Interviews with Joseph Vincent and Andrew Garcia

Driven, Winnipeg’s aftermarket car show, was held at the RBC Convention Centre on July 13, 2013. I was lucky enough to go to the show to ogle at the beautiful cars, watch performances by local talents, and spend a few minutes with Joseph Vincent and Andrew Garcia. This is the interview.

group photo

Andrew Garcia, Ron Cantiveros of Filipino Journal, me, and Joseph Vincent

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Joseph Vincent and Andrew Garcia in Winnipeg

By Lora Quitane

YouTube artists Joseph Vincent and Andrew Garcia performed at Driven on July 13, Saturday. It’s their first-time in Winnipeg and Filipino Journal had a chance to speak to them.

Andrew Garcia is a YouTube artist and an American Idol Season 9 finalist. After Idol, he continued making collaborations with other YouTube artists. He is a member of YTF Legacy (Yesterday, Today, Forever) with Ryan Higa, Chester See, Victor Kim, D-Trix, and JR Aquino.

What made you join American Idol?

Before Idol, I did YouTube videos and the response was really good. My cousin told me to try a bigger scale. I wasn’t sure because I just wanted to do this for fun. He hit me up the night before the trials and told me to audition for American Idol. My friend was like, ‘Yeah, I’m going there tomorrow, do you want to come with me?’ and everything just worked out. I was like, ‘I had to do it.’ It’s like there was a path provided for me. So I did and it worked out great. I got a great deal of exposure and beautiful fans that keep supporting so I’m glad I did it.

Any advice to those who want to pursue their dreams?

If you love it, just do it. You’ll always go through something no matter what. As long as you have a little push and support, you could go a long way.

Any tours or new projects you’re working on?

I’m doing a west coast tour with Travis Garland. YouTuber Josh Golden and I are making the song that I sang [at the event]. Dumbfoundead and I are talking about doing another collab. I also want to do another collab with Joseph Vincent because I love him.

When is your Turbulence album coming out?

I reached a speed bump with that. The producer that I was working with was just swamped with his regular job. I’m not gonna take him away from making money and make it out of his living so I told him to do what he gotta do and I’ll figure out a way and now I’m working hard to get my album out.

What can you say about Winnipeg fans?

Fans are cool. I love them. And there are so many women out here. You guys are so beautiful here, I mean, what is going on? Winnipeg, I love you.

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Joseph Vincent Encarnacion became popular from his YouTube videos. He has gone a long way from posting videos in 2008. He still makes videos in his bedroom; the difference is that his channel now has 350,000 plus subscribers with over 50 million views on YouTube. His first album, Blue Skies, was released in October 2012.

Who inspired you to start singing?

My dad got me my guitar when I was 15. He was the one who directed me to YouTube. He showed it to me and said, ‘If you wanna do this for a living, it’s a start.’ So I said, ‘Yeah, maybe.’ I wasn’t sure because I just got to college and I was trying to transition from high school to college at that time. So I posted a couple of videos, got a good response, and I just kept doing it for fun. And now, I’m in Winnipeg, playing a show.

How did you find the audience response?

It was awesome. I always get nervous before a show regardless of how long I’ve been doing it. It’s my first time here in Winnipeg and the fact that everyone was attentive, listening, and cheering was awesome.

You visited the Philippines in February for the Bayani Tour. How was it?

Gawad Kalinga and Seafood City put the whole tour together to bring Asian Americans back to the homeland. We grew up in America and we kind of lose sight of where we come from and it was eye-opening for me. If my parents didn’t move to America, my life would be insane. It would be so different. It made me thankful for what I have and thankful for what they’re doing.

Did you try balut?

No. AJ (Rafael) did though. He’s like, ‘Come on, do it!’, and I was like, ‘I can’t.’ I probably could eat the egg part, but the bird part, I don’t know. Maybe. I was just nauseous that day. Next time. But I had Jollibee—burger steak for days. It was delicious. And a lot of chicken tocino.

When is your next album coming out?

I’m working on a 5-song EP right now. I’m trying to think about what to call the EP and just waiting for the right time to start going into recording it—mostly pre-production stuff.

When are you coming back to Winnipeg?

I don’t know. When are you guys gonna have me back?

