The name is Wilmer Joshua Cruzada. People call him Wiljo. Filipino. Born and raised in the Philippines. Currently lives in Las Vegas. Musician. Amateur visual artist. Pizza lover. Chicken Murderer. Ninja assassin in training. Arachnophobic. Arsonist. The Rock & Roll Man. Deal with it.
Anything that you want to say privately, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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All posts here © Wiljo Cruzada 2009 - 2014 unless stated otherwise. All rights reserved.
Well known artists came to Las Vegas for the Freedom Concert held at Sports Club of Las Vegas last June 14th. It was a very hot and humid afternoon. My good friend and bandmate Jason Zafra along with his wife Marilee produced the show and me and my wife had the privilege to take photos of the said event. Such event is great to have since a lot of us Filipinos are getting home sick and we want to feel that we’re at home even for a short amount of time. Even though a lot of them have TFC (The Filipino Channel) here anyways. Well, I don’t. Most Filipino TV shows are full of shit anyways. The same old shit that has been served since way back. The only thing that matters to me now is the news. But nonetheless, I wanted to be there because I wanna know for myself how good these artists really are in live.
Janelle So was the host and they started the show with some local Filipino talents singing a couple of songs to warm the crown up. They’re not that bad.
Sheryn Regis. I knew back then when she was just starting that she’s a really great singer. And she just nailed it. Her beauty plus that unique voice, what more can you ask for? I am heavy metal guy but I do know how to enjoy a great talent.
Jonalyn Viray was also there. She did a couple of songs. I was a bit surprised that she decided to go down the stage and be close with the people. She did great.
Giselle was next and did her stand-up routine. The type of entertainment that you would find in a comedy bar. I haven’t been there before but it felt that I was in one. She had help with some audience and it was entertaining.
Allan K. came soon after and did his own stand-up routine. Everyone in the room was just bursting out with laughter. FIlipinos find gay comedians much funnier probably because they have a certain way of presenting their material that no one else can. His set was hilarious to say the least.
Then, there was Marian Rivera. Her presence just made everyone mental. With that beauty and enthusiasm, she is just a delight to everyone. She also did called some audience members to dance with her on stage which is a typical sight to see in these type of shows.
But one thing I noticed though. She was singing through a pre-recorded vocal track which made me disappointed and at the same time, not that surprised. Philippine showbiz demands one to be an all packaged entertainer. If you can act, you should also know how to sing and vice-versa. Unfortunately, very few of them who could only do such and it doesn’t always mean that if you’re good at one thing, you’re also good at another. But she knows where to speak spontaneously in between the songs, I’ll give her that. And by just a couple of songs, a little dance and wave to the crowd, she was done. People wanted more of course but I was just glad that it’s over with.
Ogie Alcasid. The singer songwriter. He knows how to act. He knows how to sing. He has multiple films and TV shows under his belt that I really enjoyed and he wrote tons love songs that is considered by many as timeless classics. He is that damn good.
Regine Velasquez came in last. He sang a couple of songs with his husband Ogie Alcasid at the beginning and she took over the stage. Most of them were on their feet and before long they were at the bottom of the stage where I was, excited to see the Asia’s Songbird showcase her powerful voice.
And because I was that close to the stage, I can hear her raw singing voice. Without the enhancement of a mic or whatsoever, she is the real deal. And that’s why she is respected that much through all these years and for years to come.
It was a great show. Great job to all the organizers and all the people who made it possible. Such show with this magnitude is very hard to pull. Glad to see a lot of people smiling and hearing them laughing. And I can finally cross off some names on my bucket list as I finally seen few of the the many Philippines’ greatest singers perform live.
Shot with Canon EOS 7D with 50mm 1.4 lens and Fujifilm X100s
This blog entry is way overdue. Ridiculous. I finished writing this late February of this year and for some reason, I just completely forgot about it. Not to mention, first entry of the freakin’ year! But anyways, here it is.
I haven’t done a proper photography in a long while. It is just probably because I am tired all the time or I am too busy with my band stuff. Either way, I’ve been missing it. But I was uninspired with ideas. A walk in the streets and just shoot around would be just fine but overtime I realized that shooting with DSLR has some serious disadvantages. First, its presence to other people. I did a street photography at Fremont in Downtown Las Vegas a couple of months back and remembered how some people reacted when I shoot towards their direction. Some of them were putting their heads down. Others were moving out of the frame. And some are just obviously uncomfortable with it. I mean, I can’t blame them though. Having a DSLR pointed at you out of nowhere is pretty fucking intimidating indeed. It screams “professional photographer”, even though Im not. Second, was its weight. I don’t know if I am getting grumpy and old but my Canon 7D, for some strange reason, became suddenly heavy. Yes I know there’s no possible way that could happen but overtime, it became somewhat inconveniet of having it as a carry around camera due to its weight. I realized this after attending my friend and bandmate Jason and his now wife Marilee’s wedding last December (see last post). I wanted to capture the fun moments with my awesome Canon 7D. It would’ve been great if it wasn’t for the camera strap that I forgot back at home (freakin’ genius). I had no choice but to handheld the camera throughout the night. The photo results that I got was quite fantastic. After all, it’s a Canon 7D with a 50mm 1.4 lens on it. But the experience of getting those shots was an uncomfortable one. The weight just sucks the life out of your motivation and creativity. I went home and couple of hours later, my right arm was in so much pain. And that was the moment I considered looking for other options.
