Posted by: twistedbarrio | January 12, 2020

Burnout

One morning, I picked up an acoustic guitar at home and realized I haven’t recorded a Tagalog song under my Soundcloud account – you know, the one where all four songs were recorded through an Apple app.

There’s only one song in my mind to supposedly start 2019 with an array of great local songs for my channel’s Season 2. It’s this song by Sugarfree, particularly this remake off a romantic film set in my beloved mother’s province.

My middle name they say is in one boulevard in La Union. My college badminton teacher, who is culturally famous for being among Human Kinetic’s most terror hint disciplined, and is the second or so cousin of my grandfather lectured me one time that we do have ancestors in Agoo who were politicians and changed the spelling of the surname from C to S to make it more pang-masa.

Going back to my attempt to record the Danao / Dancel / Dumas rendition, I decided to simply use the actual instrument and forego from the app for now. I tested shooting a video even at one nearby stair case but it honestly has too much echo.

I had it all planned out until a certain Oliver made a remarkable twist.

If I have overstayed, I will never forget last year.

And Burnout will always be my 2019 Song of the Year.

 

Posted by: twistedbarrio | January 5, 2020

2020

Posted by: twistedbarrio | December 20, 2019

Bayaning 3rd World (script), 1999

BABALA: Huwag basahin kung hindi pa napapanuod ang obra ni Mike de Leon.

Itinuturing ko ang “Bayaning 3rd World” na isa sa pinakapaborito kong pelikulang Pilipino.

Kanya~kanyang Rizal

RD: Senyor Rizal , may katotohanan ba ang kuwento ng mga Heswita?

Rizal: Ginawa nila ang nararapat nilang gawin, ginawa ko ang nararapat kong gawin.

RD: Putang ina, sawang sawa na ako sa pasikot-sikot na pangangatwiran.

Rizal: Bakit ba napakahalaga ng retraktasyon sa iyo, Senyor?

RD: Ang katotohanan ay katotohanan. At iisa lamang ang anyo nito!

Rizal: Ganun nga sana.

RD: Hindi ka talaga nauubusan ng sagot, ano?

Rizal: Mababago ba ang mga ginawa ko sa loob ng aking maikling buhay kung sinulat ko nga ang dokumentong ‘yun?

 

Rizal: Padre, sa inyo bang palagay ay may maniniwalang ako ang sumulat niyan?

 

CV: Ah, bakit hindi mo na lamang sagutin ng simple? Ah, alam mo Pepe nakakapikon ka na. Nagkagalit na kami dahil sa lintik na retraction na iyan, ginawa mo ba ‘yon o hindi?

 

Rizal: Todas!

Padre: Pwes bukas todas ka!

 

RD: Kung hindi ka pinatay. At nakita mong mukhang may pag-asang magwagi ang rebolusyon. Sasapi ka ba kina Bonifacio?

Rizal: Hindi.

RD: Baket?

Rizal: Gaya ng sinabi ko na. Binalak ‘yun ng wala akong kamalay-malay.

CV: Pero kung ginawa kang pinuno? Heneral Jose Rizal?

Rizal: Hindi pa rin.

CV: Dahil hindi ka nila gagawing pinuno.

Rizal: Hindi, dahil pinatay nga ako.

 

RD: Ano’ng tinago mo sa iyong sapatos?

Rizal: Hindi na mababawi ang naagnas na ng panahon. Kasalanan ko ba kung palipasin nila ang dalawang taon bago hukayin ang aking bangkay?

RD: Hindi kaya ang true account ng mga events ng December 29?

Rizal: Segurista ‘ko senyor, alam mo ‘yan.

RD: O ngayon?

Rizal: Hindi kaya isa pang kopya ng aking huling tula?

CV: Hindi kaya! Hindi kaya! Hindi kaya Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year lang? Puro speculation, walang mangyayari sa paglilitis na ito.

RD: Senyor Rizal. Malaking karangalan ba sa iyo ang pagiging bayani?

Rizal: Hindi ko ginusto ang maging bayani.

RD: Ah, talaga? Kaya ba ganyan ang itsura mo? Ang dungis mong tingnan, hindi ka nag-ahit.

CV: Pati costume mo. Hindi ka mukhang Rizal.

Rizal: Paano kayo nakasisiguro? Kung mag-isa lamang ako at nagsusulat, dito sa Europa o saan man. Kailangan ba lagi akong pustura?

CV: Ba’t ka naninigarilyo? Hindi naninigarilyo si Rizal.

Rizal: Dahil hindi ako si Rizal! Ako’y kathang isip n’yo lamang para magkaroon ng saysay ang inyong ginagawang pelikula!

RD: Ikaw si Rizal! Binuhay ka namin para makilala ka ng husto! Hindi naninigarilyo si Rizal, sinulat mo ‘yun kay Blumentritt!

Rizal: Nabasa n’yo na ang halos lahat ng aking mga sinulat. Halos lahat ng naisulat ng tungkol sa akin. Ngunit hindi pa rin ninyo ako nakikilala. Sana sinunod n’yo ang sinulat ko sa aking pamilya.

CV: Anong sulat ‘yun? Ang dami mong sinulat! Anong volume? Page number?

Rizal: Ilibing n’yo ako sa lupa. Lagyan niyo ng bato at krus sa ibabaw. Ilagay niyo ang aking pangalan. Ang araw ng aking kapanganakan! Ang araw ng aking kamatayan! Wala ng iba pa! Kahit na anibersaryo!

CV: Pwes, malas ka! Hindi ‘yun ang nangyari. Namatay kang bayani.

RD: Hindi malas ‘yon. Sinuwerte siya. Dahil kung hindi ka pinatay, tatanda ka lamang. Si Lolo Joseng bugnutin, ulyanin. Tulad ni Trining kinalimutan ng lahat.

CV: Sa halip na The First Filipino.

RD: The Great Malayan.

CV: The Pride of the Malay Race.

RD: Hinarap mo, hindi, hinanap mo ang kamatayan!

Rizal: Hindi para maging bayani.

RD: Mababago mo pa ba ang itinakda ng tadhana?

Rizal: Mababago pa ang itinakda ng tao.

 

RD: Dr. Jose Rizal. Habang may Pilipinas, mananatili kang National Hero. Mananatili kang monumento.

CV: Habang may pera, habang panahon kang nasa piso.

 

CV: Ayaw mo na ituloy ang pelikula?

RD: Hindi sa ayaw. Imposible eh. Tama ka, hindi pampelikula ang buhay ni Rizal. Masyadong maraming grey areas. Hanggang sa libro na lang siya.

CV: Bilib ka pa rin ba kay Rizal?

RD: Ikaw bilib ka pa?

CV: Siguro naman hindi ka bilib sa Rizal ni Balaguer?

RD: Kanya-kanyang Rizal.

CV: Mahirap basagin iyan.

RD: National Hero.

CV: Mahirap basagin iyan.

Posted by: twistedbarrio | November 22, 2019

Championship Vinyl

21 Nov 2019 – Early this morning I was driving Luna back home – she just finished her first auto detailing treatment and she was in Manila for a week.

Upon reunion, I realized that what also makes driving so soothing is the opportunity to play music in a closed space, like it’s a sound booth or something. There’s a big sonic difference whenever music comes from a mere headset or if it’s being played blaring on stereo. Playing in a car also gives an automatic surround Dolby-ish experience.

When we were kids, it’s a weekend practice to play our radio out loud at home listening to top tens or chart countdowns while doing household chores. It is a very formative activity.

Lourde de Veyra said it best in his book segment for Rico J.Puno:

“…nasubukan mo na bang patugtugin ang “Lupa” sa malaking speaker at nakatodong volume ng amplifier? Nasubukan mo na bang pakinggan ang mga linyang “Kaya’t pilitin mong ika’y magbago / Pagmamahal sa kapwa ang isipin mo” habang nilalatagan ng mga orchestral strings …”

In essence, yes its different when its played for all.

