About me

In May of 2010, this blog started out as a way to list down my personal journey after losing my father and attempting to use it as a means to share my adventures with the few people I had. A year later, this has become a blog that analyzes a lot of issues I feel need some perspective on, shares some of my own techniques for living better, and some of my own personal adventures recorded. Instead of being mostly about me and my so-called life, this blog has evolved to become a way of giving rather than a call for attention.

A man is neither the summary of his accomplishments or catalogue of his possessions, but the total potential of who he can be and what he can do–that is how I define myself as a man.

A gentleman is not his title, whether it’s a label recognized by others or a self-appointed one. A gentleman is a man who follows the code of chivalry, has self-respect and self-love, and constantly strives to improve himself, all in hopes of being the best representative of himself, his friends, family, peers, and colleagues, and his values.

I was born in Northern California, and grew up mainly around the U.S. and the Philippines, and spent significant time in Hong Kong, China, and Thailand to consider them homes as well. I went through 12 schools growing up, a messy separation of my parents, hopping from couches of different people to motels as a homeless vagrant.

But let’s forget about all that. The long original description has been wiped clean. Who cares about it all? I lost people to life’s tragedies, including terrorism, suicide, disease, and selfishness. I’ve been homeless and abandoned. I’ve been ostracized and criticized, but it doesn’t matter how many humps I’ve gone over, it matters where I am headed.

Art. Philanthropy and charity. Adventure and travel. This is who I am: Johnny C. Radically honest, audacious, fearless, and friendly. Currently living in Siem Reap, Cambodia, spending days helping kids, playing guitar, making videos and taking pictures, biking around, working out, meditating, writing, and practicing martial arts.

“What’s my motivation? Be angry about everything. And yell a lot.” – Betty Hutton, on acting

“The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.” – Kurt Vonnegut

“Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm. As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands. One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” – Audrey Hepburn

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” -Mahatma Gandhi

“What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone? How else can we put ourselves in harmonious relation with the great verities and consolations of the infinite and the eternal? And I avow my faith that we are marching towards better days. Humanity will not be cast down. We are going on swinging bravely forward along the grand high road and already behind the distant mountains is the promise of the sun.” – Winston Churchill

“Society is not like a machine that is created at some point in time and then maintained with a minimum of effort; it is continuously re-created, for good or ill, by its members. This will strike some as a burdensome responsibility, but it will summon others to greatness.” John Gardener, Self-Renewal

“The person who experiences greatness must have a feeling for the myth he is in. He must reflect what is projected upon him. And he must have a strong sense of the sardonic. This is what uncouples him from belief in his own pretensions. The sardonic is all that permits him to move within himself. Without this quality, even occasional greatness will destroy a man.” – Frank Herbert, Dune

“As an artist, you are always stationary. And being in the state of stillness, you will be able to fully observe places, and the people that move through it.” – Hubterta Wiertsema, one of the many travelers on the Camino de Santiago walk

“Don’t tell me how educated you are, tell me how much you have traveled.” – Mohammed

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” – Andy Warhol

6 responses to “About me

  1. Spencer Christian

    I enjoyed getting to know you at dinner, and I’m now enjoying your blog. Nice work–thoughtful commentary.

  2. Fascinating, Johnny. Thank you for sharing this. Again, the story is timely and inspiring. Best,


  3. Thanks for sharing your testimony. It resonated a bit with the dark times in my own life story. I appreciate that you’re so open about your struggles and triumphs.
    -Annie from Taiko class

    PS: I still can’t seem to get that swinging motion down-pat. MUST. PRACTICE.

  4. I looked you up because I shared the TCK article my friend posted on her FB on my G+. My TCK story lines up pretty closely to yours – up to and including the same major in UCLA. I’m always chasing my int’l development pipe dreams in West Africa. But your “about me” touched me because unlike my other IS friends, I hopped around financially handicapped as a consequence of my parents failing marriage and father’s philandering. No trust fund for my undergrad and grad and yet if not for that experience I would not have developed god like self awareness and resilience. I fought off the Samahang kids at UCLA – i had no need to “find my roots” because I have none 🙂 Thanks for existing and writing Johnny C.


  5. purpleowltree1234

    Wow, I love how you are focused on giving so much to the world. There is no better way to happiness. Looking forward to getting to know you better. You’re inspirational! :o) It’s so refreshing to hear someone talking about the dark times they’ve lived through. So many people keep these things secret. Thanks for having a voice and being a voice.

  6. Great quote and words to live by from Mahatma Gandhi.

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