Saturday, November 22, 2008


know your roots.

my friend marc from university of massachusetts (umass) hit me up on facebook and told me about an event at boston university called "kamayan 2008". it was a celebration of filipino culture to help unify the filipino community here at the different colleges in boston. i've been to so many PCN's (philippine culture night) that i'm not that excited to see filipino cultural dances too much anymore although they are awesome and i love tinikling haha... but every time im at a culture night/event like that it makes me proud to be who i am.

there was a spoken word piece in the middle of the event by Archipelag-a, a spoke word group from Brown University. they spoke of the struggle that filipinos have when they come from the philippines to america to start a new life. and how sometimes filipinos sacrifice their culture just to fit in with the "american ways". they spoke about how it hurts us 1st generation filipino-americans and how we lose our culture. we need to know where we came from, and not forget about the past and what filipinos have been through. one thing that stuck with me was when they were talking about their filipino moms and how they say "look ahead forget about the philippines forget about the revolution forget about all that just be a doctor, have money in one hand and a baby in the other", and their reaction was "sometimes to look ahead, we must look back".

"give me your philippines, give me your past, then i will give you your american dream"

no need to suck up to the white man to be successful. you can have success in so many different ways, why give up who you are just to live the "american dream". we're all immigrants, we are all from different places, we are all american. you can't lose that piece of where you came from, don't let ur culture be lost in the world where there is ignorance and racism and hatred.. you are who you are, be proud of it.

and in that case, i'm proud to be Filipino-American.

and speaking of which, it brought more thoughts to my mind about Filipino and Asian-Americans and how we have not broken into mainstream entertainment and media. but i believe we can do it. we just need to stick together, and we need to just keep getting better. i promise, this is our time-- if we truly believe in ourselves. like i said before, charice pempengco, arnold pineda (journey), jabbawockeez, ramiele malubay-- they're putting us on the map. hopefully you'll see us in the lights soon.

i must say i had a great day today. met 10 new friends at the Kamayan 2008 event including marc for the first time. we ate in downtown chinatown. they are awesome people. for some reason i've been super anti-social since i've been here, with only 20 or less friends that i would really consider my actual friends. but today made me happy, and i was actually smiling a whole lot tonight. these new friends made me like boston a little more in the short time i hung out with them. very welcoming and down-to-earth.

finally. =]

last night was interesting tho, pablo and some of our friends went to some party on symphony street. left after 30 mins but fun i guess walking over there and what not. love my roommate pabs.

shoutouts to andrew, sylvia, and jessica. jam sessions in the classrooms at berklee! love yall!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

been a little lazy...

im sorry ya'll. i haven't blogged in a WEEK. and im sorry about the raffle video not being up yet, its taking a while to edit. i want it to be good and exciting and amazing. hahaha. anyway, tonight i participated in a show called "Singer's Night". it was my first experience here at a show, and it was at the BPC! (Berklee Performance Center) and as a first semester student, i was fortunate to have been in this production. i was only a background singer, but it was amazing anyway. i really felt like i was part of the show. from the long tuesday and wednesday nights, to the even longer dress rehearsal last night, it was well worth it. i gotta show you guys these singers man, they are PHENOMENAL. i was in an acappella group singing "where did my baby go" featuring this amazing singer dorian allen. there were 5 of us on stage and the crowd loved it. i also was in "superstar" featuring the homie quentin. i met a lot of people at this event and im glad to have done so.

the drummer girl i told you all about was one of the three drummers for the concert, and i was sooo nervous to even say hi. i just said "good job shiori" downstairs after the show. hahah. omg. embarassing.

but yeah it was an awesome experience, i hope you guys get to see me up on the stage singing one of my own songs one day. the BPC is like a dream come true if i ever get to sing in there. one day.

this weekend was awesome being in cali again, i must say, to be honest, the show was unorganized and didnt go as smoothly as planned, but it was a very talented lineup so the show went awesome anyway. seeing everybody, gabe, randolph, cathy, lydia, renabette, derek, all else fades, and the whole family from BLOGTV was pretty tight. met a lot of people by their "username" hahaha. of course, as tradition goes, we all ate in n out afterwards. the flight back home wasn't too bad. i fell asleep on a lady but she didnt tell me till after the flight was done. how nice of her right? i felt so bad, but i ended up talking to her about boston and about me being a musician. i always carry one cd in my backpack when i have a flight, and she was the person i gave it to this time =]

i just wanna thank fred kris marlon andrew frank dusty and rb for helping me make the exclusive cds (with 15 tracks) this weekend. we were literally up till 5AM making them and spraypainting them. hope you guys enjoyed them.

