Kalaro

April 9, 2012 3 comments

Last February, Ava and I brought Athan to his school to reserve his slot for the coming school year. It was really a good experience for the three of us. As Athan’s parents, Ava and I are really excited to see how Athan would fare in this new environment. For Athan, seeing as he didn’t want to go home that afternoon, I guess it’s safe to say that he’s also revved up to start his schooling.

During the time we were there, Athan met a new playmate; a little girl called Ysabel. She was sweet and kind to him the whole time he was with her. She even stood up for him when another kid was trying to push Athan around. As a boy, Athan plays rough but then, I saw him speak softly to another kid for the first time.

The thing is, most of us yearn for what Athan and Ysabel shared that fateful afternoon. Both of them were given the opportunity to connect with another human being. It was a carefree and innocent encounter which made them enjoy the beauty of life’s simplicity as dictated by either chance or design.

As they grow up, there’s a huge possibility that both of them would forget how they got to know each other that day. Truth is, they probably would never see each other again. Thinking of that eventuality led me to writing this song for them kids. It’s called Kalaro, which means playmate.

Naalala mo ba
Nang una tayong nagkakilala
Walang pangamba
Araw ay kay ganda

‘Di ka ba nabigla
Na isang tulad ko’y iyong nasilayan
Napadpad sa iyong kasaysayan
Nang hindi sinasadya

Ang lahat ng ito’y ‘di ko inaasahan
At ako’y nabighani sa aking kapalaran
Ako ay tinadhanang maranasan ang saglit sa isip mo

Naalala mo ba
Inabot mo sa akin ang iyong palad
Unti-unting ako’y humanga
Sa iyong ganda

Ang lahat ng ito’y ‘di ko inaasahan
At ako’y nabighani sa aking kapalaran
Ako ay tinadhanang maranasan ang saglit sa isip mo

Ako’y natuwa
Na sa munting sandali ika’y nakilala
‘Di ko malimot ang alala
Ng isang saglit na kay saya

P.S. Two months after we went to Athan’s school, Athan found another playmate with the same name. Coincidence?

Paalam, Karl Roy

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

For me, Karl Roy will always be the greatest Filipino rock vocalist of my generation. I never had the privilege to see him perform live and I really regret that. However, I am very fortunate to have been influenced by his music from his bands P.O.T. and Kapatid.

Karl Roy

Karl Roy

Ang tinig mo’y gabay
Sa panahong walang saysay
Sa banil at luha
Ala-ala mo’y taglay.

Ang panalangin mo ay alay
Sa bawat isang nawalay
Patungo sa paraisong
Ulit-ulit mong sinuway.

Hindi man kita nakilala
Hindi man kita namasdan
Isa kang tunay na kapatid
Na di malimot ng isipan.

Nakabaon sa aking isip
Ang mga inawit mong salita
Katulad ng mga tintang nakaukit
Sa katawang buhay ay nawala.

Ikaw ay walang kapantay
Sa panaginip o tunay na buhay
Kahit ikaw ay nahimlay
Ang pagbabalik ng kuwago ay buhay.

DISCLAIMER: Image used for this entry is taken from:
Karl Roy:

Kape

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Here’s a preview of a possible project with Dawn and an old friend, Isay. Click me!

Himbing

November 28, 2011 Leave a comment

Death is an inevitable part of life. To each and every one of us, its nature is a mystery. No one really knows what’s in store for us when the material aspect of our being becomes devoid of life, as we know it. However, one thing is certain. It creates a gap between the living and the dead that can only be crossed through transcendence from the former state to the latter.

I’ve lost people who are very special to me and I dream about them constantly. Every time I see a vivid image of them in my sleep, I could feel a fragment of their soul reaching out to me. It’s as if they’re reminding me of their significance in my life. Never have I forgotten them and never will I stop cherishing them.

The song’s entitled, Himbing, which means a deep sleep. Coincidentally, it’s also a euphemism for death.

Isang saglit
Na nais makamit
Panaginip sa pag-idlip

Larawan mo
Na pilit sinaulo
Sa isip ay nagpapangiti

Malayo ang isip
Higit sa dulo ng langit
Dama ang ‘yong piling
Sa aking paghimbing

Umaasa
Sa muling pag-iisa
Ng diwa’t tunay na buhay

Kahit na
Wala ka sa tuwina
Batid pa din ang pag-iisa

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Simula

November 12, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s been five years since I met my life partner, Ava and we’re celebrating that today. Since then, our lives have been intertwined. I admit that our relationship is not always about rainbows and butterflies but there’s a bond between the two of us that keeps us from letting go and giving up on each other. It’s not just a physical or emotional attachment. It’s something that you feel in your gut like an instinctive response that tells me she’s the one I’ll be spending the rest of my life with. I’m happy that that has begun and I’m very much looking forward to the next eventuality.

I’ve been pretty nostalgic these past few days so I decided to write a little something for Ms. Artsy Fartsy Ava. The song’s called, Simula. By the way, pardon the singing, folks. It’s just a means to an end.

