Thursday, December 31, 2009

happy new year...

so i'm playing poker with my family right now. finding time to write my last blog of the year. not gonna be too epic... but just really wanted to thank you guys for everything this year. so much has happened... playing my first shows with my new band, shiori noah and andrew i love you so much, the release of my music video My Soldier with MOVeMEDIA productions-- scott thanks man, met so many people at Berklee that have continued to stay my close friends, leaving Berklee/Boston was one of the hardest decisions of my life but I'm glad i came back to California...

after my time at Berklee came summer 2009, pretty awesome-- i met Jenny Suk, played a show every weekend till last weekend actually but thats when it started (my first break was Thanksgiving and then last weekend for Gabe's one night only concert), and at the same time playing these shows i was cast the lead role in the musical Footloose at RCC, rehearsal every day from 3-9, it was pretty tiring. after that was done, i had to start promoting Music Speaks, 2 benefit concerts for Autism Speaks-- and had a month left to do it. but it came together, and during the month i was promoting, i recorded 3 tracks with my band-- Showstopper, I Just Want You, and When We Say which will be officially released Spring next year.

ever since Music Speaks, i said to myself i would take it easy on myself, but shows kept coming up and of course i wasn't saying no, i wanted to play as much as possible while i still could. during all these shows, i got closer to many other YT artists, and met some awesome people like Quest Crew, Fareast Movement, BarkadaInc, and MORE. though i was tired, i still kept going, and during this time of stressin out playing shows-- the Typhoon in the Philippines hit. i knew i had to do something, and though it was tough for me with everything going on at once, along with personal problems i was having with my family, i pushed through and knew that God wasn't gonna put anything on me that i couldn't handle. though i was physically and emotionally exhausted, i knew that i HAD to keep going... raising awareness, playing benefits, raising money, gathering artists, and just praying as much as i could for the victims of the Typhoon. and at the same time Music Speaks Arizona had just popped up in the itinerary and am so glad that i was able to help people in the Philippines AND help Autistic families at the same time. it's just such a blessing to have so many people supporting you and helping. i've learned to not just take the load myself, but to trust in others that want to help you achieve your goal.

with this year coming to an end, i'll say i have a lot to be thankful for. and i truly am grateful for all of it. of course i am open to many more blessings-- if God has more plans for me i will take them on. but if 2009 was the end of all the success that came my way-- honestly, i would say to God, "Thank you, and I'm so happy to have had the honor to serve you through music, and everything I've done was to serve others, and most especially You".

im not gonna sit here and wish 2010 was better. although i do have a feeling it will be a HUGE year ( ;] ), i'm just thankful for 2009 and what it has brought me.

love you all,

watch the WHOLE video! =]

ps here's the winning tweet to my contest.

@RIKUC0UTURE#MM "I Just Want You by #AJRAFAEL now avail on amazon/iTunes!I Support his music cuz he worked 4rm da ground up&made sumthing out of himself.

here are a couple that cathy jenny and jasmine helped me pick out that just stuck out =]

@koolerbeans#MM "I Just Want You by #AJRAFAEL now avail on Amazon/iTunes! i support his music bc he not only has talent, but has HEART, which is rare.

@Jer0meskee#MM "I Just Want U by #AJRAFAEL now avail on Amazon/iTunes!I support his music bc he's the person dat gives us da power 2 step out & try

@Amarith"I Just Want You" by #AJRAFAEL now avail on Amazon/iTunes! I support his music because HE HELPED CREATE "MUSIC 2.0"

@djaee#MM @ajrafael "I Just Want You by #AJRAFAEL now avail on Amazon/iTunes! i support his music because god gave it to him to make a difference.

@iRaeee#MM I Just Want You by #AJRAFAEL now avail on Amazon/iTunes! iSupport hisMUSIC cuz His Music Speaks For Those Who Cant Speak For Themselves.

@pamiloser#MM "I Just Want You by #AJRAFAEL now avail on Amazon/iTunes! i support his music bcause it helps reassure me that MUSIC IS LIFE's heartbeat

when your hard work is appreciated and noticed, you can't help but to be proud of yourself-- nothin' wrong with that =]


Monday, November 23, 2009

91st post...

it has been a while. i apologize. there's a lot that's been going on and i haven't had a break in so long. i mean there was footloose, recording with my band, music speaks weekend, shows every weekend inbetween all this, trying to raise money for the walk for autism, trying to raise awareness for the typhoon that came unexpectedly, the walk for autism, and having a family troubles at home. this is my first weekend since summer without a show... im exhausted.

as of right now, i'm on a plane owned by Virgin America. they've teamed up with this company GoGo to put WiFi on planes (apparently it's not that new of a concept) and they are making it free on their planes for the holidays. so here i am in the window seat, watching 500 days of summer on the screen mounted on the seat in front of me, sitting with no one next to me in the middle seat and the smell of chex mix coming from a bigger dude sitting in the aisle seat. life is good right now in this moment. no distractions, just me spending time with myself, allowing my thoughts to finally settle and just relax.

next week i'll be in Arizona for ASU's MUSIC SPEAKS:ARIZONA on 12/4 (they decided to take on the name since they booked me to perform and half the proceeds are now going to Autism Speaks) and then UCBerkeley on 12/5 for a mission medical benefit concert. the week after that i'll be in Canada once again for a concert in Calgary on the 12th with Gabe Bondoc and Edmonton on the 13th for a solo show.

other than being busy with music, things are good. i met some amazing people these past 6 months through youtube, at shows, and out of state. God has blessed me with amazing friends and they've helped me so much on my journey towards my goal. and what is my goal you might ask? to share my music with the world, like the whole world. not even exaggerating.

if you'd like to help with my goal, i have this song MidKnight i just posted on YouTube and it'd be awesome if you could help me spread it around! word of mouth is still the best tool of promotion in the entertainment industry. =) also i have a big announcement...

"I JUST WANT YOU" the aj rafael band version [which is up on my myspace] is going to be on iTunes on November 27th (this friday, black friday). so please please tell everyone you know and especially people who don't know my music!

shoutouts to Tito Nonito "Pops" from the PnoyApparel Company up chillin with the big guy up above now. i just played piano for his funeral this morning and memorial service last night and it was touching to see how loved he was and the legacy he left on this earth.

love yall, and here are 3 new videos for you guys.

a special thank you to all who attended the Walk for Autism for TEAM MUSIC SPEAKS. my nephew nathan was very happy to be there and it was a lot of fun. thank you so much!


