Saturday, December 3, 2011


Last night I went to sleep at 5:30AM because I was studying.  I was working.  It felt awesome.  It was refreshing.  It was direction.  Moving forward.

It's a beautiful thing.

That's all.


And the Beat Goes On...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Become Legendary

"Look me in the eye.

It's ok if you're scared
So am I
But we're scared for different reasons
I'm scared of what I won't become
You're scared of what I could become

Look at me.

I won't let myself end where I started
I won't let myself finish where I began
I know what is within me
Even if you can't see it yet.

Look me in the eyes.

I have something more important that courage
I have patience
I will become what I know I am

Become Legendary."

-Michael Jordan, the greatest of all time.

And the Beat Goes On...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


"Every morning in Africa,
A gazelle wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.

Every morning in Africa,
a lion wakes up.
It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death.

It doesn't matter whether you are a lion or a gazelle,
when the sun comes up,

You better be running."

- African Proverb

Let's keep it moving.  Moving forward. 

And the Beat Goes On...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Sure Why Not

Focus on what's important.

Don't think too far ahead.  Just concentrate on what's in front of you.  Make a gameplan of how you are going to take on the next day.  That's the only way you can be effective.

"Today is yesterday's work."  - 

It's been 8 and 1/2 months since I've been here.  I look at the pictures around my room and I don't remember who I am.  I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

I appreciate the woman who is patient with me and understanding.

"Got somebody, she's a beauty.  Very special, really and truly.  Really appreciate you loving me, after all that we've been through."  - Wayne Wonder

I miss dancing.  I miss directing.  I miss being around a big group of people who were all on the same page, working for the same vision.

About his student, "He is paying me to show him in combative form the Art of expressing the Human Body."  - Bruce Lee

I am willing to work.  I'm willing to work hard.  I want to get us there.

"Seek first to understand, then be understood."

I'm going home for Christmas.  I'm pretty damn excited.  I thought I wanted to go somewhere else to travel and sightsee, but right now, I want to be with my lady, my family, and my friends.  I feel that the Christmas season is valuable time to close one chapter and start a new one.  And it is with these people that I want to spend that time with.

I want to live in the Philippines so that I can get to know my mother's land, Ibahay, Aklan, Philippines. I want to know where and how she grew up.  I want to meet and get to know people that knew her when she was younger.  I want to learn how to cook like her.  I'm excited and nervous at the same time. 

This is what I did at work today.


And the Beat Goes On...


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How Do I Wanna Finish The Race?

I don't know the answer to that question just yet.  But I'm going to find out.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I Like This One...

Everything came together beautifully on this one.

And the Beat Goes On...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

7 1/2 Months In...

It's 12:40AM, Thursday, September 15, I'm puffing on the hookah (thanks to my sister and Bubba), drinking a beer, and it's one of those nights that is self-reflective. 

Seven months in and the learning doesn't stop.  I must say, however, that the last couple weeks, I've been missing home.  Ever since Karen went back to San Diego, I have been yearning for things back home.  My sister recently gave birth to a beautiful, half-Mexican, half-Filipino baby girl named Natalia, my homies are growing into astute men and women, and the light of the long-term future is slowly becoming radiant.  I miss house parties that provide the opportunity of a deeper bond with friends, being able to speak to anyone at any moment, cookouts, and oddly enough, driving.  I miss Chick-Fil-A, Sonoma Chicken Coop, Phil's BBQ, Carne Asada fries from Lolita's off Convoy, the Buenos Dias burrito from Santana's.  I miss football Sundays.  I miss being able to hold my lady at any moment.  I miss home.

Lately, I've had a good amount of time to myself to think, something that is definitely hard to come by in our busy lives.  In currently reading a book called "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People", I have tried to take a look inside of myself and identify what it is that I value and what my principles are.  I am slowly starting to see who I am and developing how I want to be in the different roles that we play in life: a son, a brother, a lover, a friend, and a professional.  It is helping me in pinpointing what is most important to me.  I hope to start a personal mission statement, a constitution if you will, for myself to follow to maintain a high level of effectiveness.  I, we, are ever evolving and it is important to understand the foundation of who we are so that when things do change, our values and principles say what shouldn't.  Wish me luck.

My job is going well.  I am currently working for three departments in my company.  "Gaigo" is my regular shift where I work 5 days a week at different schools to teach conversation classes, which consists of people of all ages from 2 years old to 60.  ECC Junior is where I travel to local kindergartens to give the students their first taste of English from a native speaker.  On Friday, I begin a shift for CSD, where I will be teaching at a women's junior college where the women will be having one of their first English classes with a native English teacher for an entire semester.  It is going to be fun to be able to "step on campus" again.  I am slowly becoming more and more comfortable with teaching. 

