Love is Love: David and Adam Rocca

Love is Love: David and Adam Rocca

ROCKIN’ UP WITH THE ROCCAS — More than the fight for legal rights, acceptance, and equality, marriage for David Rocca (34; videographer/content creator ) and Adam Rocca (26; real estate agent) is nothing but a celebration of union and love. 

Hey Paolo: What were your individual “coming out” stories like?

David: I was a late bloomer. I didn’t come out until I was 23 years old. Before that, it was just one big secret. I had a big Italian and Catholic family. Back then, coming out is a scary thing to do.

Growing up, it wasn’t accepted at school. I saw a kid one day and he got extremely bullied when he came out. He had to leave school and I never saw him again. That set me back.

I was lucky though as everyone around me was very accepting of my sexuality. Even though in my head I thought they weren’t going to be…

Adam: Mine was pretty easy as I was very easy-going and I had a laidback family.

David Rocca Adelaide Videographer Photographer South Australia
David Rocca

Hey Paolo: How did you both meet?

David: We’ve always known each other for the longest time, but the timing was never right. We were both in a relationship with our ex-partners at that point when we first met and it never really worked out. He was based in Port Lincoln while I was living in Prospect. But eventually, it all just happened.

Adam: We first met through mutual friends. We decided to have coffee one day — and the rest was history.

We built a relationship based on coffee.” – David

Hey Paolo: How did you guys get engaged?

David: I proposed to Adam and I did it, as cheesy as it sounds, at the Eiffel Tower in Paris back in 2016. We were on a European holiday for about a month. We had a backpack then and I had the ring inside the backpack the whole time. He was carrying the backpack during the entire trip, but he didn’t even realise that there was a ring inside.

Adam: It was so funny to get engaged in Paris. You’ll think that you’re having this really unique, special moment, but when you look around, there are about 10 other people also doing their own engagements at the same time. It was nice sharing that moment with other engaged couples.

adam rocca real estate agent adelaide south australia
Adam Rocca


Hey Paolo: How did your families and friends react to your engagement?

David: My parents knew as I told them prior. When we first posted on social media about our engagement, some people got really shocked while the rest were really excited for us. Although same-sex marriage wasn’t legal yet here in Australia at that point, I still wanted to go ahead with our marriage anyway. I wouldn’t let anyone stop me from doing what I wanted to do.

Adam: We were really lucky as we have very supportive families and friends. I personally don’t know any other gay couples who have been engaged prior to ours. Five months before our wedding, same-sex officially became legal here in Australia and it got us really excited. We got married in April 2018.

Hey Paolo: What’s the importance of same-sex marriage?

David: For me, it’s about commitment, love, and building a family. I wouldn’t want to share my life with anybody else.

Adam: Marriage for me is about being able to go through life together and to have that recognition that you’re just one unit as a couple.


david and adam rocca prospect adelaide (1 of 1)

Hey Paolo: What is LGBT PRIDE for you?

David: Being me, being loved, and equality in all forms. Having that freedom not to ever worry about where I go, what I do, and what would other people say. It’s about acceptance.

Adam: It’s about feeling safe and being truthful to who you are.

Hey Paolo: What’s the future for LGBTs here in South Australia?

David: It needs to be more openly celebrated. It needs to be more than just a gay club or some gay festivals. We need to have more gay-friendly places. We have to move more freely within the community without worries. I feel in certain places like Queenstown, New Zealand, everyone’s welcome. When we were there, I can hold Adam’s hand down the street without any hesitations, but here in Adelaide, I couldn’t really do that here…

Adam: Adelaide is always quite conservative — it will always be. I would like to see more diversity and LGBT faces in our government who will help form legislation so that everyone’s spoken and accounted for.

“I feel everyone’s more open-minded during the Adelaide Fringe festival in March, and when that’s over, everything’s back to the way it was.” – Adam

adam rocca and david rocca couple adelaide south australia

Hey Paolo: Recommendations for…


David: Cotto (112 Prospect Road) and Exchange Specialty Coffee (1-3/12-18 Vardon Ave).

Adam: FRED Eatery (220 Mount Barker).


David: Pizza e Mozarella Bar (33 Pirie Street) and Bangkok Boulevard (Tea Tree Plaza)

Adam: Madame Hanoi (Adelaide Casino, North Terrace) and Mrs. Q (1/128 Gouger St)


David and Adam: Henessy Rooftop Bar (Mayfair Hotel) and any of the bars at Peel Street/Leigh Street.

ON INSTAGRAM: David Rocca (@davidvincentrocca) and Adam Rocca (@adamrocca_)





Hey Paolo Meets: Radio Producer and 5EBI 103.1 FM’s President Juan Paolo Legaspi

Hey Paolo Meets: Radio Producer and 5EBI 103.1 FM’s President Juan Paolo Legaspi

Radio, as a communication medium, has undeniably evolved over the years. With a new batch of talented and passionate people who constantly aspire to share their voices, knowledge, and stories to world, radio will always have a place among people. 5EBI 103.1 FM’s Juan Paolo Legaspi, 33, shares his radio journey story. 

Hey Paolo: How did you start a career in radio?

My mum is also a volunteer radio presenter at 5EBI 103.1 FM until now. When I was younger, I used to help her and the rest of those in the radio station do some online research for their new segments.