Perhaps that’s why safely playing music inside vehicles is a favorite task of mine, just ask my family.  Actually, the first thing I check at our family car before traveling growing up, up until now that I have my own unit, is the set of CDs onboard. Either that or I voluntarily operate the car stereo for FM surfs like I’m the resident DJ.

Before I took Luna back to Buendia, I decided to side trip to a nearby bagnet joint in residential Makati. Upon crossing a train track, on car stereo played a very familiar introductory tune.

It’s a very important song for me because my friends and I used to play this, numerous times as an impermanent band with rotating members – be it amateurish or of non-Music major collegiate skill set.

(We have at one point called ourselves, “All Kings” and it existed at the same time frame of other friends’ popping student bands like “Batteries Not Included” and my favorite “Called Fire” with a girl singer, among many others.)

 

Ah, the days when we performed songs like:

a. Madonna’s Crazy For You (Fonacier Hall – I was on vocals),

b. Rivermaya’s You’ll Be Safe Here (Fonacier Hall – I sang, and a friend who is now in Australia went onstage to wipe my forehead sweats for good fun),

c. Sugarfree’s Mariposa (Melchor Hall Theater, with our literally drunk vocalist, A. Fedillaga haha – I played a borrowed acoustic guitar),

d. Green Day’s Good Riddance (CS Atrium – I sang with my colleagues while one played a guitar),

e. Beatles’ In My Life (NEC Grounds, graduation dinner – I was on vocals, and during rehearsal played along with my peers for After Image’s Tag-Ulan)

f. Kitchie Nadal’s Wag na Wag Mong Sasabihin (ChE class, NEC – I played an acoustic guitar for a guy singer, Khulz. During this time our friend Sien and I were contemplating of performing True Faith’s Hi.)

g. Moonstar88’s Torete (NEC Grounds – I played the acoustic guitar and our consistent singer for this is Sien, she’s periodically assigned in Japan now and this was almost always our default finale song back in the days. She plays the guitar and sings very good, that’s why.)

 

Torete was playing on the car radio – I knew it by the first note that hit. But something went wonderfully odd by the second chord progression – there’s a detail of strings and I just decelerated with my sound booth.

I miss you. Welcome back, Luna.

I guess there truly are songs that could stand the test of time. They remain irresistible and that’s what Torete is for me.

The string version may not have featured Acel Bisa van Ommen’s voice, it was Maysh Baay for this one. But somehow they stayed faithful to the feels of the original release making the layering lovelier.

I’ve always loved Acel’s voice – piercing, distinct and emotionally contained. It helps that her speaking voice is close to her singing voice, which in my standards make it more genuine. I remember endlessly playing my cousin’s Moonstar88 Popcorn cassette in college and my personal favorite from the hidden tracks was her rendition of Fall On Me, a very liberating output. At one point, I remember putting it’s lyrics on my Friendster bar, that’s how arresting that song was for me.

I saw Acel perform in an Engg Soc event in our college auditorium, and I still thank my friend that I was invited to watch. She’s definitely an ultimate.

When I was curious just why Moonstar88 switched lead vocalist, perhaps the third most surprising in my OPM list following Bamboo’s Rivermaya disappearance and Ely’s Eraserheads departure, I learned that the band made the replacement peacefully. And that Acel was spiritually driven upon leaving Moonstar88 – the story’s still on Youtube, check it, it is inspiring. The clip also explained the story behind Fall On Me.

 

We often times love stories behind our favorite songs, don’t we. This musical curiosity led me to owning books like Eminem’s “Whatever You Say I Am”, Eraserheads’ “Tikman Ang Langit” and a Beatles songbook with snippets of song explanations (the Anthology book is expensive!).

When I read Nick Hornby’s book “High Fidelity”, reading books before watching the film version is always a good rule, I shared the same youthful fascination with the protagonist to live with an artist.

“…I’d want her to write songs at home, and ask me what I thought of them, and maybe include one of our private jokes in the lyrics, and thank me in the sleeve notes…”

I particularly love the character of Rob in Hi Fi and the quirkiness of his music store, Championship Vinyl.

 

Which leads me to two days from now. The Eraserheads will be releasing their first album, ultraelectromagneticpop! on vinyl format in celebration of its 25th anniversary.

I will attend the event on Eastwood City and will see if I’d be among its first 2500 owners because its distribution is limited.

Audio in vinyl has always interested me. The clan used to have turntables but I never got to enjoy it when they were still functioning as I was in bloom during the cassette age.

There were only three distinct modern day times that I was literally awed scanning vinyls:  (i) the first time I saw a complete Beatles set on vinyl in Rockwell the same day I saw the late great Dolphy malling around, (pramis!) (ii) Eminem’s Marshall Mathers LP was in vinyl in a store in SM Aura and (iii) a classmate in Marikina had a Pearl Jam vinyl because her father owns a considerably antique record player.

Its obvious why I was not starting a vinyl collection just yet – the materials available are mostly imported.

If I make it pass through the Eastwood quota, its a definite sign to have my own turntable needle.

I don’t even know how it works.

Easy.

Posted by: twistedbarrio | November 14, 2019

Hardhat Series – CFB (Circulating Fluidized Bed)

fossil-fuel-thermal-power-plants-6-638

6.

PAANO MAGPAANDAR NG POWER PLANT SA LAWA NG BALAYAN ?

Minahin ang uling ng isla ng Semirara*

Ilagay sa barko at ibiyahe ng Calaca**

Liyaban ang uling sa dalampasigan ng Balayan***

hanggang ang init nito’y magawang magliyaban

 

Salukin ang tubig ng Lawa ng Balayan

Sa ibabaw ng apoy ito’y iyong pakuluan

hanggang sumingaw, ang singaw bigyan daan

patungong mekanismo ng makinaryang nag-aabang

 

Ang lakas ng singaw ang iikot sa turbina

Gagawa ng kuryenteng iiimbak sa yarda

Palalamigin ang singaw hanggang maging tubig na naman

Ibalik ang sinalok sa Lawa ng Balayan

__________________________________________________

*Semirara – isla sa Antique na minahan ng low-grade coal o likas na uling

**Calaca – bayan sa Batangas katabi ng Lemery

***Balayan – ngalan ng lawang nakaharap sa Calaca at Lemery

PAANO MAMAMATAY ANG LAWA NG BALAYAN DAHIL SA MGA POWER PLANT ?

Planta.

            Kalikasan.

                        Kinabukasan.

Minahin ang uling ng isla ng Semirara*

            Tibagin ang lupa’t kudkurin ang itim

                        Iliko ang ilog, ang gubat burahin

                        Hanggang mismong isla sa mapa’y tanggalin

Ilagay sa barko at ibiyahe ng Calaca**

            ‘pag tumapon ang uling, patay ang isda

                        Nalason na ang tubig, halimbawa’y tilapia

                        ‘di pa maiinom tubig ay malaswa

Liyaban ang uling sa dalampasigan ng Balayan***

            Painitin ang paligid hanggang pamayanan

                        Ang hangi’y malalason dahil ang uling may asupre

                        Kahit may apog, katapat lamang nito’y sobre

hanggang ang init nito’y magawang magliyaban

            sa prosesong ito, may abong maiiwan

                        ibaon na lang sa lupa lahat ng ‘di iinit

                        ‘pagkat lason na ang alipatong makakarit

Salukin ang tubig ng Lawa ng Balayan

            Kung may korales at isda’y pabayaang mangamuhan

                        Ninipis ang tinatawag nilang dibersidad

                        Mawawalang saysay ang sa dalampasiga’y maglakad

Sa ibabaw ng apoy ito’y iyong pakuluan

            Gaya ng mga tiyan ng mga mangingisdang tatahan

                        Migrasyon ang tutulak sa ilang katutubo

                        Wala ng isda, wala na ditong trabaho

hanggang sumingaw, ang singaw bigyan daan

            kalawang ng tubo’y ipaanod na din lamang

                        hindi masalang metal na hahayaang aagos

                        padidilawin ang tubig unti-unti, kahit papulbos-pulbos

patungong mekanismo ng makinaryang nag-aabang

            siguraduhing mga politiko’y ‘di makakalimutan

                        ang naghaharing partido’y susuportahan

                        isang pirma lang ni Mayor, ang mga planta’y magsasaraduhan

Ang lakas ng singaw ang iikot sa turbina

            ‘sing ingay ng mga ekspertong dayuhang mula Korea’y dadayo pa

                        Matitimplahan na ang lokal na kultura

                        Bagoong Balayan ay bebenta pa nga ba?

