Sunday, October 30, 2005
OF DREAMS AND MEMORIES
Last night, I dreamt I was flying.
To give that some context, I used to dream that I could fly quite regularly when I was a child. Then sometime during adulthood, I simply stopped. I've always believed that dreams meant something, and I wondered what the end of that particular dream might have signified. But beyond all that, I mourned the loss of the exhilirating feeling of simply soaring through the air, unfettered by gravity.
Whatever the return of this particular dream might herald, I welcome and am grateful for being able to savor that exhilaration once again.
Saturday, October 29, 2005
i want you to be happier than me
i'm a poor example of a carefree human being
here's a list of things i wish to be:
your pillow and your blanket and your lifetime guarantee
i can love you all the way across the ocean
and i doubt that that will ever go away.
- Sarah Bettens, "Follow Me"
i gave me away
i could have knocked off the evening
but i was lonelily looking for someone to hold
in a way i lost all i believed in
and i never found myself so low.
- Damien Rice, "Lonelily"
Friday, October 28, 2005
GAY GEEK NEWS
Sulu is gay
Huh. Cool. Was never much of a Star Trek fan, but it's nice to see a celebrity of his status come out publicly, albeit a few decades late...
TESTS TESTS TESTS
|You Are a Little Scary|
You've got a nice edge to you. Use it.
So I'm as threatening as a cute little ill-tempered kitty. Am not FLATTERED by that of course, but not particularly surprised either.
Monday, October 24, 2005
THE IDEALIST IN ME IS STIRRING
A depressing read to start the day
I know so many people who want to leave. And I know people who already have. And, people should go follow their future, wherever they believe it is.
This country is in a bad place, economically. I'll be the first to admit that, and I have no counterargument for the people who complain that they get a pittance for the work they do that would get them better compensated anywhere else. If they want to leave, I say, go for it.
Yet, at the same time....... this saddens me greatly. For so many reasons. For one thing, just from a pride standpoint, how good is it for us that people keep freaking leaving? Filipinos are notorious in the States for being shameless immigrant wannabes who will enter the country by any means necessary.
And just from a larger, bigger picture standpoint.... how can we even HOPE to achieve greatness if our best and brightest keep leaving? Even the Superpowers like the States took them decades if not centuries of growth to get them to where they are today.
The Philippines in contrast, if you think about it, is a fairly young country, only a century old since we were (in theory) released from centuries of colonial domination. I'm not sure how to put it but... an element of national pride is necessary for a country to rise itself up. Just look at America for the best example. Their culture is geared to instill their citizens with a fierce sense of patriotism AND a willingness to believe in a cause.
I just have to believe that if Americans were suddenly inundated with the same economic woes that the Philippines currently suffers, given the choice to leave, most Americans would go "No way, I'm staying here, because this is my home, I wanna do my part to help fix it, and I believe this country is worth something. We're AMERICANS, dammit!" despite the issues I have with Americans culturally and with their current government, I've always admired and respected them for their fierce pride. Pinoys? We just up and go.
And there's nothing WRONG with that, mind you. You gotta take care of your own. But................. as long as people keep doing this, leaving instead of staying to make the country better? We're just continuing to ensure that we STAY the migrant capital of the world.
I still believe this country has the potential to be amazing. Probably not in my lifetime, but I honestly do. Which is why, I believe, even if given the option, (which I have) I'll probably stay here. If for nothing else, on principle that I believe this country is worth something. So as my friends and colleagues and ex-lovers leave, I'll be bidding them farewell and staying on these shores, I think.
The kind of growth and development the country needs will take probably decades if not centuries to achieve, and I doubt I'll see it in my lifetime. But I DO believe it can happen, if more people decide to do the stupid, selfless, wildly impractical, and stubborn decision to stay here and make a go of it. And even then it's more of a down payment on your kid's generation rather than for yourself. So that's a LOT to ask of someone who's earning less than $4 a day.
I guess in a hundred years or so if someone is still reading this blog they'll be able to leave a comment below and tell me if I was right or not.
I've so much love
my heart is bursting through and through
I just need someone to give it to.
