Thursday, July 31, 2003

Sinead O'Connor had the right idea

I'm currently considering giving up being catholic.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Did you know...

... that the font they use for the logo of ubercool spy show Alias is the one they used (and originated from) the font from Hootie and the Blowfish's CrackedRearView album? (in fact, the name of the font is called "Hootie!")

I'll most likely find a lot less interesting in the morning after I've gotten some sleep.

Monday, July 28, 2003

Busy busy busy

And to think I was complaining about needing to find things to do? Hotstix will be reopening, bigger and better tomorrow, and even after that there's going to be a LOT of things that need to be done.

Be careful what you wish for.

Quick Link

Damn, I've been killing myself trying to come up with new songs, when it turns out there's a PROGRAM that can do it for you!

Expect new material from me soon.

Alanis Morissette Lyrics Generator

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Japanese Kitties

Snoozing peacefully in the corner as I type are my two new kittens which Nelz and I got from our friend Faith's tita. We each got 2 kits respectively, a boy and a girl. The male has a coat mixture of white and orange blotches, while the female has a beautiful coat which is almost all-white save for a few tiny patches of gray and orange here and there (which signifies that she isn't deaf, an affliction common with blue-eyed white cats).

I've named the male C-Chan as I've been watching a lot of Ranma 1/2 on AXN, and the female I've named Inari (after the sweet soybean sushi that they serve at Teriyaki Boy). Both of them have blue eyes, and in the case of Inari, one eye is blue and one is gray; a truly beautiful specimen of kittendom. (already I worry about inadvertently giving more attention to her over C-Chan).

Along with Nelz naming his kittens Yaki and Udon (after the brand noodles we gorged on this weekend as we were apparently on a noodle-trip) it seems that were are currently in a Japanese state of mind. I think it's cute, really. The main criteria I have for naming a pet is that it has to be cute, genuinely fun to say out loud and something you don't mind yelling in public over and over again.

I wonder what they would have ended up being called if we had been on a dim sum trip at the time.

Beautiful Disaster
 (Kelly Clarkson)

He drowns in his dreams
An exquisite extreme I know
He’s as dumb as he seems
And more heaven than a heart could hold
And if I try to save him
My whole world could cave in
It just ain’t right
It just ain’t right

Oh when I don’t know
I don’t know what he's after
But he's so beautiful
Such a beautiful disaster
And if I could hold on
Through the tears and the laughter
Would it be beautiful?
Or just a beautiful disaster

His magical myth
As strong as with I believe
A tragedy with
More damage than a soul should see
And do I try to change him
So hard not to blame him
Hold on tight
Hold on tight

Oh cuz I don’t know
I don’t know what he’s after
But he’s so beautiful
Such a beautiful disaster
And if I could hold on
Through the tears and the laughter
Would it be beautiful?
Or just a beautiful disaster

I'm longing for love and the logical
But he's only happy hysterical
I'm waiting for some kind of miracle
Waited so long
So long

He’s soft to the touch
But afraid at the end he breaks
He’s never enough
And still leaves more than I can take
Oh cuz I don’t know
I don’t know what he’s after
But he's so beautiful
Such a beautiful disaster
And if I could hold on
Through the tears and the laughter
Would it be beautiful?
Or just a beautiful disaster

He’s beautiful
Such a beautiful disaster

Thursday, July 24, 2003


Tonight at dinner, Game Ka Na Ba? was on TV, and the celebrity constestants were a woman (who later turned out to be Tessie Tomas) and her American husband, who was admittedly cute in an older-man bearish kind of way.

Pointedly ignoring the woman beside him, I immediately asked my mom (who was watching the show) who the man was:

Me: *eyes fixed on the screen* "Sino Yan??" ("Who's that??")

Mom: *one eyebrow raised* "Asawa ni Tessie Tomas. Bakit ka interesado?" ("Tessie Tomas' husband. Why are you so interested?")

Not having a decent cover story beyond "because he's cute" I didn't answer her and immediately shut up. Damn. Lumabas na ang pagka-bading ko. Must learn not to be so obvious.

After all, I have a straight image to maintain. =D

Monday, July 21, 2003

Go here. Really. Just go. Huwag ka na magtanong kung bakit.

...Because it defies explanation. But I'll give it a shot: Leonard Nimoy. Hobbits. Plenty of singing and dancing.

