CVAP Batch 11, Day 1: The Deeper Meaning of Voice Artistry

(In photo: CVAP Batch 3 testimonial video on the right, “backstage photo on the left” as I waited for my turn to speak as CVAP’s Head Trainer a year and 3 months later)

The Certified Voice Artist Program has a collection of hundreds of testimonial videos from batch 1-10, and for some reason, batch 3’s was chosen to be the opening video today as batch 11′ participants started signing in on Zoom.

Of all days, it had to be today: my first day as an official CVAP Head Trainer, my first session of actually tackling CVAP lessons other than my own talk on voice branding, CVAP culture, and hornet strategy.

I was reminded of how far the journey has taken me in just a year and a couple of months. I watched as fresh graduate Pau talked about how much the program reignited her sense of self. She spoke shyly about her key takeaways as her future self watched in awe. She wouldn’t believe that a year and 3 months later, she’d be the one teaching these lessons and (hopefully) igniting the same kind of spark CVAP had ignited for her.

My lungs weren’t at their best. For nearly 2 weeks, I struggled with the flu and its adverse effects on my asthma. Midweek this week I told my boyfriend over and over again, “how am I going to survive Saturday’s session?” Up until Wednesday, I couldn’t sustain talking for more than 2 minutes. My talk was estimated to last at least an hour.

A few stronger meds here and there gave me the chance to be present for my talk. I had to inform the participants about my shortness of breath, I had to excuse myself more than a couple of times, but everything pushed through despite and in spite of. I missed out on a few points, probably downplayed a couple of them, too, but hey… it’s a start. Batch 11’s feedback were absolutely heartwarming. It reminded me of why I keep on doing what I do. It reminded me of why I didn’t call in sick, didn’t let my shortness of breath stop me from what was intended for me.

There must be a reason why I was chosen to be the program’s Kickstarter. To be honest, up until this point, I don’t exactly know why – but whatever it is, I just want to keep on showing up in the best yet most authentic way I can. Admittedly, I don’t prep up much for my talks. I plan the flow, design the presentation, and hope that my stories and background would suffice to fuel the actual talking.

“Just be yourself,” Sir Choy would tell me. “You know the drill.”

As I spoke about my journey, I realized I kept on coming back to one main point: purpose and authenticity. While I intended to add the aspect of purpose in my talk, it was unintentional for me to keep on coming back to it even as I answered the questions during the Q&A.

And that’s when it hit me. Voice artistry is, and should be, driven by a bigger purpose and the best purpose to have is to do it for yourself, for your growth, for the use of your voice for something greater.

Let me share some questions that were asked in the session:

How do you deal with the challenges you encounter in your projects?

It was for comedic effect at first, but I answered, “I deal with it by… dealing with it.” I tried to come up with a more logical answer, but it turned out that was the most logical answer I could give. Anchoring it on my purpose (in this case, my purpose is to be better in this craft), I dealt with the challenges by giving my best and giving my all, and by also being authentic about what I think. As much as I can, I ask if things can be changed. Maybe a few tweaks in the lines or a few changes in the delivery. It didn’t matter if the clients wouldn’t agree with it. What mattered is I, at least, voiced out my concerns. I could be all “meh” about it and went with what I was told to do, but the collaborative effort can go a long way.

Which is more important: diction or modulation?

One is not more important than the other. As voice artists, what’s important is how we’re reading between the lines and being open to versatility. What kind of message are we trying to give out? It’s quite a deep thing to think about, especially for seemingly mundane voice projects, but it actually works. The more we realize what we’re trying to say or the role/s we’re trying to play, the more effective our outputs can be.

“Am I trying to get more sales out of this? Okay, I should sound more enthusiastic and inviting.”

“Am I trying to calm people down? Okay, I should try to sound more nurturing.”

That, to me, is the most important thing: what is it that the project is trying to make me say? How can I best express it?

How do you get projects?

Naturally, I answered the typical stuff here like updating portfolios, being active in auditions, etc. But it doesn’t stop there. Going back to the previous question, authenticity (at least, to the best of our abilities to vocally “portray” authenticity) goes a long way and it highly improves the output we do. The better the output, the better the portfolio, the more clients we end up having.

Tips for beginners?

Acknowledge all opportunities that come along the way, whether to learn or earn. There are some instances where opportunities are the ones knocking on our doors and not the other way around, but these come in the form of pro bono / volunteer work. Some may frown upon this but look at it this way. In this field, we earn in 2 ways: we either earn money from it or earn new experiences/growth for ourselves. Volunteer work allowed me to expand my horizons without much repercussions. Volunteer work allowed me to grow and honor voice acting as an art. Volunteer work led to my bigger projects. 


I am not a pro at this. I’ll probably never fully be, and that’s okay. All I want is to continue sharing my story, my journey, and everything in between with the hopes that it can inspire at least one person out there.

As the CVAP mantra goes, “someone out there needs to hear my voice.”

If you have other questions for me, I’d love to answer them in a separate post! Comment down below or send me an email at pau@passion-pursuits.com

Feelin’ 2022!

If there’s anything that summarizes what I’m hoping for this year, it’s probably that photo above.

2020-2021 were years filled with “main character energy.” Everything was all about the main quest, gaining EXP, buffing up, leveling up, etc. and while I’m grateful for literally everything those years threw my way, I am admittedly exhausted.

For 2022, I just want to live. I want peace. I don’t want to be in survival mode all the time. Let’s lessen the fight-or-flight mode, please. The latter half of 2021 was a lot kinder to me and I could only hope for that kind of peace to continue a little longer, seeping its way through 2022.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m still excited about the new journeys ahead. There are new experiences I’ve yet to know. There are new things I’d likely end up loving, which I’d never think I would (2021’s version of hosting), and while they’re definitely something worth looking forward to, I crave to be spoiled a little longer with the warm sense of familiarity.

