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Photo taken from welove-music.com
Being in a production company and handling all sorts of jobs is no walk in the park.  I'm not here to discuss any technical details however, I'm here to share some experiences that I have.  Times evolve and so does music however, the concept of running an production outfit still remains the same and that is having a semblance of order, loyalty and most of all, accepting the fact that you are as good as your last show.  I'm writing from all propositions from being the ticketmaster, the production assistant, the events organizer, the event producer and the acting sound engineer even if no formal training was there.  Oh yes, I almost forgot, doubling also as the press release officer and the marketing specialist. I'm not that comfortable using the term specialist because my roles would often overlap, intertwine and yes, mix into one.  At the end of the day, two things would matter:  Did you treat your staff and the people working with you with respect and dignity?  Did you treat the artist well or did you just add to the exploitation factor of having them as your makeshift minstrels and clowns in your little inflatable castle?  Note that I used the term "working with you" which simply equates to active listening.  If you want to be in the circle of events or do plan to join an event company, here are the things you have got to remember:

1.  Keep in mind that the artist is flesh and blood just like you.  Treat them with respect BUT NEVER LET THEM STEP ON YOU.  If this happens then immediately complain to management.  Let them take care of it, not you.  Do not take the law in your own hands.  It is not that you are a coward but you are just showing that you have better manners than them.  
2.  Know your contract and your limitations.  Yes, always have a contract on what you are to do and what you are bound to do.  For lack of a better definition, but not to sound materialistic, know how much you are getting and DO NOT COMPLAIN because you signed into it.  For producers, you know how much they would receive so always have some back up cash if in case the concert goes belly-up but then again, this could be on a case to case basis.
3.  Know such terms such as the stage plan, the technical rider and the hospitality rider and if you man the gates, know the importance of a clicker and do not be shy to ask for a list of who are in the guest list particularly with bands and their PAs (production assistants), producers, people who are involved with the crew just in case they have a guest list.  Arguments and misunderstandings stem from this.  Know who have reservations and where will they be seated.  Have the immediate usherette escort them once they arrive if one is available.  Keep a tab on the IDs as far as the crews are concerned.  IDs for crews should be non-transferable otherwise you may have the entire plantation cropping in the venue for free.
4.  If you have multiple bands performing, ask each band who wants to go first or draw sticks if it has to be.  Big confrontations swell just because of such inaccurate organizing.
5.  Know your schedule and the itinerary of the day or for the show.  If you have a foreign artist with you and your cell phone is somehow logged on to facebook and twitter or you have unlimited texting capabilities, UNLESS PERMITTED by management, please DO NOT TEXT the entire planet where you are for bragging rights.  Privacy should be respected.
6.  FEED THE CREW. Let me elaborate on this, for mini-events, if you are not paying any talent fees, at least feed everyone.  You and the bar may half on this or if you know how to cook then please bring packed meals to feed them.  For wide range concerts, feed the crew on time or before the show starts.  Even if the event caters on a fund raiser or for charity, DO NOT ABUSE THE ARTIST, charity begins at home.  
7.  If you are an events producer having a foreign act, DO NOT TREAT the local artist headlining like second rate citizens.  Remember where you are!  Remember who you are!  It's not like you resurrected Lazarus to perform a Justin Beiber song and it still doesn't give you the right!
8.  Do not look down on The Press especially entertainment writers and bloggers and notably on the latter.  Entertainment bloggers have the power to reach out to a multitude of people marginally and oftentimes, they act as the Press Release Officer-Photographer-Reviewer-Events Planner all in one and yes they do charge for that. Information gets disseminated faster and it's cost-effective if the TV and Radio Ads are quite costly.  This is the internet age anyways.
9.  For those who are first timers in joining a production company, my advice: it's not about the tour, the free ticket and yes, going up close and personal with the artist.  It's about being treated well and yes, being treated with respect and trust like a family member from a producer's and an events organizer's standpoint.  From the other side of the fence, treat your people well and kindness will always overflow. Let them understand the ups and downs of being in the events scene and the people or situations they have to deal with.  Trust must be earned and yes, always have that contract handy.
10.  Be honest.  You are as good as the last show. Honesty is the best policy always.  Your works, not the gossip, outshine what you can do and I mean this on all sides.  Friends, enemies, frenemies, fans, haters...it doesn't matter.  What matters is the success of the show and the main reason why you are standing side by side...the event.  At the end of the day, it's not them who that you will go home to but it is through them that you will get paid whether the show flops or not.   All in all...KEEP YOUR HEAD WHERE YOUR NECK IS.