- Itchyworms, "Mister Love"
Sunday, October 23, 2005
THE PERILS OF ALCOHOL
Presenting: perhaps the ONLY existing pic of me, copping a feel:
In my defense, I was shitfaced drunk.
think i'm going for a walk now
i feel a little unsteady
i don't want nobody to follow me
'cept maybe you
i could make you happy, you know
if you weren't already
i could do a lot of things
and i do
tell you the truth i prefer the worst of you
too bad you had to have a better half
she's not really my type
but i think you two are forever
and i hate to say it but you're perfect together
so fuck you
and your untouchable face
for existing in the first place
and who am i
that i should be vying for your touch
who am i
bet you can't even tell me that much
2:30 in the morning
and my gas tank will be empty soon
neon sign on the horizon
rubbing elbows with the moon
safe haven of the sleepless
where the deep fryer's always on
radio is counting down the top 20 country songs
out on the porch the fly strip is
waving like a flag in the wind
you know i really don't look forward
to seeing you again soon.
you look like a photograph of yourself
taken from far far away
i won't know what to do
i won't know what to say
so fuck you...
i see you and i'm so perplexed
what was i thinking
what will i think of next
where can i hide
in the back room there's a lamp
that hangs over the pool table
and when the fan is on it swings
gently side to side
there's a changing constellation
of balls as we are playing
i see orion and say nothing
the only thing i can think of saying
is fuck you
and your untouchable face
for existing in the first place
and who am i
that i should be vying for your touch
who am i
bet you can't even tell me that much
and who am i that i should be vying for your touch?
Monday, October 17, 2005
"If as an artist you put your pure heart and soul - all of you - into what you're doing, people see that. They respond to pure honesty in a singer."
- Liz Phair
Sunday, October 16, 2005
I'm not usually the one to type one of those "how I spent my weekend" posts, but the past friday was uncommonly good, that I have to just get this down on digital paper just so I can look back on it. Last friday was notable because:
- I had a very hot date with a cute guy where lots of hot things happened.
- AFTER that, I went to Conspiracy bar (where the Katha Songwriter's night was held) to attend the birthday party of (Cambio and Fatal Posporos') Kris Dancel's mom, which featured unplugged performances from Sugarfree, Twisted Halo, and the aforementioned bands. I even got to hear a new song from Sugarfree, a remake of Tikman from the eheads which is part of an all star tribute album set to come out next month. Other bands confirmed to be on it are Imago and Orange & Lemons (Cool!).
- The food at the party was excellent as well, the best dishes being spaghetti puttanesca and a delicious korean-type beef steak dish with bean sprouts. I had double helpings of everything, considering the workout I just had. (heh)
- After eating, I got to jam with Fatal Posporos once again on 4 songs, culminating in a cover of Galileo by the Indigo Girls, a special request of Mrs. Gorra. It turned out great (and dapat naman lang, considering I know it by heart) Playing one of my all time favorite songs by my all-time favorite band? How much better than that possibly get?
- How about some Joey Ayala for you? After the party (which lasted from 7-9:30pm) he was the slated performer that night at Conspiracy. What hasn't been said about this man? He is a national treasure. The guy is just amazing in all aspects: songwriting, guitar ability, voice, ability to connect with the crowd. He spieled in between songs and the spiels were oftentimes as long as the songs themselves! I also learned a lot of things I didnt know about him; like how he and his sister Cynthia Alexander are actually half-Chinese. His body of work and his achievements are astounding. If I can attain just a tenth of what he has accomplished I would be happy.
- Ended the night by buying a half-dozen fresh Pan de sal from Pan de Manila along with a small tub of herb cream cheese, on recommendation of Jose. Needless to say, it was utterly delicious. Sometimes the simplest treats are the best.
A hot date, a great dinner, watching and performing in a great gig, watching a legend play, and some more good food to cap the night off. The day, simply put, was perfect. It's because a day like this so rarely happens (not just for me, but for anyone, I would think) that I have to remember to appreciate it.
And be thankful.
Monday, October 10, 2005
The reason why I will be incommunicado for a while:
Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. It finally came out in Shoppesville (god bless piracy) and I snapped it up immediately. My faithful Fellow Firepro Fans have followed this game ever since it came out in the PC engine to the Super Famicom to the PS2 to the Sega Saturn to the Playstation to the Dreamcast to finally the PS2.
It isnt an understatement to say that I am OBSESSED with this game. What makes this game so awesome is the level of custom creation that you can make out of it. For a daydreamer like me, its perfect since I spend literally HOURS just crafting and designing wrestlers; from the name to the appearance to the costume to the moves to the behavior (when controlled by the AI). I probably spend more time designing wrestlers than actually playing the game (which still is for me the best gameplay out there, despite being just 2D.
All of my business college barkada and I have kept our wrestling personas ever since we got hooked on the game almost 10 years ago; and in that time I've seen their characters grow and develop in a way that almost never happens anymore in today's modern wrestling world. For a dyed-in-the-wool wrestling fan like myself, it's almost too sweet for words.
Being this obsessed with a video game? And a WRESTLING game at that? How very hetero of me.
LUTANG, THY NAME IS IAN
|Your Brain's Pattern|
You have a dreamy mind, full of fancy and fantasy.