I’ve been hearing about the buzz on mirrorless cameras for quite sometime now. No brand in particular, the system boasts on a high end DSLR quality performance in compact style camera. So I did my countless nights of reading reviews and forums of various mirrorless cameras as getting a new camera is a very big investment not just financially. With all things heavily considered and to cut the story short, it was down to Sony a7 or the Fujifilm X-Pro 1. And X-Pro 1 was the one that I’ve decided to have not only because of its image quality and style, the X lenses were nothing but praises according to the people who have it.
It was set on my mind. The X-Pro 1. With the 35mm 1.4 lens. I must have it. Endless nights of thinking. It was one of the worst cases of gear acquisition syndrome that I’ve ever experienced. I was so ready to pull the trigger. But I wasn’t financially ready then. And thinking about it now, it was a good thing after all. It made me wait. And waited I did.
CES 2014. Fujifilm announced new cameras. One of them was the black noir X100s. The silver one was fine but I wasn’t really digging it. But when I saw the black version of the X100s, I automatically fell in love with it. It looks sleek, classy, black and stealthy, few of the reasons why I wanted the X-Pro 1 in the first place. And it automatically daunted on me what I really need a mirrorless camera for. I just needed a light carry around camera with a great image quality and that will make me enjoy photography in a different way. I don’t need another expandable system camera as I already have it in my Canon 7D. Not only that, when I looked back at my past photos with my Canon 7D, I realized that I am more of a wide angle prime shooter. It was probably ages when the last time I used a zoom lens for a proper shoot. And Fujifilm right now only offers prime lenses. Everything made sense to me all of a sudden. Financially, necessity, and logically wise, the clear choice was the X100s.
I am just a semi serious hobbyist. Not a pro and certainly not making money out of it. Photography is a lot of fun but can be very expensive hobby.
The Fujifilm X100s is quite perfect for that carry around everyday camera. As I call it the “ninja” camera, its discreet, retro looking makes it less intimidating yet very interesting to other people. People say the quality of this camera tops most of the DSLR in the market today. Well, I couldn’t agree more. It takes unbelievably sharp and colorful photos straight out of the camera. You won’t be needing to process your photos in RAW most of the time. But personally, I’d still prefer the RAW process as I find it half the fun of shooting and making the photo. As I write this, Adobe hasn’t released a Raw converter for the Fujifilm X100s for Photoshop. Lightroom has it. Too bad. I don’t know shit about Lightroom. I am a Photoshop guy.
I find the Aperture ring and the Shutter dial on top of the Fujifilm X100s more convenient than my Canon 7D. Everything I need to adjust are there. I don’t need to press my Q button and go by them one by one. Some users may find it hard to comprehend especially if they’re used to Program mode. I say do your assignment on learning the basics of photography especially the relationship of the trinity (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) and you’ll find the Fujifilm X100s a more fun of a camera than what it seems like. Yes it’s not a point-and-shoot camera. It may take time to learn its basic operations but its a process I’m surely you’ll be happy about.
December 8th 2013. A very important date for my brother in music Jason and his wife-to-be Marilee as they make their love and affection to each other official.
The ceremony was short but sweet. It was a garden wedding and it was perfect if it wasn’t just for the weather. Some of us just decided to stand at the very back under the sun because we’re literally freezing. After that, we head inside for the reception (which according to the program leaflets in open brackets, the reason why we all came).
The tables were sectioned according to band names which I thought was pretty brilliant. Me and my bandmates and our ladies sat on the ‘Nirvana’ table except for our vocalist Malou which sat on the ‘Pantera’ table and beside us was the ‘Avenged Sevenfold’ table. You get the picture.
The place had an open bar. The food was great. The drinks, amazing. I had 1 pint of Budweiser to get me started and a couple of Jack Daniels and Coke that was very well mixed. The taste wasn’t that strong but you can still feel the kick. Really amazing
It was really a fun and intimate night. Thanks a lot for making us a part of this very special day. More happiness till eternity. Enjoy your honeymoon. And when you comeback Jason, it’s time to play music and do some AntiTrust business again because I really miss it. Unbelievably.