Sunday, November 30, 2008

Kel And Jay TV Guestings This Coming Week...

.:Unang Hirit, Redux!:.

It was great the first time around, but now, they want us back! As part of the anniversary special for Unang Hirit, Kel and Jay will be back on the show, this time, performing magic instead of mentalism.

For the anniversary special, we plan to do something rather special... maybe even... uplifting. ;)
http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=3857574
So if you want to catch Kel and Jay in action, watch them this coming Tuesday, 02 December, 2008, around 6-7 AM on Unang Hirit! (We're unsure of the time, since last time out, we were scheduled at 6:30 AM, but ended up onscreen at around 8:00...)

.:Kel's Street Magic Teach-In, On Myx This Friday...:.

About a week ago, I had a special session for The Hilt, where I had a great street magic session for a small group of people whom I taught the basics of street magic to. I went and explained to them in brief why street magic became all the rage, its advantages and disadvantages, and by the end of the day, I think they all learned a thing or two they can show off to their friends next time.

The awesome thing is, Myx was on hand that day to cover the whole event. While I specifically warned them about showing any actual exposure on the air, they were awesome to share ideas with, and I guess you'll be seeing snippets of what happened that day on Myx this coming Friday evening. I'll let you know what time it is when I find out, but I think the show is entitled, "Where You At?"

Catch you guys around, and you never know, Kel and Jay just might show up again onscreen sooner than you think...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Philosophy 118: 26 November, 2008

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 this Wednesday...

.:God Is Dead:.

This phrase is often misinterpreted as a celebratory statement. It is rather a lament, that in Nietzsche's time, the people have lost their sense of God, in effect, killing Him. Contrast the average European Christian with a Buddhist, and you can see that the Buddhist lives his life as a Buddhist, while the Christian is as good as any other secular man. The Christian life was a nihilistic life.

At this point, he could say, with his disdain for European Christian practices, that indeed, God was dead.

Here, he attempts to remedy this with what he called Eternal Recurrence.

.:Eternal Recurrence:.

Imagine yourself standing in the now, and from this now, you radiate both towards the past, as historians do, and to the future, as the futurists do. Both directions can be indefinitely extended. For Nietzsche, this world has existed for all eternity, and will always be there. What Nietzsche is proposing is that because both lines are infinite, it eventually going to repeat itself at some point.

Thus, we see the birth, the degeneration, the death, then the rebirth of yet another cycle. This is a cycle that never ends. For Nietzsche, he believes that there is no true progression per se. The answer, the meaning of life is not in the past or the future. It is when you look into the now, have the courage to the now, because that moment is calling you in a very unique way to realize yourself in the unique way that you ought to be.

The ubermensch is the one who is true to who they are.

If God is dead, then we should not waste our time bewailing that, but instead of dwelling on this so-called death and to attempt to go back to the past or to reform the faith, this moment now is where we could find the meaning of life.

.:The Critique Of Language:.

Nietzsche criticized the way language has been taken by Philosophy in the past. First of all, only in contemporary thought has language ever been given a certain measure of distinction on its own. Few thinkers ever really paid much attention to language, if at all, as it was merely a mode of expression to reality itself, and the “reality itself” was the source of concern, more than anything else.

During Aristotle's time, the very word was a manifestation of the reality itself. Language was merely a tool for understanding, a lens, as it were, for understanding.

Nietzsche maintains that there is no natural link between the language and the reality. The relation is, in truth, arbitrary and artificially constructed. The relation is only brought about by an experience, and then a certain distance is maintained, a reaction, an interpretation of man to reality. It is not a direct picture of the reality. That is, we can say that language and reality is merely a metaphorical relationship.

Even in a seemingly literal sense, the relationship between language and reality is arbitrary and established as a value judgment, and merely circumstantial. As such, depending upon the language you speak, you represent a certain world-view or horizon, a certain disposition. In a matriarchal society where women are obliged to have multiple husbands, you cannot call these women “sluts” because the reality is this is their actual moral obligation.

In truth, Nietzsche has only had a 15-page paper on language in 1873, that he has dictated to a friend: On Truth and Falsity in an Extramoral Sense.

.:Quotable Quotes:.

“But, no! There really is a time where you want to say, 'your mother is a whore.' P$#^&& i*@ mo!”
- Dr. Reyes (Explaining the critique of language.)

“For you, Fr. Eliazo was a building. For us, he was flesh and blood.”

- Dr. Reyes

“Fr. Eliazo was famous for asking for 3 Hail Mary's for penance, no matter what. That's why the lines of people who want to confess to him were always long. When he sees this, he'd ask someone to pray a full rosary, and you'd see the people in line slowly shift to another confessor.”

- Dr. Reyes

“Fr. Pollock has this habit where he moves his head to and fro, like Stevie Wonder.”

- Dr. Reyes

“Bless me father, for I have sinned. I have committed the sin of necking.”

“Necking? Necking? Let us clarify. If you don't clarify, I cannot give you canonical absolution. By my definition, necking is from the neck up, from the neck down, it's petting.”

“Bless me father, for I have sinned. I have committed the sin of petting.”

“Petting? How many times?”

“Father, long time.”

“Very good, very good. At least you have the courage to tell me... My son, when it gets too hot for you, stop! Calm down! When you're calmed down already, you can start again!”

- Confession between Fr. Pollock and one of Dr. Reyes' batchmates

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Laughs And Gasps Megapost!

.:The Laughs And Gasps Megapost!:.




It's come and gone, but there's so much left to be said about last Saturday's event, touted as some to be the “Underground Magic/Comedy Event Of The Year”. It was a huge success as a crowd of bloggers, magicians, otakus, and so forth came together in an event that was done for the benefit of the Giselle Sanchez Scholarship Foundation.

The Dream And The Challenge



Kel + Kawaii = Disaster



For those who don't know, I was just a very mild magic hobbyist until I was introduced by one of my best friends, Estelle, to Jay Mata. Only then did I ever go professional with my craft, so needless to say, Jay was the guy who got me to turn pro in magic and mentalism.

When Jay and I first dreamt up “Laughs And Gasps”, it was originally just going to be a free blogger event with myself, my partner Jay Mata, and of course, our good friend, Stanley Chi. It was going to be a simple showcase of talent from the three of us, and we didn't have any idea what was going to happen for us after that.

Then some friends started helping us out in their own way. Originally, Juned and Jayvee were going to organize the event on our behalf, but the heavy preparations for The PBA meant this was too much to ask of them, but Juned had a brilliant idea... why not make the event a fundraiser for a cause?

As Stanley went on to find much success with his comedy career, Kel and Jay continued to be individual successes in their magic and mentalism. Aside from a few appearances in conventions like Mangaholix, the Philippine ToyCon, and the Music And Arts Festival, as well as a huge product launch for Panasonic, for the most part, it was Kel or Jay, but hardly ever Kel and Jay. The Mangaholix feature was a step in the right direction, though.

That changed when we saw ourselves performing for the U.P. Circle Of Enterpreneurs last September 27, for their “Stritz” event (Sorry about not being able to write about that yet. I know, soooo belated.). A few days after the conclusion of the epic Ateneo-DLSU Finals in the UAAP, we ended up becoming not just a magic act, but a comedy act that night as well. We had a very receptive audience, perfect volunteers, and everything about the night just spelled success for us.

From that moment on, the Kel and Jay dynamic really came to the fore. It was no longer two magicians doing their own respective things, but a tandem effort that wouldn't be complete without the other. From the ribbing to the antics to the routines, we knew we had a winner in our hands.

It was at this point where we finally settled on upping the ante for our show, which we moved from August to September to November... while opportunities to collaborate with Stanley Chi will still be there in the future, we wanted to take a stab at something big, and we ended up getting in touch with both our special comedienne guest and the founder of the very charity we are devoting this show, to...

… Ms. Giselle Sanchez.

To say that we were overwhelmed to find out that she was interested in doing the show with us is an understatement. I can't thank Dementia enough for helping us find the means of reaching her, and slowly but surely, we made what initially came across as a pipe dream become a possibility...

Bricks And Mortar...



Zen, zen, zen...



I was a bit brazen, but I went ahead and sent a text message to Ms. Giselle, proposing to her an event for the benefit of her scholarship foundation, and asking her if she'd be interested in taking part in it. Truth be told, that was quite ballsy of me, since it's not like Giselle knew us at all. Kel and Jay were relative unknowns, who may be a bit known in the blogging and anime community, but next to anonymous in the mainstream.

Imagine my genuine surprise when she replied via SMS that she was interested. It didn't take long before we got the ball rolling, and while initially, she wanted something super big, like performing in Mandarin Oriental or something along those lines, we settled on Vibal Publishing House, since it's Jay's family's building, and we were producing on a shoestring budget. The idea was to do that as a trial run of sorts for myself and Jay alone, then with a producer backing us, have another show, this time with Giselle.

