HAN CHIANG COLLEGE AUTOCROSS (PART 2)

Han Chiang College Autocross Competition

Here are the long overdue photos from the recent Han Chiang College Autocross Competition I participated in.

Everything has been happening at a breakneck pace since I returned from the Philippines and I have barely had time to breathe.

In case you’ve forgotten about this event, read my earlier post about it here.

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DC X SBTG PHILIPPINES TOUR (EPILOGUE)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

I’d like to take a little time to reflect on my recent trip to the Philippines, so I hope you’ll indulge me.

To say that the 9 days I spent in Cebu and Manila was an eye-opener would be a gross understatement.

I really saw and experienced some things which I have never done before and believe me when I say I’ve seen and experienced some pretty crazy things in my lifetime.

I’ve been trying to work out what makes the Philippines such an amazing place – is it the kick-ass restaurants? The super-happening clubs? The plentiful shopping? The incredible 5-star accomodation I had?

None of those.

The thing that makes the Philippines such an amazing place is THE PEOPLE.

I have never met a race of friendlier people. I don’t know how to explain it but if you go there, you will understand.

Everyone I met, from hotel staff to waiters/waitresses in restaurants to random people I talked to  was super friendly and courteous to a level I have not encountered before.

Every day when I was in the Philippines I felt TRULY ASHAMED to tell people I was from Malaysia because the general populace here has no manners, no etiquette, no social graces and NO COURTESY. Malaysians are like this because they don’t know any better. If your parents lack social etiquette I think it’d be hard for you to be any wiser and hence generation by generation, Malaysians are getting ruder and ruder – so instead of moving forward, we are actually going backwards.

All the young people I met in the Philippines were extremely well-mannered and respectful of their elders – 2 traits which you will find hard to find in the youth of Malaysia. All the leaders of our country have NEVER done anything to properly treat the social ills of our country and kids are basically left to their own devices.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Another thing that I found really impressive about the Philippines was the Primer Group.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with and come into contact with many companies/corporate entities both big and small from around the world but I have never encountered a company like Primer.

From top to bottom, everyone in the company is friendly, thoughtful and professional. No matter who I talked to from the company, be it super friendly COO Jacky Quintos to raging disco queen Arthur Elefante, I always felt a friendly, family-type warmth and sincerity that really moved me.

To me these are people who care passionately about what they do and they are happy for you because you are there on this journey with them also. Not once did I ever see anyone lose their temper or look even remotely unhappy (despite all the stress and pressure of pulling off 4 different events in the space of one week)

One night I bumped into Soleil Sanchez from Primer at 2am in the Makati Shangri-La’s lobby where she was pulling an all-nighter with some others to get ready for the fashion show and she was still all smiles.

You could say that this was all a facade because we were only there for a week and everyone wanted to give us a good impression, but I’ve been back in Malaysia for 2 weeks and people from Primer are STILL in contact with me, even if it’s just a, “Hey, how ya doing?” message on Facebook.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Sometimes, through fate and a few strings pulled here and there, the stars align and shit really does come together as evidenced by the gathering of an incredible group of people on this trip.

You know sometimes people just click and everyone gets together like a house on fire? I think this was one of those occasions and even though every day was jam packed with stuff I still managed to spend time and get to know most of the crew pretty well and I consider myself fortunate to have met these people.

And for people I’ve met before (like Mark Ong and Jeremy Hale) we got to spend some quality time together and have a chance to understand each other better, which I really appreciate.

I’m fucking happy to have met EVERYONE on this trip! EVERYONE!!!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

I know some of you will be mad when I say this (but that’s only because you are one of the 99% I am referring to in the following statement) – Filipino DJs shit all over 99% of Malaysian DJs.

Every single club/bar I went to in Cebu and Manila had the dopest music, hell even the DJ that Primer hired for the basketball game played better music than most clubs in Malaysia (and definitely ALL the clubs in Penang) so yet again, I felt really ashamed of our country.