Two Is Better Than One - BLG ft Taylor Swift with my good friend Kina Grannis

IYAZ - Replay w JR Aquino & Andrew Garcia

MidKnight by AJ Rafael

Friday, November 13, 2009



Saturday, November 14, 2009

Angel Stadium of Anaheim
2000 Gene Autry Way
Anaheim, CA 92806

Walk Route Details:
The stage will be located between the "Two Big Hats" and our registration will be immediately to the right. Our Walk Route is one mile in distance; and you're invited to do 1, 2 or even 3 loops of the course. We'll have water and entertainment along the course. The course will give walkers the opportunity to view the inside ball field area of Angel Stadium. This walk is non-competitive – please come prepared to enjoy a casual day in the community for families, friends and children.

Registration Opens 8:00 AM
Opening Ceremonies 9:30 AM
Walk Begins 10:00 AM
Community Resource Fair Open 8:00 AM-1:00 PM

Ample parking is free and available at Angel Stadium. Parking attendants will be on site. Please enter through the Orangewood gate.


From Newport Beach and Costal Areas:
1. Take the I-5 North exit on the right towards Los Angeles Drive 0.7 miles
2. Merge onto I-5 North Drive 3.0 miles
3. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 0.5 miles
4. Take the CA-57 North exit on the Right towards Pomona Drive 0.5 miles
5. Merge onto CA-57 North Drive 1.2 miles
6. Take the Orangewood Ave exit on the Right. Drive 0.2 miles
7. Turn Left onto Orangewood Ave Drive 0.3 miles and enter destination

From South Orange County
1. Take the I-805 North
2. Follow the signs to stay on I-805 North
3. I-805 North becomes I-5 North Drive 1.3 miles
4. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 18.6 miles
5. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 33.5 miles
6. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 8.7 miles
7. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 2.1 miles
8. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 10.7 miles
9. Follow the signs to stay on I-5 North Drive 0.5 miles
10. Take the CA-57 North exit on the Right towards Pomona Drive 0.5 miles
11. Merge onto CA-57 North Drive 1.2 miles
12. Take the Orangewood Ave. exit on the Right. Drive 0.2 miles
13. Turn left onto Orangewood Ave. Drive 0.3 miles and enter destination.

FAQ – Walk Day

Are pets allowed at the walk?
Sorry, but pets are not allowed. The reason is two-fold. We are expecting on the upwards of 5,000 people on Walk day and need to maintain organization of space – this is also for the safety of your pet. In addition, many affected children have a fear of animals and even the sweetest pet could cause a meltdown for someone else’s child. Please be sensitive to this issue and leave your pets at home. Only service dogs are permitted into the walk.

Are strollers and wheelchairs allowed at the walk?
Yes. Strollers, wheelchairs and even wagons for the little ones are all welcome!

Are bikes, rollerblades, scooters or skateboards allowed at the walk?
For everyone's safety, we cannot allow any of these items.

I may not make it to the walk when Check-In/Registration opens, can I arrive late?
Sure, Check-in will be open until the walk concludes. We suggest that you check-in when first arriving. Please go directly to the Registration area when you arrive.

What happens if it rains on the day of the walk?
Our events take place rain or shine! We will still be at the venue to collect donations and thank our participants, and our Community Resource Fair vendors will be available. However, due to safety concerns, the Walk itself may not take place, always check our walk home page for any updated announcements

What do I need to bring with me the morning of the walk?
If you have donations to turn in, there will be envelopes available. If you have not yet registered online, you can fill out a registration form and envelope at the Registration area on the day of the event. However, we encourage you to register online ahead of time! This not only helps us to get a better headcount for Walk Day, but will make check-in that much easier for you on the day of the Walk.

Also, plan to bring some money if you would like to purchase a plated lunch from Smokin’ Mo’s or if you plan to purchase items available for sale in our resource fair.

How does Check-In work?
We hope that you will find registration to be a smooth and easy process. Each of our 16 registration stations will be equipped to serve any type of registrant. Approach a station that is available and let them know if you are there to; turn in additional donations, collect your tee shirt ticket if you have raised over $150, collect your Grand Club wrist band if you have raised over $1,000, or if you are coming to register with us for the first time. You will find Registration conveniently located under one of the two “big red hats” that decorate the front of Angel Stadium. Please note that online registration will close on Friday, November 13th at 5:00pm, so that we have time to compile records for our registration personnel on the day of.

Do I need to check-in even if I am not turning in additional donations at the walk?
Yes, we want to make sure we have event waivers signed by all participants.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


the funds from the ChipIn widget have now been transferred to the WALK FOR AUTISM website.
thank you for your donations=]

if you are donating more than $20 go here: WALK FOR AUTISM

thanks so much

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Walk for Autism 2009

Angel Stadium of Anaheim

2000 Gene Autry Way

Anaheim, CA 92806

Check-In is at 8:00AM

Walk starts at 9:30AM

Event info at



By AJ Rafael & Jasmine Rafael

TEAM MUSIC SPEAKS has an important mission, aiming to spread awareness about Autism, and encourage action that would improve the conditions of the lives and families that it affects. A personal experience that inspired this goal is when my nephew, Nathan, was diagnosed with Autism when he was about two years old. Despite his condition, Nathan is a loving, fun, and active child who is very responsive to all of us, and is born with the love of music and dance. The more we love and watch over Nathan as he grows older, the more frustrating it can be knowing that his peers will never fully understand his situation, and these misunderstandings could lead to prejudice and pain for him throughout his life. "Music Speaks" means utilizing the gifts of Music and Dance to inspire those fortunate enough to be born without autism to speak out for those who were, by being aware of their condition and taking action towards improving their living conditions and perhaps even uncovering the mystery behind its cause.

Did you know…

1 in 150 children is diagnosed with autism

1 in 94 boys is on the autism spectrum

67 children are diagnosed per day

A new case is diagnosed almost every 20 minutes

Autism is the fastest-growing serious developmental disability in the U.S.