We were genuinely taken aback when Giselle Sanchez said she'd still want to perform, and she'd help us promote the show to the best of her abilities. It was definitely amazing, to say the least, as I started running around like a headless chicken, trying to go and get people willing to help make this event happen, on such short notice.

Shortly while brainstorming in mid-October, the name for the show hit me like a ton of bricks... it was just... perfect.

Thus we called our show, “Laughs And Gasps”. We wanted people to laugh, to be shocked, but overall, to be entertained. We had what it takes, with Giselle Sanchez providing comedy that just works, and the Kel and Jay tandem adding in a mix of magic and mentalism, what could possibly go wrong, right?

Then came the setbacks... and the little miracles.

Hurdles And Blessings...



Group Hijinx!



From a financial standpoint, this event came at a huge loss to us. Break-even would've been great, but we expressly pledged that the proceeds of the show would go to the foundation, so we just took the hit. Having said that, we can't help but be grateful to Geiser Maclang for being one of our sponsors, as well as individuals such as Janette Toral and Jill, via chip-in.

There were unexpected expenses here and there, truth be told, and I guess the crash course on events management given to us by Azrael, Markpoa, and Juned definitely helped us get our act together despite setbacks that came along, including a certain surprise that cost us much more than anticipated, plus an incident where we misprioritized something that resulted in a financial loss that would've instead helped us break even at the end of the day.

Never again, I tells you.

Of course, I'd be remiss to not give much love to Gail and Marc and the rest of Sheero Media, who provided us with an awesome website. It's a work of art, and definitely something that would find itself the site of interesting developments for Kel and Jay...

Leave us not forget the video coverage and sound system provided for us by our client and good friend, Mr. Dexter Andrada and MITE Asia. That was three hours worth of video, all captured on tape, and you couldn't find a nicer guy to work with.

Our gratitude as well to The Story Circle for coming out full force to support myself and Jay, despite not being certified members. I know they've been our guinea pigs for our new routines for the past year, but they really showed a lot of appreciation for the event that night, even participating as dancers/volunteers that night, livening things up like anything.

Of course, this event had a lot of help from my brother, Francis, the self-proclaimed “Fabieoulous” member of our family of two at this point. He was our photographer for the promotions of the event, and I'm sure you've seen some of our really snazzy photos online at some point already.

Leave us not forget the massive contribution of Coy, whose video skillz made our finale just that much better... we'll get to that in a bit.

As Jay and I kept on updating a shortlist of routines we wanted to perform, crossing things out as we found something better to work with instead, we realized we had pretty much enough material for four rotating shows of this type, lasting about an hour and a half each...

It was at this point we both agreed we wanted to perform one set each that wouldn't necessarily count as magic. Jay's girlfriend was livid at the idea of him doing what he would end up doing. Very few people knew what I intended to do, and admittedly, seeing as I haven't done that in... oh, a year or so? Not to mention the fact that this was prolly going to be the only venue I know of that would allow us to pull this stuff off...

Whammies And Dummies



Old age? Eh bakit yung kaliwang tuhod ko, di magkasakit? Magkasintanda lang yang dalawang yan... (Courtesy of Azrael)



While I was promoting the show to friends, I surprisingly got an offer from Wanlu that he would perform for us for a steal, since it's for a charity event. We went and jumped at the chance right away. Kel and Jay, Giselle Sanchez, and Wanlu? We knew we had a winning formula for the night, as my experience with Wanlu's performances has always been one of sheer bliss. The man is a total entertainer, and a class act. Known as the Ventrillusionist, his combination of ventriloquism, magic, and humor really gives him quite the reputation in the magic industry.

It was especially heartwarming as well to hear kind words of encouragement from legends like Tito Bing Lim-It, my mentor (As well as Jay's.); sir Ony Carcamo (Wanlu's mentor.); sir Sonny Minoza (One of our personal heroes in mentalism in the Philippines.); sir David Elefant (Yet another one of our personal heroes in mentalism in the country.); Doc Ronnie (An institution, period.); Anthony Billan Co of Mindbender fame; and even Erik Mana. While Jay and I are not as active in the magic community, we were met with nothing but encouragement from those people who have gone through this long before we even dreamed it up.

Of course, we're left wondering who the Hades this guy is, and why he wanted to perform during the show, but I guess them's the breaks... heh.

Hype And Tripe



Y So Srs?



As the big night grew closer and closer, we had a lot of hype about the event. Considering how we had to do all of this on such short notice, I was mildly surprised that word got around fairly quickly. Things were going pretty well on the publicity front, albeit admittedly, we didn't really have enough time to plug the event, since we only had a little under two weeks to pull it off.

Nonetheless, people expressed interest in the event quite far and wide. You had people who even dedicated a 25-KM run all the way in Davao for the cause, among other people who were excited for the event, and the show itself was transformed into TSC's official weekly gathering, adding to the pressure on myself and Jay, since now, we'd be performing for actual magicians as well. A lot of people from the blogosphere were also quite optimistic about the event's chances, despite the admittedly short-notice and guerrilla blitz promotion we were forced to employ.

Both Ms. Giselle and Wanlu also promoted the show every chance they got, particularly when they got on television. I personally went through the radio stations I'm in good standing with, and personally promoted the event both on-air and off-air, resulting in two spots where I guested for the Brewrats... heh.

Of course, the biggest promotional pushes we got for the event would be the Kel and Jay guesting on Unang Hirit, as well as a press release on the Philippine Daily Inquirer about the event (Albeit a mildly amusing but mostly annoying mix-up resulted in people thinking that *I'm* Giselle Sanchez...).

This text message really stood out...

“Hello... gus2 ko makapag-aral, sana bkas ang puso na tulungan ako taga cotabato po ako.”

Touching, I'm sure, but the fact he has a cellphone does make one think twice... but hey, it's such a refreshing change of pace from all the people who wanted to be “text pals” with Giselle Sanchez... heh.

Anyways, the promotions we made did get a few people interested about the event, and we're definitely banking on being able to make this show happen again in the future, or even on a regular basis, if we would be so blessed.

Having said that, it was time to get the show on the road.

Time And Tide



Or is it, time and tied?



I had a show before this actual one, which sort of served as my dry run for Laughs And Gasps. I ran into Honey, Kathy Chua's cousin, and a good friend of mine, and I convinced her, JC, and the celebrant's mom to actually go to the event for the night. It was a pretty fun gig, mind you. I had to perform magic for kids in such short quarters, and it was then that I realized that I really was lucky I wasn't an illusionist... that was one time where I couldn't imagine an illusionist fitting all his stuff in for a full-scale show.

Having said that, the kids loved the show, and using the Blindfolded Rubik's as my finale really works wonders with them, especially with the way I finish the routine.

We started a bit late, but it was all right. We almost got a full house, and we were pretty excited with all the preparations going in. Jay and I unofficially opened the show by handing out a bag that ended up in Doc Tess's hands, and then we went backstage.

The show was opened by Giselle's band, Souled Out, and they got the crowd going with a very lively opening set, before they introduced us and we finally came out to really start the show. I believe at this point, My Beloved left the show, since she couldn't really finish the whole thing. It was sweet of her to stay on for as long as she could, though, and for even driving me to the show itself.

We got on stage, and we introduced ourselves a bit, and reminisced about how a certain politician calls himself the “Barack Obama of the Philippines”, and how this is tantamount to some arrogant magicians calling themselves “The Penn And Teller Of The Philippines”. The nerve, right?!? Soon enough, we introduced Ms. B.B.B. (Beauty, Body, and Brains), and it was time for Ms. Giselle Sanchez to take the stage!

Jokes And Folks



Beauty. Body. Brains. (Courtesy of Azrael)



The minute Giselle took to the stage, she really got the crowd on their feet. It was an amazing spectacle of music and comedy, not to mention a dance-off that was one for the ages, and a hypnosis gag involving Azrael.

To say people were really entertained would be an understatement. Even the front row, composed of a rather conservative crowd, couldn't suppress their chuckles at Giselle's humor, which wasn't exactly free of off-coloredness.

In fact, why don't we let Doc Tess's video do the talking on this one, as three bloggers, namely Azrael, Manolo, and Mark Cerbo, plus three TSC members, Nomer, Sam, and Cakit, just danced off for a chance to win a 20,000 gift certificate (valid for one day only) from Funeraria Paz!




After the dance-off, she got people rolling in the aisles with her fast-hitting comedy style. It was the classic comedy approach, really, quite a change of pace from the standard “observational comedy” stand-up style we've grown accustomed to the past few years. I especially loved the joke where she had to say “something patriotic” after every announcement when she was in NAIA.