Hey Paolo: What is 5EBI 103.1 FM?

5EBI celebrates cultural/linguistic diversity and it’s a fulltime multi-cultural community radio station here in South Australia. It doesn’t rely on commercial advertising, but instead, it’s managed by the local community and is funded by various donations. We have radio programs in 44 different languages — and Filipino is one of them.

Juan paolo legaspi radyo pilipino 5ebi103.1 fm radio dj

Hey Paolo: Who is your target audience?

5EBI 103.1 has been around for more than 40 years now. Back then, it was primarily to present news and information coming from the motherland and we share it here to our South Australian audience. At present, our mission has somewhat changed. Now it’s also about sharing cultures, music, languages, ideas, etc.

Hey Paolo: What are the main challenges working in this field?

The biggest challenge is always finding the right, consistent talents who will be able to run the shows. Majority of our presenters at the momemnt come from an older demographic. A lot of them have been doing it for decades now and they still love doing it up to today. We constantly need younger talents.

juan (1 of 1)-4

Hey Paolo: What’s the future of 5EBI?

We want to create a platform and a network of people who can potentially become radio professionals in this field. It’s a training ground and an opportunity to nurture talents.  Community radio can play a bridge between those who want to do it as a hobby and those who want to do it professionally in the long run too.

Hey Paolo: Recommendations for…

Breakfast: A Mother’s Milk (105 Unley Rd) makes really good baked eggs. My Kingdom for a Horse (191 Wright St) also creates good shakshuka.

Lunch: I wanted to keep this secret to myself, but my favourite is Contemporary Japanese Deli (22/68 Grenfell St) and they offer delicious $10 authentic Japanese bento boxes.

Dinner: For consistency, I like Wasai  (9/15 Field St). Their sushi bowls are always fresh. I also love Borsa Pasta Cucina (1/25 Grenfell), especially for their puttanescas.


Hey Paolo Meets: Entrepreneur and Entertainer Shania Twatt

Hey Paolo Meets: Entrepreneur and Entertainer Shania Twatt

They often say, “real queens fix each other’s crowns.” For Matthew Bruno, 35, he might have learned his lessons the hard way, but he is now ready to push himself once again to return to the scene and to bring his fab alter ego, Shania Twatt, back on track. 

Hey Paolo: What inspired you to become a Drag Queen?

When I was younger, I was very much into music, drama, and performing. I have always been good at making people laugh. I can easily mimick/perform different characters and I always feel comfortable being in front of people.

Here in Adelaide, I also grew up with all the drag queens at the old Mars Bar (a defunct gay nightclub) and I always loved how they perform. But at that point, I never really wanted to become a drag queen of my own.

Shania Twatt was really born in the Philippines. When I was working there managing a BPO company, I have visited a few gay clubs and made friends with people. One of the venue owners asked me to emcee for them for a night.

“What should we call you then in drag,” they asked. Shania Twain’s song was playing at that time and that inspired me to call myself Shania… (but as a Twatt.)

Shanai Twatt Pony Adelaide Drag Queen South Australia HIndley Street

I never called myself a drag queen. I classify myself more as an entertainer or as a character. If you see me in drag, it’s always for business; it means I’m working. It’s not like I go out wearing all these every night. 

When I came back to Adelaide, I kept asking myself: what does Adelaide need at the moment?

I created an agency called Man Netic Entertainment to manage a pool of talents (drag queens and adult entertainers) to serve and entertain different demographics, cultures, ages, and genders. We then initially started performing at Mars Bar, Madame Josephine’s, and a couple of other venues — and these all started successfully.

Hey Paolo: How has Shania evolved through the years?

I bought Mars Bar (which was later turned into OZ Nightclub) with a couple of others at that time but our club had to fold up as it was really difficult running it.

Shania got caught up with all the gossips, drama, and bright lights of the gay scene. Business-wise, I’ve made a lot of mistakes in the past. But I don’t regret anything now because I’ve learned a lot from it. As a drag queen, I’ve made a lot of friends and enemies too. I’ve made some enemies because of my own actions and wrong decisions in life. But you live and you learn.

With the closure of the club, I felt I was left in a really dark place. I stopped performing and hated doing drag shows. I got really depressed and I felt burnt out. I couldn’t find Shania anymore. I couldn’t even look at my costumes.

I took a time off, but I also felt I wasn’t done yet. I come from a family of entrepreneurs who run successful events and restaurants. With the support of my mum, I told myself, one day I’ll come back.

Now, I’m ready to come back. I’m ready to bring events again to Adelaide.

shanai (1 of 1)-15

Hey Paolo: Who is Shania Twatt?

Shania is #hookerrealness. She’s a lady of the night; a madame. She is big, bold, and beautiful. She’s courageous and she never holds back. She’s a big girl who loves to move. She supports big girls and she’s an advocate of body positivity.

I guess I was the Lizzo before there was fucking Lizzo!

Hey Paolo: How different is Shania Twatt from Matthew Bruno?

With Matt, there’s a sense of sensitivity and shyness still. Shania is a bit braver and she doesn’t care. Shania is my armour. I can be personally moody, while Shania is always happy and ready to party. I can be pretty private too, while Shania doesn’t really hold back.

Hey Paolo: How important is Shania Twatt for you?

It has been a tough past six months for me with COVID and the end of my relationship, which caught me off guard and I’m still healing from. So Shania has become more of an escape from the reality of disappointments and heartaches.

