My Story Telling Site


OF HARDWORK and CONFIDENCE – Coaching Series

Let me start this off with a statement that describes me – I am a sports buff – and a competitive one for that matter. I’ve engaged in a number of sports growing up: basketball, volleyball, tennis, ping-pong, darts, bowling, lately football, and a lot more.

Growing up, as a Filipino kid in an urban community, basketball is my first love. Yes I am stereotyping right now. We only need a piece of wood, some strong wires, some nails, somewhere to hang the ‘board’ to, and voila, a make-shift basketball hoop is available. Don’t even talk about standards, as lines, heights, and even balls are just made out of anything that’s available.

Basketball is in my blood. And when my body broke down in a pick-up game in 2000 after fully tearing my ACL, my game changed. I remember jumping really well, I remember dashing and quickly going to my spots, I remember posting-up and backing down my opponents, I remember slamming the board on break-away lay-ups, ah the nostalgia, but I digress, that is not the point here.

Fast forward to 16 years later, playing with my mates two weeks ago, with my current heavy and transformed self, I played bad, like Harrison-Barnes-in-the-Finals bad! I think I missed 19 of the 20 shots I took, and yes, I kept on firing like a madman. I must’ve channeled my inner Kobe during that night, much to the chagrin of my team mates, and to the amusement of my opponents.

I must’ve spent a good hour after the game just to shoot. Going back to my spots and taking the shots that I normally make. It’s still brick after brick and miss after miss, and I felt really bad – like sick to my stomach bad. I wanted to shoot more, but with this shell of a body, I couldn’t go any further than that.

The following weekend, I went back at it. I was alone again in the court shooting the same shots, making a decent clip, sweating, jumping, rebounding, and never stopping. I believed that every shot I took will go in, as long as I stick to my mechanics.


Maybe in my weird, down state, I remembered this article about the Black Mamba on why he kept on shooting. Kobe said, I’ve done it a million times in practice, I’ve made a thousand jump shots every single day, I’ve made these shots in games, why would I let a few missed ones stop me from doing what is [essentially] a part of me [my routine]?

Kobe said, the only reason you stop, is because you lost confidence in yourself!

Note: I cannot find the exact article though, apologies 🙂

Cocky? You bet! Confident? Borderline egotistical! Deserved? Hell yeah!


You see HARDWORK and CONFIDENCE goes hand-in-hand. Rather, it SHOULD go hand-in-hand. You train, you practice, you work, you put in the ’10,000’ hours of hardship, all to be better – that’s the HARDWORK component. Then you believe in yourself, you believe that you can do it, you believe that you can deliver more than expected, you believe that you are better than the opponent – that’s the CONFIDENCE component. One cannot live without the other.

You cannot put in all the hard work and still not believe that you can accomplish something. It’s like spending years studying to play the guitar, and shying away when someone asks you to play for them. Confidence cannot stand alone if you don’t know how to deliver – you will be all form and no substance.

That’s the Mamba mentality that Kobe (as his brand) is trying to sell. It’s not just a far out concept that only athletes can do. It is something that you – yes YOU – can put into practice as well.


I remember a coaching client. She is really good, in fact really awesome at what she does. For some reason, she is having a hard time embracing the idea that she’s really good. She is always surprised when someone actually commends her for some outstanding work that she has delivered. While humility is indeed a strong value of hers, as a Coach, you always push your client to be the best version of herself. You have to motivate her to start believing in herself, and push her to become more confident in what she does.

She has already invested and done the hard work, right now, she needs to have the confident mindset. I really believe that she will be able to ‘up her game’ when she starts to become more confident when she delivers a talk. I really believe that more opportunities will come up soon.

The praises will die eventually, even how good one is. If one is not confident enough, I believe that he/she will falter when the praises disappear. Valuation of talent/skills should always start within, because that’s something that will never disappear in your system.

I always tease her, it’s not arrogance if you have something to be arrogant about! – That’s not the lesson here.


Tonight, if the weather holds, I will be playing again with my mates. Nothing will change, I will STILL take the same shots. Make or miss, I will not waver, I will continue to shoot and run, and defend, and shoot again, until my shell of a body says ‘no mas‘.

I have done the hardwork, I need to continue to be confident that my shots will go in.

– Coach Echo



fight-manny-floyd-_3289911bLike the millions (and millions) of Filipinos all over the globe, my heart is broken with the recent loss of our Pambansang Kamao to Floyd Mayweather Jr. It’s one of those instances where you really want your hero to conquer all odds, and once and for all, vanquish evil.