Even those of you who DJ in so-called “big” or “famous” clubs in Malaysia won’t be able to touch the average Filipino DJ – FOR SURE because all you guys know how to do is play whatever the fuck Hitz.fm is playing on the radio. At the skate demo in Cebu, the DJ there played one whole day of hip-hop and not ONCE did I hear a song that you will hear on the radio here. It was amazing and made me remember why I love old-school hip-hop so much.

But I’m not saying 100% of Malaysian DJs suck. Only 99%. People like Goldfish, Blink and Fuzz would kill it over there!

I’m also not saying 100% of Filipino DJs are the bomb – just 100% of the ones I heard when I was there!

I loved this fact because I felt I had to perform even better than I normally do and luckily I had some banging tunes in my bag that no one had heard before. I’m so glad I worked my ass off for 2 weeks before going to the Philippines digging for new tunes and stuff. Filipino clubbers know their shit!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

I want to thank Cherice FredricksGary Parsons and DC Shoes for letting me be part of this incredible week! It was an honor for me and I hope I managed to contribute in some small way to the bigger picture.

I’d also like to thank the Primer Group for taking such good care of me while I was in the PhilippinesJacky Quintos, Jimmy Thai, Johnny Thai, Jerry Sy, Willy SyMacel Abejero, Soleil Sanchez, Arthur Elefante, Timmy Cruz and everyone else at Primer!

Special thanks must go to Paul Sy and Dino Gilladoga from Primer. Paul, you are the SUPREME PIMP OF THE PHILIPPINES and Dino, you are the COOLEST GUY AT PRIMER. I love you two so much!

My biggest thanks must go to Jeremy Hale – mate, thank you for thinking of me for this tour and getting me involved! Thank you so much.

THANK YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

DC X SBTG PHILIPPINES TOUR – DAY 9

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

My flight to leave Manila was in the afternoon, so before I left I sat down to have a quiet lunch with Soleil from Primer.

I wanted to try the Inagiku Japanese restaurant at the Makati Shangri-La, and I’m sooOoo glad I did.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

They had uni (sea urchin) on the menu, which is like my favorite sashimi so I had to order it!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

And holy shit would you look at the price??? Uni is CHEAPER than Ika??? WTF?!?!

I nearly shit a brick when I saw the price on the menu. 350 pesos??? That’s less than RM26!

In Malaysia, less than half of what they served me would already cost like RM80-90.

Goddamn I so want to move to the Philippines, if only for the uni!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

I also ordered some beef teppanyaki and when I put the first piece into my mouth I screamed out loud (and probably scared the people at the next table) because it was so fucking good!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Damn seriously this was THE BEST beef teppanyaki I had ever eaten. Hands down. And I’ve eaten a LOT of teppanyaki before.

Shit I don’t think I can even look at beef teppanyaki in Malaysia anymore.

If I could eat this every day for the rest of my life I would die such a happy man!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Anyway, after that lunch to die for, Soleil very kindly took me to the airport and it was with a very heavy heart, and very heavy, overweight baggage that I left the Philippines.

🙁

P.S. Hard partying and hard drinking boys Kieran Reilly, Bjorn Johnston and team manager Choi missed their flight back to Australia that morning. Tut tut, boys.

DC X SBTG PHILIPPINES TOUR – DAY 8 (PART 8)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Woo … a whole week of work over with … now was time for everyone (and I mean EVERYONE) to let their hair down.

I was told that the unofficial after party was at Manila’s hottest new club Encore so off we went!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Encore is a beautiful club, with a great mash-up music policy. It’s roomy and not too dark, so you can actually see the people you are talking too. It designed sort of like an old-school dance hall and there is a massive LED panel behind the DJ booth, which looks so cool!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Before I continue, I have to thank Rosario Herrera, editor-in-chief of Status Magazine, for taking care of us all night. When we arrived at Encore, we were having trouble getting in because some of the skaters didn’t bring any ID and of course Kieran Reilly is only 16, but as soon as Rosario arrived, she waved her hands at the bouncers and we all got in.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Not only did Rosario get all of us into Encore, she also sat us down at her table in the VIP area (where else?)