In any case, after she emphasized that she was actually “only opening” for us (Biggest compliment of the night!), she introduced the “David Copperfield of the Philippines”, yours truly...

Black And White

I scratched my head over the introduction, since even I wouldn't consider myself a “David Copperfield”, far be it for people to believe I do stage illusions. In any case, Jay and I bantered a bit, poking fun at each other, before I went off to do my now-infamous Shackles and Rope combination...

It was pretty good, especially since Jay and I managed to improv some gags along the way, when I was trying to escape from the shackles, so it was all good. The Rope routine with JC was really fun to perform, because I really managed to get a good groove for it, but I was really just pacing myself so that when Jay gets to his bit, it really floors them...



I suggest you not bend over like that... (Courtesy of Azrael)



When Jay got onstage, he really had a presence that made him seem like the authoritative one. He performed a color effect that really worked beautifully, as Ernest from TSC chose red, and while Jay's initial “prediction” was received with chuckles, when he finally revealed “red” behind the illustration board, he definitely stunned people.



Had you going for a moment there...



He then followed it up with a lie detector game. He forgot a few bits, like actually offering money to motivate the people to lie better, and the girl in the group had a hard time following directions, but at the end of it all, he got things right down to pat, and nobody was the wiser how close he was to losing his money, had he gone in that direction. Heh. Sometimes, you just take a chance, and it pays off...

Pomp And Circumstance

It wasn't long before we got to the part where Wanlu just really blew the crowd away, not long after a very interesting introduction by Jay. Wanlu really knew how to work the audience, although he had no choice but to go wholesome when he saw there were a few kids watching, so we didn't really get to see his full-scale adult show.

Despite that, it was still a great bit from him, as he turned Bessie-Moo Estelle and Carl into human puppets for his ventriloquism finale, which was an excellent follow-up to Don Dominador. He then capped off his amazing segment with one of the best illusions I've ever seen, bar none.

Anyways, catch a snippet of his amazing ventriloquist act, courtesy of Jonel!




After this point, we had an intermission, and we prepared for the next half. The Laughs were done with... now came the Gasps!

Glass And Pizazz



“Kel, do you wanna go solo from now on? I can jump...” (Courtesy of Azrael)



When the people piled on in, they realized that a subtle change in the atmosphere meant we were serious about splitting the show into “Laughs” and “Gasps”.

Jay was already wearing something... brighter, to say the least, but it actually was for a reason. While it appeared to most that both of us merely swapped color schemes, our wardrobe changes were actually meant to prepare us for the dangerous things we wanted to do for that night...

You see, Jay went on about how pain is a subjective thing, and that there is a way to suppress pain, to an extent. He then asked Ada to take his pulse, and from there, meditated. Ada was shocked to notice that Jay's pulse slowly faded away, until she couldn't even feel it anymore. Jay then shockingly stood up and proceeded to prepare himself to walk on the broken glass he laid out before beginning his meditation. People in the audience were free to verify that these were indeed broken shards of glass, and not merely sugar glass or some other prop.

What happened next? Well, you just have to see for yourself, courtesy of Doc Tess...


Yes, that was indeed Mike Abundo who stepped on Jay's back and face, and he was even more worried than I was, although he quipped to me while I was briefing me that if I “wanted to go solo”, I can ask him to just step extra hard or something. Always a cad, that guy.



Nonetheless, it takes a man with a lot of guts to actually go and walk barefoot on broken glass, and Jay definitely got huge reactions from the people that night. What they didn't see though was that Jay started bleeding after the show. Talk about a delayed reaction, and the things we do for our craft...

Hellfire And Brimstone



You know the rules, and so do I. (Courtesy of Azrael)



I haven't done poi in a year or so, and it was only through Peppy's help that the poi was prepared properly before my performance. Unfortunately, I had lousy safeties, as Jay didn't really know the first thing about putting out a kerosene-soaked kevlar-fueled fire. Nonetheless, the crowd seemed to like the performance, even though admittedly I was treading carefully with the poi, since I was using Kathy's snakes, which I've never tried before. Unlike regular poi, the kevlar was longer than the chains, so it was easier to get torched by snakes. When the music began, the audience groaned because they realized that they just got Rickrolled.




Afterwards, I took a single monkey fist poi, and wanted to do a sorta drunken-master style of spinning, but the already-wet floor, caused both by frantic attempts to put out the fire of the snakes and wetting my hair to prevent it from catching fire, kinda limited my range of motion, albeit enabling me to do the moonwalk. I was a bit alarmed when I did my wraps and I hit my face with the neck wrap, as the poi went upwards instead of around my neck. Nobody noticed it, but I had a faceful of fire at one point, but I shrugged it off, and just tried to do the between-the-legs spin, but the wet floor beat me on my first try. I got right back up, found a dry enough spot, and did it on the second try...

I was still catching my breath when we had to move on to the finale...

Collection And Selection

We called Doc Tess on stage and handed out some magazines to three ladies: Ethel, Cakit's girlfriend, Louanne, a cosplay organizer, and Shari. While the people up front frowned over our choice of reading material, I proceeded to explain what our finale was about, and what we intended to do.

Soon enough, after a magazine was picked, we attempted to select a page to work with, but the first page we picked didn't exactly yield the expected results...



Whoops! We wanted actual words, not... what was I saying again? (Courtesy of Azrael)



The second attempt was better, though, and what I didn't know was that despite all our psychological bullying, there was still a slight chance that Doc Tess wasn't going to end up with what we wanted all along... she could've gone with “slated” or “complicated”, but she instead ended up with “selection”, which was precisely what we wanted.

Kel: So you chose a magazine, you chose a page, you had it torn into small pieces, and you chose one of those pieces, and then you chose a word. Was this fair?

Doc Tess: Yes.

Kel: No! It's not fair! It's inevitable!



Was your word, “selection”? (Courtesy of Azrael)



Not only did we end up showing that we predicted the word, written behind a whiteboard in full view of the audience before the show even began, but we even proved that the magazine really contained the word!

Clearly predicted! (Courtesy of Azrael)


But Jay wasn't to be outdone, since he wanted to make it clear to everyone what was going on. He actually showed to everyone that throughout the night, he planted little messages here and there to get the point across, and Coy shot all these juicy bits and played them back for everyone to understand that practically every word we said, was carefully chosen to psychologically force someone to have no choice but to choose FHM, to choose page 103, to choose five pieces of paper to remove from the pile, and to choose the word “selection”, from a staggering range of thousands of words across three magazines.

At this point, we ended the show on a high note.

Props And Slops

The feedback about the show has mostly been encouraging, and a sequel with a similar formula is nigh forthcoming in the middle of next year. Nonetheless, it was a great honor to perform for the people who were there that night, and I was especially grateful to Haido for the really awesome carrot cake they gave me and Jay that definitely lifted our spirits even further.

I can't thank enough the people who went last Saturday. They made the show a success, and they definitely helped out the beneficiaries of the foundation in their own way.

Obviously, there will always be room for improvement for a future show, but you can rest assured that we're working on it as we speak.

And now, a few words about the show, and well, Kel and Jay, in general...

“The Penn and Teller of the Philippines!”

- Sonny Minoza, leading Philippine mentalist


“Congratulations to Kel and Jay! More power to the both of you!”

- Bing Lim-It, our mentor, and shop owner, Abrakadabra, Shoppesville


“Kel and Jay are the most awesome performers ever! Especially Kel, he's just a phenomenon!”

- Francis Fabie, Kel's (very biased) brother


Sino nga sila ulit?

- Giselle Sanchez, singer, actress, and comedienne


“Ewan ko rin, Giselle.”

- Wanlu, the Ventrillusionist


“Who the hell are these hacks calling themselves the 'Penn and Teller of the Philippines?!?'”

- Penn Jillette, one half of the Las Vegas-headliner duo Penn And Teller

“...........”

- Raymond Teller, the quiet half of the Las Vegas-headliner duo Penn And Teller

“Hey, guys, you're not going to use my name to promote my show, right? 'Cause seriously, if you do, I'll sue!”

- Unnamed “Celebrity”, who shall remain unnamed


“(Kel, Jay, Giselle, and Wanlu) are geniuses! Mabuhay... this will make superb dinner theater!”

- MLQ 3, superstar blogger


“The latter part of the show gave more than gasps as the two performed surprising and logic-defying feats...”

- Jonel Uy, food and travel blogger


“Amazed, paralyzed, shocked, dazzled, overwhelmed. Memorable, it is!”

- Ada, gorgeous blogger


“We were at Laughs & Gasps the other night and saw Kel and Jay perform illusions and something more...”

- Juned Sonido, photoblogger extraordinaire

“Actually, tumaas ang respeto ko sa inyo!”