WARNING: may cause terminal Last Song Syndrome

Words of wisdom indeed

"It's no harder to be nice than it is to be creepy. And it's much more fun."

            - Death, "The High Cost of Living" by Neil Gaiman

New Motto

Life is too short to carry hatred in one's heart.

Or to hang out with people who insist on doing so.

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Actually, type ko siya


Threat rating: High. The Bush administration is
concerned that it may not get a second term.
Therefore, we are going to change the rules so
that each Democrat vote only counts as 0.2
votes because Democrat is a shorter word than

What threat to the Bush administration are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you

Blinking Smiley
You are the horniest of the horny. You want ass,
and you want it now. Lookout world, because
you are on a mission.

How Horny are YOU?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

I was only going to buy an ink catridge, I swear

While walking around Virra mall looking to get an backup T026 color cartridge for my printer, I strolled across the trove of pirated DVDs which the mall has become infamous for. Up to this point I had always pointedly ignored the people going up to me offering their wares, with the always convincing pitch "boss-biseedee-deebeedee" or the more rare "ser-deebeedee-ex". Sorry, I have yet to get the "Ser-Deebeedee-emtooem". I guess I still pass for straight. Haha. ;p

I've always been a staunch opponent of piracy, refusing to buy dvds (except for that one time I caved and bought a copy of the Animatrix) even when it seemed like everyone else I knew did. I always chose to either watch the movie in theaters or rent it 'legally' in video rental stores (which ironically, often use pirated videos anyway).

The problem is, the aforementioned rental places that I used to frequent have shut down because they were unable to complete with the pirates (why rent for P60 and worry about returning it, when you can own the damn thing for P90?). Neither am I a preson rich enough to regularly buy official dvds, which can sometimes go as high as P1000 a disc or more.

This all means of course that I haven't been watching any videos lately, languishing in boredom all in the name of principle. But I was fine with that, really, secure in the knowledge of my uncompromised integrity, until I took that fateful walk down that narrow crowded corridor yesterday. I passed by one store, and on a whim, decided to rifle through their catalog of merchandise to see just exactly what it was I was missing.

What I saw first was what I expected; the latest movies still in theaters or not even arrived here, like Finding Nemo, whose footage was shot in a theater. I've always been bewildered by the people who buy those things. With a horribly grainy picture, and audience noise mixed in with the audio, what's the point of wasting your time and money with an inferior product? Other 'official' video releases like Daredevil were also out, which were of better quality being copied from the actual video release. These too, I ignored, with considerably more effort. That Episode 2 cover looked awfully enticing. But as I rifled through a couple of Bruce Willis action movies when I saw it; the thing that in an instant, made all my defenses crumble and destroyed a dynasty in anti-piracy.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

"That! Is an ex-parrot!"

"We are Knights that go 'Nee!'"

"I pop my pimples in your general direction!"

If you have never seen the movie, or even heard of Monty Python (and a relative minority in this country have), then these quotes will look like absolute gibberish that isn't even particularly funny. However, if you have, you are part of a select group of people who would instantly recognize these lines, and a hundred others from their many films and classic skits. Being a Monty Python fan is like being in a very exclusive club that combines being intellectual having a crazed out sense of humor. Some of the smartest people I know are diehard Monty Python fans. It's kind of hard to explain, but in short you need a brain to laugh at all the absurdity that goes on in a Python bit.

Trying to explain a Monty Python skit to a non-fan risks getting you blank stares in return. But when you watch a Python skit being played out something happens; The subliminal messages encoded within their demented performances surrpetitiously creep into your brain and rearrange the neural pathways of the part of your cortex that determines what is and isn't funny, so that you laugh out loud at skits involving limbless black knight and luckless would-be messiahs.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail is simply, put, an impossible find here in ANY video store. I could have spent my entire life as a faithful ACA customer and I would have never seen this movie, so I immediately snapped it up without hesistation. That gurgling sound I heard was my principles' death rattle, but I was too busy gazing lovingly at the numerous bonus features included in the dvd (commentary from the actors and director! Additional footage! Some games too!) to pay attention it it.

