Posts Categorized: weddings

Jmag: Will Work For Free

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Let’s agree on one thing.  Some of the best things in life are free,  your favorite app,  that donut in Krispy Kreme when you fall in line and your dog’s excited yapping when you come home at night.

Hell, even my services can be free!  For real.  It’s not April 1st, it’ already the 5th.

I’ll do it.  Just for you.

Just me. One camera. One man. One story.  Your story.  Send me a pitch.

I’d like to go back to my roots, shooting alone.  It’s a creative exercise for me, a not too foreign experiment.  As for the output, expect something different as well.  Prepare to be be surprised.  We’ll pick a couple.  Maybe a few.

Send me details. Locations, logistics.   Your vision of your wedding or whatever your event is.  I’m listening.  It doesn’t need to be local,  I can travel.

I’ll drive, I’ll fly.  I’ll ride a canoe.   Let’s arrange it.  A good meal would be appreciated but great coffee is a must.  

Your wedding (or not) doesn’t need to be one of a kind,  nor push boundaries.  The only thing  it needs to be is compelling.    To inspire people to love.   Or to make people understand.


Fill out the form below – I’m excited.

Please DO NOT send me an email or FB message for this.  Let’s keep it through the form.  Thanks.

A Wedding in Puerto Princesa

Marissa and Basti

I had to admit to myself even just a little bit, that the timing was off for this wedding we took in Puerto Princesa in Palawan. Everybody was gearing up for the long vacation and here we were lugging our equipment for a flight going south to work.

After touchdown, we drove off for another hour and a half to a resort away from the city – Sunrise Mansion.

And slowly, the reservations melted away. The place had something to do with that of course. It was charmingly beautiful.  No it wasn’t the poshest of resorts.   But you don’t go there and expect butler service nor 24/7 ac.  You go because you want to taste the comforting salty winds blow though your room.   You come to appreciate the endless sea of blue of both the sky and the sea.

But more than the place, it was the people.  We were greeted eagerly by the bride and groom.  Making sure we were comfortable and settled.    Taking care of our every need.  Too much really.  We felt we were family.  And that feeling was special.  To break bread over their table, with no delineation of who were guests and who were suppliers.  To share the same 3 in one coffee sachets and to lounge in the same pool.

And that allowed us to know more about everybody, and therefore make a more meaningful film.

I learned that “Sebastian” moved from Germany to Melbourne and likes the Aussie lifestyle better.  That they met and fell in love there.  I learned that Marissa’s family was from Ilocos and it was the first meeting of both families (imagine the nerves!).   I learned that what they have is not defined by ethnicity or color.  They just – love.  And everybody was happy for them.

I could not have spent my Holy Wednesday any better.

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Letter to L

This is a shout out to all the kids who try hard (most of the time) but get less than stellar grades in school.

We can’t post your report cards (plenty of 7s), or medals (we’re only gunning for the loyalty award) or the merit cards (umm, you don’t have any).

Can’t deny that there’s a hint of jealousy when other parents humblebrag about their children’s hardware. But know this, we love you to bits and won’t have anybody else in your stead.
Sure your penmanship is bad. And we still can’t do fractions well. But hey we get high marks in cleanliness and you’re never absent not tardy. I appreciate that.

Grades aren’t the end all and be all. I’m just happy you study your ass off and I know you try.
We all know you can smoke ’em in COD. I know I can ask you to get my socks and and my wallet and a drink of water on three separate trips with nary a complaint. Well. Just a bit. But you’ll do it anyway. You light up the house. That’s your gift. That’s good enough for me.

We’ll get ’em next time kiddo.


Yo! Deodorant!

The New Pinoy Movers

You have to put in the hours. You have to commit to it and see it through. Learn. Practice. Perfect. Learn some more. Rinse. Repeat. Move. #KeepOnMoving#RexonaMotionSense

Posted by Jason Magbanua on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Jmag x Asus

My Incredible Story

 Where I came from.   And Where I’m heading.

My Incredible Story – Jason MagbanuaWhat does it take to be a renowned wedding videographer and a visual storyteller of this day and age? Jason Magbanua shares his incredible story and how finding a reliable machine makes all the difference. With display 4x the quality of FHD, NVIDIA® GTX™ Graphics and SonicMaster Technology, there is no doubt that the ASUS VivoBook 4K Series can keep up with your most demanding needs.Share your #MyIncredibleStory and you just might win your own ASUS laptop. See complete mechanics here: by the latest Intel® Core™Processors

Posted by ASUS Philippines on Tuesday, December 22, 2015


Buti Na Lang Traffic: A Facebook Post

Everybody hates traffic. Everybody curses at traffic. Nobody likes it.

But today it put a smile on my face.

I was at my 43rd minute along Edsa starting from Magallanes. It was almost 8 and I was dying to get home to catch dinner with the family. I was getting impatient and hungry.

After getting out of the Ayala tunnel and just before hitting the Gil Puyat flyover I decided to wave to a vendor and buy junk food.

I asked how much the Kropeck was. He had three bags in his hand and I had twenty pesos in mine. He said ten pesos each so I said I’ll get two.

He gave me two packs, then without hesitation gave me the third.

