The PNM Review: JP Cooper, Raised Under Grey Skies

There are only three people, that I know of, who own the name “JP”: an older cousin who took care of me when I was little; a good actor, JP Pitoc, who starred in a gay-themed film Trick; and this singer/songwriter who voiced the very popular Jonas Blue remix of Perfect Strangers.

Raised Under Grey Skies (Deluxe)This is The Pink na Medyas Review and today, I’m going to get deeper into the latter guy’s album, Raised Under the Grey Skies, which was released later this year. The reason why I’m featuring this album is because this one hasn’t got that much commercial success here in the country. I really love this album and I just hate it when good albums don’t get it to the mainstream (that much).

First, you know better than to judge this album’s cover art. This is not a reggae album! I repeat, this is not a reggae album!  Once you start listening, you’ll easily see how his style fits the R&B and Singer/Songwriter genre.

Voice-wise, his low-notes remind me of Shawn Mendez, only less “nasal”, and James Morrison. His falsetto and high-notes reminds me of Sam Smith, a bit of Justin Timberlake, and Jason Derulo. It’s a bit familiar and a bit different. I really love listening at how he hits those high notes. His style in this track most of the time reminds me of John Newman, John Legend, and Chris Brown (minus the beat). One word defines his style — serenading.


Let’s start counting down my favorite songs in this album with September Song. It’s the best track that I believe would fit for mainstream, aside from Perfect Strangers.
Favorite lines from the song:
You were my September song / Tell me where have you gone / Do you remember me / We were only fifteen / And I remember the chorus / They were singing it for her

If you dare to sing me The Only Reason, my heart is yours! The chorus gives me the chills. It’s like JP’s singing it directly to me. Those high notes did a good job intensifying that message.
Favorite line from the song:
The only reason God give me eyes is to see you / The only reason God give me ears is to hear your voice / So I will love… / I will always love you / And when the wind gets cold / I’ll wrap my arms around you

Passport Home gives the same effect as The Only Reason, only this time it’s about him being sorry and in sorrow. I guess there’s one thing now that’s common to JP Cooper’s songs, it’s how his voice conveys sincerity to the listener.
Favorite line from the song:
You’re my passport home / My guiding light / My hand to hold … Without you close / I can’t go on / So darling keep the light on

The PNM Review - JP Cooper, Raised Under Grey Skies-01This time here in The PNM Review, I’m adding another track that is worthy of a special mention. The album version of Perfect Strangers is way better than the one with the beat in it. Jonas Blue’s “diluted” version is popular and has topped the mainstream charts but I want you to check out the original one. Have I emphasized greatly how sincere JP Cooper’s music is? Listen to the less upbeat Perfect Strangers and you’ll realize how the song feels with toned down and simplified accompaniment.


This 20-tracked album is geared for easy listening. I can just lie on my bed listening to this one. It will also do as a travel companion, but I prefer listening to it lying down with my eyes closed. Just stay like that and listen to what he’s saying. The words are good. Initial listening would keep you invited. Repeated listening and understanding what the words convey shovels you into deeper thoughts. There’s a lot of interesting tracks in this album that makes it hard to be ignored.

Definitely, this one’s going to my “Best Albums” playlist.




A Gay Life 2 [Questions 7-13]

Weeks ago, I’ve answered six questions that have slightly uncovered a little about my pathetic life. Don’t worry. These next lines of questions are a bit on the lighter side.

  1. Favorite drink…

I love drinks with a summery feel to it. Last time that I frequent the bars, I just choose from these: Tequila sunrise, cosmopolitan, and margarita. Sometimes a simple mix of rhum and coke will do.

  1. The must-watch gay film is…


There’s a lot to choose from, actually. Grand E’cole have brought me to a new familiar homosexual setting. Wild Tigers I Have Known is a very thought provoking one. I will never forget the scenes from Transamerica.

Still, nothing beats Trick’s simple guy-meets-guy-themed story. There’s something with this film. Watching this film  left me inspired and kept me hoping.

  1. On Sunday afternoon you’ll find me…

At home: reading a book, binge-watching TV series, or just playing games on my phone. I find pampering myself an enjoyable activity.

  1. What advice I’d give my teenage self…

Go! Live like it’s the last day on Earth. Be a slut. Blow everything up. <wink>

Seriously: Decide on what you want to be in the future and pursue it. Also, take every opportunities that is in front of you. More importantly, spend more time with your family. Stop wasting time hanging out or organizing things with your old highschool classmates. They will just fade out in the end… They’re a waste of time.

