Monday, June 26, 2006

The Zambales Files

¤ It was such a blast playing soccer against Koreans. My friends and I traced lines in the sand that would serve as the field where we are going to play soccer. We were playing our crappy brand of three-on-three soccer that rainy afternoon where nobody among us, save our varsity friend, actually played the game. Then, all of a sudden, these guys who just finished playing volleyball on the other side of the beach challenged us to a game, a race to three.

Not surprisingly, we lost, although it was not a walk in the park for them. I still for the life of me can’t figure out how we were to score two goals. Unbelievable shit. In the end, some of us suffered major blister on their sole and toes. Good for me (or not), only my thighs are hurting, and I can’t even walk straight up until now. Despite the outcome, however, the whole experience was fun.

¤ Prior to the football game, we also played a two-on-two rugby game, and I’m not talking about that smelly adhesive that dries up your brain. My friend brought his rugby ball to the beach and he taught us how to play the game. Talk about a global sports weekend.

¤ The evening was dedicated for camwhoring on the dark seashore. I just realized what alcohol and a group of friends would make you do in front of the camera. And Spandau Ballet rules my world.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Steve Vai's "Boston Rain Melody"

It was almost 11 o’clock in the evening, in front of the shore on one of the resorts at Iba, Zambales. The tide has tremendously risen up…All of the benches were taken by other lodgers, mostly by Koreans from another resort, so we were forced to sit on the cool sand. Nevertheless, it would not deter us from listening to the CD player and the portable speaker we brought down from our room.

We prepared CDs with music conducive to the beach environment, as we already imagine floating on sand and the sight of sea. We were enjoying the CD I compiled a couple of years back, made just before summer of year 2004 started. Some of the songs on that CD are not even beach-worthy material, but we chose to listen to that CD because of one particular song.

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It starts of with the sound of thunder, while drops of rain slowly pour from the speaker. Then the tender and clean guitar intro follows suit, generating a flowing effect reveling with the rain. The song continues with mesmeric verse lines from the guitar, filled with memorable slides and enchanting melodies clear as the sand underneath the coursing water. The tasteful leads treading the rhythm of the water further adds mystique to what is already an orgasmic song.

But just before he returns to the rhythm of the song leading to its end, he pulls off what I think is the climax of this sweet instrumental; finger tapping while tugging the whammy bar of his Floyd Rose, his signature trademark move. This part simply feels like a sonic deluge surging inside your body, suddenly drowning your sense of reality, and forces you to bask into the vitality flowing from this sound, pure and unadulterated. And then you land back into solid ground, holding grasp of yourself.

I remember the times of rain pouring under the gazebo of our home, while my other friends and I were intoxicating ourselves through the wee hours of past evening. I played the song on the player just before everybody got themselves drunk. They, too, were drawn by the inevitable beauty of the song’s overflowing majesty. After that particular drinking session, every time we whip up something leading to someone getting wasted, we make it to a point that we use the song as our background music in order to enhance the drinking experience.

Leading back to the scene at the beachfront, I remembered a lot of things that made me feel cathartic. I remembered the time I first heard this song from my blockmate’s CD player. I remembered during one day from the Holy Week, when the darkened clouds of the afternoon painted the first signs of rain in that summer season, I rushed to the CD player and played the song, just to anticipate and feel the moment.

And now, I’m back to where I started, albeit with the rising tide crashing in on the shore. Considering having gone through other things in life leading to that exquisite moment, the music played at that moment reminds me of those other things.

Just things, I suppose.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Slowdive - Machine Gun

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They're walking and I know, she's my friend, again
Just the way that the water, drags me down, again
Please don't think I'm a [...] it's my friend, oh yeah
It's just the way that the water, makes me feel, again

I went to HMV store in Hong Kong. I remembered the first time I got there years back. A wide array of artists and bands to choose from, from rarities and obscure albums, as well as classic and foreign movies, just blew me away. Not much by any stretch, considering that record stores are supposed to offer different titles anyway, but comparing this store to, say, Odyssey XL or Tower Records in the Philippines, it just had my mind spinning. If it were up to me, I would, for the life of me, stay here the whole trip and ogle at records that I haven’t even heard of. By the time we’re leaving, I can say that our family vacation in Hong Kong was a totally out of body experience.

On this visit, it was no different.

Saw machine gun
I saw you down
Saw the arrow
I slow you down
It is all I need, yeah

The first move was to buy an album. Despite the temptation to buy zounds of records that would harbor me for at least a year or so, I was intent on buying just one. Just one, I keep telling to myself, before I lose my money on the first day of our vacation in this country. Before actually searching for titles to choose from, a song immediately popped into my mind.

"Machine Gun".

