@ParallelInk’s latest issue is out!

It’s always a huge surge of gratitude whenever I receive an acceptance email on my phone all of a sudden, and it’s no different when I got the news that the latest issue of Parallel Ink will feature two of my poems titled “Who We’re Writing For” and “The Golden Lining”.

After reading through the magazine, I have to say, I am blown away. They have everything! From poetry, to interviews and even photography! So cool! I especially like the Web Recipe page!

Check out their latest issue by clicking on the photo below:

Shoutouts to the @ParallelInk editors Jamie Uy, Jiyoon Jeong and Puinoon Na Nakorn!

Thank you and more poetry and art to you!

– Troy

What’s Your Talent: Venus by @imgjalarcon

It’s rare for me to get to know someone who is just as passionate with their craft as I am with mine, so when I do get that chance, I usually end up earning a friendship that consists of constantly throwing ideas, songs, words and Youtube links all around.

That friendship applies to one of my closest friends slash favourite tweeters: @imgjalarcon.

To his friends, he is:

One-fourth of the Avatars, a ladies’ man, a brother and, according to me, a secret hipster (or hipztahh as I’d like to call it whenever we’d all Skype call one another),

But to his adoring public, he is a:

Guitar-playing, screamo-shouting legend in the making who likes tweeting words of wisdom to the masses.

Gerby, or GJ, has been one of my closest pals ever since our patintero and agawan base days, and I remember the first time I heard them play their music. It was back in 2006 when I was toothpick-thin and I knew little about the world outside my terrace. He and his band that consisted of his brother and friends would either be strumming their guitars lazily in the middle of a conversation or wake people up from their after-lunch siestas as they go on full rehearsal mode.

A few years later, after reality knocked us all in the head, we found ourselves in different corners of the world, with GJ now based in Miami, Florida. And thanks to the power of recent technology, I’m able to constantly catch up with him and find out more about him and the evolution of his musical endeavours.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEwRyX5XN7M

Here’s a link to their cover of a song by Bring Me to the Horizon ft. @imgjalarcon and drummer Daniel Serrano.

I’ll be completely honest with you now: I know nothing about his genre of music, but through all of the Youtube videos he’d post everyday (yeah I actually listen to those sometimes!), I get a good idea as to what melodic post-hardcore music is like.

And because I know so little about his genre of music, asking him some of these questions cleared it up for me. Read the answers of the front man himself below:

1. Describe your band in three words:

Instrumental, melodic, Emo with some sort of underground spirit. It’s really hard to describe because we have mixed this melodic and Emo sound.

2. Which bands do you look up to?

We have a lot of bands that we look up to. We’ve listened to every type of music. It’s hard to give one. But I guess we all have been influenced by all of these different kinds of bands. Every band that we listen to, we learn something new, so we try to apply not almost all of it but the best part of it.

3. What have your original songs been about?

We’re working on out third song right now, which is my favourite one so far. The other two songs are great, too. I think it’s going to be perfect for this EP that we’re working on.

4. How can we learn more about you nowadays?

We’re pretty chilled right now, just writing songs and fixing this line up for Venus. We are now planning to release the band as soon as we’re complete. Follow me on Twitter @imgjalarcon or Facebook (Just type my name) for more updates. Peace out.

5. Any words for #GerAn?

#GerAn – I wish we could bring this back, maybe. (Hopya)

So far these guys are concocting up something fresh and a fusion of all of their favourite sounds put together. I always keep pushing this guy to just get it all done so I can download it on @iTunes and plug it everywhere (I’ll need 10% of the proceeds then, please).

Watch out for future updates, guys, these guys will rock. And I’ve heard them rock, and they rock.

–          Troy

Happy 12th Anniversary @PentecostTV!

Every time that I’m with everyone from Pentecostal Victoria (their Sunday venue is at Westminster City School, by the Pizza Hut by Victoria train station), I feel a huge surge of euphoria. Let it be a big word, but euphoria is seriously the closest word that I can use to describe the feeling when I first attended a Sunday worship with them three years ago, and when I did just a few days ago at their 12th anniversary, the 8th of June.

I grew up a Catholic all of my life, but I did attend a born again Christian worship back in Cavite when I was a child, but it was here in London, with these people where I actually really learn to appreciate it all.

The first time I attended their worship and Bible study was on a Wednesday evening, Ate Kris who was my cotillion partner in Ate Precious’ debut introduced me, and I think that was a better time to start because we weren’t that many and I felt less shy, although I still felt shy enough to dance and sing along with everyone, I am totally in tune with everyone in terms of the good vibes and the profound messages that they preach out to everyone in the room.

The picture above was when I attended their Christmas concert back in 2011. They performed a version of the Prodigal Son. My favourite part was the long cardboard with the pasted picture of pigs as a prop.

