Monthly Archives: June 2012

A Recap of Yesterday

3PM-ish | Booktrade @ Moonleaf  Tea House in Maginhawa

  • There weren’t a lot of books available for swapping but it didn’t matter because I intentionally didn’t bring any book to trade. I told one of the organizers, Jasmine, that I wanted my books ready whenever I want to revisit the stories. (I get emotionally attached even to non-living things.) So she offered the books available for purchasing each for only P100. There were a few books stacked on her desk, even lesser than those for swapping! I took home two classic books which story I have read in summary before (grade school) plus three free back issues of Status magazine. It’s been a while since I last leafed through glossies apart from those in beauty salons, can’t resist to check if my Pulp mags are rotting well. 
  • We had milktea of course and stayed but not long as we have clearly laid out our day’s wandering. 

4PM-ish | Bookay-Ukay and 55 Tinta still in Maginhawa

  • We. I was with my friend Grace. I left her at Bookay-Ukay (bargained books again!) and headed to the next door. 55 Tinta is a tattoo shop which I’m guessing is co-owned by Kamikazee front man, Jay Contreras. They have a number of tattoo artists and I spoke to one of them, Mark. I told him what I like, things I wanted to improve that I all learned from getting my first tatt. So I started asking about needles, kinds of inks and told him how I am very particular about the intensity of the color. I showed him a photo. “Eh Kana naman yan eh”. He’s telling me that I cannot achieve a tattoo quality like that on the photo because of my skin color. My inner self was furious. I have seen inked locals but the color was not compromised, still so loud and strong, but I didn’t ask. A tattoo artist’s talent is to consider only next to his sincerity. It was Jay’s vivid chest tattoo that brought me there in the first place. 
  • Grace sneaked, just in time, signalling me she’s bought a film camera. It’s a Bell + Howell BF35 like mine but now available P300 pesos with free film. She was the fourth girl I know who acquired a lomo cam since seeing it from me. I’m sneezing lomo and spreading it like a virus. 

4:30PM | Crazy Katsu still in Maginhawa

  • Early dinner prepping for a long travel to our final destination (for the day). Grace and I were craving for ramen, (which is around fifty percent of the time) and thought we might find it…well, there. As you know the dumb me, I was disappointed to know only katsus are served among the other few on the menu. I asked for the best-seller and confirmed my order even before the crew could answer.
  • I have longed for talks like Grace and I had. Somewhere in our conversation we talked about not pursuing a degree in college where we thought our meek talents fit. We were both brainwashed by environment as young aspirants for a career that isn’t money-making. She, with creative writing and I, with visual arts. Why I mentioned the above, keep reading. 
  • We realized we can talk sense if and only if we’re without the rest of the barkada. Otherwise, we talk shit. Literally. 

7:45PM | Virgin Labfest @ Cultural Center of the Philippines

  • Totong Hilot, the chosen full-length play this year tells a story of an uncircumcised (unnecessary adjective) 10-year old boy and his unwavering desire to become a hilot like his grandfather, whom he thinks will pass on the skill to him, he being the eldest grandson. Discouraged by many, Toto was determined to follow his grandpa’s footsteps despite the recognition he gets of his talent in writing early discovered at school. As the story unfolds, Toto chose writing as a profession while his father pursued painting towards the end. We can recall that neither professions can make money, so as the dialogues on the play plead true. 
  • But there’s no stopping, okay. There’s nothing like a burning desire to fuel you up. I just want to say that that’s close to the kind of environment we grew up. The belief that choosing a course in college is the first step of the money-making scheme, next is to land a job you can practice your acquired degree and voila, you’re filthy rich. The only thing that could make you rich is by living your dream job, may not be monetary, but at least. 
  • Howie Severino, my favorite i-Witness documentarist, watched the play too. (I remember when BrewRATs in 99.5RT guested him the night I was sick and didn’t make it to the radio station for OJT. How I pitied myself while I listen to the radio and the buzzing of nebulizer that night at home.) I asked if I can take a photo of him, he said he can’t pose alone, I didn’t mind him. Sporting my Yashica, I took a snapshot like a paparazzi. He asked if I can introduce myself first, I plainly said my name and Grace’s. “I’m Howie”. Come on, you need not say a thing for us to identify you. In fact, just by the photojourn’s vest you’re wearing I can recognize you. He asked where we live and I couldn’t remember if I answered right. I was so struck but still couldn’t resist a small talk with him. I told him l always watch i-Witness, I mentioned his docu Lukayo. “Tagal na nun ah”. Oh no! Why did I even mention that? It was that docu he made that suspended i-Witness for two weeks, give or take. Lukayo is a feast, celebration, procession dominated by women each holding a replica of the male genitalia dancing their way to the church! And what’s even more absurd is that they’re welcomed by their parish priest with good grace. I was so embarrassed. I just wanted to convince him that I am a fan ever since the world begun. That I remember the docu even if it was shown many years ago and was never replayed or will never be replayed on TV for that case. So I swift-switched to saying that I love his Rizal docus too among many others. (They were recently replayed in celebration of Rizal’s birthday.) Whew. He seemed pleased. He turned to my camera, “You like shooting film? I used to have that too.” Ugh. I knew it, his eyes wouldn’t miss that. He is a photographer, himself, and still carries a camera around his neck. I can identify it as a Nikon Coolpix, the camouflage design. I was talking about Yashica Electro when I realized there were people crowding behind us. I can’t be selfish, it’s time to share the moment to more fans. 