Autism receives less than 5% of the research funding of many less prevalent childhood


Boys are four times more likely than girls to have autism

There is no medical detection or cure for autism

(note: if you are donating less than $20 you cannot donate through the website, please donate using the widget above)



o click on “register”

o then click “join a team”

o select “Music Speaks

o follow on-screen instructions

How to donate to TEAM MUSIC SPEAKS:

-If you are a member

o Log in and donate online

-If you are not a member

o Donate through or using the “Walk for Autism” Widget

§ Use your PayPal account or Credit Card

o Mail your payment (make checks payable to Autism Speaks and make sure to write Team Music Speaks on memo line)

§ AJ Rafael – Team Music Speaks
12625 Frederick St
STE I-5 #303
Moreno Valley, CA

o Give cash donation to a member for them to bring to the walk and/or turn in online

-Any additional donations you can bring to the walk

Guideline to raising $250 for Team Music Speaks

Put in your own contribution of $25………… $25

Ask your significant other for $25…………… $50

Ask a friend for $25………………………..…. $75

Ask a neighbor for $25…………………….…. $100

Ask a relative for $25………………………… $125

Ask your boss or a coworker for $25………. $150

Ask your doctor for $25……………………… $175

Ask your hair stylist or barber for $25……… $200

Ask your local merchant for $25………….… $225

Ask your dentist for $25………………...…… $250

Thank you all so much. It means the a whole to me. God bless...


Thursday, October 22, 2009


friendship games halftime show. 10/24 at 1PM w/Lydia Paek & more

MAKE MUSIC FOUNDATION T.U.N.E. 10/24 (same night):

Arcadia Presbyterian Church. It is located at:
121 Alice Ave
Arcadia, CA 91006
Doors will open at 7:00.

-Featuring local Arcadia talent
-Special guests: AJ Rafael, Jennifer Chung, Feats in Inches, Paige Stark, Sam Hart, Clara Chung, and Tom Ngo
-Ticket price: $10 presale/will call, $12 at the door

How will call works: FOR WILL CALL, the purchaser(s) can email us at MAKEMUSICFOUNDATION@GMAIL.COM, and leave their name, school, and birthdate so that we can identify them on the night of the concert.

OCTOBER 27th: SPAHM Showcase @ CalState Northridge
zoo crew, jonathan bechere, tasha mendez, v.ent, & more
7PM to 11PM
CSU Northridge Performing Arts Center

October 29th: UCI w/Gabe Bondoc! Pilipino American History Month Closing Ceremony
  • Location: UC Irvine Student Center - Crystal Cove Auditorium
  • Date: Thursday, October 29th, 2009
  • Event start: 7:00pm
  • Event end: 10:00pm
NOVEMBER 1st: Fil-Am History Month's Closing Ceremony at University of Florida

7:00pm at the Reitz Union Amphitheatre at UF


more to come! thanks yall <3


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Benefit Concert with Lea Salonga, Quest, & more!

please come support! all ages event! ya'll already know there will be lots of old filipinos there so please come support all the artists and most especially the cause, we need to involve the youth!



Glendale , California – October, 2009 - “We Are One!”, a one-night only benefit concert to raise funds for typhoons Ondoy and Parma disaster relief in the Philippines, will be held on Thursday, October 22 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, California beginning at 6:00pm. Typhoon Ondoy violently struck Manila and portions of neighboring provinces on September 25 causing massive flooding and more devastation than Hurricane Katrina. Hundreds of people have died with many more still missing and hundreds of thousands have been displaced by the destruction to homes and property. Just last week, typhoon Parma devastated the mountain regions of Northern Luzon , causing landslides and additional flooding and adding to the on-going fatality count.

The evening will include appearances by actress/singer NIA PEEPLES (“Fame”, “Walker Texas Ranger” “ North Shore ”) and actor MARK DACASCOS (ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars”, “The Crow”). Scheduled to perform are legendary singer and actress KUH LEDESMA, actors/singers/musicians THE BASCO BROTHERS, spoken word artist ARIANNA BASCO, singer TORI BERBA, actor/singer/comedian/director BERNARDO BERNARDO, jazz vocalist MON DAVID, LITO VILLAREAL and ANTOINE REYNALDO DIEL of the “Three Filipino Tenors”, R&B singer/songwriter J-RICZ, Pinoy pop/rock band THE INTROVOYS, singers BAMBI LOPEZ and MARICAR CABRERA, modern dance artist JOANNE MALLILLIN, acapella group PRIME NOTE ENSEMBLE, “YouTube” sensation singer/songwriter/musician AJ RAFAEL, heavy metal band SCARRED, rising singing sensation EDSEL GODWIN SOTIANGCO, singer/actress ANTOINETTE TAUS, performer LARA AVENGOZA ,student group USC TROY PHILIPPINES and contemporary Christian group BOCES.

“America’s Best Dance Crew” champions QUESTCREW (Season 3) and WE ARE HEROES (newly crowned champions of Season 4) will be on hand as well as Tony Award winning singer and actress LEA SALONGA, to perform a couple of songs. “So many artists contacted me when typhoon Ondoy hit asking if they could be a part of a benefit to raise monies for disaster relief,” said producer/director Ted Benito, “that the response from our Filipino and Filipino-American talent has been overwhelming. Thank goodness there have been and will continue to be many benefits and fundraisers for our talent to participate. Everyone has been so giving of their time and talent and Lea Salonga was so kind and gracious to take time from her current tour to be with us that evening.”

Hosts for “We Are One!” include KTLA News anchor CHER CALVIN, acclaimed Philippine director MICHAEL DE MESA and actress, singer, dancer, model GISELLE TONGI. “You can expect a few surprise guests,” hinted Benito, “but the main reason we are there is to raise funds for the victims of typhoons Ondoy and Parma .” JANNELLE SO, the host and producer of KSCI’s “Kababayan L.A.” who will emcee a part of the evening, is also organizing a silent auction at the Alex Theatre with all the proceeds going to the Kapuso Foundation. “So far, we have a wonderful creation from designer Oliver Tolentino, art pieces, fantastic jewelry and gift baskets,” said So, “and there are more items being donated everyday. Hopefully, we can add a lot more to the net proceeds from the concert.”