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Photography assignment #1

I’m taking a photography course as one of my electives this semester. The first assignment was to take two photos: still life and headshot. I used my trusty Nikon Coolpix P7700 for the assignment. It took me almost an hour to complete the two photos. The assignment was due Thursday noon and I took the photos on Wednesday.

Still life photo: It only took me a second for inspiration to hit me. I was at home, looking at my surroundings, and figuring out how to stage the photo. When something clicked in my mind — I immediately grabbed my Instax mini 7s and put it on the TV glass stand. Why a TV stand? I love reflections shots, so I took advantage of our TV glass stand and the natural light (it was after 2 p.m.) from the window.

Still life

Headshot photo: It was 3:30 p.m., and I was on the bus figuring out how to stage the headshot photo. As I was walking in the skywalk to work, I stopped for a second and looked around me. It was almost 4 p.m., the sun was going down, the sun’s light was reflecting on a building which reflected on the windows of the skywalk. It was beautiful. I didn’t really care about the people who were walking around me — for me that was THE moment — so I looked around and smiled. At work, I asked my coworker to go with me to take her picture. I had to do it right away because I didn’t want to miss the light.

Headshot

30 Day Challenge: Take an instant photo (Part II)

As promised, here’s part II. As I said in the first part, I failed this challenge because I only took a total of 19 photos out of the 30 days.

I learned a lot from the challenge. I kind of hope that I’d do it again, but I can’t really afford to buy film right now. I wanted to do it again because I think it will help me improve.

For now, I’ll upload the photos that I really like. They’re probably the “best” ones out of the 19 photos I took. (Personally, these photos still suck but what can I do. I’ve had the camera for more than a year and I still haven’t learned how to use it.)

Day 21 - f/2.8 | 1/60 | ISO 200 | nrw | exposure +1.15 | cropped

Day 21
f/2.8 | 1/60 | ISO 200 | nrw | exposure +1.15 | cropped

Day 5 f/2.8 | 1/60 | ISO 200 |nrw | exposure +1.40 | cropped

Day 5
f/2.8 | 1/60 | ISO 200 |nrw | exposure +1.40 | cropped

Day 12 f/4.5 | 1/50 | ISO 200 | nrw  |exposure + 1.15 | cropped

Day 12
f/4.5 | 1/50 | ISO 200 | nrw |exposure + 1.15 | cropped

I wanted to maintain the quality of these photos to show the quality of the camera. When I opened them in Photoshop, I was so close to editing them. But then I remembered the purpose of this challenge. One of the reasons was to learn how to use the camera based on its given settings. Film cameras will really make you more disciplined because every film is valuable. I guess another reason why I only took 19 photos was because I felt so bad wasting my money on film. I felt even more terrible when the photos turned out really, really bad. And me being a cheapskate (sometimes), I didn’t really want to waste my money on film.

But I’ve learned my lesson. I really have to learn using my Instax mini 7s before I take photos. I do not want to waste my 20 bucks on film again. I may take poor photos in the future with this camera (again!), but we’ll see. I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll have to review the 19 photos. When I was doing the challenge, I wrote down notes every time I took a photo.

30 Day Challenge: Take an instant photo (Part I)

While I was organizing my bookshelf in the last week of November, I was watching TED videos for inspiration. I came across Matt Cutts’ “Try something new for 30 days” talk.

My close friends bought me a Fujifilm Instax mini 7s last year for my birthday. They know that I love taking pictures as a hobby so they decided to buy me one. I wasn’t really able to use it often for two reasons: 1. film was expensive ($19.99 + taxes for a 2-pack of films that has 10 films each — that’s like a dollar per film — very expensive, seeing that I’m a student and I’m broke); and 2., I had no time.

I realized now that being broke and having no time are just mere excuses for me not to use the camera.

My friend Erika suggested I write about this everyday. First I said no, and then I thought about it. She has a point. And so, after day three, I decided to talk about this challenge on my website.

What I learned from this challenge:

1. Never take pictures under fluorescent light (especially a white person). I asked my friend, Erika, to be my subject for Day 3. She was nice enough to volunteer. Unfortunately, she was sitting under fluorescent light when I took the picture so I took another one. One of the rules for this challenge was to only take one photo — doesn’t matter if it’s ugly or not creative.

2. Do not be embarrassed if or when people see you taking a photo. You are in public. Do not care what anybody will think or say.