However, it was my ex who has also encouraged me to go back out there in the limelight. I still hope that one day though, my ex and I will be able to be friends again. For now Shania allows me to channel my emotions into a creative outlet.

Hey Paolo: What does Adelaide’s LGBTQ community need at present?

Adelaide needs a venue that will celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQ community while catering to a variety of cultures, curiosities, fetishes, and demographics. I just want to see everyone come back together and party like how they used to.

shania twatt drag queen adelaide pony hindley street 2


Hey Paolo: What’s next for you?

We opened up PONY (146 Hindley Street; male cabaret and drag show in Adelaide) last January 2020. At PONY, it’s a destination and a nonstop show featuring gorgeous men, drag queens, performances, visual effects, games, and lots of drinking & partying. Usually after our shows, the same venue turns into a nightclub.

I’m also planning to start a series of new gay events/parties in the near future (tentatively called “Bar Gaga”).

Hey Paolo: Where would Shania go for…

Lunch/Dinner: Of course, it’ll be at my mum’s restaurant, B Social (246 Foster Rd, Oakden). Shania likes drinking refreshing cocktails such as Aperol Spritz or Pineapple Malibu.

Weekend Spot: It’ll probably be at a random beach. She’s probably hangover or partying there.

Vacation: I would love to go back to a place where I have good memories of, like the Philippines. Or maybe Mykonos, Greece because I also have a drag queen friend there.

Shania Twatt’s Instagram Page:

Hey Paolo Meets: Mobile Massage Therapy from Luke Van Boekel

Hey Paolo Meets: Mobile Massage Therapy from Luke Van Boekel

Want to enjoy a luxurious and relaxing spa environment in the comfort of your own home? Luke Van Boekel, 24, of Odyssey Health Practices Adelaide provides mobile massage therapy services to help pamper and ease tensions in your tired bodies without you necessarily leaving your own bedroom. 

Hey Paolo: Why massage therapy?

I have always been interested in both fitness and health ever since I was young. It started in 2017 when I took up Certificates III & IV in fitness training and a course in massage therapy too. I have been doing freelance massage services since then.

I’ve always been keen to understand how the body works. I believe fitness and massage also work hand in hand. It’s about learning how the muscles work and how you can help with recovery and rehabilitation through massages.

new mobile massage therapist masseur adelaide luke van boekel (1 of 1)-2

Hey Paolo: How different are your services?

I offer “mobile massages” and I do it in the comfort of my client’s homes. I bring my own mobile massage bed, towels, music, and oil. It’s basically almost like a “spa” in their own homes. I also specialise in relaxation and deep tissue massages.

new mobile massage therapist masseur adelaide luke van boekel (1 of 1)-2 3

Hey Paolo: What are the benefits that you get from massages?

I’ve had clients who only go for one-off massages while some are returning clients.

Some of my clients have sleep problems and massages generally help them to relax, calm down, and be able to sleep. While for athletes and those who train at the gym, massages help release tensions from their strained muscles and it helps with quicker muscle recovery too. I also have a client who has some form of disability after getting into a car accident. Massages help create better blood flow throughout his legs.

new mobile massage therapist masseur adelaide luke van boekel (1 of 1)-2 new

Hey Paolo: When to avoid getting a massage?

Generally, if you have broken bones, burns, scars, and pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure.

Hey Paolo: Local recommendations for…

Brunch: I like going to Salem Cafe as it’s a completely vegan dining spot.

Weekend Spot: K-Pub also has vegan options and they have a killer vegan fried chicken.

Place to relax: I train both at Hangfit Street Workout and at PEAQ





Private Conversation with William Gargula

Private Conversation with William Gargula

Clothes might arguably make the man — but practically speaking, stripping off any possible facades also make the man true and authentic.

Chatted with fitness trainer, adult entertainer, and one of Adelaide’s very own Magic Mike, William Gargula, 25, about the misconceptions and ins-and-outs of this tempting and rousing adult entertainment industry.  

new adelaide stripper adult entertainer pony william gargula (1 of 1)-2

Hey Paolo: What motivated you to become an adult entertainer?

My ex-girlfriend and I were approached late last year by a few people from PONY to try working in this line of profession. I eventually pushed through and started working for them.

I like meeting people, talking to everyone, and making different kinds of connections — and I get that in this line of work.

For me to grow as a person, I want to put my “eggs in different baskets.” I am a personal trainer during the day and this is my side hustle.

adelaide stripper adult entertainer pony william gargula (1 of 1)-7

Hey Paolo: Have you had initial hesitations entering this profession?

My only anxiety at first was taking your clothes off in front of people and the intimacy part that goes with it. Making love for me is a very intimate process. At first, I didn’t feel comfortable doing it. However, I really do enjoy dancing and entertaining too. I have always been confident and comfortable with my body and myself.

Hey Paolo: Aside from having female audiences, do you get male patrons too?

I actually don’t mind performing in front of anyone regardless of their gender. I don’t care if the person’s a guy or a girl. I actually care more about my performance on stage and how I can feel comfortable during my private/one-on-one dances.

I’m 100% always there to entertain anyone regardless of their gender, age, or looks.

new adelaide pony william gargula male stripper australia magic mike

Hey Paolo: What was your most memorable performance so far?