I am not however, one with our kababayans in calling out Money for his strategy of ducking, running, back-pedaling and avoiding Pacman. Nor am I going to ridicule him for using that strategy. He did what’s best for Money, and for Floyd, that was merely a simple business decision. As a coach, you have to appreciate how he leveraged on his strengths, and avoided his opponent’s strong suit, or hand in this case.

Point 1: Floyd was not a coward; he was merely employing a smart business decision. He already has the match won at the end of Round 10, and the wise option is to avoid Pac’s power and being set-up for a knockout. That’s what I hate about this match, this was a pure business strategy for Money. Read the rest of this page »


I’m a fan late night talk shows. Conan O’Brien, Craig Ferguson, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Seth Meyers, Arsenio Hall, Jimmy Kimmel, and lately, Jimmy Fallon. It is both entertaining and informative, to some extent.

There’s two that I really like, and I feel really stand out, it’s Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon, my 1a-1b.

Read the rest of this page »

Maternity | RL

17 March 2012 | Bishan

This perhaps is the most emotional, connected, pressured, and fun shoot I have ever had to date. This time, the subject is no other else but my wife, RL, in all her preggy glow!

I prepared a lot for this shot by reading a lot of maternity shots, but carefully avoided making it a canned shoot. It was as raw and spontaneous as it can be. I felt that a shoot at 32 weeks is a perfect time for a maternity portrait. Wifey is still flexible and mobile enough to do my shots. It was a sunny Sunday morning, and it’s been quite some time, since my home studio set-up has been brought out. The shot started indoors in our place, then headed out to Bishan Park to do a couple of outdoors shots. Everything aligned and worked really nice, thus, I am really proud to say, that this is my best shoot-to-date.

My friends, here are some of our favorites from our maternity shoot! Hope you all enjoy it!


















Preview: Portrait | Sigrist Family

Ed Note: I feel guilty that this site is starting to build more and more cobwebs. I’ve had a number of shoots from the last time I posted but I’ve been busy (read: procrastinating/lazy) to post those in this site. Well, time to make  it up, to you, my favourite readers (all 3 of you!!).

17 November 2012 | The Alcove

Another sunny Saturday morning (a rarity during this time in Singapura!) for another story to share to the world. I am featuring my youngest subject to-date: Matthis Sigrist, who will turn one-month old tomorrow.

It was a fun shoot, and lil man Matthis, cooperated during the shoot.  It was fun capturing the happiness of the new parents; the twinkling eyes and the great smiles. I’ll let the pictures tell the story of this morning. There is something about the use of black & white that brings out the genuine-ness of the shoot. I just hope that you like the results as much as I enjoyed the shoot.

Enjoy the story of the Sigrist’s.








Birthday | Anoushkaa’s 4th

02 March 2012 | Gogo Bambini, Dempsey Hill

Photographers: Jericho & RL

A former colleague of mine asked me to cover her daughter’s birthday party. This was definitely a first for me, and to make it really exciting, it was the first time that the wifey was working with me (portent of things to come! :)) I definitely needed all the help to make sure we got good coverage of all the kids running around.

It was a fun event: the kids enjoyed the playground, making it easy for us to capture their genuine smiles. The venue provided some technical challenges, but we’re happy with the outcome of our shots.

Friends, enjoy the party of Anoushkaa! Happy birthday!

just before the kids come in, the set-up at the place

instead of sticker ID, they had the kids’ names were written on their arms

the birthday girl starting to warm up to the camera, or maybe it’s because of the playground time…

daddy’s little girl

and the playground action began!

mommy’s there to comfort the birthday girl

single file going to wash hands before eating

one of the camera-ready kids!

having a great time with one of her little friends, Mehul

happy 4th birthday Anoushkaa!


Preview: Maternity | Christa & Ern

10 December 2011 | East Coast

A sunny Saturday morning was spent with friends who are anxiously waiting their little one to join them really soon. This is another first for me, covering a Maternity shoot. Christa & Ern (with all his button-pressing-yabang-lang [peace!]) made it really easy: being game to do all my silly directions, the never-ending ribbing, the jokes, and the sharing of parenting stories!

We started the shoot at their place, and then headed off to East Coast Park to do some outdoor shoots. This is just a preview, will update this post as soon as I am able to sort all the photos I have from this shoot.

Enjoy the story of Christa & Ernest!