While I was there, and I had popped my cherry so to speak, I figured I would see what else they had. After wading some more blockbusters I found what I call their 'non-blockbuster' section; an array of movies which are dated, and in the case of some, downright uncommercial, which would go against what I perceive the market for pirated movies to be: Sex and Lucia from Julio Medem, and Talk to Her by Pedro Almodovar; two critically acclaimed foreign-language films which I figured would go over the heads of the people who would pay good money to get a (handheld cam quality, mind you) copy of Dumb and Dumberer. You already threw away 2 hours of your life you can never get back, and now you want a souveneir of it?.

I even saw Y tu Mama Tambien from the soon-to-be director of the next Harry Potter film, Alfonso Cuaron on sale. I have to admit, I was impressed to say the least, to see the number of great films being available here (and in some cases ONLY here, because Henry Sy saw fit to put in Matrix Reloaded for yet another week). After more searching, I bought a copy of Priscilla Queen of the Desert for Nelz to replace the VHS copy he lent to me and was subsequently taken by the pixies in my house that make stuff inexplicably vanish which I wrote about in an earlier entry.

I was in full Kid-in-a-Candy-Store mode now, and had moved on to another vendor where I uncovered the first three discs (episdes 1-12) of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer season one boxed set. I had gotten into this masterful series fairly late into it and have always regretted not seeing it from the start. And since both RPN 9 and Star World have displayed little interest in replaying the early episodes this was my only chance to watch it from the start and see how fat Sarah Michelle Gellar was before she got Hollywood-ized.

I was ready to buy it as is, but then they told me something which sweetened the deal even further: While other places were selling at P90, they would give me the discs at P80. I tell you, whetever lingering doubt I had was obliterated by that last remark. Above all else, I cannot resist a good bargain.

Having blown most of my budget, I was ready to leave, when I saw another boxed set, complete this time, of the entire second season of The Simpsons. That whimpering sound you hear was my wallet, which like my principles, I ignored and told it to shut up. I had always been an admirer of this masterful series, which just this year had offcially become the longest-running TV sitcom in history (having characters that never age is a big help). The wit, humor, and the fact that it was animated made me love love love this series right from it's humble beginnings as 2-minute shorts on the Tracey Ullman Show. I snapped up the very last copies (it had gone fast, despite just being released last week, and I wasn't surprised) and left for real, lest I see something else that I would be unable to resist.

Whew. 9 discs in 45 minutes. I chalk this up to the initial thrill of it all. I had been feeling depressed lately and just decided right there to splurge on myself, something I haven't allowed myself to do in a while. While I highly doubt I will go on similar shopping sprees every time I go there, I can see the allure of the whole process; going to the myriad shops, rifling through their extensive catalogs for the laterst blockbusters, or conversely digging around for that last copy of that rare movie or TV show. The thrill of finally finding the disc you want after lots of searching, and haggling for the price to boot.

There's a feeling of immediacy and urgency in buying pirated dvds, because turnover is high and they don't go for 'reprints', just printing a run of whatever disc suits their fancy and moving on. So if there's something you see and you don't buy it early, there's a good chance you'll have missed your chance to get it at all. There's a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction one gets looking at that stack of cases, the fruits of an extensive search all over the store. Then next week you go back and do it all over again. It's the way buying comics used to be, before they got ridiculously expensive. And at P80 a disc, comics haven't been that cheap since FVR was in power.

So have I become a full fledged pirate supported and have totally abandoned my high horse? Yes and No. I will still go to see movies in the theater and give the producers my money, and I will never buy a dvd of a movie still running. (In my view, that type of behavior is what is seriously hurting the movie industry) I approach it the way I do KazaA, which I use to download and listen to songs that record bars could never be troubled to get (has anyone ever seen Almost Happy, the 3rd album of K's Choice being sold anywhere?), by buying epsodes of shows that will never be rerun and movies that will never be shown here (side note: Undercover Brother is hilarious and I highly recommend tracking it down). And if there's a movie that I really, really want to get, including the extras on the bonus disc (which is never pirated) then chances are I'll get the original.

Even if I get a 'blockbuster', it will be after it has gone from theaters and I just want to see it as a home video. And since all the video stores in my area have gone under, Virra Mall has become my video rental store by default. Believe me, I tried to do it the 'right' way and just rent the movies I want, but it became too difficult and costly -- both in gas and in personal time -- to go halfway across town to the nearest remaining video store (and make the same trip in 3 days to return said vid) just because I wanted to see Scooby-Doo again. Basically, I see Virra Mall now as a video rental store where you never ever have to return what you borrow, which if you look at it that way is kinda cool.

