An Interview with the Awesome

Meet Hoobert the Awesome, a 20 year old pure-blooded Filipino, unico hijo and blogger superstar. I recently caught up with the living legend as he celebrated the 3rd year blogversary of his baby, Chillspot.

In The Name of Jubert

It is essential that you pronounce his name right if you want to be his friend. It’s Jubert and pronounced as it is spelled. “One thing you should know about me is that some stupid people can’t get my name right. People just fucked it up!”, he blurted.

Is there any story behind the name?

“As much as I want to think that my name has some British connections but nah, waley. I think Mom had just a penchant for combining syllables in naming her offspring. My name came from them actually, JUDY + HERBERT. And my sister’s name is Herdy. Well, just figure that out.

(Not very imaginative, I must say, but at least it’s in honor of his parents, not after some movie characters or Hollywood starlets.)

You said that people can’t just get your name right. Can you explain this a little bit further?

“I heard a lot of variations of my name especially nung nasa college pa ako. A mate called me John Rupert one time. It was annoying and funny at the same time. Pero there’s this Chinese-themed grocery-slash-eatery that we always frequented na hindi talaga ma-gets ang name ko – Juvert, Jobs, Jobert. The worst? Juvy.”

If you have to do it over again, would you change your name today?

“I’ll admit that I’m not too fond of the name, it’s a tough one and I’m quite blaming mom for that. Hahaha. But I don’t think I would change it. I got used to it.”

So where does Hoobert the Awesome came from?

“I want to thank Jessa for that. Jessa started calling me that when I was in senior college then it stick to me like a bubblegum. I just added the word awesome ‘cos that how I describe myself. Hahaha!”

The Romantic Side of Him

He was 16 when he had her first serious relationship. “It didn’t last long. She had her priorities, I had mine. We don’t have any other choice but to end it. It was completely mutual, we’re both fine. We both knew it just didn’t work and no hard feelings at all.” Then Hoob adds this revelation: “The most hurtful one was my most recent break-up”. Late last year, his girlfriend of seven months broke up with him. “I was really, really hurt. I didn’t saw that coming. But oh well, that’s life. ”

How did you cope up with the break-up?

“At first, it’s really hard. I have to admit that I sulked in for days and there was a point that I cried. I don’t want to use the term suicidal but something close to that described what I was feeling. I was so afraid of the days that would come for I know they are moments without the love that made me complete. It was so tough but I had to bring myself back into consciousness and pick the pieces up.”

Do you still love her?

“To be honest, I still do. I’m really sad about the break-up. I’ve been keeping busy and all to take my mind off her but I’m having a hard time.”

Are you still friends?

“You know, sometimes people go through phases in their lives where they must be apart, I think we’re on such phase right now. Healing obviously takes time but I’m looking forward to the day that we’ll be good friends. ”

What did you learned from this break-up?

“This may sound so bitter of me but I realized that people are meant to fall in love but are not destined to be together.”

What’s your two cents on long-distance relationship?

“I had two long-distance relationships before and obviously I sucked big time on handling them. But that’s just me. If you really like each other, stay together. However, be prepared for ridiculous amount of stress ‘cos it is difficult no matter what the few couples who managed it say. Usually, one of you will stop trying to work on the relationship. When the work stops, the split starts.”

What do you think is the key to a happy relationship?

“Love and trust.”

Meet the Blogger

A blogger since 2009, Hoobert has covered everything from political rants and national election to his dirty little secrets, college-life and his undying love to the Philippine men’s national football team. Talking about blogging, he reminisced: “I never really thought that my blog would last this long.” For the record, Chillspot is his fourth blog. He described his first three blogs as amateurish. But I guess, most bloggers started just like that, right?

Hoobert, what or who inspired you to become a blogger?

“Writing will always be in my blood. It’s a personal relationship for me. I started doing essays when I was in grade school but I only started blogging after being inspired by a Thai-Belgian blogger whose feisty views I religiously followed. Mga 2008 yun e, but I only took this whole blogging thing seriously a year after that.”

What’s the best thing about blogging?

“Just the fact that I have the ability to to reach out and touch people through my blogs, be able to speak my mind and express myself is a gift.”

And the worst?

“In my case, it eats a lot of my time. I check my blog three times a day, more if I’m not doing something. I think you also know the feeling of how it is like to be stuck in the blogosphere, you know what I mean. I’ll tell myself one minuter but then the next blog I visit is too interesting to read and the next blog and the next. Before I know it, hours have passed.”

Do you like getting recognized?

“Of course, when people would drop some comments telling me that my articles help them in a way, it inspires me more to keep going. Sobrang sarap sa feeling. And it’s not because it gives a celebrity-like status but because it means I’m doing something right.”

Do you receive any hate mails/comments?

“Hahaha, yes. Prolly the worst was when an anonymous guy called me a dimwit.”

What do you feel about them?

“It’s hard because I get attached to my blog and I want people to like it as much as I do. But at the end of the day, I also understand it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but as long as I’m happy with it, I think that’s all that matters.”

What advice would you give to people who want to be a blogger?