Superheadz x Yashica Electro | Agfa Vista

Some photos might be familiar to you, these were from that eventful day of June 23rd! True, I haven’t gotten over it yet.

About the schizo photos:

  • These were shot using BOTH Superheadz Super Fat Lens and the super duper Yashica Electro 35 GSN.
  • BOTH—The film I used which is Agfa Vista 100 was exposed twice using the two superb cameras that resulted with the photos below.
  • The film was first exposed using the Superheadz where the film loader is upside-down, then with the Yashica where the loader is conventional.
  • The truth is (1) I forgot about the last bullet when I loaded the film in Yashica. (2) I forgot to bring extra rolls of film that day so I decided to reuse what I just unloaded from Superheadz. (3) I am forgetful.
  • One thing I knew is that I need to double expose the ASA 100 film I used on Superheadz because with an aperture of F11 and shutter speed of 1/125s, the photos will surely be underexposed especially now that sunlight is scarce.

Cynthia Alexander’s Last of the Five Send-Off Gig

Filipino professionals seeking better opportunities abroad is now the trend, but a musician’s leaving for quite the same reason has taken me aback. It is known that Cynthia Alexander is leaving because of lack of support from Pinoy music industry—this is a tragedy for Musika Mundo fans. But her assuring us that she’s going back soon (soon is comforting but still indefinite), we are holding on to her words and that we’re all permitted to sing her songs whenever we miss her and her music.

To her, the Send-Off Series gig is more of a Thank-You Series gig for the support she got from a crowd of Filipino independent music fans. She said that she doesn’t want to take flight without sincerely thanking everyone before she embarks. The grateful Cynthia started with the song Walk Down the Road.

then the song Wait that she had written while nursing her newborn daughter, Tala. 

She was joined by the band Brigada on this song and many other songs that requires full musical ensemble. Nakakaiyak sa sobranga galing!

My first song request in mind was granted so early. Owner of the Sky was the third song. Me and my friend can’t resist flashbacks from our own different stories of tough times we have overcome separately through faith in God and this song. This is the ultimate praise song for me. Surreal. 

Then the love song U&I that ended with a different mix.

Knowing There Is Only Now


Dumaan Ako is a personal favorite. Cynthia acknowledged Joey Ayala and Maningning Miclat who just came in and happened to be the composers of the song. 

Intertwyne was accompanied by a dance performance so slow, in phase with the harmony brought about ecstasy.

The Weather Report

Before Daisy Chain, she concerned herself with how the crowd was doing and decided to face the other side of the audience to get a better view of her. What an artist.


Hello Baby

I don’t Mind

Blackbird, a cover song by The Beatles

Kabaka is originally a poem by Vim Nadera

Dragonfly was a requested song from the album Comet’s Tail

Comet’s Tail

No Umbrella is my request I have long been waiting to hear. A poignant song with a tender melody.

Kawikaan and Malaya was performed with Brigada again. You can’t bear being stiff and standing for hours skin to skin will not hold you back from moving to the groove.

The multi-instrumentalist Mlou Matute was also on backup vocals. Must say I look forward to her gigs too.

Across the Universe, another cover by The Beatles. Everyone sang along to this song.

It ended with the crowd-favorite Comfort In Your Strangeness. Which reminds me of the indie film, Still Life, one of my all-time favorite Cinemalaya entries. I always think that the film was based on the song, it’s the best fit for a soundtrack. 

Cynthia will be flying tomorrow to relocate in Seattle. I am happy that her music will no longer be confined in the Philippines where support is short. It’s now time for us to share her to the rest of the world and let her songs be heard to represent our rich Filipino music.


This completed my June 23rd.

Quiapo Goes Anime

An event sponsored by Phottix happened at the photographer’s haven in Manila—Hidalgo. A lot of pro photographers and enthusiasts alike came to join the workshop that started early in the morning by Jay Tablante and Ricky Ladia. As what I expect of myself, I came in late and therefore experienced the last quarter of the event, the awarding (there was an on-the-spot photo contest) and the parade of a small group of cosplayers on the street.

I know none of these anime characters.

The out-of-focus robot…

More robots…

These kids had to introduce me to the robots…

They said, they were Bumblebee and Megatron. Uh-oh. Sounds familiar. Didn’t I watch Transformers? Okay, I slept the movie away to the credits…

And this is Optimus Prime nursing his broken finger with mighty bond.

And oh, Megatron needs glue too…

They never get tired of going after the robots

That’s while I speak with Mang Dado, his estante is right on the nearest sidewalk. I didn’t know he has an apprentice (the pissed guy in the background). It used to be just him for the longest time. I’m scared of the new guy, he seemed hotheaded…

but able. He is fixing a family camera, whom the owner spoke to me in curiosity about the cameras dangling around my neck. I enjoyed the conversation with him and his two sons (one was of my age) that I forgot to take a photo of them. Sayang.

On my right was a photo-op, the mother was a cosplayer too.

Pilipinas represent!

Hot anime legs

A young merchant was reminded that he was, after all, still a kid.

I’m going back for these kids. They gathered around me so excited to see the photos. All they said was “Pa-recopy, ate”.

The submitted entries for the photo contest

And the participants submitting their entry on the last minute

The winner of a Phottix studio kit along with many other camera accessories. He was, apparently, last year’s winner too… Can we make him one of the judges next year?

Thank you to the sponsor, Hotel Sogo Phottix.

And that ends one-third of my day yesterday. Sorry for the long post. 

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