Besides, ACA never offered you porn.

Monday, July 14, 2003


Two nights ago, my uncle informed me that while doing some business in Cavite, he came across a store named HOTSTIX, same color scheme as ours; striking enough that he immediately thought of our store. The only thing different was that it didn't have a 'barbecue' attached to it.

This is a serious infringement of trademark, and I am horrified. But at the same time, sorta kinda flattered. You know you've made it when other people start ripping you off.

The Devil finds work for idle hands

I need to busy myself more....

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Trial by Fire

Where's Joe? is a go for the Sanctum Unmasct auditions tonight. I'm constantly reminding myself to be realistic about our chances and to not have any expectations, but I can't help being excited and nervous all the same. Sanctum is a pretty lofty place to play in judging from the number of bands that have performed (or tried to perform) there. Realistically, we might not be able to make the cut this time, but if we did, it would be a huge boost to the self-esteem of both myself and the band.

Here we go. *puts on Morpheus tweezer-shades*

Monday, July 07, 2003

I do SO have a life

Tonight, the first episode of Taken on Star Movies at 7 (I missed the initial telecast on sunday) and then the new season of Six Feet Under on HBO after that. How am I supposed to get anything done when they keep putting quality stuff on the screen?

Damn television.

I love this thought

"I love the idea of what's called the "pop song." I just wish there was a better term for it, because it's a misnomer. But this notion of a three-minute art form where you have to condense a thought... If you're actually concerned with it being emotional or having a new idea or being a different angle on an old subject, to really make that happen is rare and beautiful. And the people who can do it on a regular basis are very rare and beautiful."

                      - producer Jon Brion on pop music, from theonion.com

Finding Nemo

Last night I felt the stirrings of another painful singaw in the back of my mouth. Wanting to head it off early by putting medicine on it before it got really painful, I rooted through my dresser drawer for some Daktarin Oral gel (simply the best medicine for mouth sores). I opened a small metal tin on my drawer the contents of which I had no idea what was inside, and while I didn't find any Daktarin, I did find the rechargeable battery pack for my family's camcorder, which I had long thought lost forever.

I remember the last time I saw it was when I was filming my college film production project, way back in 1999 (!!!). Looking back, I see now that I was too preoccupied by making something that would 'impress' everyone instead of just doing a good piece of work. But after the shooting, I couldn't find the battery pack, and spent many days looking for it.

Even thought I knew that I hadn't lost it outdoors (all the shooting was doen inside my house), I eventually gave up and bought a new one. I never thought I would see it again. So imagine my surprise to see it turn up again, years after the fact long after I had stopped looking for it in a place I never even considered checking.

Just the last weekend Nelz was lamenting how his cum laude pin was missing; the last time he saw it was when he took it from Angono along with his school papers for safe keeping in his Cubao apartment. But after that, he couldn't remember for the life of him where he placed it, and it has been lost ever since. I told him that it would turn up when he stopped looking for it.

It got me to thinking: How many of us have misplaced things gave them up for lost forever, only to have them turn up months, sometimes years afterwards, when we've completely forgotten about them? Aside from that battery pack, stuff that has pulled a disappearing-reappearing act on me include individual comic book issues, a pair of shades (now woefully out of fashion) and the liner notes to my Fatal Posporos CD.

It's so weird, because I remember at the time looking everywhere for the said items, only to have them turn up accidentally in the simplest of places you end up just shaking your head, wondering how you could have missed checking there in the first place. Unlike stuff that you lend to friends and forget to return, or things you misplace while you're outdoors, these missing objects never left the confines of your house. You know they should be here, but they aren't.

Is it possible that these objects don't just get misplaced? Perhaps they undertake a sort of voyage for knickknacks where they disappear for months or years at a time, returning only when their owner has forgotten about them like Tom Hanks in Castaway. Or maybe they were taken by little Borrowers-type inhabitants behind the walls in your house, who swipe a cum laude pin here, a comb there (can't be too obvious) for their own use, eventually returning it after it no longer amuses them. Or maybe you could go the native spirit route and say that the duwendes (dwarfs, little people) swiped your things.