It was probably my first ever show as I was extremely nervous then. Someone told me before that performance: “If you screw up, no one’s going to notice that you actually screwed up. No one has seen your routine before anyway.” That night, it actually went okay — it was fun and memorable.

Hey Paolo: Most challenging?

My first one-on-one lap dance with a male was my most challenging, only because I’ve never done something like this before. It was a little bit out of my comfort zone.

I’ve done a few hen parties too where I felt a little bit uncomfortable. But once you hear the clapping and the cheering from the audience, then you slowly start feeling more and more comfortable.

Once I start feeling uncomfortable, I tell my clients to stop. I have to always think that I’m in control and that I’m on the seat of power. 

new adelaide stripper adult entertainer pony william gargula 4

Hey Paolo: Kinkiest?

At one of the hen’s I was invited to, I decided to do something different in my usual routine. While dancing, I decided to be sandwiched by the bride and her mum. I was facing the bride while her mum was facing my backside. I reckon the mother really loved it more than the bride herself.

Hey Paolo: How far do you go when you’re doing your performances?

For one-on-one lap dances, you can be completely nude as long as you feel comfortable with it.

adelaide stripper adult entertainer pony william gargula (1 of 1)-63

Hey Paolo: Are you allowed to kiss anyone during a performance?

I’ve never had, but you probably can.

Hey Paolo: Do you separate your professional from your private life?

I try to separate them all the time. I can’t marry the two together. Some of my clients know that I am also an adult entertainer, and if they’re interested to hear more about it, then I’m happy to share my stories too.

Hey Paolo: What do you think is the greatest misconception about strippers?

Strippers are typically boxed as “slutty” people. But honestly, none of my friends who work as adult entertainers too has ever tried sleeping with any of their clients. It is nothing but a job and it’s purely for entertainment. We want people to pay us money for another lap dance and to also keep coming back for more shows.

adelaide stripper adult entertainer pony william gargula (1 of 1)-59

Hey Paolo: Do you have a signature dance that your patrons enjoy the most?

I don’t even know what you call it — it’s probably like a dolphin dive and body roll.

Hey Paolo: How do you physically take care of yourself?

I have been a fitness aficionado my entire life (which is also the reason why I am a gym trainer too). Being athletic my entire life, I’ve had no problems about gaining too much weight. I’ve always been on the slimmer side, thanks to my parents’ genes. I love exercising 5x-6x a week, or sometimes even more. I also consider food as my “best friend.” I love cooking my own food that’s healthy, tasty, and enjoyable.

Hey Paolo: How do you motivate yourself before a show?

I get really nervous before any show. I try to concentrate and listen to a few songs on my playlist. I practice a few moves too before the performance. Before you know it, I’m already fully switched on.

adelaide stripper adult entertainer pony william gargula (1 of 1)-10

Hey Paolo: Have you ever felt really steamy and attracted to any of your clients while performing?

I did a lap dance and head massage for a one-on-one client. This person was super attractive and I was very much into her. I had to step back a little bit and concentrate on what I was there to do and not what I wanted to do. She was very keen on playing with me as well. After the routine, we chatted a little bit, exchanged Instagram accounts, but nothing really happened after that.

If I have a connection with someone, I want it to be organic and not really forced.

Hey Paolo: Have you met a client that has turned into a friend/date?

I’ve met a few of them where I’m like, “oh my god, they’re really gorgeous.” I would love to “entertain” them again anytime, but I haven’t gone as far as dating anyone.

adelaide stripper adult entertainer pony william gargula (1 of 1)-17

Hey Paolo: Where would you typically see William…

In the morning: You’ll see me working as a personal trainer in the gym.

In the afternoon: Depending on the day, I try to have personal time too whether it’s getting more sleep, watching Youtube videos, or catching up with my family and friends.

Weeknight: Definitely at home while cooking my own food. I absolutely love being in the kitchen.

Weekend: Out hanging with my friends, at a party, or catching up with people.

new adelaide stripper adult entertainer pony william gargula 5

Hey Paolo: Your recommendations for a good night out in Adelaide?

I would definitely recommend you to visit Pony. If you’re looking at holding private events, you can also contact and book through Man Netic Entertainment. We have an amazing group of sexy guys who are friendly, welcoming and are more than ready to entertain you.

INSTAGRAM: @billsongargula

**WATCH as William do the #NeverHaveIEver Challenge on Hey Paolo**


Hey Paolo Meets: Claire Petersen of The Little Animal Co.

Hey Paolo Meets: Claire Petersen of The Little Animal Co.

If you think having a single puppy at home is already hard work, you have to meet Claire Peterson of The Little Animal Co. Growing up with pythons, alpacas, emus, among many others, Claire has her heart firmly set ever since she was a kid to raise, rescue, and love animals and to also give them a safe place they’ll all call home. Now running her own business, Claire found a new calling in providing pet services for weddings and events.  

Hey Paolo: How did you start The Little Animal Co.?

I’ve always been a big animal lover. As a zookeeper, wildlife keeper, veterinary nurse, and conservation educator in the past, my world has always revolved around animals. I’ve also forged a career around something I love and something I’m passionate about.

When I had my wedding six years ago, I wanted to include my pets in the ceremony too, but unfortunately, there was no one who can look after them and there were no companies/businesses that offer these kinds of pet services during weddings back then.