“Whatever you fall in love with, you can succeed at.”

Should you meet Hoobert the Awesome in the future and forget to properly pronounce his name, here’s a quick guide to get you started on facts, favorites or just to get the ball rolling.


How To Win A Pageant Even If You’re Not (That) Good-looking

Well, it’s PNSA Ambassador and Ambassadress of Goodwill season again!

Honestly, it’s one of the few events that I look forward to when I was still in college. Because, hell, why not? It’s the only time of the year when eye candies from different nursing schools in the region strut their stuffs on stage and vie for the bragging right of being, well, PNSA’s most gorgeous.

It must be nerve-wracking to some of the candidates. I remembered joining a department-wide pageant a year ago. Oh God, it was a very exhausting and pressure-filled experience. I remember being too psyched about it, mainly because that was my first (and last) pageant evaaar and that pageant thing was for ego-boosting purposes and bragging right that I joined and won a pageant.

Jubs, you’ll represent the team sa Nightingale”, our team leader told me. With no second thoughts, I nodded. I literally had no idea what I was going into. Bahala na, I said to myself. I was in my senior year and I just wanted to have fun. That night, I told my mom about it. At first, she disapproved. “Gastos lang yan”, she said. But in the end, I still had her blessing (and her financial assistance).

As the days for the pageant became near, I got busier and busier. I remembered waking up at the middle of the night just to practice my walk in front of this huge, huge mirror in the dormitory’s men’s room. I shopped for new clothes with my mom. I remembered spending a large portion of my weekly allowance to buy stuffs – paints, ribbons, masks blah blah. Went to rehearsal. To tell you guys, it wasn’t easy. That’s why it made me venerate guys who constantly join in this kind of events. Applause applause!

At this point, I want to thank my family for being so supportive. My mom and my two sisters showed up in the day of the pageant, brought me some snacks and dinner and was ready to cheer for me.

Hours before the pageant proper, it sunk in to me. The thought. The anxiety. I may not show outward signs of beingfor new clothes with my mom. I nervous but deep inside my vital organs were coiling. I was conscious of how, at any given moment, I might throw up. All those I thought were preparations suddenly seemed not enough. All that self-assurance suddenly went down.

Before I could realize what happened next, I was on the backstage waiting for my number to be called.

The host: “Candidate No. 5 Jubert John Marzan.” Not much of a choice. Fight or flight.When I went on stage, I saw the crowd cheering for me (but I heard someone boo-ed me, bad!). I felt so much loved. I thought: “Let’s do this! I’m actually having fun.”

After hundreds of costume changes, the preliminary Q&A was next. Everybody got a question. It was asked in English. So easy, I thought (to tell you, I didn’t really prepare for the Q&A that much). The judge asked me (I’m paraphrasing): “how would you promote breast-feeding to mothers?”. Honestly, I fumbled for an answer but managed to give one in the end. ‘Wag niyo ng itanong. Nakakahiya! At saka nakalimutan ko na. Hahaha. At this point on, I wasn’t expecting anything. I knew that my answer in the Q&A messed up my scores. My answer, I believe, wasn’t that bad but it wasn’t good either.


Then, the announcement of the Top 5 came next. I knew then and there that I won’t place. But guess what? The unexpected happened.

The host: “The last spot goes to… contestant no. 5, Jubert John Marzan!” Yaaaaay! That’s me. I didn’t saw that coming.

To make the story shorter, I made it into the Top 5 and managed to give a decent answer in the final Q&A. I didn’t win the title. I only ended up as 2nd runner up but it felt good. My family was happy. Our team was happy. I was so proud of myself. The experience taught me that “it’s not all always about winning”.

Probably the lesson of the story is that, in a competition like this one, being smart and good-looking doesn’t guarantee you of winning. What you need is the determination of a winner. The drive. The desire. The confidence. Believe in yourself first so that you can make everyone believe in you. Though it is a popular answer among beauty queens, that doesn’t make it any less crucial.

Looking back at joining the pageant, I realized that back then I made decisions on my own.My family initially discouraged my plans of joining but in the end I joined and eventually got their support. Why? Because of a simple reason: I wanted to be there. I felt that it would make me happy. I joined not because my friends pressured me to do so but because I wanted to.

TO THE CANDIDATES: Do your best but don’t be too hard on yourself. Be competitive but at the same time have fun. Don’t be intimidated with the bashers/haters/bitters (inggit lang sila!) and your fellow contestants, instead learn from them to do better.

Shameless plug-in. As for me, I’m rooting for Iana babes – my girl on this auspicious event.Don’t vamp a reason that because she’s my friend. She’s really nice. If you’re looking for a knock-dead gorgeous, it’s her – hands down. Whoever is reading this that has a Facebook account please visit the official page now, support Iana and drop some comments. No, there’s no prize for nasty comments so just zip it.

1. Like the pageant’s official page here (PNSA Ambassador and Ambassadress of Goodwill 2012).

2. Then like Iana’s picture. Please please please. She’s pretty, isn’t she? (Iana’s glamshot)

Thank you.