“Eto sir, pamasko ko na sa inyo.”

He broke into a big warm smile and I let out a big one too.

I pointed to his empty big plastic bag, sign of a good night’s sale – “Salamat! uwi na! Pahinga na!”

The elderly man said – “Yes sir!” Ubos na, ButI na lang traffic.”

I rolled up my window, started munching on my Kropeck. Still with a smile on my face.

Nikki Gil and BJ Albert’s Wedding

shaina nikki 2


I had to dig up this picture to preface my blogpost about Nikki’s wedding.  This pic was taken on the day  Iya and Drew got married, January of 2014.   I got so kilig when we took the selfie.   Shaina and Nikki  had nothing but great words for the video we created and were half joking about booking me and my team when their time come.  Nikki was “kinda” single then.

Only, Nikki wasn’t joking.

Fast forward to almost exactly a year later – January of 2015 , she gets engaged.



I don’ treat these kinds of messages lightly.  These are not feathers to be put on a cap.  But rather, motivation to do better, to make sure we are worth more than we are paid, that we exceed expectations, that we surpass the hype.  It’s a delicious moment.  But frightening as well. Of course, we never back down.

In earlier posts in social media, I touched upon the songwriting process with Johnoy Danao.  I actually asked Johnoy a year earlier to write music for Bianca Gonzales’ wedding.   But it never came into fruition.  The harmonies of Ransom Collective proved more suitable for the island vibe of her wedding to JC.  I suppose it wasn’t the “Right Time” yet.  Yes, pun intended.

So we finally got around to doing this collaboration when I emailed Johnoy again around August. I described the love story, and I described the feel.  But my musical talents are severely lacking so it was all JD from there.  I got the lyrics around September 18 and an acoustic demo on September 21(!).   That’s some prolific genius right there.

We met just one more time to discuss the arrangement.   I only had a few suggestions but we had full trust with our arranger Ronald.

I had the music shortly thereafter, it was glorious and it was perfect.  I couldn’t tell anyone because I wanted it to be a surprise.  Doubly tough because restraint is not one of my finer qualities.

So I had the song.   The next thing necessary of course was the footage.

It was a gamble of course. What if the the footage didn’t match the music?  It was a risk I was willing to take.

The payoff was huge.  The things I look most for a wedding – the authenticity of emotions, the truth in the moment, the beauty in the fleeting, the intricacy of the relationships – these were all present.  These were all I needed.  And mind you, these are the things I look for in all weddings we shoot.

And so we end up with a feel good film.  But not the kind you forget a few hours after.   It’s the kind of story which touches the soul, that begs you to press play again, the kind which gives hope and makes you pause to re-assess your own state, “I’m not in a rush, I can wait.”

Thank you Nikki and BJ for sharing your story with us.

Nikki Gil and BJ Albert: Sonnet XVII

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

The Wedding Film

Sarah and Rodney

Have you ever written something where you actually took longer to get yourself ready writing than the actual writing itself?   You twirl your pen, webcrastinate, get more coffee, or just stare blankly at the screen.  But the words don’t flow.

This is one of those instances.

Last May, I wrote about Rodney and Sarah’s wedding in San Antonio. I was re-reading it recently and realised how I failed to give proper context in words to the events surrounding the wedding.  Maybe it was a conscious desire to remain ambiguous. 

This time around, I cleared it with Sarah and asked if I could tell all.  She said yes.

Sarah was in remission during her wedding.   It was  a great and hopeful time for all.    The wedding was beautiful and things were looking up.   

I follow them closely on social media and liked their pictures no end while on holiday in the United Kingdom.

This is the part where Hollywood movies end.   The guy and girl get together and get married.  They live a beautiful life.   The credits roll, then the music plays and they live happily ever after.   But this isn’t Hollywood.  This isn’t even just a stupid wedding video where the petals flutter ever so slowly at the last shot.  All warm, fuzzy and happy.  It isn’t.  It’s real life.

A month ago I received an sms from Sarah asking me nicely if I could edit their final video “na masaya”.  Too many tears were shed in the wedding so she wanted to recall the event in a much lighter, happier tone. 

She also wished she’d still be around to watch it.  She was sick again and unsure if she’s be able to finish the treatments.

When you get messages like those.  Everything stops. 

She could have asked Rodney.  Or a friend, or her parents.  But instead she told me herself.  That’s something to me. 

We expedited the editing and delivered the videos in time.  But it’s really not the videos I want to go into,  it was the conversations we had throughout the entire process. 

First of all, if you have a friend who has a life threatening illness and you don’t.  You just don’t know what to say.  I feel stupid sometimes and awkward most of the time.

Words are sometimes empty.   I told her that it’s alright and no matter how brief our time here in this world, what’s important is that she’s touched so many people’s lives.   

She counters – “I don’t want to touch people’s lives, I just want to normal and healthy.”

And I am endeared to her even more with her spunk and fight.

I remain quiet for a minute in the convo.  And become honest in the exchange.  No sugar coating for the first time.

“Well, andyan na yan, ano pa magagawa natin?  Make the most out of it na lang.”

To which we agree on the quote – “We cannot change the cards we are dealt.  Just how we play the hand.”

Fuck Leukemia.