 
 
SEND-RECEIVE-WITHDRAW.  This simply means that if you have a Philippine Debit Card or Debit card, you are allowed to also withdraw money from your account.  Countless times I've been asked if Paypal allows other debit or credit cards other than Union Bank's EON Card.  For purposes of this discussion, I am using a Banco De Oro (BDO) ATM Debit Card since I do love their service.  My mother and other friends use a Bank of The Philippine Islands (BPI) Express teller card instead  but in any event, both cards have no problem linking with Paypal.  For purposes of this topic, I will assume one thing which is, the reader is new to paypal and would like to open up an account.  Furthermore, the reader has encountered concerns with their respective banks as these banks would tell them that they have no affiliation with Paypal or worse, the bank's branch employees would inquire if this can be done.  With all resonance, I answer with a clapping YES!  This topic is not new as a few blogs or sites have already spoken about this topic but for purposes of information and those that continue to ask help regarding this, here it goes BUT BEFORE PROCEEDING, KINDLY MAKE SURE THAT YOU HAVE AT LEAST PHP 250.00 AND ABOVE PESOS in your debit card.  Explanations will be provided as we move along.

1.  Sign up for a paypal account:
2. You will be asked your country of origin or region so kindly scroll down the drop down menu and select PHILIPPINES.  The next step is choosing between Personal, Premium and Business.  I would suggest you choose "Personal" UNLESS, you would want to use your account for business purposes which the two categories fall into.  At any rate, you could always upgrade in the future.



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Paypal Bank Withdrawal Codes
3.  Fill up the form as stated.  Kindly note the following:

3. A  The name in your bank account MUST MATCH the information that you will input in paypal.
3. B  Kindly look for the three or 4 digit code found at the back or front of your card.
3. C  You will be asked for the 9 DIGIT BANK CODE, for BDO it's 010530667 and for BPI, it's 010040018 and this is done in order for you to withdraw your cash sent from paypal.  To know your corresponding bank code, kindly just click on either pinoymoneytalk.com or ebay's paypal bank withdrawal page.



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confirmation for expuse number given by paypal
4.  Paypal will email you asking for the EXPUSE or the Expanded Use Number.  Now, they will auto-deduct a certain amount from your account, in my case, almost $2.00, why?  In order to verify your identity.  THAT WILL BE REFUNDED OR RETURNED BACK TO YOU once you have located and entered the EXPUSE number.

5.  WHERE TO LOCATE THE EXPUSE NUMBER AND HOW?

     5.A.  If you have an online bank account, check on your recent transactions and the identifier there would be the words "PP" and the four (4) numbers after that would be your EXPUSE NUMBER.  Kindly get that, log back into paypal and enter them.
     5.6.  I cannot speak for EON account holders as I have none however, another way of getting your EXPUSE number is for you to go to your corresponding branch, ask for the recent statement of account which will detail your transactions and once more, look for that clincher code or identifier and then log back to paypal and enter them.

**NOTE:  Paypal's customer service, either on the phone or online will never give that to you as that code is generated for your eyes only and they do not have any access to that.  That code can only be sent thrice so please be careful.  After three times, you would have to call them or email them.  Furthermore, unless your card is confirmed, there is a withdrawal limit to it.  PAYPAL'S TOLL FREE NUMBER is 1-402-935-2050 which is a US telephone number or you can send them  an email through paypal's site.



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Paypal Confirmation Email.
6.  Finally you will receive an email from paypal confirming your debit or credit card and it also informs you that the withdrawal limit has been lifted etc.

You can start using your corresponding debit card via the services of paypal.  If the amount that you would withdraw is more than PHP 7,000.00, there is no charges as far as the withdrawal fee is concerned, however, if it goes lower, there is an additional charge of PHP 50.00 and this is aside from your bank's charges.  So, if someone sends you for example, PHP 2,100.00, since BDO charges PHP 200.00 for such transactions, then expect that you would be credited PHP 1,900.00.  Again, FOR BDO patrons, if the amount deposited is more than PHP 7,000.00, PHP 200.00 will still be taken off as bank charges.  The same goes with BPI, if the amount deposited is PHP 7,000.00 or more, a PHP 150.00 will be shaved off once you receive your final credit.