  1. My thoughts on love and marriage…

I believe that love always go in a cycle: hope, love, and hurt. You’ll wish to meet someone and you will fall in love with him. Then, there’s a lot of things which will end everything up: separation, fell out of love, infidelity, death. After that, if you don’t stop, you’ll hope again, starting the cycle again.

For marriage: Personally, same-sex marriage is worthless if not leveled at par with heterosexual marriage. It should be accepted by the constitution. And be defended by a law

Same-sex marriage is still not legal here in the Philippines. But I applaud those who fight social and justice bigotry against our community. It’s a start.

  1. The TV show that changed my world…

Grey’s Anatomy.

This show has the most effect to my life: From song choice to decision-making. I somewhat adapted how Meredith sees the world or how she thinks about friendship and love.

  1. A must-read gay-themed book is…

Hanya Yanagihara - A Little Life book coverHanya Yanagihara’s “A Little Life”

So far, only two books have made me cry and one of them is “A Little Life”. Yanagihara introduced a number of characters here. She developed them in the story so well that we are left with no choice but to love and welcome them into our lives.

From answering these, I’ve learned a lot about myself. Why don’t you try answering these questions yourself? You can comment below or send me an email so we can talk about it. Please do the same if you want me to dare me to answer   a question.

A Gay Life (Part 1: Questions 1-6)

“My Gay Life” is one my favorite sections in Gay Times. In this one-page column of the popular gay-themed magazine, gay guys answer a number of interesting and daring inquiries that may give light to their personality, making us know more about them better.

I would like to do the same for myself in this blog. Aside from finding the questions excitingly cool to answer, I also find it a nice way to introduce myself to you guys.


  1. When I first knew…

I always knew that I’m different. The earliest memory of realizing that I am not the same as what the other boys was when I was in first grade.

I remember my uncles teasing me on the way I walk. I have been doing the tsunami walk before it gets into pageants two decades after.

I also recall enjoying doing pranks to an older cousin, which involves shadowing and pulling down his shorts. He’s not wearing a pair of underwear back then so imagine how overwhelming the sight was.


  1. My coming out moment…

I haven’t done that.

I think “coming out” really isn’t a thing when it’s obvious that I’m gay. At school, no one asked me anything about it. I just went on as a “normal” gay guy and let everything come in as it is.

It’s a different thing at home though. I think they knew about it and are just waiting for me to “formally” admit it. But I like being secretive. I like it being just the way it is.

Maybe, I’m just afraid. It’s hard when you’re being rejected by the ones that you think should be supporting you in everything that you do.


  1. The campest thing I’ve done…

Cross-dressing in high school for fun. I wore my classmate’s skirt and walked around the room. I haven’t done that in public. I’m not really comfortable doing it with people who are too closed-minded to appreciate one’s happiness.


  1. My first gay club / pub…

I haven’t gone into any.

This is the thing that I wanted to cross out off of my bucket list the most. I guess I’m just afraid of being caught in the premises from a sudden police raid. Also, there have been a lot of plans with my gay friends to get into one but no plans have materialized yet.


  1. My first gay kiss…

My first kiss was with this straight guy.

It was when I was in college and it was with a guy from high school.

A perfect romantic scene: We were having an overnight. By midnight, we were a bit drunk when fireworks from a nearby barangay unanticipatedly came out and painted the horizon. All of us were amazed at how cool everything went that time. We opted out from our discussion to watch different colors exploding at the clear night sky. I repositioned my chair to face the direction of the fireworks. I felt him move behind my chair. I gave him a quick glance and saw him calmly watching the view. Then I stood up and grabbed his face and kissed him.

It was a quick and disappointing one.

I’mnot really a kisser. That time, I don’t know how it’s done. I received no respond from him. Next thing was me withdrawing my mouth from his and feeling shame for what I did.

What happened was a perfect meltdown from a perfect romantic scene.


  1. When I lost my virginity…

After college. The first guy I believe I fell in love with.

I thought we’re getting into something good. I physically expressed my feelings (I’m not really good at words): hugs, flirting, and time spent together. I thought he liked it. It’s easy to just say no and stop me from doing it. He never said stop.

Until “that” happened. Then “that” never happened between us ever after.