this is what happened the night after. i have no idea what i was thinking agreeing to do this.

and i sold a lot of "AJ Rafael" shirts (or Raphael lol) so thank you to those who actually came up to merch table and said whats up and bought them and wore them. truly means the world to me. without you all i would definitely be nothing.

loved seeing my family this weekend, its always very refreshing. im very fortunate to have been home so much since my leave from home. thanksgiving is almost here!!!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

food to my soul...

mama! i love you!

hey everybody it was my mom's birthday yesterday, 11/10. just wanted to tell you all how proud i am to be her son.

she was born in the philippines, and has 4 sisters and 1 brother. while they all moved to australia along with their mom and dad, my mom moved to LA to be independent. she's a nurse, like most other filipino moms, but she's not just a nurse. she's the most hard-working mom in my universe. she's been widowed twice, and is one of the most STRONGEST people in this world, i know it. when my dad passed away she kept it strong, with my youngest sister being only 6 months, she quickly had to become both the mom AND the dad of the family. things were hard, and i remember every second of the crying, and the hardship, but through it all we had each other. you can really call us the fantastic four. with mom being our leader. i am telling you she is one of kind.

MOM! i know you're reading this because this is how you found out about my lip ring. and i'm sorry again for that. but i am happy you support my decisions. and thank you SO MUCH forgiving me the opportunity to live here in Boston on my own. i know every time i come home i complain about it, but i know you're letting me have this experience because i need it. i hope jasmine and justine are being good to you, because you only deserve the best. and they know that. and mom i know you miss dad as much as we all do, but i know that you are happy with joel too, so if you are happy i'm happy too. im sorry i bitch about him all the time, but i know that you would never try to replace dad. mom thank you for keeping the music alive within us! if it weren't for you, dad's music would never have lived on through us. justine, jasmine, and i have kept MUSIC in our lives because of YOU mom. and you are more talented than you give urself credit for. you are the music in our lives. dad gave us the foundation and the knowledge to know how to use it, and you are enforcing it in us, you have kept the spirit alive. i love you mom. happy birthday

Jasmine Rafae- my sister

can't wait to be back home this weekend.

check out my new layout on myspace, and ramiele malubay's as well! i designed them both! =D

Saturday, November 8, 2008

defying gravity...

just came back from watching idina menzel in concert. very amazing and inspiring! i was walking on the way to the Berklee Performance Center thinking i was late cuz it was already 730, but i got there and she had an opening act. it was this guy named Chris Mann, this video below is the song that got me really interested in his performance. he's like a mix of jason mraz and like josh groban maybe.

after this, Idina came out of course. she sang songs from her albums, most of them i didn't know, but the band was amazing and her vocals were insane!!! and then she sang "Another Day" from rent, but acoustic, in the middle of the concert. i had chills the whole 3 or 4 minutes of the song. she had the crowd singing the words "no day but today" it was just amazing. i thought of my friend Flo, she was one of my best friends and was in the original MVCC (the choir i directed) and she left to the philippines to follow her vocation as a religious sister (nun-to-be). she always sang this song, and the part when she goes "theres only us..." always almost brought me to tears everytime she sang it. i can honestly say she changed my life and i will always remember her SOUL because it was pure and perfect. i know shes praying for me out there, i may never be able to speak to her again, but she has made a huge impact on my life.

the rest of the concert was amazing and energetic, and she kept the crowd interested with all her little jokes and inside information about her life, about taye, her dog, and how she came about writing some of the songs on her album. to close the concert she sang an upbeat song, followed by an acappella version of "For Good" from wicked. and she said goodnight.

after the goodnight, the crowd kept cheering for probably another 5 minutes, and she came back out and sang "kiss from a rose" with her band which was an amazing arrangement, and closed again with the pop version of "defying gravity" which everyone was screaming their lungs off for at the end. that part "ohh ohh ohh ohh" at the end, you know what im talkin about?

anyway, it was amazing, even though i dressed up to impress, and had no one to impress cuz i went alone, it was worth it. whats wrong with a straight guy liking musical theatre?

hope ya'll are doing amazing. oh and on my newest video, there is some hater who looked for something irrelevant to hate on, it was just so ridiculous. i laughed. read the comments and see for yourself. hahah.