**In my experience so far with BDO, receiving money from Paypal, and this is my personal experience, just in case there are no legal or announced holidays that is, I get my funds within one day and a half or less than two days.  Should the day be Friday, it would reflect, again, this is just my experience, by twelve midnight....of course, this can change dependent on factors that are beyond anyone's control such as holidays for instance.

 
 
ALLEGATION:  Mark Zuckerberg made no such statement.
QUESTION:  Is this the work of a spin doctor or another anomaly in the crevice of someone's hate campaign against Filipinos....you decide!

Thanks to Jim Ayson, a new nebula has been discovered called Hoax Slayer in which it tries to furiously debunk the internet rampage and warning every blogger available that IT WAS NOT MARK ZUCKERBERG himself who issued that statement against every Filipino user utilizing facebook.

It is obvious from the picture that it is not Mark Zuckerberg himself who placed that on the status message but instead, this is obviously a repost on someone else's wall or maybe from the originator himself.  What he has to gain?  Popularity? A concerned citizen out to send a message but just pointed at the wrong nationality? A hater?  We would never know.  

It is just alarming though that people would click on these images and BAM!  Either someone sends you a message in your facebook inbox or it has spammed the walls of others including foul language.  For those that are non-technical, it has caused anger and disdain among friends.  

Other techs would blame on certain facebook codes that are being posted on their pages but really, who does that?  Not everyone, right?

Moral of the story:  Instead of hitting the keyboards to retaliate on the person that allegedly posted this or worse, clicking on the photo or the link, report it as spam.  
 
 
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Mark Zuckerberg – CEO of Facebook
A message of concern to every Filipino and to those who have either accidentally or intentionally clicked on these flux of porn material in facebook whether it's on someone else's wall or it has been sent through their individulal fb inboxes.  

Quoted hereinafter are the following:Mark Zuckerberg – CEO of Facebook released an online statement regarding the spreading porn pics and spams. Released November 16, 2011 9PM Pacific Time Zone:

The porn attacks originated in the Philippines and are being published by Filipinos all over Facebook, our experts here at Facebook are doing everything they can to stop it from spreading any further (outside the Philippines) and to eliminate the porn and spam threat completely which have been causing other Facebook users ‘a hard time’. Filipinos should also be vigilant and report any spam links and pornographic materials. 41% of Facebook members around the world are aged 12-17 years old, we cannot be exposed to this kinds of things through Facebook. If this continues and more spams keep being posted, we will have no choice but to ban Philippine users from using Facebook. We at Facebook will not tolerate outlandish behavior and indecency. (underlined item made by the author of this blogpost)
Please be reminded that this has to stop.

I have noticed that most people in Facebook are posting pornography photos, sharing them which is bullcrap. If Apnea is a sincerely law-abiding citizen (despite being an alt-porn model), why can’t Filipinos do the same? C’mon, we’re always the target when it comes to sex. Foreigners go to the Philippines not only to tour around, but also because of sex.

This didn’t happen before. Unfortunately, since these porn thing went viral and shit, I think there’s something that we really have to do. Don’t just sit there and drool over these porn photos, you think it’s funny? Sharing pornographic material is really a sign of disrespect towards other people. Everything that is related to violence and porn, they’re just sick.

Pornography is not for general viewing

Basically, pornography is one of the social issues in the Philippines. If FHM is pornographic, Playboy’s worse. MAXIM isn’t bad, but it’s still for the matured people. Hentai, however, is alright since Japanese culture thinks that hentai is for entertainment. Why, do you think being a gravure idol is indecent? Malicious? Porn? If Japanese pop culture thinks that this is normal, what about the others? Of course, it’s malice. Malice, like everyone’s showing their kids pornography, which is again, indecent.

I really don’t know what to say, but let’s just hope that there are a handful who will report these photos…

Here’s another… warning

Pornbook. The CEO of Facebook warn us about this pornographic issues. By us means, We the Philippines, their data has been check and all the pornographic issues are being publish by us.. Filipinos.. If we continue this behavior, Facebook will ban Philippines.