A re-occurring theme in football that is equally applicable to life is "Get Better Everyday".  I intend to do so.  "I promise myself to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best.  I promise myself to give so much time to the improvement of myself that I have no time to criticize others.  I promise myself to be so strong that nothing can disturb my peace of mind."  Let's get it.    

Recent Quotes that I have been constantly reading:

"Pressure is when you are not prepared"  - Patrick Willis

"The enemy of 'the best' is 'the good'"  - Stephen R. Covey

"Running water never goes stale.  Just keep flowing."  - Bruce Lee

"I'd be lucky if I get to be old"  - Paul McCartney

"I am going to turn my chair into a throne"  - eSSai

A part of my current playlist:

1.  The Crowd! - Music
2.  J. Cole - Work Out
3.  Cee-Lo - I Want You
4.  Common Kings - Alcholic
5.  The Spinners - I'll Be Around

In closing, here's the inspirational story of the best linebacker in the NFL.  I really miss football Sundays.

And the Beat Goes On...

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Karen is on a plane right now heading to Japan.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Japan is a more than an experience.

I can happily say that it has been life-shifting.  There is something about either Japan or the very idea of traveling that offers this value of an education outside the classroom.

I am more thankful and grateful now than I have ever been.
I love my family and I love my lady.
I am happy for growth.
I am happy that there's still room for it.
I am thankful to do something I've always wanted to do.
I am grateful for clarity.

There is a deep sense of culture that is undoubtedly contagious.  Being raised as a Filipino in a military family in America, a diverse society was normal.  In Germany, I lived on a military base.  In North Carolina, we were that one Asian family on Hazelhurst Dr.  But here, in Japan, they are one.  Every one has been brought up by the same basic principles and they all believe in it and respect it.  From the way they count their money to the way they speak on the phone, it is known and lived by.   

I have seen things here that amaze me: the peace of sleeping on a train full of strangers, how they offer blankets before you step into the movie theater,  how they do not work for tips, but still have superior customer service, how they preserve their country consciously and with pride.  It has been so amazing that now amazing is normal, and I often forget that I am in Japan.

I have learned the meaning of communication and awareness.  I am thankful for that because it provides clarity.  It has painted a picture of what is important in my life.  

I have learned that language is much more than words.  Things that you can do with a smile, hard work, a positive attitude, and passion has a universal language.

I am starting and want to fully believe that I am the creator of my Universe.  My thoughts become things.

I have learned that growing up in an English-speaking country has been a gift and not something that "just is".  English is one of, if not the greatest gift in language that an American can have.  There is a world out there that wants to meet you simply because you speak English.

Life is much more than your facebook status.

I love pictures.

I love music.  I love music that creates my mood.  I love that it impacts me so deeply that when I listen to it, it will remember a time in the past, define the present, or lead me to the feeling of the future. 

I am grateful that Japan is more than just an experience.  Domo arrigatou gozaimasu.

And for fun, I leave you with this.  They killed this.  Big Ups to SGBM.

And the Beat Goes On...

Monday, June 20, 2011


My parents told me they are proud of me. 

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Hold My Hand


This life won't last forever
So tell me what we're waiting for
We're better off being together
Than being miserable alone

Cause I've been there before
And you've been there before
But together we can be all right
Cause when it gets dark
And when it gets cold
We'll hold each other til we see the sunlight
If you just

Hold my hand
Baby I promise that I'll do
All I can
Things will get better if you just
Hold my hand
Nothing can come between us if you just
Hold my, hold my, hold my hand

I can tell that you're tired of being lonely
Take my hand, don't let go, baby hold me
Come to me and let me be your one and only
Cause I can make it all right til the morning

And the Beat Goes On...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I am lucky to say that I know this dude.  We met when we were sophomores in high school and started making music together in May 2004.  We had no idea what lied ahead of us, but since that moment, he has been killin it. 

I feel that he has what it takes to be successful, not because I am biased, but because I believe Hip Hop needs a voice like this. 

Here's to my boy, Alan.  You can call him Keno.

And the Beat Goes On...

Monday, April 18, 2011

The first day of the rest of my life...

To start - I miss Karen Aficial.  High Bubba!!

In the past two and a half months, I have been slowly easing my way into a routine where I have a regular sleeping pattern and where my eating habits are decent .  But as always, in classic Alex fashion, I do something to throw off the entire routine by adding something to the schedule.  Last week, I decided that I am going to go full force in trying to learn Japanese.  I thought of different options: I can use Rosetta Stone, take private lessons once a week, or just get drunk at an izakaya (local bar) and learn the drunk Romeo lingo.  In the end, I decided to go big or go home.