I really have to say a BIG, BIG thank you to Rosario because she made our last night in Manila such an enjoyable one.

Maraming salamat, Rosario!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

(L-R) Unknown chick, MiguelMong Alcarez from Chicosci, Michael Hirsiger from Quiksilver, Miguel Miggy Chavez from ChicosciMark Ong

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Ok … this is Arthur Elefante, who was one of the Elite Super Team from Primer that took care of us while we were in Manila.

Arthur worked hard all week to make sure all the events went smoothly and that we were all looked after.

Hell, he even did the boys’ laundry!

But now work was over and he was ready to partyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Paul Hutson was raging all night!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Mau, Steph and Yasha from Primer. Don’t be fooled by their demure appearance, these girls can really get down!

(here’s a little bit of trivia for you – I found out later that Steph is actually a very accomplished pole-dancer. What what?)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Buchi-kun and Mark. Tonight was definitely a good good night for Mark.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Everyone loves Cherice!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Rosario and another b-ball player (again, sorry I can’t remember his name)

Damn girl all you do is hang out with b-ball players! How are normal guys supposed to compete for your attention then?

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Oooh ahh … I was jacked up on vodka and Red Bull Supreme all night. I started slamming them down at Manor and just kept going at Encore.

There were times during the night that my hands were shaking and my heart was pounding so hard I thought it was going to explode. I thought it was because I was so psyched about the event and everything but later I realized it was the Red Bull Supreme doing it’s thang.

And you know what? I ended staying up for 43 hours straight.

I didn’t sleep till I got back to Malaysia!

Red Bull Supreme is THE BOMB.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

See? Everyone loves Cherice!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Arthur was sooo raging by this time. He turned into a super disco queen and attacked the dancefloor like it was 2012 (the movie) Hahaha

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

I like this photo of Greg wearing Re Re’s sunnies.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

But I like this photo even more! OMG I can’t stop laughing every time I see this photo.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Here is Arthur with Soleil Sanchez, who is also a member of the Elite Super Team from Primer and took really good care of us while we were in Manila from the minute we arrived (literally, coz she picked us up from the airport)

Manila wouldn’t have been the same without you, Soleil!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Kieran spreading his lovely abo-charm everywhere. Ah ha ha

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

I think Buchi-kun’s expression sums up how everyone felt by this time – super tired, but super happy.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

I wasn’t tired at all because I was all jacked up on Red Bull Supreme!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

The award for “Most Raging In The Philippines” most definitely goes to Kieran Reilly.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Photos alone cannot convey how hard he partied each and every time we went out.

I wish I had videos to show you, but alas, I don’t. 🙁

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

This is how Kieran ended up every night. At one point Encore’s security wanted to help carry him out but just as they were about to lift him up, he bounced up, had another shot and went straight to the dancefloor to rage some more.

But too much partying takes it’s toll on anyone … and by the time we got back to the hotel, Kieran was like this:

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Ah ha ha … so much more shit happened but I can’t show/tell you because I solemly promised some people – what happened in Manila stays in Manila!

DC X SBTG PHILIPPINES TOUR – DAY 8 (PART 7)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

After 2 weeks of writing about my whole trip to the Philippines, we have FINALLY arrived at the night of the DC X SBTG event.

This was the big night everyone was waiting for and I could almost feel the electricity in the air. The difference between this leg of the DC X SBTG Asia Tour and Tokyo/Taipei/Singapore was that not only did DC have some members of the general public and media coming to the party, all their Asian distributors were in town too, not to mention the skate team and me.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Primer transformed the inside of Manor into an “art gallery” – displaying all the skate deck art that people had submitted. On every stop of the tour, selected artists from each country were invited to customize a blank skate deck and enter a competition to win cash, prizes and a special pair of DC kicks customized by SBTG himself.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Naturally, as soon as the star of the evening arrived, media started grabbing him for interviews.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Some of the art I saw was incredible. I was really amazed at what the artists came up with and it was exciting just being in a room bursting with so much creativity.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

This guy transformed a deck into a guitar! This was definitely one of my favorite pieces from the night.