Facebook currently has 4 VIRUSES:

1. If you get a notice of a PHOTO TAG. Do not open it.

2. If you get a notification that a friend reported you for offensive behavior etc. Do not open it.

3. Is a Video saying 99% of People can not watch this for more the 15 Sec. Do not open it is also a virus.

4. All Messages from your friends via chat saying click this link. Do not open! These are BAD ones and will crash your computer.

DISCLAIMER:  

In the last underlined statement above, I am in complete disagreement as it borders on prejudice and bigotry.  How Mark Zuckerberg and his team were able to arrive and trace that it was a Filipino that is doing this, I will not question.  However, banning an entire country from using facebook?  Not all accounts are free as there are also Filipino entrepreneurs and establishments that utilize their services for business interest.  Will they get banned too?  Isn't this a violation of any contractual obligation as well?  
It is hapless that the spate of "Porn Features" or "Porn Chain Mail" was traced back to the Philippines but I believe that whoever did this should be the one chastised and not an entire country.  
As a friendly advice since this menace has now plagued facebook, what it also does is auto post some nasty messages in your name or send this via your fb inbox.  So please help by not clicking on those links out of curiosity or to satisfy an urgent need to satisfy some craving of another kind or just mark it as spam and report it.

 
 
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It's Alive!
"The king is dead and long live the people who aim above
All the simple stuff never understood
Like right from bad and wrong from good
Deny that You were ever tempted by the lie
That there's an answer in the sky" -- Never Stop, Echo and the Bunnymen

I'm actually reminded of an EATB (Echo and The Bunnymen) song in the not so distant past category.  At that time, the lyrics sounded profound but counting "x" number of years forward...it all rings true particularly the lyrics I posted above.  For a certain amount of years I have slaved myself in the confines of four walls and strangers of different malevolence and benevolences.  Did my thoughts fit in?  Maybe yes and maybe no but I did learn the process of conformity which oftentimes I have detested as most were made of inconsequential inconsiderable norms that oftentimes debase even the basics of human thinking.  Howver, that is life which I must learn to live by. During a quarter of that time, I denied the truth and accepted the idealistic lie. After my final bow, I decided to open a laboratory which I myself am the test subject that waited for the lightning to strike.  I was my own Frankenstein!  I named my lab "Freelance" which spelled independence in another territory in the sky.  I re-christened myself by a new identity of "Freelancer".  Another apt description would be a modern day jouster except that his horse has been replaced by a chair and the lance has been replaced by a computer while the other forms of weapons would explicate into hardware, software, skype, magic jack, other calling tools, knowledge in spreadsheets, word, types of Customer Relationship  Management sites and tools, Contact Manager Softwares etc. for professions that require calls and emails inclusive of technical support.  For a welcome change, people who have the knack for writing can try their hand in being a writer in many forms such as blogging, being a ghost writer, or even a technical writer to name a few.  Working online doesn't always translate to being a web freak because you usually get paid in dollars then converted to your own currency usually via bank transfer or through Paypal worldwide or, it can be via Western Union or Xoom which, based on personal experience, I did not have any issues on except when the payroll date hits a bank holiday.


With this new lease on life.  The sun rose on the west with these following advantages, disadvantages and clarifications on common misnomers:

1.  You work on your own time:  Whether the rate is fixed or otherwise, it would still depend on the job.  If the job requires you to submit on a certain date and time then you could truly say that you work on your own time.  Not all freelancing jobs offer that luxury.  If you work on a US account and on an hourly rate and your payment is guaranteed (mostly) in sites such as Odesk or Elance in which your time is being tracked, your time would be based on US time.  If you prefer to work in the afternoons, then you work on UK time but if you want to work on mornings, an Australian account would be most suitable.  

2.  Fixed Rates vs. Hourly Rates are guaranteed:  Rule of thumb then, if you are working on a fixed rate that only pays either per project or per month, try to ask for a down payment as a show of good faith from the prospective client.  You will never know nor be guaranteed if you would get paid after the work is completed.  For hourly rates, this is a much safer avenue since you are paid by the hour in which payment is made once a week.  However, if you are new in this, your payment will reflect the following week.  

3. You can work in your pajamas:  Work with whatever comfortable clothes you have.  Clothes that inspire you to feel good to work.