I had a koala, Edmond, who has lived with us as an orphan for some time and during my wedding day, he was also there at the venue to act sort of as our “best man.” I made sure he will be present at my wedding and that guests will have a chance to have photos taken with him too.

My business started from there. Since 2014, my network of friends started asking me to help them with their pets and how they can incorporate them into their weddings. Now, my services range from pet pickups, chauffeurs, pet limo services, and even cafe hangouts/day outs with their dogs before the wedding, etc.

Hey Paolo: How did your love for animals begin? 

Growing up, we used to live in the city and had a massive backyard. My oldest brother also loves animals. I used to bring and rescue animals back home. I almost had a mini zoo in the backyard. That kept me busy and entertained.

the little animal co claire peterson (1 of 1)-4

Hey Paolo: What animals do you have now?

I have a farm at home. We’ve had two cats (but sadly one passed away last year), chickens/roosters, a pair of rescued cockatoos, an Amazon greet parrot and a few other parrots, quails, rescued lorikeets, goats, sheep, a rescued alpaca (but has already passed away), two ponies, and an emu. I also had a cycle of rehab animals coming in and out of the farm at different times and we release some of them back to the wild.

I’m a bit of a bird nerd. I probably have more birds than anything else…

Hey Paolo: What’s your typical day with your animals like?

Given that I was a zookeeper, I pretty much do “zoo rounds” at home too. I get up really early before I get ready for work. I usually feed my dogs and cat first, and then I go to the different areas of the farm. Daily, I do constant rounds of feeding, watering, and monitoring.

Hey Paolo: What’s the value of animals for you?

I used to be really shy and passive when I was a kid. Animals were good for me because I can talk and connect with them. They were always happy to see me. They give me confidence and with them around, I feel validated as well. It has always been a loving place for me. They also represent loyalty and unconsumed love. They’ve been my world.

Hey Paolo: What kind of services do you offer at The Little Animal Co.?

A lot of my pet services are customisable — from pet chauffeuring services, taking someone’s pet to the wedding, etc.

Hey Paolo: What are the biggest animal trends that you see now?

Dogs are everywhere: dogs at weddings, dog-friendly cafes, dog events, etc.

Hey Paolo: Recommendations for…

Pet-friendly Cafe: Argo on the Parade is one of my favourites. They have an awesome menu and their cafe also caters to dogs. They also have beautiful murals where you can also have cute little photos of your dog next to it.

Place outside your home where you love bringing your dogs to: There’s an awesome dog park at Marshmallow Park on Glen Osmond Road. 

Dog-friendly wedding venues: A lot of the wineries and wedding venues in the Adelaide Hills are now pet-friendly. Maximilians Restaurant is brilliant — plus they have an emu there too! Woodburn Homestead is also beautiful and it is an amazing venue. There are always new venues popping up everywhere.

Instagram: @thelittleanimalco. Website:





Hey Paolo E-Meets: The Filipino Project

Hey Paolo E-Meets: The Filipino Project

From the savoury Adobo (pork/chicken stew) to the trendy Ube dessert, the humble and unassuming Philippine cuisine is always catalpulted by foodies as the next Asian rising star. We chatted with John Viojan, owner of The Filipino Project in Adelaide, about his growing food business and how he flirts the international palettes of South Australians.

Hey Paolo: When was The Filipino Project established?


Hey Paolo: What’s the history and inspiration behind your business?

We used to own another Filipino restaurant here in Adelaide. After closing the restaurant years ago, we found a gap in the market especially when it comes to offering Filipino food during festivals. We were lucky enough to be a part of many large events for the past three and a half years. Our business has since evolved and we now do private catering for intimate events, including birthdays and weddings.

Hey Paolo: What’s unique about your food/services?

We try to offer Filipino favourites with a twist. At present, we are the only business in South Australia offering Filipino Kamayan-style (communal style) grazing tables.

Hey Paolo: What are your main challenges as a business?

Not many people know what Filipino food tastes like. The main challenge will be introducing and describing the flavours to someone who has never tried it before.

Hey Paolo: What’s your most sellable item?

Previously, it was our Tocino-flavoured BBQ Ribs. But ever since we added Lechon (suckling pig) on the menu, everyone has been loving it. It has been a best-seller because we also offer limited quantity per event. People know that they have to come early to be able to order and get one, otherwise they might be able to try it at all.

Hey Paolo: How are you affected by these challenging times?

We’re mainly event-driven, so it has been difficult when our events get postponed/ cancelled. Now, things are starting to change and we’re starting to see more people out and about again. We’re doing a lot of smaller/ home-based catering gigs and we have also started bottling our own bbq sauce to sell to everyone.

Hey Paolo: What’s your personal story?

I’ve always had an interest in cooking. I was born in Illigan City, Philippines, but my parents migrated to Darwin, Australia when I was still a baby.  I grew up with a big family and we always have big gatherings to feed plenty of people. My dad was my first teacher in the kitchen. He has since passed away and his memories constantly inspire me. I just wish he has managed to try my own version of the lechon.

Hey Paolo: What’s your favorite festivals here in South Australia?

Our two biggest food festivals here are the Lucky Dumpling Market and Gluttony during the Adelaide Fringe.  The guys behind Gluttony gave us our first opportunity to work in the festival scene and we’ve been really lucky to grow our business alongside them. We love it when the city comes alive during the festival season. We wish it’s always like that all year round.

