I’ve Heard That Before: Musical Tales Pt.I

I was, or I should say I am not much of  a musician. Yes, I love music, life would be incomplete or at least, less enjoyable without it.

Yes I can play the guitar. My own preference is a 12-string that can produce all sorts of sweet music to compensate for my lack of dexterity with my left hand, and the apparent ineptitude with the chord chart. I can also sing.

But enough about me.

Instead let’s talk about the artists I enjoyed assisting with our nightly gigs  where I work. Best part of the job, actually. It’s when I get to see them live, hear them play, feel the songs. Stomp with the beat.

There’s this duo, The Komradze, whom I met quite recently, and an instant favorite of mine. Don’t get me wrong, I love all of them. Every night is a different sort of musical trip, but Thursdays is when the guys sing my generation. Imagine, if you will, songs from British bands that came out in the 80s, all beautifully rendered with  two voices, prolific drumming, guitar work that works, and a few snippets of harmonica sprinkled where it should be. I am talking about taking a song and making it their own. Then, there’s The Institute, with Jowi at the helm, a guitar virtuoso (he wouldn’t admit to it) that has been surrounded by musicians all his life, and wields a mean Strat. My musical preferences sit snugly with these guys, a bit of jazz and funk, pop and ballads, hell, they can play most of the songs I grew up with. And, perks of the job, I got dibs with the band, so once in a while I do get to sing with them.

That’s not the half of it.

Jazz and Benjie, and Allot when he has to fill in, are the sort of musicians who have been a round the circuit for a while. I’ll tell you more about them. Then there’s Mia & Paul, whom I get to enjoy every Saturday. Rain and Red, Odie, Lady Mae, Creative Minds, Viola, Roland, Walking-Waling these artists are what makes me groove with the music, a testament to the choice of entertainment we have.

I like music.

To hear it live makes it more raw and personal. With musicians like them, makes the experience more relevant, more guttural.

Politics bore me, so why talk about it. Local movies stink, that is putting it mildly. But the music circuit, keeps the beating heart of the city alive. My love for books is only superseded by music, which is a very tiny margin, If I should say so myself.

So I guess from here on in, this will be a a series of blog post of my nightly foray into live music.

 

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ONIEDAZDEUDA

Sounds enigmatic?

Maybe.

17342750_1463576960319766_4974078923498822437_nBut Onie, Ka Onie, Tito Onie among the younger set , and friends, despite the long, grayish white hair and the solemn demeanor (when not smiling, which is rare) is hardly stern nor hard to read. Born with the name Honesto, he is anything but the quite type. Conversations with him can start with one simple thing, and then expound into a galaxy of art, bonsai, gardening, travel and music. There are no boundaries when you sit down with him and just discuss the known universe, and then some that are virtually unknown, punctuated with humorous anecdotes and side-splitting punchlines, there is no boring moment with him.
His creations – Patio Papa, BKD (bahay Ko Din), Ka Boy Grill, Bamboo Grande, Kalye Luna 17504273_1463576466986482_7615291576473567750_oin Baguio City and the two most dear to him Bamboo Giant Malate and Bambu Intramuros – are products of a mind that never cease to discover new things. Driftwood and strange artifacts often find themselves on display in and around these restaurants. And what with his botanical skills (he has designed gardens that has the acclaim of not just institutions, but a queen once congratulated him for a job well done!) Bambu Intramuros along with Bamboo Giant Malate are testament for his love of colorful plants, beautiful music and art. These are his concepts for ingredients of what a good dining experience should be. Indeed, you could call Onie the beating heart of his creations.

His creativity is fueled by music – jazz, classic rock,folk, country, world music and rock and roll. Add to these his keen eye for art in all its forms and disciplines, sulpture, painting, drawings, from the avant garde to the traditional and more of the found-talent types. He has friends and acquaintances from all walks of life, be it politics, public service, musicians, painters, poets, the common man, all are in thrall when the man walks. No, that is not lip service, you have to meet him to know what Bambu Intramuros is all about.

17504488_1463574043653391_1989260255065419780_oFrom concept to execution, choosing the right stuff for the right spot, hanging positive words to engage the diner on what could be just another meal and turn it to a whole intellectual experience, picking meticulously the musicians who perform every night, less electronic, more on acoustic, not just elevator music, these are but some of his passionate hands working. He disagrees with extravagance, but the lushness of the leaves and trees, poetry in music, collecting art and the open arms he extends to those who are looking for work is the unspoken lavishness of the man’s character. His organic farm elsewhere is a foundation for his altruism. His bonsai is the incarnation of his soul.
Enigmatic maybe too heavy to describe Onie in one word. Ambiguous? Far from the truth. Let’s just say that Onie and his creations are free-spirited, cannot be labeled with a single tag, but an amalgam of all the things his passion can visualize. You might chance upon him when you come and visit Manila.

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Tito Onie with the Ladies of Bambu Intramuros (from left – Kim, Via, Grace, April__Joyce, Karen, Menchie, She and Haidee)

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The Man and Me

Face To Face With The Past

I went to the National Museum this afternoon.

I have come face to face with my ancestry.

I need research for my stories, information that will fill the
gaps in my stories and what have been lacking in our
collective consciousness – the nameless heroes of old.

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I asked the guide, since we were only allowed mobile
phones (on silent mode, of course) and no-flash cameras.
Fortunately, a friend gave me his android phone and now I
have the convenience of capturing anything within the
confines of the museum.

Suggested to proceed, my instinct told me to start from
the top, which is the 4th floor and work my way down.

What can i say? It was completely overwnelming. What
was mere images on the internet are there just a few feet
from my face and I had to keep myself from acting like a
schoolboy copping his first feel.

It was that exciting.

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