GMA Pinoy TV’s Jush Andowitt contacted Benito last week when he heard “We Are One!” was going to be produced and offered to tape the benefit for broadcast on GMA Pinoy TV. “We are excited about being a part of this concert,” said Andowitt “because we will have the opportunity to televise it, beginning first with our affiliate stations in the U.S. and Canada , and then afterwards, through our GMA Pinoy TV affiliates around the globe. We want to show the concert so we can solicit additional donations for direct disaster relief through GMA Pinoy TV’s Kapuso Foundation.” In addition, PNB-RCI (Philippine National Bank) Remittance Services will be on hand at the concert to process direct remittances of donations to the Philippines . “Audience members can remit donations to the Kapuso Foundation on the spot,” explained Andowitt, “and those who are not ready can just walk into any PNB branches and remit to the Kapuso Foundation with all charges waived until Saturday, October 31.” One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the concert and silent auction will be donated to the Kapuso Foundation for direct assistance for the victims.

Tickets will be available at the ALEX THEATRE BOX OFFICE on FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16 by calling 818-243-2539 , by visiting their website at WWW.ALEXTHEATRE.ORG or by visiting the Alex Theatre Box Office (Wednesdays through Sundays at 216 North Brand Boulevard, Glendale, California 91203). Mastercard, Visa and AmEx cards welcome. Additional tickets and information as well as reservations are available by calling the “We Are One!” ticket hotline at 818-433-6711.


WHAT: “We are One!” A concert to benefit victims of typhoons Ondoy and Parma

with Lea Salonga, Kuh Ledesma, Nia Peeples, Mon David, Bernardo Bernardo, ABDC Crews “QuestCrew” and “We Are Heroes”, The Basco Brothers, Arianna Basco, Antoinette Taus, Maricar Cabrera, The Introvoys, Bambi Lopez, J-Ricz, Edsel Godwin Sotiangco, Tori Berba, Prime Note Ensemble, Joanne Mallillin, Boses, USC Troy Philippines, Lito Villareal, Lara Avengoza, Scarred, Antoine Reynaldo Diel, AJ Rafael, Cher Calvin, Giselle Tongi, Michael de Mesa and Jannelle So.

WHEN: THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22, 2009 at 7:00pm

WHERE: The Alex Theatre

216 North Brand Boulevard , Glendale , CA. 91203

TICKETS: $25.00, $35.00, Limited $50.00 VIP


818.243.ALEX or via website at WWW.ALEXTHEATRE.ORG


TICKET HOTLINE: 818.433.6711

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


let's give a hand to the people in the philippines who have been affected by this terrible natural disaster, Typhoon Ondoy.

Thanks guys so much.


we're trying to get it to trend!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

it's been a while...

a lot has happened since the last time i really sat down and blogged, and i apologize for not keeping ya'll updated. but you guys know ive been busy with footloose and music speaks since i've been back here in cali. now that i'm back in cali, i've been playing shows every weekend after music speaks and it's been real busy! i'll try to write as much as i can in this blogspot every so often. but for now i need your help.


as you might know, i put on a concert last month called Music Speaks. it was a 2-day event with artists such as Gabe Bondoc, Passion, and Quest Crew, and my band! and many other talented people who also are some of my very close friends. to everyone that came through and donated to the cause: thank you SO much, you've helped us put up a successful concert and spread awareness about Autism to a great amount of people.

we're now going beyond just the concert. we're walking for Autism on November 14, 2009 at the Anaheim Angels Stadium. all the details are here at

i made a team called TEAM MUSIC SPEAKS. and i need your help. walk with us and/or donate to the cause by going to

we need to recruit at least 100 walkers and are trying to raise 15,000 dollars for Autism! please help us raise more money for this cause, as you know is very personal to me because my older sister's son, Nathan, has Autism and we need to help to fund research into finding a cure for this disorder.

tell everyone you can please! through twitter, youtube, myspace, facebook, whatever you can think of!

on the website you cannot donate less than $20. if you want to donate less than $20 please send the check/money (payable to Autism Speaks) to my PO box and i'll make sure to donate it with our Team. write your name (if it happens to be your parents' check) on the bottom left hand corner of the check so i can write your name down on our list of contributors too!

here's the P.O. Box:
AJ Rafael
12625 Frederick St
Ste. I-5 #303
Moreno Valley, CA 92553

thanks SO MUCH ya'll!!! let's do this big!!!


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Dad!

i'm sorry i've been MIA. but today's a special day... well its about to be over but heres an email my Auntie Viol wrote about my father, her brother, that she sent to all our family. just so you guys have an idea about who he was, and how great of a legacy he left my family and i.

God’s blessings folks!,

Today is the Birthday of my beloved brother Arturo Sacramento Rafael, Jr. The name alone is great! King Arthur , .Sacramento, 7 Sacraments. which is very sacred, while Rafael, San Rafael, a saint, the archangel, the bearer of good news, the Healer in the Catholic faith.

Now, I fully understand why Junior was always surrounded by beautiful girls during his student days, because aside from his God-given musical talents, he had a gentle spirit and “muy caballero” and probably the girls looked at him as their knight like King Arthur, a 5th and 6th British Chieftain.

King Arthur. presided over the famous Round Table which assembled a band of “Chosen Knights.” The adventures of these knights form the subject-matter of numerous romances in the Arthurian Cycle. His court is the model court for the cultivation of every knight’s virtue.

Wherever he was, whether inside the classroom or outside, in the campus, pretty girls were flocking around him. Why?, aside from being the only male student of mine at that time, secondly he was oozing with God’s-given gifts. He was the Choir Director of almost every college in the University. Name it folks!, Conservatory of Music, Liberal Arts, Nursing, Optometry, etc. A beautiful student of mine, a sister of a popular actress showed her admiration by exclaiming: “If Arthur would only show me, even a little affection, I would be the one to make the marriage proposal.”

