Archive for cabring

Hmm, wala nga ang Datu’s Tribe sa Tanduay Rockfest. (Bakit wala ang Datu’s Tribe Sa Tanduay Rockfest Part 2)

Posted in De-Face the Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 10/16/2010 by cabring

To everyone who waited, my apologies for the delayed posting. My brain was already on torture overdrive, distilling 20 years worth of thoughts, experiences, and insights on the music industry, and it really took time to decide on how to finally treat the issue at hand without resorting to producing a litany of sins I’d love the music industry to answer for.

This piece, I address, above all others, to my fellow established musicians in the local rock music scene. Most of us have gone way past that enigmatic “dead at 27” mark, so I think it’s about time we started thinking about the future. Not ours – the music’s.


Like so many others in the scene, I’d like nothing more than to just simply make music, have fun, and deliver the shit out of my bowels at every engagement. But the fact is that I’m forced to deal with the business side of things by default and this necessitates my having to arm myself with as much knowledge of the industry’s inner workings as I can just so my crew and I don’t end up getting victimized.

Since the 90s, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to talk to fellow artists about their thoughts on the music scene and one thing I’ve learned through these interactions is that everybody is privy to some kind of industry bullshit or sob story in one form or another. Whether it’s about greedy label execs, fly-by-night organizers, lopsided contracts, under-the-table agreements, payola and other kickback schemes, or even opportunistic poseurs within our own ranks, these rants have essentially remained the same since I first entered the fray more than 15 years ago.

So, I guess the question is not so much about what’s happening anymore (again, since everyone seems privy to all kinds of dirty info) but rather, HOW the hell they keep on happening and WHY in Pepe fuckin’ Smith’s name haven’t we been able to fix these problems in spite of the fact that WE, the MUSIC ARTISTS, are central to all the wheelings and dealings that take place inside the music industry?

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Have you seen TULARAWAN 02?

Posted in Gigs & Other Events with tags , , , , , , , on 04/13/2009 by cabring

tularawan02Sometime mid-Feb, Chris Linag, a pro photographer friend of mine, emailed me regarding a photo project he was cooking up. His plan was to ask various artists to write companion pieces for a series of photographs he planned to exhibit exclusively online.

The first picture in the series was uploaded just earlier this month, and the accompanying poem (a haiku) was written by my old school ’90s music compatriot, Dong Abay, bokalistang supremo ng YANO. (Kaunting FYI lang ito para sa inyong mga nagbabasa na either walang alam sa mga pinaggagawa ng mga tulad namin ni Dong nung panahong yun or mga egg at sperm cells pa lang nung dekada nobenta!)


The second photo was just uploaded today, and the companion piece was written by yours truly. I must say that the material I contributed was a first for me in so far as writing poetry is concerned. Whenever I dabble in the craft, I normally write in English – and in free verse. I use Filipino almost exclusively in song lyrics, and the meter and rhyme considerations I employ in songwriting are definitely different; more structured, of course, mainly because of the limitations that the kind of music Datu’s plays imposes on my writing style.

Anyway, as much as I would love to post the picture here (because I was really blown away by the beauty of it), I’d much rather that you see the work in Chris Linag’s Flickr site. His exhibit is still a work in progress, so expect to see more collaborations as the days progress.

Thanks for the honor, Chris! Sobrang ganda ng mga kuha mo!



If the piece I wrote for Chris “feels” like a song, that’s because it will be. I do plan to set music to it for a future project with Datu’s.

Happy Alcoholy Week, Pilipinas!

Posted in Songs to Learn and Sing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 04/09/2009 by cabring

holy-combatDedicated sa lahat ng sinungaling at manlolokong mapanlinlang na mga ipokritong relihiyosong banal na aso’t santong kabayong nagkalat sa Pilipinas (and you are Legion).

This song was actually written way back in 1996, but only got released as one of the tracks in our late 2007 album, ‘Whoa! Pilipinas!” It’ll never get aired, of course, so share-share ko na lang sa inyo, hahaha.

NOTE: It was partly inspired by Nora Aunor’s character in the 1982 film classic, “Himala” (directed by the late Ishmael Bernal) and also by the early ’90s Agoo “miracles,” among so many other things (kasama na ang mga kahibangan ng matagal ko nang namayapang lola at ang mga katropa niya sa Samahang Sto. Nino!)


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Three Dates and A Gate

Posted in I Miseducation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 03/21/2009 by cabring


After two decades of suspense, it’s finally going down.

The UPIS gate, that is.

