IN THE MIX by Mic Diaz: Former Mayonnaise lead guitar player Philip Manikan takes his experiences to new heights in the U.S.

Multi-talented musician and sound engineer Philip Manikan elevates the musician and sound engineer to another level through his countless experiences. According to Philip, “There are a lot of opportunities available in the U.S. especially when it comes to multimedia production. There is a great demand for multimedia and post-production expertise, mostly for individuals or companies that utilize social media platforms to promote their products and services. With the technology that the U.S. has for various equipment and gear, creating is endless and keeps me inspired to improve my craft.”

Currently part of rock band Therewolf where he plays lead guitar, Philip sets his sights on delving deeper into music productions and sound engineering. In five years, he sees himself establishing a studio dedicated to recording and production for all audio-related projects including podcasts, films and music production in five years. He adds, “This studio will also offer music lessons and band rehearsal spaces. In 10 years, I envision having a team that specializes in multimedia arts production and live sound reinforcement services. In 20 years, I hope to manage a larger team while still performing on the side. In 30 years, I plan to mentor the next generation and pass on the knowledge and experience I’ve gained.”

Having worked with podcasts since 2008, Philip sees a need to support content creators in delivering high-quality products for their ideas. He aspires to help create a series of shows for those interested in starting their own. Additionally, he is keen on working on various audio projects, from music production to sound design. 

Adding to the multitude of expertise that Philip has, he has been teaching music production and guitar lessons to kids and teens, and has also been working as a freelance audio engineer for podcasts and documentaries. His recent projects include podcasts from Brokerage UP and PerchPeek where he edits their audio to ensure excellent quality for listeners. He also has clients such as Xpertise Medical Staffing that uses his services to edit audio for their various social media marketing materials. Furthermore, he just finished working as a sound designer and as a sound engineer for a documentary film under Papaya Film Productions called “Life of a Fighter,” which will be shown on Al Jazeera Network.

On what Philip still wants to achieve as a music engineer, Philip attests that music evolves daily, and that he strives to stay ahead of the market by utilizing available technologies that inspire the next generation. He aims to create music that blends the rawness of sound from the past with modern technological advancements.

One of the things Philip loves most about music is how it makes him feel. He affirms, “Music needs to evoke a strong emotional response, like an unforgettable moment in life. The emotional impact of music is what makes it memorable and significant. I would like to keep making music that even after listening to it decades from now, it’ll make me proud and stay grounded because it’s music that spoke to my soul.”

Philip’s journey as a performing artist and as a music engineer have led him to be attentive to details. He admits, “I have become meticulous when it comes to producing audio files. I have also learned to be resourceful—one may not always possess the newest technology or gear, but he may still use his creativity and authenticity to produce something extraordinary.”

“I also learned perseverance and adaptability. These skills have been crucial in performing and achieving good outcomes even with limited resources. They have helped me create with what I have and use creativity to make something out of it, which has been essential in adjusting to various situations in the U.S., and performing at the highest level.”

Looking back at his journey and stepping foot on U.S. soil for the first time, Philip recalls, “Back in 2016, I just wanted to explore opportunities that could be available for me in the U.S. I wanted to know more about American culture, how things work here and understand people’s mindsets. I learned that life here is a far cry from the life I was used to in Manila, but there was so much I’d like to learn here.”

After a few years, Philip went back to Manila only to find himself immersed in the thought that there was so much more waiting for him in the U.S. “I came back knowing that I have to learn to adapt to many things. The opportunities here are abundant, but competition is tight, especially for someone like me who’s starting from the bottom with no connections to get my foot in the door. However, I believe in my capacity as an artist and I like challenges. I knew it was going to be difficult, but I kept going; I can make something out of myself here.”

Philip considers the role of a father similar to being a musician. “Both roles require a certain level of creativity. I have to constantly think of ways to entertain my daughter, and come up with different ways to educate her. Just like mastering an instrument or certain software for audio engineering, being a dad requires patience and perseverance. Most importantly, I use music to make connections with listeners the same way I use it to connect with my daughter. I play music a lot at home and it’s been one of the many ways I connect with her emotions and uplift her mood.”

Philip reflects on his desires for a life for himself and his family in the U.S., “The U.S. offers abundant opportunities and a chance to learn something new every day from the people you meet. I enjoy working and staying busy and hope to continue working into my 90s. I want my family and I to have a comfortable life with the time to pursue our passions. While I am not materialistic, I value collecting experiences with the important people in my life.”

The performing musician in Philip, along with his band Therewolf, has been slowly getting back in the music scene with performances all over SoCal and a mini tour coming up soon.