- Haidonotenshi, cosplay organizer and superwoman


"And for a tall guy, boy, he could dance! And with fire!"

- Doc Tess Termulo, the healthy health blogger


“To summarize the 3-hour event, only 5 words came to mind: I could not stop gasping.\

- Shari Cruz, super-cool blogger


F#$#$#$# tumalon pa sya sa bubog!!!!


- Azrael Coladilla, pop culture blogger (More albums here...)


"... I know no one else who would risk a mouthful of kerosene or a nail up the nostril for their life's passion."

- Estelle Osorio, close friend to both Kel and Jay


“A spectacular night with spectacular magic from the spectacular duo!”

- Dale, TSC member

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kel And Jay On Unang Hirit!

.:Kel And Jay On Unang Hirit Last 17 November, 2008:.

This is it! The mentalism feature on "Unang Hirit" had Kel and Jay on hand as their guests. Pardon the video quality, but it was a pretty good appearance, and guess what?

We'll probably be back on the show next Tuesday, 02 December, 2008! Wish us luck! :)

A Public Service Announcement...

To the anonymous people texting me in the middle of the night...

... I am NOT Giselle Sanchez. The number you got was my number, because I was an organizer of the event. Please stop texting me, I am not Giselle Sanchez.

Gentlemen, it's just two mounds of flesh. Please... GET OVER IT! =P

Philosophy 118: 21 and 24 November, 2008

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 last Friday and this Monday...

.:Critique Of Metaphysics:.

Nietzsche underscores the uselessness of metaphysics insofar as the world that one can experience is real, and not this metaphysical world that is simply vague and undefined. He labels this desire by metaphysicians to find “the world we really belong to” as a form of escapism: instead of dealing with the issues of this world, we instead spend our time aspiring for another world that we have only vague ideas about.

Husserl himself feels that this metaphysical inference becomes merely an assumption that we take for granted and make no attempt to prove that it is true. What is logical is not necessarily true.

The farther you get away from human experience, the more doubtful the conclusions you can draw are. At the end of the process, you still need to verify the truth behind the conclusion you managed to acquire from a logical concatenation.

.:Critique of Religion:.

He is mainly railing against the Christian religion at this point.

1. The stress on authority, hierarchy, and dogmatic formulation.

There was a pronounced emphasis on the jurisdiction of a church authority, and a slavish sense of importance to titles. Nietzsche underscores that this has nothing to do with the meaning in life one is looking for. What worth is your title to an all-powerful God?

The same weaknesses are manifest in dogmatic formulation. Why bicker over technicalities and phrases in the bible when one's soul is supposedly on the line?

2. The stress on eschatology.

There is far too much emphasis on eschatology. Instead of valuing our present life that we just assume our present life to merely be a stopover towards the end, towards the “real world” that we pursue, in this case, heaven.

3. The stress on God's absolute majesty.

God is indeed supreme, but why must it come at the cost of the dignity of man? Nietzsche and Sartre are in agreement here that the dignity of man must not be ignored, and they would rather choose it than the absolute majesty of God.

4. The stress on suffering.

Why is it that in Christianity, there is so much emphasis on suffering, as though suffering itself were positive? Is it suffering itself that saves us? Or is it not precisely the very responsibility of a savior to at least alleviate the suffering of humanity? Yet here we are with a religion that glorifies suffering, and even encourages inflicting suffering upon the self as something that gives God glory. Why are we making for a bloodthirsty God?

Why is the crucifix the symbol of Catholicism? The crucifix, after all, was the mode of punishment employed by the Romans for the worst criminals. Is this not tantamount to having a gas chamber or electric chair as the symbol of Catholicism if Christ were to have died in contemporary times?

While suffering is necessary in doing what is right, it is not the goal in and by itself. To seek out suffering on its own is simply irrational, for suffering is not a positive value, after all. Isn't it odd that the original symbol of Christianity is the fish, often a symbol of life, and regeneration?

Nietzsche predates psychology as a science, but he seemed to have a keen grasp of how something like this is in reality masochistic.

5. “God is dead.”

This phrase is often misinterpreted as a celebratory statement. It is rather a lament, that in Nietzsche's time, the people have lost their sense of God, in effect, killing Him. Contrast the average European Christian with a Buddhist, and you can see that the Buddhist lives his life as a Buddhist, while the Christian is as good as any other secular man. The Christian life was a nihilistic life.

.:Quotable Quotes:.

“Hey! Who are these bright boys trying to invade my parish?!?”

- Dr. Reyes' Parish Priest

“We see grown men, debating about the Blessed Mary's hymen. What does this have to do with the meaning of life?!?”

- Dr. Reyes

“Looking at all you innocent, innocent boys, sometimes, I wish I had a gun right now, so I could shoot all of you right now. So you can go to heaven right away!”

- Fr. J.P. Delaney

“Rrrrrramon Rrrrrreyes. The Spanish really roll their r's. The French, on the other hand, they sound so nice. 'Remmon Reyes?' Can I hear that again?”

- Dr. Reyes

“The men are expected to be responsible only when they're married. By then, it's too late!”

“You are a Christian nation, but very masochistic.”

- Dr. Reyes' foreigner friend

“You've seen me for two weeks, rambling on, and you were free to leave, if you wanted to, but now that we're three weeks in, I think you're stuck with me.”

- Dr. Reyes

“Nyaa! Nyaa! Nyaa! Nyaa!”

- Dr. Reyes, impersonating an infant

“Ever heard of the story of the sadist and masochist?”

- Dr. Reyes

Uhh... What?!?

.:Seriously?:.

I won't deny that I'm a huge fan of the franchise, but... guys? What the hell?!?

Not even I would see it as Best Picture material...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Laughs And Gasps: It's On!



.:Past Midnight As I Write This...:.

There's no stopping it.

In approximately 19 hours, Laughs And Gasps will be happening, and we hope to see you there!

Tickets are available at the gate.

See you!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Philosophy 118: 19 November, 2008

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 this Wednesday...

.:Birth Of Tragedy:.

This book was an attempt by Nietzsche to discuss the elements of a good tragedy. He cites two deities working in contrast with each other to produce a good tragedy:

Apollo – The god of wisdom, order, form, and light. Represented by dreams.
Dionysus – The god of chaos, the god of wine, the god of orgy. Represented by life.

A tragedy with only Apollo would be merely a pedantic, pontificating story with no reflection of the reality of life, lacking in drama and conflict. Much like the very clinical animation, Captain Planet. It was merely a lecture.

A tragedy with only Dionysus would merely be a chaotic, passionate, furious narrative with no order, logic, or a point to the story. Much like the popcorn summer movies that we are treated to by Hollywood, really.

He then uses it to translate this into other segments of life, such as preachers who do not have any passion in what they proselytize, or the hedonists whose passions are merely the only thing guiding their lives, senseless as it really is. He seeks to find a balance between “paralysis by analysis”, vis-a-vis plain hedonism. Aeschelus was the pinnacle of balance, and the balance was tipped from Sophocles all the way to Plato towards the pedantic.

Nietzsche is going to start addressing what seems to be happening below the reasoning faculties of man, the “id”, as it were, of Freudian lore. Suppression of the id results in an outpouring of this suppressed inclination through another means. We cannot reduce everything about the human person to merely reason. The only way one can address the id is to sublimate it: to channel it in another direction to find an acceptable outlet for such a desire.

While Nietzsche may predate Freud, he manages to talk about the Apollonian nature of man, which has to contend with his Dionysian nature. Both are needed, and to suppress the latter, or to ignore the former, would deny the authenticity of life. This is the reason why some believe Nietzsche to be the first psychologist, from which Freud merely took his cue.

.:The Critique Of Morality:.

Negative Aspects:

Nietzsche rails against the morality of conformism. A kind of morality that follows what the group expects of you, with the only reason for following it the fact that it is what everyone else does. Thus, we have a morality shaped by fear, shame, and guilt. “Stick To The Status Quo” from High School Musical, anyone?

It becomes a morality where people become mediocre and merely toe the line, for fear that being different would result in persecution. People just become average, to blend in rather than to stand out, such that they would be able to win the approval of the group.

It is a morality of crab mentality. As soon as someone attempts to be different, the group will try to cut down so that they would fit in with the rest by becoming just the same as everyone else. That way, if someone were to dare to stick out, we pull them down so they would conform.

It is also a morality that is based on a hidden agenda. Instead of using morality to properly correct someone, we actually use it to subvert or bring down somebody else. For example, the “nice guy” who sits around for a girl whom they like, expecting to get into their pants in return.