How many things are you missing?


Stuff that's inexplicably vanished over the years:

- Battle Angel Alita Tears of an Angel Graphic novel. Last seen during Business College years, circa 1998.
- John Mayer Room For Squares album, tape. Last seen in 2002.
- Eminem the Eminem Show album, tape. Last seen in 2002.
- Watchmen Graphic Novel by Alan Moore (this one really hurts). Last seen circa 1997.
- VHS tape containing various straight porn featuring chunky actors, plus some sumo wrestling. I may or may not have left it in the player one night after watching it and someone may have taken it, but then the question would have to be: why??. Last seen 1997.
- betamax tape of straight porn film Night Trips starring R. Bolla. This actually belonged to my cousin, who used to lend dirty tapes to me. Needless to say after misplacing his tape, he didn't anymore. Last seen in 1994.

I wish some of these things would turn up already....

Plan B


A drummer/percussionist to session/play full-time
for Where's Joe?. Musical influences from
Dave Matthews, Barenaked Ladies and Indigo Girls
would be a plus, but open-mindedness,
a willingness to practice and a schedule that allows
such are far more desired qualities.

Interested parties can email me for details.

No, you are not obligated to take time away from your work just to help my paltry musical aspirations. But by the same token, neither am I required to sit idly by and wait for you, allowing opportunities to pass me by just because you're too busy to join us.

I am sick and tired of being at the mercy of other people's schedules. From here on in, I am taking a more proactive stance.

Anyone who's interested, or knows someone who may be interested, click that link and email me.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Sanctum Stories Pt. 1

Last monday I got an email from the Sanctum Unmasct mailing list, saying that all thursdays this week were going to be audition nights. Now, I had been wanting to try out at Sanctum for the longest time, but lacked the confidence to do so. The closest I came was when Cynthia did a solo performance last year, and I chickened out of asking (bar owner) Aslie Aslanian about the possibility of trying out, much to Nelz's chagrin. Not this time.

I immediately began contacting Joe and Cedric about going to the bar this thursday evening. We had just come off a very good performance at Relativity -- one of our best in recent memory, and our first as a threesome (and when I say threesome, I mean performing! uh, I mean playing! oh, never mind...get your mind out of the gutter, there's only enough room in there for me anyway. ). Joe I was pretty confident would be able to make it. Cedric, not so much.

He works as a CGI animator at ABS-CBN and is subject to some pretty erratic and punishing schedules. The traditional 9-to-6 day is but a memory for him. Tyhere have been times when he has gone through a whole week without being home. The most recent example is getting together for a jam on friday night (to make up for one on saturday which he missed because of -- yup, you guessed it -- work.

We jammed from 7 to 10 pm, after which I dropped him off at his apartment near Katipunan just so he could get some stuff and go back to ABS-CBN to presumably work the rest of the night off into saturday morning. I have to hand it to him, I don't think I could ever do what he does on any long term basis, without slowly losing my mind, anyway.

After texting him and miscalling him several times (his cel in unreachable in the depths of the CGI dept basement) he finally txts me back saying he was unable to make it for thursday. I was conflicted in feeling. On one hand, of course, I know work is work is work, and until such time as the three of us can make some serious money doing this (as in, never) work can and should always take precedence over playing music, which is what it is, in the end: playing.

On the other hand though; I have to wonder if it will always be like this when it comes to gigs. It was a good thing that the auditions were going to be on thrusdays throughout July, but what if it had been just that one night? And if a person works on a schedule that can keep him in the office even at 10 in the evening on a regular basis, it really does give one pause whether or not this will work out in the long run.

Cedric is a great drummer, albeit leaning a bit on the heavy stuff. What I'm more concerned about is the possible scheduling conflicts between his job and maintaining a schedule in the long run. I am seriously beginning to look for more and more places to play now, and it won't get any easier schedule wise. I guess we'll just have to see.

So with Cedric out for the evening, I am considering whether or not to still go. I remember what Myles told me; : "You can write, you can play an instrument, and you can sing. How many people can say that? Even five years from now, kahit wala kang banda, you would still be playing music." I still echo these words to myself even now whenever I find my confidence in myself waning, and it gives me a newfound strength. And for that I'm grateful to him.