Follow THE FILIPINO PROJECT on Instagram: @thefilipinoproject


Hey Paolo Meets: Dr William Peterson

Hey Paolo Meets: Dr William Peterson

With an impressive resume and colourful history, Dr. William Peterson’s professional body of work is as colorful and rich as his personal life story. Born and raised in America, he has worked and lived in various parts of the world but eventually landed here in Adelaide where he discovered his newfound “home away from home” while working as a Drama Arts professor at the Flinders University.

Hey Paolo: How did you start in the field of Drama Arts?

It just started with some acting classes at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco which used to do crazy Stanislavski training and it was badly taught at that time. 

I also lived in England for a year in the early 80s and among many things, I’d also decided to try applying and auditioning at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA). As we all know, every other famous person in the UK acting circles has gone to RADA. It was ridiculous to think I’d ever get in — I actually didn’t get in.

When I moved back to San Francisco, my friends and I started a theatre company and we started recruiting people. We did an all-male production of the lonesco absurdist play “The Bald Soprano.” It ran for weeks and I got us reviewed. We also got ourselves a non-profit status as an organization. I discovered that I was enjoying it — it was so fun. That made me think: this is pretty great. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we get paid to do this everyday? 

I got Masters training in acting (M.A., Dramatic Arts, San Diego State University) and eventually received my Ph.D. (Ph.D., Dramatic Arts, University of Texas at Austin). 

Hey Paolo: How did you build a career in Asia?

In 1991, not a lot of people from the West knew much about Singapore. But the National University of Singapore wanted to hire someone from overseas and I was one of probably just a few applicants at that time. I got the job and  spent three years living there.

I looked at the university’s curriculum and there was no Asian content and it was very Western-focused at that time. I asked: “We’re not teaching any Asian content. If you don’t want to teach it and you don’t mind some white guy teaching it, I’ll do it.”

I would travel outside Singapore during the weekends and I’d go to nearby Asian destinations such as Sumatra, Bali, Thailand, Malaysia, etc. where I’d work almost like an ethnographer taking photos, writing notes, and meeting people. I wasn’t trained to do that kind of research but I just started doing it. Eventually, I became educated in traditional Southeast Asian art forms especially in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, etc. I’ve personally experienced all of them as a spectator while most of the time in the West, they are usually taught by people who have never personally seen them. 

From Singapore, I moved to New Zealand for three years and went back to the US. 

I also started doing my research in the Philippines back in 2001. It was at the University of the Philippines (UP) and connected with the People’s Educational Theater Association (PETA) where I met many cool people. I initially started writing about PETA and activism. But I thought, there’s nothing anymore new to write about. I came back to the Philippines a few years later to look at how the traditional Christian-rooted religious Senakulo ceremonies work, specifically the Moriones festival in Marinduque, Philippines. 

will peterson flinders university dramatic arts professor 2

Hey Paolo: Why move to South Australia?

The longer I stay here, the more I say: maybe I’ll just continue staying.

Aside from being headhunted to work here in South Australia, I also come here for the international festivals. Their festivals here are really interesting, challenging, wacky, and eccentric — and I like that. In some ways they’re my lifeline to a more progressive global theatre culture.

When I first started coming here in 2008, Adelaide wasn’t as green and pretty as it is now. It was all brown, flat, sad, and nothing like the present. 

I love living in a neighborhood where I know the people who live here. If I see my neighbours on the street, sometimes I end up talking to them for up to 15 minutes like I used to do when I was a kid growing up in Minessotta. 

Adelaide has really made me feel very much at home.  

Hey Paolo: Why do you love living here in Adelaide?

The most important factor for me is feeling that I’m at home. I didn’t feel that when I was living in Melbourne. I had a great, urban, cosmopolitan, fabulous lifestyle there, but I didn’t feel connected to the place. The built landscape and environment were beautiful, but it didn’t speak to me. 

Adelaide is charming and handsome, especially the big old 19th century commercial buildings. I also had that sense that this is going to be a friendly place especially since I live alone. 

And the connection to the land/country, it’s very powerful here. Plus the wineries and cellar doors here, like the Barossa, are wonderful. 

Hey Paolo: How do you innovate now as a drama professor in light of the pandemic?

My attitude from the very beginning is always to be honest in acknowledging the pain, discomfort, and confusion with what’s happening around us. 

I always tell people that we’ll all get through this emotionally well and healthy. We’ll just survive. How do we do that? A little bit of laughter even if we’re screwing up. 

I teach students who are from different cohorts including: dancers, visual artists, fashion majors, costumers, acting majors, film students, and education teachers. 

Flinders was one of the first universities to move to online classes. 

Even in a city like Adelaide, there will always be people who will have problems accessing the internet. We don’t have equal access to high-speed internet. We definitely can’t compete with the rest of the world if we don’t have proper internet bandwith. 

Hey Paolo: Do you think there’s a creative brain drain happening in South Australia now?

We’re trying to get more and more students to work across different art forms and to deepen their collaborative relationships with filmmakers, dancers, digital media artists, etc. To create work that they can make from here. 

I totally understand that some kids have to go to bigger centers.  But if you are somebody who wants to develop an artistic practice particularly across art forms, Adelaide is a great city to do it. The potential here is absolutely huge, particularly now that this is becoming a center for digital media. 