I think Sean Tierney and Ryan Hui will like this.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Like I said, amazing art. I think this was one of the winning pieces but when they were presenting the prizes I was getting ready in the DJ booth so I couldn’t see which deck won.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

I loved this deck too – it was almost like a tribute to that whole old school Guns N’ Roses-style illustration.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Dino being super suave in front of the cameras. He really is the coolest cat ever and during my whole time there I never saw him lose his cool even once, no matter what was happening. Always cool and always smiling – Dino Gilladoga.

(but can someone please tell me why the host is conducting an interview with her handbag strapped to her shoulder?)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Masa and the Japanese posse strike again!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Jimmy Sun and Beck Han (not Beckham, but Beck Han) – Taiwan and Korea represent!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Renee Renee was MCing for the event (who else?) and Primer also had another girl there to translate some of the stuff into tagalog.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

The beautiful lady on the right is Rosario Herrera, editor-in-chief of Status Magazine, the Philippines’ hippest mag. You know their shit is tight because they’ve featured What’s Good? before. Hehe

The guy on the left is a professional b-ball player in the Philippines (sorry Rosario, I can’t remember all of the ball players you introduced me to!)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Jennifer Harding and Jacky, COO of Primer – every time I saw Jacky he was smiling too. Always cool, always smiling and always super friendly!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Re Re performed a few songs from his album and Greg was so feeling it that he joined in on the chorus. This was an awesome shot by Shin Inoue (Transworld Japan)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

I was introduced to this hotness by someone from Primer. Apparently she was on the Amazing Race or something (I don’t know, I don’t watch a lot of TV but if I had known, I would have watched every episode for sure)

I swear the photo does not do her justice! She is 10x more beautiful in person!

Ermm … but I cannot remember her name at all. OMG I suck so much. Hahaha

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

So I got onto the decks right after Re Re performed.

Shin took these great shots for me since I couldn’t really take photos of myself DJing (arigato gozaimasu, Shin-chan!)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

The sound system at Manor was really hard to work with because their trebles were turned way up, to a level that hurts the ears (I don’t know why and if anyone from Manor is reading this you should definitely look at that otherwise everyone who works in your club is gonna get tinnitus)

I found this out when I was doing the sound check earlier, so I manually adjusted the levels on the mixer but it was tough! Normally I tweak the highs a lot when I DJ but I couldn’t do it at all at Manor. 🙁

Halfway through my set Bjorn Johnston came into the DJ booth and started pestering me to play a song off his iPod, which was pretty fucking annoying since he made me miss once of my cue points. -_-”

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Greg Myers came to hang out in the booth for a while too but he was totally cool and did not get in my way at all.

I hung out with a lot of cool people on this trip but I’d have to say I probably spent the most time with Greg. He is a really fun guy to be with an of course a fucking amazing skateboarder! I am seriously in awe of his talent.

If you haven’t seen him skate before please go watch this now!

We had some pretty good times in the Philippines, eh brother? 😉

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

In conclusion, the DC X SBTG party was awesome – not only from a PR standpoint for DC but it also gave a chance for young artists to get recognized for their talent.

It was also of course the best way possible to celebrate the launch of the DC X RoyalefamCircus of Mutants” collection. Mark is a crazy talented artist and deserves all the recognition that he is receiving right now.

Primer did a great job putting on this event and it seemed like they had an army of people working to make things happen.

I only wish that more members of the public had been invited to the party so they could have experienced all the cool shit we had going on.

I am extremely honored that DC saw fit to make me part of the circus (pun intended) and I hope I did you guys proud!

DC X SBTG PHILIPPINES TOUR – DAY 8 (PART 5)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

The club where the DC X SBTG event was in a district called Eastwood in Manila, and 2 minutes away was a DC store so I dropped by to pick up some goodies.