Gagawa ng kuryenteng iiimbak sa yarda

            sa yardang pinatag na bundok sa may hilaga

                        produksyon ng palay at mais ay matatanggal

                         binenta na ang lupa mula agrikultural pa-industriyal

Palalamigin ang singaw hanggang maging tubig na naman

            Temperatura ng lawa ay maaapektuhan

                        Ang yamang tubig na di damay sa durog na bakal

                        Ikayayao ang init at ituturing na pagpanaw na termal

Ibalik ang sinalok sa Lawa ng Balayan

            Ang tubig ay may natural na siklong sinusundan

                        Ebaporasyon-kondensasyong umiikot dahan-dahan

                        Lawa ng Balayan – habambuhay alagaan.

9.

PARKE

Puting ulap na inaanod sa langit

Cotton candy na tumatakam sa paslit

Dahon ng ipil na sumasayaw pababa

Mga tumatakbong taong uhaw, may tuwalya

Bulaklak ng santang namumukadkad

Picnic bag sa sulok sa araw ay babad

Bermudang amoy mong bagong tabas

Laruang bakal gaya ng duyan at padulas

Mga punong yumayakap sa dalisay na hangin

Mga bisikletang umiikot sa rampang bangin

Mga paslit na iiyak sa kahol ng aso

May nagpipinta ng turista sa isang minuto

May huni ng ibon sa iyong paanan

May gitarang tinotono ng barkadahan

May matandang hawak kamay ng isa pang matanda

May mga cellphone na nagpapayuko sa mga bata

Mayroon namang sa simbaha’y patungo

May galing opisina’t may kinakatagpo

May nakahilata’t ayaw pagalaw sa panahon

May susi sa kotse, kinalansing sa dapithapon

Pauwi na ‘ko may daraanan lang saglit

Magkita tayo, huwag nang mawawaglit

Kung dalampasigan ng lawa ay malayo ang ningning

sa Parke ng Bayan muna kita hihintayin

__________________________________________________

(ang mga tulang nabanggit ay hango sa isang 10-part series na tula na aking isinulat noong dinala ako ng aking hardhat sa industriyang gumagamit ng CFB o “circulating fluidized bed”)

(c) wikipedia sa imahe

Environmental Management / Chemical Engineer

 

Posted by: twistedbarrio | September 28, 2019

Teatro at Ako (Pagmumuni sa Ang Huling El Bimbo – The Musical)

“Is there anybody going to listen to my story, all about the girl who came to stay?”

– The Beatles

Nasa isang sensitibong lugar kami noon kung saan kahit ang simpleng pagbuntung hininga ay namamatyagan at binibigyang kahulugan ng lahat. Nagliwanag ang entablado at anino na lang ng isang sumasayaw ng El Bimbo ang mamamayaning pinagmasdan ng mga nakakasaksi.

At dinala ako ng imaheng iyun sa may kaunting kalayuan.

Siyempre pa-sembreak na noon, nasa huling yugto ako at ang aking mga kasama sa Batch sa aming aplikasyon bilang miyembro ng isa sa pinakamagiting na student theater organizations sa campus, ang The UP Repertory Company – sabihin na nga natin, o kilala bilang UP Rep.

Isa iyun sa maiiksing katuparan sa aking mga pangarap sa kolehiyo.

Hindi ako tumuloy bilang miyembro kasi nga magigiting lang ang tumatagal doon.

Pero noong aplikante ako ng mga isa at kalahating semestre sa ilalim ng kanilang Zaragoza Mask ay naging maliit akong artista sa isa sa kanilang pagtatanghal noong bukang liwayway ng dekada 2000’s. Ang pamagat ng dula ay “Damas de Noche”, na ang may akda ay si Joi Barrios. Ginanap ang ilan sa aming ensayo sa paanan ng Carillon Tower at itinanghal sa liwanag ng karatig na Aldaba Hall.

Masaya ang buhay sa teatro at masaya akong nasubukan ko iyun kahit papaano. O ha, “teatro”, lagyan natin ng panipi.

Kinalakhan ko kasi ang saya ng pagsusulat ng mga itatanghal halimbawa sa harap ng klase. Noong elementarya, hilig ko na gawaan ng twist ang ilan sa aming mga pagsasadula kundi presentasyon, para kwela, ganun. Gising ang mga tao.

Noong hayskul, mas gusto namin magtanghal ng mga dulang sarili naming sulat lalo pagka Linggo ng Wika. Nauso din noon ‘yung may pagtatanghal kayo na mahalaga sa panahon at sa isasadula ninyong mga kabanata, halimbawa ng mga nobela na akda ni Rizal.

Noong nasa UP ako, nang mapanuod ko taong 1999 ang isang nagngangalang Amrei (anagram ng kanyang tunay na pangalan) sa freshmen orientation sa Villamor Hall, doon ko nakilala ang UP Rep at kako, masarap yatang kilalanin pang lalo ang grupo. Sasali ako, pag may pagkakataon.  

Noong nakaraang buwan, nasa Newport Performing Arts Theater kami ng aking pinakamamahal na asawa – si Eri. Kakagaling niya lang sa Kuala Lumpur ng mga tatlong linggo at isa sa pangako namin sa isa’t-isa pagkabalik niya ay ang manuod kami ng “Ang Huling El Bimbo The Musical” ng Resorts World Manila (RWM).

Selebrasyon ng aming ika-apat na taon bilang mag-asawa.

Ikalawang run na nito ng naturang dula. Hindi namin ito napanuod noong isang taon dahil, well, may parte sa akin na nagsasabing baka hindi nito matapatan ang aking ekspektasyon bilang superfan ng Eraserheads, lalo at dahil, okay naman ang huling pelikulang napanuod ko na hango sa mga kanta ng banda pero pakiramdam ko kagaya ko lang na superfan ng Eraserheads ang makakabasag ng aking pamantayan. Ang arte ‘no?

Binagtas namin ni Eri ang southbound Skyway sabay harurot pa-NAIA. Parang kung paano ko noon hinabol ang isang stage ng pagsubok sa UP Rep bago nga magsembreak sa isang maliit na salas sa KNL upang itanghal ang isang dula na dalawa lang kami ni Ate Eleanor na bida. Parang Finals Week sa aplikasyon yun eh. Hindi ako ang sumulat ng dula pero ako ang isa sa nagdirehe.

Ang naatas sa amin na dula ni Ate Ely ay tungkol sa dalawang uri ng estudyante – isang babaeng sosyal at isang lalakeng aktibista. May kanya-kanya silang problema pero nasa iisa lang silang yugto ng buhay – pag-aaral. Binuhay namin sa mala-split screen na istilo ang pagtatanghal. Noong panahon na ‘yun ang reference na marahil ay ang music video ng Semisonic na Closing Time – hindi magtatagpo ang dalawang bida.