Naalala ang gabing
Magdamag na ika’y kapiling
Magkahawak ang kamay
Damang-dama ang tamis ng buhay

Sa ilalim ng buwan
At mga tala sa kalangitan
Magkasalo sa liwanag
Nilimot ang anino ng lumbay

At ngayon ang simula
Ng tayong inaasam
Sa piling mo
Mundo’y gumagaan

Naglalakbay sa kawalan
Ang isip sa isa’t-isa nakalaan
Iisa ang pangarap
Hinahangad ang masayang hantungan

Happy 12th, Moms! I’m really glad to be here with you. Athan and I are very lucky to have you. Love you very much!

I’ll Write You A Song

October 25, 2011 4 comments

A devastating circumstance shook my world almost two years ago which prompted me to explore music further and start writing my own songs. Before that point in my life, I never knew I was capable of doing that. Every time I held my keyboard or guitar, I usually just pounded or strummed a couple of chords chopped from a good song of a known artist. I found out that songwriting is an excellent way of converting all the negativity in my thoughts and emotions into something creative and tangible for other people to listen or even relate to.

I was struck with disbelief when I wrote my very first original. At the same time, there was a mixed feeling of satisfaction and pride with the lyrics, melody and rhythm I came up with for I knew that all of them were created by me. However, I had no idea then if they were good enough for others to listen to. Fortunately, the first people I asked to hear my early works were kind enough to give me the pat on the back I needed. Thanks, friends! haha Since then, I never stopped writing.

Usually, I would spend the late hours of the night strumming my guitar, repeatedly playing a chord progression until I come up with a melody that suited my mood. It was a trial and error process until I arrived at something that really sounded great to me. Then, I start thinking of the words that would complement the melody and rhythm I created. There were some instances when the lyrics came first but those were very rare. I often start with the music.

I’m very thankful to Mathew, Dawn, Chemae and Francis, my bandmates in Manaha, who helped me put some of these songs to life. Without them, my songs’ demos would forever sound like a mad cow singing with a guitar. I really dream of the day when all of us would share the same stage again. Until that moment comes, I’ll just keep on mooing and writing my heart out.

But music was his life, it was not his livelihood
And it made him feel so happy and it made him feel so good.
And he sang from his heart and he sang from his soul
He did not know how well he sang; it just made him whole. ~ Harry Chapin, Mr. Tanner

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The Great Gig In The Sky

October 23, 2011 Leave a comment

If you were given the chance to put together an all-star band that would play on the most important rock show on earth, who among the great rock legends would you put on the roster? I’ve always had this question in my head so I decided to finally make an entry out of it. I’ve spent a great amount of my time listening to old school rock music and I always found myself in awe with the excellent musicianship displayed by all the individuals who contributed to the genre’s beginnings.

First off all, my ideal rock gig should be headlined by a blues-oriented, guitar-driven jam band. It would have three guitarists, a bassist, a keyboardist and a drummer. Here’s the lineup I came up with:

Drums. Mitch Mitchell

Drums: Mitch Mitchell
From: The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Mitch Mitchell is the powerhouse drummer behind Jimi Hendrix’s brainchild. Three words are enough to sum up his greatness: “Bold As Love”.

Bass. Berry Oakley

Bass: Berry Oakley
From: The Allman Brothers Band
Long running bass lines were Berry Oakley’s signature style and it created a different kind of groove which complemented Duane Allman and Dicky Betts’ guitar solos, which is best exemplified in “Mountain Jam”.

Keyboards: Billy Preston

Keys: Billy Preston
Often considered as the fifth Beatle for his role in the band’s legendary rooftop concert, Billy Preston was a session musician who worked with other famous acts such as Ray Charles, Eric Clapton and the Rolling Stones to name a few. He eventually had a very successful career as a recording solo artist. “That’s The Way God Planned It” is probably the song that truly displayed his passion for music.

Guitar. Duane Allman

Guitar: Duane Allman
From: The Allman Brothers Band
As a guitarist, one of my greatest frustrations is to learn the slide. For that reason, I truly admire Duane Allman who was a proficient slide guitarist. Like Billy Preston, he was also a session musician before he started the Allman Brothers. The entire live album of the Allman Brothers at the Filmore East is a mind-blowing experience.

Guitar. Jimi Hendrix

Guitar: Jimi Hendrix
From: The Jimi Hendrix Experience/Band Of Gypsys
Nuff said about the man. He revolutionized electric guitar playing with his wild solos and his guitar technique, which combined both lead and rhythm styles into one. It would definitely be interesting to see how the smooth and fine sound of Duane Allman’s slide would jive with the thick and raunchy rhythm of Jimi Hendrix. “Little Wing” captures both the complexity and soul of his remarkable playing style.

Vocals/Guitars. John Lennon

Vocals/Guitar: John Lennon
From: The Beatles
The late great John Lennon: the artist and the rebel with an attitude. “Yer Blues” from the Beatles White Album proved that not only can he play the blues, he can also sing it.

DISCLAIMER: Images used for this entry are taken from the links listed below.
Mitch Mitchell:
Berry Oakley:
Billy Preston:
Duane Allman:
Jimi Hendrix:
John Lennon: