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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Bye 2022, hello 2023

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Column box-Rick Olivares - Bleachers' Brew

THE year 2022 was an eventful year in my life.

I was able to do a lot more feeding sorties for the homeless. That is one of the best things I have ever done. It’s a different form of fulfillment—something I have been doing for the past 24 years of my life. And next year, we will continue.

I got to put out some records Alert Level The album, the Jerks on 45, and Then & Now from Betrayed. That fulfilled a long-time dream that certainly checked off a thing or two on my Bucket List. And this is just the tip of the iceberg as 2023 promises to be even bigger.

Noel of Mutilated Noise and Bong of Plaka Express were huge partners in this.

While I worked as a label and artist and repertoire manager before, I was never actually involved in the process of remastering, creating album art and putting them out. This time, I got to do all of that.

And am so thankful for my friendship with Rob and Tasha Tuazon of Backspacer Records. We did some stuff together last year and this year will be even bigger.

I got to attend a big numbered UFC event (UFC 280) and even met and interviewed some of the top mixed martial arts fighters. And that was arguably the best UFC event of the year. This year, among all the MMA fighters I interviewed and wrote about… Clay Guida was the best because we discussed topics outside combat sports and we bonded over music.

I got to work on a new sports documentary featuring Mark Striegl. I conceptualized and wrote the documentary that was aired on Premier Sports/TapGo TV with each of the three parts averaging more than 70,000 views. In fact, UFC’s Jon Anik spoke about it on a live broadcast as well. How cool is that?

Plus, I got to witness another Ateneo Blue Eagles championship. Whew. At least we ended the year on a good note (after losing in the finals of Season 84).

I was asked to host the first-ever over the board chess competition of the Professional Chess Association of the Philippines (PCAP) at Estancia Mall in Pasig City. It has been two years now that I have been helping out PCAP and I am happy and proud of that relationship. Much thanks to former Games and Amusements chairman Baham Mitra for that.

Speaking of hosting, I also got to host the concert of alternative rock band Orange & Lemons at the Teatrino in Greenhills where the band unveiled its fourth album, La Bulaqueña. A year or two before the pandemic hit, I also emceed their reunion show at 70s Bistro and an impromptu show at the World’s End. I also handled the press conference of Ebe Dancel for the launch of his EP Habangbuhay. That was something I was happy to do.

I finally got to watch Guns N’ Roses. I also began covering in earnest the live music at Tago Jazz Café.

Speaking of live music, I got to watch a rehearsal of the Eraserheads for their Huling El Bimbo 2022 concert—the concert to end 2022 on a high note.

I had seen the Heads from their Ultra days to Aloha Milkyway. Never saw them after that. And Huling El Bimbo is probably their best show so far.

I got to interview some top footballers in Steven Gerrard, Michael Owen, Hugo Lloris, Dirk Kuyt, Diogo Jota, Jordan Pickford, Aymeric Laporte, Rodri and others. Speaking with Gerrard, Owen, Jota and Kuyt was the biggest thrill as I am a long time Liverpool fan.

I also got to interview Jaime Fabregas, Joel Torre and Golden State Warriors hype man Franco Finn on my podcast.

Music-wise, I got to interview (and write stories about) English City pop band Prep, Pierre Bouvier of Canadian pop punk band Simple Plan, rising K-Pop band Cravity, Fil-British rocker Beabadoobee and English pop star Calum Scott.

The launch for the Xavier Homegrown book was held in April of that year. My latest book was out and outside the Ateneo Five-peat book and the Gilas 11 Days in August book, this was a superb album launch. Super thanks to the Xavier community.

I also celebrated my 16th year writing for BusinessMirror (plus my 10th year writing for Philstar and abs-cbnnews (I also previously worked with Studio 23). Writing a weekly column (and more) for this newspaper has been a dream and honor for me.

And.. my writing classes continued all the way to about November. I began teaching in June of 2020 and more than two years later, it’s still going on strong with a new batch set to begin this first week of January.

There are some other really great things that happened this 2022 but I am not at liberty to talk about… for now. Later this year.

As a final word to 2022 and the Man Above who blessed me so…thank you. I am so thankful, greatly appreciative, and grateful.

Hoping for an even better 2023.

Now if the war in Ukraine will end…

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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