Itinanghal kaming “Best Play” ni Ate Ely ng mga miyembro ng UP Rep noong araw na ‘yon at isa sa mga hurado ay direktor na ngayon sa telebisyon, kung tama ang tanda ko ng isang serye sa Channel 7 tungkol sa isang artistang may gitara.

Teka lang, sa dula namin nagtagpo pala sila sa iisang jeep pero hindi sila kailanman nag-usap o nagkakilala. Ang ending noon sa alala ko ay may nakaestribo at ang unang komento sa akin ay, dapat daw pinatugtog ko ang dala kong gitara na hawak ko buong dula, tutal mahilig naman kumanta ang mga aktibista.

Sa unang kanta pa lang ng RWM, humanga na ako. Kako, hey this is something. Hanggang sa niyakap na kami ni Eri ng mahika ng teatro habang kami ay hawak kamay.

Pangatlong pormal na dula namin ito ni Eri, ang unang date namin sa teatro ay sa Aldaba Hall sa dula ng ano pa, The UP Rep na pinamagatang Ped Xing (2012). Doon namin nakuha ang pinakamalupet na pick-up line ever haha (use kinagat in a sentence – hi miss, kinagat your number? ang epic ‘di ba?).

Ang ikalawa naman naming napanuod na pormal na dula ay ang solo show ni Jon Santos dito din sa RWM na pinamagatang “WTF (Wala Talagang Forever)…sa Malacanang” noong 2016. Kaarawan naman ni Eri n’un.

Film is a directors’ medium diumano, samantalang ang theater ay para sa mga alertong artista. Kumbaga bahala ka magkalat diyan, diskartehan mo ang live audience. Pero dahil musical, most likely ang papaimbulog na pwersa kako ay ang mga komposiyon ng banda. Aaminin kong initially I was there for the audio alone with my wife, at napatunayan ko ‘yun nang nakikipag guessing game ako mentally sa kung paano lalaruin ng RWM ang katalogo ng banda. 

Sobrang galing din ng mga musikerong umareglo sa mga nilapat na kanta. Nagustuhan ko ang timpla nila. Sinisipat ko nga maya’t maya ang mga manunugtog kahit nasa malamlam silang bahagi ng entablado kasi nga – Eraserheads ang nakasalang.

Saludo ako sa Manila Philharmonic Orchestra at mga kasama dahil nabigyan nila ng hustisya ang pag deconstruct at pagtagni sa body of work ng Eraserheads.

Sa buong buhay ko, bilang lang sa mga daliri ko ang mga pagkakataon na nakapanuod ako ng teatro.

Pasadahan nga natin:

(a) Hayskul – nanuod kami ng pagtatanghal ng Gantimpala group ng pinaiksing Noli at Fili sa isang mall sa Las Pinas, kung saan ang pinakamemorableng linya ay mula kay Ginoong Tommy Abuel.

(b) Elementarya – nanuod kami sa Channel 7 bilang field trip ng Lunch Date, sandali lang hindi teatro yun ah, erase. Pero sa Molino, nirequire kami manuod dati ng mga sirkerong nakabisikleta at mga nagbabalanse sa tightrope. Hindi rin yata technically teatro yun, ano? (okey, hindi ako nakanuod ng dulang pormal sa elementarya?). Moving on.

(c) College – heto madami dami ito, standout yung mga sumusunod:

c.i. “Invisibe Friends” (IF) na pinagbidahan ni Atom Araullo sa rooftop o bubungan ng Vinzons Hall (requirement sa Social Science class.)

(magiging memorable sa maliit kong buhay sa college ang pangalan ni Atom Araullo sa tatlong dahilan: una, dahil nga sa IF, ikalawa contemporary ko sa engineering ang isa sa diumano ay tropa niya since hayskul – yes, feeling close ako. at ikatlo, ang pagtakbo niya sa student council ang magiging paksa ko sa napanalunan kong editorial exam sa Logscript ng Melchor Hall)

c.ii. “Paris and Alexander” na may dalawang bidang lalake at isa doon ay may linyang “make love with the guitar”. Ito ang unang dulang napanuod ko sa Aldaba Hall.

c.iii. isang dula sa Wilfrido Ma. Guererro Theater, Palma Hall na nalimutan ko na ang pamagat pero unang beses ko doon napanuod si Eugene Domingo sa kanyang, ika nga eh, niche.

May boardmate din kasi kami noon na Theater Arts major at ‘yun ang unang yakag niya sa amin dahil parte siya ng production team.

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Maganda ‘yung “Ang Huling El Bimbo – The Musical”, highly recommended. Ito lang siguro ang pinakamahalagang pangungusap sa akdang ito kung napadpad ka dito para sa impersonal na rebyu.

“…one of the best time you’ll have in Filipino theater…”, ika nga mismo, ni Ely Buendia. 

Dalawang references lang siguro ang naalala ko habang pinapanuod ko ang musical. Isa, yung ROTC sequence reminds me of the “I Want You” scenes ng “Across The Universe”  (2007) ni Julie Taymor na pinanuod ko dati twice; sa Shangri-La kasama ng mga kaibigan ko sa Statistics at sa Powerplant kasama ng friend ko sa Engineering.

At ikalawa ang kotse sa dula, it reminds me of the Volkswagen Beetle sa LOVE (2006) ng Cirque du Soleil, pero hindi ko pa ‘yun napanuod ng live – ang meron lang ako ay Beatles LOVE (2006) na compact disc.

Nakakatuwa din makitang dinesenyuhan ng RWM ang kotse sa dula na hawig ng DeLorean sa film na Back to the Future (1985).

 

Noong lisanin ko ang UP Rep, naging miyembro ako ng UP ALCHEMES – ang isa sa pinakaminahal kong organisasyon sa UP noong college ako, actually pantay sila ng UP Engineering Logscript sa puso ko.

At sa haba at dami ng paglilingkod na ginawa ko bilang Alchemist, siguro ang kaisa-isang gusto ko na lang maalala kung may ganoon at pwede mamili lang ng isang pakatangi-tanging kontribusyon ay noong sumulat ako, nagdirehe ng dula at umarte kasama ng aking mga kaibigan sa kaunaunahan na pagsali ng UP ALCHEMES sa Smokers Night ng UP Engineering Week, Disyembre iyun ng 2004.

Ako ang naatasan sa event na  iyun marahil dahil alam nilang galing akong training sa Rep lalo pa at nanalo akong “Best in Talent” noong Apps’ Night namin sa CS Atrium. Gumawa kami ng dula noon na may pamagat na “Co-Apps, Buhay Aplikante”, at mula doon naging bukang bibig ko na na dapat sumali ang ALCHEMES sa Smokers.

Ang inspirasyon namin sa Smokers Night 2004 ay ang pelikulang The Matrix (1999), at ako ang gumanap na Neo.

Personally, masaya din akong napatunayan doon na, sa buhay kailangan mo lang manindigan. Noong ginawa kasi namin ang dulang iyun na may titulong “Smoke Signal”, pinangatawanan ko o namin na hindi kami magiging bastos o palamura, na tatak ng Smokers Night.

Kung napapaligiran ka ng mga bastos, ibig sabihin ba magiging bastos ka na rin?

Bakit hindi sila ang impluwensiyahan mo kung nasa tama ka, kahit nag-iisa ka lang.

Nanalo kaming 2nd place sa 2004 Smokers Night ng Engineering Week sa UP. At kung hindi epektibo ang pamantayan na kanselado ang highest at lowest grade sa pag-a-average,  malamang nag-champion kami sa una naming partisipasyon dahil yung highest grade ng isang judge sa amin ay 100%. Ang saya namin noong gabing ‘yun sa Foyer.

Pagdating sa naratibo ng RWM, umasa na ako na may trahedya. Pero higit pa doon ang inilaan ng dula sa lahat. Masaya na may lungkot, madilim na may liwanag. Ika nga, repleksiyon ng tunay na buhay. 