I went to pick up Souvlaki by Slowdive. I held it in my hands. It felt like all unsold records should feel like, jewel cases wrapped in plastic. On the front, the album cover was a pitch black canvas with the group’s black and white photo on the lower right portion of the cover, with the words “slowdive · souvlaki” on the upper left corner. The back continued the black theme, with nothing of particular interest, except that the album includes bonus tracks that is not available on local release. Peeking at the corner of the album, the inlay was not thick, so it obviously isn’t gonna be read-worthy, the inlay, that is.

"Machine Gun".

I remembered hearing that song the very first time, immediately after downloading it from Limewire. “Alison” was great, but this track was just mind-numbing. Imaging floating on liquid sedative, in the middle of nowhere, and as the substance drags the listener into the slow ebb of its waves, a muffled voice from the dark deep hollers a lullaby, mesmerizing and ensconcing the listener into a sleep of a mysterious blue dream.

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They're walking and I know she's my friend, again
Just the way that the water, drags me down, again
Please don't think I'm a [...] it's my friend, oh yeah
It's just the way that the water, makes me feel, again

Enough, I said to myself. I have to see other records before I totally lose my mind like I always do. After a lengthy and thorough search, I was on the verge of choosing between Jeff Buckley’s Grace and Elliott Smith’s posthumous album, its title I quickly forgot. At first, I simply have to own Grace, an album I was drooling over for the past 2 years. As for Elliott Smith, owning his very last album would be a fitting tribute to an artist who made a living using depression, emptiness, and sadness as his muse. I was torn. Both of these albums are not available in the Philippines (I heard that Grace was available on local stores, but so far, I have yet to see it.) But the power of "Machine Gun"’s chorus drags me in again into its wonderful world of black obscurity, and this time, it won’t let me go…

Saw machine gun
I saw you down
Saw the arrow
I slow you down
It is all I need, yeah

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Daily Vault

Staff Writer
e-mail ---

BORN: 1984

HOMETOWN: Philippines
NOW LIVING IN: Philippines
OTHER ARTISTS I LIKE: Ben Folds Five, Devin Townsend, Elliott Smith, Jeff Buckley, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Faith No More, The Beatles, My Bloody Valentine, Alice in Chains, Yes, Agalloch, Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Anberlin, Immortal
BEER: San Miguel Extra Strong, Red Horse Beer
OTHER HOBBIES: Books, movies, blogging, playing guitar, playing/watching basketball, surfing the 'Net
PERSONAL MOTTO: And that is why.
I WRITE MUSIC REVIEWS BECAUSE: is the only thing that can validate my existence, aside from an awful hangover…

enter the vault...

Monday, June 12, 2006

Them 'Old Filipino Action Movies...'

There was this scene on one of Gardo Versosa's movies where he cocks a gun using his feet. His feet! And the most amazing thing is that he did this while in mid-air! In MID-AIR!
Perennial action star Lito Lapid did what no other men did back in the heyday, when during an action scene he was holding a knife and a gun with one bullet left with two enemies still after him. Usually, a normal, sane person would just use the remaining bullet of the gun to shoot one of the baddies, and throw the knife or stab the other.
But not Lito Lapid. Nope. What he did is that he placed the sharp side of the knife in the middle of the gun's barrel, splitting the bullet in half as he fired the gun, and hitting both his enemies. Pure classic, I tell ya!
From hardware store to builder’s depot
Tiles—these seemingly trivial home fixtures transformed a small hardware store into one of the largest builder’s depots in the city today. And this fact Wilcon Builders Depot founder, president and CEO William T. Belo is always proud to proclaim.

On May 24, Belo gathered friends, family and clients to Wilcon’s Libis, Quezon City showroom to celebrate such triumph. Various home fixtures were put on display, but the attention was on tiles—the store’s specialty product since its inception.

Friday, June 9, 2006



I have done what few people have achieved in their lifetime (but maybe they have done it, and they just don't brag it in their blogs like I do). It has taken me 3 months to finish the book. I have dismissed the book for a while because it was overbearing and overwritten...Imagine 200 pages worth of philosophical critques and inquiries about her damned Objectivism...not really an easy reading. But I am not a quitter...No, I'm not a quitter! I was determined to finish this 1000+ page of a monster. After reading it, the book was not as infernal as I thought it was. So, without further ado...


What I don't understand with Cars is that, during the scene where Lightning McQueen tries to chase Sally on the road, Sally runs over the puddle of water on the road, splashing water at Lightning from behind. Lightning's quick reflexes allowed him to evade the water, as he laughs victoriously, foiling Sally's plans. But suddenly, while taking his eye off the road, Lightning gets mud splashed all over his front. Now the question: Where did the mud come from, especially since I observed (nerd) that the road they were travelling wasn't even muddy at all? Second, is that really mud, or is it some filthy discharge from Sally's behind? We will never know...