4.  Earnings are big when you work online:  Here's the skinny on it.  It depends on your country's conversion rate.  That's one factor.  Another factor is that if you work in the US, that's tax deducted.  However, depending on the country that you are in, you can choose to break the law by not declaring this income tax wise, not paying the social security system or the government's medicare program and other labor related payables owed to the government.  The choice is up to you!  However, the biggest practical savings that any freelancer could have is that it lessens the transportation, food and clothing expense.  Again, that depends on your lifestyle and how you spend your money.  One thing that would be missed though, if we're talking about the Philippine setting, is the 13th month pay, the SPIFFS and other bonuses given during Christmas time.  The key here is still the same:  TO SAVE for the rainy day and the holidays.

5.  Redundancy vs. Diversity:  If you've worked in a call center such as myself, no matter what position you held.  Working online is fast paced and yes, their is training and MOST trainings are paid.  If you're looking to have that shining title of being an Account Manager, Client Manager, Trainer or Supervisor, this could very much be fulfilled online in no time.  You learn many types of systems and accounts and you could even discover or hone a hidden and undiscovered talent that has been in slumber or on invisible mode somewhere within the mind's crevices.

6.  One thing to remember, it's just like working in an office in which you have to punch the time card except that you can work in any part of your house or at any given part of the world.  No Work, No Pay and there are no paid vacations as well.  Oh yes, you get to interact with fellow humans via chat and if you are just in one locality, you could even party up together and do those team building bonding moments and even hold your Christmas parties.  And yes, there are also cycles of dramas and every episode rivals a mini-telenovela even if the project has ended.

7.  If you want to work on different accounts, make sure to get enough rest and only accept jobs that you can really attend to.

8.  The jobs are unstable:  It depends!  In any workplace, if people get bored or if the gossip birds would entice you to transfer to another office for a higher pay, it's the same here.  People quit for different reasons, accounts close, projects only last for hours, days or a span of three (3) to six (6) months and there are those that last for a year and going on two (2) so it really depends.  What's important is that you always have a back up account just in case one project ends.

9.  If the employer is a bastard then politely quit.  Unfortunately, the arms of our labor laws, since I'm from the Philippines,does not extend to other territories plus the crime committed does not cover the confines treason or overthrowing the government.  Cyberbullying is a crime and unless the Philippine legislature passes a law on this that covers foreign employers online, it's better never to take the abuse and walk away.  This is not the age of slavery and if you have respect for yourself, I guess you know which way to turn aside from giving the finger or jabbing that imaginary baseball bat to a place where no sunlight nor sunbeams would ever reach.

10.  Age wise, no one is too young or too old to learn or to do work online.  It's just a matter of learning, re-learning and un-learning.  If you're mind is open then go for it.  If you want career growth then working online would be, as far as personal experience is concerned, would be a huge stepping stone.  What you would just need is a stable connection and a good computer with an updated hardware or a sturdy laptop.  The only time that work would be hampered is through natural and unavoidable natural disasters or if there is a network outage and lastly, the dreaded black/brown out.

In my case, the door to this new dimension worked but it doesn't work for everyone.  The lightning struck and it awakened another persona which I am with right now for two years.  In fact, a US office has gotten me full time that I had to quit on both labor global marketplaces. 

In finality, the age old question for beginners and the most interesting topic of all, PAYMENT!

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Whether or not you're on Odesk, Elance or Craigslist, Paypal would be the number one weapon of choice.  For the Filipinos and Filipinas starting to tread the waters of online work, what you need are the following:

A.  An email account.
B.  A Bank Account and it doesn't necessarily have to be an EON Account in Union Bank however, it is SUFFICIENTLY FUNDED.
C.  What you simply need to do is Sign up in Paypal and link your email address with this.
D.  Fill in the page with the name that appears on your Debit Card or your ATM card inclusive of your address as listed in your bank and the email address that Paypal will email you regarding your payments, online purchases etc.

E.  Type in the name of your bank and your corresponding Account Number.  Now, kindly click on the link to find your corresponding nine (9) digit bank code:
http://pages.ebay.ph/bankwithdrawal/bank_codes_ph.html

F.  After filling everything out, Paypal will automatically deduct a small fee then send an email asking for a three (3) or four (4) digit Paypal code. which you can get in two (2)
ways:

     ---  From your own online account via your online statement which would reflect immediately.
     ---  Strictly speaking, if you don't have an online account, you have to march forward to your bank the following day and ask for the very latest and up-to-date Statement of Account and you would see it there.

