The One With All the Bertos…

By December 10, 2014Uncategorized

Since BertoinBrogues went live about a month ago, many of my immediate circles have asked why I suddenly ventured into blogging. See, I was always uncomfortable with being called a “blogger,” not for any reason apart from the fact that I wasn’t sure if I earned the title. Back in the day, I would post a lot of my personal thoughts on Multiply, and I think at one point I even tried to sustain a livejournal. On some occasions, some readers I didn’t know would send me personal messages seeking advice, or even commending me for my thoughts and ideas on certain things. I eventually started toying around with the idea of putting up my own .com thinking that I might be able to help speak to people.

I love reading essays and opinion pieces on broadsheets and glossies, but blogging had a different form and structure on its own.

There are many blogs around but very few genuinely good writers. I get very giddy and sometimes even emotional after reading a well-written blog, one that went beyond the personal experience and one that brought you, the reader to that universal place. It was exciting for me to explore the medium and really see how far the form can go and maybe see how wide the blogs can reach.

But much more than that, was the content.

I found that my heart beat strongly for the Filipino — his history, his diversity, his identity, his potential and his almost forgotten culture. As time moves quicker and information floods faster, I found that there’s a tendency to forget who we were, who we are and who we can be.

It was over merienda with my tailor MLCK, that we were talking about how easily we men overlook the basics. There’s so much concern about putting on “layers” of clothing, wearing the most expensive brands, buying the most fashionable and trendy outfits, and being overtly stylish — when in reality, it’s the simplest and most basic things that will suffice. Beyond clothes and fashion, we tend to complicate things too, trying too hard to be a version of a “man” that mainstream media shoves down our consciousness. We’re made to be this hypersexual, territorial, almost arrogant alpha animal, out to conquer, acquire and colonize.

I respectfully disagree.

There was a time when the Filipino was a global citizen. He was cultured, intelligent, witty and philosphical. He concerned himself with the arts, music, culture, style and history as much as he did national governance, policies, and soverignty. There was a time we were called Ilustrados — inspired by Schiller and Shakespeare while studying Edison and Hamilton.

That’s why we started this blog. I got together some very close friends of mine who believed in the necessity to go back to the basics.

KC Leyco Mempin (MLCK) is my tailor and a friend of mine who happens to be passionate about Men’s wear and suitmaking.

It really takes a woman to make a man look good.

Jmie Mempin (JFM) is KC’s doting husband. A successful assistant director and avid football player.

I asked Jmie on board because he’s a happy and unapologetic “house-band” whom we all could learn a little something from.


Toffer Lorenzana (TL) is a close friend of mine from UP. We’ve worked together for a while now, and he’s basically my wheels for a small content company we run, Wobbletop Productions

He’s an amazing artist and is responsible for making Berto look spiffy.

Josh Aquino (JPA) and I go way back. I’ve known this guy since he was a kid in High School and I couldn’t be more proud to be working with him now as an amazing writer.

Graduating Journalism from Michigan State Universtiy, Josh helps keep Berto’s content air tight.

Argem Vinuya (HOWL) is a Dj, a Creative Director, an award-winning Graphic Designer, a sneaker head and a great friend of mine. I’ve never known someone so talented and gifted while remaining so down-to-earth.

He designed our official logo and provides a fun voice to the group.

Rhett Matthew Shaw (RMS) is a corporate lawyer, a young father, and probably the most comprehensive watch collector I know.

His love for timepieces goes beyond the brand and the prestige, it is deep and personal in the way a father loves his son.

We write of our thoughts and very honest opinions, in the hopes that we can engage more gentlemen (and hopefully, women too) in a discussion that will collectively benefit our generation, breaking away from stereotypes and breaking away from false limitations. More than once in a while, we’ll have guest Berto’s sharing their hearts, thoughts and souls with us, too. We can never stop learning, and we can never stop growing.

This blog is for every Filipino. This blog is for every Berto.

A few blog posts in, we were flooded with such great reception. Countless pats on our back affirming us that what we set out to do is appreciated and needed. It was sort of the perfect fuel to our fire.

For as long as Bertos keeps reading, you can trust that Berto will keep writing.


Author JPV

JPV is a professional TV commercial director, an independent filmmaker, an entrepreneur and a jerky maker. As sophisticated as he thinks he is, his wife thinks otherwise. He has a hard time fitting into RTW pants, and prefers to drink a peaty Islay scotch or a Bombay Tonic.

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