one also calls for creativity and imaginations and ounces of humor if you have.


The voice and projection? Be confident with the sound you create. Record yourself and listen to it until you get used to it. It takes time to develop until you find the right projection unless an expert coaches you. What matter is that you are confident with what you are saying and you’ll be able to say it confidently. The listeners may not see you but they can sense your nerve wrack in your voice. They can hear the laziness or disinterest or tiredness in your voice and you want to avoid channeling that to them. One of your primary purposes is to uplift their mood. They can determine how you feel just by listening to you. Again, practice.

Most importantly, channel good will. Say something good, something positive, and motivational and uplifting, something useful and something they can learn alongside with humor and entertainment. Good example is that of Nicole Hyala and Chris Tsuper in Tambayan of 90.7 Love Radio Manila. Their program is mostly talk, as far as I know.



And again, it depends on your program format.


Your listeners are diverse in so many aspects such as age and status and thus, their tastes when it comes to music. Know what these people want to hear. Know the hits of the times and mix them right to be able to strike a balance. It is easier said than done though because you also have your own biases. There are songs you like but are alien to your audience’s ear. Or songs you despise but are their earworm. Despite that, it is them you should consider. TIP: To be safe, classics are timeless.


Above were just technical know-hows. And you can never adapt them if you are resistant to learning. Before you will be listened to, you should first listen to those ahead of you. During the first few board work, you will still have a lot of mistakes and palpak and semplang. It is natural. DJ Clea just laughs at me whenever I push wrong buttons or say something weird or stupid because she also does that sometimes. Don’t be afraid to be corrected. It is the only way to learn.


DJing can be an instant stardom. Your parents, siblings, friends and neighbors would be proud to hear you on the airwaves. And when you are able to please few avid listeners, you will gain fans or should I say new friends other than your squads at home. In my case, there are those who go to our station just to see or meet us or bring us something. You become a radio personality. And some people will look up to you, find for you, and commend you for a job well done. It happened to me. But it doesn’t mean you are already above them. You should keep your character and values intact.

Our avid listener Melanie brought us so much food! It didn’t happen once though.
Feeling celebs with DJ Chino


The enjoyment and the good feeling while doing the job will greatly influence the whole mood of your board work. It resonates to the songs you play. Should I explain more?


I can still remember my first month of board work, the jitters-excitement mixed disrupted my sleeping patterns. They render me restless. And I still have it except that excitement weighs heavier before than now. I owe all this experience to my mentor DJ Clea who equipped me little and thrown me in the battle right away, making me learn all this on my own. And of course, to the station who entrusted me some of their programs. I feel so privileged. My DJing experience was as memorable as the music I played.


Glam shot with DJ Clea!

It’s been a while since I posted on my blog. For the past days, I was going through a lot and in fact, one of them is the temporary shutting down of the radio station where I am working. The struggle of letting go of the one you love doing has never been this real, especially if it is one of your dream careers.

Heartfelt thanks to those who made me a part of the industry that spoiling the people of their innate love for music. I will never leave with nothing. And so, just how I was shown generosity, I am also doing it in return. They say, “you can not give what you don’t have.” I say, I am sharing what is given to me. So here it is. I hope you enjoy and learn something.

For those who have dreamed to be a radio jock, for those who consider music as life, you can’t apply all these if you haven’t lifted your butt and going after it. So try your luck. There are still so much to radio than meets the ears like program clock and all. Who knows, you might just complete someone’s day with the music you play.

Thank you for the opportunities 105.9 Balita FM. I will never forget that you’ve existed and formed another family with you. ‘Til then.

12814304_1148278071858059_6180503202802793476_nIf you have ideas you want to share, add, please feel free to leave a comment. I’ll appreciate it. I hope you learned something from this. Thank you for stopping by. This has been DJ Amber, signing off! Happy DJing!!

CARPE DIEM | A Festive Kadayawan 2016 Party

One month more before the Kadayawan 2016 celebration kicks off! Scouring parties to enjoy during the ‘King of Festivals’ is on for Davaoenos and tourists alike. If you haven’t found one, I have something for you!


If you are a ‘partyphile’, then you might want to join the electronic dance party CARPE DIEM. Eclipse Production Management is inviting you to loose yourself in a festive, electronic music party- CARPE DIEM this August 20, 2016, 5:00 PM to 2:00 AM at the Al Fresco Area of the Felcris Centrale in Davao City. Guest DJs from Manila, Iloilo and Bacolod are set to make you seize your night with party music!

Tickets are now available!

General Admission – Php 300 ( with FREE 1 mix drink 12oz )
VIP – Php 500 ( with FREE 2 Beers )

VIP Table also available.

For Davaoenos, tickets can be bought in these outlets:

Perch ( Felcris Centrale )
Laysa’s BBQ Grill ( Bonifacio )
Assembly ( Damosa )
Java Jive ( Bajada )
Ink Digger Tattoo ( Ilustre beside ATU Plaza )
Rainbow Project Shop (Fashion Walk, 2nd floor, Gaisano Mall of Davao)

PROMO: Buy 5 General Admission Tickets , Get 1 for FREE!  

Tell your friends and grab your tickets NOW!

For Ticket inquiries, contact:

Stanley- 09175613705 / 09182537805
Jocs – 09323711377
Vixen- 09325494211

Or visit Eclipse Production Facebook Page for more information. See you there!

MINDANAO BAND SUMMIT | Local Artists on the Limelight (A Sneak Peek)

Few more weeks and Davaoenos like me will once again lose ourselves in the festive beat of the Kadayawan Festival celebration slated August 15 to 21. You can’t refuse the festivities because the spirit will literally be felt all over the place even if it is yet the first day of August.

Kadayawan is an ultimate indulgence of the Mindanao’s colorful culture. And though the celebration officially caps off on the 21sts, the celebration of the culture and music continues in the MINDANAO BAND SUMMIT on August 27 to 28, 2016.


Fifty homegrown bands from all over the region, budding and established, will gather in one place to share their gifts of music and masterpieces.

Aside from the headbanging and heart-stopping performances from our local artists, the two-day musical event is packed with gimmicks will in be store for everyone such as Bike Exhibitions, Skate Boarding Exhibitions, Graffiti Exhibitions, Wall Climbing and Tattoo Activities.

There will also be trade-ins of musical instruments, merchandising activities, camping activities, unlimited food and drinks, and music workshops. That’s is just more than enough for a 200-peso ticket.

Set in the camping concept, the ‘campers’ or those who will be joining the event will be asked to stay inside the venue – Davao Crocodile Park Football Grounds (This is the final venue. Sorry for the confusion) for the whole duration of the event. You will be allowed to bring tents. If you wish to go out and return the next day, you have to buy a ticket again.

For ticket prices, you will buy the 250-peso ticket if you wish to stay for two days while 150 pesos for one day only.

The event is organized by the State of Mind Productions. For ticket inquiries, send them a message through Muzika del Sur.

It is time for these local artists to become ambassadors of Mindanao and promote the region in the music scene.It is one of the great ways to get the most out of the Kadayawan Festival which is a celebration of Mindanawon culture and aspirations.

Follow Muzika del Sur on Twitter: @DVOMuzikadelsur
Facebook: Muzika del Sur