Positive Aspects:

You need to follow your conscience. If you listen closely enough to it, there is one basic thing your conscience will tell you: have the courage to become what you truly are. “To thine own self be true.” This is the main moral imperative for Nietzsche. Never mind what the Group has to say, regard only yourself and your conscience. The man who could be the “Ubermensch” is precisely the one who has the courage to be true to himself, the great individual. The truly moral man is courageous and willing to suffer without wavering to become what he truly is.

Each individual is unique in their own way, and in a conformist society, we forget that. Why do we award the most conformist students as “outstanding” when they literally do not stand out in any way? Is this not a contradiction?

Many people see where Nietzsche is coming from: conformist societies are commonplace, and people lose sense of the positive worth of morality, and that we ignore the individuality of the person.

We may not agree wholeheartedly with Nietzsche, but we understand his point: a morality that is borne out of fear rather than being true to one's self, is not a genuine morality, but merely one that just conforms to stay out of trouble. Doing no wrong is not the same as doing the right thing.

.:The Monkey Experiment:.

I don't know the source, but it makes a lot of sense here...

Start with a cage containing five monkeys.

Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it.

Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana.

As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the monkeys with cold water.

After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result - all the monkeys are sprayed with cold water.

Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, turn off the cold water.

Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one.

The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs.

To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him.

After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one.

The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked.

The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm.

Again, replace a third original monkey with a new one.

The new one makes it to the stairs and is attacked as well.

Two of the four monkeys that beat him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs, or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing the fourth and fifth original monkeys, all the monkeys that have been sprayed with cold water have been replaced.

Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs.

Why not?

Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been around here.

And that's how company policy begins ...


.:Quotable Quote:.

“My father is so ordered and busy, I can't meet him without having to set an appointment with his secretary!” - an old student of Dr. Reyes

Laughs And Gasps On Philippine Daily Inquirer!

.:Laughs And Gasps On Philippine Daily Inquirer!:.

From what I heard, the press release for "Laughs And Gasps" is out today in Philippine Daily Inquirer. Do check it out, and check out the show on Saturday!

Zen Is My Friend...

.:Philo Updates...:.

... coming tomorrow. Or Friday. Depends when I'm not super busy.

And yeah, I could be shilling the show and how great it would be right now, but I'm sure the lack of hyperlinks to anything at all in this post might tip you off how serious I am as I write this. That's good. I don't want you to lose sight of that fact.

.:I Am Going To Be Zen...:.

... Because at the end of the day, people know who I truly am, and what I stand for. People know and understand that Laughs And Gasps is a charity event for the benefit of the Giselle Sanchez Foundation, so if anyone takes umbrage to me doing everything I can to make this event a success, not for my own gain but for a foundation's benefit (One that gives out quality education to all those it can reach.), then I cannot help but feel sorry that this is how you view my efforts.

I have been a hard worker in the magic industry: I've given my heart and my all, and for the biggest show of my career thus far, I'm dedicating a show, along with my partner, Jay Mata, to a cause we believe is worth fighting for. When you look at the logistics of this event, if you were in my shoes, wouldn't you be hurt when your efforts are belittled, or worse, misunderstood?

I am by no means the best magician in the industry: I will not make such a boast, when I hold so many of those in the industry in such high esteem. I am merely a person who wishes, that through his talents, he may be able to contribute and give something back to people in the way he knows how best. For this night, I want to entertain people like I always do, but at the same time, I want them to pay forward the enjoyment I give them so that others could find cause for smiles, not just for a night, but hopefully for a lifetime.

I will not tolerate anyone who assumes this is merely an opportunity to grandstand or to capitalize on. When we have thousands upon thousands of children in the Philippines giving up on schooling because of economic difficulties, I'm sure you can understand why I would want to throw my hat into something like this, and count on people's inner goodness to know that this is a cause worth fighting for.

Someday in your life, I hope you find a truly great cause worth fighting for, and fight for it with all your might. I may not be the world's greatest philanthropist, but I am a person who believes that I can make a difference. And I hope that as people who are reading this now, you believe that you can, too.

This isn't for Kel and Jay. Neither is this for Wanlu, or even Giselle Sanchez. This is for the kids.

Because they deserve it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Sweetest Thing...

.:Before The Rihanna Concert...:.

... I was worried sick about my Beloved during the Rihanna/Chris Brown concert, but before all that, she actually drove to my house just to hug me.

Sweetest thing ever.

Ang Pamamangka Sa Dalawang Ilog...

.:Don't Forget The New Site!:.

To get everything you need to know about Laughs And Gasps, just check out KelnJay.com. Yeba!

.:The Kapamilya Fair!:.

It was Jay's anniversary that day, but he still went. I hope he pulled out all the stops to make it up to his girlfriend afterwards. Heh.

Anyways, Kel and Jay were seen last Saturday at the Kapamilya Fair in World Trade Center, performing just a simple teaser for their magic and mentalism act, which they will showcase in full force this coming Saturday, at Laughs And Gasps.

It was funny en route to the venue, really. We had to pass through Sta. Mesa, and Jay had to take a turn into one of the motels there, which made me look at him *really* uncomfortably, until he made it clear that it was a shortcut. Heh. As we rushed to get to the venue, we were preparing a few things that we would be showing to the crowds to really grab their attention.

So we met up with Giselle Sanchez, and it was pretty cool, since she was going to talk to them about business, and when she went up there, she did it with a lot of humor and pizazz, and even hyped our act up as “magic na pang-mayaman”, telling the crowd that a “mentalist” is a really posh way of saying “magician”, which amused the crowd and by the time we appeared onstage, we were just playing it off.

We went up there and poked fun at each other, and then segued straight into my Shanghai Shackles routine, which got a lot of laughs. The crowd was really amused by my quick but intriguing display of escapology, and by the end of it, we had the audience in stitches.

Jay followed this up by stopping his heart, and a doctor actually went up onstage to verify that he managed to pull it off. The audience was too stunned to react, until Jay managed to get up, still visibly shaken, and take a bow.

All in all, not a bad effort to promote the show, really. I think the crowd was really entertained, and if all goes well, we've piqued their curiosity enough for them to want to see more.

.:Unang Hirit:.

We got a last-minute call from Unang Hirit yesterday to guest on their program as a pair of mentalists, and I was immensely grateful that for some reason, we were the only mentalists they managed to find on such short notice. This meant that we had a perfect opportunity to promote our show, and Kel and Jay as a tandem, rather than just individuals who both did mentalism. We had that chance before on NBN-4, but now, it was going to be live and on GMA-7, no less.

Jay and I were fetched by the network's service, and we arrived in the studio way earlier than the appointed 6:30AM. Unfortunately, last-minute scriptwriting meant that we were to expect ourselves on TV at 7:00 in the morning, at the earliest, and we even ended up going on air at around 8:00. Nonetheless, it was all good, as we were introduced to the two people who would interview us, Suzy and Lyn Ching. My Beloved was texting me off the bat that it was probably a dream come true for me since I used to have a crush on Lyn Ching.

Having said that, the interview was very brief, mainly about what mentalism is, and how it works, vis-a-vis standard, rudimentary magic. Jay did most of the talking, but when we were asked to demonstrate, I opened with Liquid Metal. The people in the studio were fairly impressed, and Jay only added to the tempo with his Osterlind Breakthrough Cards demonstration. In under eight minutes, we gave them a good handle on what mentalism was about, and even managed to really showcase some of the strongest points of the art form in a hard-hitting, fast-paced manner.

This was a very eventful way to start off the week, no doubt. With our show coming up this Saturday, a TV appearance like this definitely yielded us a lot of good.

We'll put the video up when we manage to upload it to YouTube already...

Philosophy 118: 17 November, 2008

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 this Monday...

.:More Biographical Notes On Nietzsche: Nietzsche Needs A Hug (But Not From A Horse...)!!!:.

The war in 1870 was the Franco-Prussian war. Nietzsche volunteered as a medical orderly, carrying the wounded and taking care of the injured.

In 1871, Nietzsche's sick leave lasted about a year, which he spent in the Swiss Alps.

In 1872, he returned to teach, with a professorial chair waiting for him. From this point on, he would rapidly fluctuate from teaching to being on leave for the rest of his career.

He also published “Die Gebunt der Tragodie,” translated, “The Birth of Tragedy.” The book was regarded as “a disaster,” and people couldn't quite classify it, whether it's literature, or literary critique, or philosophy. Some prematurely declared this to be the “death” of his career.

In 1873, he published “Unzeitgemasse Betrachtungen,” translated, “Untimely Meditations.” A chapter of this book was “Vom Nutzen und Nachteil der Historie fur das Leber,” translated, “The Use and Disadvantage of History for Life.” In this regard, he discusses the many ways of writing about history, such as lingering in the past, dwelling on past tragedies; or writing a history meant to inspire, which entails building a certain sense of mythology.