The city definitely has a strong commitment to the arts. 

My hope is that, those who can stay, I want them to feel they can stay here. 

Hey Paolo: Recommendations for…

Creative Spot: The Arts/State Theatre has a great vibe especially when things are happening there.

Dining Spot: Ding Hao at Chinatown. It’s the real deal. Good and unpretentious. 

Hangout Spot: I think the most powerful place is the Flinders Rangers for me. 

















Hey Paolo Meets: Anthony Pasut of Adelaide Gin

Hey Paolo Meets: Anthony Pasut of Adelaide Gin

Beer and wine are traditionally everyone’s most popular liquor of choice, but undeniably, there’s an emerging contender in the alcohol scene: gin.

Yes, gin is fast becoming the new black.

In Australia alone, there are over 170 gin distillers operating in the market. Here in South Australia, another local distiller, Adelaide Gin, is ready to steal the spotlight with their range of quality products that boast unique flavours of rose, lemon myrtle, and hints of lavender that are locally sourced from Kangaroo Island.

We chatted with Anthony Pasut, Adelaide Gin’s South Australian Account Manager, to learn more about this rising star.

Hey Paolo: What’s the history and inspiration behind the business?

Established in 2018, Adelaide Gin & The Australian Distilling Company was founded by Michael Hickinbotham. The Hickinbothams have a great family history in wine and spirit making. Michael has always been a massive fan of gins. He has always been attracted to its colourful history, flavour profile, and the sophistication of the drink.

Michael’s love for spirits, coupled with his love for his hometown (Adelaide), pushed him to establish Adelaide Gin. Enchanted by the artisanal and handcrafted elements of the entire distilling process, he sought the best advice from international & local producers. And after 12 months, he finally mastered his own gin recipe together with his team which was led by their master distiller, Dr. Graham Jones. The result is a gin that truly embodies the Adelaide spirit.

Graham is an award-winning distiller and one of the few people in Australia who truly understands the intricate art, science, and craft of distillation. Graham teaches distilling at the University of Adelaide for over 30 years now.

To ensure a premium quality product, he distills Adelaide Gin in an elegant 20-year-old Frilli Impianti Italian copper pot still.

Hey Paolo: What’s unique about the Adelaide Gin?

South Australia has a great range of locally made gins. What makes our gin so special is that we source our botanicals from local suppliers. Our premium base spirit comes from the Barossa Valley and the lavender used comes from Kangaroo Island. We create our product at the Waite Campus in Mitcham.

At present, Adelaide Gin has already won four (4) gold medals in international competitions.

Hey Paolo: How do you describe the profile of people who loves Adelaide Gin?

The best part about our gin is that it really brings a wide range of people together. We have people who love to celebrate the dynamic vibe of the city. They enjoy the way our gin captures the botanicals that are sourced from places such as Kangaroo Island and the Barrossa Valley, which hold special memories for most of them. We also have gin lovers who fall in love with the flavour and the story behind it. No matter who they are, they generally enjoy the company of people, they love celebrating life, and they enjoy embracing the fun spirit of Adelaide.

Hey Paolo: What are the main challenges of your business?

Like everyone, the changing liquor landscape is a challenge in itself. So many good products are out there in the market. We try to work with all our local distributors to keep our ear to the ground especially when it comes to new bars and restaurants that are opening up. We work with our new and existing customers in any way possible to help them sell our products and we hope that the people behind the bars also become our “brand ambassadors.”

As an Account Manager, I really value the relationships I have in the trade industry and I try to ensure that I approach every conversation I have with them as if I was the owner of the establishment. I believe 90% of my job is creating and maintaining relationships with my customers to ensure that they trust me to deliver results to their business and that they know that when hard times occur, they can count on me and our company to help them in any way possible.

Hey Paolo: What are the necessary changes you had to adapt during COVID-19?

As a small business, COVID-19 really impacted the plans we had in place for the first half of 2020. We had so many of our customers literally closing their doors overnight. We had such a strong presence in the bars then and we had to change our direction to focus on the bottleshops and retailers instead to give the customers the same experience in their homes. It was all about ensuring the people that wanted to drink our gin were able to do so in the comfort of their homes.

Hey Paolo: What’s the future of the South Australian gin industry? 

That is the great unknown! It is such an exciting industry to be a part of and we are so lucky here in South Australia that we have such an amazing range of local gins. We continue to see more and more varieties of gin come into the market as companies play around barrel ageing or different distilling techniques. It is always a pleasure to go out in the city and try all the new gins that come out and I think we have a really good culture here in South Australia about getting behind the locals. Some of the best guys to work with in the industry are actually those who run their own distilling businesses because the passion we each share is infectious.

Check out Adelaide Gin:

Follow Adelaide Gin’s Instagram page:

Follow Anthony’s Instagram page:

Thoughts: “Love my gin. Love Adelaide Gin. Love supporting local distillers.”

– Hey Paolo

Hey Paolo Meets: “Peak Performance” Advocate Austin Lovell

Hey Paolo Meets: “Peak Performance” Advocate Austin Lovell

Knowing your purpose and setting personal goals might be the obvious pillars of “Peak Performance,” but for 19-year-old marketer, video creator, entrepreneur, and Peak Performance advocate Austin Lovell, the real challenge is applying these learnings consistently and conscientiously in your every day life.