Sasabihin ko na lang sigurong nakuha ako ng dula noong napansin kong ayoko na sumabay sa ilang mga kanta (mantakin pang kabisado ko naman lahat ng katha ng Eraserheads mula Ultra hanggang Esquire).

May mga pagkakataon na kasing nahigitan na ng emosyon ng kwento ng dula ang pagpapahalaga kong bitbit sa mga kanta ng Eraserheads.

Paborito namin ni Eri ang pagkakaarte at pagkakakanta ng batang Joy noong gabing iyon – ginampanan ni Tanya Manalang.

Magaling siyang artista, nadala niya kami. Naramdaman namin ang emosyong nais niya itawid mula lungkot at saya, drama at komedya.

At sa kabuuan ng dula, naalala ko ang imortal na wikain sa akin dati ng matalik kong kaibigang si Ijin – ang greatest weakness niya daw ay babaeng umiiyak.

Dahil tama, wala na sigurong trahedyang mas sisidhi pa sa babaeng ginagawaan ng labag sa loob niya. Walang babaeng dapat umiyak, at walang babaeng dapat na ginagawaan ng kamiserablehan, anong uri pa iyan.

Noong nasa “Damas de Noche” ako, may eksena kami sa dulo ng yugto na papatayin ang ilaw ng buong teatro at may babaeng dapat tumayo sa gitna ng halos tapis lang ang suot at liliyad na parang rebulto.

Bilang hindi naman ako bida at nasa backstage para sa pinal na tableau, madalas ay isa ako sa naaatasan sa likod ng pinto na magpa-plug ng saksakan upang sumindi ang pulang ilaw sa likod ng babaeng liliyad.

Masaya lang ding isipin na ang babaeng iyun na gagawa ng pulang silhouette na pigura ng babae, ay isa na sa mga paboritong artista ng isa sa pinakahinahangaan kong direktor na si Lav Diaz – si Angeli Bayani, o Ate Anj noong magkakasama pa kami.

Balita ko, nanalo na siya ng Urian.

Kung may isang bubog sa dibdib ko na hindi ko kailanman matatanggal, iyun ay ang tuwing makikita kong malungkot ang aking minamahal na asawa. At nangyari muling iyun sa Ang Huling El Bimbo ng gabing iyun.

 

Ang lungkot ng ligaya. Ang ligaya ng lungkot.

Sa madaling sabi, kung pamantayan rin lang ang kalawakan ng emosyon na kayang ihandog ng “Ang Huling El Bimbo – The Musical” upang sukatin ang dula, masasabing naging matagumpay ito.

Bumili kami ni Eri ng CD ng original cast recording sa RWM bago umuwi. Nang aking mahawakan ang CD ang una kong napansin ay kung ang artwork nito ay dibuho nina Cynthia Bauzon at Arnold Arre na kilalang staple artists sa mga tangible na artworks ng Eraserheads.

Masaya namin itong pinatugtog sa sasakyan pauwi.

Musically, kung papipiliin ako ng isang kanta mula sa CD na ituturing naming paborito, siguro ‘yung komposisyon na iyun nina Zabala, Mangulabnan at Buendia.

Iyung mash-up ng “Tama Ka / Ligaya”.

Basta.

Marahil nga, ay ganyan ma-inlab.

Naandon kasi, sa lahat ng bubog ng dula, ang una.

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Posted by: twistedbarrio | January 27, 2019

The UP Fighting Maroons Season 81 Experience

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(i) Marooned

 

Whenever a familiar sports team is playing in a collegiate league on TV, Eri and I would always root for our alma mater.

Always.

When the UP Fighting Maroons Men’s Basketball Team made waves in the Season 81 of the UAAP and became the Philippines’ sports story of 2018, proud to say, we were there.

We first took special notice of the Maroons when they made social media news that they were a win away from securing a Final Four spot – that’s semifinals in a league of eight teams. It honestly was not much of a thrill for us, especially on my side because I’ve heard of that situation before and they consistently achieved deficiency to make that glamorous cut. The state university’s last Final Four stint was in 1997.

When I was in college in the mid-2000’s, I even was invited by my engineering orgmates to watch a Maroons game live at the rainy Philsports Arena and it was the same selling premise; if they won that game they’re most likely in the Final Four. So I easily gave in to my friends and cheered our hearts out from the upper bleachers for the team that would eventually bow down to their opponents. Again, they did not win, but they did put up a good fight. And the eternal joke, Fighting Maroons, not Winning Maroons echoed gallantly anew.

That early I’ve come to accept that collegiate basketball is not a UP thing. Personally, I thought it’s a priority that other private universities would bank on perhaps as a marketing tool if not to secure bragging rights over the Philippines’ most popular sport or it’s just that rare to find championship potential varsity players that could stand the culture that is UP.

But UP legendarily won in 1986, so mythical that Benjie Paras, Ronnie Magsanoc, Eric Altamirano and the entire cast in the team should be having their own finely crafted basketball statues near the Vanguard area. And if it’s statistical rarity, should they at least be repeating this chance by now? It’s been a good three-decade run.

I wrote before that among the famous eras I wished I witnessed first hand in my stay in my beloved university, I mentioned hoping I’ve seen that 1986 campaign or implying feeling its approximate in my lifetime, why not. It would have been great. But then again, UP in the conversation of basketball supremacy was a total figment of imagination.

Was.

Along came 2018. By November 14, after 21 years – UP made it to the Final Four.

It was an exciting time for the community. Its a historical game-changing dent and we’re having a taste of it. Eri and I started digging more into the hypnotic hype. The improving program by Coach Bo Perasol, the shuffling talents and perpetual acquisitions, the online documentaries and the centralizing Team Captain Paul Desiderio’s journey and his all-encompassing battle cry, yes patented should be: “Atin ‘to!”

I thought the Maroons were more than okay making it there, it’s achievement enough. But the basketball analysts in us also knew, it would be anybody’s ball game. It’s no secret that even last seeded teams could turn the playoffs around.

The Maroons pitted themselves against the Adamson Falcons in the semis, and they needed to beat them twice.

During Game 1, Eri was in Makati and I was in Bacoor. My septuagenarian father who is a respected barangay official in our village, along with his constituents had a social project – a periodic Bingo afternoon for the homeowners and I attended the event at our basketball court with my family in support of our father.

By the end of the Bingo, Eri at home ultimately texted me that the Maroons pushed the Falcons for a knock-out game. We’re delighted.

We’re hinting of watching the game live if the appropriate opportunity opens up. I mean we’ve watched professional basketball games before, even the national Gilas team at the Mall of Asia Arena. We have also seen together a basketball game in Araneta Coliseum the same night Arwind Santos won an MVP in the PBA, a year before the meteoric JuneMar Fajardo sweeps the Leo Awards.

During Game 2, a Wednesday, my wife became a certified “Bo-liever” after posting online our dogs wearing their respective UP jerseys. She’s set her mind on watching the UP in the Finals, and even flowed with the hashtag; “AtinTwo” – yes that’s the spirited girl I married.

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(ii) Chich and Chuch

 

I was finishing a seminar in Ortigas when I asked Eri to please periodically notify me of the developments of the game. It turned out to be a potential 2018 Game of the Year on the merit of match-ups, what’s at stake and how far would each team go.

By the waning seconds of the afternoon of November 28, I was riding the MRT home and keeping in touch with my wife on text. At one point along the Guadalupe Station a new passenger became a seatmate and this person was streaming the game live on a mobile phone. I took obvious glances at the screen and felt near cardiac arrests as I checked my conversation with Eri, which accurately went like this:

“Last 2 min”, Received Nov 28, 2018, 6:13 PM

“74 73 lamang UP”, 6:13 PM

“78 75 lamang UP 10 sec”, 6:16 PM

“2 sec tie na naman”, 6:19 PM

“Tapos 4th q tie”, 6:22 PM

I went down at the Buendia Station after I replied to Eri; “Talo”, 6:30 PM. But she cheered on with, “Walang susuko” by 6:32.

