top of page

Matt's Random Thoughts


It is without a doubt that in Asia and the Philippines, on-demand audio has been on the rise with podcasts on every genre carrying real, honest, and unfiltered conversations about every aspect of life in a humorous or stories that captivate you and take you to a whole new dimension of storytelling.

Whatever it is you're into, there are podcasts that can truly make you engaged and bring wholesome on-demand entertainment that moves you and moves with you too. Because that is the true beauty of audio. It's great content that you can listen to while doing whatever your life needs you to do without requiring all of your senses.

And one of the best places to find this new wave of Filipino audio content creators is Anima Podcasts, the podcasting spin-off of the indie filmmaker Anima Productions. They have been at the forefront of the podcasting revolution in the Philippines by taking in an eclectic array of tastemakers in Pinoy podcasting. They even gave listeners a chance to meet the minds behind their fave podcasts and share with this amazing community at the first podcast festival in the country, Hear For It last October 20th at Glorietta Makati.

I have heard a lot about the event on social media and I was very interested in attending as I wanted to explore the world of podcasting in our country, meet some great local audio content creators and discover the power of hearing new podcasts that I have no interest in and never heard of. In short I was curious and wanted to hear what made these shows enjoyable for many people.

Unfortunately I did not attend, but at least I was still kinda curious, so I looked up the podcasters featured at the event and discovered that some of them are actually very interesting and I learned many cool things about life in general from hearing these shows and enjoying every minute of these wholesome conversations.

Here are two of the podcasts I have taken a dive into and enjoyed:

Intulectwalwal with Victor Anastacio

As an influential stand-up comedian, one of the heads behind Comedy Manila, and a talent of GMA Sparkle, Victor Anastacio has so much to say about life and people to talk to. He has a way of getting to know influencers, taking them away from the pre-fabricated social media landscape to share some honest talks about what they do and how they see the world, and a way to interact with his fellow stand-up comedians to share their ups and downs in life and whatever it is on their minds.

This is the pure essence of the podcast. You don't get just a plain old interview, uh-uh. You get a conversation that while often going off-tangent to insert some kind of joke or relating one experience to another, creates an experience that really makes you want to smile all your worries out as Victor and his guests discuss all kinds of crazy things in the world, from politics and conflicts to going on a fitness spree by working out and sweating more often to shave off some weight, then add a little honesty and personal experiences as well as a dash of intellect to create a smart, informative, and enlightening conversation.

Paano Ba 'To: The Podcast

So do you need a little morale boost in your life? Have you listened to the likes of Michelle Obama and Jay Shetty? Are you looking for a different and relatable perspective to help you through any personal personal challenges? Then here's a Pinoy motivational podcast to check out!

After years in the field of showbiz and media broadcasting, Bianca Gonzalez has taken a whole new direction in her life to make herself better, more content, and happier with everything in the world. And that's how she escaped her "panno ba to" moments of being stuck and finding a new life direction.

Blending her personal experiences with interviews with people who have had deep personal struggles, from big name celebrities and influencers to some of her own hard experiences in her personal life, you are sure to learn some new things about self-care, finding the joy in the everyday, and looking for opportunities whenever there are things that are holding you back. It will make you think about what you are going through and make you see setbacks from a whole other perspective to see how they moved forward and it makes you look for ways that you can apply these lessons of the stars to your own life.

2 views0 comments

It's one thing to hear the cast recording. But it's a whole different experience on stage.

Never throwing away my shot as the global cultural phenomenon lands in Manila (Photo courtesy of the author)

DISCLAIMER/PSA: This post is NOT SPONSORED in any way, shape, or form by GMG Productions (Philippines). I was not invited to see the show by the producers, nor did I pay for my own ticket to the show. A very good friend of mine treated me to this production along with a few of my good school friends. I am very grateful to one of my friends who treated me to watching this show.

What can I say about Lin-Manuel's Miranda's hip-hop musical Hamilton??? Ask me and I can say a lot of things about the impact of this show. It's revolutionary, it's groundbreaking, it's an international phenomenon that became a pop culture juggernaut. And it has a huge following here in the Philippines where one of our showbiz royalties, Rachelle Ann Go, became the original Eliza Hamilton stoking our Pinoy pride on stage. But even before that, Hamilton has become heavily followed globally since it first played on Broadway in 2015, with its unique blending of hip-hop and traditional Broadway songwriting, diverse casts, and the fandom it has developed. That's perhaps why ticket sales when the show's Manila run was announced was a feat unimaginable by any local or foreign theater show made before or since.