In 1876, several of his friends got married, leaving him feeling alone. In a panic, he ended up proposing to a girl named Mathilde. After being rejected, he took another sick leave, this time going to Italy, visiting Genoa, Naples, and Sorrento.

In 1878, he publishes “Menschliches Allzumenschliches,” translated “Human All So Human.” He believes that the way to do Philosophy is not through Metaphysics, because the focus of existence is not Being, but Becoming. Reality is not something that can be frozen, it is always shifting, and such, there is no absolute Truth.

In 1879, he resigned from his professorial chair, and spent the last ten years of his non-committed life writing.

In 1881, he published “Morgenrote,” translated “The Red of the Morning, aka, The Dawn.”

In 1882, he published “Die Frohliche Wissenschaft,” translated “The Gay Science.” This is where the sentence “God is dead” came from.

In the same year, he fell for a woman named Lou von Salome. Unfortunately, he never had the courage to approach her directly, and asked Paul Ree to play cupid. Paul Ree was, predictably, also interested in her, but she rejected both of them in favor of the writer Rilke. She was a Russian writer.

In 1883, 1884, and 1885 he published “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” translated, “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” in part.

In 1886, he published “Jenseits von Gut und Bose,” translated, “Beyond Good and Evil.”

In 1887, he published “Zur Genealogie den Moral,” translated, “Regarding the Genealogy of Morality.”

From 1882-1887, Nietzsche was scribbling short notes aimed towards writing what he intended to be his magnum opus, “Der Wille Zun Macht,” translated, “The Will To Power.” However, he himself didn't finish the book, but someone else compiled and published his note in his stead. He also intended to change the title of the book to “Versuch einer Unwertung allen Werte,” translated, “Attempts Towards a Transvaluation of All Values.”

In 1888-1889, he began to show signs of madness based on the letters he wrote to his friends. Maybe he was writing in Lolcat? =P

He also published “Der Fall Wagner,” translated, “The Case of Wagner;” “Gotzen Dammerung,” translated, “The Twilight of the God;.” “Der Anti-Christ,” and “Ecce Homo,” the last three published posthumously.

In 1889, he embraced a horse in the middle of Turin, and after collapsing, was committed. His mother and his sister, Elizabeth, cared for him until his death in 1900.

.:Nietzsche's Writing Style:.

Nietzsche writes in short, aphoristic sentences. As someone who believes that reality is “on the go,” it would mean that his writing is all over the place and very unstructured. A few examples of his famous quotes would be:

“You must say 'yes' to life.” Taking a more definite stand in life than the willy-nilly of being uncertain. You either live life to the fullest, or not live it at all.

“If I knew the world would end tomorrow, I would still plant my seed today.”

.:An Attempt To Outline Nietzsche's Thinking:.

1.Birth of Tragedy
2.Critique of Morality
3.Critique of Metaphysics
4.Critique of Religion
5.Critique of Language
6.Will to Power
7.Aesthetic Phenomenon

.:Quotable Quote:.

“I never thought speed could be so uncomfortable!” - Dr. Reyes

The Kel & Jay Site Is Up!

.:Much Love To Kutitots!:.

It's finally up! The official site for Laughs And Gasps can now be found at KelnJay.com! Hope you guys can check it out, because it's a beauty! =)

The Axe Megapost!

.:An Experiment Gone Right: The Axe Dark Temptation Night Mega-Post!:.

All photos are courtesy of Juned. Praise him!


Firing on all cylinders!

This was definitely one of the most awesome events I've taken part in. Taking a cue from Keys To The Vip but with a unique Axe twist, nine bloggers were sent on a mission to prove that with their own sheer personality and some help from Axe Dark Temptation, they could be a hit in the club scene!

Three clubs became individual scenes for the “crime”: Ascend in the Fort, Fiamma in Jupiter, and Alchemy in Tiendesitas.

Armed with nothing but our personalities, lab coats, and Axe Dark Temptation, this was definitely an experience that was unique, exciting, and definitely, in my case... challenging.

Axe Dark Temptation is the new fragrance from Axe: sweet, sinful decadence captured in a can. It's like delectable chocolate melting in her mouth, where “chocolate” is a nice euphemism for “you”.

The Setup

I didn't know why, but for some reason, Jonas was bugging me about a “top secret blogger's event” that he wanted to pull off. I was admittedly intrigued, and I attended the meeting, where I met Marianne. Needless to say, I was a tad shell-shocked to find out what we were going to do... after all, it was going to require us to stick our necks out and risk rejection, and boy, am I bad at taking rejection.

This, I guess, explains why one of the people present at the meeting didn't end up at the event itself, although it would've been interesting to know how he would've fared that night.

Having said that, I figured it was going to be a good event, and there were enough incentives to go. Fortunately, My Beloved gave me her blessings and told me that she trusted I wouldn't do anything to upset her, so I was going to do this, but I was going to behave (Like I always do! I'm such an angel. ::whistles innocently::).

The Travel

I was caught by surprise by our travel arrangements because we came all the way from Savory along N. Domingo. En route to the first venue, Ascend, while riding with Juned and Jester, we encountered a traffic jam along Jupiter. Turns out, president Arroyo was in Fiamma with some congressmen, and it seemed like something big was up.

Anyways, it didn't take too long, and soon enough, we finally arrived at...

Ascend

Now, we were given a quick run-through on what to do, and that our initial encounter would be aided by spotters. Since we were late, everyone else was already on a roll.RG seemed to be raking in the numbers, and with only two approaches on the first venue, I knew I was way, way behind.

Soon enough, we got to the bus, and it was amusing to notice that there were two guys wearing funky hats, to go with the funky lab coats...


Master Diwa, the cowboy...


… and Jester, the... Jester.



We got into the bus, and the ladies from Axe were telling me the other bloggers have told them so much about me, which was fine and dandy, since I was well-stocked that night. I was armed to the teeth with forks, and I actually had to show to the bouncers what I could do with it because they were worried I'd use 'em as a weapon or something. Heh. I was quite a hit that night with the forks and the shackles. Those were pretty much the only routines I could use on short notice inside the club, since the music limited my abilities to patter.


Bend! Bend! Bend!



Anyways, we were off after a bit, and it's interesting, because en route to Ascend, we already came from...

Fiamma

After spotting us only once, all the bloggers were left to their own devices, and this was where we had to work our individual charms to attempt to get as many contact details as possible. I was on quite a roll, even though I had a few people refusing to give out their numbers, and even met an old friend from debate, Ella.

Having said that, I got a few interesting tables here and there, where there was an orange-haired guy who was taunting us for “harassing” the patrons of Fiamma, and of course, a table of seven girls I did magic for, and one of them actually asked if I could “magic my way into her phone”, after saying that I probably could bend forks because I'm “hot”. Errmmm... thanks, I guess?

The funny thing was, I even asked a waitress for her contact info. When she wondered if it's okay for us to do that with employees of the club, I responded...

All they told us was to get the numbers of the hot girls we run into.

She signed in a heartbeat.

While I did have quite a lot of contact details from Fiamma, I think the genuine winner of the night was Fritz, since he got a girl who texted him this...


Quality! Not quantity!



Anyways, when we got into the bus, numbers-wise, I was still in second place, as RG was well in the lead. With one last bar to go, it was going to be my last opportunity to pull away, but I knew I'd have my work cut out for me the minute we got to...

Alchemy

It was a fun place, since the last time I was there, I met Rick Astley. I ended up running into a few people I knew, including the DJ I met before from Campus 99.5 who was doing the honors during David's House a while back. Forgot her name, actually. I met someone I last saw during the Triggerman's party as well.

Anyways, we were given interviews about our memorable moments of the night, and it was all good, since we were taking it a bit easy in Alchemy already... or so I thought. I noticed that the floor we were interviewed on was a floor none of the bloggers asked numbers in, so I worked my way around the area. I met some marketing people from Axe who were impressed by my demonstration of Psychokinesis, which led to...

NOT Straight Edge For A Night

Having been alcohol-free for years, and having never gotten drunk in my life, I was dodging alcoholic drinks offered by the people from Axe and Netbooster all night long. But then, while I was doing PK for a particular table, they offered me a shot of tequila, and it was definitely going to be rude if I refused them, so...


... I had that shot in record time.



Afterwards, I went back to good ol' Coke. One tequila wouldn't do a single thing to me, after all...

I was still lagging behind, but when I got to approach another waitress for her contact details, there came...

The Buzzer-Beater

I asked the waitress for her contact details, but it would appear that she misheard me. This was because she then took my notebook, and spotted every single girl on the third floor for me. In one fell swoop, she helped me get about twenty numbers, since she's an employee of the company, and nobody had problems giving their contact info to her. Only after all that did I finally ask her clearly enough for her to understand that all I wanted was to get *her* contact details.