Another great memory that I have with Pentecostal Victoria would be back in 2013 when they invited me to be a part of their homeless people feeding program, where we would hand out bags of food (provided by Joshua Nurse, who is now a pastor!) as well as telling them about the church itself. I managed not only to tick CHARITY WORK off my bucket list, I also received a t-shirt from one of the homeless people as a thank you gift, but I’ll tell that story in another entry.

Some of the Pentecostal youth, Ate Kris and H+C alum @jasminebharti, to whom this photo originally belongs to.

Flash forward to Sunday, the 8th of June, where the celebration of their 12th year was held.

Worship songs are so energetic and happy with them,  I promise to come up and join them one day.

The youth performed a remixed version of ‘Let it Go’! Will post an IG video of that soon. I love their version of the lyrics. Still so powerful. Props to you Kuya Jethro, Cedrick, Lea, Mandi and Samantha a quien habla español también! ¡Buena suerte con tus examenes!

image (3)There were also some performances and presentations from other Pentecostal branches. From Exeter, Bristol and Weston Super Mare. They even represented different countries, which was a cool touch!

If you want to get in touch with Pentecostal Victoria, here are some links:

Facebook: Pentecostal Victoria

Twitter: @PentecostTV

To all I’ve met through Pentecostal Victoria, thank you for everything you have taught me, everything you have done for me. Thank you for letting me be a part of your growth. To many more years!!!

– Troy

What’s Your Talent: Photography by @preciousheartsu

I am proud to be a Leo

Those are seven words that I will always use to describe myself. Those are seven words that also rings true to one of my best friends, one whose Leonine heritage shines through just about everything she says and does.

I first met @preciousheartsu, or Ate Precious, back in our secondary school Hurlingham and Chelsea, and I remember the first ever interaction that we had. It was the first day she and her brother Josh (aka the other whiskey boy haha) came back to school after they spent a vacation in the Philippines, and even though she didn’t even know who I was, she gave me a polvoron and the warmest smile ever, and then asked for my name.

Note to self: give Ate Precious a box of polvoron for her birthday and then Boba Jam taro milk tea. Weeeeeeeee!

One of my favourite qualities about Ate Precious is her ability to bring out the inner child in me without making me seem immature. When we’re together, we may seem like two young adults, but we’re actually two elementary students usually laughing at Marvel superheroes, making jokes about shop names (wala akong Wasabi sayo!) and reinventing common catchphrases (talk to the turtle!). My jokes are nowhere near as havey as Ate Precious’ jokes, especially after she’s had our dose of bubble tea and Japanese bento!

Flash forward…

to the year 2012, the year where our love for the arts first merged, thus creating a stronger friendship. One summer after swimming in Kingston, and when my book Lost in London was at the middle of its construction process,  I had an idea on how to attract more readers: through photos. Alongside scenery photos I took myself, I stumbled upon the idea of maybe using me as  a subject.

As soon as I asked Ate Precious if she’d like to help me out, she immediately began talking about themes and ideas and what kind of brick walls she thinks would work best as backgrounds. Mabilis talaga ang mga Leo!

And a few months later, this are our end result.

GGSS! I was called Robin Padilla for a good few months then, so that means it was a success!

And in the following year, for another book that I’m still yet to finalise, here’s another shot from a more concentrated, James Dean-esque pictorial.

Here’s some of the other photos that she took herself. Check out the details!

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And in the spirit of this segment, I had the privilege of asking Ate Precious a few questions about the craft.

1. Describe the moment when you first fell in love with photography.

To be honest it wasn’t love at first sight. it was more like, the more I took pictures the more I fell in love with it. It wasn’t about the place nor the camera that made me love photography, but it was the things that it can do for us. It captures those moments that you would never be able to go back to. That’s what I love about photography, it’s just a picture but it has a lot of memories, good and bad.

2. What sort of message do you want to tell people with your photography?

I’m not really sure. All I know is that I want to let people know the story behind the photos. I want them to feel what the pictures are showing, I want them to know the reasons behind the smile, the laughter and the tears behind every portrait I take.

3. Do you have any themes or styles that you like using through your editing?

I don’t really edit the images that much because I want it to be as natural as possible. I mean, how can you see the real beauty if you hide it ? I believe editing is not necessary, you only need it to enhance the beauty, not to cover it.

4. Which do you prefer to photograph, nature or people?

I love taking portraits, don’t get me wrong, taking pictures of the views around you is good but capturing moments through my lens is priceless.

5. Final question: favourite camera model and why would you recommend?

I’d definitely recommend Canon especially for beginners or Nikon (Although I haven’t tried it; they say it’s one of the good ones). If you’re still starting to learn about photography like me, try to invest on those mid-range prices. You don’t wanna spend less and get a bad quality camera but you don’t want to spend thousands of pounds for a professional camera as you’re still beginning to explore.

There you have it, folks, straight from a talented photographer herself. Don’t be shy about asking her to take a photo of you, you’ll only look ten times better. Haha!

– Troy