But despite the fact that numerous beautiful-talented girls were linked to him, (I should know, I was his confident, mentor and best friend (next to his wife Shirley, of course!) the one and only true love of him, whom he married in the Catholic Church is the mother of AJ (Arthur), a song-writer, producer, singer, composer, arranger, choir director, band leader, instrumentalist, etc.
“Sinakop ng lahat.” Jasmine, plays violin and a very good dancer, Justine does ballet dancing.
Shirley, the singing nurse, a very hard-working and dedicated mother, who is every child’s dream to be his/her mother. I am not surprised to be informed that one song of AJ has more than a million hits in “” also in myspace. AJ’s music is a permanent fixture in our place. Richard and Rommel, most especially Richard always listen and watch AJ’s video.
AJ could have written more songs than Michael Jackson! Everywhere here, be it in the car, inside the house, etc. it’s AJ you’ be seeing and hearing. I often get so nostalgic…wishing…I wish Junior were here, he would certainly be proud of his son. I was very proud of Junior, I still do, as he was of me.

Junior was everybody’s favorite, Lola Edang favorite grandchild, Dico Channing’s (ma’s brother who sent all his sisters Tita Juaning, Del, and Floring to school)., Ma’s favorite son, every nephew’s and niece ‘s favorite uncle.

I was so touched when Papa said that if he could only see Junior perform in public, professionally conducting a choir, he could afford to die the next day! Ate Zen was screaming: “Bakit hindi pa ako ang kinuha, si Junior pa! AJ was barely 10 years old then, Jasmine about 8 or 9 while Justine was 6 months old.

I kept on asking the Lord , Who is a Promise Maker and A Promise Keeper. …Why? up to the present time the same question…why, Lord? Why did you take him so early? He could still do a lot of things for you…, for mankind. I wasn’t prepared for his early and untimely demise. I had so many dreams, plans, aspirations for my beloved younger brother.

As if at a glance I saw the words: “He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

Junior was given the honor to continue PAPA’s good work… now AJ will bring to completion/perfection the good work Jesus Christ began in Junior’s life. I am assured that Junior is somewhere up above there…waving, smiling, beaming, watching with pride the family he left behind, temporarily here on earth…commending Shirley…good work “der.” I love all of you!

To be continued.

Love, Peace and Prayers,

Ate/Tita Viol
Phil 4:13
5 Sept. 05

with love,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

a new chapter...

so footloose is over! those 6 weeks of hard work and learning to dance was one of the hardest things i've had to go through (performing wise) but it was all worth it in the end. if you didnt go you missed out! and i'm mad at you! haha jk.. no but foreal... you missed out.

so with my project "MUSIC SPEAKS" coming up, i got so much to do. my band is coming in today (minus andrew rhim) and we're gonna practice for next week cuz we're recording 3 tracks at a studio!!! =]] i'm excited. andrew's comin down with us monday morning cuz me noah and shiori and rb are going to the Bay to visit this weekend! =]

noah comes in in like an hour and shiori comes in at night around 1030pm. i'm excited! woow! also if you were wondering how FAP went.. it was great. so many talented people. and so many good memories.

hope you guys are excited about MUSIC SPEAKS. thanks for all your help so far, i'll have a donation button soon for you guys to donate to the cause. thanks yall.

heres the new flyer i designed.

love yall.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Footloose! The Musical

so i got the lead role at a production of Footloose! the Musical at Riverside City College. i've been workin super hard on my dancing and singing and dancing and singing at the same time... haha its been a long six weeks preparing for this show. it'd be awesome if you came out.

come see me as Ren McCormack!

Footloose The Musical
Riverside City College
Riverside, CA
Landis Performing Arts Theatre
951 222 8100 for tickets!

July 30, 31 at 7pm
August 1 at 2pm

Thanks yallllll!

quick synopsis
Footloose is a 1984 American musical film that tells the story of Ren McCormack, played by Kevin Bacon, a teenager who was raised in Chicago. McCormack moves to a small town where the local government has banned dancing and rock music. Ren and his classmates want to have a senior prom with music and dancing. They must figure out a way to get around the law and Reverend Shaw Moore, played by John Lithgow, who blames rock music's influence for the death of his first child.

that's the movie synopsis LOL


Tuesday, July 21, 2009


i need your help!

i'm producing a concert along with some of my friends RB, Dustin, & Krissy and we need help with sponsorships.

Here is the synopsis of the mission of MUSIC SPEAKS!

About MUSIC SPEAKS: The Mission
By AJ Rafael & Jasmine Rafael
"Music Speaks" has an important mission, aiming to spread awareness about Autism, and encourage action that would improve the conditions of the lives and families that it affects. A personal experience that inspired this goal is when my nephew, Nathan, was diagnosed with Autism when he was about two years old. Despite his condition, Nathan is a loving, fun, and active child who is very responsive to all of us, and is born with the love of music and dance. The more we love and watch over Nathan as he grows older, the more frustrating it can be knowing that his peers will never fully understand his situation, and these misunderstandings could lead to prejudice and pain for him throughout his life. "Music Speaks" means utilizing the gifts of Music and Dance to inspire those fortunate enough to be born without autism to speak out for those who were, by being aware of their condition and taking action towards improving their living conditions and perhaps even uncovering the mystery behind its cause.

this concert benefits Autism Speaks, a charity dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments, and cure for autism.

please spread the word.

The event is a 2-day event: August 28th and 29th, 2009.

August 28th will be the main event called MUSIC SPEAKS! featuring the AJ Rafael Band, MVCC, and other amazing acts! and the 29th will be a follow-up entitled MUSIC SPEAKS: unplugged (featuring acoustic performances by Melissa Polinar, Cathy Nguyen & More)

here's the Sponsorship Letter link!

thanks so much! and if you need any other information or anything like that, message me on myspace or email with "MUSIC SPEAKS" as the subject.

love you all,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

fatherly love

I do realize its been almost a month since I've updated. I do apologize.

Just a quick happy fathers day to all fathers. Esp my father up in heaven and andrew garcia, one of my best friends. Well... what's been up w me lately? I started a disney series on youtube. Check those vids out. There's 4 of them so far. I also started up my choir MVCC again. Love them. Were rehearsing for a HUGE concert in august.

August 28 and 29: MUSIC SPEAKS.

Yep I'm bringin em in from boston. Its gonna be epic! official lineup will be announced soon. Let's hype it up. Heritage forum in anaheim, ca.