He was right though, as valuable as Cedric was, his absence should not have been a reason to keep me from going. At first, I was planning to just go next week, but then I stopped. I was ALWAYS doing this: Using excuses to not play: because we weren't good enough, because Adam and Charmaine were missing, because we need to relearn things as a trio. This was a nasty pattern of behavior that I've been trapping myself in for years, and only just now realized that I was in. The best honing of your skill always comes from live performance, which provides things that hours in the studiou by yourself never could.

I recalled the episode of Seinfeld where eternal loser George Costanza, for a lark, decided to do the exact opposite of his initial reaction of what he usually did. The result was that he got a fabulous job, a date with a hot chick, basically his life coming together perfectly (naturally, he went back to being a loser again soon enough). This was one time that I think I needed to do the opposite of my instincts, which were telling me to wait. So I told Joe that I was going to play tonight at Sacntum without Ced, even if I had to do it solo.

After listening to me he thought about it and agreed to come with me. We met up at QA (our Quezon Avenue 'un-studio') at 9 and practiced our 5 song setlist to see what it sounded like. It felt okay, but Joe commented that we "Sounded butas" (had a hole) pertaining to our lack of percussion. At this my resolve began to waver again, asking him "Do youwant to play tonight?" He looked a little peeved at the question, having come all the way from Marikina on job training to be here and replied "Akala ko you were going to play?" That shut me up straight away and off we went.

When we were in the car, Joe received a call from his dad asking where he was. I didn't hear what his dad was saying, but it was clear that Joe was lying to his father about where he was and what he was doing so he could make this gig. I felt bad for him, and again offered to postpone it another night. Because making a gig is one thing, getting someone in trouble witht heir parents was another matter entirely. He reiterated that we shoudl go play, so we drove to Intramuros.

I feel guilty that Joe had to lie; the guilt added to how he had to commute from so far away to make it and he would still have work to do after playing. The main drive I have for trying to make it as far as I can with playing music is for myself, of course; to accomplish something in the one thing I'm halfway good at. But after that? The next biggest motivation is for Joe and Cedric. for their sacrifices. I want to succeed so that I can tell them that all of their effort was actually worth something. That's what drives me.

to be concluded

Sanctum Stories Pt. II

When we got to Sanctum, the place was deserted. I mean, the only people there were 2 bartenders and a bouncer. I knew that there were nights where attendance would be a little light, but this was something else. I was beginning to become concerned that we had come here for nothing. The bouncer noticed us outside and I asked him if tonight was Audition Night.

He called over Tricia, one of the bartenders and the co-owner of the bar, and she told me that yes, Audition Night was marked to night from the email, but the actual night was on the 10th and the 17th. The reason she added tonight was because there was another event scheduled for tonight and it got cancelled; so she put it in as an Audition night as well.

A lot of bands were asking her when they could try out and she finally set aside those 2 days for it. I guess she didn't expect anyone to come tonight. Feeling sheepish, I told her that we saw it through email and although we weren't complete, we wanted to grab the opportunity. Although the night looked to be a wash, she still offered to listen to us.

As we got onstage and set up, I noticed something about the layout of the place. Unlike ordinary bars which were filled with tables so patrons could either look at each other or at you at their discretion, every mismatched chair was facing the stage so that EVERYONE had their eyes on you. And although it was just Tricia sitting in the middle on a big orange couch watching us, for some reason I felt nervous all over again, more so that in Relativity, where there were arounf 20 people.

In Sanctum, the focus really IS on you, and while you'd think an egomaniac like myself would like that, it just made me more nervous. So much so that I screwed up one chord change in our first song "Take it Slow". After that though, my nerves settled down and we went through the rest of our mini-set. Crush song "Good", then "Fugitive" from the Indigo Girls, then "Peace in Me".

It was at "Peace" that I broke my D-string just before I reached the bridge. I tried to play despite it and went through the second chorus before just stopping. It was embarassing, and the sound had simply gotten too harsh. Tricia graciously told us to change the string and that she would wait. So as I quickly got a spare .030 and began winding, Joe played the basslines to "You Wanted More" from Tonic, which I decided to sing along to while tediously winding the peg.

After finally getting the string in tune, I was discussing with Joe which part in the song to start up from: the second chorus, or the bridge, when Tricia, smiling, just told me to start over. In retrospect I knew it was a consequenceless decision because there were no bands ahead of us or anything, but at that moment it was a very cool and reassuring gesture. That she wanted to hear the song as a whole, that she wanted to appreciate the music.