From there, a slight shift of strategies on my part led to zero rejections from the ladies I approached. Having said that, at the end of the night was...

Victory


Ah, sweet success...



I don't know what else to say. It was an awesome night, and the fact that I managed to pull out a come-from-behind win on the back of shackles and broken forks and an overtly helpful waitress who misheard my request was just really quite an experience. Much love to Axe, to Netbooster, and to Jonas for making this event happen. It was also great meeting the other bloggers who also joined, such as Jayvee, Mark Cerbo, Joriben, and Jeffrey.

You know the best part of the night? It was when My Beloved texted me that she was proud of me. What more can I ask for, right? =)

Here's to a great event, and hopefully an even bigger follow-up! You never know, right? :P

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kel And Jay + Unang Hirit Tomorrow = Win!

.:Catch Kel and Jay on TV tomorrow!:.

Yep, we'll be featured tomorrow morning on GMA's sign-on show, Unang Hirit. Jay and I will be there to demonstrate mentalism, and hopefully get people interested in the upcoming Laughs And Gasps event, happening this November 22.

We'll be at the studio around 6:30 in the morning, so expect us to go on air thereabouts. :)

Wish us luck!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

When It Doesn't Pay To Do A Good Turn...

.:You Know How It Is...:.

You owe someone. Big time. Maybe he lent you money at a time you really needed one of those. Maybe he saved you from being run over by a truck.

That's not an excuse to look the other way when he does something wrong now, is it?

It's just all the worse when someone asks you for help, and you help them, and not only do you get dragged into the mess, said person you help suddenly becomes all high and mighty and thinks you should work the issue out: the very same issue you specifically wanted out of, but said person just couldn't be stopped from getting you tangled up in all of this.

Next time I feel like helping someone, somebody, please, kick me in the shins.

Kapamilya Fair + Kel & Jay = Win

.:Shameless Self-Promotion, Ahoy!:.

Hey, guys! Jay and I will be at World Trade Center today, doing a bit of performing and promoting at the ABS-CBN Grand Kapamilya Fair. Ms. Giselle Sanchez will of course be there, and you can be sure that it's going to be a ton of fun.

.:Laughs Ang Gasps Is Coming!:.

You know it's just one week away... Laughs And Gasps is a night of magic, mentalism, music, and mirth. From the one-of-a-kind ventriloquist act of Wanlu, to the wit and beauty of Ms. Giselle Sanchez, to the crazy surprises up the sleeves of Kel and Jay, you can be sure that this is 250 bucks well spent.

Proceeds of the show will go to the Giselle Sanchez Foundation, a foundation established to give scholarships to brilliant but underprivileged students.

The venue is pretty easy to find: it's the Vibal Publishing House rooftop, at Araneta Avenue. It's beside a Shell gas station, and is pretty near the intersection with Quezon Avenue. Yes, it's sorta near Pegasus. Here's a map.

And of course, some shenanigans we were up to during the photo shoot...




And, the final poster...




We have a few other pictures to share with you, but that'll suffice for now. Heh. :P

'Twas A Night Of Elation...

So it was the 14th of November, and while it was Elbert's birthday, since he was working, I met up with Bessie-Moo Estelle to go to Garden Terrace for the "Elation" event. Since we were both short that night, we kinda needed payday loans, but all in all, the night was fun as I gorged myself on white chocolate.

Naturally, I didn't take any shooters (sXe). It was really fun seeing some bloggers, though, like Shari, Tiffy, Benj, Hannah, Coy, and the rest. I met Nick 21, though, a friend of Grace's. Awkward...

Anyways, shortly afterwards, I handcuffed myself to Estelle, and we left along with her debate friends for Route 168. I got off at Katipunan to go home already, though...

The one night I *really* wanted to dance, I went home instead since I didn't have My Beloved to dance with. Heh. I heard Hannah and Tiffy were quite the dance tandem that night, though...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Plurkfiesta Saturday!

.:Won't Have Much To Say About It, But...:.

Last Saturday's Plurkfiesta was awesome! Thanks to Tiffy for being the OC in charge for the night, and of course, the night was definitely awesome with other people in tow like Ozy, Fritz, Jeff, and a host of other people, including Manolo and Arbet.

We had dinner at Dampa in Libis, and the food was a blast! Afterwards, we hung out at Dairy Queen in Eastwood, before a select few of us went on to watch Quantum Of Solace. I was a bit lost though since I haven't seen Casino Royale yet...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Philosophy 118: 12 November, 2008

These notes were taken from my class with Dr. Reyes for Philosophy 118 this Wednesday...

.:Historical Approach Vs. Systematic Approach:.

Historical Approach shows that man is never at a final truth because as history develops, something new comes along that the Philosopher has to take into account. Ergo, Philosophical though never comes to an end.

Systematic Approach takes the body as a whole, acting as if there is a certain whole that can already be grasped by looking at what has come at a certain point.

Here, we can see the epochal modes of focus of thinkers, and point out three examples of note...

Aristotle – Philosophy is a product of leisure
Modern Thinkers – The man's rationality can produce a perfect society
Marx – Philosophy is intrinsic to the worker

.:The Fall Of Modernity:.

Modernization has brought progress, but also proletariatization, as well as the impersonal war. While modern man thought that they could make a perfect society through rational thinking, the evidence showed that as technology developed, man's inhumanity to man became more and more ingrained in the system. From dehumanizing conditions for the worker to a war that can be fought and won without having to deploy an army, the modern sensibility that man's rationality is the standard by which a perfect society can be attained eroded as these social ills and horrors made themselves clear.

.:Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche: 1844-1900:.

Nietzsche was born in Saxony, Germany. His father was a Lutheran pastor. His mother's family also has ties with Lutheran ministry. In 1849, his father passed away. This meant that he was raised by his mother, grandmother, two aunts, and a sister younger than him by two years.

From 1858 to 1864, he was sent to a school called Schulpforta, at the time, Germany's most famous Protestant boarding school. This is where Nietzsche got a good classical education.

In 1864, he studied in the university of Bonn, studying the classics.

In 1865, a group of his classmates played a practical joke on him. They physically took him against his will, and dropped him into a brothel. A friend said, “Mulierem numquar attigit” (“He never touched a woman.”)

After this, he transferred to University of Leipzig from Bonn.

In 1867, he had to do military service. He decided to join the cavalry.

In 1868, he fell from a horse. This proved to be another traumatic experience for him. From whores to horses.

In 1869, he was offered by the University of Basle to be an “extraordinary professor”. Note that this is an equivalent of “teaching assistant” in our common parlance, not as a professor with special characteristics.

In 1870, he was offered a full professorship, but with a war occurring at this time, he relinquished his professorship in favor of volunteering for the war.

When he came back in 1871, he took a sick leave soon after returning to the university. He went to the Swiss Alps.

Red Box, Coming Right Up!

What: Videoke Night!
When: 6 PM, November 13, Thursday.
Where: Red Box Greenbelt 3
Who: Anyone who can go, within limits. I don't have an unlimited cashflow, but I got videoke covered for at least two hours, as long as it's within my budget...
Why: A family reunion for two people I know? :P

See ya, guys, and hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All I Can Think Of Today...

... is how much I love my Beloved, and how awesome what she told me today was...

Monster's Ball At Subic Lighthouse Marina!

.:My Subic Lighthouse Marina Experience...:.

Subic is a place I rarely go to, admittedly. The few times I've been there, though are nothing short of enjoyable, given how my agenda in Subic has normally either been a leadership seminar or shopping. Subic is great because it's a place where people are more disciplined than usual, the people are very Westernized, and thanks to the work put in by now-Senator Gordon, it's quite a departure from the tourist attractions you generally find from the rest of the Philippines. In that, Subic stands out.

Now, having said that, I must admit that despite having done a lot of shows in Manila over the past couple of years of my professional career as a magician and mentalist, I've only had a handful of provincial shows so far, and prior to this one, none of them was ever in Subic. Excited over the prospect of going to Subic after about five years since I've last been there, I gamely accepted the booking to perform on November 1 for the Lighthouse Marina Resort. Of course, all pictures I will be using were ganked from them. :)


What's in this bag?



I got there after a short travel (Well, significantly shorter travel than my last show in La Union, I guess... heh.), and got ready. I was welcomed by the resident manager, Argee, and the OIC for marketing, Zed. They looked incredibly happy to see me, and they pointed me to their silverware and how “difficult” it would be for me to bend them with my mind.


ZOMG! Did I just perform the infamous rope trick for a kids' show... again?!?

Anyways, I prepared myself to do my standard children's routines, but at the last minute, I decided to switch things up and actually do some magic I normally do for adults, and let the not-so-kiddie humor just fly over the kids' heads. It actually worked, and laughs and gasps were had by all the people in the room, be they kids or parents or even grandparents...