Anyway, also been chillin w jenny suk, great singer from youtube, this whole past week. She's been chillin in socal when she was supposed to be in norcal. Thanks jenny for comin out and sharing ur talent with us. We miss u already.

I'm driving with my family right now (moms driving) to a lunch party. I sang "dance with my father" at church before mass started today. Its been 9 fathers day's without him. To think my little sister justine just had one fathers day with my dad is what really breaks my heart. I wish justine was old enough to get to know him. But I'm sure she knows how much of a legacy he left with all of us. I love that jasmine still has music in her life... writing songs and singing. Justine sings in my moms childrens choir (the same one my dad left behind, altho there r new kids obviously) and both my sisters dance at a studio and they both were blessed with a great gift to dance. My mom still leads choir at church while I help her out by playing. Its been like this for the last 10 years without him and I'm glad it hasn't changed. Life is too short. Don't take it for granted. Live life with no regrets. Live life to the fullest. Live life with the music blasting and the windows down. Life = love, love = music.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

we've all got our junk...

and my junk is you.
-Spring Awakening

so my dog, kitchie (not the one who had the puppies), wakes me up every morning at 9am. regardless of how early or late i sleep; i wake up at 9 everyday and the day is forced upon me. so im starting this just like how i write most of my songs... without knowing where it's going. my sister, jasmine (killajamzz), is watching the Twilight bonus features on blu-ray right now and my other sister, justine, is at school at the moment. i just got my piano tuned by the way. expect more videos with just piano... that instrument is powerful, let me tell ya.

BAND[AID] was last friday. it was a benefit show featuring local talent. it was one crazy experience. the crowd was ridiculously supportive and it honestly was one of the best crowds i've played for. sold over 50 Peace, Love, and AJ shirts and received some pretty awesome gifts from some fans. from a stuffed koala bear to a batman easter egg. thank you to dusty and rb for always handling the merch so well. here's a video, i need to speak no longer about this show, the videos explain it all.

so im back in cali, and have seen pretty much everyone... although most people are still in school, we've all been chillin. got a gym pass, and am trying to look decent for the beach this summer haha. since i've been back, i watched kina live at UCLA, watched Star Trek with david choi and friends, said goodbye to a dear friend Randolph at the airport as he was leaving to the philippines, played piano for Lydia Paek again and it was so refreshing, and stayed up past 2am every single day. more to come. much love.

also spent this weekend with jesse barrera , gracienne, larry, and jamil, tin and alan from SD. heres a pic of my puppies jesse and grace took.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

so let me say before we part...

but because i knew you, i have been changed...
for good.
-stephen schwartz

i will never forget walking down from 85 park drive-- my first apartment-- and up boylston st back to berklee, my random adventures to the prudential center to kill time in between classes, the inspiration i gained watching awesome shows at the BPC, trotting down newbury street shopping without checking my balance in my account beforehand, bringing people to bodega (thinking its a convenience store) and johnny cupcakes (thinking its a bakery) for their first time, band rehearsals with my very own "band", going to domino's at 2:45AM just before it closes at 3, knowing when the Red Sox lost because of the expression on everyone's face as they walk in crowds going opposite of fenway, taking the T (subway/train) and holding in laughter as i see someone who's about to throw up on the stranger next to them because they're so wasted, falling and tripping in the T as i try to play it off even though everyone saw me while they don't offer to help me up, the first college dance i've been to-- "Snowball" (crazy times), donna's background vocals class, staying in classrooms jammin till 1:30AM or until the security kicks us out, eating at mcdonalds or wendys for days at a time because they're the only cheap food places around berklee, playing piano at st cecilia's and feeling the music in a totally different way than normal, being in the Bob Marley Ensemble with one of my best friends carly, waking up and looking at my phone seeing that i've missed my hip hop writing and production class for the 3rd time in a row, walking around in a LA Lakers hat and hearing a random voice say "F*** LA!", getting my haircut at Floyd's Barbershop next to the nasty chinese food place Nan Ling that everyone only eats at cuz its open till 3AM, going to Shaw's in the middle of the night, bugging andrew to sleepover at his place cuz me, kris, and angel are too lazy to walk home, making my first snow angels in my first northeastern winter, singing backups for singers night, trying out and getting called back and learning from failure, my teachers, blogTV sessions from berklee classrooms and/or andrew's apt, walking around northeastern's campus wishing that berklee had one, dance parties in the berklee classrooms (CLUB 208!), the library that had every music book ever printed, the heartwarming welcome cecily and jess gave me when i didn't have a place to stay, my roomates dwight/kels and pablo and our interesting and random moments, the musicians that have made me wanna practice the minute i was out of their presence, going outside during a full moon eating a banana for good luck, crossing the street that seemed to always have cars on it therefore having to run every single time, visitors who i brought around Boston to explore as i was doing as well, being with my family in a hotel all weekend, helping people with their MUSIC homework opposed to math and science and things like this, the first trip i made in boston to the aquarium, my last jam session with Ahmir at BU in the stairwell, seeing john mayer on the streets of boston-- and i will never forget the people that i have met during my stay here that will hold places in my heart until the end of time.

you kicked snow in my hi-tops, you blasted rain in my face at 20mph, you caught me outside without a jacket during a storm, you made me look at nature differently, you gave me fresh air and endless sky, you gave me the freedom to walk your streets with nothing but music on my mind, and you have made me a better person. i will miss you, Boston.

plane leaves at 6:40PM from Logan Airport. oh how i hate goodbyes. lets make this "goodbye" a "see ya later" k?
goin' home.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

so this is it...