The PNM Review: Passenger – Sunday Night Sessions

Earlier this year, Passenger released a collection of covers titled “Sunday Night Sessions”.

Sunday Night Sessions
Passenger’s collection of covers was released earlier this year. (Image credit: Artist’s website)

I tend to be picky when it comes to covers. Yes, YouTubers are really good at singing their version of popular songs. What I’m looking and enjoy listening to, however, are those who can express their unique style. That’s their edge to becoming popular, right. I mean, in the music industry, the best way to get ahead is to have a good and unique music style.

I have this weakness when it comes to popular artists who do their version of the songs that I fond of listening to. (Thus, the reason why tracks from Radio 1’s Live Lounge albums get a lot of play counts on my iTunes. See, I love covers.)

The guy who popularized “Let Her Go” and “Circles” has crooned his way into my heart. With just his voice and the strings of his acoustic instruments come a very refreshing and mesmerizing music that have always affected my mood in a good way.

I’m a bit of a music completist (people who downloads/buys the complete discography of their favorite artists) that when I saw in Metacritic that Passenger released this collection of covers, I had nothing but pure excitement to get a copy.

Best Tracks

The Pink na Medyas Review Logo-01Passenger started his album with what I think is the best cover in the batch: Hotel California. Admit it, we are used to hearing this song the original way. Some of us might have once sung this over the karaoke. So far, personally, no one has beaten the original yet. I wouldn’t say that Passenger’s version is better than The Eagles’, but it comes close by giving a refreshing and sentimental feel to it.

His version of a Neil Young song is also one of my favorites here. Heart of Gold isn’t that popular here in the Philippines. Passenger introduced that song to me so I gladly downloaded the original version. After listening to the Neil Young version, I came to a realization: There’s one thing that’s common among the covers in this album, Passenger mixed in his styles but kept the songs as they are. He didn’t try to overdo them, which is nice and very respectful to the music geniuses who popularized the songs.

Lastly, Love Will Tear Us Apart, o

ne of all time’s best rock and roll song, has been staying on my playlist for so long. I have just played it again months ago upon finding out that this is Keanu Reeves’ favorite song (via Reddit’s AMA). Well, Passenger did a good job with it. I like listening to his version more than Joy Divisions’. His acoustic greatness and soothing voice gave the song the right feel… Like the song has more meaning after listening to it.

TPR - Passenger - Sunday Night Sessions-01



Sunday Night Sessions is a great mood setter for me. It’s the perfect companion to daily morning routines, especially when commuting. [I think it’ll calm you out from the stress of queueing at MRT stations or long bus rides going to work.]

The album is magical, in a way that each of the songs brings its listeners to a mixture of different feelings and emotions more than the original one does. You will smile. You’ll feel sad. You’ll reminisce the moments you’ve associated the songs from.

Album Rating

4.83/5 stars


TPR - Passenger - Sunday Night Sessions - Reccomendations-01Jack Johnson • All The Lights Above It Too [4.83 stars]

Angus & Julia Stone • Snow [4.08 stars]

Thomas Rhett • Life Changes [4.50 stars]

Kwentong Nyora on Wattpad

Hey guys!

Let me just inform you that you can subscribe and read other Kwentong Nyora stories by following Pink na Medyas on Wattpad.

This year’s batch of stories were already published there. In addition to that, I’ll be adding one story per quarter, in time for the next Kwentong Nyora.

So please, let’s support our Filipino writers from the LGBTQ+ community.

Please refer to the following info for more details:


Kwentong Nyora Cover-01


Tough 5 Pointers to Great PowerPoint Presentations

Presenting to clients has gone the next level. Some have even hired creative people for video presentations. But let’s admit it — still, nothing beats presenting using Microsoft’s popular software, PowerPoint.

I am a digital graphic artist. Based from my years doing business with clients, years of creative exercises from corporate companies, and doing pro bono designs for my friends, let me share what I think makes PowerPoint presentations work.

Today’s Tough 5, I’ll be pointing out 5 things to keep in mind when designing a PowerPoint presentation. I know I’m not really the “authority” when it comes to this and I am not the best graphic artist out there but let me just ask you to try these five pointers out and see if it helps you when you plan to create your next presentation soon.


  1. Plan Ahead

Create an outline. I usually use text editors for this initial step. Putting it in an outline — by jotting it down on paper or typing it up in Word or Notepad — would give you an easier view of how the presentation would go.