I have got to get a job...


Monday, June 5, 2006

George Lynch

I went to a guitar clinic at Yupangco in Buendia, and their guest was none other than Mr. George Lynch (who?) promoting his Yamaha L-Series. I'm not really familiar with stuff from Dokken and Lynch Mob, but I did get to see a guitar video by this guy. From what I remembered (although I could be very wrong here), he's got quite a dirty style, but unique nonetheless. And his nipple kept on popping from his loose tanktop. Blame the 80's.

It was my first time to attend such event, so I didn't really know what to expect. But I did imagine that there was gonna be a lot of guitar virtuosity shit and all that.

Before the actual event, a video played showing how a Yamaha acoustic guitar is made. Mixing the lutherier and guitar player standpoint, as well as advanced and traditional techniques of making the guitar, it was really fascinating...

Enter Mr. Lynch. First 3 impressions:

He's buff!.
He's wearing a tanktop.
He's gotten real old (d'oh)

His style has gotten bluesier and more melodic, and he's as good as any other great guitar player out there, so no problem there. Basically, he just played 30-minutes worth of great guitar lick, and although he candidly admitted that he was fucking up all over the played, he still seemed to enjoy himself. Which is the most important thing while playing.

Now comes the mandatory question and answer portion. Probably my most favorite answer I am gonna hear this week, or month for that matter:

"Stop clapping to my answers!"

Now the really interesting part: After the guitar clinic, the emcee announced that there was gonna be an autograph session with Mr. Lynch. But since I'm really an autograph kind of guy, I was intent on leaving the event. But before that, they were raffling off stubs for some goodies, so I kind of stayed just to try out my luck.

They called my name. I won a free poster.

As I returned to my seat, my mind went blank, still in disbelief of winning the poster. A friend told me that I should get the poster signed. Mind still blank. I grabbed for my bag while still sitting on my seat. Blank. Still sitting...


Wait! I shoud get the poster signed by Mr. Lynch!!!

And so I did. End of story, and I lived happily ever after, just after I got off the congested MRT ride.

A few side notes:

A lot of known guitar players showed up to the event, namely the guy from Rivremaya, the guy from Death by Stereo, and the girl from Sanctus/Massacrida, among others.

Mr. Lynch's nipple didn't pop out from his tanktop, which is quite a shame. That would have made the day better.

Sunday, June 4, 2006

you don't see mee

It has been a long time...

A Phought
to Tonder

Last Saturday, well, Sunday at 2:30 a.m., I was reading a book while lying down on the bed of my room and having the radio play random tracks on the airwaves when suddenly, '3 Libras' swoons the room with that undeniably mesmerizing sweet-ass guitar plucked intro. I immediate put down the book I was reading and started to be hit by this thing they call 'good music'. At that moment, while memories surged and feeling drowsed in my head as I stared blankly at the ceiling, 2 things pop into my mind: 1) NU 107 Remote Control Weekend is the best thing on the radio especially past midnight where they usually play songs during my high school daze, and 2) with that song, Mer de Noms has reaffirmed itself to be one of the better album I own, although I usually keep forgetting it.

Oh, I also remembered another thing; 3) write this as a blog entry.

I remember during high school, when I had my aunt buy A Perfect Cirlce's debut from the States, I kept on listening to it, not because it's deliciously dark and hauntingly romantic, but it's only one of the three CDs I owned that time (lame-o). Anyway, the most memorable thing I remembered with this album was that, every after class at 3:40 in the afternoon, I always walk down the cushy, rubber-y track and field path in the middle of the school where I go straight to the car that sends me home. The walk is nothing spectacular, just a long, lonely tread to the eventual destination (lewser), and the spectacle of a bunch of grade-schoolers jockeying and scuffling around on the green grasses inside the track and field oval is nothing to scream about. Instead, I entertained myself by singing the lines of the song 'The Hollow'.

"'Cause it's time to bring the fire down
(mumbles) this indiscretion
long enough to edify
and permanently fill this hollow"

Remembering that very moment made the ceiling less of a ceiling. The sun burning my skin and the heavy bag I was always carrying during high school and which also became the source of my back pains and scoliosis felt real, and really painful. That moment is nothing fancy in itself, but I don't know. I really liked that day...

...which leads me to another thought; 4) I really had a boooring high school. Seriously.


SM Mall of Asia
Where everything is big

FILIPINOS love malls, and it’s not only because they like to buy things for themselves. It’s because they love to hang out and enjoy the comfortable environment just as much.

The date May 20, 2006, will go down in history as proof that Filipinos cannot get enough of shopping malls with the colossal opening of SM Mall of Asia—SM’s grandest mall yet—at the tourist hotspot that is Manila Bay in Pasay City.

click here to the full article

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