the final curtain call. my time here is over.
-jesse barrera

well in 4 days. i'm almost outta here. and one thing that has been on my mind for a while is staying here at Berklee. it's so hard to think that i won't be around next fall, or spring, and i'm not sure how long it will take for me to come back, it could be never. but right now, i hope you guys understand that some places are not for everyone. as much as i enjoyed Berklee College of Music, i must bid my goodbye. for now at least. right now, what's important to me is being with my family and focusing solely on my career as an artist. it's almost been 5 years since i've written my first song, and since then i have worked so hard on songwriting, singing, and performing. i'm not saying i deserve anything because everything i have is a blessing and i wouldn't mind if this was as far as i got, but i long to spread my music to as many people possible, and i think right now the ball is rolling for me and it's all about timing. i hope you all support my decision, and know that i have had plenty of fights with my family about my decision. as far as my mom goes, she supports me 100% and i am very blessed to have her support because i know its hard to support someone trying to make a living off of music. while i'm out in California, i'll be taking a few classes at RCC (since i'm already enrolled and was attending a year prior) and just taking it slow for now. hope you guys know that i have thought long and hard about this, and right now i think i need to be in California. believe it or not, jam sessions till 4am happen more on the west coast. i love you guys. and i'll keep you guys posted with everything.

people at Berklee (and the rest of Boston); thank you for your friendship, and teachers too-- all of you are inspiring. i wish you all the best of luck. and for those i shared close friendships with; i will miss getting classrooms with you all and staying until security kicked us out at 1AM. thank you for believing in me, and for the good times. i will never forget them.

but im not gone yet, i got 4 more days. and my family is here with me until monday, but wednesday i go back to the west coast, stay at my house for a day, then fly up to Canada for a show in Winnipeg on the 15th (more info on my myspace), and im back home for good.

ps sorry its been a while, i was waiting for the right time to write about this. take care ya'll


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

great weekend...

had so much fun this weekend. landed in Virginia on friday morning, and met Suzanne who is one of my really good friends now. Vince Lacsamana got me out for this show (check him out on youtube!) Jeremy (aka Passion) landed like 30 mins after me and we went to the house we stayed at. there were 4 mattresses set up for JR Aquino, me, Gabe Bondoc, and Jeremy. it was awesome. we had FIVE GUYS burger and fries which was freakin BOMB with JR after we picked him up from the bus station. we met plenty of people that night, jammed out till late in the morning with disney songs and old school R&B and boy band songs, and Gabe and Christina Luna arrived late at night, and we CONTINUED our jam session.

saturday was the conference and we had all woken up very early to attend. the first workshop was the asian american music industry workshop led by Christina Luna. she is the head of LunaCo and is an amazing business person and manages the likes of Gabe, Leejay, Legaci, and more. the conference was awesome because we all got to speak (the artists) on our views about the industry, our internet marketing, and music in general. i believe it was a successful workshop with all the students who attended learning something new. we went to georgetown later that night and ate at chipotle, and walked around and took pictures at these very nice fountains.

the show on sunday was definitely one of the most awesome experiences out-of-state i've ever had. ill literacy was there, a hip hop spoken word group, rick cordero was also there, a director and founder of 3/21 media, who has directed the likes of snoop dogg, nas, the roots, and many more. there were many great performances that day, and the show lasted 5 and a half hours!!! sounds long, but every act was good. i know you've probably been to those shows that were that long, waiting for your friend to go up or your favorite artist but inbetween were some really long and lame performances, just being honest. hahah. anyway this show was full of awesome talent and entertainment. jr went on and killed it, and later on gabe went on (whose guitar skills amaze me even more each time i see him perform, then jeremy (passion) went on and called me jr and gabe up to the stage to sing "something special" by usher with him. epic moment, def something i'll never forget. i went on last and played showstopper, starlit nights with turn your lights down low in place of the bridge, a disney medley, my soldier, she was mine ft jr aquino on the chorus hahah, and i just want you. i asked everyone to come to the front to come sing along right before the bridge, and it was so awesome. i didnt realize how many fans i had in this area they call the DMV. i was humbled.

pictures, signings, and cd sellings went great and lasted for an hour or more, then we all ate at honey pig (this bomb korean bbq place, SO BOMB) and said our goodbyes, went back to the house, said more goodbyes, slept very late in the morning, and was dropped off by timi, alan, and suzanne, and said my last goodbyes, while everyone was still sleeping at the house (jr, gabe and jeremy). i was pretty sad on the plane ride back to boston, but everyone's gotta go back to reality sometime.

i came home to a very stressful day to be honest, but that can come later.

heres a video i did with gabe at vince lacsamana's house.

love yall so much

ps "I JUST WANT YOU" the techno version is up for download for FREE on my myspace. read profile for details

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

the latest... my sincere apologies...

wow its been a while. im so sorry. i owe you guys an update. to everyone who's been trying to contact me via internet, cell phone, whatever, im sorry its been so hard to contact me lately. i have been struggling with so much: music, love, family, and everything else. 

since the last blog, you've probably been wondering about Dustin's status. his operation went well, but the after results are not the best news. his heart was transplanted correctly, but the heart doesn't pump blood fast enough, so complications will slowly start happening. the doctor told him that he only has 13 months to live. 

this is the most tragic news anyone can get, especially for the fact that he is a 15-year-old kid who loves music and his family. please pray for him, and i hope the doctors are wrong. i pray to God that he gets better. 

(read the previous blogpost and watch the video if you don't know what i am talking about)

anyway last weekend, i dedicated all my songs to him and shared his story with everyone back in california. everyone was touched by his story and his strength and the way that music has touched his soul. please continue to pray. 

i have been talking to my friends and we are all discussing a possible fundraiser to get him and his mom out here in the US for a big show this summer. anyone down to help out for that? 

anyway, my most recent video has been featured on YOUTUBE.COM on the main page and it's an awesome feeling, it almost feels like ur at the top of the world for a second. "Those Lips". this is all because of all of your support and love. you all deserve some cupcakes. LOVE YOU ALL!!! thank you for being my motivation to keep going and to keep playing. music is the only thing in this world right now that makes sense. keep it alive, and keep it in your life. 


Thursday, April 9, 2009

such great heights..

this blog is overdue. and im sorry about that. i just wanted to take this time to tell you about whats goin on in my life.

just hit 6MILLION plays on my myspace. what the freak. #48 top unsigned artist on MYSPACE. #65 most subscribed all time musicians on youtube. thank you from the bottom of my heart.

but other than cyberspace, ive been chillin w good friends and awesome musicians lately. actually not chillin, but doin work, as in music and writing and practicing. sometimes i feel as if ive put too much on my plate. but i know God won't give me more than i can handle.

ive got a couple of shows coming up. tomorrow (friday) in UMass Boston at 6PM and the rest are on my calendar on my MYSPACE. PLEASE PLEASE check it out i might be going to a town near you. 

anyway, this pretty much explains what ive been going through.

meet Jess Delgado (,, & my amazing musician friends Andrew Rhim (,, & Kris Collins (,

i love you all as much as i love music. well, almost.

hehe jk.