After finishing it we went straight to the song which is becoming our big 'closer', "Saddest Thing", at which point I broke yet another string, this time my high E. But I decided to play through it ionstead of stopping because it was getting to be too much. It sounded fine since it was at the end of the string arrangement instead of in the middle.

Yeesh. From going months witout breaking a string to snapping 2 in one night? That was probably due to my decision to use a pick that night. Up to that point I had been using just my fingernails, even for strumming, because it feels a more natural attachment than a hard pick. But after a relatively busy week, my index fingernail was getting worn down, so I used the pick instead. At least I know now what causes me to break strings. And even at singles one string can cost up to 70 bucks, that's no laughing matter.

After the set (actually after every song) we were met with enthusiastic applause from the three people watching us. It seemed sincere from the looks on their faces and not 'polite' applause which I myself have been guilty of giving from time to time. We chatted with Tricia for quite a bit after the set, at first about music but then to just about anything.

At first she complemented our originals and said that we were 'tight', which is something that really, really did please me, because that was something I knew had been missing from our group when I had gotten feedback before; that we weren't coherent enough. She likened 'Saddest Thing" to a Bob Seeger song, which I blushed becuase I had no idea who he was save for a mention in Shawn Mullins' Lullaby ("Everyone looks like Dennis Hopper and Bob Seeger and Sonny and Cher...") Note to self: Look up Bob Seeger in Google and KazaA.

She said that we should come back on either the 10th or the 17th with our drummer, so she could listen to us in full and decide. It was in talking to her that I learned that we were up against some pretty stiff competition. There were a LOT of bands, big ones that want to play here. Artists that have already performed here include Kapatid, Razorback, Session Road, Twisted Halo, Imago, Sugar Free, among others. It was more a case about playing enough to her liking though, as she said it doesn't matter if she likes 20 groups, then she'll schedule in all 20.

If the impressive predigree wasn't intimidating enough, I was daunted even further when she talked about bands that "Aren't quite there yet" and mentioned Cambio as an example. The All-Star group comprised of Raimund Marasigan, Buddy Zabala, Kris Gorra, Ebe Dancel and Diego Mapa were in her words, not ready yet to play in Sacntum after booking them there 4 times.

At first, as we were talking to her I was thinking that we had a halfway decent shot at making the lineup , but after she said that, inside I was like: Shit, she doesn't think Cambio is good enough?? I have to take her complements with a grain of salt, because I don't know whether or not she really did like us, or she was just being polite since we had come all the way there. I mean, it will be fine either way. If we don't get picked this time, it doesn't mean we'll never get picked, and quite frankly I'll be in some admirable company. The best thing I can hope for is to play my absolute best, and I won't be disappointed no matter the outcome.

We were going to leave after the gig but we ended up staying and chatting it up with Tricia for more than a half hour I htink. The topics went from music to squatters' rights, and it was clear that Tricia was a person who passionately loved music and poetry. I was so envious of her when I asked what it was she did, and she told us that she handles the bar "full time", which only amounts to 4 nights a week. The rest of the time she just spends writing, listening to music and other endeavors. A true bohemian lifestyle; and I was so envious. Of course, with Diet coke at P70(!!!) a pop, and San Miguel Lite at P80, I guess she can frigging afford a bohemian lifestyle.

We finally left at around 12:30, as I still had to drop off Joe at QC. She told us to come back at either the 10th or the 17th and we exchanged cel numbers (gotta expand that contact list) and we said farewell. I was exhausted, wired, anxious and excited at the same time. I told Nelz after the gig at Relativity that it;s when I sing that all of my worries about jobs, about the future, about money, about my family, they all disappear when I get up and sing.

It's when I sing that I feel truly alive, and I'm filled with the serene reassurance that this is what I was meant to do. Note that "what I'm meant to do" is different from "what I do to earn money" (not in this country anyway), but what I do best, the one thing above all else that I can offer to the world: To sing, even if it's just for 3 people in an empty bar.


Have been a bad boy in neglecting this blog. Will have to fix that.


Barry White is dead at 58. He had one of the most unique and recognized voices in music, his songs being synonymous with sex and love.

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