It’s been a roller coaster ride of “what ifs” and “what nots” that ends now in one of the most moderately anticipated, anti-climactic plot developments in the ongoing drama that is UPIS. But instead of a barrage of protests, what caps the saga is a grand alumni-organized picture-taking party before the bulldozers and jackhammers finally start mutilating the landscape of my beloved non-alma mater; all this to give way to a corrupt government’s road-widening pre-election papogi-points project.

The gate figures in three significant events in my life, so I’m going to reminisce in honor of its impending transplant several meters inwards of the school property’s soon to be gerrymandered frontage.


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Francis M’s Presidential Medal; GMA and the Peter Principle

Posted in De-Face the Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 03/11/2009 by cabring

\m/ :mrgreen: \m/

The opinion, stated as a law, that employees are promoted to the level of their own incompetence.” The Peter Principle

Malacanang is set to award Francis M with a posthumous Presidential Medal of Merit for his contributions as a music artist to the cause of nationalism.

Waaaiiitaminnit…! Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (?!?) is going to award Francis Magalona with one of the highest civilian honors that can be bestowed upon a Filipino in recognition of the man’s contributions to the cause of nationalism?!?

Okay, before you organize a lynch mob to huntbuwaya-seal me down and string me upside down by the balls, let me make clear that I am not criticizing the recognition and most certainly am I not criticizing the intended recipient himself (pls. read my prior post on Kiko). It’s just that I can’t get over the supreme irony of it all that the person who’s going to give the award is the very embodiment of the corrupt “trapo” culture that FrancisM’s music legacy stands clearly in opposition to.

I know this administration has always had long-term plans since illegitimate day one to institutionalize government ineptitude as a tourist attraction, but couldn’t someone from the presidential staff have had the initiative to do just the littlest bit of teeny-tiniest research on FrancisM’s music to avoid making an already approval ratings-challenged pretender to the throne look monumentally ignorant for the nth time?

I guess not. :mrgreen:

So, in honor of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s continuing to defy the Peter Principle (also for the nth time) I’m conducting a poll. Please take the time to read all the choices below before clicking your answer/s. I’ve taken out restrictions on the number of times you can vote, so knock yourselves out, people. If you have any other suggestions, please just put them in the comments box.


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What does it all mean, Kiko?

Posted in De-Face the Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 03/09/2009 by cabring


My encounters with Francis Magalona have been few but memorable.

In the latter half of the ’90s, during the alternative band explosion years when acts like ours were able to penetrate the mainstream market, we guested a couple of times in Music Bureau, the defunct live television music program Kiko hosted along with G Toengi. During one of those backstage bonding moments when our band kind of blurted how much we wanted to “get closer” to G on a more intimate level, Kiko gamely (but, of course, jokingly) volunteered to set us up with his co-host. :mrgreen:

I also remember the time when Fil-Am comic legend Whilce “Wetworks” Portacio decided to set up his studio in the Philippines at the height of his career in Image Comics. We were invited to play at the concert held during the launch at the studio premises and I was blown away at seeing for the first time Kiko doing an impromptu jam with another act. Totally on-the-spot and absolutely seamless. He wasn’t called “Master Rapper” for nothing.

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Rakistang Aktibista (Side Notes on the 2009 UPLB Feb Fair)

Posted in De-Face the Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 02/20/2009 by cabring

uplb-seal2This is a response to a series of comments that surfaced in one of my e-groups, so a backgrounder is needed first.

The recently concluded UPLB Feb Fair almost didn’t push through after tensions between the Chancellor’s Office and the University Student Council led to the latter’s inability to secure an early permit for the event. The fair only pushed through after dialogues between the administration and the student government led to the granting of an 11th-hour approval from the Chancellor on the day before the fair was scheduled to start.

Early this week, a blog entry from a disgruntled concessionaire (apparently also a UP alumna) was reposted in one of my e-groups. In the entry, the emotionally-wrought woman aired her frustrations over what she claimed was the USC’s lack of transparency in its business dealings with the fair concessionaires. She also criticized the arrogant demeanor and lack of professionalism of the USC’s activist leaders, especially during her narration of a heated confrontation with certain officers. She pointed out that given their elevated status as duly-elected officers of the student government and official representatives of the entire student body, the behavior shown not only towards her but towards the other concessionaires as well, was totally inexcusable.

The blog entry didn’t really focus much on the rift between the admin and the USC, so the comments posted in my e-group were mostly criticisms leveled against the USC’s activist leaders. It is against this backdrop that I wrote this rejoinder to some of the comments (snippets of which I’ve quoted anonymously just to contextualize some arguments).

I initially planned to post this in the e-group (which I’ve chosen not to identify throughout the piece) but given the length I came up with, I decided against it especially since the availability of custom visuals here would help me better emphasize some points.

And so…

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