Decided to shake off some internal tensions as I felt like waiting for the final combinations of a billion peso lottery, I walked a stretch of the Buendia Avenue and proceeded to safely check my inbox.

Eri, an industrial engineer stationed then at her BGC conference room confidently texted the three historic messages of the night:

“6 sec lamang UP”, 6:39 PM

“Winner UP”, 6:42 PM

“Finals it is”, 6:42 PM

Where was I when the UP Fighting Maroons entered the Finals for the first time in 32 years? Well yeah, I was about to cross Paseo de Roxas corner Buendia Avenue and saw a TV in a medical facility catching a glimpse of the telecast from the outside as everyone on court was celebrating and singing the school anthem. My wife and I were eager that early to catch them live on the Finals against the defending champions.

It would be crazy. We religiously checked the available tickets for sale.

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(iii) Battle of Katipunan

 

My most favorite interview of the Maroons online was when they’ve just defeated the Falcons, and they were on a high marking history as they answer questions from the media during a post-match presscon featuring import Bright Akhuetie, the younger Gomez de Liano and Desiderio.

Coach Perasol said it best, “…no basketball aficionado in his right mind would probably give (UP) a good chance against Ateneo but then…we would want that…” 

He also added, “…there is something that we do that’s going to keep us going forward looking into that championship game…” 

 

One weekend, Eri and I decided to witness a history live at the nearby Mall of Asia Arena where we secured our SRO tickets the sunny day before. No matter what, there’s no other way but up.

December 1, 2018, a Saturday. It was UP’s first basketball championship game since 1986, ironically the same year that Eri was born. And we were there.

In the series, despite the shorter rest of the Maroons camp coming in, its an easy assessment that the Game 1 of the best-of-three Finals was the more competitive.

Jun Manzo, Desiderio’s good friend and personal recruit from Cebu originally from the town of Nasipit, Agusan del Norte converted the highest output for the Maroons with 19 points. The elder Gomez de Liano, graduating pointguard Diego Dario and the rest of the team contributed as well.

What Coach Bo said that would keep them in decent contest kept them well and good in Game 1 until the last 4 minutes towards the final buzzer. In short, at most parts of the game, Eri and I thought it could have been a 1-0 in favor of the crowd favorites.

Seeing UP in the Finals was euphoric. Taking part in covering three fourths of the arena with maroon fabric was beyond belief. If the competition is based on mere decibels, the Maroons are runaway with the crown. There’s a reason why they made it on the Finals stage, you can see it on the plays. It’s there. And it was a great pleasure and pride to have cheered on for them every possession, every defensive stops and every conversion even for just that Game 1.

Whatever amount Eri and I paid to secure our Standing Room Only tickets was never enough. To paraphrase, it was one of the “greatest concerts of our lives”.

By December 5, 2018, the UP Fighting Maroons Men’s Basketball Team called it Season 81.

Exceeding all expectations.

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(iv) UP in the Finals after 32 years

 

(c) all four photos from author and author’s wife’s social media accounts

Posted by: twistedbarrio | November 17, 2018

The Tornado Blasters

This article is dedicated to my childhood playmates, as inspired by the latest Tarog-film and Stan Lee. Hear me out, this will make sense.

“Tornado Blasters” is the name of the first organized group I co-founded with my playmates in Bacoor around 1991. I was entering the 3rd grade and I decided we should have a name because it’s natural.

My first set of “kalaro” were of course Bunek, Toto and Dagul from Muntinlupa where my most notable invented play was an amalgamated mimic of computer games. That’s if we’re not enjoying the slides of our community’s grassy slopes near the Philippines’ smallest man-made lake.

In our specific game, the challenging team would make the opposing ‘players’ stop by hitting them with green ‘aratilis’ before they reach a particular destination on top of a makeshift scaffolding under our supplying ‘aratilis’ tree. The rule was, upon being hit, players must take a halt and count about 10 seconds before moving on and they could only be hit thrice a run. Think of ‘mataya-taya’ meets Contra. And no ripe ‘aratilis’ please!

It’s super fun and existed because nobody in the vicinity owned that elusive Nintendo Fam Com.

(I remember though tagging along with my big brother and his friend in the late 80’s for about 7 kilometers uptown from our house just to experience playing a rented Fam Com in an air-conditioned gaming shop in Ayala Twin Cinema – the original acronym for ATC decades before they realigned it as “Alabang Town Center”, the linguistic magic of adding just a few more theaters in the house.)

Going back, when we moved to Bacoor, the first thing a normal new-kid-on-the-block in me did was explore around and look for playmates. My little sister and I then met Lloyd, Jayvee and Jonalyn. They are our neighbors and two of them are also siblings. Our earliest adventures included going as far out possible on foot, even reaching a nearby river under a hill of paddies or climbing stacks of hollow blocks and aggregates in a parallel alley because construction was rampantly ongoing in our newly opened subdivision. Our families were actually its first settlers.

On top and around the towering construction materials, where we used to base our “ships” (with scattered pentagon and square tiles as our pseudo interface controls), Bioman or Voltes V-inspired we agreed to have our individual and collective semi-secret identity. I was Eagle-1. My little sister, Monica became Cat-2. Lloyd became Jaguar-3. JV was Tiger-4 and her little sister, Jonalyn because of her frisky hair was assigned Lion-5. I also came up with our team name, the “Tornado Blasters”.

Cat-2 though would then be called Bobcat-2 after some time to make it more fierce. My little sister is so fierce, she actually learned to ride a bike right in this new place without anyone’s help. Lloyd’s father on the other hand, founded the subdivision’s TODA group along with our father that’s why our tricycle unit was numbered 2 until now. JV and Len-len’s family meanwhile owns the first sari-sari store in the area.

The original Tornado Blasters (or TB in my own kiddie world) were just happy playing in the streets exploring and would randomly shout those names publicly loud individually then as a group, usually before we run together towards uncertainties or pretend to make those action scenes, typical of weekend morning shows for kids.

Looking back, upon its conception, the word “Tornado” may have been subliminally lifted from one of my postcards and I just love how it verbally rolls out upon pronunciation. “Blasters” of course was weapons-inspired. Put together though, we were not defining that the main objective of the team was to fight tornadoes, yeah I also eventually tried to figure that out but as also implied, it just sounded good. Perhaps affected too, but I remember when I was a kid in Muntinlupa, I used to draw my own flying super heroes and one of them had a tornado as both a mode of flight and a weapon of choice pushing from its palms. Drawing tornadoes is oddly satisfying. Child psychology might know why.

As months went by, the TB expanded its membership through word of mouth primarily because we explored around and told kids about it. Lloyd’s younger brother Ritchie who’s taller but leaner than Lloyd and rarely went out of their house became Cobra-6.

Newly moved brothers and sons of an OFW, Marvin and Gerbot became Dragon-7 and Dinosaur-8, respectively. (Gerby, I remember tried to clarify which dinosaur he was and even suggested pterodactyl – when I told him that any type belongs to him, he stuck to the general term). In front of their house lived cousins Paolo and Anthony who later became Panther-9 and Hawk-10.

Anthony would later become my best friend during this time, we shared similar enthusiasm in worlds like this – his favorite hero was Daredevil and he loved pronouncing the villain, High Evolutionary. It also helped that we’re of the same age.

One summer, Marvin and Gerbot had their ‘bakasyonista’ cousins from Leyte, if I’m not mistaken. We used to play scrabble with them. And likened to a rite of passage, they joined our gang and got their nicknames. Jeffrey became Wolf-11 and her elder sister Jennifer became Cougar-12. Anthony and Jennifer would oftentimes be teased to have crushes with each other. Yihee. Kids, tell me more.