All of the DC stores in the Philippines have a really good selection of product and it’s not hard to see why DC is one of the top skate/street brands in the country.

As with all the other Primer DC stores I had been to, the staff were courteous, helpful and of course good-looking.

(sorry, I was too busy trying on clothes and kicks to take too many photos)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Renee ReneeMark and all the distributors came along too to check out the store too and I think almost everyone did a little shopping before the party.

I was so psyched at this time because the big party that we were all waiting for was only 2 hours away!

DC X SBTG PHILIPPINES TOUR – DAY 8 (PART 3)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Following the intense b-ball game, Primer arranged for all of us to have lunch at their HQ – the Primer Star Center, a beautiful 10-storey building smack in the middle of downtown Manila.

The building houses (amongst other things) – their offices, their stockrooms, TWO gyms for employees, a gallery on the ground floor and even a hotel for special guests on the top floor (which I’m told is even more luxurious than the Makati Shangri-La)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Primer set up a scrumptious buffet spread for us and it was actually the first time on this trip that I actually got to sample some proper Filipino cuisine (it was good!)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Wandering around the Primer offices, you will see random stuff like this pair of DC X Royalefam Gatsbys that are not being released until Fall this year – but here they are just “hanging” around the office.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

I also scoped this pair of Ken Block Pro Spec 2.0s … arrghhhhhhh

I’d like to thank Primer for the lovely lunch and hopefully next time I can check out the hotel aswell!

🙂

DC X SBTG PHILIPPINES TOUR – DAY 8 (PART 2)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Right after breakfast, all the conference delegates were taken to the Philippines Sports Commission for a friendly game of basketball.

Primer had booked an entire indoor stadium for us to play ball in, and they even hired a DJ & sound system so we had some good tunes!

It was a great way to break the momentum of the conference as everyone had been working really hard for the past couple of days.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

(L-R) Jimmy (CEO Primer Group), Eldrich Legaspi (DC filmer), Mark Ong and Paul Hutson (CEO Quiksilver Southeast Asia)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

DC had these kick-ass Rebound LX’s flown in especially for all of us to wear at the game. They are super dope and super fresh b-ball shoes. I wore these for 5 days straight after getting them (those who know me know I never wear the same pair of kicks more than 2 days in a row) – that’s how much I love them.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Masa Uchino and Jimmy Sun!

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

The dodgy “dark” team.

Not only do they like fouling people from the other team (*ahem* *ahem* Mr. Hutson) – they also like to take out their own team mates! (*ahem* *ahem* Mr. Hale)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

The stadium had an old-school type of charm to it and was a great setting for the basketball game. I didn’t play because 1) I suck at all sports except motorsports and 2) I wanted to conserve my energy for my gig later that night.

And plus, if I played, who would be taking photos?

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Renee Renee celebrating the “light” team’s victory. The final score was a very close 34-36.

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Here’s a little video clip I threw together of some of the action, I hope you enjoy it:

DC X SBTG PHILIPPINES TOUR – DAY 8 (PART 1)

DC X SBTG Philippines Tour

Finally … we’re down the home stretch … Day 8 of my incredible trip to the Philippines (courtesy of DC Shoes)

Day 8 was also the longest day of my life. Don’t worry, I’ll explain later.

I woke up at 7.30am and made my way downstairs for breakfast (btw, the Makati Shangri-La has one of the BEST breakfast buffets I’ve ever had anywhere in the world)

I sat down with Mark, who had been up since 6am because the itinerary that was given to him said breakfast at 6am.

Oops.

I’ve known Mark for a couple of years now and I’ve always respected him highly for his amazing talent so I was super happy that he had this whole Asia tour to bring his art to more people.

We managed to do a lot of catching up over breakfast and Mark told me about some of his upcoming projects (I’m so psyched for you, bro!)

He also told me about why he folded the Royalefam apparel line, which I was REALLY sad to hear since I loved their designs so much.

P.S. Mark and his constant collaborator Peter Kim aka Methamphibian once made a prototype pair of kicks for me, which I still treasure immensely to this day.