Usually, this step will make you see if there’s a need for section dividers. You will also visualize the formatting if there are things that need to be enumerated.

On my end, I do the outlining to see how many template designs to prepare. For example, there might be a slide with bulleted entries. Some slides don’t need a title. Some slides just need only the title. That’s important to me because I don’t usually use the software’s given template. I design one per type of slide.

However, I’ll say that it’s fine if you skip the outlining method and just go on with doing the presentation. I also skip it most of the times, especially when a client needs a quick turnaround. But just remember, if you do the outlining right, it will result to a smooth flow of presentation.

If you are working with other people on this presentation, I would suggest not skipping this initial step. Because this is a team work, there’s a need to coordinate with other presenters. They have some of the needed copies (texts and research materials) and they might have a different approach on how their part will be presented.

I remember during college when I prepared a presentation for our group. Everyone was so busy that there’s no time to meet up and discuss how the presentation will run. So I just asked them to write the outline of their parts in a sheet of paper. I messed up the order of the reporting. During the presentation, we have to go back and forth slides that we looked unprepared.


  1. Deliver a Trademark

During the planning process, make it possible to keep something that’s unique on a series of presentations: A trademark that when your audience see it, they’ll realize that it was you or your company who worked on the presentation.

A formal presentation is easy. You just have to show the company’s logo on some of the slides. Plus, use the company’s color scheme (or at least create one based from the colors of the company logo). The giant company Apple has their unique way of doing their presentations: Black background, 1-2 images per slide, consistent font. I could just see a slide and I would know that it is Apple’s.

If you are a student (or at least going to present in a not-so-formal event), it’ll be a bit difficult but not limited, which leaves you an infinite area for creativity. However, if you’re in a “design-all-you-want” mode, it takes a lot of guts to not overdo it. It’s like a buffet. You’re in a room with all the food that you can eat but you can’t really eat all of it.

Here are some rules to at least lessen your itch and decide a diet on the style that you’ll be using.


What really is your style? If you want a green color scheme, go with that. You want a Comic Sans font style? This font is overrated and overly informal, but if that’s what you like… go with it. Do anything you want (hopefully, in moderation) but be consistent.

Being consistent means same font styles (comic sans for slide titles and Arial for slide copies; or comic sans on all text across the presentation), same colors throughout the presentation, etc. Being consistent will aid you in delivering a clear and tidy message. A consistent formatting for the titles across the presentation makes your audience keep in mind that that formatting defines each slide’s title for example.

However, consistency has a big chance to make a presentation a bit repetitious and boring. Now, this is a test to your creativity. Here’s the second rule.


I have this style in college where I used colored textboxes to enumerate lists. It was an easy trick that my other classmates haven’t encountered or haven’t done yet. (They usually copy and paste an outline of texts into a big textbox.) Combined with a cascading animation effect, it went really good. What the instructor really appreciates is how I manually put the texts inside each box, which looked like it took some effort to make my presentation visually palatable. After some presentations, I encountered some of my classmates mimic that style. It felt weird that I’m suspecting them to do what I’m doing but hey, I started a trend. My other classmates associated me to that style that they thought I did them a favor and helped create their presentations.

I thought of a way to deviate from the norm.  I went into using great creative wallpapers as backgrounds (which were appropriate to the topic I’m reporting), text animations, etc.

The best presentations that I did that time were the ones with the sensationalized titles. That was in 2005-2009 so it is typically an early version of “memes”. For example, when we reported about “Autism” for our Organizational Communication class, instead of just plainly stating “Autism” in the cover page, I instead use this title: “Who Do You Think is Normal? A PowerPoint presentation for the report on Autism”.

This definitely picked their curiosity.

My point is you have the ability to leave an impression using your presentations. Let them feel how your presentations are different from the others. Show them how it is better.


  1. Consider who your audience are

One of the goals in presenting is to get the attention of your audience and keep them listening until the last slide.  Your audience will get bored. It may be that they are just not in the mood to listen. They might not have enough sleep the night before. Whatever it is, it shouldn’t be about your presentation.

Having a visual aid gives a big chance to make your audience get excited to what you are about to say. If you’re a good public speaker, then that’s good for you. If you’re an introvert and very uncomfortable at speaking in front of your classmates, then use your presentations to your advantage. Know their interests. Now you can do a quick research about their “likes” using the social media. If most of them likes memes. Then find relatable memes about your topic. You’ll think a lot of things when you check out what your classmates “like”.