Those first twelve members of the Tornado Blasters were the core of the actual team, most notably because all of us lived in one street as playmates. They may have quickly moved on from it after a couple of years, but the concept with my beloved family and friends as pegs with their real-life characterizations remained in me.

By my 4th grade in Las Pinas, we used to be fetched by this brown jeepney school service marked Joeanthony where I met my classmate, Chester. We lived in the same subdivision but different Phases or area. I’m from Phase 4 while he’s from Phase 2. More or less, like how I transcribed it here, I relayed to him on periodic free time the wonderful world of the Tornado Blasters based and agreed with my sister and our friends in the neighborhood. Days later I invited him to join this group despite not meeting majority of the core members.

I assigned to him Megatherium-13, many thanks to a biology book at home and because by physique alone he would be the group’s heftiest. I imagined him to be the team’s strong man. Right from the start, we did not preconceive the team though as us becoming those animals, they were just our monikers and most likely possess some of their attributes. When I eventually tried to visualize it on my own, I used to think of “Visionaries – Knights of the Magical Light” with our assigned animals as mere chest logos on lean spandex suits.

After some time, Jeffrey and Jennifer had less frequently returned and visited our area. Anthony then moved out with his family come high school time. We were all becoming young adults.

 

On my own, I then created perhaps my first two pre-teen imaginary friends and the only fictitious members of the team, only because I was eventually not comfortable with the number 13 – a petty triskaidekaphobia perhaps, so I decided to up the members to a solid 15.

In my book, I added Falcon-14 and member number 15 with the nickname “Hardball”, a robot with antenna from each of his ears and he wears an eye visor. Their origin for me was that they were a duo we encountered from outer space with Hardball being Falcon’s follower. Falcon-14 for me have natural wings while the robot have shape shifting skills and arms that could become any weapon. Hardball is the first member of the team I drew from head to toe. His belt buckle had that circular logo, “HB”.

That completed the roster of the “Tornado Blasters”.

At one point, one member preferred to call us “Torpedo Blasters” and at some instance, I used to try to change it to “Tornado Blazers” instead, but the original sticks no matter what.

I carried this childish concept for years especially in my elementary seasons. I used to draw about it, think about it, mentally play with it and gave it more and more details as I age. You know just for fun. Especially whenever inspired by what I enjoyed in the media. They eventually had their modes.

When I was so into superheroes, I gave each of the 15 their superhero names and powers. I think Hardball is responsible with it because he’s the odd one in the team not following the Animal-Number naming. Upon evolution, there were the likes of Bullet,  Arrow, White Light, Tri Axe, Red Star, Whiplash, Blue Thunder, Flame, Hydra, Whirlpool, Falconnaire, etc.

When I was so into combat weapons, I also mentally assigned one to each of them like its their field of expertise like guns, a bow and arrow, ninja stars, ball and chain, sai swords, a whip, a strong armor, samurai, a couple of axe, wooden staff, etc.

But for me, the most intricate mode I gave the team perhaps would be the unifying battle mode. Each were given a weapon or armor that could transform into individual vehicles.

And. These vehicles may be bolted in to form, no not a giant robot but one bigger vehicle that could fly. I can still draw today the general isometric lay-out of how these 15 vehicles would team up to form a glider-shaped transporter even though some of them had their own gift of flight.

 

In my book, that’s how far I took the mighty “Tornado Blasters”.

 

Well obviously, at the very least I had a very memorable childhood.

And one aspect of it I owe to our newfound friends and neighbors in a small village in Bacoor.

Eagle 1!

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(c) Goyo, Ang Batang Heneral

Posted by: twistedbarrio | October 11, 2018

Chicken Weekend

Eri’s at this instagramable place in Maginhawa Street selecting our would be dinner, as I casually wait for her with Luna, Chich and Chuch – you know the usual suspects. (We should have an acronym).

My CD on the stereo now is The Beatles’ Abbey Road and the air condition is on medium while I hazard the lights and my cambio’s on P, make that left of a pavement.

It has been a busy week for my wife and I. So when she wanted to go far out on a moving couch on a weekend despite our frugality on fuel consumption, her wish was my command. Driving, along with carefree travelling, is always very soothing.

Maginhawa Street is such a fascinating place now, take it from me I somehow saw how it progressed since the 90’s especially when I used to live at my grandmother’s place in Bliss (a perk of having a relative who used to teach “dilos, emitgib, reverof”).

I am only saying that it is now considered a foodies’ paradise given the aggregate amount of food places to choose from on its entire stretch though it was simply a regular residential main road then.

In the early 2000’s, there was a time when my board mates and I decided to look for other places to eat for some midnight snacks and our walk ended up in a sago store along Maginhawa and that’s also when I heard of a flavor like creme brulee.

(Yeah it was the sago season and I remember us bunch walking home laughing at possible witty names for a sago store. Recommendations were “McSago”, “Sagollibee”, “Let’s Go Sago” and “Sago’t sa Uhaw”. There was also a time when an Atenista boardmate invited us all to walk, as in walk to his campus at night and pretend to visit his friends’ dorm but we ended up enjoying an Ateneo ravine overlooking perhaps what we identified as the Marikina skyline. Teenagers!)

Eri arrived and I checked out her selections upon engaging her seat belt and aircon was adjusted. The place was visually inviting but we only wanted the food and we wanted to eat it overlooking a Sunken Garden with fresh air. We don’t normally explore restos, we are into favorites or those tested by our time like the Sefali in KNL, Choco Kiss in Bahay or any branch of Rodics but this time we gave this shimmering place called StrEAT another chance. It’s actually a food park with lots of sellers in it.

Upon stationing at Vinzons Hall, the puppies enjoyed Barkin’ Bakes’ peanut butter cookies as Eri enjoyed her huge fried squid care of Above Sea Level (they’re huger than outstretched fingers!) while I licked Taste360’s lemongrass chicken. It was Saturday night. It’s different.

The next morning back at home, Eri and I decided to attend the earliest Sunday mass at Sacred Heart at six o’clock. The church is located near a bakery where my wife and I usually purchase our favorite treats hint yuletide reunions and important celebrations. Prior to it we resolved to take our breakfast first at one of our Makati favorites; Kanto Freestyle Breakfast. They are open 24 hours a day.

Kanto is one of Luna’s greatest midnight discoveries. It has about five branches now but our most frequent exploit is their P. Burgos unit and it never failed us. Almost always, whenever we’re there, we have the same orders – Eri’s into tapa seasoned with vinegar and my favorite’s their honey glazed chicken. Both goes with fried eggs, garnished tomatoes and some sauce. They’re amazing. And affordable.

After hearing the Sunday mass, just when I thought we’re safely going back home for some weekend chores, my wife surprised me when she decided that we revisit this cool Sunday market near a finely landscaped park. Must have been a hard week’s weekend for my wife.

We encountered this weekend bonanza during our periodic misty jogging sessions. It is an upgraded flea market that only serves at weekends. The stalls are indeed a collection of commercial rarities but of high end quality.

Upon getting there, Eri and I were arguing whether it is called Salcedo Market or if it is the Legazpi Sunday Market, the latter was Eri’s choice. She even insisted that there’s a different flea market at the other side of Makati called Salcedo and it is on Saturdays. But I insisted that we’re heading to a Salcedo street, why call it Legazpi? We jog there, I know street names.

Turns out, yes it is in Salcedo Street but the official name is indeed the “Legazpi Sunday Market”. Wife always wins.