If I Had You (Showstopper)

Friday, November 7, 2008


yo so im chillin here at the apartment. and my roommate dwight and his girl kelsie are in the other room and kelsie cooked pasta for us all! so sweet =] it was so bomb. i am watching "the batman" season 3 cuz it was on sale at best buy. its the animated series that played on THE WB saturday mornings. amazing. haha im not gonna lie im a big batman fan. "midknight". oh and i never told you guys who i was for halloween. i'll show ya'll soon.

anyway, yesterday the weirdest and most insulting thing happened. i asked my friend in class (and note i have probably less than 15 friends here at berklee) to borrow his laptop. i went to check my email and then he asks for it back before i get the chance to log out. and he asks me "can you send files from this computer to ur email?" and i said yes its possible. and he goes WOW and starts looking thru all my emails. i was like WTF are you DOING? and my friend bobby next to him was like dude are you serious. and the guy was like "dude its a cut throat business, i have originals on this computer" i was very shocked and like laughed at first but then i was like WHAT THE, WHY WOULD I DO THAT? i was sooo mad you dont understand. why would i steal music from a friend first of all? and out of ALL the people in the whole school would i really choose some hick from texas (no offense i dont even know if he lives in texas) who plays BLUES, i mean i love blues but its not my career choice.

wow ok im done being an a-hole but damn that was effed up. how insulting. does he really think im that low of a person to be stealing files from his computer? how idiotic, seriously.

anyway, after that i just left class and cussed at him (bad example don't do it) pretty much saying you're an idiot. i went to the practice room to just let out my frustration. and luckily had a christmas book that i borrowed from the library earlier and just played and it was just awesome playing those tunes. felt relaxing. and then i thought of this song that i heard last christmas called "thankful" by josh groban. i found it on my ipod and just was learning how to play it by ear cuz it wasnt in the christmas book. that video is coming soon. an AMAZING song.

hope you guys are doing good, and hope this new video makes ur day! shoutouts to my new friend CARISSA RAE, shes an amazing artist, super talented-- trust me! she just performed at this show i did last weekend called "Expressions of Faith" and i fell in love with her voice. she's in commercials, music videos, and is seriously doing amazing in the industry! she's also a real good friend of mine now, we seriously became friends in 3 seconds or less. oh and she's super cute too. ;D please check her out at and

k heres the video. new song =D
dedicated to my friend juicebox!


Tuesday, November 4, 2008


the time has finally come for someone other than the WHITE MAN is in charge.

i love white people, i'm just saying... time for some CHANGE... honestly i wouldn't have minded mccain, just as long as that cowboy Bush is outta office... anyway thats enough about politics. all i know is that the world is gonna change. bad, good, somehow.

this weekend was awesome. saturday's show, expressions of faith 08, was amazing! i met some awesome and talented people. one singer i was glad to meet was Carissa Rae ( she's been in tv commercials, music videos, and is an amazing singer and dancer. she sang at expressions, and my favorite song that she played was "everywhere" by michelle branch. she sang it beautifully. carissa you are one talented lady <33

the show went kinda long to be honest, i played last and the crowd was already sleeping pretty much. so i had to wake them up. in the middle of my set i just pulled out 'sunrise to sunset' whiel marlon was on stage playing cajon with me. it turned out well, and hopefully that helped out the energy. i sold my shirts and cds at the end of the show, and it all went good after that. had some people over at my house and we just chilled like old times.

on sunday, after church, i visited the cemetery with my family to visit my dad and grandmas grave which are right next to each other, and my auntie * mama zeny who recently passed away this year... after the cemetery my family and all my family from la went to in n out. dusty drove the car to the burbank airport after that which is literally the smallest airport i've ever been to. its like a drive-thru.

on the plane i freakin accidentally slept on someone. i hope it wasnt for too long. when i woke up i grabbed her arm and said i'm so sorry. hahahah. omg. how embarassing.

got on the train home and went to sleep. after sleep i went to classes which are my bands that i'm in. talked to this girl in the class and we are going to do some r&b acoustic cover songs to jam out to, and then i went home, had dinner with amanda and pablo, and had a bad acid reflux trip that i thought i was going stop breathing on, and then woke up to SLEEP PARALYSIS and it sucked.

if anyone has read about SCISSORS or sleep paralysis, its a pretty scary thing. its when REM malfunctions and you wake up during the deepest part of ur sleep, while ur body is paralyzed. so ur minds awake but ur bodys not basically, and it causes you to hallucinate and you cant move. it happened to me twice and i literally thought someone was holding me down. pablo (my roommate) and chris our friend thought i was trippin so bad and they even laughed. i was like, that was not funny. hahahaha.

had singers night rehearsal tonight, and saw the drummer chick again, she was walking towards me at the end of rehearsal and i walked away cuz i didnt know what to say. hahah damn it im a wuss. but i ended up waving to her from far as i was leaving... haha woww i dont know what to do.

new video!