Monday, March 30, 2009

crazy long weekend/adventures in FL & NY

so thursday morning my band and i were off to florida. we took northwest airlines and it was hella early in the morning. 6am was our flight, so we had to be there by 5. noah, andrew, and i were at andrew's and shiori (shorty) met us there. the plane ride there was not too bad, we stopped in memphis, and once we got in florida, it was raining cats and dogs. first thing shorty said was, "the weather sucks". we were like damn. we got to the hotel cuz ian and nikki (asian american student union board members) picked us up. again, shorty had the first words when we got to the hotel room. seeing two queen-size beds, she quickly said "so hows this gonna work?" we briefly explained that we (as guys) talked about the bed placement and of course decided she was gonna have her own bed, so thats how it was. jr aquino arrived around the same time so we all went together from the airport to the hotel where we all stayed.

the show was later canceled and rescheduled till friday, the next day, which turned out to be the better choice because we hadn't had gotten a drumset yet. later this night, thursday, we all attended an open mic night called "black on black poetry". it was a mostly african-american based poetry night, but me, noah, and jr had enough guts to get up on stage and sing some tunes. instead of clapping, they gave out shakers and it was the most supportive audience ever. noah played for the first time in front of people, and me and andrew played "little piece of home", while jr aquino sang "oh mama" by justin nozuka. when we got home, me noah andrew and jr played bananagrams, while shorty was deep asleep after a long-ass day. me and jr took the floor, and noah and andrew had the bed for the night.

friday was awesome, we rented drums, and shorty chose the best set available (pearl exports) and it was 100 dollars to rent.. for the whole month! so our new friend Vu rented it for his apartment. the show was after a cooking workshop, and it included an awesome poet/spoken word artist by the name of Asia. he was on def jam poetry hosted by mos def on TV and has had many appearances everywhere. he was really inspiring. after him, my band and i played our first show. and it was freakin dope! everyone loved it, and of course i was feelin it. i could play with this band forever. the vibe is just there. after what, FOUR rehearsals altogether?! mannn i couldnt believe how powerful the connection felt that night.

me and jr played the 4 chord tribute at comedy zone later that night, and jr departed from us after that night so he could get some rest. shouts to jon cardona real fast! so jr played a show the net day at FSU while the band and i were OFF to NEW YORK in the AM!

this day was nuts. long story short- got on the plane to atlanta, a mechanic didn't come through till an hour later, so we had to get off the plane. this meant we missed our connecting flight to NY, so we had to reschedule. it changed airports on us, so our baggage wasn't at the new airport even tho it was supposed to be "re-checked". we waited an hour to see if it would come on the next flight from atlanta, but the baggage office guy (he was filipino) told us it was at JFK airport not Laguardia where we were at. we took a taxi to JFK ($35). got dropped off in the wrong place. had to walk up a long ass hill to the right terminal to get our baggage. took another taxi to the venue ($55) and didn't get to sound check because we arrived right at 6PM. which was when the meet&greet started for the show.


the fans and the show made up for all that though. i didn't expect to see more than 10 people who knew who i was, but there we were overwhelmed by the love and support. i felt like i was at home. the show was unbelievable. all this talent. check out Stone Forest Ensemble & Magnetic North & Jay Legaspi by the way!!! shorty was feeling sick so she went back to boston on the Chinatown bus right after we played. me andrew and noah were sad, but we made the most of our time in new york, with angel and kris, and ryan bandong & crew. met a lot of new friends and fans, and now im just glad to be back in Boston.

"I Just Want You" - AJ Rafael Band

ps watch in High Quality (HQ) and listen to that MEAN hi-hat that shiori's playin. DAYUMM.

love yall so much. so tired now. gnite.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


it's too late.

sorry i haven't been on this blogspot. after my birthday things got crazy a little bit. celebrated it 3 times. twice here in Boston, and once in California. Larry & Jesse from My American Heart came to my house so everyone felt "cool" and we made the most of the night on saturday. they stayed over and we all chilled on Sunday. the start of spring break was awesome. MUSIC.

it was so nice being home, almost too nice. no cold-ax wind, no below freezing weather, no walking around the whole dang town, and no school. i wanted to stay forever. andrew rhim (my guitarist) came down on wednesday, and we played a show at Diamond Bar HS which went better than i expected. we played a show the next day at my old middle school Vista Heights. Friday was the big show in San Diego at "It's Yogurt Time" and everyone loved andrew which was dope becuz i've never really had another guitarist play with me at a show, besides Steven Cole whom some of you probably remember.

me, dusty, and rb spent a lot of time in Chino (dustynaka and rbizzzle on twitter) during spring break. it was awesome. i chilled with a lot of old friends back home, but not everyone, which was kinda sad because i had a whole week opposed to just the weekend and i still didn't have time for everyone. next time for sure.

tomorrow i'm practicing with my band one last time before the shows this weekend. thursday at Florida State University @ the Union Green at 6PM and friday at Comedian Zone at FSU as well. JR Aquino is also performing. saturday is a show in NEW YORK at the American Red Cross Headquarters in New York on 49th St. show starts at 6 and Magnetic North is playing. can't wait.

this weekend is gonna be awesome with my band. we've named ourselves (after weeks and weeks of hard pondering) the AJ Rafael Band. short and sweet. we did have a couple of names in line. AJ Rafael and the: Loveless, Hi-Tops, Infinite Playlist, Nine Lives, just to name a few. glad we came to this decision tho. more profiles on them later. they are the dopest people.

school's getting better, but Boston's not. i realized how much of my heart i left in Cali this time around. Boston got nothin on the west coast. no offense.

to see videos from last weeks shows search "aj rafael yogurt time" "aj rafael diamond bar" on YOUTUBE.COM and you will find them.

love you all and sorry for the lag.

my newest video. don't forget to follow me on ya'll should all get one!!! aj rafael's twitter profile