We went around and buzzed with the accumulating early goers. The stylish stalls are all neat and setting up. It’s an open air mini mall of everything – food categorized by its local and international origins, fresh fruits and vegetables, grilled meat, wooden furnitures, leather bags, beaded and framed decorations, paintings, indoor plants and a whole lot more.

Our roaming actually reminded me of a poem I wrote about Eri, three years ago. I also remember watching a celebrity vlogging in this market because yes, the place is posh and shouts of substance at reasonable mark ups.

The most recent time Eri and I talked about this weekend market was about a couple of months ago when we discovered that the brand of corned beef we were recently enjoying, started its circulation at Makati weekend markets like this. (There’s a recent issue though to not support it because a popular Ilocano clan was behind the brand. Effects of Martial Law.)

Staying apolitical, we only purchased a couple of sumptuous fruit juices from Legazpi, the one mainly comprised of solid fruits like dragon fruits, melon, banana, etc. We also tried out some chicharons while my major request was a ready-to-eat chicken-flavored embotido.

I tried out 1/3 of that chicken embotido by Sunday dinner time before I craved for fried chicken from a nearby convenience store by dawn.

My wife called it, “Chicken Weekend”.

 

Posted by: twistedbarrio | October 4, 2018

Ang Gabi ay Taro sa Ingles

Namalengke ako minsan sa isang gulayan sa dela Rosa. Kailangan namin ng gata para sa uulamin namin isang gabi o hanggang sa susunod na mga araw dahil dalawa lang naman kami ni Eri.

Noong nakaraang Linggo nasa bahay kami sa Cavite at may aktibidad kami nina Tatay, noong papabalik na kaming Makati ay pinabaunan niya kami ng malunggay na pinitas niya sa may amin at mga gabi na tinabas niya sa bakuran.

Mayabong ang mga gabi ni Tatay ngayon lalo at tag-ulan, kakadaan nga lang ng Bagyong Ompong sa katunayan. Dati pang sanay magtatatanim ni Tatay. Matagal na niyang interes ang paggugulay – kundi talong, sili, okra, kamatis o anupaman basta kasya sa bakuran o simpleng mga paso, pinapatubo niya.

Nung una, akala ko ‘yung ugat na may laman na parte ng gabi ang huhugutin niya para sa amin nang yakagin niya kami sa gilid ng bahay, medyo nagulat lang ako na matatangkad na tangkay na may dahon ang pinaghihiwa niya at iniabot sa akin.

“Masarap ‘yan!”, tuwinang aniya.

 

Ayon naman ako du’n, ‘pag pinalaki ka ng mga Ilokano mahuhulma kang hanap-hanapin ang magugulay na ulam. Ngayon ay may ugali si Tatay pumapak ng sariwang bawang – mainam daw iyon sa puso, na ginagaya ko na din pagka ako ay naggigisa. Masarap.

Kay Tatay ko natutunan na huwag maging mapili sa pagkain, huwag masyado sa sopdrink at masarap ang gulay.

Naalala ko nga noong nasa kolehiyo ako sa impormal na panayam sa gazebo ng sinasalihan kong organisasyon dati na Alchemes, ang sagot ko sa tanong na paboritong ulam ay; “…laing, basta ‘yung laing nakasalaksak sa loob ng lechon…”

Masaya namin binyahe pauwi ni Eri ang mga tangkay ng gulay.

Bago ‘yun ay tinuruan ako ni Tatay ng kung anong pwedeng iba pang luto sa gabi, ‘yung malunggay kasi binudbod ko lang ang hinimay na mga dahon sa pritong itlog at sinangag na kanin noong mga sumunod na agahan. Pakuluan ko lang daw yung gabi sa tubig tapos sahugan ko. Medyo pangkalahatan iyung turo pero kaya ko na daw ‘yon.

Isang madaling araw habang nagsasangag, para malamnan ng kaunti ang niluluto, tumapyas agad ako sa hinugasang mga tangkay ng gabi sabay saboy sa kawali. Nagising na lang ako lalo na hindi ko pala nabalatan ang mga tangkay at napaalalang makati siya sa lalamunan. Nanalo ang depensang mekanismo ng halaman sa unang laban saksi ang bagong timplang kape.

Sa sumunod na luto, kako ay hindi na ito magiging sahog lang. Naghanap ako sa internet ng pwedeng simple pero detalyadong luto nito gayong mayroon naman kaming aklat ni Eri na pinamagatang “Kulinarya – A Guidebook to Philippine Cuisine” at nagdesisyong ilalaing ko ang mga tangkay.

Matagal na akong hindi nakapagluto ng laing, o hindi pa nang ako lang, alam ny’o na noong bata, ‘pag masumpungan mo tumulong sa kusina, madalas tagahiwa ka lang naman ng rekado kung hindi ka mag-isa.

Isang sulat ng isang nagngangalang Sheng sa internet ang aking naging pangunahing gabay sa pagluluto kong ito bagamat ang mga sangkap na aking pinamili sa palengke ng dela Rosa ay ang mga sumusunod:

luya, isang piraso

dilis, isang maliit na supot

sibuyas, isang sapat na piraso

sili, apat na pirasong mahahaba at kulay luntian

niyog, dalawang bao, pinakudkod para dumami ang “surface area”

Ang meron na sa kusina noon ay bawang at ‘yun nga, mga tangkay ng dahon ng gabi.

(Natutunan ko nga din dito na mahal nga ang gulay ngayon. Maaalalang nasa 6.4% ang inflation noong Agosto, pinakamataas mula pa noong 2009.)

Bale binalatan ko ang mga tangkay at itinabi ang mga dahon. Hiniwa ko ang mga ito ng mga tig-iisa’t kalahating pulgada.

Ang luya, sibuyas at bawang ay hiniwang panggisa.

Sa pagkuha ng gata, ang kinudkod na karne ng niyog ay aking piniga gamit ang bagong biling panyo. PhP 60.00 ang presyo ng mga niyog at halos isang oras din ang ginugol ko kakapiga ng natural nitong gata.

Nahinuha kong halos isang tasang gata lang ang kayang ibigay ng dalawang piraso ng buong niyog na nabili ko. Dahil naehersisyo na ako sa pagpiga at humahabol ako sa hapunan ay nasumpungan kong bumili ng gata na nakalata sa kalapit na mall.

Ang tatak ng delatang gata na binili ko ay iyong gawa sa Pilipinas at may sukat na 400 mililitro, hindi na nga lang ito natural dahil may halo na itong ibang sangkap gaya ng monoglyceride, polysorbate, sodium metabisulfite at iba pa. Mainam naman din na maihahalo ito sa natural na gata.

Pinagsama ko ang mga gata sabay hinati sa dalawang magkahiwalay na lalagyan.

 

Sa pagluto ng laing, sa isang kaldero ay pakukuluan ang mga tangkay sa tubig, sa kabila naman gamit ang kawali ay igigisa ang lahat ng iba pang sahog maliban sa sili at gata.

Pagkakulo ng mga tangkay ay sasalain upang humiwalay ang tubig. Para ka lang nagluluto ng Pancit Canton.

Pakukuluang muli ang mga tangkay gamit naman ng isang tasa ng gata. Pagkaunang kulo ay isasahog ang mga ginisa at saka isasalin ang ikalawang tasa ng gata hanggang sa muling kumulo at makumpleto ang lasa.

Ang huling ilalapat sa ibabaw ay ang apat na piraso ng sili.

Masarap!

 

Tama din ang patnubay na masarap siya isabay sa ulam na pritong isda lalo at walang karne ng baboy ang luto kong ito. Gayun din naman ay sa sarili niya ay ulam na siya para sa amin.

IMG-e3a47ee30e652ece1bf55ddcbd197851-Vc

Bale, isa namang kaibigan ko ang nagrekomendang patuyuin ko daw sa susunod ‘yung dahon bago isama sa sahog.

Okey ba Eri?

Mangan tayon!

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