I spent the first day of the year in deep thought about many things. Naturally, a part of it was thinking about what my goals would be this year and I concluded only one thing:

All I want is to continue growing and watering the seeds I planted in 2020-2021 – to continue growing as a young professional, a voice artist, a host, and a person, overall.

I want to continue growing in love, nurturing the beautiful romance I was blessed with.

I want to slow down, work with what I have, and use it to continue moving forward in gentle, peaceful steps.

Cheers to you, 2022.

May you bring better, brighter, gentler days ahead

Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar: Asia Pacific’s Best Historic Hotel, According to Historic Hotels Worldwide

Historic Hotels Worldwide recently hailed Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar in Bataan as the Best Historic Hotel in the Asia Pacific during an awarding held last November 11 at The American Club Resort Hotel in Wisconsin. The award-giving body honors over 300 historic locations worldwide in more than 45 locations, including castles, palaces, villas, and other lodgings that have any historical relevance. The awards recognize the efforts of hotels and resorts that showcase “innovative leadership, stewardship, and contribution to furthering the recognition, preservation, and celebration of these preeminent historic hotels and their histories.” Among the awards are Hotel Historian of the Year, Historic Hotelier of the Year, and Best Historic Resort.

As one who closely worked with the Las Casas team years ago and an avid fan of the place up until this day, here are the reasons why the award got me hyped up and emotional at the same time.

It Reangles What ‘Historical Tourism’ is in The Philippines

Taken from one of the Casas. I particularly loved this photo because it captured a lot of iconic Filipino elements.

‘Historical,’ especially in Philippine tourism, is often associated with concepts related to oppression (think Intramuros or Corregidor’s Hospital Ruins). With this recognition, it focuses the attention on the more artistic side. Las Casas boasts of the particular and meticulous way each ancestral house was reconstructed to create the Bagac resort we know (and love!) now.

It Gives Las Casas the Attention it Deserves

Inside Las Casas’ Hotel De Oriente with ALL NATURAL wood colors

Other than the piece-by-piece rebuilding of the ancestral homes, there are still many things within the 400-hectare property. The Workshop Tour will give the guests a glimpse of all that. As a teaser, here are just some of them:

  • The woodwork at Hotel de Oriente are all made in Las Casas
  • Each room’s walls are skillfully hand-painted 
  • Las Casas makes their own bricks

Owner Jerry Acuzar has also shared how tedious it can get to maintain such a unique Bataan accommodation. With the newfound attention and recognition, indeed, the hard work becomes more worth it. 

It Makes People Even More Excited

No photo description available.
Photo taken in 2019: Kayaking on the lake

With the travel restrictions slowly easing up, everyone’s looking forward to having that next great adventure. Las Casas, in the past few years, has been commonly tagged as one of the “Instagrammable places in the Philippines,” “best photoshoot locations in the Philippines,” and anything else related to a unique travel experience. With the award, guests are more eager to look forward to what else the resort has in store for everyone. It can also gear Tourists from all over the world to recognize another aspect of Philippine travel. The scenic spots may not be the usual beaches or landscapes, but the historic resort itself is already a picturesque place.

Old photo taken using my smartphone. Chill sunset by Las Casas’ beachside.

Don’t worry, they have a fantastic beachside, too. 

It’s time to discover why the resort was rightfully given the prestigious international award! Las Casas has ongoing promos for the holidays and 2022 stays. Day tours and overnight accommodations are available. 


Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar

www.lascasasfilipinas.com

http://www.facebook.com/LasCasasBataan

Personal note: this article is not sponsored by Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar. Everything stated here are purely my experiences and insights as one who used to write for them and one who used to frequently visit the property.

The Passion Pursuits: A Rebrand, A Restart

There are many things I wish I knew before embarking on so many various endeavors online. With the digital landscape giving everyone an instant sense of gratification, there seems to be that next big thing just looming around the corner. 

I started Pau Pursues Passion in 2017 when I thought I finally got everything planned out properly. The name clicked, that’s for sure. After hopping from one brand name to another that didn’t seem right or felt like it was too much a “spur of the moment” thought, “Pau Pursues Passion” sounded genius. 

It was, for a time — until fast-forward to this year, 2021, when the drive to put up my site again came back. All at once, it didn’t feel personal anymore. Sure, it held my name. My actual name. It held what I held dear — pursuing passions. 

But… what, then? I came to the point of realization that the old brand name, along with what was dear to me, also held things that were no longer relevant. It spoke of the days when I chased success too much, too fast. Those days meant being driven by the end goal and the end goal alone without giving importance to every step of the journey. 

At one point, I asked myself, “is a rebrand really necessary if my core essentially remains the same?” It took a while to come to terms with it that, yes, perhaps a rebrand is necessary. I wanted something to keep me anchored on the same-kind-of-different core, which is creating a brand that won’t be just about me this time. I want it to be for me and for those who are like me constantly pursuing passions, making the most out of life, and trying to find that balance of everything else in between.

I told myself that maybe, just maybe, if this endeavor goes beyond me this time, I wouldn’t give up on it as easily as I did with the old one. Maybe with my redefined version of success, this can absolutely work. 

This is the start of figuring out if those maybes can turn into reality. Frankly, I’m not sure which way we’re going this time. All I know is, the perspective is different now. It’s better, broader, and more purposeful.

I hope you’ll learn a thing or two from my blog. All I want is to have this safe space for me, and through it, it can be yours, too.

Cheers to writing, speaking, hosting, branding, gaming, and many more.

Cheers to purposeful passion pursuits.