This morning I started a 3-month intensive where I am taking a beginner's Japanese class, Monday-Friday, from 10-12.  I must say that I felt a little overwhelmed because of course, the entire class was in Japanese.  The Language basically slapped me in the face and told me that I have a lot of work to do.  She was mean to me today.  But looking on the bright side, it is another opportunity to get better everyday.  I thought it was pretty cool to see the other cultures that were learning Japanese for the first time.  It is interesting to hear a Koreans, Chinese, and Spanish people learning Japanese with their respective accents. 

In taking this class, I figured that I should dedicate this next three months to learning a foundation of the language so that I can at least have small talk with the locals.  I feel that it is necessary to sacrifice these next 3 months in order to get the best experience for the rest of my stay.  As ETtheHipHopPreacher says, "At any moment, you need to be able to sacrifice what you are for what you can become."  For whatever it is that I will become, I am willing to sacrifice.  

I also feel that learning a new language fluently will be a step towards my career, whenever she decides to reveal herself.  I hope she likes me when she finds me.

And the Beat goes on...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

An Ode to 220...

Of all the times doing this song, this is one of my favorites...

And the Beat Goes On...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

2 Months In...

What an amazing journey so far!!

Here's a little video of how I'm feeling two months in, as well as a tour of my room (I saw my friend Emi do something similar, so I wanted to try it).  But before I do that, here are the notable quotes that I have come across in the last couple months.

"You are the only shadow standing in your own sunshine."  - Fabio, Top Chef

"Can't is the cancer of happen."  - Charlie Sheen

"A man who correctly guesses a woman's age is smart, but he is not bright."

"Wise men are not always silent, but they know when to be."

"I'm fresh to death, I'll see you in the afterlife." - B.O.B.

Music in my playlist -

1.  Mos Def - World Premiere
2.  Keno - Ohso1derful
3.  Tribal Theory - Reggae Party
4.  Snoop Dogg - Boom
5.  Marvin Gaye - Ain't Nothin Like the Real Thing

And the beat goes on... 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Ayooo Aight

This is one of the funnest times I've ever had on stage.  This is Fusion X, a hip hop dance competition in San Diego, CA.  There was about 2000 people and we got the show started proper.  Big ups to AngieGirl on the beatbox. 

And the Beat Goes On...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Pre-Requisite For Writing is Having Something to Say - Langston Hughes

I have been in Japan for 3 weeks and as simple as it sounds, my assessment is that Japan is a cool, intriguing country.

Osaka itself has 20 million people and it is considered the nation's "kitchen".  There are restaurants everywhere, and when I say everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE.  Any kind of Japanese food you want, you can find in a small radius.  People always say that it is expensive, but if you look, you can find some places where you are not breaking your pocket to eat.  I have slowly found my places to eat, especially my versions of drunk food (since there is no 24 taco shops).  When you enter restaurants here, you will hear people yelling "Welcome!" in Japanese, and once you sit down, you are greeted with a warm towel and hot tea or water, depending on the time of day.  Although there is no tipping in Japan, each person works with a passion to give customer service.  They take pride in their work.

The train system is crazy.  There are too many train/subway lines for me to count and that is not including the local trams.  They are unbelievably punctual and each train stops exactly where it needs to, and by that I mean that the train stops on the platform where there is a marker for people to get on and off.  I'm blown away by the accuracy, timing and complexity of the train system.

The people.  People here are such hard workers, and for the most part, that is all they know to do.  I have heard that some of our students go to school for 12 hours a day.  And I thought I had it bad.  Many people here run their own shop and everyone takes a break between 2-5.  This is something that I wish the United States adopted.  We would be so much happier and more productive.

On a personal side -

I have learned soo much in the past 3 weeks.  Oh man.  First off, it was funny to hear for the first time that I had an "accent".  When someone told me that, it never dawned on me that that was possible.  I always thought to myself that I'm normal and everyone else has an accent.  But when I was told that I have a heavy American accent, I was caught off guard.  My training group consisted of 9 people total from various English speaking countries: England, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Boston, New York, and of course San Diego.  It has been cool to learn the different lingo from all of these different parts of the world.

When I came here, I was brought to become a teacher of English, but I did not know exactly what I was getting myself into.  I basically had a two-week crash course of how to be a teacher with this company and I had my first day as a teacher yesterday.  Wow, what an experience.  I taught classes with kids that were 1 and a half to older women in their 60s.  I was extremely nervous in my kids class because their parents are in the class as well.  I had to get the kids to participate by singing songs and acting a fool of myself, but it was rewarding experience.  Because kids are afraid of change, one kid saw me and instantly started crying.  I felt so bad.  I didn't know what to do.  I also met the cutest little girl.  Her name is Chihiro.  She was very shy, but at the end of the lesson she said bye to me like 5 times.  That made my day. 