Hey Paolo: What inspired you to become to a “Peak Performance” advocate on social media? 

I genuinely enjoy helping people eliminate distractions, unlock more energy, and skyrocket their outputs and results through the content I share and the insights that I provide. Everything I talk about comes from my own experiences. I live and breathe peak performance every day.

I always push myself to try new things and to attain more in my work, relationships, and life in general. And it comes naturally to help others practice what I have already been doing.

Hey Paolo: Do you think millennials think more maturely now as compared to the previous generations when they were about your age?

I think times are very different now and the problems young people face are quite different from past generations.

I believe we are in a world that rewards “smart work.” We reward people who approach their life, health, and work methodically and purposefully. We reward people who have the drive to push themselves. I think previous generations value pure hard work more. I’m not saying that hard work is no longer valued at present, but people get rewarded more so now for bringing both“smart work” (influenced by productivity systems, environment optimisation, health optimisation, etc.) and “hard work” (day-in and day-out consistency, pushing yourself physically & mentally, high levels of drive, etc.) together. The fusion of both is powerful.

Hey Paolo: What is “peak performance”?

Have you seen the movie “Limitless” starring Bradley Cooper? That’s what peak performance is about: being limitless.

Peak performance is about operating at your very best in whatever you do. It is where your work seems effortless; you have mental clarity; you are alert and focused. For peak performers, no task is too difficult and no challenge is insurmountable. By showing people how to rewire their minds, upgrade their health, and skyrocket their productivity, I give my students the opportunity to become limitless and get the best out of themselves each day.

Hey Paolo: How do you generally achieve peak performance:

At the office:

Build a strong work environment. I think of it as a game of “snakes and ladders.” The snakes are the negative objects in your environment: those that pull you away from your goals and those that distract and push you off track. The ladders are the positive objects: the items that bring you joy, those that push you closer to your goals, and those that help you make the right decisions. By removing the snakes in your environment, you become a step closer to achieving your best.

Simple things can also be done such as: having your phone on airplane mode for most of the day; keeping it stored in another room while you work; using the Focus App to block certain websites on your laptop especially during work hours; and using simple applications like FB Feed Eradicator and ImprovedTube to eliminate the urge to use social media.

All of these can do incredible things for your focus and work output.

At school:

I see a lot of people struggle with “clarity” at school (i.e. why they were doing what they were doing and knowing what the end goal was).

For students who knew what they wanted (e.g. what to take up in university, job/vocation to pursue, where they wanted to go in their professional lives), they usually generally perform so much better in school.

I show people how to gain greater clarity by identifying their “Polaris Star” — their true north, their end goal, and the things they wish to achieve above all else. I help to structure their year/quarter/month/week/each day to move closer to their end goals.

Clarity is essential and it’s a non-negotiable. If I could give anyone a gift, it would be the gift of clarity.

At home:

When I think of peak performance at home, I think of the concept of “presence.”

I respect people who put tremendous amounts of energy and brainpower towards their work while they are working, and when work is finished for the day, they become fully present for their families, friends, and loved ones.

When you can break the constant push and pull of daily work in your life and you give your mind and body the time it needs to relax and refresh, while enjoying some quality time with your loved ones, then you will be able to perform at such a higher level in all other aspects of your life.

With your fitness and financial goals:

It all comes back again to “clarity.” You can have all the best productivity systems in the world, the most rock-solid mindset and health protocols, a good consistent sleep, excellent focus, but if you don’t have the clarity on your goals, then there’s no point.

When it comes to fitness, my goal is to increase mental clarity through exercise. I’m not trying to be Mr. Olympia, and I know that. I structure my fitness programs, nutrition and the way I approach my health accordingly.

When it comes to financial goals, peak performance is the means to reach and exceed your set goals. It’s the vehicle that will accelerate your growth as a person like nothing else.

Hey Paolo: What do you think distract people the most from achieving their peak performance?

Bad habits. Everyone has bad habits. I have them and everyone does. The challenge is how to change them. Not many people are willing to really improve themselves. That’s why for those who are willing to change their bad habits, they achieve incredible things because they were willing to push themselves to be better.

As for other distractions, for some, it could be social media, a diet they’re following that doesn’t give them the energy to focus each day, or even work with a “snakes and ladders” type of environment.

Peak performance is about overcoming all these distractions and being your best every day.

Hey Paolo: Your recommendations in South Australia for…

A good place where you can reflect and achieve peace & quiet:

Running, biking, or even just walking in the city. Having time for myself reenergises me and it allows me to reflect and refocus.

Best spot that makes you feel most creative and energised:

Adelaide CBD. I love the city and it’s the place I call home. The buzz and energy of the city makes me feel most creative and energised.

Dining area you love the most: 

I love Rundle Street and Adelaide’s East End. These ones show Adelaide’s true style and vibe. 

Check out Austin Lovell‘s social media pages:

Youtube page (click here)

Download his free ebook:

Instagram: @austin.lovell

Thoughts: “In a world where there’s tons of distractions bombarding us every single day, it’s really important to set goals and timelines in order for us to complete certain tasks with a sense of joy, peace, and fulfilment. I personally use a simple whiteboard and marker writing my daily goals and I try to tick off each item one by one. It helps me prioritise the task I need to finish first.”

– Hey Paolo