What I did before was to use PowerPoint for a game. It was a simple one but I can see that my instructor liked it.  In a slide, I put in seven different colored textboxes and numbered them. My report that time was about the narrative theory of communication. The theory states that we are born narrators: That we tell stories as we communicate. So, I linked slides to the boxes and populated the slides with questions that they’ll answer in a way that they’ll going to share their stories/experiences. I had 3 people choose one from the box. Upon saying their chosen box, I’ll be clicking that box that will show what the question is. The class was entertained.


  1. Keep it minimal.

Be simple and systemic. Again, stay consistent. The biggest problem that we’ve been doing all this time is that we bombard our presentations with a lot of unnecessary objects and animations. Some overload a page with a lot of pictures without checking if they’re aligned well or if the page looks easier to understand. Some apply animations with “big movements” that it is better to have rendered a video presentation instead.

What’s important here is the content. Use the presentation to communicate your message.

I suggest using minimal effects. Fade in and fade to black is my favorite slide transition effects. It is subtle but effective. Cascading fade and fly in/out is the best for animations. You want to make the contents’ animations fast. It is awkward when you want to start reading the contents of the slide but the words haven’t stopped rotating yet. Well, best way is to have a “fade in” slide transition and no object animation at all.

I suggest you use fewer words. If you can keep it to 3-5 words per slide, the better. I hate presenters who just read everything that’s in their PowerPoint presentation. They’re too dumb to realize that that makes them look unprepared and well, dumb. Show your audience that you know what you’re talking about. Show just a word per slide and bring everything that you know using just that one word: Some words, then pictures.


  1. Proofread your presentation

You are more credible with less typographical error [better if nothing at all]. Proofread everything: animations, copies, colors, font styles. A lot of people skip doing this. But you know, this is the most important part to get a good professional impression. When you’re in front of your peers showing your presentation, the last thing that you shouldn’t encounter are misspelled words, wrong image used, and wrong arrangement of slides.

So go, check every slide again… Back from the cover. Do the necessary revisions. Then proofread it again. Do it while you have the time.

When you’re super sure, wear your best smile.

Goodluck to your presentation.

Twenty Eight

I just turned 28.

This time I’m paving a new diverted way to a new me. I don’t really like what happened to my life before today.

A year ago, I left the company that I am managing and took a very long rest in the province. I felt stressed. I felt depressed. I felt that I need some rest to think everything over… To somehow stop thinking of a way to come up with new designs for a catalog that I’ll be presenting to our clients… To somehow stop minding the calls from some contacts in Hong Kong, Spain, and Germany… To refrain from being the “yes- person” of my boss… To finally stop “working” at work.

So I took a long vacation. Too long that it’s now a year and a half since I was last employed.

That long vacation, now that I think of it, seems to be the “eat” and “pray” part of my version of “Eat, Pray, Love”.

I stayed at home and ate a lot. But from time to time, I read books and kept on reflecting about the years that I have spent living in this world. That’ll be on the “pray” part because that’s the most pious thing that an agnostic person like me can do.

[I accepted several layout and design projects during this long time, which made me keep a steady pace financially.]

Today, I realized that I’m done doing the eat and pray.

What’s left is “love”. Now I am in search for doing something I love, aside from finding someone to love.

The past months, I’ve been doing this big project from a generous client. An emphasis on the “big” and “generous” because this project will be giving me a jumpstart to a new life. Next month, I’m moving back to Baguio City and will give another chance to living a life.

[It’s a good idea, don’t you think? I gave up the horrible traffic, terrible noise, and polluted air of Metro Manila for the chilly, laid-back, and relaxing feel of Baguio City.]

I have also joined some groups in Facebook to appreciate the nature more by coming together with other members to some trekking and volunteerism activities nationwide.

Another step forward is the search for a good investor to fund a good and creative business that I am planning to bring to live in the city.

Now, I’m spending some time finishing everything that needs to be done in preparation to what will come for the next few months.

For my plans regarding Pink na Medyas: It’ll definitely stay. There are a lot of things to come up soon, including two new books in Wattpad and The Pink na Medyas Review.

So that’s it. Let me just blow some candles today. Happy birthday to me!

Thanks for visiting Pink na Medyas.