Although I feel that I've learned a great deal in the first 3 weeks, it is truly only the beginning.  Now that training is done, I am going to have the opportunity to meet more Japanese people, as well as other fellow English speakers.  I have yet to find what this country really has to offer and I have yet to find what it is that I most certainly want.

The Journey Continues and the Beat Goes On...

Sunday, February 20, 2011

From Karen.

"as much as you might not perceive it, you are a huge inspiration to everyone.  the aura you exude is extremely captivating especially to those you come in contact with, its the truth.  i respect your will to inspire.  alex, you've allowed us to witness what it takes to achieve a dream...passion, hard work, and determination.  you never settled for never gave up alex...i admire that. 

if it means anything to you, i want you to understand how significantly you influence my life.  you reinforce my desire to become a better woman.  ever maturing, ever learning, ever growing in more ways than you know.  thank you, really.

continue to inspire each and every one of us throughout your adventure in japan, we're all listening."

watashiwa anatawo aishitemasu,

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And the Journey Begins...

Here's a little video about me getting to Japan.  It was an entire day of flying.  I left California at 5AM Thursday morning and landed in Japan Friday night.

This was my first attempt at using iMovie, so please excuse the weak transitions and music.

Thank you for caring.

Ohayo gozaimasu!

And the Beat Goes On...

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Thank you....

"dear alex,
update!! so this year chesley and sasha picked me to be the assistant fusion cord meaning next year i will officially be a fusion coordinator!!!Yay moving up from special cultural committee!! But anyway today someone said that i reminded them of you when I was talking and it really meant a lot to me for someone to say that. I didnt get to tell you this at your going away party but thank you so much for just being the person that you are because you more than anyone have inspired me in so many ways possible, it crazy to think how powerful words can really be. And taking all the lessons and words of wisdom that you've given to 220 and really applying it to a life outside of dance,i can honestly say you've help me become a better person.Thank you for breaking the mold of "pretty good" and thank you for everything that you've taught us Alex. Have fun in japan those kids have no idea whats coming!! LETS GOO!!"

Thank you sooooo much for the words Jayna

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I know it's hard...

"If I told you I was perfect, I'd be lying//
If there's something I'm not doing, girl I'm tryin//
I know I'm no angel, but I'm not so bad//
If you see at me at the party conversatin//
It doesn't mean telephone numbers are exchangin//
I know I'm no angel, but I'm no so bad//

You should know:

There's beautiful girls all over the world
That I could be chasin, but my time would be wasted
They got nothin on YOU, baby.  Nothin on you, baby.
They might say hi, and I might say hey,
But you shouldn't worry about what they say,
Cause they got nothing on you baby, NOTHIN ON YOU.

And the beat goes on...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My bags are packed and I'm ready to go...

"Beneath the rule of men entirely great, the pen is mightier than the sword."

So tomorrow morning at 6:35AM, I leave on jet plane for Osaka, Japan.  Although the idea of working and living in Japan has not hit me entirely, I would like to note a few initial thoughts as my time gets closer:

Karen Aficial is a beautiful woman.

I am one of the many who say, "I wish I could go back in time knowing what I know now."  I would've done a few things differently.  But in going to Japan, I feel that going on this adventure is giving this opportunity.  High school shaped who I was before college, and college is now shaping me for this very moment.  I have been truly blessed to have had great relationships with a handful of people and to have learned a piece of who I am.  With this awareness, I feel that I can move forward.

There is a song by one of my favorite emcees, Son of Ran, called "Street Science".  In this song, there is a line that goes like this:  "By the age of 28, particularly by 29, I gotta take a month out of life to redefine what is right."  I used to say this line to myself repeatedly when I first heard this song at the age of 25.  It is crazy to me that I had the opportunity to do exactly what the line says in the past month.  I quit my jobs on December 29 and haven't worked since.  I haven't had this much peace of mind in a long time.  Because of this line in this song, I believe in "The Secret".  

"I'm different, I can't base what I'M going to be off of what everybody isn't"  - Jay-Z, So Ambitious

That's it for now and I leave you with this, for fun.

And the beat goes on...

Monday, January 24, 2011

So here we go...

This is my first time.

I have no idea what I want to do with this thing except to keep a record of my thoughts and my words, and to have a fragment, a granule if you will, of self-reflection and awareness.  In 27 years, I have learned a thing or two about life and would like to have something to look back on moving forward.  I am not by any means a good writer and most people may reach this page and find it to be a waste of time.  However, for the few that do care, I hope that through these words you can find something of value that can spark change, no matter how big or how small.

So with this first entry, I welcome you. 

And the beat goes on...