Filipino musicians and how they rock their day jobs

Filipino musicians and how they rock their day jobs

Everyone's got bills to pay, and that includes our heroes in music. The harsh reality is that it isn't so easy to pursue passions full time without backup or people helping out, so everyone has to push a little harder to make ends meet and make dreams happen. 

Bandwagon caught up with some local artists who rock their roles at work during the day before starting up the mosh pit at shows at night.

Russell Dela Cruz of Skychurch

Music Director of Music Army

Coming from a business failure back in 2011, I asked for guidance and with the help of Bo Sanchez, well I knew him as the financial/ business mentor at first, not the preacher, I picked up a book that he wrote "Passion to Profit" and the book narrowed down where I should focus, which is music. So coming from a food business failure I was redirected to the vision of putting up my own school to monetize my passion.

But a business mentor questioned my vision and asked, how can I put up a music school if I had no experience in how everything works so she suggested that I need to immerse myself in that business so after that conversation, I edited my portfolio in my online applications from industrial engineer to music teacher. So I got hired in School of rock and there I got the exposure. 2 years after I became the school director. Then there I became exposed with the operation side and was able to conceptualize my own school. Then 2017 I resigned and opened up my own music school which is just 10 minutes away from my place (laughs). Rest is history. All under the guidance and mentoring of Bo Sanchez and the rest of his mastermind group.

Marvin Chua/HOSK

Music Score Composer

I'm a music score composer for a local TV network. I'm able to add more life into the story of a show with my music. My work also requires versatility when it comes to the taste in music, because I have to adjust with what my client requires for their show. I'm able to work with different types of tv shows, from drama-suspense, lifestyle, and comedy. I'm like the emotional support of the show.

Carlos Tañada of UDD

Managing Partner of Wonder Collab

Wonder Collab studios does full production audio from location sound, audio post production to soundtrack scoring, and jingles. Our clientele are mostly advertising peeps.

I’m a sound engineer and occasional arranger for the team and I’m also one of the managing partners. It’s cool 'cause I still get to play around and doodle with effects and different sounds when sound designing.

Rogel Africa of Valley Of Chrome


Aside from singing for Valley Of Chrome, I write for a sneaker blog ( and different other writing projects. It’s all about the perfect balance. Doing what you love and doing what you need to do - to make what you love doing possible.

April Hernandez/TheSunManager

Producer, Designer, Sound Engineer, Event organizer

It’s very exhausting. But since my jobs are all different and never repetitive, I get to grow and learn in a real world setting. Whether learning from circumstance or people I meet along the way. The growth and fulfillment I get is everything.

I studied Fine Arts in college and I've always loved music so I guess that’s just what happened. I never felt like I needed to choose just one profession or career. Time management is my best friend. I have to juggle being a performer, producer, designer, sound engineer, and event organizer. All while maintaining relationships with people I care about; which is my top priority. What use is achievements and successes when you don't have anyone to share it with?

Glenn Calingasan of Maude, AOUI

Architect/Partner at BLK 44 Inc.

I, together with my two partners, set up a design and build company named BLK 44 Inc.. Architectural / Interior design, and Construction. Our projects are mostly construction of Commercial spaces, Condo units, Offices, and Residences. We do design works every now and then, pag may nagpadesign! lol. Pero for the past 3 years mostly construction na talaga kami nakafocus.

Emmie Villegas of Carousel Casualties

Hokusai Contemporary Japanese Kitchen

My first non-music related job was owning a small Japanese hole-in-the-wall near UST. We called it “Hokusai Contemporary Japanese Kitchen”. The place was named after Hokusai, the artist behind “Great Wave off Kanagawa,” probably the most famous woodblock print known to man. It was during the early days of my 5th year in Architecture school when I decided to invest on a business with my two cousins as an attempt for independence. My cousin, who co-managed the restaurant was a chef in the Japanese section of Spiral in Sofitel. I thought it was a great opportunity to partner up with him.

Since my classes were in the evening, my mornings until late afternoons were spent to man the shop, wash the dishes, prepare gyoza, help make soup stock for the ramen broth, and a whole lot more. It took me plenty of revisions when I was designing the place. It was very small. I did all of the graphic work as well. The place was nothing fancy at all, but to me it was a great guinea pig for bigger business in the future.

The business is still running and now on its third year. However, sometime in 2017, I had to leave the rest to my cousin to focus on my internship as an apprentice of architecture. So my first actual job that required plenty of strict hours was that.