Of course, most of the world got their first exposures to Hamilton through the phenomenal award-winning cast recording, inspiring us in our tales of making our own revolutions to change the world, and even more so when the proshot with the original cast dropped on Disney+ in July 2020 within the midst of COVID-19 lockdowns and its impact on global performing arts. But while it's one thing to see and hear the original cast in recordings, it can make a much bigger impact when you see it in person, especially if you have seen it on Broadway or the West End or Australia in the past few years. as each cast has its own charm, personality, attitude, and style. The cast that came here was from the groundbreaking Australian tour, with a mix representing multiple countries including the US, UK, and South Africa. They have been delighting Aussie fans of the musical since 2021 and to add a uniquely Filipino flavor to the cast, Rachelle Ann Go reprised her original role in London, making this production a full circle homecoming.

But what makes this cast even more special and enjoyable in my eyes?

This version of Hamilton feels very personal and intimate to me, not only because of me seeing the show in person, but in the way the cast interacts with each other and the roles are executed. One example is Darnell Abraham, who played George Washington. You can easily tell that the character he portrays is one that truly cannot be messed with, especially one who's scale is outmanned, outplanned, and outnumbered. The war game in his portrayal is present throughout the show, as he put an even more determined set of emotions to a role that many Hamilton fans have grown accustomed to.

The Schuyler Sisters also brought in an energy that is even more flavorful than the original. Akina Edmonds brought an extra layer of spicyness and sassiness to the role of Angelica Schuyler. Her voice has a layer of extra spice and excitement especially in her song "Satisfied". And if Akina brings the spice, then our own Rachelle Ann Go complements that with the sweetness and bubbliness she brings as Eliza. The interactions between her and Jason Arrow (as the titular role of Alexander Hamilton) bring a whole new level of intimacy between the two characters.

However the real standout character of this production really isn't Hamilton or Washington or the Schuyler Sisters at all. It is actually the antagonist King George (Brent Hill) as he brings a sense of humor to the role originally portrayed by Jonathan Groff. The way he sang "You'll Be Back" has even more emotion than the original version and brings the whole theater to waves of laughter.

All in all, this production as with many other iterations of Hamilton across the globe have their own distinct attitudes, styles and ways of bringing this phenomenon to life. And I, along with many others who have seen this in its groundbreaking Philippine run, have been lucky to see this globally diverse and infinitely talented company that took the spirit of the original cast and brought it to a new level that left the Filipino audience spellbound, making them feel inspired to see our history in the same lens, making pieces of art that tells of who lives, who dies, and who tells your story. And because of this, I feel like I never threw away my shot to witness this global pop culture juggernaut live on stage. And I would also take this opportunity to wish the same for theater fans in Singapore and Abu Dhabi that if they could afford and have the means to by 2024, they should take the time to be a part of this revolution making waves across the globe. For this show told of who lived and died, and the world will continue to tell his story.

15 views0 comments

Her new album is produced by kindie giant Dean Jones and features Suzi Shelton and Little Miss Ann!

What words can I use to describe Kiwi kids music songstress Claudia Robin Gunn??

Gifted. Pleasant. Sweet. Lovely. Calming. Charming.

There are just so many words that I can say to describe the wonderful Claudia, but I just can't say them all because I'm taking about her most recent album "Firefly".

When I took a listen to this, I felt like this is quite an album she got here! There are many messages of positivity and encouragement embedded all throughout this rather lovely album, and they are made even more appreciable when Dean Jones throws in his production skills that add a touch of lively pop beats to Claudia's warm and inviting songwriting. I really loved the song "Colours" featuring Little Miss Ann and Suzi Shelton. This is such a perfect collaboration with a synergy that brings these amazing songwriters across the miles. Every song in this album has the power to warm your heart and make you feel accepted and welcome. But the real standout is "Superheroes" as it celebrates not only the power of friendship but one verse here covers a child who has sought refuge from a nation at war. A very powerful show of embracing everybody from the amazing Claudia Gunn.

But in spite of these songs that will touch your heart, there may be some unexpected and hilarious surprises, as there is a little bit of spoken word in the song "Only One You" that caught me off guard and made me laugh a little.

It feels like Claudia Gunn and Dean Jones have made a match to bring an album that takes Claudia's talent to a whole new level.

33 views0 comments
bottom of page