3. It’s okay to make mistakes. This is how you learn. On day 13, I looked back at all my photos and I hated all of them. They were all terrible. Some of them were dark, some of them were bright, and some of them were just terrible. And it’s okay. It’s alright to take terrible photos because I this is how I will learn. Even after the challenge, I look at all my photos and I only liked two or three of them.

4. If you see something picture-worthy, just do it. Take a picture. It was a little after 8 a.m. when I was driving on my way to my work placement when I saw the sun. It was sooo beautiful. So beautiful. I’m a nature person, so I love anything about nature. I knew I had to capture that moment. But I hesitated. I went inside and put away my things first and then went downstairs again. Unfortunately, that moment was already gone. The sky had a different colour.

5. Never hesitate. This is probably my main problem in capturing photographs. Whenever I see something interesting and picture-worthy — a building, a tree, a road, a sign, a person, a moment — I hesitate if I should take a picture or not. That’s probably the biggest mistake I ever did while doing this project. Because I hesitated, I wasn’t able to capture that “magic moment”. Because I hesitated, I forget to take a picture for the day. Because I hesitated, I missed out on opportunities. Even if I say that I won’t hesitate again, I’ll still do it. Because that’s just me. And I know that I have to change that mindset if I want to improve my photography skills.

Did I win my 30-day challenge? No. There were some days that I didn’t take pictures, and that was the only rule. I lost the challenge, but I learned some things.

I think I’m going to do another photography challenge again. Not this month though. We’ll see.

In Part II of this blog entry, I’ll post the photos that I took with my Instax camera.

Amidst the challenges and difficulties

If you feel like you’re going through the worst time of your life, think about others who are going through something much, much worse.

If you think that getting 3 or 4 hours of sleep everyday is bad already, think about the thousands of people who couldn’t sleep at night because they lost their homes and their loved ones.

If you feel like getting sick because you don’t have an appetite, think about the thousands of people who haven’t eaten anything or drank clean water for three days.

If you feel stressed with the pressure of school, family, and other extra activities, just think that there are others who have lost their homes, their livelihood, and most of all, their loved ones.

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Typhoon Haiyan hit the central Philippines November 8th, Friday at 2 a.m. The strong winds hit the central region (or Visayas region) that affected the islands of Leyte and Samar. This region was the most hit and devastated by Haiyan.

I’ve been watching and reading news about this devastating tragedy that happened in my country and to my fellow Filipinos. This tragedy reminded me once again of their strength amidst the challenges and difficulties. They inspired me to work harder–even if I don’t get enough sleep, if I don’t eat enough food, or if I break down due to stress–what they’re going through is nothing compare to what I’m going through. I could hear my friends telling me: just think of the typhoon Haiyan victims and compare their lives from yours. Then you can complain.

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I came across Anderson Cooper’s reporter notebook who went to Tacloban and talked to the people. His essay brought me back to reality.

When everything else is taken away, broken, battered, soaked, raw, stripped bare, you see things. You see people as they really are. This week in Tacloban, Samar and Cebu, amidst the hunger and thirst, the chaos and confusion, we’ve seen the best in the Filipino people. Their strength, their courage. I can’t get it out of my mind. Imagine the strength it takes for a mother to search alone for her missing kids, the strength to sleep; on the street near the body of her child.

We’ve seen people with every reason to despair, every right to be angry, instead find ways to laugh, to love, to stand up, to move forward.

A storm breaks wood and bone, brings hurt and heartbreak. In the end, the wind, the water, the horror it brings is not the end of the story.

With aid and assistance, compassion and care, this place, these people…they will make it through. They already survived the worst. They’re bowed, perhaps tired and traumatized, but they are not broken.

Mabuhay Philippines! Maraming salamat for all you’ve shown us. Maraming salamat for showing us all how to live.

Anderson Cooper video: Source

MFBC promotional video

Here is the promotional video I made for the Manitoba Filipino Business (MFBC) 2013 Awards Gala. It runs for 3 minutes and 45 seconds. As I mentioned in this post, Jackie Doming asked me to make a promotional video for the MFBC.

After the teaser, I made the promotional video. It took me three consecutive days to finish the video. I didn’t finish it in 72 hours straight, because I had school assignments and work.

Again, thanks to the MFBC and Jackie Doming for making this happen.