Marj Rojas of MOONWLK and Garage Morning


To be honest, it’s really draining. My day usually goes like this: I wake up at 6:30 a.m. to get to work at 9 a.m.. Sit in front of the computer til 12:30 p.m., then have lunch for an hour. Then it’s back to work til 6 p.m. After work, it’s either I have a rehearsal, meeting, or gig. Most nights, I get home at 12:30 a.m., and that’s still pretty early. But even though it’s so physically exhausting, I would never want out. Playing music with some of the closest people to me, even if we have to go all the way up to the north is always a fun memory.

Honestly, the thing that keeps me going is my bandmates and the people that listen to our music. What got me attached to the scene is really the people. It’s a small community that keeps growing and growing. You go to bar gigs and you see the same faces with a bunch of newcomers every time. I guess that’s what drives us, the artists of the underground music scene, to keep making songs that connect with the crowd and entice more people to support local.

Matt Warren of Sleepwalk Circus, Runway Crimes, Signalgiant

Digital Marketing Specialist

I'm a Digital Marketing Specialist and what makes it cool is I'm able to work with all kinds of industries and it's very dynamic! I offer online services like social media management, content creation and graphic design and layouts! One stop shop and also odds and ends that the clients require.

Jordan Constantino of Valley Of Chrome

Creative Account Head

I'm a creative account head in a media company. Similar to a creative director in an ad agency. I've been with ABS-CBN since 2003. Started as a copywriter. Now we here. So I basically hire and manage creative people, produce TVCs and station IDs, write jingles, think of campaigns, hold auditions for artists and talents. I also brainstorm for TV shows etc...

So what I remember is, if may gig ang VOC sa Mayrics, I would escape work for a while. Alis ako mga 9 p.m., then balik sa office at 3 a.m. to till finish editing. I did this for about four years juggling VOC and work. When I got married, it was even harder (laughs). I cant imagine doing that at my current age. Maybe because when you're young, you can probably stay awake for 24 hours and okay lang, hehe. 

Pocholo Hermosa of Yolanda Moon

15D Studios

15D Studios is the first lodging based hybrid recording facility in the Philippines. Located in Marikina city, we can house 6 to 8 people at any given time. It is also home to my own studio (Cholo Hermosa Mix and Master) where I operate as a consultant for vocal recording and post prod audio.

Sidenote: All clients actually know Murph the Studio Dog.

Jacques Concepcion of Brickcity

Junior Art Director

Like any other job, mahirap, pero mas mahirap siya cause you need to satisfy not only your boss, next client, pati consumer tinitake consideration mo pero at the same time fun tuwing makikita mo na yung actual output from a simple concept lang, na triptrip lang sa brainstorming nag evolve to a full blown campaign na nakikita mo na ng crecreate o ng tritriger ng interaction/dialogue sa ibaibang tao.

Ariel Lumanlan of Chicosci and Arcadia

Licensed Financial Planner

FWD Life is a Life Insurance Company. Basically we help our clients with their businesses and their families figure out and give options on how to set up their financial goals and to secure the future of their loved ones.

This is the first corporate job that I got into. The nature of the work itself is very interesting. You’ll get to talk to people with their financial ideas. You give advice and at the same time you also learn from your clients. It’s a continuous learning type of job about finances.

This job does not require me to stay at the office everyday. It’s a client-based job so I still have more time to write music and play shows.

Martin Hocson of Runway Crimes

Creative Solutions Specialist

I work for a company called Magic as a creative solutions specialist for my day job. In a nutshell, I look for the best and most efficient way to help out clients in regards to anything they need as long as it's legal.

I find that it's always good to have that perfect balance between work and play. Thankfully, with my job, I'm able to do that. As cliche as it is, what makes the job all the more fun are the people in the company. Good vibes and balanced wavelengths with everyone in the office regardless of their position.

Bryan Kong

Taken By Cars

I currently wear multiple hats. Besides moonlighting as a portrait photographer, I’m currently a managing partner of Crazy Katsu and soon to open Crazy Ramen. Crazy Katsu currently has 4 branches and the company started 7 years ago. As for managing time for the band, Taken by Cars’ motto before was the band was just a professional hobby or an avenue for expression or passion more than an income stream. Having that in mind, every member prioritizes family and work above the band. What’s cool with working with my partners in Crazy Katsu and Crazy Ramen (Shinji Tanaka, Mike Dizon and Raymund Marasigan) is that I’m still surrounded by music and art. Their philosophy in music, which is to keep things authentic, genuine and grounded permeates in our business expression. Another cool part is we get to meet in a studio which, sometimes, involves instruments samplers and a bit of recording. (Shinji owns Kodama studios which is near 2 of our branches)