NOTE:  Make sure of the time you opened a Paypal account so that you could trace the Paypal Code FASTER.  
G.  Log back to your paypal account and once you enter the code, the fee deducted would be REFUNDED BACK.
F.  It usually takes within four (4) to five (5) working days before you physically receive the money in your bank account and paypal would firstly inform you of this via email.  All you need to do is "accept" the payment and wait till paypal's no-reply service email sends you a confirmation that they are transferring money to your bank.


DISADVANTAGE:  The conversion rate on this site is lower than the rates shown in your local bank in your own territories AND should it fall on a US Holiday or your own country's holiday, there will be slight delay as far as the payment coming out is concerned.

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For Odesk users, there is 99 US cents bank transfer fee. For first time users, the first withdrawal has no 99 US cents charges.  

NOTE:  BPI account holders:  NO INCOMING REMITTANCE FEES
            UNION BANK account holders:  Remittance fee is PHP 50.00
Other banks charge an incoming remittance fee.


What you need to do are the following:

1.  Set up your Local Funds Transfer (LFT) payment by clicking on "Wallet",
2.  Click on "Set Up Now",
3.  It will take you to a page that would ask for your respective Bank Routing Symbol Transfer Number Code (BRSTN Code for brevity) which consists of nine (9) digits.  To get the (BRSTN) Code for your respective Bank, click here:  https://www.odesk.com/help/help/payments/payment_methods/withdrawals_tab/philippines
4. Enter your Account Number, the name that appears on the account, the address that appears on the card and your contact number that also appears on the card.5.  Enter "Add Withdrawal Method"And just wait for it to be active in three (3) business days.

DISADVANTAGE: This only applies on ODesk AND should it fall on a US Holiday or your own country's holiday, there will be slight delay as far as the payment coming out is concerned.

So, still interested in being a modern day freelance jouster?

Published in the year of our Lord, November 17, 2011....

 
 
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Let's Get It On!
What do you think they are talking about?  Ever get that feeling that you wish these organic and mecha monsters and droids were alive?  I'm just actually thinking out loud because I am waiting for that particular inspiration to come and hit me with a lightning bolt.  It's one of those days when my the left part of my brain is at war with the right part.  It's a momentary delusion delusion after the illusion.  This is the part when the train hits you because you're too mesmerized by the light and I am just trying to keep things in tact.  I've actually got a lot of things to really do today.  This is a basic arm chair warrior's day.  You wake up, do the regular rudiments to let everyone know that you still function as a human being.  After staring at the mirror, you eat whatever is offered and then proceed to the battle room, sit down in that majestic armchair and think yourself as the everyday Moses trying to part the Dead Sea.  Lo and behold, you are stricken with that momentary lucidity of looking at the monitor as if it were a doorway to another dimension and bam!  Drop everything vital to your survival and here I am testing the new waters by creating this blog.  You sift your fingers through your hair and a thousand drums suddenly pounds on your ears thinking...can I still write?  I guess, my left and right hand still functions and writes the same hieroglyphs I've been infamously known for since I learned to identify "A" from "B".  

"Poor Twisted Child, So ugly, so ugly....Poor twisted child, Oh hug me, oh hug me...One November, Spawned a Monster...in the shape of this child....who must remain a hostage to kindness...."

Everyone I believe will always remain a hostage to kindness even in the form of the late Ted Bundy or Leo Echegaray who just had the instinct to let evil override the base of their humanity but who am I to say...it's just me, my right and left brain still locked in that monumental and a deserving sidebar would mean for me to drink a glass of water and make coffee.  

...Back to the War Room...fingers locked....time to do some CTRL-ALT-DESTROY.....


The log in the year of our Lord November 15, 2011


 

       the  mastermind

    Giz Roque Palma is Giselle Roque in another incarnation.  The author of this site is Music Correspondent, Events Producer and Organizer, an erstwhile DJ/Spinner, Rock Jock and a freelancer living in a mortal world...and yes, my nickname is Gato!

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