You have the ability to stay forever entertained with your thoughts.
People may say you're hard to read, but that's because you're so internally focused.
But when you do share what you're thinking, people are impressed with your imagination.
So true. So very true...
Thursday, October 06, 2005
GIG REPORT: KATHA SONGWRITERS NIGHT (Sept 26, 2005)
It's been a long time since I've typed out THAT title.
Two weeks ago I performed at Conspiracy Bar along Visayas Avenue. I belong to the mailing list of Katha a collective of songwriters and composers. They had been doing these things on a fairly regular basis, and when they announced the next one, I signed on for a slot.
Conspiracy Bar is a rennovated house that is part owned by such respected luminaries in the writing and musical fields such as siblings Joey Ayala & Cynthia Alexander, and PDI editorial writer Conrado de Quiros. The place itself has a warm, cozy little atmosphere, which actually has a good range of regular performers including the aforementioned Joey & Cynthia, as well as band such as UpDharmaDown, Paramita, solo acts like Noel Cabangon, and even stand up comic Mike Unson had a set there recently. All in all, a good place and I was honored to be able to play there.
This was the first time for me to be back on stage in a solo capacity since leaving silentsanct, and I was a bit nervous. I shamelessly harangued Nic to come along for support, and she brought along our mutual friend Trici who very gracously became my "P.A." (production assistant) for the night; helping me with my cables (which I always have trouble with) and taking the pics that you see now.
When I arrived there, there was already someone performing; an instrumental guitarist playing trance music and using the 'fretboard tapping' style. His stuff was actually rather entrancing once you got into the music, and was impressive how he employed delays and rhythms to make a very full and complex sound with his guitar, almost playing it like a keyboard.
The range of performers there was diverse, there were some that had clearly been doing it more than me, there were people that were just starting out. There was even one full reggae band that crowded the tiny stage. It helped me to feel a little better that I wasn't following an impossible act. (as you can tell, my insecurities and stage fright had come back in full force in my performance hiatus)
As I got to the stage I passed to host "The Chad" my bio, something that all the performers had to give. It started out fairly simple enough:
Ian Feliciano Carandang is a Folk Rock singer-songwriter whose sound is best described as a cross between the Barenaked Ladies and the Indigo Girls. He combines intricate lyrical structures and a no-frills guitar playing style to come up with songs that cover a wide range of topics including loss, sexual obsession, smoking, reconciliation, and pancakes. Fronted the folk-rock band Where’s Joe and was a former vocalist of Silent Sanctuary. His influences include Damien Rice, 10,000 Maniacs, Dave Matthews Band and the Eraserheads.
Since I wanted to go beyond the usual "his influences, his name, blah blah blah" when I wrote the bio I just decided to go stream of consciousness and type down the first interesting thing that came to mind:
Is a huge fan and supporter of OPM rock and independent music. Is guilty of downloading music off the net,
"You just put your lips together and blow..."
Okay, I was just trying to be cute here, and I swear I didn't do it on purpose, but I really SHOULD have exercised more prudence about this topic considering I was about to play for a group of professional SONGWRITERS and COMPOSERS, of whom I'm sure issues like copyright protection and piracy are hit close to home. That line was met with a couple of scornful "tsk tsks!" I think I even got one boo from the back. Oops.
Fortunately, I recovered well since I followed up with:
but makes it a point to always buy original when it comes to local artists.
The next line would deliver almost as much of a reaction as the downloading thing, but thankfully of a lighter note:
Believes INXS made the right decision by picking JD Fortune over Marty Casey.
Apparently, the folks there were hardcore Marty & MiG fans (what is UP with that spelling anyway?) But I stood my ground then and I still do now: JD was the best choice. I was a bit hesitant in whether or not to finish with the following line, but I took a deep breath and typed it down anyway:
His mission is life is to prove to the local music scene that gay singers can rock out every bit as much as straight ones, if not more so.
Why did I do this? Simply put, I never wanted to make it an issue as a performer. But since my former bandmates decided to make it an issue, this is something I felt I needed to do. This way, I get it out there at the start; let the people deal with it as they choose to, no late surprises. I definitely got a bit of a look from Chad, who seemed genuinely surprised at the revelation, which I guess means I made the right decision. That would be my one and only pink flag-waving moment of the night, and I got down to singing.
The trademark Ian performance look:
Eyes closed, head back, mouth wide open
It was a diverse set; as I started out with La Lune, a song I had written about six months ago, then followed up with Kasalukuyan a song I had finished nearly a year ago but never really performed before, and my final song was Lay, which I had finished just the previous day, specifically for this gig. If one were an avid follower of my artistic path -- *pauses to double over in ironic laughter* -- one might be able to notice the subtle growth I've undergone as a composer.