... Except the rope trick. That had to be the kiddified version. I don't think I can get away with that this time. =P



I went two sets, and even hosted the Fruit Salad game, that had the kids really going. From my reputation-maker of metal bending, I also ended up performing one of my signature effects, the O.R.B.S. Rubik's Cube effect, and of course, I let four kids levitate another kid, using only themselves, and a chair. It was, as always, a pack small, play big effort for myself.


It's the blindfolded Rubik's Cube of doom!



The people at the Lighthouse were very hospitable, and their Lengua is to die for. I may not be a food blogger, but I know good food when I taste it. Considering how Subic isn't all that far from Manila, the Lighthouse Marina is a nice getaway spot from all the hurly-burly in the city when you just want to relax, unwind, and have the time of your life.

As the official Subic residence of the Ms. Earth 2008 candidates, Zed even wanted to invite me for the previous night to stay over at the hotel! Considering how it was a chance to meet the other candidates of Ms. Earth 2008, it was a very generous offer, but I had to decline since it was the Blogger's Halloween Party that night.

After the Monster's Ball, we were treated to a Halloween-themed buffet, as I talked shop with Zed and Argee. In the background was the Halloween episode of “Day Off”, the show I used to work in, and the Lighthouse Marina was one of the sponsors for that night. At this point, they asked me to try and bend their silverware, and they were stunned to discover that yes, it can be done...


But of course!



It was definitely an awesome run, and I'd be more than happy to find myself back in Subic soon. Much thanks to the Subic Lighthouse Marina for their hospitality and the opportunity to work with them! If you ever find yourself wondering what to do for a quick getaway, treat yourself to Lighthouse Marina in Subic. You can be sure to have an amazing time, whether you're out for rest and relaxation, or shopping, or plain excitement.

That being said, if you want to see my next big show, why don't you check out the info we have so far about Laughs And Gasps? Hope to catch you there, because you know we're going to pull out all the stops on that night!

Bessie-Moo And The Digital Filipino Web Awards...

.:Bessie-Moo And 'Til The Cows Come Home...:.

Estelle and I have admittedly not been in touch with each other for the most part after her birthday, but that's all right, since the minute we take the time out to hang out yet again, it's like we only met yesterday.

After a long time of being incommunicado, I dropped by Estelle's house a couple of Sundays ago to watch “Tropic Thunder” with her. It was a fairly funny movie, albeit my brain really did turn to mush after the whole thing. It was one of those “park your brain at the door” affairs, so admittedly, it didn't help us find the deeper meaning of life while we were watching it. It was loads better than “Balls Of Fury”, though, which had a guy who was just like Jack Black... except he was significantly less funny than Jack Black is, and there are enough people who think Jack Black isn't funny at all as is.

After watching the film and realizing who Tom Cruise was in the movie only about three-fourths of the way into the film, we then headed out to Market!Market! so we could go and have some Lazer Tag, which Estelle happens to be a hustler in. She just whooped nearly everyone else playing in the game, to say the least. I met up with a few of her debater friends at that point, and amusingly enough, we were talking about how she seemed to be so preoccupied with the new guy working at Lazer Tag. ::whistles innocently::

Last Friday, during my enrollment, I actually ran into her in Ateneo, where they were actually having a debate tournament. It was rather cool, since for the most part, Estelle and I, despite both being debaters, have next to never seen each other in a debate setting. Last Friday was only the second time, truth be told, and her quirkiness shone through.

I may not see Bessie a lot, but at the end of the day, I know she's one of the most awesome people I know. I definitely can't help but think how fun it is keeping her company, and though we're both pretty busy, it's good to know that we're still there for each other when it counts. :)

.:The Digital Filpino Web Awards:.

To say that Jannette Toral knows how to get people together would be an understatement. Last November 5, we were treated to the rousing success known as the Digital Filipino Web Awards.

Much congratulations to all the winners, and a special thanks to the people from CashSense for having the time to hang out with myself, Jester, and a few other friends from Filipino Voices. It was especially amusing to find out that one of my old friends all the way from 4th year high school, Albert, was part of the whole outfit.

Anyways, the awards show was a simple but very meaningful gathering. As always, it was an event that gave us the opportunities to really get in touch with potential contacts, and if there's one thing Ms. Janette absolutely rules at, it would be her ability to network with people, and to give people opportunities to do the same. She's a phenom like that.

Here's to a successful event, and hopefully, another of these next year! :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

Random Magikel Updates...

.:On Selling Out...:.

Truth be told, I have no problem with people making money from anything, so long as it's well within legal and ethical methodologies. I was never fond of the mentality that certain things, be it an art form, an indie something, or whatever else, should be held back from the mainstream just to keep it from “selling out”.

The message people holding back people from selling out is pretty inane, when you think about it. It's a selfish, possessive cry of, “How dare you want to make money and feed your family?!?” When you look at this way, suddenly, you realize that you can't eat artistic integrity, and there is nothing wrong with producing good work meant for a paying customer base.

If you want to maintain “artistic integrity” and never get a cent for your efforts, more power to you. Nobody should begrudge you of that, but that also means you shouldn't begrudge anyone who wants to make money, or even just gain recognition for their work. If you're a fan of some indie wonder or some untranslated anime, you don't own them, so don't feel like you're entitled to keep them from ever being a success. If you're a true fan, you would want them to succeed.

I believed that the idea that “selling out” is such a bad thing is merely a capricious idea that holds back people from ever really reaching out to fulfill their potential. In the wrestling world, ROH-bots, or rabid fans of Ring Of Honor, would actually boo out of the arena any wrestler who they find out would sign a contract with the WWE. With the kind of injuries pro wrestlers sustain over the years, I find it illogical to wish a performer to be unable to have the means to provide for their families with a well-paying job if the option presents itself.

Of course, there will always be exceptions, such as an environmentalist selling out by endorsing a gasoline company, or a guy who strongly hates the concept of “Santamas” and wearing a Santa suit for a bazaar, and... wait, what?

.:I Was Almost Going To Be A Santa Claus...:.

So fresh off the heels of my successful stage show for Trinoma and JAM 88.3, I received an inquiry from a potential client that threw me for a loop...

You see, they saw my magic show, and for some inexplicable reason, what they saw gave them enough reason to think that I would actually make a good Santa Claus.

Yes. Mr. “Bah, Humbug. Santamas Is Horrible!” himself. Yours truly. Oh, it's true, it's true!

I received a call from my potential client, and she sounded excited about the prospect of having me as Santa Claus. Admittedly, I was a hit with the kids during my Trinoma show, so I guess that counts... the height was another, and the complexion... but dagnabit, I'd like to think I'm not fat enough yet to be a Santa... they're going to provide me with pillows. Yeah, that's the ticket...

Client: Hi, Kel! I met you at Trinoma. Have you ever worn a Santa costume before?

Kel: Uhh... I've never done that, to be honest. I'm a professional host and magician...

Client: It's okay! We want you to be our Santa Claus for November 15 and 16 for our bazaar. You're perfect!

Kel: I'm only free on the 15th...

Client: That's fine! We'll try looking for another guy for the second day, but how much would you charge to be Santa Claus for six hours?

Kel: Uhh... to be honest, I have no idea how much to charge for something like this. I've had weird requests before, but this is genuinely a first...

After our phone conversation, I was given a very lucrative offer, and I was well on my way to selling out and being a total ho... ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas! I was becoming the butt of pedobear jokes, but it didn't matter since it was going to be a pretty good experience and an interesting story to tell, to say the least.

Unfortunately, they found someone else who could do the gig for two days, thereby dashing my hopes for any chance of becoming Santa Claus for a day... ah, well.

They graciously told me that they'd still have me on their shortlist for future magic gigs, obviously no mention of Santa Claus this time... heh. That wasn't such a bad thing now, was it?

But r-eally... me? As Santa Claus? (Santa picture taken from Flash Your Stache.)


Ya think?



.:Why Am I Not Gonna Be There For Two Days, You Ask?:.

It's funny what you get when you Google your name...

This coming November 16, I will be doing a street magic teach-in for The Hilt Asia. 30 participants will find themselves learning street magic, learning some of the routines that I myself use during my street magic tours all over the metro.

It's going to be fun, it's going to be exciting, and yeah, they've written about it already...

Amusingly enough, I discovered that a magic website has written an article about me. Well, more like relayed the fact that Inquirer.net has featured me recently. It's definitely something to note, and I'm genuinely surprised about it.

88db.com has also graciously featured me on their site and mentioned me in a news feature regarding their job fair earlier this year. I'm a tad miffed over calling a fork slowly bending in front of their eyes as “sleight of hand”, but what can we do? Normally, you don't diss a person you write a feature about, but magicians and mentalists don't have it *that* easy, I guess...