I was nervous, of course, and I flubbed on a chord change or two, but overall I think I did okay, all things considered. The audience responded warmly naman, but my very best audience feedback came when I returned to our table where Nic and Trici were sitting. As I was wiping the copius sweat off my brow, this nice woman tapped me on the shoulder and told me:
"I just wanted to tell you that out of all the ones that performed so far, you were the best one. You just sang with so much.... passion. It doesn't matter that you're gay or whatever, just sing!"
I was SO touched by that. Inside, I was brimming with joy, and I think it spilled through. Nic said she agreed, that there was something 'about' me onstage. That part was especially significant since I hadn't performed in nearly 3 months, and if you think about it, I hadn't really been MYSELF onstage in over a year. This small night was like a homecoming for me; getting back to who I was as a singer and rediscovering the simple joy of singing, not caring about image, or what I was wearing, or how thin I was, or whether or not I was writing a hit single. Just singing.
And those sincere words from that woman simply made it the perfect night for me. I remember what my voice teacher Marian Cabahug told me when she was trying to explain to me the importance of putting yourself, your emotion into a song:
"In a room, there will be maybe 20, 25 people talking to each other, for them you're just background music. But in that crowd, there will be at least one person listening to you, just waiting for you to affect them with your voice. Sing to THAT person."
I never forgot that piece of advice. I think I was able to achieve that tonight, something I was never able to do in the past year. It felt great; it felt RIGHT.
After a long time of being lost, it felt like I had found my way home again.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
FILL IN THE BLANKS
Nothing like a little goofy survey to start off your week right. Got this off of Jason:
YOUR PORN STAR NAME:
(Name of first pet + Street you live in)
YOUR MOVIE STAR NAME:
(Name of your favorite snack food + Grandfather's first name)
YOUR FASHION DESIGNER NAME:
(First word you see on your left + Favorite restaurant)
EXOTIC FOREIGNER ALIAS:
(Favorite Spice + Last Vacation Spot Visited)
Garlic Tagaytay (hahahaha ambaho!)
(Silliest Childhood Nickname + Town Where You First Partied)
"FLY GIRL" ALIAS (a la J. Lo):
(First Initial + First Two or Three Letters of your Last Name)
(Something Sweet Within Sight + Any Liquid in Kitchen)
Nutter Butter Water
(Favorite Baby Animal + Where You Went to High School)
Puppy LaSalle (now THIS is a porn star name!...)
(Last Snack Food You Ate + Your Favorite Alcoholic Drink)
Nutter Butter Bailey
SOAP OPERA ALIAS:
(Middle Name + First Word you see on your Right)
ROCK STAR ALIAS:
(Favorite Candy/Dessert + Last Name Of Favorite Musician)
In the latest "feature" to friendster, along with letting you know how many times your profile has been viewed by others, it now allows you to see WHO has been viewing you, for how many times.
Dammit! How the heck can someone remain an anyonymous stalker; gazing lovingly at their profile on a daily basis if friendster calls you out! Now I have to actually RATION the number of times I allow myself to check out ******'s profile lest I reveal myself to be the stalker that I am.
UPDATE: you can thankfully turn on a feature that grants you anonymity. I can go back to stalking freely. Whew.
SO DOES THIS MEAN I'M NARCISSISTIC?
A VERY SPECIAL MOVIE
Ever watch a film on the premise of a promising trailer, only to come out of it pissed because the movie you just saw was NOTHING like the movie promised in said trailer? Turns out that they did that on purpose, and you got screwed. Apparently there are people in Hollywood whose entire JOB is to "re-package" movies like that.
For an example of what one such guy does, check this trailer out. It's amazing what some relaxing theme music and reassuring voiceovers can do to change a film.
OF WHAT I AM NOT
In this sometimes wonderful, most of the time maddening process called "dating" of which I am just a burgeoning neophyte but I like to believe am learning, I have discovered that by meeting... uhm, less than stellar people... by the process of elimination you are able to slowly but surely crystallize exactly what it IS that you look for in a lover; you compile traits that you either need -- or alternately, cannot abide -- in the fabled "Mr. Right".
With the latest schlub I got 2 new things to add to that list:
1) I can't be with someone who is unable to laugh at himself. Because Lord knows I'm going to be doing plenty of that.
2) The guy I'm going to be with must possess a GENTLENESS and GENEROSITY of spirit; Both out in the real world and in the bedroom. No Jekyll/Hyde types need apply.
Never let it be said I didn't try to find the bright side in shitty circumstances. NEXT!